JOHN B. MINTZ, MARY JANE KENNEDY & FANNIE

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We are learning alot more about  our earliest "known" Mintz ancestor and his immediate family - every year new information is rediscovered. Researchers are putting court records and documents within our reach on the World Wide Web. For instance, this obituary article just surfaced.

The Carolina Spartan News                            May 18, 1892 

Death of Captain Mintz

Monday morning last shortly after eleven o' clock Capt. John B. Mintz who had been in failing health for some months, died at his home on the banks of Broad River, where he had lived for years.  He was about 85 years old, and his life was an eventful one.  He came to this state from North Carolina years ago, and was for many years connected with the old Cherokee Iron Works.  He was a man of sterling qualities and great energy.  He was a man of great force of character, and his influence among his fellow-men was widespread.  He was buried Tuesday evening at the Buffalo Baptist church, of which, church he was a member. 

Rev. J. A. White conducted the funeral services. Capt. Mintz, who had been a devoted member of the Masonic Fraternity for years, a short time before his death, requested that he be buried by that fraternity, which he loved so well.  Accordingly he was laid to rest with Masonic honors.  Large crowds of people gathered at his grave to pay to him, who was dead, their last tribute of respect. ------Blacksburg News, 11th - inst.

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Mary Jane Kennedy:   The 1850 SC census record says she was born in Greenville, SC and indicates her age as 35 years old, same as John's.  This  means their birth year was 1815. Her parents are unknown. Some family members say that Mary's family moved from South Carolina to north of Henrietta, in the Ellenboro area, of Rutherford County, NC.

Marriage: Marriage bond records for Rutherford County, NC indicate that John and Mary Jane (Canada) Kennedy got married on 19th May 1836. The bondsman was Randolph Grant, Jr., and the witness was John Baber.

Kinfolk: Mary Jane appears to have had some kinfolk move in with her prior to the 1880 SC census. The exact relationship between them is clouded.  All the census says about the relationship is nephew and nieces. In 1880 Mary Jane would be 65 years of age. In all probability the children’s parents are a younger brother of Mary Jane’s. The three children names and ages are listed as Thomas, 15 years old, Margaret, 9 years old, Margaret and Hattie J., 6 years old. The census lists John B as head of household.

Mary Jane died in 1886, at the age of 70, and was buried in the Buffalo Baptist Church cemetery, in what is today Cherokee County, SC. When John B. died, 9th May 1892, he was buried beside her. Their gravestone is unique to the cemetery; it is a tall obelisk with John’s name engraved on one side and Mary’s on the opposite side.


John & Mary's Children   John and Mary had eight children, In 1861 the three oldest kids went off to war. Charles, Drayton, and John.  Charles, the oldest, celebrated his 24th birthday in March, then enlisted on 13th April 1861 with the 5th SC infantry in York County, SC.

Drayton, the second child, was a young man of 22, when the war broke out. I am unsure which unit he joined.

The third child, John S. was 20 in March 1861, and later he joined the war by enlisting with the 17th SC Infantry.

The fourth child,  James Henry Edwin, was only 13 when his brothers marched off to war. When Ed joined I do not know, but there is reason to believe that he participated in some fashion because at his Masonic funeral a Confederate Veterans group was present.

The war years must have been hard on this family. If John B. was operating the Buffalo Iron Forge, as I believe he was, then he was very important to the war effort too.   

 

Johns' Last Few Months

J.B. legalized his last will and testament by filing in York County, SC in February 1982, three months later he died, on 9th May 1892. We now know, thanks to the obituary, written in the Carolina Spartan Newspaper that he was in failing health and he was a Mason.

 

 

In a little over a year after Mary's death John remarried.

On 15th November 1887 he took as his bride 50 year old, Francis Irene Bettis Bechtler, in Cleveland County, NC. It was the second marriage for both.

Fannie, as she was called, was born on 14th July 1837 in Tennessee. She was the daughter of Allen Bettis and Katherine Witt, both of whom were native to Tennessee

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Fannie had children by her first husband, Mr. Bechtler.  It appears that she went to live with her son Allen Theodore Bechtler (6th June 1866 – 6th Feb 1941) after John B. died in 1892. Fannie is listed in the 1900 census as living in southern Cleveland County with Theodore and his wife, Elizabeth Haas. Fannie died on 12th September 1918 and was buried in the New Hope Cemetery in Earl, North Carolina. The Bechtler family has been well researched and documented.

It is said the Bechtler family migrated from Germany and settled in Rutherford County, where they set up a mint and minted gold coins, some of which are displayed in the State Museum in Raleigh.

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