JOHN ANDERSON was born in Augusta County, May 6, 1750. He married Rebecca Maxwell, daughter of George Maxwell,
who was a soldier at the Battle of King's Mountain. The time of his coming to the Blockhouse on the Holston is
not certainly known-some time prior to 1782. On August 24, 1781, the commissioners of Washington and Montgomery
counties granted him title to 200 acres of land, lying on south side of Clinch River, in Elk's Garden, since he
had proved to the court that it was settled and improved by him In the year 1775. (Bristol Herald Courier, Boone
Trail Edition.) This fact would place him among the first settlers in this section. He was the owner and builder
of one of the most widely known stopping places on the Wilderness Road to Kentucky. In fact, the Blockhouse may
be regarded as the starting place for that road for a number of years. During the ten or fifteen years period of
greatest travel Into Kentucky, many thousands of people passed his door into the Wilderness. Hundreds of these
travelers, no doubt, stopped at the Blockhouse for some sort of entertainment - to rest awhile, for a meal; for
a night's lodging, or, perhaps, to spend several days In awaiting the gathering of a company sufficiently large
to travel through the wilderness In safety.
William Brown, who traveled over the Kentucky Trace in 1782, thus records his stay at the Blockhouse: "We
waited hereabouts near two weeks for company and then set out for the wilderness with twelve men and ten guns,
this being Thursday, July 18." (1782.) Such companies as are here mentioned, no doubt, were often entertained
by John Anderson and his family. It sometimes happened that his guests could make no other return for their entertainment
than to furnish him with wild ganie during the period of their stay. Hunter's Branch was so called because the
Blockhouse hunting parties passed up and down Its course in going to Clinch Mountain to hunt. John Anderson and
the few keepers of ordinaries, thinly scattered along the Wilderness Way, made large contribution to the early
settlement of Kentucky and the Middle West.
The Blockhouse was not Immune from Indian attack; twice Anderson and his family had to flee to Fort Clapp, near
Abingdon, to avoid being massacred by the Indians. (Bristol Herald Courier, Boone Trail Edition,)
On February 14, 1815, the first day of the first term of court held In Scott County, John Anderson produced a commission
from Wilson C. Nicholas, then Governor of Virginia, appointing him sheriff, the most Important office in the county
at that time. John Wood and Jacob Seaver were his sureties. Isaac
Anderson and Isaac Skillern were his deputies. John Anderson was recommissioned sheriff of the county at the February
term of court, 1816. On June 11, 1817, he was authorized to celebrate the rites of matrimony according to the rules
of the Presbyterian Church, of which he was a member. The records of the clerk's office fail to show that he ever
exercised the authority thus vested in him.
His children were: William, born October 31, 1776; John, born October 5, 1778; Mary, born February 15, 1?8t; Elizabeth,
born March 6, 1783; Audley, born March 11, 1785; Sarah, born February 7, 1787; Isaac C., born May 3, 1789; Jane,
born January 30, 1791.
John Anderson died at the Blockhouse, October 13, 1817, at 12:30 P.M. and Rebecca, his wife, died February 21,
1824, at 2:30 P.M.
History of Scott County, Virginia
By: Robert M. Addington
Privately Printed 1932
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