Albert B Osborne.

Makers of America; biographies of leading men of thought and action, the men who constitute the bone and sinew of American prosperity and life (Volume 3) online

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in Fifeshire. Major John D. Shaw was a prominent attorney of
Rockingham, North Carolina. Of his marriage with Margaret
Barry Henderson, there was born, in Rockingham January 16,
1864, John Duncan Shaw, who is the principal subject of this

John D. Shaw, Jr., after his grammar school training, was
prepared for college by W. G. Quakenbush, of the Laurinburg
High School. At the age of eighteen, he entered the law depart-
ment of the University of Virginia where he had the privilege
of studying under the celebrated professor, John B. Minor, one
of the most efficient law teachers that America has ever pro-
duced. Graduating from the law school, he was licensed to prac-
tice at the age of twenty-one, and became a member of the firm of
John D. Shaw and Son, his father remaining in Rockingham and
he taking the Laurinburg office. The only change in the firm
during his lifetime, was the admission of Edward H. Gibson to
partnership. Mr. Shaw's life was cut short when in his prime.
He died September 15, 1905, lacking four months of being forty-
two years of age. In these twenty years of active life, he had
placed to his credit a record of accomplishment not often sur-
passed even by able men who live out their full three score years
and ten. Of extremely temperate habits, a lover of his work, with
intellect of the first order, and absorbed entirely in his profession,
he built up a practice so extensive and so successful as to give
him a state-wide reputation as a lawyer and a capable man of
business. Though a strong Democrat in his political beliefs, he
refused to hold public office and declined a nomination to rep-
resent his County in the Legislature, at the early age of twenty-
one years. This would have been an irresistible temptation to
many young men, and his declination is a proof of his strength
of mind and purpose. It was due largely to him that the County
of Scotland was created, and after his death, the newspapers
were unanimous in declaring that he had been the most valuable
citizen of what they called the "baby county," in its early years


of struggle. He was a director in the Scotland Cotton Mills and
his advice in business matters was most highly regarded by his
neighbors. In his last illness, which extended over a period of
months, no effort was spared by his family and his friends to
bring about his recovery, but it was not so decreed, and when he
passed away, the leading paper in the State, editorially lamented
his untimely decease. He was characterized as being one of the
ablest and most successful of the younger members of the bar in
North Carolina, and attention was called to the courage and re-
sourcefulness with which he fought his clients' causes from the
very beginning of his practice, and the rapidity with which he
gained a large legal patronage.

Mr. Shaw was married May 3, 1893, at Villa Nova, the home
of his wife's parents near Laurinburg, to Betty Normeut Thomas,
born at Manheim, Hanover County, Virginia, July 14, 1873,
daughter of Captain Stephen Moorman and Kate Reynolds
(Winston) Thomas. Of this marriage there were two children:
Betsy Thomas Shaw, who was born January 13, 1897, and died
April 15, 1907, and John Duncan Shaw 3 , born August 11, 1899.

Mr. Shaw's mother, Margaret Barry Henderson, was a daugh-
ter of Charles Cotesworth and Barbara Glenn (Bryden) Hen-
derson. Charles Cotesworth Henderson was a man of large
affairs and very successful in his undertakings. He died Febru-
ary 13, 1869, at the age of sixty-five.

"He was the son of Lawson Henderson, long a prominent
and influential citizen of Lincoln County. He filled the office of
Sheriff, Clerk of the County and Superior Courts and various
positions of trust. He built the 'Red House,' now the home of
William C. Taylor, four miles west of Lincolnton ; 'Woodside,'
now the home of Mrs. M. A. Richardson, one mile beyond the
western limits of Lincolnton. He also erected a residence in
Lincolnton in which he died November 21, 1843, aged sixty-nine
years and eight months, and was laid to rest in the graveyard of
the 'Old White Church.'

"Lawson Henderson was the first clerk of the Superior
Court of Lincoln County. He was appointed for life under the
Act of Assembly of 1806, establishing a Superior Court in each
County. He served continuously from April Term 1807 to Fall
Term 1835, when he tendered his resignation. At Fall Term
1833, John D. Hoke applied for the clerk's office, having been
elected pursuant to Act of Assembly of 1832. Then followed the
suit of Hoke versus Henderson in which Mr. Henderson was the
winner. This is the most famous decision ever rendered by the
Supreme Court of North Carolina; it decided that an office is
property. The opinion is written by Chief Justice Ruffin, and is
yet the leading case where the title to office is involved.

