Edwards Cemetery, Coxes Creek, Yancey Co., North Carolina

Edwards Cemetery Coxes Creek

Yancey Co., North Carolina

Documented by Beth Bradford-Pytel

updated on 10/29/16


PHOTO:  Macro view of cemetery from the entrance taken March 2014 by Joe Fender

The cemetery is named after Jasper Edwards #29, (s/o James "Sheep Eating" Edwards and Clarissa Mashburn buried near the Cynthia Branch in Yancey Co.) who was the first person to be interred here in 1912.


Directions:  From Burnsville, take 19W (Big Creek Road) towards Ramseytown and make a right onto Coxes Creek Road just before Byrd's Chapel.  Proceed for about 1.5 miles to the summit of the mountain at which time make a sharp left turn onto a gravel road directly across from Pokeberry Lane.  If you pass the Hunter Cemetery (also on the left), you have gone too far.


This project was in partnership with Julian Fender, a descendant of Zaney Edwards-Peterson-Shehan who surveyed the cemetery and took all the tombstone photos in March 2014.  Additionally, he and I fabricated the Edwards sign and installed Feb 2014.  I also give thanks to Mike Shelton and Terry Edwards for providing their vintage photos and info of the people buried here.  Feel free to Email me your comments, photos and info.




ROW 1:



b. June 27, 1913 - d. December 10, 2003

[d/o Arthur l. Gurley and Minerva B.; w/o Col. Clarence E. Sheen;

children:  C. Michael and F. Clark]


ROW 2:


2.  PHILLIPS, Walter

b.  January 18, 1932 - d. March 29, 2009

[s/o Arthur Phillips and Anise Bell Whitson buried Phillips Cem of Bald Creek]


3.  PHILLIPS, Joseph

b. February 14, 1942 - d. October 6, 2003

"Great Loves Live On"

[s/o Arthur Phillips and Anise Bell Whitson buried Phillips Cem of Bald Creek]]



b. October 16, 1940 - d. November 11, 2011

[d/o Stanley Locklear and Carabell Jacobs]




5.  BENNETT, Louise Oppy

b.  February 7, 1928 - d. September 13, 2011




6a.  BENNETT, G. Richmond

b. May 2, 1891 - d. August 29, 1988

[s/o Hunley Malcomb Bennett and Lovicey Phillips buried Bennett Cem.]


6b.  BENNETT, Caroline Etta [WILLIS]

b. July 10, 1901 - d. May 26, 1996

[w/o G. Richmond Bennett]


7.  BENNETT, Ronnie Lee

b. May 15, 1948 - d. October 24, 1995


ROW 3: 


8.  EDWARDS, Nellie [HOWARD]

b.  June 19, 1890 - d. June 4, 1971

[w/o James Robert Edwards]


9.  AYERS, Annabelle EDWARDS

b. April 7, 1936 - d. April 17, 2010

"The Lord is My Light and My Salvation; Whom Shall I Fear?

The Lord is the Strength of My Life; Of Whom Shall I be Afraid?  Psalms 27:1

[d/o John Wesley Edwards and Nancy Adkins]


10. EDWARDS, Furman

b.  May 2, 1932 - d. July 9, 2012

CPO US Navy - In Loving Memory

[s/o John Wesley Edwards and Nancy Adkins]




11a. EDWARDS, John Wesley

b. May 29, 1875 - d. December 19, 1955

[s/o Mary Edwards (d/o James Edwards and Clarissa Mashburn) and Mr. Byrd]

NOTE:  He was born in the Coxes Creek area and raised by his grandparents, James "Sheep Eating Edwards" and Clarissa Mashburn.  He was an educated  man working as a school teacher for Ramseytown, Piney Hill, Lost Cove districts.  in 1910, he was noted in the census age 35 and living with widow Barbara Ann Edwards-Peterson and her children.  Photo of John Wesley Edwards courtesy of Terry Edwards / Boyd Peterson.


