Here’s Your Sign #24 ~ Jesse Cleveland

For many years I have been collecting photos of and information about the various signs that have been placed in honor of some of my ancestors. These signs are a glimpse into some event and/or place where they lived. Some of the signs are small like a placard with a few poignant words, some are large, and they go into great detail, and then there are those that are somewhere in between. Each one gives added life to those ancestors.

Jesse Cleveland is my 2nd cousin 5 times removed. He comes from a long line of military men, politicians and pioneers. This plaque was placed in his honor by two of his grandsons, Jesse F. Cleveland and John B. Cleveland. The marker is at the intersection of Asheville Highway and Chapel Street, on the left when traveling south on Asheville Highway. Cleveland Park, as well as nearby Wofford College were built on part of the original 578 acre land that was granted to Jesse Cleveland.

Born 1785 – Died 1851
Came to Spartanburg 1810
Merchant for 41 years
Lived on public square just above Cleveland Hotel.
This park is dedicated to his memory and is part of a grant of 578
acres granted to him 6th day of June, 1825.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

Sunday’s Salute #39 ~ William Riley Divine ~ Union Soldier

William Riley Divine is my maternal 1st cousin 4 times removed. He was born in 1819 in Spartanburg, Greenville County, South Carolina. He was the 3rd child of 7 born to James Marshall Divine Sr (1793-1872) and Nancy Calloway (1796-1872). His family moved to Monroe County, Tennessee when he was 5 years old.

Here he married Amelia “Milly” Webb (1825-1897) on September 27, 1842, and they had 18 children, 5 sons, 10 daughters, and 4 who died at birth and their gender is not known. In 1860, William moved his ever growing family to Morgan, Dade County, Missouri. Here they purchased a farm. On April 14, 1862, he mustered into the E 14th Missouri State Militia as a Private in Springfield, Missouri.

At the battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas December 6, 1862, Captain Julian Greene’s county company of the 14th cavalry, Missouri State Militia, fired the first gun on the Federal side discharged by Gen. Herron’s division. The entire portion of the regiment engaged, numbering about 100 men, and they performed a valuable service for the Union cause by uniting with 25 men of the 1st Arkansas (Union) cavalry and 175 men of Judson’s 6th Kansas. They were able to hold a road, thus preventing the Confederate General Hindman from throwing his entire force upon General Herron and crushing him before General Blunt could come up and cooperate. The Confederates were delayed two hours by this small force.

On the 14th of December 40 men of the 14th M. S. M., under Lieutenant John R. Kelso, 60 enrolled militia under Captains Green and Salee, raided the Confederate saltpeter works on White river, near Yellville, Arkansas. They took Captains Jesse Mooney and P. S. McNamara prisoner as well as 36 other men. They then destroyed 35 stands of arms, a complete three months supply of provisions for 50 men and burnt four buildings, along with machinery, kettles, manufactured saltpeter, etc.This destruction cost the Confederacy the amount of $30,000 and brought their 38 prisoners to Springfield without the loss of a man.

William was transferred to the 8th Regiment Calvary on February 4, 1863, but he mustered out in April of that year. He returned home and continued to farm. He was also made a Justice of the Peace in Dade County. On October 10, 1874, William received a Homestead Deed for 160 acres of land in the township of Bona. He became sick about 6 months later and died on October 4, 1875, at the age of 56.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Here’s Your Sign #20 ~Archdale Hall, Dorchester County, South Carolina

For many years I have been collecting photos of and information about the various signs that have been placed in honor of some of my ancestors. These signs are a glimpse into some event and/or place where they lived. Some of the signs are small like a placard with a few poignant words, some are large, and they go into great detail, and then there are those that are somewhere in between. Each one gives added life to those ancestors.

The sign reads:

Archdale Hall Plantation was established in 1681 by a royal grant of 300 acres to Richard Baker. The plantation, later expanded to more than 3000 acres, produced indigo and rice. The house which once stood here, built before 1750, was a fine example of Georgian residential architecture. It survived the Civil War only to be demolished by the Charleston earthquake of 1886.

