Skip to content

Branson’s North Carolina Business Directory

Watauga County, North Carolina – 1890

Area – 460 Square Miles
Population 8,160: White 7,751, Colored 409

Watauga County was formed in 1849 from Ashe, Caldwell and Yancey counties, and derives its name from the river that runs through it, which is an Indian name and signifies “the River of Islands.”

Boone, the county seat, is 200 miles northwest of Raleigh, and was called in honor of the celebrated Daniel Boone, who once lived near Holeman’s Ford on the Yadkin river. Population estimated at 425.

Surface: Mountainous, interspersed with beautiful streams; splendid water- power; soil rich, scenery rarely surpassed for beauty and grandeur.
Staples: Wheat, corn, rye, oats, Irish Potatoes, fruits in great abundance, and medicinal herbs
Fruits: Apples, peaches, pears, berries, cherries and a variety of small fruits
Timbers: Oak, chestnut, poplar, white and yellow pine, sugar maple, wild cherry and walnut.
Minerals: Iron, gold, mica, plumbago, silver, copper, with several mineral springs

Towns and Post Offices
Town Population
Banner’s Elk 50
Beech Creek 50
Blowing Rock 100
Boone 425
Dark Ridge 25
Horton 75
Meat Camp 25
Middle Cane 50
Moretz Mills 50
Norris 60
Rutherwood 50
Saint Jude 50
Sands 25
Shull’s Mills 50
Soda Hill 60
Stony Fork
Sugar Grove 150
Sweet Water 110
Triplett 50
Valle Crucis 90
Vilas 30
Watauga Falls

County Officers

Clerk of Superior Court: J. B. Todd
Commissioners: J. E. Finley, J. H. Mast, W. W. Presnell
Coroner: J. H. Brame
Register of Deeds: Manly B. Blackburn
Sheriff: James L. Hayes
Solicitor, Tenth Dist.: W. H. Bower
Standard Keeper: John Culler
Surveyor: L. H. Michael
Treasurer: L. A. Greene
Superintendent of Public Schools: I. W. Thomas
County Board of Education: T. J. Coffey, J. M. Brown, T. J. Adams


Superior Court meets second Monday after the fourth Monday in March and first Monday before the first Monday in September

Townships and Magistrates

Bald Mountain – John J. L. Church, A. F. Davis, W. C. L. Halcher
Beaver Dam – H. H. Farthing, W. H. Farthing, J. B. Greene
Blowing Rock – Nathan Harrison, Joe B. Clark, Wm. E. Elrod, R. K. Hartley
Blue Ridge – Jordan Cook, Thomas L. Day, C. J. Cottrell, J. B. Robbins
Boone – D. B. Dougherty, J. H. Presnell, T. L. Critcher, L. H. Michael
Cove Creek – Wm. B. Harbin, Jehiel E. Eggers, Solomon Younce, N. L. Mast, W. N. Thomas
Elk Creek – John R. Hodge, Isham Calloway
Laurel Creek – Benjamin Grier, E. M. Grier, L. W. Farthing, John Harman
Meat Camp – James H. Taylor, Thos. J. Ingram, John H. Norris, W. H. Norris, J. T. Tugman, J. H. Brown
Shawneehaw – Geo. W. Dugger, Geo. W. Brown, Philip Church, William M. Michael
Stony Fork – D. B. Wagner, L. G. Maxwell, William E. Green, C. A. Grible, J. J. Marlitz
Watauga – Henry Taylor, Charles D. Taylor, Joseph Phipps, Alex Townsend, G. W. Skeak

