Reuben Powers  

Reuben H. Powers, son of Oliver and Susan Powers, married August 16, 1832 in Scott County, Virginia, to Katherine Estep Lane, born March 4, 1807. The marriage bond is in Scott County, Va., signed by Elijah Perkins.  Katherine is thought to be a daughter of Samuel Estep, Sr., and Mary Lane, or Shadrack Estep and his wife, Elizabeth.  She was married 1st. to John Lane and had a son, General Jackson Lane, born 1829, Scott County, Virginia.  Katherine was born in Kentucky according to one census record.  Reuben was a Methodist preacher and performed numerous marriage ceremonies in the area.  He was owner of a grist mill that served a large part of the country in Russell and Wise County.  He was also a Justice of the peace.  He and Katherine settled about midway between the towns of Coeburn and Clintwood, on Cranesnest River.  A great grandson Willie Allen Powers. lived on the home place until recently.  He now lives with his daughter in Tennessee.. 
Children of Reuben and Katherine Powers are: Susannah, born 1832; Elizabeth, born 1837; Oliver, born May 28, 1840; Hiram, born April 1845; Lucy, born 1848.

In the 1850 census of Russell County, Virginia, 54th district, household 1563:
Reuben Powers, 36 yrs, farmer, born in Russell County
Catherine, 43 yrs., b. Scott Co., VA.
1..Jackson (Lane), 21 yrs., b. Scott Co., Va. (farmer)
2. Susannah, 18 yrs., b. Scott Co., Va.
3. Elizabeth, 13 yrs., b. Scott Co., Va.
4.Oliver, 10 yrs., b. Russell Co., Va.
5.Hiram, 5 yrs., b. Russell Co., Va
6.Lucy, 2 yrs., b. Russell Co., Va.

Reuben and Katherine moved from Scott County, Virginia bringing their children, Jackson Lane who was only three years old when Reuben and Katherine were married, and their two daughters, Susannah and Elizabeth.  They moved to
Russell County, Virginia, the part which became Wise, now Dickenson County, Virginia.
They were true frontier people accepting the challenge of living on the wild and beautiful frontier.  They settled in a lovely little valley on Cranesnest River on a farm where they raised their family.
Reuben met each need as it arose with the strength of a backwoodsman, the determination of a soldier and the patience of a saint, doing whatever became necessary to survive and help his neighbors to do the same. He farmed his land, and built a grist mill to grind grain for bread for his family and his neighbors.
In Civil matters he was an old time “Gentleman Justice” serving his community in that capacity after helping choose a county seat.  He served his country according to his belief by taking prisoners (at least one) to Kentucky during the Civil War to turn them over to the Marshals there.  His step-son, Jackson Lane and Son-in-law, James Beverly, helped him to take prisoners there.
In the spiritual realm, Reuben was a preacher and helped start new homes to help populate the area by performing marriages for his neighbors as well as for his own family.
During a skirmish on Cranesnest between the Confederates and Union, Katherine “Katy” pulled a man who had been shot out of the fire.  This shows the strength and bravery of aa frontier woman.
Reuben bought 300 acres of land in 1870 from George and William A.Warder for one hundred and fifty dollars on the Southwest fork branch of Cranesnest Creek joining John Davis and Wilson Rose in the county of Wise.  Jackson Lane bought land adjoining Reuben’s land from the Warders about the same time.
Reuben and Katherine’s last three children, Oliver, Hiram and Lucy were born in Russell County, Va., before the area became Wise, now Dickenson County.

