Henderson County Sheriffs 1860 to 1900
The list of Henderson County Sheriffs is divided into three distinct time periods. The first time period is from 1838 (when the county was created from Buncombe and Rutherford counties) until 1868, the end of the Civil War and the Reconstruction government. During this time the county was governed by a group, normally the justices of the peace, appointed for each county by the N.C. General Assembly. This body is the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions in most references, sometimes called the Select Court. This group would then appoint other local officials, including the sheriff, every two years. This system was used in all North Carolina counties under the state constitution of 1776. After the Civil War, during the Reconstruction government, the constitution was changed allowing for the popular election of sheriffs. Sheriffs were elected every two years beginning in 1868. The N.C. General Assembly changed the law in 1935 to allow for the election of sheriffs every four years.
The Reconstruction period, 1868 to 1888, is murky and difficult to document. Extensive work has been conducted by the Henderson County Genealogical and Historical Society and by the late J.T. Fain, former Times-News editor, who wrote the book “A Partial History of Henderson County,” to document the service of sheriffs. Documentation is complete except for 1874-1878. Tradition and earlier research suggests that Thomas Jefferson Enloe was once a sheriff. If he was a sheriff, he could only have served some time from 1874-1878. Note that sheriffs were elected every two years; therefore, if Enloe was a sheriff there might possibly be another person who also served during that time.
Documentation was obtained from the Henderson County Genealogical and Historical Society, “A Partial History of Henderson County” by J.T. Fain, Henderson County Heritage Books Volumes I and II, Henderson County Cemeteries book, census reports, death certificates, newspaper accounts, personal genealogical records, interviews and more.
Isaac Arledge was born in 1814 in the Green River Cove section of today’s Polk County, the son of Jonathan Arledge and Harriett McCormick Arledge. Polk County was formed in 1855 from Rutherford and Henderson counties. He was the husband of Rebecca Holbert.
In the 1840s, he moved to the newly formed town of Hendersonville. He served as sheriff from 1852 to 1862. He ran for the office of sheriff again in the 1870s and some persons suggest he may have served again as sheriff from 1876 to 1878, but official documentation is lacking. He was a farmer and a mail contractor.
He died in 1900. His burial site is at Oakdale Cemetery in Hendersonville.
William Davenport Justus
William Davenport Justus was born in 1819 in the Upward community of Henderson County, the son of John Justus Jr. and Elizabeth Thomas. At the time of his birth, this location was in Buncombe County. He first married Martha Elizabeth Tabor Jones. After her death he married Nancy Pittillo.
He was a farmer in the Upward community. He served as sheriff of Henderson County from 1862 to 1868, during the Civil War. He was elected the representative from Henderson County to the N.C. General Assembly in 1868 and served until 1870, during Radical Republican Reconstruction. He was not prohibited from serving because he was not a member of the Confederate government and did not serve in the Confederate Army.
He died in 1892. His burial site is at the Jones Cemetery at Upward.
John Perminter Morgan
John Perminter Morgan was born in 1822 in McDowell County near the Gerton and Bat Cave communities, the son of John P. Morgan and Nancy Bright. He first married Armintha Owenby, and after her death he married Rachel Josephine Barnett.
He was a farmer. He was listed on the 1860 census in Henderson County, but during the Civil War he served in a Confederate regiment organized in McDowell County. After the war, he lived near the Rugby community of Henderson County.
He served as sheriff of Henderson County from 1868 to 1870. During the 1870s, he was a deputy sheriff.
He died in 1887. His burial site is at the Mill Pond Cemetery in the Rugby community.
Terrell Wilkie Taylor
Terrell Wilkie Taylor was born in 1826 in the Dana community of Henderson County, the son of Joseph Taylor and Mary (last name unknown). At the time of his birth, this location was in Buncombe County. He first married Theresa McClain, and later married Betty Huggins.
