April 2007


Written and Published Online by John Silver

w/contributing articles by various Silver cousins



Greetings Cousins and Friends,


It’s a fact!! Spring is here!  Not quite warm enough for skinny-dipping yet but it will get there.

I just had a call from Cousin Gladys Gibbs telling me that she is fine but sister Georgia is now in an assisted living home. Cousin Georgia, as I am sure you will remember, was the spry lady who used to be at all the reunions. Cousin Georgia took a fall last winter on the ice and while nothing was broken seriously, she was finally convinced that she should not be living alone.  After all, she is only a youngish 95. I’m sure a lot of you would like to send her an Easter card so here’s her address.  Ms. Georgia Bradley, Laurels of Hendersonville, 290 Clear Creek Road, Hendersonville, NC 28792. Actually, I think she would appreciate any kind of card. Thank you for the news, Gladys.

I don’t normally advertise for anyone but this is an important event. I’m happy to announce that Dr. Lloyd Bailey finally has a, “headquarters.” It has been a long time coming but it has finally materialized.  Congratulations, Dr. Bailey. You have earned it the hard way!  Thank you, Drs. Carolyn and David Cort for making this possible. Readers, you will find the details in the next few pages.

And, Dr. Bailey’s, The Toe Valley Heritage, Volume VI  is ready. I am one of those fortunate individuals who have all the volumes and I use them constantly.  I also enjoy just picking a volume and reading just for the pure pleasure of it.  I always find something new as many times as I have read each volume.

We have several Obituaries this month. One in particular, Huel Rice, was a baby brother to Clifford H. Rice, who was my brother-in-law. Lovie Robinson Grindstaff was a sister of Ms. Ruth Robinson Silver, widow of George and mother of Wayne.

Until next month, keep warm. 

Cousin John



Greetings To Toe River Valley Family History Enthusiasts



I am writing with two purposes in mind:

1. To alert you to the fact that, at long last, TVH Vol. VI is finished. I am just now reading the page proofs, and it should be ready for shipment in a couple of months. The cost has not yet been determined, but in any case start saving up a $$ or two. It is like vols. 1-3: many articles about history, persons and families (400 pages). You will be notified when orders can be received.

2. To seek your assistance with preserving and developing the Museum of Yancey County History.

About a year ago, my good cousin Dr. Carolyn Cort (and husband Dr. David Cort), a pediatrician in Burnsville, donated her office complex to the museum for an annex, with the stipulation that it be named for me ("The Lloyd Bailey Annex"). See the attached photographs.

Such an addition was much needed for displays, a library, offices, and space for public programs. The older museum building (The McElroy House) allowed only for the first of these and was quickly becoming inadequate in terms of space.

The Annex consists of a series of "waiting" and "examining" rooms, most of them much too small for the kinds of museum display that the Staff envisions. Hence, some remodeling will be necessary. This will be an expensive undertaking, compounded by the considerable cost of preparing and displaying new acquisitions.

While Foundations have been somewhat generous with grants for the restoration of the older McElroy House (thus far, some $300,000.00), such sources of funding are rapidly vanishing and increasingly difficult to acquire. The County (Yancey) and Town (Burnsville), formerly modest annual donors (despite their overburdened budgets) are no longer able to lend support.

At the moment, the amount of operating funds on-hand is scarcely adequate to pay the single staff-person and utilities (water, electricity, temperature control, telephone, security system, insurance, etc.).

Thus, I am appealling for help to the some five hundred of you who are in my computer's e-mail file as purchasers of my series entitled HERITAGE OF THE TOE RIVER VALLEY. Modest funds are needed for short-term operating expenses, and more substantial amounts for remodeling the Annex and preparation of displays. In addition, it would be splendid if, in your will, a bequest were made for this purpose.

Should you be able to do any of these things, it is important that you specify that the donation is to be used for the "Lloyd Bailey Annex" to the Yancey County Museum.

Such donations are tax-deductable, both Federal and State of North Carolina.

