John Franklin Hoke, son of Colonel John Hoke, and the brother of Colonel Michael Hoke, is a native of this county. He is liberally educated--a graduate of the University in 1841, in the same class with Thomas L. Avery, R. S. Bridgers, Robert Burton, W. J. Clarke, William F. Dancy, John W. Ellis, Montford McGehee, Charles and Samuel F. Phillips, Thomas Ruffin, Robert Strange, Horatio M. Polk and others. He studied law. In the Mexican War he was appointed by the President a Captain, and commanded his company with much gallantry in the severely contested battles of Cerro Gordo, Tolema and National Bridge.
In the late Civil War he commanded a regiment of North Carolina troops, and discharged every duty with gallantry and fidelity. He is one of the few field officers in that unhappy contest from North Carolina who passed unscathed. He is now in the quiet practice of his profession at his native place.
Dr. William McLean was a Surgeon in the Revolution. He was a native of Rowan county; born April 2d, 1757, and was educated at Liberty Hall College in Charlotte. He studied medicine under Dr. Joseph Blythe; was appointed a Surgeon's Mate in the First North Carolina Regiment on January 1, 1782, commanded by Colonel Archibald Lytle, and served in Charleston, James Island and elsewhere, to the close of the war.
He then settled on his farm in "the South Point" neighborhood, and engaged in an extensive practice, in which he was eminently successful.
In 1814 he was elected Senator from Lincoln, and in 1815 he delivered an address at King's Mountain commemorative of the battle, and caused to be erected, at his own expense, a head stone of dark slate rock, with appropriate inscriptions on both sides. On the east side the inscription is, "Sacred to the Memory of Major William Chronicle, Captain John Mattocks, William Robb and John Boyd, who were killed here on the 7th of October, 1780, fighting in defence of America." And on the west side is inscribed: "Colonel Ferguson, an officer belonging to His Brittanic Majesty's service, was here defeated and killed."
On the 19th Ramsour of June, 1792, he married Mary, daughter of Major John Davidson, and died in Lincoln, October 25, 1828, leaving several children, among them Dr. William B., John D. and Robert G. McLean.
James Houston (born 1747, died 1819) resided and died in this county. He was born in 1747, and was the early and devoted friend of his country's liberty; he took an active part in the cause. In the battle of Ramsour's Mill, near the present town of Lincolnton, between the Whigs and Tories, he took an active part, and by his undaunted courage contributed to the success of the Whigs on that occasion. In this engagement he was severely wounded in the thigh, from the effects which he never recovered. Seeing the man who inflicted this painful wound, he shot him in the back, and killed him as he ran. A copy of the muster roll of Captain Houston's company is preserved. (See Dr. C. L. Hunter's Sketches of Western N. C. 197.)
He was the father of a large family, distinguished for their manly appearance and bodily strength. Dr. Joel Brevard Houston was one of his sons. Captain Houston died on August 3, 1819, and was buried in Center Church-yard.
Dr. C. L. Hunter, who has already been noticed in the sketch of his father, Rev. Humphrey Hunter (see page 176), resided in this neighborhood.
In the holocaust offered on the altar of Southern rights, during the late unhappy Civil War, there was no purer or devoted oblation than that patriotic son of North Carolina. Stephen Dodson Ramseur (born May 31, 1837, fell in battle October 19, 1864). He was the son of Jacob A. and Lucy M. Ramseur, and was educated at the Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated in 1860. He was commissioned as
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