Ulrichsburg, North Carolina (established 1789).

An article by Mills Yoder Bridges

This article is about the history of "Ulrichsburg" or "Ulrich's Burg" or "Ulricksburg" otherwise known as "Crowderstown" or "Crowder's Town" or "Crowder Town" or "Crowdertown" in memory of its founder: Ulrich Krauter / Ulrick Crowder.

First Posted: February 2, 1999 Content Last Modified: March 23, 1999

The researcher who has written this article was born and raised not far from Ulrichsburg, locally known as Crowder's Town. His parents are buried in the general area; and many of his German ancestors, who started arriving in that area in the late 1740s and owned land around and in Ulrichsburg / Crowderstown, are also buried nearby. During nearly three decades of genealogical research, this writer has researched the public records of the area for information about many of the families around Ulrichsburg, and has drawn many plats from the deeds and land grants and has fitted them together like a large jigsaw puzzle for comparison with the current Catawba County land ownership tax maps to document who lived where.

There has been recent confusion among researchers, who do not know the history of the Catawba County area, about the current location of Ulrichsburg / Crowderstown. This article is intended to provide documentation which will reveal that Ulrichsburg is still located where it has always been: south of Hickory, N. C. and west of Newton, N. C.; on State Road #1005, just south of New Jerusalem Lutheran Church, on Henry Whitener 's Muddy Creek, a branch of the Henry Fork River of the South Fork of the Catawba River.

The format of this article will be mostly chronological, with information presented as abstracts from the public records, leaving the content of the records to document the events. References will be made to the sources of the information which will permit the reader to verify the data. Other informative comments will be made by this researcher.

Sometime prior to the Spring of 1763, a German named Ulrich Krauter came into the Carolinas, probably through Charleston, and went northwest up the Wateree River to the area near the present town of Camden, S. C. Ulrich applied to the South Carolina Council under the headright and bounty system to receive land for transporting himself into the British colony.

South Carolina Land Plats: "Pursuant to a precept from the Hon. Egerton Leigh Esq. Surv'r. Gen'l. dated the 3rd May 1763, I admeasured unto Ulrick Krauter a tract of land containing 100 acres, the N. E. side of Wateree River, on Granny's Quarter Creek, in Craven Count. Bounded on all sides with vacant land. And hath such form and marks at the above plat represents. Certified by me this 27th July 1763. Sam'l. Wyly, D. S. (the plat shows the land is on both sides of Granny's Quarter Creek, with the Creek running almost north to south, and the tract is square, N15E31:62, S75E31:62 crossing the creek, S15W31:62, N75W31:62 crossing the creek) (RE: S. C. Land Plats, S. C. Department of Archives and History, Record Group 0009, Series 003, Volume 7, page 414).

Granny's or Grannie's Quarter Creek rises just south of the town of Kershaw, S. C. and flows south into the Wateree River about 8 miles north of the town of Camden, S. C. One map shows the portion of this Creek which is near the Creek mouth on the River to be named Flat Rock Creek. At the time of this grant this area was Craven County, with records being kept with the Charleston records; then in 1769 this area became part of the Camden District, with land records still being kept in Charleston; then in 1785 became part of Lancaster County; and in 1791 became part of Kershaw County.

S. C. Land Grant to Ulrich Krauter dated March 2, 1764 (RE: S. C. Department of Archives and History, Record Group 0002, Series 005, Volume 0011, page 395).

Council Journal, page 49, March 3, 1764: Grants on the bounty: Ulrich Krauter - 100 acres on Wateree River, Craven County." (RE: "South Carolina Immigrants 1760 to 1770" abstracted by Jack Moreland Jones and Mary Bondurant Warren-1988).

