|Home of Daniel Stover with Robert|
Nave in 2012
Daniel Stover was born in Pennsylvania on April 10, 1776 – the same year that the American colonies declared independence from Britain.[i] He was the son of Christian Stover and Sarah Limbaugh. “When the first census was taken in 1790 Daniel was recorded only as a tic mark in the column headed “Free white males under the age of 16. Daniel was 14 at the time. This was the Dauphin, Pennsylvania census.[ii] At the age of 18 he married Phoebe Ward on September 7, 1794 and the couple settled in Carter County, Tennessee. Phoebe, born on August 12, 1772, was the sixth of seven daughters of William Ward and Sarah Bryant.
Daniel and Phoebe had eleven children. The eldest William Ward Stover, born in 1795, was my third great grandfather. William was followed by Mary Lincoln 1796-1860, Jemima 1798-1876, Isaac Lincoln 1801 – unknown, Thurzy 1804-1847, Susannah 1806 - , Lavisa 1808- , Solomon Hendrix 1812-1889, Delilah 1814-1902, Sarah 1816 - , and Daniel Stover Jr. 1820- 1838 (not to be confused with Col. Daniel Stover who was the brother of my 2nd great grandfather David Lincoln Stover.)[iii]
Like his father, Daniel was involved in community, civic and church affairs throughout his lifetime so records from those various sources tell us quite a bit about who he was and the life he lived. A church record tells us that Daniel was already a leader in his Baptist Church as early as 1794. He was a member of the Sinking Creek Baptist Church. The name refers to the fact that a nearby a creek ended by seeking into the ground. Sinking Creek broke off from Buffalo Ridge Church and was one of the most influential Baptist churches in the area. According to Frank Merritt’s Early History of Carter County, two preachers, Jonathan Mulkey and Reese Bayless, and three laymen, Solomon Hendrix, Alfred Carr and Daniel Stover were the most outstanding members in the history of the church. Daniel was appointed clerk and deacon of the Sinking Creek Baptist Church at the age of 27 in 1803 and held the position at least until 1820.
|Patriot monument in Elizabethton|
Mrs. Nancy Tipton Johnson, said that “as a girl she often went to Daniel Stover's home to preaching, and at times they would often build arbors to preach under. There is no doubt that the Baptists were pioneers here and were hunting a place where they could worship without molestation.” She went on to say, “Daniel Stover’s home was an assembling place for the Baptist ministers. He possessed a bible, and there were but few Bibles in those days, so the Baptist clans would gather to hear him read the Word.”[iv]
Daniel appeared on the Carter County tax list as early as 1796. The book Historical Reminiscences of Carter County notes that he was the seventh person named as settling in Siam Valley of Elizabethton in Carter County. On January 8, 1807 he was appointed administrator of his father-in-law’s estate.
In 1805 he was charged with making and laying off a road in his community. This was a common responsibility of land owners during that era. In June of 1820 the court appointed Daniel to “view, mark and lay off a road from A.N. Carter’s ironworks on Stoney Creek by Rubin Brook’s and Christian Carriger’s mill fence crossing the Watauga at Nave’s Ford. From there the road was to go by Henry Bowers and Daniel’s own fence, whichever was nearer and the best way to intersect the public road near William B. Carter’s on the Doe River.” He was also told to make a report at the next court.
Two years later Daniel was again ordered to “lay off a road from Alfred M. Carter’s forge to Scott & Johnston’s forge. That is to say, that part of the road running through the plantation of Abraham Nave – the divining line between Daniel’s and Nave’s land, to intersect with the old road.”
Daniel was involved in another road project in 1824 that involved figuring out the best route from Caleb Smith’s and across the mountain to Zachariah Campbell’s. The recommended route would “avoid the many bad fords across the Doe River and also save the expenditure of the money to be given to William Lindsey Esq. to make the road around the Dripping Rock Ford on said Doe River.” This record went on to propose “the drawing of a lottery to raise money to assist in opening the public road from Elizabethton to North Carolina.”
|Historic courthouse in Elizabethton|
Era of Property Acquisitions
Daniel and Phoebe purchased fifty acres, adjacent to land owned by Leonard Bowers, from Abraham Nave for $300. That was on August 10, 1807. The deed stipulated that the purchase included “all the woods, ways, water, water ways, profits, commodities and appurtenances and the rivers in and riverines and rents. “[v] In 2022, historian Robert Nave told me that Daniel Stover’s home was probably built about 1809. He thought it was possible that Abraham Nave built the original log home that was later boarded over. Originally it had a limestone chimney that was removed in the 1960s when Dale Hamilton owned the property.
