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The Gate City Herald - 1943
Contributed by Don Lane

The Gate City Herald
May 20, 1943

The Clinch Region In Benge’s Time

By C. V. Compton

     On the Clinch in 1775 scouts and Indian fighters had to be supplied.  Westward across the Blue Ridge and down the Valley of Virginia rolled unceasingly the immigrants and limited supplies for the conquest and settlement of this region.  Eastward rattled and groaned the less hardy pioneers returning to their eastward homes.  All along the route, all across the mountains and valleys, the Indians were taking their toll of these pioneers.  Their hatred of the Clinch invaders outran their fears.  Around great fires, their shadows thrown hugely against the trees, they danced the war dance.

     At Porter’s Fort and Ft. Blackmore the pioneers were jubilant.  The Cherokees were referring to these whites contemptuously as violators of all treaties previously made about limits of Anglo-Saxon westward settlements.  By 1775 there were plenty of new comers at these forts, and by 1776 the honeymoon of settlement was over, and the Cherokees had grown bitter toward these settlers.  The war of the Cherokees was on, and at Kingsport it broke out and simultaneously along the Clinch.

     The Battle of Long Island Flats followed, the siege of Ft. Blackmore occurred, the war whoop resounded along the Clinch, and Indians prowled around and about each of the forts.  No record is available as to the number and names of men killed and women taken captive.  For the next 10 years many white captives gradually returned to their homes but some remained among the Indians and others perished in their efforts to reach the settlements.

     But suppression was almost as swift and merciless as the Indian raids had been.  The fury of the men along the Clinch, and their desperation were redoubled by the memories of slain men and captured wives and children.  The settlers marched into the Cherokee town of Little Tennessee River, burning houses and food, killing helpless women, children and old men as they marched, sparing no one.  The ruins of the Cherokee town were left as an object lesson to future Indian atrocities.  This was not he end of the Indian wars, guerilla warfare continued along the trail until Captain Benge was killed.

     The factor which did most to make life tragic and exciting during these perilous days was Cameron, the British agent, in the heart of the Cherokee country promising succor and aid to all Indians fighting the white settlers.  The Cherokees, or maybe it was the white man, broke the treaty of 1776, the Shawnees, Mingo, and Delaware instigated perhaps by the British agent, Simco of Canada, committed repeated depredations on the forts of the Clinch, fearlessly attacking men and women at work in the fields, killed or drove off large numbers of cattle, horses and hogs belong to the settlers, and in many cases overpowered and slew or captured many of our people.  The Indians with the British encouragement openly declared they would drive the last paleface out of the Clinch region.  The Shawnees did not need to boast, their deeds spoke for them.

     A few days after ranger John Green reached Ft. Blackmore , Shawnees , Cherokees, and Mingo began a regular series of hostilities on the Clinch, killing men and driving off horses and cattle.  They attacked every group without exception, large or small, that passed the Clinch trail, for a period of a year.  The summer of 1777 opened with no better prospects.  Never had the Indians shown such audacity or such generalship --- there was no resting places, depots or points of security between Burke’s Garden and Carter’s Fort in the Rye Cove.  Gallant John Green and his handful of rangers had saved Ft. Blackmore from complete destruction.  The news of the Indian depredations spread far and wide through Ohio , Indiana , Illinois and even to faraway Canada , and told of painted warriors arrived in the section to drive out the palefaces.  We can not follow he detailed story of the bloody years along the Clinch.  Kentucky was almost cleared of settlers by these guerrilla attacks, much of the Kanawha region was overrun by the Indians, Martin’s Fort for a time was abandoned.  Suffering in this region was recent, the memory of the mighty Indian attacks which desolated vast stretches of settled country, and of the awful fate of hundreds of settlers was still fresh and vivid when the call came for men of the Clinch and Holston to march to King’s Mountain.  The very worst exaggerated fears came to pass.  All the Indian tribes were on the march.  It was the French and Indian War over again, with only a new setting, and the setting was the Clinch.

