WNC History Timeline

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www.childers-shepherd.org, 4 Jan 2009
                                         LEVI  W.  WILSON

[Note: Originally this article included photos of Levi Wilson, Leona Shepherd Wilson, the Wilson family farm, and a
group photo of Levi’s sons and daughters gathered at the time of his death in 1933. For technical reasons, they have
been removed and are displayed separately. Click the Photos link above to view them.]

     Levi Wilson was the fifth child of Mitchell A. Wilson (Alex, Elec, or Elic) and his wife Lucy Metcalf.  Levi
was born in January 1857 at the junction of Elec Branch and Indian Creek in Yancey County,  North Carolina.  He
had four brothers: Thomas, Nelson, Jacob, and Ragan; and four sisters: Sarah Ann, Margaret, Brigette, and
Marcina.
    Nothing is known of his early years.  Family tradition says that Levi enlisted in the North Carolina Militia during
the Civil War but was sent home after a brief period as being too young.
On 12 March 1876, Levi married Leona J. Shepherd. Leona was the daughter of Grandison Shepherd and his wife
Serena Wilson. Tradi-tionally, the Shepherd and Wilson families have a close relationship and often intermarry.  
Leona had literally grown up with Levi’s family since they lived just across Indian Creek Road.  Levi and Leona
established a farm on Indian Creek about a mile south of Paint Gap.
Paint Gap was the name of the Post Office located in a general store at the intersection of Indian Creek Road and
Prices Creek Road.  Both the store and Post Office are now closed, although the old building remains standing
(1989).  Their original home was a two-room cabin close to the creek.  It was broad-axed by John W. Shepherd,
Leona’s brother, who lived across the road from them.  The new present house was constructed about 1912.
Levi and Leona had eleven children, seven boys and four girls. Many of the children left the  Yancey County area
for economic opportunity when they came of age. Levi and Leona lived on the farm all their lives.  Levi
occasionally worked at a lumber mill to augment the farm income.  The mill belonged to the Auburn Lumber
Company.  They cut birch for furniture.  Oral tradition relates that Levi was a very respected man in his
community.  He served as a Deacon in his church for many years.  Mae Ball Maney, an Aunt of Levi, who lived
on Indian Creek from 1910 until her death in the 1990’s, remembered Levi as a very kind gentleman, neat and well
dressed, and always had time to give a friendly wave to passers-by.
Levi died  of chronic interstitial nephritis on 1 May 1933, aged 76 years.  He is buried in the family cemetery on a
hill behind his Indian Creek home.  After his death, Leona lived on at home for fourteen years, cared for by her
son Elzy,  until her death on 20 January 1947.
[The group photo, accompanying this article] was taken in 1933 at the time of Levi’s funeral.  It shows most of
the Wilson family who rarely gathered together like this.  Back row  - Left to right:  Ernest Grandison, Creed
Frazer, Elzy Lenoir, Lattie Jerome, Charles Lee, and Sam Piercy husband of Ella.  Front row - Left to right: Ethel
B. Ayers Wilson, Eula Pansey, Ella M., Mae, Kathleen daughter of Elzy, and Lucille daughter of Pansey.

Information  currently available on the children of Levi and Leona is as follows: [1]
1.  Wiley Patton Wilson,  born 10 February 1877.  Married Ethel Beach on 4 December 1913.  Lived in  Lakeville,
NY. Worked in a powdered milk factory.  Had one daughter named Ruth who married Warren Bartlett. Wiley died
17 September 1939 and is buried in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery near Lakeville, NY.
2.  Creed Frazer Wilson,  born 9 September 1878. Married Myrtle Penland.  Lived in Bluefield,  West Virginia. Had
no children.  He worked as a fireman on the Norfolk & Western Railroad.  He and Myrtle raised his sister Stella
Baldwin’s son Carroll after her death.  Creed died 8 April 1953 and is buried in Bluefield, WV.
3.  Elzy Lenoir Wilson,  born 27 July 1880.  Married Mae M. Maney, daughter of Nelson Maney and Martha Willis
on 2 November 1907. Worked for a time as a riveter in Penn- sylvania.  Returned to Yancey County and worked
in a lumber mill.  Later, worked the home farm and took care of their mother, Leona.  They had 9 children:  
Kathleen, Ottis, Lucille, Herman, Zack, Frank, Ralph, Myrtle, and Matt.   Elzy died on 18 May 1960 and is buried  
in family cemetery above their  home on Indian Creek.
4.  Ella M. Wilson, born 13 September 1882. Married Samuel Piercy. Died 20 February 1960 in Jasper, TN.  Sam
and Ella had the following children:  Barbara, May, Jessie, Rex, Wilson, Carter, Samuel, John, Carnegie, Margaret,
Amy, and Ann.
5.  Lattie Jerome Wilson, born 1 May 1885.  Married Mabel Beach on 11 March 1914.  She was a sister of Ethel
Beach wife of Wiley Patton.  They lived in Rochester, NY.  He worked for Eastman Kodak Co.  He owned
property on Conesus Lake and had summer cottages there.  They had two sons,  Arthur and Jack. Lattie died 20
September 1976 and is buried with his brother Wiley in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery near Lakeville, NY.
6.  Minnie B. Wilson,  born 5 July 1888.  Died 19 April 1889. Buried in family cemetery on Indian Creek.
7.  Ernest Grandison Wilson, born 30 July 1890. Married Ethel Blankenship Ayers  daughter of  Romulus Ayers
and Lulu Jane Blankenship. Worked for the government during World War I.  Established a commercial
photography business in Asheville.  His daughter, Juanita, (now deceased) shared in the business.  Other children
are: Harold Ernest, Juanita Ethyl, Edwin Richard, Phyllis Leona, Mildred Eileen, James Herbert, William Levi, Jack
Wilbur, and Emily Louise.  Ernest died in 1972.
8.  Charles Lee Wilson,  born 3 May 1892.  Married Leola Shaw in NY.  Lived in Rochester, NY;  Cleveland, OH;  
and Jackson, MS.  Had one child: Charles C. Wilson.  Married a second time to Vera Ann Nelson, 1 December
1961, in Chicago, IL.  Died in Jackson 10 December 1991, aged 99 years, 7 months.  Buried in Lakewood
Memorial Park, Jackson, MS.
9. Richmond Pearson Wilson, born 12 August 1894.  Married Alda (maiden name unknown) during World War I.
Was in the cavalry in Texas.  Worked for a railroad in Pennsylvania.  Had two children, Helen (deceased) and
Richard. Pearce died 11 April 1943 following a railroad accident.
10. Stella Lou Wilson,  born 22 September 1896.  Married Carroll Baldwin. Had one son Carroll. Stella died 3
January 1927, and is buried in the family cemetery on Indian Creek.  
11. Eula Pansey Wilson,  born 24  October 1899.  Married Lee Holcomb born 18 May 1893, died 28 Nov 1984
Lee was a cabinet maker in a furniture factory.  They lived in Asheville.  Pansey died 2 June 1984. Had at least
four children, Kenneth, Marie, Kathleen, and Lucille.  

-- by Charles C. Wilson (with assistance of Jack Wilson and Charles L. Wilson), 1989.