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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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London, Arthur Hill, Sr.

by B. W. C. Roberts, 1991

9 July 1874–8 Dec. 1969

Advertisement for W. L. London & Son mercantile in Pittsboro, NC, from the January 7, 1904 issue of <i>The Chatham Record</i>.  Presented on DigitalNC. Arthur Hill London, Sr., textile executive and banker, was born in Pittsboro of English ancestry, the son of William Lord London who became a captain in the Civil War at age twenty-four and later was inspector general and adjutant of his brigade. His mother was Caroline Haughton London, the daughter of John H. Haughton, a Pittsboro lawyer and legislator. London attended school in Pittsboro and the Horner Military School in Oxford before entering The University of North Carolina. In 1894 he joined his father in the operation of a Pittsboro mercantile firm with which he remained associated until it was dissolved in 1923. After his father's death in 1916, London became secretary-treasurer of the J. M. Odell Manufacturing Company, a post he filled until 1962, when named chairman of the board. He also was president of the Bank of Pittsboro from 1917 to 1964.

A member of the Episcopal church, London held offices at both the parish and diocesan levels, serving for about thirty-five years as senior warden and attending every diocesan convention from 1916 to 1949. He served on the Executive Council of the diocese and was a lay deputy to the General Convention of the church in 1928, 1931, and 1934. In 1937 he became the first chairman of the Chatham County Board of Public Welfare, and he was chairman of the Pittsboro school board for forty years. From 1935 to 1959 he was a member of the board of trustees of The University of North Carolina. Except for time away at school, London spent his entire life of ninety-five years in the house where he was born.

In 1900 he married Elizabeth Foushee, and they became the parents of seven children: William Lord, Arthur Hill, Jr., Frank Marsden, Lawrence Foushee, John Haughton, Elizabeth, and Fred Williams. He was buried in the churchyard of St. Bartholomew's Church, Pittsboro. A portrait is owned by his grandson, Dr. William L. London of Durham.


Durham Morning Herald, 6 Dec. 1969.

Daniel L. Grant, Alumni History of the University of North Carolina, 1795–1924 (1924).

Wade Hadley and others, eds., Chatham County, 1771–1971 (1971).

Pittsboro Chatham Record, 20 Sept. 1962.

Additional Resources:

Lawrence Foushee London Papers, 1740-2003 (collection no. 04958). The Southern Historical Collection. Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.,Lawrence_Foushee.html (accessed January 13, 2014).

Image Credits:

[W. L. London & Son newspaper advertisement.]  The Chatham Record (Pittsboro, NC), January 7, 1904. 1. (accessed January 13, 2014).