     As Logan’s and Benge’s followers crumbled by 1780, they were furious as a lion at bay, unconquered, because in spirit unconquerable, placed themselves at the head of roving bands of Indians, rousing them by their individual influences into a state of frenzy and warlike wrath.  They were determined to defend, and to re-conquer this region over which the new born Stars and Stripes floated, into which no palefaces should be left.  The great chiefs of most of the Indian confederation had enough, but Benge and Logan still fought on.  They still had one absorbing, ever mastering ambition.  Whatever ministered to that ambition they cherished, and what did not they flung aside.  Still the resources of these Napoleons of the forest were not exhausted.

     For the proud Benge and Logan there remained two alternatives, destruction or submission.  With a hell of hate in their hearts, they chose the former.  From this time to Benge’s death in 1794, he appears many times along the Clinch, still fighting for the cause of his mother’s people.  He never planted his lodge, hunted and fished like the other Indians until the last breath of him had expired near the High Knob in the edge of Wise County , Va.

     His death by Hobbs and his gallant men was soon made known to the settlers of the Clinch and Holston which started cries and wild howling announcing the event.  The word was caught up from mouth to mouth, and the whole Clinch Region resounded with the wildest joy.  Thus perished the champion of a ruined race.  Tradition has but faintly preserved the memory of the event.  Neither mound nor monument marks the last resting place of Benge, for a mausoleum, Norton has risen above the forest hero and the race whom he hated with such burning rancor trample with unceasing footsteps over his forgotten grave.

     We seem to be looking through the dust upon a scene of wild confusion, in which motives, means and objectives were in fierce dispute, and only the Indians knew hat they wanted, which was to kill, plunder and drive back the palefaces.  But Benge could not dam back the white flood.  So we may think of the Clinch as setting a little apart from the other great frontiers of America , suffering perhaps neglect because the World’s attention was drawn momentarily to the greater drams than the Clinch then had to offer.

     Yet the Clinch had played its part, had made possible those resounding events which clamored in men’s ears.  Though the immigrants passed on to Kentucky , Missouri , and the golden west in future years, yet this region was he path of empire.  It had sent many of its settlers to Kentucky , Missouri , and going through; they knew it not, to open up the road to the gold fields in later years of California .  It had delivered the blow without which the journey to Kentucky would have been of no avail.  The Clinch missed the great migration; nevertheless it shook to the vibration of those thousands of marching immigrants to Kentucky , Illinois , Ohio and on west.  An age is dean, an age heroic and epical.


The Gate City Herald
Thursday, April 22, 1943

Kinnie Wagner Returned To Mississippi Prison

     Kinnie Wagner, former trick shot in a circus, was captured about six miles west of Gate City on last Friday morning about 2 o’clock by F.B.I. agents and state officers.

     Wagner, who was serving a life sentence in Mississippi for the murder of a deputy sheriff, had been a fugitive from the state since 1940.

     It has been rumored that he has been in this immediate section for some months past.

     Captured with a lone companion in an A-model Ford car, Wagner was well equipped with rifles, pistols, a sawed off shot gun and many hundred round of ammunition.

     He was lodged in the Bristol , Va. jail for two nights and a day after which he was transferred to the jail in Lynchburg .  From there he was taken back to Mississippi .

     Wagner is well known in this county and many of his relatives live here.

     In 1926 he engaged in a gun battle with five Kingsport officers.  In the affray Wagner shot down three of the officers, two of whom were killed instantly and a third was desperately wounded.

     For this he was given a death sentence in the Blountville court in Sullivan County, Tenn.

     His attorneys appealed for a new trial.  The judge confessed to errors in the first trial and granted a second one.

     Just a few days before this second Tennessee trial was due to begin Kinnie led a break from the Blountville jail.

     Following this escape he is reputed later to have killed two men in a southern state.  He gave himself up and was later turned over to Mississippi from which he escaped in 1940.

     Wagner is forty years old, a full 6 feet, four inches in height and weighs about 250 pounds.

     His father, C. M. Wagner, lives near Speers Ferry, and his brother, Oscar, is on the Gate City police force.


The Gate City Herald
November 18, 1943

Old Landmark Is Burned To Ground

     One of the oldest dwellings in Scott County was destroyed by fire last Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock .

     The building, which was located in the Red Hill community some two or three miles north of Gate City , has an interesting history.  The following statement from Prof. I. C. Coley is herewith presented:

     “In 1820 Abram Lane built a house in the Red Hill neighborhood which was outstanding for size and structure.  He had married Catherine (Katy) Wolfe and they had fifteen children, ten boys and five girls, they needed a big house.  This house was built of oak logs, the sides of which were thirty feet and it took good men to lay them up.  The floors and ceiling were sawed by hand with a whip saw and a great many of the nails were hand forged and shop made.  Abram Lane lived in this house till 1836 when he sold it to Geo. W. Vineyard, who reared his family there, he died in 1860.  When Abram Lane moved from this place he settled on Copper Creek where the late Jack Donelson lived.  His widow is granddaughter of Abram Lane .”

     “Soon after Abram Lane moved from the Red Hill community a Red Hill Baptist church was built and Elder David Jessee was the pastor for many years and later David Jessee, Jr.  This church was burned in 1886 and the dwelling house referred to was used monthly as a meeting place till abut the year 1880.”

     “George Vineyard’s widow, Hannah Vineyard was superstitious about he burning of sassafras wood and would never permit it burning as long as she lived in the house, saying that lightning would strike where it was burned.  But in recent years sassafras was burned plentifully and some six or seven years ago lightning stuck the chimney on the east end of the house and damaged it much.  The owner of the house at the time it burned was Oscar Wagner, whose wife is a great-great-granddaughter of Abram Lane .

     Abram Lane ’s daughters, five in number, married William Peters, William Templeton, John Taylor, Nelson Taylor and Robert Bailie.  Saturday evening about two p.m. it passed away in smoke after having housed several families.”


The Gate City Herald
Thursday, October 7, 1943

Interesting Letter Comes From Pat Lane In Army

Sept. 18, 1943 ,

Dear Mr. Wolfe:

     I noticed in the last issue of The Herald that you were going to dedicate an issue in the near future to the men in the service from Scott County .

     I think this is a noble thing for The Herald to do and I am sure the other boys will feel the same way.

     I thought I might take this opportunity through the courtesy of The Herald of giving my friends a faint idea what a soldier’s first week out on field problems is like.

     To start with the commanding officer tells you one day that the following week you will be out in the field.  This sounds all right to every one.  At least it will be a change from your regular duties, and a chance to get out of camp for a week.

     The day before you are to start the boys make a raid on the local Post Exchange.  They practically buy out the stock of cigarettes, candy bars, matches and any toilet articles they may need.

     I would remind you of an old maid shopping for her first vacation.

     Then comes the time to pack and believe me it is like working a jigsaw puzzle, to try to get everything you need in a muster bag.  You need a rain coat, change of underwear, socks, handkerchiefs, towels, toilet articles, mess equipment, and other necessary articles, and try to have enough space left for the treasured cigarettes and candy bars.  You can bet that some of those packs stood up like the hump on a camel’s back.

     You are all set now for march order.  Every one anxious to get started and see what it is all about.

     You load up your equipment and hook on to your guns, and get set as comfortable as possible for a few hours ride.

     Finally you reach your destination all tired and dusty from riding the back end of a truck, unload as soon as possible and get your gun set up in firing position.

     The order comes through to start digging in at dusk.

     The mosquitoes must have tapped your phone line and thought the order was for them.  They are there promptly at duck, and they waste no time in starting to dig in.

     You dig and fill sand bags until you think you can’t dig any more, then try it again.  There is no way of pulling the W.P.A. act of bending over and resting on your shovel handle every shovel full.  There are always a half dozen mosquitoes waiting to lite where your trousers are stretched the tightest.

     This work of art all takes place in absolute darkness, no lights are allowed.