S. C. Land Memorial: "Ulrick Krauter 100 acres. A memorial exhibited by Ulrick Krauter to be registered in the Aud'r. Office &Cd. Of a Plantation or tract of land cont'g. 100 acres, situate in Craven County on the N. E. side of Watere River, On Grannies quarter Creek bounded on all sides by vacant land. Survey certified the 27th July 1763 and granted the 2nd day of March 1764 to the memorialist at the Quit R. of 3/ Ster. or 4/ Pro: money per hundred acres. To commence T(en?) years from the date hereof. In witness whereof he hath hereunto set his hand the 15th day of March 1764. Signed: Ulrick Crowder. S. Wyly, D. S. Certified by R. Lambton D'y. Aud'r." (RE: S. C. Land Memorials, S. C. Department of Archives and History, Record Group 0030, Series 002, Volume 6, page 228). NOTE: This document provides evidence that the "Krauter" name was changed to "Crowder", and that "Ulrich" and "Ulrick" were used interchangeably.

A land record has not been found to show that Ulrick Crowder ever sold this land. It is possible that he sold it and the deed was never recorded, or that he did not pay the quit rents and the land title lapsed to the Crown.

A connection has not been found between Ulrich/Ulrick Krauter/Crowder and the Michael Crowder who obtained land in S. C. from a precept (survey warrant) dated Dec. 14, 1753 which was surveyed January 23, 1754. The plat shows fifty acres being part of an island in Broad River and part opposite in the fork between Broad and Saludy Rivers adjoining Vincent Goodbroot. (RE: S. C. Department of Archives and History, Record Group 9, Series 3, Volume 9, page 405).

Around the same time Ulrich Crowder received the South Carolina land grant on Grannie's Quarter Creek of the Wateree River, Ulrich also appears upstream, north about 100 miles, in North Carolina on a tributary of the Wateree River, in a German community on the South Fork of the Catawba River near Heinrich Weidner / Henry Whitener and near the "Dutch Meeting House". His presence is documented in the various North Carolina county records of that area including Rowan County, Mecklenburg, Tryon, Burke, Wilkes, Lincoln, and ending in the present area of Catawba County, just south of Hickory and west of Newton, N. C. where Ulrich Crowder died soon after July in 1789. His memory lingers in the deeds of that Catawba County area which still refer to "Ulricksburg" and "Crowdertown", and in the presence of the "Crowdertown Road" (State Road 1005) which passes Ulrich's planned town which never fully materialized.

British Crown grant to Ulrick Crowder dated April 21, 1764 Mecklenburg County, N. C. grant # 26; book 17 page 71; 18/68 entry date __________ ; survey date ____________ (surveyed probably late 1763 or early 1764, by Francis Beatey, D. Sur'r.) 450 acres of land in Mecklenburg County on Whitner's Muddy Branch, being waters of the South Fork of the Cataubo (Catawba) River, including John Shoeford's improvements between Henry Whitner's and Bastian Cline's. Chain bearers: Jacob Egnar, Bastian Cline. (RE: N. C. Department of Archives and History). NOTE: This is the land upon which Ulrichsburg would later be located between Hickory and Newton, N. C. Technically, this was not the King's land to grant to settlers in 1764. This land was located north of the Granville line, therefore belonged to John, Earl Granville, as part of the Granville Proprietary. Lord Granville died in 1763 and his land office was not open in 1764 to grant new land. The settlers on this part of the Catawba River apparently assumed that the Crown would eventually acquire this land, so obtained Crown grants for this land under an assumption that the Crown grants would eventually be honored. Many of the tracts covered by these Crown grants in the Granville District were later re-entered by the original claimant after Independence, and were received by the claimant a second time as a grant from the State of North Carolina. There was controversy over ownership of some of these Crown grants, but from the later evidence in the land sales, Ulrick Crowder retained ownership of this tract.

