The Aynor Mystery

by Carlisle Dawsey

As a boy I was always asking older relatives and family acquaintances about who my great grandparents were and who my ancestors were and where they came from. My other question was always where did our town get it's name? I guess some of them probably thought I was an inquisitive pest with my constant questions.

The old people, and I have talked to a lot of old people some of them born as early as the 1870's, told me that it was always called the Aynor Tract, a family name associated with the land. It was platted as the Aynor Tract originally in 1905 containing 1,625 acres.

As I have stated in previous writings, I have always searched for some connection of a name spelled similarly or pronounced similarly, as it is an unusual name, but had previously failed to find anything. I had heard so many oral histories about the town that for a long time I had gone on an assumption made plausible by a tale told by the late Mr. Cordie Page about a Mary A(ynor) Lewis and a one eyed horse. I need to say here in regards to that story that I fully believe that Mary A. Lewis traded away her property for a one-eyed horse and saddle. Mr. Boyd Lewis affirmed this to me as a truthful story recounted to him by his father as a truthful story and I do not believe that Mr. Boyd Lewis was an untruthful man.

I still had no way to prove or disprove the story. I knew the town came from the upper end of the Aynor Tract. A tract, as previously stated, containing 1,625 acres platted in 1905. I knew that lots had been sold out of the tract as early as 1907, even before recording of D.M. Burroughs' 1911 Blueprint of the town. I knew the town had taken it's name from the tract, but how had the tract gotten the name Aynor?

My first hurdle was the transaction of the F.G. Burroughs- B.G. Collins Partnership to Burroughs and Collins Co. with their deed for 80,000 acres dated July 16, 1895 recorded in Deed Book DD at page 152. Now how do you trace 1,625 acres out of 80,000. Mr. James Booth at the Burroughs and Collins Co. had told me that this deed covered most everything. I worked a long time trying to get behind this deed to find out where the 1,625 acres had come to the F.G. Burroughs-B.G. Collins Partnership from. I never was able to come up with anything and still think that is probably impossible. I kept going back to the Burroughs and Collins Co. to get help from Mr. Booth and finally one day he came out with an old deed that had Aynor Tract penciled on the outside. It had been folded several times and had torn along the creases over the years. It was rather difficult to read due to age and condition. When I opened it and read it there was no mention of the Burroughs and Collins Co. or of the Aynor Tract. It was a deed from Sheriff A.H. Skipper to Solomon L. Moore dated 1870 for a tract the Sheriff had sold at an auction to settle the estate of the late Mr. Buck of the Buck and Beaty Partnership. I was puzzled that the Burroughs and Collins Co. was neither the grantee nor the grantor and decided to go to the courthouse and see if there was a a more legible copy and to see if I could find a derivation. When I got there and checked the cross index I found Solomon L. Moore had purchased five tracts on July 4, 1870 totaling 2,520 acres by deeds recorded in Deed Book P at pages 434-437 and that later on January 9, 1871 he had purchased six more tracts totaling 3,090 acres by deeds recorded in Deed Book P pages 504-507 and 510 and 511, all from Sheriff A.H. Skipper at Sheriff's sales, and all located in the area from Cool Springs to Galivants Ferry. I checked the direct index and found that Solomon L. Moore had sold a tract of 5,905 acres to the Burroughs and Collins Co. by his deed dated January 8,1873 recorded in Deed Book R-1 at page 521. This tract was comprised of fifteen parcels, the eleven previous and four more, and all had some type of derivation on all of them. Two of the tracts had originally come from Jacob Eykner; his name was spelled two different ways. On the first tract it was spelled Eynner and on the second it was spelled correctly Eykner.

I then had to determine where these two properties were located. Through a long process of elimination comparing property descriptions I finally determined that the Buck and Beaty Partnership had previously owned the two Eykner tracts. I then went back to see where they had gotten them. I finally found that they had purchased a 2/3 undivided interest in a 634 acre tract, which the two were part of, from Sheriff W.I. Graham, individually. This deed was dated December 15, 1854 and is recorded in Deed Book N at page 366, but there was no mention of a derivation. I checked behind W.I. Graham and found he had purchased 634 acres individually from Ebenezer Skipper by his deed dated December 6, 1853 recorded in Deed Book N at page 365. It described the property as a plantation known as Cool Springs part of it being the Jacob Ikner lands. Here the name is spelled differently again, and this is the oldest deed that I find. I can find nothing behind this except the two original land grants to Jacob Eykner. The first is dated November 1, 1790 for 100 acres, later found to be 110 acres. The second is dated November 7, 1790 for 240 acres, later found to be 273 acres. I have checked the descriptions and have compared them to the 1905 plat and they comprise the lower 383 acres of the Aynor Tract after resurvey.

I know this has been dry and not nearly as interesting as Mr. Cordie Page's story, but I now know where Aynor got it's name.

The Independent Republic Quarterly
Vol.23 No.2; Spring 1989; pp 5-6

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