THE LOUP COUNTY, NEBRASKA PERKINS FAMILIES
Joshua Carter Perkins' and Joshua Frye Perkins'
Nebraska Pioneers 1872 ~ 1996
Perkins Brothers and the Cranberry Mine - -
including Joseph and Amos Perkins, the fathers of
Joshua Carter Perkins, and Joshua Frye Perkins
ET & WNC (East Tennessee & Western North Carolina)
narrow gauge railroad, ran from Johnson City, Tennessee to
Cranberry Iron Ore Mines and beyond before the May flood of the
1930's that washed out the tracks, after that the tracks were
only repaired back to Cranberry, mostly to pick up the Iron Ore
that was needed in World War II, after that it kept going down
hill until it was removed completely, sometime around the
Card and text courtesy of Ray Markland,
Johnson City, Tennessee
Joshua Perkins - - 1798 **
Mountain People Heroes
Ever hear of
Joshua Perkins? He was the luckiest ginseng digger of all
Joshua Perkins was tall, dark and
handsome. He lived in Tennessee near where the Elk and
Watauga Rivers meet. In the fall of 1826, he made a hasty
trip over the state line into North Carolina to escape
arrest because of a fist fight. He was headed for the home
of Abern Johnson , a family friend, who lived about a mile
south of Newland.
The next day, Joshua went out to
dig ginseng. As he dug, he struck a vein of magnetite.
Magnetite is an important ore of
iron. Some 45 years earlier, a man named Reuben White had
found this same vein, but the location was forgotten. The
place where Perkins made his find would later be called
Perkins took some ore samples
to the forge owned by John Dugger and John Asher on the
Watauga River. That's how you tested iron ore in those days:
you had a blacksmith melt it down and learn the quality.
There he learned some exciting
news. State law provided that anyone who found iron ore on
vacant land could claim that land. When it was proved 5,000
pounds of wrought iron had been produced at a forge on the
land, the owner would receive 3,000 acres of state-owned
land, including the location of the mine and forge.
That is exactly what happened.
Perkins and his brother got full title to the land in 1833.
Work was hard. The heavy, tough ore
had to be broken up with picks and mattocks, then shoveled
into carts to be taken to the forge.
This wasn't gold mining, and the
profits were never large. Finally, the Perkins brothers got
into financial trouble and their property was sold by court
order. But their work continued to benefit the Cranberry
section of the future Avery County for almost 150 years.
This article appears
in The Mountain Times on-line Summer Times under the
section, Local Lore,
You may enjoy seeing what other Tennessee tales are written
Just click on the link for Local Lore
The above article
was also published in the Elizabethton Star,
Elizabethton, Carter County, Tennessee Newspaper
on September 3, 2000.
** Joshua Perkins was the brother of Joseph Perkins
(1781) and Amos Perkins (1797) as well as John Perkins
(1800) and Jacob Perkins, Jr. (1798)
copyrighted by Patricia C. Ash for Fallen Leaves - - December 2003.
Last updated: 15 January 2004.