edwards cemetery 1 Coffee Ridge

Edwards Cemetery #1 of 19W

Coffee Ridge, Unicoi Co., Tennessee

Documented by Beth Bradford-Pytel

Updated 04/05/16


PHOTO:  Macro view of the overgrown cemetery before restoration - taken Aug 25, 2012 --Julian Fender

According to some of the early Unicoi Co. death certificates of the 1920s, this cemetery was also referred as the "Hensley Cemetery" most likely named after Civil War veteran, Andrew Jackson Hensley, s/o my 3G grandparents William S. Hensley and Mary "Polly" Howard whom I suspect are also buried here but not proven. 


DIRECTIONS: The cemetery is located at the junction of Coffee Ridge Loop and Gentry Mountain Road in the Coffee Ridge area, Unicoi Co., Tennessee.  From Erwin, take I-26 towards Asheville, NC and exit Temple Hill Road.  At the end of the ramp, make a left, proceed under the highway and at the stop sign, make a right onto US Highway 19-23W.  Continue for about 1.5 miles after which time, the road forks at Ernestville.  Make a left on US 19W [Spivey Mountain Road] heading towards Burnsville, NC.  The winding road cuts through Spivey mountain pass.   Proceed on 19W for about 1.2 miles and you will make a right on Coffee Ridge Road [look for the Coffee Ridge Baptist Church sign].  Crossover the bridge and proceed for about 1.3 miles until you come to a for of Coffee Ridge Loop; bear to the right and shortly afterwards, look for Gentry Mountain Road.  Continue straight on Gentry Mountain Road and shortly thereafter make a right after the first driveway.  The logging road is easy to miss. Park the car at the foot of the hill and hike up the path.  The cemetery is up the hill nestled in a knoll.


On September 2, 2012, Julian Fender and Tim Ledford cleared off and restored the badly overgrown cemetery back to its luster.         RESTORATION PROJECT  


NOTE: This project was in partnership with Julian Fender who surveyed the cemetery on August 25, 2012 took all the photos (unless otherwise noted).  This is a dormant cemetery with many unmarked graves.   Feel free to email me your comments, photos and info.

SURNAMES:   CLOUSE [#7; 12], EDWARDS [#4; 6; 8-9] HARRIS [#9; 10; 12], HENSLEY [#11-12], JONES [#1; 4-5] WILLIS [#1-3]


1.  WILLIS, Hester JONES

b. November 10, 1882 - d. September 23, 1916

"Rock of Ages"

[w/o Jasper Willis; d/o Margaret E. Edwards #4 and Elbert Jones]

NOTE:  Unicoi Co., Death Record #515, cause of death "heart failure"; informant J. C. Willis [Kittyton, TN]; buried "Edwards Cem."


2.  WILLIS, Robert C.

b. January 18, 1915 - d. March 10, 1915

"Gone But Not Forgotten"

[s/o W. Jasper Willis and Hester Jones]

NOTE:  Unicoi Co. death record #469-1915, cause of death "not stated"; died in the "8th district"; parents noted in record


3.  WILLIS, Van B.

"Son of D.F. and Martha Willis - We will Meet in Heaven"

b. January 6, 1893 - d. August 27, 1893

[s/o David F. Willis and Martha Gillis ]


4.  JONES, Margaret E. [EDWARDS]

b. September 3, 1857 - d. August 2, 1941

[d/o Andrew Jackson Edwards and Lucretia Clouse (buried Edwards Branch Cem).; w/o Elbert Jones (s/o William B. Van Jones and Mariah Belle Briggs) married Nov. 25, 1875;


1)  Amanda Jane md. Thomas Watsell (buried Hensley Cem #3)

2)  Celia M. md. George Washington Edwards; (buried Sams Cem.)

3)  Mary Elizabeth

4)  Hester #1 md. Jasper Willis

5)  George

6)  Martha L.

7)  Nellie R.

8)  Burton

9) Watsel F.


Unmarked with field stones  head and foot of grave


5.  JONES, Minnie K.

b.  1889 - d. 1968


6.  EDWARDS, Dorsey D.

b.  ? - d. February 25, 1934

"Wagoner, 105th Engineer 30th Division - WWII


7.  CLOUSE, Mirtie M.

b. April 3, 1890 - d. February 2, 1918

"Died Age 27 Years - 9 Mos. - 29 Days"

"She Has Gone to her Home in Heaven and All her Afflictions are Over"



8.  EDWARDS, Andrew Jackson ("Andy Jack")  [unmarked]

b. September 13, 1863 - d. August 9, 1959

[s/o Andrew Jackson Edwards Sr. and Lucretia Clouse (buried Edwards Branch Cem)]


9.  EDWARDS, Amanda [HARRIS]

b. June 21, 1867 - d. October 3, 1919

"Age 52 Yrs. 3 Mos 11 Days"

"She has Gone to her Home in Heaven and All Her Afflictions are Gone"

[d/o Ruhamie Hensley; w/o Andrew Jackson Edwards - married April 27, 1884]

NOTE:  Married April 27, 1884;  Unicoi Co. Death Cert #486 - died of Tuberculosis - parents Andrew Hensley and Ruhamie Harris; buried "Hensley Cem."  It appears cemetery was renamed to Edwards #1 because there were many Hensley cemeteries in the area.