Name Post Office Pastor Denomination
Banner’s Elk Banner’s Elk –Hunt Meth.
Blackburn’s Chapel Elk Cross Roads — Hunt Meth.
Boone Chapel Boone — Hunt Meth.
Center Valle Crucis — Hunt Meth.
Henson’s Chapel Mast — Hunt Meth.
Hopewell Soda Hill — Hunt Meth.
Morris Chapel Blowing Rock — Hunt Meth.
Antioch Watauga Falls D. C. Harman Bap.
Beaver Dam Sugar Grove A. C. Farthing Bap.
Brushy Fork Boone Rev. Mr. Sherwood Bap.
Church Boone Frank Jones Bap.
Cove Creek Sugar Grove Rev. Mr. Sherwood Bap.
Ebenezer Trade, Tenn. Frank Jones Bap.
Flat Top Blowing Rock I. W. Thomas Bap.
Meat Camp Moretz Mills Rev. Mr. Canter Bap.
Mt. Ephraim Boone L. Pipes Bap.
Mt. Vernon Boone David Greene Bap.
Poplar Grove Boone I. W. Eller Bap.
Three Forks Boone Frank Jones Bap.
South Fork Boone I. W. Thomas Bapt.
Stony Fork Stony Fork I. W. Eller Bap.
Church Boone G. H. Bell Episcopal
Church Valle Crucis C. Moretz Lutheran
Mt. Pleasant Moretz Mills C. Moretz Lutheran
Minister’s Residents
Name Post Office Denomination
Blackburn, H. B. Boone Meth.
Combs, W. C. Boone Meth.
Hunt, —— Boone Meth.
Osborn, G. W. McBride’s Mill Meth
Watney, James Aho N. Meth.
Farthing, A. C. Sweetwater Bap.
Farthing, R. P. Sweetwater Bapt.
Farthing, J. H. Sweetwater Bapt.
Jones, Frank Zionville Bapt.
Monroe, Gragg Foscoe Bapt.
Sherwood, J. J. L. Vilas Bapt.
Moretz, C. Moretz Mills Lutheran
West, Hiram Blowing Rock Adventist

Hotels and Boarding Houses

Boarding – Boone – Dr. W. B. Council
Fairview Hotel – Blowing Rock – Wm. Clark
Grandfather Hotel – Foscoe – S. M. Dugger
Hotel – Boone – W. L. Bryan
Hotel – Boone – T. J. Coffey & Bro.
Hotel – Elk Cross Roads (Ashe Co.) – W. C. L. Hulcher
Morris House – Blowing Rock – W. M. Morris
Silver Lake Hotel – Blowing Rock – L. W. Estes


Council, W. B., Jr. – Boone
Green, L. L. – Boone
Lovell, E. F. & Son – Boone
Morphew, J. F. – Boone

Kinds Post Office Proprietor
Blacksmith Boone John T. Sanders
Blacksmith Boone J. Council
Blacksmith Boone H. L. Huggins
Blacksmith Watauga Falls Benj. Baird
Blacksmith Dark Ridge L. H. Cook
Blacksmith Stony Fork L. W. Greene
Blacksmith Stony Fork Lee Greene
Blacksmith Bamboo John Hartley
Building and Contracting Bamboo G. A. Critcher
Building and Contracting Bamboo W. P. Critcher
Building and Contracting Stony Fork J. C. Winkler
Building and Contracting Boone Councill Brothers
Building and Contracting Rutherwood C. A. Grubbs
Building and Contracting Boone J. L. Kincaid
Coopering Watauga Falls A. J. Baird
Coopering Stony Fork Henry Church
Coopering Stony Fork J. Church, Jr.
Distillery (brandy) Watauga Falls Wm. Baird
Millwright Blowing Rock J. E. Greene
Millwright Valle Crucis A. Townsend & Son
Millwright Stony Fork J. C. Winkler
Saddles & Harness Boone T. J. Coffey
Spokes, shingles, &C. Boone J. A. Critcher & Co.
Tannery Boone T. J. Coffey & Bro.
Tannery Boone J. H. Cook
Tannery Boone H. W. Hardin
Tannery Watauga Falls Marshall Greer
Tannery Watauga Falls John Walker
Wagons Boone J. D. Council
Wagons McBride’s Mills
Wagons, furniture, etc. Beaver Dam George Sherill
Wool-carding Boone Mrs. R. Norris
Wool-carding Stony Fork F. P. Trivett
Wool-carding McBride’s Mill Bingham & Co.
Wool-carding Moretz Mill A. Moretz