Contact information is: Yancey History Association, PO Box 1088, Burnsville, NC 28714; 828-682-3671; [email protected]

As most of you will know, I have given a vast portion of my life, for the last forty years, to the preservation of the area's history (Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey Counties), and have spent tens of thousands of dollars of my own money in the process of doing so.

Here is your chance to express appreciation for me as someone who has done so much to preserve your heritage!

Blessings upon you for your support.

Lloyd Bailey

4122 Deep Wood Circle
Durham, NC 28714

mailto:[email protected]




Additional Photos from Lloyd Bailey




Arrivals at the Dedication



Guests at the Dedication



Ribbon Cutting Ceremony








If you have seen any of the five previously published volumes of this series (edited by Lloyd Bailey, printed by Walsworth Publishing Company), you know what an invaluable resource they are for learning and preserving the history and genealogy of Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey Counties, North Carolina.  One learned researcher has designated them as, "without question the best local history ever published anywhere in the United States."

Now ready for publication is Volume VI.  It resumes where Volume III left off.  That is, it contains articles on local history, families, and individuals.  Volumes IV and V, by contrast, contained old newspaper accounts of "happenings" in the Valley).

There are approximately 120 articles (400 pages) in all, some of them of exceptional length. In addition to new articles on families treated previously, the following families (among others), scarcely covered previously (or at all), now receive substantial treatment:

Carter (eight articles), McCracken, Deyton, Effler, Fain, Franklin (four articles), Griffith (four articles), Gunter, Haney, Henline, Hicks, Higgins, Hilemon, Hughes, Johnson, King, Lloyd, Maney (large carefully researched articles), McMahan, Ollis, Parker, Parsons, Penland, Phillips, Pope, Putnam, Renfro, Rose, Sams, Thomas (four articles), Vance (eight articles, some 100 manuscript pages), Wilson (three articles), and Young (three articles).


The Minutes of Zion Baptist Church (1834-1880) alone consist of 125 manuscript pages.  If your ancestors lived in the vicinity of Pig Pen, Green Mountain, Toledo...and especially if there were Huskins, Randolph, Fox, Bennett, Laws, Peake, Letterman, or Bailey, you do not want to miss this one!  Find out who was "tried" in church for "perfane langig," imbibing "spurteous liquor," "frolicking and dancing," "keeping a disorderly house," and worse (or is that more interesting?)!

Other large and interesting historical articles include: a large bibliography of published articles about the Valley; deaths and burials along the Clinchfield Railway as it was being constructed; the C.W. Burleson Store at Plumtree; the Celo Health Center; the search for the body of Elisha Mitchell (1857); the work of the CCC Corps; description of great floods from 1791 onward; a history of mining in Mitchell County; a history of medicine (with list of physicians) in the Valley; and a history of education in the Valley (with many documents).

The volume is fully indexed (dozens of pages, by family and given name), with many photographs (most in larger size than the previous volumes).   

The Editor thinks that this will be regarded as one of the more interesting volumes in the series.


ORDER FORM: PLEASE PRINT AND MAIL WITH PAYMENT (personal check or money order)!




Thereafter: $80.00 (please be attentive in this matter;
do not order later and expect the discount!).




_____ Copy(ies) of Heritage of the Toe River Valley, Vol. VI, @ $75.00 each,

pre-publication price (includes tax and postage).

_____ Copy(ies) at the regular price of $80.00.


Please ship to (street address if possible; PO Box if necessary)

Name: ___________________________________________________________________________________

Address: ________________________________________________________________________________

City, State, Zip Code: __________________________________________________________________

E-mail address:  _____________________________        Telephone Number: _________________


Enclosed is payment in amount of $ ________, payable to Lloyd R. Bailey. 

I understand that publication is projected for May 1, 2007, but unexpected delays are always possible.

Send this form and payment to: Lloyd Bailey, 4122 Deep Wood Circle, Durham, N.C., 27707.




A Message from our good friend and supporter, Maxine McCall


I’m glad to report that covers are printed for, They Won’t Hang a Woman, but I am still working on the contents and am more anxious than you to see the final results.

