"Singing John"

By Jack D. Brummett
Updated March 21, 2016

The GILLIAMs of Wise County, VA had their roots in Buckingham County, VA.

John B. GILLIAM was the grandson of John GILLIAM and Martha Elliott, his wife.

John B. was the eldest son of eight children born to William E. and Elizabeth (Betty) Skeen GILLIAM. What the "B" stands for is not known for sure, but some surmise it may be for "Begley" since he named one of his daughters Orlena Begley GILLIAM. Elder Carlos Williams said John B. once told him it stood for "John the Baptist." In reality, he probably was named in honor of his grandfather, John, and nobody knows what the "B" stands for.

John B. was born in late 1849 or early 1850 in Russell County, Virginia. The 1850 Russell County census lists his age as seven months. It was in the part of Russell which, when combined with parts from Lee and Scott, became Wise County in 1856. His uncle, Ira, owned property on Indian Creek before moving to a farm located on the present site of Clinch Valley College. GILLIAM Hollow branches off Indian Creek near the Pound, and since relatives tended to live near each other, GILLIAM Hollow may be where William E.’s farm was located and the birthplace of John B.

One could think the time which has elapsed since the life and death of John B. GILLIAM is not so great. However, review of a few salient events which occurred in our national history during his life destroys the illusion of nearness, lengthens the intervening years, and puts John B. far back into the past.

John B. was an 11-year-old youth helping his father do the early morning chores on their 460-acre Wise County farm on the morning of April 12, 1861. At that precise moment Confederate army artillery was firing on the Union army garrison stationed at Fort Sumter, a Federal fortification overlooking the Charleston, South Carolina harbor. The bombardment commenced at 4:30 in the morning and marked the beginning of the savage four-year American Civil War, the heroic struggle which killed and maimed so many American men.

Personal tragedies related to the Civil War were imminent for young John B. Two months later, on June 3, 1861 at Wise Courthouse, John B.’s father and uncle, Martin L. GILLIAM, enlisted in a unit of the Confederate army. A month later the company muster roll carried them both as "deserted." The GILLIAM brothers left the Confederate army after learning their father, John, was charged with treason by the Confederacy because of his Unionist activities. It is not clear if John was acquitted at his trial held in Big Stone Gap or later upon appeal. In any case, he was released and avoided the guilty sentence—death by hanging. John’s main accuser was Morgan Tennessee Lipps and an entry in the Wise County Court Order book on June 26, 1861 reads, "Ordered that Morgan T. Lipps, Clerk of the County Court of Wise County, be allowed three dollars and fifty cents for attending the examining court of John GILLIAM charged with treason on the 25th day of June."

John and three of his sons, William E, Martin L. and Lilburn moved their families from Wise County to Johnson County, Kentucky, a Union sanctuary. They moved to escape the harsh feelings of resentment and threat of harm from the citizens of Wise County who supported the Confederacy and resented John’s active support of the Union. Ira, another son, remained in Wise County. While in Kentucky, John, at the unlikely age of 58, (he said he was 44), William E. and Lilburn enlisted in the 39th Regiment, Kentucky Mounted Infantry Volunteers, U. S. Army. Martin died of pneumonia in 1862 in Johnson County, Kentucky, before he could enlist. John B.’s father, William E., died of smallpox in the army hospital in Louisa, Kentucky in November, 1864. A month later, Lilburn died there of the same disease. These two deaths were followed shortly by the death in Louisa of their mother, Martha Elliott GILLIAM, also from smallpox. In the span of two months John B. had lost his father, his grandmother and an uncle. John sustained a serious combat-related back injury during the battle of Mount Sterling, Kentucky when the 39th Kentucky was one of the units defending central Kentucky from the invading army of the famous Confederate general, John Hunt Morgan. John never fully recovered from the injury which was a contributing cause of his death from paralysis in 1888.

