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Frances Casstevens

313 Chestnut Street
Yadkinville, North Carolina, United States


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My first published book was a genealogy about my mother's ancestors, entitled The Descendants of Solomon Linberry/" This was no big deal because I paid for the publication myself, but at last I had become a published author.

Many years later, and after obtaining my Master's Degree in History, I compiled a book about the affect of the Civil War on Yadkin County, and incuded a list of approximatey 1,200 men who had served in the various branches of the Confederate Army. When this book was accepted and published in 1997 by McFarland & Co., Jefferson, I was so happy.
Since then, McFarland has published an additional 6 more non-fiction works about the Civil War.

In 2006, I put together a book of local legends and ghost stories which was publiched by Parkway Publishers of Boone. These stories were drawn from all the counties that bordered the Yadkin River, and thus was called "Ghosts and their Haunts: The Legends and Lore of the Yadkin River Valley."

This was followed by a book of umtimely deaths that took place in North Carolina's Piedmont before 1945. Among the 10 stories is the mysterious death of Zachary Smith Reynolds (suicide or murder?; and skeleton in the woods in 1939 just outside Yadkinville, whose identity was never discovered.

Some of these stories were famous nation-wide, such as the Lawson family murders on Christmas Day, 1929, when Charlie Lawson killed his whole family and then himself. Another famous murder is that of "Poor Elen Smith" who was shot by her lover Peter DeGraff in Winston-Salem. DeGraff was hanged for the crime. Both of these stories had much publicity and several songs were written about them.

The murder of Laura Foster took place in 1868, and it was made famous by the Kingston Trio in their song "Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley."

Interests: American History, Civil War, local history and genealogy, folklore, ghost stories

Published writer: Yes

Freelance: Yes


Published works:


  • The Civil War and Yadkin County, North Carolina
  • Edward A. Wild and the African Brigade in the Civil War
  • Ghosts and their Haunts: The Legends and Lore of the Yadkin River Valley
  • "Out of the Mouth of Hell": Civil War Prisons and Escapes
  • Death in North Carolina's Piedmont: Tales of Murder, Suicide and Causes Unknown
  • George W. Alexander and Castle Thunder
  • Tales from the North and the South
  • Clingman's Brigade in the Confederacy, 1862-1865