Harvey Arthur Stancil
Harvey Arthur Stancil 1902
Harvey Arthur Stancil was born July 23, 1878, and died Feb. 22, 1956.
Harvey's children

With Gertrude Williams

Clyde L. Stancil

Dec. 15, 1903-Oct. 18, 1981
Gertrude Stancil Pittman
Feb. 13, 1905-March 23, 1987
Daughter unnamed
Feb. 13, 1905-Feb. 13, 1905
With Bertha Florence Smith

Delanie Mavis Stancil Hill

August 15, 1907-July 17, 1979
Vessie Irene Stancil Joyner
August 27, 1911-Feb. 4, 1991
Patsy Jane Stancil Hare
May 8, 1913-June 20, 1972
William Carl Stancil
Sept. 9, 1915-Dec. 14, 1979
Eula Gray Stancil Smith
Sept. 10, 1916-Jan. 16, 1983
George Garland Stancil
June 6, 1918-July 24, 2010

1983 Stancil Family Reunion

From left: Billy Pittman, Jenny Pittman Hinnant, Angel Pittman, Anne Pittman Viverette, Tom Pittman, Gertrude Stancil Pittman, Irene Pittman Wallace, Johnnie Jean Pittman, Gertie Mae Buchanan, H.A. Pittman and Carolyn Pittman.

Harvey Arthur Stancil was born July 23, 1878.

Harvey was the eighth child and sixth son. He favored his sister Tempy Ann, who was ten years older. Harvey was educated at Woodard School House.

Harvey and Stephen Boyette were best friends. Stephen was the son of Delaney's aunt, Chloe Bagley Boyette. He was two years younger than Harvey. Harvey loved to play jokes. He often had a twinkle in his eye, and a mischievous grin, warnings most learned to heed.

During school recess, the children played 'Fox.'

Harvey was selected to be the 'Fox.'

The fox's job was to chase and catch all the kids. The children quickly scattered, and squealed with excitement. The last one caught would be the next 'Fox.'

But one boy refused to play the game. He ran toward Harvey, hitting him right in his stomach him. Harvey doubled over in pain before his anger took over. Harvey grabbed that boy, held onto him with one hand, and quickly broke a small branch off a sapling with the other one. Harvey took that switch and switched that boy soundly. Just the way his ma use to switch him. That crying boy quickly ran back to the schoolhouse, as soon as Harvey turned him loose. He immediately told the teacher on Harvey. The teacher hastily went outside calling Harvey. Harvey and Stephen walked up together. The teacher questioned Harvey. He claimed innocence and Stephen backed him up. The teacher admonished all the children and ended recess early.

His pa gave Harvey a goat that he named "Jim." "Jim" could be ridden and also pulled a cart. Harvey along with brothers Alvin and George had fun with their pet goats.

Alvin and Harvey were courting the same girl, Dora Barnes. Harvey wanted to find out if Alvin was seeing Dora on a particular day. A fellow who worked for Tom, hooked the mules to the cart and went off with Alvin. They were supposed to go to see Ben Collier. Harvey took the horse and investigated.

Alvin and Tom's boy went to Josiah Barnes. Alvin told the boy to stop at Josiah Barnes house, let him out and continue on to Ben Colliers' house. Alvin wanted to be alone with Dora. Harvey rode by at a distance and saw Alvin and Dora on the back porch.

Alvin was lying down, with his head in the girl's lap kissing her. Harvey quickly returned home. When the boy came back for Alvin, he saw Alvin kissing the girl too.

When Alvin and the boy returned, Tom asked where they had been. "Ben Collier and Josiah Barnes."

Tom said, "There's already one Barnes in the family and that's enough." (Henry had married Frances Barnes)

Harvey replied, "I couldn't have been hurt any worse if Alvin had hit me with a stick."

His Pa said, "That's probably true."

Tom didn't even quit reading the paper and Harvey said, "There must be an election on and Pa's reading a political speech."

