March 15, 1883 (The Commonwealth, a newspaper of Scotland Neck, NC, 3d page)
–On last Sunday night, at 9½ o’clock, the alarm of fire was given, and was soon learned to be the house of Fred. Billups, a colored man living near Dr. Hall’s residence. The house caught from the chimney and sufficient help was not at hand to save the house. All the property was saved. Fred. had locked his children up during the day and left them long enough to go to church, and the house had caught twice during the day.