The Story of Miss Elizabeth Posted March 31, 2014


Rankin RoomELIZABETH LIGHTFOOT ROADMAN RANKIN was born February, 1812 and married William Dinwoody Rankin in 1826. Elizabeth raised the family and ran the household. The smoking of meats, procurement and storage of ice, and maintenance of the property was managed by Elizabeth. She had nine children total, of which only four survived to adulthood. Her great-grandson, Walter C. Bearden remembered her as having extensive gardens, with vegetables, fruits, nuts, and flowers. She also had chickens and a dairy. She kept a journal of the activities and happenings at the house starting in 1859, which was later taken over by her daughter, Amelia.

With her husband, she was active in real-estate speculation and she was philanthropic. Although not Catholic, Elizabeth allowed the Catholic church in Asheville, to use their home for their services and in 1869, they donated land (known as Catholic Hill) to a local group of Catholics, so that the first Catholic church in Asheville could be built.

Elizabeth outlived all the Rankin men and lived into her 90s. Elizabeth and William children who survived into adulthood were James Eugene, Amelia, David and Alonzo.