Silver Notes

May, 2001


We hope that this issue finds everyone in good health and spirits. Summer is finally here and we are happy about that. Trees are in full bloom, not to mention the flowers and the grass is green. Could anyone ask for more? (We know the answer to that but the pollen count cannot be lowered!)

On a happy note we have heard from David Taylor, our roving researcher from Hickory, NC.

“I am still working on spreading the history of the Silver family as I had the 400th copy of, ‘The Remarkable History of The Silver Family,’ before the meeting at Franklin, NC, where I gave several copies to some of those present. I started last year giving copies to the receptionists at two of my doctor’s offices and a copy to the nurse. While shopping at Winn-Dixie for groceries, I gave a copy to the Manager and one to the lady at the service center. Lately I have been giving copies to the checkers and even customers in the parking lot. I do the same when I go to Wal-Mart pharmacy and other places. While at the post office in Hickory recently, I gave a copy to one of the clerks and he said that a friend of his was a member of the group which performs, ‘They Won’t Hang a Woman,’ performed each year at the Western Piedmont Community College. I attended that a few years ago but I understand that it has been revised and I want to see it this year when it is presented. Where I have my copying done at Carolina Office Equipment, I gave two copies to the clerks last week and two again this week and it has created some interest. While in Georgia, I gave a copy to Margaret Elizabeth (Parr) Haynes and when she called me, she said that she was up until 11 o’clock that night reading it.”

There was much more in David’s letter but space does not permit the whole letter to be reprinted. But, one thing for sure, David writes a most interesting letter and the Silver family owes him a lot for the research he has done in the past and continues to do. So, from all of us, Thank You, David.

And another letter from cousin Norma Westall of Burnsville, NC.

Dear John,

I always enjoy reading my copy of your monthly Silver Notes, but sometimes I read stories within which are somewhat different than what I grew up hearing about the subject at hand.  In the February, 2001, Silver Notes, the story about how Estatoa River got its name is not the same as what I’ve always known. I hope you won’t be offended by my telling you my version of this story, as follows: (Norma, we will never be offended by corrections or other versions of our material. In fact, we welcome them!)

An Indian maiden named Estatoa and a young warrior from another tribe were lovers. The chieftain of the tribe to which Estatoa belonged did not wish for any of the members of his tribe (male or female) to be united with a lover from a tribe other than their own.

When he learned that Estatoa had disobeyed his tribal rules, he ordered her never to see the young warrior from another tribe again. She was heartbroken, but she knew where to find her lover, and she ran to him in tears, telling him of her tribal chieftain’s orders.

The lovers agreed that neither of them wished to live on the earth again without the other. Their mutual decision was to find a cliff high above the nearby river, where they joined hands and leaped together from the cliff to their deaths in the deep waters of the river far below.

Although they were from different tribes, both believed that early death sent their spirits to another tribe – that of the Good Chieftain, who would never frown on their love for each other.

The river in which Estatoa and her lover drowned had been a “no-name” stream before this happened. From then on, however, it was called the Estotoa River. As do the French, the Indians name things of nature by female names; thus the river was names for the female of the lover’s duo.

Of course, the Indians called the river by its correct name, Estatoa, but the white settlers in the area took the beauty from the river’s name by calling it simply, ‘Toe River.’

There are two divisions of this river, according to the lay of the land through which division flows. There is the North Estatoa and the South Estatoa. At a certain point these two divisions of the river join and become one. When the Estatoa reaches the state line between North Carolina and Tennessee the Estaoa becomes the Nolachuckee River as it flows onward into Tennessee.

We only wish there was space enough to recount Norma’s husband Phillip, son Greg and her whitewater rafting down the Nolachuckee. Norma describes it so well it’s almost like being there yourself. Thank you Cousin Norma, we shall look forward to more letters from you. It’s always a pleasure!

Another letter from Barbara Gregory:

Many of you know Martha and Andrew Eller of Georgia. Martha is a descendant of Charlie and Frankie Silver. On Friday, April 27th, son Andy and his wife, Jeannie, were broad sided by another vehicle. Both are in serious condition. Jeannie is in Habersham Hospital and Andy in Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta. (80 miles apart) At this time Jeannie is out of Intensive Care but Andy remains in critical condition and is still in Intensive Care. If you should be in the area, I’m sure the family would appreciate a visit. Most of us do live a long distance away but we can offer up a prayer in behalf of the families involved. It would be nice if everyone could send a card letting them know that our family really cares. I am posting the following information for your use.

Andy and Jeannie Eller, c/o Andrew Eller,
PO Box 327, Demorest, GA, 30535. 
Georgia Baptist ICU:  404-659-9424. 
Wilton Whitlock, Martha’s brother: 706-778-5532.

