JOSEPH AND MARIAH (HEDDEN) ELLER: EARLY NORTH GEORGIA PIONEERS AND SOME OF THEIR DESCENDANTS

HEARTHSTONES OF HOME, Foundations of Towns County, Georgia, Vol. 1, editor, Jerry A. Taylor, 1983, P.O. Box 101, Young Harris, GA 30382

JOSEPH "JOE" ELLER was born about 1803 in North Carolina, possibly Buncombe County. It is passed down that his mother was Susan "Sukey" Eller and his brothers were Jacob "Jake" (1811), William "Bill" (1816), and George Eller. (Jacob and William lived in Towns County.)

On Jan. 3, 1825 Joseph Eller married Mariah Hedden in Rabun County, Georgia. Mariah Hedden Eller, born in Spartanburg County, S.C. about 1808, was the daughter of Elisha Sr, and Elizabeth Pinson Hedden and step-daughter of William Visage. She was a sister of the Rev. Elisha Hedden, Jr., noted Baptist minister of Towns County.

Joseph Eller and his father-in-law, William Visage, were among the very earliest settlers of the Upper Hightower area, having moved there prior to 1834 as indicated in a special census in Union County, Georgia completed March 24, 1834. Joseph's family at the time of the census consisted of 6 males-and 3 females. Joseph Eller's family was enumerated in the 1840 census of Rabun County Georgia as follows: Males 3, under 5; 2, 5-10; 1, 30-40; Females: 1, under 5; 1, 5-10; 1, 10-15; 1, 30-40; In 1850 they are back in Union (Towns) County where they lived the rest of their lives.

As a resident of Anderson's district in Rabun County, Georgia, Joseph Eller, in the Cherokee Land Lottery (1832), drew lot 224 in the 24th district and 2nd section of original Cherokee County, Georgia.

Georgia Poor School Records show the following Eller children attending school in 1842: Elizabeth, Joseph, Malinda, and William.

In 1856 Joseph Eller bought lot 131 in the 18th district of Towns County (Upper Hightower) from John H. Newton. His attention was attracted by some water worn gravel which his dog exposed while making an excavation for a burrowing animal. This led to an examination of the gravel deposits beneath the over-lying soil and they were found to be rich in gold. The work of washing the gravel was begun immediately by Joseph, assisted by others, but owing to the want of a sufficient amount of water the work progressed slowly. The gravel frequently had to be carried some distance to running water. However, regardless of this difficulty, it is said the mine paid handsomely. (Deryck and Dion Eller now own the property on which their great-great- grandfather discovered gold.)

Mariah Eller died about 1864 during the troubled times of the Civil War. Family tradition relates that she was staying with Caroline Hooper, her daughter, when Caroline's baby, Callie, was born. Mariah sent word to Caroline's husband, William Hooper, that he was needed at home. William "slipped in" home, but the Home Guards hearing of his arrival, came after him to take him back to the War. When they came Mariah blocked the front door while her son-in-law slipped out the back into the woods. Those men who honored themselves with the title of Guard pushed the valiant lady out of the doorway. She fell to the ground sustaining injuries from which she never recovered.

On Nov. 29, 1868, Joseph Eller married Ellender Catherine Corn Hefner. daughter of Jesse and Sarah Smith Corn. They had one daughter, Buena Vista, (1870), who married Bus Dover. - BERT ELLER. ANNA MARIA ELLER LAURICH, TOMMY FLANAGAN, and JERRY TAYLOR.

(Ed. The story of discovery of gold in the North Georgia mountains by Joseph Eller may answer a question that has long puzzled some of his relatives who remained in Buncombe Co., NC. John A. Eller of Weaverville, Buncombe Co., NC told me a story in 1986 about Joseph Eller, son of Jacob Eller, Jr. and Mary Biffle, and believed to be a first cousin of Joseph Eller of North Georgia. It seems that in the early days of the Civil War Joseph Eller disappeared from Buncombe Co., NC for a period of time. He returned home on his horse with his saddle bass full of gold according to the story. The only explanation he ever Save for his absence was that he had been "fighting the war". No record of his service in the Civil War has been found. He hid the Sold and after his death in 1863 many hours were spent by relatives and others trying to find "Joe Eller's Gold." Perhaps "Joe Eller's gold" came from North Georgia.)