The Gate City Herald
December 23, 1943

Professor Coley Writes Item On Parker Family

     From the facile pen of Prof. I. C. Coley we are pleased to publish the following interesting family history:

The Parker Boys

To the Editor:

     In your last issue you have an article mentioning F. M. Parker’s boys.  A little background will probably be interesting even to them:

     In 1772 Thomas Carter took up land in Rye Cove, Augusta County, Va.  He soon returned to Fauquier County and did not return till the close of the Revolutionary War.  When he did he came to Washington County and a little later it was Russell County, and he in 1788 represented Russell in the Constitutional Convention that passed on the constitution of the United States; one of his daughters married James Taylor, son of Nimrod Taylor, and one of James Taylor’s daughters married William (Dock) Wood, of the Big Moccasin section, one of William Wood’s daughters married Ewel Henderson Quillin, one of Henderson Quillin’s sons C. C. (Chad) Quillin married John B. Agee’s daughter, (John B. Agee’s wife was a King), Chad Quillin’s daughter married James Foster, James Foster’s daughter is Mrs. F. M. Parker, and the mother of the boys mentioned in the article above referred to.

     John B. Agee was the son of William Agee who for many years was a member of the County Court of Scott County in its young days.  William Agee lived at what a few years ago was commonly known as the Tom King place on Holston River, the place is now occupied by Lee Foster a brother of Mrs. Parker, and Lee Foster lives at the home of his great-great-grandfather.  Jim Foster’s mother’s maiden name was Lane.  The Parker boys are descended from the first, first Taylor, first Wolfe, First Lane and first Pruitt of the county.

I. C. Coley


The Gate City Herald
Thursday, October 7, 1943

Quillen Cemetery To Be Improved

     The Quillin Cemetery located on the lands of Mr. A. C. Starnes, to be enlarged and greatly improved.  The trustees are receiving a donation from Mr. Starnes of a 15 ft. right-of-way over another farm in order to reach the cemetery on a splendid grade.  The road will also be used as a farm road.  The cemetery will also be enlarged 20 ft. on three sides and 25 ft. on the north side.

     It will also be fenced and planted in shrubbery.  Every community should have this fine spirit.


The Gate City Herald
February 25, 1943

Massacre of Archibald Scott’s Family In 1785

     The history of the Clinch settlements during the decades of 1780 to 1790 is a tangled mass of murders, outrages, surprises, captivities, burnings and avenging expeditions.  Hardly a settlement in the whole Clinch Region escaped the hands of the destroyers.  The Indian outrages became thick and fast.  Each settler passing along the trail, every farmer at work in his ‘new ground’ the ferrymen pushing his boat across the Clinch was likely to fall a victim to some shaft of destruction from an unseen hand.  If we take the annals of the Clinch for a brief period of time and itemize the outrages committed by the Indians, it would read about as follows:

     James Green killed, Capt. Charles Kilgore and John McKinney wounded while hunting on the head waters of the Pound River .

     Cherokees attacked Ft. Blackmore and killed two or three settlers.

     Gray made his famous ride to procure relief from Porter’s Fort.

     Fourteen horses and three slaves stolen.

     Ferris killed near Moccasin Gap.

     William Massey and Adam Green killed at the Gap of Powell Mountain.

     Great alarm on the Clinch frontier, settlers fleeing to stockades and forts.

     A man by the name of Naul walking along a trail, heard a shot, felt a pain in his right arm, and saw behind a large oak, lurking Indians.  Naul ran with all haste to Bush’s house, clutched the latch string, pushed his way in, and breathlessly fell on the floor.  Every inmate of the house knew at once what this meant.  Doors and shutters were barricaded.  An agitated conference was held: whether to abandon the house and flee to Moore ’s Fort, or to remain inside.

     Mrs. Bush said: “I would rather die here than to live in filth and confinement at the fort.”  The house was defended.  Whether the Indians attacked or not the chronicler failed to state; but such was the courage of these old settlers.

     We found some years ago in the Boston Public Library the following narrative of the Escape of Mrs. Archibald Scott which so far as I know has been entirely overlooked by the historians of Southwest Virginia .  Source of the narrative is John Frost’s “History of Indian Wars in the United States ” published in 1850 by Sexton, Barker Co., New York City .  Mr. Frost states that the account was procured from a newspaper published in 1786 giving the following record:

     “On Wednesday, June 29, 1785, late in the afternoon a large company of armed men passed our house on their way to Kentucky, and camped about two miles that night from our house.  My husband, living on the frontier made him watchful, but on this calamitous night, after so large a body of armed men encamped so near, my husband lay down in bed and imprudently left the door open.  The children were also in bed and I (Mrs. Scott) was nearly undressed when to my unutterable astonishment and horror, I saw rushing through the open door painted savages with guns and raising hideous yells.  My husband instantaneously awaked, and jumped from his bed but was fired on by the Indians immediately.  He forced his way out of the house but fell a few steps from the door dead.

