Guide to the David Worth Family Papers, 1838 - 1991, undated

Summary Information

Title: David Worth Family Papers, 1838 - 1991, undated
Collection: AC.357
Extent: 1 linear foot (2 boxes)

The David Worth Papers includes photographs, letters, newspaper articles, maps, and journal articles about the David Worth family and Creston located in Ashe County, North Carolina. The Worth family were merchants living in western Ashe County, North Carolina.

Creator: Worth, David, 1801-1888

Biographical/Historical Note

David Worth (1801-1888) was born in Guilford County, North Carolina to Joseph and Lettice Petty Worth. In 1839, he married Elizabeth Thomas (1821-1895), the daughter of Stephen Thomas of Creston, North Carolina. Although raised as a Quaker, he converted to Methodism once he moved to Ashe County.

The seven surviving children of David and Elizabeth Worth include Martitia (1839-1870) who married Ticey Wagner of Johnson County, Tennessee and Dr. Joseph Orrin Wilcox of Dresden; Elma Carolina "Callie" (1845-1920) who married Colonel Newton J. Lillard of Decatur, Tennessee; Rosamond Corinna (1849-1877) married Colonel William Henry Harrison Cowles of Wilkesboro, North Carolina; Thomas Clarkson (1851-1888) who married Ruth Cox of Grayson County, Virginia; Jennie Lind (1853-1882) who married Calvin C. Benham of Jonesville; Albina LaMyra (1856-1939) who married Charles K. Lide of Johnson City, Tennessee; and Ada Elizabeth (1866-1965) who married James Shelton Penn of Elkin, North Carolina and William Columbus Coffey of Boone, North Carolina.

Worth grandson Vernon and wife Annie Hamilton Lillard resided in the Worth homeplace in Ashe County, North Carolina.

Grandsons Walter Haywood Worth and Joseph Cox Worth both had careers in banking at the Bank of Ashe in Jefferson, North Carolina.

Lewis Wiley (or William) Worth (1830s-1904), the son of Xeno Worth and the nephew of David Worth, was born in 1831 in Paolea, Indiana. He moved to Los Angeles, California prior to 1868. During the 1870's and 1880's, he painted several oil canvases of the North Fork area in Ashe County, North Carolina.

Jasper Worth Lillard was the son of Newton J. Lillard and Elma Carolina "Callie" Worth.

Scope and Contents

As described in notes on each series, this collection is a wide ranging variety of correspondence, articles on the families and communities, family history documents and photographs, research documents on the Ore Knob Mine in Ashe County, North Carolina, and personal family mementos.


The collection is arranged in seven series: Correspondence, Scrapbooks, Historic Articles, Contributions to the Ashe County, NC Heritage Book, Genealogical Series, Photographs, and Ephemera. With so much being undated, the items were basically left in the order of the original processing, with photographs filed with appropriate documents when possible, and others sorted as identified or not, dated if possible.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for use in the Dougherty Reading Room without restrictions. An appointment for research is recommended. The Dougherty Reading Room is located on the 4th floor of Belk Library in Special Collections.

Acquisitions Information

Stewart Lillard donated this collection to the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection in 30 October 2006. Its accession number is AC.2006.065. It was opened to the public in December 2006. Additional donations were transferred from Lillard to the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection in January 2007.

Processing Information

Processed by Kathryn Staley, November, 2006; Encoded by Kathryn Staley, November, 2006. Reprocessed by Anita Elliott, June 2013. This collection was reprocessed as part of a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The grant funded extensive processing of the backlog within the W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection between 2012 and 2014.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], AC.357: David Worth Family Papers, W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA.

Container List

Series I: Correspondence,1854-1990, undated

Series Description: Series I: Correspondence includes transcribed photocopies and original letters, dated from 1854 to 1990. Nineteenth century family letters are undated and include a contemporary description of its author and recipient. Other nineteenth century letters are about the Ore Knob Mine. These discuss a lawsuit and allude to personality issues. One 1868 transcribed letter is from North Carolina Governor Jonathan Worth to Lewis Worth of California about Worth family genealogy, secession, Radical Republicanism, and Reconstruction.

Correspondence, 1854-1884 Box 1.1
Correspondence, 1886 Box 1.2
Correspondence, 1887 Box 1.3
Correspondence, 1888-1889 Box 1.4
Correspondence, 1896-1990, undated Box 1.5

Series II: Scrapbooks, 1875-1969, undated

Series Description: The first scrapbook includes glued unattributed handwritten poems and newspaper clippings dating from 1875 to 1969. Newspaper clippings consist of wedding announcements, births, memorials, daily reflections, religious tracts, recipes, and household help. Family names include Cowles, Worth, Lillard, and Thomas. These documents are not in order. Some materials focus on Ashe County, North Carolina and Meigs County, Tennessee.

The second scrapbook includes newspaper clippings dating from 1895 to 1904. A 1904 telegraph message refers to Colonel Lillard has been appointed to the Vicksburg Commission. Newspaper clippings include memorials, Civil War historical and Confederate reunion articles, Mexican War historical articles, and poems. Most of the articles focus on Meigs County, Tennessee.

Scrapbook in Hardbound Book, "Memorial Addresses: Life and Character of Fernando Wood, February 28th, 1881", Clippings, 1875-1969 Box 1.6
Copied Clippings from Scrapbook in "Memorial Addresses" Book, 1937-1962, undated Box 1.7
Scrapbook in Hardbound Book "Memorial Addresses: Life and Character of George S. Houston, February 26th, and March 3rd, 1880", 1895-1904 Box 1.8

Series III: Historic Articles, 1838-1991, undated

Series Description: Series III: Historic Articles contains a variety of articles and papers on the Ore Knob Copper Mine, mineral locales in North Carolina, and some interesting tales of North Carolinians.

