Great Road Pottery

Check list of potters along the Great Road in Virginia and Tennessee, 1776-1880

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Earthenware Potters Along the Great Road in Virginia and Tennessee

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This list comprises potters of both earthenware and stoneware in Bland, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Washington, and Wythe counties in Virginia, and Sullivan County, Tennessee. The earliest date that each individual worked as a potter has been recorded. Also listed are the districts of the counties in which each potter lived, as well as proven relationships with other potters through birth or marriage. There are certainly potters who were not documented or recorded and obvious relationships not yet proven. In compiling the list the following sources were used: For Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Washington, and Wythe counties in Virginia: United states Census, 1800-1880; deed books; registers of marriages, births, and deaths; wills and inventories through 1851. Virginia State Library, Richmond

For Lee, Russell, Scott, Washington, and Wythe counties; United States personal-property tax records for 1815. Private collection

Bland County, Virginia, wills and inventories through 1870. Virginia State Library

For Sullivan County, Tennessee: United States Census, 1820-1880. Tennessee State Library, Nashville

United States Manufacturers' Census, 1820 and 1850-1880. Virginia State Library

Research files of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

 

Tennessee

Sullivan County

CAIN, ABRAHAM B. (b. Sullivan Co., 1825). Brother of ELI CAIN of Wythe Co., Virginia, and uncle of MARTIN A. CAIN. Living and w. near Immanuel Lutheran Churth, 1850 and 1880

CAIN, MARTIN A. (b. Sullivan Co., 1850). Nephew of ELI CAIN of wythe Co., Virginia, and ABRAHAM B. CAIN. Living and w. near Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1870

HANCHER, JESSEE. See HENSHAW or HANCHER, JESSEE.

HANCHER, WILLIAM. See HENSHAW or HANCHER, WILLIAM.

HENSHAW or HANCHER, JESSEE (b. North Carolina, 1802). Father of WILLIAM HANCHER. W. 1850-1860. Living next door to ABRAHAM B. CAIN, 1860. The Henshaw and CAIN families were related by marriage (Samuel D. Smith and Stephen T. Rogers, A Survey of Historic Pottery Making in Tennessee [Nashville, 1979], p. 56).

HENSHAW or HANCHER, WILLIAM (b. Tennessee, 1830). Son of JESSEE HENSHAW. Living and w. with his father, 1850; w. in Greene Co., 1860

WOLFORD, E. D. Owned a pottery near Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1881. The Wolford and CAIN families were related by marriage (Smith and Rogers, Historic Pottery Making, p. 57).

 

Virginia

Bland County

CAMPBELL, HOSEN (b. North Carolina, 1855). W. 1880. Living in Rocky Gap district, 1880

Lee County

BURGAN, WILLIAM (b. Virginia, 1797). Pipe maker, w. 1850

SIMS, E. K. W. Jonesville, 1870

WOLFE, WILLIAM (b. North Carolina, 1826). Son of PETER WOLFE of Washington Co. Living in Washington Co., 1839-1847; w. Lee Co. (the section that later became Wise Co.), 1850; w. Richmond district, Wise Co., 1880

Russell County

DOUGHERTY, EZEKIEL, T. (b. Baltimore, Maryland, 1791). Living in Claiborne Co., Tennessee, 1831; Grainger Co., Tennessee, 1844; w. Russell Co., 1850

Scott County

RUSSELL, WILLIAM (b. Virginia, 1813). W. 1850

Smyth County

CAMPBELL, WILLIAM (b. Tennessee, 1810). W. Rich Valley Township, 1880

HICKS, JOHN (b. 1826). Father of JOHN HICKS JR. W. Rich Valley Township, 1870

HICKS, JOHN JR. (b. 1852). Son of JOHN HICKS. Living at home and w. with his father, 1870

MYERS, THOMAS J. (b. Virginia, 1807). W. 1850 and 1870

Washington County

BARLOW, J. M. (b. Virginia, 1856). W. Abingdon district, 1880. Later he had stoneware shops in Alum Wells and Ocala. Marks: J. M. BARLOW, ALUM WELLS and J. M. BARLOW OCALA, VA.

DAVIS, JAMES H. (b. Pennsylvania, 1844). W. Abingdon Township, 1870, probably for CHARLES F. DECKER. Living a few doors away from Decker, Washington Co., Tennessee, 1880

DECKER, CHARLES F. (b. Baden, Germany, 1832). Father of CHARLES F. DECKER JR. W. Abingdon Township, 1870. Had lived and worked in Pennsylvania and Delaware. W. Washington Co., Tennessee, 1880. See MALLICOLE,________, AND DECKER, CHARLES F.