    Photo of mother Mary Edwards    courtesy of Terry Edwards



b. December 14, 1896 - d. April 17, 1971

[d/o Preston Adkins and Martha Peterson buried Adkins Cem; w/o John Wesley Edwards; children Harold, Annabelle, Preston, Martha, Furman, Freeman, Joy]

NOTE: Photo of John and Nancy courtesy of Terry Edwards


12.  EDWARDS, Preston Seigle

b. January 5, 1929 - d. February 25, 1929

[s/o John Wesley Edwards and Nancy Adkins]


13a.  WHITSON, Fonzo

b. March 3, 1911 - d. June 21, 1980

"The Lord is My Shepherd"



b. April 26, 1912 - d. October 1, 1979

[w/o Fonzo]


14.  EDWARDS, Harold Freeman

b.  March 26, 1927 - d. April 30, 2009

US Navy - WWII

[s/o John Wesley Edwards and Nancy Adkins

    OBITUARY     Harold Freeman Edwards of Fletcher. NC died age 82.  He passed away Thursday, April 30, 2009.  Mr. Edwards was born March 26, 1927 in Yancey County, living in Michigan for most of his life before moving to Buncombe County in 2006.  He was a veteran of the US Navy during the Korean Conflict.  He is preceded in death by his parents, John Wesley Edwards and Nancy Adkins; and son, Wayne Edwards.


15.  EDWARDS, James Robert

b. March 15, 1886 - d. March 16, 1966

[s/o Jasper Edwards and Mary Jane Lewis]


16.  EDWARDS, Darryl W.

b.  February 6, 1955 - d. June 13, 1999

[s/o Freeman Edwards and Elaine]




17.  LEWIS, Crawford

b. 1906 - d. 1985



[child of Hobart and Letha Edwards]


19.  MURPHY, Minnie [BUCHANAN]

b. June 5, 1882 - d. February 26, 1963

[s/o Jasper Edwards and Mary Jane Lewis]


20.  EDWARDS, Hiram

b. September 25, 1879 - August 7, 1945

Free Mason

[s/o Jasper Edwards and Mary Jane Lewis

NOTE:  photo of young Hiram about 1900 --courtesy of Mike Shelton


21.  EDWARDS, Chedo Lemuel

b. June 6, 1871 - d. July 30, 1960

[s/o Jasper Edwards and Mary Jane Lewis; he married 1st Minnie Clyde Murphy; 2nd Emily Howell on 28 September 1899 in Yancey Co., NC.]

NOTE: died of cardiovascular disease; photo of young Chedo about 1890 ish courtesy of Terry Edwards




22.  EDWARDS, Emily Buchanan [HOWELL]

[d/o William Howell and Nancy Griffith; w/o Chedo; children: Mary Jane, Lonnie

NOTE:  photo Chedo Edwards and Emily Howell --courtesy of Mike Shelton


23.  BUCHANAN, Virginia Lucile

b. September 1, 1917 - d. February 13, 1919

[d/o C. D. Buchanan and Bessie]



b. October 2, 1824 - d. December 6, 1925

Meet me in Heaven

[w/o William M.; children: Martha, Sintha, Emily Jane, Katherine


25.  HOWELL, William M.

b. December 8, 1830 - August 7, 1917

"He was Beloved By God and Man"

[s/o James A. Howell, Jr. and Asinthia Thomas]


ROW  5


26a.  BRADFORD, William Samuel

b.  April 23, 1912 - April 22, 1974

Tec 5 US Army

[s/o William Ervin Bradford and Nora Radford]


26b.  BRADFORD, Johnnie M. [HONEYCUTT]

b.  April 6, 1910 - d. 1988

[married 1st William Samuel Bradford]


27a.  EDWARDS, Noah

b. January 26, 1896 - d. December 13, 1933

Pvt. US Army

[s/o Jasper Edwards and Mary Jane Lewis]


27b.  EDWARDS, Bessie L.

b. March 27, 1902 - d. March 31, 1978


28.  EDWARDS, Mary Jane [LEWIS]

b. May 3, 1852 - d. January 1, 1917

[w/o Jasper Edwards; d/o Robert Lewis and Martha Willis; children: 

1)  Laura Alice md. John Phillips

2)  Chedo Lemuel md. Emily Howell #21/22

3)  Simeon Bascomb md. Rebecca A. Hensley

4)  Nelson Vance md.

5) Hiram md.

6) Manerva md.

