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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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Ivey, Thaddeus

by Lala Carr Steelman, 1988

27 June 1855–6 Apr. 1933

Thaddeus Ivey, farmer, schoolteacher, and civil servant, was born at Ashpole, Robeson County, the son of the Reverend Stinson Ivey, Baptist minister and educator, and his wife Mary Ann King. The younger Ivey became a farmer and in the 1880s was principal of Ashpole Institute. He was the first person to apply for membership in the Farmers' Alliance, a farm protest organization that began in Texas and spread to North Carolina in 1887. In April of that year, Ivey became the first member of Ashpole Alliance No. 1, the first subordinate alliance chartered in North Carolina. When the North Carolina Farmers' State Alliance was organized in October 1887, he was elected vice-president and a member of the three-man executive committee. He was reelected to both positions in 1888 and served until August 1889. He declined reelection to the executive committee but remained active in the organization.

In 1891 Ivey moved to Cary to become bookkeeper and cashier for the North Carolina Farmers' State Alliance Business Agency, and on 1 Jan. 1895 he was appointed state business agent, succeeding William H. Worth on his election as state treasurer. Ivey served in the position until August 1897. During his tenure the Farmers' Alliance shoe factory was established at Hillsborough.

A member of the Prohibition party, Ivey ran for the state senate in 1894 on his party's ticket but withdrew in favor of his Republican-Populist opponent, Henry W. Norris. Ivey supported the People's party until its demise, then became a Republican. Although he never won an elective office, he served for many years under Republican administrations as chief deputy in the U.S. marshal's office in Raleigh.

Ivey died of angina pectoris and was survived by his wife and eight children: sons D. R., A. H., George E., and Thaddeus; and daughters Esther M., Mrs. Knud Nisson, Mrs. C. J. Sistare, and Eva Alberta. After funeral services at the Cary Baptist Church, he was buried in the local cemetery.


Levi Branson, ed., North Carolina Business Directory, vol. 7 (1890).

Elias Carr Papers (Manuscript Collection, East Carolina University, Greenville).

North Carolina State Alliance Minute Book, 4 Oct. 1887, in Farmers' State Alliance Papers and Leonidas Polk Denmark Papers (North Carolina Division of Archives and History, Raleigh).

Proceedings of the Third Annual Session of the North Carolina Farmers' State Alliance, Held in the Town of Fayetteville, North Carolina, August 13, 14, and 15, 1889 .

Raleigh News and Observer, 6 Apr. 1933.

Raleigh Progressive Farmer, 26 Mar. 1889 (photograph), 6 Dec. 1892, 25 Dec. 1894, 5 Jan., 17 Aug. 1897.

Additional Resources:

Beckel, Deborah. Radical Reform: Interracial Politics in Post-Emancipation North Carolina. University of Virginia Press, 2010. 132, 133, 139, 176, 194. (accessed May 14, 2014).

Ivey, Thaddeus.  Combined cart saddle and yoke. US Patent 375162 A, filed January 3, 1887, and issued December 20, 1887 (accessed May 14, 2014).