 

FAMILY GROUP SHEETS and related information, compiled by DOROTHY W. NEWBOLD, 170 Cherokee Village Circle, P.O. Box 507, Ball Ground, GA 30107.

Husband: JOSEPH ELLER Wife: MARIAH HEDDEN
b. ca 1806, North Carolina
d. after 1880, Towns Co., GA
m.lst: 3 Jan. 1825, Rabun CO.,GA
Father?- Mother: Savannah Eller?
b. ca 1808, Spartanburg, CO.,SC
d. before 1869, Towns Co., GA
Father: Elisha Hedden, Sr.
Mother: Elizabeth Pinson
Sex  No.  Children
M1. Humphrey Posey Eller, b. 1826, Rabun Co.,BA; m. 4 Dec. 1845, Rabun Co., GA, Jane Hall
F2. Malinda Eller, b. 1827, Rabun Co., GA; d. 19191 m.Ist:18 Sep. 1853 to Nicholas M. Shook; m.2nd: William Hall
F3.Elizabeth "Betsy" Ann Eller, b. 1829, Rabun Co., GA; m. Jonathan Nicholson
M4.Joseph Milton Eller, b. Sep.1830, Rabun Co.,GA; m. Margaret Coward
M5.William Eller, b. 1832, Rabun Co., GA; m. 12 Oct.1854, Ann Elizabeth Eller
F6.Vinetta Eller, b. 1835, Rabun Co., GA; m. 5 Sep. 1841, Abner Smith
M7.Elisha Hedden Eller, b. 24 Oct.1837, Rabun Co., GA; d. 22 Jan. 1929; m.10 Mar. 1859, Towns Co.,GA, Nancy Eliza Wood
M8.Jeffrey Eller(twin) b. 1838, Rabun Co., GA; d. 1866; m. 26 Aug. 1858, Towns Co., GA, Elizabeth Shook
M9.Jacob Eller(twin) b. 1838, Rabun Co., GA; d. 9 Feb. 1865; did not marry
F10.Caroline Eller b. 1840, Rabun or Union Co., GA; d. 1889; m.Ist: William Hooper; m.2nd: John W. Trusty
M*11.George Henry Eller b. 25 Apr. 1842, Union Co., GA; d. 8 Dec. 1926, Adamsburg, Alabama; m. Rachel Liney Brown
F12.Hannah M. Eller b. 20 Sep. 1845, Union Co., GA; d. 10 June 1923; m. 25 Jan 1866, Towns Co., GA, George Taylor Coward
F13.Arminda Jane Eller b. 1846, Union Co., GA; m. 4 Apr. 1869, Towns Co., GA, Alfred Garrett
M14.Alfred Webb Eller(twin) b. 18 June 1847, Union Co.,GA; d. 30 Dec.1934; m. Mar.1870, Martha Angeline Chastain
M15.Albert "Bert" Martin Eller(twin) b. 18 June 1947, Union Co., GA; m. 9 Sept. 1866, Towns Co., GA, Louisa M. Chastain
F16.Sarah Ann E. Eller(twin) b. 1848, Union Co., GA; m. 16 Aug. 1867, Towns Co.,GA, Thomas G. Garrett
F17.Mary Ann E. Eller(twin) b. 1848, Union Co. GA; m. 28 Feb. 1868, William H. Garrett
F18.Marinda Eller b. 1850, Union Co., GA; never married

 

 

Husband: JOSEPH ELLERWife: ELENDER CATHERINE CORN HEFNER
m.2nd:b. April 1830, North Carolina.
Father: Jesse Corn, Mother: Sarah Smith
Sex  No.  Children
F1.Buna Vista Eller b. 1870, Towns Co., GA; d. 1960's; m. Gus Dover
Sources: Bert Eller, Anna Eller Laurich, Fred Jacabazzi, Tommy Flanagan, census and marriage records.

