Thursday, September 30, 2010

Greenwood Families ~ Early Settlers in Union and Fannin

One county was formed from another in early settler days of establishing geographic county lines. It sometimes becomes hard for subsequent generations to distinguish just where their families lived in the years of the 1830’s through the 1860’s until Georgia’s county lines were fairly well established. Such a name was that of Greenwood, early Union settlers, but not the earliest, to this mountain region.

An examination of the 1834 census of Union County reveals no Greenwood family, but by 1840 James Greenwood and his wife and two small children under five were residents of Union County. It is not until 1850 that we find another family of Greenwoods, that of Martin Greenwood , age 34, and his wife Lucinda, age 24, with children John, 7, William 4, Mary 1, and living in the house with them, Margaret Morrison, age 64, (or Morris ?) who we find was the mother of Martin’s first wife, Lucinda Morris. James Greenwood and his family were not listed in the 1850 Union census. Since we find later that they lived in the more remote section called the Noontootla District, James’s family may have been missed by the census taker in 1850. And were James and Martin Greenwood brothers or cousins? That I have not established yet, but I did find by researching family records that Martin Greenwood’s parents were John and Mary Margaret (called “Polly”) Hurst Greenwood.

Before we go into the confusion of which county the Greenwoods lived in—Union or Fannin—let us look at the origin of the Greenwood surname. It is English, and was a place name meaning the “place of the Green Wood.” The first we find on record spelled the last name Greenwode. Wyomarus de Grenwode was a caterer for Maude (or Matilda), Empress, mother of King Henry II of England. King Henry reigned in England from 1154-1189. As chief cook for the king’s mother, Wyomarus de Grenwode was among the titled gentry. A great manor house constructed of hand-hewn stone near Hedbon Bridge in Heptonstall, Yorkshire, England still stands today as a monument to the noble Wyomarus de Grenwode who erected it. It was from this English family that John Greenwood of North Carolina, established as Martin father’s (and maybe James’s, too) was descended.

And now back to the 1840-1860 era here in the mountains, and why the Greenwood families were no longer listed in Union County after 1850. Fannin County was founded in 1854 from portions of what was Union and Gilmer. Martin A. Greenwood (1818-1866) lived near what became Fannin’s first county seat town, Morganton. He had a rather large farm there, and was also a merchant and a leather tanner. He didn’t have to move to be a citizen of first one and then the other county.

James Greenwood and his wife lived farther up in the mountain region. Their farm was in the Noontootla District. They are listed in both the 1860 and 1870 census of the new county, Fannin. They did not move but because of where they lived they also became citizens of Fannin.

In 1850, Martin Greenwood was 34, and he and his wife Lucinda, 24, were listed as having three children, John 7, William 4, and Mary, 1. Lucinda’s mother, Margaret Morrison (thus listed by census-taker) lived with them. Her name may have been Morris, not Morrison. Then by 1860, Martin was listed in the Fannin County census at Morganton, a merchant and farmer, with considerable wealth at that time, property evaluated at $1,000 and available money at $3,900. He was evidently a widower by 1860, with five children: John 18, William 15, Margaret 11, Andrew 7 (named for his father, for Martin’s middle name was Andrew) and Samner, 3 months. Living in the household with them was Benjamin C. Chastain, age 27, who evidently helped Martin A. Greenwood with his mercantile business, as Benjamin was listed as a store keeper. I did not find, by researching cemetery books of both Union and Fannin Counties, a marked gravestone for Lucinda Morris(on?) Greenwood.

There is a marriage record for Martin Greenwood to Sarah Freeman . They were wed on October 4, 1860, with the Rev. J. B. Parham performing the ceremony. Sarah was the widow of Samuel Freeman. Her maiden name was Parks. She and Samuel Freeman had married in Union County on October 28, 1849, with the Rev. T. M. Hughes performing their ceremony. How Sarah’s first husband died is not known to this writer.

