Notes and Sources are contained in end notes. To read them as you proceed, click on note numbers within the text.
The story of this family is covered pretty thoroughly in the Noah Frady Bible and John Frady Documents. The fascinating story of Fradys and Lances interweaves facts and hypothesis. Noah was my only great-grandfather who was the right age and who was known to have participated in the War Between the States. He was actually too young for most of the war, being born in 1847; and his service must have come towards the end of the war. His approved pension application indicates that he served in Company B, 29th Bat., Woodfin Battalion.Note 1 He is not found in the fifteen volume North Carolina Troops 1861-1865 A Roster, compiled for and published by the State Division of Archives and History, Raleigh; however, the Woodfin Battalion is chronicled in Volume II Cavalry as the 69th Regiment N. C. Troops (7th Regiment N. C. Cavalry). The unit began as the Woodfin Battalion, organized by Major John W. Woodfin in Buncombe County in September or October 1863. After Woodfin was killed in action near Warm Springs, Madison County in October 1863, the unit went through a series of reorganizations and consolidations with other units. The main duty of the regiment was to defend western North Carolina by confronting enemy raids, hunting deserters, tracking bushwhackers, and making the occasional raid into East Tennessee. Among the men listed in Company B are one M. A. Lance, who attested to Noah's service on his pension application, and one W. L. Frady.Note 2 I think that it is highly probable that “W. L. Frady” should be “N. L. Frady”. I have not come across any other Frady with that name and in that location, Noah's brother William B. was in the 25th Infantry and died at Petersburg, and furthermore mid-nineteenth century penmanship often made “W” and “N” appear similar -- in fact, on his pension application, the “N” of N. L. Frady and the “W” of Woodfin are very close to the same. Neither Noah L. Frady nor M. A. Lance could be found in the comprehensive National Park Service Civil War Soldiers and Sailors database, probably because the regiment remained in state service through the end of the war.
Noah L. Frady and Mary Ann Powers were married 8 October 1864.Note 3 Grandma Frady, Mary Ann, had a brother by the name of William Riley Powers, whom my Dad remembered as Uncle Riley. He died on 8 October 1916 and his obituary was under the headline “Last Survivor of the Merrimac Dies”!Note 4 The article states that he served as a gunner on the ironclad; and when it was deliberately sunk, he transferred to Infantry seeing action about Petersburg and Richmond. Some think that Uncle Riley was a superb practioner of the high Skyland art of exaggeration; but the following citation among the members of Company F, 14th North Carolina Infantry Regiment gives credence to the claim.
POWERS, WILLIAM R., Private
Born in Buncombe County where he resided as a farmer prior to enlisting in Buncombe County at age 21, May 3, 1861. Present or accounted for until transferred to the C.S. Navy for duty on the C.S.S.Merrimac on February 18, 1862.Note 5
Noah, Mary, and some of the children are buried in the cemetery of the Mount Zion Baptist Church. Mount Zion, now a brick building to the south of the graveyard, started as a wood frame structure on the north side -- and as a Methodist church. Noah Frady was one of the founding trustees; and his father, John Frady, gave the land for use as a church. Grandma Frady passed away 24 February 1918. Her death certificate lists the cause of death as a single word that appears to be labor;Note 6 but I think the physician was recording lobar, as in lobar pneumonia, instead. Typical of the times, her obituary only identified her as the wife of “Uncle Noah” and Mrs. N. L. Frady.Note 7 Ironically, Mary Ann Powers Frady's age was advanced by one year; and this happening to a woman who always fudged it downward.
Grandpa Frady's obituary is here transcribed:Note 8
WILL BE BURIED IN CASKET HE ORDERED MADE 15 YEARS AGO
NOAH L. FRADY FALLS DEAD IN FIELD NEAR SKYLAND
Veteran of War Between the States and Wel [sic] Known Citizen Dies Suddenly in 79th Year
Noah L. Frady, 79, Confederate veteran and member of Company B, 14th North Carolina Infantry during the war between the states, who dropped dead yesterday in a field he had been cultivating for half a century will be buried Friday in a casket made to his order 15 years ago. He supervised the draping of the casket in Confederate grey and Hare and Reynolds, undertakers, have had it stored for a decade and a half.
Death to the highly esteemed veteran of war days and of many hot political fights came suddenly. He left his home shortly after 10 o’clock with the intention of storing some hay before an expected rain fell and worked only a few minutes when he himself fell, life becoming extinct within two minutes.
The deceased had made his home on the Long Shoals road near Skyland for more than half his life and no one in his community was better known or more generally admired than “Uncle Noah.” During his life he had been an influential member of the democratic party in his vicinity. He had long been a member of the Methodist church.
Funeral services will be conducted from Mt. Zion Methodist Church Friday morning at 11 o’clock, Rev. Hiram Rien[?] officiating. His fellow comrades, members of Zeb Vance Camp, Confederate Veterans will have charge of the funeral.
