John C. Wilson Cemetery

Lottie's Creek, Bald Mountain Rd., Yancey Co., North Carolina

Documented by Beth Bradford-Pytel

updated on 09/21/14


Macro view of the cemetery with commemorative crosses of Silas A. Hensley and Charlotta Briggs and the sign in the background fabricated

by Julian Fender and myself and installed July 5, 2014


PHOTO:  Left - Vista from JC Wilson Cemetery looking down in the valley with Watts Cemetery in the foreground.  courtesy of Dwight Edwards; right macro view of JC Wilson tombstones and commemorative crosses of Silas A. Hensley and Lottie Briggs in the background - bbpytel Feb 2014.


The cemetery is named after John "Californey" Wilson, a skilled "wagoner" who made several trips to California.  He is the son of William Wilson and Susannah Bradford and are suspected to be buried here along with Edward Wilson and Nancy "Dolly" Briggs who are my 4th-G grandparents.   In 1940, Joe W. Letterman surveyed the cemetery and referred to it "Willliams" Cemetery with only two marked graves/tombstones, both for JC Wilson.  "Williams" was most likely a typo when the survey notes were published.

    1940 Survey by the CCC  


DIRECTIONS:  Heading on Rt. 19W from Unicoi Co, Tennessee towards Burnsville, NC, make a right onto Little Creek Road which crosses over the Cane River -see map below.  After passing a general store/gas station on the left, make the first left onto Bald Mountain Road.  Proceed for about 2 miles on the winding 2-lane road which climbs in elevation towards Little Bald Mountain.  The road forks; make a right onto Lottie's Creek Road [see map below].  Proceed for about 3/4 mile to Love Ones Haven Road which takes you to Watts Cemetery of Lottie's Creek.  The Wilson cemetery is directly behind Watts graveyard up the steep hill.  This is dormant graveyard with about 20 unmarked graves.


A special thanks to Dwight Edwards for his contribution of info and photos for this site and taking care of the cemetery.



SURNAMES:  BRADFORD [#8], BRIGGS [#4; 7] EDWARDS [#5;HENSLEY [#2-4] MCINTOSH [#5] WILSON [#1-2; 6; 8-9]

1.  WILSON, John Charles ["Californey"]

b.  May 8, 1835

d.  January 14, 1909

"Jno C. Wilson - Co. E., 3rd NC Mtd. Infantry - Union

[s/o William "Billy" Wilson and Susannah Bradford]

NOTE:  JC was born and raised in the Lottie's Creek area of Bee Log.  Family lore claims he made several trips to California via the Oregon Trail and became a wagon master.  He acquired the "California" nick-name before 1866 as indicated in a   civil document   in which he served as a county juror vs John Edwards.  It took about a year to reach California with each trip.   Two of his children, Sarah and Finetta, were born in Missouri.  His son Charles Allison Wilson was killed in Kansas in a hail storm while herding cattle.  During the Civil War, John was conscripted to serve in the Confederate Army, but deserted and there was a reward for his capture.      REWARD NOTICE      He fled and joined the Union,  3rd NC Mnt. Infantry under Col. George W. Kirk.  (photo)  John and wife Martha are noted on the 1860, 1870, 1880, and 1900 Yancey Co. Censuses and all their children were noted being born in NC.  He was described as being a tall distinguished man with beautiful  "pearlie" white teeth who never used tobacco.   After the Civil War, he served as 2nd Lieut. for Co. E, 2nd Regiment of the NC State Troops under Capt. John H. Wheeler for the Kirk-Holden War.   According to the roster, he was mustered into service on July 14, 1870, age 35 and described as being 6'-1", blue eyes, light hair and fair complexion.    In the    Charlotte Daily Observer, Aug 2, 1903    The Ku Klux Days In Yancey,  John Californy was mentioned in the article as being connected with Esau Shelton and many "cruelties", resisted arrest for horse-stealing and he and his brother, Bill, were on the run to the Tennessee border when the Ku Klux overtook them and were stabbed/wounded.  JC Wilson left no Will upon death and thus the county of Yancey appointed F. W. Howard on February 6, 1909 as Administrator his estate valued at $2,665.67.  Photos courtesy of Dwight Edwards


    ESTATE OF JC WILSON         link to the complete Estate File


CIVIL WAR DOCS:        Co. K, 29th Infantry-CSA             Co. E. 3rd NC Infantry UNION Docs - Part I              UNION Docs - Part 2  

   TRANSCRIPTION OF LETTERS from  JC Wilson and W.W. Fender to John Pate  


2.  WILSON, Martha Ann [HENSLEY]

b.  September 1838 - d. July 12, 1930

Though lost to sight, To memory Dear

[d/o Silas A. Hensley and Charlotta "Lottie" Briggs; children: 

1)  William G.

