Foster Cemetery #3 19W

Foster Cemetery #3 of 19W

Spivey Mountain, Unicoi County, Tennessee

Surveyed, documented, and analyzed by Beth Bradford-Pytel

updated on 04/09/16


PHOTO:  Taken on Sept. 2003, -bbpytel before and after clearing the overgrown cemetery by brothers Scott, Duane, (late) Doug and  (late) Terry Bradford

The Foster Cemetery #3 is nestled deep in the woods off 19W (Spivey Mnt. Rd) in the Unaka Mountain Region of Unicoi County, TN.  It is very close to the Old-New Hensley Cemetery #3.   Head east on 19W towards the summit of Spivey Mountain, make a left onto Coy Williams Road, just before you reach "Dead Man's Curve" (marked by large boulders). Coy Williams Road is semi-paved leading steeply downward to the bottom of the hill.  The paved road ends at the Old David Frank Foster house (on the right and privately owned by another family).  The road continues straight via a logging easement cutting through two meadows and then inclining up a steep hill.  The cemetery is at the top, on the left where there is a clearing  with a couple of huge overgrown Boxwoods.  The graveyard has been dormant since 1964.  It includes more than 24 unmarked graves with field stones which are believed to belong to the descendants of either Kennedy Kan Foster, Williams, Shehan or William A. Hensley clans.  David Franklin Foster and Leanner Elvira Hensley are my GG grandparents.


PHOTO:  (taken Sept 2013) To commemorate the cemetery, Julian Fender and I jointly crafted a sign to which I am standing next.  I am the 2G grand-daughter of David Franklin Foster and Leanner Elvira Hensley; great grand-daughter of Margaret Ibbie Foster-Hensley all of whom are buried in this cemetery.  I also give thanks to Julian Fender for taking care of this remote cemetery located on Spivey Mountain.




1. HENSLEY, W. [William] Kims

b. March 23, 1869 - d. January 14, 1944

[s/o William Henderson Hensley and Julia Ann Hensley buried Hensley Cem #3;

he married Mary Lucretia "Creasy" Foster-Jones on May 9, 1897.  Children: 

1)  Ruth Eller "Rissie" (md. Willard Biddix),

2)  Reed Bud (md. Mamie Banner)

3)  Ida Jane (md. Orville Banner)

4)  Julia Kate (md. Harry Banner)

5)  Monroe H. (md Dorothy Williams)

NOTE: The 1940 Census shows he owned a home on Rt. 19-23 (Holly Bush Gap) and completed the 3rd Grade and a farmer.   Per TN Death Cert #2095   died age 74, cause of death "no physician in charge"; his son Bud Hensley was the informant; buried at "Foster" Cemetery.   His wife Creasy was b. July 28, 1879-d. July 28, 1976,  and she is buried at Lamar Comm. at Cherry Grove, Erwin.  W. Kims grave stands alone in the far southern end of grave;  I suspect  his parents, William Henderson Hensley [s/o John Hensley Ursla] and Julia Ann Hensley [d/o William Kimmsey Hensley and Elivia "Ella" Chander] are buried at the Old Hensley Cemetery #3  in unmarked graves.


[several unmarked graves between W. Kims Hensley and the next grave]


2.  SHEHAN, W. G.

b. August 25, 1885 - September. 4, 1908

"Killed by a train at the ridge tunnel McDowell - Gone but Not Forgotten"


3.  FOSTER, Fredrick Edward

b. August 15, 1897 - d. October 16, 1964

"Blessed are the merciful"

[s/o David Frank Foster and Leanner Hensley #4-#5]

NOTE:  Fred never married. He was found dead under the barn at his parent's old property on Spivey which is down the hill from this cemetery. My father told me that he died from alcohol poisoning.


4.  FOSTER, David Franklin

b. December 22, 1843 - d. January 8, 1922

"Gone to a brighter home, where grief cannot come"

[s/o unknown and Ellenor"Nellie" Foster (b. 1819-1896)

NOTE: Served Co. K, 13th Tenn Vol., Cavalry.  According to his   DEPOSITION   David states under oath that on September 9, 1863, he was captured by the Union Army at Cumberland Gap (hence he was serving for the Confederates) and was sent off to Camp Nelson, KY, at which time he enlisted in the Union Army on Sept. 20, 1863, given a Uniform and mounted with a horse.  In late November 1863, he was given a furlough to go home. He explains his service under Capt. "Derby" along with other fellow Spivey Mountain residents.  The Affidavit was taken for the purpose of investigating William Issam Hensley's pension application which was initially denied by the government.


According to the History of the Thirteenth Regiment, Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry, U.S.A  by Samuel W. Scott, Samuel P. Angel, (page 479David F. Foster enlisted at the age of 17 as Pvt. in Co. K, 13th TN Cavalry, serving under Co. Commander Capt. John G. Dervin.  He was mustered on January 26, 1864, at which time he never showed up and was documented as AWOL.  Other relatives/neighbors with whom he served in the same unit were:  William Watts, William Kimsey Hensley, Logan Hensley, brothers William Issam Hensley and James W. Hensley (killed in action),  and William Granison Chandler.  After the war, David F. was a  lifetime farmer on Spivey.  His father is unknown but some claim he was a Rigsby; others assert William Hensley; or gambler named John Black of Clay Co., KY.   Appears his mother never remarried and her children resumed her surname. David's mother, Ellenor "Nellie" Foster was living in the "Wolf's" area of Unicoi during the 1880 census and most likely is buried in that area.