As you may know, in January of 2006, we were allowed to photograph documents and letters on file in Morganton and Raleigh pertaining to Frankie’s trial.  Deciphering those is a slow, tedious, process, but fascinating because they reveal little known facts about the trial and Frankie’s fate.

My work was, also, interrupted to prepare a major exhibit of documents and photographs about Frankie Silver for the History Museum of Burke County. That exhibit runs through August 2007, with new material to be added in May.

Also, this spring, March 24 & April 21, I will be hosting two trips to Kona, NC, to visit the cabin site and the cemetery where Charlie is buried (24 persons per trip). And on May 19, 2007, at 2 p.m. historian, Perry Dean Young (author of The Untold Story of Frankie Silver) will join me for a program entitled: “Separating Fact from Fantasy in the Legend of Frankie Silver.” For more information on the trips, the program, or the exhibit call the Museum at 437-1777.

Meanwhile, I work daily toward completion of the book, and promise that the finished work will be worth the wait.

Blessings,  /s/ Maxine McCall
Box 487
Drexel, NC 28619





Shelby E. Horton, Jr.


Asheville, NC
14 February 2007

Asheville – Shelby E. Horton Jr., 89, of Asheville, died Sunday, Feb. 11, 2007, at Aston Park Health Care Center.

Mr. Horton was born in the Bald Creek section of Yancey County on Sept. 18, 1917, to the late Shelby E. Horton Sr. and Lillian Metcalfe Horton. He was preceded in death by his loving and devoted wife of 50 years, Audrey Shumaker Horton, and by his brothers, Harold and Bill.

Shelby was a graduate of Lee H. Edwards High School. He attended Asheville-Biltmore College and later received a bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina. Shelby spent three years as a high school principal and English and history teacher, as well as basketball coach at Weaverville and Pinehurst schools.

He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in May 1942, where he spent two years working in intelligence in Alaska. He then served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve before retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.

He returned to attend Duke Law School where he met and married his beloved wife, Audrey. They graduated together and were then married in the Duke Chapel on June 3, 1948. The couple returned to Asheville to practice law side by side for fifty years.

For a time, Shelby served as a domestic relations judge before the General Court of Justice.

Shelby was a member and served as officer of numerous civic organizations, including president of two Lions Clubs and serving as District Governor of Lions International. He was a charter member of Grace Baptist Church, longtime Sunday school teacher, and chair of the Board of Deacons.

Shelby and Audrey were both very active in their community and were blessed with many good friends. They will be missed.

Surviving are his daughter, Linda D. Horton, her daughter Kimberly A. Horton; his daughter. Karen H. Calhoun, and her daughters, Jamie L. Davis and Cori L. Calhoun.

A celebration of Shelby's life will be at 3 p.m. Thursday at Grace Baptist Church with the Rev. Dr. L. Wayne Adkisson officiating. Interment will follow at Green Hills Cemetery.

His family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the service.

The family would like to thank the Aston Park Health Care Center and Mountain Area Hospice for the kind, caring attention he received during his last illness.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to CarePartners Hospice, ABCM, the American Cancer Society, or the charity of your choice.

Groce Funeral Home on Patton Avenue is assisting with the arrangements.

The on-line register is available at


(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Rev. Jacob Silver > Rev. Edmund Drury Silver > Martha Ann Silver m. John Woodfin Horton > Shelby Edmund Horton > Shelby Edmund Horton Jr.)





Asheville, NC
10 March 2007

Asheville – Huel Ezekiel Rice, 71, of 72 Goldview Road, died Thursday, March 8, 2007, at his home, following a period of declining health.

A native of Madison County, he had resided in Buncombe County since 1945. He worked as a salesman and deliveryman for several auto dealerships, was a farmer for most of his life and a member of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church.

He was a son of the late Jacob Thurman and Nancy Emmaline Bishop Rice, and the husband of Helen Irene Wells Rice, who died July 13, 2004.

Surviving are his children, Donna Gallamore, of Asheville, Sharon Moore and husband, Eugene, of Weaverville, Michael Allen Rice, of Asheville, Shelia Lindsey and husband, Joe, of Leicester, and Jason Ezekiel Rice and wife, Raegan, of Candler; brother, Johnnie Rice and wife, Doris, of Asheville; 11 grandchildren, six greatgrandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, with the Revs. Keith Watkins and Ebb Jenkins officiating.