/s/ Cousin Barbara

And another letter from Cousin Rex Redmon. This letter bears both bad and good news.

Dear John,

Sorry I have not been in touch, but this stroke issue was much more serious than I had thought in the beginning. I had forgotten how much a stroke can physically and psychologically take out of a person and the older one is the worse they become. While sometimes I think, ‘why yes, I can do this or that,’ then just cannot either muster the energy (physical) or the thought processing (psychologically) to start the task and finish it. I am very slowly beginning to communicate verbally in full sentences and paragraphs again. Sometimes, I do not know where the next word is coming from but they seem to pour forth though in a halted manner occasionally. I will try to get back on a regular schedule with some articles for the newsletter. I still have an article to finish on the Scots-Irish, I know. Thank goodness for spell check on the computer. If you will tell folks I am still recovering and they will hear from me soon, I will appreciate it. I am driving and able to keep my job right now but in a guarded way. It is just a day-by-day improvement situation as well as doing everything I can to control severe hypertension. My heart is fine, it is just the stress I hold inside which needs an outlet and unfortunately the results have been these ‘mini strokes.’ Will talk to you again soon.

/s/ Cousin Rex

Wayne sent three letters, all relating to the same subject. The visit of the 2001 Appalachian Literature class from King College in Bristol, Tennessee. One of the letters describes the visit.

Dear Mr. Silver,

Thank you so much for your wonderful hospitality last Friday, April 20, 2001. My class and I enjoyed meeting you and learning more about your family’s story. It was also very nice of you to have coffee and tea ready for us, and we appreciated your warm welcome.

I look forward to the oppurtunity to bring future Appalachian Literature classes to visit the graves and the church. And, if you are ever in the Tri-Cities area when I’m teaching the course again, I’d like to invite you to come and talk to the class. It is not often that teachers have such knowledgeable resources—especially resources that are so closely related to the history of a novel we are reading.

Again, thank you for your hospitality and for your willingness to talk to the class. We’ll be sure to check out the website and stay up-to-date on the Silver family.

Kim Kidd and members of the Spring 2001 Appalachian Literature class.

The third letter was from Sharyn McCrumb:

Dear Wayne,

Thank you very much for your hospitality to the King College class on Friday. It was wonderful to see all the kinfolks again, and I loved the CD that you made at the church. I will let you know when I can get back to Mitchell for a longer visit.

Here is the CD I warned you about. You can see that the family musical talent all went to the bluegrass musician Del McCoury—he clearly got my share, but I think Sweetwater did a fine job. I am pleased with the reading about Malcolm—probably a derivative of the preaching DNA of the Arwoods and Barnetts in my gene pool.

I’ve also enclosed the new cover of the paperback of “Frankie.” Note that they covered up Charlie’s graves with the title. You can’t reason with them. It’s like herding ducks. But I try. I’ll be glad to send a dozen CD’s if you have any use for them.

(Sharyn is speaking of her new book about her ancestor, Malcolm McCourry, titled “The Rowan Stave.” Sharyn reads from the book and sings one of the title songs from it.)

All best wishes, Sharyn


Wayne’s comment: “John, the meeting was great! Laura (Cowan Cooper) was here helping in every direction. The railroad room, (new) along with Kona material was a real treat for them, including two railroad men guiding the tour, Ernest Petty and a friend.”

Wayne has also sent a report on the progress of the July Silver Family Reunion.

Dear John, Thanks for your call.  As to the reunion. Saturday will be our “social” day. No plans other than just getting to know each other. Of course, we’ll have coffee, tea, soft drinks and snacks, etc. But everyone may wish to bring their own and perhaps enough to share with a friend who doesn’t realize that we are six miles from the nearest town.

Sunday we will have our regular get together in the cemetery. Placing flowers on graves and hugging all the relatives. We’ve invited Reverend Howard Silver to do a memorial service at 11:00 a.m. in the old church but to date I have not heard from him. At 12 noon we will all meet in the reception hall for our covered dish dinner.

Please remember there will be no selling or displaying of anything at the church during Saturday or Sunday. Pat and Dan Dowd (tel 828-688-1030) will accept those things at their gallery. Nothing will be sold there using the words “proceeds” or “profit” going to the church. Donations are acceptable if indeed a donation is given. A box will be provided for this. No item with “Kona Baptist Church” printed upon it may be sold. Remember, we are chartered as a non-profit institution and we have not given our permission for any group to raise money that does not come to our church bank account, i.e. “Kona Baptist Church Building Fund.”  Silver Family Reunion and other artwork is not under our control , so these items will be o.k.

At 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, there will be a “get together” upstairs in our sanctuary where everyone may take turns presenting gospel or church music. Groups would be welcome!

