The Eldest son of Timothy and Elizabeth Reagan, Richard was born in Maryland or Virginia. He moved with his parents to Virginia, North Carolina, and then to Sevier County, Tennessee. Here he married circa 1796, Julia Ann Shults. Richard Reagan was one of the early settlers in the Emert’s Cove, moving either with or very soon after Frederick Emert settled there circa 1800. They moved from there to White Oak Flats (now Gatlinburg) circa 1806.
It has been often stated that Richard’s son, Daniel Wesley Reagan, was the first white child born in White Oak Flats but this seems to be an error. A granddaughter said that Daniel Wesley was about four years old when the family moved to the Mill Creek site in White Oak Flats. The land records indicate this to be correct. Daniel Wesley was born in 1802 in Emert’s Cove area and this makes the date of the family settling in White Oaks about 1806.
Most of Richard’s adult life was spent in Sevier County, Tennessee and since the early records of the county have been lost only a few official records for him have been found. There are four land grant records in the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee. The first of these four land grants, dated 1808 reads: ‘…being in the county of Sevier and District South of French Broad and Holston on the East fork of Little Pigeon…. corner to Frederick Emmett….running with meanders of said river…. Then with the land of John Roberts on said river bank.’ Richard paid 12 1/2 cents per acre for this land and although by the date of this grant it is known he had moved to the Mill Creek site in White Oaks, he retained this land and made the final payment in 1819.
The second grant in 1813 is for ten acres, part of an entry that had been assigned to Robert Wear. This was ‘in the county of Sevier in the White Oak Flats.’ This land ran up the river, crossed the same, and joined other lands of Richard Reagan, which indicates earlier land entries that have been lost.
The third land grant in 1813 was for fifty acres ‘…in the county aforesaid in the White Oak Flats on Stoney Creek…’ From courses and directions in this grant, Stoney Creek must have been the name used for Mill Creek in the earlier days. It is now called LeConte Creek. The first is a very appropriate name.
The fourth land grant in 1828 reads: ‘…containing twenty-five acres, lying in the County aforesaid, on Mill Creek in the White Oak Flats.’ This land joined the land of Isaac Ogle, and Daniel W. Reagan as well as Richard’s own lands.
In 1837 Daniel Wesley Reagan, Richard’s son, had a grant surveyed for the purpose of joining the lands surveyed in Richard Reagan’s name. It is apparent from this record that several of Richard’s early records are missing. This grant for 100 acres included a narrow strip of land on both sides of the river from Mill Creek to Baskins Creek. (The grant is in a very legible handwriting and it is spelled BASKINS) At a line running along the upper side of the cemetery from Baskins Creek to ‘the lane’ (Reagan Drive now) his land joined Thomas J. Ogle. From the lane to a point near Mill Creek, he joined lands of William and Isaac Ogle. Their land included what was once called the Airport Field.
Here on this farm in the heart of Gatlinburg, Richard’s grandson, John H. Reagan, of Texas fame, was born in 1818. In the letter to his children written in 1865 while he was imprisoned after the Civil War, he said that his grandfather, Richard Reagan was of ‘….medium stature and good appearance, a very religious man, and member of the Methodist Episcopal church from his youth until his death….’ He also said that Richard ‘owned the neighborhood mill and blacksmith shop; was justice of the peace for his precinct….’ Richard was the class leader of the Methodist Society which met in his home before there was a meeting house built. He also kept the post office for the community. His grandson might have been writing his epithet when he said of Richard, ‘He was an upright good man….a contented and happy man, whose faith was in God and whose hope was in Heaven..’
Family records say that Richard died of a fractured skull in 1829. A family story handed down through the generations tells that ‘Richard Reagan died when as he was taking his horses from pasture to the barn, a limb flew off a beech tree and struck him in the head.’ Another family story tells the same thing at the same time – ‘A few days before the accident, a bird flew into the porch where he was sitting, smoking his pipe, and lit on his head. He sprang from his chair, declaring it was his ‘death sign’ and was greatly disturbed. Whether or not it was a warning, he thought it was. The accident happened and he died a few days after that.’ He is buried in White Oak Flats Cemetery which at that time was a family graveyard on his farm.
Most sources say that Richard and Julia Ann Reagan had three sons and four daughters – it is possible there were others. One is thought to have been a son, Aaron Reagan, and a daughter named Barbara who died as a young girl. The other two daughters are unknown.
Source: ‘Smoky Mountain Clans’, Donald B. Reagan, 1978, p 2a, 5-6. ‘Smoky Mountain Clans, Volume 2’, Donald B. Reagan, 1983, p 6, 51. ‘The Book of Ragan/Reagan’, Donald B. Reagan, 1993, p 31-44. ‘In the Shadow of the Smokies’, Smoky Mountain Historical Society, 1993, p 578.
Richard married Julia Ann Schultz in 1796 in Sevier County, Tennessee and they had nine children together.
Timothy Richard Reagan 1797-1847
Mary Ann Reagan 1798-1878
Daniel Wesley Reagan *****Our Ancestor.
Jane Reagan 1804-1870
Aaron Reagan 1806-1830
Barbara Reagan 1808-1818
Nancy Reagan McCarter 1810-1854
David L. Reagan 1812-1864
Julia Ann Shultz 1775-1845 Wife of Richard Reagan.
Posted 03 Dec 2016 by EvelynMiller1939
Julia Ann Shultz came with her mother, Juliana Shultz, and her brothers and sisters to Sevier County, Tennessee circa 1794/1795 from Sullivan County, Tennessee.
It is said that Julia Ann used a German Bible and hymn book and spoke German as easily as she did English.
Julia Ann was living with her son, Daniel Wesley, at the time of her death. It was thought that she had recovered from a spring cold but when she didn’t arise as usual on the morning of April 23, 1845, the family found that she had passed away in her sleep.