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Excerpt from the book:

The Heritage of Burke County 1981

by The Burke County Historical Society

Morganton NC 1981.

From the chapter "History of Burke County and Her Communities: Chesterfield" by Nell James Elmore:

      The community now known as Chesterfield is located five miles northeast of Morganton.

      Settlers moved in slowly at first, but land grants and old deeds show that by the latter part of the 1770's land was owned by Daniel Bullinger, Joshua Brown, Lucas Hood, John Hood, John Holloway, Benedict Bristol, Kemp Hallyburton, Robert McCall, John Kincaid, James McKenny, Jacob Harshaw, the Montgomerys, and John Franklin. Some of the Franklin land was bounty land received after the Revolutionary War. South of the present village land was owned by Mrs. Hulda England and the Erwins.

      James Hood and his brother, John, operated the first store for a while, and the first post office was located in the James Hood home, one of the first houses built in the center of the village. According to Sketches of Burke County by Cordelia Camp, the village was known as Hoodville. Sanford Self soon built a house across the road from the James Hood home and operated a store. After a time the James Hood home burned; the post office was moved to the home of John and Betty Kincaid Chester, and the name was changed to Chesterfield. The post office remained there until Mac Arney assumed postal duties. The old postal equipment is now owned by his grandson, Robert Sides. The first rural mail carrier was Charles Huffman, son of Charles Huffman, Sr., who lived on John's River.

      Many remember the revolving wagon wheel which supported the mailboxes at the cross roads. Charles Hensley, Sr. bought the Self property and store which remained in his family, continued in operation until a few years ago, and became a landmark. Others who operated stores were Robert Suddreth, Sidney Kincaid, and members of the Rader family.

      The community was predominantly Methodist, and religion was a vital part of the lives of most of the early settlers. However churches were few and distances apart in the early 1800's; so several families would camp out in tents and worship together. In the center of the tents was an "arbor." J.B. Ivey in My Memoirs described the Mount Pleasant Camp Ground. The "Arbor" was at first covered by large branches of leafy tress; later it was covered with shingles. The ground floor was covered with straw, and everyone knelt in prayer. Rev. George Ivey, father of J.B. Ivey, the department store founder, came from Lenoir to hold services.

      As the years passed, many fine preachers including Bishop D.S. Doggett preached to large crowds. Eventually the "Arbor" burned, and Mount Pleasant Church was established near its present location. William Winfield Kincaid, Jr. gave a deed for three acres of land for the church site and church yard and sold one half acre for the school close by.

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