I found some interesting stories about our ancestor. Whether or not they are true, now I can't rightly say. But you have to hear them, don't you? I think all stories passed down through the generations have to have at least one grain of truth, or else they are just plain entertaining and that is why they are retold.
There has to be a good reason for the retelling of all stories, after all.
You can deduce and come to your own conclusions. I want to believe that all of our ancestors were good, kind, and noble people . Never did a thing wrong in all their lives.
But, what are you to think when juicy stories abound? Grin.
Dad had heard about the 'Seven Devils' and he was the first to mention it to me. That started me looking and the looking led to the finding. I found a tidbit here and a smidge there. Putting them down in one place seems fitting for the generations yet to come. Afterall, that is my main reason for being here, folks.
William "Billy" N. Winters was born on Canoe Creek, Burke County, North Carolina, about the year 1819. He was the oldest of nine children born to John and Nancy Daniels Winters. William was married to Eliza Shell, daughter of Daniel Shell. about 1836-1837 Eliza's mother was a Miller. They lived in the Shell Creek area of Carter County Tennessee where they raised a total of fourteen siblings; seven girls and seven boys. (Father of our Sarah Ellender Winters Arrowood)
William, and Eliza, have the distinction of being the parents of the famous, 'Seven Devils', the Winters brothers. I'm not sure that their notoriety as being labled Seven Devil's is a true reflection of their character. I would prefer to think of them as hard working men who couldn't be pushed around. I have heard all kinds of stories about their meanness, whether true or not, I can't say. I do know that at least one of them was killed by a man, Alfred Briggs, who hit him over the head with a shovel. One of them who's name was Nathaniel, and was known as blind Nat Winters, died as the result of being runover by a train, severing his head from his body. Carrick Nelson went blind but died a natural death.
One lady, a relative, I met while living in Canton, Ohio, told me a couple stories about William N. Winters that was somewhat amusing. It seems that William loved to engage in a good fist fight. She told of William while standing talking to a group of men in the town of Elk Park, N.C., and on one occasion, he suddenly looked at his watch, and looking somewhat exasperated, said," I'm due for a fist fight in Fields of Toe in seven minutes" and he broke into a dead run heading for the place of engagement. The place where the fight was supposed to take place was about six miles distance away.
She then related this story to me. She said, Eliza asked William to go out back and bring her in some wood for her cook stove. William very dutifully arose, and went out the back door. The problem was, William was gone four years before he returned, with the wood. He came back through the same door he had left through with a arm load of wood and said to Eliza, "Here honey, is your wood".
No one ever knew where he had been all that time he was gone.
Many stories are around about how tough the Seven Devils were, some about how mean.
I like to think they weren't so much mean as determined not to be pushed around. One son was killed by Alfred Briggs, who hit him over the head with a shovel.
One son, Nathaniel, was blind, known as 'Blind Nat Winters'.
He was ran over by a train, reportedly the accident severed his head.
Sadly, Carrick Winters went blind as well , but he died of natural causes.
Wouldn't you just love the opportunity, to sit and talk to Sarah Ellender
and hear what she has to say about her Dad and her brothers??