7) Sarah

8)  Elizabeth Doraina m.d Turner Riley Pate

9) James Robert

10) William Anderson

11)  Noah A. md. Bessie L.

NOTE:  Death record shows she died of inflammatin of the kidneys.   photo of Jasper and Mary Jane Edwards courtesy of Mike Shelton


29.  EDWARDS, Jasper

b. April 4, 1848 - d. December 19, 1912

[s/o James Edwards and Clarissa Mashburn]

NOTE:  The Jasper Edwards Family Photo:  (l-f) 1st Row:  Jasper, Lethia (grand-daughter), Mary Jane, Chedo; 2nd row (l-r) Noah and Alonzo ---photo courtesy of Mike Shelton and Terry Edwards


30.  LEWIS, Robert

b. July 20, 1827 - d. 1912

[s/o Matthew Hiram Lewis and Martha Roberts s of Egypt Twp.; married Martha Willis


31.  LEWIS, Sarah A. [YOUNG]

b. February 10, 1828 - d . March 19, 1915

"In Memory of Sarah"

[d/o John Young and Sarah Robinson]

NOTE:  death record shows she was a widow and died of "paralysis"; buried in "Bee Log"




32.  BAILEY, Robert F.

b. February 11, 1882 - d. July 19, 1916

"How Desolate Our Home Bereft of Thee"

NOTE:  Death record shows cause of death homicide - shot and killed by pistol to the head




33.  BAILEY, Ancil N.

b. March 22, 1854 - d. October 23, 1938

[s/o William Manassa Bailey and Rebecca Deyton; married Katherine Howell

NOTE:  Ansel Bailey (age 25) married Katherine Howell (age 18) on 14 Jan 1881 - A J Bennett.  Per Yancey Co. death record #29, married; cause of death "paralysis"; farmer; informant son Jesse Bailey;  parents noted and buried "Bailey Cemetery."  Photo of Ancil and Katherine standing in the cornfield on their farm --courtesy of Darla Davenport


34.  BAILEY, Katherine "Katie" HOWELL

b. October 17, 1865 - d. November 27, 1949

[d/o William Howell and Nancy Griffith; w/o Ancil N. Bailey

NOTE: Per the Yancey Co. Death Record #29847, widowed; died age 84; cause of death "peptic ulcer bleeding", onset 10 years; also lymphoma and generalized arteriosclerosis; informant Grover Bailey; parents noted; buried "Bailey Cemetery."


35.  PRYOR, Norma BAILEY

b. June 4, 1942 - d. January 7, 1982

[d/o Jesse B. Bailey and Minnie Arrowood]



b. November 20, 1906 - d. February 17, 1987

"Our Rose - God's Orchid - Beloved Mother"

[w/o Jesse B. Bailey; children:  Betty Jean, Vernon, Hattie, Norma]


37.  EDWARDS, Anderson

b. 1891 - d. 1926

[s/o Jasper Edwards and Mary Jane Lewis]




38a.  EDWARDS, Lila Gilley

b. June 23, 1903 - d. September 26, 1985

38b.  EDWARDS, Robert Monroe

b. January 21, 1896 - d. August 17, 1970


39.  EDWARDS, Skelton

b. March 10, 1855 - d. May 18, 1923

[s/o James Edwards and Clarissa Mashburn]

NOTE:     DEATH CERT     died age 68 from cancer of the stomach

Photo of Skelton courtesy of Marguerite Diffendaffer.


40.  EDWARDS, James

b. September 2, 1902 - d. May 17, 1934

"Father of Elaine, Ed & Raymond"


41.  SHEHAN, Zebulon Monroe

b. July 22, 1872 - d. December 10, 1954

[s/o James D. Shehan and Zaney Edwards]





b. September 23, 1840 - d. June 28, 1915

[d/o James "Sheep Eating" Edwards and Clarissa Mashburn; married 1st Alney Peterson (buried Mt. Olivet Cem; s/o Peter Peterson and Dicey Stroup; children:

1) Elbert David (Peterson Cem. Coxes Creek)

2) William Charles


married 2nd James D. Shehan - children:

1) Martha Jane md. John Byrd on Oct. 31, 1893

2) Zebulon Monroe #41

3) Julia Ann md. Malcombe Fox

4) Minnie Loretta md. Moses Nebraska

5) James N.