Merchants and Tradesmen

Critcher, T. A. – Livestock
Vanoy, William N. – Livestock

Blowing Rock
Clarke, J. B. – General Store
Moose Bros. – General Store
Morris, W. M. – General Store

Bryan, W. L. – Livestock and General Store
Coffey, T. J. & Bro. Livestock and General Store
Shearer, Robert – Livestock

Dark Ridge
Brown, G. W. – Lumber
Hauser, J. P. – General Store
McGuire, R. F. – Lumber

Elk Cross Roads (Ashe Co.)
Hulcher, W. C. – General Store

Dougherty, E. H. – General Store
Dougherty, Harvey – General Store
Jones, J. C. – General Store
Shell & Marsh – General Store

Moretz Mills
Moretz & Miller – General Store

Robbins, Myra & Bros. – General Store

Shull’s Mills
Robbins Bros.

Soda Hill
Hodges & Adams – General Store

Stony Fork
Walker & McNeil – General Store
Welborn, Andrew – Nurseryman

Sugar Grove
Millivan, J. T. – Paints

Greene, Lemuel – Lumber

Valle Crucis
Taylor, C. D. & Bro. – General Store

Watauga Falls
Phillips, J. B. – General Store
Thomas, Alex – Livestock

Kinds Post Office Proprietor
Copper Elk Cross Roads (Ashe Co.) R. C. Rhea & Co.
Copper Elk Cross Roads (Ashe Co.) J. B. Miller
Gold Boone J. P. Connell
Copper Elk Knob Wagner & Co.
Flexible Sandstone Stony Fork J. R. Hodges & Co.
Gold Boone John Gragg
Gold Boone H. W. Hardin
Iron Boone D. B. Dougherty & Co.
Iron Boone James McGhee
Mica Elk Cross Roads (Ashe Co.) L. Ray & Co.
Mica Valle Crucis W. Voncannon
Silver Beech Creek Dr. Stewart
Silver Taylorsville, Tenn. Wagner & Co.
Silver Middle Cane J. R. Hodges
Kinds Post Office Proprietor
Corn & Flour Penley A. W. Penley
Corn & Flour Triplett Eli Wolf
Corn & Flour Boone J. Winkler
Corn & Flour Stony Fork D. B. Wagner
Corn & Flour Valle Crucis H. Taylor
Corn & Flour Dark Ridge Joel Trivett
Corn & Flour Boone J. F. Amos
Corn & Flour Boone W. J. Crutcher & Son
Corn & Flour Boone D. B. Dougherty
Corn & Flour Blowing Rock L. W. Estes
Corn & Flour Mast John McGuire
Corn & Flour Mast William Miller & Son
Corn & Flour Soda Hill A. J. Moretz
Corn & Flour Meat Camp Hosea Winebarger
Corn & Flour Watauga Falls Elijah Mast
Corn & Flour Watauga Falls Jackson Baird
Corn & Flour Watauga Falls Calvin Ward
Corn, flour & saw Shull’s Mills
Corn, flour & saw Stony Fork A. J. Moretz
Corn, flour & Saw Shull’s Mills Larkin Calloway
Corn, flour & Saw Shull’s Mills W. C. Coffey
Saw Boone — Critcher
Saw Watauga Falls William Mast & Co.
Saw Bamboo Rogers & Co.


Bingham, ______, Amantha
Council, W. B., Sr. – Boone
Phillips, J. B. – Sugar Grove
Reeves, _____, Boone


Cove Creek School, Cove Creek, E. J. Blackburn
High School, Boone, J. W. Thomas
High School, Valle Crucis, M. S. Trivett
New River Academy – Horton – William Spainhour
Skyland Academy – Blowing Rock – Miss Pender
Valle Crucis School – Valle Crucis – W. M. Frankum


Blackburn, E. J. –
Frankum, W. M. – Valle Crucis
Pender, Miss _______ – Blowing Rock
Rivers, Nannie J. – Boone
Spainhour, W. – Horton
Thomas, J. W. – Boone
Trivett, M. S. – Valle Crucis


Elk Lodge, No. 373 A.F.& A.M., Elk Cross Roads (Ashe Co.); time of meeting, Friday evening after each full moon.
Snow Lodge, No. 363 A.F.& A.M., Sugar Grove; time of meeting, Friday evening after full moon, and June 24th and December 27th
Watauga Lodge, No. 273, A.F. & A.M., Boone; time of meeting, first Friday evening on or before full moon, and June 24th and December 27th.