John B. was 13 years of age when President Abraham Lincoln, shortly after the Union victory at Antietam, issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, which decreed the freedom of all slaves in territory still in rebellion. This decree held little significance for most of the citizens of Wise County since records show only a very few of the more prosperous farmers were slave holders.

After the war, John B.’s widowed mother, Elizabeth, returned to Wise County with her children and started rebuilding their life. In 1872 Elizabeth married Ira GILLIAM, brother of her husband, William E., and widower of her sister, Nancy. Ira and Elizabeth had two children from their marriage.

In 1870 John B. married Martha Jane Dale, daughter of Hardin and Anna Eliza George Dale. They had eight children; Laura and David died young. John B. was strong and healthy and survived smallpox, flu and flux epidemics which claimed so many lives in Wise County during that period, probably including his two small children.

In 1898, at the unlikely age of 48, John B. volunteered for the U. S. Army and served during the Spanish-American War in Company C, 2nd Virginia Infantry, along with two of his sons, Milburn "Hawk" and Elbert, and his brother, William Patton GILLIAM. John B. lived during World War I, when the United States entered the conflict in 1917 and with the Allies defeated Germany in 1918. In 1920 the women’s suffrage movement brought about the right of women to vote. He drank his "bitters’ during Prohibition from 1920 until 1933, when consumption of alcohol was illegal in the United States. Martha Jane died in 1928. He lived through the great depression of the 1930’s which caused so much human suffering and despair in this country. On July 8, 1931, at 81 years of age, John B. took 22-year old Etta Laney from Stoney Creek in Scott County for his bride and moved her to the Hurricane. He saw Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, the NRA, the NYA and the CCC’s provide assistance, training, and jobs for the people who needed help until the United States economy recovered from the depression starting in 1940.

John B. died peacefully in his sleep in 1942, at the grand age of 92 years, shortly after the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, marking the beginning of World War II.

If these events were not sufficient, the realization would surely come home to us when another aspect of time is considered. Although John B.’s grandparents, John and Martha Elliott GILLIAM, had only eight children who raised families, there are presently thousands of us who are John and Martha’s descendants. Their children were born under one roof, while we have been born under hundreds of roofs, in widely separated states and even foreign countries. Finally, not only have we not all seen one another, most of us will never meet.

Almost everyone in Wise County knew and loved John B. He was a likable character, and if there was ever a true "mountain man," he was one. He was famous for his singing and was often called "Singing John." In his later years he would sit on the porch of Joe and Fannie Johnson’s country store and sing as he scraped the sweet juicy fruit from half an apple with his sharp Barlow knife. The skin and core of the apple remained perfectly intact while his hands dripped with sticky apple juice. His cane, which he needed for support when he walked was propped up against the wall of the store. This unusual cane was cut from a limb of a holly bush and the numerous branches growing from the limb were whittled into sharp spines four or five inches in length. He said the cane was protection from bad dogs when he would go walking, but it also provided an effective deterrent from anything or anyone he did not want to come near him.

Even in his last years he was tall and lean with perfectly erect posture. His long silver hair matched his bushy mustache, which at times collected buttermilk, coffee, gravy or soup. His black cotton pants, rolled up about two uneven turns, were supported by a wide leather belt, with a massive brass buckle. Loose galluses provided a back-up for his belt. Rawhide strings were used to lace his rough high-top brogan shoes The strings were laced around only half of the metal hooks located at the top of his brogans, allowing the tongue of his shoe to flop down over the lacing. His shirt was usually white and he always wore an old floppy black felt hat. He wore his long-handle underwear during even the hottest summer days.

John B. received a monthly pension from the United States government for his service to his country as a soldier in the Spanish-American War. Like his grandfather, John GILLIAM, who enlisted in the Union army in 1862 at age 58, John B. was 48 years of age when he enlisted in 1898. It is notable that old John served in the same company with his son, William E., and in a sister company of his son, Lilburn, while assigned to the 39th Regiment, Kentucky Mounted Infantry Volunteers, U. S. Army, during the Civil War. John B. and sons, Milburn "Hawk" and Elbert, were assigned to Company C, 2nd Virginia Infantry, while serving during the Spanish-American War. In four generations the GILLIAMs made an interesting parallel of father-son serving in the same military unit.

