Episode 20: 40th Daves Reunion

This is what I learned at the Daves reunion at Denton Chapel last May: The Daves extended family is extremely hospitable, and welcomed me and a couple other strays to their dinner table.

And they are very proud of their heritage. I met the oldest Daves descendent in attendance, Evelyn Daves Robinson, 91, whose father was Herbert Columbus Daves, married 2x???, a brother to Columbus Mills Daves, both descended from Dr. Gilbert ??. Original generation was Lorenzo Dow Daves from Mountain Home, NC, Sunshine.

Evelyn’s half sister Ruby Clodfelter held the matriarch family title for several years until she died last summer at age 111 at Grace Ridge in Morganton. Ruby had a different mother.

James Johnston was the father of Lorenzo Dow Daves whose unmarried mother Elizabeth “Betsy” Daves was the sister of Samuel Daves who raised Lorenzo. Johnston was the born in 1790, son of a Revolutionary War soldier Frederick Johnston and wife Eda. This was recent news because Lorenzo believed Samuel and his wife were his parents. Elizabeth’s and Samuel’s father was Goodman Daves.

Dr. W.W. Gilbert served in the Civil War. When he mustered out, he returned to doctor wounded soldiers until the war was over. Evelyn quoted her mother as saying, “His feet were frostbitten from delivering babies in and near Dysartsville. In 1878, an ad in The Blue Ridge Blade of Morganton, NC, advises readers to contact Dr. W.W. Gilbert of Brindletown, in Burke County, and for one dollar they will receive a Diptheria cure he discovered. A “certain, safe and never failing remedy, it is mild and pleasant to the taste. Simple and mild as cold water.” “If sent by mail, ten cents extra must be sent with the order to prepay postage. Each package is accompanied with full and plain directions and instructions for managing the patient. Try it. It will prove a bless to your children. It is no humbug.”

Dr. Columbus Mills, was a leader involved in the structuring of Polk County, and for whom the county seat was named. He was Surgeon with the 16th Regiment and enlisted May 20, 1861. The name of the town was changed on Feb 6, 1891, to Tryon, according to Sketches of Polk Co. History, 1959, by Sadie Patton. Columbus M. Mills was appointed postmaster in 1893.

Herbert Columbus Daves married Winnie Ethel Rudisill while he worked away from home at a state hospital. He sent a dollar home with his letter that said, “I can’t do much work when an all day like this comes (raining). We will wax the floor in the dance hall and clean up the bean room. This is about all only to sit in the dry and wait for the time to pass. I enjoyed my visit home and the good things you had to eat. I may try it again sometime soon but I believe I told you I would not be back again Sunday. It is my day to work. I hope to see you the night before Xmas. You see if you can make arrangements for someone to go for a doctor.” Evelyn shared this letter between her parents. I’m not sure if this was the time when her mother Winnie was gored by a bull, and Grandmother Rudisill came from Lincoln County to take care of her. In the 1930 Census, Winnie Evelyn was three years old, and her sister Gladys Ethel was six. There was also a baby under the age of one, besides four other children. It would have been a good time for grandma to show up.

Evelyn’s nephew in Texas was not at the reunion, but Herbert Evan Daves celebrated his 80th birthday last year and sent his regards.

Another younger part of the clan made news in Virginia, according to the local News Herald. Retired teacher-coach Wilton Daves was a talented baseball pitcher at Gardner-Webb Junior College and Lenoir-Rhyne in the late 1950s. His grandson, Will, is now making his mark as a pitcher on a state championship high school team in Virginia. Will’s daddy, Chris Daves, went to high school in McDowell county and became a FBI agent. Chris was on the second floor of the World Trade Center’s north tower on September 11, 2001 when the first plane hit. The family was located close to Quantico, FBI headquarters, but recently moved to the Richmond area to be close to a baseball training area for their two sons.

There was mention of Elbert Poe Denten at the reunion and the gentleman next to me did not recognize the name. Probably because Elbert, called “Poe” by his friends, and his wife Carrah Maude Daves did not have children to carry on the name. I had already made a note about him because my friend Pat Allison had mentioned “Uncle Poe” but did not remember how he was related. I found a reference to him in Marion-McDowell Sesquicentennial, pg. 170. Elbert Poe was born in 1872, the son of the Rev. John Robert (JR) Denton and Susan Cowan. The Rev Denton was a Baptist minister and also pulled people’s teeth. He gave up farming early and also his job at his brother’s furniture store in Charlotte and married Carrrah Maude Daves in 1911. They were both born in Dysartsville. Carrah was the daughter of Columbus Mills Daves and Cynthia Lauranah Devinny. Her paternal grandparents were Lorenzo Dow Daves and Emilie Taylor, which made her the sister…attended the impressive Round Hill Academy

There are Daves all over the place, not just in Dysartsville.


Copyright @2018 Georgia Wilson



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