BUNCOMBE COUNTY.<a href="#1" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 1
From Asheville's Centenary."> In 1781 or 1782 settlers from the blockhouse at Old Fort, McDowell county as it is now, crossed the mountains to the head of the Swannanoa river, and became trespassers on the Cherokee territory, the Blue Ridge at that time being the boundary line. Samuel Davidson, his wife and child were among the first. They brought a female negro slave with them, and settled a short distance east of Gudger's ford of Swannanoa river, and near what is now Azalea. He was soon afterwards killed by Indians, and his wife and child and slave hurried through the mountains back to Old Fort. An expedition to avenge his death set out, with the late Major Ben. Burgin, who died at Old Fort in November, 1874, at the age of ninety-five, among the number and conquered the Indians at tile mouth of Rock House creek. By this time, however, several other settlements had been effected on the Swannanoa from its head to its mouth by the Alexanders, Davidsons, Smiths and others, the earliest being about the mouth of Bee Tree creek, a little above this being the Edmundson field, the first cleared in Buncombe. Soon another company passed through Bull gap and settled on upper Reems creek, while still others came in by way of what is now Yancey county and settled on lower Reems and Flat creeks. Some of the people who had been with Sevier at Watauga settlement, settled on the French Broad above the mouth of Swannanoa, and on Hominy creek. Some from South Carolina settled still higher on the French Broad.
THE CHEERY NAME OF BUNCOMBE.<a href="#2" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 2
Ibid"> The Swannanoa was now recognized as the dividing line between Burke and Rutherford counties, from portions of which counties Buncombe was subsequently formed, and named for Edward Buncombe, who had been a colonel in the Revolutionary War.<a href="#3" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 3
Ibid"> In 1791 David Vance and William Davidson, the former representing Burke and the latter Rutherford, agreed upon the formation of a new county from portions of both these counties west of the Blue Ridge, its western boundary to be the Tennessee line.
FIRST COURT AT THE GUM SPRING.<a href="#4" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 4
Ibid"> In April, 1792, at the residence of Col. William Davidson on the south bank of the Swannanoa, half a mile above its mouth, subsequently called the Gum Spring place, Buncombe county was organized, pursuant to the act which had been ratified January 14, 1792. On December 31, 1792, another act recited that the commissioners provided for in the first act had failed to fix "the center and agree where public buildings" should be erected, and appointed Joshua Inglish, Archibald Neill, James Wilson, Augustin Shote, George Baker and John Dillard of Buncombe, and Wm. Morrison of Burke, commissioners in place of Phillip Hoodenpile, William Brittain, Win. Whitson, James Brittain and Lemuel Clayton, who had failed to agree, to select a county seat. There was rivalry for this position, many contending for the "Steam Saw Mill Place on the road afterwards known as the Buncombe Turnpike Road about three miles south of Asheville, where Dr. J. F. E. Hardy resided at the time of his death," says Dr. Sondley in his Asheville's Centenary. They selected the present site, which at first was called Morristown. As the Superior court was at this time held at Morganton, five men from Buncombe were required to serve there as jurors, for the July term, 1792. These were Matthew Patton, Wm. Davidson, David Vance, Lambert Clayton and James Brittain. The first court house stood in the middle of the street upon the public square at the head of what is now Patton avenue, and was of logs. The first county court held there was on the third Monday in July, 1793. In January, 1796, commissioners were appointed to lay off a plan for public buildings; but in April, 1802, the grand jury complained that the county had no title to the land on which the jail, etc., stood, and in April, 1805, steps were taken to secure land for a public square. In April, 1807, the county trustee, or treasurer, was ordered to pay Robert Love one pound for registering five deeds made by individuals for a public square…. The next court house was made of brick, a little further east, in the erection of which the late Nicholas W. Woodfin, while a poor boy, carried brick and mortar. This gave way to a handsome brick building fronting on Main street, which was destroyed by fire on the 26th day of January, 1865. Some years later a small one-story brick structure was built nearly in front of W. O. Wolf's storeroom, the late Rev. B. H. Merrimon having been the contractor. In 1876 this gave way to a larger building with three stories, J. A. Tennent being the architect. In the erection of this a workman fell from the southwest corner of the tower to the ground and was killed. His name has been forgotten. The first jail was succeeded by a brick building now a part of the Library building; but a new jail was built afterwards on the site of the present. city hall, its site being sold to the city when the Eagle street jail was built some years afterwards. The first jail was a very poor structure, every sheriff from 1799 to 1811 complaining of its insufficiency. In 1867 the county began to sell off portions of the public square on the north and south sides, thus reducing it to its present dimensions.
MORRISTOWN. John Burton's grant was "by private contract laid out …. for a town called Morristown, the county town of Buncombe county, into 42 lots, containing, with the exception of the two at the southern end, one-half an acre each, lying on both sides of a street 33 feet wide," which runs where the southern part of North Main street and the northern part of South Main street now are.<a href="#5" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 5
Ibid"> There were two cross streets across the public square. "Nobody seems to know why the name of 'Morristown was bestowed upon the place …but there is a seemingly authentic tradition that it was named for Robert Morris, who success fully financed the American Revolution, yet himself died a bankrupt."<a href="#6" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 6
Bourne's Asheville Code, 1909, vi. Scaife v. Land Co., 90 Federal Reporter (p. 238) The deed from Tate to Morris is on parchment nearly fifteen feet in length. It was by an English law clerk, and still looks like copperplate. At page 165 of the Colonial Records is found a letter from Robert Morris to the governor of North Carolina in reference to a settlement of the account between this state and the United States, in which he refers to the proposed arbitration in which this State proposed to appoint one arbitrator and retain power of objecting to the other!"> About this time he owned large bodies of land in Western North Carolina; indeed it is shown in the record of one case in the Federal Court here (Asheville) that Robert Tate of York county, Pennsylvania, and William Tate, of Burke county, N . C., conveyed to him in one deed 198 tracts of land, only one tract of which, containing 70,400 acres and lying in what are now Yancey, Burke, and McDowell counties, was involved in that litigation. The State grant for these lands was issued to Robert and William Tate on May 30, 1795, and they conveyed the same lands to Morrison August 15 of the same year…"The Tates were evidently the agents of Morris… Morris was one of the heroes of the Revolution, and … it is ,mall wonder that the people…should name it for him." His will (dated in 1804) was probated in McDowell county on April 21, 1891. In November 1797, the village was incorporated by the legislature as Asheville in honor of Samuel Ashe of New Hanover, governor.
OLD ASHEVILLE. On Thanksgiving Day, 1895, Miss Anna C. Aston, Miss Frances L. Patton and other ladies published a "Woman's Edition" of the Asheville Daily Citizen. It contained much valuable and important information of that city. But in February, 1898, Foster A. Sondley, Esq., a descendant of the Fosters and Alexanders of Buncombe count-, and a leading member of the Asheville Bar, published a historical sketch of Buncombe county and Asheville, containing practically all that could then be ascertained concerning the early history of this section. Hon. Theo. F. Davidson and the late Albert T. Summey also contributed their recollections. There was a woodcut reproduction of an oil painting of Asheville by F. S. Duncanson, which was taken from Beaucatcher, and it appears that there were not more than twenty five residences in 1850 that were visible from that commanding eminence, all the buildings, including outhouses, not exceeding forty, and they were between Atkin, Market and Church streets. The painting itself, now owned by Airs. Martha B. Patton, shows five brick buildings, the old Presbyterian church, on the site of the present one, with the cupola on its eastern end, because the street ran there; the little old Episcopal church, on the site of the burned Trinity; the old jail, standing where the city hall now stands; Ravenscroft school, and the Rowley house, now occupied by the Drhumor building. The old jail was three stories high. The other buildings were white wooden structures, and included the central portion of the old Eagle hotel and the old Buck hotel. Mr. Ernest Israel also has a similar picture.
Dr. J. S. T. Baird's facile pen has given us an equally vivid picture of Asheville in his "Historical Sketches of Early Days," published in the Asheville Saturday Register during January, February and March, 1905, as it appeared in 1840. He records the facts that the white population then did not exceed 300, and the total number of slaves, owned by eight or nine persons, did not exceed 200. In the 400 acres embracing the northeastern section of the city, between the angle formed by North Main and Woodfin streets, he recalled but two dwellings, those of Hon. N. W. Woodfin and Rev. David McAnally, both on Woodfin street. There was an old tannery and a little school house near the beginning of what is now Merrimon avenue, the school having been taught by Miss Katy Parks, who afterwards became 'Mrs. Katy Bell, mother of Rev. George Bell of Haw Creek. This 400-acre boundary, now so thickly settled, was then owned by James W. Patton, James Al. Smith, Samuel Chunn, N. W. Woodfin and Israel Baird. There was a thirty-acre field where Doubleday now is, and was called the "old gallows field," because Sneed and Henry had been hanged there about 1835. Standing south of Woodfin and East of North and South Alain streets to the southern boundary, there were but eight residences, not including negro and outhouses.
SOUTHWEST ASHEVILLE. Just north of Aston street was the brick store of Patton & Osborne, and later Patton & Summey, adjoining which was the tailor shop of "Uncle" Manuel, one of James W. Patton's slaves. Then came a white house which was kept for guests when there was an overflow crowd at the Eagle hotel. Between this house and the Daylight store, J. M. Smith some years later erected a twostory building for the use of Dr. T. C. Lester, a physician who came from South Carolina and settled here about 1845. He kept a sort of drug store, the first of its kind in Asheville. The negroes called it a shot-i-carry-pop, in their effort to call it an apothecary shop. Hilliard Hall now stands where it stood. Just above was the residence and place of business of James B. Mears, now the Daylight store. Then came Drake Jarrett's place-better known as the Coche<a href="#7" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 7
Pronounced Cochay. He was a Frenchman who had been brought to the Sulphur Springs by Col. Reuben Deaver as a confectionery and pastery cook."> place "where for many years the little short-legged `monsieur' and his `madam' dealt out that which Solomon .says biteth like a serpent and stingeth like an adder." Thus was reached what was the Chunn property, which, beginning at the lower side of T. C. Smith's drug store, ran straight back to Church street. Samuel Chunn had lived in a large brick house which fronted north, and which was later replaced by a building used as a banking house, known as the Bank building. This was about 1845. * The Asheville branch of the Bank of Cape Fear occupied it till the Civil War period. The residence of A. B. Churn stood on the corner now occupied by Pat McIntyre's grocery store. An old stable stood at the corner of Patton and Lexington avenues.
CHURCH STREET. The grounds of the Methodist church extended from Patton avenue and Church street to the Aston property and several rods back, forming an oblong plat of several acres. On the corner of Patton avenue and Church street stood a large brick building used as a boarding house in connection with the school for girls which was taught for many years in the basement of the Methodist church. The late William Johnston afterwards bought and occupied this building as a residence. The land south of the Methodist church was used as, a cemetery till long after the Civil War.
The Presbyterian church of that day stood nearly where the one of this day stands, opposite that of the Methodist church, and its cemetery extended down to Aston street. Near where Asheland and Patton avenues join the late James M. Smith had a large barn, which stood in a ten-acre field.
NORTHWEST ASHEVILLE. In the angle formed by North Main street and Patton avenue, in 1840, there were not many houses. Beginning at the north end, Mrs. Cassada--Granny Cassie"--occupied a one-room house which stood where the Rankin tan house afterwards stood. She baked and sold ginger cakes, and brewed cider. Coming up North Main street was a house built by Israel Baird in 1839, now known as the Brandt property. Israel Baird had lived two and a half miles north of Asheville at what is now the Way place, but about 1838 lie bought 40 acres, commencing at the junction of North Slain street and Merrimon avenue, running west to the present auditorium, thence to Starnes avenue and thence back to North Main street. The only other building within this area was the wooden store and shoe-shop opposite the old Buck hotel, now occupied by the Langren hotel, and the barns, stables, sheds and cribs of J. M. Smith, which covered a large portion of the lot lying between West College street, Walnut and Water streets. From the foregoing it is evident that the artist Duncanson did not get all the house into his oil painting of 1850.
EAST AND SOUTH ASHEVILLE. In these sections of the town the land was owned by James M. Smith, Sames W. Patton, Montraville Patton, Dr. J. F. E. Hardy, Mrs. Morrison and Thomas L. Gaston, principally. The old Buck Hotel, a small frame building near it, what was known as the Dunlap store, the court house, the jail, the office of the Highland Messenger on what is now North Pack Square, east of the Gazette News office, were then the oldest houses in town. The old jail stood where the new Legal building now stands; the court house stood where Vance's monument stands, with the whipping post and stocks immediately in its rear. Mrs. Rose Morrisons' residence occupied the site now covered by the present court house, while the store of Montraville Patton occupied the corner now used by the Holt Furniture Company. Lower down on South Main street lived William Coleman in a brick building in a part of which the post-office was kept. Later on Col. R. W. Pulliam lived there and Rankin and Pulliam did a large mercantile business. Just below this, embowered in green vines and fragrant flowers, was the stylish wooden dwelling occupied for years by Dr. J. F. E. Hardy, and was later to fall into such disrepute as to be called "Greasy Corner." This, however, was about 1890 after the handsome old residence had for years been used as a negro hotel and restaurant. On it now stands the large Thrash Building.
EAGLE HOTEL. Just below Eagle street stood and still stands the building then and for years afterwards known far and wide as the Eagle hotel, then owned by James Patton and later by his son James W. Patton. There were a large blacksmith shop just below this hotel, where Sycamore street now leaves South Main, and a tannery on the branch back of and below this. Joshua Roberts lived on the hill where Mrs. Buchanan lived until her recent death, and it was the last house on that side of the street.
LARGE LAND OWNERS. In the angle formed by Patton avenue and South Main street, according to Dr. Baird, the lands were owned principally by James M. Smith, Col. James M. Alexander, James W. Patton, and Samuel Chunn, but James B. Mears and Drake Jarrett owned from T. C. Smith's drug store down to and including Mears' Daylight store. The Methodist and Presbyterian churches owned and occupied the land now used by them for their present places of worship. Within this area were eleven residences, two stores, two churches, two stables, one tanyard and one barn. At the corporate line on South Main street, at the forks of the road, lived Standapher Rhodes, and north of him was the blacksmith shop of Williamson Warlick whose sign read "Williamson Warlick Axes," his axes being especially fine. He died and was succeeded there by Elias Triplett. Two hundred yards north was the home of Rev. William Morrison a Presbyterian minister and the father of Mr. Theodore S. Morrison. J. M. Alexander afterwards lived in this house. Then came a tannery of J. M. Smith's, while David Halford occupied a residence at the corner of South Main and Southside avenue, known as the Goodlake curve because of the reverse curve of the street railway tracks at that point There was a frame house about halfway between the Halford house and Mrs. M. E. Hilliard's residence. Mrs. Hilliard's home site was formerly occupied by a large two-story frame house which stood upon the street, and was occupied at one time by Col. J. M. Alexander before he removed to "Alexander's, " ten miles down the French Broad river. Then John Osborne occupied the Alexnader (Hilliard) house for a long time, to be followed by Isaac McDunn, a tailor. It was finally bought by the late Dr. W. L. Hilliard, and occupied as a residence. From his house to Aston street there was no dwelling, though a large stable belonging to the Eagle hotel stood where now stands the Swannanoa-Berkeley Hotel.
GEORGE SWAIN. He was born in Roxborough, Mass., June 17, 1763, and on September 1, 1784, he left Providence, R. L, for Charleston, S. C.; but as a storm had required that much of the cargo be thrown over board, Swain arrived at Charleston penniless. He walked to Augusta, Ga., where he lived a year, and then removed to Wilkes, afterwards Oglethorpe county, where he engaged in hat-making, and was a member of the legislature of Georgia five years, and of the Constitutional convention held at Louisville about 1795, in which year he moved to Buncombe county and settled in or near Asheville, soon afterward marrying Carolina Lowrie, a sister of Joel Lane, founder of the city of Raleigh, and of Jesse Lane, father of Gen. Joseph Lane, Democratic candidate for VicePresident in 1860. She was the widow of a man who had been killed by the Indians. In the early part of his residence George Lane lived at the head of Beaverdam creek, where the late Rev. Thomas Stradley afterwards resided and died, and where, on January 4, 1801, David Lowrie Swain, afterwards judge, governor and president of the University, was born. Here the future statesman saw the first wagon ever in Buncombe brought up the washed out bed of Beaverdam creek in default of a road. At this sight, "he incontinently took to his heels and rallied only when safely entrenched behind his father's house, a log double cabin." "About 1805 a post-route was established on the recently constructed road through Buncombe county. In 1806, the postoffice at Asheville was made the distributing office for Georgia, Tennessee and the two Carolina`, and George Swain became postmaster," the commission issuing in 1807. He was a ruling elder in the Presbyterian church. He used to say his father was a Presbyterian and an Arminian, and his mother was a Methodist and a Calvinist. He was a trustee of the Newton academy. He afterwards carried on the hatter's business in the house now called the Bacchus J. Smith place in Grove Park, where his son-in-law, William Coleman, succeeded him as a hatter. For some time before his death he was insane. He died December 24, 1829.
SAMUEL CHUNN. In 1806 he was chairman of the Buncombe county court, having been a tanner for years, his tanyard being where Merrimon avenue crosses Glenn's creek. In 1807 he was jailer, and from him Chunn's Cove took its name. He died in 1855, on the bank of the French Broad in Madison county at what is known as the Chunn place, where he had resided in his old age.
WILLIAM WELCH. He was at one time a member of the Buncombe county court, and in January, 1805, was coroner. He was interested in lands on what are now Haywood and Depot streets. He afterwards removed to Waynesville and married Mary Ann, a (laughter of Robert Love. In 1829 he was a senator from Haywood county, a member of the constitutional convention of 1835 and for many years clerk of the court. He was born April 8, 1796, and died February 6, 1865.
COLONEL WILLIAM DAVIDSON. He was a son of John Davidson and first cousin of Gen. Wm. Davidson, who succeeded Griffith Rutherford in the generalship when the latter was captured at Camden. Gen. Davidson was killed February 1, 1751, at Cowan's ford of Catawba river. Col. Davidson was a brother of the Samuel Davidson who was killed by the Indians in 1781-2 at the head of the Swannanoa river, and was the first representative of Buncombe county in the State Senate, taking a prominent part in the preparations made by the North Carolinians for the Battle of Kings -Mountain. He was the father of William Mitchell Davidson of Hay wood county, whose son, Col. Allen T. Davidson, was a prominent lawyer and represented this section in the Confederate Congress.
