Joseph A. Bitting and Louisa Wilson Bitting
By Judy S. Cardwell
Joseph Anthony BITTING was born on 7 Feb. 1820 in Stokes Co., NC, and died in Forsyth Co., NC on 6 Jan 1901. He was buried in the Bitting Family Plot, Salem
Cemetery. The 1851Yadkin Co. tax records show Joseph A. Bitting son of John Leppeaux Bitting and Johanna Bitting with 4 lots in Huntsville, NC value of $30.00. Also
shown is his brother Walter Bitting with 5 lots, not valued.
Joseph A. Bitting, now deceased, was for many years prominently identified with business affairs at Winston-Salem, and throughout the relations of a long life was entitled to
the splendid respect and esteem paid him. He was a native of Stokes County, North Carolina, where his ancestors were among the first settlers. His father, John Leppaux
Bitting(1785-1850) who married Johanna Gertrude Stoltz(1785-1831), was a farmer and spent his entire career in Stokes County. Joseph A. Bitting grew up on his father's
farm, and after reaching manhood bought a plantation of his own in Yadkin County. There he became a successful general farmer and tobacco raiser and while there set up
a plant for the manufacturer of tobacco. Although Yadkin County had a very small slave population, there were several slave “traders”. Joseph Anthony was one of the
slave “traders”. 1 When the war was raging between the states he did his part for the Confederate cause and was detailed to look after the families of soldiers and provide
for their comfort. He devoted himself conscientiously and self-sacrificingly to this duty and those at the front felt more security and were better able to carry on their duties as
soldiers because they knew their families had as friends and counselor and a help in time of need such a man as Mr. Bitting. During the war Joseph Anthony’s store and
home was pillaged by Yankee soldiers and all his stock was taken. 2
After the war he removed his tobacco plant to Augusta, Georgia, where he became actively engaged in the manufacture of tobacco. He finally transferred his operations to
Winston-Salem and was one of the older men in the tobacco industry of that city. Mr. Bitting died at the age of eighty-one, known and respected all over Western North
Carolina. He married Miss Louisa Wilson, who still lives at Winston-Salem and is mentioned in succeeding paragraphs[see her biography]. Mr. Bitting was an active member
of the Presbyterian Church. 7 On 16 Aug. 1858 when Joseph Anthony was 38, he married Louisa Phillipina WILSON, daughter of Dr. George Follet WILSON, (1807-1857)
& Henrietta HAUSER, (1813-1878), in Yadkin Co., NC. Louisa Phillipina was born on 9 Aug. 1837 in Huntsville, Yadkin Co., NC. died in Forsyth Co., NC on 6 Jan 1919. She
was buried in Bitting Plot, Salem Cemetery. Louisa attended Jonesville Academy, Yadkin Co. and Salem College.
"Mrs. Louisa Wilson Bitting, widow of the late Joseph A. Bitting, has long been prominent in social, religious and philanthropic affairs at Winston-Salem. She represents an old
and honored family name in this section of the state. She was born at Bethania in Stokes County, a daughter of Dr. George Follet and Henrietta Hauser Wilson. He father
was a native Massachusetts, a son of George T. Wilson, who went from Massachusetts to the State of Michigan as a pioneer and spent his last years there. Doctor Wilson
was reared and was given his academic advantages in Massachusetts and subsequently entered the Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia, where he was graduated with
his degree Doctor of Medicine. His choice of was in North Carolina, and at Bethania he quickly acquired a splendid reputation as a physician and enjoyed a large practice
until the time of his death. He died at the age of fifty-one. Doctor Wilson married Henrietta Hauser. She was born at Bethania, daughter of Henry and Phillipena Christina
Lash Hauser." 7
1873 - Yadkin Co., NC - "Kelly-Clingman House - This once proud two-story building, now sadly deteriorated, is one of the largest of a group of early 19th-century structures
still standing in Huntsville. Built in the first quarter of that century, the Federal style building features a boxed denticulated cornice on its front (south) elevation. The heavy
timber frame is covered with weatherboards. The property passed through several hands. Thomas S. Martin sold it in 1873 to J. A. BITTING, at which time it was referred to
as 'John Kelly's Tavern Lot'. In 1889 the tavern was acquired at public auction." 2
21 Sept. 1875 - Yadkin Co., NC - Eliza Welch initiated a bastardy bond against Joseph (H. S.) Bitting, Jr. or Joseph A. Bitting, Jr. for the birth of a child which is two weeks old
as of 21 Sept. 1875. 3
1876 - Winston, NC - First National Bank established with Joseph Anthony Bitting, President and J. W. Alspaugh, cashier. 4
25 Mar 1887 - Winston, NC -The Winston Electric Light and Motive Power Company was incorporated. The officers of the stockholders of this company were Judge D. H.