     An Indian seized Mrs. Scott and ordered her to a particular place and charged her not to move.  Other Indians stabbed and cut the throats of the three children in bed, and then picked them up and dashed them on the floor near the mother.  The eldest child, a beautiful girl about eight years of age, awoke, jumped out of bed and ran to her mother and with a painful accent cried: “mama, mama save me.”  The mother in the deepest anguish of spirit, and with a flood of tears entreated the Indians to spare the child’s life.  With that awfully revolting brutality they stabbed and tomahawked the girl in her mother’s arms.

     Adjacent to Mr. Scott’s house another family lived by the name of Ball.  The Indians also attacked them but the door being shut they fired into the house between logs and killed a boy and then tried to force the door, but a larger brother fired on the Indians through the door and they fled.  In the meantime the remaining members of the Ball family ran out and escaped.

     In the house of Mr. Scott were four guns, loaded, belonging to men that had left them there on their way to Kentucky and were going to get them on their return.  The Indians, thirteen in number, seized them and all the plunder they could carry off, and hastily began to retreat into the wilderness.  It was now late in the night and they traveled all the following night also.  Then next morning, June 30th, the chief of the party allotted to each Indian his share of the booty and prisoners, and detached nine of his party to go on a horse stealing expedition on the Clinch river.

     The 11th day after Mrs. Scott’s captivity, four Indians that had her in charge stopped at a fixed place for a rendezvous, to hunt as being in great want of provisions.  Three of these four men set out on the hunting expedition, leaving their chief, an old man to take care of Mrs. Scott, who had by now to all appearances become reconciled to her situation.  She expressed a willingness to proceed to the Indian town which seemed to have had the desired effect of lessening her keeper’s watchfulness.  In the daytime, while the old chief was graining a deer skin, Mrs. Scott pondering on her situation, began anxiously to look for an opportunity to make her escape.  At length, having matured her resolutions in her own mind for the accomplishment of her freedom, and in the most disinterested way asked the chief for the liberty to go to a small stream a little distance off to wash the blood from her apron, that had remained upon it since the fatal night caused by the murder of her child in her arms.  He replied in English “Go along.”  She then passed him, his face being in the contrary direction and he very busily engaged in dressing the deer skin, seemingly unnoticed her.

     After arriving at the water, instead of stopping to wash her apron as she pretended, she proceeded on without a moment’s delay.  She laid her course for a high barren mountain which was in sight and traveled until night, when she came down off the mountain into the valley in search of the tracks she had been taken this way a few days before, hoping thereby to find her way to the settlement without eminent peril which now surrounded her that is of being lost and perishing with hunger in this unknown region.

     On coming across the valley to the side of the river which skirted it (supposedly to be the easterly branch of the Kentucky River ), she observed in the sand tracks of two men that had gone up the river and had returned.  She concluded these to have been her pursuers, which excited in her breast emotions of gratitude and thankfulness to divine providence for so timely a deliverance.  Being without provisions, and having no weapons or tools to assist in getting any food, and almost destitute of clothing, and knowing that a vast tract of rugged mountains intervened between where she was and the settlements where she was going, and she as ignorant as a child of the method of steering thro the woods, all this excited painful sensations.  But certain death by either hunger or wild beasts seemed to be better than to be in the power of the Indians.  She thus addressed herself to Heaven, and taking courage proceeded.  After traveling three days, she had nearly met with the Indians that had been sent to steal horses on the Clinch, but providentially hearing their approach, concealed herself among the cane until they passed.  This giving her a fresh alarm, and her mind being filled with consternation she got lost and for several days proceeded back and forth in this region.  At length she came to a river that seemed to come from the east.  Concluding it was the Sandy River , she accordingly resolved to trace it to its source which is adjacent to the Clinch Settlement.  After proceeding up the river for several days she came to a place where it runs through the Great Laurel Mountains and there is a prodigious waterfall with high craggy cliffs all about which seemed impassable, however our mournful traveler concluded the latter way was the best.  She therefore ascended for sometime up the rugged mountain, but coming to a rugged range she changed her course to the foot of the mountain and the river.  (This suggests the Breaks of the Cumberland to me).  After getting into a deep gully, and passing over several ranges of high rocks, she reached the river side and found a perpendicular rock that hung over to the height of fifteen to twenty feet.  Here a solemn pause ensued.  She tried to return but the height of the steep rocks she had descended prevented.  She then returned to the edge of the precipice, certain spot to end all her troubles; and viewing the bottom of it as then or to remain on top and either to pine away with hunger or to be devoured by wild beasts.