WILLIAM MITCHELL DAVIDSON. He was born January 2, 1780, and died at Rock Island Ferry, on the Brazos river, Washington county, Texas, May, 31, 1846, and was buried in the Horse Shoe Bend of that stream in the private burying ground of Amos Gates. On January 10, 1804, he married Elizabeth Vance (who was born on Reem's creek, Buncombe county, North Carolina, March 23, 1787), the ceremony being performed by the Rev. Geo. Newton. She died at the home of her son, Col. Allen Turner Davidson, on Valley river, Cherokee county, April 15, 1861. They settled on a beautiful farm on Jonathan's creek, in Haywood county, where they remained until October 24, 1844, when the family went to Santa Anna, Ill., where they remained until the first of March, 1845, when they again set out for Texas. They settled on Wilson's creek of Collin county in April. From there they moved to Rock Island Ferry, where Mr. Davidson died. The family then returned to North Carolina-April, 1847. One cause of his removal to Texas was an unfortunate mercantile venture which he had made with his sons, W. E., H. H., an A. T., at Waynesville, in 1842. The story of the adventures of this family to and from Texas at that early day, as preserved in a manuscript written by John M. Davidson, one of W. M. Davidson's sons, reads more like a romance than a sober recital of real facts. (See Appendix.)
ISAAC B. SAWYER. Was born on Tuskeegee creek in Macon, now Swain, county in 1810. James W. Patton, John Burgin and 'Squire Sawyer were, for years, the three magistrates composing the Buncombe county court. He was the first mayor of Asheville and was clerk and master for many years before the Civil War and until the adoption of the Code. He was the father of Captain James P. Sawyer, who for years was the president of the Battery Park bank, a successful merchant and a public spirited and enterprising citizen. Isaac B. Sawyer died in 1880.
JAMES MITCHELL ALEXANDER. He was born on Bee Tree creek, Buncombe county, May 22, 1793. His grandfather, John Alexander, of Scotch-Irish descent, was a native of Rowan county, where he married Rachel Davidson, a sister of William and Samuel Davidson, and resided in Lincoln county, during the Revolutionary war. They were afterwards among the first settlers of Buncombe, but moved to Harper's river, Tenn. His son, James Alexander was born in Rowan, December 23, 1756. He fought on the American side at Kings Mountain, and Cornwallis's camp chest, captured by him, was in Buncombe in 1898 when "Asheville's Centenary" was written by F. A. Sondley, Esq. March 19, 1782, lie married in York district, South Carolina, Miss Rhoda Cunningham, who had been born in Pennsylvania, October 13, 1763. They then moved to Buncombe with their father and uncle and settled on Bee Tree, where he died in the Presbyterian faith. James -Mitchell Alexander was their son, and on September 8, 1814, he married Nancy Foster, oldest child of Thomas Foster, who `vas born November 17, 1797. In 1816 he removed to Asheville and bought and improved the Hilliard property on South Main street. He was a saddler, and at this house he lived till 1828, carrying on his trade and keeping hotel. In 1828, upon the completion of the Buncombe turnpike, he bought and improved the place on the right bank of the French Broad, ten miles from Asheville, afterwards famous as Alexander's hotel, also carrying on a mercantile business there. In the latter part of his life he turned over this business to his son, the late Alfred M. Alexander, and one of his sons-in-law, the late Rev. J. S. Burnett, and improved the place three miles nearer Asheville called Montrealla, where he died June 11, 1858. His wife died January 14, 1862.
ANDREW ERWIN. He is the man to whom Bishop Asbury referred as "chief man." He was born in Virginia about 1773 and died near the War Trace in Bedford county, Tenn., in 1833. When seventeen years old he entered the employment of the late James Patton, afterwards becoming his partner as inn-keeper and merchant at Wilkesborough. In 1800-01 he was a member of the House of Commons from Wilkes. He was Asheville's first postmaster. In 1814 he moved to Augusta, Ga.
THOMAS FOSTER. He was born in Virginia October 14, 1774. In 1776 his father, William Foster came with his family and settled midway between the road leading to the Swannanoa river by way of Fernihurst from Asheville. He married Miss Orra Sams, whose father, Edmund Sams, was one of the settlers from Watauga. After his marriage Thomas Foster settled on the bank of Sweeten's creek, afterwards called Foster's Mill creek, the first which enters Swannanoa from the south above the present iron bridge on the Hendersonville road. He was a member of the House of Common from Buncombe from 1809 to 1814, both inclusive, and represented that county in the State ,senate in 1817 and 181!). He died December 24 (incorrectly on tombstone December 14), 1858. He was a farmer and accumulated a considerable property. A large family of children survived him. His wife died August 27, 1853. He is mentioned in Wheeler's History of North Carolina, Bennett's Chronology of North Carolina and Bishop Asbury's journal.
WEAVERVILLE, BUNCOMBE COUNTY. The greater part of the early settlers of this country was made up of men and women seeking religious liberty. This motive no less prompted the immigrants from Northern Europe than the great body of Scotch-Irish that emigrated to this country from Scotland and Ireland. In Pennsylvania and down through the valley of the Shenandoah we find the Dutch of Holland and the Scotch-Irish, living side by side dominated by a single purpose.
One of the pioneers in Buncombe county came from the valley of Virginia from this large Dutch settlement into what is now Buncombe county, and was the ancestor of the large family of Weavers not living in that section. Previous to 1790 John Weaver and wife, Elizabeth, with their infant son (Jacob), came from Virginia via the Watauga in Tennessee, crossing the Ball mountain in what is now Yancey county, and settled on Reems creek, near the present town of Weaverville. From the first census of the United States 1790 (see page 110) it appears that John Weaver was a resident of Burke county, which then included what is now Buncombe county. His family then consisted of wife, two daughters and one son under sixteen years of age. From this it is evident that he reached North Carolina sometime between 1786 and 1790. In the office of Register of Deeds for Buncombe county, in Book No. 1 at page 100, is recorded a deed from John McDowell of Burke county, conveying to John Weaver of Buncombe county 320 acres of land; consideration 100 pounds; description, "On both sides of Reems creek and on both sides of the path leading from Green river to Nolachuckee." This is interesting inasmuch as it seems to locate the old Indian trail from the east to the lands west of Unakas. There is little doubt that this young pioneer brought his young wife and infant son from the Watauga over this trail in quest of a permanent home.
John Weaver was born December, 1763, and died December, 1830. In his will, probated April Session, 1831, was found the following name: wife, Elizabeth; daughters, Susannah, Christiana, Mary, Elizabeth, Matilda and Catherine; sons, Jacob, James, John (better known as Jack), Christopher G., and Michael Montreville. From this family of six daughters and five sons sprang the largest number of descendants, or most numerous group of related families in Buncombe county, springing from one ancestor. Some of the oldest related families living in Buncombe county have their origin in more than one ancestor; for instance, the Baird family sprang from two brothers, Zebulon and Bedent; the Alexander family, from James Alexander, followed by a brother, nephew and other kinsmen; the Davidson family, from Samuel and William. These last named pioneers entered Buncombe county from the east through the Swannanoa gap. John Weaver, as stated above, came from Virginia and entered this county from the northern section and what is now Yancey county. His oldest son, Jacob, married Elizabeth Siler of Macon county. From this union were born four sons and three daughters, John S., Jesse R., William W., and James Thomas, Elizabeth, Saphronia and Mary. All these children of Jacob Weaver married and became the heads of families living in Buncombe county. Their descendants constitute the large majority of Weavers and Weaver relations now living in this county. John S. Weaver first married Mary 'Miller of Bolivar, Tennessee; she died in 1867 and his second wife was Mary McDowell of Macon county, daughter of Silas McDowell. Jesse R. Weaver married Julia Coulter of Greenville, Tennessee. William Weimer Weaver married Evalin Smith of Buncombe county, daughter of Samuel Smith. James Thomas Weaver married Hester Ann Trotter of 'Macon county. Elizabeth Weaver married Burdie Gash. Saphronia Weaver married Jamison McElroy. Mary Weaver married Robert Z. Blackstock. Nearly all of the living descendants of these families now live in Buncombe county, except the McElroy family, which moved to Arkansas shortly after the Civil War.
The next child of the pioneer, John Weaver, was Susannah, who married a Mr. McCarson; from these are descendants living in this and adjacent counties.
The second daughter, Christiana, married Samuel Vance, uncle of Z. B. Vance, who later moved to Bedford county, Tennessee. The third daughter, Mary, married Henry Addington of Macon county, where many descendants froth this union still live. The fourth daughter, Catherine, married Andrew Pickens from South Carolina, who settled in Buncombe county. Rev. R. V. Pickens, Tarpley Pickens, Christly Pickens, Mrs. Eliza Gill, and Mrs. Martha Carter, who became the heads of large families in this county, were sons and daughters of Andrew and Catherine Pickens. The fifth daughter, Elizabeth, married Robert Patton Wells. From this union were many sons and daughters, some of whom, known to the writer and living in Buncombe county, were Robert C. Wells, W. F. Wells, Saphronia, who married Capt. R. P. Moore, Jane, who married Dr. Micheaux, and Matilda, who married Mathias Faubion of Tennessee. The sixth daughter of John Weaver, Matilda, married Jefferson H. Garrison. From this union were born sons and daughters in this and adjacent counties. Two sons, William and John, were gallant soldiers in the Civil War.
Referring to the sons of John Weaver, other than Jacob, who has already been referred to, James first married a Miss Barnard. Their daughter, Christiana, married William R. Baird, and these were the parents of Capt. I. V. Baird, William Baird, Zebulon Baird, Dr. Elisha Baird, John R. Baird, Misses Mollie and Catherine Baird, all now living in Buncombe county, except Dr. Elisha and John R. Baird, who died within the last ten years. James Weaver's second marriage was to Mrs. Gilliland. Children were born to James Weaver by both of these unions, but they moved in early life to Tennessee and Missouri.
James Weaver first represented Buncombe county in the lower house of the legislature in 1825, serving with David L. Swain. He was subsequently re-elected to this office in 1830, 1832, 1833 and 1834, serving with William Orr, John Clayton and Joseph Henry resepectively. Later he moved to Cocke county, Tennessee, died July 28, 1854, and was buried on the old homestead, at the place known as Weaver Bend, just below Paint Rock. Subsequently, one of his daughters removed his remains and re-interred them at Knoxville, Tenn. Overlooking this grave, and on the very apex of a high, steep mountain, at Weaver Bend, is a small white cross set in a rock, by whose hands no one knows. It can be seen from the car window as the train moves through the river gorge 500 feet below. It is a tradition that some Jesuits placed a few of these crosses on conspicuous promontories through the Smoky mountains long before any of the settlements had been made by white men. However, this may be, this little emblem has rested on this western "Horeb" for possibly two centuries, looking out and towards the rolling rivers and alluvial valleys of East Tennessee, which to the early settlers was a real land of promise flowing with milk and honey.
John, or Jack, Weaver married and lived on the French Broad river just above the mouth of Reems creek. Some of his descendants are still living in this county; of those who moved elsewhere little is now known.
Christopher G. Weaver married a Miss Lowry and lived on Flat creek three miles north of Weaverville. He died in early life and has no descendants now living in Buncombe county.
Montreville Michael Weaver was the youngest son of John Weaver. He was born August 10, 1808, married Jane Baird. To this union was born four sons and five daughters. The sons were Fulton, who died unmarried, and Capt. W. E. Weaver, who married Miss Hannah Baird and is now living at Weaverville, N. C. The third son, John, married Miss Garrison, neither of whom is now living. Dr. Henry Bascomb Weaver married Miss Hattie Penland, daughter of Robert Penland of Mitchell county, N. C. Dr. Weaver is now living in Asheville, a practicing physician who possesses the confidence and esteem of those who know him. The daughters of Montreville Weaver: Mary Ann, married Dr. J. A. Reagan; Martha, married Dr. ,l. W. Vandiver; Margarette, married Capt. Wylie Parker; Catherine, married Dr. I. A. Harris; Eliza, married D. H. Reagan; all of whom have many- descendants living in Buncombe county. Montreville Weaver, the last surviving child of the family of John Weaver, died in September, 1882.
Among these people are many strong men and women who have left their impress upon the communities in which they lived and have largely contributed to the upbuilding of the country. John Weaver the First. left the information with his children that his father was a Holland gentleman. Other information obtainable indicates that his father came from Holland to Pennsylvania, and in company with other brother and kinsmen of the same name settled near Lancaster, Pennsylvania, later migrating across Maryland into the valley of the Shenandoah in Virginia. The name of Weaver appears frequently in the public records about Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and in Virginia. From the report of Mr. H. J. Eckerode, the Archivist of the State of Virginia, it appears that there were two men by the name of John Weaver in the Revolutionary War from Virginia. One of these men was from Augusta county. In the same report also appear the following Weavers : Aaron Weaver, Princess Ann county, Tillman Weaver, Captain of Fauquier Militia. From the Pennsylvania Archives, Third Series, Vol. 23, appear the names of Captain Martin Weaver and Captain Jacob Weaver of Fifth and Seventh Companies of the Tenth Pennsylvania Regiment (see pages 31-I and 383). The commissions of these men bear date July 1, 1777, and January 13, 1777, respectively. Other Weavers who figured in the Revolutionary history of Pennsylvania are George, Dolshen, Daltzer, Daniel, Henry, Adam, Jacob and Joshua. In fact this name appears in some muster roll of United States forces in every conflict in which the country has been engaged, beginning with the subjugation of the savage tribes, through all the wars with England and down to the Spanish-American war of recent date.
It is easy to believe that these Dutch people found congenial friends and neighbors in the Scotch-Irish people that were thrown together in the valley of the Shenandoah. They were all dominated by a single purpose, to hew out for themselves and their posterity a civil and ecclesiastic system, free from the domination of king or pope. There is no doubt but that the ancestors of these Dutch people were the loyal supporters of William, Duke of Nassau, called "William the Silent" who broke the power of Catholic Spain over the Netherlands in his defeat of Philip the Second in the latter part of the Sixteenth Century.
ASHE COUNTY. The act to establish the county of Ashe is one of the shortest on record. It was passed in 1799 (Laws of N. C., p. 98) and provides that "all that, part of the county of Wilkes lying west of the extreme height of the Appalachian mountains shall be, and the same is hereby erected into a separate and distinct county by the name of Ashe," followed later by an act to establish permanently the dividing line between Ashe and Buncombe counties, the same to begin at "the Yadkin spring, and thence along the extreme height of the Blue ridge to the head spring of Flat Top fork of Elk creek, thence down the meanders of said creek to the Tennessee line."
The first record of the county court of Ashe is at the May term, 1806, with Alexander Smith, John McBride and Charles Tolliver, esquires, present. The following were the jurors Sidniah Maxwell, foreman, James Sturgill, Allen Woodruff, Samuel Griffith, Seth Osborn, George Koons, John Green, James Dickson, Levi Pennington, Benjamin Hubbard, Charles Kelly, James Murphy, Win. Harris, Alex. Lethern, Sciras Fairchilds. Edward King was appointed constable to attend the grand jury. Elisha Collins was excused from road duty "by reason of infirmity." At the February Term, 1807, James Cash recorded his "mark" for stock, being a crop and slit and under keel on the right ear; and Elijah Calloway and Mathias Harmon were qualified as justices of the peace. The jury appointed to "view the road from Daniel Harper's into the Elk spur road" made report that it "was no road."
FROM THE OLD COURT RECORDS. If there was a term of the Superior Court held in Ashe county prior to the March term, 1807, there is no record of it. On the 9th day of March of that year, however, Francis Locke presided as judge, and appointed John McMillan clerk, with bond of © 2,000. Thomas McGimsey was appointed clerk and master, but resigned at the September Term, 1807. The grand jurors were Nathan Horton, foreman, James Bunyard, David Earnest, John Brown, Eli Cleveland, Joseph Couch, John Koons, Jonathan Baker, Elijah Pope, Jesse Ray, Samuel C. Cox, John Holman, Joshua Cox, Elijah Calloway, John Judd, Alex. Johnson, Morris Baker, Wm. Weaver. Henry Hardin, constable, was sworn to attend the jury. Only two cases were tried, the first of which was John Cox v. Isaac H. Robinett and Nathan Gordon, debt, judgment for © 596, 14-6d and costs. At the September term, 1807, Judge Spruce McCay presided and fined the delinquent jurors © 10 each, but afterwards released them. Six cases were tried. Judge Francis Locke returned for the Spring Term, 1808, and Judge Samuel Lowrie followed him at the Fall term. At the September term, 1810, on motion of Robert H. Burton, who was to become judge and preside at a future term, Samuel Cox, sheriff, was amerced, nisi, for not returning execution in the case of Robert Nall v. Jno. Burton and others. At the March term, 1811, Peter Hart was committed to jail for 24 hours and fined 40 shillings for making a noise and contempt of court, and Gideon Lewis and John Northern were fined 20 shillings each for not answering when their names were called. Judge Henderson presided at the March term, 1812, when John A. Johnson resigned his appointment as clerk and master. John Hall presided at the September term, while at the March term, 1813, the jury acquitted Win. Pennington of rape. At this term Waugh & Findlay recovered judgment for $55.06 against Elizabeth Humphries, but judgment was arrested and a new trial ordered. Duncan Cameron presided at the March term, 1814, while at the September term, 1815, the jury found that Win. Lambeth, indicted for malicious mischief (Betty Young prosscutrix) had taken "a mare from his cornfield to a secret place and stabbed her to prevent a repetition of injuring his crop, but were unable to say whether he was guilty or not and the judge, Hon. Leonard Henderson, ordered that a transcript of the bill of indictment and verdict be sent to the Conference court. At the September term, 1817, Judge Lowery did not get to court on Monday, but arrived the following Tuesday, and ordered Thomas Calloway, county surveyor, to survey the land in dispute between Thomas -McGimsey and Elisha Blevins. There is a grant to Gideon Lewis to 200 acres on Spring branch, entered September 16, 1802, of date November 27, 1806, and a grant to Reuben Farthing for 200 acres on Beaver Dams, entered July 4, 1829, of date December 5, 1831. Benjamin Cutbirth conveyed 100 acres on South Fork of New river to Andrew Ferguson, the execution of which deed was proven by the oath of Joseph Couch at the May term, 1800, of the county court.
SECOND JAIL WEST OF THE BLUE RIDGE. The first jail stood behind what is now the Jefferson Bargain store, conducted by Dr. J. C. Testerman, from which some of the logs were removed to and made into the old stable in east Jefferson, where they are still visible. The next jail was of brick and stood on the site of the present jail on Helton road, and was built, probably, about 1833. It was burned in the spring of 1865 by men in the uniform of the United States army. A prisoner set the jail on fire about 1887 and Felix Barr repaired it.
