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William Carter Bewley
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Birth: Jul. 16, 1820
Greene County
Tennessee, USA
Death: May 6, 1868
Anderson County
South Carolina, USA

William Carter Bewley was born 16 Jul 1820 in Greene County, TN. He died 06 May 1868 in Anderson County, SC.

His parents were the Rev. Anthony Bewley (1775-1847) from Franklin County, Virginia and Sarah Finch from Washington County, Tennessee. This was not the same Rev. Anthony Bewley (1804-1860) who became somewhat famous for having been lynched by a mob in Texas on 13 Sep 1860 because of his alleged abolitionist activities there. That Anthony Bewley (1804-1860) was William Carter Bewley's first cousin. Information about that Rev. Anthony Bewley (1804-1860) can be found in The Handbook of Texas Online.

One of William Carter Bewley's uncles was Jacob Murphy Bewley, Sr. (1795-1867). He was a neighbor, close friend, and personal advisor to Andrew Johnson who later became President of the United States (1865-1869). Jacob Murphy Bewley, Sr. was also a well-known, and apparently highly regarded, Tennessee State Senator. Jacob Murphy Bewley Sr.'s first marriage was to Sara Meroney (1814-1843) of Pendleton District, South Carolina. Their graves are in Bewley's Chapel cemetery in Greene County, Tennessee.

William Carter Bewley married Catharine Douglas ("Kate") Hale 09 Jul 1851 in Greene County, Tennessee. She was born 30 Apr 1827 in Greene County, Tennessee. She died 03 Jun 1896 in Anderson, South Carolina. Her parents were Capt. Joseph Hale and Phoebe Hatcher Smith, both of whom were from well-known and highly regarded families in eastern Tennessee. Capt. Hale's mother was Catherine Douglas who was born 03 Jun 1762 in Loudoun County, Virginia. Her father was Capt. William Douglas who was born in Scotland Abt. 1731 and whose Scottish ancestry has been traced to the early 17th century.

The respect with which the Hale family viewed their Douglas ancestry was reflected by Kate's having two near relatives (an aunt and a first cousin) with the exact same name as hers (Catherine Douglas Hale) as well as numerous other extended family members with the middle, given name of Douglas.

The Bewley and Hale families were very prominent and highly regarded in eastern Tennessee in the early 19th century, and records of both families in Greene and surrounding counties in Tennessee are numerous.

In the Nathaniel Greene Museum in Greenville, there is a current exhibit that includes a large, glass-enclosed case containing an elaborate, hand-tailored and restored wedding coat. Records show that the coat was custom made for William Carter Bewley and that he wore it when he and Catherine Douglas Hale were married. The coat was made by Andrew Johnson who was a close friend of William Carter Bewley's uncle. Andrew Johnson owned a tailor shop early in his career, and he later became the seventeenth President of the United States (1865-1869).

That coat, and the records of its history, were donated to the museum in 1987 by Mrs. James Reid (Luta) Keith of Anderson who was one of William Carter Bewley's granddaughters. Her mother was William Carter Bewley's daughter, Nellie Carter Bewley.

There is circumstantial evidence of a connection between the Bewley family and the well-known Carter family of eastern Tennessee and Virginia before that. William Carter Bewley's parents chose the Carter surname as his middle name. There was also a person in that area named Jacob Bewley Carter (1839-1910).

William Carter Bewley and Catherine Douglas Hale relocated to Anderson, South Carolina shortly after their marriage. Some records indicate that William Carter Bewley was already living in the Anderson area prior to his returning to eastern Tennessee for his marriage to Kate.

He was a cotton broker and merchant in Anderson prior to the Civil War. He was apparently a successful businessman as indicated by the relatively high (for that era) asset values shown in census records for the household he headed and for the one his wife headed after his death in 1868. He had several partners in his mercantile businesses in Anderson, one of whom was named England. Their store was named England and Bewley.

