Flag Pond School Cemetery

The Flag Pond School Cemetery

Flag Pond, Unicoi County, Tennessee

Documented by Beth Bradford-Pytel

last update 04/05/16


NOTE:  Macro view of the right side of the cemetery with a huge oak tree as the backdrop --photo courtesy J. Fender Dec 2012

Flag Pond School Cemetery is named after the school behind which the cemetery lies off local route 23 in Flag Pond, Unicoi Co., Tennessee.  The cemetery is split into two sections, Part I, the right side enclosed with a metal pipe fence in need of repair and  Part II, the left side which sits upon an open field.  Both sections have several unmarked graves with field stones.


DIRECTIONS:  From Erwin, take I-26 towards Asheville, NC and exit 50, Flag Pond.  The exit ramp will take you under the highway and come to a "T" stop at Upper Higgins Creek Road.  Make a left on Upper Higgins Creek road which will swing back around under the interstate and intersect at Flag Pond Road.  Make a right at the stop sign.  Proceed on Flag Pond Road for about 2/10 of a mile and make a right onto Briggs Lane which is before you reach the Flag Pond Elementary School.  Continue on Briggs lane which will turn into a gravel road and at the summit of the hill is the cemetery.  The road splits the cemetery in two part.  This is an inactive cemetery and in average condition.



This project was in partnership with Julian Fender who surveyed the cemetery on December 1, 2012, and took all the photos (unless otherwise noted).  Contact me for corrections, additions and/or to post your family photos.


Index of Surnames:



SECTION I:  The Right Side, enclosed with a metal pipe fence

This section includes the descendants of Starling S. Hensley who migrated to Unicoi from Madison Co., NC after 1870



1.  HENSLEY, James B.

b. June 21, 1875 - d. May 1, 1966

[s/o Starling Hensley #2 and Cordelia #3]


2-5   unmarked graves with field stones


6.  HENSLEY, S. S. [Starling S. ]

b. October 29, 1834 - d. March 28, 1915

Free Mason

[s/o Berry Hensley and Mary "Polly" Keith of Madison Co., NC]

NOTE: According this his Civil War record, his residence was Madison Co., NC; Enlisted as Private on April 29, 1861 at age 26, in Edray, Virginia serving Unit #126, Co. B 16th Infantry Regiment - CSA, NC; he Deserted on February 5, 1863; Record notes Distinguished Service.  Unicoi Co.    Death Record #475-1915     died of "pellagra";  noted he was born on Oct. 20, 1833 Madison Co., NC; informant T. C. Hensley or Erwin; buried "Flag Pond."


7.  HENSLEY, Cordelia [SMITH]

b. April 11, 1853 - d. January 31, 1904

"Gone But Not Forgotten"

[2nd w/o Starling S. Hensley #2; 2 children: James B. #1 and Dr. Thomas Carter Hensley* buried Evergreen Cem, Erwin]

NOTE:  Married S. S. Hensley on April 6, 1872; applied for license on March 27, 1872; adjudicated by H. W. Gilbert, M. G.  "Tennessee the Volunteer State 17691923: Volume 2

*Dr. Thomas C. Hensley, prominent physician and surgeon of Erwin, was born in Flag Pond, Tennessee, on the 16th of May, 1873, a son of Starling S. and Cordelia (Smith) Hensley. The father was born in North Carolina and as a young man, in 1850, came to Tennessee and located in Unicoi county. He followed agricultural pursuits for many years, achieving substantial success in that connection, and he was justice of the peace for some time. Both Mr. and Mrs. Hensley are deceased. She was born in North Carolina and came to Unicoi county prior to the Civil war. Her [p.463] brother, John Smith, was justice of the peace of Unicoi county for some time. The marriage of Mr. Hensley and Cordelia Smith was celebrated in Flag Pond and to their union two sons were born, Thomas C. being the eldest.  The rural schools of Unicoi county afforded Thomas C. Hensley his preliminary education and subsequently he became a student at Tusculum College, near Greeneville. He lacked but one year of receiving an A. B. degree. His medical education was pursued in the Tennessee Medical College at Knoxville and he was graduated from that institution in 1906, with the M. D. degree. Dr. Hensley acquired his college education as the result of his own efforts, working his way through school. Previous to taking up the study of medicine he taught in the Unicoi county schools and in the schools of Madison, North Carolina. He was active in educational work for a period of two years and then engaged in the mercantile business in Flag Pond for five years. In 1906 the Doctor began the practice of his chosen profession in Flag Pond and remained there until 1914, when he came to Erwin, and has been in active practice here since that time. He has remained a constant student of his profession and has taken postgraduate work at the New York Post-Graduate Hospital, specializing in diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat. His practice is of a general nature, however, and he is readily conceded to be one of the foremost members of his profession in the city and county. He holds to the highest of professional ethics and well merits the confidence and esteem accorded him. For two or three years Dr. Hensley was active in the operation of the Erwin Hospital, which is now closed. Dr. Hensley, however, in association with other leading physicians and surgeons of Erwin, is planning to establish a new hospital. Although the great part of his time and attention is given to his profession, the Doctor is prominent in financial circles, having been vice president and director of the First State Bank of Erwin since 1918."


