CONDENSED HISTORY OF THE EARLY SETTLERS OF CATAWBA COUNTY
by Colonel George M. Yoder
history of the inhabitants who first settled in the South Fork Valley around
Grace Church, who were the founders and builders of Grace as well their
descendants who used to worship at this church since it was created.
valley was settled by the sturdy Dutch yeomanry who came from the state of
Pennsylvania principally and they were the principal builders of Grace Church
which was created in the year 1797 or there about. I will commence the sketch
first with original date when deed of conveyance was made on this the 14th day
of January 1797, and give a condensed history sketch of their, life and
Yoder one of the original trustees, who was a son of Conrad Yoder who left
Switzerland and went to Rotterdam in 1751 and there embarked on a sailing
vessel for the American continent, landing at Philadelphia in 1751, he then
came to this section between the years 1755 and 1760, a single man and in 1762
bought the southern portion of the Henry Weidner entry on the waters of
Jacob’s Fork river and married a Miss Cline about the year 1762 and settled
on the farm. I had the privilege and opportunity of examining an emigrant
register, containing the emigrant register of 30,000 emigrants, who had left
at Rotterdam from various portions of the Old World and landed at Philadelphia
from 1727 to 1777. Before any emigrants could leave the ship they had to take
the oath of Allegiance, to the Crown of England, as the king became very
jealous of so many emigrants flocking into the American continent. They had to
subscribe their names thereto and many of them could scarcely write, as what
few could write did it in German and it was generally written very badly. Many
could not speak the English language, and what little they did speak was so
broken that an Englishman could scarcely under stand. In writing the German
language the letter "Y" often resembles the letter "J" of
“K”, so I found in the register that in the translation of those names
many of them were spelled wrong and beginning with another letter than that of
the original. Now Conrad Yoder who the father of John Yoder, whose name
appears on the register "Conrad Koder" living in Philadelphia in
1757. Then I found the name spelled Zoder, Soder, Jedor, Jotter, Yoner, Yetter.
I remember yet that in my boyhood days they were called “Yotter” by those
German people but now in later years the name throughout the United States is
mostly spelled Yoder. So with a great many other names that I found in this
register that now in those latter days are spoiled different, which will refer
to very often through this historical sketch. Now again to John Yoder the
original trustee of the Presbyterian or German Reform, was born in October
1761, and was the first white child born on the Jacob’s s Fork River. He was
a farmer by occupation and spoke the German language.
the Revolutionary War he volunteered as a soldier at the age of 16 into this
American Army. But he never got into an engagement as peace was declared
between the two nations. He was
married to Mary B. Beib Roop who was raised near Lincolnton on the South Fork
river. She was a German lady and
heard the first gun fire at the battle of Ramsauer's Mill, on the morning of
the 20th of June, 1780. This marriage took place the year 1790. They both
belonged to the German Reformed congregation of Grace Church. To them were
born the following children: John in 1795, Jacob in 1797, Michael in 1799, who
was the father of the writer of this historical sketch. There were several
other children that I will not name here at this point. He was the grandfather
of G. M. Yoder. He was a surveyor and this he did a great deal. He was appointed
by the Legislature, with Mr. Pearson of Burke County, to establish the
present line between this and Burke County. He also was a Militia Captain for
a long time. He never spent his money in Negro property but always invested in
real estate. At his death he owned nearly 1300 acres of land. He was an Elder
at Grace Church as well as one of the founders and builders of it. During Rev.
Loretz’ administration for a number of years and after Lorentz’ death,
when the German Reformed congregation had no regular minister for some fifteen
years, he and his family went to St. Paul’s church where Rev. Rogers
preached. Several of his children
ware catechised and joined the church there.
the year 1825 the German Reformed congregation at Grace Church called a
meeting to use some effort at getting a regular German Reformed minister.
They unanimously elected John Yoder as a committee to write to the
Pennsylvania Synod for a minister, which he committed and they sent them the
Rev. John Fritchery. About the year 1830 or ‘32 Rev. Fritchey wanted to take
the negro into the church, which Yoder strenuously opposed. At last the church
altar called an election to vote upon the question. When the day came
Fritchery and his friends defeated him and his friends. He was opposed to
negro equality in the church or elsewhere. So was his brother David of whom I
will speak further on.
He was one of all those determined men, as he had passed through an
American struggle for liberty and was not afraid to express his opinion on any
subject. So after the ballot was announced, and he was defeated, he made the
following declaration in the German language:
"Ian hauben de kerchem helfen bauches, and ich stageninde theren
cin staungel briggel und slaug dare ars en nager un das do ui gaen wall.”
"helped to build this church and will take my stand in the door
and the first negro that attempts to do in I will knock him over with a snake
at this juncture many of the Yoders withdrew from the congregation because
they did not like Fritchey's negro proclivites and went to the Lutheran
church. Fritchery an his friends acquitted to his declaration and did not
attempt to force the negro question any further and he did not attempt to come
into the church building until after his death which occurred on the 31st day
of December, 1835. He was buried at Grace church on the first day of January
1836, in his 72nd year, and Rev. Fritchery preached his funeral. The text was
from John’s gospel, 10th chapter and 1-2-3 verses. He was a faithful
Christian passed away. His wife survived him about six years and was buried at
Grace church and John Crawford preached her funeral.
will next speak of John Hefner, the other trustee on the Lutheran side. I
cannot say much about the life and character of him, as he lived at such a
remote age of the writer’s birth. He may have been one of the original
Elders of the Lutheran congregation, first organized by John G. Arndt at
Grace church. He lived somewhere not far from that noted place called Hog
Hill. I cannot tell whom he married or where she was buried.
I shall speak of the witnesses who witnessed the deed, Martin Coulter and
David Shuford. The deed was recorded by the oath of Martin Coulter, the son
of Martin Coulter who lived on the east side of the South Fork where he lived
on a large plantation. His children were Martin, Phillip, John and one
was a Revolutionary soldier and after peace was restored he married a Miss
Shitel and settled on the old homestead. They had three sons and several
daughters. He too, I think, was an elder of the German Reformed congregation
at Grace church. He and his wife are both buried at Grace church. His son,
John, born Feby. 8, 1813, was a very prominent man. He taught school and
surveyed. He was sheriff of Lincoln county for a number of years, while the
sheriff was elected by the magistrates. He was the secretary for a long time
of the German Reformed congregation. He was the first chairman and
superintendent of the free school system far Catawba County. He married Miss
Coulter was a farmer by occupation. He was the first register elected by the
Magistrate Court at the first court assembled at Mathias Barringer's - in
March 1843, and served in that capacity for a number of years and also the
successor of G. P. Shuford as superintentent of the free school system for
Catawba county. He was also an elder at Grace church far the German Reformed
congregation Jany. 5th 1831 to 1835. He had married Melinda Wilson and had but
one daughter who married T. L. love, the Lieutenant Colonel of the 28th
Regiment of N.C. Troops and was buried at Grace Church.
will now speak of David Shuford, the other witness of the deed of conveyance.
He was the youngest son of John Shuford, the original pioneer Shuford to this
section of the County, who came here between the years of 1766 and 1770. Now
in the Register of 30,000 immigrants, the name of “Shuford” is not found.
The names are now changed to Shuford. In the spring of 1770, there came one
John Moore through the South Fork Valley, claiming that he was from the
British Army. He raised about 6 miles southeast of Lincolnton He forced many
to take the oath of allegiance to the crown of England. But David Shuford
never did take the oath, while many of his neighbors did, which made him very
popular alter peace was restored between the two nations. After peace was made
he married a Miss Ramseur. He represented Lincoln county in the Senate of
North Carolina in the years 1806, 1812, 1813, 1815, 1816, and 1820. At this
time the Legislature was elected annually up to 1835 when the State
constitution was amended. He also was one of the founders and builders of
Grace Church. He had lived on the South Fork on that portion of land he
inherited from his father ‘ s real estate. He died and was buried at the old
family grave yard on the T. R. Whitener farm now. His children were as
follows: George, Maxwell, David, and three daughters.
first married Mary Baker, December 3, 1831, and second, he married Anne E.
