AHGP Transcription Project

A History of Jackson County

While the late Michael Francis was in the senate and R. G. A. Love was in the house from Haywood in 1850-52, Jackson County was formed with Webster as the county seat. Daniel Webster had just died, and the naming of this town for him was a graceful concession to the Whig element of the country, while giving to "Old Hickory" the honor of naming the county for him pleased the Democrats. Col. Thaddeus D. Bryson, a son of Daniel Bryson of Scott's creek, was the first representative in the house from Jackson, while Col. W. H. Thomas represented it in the senate. John R. Dills, a member of the large and influential Dills family of Dillsborough, represented this county in 1856. Joseph Keener, an influential and valuable citizen represented the county in 1862, followed by W. A. Enloe, a representative of the extensive and leading Enloe family of Jackson. Following are the names of some of the more prominent legislators: J. N. Bryson, E. D. Davis, G. W. Spake, F. H. Leatherwood, J. W. Terrell, J. M. Candler, R. H. Brown, W. A. Dills, C. C. Cowan, and John B. Ensley. The late John B. Love lived near Webster, and kept a store, W. H. Thomas being a partner for a while. Mr. Love owned much of the land in that section, and his sons settled on Scott's creek from Addie to Sylva. He also owned the famous "Gold Spring," near the head of Tuckaseegee, in the basin of which a small amount of gold was deposited each morning; but a blast ruined even that small contribution. He married a Miss Comans of Wake County. Philip Dills was another pioneer, and was born in Rutherford, January 10, 1808, and came with his father to Haywood soon after his birth, and about the time Abraham Enloe settled on Soco creek. He was a useful and respected citizen. Abraham Battle was born in Haywood in 1809, and his father was one of the three men who came from Rutherford to Haywood with Abraham Enloe. Wm. H. Conley was another important citizen of Jackson before Swain was taken from it, and was born in 1812 within fifteen miles of Abraham Enloe's Ocona Lufty place, his father, James Conley having been the first white man to settle on that stream. James W. Terrell was born in Rutherford County, December 31, 1829, and at sixteen years of age, came to Haywood and lived with his grandfather, Wm. D. Kilpatrick, till 1852, when he went into business with the late Col. Wm. H. Thomas. In 1854 he was made disbursing agent for the Cherokees, was a captain in the Civil War, and in the legislature for several terms. The late Daniel Bryson kept a hotel or stopping place on the turnpike road below Hall's and above Addie, in the turn of the road, where all the judges and lawyers stopped while attending the courts of the western circuit. He was a most excellent and useful citizen, and left several sons who have been prominent and influential citizens. Rev. William Hicks lived in Webster after the Civil War, where he taught school for two years; but in 1868 he was appointed presiding elder and moved to Hendersonville where he remained till 1873, when he returned to Webster and resumed his school. Later he moved to Quallatown where he taught school till he was appointed to a district in West Virginia, where he afterwards died. He was a fine public speaker, a Confederate soldier, a member of the Secession convention from Haywood in 1861, and with Rev. J. R. Long, in 1855, built up a large school near the junction of Richland and Raccoon creeks, giving the place the name of Tuscola. This school flourished till the beginning of the Civil War. Mr. Hicks also edited The Herald of Truth, a newspaper in Asheville, for a few years. He was born in Sullivan County, Tennessee, in 1820, became a Methodist preacher and came to Buncombe in 1848, holding that year the first conference ever held in Haywood, the meeting being held at Bethel church.

Webster and the Railroad
With the coming of the railroad, Webster, the county scat, found itself about three miles from that artery of trade and travel; and, soon afterward, an agitation began for the removal of the court house to Dillsboro or Sylva, and has continued ever since. The question was submitted to the people but they voted to retain Webster as the county site; a new court house was built, and it was supposed that the matter had been settled forever; but in 1913 a more vigorous movement was started to change the county court house to Sylva, which offered a bonus in case it should be done. The legislature of 1913 authorized the people to vote on the proposition, and the result changed the county site to a point between Dillsboro and Sylva, May 8, 1913. Webster is a pretty little town with many attractive and useful citizens. The improvements along the line of railroad from Hairs to Whittier have been remarkable. The talc mine and factory of C. J. Harris at Dillsboro, the nickel mine nearer Webster of W. J. Adams, and the tannic acid plant at Sylva contribute much to the prosperity of these towns and to that of the county generally. With a railroad up Tuckaseegee a large tract of timber will find an outlet, and the copper mine on that stream may come into development. Jackson is a rich and productive county and its people are thriving and energetic. Lake Fairfield and Inn, and Lake Sapphire are in this county on Horsepasture creek. Ellicotte Mountain is near the extreme eastern end of the county. Cashiers Valley, Chimneytop, Whiteside Cove and mountain, Glenville, East LaPorte, Cullowhee and Painter are places of interest and importance.

Scott's Creek
As this creek was on the eastern border of the Cherokee country from which the Indians were removed, and as Gen. Winfield Scott was in charge of their removal in 1835-38, some suppose that the creek took its name from him; but in two grants to Charles McDowell, James Glascow and David Miller, dated December 3, 1795, (Buncombe Deed Book No. 4, p. 104) the State conveyed 300 acres on the waters of Scott's creek, waters of Tuckaseegee River, including the forks of Scotts creek and what was said to be Scott's old lick blocks, and on the same date there was a further grant to the same parties to 300 acres on the same stream, including a cane brake, with the same reference to Scott's old lick blocks. (Book 8, p. 85.) But a careful search revealed no grant to any Scott in that section at or near that time; and the Scott who gave his name to this fine stream was doubtless but a landless squatter who was grazing and salting his cattle on the wild lands of that day. He probably lived in Haywood County, near the head of Richland creek.

Source: Western North Carolina A History From 1730 to 1913, By John Preston Arthur, Published by Edward Jackson Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, of Jacksonville, N. C., 1914

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