Thursday, February 22, 2018

Wolf Mountain

Image result for howling wolf
Wolf Mountain is one of the small mountains now considered inside of the City of Albemarle, or close to it. I found mention of it in several deeds and from it's earlies descriptions, was never considered a large mountain. As far as its name, I am not sure if it came from the animal, Wolf, and perhaps a wolf den was once on it, as in the early days of this area, Wolves, Bear and even Buffalo dwelled and were commonly seen. There were also people named "Wolf" who lived here, so it could have been named for an early owner.

It began, however, as part of a huge tract that belonged to Will Stone, who, like Henry Mounger, Hugh Ross, and the Crump Brothers, John and James, then sold it in 100 acres lots to other settlers coming into the area from Virginia, Pennsylvania and more northern counties of North Carolina like Warren, Franklin and Chatham.
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John Ozier  100 acres  Warrant #7348 Issued Feb 1, 1816 by Will Stone to John Ozier for 100 acres on the West side of Rocky Creek (Rock Creek that most Stanly Countians will be familiar with because of Rock Creek Park), and joins a hill called Wolf Mountain.; entered Oct 30, 1815. 100 acres surveyed June 18, 1816 by David Cochran, on West side of Rocky Creek, border begins at John Birds corner Blackjack, Tinch Carter and Allen Ozier, chain carriers.

The Ozier family is not one that I am familiar with. They did not leave a significant mark on Stanly County, but herein two of them are named, John and Allen.

John Ozier first shows up in 1800 census for Montgomery County, NC (keep in mind Stanly County is still part of Montgomery at this point, until 1841). He is not the only Ozier. Also listed is William, Jacob and William Jr.

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In 1810, he is still here, living near McCorkles and Greens. There is no 1820 census for Montgomery County. It was lost or burned. In 1830, John Ozier is still in Montgomery County, on the future Stanly County side,  living right next to a Jeremiah Ozier. Other neighbors were Edward Slaughter, Tyron Morris, Tobias Kendrick, Martin Hill, Seth Andrews and Marmaduke Hogan. If none of those names, with the exception of Seth Andrews, it is because they all belong to a huge swath of people who migrated to Tennesee in the 1830's.

The Oziers were a very interesting family. A William Ozier was the first one to show up in the 1790 census. According to an Obituary for Jacob Ozier Jr., a son of Jacob Ozier Sr. and a grandson of William, he was born in Montgomery County, North Carolina. His family was of French Hugenot origin. John, who lived in what turns out to be the area currently occupied by Walmart and Hobby Lobby in Albemarle now, was the Uncle of this Rev. Jacob. While Jacob Sr. moved to Alabama and Georgia, John and Allen, (who turns out to be his son), end up with a lot of their Stanly (Montgomery County) neighbors in Carroll County, Tennesee.

William Ozier Sr. first filed a land grant in Montgomery County on  May 16, 1792 on the "North East Side of the Pee Dee River. He was also listed in a 1787 Tax List, so the family arrived her quite early.

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Name:William Osher
[William Ozier] 
County:Montgomery County
Township:District #2
Record Type:State or colonial census
Database:NC Early Census Index

John Ozier is listed in the 1829 Will of Samuel Parker of Montgomery County.

1-Garrott Parker Will

John himself was issued 5 Land Grants.

The first, in 1797 was listed as being on "Mountain Branch" and consisted of 50 acres.

Name:John Ozer
Issue Date:4 Apr 1797
Residence Place:Montgomery, North Carolina, USA
Certificate Number Range:044-0227
Description:Montgomery 044-0227

Image result for rock creek, albemarle,nc

The second, entered June 21, 1800 and issued May 12, 1804 is for 50 acres "on the banks of a branch".

Name:John Ozier
Issue Date:29 Nov 1817
Residence Place:Montgomery, North Carolina, USA
Certificate Number Range:1933-2177
Description:Montgomery 1933-2177

The third, this one 100 acres, is "on the West Side of Rocky Creek" and was issued 17 years later. John is now up to 100 acres. He continues to prosper.