Born to Martin and Sarah Greenwood were three more children, Emma Frances, Thomas Martin (1863-1938) and Molly. Martin Greenwood served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. He plied his trade of tanning and leather-crafting while in service, making shoes for the soldiers. He was stationed at Carnesville in Franklin County. Whether he became ill while in service, or contracted some disease that left him vulnerable to illness is not known. He died in 1866 not long after the war and returned to his store and farm in Morganton. I searched both the Fannin and Union County cemetery books for his gravesite, but found no marked stone listed. John R. Greenwood, the son of Martin A. and his first wife, Lucinda, studied law and became a prominent lawyer and farmer in Morganton. He was for a time the internal revenue tax collector and also served as a commissioner of the U. S. Circuit Court of the area.

Sarah, widow of Martin Greenwood, had a hard struggle to rear his children and their children without their father. In the 1870 census of Fannin, she was age forty, with five children still at home. Thomas, their son, early became interested in medicine, and began to study it, first by associating with Dr. T. T. Fain of Morganton in his office and going with him on house calls around the countryside. Thomas went to Atlanta Medical College (later named Emory) where he graduated in 1888. He returned to Morganton where he practiced medicine until 1900. He then moved his family to Oklahoma and then on to Texas.

Emma Frances Greenwood, daughter of Martin and Sarah, married Judson Rucker Chastain, a son of the famed Elijah Webb Chastain, a representative and senator who lived in Morganton. Judson Rucker himself entered politics and ran against the famed Benjamin C. Dugger as representative in 1884.

Martin and James Greenwood, early Union County settlers, did not remain listed as Union County citizens because of the formation of the new county of Fannin in 1854. But Greenwood, a name that goes back to the twelfth century in England, is well-known in many parts of the United States. In fact, Greenwood, SC is named for some of the first settlers to that area of our country. Even here in this country, the Greenwoods seemed to enjoy settling in rural areas where their name described the towering trees growing around them in the deep forests.

c 2010 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Sept. 30, 2010 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Saluting Major James Leon Davenport

When James Leon Davenport, the first child of John Prescott Davenport (better known as Press) and Ethel Lee Souther Davenport was born on December 9, 1926 in Blairsville, it is not known whether his parents then thought of his growing up and becoming a soldier.

Did he play soldier as a little boy, dreaming that some day he would wear the uniform of his country and face the enemy bravely? When he volunteered for the US Army in 1945, he was destined for a career in service, one that would lead him to many places in the world and from which he would retire as one of the most-decorated soldiers from Union County, one who was distinguished for heroism and noble service.

Leon’s friend, Charles Waymon Cook, who grew up in Blairsville and became a teacher and poet, has written a noteworthy tribute to Leon in a poem. With Charles’s permission, I share that poetic tribute to Leon:

A Gallant Soldier
(In tribute to Major James Leon Davenport.
Retired, 24th Infantry Division and 3rd Infantry Division, US Army
by Charles Waymon Cook)

A gallant soldier from the hills
With valor demonstrated;
When Leon’s nation needed him,
He never hesitated.

Twenty-one years in three tough wars
He fought for liberty;
While decorated many times,
He wore humility.

Commissioned on the battlefield
For bravery sublime,
He risked his life for other men
When he was in his prime.

Our country owes its gratitude
For services well done;
He gave the best one man could give
With earthly battles won.

In quietude his pace has slowed
As age and time drift in;
Let’s not forget this gentle giant—
A soldier and a friend.
I am grateful to Charles Waymon Cook, poet, who ably captured the life and spirit of brave soldier Major James Leon Davenport in his poem, “Gallant Soldier.” More of his poems can be read in his recently-published book entitled Beyond the Mountain Haze.

But this salute is to the soldier, Major James Leon Davenport. His military career, spanning twenty-one years, saw him volunteering for the infantry as a private as World War II was coming to a close in 1945. During his career, he served 131 months overseas in various locations. He was in the Philippines, Korea, Japan, Germany, and Vietnam. During the Korean War, he was in the famed 24th Infantry Division about which we can now read in the histories of this war. His was the very first unit to see action in Korea.

From private to major, he worked through the ranks, serving admirably as a rifleman, in a tanker, as a platoon leader, as company commander, and as his battalion’s executive officer. During those years, he practiced fairness and soldierly conduct, admired and emulated by those who needed a role model for their own military service.

