According to Donald B. Reagan’s Reagan-Ogle geneaology book, Daniel accumulated extensive land holdings in Gatlinburg between 1824 and 1872 including 600 acres up both sides of the Little Pigeon River to Two Mile Branch, another contiguous +640 acres, followed by 1000, 600, and 4000 acres on Roaring Fork. Most of this land was divided among his children. He did donate some land that provided the oldest part of the White Oaks Cemetery near the center of Gatlinburg. He also furnished the meeting house for the village which was used for the school, church, and for voting. It was located at the lower end of the “lane” now Reagan Lane. During his lifetime, he moved his family from farm to farm. He was a blacksmith and built the first wagon in the community, and later carried the mail between Gatlinburg and Cashiers Valley, NC. Noah Ogle (1833-1897) bought or was given 100 acres of land in the middle of what is now Gatlinburg, from his father-in-law Daniel Westly Reagan in 1866. Noah had married Sophia Reagan in 1854. He had been discharged from his military service one year before he bought the land. At the time, he and Sophia had 5 children.(Served in Union army, as a pvt in Co E, 2nd TN Cav Volunteers from 1862 till July 1865) The farm lay between Baskins Creek and Reagan Lane on both sides of the river, now the center of Gatlinburg. In the 1870 census, he is lilsted as a grocery merchant. The store he started was still operating 100 years later, and as of 2008, the land is still owned by his descendants, being some of the most valuable land in the county. The store was apparently passed into the hands of their son, Ephraim E. Ogle (1856-1936), And then to Charles A Ogle who married Hattie Mae Maples, in November 1917. (GF West Reagan told me he and Hattie were a “little sweet” on each other but he was not ready to marry and so she found and mararied Charlie Ogle.) The store was owned by Charles Earl Ogle in the mid 20th century and the property was remodeled sometime between 1965 and 1985.
Parents Daniel Wesley Reagan was a forceful man who was well liked and revered by his neighbors. He was the son of Richard Reagan (1769-1829), also a strong man who was public spirited and well respected. Richard, like many pioneer White Oak Flats men, was a jack-of-all-trades: miller, blacksmith, post master, justice of the peace, and religious leader. He and his family had first lived in Emert’s Cove, (Pittman Center), and Daniel Wesley was born there. His mother was Julia Ann Shultz (1775-1846), daughter of Dr. Martin Shultz. Of German descent, Julia Ann spoke English and German and preferred a German Bible.
When Daniel was about two to four years old, the family moved to White Oak Flats (Gatlinburg). They arrived not long after Martha Jane Ogle and her family. Legend has it that Daniel Wesley was the first white child born in White Oak Flats, but that story is incorrect.
Marriages On 30 Jan 1830, Daniel Wesley married Nancy Ogle (24 Aug 1810-18 Feb 1844), daughter of Thomas J. and Sophia Bosley Ogle. When they married, Daniel was twenty-eight years old and Nancy was twenty. The couple had nine children: Richard Reason (Uncle Dick), Robert (who died as an infant), Ephraim (Uncle Ephraim), Martha (Aunt Polly), Elizabeth Margaret, Julia Ann, Sophia, Daniel Wesley Stephen (Uncle Wes), and Marriah. Nancy died 18 Feb 1844, leaving Daniel Wesley with six children under ten and the two older boys at ages eleven and fourteen. That same year Daniel married Sarah “Sally” Whaley, daughter of Rebecca Ogle McCarter Whaley and Middleton Whaley. Sally was brave to take on the responsibility of nine children. At that time she was twenty-five years old and Daniel was forty-two. Though he was almost twenty years older than she, Daniel was considered quite a catch since he was a landowner and well respected in the community. Daniel Wesley and Sally had five children of their own: Mary (Polly), Sarah (Aunt Sally), William Brownlow, Rebecca (who died as an infant), and Charles Clemson. Pre-Civil War Era Before the Civil War, the “right” side to be on in Sevier County and in much of the mountain area was “no” side. Most of the people were neutral. In Sevier County those who did choose sides were overwhelmingly Union. Daniel Wesley was in that last group. Tradition has it that when the vote came for succession, there was only one vote in favor in the whole county. People quickly narrowed that one vote down to Radford Gatlin, the outspoken eccentric Gatlinburg storekeeper who had once