6) Samuel Tilden md. Rissie Elizabeth buried Martins Creek Cem.


    DEATH RECORD            LETTERS - Pvt. Alney to Zaney with  Notes          ORIGINAL LETTER - Pvt. Alney Peterson to Zaney - May 6, 1862  


NOTES:  Zania/Zany married first Alney Peterson around 1856.  He was the s/o Peter Peterson and Dicey Stroup b. Oct. 11, 1830 – d. May 18, 1865.  During the Civil War he served as Private for Co. G, NC 29th Regiment Infantry CSA; enlisted on July 26, 1861 and was paid $22 a month for service. Before the war, she and Alney had two children: Elbert David and William Charles.  Alney's war record shows that he was captured by Union forces on December 16, 1864 and 6 days later admitted to a military field hospital in Nashville due to a fractured left femur which required an amputation at the “middle third of the thigh by circular operation.”  On May 6, 1865, he was transferred to the US General Hospital in Nashville and 12 days later died at age 34 from complications post the surgery. The records noted he died of “exhaustion” and buried at the “City Cemetery in Nashville, Grave #13634,” which is now called Mt Olivet.  Alney died without a Will and on January 25, 1883, Zaney (now married to James D. Shehan) petitioned the Yancey Co. Court to settle her deceased husband's estate with her and Alney's sole heir, Elbert David Peterson. Part of the Estate was to settle a land dispute  vs. John C. Johnson.     ESTATE OF ALNEY PETERSON     Their land was in the Coxes Creek area adjacent to J. W. Bryant's property.  About 1869, Zaney remarried to James D. Shehan (b. June 11, 1846 – d. April 7, 1918; s/o Morris Shehan and Elizabeth “Betsy” Mashburn of McDowell Co.).  The death record of Zaney shows that her father was born in Tennessee and her mother born in McDowell Co., NC and that she died of “old ladies syndrome and no Dr. attended.”  After the death of Zaney, James moved to over Higgins Twp. in McDowell Co. near his son Samuel T. where he lived for an additional 3 years and died at age 70 from organic heart failure.  His death record states that he is buried at “Pleasant Hill” Cemetery in McDowell Co., NC.


43.  BAILEY, Jerry

d. 1950


44.  BAILEY, Jesse B.

b. December 21, 1902 - d. August 1, 1961

[s/o Ancil Bailey and Katherine Howell; married Minnie Arrowood]


45.  BAILEY, Scottie "Bob"

b. May 1, 1932 - d. April 3, 1970

[s/o Jesse B. Bailey and Minnie Arrowood]


46.  COLANDREA, Peggy

b. 1934 - d. 1975



b.  December 25, 1934 - d. June 24, 1975

[d/o Jesse B. Bailey and Minnie Arrowood]


48.  Donald

b. May 3, 1962 - d. May 22, 1962

"We Love You"



b. March 1928 - d. May 16, 1939


50.  BAILEY, Vernon B.

b. May 5, 1929 - May 23, 1937

[s/o Jesse B. Bailey and Minnie Arrowood]


51.  BENNETT, Ernest

b. April 23, 1935 - d. April 24, 1935

Budded on Earth to Bloom in Heaven


52a.  MITCHELL, Moses Nebraska "Braskey"

b. July 14, 1874 - d. April 23, 1951

[s/o Martha Patsy Mitchell is noted on his death record; father unknown but possibly a Laws]

NOTE:  He married Minnie Shehan (age 19) on July 9, 1897 at age 22 - witnessed by Daniel Miller, JB Rodgers and Shelton Fox.  Photo courtesy Joe Fender


52b.  MITCHELL, Minnie Loretta [SHEHAN]

b. November 9, 1878 - d. May 9, 1951

[d/o James D. Shehan and Zaney Edwards; w/o Braskey Mitchell married July 9, 1897; children:

1) Nora Ada - md. Willard Whitson

2) Thomas - died of consumption (tuberculosis)

