Cary History: 1901-1945 (Part II)


Part II in the History of Cary series. This segment covers 1901-1945. Story by Peggy Van Scoyoc.

Cary NC – The private boarding school that Frank Page helped establish in 1870 became the first state-assisted public high school in North Carolina in 1907.


Cary High School, formerly Cary Academy, prior to 1913. Illustration by Jerry Miller.

Most Famous Son & More


Walter Hines Page

Walter Hines Page, Frank Page’s oldest son, became Ambassador to Great Britain during World War I. He was a founder of the N&O newspaper, NCSU, several magazines, and the publishing house Doubleday Page in New York. Walter also wrote several books.

The Grays were postmasters and had a general store.

In 1930, the Masons built the largest building in town on the corner of Academy and Chatham Streets. They occupied the second floor and Adams Drugstore occupied the first floor.

Frank Page sold his hotel to the Walkers, who ran it for several decades. They served meals and rented rooms to train passengers.

Hillcrest Cemetery is the resting place for such “Old Cary” families as Page, Harrison, Jones, Pleasants and others dating back to the 1880s. The West Cornwall Cemetery (the Cary Colored Cemetery) is where African-Americans may have begun burying their dead as early as 1868.

The town was electrified in 1921. The Seaboard and Southern Railroads each built stations here.


According to "Around & About Cary," this ticket was used by Herb Young Sr. or his wife, Gladys, in 1917.

Kildare Farm

Kildaire Farm was started in the 1920s as a 1,000 acre dairy farm. By 1972 when it was sold for development, it had 10,000 laying hens and 550 head of cattle.


Illustration by Jerry Miller.

An Important Man in Town


Dr. J. M. Templeton in 1920. From the collection of Page Walker Arts & History Center

Dr. Templeton moved to Cary in 1885 to start his medical practice.

He was chairman of the school board for thirty years. He mostly made house calls throughout his fifty-year career as Cary’s only doctor.

At the age of 61 he enlisted in the army during World War I, serving in Georgia, Florida, and Durham.

Toward the end of his life he took on a young intern, Dr. Frank Yarborough. Dr. Templeton died in 1932.


Illustrations are from “Around & About Cary,” written by Tom Byrd and illustrated by Jerry Miller.


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  1. Brent
    Brent says:

    Fantastic information indeed. Thanks to Peggy Van Scoyoc for her tireless work to capture and publish Cary’s history. We’re all the better for it.