Author With Granville Co. Roots to Discuss Her Latest Book at Thornton Library

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-Press Release, Granville County Government

The Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford welcomes Dr. Cheryl Gooch, author, genealogist and historian, on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. Dr. Gooch will discuss her latest book, “Hinsonville’s Heroes: Black Civil War Soldiers of Chester County, Pennsylvania” at 2 p.m. and will be available to sign copies of her work.

“Hinsonville’s Heroes” tells the story of 18 African-American men who served as Union soldiers in the Civil War, ten of whom are buried at the Hosanna Church Cemetery in Pennsylvania.

The Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford welcomes Dr. Cheryl Gooch, author, genealogist and historian, on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. Dr. Gooch will discuss her latest book, “Hinsonville’s Heroes: Black Civil War Soldiers of Chester County, Pennsylvania” at 2 p.m. and will be available to sign copies of her work. (Photo courtesy Granville Co. Govt.)

After being named Dean of the School of Humanities and Graduate Studies at Lincoln University in 2012, Dr. Gooch took notice of the cemetery, located on the edge of the college’s campus, and became curious as to who was buried there. Over the next few years, she began to research the lives of some of the men who lost their lives more than a century ago.

What were once just names on tombstones – George Duffy, Isaac Hollingsworth, Abraham Blake, Lewis Palmer and others – slowly became more real as Dr. Gooch learned more about their backgrounds and their service, connecting the relationships between Hosanna Church, the cemetery and the college campus in the process.

“This is an inclusive, historical narrative,” Dr. Gooch has said about her latest book. “These were people who would otherwise be forgotten, who transformed the state and the country through their service and their sacrifices.”

Through this book, Dr. Gooch tells the story of brothers Wesley, William and George Jay, who survived the bloody battle at Fort Wagner, SC and were part of the only black regiment to lead President Lincoln’s funeral procession in Washington, DC.

Also featured are William B. Fitzgerald, Abraham Stout, Samuel H. Blake and Isaac A. Hollingsworth, who fought during the last battle of the Civil War, forcing Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse. Another member of the 5th Massachusetts Cavalry later settled in Durham, NC – Dr. Gooch’s presentation will cover aspects of his life, as well as several others from the free black community of Hinsonville, PA who served as members of the United States Colored Troops.

Other publications by Dr. Gooch include the books “On Africa’s Lands” and “The Forgotten Stories of Two Lincoln-Educated Missionaries in Liberia,” as well as numerous articles about the African-American experience.

Over the past 20 years, Dr. Gooch has been researching her own family history for a book she eventually hopes to add to her list of published works. A descendant of the Gooch family of Granville County, her genealogical search for information led her to the Thornton Library’s North Carolina Room, where she learned she was descended from Silas Gooch, who was born in 1814. According to the death certificate that was located, Gooch lived to be 113 years old. Additional information about her family, however, has been difficult to find, as the same death certificate indicated that her ancestor’s parents were “unknown.”

“His ancestry is invisible, discarded,” she has said about her findings. “I wrote this book (Hinsonville’s Heroes) to put the lives of these men back into the historical narrative.”

Since its release, “Hinsonville’s Heroes” has sparked a new interest in the Civil War, as told from a different perspective.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase at Saturday’s discussion and book signing. The public is invited to attend.

For more details about the book or the author’s presentation, contact Stefani Perry, Adult Services Librarian, or Mark Pace, North Carolina Room Specialist, at 919-693-1121.

Oxford Prep PTO to Hold Community Yard Sale This Sat.

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-Information courtesy Tina Roberson, Oxford Preparatory School

Oxford Preparatory School’s PTO is holding a community yard sale on Saturday, October 5, 2019, from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m.  There will a wide variety of items for sale by multiple families.

The school is located at 6041 Landis Road in Oxford.

The public is encouraged to come out, enjoy browsing a large selection of items and support the school!

