Finding Aid of the Joe M. McLaurin History Collection, 1900 - 2000, PC.1998


Finding Aid of the Joe M. McLaurin History Collection, 1900 - 2000, PC.1998


Joe M. McLaurin was a historian from Richmond County, North Carolina who spent his career collecting information and records about the history of the county and its families. McLaurin was a successful businessman and active in historical societies. These records concern the history of Richmond County and the genealogies of its families. The collection contains papers and correspondence relating to McLaurin's efforts to seek out and acquire historical records on these subjects. The collection holds original primary sources and copies of sources if McLaurin could not acquire the originals. Many people donated papers to the collection, but he also purchased materials when they were offered for sale.

Descriptive Summary

Joe M. McLaurin History Collection
Call Number
McLaurin, Joe M.
1900 - 2002
1999.00 boxes, 260.00 cubic feet, 13.00 flat boxes, 1.00 slim boxes
State Archives of North Carolina

Restrictions on Access & Use

Access Restrictions

Available for research with some restrictions.

Use Restrictions

Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], PC.1998, Joe M. McLaurin History Collection, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC, USA.

Collection Overview

The Joe M. McLaurin History Collection consists of a variety of papers and materials created by or collected by McLaurin. These records concern the history of Richmond County and the genealogies of its families. The collection contains papers and correspondence relating to his efforts to seek out and acquire historical records on these subjects. The collection holds original primary sources and includes copies of sources only if McLaurin could not acquire the originals. Many people donated papers to the collection, but Joe McLaurin also purchased materials when they were offered for sale. He purchased the negative collections of two prominent Richmond County photographers--Charles Sauls and Nick Lovin. One donor gave McLaurin the legal papers of William G. Pittman who served as an attorney in the county during the first half of the twentieth century. McLaurin also collected a significant quantity of information and papers on the cotton mill industry in Richmond County. Many of the books that he collected concern genealogical subjects, and were of limited publication runs making them quite valuable for research in this genre. The collection is made up of correspondence, research files, publications, interview tapes and transcripts, newspapers and clippings, photographic prints and negatives, publications, and books on the history of Richmond County and its residents. Due to the size of the collection, McLaurin created a system of filing numbers for the collection. These filing numbers are described in greater detail in the finding aid within their corresponding series scope and content notes. McLaurin also developed an index of names to help him locate subjects within the papers and records. The file numbering systems, and the index system has been kept by the State Archives in order to maintain the integrity of his personal system of research methodology.

Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged into six (6) series as follows:

Biographical Note

Joe M. McLaurin (July 1, 1926 to August 24, 2003) often said that he wasn't born in Richmond County, North Carolina, but moved there when he was six weeks old. McLaurin loved his hometown of Rockingham and the entire county, and spent his life learning all he could about its history and the families who lived in the area. McLaurin also loved airplanes, and had his pilot's license at age 14. He graduated from Davidson College with a degree in history. After college, McLaurin settled back in Rockingham and worked as a local historian while emerging as a successful businessman. McLaurin was a former president of both Richmond County Historical Society and the North Carolina Society of County and Local Historians. In 1982 he was the latter's Historian of the Year. McLaurin also served as the chairman of the Rockingham Bicentennial Planning Committee. He was active in the county's business affairs as a board member of the Richmond Savings Bank, First National Bank, and as the chair of the board of directors for the McLaurin Vocational Training Center. McLaurin founded the local business, Solene Lubricants (now Total Lubricants), selling the company in 1986 to devote all his energies to the local history of Richmond County and to write for the newspaper. In 1990 McLaurin established the Society for History, Research, and Preservation, Inc. Over the course of his career as an historian, McLaurin did genealogical research for many Richmond County familes, and collected a great deal of material on the county's history. His research and collected historical documents make up this collection.

Contents of the Collection

1. Index Series.


This series the best place to start when pursuing research on a specific person or family within this collection. They provide an alphabetical list by name of nearly every person referenced in the each series of the collection. Each person's index page lists folder numbers, and often even page numbers within those folders, that have information concerning that person. McLaurin referenced names by a different number in his book, but the book's numbers often appear on an individual index sheet. Researchers should therefore be able to look up a name in this index, match it with the reference number from McLaurin's , and then find the corresponding folder numbers in this collection. The series is divided into three parts: Family Name Index, Subject Index, and Card Index.

Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.1
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.2
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.3
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.4
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.5
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.6
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.7
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.8
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.9
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.10
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.11
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.12
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.13
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.14
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.15
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.16
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.17
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.18
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.19
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.20
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.21
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.22
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.23
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.24
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.25
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.26
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.27
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.28
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.29
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.30
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.31
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.32
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.33
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.34
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.35
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.36
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.37
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.38
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.39
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.40
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.41
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.42
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.43
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.44
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.45
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.46
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.47
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.48
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.49
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.50
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.51
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.52
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.53
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.54
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.55
Family Name Index.
Box PC.1998.56
Subject Indices.
Box PC.1998.57
Card Index.
Box PC.1998.58 to PC.1998.65

2. Richmond County History "A" Series,1900-2003.


Joe McLaurin numbered his folders for this series with a number followed by the letter A. So folder 1 in this series is consequently 1A, and so on. The State Archives has kept this numbering system as it aids the researcher in finding individual files listed in the indices and with cross-referencing with the other series in this collection. When filling out call slips at the Reference Desk, it would be helpful to reference the folder numbers (e.g. 24A) as well as the box number (e.g. PC.1998.69). This series contains information pertaining to the history, people, events, and locations in and around Richmond County, North Carolina. Joe McLaurin collected the material in this series to aid his research of the county and its families. Industries such as the county's textile mills are well represented; as are prominent families including the Cole, Covington, Entwistle, Leak, Ledbetter, and Steele families. A folder listing of each file is provided in the first folder of the first box (PC.1998.66) of this series. There are six sub-series that have been separated out from the main "A" series. These subseries are the William G. Pittman's attorney files (20A), the Charles Sauls photographs (40.26A), original newspapers (45A), primary source materials (60A), publications (185A and 185B), and the Nick Lovin photographs (218A).

1A to 11A.
Box PC.1998.66
11A to 18A.
Box PC.1998.67
19A to 23A.
Box PC.1998.68
Box PC.1998.69 to PC.1998.71
24A to 26A.
Box PC.1998.72
27A to 31A.
Box PC.1998.73
31A to 37A.
Box PC.1998.74
Box PC.1998.75
40A to 40G.
Box PC.1998.76
Box PC.1998.77 to PC.1998.79
40H to 42A.
Box PC.1998.80
Box PC.1998.81 to PC.1998.82
Box PC.1998.83 to PC.1998.84
Box PC.1998.85 to PC.1998.86
47A to 74A.
Box PC.1998.87
Box PC.1998.88
76A to 88A.
Box PC.1998.89
Box PC.1998.90 to PC.1998.91
Box PC.1998.92 to PC.1998.94
Box PC.1998.95
Box PC.1998.96
Box PC.1998.97 to PC.1998.100
94A to 108A.
Box PC.1998.101
Box PC.1998.102
110A to 154A.
Box PC.1998.103
155A to 165A.
Box PC.1998.104
165A. Book.
Item PC.1998.105
166A to 189A.
Box PC.1998.106
Box PC.1998.107 to PC.1998.109
176A. Book.
Item PC.1998.110
Box PC.1998.111 to PC.1998.124
191A to 201A.
Box PC.1998.125
Box PC.1998.126 to PC.1998.127
202A to 244A.
Box PC.1998.128
202A to 204A.
Box PC.1998.129 to PC.1998.132
Box PC.1998.133 to PC.1998.135
304A to 928A.
Box PC.1998.136
Unnumbered 1.
Box PC.1998.137 to PC.1998.140
Unnumbered 2.
Box PC.1998.141
Unnumbered 3.
Box PC.1998.142
Unnumbered 4.
Box PC.1998.143
20A. William G. Pittman, Attorney Subseries,1917-1953
Box PC.1998.144.1 to PC.1998.144.68
40.26A Charles Sauls Photographs Subseries,1954-1965, and n.d.
Box PC.1998.145.1 to PC.1998.145.106
<emph render="bold">Charles Sauls Photographs Sub-subseries 1.</emph>
<emph render="bold">Charles Sauls Photographs Sub-subseries 2.</emph>
<emph render="bold">Charles Sauls Photographs Sub-subseries 3.</emph>
<emph render="bold">Charles Sauls Photographs Sub-subseries 4.</emph>
<emph render="bold">Charles Sauls Photographs Sub-subseries 5.</emph>
<title xlink:type="simple" render="bold">45A. Newspapers Subseries. </title>
Box PC.1998.146.1 to PC.1998.146.82
<title xlink:type="simple" render="bold">60A. Primary Sources Subseries. </title>
Box PC.1998.147.1 to PC.1998.147.37
<title xlink:type="simple" render="bold">185A and 185B Publications Subseries. </title>
Item PC.1998.148.1 to PC.1998.148.158
218A. Nick Lovin Photographs Subseries,1933-1985.
Box PC.1998.149.1 to PC.1998.149.32
Nick Lovin Contact Prints,1974-1976.
Nick Lovin Professional Work,1974-1985.
Prints Donated by James Hampton,1933-1970s.

