Left: James Deaver in 1942, at Piney Mountain Baptist Church.
James and Mary Deaver were our neighbors across the Barnardsville Road.
Jim tended his own tobacco crop and also share-cropped the tobacco
allotment at the Stockton farm just north at the intersection of the
Barnardsville Road and the Stockton Branch Road. That land was owned by
Sophronia Stockton Hughey and her husband Adolphus ("Dolph").
"Ms.Phrony" ran a small country store with their living quarters
behind. The store was fairly sleepy, except for the occasional loaf of packaged bread,
bottle of Nehi orange soda, and candy bar. Neighborhood children were the most faithful
customers, when they had a spare nickel or dime. (My first job was as Mrs. Hughey's
assistant sales clerk the summer I was fifteen; I was pressed into service on an emergency
basis when Pansy Sluder, Mrs. Hughey's usual assistant, had to attend to an illness in her
As her husband was an invalid, Mrs. Hughey often needed assistance, which Jim Deaver
provided. His daily routine was to take care of the barn and fields and then stop by the
house/store to do whatever needed doing. Afterward he would sit on the big corner porch
(which adjoined the back of the store and front of the apartment) for a while with the
Hugheys before heading back up the road to his own home and Mary in the evening.
When James Deaver died unexpectedly early one morning in 1959 while still in bed, his wife
Mary called my parents to come and help her. Mother (Inez Shepherd Childers) later
explained that when they arrived there a few minutes later, Mary had not yet thought to
close his eyes, so Mother did that.
- Dwight Childers, 21 Aug 2006