On 1 June 1812 President James Madison asked Congress to declare War against the British. Some
referred to this confrontation as the second War of Independence. Among soldiers from the Stanley
Creek area were:
The years following the Revolutionary War brought about an exodus of people from this area to lands in the
west in search of better farm land, gold, riches, etc.; all the same reasons they or
had migrated to this area years prior. Then after the War of 1812 many left North Carolina because the leaders
of the State were not seen as caring for the needs of the people. Many from the Abernethy family, the Eddlemans,
the Cloningers, the Hagers and the Henkles went west, to Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky and Ohio. Some
of the Brevards, the Rhynes, the Forneys went to Alabama following the iron trade. Others went to the
territory of Texas. At the same time other families were migrating into this area.
The Year Without a Summer
The year 1816 was famous as "the year without
a summer." That year started out, in Stanley as well as
other regions of the south, so mild for the months of
January and February that many folks let their fires go
out and burned wood only for cooking; however,
March was very cold and windy. Showers started the
Month of April but ended with snow and ice. In May
the temperature was like that of winter. The young
buds that began forming in April were stiff and frozen.
Ice, one half inch thick formed on ponds and rivers in
North and South Carolina. Corn was killed and after
being planted again and again nothing was reaped from
the cornfields. June was cold, the coldest month ever
experienced in this latitude. Almost all green things as
well as fruits were killed. There was ice, frost, and
some snow flurries in July. August proved to be the
worst month of all not only here but even in Europe.
September started out with two weeks of pleasant
weather and the rest of the month was cold. October
and November were extremely cold and then December
This extraordinary weather condition in 1816
had been caused by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Temboro in the Dutch East Indies,
blowing 50 cubic miles
of dust into the air and killing some 66,000 people. The
volcanic dust clouded the skies all over the earth causing the "year without a summer."
Migration out of the state seemed to slow down
during the years between 1835 and 1860 chiefly because the state constitution had
been rewritten giving
people more confidence in the government as well as
supplying some of the needs of the citizens such as,
plank roads and bringing in manufacturing to the region.
During this period a tax was levied and a form
of public schools was implemented.
In 1843 Ephraim A. and Robert A. Brevard
conveyed by deed some of their property near the Tuckasegee Stagecoach Road for the
establishment of a
Lutheran Church. This property was located about a
mile and half west of Stanley creek.
A New County
On December 5, 1846 a motion was passed in
the Senate establishing a new county from a division of
Lincoln County. It was eventually named Gaston for
Judge William Gaston. The Stanley Creek area lay in
the Gaston County division.
The First Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions
for the new county of Gaston was held in the home of
Jesse Holland in Dallas. Among the first county justices were the following men from the
John Al McGinnis, Milton A. Smith, Alfred Abernethy. These first justices in
turn appointed new Gaston County Justices.
All the justices collectively proceeded by electing a County Clerk. Sheriff, County
Trustee, Solicitor, Surveyor and a number of other offices. The new sheriff was Benjamin Morris of Stanley
Creek. (Benjamin Morris was the son of Vincent and
Margaret Hunt Morris). The new Gaston County
Trustee was Richard Rankin, grandson of the pioneer,
Samuel Rankin, and a Stanley Creek resident.
One of the first actions taken by the newly appointed justices of Gaston County was to form slave
patrols whose principle duty was to attempt to prevent
the escape of runaway slaves and to apprehend those
who managed to run away. Patrols were formed in different townships of the county.
The River Bend Township patrol was lead by
Captain Jarrett and the company consisted of A. W.
Davenport, R. M. Alexander, and John D. Rankin.
Captain Sadler lead the Stanley Creek Company which
consisted of Milton A. Smith, Valentine Derr, and Andrew Carpenter.
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