Jackson County: In the Beginning...


[Webmaster's Note: Originally published in Journeys Through Jackson, Volume 3, Number 3. JTJ Editor's Note: In the Sylva Herald of March 21 and March 28, 1985, News Editor J. D. McRorie, in his column entitled "Knowing Jackson..." wrote about the petition to form Jackson County. The following material is printed with Mr. McRorie's permission.] *


Update: J. D. McRorie passed away on March 13, 2011. He will be missed by all.  Obituary


A Memorial was filed with the North Carolina General Assembly on December 10, 1850, for a new county to be formed from Haywood and Macon, to if called Jackson. One definition for "memorial," given in the dictionary, is "a statement of facts addressed to a government often accompanied with a petition or remonstrance."

In the case at hand, over 300 persons then residing in Haywood and Macon counties signed the petition asking the new County of Jackson to be formed. Most of them, of course, lived within the bounds of the proposed new county. But not all. When William Welch signed, he wrote "Waynesville" beside his name.

The Memorial was the first "official" step in the formation of Jackson County. The original Memorial is in the NC Department of Archives and History in Raleigh among the records of the General Assembly...The Memorial is as follows: "To the Honorable General Assembly of the State of North Carolina

"The undersigned Citizens of the Counties of Haywood and Macon and State aforesaid Respectfully Present that the great inconveniences arising from their immense distances to the County Towns as well as the difficulty of attending the same from the Roughness of the Road and the expense in attending there from that a portion of the aforesaid Counties be formed into a new County to be cauld (sic) Jackson Bounded as follows Commencing at Scotts summit where the State Road now crosses thence with the Ridge that divides the waters of the Pigeon and Tuckaseega (sic) Rivers to the Haywood and Henderson lines thence with said line far enough to include William Barne’s thence to the top of the Fodderstack Mountain thence with said top to the top of the White Side Mountain thence with the top of the Cowee Mountain to the State Road thence with the said Top to the Tuckaseega River opposite the mouth of Forneys Creek thence up the 1st leading Ridge below the mouth of said creek to the Top of the Smoky Mountains on the Tennessee line thence with said top to the top of the Cattaloochy Mountains thence with the leading Ridge to the Soco gap where the Road Crosses thence with the said Ridge to the top of the Balsam Mountain thence with said top to the beginning of the State Road."


It perhaps should be noted that when the Memorial mentioned "County Towns," the reference was to the county seats—Waynesville and Franklin. There was, of course, no Webster at that time. An 18-acre tract was purchased for the County Town in Jackson—Webster—in June, 1853.


The petitioning names on the Memorial are truly a Who’s Who of prominent pioneer families in Jackson County. It is difficult to read many of the more than 300 signatures on the petition. Numbers were written in, by which the signers wrote their signatures. At least two of the line numbers in the sequence, which goes to 280, were omitted, or there are fewer names than 280 with numbers. On the copy received by this column [McRorie], the number sequence skips numbers and names in several places, obviously where pages overlapped in making the copy.


With question marks indicating real doubt, the readable names on the petition, as they appear in the numbered sequence, followed by those not numbered, are:


Wm. B. Love
W. Zachary
J. Newton, Bryson
J.L. Potts
James M. Hooper
Eliazor D. Davis
D.G. Bryson
W.L. Davis
John R. Dills
Abram N. Enloe
George W. Bryson
A.D. Hooper
Hosea Bumgarner
J.L. Cathey
Samuel A. Davis
J.F. Parks
Colman Bryson
Jessee Conley
W.N. Bryson
Dolphus Bumgarner
A.L. Tetham
E. Williams
N.E. Bryson
H.S. Potts
James Parker
S.S. Mills
James Nation
Henry Williams
Nathan Hyatt
Ben J. Coward
Wm. Kil(?)
Riley Blanton
Wilson Ensley
Isaah (or Israel) Robison
Andrew Cope
Samuel Monteith
Jacob Deitz
John Monteith
Henry Messer
John Sutton
James Cunningham
John Forgy(?)
E. Shuler
Henry Mills
Laban F. Deitz
Solmon Nelsen (or Nessen)
Jason Booker
Joseph Sloutton
J.H. Tilley
H. Jackson
Samuel Gibson
John W. Conly
Jason Shuler
Pete Shuler
(?) Hyatt
Nealy Enlow
John Mingis
J.D. Banks (or Burke)
P.M. Gipson
Wm. Allison
Benjamin Allison
John H. Shular, Sr.
Thomas Henson
N. Putman
Johnathan Coward, Sr.
Johnathan Coward, Jr.
T.J. Coward
Tebo(?) Davis
J.W. Davis
Wm. D. Coward
Wm. Philips
Jackson Philips
Elias Watson, Sr.
Iasiah Watson, Jr.
Wm. Watson
Michel Long, Sr.
John Bryson, Sr.
N. Bryson
Layfayette Bryson
A.J. Cagual(?)
Thomas Beard
Elbert Hale, Sr.
John Brown
A. Henry, Sr.
Thomas Mills, Sr.
Thomas Arrington
Eli Arrington
Samuel A. Monteith
Thomas Monteith, Sr.
Thomas Monteith, Jr.
James Allen
Peter King
George Buchan
Thomas Watson
John Forgy
James A. Hall
Henry Nelson
Ruben Nelson