He was the third sheriff of Henderson County, serving from 1848 to 1852. In 1865, he bought the stagecoach line from John T. Poole. Taylor owned the stagecoach line until the railroad was completed in 1879.
Taylor also became the seventh sheriff in the county, serving as sheriff from 1870 to 1874. It was during his second period as sheriff that the famous hanging of the Adair brothers took place in Henderson County. It was the duty of the sheriff at this time to carry out the sentence of hanging. This was one of the most famous murder cases and hangings in the state of North Carolina. The crime, trials and hangings were carried in newspapers throughout the state and region. The escape of Martin Baynard, who was also found guilty and sentenced to hang, was also reported throughout the Southeast.
Henderson Adair and his two sons, Columbus and Govan, ran a “blockade distillery” in Rutherford County. Note that it wasn’t illegal to make and sell whiskey, as long as folks paid the tax. A “blockade distillery” was illegal because the persons did not pay the federal tax. They were indicted and scheduled to stand trial. The only witnesses scheduled to testify with knowledge of the distillery, named in the indictment, were Silas and Polly Weston.
In April 1871, Columbus Adair, Govan Adair and Martin Baynard killed Silas Weston and three of four children in the home. They attempted to kill Polly Weston and an infant, but miraculously she and the baby survived. The cabin was set on fire.
The trial of the Adair brothers and Baynard was held in Henderson County instead of Rutherford because of “public sentiment.” They were found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. After a N.C. Supreme Court appeal, the Adairs were hanged July 12, 1872, in Henderson County, with Sheriff Terrell W. Taylor in charge of the hanging.
Baynard’s hanging was scheduled for Oct. 18, 1872. Taylor granted Baynard, at the request of his wife, Sallie Morgan Baynard, a conjugal visit on the night before he was to be hanged. Martin Baynard escaped by dressing in his wife’s clothing that included a large bonnet and a handkerchief that he held close to his “sobbing” face as he left the Henderson County Jail.
For years it was rumored throughout the region that Baynard fled to Texas, followed later by his wife and children. The wife and children did leave Rutherford County.
It is also a fact that in 1877, two brothers of Terrell W. Taylor, John David and Noah, left Henderson County for Texas, along with other families. This is worth noting in view of later events.
Taylor’s first wife died some time before 1870. On the 1870 census he is widowed with children. On the 1880 census he had re-married (Betty Huggins from Raleigh). Census records for 1890 are not available. On the 1900 census, Taylor is living in Henderson County with his daughter, Sallie L. Taylor Bryson, and her family. He died in 1904.
All the information stated above is factual with documentation.
The story (without proven documentation) is told by descendants of the Adair brothers, others in Rutherford County, old-timers in Henderson County, and Frank Fitzsimons in his books From the Banks of the Oklawaha, that Sheriff Taylor met Sallie Morgan when she was attending a “boarding” school in Hendersonville. They “fell in love,” some say they were engaged, but they did not marry. Folks state that this is the reason that Taylor granted the conjugal visit request.
Folks say that sometime in the late 1880s or 1890s Taylor went to Texas to visit family and attempted to find Baynard and his wife. He found Sallie Morgan Baynard living outside Waco, Texas. Her husband, Martin Baynard, had died. The couple fell in love again and married. A story was written in the New York Times in 1898 with the following headline: North Carolina Romance – Woman Weds an Old Lover Who Saved Her Husband’s Life – Bloody Story Ends in Peace – Tragic History of Illicit Mountain Distilleries’ Deeds Closed Happily in Texas after Twenty Years.
Taylor, a Democrat, was elected as a state senator to the N.C. General Assembly three times, serving from 1874 to 1890. On July 4, 1879, he was grand marshal of the parade that greeted the arrival of the first train in Hendersonville. He also spoke during the ceremonies.
He died in 1904. His burial site is at Refuge Baptist Church Cemetery in Dana.
It is not known for certain who served as sheriff from 1874 to 1878. Some references suggest it was Thomas Jefferson Enloe and Isaac Arledge (see above). The following is information on Thomas Jefferson Enloe.