In 1899, Alvin volunteered to travel to Duplin County, N.C., to the Cabin Community. Local farmers wanted help in learning how to grow tobacco. Alvin's Pa had started raising tobacco in Johnston County about 1890 and Alvin and his brothers were very knowledgeable about all phases of tobacco, from planting the seeds to getting it ready for market.

The Smith Community, next to Cabin, asked for assistance too. Alvin wrote home for his younger brother Harvey to come. Harvey soon arrived in the Smith Community.

Among the farmers Harvey assisted was Branch Williams. He owned a large farm. Harvey observed that there was one pretty young girl in Branch's household and two more mature, obviously single young women. The Branch's farm was close to Alonza and Elizabeth Smith's farm. Harvey noticed that Alonza had two pretty daughters too, Myrtie and Jennie. Of course Myrtie was older, 29, and Jennie was just 18. He remembered Alvin mentioning these ladies.

Branch and Molsey Jane married in 1860. Branch was the son of Delany Williams. His father died before the 1950 Census. Branch and Molsey Jane had 12 children, six were living in 1900. The oldest was Edward born on April 4, 1960. < >< >

Edward married Penelope Ann, daughter of Bryan and Susan Ann Kornegay Smith, on Feb. 21, 1984. Gertrude was their only child. Edward died on March 22, 1887. Penelope died on March 6, 1890. They were buried in the Branch Williams Cemetery.

Gertrude was only 6 when she moved in with Branch and Molsey Jane Williams. She grew up with aunts Dora who was 17 and Agnes, 16.
Four generations of Harvey family in 1950
Harvey Stancil with daughter Gertrude, granddaughter Irene and great-grandson Billy< >

Harvey finally met the pretty young lady, Gertrude Williams, who he's seen at the Branch Williams farm and when he attended Smith Chapel Free Will Baptist Church. She was the granddaughter of Branch Williams. Gertrude's parents had died years ago. Gertrude was the daughter of their oldest son. She was born Nov. 2, 1884.

Harvey soon began courting her. They quickly fell in love. The tobacco season was short, soon it was time to part.

Harvey and Alvin were invited to return over Christmas. Harvey and Alvin were well liked in both Cabin and Smith Communities. They were welcomed additions to local musical events. Harvey played the organ, banjo and ukulele and Alvin, the violin and banjo. Harvey and Gertrude began corresponding, eager for Christmas to arrive.

Alvin and Harvey returned to Duplin County in December with their younger brother George. While there, George became acquainted with his future wife Eva Ann Mercer. She was the stepdaughter of James William Kennedy. Alvin worked in his general store. Harvey continued his courtship with Gertrude. They had much in common. Gertrude was also musical and played the piano and sang. Alvin didn't have one special girl, he had many.

Harvey and Gertrude made plans to marry. Harvey brought Gertrude by horse and buggy to Wayne County, where they were married on May 5, 1901. Gertrude was just 16 and Harvey was 22. Then they traveled to Johnston County and met Harvey's family.

Gertrude inherited a farm when her Pa died. She and Harvey returned to Duplin soon after their marriage, and farmed. George and Eva, who married on March 6, 1901, were also farming in Duplin County.

A son, Clyde L. Stancil was born Dec. 15, 1903. Their next child died at birth and was buried in Duplin County. Gertrude became pregnant again and they both rejoiced.

Joy was mixed with sadness. Daughter Gertrude arrived safely but her twin sister died and wife Gertrude died, too. This happened on Feb. 13, 1905. Gertrude was buried in Duplin County, holding her infant daughter in her arms.
Fletcher and Gertrude Pittman family in 1948
Back row, Mable Irene Pittman Wallace, Fletcher Pittman
(deceased), Gertrude Stancil Pittman (deceased), Billy Royce Pittman, Gertie Mae Pittman Buchanan (deceased), Ruth Elder Pittman Langston (deceased) and Thomas Rex Pittman (deceased), Front row, Jennifer Kay Pittman (deceased), George MacArthur Pittman, Charlotte Anne Pittman Viverette and Harvey Alton Pittman (deceased).

Harvey left Clyde with trusted friends, and took his surviving daughter, Gertrude, by buggy to his parent's home in Beulah Township. He left her in his mother's care. Delaney, was not only a great mother, but a well known midwife with lots of experience in childcare.

