BERGIE SHEPHERD HOBSON
By Violet Marshbanks Cooks
(Selections from a tribute by Violet Marshbanks Cook, read at the Hobson Reunion, Forks of Ivy Baptist
Church, July 10, 1988.)
Bergie Sophina Shepherd was born 12 January 1895, in Yancey County, North Carolina. She was the daughter of
Henry Taylor Shepherd (6 Sept. 1874 - 10 July 1944) and Margaret Jane Shepherd (8 April 1876 – 6 June 1961). .
John Wesley Shepherd, Bergie’s grandparent, moved to the Forks of Ivy—Morgan Hill Community in the north
section of Buncombe County, North Carolina, when Bergie’s other grandparent, Mitchell [Shepherd], moved to
this area. According to tradition, the Shepherds swapped land on Indian Creek in Yancey County with Jules
Robinson who owned land on Atkins Branch.
Taylor Shepherd (1874-1944) and Margaret Jane Shepherd (1876—1961), Bergie’s parents, came to Atkins
Branch (now known as Stockton Branch) when their parents moved there from Yancey County. Bergie was one
year old at the time. Taylor bought land across the mountain from Atkins Branch from the Dirt Dye Bank Ridge
Road to Hobson Branch Road formerly known as Bear Branch because the woods once extended to the branch
and bears roamed at will. Part of the land he bought was the Adinah Freeman—Nelson Bradley property. Bradley
had built a one-story house on this property which was whitewashed, trimmed with blue with the gables painted
yellow. The house was later torn down and part of the lumber was used to build the Troy Deaver house still
standing on Hobson Branch.
In 1920, Bergie’s family moved to Winston-Salem, N. C. Part of the family had already gone to Winston-Salem
and were working there. Harold and Floyd, Bergie’s brothers, were the first to go. Then Bergie, along with her
Aunt Lula Shepherd, went. They worked at P. H. Haynes and Reynold’s Tobacco Co. While there, Bergie got a
job as a book-keeper in Turner’s store, a job which she held till the family moved back to Hobson Branch. Bergie
was a hard-working person and had been recommended for this job by Herbert Roberts from Flat Creek.
In 1925, the Taylor Shepherd family moved back to this area and rented the Will Beachboard house for a year
while they were building their new house on Hobson Branch. This house burned down in 1931 and another house
was built. This house is still standing on Hobson Branch today and is now owned by G. D. Hensley and his son in
law, Mark Elkins.
On 20 Jan 1929, she married Stanley Edgar Hobson (26 May 1890 - 21 May 1972), son of George Greenlee
Hobson (30 December 1860 - 5 May 1935) and Lula Ann Selina Gaston Freeman (26 Nov 1862 – 24 Sep 1929). .
. . Bergie and Stanley were married on Hobson Branch at the home of their parents, Stocksville, N. C., by Rev. J.
Bergie and Stanley had one daughter, Margaret Ann Hobson, born 10 April 1930 and died 21 April 1930. (Both
Stanley and Margaret Ann are buried in the Piney Mountain Church Cemetery.)
They lived in the Bertha Bradley/Wiley Clevenger house which Stanley had bought on Hobson Branch. Stanley
worked for the Fire Department in Asheville, N. C. Later he owned and operated Manhattan Laundry in Asheville.
Bergie helped him with this work. Stanley and Bergie were very industrious. While living on Hobson Branch, and
after leaving the laundry business, they raised cows and sold milk and butter. It was then, also, that they began to
go to Tampa, Florida, every winter where they would buy houses at a reasonable price, have them repaired, and
sell them. This they did for twenty-five years.
After selling the Bertha Bradley-Wiley Clevenger house on Hobson Branch to Arnold Ramsey, they bought the
Floyd Shepherd house which they later sold to Wiley and Geneva Boone. They then bought property from Hiram
Manning and Cenia Blankingship Phillips on Turkey Branch in Madison County. They also bought property in
Barnardsville in Buncombe County where they lived in the summer. The first place was on Ogle’s Mountain Road,
then on Burleson Branch, North Fork Road, and lastly on Dillingham Road where they were living when Stanley
died in 1972. Bergie continued to live there until she moved into the Dillingham Retirement Home in Barnardsville.
The property on Dillingham Road was bought from Mildred and James Hughes. Mildred was formerly the widow
of Jason Hobson who was Stanley’s uncle.
They belonged to Piney Mountain Baptist Church but later moved their membership to Forks of Ivy Baptist
Church when Rev. M. H. Kendall was pastor. While at Forks of Ivy, Bergie was director of the W. M. U. from
1945—1956 and Stanley was church Treasurer & S. S. Supt. Later moved their membership to Barnardsville
Baptist Church. While at Barnardsville, Bergie was a Sunday School Teacher and Stanley sang with the Men’s
Chorus for many years.
Bergie and Stanley Hobson were good, hard-working people and are highly respected by all who knew them. Their
good still lives on in the churches to which they belonged and in the communities where they lived. They built the
baptistry in the old Piney Mountain Church. They gave a new Hammond organ to Forks of Ivy Baptist church.
I, and my family will rise up and call them blessed. They contributed much to our well-being. While they owned
the Manhattan Laundry, the Cora Hobson / Lee Marshbanks family’s laundry was done many times free of charge.
Sheets, pillowcases, and bedspreads were donated to us. Our first refrigerator was made possible by them. And,
it was through their generosity, that money was lent to my father to finance my way through college.
Yes, they have left footprints on the Sands of Time— footprints that will live on as long as time goes on.
Compiled and read at the Hobson Reunion, Forks of Ivy Baptist Church. July 10, 1988, by Violet