A month later, he enters another 100 acres on the "East Side of Rocky Creek". John Ozier pretty much has Rock Creek sewed up.

Name:John Ozier
Issue Date:7 Jan 1818
Residence Place:Montgomery, North Carolina, USA
Certificate Number Range:0228-0462
Description:Montgomery 0228-0462

In January of 1818, just two months later, he makes his largest acquirement to date, 400 acres. Add that to the 300 he has already accumulated and John Ozier has 700 acres, that takes him all the way up to Wolf Mountain. But where exactly is Wolf Mountain?

Image result for rock creek, albemarle,nc

Another deed, dated Nov 24, 1835 states: 
" David Laton 100 acres, warrant 11097 issued July 7, 1835 by Duncan McRae to David Laton for 100 acres joins Wolf Mountain "OWNERS OF GRANTED LAND NOT KNOWN" on waters of Jacobs Creek, entered Aug 24, 1835 100 acres surveyed Dec 21, 1836 by Joseph Cauble, border begins at Huckabee's corner black jack, crosses Morganton Road & joins William Ragsdale. John Laton and Baily Sanders, Chain Carriers. 

The sons of John Ozier show up in the 1836 and 1839 Tax Lists of Carroll County, Tennesee. Some of them show up in the 1830 census. So does a John Ozier who was born between 1770 and 1780. The John Ozier who shows up in the 1830 census of Montgomery County was born between 1790  and 1800. He has a wife and 4 small children in the home, along with 2 old ladies, one in her 70's and another in her 80's.

Name:John Ozier
[John Cryer] 
Home in 1830 (City, County, State):East of Pee Dee and Yadkin River, Montgomery, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - Under 5:2
Free White Persons - Males - 30 thru 39:1
Free White Persons - Females - 5 thru 9:2
Free White Persons - Females - 30 thru 39:1
Free White Persons - Females - 70 thru 79:1
Free White Persons - Females - 80 thru 89:1
Free White Persons - Under 20:4
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:2
Total Free White Persons:8

There is also a William Ozier nearby, probably William Jr. This John is obviously too young to have recieved the land grants. He is probably a nephew of the older John. I believe the older John to have left for Tennessee sometime in the 1820's. This younger John might have even been his son, and stayed behind to take care of the older female relatives, but neither he nor the younger William remained until 1840.

So, we know that by 1840, the Oziers were gone and Wolf Mountain was occupied around by Laton's and William Ragsdale. Stanly County land records begin in 1841 and there is no William Ragsdale, but his land appears to have transferred to Timothy Ragsdale, who I know died in the Civil War. In December of 1850, Timothy Ragsdale sold a tract of land to Eben Hearne for debts owed that bordered John Laton, James Palmer and Isham Talbert. It appears to be in the same area as the William Ragsdale land would have been.

The below notice from 1925 mentions a tract of land on the North-East side of Wolf Mountain and located 3 miles Southeast of Albemarle. Remember, at this time, the town of Albemarle was pretty much only what we would count as the center of downtown and the nearest neighborhoods thereinto. Notice that among the names mentioned is John Laton, and other Latons. It also bordered the land of Dr. Richard Anderson, which gives a huge clue as to the exact location of Wolf Mountain. 

The Albemarle Press
(Albemarle, North Carolina)
26 Mar 1925, Thu  • Page 7 - on Monday, April 20, 1925, the following...

I found Wolf Mountain on an old map. It lay south of the Anderson Heights area and east of the old Albemarle Airport, where Walmart and Olive Place shopping centers now exist. With this information I went looking both in person and on modern Topographical maps and found Wolf Mountain. It lies east of Groves Road and the foot of it marks the beginning of Stonehaven Development. Yorkshire Drive climbs up its eastside.

