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. 

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