Surry Cty. Military Memories and More

Surry Cty. Military Memories and More

Albert F. Rehberg
Eau Claire Man Takes Bride in Wedding at Post Chapel 
In the first military wedding between WAC and enlisted man performed in the Post Chapel, Jefferson Barracks, MO at 10 am, Thursday, December 2, Staff Sergeant Ruth Hicks of the Army Air Forces Women’s Army Corps [AAF WAC] Detachment became the bride of Staff Sergeant Al Rehberg of the 866th Guard Squadron. Lieutenant John L. Harris, Assistant Chaplain, performed the ring ritual.Private First Class Mary Taylor of Richmond, VA was maid of honor and Technical Sergeant Edwin Starr was best man. Other attendants were Private First Class Mary Lento and Private First Class Roy Tewksbury. Captain William F. Schafer, Assistant Post Adjutant, acting in place of the bride’s father, gave her in marriage.

A program of wedding music preceded the ceremony and, as the recessional was played, six members of the Military Police formed a guard of honor for the bridal party to pass through.

Following the ceremony, a cake cutting was held in the apartment where the bride and groom are now making their home and then a wedding breakfast was given in the Chase Hotel, St. Louis, MO.

The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Hicks of Mt. Airy, NC. She attended Meredith College, Raleigh, NC and National Business College, Roanoke, VA. She enlisted in the WAC in October 1942.

The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Carl W. Rehberg, 631 1/2  North Dewey Street, this city, and graduated from the Senior High School in 1939. He enlisted in the Air Corps in September 1940. The couple’s present address is 301 Lemay Ferry Road, Lemay, MO.

Staff Sergeant Albert F. Rehberg, son of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Rehberg, 631 1/2 North Dewey, has arrived in England, according to word received by his parents.Sergeant Rehberg enlisted in the Air Corps on September 7, 1940 and received his training at Jefferson Barracks, MO and Greensboro, NC. He is connected with the Military Police.

His wife, a WAC [Women’s Army Corps] at Greensboro, NC is from Mt. Airy, NC.

They all came back

From left Bill Scott, Stanley Rose, Herman Nichols and Edgar Hodge. The four Mount Airy men met up on a Navy troop transport ship in 1950 or 1951. – Submitted photo
Herman Nichols is seen here, reminiscing about his old friends. – Bill Colvard | The News

“Old friends are the best,” said Herman Nichols of Mount Airy recently.

He was reminiscing about his time in the Korean War, when his work often meant ferrying young soldiers to the war — and one time let him have a quick reunion with some of his high school friends, men he still sees from time to time nearly seven decades later.

Nichols was in the Navy, working on a troop transport ship which ferried troops back and forth from the United States to a port in Pusan, Korea. On one of those trips, at the very end of 1950 or later in 1951 to the best of his recollection, Nichols noticed a bunch of Marines on their way to the war staring at him from across the deck of the ship, so he went over to meet them.

As it turns out, he already knew them. The three young Marines were Bill Scott, Stanley Rose and Edgar Hodge, all three of whom had attended Franklin School with Nichols.

The men had a quick reunion and someone took a photo, but Nichols didn’t get too many chances to hang out with his old friends on the ship. They had their separate jobs to do.

“We didn’t eat together,” said Nichols. Sailors and Marines didn’t have their meals together. When the ship arrived in Korea, the three Marines were dispersed with the other Marines on the craft, and Nichols stayed on the ship to go back to get another load of troops.

“Everybody came home,” said Nichols of those old friend he’d run into on the ship. “We all made it back.”

Since then, Edgar Hodge has passed. Some of the others have wandered a bit in the meantime. Nichols had played semi-professional basketball for Hanes Hosiery before going into the Navy, and lived in Winston-Salem during his 30-year career at Reynolds Tobacco, from where he retired in 1987. He thinks one of the other fellows may have lived in Raleigh for a while, but Nichols, Scott and Rose are all three living in Mount Airy now.

Unlike their time in the Korean War, the three old friends do eat together now, meeting periodically to talk, according to Nichols, and to eat, according to his wife, Gaynelle Nichols.

Nichols is a member of the Franklin High School Class of ‘49, and next year will be the 70th anniversary of the graduation of his class. His Marine friends went to Franklin with him, but they were in different classes.

“I think a lot of those boys,” Nichols said. “They’re good boys.”
By Bill Colvard –


Check out the link above. It’s on Veterans!!

City native serving at naval facility

Petty Officer 1st Class Danny Brown, a Mount Airy High School graduate, is an aviation electrician’s mate at the Naval Air Technical Training Center at Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida.

PENSACOLA, Fla. – A 1996 Mount Airy High School graduate and Mount Airy native is serving at the Navy’s largest aviation training center.Petty Officer 1st Class Danny Brown serves as an aviation electrician’s mate and operates out of Naval Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida.An aviation electrician’s mate is responsible for maintaining a wide range of electrical and navigational systems on aircraft.Brown credits success in the Navy with lessons learned growing up in Mount Airy.“I learned to be humble to people and be courteous,” Brown said. “Work hard and never forget where you come from. Remember it’s not just about you. And most importantly, keep God first.”NAS Pensacola, “The Cradle of Naval Aviation” is best known as the initial primary training base for all U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard officers pursuing designations as Naval Aviators and Naval Flight Officers.Once these service members finish training they are deployed around the world putting their skill set to work flying jets from aircraft carriers, submarine-hunting helicopters, serving as aircrew operating sophisticated radar and weapons systems, electronic warfare and more.

Pensacola is home to the Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Squadron and boast an overall workforce of 16,000 military and 7,400 civilian personnel.

“As sailors forged by the sea, we will continue to be the Navy the nation needs,” said Capt. Maxine Goodridge, Commanding Officer Naval Air Technical Training Center. “Providing high velocity learning at every level is what we do best.”

“Planes cannot fly without the highest quality and best-trained aircraft technicians to support naval operations around the world,” the Navy said in sharing information about Brown’s work. “NATTC provides four major departments; Air Traffic Control, Avionics, Air Training and Mechanical Training for nearly all enlisted aircraft maintenance and enlisted aircrew specialties…Sailors and marines who move on to fleet duty arrive prepared and motivated. Their training must continue on the job as they become acclimated to a particular aircraft in a particular squadron, be it a carrier-based F-14 Tomcat unit, a land-based P-3C Orion squadron or an SH-60 Seahawk detachment operating from a cruiser.”

NATTC was commissioned in 1943 and today, the training center is 5,300 strong including students, instructors and support personnel.

