The Myers Cemetery Preservation Association will be forever grateful to
J.C. for his volunteer service to Myers Cemetery. Back in 2004-2005 the
Cades Cove Preservation Association members worked hard to reclaim Myers
Cemetery from several years of neglect. Needing someone to provide
voluntary mowing services for the Cemetery, J.C. responded to that need;
he did so from 2005 to 2010 until his health prevented his doing so. He
often said "the true spirit of a people can be seen in the way it honors
his dead." During those years he learned much of the history of those
buried in Myers Cemetery and was most helpful to visitors coming to the
historic Myers Cemetery. J.C. served as a member of the initial Myers
Cemetery Exploratory Board in its formation of the Myers Cemetery
Glenn D. Myers
Myers Cemetery Preservation Association President
THE RAIL TRAGEDY AT JAKES CREEK IS STILL REMEMBERED
Two lives were taken in a train wreck that occurred at Jakes Creek at Elkmont on June 30, 1909. Charlie Jenkins and Dan Daddy Bryson were the two men who lost their lives on this fateful day. Amanda and Maggie Candis Carver, daughters of Noah and Anna Myers Carver, of Townsend married brothers Tom and Charlie Jenkins of North Carolina. Both men worked for the railway hauling timber from the mountains-Charlie worked for Little River Railroad at Elkmont while Tom worked near Hazel Creek, North Carolina where he and Maggie lived after they married. Two other daughters of Noah and Anna Carver, Kate and Joanna Katherine, also married loggers-Kate married Robert P. Headrick while Laura married Grant Miller. Even though Bob Headrick was a witness to the tragedy he talked very little about the circumstances. Later in life he granted an interview with Knoxville Journal writer Vic Weals. Grant Miller, who married Laura, worked for the lumber industry and was also a minister in Townsend. Amanda Carver Jenkins and husband Charlie are buried in Myers Cemetery in Townsend as are Amanda’s parents Noah and Anna Ellen Carver Myers.
The train wreck that took the lives of Dan Bryson and Charlie Jenkins left families to mourn the loss. Daddy Bryson and Charlie became folk heroes; as a memorial, their lunch buckets were left hanging in the tree for some time. Three others Bob Headrick, Aaron Jones and Hoot Foster were not injured. No one is really sure what caused the runaway train to wreck on the switch back near Jakes Creek however; the logging industry was a perilous industry. Charlie and Amanda had only been married less than two years with a one year old daughter and a son born shortly after Charlie’s death. Amanda took the insurance money and purchased an 85 acre farm in Townsend. Her father Noah lived with them after the death of Amanda’s mother Anna. Noah helped with the farm work and also helped with the family expenses. This was the time before social security benefits. Amanda and Charlie were attracted to each other since both enjoyed square dancing and buck dancing- family stories reveal that Amanda danced like a vapor and Charlie could dance all night. Both Tom and Charlie were well known dancers.
Just five days after the wreck the long planned for excursion rides along this same track went on as scheduled from Knoxville to Elkmont. These weekend trips from the city life of Knoxville were a respite from the work week. The site of the train wreck heightened the interest of those on the excursions.
Charlie’s brother Tom and his wife lived in North Carolina. Even though Tom had had worked for a short time for the railroad Tremont, he and Maggie moved on to West Virginia and finally back to North Carolina working for the logging industry. During those six years Tom had numerous close calls According to his close friends he was a nimble person who was able to jump free from many wrecks; they attributed his agility to his reputation as a expert buck dancer always sure footed in choosing the time and place to jump from a train leaving the track. Tom’s death in 1915, approximately six years after his brother Charlie, was the result of being buried by a pile of spilled logs.
Tom death left his widow with four children to raise.
The details and story surrounding these untimely deaths were remembered by Bob Headrick(and later by his son Fred Headrick of Alcoa) and also by S.P. McNiell, Sr., Bookeeper and historian for Little River Railroad in an interview with Vic Weals, Knoxville Journal feature writer.