Some folks found the relatively unoccupied hill a good place to make alchohol and have fun. Unfortunately for them, the cops found them out.

 - ! wjt, Deputy Collector S. P. Dry i ! aPa...
Stanly County Herald
(Albemarle, North Carolina)
10 Jul 1919, Thu  • Page 1

Wolf Mountain is located just beyond Anderson Heights, which was part of the old lands and farm of Dr. Richard Anderson, who deeded Anderson Grove Baptist Church to the Congregation and whose name the Anderson Grove area still bears. It has been wholey unoccupied until just recently, when additions to the Housing Development have started to climb up its Southeastern side.

 The above dirt road climbs to the top of Wolf Mountain. I did not go there. You can see the landscape in the distance. Wolf Mountain lies behind Walmart, less than half a mile. Groves Road is the closest to it on the south side, at the foot.

Looking out from the side of Wolf Mountain toward Albemarle. All you see is hills and woods.

The housing development at the base of Wolf Mountain. Yorkshire Drive crawls up the side.

From the pool house at the beginning of Stovehaven Drive, you can see Wolf Mountain rise in the background.

Beyond the pavement, the road climbs.

Looking out toward Albemarle and the foothills of the Uwharreis.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

In Search of Ugly Creek Mountain

Going through old Montgomery County deeds before 1841, it helps to know what citizens lived on what side of the Pee Dee and the location of creeks and other landmarks to determine if the deed applied to Stanly County (West Pee Dee) or Montgomery (East Pee Dee). Yet, even prior to that, we have deeds in Anson County, as Montgomery, including present Stanly County, was part of Anson until 1779.

Take this deed, dated January 6, 1778:

"John Hardy, 100 acres, Anson County, warrant # 41, David Love to John Hardy, 100 acres on Ugly Creek Mountain, at the old road on the South side of Mecklenburgh Road, surveyed April 16, 1799 by George Davidson, in Anson, now Montgomery, on NW side of Rocky River & waters of Ugly Creek, border, begins at a chestnut oak, near Mecklenburgh Road, & crosses the road twice, Henry Stokes and James Fletcher, chain carriers, Grant #31 issued October 23, 1782.

I know that George Davidson lived in what is now Stanly County and was a prominent figure in the area, serving in several distinct political offices and with a distinguished military careet to boot. I know where Ugly Creek is, running between Norwood and Aquadale to the Rocky River. This deed was most definately in present Stanly County. John Hardy may have even been the person who gave Hardy Creek it's name.

But Ugly Creek Mountain? That's a new one on me. Where oh Where was Ugly Creek Mountain?

I am very familiar with Ugly Creek. It flows through Tyson Township, an area rife with family origin in my Family Tree, and flows into the Rocky River, which then shortly feeds into the Pee Dee, every southward flowing through South Carolina to the Atlantic. It even has two branches, South Ugly Creek joins Hardy Creek and lies just west of Ugly Creek. Ugly Creek is featured on this map of area counties prior to the 1840's when Stanly was carverd from Montgomery. Still, here borders are very clear, the Yadkin being her eastern border and the Rocky being her southern.

Given this scant information, I knew that John Hardy was my key. Finding that "Hardy" wasn't a common name in Stanly County, it seems John was the only one, and had to be the individual for whom Hardy Creek was named. As Hardy Creek and Ugly Creek run in fairly the same direction and were close together and interconnected, it narrowed the area of my search.

John Hardy first entered a grand for 100 acres on April 16, 1779, "On the North West Side of Rocky River on the Waters of Eagle Creek." Eagle Creek, that's a new one on me. Could it have been renamed Hardy Creek for John Hardy?

