White Store Township-Location, Origin of Name, and First Settlers

LOCATION: White Store Township is located in the southwestern part of Anson County, North Carolina. It is bounded on the north by Lanesboro Township; on the east by Gulledge Township; on the west by Union County, and on the south by South Carolina. It embraces an area of approximately 33,000 acres.

There are no railroads, towns, or rivers in this township, but there are several streams of water which figure prominently in old deeds, land grants, and wills. These streams are known as Lanes Creek, Brown Creek, Still Branch, Black Creek, Ball Creek, Shaw Creek, and Dead Fall Creek.

There is one mountain, known as Gordon’s Mountain, located in this township. It derives its name from a family of Gordons who owned this land and settled at the foot of the mountain.

ORIGIN OF NAME: White Store derived its name from Colonel Joseph White, a prominent man, who lived in this township approximately 150 years ago. He conducted a general mercantile store, handling groceries, dry goods, farming implements, and any other commodities needed by the average farm family. His home was just across Brown Creek at what is now the William Gulledge farm.

The store was located at a crossroads; the main roads leading from Wadesboro, North Carolina, to Camden, South Carolina, and from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Cheraw, South Carolina. The store was located on a very high ridge from which a beautiful view for miles and miles could be obtained. This ridge was called the "Devil’s Backbone".

This store served an extensive territory and was known far and wide as "White’s Store". This locality in later years became a US Post Office, at first being called "White’s Store", but later usage contracted the name to "White Store."

Colonel Joseph White was a member of the General Assembly of North Carolina from 1821 to 1825, and was Sheriff of Anson County prior to 1840. The Whites were granted land on October 14, 1783, on Rushing Branch; October 14, 1783, on Brown Creek; October 24, 1786, on Brown Creek; August 17, 1787, on Brown Creek; October 1786, on Brown Creek. Many deeds and wills of the White family are recorded as far back as 1807, 1808, and by one Josiah White, in 1804. This last mentioned deed was witnessed by James Redfearn and A. Sinclair. At this time the Clerk of Anson County was William Dismukes.

In a letter from the Post Office Department, Washington, it is stated that this post office was first established under the name "White’s Store" on September 15, 1837, with David A. Covington as Postmaster. The name was changed to "White Store", August 2, 1893, and the office was discontinued May 15, 1917, when the rural delivery came from Marshville.

For many years the mail was carried on horseback between various post offices, and "White’s Store" was on the route from Charlotte to Cheraw. A Mr. Milton McCall, who lived near Matthews, in Mecklenburg County, was one of the carriers as far back as 1836 to 1840; he told his nephew, Dr. J.E. Hart, that he rode horseback with the mail, leaving Charlotte on Monday morning and returning Wednesday; the second trip being made from Thursday to Saturday. White’s Store was a favorite place for resting. It was quite customary and in good repute to take a drink here, perhaps to shorten the long journey. The roads were rough, but the coming of the mail was a great even in the lives of the people. Every scrap of newspaper was read and reread, and these were passed among the citizens of the community. The mail carrier was somewhat of a courier as well, because he heard all the news on his rounds and distributed it as he went along. These were primitive times, and people lived long distances apart. We can well imagine how eagerly they gathered at the crossroads to watch and wait for the coming of the mail carrier, bringing news from the outside world.

FIRST SETTLERS: Among the early settlers in the White Store community appear the names of Redfearn, Rushing, Rivers, Tice, Morgan, Huntley, Durant, Watt, Crowder, White, Gordon, McRae, Lockhart, Barret, Chambers, Faulkner, Gulledge, Meadows, May, and others.

The first person by the name of Redfearn to obtain a land grant in the White Store community was John Redfearn, as shown in Chapter VI of this volume. He married Mary Townley in Johnson County, North Carolina, and moved to Anson County about 1775. The reason for this removal apparently is the fact that he and many other small farmers opposed the British militia under Governor Tryon at the Battle of Alamance, May 16, 1771. This battle was fought four years before the Battle of Lexington in Massachusetts. The farmers lost it and were compelled to take oath of allegiance to the King. Those who would not take the oath or who wanted to escape its effects left central North Carolina. During the next few years approximately 4,000 people left that part of North Carolina and moved into the state of Tennessee. John Redfearn went to Anson County, North Carolina, and established his home. He named one of his sons Townley, his wife’s maiden name. Townley sold his land in Anson County, as shown in Chapter XI. His brother, Nimrod, remained in Anson County and obtained lands adjoining those of his father, John Redfearn, as shown in Chapter VII of this volume. Nimrod also named one of his sons Townley who became one of the most prominent citizens of Anson County, and whose descendants are enumerated in Chapter VIII of this volume.

At the time John Redfearn settled in Anson County, about 1775, perhaps everyone thought he used good judgment in locating his home. It was on one of the main wagon roads from Cheraw, South Carolina, to Charlotte, North Carolina. However, the location of this farm shows that luck must play some part in judgment, for when the railroad came through that community about 1870, it missed this farm by several miles to the north. When the highways were first paved, one was several miles north, and one was several miles south of this farm. Only recently the road by this farm has been paved, and it is merely a farm road. Thus, for nearly a century this land did not have the benefit of modern developments which came sooner to other lands through which the railroads and highways passed. Maybe there is some luck in life, but perhaps a good judgment aids such luck. It is like health; no person can make a success without good health, and such health is often the result of right living and not luck.

Source: History of the Redfearn Family by Daniel Huntley Redfearn Miami, Florida 1954.

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