Baker Oct. 23, 1833. He was magistrate for a long time and for many years a
member of the County Court of Catawba County. He was Superintendent of the
Free School system for Catawba County and had been a Militia captain for
several years and was also an Elder of the German Reformed congregation of
Grace Church. When he died, he was buried at Grace Church. One daughter
married John Jarrett, one David Robinson, one Noah Hoyle, and Maxwell the
I will speak of Samuel Jarrett from whom the purchase of the land was made for
the site of Grace Church, and the deed executed on the 14th day of January
1797. The Jarretts came here from Rowan county and originally from the state
of Pennsylvania. They were of German descent I suppose that he was the son of
Daniel Jarrett because he made a deed of conveyance to Samuel Jarrett in 1774.
He had a brother by the name of Phillip and a sister who married Michael
Speagle. Samuel Jarrett married Susan Weaver, a daughter of Jacob Weaver who
came to this country from Germany before the Revolutionary war and settled
somewhere about where Startown is now. He was an old German school teacher.
He bought the Houk farm adjoining the lands of J ohn Yoder and settled on the
place where Solomon Weaver used to live. Their children ware John, Jacob and
three daughters. John lived on the old farm until he married Miss Elizabeth
Hildebrand July 26, 1819, then went to Yancy County, N. C. Jacob got a portion
of land that Samuel got with his wife. This land is now owned by Eli Leonard.
The Samuel Jarrett land was a portion of the Frohawks' thousand acre entry
joining the Grace church land. His daughter, Mary Jarrett, married John
Hartzoke on Jany. 19th, 1830. John was a son of Paul Hartzoke and his mother
was Julin Hasselberger. He was elected an elder of the Lutheran congregation
of Grace church durin the administration of Rev. P. C. Henkel about the year
1848 which position he held for many years until he died and was buried at
Grace church. The daughter married Michael Speagle and settled not far from
George L. Reinhardt’s on a portion of the Frohawk entry. He sold this farm
to John Jarrett and moved near where Genis Ramseur now lives and was
projenitor of the Speagle family in Catawba County. Phillip jarrett was the
first man to be buried in the grave yard at Grace church. He was a single man.
Next I will speak of Daniel Conrad, He married Hannah Martin on April 3, 1801. His mother was a Shuford. His farm lay about a half a mile east of the church and joining the church land and I think a portion of the Frohawk entry. He did the carpenter work with Francis Rink at Grace church. He represented Lincoln county in the lower house of N. C. Legislature in 1819, 1820, 1822, 1823, 1824, 1825, 1827, 1833. He served as a constable for a long time. He also was an Elder at Grace church in the German Reformed congregation, and is buried in the grave yard there with his wife. He had two sons, Logan and David, and two daughters.
will now speak of John Jar rett, who came from Rowan county near Salisbury,
prior to the erection of Grace church, and bought a portion of the Frohawk
entry, which joined the church land and settled about half a mile west of the
church. He was a Lutheran and a founder and builder of the church. He married
Elizabeth Fisher of Rowan county who was a sister of the last Charles Fisher
who represented this Congressional District in Congress in 1846 Their children
were as follows: John, Daniel, Jonas, Elias, Jacob, Absalom, and one daughter.
married Davis Shuford’s daughter, Claressy Shuford, on August 15, 1817 and
went to Missouri. Daniel died a bachelor at Morganton, N. C. Jonas married
Catherine, the daughter of his Uncle Samuel, whose mother was a Shiremon, on
Sept. 3rd, 1819. Elias married Samuel Lantz’ daughter. In 1835, when Rev.
Adam Miller organized the congregation at Grace church, he was elected the
secretary of the congregation and in that capacity he served a long time. He
settled where A. K. Finger now lives and then sold this farm to Paul Anthony
and he gave it to his daughter, Selena, who married Finger. He was a tinner by
trade. He went to Iowa. Jacob married Mary Mauney on May 17, 1841, and lived
on the old homestead. In 1835, he was elected as Trustee of the Lutheran
congregation as the successor of John Heffner, one of the original trustees,
which position he held until about 1857. Absolom married Michael Shiremon's
daughter, Polly, Feb. 26, 1829, and went west. The daughter Petcy Jarrett
married Samuel Peterson, July 29, 1318, an uncle of the late Rev. Jesse
Peterson. He then in his old days wont to Ironton, Missouri, where his
I will speak of Samuel Jarrett,. a brother of John Jarrett, who also came from
Rowan a single man and married a Miss Polly Shireman, Feby. 26th, 1827; among
others wore Samuel and George Jarrett, who ware twin brothers, and who married
sisters by the name of Carpenter. Samuel for a long time lived in Dallas:
Gaston county, and served there as County Treasurer, then afterward moved to
Newton. He died very suddenly in Newton and was buried there. George was also
a carpenter by trade and bought the farm there D. H. Shuford now lives from
Daniel Conrad and built that old house, when he left for Iowa. Daniel Lock
bought the tract and when he left Daniel Shuford bought it. Daniel Conrad or
Samuel Jarrott bought it from John Speagle as he used to live there. George
Jarrett acted as secretary for a long time for the Lutheran congregation at
Grace church. Samuel Jarrett and his wife were also buried at the grave yard
at Grace church and also some of his children.
I will speak about the Speagle family. The pioneer came from Pennsylvania and
was of Dutch descent. I cannot tell what his given name as but he bought a
portion of the Frohawk entry and settled on the farm now owned by David C.
Shuford and their children (he married Mary Lence on Aug. 18th, 1805) were:
John, Daniel, Davault, Michael and perhaps some daughters. John married a Miss
Lentz and settled on the lands which David Shuford now owns and was a member
of the Lutheran church and a founder and builder of it. He went West.
the second son, married a Miss Lentz and settled on the old farm where o David
H. Shuford lived. He also was a member of the congregation at Grace church.
He sold his farm either to David Shuford or his father. He also left for the
married Hannah Lentz, August 1, 1803, and settled on the portion of land now
owned by Andrew L. Yoder. He also was a member of the congregation at Grace
church. He sold his farm either to Waitzel or John Hasselberger and went West.
married a Miss Jarrett as before stated. I think that the old pioneer Speagle
and his wife were burled on the old homestead as there is an old grave yard
beyond the little creek on the hillside near Thessalonica Baptist church,
where perhaps a dozen or more people are buried.
will now speak of David Yoder. He was a son of Conrad Yoder and a brother of
John Yoder. He was by trade a stone mason. He married Elizabeth Reib, a sister
of Yoder's wife, and settled on the portion of land that he received from
his father, near where the John Yoder now the place now owned by F. A. Yoder.
He sold this farm to John Yoder and George Sumney, intending to move to
went and explored some portion of Georgia before moving and did not like the
country and came back and bought the farm where Andrew L. Yoder now lives from
Jacob Shuford and Jacob Shuford bought it for himself from Adderholt, the
son-in-law of John Hasselberger. This farm given to Adderholt’s wife by her
father, John Hasselberger. Hasselberger got it from Davault Speagle and
Speagle from Wetzel. It was also a portion of the Frohawk thousand acre track.
The children were ne arly all born at the original homestead which were
Conrad, David, Eli, Solomon, Andrew and four daughters.
was a soldier in the War of 1812; so was Adolphus and at the close of this war
Adolphus entered the regular army and all traces of him were lost. Conrad,
after the war closed, went to his uncle Jacob, in the state of Indiana where
he married one of his daughters. From there he went to Missouri, Andrus
county, where he died at about the age of 88.
married Ruth Wilson on Jany. 16, 1827 and lived on the lands that his wife
inherited from her father. He was a member of the Baptist and died in his 97th
year and was buried at Thessalonica. Eli married Elizabeth Dotter on July 15,
1834 and first settled where Henry Sigmon now lives, then sold out and went to
married Sallie Seagle on Sept. 25th, 1832. Her mother was an Ashabramner. They
had twelve children. Among them is David A. Yoder, an Elder at Grace church
and one of the Superintendents of the Sunday School there. The original David
was a member of the German Reformed congregation at Grace Church and, when
Rev. Fritchery brought up the negro question as before stated, left the
congregation and never returned. He was a genius. He built a corn mill on
his original farm on the branch that ran through the farm. He also connected
to this a machine to dress flax.
Andrew L. Yoder married Anna Kistler, Aug. 1, 1837, daughter of Henry Kistler, whose mother was also an Ashabranner. They had a large family. He and his family were all Lutherans. He and his wife are living yet, the oldest couple in Catawba county. They have been married over sixty years and are both past 88 years old. The daughters never married.
will next speak of Daniel, the son of John Shuford. He was in the battle at
Ramseur’s Mill and was wounded in the hip. After peace was restored he
married a Miss Ramseur and settled on the old homestead, now owned by L. R.