 

The Eller family settled in Towns County, Georgia before the Civil War, having come down from Buncombe Co., NC. Family tradition recalls a hard, simple life of clearing the land, building log houses, plowing steers, and raising corn an the hillsides to be hauled off on the old-fashioned sleds that Lawrence remembers how to make. There was little enthusiasm for the Confederate cause in many mountain areas of Georgia during the Civil War, and Lawrence and Vaughn's grandfather, Alfred Eller, hid out from conscription by the Rebel cavalry in the brush along Hall Creek. Vaughn still treasurers his grandfather's Civil War-era fife and can sing a verse of an old war song, a variant of "Fare You Well,My Darling," that grandfather Alfred played on it. Grandfather Alfred lived until 1934 and was a strong musical influence on Vaughn, who lived with him for a time. Vaughn Eller passed away in 1984. Told to Dorothy W. Newbold by Laurence and Vaughn Eller before the death of Vaughn.

 
Husband: GEORGE HENRY ELLER Wife: RACHEL LINEY BROWN
b. 25 Apr. 1842, Union Co. GA
d. 8 Dec. 1926, Adamsburg, DeKalb Co. Alabama
Father: Joseph Eller; - Mother: Mariah Hedden
b. 1842, Georgia
Sex  No.  Children
M1.George Henry Eller, Jr. b. 1861, Towns Co., GA
M*2.Alfred Franklin Eller b. 1864, Towns Co., GA; d. Sept. 1903; m. Maranda K. Robinson
M3.Elisha Hedden Eller b. 1867, Towns Co., GA; d. Alabama, 1949; m. Julia Brickley
F4.Eldorado Eller b. 1870, Towns Co. or Habersham Co., GA; m. Henry Langford
M5.James "Jim" Eller, b. 1872 Habersham Co., GA; m. Ider Walker
M6.Leander B. Eller b. 1877, Habersham Co., GA
M7.Lee Burton Eller b. IS June 1879, Habersham Co., GA; d. 10 Aug. 1959; m. Josephine Ann King
Sources: Fred Jacobazzi, Grace Eller Fortune, Alton and Jane Eller, E.,H. Eller, Jr., Myrtle Eller Perkins, marriage and death record.

 

 
Husband:ALFRED FRANKLIN ELLER Wife:MARANDA K. ROBINSON
b. 1864, Towns Co., GA
d. Sept. 1903, Summerville, Chatooga CO.,GA
b. 12 Sept. 1856
d. 25 Mar.1929, Chattanooga Hamilton Co., TN
bur. High Point Cemetary, High Point, GA
Sex  No.  Children
M1.Charles Gibbs Eller b. 11 Sept. 1882, Cornelia, Habersham Co., GA; d. 4 Aug. 1957, East St. Louis, Illinois; m. 30 Aug. 1900, High Point, GA, Laura Bell King
F2. Alfa "Jessie" Eller (twin) b. 10 Dec. 1883, GA; d. I July 1952; m. Fred Ellis
F3.Omega Eller (twin) b. 10 Dec. 1883, GA
M4.Henry Myrtle Eller b. I Aug. 1884, White Co.,Ga; d. 15 Feb. 1967, Chattanooga, TN; m. 29 Jan 1010, Rossville, GA, Ella Barrett
Sources:Census, marriage, death records, Grace Eller Fortune, Fred Jacobazzi, E. H. Eller, Jr., June and Alton Eller, Myrtle Eller Perkins.

