|Will of David Byrns
I David Byrns of Wise County Va,
being of sound mind
and memory do make this my last will and
1st I want all the land that
I own in the County of
Bland to be sold and the proceeds applied to the
payment of my just debts. I will also my waggon
all my tools sold and applied also to the payment of
my debts, and if the above named property is not
sufficient for the payment of all my just debts, I
will that all my land on Guest River be sold and
sufficiency of the proceeds taken to finish paying of
my debts. And the remainder if any I will to my
Beloved wife Elizabeth Byrns and to my Daughter Mary
B. Byrns jointly as long as they both shall live, and
at the death of either the proceeds to go to the other
to be disposed of as they may desire. And of the
money I have on hand I will that my Executor herein
after named pay the remainder of an execution or
judgement against the Estate of my son John W. Byrns
Dec’d in favor of Abraham McConnel. And to all
other heirs at law I will that my daughter Mary B.
Byrns pay each one dollar, and further if any thing
not herein named I will to my wife Elizabeth & my
daughter Mary B. Byrnes and lastly I do constitute and
appoint my Friend Daniel S. Hoge Executor of this my
last will and testament, hereby revoking all former
wills by me made.
In witness whereof I have set my
hand and affixed my
seal this 27th day of Feby 1863.
Hiram A Bickley
E. Jane Hoge
a quarterly Court began and held
for Wise County at he Court house thereof on Tuesday
the 24th day of March 1863, Present William Roberson,
Harvey C. Bruce, John H. Vanover, Wm. Vanover, Calvin
C. Perkey, Isaac Willis, Jeremiah Powers, John
Hunsucker, George St. Gray, Dulaney Bowling, John B.
Boggs, Jacob Ramey, Wm. Richmond, Adam G. Roberson.
The will of David Byrns, Dec’d was
proven in court by
the witness of Harvey C. Bruce and Hiram A Bickley
subscribing witnesses to the will, and thereupon the
will was admitted to record, and Daniel S. Hoge,
Executor and Harvey C. Bruce, Hiram A. Bickley &
W. Ramsey appraisers.
WB Hamilton, Clerk
CA Johnson, D.C.
of Wise to wit:
office of said County the 30th day of Dec. 1919,
foregoing will with the order of probate, was recorded
in Wills and Inventories No.7 page 225
From the Dickenson County News.
Volume 2 - Number 8.
Clintwood, Dickenson County, Virginia, Saturday,
September 27, 1919
APPEAL IN JOHNSON CASE IS REFUSED
MEANS END OF ONE OF HARDEST FOUGHT
LEGAL BATTLES EVER
WAGED IN COURTS OF VIRGINIA
appeal in Johnson case refused.” These few words
in a telegram from the secretary of the supreme court
of appeals of Virginia, now in session in the city of
Staunton, to Senator Roland E. Chase, of Clintwood,
Va., give information that the end has been reached of
one of the most important and hardest fought legal
battles that has been waged in the courts of Virginia
for years. This telegram refers to the case of
B. T. Johnson, Jr., of Narrows, Giles county, against
J. R. Miller and the heirs-at-law of David Byrnes,
deceased, which suit involved a very valuable
manganese mine in Bland county, Va., on the end of
Flat Top Mountain.
This suit has been in
progress for some twenty months. It was first started
in the circuit court of Bland county in February,
1918, and by reason of Judge Fulton Kegley, the judge
of the circuit court of Bland county, being related to
some of the defendants, he declined to hear the case,
and it was removed to the law and chancery court of
the city of Roanoke, and was referred by Judge
Robertson, of the law and chancery court of Roanoke,
to Wm. B. Kegley, of Wytheville, as a special
commissioner, to hear the evidence and report to the
law and chancery court his finding as to who was the
owner of the mine. Commissioner Kegley after hearing a
vast amount of evidence, reported to the law and
chancery court that, in his opinion, the heirs-at-law
of David Byrnes, the defendants in the suit, were the
true owners of this mine. Judge Robertson then
heard the case in February, 1919, and confirmed the
report of Commissioner Kegley, and gave the mine to
the heirs-at-law of David Byrnes. From the decision of
Judge Robertson, the attorneys for Johnson asked for
an appeal to the supreme court of appeals of Virginia,
which has just been refused, and which gives to the
David Byrnes heirs the mine. In this suit
Johnson was represented by Jackson & Henson, of
Roanoke, and Williams & Farrier, of Pearisburg,
and the Byrnes heirs were represented by Roland E.