Richard Baker is my 7th Great Grandfather. He was born in 1630 in England. His parents are unknown. He emigrated to Saint Philip, Barbados in 1648. Here he married Elizabeth Wilson (1630-1734) in 1656. The had 7 children, 4 sons, and 3 daughters. In 1680, he moved his family to Dorchester County, South Carolina and there he founded Archdale. He was a member of Commons House of Assembly, and he served from the Third Assembly representing Berkeley and Craven Counties in 1696-1697. He died in 1698 at the age of 68.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Freaky Friday’s ~ William & Thomas Divine ~ Brothers to the End

William Riley (1819-1875) and Thomas Mason (1824-1898) Divine were the sons of James Marshall (1793-1872) and Nancy (1796-1872) nee Calloway. Although they were brothers, and they were the same in many ways there was however, one big issue that made them quite different.

William Riley (1819-1875) and Thomas Mason (1824-1898) Divine were the sons of James Marshall (1793-1872) and Nancy (1796-1872) nee Calloway. Although they were brothers, and they were the same in many ways there was however, one big issue that made them quite different.

Here are some of the ways they were the same:

They were both born in Greenville District, South Carolina. Thomas in 1824 and William in 1819.

They were both Farmers.

They both got married while living in Monroe County, Tennessee.

They both moved their families to Morgan, Dade County, Missouri in 1857.

They each named a son after each other.

They both named a son after their beloved Grandfather Thomas Divine.

They both named a daughter Nancy after their mother.

They both enlisted and fought in the Civil War.

Here are the ways they were different:

William and Milly had 15 children; 10 girls and 5 boys. Thomas and Nancy had 6 children; 4 boys and 2 girls.

They were buried in different cemeteries; William in Friend Cemetery in Missouri and Thomas in Falls Cemetery in Oklahoma.

The biggest difference between these two brothers was that William enlisted as a private in L Company 8th Missouri Southwest Volunteer Cavalry for the Union, and he was anti-slavery. Whereas Thomas enlisted as a private in the 15th Calvary Missouri regiment for the Confederacy, and he was pro-slavery.

It makes me wonder how two brothers, brought up in the same home, could have two such opposing beliefs.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Timeand Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Hometown Tuesday ~ Glassy Mountain, Greenville County, South Carolina

hometown tuesdayGlassy Mountain, located in Greenville County at the edge of the Blue Ridge mountains. It has an elevation of 2760 feet above sea level. It got the name from the water that flows down the large granite face of the mountain that often freezes. The icy rock face reflects the sunlight as if it were made of glass. Glassy Mountain is considered the “heart” of the Dark Corner of Greenville County. The mountainous region, originally populated by Cherokee Indians, was and is home to an independent and hardy collection of people.

Thousands of years ago, this was the domain of the Cherokees. As firstGlassy mtn river white hunters, then traders, and later settlers entered the area, interactions occurred between the two peoples. What began as mutually beneficial trade led to confrontations as the white people wanted more and more land and the Indians were willing to give up less and less of it.

Glassy MountainAs late as 1776, the Cherokees controlled most of the South Carolina Piedmont as a tribal hunting ground. But in the Treaty of DeWitt’s Corner that year, they ceded all but the northernmost parts of Oconee, Pickens, Anderson, and Greenville counties. The whites immediately moved into the newly gained territory and built fortifications. They erected a blockhouse near the modern town of Tryon, N.C., and built forts near the modern towns of Gowensville (Fort Gowens) and Duncan and Landrum (Fort Prince). These fortifications stood on the Cherokee boundary and approximated what is now the dividing line between the two counties.

After the Americans won their independence and established a government, they began to emphasize internal improvements. By 1820, the state of South Carolina had begun construction on a toll road from Charleston, S.C., to Asheville, N.C. The plan included a magnificently designed, stone-arched bridge, called the Poinsett Bridge, in the heart of the Dark Corner. The bridge still stands today, a short distance from Highway 414, although it is no longer used for traffic.
In the early 1830s, however, the attention of the people of South signCarolina was not on scenic parks. The Andrew Jackson administration imposed a higher tariff that was especially harmful to the primarily agricultural South. South Carolinian’s, led by Jackson’s own vice president, John C. Calhoun, led the opposition to the tariff. Despite those efforts, the tariff passed Congress and Jackson signed it into law. But the South Carolina legislature voted to nullify the law, essentially declaring that it did not apply in South Carolina.