Tom and Delaney took Gertrude into their home to raise.

Harvey returned to Duplin, bringing Clyde back to Johnston County. He had only been married four years and had so much pain and so much joy in these short years.

Tom gave Harvey a nearby farm. William Madison Hale, son of Tom Stancil's half-brother Elias, surveyed the farm that would be Harvey's. Harvey made a home for Clyde. He was thankful to have Gertrude so close.

Harvey was very lonely. He farmed and looked after Clyde. He met and fell in love with Bertha Florence Smith. Bertha was slim and very attractive with black hair. Harvey was 10 years older than Bertha.

Bertha was the daughter of Britton and Patsey J. Smith of Beulah Township. She grew on a farm owned by her Pa. Bertha was born Jan. 15, 1888. She was the oldest of seven children: Luther born in June 1889, William Ralph born October 1890, Robert F. born June 1894, Patsey born August 1895, Eula born May 1897, Mamie born 1902.

Bertha and Harvey married on Nov. 21, 1906, in Johnston County. Harvey was 32 and Bertha was 19. They married at The Bratton Smith Home. Justice of the Peace J. M. Woodard performed the marriage. Witnesses were Thomas Ruffin Stancil, J. A. Peele and Larry B. Boyette. Thomas Ruffin was Harvey's youngest brother.

Harvey set about building his house in 1906, on his farm. Henry, Harvey's oldest brother, built the chimney and made the hole for stove flue. Harvey was glad to have a home for his bride Bertha and son Clyde. This home became known as The Harvey Stancil Homestead.

Harvey was with his brother Tommy, in May of 1907, when Tommy was accidentally killed. This tragedy happened as Harvey and Tommy were crawling out of a crow blind made from grape vines. Crows were devouring the corn crop. John Thomas wanted them killed. The vine fashioned crow blind was small, with a larger opening in the center, so the hunter could stand and fire with the vines hiding most of their body. Harvey and Tommy completed a morning of successful shooting. Tommy crawled out last, apparently pushing his double barrel breechloader shotgun by it's barrel, in front. The live shells had not been removed. A vine may have almost half-cocked the hammer causing it to fire, hitting Tommy in the chest. The exact scenario is unknown.

Two black men working nearby heard the commotion and came running. They were Jim Batey and Cab Atkinson. They ran to Tom's house with the news. Tom and others ran for the crow blind. Delaney wanted to go too, but Tom was against it. Delaney insisted. Jim and Cab hooked up the buggy and drove her to the scene.

Because there were no witnesses, the Sheriff of Johnston County placed Harvey under a bond until the death could be investigated. Tommy had only been married 10 months. Bertha's brother Ralph Smith, 16 years old, was sent to tell George and Eva. They lived on a farm near Micro.

Tommy's young widow, Mamie Pittman, went back to her family. Tommy was buried in the Stancil Cemetery. Harvey bought the gun that killed his brother Tommy, at his father's sale in 1922. Carl and Garland used it for hunting. One of them decided to saw off the barrels. This messed up the gun for hunting.

Over the years, Harvey added on to his house at least once. Bertha and Harvey's first child was Delanie Mavis, born in 1908, followed by Vessie Irene on Aug. 24, 1911, Patsy Jane Stancil in 1913, Eula Grey on Sept. 6, 1916, William Carl on Sept. 9, 1915, and, George Garland on June 6, 1918. Harvey and Bertha lost two babies.

Delanie Mavis was named for Harvey's ma Delaney. Patsy Jane was named of Bertha's mother and her sister Patsy J. Eula Gray was named for Bertha's sister Eula. William Carl was named for Bertha's brother William. George Garland was named for Harvey's brother George.

Harvey joined the Holly Springs Free Will Baptist Church when he was a young man. Bertha joined this church soon after they married. When the congregation decided to build a new wooden Church, Harvey paid for all the nails used.

Harvey supported the Sunday School at Tom and Cynthia Cockrell. It was the beginning of the Center Ridge Presbyterian Church. Brothers Henry and George supported the Sunday School too.