     After serious meditation and devout exercise, she determined on leaping from the height, and accordingly jumped off.  Now, although the place she had alighted upon was covered with uneven rocks, not a bone was broken, but severely stunned from the leap, she was not able to proceed for sometime.

     The dry season had caused the water in the river to e shallow.  She traveled in it, and where she could by the edge of the river until she got through the gorge.  After this, as she was traveling along the bank of the river, a venomous snake bit her on the ankle.  She had strength to kill the snake, and knowing its kind, concluded death must soon come.

     By this time Mrs. Scott was reduced to a mere skeleton from hunger, and grief.  Probably this reduced state of her system saved her from the effects of the poison snake fangs; b that as it may, so it was that very little pain succeeded the bite and what little swelling there was fell in her feet.

    Our wanderer now left he river, after proceeding a good distance, she came to where the valley parted into two --- each leading a different direction.  Here a painful suspense took place again.  How truly forlorn was the case of this poor woman almost ready to sink down from exhaustion, who had now the only prospect left, that, either the right or the wrong valley, as her remaining strength could not carry her very far, and then she began to despair of ever again beholding the face of a human.

     While her mind was thus agitated, a beautiful bird passed close to her, fluttering slowly along near the ground in front of her and she very remarkably took its course up the valley.  While she was pondering upon what this bird meant, another bird likened unto the first and in the same manner passed by her, and went up the valley.  She now took it for granted that this was her course and wonderful to relate in two days, after she had wandered almost in sight of the settlement of New Garden on the Clinch River , she reached her kindred’s home.  But had she taken the other valley she never would have reached New Garden .

Mrs. Scott relates that the Indians told her that the party with whom she was a captive was composed of four Indians nations --- Mingo , Delaware , Shawnee and Cherokee.  She further relates that during a full month of wandering --- from July 10 to August 11 she had no better food to subsist upon than what she derived from chewing and swallowing juices of young cane stalks, sassafras leaves, and some other plants of which she knew not their names.  On her journey she saw a few buffaloes, several elks, deer and frequently bears and wolves.  Though she passed near them, not one offered her the least harm.  One day a bear was near her with a young fawn.

     Mrs. Scott continues in a low state of health and remains inconsolable for the loss of her family, particularly bewailing the cruel death of her little daughter.”

     John Frost stated he copied this from an old newspaper printed in 1786 which account he published in his Indian Wars.

     We find the following record about Mrs. Archibald Scott.  Her maiden name was Fanny Dickenson and possibly a sister of Henry Dickenson, Russell Col, Va.   Mr. and Mrs. Scott married and located a corn right between Wallen’s Ridge and Powell Mountain in the present day Lee County .  The land now belongs to the descendants of the late Mr. Robert Duff.  After some years she married again Thomas Johnson, for whom Johnson County , Tenn. Was named.  She had several children by the last marriage.  She was buried at Hayter’s Gap, Russell Co., Va.

--- By C. V. Compton


The Gate City Herald
Thursday, May 27, 1943

Forty-Eight Seniors To Graduate At Shoemaker High

     Shoemaker High School will have one of its largest classes to graduate this year.  The total membership of the class is forty-eight.  The list follows:

     Gus Nickels Addington, Jr., Robert Sutton Addington, Robert Marion Addington, James Tompkins Arnold, Roy Estes Balthis, Jr., Charlotte Ann Blankenship, Charles Robert Bowen, Jo Miles Broadwater, William Harmon Carter, Ryland Glenmore Craft, Jr., Jayne Wynn Crockett, Doris Elizabeth Davidson, Willie E. Draper, Creed Carter Frazier, Emma Catherine Gose, Mollie Quillen Hamilton, Audrey Janette Harris, Willie Sue Henry, Kenneth Edward Jenkins, Jack Glenmore Jennings, Mary Ruth Jennings, Mack Arthur Jones, Willa Vastine Jones, Faye Mann.

