Arnettie Stancil Hill

Arnettie Stancil 1902
Arnettie Stancil was born April 1, 1874, and died on June 3, 1916
Arnettie's children
Arthur Hill
Dec. 23, 1911-Sept. 16, 1975
Wilbert Hill
April 14, 1913-March 19, 1966
Nancy Lee Hill Calender Beaman
Sept. 16, 1914-Jan. 12, 2006
Daughter Hill
Oct. 5, 1915-Oct. 5, 1915

Arnettie Stancil was born April 1, 1874.

Arnettie was the sixth child and second daughter. She was a pretty child with black hair and bright blue eyes. She favored her brother George Ira.

Arnettie was taught to read at the Woodard School. The school was in session four months per school year: November, December, January and February. This school year allowed for the spring planting, summer growing and the fall harvest. This was an agrarian community and the entire family's labor was needed. Arnettie completed Grammar School.

Arnettie's name was listed in the 1900 Census as Nettie Stancill. Her nieces and nephews called her Aunt Net.

Arnettie lived with her parents until she married Fred Hill at age 36 in 1911. She helped out with the farming along with her mother and sisters.

They chopped and picked cotton. They pulled fodder (the corn blades), pulled ears of corn, cut corn stalks and helped stack them around a pole for winter stock feed.

They assisted with getting the tobacco in the barn and were the primary graders of the tobacco. In later years when Tom no longer raised tobacco, Delaney, Arnettie and Delaney's granddaughter Gertrude were often paid to help neighbors and family barn and grade tobacco. Gertrude was also Arnettie's niece.

Gertrude's mother died at her birth in 1905 and Harvey could not raise a baby alone.

Gertrude went on to live with Tom and Delaney. Harvey brought Gertrude to his mother's a few days after his wife, Gertrude, died giving birth to her in Duplin County. Gertrude was named after her Ma. Her twin sister also died.

Arnettie used to keep George Ira's children Ralph and Delanie sometimes when George and Eva did not want to take them on errands. Once Eva took Effie huckleberry picking and left Ralph and Delanie with Arnettie.

Ralph began to cry and asking over and over, "Is my Mama dead? Is my Effie dead?"

Arnettie became upset with them and decided to take them both back home. She walked them home, guiding them with a switch. They walked over the Ditch Bridge between the house and the persimmon tree.

Fred had been a widower for more than a year and a half when he began courting Arnettie, his sister-in-law. Tempy Ann, Fred's first wife, died young at 41, during childbirth.

When Fred first started courting Arnettie, they were often accompanied on outings by Gertrude. Gertrude was only 6 years old at the time.

One day, in the spring, Fred took Arnettie to Flower Hill. Flower Hill was west of the John Thomas Stancil Homestead. This was a favorite place for folks courting. As the courting increased, George and Eva told their children that Aunt Net had a sweetheart, Uncle Fred Hill.

They courted steady. Arnettie hadn't had a beau in years. Once they started seeing each other, it didn't take long for them to consider marriage. Tom and Delaney watched the couple and their thoughts turned to Tempy Ann's 11 children.

Tom hitched his favorite mule Daisy to the buggy. He and Delaney drove over to meet with Fred and Tempy Ann's grown children, Delia who had married Radford Bailey in March, Ronia had married Stephen Stancil five months earlier, Fletcher who was 17, Millard, 16, Moses, 15, Pearl, 12. The other children: Clarence, 11, Preston, 9, Resley, 7, Jack, 5, and Tonie, 3, were there too. Since Tempy's death the girls had cooked the meals, kept house, and looked after the younger children. Even the youngest daughter Pearl had carried a heavy load.

Tom and Delaney believed they could prevent problems, but nothing they said could soften the anger and hurt the children felt. Tom and Delaney left regretting that they had even talked to the children.

No one was really surprised when on Sunday, April 23, 1911, Fred decided to go ahead and marry Arnettie. Fred was already 50 years old and Arnettie  turned 37 on April 1. They went to the home of Justice of the Peace William Gray Pittman for a marriage service. Witnesses included brother H. A. (Harvey Arthur) Stancil, Edward J. Sasser and Willie H. Pittman. Eddie lived in Boon Hill Township and Willie was lived in O'Neal Township. Fred lived in O'Neal Township.

A look at the Marriage License was surprising to those that knew Fred and Arnettie's real age. Fred's age was recorded as 45 and Arnettie as 35.

William Gray Pittman had Stancil Family connections. His first marriage was to Pinettie Hales years earlier. Pinettie was John Thomas Stancil's half sister. She died young and W. Gray had remarried. Arnettie knew him as her Uncle W. Gray Pittman. He maintained a friendly relationship with all the Stancils.