Whitener. Their children were Henry, Daniel, David, Ephraim, John, Solomon and
married a Warlick, I think, and went to Tennessee in 1812. Daniel married
David Robinson’s daughter. David married Rhoda Coulter, daughter of Martin
Coulter, and settled on the Speagle place. Their children were two sons and
one daughter. Daniel C. Shuford is one of them. He married Rosannah Kistler,
Oct. 5, 1841, daughter of Henry Kistler, as before said in the Yoder family.
He had four children, D. H. Shuford, Daniel Shuford, Rhoda and Mary Ann. He
joined the Lutheran church and was the secretary after George Jarrett’s
successor, in which capacity he served until 1866 when he was elected an
Elder of the congregation and served until 1892. David, his son, lives on
the old Speagle tract as before said. Daniel married Jacob Mosteller’s
daughter and moved to Burke county and was drowned in the Catawba river while
seining for fish.
Ann married Pink Shuford and Rhoda married John W. Helton.
other son of David Shuford went to Yancy County, N.C. The daughter married
Samuel Blackburn and died at the birth of her fourth child. Ephraim married a
Hoyle, the daughter of Jacob Hoyle. Of this family I will speak later on.
Shuford married Betsy Robinson, Aug. 22, 1819, and vent to Tennessee but
returned and settled on that portion of land inherited from his father, which
is now known as the A. G. Corpening farm Caldwell county, and a descendent of
Henry Weidner. They had the following children: John, Melanchton, George,
Cormilla and Ann Corpening. John Shuford was elected an Elder at Grace Church
in 1835, when Adam Miller organized a congregation there and served until
Miller withdrew from the Tennessee Synod and went with him. Then he came back
to the Tennessee Synod again. He and his wife are both buried in the graveyard
at Grace Church.
G. Corpening, his son-in-law, also connected himself to this congregation
under the Henkle administration and in 1857 was elected the Trustee of the
congregation and in 1866 was elected as one of the Elders, under Dr. A.
Fox’s administration, and served until his death which occurred about 1890.
He was one of the first County Commissioners elected by the people under the
new constitution and helped to lay off the County into Townships. He also
served as a magistrate for a number of years. Then about the year 1886 he
again was elected a County Commissioner. He was in the Civil War, and
received a slight wound in the back of his neck. He and his wife are both
buried in the grave yard at Grace Church.
never married and lived at the old homestead until he died. One daughter
married a Mr. Hines, a Hessian, and lived in Gaston county. One married a Mr.
Rhyne and also lived in Gaston county. Another married a Sliggle and one
Michael Shireman. Both moved westward.
I will speak of the Gautner family. The farm where they lived was entered by a
man by the name of Wilkins about the year 1750, joining the John Shuford land
on the north and on the west the Frohawk entry, which embraced a large scope
of land, about 600 or 700 acres. The McCorkle, S. T. Wilfong, Q. A. Wilfong,
Ralph Smith and William Reinhardt farms. Wilkins sold it to Clark and Clark to
Greggs and Greggs to James Robinson, and he sold it to Gautner, and Gautnecr
to John Wilfong, Sr., in 1805 and he gave it to his son John.
had three children to my recollection, two Sons, Martin and Jacob, and a
daughter. Martin married Nicholas Fry's daughter and settled on Hop Creek
where he erected a saw mill. He then sold it to a Mr. Rider and wont west.
Rider sold it to Lewis Warlick and he gave it to his son, Jesse Killian.
home farm was divided between Jacob and the daughter. The daughter married
Josiah Angel who came from Dinwiddie County, Va., and settled on her portion
of land. They had three sons, John, Joe, Absalom and Nancy. She had married
Michael Propst whose mother was Bostian Khein's daughter. He was a soldier of
the war of 1812. He lives on her portion of land which was the western part of
the tract where Dolph Smith now lives joining the Frohawk entry. He was a
member of the Lutheran’ congregation and is buried in that graveyard. So is
his wife. They had a large family of children which are scattered in different
sections. Jacob sold his portion to John Wilfong, as aforesaid, and went to
Missouri where his brother Martin had gone.
T. Wilfong married Bell Gill, who was born in Columbia, S. C. and has three
sons and a daughter living. The daughter married W. B. Gaither, a lawyer, and
lives in Newton. Sumney married Theodore Ramseur 's daughter, Mary, arid
lives on the farm. Walter is machinist. S.
T. Wilfong represented Catawba County in the Legislature about 1900.He is one
of the present Elders in the German Reformed congregation at Grace Church. He
also has acted as a superintendent of the Sunday School for a number of years.
He was a soldier in the Civil War and lost his right arm. By occupation he is
A. Wilfong married Alice Shuford, a sister of A. A. Shuford of Hickory, and
has three children living. The daughter married R. L. Shuford. He is a member
of the German Reformed Church and a Trustee at Grace church.
Next I will speak of John Hasselberger, one of the founders and builders
of’ Grace church. He was a Dutchman and came to this section of the country
after the Revolutionary War. He married the late widow of Jacob Lutz - her
maiden name was Schub or Schoob - and bought a large tract of land on the
South Fork. I think it was a portion of the Frohawk entry, and settled near
where David Lore now lives. They had three daughters. The oldest one married
Paul Hartzoke, the father of the Hartzokes in this county, and settled where
Pinkney Dellinger now lives, where Hazzelberger had built a mill. He had a
large family of children which are scattered in different sections. Susanna
the second daughter, married George Lohr whose father came from Pennsylvania
to Roan county and settled not far from Trinity church. His mother was a Miss
Seagle. He was a farmer by occupation. Seagle elected an Elder in 1835, when
Adam Miller reorganized the Lutheran congregation at Grace church, which
position he held until he died. Their children were John, Adam, Valentine,
Ephraim, Daniel, David, and, two daughters, Betsy and Rhoda.
John and Andrew married Hedricks and left no issue.
John, after marriage, bought the Reuben Hoyle farm, Andrew the Humphrey
Hoyle farm. Valentine married a Shenkel from Virginia, and had five children;
George, John, James, Susan, Angelina. Valentine had settled on the Henry Gross
place that Abel Havner had bought and sold it to Lohr. Daniel married Miss
Hunt from Bristol Tenn., and bought the George Jarrett farm which he sold to
Daniel C. Shuford and went to Tennessee. Ephraim married Mary Leonard,
daughter of Andred Leonard.
David married a sister of Valentine’s wife, and settled on the old
farm. He was the Lutheran secretary at Grace church a long time, also
superintendent of the Sunday School. They had only two children, Betsey
married Andrew Killian. Rhoda married a Mr. Keener of Tennessee and moved
last girl of John Hasselberger married a Mr. Aderholt and had first settled on
the farm where Andrew Yoder now lives, then sold this farm and went west. John
Hasselberger's second wife was Magdalena Reib, with whom he had no children.
He and both of his wives are buried in the graveyard on the Andrew Yoder farm,
where there are a great many persons buried.
I will say something about David Robinson and his family. David Robinson was a
son of the original James Robinson, who came from Lancaster County, S. C.,
to this section sometime perhaps before 1755. He married Jennie .......... and
settled near the Fish-Dam Ford on the South Fork river where he had a large
plantation joining the Hasselberger land on the North and Witherow on the
South, on the West the Reinhardt lands. He represented Lincoln county in the
Legislature of 1796 and 1797 and lived there prior to the erection of Grace
church, and I suppose was one of the founders and builders of Grace Church. He
had three sons and three daughters. Jesse, the oldest son, married, I think, a
Sherrill, and lived for a time on that portion of land that he had inherited
from his father. Then leaving this farm to his son, Aaron he bought the Henry
Summerrow farm on Jacob’s Fork River in the Mull settlement which Henry
Weidner gave to his daughter who had married Summerow and settled there until
he died. David, the second son, married a Wilson. He was the father of the
late Alfred Robinson, and grandfather to D. W. Robinson, a lawyer of
Lincolnton. James, the third son, sold his share of the land and went West.
daughter married Max Wilson. One Daniel Shuford married Hannah Robinson Sept.
