Graveyard Tour – Lewisville Baptist Church
The Next Stop on the Tour
The fourth of six stops on the 2009 Historic Graveyard Tour that was held on May 2, 2009 in Lewisville took us to the graveyard at Lewisville Baptist Church. (Click to read the previous post on the Historic Graveyard Tour at Panther Creek Plantation.)
Although the graveyard at Lewisville Baptist Church is not as old as some of the other graveyards on the tour, such as the Shiloh Lutheran Church and the Concord United Methodist Church graveyards, it nevertheless holds historic significance.
Leading this segment of the graveyard tour was Mary Alice Warren, a member of Lewisville Baptist Church. Mary Alice concentrated her brief talk on the center portion of the graveyard that includes the gravestones of Lewisville’s founder, Lewis Laugenour, and his wife, Betty.
For more INFO, PHOTOS and AUDIO related to the LEWISVILLE BAPTIST CHURCH GRAVEYARD, please continue to the NEXT SECTION.
Lewis — or Laugenour?
Lewis Case Laugenour, born in 1826, was a descendant of German Moravians who moved from New England around 1773 to North Carolina — specifically, to the Friedland area of the Wachovia Tract in what the North Carolina legislature named the County of Forsyth in 1849.
Sometime during the 1840s, Laugenour headed west and got rich in the California gold rush. He returned to Forsyth County in 1857 and purchased the land that eventually would be known as Lewisville, although at the time the area was most likely called Muddy Creek.
In 1859 Laugenour married 16-year-old Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Laugenour, a daughter of John Phillip Nissen, creator of the Nissen Wagon. (Prior to going out West, Laugenour had worked at the Nissen Wagon Works.) The couple lived in a fine two-story brick home (located across from the present-day Lewisville Library) that was built a year earlier.
Laugenour encouraged people to move to the area by giving land to anyone who would come and build a home on his expansive property. Some were given land based on their agreement to grow tobacco on the property. In addition to giving land for homes, Laugenour donated the land on which Lewisville Baptist Church and Lewisville Methodist Church were built.
In the late 1850s, out of gratitude for Laugenour’s benevolence and civic leadership, the town was named Lewisville — and, thankfully, not Laugenourville!
I’m grateful for the valuable historical research of the late G. Galloway Reynolds and for his intriguing and informative book, Shallow Ford Country, from which the above information on Lewis Laugenour was derived.
Photo Gallery and Other Links
Check out the links below for the PHOTO GALLERY, the GOOGLE MAP and the 4-minute AUDIO RECORDING of Mary Alice Warren that provides additional information on Lewis Laugenour and the graveyard at Lewisville Baptist Church. (NOTE: Portions of the audio were noticeably impacted by traffic and plane sounds.)
Google Map: Lewisville Baptist Church Map
Photo Gallery: Lewisville Baptist Church Graveyard Photo Gallery
Audio: Historical Intro – Lewisville Baptist Church Graveyard Recording (MP3, 4 MIN.)