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If you are an artist living in or have a studio in Chatham Co., and would like to join the Chatham Artists Guild and the 19th Annual Studio Tour, please go to our website www.chathamartistsguild.org and download our “New Artists Application.” The Studio Tour is a juried event and all applications will be considered. If you have any questions, please feel free to call Maggie Zwilling at 336.581.3763. We look forward to hearing from you.
Museum Receives Chavis Biography
A biography of John Chavis, early 19th-century educator and minister, was presented by Martha Hope Smith to the Chatham Historical Museum in honor Ruth Horton, for her years of service to the people of Chatham County.
The 60-page biography, subtitled A Remarkable Negro who Conducted a School in North Carolina for White Boys and Girls, was written by The Rev. G. C. Shaw and published in 1931.
Chavis, born free, lived from 1763 to1838. He studied at Princeton College and was licensed to preach by the Presbyterian church. Missionary, schoolmaster, and tutor, he taught both white and black children in Granville, Wake and Chatham counties, among them Chatham-born Charles Manly, Governor of North Carolina in mid-century. In 1831, Chavis’s career was cut short when the state legislature ruled that no Negro be allowed to preach to or teach African-Americans, although he continued to conduct his school.
Ruth [Waddell] Horton was born in Randolph County but moved with her family to Chatham County at an early age. She graduated from Horton High School, attended St. James Mission, and is now a member of St. Bartholomew’s Church. She worked at the poultry plant for 20 years before starting service as a homemaker in the Chatham County Department of Social Services, from which she retired about 2005. “Everybody loved you,” said Vicki Alston, a co-worker, “both the clients and the staff.” Ruth’s daughters are Stella Horton, a school administrator in New Jersey, and the late Margie Ellison.
The museum collection of the Chatham County Historical Association, Inc., survived the county courthouse fire in March, and an interim space for public access was generously provided by Elizabeth Anderson at 184 East Street. County commissioners recently approved a schedule for reconstruction of the historic building, which will include space to present a factual, balanced account of the history of Chatham County.