The largest part of the student body is comprised of sailors attending their first technical training schools where they learn knowledge and skills required to perform as technicians at the 3rd class petty officer level, similar to a civilian apprentice. Advanced technical schools provide higher-level technical knowledge for senior petty officers, who serve as front-line supervisors, and in similar roles as civilian journeyman. NATTC also conducts technical training for Naval officers, who supervise enlisted personnel.

While there are many ways to earn distinction in the Navy, Brown is also proud of earning five Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medals, a medal for volunteer service and helping others to reach their potential.

“When I see former students in the fleet, and they are successful, that to me, is an achievement,” Brown said.

More than 15,000 Navy and Marine Corps students graduate from NATTC each year illustrating how their existing programs fit into their philosophy of completing the mission with well-trained, well-led and motivated personnel, according to Navy officials.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Brown and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“Serving in the Navy completely changed my life,” Brown said. “It can be a different perspective on values. It also showed me that the values I learned from home carried over into the Navy.”

Bravo Company enjoys Mayberry weekend

By Bill Colvard –


The men who served in Bravo Company during the Vietnam War in 1969 and 1970 take a group photo during a weekend in Mayberry, joined by wives, girlfriends and the families of their brothers who were killed in action.
Bill Colvard | The News

Jack Brickey, left, was shot four times (not all at once) before being airlifted out by helicopter pilot Dennis Patterson (center) after being patched up by medic Jerry Nash (right).
Bill Colvard | The News

“There really is a Mayberry.”That was a general consensus of many members of Bravo Company, who served together in Vietnam and Cambodia in 1969 and 1970 and are the subject of Eric Poole’s 2015 book, “Company of Heroes.” —That assessment came from the group while it was assembling for a group photo in front of Mount Airy’s War Memorial on Saturday.“Photo mission!” yelled out Mount Airy resident Ben Currin, the member of Bravo Company who had invited his comrades in arms to town for a ‘Mayberry Midsummer Break.’Company commander Capt. Jim Waybright picked up the signal, yelling out “photo mission,” and the men, their wives and girlfriends, along with the widows and families of the company’s men who were killed in action or have since passed away gathered together to have their photo made.“We love your town. They’ve been so nice to us,” Waybright said.The men of Bravo Company have not always received such a warm welcome.“When we came back, people were ashamed of us,” said platoon leader Teb Stocks. “When we came back, you had to change into civilian clothes. If you wore your uniform, people would spit on you and call you a baby killer. All the people who got killed, what a waste… The sacrifice they made left no mark on history. Today’s veterans are treated better. We make sure they’re not mistreated. We understand the stress of it.”

During a bad stretch in 2010, while dealing with some PTSD-related problems, Rick Clanton created a website to begin searching out the men he had served with.

“The only people I could talk to were these guys,” he said. “It started with my platoon and then extended to the whole company. It’s a good support group.”

“Rick Brown has done a good job of finding KIA (killed in action) families and reaching out to them,” said Capt. Waybright. “Several of them are here this weekend. Medal of honor winner Les Sabo’s brother and sister-in-law are here. Part of the best healing is having the survivors of these people with us. Their survivors were quick to forgive. No one held us responsible.”

“It allows them to have some closure to know their loved one was with someone who loved them and continues to love them to this day,” said Clanton. “A lot of them were given misinformation by the army. One widow was way off base about how her husband died.”

Rick Scarboro, brother of Lt. Tom Scarboro, who was killed in action, said, “I don’t have any story but that these guys are heroes. They saved my life. Rick and Ben came to my mom and dad’s house when I was 18 and told us what happened to Tommy. I was much too young and much too upset to understand. I carried a lot of guilt that I never served. Then out of the blue, years later they contacted me and started the healing process.”

Paula Ferrell and Sandy Metz joined Bravo Company for their Mayberry weekend. Their brother Gary Weekley was killed in action on April 4, 1970.

Medal of honor winner Les Sabo’s brother, George Sabo and his wife Olga Sabo, attended the reunion. “Les used to babysit my kids before he got drafted, and we lost our babysitter.”

A.J. Moore was still in high school when his brother Ernie Moore went into the army and was killed in action. In 2006, he attended a 3rd of 506th battalion reunion on his birthday with his brother’s widow.

“I didn’t know if I was going to go. It was very emotional,” said Moore.

But he and Candy Moore did attend.

“That’s where we first met these guys,” he said.

Everyone associated with Bravo Company insists the group is a big extended family. Sometimes, those relationships become a little less extended. In 2007, Ernie Moore’s widow Candy met Bravo Company’s Rick Brown at a reunion in Kansas City. One thing led to another and they were married in 2014.

Jack Brickey earned the nickname ‘Target’ due to his propensity for getting shot, according to platoon leader Stocks. He was shot four times in one day — not all at once.

Jerry Nash, the medic who saved Brickey’s life, said, “We had gone up to get bodies from a company that had been ambushed. We found one body, and then we walked into an ambush, and he (Brickey) was shot twice. Then, while dragging him over a rock, he took another bullet. And then, going over another rock, he was shot again. At first, we thought it was friendly fire.”

The gunfire sounded like American weapons, which they turned out to be, explained Brickey and Nash. An ambush of Delta Company had put the weapons in enemy hands. The company lost four men in addition to the wounded before taking cover in a bomb crater.

“The first medivac helo got shot down,” continued Nash. “The door gunner was shot on the second one. The third was taking rounds, and we only had four. Dennis (Patterson) was a gunship pilot. If he hadn’t got him (Brickey), he would have bled to death.”

The gunship pilot, Dennis Patterson, said, “forty years later, he called me up, and I’ve been coming ever since. It’s like finding your family.”

Nash nods his head, “We’re all brothers from different mothers.”

“Everybody wanted to put Target on the helicopter,” said Teb Stocks. “But somebody had to stay back and give support. Jack got wounded because he ignored the gunfire. He was more worried about our safety. But he felt guilty because others were put at risk putting him on the helicopter because he was wounded. They would rather have died than to not go.”

“Teb (Stocks) got a crease in his helmet,” said Capt. Waybright.

Rick Clanton added, “He was shot with an AK through a tree. It pushed his helmet down on his head, and he looked like a turtle with big eyes. His helmet got a purple heart.”

Waybright, Clanton and Stocks laugh heartily at Stocks’ near miss.

The veterans seemed to talk about their close calls with a sense of humor. “we have to have a sense of humor,” Clanton said.

“It’s funny now. It wasn’t funny then,” added Stocks.

Rick Brown went back to Vietnam in 2011. So far, he is the only one of the group to return.

“I wanted to find the place we got ambushed,” he said. “I was able to find the ambush site, Hill 474, where we lost four guys in our platoon in January 1970. I brought a bunch of rocks back and handed them out to the other guys who were there.”