"Lawson Henderson married Elizabeth Carruth. She was


born March 20, 1783 ; married July 20, 1798 ; died July 28, 1849.
To them were born fourteen children, Charles Cotesworth being
the third.

"Elizabeth Carruth was the daughter of Major John Carruth,
an officer in the American Revolution, surveyor, member of the
County Court, and a prominent and useful citizen. He married
Elizabeth Cathey; to them were born eight children. Major
Carruth died June 28, 1828, aged seventy-six years; his wife,
Elizabeth, died October 17, 1819, aged sixty-seven years.

"Major Lawson Henderson was a son of James Henderson,
a pioneer settler. He owned the valuable shoals in Gaston County
where McAdensville has since been built, and was buried there.

"He married Violet, a daughter of Hugh Lawson. Hugh
Lawson was a pioneer settler. He died about the year 1766 and
was buried in the Baker graveyard, four miles east of Beattie's

"Hugh Lawson has many distinguished descendants. Among
them, Hugh Lawson White, of Tennessee, a grandson, was Judge
of the Supreme Court, United States Senator and candidate for
the Presidency of the United States.

"Another distinguished descendant was James Pinckney
Henderson, a son of Major Lawson Henderson. He was a dis-
tinguished lawyer; Attorney-General of the Republic of Texas;
Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary of the Re-
public of Texas to France and England; Major-General of the
United States Army in the War with Mexico ; Governor of Texas
and Senator of the United States. He married Frances Cox, died
in Washington in 1857, and was buried in the Congressional
Cemetery. He was presented by Congress with a jeweled sword
as a recognition of his distinguished services.

"Margaret Barry's mother was Barbara Glenn Bryden, a
native of New Jersey. She and C. C. Henderson were married
in New York City, December 7, 1824. She survived her husband
but a few weeks, and fell asleep April 10, 1869, aged sixty-six
years, five months and sixteen days.

"A substantial marble shaft in the Old White Churchyard
marks the last resting place of Charles Cotesworth Henderson
and his wife, Barbara Glenn.

"Barbara Glenn Bryden was the daughter of William Bry-
den, of Dumfries, Scotland. Her mother, Ann Bryden, was the
daughter of David Glenn of the same place. A Slab in the Old
White Church marks the last resting place of Ann Bryden. She
died May 21, 1856, in the eighty-second year of her age. William
Bryden died in Buenos Ayres, South America.

"David Glenn married Margaret Munsey of noble family.
David Glenn was a friend of the great Scottish poet, Robert


Burns, who thus kindly refers to him in his 'letter to James Tait
of Glenconner:'

" 'My heart-warm love to guid auld Glen,
The ace an' wale of honest men;
When bending down wi' auld gray hairs,
Beneath the load of years and cares,
May He who made him still support him!
An' views beyond the grave comfort him,
His worthy family, far and near,
God bless them a' wi' grace and gear!'

Of the marriage of Charles C. Henderson and Barbara Glenn
Bryden, there were ten children : Ann Elizabeth ; Theodore Wash-
ington Brevard; Lawson Pinkney; Harriet; Theodora Christiana,
wife of Kobert Sowers; Mary Helen, wife of Laban A. Hoyle;
Charles Cotesworth; Barbara Malinda, who first married Bart-
lett Y. Cobb, second, S. P. Sherrill; Margaret Barry, wife of
Major John D. Shaw; and Frances Amelia, who married George

Mrs. John D. Shaw comes of Welsh stock. Her father, Cap-
tain Stephen Moorman Thomas, was a direet descendant of
William Thomas, Sr., who assisted in the consolidating of repub-
lican institutions in America by serving in the General Assembly
of North Carolina just after the War of the Kevolution. Her
mother Kate Reynolds Winston, or Winstone, as the old English
form is, was a direct descendant of William Overton Winston,
who was a brother of Sarah Winston, the mother of the famous
Patrick Henry. Her maternal line also shows the name of John
Winston, Jr., as Captain and Colonel of a Virginia regiment
during the Revolution.

John Duncan Shaw 3 conies into a great inheritance by blood,
Scotch, English and Welsh, and in the American generations
of these families, is a long line of splendid men who have illus-
trated in their lives what good citizenship means, and who have
ever stood ready to sacrifice blood and treasure for the promotion
of the interests of their country and the common welfare of their
people. It is the greatest inheritance that can come to any young


WILLIAM THRASHER, the progenitor of the family of
this name, who settled in Virginia, sold his house, lands
and his business as clothier, in Bradford-on-Avon, Wilt-
shire, England, and with his wife and son Robert, came
to America in 1649, settling in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.
Robert married Abby A. Stevens, daughter of Daniel G. Stevens
and his wife, Sibbel. Their children were: Samuel, John, Rich-
ard, Joseph, Pleasant and William.

