Watts Cemetery of 19W

Watts Cemetery of 19W

Spivey Mountain, Unicoi County, Tennessee

Surveyed and documented by Beth Bradford-Pytel

Updated 12/24/12


Macro view of Watts Cemetery with Civil War Veteran William Watts' stone in the center --taken Feb 28, 2008 --bbpytel

The Watts Cemetery is named after Civil War veteran William Watts and nestled deep in the woods off 19W (Spivey Mnt. Rd) in the Unaka Mountain Range of Unicoi Co., Tennessee.  From the town of Erwin, take I-26 towards Asheville, NC and exit Temple Hill Road.  At the end of the ramp make a left, go under the highway and at the Stop sign, make a right. This is US Hwy 19-23W.  Continue for about. 1.5 miles and at the fork, make a left onto 19W heading towards Burnsville, NC.  Proceed towards the summit of Spivey Mountain.  Just before you reach "Dead Man's Curve" (marked by large boulders on the right), make a left onto John B. Hensley Road.  Initially the road is paved leading steeply downwards to the bottom of the hill; however, once you cross Watts Creek [a small tributary feeding into Spivey Creek] the road narrows and becomes gravel.  You will pass 3 private residences [2 on the left and one on the right]  After you pass the 2nd house on the left, you will see a logging road shortly afterwards on the left-side. This is the cemetery road that climbs steeply up the hill.  I highly recommend parking your car at the foot of the hill and walk [abt. 300 feet to the top] as the road narrows again.  This is a dormant cemetery with only 4 marked graves; I counted 15 field stones.  Some of the "Unmarked" graves are indicated based on research and county records as noted.

SURNAMES:  FOSTER, HENSLEY [#14], HUGHES [#3], SHEHAN, SHELTON [#1; 4], WATTS [#1-2; 13-15]



1.  WATTS, Elizabeth P. [SHELTON]

b.  [July] 1871 - d. 1961

[w/o John K. M. Watts; married 1889; d/o Armstrong Shelton and Elvira Hughes #3/4]

children: Lurana, Ustaly "Ulsey", Esther P., Manota, Sarah]

2.  WATTS, John [K.] M.

b. October 1866 - d. 1947

"We will Meet Again"

[s/o William Watts and Lurana Hensley #13/14]

NOTE:  During the 1900 Unicoi Co. census, 8th District,  HH #19, he states being born Oct. 1863; married for 11 yrs.

3.  SHELTON, Virah  [Mary Elvira HUGHES]

b. abt. 1859 - d. December 11, 1922

"Wife of Armstrong Shelton - Gone but Not Forgotten - died age 63"

[w/o Armstrong "Olmsted" Shelton #4]

NOTE:  Per Unicoi Marriage record, Vira Hughs and Olmsted Shelton applied and married on June 12, 1879, witnessed by L.S. Tilson; Adjudicated by Armstrong Harris, J.P.  There is another Elvira Hughes-Shelton buried in the Hensley #3 Cemetery #60.  

4.  SHELTON, Armstrong "Olmsted"  [suspected - unmarked w/fieldstone]

b. 1843 - d. bef 1900

[wife - Vira #3; s/o David Shelton and Nancy Verlin Hensley]

NOTE: born in the Clear Branch area of Unicoi Co., TN

5.  SHELTON, John B.   [unmarked w/ Field Stone]

b. January 18, 1915 - d. February 18, 1915

[infant s/o William "Billy" Shelton of Madison, NC and Ulsey Watts]

NOTE:  Unicoi Co. death record #455, cause of death "croup"; informant C. E. Hensley [Kittyton, TN]; buried "Watts Cem."; parents mentioned on record.

ROW 2:


6.   WATTS. Nathan Dempsey  [suspected - unmarked w/fieldstone]

b. May 1855 - d. bef 1930

[s/o William Watts and Lurana Hensley #13 & 14; wife Sarah A. Foster  married May 27, 1877, witnessed by her brother David Franklin Foster]


7.   WATTS, Sarah Adeline FOSTER   [suspected - unmarked w/ fieldstone]

b.  July 1855 - d. abt. 1935

[d/o unknown and Ellenor "Nellie" Foster; w/o N.D. Watts; children: William F., Leroy, Gaither, Anderson, George G., Burton L., Loretta


8-10.   5 unmarked graves with field stones.


ROW 3:


11.  SHEHAN, John   [suspected - unmarked w/fieldstone]

b.  January 12, 1855 - d. July 8, 1925

[s/o Aaron Shehan and Sarah Hensley; married Sarah Watts on November 28, 1877]

NOTE:  Unicoi Co. death record #308, died at age 70; widower; parents mentioned on record; cause of death heart failure; died in 12th District.


12.  SHEHAN, Sarah  [WATTS]  [suspected - unmarked w/fieldstone]

b.  1856 - d. abt. 1890

[d/o William Watts and Lurana Hensley; w/o John Shehan; child:  Melissa K. Shehan]

13.  WATTS, William

b. 1829 - d. bef. 1895

[s/o Peter Watts? and Mary of Bee Log area, Yancey Co., NC]

"Co. K, 13th Tenn Cavalry, Union Army"

NOTE:  He enlisted on Oct 1, 1863 as Pvt. at age 35 and mustered on Jan 26th. 

William married Lurana on June 5, 1851 in Washington Co., TN    AFFIDAVIT dated  November 29, 1886  , in which William Watts attests to his service in Co. K in 1861 and 1865 and his acquaintance to William Issam Hensley explaining W. Issam's affliction sustained in the war;  they marched from Kentucky to Knoxville, TN; also stationed at a camp in Bulls Gap, TN.

14.  WATTS, Lurana  HENSLEY  [suspected - unmarked w/ fieldstone]

b.  1831 - bef. 1895

[d/o John Hensley and Ursla; w/o William Watts married on June 5, 1851

children: Mary Ulsey, Nathan Dempsey, Sarah, James R., Maley, John K. M.]

NOTE:   During the 1860 Census, John and Ursla were living next door to their daughter Lurana Hensley and William Watts. 


15.  WATTS, Ulsey  [unmarked grave w/ field stone]

b. abt. 1848 - d. August 2, 1918

[d/o William Watts and Lurana Hensley; married/divorced John B. Shelton]

NOTE: Unicoi Co. Death record #590-1918 cause of death "Flux"; divorced;  informant -J. M. Watts [Kittyton, TN]; parent noted on record; buried "Watts Cemetery"

ROW 4:


16.   WATTS, James R.   [suspected - unmarked]

b.  July 1857 - d. July 4, 1939

[s/o William Watts and Lurana Hensley #13/14

NOTE:  Per the LDS Death record data base digital folder 4183673, Image #1396, File #1876877 - he died age 80, noted as "Jake Watts, s/o William Watts and Lurania Hensley, occupation "Farmer", buried at the "Mountain Dell" Cem.  I suspect he is buried here rather than the Old Hensley Cemetery which was also referred to as the Mountaindale Cem since his father and sister are noted being buried here.  This cemetery is in the Mountaindale area as well.


17-18.  Unmarked graves with field stones


ROW 5:


19.  Unmarked graves with field stones

[PHOTOS:  left to right]

1) the trail which leads up to the cemetery which sits on top of the hill

2) the cemetery --large oak is the center piece of the cemetery. 

3) walking back down the trail from the cemetery.  The gravel forked road on the left leads back to RT 19W.


Cemetery survey and photos were taken on February 23, 2008, by Beth Bradford-Pytel



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updated on 12/24/12