The deceased was preceded to the grave by Mrs. Frady three years ago, and by three children. Surviving are two daughters, Mrs. E. C. Frady and Miss Mae Frady, who resided with their father; one brother, Alonzo Frady of Hendersonville; two sisters, Mesdames Presley and Green, of Skyland, and a number of grandchilren.
Noah's deceased children at the time of his death, for sure, were daughter Julia Johnston (25 February 1872 - 15 March 1907,) Mary Etta Rhodes (27 March 1877 - 6 June 1913 and my grandmother.) and Nannie Frady (5 June 1886 - 19 July 1889.) The family bible lists the birth of Lily, 7 February 1874, but shows no date of death. There was also a son, William Gideon “Gid” born 6 January 1866. I do not know when Gid died, but I suspect that he outlived Noah. Apparently the family ceased dealings with Gid after his divorce from Emma Murray Frady in 1899. Family lore indicates that Emma and her children maintained relationships.
This is a photograph of an oil painting of the home of Mary and Noah, which was situated not far from Mount Zion Church and cemetery. It was probably located somewhere east of Overlook Road and north of Long Shoals Road on what are now the grounds of T. C. Robeson High School. The painting was executed by their great-granddaughter, Lucille Gasperson Shook,Note 9 on 13 April 1961 as a gift for Aunt Elsie on her seventy-eighth birthday. It is now the property of Lucille's sister Audrey Gasperson Craig. The provenance was recorded on the paper backing by the artist. Also on the back paper is written: “April 29th 1961 Picture of Noah L & Mary Ann Powers Frady's Home After I am gone to glory give this panting [sic] to Mable Gasperson Etta Frady Rhoads daughter & on down Mable's airs [sic] — Elsie Frady.” It was Grandma Frady's cooking and hospitality in this house for Grandpa's political guests and Confederate comrades that gave him the epithet: “Uncle Noah.”
These headstones are in Mount Zion Church Cemetery, Overlook Road, Skyland, Buncombe County, North Carolina:
Great-granduncle Riley Powers,
brother of Mary Ann
Frady Pressley, sister of Noah
The spring of 1908 was momentous for some members of the Frady family. For Elsie, the sister of my grandmother, Etta Frady Rhodes, it probably all came to a head then. Actually, the whole decade had been a roller coaster for Elsie. She and first husband Albert Garren were married not long after the century turned; and, in 1902, they saw the birth of their daughter Jessie. Albert was a brakeman on the Southern Railroad. On 16 October 1902, he fell while coupling cars at Old Fort, N. C., was dragged by the train sustaining a mangled hand and internal injuries. He was taken to Mission Hospital, Asheville where the hand was amputated.Note 10 He succumbed to his injuries on Monday 20 October 1902.Note 11 She had joy in her union with second husband, Parris Sumner. Parris was her first cousin, son of Samuel Sumner and Fannie Frady, sister of Elsie's father Noah. Then on 24 February 1907 sickly Jessie succumbed to a heart ailment; and Elsie's older sister, Julia Frady Johnston, died on 15 March the same year. On Tuesday 10 March 1908 Parris was shot by James Frady, who asserted justification under the “unwritten law”Note 12 that a husband may defend his wife's honor with deadly force. Parris died at Mission Hospital on 12 March. At the Coroner's inquest held the next day, Mrs. Sallie Lance Frady testified that the killing was unprovoked. The jury only took a few minutes to return the verdict that Parris died at the hand of James Frady, who was held for trial without bail.Note 13 This hit the entire community. James was the son of Lonnie Frady, Noah's brother; and Sallie was the daughter of John B. Lance, who was one of the original trustees of Mount Zion Methodist Church along with A. J. Merrill and Noah Frady. James was tried, convicted, sent to prison. and his marriage was apparently dissolved. Elsie turned to the comfort of another first cousin, Ellis Frady, son of Julius, another brother of Noah. They (pictured) soon married. James served his prison term, moved to South Carolina, married again, and raised another family. One of the sons of James and Sallie, Fletcher, became in later years a primary source for several Frady genealogical researchers and one of his sources was Aunt Elsie, which might account for some of the confusion in data attributed to Fletch.