JEFFERSON. A tract of fifty acres was deeded to Ashe county on which the town of Jefferson was built early in the 18th century; but the records of the grantor and grantee are lost. A map in the possession of G. L. Park, Esq., is supposed to have been made about 1800. It was made by J. Harper and shows the location of all lots, the court house and the crossing of the Helton road. The first court house was of logs and stood at the intersection of this road and the road running east and west, and now known as Main street. The next court house was of brick, and stood flush with Main street, in front of the present structure, and was built about 1832 or 1833, according to statement of Edmund C. Bartlett to Felix Barr, who also remembers seeing the date on a tin gutter, the tin work having been clone by Lyle & Wilcox of Grayson county, Va. The present court house was built in 1904, the old road for Helton still going by it, but passing on both sides now, in narrow alleys or lanes, but coming together again before crossing the gap of the Phoenix mountain, nearly two miles to the north. There is a conflict of opinion as to where the first court was held, some claiming that it was in an old log church in the meadow immediately in front of the present court house and known as the McEwen meadow, and others that it was held in an old Baptist church half a mile from Jefferson on the Beaver creek road, near which a Mr. and Mrs. Smithdeal kept a tavern and on the opposite side of the road. The three rows of black-heart cherry trees on the main street give not only shade but an air of distinction not noticeable in newer towns, while the colonial style of several of the houses indicates a degree of refinement among the earlier inhabitants sadly missing from many places of equal antiquity. Like Charleston, S. C., Jefferson has the air of having been finished years ago; but as the Methodist Conference has appropriated $20,000 and the citizens of Ashe $10,000 to build a school and college, and Mrs. Eula J. Neal, widow of the late J. Z. Neal has conveyed eight or ten acres of choice land for that purpose, and as a railroad from Virginia is expected soon, Jefferson is looking to the future with pride in her past and a determination to achieve greater and greater results. Before the coming of railroads Asheville was no larger than Jefferson is now, nor had it any greater evidence of culture and education than is here indicated by the citizenship of Jefferson. The large numbers of negroes in and around Jefferson indicate that the former residents were men of wealth and leisure. In 1901, the legislature incorporated the Wilkesboro and Jefferson Turnpike company', and five years later a finely graded road was completed between those two places. By the terms of this act the State furnished the convicts while the stockholders furnished the provisions and paid the expenses. This road has been of greater help to North Wilkesboro than to Jefferson; but if the town of Jefferson and the county of Ashe would secure trackage rights over the narrow gauge road now operated for lumber exclusively between Laurel Bloomery, Tenn., and Hemlock, N. C., and then secure convicts to complete the line to Jefferson, under the same terms as were granted for the building of the turnpike, and operate it by electricity, it need not wait for the pleasure of lumber companies to construct a standard gauge road at their convenience
OLD BUILDINGS. The building now known as Jefferson Inn was built in two parts by the late George Bower. The part used by the Bank of Ashe was built first, but the date cannot be determined definitely, and the eastern part some years later. The frame building next to the east was George Bower's store, in which the postoffice was kept, and holes in the partitions are still visible which had been used for posting letters. James Gentry was killed one snowy Christmas night about the year 1876, in front of this building while Martin Hardin was keeping hotel. Douglas Dixon leas tried for the murder, but was acquitted. It was in this building also that Judge Robert R. Heath, sick and delirious, inflicted a wound upon himself from which he afterwards died (May 26, 1871). The hand-forged hinges and window fastenings indicate that the building is old.
WAUGH AND BARTLETT HOUSES. But what is still known as the Bartlett house, east of the present postoffice, is probably the oldest house in town. It was occupied by Sheriff E. C. Bartlett, grandfather of the Professors Dougherty of Boone. Another old building is that still known as the Waugh house, notwithstanding its modern appearance. It is now a part of the Masonic building, apparently, but its main body, like the Bartlett house, is of logs. In it Waugh, Poe and Murchison sold goods in the first part of the nineteenth century. Certain it is that to this firm there were grants and deeds to land at a very early (late, and the first map of Jefferson was made by J. Harper for Wm. P. Waugh, the senior member of this firm; Mathias Poe, the third member is said to have lived in Tennessee; but Col. Murchison for years occupied the large old residence which still stands on the hill at the eastern end of town.
EARLY RESIDENTS OF JEFFERSON, ASHE COUNTY. Nathan H. Waugh moved to Jefferson from Monroe county, Tenn., in 1845. He was born April 24, 1822. Among those living in Jefferson in 1845 were Col. George Bower, Rev. Dr. Wagg, a Methodist preacher, and the Rev. William Milam, also a Methodist preacher, and the jailer; also Sheriff E. C. Bartlett, Cyrus Wilcox, a tinner, George Houck, blacksmith, whose daughter married Cyrus Grubb of the Bend of New river; and Wm. Wyatt. Daniel Burkett, who lives one mile South of Jefferson and whose daughter married Rev. Dr. J. H. Weaver of the Methodist Church, South. William Willen, an Englishman and a ditcher, lived one mile east of Jefferson on the farm now owned by D. P. Waugh. Mrs. Lucy A Carson moved to Jefferson in 1870, and remembers as residents at that time S. C. Waugh, Wiley P. Thomas, Mrs. America Bower, Dr. L. C. Gentry, Rev. James Wagg, J. E. and N. A. Foster, E. C. Bartlett. The Fosters delivered salt to Ashe county during the Civil War. Mrs. Milam owned a residence opposite J. E. and N. A. Foster's, but gave the lot to Adam Roberts, colored, who subsequently sold it and built the brick house on the hill to the south of town. The Carson house, brick, was built in 1845, Geo. Bower giving John M. Carson, his brother-in-law, the lot on which it stands. Captain Joseph W. Todd built the house to the west of the Carson residence in 1870, and the Henry Rollins house had been built long before that time. The Negro mountain was so called because a runaway negro, during or before the Revolutionary War, escaped and hid in a cave on the mountain till his hiding place was discovered and he was recaptured and returned to his master east of the Blue Ridge. The Mulatto mountain is said to have taken its name from the color of the soil, but no plausible reason was given for the names applied to the Paddy and Phoenix mountains.
ARAS B. COX. Aras B. Cox was born in Floyd county, Va., January 25, 1816, and married Phoebe Edwards, February 23, 1845. They settled in Ashe county. In 1849 he was elected clerk of the Superior Court, and also in 1853. He sold his farm in Alleghany county, and bought one seven miles from Jefferson. He was in the Confederate War. He was a distinguished physician and the author of "Footprints on the Sands of Time, " published at Sparta, N. C., in August, 1900. He died soon after.
COLONEL GEORGE BOWER. So higly regarded was Col. Bower for his wisdom and sagacity that he was almost universally called " Double Headed Bower," or "Two Headed Bower." He was born in Ashe county, January 8, 1788. His father was John Bower, whose will as recorded in Ashe county disposed of considerable property.<a href="#8" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 8
Will Book B, p. 103, September 23 1844."> George was a merchant, farmer, livestock raiser and hotellist at Jefferson. He married a Miss Bryant first, and after her death Miss America Russeau. He was elected State Senator when Andrew Jackson was elected president both times.<a href="#9" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 9
Dr. A. B. Cox's "Footprints on the Sands of Time," p. 107."> He became one of the bondsmen of John McMillan as clerk of the Superior Court as early as the September term, 1813.<a href="#10" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 10
Record Book Superior Court, not paged"> At subsequent terms he was appointed clerk and master and gave bond as such.<a href="#11" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 11
Ibid"> He owned a large number of slaves and many State bonds. He was drowned in the Yadkin river, October 7, 1861. His will was probated in 1899, Book E, p. 387. His widow married Robert R. Heath, who was born in New Hampshire October 25, 1806, and died at Jefferson, May 26, 1871. "He was an able lawyer and an upright judge," is engraved on his tomb. Mrs. Heath then married Alston Davis. She was born February 26, 1816, and died May 25, 1903. Her will was probated in 1903, Book E, p. 524.
A TRAGIC DEATH. In October, 1861, George Bower followed a runaway slave to the ford of the Yadkin river. He was in his carriage, and the negro driver told him the river was too swollen to admit of fording it at that time. Col. Bower, insisting, however, the colored man drove in. The current took the carriage with its single occupant far beyond the bank. Col. Bower was drowned, but the driver and horses escaped.
STEPHEN THOMAS. This gentleman was a progressive and valuable citizen of Creston, having kept a store and tavern there. He was born in May, 1796, and died in May, 1864. His wife was a daughter of Timothy Perkins. He reared a splendid family.<a href="#12" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 12
From information furnished by Hon. A. H. Eller, 1912.">
DAVID WORTH. He was descended from William Worth, who emigrated from England in the reign of Charles the Second. His father had owned considerable property under the Commonwealth, but at the Restoration it had been confiscated, and his family scattered in search of safety. William had a son, Joseph, born in Massachusetts, and Joseph's son Daniel, married Sarah Husey. Daniel Worth was a son of Joseph and was born in Guilford county, October 15, 1810. Daniel Worth was the father of David Worth, who came to Creston about 1828, and died December 10, 1888. He was a tanner by trade. He also was a most valuable citizen and highly respected. He married Miss Elizabeth Thomas, daughter of Stephen Thomas. She was born January 18, 1821, and died October 22, 1895.<a href="#13" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 13
ZACHARIAH BAKER. He lived at Creston and was a successful farmer and stock raiser. His wife was Miss Zilphea Dickson. They reared a large family of influential and successful citizens. One of his sons, John, married Delilah Eller, and the other, Marshall, married Mary Eller, a daughter of Luke Eller.<a href="#14" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 14
THE GRAYBEALS. They are said to be of Dutch ancestry. are generally thrifty and successful folk, and own much real estate and live stock. They are honest, frugal and among the best citizens of Ashe.
JACOB, HENRY AND JOHN ELLER. They were sons of Christian Eller, once a resident of the Jersey Settlement in Davidson county. The two former came to Ashe and settled on the North Fork of New river, reared large families, and were successful, useful, respected citizens. Their sons were Peter, Luke, William, John, David and Jacob. John settled on the South Fork and later moved to Wilkes. His sons were Simeon, David, Absalom, John and Peter, who reared large families which are scattered over Western North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Iowa and Nebraska.<a href="#15" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 15
SOME EARLY SETTLERS of ASHE.<a href="#16" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 16
Ibid"> "These noble, self-sacrificing men and women of the early times endangered their lives and braved many hardships in the wild Indian coutry to open the way to happy homes, schools, churches and the blessings of our present civilization. Some of these were Henry Poe, Martin Gambill, Thomas Sutherland, Timothy Perkins, Captain John Cox, Henry Hardin, Canada Richardson, James Douglas, Daniel Dickson and Elijah Galloway. Besides these were many others whose names awaken much unwritten history : Miller, Blevins, Ham, Reeves, Woodin, Barr, Baker, Eller, Goodman, Ray, Burkett, Graybeal, Houck, Kilby, Ashley, Jones, Gentry, Smith, Plummer, Lewis, Sutherland, McMillan, Colvard, Barker, Senter, Maxwell, Calhoun, Sapp, Thomas, Worth, Oliver and others."
HAYWOOD COUNTY.<a href="#17" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 17
Allen"> "In the legislature of 1808, General Thomas Love, whose home was near where the `Brown' house now stands back of the McAfee cottage in Waynesville, and who was that year representative from Buncombe county in the General Assembly, introduced a bill having for its purpose to organize a county out of that portion of Buncombe west of its present western and southwestern boundary and extending to the Tennessee line, including all the territory in the present counties of Haywood, Macon, Jackson, Swain, Graham, Clay, and Cherokee. The bill met with favor, was passed, ratified and became a law December 23, 1808.
"On Richland creek, about the year 1800, the neucleus of a village had been formed on the beautiful ridge between its limpid waters and those of Raccoon creek. The ride is less than a mile wide and attracted settlers on account of the picturesque mountains on either side and the delightfulness of the climate. At that early time a considerable population was already there. Several men, who were well known in the State and who afterwards became prominent in public affairs, had built homes upon that nature favored spot and were living there. Such men as General Thomas Love, Colonel Robert Love, Colonel William Allen, John Welch, and others of Revolutionary fame were leaders in that community. Without changing his residence General Thomas Love was a member of the State Legislature, with two or three years intermission, from 1797 to 1828, for nine years as a member from Buncombe county and the remainder of the time from Haywood. Most of the time he was in the House of Commons but for six years he was also in the Senate. Colonel Robert Love served three years in the senate from Buncombe county, from 1793 to 1795. William Allen and John Welch were veterans of the Revolution and men of considerable influence in that community.
"As already stated that law was ratified on December 23, 1808, but it did not become operative until early in the year 1809. On the fourth Monday in March of that year the justices of the peace in the territory defined by the act erecting the county met at Mount Prospect in the first court of pleas and quarter sessions ever held in the limits of Haywood county. The following justices were present at that meeting: Thomas Love, John Fergus, John Dobson, Robert Phillips, Abraham Eaton, Hugh Davidson, Holliman Battle, John McFarland, Phillip T. Burfoot, William Deaver, Archibald McHenry, and Benjamin Odell.
"One of the first things the court thus constituted did was to elect officers for the new county. There were several candidates for the different positions, but after several ballots were taken the following were declared duly elected: Clerk of the court, Robert Love; Sheriff, William Allen; register of deeds, Phillip T. Burfoot; constable of the county, Samuel Hollingsworth; entry taker, Thomas St. Clair; treasurer, Robert Phillips; stray master, Adam Killian; comptroller, Abraham Eaton; coroner, Nathan Thompson; solicitor, Archibald Ruffin; standard keeper, David McFarland.
"Thus officered the county of Haywood began its career. The officers entered at once upon their respective duties, and the county became a reality. The first entry in the register's book bears date of March 29th, 1809, signed by Philip T. Burfoot, and the first in the clerk's book is the same date by Robert Love.
"Until the court house and jail could be built the county officials met at private residences at Mount Prospect and prisoners were carried to jail in Asheville. Such proceedings were inconvenient and the commissioners appointed by the legislature, therefore, made haste to locate and erect the public buildings. It was expected that they would be ready to make their report to the court of pleas and quarter sessions as to the location of the county seat at the March session. Instead, however, they asked at that session to be indulged until the June term, and that request was granted.
"On Monday, June 26, 1809, the court met at the home of John Howell. The old record names the following justices as being present: Thomas Love, Philip Burfoot, Hugh Davidson, John McFarland, Abraham Eaton, John Dobson, William Deaver, Archibald McHenry, and John Fergus. At this meeting the commissioners named in the act of the legislature erecting the county made their report, in which they declared that it was unanimously agreed to locate the public buildings somewhere on the ridge between Richland and Raccoon creeks at or near the point then called Mount Prospect. As the commissioners were clothed with full power to act, it required no vote of the justices, but it is more than probable that the report was cheerfully endorsed by a majority of the justices present.
"At this June term of the court, the first for the trial of causes, the following composed the grand jury: John Welch foreman, William Welch, John Fullbright, John Robinson, Edward Sharteer, Isaac Wilkins, Elijah Deaver, David McFarland, William Burns, Joseph Chambers, Thomas St. Clair, John Shook, William Cathey, Jacob Shock, and John St. Clair. The following grand jurors for the next term of the Superior court that was to be held in Asheville in September: Holliman Battle, Hugh Davidson, Abraham Eaton, Thomas Lenoir, William Deaver, John McFarland, John McClure, Felix Walker, Jacob McFarland, Robert Love, Edward Hyatt and Daniel Fleming. This was done because of the fact that no Superior court was held in Haywood for several years after the formation of the county; but all cases that were appealed from the court of pleas and quarter sessions came up by law in the Superior court of Buncombe county at Asheville. For this court Haywood county was bound by law to send to Asheville six grand jurors and as many more as desired.
"At the June term inspectors of election, that was to take place in August, were also selected. There were then two voting precincts, and this election was the first ever held in the county. For the precinct of Mount Prospect the following inspectors were appointed: George Cathey, William Deaver, John Fergus, and Hugh Davidson. For the precinct of Soco, Benjamin Parks, Robert Reed, and Robert Turner were appointed.
"In the location of the public buildings at Mount Prospect, there was laid the foundation of the present little city of Waynesville. Tradition says and truthfully, no doubt, that the name was suggested by Colonel Robert Love in honor of General Anthony Wayne, under whom Colonel Love served in the Revolutionary War. The name suited the community and people, and the village soon came to be known by it. In the record of the court of pleas and quarter sessions the name of Waynesville occurs first in 1811.
"Some unexpected condition prevented the immediate erection of the public buildings. The plans were all laid in 1809, but sufficient money from taxation as provided for in the act establishing the county had not been secured by the end of that year. It was, therefore, late in the year 1811 before sufficient funds were in hand to begin the erection of the courthouse. During the year 1812 the work began and was completed by the end of the year. Mark Colman is said to have been the first man to dig up a stump in laying the foundation for that building. On December 21, 1812, the first court was held in this first court house."
HAYWOOD'S SIX DAUGHTERS. Formerly belonging to Haywood were Macon, Cherokee, Jackson, Swain, Clay and Graham counties. Of many of the pioneer residents of these counties when they were a part of Haywood Col. Allen T. Davidson speaks in The Lyceum for January, 1891. Among them were David Nelson and Jonathan McPeters, Jonathans creek having been named for the latter. David Nelson was the uncle of Col. Win. H. Thomas, and died at 87 highly respected and greatly lamented. "He was of fine physical form, honest, brave and hospitable." "Then there were Joshua Allison, George Owens, John and Reuben Moody, brothers, all sturdy, hardy, well-to-do men and good citizens, who, with Samuel Leatherwood constituted my father's near neighbors." "Joseph Chambers of this neighborhood moved to Georgia about the opening of the Carroll county gold mine, say, about 1831-32. He was a man of more than ordinary character, led in public affairs and reared an elegant family. His daughters were splendid ladies and married well. His wife was a sister of John and Reuben Moody." John Leatherwood was well known for his "thrift and industry, fine hounds, fine cattle and good old-time apple brandy; a good citizen who lived to a good old age. James McKee, father of James L. McKee of Asheville, lived on this creek, was sheriff of Haywood for many years, and died at an advanced age at Asheville. Near him lived Felix Walker.
