Ca. 1813 - 1854

James B. Everheart was born about 1813 in Hawkins County Tennessee. The family lived south of the river Holston on Dodsons' creek. His father, Jacob Everhart, was a farmer.

On June 25, 1835, at Hawkins City Tennessee James Everheart, joined the First Tennessee Mounted Infantry Regiment of Captain Richard G. Fain to fight the Indians in Florida. According to his record in the National Archives he enlisted at Hawkins City for a period of twelve months and was traveling 125 miles to the place of rendezvous. He furnished subsistence and forage for six days.

Much to the dislike of most of the men in the regiment, instead of being sent to Florida to fight, they were assigned the task of assisting in the gathering up of the Cherokees preparatory to their removal. Their headquarters were at Athens, Tennessee in McMinn County and their commander was General Richard G. Dunlap.

By the winter of 1829, over three thousand Cherokee migrants and their descendants were living in the West and that year their adopted son, Sam Houston, was also living among them. Georgia had pushed hard to get the rest of the Cherokees out of the east and after gold had been discovered the whites were adamant that the Cherokees must move west. Andrew Jackson who the Cherokees had fought under in the War of 1812, had been elected President and instead of taking the Cherokees part in the Georgia dispute as many of them expected him to do, Jackson threw his support to Georgia before he took the oath of office. The Western Cherokee chief appointed Sam Houston his ambassador, and in the winter of 1829-30 Sam Houston donned his Cherokee buckskins, a purple robe, and his moccasins and made the trip from Arkansas to Washington City.

The Cherokee chiefs were meeting with Andrew Jackson and other federal officials as early as 1830, regarding their land rights. But Jackson's first message to congress stated his view that the Cherokees must be moved west to allow expansion of the white man. The whites of Tennessee and Alabama passed laws similar to Georgia's and pressed for removal of the remaining Cherokees. The men of East Tennessee had fought many battles against the Cherokees in earlier days, and although many of them had fought with the Cherokees at Horse Shoe Bend in 1814 against the Red Sticks, they wanted the Redmen out of Tennessee.

In 1835, as negotiations continued between the Cherokee chiefs and the federal government in Washington, word was received in East Tennessee of fighting between whites and the Seminoles in Florida. Fighting also broke out between Creeks and whites and on May 19 the federal government ordered out troops. The Creeks were chased - some into Florida - and by July 4th over 2400 Creeks, the men in chains, were aboard boats headed to lands in the west.

James Everhart and other Hawkins County men enlisted during the time that stories of the fighting in Florida were being circulated in East Tennessee, and they expected to experience battles similar to those they had heard their fathers and uncles talk about with the Red Sticks in 1814. But by the time they arrived at Athens, Tennessee in late June, the fighting was over, the Creeks were on their way to Arkansas, and the Cherokees knew their time was limited in the east. Most of the Cherokee chiefs knew that their only hope was in negotiating a good deal with the federal government for their eastern lands.

During 1835, the whites had continued to take over Cherokee lands in Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama, although the Cherokees were still living there. The soldiers were used to keep the peace, and there were no large outbreaks of violence. Generally the volunteers supported the immediate removal of the Indians, but their commander, General Wool, felt that the Cherokees were getting a rotten deal from the whites.

Finally on May 17, 1836, the treaty to pay the Cherokees for their land and remove them to the west was ratified by a margin of one vote in the Senate, and President Jackson proclaimed it law on May 31.

James Everhart was discharged on July 31, 1836, and sent home to Hawkins County with the other volunteers. General Wool was said to have been happy to see the volunteers go and to have only federal troops used to complete the removal to the west.

We don't know if James Everhart went back to Hawkins County when he was discharged or when began his trip West. By October 1839, he was in Saline County Missouri where he married Eliza Jane Corn (Carn). Eliza was the daughter of William Corn who also lived in Saline County. William Corn had patented land in Saline County as early as September 1835.

The Presidential Election of 1840 voters list includes James Everhart as voting in Arrow Rock Township in Saline County. One wonders if he voted for Harrison instead of Van Buren as most farmers did.

On November 10, 1841, James Everhart patented "the East half of the South East quarter of Section thirty-five in Township forty nine, of Range twenty one, in the District of Lands subject to sale at Fayette, Missouri, containing seventy nine acres and twenty three hundredths of an acre." John Tyler, Sixty-sixth President of the United States, signed the patent.

On April 1, 1843, James patented "the North West quarter of the North West Quarter of Section eleven in Township forty eight of Range twenty one in the District of Lands subject to sale at Fayette, Missouri containing forty acres." Again John Tyler signed the patent. On the same date two other patents were also issued to James. One for eighty acres- "the West half of the North East quarter of Section ten in Township forty eight of Range twenty one...." and one for " the North East quarter of the North East quarter of Section ten in Township forty eight of Range twenty one...." William Corn's lands were located nearby.