Elizabeth Powers, daughter of Reuben and Katherine Estep Lane Powers, married Robin Rose of Caney Creek, son of Wilson and Jane Rose.  Their children are:
7. Martha Jane Rose, b. Mar 1853, married John Adkins
8. Samuel Rose
9. Catherine Rose, b. Nov 1856, married Emanuel Mullins
10. John Rose
11. General Rose
12. Reuben Rose, b. Feb 1863, married Florida (last name unknown)
13. Susan Rose, married Isaac Wright of Kentucky
14. Sherman Rose
15. Ellen Rose, married Will Mullins
16. Martha M. “Teatta” Rose, married George W. Wright

Oliver W. Powers and Martha Eveline Ritchie

Oliver Powers, son of Reuben H. and Katherine Estep Powers, married 22 aug 1861 to Martha “Patsy” Eveline Ritchie, born 18 June 1840, daughter of John & Keziah (Hill) Ritchie.  Oliver’s father Reuben Powers, performed he wedding ceremony.  The witnesses were William and Lucy Powers, nephew and niece of Oliver.  Oliver and Martha “Patsy” Eveline Powers lived on Cranesnest River about half way between Coeburn and Clintwood.  This was then in Russell, later Wise, now Dickenson Counties in Virginia.
Oliver died 7 Jan 1928 and Martha died 11 Apr 1922.  They are both buried at the homeplace in the family cemetery on Cranesnest River.

“Soon after the marriage of Oliver and Martha “Patsy” Ritchie Powers, they moved down on Cranesnest River about eight miles from Fuller’s Gap where Martha was raised, and about the same distance from Clintwood.  Their home was hewn from trees which Oliver cut.  This was their lifelong residence.”
Their children are:
1. Sarah R. Powers, b. 3 Feb 1863, married Levi Cantrell
2. Jackson Powers, b. 8 Nov 1864, married Lucy N. Freeman
3. John Wesley (Dutch) Powers, b. 18 Jan 1866, married Cynthia Ethel Mullins
4. William Brownlow Powers, b. 3 July 1868, married Sarah Vanover
5. James A. Powers, b.11 May 1870, married Artie Stanley. He married 2nd. Mary Lina Mullins. 
6. Lucy Ellen Powers, b. 20 Nov 1872, married Charlie  Beverly
7. William P. Powers, b. 1873 - d. 25 Jun 1876
8. Edward R. Powers, b. 22 Oct 1874, married Hulda Stanley
9. Combo Powers, b. 19 Aug 1876, married Nancy “Nan” Elizabeth Roberson
10. Allen W. Powers, b. 29 May 1878, married Julia A. Stanley. He married 2nd. to Lula Jessee.

Below is a quotation from an unknown source, written many years ago.
“The move from Fuller’s Gap was accomplished by the use of mules hauling all of their earthly possessions upon a sled.  The route was a narrow path used by travelers on foot or horseback and much of the way had to be cleared by cutting through the wilderness.  There on Cranesnest river, he acquired 323 acres of land by trade of a pair of mules.  It was necessary first of all, to clear enough land for the growing of garden crops and pasture land. This same property is still owned by a grandson, Allen, and his residence is nearby the site of the original homestead. 
Oliver was one of the first settlers of Dickenson County.  His next major job was the building of a grist mill for grinding corn for his own use, as well as the neighbors who were beginning to move into this section of the country.  Oliver was first of all by necessity a pioneer, making his way through rough and rugged country to establish a home.  He was a minister, farmer, carpenter, blacksmith, and built several grist mills in the country.” 
Oliver never mustered into service in the war between the States.  He did participate in one skirmish, I quote a part of a report from the History of Dickenson County by Sutherland.
“On November 9, 1864, a force of “home guards” numbering about two hundred men attempted to surprise about an equal number of Rebels at the Reuben Powers place on Cranesnest River.  They in turn were surprised, and lost, eight men killed and several wounded, while the Confederates lost only one, (man was) killed.  As the skirmish began, Oliver picked up his gun and a butcher knife and set out to join the home guard.  He stuck the knife under his belt, crossed the river and approached the firing line.  As he reached the foot of the hill, he felt something hit his foot.  A bullet had hit his foot.  This was the only skirmish in which he engaged.  The knife was never used in battle, but it did save his life.”

