Digital Highlights

Mary Kelly Watson Smith Diary Excerpts

These diary excerpts–edited by Archives volunteer Dick Claycomb–are aimed primarily at locating entries that relate to people and events pertinent to the city of Greensboro and, to a lesser extent, to the region and the nation.


Jan. 21 …Fire destroys dormitory. Kitchen and dining room at State Normal, but no loss of life. Citizens stood by Dr. McIver nobly in every way.

Jan. 28 …Bitter cold. A regular blizzard. Driving and deep snow.

Feb. 18 …”Old G.F.C. burned to the ground. [Greensboro Female College]

Apr. 5 …The Sunbeams held their Easter Hunt here this afternoon.

Jul. 4 …Great Battleground celebration. Monument unveiled to Judge Schenck.

…Laurin had charming party of about 40 young people with beautiful decorations of red, white and blue, but the cream was soft.

Jul. 17 …Prohibition carried by a large margin.

Sep. 28 …Will McAdoo has bought the W.W. Allen place to be fitted up as his residence.

Oct. 1 …Egbert’s wheel stolen from his steps late this afternoon. (Oct 5 – found at Brown Summit.

Oct. 11 …Central Carolina Fair week. Great crowds of people, and dust in billows and waves.

Oct. 11 …The new federal building was occupied on Oct. 8. Very commodious and handsome, but as yet very dirty.

… Greensboro Female College opened with 102 pupils.

…One can hardly get along on Main St. (E. Elm) with safety for the new buildings going up and piles of materials on both sides of the street.

Nov. 3 …The Yates house was moved a little today, from its old place, to be taken across the lot to N. Elm.


Feb. 3 …Weather bitterly cold. The water pipes which were shattered are all mended, but too cold to turn on the water.

Feb. 7 …The whole earth covered with glassy ice. Sleds much in evidence.

Feb. 9 …Children sledding in M. Egbedles(?) back yard.,

Feb. 20 …”I cannot remember a worse day. Ground covered with thick coat of ice. Snow on top of that and the rain coming down heavily, freezing as it falls. Such a February was never known.”

Feb. 25 …Mr. Vaughan and Margaret … question of a home; made Mrs. Gilmer an offer for her place, which she holds at $20,000.”

June 21 …Commenced cutting down trees on the Hagan lot preparatory to building Mrs. George Smith’ house. Also getting ready to build on the little peninsula just above Bessie Hagan’s house. We are getting shut out in so many directions we feel like moving away. It’s no longer the open park-like place we’ve enjoyed for so long.

Oct. 1 …After ten Henry Wharton brought his gramaphone for entertainment – the sweetest thing was “When You and I Were young, Maggie.”

Oct. 10 …The Carolina Fair opens today. Gov. Glenn(?) makes an address. Great crowds but dust everywhere. No rain for many weeks.

Oct. 19 …”The reception of Pres. Roosevelt and wife on their southern tour has been a success.”

Dec. 11 …Mary and I went to town to make some progress with our Christmas shopping. Stores full of beautiful things. The Kress gorgeous, and two new establishments. Meyers Bros. from Richmond and Mr. Buchanan from Petersburg.


Jan. 29 …the suit of Southern Life & Trust against Lee H. Battle was begun under Judge Cook; decided by him in favor of Southern Life & Trust. To the disappointment of a fraudulent clique. May its reign be short in this town.

Feb. 11 (p. 22) …Shocking accident at the station last night in which three young engineers lost their lives and others terribly injured.

Mar. 1 (p. 27) … “Had Mr. Alderman come down and take two views of our old sitting room, which has Been our household shrine for many years.

Apr. 18 (p. 53) …St. Leo’s Roman Catholic hospital was opened for public inspection today. Dr. Beall being master of ceremonies. A dozen priests in attendance and bishop of (Haid) presiding. Quite a crowd present and its splendid equipment much commended.”

May 8 (p. 58-9) “…last night the new library was formally opened. Services in the City Hall. Addresses by Dr. McIver, Mr. Crawford, and Mayor Murphy.”

May 10 (p. 61) …Memorial Day – handsomely observed by our Daughters of the Confederacy. Address in City Hall by Maj. Robbins.

June 18 (p. 78-9)…Rainstorm with hail as large as hen’s eggs.

June 22 (p. 80) …Today the first blow was struck toward the demolition of the old home, which has been our home for forty-one years

July 4 (p. 86) …Great crowds in town at the Battleground, where the monuments of Davidson and Nash were unveiled and a tremendous picnic at Proximity. In the afternoon Mr. V. took us for a charming drive in the country and through town.

July 12 (p. 88)…Had an unexpected visit today from Warren Logan, my old servant and (____), associated with Booker (T.) Washington, as treasurer at Tuskegee. Fine looking, intelligent man – Willie Logan was with him.”

July 13 (p. 88) …”I paid delightful visit to Loula an Lizzie Lindsay, who are about to have an upheaval of their old home, having sold the front to the Elks and moving their house back.

July 17 (p. 90) …(description of the destruction of the house, and the moving of the study.

Sept. 17 (p. 125-127)…”This Monday afternoon is a day long to be remembered in Greensboro, for during the afternoon came like a thunderbolt the news of the death of its first citizen – Dr. Charles Duncan McIver, on the Bryan (William Jennings) special as they were returning from Raleigh as Bryan’s escort. (More description.)

Sept. 19 (p. 127)…Description of McIver funeral, held at First Presbyterian Church. Mrs. McAlisters much pleased.

Sept. 30 (p. 130)…Rev. Mr. Williams of Walker Avenue preached an exceedingly earnest practice sermon in our church this morning on “Soul Winning.”

…Tonight he was installed … charge to pastor by Mr. Hodgin, to the people by Mr. Scales.

Oct. 4 (p. 131) …Negro riot in Atlanta quelled. Many innocent persons shot down in cold blood.

…Shopping for gift for Mrs. Fannie Hall for her 80th birthday as remembrance from the Ladies Missionary Society

Oct. 5 …Dr. McIver’s death was a terrible blow to Will. He has just completed his life, which will soon be out.

