By Jan Lawrence
Editor’s note: This is part three in a series. Lawrence is the chairperson of the Dry Ridge Museum Board.
John Weaver and his wife Elizabeth Biffle Weaver were parents of eleven children. Jacob, the eldest child, was the subject of last week’s article. This article will summarize the lives of the other ten Weaver children.
Susannah Weaver was born in 1787 on Reems Creek. She is buried in the Old Weaverville Cemetery with a marker indicating she was the first white girl born west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She married John David McCarson from the McCarson Plantation in Burke County (in what is now Henderson County which was not established until 1838).
Sister Christiana married Samuel Vance, son of David Vance and Priscilla Brank Vance. Christiana and Samuel Vance lived near Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where she was visited in November of 1862 by her nephew Col. James Thomas Weaver (youngest son of Jacob and Elizabeth Weaver). In a letter to his brother “Bill” (William McKendree Weaver) Col. Weaver said: “Aunt Christina Vance, as sprightly as a gal, and as well posted on politics, and Scripture, and everything as any woman you have seen in a long while.” She was 74 years old at the time. Col. Weaver died December 7, 1864, after being mortally wounded during the second Battle of Murphreesboro (see photo this page).
The fourth child was James Weaver who was born July 4, 1794. James was married three times, and he and his third wife Elizabeth Harle Weaver are buried in Knoxville, Tennessee. He died in 1854.
Mary Weaver was born March 10, 1795, and married Henry Addington in 1818. She is buried in the Addington Family Cemetery, Macon County, NC.
The seventh child was Catherine Weaver who was born June 21, 1796. She died on November 12, 1836, and was buried in the Salem Church Cemetery which was located on the grounds of the Salem Campground (originally the Reems Creek Campground). When the Methodist Church moved from its original location to Church Street, those buried in the cemetery were reburied in other cemeteries in the vicinity. Catherine Weaver and her husband, Rev. Andrew Hallums Pickens, were among those moved to the Old Weaverville Cemetery on Main Street.
The seventh child was Elizabeth who was born July 16, 1798, and married Robert Patton Wells. Both Elizabeth and Robert died during the Civil War, she, in 1865 and, he, in 1862. Her brother Michael Montraville Weaver was the administrator of their estates which took many years to settle according to Buncombe County Court Records. They are buried in the Brick Church Cemetery in Leicester, NC.
John”Jack” Biffle Weaver was born in 1802 and died in 1838. He married Lucinda Barnard in 1824 and was buried in Cherokee County, Alabama.
The ninth child was Matilda who was born on May 18, 1803, and died on January 6, 1891. She married Jefferson Griffe Dickerson “J.G.D.” Garrison about 1822 and was buried in the Garrison Cemetery on New Stock Road, Weaverville, NC. A family story tells that the Union Army was camped on Garrison property during the Civil War. The story goes that Matilda was beaten by the troops when she protected a young girl left in her care after the soldiers destroyed much of the farm.
The tenth child was Christopher George who was born on May 16, 1805, and died on September 21, 1843. He married Margaret O’Rafferty Lowry in 1825 and was buried in the Old Weaverville Cemetery. An infant child died in 1830 and is also buried in the cemetery.
This brings us to the eleventh and last child born to John and Elizabeth Biffle Weaver and who would have the most impact on the Town of Weaverville. Michael Montraville Weaver who was born on August 10, 1808. A separate article will be dedicated to the story of his life. Just a teaser of what’s to come in the next article: he gave the land for the town of Weaverville; the town was named for him; he gave property and money for the college and contributed much to the town.