Harvey enjoyed playing the banjo and singing "Little Brown Jug." He also sang: "A gourd vine growed around Jonah's head, a greedy worm cut it down then the sun would shine in Jonah, look down on sorrow, look down on sad, look down on sweet Alice's grave." Harvey often make up new lyrics to fit his mood. He was very creative and fun to be around.

Farming was important to Harvey throughout his life. He and his George bought a disk harrow together. They both used Alvin's mule to pull the stalk cutter. This was used to clear the cotton and cornfields. Alvin's vise was the only one in the area. He made it available for everyone to use. Harvey used hired hands to do most of the farm work in his later years, but did occasionally crop tobacco. He usually helped truck the tobacco to the barn.

Harvey chewed tobacco and dipped snuff, but Bertha never used any form of tobacco. Beulah, his niece, liked snuff and when Uncle Harvey came around she would get Virginia, her younger sister, to ask him for some saying, "Ditta wants her snuff box."

Harvey raised several mules. He purchased a black and white horse from his brother-in-law, Fred Hill. She was the mother of "Zeb," a spotted mule, Harvey sold to his brother George for $100. Harvey had several mules over the years. Among them were "Maude," "Rhodie" and "Mabel."

Once Harvey and Alvin lost a bull they jointly owned. They hitched the mule to the buggy and went to see Tom Wiggs, the local fortuneteller. He had a reputation of assisting farmers in finding lost animals. Tom lived at the Vance Hales Place.

Tom told them, "The bull has lost his bell and he is in a place with many cows. When you find the bull he will have just finished drinking water and you will see the bull leaving the stream. The bull is close to the community of Night Dale."

As Harvey and Alvin drove along toward Night Dale, Harvey saw the bell hanging on a branch. They found the bull just as Tom had said. They led him home behind the buggy.

Harvey lost his prized Waltham pocket watch. He was helping Alvin separate cows when he lost it. Harvey dreamed of finding the watch and told Bertha of his dream. It had been lost a week. Harvey went back up to the pasture and found the watch, where they had been putting the cows through the gate.

He said, "'Bright', if you take a mule and look for a watch you can see it!" (He called nephew, George Ralph Stancil, "Bright.")

Harvey was on hand for some of the syrup making days at George's. Harvey was paid 75 cents per day for his help.

Harvey enjoyed hunting. He often took both his sons and nephews, when coon and possum hunting. Ralph recalled that Harvey used this opportunity to teach them how to tell directions using the seven stars in the Big Dipper.

"'Bright,' do you see the seven stars? Where does the tail point?" "The tail points east," Harvey told Ralph and the other youngsters.

When they went possum hunting, an ax and a sack was carried. Often Alvin, George, Harvey, Emmette, Ralph, Clyde went. Sometimes Gertrude and Mavis accompanied them, wearing some of their brother's overalls. A lantern was carried or torchlight made from four splinters was used. Harvey's possum dogs were Mike, Jeff, Vasco, Heck and Bounce. When a possum was found, one of the small boys, usually Ralph, was given the job of climbing the tree and shaking out the possum. The dogs killed the possum. The possum was tied to a four foot stick and carried home.

Harvey and Vessie dressed the possum. They skinned it first. There was a market for the hides. Bertha and Eva cooked possum, but only Bertha cooked coon. Bertha either fried or stew them. Eva barbecued possums.

Harvey kept hunting dogs, and had a black and tan hound bitch named 'SING.' Once she ran off with some other dogs chasing a rabbit. Harvey called her back, but she would not return. Harvey then yelled, "Go! Go on and catch him! you, you have got to mind me!"

Harvey raised foxhounds. Hunters liked his hounds. They had a reputation as excellent fox, rabbit and possum dogs. Harvey advertised his hounds puppies usually by word of mouth. This was good enough to sell out a litter. The usual price for a Harvey's dogs was $25.

Once Harvey took Garland fox hunting at Raines Cross Roads, to the Little Mountain area. They travel by mule and buggy. Harvey took his favorite fox hounds along. They were: Jeff, Bounce, Loud, Major and Spot who was excellent on a scent and Vasco, a good tree dog. Clyde had planned to go too but decided at the last minute he's rather sleep!

