Caswell County Genealogy

Upchurch, Norman Stroupe

Male 1904 - 1989  (84 years)

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  • Name Upchurch, Norman Stroupe 
    Born 19 Dec 1904  Wake County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Occupation School Teacher 
    Reference Number 4152 
    Died 26 Jan 1989  Roxboro, Person County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried First Baptist Church of Yanceyville, Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I4101  Caswell County
    Last Modified 28 Jul 2022 

    Father Upchurch, Ernest Frederick,   b. 14 Aug 1877, Cary, Wake County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Jun 1960, Danville, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Stroupe, Mary Constance,   b. 11 Aug 1882, Forsyth County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Jun 1968, Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 20 Jan 1904  Forsyth County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Reference Number 31396 
    • North Carolina Marriage Collection, 1741-2004
      Name: Ernest F Upchurch
      Gender: Male
      Birth Date: abt 1878
      Age: 26
      Race: White
      Spouse: Mary C Stroupe
      Spouse Gender: Female
      Spouse Age: 20
      Spouse Race: White
      Marriage Date: 20 Jan 1904
      Marriage County: Forsyth
      Marriage State: North Carolina
      Source Vendor: North Carolina State Archives
    Family ID F2103  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Yarbrough, Margaret Arnold,   b. 28 Feb 1911, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Oct 2002, Roxboro, Person County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 91 years) 
    Married 24 Dec 1928  [1
    Reference Number 31402 
     1. Upchurch, Margaret Stroupe,   b. 16 Jul 1931, Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Nov 2019, Laurinburg, Scotland County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 88 years)  [natural]
     2. Living
     3. Living
    Last Modified 28 Jul 2022 
    Family ID F2232  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 19 Dec 1904 - Wake County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 26 Jan 1989 - Roxboro, Person County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - First Baptist Church of Yanceyville, Yanceyville, Caswell 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
    Bartlett Yancey High School Class of 1929
    Bartlett Yancey High School Class of 1929

    Dodson & Hunter
    Dodson & Hunter

  • Notes 
    • Norman Stroupe Upchurch (1904-1989)

      Bartlett Yancey High School Yan-Tat 1950

      Norman Stroupe Upchurch (1904-1989)

      Looking Back Caswell Messenger 27 July 2011

      Dodson & Hunter Upchurch Check 1931

      Bartlett Yancey High School Class of 1929

      (for larger image, click on photograph)

      1954 Bartlett Yancey High School Public Speaking Club (Left to Right):

      Front Row: Dr. Holden, Camilla Sue Stuck, Janice Marie Powell, Eunice Lea Thompson, Mattie Jean Slaughter, Patsy Earp, Isabelle Crook.

      Back Row: John Paschall Page, Dawson Emerson Scarborough, Jr., James Monroe Long III, Graham Allison Page (possibly), Leon Faidherbee Lyday III, Wilson Allen Slaughter, Jr., Norman Stroupe Upchurch.

      Photograph courtesy The Caswell Messenger.

      Final Photograph

      Bartlett Yancey High School Class of 1929

      Faculty on back row may include Sheffield Horace Abell (1899-1973) (third from left) (principal), and Norman Stroupe Upchurch (1904-1989) (fifth/last from left) (assistant principal).
      Teacher to far left may be Ralph Holton Vance (science). Female teachers second from left and fourth from left (white sweater) may be Mrs. Giles Mebane (mathematics)* or Miss Laura Oliver (English).**

      Location: Bartlett Yancey School (Yanceyville, NC)

      At the time the school included only grades 1-11. Thus, the graduates could age 16-18, depending upon birth date (1911-1913). It appears that grades 8-11 were considered "high school."

      And, while elementary school covered grades 1-7, there was an odd grade called "high first grade" in addition to the "regular" first grade.

