Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Jacob and Fannie

This week's blog is a continuation of last week's story of the life of my great-great-grandfather, Jacob Waggoner up to the time his first wife Anna F. (Harman) Waggoner died in March 1871.  Jacob and Anna were my Grandma Mary's paternal grandparents.


On 19 December 1871, several months after Jacob's first wife Anna’s death, he married Frances Josephine "Fannie" Kirby[1] who had been a domestic servant in his home prior to Anna’s death.[2]

Jacob continued buying land. In March 1873, he purchased an additional 123 acres of Bland County land on Walker Mountain from Elias and Ellen Spangler, for which Hezekiah Sprinkle paid the amount due of $1.00 per acre.[3] The reason for this is not explained in the deed. Since this land purchase and the one he made in 1871 (see previous blog) were both located on the north side of Walker Mountain and shared a common border, it seems certain that Jacob was buying as much land as he could adjacent to his own property.

These real estate transactions may have been more than Jacob could manage financially, however. In August 1873, he was in court involved in a lawsuit against Elias Repass and others (possibly, the others involved in the 1867 purchase of property for the church and school) over bankruptcy of both parties, the nature of which is not fully explained.[4] By November, the cases were abated.[5] Jacob’s financial woes coincided with a nationwide banking crisis beginning in 1873 and lasting through 1878, the most severe the country had yet endured.[6]

In February 1878 in a deed of trust, Jacob’s first wife Anna’s sister and her husband Louisa and Eli F. Groseclose, conveyed to Jacob two parcels of land on Walker Mountain. Terms of the trust agreement specified that the debt should be paid in installments over a period of two years.[7]  Being land on which Jacob and his family resided, it seems likely that they did this so that Jacob, as trustee, and his family could continue living on the land.

Although there seems to be some debate, this is reported to be Jacob Waggoner's home, near Ceres, Virginia. Photo was sent to me by Margaret Wagner Allen, a great-granddaughter of Jacob and Fannie.

In 1880, Jacob and Fannie still lived in the same home in Bland County where he and Anna had lived ten years earlier, and Jacob was farming. By this time they had added five children: Peter S, age 7, Albert T., age 5,  Jacob S., age 4, Flavius G., age 2, and Terry M., age 7 months; also still in the home were five of Anna’s children: Elias, Hezekiah, Ardelia, Amanda, and Willis.[8] The 1880 census taker for Sharon, Bland County was Jacob Waggoner.[9]

About five years later, Jacob moved his family to Washington County, where in 1885, he purchased 57 ½ acres located one mile south of Emery and Henry College, for which he agreed to pay $2000.00, over a period of three years.[10] This deal does not seem to have worked out well for him, however, as a notice for the court ordered public sale of his property ran in the Glade Spring Citizen on 5 April 1889.[11] Although there had been another depression in the United States from 1882-1885,[12] that had ended, so the reasons that may have contributed to his inability to pay for his property are not known.

By 1900, Jacob and Fannie lived in Glade Spring, Washington County, Virginia, where no occupation is listed for him. Their children in the home at this time included: Green, age 22; Sally, age 18; Ollie, age 16; Minnie, age 14; and Jasper, age 9.[13]

Jacob died on 1 October 1901 in Washington County was buried in Kelly’s Chapel Cemetery, near Damascus.[14] No will has been found for him.

Fannie J. Kirby, c. 1900-1910, perhaps taken after Jacob died.

Fannie died 14 February 1929 and was buried at Kelly’s Chapel also, but not next to Jacob. She shares a marker with her daughter Kate.[15] Several of Fannie’s other children are also buried in this cemetery.

Jacob Wagner's marker, Kelly's Chapel Cemetery.
Sign for Kelly's Chapel Church and Cemetery, Est. 1857.
Kelly's Chapel Church and Cemetery, Washington Co., Va.
In the photo of the church and cemetery, Jacob’s tombstone is located toward the lower left along the fence. Fannie’s is located in the middle of the photo, about where the eaves of the church and the hillside seem to meet.

Fannie J. Wagner and Kate Wagner, marker, Kelly's Chapel Cemetery.

© 2014, Z. T. Noble

[1] Bland County, Virginia, Marriage Records, Book 1:8, entry for Jacob Waggoner and Fanie J. Kirby; County Clerk’s Office, Bland.
[2] 1870 U. S. census, Bland Co., Va., pop. sched., Sharon p. o., Jacob Wagoner.
[3] Bland County, Virginia, Deed Book 3: 168, Elias Spangler to Jacob Waggoner, 11 March 1873; County Clerk’s Office, Bland.
[4] Bland County, Virginia, Chancery Order Book 1: 167, Jacob Waggoner vs. Elias Repass, et als, 29 August 1873; County Clerk’s Office, Bland.
[5] Bland County, Virginia, Chancery Order Book 1: 177, Jacob Waggoner vs. Elias Repass, et als, 26 November 1873; County Clerk’s Office, Bland.
[6] Michael Barga, “The Long Depression: 1873-1878,” The Social Welfare History Project, ( : accessed 24 May 2014).
[7] Bland County, Virginia, Deed Book 3: 637, Eli F. Groseclose & wife to Jacob Waggoner, 5 February 1878; County Clerk’s Office, Marion.
[8] 1880 U.S. census, Sharon, Bland County, Virginia, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 7, p. 17 (penned), dwelling 126, family 126, Jacob Waggoner; digital image, ( : accessed 24 May 2014); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm publication T9, roll 1356.
[9] Ibid. Jacob Waggoner is named as census taker on this page, as well as all pages for Sharon district, Bland County, prior and after this one; he certified and signed it at the bottom of page 26.
[10] Washington County, Virginia, Deed Book 41: 151-52, Wm Wesley Williams & wife to Jacob Waggoner, 24 December 1885; County Clerk’s Office, Abingdon.
[11] “Public Sale of Valuable Land,” The Holston Pathfinder, 14 (March 1986): no page #; originally published in Glade Spring Citizen, Washington County, Virginia, 5 April 1889: no page #.
[12] “Depression of 1882-1885,” Wikipedia (
Depression_of_1882 : accessed 24 May 2014).
[13] 1900 U. S. census, Glade Spring, Washington County, Virginia, population schedule, enumeration district [ED] 108, sheet 19-A, dwelling 334, family 341, Jacob Wagoner family, digital image, ( : accessed 24 May 2014); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 1731.
[14] Kelly’s Chapel Cemetery (Washington County, Virginia); Jacob Wagner marker; photographed August 2002 by Margaret Allen and sent to the researcher.
[15] Kelly’s Chapel Cemetery (Washington Co., Va.); Fannie J. Wagner and Kate Wagner, marker; photographed March 2004 by the researcher.


  1. Very nice blog. I began reading your blog this morning because my mother was a descendant of Mathias Harman and Lydia Skaggs. I was also pleasantly surprised to also find an interesting tidbit on the paternal side of my history. My GG-grandfather was Joseph Kitts. "On April 19, 1873, Joseph Kitts purchased 97 acres on the north side of Walkers Mountain from J. Waggoner. He paid $198.00, with $200.00 due. This property bordered land owned by Bales, John Repass, and J. Waggoner. On August 14, 1879, Joseph purchased 3 adjoining acres from Hezekiah Harmon on the north side of Walkers Mountain, Sharon Township, for $47.37." Joseph Kitts was married to Sarah Elizabeth Bales, sister of William H. Bales, husband of Nancy F. Bales, sister of your Anna Harman and Hezekiah Harman. Joseph and Sarah Kitts were buried at Bethany Church Cemetery.

    1. It's all in the family! I'm glad you found that interesting tidbit.