Remembering Cabarrus Pioneer Sophia House Ludwig

2 Mar 2015

March is Women’s History Month. Here we remember Sophia House Ludwig, a woman who was a Cabarrus County pioneer and the daughter of a Revolutionary War soldier. The following text is taken from a memorial script by R. A. Goodman written in 1921, courtesy of the Eastern Cabarrus Historical Society and Museum.

In Memoriam
Mrs. Sophia Ludwig

Mrs. Sophia House Ludwig with daughters Augusta “Gus” and Lilly, date unknown.

When Mrs. Sophia Ludwig, of Mount Pleasant, passed to rest on the 29th of January [1921], at the advanced age of 97 years, 4 months, and 14 days, Mount Pleasant, and perhaps Cabarrus, lost a woman greatly beloved and respected by the community and in many ways, besides her great age, remarkable and interesting. She was born on the 15th of September, 1823, the third daughter of Jacob House, a veteran of the Revolutionary War, and his wife, Sarah Barringer House. All of her several brothers and sisters have passed away with the exception of the youngest of them all, Mrs. Kate Litaker of No. 11 township of this county. Mrs. Litaker recently celebrated her 85th birthday.

Her children are well known in this county. She was the mother of five sons: Prof. H. T. Ludwig, Ph. D., for many years professor of mathematics in North Carolina College and ranked high in the state and nation as a mathematician, scientist, and historian; J. H. Ludwig, deceased; Press. A. Ludwig, of Marietta, Ga., for thirty years a teacher in the public schools of North Carolina, Texas and Georgia; and Prof. S. J. Ludwig, of the Efird Public School, Albemarle; and three daughters: Mrs. Louise Ramsey, and Misses Augusta and Lillie Ludwig, all of Mount Pleasant. Her daughters have been her constant attendants and gave the best of their lives to their mother in tender care and love.

Mother Ludwig, as she was lovingly known far and near, was a woman possessed of a beautifully simple and sublime Christian faith. She knew in whom she trusted and could give a satisfactory answer to any who might ask. Since before 1870 she has been a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Mount Pleasant, and discharged her vows faithfully until the end, when she fell peacefully asleep comforting herself with the famous Gospel passages of Holy Scripture and singing the glad song of redemption. At the age of 15 years, under the blessed ministry of the Rev. Henry Graeber, a pioneer Lutheran minister, she was confirmed in St. John’s Lutheran Church, in the building that was known as the Red Church. There were 40 in her class, and a few days before her death she recalled with keen interest the events of the day. She remembered that all the girls wore white dresses and lace caps and that when a procession had been formed in the school house near the church, with the pastor and officers of the church in the lead, they advanced to the church for the solemn service of the House of God. For 82 years she remained constant in her faith, a long life dedicated to the glory of God.

Mrs. Ludwig’s life was one of regular habits. She had a time to sleep, a time to wake, a time to eat, and a time to work. She arose early in the morning, and in her last years, while her eyesight was still good, she was accustomed to read a portion from the Bible, a psalm or two, or one of her favorite hymns, and when the morning mail came, read the daily paper. She was a regular reader of the Daily Tribune. Her great age never dimmed her interest in current events, and while her remarkable memory reached back over the best part of a century and covered most of the interesting developments of the United States of America, she was familiar with the events of the Great War [WWI] and the incidents of the present. She went to the polls and voted at the last election, and was very much interest in the franchise [suffrage] that had come to her in her old age, to her who had seen many presidents come and go.

Born in Cabarrus, about on mile above the town of Mount Pleasant, she spent her whole life within the bounds of the county. Seventy-two years ago she came with her husband to live in the village of Mount Pleasant. All that could be called the village consisted of one little white store kept by Dan Walker and two other homes besides her own. One of the homes was built and occupied by Mr. Walker and the other some years later came into the possession of Matthew Cook, now occupied by Mrs. Jesse Shuping. Mrs. Ludwig’s own home was a small log house which stood on the property now owned by the family and just in front of the present residence. Here from this little home she saw much of life and remembered much of the happenings of the years. War reminiscences fell from her lips with great ease and interest. She was in the habit of recalling the year of her birth by associating it with the death of Napoleon, who died two years before she was born. She distinctly remembered several uprisings of the Indians, one of which was that of the Catawbas, who lived across the Catawba River in which is now Catawba County. Her uncle, George Barringer, collected a body of men and went against them. None of the expedition ever returned and it is supposed that they perished in an attack on the Indians or in an ambush by the savages. A relative of her husband, George Ludwig, volunteered and fought in the Black Hawk War. She saw relatives and friends march off to the Mexican War, and when the War between the States came on she gave two of her own sons to the defense of the South. The Spanish American War and the Great War complete the list of wars through which she lived, five wars in all. Persons, events and incidents could be recalled by her with great clearness and interest up till the last days of her life.

She passed away amid the general regrets of the community. Her last hours was solaced by the presence of all her living children. She was laid to rest in the cemetery of St. John’s with her long departed husband lying on her right hand and her learned and honored son, Dr. Ludwig, on her left. The service was conducted by her pastor, Rev. R. A. Goodman, and in spite of the very inclement weather was attended by a goodly number of relatives and friends.