Chase, of Clintwood, and Wm. B. Snidow, of Pearisburg.
There are several of the
heirs of David Byrnes and most of them reside in
southwest Virginia. David Byrnes came to what is
now Bland county about 1800, and resided at
Mechanicsburg until about 1856 , when he moved to what
is now Wise county, but this was before Wise county
was formed. He died at Tacoma, Wise county, in
1863. While he lived at Mechanicsburg, in 1842,
he obtained a grant for a tract of 177 acres of land
on the west end of Flat Top Mountain, from the state
of Virginia, and it is within this grant that this
mine is located. Johnson claimed this mine under an
old grant to Samuel Hollingsworth, but it was
established in the case that this mine was inside of
one of the exceptions contained in this Hollingsworth
grant, and that therefore the Hollingsworth grant did
not include the mine.
Johnson and the Byrnes heirs
each did a large amount of surveying in this section
of Bland county, in their attempts to locate many old
connecting grants in that part of the country.
One of the important issues in this case was the
correct location of a spring in one of the old Henry
Banks grants, which is over 130 years old, called by
the name of the “Clover Spring,” and many lines were
run and much evidence of the older settlers of this
county taken on the question of the location of this
spring. This spring as contended by the Byrnes
heirs was located by E. M. Davidson, county surveyor
of Bland county, at three bold springs on the north
side of Flat Top Mountain. These three springs
come out of the ground in the shape of a three-leaf
clover, and it was the contention of the Byrnes heirs
that this was probably the reason for these springs
being called the “Clover Spring.” The decision
of the commissioner and Judge Robertson sustains the
contention of the Byrnes heirs as to the correct
location of the “Clover Spring.”
The following are the names
of the heirs-at-law of David Byrnes: Mrs.
Matilda A. Wohlford, Crandon, Bland county; Mrs.
Victoria C. Cecil, Dublin, Pulaski county; Miss Lola
Ewald, Wytheville; Mrs. Katie Newland, Bristol, Tenn.;
Robert Byrnes Ewald, Buena Vista; J. Frederick Ewald,
Wytheville; Miss Elizabeth Ewald, Boston, Mass.; Benj.
F. Ewald, Richmond; Harry E. Ewald, Bristol; Raymond
E. Ewald, Anniston; Mrs. Virginia H. Land, Gallatin,
Tex.; Mrs. Bettie Sheppard, Mechanicsburg; Jas. A. C.
Harmon, Granham; Mrs. Lue Hutchins, Bland; Miss Hester
Ann Harmon, Bland; Mrs. Nannie L. Chase, Clintwood;
Mrs. Annie E. French, Clintwood; Rev. E. A. Dunbar,
Abingdon; Dow M. Bruce, Tacoma; Leonard H. Bruce,
Wise; Mrs. Hester Ann Salyer, Whitesburg, Ky.; Mrs.
Alice B. Horne, Tacoma; Mrs. Cora Renfro, Tacoma; Mrs.
Callie Bruce, Dott, Va.; John M. Neel, Clintwood; T.
E. Neel, Clintwood; Mrs. Nannie E. Colley, Fremont,
Va.; Charley H. Neel, Coeburn; Mrs. Laura Revis,
Bondtown, Va.; and Josie J. Davis, Toms Creek; Mrs.
Sallie Ann Hamilton, Pound.
Mrs. Nannie E. Colley,
of Fremont, Va., is the mother of the wife of J.
Lake Ellis, of Bluefield. - Bluefield Daily Telegraph,
September 17, 1919.