3. Interview Files "D" Series,1981-1999.


In 1981, the Richmond County Historical Collection began conducting interviews with individuals in every part of the county. A special effort was made to locate and interview senior citizens. The interviewers placed particular emphasis on gathering family histories and significant events within the subject's life or family. Additional emphasis was placed on knowledge or reminiscences of events that occurred in their area which helped shape some aspect of Richmond County's history. Joe McLaurin assigned the letter D to his interview files. Interview files D.001 to D.170 were conducted by Mrs. Sallie Boyd Long, and her notes and workpapers for these interviews are filed in Richmond County History Collection "A" Series file 60A.161. Interview files D.201 to D.259 were conducted by John Patrick Hutchinson, and his recording tapes can be found in Richmond County History Collection "A" Series box 203A. Interview files D.260 to D.287 were conducted by Clark Cox. An alphabetical index of interviewed persons and their corresponding file numbers is located in the final box of the series.

D.1 to D.38.
Box PC.1998.150
D.39 to D.75.
Box PC.1998.151
D.76 to D.111.
Box PC.1998.152
D.112 to D.149.
Box PC.1998.153
D.150 to D.199.
Box PC.1998.154
D.200 to D.227.
Box PC.1998.155
D.228 to D.255.
Box PC.1998.156
D.256 to D.287.
Box PC.1998.157
Index to "D" Series Interview Files.
Box PC.1998.158

4. Society of Richmond County Descendants "R" Series,1978-1989.


The majority of this series includes files of researchers requesting assistance from Joe McLaurin. However there are other files within the series that are not researcher requests. These include files from E. Bert McLaurin's work at Richmond County Savings and Loan, four family bibles, and Joe McLaurin's book . Joe McLaurin assigned the number R to this series. He began assigning each researcher an individual number in this manner: R.1, but eventually replaced that by assigning each researcher the prefix R.60 followed by a specific number for each researcher in this manner: R.60_100. Eventually McLaurin dropped the R.60 prefix and reverted back to assigning researchers their own specific number. When filling out call slips at the Reference Desk, it may be helpful to include the file number (e.g. R.60_125) as well as the box number (e.g. PC.1998.167). An index of the researchers that McLaurin assisted can be found in boxes PC.1998.229 to PC.1998.231. This index is probably the best place to start when trying to find the research and correspondence for a particular individual.