Oct. 8 (p. 134) …Ladies Aid and the Emma Gray Group met to discuss our Housewives’ Sale to be held early in Nov. I am making (______) aprons and some needle cases for the sale.

Oct. 12 (p. 137)…This is University Day and is being observed more elaborately than ever before. Also conferred on Dr. Alderman the degree of L.L.D. Students number 703.

Oct. 15 (p. 138)…John Ware (gardener) landscaping yard. The old landmarks are going one by one.

Mary Watson and (______) are much pleased with Miss Wetmore and their new school, but they wrinkle their brows a good deal over their arithmetic at night.

…The famous evangelist (Sam Jones) died suddenly on yesterday on a train near Little Rock, Ark. In his 59th year. Born McCartersville, Ga. A unique character has passed.

…Mrs. Varina Jefferson Davis, widow of the President of the Confederacy. Passed away today in New York City, 81st year. But one member of the royal family of the Confederacy as it were, now remains and the old veterans are rapidly “passing over the river,” but the Lost Cause shall live in the hearts of nations yet unborn.

Oct. 31 (p. 147)…Rev. Melton Clarke of Florence, S.C. was called to the pastorate of this church. Unanimous Except for two.

Nov. 7 …Housewife’s Fair begins tonight.

Nov. 9 …Clark accepted call to church.

Nov. 12 …Fair cleared $325.

Nov. 15 …A broad concrete walk is completed entirely around this ___________ on Church and Smith Sts. Mr. Vaughan is regarded as a public benefactor by pedestrians in this neighborhood.

Nov. 19 (p. 156)…McIver memorial exercises tomorrow.

Nov. 20 …took car for the Normal – found immense crowd – students building packed – exercises interesting and of a high order.

Nov. 21 …A Columbia paper giving full and interesting account of the great day of the unveiling of the splendid statue of their distinguished citizen and soldier, Gen’l Wade Hampton.

Nov. 29 (p. 160)…Near Lawyers, Va. 10 miles from Lynchburg, a fearful wreck in which Samuel Spencer, Pres. Of Southern Railway, was killed with a party of his friends, coming to NC to hunt.

Dec. 6 …The new Baptist church where Baptist State Convention is meeting – Church beautiful but unfinished.

Dec. 9 …Percy Gray’s body had arrived at Mrs. Gilmers and would be interred at 3:30.

…Went in to see Percy’s face once more. Poor Mary stood beside the grave of the last member of her family. She alone is left of the large and charming circle that made Blandwood a beloved home.

Dec. 12 …Harry (son) arrived on way to Durham to meet Dr. Bultnek(?), then to Charlotte and Davidson where Dr. B. has twice been disappointed. Visit may mean much to the college.

Dec. 13 …Cast removed from baby’s foot – she watched while it was removed.

Dec. 14 (p.169-70)…Miss Daisy Pritchell sewing for Margaret all week. 19 shirt waists and other things.

…Christmas plans approaching completion.

…Grading of grounds finished. Found her glasses hanging in a rose bush.

…Shocked to learn that Ellen could no longer cook. “She has been a faithful servant and excellent cook for nine years.”

Dec. 19 …Ellen left. She was a faithful friend of mine.

Dec. 20 …Mr. A. P. Eckel, an old and honored citizen laid to rest. 81 years of age. A friend of Dr. Smith.

Dec. 23 (p.174)…Still painting church. Egbert’s hymn brought back my great loss, floodgates opened. I could not remain. There’s a touching power to music that is irresistible.

…Dick child fatally burned.

Dec. 24 (p. 174)…Wrapping, shipping without number. Children lay awake, stirred by coming of Santa in the morning.

Dec. 25 (p. 178)…Describes Christmas. Pandemonium.

Dec. 25 (p. 178) …Utterly worthless and uncertain is the Southern (RR) in every part of its miserable system.


Jan. 8 …Memorable snowstorm of the 5th. Returned home on the last train from Washington – first to come in for many days.

…Mrs. Cartland deeded house and lot to First Presbyterian, to be the first manse the church has ever owned.

…Mr. Caldcleugh having sale of goods — china, glass, etc.

Jan. 17 (p. 4-6) …Rumor has it that the triangular lot between the Ave and Church St is sold for the site of a Jewish synagogue.

…Alas for the boys’ beloved camping ground.

Jan. 18 …Very mild. Violets abundant and winter honeysuckle and jessamine in full bloom.

Jan. 19 … Gen. Lee’s 100th birthday. Honored in Smith Memorial – a fitting temple for his sacred service.

Jan. 27 …First service in renovated and repainted church. Quite a snowstorm. Very cold.

Feb. 2 …Sharp’s Institute burned to the ground.

Feb. 14 (p. 31) …Valentine’s day party for 50 children – a brilliant success.

… Grand old folks concert tonight.

Mar. 5 …Shaw trial and other trials in Culpepper and Charlottesville. A famous mill case being tried in Greensboro, with a crowd of English girls as witnesses.

Mar. 17 (p. 43) …Went to Baptist Church to hear Dr. Battle and the new pipe organ.

Mar. 18 …70th birthday of Grover Cleveland;. “this country would know the day, would he allow it.”

Mar. 19 …Trial of Harrison for the kidnapping and murder of Senator Beasley’s little son two years ago at Elizabeth City.

Mar. 24 (p. 47) …The Christian Scientist – and great pretender – Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy is threatened with the same downfall and deservedly.

Mar. 28 …Mr. Vaughan’s new bank – the American Exchange – was organized today. Making New epoch in financial history in Greensboro. E. P. Wharton president, L. Scott vice president and Robert G. Vaughan cashier.

Apr. 6 …Reminiscences of her life – to when she was a bride fifty years ago.

Apr. 9 …Mr. Vaughan secured the services of Mr. Hughs, accomplished accountant.

Apr. 15 … American Exchange Bank opened its doors to the public. Mr. Vaughan was there by seven o’clock.