 

 
Husband: CHARLES GIBBS ELLER Wife:LAURA BELLE KING
b.11 Sept, 1882, Cornelia, Habersham Co. GA;
d. 4 Aug. 1957, E. St. Louis,St.Clair Co., IL
m.30 Aug. 1900,High Point, Walker Co. GA;
bur. High Point Cem.;
Father: Alfred Franklin, Mother: Marinda Katherine Robinson
b.17 Mar. 1971, Adamsburg, DeKalb Co., AL;
d. 16 May, 1971, Monteagle, Grundy Co. TN;
bur.High Point Cem.
Father: Joseph Davis King , Mother: Nancy Ann Weldon
Sex  No.  Children
M*1.Leonard Gordon Eller b. 9 Oct.1901, Ft. Payne, DeKalb Co., AL; d. 26 Oct. 1969, Oglethorpe, GA; m. Hattie Mae Keith
F2.Ollie Myrtle Eller b. 13 Aug. 1903, GA or AL; m. 7 Sept. 1919, Ras Atlee Perkins
F3.Emelie Gertrude Eller b. 22 Nov. 1906, Mentone, DeKalb Co., AL; d. 7 Feb. 1964, Santa Monica, CA; m. ??
M4.Howard Jennings Eller b. 6 June 1908, Iveline, Tipple Co. Al; m. Mildred Cockings
F5.Willi Grace Eller b. 28 Apr. 1910, Cherokee Co., AL; d. 3 March 1984, Birmingham, AL; m. 11 Aug. 1951, Robert Fortune
M6.Emmitt Alfred Eller b. 28 Aug. 1912, Cherokee Co., AL
M7.Ralph Richard Eller b. 4 Oct. 1914, Mentone, DeKalb Co., AL
FB.Lucy Mae Eller b. 24 May 1916, Mentone, DeKalb Co., AL; d. 27 Oct. 1966, Westminister, CA
F9.Flora Katherine Eller, b. 27 May 1918, Mentone, DeKalb Co. AL
F10.Jessie-Lee Eller b. 1 Aug. 1920, Mentone, DeKalb Co., AL; m. James Okley
F11.Maxine Eller b. 16 July 1923, Mentone, DeKalb Co. Al
Sources: Flora Eller Okin, Grace Eller Fortune, Myrtle Eller Perkins, Alton and June Eller, Fred Jacobazzi, death records.

Some of the Eller men were tall as well as very short. One of the tallest that I have a record of is Charles Gibbs Eller who was the' father of Leonard Gordon Eller and grandfather of Cr. Herbert Eller of Atlanta. Charles Gibbs Eller was six feet six inches tall. When he passed away, a special casket had to be made. He had extremely large hands. He married Laura Bell King, a very tall, stately lady. All their daughters, except one, stood five feet ten inchess to six feet two inches, whereas the sons were shorter. Dr. Herbert Eller is six feet two inches and has large hands like his father; one son is six feet two and has large hands; the other son is short and of small build. Dorothy W. Newbold

 
Husband:LEONARD GORDON ELLERWife: HATTIE MAE KEITH
b.9 Oct. 1901, Ft. Payne, DeKalb CO.,AL
d. 26 Oct.1969, Ft. Oglethorpe, Catoosa Co., GA
bur. High Point Cem., High Point, GA
Father: Charles Gibbs Eller
Mother: Laura Bell King
b. 3 May 1903, Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa Co., Al
d. 25 May 1947, Tuscaloosa Co., AL
bur: Whitehall, Cem., Valley Head, AL
Father: David Lemuel Keith
Mother: Susan Matilda Crow
Sex  No.  Children
M1.Mack Eller b. 5 May 1924, Mentone, DeKalb Co., AL; d. 27 Sept. 1985, Marietta, Ga; m. ??
M2.James William Eller b. 5 Aug 1926, Henrietta, Okmulgee CO.OK; m. Rena?
M*3.Herbert Eller b. 14 Mar. 1929, Mentone, DeKalb, AL; m.Ist:20 Sept. 1952, TN, Margaret A. Covington; m. 2nd: 10 June 1986, FL, Joyce ?
M4.Leonard Gordon Eller, Jr. b. 7 Feb. 1931, Hammond Lake, IN; m.st: Jean K. ?; m.2nd: Anne ?
F5.Dorothy Louise Eller b. I Jan. 1934, Chattanooga, Hamilton Co. , TN
Sources: Myrtle Eller Perkins, Grace Eller Fortune, Dorothy Eller Clark, Mark and Herbert Eller, Mrs. Ruth Keith Cordell, death, Bible records.
Leonard Gordon Eller was an interior decorator and a tall handsome man. He was thin with broad shoulders. One of many famous landmarks which he decorated was the "Green Room" in the Reed House in Chattanooga, TN, also the Patton Hotel in Chattanooga as well as hotels in many cities including Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and New Orleans. I might add he was a "ladies man."