John Thomas Stancil said after learning of Arnettie and Fred's marriage, "Arnettie will have a tough time with the grown children of Fred and Tempy Ann."

Fred and Tempy Ann's youngest children were Tonie, Ressie and Jack. Delia had her own home and took in Jack. Ronia took care of Tonie and Ressie for a few years after she married Stephen Stancil. Millard helped raised his brother youngest brother Tonie. Fletcher, Moses and Clarence were large to work for their board on neighboring farms. Preston stayed with Jess Edwards and eventually married his daughter Pearl Edwards. None of Fred and Tempy Ann's children lived with Fred and Arnettie very long. Pearl may have stayed the longest.

Fred continued to farm and swap farm work with neighbors. Tobacco needed lots of hands. He raised sugar cane, corn for his mules, hogs, chickens and milk cow. Fred had all the equipment for cooking syrup.

Arnettie and Fred had three living children: Arthur born Dec. 23, 1911, Wilbert born April 14, 1913, and Nancy born Sept. 16, 1914. A daughter born Oct. 5, 1915, died without a name.

Arnettie had health problems. Early symptoms were swelling in her legs. The doctor said it was her heart. As her heart problems increased, she retained even more fluid in her legs, they continued to swell. Finally she was bedridden. There were no medicines that could help her.

Her pa and brothers gathered at her bedside at night. George, Harvey, Henry and Alvin all lived near by. In her last days they took turns sitting up with her at night.

Arnettie died on Saturday, June 3, 1916. She was only 42, just a year older than Tempy was when she died. It was Arnettie's wish that she be buried in the Stancil Cemetery. Fred honored her request.

Neighbors assembled at Fred's. Some of the women washed and prepared the body. Men built the lined the pine coffin. Other men dug the grave.

Her Wake was in the living room. The next afternoon after the funeral, her coffin was carried wagon to the Stancil Graveyard. Pallbearers carried it to her gravesite.

When Arnettie died, Arthur was just 5 years old, Wilbert was 3 years old and Nancy a bit over 2 years old. Fred had developed consumption. His health deteriorated, decisions had to be made for the children's welfare. Fred was a Mason and he wanted his three young children to live in the Masonic Orphanage. For some unknown reason, they were placed in the Methodist Orphanage in Raleigh.

Delia took her children Annie, Esker and Sallie to visit Arthur, Wilbert and Nancy four times per year. Delia would pack a picnic lunch and travel by Model T. Her daughter Sallie recalls having a chip knocked off her tooth when a bit of iron flew off the windshield.

Millard and Zelphia, Moses and Frances would also visit Arthur, Wibert and Nancy with their children.

Living in the orphanage was a difficult adjustment for the young children. Nancy adjusted well, but Arthur and Wilbert did not.

Fred's health continued to decline after Arnettie's death in 1916 and after their children had been placed in the orphanage.

Neighbors gathered around sitting up with Fred during his last few days. George, Eva, Emmette, Ralph, Alvin, Esther, Henry, Frank and Tom were among the visitors. Fred's tuberculosis finally caused his death at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 18, 1918.

Neighbors gathered to prepare and dress the body, to build the pine coffin and dig the grave. The coffin was stained black and lined with fabric. The traditional Wake was held the Sunday in Fred's living room. One of Fred's final requests was he have a Masonic Funeral.

Masons arrived at his home on Monday afternoon. Family and friends listened to the Masonic Rites. Pallbearers carried the coffin to the nearby Hill Cemetery. He was buried beside Tempy Ann.

According to Johnston County Death Records, Fred Hill died Aug. 18, 1918. His father was Moses Hill and his mother was Affie Hill. Fred was a farmer. The informant was second son and fourth child, Millard Hill. Millard was 23.

When Fred died, some of his children inherited land and others were to receive money when they came of age. James "Jimmy" L. Boyette, son of Larkin Boyette was a trusted friend. Larkin married Delaney Sasser Stancil's aunt, Chloe Bagley. Jimmy was appointed the legal guardian of Arthur, Wilbert and Nancy. The children were placed in the Methodist orphanage in Raleigh.

The Fred Hill sale was held soon after his death. George Ira Stancil, Tempy and Arnettie's brother bought his anvil, cane mill and syrup pan. Harvey was among those who attended the sale. Proceeds from this sale went into Fred's Estate.

Arnettie had been given a farm by her pa. It was close to where her pa's tenant house was located. When she died it went into her estate. When she died it went into her estate. Jimmy Boyette managed her estate and was named guardian for her three young children. George bought Arnettie's farm from her Estate in 1927.

Renn Stancil Hinton
 


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