Not everyone in South Carolina, however, favored nullification. Opposition to it was strong in the Upstate, especially in northern Greenville County. A government official sought to convince the people of the folly of opposing nullification. Standing in a wagon so that all could see and hear him, he waxed eloquent on the righteousness of standing against the national government on the issue. At some point in his speech, he hit a raw nerve, and some of his listeners overturned the wagon and spilled him unceremoniously in the dirt. Forced to end his speech, he dusted himself off, declaring that “the light of nullification will never come to this dark corner of the state.”

greenville-county-dark-corner-mapThe notoriety of the Dark Corner only increased during the Civil War. The residents of the area were divided over slavery; therefore, a constant struggle raged between Unionists and Confederates. The whole southern Appalachian range, including the Glassy Mountain area, became a haven for deserters and draft dodgers of both the Union and the Confederacy. It also once again became bloody ground as soldiers from both sides sought to capture the deserters, draft the dodgers, and punish their abettors. As enforcement of conscription laws tightened, resistance to them increased proportionally. And gangs of fugitives preyed upon the residents of the land for survival. In many instances, long-standing feuds were settled behind the convenient guise of civil war. In some instances, animosities continued beyond the war itself.

The area was also populated by fiercely independent Irish and Scottish immigrants who took a dim view of authority. Many grumbled about rich men buying their way out of the service. Many men joined the battle not for any political point of view, but because of a desire to defend their homes. One of the common expressions among the common soldiers was ‘rich man’s war, poor man’s fight.’ There was some bitterness in the fact that ordinary people were dragged into this, not because of any feeling about state’s rights or that they were defending anything except … defending their homes.

During the war and the economically sparse times of Reconstruction, stillthe mountain farmers had a hard time making a living. No matter how efficiently they produced corn and other grains, they could not survive on what little cash that crop produced. Corn sold for only about 50 cents a bushel. Farmers discovered, however, that if they used the grains to make alcohol—moonshine—they could make much more cash. A bushel of corn yielded about two and a half gallons of whiskey, and whiskey sold for about a dollar a gallon. A farmer operating a 50-gallon still could make 10 or 11 gallons of whiskey a day. The math was simple.

So moonshining became a common business enterprise in the rugged mountainous expanse. The problem was that the national government wanted to tax liquor. To make alcoholic beverages without paying a tax was illegal. But the mountaineers who ran the stills didn’t want to pay taxes. So a battle of wits and weapons erupted. The mountain people could trust no stranger; he might be a “revenoor.” Friends and family members of the moonshiners refused to help the government agents. If the residents suspected that a government agent was in the area, the moonshiners conveniently disappeared into the surrounding gaps and hollows. If agents discovered a still, they destroyed it. When the competing interests collided, shots were often exchanged. The conflict continued well into the 1960s. Some people say that it is still a problem today.

My 4th great-aunt, Celia Divine was born 1784, in South Carolina. She was the 2nd of 7 children born to Thomas Divine Jr. (1748-1840) and Jemima Dill (1755-1748). In 1813 she married John A. Butler (1773-1839) and they moved to Glassy Mountian, South Carolina. They had 6 sons and  6 daughters. John was a farmer but it is not known if he was one of local moonshiners. Celia died on  July 4, 1857, at her home in Glassy Mountain at the age of 73.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Sunday’s Substitute ~ James Holland “Hol” Howard ~ Bootlegging

dark-corner-moonshiners-1My 3rd cousin 2 times removed, James Holland Howard was born on September 18, 1872, in Glassy Mountain, Greenville County, South Carolina. He was the last of 8 children born to Wade D. Howard (1839-1905) and Narcissa Center (1842-1905). Their ancestors had lived in this part of the Blue Ridge Mountain range for over 150 years.

