|Birth: ||Oct. 26, 1825|
North Carolina, USA
|Death: ||Jun. 26, 1904|
Elijah Washington Naillon was born in Buncombe County, North Carolina on 26 Oct 1825 to Patrick Naillon and Frances Russell Southerland Naillon; the only child of that union. Both parents had been previously married and had children; Patrick to Catharine (surname unknown), 6 children; and Frances to Preston Southerland, 4 children. So he was raised the youngest, with 10 half siblings.
His father was born and immigrated from County Cork, Ireland and his mother was born in Greene County, Tennessee. Records are found under many variations of Naillon: Nealon, Nealan, Nailon, Nelon, Nalen, Nelan, Neyland, Nailand, etc. Some records for Elijah are under E.W. Naillon, also.
Elijah was described by his grandaughter as a "well educated man for his time." Most of Elijah's life was spent in the Great Smoky Mountains, Buncombe County, North Carolina and eastern Tennessee; what is now known as Cocke County.
Both mothers of his children had lived near him for many years (see census records). Though there has been much assumed and plenty of controversy, he and Nancy Moore were never married. The most denied fact in Elijah's life by his descendants is that these two women were also mother and daughter. He and Nancy Moore had three children together: Rosanah Moore, Salena Katherine Moore and William Elihu Moore. In a previous relationship with William Lewis Brown, Nancy had Harriet Moore, Joseph Tipton Moore and Henry Wade Moore (she chose for all her children to carry her maiden name). Elijah married Harriet Moore, on Christmas Eve, 1855. They had 11 children (see links below).
Elijah fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War, in the mounted cavalry of Captain G. W. Kirk's Company, 3rd Regiment. He enlisted as a private at Knoxville, Tennessee on 29 July 1864. His personal description was as follows: age 50 , 5 ft. 11 in. tall, fair complexion, brown hair, blue eyes. A military report describes an unfortunate incident that caused some brain damage, apparently not so much in thought/comprehension (see letter below he wrote years after attack) but at the very least, did affect speech for the remainder of his life:
"While a member of the organization aforesaid, in the service and in the line of his duty, at or near a place called Newport, Cocke County, in the State of Tennessee, on or about the 20th day of November 1864 he being at the time a detached service captured a rebel soldier and said Elijah Washington Naillon came home with a rebel prisoner chained by the neck to his mule and after keeping him during the night tried [tied] to his own person he took the prisoner as before confined and he started to the federal army via Cocke County Tennese [Tennessee], said soldier claimed to belong to Morgan S. Vaughn's command and Elijah W. Naillon escorting him to the Union lines the prisoner took advantage at an unguarded moment to attack him with a stone knocking said Naillon down by striking him upon the head, and after falling repeating the blows until said Naillon was wholly disabled."
When the Civil War ended Elijah tried to obtain a pension and wrote the following letter 19 March 1891. It apparently remains on file with B.F. Witt of Indianapolis. It was published in a Tennessee newspaper 27 June 1904.
"Oh my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? I often walk in my yard and look upon my old mossy house and my little farm sold off to raise my helpless children.When I look at the children, plaefaced [palefaced] for want of food and clothing they look like dirt eaters. I think, 'why has my government forgotten me?' My disabilities are such that I have not been able to work since the war. On the 24th of June 1880 I filed a claim being nearly destitute of all the benefits of a soldier and left not able to do any work.I now am suffering. All I ask is for the government to give me what is just. I hope the Holy Spirit may be your guide."
He would be known as the man that established historic Naillontown (aka Naillon Town); and was the first Post Master of the Naillon Town Post Office beginning on 8 October 1880 until 9 February 1883. The two most common stories of his passing from this life may have some truth to them, be a mixture of the two, or of course, be way off! One says he died on train making his way to Utah, but a death notice published in a Memphis, TN newspaper reports that he died at the Shelby County Poorhouse in the early morning of Sunday, 26 June 1904. He had been there since a patrolman found him wandering around the old depot. Family in Spanish Fork, Utah were notified but replied they were unable to care for the body, so his body was turned over to the Shelby County undertaker with instructions that his body might be sent to Utah at a later time. A GGG Grandson, still living in Cocke County, TN claims that Elijah's body was buried but later the graveyard was destroyed for roadway and later covered over for a parking lot; but that the names of those buried there were written in the cement, but not sure where it is. I've attempted to contact him to locate the parking lot, no response as yet. It would be so nice to find his final resting place and to hear some pleasant stories concerning his life. I'm sure all of his descendants would be very grateful for any info you could share. His posterity is vast and scattered across Tennessee, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, etc. We are grateful for his life, his obvious strength and endurance, his expressed love and concern for his children, forever.
- Sources: 1880 United States Federal Census; Ancestry.com; Buffie Griesel; Jimmy Morrow, 'Handling Serpents,' 2005; Lee Nelson and Marilyn Brown, 'Families Lost and Found,' 2005; Duckett, Christensen and Naillon family histories; bio researched and written by Annie Duckett Hundley, GGG Granddaughter.
Patrick Naillon (1769 - 1845)
Frances Russell Naillon (1790 - 1866)
Harriet Moore Naillon (1838 - 1906)
Rosanah Moore (1849 - 1910)*
Salena Katherine Moore (1852 - 1922)*
William Elihu Moore (1854 - 1926)*
Asa Woodfin Naillon (1854 - 1854)*
Symantha Caroline Naillon Woody (1856 - 1938)*
Lydia Margaret Naillon (1858 - 1942)*
Joseph Reed Vance Naillon (1861 - 1933)*
Theodocia D Naillon Peterson (1863 - 1905)*
Aaron Montgomery Naillon (1866 - 1947)*
Elijah Russell Naillon (1868 - 1939)*
George Francis Naillon (1870 - 1950)*
Doctor Lafayette Naillon (1874 - 1930)*
Benjamin Parker Naillon (1877 - 1916)*
Robert Taylor Naillon (1879 - 1958)*
William Nelon (1809 - ____)**
James Robert Nelon (1812 - 1890)**
John P Nelon (1815 - 1876)**
Mary Anne Naillon Woody (1817 - 1891)**
Thomas Nailon (1818 - 1899)**
Elijah Washington Naillon (1825 - 1904)
Note: Relationship w/children: Nancy Moore
Specifically: Died in Memphis, Tennessee at Shelby County Poorhouse; buried by county undertaker. Graveyard destroyed for roadway; now a parking lot, inscriptions mark burials. Commemorative headstone in Naillon-Moore Cemetery in Cocke County, Tennessee.
Created by: Annie Duckett Hundley
Record added: Mar 25, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 67441146