R.1 to R.24. Information Source References.
Box PC.1998.159
R.24B. Book.
Item PC.1998.160
R.25 to R.54. Information Source References.
Box PC.1998.161
R.55_33 to R.55_34.
Box PC.1998.162
Box PC.1998.163 to PC.1998.164
R.60_1 to R.60_49.
Box PC.1998.165
R.60_50 to R.60_119.
Box PC.1998.166
R.60_120 to R.60_159.
Box PC.1998.167
R.60_160 to R.60_175.
Box PC.1998.168
R.60_176 to R.60_199.
Box PC.1998.169
R.60_200 to R.60_212.
Box PC.1998.170
R.60_213 to R.60_232.
Box PC.1998.171
R.60_233 to R.60_267.
Box PC.1998.172
R.60_268 to R.60_289.
Box PC.1998.173
R.60_290 to R.60_295.39.
Box PC.1998.174
R.60_295.40 to R.60_299.
Box PC.1998.175
R.60_301 to R.60_334.
Box PC.1998.176
R.60_335 to R.60_355.
Box PC.1998.177
R.60_356 to R.60_369.
Box PC.1998.178
R.60_370 to R.60_379.
Box PC.1998.179
R.60_380 to R.60_385.
Box PC.1998.180
R.60_386 to R.60_405.
Box PC.1998.181
R.60_406 to R.60_414.05.
Box PC.1998.182
R.60_414.06 to R.60_422.
Box PC.1998.183
R.60_423 to R.60_462.
Box PC.1998.184
R.60_463 to R.60_473.
Box PC.1998.185
R.60_475 to R.60_492.19.
Box PC.1998.186
R.60_492.20 to R.60_499.
Box PC.1998.187
R.60_502 to R.60_517.29.
Box PC.1998.188
R.60_517.30 to R.60_528.
Box PC.1998.189
R.60_529 to R.60_541.
Box PC.1998.190
R.60_542 to R.60_582.
Box PC.1998.191
R.60_583 to R.60_620.09.
Box PC.1998.192
R.60_620.10 to R.60_620.43.
Box PC.1998.193
R.60_620.44 to R.60_620.47.
Box PC.1998.194
Box PC.1998.195
R.60_620.49 to R.60_620.65.
Box PC.1998.196
R.60_620.66 to R.60_620.75.
Box PC.1998.197
R.60_620.76 to R.60_620.92.
Box PC.1998.198
R.60_620.93 to R.60_620.101.
Box PC.1998.199
R.60_620.102 to R.60_620.111.
Box PC.1998.200
R.60_620.112 to R.60_620.117D.
Box PC.1998.201
R.60_620.117E to R.60_643.
Box PC.1998.202
R.60_644 to R.60_677
Box PC.1998.203
R.60_678 to R.60_708
Box PC.1998.204
R.60_709 to R.60_724
Box PC.1998.205
R.60_725 to R.60_759
Box PC.1998.206
R.60_761 to R.60_799
Box PC.1998.207
R.60_800 to R.60_834
Box PC.1998.208
R.60_835 to R.60_879
Box PC.1998.209
R.60_880 to R.60_922
Box PC.1998.210
R.60_923 to R.60_956
Box PC.1998.211
R.60_957 to R.60_1020
Box PC.1998.212
R.60_1021 to R.60_1069
Box PC.1998.213
R.60_1070 to R.60_1145
Box PC.1998.214
R.60_1146 to R.60_1206
Box PC.1998.215
R.60_1207 to R.60_1249
Box PC.1998.216
R.60_1250 to R.60_1309
Box PC.1998.217
R.60_1310 to R.60_1341
Box PC.1998.218
R.71 to R.100
Box PC.1998.219
R.101 to R.160
Box PC.1998.220
R.161 to R.219
Box PC.1998.221
R.220 to R.272 and R.1200
Box PC.1998.222
R.256.1 to R.256.4. Family Bibles.
Box PC.1998.223 to PC.1998.226
R Series: Society of Richmond County Descendants Newsletters,1988-1997
Box PC.1998.227
Item PC.1998.228
R Series Index to Researchers,
Box PC.1998.229 to PC.1998.231
R Series: Society of Loyalist Descendants.
Box PC.1998.232 to PC.1998.234

5. North Carolina Society of Historians Series,1955-1991, bulk 1982-1991.


The North Carolina Society of County and Local Historians became the North Carolina Society of Historians in 1987. This series contains records of the society's annual meetings from 1983 to 1991. Special emphasis is given to the awards the society handed out each year for various categories of research such as local history, biography, and genealogy. The series also contains membership roles for the society. Joe McLaurin served as president of the society for several years within the scope of this series, and was the society's Historian of the Year in 1982.

