Francis Bryan Cheek
& Martha J. Fender

Francis Bryan Cheek, son of Henderson CHEEK & Lucy BRYAN, was born Apr. 20, 1841, in Ashe Co., NC, and died Feb. 27, 1934, in Alleghany Co., NC. He married Martha J. Fender Reynolds, daughter of Allen FENDER & Nancy EDWARDS, Sept. 26, 1868, in Alleghany Co., NC. She was born Feb. 17, 1838, in Ashe Co., NC, and died Feb. 28, 1920, in Alleghany Co., NC. She was probably the widow of William REYNOLDS who died in the Civil War. Francis Bryan Cheek is buried at the Liberty Baptist Church Cemetery in Whitehead, Alleghany Co., NC. Martha is buried at the Hiram Edwards Cemetery, Road 1162 in Bledsoe Creek, Alleghany Co., NC.

Children of Francis Bryan Cheek & Martha J. Fender:

  1. Joseph Franklin Cheek, b. Feb. 15, 1869, Alleghany Co., NC; d. Oct. 28, 1963, Buncombe Co., NC; m. Sue Estus BRADLEY, daughter of William Turner BRADLEY & Mary Louise HOLCOMBE, abt. 1897 (b. Feb. 2, 1876; d. July 21, 1962); bur. Morgan Hill Cemetery, Buncombe Co., NC. Children: William Francis Cheek (1897), George Herbert Cheek (1902), Mary Mildred Cheek (1905), Margaret E. Cheek (c.1911), Gladys Cheek (c.1913), John Edwin Cheek (1916).
  2. Solomon Maurice Cheek, b. Sept. 9, 1870, Alleghany Co., NC; d. Feb. 22, 1954, Tulare Co., CA; m. Annie Bernice BRANSFORD, June 24, 1902 (b. Apr. 1, 1879, TN; d. Sept. 20, 1961).  Children: Maurice Bransford Cheek (1904), John Lambuth Cheek (1907).
  3. George Washington Cheek, b. Aug. 11, 1872, Alleghany Co, NC; d. Feb. 3, 1964, Boulder Co., CO; m. Mervyn Florence JONES, daughter of Hilary JONES & Nancy Jane HAMPTON, abt. 1903 (b. Mar. 17, 1881; d. June 27, 1957). Children: Nancy Ewing Cheek (1904), Margaret Jane Cheek (1919).
  4. Rebecca Caroline "Bessie" Cheek, b. Mar. 17, 1877, Alleghany Co., NC; d. Jan. 6, 1964; m. Wilborn Berry ESTEP, son of Hiram John ESTEP & Mary Ellen ESTEP, Nov. 28, 1900, Alleghany Co., NC (b. Sept. 22, 1874; d. Mar. 8, 1941); bur. Liberty Baptist Church Cemetery, Alleghany Co., NC. Children: Kemp Maurice Estep (1901), Mabel Estep (1904), Dr. John Herbert Estep, M.D. (1909).

Notes

FB Cheek Wall

Rock wall on Fender Mountain
Built by F.B. Cheek in 1864 while
hiding from the Homeguard

Francis Bryan Cheek was the second son of Henderson Cheek and Lucy Bryan.  His older brother, Morgan, was killed in 1862 in the Civil War. Francis Bryan Cheek also served in the war. He enlisted on May 27, 1861, at the age of 20, in Co. F, 22nd NC Infantry Regiment.  According to his Confederate Pension Application (dated June 4, 1921), he was wounded slightly across the breast at Seven Pines, Virginia, on May 31, 1862 (NC Archives Box No. 6.253).  Like many other Confederate soldiers, F.B. Cheek eventually deserted.  He was probably overwhelmed by the appalling conditions, the senseless deaths of friends and comrades (including his brother), and the futility of the war effort.  His desertion was reported on Aug. 3, 1863.  (Source: "American Civil War Soldiers," Ancestry.com, and "Ashe and Alleghany County in the Civil War" by Jeff Weaver.)  According to a family story, F.B. Cheek returned to Alleghany County but as a deserter, he had to hide out from the homeguard.  While he was in hiding, he built a long rock wall on the side of Fender Mountain, which is still present today.  On Mar. 29, 1865, F.B. Cheek took an oath of allegiance to the United States at Knoxville, TN.  Because he wasn't a P.O.W., he may have gone to Tennessee to fight on the Union side.  He could be the Francis Cheek who joined a Union regiment, the 5th Mounted Infantry Regiment Tennessee, which mustered out at Nashville in July 1865.  This regiment apparently included many disgruntled Confederates.