3) Pandora - died at 7 in a fire

4) Carlin Monroe - md. Lilis Arrowood

5)  Frank J., - md. Marie Hensley

6) Edith Rosetta - md. Howard Hayes

7) Ethel L. - md. Joseph McKinley

8) Faye Viola-  md. Burgess Wilson

9) Ida - md. Neil Byrd

10) Mallie A. - never married

11) Burgus Bruce - md. Iva Higgins

12)  Maud - md. James McCracken

Photo of Minnie and Moses courtesy Joe Fender




53.  EDWARDS, Robert. A.

b. April 10, 1933

"Have Faith in God"


54.  RENFRO, Annie

b. 1855 - d. 1934

"In Memory of our Dear Mother"


55.  EDWARDS, Betty Jean

b. March 1, 1932 - d. June 9, 1938

"Darling We Miss You"


56.  EDWARDS, Lonnie

b. July 15, 1900 - June 20, 1970

North Carolina - Pvt. Co. B. 26th Infantry - WWI


57.  HIGGINS, Marshall Dakota

b. December 1, 2000 - d. December 2, 2000


58.  EDWARDS, Willard

b. July 2, 1931 - d. August 26, 1977


59.  field stone




60a.  LANTER, Ben

b. May 28, 1888 - d. May 28, 1970


60b.  LANTER, Charlotte

b. December 20, 1924 - d. June 2, 1993


61.  BENNETT, Coy M.

b. March 11, 1926 - d. June 27, 1993

Sgt. First Class US NAVY - WWII

"Together Forever"


62.  BENNETT, Jewell

b. June 22, 1920 - d.


63.  BENNETT, Hazel L.

b. September 17,, 1921 - d. August 1, 2001

"In God's Care"


64.  WILLIS, Marion

"Beloved Uncle of Etta Willis Bennett"




65a.  MITCHELL, Frank J.

b. February 21, 1905 - d. September 6, 1981

[s/o Moses Nebraska "Braskey" Mitchell and Minnie Loretta Shehan]

NOTE:  he was a farmer and lumberman


    OBITUARY      From The Asheville Citizen Times, Sept. 1981



b. February 26, 1909 - d. September 24, 1970

[d/o Marcus Alonzo Hensley buried Wm Hensley Cem. and Leah Adkins buried Peake Cem.

1st companion of James Floyd Peterson buried Elbert Peterson Cem-

child:  Nan Lou (buried Green Hills Cem. Asheville)     Photo of  Marie and Nan  


2nd married Frank J. Mitchell;

children:  Walter, Ella Von, Joyce, Ted and others alive.

NOTE:  photos courtesy Joe Fender




66.  ISAACS, Revonda EDWARDS

b. December 1, 1960 - d. February 8, 1992

"Precious Memories of You Forever, Love, Ed"


67a.  EDWARDS, Mary Joyce  [MITCHELL]

b. January 7, 1939 - d. October 15, 1993

PHOTO:  Joyce Edwards with her father Frank Mitchell --courtesy Joe Fender



68. MITCHELL, Walter S.

b. November 21, 1944 - d. July 2, 2001

[s/o Frank J. Mitchell and Marie Hensley]

NOTE:  photo of Walter was taken about 1991 post undergoing a kidney transplant courtesy of Joe Fender.  He was married three times and worked as skilled "Rod buster" for the International Iron Workers of America.  Photos courtesy Joe Fender.





b. May 21, 1942 - d. November 21, 1973


[d/o Frank J. Mitchell and Marie Hensley;

married Gay Blankenship]

NOTE:  She was a seamstress at Shadow Line Inc.  Her death record shows cause of death "Homicide; gunshot wound - found with 2 bullet holes:  one in left temple and one in left anterior chest  22 caliber." Husband was charged in the death of Ella, but due to insufficient evidence, all charges were dropped.   Photos courtesy Joe Fender.




ROW 10

70a.  MITCHELL, Burgus Bruce

b. October 29, 1919 - d. May 18, 1987

Staff Sgt. US Army - WW II - Korea

[s/o Braskey Michell and Minnie Shehan]

NOTE:  NC Vital Records show his birth date November 5, 1919



b. July 27, 1825 - d.


71a.  FOX, Jean MITCHELL

b. October 31, 1948 - d. January 28, 2009


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Updated 10/29/2016