Samuel Thrasher was Justice of Essex County, Virginia,
from 1695 to 1700. Daniel, son of Samuel, married Lydia Swift
in 1724, and their children were: Robert, Rachel, Susan, Samuel
and perhaps others.

When the Revolutionary War broke out, members of the
Thrasher family were not slow to offer their services in defense
of their country. Michael Thrasher and Samuel Thrasher served


with honor throughout the war, Michael rising to the rank of

One branch of the family moved to Rockingham County.
Salisbury District, North Carolina, where many of the name are
still to be found.

They have always been good citizens wherever residing.
John E. Thrasher, the largest merchant in Micanopy, Florida, is
probably a relative, as his ancestors settled in Virginia.

After the Revolution, Samuel Thrasher returned to farming,
and married in 1780. The record states that, in 1782, he erected
one dwelling and six other buildings.

When the call to arms was again sounded in this country.
Robert James Thrasher, son of Benjamin (the son of Samuel)
Thrasher, true to the traditions of his family, followed in the
footsteps of his great-grandfather, and gave loyal service to his
State. With the Virginia troops, he fought for the cause of the
confederacy and was killed in 1862.

He had married Martha Anne Hammond and was the father
of Henry Hammond Thrasher, of this sketch, who was born at
Buchanan, Botetourt County, Virginia, February 19, 1860. Thus,
though Tennessee is his adopted State, Knoxville being his place
of residence, Mr. Thrasher was born in Virginia where his an-
cestors had lived for many years.

Left fatherless in infancy, he soon found it necessary to earn

*J S f

his own living, which he began to do at the early age of fifteen



years. Cast upon his own resources, he had little time for edu-
cation, and therefore received only that which the public schools
at Buchanan offered. Now in the prime of life, he is enjoying
a success which is the outcome of his own unaided efforts. At
the present time, he is a railroad contractor and is also President
of a marble quarry in Knoxville, Tennessee, which he owns and
operates with great success. His life is a busy one but he is never
too much occupied to keep an appointment.

He is a Democrat and belongs to the Elks, the Cumberland
Club and the Country Club.

Mr. Thrasher was married at Newport, Giles County, Vir-
ginia, January 1, 1886, to Lula Clark Price, daughter of David
Price and Margaret Hammond Price of Newport, Virginia. They
have three children : Maude Price, who married Captain James
Everly Wilson, U. S. A., October 1910; Margaret, who married
David Claig Gaut, December 11, 1909; and Henry Hammond,

In both paternal and maternal lines, Mr. Thrasher is of Eng-
lish descent. The family of Thrasher came originally from North
Wiltshire, England, and for centuries lived at Bradford-on-Avon,
where many of the name are buried in Holy Trinity Church. The
Arms of the family are engraved on the floor of the chancel and
on tiles on the communion steps in this church. There are few
towns in Wiltshire more interesting than Bradford-on-Avon. Its
situation is beautiful, lying at the eastern extremity of the valley
of the Avon, and being shut in on the north and west by hills
covered with vegetation, which contribute at once to its shelter
and to its picturesque appearance. There is moreover a quaint
look about its buildings, rising one above another in successive
ranks upon the slope of the hill on the north side, that gives a
peculiar character to the place.

The name Thresher (Thrasher) appears in North Wiltshire
as early as the fifteenth century, but a clear record of the family
does not begin until the seventeenth century, when Arthur
Thrasher, son of Israel Thrasher, married Mary Goodridge, April
16, 1684. She was the daughter of Jeremiah Goodridge. They
had one daughter, Dorothy, born February 4, 1692.

Christopher Thrasher, brother of Arthur, was born in 1643 ;
Israel was born September 15, 1648; Stephen Thrasher died un-
married; Francis Milford Thrasher was a clothier in Bradford-
on-Avon. He was born in 1686, and was probably a son of Chris-
topher. Israel Thrasher, son of Christopher, married August 15,
1676, Mary, daughter of Thomas Caswell. Their children were
Mary, and Samuel who was married December 4, 1683, to Bertha

Edward Thrasher, son of Samuel Thrasher, died February
18, 1725; John Thresher, son of Edward, died August 17, 1741.