Francis B. Cheek Gravestone

Francis B. Cheek's Gravestone
Liberty Baptist Church, Whitehead, NC

Francis B. Cheek married Martha Fender Reynolds on Sept. 26, 1868.  Although the marriage record gives the name Martha REYNOLDS, her gravestone identifies her as "Martha Fender Cheek."  She was probably the widow of William Reynolds of Alleghany County who served with Francis B. Cheek in Co. F, 22nd NC Infantry Regiment.  According to military records, William Reynolds died of gastritis on July 14, 1862, at the hospital in Richmond, VA.  Martha had three children from her marriage to William Reynolds: Isom, Nancy C., and Allen Reynolds.  For more information about the Reynolds children, see notes under Martha J. Fender.

F.B. Cheek became a Baptist Minister and lived to be 92 years old.  He is buried at the Liberty Baptist Church in Whitehead.  His wife, Martha, is buried separately at the Hiram Edwards Cemetery in Bledsoe Creek, with her parents Allen and Nancy (Edwards) Fender.

See also Alleghany County Heritage (Alleghany Co. Hist-Gen. Society, 1983), p.124, article no. 194 by Ewing Cheek Grey.

Records

Sept. 26, 1868. Francis B. CHEEK & Martha J. REYNOLDS were married in Alleghany Co., NC. (G.H. Latham, Alleghany County Marriages (Heritage Books, 1996).)

1870 Census, Alleghany Co., NC, Gap Civil Twp. (HH#46):
F.B. CHEEK, 29, farmer, NC
-- Martha, 30, NC
-- Nancy, 15, NC << Nancy Reynolds
-- Joseph, 2, NC
1880 Census, Alleghany Co., NC, Gap Civil Twp. (HH#150):
FRANK CHEEKS, 39, farmer, NC NC NC
-- Martha J., 42, wife, NC NC NC
-- Joseph, 13, son, " " "
-- Solomon, 11, son, " " "
-- George W., 9, son, " " "
-- Rebecca, 3, dau, " " "

1896-1898. F.B CHEEK was the pastor of the Bellview Baptist Church in Laurel Springs. (Source: Bellview Baptist Church website.)

1900 Census, Alleghany Co., NC, Whitehead Twp. (HH#7):
JOSEPH CHEEK, Feb. 1869, age 31, m. 3 yrs, NC NC NC
-- Sue E., wife, Feb. 1876, age 24, m. 3 yrs, 1 child born, 1 living, NC NC NC
-- Willie F., son, Dec. 1897, age 2 yrs, " " "
-- Bessie C., sister, Mar. 1877, age 23, " " "
-- George, brother, Aug. 1872, age 27, " " "
-- Francis B., father, Apr. 1841, age 59, m. 31 yrs, " " "
-- Martha, mother, Feb. 1838, age 62, m. 31 yrs, 9 children born, 7[?] living, " " "
BRADLEY, Maria C., servant, Mar. 1866, age 36, NC VA NC
1910 Census, Alleghany Co., NC, Whitehead Twp., Peach Bottom Mtn, p.7 (HH#138):
FRANK B. CHEEK, 68, m(1) 42 yrs, NC NC NC, farmer - general farm
-- Martha, wife, 72, m(2) 42 yrs, 9 children/7 living, NC NC NC
1920 Census, Alleghany Co., NC, Whitehead Twp., p.4 (HH#69):
WILBORN B. ESTEP, 45, NC NC NC, farmer - general farm
-- Bessie, wife, 42, NC NC NC
-- Kemp, son, 18, " " "
-- Mabel, daughter, 15, " " "
-- Herbert, son, 10, " " "
CHEEK, Frank, father-in-law, 78, " " "
-- Martha, mother-in-law, 81, " " "
COMBS, Annie, servant, 24, " " "

1930 Census, Alleghany Co., NC, Whitehead Twp., p.2 (Wilborn Estep, HH#36):
Franklin B. CHEEK, father-in-law, 88, NC NC NC

