Watauga County - Sketches of Prominent Families, 6

Watauga County, NC
Sketches of Prominent Families, 6

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Ellen, who married Bruce Harman; Louisa, who married Jacob Younce; Martha, who died unmarried at the age of sixteen; Nancy, who married William Church; Elizabeth, who married Richard McGuire.

From the gravestones in the Cove Creek graveyard the following was taken; Rev. Brazilla McBride was born September 27, 1790, and died December 10, 1858; Hiram McBride was born August 9, 1818, died May 26, 1869; Rachel, wife of Brazilla McBride, born February 15, 1797, died August 18, 1839.

From the A. J. McBride graveyard the following was taken: Rev. Andrew J. McBride was born November 27, 1822, and died November 12, 1891; Silas McBride was born November 18, 1827, and when he died he was aged seventy-two yeare, six months and twenty days; Elijah Green was born November 4, 1800, died July 15, 1882. His wife was born October 10, 1803, and died January 8, 1879.

Willis McGhee came to this county early in the nineteenth centruy and resided with Jordan Councill, bringing with him a fine stallion and a negro man slave. McGhee married Bettie, daughter of Jordan Councill, Sr., and settled in Hodges Gap of the Rich Mountain. Their children were: Jordan C., James H. and KWillis, Jr., Eveline, Carolina, Louisa, Elvira and mary. Jordan C. married Eliza Todd, a daughter of James Todd; James H. married Vini Vandyke; Willis, Jr., married a Miss Halll of Wilkes; Eveline married Bart Wood, a brick mason; Carolina married Col. J. B. Todd; Louisa married, first, Nathan Hartley, but he died in the Civil War, and then she married J. B. Clark. She still lives; Elvira never married; Mary married Thomas Triplett. Jorcan C. was a brick mason, but has been in a hospital on account of poor health for many years.

Mast Family.-- Joseph Mast, the first of the name to come to Valle Crucis, Watauga County, was born in Randolph County, North Carolina, 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 a brother of the Jacob Mast who

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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 twenty 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, Orange, Florida, Illlinois, 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, ll of which are devoted to an excellent record of all the Masts in America. John A. Mast was born on Brush Creek September 22, 1829. He married Martha Moore, of John's 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.

Joseph Harrison Mast.-- His father was John Mast and his mother, Susan Harman, who are buried at the Taylor burying-ground at Valle Crucis. John Mast's father was Joseph, and he lived where Finley Mast now lives, while Cutliff Harman lived where David Harman now lives. Joseph H. Mast was born April 9, 1829, and married Clarissa P. Moore October 12, 1848. Her father was Daniel Moore, of the Globe, Caldwell County. Their children were: Sophronia, wife of Newton Banner, born July 15, 1850; Andrew J., born February 25, 1852; Leona, born December 2, 1853; Martha V., born April 20, 1856; John H., born October 19, 1858; Allie J., born May 8, 1861; Sarah C. born August 19, 1863; Daniel H., born June 26, 1866; Joseph C., born May 8, 1869. He settled at his present home at Sugar

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Grove in 1848, and built the dam and grist mill of the present Mast mill before the Civil War, bolting the ground wheat by an old reel still in existence, though J. C. and J. H. Mast, his sons, changed that old mill into the first roller mill in Watauga County in 1897, E. F. Bingham building the second half a mile above. His children married as follows: Andrew Jackson married Joana King, Leona A. married Robert Mast; Martha V. Married Thomas Sullivan; John H. married, first, Eleline, daughter of Hiram McBride, and second, Nancy, daughter of Hiram Wilson; Alice J. married Finley Mast; Sarah C. married John Smith; Daniel H. married Ruia Lowrance; Joseph C. married, first, Nora Phillips, and, second, Ada Madron, of Bristol, Va. Joseph H. Mast, Sr., died September 8, 1915.

