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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Council, John Pickett

by Jane C. Gregg, 1979

31 Jan. 1855–23 Dec. 1929

John Pickett Council, manufacturer and sportsman, was the son of Catherine Sykes and Kinchen Kitchen Council of Bladen County. He was the descendant of English settlers in Isle of Wight, Va., who came to North Carolina in the seventeenth century. An ancestor, James Council, represented Bladen County in the provincial congress in Halifax in 1776.

Council showed an early interest in machinery and, after ventures in contracting and in the mercantile business, went to Georgia to study the turpentine industry. Returning to Bladen County, he opened the Council Tool Company in a small blacksmith shop at Council Station in 1884. In about 1902 he moved the company to Lake Waccamaw, and the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad established a freight stop there. Council continued to experiment with steel, sulphur, and carbon for an improved product, employing only local labor on a profit-sharing basis. By 1910 he was manufacturing an estimated 90 percent of the tools used in the turpentine industry in the United States.

A large landowner and farmer, Council developed Sunset Park in Wilmington. He was also an avid hunter and fisherman and founded the North Carolina Game Club, an organization that is still functioning. He was active in the game conservation movement, particularly in the passage of the doe law. His desire to retain hunting rights on land that he sold led him in 1922 to take the question to the North Carolina Supreme Court, where his right to do so was upheld in Council v. Sanderlin (N.C. Reports 183).

Council was married to John Anna Wooten (1859–1926), and they were the parents of six sons and two daughters: Edison B., Walter W., K. Clyde, James R., Jesse K., John M., Agnes Council Lytton, and Mary Council Parker.


Judson Councill, Hodges Councill of Virginia and Descendants (1941).

Family papers in possession of Jane Council Gregg (Lake Waccamaw, N.C.).

Additional Resources:

"Lake Waccamaw - History Page 3." Town of Lake Waccamaw. 2011. (accessed January 22, 2014).

'The North State Way." Wildlifre in North Carolina. December 2006. 26. (accessed January 22, 2014).

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