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William Williams Stringfield Collection

 Collection
Identifier: MSS 80-06
William Williams Stringfield (1837-1923) was born in Nashville, TN. He was the son of Thomas Stringfield, a minister and the editor of the Southwestern Christian Advocate. Thomas Stringfield served as a chaplain in Andrew Jackson's army. He eventually settled in Strawberry Plains, TN, where he founded and served as the first president of a small college. He died in 1858. It was at Strawberry Plains that William Williams Stringfield spent most of his youth.



When the Civil War broke out in April, 1861, twenty-three-year-old Stringfield enlisted as a private in the Confederate cavalry and served in General Felix Zollicoffer's army in Tennessee and Kentucky. Later he organized a company in the 31st Tennessee infantry and served as its captain until September, 1862. He then resigned and joined the 69th North Carolina infantry (Thomas Legion) as a captain.



Stringfield served with the Thomas Legion in Stonewall Jackson's army in various parts of Virginia. The last major action he saw there was in the Battle of Piedmont, June 5, 1864, in which Confederate forces, weakened by Robert E. Lee's need for troops in his 1864 campaign against U. S. Grant, were defeated by Union forces under General David Hunter.



In December, 1864, Stringfield returned with the Legion to western North Carolina to serve out the remaining months of the war. In April, 1865, he was ordered to Knoxville, TN, to surrender the District of Western North Carolina (a division of the Department of East Tennessee). News of General Lee's surrender had not yet reached the area, thus Stringfield and his party were taken prisoner. They were released after word of Lee's capitulation reached Knoxville. Stringfield, who had entered the war as a private, was a lieutenant colonel at war’s end.



After the war, Stringfield settled in Haywood County, NC, and developed business interests there and in nearby Asheville, NC. In 1879, he built the White Sulphur Springs Hotel in Waynesville, in Haywood County, and operated it for several years.



Aside from his business interests, Stringfield eventually entered politics. He represented Haywood County in the North Carolina House of Representatives , in 1883, and served in the North Carolina Senate, in 1900 and 1902. He was a vocal proponent of and active participant in the affairs of Confederate veterans. He also served for a time as an assistant doorkeeper of the U.S. House of Representatives. He obtained this appointment through the efforts of former North Carolina Governor Zebulon B. Vance and Vance’s brother, Congressman Robert B. Vance.



In his postwar years, Stringfield wrote several articles on his Civil War activities and western North Carolina in general.



In 1871, he married Maria M. Love (1842-1909), granddaughter of Colonel Robert Love, founder of Waynesville, NC. The couple had seven children. Stringfield and his wife are buried, with other members of the Stringfield and Love families, in Green Hill Cemetery in Waynesville, with other members of the Stringfield and Love families.



Other individuals who are prominent in the collection are Colonel Robert Love, Samuel L. Stringfield, Addie Sloan Stringfield, Margaret Stringfield, and Mary Love Stringfield Wilburn.



Colonel Robert Love (1760-1845) was born in Augusta County, VA. He fought in the Revolutionary War and at the war’s end moved to Washington County, NC (now Washington County, TN). He married Mary Ann Dillard (1767-1842) in 1783. He eventually became very active in politics, serving as a delegate to the convention of the State of Franklin in 1784; state representative from Washington County, in 1789; justice of the peace in the same county, in 1788; a delegate to the North Carolina convention, in 1788, which voted to ratify the U.S. Constitution; as a state representative of Buncombe County, NC, from 1793-1795; and as a presidential elector for several years.



In 1821, Love served as one of the commissioners who established the boundary between North Carolina and Tennessee from the Pigeon River south. He purchased much land in Jackson and Haywood counties, NC. Love and his wife had thirteen children. One of his sons, James Robert, was the father of Maria, William W. Stringfield's wife.



The collection contains Robert Love's diary for the period 1837-1840.



Samuel L. Stringfield (1881-1947) was the second son of William Williams Stringfield. Samuel attended college at North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now North Carolina State University), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA, from which he received his M. D. degree. He practiced medicine for many years in Haywood County, serving as county health officer and draft board examiner at various intervals. He was also a member of several medical associations. He was married, in 1909, to Addie Louise Sloan (1886-1955), daughter of B. J. and Martha Sloan of Waynesville. The collection contains some of Stringfield’s medical notes and the unpublished manuscript of “Let's Drive to the Park,” a novel written by Addie Stringfield.



Margaret Stringfield (1879-1958) was a daughter of William Williams Stringfield. She was a musician who wrote several songs, most of which were about her native Waynesville and surrounding area. She never married.

Dates

  • 1801 - 1949

Condition Description

Good

Conditions Governing Use

No publication fee is made for use of Western Carolina University Library special collections material in scholarly publications. The Library retains sole right to judge what constitutes a non-scholarly or commercial publication. Permission to publish commercially, in circumstances where the Library is qualified to grant it, requires proper authorization. Please contact Special Collections at specialcollections@wcu.edu for more information.

Extent

5 Linear Feet