2)  Silas

3)  Susannah - md. William Samuel McCourry

4)  John H.

5)  James

6)  Charlottie buried Watts Cem #6

7)  Martha Jane

8)  Sarah M. (b. 1874)

9) Phinettie "Nettie" (b. 1877 - d. 1967) md. 1st Bacchus S. Hensley; 2nd John Fender buried Hensley Cem. Bald Mnt.

10)  William (b. 1879 - d. 1951) md. Texie Phillips buried Watts Cem.

11)  Charles Allison (b. 1882 - d. bef. 1909)

NOTE:     NC DEATH RECORD #341    died age 89 at 1:00 p.m.; cause of death "arterial sclerosis.". John C. Wilson's tombstone is sitting on top of Martha's grave.  Photo of tombstone courtesy of Dwight Edwards.  During the 1900 Yancey Co., Census, Martha Ann declared she was born in Sept. 1838, married 41 years, had 12 children and 10 were alive during this census.  The 1910 Yancey Co., Census shows widowed Martha, age 69 living with her son William, wife Texie and family and it was noted that she was "insane.".


3.  HENSLEY, Silas A.  [unmarked - commemorative cross]

b.  1815 - d. 1852

[s/o Berry Hensley and Elizabeth Littleton buried Metcalf/Berry Hensley Cem

married Charlotta "Lottie" Briggs about 1834]

NOTE:  tombstone courtesy of Dwight Edwards




Commemorative Crosses for Silas A. Hensley and Charlotta "Lottie" Briggs fabricated and installed Feb. 2014 by bbpytel.


NOTE:  no one is certain of the exact location of their graves but most descendants believe they are buried in this cemetery with field stones..


4.  HENSLEY, Charlotta "Lottie" [BRIGGS]  [unmarked - commemorative cross]

b.   July 1817 - d. 1902

[d/o Edwards "Big-Ed" Wilson and Nancy Delothe Briggs; w/o Silas A. Hensley; children:

1. John E. (b. 1837 - 1864)

2. Emily Jane buried Watts Cem #18a

3. Martha Ann #2

4. Leanner E. buried Watts Cem. #29b

5. William Garrison

6. Sarah E. buried Hensley Cem. 19W

7. Howell M. buried Watts Cem #8a

8. Nicey Mariah buried Watts Cem. #1b


NOTE: After the death of her husband, Silas A. Hensley, she was the Administatrix of the Estate.  Lottie's Creek which served as a marker for many property lines was named after Charlotta;   tombstone and Lottie #1 sitting courtesy of Dwight Edwards; Lottie standing bbpytel. 


b. October 20, 1890 - d. February 26, 1914

[d/o Elbert Edwards and Sarah E. Pate buried Edwards Cem. Lotties Creek

2nd w/o John W. McIntosh - married in January 6, 1907]

child:  Coy McIntosh

NOTE:  Per the     NC DEATH RECORD #137    died at 10:30 a.m.; age 23 years, 4 mos, 6 days; cause of death Tuberculosis of the lungs.   photo of tombstone courtesy of Dwight Edwards


6.  WILSON, Edward "Big-Ed"  [suspected / unmarked]

b.  abt. 1780 - d. abt. 1849

NOTE:  photo of tombstone courtesy of Dwight Edwards


7.  BRIGGS, Nancy Delothe "Dollie"   [suspected / unmarked]

b.  abt. 1790 - d. 1875

["wife" of Edward Wilson; children:

1) Leannah (md. John Broke-Leg Edwards buried Sampson-Wilson Cem)

2) Mary Jane (md. 1st Bannister Hensley and 2nd Hezekiah Lewis)

3) Mariah Belle (md. William B. Van Jones; moved to Coffee Ridge area Spivey, TN)

4) Charlottie #4 (md. Silas A. Hensley #3)