8.  HENSLEY, Elsie A.

b. March 27, 1899 - December 23, 1914

"At Rest"

[d/o Dr. Thomas Carter Hensley and Mary Ann Briggs]

NOTE:  Unicoi Co. death record [mo #] of 1914;  cause of death "pneumonia"; parents mentioned in record; buried in Flag Pond.  siblings -Thomas Fred, Holt Sr., C. R., Anna, Lilly, Effie,  Maude, Mary Lee;  parents buried at Evergreen Cem., Erwin, TN


9.  HENSLEY, Lizzie Edna

b. April 1, 1895 - d. October 1, 1895

[d/o Dr. Thomas Carter Hensley and Mary Ann Briggs]

NOTE:  parents buried at Evergreen Cem., Erwin, TN


10.  HENSLEY, Infant

no dates on tombstone;

[infant of Dr. Thomas. C. Hensley and Mary Ann Briggs]

NOTE:  parents buried at Evergreen Cem., Erwin, TN


SECTION II - The Left Side - open field


PHOTOS: macro views of the left side of the cemetery taken on December 1, 2012 by Julian Fender


SHELTON, Eliphus

Pvt., Co. G, 3 NC Mtd Infantry, Union Army

[b. March 6, 1845 - d. December 5, 1910;

s/o William B. Shelton and Chloe Riddle of NC;

married 1st Nicey L. Shelton on Dec. 25, 1865, d/o David Shelton and Nancy Hensley; 1 child - Cagle;

2nd Tilda Harris on May 11, 1902]

NOTE: Eliphus' first wife Nicey, was married first to Julius Halen Moore (s/o Samuel Moore and Sarah Metcalf) who was killed at the Shelton Laurel Massacre on January 19, 1863.  Civil War service Aug. 1, 1863 - Aug. 8, 1865; record #U-249-1-Briggs Post Office; Prior to his service w/ the 3rd Mtd. Infantry, Eliphus also served in Co. E, 2nd Mnt. Infantry; enlisted on 9/1/1863 at age 18, from Madison Co., NC, at Laurel.  He moved over to the 3rd NC Mtd Infantry. Eliphus and David Shelton are buried next to each other near a huge tree and are first cousins as their fathers are the sons of David Shelton and Catherine Miller. 

Per the  Unicoi Co.     Death Record #91018     he died age 65; cause of death "heart dropsy"; born in Madison, NC. 

PHOTOS:  Left - courtesy of Julian Fender; Right shows Eliphus and David Shelton's stones next to the tree --courtesy of Matthew K. Cole.



[b. 1833 - May 18, 1911]

Co. F, 10th Tenn Cav., Union Army

[s/o Eliphus Shelton and Sarah Riddle of Upper Laurel, Madison Co., NC;

married 1st Catherine Shelton, d/o Isaac Shelton and Rachel Torres;

2nd Eliza Reed August 3, 1896.

NOTE: Eliphus and David Shelton are buried next to each other near a huge tree and are first cousins as their fathers are the sons of David Shelton and Catherine Miller.  Per Unicoi Co. death record #91017, he died age 79; cause of death "brain hemorrhage", born in Madison, NC.