He was a man of great suavity of manner, a fine, electioneer, insomuch that he was called "Old Oil Jug." He went, after his defeat for Congress in 1824 by Dr. Robert Vance, to Mississippi, where he died about 1835. The manufacture and sale of gensing was begun on Jonathans creek by Dr. Hailen of Philadelphia, who employed Nimron S. Jarrett and Bacchus J. Smith, late of Buncombe county, to conduct the business. It was abundant then and very- profitable, the green root being worth about seven cents a pound. A branch of this business was established on Caney river in Yancey county. I well remember seeing great companies of mountaineers coming along the mountain passes (there were no roads then only as we blazed them) with packed horses and oxen going to the "factory," as we called it; and it was a great rendezvous for the people, where all the then sports of the day were engaged in such games as pitching quoits, running foot-races, shooting matches, wrestling, and, sometimes a good fist and skull fight. But the curse and indignation of the neighborhood rested on the man who attempted, as we called it, "to interfere in the fight, or double-team," or use a weapon. The most noted men were John Welch, John McFarland, Hodge Reyburn, Thomas Tatham, Gen. Thomas Love and Ninian Edmundson. The leading families of Haywood were the Howells, being two brothers, John and Henry, who came from Cabarrus about 1818; the Osborns; the Plotts, Col. Thomas Lenoir; the Catheys, Deavers, McCrackens, Penlands, Bryers; David Russell of Fines creek, Peter Nolan, Robert Penland, Henry Brown, James Green, who was born in 1790, and was living in January, 1891, and many others.
JOSEPH CATHEY. He was born March 12, 1803, and died June 1, 1874, was a son of William Cathey, one of the first settlers on Pigeon river; was a delegate to the State convention of 1835, and in the senate and declined further political honors.
NINIAN EDMUNDSON. He was born in Burke, October 21, 1789, of Maryland ancestry, and came with his father to Pigeon Valley prior to 1808, where the family remained. He was in the War of 1812; was four years sheriff of Haywood. He served several terms in the State senate and many in the house. He was a most successful farmer and useful citizen. He died in March, 1868, highly esteemed.
JAMES ROBERT LOVE. He was born in November, 1798, and died November 22, 1863. He represented Haywood county many times in the legislature. He married Miss Maria Williamson Coman, daughter of Col. James Coman of Raleigh, who died January 9, 1842, aged 75 years. This marriage occurred November 26, 1822. Charles Loehr, a German professor of music, taught his children music for years, and Loehr's son afterwards became professor of music at the Asheville Female college. Love was so anxious to encourage the building of a railroad that he set aside a lot for the depot long before he died. He bought large boundaries of vacant and unsurveyed lands, and died wealthy.
DR. SAMUEL L. LOVE. He was born August 5, 1828, and died July 7, 1887. He received his diploma as a physician from the University of Pennsylvania; but was soon elected to the legislature, where he served many terms. He was a surgeon in 1861 on the staff of Gov. Ellis, and a delegate to the Constitutional convention of 1875. In 1876 he was elected State auditor.
THOMAS ISAAC LENOIR. `Vas born on Pigeon river August 26, 1817, a son of Thomas Lenoir of Wilkes. He went to the State University, and (lid not return to Haywood till 1847. He was a farmer and stock raiser and a progressive citizen. On June 13, 1861, he married Miss Mary E. Garrett. He died January 5, 1881. His brother, Walter Lenoir, was a captain in the Confederate army, and spent much of his life at Joseph Shull's in Watauga county, where he died July 26, 1890, aged sixty-seven years. He was graduated with high honor at the State University. He studied law and was admitted in 1845. He married Miss Cornelia Christian of Staunton, `'a., in 1856, but she died soon afterward. He lost a leg in the Civil War at the battle of Ox Hill, September, 1862.
WILLIAM JOHNSTON was the fourth son of Robert Johnston, Sr., and was born two miles from Druhmore, the county town of Down county, Ireland, July 26, 1807, his ancestors having emigrated from Scotland to Ireland in 1641. He came with his father's family to Charleston, South Carolina, in December, 1818, and settled in Pickens District, South Carolina. About 1828 he moved to Buncombe county and married Lucinda, the only daughter of James Gudger and his wife Annie Love, daughter of Col. Robert Love of Waynesville, March 18, 1830, and settled in Waynesville, where he accumulated a large fortune. About 1857 he moved with his family to Asheville. After the Civil War he, with the late Col. L. D. Childs of Columbia, South Carolina, became the owner of the Saluda factory, three miles from that city. It was burned, however, and Mr. Johnston returned to Asheville, where he died. He was admittedly the most successful business man in this entire section of the State; and some think that the same business ability, if it had been exerted in almost any other field, would have produced results that would have rivaled the fortunes of some of our merchant princes.
JERRY VICKERS was a tinner who worked for Wm. Johnston, and also made gravestones out of locust, paradoxical as that may appear; but his headboards in Waynesville cemetery, with names and dates neatly- carved in this almost indestructible wood, are still sound and legible today.
Wm. PINCKNEY WELCH. He was born in Waynesville November 14, 1838, and died at Athens, Ga., March 18, 1896. His mother's father was Robert Love, and his father was William the son of John Welch, one of the pioneers. The Welches came from Philadelphia soon after the Revolutionary War. He attended school at Col. Stephen Lee's school in Chunn's cove, after which he went to Emory and Henry college, leaving there in May, 1861, to join the Confederate army. He was a lieutenant in the 25th N. C. regiment, and took part in the battles of from Gaines Mills to Malvern Hill, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg and in the campaign near Kinston and Plymouth, Petersburg, Bermuda Hundreds, and surrendered as a captain with Lee at Appomattox. The survivors of that war have named their camp after him. He practiced law after the war, was in the legislature in 1868 and 1870 and helped to impeach Gov. Holden. He `vas married first to Miss Sarah Cathey, a daughter of Col. Joseph Cathey of Pigeon river, soon after the war, and on the 26th of January, 1875, he married Miss Margaretta Richards White of Athens, Ga., his first wife having died soon after marriage. No braver man ever lived than Pink Welch.
THE PEOPLE OF MACON. Macon was organized into a county in 1828 "and was singularly fortunate in the character of the people who first settled it.<a href="#18" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 18
Ibid"> It was first represented in the legislature in 1831 by James W. Guinn in the senate and Thomas Tatham and James Whitaker in the house, and was thereafter represented in the senate four times by Gen. Ben. S. Britton, with James Whitaker, Asaph Enloe, James W. Guinn and Jacob Siler and Thomas Tatham in the house." Luke Barnard, Wimer Siler, and his sons William, Jesse R., Jacob and John; John Dobson, John Howard, Henry Addington, Gen. Thomas Love, Win. H. Bryson, James K. Gray, Mark Coleman, Samuel Smith, Nimrod S. Jarrett, George Dickey, Silas McDowell, George Patton, and William Angel were typical men of the early population. " Wm. and Jacob Siler having married sisters of D. L. Swain, and Jesse R. Siler having married a daughter of John Patton of Buncombe, sister of the late lamented Mont. Patton, it is not difficult to account for the great moral worth of the county that now exists and has from its first settlement. Samuel Smith was the father of Bacchus J. Smith and Rev. C. D. Smith, and volunteered as a messenger to bear a letter from Gen. McDowell, at the Old Fort, to the principal chief of the Cherokees, at the Coosaw attee towns about the close of the Revolutionary War.<a href="#19" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 19
Ibid"> The undertaking was full of peril, the whole country west of the Blue Ridge being then in the Cherokee Nation, then in arms, and before any white men lived in this country. The Coosawattee towns were on a river of that name in Georgia at least 250 miles away; but the mission was accomplished by this valiant man who aided largely in bringing these people into peaceable terms with the whites. He moved to Texas, after having raised a family of distinguished sons in North Carolina,dying in Texas when over ninety years of age. "<a href="#20" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 20
FRANKLIN. This was called the Sacred Town by the Cherokees<a href="#21" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 21
Nineteenth Annual Report of Bureau of Ethnology, p. 43."> and was not named for Benjamin Franklin, as so many think, but for Jesse Franklin, once governor of this State.<a href="#22" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 22
Vol. II Rev. St., 1837 p. 195. "> The county was named for John Haywood, treasurer of the State in 1787. According to Rev. C. D. Smith in his Brief History of Macon county, p. 2, Macon was never a part of Buncombe county, because its western boundary line never extended west of the Meigs and Freeman line of 1802, and the territory embraced in Macon and a portion of Jackson and Swain was acquired from the Cherokees by treaty in 1817-18. In the spring of 1820 the State commissioners, Jesse Franklin and James Meabin, in accordance with an act of the legislature, came to the Tennessee valley and organized for the survey of lands "a corps of surveyors of whom Captain Robert Love, a son of Gen. Thomas Love, who settled the place at the bridge where Capt. T. M. Angel recently lived<a href="#23" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 23
A Brief History of Macon County," by Rev. C. D. Smith Franklin, 1905. "The organization of the county took place nine years after the survey of the lands and the location of the site for the town of Franklin."">, was chief. Robert Love had been an honored and brave captain in the war of 1812, was much respected on account of his patriotic devotion to American liberty, and was consequently a man of large influence." Watauga plains, where the late Mr. Watson lived, was first settled upon for the county site and 400 acres, the land appropriated for that purpose, was located and surveyed there; but Captain Love favored the present site, and by a vote of all six companies of surveyors then in the field, on the ridge where Mrs. H. T. Sloan resided in 1905, the 400 acres appropriated was located.
FIRST SETTLERS IN FRANKLIN. Joshua Roberts, Esq., built the first house on the Jack Johnston lot, "a small round log cabin;" but Irad S. Hightower built the first "house proper," one built of hewn logs on the lot where stands the Allman hotel. Capt. N. S. Jarrett bought the first house proper, then Gideon F. Morris got it, and then John R. Allman. Lindsey Fortune built a cabin on the lot where the Jarrett hotel stood in 1894, and Samuel Robinson built on the lot occupied in 1905 by Mrs. Robinson. Silas McDowell first built where the residence of D. C. Cunningham stood, and Dillard Love built the first house on the Trotter lot. N. S. Jarrett built on the lot owned by S. L. Rogers, and John F. Dobson first improved the corner lot owned in 1894 by C. C. Smith. James K. Gray built the second hewn-log house on the lot owned by Mrs. A. W. Bell, and Jesse R. Siler, one of the first settlers, built at the foot of the town hill where Judge G. A. Jones resided. He also built the second house on the Gov. Robinson lot and the brick store and dwelling owned in 1894 by the late Capt. A. P. Munday. James W. Guinn or Mr. Whitaker built the house afterwards owned by Mr. Jack Johnston. John R. Allman opened the first hotel in Franklin, followed soon afterward by a house at the "foot of the hill" built by Jesse R. Siler.<a href="#24" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 24
PROMINENT RESIDENTS OF MACON.<a href="#25" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 25
Much of the information about the citizens of Franklin a Henry G. Robertson Esq."> James Cansler was born February 22, 1820, in Rutherford county, and died in Macon, July 24, 1907. He aided in the removal of the Cherokees in 1836-38, and was a captain in the Civil war. Captain James G. Crawford was born May 6, 1832, and in 1855 was appointed deputy clerk, being elected sheriff in 1858. He was a captain in the Civil War in the 39th regiment, serving till the end. He was in the legislature, and in 1875 was elected register of deeds, which place he held till near the end of his life. He married Miss Virginia A. Butler. One of the early settlers was Henry G. Woodfin, a physician and brother of Col. N. W. Woodfin of Buncombe. He was born December 27, 1811, and was married June 5, 1838 to Miss E. A. B. Howarth. He settled first on Cartoogechaye, but later moved to Franklin. He was a member of the county court, serving as chairman, and was in the legislature two terms. He died in 1881. He stood high as a physician and citizen. Dr. James M. Lyle came to Macon before the Civil War and formed a copartnership with Dr. Woodfin. He married Miss Laura Siler, and after her death, he married Miss Nannie Moore. Dr. G. N. Rush, of Coweta station, was born in 1824, in Rockingham county, Va., and read medicine under Dr. A. W. Brabson, graduated in medicine at University of Nashville in 1854. He served in the legislature in 1876-7. In 1854 he married Miss Elizabeth Thomas. He died December 12, 1897. Dr. A. C. Brabson was born in Tennessee in 1842, served through the Civil War, graduated from the College at Nashville in medicine, 1866-67, married Miss Cora Rush, March 30, 1881. Mark May, son of Frederick and Nellie May, was born in Yadkin county December 7, 1812, and married Belinda Beaman at the age of 24. Early in life he was ordained a Baptist minister, coming to Macon county after serving as a minister 17 years in Yadkin and two years in Tennessee. He is the father of Hon. Jeff -lay of Flats, N. C. Rev. Joshua Ammons was born in Burke, February 14, 1800, and moved to flacon in 1822, settled on Rabbit creek, was ordained a Baptist minister at Franklin in 1835, and died September 27, 1877, after a very useful life. Logan Berry `vas born December 18, 1813, in Lincoln county, and died February 8, 1910. He married -Matilda Postell of Buncombe, served as county commissioner, and was a useful and respected citizen. Stephen Munday was born in Person county about the beginning of the nineteenth century but moved to Buncombe county before the Civil War, where he built a mill at Sulphur Springs. He then moved to Macon, and lived with his son, the late Alexander P. Munday at Aquone, till his death in the seventies.<a href="#26" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 26
In 1852 he represented Macon in the House of Commons."> He was a useful and highly respected citizen. His son Alexander P. Munday married Miss Addie Jarrett a daughter of the late Nimrod S. Jarrett, and they resided first at the Meadows in what is now Graham county about 1859, where they remained till after the Civil War, moving thence to Aquone where they died early- in this century. Captain Nimrod S. Jarrett was born in Buncombe county in 1800, married a Miss McKee and moved to Haywood county in 1830, engaging in the "sang" business, till he moved to Macon, where he resided at Aquone in 1835, afterwards at the Apple Tree place six miles down the river, and still later at Jarretts station on the Murphy railroad. He owned large tracts of mountain lands, and the talc mine now operated at Hewitts. He was murdered in September, 1873, by Bay less Henderson, a tramp from Tennessee. Henderson was executed for the crime, at Webster, in 1874.
JOHN KELLY. He was born in Virginia, married a Miss Pierce, a neice and adopted daughter of Bishop Pierce, and moved to Buncombe where he lived till about 1819, when he moved to Macon to what is now known as the Barnard farm, but soon moved to the Hays place, waiting for the land sale, at which he bought a boundary of land lying in both Georgia and North Carolina, including Mud and Kelly's creeks in Georgia. His third son, Samuel, was born in Westmoreland county, Va., and in 1825 bought land six miles from Franklin, where he lived till his death in 1852. He married Miss Mary Harry. Three of his sons enlisted in the Confederate army, where one was killed in battle, the other two serving till the close of hostilities. They- were N. J. and M. L. Kelly.<a href="#27" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 27
Henry G. Robertson, Esq., to J. P. A., 1912.">
NATHAN G. ALLMAN.<a href="#28" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 28
Ibid"> He was born in Haywood, January 5, 1818, and came to Franklin in 1846, where lie lived 46 years continuously. He was a merchant and hotel keeper, and died February 17, 1892. He was a useful and influential citizen.
DR. W. LEVY LOVE. He was born in Chautauqua, N . Y., September 30, 1827, and early in life went to Kentucky with his father. There he joined the army and went to the war in Mexico, taking part in several battles. Returning, he was educated at Bacon college, Kentucky, where he also studied medicine, completing his course at Philadelphia. He then moved to Franklin, where, in 1868, he married Miss Maggie, a daughter of N. G. Allman. In this year he was elected to the State senate, where he served six years. He was also a lawyer, enjoying a fine practice. He died July 29, 1884. He was generally known as Levi Love.
JACKSON JOHNSTON. He was born in Pendleton district, S. C., November 25, 1820, and at sixteen years of age removed to Waynesville, where for several years he clerked for his brother William. While there, he married Miss Osborne of Haywood county; late in the forties he removed to Franklin, and became a merchant, accumulating a handsome fortune. His first wife having died he married hiss Eugenia Siler in 1859. She was a daughter of William Siler. His hospitality and humor were famous. He died April 10, 1892. He was charitable, intelligent and of high character.
THOMAS TATHAM. He served in the State senate from Haywood in 1817, removed to flacon and served in the legislature from that county from 1831 to 1834 inclusive, after which he removed to Valley river where he died. He was a good man and left many friends.
JAMES W HITAKER. He was born in Rowan April 3, 1779, one mile from Lexington, now Davidson. He was a justice of the peace in that county and removed to Buncombe in 1817, from which, in 1818 he was elected to the legislature and served till 1823, and removed to Macon in 1828, lived one mile from Franklin, and was elected to the legislature in 1828 and served continuously till 1833. He was appointed Superior court clerk at the first term of Cherokee county, and was elected to the legislature from that county in 1832 and 1842. He died on Valley river November 2, 1871, aged 92 years. He was a man of great intellect, high character and unsullied reputation; a stern man, a strong Baptist and did perhaps as much for his church as any other man in the State.
YANCEY. Yancey county was formed in 1833. It was cut off from Burke and Buncombe. Three counties have since been partly formed out of Yancey. They are: Watauga in 1849; Madison in 1851; and Mitchell in 1861. Yancey county is now bounded on the north by Mitchell county and the State of Tennessee; on the east by Mitchell and McDowell counties; on the south by McDowell and Madison; on the west by Madison and Buncombe counties and the Tennessee line. Mt. Mitchell, the highest mountain in the eastern half of North America, is in Yancey county. It was named for Dr. Elisha Mitchell, a teacher in the University, who explored it. Mt. Mitchell is a part of the Black mountains which extend partly across this county. Yancey county contains eighteen mountain peaks that rise above 6,300 feet. These mountains are very fertile and are covered with great forests of gigantic trees. Cherry trees in Yancey often grow four feet, the walnut eight feet, and the poplar ten feet in diameter.
The county was named for Bartlett Yancey, a native of Caswell county. He was educated at the University of North Carolina, studied law, and became eminent in his profession. He was twice a member of the Congress of the United States, and eight times a member of the senate of North Carolina. He was one of the first men in the State to favor public schools for all the people.
The county seat of Yancey is Burnsville , named in honor of Capt. Otway Burns, of Beaufort, N. C. He won fame in the war of 1812 against England. With his vessel, the "Snap Dragon," he sailed up and down the Atlantic coast, capturing many English vessels and destroying the British trade. He had many wild adventures, and his name became a terror to British merchants. Finally the English government sent a war vessel, called the "Leopard," to capture Captain Burns. The "Leopard" succeeded in capturing the "Snap-Dragon" while Captain Burns was on shore sick. After the war he was frequently a member of the legislature. A monument to his memory was recently erected at Burnsville.