Apr. 17 (p. 63) …The first convention of the National Arbitration and Peace Congress came to an end after a 3-day session with two great banquets at Hotels Astor and Waldorf Astoria. Flags of all nations. Carnegie, who presided, decorated with Legion of honor by French Government.

…Congregational Church, the United Brethren and the Methodist Protestant churches have found union as “The United Churches.”

Apr. 20 (p. 75) …Opening of the Jamestown Exposition – 300th anniversary of first successful settlement of English.

…Today is contest for mayor and aldermen. Election of F. Leon Brandt over _____ Murphy for mayor.

Apr. 22 (p. 67) …Received picture of a patent gotten out by Jessie and Mrs. Fiske for keeping one’s skirts off the wheels of a baby carriage. It looks well and I hope may bring them fortune if not fame.

…David Kirkpatrick buried today.

May 2 …Unveiling of Cornelius Harnett’s statue in Wilmington.

May 7 (p. 81) … C.P. Van Story died at noon, aged 62, of Bright’s disease.

…Greensboro won the next General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church.

May 8 …The reunion of the Confederate veterans in Richmond, the old capitol of the Confederacy, is 20,000 strong.

May 25 ((p. 110)…Tom Ware completed work along Smith Street, taking down garden fence, very expensive improvement.

May 28 …first ride in automobile.

(p. 112) …Mr. Vaughan has gotten some new records. “Dat Chicken Pie” figures largely.

(p. 114)…Great crowds in town for the Battleground’s annual speaking and the Cone picnic – a grand affair.

Aug. 1 (p. 127)…Gov. Glenn is recipient of innumerable letters and telegrams and N.C. is in world’s life since his victory over the railroads in matter of rates.

Aug. 17 (p. 137)…”ice cream, which is new to us here.” (Junket)

Aug. 22 (p. 137)…Visited St. Leo’s hospital – was favorably impressed with building and appointments.

…lots of typhoid, some die, some recover.

Sept. 19 (p. 153)…The (___________) given by the Civic League at Lindley Park commenced tonight. Entertainment of all sorts.

Sept. 23 …hard equinoctial rains last night.

(p. 166-7) …United Daughters of the Confederacy met in Memorial Building. Mrs. Stonewall Jackson was absent.

(p. 170)…Mrs. Cassie Chadwick is dead, in penitentiary where she was expiating for her crime of embezzlement and fraud.

Oct. 14 …on a hickory nut hunt.

(p. 172)…Col. Richmond Pearson Hobson spoke – he thinks a war with Japan is ahead of us.

Oct. 16 …People surging by in droves going to fair g round to hear Bryan speak – a great banquet tonight.

…papers estimate crowd at Bryan’s speech at 34,000. Dust something awful.

(p. 175) …John Charles McNeil, young poet, author, of whom N.C. is proud, died. Buried in Scotland County beneath his native pines, beside the Lumber River, which he loved.

(p. 176)…Unusually dry weather. All nature is suffering for rain.

Nov. 1 (p. 7-8) …Money stringency, banks closing their door, Wall St. shaken to its center. Things improving. Insidious wave is creeping south; anxiety that there will be a run on our banks.

…Local banks limit withdrawals to $10 per day. Meeting in evening by chamber of commerce and citizens supporting bank’s actions.

Nov. 6 … Schuman-Heinck sings here tonight.

Nov. 18 (p. 8) …Sallie Lindsey Coleman and Will Porter (O.Henry) have met in New York and are to be married. Both born in this town; both authors.

Nov. 20 (p. 14)…Sallie Coleman and Will Porter married on 27th.


Jan. 3 (p. 42) …Mrs. Lettie Walker, daughter of Gov. Morehead, long a widow, died.

… Fire at Sherwood Bobbin Works.

Mar. 1 (p. 80) …Will Porter called on Phon Smith. “much changed in appearance, very quiet in voice and manner. Gets 20 cents a word for all that he writes, and it is bespoken before written.

Mar. 6 …City National Bank closed its doors. Books in bad condition, by bank examiners.

Mar. 10 (p. 86) …On desirability of Charlotte locality for Davidson college. Board of Ed offered $100,000, Think Carnegie will give $100,000. Provided Charlotte gives $200,000 and site for buildings. $80,000 to be raised by Presbyterians of the South.

Mar. 18 (p. 94) …Decorative Store selling out at cost.

Apr. 6 p. 104) …Day of game between NC and Va. Big crowds. Carolina won.

Apr. 9 (p. 108) …The day R. E. Lee surrendered his Army 43 years ago at Appomatox. On a sabbath day in 1865, never to be forgotten.

Apr. 13 (p. 111) …Cindy Gant’s husband returned home after seven years, hoping to regain his wife’s favor.

Apr. 17 …New hats are simply immensities. Woe be to him who gets behind one at church.

(p. 119) …Luther Morehead very ill in New York City. Will be brought here should he die, to be interred in graveyard behind church.

Apr. 24 (p. 121) …Major Morehead buried today at Spray, his old home.

May 1 (p. 125) …Daughters of the Confederacy given all the fares on the street cars today, taken up by young girls in costume.

May 2 …Normal girls – 200 strong –had a famous picnic at the Battleground

(p. 138) …Electric lights put in the two church towers and in the Scales room.

May 23 (p. 146)…General Assembly spent several hours at the Battleground. Mr. ________ did the honors, and where a fund was started toward a monument to Dr. David Caldwell of honored memory.

(p. 169)…was notified to put sewerage in the house on Church St.

(p. 173) …Drove out to the old Buffalo Church where lie many of the staunch old settlers of Guilford Co. Some of Revolutionary fame, and grave of David Caldwell.

…Adding to the $100 raised by General Assembly for monument to David Caldwell

May 28 (p. 177) …Great Republican convention in Chicago.

…A wonderful demonstration for Roosevelt. Taft nominated on first ballot.

Jun. 24 (p. 4) …Democratic convention in Charlotte (State_?)

…Grover Cleveland died.

