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Curtis, Finley P. (Finley Patterson), 1841-1922



  • Existence: 1841 - 1922


Finley Patterson Curtis, Sr. was born on May 21, 1841 in Wilkes or Caldwell County, North Carolina. While residing in Wilkes County, North Carolina, he enlisted in the 1st Regiment North Carolina Infantry at Raleigh on May 31, 1861. A private in Company B, he was wounded at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. After being captured at Burksville, (Virginia?) in April 1865, he was held as prisoner at Point Lookout, Maryland until released on June 24, 1865.

After the war, Curtis moved to Butler, Tennessee, a village in Johnson County, (presently covered by Watauga Lake), where he managed a store for Thomas and Columbus Coffee, North Carolina merchants. About 1876 Curtis and David J. Farthing purchased the store. In addition to operating the general store, Curtis and Farthing were involved in trading bark, a poultry business, and a saw mill operation.

Curtis and Farthing also constructed the Alabama House, a boarding house for students and faculty of Aenon Seminary. Established in the 1870s, the seminary became Holly Spring College in the mid-1880s. In 1902 the name of the college was changed to Holly Spring Institute, which eventually became Watauga Academy.

Curtis died on August 22, 1922. His remains are buried in Butler Memorial Cemetery, Butler, Tennessee.

Sources: Dan Crowe, Old Butler and Watauga Academy (Kingsport?, Tennessee, c. 1983); Jeffrey L. Carrier, Upon a Lonely Hill: The Cemeteries of Johnson County, Tennessee (privately published, c. 1985); Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of North Carolina, National Archives Microcopy 270 (Washington, 1960, roll 92).

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Finley Patterson Curtis Papers

 Collection — Box 1-7
Identifier: AppMs-0081

The collection is divided into two series: Series 1, General Store Records and Series 2, Miscellaneous Business Records. Miscellaneous loose work sheets and receipts have been removed from the volumes and placed in a single file folder at the end of Series 2. The items are identified as to the volume from which they were removed.

Dates: 1888-1921

James W. McKee Collection: Two Confederate Army Soldier Diaries

Identifier: AppMs-0148
Scope and Contents The James W. McKee Collection consists of photocopies of typescripts of the diaries of two Confederate soldiers, Finley Patterson Curtis and Rufus A. Spainhour. Both men served in the Confederate Army with the First and Second North Carolina Regiments in the Virginia theater. Curtis' commanders were General Stephen Dodson Ramseur and Brigadier General (?) Warren. Spainhour's commanders included Generals Jubal A. Early, James B. Gordon, Robert E. Lee, G.H. Stewart and (?) Thurston...
Dates: 1861-1865

Additional filters:

Butler (Tenn.) 1
Diaries 1
General stores 1
Ledgers (account books) 1
Mineral industries 1