Episode 10: Moving On

Pioneer Cabin Model

In 1781, folks were living and loving one day at a time, as always. The good news of King’s Mountain and Yorktown would be remembered forever, but the well-being of family and community was still a daily struggle. After the Dysarts lost James, the head of their household, along with his son William at the Battle of Cowan’s Ford, the oldest son, John, stepped up. He had plenty of leadership experience, having served under Captain William Moore guarding the frontier until 1776, and then transitioning to Captain Robert Patton’s company for six months and also serving under Captain Samuel Woods. In the local battles against the Tories, John Dysart marched with Colonel McDowell’s militia. After he lost his first wife, Martha Patton, he married Martha Woods, and he had a conglomerate of twelve children. Eventually he moved to Lewisburg, Tennessee, so one of them could take care of him. He died there in 1842, according to Burke County Heritage, Vol 1, page 163. (Dysartsville was part of Burke County until 1842 when McDowell County was created with land from Burke and Rutherford counties.)

James Dysart’s second son was named James Young Stewart Dysart. JYSD liked his name so much that when he and his wife Jennet Woods had a son, they named him James Young Stewart Dysart, Jr., but Senior outlived Junior and two other sons. Senior JYSD lived in Dysartsville his entire life. Another son, William Samuel (named after JYSD’s brother William, killed in battle, and their uncle Samuel who had come to Burke County with JYSD’s Papa James) had five children. His three sons were named, James, John Samuel, and William F. If I am correctly keeping up. Since the two daughters married men whose first names were Francis, I wouldn’t be surprised if William F. was a William Francis! The older daughter Margaret, named after grandma Dysart, married Francis P. Glass. (I’m thinking his family had a mill that later became the John A. Daves Mill around 1910.) JYSD’s and Jennet’s second daughter, Elizabeth, named after her Aunt Elizabeth, married Francis Morrison (a big local property owner.) Poor Jennet didn’t get to use her own creative name, but maybe she had a niece named after her. Then JYSD Jr’s daughter Henrietta married Francis A. James! Like putting too much onion in the stew? Complicated to say the least.

But names became more diverse as the neighborhood grew with George Hodge, Decatur Daves, and Elijah J. Kirksey. Although W. L. Christy and W.T. Landis may have been Williams also, Joseph B. Landis (1832-1887), who bought the Hemphill place, named his son Wayne so maybe Joe’s father was a Wayne not a William. On the other hand, on 3 April 1889, a William L. Landis, age 24, married H.E. Dysart, age 22. Witnessed by J.L. Dysart and J.W. Laughridge. And a William Edwin Landis, Sr. invested in Western Furniture in Marion in 1900! There were at least two or three Williams and Johns in each generation of the same family. Maybe they had nicknames.

In the early 1800s, new blood came from Scotland: Samuel David Laughridge sailed into the Charleston harbor. According to Edith Laughridge Davis in McDowell County Heritage, North Carolina, edited by JoAnne Johnston, pg 228, Samuel Laughridge was “brought to Morganton by Christian Bartles who ran a wagon with livestock and produce to Charleston.”

I haven’t found any reason for his move. There was a Renaissance going on in Scotland, population of 1,608,000. A massive road project was underway under the direction of Thomas Telford. The first Gaelic language version of the Bible was published in 1801. “Charlotte Dundas” was the world’s first steam-powered tug and later the world’s first practical steamboat. There was no potato famine–yet–and the Radical Rising was not until 1820. But maybe Samuel wanted an opportunity to have land; maybe he just wanted to see the new world, America.

