The Life of Sophia Bosley
Sophia Bosley (1789 July 1857), wife of Thomas J. Ogle (1784-1862 would probably fit in just as well in the twenty-first century as she did in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth. an examination of her life shows that she must have been a determined, strong, adaptable woman who could survive- and prevail-almost anywhere. Early Life Born in MD in 1789, Sophia somehow ended up in SC. No information on her family has been found so far. There were Bosley families in the Edgefield-Abbeville-District 96 region of SC. around the turn of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and probably Sophia belonged to one of those groups who had migrated from Maryland. Apparently there are five major branches of Bosley’s and perhaps one day we will be able to place Sophia on her proper twig. In 1803 Sophia was fourteen years old, and Thomas J. Ogle was nineteen. Something about her attracted Thomas’ eye-perhaps her distinctive red hair. Whatever the reason-beauty, personality, or red hair-there was an attraction between the couple. Eighteen hundred three had been an eventful year for Thomas. His grandfather died; his father died; he made a long a long trip with his family to Virginia to visit his grieving relatives, an now, in 1804, his mother wanted to take the family west to the wilderness of the East Tennessee mountains. That would mean leaving Sophia. We would probably would not be too far from reality in guessing that his marriage proposal was one of the “O, come with me and be my love,” varieties. No matter how much she loved him, Sophia needed to have been brave too. The trip would be long. She would be far from her family. There was danger from animals and unfriendly Indians. Maybe Thomas pled his case for a long time or maybe Sophia right away. Whichever happened, the two were married, and off they trekked with the rest of the Ogle, Huskey, and McCarter clans to Tennessee. Life in Tennessee The group named the new area White Oak Flats after the flat lands along the river and the White Oaks that grew there. It remained White Oak Flats until the Civil War era when it became Gatlinburg. Sophia and Thomas had fourteen children, all born in Sevier County. They were Easter (years later Easter’s husband would be the first person buried in White Oak Flats), Martha, William T. Nancy (from whom we descended), Harkness T, Thomas T, Mary, Isaac T, Marriah, Eliza, Preston, Levi, Caleb, Sophia, and Elvira. The fourteen children alone are enough to attest to Sophia’s strength and stamina. Sophia’s Religious Life Sophia was a farmer’s wife, but her husband fared well and acquired from his father, from purchases, from a grant for his service in the War of 1812 and Indian wars, and even by seizing and occupying unclaimed land. When Thomas donated the first land for the White Oak Flat church, Sophia may have been in the background. She was a very religious woman and meet weekly with other women of the settlement to pray that God would send them a minister of their own and a church of their own. Sophia’s mother-in-law, Martha Jane Huskey Ogle (1760/64-1825/26), led a group of people who portioned The Forks of the River Baptist Church in Sevierville to establish a branch of that church in Gatlinburg. That fledgling church was formed 1817, but no church building was built until 1855. Sophia and Thomas were charter members of the original White Oak Flats church group, but Sophia still campaigned for a “real” church of their own. One of the stories about Sophia’s steadfast drive for a minister and church say’s that she led prayer meetings each week in a laurel grove. According to the book Sketches of Tennessee’s pioneer Baptist Preachers, Sophia, her family, and her steadfast friends WALKED FOURTEEN MILES EACH SATURDAY AND SUNDAY from White Oak Flats to Sevierville where the Forks of the River Baptist church was located, carrying their shoes to keep them from getting muddy, and walked the fourteen miles back home again. Sophia’s prayers were finally answered. Her third son, William T, became a minister. He was ordained at Bethel Church in Sevier County in 1836. It had taken Sophia about 30 years of praying to get ” their own minister.” A few years later, Caleb, another of Sophia’s sons became a minister, too. She was also the great aunt of Richard Evans, a highly respected pioneer minister, She may have influenced a number of other young relatives to enter the ministry, for a quick count of our assorted Ogle cousins reveals at least nineteen Ogle ministers during the nineteenth century.
End of Life Sophia died 13 July 1857 at sixty-eight years of age. She and her husband had been married over fifty years. Thomas outlived his wife by five years, dying at age 78 in 1862. They were buried in White Oak Flats Cemetery in Gatlinburg. Sophia was a strong, determined woman. She was an early “western pioneer” ; she endured hardships; she raised fourteen children; she shared a long marriage with her husband, and she made a pronounced effect on religion in the community. She made a difference.
Sophia Bosley (1784 – 1857)
Nancy Ogle (1810 – 1844)
daughter of Sophia Bosley
Richard Reason Reagan (1830 – 1912)
son of Nancy Ogle
Nancy Elizabeth Reagan (1849 – 1931)
daughter of Richard Reason Reagan
Martha Elizabeth Abbott/Whitaker/Goode (1872 – 1911)
daughter of Nancy Elizabeth Reagan
Ben Cates Goode (1909 – 1980)
son of Martha Elizabeth Abbott/Whitaker/Goode
Evelyn Deloris Goode
You are the daughter of Ben Cates Goode