Charles Beaty, deceased, estate record, Mecklenburg Co. NC (RE: N. C. Department of Archives and History, Mecklenburg County Estates Records, file C. R. 065.508.11 folder: Charles Beaty ) Returned to April session, 1765: an inventory of the estate of Charles Beaty and John Beaty by Thomas Beaty, administrator, included an account to Woolrick Crowder and another to Woldrich Crowder. Other names mentioned included: William Grant, Thomas Beaty, John Shewfort(Shuford), George Walker, John Cathey, John Beaty Jr., Richard Henderson (lawyer), Micagia Pentent(Pennington), George Pauff (Poff), Philip Rudisail, Andrew Hampton, William Heager, Jacob Forney, Samuel Coburn, John Tygart, Mr. Edwd. Fannings attorneys, George Davidson, George Renick, Paul Antoney (Anthony), James Perce, George Rutlage, ... upon the account of John Beatty, dec'd., it being a note assigned to him by Philip Rudisale dec'd ..., Thomas Coburn, Elex. Luis, Wm. Armstrong, Wm. Grant, John Shuford, Robert Harris, Edward Givens, ...John Beaty's estate to Thomas Beatty debit to 170 lbs. butter & oats weight at 3/gr pound when he went to the exepidition 25-80-0 ... , for funeral charges. NOTE: Another estate folder is for Francis Beaty who died ca 1774, with an inventory including survvying instruments, probably the surveyor who surveyed Crowder's 450 acres. NOTE: Several of the persons named in the Beaty estate record, in addition to Ulrich Crowder, are found as settlers (near Ulrichsburg) in the land records near Henry Whitener and near the "Dutch Meeting House" located in the area of the South Fork of the Catawba River.

Wilkes Co., N. C. land entry #62 dated Aug. 27, 1787 to Ulrich Crowder for 200 acres of land in Wilkes Co., N. C. on Flanery Fork of New River adjoining Moses Butts, surveyed Sept. 19, 1787 by J. W. White, D. S. with chain carriers: Joseph Moss and Jacob Moss. Grant #851 July 10, 1788 book 66 page 396 (RE: N. C. Archives and History).

Ulrick Crowder, of Lincoln Co., N. C. to John Ayers and Samuel Ayers of Wilkes Co., N. C. Wilkes Co., N. C. deed dated Oct. 13, 1788 recorded book C-1 page 1 1/2 for consideration of 100 pounds, Ulrick Crowder sells 200 acres on Flanery Fork of New River, adjoining Moses Butts, the same being granted to the said Ulrick Crowder by the State of North Carolina July 10, 1788. Witnesses: John Haglar, Benjamin Haglar, Isaac Hagler. Proven at the October, 1788 term by the oath of John Haglar. (RE: microfilm of the Wilkes Co., N. C. deeds located at the N. C. Archives).

Ulrich Crowder apparently had a second marriage, late in his life, which is documented by a Lincoln County, N. C. marriage bond dated Dec. 9, 1788 between "Ulright Crouder" and "Barbara Barier" with Martin Colter (Coulter) as his bondsman. The name of "Barbara Baringer" is written on the back of the bond. (RE: N. C. Archives and History). At this time, research has not identified any children of Ulrich

Ulrich Crowder of Wilkes Co., Georgia to Mary Magdaline Striker/Strickler of Lincoln Co., N. C. Lincoln Co. deed dated March 9, 1789 recorded book 16 page 384 for consideration of 30 shillings N. C. money for one lot in town of Ulrichsburg, N. C. on a branch of Whitener's Creek of South Fork of Catawba River containing 144 square poles or 12 poles square, it being lot #34 in the north west square. Witness: Absalom Bohnam (Bynum). This is the first recorded deed for lots in Ulrichsburg/Crowdertown.

The above reference to Ulrich Crowder of "Wilkes County, Georgia" appears in most of these Ulrichsburg deeds, but is probably a transcription error of the name of the state by the clerk recording these deeds. Ulrick Krauter/Crowder can not be found in the records of Wilkes Co., Georgia, but is found in the land records of Wilkes County, North Carolina.

One pole is 16.5 feet long, and one square pole is 272.25 square feet (16.5 feet times 16.5 feet). An acre is 43,560 square feet, and contains 160 square poles (43,560 divided by 272.25). The Ulrichsburg town lots of 144 square poles were nine-tenths of an acre in size (144 divided by 160).

