Elias Milton Kilpatrick, Sr.
Elias Milton Kilpatrick, Sr., prominent farmer, millwright, and miller of Camp Creek Community in Cherokee County, N.C., was born 28 Mar. 1798 in Pendleton District, S.C. to Joseph Milton Kilpatrick (c. 1776/c. 1851 - 3)and Martha Harrison.  He died at home in Camp Creek on 10  Jan. 1881 after prolonged illness being bedridden since at least 1880.

He wed about 1826 perhaps in Haywood County, N.C. to Mary B. Wood(s) (Oct. 1798/4 Mar. 1884), a native of lredell County, N.C. and a daughter of James Wood(s), Jr. who died in Macon County, N.C. in 1831.  By 1830, they had settled in Macon County near her parents and remained there until 1842. 

Mary bore eight children to Elias, seven of which were born in Macon County.  An exact birthplace in N.C. for their  first-born, Martha Miranda "Mattie" (10 May 1827/20 Dec. 1909) is unknown.  They lived probably in or near Franklin since Elias, Jr. (28 Dec. 1837/21 Jan. 1930) was born there according to his death certificate.

When Indian land became available in what is now Cherokee County, Elias, Sr. took advantage of this economic opportunity situating his family on Camp Creek near the N.C.-Tn. border.  He purchased 597 acres there in Shoal Greek Township.  Soon after, family legend has it that he lost nearly  everything except this land by signing a shehff's bond in Macon County.

But with the familiar Kilpatrick industry, ingenuity, and initiatives he soon recovered.  Between 1843- 9, he built the Camp Creek gristmill powered by an under-shot water wheel and operated it throughout the 1850s.  His youngest child, Miles Dickson "Dick" Kilpatrick (ll Oct. 1842/4 Feb. 1908), repaired and ran the mill afterwards.  He married Elizabeth  Jane Coleman daughter of  Spencer Coleman and Zilia Hicks: and they reared eight children.  Around the turn of the century, Dick's only son, Elias Patton Kilpatrick (11 Aug. 1866/6 Mar. 1927), became the third successive generation, and the last, to operate the old gristmill that served Shoal Creek farmers for more than ninety-two years.

Elias, Sr. ran a profitable farm producing large crops of corn, some rye, potatoes, and molasses.  Livestock included cattle, sheep, and hogs.  Some of the produce he sold in his country store, one of few then operating in Turtletown (now Liberty, N.C.).

Also, he established the Turtietown, N.C. Post Office on 23 Dec. 1847 and served as postmaster for years.  The name was changed to Patrick Post Office in 1895 by Elias Patton Kilpatrick, postmaster, and was successively operated by various family members until 31 Aug. 1951 when it was discontinued. 

Elias'  oldestson, Andrew Jackson Kilpatrick (21 Dec. 1828/17 Dec. 1910), opened the Turtletown, Tn.  Post Office in 1890 just ten miles from his father's.  Andy, a Cherokee County schoolteacher 1853-60, also owned and managed a rural grocery in Turtletown, Tn. until 1910.  He married four times and survived every wife.

When the War Between the States was declared.  Elias, Sr. and Elias, Jr. converted all liquid assets to gold coin and deposited same in the Royal Bankof  Canada at Montreal forthe duration of  the war.  Therefore, during the Reconstruction, this family  stood financially sound and comparatively sheltered.  Dick enlisted as second lieutenant in Company H, 39th N.C. Regiment, serving the Confederacy well during the Battle of Chattanooga.  Elias, Jr. was appointed conscript officer for the Hiwassee Mines area in Polk County where Company F, 19th Tn.  Infantry was conscripted.

After being educated in Tn.. Elias, Jr. married Gabrelia Arminda Bellew.  He established a very successful mercantile business in Ducktown and served as postmaster there for many years.  His Ducktown home still stands behind the business section.  He made large and profitable real estate investments on Turtletown and Nigger Creeks and following the Civil War through 1900 was closely involved in Ducktown Banking Company.  His son, John Milton Kilpatrick (22 Dec. 1864/25 Sep. 1946). was head cashier there for some time.

Elias, Sr. and Mary had one unfortunate daughter, Mary Caroline "Polly" (23 May 1833/1 Jan. 1884), born retarded and incapable of caring for herself.  Her welfare was ever a constant concern as her father's will clearly illustrates.

The oldest daughter, Mattie, married Edmund N. McNabb, a well-known farmer who owned 640 acres on the Hiwassee River in the Pleasant Hill Community.  The old McNabb home is pictured in Marble & Logs.

Other daughters included Jane Elizabeth (9 Feb. 1831/23 Nov. 1908) who wed Reverend William Absalom Coleman, delineated in the William and Elizabeth (Vann) Coleman family and from whom this compiler descends

Nancy Adeline (14 June 1835/10 June 22) was their fifth child.  She married William Franklin Bryant, Sr., a farmer and Justice of the Peace for Cherokee County.  Their son, W. F. Bryant, Jr., a well- known minister, became a leader in the founding of the Church of God denomination.  "Fields of the Wood" is located on the Bryant homeplace.  Dick Kilpatrick donated land in Oak Park for the church and cut his timber to build the first Church of God now headquartered in Cleveland, Tn.

Charity Emeline (c. 1840/1897) married Martin Crowder Bridges.  Following the deaths of her parents, they moved to Van Buren County, Ark. where she died.

Sources:  Appalachian Ancestors, a documented history of the Coleman, Kilpatrick, Stiles, and Sutton families, written by Stephen and Sandra N. Ratledge and privately published in 1983.

E. Stephen Ratledge

 [Back to Family History Page]