Yancey has an approximate area of 193,000 acres, with an average assessed value of $2.60 per acre. Over 40 per cent of the land is held in large tracts of 1,000 acres or more in extent. These holdings are valued chiefly for their timber and are held principally as investments.
The topography is generally rough and the average elevation is high. The Black mountain range in the southern portion of the county contains many peaks more than 6,000 feet high, and Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Rockies, rises to an elevation of 6,711 feet above sea level. In the northern and western sections of the county the ridges have an average elevation of about 4,000 feet above sea level, Bald mountain rising to 5,500 feet.
Four considerable streams, South Toe and Caney rivers, and Jacks and Crabtree creeks, rise within the county, and flowing in a northerly direction empty into Toe river, which forms the northern boundary of the county.
MRS. NANCY ANDERSON GARDNER. There are many old people in these mountains, but 'Mrs. Nancy Gardner of Burnsville was 98 the 15th of January, 1913. She was in full possession of all her faculties, and in 1912 furnished for this history a list of names of the first settlers of Yancey county. Her husband's father was Thomas Gardner, who was born in Virginia in 1793, and died in Yancey in 1853. He settled on Cane river when a boy. Her father was W. M. Anderson and her mother Patty Elkins, who was born in Tennessee in 1790. Her parents were married in 1809. James Anderson was from Ireland and served in Virginia with the Americans during the Revolutionary War, after which he moved (1870), first to Surry, and then to Little Ivy, where D. W. Angel now lives and where Mrs. Gardner was born, January 15, 1815. Her husband was William Gardner, to whom she was married March 22, 1832. Thomas Dillard, father of the wife of Robert Love, was her mother's uncle. She died early in 1913.
FIRST SETTLERS of BURNSVILLE. Mrs. Gardner gave the following as the first settlers of Burnsville: John L. W illiams and his sons Edward and Joshua; Dr. .Job, Dr. John Yancey, Abner Jarvis, Dr. Jacob Stanley, Samuel Flemming, Gen. John W. McElroy, James Greenlee, John W. Garland, "Knock" Boone, Amos Ray, W. M. Westall, J. Bacchus Smith, Joseph Shepard, Adam Broyles, Mitchell Broyles, W. M. Lewis, John Woodfin, James Anderson, Milton P. Penland, Jack Stewart and John Bailey.
FIRST SETTLERS of YANCEY. Among them Mrs. Gardner mentioned the following, giving also the names of their wives: Henry Roland, Berry Hensley, Ed. and James McMahan, Thomas Ray, Edward Wilson, Jacob Phipps, Jerry Boons, Hiram Ray, John Bailey, John Griffith, Joseph Shepard, Strowbridge Young, James Proffitt, James Greenlee, Blake Piercy, Thomas Briggs, John McElroy, Wm. Angel, James Evans, W. M. Angelin, John Allen, Rev. Samuel Byrd.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT OLD TIMES. Mrs. Gardner's grandfather, James Anderson, was said to be the first Methodist west of the Blue Ridge. She remembered Parson Brownlow and the "lie bill" suit and the sale of his bridle, saddle and horse; also that William Angel lived near the present site of Burnsville but moved to Georgia, carrying his family and "One hundred geese, which they drove." She gave not only the names of the wives of the first settlers, but their children, and where the first settlers lived. Also, that John Bailey married Hiram Ray's daughter and donated the land for the town of Burnsville; that Joseph Shepard married Betsy Norton, the grandparents of the late Judge J. S. Adams; that Thomas Ray married Ivey Hensley and lived in Cane river valley; that Jacob Phipps married Nancy Hampton, and lived four miles west of Burnsville; that Edward Wilson married Polly Gilbert and lived on Cane river; that Jerry Boone was a noted blacksmith and married Sallie McMahan. They lived where Burnsville now stands; also that Hiram Ray married a Miss Cox and was a wealthy and influential man. Also that Zepheniah Horton lived one mile west of Burnsv ille, but none of his descendants now live in Yancey, though some live in Buncombe and the State of Kansas; that Henry Roland married Sallie Robinson and lived on Cane river; that Berry Henley married Betsy Littleton, among whose descendants were B. S., W., and Jas. B. Hensley. Edward and James McMahan were the first settlers of Pensacola, and Strowbridge Young married Patty Wilson. She spoke of James Proffitt as having lived on Bald creek, and of his direct descendants, but did not give the name of his wife. She also spoke of James Greenlee as having married Polly Poteet and living on Cane river, but having had no children; Blake Piercy who married Fanny Turner, and lived on Indian creek, Thomas Briggs who married Jane Wilson and lived on Bald creek, John McElroy who married Miss Jamison and lived on Bald creek, James Evans who married a Miss Bailey and lived on Jack's creek, W. M. Angelin who married Miss Betsy Austin and lived on Banks creek, John Allen who married Molly Turner, and the Rev. Samuel Byrd who married a Miss Briggs and lived in the northern part of the county, naming many of his descendants.
FINE RIVER BOTTOMS. Those splendid lands, extending from the mouth of Prices creek up Cane river to within two or three miles of Burnsville, were in possession of white people as early as 1787, and were originally granted to John mocking Alexander and Win. Sharp. The 640-acre tract at the mouth of Bald and Prices creeks is owned by descendants of Thomas L. Ray, who was among the first settlers of Yancey county. The Creed Young place, originally the John Griffith farm, on Crabtree, about two miles from Burnsville, is another fine farm. Milton P. Penland was another early settler, and owned valuable land near Burnsville. He was a man of influence and ability.
CELO OR BOLEN'S PYRAMID. What is known on government maps as Celo Peak used to be called Bolen's Pyramid; but why either name should have been given to this northernmost peak of the Blacks is not known, though, as there is a Bolen's creek between it and Burnsville, it is probable that a man of that name once lived near what is now called Athlone.
HENDERSON COUNTY.<a href="#30" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 30
Written for this history by Mrs. Mattie S. Candler of Hendersonville."> Until 1838 Henderson was a part of Buncombe, and the story of its first settlement belongs to that county …. But in 1838, when Hodge Rabun was in the senate and Montreville Patton and Philip Brittain were in the house, it was erected into a separate county and named in honor of Leonard Henderson, once chief justice of the State, the county seat also having been named in his honor. In 1850 it had only 6,483 population, while in 1910 it contained 16,262.
"The crest of the Blue Ridge, in Henderson county, is an undulating plateau, which will not be recognized by the traveler in crossing. The Saluda mountains, beyond Green river, are the boundary line of vision on the south. The general surface features of the central part of this pearl of counties will be best seen by a glance at the pictorial view from Dun Cragin, near Hendersonville."<a href="#31" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 31
Zeigler & Grosscup.">
With a general altitude about that of Asheville, with broad river bottoms along the French Broad, Mud creek and elsewhere, its agricultural and grazing advantages surpass those: of Buncombe; while as a summer and health resort, Hendersonville, its county seat, with its fine and well-kept hotels and boarding houses, surpasses in many important respects the only town that exceeds it in population, the famed city of Asheville. The social charm of this beautiful place, as well as of Flat Rock and Fletcher, is at least not surpassed in Buncombe or in Asheville itself. Hendersonville has everything in the way of hotels, boarding houses, clubs, banks, street railways, parks, lights, water, livery and other advantages that could be wished. The points of interest in the immediate vicinity are numerous and appealing. Last summer there were 15,000 visitors in town and 25,000 in the county. The churches represent every denomination.
John Clayton, of Mills river section, was in the legislature in 1827 and 1828, and in the senate in 1833. Largely through his influence Henderson was formed into a separate county. He was the grandfather of Mrs. Mattie Fletcher Egerton, first wife of Dr. J. L. Egerton and great-grandfather of Mrs. Wm. Redin Kirk. He with his son, John, was among the first jurors of this county. R. Irvine Allen, brother of Dr. T. A. Allen, the latter being the oldest male inhabitant of this county, and Jesse Rhodes were among the chain-bearers when the county lines were first surveyed. A committee, consisting of Col. John Clayton, Col. Killian, and Hugh Johnston, was appointed to select and lay off a county seat, and their first choice was the land at what is now called Horse Shoe in 1839. But there was so much dissatisfaction with this that two factions arose, called the River and the Road parties, the River party favoring the Horse Shoe site, it having been on the French Broad river. In 1839, however, the Road party enjoined the sale in lots of the land selected at Horse Shoe, and the controversy soon waxed so warm that the legislature authorized an election to determine the matter by popular vote, resulting in the success of the Road party. Judge Mitchell King of Charleston, S. C., who had been among the first settlers of this section and owned much of the land where Hendersonville now stands, conveyed fifty acres for the county site; and this was laid off into lots and broad, level right-angled streets, and sold in 1840. Dr. Allen died early in 1914.
HENDERSONVILLE. At the time the Civil War commenced there were on Main street, the Episcopal church, completed save for the spire; the Shipp house, adjoining, which formerly stood where the Pine Grove lodge now stands, and where Lawyer Shipp, father of Bartlett Shipp, Esq., lived. The present Sample home was then owned by the Rev. Collin Hughes, the Episcopal clergyman. The old Virginia House stood on the corner now occupied by the First National bank, and was built by David Miller and William Deaver, the latter having been killed in the Civil War. It was conducted many years by Mr. C. C. Chase; but about eighteen years ago it became the property of Hall Poole. A still older house was the old hotel built by John Mills, and stood on the present site of the St. John. It later became the property of Colonel Ripley, and was known far and wide as the Ripley House. There was nothing south of the court house site except the old Ripley residence, built by the Kings, and the house that is now Col. Pickens' residence. The only two houses standing prior to the formation of Henderson county in the town of Hendersonville, and remaining unchanged now, are the Arledge house on Main street, and the stone office-building in front of the Pine Grove lodge, near the Episcopal church.
BOWMAN'S BLUFF. About forty years ago a small colony of English people came to this section, and bought a vast acreage of land. Among them were the Valentines, well known in Hendersonville for many years, the Thomases, the Jeudweines, the Malletts (who still live on their place) and the Holmeses, still owning the place above referred to. It would be hard to describe this beautiful place. To the south of the old-fashioned house lies a tangle of garden, with its riot of vines, and its numerous overgrown arbors, and old trees trimmed in fantastic shapes. The house is approached by a long winding drive, between great old pines, and just in front of the house is the immense bluff, whereon wild crabapples bloom in profusion. This falls away, a sheer descent many feet to the river below, and it was here that Marv Bowman was said to have leaped to her death many years ago, desperate over a hopeless love.
Centrally located to what was this English colony and on top of a hill, sits the little Episcopal church where they were wont to worship on Sunday, and which is used irregularly still.
Mr. Frank Valentine, who came to America in this colony, was educated at Cambridge, England, graduated with highest honor, holding several degrees. He went from Bowman's Bluff to Asheville, and later moved to Hendersonville, where he spent his remaining days. He was known as one of the finest educators in Western North Carolina.
FORMER CITIZENS. Peter Stradley lived at Old Flat Rock, and in 1870 died there almost 100 years old, highly respected and loved; Joseph Dotson lived to the age of 104 on his farm near Bat Cave, and made baskets and brooms. He was captured while in the Confederate army but escaped, running 18 miles over the ice. Govan Edney of Edneyville, also lived to a great age, and had a large experience as a hunter. Harvey Johnston and his wife once owned nearly all the land on the west side of South Main street, Hendersonville, and having no horse, managed to make fine crops notwithstanding. Robert Thomas, first sheriff of Henderson county, was killed by bushwhackers during the Civil War. Solomon Jones lived on Mount Hebron, and was known as a builder of roads, having constructed one from Hendersonville to :Mount Hebron, and another up Saluda mountain; lived to be nearly 100, and made his own tombstone.
BUSINESS ENTERPRISES. The Freeze Hosiery mills were opened June 15, 1912; the Skyland Hosiery Co., at Flat Rock make silk and cotton hose and have been operating several years; the Green River Mfg. Co., at Tuxedo, six miles south of Hendersonville, was started in 1909. They make combed peelers and Egyptain yarns, their annual output being 350,000 pounds; employing 250 hands, of whom 200 are skilled. They support an excellent school eight months every year; the Case Canning factory on the Edneyville road six miles from Hendersonville, at Dana, has a capacity of 500,000 cans a season; the Hendersonville Light & Power Co., 7 1/2 miles east of Hendersonville, have 1,250 horsepower, using only 400 at present; George Stephens operates a mission furniture factory, at Lake Kanuga, six miles out, where also is Kanuga club. COUNTRY RESORTS. Besides the excellent hotels in Hendersonville, there is a fine hotel at Osceola lake, one mile from town on the Kanuga road; Kanuga club on Kanuga lake; Highland lake club, one and a half miles out on the Flat Rock road, with cottages, is a stock company; Chimney Rock, twelve miles east, is in the Hickory Nut canon; Buck Forest, now the property of the Frank Coxe estate, was for years a summer resort, and the falls in the vicinity are noted; Fletcher, near the Buncombe line is also popular, and the social charms of the neighborhood are well recognized; Buck Shoals is near, and the famous Rugby Grange, the attractive country estate of the Westfelts of New Orleans, is one of the "show-places" of Western North Carolina.
A LITERARY CURIOSITY. A poem written on white satin in quatrain form, into each of which was incorporated a clause of the Lord's prayer, is known to have been written by Mrs. Susan Baring and is now in the possession of a Hendersonville lady.
SETTLING THE GRAHAM BOUNDARY LINE. By ch. 202, Pub. Laws, 1897, 343, the county surveyors of Cherokee and Graham were authorized to locate the line between these two counties and Tennessee, according to the calls of the act of 1821.
CHEROKEE AND MURPHY. As early as 1836 the legislature provided that the Indian lands west of Macon should remain under the jurisdiction of that county till a new county should be formed for them, whose county seat should be named Murphy. (Rev. St. 1837, Vol. ii, p. 213 and p. 214). In 1842 the State granted to A. Smith, chairman of the County court, 433 acres for a court house, etc. (Deed Book A, p. 429, dated March 23, 1842.)<a href="#32" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 32
The county seat was named in honor of Judge Archibald D. Murphey, who was elected to the Superior court bench in 1818 and resigned in 1819. He spelt his name, how ever with an "e".">
OLD COUNTY BUILDINGS. The old jail was back of the J. W. Cooper residence and the whipping post stood near where a street now runs, and the first court house, a very plain and unpretentious affair, stood at the intersection of the two main roads from the country. The new court house was built where the present one now stands, in 1891, at a cost of about $20,000., but it was burned in 1892.In 1893 and 1894 it was rebuilt, as the marble foundations and brick walls stood intact after the fire, at a cost of $12,000. There was no insurance on the burned building.
PREEMINENT ADVANTAGES. Murphy's location between two clear mountain rivers, its broad and almost level streets, its fine court house, schools and hotels form the nucleus around which a large city should grow. It has two competing railroads, and a climate almost ideal. Its citizens, too, are enterprising and progressive, good streets and roads being appreciated highly
MURPHY'S FIRST CITIZENS. Daniel F. Ramseur kept the old "Long Hotel," with offices, that used to stand near the public square. Felix Axley was the father of the Murphy bar and of F. P. and J. C. Axley. J. C. Abbott lived at the old A. T. Davidson place, and was a leading merchant after the Civil War. Samuel Henry, deceased, was an ante-bellum resident, was U. S. Commissioner for years, and a friend of the late U. S. District Judge R. P. Dick. A. M. Dyche (pronounced Dike) was sheriff, justice of the peace and a good citizen. S. G. R. Mount was postmaster and lived in the southern part of town. Dr. .John W. Patton was a leading physician and lived near Hiwassee bridge. Mercer Fain lived where the Regal hotel stands now, and was a merchant, farmer and land speculator. Benjamin S. Brittain lived in East Murphy from the organization of the county till his death, and was register of deeds. Drewry Weeks lived on the northeast corner of the Square and was from the organization of the county till his death clerk of the old county court. Seth Hyatt, sheriff, lived where Capt. J. W. Cooper afterwards resided. Johnson King lived where S. Hyatt had lived, and married his widow. He was a partner of the late Col. W. H. Thomas, and the father of Hon. Mark C. King, several terms in the legislature. Dr. C T. Rogers was another leading physician. Jesse Brooks was a merchant and lived on what is now Church street. G. L. D. McClelland lived first on Church and afterwards on the east side of Main street and lived to be over ninety years of age, being highly esteemed. William Berry was a merchant and farmer; Xenas Hubbard was a tinner; James Grant was a merchant and kept store where the Dickey hotel now stands; John Rolen was a lawyer; J. J. Turnbill was a blacksmith, and a man of unusual sense.
WILLIAM BEALE. This scholarly man came to Murphy from Canada just prior to the Civil War and taught school; was several times sheriff, and lived on the south side of Hiwassee bridge.
DAVID AND JOHN HENESEA. Just after the Civil War they moved from a fine farm at the head of Valley river. John kept a hotel, now the residence of C. E. Wood.
JAMES W. COOPER. He moved to Murphy from Graham soon after the Civil War, and was a most successful lawyer and land speculator.
RESIDENTS of CHEROKEE COUNTY. Among the more prominent may be mentioned Abraham Harshaw, the largest slave owner, four miles south of Murphy; John Harshaw, his brother; Abraham Sudderth, who owned the Mission farm six miles south of Murphy, where Rev. Humphrey Posey had established a mission school for the Cherokees; William Strange owned a fine farm at the mouth of Brasstown creek; Gideon Morris, a Baptist preacher, who married Yonaguska's daughter; Andrew Moore; David Taylor; David Henesea; James W. C. Piercy, who, from the organization of the county till his death, located most of the land in Cherokee; James Tatham, the father of Purd and Bent, who lived a mile west of Andrews; James Whitaker and his son Stephen, who lived near Andrews; Hugh Collett and his father, who lived just above Old Valley Town and were men of industry and integrity; Buck and Neil Colvard, who lived at Tomotla; Win. Welch, who lived in the same neighborhood; and Henry Moss, who lived at Marble, Ute Hyatt living on the adjoining farm. Elisha P. Kincaid lived four miles east of Murphy, and above him lived Betty Welch, or Betty Bly or Blythe, the heroine of Judge Strange's romance, "Yonaguska." John Welch was her husband, a half-breed Cherokee, and an "Avenger of Blood." (See ch. 26.) In the western part of the county were Burton K. and George Dickey, Wm. C. Walker, who was killed at the close of the Civil War, having been colonel of the 29th N. C. regiment; Abel S. Hill, sheriff; Calvin C. Vest; and others, who lived on Notla. In the northern part lived Harvey Davidson, sheriff and farmer; and the Hunsuckers, Blackwells, Longwoods, Gentrys and others. Goldman Bryson lived on Beaver Dam, and was said to have been at the head of a band of banditti during the Civil War, and was followed into the mountains and killed by a party of Confederates. Andrew and Jeff Colvard were founders of large and influential families. They were bold and daring frontiersmen and citizens of character and ability. "Old Rock Voyles, " as he, was affectionately called, lived on Persimmon creek, ten miles from Murphy, and was a man of originality and humor. He lived to a great age.