Burial will be in Pleasant Hill Baptist Church Cemetery, with Joshua Gallamore, Johnathan Gallamore, Joey Miller, Justin Miller, Derek Rice, Adam Moore, Stacey Rice and Brandon Mundy serving as pallbearers.

The family will receive friends from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Anders-Rice Funeral Home.

The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation for the love and care given to our Dad from Mountain Area Hospice.

To sign Mr. Rice's guest book online, go to Funeral Schedule at



Lovie Robinson Grindstaff


Asheville, NC
25 March 2007

Bakersville – Lovie Robinson Grindstaff, 80, of Water Street, Bakersville, passed away Friday, March 23, 2007, at Johnson City Medical Center.

She was a native of Mitchell County and the daughter of the late Clyde and Della Stafford Robinson.

Survivors include her brother, Paul Robinson, of Bakersville; sister, Ruth Silver, of Bakersville; and a host of nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Claude Grindstaff, and brothers, Marvin, Homer and Kenneth Robinson.

She was a mother and friend to her community and offered a helping hand to all.

The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Monday in Silver Chapel Baptist Church, with J.J. Orr, Jonothan Thacker and Matthew Vern Grindstaff officiating.

The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church.

Burial will follow in the church cemetery.

Henline-Hughes Funeral Home is assisting the Grindstaff family.


(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Rev. Jacob Silver > Margaret “Peggy” Silver + Mitchell Robinson > Milton Robinson > William Anderson Robinson > Clyde Edwin Robinson > Lovie Estelle Robinson)

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Rev. Jacob Silver > William Jacob Silver > Emma Jane Silver + William Anderson Robinson > Clyde Edwin Robinson > Lovie Estelle Robinson)



Lois Silvers


Asheville, NC
23 March 2007

Burnsville – Lois Silvers, 88, of Byrd Branch, went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, March 21, 2007, at her home.

A native of Yancey County, she was a daughter of the late Sam and Addie King Silvers, and the widow of Joe Silvers, who died in 1998. She was also preceded in death by two infant sons, David and Ronnie Silvers; granddaughter, Jackie Silvers; three sisters, Florence Higgins, Vaughtie Silvers and Mildred Tucker; brother, Vance Silvers; and daughters-in-law, Shirley Silvers and Joann Silvers.

She was a member of Petersons Chapel Freewill Baptist Church.

Surviving are her daughter, Joyce Ann Johnson and husband, Vernon, of Weaverville; six sons, Clarence Silvers and wife, Barbara, of Ardmore, Okla., Clifford Silvers and wife, Betty, Stanley Silvers and wife, Norma, and Larry Silvers and wife, Deborah, all of Burnsville, Turner Silvers, of Hot Springs, and Ralph Silvers and wife, Kay, of Marion; sister, Bessie Silvers, of Burnsville; three brothers, Lawrence, Ward and Ray Silvers, of Burnsville; 20 grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren and four great-greatgrandchildren.

The funeral will be held at 8 p.m. Saturday in the chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home. The Revs. Donald Whitson and Marvin Silvers will officiate.

The graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday in Silvers Family Cemetery on Byrd Branch.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.

Memorials may be made to Hospice of Yancey County, 856 Georges Fork Road, Burnsville, NC 28714.

To view this obituary online, visit


(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > John Jackson Silver > Marvel Alexander Silver > Silas Wesley Silver > Joseph "Joe" Silver m. Lois Silver.)

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > John Jackson Silver > Green B. Silver > George Franklin Silver > Samuel Theodore Silver > Lois Silver m. Joseph "Joe" Silver.)



Marie Briggs Silver


Asheville, NC
13 March 2007

Marion – Mrs. Marie Briggs Silver, 79, of Marion, passed away Monday, March 12, 2007, while at Autumn Care of Marion. Mrs. Silver was born in Yancey County on Jan. 9, 1928 and was the daughter of the late John W. Briggs and Lillie Mae Carroll Briggs. She was a member of West Court Baptist Church and she retired from Broyhill Furniture. Her family will remember her as a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and great-great grandmother. She was a cherished homemaker. Four brothers preceded her in death.

Surviving Mrs. Silver are her husband, David Hamilton Silver, of the home; four children, Kay Proctor and husband, Rev. Fred Proctor, of Spruce Pine, Ray Silver and wife, Robin, of Marion, Joe Silver and wife, Beth, of Lexington and Mike Silver and wife, Betty, of Old Fort. 10 grandchildren; 24 greatgrandchildren; and two great great-grandchildren also survive Mrs. Silver.

The funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Thursday at West Court Baptist Church with Revs. Ross Lewis and Fred Proctor officiating. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Westmoreland Funeral Home. Interment will be in West Court Baptist Church Cemetery. An online register is available under OBITUARIES at


(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Henry Gilbert Silver > Thomas C. Silver > Martha Elizabeth Silver m. Shelby Lee Silver > David Hamilton Silver m. Marie Briggs.)

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > John Jackson Silver > Marvel Alexander Silver > Thore Cornelius Silver > Shelby Lee Silver m. Martha Elizabeth Silver > David Hamilton Silver m. Marie Briggs.)




A moment of silence in honor of Robert Adler…



News item:

      BOISE, IDAHO (AP)—Hit the mute button for a moment of silence:

The co-inventor of the TV remote has died.

      Robert Adler died Thursday of heart failure at a Boise nursing home

at age 93.

      He and fellow engineer Eugene Polley had won an Emmy Award for

the device that made couch potatoship possible.

      In his six-decade career with Zenith Electronics Corp., Mr. Adler was

a prolific inventor, earning more than 180 U.S. patents. He was best known

for his 1956 Zenith Space Command remote control.



Commentary of John Harris:

 The above announcement, coming as it did amid all the hoopla accompanying the death of Anna Nicole Smith, got scant notice. And that's a shame, because Mr. Adler was, in my opinion, one of the great benefactors of mankind, whose invention we put to use almost every day.

 As a grateful beneficiary of Mr. Adler's marvelous device, the least I can do is see that his passing does not go further unnoticed. I aim to hail his hosannas to the highest—loud and clear, far and near.

It would have been boon enough if he and Mr. Polley had given us only the remote control. No more getting out of the easy chair to change channels. But to me, their crowning achievement was their invention of the mute button on that remote control. I use it far more than the on-off or any other of the myriad buttons on today's remotes. And it has saved my ears from repeated assault of commercial ear trash and drivel.

 With this marvelous invention, I never, ever, have to listen to a commercial. Click and there is blessed silence while the paid shills flap their lips soundlessly. Once the commercials are over I can click again, and there's the sound that I want to hear. Fantastic!

(One reason that I got rid of my last wife was that she had no mute button.)

 You see, I came of age when there were no remote controls. My ears were repeatedly assaulted by commercials and other inane drivel, so much so that I abandoned radio entirely. And TV mostly. But there were the newscasts and the "60 Minutes" program that I wanted to hear, though they are riddled with inane commercial drivel.

 So, before Mr. Adler's marvelous mute button came along, I still sought soundless solace with a crude but workable solution. From Radio Shack, I purchased an on-off toggle switch secured on the end of a long cord, and got a repairman to wire it into my TV set. True, it was inconvenient to use, and, that cord stretched across the floor, was a tripping hazard—but it worked. I no longer had to listen to silly commercials. And I could silence them without leaving my easy chair.

 But with the coming of the remote control, there was a wireless mute connection. What a blessing!

 So as the article above suggest, let us hit the mute button for a moment of silence. And then let's hear hosannas to the highest for Mr. Adler and Mr. Polley, inventors of that marvelous mute button. 



John Silver
Genealogist & Editor
64S Fairfield Drive
Dover, DE 19901
[email protected]

Barney Kaufman
7408 Lake Drive
Manassas, VA 20111-1960
[email protected]