Joseph Nelson

B. Gunter
A. Cunningham
Samuel Buchanan
H. Mills
John Davis, Sr.
A. Davis
A. Brooks
Wm. Sutton, Sr.
Wm. Sutton, Jr.
William Sutton, Dson.
David Sutton
John Sutton
Wm. D. Parten
Norman Barker, Sr.
Francis Wood
Charles Buchanan, Sr.
Joseph R. Buchan
W. Buchanan, Sr.
James Buchanan, Jr.
James Buchanan
James Wilson
David Willson
Jason Forner(?)
Clanes (?)
R. Buchanan
Jesse Hall
(?) Hall
David Hall
Wm. Teatham
George Bumgarner
D. Bumgarner
Jesse Martin
Isaac Ash
D.W. Ash
B.H. Jones
Richard Jones
R. Jones
Amos Cabe
Stephen Cabe
Thomas Cabe
John Willson
W.H. Higdon
Riley Cabe
Silas (?)
Washington Green
I. Green
Ressiba(?) Sutton
Wm. Ensley, Sr.
Wm. Ensley, Jr.
Joseph Johnston
Rufus Fisher
Jesse Ash
Robt. g. Gunter
Wm. B. Monteith
Edward Hooper
George Buchanan, Sr.
G.H. Holland
Hugh Rogers
J.H. Potts
James Fisher, Sr.
James Cowen
E.S. Brendle
John Parris
Samuel Buchanan
Wm. Sutton
Joseph Gunter
Daniel J. Allen
Simpson H. Brooks
Thos. B. Gunter
S.M. Dillard
Sille Gibson
Joseph Messer
Wm. Messer
J.R. Love
Samuel Allison
E.G. Hyatt
J.B. Sherrill
D.W. Ash
Isaac Ash
Ritchard Jones
John Higdon
Henderson Jones
Amos Ash
Frady(?) Ash
Johah Watson
Elias Watson
James Watson
Jerimah Stillwell
John H. Stillwell
Ephram Stillwell
Jacob Stillwell
Thomas Monteith
John Chastan
Wm. Cockerham
W. Cockerham
Deniss Raby

John Gipson, Sr.

John Davis
Wm. Stilwell

Isaac Brooks
James Parker
Wm. A. Stillwell
Russel Sutton
Stephen Cabe
Hen Cook
Floyd Cook
Wm. Ensley, Sr.
William Ensley, Jr.
Andrew Hooper
Wm. B. Hooper
John Hooper
John A. Hooper
Alexander Wilson
Thomson Wilson
Alfred Wilson
Milton Moss
Andrew Zachary
James McKiny
Allison McKiny
Mortaca Zachary
Henry Plott
John Leadford
Allen Leadford
John Seago
Isaac Seago
Martin Adams
Beventy Adams
Wm. Moss, Sr.
Wm. Moss, Jr.
John Stuard
John Stuard, Jr.
Oliver Painter
James Crawford
Robt. Long
Wm. Smith
Thos. Elliott
Jas. Hooper, Sr.
Johnthan Coward, Sr.
Thomas Watson
John Forgy(?)
Phillip Dills
Jacob Mason
Isaac Mason
Jos. Mason
Scroop Enlow
Bill Enlow
John M. Beck
Will Enlow
John Mingus
Rufus Floyd
Jacob Mingus
Abraham Mingus
Abraham Sellers
John W. Conly
John Gibbs
Jason Sherrill
Wm. Welch
Jas. C. Love
A. Bumbarner
Wm. R. Buchanan, Sr.
Mountervill Roberts
David Hall
Manson Wilson
Thomas Cabe
D.B. Dillard
Henderson(?) Potts(?)
Daniel J. Bryson
Milton M. Bryson
P. Henson
J.B. Allison
Allen Fisher
W.H. Bryson
Andrew Bryson
I.I. Robison
G.W. Clayton
James Grasty
E.P. Bumgarner
J.H. Coward
(?) Hooper
A.W. Sutton(?)
Wm. H. Coward
J.F. Stalep(?)
Wm. B. Queen
Mackal(?) Long
Lewis Queen
D.H. Brown
Salmon Parker
George W. Coward, Jr.
F. Huffman
Js. W. Sitton
David Parker
Nathan Middleton
James Woods
Mike (or Wike) Pulman



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