His service pension was small by today’s standards but it provided John B. with a regular monthly check and afforded him the luxury of being selective when it came to working a steady job. Someone once asked him if he worked and he replied, "I work some in the summer, but never in the winter, though." Great-grandchildren were thrilled when John B. always managed to reach deep down into his black pants pocket and pull out his worn old leather coin purse. He would slowly open it and withdraw a thin dime, or if one was lucky, a quarter, and slip the coin in the outstretched hand of the appreciative youngster. Sometimes the coin purse would produce only a "copper." Whatever the amount, it would soon be "blown" on a small brown paper poke of candy purchased from Fannie’s store.

According to Sarah Catherine Holyfield Wampler, John B. was elected and ordained in the first body of deacons to serve the Hurricane Baptist Church. He had an excellent voice, strong and true, and led the singing at church, taught singing school using the shaped-notes hymnal and would preach some if the need arose.

Grace Allio of Wise, a twice-removed first cousin of John B., recalls when she was a little girl living on Birchfield, they could hear him singing for several miles away as he approached their house and knew he was coming for a visit. They would say, "Here comes ‘Singing John,’" long before he came into view. That was the signal for the women of the household to start scurrying around fixing something to eat for the custom then was to provide a hot meal when someone came to visit.

Mrs. Hetty Sutherland, a well-known genealogist from Clintwood, Virginia, and also a first cousin, twice-removed, commented during an interview on November 14, 1992, on John B.’s wonderful voice. When asked what songs she remembered him singing, she recalled West Virginia Hills and even knew some of the words. It was thrilling to hear this lovely lady of 91 years of age sing in her sweet clear voice:

Oh, those West Virginia hills,
How majestic and how grand,
With their summers bathed in glory,
Like our Prince Emmanuel’s land.
Is it any wonder then,
That my heart with rapture thrills,
As I stand once more with loved ones,
On those West Virginia hills?
Beautiful hills, Beautiful hills.

John B. would "doctor" himself and other folks who were a little under the weather with his "tonic" or herb medicine. The concoction consisted of yellow root, bitters and herbs placed in a half-gallon Mason fruit jar filled with corn whiskey. The patient may not have been cured of his ailment or lack of appetite, but probably felt better for a little while after taking a few drinks of the medicine. Consuming the concoction for medicinal purposes circumvented the prohibition against possession and use of alcoholic beverages.

Elder Carlos Williams of the Primitive Baptist Church tells some interesting and entertaining stories about John B. in The Lonesome Pine Preacher, a little book dictated by Carlos and edited by Elder Billy Bowen. Carlos was the son of Dock Williams and Vertie GILLIAM, a daughter of Abraham Lincoln "Abe" GILLIAM. "Abe" and John B. were first cousins. Carlos wrote:

John used to carry mail from Wise to Grundy on foot and he would cut across Sandy Ridge. When he would get up in the woods he would sing religious songs to the top of his voice. Some of the old fellows used to say you could hear him five miles away. Uncle John had him a path cut out in a horse shoe fashion and he walked this path every day. Once a man built a house right across the path Uncle John traveled. This upset John because now he would have to detour and take the long way round. John just opened the front door, passed through the house right out the back door, and continued on the route. The man that owned the house had a whole bunch of kids so John just handed them a piece of candy as he went through. That settled it. John had his short cut sewed up as long as he wanted.