been postmaster of the town and had given the town its name by virtue of his office. Gatlin was run out of town after the vote, but strangely the town kept the name he had given it. Civil War When the Civil War finally came, Reagan was too old to enlist, but he encouraged three of his sons to enlist, and he, himself, trained soldiers in the Flats and in Bird’s Creek. He called his exercises with the soldiers “mustering.” He was also appointed official food distributor for the county during the war. Since he was a known Union sympathizer, he expected to be captured by Confederate forces, so he hid the food supplies in safe places around the county and took his youngest son, seven-year-old Charles, to where each batch was hidden. If he were to be captured, Daniel Wesley placed the responsibility for distributing the food to the needy on the shoulders of the young boy. (Note: One source mentioned that Reagans were known as short, dark men. The army descriptions of Richard, Ephraim, and West listed them as 5’9″, 5’7″, and 5’9″ respectively. All were described as having “dark hair.” The same source said Reagans were good musicians and could sing and play fiddles and guitars well. I was unable to verify this musical talent.) Accomplishments Like his father Richard, Daniel was quite skillful at many tasks. He was a farmer and blacksmith and built the first wagon made in White Oak Flats. He reportedly made the wheels out of ”one piece of split white oak.” He donated the land for the first community cemetery and provided a five-sided building for use as a church, school, and voting place. For a time he was postmaster for the settlement as were two of his sons. Anecdote Once one of Daniel’s daughters was whipped by schoolteacher William Trentham for spitting in a classmate’s schoolbook. Daniel was so furious he locked the schoolhouse and took the key and said that no more schools of that kind would be allowed where he lived. Since Daniel had donated the land for the school in the 1830’s, he felt he had the right to close it down. Several days later he relented and reopened the school. Family Tragedies Like all families, Daniel Wesley’s had its share of sadness. Son Robert died when he was only five months old. Richard, Ephraim, and Wes were all soldiers during the war. Wes spent two weeks at a hospital in Washington, DC to recover before returning to active duty. Daniel’s brother David enlisted in the Union army as “Jim Reagan” to take the place of his son, Jim, whom people said “lacked the nerve to go.” Unfortunately, David was killed in the war. Daniel’s son Brownlow was killed in a freak accident in the mountains. As he was hopping rocks in the river, his pistol fell out of his pocket, hit a rock and went off. The bullet struck Brownlow, killing him. Rebecca Reagan died at only nine months of age. Land Acquisition Even before he was married, Daniel was interested in acquiring land and at one time owned over six thousand acres. He would later distribute this land to his children. This desire for land may be another trait he picked up from his father. Not only did Daniel Wesley own lots of land and farms, it became his practice to move to the new farms or homes when he bought them. After his death his second wife, Sally, said she wanted to stay in one spot for the rest of her life because she was so tired of moving. She got her wish. She moved into the home of her stepdaughter, Marriah Reagan McCarter and her son-in-law Thomas Hill McCarter (Papaw’s parents). She lived with them on their farm for eight years until she died 05 Dec 1901. Marriah had been only two years old when her own mother died, and Sarah was really the only mother she had ever known. A Long Life, Well Lived
Daniel Wesley Reagan lived a long, prosperous life. He was well loved by his family and the community. When he died on 25 Jan 1892, he was ninety years old.
Daniel was born Aug 15, 1803 in Sevier County, Tennessee
Daniel moved with his parents to White Oak Flats (Gatlinburg) when he was about four years old. He lived all of his life here or on various other tracts of land in the area.
Listed as Ragan in 1850 Sevier County, Tennessee census as farmer with $1000 property unable to read or write.
An industrious man, Daniel began acquiring land before he married. In theTennessee State Library and Archives there are records of eight entries in his name, dating from 1824 to 1872. The state archivist says this was all purchased land. He is listed in the 1837 tax lists of Sevier County, Tennessee.
