Caswell County Genealogy
 

Bigelow, Albert

Male 1848 - 1922  (~ 73 years)


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  • Name Bigelow, Albert  [1
    Born Aug 1848  Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Occupation 1900  [1
    Farmer and School Teacher 
    Reference Number 30217 
    Died 18 Jun 1922  Greensboro, Guilford County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Poplar Grove, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I29609  Caswell County
    Last Modified 28 Jul 2022 

    Father Bigelow, Thomas Pattillo,   b. 1802,   d. 25 Sep 1873, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Brighton, Elizabeth,   b. May 1825, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 May 1909, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 84 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Reference Number 421964 
    Family ID F6064  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Leath, Henrietta Delia,   b. 1 Aug 1852, Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Nov 1941, Greensboro, Guilford County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 89 years) 
    Married Abt 1876  [1
    Reference Number 425966 
    Children 
     1. Bigelow, Addie Maud,   b. 30 Nov 1878, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Mar 1942, Durham, Durham County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 63 years)  [natural]
    +2. Bigelow, Ressie M.,   b. Jan 1882, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
    +3. Bigelow, Orvid Hughes,   b. 24 Oct 1886, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     4. Bigelow, Hubert Epps,   b. 3 May 1889, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
    +5. Bigelow, Herman Leo,   b. 25 Aug 1896, Brown's Summit, Guilford County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
    Last Modified 28 Jul 2022 
    Family ID F11834  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - Aug 1848 - Caswell County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 18 Jun 1922 - Greensboro, Guilford County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Albert Bigelow at Shaw University 1875
    Albert Bigelow at Shaw University 1875

  • Notes 
    • Albert Bigelow (1848-1922)

      Shaw University 1875 Albert Bigelow

      (for larger image, click on photograph)
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      Shaw University 1875
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      Thomas Pattillo Bigelow provided for the education of at least six of his children at Shaw University (according to records from archivist at Shaw on matriculation). Shaw University Catalogues 1876-1877 and 1878-1879: lists the Bigelow children: Saluda Bigelow, Mary E. Bigelow, Laura Bigelow, James T. Bigelow, John Henry, and Albert Bigelow - all from Yanceyville. Also, it may be that Albert and Lewis Bigelow helped start the Yanceyville School for Coloreds in 1897.

      "So begins the history that subsequently leads to CCTS (Caswell County Training School). Church schools for Negroes that were organized just after the Civil War and met for an hour or two a day are reported to have been the earliest Negro schools in the county. The first documented forerunner to CCTS, however, was the Yanceyville Colored School, chartered in the North Carolina Session Laws of 1897. Remembered in contemporary accounts as the Stephens House, this school represents the first evidence of the role parents and community leaders played in the education of Negro children."

      Source: Their Highest Potential: An African American School Community in the Segregated South, Vanessa Siddle Walker (1996) at 14.
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      Purportedly buried at "Poplar Grove," but that location is unknown.
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      "The North Carolina Session Laws of 1897 incorporated the Yanceyville Colored Graded School 'for the education of colored people.' The charter provided that W. H. Burwell, W. L. Malone, G. A. Currie, L. Bigelow, A. Bigelow, R. R. Graves, Clem. Williamson, John L. Hill, F. R. Terry, and R. C. Covington might make whatever rules and regulations were necessary. They also might 'confer all such Degrees as are usually conferred in academies of like character.'"

      Source: When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977, William S. Powell (1977) at 387.

      At the time of the 1870 US Federal Census (Yanceyville Township, Caswell County, North Carolina) he was living in the household of his older brother George Bigelow (and wife Mary). Albert Bigelow is shown as twenty-three, mulatto, farm laborer, born in North Carolina.

      The 1920 US Federal Census (Monroe Township, Guilford County, North Carolina) lists Albert Bigelow and wife Henrietta, aged 60 and 58 respectively, mulatto, married, literate, and owner of a 63-acre farm. All were shown as born in North Carolina except the mother of Albert Bigelow, who was shown as born in Virginia.

      The 1880 US Federal Census (Yanceyville Township, Caswell County, North Carolina) gives his occupation as "School Teacher."

      Note that an "A. Bigelow" was shown as a Member of the North Carolina General Assembly (House of Representatives, Caswell County) in 1881, serving with Thomas S. Harrison. Source: Historical Abstracts of Minutes of Caswell County, North Carolina 1777-1877, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1976) at 132.

      The following saying was found beside a photograph of Albert Bigelow that hung on a wall in the home of his daughter Ressie Bigelow Redden in western Pennsylvania:

      "I shall pass through this world but once,
      Any good, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being.
      Let me do it NOW;
      Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."

      Oddly, this same motto was ascribed to a brother of Albert Bigelow, James Thomas Bigelow, in a history written by the wife of James Thomas Bigelow, Mertie Rorebeck Bigelow.
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      Born on August 1, 1848, in Caswell County, North Carolina, Albert Bigelow died in Guilford County, North Carolina, on June 18, 1922. Bigelow served one term as a Republican member of the N. C. House of Representatives (1881). A co-founder of the Yanceyville Colored Graded School, Bigelow also served for two years as Yanceyville’s postmaster, appointed to that post under the Grant administration in 1873.