In 1808 or 1809 Daniel purchased a two-year old Bay Mare from John Daniel for $16.25, and on March 23, 1810 he received a gift of four-year old Ruth – a slave from Isaac Lincoln.[vi]
After living as a renter for several years Daniel purchased the home he was living on and a 149-acre property for $1000 from Isaac Lincoln. The date of the deed was February 18, 1812. This home was still and in good condition when I visited Tennessee in 2012.
|A bad photo of a monument to|
Daniel's service during the war
of 1812 from Mr. Nave
Military and Civic Service
Daniel was a sergeant during the War of 1812 when he was 36. He served in Colonel Wear’s 1st Regiment East Tennessee Volunteers as a substitute for Thomas McQueen. It was not uncommon for men to pay for a substitute to serve in their place as Daniel did.
From his late twenties to early fifties Daniel served on several juries which was a very common practice at that time. The earliest such record I found was dated 1804. While today many of us complain when we receive a jury summons, at that time all land-owning men – not women – were expected to sit on juries routinely. This was true for many, if not all, of our male ancestors. I found records from ten different cases he was involved with during 1822. In one case a Robert Blevins charged Daniel with something not explained in the record. Daniel was found responsible and was fined $2.00. In a separate dispute with John Orland, Daniel was charged $10. A third case on the same day between Daniel and James I. Tipton favored Daniel but the fine was only $0.50.
Daniel was a member of the jury for a case against John Arnold on May 14, 1822. The defendant was found guilty and was “taken to the whipping post to receive three lashes on his bare back well laid on after half past six in the evening.”
The 1830 census is the first that listed Daniel by name but little additional information was provided other than tic marks indicating that there were 3 white males and 4 white females in his household that would have been his wife Phoebe and their children.
|Marriage record for Daniel and Antoinette Williams|
Daniel’s wife Phoebe died on August 8, 1839 at the age of 66. She is buried in the Nave-Hess Cemetery also known as the Stover Cemetery on Wilbur Dam Road in Elizabethton, Tennessee. Slightly less than a year later Daniel married Antoinette Williams on July 19, 1849. Antoinette was the daughter of Elisha Williams. She was born in Virginia on August 10, 1810 so was considerably younger than Daniel – 34 years younger. Then on February 11, 1857 she married Elijah D. Hardin whom she divorced sometime before her death.[vii]
Daniel and Antoinette had six children together. They were: Lorina born March 3, 1841, Rhoda July 27, 1842, Samuel January 17, 1844, Eliza Isabella December 5, 1845, Elizabeth April 3, 1847, and Margaret Ann December 21, 1848.[viii] All of these children appeared with Antoinette on the 1850 census for the 9th Civil District of Carter County.
|Antoinette Williams, Daniel's 2nd wife|
The 1840 census was similarly minimal. Daniel was listed with 2 other white males and 2 females. From the slave census taken that same year we know that he owned four slaves – one male and three females. His son William is listed separately on the same page.
In 1846 Daniel donated a one-acre lot in Carter County for a school. It was known as the Stover School and served the community for forty years. Daniel was the first school teacher, and he and Matthias Vinhos were trustees.[ix] The site of the school was adjacent to property owned by Daniel and David Bowers. Tice VanHusk, Christian E. Carriger and Daniel S. Bowers, built a log house that served as the school and as a church. When the public school system started, they tore down the log structure and built a frame structure which lasted long enough for Robert Nave to attend school there. According to Robert, “In 1872 a church was built next to the school. That was torn down and replaced by the existing stone church in 1934 or 35. To do so they had to go to court because the land had originally been donated for a school. The court ruled to allow the church to be built, on the basis that there were too many Stover descendants to get permission from all of them.”[x] In 2021 the site was the location of the Siam Baptist Church.
