I was very interested in the article and illustration in (the Jan. 9 paper, titled “Searching the Map.” My great-grandfather, James Tennessee Adams, born 1833 or 1835 in Carter County, was at various times throughout his life a miller.
In the 1850 census of Washington County, he is shown living with the Wm Duncan family in the Knob Creek area as a student. I believe the “student” part was him learning the miller’s trade at the Bashor mill on Knob Creek. (See photo above.) He also obviously had some regular education as well. For certain, he was a miller in Virginia for 10 years in the Stickleyville area. He returned to the Johnson City area in the early 1880s and lived a number of places in Washington and Carter County before and after that date. I have copies of the deeds to his properties and am having trouble finding the exact locations, due to being unable tospecifically ID the metes and bounds.
One I can identify is a lot on the Watauga River adjacent to the St John’s mill. In fact. both he and one of his sons purchased property from Mr. St John. Tennessee, as he preferred to be called, may have worked part time at the mill.
I believe that he also either operated or worked at a mill in the Milligan vicinity. He did purchase a property on Kings Spring Road (from Mrs. King) along Sinking Creek. I believe the house is still standing and was a mill, although the wheel has long since disappeared.
I would like to get a close look at the map featured in your article. Would you please tell me where it is located and how I can gain access?
Dear Mr. Stroupe,
From your letter to the H&T, I did some “Digging” based on the information you provided. I did not find a complete answer, but hope to give you at least some hints that might bring about an answer. First, Henry Bashor owned many mills in Washington and Carter Counties including Dungan-St. John’s Mill in Watauga, Knob Creek Mill (or Bashor-Denny Mill), Pleasant Valley Mill, Dungan Mill (or the Blue Springs Mill) in Siam, and many others. It seemed throughout history, the Bashor Family were the milling family of the county. The Bashor family, originally from Germany, came to Washington County from Brock’s Gap area of Rockingham County, Virginia, and were of the Brethren faith – hints where many of the county’s brethren churches are also located are around a mill owned by the Bashor family. My great great great grandfather Isaac Bashor was a nephew of Henry Bashor making this family a very interesting one to study.
Second, you mentioned Tennessee Adams living on or near Kings Springs Road in Johnson City, so I looked up the 1860 Census and searched for neighbors of Tennessee Adams. A rule we always try to encourage genealogists to use frequently. In 1860, a Tennessee Adams is listed just below Joseph Wolf on the same page. A Captain Joseph Wolf(e) built his home along Kings Springs Road in 1856, this home still stands at 1506 Valley View Drive, Johnson City, and has been restored and modernized. Wolfe is mentioned in one court case held in September 1870, between D. W. Carter and Wolfe, over debts owed by James T. Carter, who died in 1859. This home was featured in the society’s county tour last fall.
From these two tidbits of information, I went back to the mill map today, which can be found at the society’s website, jgstn.org/maps or at the Washington County-Jonesborough Library’s genealogy/history collection. From a review of this map and an additional Carter County map- I made a copy of while researching for our last tour at the Washington County-Jonesborough Library- you might want to consider looking at the following mills in Carter County: Chapp’s Mill and Hughes Mill at Sinking Creek Baptist Church and Hyder-Williams Mill (originally built by Daniel Krause), Turkey’s Mill, and People’s Mill around Milligan College. Hughes Mill was owned and operated by my great great great grandfather Joseph Hughes, but I don’t know much more than he owned the mill along with other property including a home that is no longer standing up behind Sinking Creek Baptist Church.
Another mill that stood near Woodlyn Road in the Barnes Community, 1 mile upstream from Dungan-St. John’s Mill was Allison Mill or the Star Mill or White Star Mill. This mill was also owned by Henry Bashor as well as James M. King (maybe the husband of the Mrs. King you mentioned in your letter). Henry Bashor built this grist mill on Brush Creek in the 1850s/60s, just before selling Dungan-St. John’s Mill to George St. John. A photo of the Star Mill can be found on page 717 of the History of Washington County, Tennessee, ed. 2001, ed. By Eugene and Joyce Cox. Others to own the mill, according to TNGENWEB, were John T. Hodge, Charles G. Lilly, Landon C. Allison, Dr. J. H. Preas, and Dr. Smathers.
If I was a betting man, I would do some digging around the Star Mill as this mill fits well with the location of Kings Springs Road, which is about 4 miles away. In addition, it fits well with the location of St. John’s Mill, being 1 mile upstream from Dungan-St. John’s Mill and about 2 miles driving from the St. John’s property at Watauga Road and Steam Plant Road.
I look forward to hearing what you might find in this endeavor and hope to see another letter in our weekly column soon.
— Chad Bailey, JGS President