William Durand Hitch
- Born: 02 Apr 1891, MD 239
- Marriage (1): Beulah Hemby in 1914 in NC 238
- Died: 19 Nov 1940, Onslow Co., NC 240
- BuriedMale: Abt 22 Nov 1940, Southwest Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery, Onslow Co., NC 241
In the Federal Census of 1920, W.D. Hitch is indicated in a household in Jacksonville, Onslow County, NC as follows: - W.D. Hitch, age 28, born in MD - Beulah Hitch, age 25, born in NC - Edward Hitch, age 4, born in NC.
From "The Daily News," Jacksonville, NC Saturday, March 20, 1999 New River's magic part of local legacy
To the editor:
Few people know about Buzzard Island. It's unusual because it floats. Our favorite place to swim was where Fisherman's Wharf is now located, and we could look out across the river and see Buzzard Island.
If a new kid came to swim with us, we would ask him to guess why the buzzards flew over Buzzard Island. The answer: Because they couldn't fly under it.
But then the conversation got serious, and we'd tell stories that Buzzard Island would sometimes float too far up the river and Mr. Durant Hitch would hook a tow rope onto the island and tow it back down the river. We thought that Mr. Hitch knew a lot about boats to be able to do something like that. Maybe it was some sort of river magic. It was a great story, but alas as I grew older, I realized that the story was not true. Boating and swimming were still a lot of fun, but some of the magic of the river disappeared. That's part of growing up.
After all of these years, many things have changed. No one swims across the way from Buzzard Island, but we do have Fisherman's Wharf. The Jacksonville Host Lions Club meets there every Thursday. I usually sit by Hederick Aman, who is 92 years old. He has lived in Jacksonville for many years. One day I told him the story about Buzzard Island. He had heard it many times before.
During the conversation, he gave me some information that added a new dimension to an old story. Buzzard Island is a mat of tangled roots and vegetation that is like a piece of sandwich bread resting upon some gooey mud. According to Hederick, there was a big storm many years ago, and part of Buzzard Island broke loose and drifted down the river until it lodged against the bridge. Someone (it may have been Mr. Hitch) did actually use a boat to tow this debris away. This information shows that many folklore stories have some foundation of truth.
There is some river magic. Real people can do things to clean up our river. We can leave a legacy for future generations. What kind of story will it be?
William married Beulah Hemby, daughter of James Thomas Hemby and Julia Gurganus, in 1914 in NC.238 (Beulah Hemby was born on 13 Mar 1895 in NC,242 died on 21 Aug 1973 in Jacksonville, Onslow Co., NC 243 and was buried about 24 Aug 1973 in Southwest Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery, Onslow Co., NC 244.)