Rev. John Valentine Reece
Tracking our Ancestor
Column headings for all census years can be found here.
Thumbnails or cutout census images
are used to facilitate page loading.
Column headings for all census years can be found here.
Thumbnails or cutout census images
are used to facilitate page loading.
Column headings for all census years can be found here.
Thumbnails or cutout census images are used to facilitate page loading.
Click on the cutout for a larger view.
The link to full document is in the paragraph preceding the cutout.
Rev. John Valentine Reece (Daniel, Anthony, Johann Valentine, Johan Jacob Ries) my great-great
grandfather was born on 13 October 1843 (per
headstone), in Hominy, Haywood County, NC and he died
01 June 1921 in Brevard, Transylvania County, NC (per
obituary and death certificate). He married  
Lucretia Wells in 1866. She is the daughter of Andrew Wells and Elisia Deaver.  She was born on 19
October 1844 and died
(per death certificate) due to a stroke 03 October 1919, Clay County, NC. Both
are buried in
Pine Log Cemetery, Clay County, NC.

John Valentine Reece, known as J. V., was quite a man.  Family stories say that he was a preacher in the
Baptist Church in Crusoe, Haywood County, NC, in the shadow of Cold Mountain.  The 1870 census and
his death certificate both list his occupation as a Baptist Minister.  This portrait hangs in the Fellowship
Hall of the East Fork Baptist Church in Canton, NC, where he served as pastor. This photo was sent to to
me via email in 2011 from the Church.
We see John still living at home on a census in 1860 in Haywood County, NC. He is on line 37 and is 16,
a farmer and has been in school this year.  
Shortly after turning 17 he enlisted in the Confederate Army as a musician and went off to the Civil War.
But that story comes

On the 1870 Forks of Pigeon Twp, in Haywood County, NC Census taken on July 26, 1870 we find John
Children listed are Savannah who is 2 and Dorcas (Lillie) who is 2.  It also shows a domestic servant
(likely a nanny) named Amanda Gibson. Pigeon Township was named after the Pigeon River.
On June 8,1880 the growing family is in Pigeon Township, Haywood County, NC. The census shows John
V. is 36, Lucretia is 35, Savannah M is 12, Dorcus “Lillie” is 11, Caswell is 9, Ella (Susan Ellen) is 7,
Charles C is 4. Joseph A is 3 and Ann M is 9/12 (having 10th her birthday in August). John V.’s occupation
is listed as a Cabinet Maker/Workman.
On the 1900 Clay County Census the family lives in Brasstown Township.  John V. Reece is 56, Lucretia
is 55, Joseph A is 22 and Ann M is 20.  Julia is also at home and is 18 as well as Theodore (JT) who is
11. Both John V. and his son Joseph are farmers.Daughter Lillie and husband Jefferson Waldroup can
be seen further down the page.
In 1910 on the Brasstown Township, Clay County, Census  on Line 1, we find John V. Reece who is now
66, his wife Nancy L. who is 65 and two sons, Joseph A (32) and James (Theodore) who is 21. All three
men are farmers.

This census also tells us that there were 11 children born and 9 are living.  They have been married 44
years and John notes he was a member of the Confederate Army.
1920 is the last census we find for John V.  He and son Joseph are still living in Brasstown, Clay County,
NC.  John is widowed by then, Lucretia having died the year before (1919).
Children of Rev. John Valentine Reece and Nancy Lucretia Wells are:

1.        Savannah Margaret “Maggie” Reece – b: 07 SEP 1867, NC; d: 29 AUG 1942, Brevard, Transylvania,
(information via findagrave #149274066 and death certificate); m: Joe Bunyon “Baldie” Reece
(son of Daniel H. Reece and Nancy Ann Mann,
b: May 1861) ca 1881. Both buried Oak Grove Cemetery,
Transylvania County,NC