Map, Mitchell's Traveller's Guide Through the United States, Samuel A. Mitchell, 1838 Box 2.1
Article, "The Ore Knob Copper Mine and Reduction Works, Ashe County, North Carolina", American Institute of Mining Engineers, 1875 Box 2.1
Article, "Investigations on the Ore Knob Copper Process", by, T. Egleston, American Institute of Mining Engineers, 1881 Box 2.1
Article, "The Ore Knob Copper Mine and Some Related Deposits", by T. Sterry Hunt, American Institute of Mining Engineers, undated Box 2.1
Article, Information Circular no. 16: Mineral Localities of North Carolina, by James F. Conley, 1958 Box 2.1
Article, "North Carolina: Its Geology and Mineral Resources", by Jasper Leonidas Stuckey,1965 Box 2.1
Survey, "Geology of the Grandfather Mountain Window and Vicinity, North Carolina and Tennessee", by US Geological Survey. Professional Paper No. 615-plate 3, 1970 Box 2.1
Article, "Some Hair-Raising Tales -- Just for Halloween", by John Vaughan,The Charlotte Observer, October 31, 1991 Box 2.1
Map, North Carolina Physical Features and Counties and County Seats, 1953 Box 2.1

Series IV: Contributions to the Ashe County, North Carolina Heritage Book, 1889-1984, undated

Series Description: Series IV: Contributions to the Ashe County, North Carolina Heritage Book, 1984 - Essays located in this series were included in the published Ashe County, North Carolina Heritage Book, Volume 1, 1984. Photographs are housed in Series V and VI.

Flyer, "Centennial Celebration for the House on the Hill", August 28, 1983 Box 2.2
Flyer, Sale of The Heritage of Ashe County Book, 1983 Box 2.2
Paper, Creston (North Fork), undated Box 2.2
Excerpts, on the Worth Family, The Heritage of Ashe County, North Carolina Book, Volume 1, 1984 Box 2.2
Paper, Colonel Newton Jackson Lillard Family, by Stewart Lillard, undated Box 2.2
Paper, Thomas James "Tom or T.J." Lillard Family, undated Box 2.2
Paper, Stephen and Rebecca Perkins Thomas Family, undated Box 2.2
Paper, Martitia Clementine "Tish" Worth Wagner Wilcox, undated Box 2.2
Picture and Caption, David Worth Homestead, circa 1900 Box 2.2
Paper, Ore Knob Copper Mine, by Stewart Lillard (2 copies), undated Box 2.2
Excerpt,  from "On Horseback: A Tour of Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, by Charles Dudley Warner, 1889 Box 2.2

Series V: Genealogical Series, before 1880-1983, undated

Series Description: This series includes genealogical papers on several families, such as the Thomas, Worth, and Lillard families, along with some correspondence. The Design Magazine shows the Worth Family Mourning Picture, circa 1820.

Cemetery Records, for Worth and Thomas Ancestors, North Carolina and Tennessee (3 copies), undated  Box 2.3
Deeds and Surveys, 1852-1900, undated Box 2.4
Papers, about Lillard Family, undated Box 2.5
Papers, about Thomas Family, undated Box 2.6
Papers, about Worth Family, undated Box 2.7
Papers, about Lewis William Worth and Family, undated Box 2.8
Photographs, Black and White, Worth Family Ancestors, undated Box 2.9

Series VI: Photographs, undated

Series Description: Series VI: Photographs includes black and white photographs and tintypes, many of which were originally located in leather bound photograph albums. Some of these are indentified on the backs, a few with dates. Photocopies of the originals are included to reduce handling of the originals.

From the identifications on the back, the photos were sorted into those relating to the Worth, Thomas, and Lillard families, some of which were filed in the Genealogical Series beside family histories.

Photo Collages, Two, undated and unidentified, undated Box 2.10
Photographs, Black and White, identified as Worth Family, undated Box 2.11
Photographs, Black and White, identified as Worth Family, undated Box 2.12
Photographs, Black and White, identified as Thomas Family, undated Box 3.1
Photographs, Black and White, Unidentified Men, undated Box 3.2
Photographs, Black and White, Unidentified Women, undated Box 3.3
Photographs and Tintypes, Black and White, Various Persons and Scenes Identified, undated Box 3.4
Photographs, Color (6), Various Records, Persons, and Art, undated CS_Box 2

Series VII: Ephemera, 1855-1983, undated

Series Description:Series VII: Ephemera includes Wedding Announcements for Lizzie Worth Benham and William Thomas Baldwin (1898), Mrs. Elizabeth Penn Seary and Garland Estes Vaughan (1924), and Calvin C. Benham and Jennie L. Worth (1875), poetry, magazine photograph of Martha Washington College, an undated Cherokee Indian Fair, obituary of Virginia Perkins Waugh (1916). A photocopy of a time book from the Ore Knob Mines in Ashe County, North Carolina is included in this series. Along with these items is an old, very small hymnal whose front cover is missing, and it is brittle.

Ephemera, Family History and Events, 1875-1983, undated Box 3.5
Ephemera, Papers, undated Box 3.6
Hymnal, Small, circa 1880 Box 3.7
Time Book, Lillard, Ore Knob Mines (photocopy), 1855-1856 Box 3.8
Leather Photo Albums (Three), undated Box 4