Nancy Agnes Stancil Pope
Nancy Agnes Stancil Pope holds granddaughter Marsha Johnson Barfield in 1958 at Ila Creech's house
Nancy Agnes was born June 25, 1905 and died April 1, 1975

Agnes' children

Mary Frances Pope Johnson
Dec. 26, 1929 in Durham NC-Dec. 29, 2015 in Selma, NC (Bethany Baptist)

Raymond Eugene 'Gene' Pope
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Marshall Barnes Pope
NC-
Charles Ray Pope
June 25, 1936-July 27, 1998, at Johnston, NC (Dixon Family Cemetery)
Henry Claiborne Pope
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Nancy Agnes Stancil was born June 25, 1905. She was the ninth child born to Henry and Frances.
Agnes Stancil Pope in 1945
Family photo

Nancy Agnes Stancil had light brown hair. When she began school, it was held at the Boykin house, under the grapevines. Later Glendale School was built and the children attended there. Agnes was a small, slender, attractive woman, about 5 feet tall and about 100 pounds.

Agnes slept with her sister Elizabeth and Ila. When time came to wash the dishes, Agnes and Ila told Elizabeth that if she'd play the piano and entertain them they'd do them. They went huckleberry picking together. Frances baked delicious huckleberry pies.

Agnes and future husband Raymond only lived about two miles apart. They went to school together. Raymond played baseball and basketball in High School. He was a starter on the Freshmen Basketball team.

Raymond was the son of John Thomas and Bettie Pope. He was a big landowner. John T. and Bettie married 1902. John T. was born January 1878. Bettie was born in 1884. Raymond was born Oct. 9, 1905. He was the third of 11 children.

Raymond's grandparents were Harry B. and Alaga Frances Pope. They rented a farm in Beulah Township of Johnston County. Harry and Frances married in 1877. Harry was born in January of 1854, Frances was born June 1856. He was one of six children.

Raymond's great grandparents were John T. and Anne Pope. John Pope and Anney Ballance married Feb. 17, 1848, in Johnston County. Thomas Bagley was a witness. John was born in 1829 and Anne was born in 1822. They had three children. John was a cooper in 1860 and had an estate worth $500. John died before the 1870 Census. Anne was farming and sons Harry and Daniel helped her.

Nancy Agnes Stancil married Clarence Raymond Pope about May 1929 at a preacher's house. Agnes did not wear a wedding band. Over the years Raymond gave her nice jewelry.

Almost immediately they moved to Durham. They lived in a rental house. Agnes worked in the hosiery mill and Raymond worked in a dairy. Frances was born in a Durham hospital.

After a year, they returned to Johnston County moving into a tenant house on Raymond's Pa's farm. Raymond was a sharecropper for his Pa. The arrangement was as follows: the tenant received 2/3 of the money when the crops were sold and furnished the tenant a house.

Raymond Eugene was born March 30, 1932, Marshall Barnes was born June 5, 1934, Charles Ray was born June 25, 1935, and Henry Claiborne was born Nov. 21, 1938. They were all born at home and delivered by Dr. Woodard.

Agnes and Raymond attended Center Ride Presbyterian Church. Frances remembers one Sunday, when Agnes drove the buggy pulled by "Red" to church. "Red" was a very gentle and dependable mule. Frances was 2 1/2 years old and Gene was 6 months old. Agnes followed a woods path to church. Agnes was an active church member, teaching Sunday School. Frances joined when she was seventeen.

Agnes always kept some cats. When kittens were born they were soon given names: "Spot," "Blackie," "Ginger," "Tabby," by Frances.

Agnes and Raymond bought a truck, a necessity on the farm. The older children rode in back on a quilt. The baby rode up front with Agnes and Raymond.

Raymond was a good farmer. He grew tobacco, cotton, wheat, corn. Tobacco and cotton were the main cash crops. Corn was used to feed the stock. Raymond swapped work with his brothers. They each had five children.

Raymond kept two mules. The favorite was a small bay female named "Red." Raymond kept a red jersey for milking. He milked a cow twice a day. Frances never learned to milk. She was scared of the cow but all her brothers milked.