On five occasions he was decorated for heroism. Three Silver Stars are among his medals, as are the Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Bronze Star with victory medallion, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, Combat Infantry Badge, and others. You do not hear of his decorations from him. Ever humble and grateful that he had opportunity to serve his country, he is the last to talk about or ever boast of how his country recognized his service. But we are beginning to find out, and we gladly salute Major James Leon Davenport.

After his first ten years in the Army, he came back to Blairsville in 1955, but then in 1961 he was recalled to active duty during the Berlin Crisis. He spent eleven more years serving his country until he retired in August of 1972. Toward the end of his service career, he was Inspector General of Fort Knox, Kentucky.

His retirement from active military service did not bring an end to Major Davenport’s career. Recognizing his leadership and administrative skills, the Board chose him to became CEO of the new and struggling Union General Hospital. As administrator there for 21 years, until his retirement from that position in August, 1993, Leon Davenport led the hospital to accreditation and to a stature of notability, with a strong health care team and excellent medical facilities.

Active in his church and community, Leon Davenport is citizen, patriot, family man and friend. He comes from a long line of solid citizens whose ancestors both paternally and maternally go back to the Davenports who settled in the area of Davenport Mountain in the Ivy Log District and the Southers who established Souther Mill in the Choestoe District. Leon’s parents, John Prescott Davenport and Ethel Lee Souther Davenport met “about half-way between” their places of birth—at the Blairsville Collegiate Institute when they were both students there. They were married July 19, 1925. Leon was their first child. He had two siblings: Vivian Evangeline Davenport who married Kenneth Roy Chambers and Douglas Davenport who was born 12/9/1931 and died 6/3/1981.

James Leon Davenport and Barbara Hooper Twiggs were married September 18, 1953. They have just recently celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary. Their children are Cayce Lynn Davenport Friedly (married to David Friedly) and Ralph Douglas Davenport (married to Delila Echemendia).

For his service to country and community, and for his firmly held family and spiritual values that continue to make our country a leader among nations, we salute Major James Leon Davenport!

c 2010 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Sept. 23, 2010 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Henson Family Name in Early Union County History

When the special census of 1834 was taken, only one Henson family appeared, that of Joseph Henson, Senior, with Joseph himself and his wife in the household.

Proceeding to the next census in 1840, three households of Hensons were in Union. In the Charles Henson household were two male children, three female children, and Charles and his wife. In the Joseph Henson household were eight male children, four female children and Joseph and his wife. In the Joseph Henson, Sr. household, the same as noted from 1834, the residents had increased to five male children, eight female children, and the mother and father. With such an increase in Joseph, Sr.’s household, we wonder how this accounting could have come about in just six years. Maybe the 1850 census will reveal some answers, or perhaps we can find other clues from family history stories that will add light to these early Henson settlers to the county.

By 1850, the first census with children in households listed by names rather than just an age bracket, we discover Hensons in eight enumerated households, with the number of persons by that name totaling thirty-three, but Daniel Henson, age 19, seems to have been counted twice, first with his own family, and again in the household of M. C. Wilson and his wife, Mary Wilson and their three small children, William, Martha and Eliza Wilson. (Could Daniel and Mary Wilson have been brother and sister and he was visiting them—or working on M. C. Wilson’s farm—when the census-taker called?). A listing, besides that of the Wilsons, in which Hensons were enumerated in 1850 was as follows:

(#65) Allen Henson, 56, and his wife, Elizabeth, 56, with children Edy, 18, Elizabeth, 14, Daniel, 19, and George, 21—all born in North Carolina. Allen Henson’s occupation was listed as cooper—or barrel-maker.

(#466) Archibald Henson, age 74, was born in Virginia. Evidently his wife was not living in 1850. Listed in his household are children Charity, 30 and Ages, 18, both born in North Carolina, and Edmund, age 10 (a young child for a 74-year old man; could he have been a grandchild?), born in Tennessee.

(#471) Charles Henson, age 65, his wife Sally, 64, and one child still at home, Charles. All three were born in South Carolina.