(Photo courtesy Cindy Clark, Music & Art Teacher, Oxford Prep Lower School)

Granville Co. Shrine Club to Hold Fish Fry Fundraiser

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-Information courtesy Randy Newman, Granville Co. Shrine Club

The Granville County Shrine Club will hold a Fish Fry fundraiser on Wednesday, October 9, 2019, from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. at 706 Roxboro Road in Oxford.

Tickets are available for $8 and may be purchased from any Shrine Club member, at Granville Barber Shop in Oxford or at the door the day of the event.

Plates are available for eat-in, take out or drive through pick up.

Proceeds benefit Shriners Hospitals.

To hear more discussion on the fish fry, listen to Wednesday’s edition of Town Talk by clicking here. The fish fry segment of the program begins at the 16:10 mark.

Journey to Citizenship: Gutierrez Describes What It Means to be a U.S. Citizen

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-Press Release, Granville County Government

On Sept. 17, Citizenship Day was observed to recognize all who have chosen to become U.S. citizens. It is an observance that is held each year, but the day has special meaning for one local citizen, Jesus Gutierrez of Oxford, who says that the choice to apply for American citizenship has been a privilege he does not take for granted.

Jesus Gutierrez with his wife and family. (Photo courtesy Granville Co. Govt.)

Gutierrez came to America from the village of Guamajuato, Mexico more than 30 years ago. One of 11 children, he came here for “a better life,” leaving his parents, seven sisters and three brothers behind. While he admits it was “hard” to leave his family, it is a decision, he says, he does not regret.

After arriving in Granville County, Gutierrez found a job in the tobacco fields, working for the Barker family. Almost every dollar he made was sent back to Mexico to help support his parents and his siblings.

He was soon invited by his adopted American family to attend church with them in Dexter. One hour after choir practice each Wednesday evening, he was also given lessons to learn to speak English. Although he describes the language as “difficult to learn,” he says that he is appreciative of the time and attention he was given by Mrs. Barker, who took him under her wing.

“Thank the Lord she was willing to help me,” he noted.

Those lessons helped open a lot of doors for Gutierrez, enabling him to apply for other employment opportunities.

In 1986, Gutierrez became a permanent U.S. resident and continued to work hard for his family. Today, the sixty-year-old works Monday through Friday for Granville County Government as a member of the General Services team, making repairs, running errands, sorting mail, etc. On weekends, he does maintenance and yard work for local residents, as well as cleaning offices.

Windows and doors of property owned by Gutierrez, crafted with lumber from Granville County. (Photo courtesy Granville Co. Govt.)

“In America, if you work hard, you can have everything you want,” he explains. “I work hard, seven days a week. I don’t expect nothing for free.”

While his parents have both passed away since he has been here, his siblings and their families still live in Mexico. One of his brothers is now a teacher, and he has a sister who owns a store that sells school supplies. That store, Guitierrez explains, has helped provide income for his entire family.

Now nearing retirement, this Oxford resident is in the process of constructing a second home on a lot he purchased before coming to America, located next door to where his parents once lived in his “village.” A few times a year, he goes back to Mexico to spend time with his family there and to work on his house, which is being partially built with Granville County materials. He has shipped lumber from Bullock, for example, to build doors and window frames.

“Everything in Mexico is expensive,” he says. “Most of the people in my village only make about $25 a day, so it is a hard life there.”

Gutierrez adds that his family once owned property next to a Mexican river, where they were able to use irrigation to grow peaches, potatoes, lettuce, avocados, etc. The sale of the produce was their major source of income. The construction of a highway through his family’s property, however, caused them to be uprooted from their home and to move to “the city,” where there was much poverty and no running water. They were given no compensation for their land and had to start over “with nothing.”

“Living in America is much better,” he says. “There have been many opportunities here for me.”

Gutierrez explains that he “behaves himself” and “commits no crimes,” and was able to become an official citizen in 2004.

