"But Franklinites should not forget the days and ways of their forefathers, for those people have the best hope of the tomorrow who are mindful of the yesterdays." Marshall WingfieldCOURTS AND CASESThe record of the first severe penalty assessed by a Franklin County Court reads as follows: "At a court held at Franklin Court House on Wednesday, the 15th of September, 1786, for the examination of Robert Edmonds and Rebecca Edmonds, his wife, who was committed on suspicion of stealing from Charles Draughton a squirrel skin purse and in it one Doubloon, a Joannis, Eight and one-half Joaneses and one Guinea.
it being demanded of the said prisoners whether they were guilty of the fact wherewith they stand charged, or not guilty, the said Robert Edmonds answered that he is guilty of the fact wherewith he stands charged.
whereupon the said Robert Edmonds threw himself on the mercy of the Court and it is ordered that he stand one half hour in the pillory, to commence one-half after four oclock, receive thirty-nine lashes on his bare back and have both ears cropped.WILLIAM DICKERSONI was 39 years old when the slaves were freed. Up to that time I was owned by Miss Nancy Dickerson of Franklin County. Her parents had died and the slaves were divided by lot between Miss Nancy and her brother. She drew my mother and her six children. Me and my brother were house servants for Miss Nancy. I remember a "nigger trader" came to the house one day when I was dusting and offered Miss Nancy $2,000 for me. She said, "I promised his mother I'd never sell or trade her and her children, so I can't talk to you about it". After the surrender some of us boys would walk up the road singing that we were free and would not work any more, but we soon got over that. Before I came here 40 years ago I went to see Miss Nancy. All her property was gone and she was living with a friend. I gave her the last dollar I had and wished I had had more to give her. I never saw her again for I've never been back to Virginia since I came here in 1895.TOWNS AND VILLAGESThe present day Rocky Mount (1935) has extensive furniture manufacturing plants, a flourishing silk mill, bottling works, broom factory, tinware and antique manufactories, two tobacco warehouses, three garages, wholesale and retail hardware houses, bakery, a number of general stores, a department store, two drug stores, a jewelry store, men's and women's furnishing stores, furniture and house furnishing stores, two hotels and other business enterprises.The first sidewalk was laid in 1909, in front of the courthouse and extending the length of the block. Prior to 1909, the sidewalk was of brick or stone. Now there are three or four miles of concrete sidewalks in the town and nearly as much mileage of paved streets. The population of Rocky Mount is about 2,000 within the corporate limits, with 1000 just outside.show more