An 1859 grant, previously surveyed land, was resurveyed and entered probably because of Gatlin’s extensive claim in the area and the Courthouse fire. This 1859 grant was for 600 acres up both sides of the river from Baskins Creek to the Two Mile Branch. In May 1866, he added another 640 acres to this holding. There are also grants for 1,000, 600, and 4,000 acres on Roaring Fork granted in 1839, 1868 and 1872. Most of this land was divided among his children – no will has been found. Daniel moved around and lived on several of his farms – his wife said after his death that she wanted to spend the rest of her years in one spot, she was so tired of moving. She spent her remaining years with her stepdaughter and her husband, Mariah and Thomas H. McCarter.
Daniel was a blacksmith as well as a farmer. Tradition says he built the first wagon in the settlement, making the wheels of one piece of split white oak. His son, Charles C. Reagan, built the first wagon that crossed the Smokies. Although no record has been found to verify it, Daniel probably served as a Justice of Peace. He did keep the community post office. When the settlement officially became Gatlinburg and the post office was established, Daniel and Joel Conner received the contract to carry the mail from Sevierville to Casher’s Valley, South Carolina. Daniel’s sons, Richard R. and Ephraim Reagan, served as postmaster in the village.
Definitely a Union man but too old to go to service during the Civil War, Daniel served as “muster” officer and drilled the men of the village out in the “Flats”. He also served the community as food distributor. Because of his activities and his three oldest sons being in the Union army, he often had to hide out in the mountains to escape the Confederates. The youngest son, Charles C., often told of his father taking him to the woods and showing him the meat and food supplies he had hidden. Daniel didn’t think the Rebels would bother the women and children and if he did have to hide out, then Charles must see that food was brought in for the people as it was needed—a big responsibility for a seven year old boy.
A civic minded man, Daniel furnished the meeting house for the village–the five sided building used for the school, church and “voting place”. According to one of the land grants, this was located at the “mouth of the lane”, now Reagan Lane, near the old River Road. Although he furnished the meeting place for the Baptist Church for many years, Daniel was not found on the membership roll of the church and did not give the land for the present building site, as has been stated by many sources.
Daniel Wesley Reagan did give the land for the oldest part of the White Oak Flats Cemetery (Gatlinburg Cemetery) to the community. This was originally a family plot on the farm of his father, Richard Reagan. The first burial there was a child of Daniel Milsaps, the first school teacher in Gatlinburg.
Daniel and his last wife Sarah are buried in the White Oak Flats Cemetery.
“Smoky Mountain Clans”, Donald B. Reagan, 1978, p 6a, 15-16.
“Smoky Mountain Clans, Volume 2”, Donald B. Reagan, 1983, p 51.
“Smoky Mountain Clans, Volume 3”, Donald B. Reagan, 1983, p 45.
“The Book of Ragan/Reagan”, Donald B. Reagan, 1993, p 37.
“In the Shadow of the Smokies”, Smoky Mountain Historical Society, 1993, p 577.
Daniel married Nancy ogle on January 30, 1830 in White Oak Flats, Sevier, Tennessee they had ten children together.
Richard Reason Reagan 1830-1912 ******Our Ancester
Robert N. Reagan 1832-1832
Ephraim John Reagan Sr. 1833-1944
Martha Reagan 1836-1864
Elizabeth Margaret Reagan 1837-1912
Sophia Reagan 1838-1887
Julia Ann Reagan 1838-1890
Daniel Wesley Stephen Reagan 1840-1914
Mariah Reagan 1842-1923
Mary Polly Reagan 1848-1901
Nancy Ogle Reagan died February 18,1844 in Sevier County, Tennessee.
Daniel Married Sarah Whaley in 1844 in Sevier County, Tennessee they had one child together.
Charles C. Reagan 1857-1930
–Rev. Absalom Abbott and Ennis Stillwell came from North Carolina to Tuckaleechee (Townsend, Tennessee at Present), Blount County, Tennessee about the year 1824 Their first child John was born in Tennessee according to the 1850 census of Sevier County, Tennessee. Annis was eighteen years old and Absalom was twenty-one when John was born. Absalom’s ancestors were Irish and Protestant, his father was the first generation of the family to live in America. Absalom had a sister who married a Galloway.
During his life Absalom returned many times to North Carolina to preach the gospel. His denomination was the Primitive Baptist.