(#475) Eli Henson, age 39, and his wife, Elizabeth, age 29, both born in North Carolina, and their three small children, James 7, Archibald, 5, and Jacob, 1, all born in Georgia. In this household was Jacob Ledford, age 20. (Could he have been a brother to Elizabeth Henson?)

(#548) William Henson, age 26, born in Georgia, his wife, Mary Ann, age 26, born in South Carolina, and a young Joseph Henson, Jr., age 20, born in Georgia. (Could he have been a brother to William, and a son of Joseph Henson, Sr., who was in the 1834 Union census?)

(#549) Joseph Henson, Sr. age 44, born in South Carolina. No wife is listed, but an elderly Rebecca Henson, age 90, no doubt Joseph, Sr.’s mother, also born in SC was in the household, along with children Alsa (a female), 17, Rebecca, 15, John, 12, and Jonathan, 10, all born in Georgia.

(#1047) Henson, James, age 28, his wife, Catherine, age 24, both born in North Carolina, and one child, William, age 1.

For more information about early settlers with Henson surname, we turn to early marriage records and find these who were married in Union County from 1832 to 1850. Some of these relate back to the additional households of Hensons added between the 1840 and 1850 census:
Rebecca Henson married Preston Starrett on 16 February 1839 (by Jesse Reid, JP)

Lovina Henson married Henry Nichols on 24 December 1840 (by Daniel Mathis, JIF)

Henry Henson married Mariah Woods on 25 July 1841 (by David Kenny, JP)

Joseph Henson married Sarah N. Warlex on 12 May 1842 (by Rev. Elisha Hedden, MG)

Mary Henson married Thomas Henson on 22 July 1845 (by John Patterson, JP)

Martha Henson married William Daniel on 10 December 1845 (by Charles Crumley, JP)

James Henson married Catherine Battbey (? sp.) on 13 May 1847 (by W. A. Brown, JP)

T. P. Henson married S. Mahoney on 8 October 1847 (by Benjamin Casteel, JP)

W. C. Henson married Polly Ann Hood on 23 April 1848 (by Charles Crumley, JP)

Loyd Henson married Milly Harkins on 13 March 1850 (by M. L. Burch, JP)

If you are a Henson, or a descendant from a Henson of those listed as settlers in Union up to 1850, or related to those in the nine Henson couples married in Union by 1850, then you can claim your heritage back to these hardy pioneers. A Henson cemetery was established in the Owltown District of Union County. At the time the Union County Cemetery Book was compiled in 1990, eight graves were marked just by field stones with no discernible identification, while twenty-two of the graves had inscribed headstones. The earliest marked grave was that of an infant of J. I. Henson who was born and died October 15, 1875. Probably some of the field stones marked earlier graves prior to that one of 1875. The name gravestone identifying the one born earliest to be buried in the Henson Cemetery is that of James M. Henson (1822-1906). Joseph Henson, Sr., first Henson settler in Union County, must have been buried with only an unmarked field stone at his grave. In my search of all Henson burials listed in the cemetery book, I did not find his name or a date that would identify him.

An early Henson School once operated in Choestoe District. My Uncle Herschel Dyer, and later his son, Otis Dyer, taught at that school.

c 2010 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Sept. 16, 2010 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Reece's Poem "Autumn Mood" Sets Tone for Fall

Union County can be justifiably proud of her native son, Byron Herbert Reece, poet and novelist, born September 14, 1917 to Juan Wellborn Reece and Emma Lance Reece.

On both paternal and maternal sides of his family, his ancestors were early settlers in Union County. His roots went back to his paternal great grandfather, John Reece, who had settled in the Ivy Log section of the county. A sad event happened to his maternal great grandfather, John Lance, a Methodist minister, who was murdered in 1888 and his body left half-beheaded, lying in Wolf Creek as he returned from preaching. The “moon shiners,” mountain whiskey-makers, were after John Lance because they thought he spoke out against their trade which was an underlying cause of much conflict in mountain areas of the nineteenth century.