    Death Cert    


10  EDWARDS, Manoda E.

"Gone but Not Forgotten"

b. July 9, 1892 - d. September 5, 1894

[d/o Andrew J. Edwards and Amanda Harris]


11. HARRIS, Ruhamie  [aka Nancy Ruhamia HENSLEY]

"Thou Shall Come to thy Grave in Full Age -- Job 5-6"

b. March 4, 1838 - d. September 5, 1917

[d/o William Shelton Hensley and Mary "Polly" Howard;

w/o 1st William Marion Harris;  children:

1) Malinda Jane - md. John E. Edwards [buried Cardiff Cem]

2) Jinny Linette - md. Ambrose Guinn [buried Martins Creek #977]

3) Mary Elizabeth md. Joseph Landon Murray [buried Sams Cem]

4) Lydia Margaret - md. Silas McDaniel Hensley


Nancy Ruhamia had a partner after the death of husband children:

1) Amanda #9 - md. Andrew Jackson Edwards

2) Josephine #13 - md. James Madison Clouse

3)  Dora Belle md. James Madison Clouse after her sister died (buried Martins Creek)

NOTE:  Her husband, William Marion Harris, was probably killed in the Civil War and his burial is unknown; Unicoi Co. Death Cert #511 Widow; died of "Old Age, General Breakdown", no medical attention; noted she was buried in "Hensley Cem".             Death Cert    


12.  HENSLEY, Andrew Jackson

b. June 12, 1835 - d. July 4, 1907

"May the Resurrection Find Thee on the Bosom of the Almighty God"

[s/o William S. Hensley and Mary "Polly" Howard]

NOTE: Lifetime Farmer; According to his DEPOSITION, dated October 1905, attesting for his 2nd cousin, William Issam Hensley's, Civil War pension application, he explains that during the Civil War, he was initially conscripted to serve the 64th NC Infantry, C.S.A. under Capt. W. E. Tilson.  When Capt, George Kirk came through the Flag Pond area, he enlisted with the Union in July 1864 as Private in Co. G, 3rd N.C. Mtd. Infantry serving as a scout for the Bald Mnt. area and up through Green Co., TN.  According to the Compiled Service Records of the 3rd NC Mntd Infantry, National Archives Microfilm Pub., MSC401-Rolls 19-24, it shows that Andrew J. Hensley enlisted at age 29 on 7/2/1864 in Knoxville, Tenn serving as Private in Co. B and then "deserted." He voluntarily returned and was transferred to Co. G but then deserted on November 15, 1864 and never returned.




13.  CLOUSE , Josephine [HARRIS]

"Honored, Beloved and Wept - Here Mother Lies"

b. January 17, 1875 - d. November 13, 1893

[d/o Ruhamie Harris and unknown; w/o James Madison Clouse; child: Alta "Addie" M. Clouse

NOTE:   Josephine died 4 days later after giving birth to Alta;  James M. Clouse married Josephine's sister, Dora Bell; she took care of Alta along with her 3 children with James.  James and Dora Bell moved to Erwin and are buried at Martins Creek Cem. #975.


14.  HENSLEY, William Shelton  [suspected - unmarked]

b. abt. 1810 - d. abt. 1865

[s/o Benjamin Hensley and Louisa Shelton; he married Mary "Pollie' Howard from KY about 1830]

NOTE: Although he was too old to enlist, it is suspected that he was killed during the Civil War as he was gone by the 1870 census.  On December 22, 1860, between William S. Hensley and Samuel Higgins in exchange for $500, sells a parcel of land to Samuel Higgins which lies on the Indian Creek thence to Benjamin's property and the graveyard.  This transaction was witnessed by Ellis Higgins and Jason Harris (my 3G grandfather).  During the 1860 Census, Benjamin and Louisa lived 2 doors down from William S. Hensley's family.  Benjamin, died on November 9, 1862 and William died around 1865.  William S. Hensley's son, Andrew Jackson Hensley, becomes the head of the household, never marries and takes care of his mother Mary "Pollie" and sister Dorcus as evidence in the 1870 and 1880 census.  This is why I am compelled they are also buried at this cemetery which was also referred to as the Hensley Cemetery before land transfer.



15.  HENSLEY, Mary Pollie [HOWARD]  [suspected - unmarked]

b. abt. 1805 - d. after 1880

[unknown parents; married William S. around 1831; children are:

1) Barnett Lewis - md. Lucinda Van Hensley (buried Hensley Cem #3)

2) Andrew Jackson #12 - never married

3) Dorcus - never married

4) Nancy Ruhamia #11- md. William Marion Harris

5) Elizabeth

6) Nancy

7) Jackson

8) Isaac

NOTE:  I do not know the names of her parents.  However according to the 1850 census, she declares her age of 46 yrs and born in KY.  Also, according to her daughter, Ruhamie's death certificate, her maiden name was "Howard" but born in NC.  2 of Henry Harry Hensley's sons married Howard daughters from Harlan, Co., KY and there was a strong Hensley connection between the Yancey Co. NC, Unicoi Co., TN and Harlan Co., KY Hensleys.  On Barnett L. Hensley's death certificate, mother is noted as being a "Howell" from NC.


14.  Unmarked with funeral home placard / fieldstone


******several unmarked graves*****




PHOTO:  Macro view of the cemetery after the restoration- taken Sept. 2012 --Julian Fender

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