Thomas Jefferson Enloe
Thomas Jefferson Enloe was born in 1835, possibly in Haywood County, the son of Benjamin Mattison Enloe and Mary Jaynes. He married Hannah Aveline Maxwell.
He was living in Haywood County with his parents and siblings in 1850. By the time of the Civil War he was living in the Edneyville community of Henderson County. He was a farmer in the Edneyville community. He enlisted in the 25th N.C. Infantry Regiment, Co. A, Edney’s Greys. He was wounded in the hip and thigh at the Battle of Malvern Hill during the Seven Days Battles in Virginia, returned to duty, and surrendered at Appomattox Court House. He died in 1916. His burial site is at Edneyville United Methodist Church.
Jonathan Williams was born in 1847 near Sugarloaf Mountain in the Dana and Edneyville communities of Henderson County, the son of Benjamin Williams and Elizabeth Jackson Williams. He was first married to Sallie Clayton, and, after her death, he married Lillie Shipman.
He taught schools in Henderson and Buncombe counties.
He was the first agent for the Spartanburg-Asheville Railroad. He was elected sheriff of Henderson County in 1878 and served until 1882.
He was one of three men to petition the state to form the French Broad Steamship Company in September 1880 and one of the original incorporators.
He was elected mayor of Hendersonville in 1883, 1891, 1902 and 1904. He was elected to two terms as the county’s representative to the N.C. General Assembly, serving from 1893 to 1896. He was elected as sheriff of Henderson County again in 1896, serving until 1900.
While serving his second period as sheriff, Williams was on the committee of the Carolina Baptist Association to select a site for a school. A site in the Fruitland community was selected and the Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute opened in 1899.
In 1909, he built the Salola Inn near the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. The inn was sold in 1912 to “three men from Jacksonville, Fla.”
He died in 1911. His burial site is at Oakdale Cemetery in Hendersonville.
Merida Sevier Justus
Merida Sevier Justus was born in 1846 in the Edneyville community of Henderson County, the son of Daniel Asbury Justus and Elizabeth Caroline Abigail Williams. He married Miriam E. Justus Maxwell. The couple lived in the Upward community of Henderson County.
He was a blacksmith and a farmer. He was elected sheriff of Henderson County in 1882 and served as sheriff until 1888. He and Terrell W. Taylor were the only sheriffs to oversee hangings in Henderson County. In September 1884, Lewis Kilgore Jr. was convicted for the murder of Matt Henderson, a female who lived alone in a cabin close to Hendersonville. The cabin was located near today’s junction of N.C. 191 and U.S. 25. Justus oversaw the hanging of Kilgore on May 6, 1886. Rumors and stories that he refused to oversee this hanging have been proven false.
He was elected to the N.C. House of Representatives in 1898 and served until 1900.
He died in 1914. His burial site is at the Jones Cemetery in Upward.
Thomas Clingman Israel
Thomas Clingman Israel was born in 1856 in the Avery’s Creek community of Buncombe County, the son of Phillip Jasper Israel and Malinda Ruth Israel. He first married Altice Guice and moved to Henderson County. After the death of his first wife, he married Mary “Mattie” Magdalene Parker. On census reports he listed his occupations as farmer and painter.
In 1880, he was a justice of the peace. From 1881 to 1884, he was the town marshal for Hendersonville. He served as Henderson County sheriff from 1888 to 1892. He served as the Hendersonville town marshal again from 1894 to 1896. He was a deputy U.S. Marshal in 1900.
In 1902, he completed a road to the top of Stoney Mountain and constructed a 50-foot observation tower at the top of the mountain.
He was appointed the Hendersonville street overseer in 1910. At the time of his death, he was the deputy tax collector.
He died in 1927. His burial site is at Oakdale Cemetery in Hendersonville.
