One that was free in the days of slavery.

by Lisa Y. Henderson

The road at that time turned down the first branch and crossed the second one about where Tradd Street now crosses it. This second branch is alluded to in old deeds as Buffalo Branch, in later times and to our older citizens it was Free Nancy branch, from the fact that a free negro – one that was free in the days of slavery – lived near it.

P.F. Laugenour, “A History of Iredell County,” date unknown.

[Sidenote: There is now a Free Nancy Avenue in Statesville, a dead-end commercial street that runs for a short stretch just south of Interstate 40 at Sullivan Road.   Free Nancy Branch itself, which appears from on-line photos to be little more than a trickle, has been the subject of recent clean-ups and restoration.  It is a branch of Fourth Creek. – LYH]