      * Possibly Edna Earl Watkins (1885-1988)
      ** Possibly Laura Esther Oliver (1881-1959)

      "Because of his genuine interest in and friendliness toward every student, because of his readiness to aid any worthy school cause, because of his loyalty to his profession of teaching, We respectfully dedicate the 1951 Yan-Tat to Mr. Norman Stroupe Upchurch."

      The following was written by Mrs. Margaret Arnold Yarbrough Upchurch and included in The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 540-541 (Article No. 737):

      Many of those who contributed to and benefited from that particular quality of life found in Caswell County were not natives in the true sense. One such person was Norman Stroupe Upchurch, a teacher in Ca swell County for 43 years, who was born on December 19, 1904, in Wake County, N.C. He accompanied his parents and brother when they moved to Yanceyville in 1909.

      After completing his schooling in Yanc eyville, Norman attended Trinity Park High School in Durham, as did many other young people from the county and state who intended to go to college. From Trinity Park he went to Wake Forest College, where he graduated in June 1926. What Norman's education prepared him for and what his natural talents preordained him to be was a teacher, and had there been no such profession, he would have invented it. Indeed, for him it was not so much a profession as a calling. Everyone loves his own children, and most people love some children, but Norman Upchurch loves all children. Exasperated he might become with them and angry, too. Often he was just that -- but stop loving them -- never! From 1926 until 1969 he taught history or related subjects in the public schools of Caswell County, serving as principal in two of the schools. In addition he filled in as athletic coach, was active in scout work as well as in the Rotary Club. For at at least a quarter of a century he served as a deacon in the First Baptist Church in Yanceyville.

      On December 24, 1928, he married his beloved "Miss Margaret," gracious descendant of two of Caswell's oldest families, the Yarbroughs and the Worshams. If there is true meaning to the term "southern hospitality," then it must be as it is practiced in their home over more than 50 years of marriage. In addition to teaching "Miss Margaret," his daughters, Margaret Stroupe, Norma, and Myra, he taught his brother, James Bartlett Upchurch, the latter's future wife, Carolyn Moore, their children and his nephews, William Manning Upchurch and James Bartlett Upchurch, Jr., and Elizabeth Moore, who became the wife of his brother Frederick Upchurch. His sister, Emmy Lou, missed the opportunity of being his pupil.

      Norman's father, Ernest Frederick Upchurch, Sr. was a native of Wake County, where he established a law practice after graduating from Wake Forest College. In 1909, on the advice of the Governor of the State, E. F. Upchurch moved his wife and two sons, Norman and Frederick, Jr., to the town of Yanceyville, where the two outstanding lawyers of the time, Mr. Archibald Henderson [father of Tom Henderson] and Mr. Jule Johnson, were advancing in years and declining in health.

      Although such a move in those days took considerable courage, the Upchurches found the Caswell people kind and hospitable, especially Mrs. John Kerr and Mrs. Tom Florence, who took the young lawyer's family under their compassionate guidance. Since nearly everyone in Yanceyville seemed to have "kin," the two young boys felt sorry for themselves with no relative nearby. In no time at all the matter of family was solved when Nannie Kerr Malloy, wife of the beloved Dr. Stephen A. Malloy, became "Aunt Nannie."

      The elder Upchurch represented Caswell County in the State Senate in 1915 and served as Prosecuting Attorney in the county for many years. From his father Norman Upchurch inherited a love of history and an interest in civic affairs. Norman did not share his father's consuming interest in politics, but preferred to be an observer and student of politics, rather than an actual participant.

      Norman's mother was Mary Stroupe Upchurch, daughter of E. A. Stroupe and Ellen Chitty Stroupe, of Old Salem, N.C., where both the Stroupe and Chitty families were among the earliest Moravian settlers. While in Salem College Mary Stroupe majored in dramatics. From her Norman Upchurch inherited his dramatic ability. Anyone who ever saw him perform in a play, heard him give a talk or teach a class, knows that Caswell's gain had to be Hollywood's loss. His stories about life around the Yanceyville square in the early 1900's are perhaps classics in oral history.

