To the Members of
the Sampson Historical Society:
Because I agreed to serve as president of the Society for a term, and because I know so few of you, this will serve to introduce me with the hope that I will soon know many more of you. I was born in Asheboro in Randolph County, NC but my forbears planted themselves in Sampson and Duplin. I retired from a 30+ year career as an orchestral musician in 2005, and after a couple of years of going nuts, I decided I needed a big project. I convinced my wife that we’d find heaven if we moved to Sampson County to restore the dilapidated house where my mother was born. Having grown in the city (Richmond, VA), it is taking a while for her to see heaven down here even though I keep pointing it out. (She is coming around, I must say.) Having spent so much time here as a child visiting my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, I’ve just come home.
My mother was born in 1907 in a house built by Cameron Highsmith in 1892; heart pine, pegs, and cut nails – you’ve seen a hundred of them. Purchased by my grandparents in 1903, the home and farm, in the long gone 19th century community of Coharie, were just up the old lane from Coharie School (Mrs. Wright’s School) where my grandmother had attended and down the lane from the historical Ebenezer Church. At the time of the purchase my grandfather was the caretaker of Mrs. Wright’s farm. My wife and I have restored the old house and live in it with our three children, aged 18, 10, and 7. In the accompanying photograph of that home in winter 1908, my mother (Marie Cashwell Teachey, 1907-2000) is the one in the carriage along with her sister (Jessie Cashwell Boney, 1903-2003 ), brother (James E. Cashwell, 1905-1989), her parents (Anna Matthis Cashwell, 1881-1969 and Joseph Leon Cashwell, 1870-1963), and on the far right, her uncle (Ernest Matthis of Taylor’s Bridge). My father, from Duplin County, worked in Sampson County schools first as an 18 year old teacher at Ingold School beginning in 1926 and ending as principal of Clinton High School for two years, 1944 and 1945.
I currently serve as the Reference Librarian of the Sampson-Clinton Library. While neither a professional historian nor a genealogist, I enjoy the hunt in both areas and see myself more as a facilitator in helping our patrons in the library. I’m the pointer; the patrons are the hunters. The Historical Society has been in such good hands for many years and Sampson County has been blessed with many excellent historians. I hope to be of some small service to the Society.