Our Memorial Garden!! We finally found the miniature evergreens we need to outline the heart shape of the garden. We would love to honor those who wish to donate each single tree. The special price is $10.00 each and will feature a metal plaque with the name of each person who donates. We need about 20 to 24. Checks should be payable to Kona Baptist Church and annotated, “Memorial Garden.” We will return all checks over 24 depending on the final count.

The New railroad room will be ready as well as the New Charlie Silver room in a few weeks. We’re already having visitors when I’m there to see them. Cross your fingers I’ll be well enough to do so.

I just spoke with Beverly Carroll at the Blue Moon Book Store. She says the next issue of North Carolina Folklore will be entirely about Frankie.

We have had many deaths in the community this past month. I’m sending all the obituaries that have been printed in the local papers so far.

In the local news this week Guy Silver got his picture in the paper. I am sending you a copy. Guy is a descendant of William Jacob and Anna Patton Silver who was descended from “Powder Mary” McKeehan Patton. (This is a very interesting article and we are including in its entirety.) I remember what a joy it was working with Mr. Munday years ago when he was working on the Patton Family Book.

Hopefully, we will have a walking tour again this year. Also, possibly a brief visit or trip on the railroad. It is an effort but we are trying.

And, would you please pass along a special thanks to all those who have volunteered work at the churches, Laura Cooper and husband David for their contribution of the great glass cases for display and for all those who have sent cards, visited and called. What a privileged man I am!  Until….Wayne

And finally, news from Kona that we would rather not have to print. Not good but very bad news. This is one item that we would rather not print but in all fairness to our family we feel that everyone should know. Our Cousin and good friend, Wayne Silver, has been diagnosed as having liver and lung cancer. Wayne has asked that we not dwell on this and hopes to be able to carry on his work at the museum and planning for the reunion in July. In his very words, “John, I do not want a pity party! I have requested that I be allowed to do my work at the church that I love so well as long as possible. I am being treated by the best doctors available. I am refusing chemotherapy and I do not wish any heroic efforts on the part of my family and the doctors. I have had a good life. My music has fulfilled me and I consider myself very fortunate to have had so many, many good friends and such a loving family.”

As we all know, the Silver family would not be having an annual reunion, much less a museum, if it were not for Wayne. He has given himself wholeheartedly to preserving the family records over the past 20 years. Preservation of the museum and the churches has been his passion. If you would like to send a card to Wayne, his address is 140 Grindstaff Road, Bakersville, NC 28705-7209. Phone number at the church is 828-688-4536.

Laura Cowan Cooper was kind enough to send us a copy of an article from the latest issue of the, “Blue Ridge Music Trail.” Due to lack of space we cannot print the whole article but we will print the part that applies to Kona. David A. Taylor (not to be confused with our David A. Taylor) wrote the article, “Only The Mountains Are Forever,” and tells of his travels from Washington, DC through Roanoke and Floyd, Virginia and finally stopping at Kona as he stops over to listen to bluegrass and mountain music.

Excerpt: “From Floyd, the Blue Ridge Parkway sweeps in graceful arcs and smooth rises, echoed in banks of rhododendron and stone walls – smoother and more graceful than any other road in these hills. It is an elegantly designed route that highlights the mountains’ beauty in an almost classical way; the view is an ideal accompaniment to Bach’s Suite no. 3 in B Minor, which plays on the local NPR station as I drive. The parkway was a New Deal effort to foster tourism and appreciation of nature. Houses now dot the ridges – a sign that retirees are finding the Blue Ridge more attractive than Florida.

Past and present intertwine along the Music Trail, sometimes with a dizzying, doubling effect, like at the Silver Family Museum, part of which is housed in several churches in tiny Kona, North Carolina. To get there, you get on route 80 just east of Mount Mitchell and go north about five miles. (The main museum is in the Baptist chapel right there on Route 80.) I drove into the yard of the Presbyterian Mission and found the curator, a tall, grizzled man in shorts with long white hair. He held out his hands as if to say, ‘Here I am.’ That’s Wayne Silver, great-great-great-nephew of Charlie Silver, whose 1851 ax murder commemorated in ‘The Ballad of Frankie Silver.’ Frankie was Charlie’s wife and killer, and the only woman ever hanged in North Carolina. Her ballad purportedly gets its verses from the confession she read from the gallows; her story has since been adapted as a novel, a ballet and a television movie.

Wayne Silver was nervously preparing for a big Silver family reunion that weekend, but he made time to show me the exhibit in the basement archive hall. He pointed out the displays of clippings and photos of the Silver family, whose members had lived in Kona for two centuries. In preparation for the reunion, Wayne had set up tables with scissors and paper so that family members could cut and exchange clippings, old photos and letters. He has advised novelists and bluegrass deejays about the murder.