Uncle John always followed the Old Primitive Baptist but never joined the church. One of his sons-in-law, Joe Johnson, had a store in the Hurricane section and the Missionary Baptist used to gather there and give old Elder Billy Robinette down the road. When Sunday rolled around they would be right there in church. Elder Robinette would get ready to close. He’d look over to Uncle John and say, "Brother John, give us a song." John would start singing It Will Be A Big Camp Meeting Over There. Then here would come the Missionary Baptist crying and clopping across the old wooden floor shouting "glory, glory" and saying what a good preacher Billy Robinette was. Come Monday, the Missionaries would be back down at the store talking about Billy Robinette, and Uncle John would be back in the mountains working in the timbers.

Uncle John dealt in walnut logs and often he would venture into the wooded mountain area. He told all the people he was an old Baptist and named after John the Baptist. They asked Uncle John to preach, and he did, even though he didn’t belong to the church. Once a man’s wife died and the man sent for Uncle John to preach the funeral. John, having followed the Old Primitive Baptist, preached the same doctrine they did—resurrection of the bodies. As he was preaching to the woman’s husband in the front row, he said, "I know when you die you will want me to preach your funeral, too, and I may not be able to get back here, so I’m just going to preach your funeral now along with your wife’s. Now he went ahead and preached it that way.

Uncle John traveled with the Old Primitive Baptist people until all his children were grown and all of his boys had left home. John was living by himself and decided at the age of 48 to join the U. S. Army that would fight the Spanish-American War. The army sent him to Texas. One day he was walking down the street and two boys walked by. One of the boys said to the other, "That looks a lot like my Pa." He pointed in the direction across the street. The two boys walked over to him and sure enough it was. John decided the army wasn’t what he wanted, so he headed back home. [John was assigned to the same company as his sons, Milburn "Hawk" and Elbert GILLIAM. Leah Johnson Brummett recalls the sons telling about how "Pa" didn’t like to march, wouldn’t eat with the other enlisted soldiers, and ate and hung around with the officers. What probably happened was the army assigned John B. as an enlisted aide or mess steward due to his age and he did hang around the officers as part of his duties.]

When John came back he went to Scott County, Virginia and moved in and around Stone Mountain. John always carried a roll of money with him; he knew everybody and when he stayed with people, they never charged him board. While on Stone Mountain he ran into a big old gal. She found out he had a pension and a home so she up and married Uncle John. When I was about 16, I went to visit Uncle John and asked him how he and his new bride were getting along. John said, "Ah, you can’t have anything up here for these devilish boys." [John and Etta "Specklebird" Laney were married in Scott County in 1931 when he was 81 and she 22 years of age. Etta had a child and everyone suspects the father was one of John’s devilish grandsons. Etta lived on Big Stoney Creek and passed away in 1989.]

Uncle John got his whiskey from the Sanders boys who lived in the Hurricane section. They made whiskey at night time, using carbide lamps for light. [Calcium carbide is a compound which generates acetylene gas when mixed with water. The carbide lamp is made of brass and consists of a bottom section which holds the carbide and the top part which contains a small reservoir of water. The volume of gas generated is controlled by the amount of water permitted to drip into the bottom compartment containing the carbide. The gas escapes through a jet and is ignited by a spark from a flint. Coal miners, fox hunters and moonshiners found the carbide lamps invaluable.] The Sanders boys would bring the whiskey home about two o’clock in the morning, and Josie, their mother, would always leave a slop jar near the door so the boys could knock out the carbide in the slop jar when they came in. John stayed all night at the Sanders’ house waiting for them to bring the whiskey home. One of the boys came in and knocked the carbide out of his lamp into the slop jar and went on to bed. John got up about an hour later about to use the outhouse. When it was cold they just have a slop jar in the house to use. John, still half asleep, went in the wrong jar to urinate. It hit the carbide. The whole house began to fill with smoke, gas and smell. John didn’t know what happened. He began to hollar, "Josie, Josie, come here quick, my whole insides caught a fire!" [Josie GILLIAM, wife of Alfred Sanders, was a daughter of "Abe," and a sister of Carlos’ mother, Vertie GILLIAM Williams. Alfred and Josie lived in the Redwine section.]