Name:John Hardy
Birth Date:1765
Birth Place:North Carolina, USA
Spouse:Mary Tyson

His neighbors appeared to be William Irby, David Miller, and James Roper. James Roper was among a group that migrated to Tennesee around 1820. William Irby appears in the 1790 and 1800 census of Montgomery County. John Hardy does not. However, I believe he was there, perhaps his name misspelled. He married Mary Tyson. Tyson was a very prominent name along this section of the Rocky River. The township in which John Hardy lived even came to be known as Tyson.

Name:John Ard
County:Montgomery County
Township:No Township Listed
Database:NC Early Census Index

This John might have been him.

Name:John Hardin
Home in 1790 (City, County, State):Montgomery, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - Under 16:2
Free White Persons - Males - 16 and over:1
Free White Persons - Females:3
Number of Household Members:6

And "John Hardin" from the 1790 Montgomery County census might have been him. He was still listed as living in Montgomery County in this 1792 deed:

"William Irby 100 acres warrant #707 issued March 2, 1792 from John Crump to William Earby for 200 acres, joins John Hardy & included David Miller's improvements; 200 acres surveyed May 10, 1794 by John Christian on NE side of Pee Dee River & on waters of Little Creek of Long Creek, includes improvement where said Irby lives that formerly belonged to David Miller; border begins at John Hardy's beginning Hickory, on the road near said Irby's improvement, joins a branch and James Roper. William Lee and Tyre Robinson, chain carriers; grant 906 issued July 15, 1795.

Research appears to show that Ugly Creek Mountain was located at the "headwaters of Ugly Creek" which began at a Spring.

My search took me to the Map Collection at the Stanly County Museum and History Room. We are so fortunate to have outstanding resources for research in Stanly County. Many other counties I have visited are not so lucky.

This map shows Ugly Creek in conjunction with Hardy Creek.

Ugly Creek Mountain

This map shows John Hardy's 100 acre grant lying at the headwaters of Ugly Creek.  Silver Springs Church is shown on Hwy 138 west of the Hardy Grant.

By the time that Stanly County came into existance in 1841 and Silver Springs Church was founded in 1857, the family names owning the property in this area were Kimrey, Cooper, Hudson, Mauldin and Foreman. By the 1880's, Ugly Creek Mountain seemed to be in the possession of the heirs of Manlove Kimrey.

On December 14, 2014, Lewis Bramlett, for the Stanly County History Center, featured the following post on Facebook concerning Silver Springs.

First organized in 1857, the Silver Springs Baptist Church near Norwood began with 7 charter members. It was named Silver Springs because a large spring nearby was thought to contain silver.
The church members originally met under a brush arbor and then built their first building in 1858. The first meeting of the Stanly Baptist Association was held here in December 1885.
The first building was used until a new sanctuary was built in 1889. The church continued to grow and by 1908 it was one of the larger congregations in the county with 312 members. The current church building was constructed in 1927. An educational building was added in 1970 and a fellowship building was dedicated in 1987.
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Silver Springs 2nd Building from Facebook Post Orginally from Stanly Enterprise, August 13, 1908

Knowing that Silver Springs Church was named for a nearby spring said to contain silver, brings together mentions in much earlier deeds mentioning a spring in the area that fed into Ugly Creek, which began as runoff from this small nearby mountain. 

elevation map of Ugly Creek, Tyson, NC, USA

Looking at old maps, deeds and church information, I believe I have zeroed in on Ugly Creek Mountain on current topographical maps.

Ugly Creek Mountina lies to the East behind Silver Springs Baptist Church. There is no longer a road to it or on it. One bank can be seen rising behind the church over the cemetery. Glimpes of it can be seen to the South from Cooper's Road, toward the west from Cagle Road, and to the north from Silver Springs Church Road that comes out on 138 below the cemetery. 

Silver Springs Baptist Church, to the left, the foot of Ugly Mountain can be seen rising. 

16279 Cagle Rd, Norwood, NC 28128, USA
Elevation: 197m / 646feet

Seen in the distance from Cooper's Road.

Slope of Ugly Creek Mountain going up as seen across the fields from Cagle Road.