Note: In February of 1918 a
law suit was filed in Bland Co., Va. on behalf of the
heirs of David Byrnes regarding the ownership of a
manganese mine. This list of his children was drafted
at that time for use in that suit.
David Byrnes’ Children
Byrnes married Annie Evans and they had several
children, one of whom was David Byrnes, who was born
in the year 1786 and died at what is now Tacoma, Va.
in the year 1863 of small pox. He married
Elizabeth Draper in the year 1811 and Elizabeth Draper
Byrnes was born in the year 1789 and died in the year
1863 at what is now Tacoma, Va. and was a daughter of
John Draper and Ester Nicewonder.
Byrnes and Elizabeth Byrnes had the following
1. Hester Ann, born in the
year 1812 and died in the year 1851; married John
Harmon in the year 1834.
Byrnes (sometimes called Mary Byrnes), born in the
year 1815 and died in the year 1878 without issue.
Jane, born May 4, 1817, died at Abingdon, Va, July 30,
1904; married Loranza Dow Dunbar, May 9, 1839. He was
born Oct. 20, 1818 and died at what is now Dwale in
Dickenson county, Va, April 13, 1860.
John Wesley, born Nov. 11, 1819 and died May 7, 1862;
married Sallie Mustard January 7, 1844.
Green, born in the year 1821, died in the year 1824
Draper, born in the year 1823, died in the year 1845
Louemma, born Sept. 20, 1827 and died in Clintwood,
Va, July 24, 1907; married William Patton Neel.
He was born March 6, 1825 and died at Dwale, Va, Oct.
HEIRS AT LAW OF DAVID BYRNES, DECEASED
WHO DIED IN WISE COUNTY, VIRGINIA
First. Sarah Jane Dunbar’s
Mrs. Nannie L. Chase, Clintwood,
Mrs. Anna E. French, Clintwood, Va.
Rev. E. A. Dunbar, Abingdon, Va.
children of Cynthia Bruce, Deceased:
Dow M. Bruce, Tacoma, Va.
Lenard H. Bruce, Appalachia, Va.
Mrs. Hester Ann Salyer, Whitesburg, Ky.
Mrs. Alice B. Horne, Tacoma, Va.
Mrs. Cora Renfro, Tacoma, Va.
only child of James A. Bruce, Deceased:
Mrs. Callie Bruce Skaggs, Dot, Va.
Second. Luemma Neel’s
10. John M. Neel, Clintwood,
11. T. E. Neel, Clintwood, Va.
12. Mrs. Nannie E. Colley, Fremont, Va.
13. Charley H. Neel, Coeburn, Va.
14. Mrs. Laura J. Revis, Bondtown, Va.
15. Mrs. Josie Davis, Tom’s Creek, Va.
16. Mrs. Sallie Ann Hamilton, Pound, Va.
Third. Dr. John Wesley Byrnes’
17. Mrs. Matilda Ann
Wohlford, Crandon, Va.
18. Mrs. Victoria Caroline Cecil, Dublin, Va.
children of Lizzie Ewald, Deceased:
Lola Ewald, Wytheville, Va.
Katie Newland, Bristol, Tenn., No. 435 Taylor
Byrnes Ewald, Buena Vista, Va.
Frederick Ewald, Camp Lee, Va., Telegraph
Elizabeth Ewald, Boston, Mass., 61 W. Brooklyn
Benjamin F. Ewald, Richmond, Va., In care of American
E. Ewald, Bristol, Tenn., No. 435 Taylor St.
G. Ewald, Co. M. 116 U.S. Inf. Camp McClellan,
Fourth. Hester Ann Harmon’s
The only living child of Lizzie
27. Mrs. Virginia H. Lane, Gallatin, Texas.
28. Mrs. Nancy Jane Sheppard, Mechanicsburg, Va.
29. James A. C. Harmon, Graham, Va.
30. Mrs. Lue Hutchins, Bland, Va., R.F.D.
31. Miss Hester Ann Harmon, Bland, Va., R.F.D.
transcribed and submitted by Sarah
Countiss © 2002