A Memorial was filed with the North Carolina General Assembly on
December 10, 1850, for a new county to be formed from Haywood and Macon,
to if called Jackson. One definition for "memorial," given in the dictionary, is "a statement
of facts addressed to a government often accompanied with a petition or
In the case at hand, over 300 persons then residing in Haywood and Macon
counties signed the petition asking the new County of Jackson to be
formed. Most of them, of course, lived within the bounds of the proposed
new county. But not all. When William Welch signed, he wrote
"Waynesville" beside his name.
The Memorial was the first "official" step in the formation of Jackson
County. The original Memorial is in the NC Department of Archives and
History in Raleigh among the records of the General Assembly...The
Memorial is as follows:
"To the Honorable General Assembly of the State of North Carolina
"The undersigned Citizens of the Counties of Haywood and Macon and State
aforesaid Respectfully Present that the great inconveniences arising
from their immense distances to the County Towns as well as the
difficulty of attending the same from the Roughness of the Road and the
expense in attending there from that a portion of the aforesaid
Counties be formed into a new County to be cauld (sic) Jackson Bounded
as follows Commencing at Scotts summit where the State Road now crosses
thence with the Ridge that divides the waters of the Pigeon and
Tuckaseega (sic) Rivers to the Haywood and Henderson lines thence with
said line far enough to include William Barne’s thence to the top of the
Fodderstack Mountain thence with said top to the top of the White Side
Mountain thence with the top of the Cowee Mountain to the State Road
thence with the said Top to the Tuckaseega River opposite the mouth of
Forneys Creek thence up the 1st leading Ridge below the mouth of said
creek to the Top of the Smoky Mountains on the Tennessee line thence
with said top to the top of the Cattaloochy Mountains thence with the
leading Ridge to the Soco gap where the Road Crosses thence with the
said Ridge to the top of the Balsam Mountain thence with said top to the
beginning of the State Road."
It perhaps should be noted that when the Memorial mentioned "County
Towns," the reference was to the county seats—Waynesville and Franklin.
There was, of course, no Webster at that time. An 18-acre tract was
purchased for the County Town in Jackson—Webster—in June, 1853.
The petitioning names on the Memorial are truly a Who’s Who of prominent
pioneer families in Jackson County. It is difficult to read many of the
more than 300 signatures on the petition. Numbers were written in, by
which the signers wrote their signatures. At least two of the line
numbers in the sequence, which goes to 280, were omitted, or there are
fewer names than 280 with numbers. On the copy received by this column
[McRorie], the number sequence skips numbers and names in several
places, obviously where pages overlapped in making the copy.
With question marks indicating real doubt, the readable names on the
petition, as they appear in the numbered sequence, followed by those not
Wm. B. Love
J. Newton, Bryson
James M. Hooper
Eliazor D. Davis
John R. Dills
Abram N. Enloe
George W. Bryson
Samuel A. Davis
Ben J. Coward
Isaah (or Israel) Robison
Laban F. Deitz
Solmon Nelsen (or Nessen)
John W. Conly
J.D. Banks (or Burke)
John H. Shular, Sr.
Johnathan Coward, Sr.
Johnathan Coward, Jr.
Wm. D. Coward
Elias Watson, Sr.
Iasiah Watson, Jr.
Michel Long, Sr.
John Bryson, Sr.
Elbert Hale, Sr.
A. Henry, Sr.
Thomas Mills, Sr.
Samuel A. Monteith
Thomas Monteith, Sr.
Thomas Monteith, Jr.
James A. Hall
John Davis, Sr.
Wm. Sutton, Sr.
Wm. Sutton, Jr.
William Sutton, Dson.
Wm. D. Parten
Norman Barker, Sr.
Charles Buchanan, Sr.
Joseph R. Buchan
W. Buchanan, Sr.
James Buchanan, Jr.
Wm. Ensley, Sr.
Wm. Ensley, Jr.
Robt. g. Gunter
Wm. B. Monteith
George Buchanan, Sr.
James Fisher, Sr.
Daniel J. Allen
Simpson H. Brooks
Thos. B. Gunter
John H. Stillwell
John Gipson, Sr.
Wm. A. Stillwell
Wm. Ensley, Sr.
William Ensley, Jr.
Wm. B. Hooper
John A. Hooper
Wm. Moss, Sr.
Wm. Moss, Jr.
John Stuard, Jr.
Jas. Hooper, Sr.
Johnthan Coward, Sr.
John M. Beck
John W. Conly
Jas. C. Love
Wm. R. Buchanan, Sr.
Daniel J. Bryson
Milton M. Bryson
Wm. H. Coward
Wm. B. Queen
George W. Coward, Jr.
Js. W. Sitton
Mike (or Wike) Pulman