Clayton Very McHan

Clayton McHan, 74, of Bryson City went home to be with the Lord Monday, October 24, 2016. A native of Swain County, he was the son of the late Harvey Lee and Mae Leona Wikle McHan.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Blanche McHan; one son, Clayton Very McHan Jr; and two daughters, Evelyn Bradley and Nancy McHan.

No services are planned at this time.

Crisp Funeral Home is assisting the family.

I remember Clayton. His grandmother Pearl Potts Wikle DeHart lived next door to us on Wiggins Creek. Pearl lived with her daughter Pauline and husband Luther Sutton. Their son Beanie Sutton was my best buddy and partner in mischief for a long time.

Sometimes when I was there misbehaving with Beanie, Clayton and his mother Mae would be there too, visiting with Aunt Pearl. I don’t remember Clayton’s father Harvey Lee McHan although he was my 1st cousin 3X removed (according to Maybe I met him and just don’t remember him. Maybe he’ll come back to me later on.

Ancestry allows that Clayton is my 3rd cousin 1X removed using our relationship through his mother. If it would use his fathers side, the relationship would be at least a 2nd cousin. A combination of the two could be even closer.

Remember the song Big Yellow Taxi? and the words “you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone”. That’s the feeling I get when I post these obituaries of the Needmore people I knew or should have known.

I wish more people would add their memories to my faltering  ones. Please let me know in a comment or in an email so I can add it to the post. Spread the word!

Max Clyde Davis


Max Clyde Davis, 78, of Bryson City went home to be with the Lord Thursday, October 13, 2016 at his residence.
A native of Swain County, he was the son of the late Clyde S. and Beulah DeHart Davis.
In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by a daughter, Anita D. Wyatt and a son, Malcolm S. Davis.
Max is survived by his wife of 54 years, Inez S. Davis; one daughter, Tammy D. McCall and husband James of Raleigh, NC; seven grandchildren, Nathan Arvey, Dylan Wyatt, Max Davis, Elizabeth Davis, Sarah D. Brown, Sydney McCall and Hailey McCall; one brother, Clayton Davis and wife Lavelle of Waynesville; and one sister, Fern Buchanan and husband Bill of Asheville.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 pm Sunday in the chapel of Crisp Funeral Home. Max’s brother, Clayton Davis will officiate. Graveside services will be held at a later time.
The family will receive friends from 12:30 – 2:00 pm Sunday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lauada Cemetery Fund Association INC at 1166 Franklin Grove Church Rd. Bryson City, NC 28713.

Max was my 2nd cousin. His grandmother, Mary Magdalene Ammons, was my grandfather Allen Ammons’ sister. Regrettably I never got to know the man. That is one of the few drawbacks to genealogy, you find people you wish you could have met but never would have known about otherwise.

Satan for President ??

I have tried to distance myself from politics this year but it seems to follow me. Since most people hear what they want me to say, I’m not speaking much. I am going to let Jesus speak for me. Read it as you will.

Update: I copied and pasted this passage as I found it. It didn’t dawn on me that it mentions only a “man” and we have one of each this year. I don’t think Jesus would be offended if  a “woman” were substituted but your interpretation is up to you. In my opinion both are equally guilty.

“And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:

11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

12 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?

13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.

14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

15 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable.

16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding?

17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?

18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.”

There’s a ditch on either side of the road!

Sometimes it’s a river!

Worry, Worry & Joy!

In my last writing, I had found a place called Worry here in Burke County. A community whose existence was recognized by the USPS by the placement of a post office there. In searching old newspaper records I have discovered an article that will perhaps dispel your thought that Burke County might be all gloom and Doom. How about we insert some JOY?

From The Cleveland Star (Shelby, NC) 17 Feb 1920

Google maps didn’t show Joy as it had Worry but Mapquest did!


So now, you are wondering how to get from Worry to Joy. Well, I’ve done that for you too!


Its only 8 miles or 11 minutes from Worry to Joy! My wish for you this coming week is that Worry is behind you and Joy is just ahead!


Have you ever heard the phrase “not a worry in the world?” Well herein lies a little tale. Earlier tonight Dusty yelled at me “Hey Dad, (that’s my real name Hey Dad) the Burke County cops found a burned out car with human remains in it.” “Where was it?” “Canoe Creek Way!” “Canoe Creek? Ain’t that up close to where Missy lives?” “Yeah, I think so!”
So I am curious as to how far away from my daughter’s place this happened. I go to the computer, go to Google maps and type in Canoe Creek Way. When it came up, I pull back looking for Missy’s road. I kinda got lost and ended up at Henderson Mill Road. “Whoa! What’s that? Did that say Worry? Must be some kind of glitch,” I thought, but went back to Google and put in “places named Worry.” There it is, in Burke County, NC.


Wikipedia says, “Worry is an unincorporated community in Burke County, in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Worry was so named by its citizens who were worried after postal authorities had rejected their first choices for a town name. A post office was established as Worry in 1888, and remained in operation until it was discontinued in 1944.”

So when you hear someone use the phrase, “not a worry in the world” politely tell them, “Yes there is! It’s over near where Hey Dad lives!”

