Saturday, March 14, 2015

William Vester Trogdon

William "Vester" Trogdon was born 17 February 1899 in Randolph County, North Carolina. He was the fifth of 11 children born to Francis Marion Trogdon and Mary Virginia Owen Lineberry. Vester lived his entire life in the town of Franklinville, located in Randolph County, North Carolina. I don't know much about Vester beyond that which can be found in public records, but this is what I know.

Vester had a fourth grade education, which makes sense because his father was always in some sort of trade. I don't know where he went to school, but I doubt he would have met his future wife, Minnie Elisa Gray, while in school. She was seven years younger being born 28 March 1906. (Minnie had a seventh grade education. Since her father was a carpenter, a somewhat higher level of education would make sense for her and her family.)

Vester lived in Franklinville with his parents and siblings until he got married in 1921. She, too, lived in Franklinville her entire life. I think they probably met each other some time between 1910 and 1920 when Vester and his family moved down the road from Minnie. Before then, Vester was living in what was called West Franklinville in the 1910 census. I'm not sure what parts of town this actually covered, you can kind of tell from the enumeration district map the general idea.
Randolph County Enumeration District Map for 1920 Census
I wonder if Vester's family moved due to his father's (seemingly constant) change in occupation. In 1900, Francis Trogdon was a mechanic. He was living in an un-mortgaged house which wasn't located on a farm. In 1910, he shows up as a blacksmith owning his own shop, however, now he is living on a farm which carries a mortgage located in West Franklinville. (The older boys of the house seem to be the ones working the farm.) Then, in 1920, Francis is a machinist with his own shop with all of his older boys working with him in the shop. They live, probably in the same house, on a farm still, but now they are listed as owning the farm "freely" without a mortgage.

I wish I knew a little bit about Francis' machinist shop and the kinds of tools they made. Were they mechanic tools? Were they farming tools? Or were they tools to assist with the cotton mill that seemed to be the place to work in town? I think a wise machinist would cater to all three areas at least, but I like to at least think they helped the cotton mill from time to time because that's where Minnie was working in 1920 as a spinner.
Clipping from 1920 census showing Minnie's occupation
Franklinsville Manufacturing Company
1306 Andrew Hunter Road, Franklinville
As I said earlier, Vester and Minnie got married in 1921. They set up home, as you would have guessed, in Franklinville where they each grew up. By 1930, they own their own farm home with a total value of $400.
Clipping from the 1930 Census
Vester and Minnie were the only one of their neighbors with a radio!
Minnie came home from working at the mill, probably to be with the kids, and Vester ended up getting a job there as a loom fixer where he was still working in 1940. In 1940, the value of their home increased to $500, and Vester's income was stated to be $1,300 in the census.
Clipping from 1940 census showing Vester's occupation and salary
Vester and Minnie had a total of five children:
  • Grace "Yvonne" Trogdon
  • Gouldia Gray Trogdon (who died at two weeks old)
  • Edith Maude Trogdon
  • Helen Faye Trogdon
  • William Gene Trogdon
They are buried at Grays Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery.
Copyright Brittany Jenkins, 2011
  • 1900 Franklinville, Randolph County, North Carolina U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
  • 1910 Franklinville, Randolph County, North Carolina U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
  • 1910 West Franklinville, Randolph County, North Carolina U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
  • 1920 Franklinville, Randolph County, North Carolina U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
  • 1930 Franklinville, Randolph County, North Carolina U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
  • Enumeration District Maps (accessed on FamilySearch)
  • Randolph County Historic Landmark Preservation Commission - Franklinsville Mfg. Co.
  • Tombstone, W. Vester and Minnie G. Trogdon (photo taken Christmas 2011)
  • Town of Franklinville, NC

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