      Norman is also a descendant of Michael Upchurch, who came to Surry County Va., sometime before 1674, when he participated in a tax rebellion, at least one of the earliest, a century before the more famous Boston Tea Party. For those who know Norman to be a bit feisty in standing up for what he believes -- perhaps this is the source.

      Reflecting on his 43 years of teaching, Norman expressed the hope that this many students would return in some measure the love in his heart for them. He could ask for no finer memorial.

      --- Mrs Margaret Upchurch

      Source: Heritage of Caswell County (1985) at 540-541 (Article #737)

      Yanceyville News Notes
      "Norman Upchurch left Monday for Wake Forest to enter college." Source: The Bee, Danville, VA, September 11, 1922.

      Name: Upchurch, Norman Stroupe
      City: Yanceyville
      County: Caswell
      State: NC
      Year: 1926
      Class: Senior
      School: Wake Forest University

      "Milton Memories" by Jean Scott

      On May 5, 1941, 16 proud young men and women marched down the aisle of Archibald Murphey High School, to go forth into the world. I have no memory of the graduation speaker, but feel sure that he inspired us to make the most of our lives, and we did. The senior boys were Charlie Killby, Thomas Coates, John Brandon, Foster Pointer, Alfred Hill, Marvin Yarbrough, and Walter Vernon. Melvin Wagstaff had been a member of this class from first grade, but transferred to Roxboro High School for his senior year; however, we claimed him and he joined us for our 50th class reunion. The girls were Violet Newton, Mildred Willis, Mary Sue Shotwell, Vera Carter, Anne Gwyn, Rosa Jordan, Louellen Phelps, and Louise Franklin, and myself, Jean Bradsher.

      Most of us had been together since first grade under Miss Annie Irvine as teacher. I joined the class in second grade. The others came with us in fifth grade when Semora and Milton schools were consolidated. Our school then was the Milton School, while we waited for the brand new Murphey School was being built halfway between Milton and Semora. Principal N. S. Upchurch signed our diplomas (We had Mr. Upchurch for five consecutive years, as we were the last 7th grade he taught before becoming principal). The teachers who signed our diplomas were Horace D. Penn, Caroline E. McAden, Mary Clyde Coppedge and Gertrude Crabtree. Other teachers for high school included Miss Grace Tilley, Herbert Ellis, Mr. Webster and Mr. deFrank.

      Those of you, like us, in our mid- to late 80s remember that 8th grade was first year of high school, that there were only 11 grades, and that the school year was eight months. From that class of 1941 all of the young men served in one or another branch of the Armed Services. The year 1941 was when Pearl Harbor occurred, and service became compulsory. World War II also meant that several of the young women found work associated with the war.

      In 1991 we celebrated the 50th anniversary of our class at Woodside Inn. By that time Alfred Hill was deceased. Alfred had been stationed in Texas during the War, and made his home there for the rest of his life. Walter Vernon died at a very early age of a heart attack. Of the girls, Louellen Phelps Barker had died, as had Mildred Willis. At the time of the reunion Rosa Jordan Vernon was very ill, and passed away soon after. At this time Marvin Yarbrough, Thomas Coates, Foster Pointer, Violet Newton Lewis, and Mary Sue Shotwell Smith are no longer with us. Also teachers who joined us at time, Herbert Ellis, Horace Penn and Clyde Coppedge Poteat, have left this earthly life. Most of the teachers were not much older than their students, so it seems fortunate that at this 70th year since our graduation from the beloved Archibald Murphey High School that seven of us remain, now in our mid- to late 80s.

      We look back on long lives of many changes, many exciting happenings to us and to our innocent world of early 1941, and feel grateful that we are in touch, that we reverence good lives and allegiance to each other.

      Source: The Caswell Messenger (Yanceyville, North Carolina), 5 October 2011.

