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« Black Walnuts Or Black Warnuts | Main | Appalachia Through My Eyes - Waters Of The Mighty Deep »

January 17, 2013

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Was happy to run across your blog, I am working on our church history (Crabtree Baptist - Haywood County)for our 200 year anniversery. Rev. W.H. Connor served from 1875-1876. I didn't have any info about him. I'm trying to get some information on all our pastors from 1814 and a picture if possible. We have a picture of him but it is kind of blurry. Would you have one to share with our church? So happy I found this blog.

So interesting! I love visiting old cemeteries and wondering how people lived and died. When our sister's boys were little, we'd visit them with a picnic, and I'd get the boys to practice their addition and subtraction with the birth and death dates on the headstones. There's a small old cemetery in Cary, NC, behind the assisted living center on Kildaire Farm Road, where every several children in a family died within a few days of one another. We always wondered what happened to them, one of the influenza epidemics we thought, and felt sad for the mom and dad, going on to live without them.

A small cemetery borders the back boundary of our property. In it are graves, very old and newer, of families whose names are still prevalent in our little town.

God bless.

RB
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Tipper

You are doing a great job with the Ocona Lufty history and the people who established the church. They had their rules and regulations
much like all Baptist churches.
When we were very young we went to church at the little Indian Church at Birdtown called
Echota Baptist. We had a pastor by the name of Ben Busheyhead and he preached in the Cherokee
language. We didn’t know what he said half the time. He would speak some in English.
I’ve remember what he said one Sunday. He said, “I can just hear those little turtle doves say, Please don’t kill me.”
He must have been preaching to the mean boys with their slingshots.

At the church my grandpaw went too they were strict. He didn’t go one Sunday because he had to move a family off of Mount Noble with his horses and wagon. The man had a gallon of moonshine in the wagon and when the church heard about it they “churched” him, as like put him out of the church. He never went to church any more.

Mr. Charles Flether, I have never saw a fullblood Indian man ride a horse in the old days, in fact they didn’t have horses, they had steers that they used to plow their fields. Also we don’t
call the women, wives or any female a” Squaw.”
That is a derogatory name.
That would be like calling my father a “Squawman” because he married my mother who was ½ Cherokee.
I use to like the Lone Ranger and Tonto movies.
“High Oh Silver and Away.” Or something like that.

Peggy L.

Tipper , What great history work you have done for us. I eagerly look foward to hearing the recording when we get home from vacation. Larry Proffitt

Tipper,
That was very well done! I enjoyed
reading your research of the Conner family and their way of life in the Occonalufty Valley.
My favorite thing your wrote is
the story of Cora Lee Mease, a
real treasure. Thank you for letting us view these Appalachian
treats through your eyes...Ken

I'm compelled to walk through old graveyards and often wonder about stories of the people buried there. This was a great read. Thanks

Great story Tipper! I really like that.

Ethelene,
These are the Collins for whom Collins Creek is named. I'm awfully tempted to tell you more here, but I'm thinking that Tipper may have another article related to the specific Collins fellow for whom the creek - as well as Mount Collins - is named. The first thing we did that day (after stopping at the visitor's center) was to go visit the Huskey Cemetery where the fellow in question is buried.

I'm going to assemble some additional Collins information for you today, and will get it to you through Tipper.

A sad thing to pass along here - yesterday a section of Highway 441 collapsed up above Collins Creek. From pictures I've seen, I think it's about four miles north of Collins Creek, in the area of Aden Branch. I expect the road to be closed for months to come; it was a major slide.

Yesterday, I walked up Indian Creek about four miles. It was absolutely roaring the entire way. If it's been higher during my six decades plus, I've not seen it. Along the way, I noticed two places in the Deep Creek road (park section, which sees very little vehicle traffic - basically rangers) where the road was cracking and falling. With continuing rain and apparently snow on the way, I fear there'll be more to come.

Fine piece of research, Tipper! You have given us a penetrating glimpse into the lives and character of Appalachian people in the hard world of the not so distant past. Great-grandfather John Y.F. Blake, born in 1856, was Doc Connor's contemporary. We think of the two boys growing up as the Civil War crashed upon them.

Thanks for researching and posting. Your writing is so descriptive, I can almost see the cattle drive through the hills.

Does anyone know of a connection between William Henry Conner and Roy Minyard Conner? Roy and his wife Lessie Ayers Conner are mentioned several times in the Foxfire Books. His birth place was Oconolufty in Swain County. There almost has to be a connection.

Tipper,
The Oconaluftee that you saw on your recent visit
Is not the Oconaluftee like I saw it when I was stationed
In the CCC camp up the mountain of highway 441.
There were several homes in the Smokey Mountains along the highway.
It was not unusual to see an Indian men riding a horse
With his squaw following along behind. If you asked him why his wife was not riding he would answer. Sqoaw
Don’t have horse.

That is a great story and a wonderful piece of history. I could sit and read stories like that all day long! You can tell by his voice in the recording that he was a kind man but I'll bet he was as tough as whit-leather.

What a great post and interesting piece of information! I never knew that young steer are referred to as yearlings. I keep learning about the early Applachian times. I also appreciated the pictures.

I added your information and pictures for Rev. Conner to Findagrave.com. Thanks for finding him and the great story.

Tipper, you've done such a fine job of honoring the Conner's and this church, and the spirit of these magnificent mountains. There is no doubt you are driven by pure love.
I am fascinated how you find a little slice of time and replay it for us filtered through your eyes. It is a rare talent you have!
Some day, when I am long gone, you can tell my story.

Old graveyards tell many stories, don't they? Often not the stories found in history books, but stories of real people and hard lives. This was a great read, Tipper. Thank for for the work you must have done to find this information and honor Mr. Connder's memory.

Such a wonderful post today, Tipper! Such rich history! I am so inspired when I read about how our ancestors' faith and integrity permeated their lifestyle--like the Conners going back to pay the difference when they found cattle prices had increased! And the fact that the Conners bought land from the Collins family, and there's a Collins Creek at Oconaluftee excites me. My maternal ancestors were Collins! I think there may be a connection there! Thompson Collins went from NC to N Georgia, had large holdings of land--and raised cattle, too! I'm interested in learning if Collins names are listed in the membership of the book Florence Cope Bush wrote about Ocona Lufta Baptist Church of the Smokies!

Fascinating story,, no doubt a hard life. The audio portion is great, his voice reminds me of a Preacher that we were friends with who was in his late 80's Bro. Louis Smith, their voices are so much a like it's amazing.. I have mixed feelings when I read or here of those folks having to turn over the land to the govt. Just as I am when they drove a lot of the Indians out..

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