Honoring Wayne County’s WWI Dead: Grover Summerlin

James Grover Summerlin
Grover Summerlin, 1918. Taken in Goldsboro by A.O. Clement.

Grover Summerlin of Mt. Olive was one of the last casualties of WWI

James Grover Summerlin was born on May 18, 1892 in Mount Olive, the son of Jesse Giles (1848-1929) and Martha Caroline Grant (1856-1941) Summerlin.

The 1900 United States census lists his home in Indian Springs. The household recorded in the census data was crowded to say the least, although not unusual for a rural Southern family of the era. The inhabitants listed (all Summerlins) were: JG 51, Martha 43, George W  24, Charles A  61, Mary M 19, Martha E 17, Avery W 15, Jessie A 13, Lilly F 11, Joseph 1, James G 4, Sarah A 6, Lamual D 4, and Effie P 1.

Two months after the United States officially entered World War I, Grover registered for the draft just after his 25th birthday. His draft card states that he was an unmarried, self-employed farmer of medium height and build with blue eyes and black hair.

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Take GPS Coordinates with your Smartphone, Part I

Taking GPS coordinates has never been easier thanks to smartphones and several free apps.  compass-clipart 

This tutorial will cover how to find coordinates for specific locations using an Android smartphone. Part 2 will be a how-to for mapping routes. I’ll be posting a how-to for iPhones soon.

What can you create? 

Using just my phone and Google Earth Pro, I plotted the location of grave stones for local men killed in World War I and buried in Wayne County. The following map was created with some of that data.

Wayne County World War I grave locations
Click to enlarge any image
Grave location of Moses Hadley
A zoomed in view of the grave location of Moses Hadley, buried in Greenleaf Cemetery.

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GHS Class of 1933 Reunions

Goldsboro High School Class of 1933

Click on any of the images for a larger view.

Goldsboro High School class of '33 reunion - June 1953
GHS class of 1933 reunion, June 1953.


Goldsboro High School - class of '33 reunion - June 1958
GHS, class of 1933 reunion, June 1958.


Goldsboro High School class of '33 reunion - June 1973
GHS class of 1933 reunion at Goldsboro Country Club, June 1973.

If you recognize any of the people in the images leave a comment. Unfortunately the 1933 GHS yearbook has yet to surface. If anyone does have a copy (or other early years) and would allow it to be scanned for the DigitalNC yearbook project, please contact the local history desk at the Wayne County Public Library, (919)735-1824.



The Night the Tracks Came Up (after two decades of fighting)

Wayne County railroad map, 1900
1900 map showing the Wilmington & Weldon (green), NC Railroad (red), and Atlantic & NC (yellow).      Library of Congress

City of Goldsboro to Railroads: “Drop Dead!”

The “night the tracks came up” is a great local legend, and for the most part true, but it is only a fraction of the whole story

Goldsboro owes its very existence to the railroad but by the beginning of the twentieth century, the relationship became frayed as citizens protested the noise, smell, and traffic of train cars running up and down Center Street. By 1926 the situation had deteriorated to the point that the city alderman secretly instructed the removal of the tracks on the night of April 2.

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