The last room we visit is small and papered with news articles.

‘So this is Frankie’s room,’ I ask.

‘I try to think of it as Charlie’s room,’ he says. ‘He was the Silver.’ The murder is a complex tale and everyone seems to have an opinion on it: a few years ago, in fact, a group of school children petitioned the Governor of North Carolina to absolve Frankie. Even Senator Sam Ervin of Watergate fame comes down on her side, asserting that she acted in self-defense. The grisly nature of the crime emerges in the graveyard behind the chapel museum, where Charlie has three headstones; one for each piece of him they recovered after he was hacked apart and inexpertly cremated in the family hearth.

The song was first recorded as ‘Frankie Silvers’ in 1929 by Byrd Moore and His Hot Shots. (That recording was re-released on CD by County Records in 1995.) It has since been played by many others, and Wayne Silver has tried his hand at it, too; he hopes his version, recorded in the Kona Chapel and burned into about a thousand CDs, will arrive that very day, in time for the Silver family reunion: a murderer’s confession re-recorded by her great-great-great-nephew, for the living.

Wayne, who has worked as a musician in New York, Atlanta, Chicago and Nashville, is most excited about doing more recordings that will preserve and expand Kona’s music and stories that his family taught him as a child. ‘There’ve always been wonderful self-taught musicians here,’ he says, his outstretched hand taking in the valley.”

Until next month, Cousins Clarence, Rex and John


Mary Patton: Ammo Queen




The Overmountain Men are justly famed for their rugged strength in marching and their unrelenting courage in fighting and winning the crucial battle of King’s Mountain. Yet, without the skill of a woman, their task could never have been completed.

Mary Patton, a young woman living and working on a small creek not far from today’s Happy Valley High School, made the gunpowder that the fighting men used to defeat the Tory forces under Major Ferguson.

While not widely known, she is remembered well by her descendants and by those fascinated with the stirring tale of the Overmountain men. (and Women.)

“Mary Patton was my great-grandmother’s great-grandmother. All through the time we was growing up, we heard about her,” says Guy Silver, a Mitchell County farmer who has spent his life on his farm near Kona.

In addition to the oral history passed down through the generations, two histories – one a small pamphlet sold by the Rocky Mount (TN) Historical Association and the other a genealogical book by one of her ancestors – tell her story and outline the process for making gunpowder during the time of the Revolutionary War.

Also the branch that furnished the power for her powder mill has been named Powder Branch for as long as anyone can remember, and three large kettles remain to remind us of her important role in the history of our region and our nation.

Born in England in 1751, Mary Patton learned her trade as a child while working as an apprentice, perhaps under the guidance of her father, David McKeehan.

“At that time they had a system where they apprenticed you out young to learn a trade. They apprenticed her out to a powder maker, and she learned to make powder in England,” says Silver, whose interest in his ancestor has grown as he has learned more about her.

Mary came to Pennsylvania in the 1760s with her family. At first they stayed in Philadelphia, then settled in Cumberland County of that state. The family continued in their trade in this country, making gunpowder from saltpeter, charcoal and sulphur.

In 1772, Mary married a Revolutionary War soldier, John Patton. Born in 1749 in Ulster, Ireland, John Patton served as a private in the Cumberland County Militia. He joined his wife in the gunpowder business after their marriage. They had two children and their work prospered.

Through acquaintance with Andrew Taylor, a fellow member of the Pennsylvania Militia, John and Mary Patton and their children moved south to settle on a branch in what was then North Carolina. With the help of Taylor and other neighbors, the Pattons established a mill in 1777 on what is now known as Powder Branch.

On September 24, 1780, a large number of soldiers, approximately 900, met at Rocky Mount en route to the rendezvous at Sycamore Shoals.

William Cobb who had created an un-usually luxurious home in the wilderness, furnished the soldiers with necessities for their mission: horses, food, bullets, slaves and the vital gunpowder from Mary Patton’s mill.

At Rocky Mount, today, a large iron kettle is part of the Massengill Museum collection. Next to the kettle an exhibit explains who she was and how she manufactured gunpowder.

“Some of the family had that kettle, and they were afraid that it would get throwed out in an old barn. They wanted to put it in some place historical where it would be taken care of,” says Guy Silver.

At Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, two of Mary Patton’s large kettles are preserved as part of displays that document life on the frontier and celebrate the role of the Overmountain Men in American History. Under the overhang of the shelving rock where the men camped after their first day’s march, a plaque erected by the D.A.R. says: “First night’s encampment of the King’s Mountain Men, September 26, 1780. They trusted in God and kept their powder dry.”

