Thomas Henry Hitch
- Born: 24 Feb 1869, Worcester Co., MD 142
- Marriage (1): Elnora McGrath on 12 Apr 1892 in Wicomico Co., MD 141
- Died: 23 Apr 1957, MD 28
- BuriedMale: Abt 26 Apr 1957, Zion Cemetery, Meadow Bridge Rd., Worcester Co., MD
Thomas H. Hitch, as a member of the Prohibition Party, ran for the Maryland House of Delegates in 1898 for Worcester County. He was defeated with a vote count of 337. (Maryland Manual, 1898)
In the Federal Census of 1900, Thomas H. Hitch is indicated in District 7 (Atkinsons), Worcester County, Maryland (ED106, sheet 11, line 67) in a household as follows: - Thomas H. Hitch, born 2/1869 in MD - Mrs. Thomas H. Hitch, born 11/1875 in MD - Duran W. Hitch, born 4/1893 in MD - Golsborough Hitch born 9/1894 in MD - Samuel D. Hitch, born 2/1899 in MD.
In the Federal Census of 1910, Thomas Hitch is indicated in Onslow County, North Carolina in a household as follows: - Thomas Hitch, age 40, born in MD - Ellanor Hitch, age 35, born in MD - Willie Hitch, age 17, born in MD - Goldsboro Hitch (male), age 15, born in MD - Darcy Hitch (male), age 11, born in MD - James Hitch, age 5, born in MD - Annie Hitch, age ??, born in NC.
In the Federal Census of 1920, T.H. Hitch is indicated in a household in Jacksonville, Onslow County, NC as follows: - T.H. Hitch, age 42, born in MD - Elnora Hitch, age 40, born in MD - Harold Hitch, age 12, born in NC - Pearl Hitch, age 9, born in NC - Leroy Hitch, age 7, born in NC
Thomas H. Hitch and family went to live in Onslow Co., North Carolina in May 1906. Thomas and wife returned to Salisbury, Maryland in 1921 while some others of the family stayed in North Carolina. I entered an article about the family's trek to North Carolina in the Hitch Family Newsletter (Number 11):
The following is an original write-up done by a Mrs. Roscoe Taylor regarding the local history around Jacksonville, North Carolina. It was sent to me by Mrs. Louie Hitch of that location and transcribed below exactly as written:
A Bit of History
-by- Mrs. Roscoe Taylor
In the early 1900s, Thomas H. Hitch and his wife Eleanor McGrath, with their four sons, Durand, Goldsboro, Dorsey and Harold Hitch, left their home in Fruitland, Maryland, and came to live in Onslow County (Note by Mrs. Louis Hitch: "the first day of May 1906").
Mr. Hitch and his family first lived in the little village of Verona (NC), located on the Wilmington and New Bern railroad which had merged with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company of Virginia in May of 1900, thereby making it the third largest railroad system in North Carolina.
This was the ideal place for Mr. Hitch to set up his saw mill and logging operations. Timber was plentiful and the railroad convenient for the shipping of lumber. A few years later Mr. Hitch moved his mill a little nearer to Jacksonville (NC) at a place known as Jarman's Crossing. Here he continued his business of lumbering. During his stay at Jarman's Crossing, two additions were added to his family. His only daughter, Pearl Hitch, and his fifth and last son, LeRoy Hitch, were born at this place.
About 1918 Mr. Hitch made another move - bringing his entire operations into Jacksonville. He set up his mill on the left side of the old railroad trestle bridge on the New River.
The Palm-Lee Lumber Company which was located there a few years earlier, had an explosion in 1906, and the fly wheel of the mill propelled by the explosion, sailed through the air with such force it crashed into the roof of the Giles' two-story home, located just across the street from the Onslow Courthouse. The fly wheel penetrated, not only the roof but on down to the first floor, scattering bits of metal as it went. This mill was never rebuilt.
After Mr. Hitch set up his mill in the new location he built a fine home for his family between the old Baptist Church and the beautiful New River, where the Hitch family were to live for the next decade.
There was no electric service in the town of Jacksonville, so Mr. Hitch decided to put an electric plant into operation. His plant, operated by gasoline engine, was located in the vicinity of the present day Jacksonville water plant, and it furnished electricity for about 100 families. This was the first electric lights in Onslow County. Prior to this time kerosene lamps and lanterns were the only means of illumination for the people of the town.
It's true, the electricity for the lights came on after sundown and went off at 10 o'clock at night, but it was a most welcomed commodity for all those who could afford the new luxury. This writer has been told by some of the people who lived out in the country it was such a pleasure to come into town and visit a home that had electric lights.
Mr. Hitch's eldest son, Durand Hitch, married Beulah Hemby of the Southwest community and they lived in a house located on the bank of the New River. This was very convenient for Durand Hitch, for his love was the water and fishing. In fact he became a commercial fisherman, which was a disappointment to his father, who had expected him to join him in the family business of lumbering.
Mr. Hitch was an aggressive man and always busy, but he found time to assist those who needed his expert. When Mr. Albert Venters was ready to set up a saw mill and logging operations on the Gum Branch in the year of 1919, Mr. Hitch was his advisor and counselor all the way. Shortly after this, about 1921, the Hitch family left Onslow and went back to Maryland to live but (Thomas H.) Hitch left his mark and earned a place in Onslow History.
Researched & Written
-by- Mrs. Roscoe Taylor Onslow County Historian June 1978
Thomas married Elnora McGrath, daughter of Rev. James Hooper McGrath and Lydia Annie Pusey, on 12 Apr 1892 in Wicomico Co., MD.141 (Elnora McGrath was born on 29 Oct 1875 in Worcester Co., MD,143 died on 28 May 1955 in MD 8 and was buried about 31 May 1955 in Zion Cemetery, Meadow Bridge Rd., Worcester Co., MD.)