William Shepard Pettigrew (1818-1900) of Tyrrell County, NC, was one of nine children born to Ebenezer and Ann Blount Shepard Pettigrew. He received his preparatory schooling at Bingham's Hillsborough Academy. Entering the University in 1834, he became a member of the Philanthropic Society but left in 1837 without receiving a degree. He studied law and returned to Belgrade, one of his father's plantations, which eventually became his own. When his father died in 1848, William also inherited Magnolia plantation. After the Civil War, he sold both plantations to pay off his debts and became a minister in the Protestant Episcopal church. He never married.