Orange County, North Carolina historic information cache - people - Haywood Beverly
Haywood Beverly
Haywood Beverly, circa 1870
(Likely) Haywood Beverly, circa 1870
It is unknown exactly where Haywood Beverly (also spelled Heywood Beverley) was born, but the 1880 United States Federal Census lists his birthplace as Alabama. His parents were likely born in North Carolina, in or near Halifax County, and one or both may have been sold or transferred to someone in Alabama, where Beverly was apparently born circa 1840. Beverly lived in or near Hillsborough since circa 1855.

Beverly married Amanda (maiden name unknown; born circa 1840) April 21, 1861, in Orange County, North Carolina; but as free blacks (and likely manumitted slaves), they apparently weren’t able to register their marriage until 1866, when they were listed as “freedmen” by the county. However, according to Beverly's friend, Robert Fitzgerald, Beverly was a "free-born mulatto."

In January 1869, Robert G. Fitzgerald, a free black/Army and Navy Civil War veteran/teacher, moved from Pennsylvania to Hillsborough (via Virginia) and became good friends with Beverly. In his diary, Fitzgerald described Beverly as an “enterprising man, a tanner and to his charge I have been consigned.” Fitzgerald stayed with Beverly and Beverly's family at their home in Hillsborough (except for a brief period when he taught in Goldsboro), until his family moved from Pennsylvania to North Carolina in April 1869 and purchased Woodside Farm east of Hillsborough, near University Station. Fitzgerald noted in his diary that Beverly "has been building a house that cost $1600. A fine building." Fitzgerald's grandniece Pauli Murray, in her 1956 book Proud Shoes, stated that Beverly was "worth $1,700, which made him wealthier than Washington Duke, a poor tobacco farmer of Orange County... [who] was worth only $1,400."

The house that Beverly was constructing was on lots 117 and 118, on the northeast corner of King and Hassell (Hazel) streets in Hillsborough. He had purchased the lots December 13, 1866, from John Turrentine. In May 1873, Beverly also purchased half of lot 119 from Ann Donelson, the section west of the creek located in the center of the lot.

Since Beverly knew the tanner’s trade, and Fitzgerald was good with business, they decided to enter into a partnership and start a tannery. They soon purchased four acres “on the edge of town” for their own tannery. This “edge of town” was west of Hillsborough, in a town (of sorts) named Chaseville (also spelled Chaisville); the tannery lot is described as lot number one in the town. Chaseville was in present-day west Hillsborough, on the Road to Greensboro (present-day West King Street), and around Latimer Street and the nearby creek.

Fitzgerald was briefly called away to Goldsboro to fill a vacant principal position at a school, but returned to Hillsborough July 1. Upon his return, he helped more with the tannery and "began helping [Beverly] with the carpentry on his house after school hours."

In late March 1869, the firm of Beverly and Fitzgerald, tanners, launched its business: “Finished Mr. Moore’s 3 hides and delivered them to him. …place 1 kid and 1 sheep skin at H. N. Brown’s Store for sale. Our hides are all stamped with the name of our firm and they look hot.” However, by January 1870, they dissolved their partnership, and in early May, 1871, Fitzgerald sold his interest in the tannery property to Beverly for $400. Beverly, however, continued the tannery business on the property. The 1880 Federal Census lists his occupation as a tanner, and his residence as Hillsboro; in an 1886 business directory, Haywood Beverly was listed as a tanner, and as having an office on King Street and as living in Hillsboro.

In 1870, after the Hillsboro jail was broken into by members of the Ku Klux Klan so as to kidnap two black prisoners being held there, Beverly traveled with Orange County Sheriff John Turner and several others after the sheriff stopped by his house to borrow his horse and wagon. During Beverly's testimony in court as to the event, where he was called as a witness as to the Klan's activities in the Orange County area, he stated that he and the sheriff followed tracks to "the bridge where the boys were shot," and then he followed the sheriff again, where they "tracked the [KKK's] horses out from Widow Hobbs' three miles to where the road forks, and there one appeared to go to Chatham and the other to Oaks." At that point, across the border in Alamance County, the sheriff divided the group into two groups and Beverly went towards Webb's store in Alamance County on "Woodey's ferry road." They followed the Klansmen's horses' tracks about ten miles from Hillsboro, and about two miles from Webb's store; Beverly stated he had never been in that area before. At that point, he returned home. During his cross-examination, he was interrupted and told to "stand aside" by the chief justice/judge.

In January 1874, Beverly transferred the house lots to his wife, Amanda. The Beverlys had five children; the 1880 census lists them as: Mary, age 18; Julia, age 13; Walker, age 10; William, age 7; and Augustus, age 1. Additionally, in 1870 (according to the census), they had a female, 15-year old "domestic" living in their household.

In August 1887, the tannery property was rented to James A. Cheek, and in April 1888 it was sold to him. Cheek utilized the property for a distillery. Beverly may have passed away soon afterwards, or more likely, in the mid 1890s. No record of his death and/or burial have yet been found.

By 1900, son Walker was living and working in Albany, New York; son William may have been living in Washington, D.C., with the Payne family. And, perhaps oddly, both Walker and William listed their birth states as Virginia in the census. An Amanda Beverly, born circa 1840, is listed as being buried in the Geer Cemetery in Durham, and as having died October 19, 1928; it is unclear if she is Haywood’s widow, but she likely may be. It is currently unknown where Haywood is buried.

Judging by the 1967 fire photos of the house, it appears as if the Beverly house had been remodeled sometime in the early twentieth century in the Neoclassical Revival style (the Neoclassical Revival architectural period was circa 1890-1920). The house was demolished sometime after the fire, and the lot(s) were re-subdivided sometime between 1995 and 2004.
The front of the Beverly House, on fire, 1967
The front of the Beverly House, on fire, 1967 (view north)
(thanks to the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough for this photograph)
The rear of the Beverly House, post-fire, 1967
The rear of the Beverly House, post-fire, 1967
(thanks to the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough for this photograph)
The future Beverly lots, from the 1863 alderman map of Hillsboro
The future Beverly lots (117, 118, and 119), from the 1863 Alderman map of Hillsboro
The Beverly House, as it appears on the 1924 and 1943 Sanborn maps
The Beverly House (circled in red), as it appears on the 1924 and 1943 Sanborn maps (post-remodel)
The former Beverly property, pre-subdivision, from a 1995 plat map
The former Beverly property, pre-subdivision, from a 1995 plat map, showing the foundation ("conc. porch for destroyed house") from the Beverly house
The former Beverly property, as subdivided, from a 2008 plat map
The former Beverly property, as subdivided, from a 2008 plat map, showing the "old foundation"
The former Beverly house front stairway, 2008
The former Beverly house front stairway, 2008

Cathleen Turner, personal communication

Elizabeth Read, personal communication

Murray, Pauli Proud Shoes. Harper & Brothers, New York, 1956.

Orange County Register of Deeds Office
Deed book/page: 42/126, 40/389, 42/126, 50/254
Plat book/page: 74/200, 93/193, 103/179

Robert G. Fitzgerald Diary. Part 2, Volume 4. June 28, 1867-August 8, 1871.

Aldermen, S.T. Plan of the Town of Hillsboro, N.C. 1863.

United States Federal Census. 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910.

State of North Carolina. Trial of William W. Holden, Governor of North Carolina, Before the Senate of North Carolina, on Impeachment by the House of Representatives for High Crimes and Misdemeanors. Published by order of the Senate. Vol. II. Raleigh: Sentinel Printing Office. 1871. 1853-1855.
[Created: 09 September 2008; Last updated: 18 January 2010]