A CEMETERY IN THE CLIFFS. All along the crest of the ridges which terminate in rock cliffs on the bank of the Hiwassee river about one mile below Murphy are large deposits of human bones, supposed to be the bones of Cherokees. The number of shallow graves on the crests of these ridges, covered over by cairns of loose stones, indicate that this must have been the burial place of Indians for many years.
EARLY WATAUGA AND BOONE HISTORY. The first court in Watauga was held in an old barn near the home of Joseph Hardin one mile east of Boone, Judge Mitchell presiding, and E. C. Bartlett being clerk. The first court house was built in Boone in 1850 by John Horton for $4,000, but was burned in 1873, with the records. The records were restored afterwards by legislative authority upon satisfactory evidence being furnished, and T. J. Coffey & Bro. in 1874 rebuilt the court house for $4,800, the building committee having been Henry Taylor, Dudley Farthing and Jacob Williams. The present fine court house was erected in 1904 by L. W. Cooper of Charlotte for $19,000. Alex. Green, J. W. Hodges and George Robbins were the county commissioners. The first jail was of brick and built by Mr. Dammons for $400, and the second jail was a wooden building of heavy logs. On the second floor the timbers were twelve inches square, crossed with iron, and when it was torn away by W. P. Critcher in 1909 the logs were made into lumber of the finest grade. A splendid new jail, with iron cages and rooms, was built in 1889 by Win. Stephenson of Mayesville, Ky., for $5,000. The following have been sheriffs of Watauga : Michael Cook, John Horton, Cob McCanles, Sidney Deal, A. J. McBride, John Horton, A. J. McBride, D. F. Baird, J. L. Hayes, D. F. Baird, J. L. Hayes, D. F. Baird, W. M. Calloway, W. B. Baird, J. H. Hodges, D. C. Reagan. The following have been clerks: Mr. McClewee, J. B. Todd, Henry Blair, W. J. Critcher, J. B. Todd, M. B. Blackburn, J. H. Bingham, Thomas Bingham, W. D. Farthing.
W. L. Bryan in 1872 started the Bryan hotel and conducted a first class hotel for 27 years. In 1865 T. J. Coffey & Bro. came to Boone, and started the Cofey hotel, where they maintained an up-to-date stopping place for many years. It is now being conducted by Mr. Murry Critcher. In 1858 Marcus Holesclaw, Thomas Greene and William Horton ran for the legislature upon the issue of moving the court house from Boone to Brushy Fork, and Holesclaw was elected by one vote. This meant that the court house must be moved; and Holesclaw introduced the bill for that purpose; but Joe Dobson represented this district in the senate, and although he was from Surry county, he managed to keep Holesclaw's bill at the foot of the calendar until the legislature adjourned. Of course, Holesclaw was never satisfied that his bill never reached a vote in the senate.
From ordinary circumstances L. L. Green came from the farm, studied law and became a leader in politics; was elected judge and performed his duties well. His portrait hangs in the court room, to the left of the judge's stand, while on the right is a portrait of his friend, Major Bingham, who was a fine lawyer and a great teacher of law. His name and fame went out over the whole State.
E. Spencer Blackburn was one of the most attractive men this section has produced. His father was Edward Blackburn, and his mother Sinthia Hodges. He was one of nine children. He was four times nominated for Congress, was elected twice; was assistant district attorney of the United States court, and died at Elizabethtown early in 1912.
W. B. Councill was a student of the learned Col. G. N. Folk, who after being admitted to the bar was elevated to the position of judge of the Superior court of this judicial district. He declined a renomination.
A FAMILY OF PREACHERS. William Farthing came as a missionary from Wake county to Beaver Dams, now in Watauga county, about 1826, but lived only three months after settling there. He bought what was then known as the Webb farm, about one-half mile from the principal Baptist church of that settlement. He had owned many acres near Durham before going to the mountains. His sons and those of John, his brother, who soon followed him to Watauga, were men of the highest character and standing. Many of them have been preachers, and four brothers of his family were in the ministry. Like the descendants of the original Casper Cable who settled on Dry Run, just in the edge of Tennessee, no drop of rowdy blood ever developed in any of the descendants of the pioneer Farthings. Dudley, son of Wm. Farthing, was for years judge of the county court and chairman of the board of county commissioners.
THE BROWNS of WATAUGA. Joseph Brown came from Wilkes to Watauga long before the Civil War, and settled at Three Forks, where he married Annie Haigler, and reared eight children. Captain Barton Roby Brown of May Mead, Tenn., was a grandson, and married Callie Wagner in 1864. He was in the Sixth North Carolina cavalry, and a gallant soldier.
THE MAST FAMILY. Joseph Mast, the first of the name to come to Valle Crucis, Watauga county, was born in Randolph county, N. C., March 25, 1764, and on the 30th of May, 1783, married Eve Bowers who had been born between the Saluda and Broad rivers, South Carolina, December 30, 1758. Joseph was a son of John, who was brother of the Jacob Mast who became bishop of the Amish Mennonite church in Conestoga, Pa., in 1788. They had left their native Switzerland together, and sailed from Rotterdam in the ship "Brotherhood, " which reached Philadelphia November 3, 1750. John Mast was born in 1740, and shortly after becoming 20 years of age left his brother Jacob, who had married and was living near the site of what is now Elverson, Pa. John wandered on foot through many lonely forests, but finally settled in Randolph county, where Joseph was born. There he married a lady whose given name was Barbara. From Joseph and Eve Mast have descended many of the most substantial and worthy citizens of Western North Carolina, while the Mast family generally are people of influence and standing in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nebraska, Iowa, Montana, Oregon, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, California, Kansas, and in fact nearly every State in the Union. C. Z. Mast of Elverson, Pa., in 1911, published a volume of nearly a thousand pages all of which are devoted to an excellent record of all the Masts in America. John A. Mast was born on Brushy creek September 22, 1829. He married Martha Moore of Johns river, December 5, 1850. He died February 6, 1892. His paternal grandfather, John Mast, and maternal grandfather, Cutliff Harman, were among the pioneers of this section, and were Germans, settling on Cove creek. His wife, Martha Mast, was born April 13, 1833. She died February 15, 1905.
THE MORETZ FAMILY. John Moretz came from Lincolnton long before the Civil War and settled on Meat Camp, seven miles from Boone, where he built and operated a large mill, which was burned but rebuilt. He prospered greatly, and his descendants are numerous and influential.
THE SHULL FAMILY. Philip P. Shull was born at Valle Crucis, February 15, 1797, and married Phoebe Ward of Tennessee. He died January 9, 1866. His father, Simon Shull was one of the first settlers of this country, having been a German, and settled near Valle Crucis. His wife, Phoebe was born May 28, 1801, and died September 29, 1882. Joseph Shull, who was desperately wounded in May, 1863, at the Wilderness fight, is a son of Philip P. Shull.
THE COUNCILL FAMILY. Jordan Councill, Sr., was the first of the name to settle in Watauga, then Ashe county. He married Sally, the daughter of Benjamin Howard, and from them have descended a long line of virile men and lovely women, who for years have been the backbone of this section.
OTHER FIRST SETTLERS were Amos and Edward Greene near Blowing Rock; Ransom Hayes at Boone; Jackson, Steven and Abner Farthing at Beaver Dams, James McCanless, Elisha Coffey, Amos Greene, Isaac Greene, Lee Foster and Joel Moody, at and near Shull's Mills; Malden Harmon, Calvin Harmon, Seaton Mast, Lorenzo Whittington, and George Moody, on Cove creek. Henry Taylor came to Valle Crucis long before the Civil War and married a Miss Mast.
FORGOT HOW TO MAKE AN "S." In the graveyard of the old German Reformed church, one mile from Blowing Rock, is an old gravestone which, tradition says, was brought by a Mr. Sullivan from the Jersey settlement in Davidson county for the purpose, as he stated, of "starting a graveyard." On it are carved or scratched the following letters and numbers:
E E S 1794.
This stone is said to mark the grave of the pioneer who brought it to Blowing Rock. But whether he died or was born in the year given, is not known. It is quite evident that he had forgotten in which way an "S" is turned.
JACKSON COUNTY. While the late Michael Francis was in the senate and R. G. A. Love was in the house from Haywood in 1850-52, Jackson county was formed with Webster as the county seat. Daniel Webster had just died, and the naming of this town for him was a graceful concession to the Whig element of the country, while giving to "Old Hickory" the honor of naming the county for him pleased the Democrats. Col. Thaddeus D. Bryson, a son of Daniel Bryson of Scott's creek, was the first representative in the house from Jackson, while Col. W. H. Thomas represented it in the senate. John R. Dills, a member of the large and influential Dills family of Dillsborough, represented this county in 1856. Joseph Keener, an influential and valuable citizen represented the county in 1862, followed by W. A. Enloe, a representative of the extensive and leading Enloe family of Jackson. Following are the names of some of the more prominent legislators : J. N. Bryson, E. D. Davis, G. W. Spake, F. H. Leatherwood, J. W. Terrell, J. M. Candler, R. H. Brown, W. A. Dills, C. C. Cowan, and John B. Ensley. The late John B. Love lived near Webster, and kept a store, W. H. Thomas being a part ner for a while. Mr. Love owned much of the land in that section, and his sons settled on Scott's creek from Addie to Sylva. He also owned the famous "Gold Spring," near the head of Tuckaseegee, in the basin of which a small amount of gold was deposited each morning; but a blast ruined even that small contribution. He married a Miss Comans of Wake county. Philip Dills was another pioneer, and was born in Rutherford, January 10, 1808, and came with his father to Haywood soon after his birth, and about the time Abraham Enloe settled on Soco creek. …He was a useful and respected citizen. Abraham Battle was born in Haywood in 1809, and his father was one of the three men who came from Rutherford to Haywood with Abraham Enloe. Win. H. Conley was another important citizen of Jackson before Swain was taken from it, and `vas born in 1812 within fifteen miles of Abraham Enloe's Ocona Lufty place, his father, James Conley having been the first white man to settle on that stream. James W. Terrell was born in Rutherford county, December 31, 1829, and at sixteen years of age, carne to Haywood and lived with his grandfather, Win. D. Kilpatrick, till 1852, when he went into business with the late Col. Win. H. Thomas. In 1854 he was made disbursing agent for the Cherokees, was a captain in the Civil War, and in the legislature for several terms. The late Daniel Bryson kept a hotel or stopping place on the turnpike road below Hall's and above Addie, in the turn of the road, where all the judges and lawyers stopped while attending the courts of the western circuit. He was a most excellent and useful citizen, and left several sons who have been prominent and influential citizens. Rev. William Hicks lived in Webster after the Civil War, where he taught school for two years; but in 1868 he was appointed presiding elder and moved to Hendersonville where he remained till 1873, when he returned to Webster and resumed his school. Later he moved to Quallatown where he taught school till he was appointed to a district in `'Vest Virginia, where he afterwards died. He was a fine public speaker, a Confederate soldier, a member of the Secession convention from Haywood in 1861, and with Rev. J. R. Long, in 1855, built up a large school near the junction of Richland and Raccoon creeks, giving the place the name of Tuscola. This school flourished till the beginning of the Civil War. Mr. Hicks also edited The Herald of Truth, a newspaper in Asheville, for a few years. He was born in Sullivan county, Tennessee, in 1820, became a Methodist preacher and came to Buncombe in 1848, holding that year the first conference ever held in Haywood, the meeting being held at Bethel church.
WEBSTER AND THE RAILROAD. With the coining of the railroad, Webster, the county seat, found itself about three miles from that artery- of trade and travel; and, soon afterward, an agitation began for the removal of the court house to Dillsboro or Sylva, and has continued ever since. The question was submitted to the people but they voted to retain Webster as the county site; a new court house was built, and it was supposed that the matter had been settled forever; but in 1913 a more vigorous movement was started to change: the county court house to Sylva, which offered a bonus in case it should be done. The legislature of 1913 authorized the people to vote on the proposition, and the result changed the county site to a point between Dillsboro and Sylva, May 8, 1913. Webster is a pretty little town with many attractive and useful citizens. The improvements along the line of railroad from Hall's to Whittier have been remarkable. The talc mine and factory of C. J. Harris at Dillsboro, the nickel mine nearer Webster of W. J. Adams, and the tannic acid plant at Sylva contribute much to the prosperity of these towns and to that of the county generally. With a railroad up Tuckaseegee a large tract of timber will find an outlet, and the copper mine on that stream may come into development. Jackson is a rich and productive county and its people are thriving and energetic. Lake Fairfield and Inn, and Lake Sapphire are in this county on Horsepasture creek. Ellicotte mountain is near the extreme eastern end of the county. Cashiers Valley, Chimneytop, Whiteside Cove and mountain, Glenville, East LaPorte, Cullowhee and Painter are places of interest and importance.
SCOTT'S CREEK. As this creek was on the eastern border of the Cherokee country from which the Indians were removed, and as Gen. Winfield Scott was in charge of their removal in 1835-38, some suppose that the creek took its name from him; but in two grants to Charles McDowell, James Glascow and David Miller, dated December 3, 1795, (Buncombe Deed Book No. 4, p. 104) the State conveyed 300 acres on the waters of Scott's creek, waters of Tuckaseegee river, including the forks of Scotts creek and "what was said to be Scott's old lick blocks," and on the same date there was a further grant to the same parties to 300 acres on the same stream, including a cane brake, with the same reference to Scott's old lick blocks. (Book 8, p. 85.) But a careful search revealed no grant to any Scott in that section at or near that time; and the Scott who gave his name to this fine stream was doubtless but a landless squatter who was grazing and salting his cattle on the wild lands of that day. He probably lived in Haywood county, near the head of Richland creek.
MADISON COUNTY. It was formed in 1851 from Buncombe and Yancey; it was named for James Madison, while its county seat bears the name of the great chief justice, John Marshall.
JEWEL HILL OR LAPLAND? It is almost forgotten that the postoffice at what is now Marshall was called Lapland in 1858, and that it used to be said that pegged shoes were first made there because the hills so enclose the place that it would be impossible for a shoemaker to draw out his thread to the full width of his arms, and consequently had to hammer in pegs, which he could do by striking up and down. It is also uncertain whether the name of Madison's first county seat is Jewel Hill or Duel Hill. One thing, however, is certain, and it is that there once was a spirited contest over keeping the seat of government there. There were several "settlements" which desired to become the county seat of Madison county, Lapland, on the French Broad river, being barred by the act of the legislature (1850-1), which provides that the "county seat is to be called 'Marshall which is not to be within two miles of the French Broad river. The principal candidates for this honor were "Bryants," Barnards and Jewel Hill. The last named was selected at first and several terms of court were held there.
The location of the county site at Jewel Hill soon proved unsatisfactory, and the legislature of 1852-53 appointed a commission to fix the plan for a county government. They decided on what is now Marshall "on lands of T. B. Vance where Adolphus E. Baird now lives. " But a doubt as to the legality of this selection was immediately raised, though the county offices remained at Jewel Hill. But David Vance, in order to comply with the terms of the act, deeded to Madison county fifty acres of land for a town site, by deed dated April 20, 1853.<a href="#33" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 33
Deed Book G, p. 139, et seq.">
The location of the county site entered into the politics of that year, and the legislature of 1854-55 (ch. 97, Pr. Laws) passed an act which provided for an election to be held the first Thursday in June, 1855, to determine whether the new location should stand or another location be chosen. In case a new location should be decided on, a commission of nine citizens was named, any five of whom might determine the new location; or if five did not agree, then they were to name two places, one of which should be on the French Broad river, one of which was to be chosen by a majority of the voters at an election to be held at a time to be fixed by the county court.
The act further provided that "if the Supreme court now sitting [February, 1855] should decide that the location of the county seat at Adolphus Baird's" was lawful, then this act should be null and inoperative. Pursuant to this act the question as to whether the location of the county site at Adolphus E. Baird's should stand or a new location be chosen was decided at a popular election held on the first Thursday in June, 1855, pursuant to the act of 1852-53, and an order of the county court made at its April term, 1855.<a href="#34" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 34
Madison county records."> The votes for and against the present location, however, is not stated in the minutes; but there is a tradition that Marshall won by only one vote. At the fall term, 1855, of this court, a building committee was appointed and the building of a brick court house decided upon, which was ordered to be built in 1856. The records show, however, that the county court was still held at Jewel Hill up to the fall of 1859. There appears to be no record of any litigation to test the legality of the selection of the commissioners under the Act of 1852-53, notwithstanding the allusion to such a suit in the act itself.
OLD RESIDENTS of Madison. Dr. W. A. Askew was born on Spring creek in August, 1832, his father having been G. C. Askew, and his mother Sarah H. Lusk, daughter of Win. Lusk, and a sister of Col. Virgil S. Lusk of Asheville. There were only four men living on Spring creek when G. C. Lusk settled there in 1820, and they were Win. and Sam Lusk, a Mr. Crawford and Win. Garrett. Later on Win. Moody and Josiah Duckett of South Carolina, a soldier of the Revolution, came. Wm. Woody also lived there, and his son Jonathan H. Woody moved to Cataloochee and married, first Malinda Plemmons, and afterwards Mrs. Mary Caldwell, a widow. The Gahagans and Tweeds lived on Laurel, while on Turkey creek Jacob Martin, James Alexander, A. M. Gudger, R. L. Gudger, Win. Penland, Robert Hawkins, Irwin West and John Alexander lived and prospered. Col James M. Lowrie, a half-brother of Gov. Swain, with John Wells, John Reeves, lived on Sandy Mush. Ebbitt Jones also lived on Sandy Mush; and on Little Sandy Mush G. D. Robertson, Jackson Reeves, Jacob and John Glance and others lived. Nathaniel Davis, Nathan Worley and the Worleys lived on Pine creek. James Nichols married a Barnard and lived at Marshall. Robert Farnsworth lived and died at Jewel Hill, where Mrs. Clark now lives, and was a son of David Farnsworth who kept a stock stand on the French Broad. James Gudger and his wife Annie Love also lived in this county, and Col. Gudger was a delegate to the State convention of 1835.