Harvey was a self-taught veterinarian. His Uncle Alvin Raines had gone to school to become a veterinarian. Alvin retired about 1916, he gave his books to Harvey. Alvin was his Ma's half brother.

Harvey read the books and learned how to treat sick animals. He was credited with saving many mules, horses and cattle. When a farmer needed his services, they would pick him up and take him to the ill animal. Frequently on the return trip home, they would stop by to visit with folks in the neighborhood and sample their homemade brew. Harvey enjoyed the taste of whiskey, but it never interfered with his family responsibilities.

Once, one of George's mule caught distemper. Harvey told Eva to heat up a concoction of stuff on the stove and have the mule breathe it. George did and lots of mucus came out of the mule's nose. Treatments continued and the mule was saved.

A new college-trained vet moved into Smithfield and heard about Harvey. He was losing business to Harvey. He reported Harvey for practicing veterinary medicine without a license. An investigator was sent out to Harvey's. Harvey told him, "I just help people who need me to help deliver a calf." Harvey talked ignorant. "I don't know what a license is." The man told Harvey he'd have to quit doctoring animal. Harvey asked him about people splitting cows tails and the man said that there was nothing to it. Harvey quit doctoring animals for anyone, except family and close friends.

Harvey was a practical man. His hound dogs began walking along the edge of the front porch, scratching themselves on the edge of the boards. Harvey didn't like this. His solution was to drive nails along the edge of the porch. This stopped the scratching.

Harvey accompanied his brothers Alvin and George to pick up their Pa. He became ill at his farm in Micro. Tom spent the winter of 1920-21 with Harvey and Bertha. Tom died in 1922.

Harvey joined the Junior Order United American Mechanics. His brothers, George, Alvin, John Archer and son Clyde were also members. This secret society met at Bethany Church. Members paid dues.

A conversation overheard between two men in Smithfield. One was thought to have been Harvey.

"That's an ugly woman."
"Well that's my sister."
"She's not half as ugly as that one."
"Well she's my sister too."

Harvey had a very engaging personality. He often gave nicknames to those he was fond of. Among the names documented are:
Name Relationship Nickname
Bessie Lee Stancil niece GOAT
Walter Stancil nephew KEERZIF
Essie Stancil Walter's daughter SHIFTY
Tommy Stancil Walter's son CASS
Sadie Stancil Walter's daughter SOD
George Ira Stancil Sr. brother GUS
Eva Ann Stancil George's wife ANN
Effie Stancil niece LOVE
Emmette Stancil nephew STAUSS
Delanie Stancil niece DELINE
Ralph Stancil nephew BRIGHT
Rachel Stancil niece BIG 'H'
Mamie Stancil niece PUSS
Vazelle Stancil niece REZELL
Hilda Stancil niece HILDRED MAID
Myrtle Stancil niece TURK DOVE
G. I. Stancil, Jr. nephew COLONEL
Harold Stancil nephew HARRY
Dorothy Stancil niece PIEDY JANE
Gilda Renfrow great niece GILLIE
Donald Eugene Renfrow great nephew GEORGE THOMAS
James Graydon Renfrow Jr. great nephew JIM GRAYDON
Alvin Stancil brother MUSE
Vernard Stancil nephew VELL
Beulah Stancil niece BUTTE
Pluma Stancil niece PLUMB
Virginia Stancil niece PENNY
Glenn Stancil nephew SANNIE
Donell Stancil nephew PHARO
from Mustard & Gravy Hillbilly Radio Prog.
Patsy Stancil daughter BLUE
Clyde Stancil son CAN'T
Eula Stancil daughter IT
Gertrude Stancil daughter SISSY
Garland Stancil son GEORGE
Vessie Irene Stancil daughter BET
Samuel Stancil brother BLUE HEAD
Bobby Renfrow grandson of George Ira SPARKLER