Caswell Gaston Reece b: 13 NOV 1870, Clay County, NC; d: 13 DEC 1955 Brasstown Twp, Clay  
possibly 1893
[see 1900 census]; Both buried in Pine Log Cemetery, Clay County, NC; m#2: Rosa
Rice on 29 JAN 1920 (
b: ca. 1871) in Pigeon, Haywood County, NC; m#3: Pearlie L. Carter on 31
JAN 1933 (daughter of William Carter and Julia Range;
b: 18 APR 1910, Clay County, NC; d: 23
FEB 1999); Buried in Belleview Community Cemetery, Murphy, Cherokee County, NC)

3.        Susan “Ellen” Reece –
b: 01 MAY 1873; d: 04 JAN 1940, Clay County, NC; m: (3rd cousin) Curnell
“Curn” Caywood Reece on 23 DEC 1892
(per Haywood County Marriage Licenses 1857-1914)
(son of Jessie Franklin “Frank” Reece and Mary Elizabeth “Betsy” Invester Howell; b: 06 FEB 1870,
Haywood County, NC;
d: 07 JAN 1963, Clay County NC)

4.        Charles Compton “Charlie” Reece –
b: 09 JUN 1874; d: 14 OCT 1939, Clay County, NC; Buried in
Pine Log Cemetery, Clay County with Spouse #2;
m #1: Bertha T. Johnson (daughter of Samuel C.
Johnson and Sarah Carolyn Brown;
b: 1878, Clay County, NC; d: 30 APR 1904, Clay County NC);
m#2: Eva Lou Dye (b: 14 APR 1891; d: 27 JUL 1982)

Joseph Andrew “Bucket” Reeceb: 10 JUN 1877, NC; d: 12 MAY 1956 Buried in Thurston County,
(per findagrave #104016010); m: Emily Masina Pless (m#1: Robert Pless; b: ca. 1884) on 25
JAN 1946 in Pierce County, WA.

6.        Ann M. Reece –
b: 31 Aug 1879; d: 11 AUG 1946; m: George Sharp (b: 03 MAR 1881, Haywood
County, NC;
d: 15 AUG 1966, Haywood County, NC) ca. 1903

7.        James Theodore “JT” Reece –
b: 27 JUL 1888; d: 09 APR 1952, NC; m: Minnie Pearl Hall Reece (b:
10 NOV 1893; d: 08 MAR 1979); Both are buried in Pine Log Cemetery, Clay County.

8.        Julia D. Reece –
b: AUG 1881; m: John Harmon Rogers (b: 15 JUL 1885; d: 04 JUL 1973) on
28 AUG 1908

9.        Dorcus Lou “Lillie” Mae Reece – b: 01 FEB 1869; d: 24 SEP 1928, Clay County, NC;
m: Jefferson Waldroup on 03 MAR 1895, Clay County, GA [per Clay County NC marriages] (son of   
John Waldroup and Sarah McClure;
b: 20 JAN 1871; d: 04 DEC 1914). Both buried in Pine Log
Cemetery, Clay County, NC
And In Closing
Stamp 2011)

Note at the bottom says this became the site of Mont Reece’s house in 1917
cannot be correct, because Mont would only be 4 years old, perhaps the
writer meant it was taken there, and that Mont ultimately would live there.

Back Row        L to R:
1.        ?
2.        ?
3.        Grandma Crawford
4.        Sam Green
5.        Mabel Green
6.        Henry Massen
7.        Mrs. Massen
8.        Rev. John V. Reece
9.        Lucretia Wells Reece (wife of Rev. JV Reece) actually on his right
10.      Julie Reece Rogers (daughter of Rev. JV Reece)
11.      Harmon Rogers (husband of Julie Reece Rogers)
12.      Baby Rogers (Gertrude or Jennings?) (child of Julie Reece and Harmon Rogers)
13.      Charley B. (last name illegible)
14.      Elsie Reece B. (wife of Charley – last name illegible)
15.      (I think) Dave Sharp (husband of Bonnie Reece Sharp)
16.      Bonnie Reece Sharp (daughter of Curn and “Ellen” Reece’s)
17.      Howard Spivey
18.      Jessie Waldroup Spivey
19.      Arthur T. Reece (son of Curn and “Ellen” Reece)
20.      Novella Waldroup Miller (daughter of Dorcus “Lillie” Reece Waldroup)