Mary Patton continued to make powder for many years, furnishing the necessity to folks living as far away as South Carolina. Tales of her feistiness and intelligence have filtered down over the years.

According to one story told by her descendant, H.A. Mundy, in A Record of the Family of John Patton and by E. Alvin Gerhardt, Jr. in Mary Patton Powder Maker of The Revolution, “she

Was returning from a long trip to deliver some gunpowder, when a lone, masked gunman accosted her, seeking to rob her of the money she made from the delivery. Reacting quickly, she informed him that her husband had the money and that he was following far behind her. As the bandit relaxed his vigilance for an instant, she dug her spurs into her horse and galloped off to the safety of her home.”

Supposedly she shod her own mare for these trips, then removed the shoes when she returned to save wear on the precious iron. Her careful attention to such details served her well in one instance. Someone had put flints in the glazing barrell, which rotated to finish the powder. She prevented an explosion that would have destroyed the mill by discovering the flints before they could strike a spark.

Prosperity came through her steady industry. With powder selling for a dollar a pound, at a time when land sold for from 50 cents to a dollar an acre, she accumulated much property. At the time of her death she owned 3000 acres of land.

When Mary Patton died on December 15, 1836, her grandson, S. E. Patton, buried her on a hillside overlooking the beautiful hills where she had lived over sixty years. The Patton-Simmons Cemetery holds her remains, which lie under a large memorial stone erected by her descendants in 1932.

The epitaph says: One of that heroic band who established a civilization in the wilderness. She made the powder used by John Sevier’s troops in the battle of King’s Mountain.

Her mill continued to produce gunpowder through the Civil War. Today, while it has disappeared, lost in the shifting soil of change, her kettles and ancestors remain behind to tell the story of a hard-working woman whose craft helped shape the course of history.




Phillip John Holland

Little Chuckey Cutoff, Mosheim, TN

  Phillip John “Johnny” Holland, 23, of Mosheim, died Saturday, January 6, 2001.

  He was a former employee of Nolichuckey Sand Company.

  He was the son of Margaret and William Holland of Mosheim.

  Those close to him knew him as a caring and giving person, who lived life to the fullest. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

  Survivors include two brothers and a sister-in-law: William “Bill” and Robin Holland of Greenville, Randy Holland of Mosheim; a sister: Sandy Holland of Mosheim; three nephews: Dustin, Brandon and Austin Holland; one niece: Katlyn Holland; his grandmother: Ada Holland of Mosheim; several aunts, uncles and cousins.

  He was a grandson of the late Murphy and Sally Silver and Elmer Holland.

  The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Kiser Funeral Home.

  The funeral service will be held at 11 o’clock Friday morning in the funeral home chapel with private interment in the family cemetery. The Reverend Jim Fillers will officiate.

  Pallbearers will be Eric Sauceman, Lance Dean, Jimmy Gosnell, B.J. Parker, Johnny Shehan and Terry Dean.


Joe Ruth

Spruce Pine, Mitchell County, NC

Francis Josef “Joe” Ruth, beloved husband and father, passed away at home on Monday, April 16, 2001. He went from the loving arms of his wife and four children into the arms of his Savior.

The son of the late Bertrand Forrester Ruth and Jennie Young Ruth, he was born December 20, 1924, in Marion, McDowell County, NC. He was preceded in death by two brothers, B.F. Jr. and James.

After graduating from Marion High School in 1942, he enlisted in the United States Navy. He later joined the U.S. Army and served with the 19th Infantry Regiment during the Korean War, where his company won the Presidential Unit Citation. Ruth retired from the Army in 1967.

A true son of the South, Ruth was active in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and was a former deputy commander of the North Carolina Society. With T. H. Pearce of Franklinton, he founded the Confederate Heritage Society. In 1994, Ruth led the successful initiation to reunite the remains of Robert E. Lee’s daughter, Annie, which had lain in Warren County since 1862, with those of her family in the Lee Chapel in Lexington, Virginia. Ruth was a member of the Jamestowne Society, the General Society of Colonial Wars, the Sons of the American Revolution, the Society of the Descendants of Mareen Duval, the Flagon and Trencher, the National Huguenot Society, the Society of the Descendant of Colonial Clergy and Saint Andrews Society.

Surviving are his wife, Alice; son Joe and his wife, Susan, of Brussels, Belgium and Washington, DC; daughter

Karen Ruth Liptack and her husband, Keith, of Spokane, Washington; sons, Wayne of Pisgah Forest, NC, Kris of Asheville; sisters Caton and Marie McDade both of Raleigh, NC; brother, Wayne of Jamestown; grandchildren, Darrell Tierney and  Stuart, Erynn and Kemper Ruth; and two great grandchildren, Nick and Alex Ruth.