ALLEGHANY COUNTY.<a href="#35" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 35
See ante, page 7."> "Alleghany" is, in the language of the Delaware Indians, "a fine stream." Lip to 1858-59 Alleghany was a part of Ashe. Win. Raleigh and Elijah Thompson of Surry, James B. Gordon of Wilkes, and Stephen Thomas and John F. Green of Ashe were appointed commissioners by the act creating the county to locate the county seat, and had power to purchase or receive as a gift 100 acres for the use of such county, upon which the county site, to be called Sparta, should be located. In April, 1859 Win. C. DeJournett, a Frenchman, of Wilkes, made a survey and plat locating the center of the county; James H. Parks and David Evans donated 50 acres where Sparta now stands, near the geographical center located by DeJournett, but the deed was destroyed by a fire which burned Col. Allen Gentry's house, and another deed was executed in 1866. In 1859 the county court appointed commissioners to lay off and make sales of town lots, but at the next term revoked their appointment and directed them not to proceed. A mandamus was asked and the Superior and Supreme courts both ordered that it be granted; but nothing further seems to have been done till the April term, 1866, when the county court appointed F. J. McMillan, Robert Gambill, Sr., James H. Parks, Morgan Edwards and S. S. Stamper commissioners to lay off and sell lots from the tract donated for a county seat, etc.; and at the October term following these commissioners were directed to advertise for bids for building a court house, etc. But, at the January term, 1867, all bids were rejected and the plans altered so that the court house and jail should be in one and the same building. This was the first term held in Sparta, and the court was composed of Morgan Bryan and Win. L. Mitchell. The first term of the Superior court was held at Sparta in the spring of 1868, with Anderson Mitchell as presiding judge, J. C. Jones, sheriff, and W. L. Mitchell as foreman of the grand jury. Stephen Landreth was officer in charge of the grand jury.
BEFORE THE REVOLUTION. It seems that there were no settlers in Alleghany prior to the Revolutionary War; but it had been visited by hunters both from Virginia and the central part of this State, among whom were three brothers named Maynard from what is now Surry, who crossed the Blue Ridge and built cabins along Glade creek. This was about 1786, and they had lived there about six years when Francis Bryan, from Orange county, in 1793, located within five miles of them. About the same time Joel Simmons, Wm. Woodruff and _______ Crouce settled along the top of the Blue Ridge, thus making seven families in the county. But this was too much for the Maynard brothers, and claiming that the country was too thickly settled, they moved to Kentucky. But who was the first white man to visit this section is unknown; though Win. Taylor, the Coxes, Gambills and Reeves probably lived in the borders of what is now Alleghany during the Revolutionary War. Two men named Edwards settled here also at an early date, viz : David anal William Edwards. John McMillan came from Scotland in 1790 and was the first clerk of Ashe court. Joseph Doughton from Franklin county, Va., was an early settler, and represented Ashe in the House of Commons in 1877. Joseph Doughton was the youngest son of Joseph. This family has always been prominent in the county. H. F. Jones built the present court house for $3,475, and it was received September 4, 1880, J. T. Hawthorn and Alex. Hampton, building committee.
PRINCIPAL OFFICE-HOLDERS. The following are the names of those who have held the principal offices in the county.
Senators: 1879, Jesse Bledsoe; 1880, F. J. McMillan; 1893, W. C. Fields; 1899, W. C. Fields; 1906, Stephen A. Taylor; 1909, R. L. Doughton; 1911, John M. Wagoner.
Representatives: 1869, Dr. J. L. Smith; 1871, Robert Gambill; 1873, Abram Bryan; 1875, W. C. Fields; 1877, E. L. Vaughan; 1879 and 1881, E. L. Vaughan; 1883, Isaac W. Landreth; 1885, Berry Edwards; 1887, R. A. Doughton; 1891, R. A. Doughton; 1893, C. J. Taylor; 1895, P. C. Higgins; 1897, H. F. Jones, 1899; J. M. Gambill; 1901, J. C. Fields; 1903, R. A. Doughton; 1905, R. K. Finney; 1907, 1909, 1911, 1913, R. A. Doughton.
Clerk of County Court: 1859 to 1862, Allen Gentry; 1862 to 1866, Horton Reeves; 1866 to 1868, C. G. Fowlkes.
Clerk Superior Court: 1864 to 1868, Win. A. J. Fowlkes; 1868 to October, 1873, B. H. Edwards. Edwards resigned and J. J. Gambill appointed. October 1873 to March 1882, J. J. Gambill; Gambill resigned and R. S. Carson appointed. March 1882 to 1890, R. S. Carson; 1890 to 1898, W. E. Cox; 1898 to 1910, J. N. Edwards; 1910 to 1914, S. F. Thompson.
Sheriff: 1859 to 1864, Jesse Bledsoe; 1864 to 1870, J. C. Jones; 1870 to 1882, J. R. Wyatt; 1882 to 1884, Berry Edwards; 1884 to 1885, George Bledsoe (died while in office); 1885 to 1888, W. F. Thompson; 1888 to 1894, W. S. Gambill; 1894 to 1898, L. J. Jones; 1898 to 1904, D. R. Edwards; 1904 to 1908, S. A. Choate; 1908 to 1910, John R. Edwards; 1910 to 1914, S, C. Richardson.
Register of Deeds: 1865 to 1868, Thompson Edwards; 1868 to 1880, F. M. Mitchell 1880 to 1882, F. G. McMillan; 1882 to 1886, F. A-7. Mitchell; 1886 to 1892, J. C. Roup; 1892 to 1898, J. N. Edwards; 1898 to 1904, S. F. Thompson; 1904 to 1908, John F. Cox; 1908 to 1914, G. D. Brown.
The following is a list of the first Justices of the Peace of the county:
A. B. McMillan, John Gambill, Berry Edwards, John A. Jones, Solomon Jones, W. P. Maxwell, Solomon Long, Nathan Weaver, Win. Warden, C. G. Fowlkes, F. J. McMillan, John Parsons, Caleb Osborn, Wm. L. Mitchell, C. H. Doughton, James Boyer, Win. Anders, Thomas Edwards, Thomas Douglass, 1. C. Heggins, Hiram Heggins, Morgan Bryan, A. M. Bryan, A. J. Woodruff, Alfred Brooks, Win. T. Choate, Daniel Whitehead, Goldman Heggins, Absalom Smith, Martin Carico, Ruben Sparks, Spencer Isom, Chesley Cheek.
Of this number, Dr. C. G. Fowlkes and Nathan Weaver are the only ones now living, 1912.
FIRST MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE. This is a copy of the first marriage record in the county:
"This is to certify that I married Calvin Caudill and Sarah Jones the 16th day of March, 1862.
TWO NOTED LAWSUITS. What is probably the most important lawsuit that ever existed in the county was W. D. Maxwell v. Noah Long, for the recovery of the "Peach Bottom Copper Mines" and for about, 1000 acres of land. This cause was carried to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals and then to the United States Supreme Court. Polk, Fields, Doughton, Watson & Buxton represented Maxwell. Vaughan, Linney, and Judge Schenk represented Long. Maxwell finally gained the suit, Chief Justice Fuller writing the opinion.
Another historical lawsuit in this county, was one of ejectment, Wm. Edwards v. Morgan Edwards. This litigation was begun about the year 1864, and lasted nearly thirteen years. The action was moved to Ashe county at one time, and probably to Watauga at another. It `vas finally disposed of at Spring term 1877 of Alleghany Superior Court. After a desperate battle, which lasted for nearly a week, the jury gave a verdict in favor of Morgan Edwards.<a href="#36" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 36
Facts as to Alleghany county furnished by Hon. S. F. Thompson.">
MITCHELL'S COUNTY SEAT. By ch. 8, Pub. Laws of 1860-61 Mitchell county was created out of portions of Yancey, Watauga, Caldwell, Burke and McDowell and by chapter 9 of the same laws it was provided that the county court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions should be "held in the house of Eben Childs on the tenth Monday after the fourth Monday in March, when they shall elect a clerk, a sheriff, a coroner, a register of deeds and entry-taker, a surveyor, a county solicitor, constables and all other officers. Thomas Farthing of Watauga, John W. McElroy of Yancey, Joseph Conley of McDowell, A. C. Avery of Burke, David Prophet of Yancey, John Harden of Watauga and James Bailey, Sr., of Yancey, were appointed commissioners to select a permanent seat of justice and secure fifty acres of land, to meet between the first of 'lay and June, 1861. Tilmon Blalock, J. A. Person, Eben Childs and Jordan Harden were appointed commissioners to lay off town lots; "and said town shall be called by the name of Calhoun."
A HITCH SOMEWHERE. But, at the first extra session of 1861 (Ratified September 4, 1861), 'Moses Young, John B. Palmer of Mitchell, John S. Brown of McDowell, Win. C. Erwin of Burke, and N. W. Woodfin of Buncombe were appointed commissioners to "select and determine a permanent seat of justice," to meet between October 1, 1861, and July 1, 1862.
STILL ANOTHER HITCH. By chapter 34, Private Laws, second extra session, 1861, the boundary lines of Mitchell were so changed as to detach from Mitchell and re-annex to Yancey all the country between the mouth of Big Rock creels and the Tennessee line, so that the county line of Mitchell should stop on Toe river at the mouth of Big Rock creek and run thence with the ridge that divides Rock Creek and Brummetts creek to the State line at the point where the Yancey and McDowell turnpike road crosses the same.
THE LAND IS DONATED. On the 17th of October, 1861, Lysander D. Childs and Ehen Childs conveyed to Tilmon Blalock, chairman of the County Court, fifty acres of land (Deed Book C, p. 30) the which fifty acres were to be used "for the location thereon of a permanent seat of justice in said county; two acres for a public grave-yard, one acre for the site of a public school building, and one-half acre to be devoted to each of the following denominations for the erection thereon of church buildings; to wit: Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists and Baptists"; the location of lots in the grave-yard and for the school and church buildings to be made by the commissioners charged by law with the duty of laying off the town lots in said seat of justice.
CALHOUN. This town was not far from Spruce Pine and Ingalls, "on a lane leading from the Burnsville and Boone road."<a href="#37" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 37
Deed Book C, p. 30."> It was what was afterwards called Childsville. But, although by chapter 61 of the second session of the laws of 1861, a term of the Superior court was directed to be held "for Mitchell county in the town of Calhoun on the sixth 'Monday after the fourth Monday each year," the county seat never assumed townlike proportions. The people never liked it; and at the first session of the legislature after the Civil War it was changed to the present site of what is now called Bakersville. But, it seems, it was first called Davis; for by chapter 2, Private Laws of 1868, the name of the "town site of Mitchell county" was changed from Davis to Bakersville.
BAKERSVILLE. On the 27th of July, 1866, for $1,000 Robbert N. Penland conveyed to the chairman of the board of county commissioners 29 acres on the waters of Cane creek "and the right of way to and the use of the springs above the old Baker spring . . to be carried in pumps to any portion of said 29 acres.<a href="#38" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 38
Deed Book E, p. 203."> This was a part of the land on which Bakersville is situated. In 1868 there was a sale of these lots, and at the December, 1868, session of the commissioners the purchasers gave their notes, due in one and two years for balances clue on the lots. The first court house in Bakersville was built by Irby & Dellinger, of South Carolina, in 1867, and on the first of November, 1869, M. P. and W. Dellinger gave notice of a mechanic's lien in the building for work done under a contract for the sum of $1,409.85 subject to a set-off of about $200. The first court held in Bakersville was in a grove near the former Bowinan house, when it stood on the top of the ridge above its present site. Judge A. S. Merrimon presided. The next court was held in a log house built by Isaac A. Pearson. The present court house was built by the Fall City Construction Company, of Louisville, Ky.
TRANSYLVANIA.<a href="#39" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 39
Facts Furnished by Hon. George A. Shuford."> This county was formed in 1861, while Marcus Erwin was in the senate and Joseph P. Jordan of Henderson county was in the house. M. N. Patton was its first representative, in 1861. Court was held in a store room on what is now Caldwell street, Brevard. The first regular court house was a small frame building which stood on site of present building. It was built by George Clayton and Eph. England, contractor, and was not quite complete in 1866. The first jail was also small and of wood. Both these, buildings were moved across the street and are still iii existence. The present court house was built about 1871 by Thomas Davis contractor. Probit Poore a built what is still known a:. the "Red House," before the Civil War; but it was not used as a hotel till William Moore opened it as such, and this was the first hotel in Brevard. In 1872 or 1873 Nathan McMinn built a store and afterwards a hotel where the present McMinn house stands and opened a hotel there about 1879. George Shuford, the father of Judge G. A. Shuford, used to own the Breese or Hume place in Brevard, and sold it to Meredith D. Cooper who built the present mansion, and sold it to Mrs. Hume. George Shuford bought the mill place from Ethan Davis and built a grist mill there, but when M. D. Cooper got it lie built a flour mill, which was burned. Cooper afterwards sold the mill to Mr. Lucas and he sold it to Mrs. Robert L. Hume, who conveyed it to her daughter, Mrs. Wm. E. Breese, the mill having been rebuilt. About 1800 George Shuford moved from Catawba county and bought land below Shuford's bridge on the French Broad river, and took up a lot of mountain land, considered valueless, but which is held today by John Thrash at $25 per acre. It is in the Little river mountains. John Clayton, father of John, George and Ephriam Clayton, settled on Davidson's river, above the mill, at the Joel-Lackey place. The Gash family were originally from Buncomhe. Leamler S. Gash lived for a time in Hendersonville where he died. He was a prominent and influential man, having represented Henderson county in 1866 in the senate; while Thomas L. (sash represented Transylvania in the house in 1874. Their ancestor had fought in the Revolutionary War. The Duckworths are another large and influential family, John having settled at the mouth of Cherryfield creek on a part of the David Allison grant, which corners there, after following the present turnpike from Boylston creek. It was here, too, that the Paxtons lived. Just prior to the Civil War, while Transylvania was a part of Henderson county, many wealthy and fashionable people from the lower part of South Carolina bought many of the finest farms and built what were palatial homes for those days. Among them were Frank McKune and William Johnston from Georgetown, S. C. Their fine teams and liveried servants are still remembered. Then, too, Robert Hume built a stone hotel at the foot of the Dunn Rock, about four miles southwest of Brevard, where he kept many summer boarders prior to the Civil War; but, during that awful time, the hotel was burned; the ruins still standing. What is still known as the Lowndes Farm, on the French Broad river, about five miles below Brevard, originally belonged to Benjamin King, a Baptist minister, who married Miss Mary Ann Shuford; but when the Cherokee country was opened to the whites, Mr. King sold it to William Ward, a son of Joshua Ward. William Ward built the fine house which stands on the land still; his father having built Rock Hall, the present home of the Westons. Ephriam Clayton was the contractor who built the Lowndes house for 'William Ward, and it was then one of the show-places of Transylvania. The Wards were South Carolina rice planters, and quite wealthy; but during the Civil War William got into debt to Mr. Lowndes, a banker of Charleston, who obtained judgments and sold the land after the war, bidding it in, and afterwards placing the farm in charge of a Scotch gardner named Thomas Wood, who immediately put the land in splendid condition the amount spent for the land and improvements having cost the estate nearly one hundred thousand dollars. Mr. Lowndes was very much attached to this place and spent much of his time there; but after his death, his grandson did not care much for it, and sold it, with stock and farm implements for a small sum to John Thrash, and he in time sold it to Col. Everett, a genial and popular gentleman of Cleveland, Ohio. He has improved the place greatly. The original farm now includes the James Clayton, the Wm. Allison and the Henry Osborne places-all fine farms. The late A. Toomer Porter, of Charleston, started to build a home on top of a small mountain, three and one half miles down the French Broad river, and a Mr. Clarkson of South Carolina started a summer residence on the opposite side, but the war stopped both enterprises. A relative of the late P. T. Barnum, owns the Hankel place about three miles from Brevard on the French Broad river. He has an extensive chicken farm, containing 5,000 white Leghorns. His name is Clark. Buck Forest, nine miles south of Brevard on Little river, containing the shoals and three picturesque falls or cascades of that stream, graphically described the "Land of the Sky," was originally the property of Micajah Thomas, who after building a hotel there before the Civil War, kept summer boarders when deer hunting was popular; but after the war sold it to Joseph Carson. The late Frank Coxe, Carson's brother-in-law, however, paid for it, and in the litigation which followed retained the title and possession by paying Carson's estate about $12,000 in 1910. The Coxe estate have since bought large tracts of land in that neighborhood and it is said will create a large lake and build a hotel on the property. The Patton family of Transylvania is one of the largest and most influential of that section, the original of that name having owned from Clayton's to the Deaver farm, a distance along the French Broad river of about three miles. They were a large family, but there was land enough to go around to about a dozen children. No better people live anywhere than the Pattons.
CHERRY FIELD. In November, 1787, Gen. Charles McDowell and Willoughby Williams entered 200 acres in Rutherford county (Buncombe county Deed Book A, p. 533), "adjoining the upper end of his Cherry Field survey on French Broad river and extending up to his Meadow Camp survey"; and in November, 1789, the State granted to Charles McDowell 500 acres on both sides of the French Broad river, including the forks of said river where the Path crosses to Estatoe (Deed Book No. 9, p. 200, Buncombe). This old Indian path to Estatoe crossed near Rosman.
BEN DAVIDSON'S CREEK.<a href="#40" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 40
What used to be called Davidson's River settlement is now known as Pisgah Forest."> On the 25th of July, 1788, Charles McDowell entered 500 acres in Rutherford county on Ben Davidson's river, including the Great Caney Cove two or three miles above the Indian Path, though the grant was not issued till December 5, 1798 (Buncombe county Deed Book 4, p. 531), and in November, 1790, Ben Davidson got a grant for 640 acres in Rutherford county on both sides of French Broad river, above James Davidson's tract, including the mouth of the Fork on the north side and adjoining Joseph McDowell's line, "since transferred to Charles McDowell." (Buncombe county Deed Book 1, p. 74.)
