Born in Charlotte in 1887, Addie Grier Barineau grew up to become a principal, historian and beloved community figure.
Her young life, however, was difficult.
â€œAddie Grier was a sickly child, and they thought she would die,â€ said Darrell Harkey, Lincoln Countyâ€™s historical coordinator.
At the age of 2, her father died leaving her with her invalid mother. She was sent to live with the four McDaniel sisters in Lincolnton, and there the little girlâ€™s life took a turn for the better.
â€œIt was written that she grew stronger with the love and attention,â€ Harkey said.
The women cared for the child, sending her to school at Kate Shippâ€™s private academy and later to Charlotte Presbyterian College, which would later be called Queenâ€™s College.
Barineau used her education to become a teacher. Her first job was in Iron Station, but after several years, she decided to strike out on her own â€“ the state of Georgia was offering teachers $20 more a month.
â€œCould you see yourself moving to Georgia for $20 a month more than youâ€™re making now?â€ Harkey asked. â€œBut in those days $20 was a good bit of money.â€
The McDaniel sisters sent her away with a new, $75 wardrobe.
â€œYou couldnâ€™t get a pocketbook and a pair of shoes for that now,â€ Harkey said.
Barineau did not forget the McDaniel sisters, however, and when they became ill, she moved back to Lincolnton with her Georgian husband, John William Barineau in 1913.
â€œThe McDaniel sisters were getting old and feeble, and here she had a chance to go back and repay the kindness,â€ Harkey said.
When the sisters died, Barineau inherited their property including the McDaniel spring, which may have been what cured her as a small child. The spring was said to contain sulfur, the â€œnext best thing to penicillin.â€
â€œWho knows, it could have been the water,â€ Harkey said.
Barnieau, who was the niece of Gen. Stephen Dodson Ramseur, lived in Lincolnton until her death in 1983 at the age of 96.
Over the years, she had several government jobs, including register of deeds. She was principal of Hickory Grove School and worked to get Lincoln County its first library, which was located in the United Daughters of the Confederacyâ€™s Memorial Hall.
She also took it upon herself to research the history of Lincoln, Gaston and surrounding counties.
The information she collected may be preserved without proper credit to Barineau, but it also could be lost.
â€œWe would love to find it,â€ Harkey said.
Now, Barineau herself is part of Lincoln Countyâ€™s history.
â€œShe lived quite a life,â€ Harkey said.
by Sarah Grano