Services will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Grindstaff Memorial Chapel of Webb Funeral Home. The Reverend Steve Williams will officiate. Burial will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Oak Grove Cemetery, Marion, NC.

The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. until the service hour Tuesday at the funeral home.

Condolences may be e-mailed to the family at [email protected].

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the  Lewis Rathbun Center, 121 Sherwood Road, Asheville, NC 28803 or Hospice of Mitchell County, PO Box 38, Spruce Pine, NC 28777.


Charles H. Silver

Candler, NC – Charles Harold Silver, 75, of 12 Gossett Road, died Tuesday, April 10, 2001 in an Asheville Hospital.

Mr Silver was born in Mitchell County and was a son of the late Samuel and Edna Presnell Silver. He was a U. S. Navy veteran of World War II, and was retired from the research department of B.A.S.F. He was a member of Hominy Baptist Church.

Surviving are his wife, Ellen Smith Silver; one daughter, Linda Brown of Belmont; one son, Greg Silver of Hendersonville, NC; and four grandchildren, Kindall Gunn, Kelly Brown, Seth Silver and Brian Whitener. 

The funeral services will be held at noon Thursday at Hominy Baptist Church with the Reverend Dr. Joe Yelton officiating.

The graveside rites will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Young Cemetery in Yancey County.

His family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the services and request that memorials be made to the Hominy Baptist Church Building Fund, 135 Candler School Road, Candler, NC 28715

Groce Funeral Home on Patton Avenue, Asheville, NC, is in charge of the arrangements.

The on-line register is available at “Funerals Scheduled” at


Ruby Robinson

Burnsville, Yancey County, NC  Ruby Robinson, 89, of 328 Mitchell Branch, died Sunday, May 3, 1998 at her home.

A native of Washington County, TN, she was a daughter of the late John and Rebecca Harris Riddle and the wife of Noah Robinson, who died in 1978. She was preceeded in death by a daughter, Hazel Franklin.

Surviving are three daughters, Shirley Silver of Green Mountain, Opal Robinson of Burnsville, and Pansy Silver of Greeneville, TN; Five sons: Warren and Eddie Robinson of Burnsville, Clyde Robinson of Mars Hill, Lee Robinson of Asheville and Dewey Robinson of Greeneville, TN; 23 grandchildren; 35 great-grandchildren; 4 great-great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday in the chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home. The Reverends Davie Shelton and Ed Davis will officiate. Burial will be in the Robinson Cemetery at Higgins.

The family will receive friends from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the funeral home.


Ruby McMahan Sams

Asheville, Buncombe County, NC

Ruby McMahan Sams,66, died December 19, 2000, at Mission St. Joseph’s Health System.

A native of Buncombe County,  she was the daughter of the late Lee and Bertha Silver McMahan. She was preceeded in death by her children, Leta Sams Stanley and James Larry Sams. She was a member of the Azalea United Methodist Church and was a loving wife, mother and grandmother.

She is survived by her husband of 49 years, Homer L. Sams of Asheville; daughter, Rita Sams Edmonds of Asheville; son , Jeff Flory Sams of Yacaipa, CA; sister, Grace Fisher of Knoxville; 9 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Azalea United Methodist Church with the Reverend Wayne Ratcliffe officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends Thursday from 1 p.m. until the service hour at the church.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to  Brigman’s Funeral Service of Black Mountain.


Vera Silver Rice

Burnsville, Yancey County, NC  Vera Silver Rice, 83, of the Windom Community, died Monday, January 15, 2001, in Caldwell County Hospice Center.

A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late Mack and Kate Allen Silver and wife of the late Sherman Rice. She was also preceeded in death by a brother, Paul Silver.

Surviving are a daughter, Myrna Thomas of Granite Falls; a grandson, Randy Woody of Raleigh; a sister, Ollie Styles of Burnsville; a sister-in-law, Helen Silver of Miami, FL; and several nieces and nephews.

The funeral services will be held at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the chapel of the Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home. The Reverend Phillip Garland will officiate.

The family will receive friends from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.

The graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Bowman-Rector Cemetery in Marshall.

Memorials may be made to Hospice of Yancey County, P.O. Box 471, Burnsville, NC 28714


Cecil Honeycutt

Burnsville, Yancey County, NC  Cecil Honeycutt, 92, of Burnsville, died Monday, January 20, 2001 in Yancey Nursing Center. A native of Yancey County, he was a son of the late Reverend Jerome and Lona Price Honeycutt and the husband of Ada Carroll Honeycutt. He was a member of Young’s Chapel Free Will Baptist Church.

Surviving are 2 daughters and sons-in-law: Marjorie and Ed Edwards and Clara and Edd Cassida, all of Burnsville; A son-in-law, Clyde Blalock of Burnsville; 2 sisters: Ada Jones and Atlas Silver of Burnsville; 6 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandchild.

