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Sylvanius Lafayette Bolinger
by Jody Hill

Fate Photo There isn't much known about his family. His mother was named Margaret Springs and was from the Charlotte area, maybe Gaston County. S.L. did not think much of his mother, and my mother said they never heard him speak of her. Margaret had one daughter that was older than the two boys, S.L. and Sloan. S.L. lived with his sister in Catawba County near Balls Creek, and went to school somewhere in Catawba County, we think. I don't know S.L.'s sister's name. Sloan was raised by the Springs in Belmont, and he went to school there. His first wife was named Betty from Gaston County his second Nannie from Belmont. We don't know their maiden names. Nannie's brother was mayor of Belmont at one time after she married Uncle Sloan. Uncle Sloan and Aunt Nannie lived in McAddenville. He belonged to a Presbyterian church in Belmont, and Aunt Nannie was a Methodist, church also in Belmont. Likely, Sloan is buried in Belmont. According to death records, Uncle Sloan died in 1945 at Stoney Point, NC, may be a nursing home (?). His mother was listed as Margaret Springs and father unknown.

Bill said that Uncle Sloan was adopted by the Springs in Belmont and her dad was adopted by his sister but kept his name. His sister may have been a Bolinger. I will look for her in Catawba County records. I haven't a clue about her as of now. I don't think S.L. was adopted, but his sister took out papers as his guardian, I think. Bill said that when her dad introduced Uncle Sloan people couldn't understand why they had different names. S.L. always said, "Sloan is a Springs and has money, and I am a Bolinger and have children." Neither of Uncle Sloan's wives had children. Aunt Nannie got all of his property and household goods. He had some pretty Victorian furniture that had belonged to Aunt Betty. I remember sitting on the black horsehair sofa and being miserable because it was prickly on my bare legs. Mama always thought they should have gotten some keepsake from Aunt Betty. By the time Uncle Sloan died, Aunt Lois, his favorite niece, had also died, so that may explain why he did not think of them in his will.

S.L. started teaching school quite early. Aunt Mary, Grandma Bolinger's sister, said he was quite the stuff when he was young and had lots of girl friends. He used to court Aunt Mary some, and she told the story that he came to visit her and saw Lucy when she was seven or eight and decided to wait for her. Grandma was 18 when she married and S.L. was twelve or so years older than she. My grandmother Mundy was born in 1861 and she was older than Grandma Bolinger and younger than S.L.

Prior to moving to Lincoln County, S.L. and Lucy lived in Lowel in Gaston County. Lucy's (Emily Louise Mullen) mother was Emily Jane Lowe from Lowesville in Gaston County. My mother was born in Lowell and I think most of the others were born there or at least in Gaston County. S.L. taught school in several schools in Gaston County. Bill was born in Lincoln County.

S.L. and Lucy moved to Lincoln County to take care of her mother and father. She was left the house and considerable acreage for doing so. S.L. did not want to move. However, he taught school in Lincoln County at Macedonia, a one room school and farmed a little. My mother remembered both her grandparents. Her grandfather (James Patrick Mullen) was unable to walk and crawled on his knees. Mama said that there was a groove on the porch where he crawled to get in his buggy at the side of the porch. He was known in Lincoln County for his fearsome driving. He liked fast, fancy horses.

S.L. was also the lay preacher for Amity Baptist Church. Mama said they always had the preacher for Sunday dinner when he did come to the church. Mama also told me that one day there was a baptizing at the creek, and her daddy was praying when Bill got into a hornet's nest and started screaming. S.L. didn't miss a beat in his prayer and let the rest of the family take care of Bill.

S.L. died in 1932 or there abouts. I remember him slightly. He wore a beard and looked like Abraham Lincoln. Aunt Nannie insisted that there was a connection to Nancy Hanks, but, of course, it's not documented. Aunt Nannie said she had read of the connection in a Lincoln exhibit at a World's Fair. Lucy died of pneumonia when I was four in 1934. Both of them are buried in the Amity Baptist Church Cemetery in Lincoln County.
 

Jody Mundy Hill in letter postmarked 9/25/2000

Transcribed by E. Bryan Crenshaw III 10/3/2000

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