Narcissa Elizabeth Jane Nicholson Rickman was born on September 13, 1855, in the Cherryfield section of what is now Transylvania County, NC. Cherryfield is located between Cathey’s Creek and Rosman in western Transylvania County. This area was part of Henderson County at the time of her birth. Her birth name was Narcissus; she went by Narcissa, but we all called her Aunt Narsis. She was the daughter of Evin Pearson Nicholson and Rebecca Glazener. Just before the Civil War broke out, Evin and Rebecca moved to Boyd Township in what is now Transylvania County, bordering the Henderson County line.
The Nicholson family became members of Boylston Baptist, which was just across the line in Henderson County. Narcissa was a charter member, and she was able to attend the church’s 100th anniversary. Very few people have ever been able to do that. Evin Nicholson was 37 when he left to fight in the war. Narcissa followed her father to the top of the mountain when he left. She told me she waved goodbye to him until he got out of sight.
Evin’s father, William Harrison Nicholson Sr., also fought in the war. He drove a supply wagon and was killed by bushwhackers at age 68 in 1865. Narcissa was about 10 when the war ended. She saw her father walking home in the distance and ran to meet him. He picked her up and carried her back to their house.
Evin and Rebecca lived in Boyd Township until their deaths. They were taken back to Cathey’s Creek Baptist Church to be buried. Evin’s mother was Jane Duckworth Nicholson, whose mother, Keziah England Duckworth, had donated the land for Cathey’s Creek Church and cemetery. Keziah Duckworth’s husband, Jonathan Duckworth (1760–1807), died of smallpox in Burke County, NC, leaving her with a large number of children. Keziah was afraid the county might try to take her children away from her. She and her children moved to the thinly settled area of Cathey’s Creek to keep this from happening.
Narcissa Nicholson married Nicholas Osborne Rickman (March 20, 1847–June 2, 1901). Nicholas was the son of John Brown Rickman (1821–1892), who was born on what is now called Miller Road in Fairview. Going south on Miller Road, the old Rickman home place was on the left, about a quarter mile past the first bridge on the left. John’s mother was Sarah Williams, a daughter of John Williams and Mary Ashworth. The Rickman place later belonged to the Mitchell family.
Narcissa was a little over four feet tall and wore a size four shoe. After her husband died, Narcissa never remarried and raised her son and three daughters by herself. Her son, Andrew Cornelius Rickman, was 17 when his father died. With help from Andrew and her three daughters, Narcissa was able to make it on her own. She also had seven brothers who lived nearby.
Narcissa only went to school for less than a year, but she was able to read and write. The Nicholsons and Glazeners were born to handle money. They did not have to worry about that. Narcissa was always able to provide for her family. My grandfather, Henry H. Ingle (1884–1873), married Narcissa’s niece, Ollie Davis—he used to say if there was a dollar to be had, a Nicholson would always be standing first in line to get it.
Part 2 will be in next month’s paper.
Bruce Whitaker documents Fairview area genealogy. To get in touch with him, contact the Crier at [email protected] or