DECKER, CHARLES F. JR. (b. Pennsylvania, 1856). Son of CHARLES F. DECKER. Living at home and w. at the family pottery, Abingdon Tonwship, 1870.

GARDNER, J. W. (b. Virginia). W. Craigs Mill, 1870. Mark: J.W. GARDNER, CRAIGSMILL, VA. (Klell Bayne Napps, "Traditional Pottery in Washington County, Virginia and Sullivan County, Tennessee," Historical Society of Washington County, Virginia, publications, ser. 11, no. 10, p.10)

GLENN, JAMES (d. 1793). Turning lathe and kiln listed in estate inventory

HAMILTON, _______. See HAMILTON, _______, AND STUART, _______.

HAMILTON, _______, AND STUART, _______. W. in Abingdoon, 1870. One worker produced 3,600 gallons of stoneware.

HARRIS, ALEXANDER M. (b. Virginia, 1825). Father of SAMUEL HARRIS, brother-in-law of SIMON VESTAL. W. 1870 and 1880, probably in the WOOTEN POTTERY SHOP, Kinderhood district (near Zenobia)

HARRIS, SAMUEL (b. Virginia, 1861). Son of ALEXANDER M. HARRIS, nephew of SIMON VESTAL. W. WOOTEN POTTERY SHOP, 1880

KEYS, ROBERT. Living in Glade Spring section, 1860 and 1870. In 1860 he had two male helpers and produced 15,000 gallons of stoneware; in 1870 he had three male helpers and produced 3,600 gallons of stoneware.

LEWIS, NATHAN. Paid tax oon 24-by-20-foot frame dwelling and kiln, 1815

McGEE, FRED (b. Maryland, 1866). Son of JOHN B. McGEE. Living with his parents and w. Abingdon district, 1880

McGEE, JOHN B. (b. Canada, 1813). Father of FRED McGEE. W. Abingdon district, 1880. Had lived in New York and Maryland. Mark: J. B. McGEE

MALLICOLE, _______. See MALLICOLE, _______, AND DECKER, Charles F.

MALLICOLE, _______, AND DECKER, CHARLES F. W. Abingdon, 1870. Used 14,000 pounds of clay to produce 144,000 gallons of stoneware. See DECKER, CHARLES F.

MILLER, JACOB (b. Virginia 1803). W. Glade Spring section 1860. Three male workers produced 15,000 gallons of ware.

MILLER AND SONS. Pottery shop with three male workers. Glade Spring section, 1880. Probably JACOB MILLER with any or all three of his sons, James, Robert, and William

MORT, EDWARD WILLIAM (b. Virginia 1853). Boarding with Dr. Edward Lancaster, Kinderhood district, 1880, probably w. WOOTEN POTTERY SHOP. Later established a stoneware pottery in Alum Wells. Sometime after 1893 he gave up the pottery business and became a Methodist minister. Mark: E. W. MORT, ALUM WELLS, VIRGINIA

NORTHCUT, THOMAS (b. Virginia, 1864). Living at SAMUEL HARRIS' house and w. WOOTEN POTTERY SHOP, 1880.

ROBERTS, GRANDISON (b. Virginia, 1825). W. 1860, probably at WOOTEN POTTERY SHOP, after moving from Tennessee

RUHL, PETER (b. Hesse-Cassel, Germany, 1821). Living in Goodson (now Bristol) and w. WOOTEN POTTERY SHOP, 1880

SAUL, SAMUEL (b. Virginia, 1825). W. 1860. Living in Tennessee, 1839 and 1848

SHERMAN, L. S. (b. Virginia, 1843). W. Kinderhood district 1870

STOCKTON, C. W. Two males in his shop in Abingdon, 1880

STUART, _______. See HAMILTON, _______, AND STUART, _______.

VESTAL, JAMES F. (b. Virginia, 1856). Son of JESSEE VESTAL. W. 1889

VESTAL, JESSEE (b. Virginia 1829). Son of THOMAS VESTAL; father of JAMES F. VESTAL. W. 1854

VESTAL, SIMON (b. Virginia 1831). Borther-in-law of ALEXANDER M. HARRIS; uncle of SAMUEL HARRIS. W. 1853

VESTAL, THOMAS (b. Virginia, 1810). Father of JESSEE VESTAL; father-in-law of JAMES ALEXANDER WOOTEN. Used 30 cords of wood and had three males working in his pottery, 1850

WOLFE, PETER (b. North Carolina, d. 1846). Father of WILLIAM WOLFE of Lee Co. M. in Person Co., North Carolina, 1825; living in Mecklenburg Co., North Carolina, 1830; Washington Co., 1839-1846. At his death a lien on his personal property included a glazing mill and potter's supplies.

