There are a lot of things wrong with this article, which I found in the August 15, 1902 edition of the Elm City Elevator, from the small town of Elm City, located in Wilson County. To begin with, the tree revered by UNC-Chapel Hill students and alumni alike is referred to as the “David Poplar” and its namesake demoted to a mere colonel. And a lazy one at that, as the article perpetuates the myth that the site for the campus was chosen when “Col. David” stopped to swill a little corn whiskey and said that the location in southern Orange County was “good enough for me.”
But it’s an interesting article nonetheless, showing that in the early twentieth century the Davie Poplar was already a legendary landmark and that, despite the damage done by this and other storms, it was able to endure.