Needmore Native

Zell Cookston 1929-2016

Ozell “Zell” Cookston was born at Needmore, NC. His father was from Cleveland County, TN but lived most of his life in Swain County. His mother Beulah Forrester was a Swain County native and lived there her whole life. Zell moved away from his birthplace when he reached adulthood as did all his siblings, but chose to return to Swain County to live out his final days. I have included a snip of the the 1940 census which shows Zell’s family and their neighbors. I do not know the exact location of their homes but would like to add it to my Needmore map. I am familiar with the Easter Burnett and Haskell Arvey families. Alfred A Davis’s wife (shown below the Cookstons) is Mary Magdeline Ammons, my great aunt. You will need to click on the image to see it full size.

Sam Cookston

If anyone knows where these peoples homes where please let me know. Any information about any of these people will be appreciated.

News from Needmore

Shuttle Block

I found this in an old Charlotte Observer newspaper from 16 Jun 1913. It was copied from the Bryson City Times.
R T Cunningham was my 1st Cousin 3X removed Mary J DeHart’s husband. I might be related through the Cunninghams but nothing is known of his father that I can discern. Rufus was born in Macon County on 17 Jun 1862. That was just about the right date range for him to have lost his father during the Civil War, however I cannot prove it one way or the other.
As you can see R T’s name is prefaced with Col. I have no record of his ever serving in any branch of any military so I am assuming that is the rank he assigned to himself (like Harlan Sanders of chicken fame).
From what I can gather Mr. Cunningham was a well known community leader as well as an entrepreneur of sorts. The next article will attest to that.
New Second hand Wagon
If I am reading correctly Rufus has purchased himself a new second-hand wagon which has no operating air brakes. It is unclear whether it ever had brakes or is just in need of repair. I am also assuming that the “wagon” is a railroad wagon as they were once called, now called a car. Older train “cars” had to have the brakes set on each individually by a man running along the tops of the cars spinning down a crank. Newer air brakes would lock the brakes if the air pressure fell below a certain point. So if uncoupled and sitting the brakes would be locked. Maybe Rufus was upgrading an older car (wagon). A “new” second-hand wagon might indicate that he had one or more already when he made this purchase. So uncle Rufe was a railroad magnate!
Again making assumptions, I deduced that Mr. Cunningham had an interest in transporting dogwood wood (there’s no other way to say it) from the depot at Almond to a factory in Bryson City where it would be processed into shuttle blocks. These shuttle blocks in turn were made into shuttles for looms in weaving mills. Although not now used exclusively, the wood of the flowering dogwood tree is still relied upon to produce flying shuttles for the weaving industry. Shuttles like this,Flying Shuttles

Not This
not this

Addie Geraldine Nations Gregory

Addie Geraldine Gregory, 78, of Connelly Springs passed away Wednesday July 13, 2016 at Catawba Valley Medical Center following a period of declining health.
Mrs. Gregory was born July 15, 1937 in Swain County to the late Clyde Nations and Bertha Cochran Nations. She worked at Neuville Hosiery Mill and was a member of Winkler’s Grove Baptist Church. She was a loving and devoted wife, grandmother, and friend to all who knew her. She was very strong in her faith in God and praised him in all she did in her life.
In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, Glen Gregory; and two brothers, Clyde Nations, Jr., and Hubert Nations.
Survivors include her children, Mike Gregory and wife Sharon of Sylva; Rita Pope and husband Kyle of Hildebran; Anita Little and husband Jeff of Connelly Springs, and Scott Gregory and wife Alanna of Hildebran; grandchildren, Travis, Eli, Brittany, Nicholas, Sidney, Josh, and Maggie; great grandchildren, Azleigh and Addie; sisters, Shirley McGaha and Yvonne Ammons; and brother Max Nations.
The family would like to sincerely thank all the friends and family who have cared for and loved Mrs. Gregory throughout her illness, especially Missy Brown and Sarah Davis.
A funeral service will be held 12:30PM Friday July 15, 2016 at Winkler’s Grove Baptist Church with the Rev. Dale Faulkenbury officiating.
Interment will follow the service at Winkler’s Grove Baptist Church Cemetery.
The family will receive friends prior to the service on Friday from 11:30AM to 12:30PM at Winkler’s Grove Baptist Church.

Geraldine (or Gerd) was born up on Alarka and lived there as a child. Although her family moved away looking for work she never lost touch with her mountain upbringing.

Geraldine was the steady hand that guided her family through many troubled times. My prayer is that her family not lose the course she set for them, lest she wait for them in vain.

I Never Woulda Thunk It!


I found this on a funeral home’s website. I would like to  know how they do that. Do you email the body to them? Is it like a “do it yourself kit”? Do they take Visa, Discover and PayPal? Can you get it Next Day Air through Amazon? How about slightly used on Ebay? Don’t wait! Only 10 remaining!

It’s A Boy!

A few weeks ago I was looking amongst my important papers and ran across one that it almost as old as I am.

My ColbMy COLB Reversed

The old photostatic copy is very hard to read so I used Picasa to reverse the image. That made it a little clearer but it is still pretty hard to read. Notice where is asks for the full name of the Hospital or Institution, Mrs. Sanders wrote “Needmore, N.C.” I guess she did that because “Fred and Thelma’s House up at the head of Wiggins Creek” wouldn’t fit in the space.

Were you born at home? Do you still have the original copy of your birth certificate?

Another Town Lost To Progress