      Bartlett Yancey School Faculty (1929)
      The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 14 August 1929 (Page 3)

      Faculty of High School Is Named

      With S. H. Abell, as principal, the local committee of the Yanceyville high school, has announced the following faculty for the coming term - N. S. Upchurch, Yanceyville, assistant principal; Mrs. Giles Mebane, Caswell county, mathematics; Ralph Vance, High Point, science; Miss Laura Oliver, Caswell county, English; Miss Annie Newman, Caswell county, seventh grade; Mrs. Madeline Copeland, Durham, sixth grade; Miss Fannie Lea, Ringgold, Virginia, fifth grade; Mrs. Mabel Alcorn, Rockingham county, fourth grade; Mrs. Ermine Poteat, Yanceyville, third grade; Miss Myrtle Lea, Caswell county, second grade; Miss Bettie Swindell, Lake Landing, N.C., high first grade, and Miss Annie Carter, Caswell county, first grade.

      "My grandfather Thomas Parks Hunter and Thomas Christenbury ran a store in the Upchurch Building in the 1930"s. When the building was sold in the late 70's or early 80's, Norman Upchurch made sure that our family received some of the furnishings that were tied to my grandfather. Who else would have done such a fine deed?"

      Source: Jerry Parks Cooper Commented Posted 3 February 2014 to the Caswell County Historical Association Facebook Page.

      Mack Williams: Memory book
      Salisbury Post (Salisbury, North Carolina)
      Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 12, 2017

      This concerns that "funeral memory book" from the night table mentioned in last week's column, "Night Next Door," where I stayed overnight in a house whose owner is temporarily in a rest home. The book was dedicated to Charlie Guthrie's wife, Margaret Hursey Guthrie (1919-1971) mother of Charles Guthrie, owner of the house in which I "house sat," or rather, "house slept." The signers represent a small town's "who’s who." As I mention some names, you might wonder: "Why mention names probably unknown to us!" Answer: "I knew them, their names were part of them, not just 'something they were called!'" Having lived over three decades in Yanceyville,when seeing only "half-a- married couple's" signature, I automatically knew whether or not death was the reason.

      Director of Caswell Funeral Home, Roy S. Hooper, Salisbury native, first employed at Summersett Funeral Home. Roy passed away some years ago, and I've always thought it especially sad when a funeral director dies, as if "handling" death might provide some mystical, innoculative immunity from it.

      Rev Carroll Spivey, long time Yanceyville First Baptist minister officiated. I later sang at some funerals officiated by him.

      Mrs. Nancy Rudd, First Baptist's organist, played "When They Ring Those Golden Bell" and "My God and I." Nancy also played at mine and my late wife, Diane's wedding in 1974.

      Dorothy Zimmerman, Caswell County Schools Supervisor, who when even in her 70s was handy with binoculars for bird watching, and of good enough unaided vision to watch meteor showers.

      Nettie Bray and her son Wayne, both handlers of my family's life insurance (her name always made me think of Scotland).

      Town barber, Bruce (not "Floyd") Ellis signed.

      High school teacher Norman Upchurch was an institution! Some things he said in his classroom would probably result in dismissal in this present world of "hurt feelings," with heart worn not just on one sleeve cuff, but "quartered" into its four chambers, each "sensitively" displayed upon each cuff of shirt and pants for maximum receipt of "offense"(gosh! sounds masochistic!).

      One day, a very tall student propped some books at the top of the classroom entrance door, so that upon entry, Mr. Upchurch would be "pummeled" by them. The student miscalculated and Mr. Upchurch was untouched. Mr. Upchurch revealed his knowledge of the culprit's identity by responding: "If I had I ladder, I would climb it and punch the SOB who did this right in the face!"

      Even though that funeral book was not a Bible, I did see a "red-lettered" name: Clarence Graves. Mr. Graves was an African-American pillar of the community and work-mate of Mrs. Guthrie at Yanceyville Drug Company. All of the other names were signed in black ink, so I think Mr. Graves chose to use his own pen.

