Bonnie Katherine Jones
March 17, 1907 - Black Mountain, North Carolina
February 17, 1996 - Oak Ridge, Tennessee
by Iris Teta Eubank Wagner -
for my mother Bonnie
Bonnie 1913, age six
My thoughts about this place, where my Jones, Stepp, and Porter ancestors lived, are through my mother's gentle memories, photographs, and her lively conversations with Aunt Frances (below) - they shared a bottle of Port . . . I listened - it all sounded so beautiful . . . words like Swannanoa . . . places of history, like Grey Eagle, Bee Tree, Old Fort, and the Catawba River. Later, visits to Black Mountain, and a year's worth of living in north Asheville, near Beaver Lake - my feet propped to warm by the fire - have given me reason to call this place home.
Aunt Frances, about 1920 in Asheville
Aunt Frances was the family member who was responsible, more than any other, for the love and care given my mother during the younger through her teen years.
Miss Annie Ingram
Bonnie was born at Miss Annie Ingram's house (below). Annie's father, Lewis Ingram, had built the house. His father was Robert Ingram, born in Ulster, Northern Ireland, an early settler in the Swannanoa Valley.
Miss Annie's House, and friends
Miss Annie's house stood just inside the present main entrance to Camp Rockmont on Lake Eden Road in Black Mountain.
Miss Annie (standing) was born in 1853. In the literature and lore of Black Mountain, she was a favorite person among its citizens - kind and thoughtful, and lively - she was known for her dancing - entertaining at her own parties, and also at dances held at the Old Gresham Hotel. Bonnie kept memories of Miss Annie close, and indelible, for all of her life. She shared those memories with me.
1910 Census in Black Mountain
'the family neighborhood'
By Residence from Top
Res. 97 - Robert Lord
Miss Annie's niece, Ella Ingram, was Robert Lord's first wife. Robert was the son of Chester C. and Juline Lord of Connecticut. The Lords lived at the Village of Montreat a few miles north of Black Mountain. Dr. Margery Lord was Robert's sister. Robert's second wife was Bonnie's half-sister, Blanche, daughter
of Sarah Lenora Foster .
Res.98 - Thomas Richmond Randolph
T. R. Randolph (right) taught a tuition school in the North Fork neighborhood. His Randolph ancestor in 17th century New Jersey donated the land on which Princeton University was established.
By this 1910 census, T.R. was living adjacent to the Stepp House with his second wife Rose, nee Stepp, (below, right). T. R.'s daughter "Lizzie" was by his first wife and sister of Rose, Elizabeth Caroline, who died at the birth of her daughter in 1892.
Res.99 - Arthur G. Jones
Bonnie's Uncle 'Ot' - Arthur Govan Jones and Aunt Mary Jones and their family were living in the Stepp House - Millard Govan, Selma, Dale, Oscar, and Rosa Marie, Bonnie's cousin and her best friend.
Res. 100 - Annie Ingram
Miss Annie was fifty-eight years old in 1910, and Bonnie's father Winfred Lee Jones (below left) boarded and helped Miss Annie manage her home. Bonnie is living with her father at Miss Annies'.
Bonnie's mother, Sarah Lenora Foster, known as Nora, had previously boarded and helped Miss Annie at her home. Nora was living and caring for her Uncle George N. Alexander at Swannanoa in the summer of 1910 - (see census below).
1910 U. S. Federal Census, Swannanoa, North Carolina
George N. Alexander ........................................
Bonnie's mother Nora is entered on the census (above) as having had two children who were living - Blanche, 11, who is with her at George Alexander's home, and Bonnie.
Bonnie was named for the daughter of Marcus' brother, Henry Calvin Jones, Uncle Cal, who was a Justice with the Buncombe County Court. Bonnie did not accept her middle name 'Mae,' and later changed her name to 'Kathryne,' later spelling her name 'Katherine.'
Res.101 Bonnie's Uncle 'Dock' Jones was boarding with the Crawford family in 1910.
Res.102 - Marcus M. Jones Along with father Winfred, Bonnie's grandparents, Rachel Jane Stepp Jones (right), and Marcus M. Jones (below left) and her Aunt Frances Burroughs Jones were the family members who gave Bonnie a loving and happy home.
Grandmother Rachel died on a cold morning, January 14, 1919. Cousin Oscar came in a wagon to school early in the morning to bring Bonnie and Marie back home.
On March 30, 1920,
Aunt Frances married
Daniel W. Whisenhunt, a businessman and widower, who had lived in Black Mountain, and had moved his family to Andrews, North Carolina, in recent years. Bonnie lived with Frances and Mr. Whisenhunt in Andrews until her marriage to
William A. Eubank.
1914 - Mark and Rachel Jones' Apple Orchard
Most of the orchard is now covered by one of several small lakes in the Lake Eden complex. In this picture, the Swannanoa River is just beyond the orchard at the foot of the slope, before a rise to the high mountains. Bonnie is in the picture, seven years old, standing in the wagon with Grandpa Jones, and cousin Oscar Jones in white shirt. In late spring each year, after the foliage was nice and thick, Mark would drive his cattle up the north slope to graze for the summer.
The Ancestors from Ireland . . .
As a little girl, growing up in her grandparents' home, Bonnie listened to grandpa Mark talk with his daughters, Nora (left) and Frances, about his great grandfather Joshua Jones coming to America from Ireland as a little boy with his family.
When Bonnie and I talked about her grandfather Mark Jones, she wanted to make sure that I understood, "Now it wasn't grandpa's grandfather who first came over, it was his great-grandfather. And they came from Ireland."
(below) Aunt Frances and Bonnie's cousin Bessie Grant,
Aunt Nora's daughter, share a good laugh in the sunshine in Mark's wheat field
of so long ago.
Frances was still in her uniform and cap on
this sunny afternoon.
Before marriage in
1920, she worked with Dr.
Isaac Archer, founder and director of both the Royal League Sanatorium
(below), and the Cragmont Sanatorium, established about 1900 in
Black Mountain for the treatment of tuberculosis.
Bonnie (below left) at fifteen on a summer visit back to Black Mountain from Andrews in 1922.
Jones (right) was Bonnie's cousin and her best
Bonnie remembered . . . . After I moved away, Marie and I wrote to each other and sent pictures; I would go back to Black Mountain for a few weeks each summer until 'Bill' (William Arleigh Eubank) and I married in 1928. Marie married Oden Walker of Black Mountain, and they had two daughters, Daphne and Roxanne.
. . . Some days, Marie and I would be so tired from play, climbing trees, and swimming all day with our friends and cousins . . . we'd be so tired we could barely climb the stairs to our room - me at Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt Frances' house, and Marie just across the field in the Stepp house. We would light oil lamps at our windows, and from across the field, we could see the light flicker . . .goodnight.... goodnight....... . . . . see you tomorrow.
. . . to the Daughters of the Sunset,
Weep into the river, and each tear gleams, a drop of amber in the wave . . . . .
the singing and the gold
Original Narrative, Research
copyright Iris Teta Eubank Wagner 2016
All photographs Whisenhunt archive.