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
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
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.
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.
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.
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."
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
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.
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.
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
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,
& Smith,Alan. Grayson County, an Illustrated History of Grayson County,Texas.
Ft. Worth:Historical Publishers.
Terry. Marriage Records of Grayson County, Texas 1846-1877. St. Louis:
Texas. Tax Records 1846 - 1878 (microfilm).
Texas. Probate Records (microfilm).
Texas. Deed Records (microfilm).
US Federal Census,
Texas 1850, 1860, 1870, & 1880.
Soldiers in the Cherokee War - 1836-1839.
Washington, D.C. Military record - James Everhart, 1836.
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
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