5) Rev. Howell Wilburn (md. Naomi "Omy"  Honeycutt)]

NOTE: During this time, a widowed woman would resume her maiden name after the death of husband.   The 1850 Yancey Co. Census, she was listed as Nancy  born in Virginia at age 75, living with her 28 yr. daughter Mariah (md William B. Van Jones)  and living next door to her son married son, Rev. Howell Briggs (md. Naomi Honeycutt).  During the 1870 Yancey Co. census, Dollie was living with her son Howell.   According the Toe River Heritage Book, Article #198, Nancy Delothe was born in South Carolina around 1790.   Photo of tombstone courtesy of Dwight Edwards


8. WILSON, Susannah "Anna" [BRADFORD]  [suspected / unmarked]

b. abt. 1813 - d. abt 1881

[d/o John Bradford Jr. and Hannah (Choate?) suspected buried Honeycutt Cem Bradford Hill;

w/o William Billy Wilson #9;  children: Rev. Samuel Rexter Wilson; Sarah, Maryanne "Annie",  Mary-Jane "Polly", John "Californey" #1, William R.

NOTE:  photo of fieldstone courtesy of Dwight Edwards;  According to the Yancey Co., NC Probate Records, 1834-1860, pg. 129, she was the Administratrix for husband's estate -   SEE ESTATE DOC


9. WILSON, William "Billy"  [suspected / unmarked]

b. 1816 - d. 1838

[s/o John Wilson and Sophrenia Eisenstadt - suspected burial Wilson/Byrd Cem., Yancey]

NOTE:  his was killed by a rolling log; his father John Wilson was s/o Edward "Ned" Wilson and Mary "Polly" Gilbert;  Will of Edward Wilson;   photo of tombstone courtesy of Dwight Edwards


10.  EDWARDS, Leannah  BRIGGS  [suspected / unmarked]

b. abt. 1810 - d. 1844

[d/o Edward Big Ed Wilson and Dellothe "Dolly" Briggs; she married John Broke-Leg Edwards abt. 1831 (buried Sampson-Wilson); children: 

1) George Washington

2) Catherine Jane - md. Robert Burton Hensley - buried Old Hensley Cem #3 Spivey, TN

3) John Wesley - md. Emily Jane Hensley - buried Watts Cem,

4) Howell - md. Louisa Jane Hensley - buried Old Hensley Cem #3 Spivey, TN

5) William Silas - md. Sarah - killed in GA from Civil War.

NOTE:  Tombstone courtesy of Dwight Edwards; after the death of Leannah, John Broke-Leg remarried to Margaret "Arty" Higgins and sired 10 more children.  John and Margaret are buried at Sampson-Wilson Cem.


11.  HONEYCUTT, David  [suspected / unmarked]

b. 1865 - d. aft. 1910

[s/o Henderson Honeycutt and Martha; married Margaret Manerva "Nervie" Edwards #12 on July 21, 1881]

NOTE:  photo of tombstone courtesy of Dwight Edwards


12.  HONEYCUTT, Margaret Manerva "Nervie" EDWARDS   [suspected / unmarked]

b.  March 1863 - d. aft. 1930

[d/o John Broke Leg Edwards and Margaret "Arty" Higgins buried Sampson Wilson Cem.

children:  Elijah, William C., Linda A., Ibba E., Etta Ann, Texie (buried Old Hensley Cem #3), Lillie C., Cordelia, Martha Jane, Gertrude "Gertie", Sarah "Sallie"].

NOTE:  photo of tombstone courtesy of Dwight Edwards


13.   [unmarked]

NOTE:  photo of tombstone courtesy of Dwight Edwards


14.   [unmarked]

NOTE:  photo of tombstone courtesy of Dwight Edwards


15.   [unmarked]

NOTE:  photo of tombstone courtesy of Dwight Edwards


16.   [unmarked]

NOTE:  photo of tombstone courtesy of Dwight Edwards


17.   [unmarked]

NOTE:  photo of tombstone courtesy of Dwight Edwards


18.   [unmarked]

19.   [unmarked]

20.   [unmarked]


Yancey Co. Map - location of cemetery -click to enlarge

PHOTO: front gate to the cemetery ---courtesy of Dwight Edwards.

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Updated 09/21/2014