Approximately 16 deeds record sales of lots from March into July, 1789 by Ulrick Crowder in a new town called "Ulricksburg" and are recorded in the Lincoln County, N. C. deed books, prior to the 1842 formation of Catawba County. These deeds reference the land which was granted to Ulrick Crowder in 1764. Abstracts of these deeds, and of other land records around Ulricksburg will be added to this article at a later date.

Purchasers of the lots included: John Yoder (ancestor of the writer of this article), Absolom Binham/Bynum, Mary Strickler/Striker, Daniel Strickler/Striker, Michael Miller, Andrew Crysel/Grysel, John Collins, Michael Mahany, Philip Earnhart, Philip Hoes/House/Hass, Martin Sigman, Philip Burns, John Husselbarger, and George Sigman. Witnesses to these deeds included: Samuel Givings, David Ramsey, Robert Blackburn, William Temple Coles, John Keener, Joseph Abernathy, Peter Forney, Towery Clininger/Cloninger, Richard Vandyke, Jas. McKesiak/McKisiak Sen. All of these names can be traced into either the 1790 and 1800 census records or the deeds of Lincoln and adjoining counties, indicating that the purchasers of the lots were the residents of the area and probably neighbors of Ulrich Crowder.

Except for the land speculation shown by Ulrich Crowder in the Ulrichsburg lot sales, the other public records do not indicate that he was different from most of his neighbors who were farmers.

Ulrick Crowder also purchased and sold other land, in addition to the Ulricksburg tract, in the Lincoln and Catawba County area, and abstracts of those records will be added to this article at a later date.

On January 6, 1790 in Lincoln County, an administrator's bond was executed with John Killian and Samuel Steel bound under the condition that John Killian serve as administrator of Ulrick Crowder, deceased, and make an inventory of all property of the deceased with a report to the County Court. (RE: Lincoln Co., N. C. Estates Records C. R. 060.508.31 folder: Ulrick Crowder, N. C. Archives and History). NOTE: At this time, the only record which is in Ulrick's estate file is the administrator's bond. Other typical records, such as the inventory, widow's dower, sale lists, receipts and final settlement, have not been found by this researcher either at the Archives or at the county courthouse in Lincolnton, N. C. A thorough search of the courthouse, including the basement, was made.

The 1837 tax list (C. R. 060.701.1) for Lincoln Co., N. C. in the area that later became Catawba County lists John Wilfong Sr. with 301 acres known as the Crowders town land.

John Wilfong's will dated May 19, 1838 and probate July, 1838 in Lincoln Co., N. C. names his daughter Mary Magdaline Wilfong Robinson, wife of Henry W. Robinson. Mary Robinson acquired ownership of the Crowdertown tract.

"A Map of Catawba County, North Carolina surveyed and drawn by R. A. Yoder, 1886" was published and copyright in 1886 by R. A. Yoder, Newton, N. C. The map locates Muddy Creek of Henry's Fork of the South Fork of the Catawba River. The "Crowder Town Road" is shown running across the Hickory township and Newton township lines, between the towns of Hickory and Newton, with the "Crowder Town Stock Farm" located in Newton township with nearby land owners listed as L. P. Seitz; S. E. Killian (to the northwest); A. Miller (to the south); and J. Lutz (to the southwest). (RE: N. C. Department of Archives and History, Map Collection 83-A. An original of Yoder's map is in the Search Room, along with copies. A copy of Yoder's map can also be found on pages VIII and IX of "The Heritage of Catawba County, North Carolina Volume I - 1986" edited by Lucille M. Fulbright and published by the Catawba County Genealogical Society).

The current Catawba County location of Crowdertown is just south of New Jerusalem Lutheran Church, and north of State Road 1005 (now known as the Crowdertown Road and as the Hickory to Startown Road), and is just north of and slightly west from the intersection of this road with the western end of State Road 1165 Settlemyre Bridge Road (sometimes known as Sigmon Road).

