The geography of Jones Cove is that it is a large valley (about twice
the size of Cades Cove) in the extreme eastern end of Sevier County, adjacent to
Cosby in Cocke County. It is tucked in between English Mountain, which can be
seen from as far away as White Pine or Morristown, and Webb Mountain which is
just north of the Park Boundary outside the park. Part of this Area is Wilhite
Valley which is really between Jones Cove and English Mountain. Wilhite and
Jones Cove are separated by a smaller ridge (Pine Mountain) running east to
west.Wilhite is just a bit smaller than Cades Cove.
"In The Shadow Of The Smokies", the Sevier County Cemeteries book, published
in 1993 by the Smoky Mountain Historical Society, P. O. Box 5078, Sevierville,
TN 37864 has this to say about Jones Cove on page 446,
"Situated between the Wilhite community on English Mountain and the Great
Smokey Mountains, the Jones Cove valley is a rolling countryside especially
adapted for large farms.
John Jones had an occupancy land grant in 1908. It is believed that the
Jones family and the William Henry family from Berkeley County Virginia came to
the cove about the same time.
Among other early settlers in Jones Cove were Archibald McMahan, Samuel
Large, John Williams, James Stinnett, William Smallwood, Robert Duggan, John
Baughman, Jacob Layman, John R. Allen, and William McKissick
Bethel Baptist Chursh on the Jones Cove Road was founded in 1804 as an arm of
the Forks of The Little Pigeon River Baptist Church.
The New Salem Baptist Church was organized in 1845 in an old log school house
which stood only a short distance from where the present church is located. A
school house was a boundary line on a survey for Robert Duggan in 1807.
The Wilhite area lies along the south side of English Mountain. The Wilhite
section was the home of many Hurst and Breeden families."
This History and description is reasonably accurate except that the original
settlers came in 1791/92 and consisted of five closely related families who had
been living in Botetourt County VA before the revolution. These were
1. William Henry and his wife Elizabeth Jones and five children.
2. Robert Henry, (William's younger brother and his family)
3. John Jones and family (William Henry's brother-in-law)
4. Nathaniel Jones (William Henry's brother-in-law)
5. Stephen Jones (John Jones' grown and married son)
Only William and Robert Henry were known to be born in Berkeley County, VA.
His wife and the grown Joneses were from other parts of the Shenandoah valley,
and all the marriages were done in Botetourt Co., VA and most of the children
(including Stephen Jones) were born in Botetourt Co., VA. But without a bit of
digging in Virginia, the Sevier County Historian wouldn't know that.
In 1808, these settlers (who had already bought their land from North
Carolina) were required to pay the State of Tennessee for the land again. They
were only allowed to keep 60 acres on an "Occupancy Grant" and had to pay for any
more that they claimed. In the last few years before NC turned over this area to
the Federal Government it didn't keep any records, so nobody in Sevier County had
any proof of ownership who settled before 1893/94.
However, the above reference on page 484 does explain how Jones Cove got it's
"Stephen Jones, son of John Jones and Ann Layman was killed by Indians 25
June 1794. This murder was recorded in the KNOXVILLE GAZETTE, 3 July 1794."
Stephen was surprised in his cornfield by about 5 or 6 marauding (possibly
drunken) Cherokees and was killed and scalped. He was then buried in the
cornfield and the site is unmarked but rememberes by local residents today. The
cove like Boyd's Creek and Richardson's Cove was named for the victim of an
The other people mentioned above settled there between 1794 and 1810.
This web site produced Jun 12 2001 by Personal Ancestral File, a product of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.