WOOTEN, JAMES ALEXANDER (b. Virginia, 1850). Son of JAMES L. WOOTEN; father of JOEPHUS J. WOOTEN; son-in-law of THOMAS VESTAL. W. WOOTEN POTTERY SHOP, Kinderhood district (near Zenobia), 1870

WOOTEN, JAMES L. (b. North Carolina, 1828), Son of JOHN WOOTEN; father of JAMES ALEXANDER WOOTEN and WILLIAM T. WOOTEN. W. WOOTEN POTTERY SHOP, 1850

WOOTEN, JOEPHUS, J. (b. Virginia, 1874). Son of JAMES ALEXANDER WOOTEN. W. WOOTEN POTTERY SHOP until it closed in 1918 (Napps, "Traditional Pottery," p. 9)

WOOTEN, JOHN (b. Iredell Co., North Carolina, 1803). Father of JAMES L. WOOTEN and JOHN T. WOOTEN. Living in Virginia, 1833; w. WOOTEN POTTERY SHOP, 1850-1860

WOOTEN, JOHN T. (b. Virginia, 1840). Son of JOHN WOOTEN; father of THOMAS C. WOOTEN. W. WOOTEN POTTERY SHOP, 1860-1880

WOOTEN, THOMAS C. (b. Virginia, 1870). Son of JOHN T. WOOTEN. Living with his parents, w. WOOTEN POTTERY SHOP, 1880

WOOTEN, WILLIAM T. (b. Virginia, 1866). Son of JAMES L. WOOTEN. Living with his brother JAMES ALEXANDER WOOTEN and w. WOOTEN POTTERY SHOP, 1880

WOOTEN POTTERY SHOP, Kinderhood district (near Zenobia), c. 1850-1918. Family pottery founded by JOHN WOOTEN. See HARRIS, ALEXANDER L.; HARRIS, SAMUEL; MORT, EDWARD WILLIAM; NORTHCUT, THOMAS; ROBERTS, GRANDISON; and RUHL, PETER.

Wythe County

BUCK, ABRAHAM (b. Virginia, 1798). Son of JOHN CHRISTIAN BUCK. W. Rural Retreat section before 1864

BUCK EPHRAM (b. Virginia 1833). Son of JOHN C. BUCK. Purchased a turning lathe (potter's wheel) from ABRAHAM BUCK's estate 1864

BUCK, FELIX (b. Virginia 1828). Son of JOHN C. BUCK. W. Rural Retreat section 1850 and 1860. Purchased a glazing mill from ABRAHAM BUCK'S estate 1864

BUCK, JOHN C. (b. Virginia 1802). Son of JOHN CHRISTIAN BUCK; father of FELIX and EPHRAM BUCK. W. Rural Retreat section 1860

BUCK, JOHN CHRISTIAN (b. Virginia 1767). Father of ABRAHAM, JOHN. C., PETER, and Mary BUCK (see CAIN, ELI). Paid tax on a kiln at the head of the South Fork, Reed Creek, 1815

BUCK, PETER (b. Virginia, 1811). Son of JOHN CHRISTIAN BUCK. Purchased a pipe mold from ABRAHAM BUCK'S estate, 1864

CAIN, ELI (b. Virginia, 1815). Brother of ABRAHAM B. CAIN of Sullivan Co., Tennessee; uncle of MARTIN A. CAIN of Sullivan Co., Tennessee; m. Mary Buck (see BUCK, JOHN CHRISTIAN). W. Rural Retreat section, 1837-1850

MOORE, FREDERICK (b. Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania, 1752). W. Rural Retreat section, 1779. He left Wythe Co. before 1800

MOYERS, JOHN (b. Virginia, 1844). W. 1860

MOYERS or MOTER, PETER. W. 1812

MOYERS, RICHARD (b. Virginia, 1822). W. 1860

SPEAGLE, ANDREW F. (b. North Carolina, 1858). W. Rural Retreat section, 1880, possibly with or for members of the BUCK family, since he lived next door to EPHRAM BUCK

WAMPLER, ISAAC (b. 1800). Listed as a potter in 1880, although his residence was listed as the Wythe County Jail

WAMPLER, ISAAC A. T. (b. Virginia, 1819). Son of JACOB WAMPLER. Purchased a clay mill at his mother's estate sale, Rural Retreat section, 1860

WAMPLER, JACOB (b. Lebanon Township, Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania, 1778; d. Wythe Co., February 1840). Father of ISAAC A. T. WAMPLER. Living in Wythe Co. 1810-1830. He was possibly a potter, since a clay mill was sold at the estate sale of his wife, Esther Anderson Wampler, Rural Retreat section, 1860.