Hiram and Alice “Ollie” Powers

Hiram Powers, son of Reuben and Katherine Estep Lane Powers, married Alice “Ollie” Ritchie, born June 1849, daughter of John and Keziah “Cassie” Hill Ritchie.  They lived on the east side of Cranesnest River in (then) Russell County, Virginia, which later became Wise and finally Dickenson County. Hiram and Ollie lived across the river from his parents, Reuben and Katherine Powers.  In the court records of Dickenson County, Virginia, Hiram Powers was to pay Elizabeth Rose and Susannah Beverly, fifty dollars each, and to provide and take care of said Reuben Powers as long as he may live.  Hiram died 1910.  Ollie died 1923.
During the Civil War, a battle or skirmish took place in the orchard where Hiram and Ollie lived, in which several men of the Union Army were killed and one confederate.  The children of Hiram and Ollie Ritchie Powers are:
1.John Talton Powers, b. 30 Mar 1864, KY., m. Arminta Mullins
2.Rhoda E. Powers, b. 1866, married David Bise
3.Missouri Ellen Powers, b. Jan 1868, married James Belt Tompkins
4. Joseph Draper Powers, b. 22 Oct 1870, married Rosa B. Mullins
5.Lucy Ann K. Powers, b. 1872, married D.F. “Dock” Tompkins
6.Cassa Belle Powers, b. 1874, married Nathaniel Mullins
7.Reuben Henry Solsmore Powers, b. 23 May 1874
8. Calvin Powers, b. aug 1884, married Melissa Mullins
9.Willie A. Powers, b. May 1886, married Victor Allen
10. Rosa “Rausie” Powers, b. 1888, married Benjamin Taylor
11.Logan Powers, b. 1890

John T. Powers - June 26, 1930

“I was born March 30, 1864.  I have read Allen Powers recollection which you have written out, and I find most of it correct.  My grandfather was Reuben Powers, a Methodist preacher.  He came to Cranesnest from Scott County, but he was from North Carolina.  Preacher John Powers of Grundy told me, ‘In the old Country the family got in a fight with some smaller people and wiped them out.  Then the family was given the name of POWERS, because they were large and powerful.’
“Reuben Powers had at least one sister, Lucy Powers, who married George Bond and lived at Tom’s Creek at Bondtown.  That town got its name from them.  Some of their children were: Dick, Henry, Buck, Oliver, and probably others.  Buck was a Methodist Preacher. 
Grandfather Reuben moved to Cranesnest about 183__, Uncle Oliver was born on Cranesnest about 1840.  His old home place is now on Allen Powers farm.  He married Katy Estep, who was the widow of (John) Lane.  She and Lane had one child, Jack Lane.

Grandfather was a farmer, blacksmith, and preacher.  He was a good mechanic too.  He died about 1885 or 1886, somewhere in 80 years in age, close to ninety.  Grandmother Powers was ninety something when she died. Grandfather Powers was born in 1813, grandmother in 1807.  Both are buried at Allen’s.
Their children were:
17. Elizabeth Powers married Robin Rose, son of Wilson Rose, and lived on Caney Creek.  Aunt Betsy died before uncle Robin did. Their children were: Jane, m. John Adkins, son of Henry; Sam “Scrootchy,” Katy, m. Manuel Mullins of Georges Fork; John, General, Reuben, Susan, m. Isaac Wright, Letcher County, Ky; Sherman, Ellen, m. Will Mullins of Brandy Jack; Teeta, m. George Wright, brother of Isaac.
18. Susannah Powers married James Beverly, son of Elijah.  He lived on Honey Camp, at the Ed Beverly place.  Children: Robin, Lucy, m. Bob Lambert; Nancy, m. John Adkins of Wise; William, Betty, m. Manuel Rose of Wise; Becky, m. Isaac Hughes of Gabe; Oliver, Catherine, m. James Dutton; another girl name forgotten; Reuben and Ed.
19. Oliver W. Powers (the same as Allen’s statement, except the last and youngest child was Clintwood, named after Major Clintwood.
20. Hiram Powers (my father) was born on Cranesnest in 1845.  He died about 1910.  He married Ollie Ritchie, daughter of John and Cassie (Hill) Ritchie.  The Ritchie’s were from North Carolina and came here about the same time the Powers did. Father was a farmer, blacksmith and mill-wright.  I believe sister Willie has the family bible.”