FAMILY PHOTO circa 1897 of David Frankin Foster's Family

R-L First Row:  David Frank, son Joseph, son Fred [infant in lap], wife Leanner Hensley, dau. Nellie Catherine, son-in-law Robert Burton "RB" Hensley,  dau Amanda "Mandi"; R-L Second Row: dau. Matilda Jane, dau. "Maggie", dau. Manota "Nodie", son Dolphus B; Standing in Back:  son William Burton.  Photo taken at the wedding of Nellie Catherine Foster and Robert Burton Hensley, married on April 25, 1897.  photo courtesy of my uncle Duane Bradford.


5.  FOSTER, Leanner Elvira [HENSLEY]

b. January 8, 1858 - d. July 3, 1949

"The angel band was not complete, she's gone to fill the vacant seat"

[w/o David Frank #4; d/o Robert Burton Hensley and Catherine J. Edwards buried Old Hensley Cem #3; children:

1)  William Burton #6 - never married

2)  Mariah Cordelia md. Allison Woodville Hensley, buried Clear Branch Cem.

3)  Nellie Catherine md. Robert Burton Hensley, buried New Hensley Cem #3,

4)  Matilda Jane md. Burgess Gaither Hensley, buried  Clear Branch Cem.

5)  John Allison #7

6)  Margaret "Maggie" Ibbie #8 md. Howell Hensley buried Bradford Cem,

7)  Manota "Notie" md. Thomas Jefferson McIntosh buried Evergreen Cem.

8)  Dolphus Brownlow md. Minta Jane Hensley buried Foster Cem #2

9)  Amanda Elvira md. Richard Arthur Hensley buried Old Hensley Cem. #3

10) Daniel Harrison md. Della Jane Lawing buried Lakeville, Oregon

11) Fredrick E. #3 - never married


NOTE:      DEATH RECORD     of Leanner Hensley-Foster shows no indication of the cause of death.


6.  FOSTER, William B. [Burton]

b. April 6, 1874 - d. April 16, 1930

"Dearest brother, thou hast left us here, thy loss we deeply feel,

but tis God that hath bereft us, He can all our sorrows heal"

[s/o David Foster and Leanner Hensley #4-#5]

NOTE:  William never married; Unicoi Co. death record #9947, cause of death "tuberculosis"; informant D. B. Foster of Clear Branch; buried "Foster Cem."


7.  FOSTER, John A. [Allison]

 b. April 12, 1882 - d. July 5, 1906

"Resting on hope of a glorious resurrection"

[s/o David and Leanner Foster #4-#5; John never married]


8.  HENSLEY, Maggie I. [Margaret Ibbie]  [FOSTER]

b. June 30, 1884 - d. July 5, 1919

"Wife of Howell Hensley --We will meet again"

[d/o David Frank and Leanner Foster #4-#5; married Howell Hensley on June 12, 1912 in Unicoi Co.; child: Pearl Lee.

NOTE:  Unicoi Co. Death Record #466-1919, cause of death " peritonitis and appendicitis"; informant was her brother W. B. Foster of Kittyton; buried at "Hensley Cem."   It's possible that her body is interred at the Old Hensley Cem. and later, a stone was purchased abt. 1930 and placed at the Foster Cemetery.   After Maggie's widower, Howell Hensley never remarried and is buried next to their only child, Pearl Lee Hensley at New Bradford Cem located on their farm at the summit of Spivey Mountain.




8.  FOSTER, Kyle Franklin

b. July 19, 1927 - d. November 6, 1930

[s/o Daniel Harrison Foster and Della Jane Lawing]

NOTE:  Unicoi Co. death record #26629-1930; cause of death "diphtheria"; informant father of Erwin; parents mentioned in record; buried "Foster Cem."

Kyle's parents lived in Unicoi Co. up through the 1940's.  Harrison worked in the pottery factory as a Kiln Foreman and Drawing Cells (artisan).  Sometime before 1950's, he and Della moved out to the prairie country of Lakeville, Lake Co., Oregon and are buried at Sunset Park Cemetery.


9.  JNW

[carved initials on field stone; suspected William's grave]


PLUS.....24 Unmarked Graves with field stones   [most likely descendants of Fosters, Sheehans, Hensleys]



PHOTO:  (left) Taken Sept. 2003 -bbpytel.  Taking a break from clearing off the cemetery; [l-r Duane, (late) Douglas and Scott Bradford, grandsons of Maggie Ibbie Foster-Hensley #8.  (right) Sept 2013,  new sign and the cemetery is in the background with the huge boxwood.




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page updated on 04/09/16