Episcopalian Dr. James Thigpen IV invented a surgical instrument for operations in the Revolutionary War, which was owned in 1920 by an Edgecomb County descendant. Dr. James Thigpen IV named his manor home, built by father James Thigpen III, "Penny Hill", after his wife, Penelope Hill. He was a major planter with plenty of land & owned a mill. He sold boats inherited from his father; yet kept 2 for use on the tar River. Their sons, Bartholomew & Travis served the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War (1775 - 1781). Dr. James Thigpen IV died at pneumonia at 4:30 am on January 21, 1779 at the age of 68.