In December 1845, James Everheart was living in what was then Fannin County, Texas and later became Grayson County.  In the autumn of 1845, Martin Astin Gauldin of Marshall, Saline County, Missouri and two companions, John A. Trigg and William Booker, traveled from Saline County, Missouri to Austin, Texas.  Mr. Gauldin kept a journal of their trip.

On December 18, 1845, Mr. Gauldin made an entry that “mr Trigg went to see Wm Corn    past a tanyard and got to paris the County seat of lamar County.” William Corn, James Everhart’s father-in-law owned land in Lamar County.

On the 19th of December they “encamped about eight miles from Bonham the county seat of fannin” and on Saturday the 20th they passed through the small village of Bonham.  That night the travelors “encamped at the pilot grove in fanin co.”   The following entry was made on December 21, 1845:

      “21st  Sunday    this morning we left pilot grove Creek traveled about twelve miles four of which was off the main road    got to mr Everharts who lives on the waters of the Sister grove falk (fork) of Trinity  we are still in fanin county   this part of the country has the best of lime stone water To day we past too very excelant springs.  The country lies very high and thare is plenty of the best timber to supply all the prarie.”

They stayed with the Everharts at least until the 23rd.  The entry for the 22nd stated that they did not travel but spent time resting and looking at the country.  The next entry was Christmas Day when they resumed their journey and traveled into Peter’s Colony.

On the Saline County, Missouri 1840 Voters List James Everhart, Wm. Conn (Corn), Josiah Gauldine, and John A. Trigg were all registered voters in the Arrow Rock Township.  The men from Missouri did not accidentally meet James Everhart during their travels but left the main road four miles to find his farm.  They had all been neighbors in Missouri.

James and Eliza were still living in southern Grayson County, Texas in 1846 when the Mexican War broke out. Their neighbor, J.P. Dumas, left his wife in the care of James Everhart when he marched off to fight the Mexicans.

In her affidavit for a pension Mary Dumas, widow of James Dumas, stated that she and James Dumas had settled near Cannon, Texas (where she still lived in 1887) on July 20th 1845, and that James Dumas had enlisted in Captain Daniel Montagues Mounted Volunteer Company in either April or May of 1846, and had served until October or November of 1846, at which time he was discharged at San Antonio, Texas. One would expect that the Everhart and Dumas families had known each other at least several months for James Everhart to take the responsibility of seeing after the Dumas family while J.P. Dumas was in the army.

In 1846, James Everhart was paying taxes on 320 acres in the B. G. Grubbs(?) survey valued at $640. He also owned one horse valued at $265. Based on other records, $265 was a very expensive horse, so it is probable that the tax assessor either over valued the horse or James owned more than one. His taxable property was valued at $905 with state taxes of $2.21 and county taxes of $0.55.

In 1847, James owned 320 acres in the Harden survey and 450 acres in the H. Shockey survey on Sister Grove Creek. He also was taxed for 3 horses valued at $450, 5 cattle at $65, and hogs and tools valued at $20. The deeds where the three tracts of land on the 1846 and 1847 tax records have not been found, but a deed where James Everhart and Richard Corn sold 222 acres on Sister Grove Creek part of Headright of Henry Shocky in 1848 was located. James evidently sold a portion of the 320 acres to Richard Corn (probably his brother-in-law) and the deed of sale wasn't recorded. This was probably where James, Eliza, and the children lived when he looked after James Dumas family during the Mexican War. J. P. Dumas was a witness to the sale.

In 1850 James purchased 640 acres from Samuel Craig on the waters of Pilot Grove Creek. The property was south of where the town of KentuckyTown would be laid-out in 1852. It was Sam Craig's headright certificate patent issued 10 February 1845, and joined the southwest corner of James Rutland's survey. J. P. Dumas was a witness on the deed. In 1851 James sold the west half (320 acres) of this land to George W. Corn of Lamar County Texas. George was probably another brother of Eliza's. Then in August 1853, James purchased this 320 acres back from George W. Corn of Lamar County Texas. The east 320 acres was sold to Elijah Hall in 1852. Although James and Eliza purchased and sold several other pieces of property, we believe this is where they moved when they left the Sister Grove Creek area, and that they lived on this property until after his death in 1854.  The west line of the 320 acres that stayed in James Everhart’s family joined the property of James Dumas.

The 320 acres that James purchased back from George Corn in 1853, was sold for the final time in 1871. On July 21, 1871, the oldest son, William Everhart, and his mother, Eliza Jane Hadden, signed deeds of sale in McLennan County Texas. At that time Eliza stated that she was the widow of James E. Everhart and claimed to be heir of law of her dead children, Fletcher F. Everhart who had died in 1868, Lyda Everhart who had died at age of three in Grayson County, and Amanda Everhart Hix who had died in 1864. Eliza received $400 and William $100 for the 320 acres. No mention is made of Eliza and James Everhart's other children, Richard, Mary, or Nicholas.

