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Biography of John B. West

John B. West, the register of the land office, at Lewiston, was born in Leicester, North Carolina, July 31, 1861. The family to which he belongs is of English origin and its founders in America became residents of the south in colonial days and participated in the development of that part of the country, taking part in many of the events which go to form its history. Erwin West, the father of our subject, was a native of North Carolina and married Miss Caroline Dover, who was likewise born in that state. They had a family of fifteen children, eleven of whom are now living. The mother departed this life in 1898, at the age of sixty-seven years, but the father still resides on the old homestead, highly respected throughout the entire countryside where he has so long continued his residence. He owned an extensive plantation, and while not a slave-owner or a believer in slavery neither was he an abolitionist. His neighbors were slaveholders and he was willing that they should keep them, as he could see no feasible plan for doing away with the system. When the country became engaged in civil war, he was opposed to the severance of the Union, but such was the excitement and such was the pressure brought to bear on him that he was forced to join the Confederate forces. A number of his neighbors, however, who held views similar to his own, escaped to the north and joined the Union army to fight under the old flag. This so enraged the secessionists that they secured thirteen young boys, the sons...

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