Starbuck, president, Captain D. P. Mast, treasurer, the directors were T. L. Vaughn, J. E. Gilmer, J. A. BITTING, A. Ryttenberg, W. A. WHITAKER. 4
26 Aug. 1887 -Winston, NC - At eight o'clock on the evening of August 16, 1887, COLONEL BITTING by a turn of the hand connected the street lines with the arch dynamo
machine, and the awaiting spectators on the streets were dazzled with the first flash of Winston's electric lights. 4
Joseph Anthony and Louisa had the following children: Alex; Anna "Grace"; Casper; Lilly (mar. Turner FARRISH); Louisa; Sadie, (married Charles SHELTON); Susie,
(married Don SHELTON); Fanny, born on 9 Feb. 1861 in Yadkin Co., NC. Fanny died in Yadkin Co., NC on 22 Jul. 1865, buried in Bitting Family Plot, Salem Cemetery; Henry
Walter, Born in 1865 in Yadkin Co., NC. Henry Walter died in Forsyth Co., NC in 1905, buried in Bitting Family Plot, Salem Cemetery; George Beverly, born in 1866 in Yadkin
Co., NC. George Beverly died in Forsyth Co., NC in 1895, buried in Bitting Family Plot, Salem Cemetery; "Kate" Gertrude; Paul Joseph, Born on 18 Sept. 1871 in Forsyth
Co., NC., died in Forsyth Co., NC on 16 Mar 1934, buried in Bitting Family Plot, Salem Cemetery. Married Irma JOYNER (?), Born on 12 May 1883 in Forsyth Co., NC. Irma
died in Forsyth Co., NC on 14 Oct. 1955; Ruby, born on 12 Jan 1873 in Yadkin Co., NC, died in Yadkin Co., NC on 24 Jul. 1875, buried in Bitting Family Plot, Salem
Cemetery; Daisy, Born on 18 Jan 1876 in Yadkin Co., NC. Daisy died on 2 Aug. 1876 in Yadkin Co., NC.
“Kate” Gertrude Bitting was born on 14 Oct. 1867 in Huntsville, Yadkin Co., NC. She died in Forsyth Co., NC on 23 Sept. 1946. On 6 Mar 1889, at age 21, she married
William Neal "Will" REYNOLDS, son of Hardin W. REYNOLDS, & Nancy Jane COX, in Forsyth Co., NC. Will as born on 22 Mar 1863 in Patrick Co., Va. At the time of their
marriage, he was living in the Merchant Hotel, also known as the Pfohl and Stockton Hardware General Store built in 1879 and located in Winston on the Main and Third
Kate Bitting Reynolds was recognized as one of Winston-Salem's early civil leaders. She fought for better hospitals and health care and founded the Kate B. Reynolds
Hospital. She and her husband gave the city $200,000.00 to build a modern hospital for blacks. At her death she left $5 million in perpetual trust for the needy.
"William Neal Reynolds, a younger brother of R. J. Reynolds, came to Winston during his summer breaks at Trinity College, now Duke University, to work in the tobacco
company his brother had started. He joined the company permanently in 1883 and assumed the presidency when R. J. Reynolds died in 1918. He and his wife, Kate, lived
for a long time in a mansion on West Fifth Street before moving to a 1,100 acre estate on the Yadkin River called Tanglewood. 'Mr. Will' retired in 1942 and devoted his time
to raising and training champion trotter horses. A philanthropist who donated money to schools and churches, Reynolds died in 1951 and gave his country home to Forsyth
County to be used as a public park. His estate of $14 million went into a trust for the benefit of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and now provides about 60 percent of the
foundation's income. Reynolds Coliseum, on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, is named in his honor." 5
William died in Forsyth Co., NC on 10 Sept. 1951 at the age of 88. "He was mourned as a great figure, a benefactor of the community's schools and libraries. His money
was left primarily to the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and his estate, Tanglewood, was to be made into a public park - for whites only. In the year before Will's death his
stables had done better that ever before, with four star horses. Also, another dream of his was reaching fruition: the emplacement of Wake Forest University in Winston-
Salem. A few weeks after Will's death, President Truman flew in to turn over the first spadeful of the college's new campus; in his speech, the president emphasized that the
price of peace in Korea would demand sacrifice on the part of the entire populace of the United States. After lunch at Reynolda [R. J. Reynolds' home], the president took a
nap in one of the upstairs bedrooms.” 6
Second Generation :
2. Anna "Grace" BITTING married William Asbury WHITAKER
1908 - "Street paving, streetcars, and the appearance of Model-T Fords in 1908 triggered the first suburban exodus. People moved "out to the country", to such far-off
places as Washington Park and West End, which developed around Grace Park, given to city by tobacco manufacturer W. A. Whitaker and named for his wife.” 5 They had
one child: John Clarke Whitaker.
3. Louisa BITTING
Louisa married Dr. David Nicholas DALTON, son of David Nickolas DALTON, (1826-1895) & Margaret Melissa RIVES, (1830-1865). They had one child: General Joseph
1. From "An Illustrated History of Yadkin County, 1850-1965"
2. From "Historical Architecture of Yadkin County, North Carolina" by Lewis Brumfield, Editor.
3. From "Yadkin County Bastardy Bonds 1851-1934" compiled by Lewis Brumfield.
4. From "Forsyth, A County on the March" by Adelaide L. Fries, Mary Callum Wiley, Douglas L. Rights, Harvey Dinkins, Charles N. Siewers and Flora Ann Lee.
Illustrated by Joe King, cpy 1949 by The University of North Carolina Press.
5. "Winston-Salem A History" by Frank V. Tursi, cpy 1994 by John F. Blair, Publisher"
6. "The Gilded Leaf, Triumph, Tragedy and Tobacco - Three Generations of the R. J. Reynolds Family and Fortune", by Patrick Reynolds and Tom Shachtman, cpy
1989 by Little, Brown & Company.
7. North Carolina Biographies 1919