On 1 April 1908, Grandma Rhodes gave birth to fraternal twins, Mable Ruth and Max Rufus. This was the reason for the use of the word momentous in the preceding paragraph, rather than tragic. Aunt Elsie and Uncle Ellis were together for more than fifty years until his death on 16 March 1968. Aunt Elsie is buried in the same plot with her daughter and all three husbands. These headstones are in New Salem Baptist Church Cemetery, Rathfarnon Road, Skyland, Buncombe County, North Carolina:
Granduncle Albert Garren
Cousin Jessie Garren
Granduncle Parris Sumner
Frady Garren Sumner Frady
Granduncle Ellis Frady
Great-granduncle Lonnie Frady
Polly Lance Frady
Nancy Defraise Frady
John Lance Jr. and Sarah Dryman
Ellis had a brother by the name of Pleasant, better known as Pleas or Pless, who made the Asheville Citizen-Times newspaper in a column by Bob Terrell, which was reprinted in Terrell's book Old Gold.Note 14 The article was put forth as a “bull session” in an Asheville restaurant; and credits Weldon Weir, former Asheville City Manager, with:
“Pless Frady,” he said, “was superintendent of the city sanitation department in the horse-and-buggy days. Pless was a fine fellow and a good worker, but he had trouble with his letters. He wasn't too good at reading and writing. One morning a horse broke its leg on Hiawassee Street and a policeman had to shoot it to put it out of its misery. The policeman called Pless, whose job it was to clear the carcass from the street. Pless arrived on the scene, and knowing he would have to make a report, realized he didn't know how to spell ‘Hiawassee.’ So he hitched a team to the carcass and dragged it around on Flint Street and loaded it in a wagon there. He knew how to spell ‘Flint’.&rdquo
A lot of talented researchers: the late Edith Creasman Gasperson of Buncombe County, Louise Frady Hodge of Midlothian, Virginia, Betty Riddle of Jasper, Georgia, Dennis Lance of Buncombe County, to name a few, have spent much time and talent collecting the stories of the Frady and Lance families. I am indebted to them and their sharing of information. The German name Lentz was anglicized to Lance, and found its way into Buncombe County. John Lance, Sr. was enumerated on the 1800 census in Buncombe County;Note 15 and he was joined by John Lance, Jr., of the preceding image, in 1810.Note 16 As did so many women named Mary in those days, the daughter of John and Sarah was known as Polly all of her life.
The first census record that I have found for John Frady is 1850.Note 17 He and Polly Lance Cogburn were married some time after the census was taken in 1840. She was enumerated as Polly Cogburn, head of her household that year with her one son and two daughters.Note 18 The first child of John and Polly, Randolph, was born 24 April 1841.Note 19 John's father or foster-father (the jury is still out, attributed to Fletch FradyNote 20) was Ephraim Frady. Ephraim was first enumerated in 1810 in Surry County, North Carolina.Note 21 That same year, 4 August 1810, he and Nancy DeFraise were married in Surry County.Note 22 Two years later the tax lists for Surry County included Charles Frada [sic] and three sons: Ephraim, Henry, and John.Note 23 The surname Frady underwent various spellings in official records: Frada, Fraday, and Frayday to name a few. Charles Frady purchased land in Surry County in 1793 for £90 formerly belonging to Jacob Rudolph.Note 24 Charles Frady was enumerated on the next census in Surry County. The enumerator grouped the households alphabetically, placing Frady with the names beginning with the letter T; and HeritageQuest.com has indexed him as Trady.
This image is as the entries appear on the HeritageQuest image digitized from the existing microfilm.Note 25 I came across the entry while browsing the county census page by page looking for a possible household which might have held Ephraim's wife to be, Nancy Defraise. Luck is everything it is cracked up to be, although I haven't found Nancy's family. Louise Frady Hodge and her husband James have researched Charles Frady extensively, and published their findings.Note 26 Their hypothesis is that Charles Frady was the anglicized name that befell prisoner of war Carl Simon Wrede when he took up civilian life in Culpepper County Virginia in 1781. Briefly, he was what has been popularly called a "Hessian", although his regiment actually was from Brunswick not Hesse Hanau. He and his comrades were a portion of the troops surrendered by Burgoyne in New York in 1777. The German prisoners had been marched to Virginia and kept in the vicinity of Charlottesville until 1781 when they were put under march to move them farther from the possible action being threatened by Cornwallis. Wrede was reported deserted at Winchester. Wrede's name appears on the rolls of a church in Culpepper County, as well as a number of other records. This theory, when I first learned of it, brought back a memory. As a child my home was, first, in the coastal plain of North Carolina, east of Raleigh; and then in southwestern Virginia. We made periodic trips to visit family members in Buncombe and Henderson Counties. We would always stop for a few hours at the Biltmore Forest home of Uncle Ellis and Aunt Elsie Frady. Aunt Elsie was full of funny stories about the myriad mementos in her house. She had an old trunk full of wonderful things and marvelous stories to tell about them. She was once showing me something that pertained to her father Noah's service for the Confederacy and remarked that he had fought on the losing side. She got that special twinkle in her eye that usually accompanied one of her tales; but all she added was, “You know, you had an ancestor who fought on the losing side in the Revolutionary War.” Being a typical, egocentric boy, I considered that the term ancestor would only refer to someone named Rhodes; but the concept stayed in my head all these years. Was it one of her jokes? How could she have known? She was born in 1883 and her great-great grandfather Charles Frady had been dead some fifty years. Her great grandfather Ephraim had died before 1860; and her great grandmother Nancy died when Elsie was only three; but her grandfather John lived until she was twelve; and he could have been her source. John Frady was an extraordinary man. He worked hard and managed to increase his holdings and his fortune. He donated the land for Mount Zion Church and Cemetery, a Methodist endeavor, while he himself probably attended New Salem Baptist Church. There is family lore that he donated land for that church and ground as well. The Revolutionary War status of Charles Frady could have been one of those things known, but not discussed; and then suppressed by the tenor of the post-Civil War times in the South. At this time, who can say?