William Banks Hinshaw

                                                            ┌── James Madison Hinshaw
                                                            │    1833-1912 
                               ┌── Joseph Vance Hinshaw ────┤
                               │    1862-1934               │
                               │                            └── Elizabeth Ellen Welborn
                               │                                 1835-1906 
William Banks Hinshaw ─────────┤
B: 1901                        │                            ┌── William G. Branson
D: 1999                        │                            │
                               └── Louiza Gazille Branson ──┤
                                    1862-1924               │
                                                            └── Lydia Louisa Lamb
M: Margaret Elizabeth O'Brient
   ├── William Banks Hinshaw (1941-) 1
   └── Elizabeth Ellen Hinshaw (1946-) 1

William Banks Hinshaw     [ID 04121] Click here to switch to Ahnentafel view: Ahnentafel View

Born Mar 6 1901, Level Cross, Randolph County, North Carolina.1,2,3  

Bill's teen years were spent laboring on the family farm, he being just young enough to miss serving in WWI (although his older brother John did).  Bill longed to get away from the farm.  His opportunity came in 1925 when he was offered a job at the newly-built Burney Hardware Store in the "Tarbell" section of Aberdeen.  Bill worked for A. L. Burney for four years in Aberdeen and a year at Southern Pines.  He earned enough to buy a "rumble-seat Ford".1  

Aberdeen had only two policemen in the 1920s.  One evening one of them, Mr. Beck, drove up to Bill, who was lounging in front of the Bryan Drugstore, and said "Bill, get in.  We need you on a raid".  He gave Bill a .45, deputized him, and sent him with a police dog to guard the back door.  Bill remembered, "A lot of them got past me, but we bagged about thirty".1  

When business fell off during the Depression, the Southern Pines store closed and his old job in Aberdeen was no longer available.  After a month back working on the Polecat Creek farm, Bill, still a bachelor, got a tip on another hardware store job in Durham and found employment with Noell Brothers in 1930, moving to W. C. Lyon Hardware in 1933.1  

In 1937, he borrowed enough money from Alf Beasely at the Bank of Randleman to go into business on his own in Durham with two partners.  He remembered Clark Marsh saying "Let him have it, Alf.  If he's Big Bud Hinshaw's son, he's good for it".  MEH Hardware flourished during the War and continued service to its customers for fifty-eight years.1  

He married Margaret Elizabeth O'Brient, 1938.1  Margaret, daughter of Maude Speed O'Brient & Elizabeth Ada Tilley, was born Jul 12 1909, Durham, North Carolina.1  

Bill and Margaret were the last couple to be married by Rev. Scanlon at the First Presbyterian Church, which Bill then joined, eventually becoming a Ruling Elder.1  

In the same year they built their home on Knox Street in Durham where he lived until 1996, when failing health and physical limitations forced him to give up the daily chores of housekeeping at the age of 95.1  

In 1990, Bill took most of a year off from the business to nurse his wife through her terminal illness and during and after that, his daughter Elizabeth Ellen helped manage the business.1  

Margaret died Jul 20 1990, Durham, North Carolina.1,3  

Bill finally shut the doors of MEH hardware when he was ninety-four because urban changes required a move that he did not feel up to, despite working every day running his store until the final sale was rung up.1  

Their children grew up in Durham, well aware of their Randolph County heritage.1  

William Banks Hinshaw died Aug 2 1999.1,3,4  

Bill's obituary appeared on Wednesday, August 4, 1999 in the Raleigh, North Carolina "News & Observer":4


Hinshaw Sr., 98, of 1417 W. Pettigrew Street, died Monday.  He was predeceased by his wife of 53 years, Margaret O. Hinshaw.  He was owner and operator of MEH Hardware Co. for 55 years until his retirement at the age of 94 1/2.  Surviving are one son, Dr. William Banks Hinshaw Jr. and his wife, Dr. Robin Markle of Gainsville, Fl.; one daughter, Ellen Hinshaw Young and her husband, Harry L. Young of Durham; two sisters, Maude Ellington of High Point, NC. and Gray Lewis of Charlotte; grandchildren, Kathy McCullen and her husband, Steven of Durham, Jenny Cox and her husband, Nathan Gaddis of Philadelphia; two great-grandchildren, Matthew and Leah McCullen and several nieces and nephews.  A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Thursday at First Presbyterian Church.  Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Maplewood Cemetery.  Visitation will be 7-9 p.m. Wednesday at Hall Wynne Funeral Service.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church.

(photo)Photo: William Banks Hinshaw, Sr. 5

Social Security information for William Banks Hinshaw: 243-07-8362

Social Security information for Margaret Elizabeth O'Brient: 243-07-7229


  1. Contribution from William Banks Hinshaw.
  2. "Genealogical Journal", Vol. 12, No. 4, February 1988;
    Randolph County, North Carolina Genealogical Society.
  3. "Social Security Death Index" (as it is commonly called), derived from the Social Security Administration "Death Master File". See: http://www.rootsweb.com/~rwguide/lesson10.htm
  4. UMI Company. "Obituaries from the News and Observer, 1998-1999". Orem, UT: Ancestry Inc., 1999.
  5. Photo courtesy of William Banks Hinshaw.

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