Agnes churned butter and always put it in a pretty butter mold. At first she used a churn with a wooden dasher she moved by hand. Later she had an electric butter churn. Agnes made biscuits twice daily with her fresh buttermilk, in the morning and at dinner. Supper was a lighter meal and left over biscuits were served.

Agnes made delicious corn bread too. She used cornmeal mix made at the Atkinson Mill, only adding water. Agnes made it a variety of ways. Sometimes she fried it in the iron skillet, other times she cooked a large cake of cornbread on a greased iron griddle and finally she baked it in the oven. She placed the mixed cornbread batter in a greased caste iron skillet, drizzled more grease on top. Agnes baked it in a 375 degree oven.

Raymond raised Yorkshire hogs, they were solid white. Four were butchered each winter, when they were about 300 pounds. The meat was cured in the smokehouse and kept there until needed. A least one sow was kept. Henry had the boar used by folks in the neighborhood, so they'd have s crop of pigs in the spring. Chickens ran loose in the yard. Dominiques were pretty, with black and white barred plumage; wattles were bright red on their head and face with a rose comb. They laid brown eggs. Dominiques were known for their ability to scratch for food and survive in less than ideal conditions. They were calm and adaptable.

Agnes and Raymond kept about 25 chickens for meat and eggs. Raymond built a chicken coop, nests were filled with pine straw and placed on three sides. Roosts were built inside.

Raymond's Pa had a large orchard with raspberries, concord grapes, muscadine grapes, peach, pear, apple trees. He shared this with his family. Raymond had a cider press. In the fall Raymond pressed apples to make apple cider vinegar and cider for wine and apple jelly. He made wine from the grapes. Agnes used them to make her special grape jelly.

Agnes grew a large garden full of many vegetables. She grew sweet corn, lima beans, white potatoes, beets, peas, beans, string beans, cucumbers, turnip, collards, mustard, tomatoes, cabbage, onions, sweet potatoes, watermelons, and cantaloupe. Agnes canned many vegetables. Among them were tomatoes, peas, beans, peaches, apples. She made apple and grape jelly, peach, raspberry and pear preserves. Raymond grew gourds on a fence. He raised sugar cane, cut it in the fall, took it to the mill in the back of his wagon. The syrup maker squeezed the juice from the cane. A mule walked around and around as stalked were fed into the mill and juice flowed out. Then the juice was cooked. The cane syrup filled glass jugs with corncob used as stoppers.

Agnes was famous for her delicious Pineapple cake. Frances learned how to make this memorable dessert. Agnes made chocolate pies, assorted fruit pies, pear, peach, huckleberry and apple pies. Her apple dumplings and apple jacks were special treats loved by her family. Daughter Frances learned to make them all.

Fried chicken was usually reserved for Sunday Dinner after Church. Pork chops and beef roasts were also family favorites.

Agnes was an expert seamstress. She made most of Frances' clothes. She even hand smocked a baby dress for Connie, Frances' oldest daughter born June 30, 1947.

Agnes participated in neighborhood quilting bees. These were usually in the winter months. Agnes and her sister-in-laws set up a quilting schedule. Eight of them spent three days a week quilting at different homes. Furniture was removed from the quilting room. The quilt was sewed to a special frame. Quilters usually arrived when morning chores were finished and worked until about 5 p.m. They kept the completed section rolled-up. A quilt was usually completed by the end of the day. In the afternoons after school, Frances and her cousins, would get off the bus where the quilting bee was being held.

Agnes liked to use a quilt stand and often attached her quilts to them. She gave each of her children three quilts when they married. Agnes taught Frances to quilt. Frances has already made twenty quilts.

Agnes made feather beds and pillows. She kept about 15 ducks and picked their down when needed. She and her sister-in-law Thelma Godwin, who had married Henry Pope, usually worked together. They would spend a full week picking down for future beds and pillows.

When Agnes and Raymond needed a car they contacted Leonard, Agnes' brother. Leonard and his wife Maysell, she died early, ran a boarding house in Alexandria Virginia. Maysell was from Virginia. Leonard worked on cars. He washed and painted them. He found a suitable Dodge car. Raymond had a Page Make of car at one time. Agnes like her Pa never learned to drive a car.

