Pfeiffer professor writes Rowan County history

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 11, 2008

By Deirdre Parker Smith
Dr. James B. Lloyd has finally finished “Rowan County … Her Place In History.”
Finally, because he says it’s 40 years in the making.
It all started when he came here in 1967 and was working at the Supplementary Education Center (now Horizons Unlimited) and he started reading Rowan genealogy and history.
“I talked to a lot of folks and accumulated a lot of information over the last 40 years. My wife got tired of it and told me to just write it,” Lloyd, a professor at Pfeiffer University, says, laughing.
Last summer he “declined a chance to teach vacation Bible school at Shiloh United Methodist Church” and worked on the book instead.
One of the best things he found was a warrant for the arrest of Daniel Boone, which the late Edith Clark found in a pile of papers at Rowan Public Library, along with warrants, grants, deeds. One thing led “to a bunch of other things.”Those things added up over the years. “I went digging for things. … Census records give us a lot,” Lloyd says.
“I believe in teaching history as a story. I’ve been teaching history at Pfeiffer for 10 years, and I’ve been teaching it that way. … I guess I’m a history storyteller.”
He credits Paul Bernhardt of Bernhardt’s Hardware for inspiration, photos and information. “We talk history all the time.”
“There are many historical people in the area I’ve talked to.”
He even delved into the history of Peter Stuart Ney, who some suspect was really Marshall Ney of France.
He cites “Execution Denied” by H.H. “Pete” Bradshaw as a fantastic book about Napoleon’s right-hand man.
It wasn’t just his wife’s prodding that motivated Lloyd to collect his findings. “I’m 76 years old, I gotta do it now or it won’t get done. I’m not old, but I’ve seen friends pass on.” He hopes somebody “thinks to pay more attention” to Rowan’s history, to talk about it, keep it alive.
His plan for the book was to make it accessible and not repeat things he’s written about before. Lists in the back include major employers and a variety of officials around the county
Lloyd paid for the typesetting, printing and binding, without a thought of sending it to a publisher.
“I just wanted to keep it local. … Just like with the history of Granite Quarry. I bought it, paid for it, fixed it up and gave it away.
Some copies are available at Bernhardt Hardware in downtown Salisbury and some are in Lloyd’s truck. He makes sales where people are interested. And Rowan Public Library has a copy.
He’ll “go here and there” to talk about it, too. He may talk about it at the library one day. He can do readings, too.
The cost is $15 per copy and that covers the cost of production. Interested readers can find copies at the hardware store, contact him directly at 704-279-4850 or drop him a note at P.O. Box 388, Granite Quarry, NC 28072.