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Margaret Parthenia Evelyn Hooker

(1839-1923)

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At a Glance

Margaret Parthenia Evelyn Hooker of Hillsborough, NC attended the Burwell School in the late 1840s and early 1850s. As a young bride, she and her husband Henry Nicholas Brown, [Sr.], rented the Burwell School property in 1857, and planted the great sugar maple tree on the front lawn of the Burwell School in 1857 to mark the birth of his first son, LeClair Hooker Brown [1].

Story

Margaret Parthenia Evelyn Hooker of Hillsborough, NC is the last name that appeared on the list of students in the Burwell School Catalogue of 1848-51 [2]; but of all the Burwell students, she probably had the longest and most intimate association with the school's grounds and buildings. For nearly all her long life (eighty-four years) she was scarcely a stone's throw from the school; as a bride she lived in the Burwell's former home for five years, and at least two of her children were born there.

Margaret Parthenia Evelyn Hooker was the second daughter of Nathan Hooker and Julia A. Hooker. A younger sister, Cornelia B. Hooker, died at sixteen in the terrible summer epidemic of 1852, but Cornelia is not listed in the Burwell School Catalogue of 1848-51 [2], although it is possible that she may have attended the school. The Hookers lived on the northern edge of Hillsborough, NC only a short distance, north-northwest, from the Burwell School.

Margaret Hooker was a day student, very likely in the late 1840s and early 1850s. One thing points to her special interest in stones and minerals. Her gravestone in the Hooker-Brown plot in Old Town Cemetery in Hillsborough, NC is an enormous rounded piece of scintillating native white quartz which she is said to have selected herself.

At the age of sixteen, on July 25, 1855, she married Henry Nicholas Brown, [Sr.]. The young Browns rented the Burwell School property as a residence when the Burwells removed to Charlotte, NC in 1857, and tradition says they remained there for approximately five years. Henry Nicholas Brown, [Sr.] planted the great sugar maple tree on the front lawn of the Burwell School property in 1857 to mark the birth of his first child, LeClair Hooker Brown. Descendants Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Gay of Winston-Salem, NC provided the bronze plaque marking the tree and the event. Other children of the Browns were: Anne Vasseur Brown; Julia Estelle Brown; and Henry Nicholas Brown, [Jr.]. Anne Vasseur Brown was also born in the Burwell dwelling house.

In July 1867, Henry Nicholas Brown, [Sr.] acquired the controlling interest (Deed Book 37, 479) in Dr. Edmund Strudwick's property (Lot 59) next door to the Burwells on the south, although the Browns may have been living there some years earlier. Lot 59 was on February 10, 1874, formally conveyed to Margaret P. Brown (Deed Book 42, 199). The Brown family continued to own the property until 1955, but in 1960 the  "Old Strudwick House"  was razed. The renovated separate brick kitchen still stands, however, as does a walkway of trees leading to an iron garden gate opening to the Burwell grounds.

Margaret Parthenia Hooker was a widow for some fifteen years before her own death on April 21, 1923, at the age of eighty-four [1].

Biographical Data

Important Dates

Margaret Parthenia Evelyn Hooker was born on March 11, 1839. She died on April 21, 1923, and was buried in Old Town Cemetery in Hillsborough, NC.

Places of Residence

Schools Attended

  • Burwell School, between the the late 1840s and the early 1850s. Margaret Hooker would have been a day student [1].

Relatives

References

  1. Mary Claire Engstrom. The Book of Burwell Students: Lives of Educated Women in the Antebellum South. (Hillsborough: Hillsborough Historic Commission, 2007).
  2. Burwell School Catalogue of 1848-51.