Center Row        L to R:
1.        Caswell Reece (son of Rev. JV Reece)
2.        Joe Reece (probably “Bucket”, son of Rev. JV Reece)
4.        Anne Reece Sharpe (daughter of Rev. JV Reece)
5.        Curnell Caywood Reece (husband of “Ellen”, cousin of Rev. JV Reece) hidden,
can barely see his hat
6.        JV Reece (son of Curn and “Ellen” Reece, being held up by his father)
7.        “Ellen” Reece (daughter of Rev. JV Reece, wife of Curnell Caywood Reece)
8.        Edna Reece (child of Eva Dye Reece) being held by her mother
9.        Eva Dye Reece (wife of Charlie Reece)
10.      Charley Reece (son of Rev. JV Reece)
11.      Joe “Baldie” Reece (son of Daniel H. Reece, husband of “Maggie” Reece)
12.      Meg “Maggie” Reece (daughter of Rev. JV Reece)
13.      Dorcus “Lillie” Reece Waldroup (daughter of Rev. JV Reece)
14.      Pearl Hall Reece (wife of Theodore Reece)
15.      Astor Waldroup (possibly Jefferson Waldroup, husband of Dorcus “Lillie”  Reece)
16.      Baby Reece (Clarence M?) (grandson of Rev. JV Reece) being held by father, JT Reece
17.      Theodore "JT" Reece (son of Rev. JV Reece)

Front  Row        L to R:
1.        Violet Reece (granddaughter of Rev. JV Reece, Daughter of JV’s son, Charley)
2.        Pauline Waldroup Dyer (granddaughter of Rev. JV Reece, Daughter of Dorcus “Lillie”)
3.        Eula Reece Miller (granddaughter of Rev. JV Reece, Daughter of “Ellen” and Curn Reece)
4.        Lily Reece Burnell Dyer Waldroup
5.        Va?ella Rogers (daughter of Harmon, husband of Julie Reece Rogers)
6.        Gertrude Rogers        -  information penciled in at the bottom
7.        ?
8.        Roy Reece (grandson of Rev. JV Reece, Son of “Ellen” and Curn Reece)
9.        ?
10.      Ellen Reece (Charlie’s daughter, granddaughter of Rev. JV Reece)
11.      Annie Reece Scruggs
12.      Coy Reece (grandson of Rev. JV Reece, son of Theodore and Pearl Reece)
13.      ? Hall (Niece of Pearl Hall Reece, wife of Theodore 'JT' Reece)
Click on picture for larger/clearer view
More information about John V comes to us from his death certificate and an obituary published June
17, 1921.  He was living in Warne, NC but died at 6 a.m. of heart failure on June 1, 1921, in Brevard
Township, Transylvania County, NC while on a 2 month visit.  He was widowed at the time (Lucretia
died of a stroke on October 3, 1919.) and his age is given as 78 years and 6 months
(Perhaps a little off since other documents support his birthday being in October.)

His occupation is listed as both a farmer and a minister.  

Born in Haywood County, NC his father was Daniel (b. NC) and Mother Susan Green (b. NC).  

The death certificate was signed by JA Reece (most likely Joseph A Reece of Brevard County.)