Dorothy W. Newbold

 
Husband:HERBERT ELLERWife: MARGARET ANN COVINGTON
b.14 Mar. 1929, Mentone, DeKalb Co. AL
m.lst: 20 Sept. 1952, Nashville, Davidson Co., TN
Father: Leonard Gordon Eller
Mother: Hattie Mae Keith
b. 5 Oct. 1931, Shelbyville Bedford Co., TN;
Father: George Louis Covington
Mother: Sarah Macon Green
Sex  No.  Children
M1.Herbert Keith Eller b. 28 Dec. 1954, DeKalb Co., GA; m. 9 June 1984, Atlanta, GA, Kay Ann Kinsey
M2.Mark Covington Eller b. 22 Nov. 1959, Atlanta, Fulton Co., GA
Sources: Herbert Eller, Myrtle Eller Perkins, birth records--

  Dr. Herbert Eller spent most of his childhood in Mentone, Alabama (DeKalb Co.) and Chattanooga, TN. After finishing high school, he joined the Marines. After his discharge from the Marines he enrolled at Georgia Tech and obtained a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering. His Master's degree was from Georgia State University and he holds a Doctorate in Nutrition from Donsbach University, California. He served as Professor of Industrial Engineering at Georgia Tech and Southern Technical Institute. While on official leave from Georgia Tech, he served as consultant in Technical Education in India, South Korea, Equador, Columbia and Brazil.

Dorothy W. Newbold


  Additional information on descendants of Joseph and Mariah Hedden Eller from: Bonnie Marie Eller, P.D.Box 4,Eureka Springs, Ark. 72632
Husband: Samuel Fairson EllerWife: Margaret Ada Savannah
b. 1875
d. 19 May 1931
bur. Double Springs Meth. Ch., Long Creek, SC
Father: Joseph Eller, s/o Joseph Eller and Mariah Hedden
Mother: Margaret Coward
b. 12 Oct 1877, GA Mts. in SC
d. 7 July 1914, Gaffney, Cherokee Co., SC
bur. Dratinville Cem.,Cherokee Co., SC
m.lst: Mansfield Eller,
m.2nd: Samuel Fairson Eller
m.3rd: Mr. Hunter.
Sex  No.  Children
M1.Charlie Eller, s/o Mansfield Eller
F2.Ida Eller
M*3.Lester Neville Eller (see below)
F4.Arizona Eller
F5.Christine Eller
F6.Pauline d/o Mr. Hunter.

 

 
Husband: Dr. John Lester EllerWife: Bonnie Marie Ruble
b. 20 Mar 1939, Tucapaw, Spartanburg Co.,SC
m. 6 July, 1963, Paris, Edgar Co., IL
Father: Lester Nevils Eller
Mother: Annie Mae Williams
b. 27 June 1940, Sadshill, Wayne Co.,MO.
Sex  No.  Children
F1.Johna Marie Eller, b. 21 May 1971, Springfield, Green Co., MO
F2.Bonnie Jean Eller, b. 20 Dec 1974, Meadowbrook, PA (adopted 26 March 1975, Trenton, NJ
M.3.John David Eller, b. 27 June 1976, Jackson, Madison CO.,TN


(Ed.- In her last letter Bonnie said the family was in the process of moving to another church from Green Forest Church, Eureka Springs, where John had been pastor for sometime . In the interim the family was still in Eureka Springs where members of the family were performing in The Great Passion Play. Bonnie also sent a resume which reveals that Dr. John Lester Eller has a long impressive record of achievement in education, ministry, and in civic affairs; we hope to have a story on him in a later Newsletter.)
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