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Biographical Sketches
Ashe / Alleghany County, North Carolina


Anyone living in Alleghany County, North Carolina, or who has ever driven through the area, will agree that it is pretty hilly country. The roads, in places, are quite winding and steep. Can you imagine travelling those roads when they were nothing but muddy ruts along the mountain, and in covered wagons at that?

Well, that is exactly what William Wyatt and his wife, Mary Landreth, did. And with most of their fifteen children! Did they stop in Indiana or Illinois as so many of the other Wyatt and Landreth families did? No, these brave souls travelled on and on until they reached the Jackson County, Missouri area. William Wyatt was born in 1792 in North Carolina. Mary Landreth, a daughter of Nathaniel Landreth and Mary Grayson, was also born in 1792 in Grayson County, Virginia. They were married in Ashe County, North Carolina on February 11, 1808. 

This couple were the parents of fifteen children, all of whom grew to maturity. They were: Solomon, Zebedee, Burgess, John L. Louis, Nathaniel, Jonathan, Catharine, Jane, Calvin, Mary Adaline, Nancy Emaline, William M., Eveline, and Wyley. The children grew up in Ashe (now Alleghany) County. The older ones married in Ashe and started their families there. The entire family were farmers, as were most people in those days. Their farms covered several hundred acres, one right next to the other. In 1851 many members of this family emigrated to Jackson County, Missouri, settling on farm land in Washington township. 

The third son of William and Mary Wyatt, Burgess, born 1812, married Elizabeth Hackler, whose family also went to Jackson County, Missouri. The children born to this couple were: Mary, Nancy, Caroline, Margaret A., William H., Susan Frances, John O., and James L. Elizabeth died in 1857. Burgess then married Susan Maxwell Tolliver, widow of Alexander Tolliver, a resident of Clay County, Illinois. The oldest son, Solomon, born June 1, 1809, married Caroline Maxwell, daughter of Colonel James and Margaret McMillan Maxwell (she as probably a second wife) and they had ten children: William, Elizabeth Lodina, Lucy A., Lewis Alexander, John Budd, Wiley, Nancy, Alson, Louisa J., and Lydia. 

Zebedee Wyatt, born November 19, 1810, for some reason, remained in North Carolina. He married Mary (Polly) Jones, born January 12, 1810 and died January 13, 1875. She was the daughter of John and Leah Long Jones. This couple had eight children before Zebedee sickened and died August 2, 1851, leaving Mary to raise the family, the oldest being only fifteen at the time. The children were: Orleana, Married Jacob Finley Tolliver; Evaline; John R., married Nancy Halsey; Elizabeth; William W.; Jonathan; Nancy Caroline, married William Lovelace; and Calvin J., married Nancy Pugh. Louis Wyatt had four sons and one daughter: William, Henry, Tincy, Kenny and Archilus.

Catharine Wyatt, first daughter born to William and Mary Wyatt after seven sons, arrived in 1823. She moved to Missouri with her parents, married a Williams and had five children: John, Leander, Mary J., Noah B. and Martha A. before her husband died rather young. Jane, married Henry J. Williams and had a family in Jackson County, Missouri. Many Adaline Wyatt, born in 1830, married Eli C. Maxwell, son of Colonel James Maxwell and had four daughters: Lucy E., Susanna E., Nancy L., and Sarah C. 

This family suffered many hardships during the Civil War. During one battle on their own property, Eli Maxwell, who was in the Confederate Army, had his home and furnishings burned. Eli himself escaped and hid out from the enemy. Having been wounded in the face and both shoulders, Eli, over a period of time, made his way by horseback to Texas were he stayed two years recuperating from his wounds. Then, in the winter of 1865, he rejoined the Army, being a member of Price's detachment. 

Finally, in 1865, four years after he had left his family, he returned to his home in Jackson County, Missouri, only to find that his wife and daughters had been captured by the Union Army, and that his wife and oldest daughter, Lucy, had died in a Federal Prison in Kansas City, victims of smallpox. At this time, Eli himself became ill. After six months, he recovered his health, resumed farming, then moved to Kansas, were he farmed until 1874, then returned to Missouri. 

In January of 1868, he married Martha E. Hackler and had six more children. Nancy Emaline Wyatt (1833-before 1896) married John C. O'Brien. William and Mary Wyatt's youngest child, Wyley, born October 12, 1839, married Sarah Maxwell, daughter of Alexander and Susanna Tolliver Maxwell. They had eleven children: Mary, Susan, William G., Sarah Elizabeth, Robert E., Anna M., Lorena E., Ada M., Lettie C., George W., Joseph C., and Stella J. Wyley was born in Alleghany County and lived there until 1851 when he accompanied his parents to Missouri. During the Civil War, he too, suffered many hardships. 

After his marriage, he had settled in Johnson County, Kansas to farm, but left to join the Confederate Army. During the war his family was without a home, wandering about from place to place. After the war, the family returned to Johnson County, Kansas to farm, staying there until 1879 when they returned to Jackson County, Missouri. Both William Wyatt and his wife, Mary, died in Jackson County, Missouri. William died in 1856 and Mary in 1861. They, along with other members of the family, are buried in the Blue Ridge Baptist Church Cemetery at Grandview, Missouri. Thus ended an exciting, daring, and noble life for this couple who had begun their married life together so many years before in Alleghany County, North Carolina. 

--- Laura Landreth Rust

Sources: County, census and marriage records.

(biographical sketch from The Heritage of Ashe County, North Carolina.)


This page was last updated July 27, 2007.