     Hubert Eugene McClellan, Raymond Cecil McClellan, Wanda Belle McConnell, Emil Fay Penley, Myrtle Gene Penley, Lois Fay Peters, Floy Maxine Peters, Hester Locella Pierson, Etta Mae Poff, Von Eva Pridemore, Dorothy Sutton Richmond, Betty Jane Rose, Edgar Lee Sampson, Howard Augustus Sivert, Violet Carleen Smith, Jack Dudley Smythe, William Rhea Starnes, Audrey Lois Thompson, Ruby Margaret Tipton, Ruby Nell Vaughn, Freta Esta Lee Wagner, Joe Pence Whited, Edith Mae Williams, Margaret Louise Wolfe.


The Gate City Herald
Thursday, March 25, 1943

Coley Writes Interesting Bits of History 
About Wood Family Of Scott

     William M. Wood whose death was noted in the local newspapers of this section recently was a native of the Big Moccasin section of Scott County , some four miles east of Gate City .  His father, James O. Wood was the son of Henry Wood whose will follows this sketch.  William M. Wood was for many years clerk in his brothers H. C. and M. B. Wood’s store in the only house on the south side of Main St. in Gate City still standing that comes down to us from Civil War days, formerly occupied by Alderson and Shoemaker, by the side of the First National Bank building.  Not far from 1890 the Wood family moved to Bristol and have not lived here since.

     Henry Wood grandfather of W. M. Wood was commissioned Sheriff of Scott County, by Governor James Pleasants in 1832.  Henry Wood’s wife was William Lawson’s daughter.

  Henry Wood’s sons are named in his will.  James O. the father of W. M. married John Godsey’s daughter.  James O. was made Deputy Clerk by John S. Martin in 1841.  Was Clerk in 1845.  Was made Commissioner in Chancery in 1851, deputy for Isaac Gray in 1852, deputy for James L. Shoemaker in 1858.

     James O. Wood’s sons were John, Harve, M. C., M. B. and  W. M.  H. C. was elected to the State Senate in 1878, ran for Lieut. Gov. in 1885 and again for Congress in 1892.  M. B. Wood made County Judge in 1880, succeeding H. S. Morison.


     I, Henry Wood of the county of Scott and State of Virginia do make my last will and testament in manner and form following:

     1st After the payment of all  my just debts and funeral expenses I desire that my wife, Sally Wood, if she should out-live me have the choice of two of my Negroes to have and to hold during her life as her property and all my household and kitchen furniture as well as the house and appurtenances that I now occupy if she chooses to occupy it, and at her death as herein stated.

     2nd, I give to my daughter Elizabeth Ewing the price of one of my tracts of land lying on Big Moccasin Creek on the north side of said creek on Moccasin Ridge which is known as the Gilliam tract, which is to be sold by my executor herein after named at private sale to the best advantage, which I consider as her portion of my estate taking into consideration what I have heretofore given her.

3rd, I give to my son, Jonathan, in addition to what I have heretofore given him, one Negro boy named Jacob and one girl called Matilda.

     4th, I give to James T. Wood, son of William Wood, all that tract of land upon which my son William Wood lives as laid off to him with the understanding that my son William Wood and his wife Elizabeth are to have their support off of the land their life time, and to live on it if they choose, and I also give to the said James T. Wood, a Negro girl called Peggy, and her increase but William, my son William Wood and his wife are to have the use of said girl and her increase during their lives, having given to my son William Wood, what I consider a fair portion of my estate as an advancement.

     5th, I give to my son Henry Wood, four hundred dollars in money to be paid by my said executor hereinafter named which is to be made out of my personal estate, one hundred dollars of which I desire to have applied for the purpose of educating my nephew, James Wood’s son, if living, if not it is to belong to my said son Henry.


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