Funeral services were held Wednesday in the chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home. The Reverends Donald Whitson, Bobby Revis and Duane Cassida officiated. Burial was in the Honeycutt Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Hospice of Yancey County, P.O. Box 471, Burnsville, NC 28714


Shirley Chandler-Behnke

Durand, Michigan  Shirley Ann Chandler-Behnke, formerly of Biltmore, died Sunday, March 25, 2001, as the result of an automobile accident in Ann-Arbor, Michigan.

Shirley was born September 30, 1936 in Madison County, NC, to the late Charles and Duffa Brown-Chandler. She graduated from Biltmore High School in 1953 and shortly after moved to Michigan.

She is survived by her husband of 44 years, Thomas L. Behnke of the home; a daughter, Kimberly Ann Cords and her husband of Michigan; a son, Thomas Lee and his wife Brenda of Ohio; a brother, Ernest Chandler Jr. and his wife Jo; four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

Services will be held on Thursday in Durand.


Shirley Silver

Shirley Silver, 59, of the Jacks Creek Community went home to be with her Heavenly Father on Tuesday, March 6, 2001, after a courageous battle against cancer. She was a devoted, caring and loving wife, mother and grandmother.

Surviving are her husband of 44 years, Turner Silver; six children: Rev. Marvin Silver and wife Marlenna; Melvin Silver and wife Misty; Joel Silver and wife Sheryll; Denise Silver Hudgins and husband Justin, Marsha Silver Wilhelm and husband Ray, all of Burnsville, NC. Dedra Silver Felts and husband Richard of Unicoi, TN. Her parents Clifton and Naomi Honeycutt of Unicoi, TN; two sisters; Mary Hill and Jean Smith and a brother Kenneth Honeycutt, all of Unicoi, TN. She had six grandchildren who loved her very much, Natasha, Scyron, Corey, Justina, Sheryll and Kaitlynn. She will be dearly missed until we can join her in our Heavenly Home.

Funeral services were held Friday in Peterson’s Chapel Free Will Baptist Church. The Reverends Donald Whitson and Perry Norton officiated. Burial was in Peterson Hill Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Hospice of Yancey County, P.O. Box 471, Burnsville, NC 28714.


Wilma Hall

Wilma Hall, 80, of Burnsville, died Monday, December 11, 2000, in Spruce Pine Brian Center. A native of Yancey County, she was the daughter of the late Shelby and Ruby Clontz Hall.

Surviving are a son, Bobby DeCola and wife Maureen of Burnsville; five sisters, Jewell Hall and Norma Westall of Burnsville, Glenna Mierley of Altoona, PA, Donna Lahner of Baltimore, MD and Alma Yung of Middletown, CN; and a brother Terry Hall of Elkin.

No services are planned.

Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


Lee Roy Carroll

Lee Roy Carroll, 83, of Plum Branch, died Friday, September 15, 2000 in Spruce Pine Hospital after a long illness. A native of Yancey County, he was a son of the late John Henry and Alice Henson Carroll and the husband of Martha L. Silver Carroll who died in 1984. He was also preceeded in death by a brother, Grayson Woodrow Carroll. Mr. Carroll retired from Mohasco Mills in 1980.

Surviving are three daughters: Alma Franklin, Abigail Harris and Jearlene Carroll, all of Burnsville; a son: Clifton Lee Carroll of Nebo; five sisters: Edna Aylor of High Point, NC, Myrtle Ingle of Granite Falls, NC, Predith Bradshaw of Hickory, NC, Mary Lou Carroll of Micaville, NC, and Frances Briggs of Burnsville, NC; seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Sunday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home. The Reverends Eugene Briggs and George Huskins officiated. A graveside service was held Monday in the Marietta Atkins Public Cemetery.


Velma Lea Silver

Waynesville, NC – Velma Lea Silver, 86, of 612 Bean Town Road, died February 7, 2001, at Autumn Care of Waynesville.

She was born in Haywood County to the late James Robert and Fannie Cagle Phillips. Mrs. Silver was a homemaker and a member of Hemphill Baptist Church. She was preceeded in death by her husband, Norman Wayne Silver who died in 1997, and a son James Earl Silver.

She is survived by three daughters, Sally Peebles of Candler, NC, Mary Sue Huskins of Buford, GA, and Nellie Bly Enman of Waynesville; a son, Dick Silver of Waynesville; two sisters: Glennie Green and Ruth Parton of Waynesville; three brothers: Howard and Ed Phillips of Waynesville and Wilson Phillips of Murphy, NC; 17 grandchildren; 35 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

The funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday in the chapel of Wells Funeral Home in Waynesville with the Reverends Carl Cook and Charles Brown officiating. Burial will be at Green Hill Cemetery. Pall bearers will be Danny Birchfield, Pete and Danny Silver, Victor Haffstetter, Carl Huskins and Phillip Wyatt.

