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John Henry Pearson

The following story was told by John H. Pearson, III, and excerpts are reprinted with permission from the Burke County Historical Society and the publication "The Heritage of Burke County", copyright 1981.


John Pearson, born in Antrim County, Northern Ireland married Hannah Simpson of Antrim County and emigrated to America in 1794, settling in Cheraw, South Carolina.


Isaac Pearson, son of John Pearson, was born November 10, 1778 and died December 21, 1857. He moved to Burke County in 1798 and married Elizabeth Caldwell in 1804. Elizabeth Caldwell, the daughter of Robert Caldwell, Sr. was born in Londonderry County, Ireland July 12, 1777 and died August 17, 1855. Isaac and Elizabeth Pearson had at least two children, Robert Caldwell and John Henry. Isaac Pearson and his family lived on Silver Creek, outside of Morganton. John Henry Pearson was the (24th) Sheriff of Burke County, succeeding John Boone in 1836.


Robert Caldwell Pearson, the older son, was born December 9, 1807 and died November 18, 1867. He was married March 18, 1834 by the Rev. John Silliman to Jane Sophronia Tate (born June 27, 1807 and died July 24, 1877). They had five sons, Robert, James, Cameron, William and John and three daughters, Ann Elizabeth, Jane S, and Laura. Robert Caldwell Pearson was for many years the popular postmaster and a successful merchant of Morganton. Also, for a number of years before 1861 he was the leading magistrate of Burke County.


John Henry Pearson, the youngest son, was born August 24, 1852 and died June 2, 1954. He was married to Florence Louise Walton (August 11, 1855 - March 18, 1930), daughter of Col. Thomas G. Walton in Grace Episcopal Church, Morganton, North Carolina in December, 1878.


John H. Pearson was a merchant, state legislator and figure in Democratic politics in Morganton and Burke County for more than 70 years. The Pearsons had two boys, Clifton and John H. Jr., and six girls, Janie, Florence, Lucille, Marie, Eliza Murphy and Cameron.


John H. Pearson, Jr., was born in Morganton, N.C. on March 2, 1884 and died in Richmond, Virginia on February 25, 1964. He married Mae Elizabeth Northern (born Norfolk County, Virginia on February 10, 1892 and died in Richmond, Virginia on June 25, 1978), on March 18, 1918 in Norfolk, Virginia.


They had two children, John H. III and Mary Elizabeth. John H. Pearson, Jr., graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in electrical engineering, joining the Western Electric Company Supply Division, which was later bought out by its employees becoming the Graybar Electric Company. Mr. Pearson was District Manager in Richmond, Virginia for 23 years and for 12 years served on its Board of Directors.


His son, John H. Pearson, III, was District Manager for the Graybar Electric Company in St. Louis, Missouri. His daughter, Mary, resides in Richmond, Virginia and is married to T. Justin Moore, Jr.


-John H. Pearson, III