      Son of a slave of Cherokee Indian ancestry named Betsy Bigelow [Cherokee Indian ancestry not confirmed], and her white owner, wealthy plantation owner Thomas Pattillo Bigelow, Albert Bigelow and his siblings were raised essentially as free children by their father, who publicly acknowledged them. Educated in the common schools of Caswell County, Albert worked initially as a farmer. In October 1873, he was appointed by President Ulysses Grant as postmaster at Yanceyville, a position he held until June 1875. In that year, he resigned to pursue a classical education at Shaw University, a private Baptist school for African Americans in Raleigh, after the death of his father. As many as six of Betsy Bigelow’s children attended Shaw in the 1870s, all having received significant bequests in their father’s 1873 will. Albert Bigelow received approximately 100 acres of land in the Yanceyville area. He farmed there for many years. His sister Saluda Bigelow Hunt, later a well-known Virginia educator, served as an assistant teacher at Shaw, and began her career teaching at the old Hunt Town School in Yanceyville.

      After completing his studies at Shaw, Albert Bigelow returned to Yanceyville to teach, and married Henrietta Delia Leath of Caswell County in 1876. Their first daughter, Addie, was born in 1878, followed by four more children over the next 20 years: Ressie, Orvid, Hubert, and Herman. Meanwhile he also entered politics as a Republican. Caswell County’s population was predominantly African American, and the Republican Party largely dominated county politics during Reconstruction and for much of the remaining nineteenth century. Despite Democratic intimidation and violence, the county regularly elected black legislators until the 1890s. In 1880, Bigelow was the Republican nominee for one of Caswell’s two seats in the N.C. House of Representatives, and won election over his Democratic opponent, along with white Republican Thomas S. Harrison.

      Bigelow was one of 18 African Americans to serve in the 1881 General Assembly, which met from January to March of that year. It was his only attempt at public office; however, he remained active in Republican politics for the rest of his life. He served as chairman of the party’s Caswell County executive committee as late as 1900. In 1897 he and his brother Lewis were among a number of incorporators of the Yanceyville Colored Graded School, granted a charter by that year’s General Assembly. Bigelow taught there until at least 1910. The school, later renamed the Caswell County Training School, remained in operation well into the mid-20th century.

      Bigelow died at his home in Brown’s Summit, Guilford County, in 1922.

      Sources:

      Catalogue of the Shaw University, Raleigh, N.C., 1876-1877 (Raleigh, Edwards, Broughton, & Co, 1877); William S. Powell, When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977 (1977); The North Carolina Yearbook, 1900 (Raleigh: The News and Observer, 1901).

      By Benjamin R. Justesen

      North Carolina History Project.
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      North Carolina Death Certificates, 1909-1975
      Name: Albert Biglow
      Gender: Male
      Race: Black
      Age: 78
      Birth Date: abt 1844
      Birth Place: Yanceyville, North Carolina, United States
      Death Date: 18 Jun 1922
      Death Location: Greenboro, Guilford
      Spouse's Name: Henretta Biglow
      Father's Name: Dontknow

      Death Certificates of Albert Bigelow and Henrietta Delia Leath Bigelow
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      1880 US Federal Census
      Name: Albert Bigelow
      Age: 33
      Birth Year: abt 1847
      Birthplace: North Carolina
      Home in 1880: Yanceyville, Caswell, North Carolina
      Race: Mulatto
      Gender: Male
      Relation to Head of House: Self (Head)
      Marital Status: Married
      Spouse's Name: Henrietta Bigelow
      Father's Birthplace: North Carolina
      Mother's Birthplace: North Carolina
      Occupation: School Teacher
      Household Members:
      Name Age
      Albert Bigelow 33
      Henrietta Bigelow 25
      Addie Maude Bigelow 6m

      The 1900 US Federal Census (Yanceyville Township, Caswell County, North Carolina), shows an Eliza Willis as part of the Albert Bigelow household and described as a sister-in-law. However, as this Eliza Willis is a widow, Willis could be her married surname.

      1900 United States Federal Census
      Name: Albert Bigelow
      Home in 1900: Yanceyville, Caswell, North Carolina
      Age: 51
      Birth Date: Aug 1848
      Birthplace: North Carolina
      Race: Black
      Ethnicity: American
      Relationship to head-of-house: Head
      Father's Birthplace: North Carolina
      Mother's Birthplace: Virginia
      Spouse's Name: Henretta D
      Marriage Year: 1876
      Marital Status: Married
      Years Married: 24
      Residence : Yanceyville Township, Caswell, North Carolina
      Occupation: Farmer and School Teacher
      Household Members: Name Age
      Albert Bigelow 51
      Henretta D Bigelow 45
      Ressie M Bigelow 18
      Orvid H Bigelow 13
      Hubert E Bigelow 11
      Harmon L Bigelow 7
      Eliza Willis 54

  • Sources 
    1. Details: 1900 US Federal Census (Yanceyville Township, Caswell County, North Carolina).