Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Nimrod and Nancy Avaline Jarrett

Nancy Avaline Jarrett (1808-1880), the daughter of Hannah Brandon McKee (later Lowry) and James L. McKee, grew up in western North Carolina. She married Colonel Nimrod Simpson Jarrett (1799-1871) of Buncombe County, N.C., on 14 December 1826, and they had thirteen children. Nimrod Simpson Jarrett purchased a farm in Haywood County, N.C., in 1830, and later purchased land in Franklin, Swain, and Macon counties. He became one of the largest landowners in western North Carolina, owning thousands of acres over the course of his lifetime. In addition to speculating in land, Jarrett farmed, traded ginseng, and owned mica and talc mines. He owned between six and twelve slaves. He also served in the Macon County militia, rising to the rank of colonel. Jarrett and his family resided in Aquone, Macon County, until their house caught fire in 1855; the youngest daughter perished in the flames. The family then moved to Appletree Farm in the Nantahala Valley. Nimrod Simpson Jarrett was murdered on 15 September 1871 while on his way from Apple Tree Farm to Franklin to conduct business. Balias Henderson was apprehended and found guilty of the crime.

For the full story of the murder of Nimrod Simpson Jarrett (1799-1871) see "A Bullett for Nimrod" in Dead & Gone: The stories Behind Ten Famous Murders, Manly Wade Wellman (1954) at 122-136.

Captain Nimrod S. Jarrett was born in Buncombe county in 1800, married a Miss McKee, and moved to Haywood county in 1830, engaging in the "sang" business, till he moved to Macon, where he resided at Aquone in 1835, afterwards at the Apple Tree place six miles down the river, and still later at Jarretts station on the Murphy railroad. He owned large tracts of mountain lands, and the talc mine now operated at Hewitts. He was murdered in September, 1873, by Bayless Henderson, a tramp from Tennessee. Henderson was executed for the crime, at Webster, in 1874.

Source: Arthur, John Preston. Western North Carolina: A History from 1730 to 1913. Published 1914 by the Edward Buncombe Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution of Asheville.

Hannah Brandon Lowry (b. 1788) was the daughter of Colonel John Patton (1765-1834) and Ann Mallory Patton (1760-1855). On 23 August 1804, she married James L. McKee (1780-1849), the son of William McKee and Mary McHenry McKee. Hannah and James McKee resided in western North Carolina and reared ten children, including Nancy Avaline McKee and James L. McKee. Following her husband's death in 1849, Hannah married James Lowry and resided in Sandy Mush in Buncombe County, N.C.

James L. McKee (b. 1822) was the younger brother of Nancy Avaline Jarrett. He married a woman named Fannie. They resided in Yanceyville, N.C., and reared several children. McKee worked as a farmer and then as a businessman, and he owned at least one slave. He did not fight in the Civil War, but remained at home to tend his business, which was adversely affected by the war. In 1878, McKee and his family moved to Swannanoa in Buncombe County, following the ruin of his business in Yanceyville.


The Southern Historical Collection
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Collection Number: 05050
Collection Title: Nancy Avaline Jarrett Papers, 1852-1878, 1966-1997


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