The brothers and a sister of J. H. Mast, Sr., were: Noah, who married Elizabeth Roland; Leson, who married Sally Dugger; Eli, who married Callie Dugger; Jack, who married Martha Moore, of the Globe, and Finley P., who married Rhoda Smith.

Miller Family.-- According to Clyde C. Miller, of Sands, N.C., there is a tradition that, several years before the Revolutionary War, three young men, a Horton, a Miller and Baird, all married sisters named Eldridge and moved to the upper Yadkin from Pennsylvania. They probably came with the Jersey settlers. Tradition also gives this Miller the name of William and credits him with having fought in the Revolution. His son, David, was one of the first settlers in the bounds of what is now Watauga county, near Meat Camp Creek. David Miller and Levi Murphey or Morphew were constables and called the first court in Watauga to order. David had twelve children, seven sons and five daughters: Wayne, David, John, William, Joseph, Ephriam and Jonathan: Lydia, who married a Bingham, Rebecca, who married Battle Bryan; Polly, who married a Lookabill; Elizabeth, who married an Allison, and Nancy, who married a Lewis.

Wayne's sons were: William, James, Daniel, Jonathan and Alfred. David, a brother of Wayne, was the father of Clingman, who has been for years in the State of Washington; George, Mrs. L. D. Cole [Sharon's note - Mrs. L. D. Cole was named Martha Angeline and the "L.D." was for Lorenzo Dow] and Mrs. George Moody were also children of Wayne. Daniel lived and died on Cove Creek.

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John lived on Meat Camp and was the father of three boys and four girls: Jonathan, Calvin, Thomas, Myra, Katharine, Carolina and Angeline, all the boys having been in the Confederate army. Calvin lived at Sutherland and died in the summer of 1913; J.B. Miller lived on Meat Camp and died December 14, 1914. Myra married a Greer and moved to Kentucky; Caroline married John Norris and moved to Kentucky, Katharine married B.D. Burkett, and Angeline married C. P. Todd. All have been dead a number of years.

William Miller, captain of Company 1, 58th North Carolina, was the father of Ephriam, Harrison, Silas, John, Wayne, David and Levi.

Joseph married Sally, daughter of Edmund Blackburn, and had two sons, Lorenzo Dow, who lives near Zionville, and Frank, who lives on Meat Camp. Ephriam also was a soldier in the Confederate army, and had two sons, Alexander and David, the latter living in Tennessee. Jonathan also served in the Civil War and is the only one of these brothers still living. He is in good health and lives on Howard's Creek, although ninety-odd years in age. He married Rebecca, a daughter of Levi Blackburn, and is the father of Edmund and Henry and of Carolina, who married Ben Tugman; of Neomi, who married Marsh Tugman, and of Martha, who married Pat Hodges, all of whom are yet living.

Moretz Family.-- John Moretz was born in Randolph County, North Carolina, about 1788. His first wife was a Miss Moser, and to this union were born nine children. John's second wife was Catharine Hefner, and from this marriage there were sixteen children, eight boys and eight girls, Alfred Jacob Moretz, of Deep Gap, having been the eighth child. The first John Moretz's father came from Pennsylvania, and he and his wife were full-blooded Germans. John Moretz and his second wife and family came from Randolph County in September, 1839, and there Alfred Jacob was born the following October. John bought land and the original mill on Meat Camp from Samuel Cooper, who then moved to Meadow Creek. John's eldest son first moved west, but returned and lived at Soda hill, which he bought from a Morris. He died September 12, 1868. Alfred

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J. married Mary Emeline Lutz, who was born in Burke and reared in Caldwell. She was a daughter of Ambrose L. Lutz, who had moved from Lincoln to Burke and then to Caldwell, near Rutherford College. With John Moretz also came one son and two daughters by his first marriage. He reared three daughters and two sons by the first wife, and seven girls and seven boys by the ssecond lived to be grown, although there were four of his daughters who died of diphtheria during the Civil War within a few days of each other. Of John's children, Christian, now dead, married a Miss Stirwalt; John, Miss Jane Miller; William, a Miss Condor; Jonathan, a Miss Norris; Zachariah Taylor married, first, a Miss Bowman and then a Miss Ferguson; Joseph L. married a Miss Miller, a sister of John Moret's wife; Sallie, who married Jacob Winebarger; Carolina, who married A. S. Davis; Mary, who married a Miller, the three youngest of John's daughters having died young and before marrying. Joseph L. Moretz was the father of J. M. Moretz, of Boone.