John Pa, as the granddaughters called him, had a mean billy goat. He would chase the girls who managed to escape by running into the kitchen and slamming the door shut behind them just an instant before billy would butt into the door. John Pa’s wife, Martha Jane, was called "Muh" by her grandchildren. The goat chased her once and her only avenue of escape was by climbing a fence to avoid the charging animal. Because In his later years John B. lived with his daughter, Orlena, her husband, Edgar Johnson, and their children on a farm in the Hurricane. the goat was so mean, the only solution for some peace around the place was to destroy the goat. Unknown to John B., the family asked a neighbor and cousin, Leonard Holyfield, to kill the goat. Hub GILLIAM, son of "Hawk" and grandson of John B., wrote a little lyric commemorating the demise of billy, which the grandchildren sang to the tune of Rachel, Rachel: John Pa had a great big billygoat, He treed Muh upon a fence, Somebody killed John Pa’s billy goat, He’s been mad ever since.

Warren Bevins, son of Jim Bevins from Duncan Gap, married Marcelle Johnson, one of John B.’s granddaughters. Warren likes to tell the story about how strong and agile John B. was when he was a young man. It was the custom for the young men in the area to gather on Saturday on the front lawn of the Courthouse in Wise and challenge each other to a "fight," which was a no-holds-barred wrestling match. John B. was challenged by this ole boy who was known as a bully and was a lot bigger and appeared to be much stronger than John B. They agreed to "fight" the following Saturday. A large tree in front of the Courthouse had a big limb which started near the base of the tree and had a gentle slope upward. The next Saturday John B. and the challenger met near the tree. Warren contends that John B., in a show of strength and agility, suddenly grabbed a young bystander by the gallouses of his bib overalls, placed them in his teeth, and ran up the tree with the young man kicking and squirming to get free. When the bully saw John B.’s performance, Warren said, "That stopped the fight, right then and there."

Warren also tells the story about John B. when the High Sheriff of Wise County poured out several barrels of confiscated moonshine whiskey on the street in front of the Courthouse. John B. ran over to where the clear liquid was running down the street, bent over and scooped a big hand full of the whiskey and drank it down, saying, "It’s a blamed shame to waste good whiskey."

His granddaughters tell amusing stories about John Pa. Many of the things he did and said were often embarrassing to them at the time, but now they look on them with humor and interest. One evening, when they were trying to do a little courting in the parlor of their home in the Hurricane, John B. got out of bed, walked in his long-handle underwear through the parlor and out onto the front porch, and proceeded to relieve himself. Or when he would get up early in the morning long before anyone else was up and yell to them, "Get up, gals, the sun is going to burn the roof of your mouth if you stay in bed any longer." Once he was taking a bath on the front porch in a big galvanized wash tub getting ready to go to a political rally. Bascom Slemp, who was running for Congress, drove by and John Pa stood up in all his glory, raised his arms, and shouted to the top of his lungs, "Hurrah for Slemp!" (Mr. Slemp must have been tempted to yell in return, "Hurrah for John!")

A favorite story about John B. is the time during his wanderings he spent the night with a particular family. In this case, they expected him to pay for his room and board, which was not his custom. He got up the next morning, ate a big breakfast and headed on down the road without offering to pay for his lodging. When the wife realized John B. was leaving without paying, she called to him and asked, "Aren’t you forgetting something, Uncle John?" He continued on down the road, waved his hand, and without looking back, replied, "Ah, you can keep it."

In his later years John B. bought an old Model T Ford automobile. He never bothered to learn to drive, but depended on his granddaughters to take him wherever he wanted to go. Two of his favorite drivers were Delorace, daughter of Joe and Fannie Johnson, and Ruth, daughter of Edgar and Olena Johnson. Ruth tells about John Pa’s lack of understanding of the mechanics of the car. He always cautioned the girls to, "Keep some gas in her, or you’ll burn her up." Or, "Be sure to take along an extra flat, in case one blows out."

