The Life and Times of Earl Victor Patterson Sr.
While researching and meditating on the history of my paternal ancestry over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to draw many connections between the life I have experienced to date and the lives of Patterson families as far removed as five generations. It has been eye-opening to flesh out the seeds of my lineage, discovering the foundations on which I was raised and reflecting on the stability of family and community back then. Family themes, such as the importance of hard work, education, selflessness, honor, religion, athletics, and community, have been gradually sewn in my young life by the collective lives and experiences of such men as: my great-great-great grandfather, William Andrew Patterson, his son, Eusebius, his son, Earl Victor, his son, E.V. Jr., and finally, his son and my father, Earl Victor Patterson III. I have chosen to loosely center my writing on the life of my late great-grandfather, E.V. Sr.. It seems to me that "Pop", as I have always heard him referred to, represents the common denominator between my "ancient" past and today. Additionally, his life most directly highlights the aforementioned family themes that have characterized the Patterson family for ages.
Pop was born in Alamance County, North Carolina, on December 15, 1890. Born to Eusebius ("Sebe") and Etta Albright Patterson, he was the oldest of seven children. He had one full brother, W. H. Patterson, and one full sister, Sarah Etta, who died in infancy; he also had three half brothers and two half sisters: Dean Eusebius, William Wayne, Walter McAdoo, Irene, and Audrey. Pop's mother died when he was eleven.
As my grandfather, "PauPau", recalls, Pop grew up on a small farm in Alamance, which bordered the farms of his uncles, George Washington Patterson and John Sherman Lincoln Patterson. The proximity of their farms and dependence on one another helped foster a particularly close-knit environment for Pop to grow up in. During his adolescent and teen years in Alamance, Pop undoubtedly learned the life lessons of hard work, personal responsibility, and education. You see, these three families built, raised, and manufactured nearly all of life's necessities. They had a blacksmith shop, a sawmill, a cabinet shop, and a water-powered gristmill on their land (Interestingly, it was this one-of-a-kind, elaborately constructed gristmill that the brothers utilized to generate much of their capital just after the Civil War, a time when money was hard to come by. Apparently, their "Patterson Bros. Carolina Favorite Flour" was the first roller-processed flour manufactured in North Carolina. After processing, it was transported by wagon to Fayetteville and Wilmington. Well, PauPau suspects that the money made here went towards financing the property and construction of a few sizeable (i.e. three story, block long) buildings on the Court House Square of the county seat in Graham, North Carolina. ...