Morphew Family.-- Joseph Morphew married Mary Burke, a sister of the Tory colonel, Benjamin Burke, who was killed at the battle of the Shallow Ford. Their children were: Mary, who married Ephriam Norris; Naomi, who married Ephriam Allison; James, who married and one of whose children, Mary, married Thomas Robbins, Sr., the rest of the going to Butler County, Ohio, before the Civil War, about 1820; Silas married Elizabeth England about 1775. The Morphews were Quakers and Tories, and Silas was hanged, but a woman held him up by the legs till help came and he was cut down and his life saved. This happened in Rowan, probably. The children of Silas and Elizabeth were: Uriah, born about 1780 and married a Fairchild; Obediah, born about 1782 and married a Berry; Silas, who married Matilda Cayton; John M., who married Sarah Blackburn in 1813; James, who never married; Aaron, who married Nancy Sample; Rhoda, who married Samuel Todd; Jennie, who married George Wells. Peggy, Kizzy and Sallie never Married. All left this country long ago, except John Morphew, grandfather of Cyrus A. Grubb.

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Norris Family.--John Norris came to North Carolina from Pennsylvania before the Revolutionary War and was probably a loyalist. His son, John, was born in Wilkes County, and his wife was Nancy Brown, of the same county. They moved to Ashe, now Watauga, and settled on Meat Camp and there their son, Ephriam, was born, July 12, 1819. This son was killed March 28, 1865, at Boone by Stoneman's men. He had married Margaret Greene in 1842. Captain Elijah J. Norris was born at the same place as Ephriam September 4, 1843, and married Mary E. Norris, whose father was first cousin to Ephriam, his name having been John. Their children were: Emma B., born November 20, 1869, and married W. R. Greene; Jackson Ephriam, who was born April 25, 1877, and married, first, Zenna Brown in 1904, and second, Maggy Hardy in 1913; Mollie A., born March 30, 1887, not married. Captain E. J. Norris joined Col. J. B. Palmer's regiment at Johnson City, Tenn., July 12, 1862. He was wounded five times, the last time desperately through the hips, September 4, 1864. He was in Boone when Stoneman passed through in March, 1865, and told his father to run when he became sure the men were regular troops and not Jim Hartley's crowd, whom the Home Guard expected to attack them that day. These were native Union men who claimed to be in the service of the Union. The Home Guard had met that morning in Boone and elected Jordan Cook captain and himself (E. J. Norris) a lieutenant, to keep order and prevent depredations by marauders. Stoneman got to Boone about 11 a.m. and burned the jail that night. In 1910 E. J. Norris was elected commander of the Nimrod Triplet Camp U. C. V. No. 1273.

John Norris a son of William, Sr., married Rachel Sands, a sister of David, and reared a family of seven children: Sallie, who never married, Anna, who married Joseph Hayes; Lucinda, who married George Brown; Susan, who married John H. Brown; Mary, who married E. J. Norris; Joel S., who married Sarah Hopkins; William D., who married, first, Bartlett Brown's daughter, and, second, Miss Parlier. They lived three miles east of Boone on the Jefferson road, and used to operate a carding machine for carding wool into rolls. Joel Norris, son of

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William, Sr., lived near Soda Hill, which he owned and is famous and much admired. He married Polly Griffa and reared three children: Granville, Millard and Bittie. Bittie married Ed. Gragg and moved to Oregon. Joel and wife are both dead, whild all their children are still living.