Byron Herbert Reece was born in the Lance family ancestral home, where his mother herself had been born into the family of LaFayette Lance. The cabin was located about the middle of the present Lake Trahlyta at Vogel State Park. Juan Reece bought acreage about a mile north of the location of Lake Trahlyta and built a house there. He and Emma reared five of their six children in this house. Alwayne, the eldest, died of meningitis at thirteen months. Growing to adulthood were Eva Mae, Nina Kate, T.R J., Byron Herbert (known as Hub) and Jean.

Early on, Hub Reece showed a propensity for literature, especially poetry and ballads. As he heard them read at his mother’s knees, and learned to read at an early age himself, he avidly pursued all that the Reece’s meager store of books and the country schools of his day could provide for him.

From the cadences of well-beloved ballads and the rhythms of seasons and farm life, Reece fell into a pattern of writing about what he heard, saw and experienced. A keen observer of nature and an astute student of the masters of traditional forms, he early began to compose poetry of high quality. His ease with words and forms blended into exquisite lyrics. He was the recipient of numerous literary awards for his four books of poetry and two novels published between 1945 and 1955. He had contracted to write another novel and his fifth book of poetry but his untimely death occurred June 3, 1958 before these were finished.

From time to time I enjoy selecting one of his poems and writing comments about it, much as I would teach it if I were still in the classroom introducing students to the intricacies of Reece’s poetry, its style, depth and meaning. Here, so near what would have been his ninety-third birthday (September 14), and with the fall season so soon upon us, I have chosen his brief “Autumn Mood” for consideration.

Autumn Mood

The leaf flies from the stricken bough,
The aster blows alone;
And in the curve of heaven now
The wild geese tread the dawn.

I would I had no ears to hear
And had no eyes to see
What is so beautiful and dear
Escaping me!
-Byron Herbert Reece
in Ballad of the Bones and Other Poems (NY: Dutton, 1945, p. 73)

From the title “Autumn Mood” to the final exclamation point at the end of line eight, Byron Herbert Reece captured a season and a day in time with inimitable ease, economy of words and astute observation.

The lines paint a picture and capably capture the mood of a day in fall in the beloved mountains where Reece looked out to see the falling leaves, the aster in bloom, observed “the curve of heaven” (not the arch of sky, a less-expressive reference), and saw, too, “The wild geese tread the dawn.” Less-poetic people would have seen geese fly. In his poetic manner, he saw them “tread” as they moved in formation. The first four lines do double duty. They paint a picture and they “show and tell.” The result? We see clearly what he writes about. He tells in telescopic form what we see as we read his word picture.

The first four lines paint an autumn scene. The last four lines build the mood of autumn. Oh! But if the observer had no ears to hear, no eyes to see, he would not be affected by what is so soon passing, so beautiful, so dear—escaping. The falling leaves, the fading aster, the migrating geese—all signs of fall, the waning season of the year. A sadness and finality permeate this season. Reece captures this mood aptly in this poem.

What he does not say in “what is so beautiful and dear” we can fill in with our own nostalgic thoughts at this decline of the year. Here are a few:

The falling leaves take gold, magenta and red from the beloved hills, and deciduous tress stand bare, “stricken.” Fall asters, purple in the sun, will soon be dried-up stalks blowing in the wind. The migration of birds, most specifically the wild geese as they “tread the dawn,” represent fast-passing time. With their going comes the soon-return of winter and the birds’ necessity to seek a warmer climate. Left behind, what ears have heard and eyes have seen will soon be only in figments of memory.

What is the beauty in this poem? Its sadness? Yes. Who does not think of fall as the waning time and the time of non-growth, of closure? Fall’s beauty is so soon replaced by stark limbs and a brown carpet of leaves. Color will soon fade from purple asters and the gray remains of stalks will match the ashen oncoming winter and my mood. No longer will eyes behold a V of flying geese at autumn dawn, going further south for winter.

What Reece does not say in the poem is left to the reader’s imagination, associations and memories. How aptly did he title the poem “Autumn Mood.” He painted a powerful vignette of fall in eight cryptic, well-crafted lines. No hidden symbols, no mysterious metaphors adorn this poem. It is to the point, a monument to a moment in time. He emptied his thoughts about fall in eight amazing lines. He gave opportunity to readers to recall their own experiences of fall (and life), which, like “the treading geese,” move on.