MORE INFO: https://sites.rootsweb.com/~tnmcmin2/SheltonCIVP151.htm



b. 1919 - d. 1985

[s/o Robert Swain Carter and Birley Harris]



b. March 12, 1915 - d. April 9, 1970

[d/o Robert Swain Carter and Birley Harris]


CARTER, Margaret Birley [HARRIS]

b. November 2, 1880 - d. December 20, 1965

[d/o William F. Harris and Mahala "Haley" Crain; married Robert Swain Carter]


CODY, Mahala "Haley" [CRAIN]  [unmarked]

b. [May] 1860 - d. 1942

[d/o Lewis Crain and Sarah ____ ; married 1st William F. Harris; children: Laura, Laraberaly, Oscar, Winston, Frederick, Lee M., Roy, Eddy, Hobartmarried 2nd Noah Cody on August 25, 1900, Unicoi Co., TN.  lived to age 70 yrs.


HARRIS, Hobart

b. June 18, 1898 - d. October 15, 1918

2nd LT 127th Infantry - Killed in Action

[s/o Mahala Crain and William Franklin Harris]



b. January 14, 1912 - d. February 5, 1913

[infant s/o Starling Staplin Hensley and Harriet Blankenship]



b. May 15, 1893 - d. August 6, 1914

[d/o Lair Crain of Buncombe Co., NC and Rachel Allen of Yancey Co. NC]

NOTE: Per Unicoi Co. death record #54-1914; "Anorman"; cause of death "appendicitis"; informant D.F. Willis of Flag Pond; parents mentioned in record; buried "Flag Pond."



b. June 9, 1910 - d. September 8, 1912

[infant d/o R. E. Shelton and Minnie ___ ]


HENSLEY, Caroline [Matilda CODY]

b. May 1865 -  d. February 12, 1901

"46 Years - Honored Beloved and Wept - Here Mother Lies"

[w/o Ellis Hensley (b. Mar. 19, 1856 - d. July 3, 1928); children: 

1) Starling Stapin (b. 1883 - d. 1947) md. Harriett Blankenship April 6, 1902

2) Josiah (b. 1884 - d. 1945)

3) Kirk (b. 1886 - d. 1970; buried Higgins Chapel) md. Elizabeth Tipton

4) Birtha Caroline (b. 1888 - 1902)

5)  Oscar (b. 1890 - 1973)

6) Henry (b. 1892 - d. )

7) William (b. 1894 - d. )

8) Pearl (b. 1898 - d. )

9) Walter (b. 1900 - d. 1901)

NOTE:  1900 Unicoi Co. Census - Hensley, Ellis b. Mar 1856 TN, , Matilda C. b. May 1865 NC; 10 children, 10 living all born in TN:  Starling- Feb 1883,  Josiah- June 1884, Kirk -March 1886 [buried Higgins Chapel #216], Birtha C. -June 1888, Oscar -March 1890,  Henry- March 1892, William- April 1894, Martin -April 1896 Pearl -March 1898,  Walter -March 1900.  Ellis Hensley remarried after the death of Matilda Cody to widow Ruhamia Lloyd Briggs.  She was previously married to a Briggs.



b. June 3, 1888 - d. June 10, 1902

"Though Thou Art Gone - Fond Memory Clings to Thee"

[d/o Ellis Hensley and Caroline Cody]



b. November 6, 1900 - d. June 12, 1901

"Gone But Not Forgotten"

[infant s/o Ellis Hensley and Caroline Cody]


HARRIS, Laura M.

b. March 10, 1876 - d. February 3, 1897

"Her Spirit is at Rest"

[d/o William Franklin Harris and Mahala Crain]


HARRIS, Frank [William Franklin Harris]

(b. December 16, 1853)  d. May 25, 1900

"Age 47 Years - Gone But not Forgotten"

s/o Jason L. Harris and Nancy Hensley; wife Mahala Crain]


CARTER, John Ellis

b. August, 23, 1865 - d. May 15, 1895

"Gone to Rest"

[s/o James Nelson Carter (b. 1830- d. 1899) and Barbara Jane Higgins (b. 1840 - 1910)]


2CRAIN, Bayless E. [Elbert]

b. January 6, 1877 - d. April 9, 1905

[s/o Lewis Crain #37 and Rachel Moore; he married Charity Elizabeth "Lizzy" Moore on October 12, 1897 in Unicoi co., TN


MOORE, Thomas Henry

b. December 17, 1889 - d. December 22, 1914

[s/o William Nelson Moore and Rebecca Jane Runnion buried Moore Cem.  Rice's Creek]