In the process of earning his citizenship, Gutierrez says that he learned about the Constitution and the country’s presidents, as well as what the stars and stripes on the American flag symbolize and other historical facts.

“I learned that Patrick Henry said, ‘Give me liberty or give me death,’” he adds. “That was my favorite part.”

Since moving to the United States, Gutierrez has started his own family, getting married in 2003. His wife Fatima, also from Mexico, is a permanent resident who is working towards citizenship status of her own. The couple has two children and hopes to visit Mexico more often after retirement. But his home, he says, is right here in Granville County.

“I am very happy with my life here,” he commented. “I came to America for a better life, and I got what I was looking for.”

Granville Board of Commissioners to Hold Special Meeting – Oct. 3

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-Information courtesy Debra A. Weary, Clerk to the Board, Granville County


All interested persons please take notice that the Granville County Board of Commissioners will hold a Special Meeting on Thursday, October 3, 2019, at 7:30 a.m. at the Granville Expo and Convention Center located at 4185 Highway 15 South, Oxford.

The purpose of the Special Meeting is for the Board to go into closed session to discuss a matter of attorney-client privilege and a personnel matter pursuant to General Statute 143-318.11(a)(3) and (6).

Days/Times/Locations Announced for Granville’s One-Stop Early Voting

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-Information courtesy Tonya C. Burnette, CERA, Elections Director, Granville County

Granville County has received approval from the State Board of Elections to offer One-Stop early voting for the November 5, 2019, Municipal Election (for all locations).

One-Stop Dates/Times:

Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thursday, October 17, 2019, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday, October 18, 2019, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Monday, October 21, 2019, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thursday, October 24, 2019, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday, October 25, 2019, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday, October 26, 2019, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Monday, October 28, 2019, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thursday, October 31, 2019, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday, November 1, 2019, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

One-Stop Locations:

 Richard H. Thornton Library – large conference room (in lieu of the Board of Elections office) – 210 Main Street Oxford, NC 27565

 South Branch Library – multipurpose room – 1550 South Campus Drive Creedmoor, NC 27522

School Resource Officers in Need of Donations for ‘Helping Hands Closet’

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-Information courtesy Dr. Stan Winborne, Public Information Officer, Granville Co. Public Schools

SRO’s Helping Hands Closet is in need of donations from the community.

Who are we?

We are a group of Granville County Sheriff’s deputies that work as School Resource Officers at Granville County Public Schools.

What is this about?

We come in contact with many children through our jobs, families in distress and others with various needs. We have the ability to reach out and give back to these individuals within our schools and other areas of our community that we serve. We do this by collecting gently used or new clothing, school supplies, hygiene products, toys and other items that we distribute throughout the community as we find someone in need.

Where is this located?

Currently, we are based out of J.F. Webb High School and Hawley Middle School.

How does it work?

As we receive a referral from the community or initiate one ourselves, we will discretely determine the needs of the individual and/or family and have them come in to gather items that they have a need for. In the event they are not able to come to one of our locations, we may be able to gather some items in the sizes they have requested and bring them to a location to see what works for them; however, it is much better for them to come to us.

Who can refer and/or participate?

We accept referrals from anyone. If there is a need that we can service, we will see if we can help that person out.


Because we are the do’ers. That’s our calling and the profession we chose. We have been placed in the position to give back to others.

These are some of the items but not limited to what we accept:

Clean clothing (all ages, sizes and gender), coats, belts, new socks/underwear, shoes, prom dresses, diapers, blankets and other household supplies, toiletries, personal hygiene supplies, book bags and school supplies, canned and non-perishable foods, great condition toys and children’s books.

We are always in need of clothing garment racks/displays, clothes hangers (adult, child and pant).

You can contact an SRO at one of the schools directly and arrange a drop-off or pick up, or contact Brad O’Briant 919-691-1472 or Jessica Laws 919-691-3519.

Granville Emergency Services Encourages All to Participate in Earthquake Drill

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-Press Release, Granville County Government

Granville County residents will soon have an opportunity to join a wide-spread effort to become more prepared in case of an earthquake.

