During William Stone's residence in Washington Co., he was one of its most prominent citizens and took an active part in church and community affairs. Stone was a Baptist and he and his family are believed to have attended the early Watauga River Church, which is said to have later become Sinking Creek Baptist Church. His civic record was impressive. Besides appearing regularly on the tax lists and in court records as a juror, he was appointed Tax Assessor in 1780 and Captain of the militia in 1790. Moreover, records show that he was a good businessman who bought and sold large tracts of land. Finally after 18 years in Washington Co. in 1796, he and his son Robert removed to newly formed Grainger Co., where they bought land and William erected a grist mill on Richland Creek near the present-day town of Blain. Both participated actively in local affairs, and made valuable contributions to the organization and development of the new county. Some believe William died in Grainger Co. around 1803 and others that in 1811 he removed to Missouri. William married in Virginia before moving to Tennessee, but his wife's identity has never been determined.
Henry Stone and his son William are on the first tax list of Pittsylvania Co., Virginia, having moved there, then Halifax Co., in 1767. William was listed as being 23 years old in 1767. They both lived on the Dan River near William Bean.
Henry was on the tax list in Watauga in 1787 so he must have come with William and the Beans.
The Book "Leaves From the Family Tree" by Penelope Johnson Allen in talking about the William Bean family from Pittsylvania Co. Va and settled early in 1769 on Boone's creek, a tributary of Watauga said he was joined by his kindred and friends from the same section of Virginia where he had formerly lived, and such worthy pioneers as his son, William Bean, Jr., William Stone, Thomas Hardiman and Capt. George Russell.
On July 10, 1801 Jeremiah Breeding (his brother-in-law) purchased 95 acres lying in Lee County, Virginia crossing Big Kentucky Branch on Rocky Ridge, from Stephen Thompson for 100 pounds. On December 12, 1803, Breeding sold this same tract to Thomas Hurst for the sum of 200 pounds. On August 1, 1801, Jeremiah Breeding purchased from James Thompson, Jr. 100 acres of land lying on the south side of Powell's River, Lee Co., Va. On December 12, 1803, Breeding conveyed this tract to Thomas Hurst.
While at Thompson's Settlement Church in Lee County, Virginia, Jeremiah Breeding had some difference with Stephen Thompson. Thomas Hurst, a member of the church, was appointed one of a committee on Saturday, august 18, 1804 to settle the difference. Thomas was chosen clerk at Thompson's Settlement Church on the third Saturday in May 1806. He came to Claiborne Co., very shortly after this.
From the records of Thompson's Settlement Church: February 3, 1806; "Ordered the clerk to write a petition to the Rob Camp Church for Brother Hezekiah Applegate's membership and appointed Thomas Hurst to carry the petition for that purpose.
Thompson's Settlement Church was founded on the third Saturday in December, 1800. Solomon white was given a land grant of 700 acres, lying in Powell's valley in Lee county, and by deed, dated February 24, 1793, Solomon White and wife, Catherine, conveyed the 700 acres to James Thompson, where he and his family settled and thereafter became Thompson's Settlement. (Rob Camp was the daughter church of the Thompson Settlement Church).
In Claiborne County on May 25, 1807, Thomas Hurst sold a Negro girl named Dice, about eleven years old, to William Stround, for the sum of $300.00. On October 29, 1807, Grandfather Thomas Hurst purchased from William Stroud a tract of 330 acres of land on Tye's Branch of Sycamore Creek for the sum of $900.00. Grandfather Hurst owned no less than fourteen tracts of land until after the year 1829 when he began to sell and dispose of some of his lands. According to Eathan Allen Hurst, great grandson of Thomas, Grandfather Hurst owned the Big Springs lands and all lands along the State Road from Big Springs to Sycamore Creek. The Hurst families owned nearly all lands from the top of Wallen's Ridge, south to Clinch river, and from the top of Powell's Mountain, west to Lone Mountain, or Ball Creek. Thomas Hurst's home was a large two-story log house which stood on the State Road between Big Springs and Sycamore Creek. Before his death, he deeded his home and several Negro slaves to his daughter, Fetney Stone. In 1837 Thomas Hurst sold 180 acres of land to John Breeding. This tract of land was the homeplace of John Breeding after the above date.