The family will receive friends from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at the funeral home and at other times will be at the residence.

Memorials may be made to Haywood County Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 931, Waynesville, NC 28786.


Myrtle Silver

Marion, NC – Myrtle Frady Silver, 70, of Marion, died Friday, March 23, 2001, at the McDowell Hospital.

She was a daughter of the late Charles Hicks and Estelle Laughter Frady. She was preceded in death by her husband Ralph Silver and a son, James Ralph Silver Jr. She was retired from Tultex and was a member of Zion Hill Baptist Church.

Surviving are three sons; Donald R. “Butch” Silver, Boyce Dean Silver, both of Marion and Troy L. Silver of Rutherfordton; one daughter: Sarah Teal Silver Morgan of Nebo: four sisters; Blanche Romine and Bonnie Wilson, both of Marion, Nell Stafford of Hickory and Ruby McMahan of Burnsville. 13 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at Westmoreland Chapel. Burial will be in Memorial Park.

The family will receive friends from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday at Westmoreland Funeral Home.


Beaver-Morse Wedding

Las Vegas, NV – Elizabeth Silver Beaver and Edward Lee Morse, both of Fletcher, NC, were married on October 22, 2000, at the Flamingo Las Vegas Garden Chapel in Las Vegas. A reception was held on November 11, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Tomayko of Leicester, NC.

The bride is the daughter of Joyce Silver and the late Roy Silver of Arden, NC.

The bridegroom is the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. A.L. Morse of Asheville, NC.


Birth of Gabriel Lyndon Silver

Michael and Aleisha Silver of Burnsville are proud to announce the birth of their son, Gabriel. He was born at Spruce Pine Community Hospital on January 12, 2001 at 7:25 p.m.

Gabriel’s proud grandparents are Max and Frieda Ballew and Nelson and Elizabeth Silver.


Birth of Kaitlyn Marie Silver

C. Jason and Stephanie Silver are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Kaitlyn. She was born at Mission St. Joseph Hospital on November 10, 2000 at 12:45 a.m.

The proud grandparents are Bill and Diane Holder of Burnsville, NC, and Marvin and Nancy Silver of Double Island, NC. The great grandparents are J.C. and Eloise Harding of Double Island and Pauline Ingle and Betty Roberts, both of Greeneville, TN.


Mae Laura Thomas

Spruce Pine, NC – Mae Laura Thomas, 89, of Gouges Creek Road, died Tuesday, April 17, 2001 in Brian Center of Spruce Pine. She was the daughter of the late Stokes and Elizabeth Woody McClellan and wife of the late Clarence W. Thomas. A member of Gouges Creek Baptist Church, she was a lunch-room employee at Harris High School.

Survivors include two daughters; Jean McGuire of Spruce Pine and Alice Orsini of Cooper City, FL; one sister, Mary Hansel of Newland; two brothers, Obie McClellan of Morganton, NC and Clarence McClellan of Spruce Pine; three grandchildren; five great grandchildren; two great great grandchildren.

Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Thursday at Gouges Creek Baptist Church. Reverends Tommy Thomas and Don Thomas officiated. Burial followed in the church cemetery. The family received friends from 1 p.m. until the service hour at the church. Henline-Hughs Funeral Home in Bakersville was in charge of the arrangements.


Connie Louise Thomas

Johnson City, TN – Connie Louise Thomas, 83, formerly of Spruce Pine, died Monday, April 23, 2001 in a Johnson City rest home. She was the daughter of the late William Larkin and Fannie Blalock Freeman, and wife of the late Baxter Euyless Thomas. She was also preceded in death by a sister, Mamie Jane Freeman and brothers, Charles, William (Bob), and Jack Freeman. Formerly a member of Mount Carmel Baptist Church, she was a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Elizabethton, TN. She was retired from the NC State Hospital.

Survivors include her daughters, Polly Qualls of Wister, OK, Peggy Young of Johnson City and Elsie Pitman of Morganton; a son, William Baxter Thomas of Morganton, NC; a sister, Mary Freeman Howell Mink of Peewee Valley, KY, a step brother, Henry Moore of Spruce Pine; eight grandchildren; eighteen great- grandchildren and six great-great-grand-children.

Funeral services were at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Grindstaff Memorial Chapel of Webb Funeral Home in Spruce Pine. Reverends Donnie Thomas and Joe Sorah officiated. Burial was in Mt. Carmel Cemetery Wednesday. The family received friends from 6 p.m. until the service hour.