John Gaston Grant
John Gaston Grant was born in 1858 in the Bat Cave community of Henderson County, the son of William Grant and Elizabeth Freeman Grant. He married Zura Edney.
He was a farmer and taught himself to read and write. Grant was elected a representative to the N.C. General Assembly in 1889 and served until 1892. He declined re-nomination. He was elected sheriff of Henderson County in 1892 and served until 1896. He refused a re-nomination in 1896. He was an elector to the Republican National Convention in 1896.
In 1908, he was elected congressman to the U.S. House of Representatives from the 10th N.C. District, serving until 1911.
He died in 1923. His burial site is at Oakdale Cemetery in Hendersonville. (More information on Grant will be found under “Political Leaders, 1900 to 1930”)
Jonathan Williams served again as sheriff from 1896 to 1900 (see above).
Hendersonville Town Marshals
Beginning in 1880, town marshals were elected every year; some times more than one was elected in the same year.
The following list of town marshals was obtained from J.T. Fain’s book, “A Partial History of Henderson County.” Fain did not attempt to identify the people by their full names.
T.F. Freeman is noted in documents, referenced by Fain, as serving as town marshal from 1880 to some time in early 1881. As of this date, research using census records, town documents, books written on the county, cemetery records and genealogical records has shed no information on the identity of this person. It is possible that the initials are incorrect.
S.M. King is noted in documents, referenced by Fain, as serving as town marshal in 1881. There were four men with the initials S.M. King living in Henderson County in 1880. 1. Samuel M. King was born in 1830, the son of John King and Rebecca Stepp. He married Margaret Pace. He would have been 51 in 1881. His occupation is listed as farmer on all census reports. He died in 1930 and is buried at the Hiram King Cemetery (King’s Grove Baptist Church) in the Edneyville community. 2. Samuel M. King was born in 1828, the son of Hiram King and Nancy Jones. He married Emily Maxwell. He would have been 53 years of age in 1881. He listed his occupation as farmer on all census reports. He died in 1887 and is buried at the Hiram King Cemetery (King’s Grove Baptist Church) in Edneyville. 3. Samuel M. King was born in 1862, the son of Jeremiah King and Elizabeth Margaret Camp. He married Amanda Capps. He would have been 19 years of age in 1881. He lived in the Crab Creek community and listed his occupation as farmer on all census reports. 4. Samuel M. King was born in 1865, the son of Benjamin Kimsey King and Elizabeth Blackwell. He married Mary “Mamie” Hallman. He would only have been 16 in 1881. In the 1900s, he served as register of deeds, clerk of court and probate judge. He died in 1933 and is buried at Refuge Baptist Church Cemetery in Dana.
William F. Byers was born in 1849, possibly in Buncombe County, the son of David Byers and Sarah Catherine Patton. He married Annie M. Hawkins.
In 1880, he was living in Hendersonville and listed his occupation as farmer. He also served as the town marshal in 1881. There is no grave site listed for him in the Henderson County Cemeteries book, but his wife and daughter are buried at Oakdale Cemetery in Hendersonville.
Thomas Clingman Israel served as town marshal from 1881 to 1884 and again from 1894 to 1896 (see above under sheriffs).
David Pinkney Kelly was born in 1858 in North Carolina, the son of John Kelly and Sarah Bell. He married Julia L. Barnett.
He served as Hendersonville town marshal from 1884 to 1885. In the Sept. 27, 1888, edition of the Hendersonville Times an article describes a new banking house in Hendersonville and states that the woodwork inside was done by D.P. Kelly. This bank was at the corner of Main Street and Fourth Ave. W. and was known as the State Bank of Commerce, where later Roses Pharmacy was once located. He listed his occupation as carpenter and lived in Hendersonville in 1900. By 1910, the family had moved to Sumter County, S.C., where he was a building contractor. He died in 1936 in Sumter County, S.C.
