The Original Asheville Rankins Posted November 17, 2013

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Final-EditWILLIAM DINWIDDIE RANKIN   WD Rankin had the areas largest tannery, located on the Rankin property.He had many other business interests in Asheville. WD died in 1879 of a skull fracture, resulting from being kicked in the head by a mule.  He is buried in Riverside Cemetery. P_Eliz_Rankin William married Elizabeth in 1826 in Cocke County, Tennessee.  They were very active in real estate speculation.There was no Catholic church in Asheville, they allowed their services to take place at their home.  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.  Their four children were: James Eugene, Amelia, David and Alonzo. ELIZABETH LIGHTFOOT ROADMAN RANKIN was born in February of 1812.   Elizabeth raised the family and ran the household. 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. The smoking of meats and maintenance of the property was managed by Elizabeth. 

 

 

JamesEugeneJAMES EUGENE RANKIN, the elder son of William and Elizabeth Rankin, was a most prominent Asheville Citizen. The Rankin house was his home until he married Sarah Frances “Fannie” Cocke in 1867.  
 
JE Rankin was a dedicated public servant to the City of Asheville.He held 50 public offices during his lifetime.  He served as Mayor of the City of Asheville four times.   Upon his death all city and county government offices were closed as his body lay in state in the courthouse lobby for mourners to pass and pay their last respects. Schools let out early, banks were closed and the flag was flown at half-staff for 30 days.  His portrait hangs in the Buncombe County Courthouse.