Jun. 30 …Much typhoid in town. So _________ had cooler filled with Jackson Springs water at 20 cts. a gallon.

Jul. 2 (p. 16) …Joel Chandler Harris is ill, probably unto death.

…played flinch.

Jul. 4 …everybody is heading to the Battleground.

…J.C. Harris died in Atlanta.

Jul. 5 …Memorial service for Grover Cleveland.

Jul. 19 (p. 25) …Murphy Williams preached in a tent.

Jul. 20 …Old grove of oaks in the cemetery vandalized.

…Mr. Wharton announced resignation as president of Southern Life and Trust Co. A.W. McAllister elected president, R.G. Vaughan first v.p. and A.M. Scales 2nd v.p.

Aug. 21 …Great day of Robinson’s circus; stream of humanity is altogether record breaking. Between 10 and 12,000 people attended. Cars hauled 22,000.

Aug. 28 (p. 60) …Terrible rains and floods. 14 bridges in Guilford washed away.

(p. 70) …Wilbur Wright is doing wonders with his aeroplane and is full of enthusiasm.

Sep. 18 …Orville Wright, disastrous mishap. Propeller broke in midair. Seriously injured…

Oct. 1 (p. 87) Oct. 10 Preparations for the centennial are on and many views in the fire. I fear the occasion’s far too great and expensive for the resources of Greensboro.

(p. 92-96)…Description of the Centennial.

Oct. 15 (p. 100) …Peace Congress still part of the Centennial celebration.

Oct. 16 (p. 103) …Greensboro Day; last day of centennial.

Oct. 17 (p. 105) …Taft spoke.

Nov. 4 (p. 118+)…1908 election – Taft/Bryan.

Nov. 4 (p. 127 …Letter from Harry. Wonderful ride through Georgia and Tennessee, over 100 miles of the Clinchfield and Ohio – new road through the wildest part of the NC mountains.

Nov. 15 (p. 128) …Hal met Booker T. Washington, who inquired about Warren Logan’s parentage. “I shrink from unearthing a secret so long buried, as the party is still living.”

Nov. 16 …Hal (son) has met Booker Washington at the Manhattan Assn.

Nov. 20 (p. 132) …Went uptown, but no Christmas goods are yet on the market..

Dec. 9 (p. 141) …Sudden death of Moses Cone. “A liberal high-toned gentleman.” Town owes much of its progress to him. A good eulogy.

(p. 143) …first mention of a phone call. “Phon called up at the phone.”

(p. 152) …Thunderstorm on Christmas.

(p. 152+)…Hear that Reed (?) has gotten $100 prize for article on Comparative Literature at Harvard and elected to a chair in University of Cincinnati. Reed engaged to million heiress named Nancy Clark.

(p. 159)…Death from appendicitis. “What ravages has that ______ disease made with precious lives in Greensboro.


Jan. 3(p. 158-9)…Phon spoke at dedication of monument to Clio and to Dr. David Caldwell of blessed memory.

(p. 159)…Took drive northward past Orrell’s pond and Buffalo Church. Storm had uprooted many fine oaks and corn is laid low.

(p. 174)…New girl arrived. Dangers and dreads of city are a great unkown to her. She doesn’t fit in well as yet. Girls took her to airdrome, hoping to relieve her homesickness.

(p. 175)…The Republican paper, Greensboro Daily News, successor to the Industrial News, is out again and is a good and newsy sheet.

(p. 176)…Papers full of new automobile highway from New York to Atlanta, now being agitated. Our man — Kendall was one of first to advocate it. Greensboro is on the best route surveyed.

Jan. 8 …Pres. Roosevelt making himself very unpopular and open to much criticism by his unguarded words and acts in these last days.

Jan. 9 (p. 165)…Trial of night riders in Union, Tenn. Six condemned to die, two to 20 years in penitentiary. Richly deserved.

(p. 167) …Poe’s centennial celebration at University of Virginia.

(p. 171) …Aquarium cracked, leaked. Transferred fish to a buck, but they are not doing well, probably because of city water.

Jan. 19 (p. 172)…100th birthday of Edgar Allan Poe and Robert E. Lee – notable but widely different figures. Event celebrated in many places.

Feb. 4 (p. 4-9)…Mrs. Randolph, president of the Richmond Chapter U.D.C., accused the committee of gross neglect in awarding essay prize (on R.E.Lee) to one “who has vilified the South and called Lee a traitor.

Feb. 8 …Fire on Main St.

(p. 24)…The fleet of 16 battleships steamed into Hampton Roads – 14 months after leaving to encircle the globe, to the admiration of the world.

Mar. 3 (p. 32)…Thousands pouring into Washington for the inaugural pageant which is expected to be more imposing than ever before.

Mar. 4 …Taft inaugurated, indoors while blizzard raged.

Mar. 6 100th anniversary of Cyrus Hall McCormick, celebrated at Washington and Lee Univ.

Mar. 16 …Death of Dr. John W. Jones, famous for association with and great devotion to the Confederate cause and its great leaders, Lee and Jackson. Buried in Hollywood where lie so many of Va.’s noble dead.

Mar. 24 (p. 48)…Dr. Chas. N. Eliot of Harvard spoke at the Normal. Pleasing but simple in speech and manner.

…Josie did not go to school today. Has been suffering for several days with her eyes and is looking thin and badly otherwise.

(p. 73-82) …Reminiscences of coming to Greensboro

(p. 74) … I met on the train [on her maiden trip to Greensboro] a Salisbury woman who told me that all the ladies in Greensboro dipped snuff. I had never heard of such a thing. She said, “When you are invited to a tea party, you will see the snuff box passed around the circle.” But I never did.

(p. 77) …Describes house on their arrival in Greensboro:…were but two houses between it and the Hiatt corner and but one on the other side, and nothing between us and the woods but a blacksmith’s shop on the Cunningham place owned by a free negro named Saunders.

(p. 78) …The house, small but cozy, fireplaces big and windows small. Great need was a good sized dining room which most houses in Greensboro lacked at that time.

