1758 - 1820
Buncombe County was organized by act of the North Carolina state legislature on April 16, 1792.
The next day, when the County Court held its first meeting "at the residence of Colonel William
Davidson on the south bank of Swannanoa River . . . one hundred or two hundred yards west of
the present Biltmore Avenue, the house was too small for the accomodation of the crowd and the
assembly completed the organization of the county in Colonel Davidson's barn . . . ."
Among the acts of this first April term of the court was this order:
"Ordered by court that Hickman Hensley, Abner Barnett, Austin Choate, Will Tredway, Robert
Tredway, Gabriel Keith, John Dillard, John Weaver, James Sams, John Street, Nathan Dever,
Jacob Waggoner, Jas. Bounds, Jams Boys and John Chambers be a jury of View and lay off a
road from the waggon ford of Rims Creek to Join the road from the Turkey Cove Catawba to
Robert Hunters on Lindsey Creek Cane River, the most advantageous and best according to
law, which jury is to meet the 4th Monday of May at John Dillard's--William Brittain to attend and
qualify said jury who are to report to July Court."
from F. A. Sondley, A History of Buncombe County North Carolina, Reprint Company, Spartanburg, SC, 1977
(from a 1930 edition), pp. 462-463.
The Census of Buncombe County in 1800 listed only one "John Chambers" household. It
comprised the following:
0-10 10-16 16-26 26-45 45+ Other Slaves
Males 2 0 0 1 0 0 0
Females 1 1 0 1 0 0 0
As the 1800 census entry for the household matches what is believed about members and ages
of the household of John Chambers and Jane Clemmons Chambers in 1800, it is reasonable to
assume that the John Chambers listed in the court order is the same person.
Note: Mr. Sondley emphasizes the importance of this account because, contrary to some other
historical accounts asserting the absence of roads adequate for wagons, it indicates in the
reference to "the waggon ford of Rims Creek" that wagons were already in use in the area at this