William Norris.-- He lived on Brushy Fork, near its mouth, where it empties into Meat Camp Creek, and married, first, a Miss Case and their child married Isaac Greer and moved to Kentucky. His second wife was Eunice Shinn, from which union were five boys, Samuel, Levi, Joel, Jonathan and David, and three girls, Rebecca, Anna and Myra, all of whom married and reared families. Samuel married a lady near Ducktown, Tenn.; Levi married Margaret Morphew, daughter of John; Joel married a lady of the name of Griffith; Jonathan married Ailsey Proffitt; David married Matilda Proffitt; Rebecca married Samuel Trivette; Anna married Michael Cook; Myra married Jacob Cook. Of the last marriage about eighteen children were reared, the eldest daughter marrying John Hartley. He was a son of Eli and Delphia Hartley, and was born on the 8th day of February, 1835, "The Cold Saturday."

A.W. Penley, who lived on the southeast side of the Blue Ridge, about twelve miles from Boone, on Joe's Fork of Buffalo Creek, was the first county court clerk of Watauga County elected by the people. He was a man of great intelligence, and a magistrate for many years. He was also postmaster at Penly Postoffice several years. He married, first, Rena Triplett, to which union were born Adolphus, Robey and Alice. He was a clever man, whnt through the Civil War and returned without a wound. He was also a member of the county court for several years, and a great hunter.

The Perkins Family.-- L. N. Perkins, who lives on the Jefferson Road, two miles from Boone, is a worthy representative of this distinguished family. Joseph and Timothy Perkins were the first of the name in these mountaing, and came from one of the New England States, where they had been tax-gatherers just

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prior to the commencement of the Revolutionary War. But being loyalists, they were not welcome there after that great struggle began. They moved to Old Fields in Ashe County, retaining their allegiance to the British crown all during that struggle, Timothy losing his life in a skirmish in Ashe. He left several sons and one daughter, Lucy, who married a Young. Joseph also left sons and daughters. Granny Skritch, who lived with one of her perkins relatives on Little Wilson, remained loyal to King George even whenshe had reached a gret age.

Presnell Family.--Solomon Presnell was born in Chatham County in 1810 and came to Watauga county in 1827. His wife was Mary Mundy, who was born in what is now Alexander County in 1813. Their children were: Melvin, who died in infancy; Carolina, who died when three years old; Wesley Wayne, who was born July 22, 1837, on Cove Creek road at the vanderpool Place. He married Susan Adeline Gragg March 17, 1861. The next child was Amanda, who married Holoden Moody; Benjamin, who was killed at Bentonville, Squire Adams, who married, first, Catharine Hartley, and, second, Mattie Fox; James M., who married Rebecca Greene; Rufus W., who married Sallie VanDyke; N. Jerome, who married Caroline Hodges; Mary A., who married David Fox. Solomon's father was Nathan Presnell, and his wife was Mary Whitehead. He came and settled near Lenoir in 1814. She was probably reared in Union or Chatham county. Besides Solomon, their children were: William, who married a Miss Watkins, of Alexander County; Elijah, who married and had several children, but lived in Alexander County. Mary Whitehead had a brother who went to Tennessee and settled on Elk Creek.

Asa Reese, Pioneer.-- Valentine Reese came from Germany to America about 1750 and married Christina Harman, settling at the old Bowers Place, now called Trade, Tenn. Their children were: John, born in 1770 and married Sarah Eggers, John dying at age seventy and his wife at age ninety-six. They reared ten children: Hiram, born in 1798, married Rhoda Smith and settled in Watauga. They had six children, and after Rhoda's death Hiram married Martha McCall, six children having