(p. 79-80) …One of the sore trials of these early years was the persistent and unreasonable effort of these Presbyterian women nearly all older than I to make me president of their Missionary Society. I did all the writing they wanted…, but they never succeeded in landing me in the president’s chair.

(p. 89) …the automobiles are increasing so in this town that I take little pleasure in driving.

Apr. 30 (p. 92) …My 73rd birthday! It is celebrated by a daughter born to Queen Wilhelmina at the Hague.

Aug. 5 (p. 4) …All seem to go to Salisbury for appendicitis.

(p. 8) …Mrs. Tate’s home full of beautiful, old fashioned furniture.

(p.10) …Train to Davidson. At Spencer, our engine broke down and we were detained.

Aug. 31 (p. 29) …Wonderful news that Dr. Fred Cook of Brooklyn has discovered the North Pole. Whole world is stirred.

Sept. 6 …Wonderful coincidence in all history, that Robert E. Peary, on April 6, 1909, also reached the North Pole and “nailed the stars and stripes thereon. Dr. Fred Cook claims to have unfurled the flag at the pole on April 21, 1908.

Sept. 8 (p. 25) …Hazing abolished at Davidson. Regarded it as they do cheating on examinations and damage to college property. The beginning of a new era. Abolition of a custom unworthy of such an institution.

Sept. 9 …Railroad magnate and captain of Finance E. H. Harriman died.

Sept. 22 (p. 42) …Gov. Johnson died, lies in state in capitol in St. Paul, Minn.

…Dr. Cook made triumphal entry into New York. Much controversy

…(__________) King accused of violating law – selling slag to the town, thereby turning a penny for himself, although a commissioner.

Oct. 11 (p. 60) …Mr. Price’s death in Wilmington.

Oct. 25 …Barnum’s circus.

Oct. 31 …Walker Avenue Presbyterian Church now is the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant.

…Mr. McAllister had appendectomy in Salisbury on Oct. 12.

Nov. 3 …McAlister able to be turned in bed.

Nov. 20 …McAllister home.

(p. 93) …Lee Battle’s case in court. Many counts against him. Judge Boyd presiding.

(p. 128) …Terrible train wreck 1 ½ miles from Brown’s Summit.

Dec. 24 (p. 135) …Filling Christmas stockings – reminds her of days of yore, except no firecrackers and explosives. Little girls have 52 presents each.

Dec. 25 …Good description of Christmas Day. Tonight the firecrackers and sparklers held sway.


Jan. 10-30 …Death of her stepson, Sam, and the devastating effect on her and the family.

Feb. 5 …Murder of a young negro girl by another, from a pistol shot.

Feb. 1 …Mass meeting to reorganize the Chamber of Commerce. $2,000 raised to pay off all debts.

Feb. 11 …City Commissioners met – Mr. Hood accused John King of dishonesty.

…Bartlett Webster Hotel burned to the ground.

(p. 17) …Fitting up delightful baths and offices in the old Guilford Hotel.

Mar. 18 (p. 35) …Tuberculosis exhibition.

Mar. 26 …Shopping – could hardly venture across the street for the automobiles.

(p. 56) …Mr. R. building a large manufacturing house near Pomona. Bringing water into the building by a force pipe.

Apr. 20 (p. 60) …NC beat Va.

Apr. 25 …In Charlottesville: Rev. Anna Shaw, Miss John: __ the authoress and Milo Castello suffragists who spoke to a large and brilliant audience in Cabell Hall. Introduction a delicate task.

Apr. 29 …Whole world reading of Roosevelt’s triumphal tour of the world and wonderful ovation from Kings and Queens and the highest dignitaries.

(p. 89) …YMCA in Greensboro determined on Mrs. Madison Smith’s place on Sycamore St., as its site for building.

(p. 94) …Watched for Halley’s comet – did not appear. A bewilderment and mystery to the anxious and alert scientists.

(p. 101)…(in Charlottesville): Walked down behind the rotunda, saw the Jefferson monument in boxes about to be put in position by derricks.

Jun. 6 (p. 108)…Death of William Sidney Porter.

Jun. 9 (p. 112)…Visited Church cemetery to check Porter graves. Relates what they found. Several relatives but no trace of WSP’s parents. WSP buried in Asheville. [William Sydney Porter, i.e. O. Henry]

(p. 113)…Describes his death, alone and unexpected.

Jun. 3 (p. 116)…John Van Story died.

(p. 119)…Reference to O’Henry’s death. Walter Page writes, “It was brought on by ‘irregular eating and drinking.”

(p. 120)…Description of mirror (see also p.116,bottom), purchased in Paris for Judge Alex Rives by his brother William C. Rives of Castle Hill, Albemarle, when Minister to France for $800. Judge Rives then lived at Oak Ridge, Nelson Co., moved to estate – Carlton near Charlottesville. Interesting Story.

Jul. 2 (p.133) …Day of great picnic, given annually by the Cones to the mill people and their friends — thousands of them.

(p. 134)…John Daniel died. (newspaper picture).

(p. 135)…Jeffries/Johnson fight. Humiliating defeat of Jeffries. Race trouble is feared.

Jul. 8 (p. 137)…Refers to clipping re O. Henry by Frank Hall.

(p. 138)…Democratic convention deadlocked. (State-?)

Jul. 18 (p. 145) …Refers to letter from Sydney Porter’s wife – pathetic sadness.

…Death by suicide of James Turner Tate.

Aug. 1 (p. 156)…Son Phon to meet Roosevelt in New York

Aug. 4 (p. 157) … ___rented lower floor of the ____ House for two years at $20/month.

Aug.15 (p. 162)…800 foot well in Staunton, Va. causing adjacent ground to sink.

Aug. 24 (p. 169) [went to] West Market St. crossing to see the train pull out for the Battleground.

Nov. 26 (p. 68) …Clein(?) Richardson died.

…Squire Wolfe died tonight, at 84. An old and quaint citizen of Greensboro.

