Brown, William Burton

submitted by: Sanford Webster Brown, Edith Weldon (Brown) Cauble, and Mary Martha (Nieblas) Brown
William Burton “Boss” Brown was born April 3, 1832, Buncombe Co., NC, and died March 14, 1903, Buncombe Co., NC. Burton, a confederate Civil War veteran served in the 66th Regiment North Carolina Infantry (State Troops). He enlisted October 29, 1864 near Richmond and was released June 2, 1865. During the War he drove a supply wagon. After the War he “called court.” In the 1870 Census he was listed as a Deputy Sheriff. Burton’s was one of the last burials in Newton Academy Cemetery, Asheville, N.C. Burton’s step-father was Nathaniel Brown (ca 1805-1886). Burton’s mother was Elizabeth “Betsy” _____? (1810-ca 1886); it is believed she was a Wasson. According to Jesse Nesbit Cauble, “Wassons and Merrills are kin.” Nathan and Betsy’s burial place is not known, but they are believed to be in field-stone marked graves either on Cane Creek Road near Fairview or on Concord Road, Asheville, NC.

On March 26, 1852, Buncombe Co., NC, Burton married Mary Catherine Spain (b. Mar 24, 1832, Buncombe Co, NC; d. July 13, 1923, Buncombe Co, NC). Mary was the daughter of Austin and Easter (Miller) Spain. Mary had dark hair and blue eyes; she is buried at New Salem Cemetery, Skyland, Buncombe Co, NC.

Their children were: Louisa (1856-1940) who married Charlie Cantrell (1844-1903); Eliza Jane (1857-1930) who married James Daniel Henderson (1860-1930); James William (1859-1926) who married Julia Britt (1862-1946); Roseanna Jane (1862-1930) who married John Henry Virgil Smith (1856-1939); Berkley Cane (1865-1943) who married Lou Emma Ray (1869-1932); Aris (1867-1951) who married Sirena “Rena” Hare (1871-1957); Creola Ellen (1870-1922) who married John Ben Frady (1865-1938); and Dora (1873-1948) who married Lewis Lester Rhodes (1874-1928).

Burton broke his leg when he became tangled in the tongue of a wagon; the leg didn’t heal properly and he just “hopped” around after that. He was short, stocky and had a beard. His children called him “Boss.”

The 1900 U.S. Census, Buncombe Co, NC, states that Sallie Israel (b. January 1868) and Mary Harris (b. May 1888) were living with Burton and Mary. In the early 1900s, Burton’s home on Browntown Road in Biltmore Forest burned down. His children built a small two-room house next to Aris Brown’s (also on Browntown Road) and Burton and Mary lived there until he died. Mary then went to live with their youngest daughter Dora (Brown) Rhodes.

Source: Personal knowledge
–Old Buncombe County Heritage – NC, Vol. II, article #85, p. 115

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