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Collection Number: 04761

Collection Title: Cavin and Leonard Family Papers, 1797-1942

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


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Size 1.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 435 items)
Abstract Cavin and Leonard family, chiefly farmers and teachers of Iredell County, N.C. Among Arabella Cavin's children was John H. Cavin. John H. and Sarah Cavin's children included John Y. Cavin, who taught school in Texas, and Milas, who taught in North Carolina. Milas and Laura Freeland Cavin's children included Meta; Ida; Wyatt; and Wade, who married Pearle Leonard and lived in Troutman, N.C. Wade and Pearle's children included Robert W. and Wade Leonard Cavin, who served with the U.S. Navy in World War II. Leonard family members included Margaret Bustle, who, after the death of John Bustle, married Martin S. Leonard in 1833. Their children included Robert R. Leonard, father of Pearle Leonard Cavin. Correspondence of the Leonard, Cavin, and related Troutman, Brown, Freeland, Hibbits, and other families, mostly about routine family matters. Included are letters in the 1850s describing John Y. Cavin's teaching activities in Texas. The few letters with references to the Civil War are from Milas Cavin, who served with Confederate forces in 1864. After the turn of the century, there are occasional letters of Wyatt Cavin, who lived in Rocky Mount, N.C., and worked for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad from around 1890 into the 1930s. In 1906-1907, there are courtship letters to Pearle Leonard from various suitors, and, in 1944, there is a letter of Wade Leonard Cavin detailing his World War II activities. Financial and legal materials include deeds, indentures, wills, receipts, accounting sheets, and estate papers relating to Bustle, Troutman, Leonard, and Cavin family members. Also included are clippings; school materials, including lists of school rules; and family photographs, all of which are unidentified.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Cavin and Leonard Family Papers #4761, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Purchased from Doug Mattox in July 1995 (Acc. 95088).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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Cavin and Leonard family, chiefly farmers and teachers of Iredell County, N.C. Among Arabella Cavin's children was John H. Cavin. John H. and Sarah Cavin's children included John Y. Cavin, who taught school in Texas, and Milas, who taught in North Carolina. Milas and Laura Freeland Cavin's children included Meta; Ida; Wyatt; and Wade, who married Pearle Leonard and lived in Troutman, N.C. Wade and Pearle's children included Robert W. and Wade Leonard Cavin, who served with the U.S. Navy in World War II. Leonard family members included Margaret Bustle, who, after the death of John Bustle, married Martin S. Leonard in 1833. Their children included Robert R. Leonard, father of Pearle Leonard Cavin.

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Correspondence of the Leonard, Cavin, and related Troutman, Brown, Freeland, Hibbits, and other families, mostly about routine family matters. Included are letters in the 1850s describing John Y. Cavin's teaching activities in Texas. The few letters with references to the Civil War are from Milas Cavin, who served with Confederate forces in 1864. After the turn of the century, there are occasional letters of Wyatt Cavin, who lived in Rocky Mount, N.C., and worked for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad from around 1890 into the 1930s. In 1906-1907, there are courtship letters to Pearle Leonard from various suitors, and, in 1944, there is a letter of Wade Leonard Cavin detailing his World War II activities. Financial and legal materials include deeds, indentures, wills, receipts, accounting sheets, and estate papers relating to Bustle, Troutman, Leonard, and Cavin family members. Also included are clippings; school materials, including lists of school rules; and family photographs, all of which are unidentified.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1826-1944 and undated.

About 80 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Letters relating to members of the Leonard, Cavin, and related Troutman, Brown, Freeland, Hibbitts, and other families, chiefly in Iredell County, N.C. Most letters are about routine family matters, mainly daily activities of family members and concern among them about estate settlements and other financial affairs.

In the 1830s and 1840s, many items relate to Martin S. Leonard, Matthew D. Leonard, and Arabella Cavin in Iredell County and to Jacob Troutman in Missouri. In the late 1840s, the focus shifts to Arabella's sons Robert and John H. Cavin and to John's wife Sarah. In the 1850s, many letters are from John Y. Cavin, a teacher in Texas.