Almost every weekend one of the granddaughters would go back "home" for a Sunday visit to the Hurricane from Jenkins, Kentucky, where their husbands worked around the coal mines. John B. was concerned about crossing Pine Mountain in the dark. Without fail, around the middle of the afternoon, John B. would caution, "Gals, you better be headin’ back, so you can ‘cross the mountain ‘fore dark."

Edgar Johnson moved to Fleming, Kentucky to work as a carpenter when his daughters were teenagers and John B. would come over for a visit now and then. Neon was flooded when Boone Fork of the Kentucky River got out of its banks and most of the clothing stores suffered water damage. John B., always looking for a bargain and priding himself as a sharp trader, bought some shoes at the flood sale. He walked from Neon up to Fleming carrying the still damp shoes in an old bag and spread them out on a bench on the sidewalk to dry. As many of the Elkhorn Coal Company employees were out on their lunch break, John B. yelled across the street to Leah and Elsie in his usual loud voice, "Come on over, gals, and pick you out a new pair of shoes." His offer of a new pair of wet shoes embarrassed them since they were "struck" on some of the young men who worked in the office and wanted to make a good impression. But not as bad as the time in the Recreation Building when he not only ate the pie, but the pasteboard plate the store-bought pie came in. Now they laugh when they recall those humorous stories about their grandfather.

The privilege of voting and the outcome of elections were very important events in the lives of the citizens of Wise County. Voting was an honor and responsibility of the highest order. Records show a high percentage of registered voters always cast their ballots and elections were hard fought with strong partisan feelings. Sometimes one or two votes made the difference in the outcome of a race.

John B. was at the Pound on one election day with a group of men who supported the Democrats, while John B. was a strong Republican. The men were riding horses and they knew John B. was on foot. They delayed him at the Pound until the last minute before they had time to ride back to Wise before the polls closed. This would deny John B. his vote since they figured he could not walk back in time to vote. John B. was not fooled by their ruse and headed for Wise the near way through the mountains, as he always traveled. He beat the riders back to Wise, cast his vote, and was waiting for them when they arrived. John B. asked with a grin, "Where have you fellers been? You almost got here too late to vote."

A murder occurred in the Hurricane which was so bizarre the children around the area were frightened for months just talking about it. John and Bessie Marcum lived on a small farm in the Hurricane. One Friday John bought a hatchet which he sharpened to a keen edge. When asked what he was going to do with the hatchet, he said he was going to prune his apple trees on Saturday morning. For whatever reason, that evening after John had fallen asleep in his bedroom, Bessie slipped in with the hatchet, and with one chop, almost completely severed her husband’s head from his body. By reflex, and leaving a large trail of blood, John managed to jump from his bed, stagger through the house and across the road to a neighbor’s front yard before he died. Bessie came clear of the murder charge through the brilliant defense of her attorney, Dave Kennedy. One observer at the trial remembered Dave making John Marcum appear so mean and cruel he deserved to be murdered. The court even allowed Bessie to testify on the witness stand while holding her small baby in her arms. Sometime later, Bessie saw John B. at Fannie’s store and said, "Hello, Uncle John." John B. did not recognize her and said, "I don’t believe I know you." She replied, "I’m Bessie Marcum." John B., in his loud voice replied, "Oh, you’re the woman who chopped off her man’s head."

He enjoyed excellent health until his final illness in 1942, when he died apparently of old age at 92 in the Hurricane at the home of his daughter, Fannie Johnson. The funeral service was held in the Hurricane Baptist Church, where he once served as a deacon. He is buried in a small family cemetery on a beautiful knoll located in the Hurricane between the homeplaces of Leonard Holyfield and Napoleon Parsons. A simple white stone marking his final resting place reads, "John B. GILLIAM, Company C, 2nd Virginia Infantry, Spanish-American War."