North Carolina Society of County and Local Historians Organizational Materials and Annual Meetings,1983-1984
Box PC.1998.235
North Carolina Society of County and Local Historians Annual Meetings,1985-1986
Box PC.1998.236
North Carolina Society of County and Local Historians Newsletters,1986
Box PC.1998.237
North Carolina Society of Historians Annual Meeting,1987
Box PC.1998.238 to PC.1998.239
North Carolina Society of Historians Annual Meeting,1988
Box PC.1998.240 to PC.1998.241
North Carolina Society of Historians Annual Meeting,1989
Box PC.1998.242 to PC.1998.243
North Carolina Society of Historians Annual Meeting,1990
Box PC.1998.244
North Carolina Society of Historians Annual Meeting,1991
Box PC.1998.245
North Carolina Society of Historians Members.
Box PC.1998.246 to PC.1998.249

6. Oversized Material,1920-1970.


Three oversized envelopes separated from the main collection and stored with the other oversized private collections on Archives stack level 3B. This last series consists of three (3) map-sized folders holding oversized photographic prints. The archives made negatives of the prints, and these negatives have been placed in the last folder of box PC.1998.136. The prints in this series are of a variety of subjects, but were not labeled with a number from Joe McLaurin's system and so can not be fitted into any particular series. The prints in this series are described at item level inside each map folder listed below.

Oversized Prints Folder 1.
Box PC.1998.250
Rockingham Commandery no. 23 Knights Templar,11 October 1922.
Entwistle Manufacturing Company, Rockingham, NC.
Aleo Manufacturing Company, Second Shift Employees,7 May 1957.
Group of People in Church.
Oversized Prints Folder 2.
Box PC.1998.251
Store Fronts on Washington Street, Rockingham, N.C., Facing South Number 1.
Store Fronts on Washington Street, Rockingham, N.C., Facing South Number 2.
Store Fronts on Washington Street, Rockingham, N.C., Facing South Number 3.
Store Fronts on Washington Street, Rockingham, N.C., Facing South Number 4.
Oversized Prints Folder 3.
Box PC.1998.252
Store Fronts on Washington Street, Rockingham, N.C., Facing North Number 1.
Store Fronts on Washington Street, Rockingham, N.C., Facing North Number 2.
Store Fronts on Washington Street, Rockingham, N.C., Facing North Number 3.

Subject Headings

  • Lovin, Nick, 1942-1985.
  • Mason, Frank Isaac, 1872-1943.
  • McLaurin, Joe M., 1926-2003.
  • Pittman, William Gladstone, 1899-1979.
  • Sauls, Charles L., 1935-1994.
  • Cole family.
  • Covington family.
  • Leak family.
  • Ledbetter family.
  • McLaurin family.
  • Steele family.
  • Richmond County Historical Society (N.C.)
  • Rockingham (N.C.)
  • Manufacturing industries
  • Mills--North Carolina--1890-1910.
  • Mills--North Carolina--1930-1940
  • North Carolina--Genealogy.
  • North Carolina--History, Local.
  • Photographers
  • Photography--North Carolina--History.
  • Portrait photography
  • Richmond County (N.C.)--Genealogy.
  • Richmond County (N.C.)--History.
  • Richmond County (N.C.)--History, Local--Pictorial works.
  • Local history
  • Genealogical Data
  • Ellerbe (N.C.)
  • Hamlet (N.C.)
  • Richmond County (N.C.)
  • Rockingham (N.C.)
  • Richmond County (N.C.)
  • Acquisitions Information

    On February 15, 2010 the Society for History, Research and Preservation, Inc. donated the Joe M. McLaurin History Collection to the State Archives of North Carolina as per the instructions in Joe McLaurin's will.

    Processing Information

  • Processed by Kenrick Simpson and Kenneth Dasher, April 2010 to September 2012.
  • Encoded by Kenneth Dasher, April 2011 to September 2012. Revised by Fran Tracy-Walls, June 2019, for publication in Discover Online Catalog (DOC).