Death Certificate: MARTHA JANE CHEEK, age 82, b. 17 Feb 1838, Whitehead, Alleghany Co., NC; d. 28 Feb 1920, Whitehead, Alleghany Co., NC; spouse: Rev. F.B. CHEEK; father: Allen FENDER; mother's maiden name: EDWARDS; burial: Edwards Cemetery. (Ancestry.com)

Death Certificate: FRANK CHEEK, age 92, b. 20 Apr 1841, Whitehead, Alleghany Co., NC; d. 27 Feb 1934, Whitehead, Alleghany Co., NC; father: Henderson CHEEK; mother: Lucy BRYAN; burial: Liberty Church. (Ancestry.com)

Francis Bryan Cheek & Martha J. Fender Cheek
Francis Bryan Cheek Martha J. Fender
Reynolds Cheek

Deed Abstracts

May 26, 1869. Henderson CHEEK & wife Lucy to Francis B. CHEEK, 80 acres on Little River & Elk Creek on top of Peach Bottom Mountain, adj. Allen FENDER, Henderson CHEEK, for $300. Signed: Henderson CHEEK, Lucy CHEEK. Wit: Thomas EDWARDS. Proved July 2, 1869. (Alleghany DB 1:264.)

Jan. ?, 1874. State of NC to F.B. CHEEK, 99 acres on Little River adj. his own line, Mollie JOINES, Jacob HOPPERS, WHITEHEAD, Allen FENDER. Entered Jan. 1, 1874. (Alleghany Land Grant No. 63; Alleghany DB 2:295.)

Feb. 23, 1884. Henderson & Lucy CHEEK to Francis B. CHEEK, 8 ½ acres on Little River near the top of Peach Bottom Mountain adj. Henderson CHEEK, F.B. CHEEK, HOPPERAS [HOPPERS], Isom WAGGONER, Jane WAGGONER, for $85. Signed: Henderson CHEEK, Lucy CHEEK. Wits: F.W. CHEEK, W.P. MAXWELL. Proved Nov. 26, 1884. (Alleghany DB 5:416.)

Apr. 5, 1889. Henderson CHEEK & wife Lucy to Francis B. CHEEK, a tract of land [no acreage stated] beg. on top of Sheep Pen Ridge, adj. MAXWELL, F.B. CHEEK, for $86. Signed: Henderson CHEEK, Lucy CHEEK. Wits: F.W. CHEEK, W.P. MAXWELL. Proved Sept. 13, 1890 (ack'd). Reg. Dec. 8, 1890. (Alleghany DB 8:337.)

Oct. 15, 1889. F.B. CHEEK & wife Martha J. to Henry COMBS & Wiley COMBS, 7 ½ acres on Little River adj. T.A. FENDER, WHITEHEAD, & F.B. CHEEK, for $77.50. Signed: F.B. CHEEK, Martha J. CHEEK. Wits: J.F. CHEEK, S.M. CHEEK, George CHEEK. Proved Jan. 12, 1890. Reg. Oct. 8, 1898. (Alleghany DB 12:267.)

Feb. 26, 1892. F.B. CHEEK & wife Martha J. to Joseph F. CHEEK, Solomon M. CHEEK, George W. CHEEK, & Rebecca C. CHEEK, a tract of land [no acreage stated] on Peach Bottom Mountain beg. near Isom FENDER's spring, adj. B.E. MOXLEY, F.W. CHEEK, S.J. WAGGONER, Mary HOPPERS, the LENOIR line, COMBS, & FENDER, for $800. Signed: F.B. CHEEK, Martha J. CHEEK. Proved Mar. 10, 1892 (ack'd). Reg. Mar. 16, 1892. (Alleghany DB 9:13.)

Apr. 6, 1906. S.M. CHEEK & wife Annie of Prescott?, Arizona, and George CHEEK & wife Mervyn and W.B. ESTEP & wife Bessie of Alleghany Co., NC, to Joseph F. CHEEK, 100 acres in Whitehead Twp. on Peach Bottom Mountain adj. Isom FENDER, B.C. MOXLEY, F.B. CHEEK's old corner, S.C. WAGONER, Mollie HOPPERS old line, old LENORE [LENOIR] line now F.W. CHEEK's line, and L.A. FENDER, for $1,000. Signed: S.M. CHEEK, Annie CHEEK, W.B. ESTEP, Bessie ESTEP, George CHEEK, Mervyn CHEEK. Reg. Sept. 8, 1906. (Alleghany DB 21:70.)

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