James Everhart's final deed of purchase of land was recorded in 1855, several months after his death. It was Texas Land Patent #699 for 640 acres that had been issued on a conditional certificate # 927 in December 1839, and transferred to James Everhart in October 1852. He and Eliza had already sold 576 acres of the property to James Kidd in March 1853, and carried a note for three years. After the Patent was recorded and the note paid by James Kidd, Eliza Everhart deeded the property to him. No explanation was made in the records for the difference of 640 acres recorded on the Patent and 576 acres on the sale.

James Everhart owned land on BoisDArc Creek in Fannin County that appeared on the Grayson County tax records through 1858 as lands owned in other counties. This indicates that Eliza was still living in Grayson County at that time.

In November 1854, James B.'s brother, Emauel, petitioned Grayson County Court for Letter of Administration and was appointed administrator of the estate of James Everhart, deceased. At the July 1857 Term Emanuel filed his final report of $2,173.661/2 cts. belonging to the estate and legal claims against the estate of $1,367.91, "leaving a balance in the hands of the Administrator in favor of said Estate of the sum of $615.75 cts."

James youngest child was probably born after his death. The 1860 census lists a son, James age 5, but 1870 lists a daughter, Mary, age 14. The probate records list a daughter Mary and make no mention of a son James therefore, we believe the 1860 census was incorrect.

On September 8, 1859, Eliza Jane Everhart married William N. Hadden in Grayson County Texas. The Hadden family owned land in Fannin County, and William and Eliza appeared on the 1860 census in Fannin County. The census stated William Hadden's real estate to be valued at $4000. Eliza's age was 40 and William's was 23. The 1850 census had her age as 35 and 1870 it was 62, so she was probably older than 40.

In April 1868, Eliza Hadden petition for guardianship of her minor children in Grayson County Texas. The minor children listed were " Richard Everhard, E. Everhard, Nicholas Everhard, and Mary Everhard." There are no records to support a child named E. Everhart, but Richard, Nicholas and Mary would have been minors at that time.

The guardianship was probably a legal way for Eliza to obtain control over the property that the children's father owned at the time of his death.

Two years later in June 1870, Eliza Everhart was living in Waco, Texas, age 62, keeping house. With her were her children, Nicholas age 16 and Mary age 14. Across town her son, William, his wife Sarah, and their son William age 4 months, were living with Ruben Hicks and Matilda Hicks.

Eliza's daughter Amanda had been married to a Ruben Hicks at the time of her death in 1868. William was probably living with his former brother-in-law. Ruben Hicks occupation was listed as teamster. William Everhart was believed to have been a freighter.

The last record we found for Eliza was the deed of sale of the Grayson County property on Pilot Grove Creek in 1871. It is not known what happened to her second husband, William Hadden.

Eliza died prior to April 23, 1875. On that date Elizabeth Johnson, a former wife of William Everhart, Eliza's oldest son, petitioned for the estate of her three minor children: James, John, & Mary Everhart. The children had a 1/4th interest in 160 acres in Fannin County of the estate of William Corn, Eliza's father. The land was sold in 1878, and the grandchildren of James Everhart and Eliza Jane Corn Everhart received their one-quarter share. The other three shares of Eliza's portion of the estate would have belonged to her children, Richard, Nicholas, and Mary.


Note: We have always believed that James Everhart (the son of Jacob Everhart and the brother of Emanuel Everheart) middle initial was B., and that the James Everhart (grandson of Christian Everhart and son of James Everhart of Monroe County Tennessee) middle initial was E. We have worked on the history so many years that we are not sure where we first obtained that information. It may have been Mr. Chumbley's book. However, in searching through the records in Grayson and Fannin Counties we have found many records for the person we believed was James B. Everhart to have the initial of "E". James E. Everhart (grandson of Christian) was a much younger man and did not come to Texas until 1874, and James, the brother of Emanuel died in 1854. There is no doubt that the records we have found are those of James, brother to Emanuel. What we now doubt is what his middle initial really was - "B" or "E".


Ehle, John. Trail of Tears - The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation. New York:Anchor Books, 1988.

Landrum,Graham & Smith,Alan. Grayson County, an Illustrated History of Grayson County,Texas. Ft. Worth:Historical Publishers.

Ingmire,Frances Terry. Marriage Records of Grayson County, Texas 1846-1877. St. Louis: 1979.

Grayson County, Texas. Tax Records 1846 - 1878 (microfilm).

Grayson County, Texas. Probate Records (microfilm).

Grayson County, Texas. Deed Records (microfilm).

US Federal Census, Texas 1850, 1860, 1870, & 1880.

Volunteer Soldiers in the Cherokee War - 1836-1839.

National Archives, Washington, D.C. Military record - James Everhart, 1836.

“Notes and Documents From Missouri to Texas in 1845: Martin Austin Gauldin’s Journal” ed. By Jackie McElhaney, Southwestern Historical Quarterly. Austin: The Texas State Historical Association, Vol. LXXXIII, No. 2, October 1979.


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