During World War II sugar was rationed. Leonard received a large sugar ration because he ran a boarding house. One day he brought Agnes 100 pounds of precious sugar. He knew she needed it to make her delicious preserves and jellies. Leonard took a chance bringing it down to her. If caught he could have spent time in jail. Raymond's Pa used one of his tobacco barns as a potato house in the winter.

Folks in the neighborhood brought baskets over filled with newly dug sweet potatoes with their names on them. Wide boards were placed across the rafters. Baskets were placed on boards. The furnace was kept going and hot air circulated through the flues keeping the temperature between 30 and 55 degrees through the winter. When sweet potatoes were needed the neighbors removed one of their baskets.

Agnes loved flowers and knew how to root them. She'd put cuttings into sand under a jars. This was in a shady area. She started many beautiful roses using this method. Agnes had a garden filled with red, pink and yellow roses. She grew flowers from seeds and planted bulbs. Agnes always grew gladioluses, petunias, zinnias, and four o'clock in red, yellow, variegated colors marigolds, jasmine, nasturtiums, morning glory, dahlias and sunflowers. Raymond hunted rabbit and squirrels and taught his sons to hunt.

The family had one dog, "Rexie," a pale yellow, medium-sized dog.

She was very devoted to Raymond. "Rexie" only lived a short time after Raymond's death on March 5, 1954, at 49 years old. Frances believed "Rexie" grieved herself to death. She remembers the dog pacing and walking to the barn and other areas Raymond frequented daily.

Speck recalled that his father started to get up on Saturday, Feb. 27, 1954, and fell. Gene (Raymond Eugene) asked, "What's the matter with you?" Raymond replied, "I don't know." He sat down and listened to the N.C. State basketball game. Raymond was a loyal fan and listened to all the games.

On Monday, Raymond was put in the hospital. He remained there until his death on Friday, March 5. Doctors determined he had a fatal cerebral hemorrhage. He was only 49.

Raymond's funeral and burial was at Upper Black Creech Primitive Baptist Church in Wilson, N.C.

Agnes lived in her own home until after her youngest son left home. She then decided to move into a trailer behind Frances' home. One of her grandchildren usually stayed with her at night. They all wanted to. Sometimes one child would alter the schedule so they could stay more often.

Agnes developed some heart problems. The most serious was related to the malfunction of her mitra valve. Nancy Agnes Stancil Pope died on April 1,1975, of a massive heart attack. Her funeral was held at Grizzard's Funeral Home in Kenly. Later it became Coley when he bought them out. Agnes was buried beside, her beloved Raymond in the Upper Black Creech Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery.

 

Memories of Marsha Johnson Barfield

On Granny Pope by Marsha Johnson Barfield

As long as I can remember, Granny Pope lived in a mobile home in our yard. My oldest sister, Connie, stayed with her until she got married and then I began to stay with Granny at night because she didn't like to stay alone.

Granny stood only about 5 feet tall and weighed about 90 pounds. As a child, I would sometimes fall asleep on her couch & I would wake up to her with a warm basin of water and soap washing my arms and hands and feet & legs to keep me from going to bed dirty. I would pretend I was still asleep so she would finish washing me. I remember she had the softest hands!

At night, she would ask me to read the Bible to her because she couldn't see very well anymore. She probably really couldn't see, but I think it was also her way of making sure I read the Bible.

I have told my husband that no one ever loved me as much as Granny Pope because she was the only person in the world who would warm a towel by the freestanding gas heater and wrap it around my feet after I got in bed. Of course, he says it was so I wouldn't put my cold feet on her.

Granny was a hard worker. She would get upset because Mama wouldn't let her go to the field to crop tobacco. She usually stayed behind and cooked the best lunch for us, though. Fried chicken (that even had a pulley bone cut out of the breast ... my favorite, of course), boiled potatoes, butterbeans, peas, corn, okra (all fresh from the garden), biscuits and it seemed ALWAYS a fresh fruit cobbler.

Granny Pope was a gift from God and I loved her very much. She was the person that could always make me believe that no matter what was wrong, it was going to be alright. I pray that God will help me to be as special a grandmother (Nana) to my granddaughters as Granny Pope was to me.

Marsha Johnson Barfield is the daughter of
Mary Frances Pope and William Robert Johnson
 

Renn Stancil Hinton
 


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| Modified Jan. 25, 2016