Brown said he recognized the huge rocks which are still there despite vegetation having grown back in the intervening 41 years. In 1970, it had been burned off from Napalm. They’ve planted coffee trees there now.

“One-third of the guys here were wounded,” said Waybright. On May 10, 1970 alone, eight men were killed and 41 were wounded. “We had to bring in artillery fire on top of us to break the siege.”

Rick Brown added, “the reason some of us came home was because Capt. Jim called in the artillery.”

As the extended Bravo family walked away from the War Memorial and headed down Main Street to check out the July car show dedicated to honoring veterans, Ben Currin said, “some of us are talking about doing this every year.”

Birth: Dec. 23, 1923
Surry County
North Carolina, USA
Death: Apr. 15, 1945, Germany

Dayton Clyde Royall was born the son of Clarence McNeil “Mack C.” Royall and Virginia Marie Isaac Royall on December 23, 1923 in Thurmond, Surry County, North Carolina. He had two surviving sisters, Reba Jane Royall Steele and Imogene Royall Bryan. Clyde was a member of Roaring Gap Baptist Church. He was color blind.Clyde was a student at North Carolina State University in Raleigh until his military enlistment, in Wilkes County, North Carolina, on February 13, 1943.As part of the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) during World War II, which identified exceptionally intelligent soldiers, he attended the University of Dayton in Ohio. Both he and his army buddy Joseph Bowden Neely, Jr. married their brides on the same day, August 21, 1943, in Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio at the First Baptist Church. The brides (Clyde’s Edith Mangum and Joe’s Kathleen Bell) drove from North Carolina to Ohio to marry. Clyde was 19 years old.With the demise of the ASTP, Clyde (ID: 34606510) was deployed to Europe, with the 405th Infantry, 102nd (“Ozark”) Division, Company E, where he was killed in action near the Elbe River in Germany on Sunday, April 15, 1945 at age 21. Clyde was awarded the Purple Heart. He is buried beneath a cross at the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial in Margraten, Netherlands, not far from Cologne, Germany. Joe’s only child Sharlotte visited Clyde’s grave in 1975.Clyde and Edith had no children, and more than six years after Clyde’s death, Edith remarried, in 1951, to John “Jack” Potter, a Marine. Jack and Edith had two sons, Charles Rhodell Potter, II and John Potter, Jr.Family links:
Clarence McNeil Royall (1903 – 2002)
Virginia Marie Isaac Royall (1907 – 2000)Spouse:
Edith Larue Mangum Potter (1921 – 2014)Inscription:
PFC 405 INF 102 DIV

Note: Entered the service from North Carolina

Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial
Eijsden-Margraten Municipality
Limburg, Netherlands
Plot: Plot: D Row: 4 Grave: 13
Maintained by: Sharlotte Neely Donnelly
Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 07, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56296126
PFC Dayton Clyde Royall
Added by: Sharlotte Neely Donnelly
PFC Dayton Clyde Royall
Added by: Sharlotte Neely Donnelly
PFC Dayton Clyde Royall
Added by: Fred

Letters from the Western Front

Local soldiers wrote home during WWI

The Surry Rifles State Militia was formed in 1899, answerable to the governor in case of state emergencies or the president for national crises. They met regularly for drills and social activities and trained annually in a summer camp. When activated, they became Co. I, of the 120th Infantry. They saw action in the Mexican Revolution and then at the Western Front as part of the 30th “Old Hickory” Division. It was the first use of state guard units outside the U.S. borders.

Battle-hardened Brits, French, and Australians commonly remarked on the American’s “can-do attitude” calling them brash and naïve but noting their smiles and friendliness not to mention their skill with rifles and motors. A clear example was Prather Smith, on the right, who grew up on Rawley Street in Mount Airy,

The United States, still a relatively young nation, had few resources to conduct war. Bonds were sold to fund it. Housewives knitted sweaters for sailors and canned berries to feed soldiers and refugees alike. Mount Airy’s Frank Warren wrote to his friend, John Marion, “The YMCA and Red Cross are the Soldiers Friend. I can’t see what we would do with out either.” The YMCA booth at the county fair raised funds to supply comfort and recreation to the soldiers.

The War Department strictly censored what soldiers could write home for fear information could fall in to enemy hands. George W. Stephens could only sign his name to let his wife, Essie, know he’d arrived safely.

Our History is a regular column submitted by Kate Rauhauser-Smith, Director of Education and Programs at the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History, examining the region’s history and some related displays at the museum.Editor’s Note: Misspellings and uncommon spellings in quotes from letters are correct to the letter.In March, Museum curator Amy Snyder got a visit from the Salvation Army. They’d found a bundle of letters in a donation and gave them to us. The envelopes and cards, browned and fragile with age, were from the Jones family of Mount Airy from the 1800s to the 1920s. Many were written by Pvt. Albert Lester Jones to his mother, Mary Ann Wolff Jones, during World War I.“To day is a beautifull day here,” he wrote in May 1918, “every tree is green and flowers in bloom but there is still war …God will not let it all ways go on. He knows best so you must not worry about me…I am over here for God and you and my country.”In 1914 Surry County was rural and its people largely stayed close to their farms and hollows. That summer they were fundraising for the two-hour-long July 4 fireworks celebration, preparing to thresh the wheat harvest, and reporting bumper apple crops across Surry and Carroll counties in Virginia.But 4,900 miles on the other side of the world six young nationalists lit a match that would burn the world for the next four years when they assassinated Archduke Ferdinand and his wife.The Great War began as a European concern that America was hesitant to enter. From the sweltering summer of 1914 until spring 1917, President Woodrow Wilson, a staunch pacifist and devout Christian, urged peace, taking an active role in diplomatic efforts to end the brutal war. However, Germany’s efforts to stop America’s material support to the Allies by sinking all sea-going vessels they encountered regardless of nationality, including merchant and passenger ships, roused US anger.The final straw came in January 1917 when German officials sent a coded telegram (known as the Zimmerman Telegram after its author) to Mexico’s leaders offering to support Mexico against the US and to help them regain Texas, New Mexico and Arizona if Mexico entered the conflict in support of Germany.

Wilson could no longer hold for peace and Congress declared war on April 6, 1917. The local guard unit, the Surry Rifles, had just returned from Mexico and prepared to ship out to Greenville, South Carolina. The call for volunteers was answered immediately by a fiercely patriotic citizenry.

The Mount Airy News reported that A.W. Tilley “walked all the way from his humble home near Thurmond to Mount Airy.” Ultimately Surry sent nearly 1,000 men and women to the war, 30 never came home, including Austin Tilley.

The Surry Rifles landed in Europe in the middle of Germany’s Spring Offensive, an effort to break the British defenses along the Somme River and force the French to sue for peace before the American forces could be fully deployed. They were engaged in several of the battles of that and the Allies’ answering push to crush the German will for war, a series of rapid-fire, brutal, and highly effective attacks which culminated in the Armistice on Nov. 11, 1918.

Surry’s soldiers wrote home asking for any news of family and talking about what they knew.

“France is a beautiful country,” wrote Wade Hatcher on July 16, 1918, “but the people still cling to old customs, instead of working their horses side by side they work them in front of each other. Sometimes they have as many as four hitched to one cart or plow.”

Frank Warren, attached to the 105th Supply Train, was clearly proud of the work the U.S. forces did when he wrote on Aug 5, 1918, “We have our own railroads, bridges, keep up with roads that we use, bakeries, trucks, touring cars, mails, telephone lines, canteens, libraries, and entertainments of all kinds every night. It is really what you might term ‘A Nation on Wheels’ for we are on the go and it all comes from the DEAR OLD STATES!”

Struggling with conscious

Men and women have struggled with leaving loved ones behind to go to war for generations. Written in May 1918, Lt. Jay Franklin’s words to his father, Mr. S. C. Franklin, could have been written last week. “I’ve done a lot of hard studying about leaving and have asked the question, did I do right (to enlist) and was I justified in taking the step I have. Have made up my mind I was right. Alice will have a lot to go through with but she would have had lots more had Germany won and I can’t make up my mind to stay at home and let others protect my home and loved ones.

“It makes it awful hard for a man to be away from home and at a time when there is going to be a lot of easy money made and the first time in years a farmer has had a chance to make anything and then there are so many dangers and hardships to face.

“If I come home safely (and I will) I can look you and my family in the face and say I did my duty and should I not you all can say he did his duty and my child will never have to explain where his father was during the war.”

Kate Rauhauser-Smith is the Director of Education and Programs for the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History with 22 years in journalism before joining the museum staff. She and her family moved to Mount Airy in 2005 from Pennsylvania where she was also involved with museums and history tours. She can be reached or by calling 336-786-4478 x228

Service tag returned after 100 years

A series of unusual events

By Bill Colvard – bcolvard@MtAiryNews

Holding the metal detector that enabled him to find a World War I service tag on the property of Steve and Jill Williams, left to right in rear, Clint Venable, right front, presents the service tag to John Pruett, front left, and Carol Pruett Gagin, center front, the grandchildren of the soldier to whom it belonged.
Bill Colvard | The News

Samuel Pruett Sr., left, and Fred Pruett, right, in a photo from their service in WWI.
Bill Colvard | The News

Front side of the silver two-franc-coin that was made into a service tag for Samuel Pruett.
Bill Colvard | The News

The back side of the coin, showing Samuel Pruett’s information.
Bill Colvard | The News

Samuel Pruett, Sr. with his wife and six children standing at the side of the home in which they lived on W. Oakdale St., which is now owned by Steve and Jill Williams.
Bill Colvard | The News

A string of coincidences that inspire the phrase ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ began to unfold when Clint Venable and two friends pulled over at Steve and Jill Williams’ house at 113 West Oakdale St. a few months ago and asked Steve Williams a question.

Venable and his friends are members of N.C. History Diggers. They travel around the state using metal detectors to dig for history, and history is exactly what they found a few feet from the front of the Williams’ house where a drain had been moved.

Williams said that Venable asked if he and his friends could sweep Williams’ lawn with their metal detectors and excavate any interesting finds.

“I was hesitant at first,” said Williams. “I was getting ready to mow, and I didn’t want them digging up my yard. Clint assured me they wouldn’t leave a mess, so I thought, ‘Why not.’ And they didn’t make a mess. I mowed right afterward and couldn’t tell where they had dug. They were looking for stuff I’m not going to find. I figured they’d find some nails from when I put on the new roof.”

What Venable found was not some roofing nails, but a belt buckle of sufficient age that it was marked NC State College (not University) and a coin.

And not just any coin. It was a silver French coin, a two-franc piece dated 1918. But not just any silver two-franc piece. The back of this two-franc piece did not have an image of Lady Liberty and the words “Liberte – Egalite – Fraternite” as would be expected, but instead read “Samuel R. Pruett, 2398382, 7th Co. 4th Regt. Mech Air Service A.E.F Mount Airy, NC U.S.A” and two holes were punched in the coin, one on each side.

Venable explained that dog tags were not issued to soldiers in World War I. The phrase ‘dog tag’ was not yet in use. Each soldier was expected to provide himself with a service tag, as they were then called, and most of them were simple affairs of stamped aluminum. But Samuel R. Pruett of Mount Airy took a more deluxe route.

Williams said he was a machinist, and the work was done professionally with a jig and a hydraulic press after the original engraving was scraped off.

“I’ll bet if you put that coin next to a similar coin, it will be thinner,” he said.

Steve and Jill Williams had no idea who Samuel R. Pruett was. The Williamses had bought the house only 15 years ago and had no connection to the Pruetts.

Venable went online and started searching. John Pruett of East Bend said he had gotten three phone calls within a few hours of Venable beginning to ask questions online.

“He Facebooked me and inquired if I knew of a Samuel Pruett,” said Pruett.

Indeed he did. Samuel Pruett Jr. was his father and Samuel Pruett Sr. was his grandfather. His grandfather had been a World War I vet.

Carol Pruett Gagin, another grandchild of Pruett, produced some family photos, one of Pruett and his brother Fred in their WWI uniforms. Fred Pruett had lived across the street and is buried in the cemetery at the end of the street.

Another photo showed Pruett with his wife and six children standing beside the Williams’ house, posing beside the chimney with its flanking windows. The exterior of the 1926 house has not been materially altered since the Pruetts lived there, save for vinyl siding and a new roof, and is easily recognizable in the photo.

After finding the Pruetts and concluding they were descendants of Samuel Pruett, Venable returned with them to the Williams home on Saturday to return their grandfather’s service tag to them.

The coin showed that Pruett was a mechanic in the Air Service, where he would have worked on WWI biplanes. John Pruett said that his grandfather had four slate pool tables at the race track at the hotel out at the hot springs that burned as well as owning three meat markets in Mount Airy, one of which was named Sanitary Meat Market.

Venable said he has been digging for history for five or six years. “But hardcore for the last two years,” he added. “It’s been every weekend.”

He said he focuses on houses of the approximate age of the Williams house, as that is where he’s had the best luck.

“We’ve found Mount Airy receptive. Seventy to eighty percent of the people we approach let us look. Some towns it’s a different story.”

Between Venable’s initial appearance at the Williams home until his return on Saturday, the parties involved noticed a string of interesting coincidences.

The 1918 coin, altered to identify a soldier in a war that ended in 1918, was found exactly 100 years later, in 2018.