The few letters with references to the Civil War are from Milas Cavin, son of John and Sarah, who served with Confederate forces in 1864. In the 1870s, there are a few letters from S. A. Cavin, probably John Y. Cavin's widow, who remained in Texas. In the 1880s, there are several letters from Freeland family relatives to Laura Freeland Cavin, Milas's wife.

After the turn of the century, there are occasional letters relating to R. R. Leonard and Troutman and other family members, but most items relate to Wade Cavin of Troutman, N.C., his wife Pearle Leonard Cavin, and his brother Wyatt, who lived in Rocky Mount, N.C., and worked for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad from around 1890 into the 1930s.

Particularly in 1906-1907, there are courtship letters to Pearle Leonard from various suitors. Among these are several letters from Thomas M. Young, who broke off his correspondence in a 17 May 1907 letter after seeing Pearle and Wade together, admitting at the same time his engagement to another woman. In 1911, there is a letter from Pearle to Wade, indicating that the couple were married and had a young child.

Of interest is an anonymous letter, dated 20 June 1906, to Lula Daughtridge, urging her to use her influence as Wade Cavin's friend to get him to help his sisters Meta and Ida, who were "living pathetic lives." Wyatt's reaction to that letter is shown in his letter of 24 June 1906: "Anybody who is low enough to write a letter & not sign their name will bear watching."

Also of interest is a 1944 letter of Wade Leonard Cavin, Wade and Pearle's son, from a U.S. Naval Hospital in Australia, where he was recuperating from overexertion. The letter presents a detailed accounting of Cavin's labors and includes an official document commending him and separating him from the Navy because of a "slight tropical illness."

Folder 1

1826-1857 #04761, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1944 and undated." Folder 1

Folder 2

1861-1895 #04761, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1944 and undated." Folder 2

Folder 3

1900-1905 #04761, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1944 and undated." Folder 3

Folder 4

1906-1942 and undated #04761, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1826-1944 and undated." Folder 4

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1797-1940s and undated.

About 280 items.

Arrangement: roughly chronological.

Materials include deeds, indentures, wills, receipts, accounting sheets, and other items relating to Bustle, Troutman, Leonard, and Cavin family members. Early items relate particularly to Arabella Cavin, mother of John H. Cavin, and to John and Margaret Bustle, all of Iredell County, N.C. Of interest in the 1830s are John Bustle's undated will, the 1833 marriage certificate of his widow Margaret Bustle and Martin S. Leonard, and an 1834 document showing the disposition of John's estate in 1834.

Some materials in the 1850s relate to teacher James C. Cavin. In the 1880s and 1890s, there are many items relating to R. R. Leonard, who was often executor of family estates. Included is a power of attorney from the Texas branch of the Leonard family. In the 1900s and 1910s, there are many bills and receipts relating to Wade Cavin's purchase of horses and wagons, and, in 1901, there is a letter from a collection agency to R. R. Leonard. In 1926, there is a legal complaint against Wade and Pearle Cavin, who had failed to make payments. Items in the 1930s and 1940s relate chiefly to Robert W. and Cora Inez Cavin, son and daughter-in-law of Wade and Pearle.

Among the undated materials is Milas A. Cavin's teaching contract.

Folder 5

1797-1820s #04761, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1797-1940s and undated." Folder 5

Folder 6-7

Folder 6

Folder 7

1830s #04761, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1797-1940s and undated." Folder 6-7

Folder 8

1840s #04761, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1797-1940s and undated." Folder 8

Folder 9-10

Folder 9

Folder 10

1840s #04761, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1797-1940s and undated." Folder 9-10

Folder 11

1850s-1870s #04761, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1797-1940s and undated." Folder 11

Folder 12

1880s-1890s #04761, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1797-1940s and undated." Folder 12

Folder 13

1900s-1910s #04761, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1797-1940s and undated." Folder 13

Folder 14

1920s #04761, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1797-1940s and undated." Folder 14

Folder 15

1930s-1940s #04761, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1797-1940s and undated." Folder 15

Folder 16

Undated #04761, Series: "2. Financial and Legal Materials, 1797-1940s and undated." Folder 16

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Other Materials, 1845-1906 and undated.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Pictures, 1880s-1940s.

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Processing Information

Processed by: Jackie Dean and Roslyn Holdzkom, September 1995

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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