Chapter 30: Miz Polly Stott

Family history in Montford Cove is often the same history of a family in Nanney Town because their roots go back to the same man.

Our often-mentioned Colonel Amous Nanney, eldest son of Thomas Nanney,  had thirteen children. Seven of them were born before The War. In 1860 Amos Perminter Nanney was born. He was Wade’s grandfather. In 1862 Moses Frank Nanney was born. And this was Mary Glenn’s grandfather. Nanney Town united with Montford Cove when Moses Frank Nanney married Mary (Mollie) Stott. And this is how my two neighbors Wade Nanney and Mary Glenn Burgess are cousins.Burgess Addie Angeline around 1902 age 16

Frank’s daughter was Addie Angeline and would become Mary Glenn’s mother. The photo at right was around 1902 when Addie was sweet sixteen. She married James H. Burgess on February 13, 1906.

Frank’s son was born in 1891. Morris Roscoe Nanney would live to be 100 and frequently wrote about the neighborhood he loved. In 1913 he married Esther Harris and moved up the road to the farm of Jay Harris in McDowell County. He stayed in the hood.

According to Morris Nanney, the first house in the Cove was built “in the Southern part in the forks of Highway #1001 and the old road that comes up the hill from the Joe Taylor place near the Hemphill graveyard. It was a large house of logs, with port holes in the attic, that served as defense against the Indians. About 1/4 mile southwest was another house about the same description owned by the Halls.” Further west was “the Johnson Place, where old Richard Ledbetter lived awhile before he moved to Brunswick County, Georgia.” When he was 99. (See Chapter 20 of Nanney Saga)

“Another was near the Ash bridge on Cove Creek, the Macaga Hall place. Another was Elijah Hall’s place on Chalk Creek. These houses were two-story buildings, port holes in the attic, basements built of stone and large chimneys with wide fireplaces. These houses had smaller ones built near them that served as kitchens.”

Into this peaceful valley came the fearless Mary (Polly) Stott from Pennsylvania with her two children. John had been born in 1827, and Harriett, born in 1834. They lived near Cathey’s Creek for several years, and in 1847, Polly married Elijah Hall and moved to his large log house on Cove and Chalk Creeks.

(Possibly Polly travelled with Nancy Stott and her daughter Louise. Nancy married Andrew Nanney in 1838. Louise married John Halford on Otter Creek in the Cove.)

A small creek on the east side of Cove Creek was “settled by families of the Harris brothers, Stotts, Flynns, Vess and old Ephran Morgan, a progressive old negro.” Back when the first ones “took up their abode on this creek and it came a bad crop year, they all had a tough time to make “buckle and tongue” meet. Ever since, it has gone by the name ‘Tight Run.'” McDowell County Heritage, pgs 49 and 50.

Before the Civil War, Polly’s son John Stott married Angeline Hall, daughter of Macaga Hall and Nancy Wilkerson, and built a small house on the little creek east of Montford Cove Baptist Church and later built a second one close by. They had seven children, four born in the 1860’s. Survival was paramount, but maybe in the Cove, families were buffered from prophecies of doom and gloom. When those who joined the war had to leave home, it must have been difficult, a tight run, to keep the farms going. But time did not stand still in the Cove.

Grandma Polly Stott Hall served her community as a mid-wife for many years, and she was also known as an herbalist. Since she was Elijah Hall’s second wife, Polly didn’t inherit his farm. She moved in with her son John. After his death, she lived with her granddaughter Mollie Stott and husband Moses Frank Nanney until her death January 1, 1902.

On January 9, 1902, this was the announcement of Polly’s death in the newspaper:  “Mrs. Polly Hall, one of the oldest women in the county, died at the home of Mr. M.F. Nanney on the first day of the new year. She was a good woman, a kind mother, a consecrated Christian, who for sixty-one years believed in and served her God. She had been reared a Baptist, and sixty-one years ago united herself with that denomination of the Christian religion at Mountain Creek Baptist Church and was baptized by the Rev. Hampton Patteron. Genuinely converted and desiring to do something for the promote of religious work in her community, she became instrumental in the organization of a church at Round Hill, to which place she moved her membership. Later she was united with Primitive Baptist, but for the last twenty-five years she has been a member of the Montford Cove Missionary Church.”

“She was the mother of two children, only one of whom is now living, but she had probably more grandchildren and great grandchildren than any white person in the county of Rutherford: fourteen grandchildren, sixty-one great grandchildren, and twenty-two great great grandchildren survive her. Her descendants number in the aggregate ninety-seven, which is an unusual number of one family living within the lifetime on one ancestor.”

“A life of ninety-five years of usefulness and benefit to others was closed when she answered the summons of the great Master, and rich indeed is her reward, if it be in proportion to her devoted service. Her funeral was conducted by the Revs. D.J. Hunt and W.H. Logan, and after touching tributes to her memory, her body was laid to rest to await the last trump and resurrection.”

All I can say/write is Wow, she was appreciated. I hope people told her that before she died.

I’m sure nobody had to point out to her the fantastic changes in her lifetime. Starting about the time she presumably was born in Pennsylvania, Robert Fulton the son of a Pennsylvania farmer  changed the travel on the Hudson. With his wife’s uncle (who was also an Ambassador to France), he built a steam operated paddleboat that could take passengers and merchandise 150 miles to Albany from New York City in about a day and a half. A trip that used to take the better part of a week. During the War of 1812, Fulton designed the world’s first steam-driven warship for the defense of the New York Harbor. The Navy was changed forever.

Steamship landing around 1850 (

Steamship landing around 1850



And that was just the tip of the imagination iceberg.





Copyright, 2015, Georgia Wilson





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