The certificate also says he was buried in Murphy County, NC.  However, many of the counties
changed borders before settling in their present definition.   His headstone is found in
Pine Log
Baptist Church Cemetery, Hayesville, Clay County, NC along with daughters Lillie and Ellen and their
husbands, sons Charlie and Theodore and their wives and JV’s wife Nancy Lucretia Wells.
and first wife (Texana Sharp) are also buried in Pine Log Cemetery
CLICK HERE to learn what I discovered
about John Valentine in the Civil War!
Click on picture for a larger view.
In The Ministerial Directory of the Baptist Churches in the United States of America. Edited by George
William Lasher and printed by the Press of Oxford News Co. Oxford, OH 1899) we find the following
    Reece, John Valentine, Warne, NC – Born Hominy NC; Licensed August 1868, Friendship
    Church, NC; Ordained September (18)74, Mt. Zion Church, NC; Pastor:  Friendship, Mt. Zion,
    Bethel, East Fork, Pleasant Hill, TX, Bethesda, NC; Fires Creek(in Clay County), Shady Grove,
    Hayesville NC

    He was also listed as a pastor at Shady Grove Baptist Church in the Clay County Heritage Book.
    (See below)
Click on picture for a larger view.
A different picture sent to me by
Phillips.  Very dapper!
According to a partial article I found in the book Echoes of our Heritage – Clay County, Vol 1, 1994:

330 John V. Reece – Lou Creacy Wells:

John V. (b. 1843) a Baptist minister and wife Lou Creacy (b. unknown) moved to the Pine Log Community
to what is now Mont Reece’s (Caswell’s son) farm in the 1870’s from Cruso in Haywood County.

J.V. moved the mill from Peter Miller’s property on Pine Log Creek, made the gears of wood and built a
dam at what is now Pine Log Village.  J.V. had a wooden lathe.  [He listed an early occupation as a cabinet
maker and so had some skill in the trade.] He made the porch columns and banisters for the family homes
in Pine Log (Curn, Charley, Caswell, Theodore, etc.).

Some years later, John V. with part of family including Ellen, moved back to Cruso by way of Tennessee.  J.
V. moved back to Pine Log in 1905.  Theodore, Charlie, Lily Waldroup and Caswell stayed on in Pine Log.
Evelyn Goforth’s history of Curn Reece.
This information comes from an old website no longer valid.  It is a story written by Evelyn Goforth. Many of
those on our branch of the family tree are mentioned in the following tale that was originally called
Curn Reece Story.

Anthony Reece (John Valentine Reece’s grandfather) came to Haywood County in the early 1800’s.  His
wife’s name was Sarah Chambers and they are the ones that lived in the hollow tree.  The story is that
they lived in a hollow tree until they got their house built. Another story says that one day an eagle
swooped down and picked up their baby.  Sarah beat it with a scrag (straw) broom until it dropped the

There was a falling out … within the family.  There were some Reeses who lived between Cruso and
Bethel who used the “s” instead of the “c” in their name.  Bonnie Reece Sharp was asked if they were
related.  She said they had changed the spelling because they didn’t want to be associated with the rest of
the family.

John Valentine (J.V.) Reece was a preacher and apparently a carpenter.  He could have been called a
circuit rider or not, but his grandson, Mont Reece (Caswell’s son) told me he rode a horse to different
churches to preach.  Possibly that is the reason he traveled as much as he did.

When J.V. first came to this part of the country, according to his grandson, Mont, he lived over in Georgia
between Ebenezer and Blairsville.  He built and operated a grist mill while he lived there and possibly that
is when he became acquainted with Clay County.  Somewhere along the line he also spent some time in
the Watauga Settlements in what is now Tennessee.

When J.V. settled in Clay County, all of his children except one son and one daughter also moved to Clay
County.  His son, Charlie, operated a blacksmith shop.  His sons Joe, Theodore and son-in-law, Curn
(Susan Ellen’s husband), operated a saw mill and his daughter, Ann, and her husband George Sharp,
operated a country store.  His son, Caswell, also operated a country store and farmed on the other end of
Pine Log.  His daughter, Lillie, operated a grist mill he had built for her.  She was a widow with five children
to raise.
(Jefferson Waldroup died in 1913)  So J.V. bought an old mill from Peter Miller that didn’t even
have cogs to operate it.  He and his son, Charlie, made cogs and other workings for it in Charlie’s
blacksmith shop.  Ann, George and Joe eventually returned to Haywood County.  Aunt Bonnie was already
married and had two children when Curn and the other family members moved to Clay County, so she
stayed in Haywood County.