14, 1819. Polly Robinson married Peter Seacoch Jan. 1, 1807. None of them left
I will speak of the Reinhardt family who were also here prior to the erection
of Grace Church. I think the original Reinhardt’s name was Conrad. He bought
this land from Witherrow when he came here from Pennsylvania. George, his son,
was born in Pennsylvania and was a small boy then. This farm is about two
miles South East of Grace Church and joins the Anthony lands. George married
Barbara Gross daughter of’ John Gross, and they had two eons, Henry and
Jacob. They were divided in church membership. His wife was a Lutheran -while
he and his sons belonged to the Reformed congregation. Henry married Elizabeth
Finger, Dec. 14, 1839, and had several daughters and one living son. He was an
Elder of the German Reformed congregation, at Grace church. John, his son,
married Ellen, the daughter of Jacob J. Sigmon. Henry’s daughter, Martha
Jane, married W. L. Cochran and they went to the State of’ Washington. Alice
married Wash Ramsaur and they also went to the same place. Jacob married a
lady, I think, in Lincolnton at lease he died there.
Gross, a brother of’ George Reinhardt's wife, lived where Valentine Lore
lived. He was a gunsmith by trade and sold this farm to Abel Hefner and went
West. He also was a Lutheran.
I will speak of Michael Yoder. He was a son of John Yoder and was born in
1798. His wife died when he was only married about seven years. They had two
living children. He connected himself to the Lutheran congregation at Grace
church about 1857. His children were G. M. Yoder and Cyrus Yoder. G. M. Yoder
had first connected himself with the congregation at Zion’s church after
his father and brother had connected themselves to the church at about the age
of twenty. He was born in 1826, and married Rebecca Herman in the year 1851,
then to E. R. Yoder. He was in his younger days a school teacher, and was
elected a militia captain when he was about twenty years old. Then he was
appointed a magistrate in the year 1855, which position he holds now. He was
elected the Colonel of the Militia of Catawba County in 1855, which position
he held for three years. In 1856 he was appointed the Clerk and Master in
Equity Court for Catawba County which position he hold till 1862, when he
resigned and entered the Confederate Army as a private but was soon elevated
to Third Lieutenant. He also was for sever al years one of the members of the
County Court for Catawba County. He was elected in 1882 as a County Co
missioner for two years. He was elected a County Surveyor and also Coroner. He
was an assistant Census Taker in 1870. Then in 1880 he was the principal
Census Taker for Jacob’s Fork Township, then in 1890 he again assisted D.
Ramsaur, his son-in-law. In 1866 he was elected an Elder at Grace church
during the administration of Dr. A. J. Fox, which position he held until 1892,
when his son Francis, was elected in his place and is now one of the Elders,
and his eon, Colon, is the Secretary. His second wife is E. E. Yoder.
Cyrus married Elizabeth Leonard, daughter of Andrew Leonard and had
three sons: Leonadas, Peter, and Furwick. Peter is now one of the Deacons. His
father was conscripted in the late war and belonged to the State Reserves and
was in the Battle at Kinston when General Foster made that raid on Goldsboro.
He was at last captured at Camp Vance by that notorious Colonel Kirk and was
put in prison near Chicago where he died.
I will now speak of Daniel B. Whitener. He was born about the 1784. He
was the son of Benjamin Whitener. He was a soldier in the War of 1812 under
General Jackson. After peace was proclaimed he married Catherine Sigmon June
3, 1815 - by Phillip Whitenor. She lived near St. John’s church - her mother
was Rachael Shuffar. He settled on the land his father gave him. He was a
member of Grace church as well as his wife. They were Lutherans. They had two
sons and three daughters. Mahala married Daniel Jarrett, April 20, 1841, and
after their marriage bought a piece or land from Jacob Jarrett about a mile
north of the church where he had settled. He was a house carpenter by trade
and had three sons and six daughters. Obed, his son, was a Deacon for several
years in the Lutheran congregation. He and his wife died at Hickory but were
buried in the grave yard at Grace church. The eldest daughter, Linnie, married
Win. Tipps and went to Georgia. Franklin,
the oldest son of Daniel Whitener, married Sallie Leonard, and had three sons
and several daughters.
the youngest son and brother of Franklin, married Clara Leonard, a daughter of
Andrew Leonard, whose mother was Catherine Rhodes, and had all daughters.
I will speak of Daniel Leonard, married July 1, 1826, who was a member of the
Lutheran congregation at Grace church since the administration of Adam
Miller. He was a son of Philip Leonard, who married Elizabeth Blackburn and
bought the farm of Jacob Anthony — a Methodist preacher -- near Wesley
Chapel, where he lived until his death. He had three sons, Eli, Monroe and
Daniel, and four daughters. He was also one of the Wardens of the paupers of
Catawba County before the war. He and his wife are both buried at Grace.
Andrew Leonard was a brother of Daniel Leonard. He also was a member of
the Lutheran congregation at Grace church for a number of years. He married
Catherine Rhodes Feby. 25, 1822, daughter of the original Rhodes of South Fork
River, who was Tunkard preacher. After his marriage to this daughter, he first
settled on the lands now owned by Henry Cansler and John Cansler. He sold this
farm to their father, Henry, for $1000 and then bought a farm near Blackburn
where Joe Houser now lives. The children are nearly all dead. They both were
buried at Grace church.
I will speak of Capt. F. R. Beck. He came to this section about 1860 from
Davidson county, N. C., and bought the Cany Leonard farm which was a part of
the Andrew Leonard tract. He married Sophia leach in Davidson county. He is of
the Dutch descent. He was a Militia Captain for a long time. He also
represented this congregation in several sessions of Synod. He has only two
living children. He was a Post Master a long time for Jacob's Fork
Huffman was a son of Maj. George Huffman near Conover. He married Miss Polly
Hunsucker near St. John’s church. After marriage he settled on the lands he
bought near Sardis Lutheran church. He was a member of the German Reformed
congregation at Grace church and was also an Elder for several years before he
died. He was a Militia Captain for many years, also a magistrate when he died,
and was buried at Wesley Chapal.
His wife is still living yet. They had several sons daughters.
L--is Warlick and family are also members of the German Reformed
congregation at Grace church. He was one of the founders and builders of the
original house of worship. He married a Miss ........... Hoyle, and after his
marriage he settled on Pott's creek not far from Plateau, and here he built a
mill, which was always known as Warlick’s Mill. They had the following
children: John, Philip, Adslam, Solomon, Peter and David, and two daughters.
John married Elizabeth Baker April 30, 1819; Philip married Sally Baker Oct.
21, 1823, daughters of John Baker - and moved to Burke County. Absalom and
David also married sisters, daughters of George Seitz, whose mother was &
Barger. David lived on the old homestead and was a local Methodist minister.
Solomon married Barbara War-lick and settled on the South Fork River near
where the State road crosses the river. He had a large family. The children
are scattered in different sections of the county. He was an Elder of the
German Reformed church. He and his wife are buried at Grace church. Peter had
married Jany. 6, 1826, Catherine Shuford, daughter of Philip Shuford whose
mother was an Abernathy. After his marriage he settled on Jacob’s Fork at
the State Ford. They also were German Reformed members at Grace Church. Their
children are scattered too. He and his wife are buried at Grace church. Peter
Warlick married on Jany. 6, 1826, Catherine Shuford, daughter of Phillip
Shuford, whose mother was an Abernathy. After his marriage he settled on
Jacob’s Fork at the State Ford. They also were German Reformed members
of’ Grace Church. Their children are scattered too. He and his wife are
buried at Grace Church.
Shuford was the son of Martin Shuford and Anna Maria, m. Feby. 9, 1807. Martin
was killed in the Battle at Ramsaur‘s Mill, June 20th, 1780. He was born
after his father was killed. He married Catherine Abernathy, a sister of
Turner Abernathy, the father of Prof. R. L. Abernathy After his marriage he
bought a farm from Solomon Deitz, on Pott's creek now known as the James
Keever farm. Here he raised a large family. Henry Ramseur’s, Caney
Ramseur‘s, Peter Warlick’s and Harrison Wilson’s wives were born on
this farm. Then he sold this farm to John Yoder, Jr., and John Yoder sold it
to Rufus Cobb and Rufus Cobb to James Keener and it is now owned by Charles
Scronce. Here his first wife died. I think they are both buried at Grace
Abernethy was also a member of the German Reformed church. He married Oct. 2,
1821, Fannie Whitener, daughter of Benjamin Whitener, who was the mother of
Prof. R. L. Abernethy of Happy Home, Rutherford College, and when the
Methodists built Wesley Chapel he left that church and joined the Methodist
Cansler, the father of John J. and Henry Cansler, was also a member of the
Lutheran congregation at Grace Church. He was born and raised near Rozze’s
Ferry, Gaston County now. He came to this section of the county and bought
Andrew Leonard’s farm, for which he paid $1800.00. He married Miss Mary
Hinson for his second wife, on Oct. 25, 1840 and had three sons and several
daughters. The daughter of the first wife married Cany Lawrence near Catawba
Station. One daughter married Gus Bezznick, a Methodist minister and went to
Arkansas, he and his wife were both buried at Grace Church,
will now speak of Mathew McCaslin who was a member of the Lutheran
congregation at Grace church for a long time. His father died when he and
William McCaslin were small children. Then the widow married a Mr. Dotter, a
brother to Michael Rudisill's wife. I don’t know what her maiden name was.