      Curtis Davis was one of Caswell County's first EMTs in the 1970s and later, Yanceyville's first mayor after incorporation.

      Mrs. Ralph Shatterly and David (David, friend and co-worker at Caswell County DSS, brother of Rowan's Ralph Shatterly, this "Mrs. Ralph Shatterly," their mother, and still with us in her nineties!).

      Mr. and Mrs. Hoyt Moore (my father-in-law and mother-in-law). Hoyt coached hundreds of kids in American Legion Baseball and taught many future auto mechanics at Yanceyville's Bartlett Yancey High School. His wife, Doris worked at Northwestern Bank and later became a highly respected tax preparer in the community.

      Out of the register fell an old photograph of Mrs. Guthrie and friends sitting near a lake in bathing suits on a sunny day. The aging of the black-and-white snapshot made for a sickly-yellow sepia sunlight. The green grass was a lush, dark gray; and seeing Mrs. Guthrie seated on the grass, I imagined her past joys above ground.

      Placing the register back within the night table drawer, I thought of each of us being one day "published" in such a book, every signer a "footnote" of greater or lesser meaning in our lives.

      1910 United States Federal Census
      Name: Nomian [Norman] S Upchurch
      Age in 1910: 5
      Estimated birth year: abt 1905
      Birthplace: North Carolina
      Relation to Head of House: Son
      Father's Name: Ernest F
      Father's Birth Place: North Carolina
      Mother's Name: Mary C
      Mother's Birth Place: North Carolina
      Home in 1910: Yanceyville, Caswell, North Carolina
      Marital Status: Single
      Race: White
      Gender: Male
      Household Members: Name Age
      Ernest F Upchurch Sr. 32
      Mary C Upchurch 27
      Nomian S Upchurch 5
      Ernest F Upchurch Jr. 3

      1920 United States Federal Census
      Name: Norman Upchurch
      Home in 1920: White Oak, Wake, North Carolina
      Age: 14
      Estimated birth year: abt 1906
      Birthplace: North Carolina
      Relation to Head of House: Grandson
      Father's Birth Place: North Carolina
      Mother's Birth Place: North Carolina
      Marital Status: Single
      Race: White
      Sex: Male
      Able to read: Yes
      Able to Write: Yes
      Household Members: Name Age
      James B Upchurch 63
      Rebecca J Upchurch 60
      Norman Upchurch 14

      1930 United States Federal Census
      Name: Norman Upchurch
      Home in 1930: Yanceyville, Caswell, North Carolina
      Age: 25
      Estimated birth year: abt 1905
      Birthplace: North Carolina
      Relation to Head of House: Head
      Spouse's name: Margarett
      Race: White
      Household Members: Name Age
      Norman Upchurch 25
      Margarett Upchurch 18

      North Carolina Death Collection, 1908-2004
      Name: Norman Stroupe Upchurch
      Gender: Male
      Race: White
      Marital Status: Married
      Social Security Number: 245305075
      Father's Last Name: Upchurch
      Age: 84
      Date of Birth: 19 Dec 1904
      Birth Location: North Carolina
      Birth State: North Carolina
      Residence County: Caswell
      Residence State: North Carolina
      Date of Death: 26 Jan 1989
      Death City: Roxboro
      Death County: Person
      Death State: North Carolina
      Autopsy: No
      Institution: General Hospital
      Attendant: Physician
      Burial Location: Burial in state
      Source Vendor: NC Department of Health. North Carolina Deaths, 1988-92

      Social Security Death Index
      Name: Norman S. Upchurch
      SSN: 245-30-5075
      Last Residence: 27379 Yanceyville, Caswell, North Carolina, United States of America
      Born: 19 Dec 1904
      Died: 26 Jan 1989
      State (Year) SSN issued: North Carolina (Before 1951)

  • Sources 
    1. Details: Yarbrough, E. S. The Charles Yarbrough Family of Caswell County, North Carolina.