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Col Stephen Decatur Pool, Sr

Col Stephen Decatur Pool, Sr

Birth
Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County, North Carolina, USA
Death 21 Dec 1901 (aged 82)
Osyka, Pike County, Mississippi, USA
Burial Osyka, Pike County, Mississippi, USA
Memorial ID 100641606 · View Source
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Son of Joshua and Ann (Nancy) Lowry Pool, he was newspaper and magazine editor, an educator and politician who rose to the rank of Colonel in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War. There is mention in an obituary notice that he was born into comparative poverty but rose to prominence due to "marriage to a wealthy heiress." He studied law with Charles R. Kinney, an attorney and president of the Elizabeth City branch of the Bank of North Carolina. It is unclear if he ever practiced law. In Sept. of 1849 he was principal of the Elizabeth City Academy, and his wife joined him there as head of the Female Dept. He opened a night school there in 1850 for those whose work prevented day attendance. Reading, writing, arithmetic, grammar and geography were taught at $5 for an 11-week course. While serving at the Academy, he also became editor of an Elizabeth City newspaper entitled "The Old North State." He was listed on the masthead serving in various capacities as editor, printer, and proprietor, but in 1854 it came under new management, and by 1855 it had ceased publication, apparently for financial reasons. While working for the paper, he, being a Whig, had running debates or feuds with the editor of the competing paper, Lucien D. Starke, who was a Democrat and edited the "Democratic Pioneer." The feud occurred both in the columns of both papers as well as in person, culminating in a incident where Starke struck Pool with a cane and challenged him to a duel. Pool refused the challenge due to his wife, six children, and deep indebtedness. Slavery was the topic of much discussion; Pool was a Unionist, but also believed that states had the right to decide the issue for themselves, while Starke believed in the extension of the slavery/non-slavery line outlined in the Missouri Compromise. In Feb. of 1852 he announced that he would give public lectures beginning the following month with one on the Ptolemaic and Copernican theories of the Universe; this was done to raise funds to purchase equipment, and if enough interest was shown, more lectures would be forthcoming. While residing in Pasquotank Co., he was the clerk of the House of Commons. He later moved to Carteret County where he was a teacher at a female seminary. At age 42 he was commissioned captain of Company H of the Tenth Regiment of North Carolina Troops to rank as of May 16, 1861. He was captured by Union forces at Fort Macon in April 1862, but was paroled and exchanged in August of that year. On Oct. 1st he was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and to colonel in Sept. 1863. Curiously, during 1864 and '65 he also represented Carteret Co. in the House of Commons for brief sessions. In the Spring of 1865 he commanded the First Sub District, Dept. of North Carolina. After the end of the war, he became editor of the New Bern "Daily Journal of Commerce" from 1866 to 1875, and was also editor of the weekly edition from 1866 to 1876. He also became a charter member of the North Carolina Press Association and attended its first meeting in Goldsboro in May of 1873. Just prior to the election of 1870 he published the "Campaign Anti-Radical in New Bern. While in New Bern, during 1873-74 he published "Our Living and Our Dead," as a weekly in newspaper format for the North Carolina branch of the Southern Historical Society, and later in a magazine format from 1874-76. This publication included war reminiscences, diaries, sketches, letters, registers of NC troops, and other matters of local interest. This publication was succeeded in 1876 by the Southern Historical Monthly. From 1874 through 1876 Pool also edited the monthly "North Carolina Journal of Education" which encompassed three volumes. As a Conservative candidate in 1874 he was elected to the position of superintendent of public instruction, one of the first state Democratic officials elected after the Civil War. During a Republican administration he served from Jan. 1, 1875 to the end of June 1876. Unfortunately, he was charged with committing some financial irregularities in regard to the management of funds provided by the Peabody Education Board, and was forced to resign. He was charged with using some of the fund, which he intended to return, to buy a house for himself. In the next year or so he moved to New Orleans, where his son Stephen D. Pool Jr. was a newspaper editor in high regard. He is listed in the New Orleans city directories from 1877 through 1887, and appears to have spent his last years in farming. He was reported to have lived in Tangipahoa Parish on the state border, across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans. He died, and his remains were interred in Osyka, MS. Pool's wife was Caroline S. Lockwood. Their children were James Harrell (1842), John Lockwood (1843), Henry Clay (1845), Stephen D., Jr. (1847), Dora or Theodora (1849), Mary and Carlton F. (1851), and Caroline S. (1854).

I am deeply indebted to the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography for furnishing the info. provided here.

If you have a photo or image of Stephen D. Pool, I would invite you to scan it or photograph it for posting with this memorial. If you have other info. that might be of interest, I welcome you to contact me.



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  • Created by: Robert B. Pool II
  • Added: 13 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 100641606
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Col Stephen Decatur Pool, Sr (25 Mar 1819–21 Dec 1901), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100641606, citing Osyka Cemetery, Osyka, Pike County, Mississippi, USA ; Maintained by Robert B. Pool II (contributor 46620960) .