Early Settlers of Union
Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Davenport Mountain named for
early settler, John B. Davenport
Georgia Highway 325 (Nottely
until you are near the Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
There you will find a Georgia
historical marker. It reads:
Davenport Mountain in view to the east
was named for John
Davenport who came to this section in 1838. He built his 40 foot long
log house 1.2 mi. to the
east, over the peak of the mountain. It survived until
removed in 1942 to make
way for Nottely Lake.
William Poteet came to this section
about the same time and
settled near the junction of Camp Creek and Nottely
River. William and Hosea Thomas took
up homesteads at the west
about 7 years later. George Loudermilk
built his home on Camp Creek.
Thomas Lance, another pioneer, settled
4 mi. west at the foot of Lance
sign honors early settlers John Davenport, William and Hosea Thomas,
George Loudermilk and Thomas Lance,
families that played an important role in the early history of Union County.
This article will focus on the John Davenport line.
The date on the
sign, 1838, may be slightly in error. John B. Davenport, the first of
the Davenport line
in Union County, was
not shown on this county's 1840 census. Neither was he listed in Davie
Carolina, from where he moved. But tax
records show him still registered in Iredell
County, NC in
the years 1837, 1838 and 1839. It seems the census taker missed listing
family in 1840. They could have been in the process of moving to Union
County, Georgia and
no one went out to Davenport Mountain to
find his 40-foot long new cabin. Family records, however, show that
John B. and Annie Lewis Davenport moved to Union
County, Georgia in
This couple had
a large family of eleven children, ten of whom survived to adulthood.
When John B. and Annie Lewis Davenport moved from North
Carolina six of their eleven children
had already been born. The dates and places of birth seem to lend
credence to 1838 as the date the family moved to Georgia.
Here are their
children's names, dates of birth and whom they married. The first six
were born in North Carolina: (1) Debbie, born about 1826, married John
Bryan in 1846 in Union County; (2) Lively Elizabeth, born about 1832,
married John Loudermilk in Union County;
(3) Louisa, born about 1832, (were she and Lively twins?), married
Riley Burton Hunter in Union County; (4) John Evrem
was born November 30, 1833, married Lively N. Thomas in Union County;
(5) Anne was born about 1835 and married Jess Cole in Union County; (6)
Mary, called "Polly," was born May 19, 1938, never married; (7) David
E. was born April 27, 1836 (?) in Georgia and married Adeline C. Thomas
in Union County in 1870; (8) Susie was born March 30, 1839 in Georgia,
and never married; (9) Daniel, twin brother to Susie, married Lucinda Hix; (10) Lois Adeline, born November 3, 1842 in
Georgia, married A. Judson Wallace in Union County; (11) Washington
died young. We do not know his birth date or death date, since this
information is no longer on the field stone that marks his grave in the
Bethlehem Church Cemetery.
Davenport had three sons, John, David and Daniel, who joined the
Confederate Army on July 3, 1862.
They enlisted at Fort Nelson near
Morganton, Georgia in Fannin County and
were placed in Company B of Fain's Regiment, Georgia
a descendant, who has collected and written much information on the Davenport
family line, says the three brothers "did not volunteer, but were
heavily recruited." John, the oldest of the three brothers, was already
married, having married Lively N. Thomas in 1857. He was recruited July 3, 1862,
just six days prior to his daughter, Martha Alice's birth, on July 9.
Already John and Lively had John William
(1858), Amanda (1860); then Martha (1862). John and Lively
had a large family of thirteen, with eleven growing to adulthood. Their
other children were Lois Aleatha (1864),
Rhoda (called "Radie", 1866), Alcie L. (1868), James David (1870), Dillard
Hosea (1872), Minda (1875), Elisha Lonzo
(1878), Nora (1882), and sons Tiny (1874) who died as a baby and
another son (unnamed) who died at birth.
persuasions differing from the Confederate side, John Davenport
deserted and went home to Union County in
1863. It is said that when he worked his fields, he wore a bonnet and a
dress to keep his identity secret from the conscriptors
who tried to hunt down and force deserters to go back into service.
However, the secret of his being home could not be kept, and one day
two Confederate armed men on horseback captured him near his home. One
of his captors rode before him and one after. John was forced to walk
in the middle, his hands bound. At an opportune time, John escaped,
running through a thicket and evading his captors. A friendly neighbor
untied John's hands and got John a gun from home. After this fiasco,
John had to hide out in the mountains, and slip into his barn at night
to get the food Lively left there for him.
That was a long, hard, fearful winter before the war ended in 1865.
brothers, David and Daniel, single at the time of their enlistment in
the Confederacy, deserted and went to Tennessee
where they surrendered to Union forces in August of 1863. They spent
time in a prisoner-of-war camp, but enlisted in the Union Army, Company
C, 5th Regiment, Tennessee Mounted Infantry on September 12, 1864 at Cleveland, Tennessee.
Their main work was in guarding the railroad from Chattanooga to Atlanta and
keeping the tracks in shape for traffic. To have spent time in both
Confederate and Union
armies was not that unusual during the Civil War, especially for
independent, Union-sympathizing mountain people.
still residing in Union County
trace their ancestry back to John B. and Annie Lewis Davenport, and the
other settlers whose names are listed on the historical roadside marker
near Mt. Zion Baptist Church on Nottley
John B. (Aug. 10, 1795-Sept. 8, 1886) and Annie Lewis Davenport (May 2,
1801-Sept. 5, 1893) were buried at Bethlehem Cemetery.
John Evrem (Nov. 30, 1833 - May 16, 1894)
and Lively Thomas Davenport (June 11, 1837 - Nov. 13, 1932) were buried
at the Mt. Zion Cemetery. Lively lived to the ripe age of 95. Her obituary
told of her good deeds and of her expertise as an herbalist and
caregiver for the sick and needy.
article, I am grateful to "Guy Davenport's Notes" online, and for the
excellent family articles submitted to "The Heritage of Union County"
book by Major Leon Davenport and other descendants of John B. and John
c2008 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Apr. 17, 2008 in The Union
Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights
Dyer Jones is a retired educator, freelance writer, poet, and historian.
She may be reached at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org;
phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708