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Please send corrections, notes, and photographs., 31 Mar 2010
Reuben Keith Deaver
1811           -         1888
Bunc Co NC             Cherokee Co NC
"Reuben Keith DEAVER was only four years old when his father died. He had little formal education, but managed to learn
the skills of a surveyor. He mapped the Cherokee lands in western North Carolina and, in 1837, produced a remarkable
map which now resides in the office of the Secretary of State of North Carolina.

"In 1832, Reuben Keith DEAVER married Lydia THOMAS of Sevierville, Tennessee. Lydia may have been a grand-daughter
of Isaac THOMAS, a well-known trader who lived among the Cherokee. Initially, Reuben and Lydia lived in Sevier County
but, by 1834, had settled at the Forks of Ivy, in what was then Buncombe, but is now part of Madison County. It was from
there that he made his surveying expeditions to the southwest.  It was also at the Forks of Ivy that most of his children were

"In 1840, Reuben Keith DEAVER was ordained as a Baptist minister. In 1843, he established the
Forks of Ivy Missionary
Baptist Church along the bank of the Little Ivy River, just south of Mars Hill. Incidentally, near the church, his brother,
Thomas Shepherd DEAVER, built a grist mill and a sawmill. From there, Shepherd DEAVER produced the lumber that he
donated for the first building at Mars Hill College.

"Around 1853, Reuben Keith DEAVER moved his growing family to the Nottla District of Cherokee County, which he had
surveyed years earlier. There, he became a charter member of the Nottla Baptist Church."

                                                                                     - David Thomas, 6 April 2009

Other sources: Richard Sams Dillingham, regarding Forks of Ivy Baptist Church, email 30 March 2010.