Bamboo – Hix Allen, G. H. Blair, John Brown, J. R. Brown, Samuel Brown, G. W. Carter, W. D. Cook, R. R. Cook, Jordan Cook, T. D. Cook, John Cook, C. J. Cottrell, T. A. Critcher, Jesse D. Harrison, Jerry Harrison, J. E. Keasley, John Lay, Willam Vannoy, G. L. Vandike

Boone – W. L. Bryan, T. J. Coffey & Bro., A. J. Critcher, R. J. Council, Jr., W. H. Edmunson, Jno. Elrod, John Gragg, Joseph Hardin, Mrs. John Hardin, W. H. Hardin, Joseph Hays, W. E. F. Lovell, J. C. Ray, Robert Shearer, W. W. Vannoy, Joshua Winkler

Beaver Dam – T. A. Cable, G. W. Cable, W. Scott Farthing, W. H. Farthing, C. S. Farthing, Elvert Farthing, H. H. Farthing, Dempsey Gragg, Adam Green, Lem. Green, J. B. Green, Adam Green, Larkin Green, Hugh Hagaman, Jasper Hagaman, J. K. Perry, J. J. T. Reece, Alex. Wilson, Walton Wilson

Blowing Rock – I. N. Coperning, Wm. Elrod, D. W. Estes, C. A. L. Holtzhauser, L. W. Estes, John S. Ford, Tho. F. Greer, Richard A. Green, J. E. Green, Jacob Klutts, Hight More

Dark Ridge – G. W. Brown, William Cannon, A. Cannon, Philip Church, Jas. Church, M. W. Church, A. B. Franklin, M. T. Harman, Ayor Hartly, D. F. Greer, Erwin Green, J. R. Gryder, Jacob Irvins, J. F. McBride, J. J. McGuire, L. W. McGuire, G. W. McGuire, Jr., G. W. McGuire, Sr., W. M. Laughary, Thomas Smith, Lazarus Trivett, Samuel Trivett, Joel Trivett, Joel Trivett, John Trivett, Jacob Younce

Shull’s Mills – Pleasant Andrews, J. H. Brown, Harrison Calloway, E. Calloway, Calvin White, James Church, W. Coffey, J. C. Coffey, W. C. Coffee, Wm. M. Hodges, Eli Johnson, Perry Johnson, A. B. Johnson, W. W. Lenoir, A. J. Mast, W. W. Sherill, J. C. Shull, John P. Smith, Noah Winkler

Stony Fork – S. J. Bishop, R. T. Brickles, Joseph Bunn, Bart. Bunn, T. R. Green, L. Green, W. S. Green, Riley Green, W. E. Green, E. Green, Alex. Green, George Green, C. C. Miller, Levi Morphew, A. J. Moretz, Isaac Norris, J. T. Solemns, D. B. Wagner, L. C. Watson, Thomas Watson, G. W. Watson, I. L. Watson

Valle Crucis – Silas Adams, B. F. Baird, W. B. Baird, Mrs. D. F. Davis, Joe. Cornell, Calvin Church, A. Hately, J. L. Hayes, A. B. Mast, Jim M. Shull, Alex. Thomas & Sons, Henry Taylor, J. W. Woodring

Watauga Falls – W. Farthing, L. W. Farthing, Jones Greer, R. E. Greer, Calvin Harman, Wiley Harman, Eli Harman, J. W. Harman, Adam Hicks, J. V. Reece, John Reece, S. P. Shull, James Thomas, A. Thomas, Filmore Walker, Simon Ward