On the pamphlet for Governor Aycock’s home it states, “Get Your Hands on History,” and this man certainly did. Charles B. Aycock was the son of a Baptist farmer, and the youngest of 10 children. On the family farm of over 1000 acres corn, peas, beans, and sweet potatoes were raised. There were also sheep, milking cows, and oxen. Here he learned the value of hard work. Besides farming his father was active in politics. Many guests visited the home and the young Aycock listened ardently to the the talks, even participating in rallies. This led to his passionate career.
While not a wealthy family funds were raise to send Charles to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. One of 125 students he was thought a country bumpkin, and did not fit in. Charles changed all that joining the literary society and debate club. He became a campus leader. Graduating in 3 instead of 4 years, he then began a career in the law. Later he was appointed in the United States District Court for Eastern North Carolina, after which he transitioned into politics.
As he traveled through the state he spoke of public education for all. He was elected Governor in 1901 on the Democratic ticket. During his tenure as governor more than 3000 school buildings were constructed and teacher salaries doubled. From his work there was a dramatic increase in literacy and he became known as the “Education Governor.”
After years in the private life others encouraged Charles to run for the senate. Sadly, prior to the actual run he died. One can only wonder what he would have accomplished there.
Following are pictures of the Governor’s farm which the State of North Carolina continues to maintain. Lovely tribute to a man who served so many.
The farm home..
And while there is a school on the property, Charles did not attend here.
“..men can never grow higher and better by rising on the weakness and ignorance of their fellows, but only by aiding their fellow men and lifting them to the same high plane of which they themselves occupy.”
from the 1901, inaugural address of Governor Charles B. Aycock