Library Notes: History Room adds new resources

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 28, 2021

By Gretchen Witt
Rowan Public Library

The History Room has just received a lovely volume from the Concordia Lutheran Church. Full of photographs, this book describes the stained-glass windows located in the church. Interestingly, these windows were ordered and delivered from Germany during the Second World War. The original wooden church burned down in April of 1942 and the church members purchased these new windows to beautify the church being built. Many of these windows were purchased as a dedication or memorial to family or church members. A gold mine for genealogical research, quite a few of these members and their descendants are listed in the book.

One of the newer books in the History Room collection is “Gender and Jim Crow: Women and the Politics of White Supremacy in North Carolina, 1896-1920.” Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore’s eminently readable book about women of color and their role in the formation of southern life and politics is in its second edition. Of particular interest are the references to Salisbury women — Rose Aggrey, Lula Spaulding Kelsey, Victoria Richardson and others. Richardson taught music at Livingstone from the 1880s to early 1900s and was active at the college, at church and in the community. Aggrey, a leading educator, and Kelsey, insurance agent and mortician, were founding members of the Salisbury Colored Women’s Civic League. In the 1910s, typhoid and tuberculosis were widespread in Salisbury, and The Women’s Civic League under Kelsey’s leadership was instrumental in cleaning up and decreasing disease within the city. The activities of the league increased interracial interaction throughout Salisbury and Rowan County. These women played a pivotal role in the development of civic relationships here. The book further explores the roles of women throughout the state who were equally important.

A generous donation by the author, Morgan Jackson, has provided the History Room with three volumes on Moore County and the families that lived there from around 1740-1920. Unfortunately Moore County’s courthouse burned in 1889 and many records were destroyed. Jackson has penned  “The Families of Northern Moore County” endeavoring to help researchers piece together information from land grants, court records, tax lists and other records from Moore and adjoining counties that will help form an picture of Moore County genealogy and history. With plat maps, newspaper articles, original documents, personal correspondence sprinkled throughout all three volumes, this addition to the History Room collection will prove fascinating and useful to researchers. Rowan Public Library is continually adding items to the Edith Clark History Room collection to assist anyone in the pursuit of Rowan County and North Carolina’s past.

Gretchen Witt is the History Room librarian and supervisor at the Rowan Public Library.

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