The Cranesnest Battle
John T. Powers

Sight of Cranesnest Battle

“Father was in the union Army at Frankfort part of the time.  He was in no battles.  I do not know the number of his regiment or the name of his officers.  His children: John T., Rhoda, m. Dave Bise, Ellen, m. James Tompkins, Lucy, m. D.F. Tompkins, Sol, Joe D., Rausie, m. Henry Taylor, Calvin, and Willie, m. Victor Allen.

The Cranesnest Battle was near father’s house, in our orchard.  I don’t know the commanders of the Confederate or Union sides.  Ike Mullins said he was there.  Charlie Hibbitts, Bob Killen, one of the Mullinses, and one of the Roses were killed, maybe others.  The Yankees got there first, but the Rebels found out where they were and slipped in on them.  One Confederate was killed.  He was standing by the fire in the orchard when he was shot, and fell into the fire.  Grandmother and someone else went and pulled him out. They called him a “yankee jumper” or deserter.  I heard Henry Mullins, my first father-in-law, say Charles Hibbitts was carried to his home at Hibbitts Gap and bureid there.  Some of those killed were buried near where Freeling Mullins now lives.  The graves are just above the State highway at the sharp curve opposite the mouth of Alley’s Creek.

I’ve heard grandmother and mother tell that not far from the time of the Cranesnest battle, Sammy Bowman, an old man, was tending grandfather’s mill, just about ten or fifteen steps above Allen Powers house.  John McFall, Jack Frye, Tommy Wallace, and At Joe Stanley went to the mill and asked Bowman if he knew where certain parties were at.  He wouldn’t tell them, and they shot and killed him.  He had left the mill and ran towards the house, and was shot down when about 40 yards from the house.  They then went into Alley’s Creek to “Dead Man’s Hollow.” here they found the men they were looking for and killed them.  I don’t know how many or who were killed.  Some of the dead were buried near Freeling Mullins home.

Alley’s Creek got its name from an old man named Alley who settled near the mouth.  I expect Wilson Rose was the second settler there.  Ma said Wilse once had a pet bear, and she went there and it jumped at her.  The next settler there was Brandy Jack Mullins.  I was Quite small when he lived there.
I’ve heard of Cranes building their nests in the rocks opposite the mouth of Birchfield.  I never saw any cranes there–it was before my time.”

Lucy Powers
Lucy Powers, daughter of Reuben and Katherine Powers, born 1848 in Russell County, Va., died 15 January 1853, Russell County, Va., age 4 year and 3 months.  Cause; Bold Hives.

 Cranesnest Battlefield Dedication Marker

Note: Error in the date on the marker.  It should have been November 9th. 

Skirmish On Cranesnest
Site of Battle

November the ninth, eighteen sixty four
Two hundred home guards in the Civil War
Attempted a surprise attack
Upon the Confederates

But they fought back.

This skirmish took place on Cranesnest River
It set the whole countryside in a quiver.
When the battle was over
Eight Union men were dead
While only one was lost of the Confederates.

One man fell in the line of fire
Who was that brave woman so true
Who pulled that man to safety
Caring both for the Gray and the Blue?

It was Katie Lane Powers, they said
Wife of Reuben who owns this farm
Mother of Jackson Lane, they said,
And Susannah, Elizabeth, Oliver and Hiram.
This was the site 
Where brother fought brother
‘Twas on the home place of 
Great, Great Grandmother. 

by Fannie Steele

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