Albertus Burgin Fortune Sr.

Albertus Burgin Fortune Sr was born in the North Fork section of the Swannanoa Valley of Buncombe County, NC, on March 7, 1845. He was the son of Fletcher Fortune (1799–1874) and Jane Allison (1803–1880). He attended school in the Black Mountain section of Buncombe County.

He joined the Confederate Army at age 17. During the Civil War, he was a Sergeant in Company C, 16th Battalion. After the war, he attend Stephen Lee’s school in the Chunns Cove section of Buncombe County. He then studied law under Judge Bailey and became an attorney.

Fortune went to work on the Western North Carolina Railroad in Swannanoa and became a contractor on the Asheville and Spartanburg Railroad.

He married Leah Adeline Burgin on March 10, 1870. She was from Swannanoa and was the daughter of John Burgin. Leah Fortune died on December 8, 1877. Albertus then married Mary Johnson Patton on December 10, 1878. She was born on April 14, 1858 and died on December 18, 1946.

Fortune built a section of railroad from Buena Vista (which is just south of Biltmore) to Fletcher. He also built a section of railroad from Luther to Turnpike (I believe this is in the Candler area). He then went to Virginia and helped build the railroad from Martinsville to Patrick Courthouse.

He then worked for the Seaboard Airline Railroad in Georgia. He was said to have constructed the belt line around Atlanta.

Fortune came back to Asheville and went to work for Buncombe County Treasurer E. W. Patton. He then ran for Buncombe County Register of Deeds in 1902 and served two terms in that office. He was re-elected for a third term as Register of Deeds but only served three weeks before dying on December 27, 1906.

He is buried in Riverside Cemetery in Asheville. As a member of the Mount Herman Lodge of Masons, he was buried with Masonic honors. The Asheville Newspaper said, “His life was a wholesome example and his death is a source of grief to his many close friends, his political associates and the county in whose public life he was a conspicuous character.”

Albertus and Leah Adeline
Fortune had four children.

1. Albertus Burgin Fortune Jr. was born in 1871.

2. Elizabeth “Lizzie” Fortune was born in 1873 and died in 1961. She married John George Phillips (1858–1944). Both are buried in Riverside Cemetery.

3. George D. Fortune was born in 1875.

4. Adeline Fortune was born in 1877.

Albertus and Mary Johnson
Patton Fortune had four children.

5. Cornelia J. Fortune was born on November 24, 1879, and died on November 25, 1969. She married William Ernest Shuford (March 26, 1870–June 5, 1941). Both are buried in Riverside Cemetery.

6. Albertus Fortune Jr. was born on March 27, 1881, and died on March 15, 1926. He is buried Riverside Cemetery.

7. Alice Fortune was born on April 15, 1883, and died on January 18, 1962. She married Thurman Gail Baird Sr. (February 2, 1873–September 22, 1933). Both are buried in Riverside Cemetery.

8. Bessie Fortune was born in 1886.

Bruce Whitaker documents Fairview-area genealogy. To get in touch with him, contact the Crier at [email protected] or
828-771-6983 (call/text).

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