Stories were passed down from Kate, through generations of her descendants, that another business partner of her husband's, Mr. Brown, stole money from the store's till when William was away doing his Confederate duty. Some of William Carter Bewley's descendants have collected and preserved a lot of original documentation about his life and his military service during the latter part of the Civil War including a record of his enlistment in 1864. There are indications in those records that he was opposed to both the war and to slavery.

Also included in that preserved information are a letter written by William Carter Bewley to his wife, Kate, sent during the war, his passport which allowed him to cross Confederate and Union lines in search of salt, and his discharge papers from the Confederate Army. One of his late descendants reported that she had heard family stories of his riding into town (Anderson) in search of salt. Several of his descendants reported hearing family stories that he died of wounds and malnutrition he had suffered during the Civil War.

William Carter Bewley and Catharine Douglas Hale are believed to have had nine children, two of whom apparently died as infants: Joseph Anthony Bewley (apparently named for William Carter Bewley's father, Anthony Bewley) and Phoebe Emma Bewley (apparently named for Catherine Douglas Hale's mother, Phoebe Hatcher Smith).

William's and Kate's first child who grew to adulthood was named James Hale Bewley. He was born Abt. 1853 in Anderson, South Carolina. He married Nancy Jane ("Jennie") McCord. She was born Abt. 1853 in Abbeville, South Carolina.

William's and Kate's second child who grew to adulthood was named S. Anna Bewley. She was born 14 Mar 1856 in Anderson, South Carolina. She died 03 Jul 1881 in Anderson at the age of only 25 and less than two years after her marriage. Since her father's mother's name was Sarah, and her father's next youngest sibling's name was Sara, it is likely that the S. stood for Sarah or Sara. She married James Milling Cathcart on 01 Oct 1879 in her mother's home in Anderson. He was born 21 Jun 1855 in Anderson, South Carolina. He died 12 Apr 1907 in Anderson, South Carolina.

William's and Kate's third child who grew to adulthood was named Ida Elizabeth Bewley. She was born Abt. 1858 in Anderson. She was recorded as a daughter in the 1860, 1870, and 1880 census listings, and she was still living at home with her mother in 1880 when she was 22 years old. Sometime after that, she married a Dr. Mitchell and moved to the Westminster area. From a 15 Aug 1972 letter written by Dr. Robert W. Webb, one of James Hale Bewley's grandsons: "I never saw or met Aunt Ida, but I heard a lot about her from my mother. Apparently, she was a very talented woman in art, making many beautiful paintings of flower arrangements and exquisite, delicate wax-flower creations displayed under artistic glass coverings, which she gave various relatives, some of which I remember in our old home. I think she was a high-strung individual, as she possessed some odd qualifications. I remember my mother saying that she (Aunt Ida) could read a newspaper or book as easily up-side-downwards as right-side upwards; also that she could never wear a silk dress or carry a silk parasol, since she was so heavily charged (static electricity) those fabrics split to pieces! I have never heard of such before nor have I ever heard of such then! Aunt Ida was married to a Dr. Mitchell (MD) and they lived in a small mountain town 75 NW of Anderson, S.C. called Westminster. So far as I know, Aunt Ida never visited her brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, at Anderson, nor do I know any who visited her."

William's and Kate's fourth child who grew to adulthood was named William Douglas Bewley. He was born 02 May 1860 in Anderson, South Carolina. He died 18 Apr 1944 in Lexington, Virginia. He married Mary Emma Whiteside Abt, 1882 in Union County, South Carolina. She was born 09 Jun 1860 in Union County, South Carolina. She died 30 Mar 1940 in Anderson, South Carolina.

William's and Kate's fifth child who grew past his early youth was named John Charles ("Charley") Bewley. He was born about 1862. He died of typhoid fever when he was about 13 years old. From the Thursday, 04 Nov 1875 issue of The Anderson Intelligencer: "Charley Bewley, youngest son of Mrs. C. D. Bewley, of our Town, died of typhoid fever on last Friday morning at six o'clock after an illness of seven weeks. Charlie was an interesting and bright boy whose death leaves a void in the affections of his family. His remains were borne to their resting place in the Baptist Church yard by six young boys and followed by the Baptist Sabbath School of which he was a member. The funeral services were solemn and impressive."

