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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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Pendleton, Andrew Lewis

by George Elliot London, 1994

4 Nov. 1860–28 Feb. 1951

Andrew Lewis Pendleton, physician, druggist, and banker, was born at Nixonton, Pasquotank County, the son of Andrew Lewis and Mary Frances Cartwright Pendleton. Pioneer settlers from Virginia in the Albemarle region, the Pendletons came from Warwick and Lancashire, England, in the seventeenth century. The younger Pendleton's earliest childhood recollections were of the Union occupation of the community where his family lived. Enemy troops requisitioned large quantities of flour from his father's mill and later when the elder Pendleton was arrested for treason because of his loyalty to the Confederacy, his son was sent to live with his grandparents so that he could attend William Gaither's school for boys in Hertford. The trial was made a test case and the defendant was acquitted. One of the defense lawyers was W. N. H. Smith, afterwards chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Pendleton was educated in Benbury's School and at Tillett's, both in Elizabeth City. As a youth he carried the mail from Elizabeth City to Norfolk and worked in a drugstore owned and operated by Dr. Julian Wood. In the store he began to study medical books and to receive training from Wood. This led him to enroll in the University of Maryland and after a year to enter the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, from which he was graduated with the M.D. degree in 1884. His first practice was established at Coinjock, Currituck County, but after a short time he moved to Key West, Fla., where his brother Charles published a daily newspaper. Pendleton opened a drugstore in Key West and also served as acting marine surgeon and quarantine officer at Fort Jefferson on Dry Tortugas, inspecting all vessels entering U.S. waters in order to control the dreaded yellow fever. Pendleton also performed some civic duties in Key West, notably as a member of the commission charged with building a new courthouse.

Due to Charles's failing health, the brothers returned to Elizabeth City; Dr. Pendleton became county health officer and engaged in general practice. He also undertook postgraduate study to specialize in the treatment of the eye, ear, nose, and throat. A hotel overlooking the Pasquotank River that he had inherited from his father required his attention and he became its manager. He also acquired the Standard Pharmacy and shortly afterwards retired from the practice of medicine to devote full time to business. From the pharmacy he developed the Standard Drug Company, a wholesale business. Later it was of considerable satisfaction to him to recall that when the Wright brothers were in Elizabeth City en route to Kitty Hawk, they purchased some supplies from him.

Civic duties continued to hold his interest and he was chairman of the district Democratic Congressional Committee, president of the Board of Aldermen, and chairman of the Municipal Utilities Commission. During the administration of President Woodrow Wilson, Pendleton also was postmaster of Elizabeth City. In business he organized and was president of the Carolina Banking and Trust Company and of the Pasquotank Investment Corporation.

An Episcopalian, Pendleton served for many terms as vestryman and as warden of Christ Church. A Mason and a Shriner, he was also a member of the Elks. In 1910 he married Hazel Williams Evans, and they became the parents of four children: Mary Frances (Mrs. George London), Hazel Evans (Mrs. G. Potter Dixon), Andrew Lewis IV (m. Dorothy Jones), and Nancy Ross (Mrs. E. P. Owens). He was buried in Hollywood Cemetery, Elizabeth City.


Thomas R. Butchko, On the Shores of the Pasquotank (1989).

Elizabeth City Daily Advance, 1 Mar. 1951.

Family papers (possession of the author).

Year Book: Pasquotank Historical Society 1 (1954–55 [portrait]).

Additional Resources:

Pendleton, Andrew Lewis. The key West alphabet; pictures and limericks. Baltimore, Md: The Lord Baltimore Press. 1913. (accessed September 16, 2014).

[Pendleton, Andrew Lewis]. The silly syclopedia. [Annapolis, Md.]. 1908. (accessed September 16, 2014).