Carol Pruett Gagin had met Venable previously, when he used his metal detector on her East Bend property and found a property marker for her that had gone missing.

Samuel Pruett Sr., whose service tag was lost, has the same birthday as Clint Venable, the man who found it.

And the drain that was moved, making it possible for the French coin to be rediscovered, was a French drain.

“I’ve knocked on probably 300 doors,” said Venable, and sometimes people won’t let us in their yards. “But I didn’t even get out of the car here. Steve was in the yard.”

“If I had found a silver franc, that would have been a good find,” said Venable. “But finding this special one with the history behind it and being able to find the connection to the person it belonged to, and the thrill of giving it back to his family has made this the best find I’ve found, bar none.”

After Venable had presented the service tag coin to the Pruett grandchildren, John Pruett put it away carefully in his wallet.

The photographs, taken more than 60 years ago, sit side by side by side on a dresser in a tiny back bedroom in Howard Ayers’ home. They’re all the same size, 5-by-8, and organized with near military precision, which is fitting because they show a family of six brothers — and one sister — who followed one another into the nation’s service right off the family farm in Surry County. It’s easy to tell that the boys — from left to right, oldest to the youngest, Frank, Roby, Dewey, Lonnie, Reiford and Howard — are brothers and that they share the same values, belief in hard work, country and each other. It looks like a shrine because it is in a way.

But simple remembrance isn’t the reason they’re arrayed just so. “I put them up for Reba,” Ayers said, referring to his sister, who also goes by the name Mozelle. “I moved her after she got sick. I wanted her to feel at home.”

Eye-catching photos

Howard and his sister are the last two siblings left. When the brothers left home one after the other during and right after World War II, the sister stayed nearby to help their parents.


That’s the way things worked out sometimes in those days; opportunities for girls weren’t as widespread as they are today. Still, devotion to one’s family is a timeless virtue.


Ayers retired early to care for his wife during her last seven years. Irene Ayers, he said, suffered from Alzheimer’s and he “was determined not to put her in a home. This was her home.” Irene died Oct. 3, 2014. So when his sister suffered a severe heart attack a few years back, the decision to bring her to his tidy home on Winston-Salem’s South Side was easy. “If you can’t count on family, you can’t count on anybody,” Ayers said. “That’s just the way I look at it.”


That devotion is what caught Clara Strickland’s attention. She grew up not too far from the Ayers family and got to know them after she and her husband bought their house in Surry County, not far from Pilot Mountain.


“After we made the purchase, we stayed in contact even though we live in Hamlet,” Strickland said. “Whenever we traveled back and forth, we’d stop and visit with Howard and his sister. That’s when we noticed all those nice photos of the brothers.”

A former teacher and an avid reader, Strickland was drawn to the history behind them. Six brothers, each of whom swore an oath to defend the country, looking dapper in their official military portraits.


“How often do you see that?” she said. “I just thought it might make for a nice story.”

She was right about that. And Howard Ayers was humbled that she thought so.

Hearing him reel off the names of his brothers and their branch of service was fun, too.

“Franklin, Army Air Force. Roby, Army Air Force. Dewey, Army. That’s Reba in the middle. Lonnie, Army. Reiford, Air Force. Howard, Air Force,” Ayers said without drawing a breath.

He knows which of the brothers were drafted, which volunteered and where they served. Frank worked on planes during World War II. Roby volunteered after initially failing a physical and served in Alaska. Dewey and Lonnie went in during the Korean War.

The youngest two, he and his brother Reiford, volunteered for the Air Force in the 1950s after it had become its own distinct branch separate from the Army.

The long line of service didn’t end with the brothers, either.

Frank had two sons in Vietnam. Roby’s daughter and son both retired from the Army. Lonnie’s son was in the reserves.


“My daughter and her husband both retired from the Air Force,” Ayers said.

“I added it up once,” he said. “More than 200 years in military time (over two generations). That’s not bad.”

See the world

The way Ayers sees things, the service was more than good to his family. Some made a career of it; each of them also learned (or improved) skills and a trade they could count on as civilians. He and Frank became mechanics, for example.


As an added bonus, the military afforded them all the chance to see parts of the planet far beyond their family farm in Surry County and meet all kinds of people. “See the world” is more than a recruiting slogan.


“I did my overseas time in Alaska and Hawaii,” Ayers aid. “They weren’t states then. You got an extra $8 a month for overseas pay. One thing I enjoyed about the service was I got to meet all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds.”


Ayers left the Air Force in 1964 when his children were young. Military life can be hard on a family, and “I wanted them to get to know their grandparents.”

He and Irene settled in Winston-Salem, where there were plenty of jobs and close to the family home place. Ayers is 80 now, and he spends his time tending his house and looking after his sister. His brothers — “Nos. 1 to 5” he calls them — have all died.

“It’s just me and Reba now,” he said.


He is justifiably proud of his family’s record in the military and pleased that someone cared enough to take note of it. “Service was just an honor,” he said. “It was just the way you grew up back then. In school you said the pledge to the flag every day. (Enlisting) was just something you expected to do.”

William Draughn's stoneWilliam Henry Draughn & Emma Zetta McHone Family.
Nestled beneath the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains right outside of Claudville, Va. is a little White church named Red Bank Primitive Baptist Church. Right behind this church is a cemetery, and in it is the grave of William Henry Draughn, born 13 July 1838 and died according to his death record 27 Nov. 1914. William Henry was married to Emma Zetta McHone 18 July 1858 In Surry Co., North Carolina. William Henry and Emma Zetta lived about a mile down behind the church and that is where she was buried beside of a log cabin that use to be there. A death date has not been found for her. According to the 1900 Patrick Co., Va. census record she was born April 1842. On the Census it has William Henry and Emma Zetta both born in North Carolina. In 1860 Surry Co., North Carolina a William Draughn and M. are on the census. In 1870 Willam and Emma are on the Surry Co., N.C. census records. In 1880, 1900, and 1910 William Draughn and Emma Zetta are on the Patrick Co., Va. census records.

William DraughnWilliam Henry was a Blacksmith and on the 18 March 1862 he enlisted in the Civil War and fought with the 28th Confederate North Carolina Infantry (State Troops). In Hester Jackson’s book, Co. A, 28th Regiment N. C. Troops, they have a William Draughn, Private. Resided in Surry Co. where he enlisted at age 24, March 18, 1862. Present or accounted for until he was arrested on Feb. 26, 1865. Then he appears on a register of Chimborazo Hospital No. 3, Richmond, Va. admitted June 23 and returned to duty July 13, 1865 which was the same year 5 months later. So he had been in the hospital all this time. Also I noticed,  he was returned to duty on his 27th Birthday. I also have other papers for him, showing when he was paid and by whom. I wanted to point this out about the arrest because it seems some thought he was AWOL which was not true. In 1900 Patrick Co. census it has William owned a 50 acre farm.                                                                                                                                                               Submitted by: Esther Johnson

POSTED ON MAY 27, 2017

Local vet to get belated honors Monday: Memorial Day program highlight

By Tom Joyce –


Local World War I soldier Thomas M. Haynes pauses for a long-ago photograph. Haynes will receive posthumous honors, including his daughter being presented with a Purple Heart he earned, during Monday’s Memorial Day ceremony in Mount Airy.

