Samuel Stancil
Samuel Stancil 1902
Samuel was born Sept. 5, 1863, and died May 30, 1930.

Samuel's children

Freeman Elbert Stancil
July 10, 1892-July 22, 1972
Bertie Stancil
Sept. 28, 1894-Feb. 16, 1897
Charlie Stancil
1893-Nov. 8, 1894
Lonnie Alfred Stancil
July 1, 1897-July 16, 1950
Davie Stancil
Nov. 15, 1900-Dec. 10, 1900
Rose Annie Stancil
Aug. 4, 1902-Aug. 13, 1962
Jessie Stancil
June 23, 1906-June 23, 1906
Erma Candis Stancil
Nov. 8, 1908-Nov. 1, 1933

Samuel Stancil was born Sept. 5, 1863.

Samuel was the second child and second son of John Thomas and Delaney Sasser Stancil. Samuel was born during the midst of the Civil War. Midwife, Cynthia Barnes, delivered him. When he was a toddler he rode in a wooden cart with his mother and older brother Henry to the Pee Dee River in South Carolina. His Pa walked beside the cart and their hound dog 'Heck' followed. Older brother Henry remembers his mother blocking the sun from Sam's face with clothes hung over his cradle.

Tom farmed there for one season.

Samuel attended school near his home with other children in the neighborhood. School was in session during the winter months: November, December, January and February. This enabled farmers to have their children home to help during the growing and harvesting season. Sam learned to read and write.

Sam learned how to swim with his brothers. There was a swimming hole in the woods. His sisters were not allowed to swim. Modesty was important.

Sam was known as the strongest of Tom's sons. He was also the shortest. Sam could carry two 200-pound sacks of fertilizer at one time. There was a laborer, Barry Rose who boarded with Tom Stancil. He was called "Lu Head" and weighed more than Sam, but Sam could easily lift him over his head.

Barry worked at a nearby sawmill owned by William and Ransom Hales. William and Ransom were the sons of Tom's half brother, Elias Hales.

(Note: Elias had a son William Madison Hales. He had a daughter Ethel Octavia Hales. Ralph Stancil, nephew of Sam and son of George Ira, married Ethel in 1935.)

Sam joined the Holly Springs Free Will Baptist Church as a young man. He later joined a church in Wilson County. He was a Republican like all of Tom's sons.

Sam would often go to sleep when riding a horse. The methodical rhythm lulled him to sleep. One day his mother sent him to invite ladies in the neighborhood to her quilting party and cautioned him against falling asleep.

Harvey overheard the conversation and said to Sam, "Watch out now 'Blue Head' that you donít fall off the horse!"

Sam replied, "Never you mind you ole 'Swell Hog,'" and walked away laughing.

Samuel went to work as a farm laborer for Freeman Howell, son of John and Polly Howell. Freeman and his wife Candice Sullivant had a large farm in Wilson County. His cash crops were cotton and tobacco. Hay and corn were used for his own livestock. Candice was the daughter of Patience Odom and Gary Sullivant.

Sam started courting his future wife while working as a hired hand. He fell in love with Freeman's daughter, Miss Mary Missouri. Missouri was well educated for the time and could read and write.

Sam and Missouri were issued a Marriage License on Nov. 17, 1890. They were married on Nov. 23, 1890. Sam was 27 and Missouri was just 19. They were both Cross Road Township residents in Wilson County, NC. John T. Revell was the Justice of the Peace, who married them at the Freeman Howell residence. The witnesses were Josiah Stancil (Samuel's younger brother), L. L. Starrott and J. G. Council.

After the marriage, Sam took his bride to meet his family. Missouri's brother and his new wife also accompanied them. They all spent the night. One of Sam's younger brothers George saw both brides and recalled hoping that his brother Sam had married the prettiest one!

After their marriage Sam and Missouri lived with her parents and Sam farmed with his father-in-law Freeman Howell. They joined a nearby Free Will Baptist Church. When the church needed money for a new building, Sam was the first to step forward and give.

Sam purchased a farm and moved to Johnston County close to what is referred to as Uncle Sam's old place. There was already a house on this farm. Missouri made a good home for Sam.