After this marriage Dotter moved to Indiana, I think, and they both died there
shortly afterwards, perhaps several years. Then Michael Rudisill went after
the children and back to North Carolina. There were three Dotter children,
David, Betsey, and another daughter. Mathew married one of Tommy Wilson’s
daughters who was living on Pott’s Creek, and his farm joined the Frohawk
entry, and after marriage he settled on that portion of land that fell to his
wife’s lot, where he lived until they both died, and were buried at Grace
church graveyard. He was a house carpenter by trade. They had three sons and
two daughters. One daughter married Daniel A. Yoder, one Andrew Fulbright and
the sons are all dead. William, his son, left one offspring. Taylor had one
son and he married Jacob Rudisill’s daughter near Maiden.
Cansler also was a member at Grace church for a long time. He was a brother of
Henry Cansler , and was born and raised near Rozzel’s Ferry the Catawba
River Gaston County, N. C. He married Lucinda Brown, daughter of Absalom Brown
near Salem Church and then settled on the Anthony Shull place, that her father
had bought and given her. This land lies on Pott’s Creek and joins Jacob
Anthony’s land and is about 2 miles south of the church. They had five sons
and two daughters. Alfred, the oldest son, was killed by lightning while
stacking hay. George married a Miss Quickel. Abel married and went west. James
is a bachelor and lives in South Carolina. Adolphus was married twice. The
last time to the Rev. Adam Miller 's daughter and lives on his old homestead.
They are all Lutherans. They are both buried at Salem church.
Heavener and his wife were also members of’ the Lutheran congregation at
Grace church. He had married Sarah Rudisill and settled on Pott’s Crock. His
farm joined the Cansler land. He was a soldier in the War of 1812. He had a
pretty large family which are scattered in different parts of the county.
Part of the children and grandchildren belong to the same congregation.
Shuford, a brother of Philip Shuford, son of Martin Shuford who was killed in
the battle of Ramseur's Mill on the morning of the 20th of June 1780, was also
a member of the German Reformed congregation at Grace church. He married a
Miss Hoyle and settled on the lands where his father had lived, now owned by
H. L. Shuford, and had a large family. His sons and daughters also belonged
to the same congregation. After awhile he moved to his farm on Lyle’s Creek.
Their children were: John, who had first married a Lawrence and one of his
sons became a prominent German minister. Abel married Adeline Perkins; Jacob -
Catherine Baker; one of his sons is also a German Reformed minister. Eli
married a Miss Collins; Andrew, a Miss Collins; Elkanah, a Miss Martin. One
daughter married John Smyre, one Henry Cansler, one Burt Allen and one Lawson
Reinhardt. These families and descendants are scattered in different States
and sections of the Country.
Yoder was also a member of the Lutheran congregation at Grace church. He and
his wife are both buried there. Their children are:
John, Julius, Loy, Julia and Minta.
Fry was also a member of’ the German Reformed congregation at this place. He
was a son of George Fry and married Philip Coulter ‘s daughter, and
settled on the farm where Jesse Robinson once lived, near the old State Ford
on the South Fork, opposite S. T. Wilfong ‘s farm. Their children were Abel,
who married Betsey Propst; Henry, a Ward; Martin, Betsy Arney, Joe, Daniel
Coulter's daughter; Clara, Abe Propst and Harriett, Eli Coulter. There were
several sons and daughters. He and his wife ware buried at Salem church in
Whitener, son of Daniel Whitener, was also a member of the German Reformed
congregation at Grace church. He married a Miss Hoyle and has three children
living. They are L. P. Whitener, Peter and Susan.
LeRoy Whitener had married Martha, the daughter of George Shuford, and
she died. Then he married John Murrill's widow and lives in Hickory. He has no
children. He was a County Commissioner for several years and represented
Catawba county twice in the Legislature and was an Elder at Grace church in
the German Reformed congregation.
Peter Whitener, his brother married Catherine, daughter of George Shuford.
They were descendants of Conrad Yoder. He served as a commissioner for several
years. He was in the late war and lost his right leg. They had several sons
and daughters. Claude married Hose Yount's daughter whose mother was a
Killian. Susan married Eli Rhine, a Methodist. He was a house carpenter by
trade and died seven years ago, leaving several sons and daughters • Henry
Whitener and wife are buried at the Robinson grave yard.
Blackburn married Nov. 16, 1841, Elizabeth Shuford, a sister of Daniel C.
Shuford, about 50 years ago, and settled on the James Robinson farm at the
Fish Dam Ford on the South Fork river which he bought, and then connected
himself with the German Reformed congregation at Grace church over 50 years
ago. At the birth of the 4th child his first wife died. Then he married Amanda
the daughter of Jacob Shuford. Their children were: Virginia, who married John
Warlick; Rhoda, Milton Ramseur, Georgia, Joe Fry, who went to Texas. John is
in Arkansas; Emma James Wilfong, Alice, George Herman, Carrie, a Mr. Boyd,
Willie, a Miss Ervin, Ed, a Miss Boyd. Sam, Jim and Jule are single; Luella,
Osborne Whisnant. He was an Elder at Grace church for some time the German
Reformed congregation. He was a farmer by occupation. He and his wives are
buried at Grace church.
forgot to speak about David Detter and his sister under the head of the Mathew
McCaslin family. He was a half-brother of his. He married Daniel Coulter's
daughter and after this marriage he settled as a tenant on the Gautner place,
owned by John Wilfond, now by S. T. Wilfond, where he lived a number of pears,
and during this time he con nected himself with the Lutheran congregation at
Grace church for a number of years until he moved to Cabarrus county, where
his son-in law lived and died. His sister then was staying with Eli Yoder, who
had married his sister Elizabeth, and she then married the Rev. Jesse
Peterson, a Lutheran minister, and then he moved near Dallas, Gaston county,
where he had a charge, and preached there all his life. He was a minister
perhaps over fifty yearn.
I will now give a historical sketch of Frederick Summey. He came to this section prior to the Revolutionary War and we have nothing of any traditionary history of his life and character and hence the writer can give but a short sketch of his life. He married Plantnea Whitener, daughter of Michael Whitener, and sister of Benjamin Whitener. Ha had lived on the place where D. H. Ramseur now lives. After this marriage he settled on a large farm on the South Fork, now known the John Lore farm about three miles southeast of Grace church. His children were four daughters that the writer knows of, and the writer is decidedly of the opinion that he had a son by the name of Jacob, who bought the Rock House farm from Henry Whitener, Jr, for $3,000.00. Ho had a son by the \name of George. The Bejnamin Whitener children always called him Cousin George. If he was the child of Frederick and Plantena Sumney - as she was a sister of the Benjamin Whitener.
Sumney, July 26, 1785, married the widow of martin Shuford, who was killed at
the battle of Ramseur's Mill, and the writer has always been told that she had
five children who were born on that portion of land that he inherited from his
father, John Shuford, now owned by R. L. Shuford. These children wore Martin,
Jacob, Philip and two daughters. The writer has already spoken of Jacob and
Philip. Here let me digress a little from the main subject to illustrate
certain facts. Martin had married a Miss Ramseur and settled in Lincolnton.
He was the sheriff for a long time of Lincolnton county until he was
succeeded by John Coulter, if I am not mistaken. His children were: Tommy
Shuford of Lincolnton Martin, who had married Lewis Warlick’s daughter,
Margaret, and was the father of Pink Shuford and Jacob Kistler's wife, Lovina.