Nearly 100 years ago, Private First Class Thomas M. Haynes from Surry County was serving along the Hindenburg Line during some of the most-intense fighting in World War I.

The campaign proved successful for U.S. forces and their allies — overrunning the last line of German defenses on the Western Front — but Pfc. Haynes did not emerge unscathed. “He was severely wounded,” said John Elskamp, the founder of a North Carolina-based organization known as the Veterans Legacy Foundation which researched Haynes’ military record.

Haynes, a native of the Dobson area who was around 20 while serving with the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe, would recover from his war wounds and raise a family. But by the time of his death in the 1950s, the combat veteran had never received official recognition for his military service — an omission that will be corrected during Monday’s annual Memorial Day service in Mount Airy. A posthumous presentation honoring Haynes will be a highlight of the patriotic program scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at the city war memorial on the corner of South Main and Rockford streets. It also will include a local Honor Guard presence, a rifle salute and other activities in remembrance of those who died serving their country.

Haynes’ daughter, Nellie Taylor, 78, will receive a Purple Heart earned by her father by virtue of his war wounds, along with the World War I Victory Medal and the North Carolina World War I Service Medal. Making the presentation will be Lt. Col. Charles W. Morrison, deputy chief of staff for operations and training of the North Carolina National Guard.

“He (Haynes) was definitely eligible for the Purple Heart,” said Elskamp of the Veterans Legacy Foundation, who also will be in Mount Airy Monday to present information about the local man’s service. Elskamp, who is veterans services officer for Harnett County, spearheaded efforts to secure Haynes’ military decorations on behalf of the foundation.

“They’re a wonderful group of gentlemen,” Surry Veterans Services Officer Mike Scott said of Veterans Legacy Foundation members. They aid in tracking down information about cases such as Haynes’ to ensure former military members get the recognition they deserve, albeit sometimes belatedly. Most of the members are retired or former military personnel. “Basically, they volunteer their time to network with resources they have,” Scott said of their efforts to help secure medals awarded for veterans.

Effort takes shape

The trail to unite Haynes’ daughter with her father’s military decorations began with Scott at the county veteran’s services agency when Nellie Taylor contacted him. “She wanted to see if she could get some background on him and his history and service and so forth,” Scott recalled. “I took it as far as I could.” The local official ended up reaching out to the Veterans Legacy Foundation.

That group is highly acclaimed for its work in investigating cases in which ex-service members such as Haynes essentially have fallen through the cracks and led to them or families not receiving deserved medals. “And we do this for veterans all around the country,” Elskamp said Friday.

Scott said Elskamp’s group was able to locate Haynes’ awards. Elskamp said that for years, the Purple Heart was not given for wounded personnel but “military merit.” This was changed in the early 1930s when that decoration was re-introduced to recognize such individuals, after about a 150-year lull. “It was retroactive, and we did find out he was wounded,” Elskamp said regarding Haynes’ Purple Heart.

The local man was a member of the 30th Infantry (“Old Hickory”) Division, 119th Infantry Regiment. The 30th Infantry Division was a unit of the Army National Guard in World War I and World War II. Lt. Col. Morrison is a former commander of a unit linked to that division, so Elskamp said it is appropriate for him to present the medals to Haynes’ daughter Monday. Her brother also might attend, Scott said. Elskamp says the hard work his organization does to help veterans and their families obtain the recognition they deserve pays off with events such as Monday’s in Mount Airy.

“It’s a chance to celebrate these brave military veterans for their accomplishments and to say ‘thank you,’” he added. Scott, the Surry veteran’s services officer, said the gesture honoring Haynes is well-timed for the upcoming holiday. “Especially for Memorial Day, it’s going to fit the criteria perfectly,” he said.

Thomas ” Tom” Martin Haynes was born 22 March 1896 Carroll Co., Va. He married Mary Catherine ” Cassie” Gates. They lived in Mt. Airy, N.C. Together they had 8 children. Dianne, Glenn, Joseph, Lorraine, Nellie Mae, Tommy, Wade, and Wanda. On Find A Grave there is a stone for  Thomas Martin Haynes and he is buried at Skyline Memory, but there is  another stone on Find A Grave that shows he was buried at Grace Moravian cemetery and that stone says Thomas M. Haynes March 22, 1896–April 11, 1955 Body removed Jan 1966. You will live in our hearts forever. His death certificate says he is buried at Grace Moravian. Also his obituary that was in the Mt. Airy Newspaper says he will be buried at Mount Bethel Moravian Church with burial in the church cemetery.                           Submitted by: Esther Johnson



The tranquil and beautiful place known as Laurel Hill, is nestled beneath the Blue Ridge mountains of south- western Virginia in Patrick County. In the words of General Stuart in a letter to his brother William Alexander in 1863 “I would give anything to make a pilgrimage to the old place, and when the war is over quietly spend the rest of my days there.” Tragically, on May 12th, 1864 his dream of returning to Laurel Hill ended with his death as a result of the wound he received during the engagement at Yellow Tavern the previous day.

Laurel Hill is located seven miles north of the city of Mt. Airy, North Carolina, less than a mile beyond the Virginia-North Carolina border in Ararat, Virginia. Laurel Hill is owned and Maintained by the J.E.B. Stuart Birthplace Preservations Trust Inc. and welcomes visitors during daylight hours, each day of the week. Information for a self-guided walking tour is provided near the entrance to the property.

The exact date that Archibald and Elizabeth Stuart decided to commence construction of their new home is not known, however, from the available evidence it began sometime during the middle of the third decade of the nineteenth century. Seven of the eleven children born to Archibald and Elizabeth were born here at Laurel Hill including James Ewell Brown Stuart who would, in later life, become one of the most celebrated heroes in the cause of Southern Independence. A fire in the winter of 1847-48 destroyed the family home and it was never rebuilt. With the death of Archibald Stuart in 1855, Mrs. Stuart retained the property until 1859 when she sold it to two Mt.Airy, North Carolina men. Subsequently, the once vast fifteen hundred acre parcel was sold and sub-divided down through the years. In the early 1990’s a non-profit trust was founded that was able to purchase the seventy-one acre tract that contained all of the remainders of the Stuart occupancy.

