In Honor of the 100Th Anniversary of the Town of Proctorville, Ncby Representative Richard Hudson
Posted on 2013-03-14
of north carolina
in the house of representatives
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Mr. HUDSON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the Town of
Proctorville, North Carolina, as it celebrated its centennial on Friday
March 8th. While Congress was not in session on its centennial, I want
to take this opportunity to pay homage to this small town in rural
North Carolina today.
Proctorville's history dates back to 1859. The fifty acres the town was founded on was originally owned by Calvin Graham. Mr. Graham gave the land the town was to be settled on to a slave by the name of Dennis Graham.
On July 20th, 1899, Augustus Mellier purchased a portion of the original fifty acres for the construction of the Carolina and Northern railroad. Mellier developed the land surrounding the tracks into four blocks for development. This was the beginning of the new town of Proctorville, named after Edward Knox Proctor Jr., a Lumberton lawyer and promoter of the Carolina and Northern Railroad.
Mr. Proctor purchased the town from Mellier and planned to develop it into an ideal town, but his plans were cut short due to illness. He contracted typhoid fever and died prematurely in December of 1907.
This setback was overcome and the town charter was written by E.J. Britt of Lumberton, North Carolina and incorporated by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1913. At the time, George B. McLeod, brother-in-law of Edward K. Proctor, was serving in the Assembly and was a proponent of incorporation.
Proctorville always produced the major regional crops of North Carolina: tobacco, cotton, and corn. Expectation in production grew as the railroad expanded through the state and the town eventually became a major trading hub for farmers and even outlasted the railroad.
Proctorville has the honor of being the smallest town in the United States to have its own public library. It was established by W.R. Surles and continues to be used to this day.
The Town's most recognized citizen is State Senator Michael Walters who has represented Proctorville and the surrounding community since 2009.
Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me in congratulating the Town of Proctorville as it celebrates its 100th anniversary.
Happy 100th, Proctorville! [From the Fayetteville Observer, Mar. 7, 2013] (By Ali Rockett) The tiny town in southeastern Robeson County is celebrating a big birthday today.
But Mayor Allen Fowler said the real party begins on Saturday with the town first-ever parade--or at least the first in modern memory, Fowler said.
The parade starts at 11 a.m. on Main Street from Spruce Street to the town's community center. Following the parade, the town will hold a ceremony in Proctorville Baptist Church with keynote speaker and Proctorville native N.C. Rep. Michael Walters.
The .3-mile parade route nearly stretches the width of the entire town, which encompasses about 260 acres.
Proctorville was established in the early 1900s as the crossroads of two major railroads--the Atlantic Coast Railroad running north and south, and the Raleigh-Charleston Railroad running east and west.
While the town's incorporation is only 100 years old, it started much earlier than that, according to Fowler.
In 1866, a plantation owner Calvin Graham deeded 200 acres to a slave, Dennis Graham, for $60. It had taken Dennis Graham nearly 20 years to make the $60.
Then in the early 1900s, a railroad worker Augustus Miller bought part of Graham's land as right-of-way for the railroad. Miller named the area after Lumberton lawyer Edward Knox Proctor Jr, who worked to get the railroad laid through the county.
Proctor later bought the land from Miller, but died before he could build up the town.
Proctorville was relatively dormant through 1940 when the railroad tracks were taken up.
The town's claim to fame is its library.
In 2009, the W.R. Surles Memorial Library--rumored to have once been named the world's smallest in the ``Guinness Book of World Records''--was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
With about 2,800 books, the library's circulation is nearly 23 times that of the population it serves.
About 117 people call Proctorville home.
[[Page E297]] Fowler said it's a simple, quiet life in town.
``We're just a small, rural town,'' Fowler said. ``The average age is probably sixty. What I enjoy the most about it, we have very, very, very little crime.'' Walters said he remembers riding to church as a young boy, but always had to behave.
``Everyone in town was your mother or dad because we all knew each other,'' Walters said. ``If there has ever been a Mayberry in North Carolina, it could be Proctorville.'' ____________________