James became a farmer at 18-years-old when his father gave him a large piece of land. He married Margaret Elizabeth Moon (1876-1957) in January 1894. Over the next 24 years, they had 12 children, 8 sons, and 4 daughters. His family had a history of involvement in moonshining and had several confrontations with the law. Hatred of the “law” was greatest in Dark Corner (the name given this moonshining area) after 1892 when the South Carolina Legislature, at the urging of Gov. Benjamin R. Tillman passed a law creating the State Dispensary. Many individuals and even entire towns openly defied the law. This was an era known as the “Prohibition Years”, when an amendment had been added to the Constitution of the United States, prohibiting the manufacture, sale, and transportation or consumption of alcoholic beverages, except in the exercise of religious rites.

James, or “Hol” as he was called, was  a representative of the “new State Constable Badgeorder” and he was opposed to the moonshining activity of the “old order.” He was so convinced that moonshining was the “curse of the mountains” that he became a State Constable “serving without pay” (the Greenville News described him as a Special State Constable.) Hol worked for some time as a Deputized Constable and was well known and highly regarded by the law enforcement authorities in Greenville. However, he was hated as a traitor by the moonshiners.

greenville-county-dark-corner-mapOn January 31, 1924, Hol participated in a raid on an illicit whiskey distillery beside the headwaters of the South Pacolet River at the base of Hogback Mountain. The site, five miles from the nearest homestead, has been described as a cove between Hogback Mountain and Chestnut Ridge. It is said to be one of the loneliest spots in Dark Corner. As the raiding party walked up the cove toward the suspected still site, they met two brothers, W. P. and Alexander Plumley, both around 20 years old, coming from the direction of the still. The experienced officers could tell by the condition of the brothers’ clothing they had been working at a still. They searched the two and found a .32 caliber pistol on one of them. The two Plumley’s were placed under arrest and incarcerated in a small log corn crib about a half-mile below the still site. After securing the two prisoners, Constable Hol proceeded toward the still site along with Reuben Gosnell who was a Governor’s Constable with 19 years experience.

When Gosnell and Constable Hol came very close to the still, Gosnell crept stealthily around to the head of the cove to cut off any escape in that direction while Howard prepared to run into the still area and flush the moonshiners out into the open. After Hol made his dash, Gosnell heard cursing and several shots fired. He then saw two men run from the still, one going west and one going east. He ran after the man going west and after a 400-yard chase, caught Holland Pittman, who tried to draw a loaded .45 caliber gun. Gosnell returned to the distillery and found Hol dead, his pistol lying within two feet of him. He was found in a kneeling position, shot through the stomach by five bullets. One bullet entered in the front and the others from the rear. Holland Pittman was placed in Greenville County jail, and Alexander Pittman, the father of Holland Pittman, learned he was wanted by the law, surrendered himself in Greenville. Both father and son were charged with murder.

The murder of Constable Hol Howard had a great impact on the law-abiding residents of the Dark Corner. On February 13, 1930, men from the Pleasant Hill, Highland, and Mt. Lebanon communities organized the Pleasant Hill Law and Order League “to aid State and County Officers in a general cleanup of lawlessness said to be prevalent” in the Dark Corner. Rev. R. L. Barton, principal of Pleasant Hill School was elected President of the organization.

The killing of Constable Howard was said to be largely responsible forJames Holland Howard newspaper clipping the new spirit of the local law enforcement. This new spirit was expressed at a meeting by speeches given by J. A. Howard, a son of the slain Hol, who was a Ministerial student at Furman University, Deputy Sheriff F. L. Ballenger and P. H. Jones, Holton Morrow, J. L. Hawkins, J. Farnham, and T. W. Forrester. In the speeches at the organization meeting, the prevalence of lawlessness and the necessity of quelling it was duly emphasized and the citizens called upon Juries to be less lenient with law-breakers. They asked the Judges to impose sentences on chain gangs and in the penitentiary instead of just giving out fines. The communities in which each leader lived should gather and place evidence of lawlessness in the hands of the President of the League, who would see that warrants were issued for alleged law-breakers. Gov. McLeod would be petitioned by the League to place at least two special State Constables on duty in the Highland and Glassy Mountain Townships sector of the County for a period of at least three months while the League members pledged themselves to act as special Deputies at all times. They also pledged to aid State and County Officers in the two Townships. James Holland Howard’s death was the catalyst that started the clean-up of moonshining in the Glassy Mountain community.