Sam and Missouri had nine children: Freeman Elbert Stancil born on July 10, 1892, Charlie Stancil was born about 1893 and died Nov. 8, 1894, Bertie was born on Sept. 28, 1894, Lonnie Alfred Stancil was born July 1, 1897, Davie Stancil was born Nov. 15, 1900, and died on Dec. 10, 1900, Rose Annie Stancil born on Aug. 4, 1902, Jessie Stancil was born June 23, 1906, an unnamed infant was born on June 23, 1906 and died the same day, Erma Candis Stancil was born on Nov. 8, 1908.

Sam never acquired a tobacco habit although he was a successful tobacco farmer.

Elbert's wife Flora, Fernie, Elbert and Durward Stancil
Photo courtesy Jerry Stancil

Later Sam built a new house on this farm for his son Elbert when he married Flora Hinnant. The old house was moved and used as a barn. This house built for Elbert became Sam's tenant house for his Johnston County farm.

While Sam and Missouri were living in Johnston County, Missouri inherited a farm from her father Freeman Howell. Sam and Missouri moved back to the farm in Wilson County. This farm was located near Joe Moore's Store. It had an old house on it beyond the graveyard.

Sam's outhouse had two holes. A pit was not dug for the outhouse. When the hole was full the outhouse was moved to a new location. Sam had an open well and later added a pump. Sam and Missouri lived out their lives in this house.

Sam used a mule and wagon for transportation. Neither he nor Missouri ever drove a car. Sam always had at least one watch dog. Sam never did enjoy hunting.

Daughter Bertie died when she was 3. Ralph Stancil's mother, Eva Ann related to him what she was told about Bertie's death. According to the family, Bertie liked to chew on sticks as many children do. There was a stray mad dog at Uncle Sam's that was killed. It was thought that some of the dog's contaminated saliva had dripped on a stick Bertie picked up in the yard. Many thought she died of rabies as a result of chewing on this stick. Bertie died Feb. 16, 1897.

Over the years, Sam had several tenant farmers on his Johnston County farm. Among them were his son Elbert, Grandberry Hales (son of Condary Hales, who was half brother of Tom and half first cousin to Sam) and Walter Stancil (his nephew, Henry's son).

Sam had a very large apple orchard on his Wilson County farm. Friends and family gathered each fall to make apple cider. Hard Cider was kept for special occasions.

Tom gave his son Sam a farm near the John Thomas Stancil Home Place. Sam had already established his farm in Wilson County and decided to sell this farm. It adjoined his brother, George's farm and George bought the farm from Sam before 1908.

Missouri and Sam were at the first Reunion. Missouri was unhappy, that in the large group photo, Sam stood next to the Negro boy, Jim Batey.

In 1912, George, Eva and family drove their surrey, pulled by a mule to visit Sam and Missouri. Effie, Emmette, Delanie, Ralph and Rachel enjoyed visiting their cousins; Elbert, Lonnie, Annie and Erma. Ralph fell off the log cart while playing at Uncle Sam's and broke his right arm, just below the elbow. His father George, pulled it back into place. Sam made wooden splints that were put around the arm until it healed.

Annie and Erma both went to Grammar School in Wilson County. Erma learned to drive, Annie never did.

Although Sam did not drive, he did buy one of the first cars in the family. It was a black Chevrolet. Elbert drove the car down to see his uncles about 1922. The highlight of the trip was Elbert driving Uncle Harvey, Uncle George, his brother Lonnie and cousin Emmette to church at Holly Springs Free Will Baptist Church. This was the church that Elbert's Pa had joined as a young man.

Sam visited his very sick Pa frequently in the winter of 1921. One of his sons usually drove him to George's home, where Tom was staying. He often stayed overnight and sometimes for several days. Emmette, his nephew would drive him back home to Wilson County.

When Sam got older he stopped writing his name, some one else wrote his name and he just made his mark. An "X" between SAM and STANCIL, because his hand was too unsteady.

Missouri died of a stroke at home on Aug. 23, 1928. Sam went to Missouri's coffin and kissed her goodbye. The scene was very moving and the pallbearers were overcome with sadness.

Sam's health declined steadily after Missouri's death and he went to live with his daughter Annie until his death on Nov. 30, 1930. He was buried in the Howell Cemetery beside his beloved wife Missouri.

Renn Stancil Hinton © 2015
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| Modified April 27, 2015