The A. Miller living nearing Crowdertown on the 1886 map was Absalom Miller (b. Nov. 5, 1809 d. Aug. 11, 1891; son of Philip Miller) and was an ancestor of the writer of this article. Absalom Miller is listed as a Deputy Sheriff in the 1880 Catawba Co. census in Newton Township on p. 41 at house/family 383/385, and listed nearby is Emanuel Reep age 69 on p. 39 at 358/360 who is another ancestor of this researcher. Absalom Miller is buried at nearby Old St. Paul's Church which was organized about 1759 as "the Dutch Meeting House" and was deeded in 1771 to the Lutheran and Reformed congregations, and was later known as "the South Fork Church". John Wilfong Sr., owner of Crowderstown in 1837, (b. April 8, 1762 d. June 18, 1838) is buried directly behind the church. Other early German settlers in this community are also buried here, with many graves now unmarked or marked only with a field stone.

The S. E. Killian living near Crowderstown was Samuel E. Killian (b. Sept. 9, 1842 d. Mar. 22, 1919) and is buried at Old Saint Paul's Church. Samuel is listed in the 1880 Catawba Co. census in Hickory Township p. 47 house/family 462/486. L. P. Seitz listed nearby on the map was Luther P. Sides (Seitz) b. 1848 and he is found in 1880 Hickory Township p. 59 at 579/618 beside of his father Darius D. Sides (Seitz) b. 1817 on p. 59 at 580/619.

The J. Lutz living near Crowdertown on the 1886 map was John B. Lutz (b. June, 1835 d. alive 1910 d. by 1920) and was the father of Henry P. Lutz b. Oct. 1870 and of W. Raymond Lutz b. Sept. 1874. John Lutz was listed in the 1880 census in Newton Township p. 27 at 256/258. Henry and Raymond became co-owners of the Crowdertown lands and were listed in the 1910 and 1920 Catawba Co. Federal Census as landowning dairy farmers in Newton township.

Mary M. Wilfong Robinson's will is dated Oct. 11, 1878 and was probated July 12, 1886 in Catawba Co. and is recorded in book 2 pages 348-349. In her will she gave her Crowdertown tract of land to "my daughter Cynthia E. Ramsour during her natural life and after her death to her children, and to my daughter Elmina Corpening's children .... to be divided in two parts" . (Mary M. Wilfong Robinson was b. Mar 25, 1798 and d. June 23, 1886). The 1880 census lists Henry W. Robinson age 82 and wife Mary M. age 82 on p. 45 of Hickory Township at 493/463.

These and more recent deeds recorded for the Ulrichsburg area of Catawba County can be traced to the current Catawba Count tax maps numbered 49N and 51N from the County tax office in Newton, N. C. Several of these deeds are abstracted below to provide further documentation of the location of Ulrichsburg/Crowder Town/Crowdertown.

Mary M. Robinson, dec'd. by commissioners to heirs of A. L. and Elizabeth Ramsour deed dated April 8, 1887 recorded Catawba Co., N. C. book 32 pages 250-264. for 135 1/2 acres in Catawba Co. crossing Crowdertown Road, being the north part of Crowdertown land, lot number 1, excepting one acre at the NE corner sold to G. M. Wilfong. Surveyed Feb. 15, 1887 by John M Houck. Plat in Catawba County Divisions of Land Vol. X-1B Page 363.(RE: N. C. Archives and History, microfilm C.021.50044).

Mary M. Robinson, dec'd. by commissioners to heirs of Joseph and Elmina Corpening deed dated April 8, 1887 recorded Catawba Co., N. C. book 32/250-264. for 157 1/2 acres in Catawba Co. crossing old Crowdertown Road, being the south part of Crowdertown land, lot number 2. Surveyed Feb. 15, 1887 by John M Houck. Plat in Catawba County Divisions of Land Vol. X-1B Page 363.(RE: N. C. Archives and History, microfilm C.021.50044).

Corpening heirs to Henry P. Lutz and W. Raymond Lutz, deed dated April 22, 1899 recorded Catawba County, N. C. book 57/277 for $2,500 for 157 1/2 acres, lot number 2 of Crowdertown land.

"A History of Catawba County" compiled and published by the Catawba County Historical Association, Inc. (1954) and edited by Charles J. Preslar, Jr. comments on Ulrichsburg and on page 371 states: .... "Ulrichsburg was located at the site now owned by the Lutz brothers and used for dairy farms. Its location is a few miles west of Newton."