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blessed this union. A divorce followed, and two years later Hiram married his third wife, Jane Widby, by whom he had one child, a daughter. Hiram died July 9, 1872, aged seventy-four years. Asa, son of Hiram and Rhoda, was born May 9, 1820, and married Catharine Wagner February 27, 1845, settling two miles from what is now Mountain City, Tenn. His wife joined the Baptist Church in February, 1872, and he in December, 1876. They had ten children, one of whom, a girl, dying in childhood. Asa died November 27, 1898, and was buried near his home and daughter, Rhoda. Asa's children were Jehiel, Asa, Joh, Nelson, Cinderella, Mahetebel. After the death of his first wife Hiram Reese moved his family to what was known as the old Jim Reese house, below Phillip Greer's on Cove Creek, in 1830. In 1832, during a cold spell, a family named Hutchinson, with their teammm, were added to the family of fourteen already at the small house, where they remained till warm weather, without money and without price. During this time Asa and his brother had to sleep on the open porch, with a snow coverlet frequently to keep them warm. In copartnershipwith Samuel Reese, of Buncombe, Hiram Reese lost much money wagoning to South Carolina, and the sheriff sold him out for debt about 1834-35, and the family was broken up. In the fall of 1838 Asa, with Alfred Adams (father of T. P. Adams) and Sarah Mast, took a trip to Sequachy Valley, Tenn., near Collins River, Warren County, Asa's father having consented that the boy should keep all he earned after reaching nineteen years of age. In the fall of 1840 Asa, with Hiram McBride, Riley Wilson, two of Asa's uncles, a girl named Roland, and two daughters of Jacob Reese, went to the Platt Purchase, Mr., 300 miles west of the Mississippi River, where he stopped with his uncle, James Webb, crossing the Platt River at New Market. But McBride got home-sick and returned. Asa returned to this state in the spring of 1844 in company with John Ellington and Reuben Sutherland going to his uncle, Bennett Smith's, and his cousins, George and Polly Hayes. In the summer of 1844 he worked for awhile with the Fairchild ladies on Howard's Creek, where he flirted with a girl named Winkler whom these ladies

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had hired to weave for them, much to their disgust. But Asa concluded that "old maids are the most jealous, superstitious, whinning old things that belong to the human family." He decided not to enlist for the Mexican War, visiting his father in Russell County, Virginia, and finding him in poverty, but he declared he loved him as much and reverenced him more than if hehad given him a couple of thousands of dollars, adding that children who are aided by their parents often forget them, and sometimes their God, as well. While Asa was a small boy he and his brother attended Sunday School in a small old log house which stood at the mouth of a hollow, just below where the widow, Ann Farthing, used to live on Beaver Dams. This must have been about 1828, and was undoubtedly the first Sunday Schoold of which there is any record known to this writer. Thus, to the many other good deeds, the Farthings have the glory of having instituted Sunday Schools, now universal, then unknown. The house in which Asa was born stood on a branch of Sharpe's Creek and was built of logs, with puncheon floor, the chimney of which was built of stone inside and of wood outside to the top of the mantelpiece, above which it was of sticks and clay. It was covered with old-fashioned clap-boards. His father had a smoke house for his meat, though many hung their meat in the gables of their homes, thus giving all kinds of meat a chance to become smoked yellow, including hog, beef, bear, venison, coon, etc.

Col. J. J. T. Reese, eldest son of Asa Reese, was born near Mountain City (then Taylorsville), Tenn., June 21, 1849, where he was educated, and afterwards taught school at Butler and elsewhere. He was in the mercantile business at Butler in copartnership with L. L. Maples, afterwards moving to his farm on Beaver Dams, N. C., where he remained three years. He married Margaret N. Wagner, Daughter of N. T. Wagner, ESq., near Shouns, Tenn., April 19, 1880. She was granddaughter of David Wagner, who came from Davie County, North Carolina, partly cutting his way through the mountains to Roan Creek, where he settled and became owner of a thousand acres of that fertile land. After his marriage, J. J. T. Reese moved

Sketches 7

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