Some of his descendants are living about Asheville. There is a prominent
lawyer Shuford living there whom Governor Carr had appointed a Judge of the
again to the main subject. Jacob's son, George, as before said, married Betsey
Corpening, daughter of Albert Corpening, who had marred a Miss Propst and
came here from the State of Pennsylvania and had first settled on the waters
of Clark’s creek now in Catawba County, then moved to Burke county, now
Caldwell county. George and wife had the following children: Alburtus, Jacob,
Jones, John, George, Albert, Melanchton, Daniel, Lovina and Ellen. These
children are scattered in different portions of the country. The father,
mother and some of the children were members of the German Reformed
congregation at Grace church. He sold his farm to John Wilfong, his son-in-law,
for a fraction over $6000.00 and went to Flat Rock, Henderson County, N.C.
This farm is now owned by James E. Wilfong.
Sumney’s daughter, Betsy, on July 20, 1803, married David Ramseur, the
father of Henry and Alfred Ramseur and others. They were members of the German
Reformed congregation at Grace church. Henry was the secretary of the
congregation for a long time. Alfred was a Methodist. I will not give a full
history of this family now. Another of Summey's daughters - Susannah - on
Dec. 17, 1813, married John Ramseur, Jr. Another married Jacob Hoyle, and he
settled on the old Summey homestead. They had the following children: Noah,
Reuben, Humphrey and several daughters.
Noah married a sister to George P. Shuford and
settled in Cleveland county. H. M. Hoyle, a Methodist minister, is a son of
his. There are several that I will not mention. Reuben had married Mariah
Whitener, a first cousin of his, and among his children is P. A. Hoyle of
Newton who is a very prominent man. He had been the Clerk of the Superior
Court eight years, and represented the county in the Legislature.
was also a county commissioner.
Humphrey had married Betty Dickson, of Cleveland county, and died from
the kick of a horse, and is buried at Wesley Chapel. One daughter married
Ephraim Shuford, and another a Mr. Gant. I will not give a full history of
those families now. The last daughter of Frederick Summey married Solomon
Hoyle first, then Big Dan Whitener. Her children were: Philip Hoyle, who was
a noted minister of the Methodist church; one daughter had married Aaron
Robinson; one Lawson Hill; one Daniel Rhyne; and one Henry Whitener as before
stated. The Hoyle family all were originally Lutherans, then German Reforms up
to about 1830. When the Methodists made their appearance as said in church
history, they connected themselves with that church.
Summey is buried at the grave yard on Andrew L. Yoder's farm and is the only
grave marked with a headstone. His wife, Pantena, is buried at Grace church.
Jacob Hoyle gave this Sumney farm to his sons Reuben and Humphrey. Reuben sold
to John Lore and Humphrey to Andrew Lore. Jacob Hoyle's first wife is buried
at Grace church. He is buried in Cleveland, where he moved to. He had been a
long time a local minister.. The writer did not enter into a lengthy detail of
three families, which he could have spun out in full, because he did not think
it was necessary.
will now speak of James Robinson, who came to this section of the country from
Lancaster county, S. C., about the year 1760. He entered a large quantity of
land near the Rocky Ford on the South Fork and
will not give the full history now of this family. He was buried at the Wilson
and Robinson grave yard on the old homestead, where the Robinson family is
mostly buried. It is about & half a mile east of Peter W. Whitener’s
Coulter was another of Martin Coulter’s sons. He had married a Miss Wise, a
sister of John Wise, who used to live near Daniel's and settled on the portion of the original Martin Coulter
land. His children were: Daniel, Henry and several other children, He was a
farmer by occupation. He and his wife are buried at St. Paul's Church.
Wilfong had first settled, after marrying the widow Mull, on the Abram Mull
farm. Then after a time he settled on the South Fork river where Cany
Hunsucker now lives. He was a Major on the American Safe Guard Army Corps. He
had the following children: John, Peter and four daughters. John had married
Hannah Sigmon; Peter a Miss Hoyle Sallie to Adam Gross; Mary to Daniel
Whitener; one to Jacob Cline; Elizabeth to Andrew Hoyle Nov. 28, 1786. He and
his wife are buried at St. Paul’s church where the Wilfongs held their
membership. I will not give a lengthy detail of this large family.
This has changed hands several times. George Wilfong
gave it to his son John. John gave it to his daughter - who had married, Dr.
Simpson of Lincolnton He sold it to M. M. Wilson and he sold it to Daniel
Miller and Cany Hunsucker who married one of Miller's daughters who bought all
the shores and is: now the present owner of Abs Miller, who lives on Pott’s
Creek, has been a member of the Lutheran congregation at Grace church for a
long time. He had married Fred Miller’s daughter first, then after her
death, married John Kistler's daughter.
W. Propst was a son of Jesse Propst and married Catherine Jarrett and had
settled on the old Daniel Hoover place. Both were members of the Lutheran
congregation at Grace church. His first wife died, than he married Maggie
Kistler and when she died he married Paul Hunsucker's widow and moved to
Hickory. His children are all Lutherans. One daughter married Henry Sigmon,
one Louis Rudisill, and one a Mr. Lore. John Propst had bought this farm from
David Hoover for $800.00 It joins the land of Jacob Anthony and John Cannier.
Shuford had first settled on the lands which he inherited from his father on
the farm now owned by R. L. Shuford. He divided this farm into three parcels;
He built the house that A. A. Hoover now lives in before Catawba County was
made and moved there. This portion he sold to T. W. Blagburn, and he sold it
to Hoover. Then Shuford went to Newton and bought the Anthony Ikard lot where
he lived until he went to Texas. . Ho was member of the German Reformed
congregation at Grace Church. He sold the other two parcels to Dr. Gunter.
Gunter sold to Logas Whitener. Then the other lot where Charles Hoover lives,
he sold to James Hoover. He built both of these houses. He also went to Texas.
In the days when Benjamin Whitener and his family
flourished, there was a man living about a mile west of him, his farm joining
his lands, whose name was Templeton or Tumbleson. The farm is near Blackburn.
He sold it to Jacob Shuford when he left the county and he gave it to his son
Eli, who sold it to Richard Walker and Walker to Robert Helton, and Helton to
Jennings, and then the Dunkel boys had it awhile - and is now owned by Seth
Ritchey. This man, had a large family of girls and boys. They and Benjamin
Whitener’s family used to have big times together in their sporting
operations. The writer has seen the old house many & time in his life.
was a Wilfong who settled east of the South Fork river. I think his name was
George. His wife was always called Sukay - Susannah Surrat - 1803. This tract
lay opposite the S. P. Wilfong, Pink Dellinger and Samuel Blackburn’s
farms, containing about 340 acres. His son, George, married Alexander Hudson's
daugther. By some means he wasted his time by drinking intoxicating drinks and
the land had to be sold to discharge debts. John Boyd became the purchaser of
it. It is now known as the Sallie Trott farm. This is all I know about this
family at present.
McBee place was originally owned by one James Wilson and he sold it to the
McBee who still owns it.
Ramsaur and family were also members at Grace Church and were German Reformed.
He had married miss Elizabeth Warlick Sept. 20, 1820. Their living children
were: Elkanah who married Sdeline Shuford, daughter of Philip Shuford, and
lives northwest of the church about seven miles on Jacob’s Fork River. Their
children were four daughters and one son and are members at Grace church.
Elkanah is a tanner by trade. One sister had married Rev. Jeremiah Ingold and,
after this marriage, settled about four miles south of the church on a farm he
bought from the heirs of David Ramseur, which he sold to George W. Hahn and
moved to Hickory. He was the pastor of the German Reformed congregation at Grace
church a long time, the resigned and went to Hickory where he opened a school
and taught for several years • He and his wife are buried in Hickory Oakwood
Cemetery. L. R. Whitener married one of their daughters. Henry Pitts married
another. One daughter of Solomon Ramseur had married Vardy Ramseur and lives
at Kings Mountain Station — or did several years ago.
Michael Whitener came to the South Fork Valley about the year 1766 or
thereabout. He came from Pennsylvania with his four children: Benjamin Philip,
Daniel, and Plantena. His wife’s maiden name was Beck. He settled on the
plantation now owned by David H. Ramseur. Many persons got the original Henry
Wiedner family mixed with Michael Wiedner family. It always had been said that
these two old pioneers were no kin. The general features and complexion,
manners, customs and habits differ widely from each other. They were a dark
complected people with curly hair. His first wife died. Then he married old
Nicholas Fry’s widow, who was the mother of George Fry. He was blind about
four years before he died and he and his first wife were buried on the old
homestead. They were Lutherans. Benjamin had married Magdalena Whisenhunt. They
had nine daughters and six sons. Prof. R. L. Abernathy’s mother was the
youngest daughter of this family.