NOTE:  Unicoi Co. death record [no #] of 1914; single; cause of death "tuberculosis of hips"; informant Ralph Moore; buried in "Flag Pond"; parents mentioned in record


MOORE, Lydia C.

b. January 4, 1881 - d. July 5, 1882

[s/o William Nelson Moore and Rebecca Jane Runnion buried Moore Cem. Flag Pond]


MOORE, Franklin  [unmarked]

b.  January 15, 1887 - d. January 31, 1922

[s/o William Nelson Moore and Rebecca Jane Runnion buried Moore Cem. Flag Pond]

NOTE:  Unicoi Co. death record #271- 1922; he was married; cause of death "homicide by gunshot"; informant John B. Sams of Flag Pond; noted he was buried in "Flag Pond"; parents mentioned in record. 


RICE, J. T.  [Joshua Taylor]

b. June 25, 1885 - d. July 27, 1908

"Woodmen of the World Memorial"

NOTE:  Unicoi Co. death record #91052; cause of death "typhoid fever"; died at age23 yrs. in Kansas City, MO; he was single.


RICE, infant

b. January 6, 1906 - d. January 9, 1906


RICE, Frank Nelson

b.  February 23, 1883 - d. November 20, 1904



b. November 19, 1832 - d. March 31, 1887

"A Devoted Wife and Mother..."

[w/o Berry O. Runnion; d/o Nimrod Buckner (b. abt. 1795) and Nancy Elizabeth Anderson (b. abt. 1796); children:

1) Sarah Catherine md. Jasper Shuflin Carter

2) Rebecca Jane md. William Nelson Moore

3) Jeremiah Grayson md. Lydia Ann Runnion

4) Lydia Ann md. James Madison Guinn

5) Robert Gaston

6) Mary "Polly" Malinda md. William T. Sams

7) Marion Ervin md. Lucretia Gillis

8) Thomas Nimrod md. Rebecca Jane Gillis

9) Sarah Elizabeth

NOTE:  Elizabeth died at age 54. Photo of Elizabeth and Berry courtesy of Robert Runion -  rrunion@cox.net


RUNNION, Berry Oliver

b.  September 5, 1833 - d. October 24, 1904

"Blessed are the Dead Which Die in the Lord"

[s/o Thomas L. Runnion and Elizabeth "Betsy" Hensley;

married 1st Elizabeth A. Buckner on February 1, 1855 in Madison Co., NC;

married 2nd Sarah Matilda Higgins on September 23, 1888; children: Carrie Atlas and William Bert md. Lilly Farnor]

NOTE: Served as Pvt. 64th CN Infantry - CSA Civil War from Sept. 11, 1862 - July 20, 1864, Record #U-248-1; Served as Postmaster of Clear Branch effective April 26, 1895.



b. June 18, 1877 - d. December 31, 1877

[infant d/o Berry Oliver Runnion and Elizabeth A. Buckner #25]


RUNNION, Carrie Atlas

b. June 14, 1891 - d. August 30, 1891

[infant d/o Berry Oliver Runnion and 2nd wife Sarah M. Higgins]


RUNNION, Thomas L.

b. June 5, 1813 - d. December 12, 1890

NOTE:  Married Elizabeth ["Buckner"] in 1832;  Most agree "Buckner"  was a typo and that he married Elizabeth Hensley; 1880 Census house #49, age 68, retail grocer, born TN,  his parents born in NC. 

Photo courtesy of Robert Runion.



b. March 2, 1817 - d. July 13, 1903

[w/o Thomas Runnion; d/o Solomon Hensley and Mary "Polly" ____.  children:

1) William Squire md. Mary "Polly Ann Tinker

2) Berry Oliver md. 1st) Elizabeth Bucker; 2nd) Sarah M. Higgins

3) Burton M. md. Laura E. Chandley

4) Lewis P. md. Rachel Ann Banks

5) Hiram Erwin md. Martha Ann Hensley

6) Catherine "Cate" md. William M. Willis

7) Malinda, Mary "Polly" md. Jasper Blankenship

8) Elizabeth "Betsy" Jane md. James Woodward

9) Nancy Ann

10) Thomas Clingman Martins Creek, md. Sue Emma Guinn

11) Starling Vista md Samuel E. Higgins

NOTE:  photo of Elizabeth Hensley courtesy of Robert Runion.