According to Mont, his father (J.V.), Caswell, Uncle Theodore and Cousin Arthur bought a horse drawn
combine in the mid-twenties.  When the depression hit that part of the country, the conveyor belt on it was
worn out.  The cost of a new one was $6.50.  Between the three of them they didn’t have the money to buy
one, so they had to cut the wheat and rye they had contracted to cut with a cradle.  Cas said he had no
idea how many acres of wheat he cut.   

…More of the story appears on
Caswell and Curn Reece’s pages.
In 1850 John first shows up on Line 17 of the Buncombe County, NC Census with his family. John V.
“John G” is 7 years old (although it looks like a 9).
This is only the first few paragraphs. I have the entire article, but it mostly deals with Curn
after this. Some of this does and some of it doesn’t match the story by Evelyn Goforth.

Read on --
Gathering at J.V.'s
Click on picture for larger/clearer view
I was told this was Rev. JV's / Mont's old barn
John Valentine and “Lou-Creacy” Reece’s
50th Wedding Anniversary Dinner
I apologize for the quality of this picture. Its the best I could do. If anyone has a better one they
would like to scan and send to me, I sure would appreciate it.
Click on picture for larger/clearer view
Front:  Rev. John V. Reece, Lucretia Wells Reece, (daughter) Maggie (married Joe “Baldie” Reece),
(daughter) Lillie (married Jeff Waldroup); (son) Caswell Reece, (daughter) Ellen Reece (married Curn
Reece), (son) Charlie Reece

Back:  Joe “Baldie” Reece, (daughter) Anne Reece, (daughter) Julie Reece and (son) Theodore Reece.

Those are strings of leather, britches, beans on right; shaving mirror on left, formal table setting includes

Stories that somehow became attached to this picture as told by Mama Dot and Lillie Miller Waldroup

“Once Theodore cut his foot bad, almost off, with an axe.  He came home and went to bed.  Blood came
through the mattress dripping onto the floor under the bed.  They sent for Grandpa Curn who sewed up
the wound with a crude needle and thread.”

When Annie Reece was young she had a crippling disease, possibly polio, which left her foot badly
crippled.  A traveling doctor came by and was going to operate on the kitchen table while her father
(Grandpa Curn) and others held her.  When the time came, Grandpa said “I can’t do this!”  His little girl
was only about 6 years old.  How could he do this?  Pauline Waldroup Dyer was there and convinced
Grandpa that it would be best to let this doctor go ahead; that it would hurt for awhile but better than be a
cripple all her life.  They went ahead with the operation.  Annie said “I’m thankful to Pauline---I am not a
Another story:  
According to a cousin – JV was fine looking man, who was originally a Methodist then changed to being
a Baptist preacher.  He was a circuit rider, who visited various churches on a rotating basis.  He had a
blacksmith shop and last known whereabouts of the Anvil was with Tony Reece, who passed away in
2011 (see
obituary).  It is hoped his son, Adrian, still has it.  

The other story she had to relate was that JV built a home-made hot air balloon!  I have searched for
some sort of notice, surely that would have been ‘something’ back in the day, but to no avail. His son
Mont did tell the story to his daughter tho!
Continue to follow Rev. JV Reece' in a
POW camp
during the Civil War and
Minister, father 9 children and live until
Minister, father 9 children and live until
1921. A very eventful life indeed.

Now if someone could tell me more
about the hot air balloon he
supposedly built…
passed away.  It took some detective work, but I believe it is Rev. JV, his wife Lucretia
and their oldest daughter, Maggie, and her 7 children.
Reece information has been put into a
printed form available only at