Saturday, March 29, 2014

Alexander-Davidson Family Reunion 1911

Alexander-Davidson Reunion 26 August 1911

Arrangements are being perfected for a reunion of the Alexander and Davidson families at or near Swannanoa on August 26.

James Alexander, better known as "Jimpsey" Alexander, and Maj. William Davidson, the ancestors of these two families of which there are nearly a thousand living descendants scattered throughout the country, were of the famous Scotch-Irish people who settled the Piedmont section of North and South Carolina, and were especially prominent in the discussions of the questions which led to the Revolution, in which they took a very active part. Immediately after the close of the Revolutionary War the two above named pioneers crossed the Blue Ridge mountains in company and purchased lands adjoining each other and settled on the Swannanoa River at the mouth of Bee Tree creek.

These pioneers were closely related by family ties as well as political and religious associations and ideas. Their descendants have until the present day owned and occupied the lands which their forefathers acquired. During all this period their relations have been close in every walk of life.

The descendants of both of these families are now to be found throughout the United States, and many of them have borne honorable parts in the public event's of the country.

It is desired by those interested in the reunion to assemble as many of the descendants at or near the old homesteads as possible, and every person who is nearly or remotely related to or connected with either or both of these families is cordially invited to attend and this publication will serve the purpose of extending that invitation to those who may be overlooked in any special invitations which may be issued.

A "picnic" lunch will be provided and perhaps interesting papers will be read giving more of the history of the families, but the occasion is mainly intended to give an opportunity to these two families to meet and make new acquaintances, renew old friendships and to take such measures as may be thought desirable for the purpose of making permanent the historical records and traditions of the two families.

Members of the families residing in Buncombe county have effected an organization for the purpose of carrying out these purposes and the following committees have been appointed from whom further information may be had upon application:

Committee on Invitations — F. A. Sondley, Theodore F. Davidson and James M. Ray, of Asheville.

Committee on Arrangements — C. H. Alexander, S. W. Davidson, Sr., R. D. Alexander, James Burgin, Theodore C. Folsom, Henry Davidson, Jr., S. W. Davidson, Jr., all of Swannanoa, and W. D. Patton, of Black Mountain, and Herbert Millard, of Asheville.

Committee on Entertainment — Mrs. Nancy Fortune, Mrs. Addie Alexander, Mrs. T. C. Folsom, Miss Minnie Davidson, Miss Lizzie Davidson, Miss Jessie Burgin, Miss Dale Alexander, Miss Edith Alexander, Miss Josephine Watkins, all of Swannanoa; Mrs. W. B. Williamson, of Asheville, and Mrs. Lula Piatt, of Busbee. — Asheville Citizen, July 28, 1911.

The first reunion of the Alexander and Davidson families was held on the Swannanoa river, near Swannanoa, Saturday, August 26th, 1911. The place and day were ideal.

The "clans" commenced assembling as early as half past nine o'clock. They came on foot, on horseback, on muleback, in wagons, buggies, carriages, automobiles and by rail, and most of them had bundles, boxes, baskets and buggy and wagon loads of provisions, fruits and melons. If ever a table (two hundred feet in length) groaned under substantial luxuries that one did, and after satisfying the hunger of the hundreds and hundreds present, great quantities were gathered up and carried away.

The exercises commenced about half past eleven with that old familiar hymn, "All hail the power of Jesus' name," by the audience, led by the Rice-Bartlett quartette, R. M. Rice, C. H. Bartlett, C. N. Wells and J. M. Clark. Col. J. M. Ray, of Asheville, a great-grandson of James Alexander, prefaced the formal opening by saying:

"We esteem ourselves extremely fortunate in having with us today a Presbyterian clergyman who had the great good luck to secure for his wife Fannie Alexander, a great grand-daughter of James Alexander. It is eminently fitting, we think, that the exercises of the occasion should be opened by a Presbyterian, for the Alexanders and the Davidsons of the early days were almost universally Presbyterians, in fact it is said that when Col. James Mitchell Alexander joined the Methodist church, the first departure possibly from the true faith as it was then considered, there was some commotion in the family. I shall therefore ask all to arise and be led in prayer by Rev. W. R. McCalla, of Charlotte, N.C. 

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