In the Parish Church at Bradford, inscriptions, still legible, bear
the names of Edward and John Thresher.

This Parish Church at Bradford-on-Avon is dedicated to the
Holy Trinity. The memorial of the holiday originally kept in
observance of the dedication of the Church is still preserved in
the annual fair, "holden in the Borough on the morrow after
Trinity Sunday." The church building, taken as a whole, has no
great pretentious to architectural excellence, being a strange and
somewhat discordant mixture of every variety of style, yet its
very antiquity makes it interesting. It is nearly eight hundred
years since the original structure, much of which still remains,
was erected. The additions, which from time to time have been
made to it, seem to be a connecting link between the present and
the past, and to tell, silently and not unimpressively, the tale of
bygone generations, who slumber now within its walls, or beneath
its shade, each of whom has left a memorial behind.

Among the monuments erected in this church, to the memory
of those who have passed and gone, is the Thresher monument,
It is of marble and is very large, covering the whole of a Norman
window on the north side of the chancel. It was erected by Ellen,
relict of John Thresher. From a long Latin inscription, it is
learned that Edward Thresher was a clothier in Bradford, and
that he took particular interest in the well-being of the town and
neighborhood; that on his decease, his son John Thresher, who
had been previously educated for the bar, came to reside in Brad-
ford, and giving up his professional pursuits, carried on in this
town, the work of his father.

Edward Thresher married Dionysia, daughter of Richard
Long of Collingbourne, Kingston, Wiltshire. John Thrasher
married Ellen, daughter of Henry Long of Melksham and his
wife Ellen, sister and co-heir of John Trenchard of Cutteridge,
Wiltshire. Ellen Thresher married Sir Bourchier Wray, a law-
yer. They had two sons and two daughters. One daughter,
Florentina, married Reverend Edward Henry Whitfield, resident
of the Parish for many years. The other daughter, Ellen, mar-
ried Richard Godolphin Long of Rood Ashton, Member of Parlia-
ment for Wiltshire.

That Edward Thresher was a philanthropist, there is no
doubt, for many instances are found of his interest in those less
fortunate than himself. Of record is the Threshers' Charity,
founded by the will of Edward Thresher, bearing date of May 23,
1721. The following extract explains the intentions of the donor:

"I give and bequeath the sum of one hundred pounds to be
distributed among the poor and impotent people of the Borough
of Bradford, and Tything of Winsley ; which said sum I do hereby
order, direct, and appoint to be paid by my executor hereinafter
named, to the Vicar of Bradford for the time being, within one


month after my decease, to be by him, with the direction of my
executor, disposed of to such and such number of the poor and
impotent people within the Borough and Tything aforsaid, and
in such manner as to them shall seem most meet and convenient,
provided nevertheless, and so as the same or any part thereof, be
not disposed of to such persons as usual and commonly receive
the public alms of the Parish."

Edward Thresher died on August 17, 1725. The Vicar for
the time being the Keverend John Rogers, received the above sum
of one hundred pounds and, during his lifetime, gave away the
interest thereof in bread yearly. At his decease, the Keverend
John Rogers, his son, did the same until his own death, when the
charity was for a time discontinued. In the year 1778, his execu-
tors paid over one hundred pounds to Mr. Daniel Chutterback,
adding nine pounds for three years' interest. From a board in
front of the gallery it appears that these gentlemen were accus-
tomed to make the division yearly at Christmas in crowns and
half crowns among the poor of the Parish. After the decease of
the trustees, it was distributed by their widows. For a few years
only part of the funds were given away. Successful investments
raised the whole amount in 1737, to three hundred pounds stock.
The dividends from time to time were distributed in clothing or
blankets, and in bread and coal among the deserving poor of

The Threshers resided for many years at Chantry House, a
manor built after the mode of the times. It is described thus:
"The manor house is very large and well built, in the old Wilt-
shire style so common in this neighborhood, with bold gables,
ornamented freestone chimneys, and casement windows. In
1830, most all of the old house was taken down (this was after it
passed out of the Thresher family) and rebuilt, except the hall
and some smaller portions. The rooms are paved with freestone
lozenge, and wainscoated in dark carved oak."

The Threshers were clothiers for many generations. The
clothing trade flourished in Bradford-on-Avon as early as 1430,
and 1465. It was favored by the rapid stream of water that
traverses the Parish, admitting the erection of several fulling
mills upon it. About a century back there was still much cloth
made there, and the church contains several monuments to

In the diary of one Thomas Smith in 1722, a glimpse is given
into the life of John Thresher. It reads thus : "By invitation I
dined with brother Selfe, where among others was Mr. John
Thresher. The young people danced and stayed until eleven.