(p. 80+) …Account of Phon’s visit to Germany and with the Kaiser Wilhelm at Potsdam (pp. 87-88).


Jan. 1 (p. 93) …Major Joe Morehead died. Worked for development of the Battleground.

Jan. 19 …R. E. Lee’s 104th birthday. Portrait presented to the library by the Daughters of the Confederacy.

Jan. 20 (p. 113) …Mr. Wysong – a most successful business man making money fast by his own inventions – one of the largest corporations in Greensboro.

Feb. 4 (p. 119) Comments on the opening of the Carnegie Library.

Apr. 1 (p. 165) …Jim Henry (Poca’s brother) visited. Had been sold to Allen Stokes of Richmond for $1,000 a few months before emancipation. Became insubordinate and troublesome to Dr. Smith. Came to Greensboro with the Smiths.

Apr. 12 (p. 175) …Mr. Vaughn paid my county taxes for me — $19.13.

May 2 (p. 14) …Campaign for commission form of city government. T.I. Murphy mayor.

May 10 (p. 21) …Robert E. Lee, Jr. was Memorial Day speaker. “Fine looking man weighing probably 300 pounds. Finest memorial address in years.

May 29 (p. 38) …Woodrow Wilson at Chapel Hill commencement.

…Mr. Vaughn returned from Chapel Hill, pleased with Woodrow Wilson and ready to vote for him.

Aug. 11 (p. 99) Margaret’s tonsil & adnoid operation, using ether, in Mrs. Smith’s room.

Sept. 28 (p. 138-39) Creation of American Exchange National Bank.

Nov. 17 (p. 5) …Paid city tax of $33.80.

Nov. 18 …First day of consolidated banks.

(p. 12) …Henry Clay Beattie electrocuted for the murder of his wife.


Jan.19 (p. 56) …Will Smith made presentation of Jackson portrait to the library from the D.A.R.

Feb.20 (p. 69) …T. Roosevelt announced he’d run again. Mixed reactions. Sen. Lodge declined to support him.

Feb. 13 …Rain. Mud never so deep. Church St. a swamp.

(p. 94) …Anna Smith, age 7 , swept away in waters near the water works.

(p. 101) …first mention of “moving pictures.”

Apr. 5 (p. 118) …Gov. Aycock died.

(p. 128,134,145) …Sinking of the Titanic.

(p. 141) …Teddy Roosevelt visited Greensboro. “The great and only Teddy!!”

May 6 (p. 155) …Old vets are having a notable reunion in Macon, Ga.

…Memorial Day in Greensboro – events

May 10 (p. 160) …Greensboro Country Club opened, three miles north. A little beyond the car line.

(p. 164)…Unveiling of Chas. Duncan McIver’s statue in Raleigh.

(p. 167) …Harry to Whitsett to make two addresses at the close of the Institute (Whitsett Institute). 250 people. Fine School.

Jul. 19 (p. 540) …Mann trial.

Aug. 2 (p. 61) …Mann acquittal.

Aug. 21 (p. 73) …Gen. William Booth (Salvation Army) died.

Oct. 13 (p. 117) …Cornerstone of Westminster Church laid.

Oct. 15 (p. 117) …Attempt on T. Roosevelt’s life

Nov. 30 (p. 162) …Church St. being macadamized.

Dec. 16 (p.175) …Trial of W. F. Blair for killing Geo. Thompson. He was acquitted.

…went uptown to shop. Congestion indoors and out.


Mar. 2-5 (p. 67-70) Comments on Woodrow Wilson inauguration.

Mar. 30 (p. 102) …Walter Page named Minister to England.

Apr. 2 …While sitting in the trap on Main St., _________brought up Mrs. O’Henry to speak to me.

(p. 106) …Have just had a pleasant visit from Mrs. O’Henry. She talks freely of her husband and her short married life of 2 ½ yrs., and I think has much to regret.

Mar. 31. Fortune between 75 -100 million.

…annual game between Va. And Carolina at Cone Park.

Apr. 26 (p. 127)…Westminster church opened new church – Egbert Smith was its first pastor.

May 26 (p. 151)…Old. G.A.C. now changed to Greensboro Women’s College.” Second if not first woman’s college chartered south of the Potomac, is holding diamond jubilee.

(p. 154)…Remains of Lighthorse Harry Lee disinterred at (_____), Cumberland Island, where remains were buried for almost 100 years – to Lexington, Va., in Lee Memorial chapel, beside his distinguished son.

(p. 172)…Hagen House, home of Wm. H. Cummings – then Judge Dillard, later Mr. Adam Hagan.

Jun. 24 (p. 35-48)…Death of Mrs. Jas. K. Hall – several pages. Long time resident of Guilford County. Born 1826.

(p. 61)…Emma Morehead , daughter Of John M. Morehead, married Julius Gray; mistress of Blandwood, her ancestral home.

…”Emma Grays” at First Presbyterian named for her.

(p. 96) …Martha Doub married Chas. G. Yates (died 1882). Born in 1928. Was in first class of G.F.C., in 1838.

Nov. 25 (p. 3) …Marriage of Francis Sayre and Jessie Woodrow Wilson in White House. The 13th wedding held in the W.H. Dr. and Mrs. Clark of Greensboro attended, being near relatives.

…Dr. Wm. W. Finley, president of Southern Railway, died. Leader in development of the South. Born 1853.

Nov. 25 (p. 3) …Thomas M. Emerson, president of Atlantic Coast Line, died. B. 1851.

Nov. 28 (p. 7) …Hunger strike at Converse.

(p. 8) …Death of Wm. Sterling Moore.

(p. 13) …Greenbrier remodeled for $1 million. 60 years earlier was the Saratoga of the South. Hot Springs, humble and homely. Both reached by stagecoach.

(p. 14) …Phon Smith asked to write biography of O’Henry for World’s Work (?).

Dec. 11 (p. 19) …Selecting site for county courthouse.

…Jefferson Standard offered $150,000 for present site.

