From the President – May, 2017

By Elaine Henson

Our World War I exhibit will be opening soon.  We are focusing on soldiers with local ties to Wilmington and Federal Point. Over the next three months we will be featuring Major William A. Snow, Andrew Emile Kure, Sr. and Arthur Bluethenthal.

William Arthur Snow was born at Fort Hamilton, New York, to Major General and Mrs. William J. Snow.  He graduated from West Point in 1916 and was assigned to the Corps of Engineers as a Second Lieutenant. He first served in Mexico from graduation to the spring of 1917.  In late September, 1917, he sailed to France with the 2nd Division.  He immediately engaged his company in construction work and training for battle.

He was at the front in Verdun Sector, Chateau Thierry, Belleau Woods and Soissons being wounded twice and later serving with the Army of Occupation in Germany.  Major Snow was awarded the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, Distinguished Silver Cross, Chevalier Legion d”Honneur, Croix de Guerre with two Palms, and the  Silver Star Citation during the war.

Following the war, Major Snow served in the Army Corps of Engineering in Kansas after which he obtained a BS of Civil Engineering at M. I. T.  For the next two years he was in Washington, D. C. as assistant to the Chief Engineer in that district.

In July of 1926, he was assigned to Wilmington, N. C. as the chief engineer for the Wilmington District.  He was 32 years old.  His assignment was being in charge of the 93 mile continuation of the Intracoastal Waterway from Beaufort, N. C. to the mouth of the Cape Fear River.

There was only one land cut in the whole project that being the area we now know as Snow’s Cut.  That land cut, completed in 1930, transformed our Federal Point peninsula into an island requiring a bridge to cross over.  The cut and the bridge have been known ever since as Snow’s Cut, named for the young Army Corps Engineer.

Next month: Andrew Emile Kure, Sr.

Note:  Last month I mentioned the old Federal Point School on the Cape Fear River and stated that it was located on what is now known as Dow Road near Henniker’s Ditch, which would put it near the Newton Cemetery.  I was contacted by A.E. “Punky” Kure who told me the road leading to the old school on the river is about a quarter mile from where Dow Road curves and becomes K Avenue. 

Punky showed me several ledger sheets belonging to his grandmother, Ellen Kure, who owned the land and the building. They were dated early 1900s and showed $100 a month rent for the property paid by the School Board.  I apologize for the error and am most appreciative that Punky reads our newsletter so carefully and often calls us to task.  A historical society needs to have its facts straight and we welcome corrections when you see an error.