Philip Whitener had married Susan Sigmon, a sister to John Wilfong’s
wife. He was a magistrate a long time. Sometimes a Lutheran, then a German
Reformed. He never had his hair shorn as always said. When he died he could put
up his hair like a woman. He and his wife are both buried at the old homestead.
I was present when he was buried. Join Fritchey preached his funeral. Their
children were: George, Daniel, David and Sallie.
George had married Salley Fry Nov. 12, 1805, Nicholas
Fry’s second daughter.
David had married Annie Abernethy Feb. 20, 1812. His children were
Plantena, Mariah, the mother of P. A. Hoyle in Newton, and Michael, who had
married Miss Walker and lives on the old homestead.
died a bachelor. He said a year or two before he died that he had never seen the
Catawba river. He was a man of great intelligence for a home man.
daugther of Philip Whitener, married Michael Link and had only two children. One
married Ephrain Whisenhunt, the grandfather of Prof. A. P. Whisenhunt. One
married Darius Seitz. Daniel was lost during the Revolutionary war.
married Frederick Sumney as before stated elsewhere in this sketch.
Conrad Yoder had first married a Miss Catherine Klein
and she died at the birth of her third child, which was David, about the year
1770 as he was born that year.
Thses little boys had built themselves a playhouse
not far from the spring where they would resort every day to pass away time
whilst their father was in the field at work. They had composed the following
German poem which they would repead every day, whilst in their little playhouse,
which reads thus:
throws down this little house
have many whippings
eggs and pancake baked
makes the little boy laugh.
Then he married Miss Seitz, who soon died after
marriage. Then in about the year 1775 he again married a German lady by the name
of Huffman. Their children were Elizabeth, who died in infancy, Elias, Daniel,
Adam and Catherine.
Elias had married Adelia Hawn, daughter of John Hahn,
and settled on his land that he inherited from his father's real estate at the
foot of McBride Mountain, now called Baker's Mountain. He was a school teacher
in his young days. He was also a deputy sheriff. He was a great foot race
runner. He ran many a race. He sold his farm to his brother-in-law.
had married Christopher Klein’s daughter. He was in the War of 1812 and also
settled on the lands at McBride’s Mountain. Adam had married a Miss Davis and
also had settled there. They sold these lands to Baker and moved to Indiana.
Catherine, the only daughter, had married on May 2,
1780, John Baker, who was a blacksmith by trade and was a very poor boy when he
married Catherine, who was only 15 years old at the time of her marriage. She
received some property from her father's estate as well as some real estate.
They settled near where John Helton now lives. He died very suddenly and is
buried at the old homestead. It has been said that this farm came by the money
of his wife. His wife’s mother, Catherine, lived with him, and she died
sometime after he did and is also buried there. He was Tunkard by profession. So
was his wife. Their children were David, Solomon, John, and Elizabeth who
married John Warlick on April 30, 1819, Sally, Phillip Warlick Oct. 21, 1823,
Catherine - Oct. 13, 1828 - Jacob Shuford, the father of A. A. Shuford, George
Shuford married Polly and she died, then he married Elisa, who is the mother of
Hon. A. C. Shuford who represented this congressional district four years. The
Tunkards used to have preaching station at John Baker’s. The ministers were
Rev. Rhodes and Leonhardt who preached English and German in the same sermon. He
used these words often in his sermon when he preached John Baker's
funeral: “A RICH MAN CAN DIE SHUST AS VEL AS A POOR MAN.” He spoke very
Jacob Yoder the second son of Conrad Yoder was born
1767 and married Catherine Dellinger, a granddaughter of Henry Whitener, and
settled on that portion of land that fell to his wife. The place is now known as
the Humphrey Hoyle lands. He sold this land to Jacob Shuford or Abel Shuford and
went to Indiana where he lived until his death. He was thirty two years old when
Grace church was built.
was born in 1777 and was 20 years old when the church was built. Daniel was born
in 1780; Catherine in 1782; Adam in 1785; David in 1770 and was 27 years old
when he helped to build Grace Church, and died in his 94th year. He was buried
at Grace church grave yard.
had a renter moved on George Shuford’s farm. This farm is now known as the
Washington Ramseur farm now owned by Lovena Huffman, nee Mosteller, by the name
of John Scott. He moved there about the year 1830 and lived there until the year
1845. He was a shoemaker by trade. He was also a Major in the Militia for
sometime. He was a member of the Methodist church. When the Methodists made
their appearance in 1830 in this section of the country they had a preaching
station at this house. The writer when a small boy used to attend preaching here
as the Methodist preacher was a new thing then in this neighborhood and was
rather a curiosity. The people went out to hear what they had to say and to
learn their mode of preaching and hear their doctrin proclaimed. He left the
country and went to Mississippi. He had married Rebecca Brazzle for his second
wife. He had a small farm near where Charles Philips now lives and sold it to
Reubel Hoyle. Then there lived Solomon Johnson’s family in that house. They
were Methodists. Then Delilah Whitener, widow of Ephraim Whitener. They were
Leonard, a brother of Daniel and Andrew Leonard had married Emma Hunsucker,
daughter of Christian Hunsucker who had married a Wittenburg, and lived on Lyles
Creek. After this marriage he bought 100 acres of land from his brother and
settled on it and afterward sold it to Capt. F. K. Bock for 1,000 and bought the
Daniel Haynes land in Jugtown and moved there. This farm was a part of the Lee
land and was first opened by Henry Miller who had married Henry Haas’
daughter. He was always called “one eyed” Bully Miller. He was one among the
biggest rogues in Western North Carolina. He had stolen Jacob Jarrett's
bee—stand for which misdemeaner there was a warrant sworn out and an officer
was watching for him to come home and he had one of Aaron Cook to help him.
While Cook was watching for him he came by Cook’s house and stole the
feather—bed which was hanging on the garden fence to sun. When he came home he
was arrested with the feather-bed, but Cook did not know that it was his until
he went home an found that it was gone. He was sent to jail at Lincolnton and
was convicted for stealing, for which he received thirty lashes and ordered to
leave the county. Then this
neighborhood was relieved of this rogue. Cain
Leonard and wife were German Reformed members at Grace Church.
L. Reinhardt had married Solomon Havener’s daughter. He was a son of Elias Reinhardt and wife Eliza whose mother
was Mollie Hoover, who received from her uncle Thomas Hoover’s estate one
thousand dollars and then bought a farm from David E. Warlick and settled there.
He was killed in the late Confederate war.
George is a tanner by trade and bought a small tract of land from Jacob
Jarrett and settled on it. Then he
erected a tanyard. He has been a magistrate for several years.
He also has been one of the Sunday School Superintendents for several
years. His wife died several years
ago. They had a family of children.
One married Henry Shuford, son of
Hoyle, the original progenitor of the Hoyle family was born 1741 and his wife a
few years later. They both were
buried in the grave-yard at Grace church. He
lived somewhere on Pott’s creek. He
and his wife were Lutherans, I think as the original Hoyles all belonged to that
Anthony was the progenitor and pioneer of the Anthony family in this section of
the country. When he came here we
have no positive date. Only by
traditionary facts, but we suppose that he came sometime prior to the
Revolutionary war. We gather these
facts from the head stones that mark the graves at Grace church of two of his
sons. We see that John Paul was
born in the year 1755 and his son Philip in 1764.
Then we can only claim by the supposition according to the ages of these
two sons that he certainly must have come here prior to the Revolutionary war
and entered a large scope of land where St. Paul’s church of Catawba county
now stands, which is one of the oldest churches in the county which was
originally built we suppose over one hundred and fifteen or twenty years ago.
He owned the lands where Charley Burris now lives, always known as the
original William Bost lands. He
sold these lands to William Bost and his son-in-law John Smyre.
When he sold it he reserved ten acres for the use of the church. His house was just across the branch from where Charley
Burris’ house now stands. After
he had sold these lands he went to Burke County and bought or entered a large
scope of land on the Catawba River at the mouth of the Irish creek, where he and
his wife died and were buried. Their
graves are marked by headstones. After
their death John Caldwell bought the farm.
It further seems that he had a large scope of land about two miles South
of Grace church on the waters of Pott’s creek where Jacob and Abram Anthony
are now living. It also seems that
he divided these lands between his two sons, John Paul and Philip and the
daughter who had married Anthony Shull. Her
portion was on the west side of the creek, now the John Cansler land.
