Friday, August 4, 2017

Yin/Yang: The Bandy's in a Minute

The Bandy family is a long and storied family in North Carolina, reportedly of Irish-Scottish descent. Our brush with them is really distant. One of Johannes "John" Holler's children from his first marriage married John Bandy, linking the families. I don't plan to spend a lot of time on this family, but I did run  across a couple of things of interest all within the same family.
Lincoln and Iredell Counties were the home of most of the Holler Clan
Lincoln was split up to create Catawba County in 1842
Christeaner Holler was born about 1784 in Lincoln County, North Carolina. She married John Bandy on 04 Nov 1817 in Lincoln County. They had at least six children, among them, twins James Marcus Bandy and John Wesley Bandy, born in 1824.

James Marcus' story ends relatively soon and sadly. He was a private in Company I, 12th US Infantry Regiment and was on his way by sea to Mexico to fight in the war, when he contracted the measles and died aboard ship on 15 Jul 1847.

His twin, John Wesley married Harriet Ramsey, born 08 Feb 1823 in North Carolina. They had three children: James Marcus "Mark" and Jane Elizabeth, also twins, and Luther Henderson Bandy. Harriet died in 1871 and John Wesley remarried to Mary Weaver in 1873.

Daughter Jane married Samuel Gregory 21 Apr 1866. Her husband died before 1880. She died 29 Oct 1920 of  breast cancer complicated by Bright's Disease.

The two sons of the Bandy/Ramsey union could not have been more different from one another.

Son, Luther, the baby, was born in November 1850 and according to one family chronicler, was living with the family of Elizabeth Matilda "Til" Probst in Catawba County in 1870. He and "Til," had two children who retained the Probst name, Cora and Ched. Ched probably died as an infant.

Whether he was in common law marriage with Til is not known, but he moved on some time later and found himself charged with "bastardy" after it became apparent Elmina Canipe was having an out of wedlock child. A bastardy bond was taken out by others who then went after Luther. Jane, the daughter, was born in 1876. Luther was sent to jail and reportedly used his inherited land to get himself out of jail. There are reports that they married and that they didn't marry, but I have yet to find a marriage record. Doesn't mean there isn't one.

Finally, Luther reportedly married Nancy Aiken on 07 Feb 1887 - there is a marriage record, it's just not 100% that it was this Luther. However, by the 1920 census, he is living in Gaston County and is without wife and is listed on his death certificate as widowed when he died 07 Nov 1930 in Lincoln County. He spent his life as a common laborer and didn't manage to do a lot other than making babies outside the bonds of legal matrimony.

Confederate Drummer Boy
In contrast, his older brother, James Marcus "Mark" Bandy, from an early age was driven. He reportedly fervently believed in the Rebel cause and became a drummer boy for his North Carolina infantry unit at age 13. He enlisted 21 May 1864 in the 72nd North Carolina Regiment, Company E. The battalion was made up primarily of boys in the 16-17 year old range in the "junior reserves." He worked his way up by war's end to Lieutenant of Co B, 8th Battalion Junior Reserves, Co E 72nd NC Regt. During the battle of Bentonville, one of the war's last battles, he was made a Captain at the age of 18 (young men were being recruited to lead as replacement healthy adult males were in short supply after years of attrition). He was with his unit when it surrendered to the North.

In 1865, he married Martha Jane Leonard of Lincoln County. They had 13 children, nine of whom survived at his death. Mark was cited in his obituary as "one of the most brilliant minds our State has ever known." He graduated from Rutherford College with a teaching certificate and taught at local high school academies and later at Shelby, NC and King's Mountain Military School. He took a bachelor of arts at Trinity College, part of Duke University located in Randolph County, and was offered the position as chair of the mathematics and engineering department at Trinity, where he remained for many years and further earned his master's degree. Bandy also organized the Scientific Society at Trinity in 1889 and became its president. He was co-author of a book on mathematics as well. Professor Bandy would move to Durham when Trinity College finally joined Duke at Durham for the 1892 school year.

The Dukes would employ Prof Bandy to build a road from Durham to Duke and he was also hired by the Page Brothers to build a railroad from Ashboro to Aberdeen. His civil engineering work led to him becoming the city engineer for Greensboro. He designed the city's water system that would remain in place until 1960. His wife would die in 1905. According to this family chronicler, he met his next wife in a most charming manner:
"Mark went to a girls school in Rock Hill, SC to make a speech. While at the Faculty dinner table, he asked for the bowl of sugar in Latin. Sallie M Joyner, a widow with two children was the only one who responded. Mark married Sallie whose maiden name was Murphy. She lived to be 96 and is buried adjacent to Mark in the Bandy Plot in Green Hill Cemetery, Greensboro, NC."
Mark died of complications of a stroke at his home on State Street in Greensboro at the age of 64. He had a very large turnout at his funeral held at Market Street Methodist Church. 

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