Elihu Maggard Home
John Davis Settlement

Location: East side of Route 23, adjoining the Post Office at Esserville, 100 feet north of Guest River Bridge.

Date: Built approximately about 1850.

Owners: It seems from records that James Hunsucker held a Title Bond for this property but at the sale of the mortgaged DeTebuef land this tract was bought by Andrew J. Dotson. John Davis was living here prior to the formation of the County in 1856 and it seems that the said Davis bought the land by a Title Bond from James Hunsucker and his Will, dated June 9, 1861, Will Book 1, page 147, leaves the land to his heirs. This Will was proven and John Davis, Jr. was appointed administrator of this estate July 26, 1864. However at the resale of
the Mortgaged land A. C. Wells became the purchaser of this place October 25, 1878. A. C. Wells sold to Nelson Hamilton, August 4, 1882. Hamilton sold to his son-in-law D. Jesse Wells, April 4, 1889, who sold again to A. C. Wells October 18, 1889. A. C. Wells sold to Patrick Hagan, April 16, 1890. Patrick Hagan sold to T. G. Wells, February 5, 1897. T. G. Wells, sold to David E. Wells, April 15,
1897. T. G. Wells sold to Joe Gillenwater, April 27, 1910 and Gillenwater sold to Elihu Maggard, December 7, 1925.
     This house was originally a two story log house, two rooms up and two downstairs. It has two stone chimney at each end and formerly had four fireplaces but these had been either closed or converted into grates.
The mantels are all handmade of yellow poplar wood, about six feet wide and five high. Time has stained the interior wood work a deep brown. A two flight stairway with open string baluster made of yellow poplar wood
with an oak handrail leads up from the north room of the first floor. All windows and doors are of a late type being added recently. The original rooms were ceiled but have been plastered. The house is weatherboarded
and has tin roof, formerly it had a shingle roof. One story porch across the front, hip type roof, with round fluted columns. Three rooms have been added to the rear making the house now "L" shaped.
Historical Significance: John Davis moved to this place from Powell Valley where he was living in 1842. An early as 1856 he was running a grist mill and a saw mill on Guest River near this place and just a short distance up the river from the present Esserville Bridge some of the foundation logs of this grist mill may be seen in the bed of the river. John Davis made his will in 1861 prior to the Civil War and made the statement that his land
was to go to his children in case he did not return from the war. John Davis was married to Sarah Parsons and came from Grayson Co., VA at a place called Mouth of Wilson. His son William W. was a Confederate soldier. In the early days John Davis took an active part in the affairs of the County.
     While in possession of this place Nelson Hamilton ran a Saloon in a building near the Bridge and it seems from reports of older settlers that it was a typical saloon of the early day type. Nelson Hamilton was a son of Schuyler and Susannah Dotson Hamilton and was married to Lucinda Moore. He was born in 1838 and was killed by his son-in-law Jessee Wells in 1888.


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