Some researchers are confused about the location of Ulrichsburg / Crowder's Town in Catawba County due to the location of Crowder's Mountain and Crowder's Creek in Gaston County approximately 32 miles south of Ulrichsburg. To the best of this researcher's knowledge, there is no known, verifiable primary or secondary documentation in the public records to associate Ulrick Crowder with Crowder's Creek and Crowder's Mountain, now located within Crowders Mountain State Park, in Gaston County, N. C. This area is located southwest of the town of Gastonia and southeast of the town of Kings Mountain. From there, Crowder's Creek flows south a few miles across the State boundary line into York County, S. C. and then into the Catawba River.

The North Carolina land grants reveal that early settlers were receiving land on Crowder's Creek in the 1750s. Some researchers have speculated, and publicized, without evidence, that this Crowder's Creek was named for Ulrich Crowder. No researcher has produced verifiable primary or secondary evidence to indicate that Ulrich "might have been" in this area during the early 1750s, as Ulrich's first appearance in the British Colonies is not documented until a decade after the Creek was named. Some researchers have speculated that the Creek may have been named for some other man named Crowder, perhaps for Michael Crowder who was on the Broad and Saludy River as early as 1753; or for Conrad "Crowdy" who also was on the Saludy River in 1755. Other researchers have speculated that the name of the Creek was originally an unpronounceable Indian name which was corrupted to the more familiar "Crowder" by English speaking record keepers.

Several researchers and writers have confused themselves and have also misled others about the identity of some old house and foundation ruins near Crowder's Mountain by mistakenly labeling the ruins as Ulrichsburg. This mistake can readily be cleared up by knowing that there were various activities in previous years near Crowder's Mountain which may have left traces which might be misleading without knowing the local history.

One item from "The North Carolina Gazetteer - A Dictionary of Tar Heel Places" by William S. Powell (1968) locates "All Healing Springs, community in southwest Gaston County near the northeast slope of Crowder's Mountain. A health resort flourished here in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries because of the mineral springs."

Another book: "The County of Gaston" by Robert F. Cope and Manly Wade Wellman (1961) indicates All Healing Springs was in operation by 1877 at the foot of Crowder's Mountain, and guests could take the railroad to Whetstone Mountain where the railroad passengers could get carriages to go (south to) the Springs, which was in operation as late as 1896. In this same book, it is indicated that the old house near Crowder's Mountain was the Lincoln Academy for Negro girls in 1888. This book also indicates that a fifty room hotel was built on top of Whetstone Mountain, and nearby land was purchased from the old iron foundry and a surveyor laid out streets and building lots and erected houses (near Bessemer City).

One local historian indicates that the site of a former Negro Boy Scout Camp known as Camp James near Crowder's Mountain has been mistaken for a former town.

"Shaffer's Township Map of N. C. - 1886" and "Tunison's New Railroad Distance and Township Map of N. C. and S. C. - 1900", both located in the Search Room of the N. C. Archives, shows the location of the All Healing Springs community, on the Atlantic and Charlotte Line Railroad, southwest from Gastonia. The 1906 Kings Mountain topographical quadrangle map from the U. S. Geological Survey clearly locates the Lincoln Academy just off the north side of Crowder's Mountain and locates All Healing Springs just off the northeast side of Crowder's Mountain. A Soil Conservation Map in the N. C. Archives lists a "Greek College" in the area (which a local historian says was also an orphanage and monastery). Map number 343 in the Street Map Book from ADC for Gaston County, N. C. (1998) shows the Lincoln Academy Road. The point of these comments about activities around Crowder's Mountain is to recognize that there have been numerous settlement activities around Crowder's Mountain, but the activities (and the ruins) were not the Catawba County town of Ulrichsburg.

Ulrichsburg is still located today where it always has been, in the Newton and Hickory area of present Catawba County, North Carolina.

More data will be added to the above abstracts at a later date.

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