Chapter Twenty Seven
April 27, 1939
We now cross Puzzle Creek and strike the Piney Mountain section. Mr. John Davis lived right on top of the Piney Mountains where this old road crossed the mountain. I never knew much about Mr. Davis as he died when I was in my teens, but he had a son that I knew very well. His name was William James Davis and he was known as “Billy Geems” Davis, and was very often called “W. J.” He was a clock salesman. He sold the Seth Thomas clocks, which ran with weights and had to be wound up daily.
I recall that sometime about 1880 my father had been to Shelby and sold a bale of cotton. He came back by Mr. Davis’ home and bought one of these clocks. It was snowing and I remember he wrapped the clock in a sheet which he had in the wagon. My youngest brother is still using that clock and it sets on the same old mantle piece.
Mr. Davis served as deputy marshall during the administration of Garfield and Arthur. He married Miss Mallie Carson, the daughter of William (Big Bill) Carson. After his marriage he moved to Hendersonville, N. C. and went into the banking business and became one of the leading bankers of western North Carolina. He was usually able to be up and going, but he lived an invalid’s life. Very often he never went to the table to eat. He lived to be about seventy-five years of age. He always took an active part in politics.
Uncle Wesley Spurlin lived on this old road, about two miles northwest of Ellenboro. He was a blind man. I do not know what was the cause of his blindness, whether he was always blind or whether it was caused by some disease or accident. He was always spoken of as “Blind Spurlin.” I have seen him go to the barn and put the bridle on his horse and take him to the well and draw water for him, then take him back and put him in the stable. It was amazing the places he could go and the things he could do, notwithstanding being blind.