ANNUAL DECORATION HELD AT MYERS CEMETERY (TBA for 2014)
IN TOWNSEND, TENNESSEE.
On Sunday, May 25th, President of Myers Cemetery Preservation Association Glenn Myers conducted the annual business meeting held at the Townsend Visitors Center Pavilion. Throughout the weekend, descendants visited and decorated graves in the historic cemetery. Flags were placed at the gravesites of individuals who served in the military. During the meeting Glenn brought attendees up to date on progress made maintaining and preserving Myers Cemetery. During the past twelve months Ronnie Webb Mowing Service has continued to provide regular seasonal mowing. M.C.P.A. members and volunteers scheduled workdays to repair grave markers and clean overgrowth. Paving stones were placed on both sides of the kiosk to accommodate foot traffic wear in that area. Steps leading to the cemetery have been repaired and painted. During the scheduled workdays several embedded markers have been uncovered, repaired and replaced in the family plot.
Glenn provided information on a mapping project for the cemetery kiosk. This scaled map of Myers Cemetery will provide visitors a more accurate representation of grave layouts. Glenn Myers, J.T. Tipton and Walt King worked with engineer Mike Ooten in preparing this layout. The completed mapping has now been posted on the kiosk. M.C.P.A. continues to receive and appreciates updates or corrections to this listing. You may provide that information through email email@example.com, phone (865) 223-2477, or by mail to Glenn Myers, 8161 Cedar Creek Road, Townsend, Tennessee 37882. An online link to multiple photos of the cemetery and work of M.C.P.A. will emailed to you at your request. Please continue to visit our website at
www. myerscemeterytownsend.com. webmaster Gloria Motter, C.C.P.A.
YOUR EFFORTS AND SUPPORT HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE
Due to your efforts and support, the Myers Cemetery Preservation Association has accomplished a great deal in respect to maintaining the cemetery grounds and restoring and straightening grave markers. These efforts are ongoing as older stones continue to weather and deteriorate.
The MCPA website, created by CCPA webmaster Gloria Motter, has been an excellent resource in making people aware of the 200 year old Myers Cemetery. More visitors are coming to the cemetery due to information they receive online. Thanks also to the Townsend Visitor’s Center staff for providing information and directing visitors to the historic cemetery. The cemetery sign and informational kiosk have been valuable assets to the cemetery site. There are approximately 325 gravestones that have been identified. Latest compilation of Myers Cemetery was completed by Robert McGinnis in 2009. Mr. McGinnis has done extensive research and compiled detailed census of historic cemeteries in East Tennessee.
He is also curator of James White Fort in Knoxville.
During the coming year, Myers Cemetery Preservation Association, (501-c 3 non profit corporation), plans to continue researching the early history of the Myers Cemetery and identification of lost gravesites. We invite you to share any family history/old documents/letters that might provide information in those efforts. We are also interested in any information that may relate to Tuckaleechee Baptist Church (1802-1810) that once stood in the oak grove next to the cemetery.
The kiosk provides a mapping of the Cemetery as well as information relating to individuals laid to rest here between 1795-1959. The two-sided informational board also includes notes on the history of Tuckaleechee Cove, family notes, Military Lists, and information related to the work of Myers Cemetery Preservation Association. Visitors coming to the cemetery are finding the kiosk information helpful as they search for gravesites of family members. Due to heavy foot traffic around the kiosk, plans are being made to place paver stones on both sides of the structure.
As we visit in Myers Cemetery we are humbled by the faith and courage of those who settled in Tuckaleechee during its early years. Many of those buried in this cemetery died at an early age while others lived to old age. They came to these peaceful coves and established homes, churches, schools, and businesses. They worked hard to provide for their families and care for their neighbors.
MEMBERSHIP: MYERS CEMETERY PRESERVATION ASSOCIATION
If you would like more information on membership in Myers Cemetery Preservation, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contacting Glenn Myers, President at 8161 Cedar Creek Road in Townsend, Tennessee 37882. Phone (865) 223-2477. Individual membership dues are $10 annually.
That link will be promptly sent out to your email address.