WNC History Timeline

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www.childers-shepherd.org, 30 Aug 2010
Jacob Comer Sams
1818   -    1897
Bunc Co NC       Bunc Co NC
“Jacob Comer Sams lived in Flag Pond (then Washington County, now Unicoi
County), Tennessee in 1856, when he served as one of the founding trustees of Mars
Hill College. Also, according to Ammons’ history, J .C. Sams gave a second time to
settle the college debt of $1,100 in 1859. Jacob Comer Sams married Mary A. Davis.
In 1863, during the Civil War, they purchased a large farm south of the college in
north Buncombe County. There they constructed their two-story log home*, in what is
today the Piney Mountain Community. Although the couple had no children, they
fostered their nephews and nieces, Davis and Sams, helping most of them attend Mars
Hill College. Nephew John Robert Sams would become president at the school in
1871-72. Later, in 1923, John Robert Sams and daughter, Mrs. John Anderson, gave
their fifteen acres of land to the college, the southern third of the campus grounds,
including the land for Men’s Hill. Uncle Jacob gave his personal library to the
college, which was designated, “Uncle Jacob’s Library.” He last served as college
trustee in 1888. They are interred in the
Morgan Hill Baptist Church Cemetery in
north Buncombe County.”

- Richard Sams Dillingham, “Mars Hill College Beginnings: History Briefs, Connecting the
Dots to Founders and Churches,” Mars Hill College, 2007, p. 9.
Notes: *. . . what later became the Murray home place. Later, the logs were purchased from the
Guy Murray family and re-assembled on Sugar Creek of Democrat." - R. S. Dillingham, p. 16.

Those of the
Henry Taylor Shepherd and Margaret Jane Shepherd family often called this house
the "Beachboard" place, as the family had
rented it for a time from the Beachboards, who
preceded the Murrays there.