“Half-Bred Indian Woman” Reported Living in Hunt Woods in Granville County

 

While searching through the Granville County newspaper archives to find news stories related to the Native American community, I came across a very interesting article from 1912. It describes a series of shootings in Hunt Woods which abutted a residential neighborhood. According to the newspaper, the guilty culprit responsible for these late night shenanigans, was a “half-bred Indian woman”:

Source: Oxford Public Ledger, 15 Jun 1912, Sat, Page 1
Source: Oxford Public Ledger, 15 Jun 1912, Sat, Page 1

 

The “half-bred Indian woman” is never identified by name, so we can’t be sure exactly who she was. From the perspective of the newspaper, it was more important that she was identified by race and not by name.  And I find this very telling, because it points to a general negative attitude about Native peoples. “Miss Margarette Scott” was considered an upstanding white resident of Granville County and I found her name mentioned a few times in the society pages of the newspaper. So in this 1912 article, we have a Native American woman accused of disrupting the serenity of a quiet white residential neighborhood. And the only solution that is presented is that the Native American woman must be removed from the area. This scenario sounds like a microcosm of the relationship between indigenous peoples and settler colonialism: Native peoples must be removed from the landscape to make room for “progress”.

The Ridley Park residential neighborhood was located in the southeastern part of the city limits of Oxford. Hunt Woods was located directly to the east of Ridley Park. The Native American community was mostly concentrated directly below Hunt Woods but the families spread out in many directions including the Hunt Woods area. So it is conceivable that this unidentified “half-bred Indian woman” came from the local Native American community.

Hunt Woods
A zoomed in view of Granville County showing the city of Oxford. Hunt Woods lies immediately adjacent to the southeastern city limits. This is where the “half-bred Indian woman” was reported to have been involved in late night shootings. The Native American community was mostly concentrated in households right below Hunt Woods but families spread out in all direction including within the city limits of Oxford. Orignal map can be found here: http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/ncmaps/id/9747/rec/30

I found another article published 3 years later in 1915 which provides additional information about Ridley Park and Hunt Woods. We can see that the area is remarkable for its picturesque setting that sounds like it came out of a Bob Ross painting. There are even locations in the woods named after Native American tribes and individuals such as “Hiawatha Rock”, “Seminole Rock”, and “Cherokee Rock”. This I find ironic, given that there was no problem naming places after Native peoples but actual Natives peoples living in the woods was a problem.

 

Ridley Park
Oxford Public Ledger, (Oxford, North Carolina) 12 May 1915, Wed , Page 1

 

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