Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements

Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life

By: Ethelene Dyer Jones

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ivy Log and some of its early residents

On Saturday, June 9, I attended the fourth annual meeting of the Byron Herbert Reece Society in Young Harris. As attendees were visiting in the lobby of the Goolsby Center after registration and prior to beginning of the meeting in the Wilson Lecture Hall, a fine citizen of Union County commented on this weekly column and assured me he was a regular reader. I thanked him and told him I was glad to hear I do have readers. He gave me a little reprimand that I have dwelt so long on my home district of Choestoe without branching out to other sections of Union County. "Why not write about Ivy Log?" he asked. And to that dear gentleman, I appreciate his question, and will try in future to hop about the county to find worthy historical subjects for this column.

Look at a map of Union County and you will find the militia district of Ivy Log bordering North Carolina on the north, with Gum Log District on the east, Dooly district on the west, and Lower Young Cane on the south. I turned to my excellent ready resource, The Heritage of Union County, 1832-1994 (p. 28) to find if and when Ivy Log had post offices. These federal stations tell us much about some of the activity and people in a district from its early days.

Rock Hill post office in the Ivy Log Militia District received its grant for operation with the appointment of Joseph Patterson as first postmaster on May 21, 1838.

The first census of Union County in 1834 listed Joseph Patterson as having eight males and four females in his household. Other Patterson families, which seem to have been living adjacent to each other in 1834, were Amos Patterson (five males, two females), John Patterson (four males, three females), and George Patterson (four males, three females). According to the Patterson family articles in the county history book, John Patterson, his wife Margaret Black Patterson, and some of heir children migrated to what became Union County in 1829. Although not specifically indicated, Joseph may have been one of their sons, or maybe even a brother to John. The twins, Joseph Elijah and William Elisha Patterson, sons of William Harden Patterson and Rebecca Chastain Patterson, were born in 1871 and were too young for one to be the Joseph Patterson who founded Rock Hill post office at Ivy Log.

Rock Hill post office operated under that name and with Joseph Patterson as postmaster until October 4, 1842 when Richard W. Roberts got the contract as postmaster. He changed the name to Ivy Log and the post office went by that name until it was discontinued September 15, 1910. As Rock Hill and Ivy Log, the community gathering place, probably in a store run by its postmasters, had an operational life of 70 years, quite a long tenure for mail depositories of that era. For two years, the post office charter was not renewed, as seen in the following listing of postmasters.

William R. Utter succeeded Richard W. Roberts on May 4, 1847. He remained until the post office was discontinued at the end of his term June 27, 1866. His was the longest tenure of any of the officers.

There must have been an appeal to reestablish the office, for on June 9, 1868, William A. Cobb became postmaster. William Alfred Cobb married Charlotte Henson on May 22, 1861. This couple had nine children: Reuben Francis; John Franklin.; Rebecca Leona; Joseph Jasper; Louise Jane; James Wesley; Rufus Alexander; Elbert Lorenzo; and Harrison Taylor.

Both William A. Cobb and his wife, Charlotte Henson Cobb, were children of Revolutionary War patriots. His father was John Paul Cobb who fought with the famed "Swamp Fox," Francis Marion, at the Battle of King's Mountain, York County, NC. Charlotte's father was Daniel Henson who served in the Revolution and fought the Tories.

Before moving to Georgia about 1848, William Alfred Cobb was sheriff of Haywood County, N.C. He was also a Methodist minister. Charlotte Henson Cobb died May 23, 1861 in Union County and was buried in the New Hope Cemetery, Ivy Log. William Alfred married his second wife, Lavinia Roberts, on February 2, 1862. His second wife probably assisted Rev. Cobb with duties at the post office. When he gave up duties as Ivy Log's postmaster, he and Lavinia moved to Beaver Dam, Cherokee County, N.C., where he died August 5, 1886. He was interred at the Unaka Cemetery there.

William A. Cobb was succeeded at the Ivy Log post office by Pleasant Short, appointed postmaster April 21, 1873. The remaining postmasters and their dates of appointment were William W. Chapman, June 7, 1883; Jasper L. Owenby, March 29, 1887; Frank E. Conley, August 9, 1887; Ulysses Sidney Cobb, May 18, 1897; and Elizabeth C. Cobb, March 15, 1899. Ms. Cobb kept the office open until Ivy Log was permanently closed on September 15, 1910.

Space in this article precludes tracing family connections of these last six postmasters at Ivy Log. However, Ulysses Cobb was a grandson of William Alfred Cobb, son of Harrison Taylor Cobb. The last postmaster at Ivy Log, Elizabeth C. Cobb, was Harrison Taylor Cobb's wife, Elizabeth Caroline Neece Cobb (09-27-1845 - 10- 07-1933). She and Harrison Taylor Cobb (06-14-1846 - 05- 31-1920) were buried at the New Hope Methodist Cemetery in the Ivy Log Militia District. An interesting aside is that the oldest marked grave at the New Hope Cemetery is that of Lydia Keys Cobb (1773-1848). She was the second wife of Revolutionary War soldier John Paul Cobb and the mother of William Alfred Cobb (1809- 1886). W. A. Cobb was fourth postmaster at Ivy Log.

c 2007 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published June 14, 2007 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

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