RUNNION, Robert Gaston

b. March 9, 1863 - d. April 5, 1892

Free Mason

[s/o Berry Oliver Runnion and Elizabeth Buckner]

NOTE:  photo courtesy of Robert Runion.



b. February 9, 1812 - d. January 5, 1909

[s/o Holland Higgins and Barbara Hensley; mother buried Higgins Chapel]



b. October 21, 1811 - d. May 24, 1882

"Come to Rest"

[d/o John Tilson and Mary Erwin; w/o Ellis Higgins #30; married February 22, 1835; children:

1) John S - md. Elizabeth Tilson on Aug. 2, 1869

2) Mary E. md Jacob C "J C Southerland

3) Barbara Jane md. James Carter

4) Lydia

5) Margaret

6) William Thomas md Amanda E. Smith buried Higgins Chapel

7) Nancy Rebecca md. James Ballard

8) Sarah Matilda md. Berry Oliver Runnion

9) Samuel E. md. Buena Vista Runnion


MCCRAY, Elmira

b. August, 4, 1821 - d. June 26, 1891

[children: Sarah, Clementine]


VANCE, Alice G.

b. 1924 - d. 1939


CRAIN, Luis E.

b. June 16, 1883 - d. April 11. 1887


SHELTON, Nathan Garfield

b. January 15, 1881 - d. March 6. 1914

[s/o Levi Shelton and Amanda Shelton born in NC]

NOTE:  Unicoi Co. death record #8-1914, married; cause of death "tuberculosis of lungs"; parents mentioned in record; buried in "Flag Pond"


MOORE, Thomas Henry  [unmarked]

b.  abt. 1856 - d. January 24, 1916

[s/o Samuel Moore and Charity Brown buried Blankenship Cem.]

NOTE:  Unicoi Co. death record #438-196, cause of death "lobar pneumonia" at age 59, married; informant C. P. Gentry of Kittyton; buried "Flag Pond."


CRAIN, Lewis E. "Leroy"  [suspected - unmarked]

b. January 29, 1819 - d. February 23, 1917

[s/o William "Billie" Crane of SC and Mary "Polly" Ann Guthrie of GA;

1st wife: Sarah; child Mahaly

2nd wife: Lydia Tilson [d/o John Tilson and Mary Erwin]; children:  Samantha, Andrew J., Thomas T., Mary "Polly" buried Higgins Chapel, Vianna, Jesse W.

3rd wife: Rachel Moore, married January 17, 1884; children:  Joseph Vance, Bayless E.;

Rachel was previously married to William Washington Sams who was a Confederate soldier in Co,. A, 64thNC Regiment and did not return home from the war. Rachel and William were not enumerated together during the 1860 census. 4 children with him: Sarah, Mary-Ann, Lucretia J., Jesse Wallis]

NOTE:  Lewis was noted in the following Censuses:  1850 Yancey Co; 1860 Madison Co. the area which splits off from Yancey; 1870 Washington Co., 1880, 1900, 1910 Unicoi Co. the same area which splits off from Washington Co.  During the 1880 Census, HH #45, he was living with his aged parents in Flag Pond.  Per the Unicoi Co. death record #445-1917, cause of death "Old Age"; married at time of death; informant - Carl Sams; parents mentioned in record; buried in "Flag Pond".  Photo courtesy of Kelly Weiss


       LAND TRANSFER       On December 15, 1883, Lewis sells a portion of his land to Armstrong "Armp" Hensley Sr. (husband of Barbara Higgins; d/o Holland Higgins and Barbary Hensley) for $15.  This parcel of land resided near Greer's Fork (named after the man who killed Holland Higgins and a tributary of Indian Creek) and joining the lands of Lewis Hensley (brother of Armp and sons of Benjamin Hensley and Louisa Shelton).  Attesting to this document are Armstrong Harris (s/o Jason L. Harris and Nancy Hensley and married Lewis' daughter Mary Louisa Crain) and his son Jesse W. Crain.


***** Several Unmarked Graves *****




Macro view of the left side of the cemetery taken December 1, 2012 --Julian Fender

copyright.gif (18406 bytes)All rights reserved, B. Bradford-Pytel,  2003-present

Another volunteer project for the preservation of family history

Share the knowledge -- please feel free to link this page to your genealogy site

updated on 04/05/16