A short genealogy of the family of John B.’s parents, William E. and Elizabeth Skeen GILLIAM follows:

William E. GILLIAM, born 1826 on Copper Creek, Scott Co, VA, died 14 Nov 1864, U. S. Army Hospital, Louisa, KY, buried, Louisa, KY, son of John and Martha (Mattie) Elliott GILLIAM. Married 27 Dec 1849 in Stephen Skeen home, Russell Co, VA, Elizabeth Skeen, daughter of Stephen Sergent and Susannah Kiser Skeen, born 9 June 1830, Russell Co, VA, died 1899 in Wise Co, VA, buried first in Ira GILLIAM Cemetery, Coeburn Mountain Road, with the grave later moved to Wise Cemetery when Clinch Valley College was being built. Elizabeth married twice. Her second marriage was to Ira GILLIAM, brother of her first husband and widower of her sister, Nancy Skeen. Children born to the union of William E. and Elizabeth GILLIAM:

1. John B. GILLIAM, born 1850, Russell Co, VA, died 1942, Hurricane, Wise Co, VA, buried Johnson-GILLIAM Cemetery, Hurricane, Wise Co, VA. Married 10 August 1870, Hardin Dale home, Hurricane, Wise Co, VA, Martha Jane Dale, born January 1853, Hurricane, Russell Co, VA, died 1928, Hurricane, Wise Co, VA, buried, Dale Cemetery, Turkey Branch, Wise Co, VA, daughter of Hardin and Anna Eliza George Dale.

2. Margaret J. GILLIAM, born 1852, Russell Co, VA, died 1872, Middle Fork, Bold Camp, Wise Co, VA, buried in Daniel Dotson Cemetery, Middle Fork, Bold Camp, Wise Co, VA. Married 7 October 1869, Wise Co, VA, William Patton Dotson.

3. Stephen GILLIAM, born 1853, Letcher Co, KY, died 5 June 1856 in Wise Co, VA when kicked by a horse.

4. Ira GILLIAM, born 22 April 1856, Letcher Co, KY, died 1937 in the Hurricane, Wise Co, VA. Buried in Beverly Cemetery, Hurricane, Wise Co, VA. Married 13 April 1876 in Hardin Dale home, Hurricane, Wise Co, VA, Marguret J. Dale, born June 1860, Hurricane, Wise Co, VA, died 25 December 1945, Hurricane, Wise Co, VA, buried Beverly Cemetery, Hurricane, Wise Co, VA, daughter of Hardin and Anna Eliza George Dale.

5. William Patton GILLIAM, born 3 September 1858, Wise Co, VA, died 1900, Norton, Wise Co, VA, from a suspicious fall from a second story window, buried Dr. John Hillman Cemetery, Indian Creek, Wise Co, VA. Married 10 December 1879, Samuel Wilson Dale home, Wise Co, VA, Anne E. Dale, daughter of Samuel Wilson and Didema Collier Dale.

6. Martha A. GILLIAM, born 20 May 1860, Wise Co, VA, died 1937, Pound, Wise Co, VA, buried, Crouse Cemetery, Pound, Wise Co, VA. Married, 9 November 1875, Wise Co, VA, Elbert W. Maxwell.

7. Susan Caroline GILLIAM, born 1862, Wise Co, VA, died 1952, Pound, Wise Co, VA, buried Bolling Cemetery, Pound, Wise Co, VA. Married three times. First, 5 September 1882, Wise Co, VA, Thomas Marion Roberson, second, Martin Wellington Roberson, third, 11 January 1909, Wise Co, VA, Henry Cornelius (Son) Maxwell.

8. Martin L. GILLIAM, II, born 10 June 1865, Johnson Co, KY, died 16 June 1925. Married 20 August 1888, Wise Co, VA, Willie Ann Hamilton.

  • Brummett, Jack D. "Singing John." Appalachian Quarterly, September 1999