CLAY COUNTY AND HAYESVILLE. Clay county was enacted in 1861, but it was organized in 1864. The first sheriff was John Patterson, but he could not give the necessary bond and the commissioners appointed J. P. Chastine in his place. Then came James P. Cherry who was sheriff for many years. Win. McConnell was the first register of deeds. John C. Moore, G. W. Bristol and Harvey Penland were the first County Commissioners. The county seat was named for George W. Hayes. He lived on Valley river near Murphy and was the father of Mr. Ham Hayes, who is still living. He was an extraordinary man and much respected. He had Clay county cut off from Cherokee while he was in the legislature.
John H. Johnson of Tennessee, Robert Martin of Wilkes county, North Carolina, and Elijah Herbert of Wythe county, Virginia, married three daughters of John Alexander, of Abshers, Wilkes county, North Carolina, about 1823, and afterwards moved to Clay, then Cherokee county, when the Cherokee lands were sold. They settled near Hayesville. Elijah Herbert, who had married Winifred Alexander, died in March, 1875, aged seventy-four years. John H. Johnson died about 1895. Robert Martin died about 1880.
Clay county lands are exceedingly fertile and, with the sparkling Hiwassee river flowing through the center from east to west, with its tributaries, Tusquittee, Brasstown, Sweetwater, Shooting Creek and various other smaller streams and hundreds of clear, sparkling springs, make it a well watered country. It is surrounded on three sides by mountains forming an amphitheatre overlooking a valley that is unexcelled for natural beauty. Its soil is adapted to the production of all the grains and grasses but more especially to the growth of apples. This county has long been noted for the morality of its people and the maintenance of a high school at Hayesville, the county seat, the courts seldom last longer than two days, and often only one day, and the jail is almost always free of prisoners.
This county was settled largely by emigrants from the counties east of it. The Cherokee Indians were removed from this particular territory in the year 1838, but a number of pioneers had settled in the county prior to their removal. G. W. Hayes was the representative in the legislature from Cherokee at that time and the county seat was named in his honor. The minerals of the county are gold, corundum, asbestos, garnet, mica, kaolin, and iron.
George W. Bristol came from Burke county in the spring of 1844 and settled at the Mission Farin on Peachtree creek. The Bristols came to Burke from Connecticut. His son, Thomas B. Bristol, was born in Burke county July 3, 1830, and married Mary Addie Johnson, a daughter of the late John H. Johnson of Tusquittee, January 22, 1852. He died January 19, 1907. His widow survived him till October 8, 1911.
Archibald O. Lyon was born in Tennessee and married 'Miss M. E. Martin September 14, 1856. She was a daughter of Robert Martin, one of the first and most prominent settlers of Clay county. A. O. Lyon died February 16, 1885. He went to Raleigh soon after the Civil War and obtained a charter for a Masonic lodge at Hayesville, which was organized as Clay Lodge October 2, 1866. He was its Worshipful master ten years and a faithful member for nineteen years. He was a progressive and successful farmer, and was loved and respected by all who knew him. James H. Penland also married one of John H. Johnson's daughters, Miss Fanny E. Johnson, as did H. G. Trotter of Franklin and Win. B. Tidwell of Tusquittee two others.
John C. Moore was one of the first settlers of Clay county and lived in an Indian but which stood near a beech tree near John H. Johnson's house before the land sale. He came from Rutherford county and married Polly Bryson of Mills river. Their daughter, Sarah, married Win. H. Herbert about the year 1851.
W. P. Moore, universally called "Irish Bill," was a son of Joab Moore and was born in Rutherford county and was a brother of John C. _Moore. He married Miss Hattie Gash of Transylvania county. He was a captain in the Confederate army and "every inch a soldier." He is still living at his home on Tusquittee aged eighty-three years
Alexander Barnard settled on Hiwassee river, three miles above Hayesville. Eli Sanderson was born in Connecticut and was the father of George W. Sanderson who died some years ago. He and William Sanderson were among the first settlers of Clay county. James Coleman was also among the first settlers and owned a large farm. William Hancock lived below Hayesville and Richard Pass came early from Georgia to Clay county. One of his daughters married S. H. Haigler of Hayesville.
Joshua Harshaw was the original settler at the mouth of Brasstown creek on a good farm. He came early from Burke county. Abner Chastine came from Jackson county early and died about 1874 or 1875, when an old man. He left several children, among them having been J. P. Chastine the first sheriff of Clay county. Byron Brown married Miss Nancy Parsons and died about 1901. Daniel K. Moore, of Buncombe county, also lived on Brasstown. He married a Miss Dickey and was the father of Judge Frederick Moore. He is still living. Henry Platt, -the father of the present Rev. J. T. Platt of Clay, was also an early settler, and died many years ago.
George McLure came from Macon county long before the Civil War and settled near Hiwassee river. He was the father of W. H. McLure who has represented Clay county in the legislature. W. H. McLure married one of the daughters of R. S. Pass and was one of the California Forty-Niners. He stayed in California till the Civil War, when he returned to Clay county.
The Mission farm is now partly owned by the heirs of a Mr. Sudderth, originally of Burke county. He was at one time sheriff of Clay and a gentleman of fine character. Fort Embree, one of the collecting forts at time of the removal of the Cherokees, was on a hill just one mile southwest of Hayesville. There is an Indian 'Mound at the mouth of Peachtree creek on the old Robert McLure farm. It is about the same size as that near Franklin. There is also a mound half a mile east of Hayesville which is highest of all these mounds. It is on the land of W. H. McLure and S. H. Allison, their line splitting the mound.
Among other prominent citizens of Clay should be mentioned Dr. D. W. Killian, Dr. John Duncan, Gailor Bristol and S. H. Allison's father, who came to Clay many years ago. S. H. Allison married -Miss Elizabeth Lyon, daughter of A. O. Lyon. John O. Hicks was born in Rutherford county and was among the first school teachers in Clay county. He built up a splendid school at Fort Embree and afterwards moved to Hayesville. He represented Clay in the legislature. He closed his school in 1876 and moved to Walhalla, South Carolina, and then went to Texas, where he died in 1910.
There is now a fine high school at Hayesville. It is in charge of 'Mr. N. A. Fessenden, who succeeded John O. Hicks. Among those who have distinguished themselves after attending this school are Rev. Ferd. C. McConnell, of Texas, one of the finest preachers of the Baptist church; George Truett, another fine preacher; and Hon. George Bell of the Tenth Georgia Congressional district.
SWAIN COUNTY AND BRYSON CITY. The county was created in 1871. The first court house was a frame building, with the upper floor for a court room and the lower for a jail. The "cage" was a pen of logs, under the front outside stairs, and was used for misdemeanants only. The dungeon was a log room within a log room, the space between being filled with stone.. A padlocked trapdoor from the floor above was the only entrance, reached by a ladder let down when required. Bryson City Was first called Charleston, which name it retained sixteen years when it was called Bryson in honor of Col. Thad. Dillard Bryson who was instrumental in having the new county formed. Col. D. K. Collins built the first house there, Capt. Epp Everett the next, and James Raby and 'I. Battle followed. H. J. Beck was first clerk of court, Epp Everett sherriff, D. K. Collins postmaster, and Win. Enloe, B. McHane, and John DeHart county commissioners.
OCANALUFTY. The first settlers on this creek were Robert Collins Isaac Bradley, John Beck, John Mingus, Abraham Enloe, after whom came the Hugheses, Connors, Floyds, Sherrills, etc Col. D. K. Collins' mother had thirteen children, of whom twelve lived to be grown. Seven of her sons tool: part in the Civil War, one being killed. Their neighbor had eighteen children. The earliest settlers on Deep creel. Were the Shulers, Wiggins, and Millsaps. Those on Alarka were the Cochrans, Brendels, Welches, and DeHarts.
ROBERT COLLINS. He was the guide and assistant of Professor Arnold Guyot's surveying party in 1858-59, and Col. D. K. Collins was along as a helper, to carry the instruments, chain, stakes, etc. They followed the summit of the Smoky mountains from Cocke county, Tenn., to Blount county, Tenn., breaking up the party at Montvale springs, 16 miles from Maryville. Robert Collins was born on Oconalufty river September 4, 1806, married Elizabeth Beck, December 30, 1830, and died April 9, 1863, when he was an officer in charge of 500 troops, mostly Cherokees, in Sevier county, Tenn.
ELI ARRINGTON. He helped to carry Rhynehart, who was ill of milk-sick in 1855, near Collins gap. Wain Battle was also one of the party who helped carry Rhynehart from the mountains. About two years later he was with Dr. John Mingus, Dr. Davis and a few others going to the Alum cave where Col. Thomas got magnesia and alum during the war, and took sick and died alone in one of the roughest countries in the mountains. He was found by Col. D. K. Collins and taken to his home in Waynesville.
DANGER IN CROSSING THE UNAKAS IN WINTER. Andrew Sherman and _____ O'Neal, two lumbermen, left camp on the head of Tellico creek just before Christmas, 1899, intending to cross the Unaka mountains south of the John Stratton Meadows, near Haw Knob, so as to reach Robbinsville in time for Christmas. They got as far as the Whig cabin where they bought some whiskey from Jim Brooksher; after which they started to cross the Hooper bald. A blizzard and heavy snowstorm began and continued all that night. They were never seen again alive. In September following Forest Denton found their skeletons near the Huckleberry Knob, where Sherman's remains were buried; but some physicians took O'Neal's remains home with them.
ORIGIN OF NAVIES. Hazel creek was named from a patch of hazelnut bushes near its mouth; bland creek was named for Andrew Noland, its first settler; Chambers creek for John Chambers; Eagle creek from a nest of eagles near its head; Twenty-Mile creek is so called because it is just twenty miles from the junction of Tuckaseegee and Little Tennessee river.
WILLIAM MONTEITH. He was the father of Samuel and the grandfather of Ellis, John, Robert and Western Monteith. He married Nancy Crawford.
COL. THADDEUS DILLARD BRYSON. He was born near the present railroad station called Beta, Jackson county, February 13, 1829, was married to Miss Mary C. Greenlee of Turkey Cove, McDowell county, April 4, 1871. He died at his home at Bryson City, January 2, 1890. He represented Jackson and Swain a number of years in the legislature. He was appointed colonel commandant of the Jackson county regiment, militia, February 20, 1854, and was commissioned captain in the 20th N. C. Infantry of the Confederate army, September 7, 1861.
BRYSON CITY has one bank, three hotels, several boarding houses, a pump factory where columns and liquor logs are made, a roller mill of 35-barrel capacity, an ice plant, bottling works, a telephone system, a planing mill, lumber yards and builder's supplies, livery stables and a fine retail and wholesale trade with the surrounding country. The town owns its own water system and watershed at Rich gap of 200 acres. The water is from mountain springs and is piped to a fine reservoir on Arlington Heights overlooking the town. There is also a sewerage system. The town owns its own water power plant three miles up Deep Creek which furnishes electricity to operate the ice plant and the roller mill and the electric lights of the town, and has surplus power to sell. It has 140-horsepower capacity.
GRAHAM AND ROBBINSVILLE. Graham was formed in 1872, but it was represented in the legislature by the member from Cherokee till 1883, when George B. Walker, Esq., was elected to the house. The county commissioners-elect met at King & Cooper's store on Cheoah river, October 21, 1872, and were sworn in by J. W. King, J. P.; J. J. Colvard, John Gholey, G. W. Hooper, N. F. Cooper, and John Sawyer, commissioners, all being present. J. J. Colvard was elected chairman, and the official bond of William Carpenter, register deeds, was approved. So were also the bonds of John G. Tatham, as clerk, J. S. Hyde, as sheriff, Reuben Carver, surveyor, all of whom were sworn in. It was then ordered that the first term of the Superior court be held at the Baptist church in Cheoah township, about one mile from Robbinsville. Judge Riley Cannon held this court at that place in March, 1873; and the first court held in the court house in Robbinsville was the fall term of 1874.On the 7th of December, 1872, the commissioners considered three sites for the county seat : Rhea Hill, Fort Hill, and land of C. A. Colvards. They chose the first named. Junaluska, the Cherokee chief, lived at Robbinsville and is buried there. A tablet on an immense boulder marks his grave. Snowbird mountains, the Joanna Bald, the Hooper Bald, Huckleberry Knob, Laurel Top, the two Stratton Balds, the Hang Over, the Hay O, the Fodder Stack and the Swim Bald are the principal mountain peaks. They are the least known of any of our mountains. In them head the Santeetla, Buffalo, Snowbird, Sweet `later, the Yellow and Tallulah creeks, all of which flow into the Cheoah river. One hundred and fifty Cherokee Indians live on the head of Snowbird and Buffalo creeks. There is more virgin forest land in this county than in any other now. It has immense resources in water power, and the gorge at Rocky Point where the Little Tennessee goes through has great value as a power site. The Union Development Company has bought up many sites on these streams. In 1910-I1 the Whiting Manufacturing Company bought up many of the lots and houses in Robbinsville and many thousands of acres of timber lands. Lafayette Ghormley is the grandson of the man of that name who lived near the mouth of Mountain creek, and the son of DeWitt Ghormley. Dave Orr went to his present home between Bear and Slick Rock creeks in 1866, and his fame as a hunter and trapper is now secure. Rev. Joseph A. Wiggins, a distinguished Methodist minister of this county, was born on Alarka creek in 1832, but moved with his father to Graham in 1840, when there was but one wagon road, that from Old Valley Town to Fort Montgomery, just constructed for the soldiers who removed the Indians in 1838. Dr. Dan F. Summey of Asheville was in charge of its construction. There were no mills except a few grist mills, an wheat was "packed" on horses by a trail to a mill five mile from what is now Bryson City-a distance of about thirty miles. Indian relies were then plentiful at the head of Tallulah creek at what is called The Meadows. 11r. Wiggins married a daughter of George W. Hayes, after whom Hayesville was named. There was not a church in the county and but a few log school houses. He began to preach in 1859, and served four years as chaplain in the Confederate army, after which he rode circuits in Tennessee, Southwestern Virginia and Western North Carolina till stationed in Graham county. His great-grandfather Garland Wiggins served in the Revolutionary War, as did his wife's great-grandfather, Edward Hayes. Andrew Colvard lived on Long Hungry branch, which got its name from the fact that a party of hunters was once detained there by high water till their rations gave out and they were for a long time hungry. The Stewarts of Santeetla came from Georgia and the Lovens from Ducktown, Tenn. John and Robert Stratton came from Monroe county, Tenn., in the thirties and settled on the Unaka mountains between the head of Sassafras ridge and Santeetla creek. John lived on the John Stratton Bald ten years and caught 19 panthers on Laurel Top, making "bacon" of their hams and shoulders. He came with nothing but his rifle, blanket, skillet and ammunition, but made enough herding cattle and selling deer and bear hams and hides, etc., to buy a fine farm in Monroe county, Tenn. On a rude stone on the John Stratton meadow is carved:
A State Line stone stands about a quarter of a mile away. John Ropetwister, Organdizer, Big Fat Coinmisseen and others moved from East Buffalo creek to Slick Rock during the Removal of 1838, where they remained in concealment till Col. Thomas arranged to have the remnant remain. They sent their women into Tennessee to swap bear and deer hides for meal. Thomas Cooper, the father of James W. Cooper of Murphy, lived on Tallulah three miles east of Robbinsville. There was a large and influential family of Crisps who settled on Stekoah, of whom Hon. Joel L. Crisp is a distinguished representative. Rev. Isaac Carringer came from the eastern part of this State and lived on Sallteetla. He was a Baptist minister and died about 1897, highly respected. John Dentotl the most picturesque mountaineer in this section, moved from Yolk count-, Telln., to Little Santeetla in 1879. In 1900 he was crippled while logging. He stands six feet three in his stockings. Soon after his arrival some of the bullies of Robbinsville tested John's pluck; but he worsted five of them in a fist fight, and since then lie has lived in peace. His, wife's mother was Jane Meroney, and a first cousin of Jefferson Davis. She married a Turner, Mrs. Denton's given name being Albertine.
AVERY COUNTY. This was created in 1911, out of portions of Watauga and Mitchell counties, principally.<a href="#41" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 41
Caldwell also contributed to this territory"> At an election held August 1, 1911, Old Fields of Toe was selected as the county seat. It so happened that this land had been granted to Col. Waightstill Avery November 9, 1783. It was in his honor that this, the 100th county, was named, while the county seat was called Newland, in honor of Hon. W. C. Newland, of Lenoir, then the lieutenant governor of the State. The jail and court house were completed sufficiently to allow court to be held in April, 1913, Judge Daniels presiding. There are two legends concerning the reason this tract was called the Old Fields of Toe. L. D. Lowe, Esq., in the Watauga Democrat of June 19, 1913, states that one legend relates that Estatoe, the daughter of one of two rival chieftains, fell in love with the son of the other; but her father refused his consent, which caused a bloody war between the two factions. But Estatoe caused a pipe of peace to be made with two stems of titi so that two could smoke it at once. The two rival chiefs assembled their respective followers on the bank of the river, and smoked till peace was concluded and Estatoe married her lover. The other legend is that found in The Balsam Groves of the Grandfather mountain (p. 221), and in it Estatoe is made to drown herself because she could not wed her Indian lover because of her father's implacable opposition.
AVERY COUNTY'S LONG PEDIGREE. " It was a part of Clarendon in 1729; of New Hanover in 1729; of Bladen in 1734; of Anson in 1749; of Rowan in 1753; of Surry in 1770; of Burke in 1777; of Wilkes in 1777; of Ashe in 1799; of Yancey in 1833; of Caldwell in 1841; of Watauga in 1849; of Mitchell in 1861; so that that portion taken from Caldwell and attached to Avery in 1911 represents the eighth subdivision; and that from Watauga the tenth; which is a record probably unsurpassed. "<a href="#42" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 42
L. D. Lowe, Esq., in Watauga Democrat, May 23, 1913."> The principal reason for the formation of this new county was the inaccessibility of Bakersville to most of the inhabitants of Mitchell, it being in the northeastern part of that county and only two and a half miles from the Yancey line.<a href="#43" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 43
Ibid"> Lineville City, two miles from Montezuma and Pinola, is "the cleanest town in the North Carolina mountains east of Asheville, and the only place of the kind where guests have a large, ideal zone for golf. "<a href="#44" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 44
Balsam Groves, 223"> The same author speaks of the Yonahlossee road, running from Linville City to Blowing Rock, as the Appian Way which ran from Rome via Naples, to Brundesium, and claims that the latter was not more interesting than the former.<a href="#45" class="toolTip" title="Footnote: 45
The same author claims that the Old Fields of Toe, now Newland, was a muster ground before the Civil War, p. 180."> The world will one day admit that the fine scenery of North Carolina has its culmination in Avery county.