Arnold Plains Cemetery,
Haywood County, NC
Francis David Childers (Ethel Clark), 1893 - 1983
Joseph Ezekiel Childers (Connie Penland), 1895 - 1966
Edna Childers (William R. Roberson)*, 1897 - 1918
Emma Childers, 1900 - 1918
Naomi Childers (Ellis Ayers), 1903 - 1992
Roy Arthur Childers (Inez Shepherd) 1905 - 1996
Ruth Lee Childers (William Kelly, Bartlett), 1908 - 2000
Julius Childers, 1912 - ?
Bonnie Thelma Childers (Yates Plemmons), 1914 - 1999
Henry Childers (Bertha Dills), 1916 - 2002
James Edmund Childers (Mary Shope, Gladys Edwards), 1918 - 2000
Carl Childers, 1921 - 1923
*(When Edna died at the age of 21, her baby son Edward Roberson was taken by Thomas
and Bertha to raise as their own son; at the same time their own Edmund was a baby of
nearly the same age.)
Birth Cert Mother's
Date Birth Name
(The notes above
show the differences
among the surnames
used for their mother
on the delayed birth
certificates of the
children to the right.)
Thomas Clingman Childers, Jr. + Ollie F. Blackwell (Phoenix)
1871 - 1957 after 1942 1878 - 1956
Swain Co NC Haywood Co NC Swain Co NC Bunc Co NC Bunc Co NC
|James B. Phoenix + Elizabeth Lovin M. L. Blackwell + Emaline Russell
| | |
Garrett Washington Phoenix + Ollie F. Blackwell
1875 - 1938 1878 - 1956
Bunc Co NC Haywood Co NC Bunc Co NC Bunc Co NC
Thelma Phoenix, 1913 - ?
Note: In 1880, the James B. Phoenix and Elizabeth Lovin Phoenix family, with
Garrett, age 5, resided in Reems Creek Valley, Buncombe Co NC.
Sources: Stephen R. Childers, "Descendants of Humphrey Posey Childers"; NC Death Certificate, Edna Robinson, 1918;
Elizabeth Childers Fichtel's notes of her interview with Ethel Clark Childers;
NC Certificate of Death, Ollie Phoenix Childers (Informant was Thomas Childers, Route #3, Candler, NC. Burial was 5 April 1956, Riverside
Cemetery, Asheville, NC.);
US Census, 1910, 1920, 1930, Haywood Co NC;
US Census, 1880, 1920, 1940, Bunc Co NC;
World War I draft registration, Garrett W. Phenix.
Several of the children were born at the home Thomas and Bertha established on Couches Creek, near
Smokemont, a few miles up Highway 441 from Cherokee. (This is the next creek north of the Mingus Creek
Mill, which is now a museum.) They purchased the land of about one hundred fifteen acres from Thomas's
half-sister, Sarah Ward Smith. This land later became part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Some descendants have enjoyed hiking up the creek to the old homeplace over the years. The buildings
were removed long ago, but signs of habitation, including stones from the old chimney, now fallen, remain.
By late January of 1920 (when the census was taken), they were in the Upper Hominy section of Buncombe
County. Children remaining at home were Naomi, Roy, Ruth, Bonnie, Edmund, and grandson Edward
Roberson. However, the beloved Couches Creek property was not sold until 1929 (see sale documents),
when it was acquired for the GSM National Park.
On 7 May 1930, the census of Beaverdam township, Haywood Co NC, found the family thus: Thomas, 56,
farm laborer; Bertha, 52; Bonnie, 16; Henry, 14; Edmund, 12; and grandson Edward Roberson, 12. The
value of their house and land was $750.
By 1935, according to the 1940 census (taken on 9 April), the family had moved to the place on what was
Wiggins Road in Upper Hominy township, Buncombe County. In 1940, daughter Bonnie, son Edmund, and
grandson Edward "Ted" Roberson were still at home. Bonnie was listed with the occupation of "reeler" in a
rayon plant; Edmund was a farm laborer; Ted was unemployed.
Soon, both Edmund and Ted would be abroad in active service in different theaters of World War II. (Ted
enlisted 18 Jan 1941 at Fort Bragg, NC; Edmund enlisted 22 May 1942 at Fort Jackson, Columbia SC.)
According to a family story, Thomas stopped shaving when the boys left home and pledged to resume only
when both boys had safely returned from the war.
Note: According to family sources, Mrs. Ollie Phoenix Childers returned to her own home not long after marriage to T.
C. Childers, Jr. However, it was he who was the informant for her death certificate, in 1956, just one year before he
died in 1957. At the time of her death, she had resided at 70 North Liberty Street, Asheville, NC, for one year, but
her usual residence was listed as 121 N. Main Street, Canton, NC.