Source: Recited by son Garland at 1998 Stancil Reunion< >

Jim Cockrell (Harvey's Aunt Net)
1. Izz'ibell Bertha
2. nellie Ann Saman'thie
3. Andrew Jarvis Jackson
4. Jem'es Ratler
5. William Tap'pers
6. Cindy Es'tell
7. Gladys Magno'lia
8. Louis'er Evelyn
9. Mary Magalene
10. Ber'tha had a Bennett

Charlie Godwin Family
1. Col'vin Trig'ider
2. Ready Eu dell'
3. Barry Ker'mit
4. Charlie Ther'man
5. Thanie Ma'zelle
6. Spet A'gie Thursty
7. Henry Cle o'thur
8. Jessie Au'bry
9. Ray Wa'ddle
10. Betty Marthie yes she did

Harvey, Millard (Tempy Ann's son), Willard (Ronia's son) and Emmette (George Ira's son) were talking and the subject turned to Harvey. Harvey they said, could imitated a man so well that the man's wife would open the door for him.

When asked about this by the man's son, Harvey said, "Willard, I didn't know anything about it. Millard Hill told me, so it must have been him."

Millard defended himself, "It wasn't me."

Harvey then said, "See how Millard is laughing, it must be true!"

Then Harvey said that Emmette knew the woman and he's been drinking with her when the husband came home.

Emmette piped up, "I never heard that."

Harvey quipped, "When folks find out, he just wants to deny it."

In the mid 1950s, Harvey gave Hale, his nephew Ralph's son, some ears of corn.

Harvey told Hale, "This is special corn. You must be careful or it will explode. This corn produces electricity when you shell it."

Hale told his father, "You better be careful when you shell this corn, it will explode."

Ralph laughed, knowing Uncle Harvey had just played another joke.

Harvey and niece Effie (George Ira's daughter) shared the gift of "TALKING THE FIRE OUT." This could only be passed down to a non relative. It seemed to be primarily used for very minor burns. There were many believers. The talker said that they became extremely hot physically, while talking the fire out. The talker also felt exhausted once the burn had been treated.

Someone once asked Bertha, "How can you live with all of Harvey's fun?" Bertha remarked, "I just don't pay a nar bit of attention to him."

Once nephew J.G. Renfrow said, "Harvey didn't used to be so heavily insulated."

Harvey was one of the most colorful family members. He out lived his brothers and sisters by 17 years. Harvey left behind a legacy of love and fun for family and friends.

Harvey had a history of heart problems. He died at home of a heart attack on Feb. 28, 1956. He was 76 years old. Harvey's body was prepared for burial in Kenly. Harvey's casket was brought back to his house for the overnight Wake. Family and friends gathered, remembering this man with a twinkle in his blue eyes, which brought fun and laughter to so many.

His funeral was a Holly Springs Freewill Baptist Church. His Pall Bearers were his nephews:

Name Relationship
Donell Stancil (son of Alvin)
Elbert Stancil (son of Sam)
Emmette Stancil (son of George)
Glenn Stancil (son of Alvin)
Millard Stancil (son of John)
Ralph Stancil (son of George)

Harvey was buried at Holly Springs Cemetery. He did not want to be buried in the Stancil Cemetery, because he did not believe it would be maintained. Harvey observed other family cemeteries, in an almost abandoned state. He was also aware that his grandfather, Samuel Stancil's grave, was in a family cemetery and that it had been lost. The land had been sold and the new owners did not have any family ties to those buried there. The cemetery markers disappeared with weeds and saplings obscuring and finally hiding the graveyard.

In his Will, Harvey left the farm to his grandson, Ollie Hill. Bertha did not even have a lifetime right to stay there. Ollie wanted to sell the farm, but he also needed operating capital. Garland loaned Ollie money and told Ollie that if he couldn't pay the note when due, then Garland would buy the farm. Ollie paid the interest on the note one year, but no principal. Garland got the farm of his childhood.

Based on public information, oral history, memories of Ralph Stancil (George Ira's son), Virginia Stancil Fulghum (Alvin's daughter) and Garland Stancil, Harvey's son. Renn Stancil Hinton 

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| Modified Feb. 17, 2014