The other daughter’s name was Mollie who never was married, though she
had a son and daughter. The son she called Jacob who became an eminent minister of
the gospel. He was first a
Methodist minister and after due consideration he connected himself with the
Lutheran North Carolina Synod and remained true to that faith until he died. He
bought some land near Wesley Chapel where he settled. His mother died at this
place. Then he sold it to Daniel Leonard. The place is now owned by J. M.
according to traditionary facts John Mull, a brother-in-law to Henry Weidner,
married Mary Anthony. At this point I am not able to say whether she was Paul
Anthony’s daughter or his sister. This is rather a dark mystery to us at this
John Paul had married Elizabeth – and settled on that portion of land now
owned by Abraham Anthony. He never had any children. He gave all his lands and
other property to one Daniel Anthony, a near relative, to take care of him and
his wife during their natural lives. I will speak of Daniel Anthony further on.
Philip had married Anna Kistler and settled on that portion of land now owned by
Jacob Anthony and had a son who was the only child they had and called him Paul
after his father. These were also the builders and founders of Grace church and
are buried in the grave yard at Grace church. Paul died in the year 1831, Philip
in the year 1825.
Anthony, on Jany. 3, 1831, (Philip’s only child) married Madgalena Rhodes.
Their children were Phillip, Cephas, Abraham, Jacob, Henry, Salena, and Ann. He
was a member of the Lutheran congregation at Grace church and served as an elder
a long time. His wife was a member of the Baptist church. Both are buried at
Grace church graveyard.
the oldest son, married a Miss Corpening of Burke County, where he lived until
he died. Cephas and Henry went to Georgia. Abraham married a Rudisill. He and
several of the children are Lutheran members at Grace church. His wife and
several daughters are German Reformed. He has been a superintendent of the
Sunday School at Grace church for several years. Jacob married a sister of
Abram’s wife. He is a member of the Lutheran congregation for a number of
years. His wife and several of the children are Reformed.
married A. K. Finger and settled on the old Elias Jarrett farm formerly Ephraim
Shuford’s farm. They have a large family. Ann, the youngest daughter, had
first married a Rudisill, a brother of Jacob’s and Abram’s wives. He was
killed at the late war. He had a son who married John W. Propst’s daughter.
Then sometime afterward she married Pinkney Dellinger, son of Jacob Dellinger
and a descendant of the Henry Weidner family. Then she settled on the old Paul
Hartzoke farm that her father gave to her. She was a member of the Lutheran
congregation. Her husband and the children are Reformed. She is buried at Grace
Anthony had married a daughter of Conrad Reinhardt and a sister of George
Reinhardt, who married Barbara Gross. He was an Elder of the Lutheran
congregation organized by Henry Graves at Grace church about the year 1822. They
had several sons and daughters. The late John Anthony of Lincolnton was his son.
Several of his daughters had married Sexlers of Mecklenburg county. I suppose
that she is buried at the old grave yard on Andrew L. Yoder’s farm as there
were several children buried there who were killed by lightning. His second wife
was Sally Bangle, a sister of Barbara Reinhardt, and had several children. He
died very suddenly on the way going over to George Reinhardt’s. They both are
buried at Grace church grave yard. The Anthony family was of German descent.
lived somewhere on Pott’s Creek not very farm from Grace church a man by the
name of Frederick Deitz, who was born in the city of Philadelphia and came to
this county about a hundred years ago. The farm where he settled on the writer
cannot point out at present. He married a lady whose name I do not recollect
just now. He was drowned while attempting to cross the South Fork at the fish
dam ford while the river was past fording. It was always said that he was an
excellent swimmer and could swim like a duck, but by some means he and his horse
were drowned. He was buried at the graveyard on Andrew L. Yoders farm. He left a
young wife and three little children: David, Christina, and Sallie. The widow
afterward married Jacob Lentz. Sometime after marriage he took these three
children to Lincolnton court to have them bound out. But as it happened John and
Jacob Deitz were at court and defied the old man Lentz to have these children
bound out as apprentices and they took them home with them and gave them homes.
learned the tailor trade with Gen. Daniel Seagle. Then he married a sister of
Jacob and Henry Hoke, and went to Indiana and settled where the town of Columbus
on Jan. 9, 1802, married John Propst, a brother of John. These two were brothers
of Michael Propst who had married Ann Angel, daughter of Joe Angel.
In writing out my historical sketch of the early settlers of the South Fork Valley, two of the original pioneers were overlooked. They were John and Andres Wilson who had entered or bought a large territory of land adjoining the James Robinson land, now P. W. Whitener on the east side of the South Fork river. It had always been said by traditionary history that they came directly from Ireland and were of Irish descent. They came prior to the Revolutionary war and settled on these lands. They were warm and strong supporters of the American cause of liberty. But it had been said that they were never belonged to the regular army but were a kind of scouting party and they made the old Tories “get”, and whenever they would come across some of them, their chance was a very slim one. It always had been said that they killed a Mr. Wise near where Frank Nance lives on the Newton and Shelby road. I suppose they were married when they arrived here.
Wilson had settled on that farm now owned by the heirs of J. A. Stine, and had
the following children: Max, Austin, Sila, Clinton, Lysander and three
had married David Robinson’s daughter and settled on the place known as the
Adam Miller farm. He sold these lands to Miller and went to the State of
Mississippi. They had no off-spring.
went to Union county and settled near Unionville, South Carolina. Clinton also
went there. Silas was never considered very bright as the old Wilson on his will
had appointed Cany Coulter his agent to take care of his funds. He went to
Haywood county, I think, where he lived and died where some of his descendants
are living. Lysander died an old bachelor. Milinday had married Cany Coulter and
had only one child, who married T. L. Lowe. Elvira, the second daughter, had
married John Coulter. The other daughter had married a Mr. McHaffey and she died
at the birth of her first child and the old lady Wilson took the babe and raised
it and she became the wife of Isaac Wycoff, who was the first superior elected
by the people. He resigned this office and M. L. McCorkle became his successor
by appointment of the Judge.
went to Mississippi, John Wilson was always known by his nickname, “Raccoon”
– John Wilson. I suppose that he was a great raccoon hunter and hence received
that name to distinguish him from another John Wilson. The family were German
Reformed. When he and his wife died they were buried at the Robinson grave yard
which is on an elevated spot southeast of P. C. Whitener’s house.
Ann Lowe and her descendants are the only descendants of John Wilson now living
in Catawba County.
Wilson had settled a little north of John, and to whom he had married the writer
cannot tell, but they had the following children: David, who had married Polly
Settlemyre, a sister of Henry Settlemyre; Joseph, who had married a Miss Detter,
a sister of Michael Rudisill’s wife; Ezekiel who had married a Miss McCorkle,
a sister of H. L. McCorkle of Newton; one daughter had married John Angel; one
had married Dr. David Robinson, the grandfather of D. W. Robinson, a lawyer in
Lincolnton. Some of this family were also German Reformed.
and wife are buried at the Robinson grave yard as well as some of their
children. John Angel and wife are also buried there. There are a great many of
Andrew Wilson’s descendants living in Catawba Co.
original pioneer, I do not know what his given name was but he married a Miss
Peterson, and aunt to Samuel Peterson, the father of John Peterson, and they had
the following children: Abram, David, Moses, George, Joseph, Thomas, Anna, and
Catherine. Abram married Margaret Mull, daughter of John Mull, and went to
Arkansas. He was the father of Lawson Seitz. Moses married Mary Gross and went
to Georgia. He was a great foot race runner. David married Sallie Whitener,
daughter of Daniel Whitener, and was the father of Darius, Abel and Efred
Hahn’s mother and others. George married Mollie Barger, who was an aunt of the
late Moses Barger. He settled on Pott’s creek not far from the Lewis Warlick
place. David Warlick married one of his daughters, so did his brother Absalom.
She died, then he married a Miss Hoover whose children became some of the heirs
of the late Thomas Hoover, Thomas married Miss Rudisill, Anna married Daniel
Mull, a son of John Mull, and went to Tennessee. The writer does not think it
necessary to trace their history any further at present.
original Seitz family was raised not far from John Lutz’s residence. There was
one Andrew Seitz, who lived in that neighborhood and sold out and went to
Tennessee. He married Nellie Bost, a daughter of the original William Bost,
whose mother was Bostian Klein’s daughter. Conrad Yoder’s second wife was
one of the Seitz family, but died soon after marriage, leaving no offspring.