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From: "Roger E. Kammerer" <>
Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2006 17:49:06 +0000

Johnsons Mill, Centreville, Quinerly, Gardnersville, Pullet

The following are small historical sketches of some of the small villages
that once dotted Pitt County but now lie forgotten in time.


Johnsons Mill, named for Frederick Johnsons gristmill, was once located
about four miles east of Grifton. A post office was established there on
December 13, 1837, with Allen Patrick as postmaster. Other postmasters were
Lewis B. Pugh (1841), Allen Johnson (1859), William A. Pugh (1859), Sherrod
W. Kennerly (1867), John Garris (1869), Fannie Briggin (1870), Martha E.
Wooten (1872), Samuel Quinerly (1880), Jesse P. Quinerly (1889), Annie B.
Harding (1893), Walter Mewborn (1896), and Durward M. Johnson (1901). The
post office was discontinued on July 31, 1903.
In 1847, a stock company known as the Bexley Swamp Canal Company was formed
near Johnsons Mill. The company contracted with Lewis B. Pugh to build a
new canal to drain Bexley Swamp. A stock company was also formed to
establish a school there known as the Bexley Academy, with John P. Quinerly
as president, Jesse Nobles as treasurer, and Lewis B. Pugh as secretary.
About 1860, Jackson Pittman began a sawmill and cotton gin business at
Johnsons Mill. By 1867 Johnsons Mill had gained a resident doctor in Dr.
John T. House. In 1872, W. L. Laughinghouse had a store and steam corn mill
and sawmill there. By 1877 Dr. House had left Johnsons Mill and Dr.
William L. Best had replaced him. Dr. Best continued living there until his
death in October 1896. He was the areas leading citizen and farmer,
raising everything he needed on his farm. The children of the inhabitants of
Johnsons Mill went to the Centreville academy. In the 1880s, Miss Mat Bland
had a millinery shop here and in 1887 it was run by Misses Willis and
In 1889, Johnsons Mill had a Temperance Reform Club and Church Guild. In
September of 1890, Rev. Edward Wooten, a former resident of Johnsons Mill,
was elected Arch Deacon of Tennessee. In June of 1899, Dr. Joseph E. Nobles
located at Johnsons Mill and W. F. Mewborn built him an office onto his


Centreville was once located about a mile from the present St. Johns
Episcopal Church at Burneys Crossroads. In 1882, J. P. Quinnerly built a
large store at Centreville and Frederick Harding had a store at Centreville
as early as 1883. About 1887, a stock company was formed and established
the Centreville Male and Female Academy, with Rev. J. L. Whitfield as
principal. In August of 1887, a Temperance Reform Club was organized at
Centreville with 119 members. In July of 1888, the Centreville School put
out a little newspaper called the Centreville Journal. Four well-known
teachers in the school were Misses Maggie Smith, Lena Kilpatrick, Bettie
Patrick and Nannie Seawell of Jonesboro, N.C. Miss Ida Green was a music
teacher at Centreville for a few years, until she returned to her home in
Alabama in 1887.


Quinerly was once located at or near Centreville and was named for W. A.
Quinerly who had a store there as early as 1872. In 1877, Quinerly and
Brooks had a store there and a post office was established February 9, 1894,
with Laurie J. Chapman as postmaster. Other postmasters were John C.
Patrick (1899) and George A. Johnson (1902). The post office was
discontinued January 13, 1904.
In May of 1894, Theo Bland had a fishing seine in Swift Creek near Quinerly
and caught an eight-foot sturgeon in his nets. The year 1897 was hard on
the merchants of Quinerly. On February 27, 1897, the store of J. W.
Quinerly and Brother burned, including the office of Dr. William Cobb
Whitfield, who lost all his equipment. The fire was blamed on an arsonist
who probably did it in retaliation against W. B. Quinerly who had killed a
man in Greenville in an altercation the week before. Quinerly and Brother
moved their store to Ayden.
In June of 1897, the store of L. J. Chapman and Co. at Quinerly was struck
by lightning but only slightly damaged.
In January of 1899, Dr. Joseph E. Nobles, newly graduated from Jefferson
Medical College of Philadelphia, located at Quinerly. He moved to Johnsons
Mill in June 1899.


Gardnersville, located about 10 miles from Grifton, was a crossroads
community that had one or two stores and a school. A post office was
established there June 6, 1894, with John A. Gardner as postmaster. Other
postmasters were Walter Gardner (1895), Addie Gardner (1895), John A.
Gardner (1897), and Charles Gardner (1900). The post office was
discontinued May 24, 1901. The post office was located in the store of John
A. Gardner. The store burned down on January 1, 1899. J. A. Stokes and Sons
had a store there in Oct. 1919 when it was reported they had been robbed.


Pullet was located near Hanrahan. R. R. Jackson had a store there as early
as 1883. A post office was established there May 21, 1886, with Franklin
Jackson as postmaster. Other postmasters were James R. Johnson (1892) and
Caleb Worthington (1894). The post office was located in the store of R. R.
Jackson and Co., which was destroyed by fire February 1, 1888.
Roger Kammerer

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