(p. 21) …Alf (Scales) renovating farmhouse, adding water, light, heat.

(p. 23) …Mona Lisa stolen from Louvre in 1911; found in Florence, Italy.

Dec. 24 (p. 31) …President and family passed through en route to Pass. Christain, Miss. for holidays.

Dec. 31 (p. 42)…Signed deed to street between Mr. Richardson’s land and mine.

(p. 43) …O.Henry biography by Phon – what to do with the prison episode.

(p. 55) …Commissioners accept Jefferson Standard offer for courthouse.

(p. 56) …Option on Clem Wright’s property for court house.

(p. 59) …Interesting letter from Phon with facts about Will Porter. What a life was his, from lowest depths to end it with popularity and fame.


Jan.16 (p. 62) …Mr. Vaughan on committee for Regional Reserve Bank.

(p. 80) …Pendleton King Library stored in unoccupied house. 91 boxes and 5,009 books.

(p. 81) …three deaths in one week at St. Leo’s from appendicitis.

Mar. 20 (p. 124)…Reference by son Phon to O.Henry’s prison life.

(p. 129)…Reference to O’Henry’s mother, subject of her “graduating essay” at G.T.C. was “The Influence of Misfortune Upon the Gifted.”

(p. 131) …She dislikes the new blousy styles, but styles rule the world.

(p. 135) …New Parcel Post Depot opened in Huffine Hotel Annex on Buchanan St.

(p. 156) … Son Phon won contest for inscription on Gen’l Greene’s monument


Mar. 8 (p. 7) …The Southern buying area on East Washington St.

(p. 10) …50TH Anniversary of tragedy of Appomatox.

(p. 13) …Several fires; half a dozen colored homes.

Apr. 11 (p. 40) …Swain’s place sold to railroad for $12,000, for new station.

(p. 44) …50th anniversary of assassination of Lincoln.

(p. 52) …Edward Kidder Graham, president of UNC: “greatest event in its history.”

(p. 125) …Trip to the Battleground.

Jun. 29 (p. 128) …First anniversary of shooting of Archduke Ferdinand and wife.

Jul. 3 (p. 131) …Celebration at the Battleground. Two descendants of General Greene unveiled the statue.

(p. 138) …J.P. Morgan shot. Assassin also planted bomb in Senate wing of the capitol which exploded but did little damage.

(p. 112) …Drove out to Guilford College – 12 miles.

(p. 146) …Counted 99 autos passing by last evening.

Oct. 2 (p. 8) …Phon off on trip to Texas to research O. Henry.

Oct. 23 ((p.24) …Death of Robert C. Hood.

(p. 26) …Germans executed Edith Cavell.

(p. 41) …Film, Birth of a Nation. Reaction to it.

(p. 42) …Reaction of Ku Klux Klan.

Nov. 14 (p. 46) …William Jennings Bryan speaks at Opera House.

Nov. 15 (p. 48) …Booker T. Washington’s death.

Nov. 15 (p. 57) …Went uptown. Odells was a bower of beauty in decoration, variety, and quality.

Dec. 18 (p. 72) …Woodrow Wilson marries Mrs. Gelt.(?)


Jan. 26 (p. 99) …House on fire.

Mar. 11 (p. 144) …O.Henry address in Greensboro. Initiated plan for a memorial to O. Henry.

Apr. 14 (p. 5) …Reads a chapter of O.Henry –”Ancestry,” written by Phon Smith.

(p. 6-7) …References to American military action in Mexico.

(p. 9) …a death from erysipelas.(?)

(p. 10) …Rev. Clark resigns as pastor of First Pres; goes to Charleston.

Apr. 19 (p. 13) …Wilson severs relations with Germany.

May 13 (p. 38) …Bad fire.

May 29 (p. 60) …(Refers to Sprouse Thacken, outlaw in the Ragged Mtns.)

(p. 79) …Calling of Dr. Myers to First Presbyterian Church.

Jul. 4 (p. 108) …Town gay with bunting and flags – pageant – autos decorated.

(p. 111) …War in Europe. Allies gaining. The Mexican situation.

Jul. 17 (p. 119) …Floods in west. NC. Biltmore Village flooded.

Aug. 7 (p. 147) …Drowning in Battleground Park.

(p. 148) …Phon’s books, “Biography of O.Henry” and “Short Stories” soon to be published.

(p. 168) …Infantile paralysis.

(p. 177) …Railroad strike.

Sep. 8 (p. 7) …Rev. Charles Myers arrives.

Sep. 11 (p. 11) …O. Henry’s 54th birthday. Celebrating in Asheville.

Oct. 10 (p. 68) …Earthquake in southern states.

Oct. 10 (68+) …Republicans criticizing Wilson.

…Maude Adams as Little Minister.

Oct. 24 (p. 74) …O.Henry Day in New York. Launching of Phon’s biography.

Oct. 25 (p. 25) …Mrs. Scales ran over a colored boy on a bicycle and broke his leg.

Oct. 26 (p. 26) …Son born to Mrs. Scales.

Oct. 30 (p. 81) …Banquet for O.Henry group at Brevoort Hotel. Attended by editors. Presented Phon with copy of book. Lists attendees.

Nov. 1 (p. 84) …She received first copy of O.Henry biography.


Jan. 17 (p. 3) …Death of Admiral Dewey. Hero of Manila Bay, a 81. “Ranking naval officer of the world.

(p. 4) …Congress passed Guilford Battleground Park bill – a triumph for Major Stedman.

(p. 23) …Legislation indiscriminately attacking patent medicines defeated on Jan. 31.

(p. 12) …Rotary club organized.

…Site of new Courthouse discussed amid controversy.

(p. 14) …Death of Sylvanus Allen Howard, old honored citizen; chief of telegraphy for 30 years.

(p. 18) …Jesse Pomeroy – famous prisoner who endured solitary confinement for 40 years; 16 when arrested. Prefers not to mingle with other prisoners.

(p. 20) …Submarine warfare.

