Newspaper Notice Helps Save County’s Oldest Grave

Theophilus Hunter was a big deal in Wake County, North Carolina, and in Raleigh, the county seat. A Revolutionary War leader who owned a popular lodge in the area and held official posts in both the city and county, Hunter is considered a local founding father by some residents. When he died in 1798, he was buried in an area that is now close to the N.C. State University campus.

It will remain there for now, along with the 17 unmarked graves, as a result of a public notice published in Raleigh’s News & Observer.

According to the paper, NCSU published the notice last month to announce plans to relocate the graves. The university was most likely interested in developing the property where the graves are located; The News & Observer reports it has been under pressure to do so. But we don’t know for sure because after Hunter’s family members read the notice and protested, a school official told the paper the university published the notice only because it wanted to locate Hunter’s descendants to learn their wishes.

The notice worked as planned. (Read the notice here.)

“A number of descendants have already come forward, and we plan to meet with them to understand their wishes,” the official told The News & Observer. In the meantime, the university has announced it “currently has no plans” to move the graves.

This entry was posted in Effective Newspaper Notice and tagged Graves, News & Observer, North Carolina, Raleigh, Theophilus Hunter, Wake County on November 6, 2018 by Richard Karpel.

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