Through Ancestry.com, I found a North Carolina marriage contract which looks very much like a Bill of Sale: “Know all Men by these prefects, that we, Samuel Laughridge, and Charles Bartels in the state aforesaid, are held and firmly bound unto the Governor of the State of North Carolina for the time being, in the just and full sum of Five Hundred Pounds current money of this state, to be paid to the said Governor, or his successors or assigns: To the which payment well and truly to be made and done, we bind ourselves, our Heirs, Executors and Administrators. Sealed with our Seals (squiggly pen marks) and dated the 23 day of April Anno Domini 1811. The Conditions of the above obligation is such, That whereas the above bounder Samuel Laughridge hath made application for a License for a Marriage to be celebrated between him and Sally Antony Bartles (Bortles) of the county aforesaid: Now in café it shall not appear hereafter that there is any lawfull cause to obstruct the said marriage, then the above obligation to be void, otherwise to remain in full force and virtue. Sealed and Delivered in the presence of us. Bondsman Christian Bortl”

I didn’t find Samuel David on the 1810 Census. Ms Edith Laughridge Davis reports in her article that he enlisted in the 1st Regiment from Burke County in the War of 1812 until 1814. I did find a record of a marriage of Samuel Laughridge to Sall Bealler on 23 April 1817 for 500#. Same guy? Possibly since the name continues in our neighborhood. Remember, we were Burke County until 1843. I also found a marriage date of 23 April 1811 between Samuel Laughridge and Sally A. Bortles, but somebody had edited the spelling to Lochridge. And by the way, her name was Sarah. Her nickname was Sally.

We will ignore the problems and move forward with a new dynasty, new names to remember. Samuel Laughridge, born in 1829, represented Burke County as a Private in the Confederate Army. John David Laughridge, born in 1873 represented the area in WWI, his nearest relative signing for him as Jennie Frank Laughridge, witnessed by Herbert Daves. (I noticed that his description was black hair and blue eyes.)

Drucilla Independent Fundamental Church 2017

In an earlier post, we established that Drucilla Presbyterian Church grew out of the Muddy Creek Mission in 1780, making it one of the oldest churches in the area, along with Siloam Presbyterian in the Greenlee community near Pleasant Gardens of the McDowell and Carson families. In Morganton newspaper News-Herald on 16 July 1962, Curtis Patton wrote a history of the “white church with stained glass windows” now on Drucilla Church Road north of Dysartsville Township. It has been built a couple times but his article pointed out that “Yankees burned the church and contents,” and locals rebuilt the church, then called “Hebron.” The story I heard was that a Confederate soldier with smallpox stayed in the church until he died; that is why the church was burned and rebuilt. An unconfirmed story by Mr. Patton was that the first person to be buried in the cemetery in 1710 had “cramp colec,” and the grave is elevated one foot with rocks at the far end of the cemetery. Actually that sounds like the grave of James Hemphill recognized by others as a Celtic cairn. It seems that the more years accumulate, the more stories are available to twist and turn. I get confused.

Nonetheless, there are veterans from five wars keeping each other company in the Drucilla Church Cemetery: the War Between the States in 1861, the Spanish-American War of 1898, WWI in 1914, WWII in 1939, and the Korean War in 1950. Hundreds of graves, of which possibly, “many have been mutilated due to age,” according to Patton’s article.

Thermal City Miner
by Ramona Nanney 1990
Images of the Blue Ridge

But no war could match the excitement of the discovery of gold in 1828, nor could any war attract the number of participants gathered by a gold strike in the neighborhood. The number of named wide places along Vein Mountain Road grew quickly, towns so close it was difficult to know where one stopped and the next began. In a fifteen mile stretch, there were groups of new residents in Brackettown (Deming), Dealsville, Placerville, Pattonville, Hildrup, Jeanstown, and upper and lower Jamestown.

The invasion of thousands of unruly miners competing for unlimited wealth may have necessitated additional spiritual guidance. According to Jennie Lee Laughridge Owens, in The Heritage of Burke County, a body of deacons and the pastor of First Broad Church in Rutherford County sponsored the new congregation of Dysartsville Baptist Church in 1857 on US Hiway 226. Certainly the quiet Dysartsville paradise was interrupted, and The Battle of Cane Creek was old news.


Copyright@ Georgia Wilson

This entry was posted in Dysartsville Saga, McDowell County, Setting and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.