Rare Cabarrus Newspaper Advertises Real Estate in 1879

26 Sep 2014

Historic marker which stands on Mooresville Road in Cabarrus County. Photo courtesy of www.waymarking.com.

Although Editor Edwin H. McLaughlin published The People’s Paper in Concord for at least seven years (ca. 1872-1879), only one issue, September 27, 1879, survives. The newspaper masthead notes that the 1879 paper was volume VII (indicating at least seven years of publication), that the paper was published every Saturday morning, and that an annual subscription cost $1.50.

Newspapers of the day were extremely political, usually the voice of a particular political party or viewpoint. An editor depended on state, national and international news to fill his pages; generally, local news comprised one or two pages devoted exclusively to personal and church items, social events, and legal and commercial advertisements. The progressive The People’s Paper followed the same formula.

Among the advertisements in the September 2, 1879 issue are these two real estate notices. Note in both advertisements that a good well and good water supply are key selling points, as are the existence of barns and other out buildings. Without city or county water systems, a well was a necessity, even in town. Any house that did not include a good barn for the family horse and wagon was not a very good buy.

“House and Lot For Sale! I offer for sale my house and lot in Concord. It is a large two-story house, with basement. There is a splendid well of water in the yard, a barn and other conveniences. Price, $1,600. I will also sell the vacant lot, adjoining the above, for $100. Apply to T. C. Stricker, Concord, N. C.  – Sept. 13”

“For Sale. VALUABLE PLANTATION FOR SALE — Containing three hundred and fifty acres, with good Dwelling and all necessary outhouses, good water, and in a good neighborhood. It is one of the most valuable plantations [in] the county of Cabarrus. Terms to suit the purchaser. For particulars apply to:
J. A. Rankin
Mill Hill, N. C.
Sept. 8th, 1879″

Mill Hill plantation home c. 1935. Photo courtesy of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Photograhic Archives.

Mill Hill Plantation, located in what is now Kannapolis off of Mooresville Road, is a historic house built by master craftsman Jacob Stirewalt in 1821. It was placed on a high spot overlooking a stream where Stirewalt eventually built a series of mills. One of the earliest and most architecturally important Greek Revival homes of the South, Mill Hill features both Federal and Greek Revival styles. The home’s most impressive feature is a full porch with fluted Doric columns and stylized entablature. An interesting original furnishing of the home was a pipe organ featuring ninety-three hand made pipes painted in bright colors. It was one of the first to be installed in a private home.

After leaving the newspaper, The People’s Paper editor, Edwin H. McLaughlin, moved with his family near Knoxville, Tennessee, where he was a minister. Sadly, he died in 1905 at the age of 49 from pneumonia. He left behind his wife, Ida, and eight children.

The September 27, 1879 issue of The People’s Paper is available at the North Carolina Archives.

Courtesy of the Cabarrus County Public Library, Lore Local History Room