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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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Patterson, Samuel Legerwood

by Charles S. Powell IV, 1994

6 Mar. 1850–14 Sept. 1918

Engraving of Samuel Legerwood Patterson, circa 1905. Image from Legerwood Patterson, farmer and legislator, was born at Palmyra, the family home located in the Yadkin River valley in Caldwell County, the son of Samuel Finley and Phebe Caroline Jones Patterson. His father, a farmer, financier, and businessman, was a member of the state house of representatives and the senate, state treasurer, and president of the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad for five years. Samuel L. Patterson was educated at Faucette's school, Bingham's, and Wilson's Academy. He entered The University of North Carolina in 1867 but the school closed the following year. He then attended the University of Virginia for one year before taking a clerking job in Salem. On 17 Apr. 1873 he married Mary S. Senseman, the daughter of a Moravian minister from Indiana.

Although a Republican, Patterson was appointed county commissioner and district superintendent of the census in a Democratic county. He served in the state house of representatives in 1891 and 1898 and in the state senate in 1893; in the legislature he was chairman of the committee on agriculture and was a member of many other committees. He was also a trustee of The University of North Carolina. Patterson was commissioner of agriculture from 1895 to 1897, when he was removed by the Fusion party. He was reappointed in 1899 and then elected by popular vote through 1908. Patterson Hall at North Carolina State University is named in his honor.


Samuel A. Ashe, ed., Biographical History of North Carolina, vol. 2 (1905).

C. Beauregard, North Carolina's Glorious Victory (1898).

A. M. Fountain, Place Names on State College Campus (1956).

Daniel L. Grant, Alumni History of the University of North Carolina (1924).

Prominent People of North Carolina (1906).

W. F. Tomlinson, State Officers and General Assembly of North Carolina (1893).

Additional Resources:

Leith, Terri. "Ag Hall on Ag Hill: Patterson Hall is 100 Years Old." Perspectives On Line. North Carolina State University. 2005. (accessed January 30, 2013).

Wilson, Leonard. "John Legerwood Patterson." Makers of America: biographies of leading men of thought and action, the men who constitute the bone and sinew of American prosperity and life, Volume 2. Washington [D.C.]: B.F. Johnson, 1916. 283-290. (accessed January 30, 2013).

Patterson, Mrs. Lindsay. "Palmyra in the Happy Valley" North Carolina Booklet 12, no. 2 (October 1912). 104-134. (accessed January 30, 2013).

Jones and Patterson Family Papers, 1777-1933 (collection no. 00578). The Southern Historical Collection. Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (accessed January 31, 2013).

Image Credits:

E.G. Williams & Bro. "Samuel Legerwood Patterson." Biographical history of North Carolina from colonial times to the present. Greensboro, N.C.: C. L. Van Noppen. 1905. (accessed January 31, 2013).

Origin - location: