MAY 2009


Written and Published Online by John Silver Harris

w/contributing articles by various Silver cousins



A Tribute to Jim Harbin


At this time, we would like to pay tribute to James Howard “Jim” Harbin, who passed on February 15, 2009.

Jim contributed much to our Silver family history and heritage. Foremost, he was author of the book: “Nancy’s Story - To Right the Legend of Frankie Silver.”

The book, published in 1999 by Ravenscroft Publishing of Maggie Valley, N.C., was a companion book to the Legacy Films production of “The Ballad of Frankie Silver.” Jim served multiple roles in the film production including as a cast member, historical consultant, associate producer, and still photographer on the set.

In his page “About the Author” in his book, he gives a more detailed accounting of his Silver links than is contained in his obituary, which we share with you here:

Born (2 July 1947) and raised in Buncombe County, N.C., Jim is the son of the late Jackson Garrett and Julia Martha Silver-Casida Harbin.

His grandmother was Pansy Elzora McMahan-Silver. Pansy married William Lewis Casida of Yancey County.

Jim’s mother, grandmother and great-grandfather Leander Burdette Roland-Silver were also born and raised in Yancey County.

Great-Grandfather L. B., as he was known, was the son of Jacob William and Lucinda Roland-Silver. Jacob was an officer in the 3rd N.C. Mounted Infantry (Union), the same unit Jim’s paternal great-grandfather Darius Taylor Harbin, of Haywood County, N.C., served in.

Jacob’s father was Rev. Thomas Silver, the youngest child of George and Nancy Griffith-Silver. Rev. Thomas was a brother to Jacob Silver, father of Charlie Silver who was husband to Francis (Frankie) Stewart-Silver.

At this time, we extend our condolences to Jim’s family. He is gone now, but his works on behalf of our Silver family will live on as a cherished heritage in his honor. 



At 91, Gladys Gibbs stays on a roll

She hangs out in alleys

By Britt Combs


McDowell County (NC) News
September 16, 2008


Gladys Gibbs has been bowling since before bowling was popular, it seems. She began playing duckpins in her native Henderson County in the 1930s, and at age 91 she's still going strong.

A full time employee at Kirksey's Funeral Home in Old Fort – "I guess you could say I'm the hostess," she said -- Gibbs began bowling in her early 20s.

"I took it up for fun," she said. "Back then I bowled duck pins at a small alley that had just six duckpin lanes and two 10-pin lanes."

Nearly forgotten today, duckpins was similar to today's 10-pin games in the same way snooker is similar to pool. Both the pins and the ball are much smaller. A duckpin bowling ball weighs just two to four pounds. Duckpins and a variation called rubber band duckpins were popular throughout the region in the first half of the 20th century.

"Ten-pins didn't get very popular until after World War II," Gibbs said.

Gladys is the daughter of Maggie and George Bradley of Mills River. Maggie was born Maggie Silver of Old Fort.

Gladys married John (J.C.) Gibbs in Mills River. "I met him walking to church." She said. "You didn't have cars in those days, so everybody walked, and that's how we courted – walking to church."

They had a happy but short marriage. J.C., a veteran of World War II, died in 1959.

"After he died, well, I was trained as a bookkeeper," she said, "I was afraid I'd have to go back to school to learn what all was new. I hadn't worked in 15 years." Gladys had quit work to care for her children, Mike and Mary Ellen.

A Hendersonville florist hired her to keep the books. One day a wholesaler mentioned to her that a shop was for sale in Old Fort.

"I brought the kids to see how they'd like it," she said. "We took a picnic in the park and then I showed them the shop; they said they'd like to live here."

For many happy years her shop was a crucial fixture downtown. Gladys became a part of Old Fort and Old Fort became a part of her.

In 1988, her daughter Mary Ellen became ill. Gladys decided to close the shop and care for her daughter.

"I was a mother long before I was a florist," she said, adding that there was no question where her duty lay.

Mary Ellen died in 1988.

"After she died I worked for several different florists," she continued, "and Mr. (Bob) Kirksey wanted me to come work here. I told him I liked the flower business.
"He said, 'if you won't come work for me then I need you to find somebody who will.'"

She found Eunice Burgin, who ran the funeral home in Old Fort until her death four years later. Eventually Gladys took over there and has served Kirksey clients there ever since.

She says she found out she was well suited for her work, assisting grieving families in funeral arrangements.

"I didn't realize it before," she said, "but having lost my husband so young, and raising my children on my own, and losing my daughter, I had a lot of experience that lets me know what someone else is going through, so maybe I can help them, just from having been where they are. At least I hope I can, I try to help comfort them."

Meanwhile she has never lost her passion for bowling competitively. She bowls whenever she can and she has a winning streak that goes back decades.

"I guess it was some time in the late '60s; myself and two lady friends went to Morganton to bowl one night," she said, "and before we left we were asked to join a league. Since then I have bowled every season."

Currently she bowls for the "Aches and Pains" team and competes in regular tournaments at Lightning Lanes. The league just began their fall season and Gibbs is confident she and her teammates will do well.

"I've got quite a few trophies," she said. "I used to have whole rooms of them, but they just got in the way, so I gave most of them to the church to use for awards or something."

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Jacob Silver > Alfred L. Silver > John Silver > Maggie Silver+George Bradley > Gladys Gibbs)





Clarence A. ‘Til” Tillery writes:

Man, how great it is to open up Silver Threads again. Thanks so much for your contributions. I am well into over 6000 page scans in backing up John's Kona books. I anticipate at least 5000 more before the project is done. It will be well worth the effort to complete this project for our future researchers. Please advise if I may assist you in any manner.

 (Note from the editor. And despite his many projects on behalf of our Silver research, Til managed to find time to get married recently.  Our congratulations and best wishes to these newly weds. Their announcement follows:)

“Amy Easterling DeBruycker  and Clarence Anderson “Til” Tillery are pleased to announce their marriage Sunday, February 1, 2009, West Market Street United Methodist Church, Greensboro, North Carolina.

“We are truly blessed as we join our households. If you would like to honor us, please make a donation to your church, favorite charity or to the West Market Street United Methodist Church.”


Robert D. Silver writes:

My Brother, Mark Richard Silver, died on 11 Mar 2009. This was totally unexpected as he was only 46 years old. Mark was the son of Charlie and Ruth Silver (Deceased) of Spruce Pine NC.


Larry and Bonnie LeBlanc write:

John, have had a look at the site and I am amazed at the content, quantity and quality of it. I am looking forward to spending many hours perusing all the information. Congratulations to you and Barney and all those involved in doing this. Please accept our thanks and appreciation for your efforts. Will forward this to all that I can. Best regards to all of the "Family". Larry and Bonnie (LeBlanc)


Gary Silver writes:

John, I have gone through all of the pictures that John had sent me earlier and have them filed by name on the computer.  I am now ready to accept old photos -- pre-1940 -- from other family members.  Any one wanting me to add their old photos to our Silver Collection can contact me at [email protected]

As I stated earlier I prefer that they send me the original photos so I can scan them at a high enough dpi that I can blow them up to 8x10's.  Since there are so many that have the same name it makes my job easier if the sender will label their photos as this example:

George 1 > George 2 > Jacob > Reuben > Samuel Reuben > George Sr. > Ray > Gary.

As I previously stated I will touch up any picture sent as best I can (I am not a professional) and return the original photo plus a copy of the touched up image.  As the number of photos sent dwindles with time I will then start accepting photos from the 1950s and later the 1960s and so forth.  Cousin Gary


Jeanie Hall Tamakoshi writes:

There's been quite a few deaths in the Hall family these past few years - Terry Hall and his northern cousins Evelyn (my  mother) and Arthur Hall, Jr. Their grandmother was a Silver - Nannie Silver married to John Hall.


Linda Davis Ollis writes:

I am the granddaughter of Della Jane Silver and the g-granddaughter of William M. and Anna Gibson Silver.  I have some old photos of their family.  Clersena Mary "Mayme", Annie, Della Jane, Otis and Nora.  I have a photo of the their Silver reunion at Nora Silver Jolly's home in 1941.  Dad always wrote the names and dates on the back of a photo. I also have booklets of poetry Mayme Silver had published in the 30's or 40's. Many of her poems were written in memory or honor of her Silver family. If you ever need an old photo of their family I may can help.

Della Jane Silver married Roanza Davis. They moved to New Mexico in January of 1908. My dad, Taft Davis, was born April 9, 1908. They later moved to Morton, Cochran Co., Texas where Della and Roanza died.

Good luck and may God Bless!  Linda Davis Ollis







Asheville (NC) Citizen-Times
February 20, 2009


Alma Thomas Allison, 97, entered into eternal rest on February 19, 2009.

Alma was born June 30, 1911, to Aaron Clingman and Clara Silvers Thomas in Old Fort; moved to Ridgecrest in 1945; and had lived at Mountain Ridge Wellness Center since 2004.

Mrs. Allison retired from the U.S. Postal Service in 1973. She was an accomplished seamstress, cook, and gardener. She enjoyed crafts, flowers, and her birds; loved her Lord, her church, and her friends.

Alma dedicated her life to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and was loved by all who knew her. She was indeed a “virtuous woman, whose price was above rubies…”

MawMaw will be greatly missed by her family. She was “the wind beneath our wings,” as she upheld each of us in prayer all of her days. We thank God for the blessing of having been loved by her.

Alma was preceded in death by her parents; her only sibling, Dewey Clingman Thomas; her husband, Clarence Edward Allison; and their two sons, James and Paul Allison.

She is also preceded in death by two grandchildren, James David Allison and Paula Denise Allison.

She is survived by her children, Betty May (John), Martha McFalls (Jack), Linda Laney, Thelma Rhodes (Bill); and two daughters-in-law, Faye Allison and Pat Allison; grandchildren, Kathy Butler (Dwight), Jenny Graham (Ricky), Rex May, David Allison (Mary), Danny Allison (Sena), Nathan Allison (Stephanie), Melody Molinaro (Marlin), Melissa Frizsell (Mike), Michelle Flores-Hasegawa (Tony), Justin Rhodes, and April Rhodes; great-grandchildren, Clayton and Jessica Butler, John Woody, Katie and Annie Allison, Dayton Allison, Josh and Jessica Norton, Shae and Taylor Frizsell, and Adriana and Alison Flores; and only nephew, Dewey Alfred Thomas.

A celebration of life service was held February 22 in Ridgecrest Baptist Church. Burial was in Ridgecrest Memorial Park. A home-going celebration was held February 21 at Harwood Home for Funerals.

Arrangements are in the care of Harwood Home for Funerals, 208 W. State Street, Black Mountain, 828-669-2977.

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Jacob Silver  > Alfred L. Silver > James Silver > Clara Silvers Thomas > Alma Thomas Allison)





Asheville (NC) Citizen-Times
March 08, 2009


Fletcher - Ethel Jane Shipman Silvers, 87, of Mills Gap Road, Fletcher, died Friday, March 6, 2009, of a sudden illness at Missions Hospitals.

Mrs. Silvers was a native of McDowell County and was the daughter of the late Elisha and Mary Shipman. She was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, Glenn William Silvers, who died in 2004; an infant twin son, Stanley Louis Silvers in 1939; and a daughter, Jackie Dudney in 1981.

She was a loving Mother, Grandmother, and Great Grandmother and she had many Grandchildren she adopted in her heart of her own accord. She loved gardening, riding motorcycles and spending time with her family and tending to her flowers.

Survivors include four daughters, Stella Moore and husband, Bill, of Fletcher, Mary Dotson and husband, Cliff, of Fairview, Pat Youngblood and husband, Bill, of Hendersonville and Glenda Sternal and husband, Lonnie, of Robbinsville; eight grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren. Also surviving are brothers and sisters, Nora Howell of Asheville, Virginia Smith of Charlotte, Lloyd Shipman of California, Mary Jo Shipman of Fletcher and twins, George Shipman of Asheville and Joyce McMinn of Arden. She was sister of the late Fred Moore of Fletcher and Marie Franks of Atlanta, Ga.

At her request, private family services will be held.

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the family and the memorial register is available online by going to Obituaries at

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Rev. Thomas Silver  > Jacob William Silver > William Anderson “Bud” Silver > Adolphus Lorenzo “Ranzie” Silver > Glenn William Silvers + Ethel Jane Shipman)





Asheville (NC) Citizen-Times
March 08, 2009


CANDLER – William “Bill” Silver, Jr., age, 91, of Candler, died Thursday, March 5th, 2009.

Mr. Silver was born November 11, 1917 in Madison County where he owned and operated Silver’s Mill for 36 years. He was a member of West Asheville Baptist Church and a 32nd Degree Mason of the French Broad Masonic Lodge # 292 in Marshall. “Bill” was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Navy as an Officer and Pilot. He was a member of Mars Hill VFW Post # 5483. “Bill” was preceded in death by his parents, William Columbus and Minnie Whitt Silver.

Surviving is his beloved wife of 30 years, Betty Pace Silver, son, Dr. Robert (Janie) Silver; daughters, Yvonne (Tom) Heardman and Beth (Al) Stidham; step-children, Richard J. (Patty) Silver, Jr., Risé Silver and Robin Silver; six grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Funeral Services will be held at 1 p.m., Monday in the Chapel of Madison Funeral Home with Dr. Stan Welch and Rev. James Johnson officiating. Burial will be in Bull Creek Baptist Church Cemetery with Military Graveside Rites conducted by the Mars Hill VFW Post # 5483. Also, Masonic Graveside Rites will be conducted by French Broad Masonic Lodge #292.

The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. prior to the service at the funeral home.

Memorials are requested in his memory to the JFK Solace Hospice Care Center, PO Box 25338, Asheville, NC 28813 or West Asheville Baptist Church, 926 Haywood Rd., Asheville, NC 28806.

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Jacob Silver  > Alfred Silver > Tilman Silver > William Silver, Sr. > William Silver, Jr.)





Asheville (NC) Citizen-Times
March 13, 2009


Spruce Pine, N.C. - Mark Silver, 46, of Lower Hanging Rock Rd, Spruce Pine passed away Wednesday March 11, 2009 at his home. He was a son of the late Charles and Ruth Wyatt Silver.

He was a member of Beaver Creek Baptist Church.

He was preceded in death by his brother Joseph Silver.

Survivors include two sisters, Pat Grindstaff and Mary Ann Harrell both of Spruce Pine; brothers, Robert David Silver of Spruce Pine and Mike Silver of Ocean Side, CA; and several nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends Friday, March 13th, from 6 until 8 pm at the Grindstaff Memorial Chapel of Webb Funeral Home. The family will also meet at the home of Mary Ann Harrell in the Estatoe Community, please call 864-871-3827.  Interment will be in the Mt. Carmel Church Cemetery.

Condolences may be emailed by going to our website; selecting obituaries, and clicking on the name you wish to view and sign the guestbook. Webb Funeral Home in Spruce Pine, NC is assisting the Silver family.

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Jacob Silver  > David Ralph Silver > Elisha Silver > Samuel W. Silver > Charles P. Silver > Mark Silver)





Asheville (NC) Citizen-Times
February 11, 2009


Canton, N.C. - Kermit Earl Silver, beloved grandfather, 99, died Monday, February 9, 2009, at Silver Bluff Nursing Home.

A native of McDowell County, and lifelong resident of Haywood County, he was the son of the late Willard Alexander and Neomi Elizabeth Silver.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Maxine Price Silver, who died in 1986; a son, Kermit Price Silver, who died in 1976; and a great-grandson, Kelsey Scout Silver, who died in 1992.

He retired from Champion International in 1973 with 44 years of service. He was a member of West Canton Baptist Church, and a member of the Pigeon River Masonic Lodge #386 AF&AM.

Earl enjoyed hunting, fishing, and going to Snug Harbor. He attended Duke University. He loved animals, being outside, and spending time with his family. Earl was the ultimate gentleman.

He is survived by two grandsons, Kevin Bryan Silver and his wife, Darlene, of Canton and Jeffery Scott Silver and his wife, Kim, of Simpsonville, S.C.; a granddaughter, Gina Silver Varat and her husband, Danny, of Greenville, S.C.; six great-grandchildren, Maxie Helen-Price Silver, Hunter James Webb, Samantha Ann Silver, Makenzie Marie Silver, Jeffery Scott Silver Jr., (Scotty), and Mary Earl Varat.

The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, February 12, 2009, at the Canton Chapel of Wells Funeral Home, with the Revs. Milton Hollifield and Joe Steadman officiating.

The graveside service will follow at 2 p.m. at the Silver Family Cemetery in McDowell County. The family will receive friends from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. prior to the service at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to West Canton Baptist Church, 75 Lowe Street, Canton, NC 28716.

For those who desire, an online memorial register is available at Obituaries at

(Since his parents were Silver cousins, K. Earl Silver has two Silver ancestral lines, maternal and paternal.)

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Jacob Silver  > Alfred L. Silver > Alexander Silver > Willard Alexander Silver > K. Earl Silver)

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Jacob Silver  > Alfred L. Silver > Jacob Leonard Silver > Naomi Elizabeth Silver > K. Earl Silver)





Asheville (NC) Citizen-Times
January 19, 2009

Dewey Silvers, 72, of Bailey Branch, passed away unexpetedly Thursday, January 15, 2009, in Morristown, TN. A native of Yancey County, he was a son of the late Silas and Leisa Higgins Silvers. He was the husband of Barbara Tyndal Silvers who died in August 2006. Dewey was preceded in death by sisters: Hope and Ruby Thurlene Silvers, Ena Allison, Martha Allbright, Clara Bradford and Belle Garland; and, brothers: Hollis, Clyde, Joe, Bradley, Sheridan and Jim Silvers. Dewey's loves were his family, his farm and most of all spending time with his great granson.

 Surviving are a son: Morris Silvers and wife, Judy, of Burnsville; 2 grandsons: Brian Silvers and Brandon Silvers and wife, Amanda, of Burnsville; a great grandson: Alex Silvers; 3 sisters: Miranda Robinson and Gladys Woodby of Burnsville and Valley Phillips of Fayetteville; and 3 brothers: Jack, Dolph and S.W. Silvers, all of Burnsville.

 Funeral services will be held at 2:30 P.M. Sunday in the Chapel of Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home. The Revs. Ray Wilson and Marvin Silvers will officiate. Burial will be in the Jack Silvers Family Cemetery.

 The family will receive friends from 12:30 P.M. until 2:30 P.M. prior to the service at Holcombe Brothers funeral home.  (

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > John Jackson Silver > Marvel Alexander Silver > Silas Wesley Silvers > Dewey Silvers)





Asheville (NC) Citizen-Times
February 20, 2009

Clyde, N.C. - James Howard “Jim” Harbin, 61, of Clyde, died Sunday, February 15, 2009, at home with his children at his side.

A native of Buncombe County, he was the son of the late Jack and Julia Cassida Harbin. He is also preceded in death by his brother, Jack Harbin; and stepson, Raphael Hickey.

James was a veteran who served proudly in the U.S. Air Force. He was a man of many talents and interest. He was a loving father, and his love for his children and grandchildren will never be forgotten.

Surviving are his loving son, Dylan Harbin and wife, Jennifer, of Atlanta, Ga.; daughters, Firiel Harbin of Portland, Ore., Madeline Harbin and Mike Taylor of Cherokee, and Caeli Rathbone and husband, Jason, of Clyde; brother, Tom Harbin and wife, Sherry, of Asheville; stepson, Gabriel Hickey; and nine loving grandchildren.

A celebration of his life will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Balsam Mountain Inn.

Memorial may be made to Haywood Regional Medical Center Hospice, 560 Leroy George Drive, Clyde, NC 28786.

An online registry is available at

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Rev. Thomas Silver > Jacob William Silver  > Leander Burdett Silver > Pansy Elzora Silver > Julia Martha Silver > Jim Harbin)





Asheville (NC) Citizen-Times
January 24, 2009


Gray, Tenn. - Mrs. Thelma Elizabeth Silver Hall, 93, of Gray, Tenn., passed away Thursday, January 22, 2009, at Four Oaks Health Care Center.

Mrs. Hall was a native of Yancey County, N.C. and daughter of the late James Anderson and Delzie Gouge Silver. In addition to her parents, Mrs. Hall was preceded in death by her husband, Rev. E.J. Hall; a daughter, Patricia Hilemon; and a grandson, Tim Jones.

She attended Snow Memorial Baptist Church. She was a homemaker and enjoyed being a minister's wife.

Survivors include two sons and daughters-in-law, Lelon D. and Marty Hall of Jonesborough and James L. and Mary Beth Hall of Raleigh, N.C.; daughter and son-in-law, Sonya and Phillip Jones of Johnson City; son-in-law, Ernest Hilemon, Chuckey; six grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

The funeral service will be conducted 4 p.m. Sunday, January 25, 2009. at DillowTaylor Funeral Home Chapel, with Pastor Maurice Quillen officiating. The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday prior to the service.

Interment services will be conducted 10 a.m. Monday, January 26, 2009, at Mountain Home National Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be David Jones, Mike Hall, Randy Hall, Jeff Hall, Chris Hilemon and Andrew Jones.

The family would like to express appreciation for the loving care given by the staff of Four Oaks Health Care.

Condolences may be sent to the Hall family online at

Dillow-Taylor Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Jonesborough, 423-753-3821

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Rev. Thomas Silver > Greenberry Ellis Silver > Anderson M. Silver > Thelma Elizabeth Silver)



patricia HILEMON


Knoxville (TN) News Sentinel
June 21, 2008


HILEMON, MRS. PATRICIA - age 61, Chuckey, TN passed away Friday, June 20, 2008 at her residence.

Mrs. Hilemon was a native of Yancey County, NC and daughter of Thelma Elizabeth Silver Hall, Jonesborough, and the late Rev. Euranous J. Hall.

She was a member of Trinity Baptist Church and the Church Choir. Mrs. Hilemon was an Administrative Assistant for the Washington County Agriculture Extension Service.

Survivors include her husband, Ernest Gene Hilemon, of the home; one son, Christopher Gene Hilemon and wife J. LeAnn, Knoxville; two grandchildren, Daniel Patrick Hilemon and Christina Brooke Hilemon, both of Knoxville; a sister, Sonya Jones, Johnson City; two brothers, Lelon D. Hall, Jonesborough and James L. Hall, Raleigh, NC; and several nephews and nieces.

Funeral services will be conducted 8:00 pm Sunday, June 22, 2008 at Trinity Baptist Church with Dr. Mark Harrod, Rev. Maurice Quillen and Dr. Arthur Harris officiating. The family will receive friends at the church from 5:00-8:00 pm Sunday prior to the service. Interment services will be conducted 11:00 am Monday, June 23, 2008 at Philadelphia Cemetery. Pallbearers will be David Jones, Mike Hall, Randy Hall, Jeff Hall, Steve Wilson, Gregg Hilemon, Bryan Hilemon and Timothy Hilemon. Honorary pallbearers will be her co-workers and the Trinity Baptist Church Choir.

Condolences may be sent to the Hilemon family online at Dillow-Taylor Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Jonesborough, 423-753-3821.

(George Silver Sr. > George Silver Jr. > Rev. Thomas Silver > Greenberry Ellis Silver > Anderson M. Silver > Thelma Elizabeth Silver > Patricia Hall)



John Silver Harris
Genealogist & Editor
105 Burning Tree Lane
Boca Raton, FL  33431-3924
[email protected]

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