Category Archives: Whisnant family

Ella, Asbury and the State Hospital at Morganton: From Social and Institutional to Personal History

Every day of the year somebody’s brain reels. Splendid as is our civilization, insanity, and intemperance, its foremost proximate cause, are its dark shadows which follow its march with ever-deepening gloom wherever it goes. They appear at our firesides, at … Continue reading

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The Cruel War and Its Aftermath: Life Down the Mountain for Asbury and Ella, 1869-1894

Asbury Whisnant and Ella Austin were not born in Asheville.  They arrived as fully-formed adults: he came in 1900 when he was twenty-eight, and she came in 1907 when she was thirty-eight.  So it is important to understand who they already were … Continue reading

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The End of the (Wagon) Road in North Carolina: The Whisnants and Austins in the Down-Mountain Counties, 1760-1865

My previous post took the Visinands/Whisnants from Germany to Lancaster County PA, where they lived for (it seems) about thirty years before loading their possessions and progeny into Conestoga wagons and taking the Great Wagon Road south into the North Carolina piedmont. This current post … Continue reading

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Whisnants on the Move: Germany, Lancaster County PA and the Great Wagon Road

Who among us has not received at least one “once-in-a-lifetime chance” to purchase (at a limited-time-only reduced price) a handsome family crest wall plaque, together with a gold-embossed, [insert your family name here] genealogy book in which your very own name is … Continue reading

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Toward the Asheville Bowl: The Geophysical Context and Greed for Land

In summer the winds prevail from the southern points of the compass; they come to Asheville cooled by passage over the high mountains, and slightly tinctured with balsamic odors gathered there-from. In winter, as they come from northern points, their force is broken … Continue reading

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The Land of the Sky at the End of the Line: Asbury and Ella

My grandparents Asbury Whisnant (1872-1955) and Sarah Ella Austin  (1869-1942) both grew up down the mountain, and came to the Land of the Sky as adults–he to find a job in 1900, and her in 1907 to marry him and raise a … Continue reading

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