Thomas Hurst became a member of Big Springs Church in February of 1807. In his will, dated October 7, 1846, he provided that two of his slaves, Fanny and Louisa, should be the property of his wife, until her death, and then that they be emancipated.
The children of Thomas and Syvia Hurst were: Aaron, Sarah, Hiram, Thompson, Nancy, Sylvia, Mahala, Simpson, Olivia, Charles, Henley, and Fetney.
The following is a quote from the Claiborne County Genealogical Newsletter "Reflections" and from email correspondence with Gary E. Young, 128 S. Commerce, Centreville, Md. 21617 (email address below).
"In the early days of Claiborne Co., there were two young men named Reuben Harper who served in the War of 1812, in different companies, and who owned land in Claiborne Co. each leaving at different times during the 1820's. It was known that Richard Harper, a Revolutionary War soldier from Orange Co., NC, who settled in Claiborne Co. in its very first years, was the father a son Reuben Harper, but which of the above was his son? One Reuben Harper ended up in Carroll Co., Mo, where he d in 1870. The other ended up in Logan Co. AK, where he d. in 1880. It is clear from the evidence that the Reuben (wife Huddleston) who went to Arkansas was the son of Edmund Harper, because Edmund Harper spent his last years in Reuben's household. The Reuben who went to Carroll Co., Missouri, was the son of Richard Harper. This Missouri Reuben named a son John Forrest Harper for his maternal grandfather, John Forrest. Richard Harper had married Anne Forrest."
Mary Hansard in her book "Old Time Tazewell" describes the Richard Harper of Claiborne Co. and his family;
"Richard Harper a brother of Willis Harper, owned and lived on a farm five miles west of Tazewell, the same that was owned by E. M. Redmond. He was old in my earliest recollection. He had the misfortune of losing one of his legs, having it amputated near the knee. I always manifested a great sympathy for him and called him Uncle. I don't remember his wife's maiden name. I was a great favorite of his. He never failed to bring me a fine apple when he came to town. They raised only one child, according to Mary Hansard's recollection. Mrs. Fannie Breeding (Married Bryant Breeding, son of James Breeding) was a daughter of his. She owned and lived on a farm on the hill this side of Springdale, owned at present by Rev. Manis. She was a widow in my first acquaintance with her. Her husband died leaving her in care of four sons and one daughter: Tennessee, Leander, Prior, and Patterson; the daughters name was Malissa. Mr. Thomas Whitehead was cripple and lived on the Richard Harper farm. He was the county trustee. Some unknown burglars entered his house and robbed him of $1100 of the county's money. I do not remember the exact date, but suppose it to have happened some time in the forties. I do not know that they ever knew who committed this theft. Mr. Tom Whitehead was a good citizen and much respected. This is all I remember of his history".
Another brother named Edmund Harper, had arrived in Claiborne County by Feb. 1814 when he served on the Jury. The same month Edmund petitoned to keep an Ordinary. He appeared regularly in jury lists, etc. throughout the decade, but never appeared in the deed records. Edmund Harper had moved to Arkansas by 1860.
Page 54, Registration Date March 23, 1789, Transcribed from Book B, Page 26, in consideration of 50 Shillings, NC Grant No. 36, Issued at Fairfield on July 11, 1788.
Grantee Jesse Harper 1250 acres Eastern District On
the head of Bull Run and Beaverdam Creek adjoining Henderson and Company's
and Robert Goodlow Harper's lines, Beginning at said Henderson's corner
red oak then along said Harper's line north ............. to a stake in
William Reed's line then the same due south eighty poles.......... then
along Donelson's line north forty five degrees ..........
According to the "GOODLOE Genealogy" page B-34
Abraham HARPER b 1705 Spotsylvania VA m 1732 Lettice GEORGE b 1713 - d 1797 (dau of Nicholas GEORGE)
I. Jesse HARPER b 1733 m 1753 Emily Diana GOODLOE b 1733
ii. Robert Goodloe HARPER b 1765 d 1825 m 1801 Catherine Carroll (dau of Charles Carroll)
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