Craven County Digital History Exhibit

Railroad Celebration, 1901

Title: List of Names of Committee on the R.R. Celebration, April 29th, 1858.

Creator: Oliver, William H.

Subject: Railroads--North Carolina--New Bern
              New Bern (N.C.)--History
              Goldsboro (N.C.)--History
              Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad Company

Description: Pamphlet describing the celebration held upon the completion of the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad line between New Bern and Goldsboro.

Publisher: Oliver, William H.

Date: 29 April 1901

Type: Text

Format: 4 pages.

Identifier: Miscellaneous Collection

Source: Donation.

Coverage: New Bern (N.C.), Goldsboro (N.C.)

Rights: Permission to use this item must be obtained from the New Bern-Craven County Public Library, 400 Johnson Street, New Bern, NC 28560.

Click on an image below for more detail.

[page one]



APRIL 29th, 1858,


John D. Whitford.                   David S. Willis.                        James B. Avirett.

Hon. John R. Donnell.              John L. Gardiner.                      B.B. Lane.

Hon. M.E. Manly.                    Fred. Lane.                              J.W. Stevenson.

William H. Oliver.                   John N. Washington                 L. Brown.

John D. Flanner.                       Col. H.J.B. Clark.                    J.P. Dillingham.

Alonzo T. Jerkins.                     E.R. Stanly.                              John D. Horniblow.

George S. Stevenson.               John M. Oliver.                        T.J. Mitchell

George Green.                          I. Disosway.                             G.W.P. Custis.

James W. Carmer.                    R.S. Primrose.                          Williom P. Metts.

John H. Haughton.                    Jos. J. Roberson.                      William Hollister.

William G. Bryan, Sen’r.           S. Attmore.                              Thomas Allen.

Charles C. Clark.                    W.C. Whitford.                        J.M. Harrison.

P.G. Evans.                              John F. Jones.                          W.G. Singleton.

J.N.F. Harrison.                       E.K. Bryan.                             Graham Daves.

Moses W. Jarvis.                      A.G. Hubbard.                         John C. Coart.

F.C. Roberts.                           F.T. Hawks.                             William P. Moore, Jr.

J.V. Jordan.                              James B. Hughes.                     William G. Bryan, Jr.

There were fifty one names.  During the forty four years from April 29, 1858, to April 29, 1902, forty four of the committee have died, leaving only seven living in 1902;  their names are in italics.  A singular coincidence is that the ages of those living in New Bern correspond with their position on the list.

The first accident on the railroad resulted in the death of Miss Eliza Vipen[.]  Miss Vipen was anxious to go up the road; on account of being extremely timid she was afraid to ride on the train, and got on a handcar.  By some means her dress or shawl was caught in a wheel and she was thrown out and killed.  For many years Miss Vipen had taught school in the building at the southeast corner of South Front and Craven streets.  Among her students was the now President of the New Bern Academy.


New Bern, N.C., April 29th, 1901.


[page two]




A meeting of the citizens was held and a committee appointed to make arrangements for a celebration.  This committee was divided into several committees;  Col. John D. Whitford was made chairman to arrange for a ball, Mr. Charles C. Clark was on the committee to invite a speaker, William H. Oliver was made chairman of the committee on entertainment.

The almost Herculean task of providing for the entertainment of the vast crowd of people who was expected to be here was assigned to me. I at once went to work.  The first thing was to order from New York a sufficient quantity of white granite plates and dishes, glassware, knives and forks and spoons sufficient to set off the immense tables which were to be erected.  Next to make arrangements for the provisions.  I soon secured about two thousand pounds of fresh meats and about one thousand bushels of oysters, which constituted the substantials.  The celebration was to be on Thursday;  the fresh meats and oysters were to be delivered on Tuesday.  On the day they were delivered the weather turned extremely warm, and we were afraid the meats and oysters would be spoiled.  With fear and anxiety we went to bed on Tuesday night, as the weather still continued very warm.  Imagine the relief the next morning to find a sudden change in the weather, and quite a heavy snow had fallen, and everything was safe.  Almost every household was ready to commence cooking and all went at it willingly.  Mr. Sebastian Bangert had baked a vast number of loaves of bread, which with a number of barrels of crackers was used.

[page three]

A number was engaged in making and baking a vast number of peach and apple pies.  Knowing that our western friends could not raise as fine sweet potatoes as the east, I bought a boat load of fine yam potatoes and they were put in Mr. Bangert’s bake oven on Wednesday night and baked to perfection;  they were spread on the tables and greatly enjoyed by many who had never before had [sic] eaten the yam potatoe.       

Seven long tables had been erected;  they were covered with nice white cloth and on them were placed the crockery and the glassware.  Probably there never before or since in North Carolina were more imposing tables set for a public entertainment.  On Thursday morning all was bustle, everyone busy, and a host of persons were bringing the provisions which had been cooked by almost every household in Newbern. The town was soon full of people, it being estimated at eight thousand as visitors.  Rev. Dr. Francis L. Hawks and Henry W. Miller, Esq., addressed the assembly in the Academy Green.  A procession was then formed, marched to the Round House at the railroad depot and everyone invited to partake of the dinner.  Rev. Dr. Francis L. Hawks, a native born citizen of then Newbern, presided.  From the number of expressions which were so frequently heard everyone was satisfied.  Not only the edibles, but a quantity of genuine champaign and scuppernong wine was furnished.  There were six or seven military companies present. Trains of cards from almost every section of the State came in loaded to their full capacity with visitors.  These trains remained until after the close;  they were stretched in Hancock street, extending from Trent river to the railroad depot.  I was frequently asked what was to be done with the great quantity of cutlery and glassware.  I had already planned to have it disposed of a auction.  Mr. John C. Coart, who was an auctioneer, sold it at public sale, and it realized a sufficient amount to pay the cost of it.  It was certainly an entertaining and enjoyable occasion.  I use the name Newbern as that was right up to 1898, at which time by an act of the legislature it was changed to New Bern.


[page four – blank]


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Images scanned by John B. Green, III.  Text prepared by John B. Green, III and Victor T. Jones, Jr.
This page last edited on August 21, 2018.

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