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Mecklenburg People

William Thomas "W.T." Harris

William Thomas (W. T.) Harris, of the Harris Teeter grocery store chain, was a prominent businessman, self-made millionaire, Baptist devotee, politician, and community advocate

Mary Jackson

Mary Anna Jackson (1831-1915) was the wife of General Thomas Stonewall Jackson. She was born near Charlotte and was educated at Salem Academy from 1847-49. In Virginia, she met Jackson, and they married in 1857. Only one of their children survived infancy.

When the Civil War began, Mrs. Jackson returned to Charlotte. In 1863, General Jackson was mortally wounded in battle. Mrs. Jackson traveled to his bedside and was with him when he died. Mrs. Jackson lived at her Charlotte home on West Trade Street.

William Owens

William Allison Owens (ca 1834 - July 19, 1864), the first mayor of Charlotte, was elected in 1861; he was re-elected in 1863. In 1864, at the age of 28, Owens resigned his office to serve in the Civil War. He served in the Bethel Regiment and the 11 and 13th Regiments N.C. troops. He was appointed colonel of his regiment on May 6, 1863. He was killed at Snicker's Ferry, Virginia, July 18, 1864.



(1) North Carolina Troops, v.13, p.64., edited by Weymouth Jordan. 

Zebulon Vance

Zebulon Vance (1830-1895) was a lawyer, state legislator (1854), congressman (1858), U.S. senator (1870, 1878, 1885, 1891) and N.C. governor (1862,1864, 1876). He began his law studies in Tennessee, but came to the University of North Carolina in 1851. It was during this time that his true talent in politics emerged.

Charlotte Kelly

Charlotte Kelly (August 31, 1897 - January 30, 1988) was a professional astronomer. She graduated from Wellsley College in 1919. Her first position was at the Observatory of the Univerity of Virginia's Leander McCormick Observatory. At the Observatory her work involved researching the distance of stars.

Benjamin Patton

Benjamin Patton was one of the original signers of the Meckenburg Declaration of Independence. Very little is known about Benjamin Patton. He is believed to have moved here from Pennsylvania with other early settlers. Although he first purchased land on 1/24/1762 on Buffalo Creek in Anson County from Governor Arthur Dobbs' royal grant, he later was a citizen of Cabarrus County, Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties not having been formed yet.

Melvin Watt

A 1967 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Melvin L. (Mel) Watt (1945-) earned the highest academic average in his class at UNC's Business School. He earned his law degree from Yale University in 1970, and returned to his hometown of Charlotte to practice law.

William Kennon

William Kennon (circa 1735 - ?) was one of the original signers of the Meckenburg Declaration of Independence. Although most of the signers were Presbyterians, William Kennon was Anglican and not even a citizen of the county. Although born and raised near Petersburg, Virginia, he went to the College of New Jersey, now known as Princeton University, to finish his formal education.

John Phifer

John Phifer (March 25, 1747 - 1778) was one of the signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. He was the son of Martin Phifer, a Swiss emigrant, who came to America in the late 1730s. Phifer was a planter and prosperous land owner. His land included two State grants that were given after the state was organized. In 1768, he married Catherine Barringer, the daughter of Mecklenburg Declaration signer, Paul Barringer.