Year 1901 - A New Century
The town of Stanley Creek heralded in the new century on the 1st of January 1901, with the
ringing of bells and singing of songs. Rev. West
(Methodist Episcopal) and Rev. Wilson
(Presbyterian) led the exercises.
Two Mercantile Stores
There was a new mercantile in town at the
beginning of the new century. It was run by Mr. Wilburn C. Thompson, Mr. Ernest L. Pegram and Mr.
R. C. Goode who had just recently moved to town
from Cleveland County. This store was located at the
comer of Plum and Main Streets, in a portion of the
building where in 1996 the Gaston County Dye
Machine offices are situated. George Hoover also
ran a store in Stanley Creek in 1901.
A whooping cough epidemic in Stanley
Creek seemed to have run its course by March
Express Office is Robbed
The Gastonia Gazette reported that a robbery
had been attempted on 12 April 1901, at the Stanley Creek Express office.
Burglars had tried to pry off the door of the safe but were unsuccessful. Officials
in the office reported that there were only a few coppers
in the safe anyway.
Machinery was being placed in the new cotton gin in August of 1901. It was owned by Mr. Charles F.
Smith. The first bale of cotton brought to the gin was by Mr. Miles Rhyne of Mariposa and weighed
500 pounds. By the end of November of 1901, five hundred and seventy five bales of cotton had been
ginned. Mr. Ernest L. Pegram purchased the largest bale of cotton packed at the new gin that year,
for Stanley Creek Cotton Mills. The bale weighed 627 pounds and Mr. Pegram paid a little over $50
for the cotton which had been raised by Mr. Elihu Riley on the farm of Mr. Charles Smith, owner of
An outbreak of smallpox had most of Gaston County people concerned. Patients and their families were
quarantined with a yellow flag flying from their house. Eventually pest houses were built and smallpox'
patients were placed in detention in thouse houses. A pest house was located on the Rankin property
near Stanley Creek. In March of 1902 it was noted in the newspaper Gastonia Gazette that "the
smallpox scare has all but subsided, as there is a belief that it was only a form of chicken pox."
Mrs. Anna Morrison Jackson, widow of General Stonewall Jackson visited Stanley on occasion. The
following are re-creations of news articles extracted from the Gastonia Gazette of 20 August 1901
and 1 August 1902, regarding Mrs. Jackson.
"Mrs. Stonewall Jackson spent a while in Stanley yesterday. She is visiting her brother, Capt.
J. G. Morrison."|
"Mrs. Stonewall Jackson and grandson, Jackson Christian, were visiting in Stanley Monday at Rev. W.
H. Wilson's and left on the evening train for Charlotte. When here she met a friend and companion
of school girl days whom she had not seen for thirty years. Their greeting was most cordial and
Once again there was a name change in effect
for the town which began as Brevard Station, and in 1893 was changed to Stanley Creek. In 1911 our
town's name was changed again by legislative act, to be called Stanley.
The election that year brought into office
mayor, William G. Rutledge. The four aldermen were
Sidney J. Black, Albert L. Boyd, Albertus M. Rhyne
and Soloman A. Stroup. Howard R. Thompson was
sworn in as clerk for the town.
The first order of business for the new officials
was to pass an ordinance stating that all owners of dogs
were warned to keep them from running at large and the
offender, upon conviction, would be fined fifty cents
for each offense.
Another order of business dealt with levying
tax of $2.50 on non-resident venders of cold drinks and
other merchandise such as confetti, walking canes,
whistles and balls. Also that all side shows were to be
taxed $5.00. The rates were to apply on the annual
Picnic Day. Attractions in town on Picnic Day were
Merry-Go-Round and a Jingle Board in addition to the
vendors and side shows.
Marcus A. Turbyville was the Police Chief in
Stanley in 1911 and in September of 1911 resigned his
position of Police Chief and Julius C. Gaston was
J. Durant Ballard was paid $3.00 and T. Clint
Moore was paid $6.00 for their services as assistant
policemen during the 1911 Christmas holidays.
Beginning in the year 1911 several new streets
were laid off in town. One was from the center of town
down by the Methodist Episcopal Church. (Today it is
East College Street). It was laid off by John Cannon,
James E. Loven and Howard R. Thompson. Another
new street in 1912 was Thompson Street which ran by
Albert L. Boyd's, James G. Rutledges' and Jacob Jenkins' on to Will Clemmer's.
In 1914 Stanley had no town hall, but rented an office from Carl Finger for conducting the town's
In 1914 a cement trough was built and placed in front of Mr. James S. Fox's well near the Lutheran
Church. This trough was placed there for the use of horses or mules of visitors to town.
Motion Picture Theatre
L. I. "Doras" Ballard operated a "Moving Picture Show" in 1915, and 10% of his collections went to
the churches in town.
A Little Bit About Brevard Station, Stanley Creek and Stanley
When Brevard Station (Stanley) as it
was first known was quite a small, straddle of the railroad in town. The railroad had a wye (Y) so that trains
could turn around back then. Most of the inhabitants or residents were young people moving in from
farms. Most of the houses were small, wooden framed structures. What little industry was made up
of a blacksmith, cotton gin, sawmill, livery stable and several small stores. A Post Office had been moved into
town from the countryside. The first churches were small, one room buildings. Each one had a bell which
they rang loud and clear for every meeting. Once a month one church had preaching and all attended that service.
The next Sunday another had preaching and all attended it, then another denomination had the next and so on.
Those who could sing helped the choir in which ever church they were having services.
The Baptist Church was called Bruington and had been moved from a location between Stanley and Mt
Holly. Christ's Lutheran was a small building with the most uncomfortable benches anyone ever sat on. The
Methodists had an Arbor which stood out beyond the school on the Lineberger property. Lots of
and gatherings were held there. The Presbyterian Church was not built until around 1893.
Mrs. Fred "Allie" Rhyne
World War I Years
On April 6, 1917 President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress for and received a Declaration of War against
the opposing forces in Europe. Thus began the United States' entry into World War I.
Within a short period of time 92,000 North Carolina men joined the Allied Forces. One out of every eight
males over the age of 18 served. Units designated for furnishing men for the war were the regular
army, the national guard and the national army of men chosen by draft. Most North Carolinians
served in either the 30th or 81st divisions. Most Gaston County men were in the 81st Division,
which helped to smash the Hindenburg Line in 1918.
Tragic as the war was it was a boon to the textile industry (the Stanley Manufacturing Company in
Stanley included), as the mills were running day and night to supply the military with textile materials.
New Filling Station
By 1917 several automobiles were owned by Stanley residents and the need for a gasoline filling
station was present. Mr. Oscar B. Carpenter put in a filling station in front of his Carpenter
Streetlights for Stanley
The Stanley Town Board decided to put street lights on the main street of Stanley from the Lola
Mill to 2000 ft. toward Charlotte. Robert Craig proposed that Lola Mills would erect the lights if
the town would buy and put up the necessary light poles, which was done with 6 poles on each side of the
street. The electric power was provided by Dr. F. V. Taylor. The street lighting at the time was very
unreliable and most of the time about half of the lights were not working, either because of burned
out bulbs not being replaced, or because vandalizing youths shot out the lights with sling shots.
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