Walter Greene Stancil
Walter Stancil 1902
Walter Stancil 1902
Walter Stancil was born March 28, 1888 and died April 14, 1975
Walter's children

With Dillie Ann Renfrow

Louis Stancil

July 1909-

Essie Stancil Williams
Aug. 6, 1911-Oct. 19, 1936
Sadie Stancil
July 12, 1913-April 17, 1954
Thomas Ruffin Stancil
Nov. 3, 1915 NC-Dec. 3, 2007
With Louise Wallace

Walter Leo Stancil

March 12, 1931-Nov. 16, 2002 NC
Frances Jean Stancil
Feb. 1934-July 9, 1935
Jewel Stancil
May 5, 1936-Aug. 5, 1936

Walter Greene Stancil was born March 28, 1888, to Henry and Frances Stancil. He was their oldest son.

Walter and his Pa's youngest brother, Tommy, were great playmates. They loved putting dried peas in the Civil War issued muzzleloader and shooting birds. Walter went to the Woodard School. Like many boys he took up smoking. He did not like school and dropped out. Walter helped his Pa farm.

Walter was full of mischief. Once he put his finger in the syrup mill, where the sugar cane stalks were fed, and cane juice collected. The grinding operation had to cease, while his finger was freed. Walter met Dillie at school. She was a very pretty lady and some said, "She's too pretty for Walter." Dillie was from the nearby Shoeheel Community.

Walter was just 20 years old when he married 17-year-old Dillie Renfrow on Feb. 9, 1907. W. Gray Pittman, Justice of the Peace married them. Witnesses were R. D. Woodard, R.L. Pittman and W.E. Jaures.

They lived at the Jim Place right after they married.


About Dillie's family

Dillie Ann, also called Dilla, was born August 1891. She was the daughter of Haywood Renfrow. Her mother died before the 1900 Census. Dillie grew up in the Lower O'Neal Township, of Johnston County. She had an older brother Leander, born in May 1882, two sisters: Elifare born in August 1885 and Lontora born in July 1889.

Haywood owned his own farm and Leander worked on the family farm. His three daughters attended school four months during 1900. In the 1880 Census Calvin Haywood lived on a farm next door to his Pa's farm. He was single. Haywood was the son of Brassell Rentfroe and Polly Williamson.

The date of their marriage bond was June 3, 1836, in Johnston County. The bondsman was Nelson Kent and the witness, Thomas Rice. Brassell was born in 1815 and Polly was born somewhere between 1820 and 1824. Brassell's name underwent changes.

Listed as Brazwell in the 1850 Census, Brass in the 1860 Census, Braswell in the 1870 Census, Brasel in the 1880 Census. Renfrow was spelled as Renfroe and Rentfrow over the years.

Braswell and Polly Renfroe had at least eight known children: Harriet born in 1839 married James R. Spencer on Jan. 8, 1861 in Johnston County. Ray Phillips was the Justice of the Peace, Thos D. Snead was the witness. Other children were: James Iredell born in 1843, Williamson born in 1846, Calvin Haywood born in 1848, Cassanda born in 1849, Louisa born in 1858, Piety born in 1853. Braswell was a wealthy farmer in 1860, with an estate worth over $2780.

Neither Braswell nor Polly could read and write. None of their children could read and write in the 1870 Census. The only child to attend school in 1860, was 11 years old Cassanda.

Walter's daughter Essie with her daughter Bettie Lou Williams
Photo courtesy of Bettie Lou Williams
Walter & Dillie

Walter and Dillie's children were: Louis born July 1909 was living April 21, 1910 but died before the 1920 Census. Essie was born in August 6, 1911, Sadie on July 12, 1913, Thomas Ruffin on Nov. 3, 1915. Thomas was named for Henry's brother, Thomas Ruffin, who died in a 1907 hunting accident.

All the children were born at home.

The children grew up in a musical home. Walter played the guitar and auto harp. Dillie played the guitar. Walter's Uncle Lafayette Barnes played the banjo. Walter rented a house in the Lower O'Neals in 1910 and working as a laborer in a sawmill.

In 1920, Walter farmed and ran a store Henry built for him. Walter sold the usual items for a country store. Cousin Ralph recalled buying pencils and tablets from Walter. In the 1920s, Walter and Henry farmed and made and sold whiskey. A neighbor Richard Hodge helped them.