If the reader does not come away from this poem with a memorable experience, he does not appreciate the extraordinary of the ordinary. What you read, hear, see and feel in this poem can be expanded by your own experiences. Indeed, there is identification with the scene he paints and the “Autumn Mood” he feels. If you’re poetically inclined, the poem might even inspire you to write your own poem about fall.

c 2010 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Sept. 9, 2010 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mulkey Gap: A Memorial to early settler William R. Mulkey

Place names sometimes derive from the look of the place, like Blue Ridges for our beloved mountain area. Or a legend exists about a place, like Blood Mountain, where it is held that in battles between the Cherokee and Creek Indians centuries ago the streams flowed blood-red because of so much bloodshed. Or places retain the names given by Indians, like my beloved community, Choestoe, “The place where rabbits dance.” Arkaquah and Walasiyi and even Nottley River are Indian derivative names. A plethora of owl calls were heard in the vicinity, and the name Owltown resulted.

Then there are places named for people, early settlers to an area that bear the name of prominent families that owned acreage and made their homes in the vicinity. These are numerous: Youngstown, Cooper’s Creek, Gaddistown, Helton Creek, Woody Gap, Mulkey Gap, to name a few.

I began thinking about Mulkey Gap, Mulkey Gap Road, and Mulkey Creek, and did a little digging to find the first Mulkey settlers who came to Union County. I found these place names to be a tribute to the William R. Mulkey family who in the 1834 census was the family here by that name. His household consisted of one male and two females in that first enumeration. By 1840, only the William Mulkey family (whose middle name, I found, was Ritch) was listed. By then he and his wife had four children I was disappointed that I could find not a single Mulkey family in the 1850 census. Since that census was the first to list names of spouse and children, I did not have a name for his wife. The non-listing in 1850 could have been for two reasons. First, the Mulkey residence could have been completely overlooked by the census taker and thus no 1850 listing was made. Or the family could have moved from the vicinity by then. A bit more probing was needed, so I proceeded to pursue several resources available to seek out why a mountain gap, a road, and a creek would have been named for a family that might have moved out of the area by 1850.

What I found was that many of the descendants of William Ritch Mulkey, who was born March 30, 1807 in Franklin County, Georgia, and his first wife, Anna Prater Mulkey, born in Georgia April 10, 1809 did remain in Georgia until after Anna’s death which occurred January 1, 1854. William and Anna married October 14, 1831 and had a large family of sixteen children. Her parents were John Prater and Susannah Rice Prater (1777-1845). His parents were Isaac Mulkey (b. March 4, 1777) and Mary Elizabeth Taylor Mulkey (b. April 10, 1776). Mulkey is an Irish (character) name derived from O’Maolcatha, meaning “stubborn,” or “like a bull.” Its spelling is sometimes Malcahy and Mulky, or, as we know it, Mulkey. William Ritch and Anna Prater Mulkey migrated from Franklin County to Habersham, and then to the area that became Union in 1832.

The list of their sixteen children was found in a family Bible, and recorded from that to Mulkey family listings. The Bible was in the possession of a grandson, John Preston Mulkey, a son of William’s son John Posey Mulkey. Dates had not been given for the earlier children’s births. Here are William Ritch and Anna Prater Mulkey’s sixteen children, not necessarily in order of birth:

