John Oliver was the son of John Oliver, Sr. (ca. 1750 - ca. 1826) and Mary (Unknown).
About 1816, a man named Joshua Jobe of Carter County, Tennessee entered the cove. He cleared some land and built a log cabin where the Sparks farm is now located. Jobe briefly returned to Carter County to share his discovery of this fertile area. He persuaded one of his former neighbors, John Oliver, to settle this new land. John Oliver entered the cove with his wife and child, Mary, around 1818, and built a cabin one mile due north of Jobe.
Note: The first white people who visited the Cove found an Indian living there by the name of "Kade". Either they or the indians in the area called it Kade's Cove. Later, the spelling was changed to Cades Cove.
A claim record (W.C. 6844) on file in the National Archives states that he served in the East Tennessee Militia during the War of 1812. John served as a private in Captain Adam Winsell's Company after enlisting in Knoxville, Tennessee on January 5, 1814 and serving until May 26, 1814. This record states that he participated in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend on March 27, 1814.
Family oral tradition passed down the account of this Battle given by John Oliver. He said that he was among the first group to cross the Indian breastworks. Historical accounts of this battle document that Col. Williams, and Maj. Montgomery were the first on these log fortifications. It was during this initial charge that Maj. Montgomery was killed. Gen. Jackson wrote of this savage engagement saying: "Having maintained for a few minutes a very obstinate contest, muzzle to muzzle, through the port-holes, in which many of the enemy's balls were welded to the bayonets of our muskets, our troops succeeded in gaining possession of the opposite side. This was followed by terrible hand to hand conflict -- a fight to the death with no quarter asked and none given." Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that John Oliver showed great courage and bravery during the charge of these fortifications. Courage and bravery that his descendants can be proud.
According to the sworn affidavit of Lurena Oliver made on September 23, 1873 to obtain a pension, John died on February 15, 1863 in Cades Cove, Blount County, Tennessee and was married on April 28, 1814 in Carter County, Tennessee.
Lurena Frazier Oliver
1795–1888 (m. 1814)
First permanent white settlers of Cades Cove 1817-1818.