"Tuesday, January 2, Mr. John Thresher and others dined
with us, all stayed until eleven, the young people danced and
drank punch ; all went smoothly and parted in good humor. Mr.


John Thresher and two others remained all night. The others
went home but Mr. Thresher spent the day with the family very
gravely. He remained until Friday, his father having come from
Bradford with a lawyer. They left Friday morning, January 5,

"August 10, 1722, I met by appointment, several gentlemen,
among them Mr. John Thresher and Sir James Long, a relative
of Mr. Thresher. Some discourses we had of several mean per-
sons being taken for conspiring against the government, but the
chief talk was of accidental subjects. Most of the company tar-
ried until after sunset. My brother having had venison sent him,
made invitation for all to remain to supper. We all dined with
him, and most part of the company tarried until after nine with-
out disorder."

This name is of distinctly English origin, and is derived from
an occupation. Originally it was spelled Tasker, from task. A
Tasker is a Thrasher, and the word occurs in that sense in the
fifteenth century.

The Hammond family, from which Henry Hammond Thrasher
descends through his mother, has been represented in this coun-
try since 1607 when Philip Hammond, son of William, came from
County Kent and landed in Ann Arundel County, Maryland.
His brother came later and settled in Jamestown, Virginia, in
1608. William Hammond, the father, married Elizabeth Penn,
sister of Admiral Sir William Penn, the Quaker.

Keverend Mark Noble, the eminent English author says :
"The ancient and knightly family of Hammonds were greatly
divided in their religious and political opinions." In England
there were Koundheads and Catholics. Many of the Cavaliers
came to Virginia and Maryland. In the old country they were
mostly agriculturists, but were families of wealth and gentility.

The name Hammond with its many variations, is often found
in ancient history. It is written Aman, Amann, Amon, Aminon,
Haman, Hamant, Hammon, Hammons and later, almost univer-
sally, Hammond. It appears among the very earliest surnames
in England, where it was introduced at the time of the conquest.
After the successful invasion of England, William, the Conqueror,
caused an abbey to be erected on the battlefield at Hastings in
honor of his victory over Harold, the last of the Saxon Kings.
This is called Battle Abbey and in it was deposited the names of
all the nobles and barons who came with him from Normandy.
Among these names is that of Hamound, afterwards written
Hammond. Among the many of his own kin who accompanied
the Duke of Normandy on his invasion of England, were two
brothers, sons or grandsons of Haman Dentatus. In the annals
of the Conquest, no name is more frequently met with than that
of "Haman."


A grant of half an acre of land was made to one Hammond,
October 9, 1331, which is the earliest record of this name in
County Kent.


The origin of the name may be found in Hammet, a town or
house on an elevation ; in Haman, faithful ; or it may be derived
from the Norman house of St. Amand.

In her "Through Normandy," Katherine S. Mcquoid de-
scribes the ancient fortress or castle of Hammon which is still
in existence.

A man of high standards is Henry Hammond Thrasher,
bearer of two honorable names of ancient English families.

Well worth noting is his motto for success: "Always deal
honestly and fairly with your fellow man, work hard and give
close attention to business, never misrepresent facts, and always
keep your word."


IN England the generally accepted explanation of the name
"Walker" is in the fact that prior to modern weaving meth-
ods, cloth had to be trodden or walked on to shrink it to

required length and breadth. Even as late as 1857 in the
north of England a fulling-mill was still called a walk-mill. So
that the presumption is that Walker is one of the trade names.

In languages closely akin to the English, the word is found
in forms resembling or suggesting the English word. In Nor-
wegian, there is "Valka," meaning a foreigner, in Dutch, "Wal-
kart," Walker; in Flemish, W T alckiers, and in German, "Walke,"
Walker. In Anglo-Saxon, there is the name, Walcher, Wealhers,
or Walcere, meaning a "walker of cloth." The Wealceringas
were a Saxon tribe who lived in England long before the com-
ing of the Norman conquerors.

From Saxon times to the present, the Walkers have been
numerous and have numbered among their ranks, wherever they
are found, many prominent people. Early in the fifteenth

Online LibraryAlbert B OsborneMakers of America; biographies of leading men of thought and action, the men who constitute the bone and sinew of American prosperity and life (Volume 3) → online text (page 13 of 48)