Branch, Samuel A. (1859-1945)


Robeson County, North Carolina, USA


  • Lumberton, North Carolina


  • Contractor

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Samuel A. Branch (September 1859-December 11, 1945) was a contractor active in Lumberton during the early 20th century building boom that defined many small towns.

He was a native of Robeson County, who in 1870 was listed in the U. S. Census as an 8-year-old student living with his brother John, 13, a laborer, in a Lumberton household headed by their mother, Mary Branch, 52. Samuel A. Branch married Willer Stone in Lumberton in 1884. The United States Census of 1900 listed S. A. Branch as a 36 year-old white carpenter, heading a household that included “Mrs. Willow” and daughter Lillian (who would marry S. H. Hamilton).

Branch manufactured bricks as well as erecting brick buildings. The Robesonian of November 4, 1902, advertised his production of a million brick per month, and the Lumberton Argus reported on March 5, 1903, that Branch was “rapidly pushing the brick work” on three new stores at 4th and Elm Streets. In June he began supervision of a dormitory for the Robeson Institute, which was completed the following April. And on October 1, 1903, the Argus reported that work on the H. T. Pope Drugstore—a 2-story brick building with corbeled decoration—was “progressing finely. Cap. S. A. Branch, the contractor, is a hustler.” In 1916, it was reported that Branch had taken a contract for four more stores on First Street between Elm and Chestnut for A. W. McLean.

In 1930, Branch and his wife were still in Lumberton, and he was identified as a contractor in brick and wood. The Robesonian of December 14, 1945, reported on his recent death and noted that at 86 he was “one of Lumberton’s eldest native citizens.” (Branch’s death certificate cited his birthdate as September 12, 1859, at variance with some census records.) He was interred in Meadowbrook Cemetery.

  • Diane E. Lea and Claudia P. Roberts (Brown), An Architectural and Historical Survey: Central Lumberton, North Carolina (1980).
  • Robeson County Records, Robeson County Courthouse, Lumberton, North Carolina.
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