The 2019 Great Southeast Shakeout is an annual public earthquake drill where millions of people in organizations, schools and homes simultaneously practice “Drop, Cover and Hold On,” which is the recommended action for people to take during an earthquake. This event is scheduled for Thurs. Oct. 17 at 10:17 a.m.

An earthquake is a sudden, quick shaking of the earth caused by the breaking and moving of underground rock, and can be followed by aftershocks. While not a highly likely event in Granville County, earthquakes may happen anywhere you live, work or travel. A major earthquake can occur at any time, with no warning and with a short time to react.

Granville County Emergency Services strongly encourages local participation in this event. If interested, visit to enroll your organization, school, agency, business or family.

Once registered, participants will learn how to be more prepared for earthquakes; will be counted in the world’s largest earthquake drill; will receive ShakeOut news and other information about earthquakes and preparedness; will make a difference by motivating others to participate and to be prepared.

Drills like this can help residents and businesses be better prepared on how to react if the ground starts shaking. In the case of an earthquake, remember to Drop, Cover and Hold On.

DROP  – get down on the floor when shaking starts, before the quake drops you.

COVER – take cover under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture. If you cannot find something to get under, crouch against an inside wall. Keep your head and neck safe by using your arms. Stay away from windows, hanging objects, mirrors or anything that might fall over.

HOLD ON – hold onto a desk, table or piece of furniture. Be ready to move with it during the quake.

To be able to respond quickly, everyone should practice these steps often. There may be only a few seconds before strong shaking knocks you down, or something falls on you.

Millions of people worldwide have participated in Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills since 2008. The exercise is held on the third Thursday of October each year.

Be prepared, and encourage others to join in! Visit for more preparedness information.

GCPS Superintendent McLean to Hold ‘Coffee Hour’

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-Information courtesy Dr. Stan Winborne, Public Information Officer, Granville Co. Public Schools

All are invited to a “Superintendent’s Coffee Hour” with Granville County Public Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Alisa McLean at the GCPS Central Services Building on Thursday, October 3, 2019.

The session will be held from 8:30 until 9:30 a.m. and is a great opportunity to hear updates from the district, ask questions and join the conversation about Granville County schools.

Central Office is located at 101 Delacroix Street in Oxford.

Sigmons of Granville County Selected for Woodland Stewardship Award

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-Press Release, NCDA&CS

John and Linda Sigmon of Granville County have been recognized with the North Carolina Forest Service’s “Outstanding Woodland Steward Award” for the Piedmont region for 2019. The award was announced in August through the N.C. Forest Stewardship program.

The N.C. Forest Stewardship program is a cooperative effort, with participants receiving recognition for achievements in promoting total forest resource management. Landowners receive technical assistance in developing a stewardship management plan that is based on the property owner’s objectives, with activities being scheduled to enhance the forest for wildlife, soil and water quality, timber production, recreational opportunities and natural beauty.

Pictured with the Sigmons (center) are County Ranger Rob Montague and Les Hunter, Forest Stewardship Coordinator. (Photo courtesy Granville Co. Govt.)

As supporters of the program since 1994, the Sigmons are considered to be “model stewards” of land management in North Carolina. While Mr. Sigmon credits the couple’s success in land management to the greater conservation and forestry community, the committee who selected the Sigmons for this award attributes the accomplishment to the Sigmons themselves, who have served as the workhorses, inspiration and dedication behind the property.

The Sigmon property has been in the family for multiple generations. Today, the land supports cropland, pasture, native pollinator habitat, wildlife food plots, multiple ponds and forestland. Both Mr. and Mrs. Sigmon are said to demonstrate great respect for the land they own, striving to balance their management in a sustainable manner.

More information on the N.C. Forest Service and the Forest Stewardship Program is available at, or those interested may contact the Granville County office of the North Carolina Forest Service at 919-693-3154.