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 born.
"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."