Marcus M. Patton Arledge was born in 1856 in Hendersonville, the son of Isaac Arledge (see above under sheriffs) and Rebecca Holbert. He married Caroline M. Manders.
He served as Hendersonville town marshal in 1886. He was a drayman for most of his life (the driver of a low, flat-bed wagon without sides, pulled generally by horses or mules to transport goods). He died in 1938. His burial site is at Oakdale Cemetery.
J.F. Orr served as the town marshal in 1887. Currently, no documentation was found as to the full name of J.F. Orr. It is possible that this is John Lafayette Orr who was born in 1855 in Henderson County, the son of Jeremiah M. Orr and Margaret Hamilton. He married first Emma Crain, and after her death he married Mary Louise Rymer. He was a wagoneer in 1880 in Hendersonville and owned a livery in town in 1900. He was one of the real estate developers and owners of Osceola Lake in 1910. He died in 1920 when he was serving as Hendersonville street overseer. His burial site is at Mud Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Flat Rock.
B.B. Jackson served as town marshal from 1888 to 1890. Based on the dates of service, this cannot be Brownlow B. Jackson who was born in 1872. He would only have been 16 years of age at the time. This may have been Burton Benjamin Jackson who was born in 1857 in the Edneyville community of Henderson County, the son of James J. Jackson and Jane Laughter. He first married Rose Matilda Pittillo and after her death he married Nora Louise Garren. He moved from Edneyville to the town of Hendersonville between 1880 and 1900. In 1910 he listed his occupation as a dealer in stocks and in 1930 he worked for the U.S. Postal Service. When he died his occupation was stated as retired police officer. He died in 1939. His burial site is at Mount Moriah Baptist Church Cemetery in Edneyville.
Edwin Wexler “Wex” Israel was born in 1853 in the Avery’s Creek community of Buncombe County, the son of Phillip Jasper Israel and Melinda Ruth. He was the brother of Thomas Clingman Israel (above). He first married Mary Burnett and after her death he married Alice Mary Guice.
He served as town marshal in 1891 and 1892. In 1900, he was living in Hendersonville and was the overseer of the chain gang. By 1910 he had moved to Asheville where he was the superintendent of a tannery. He died in 1923 in Asheville. His burial site is at Riverside Cemetery in Asheville.
Joseph A. Bryson was born in 1857 in Henderson County, the son of Joseph Y. Bryson and Margaret Rebecca Anderson. He first married Sallie L. Taylor and after her death he married Rachel Allen.
He served three terms as the town marshal in Hendersonville. He was elected in 1893, 1897 and again in 1899. On the 1900 census, he listed his occupation as chief of police. In 1910 he was a watchman at a hotel. At the time of his death he was a night watchman. He died in 1927. His burial site is at Oakdale Cemetery in Hendersonville.
Thomas Clingman Israel served as town marshal from 1881 to 1884 and again from 1894 to 1896 (see above under sheriffs).
Charles Edward Brooks was born in 1871 in Greene County, Tennessee. He served as town marshal in 1896. He later served as mayor of Hendersonville. He died in 1966 in Florida and is buried at Oakdale Cemetery in Hendersonville. (More information on Brooks will be found under “Political Leaders, 1900 to 1930”)
Joseph A. Bryson served as town marshal in 1897. He also served in 1893 and again in 1899. (see above)
William Forney Dotson was born in 1860 in the Fletcher community of Henderson County, the son of Joseph Dotson and Catharine Conner. He married Margaret Cynthia Dermid.
He served as town marshal in 1898. In 1910 he was a manager of a hotel. He was later a shoemaker and a merchant. He died in 1923 in Rutherford County. His burial site is at Oakdale Cemetery in Hendersonville.
Joseph A. Bryson served as town marshal in 1899. He also served in 1893 and in 1897. (see above)
Hendersonville Fire Department
In 1883 Hendersonville began a fire department with volunteers and a bucket brigade.
The Hendersonville Fire Department organized officially in 1890.
The town marshal also served as fire chief.