Absalom and Annis lived most of their lives in Tuskaleechee, where he established a Primitive Baptist Church in Tuskaleechee Cove. The church was located at the site of the Brickey Cemetery. Absalom preached here as long as he lived. He also pastored the Stock Creek Baptist Church, Knox County, Tennessee for two years.
Perry Abbott, who lives in Tuckaleechee Cove, is a great-grandson of Absalom and remembers him. He said that Absalom was not only dedicated minister but a farmer, a mill-wright and a shrewd businessman. Absalom lived during the pioneer period of our state when it was necessary for one to be self-sustaining . He met this condition successfully.
His sons, John and Franklin were in the civil war, both serving Co. B 6th. Tenn. Inf. of the Federal army. Noah may have been in the civil war but as yet, his records have not been located.
In about 1867 Annis was bitten by a copperhead snake and died.
Absalom married Elizabeth Brickey, who was in her 50s. The Abbott grandchildren called her “Granny Betts”.
Absalom and Elizabeth owned a farm in Millers Cove, where they lived until he grew to old to keep their home going. His son John built a home for them in the yard of his home in Tuckaleechee Cove and took care of them. Absalom died when about eighty-two years old and is buried by his first wife Annis in the Brickey Cemetery.
Elizabeth continued to live in the house that John had built as long as he lived. Sometime after his death she went to Alvin Walker’s home to live. She died in 1896 and is buried in Miller’s Cove Cemetery, Blount County, Tennessee
Marriage of Absalom Abbott and Ennis Stillwell.
They had ten children.
John Andrew Abbott 1825-1887 **Our Ancestor
Counselor Abbott 1827
Naomi Lucinda Abbott 1829-1891
Mary Ann Abbott 1832-1913
Benjamin Franklin Abbott 1833-1926
Noah Jackson Abbott 1836-1921
Young Male Abbott 1938-1840
Infant Male Abbott 1838-1838
Julia Ann Abbott 1844
Pleasant Abbott 1852-1918
Richard Reason Reagan was born on November 12, 1830, in Sevier, Tennessee, to Nancy Ogle, age 20, and Daniel Wesley Reagan, age 27.
12 Nov 1830 • Sevier, Tennessee, United States
When Sarah Bohannon-Reagan was born in 1830 in Sevier, Tennessee, her father, Henry, was 27, and her mother, Catherine, was 23. She married Richard Reason Reagan on October 20, 1853. They had two children during their marriage. She died as a young mother in 1854 in her hometown, and was buried in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Nancy Elizabeth Reagan b. July 24, 1889; died September 19,1931***Our ancestor.
Mary Ann Reagan b. March,22 1931 Sevier County TN; died October 6, 1931 buried in Sevier County, Tennessee.
He married Martha Hurst July 12, 1856 In Sevier County Tennessee and they had eight children together. Martha died in 1878.
Tilman L. Reagan 1857-1913
Fletcher Luther Reagan 1859-1934
Daniel Wesley Reagan 1860-1861
Martha Ellen Reagan 1862-1888
Richard R Reagan 1866-1867
Louis A “Lewis” Reagan 1868-1900
Rhonda Malinda Reagan 1870-1943
Charetz Hammer “Kay” Reagan 1873-1957
He married Sarah Caroline Bradley June, 9,1878 in Sevier County Tennessee they had two children together.
Lillie Lila Reagan 1880-1964
Anna Jane Reagan 1881-1952
The first European settlers arrived in the area around 1800, settling in the vicinity of what would eventually become Gatlinburg. Richard Reagan and William “Black Bill” Ogle –children of these early settlers–farmed land along Mill Creek (now LeConte Creek) in the eastern half of the Sugarlands. Richard Reason Reagan, sometime after the Civil War moved his home to the Sugarlands. He enlisted September 16,1862 in Company E, 2nd Regiment, Tennessee Cavalry. A commissary sergeant. He was discharged July 5, 1865 at Nashville, Tennessee.
Richard Reason served the district for many years as a Justice of the Peace and as a tax collector. He was the county sheriff from 1870 to 1874. When the Gatlinburg Post Office in 1856 by the U.S. Postal Department he served from December 12, 1871 to July 10, 1883 as postmaster.
Richard R. Reagan died April 17,1912 in Sevier County Tennessee and is buried in the Ownby Cemetery.