(1) A daughter Mulkey (Could this child whose name was not listed be the Morgan T. Mulkey who married George Lewis in Union County on December 6, 1857, and whose ceremony was performed by the Rev. Elisha Hedden, noted preacher of that time?)
(2) Isaac Van Buren Mulkey
(3) William Lafayette Mulkey
(4) Rebecca Catherine Mulkey
(5) Sarah Caroline Mulkey
(6) Irwin P. Mulkey
(7) Martha May Mulkey, b. May 29, 1833, married A. Burton Cook on April 12, 1854, with the Rev. Alfred Corn, noted minister of the mountains at the time, officiating.
(8) Mary Ann Mulkey, b. September 24, 1834
(9) John Posey Mulkey, b. March 4, 1836, married Nancy C. Lewis on August 26, 1858, with the Rev. David Meadows officiating.
(10) Leander Hansel Mulkey, b. July 3, 1839, was a private in Company B, 23rd Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry, enlisted August 31, 1861, Confederate Army; discharged in Yorktown, VA due to deafness.
(11) Jacob Belgalee Mulkey, b. 1841
(12) Vetland Elizabeth Mulkey, b. July 26, 1844, d. April 8, 1919, married Pinkney Marion Bell (1845-Oct. 10, 1928) in Cherokee County, NC in 1845, son of David and Alzira Williams Bell. Pinkney worked at the copper mines in Isabella, Polk County, Tennessee and died in Polk County October 10, 1928.
(13) Susan Mulkey, b. January 1, 1846, married William H. Jory (b. 1855 in England). He worked at the copper mines in Polk County, Tennessee.
(14) David Franklin Mulkey, b. 1847.
(15) Caleb Caradine Mulkey, b. June 27, 1848, married Martha Sims on July 22, 1866 in Cherokee County, NC. They moved to Colorado and then on to Mehoma, Marion County, Oregon.
(16) Infant Daughter Mulkey, died January 14, 1854. This was Anna’s last-born child. Could it be that the baby was born January 1, 1854 and Anna died in childbirth, with the baby living only fourteen days? This seems possible.

In other information gleaned about William Ritch Mulkey, we learn that he was a farmer and a Baptist preacher. William and Anna Mulkey were listed as members of Choestoe Baptist Church where he was elected church clerk on September 12, 1835. As a minister of the gospel, William R. Mulkey was present at the organizational meeting of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church established May 25, 1844 as an arm of Choestoe Baptist Church.

Mulkey family members were buried at the Harkins Cemetery in Coopers Creek District, several in unmarked graves and with three Mulkey stones marked. These are of Audrey P., 1910-1964, Ella Jane, ? – 1944, and Frank W., 1912-1987. Records show that Mulkey children attended the Corinth School in Coopers Creek District.

William Ritch Mulkey married, second, to Lucy Clements in Union County on October 15, 1854 with Rev. J. W. Thurman performing their ceremony. She was born September 28, 1825. Her husband was sixteen years her senior. Genealogy records state that William and Lucy had eight children. Only seven are listed. The other, counted, may have been her daughter Lucy brought to live in the household when she and William married. Her name was Martha Clements. Since names of only seven were found for Lucy and William, I will list her daughter as number one—her child brought to the marriage:

(1) Martha Clements, b. July 25, 1845, d. August 4, 1918, married E. W. Shelton of Fannin County, Georgia. Known children of William and Lucy:
(2) Hannah Jane Mulkey (b. about 1855)
(3) George Washington Mulkey (b. about 1856)
(4) Louisa Burnette Mulkey, b. November 22, 1857
(5) Zelpha Adaline Mulkey, b. September 11, 1859
(6) Lucy Adelaide Mulkey, b. September 20, 1863.
(7) Margaret J. Mulkey, b. August 10, 1865, Cherokee Co. NC
(8) Joseph A. Mulkey, b. July 13, 1867, Cherokee Co., NC
William Ritch Mulkey and his wife Lucy migrated to Denver, Colorado, probably because some of his older children went west. William died in Denver, Colorado on November 24, 1886. He was buried in the historic Riverside Cemetery in Denver where even today his marked grave can be found in Lot 113, block 21. After William’s death, his widow Lucy returned to Georgia and lived with her daughter, Martha Clements Shelton in Fannin County where Lucy died December 21, 1914. She was interred in the Shelton Family Cemetery in that county.

The next time you traverse Mulkey Gap Road, cross Mulkey Gap or see the clear waters of Mulkey Creek, think of William Ritch Mulkey, his first wife Anna and his second wife Lucy and the large family of 23 children William reared. These places were named in their honor.

c 2010 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Sept. 2, 2010 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.