James Holland Howard’s name is inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Monument at Judiciary Square, on E. Street (between 4th and 5th Streets, N. W.) in Washington, D.C.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Thursday at the Cemetery ~ Thomas Divine ~ Big Creek Cemetery, Monroe Co, TN

pic TATCThis week’s cemetery is the Big Creek Cemetery situated in the Southeast corner of Tennessee and is located in Big Creek, Monroe County, Tennessee. Altogether there are 14 Divine’s buried here including Thomas Divine who was the first of the family to come to America settling in Delaware in 1765.

Thomas Divine was born in Dublin, Ireland on February 21, 1748. He is one of my brick walls, so I don’t know anything about his life in Ireland. 10 years after his arrival the Revolutionary War began and Thomas joined with the Patriots in the fight against the British. He was wounded but he continued in the service until the end of the war. He then returned to Kent, Delaware.

Big Creek

By 1781 he had met Jemima Dill and they married April 12, 1782. They had a total of 10 children, 4 of whom died shortly after their Original hsbirth. By the end of 1785, Thomas moved his growing family to Spartanburg, South Carolina. All but two of their children were born here including my 3x Great Grandmother, Margaret “Peggy” Divine. In 1820 he once again moved his family, this time to Big Creek, Tennessee. In 1834 Thomas donated land so the Big Creek Baptist Church could build their Church and for the adjoining cemetery. He died on June 20, 1840.

Back of replica

Thoas Divine HS

As you can see from the first photo (above right) the cemetery is very open with not much of a barrier to block out wind and no trees to filter out the suns damaging rays. Thomas’ headstone was quite faded from years in the elements (above left). In 1973 this old stone was removed because it was deteriorating. A replica was put In its place in 2003. In 2006 the newest stone (below) was placed near the replica and it gives information about Thomas and Jemima on the front and the 4 children who were born in South Carolina on the back.

Front of newest stoneBig stone back

 

cropped-blog-pic1.jpg

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

52 Ancestors, Week #11 – Thomas Lee Divine – Luck of the Irish

Thomas Divine back tombstoneThomas Lee Divine is my maternal 4th Great Grandfather. He was born on February 21 1748 in Dublin, Ireland. At the age of 17 he made the decision to start a new life in America. He arrived in Kent County Delaware in 1765.  He soon found his new adopted country was in great turmoil, most of his fellow citizens wanted desperately to break away from England and begin a new, more Democratic Country.

Thomas Divine letter

When the Revolutionary War broke out Thomas enlisted as a private in the year seventeen hundred and seventy-six under Captain Gray in the Continental Line in Kent County in the State of Delaware and served for six years until shortly after the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown and was then honorably discharged. He was in the Battle of Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth and he was at the siege of Yorktown. Thomas was wounded by a cannon-ball on the side of the left leg above the ankle in a skirmish with the British when they fired across a small lake or pond but he continued to fight and to serve once his wounds were healed.

In 1782 he married Miss Jemima Dill at the house of Esgr Calhoun that was located within one mile of Black swamp-causeway in the county of Kent and State of Delaware. They lost their first four children to miscarriages but went on to have 6 more children, 3 boys and 3 girls. Prior to 1790 Thomas moved his growing family to Spartanburg, South Carolina.

After moving to South Carolina on the waters of Pacolit River in the Greenville District, the house they were living in burned to the ground and they had to start all over again, building a new home and getting new furnishings. Over the next several years he expanded his lands and crops and provided a very good life for his family.

church_3_945_334_c1In 1825 Thomas moved his family to McMinn County Tennessee. In 1834 on land given by Thomas the Big Creek Baptist Church was constituted. He also furnished the land for the cemetery, which is up the hill from the church.

Thomas Divine tombstone

Thomas Divine died on the twentieth day of June, eighteen hundred and forty at the age of ninety years old.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.