|Siam Baptist Church, 2012|
Daniel’s Death and Will
Daniel died on May 24, 1849 in Elizabethton at the age of 73. He is buried with his first wife Phoebe in the Nave-Hess Cemetery. Robert Nave purchased and had a new headstone installed at Daniel’s home in Siam. Robert explained that he’d done so in order to prevent the cemetery from being developed and lost. He also told me that after Daniel’s death his son Samuel, from his second marriage, had a moonshine still on Daniel’s property after the Civil War. He said that, “most people in the area were proud Baptists and found this upsetting because Daniel had been such a pillar of the church. So, the neighbors harassed Samuel and got him to move away.” Next the house was owned by John Grindstaff who sold it to the Harden family, and they sold it to Porter Nave. Porter plowed up the Stover cemetery in about 1915. Nave said, “there used to be a large cemetery with several graves.” Now only the headstone for Daniel Stover that Robert installed remains.[xi] Mr. Nave said, “the original headstone for Daniel was installed by the Daughters of 1812 and he believed that the arrangements were made by Mary Stover, daughter of Solomon Hendrix Stover.” This would have been in about 1940.
In his will dated May 9, 1849 Daniel left everything to his wife Antoinette and the children they had together.[xii] The will made no mention of this children from his marriage to Phoebe. Each of his daughters were to receive the equivalent of the “value of one horse, one cow, one breeding sow, one ewe, one bed and bed clothes, and some cupboard furniture such as plates, dishes etc. as they arrive at age or marry.” He left his slaves to his wife “in trust” so she could use the proceeds from their work to support their children. When his son Samuel reached the age of 21, he would inherit the slaves. Daniel made this stipulation so that, if Antoinette remarried, her new husband would not get the slaves.
His son Samuel inherited all the land. That was about 150 acres on the Watauga River and included the family home, but the home and land was left in trust to Antoinette until Samuel reached 21 at which time Antoinette was to “surrender to him (Samuel) the possession of the lands aforesaid and then my said son Samuel is hereby required to support his mother comfortably during her life.”
Daniel’s slave Nathen was left to Samuel while Ruth was left to Antoinette and upon Antoinette’s death Ruth was to be allowed to “live with any one of my children that she prefers and should it so happen that she becomes a charge, then I require my son Samuel to support her during her life.” Daniel’s remaining slaves and their children were to be divided among his daughters.
Daniel appointed Elijah D. Hardin as the executor of his will and he requested that the court not require a security from Hardin. Makes you wonder if Daniel intended for Antoinette to marry Hardin.
|This is the headstone that Robert Nave purchased|
and had installed by the DAR for Daniel Stover.
It is located adjacent to his home.
[i] A paper listing the descendants of Daniel Stover.
[ii] 1790 Dauphin, PA, NARA Series M637, roll 8 p. 203; image 392 on film 0568148.
[iii] Family Group Sheet prepared by Robert Nave, Carter, TN.
[iv] William Montgomery Clemens Editor, Genealogical, Historical and Biographical, The Lincoln Family Magazine, New York, 1916-17, p. 20
[v] Deed Book for Carter Co., Images 370-80, pgs. 110-111,
[vi] Vickey L. “Morrow” Hutchings, Tennessee Deed Books A-B July 1796 – Oct. 1815 Vol. 1, , Carter Co TN Deeds, Image 447 p. 243-44. 23 March 1810.
[vii] Family Group Sheet prepared by Robert Nave, Carter, TN.
[ix] Mildred Kozsuch, Historical Reminiscences of Carter County, TN Johnson City, Overmountain Press.
[x] Told to the author by Robert Nave in 2012.
[xi] A post by Janice Holzer wrote, “Near by the house were servant quarters and at one time there were markers on the property to mark the graves of slaves.” Her source was an article by Rozella Hardin in the Elizabethton Star, 23 July 1995.
[xii] Will Book 1, p.411-414, Carter, TN.