William's and Kate's sixth child who grew to adulthood was named Catherine Luta ("Luta") Bewley. She was born 05 Sep 1866 in Anderson, South Carolina. She died 30 Sep 1944 in Anderson. She married Charles Starke Sullivan. He was born 26 May 1866 in Anderson, South Carolina. He died 12 Oct 1915 in Columbia, South Carolina. He was from a long line of prominent, well-known, and highly-respected members of the Sullivan family, pioneer settlers of the Anderson County area. They were some of the most successful merchants in early Anderson, and Charles Starke Sullivan ran a very successful business (Sullivan's Hardware) in downtown Anderson prior to his untimely death when he was only 49 years old. He was one of the founders and major benefactors of Anderson College (now Anderson University). Luta was very musical; she wrote the words and music to the Alma Mater for Anderson College. She was also widely recognized as an expert cook, and she won a first prize at the county fair when she was 12 years old for cooking the best meal which was fried chicken, rice and milk gravy, a vegetable, and biscuits from scratch. She attended Salem College. From her obituary which appeared in a Sep 1944 edition of The Anderson Independent: "Mrs. Sullivan was a lifelong resident of Anderson, and was known and loved by countless friends and relatives throughout this and other sections who deeply deplore her sudden and unexpected passing. A woman of sweet Christian character and high ideals, she had been actively identified with religious and civic affairs of the community for many years. Since early in life, Mrs. Sullivan had been affiliated with the First Baptist Church of Anderson, and was one of this institution's most loyal, active and devoted members. In addition to various phases of church and Sunday school activities, she was also active for many years in civic affairs, and had been deeply interested in the work and progress of Anderson College since the founding of that institution."

William's and Kate's seventh child who grew to adulthood was named Nellie Carter Bewley. She was born 12 Sep 1868 in Anderson, South Carolina. She died 24 Nov 1925 in Anderson. She was recorded in the 1870 census as a one-year-old "E. R. Bewley." She married William Henry Frierson about 1889. He was born Oct 1855 in South Carolina. He was a lawyer and, at one time, a judge.

From that same 15 Aug 1972 letter written by her grandnephew, Dr. Robert William Webb: I knew well Aunt Nellie, Mr. Frierson, and all their children. The last one, David, earned a Ph.D. in history, economics, and political science and had a successful career in Foreign Service work and as a University Dean & Professor at Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN. Aunt Nellie suffered 2 long periods of illness at Aunt Luta's home in Anderson that never could be explained, both similar in nature, and making her lie in a coma for 1-2 years as if dead. She was fed intravenously, and then low and behold, she suddenly waked up as if coming out of a nap, couldn't believe what had happened, and said she had suffered NO pain throughout the long and unusual ordeal.

Several copies of an old photograph of a house exist from Bewley family records. And, one of James Hale Bewley's daughters, Seppie Anna Bewley, told her family members when she was alive that the house was called "Bewleyanna," and that she was one of the babies being held in the photograph. It is therefore speculated that the house may have been William Carter Bewley's home prior to his death, and the photograph may have been taken about 1880.

William Carter Bewley's and Catherine Douglas Hale's graves are side by side in Old Silver Brook cemetery. The graves of most of their children, their spouses, and some of their descendants are in that same cemetery.
Family links: 
  Catherine Douglas Hale Bewley (1827 - 1896)
  Anna S Bewley Cathcart (1858 - 1881)*
  William Douglas Bewley (1862 - 1944)*
*Calculated relationship
Silver Brook Cemetery
Anderson County
South Carolina, USA
Maintained by: Bob Webb
Originally Created by: Anonymous
Record added: Dec 10, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 6021805
William Carter Bewley
Added by: Bob Webb
William Carter Bewley
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Gerry
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- Priscilla Gaskins
 Added: May. 18, 2008

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