Walter also grew a large garden to provide food for his family. Walter was an excellent painter. He painted for folks in the community. He painted the new two-story house, his Uncle George Ira had built in 1923. Walter once painted a barn for Agnes' son-in-law, Robert Johnson. Walter and Dillie moved about some.

Once they moved the family to Florida. They also moved to Alabama. They stayed a month with Minnie Sasser Stancil's brother Clifton Sasser, before returning to North Carolina. Minnie was Henry's brother Josiah's wife. Later Walter and Dillie moved their family to Durham. There was more job opportunities there.
Thomas Ruffin Stancil died in December 2007.
Photo courtesy Stephen Graham

This was particularly good for Tommy. He was able to sing live on the radio. This was a boost to his singing career.

Dillie had a history of high blood pressure. Her condition worsened and she died on Nov. 29, 1927.

Walter and the kids moved to Selma and in with Lillian and Manley Creech and their children: Leslie, Creola, Worth, Manley and Paul Douglas. Walter drove a bus for a short time. Walter decided to return to farming and took a position in Georgia. Tobacco farming was in its infancy. Walter needed some tobacco seeds and asked his Uncle George to send some.

There were some serious problems for Walter in Georgia and he returned home. Apparently a forged check charge was levied and a warrant was issued against Walter. Henry paid off these charges.

Walter missed Dillie and was very lonely. He needed a companion.

Another Marriage for Walter

Louise had jet black hair and hazel eyes. Walter may have met Louise, who attended Selma High School, when he was painting houses in the area. Walter was taken with her beauty. Walter was 26 years older than Louise, old enough to be her father. Louise, the daughter of William Alfred and Mary Frances Wallace, grew up on a farm and worked in the fields. Louise knew how to milk a cow and grow plants.

Walter and Louise slipped away to get married. Louise Wallace, 16 years old, married Walter on Feb. 19, 1929. Her parents and sister, Lucille, were very upset and heart-broken. Lucille cried when hearing the news. They did not know Walter at all. Walter has his son Tommy with him. Louise became a step-mother to Tommy, who was only 14 months younger than she was.

Walter painted to earn a living and when he had no business he and Louise moved back in with her folks. This was done with regularity.

Walter always had himself an automobile. Sometimes he would pick up Henry and Frances for Sunday Dinner at the Wallaces. In the 1930 Census, Walter, Louise and Tommy were living in the Wilson Mill Community of Johnston County. Walter was farming. A son, Walter Leo, was born March 12, 1931.

A daughter Frances Jean was born February 1934 and died in an auto accident on July 6, 1935. She was only 17 months old. This is what happened. Walter and his family were on their way to Angier driving a 1938 Ford Coach. They were struck head on by a 1930 Chevrolet. The driver was 22 and driving on the wrong side of the road. According to the Smithfield Herald, the driver, S. B. Langdon had not been drinking. Three other young men were in the car with him. None were injured.

The baby hit the dash and died in a few hours. Leo was uninjured. Louise received cuts and bruises. Walter suffered a right broken leg and two broken arms. Another daughter Jewel was born about May 5, 1936, but she died August 5 of that year. She was born with severe problems and some deformities.

Walter and Louise moved to Smithfield.

Walter divided his time between painting houses and fishing. He loved to fish. After Leo and Peggy married on Dec. 5, 1952, they lived with Walter and Louise for a time.

Walter and Louise divorced on Sept. 28, 1959.


Walter Marries Again

Walter's third marriage was to Agnes K. Franks, from Advance, NC, on Nov. 25, 1959. Agnes was born in 1906. Rev. George B Saunders performed the ceremony. Witnesses included son, Walter Leo, brother-in-law, Ralph Creech and E.E. Gordon. Agnes was from New Bern.

She was the daughter of Raymond and Agnes F. Pollock. Her father was a medical doctor. Her grandparents were Dr. John A. and Agnes Pollock from Kinston. Dr. John was a druggist in the 1870 Census. Agnes great grandparents were Andrew J. and Ann Pollock. Andrew was a Botanic Physician in 1850 and a druggist in 1860.

Walter was a colorful family member. He smoked two or three packs of cigarettes every day. He loved making moonshine, the taste of whiskey, and beautiful women. Walter lived a full and happy life. He died of cancer at 86 years old.

Renn Stancil Hinton 2010
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| Modified Oct. 25, 2010