Click to see our Rack CardImmediately across the Ararat River which forms the western boundary of present day Laurel Hill, is the grave of William Letcher the great-grandfather of J.E.B. Stuart. This is the oldest marked grave in Patrick County and is owned and maintained by the Trust. William and his wife Elizabeth came to this location in 1778 at the height of the American Revolution. He was a staunch supporter of the Revolution and a member of the local militia. The surrounding area contained and supported many Tories, who remained loyal to the monarchy of England. On a fateful day in 1780, Mr. Letcher was killed by a Tory by the name of “Nichols.” Their only child, Bethenia, born in 1780 was later married in late 1799 or early 1800 to David Pannill. This union produced a son named William and a daughter named Elizabeth who later became the mother of General Stuart.

Laurel Hill was placed on both the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

Copyright 2008
J.E.B. Stuart Birthplace Preservation Trust Inc.
All Rights Reserved

J.E.B Stuart used to go to Mt. Airy to go to church at Trinity Episcopal Church.

Click here for J.E.B Stuart’s Genealogy. J.E.B. Stuart Genealogy

Submitted by:

Pfc. Draughn

Killed in action on Okinawa.

Joe Draughn built this house, in the White Plains area, before he went into service out of the rock found on their land where it is built. He said he would live there when he came back home. He was killed while in service and never got to live in this house. But he is buried right below the house.                                       Submitted by: Esther Johnson

Six Norman Brothers

Norman Brothers.

Newspaper Article from The Mount Airy News, May 28, 1896

Also see more on this family in our Surry County Heritage- Vol I- Click link below.

Surry County Heritage Vol I Norman

Oren Osborne Eidson

Osborne Oren Eidson

Oren Osborne Eidson

In the U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865

Name:  Oren Osborne Eidson

Residence:  Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

Occupation:  Tinner

Age of Enlistment:   28

Enlistment Date:  29 May 1861

Rank at Enlistment:  Private

Enlistment Place:  Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

State Served:  North Carolina

Survived the War:  Yes.

Service Record:  Enlisted in Company A, North Carolina 7th Infantry Regiment on 29 My 1861.  Mustered out on 27 May 1865 at Statesville, NC

Birth Date:  about 1933

Sources:  North Carolina Troops 1861-65, A Roster Confederate Military History

Biography:  Oren Osborne Eidson, of Elkin, NC, is a native of Iredell county, where he was reared and educated.  Early in 1861 he enlisted in a volunteer company organized in Iredell which became Company A of  the Seventh regiment, North Carolina troops, which he joined the brigade of General Branch and participated in the battle of New Bern before going into Virginia and becoming a part of the army of Northern Virginia.  In May 1962, he went with his regiment to Gordonsville, Va., thence returning to Hanover Court House and, after the battle there, participated in the Seven Days’ campaign before Richmond and the following engagements of 1862:  Cedar Run, Second Manassas, Harper’s Ferry, Sharpsburg and Fredericksburg.  At Chancellorsville he was within 50 yards of Gen. Stonewall Jackson when the latter received his fatal wound, and at Gettysburg his regiment was distinguished among the immortal assailants of the Federal line on Cemetery Hill.  He also went through the campaign from the Rapidan to the James in 1864, and was with his command throughout the siege of Petersburg.  On the day before the evacuation, his regiment was sent on special duty to Greensboro where he first learned of the surrender at Appomattox.  Mr. Eidson served first as a private in the line, later as orderly sergeant in the ambulance corps, and finally in the commissary and medical departments.  After the close of the hostilities he resided in his native county until 1873, when he became a citizen of Elkin.  For twelve years he has served efficiently as deputy sheriff.

Source:  Confederate Military History Vol, V p. 474

War Memorial Downtown Mount Airy, NC

Link to Search Names- War Memorial Search

Link to Mount Airy, NC Official Page- Mount Airy, NC

Centennial War Memorial Dedication

Click below to view the flyer from the Dedication.

Centennial War Memorial Dedication flyer

Leander (Lee) Ernest Barker

Leander (Lee) Ernest Barker is the son of William Hilery and Elizabeth Golding Barker. He was born December 21, 1894 in Surry Co., NC and died January 9, 1958 in Surry Co., NC. He is buried in Zion Hill Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery (aka Crooked Oak Cemetery), Mount Airy, NC. He married Myrtle Irene Senter March 19, 1932 in Surry Co., NC. They had five children.      Submitted by: Wilma Hiatt

Military Papers


Ellis Franklin Jarrell


Ellis Jarrell

 Ellis Franklin Jarrell is the son of Fountain and Fanny Jarrell. He was born 15 Jul 1836 in Rockingham County, NC and died 12 Jul 1923 in Surry County, NC. He married Nancy Susan Senter 30 Dec 1858. He and Nancy are buried in the Ivy Green Baptist Church Cemetery that is located on Old Lowgap Road on land that the Jarrell family donated for the cemetery, church and Masonic Lodge. Ellis Jarrell, age 27, married, and his brother Wesley Jarrell, age 20, single, are listed on the 74 Regiment NC Militia, Surry Co. on the 8th day of July 1862, A. Dunnagan Colonel.

Jarrell tombstone

Ellis F. Jarrell enlisted at Independence, VA 2 Aug 1862 in COD 37 Battery of Virginia Cavalry. He was active in the battalion until he became ill. In the book “36th and 37th Battalions Virginia Cavalry” by J. L. Scott is a history of the Battalion. It states Ellis F. Jarrrell was born July 15, 1836. Enl. in Independence, Aug. 2, 1862, in Co. D. Absent, sick on undated roll. Died July 12, 1923, buried in Ivy Green Cemetery, Surry Co., NC. A family member said, “That at one time Ellis’ son Sid had Ellis’ saddlebags that he used in the Civil War and that Evie (Sid’s wife) had a button that came off Ellis’ uniform but it is not known what happened to them. Ellis left a small diary he kept in the Civil War and is now in The Museum of Regional History in Mount Airy, NC.

Letter Wilson Center

FG Wilson CenterSenter

Submitted by: Wilma Hiatt

Robert (Bob) Archie Willard

Robert (Bob) Archie Willard (1917-1963) was born in Mount Airy, Surry County, NC to Luther Green Willard and Bertha Elizabeth Caudle Willard. He married in 1940 to Alice Wiesner and they had four children. He is buried in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, CA.                                    

