"Robert Henry, coming into the Swannanoa community, opened the first school west of the Blue
Ridge." - Ora Blackmun, Western North Carolina: Its Mountains and Its People to 1880,
Appalachian Consortium Press, Boone, NC, 1980, p. 163.
". . . the Swannanoa and Beaverdam settlements were fortunate in counting Robert Henry, a
veteran of the Revolutionary War and a man of varied interests and manifold abilities, among their
settlers. He opened the first school west of the Blue Ridge, attended by pioneer's children, both
boys and girls. His school became known as Union Hill School. Although necessarily handicapped
by the lack of text books, Henry paved the way for the formal establishment of Union Hill Academy
that provided a solid educational foundation for children of the communities." - Blackmun, p. 186.
"After the foundation of the state of Tennessee from the ceded land, each commonwealth
appointed a commission to work jointly surveying the common boundary. That group included
Colonel David Vance, General Joseph McDowell, and Major Mussendine Matthews as
commissioners for North Carolina and Robert Henry and John Strother as surveyors. They ran the
line in 1799 from the point where Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee met along the
designated ranges to Paint Rock. Later the survey would be completed." - Blackmun, p. 191.
In 1827, Robert Henry and his servant discovered sulphur springs four miles west of Asheville.
"There three years later Henry's son-in-law, Colonel Reuben Deaver, built a resort hotel . . . ."
- Blackmun, p. 295.
10 February 1765 - 6 February 1863
www.childers-shepherd.org, 31 Mar 2007