(p. 24) …O. Henry books selling like hotcakes. 10,000 copies of Short Stories Old and New.

Feb. 16 (p. 43,78)…Selection of West Market St. site for Courthouse.

(p. 31-36)…Death of Robert A. Douglas.

(p. 54) …Bill against chiropractors defeated. “Carl” has won. Alf Scales and Clem Wright stood by fellow townsman.

(p. 60,64,65)…Death of Caesar Cone.

(p. 86) …Russian Czar abdicates.

(p. 94) …Whole country is wild for war.

Apr. 3 (p. 107-114)…Wilson’s declaration of war.

May 10 (p. 160)…Talk describing death of Stonewall Jackson by his Aide de Camp.

(p. 167) …Greensboro boys leave for war.

(p. 171) …Harry Smith appointed … to Russia.

May 31 (p. 8) …Vaughan purchases Fisher Building for bank, at corner of Elm/Market.

Jun 5 (p. 14) …”Registration Day” pageant and parade.

(p. 24) …Oaks cut down in march of progress.

…New O.Henry Hotel – “Badly needed.”

(p. 53) …Pershing in Paris.

Jul. 17 (p. 65) …Cyclone. Many trees are down.

(p. 118) …American Exchange National Bank plans to build on Fisher Building corner.

(p. 145) …Troop trains moving all over. Given sendoffs.

Oct. 28 (p. 2) …Liberty loan oversubscribed. 8 million people for $5 billion.

…Triplets born in NC.. Named Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt and Howard Taft.

…Kerensky out in Russia.

Dec. 3 (p. 48) …First Greensboro casualty – Tyson – pneumonia at camp.

Dec. …Snow, 8-9 inches, lasted over a week. Cold.

(p. 92) …Architect of new station died. Chas. M. Robinson, Rochester, NY.

(p. 106)…More snow.


Feb. 4 (p. 110)…John L. Sullivan dead.

Feb. 27 …Bolsheviks in Russia.

Mar. 15 (p. 156)…Battleground rescued by Judge David Schenk in 1886.

(p. 157)…Accepted as a national Park – 130 acres.

(p. 158)…Original Battleground Company called to meet.

…Refers to letter re finding source of Will Porter’s pen name, O. Henry. A European chemist by that name in U.S. Dispensary for 1833-1857+

Mar. 22 (p. 169)…53rd anniversary of Battle of Bentonville – “last and fiercest battle of the war.” Johnson defeated Sherman’s forces. Wounded brought to Greensboro. Describes conditions in churches.

(p. 177)…Mentions Caldwell Institute in Greensboro.

Mar. 31 (p. 8) …Easter. Last night we set clocks forward.

Apr. 10 (p. 22) …Earthquake shocks in Lynchburg, Washington.

Apr. 12 …Rumors of more earthquake shocks.

…Parade. Main St. ablaze with flags.

(p. 33) …Charlie Chaplin chief attraction; gave $100,000 to the event.

May 15 (p. 79) …John Galloway of Madison bought lot on North Elm; plans residence to cost $50,000.

…Aerial mail service ushered in between New York and Washingnton with 7,350 pieces on flight.

(p. 86) …Contract for construction of American Exchange Bank.

(p. 119) …John Van Lindsey’s death.

July 4 (p. 150) …Mrs. __________, kinswoman of Gen. Greene.

Aug. 3 …500 aviators passed through, welcome and parade.

Oct. 6 (pp. 60-61) …after long deliberation it was decided to close the churches, schools, theatres & all places where people are wont to congregate because of the epidemic of Spanish Influenza which is sweeping the whole country …

Oct. 6-25: Additional Comments on Spanish influenza & WWI armistice news. pp. 62-63, 64-65, 66-67, 76-77, 80-81, 82-83, 86-87, 88-89.

(p.101) …Co.K, Randolph Co., went into battle at Cambiac (?). Of 2081, only 67 came out. Broke line.

(p. 109) …Armistice.

(p. 147+)..Wilson to France and London.

(p. 160) …Walter Hines Page died.

(p. 116) …T. Roosevelt died.


Jan. 15 (p. 11) …Sale of King place, next door to Mr. Royal, Methodist preacher.

…Mr. and Mrs. Bogart bought old Payne place across from Pres. Church. One of oldest in town. Last owned by Mrs. Pugh. Occupied in 1859 by General Hiatt and wife. Widow married Payne.

Feb. 13 …New Post Office. $450,000 appropriated.

(p. 37) …Billy Sunday.

(p. 68) …O. Henry Hotel nearing completion.

(p. 91) …Col. Morehead died, pneumonia – buried in church cemetery.

Apr. 22 (p. 101) …Parcel, O. Henry sketches and photo of his Mother for book.

(p. 142) …First crossing of Atlantic by plane.

(p. 18) …Women’s suffrage adopted by Senate.

(p. 156) …Lindley Park open for dancing.

Jun. 28 (p. 171)…Opening of O. Henry Hotel.

Jul. 29 (p. 31) …Lightning struck the O. Henry.

Aug. 12 (p. 45) …Andrew Carnegie died.

Aug. 18 (p. 52) …Mr. Richardson died in San Francisco.

(p. 58) …”In Memoriam” of Mr. Lunsford Richardson.

(p. 91) … Clipping of Richardson/Chapin nuptials.

(p. 95) …New courthouse near completion.

Sep. 5 (p. 86+) …Morehead portrait in the new courthouse.


Apr. 20 …Courthouse opened.

(p. 159) …Myers home burns.


(p. 37) …Proposed new station and underpass. And rebuilding of Country Club House.

(p. 39) … American Exchange Bank robbed of $10,000.

(p. 103) … Streets widened. North Elm by 15 feet.

…Jefferson Standard building up 11 – 12 stories.

…Benbow Hotel vacated for Meyers.

(p. 155) …Greensboro’s great building boom – station and post office.


Feb. 19 (p. 175) …Guilford Lumber Co. burned. $200,000 loss.

Mary Kelly Watson Smith died in Greensboro on March 29, 1924.