Submitted by: Wilma Hiatt

Robert Archie Willard

Service info.: SFC US ARMY WORLD WAR II, KOREA Birth Date: 23 Aug 1917

Death Date: 20 Mar 1963

Service Start Date: 26 Oct 1951

Interment Date: 26 Mar:1963

Cemetery: Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery Cemetery Address: P.O. Box 6237 San Diego, CA 92166 Buried At: Section R Site 32-A Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, CA

Elmo Fleming

Elmo Fleming registered on July 3. 1943 (see two pages attached).  Private First Class Elmo Fleming, U.S. Army (34891511) enlisted on September 4, 1943, at Camp Croft, South Carolina and was killed in action serving with the 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division during WWII.  He received the Purple Heart.  The American Battle Monuments Commission and graves registration card shows him buried as follows:

Full Name: Elmo Fleming    Death: October 27, 1944     Buried at: Plot D, Row 5, Grave 82, Manila American Cemetery, Manila, Philippines

On October 20, 1944, the U.S. Sixth Army, supported by naval and air bombardment, landed on the eastern shore of Leyte, one of the islands northeast of Mindanao in the Philippines. Sixth Army forces landed on assigned beaches at 10 a.m.  The X Corps, including the 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division with PFC Fleming, pushed across a four mile stretch of beach between Tacloban airfield and the Palo River.  Within an hour of landing, units in most sectors had secured beachheads deep enough to receive heavy vehicles and large amounts of supplies.  Only in the 24th Division sector did enemy fire force a diversion of follow-up landing craft, but even that sector was secure enough by 1:30 p.m. to allow General MacArthur to make a dramatic entrance through the surf onto Red Beach and announce to the populace the beginning of their liberation: “People of the Philippines, I have returned! By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil.”  By that time, the 24th Infantry Division had taken the high ground on Hill 522 commanding its beachheads.  The Sixth Army made steady progress inland against sporadic and uncoordinated enemy resistance on Leyte in the next few days.  The 24th Infantry Division under Maj. Gen. Frederick A. Irving, drove inland into heavy enemy resistance.  After days and nights of hard fighting and killing some 800 Japanese, the 19th Infantry Regiment expanded their beachhead and took control of the high ground commanding the entrance to the northern Leyte Valley.  PFC Fleming was most probably killed during this heavy fighting on October 27, 1944.

PFC Elmo Fleming was part of one of the most iconic moments in U.S. history when General MacArthur waded ashore on October 20.  He protected the General that day by securing Hill 522 overlooking the beach.  PFC Fleming was part of the Greatest Generation, who saved the world from tyranny in its hour of greatest need.  It was truly an honor to be able to find information on this Surry County hero who sacrificed his life to protect his country and bring freedom the people of the Philippines.  May he rest in peace in the land he helped liberate.  God bless him and the 1,373 other men who died fighting with the 24th Infantry Division during that campaign.

Researched by, Courtney L. Tucker, SCGA, Northern Division
961 Stevens Road, Tully, New York 13159

This was wrote by Esther Draughn Johnson:

I lived in a neighborhood off of Galloway Street Ext. in Mt. Airy, N.C. which was a dirt street back then where we new everyone and a lot of the families married in and out of the same families and if we was not any kin we always felt close to these families. But I remember the day they brought the news that Elmo Fleming’s had been killed and I was 5 years old. My grandparents owned a neighborhood store and it was down below my house and I was there at the store that day when a young man came riding up on a bike and everyone there knew he was delivering a telegram to someone in the neighborhood. They ask him where he was going and when he told them the name someone said they bet something had happen to Elmo. They ask if they could see the telegram. Of course they did not open it but they held it up to the sun and they turned it a certain way and they could see enough to know that he had been killed. It was a sad day. I can remember hearing his mother crying all the way to my house. His parents was Bert and Grace  Childress Flemings.

David B. Hatcher

Lawrence Ashburn

John Henry Sparger

John Henry Sparger
Learn about upgrading this memorial…
Birth: Oct. 4, 1841
Surry County
North Carolina, USA
Death: Jul. 21, 1925
Surry County
North Carolina, USA

Son of Murlin & Bethania Sparger, served in the Civil War in Co. I, 21st NC Inf. Farmer.Family links:
Murlin Sparger (1817 – 1877)
Martha Bethania Cook Sparger (1817 – 1884)Spouse:
Mary Ann Matilda Smith Sparger (1844 – 1917)*Children:
John Green Sparger (1873 – 1937)*
Mary Lella Sparger Brown (1875 – 1939)*
George Sparger (1877 – 1930)*

Elizabeth Jane Sparger (1840 – 1899)*
John Henry Sparger (1841 – 1925)
William A. Sparger (1844 – 1916)*
Margaret Frances Sparger Patterson (1846 – 1923)*
Edith Eliza Sparger Creasy (1847 – 1931)*
James Henderson Sparger (1849 – 1922)*
Sarah Priscilla Sparger Boyles (1851 – 1937)*
Benjamin Franklin Sparger (1853 – 1946)*
Mary Emily Sparger Ashby (1856 – 1903)*
George Washington Sparger (1859 – 1938)*

*Calculated relationship
Salem United Methodist Church Cemetery
Surry County
North Carolina, USACreated by: Jim Kenerson
Record added: May 30, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 8849093

John Henry Sparger
Added by: Jim Kenerson
Photos may be scaled.
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– Roxed
Added: Sep. 8, 2014

– Martha Reid 19 UDC
Added: May. 12, 2011

– Lin
Added: May. 10, 2011



Grayson S. Vaughn

Grayson S Vaughn
Learn about removing the ads from this memorial…
Birth: May 23, 1931
Surry County
North Carolina, USA
Death: Sep. 13, 1950, South Korea

Private First Class Vaughn was a member of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. He was Killed in Action while fighting the enemy in South Korea on September 13, 1950. Private First Class Vaughn was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.(Korean War Veterans Honor Roll)

Family links:
Alvin Ramey Vaughn (1910 – 1984)
Ada Sue Hendricks Vaughn (1909 – 1966)

Grayson S Vaughn (1931 – 1950)
Amna May Vaughn Moseley (1932 – 2014)*
Gayle Hendrick Vaughn (1934 – 1997)*

*Calculated relationship
Oakdale Cemetery
Mount Airy
Surry County
North Carolina, USA
Plot: Section 17, Lot 9, Plot 3, Row NCreated by: Lynn Eason
Record added: Oct 05, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 30355936

Grayson S Vaughn
Added by: William Johnson
Grayson S Vaughn
Added by: Esther Johnson
Grayson S Vaughn
Added by: William Johnson
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In thankful memory of a Vet.
– Ruth Watson
Added: Jul. 17, 2013
What words can be used to honor one who lost his life fighting for our freedom?
– Elizabeth Olmstead
Added: Jun. 11, 2013
Thank you for your service!
– William Johnson
Added: Mar. 24, 2013



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