The Murder of John VanBebber

The Murder of John VanBebber



Stories about The Murder of John VanBebber

the second child of Isaac VanBebber Sr., Esquire, (1790-1866) and first wife, Mary Martin (1795-1837),

    John M. Started a career in politics at age 21, just as his Father had, as a Deputy Sheriff. He soon worked his way to becomming a Justice of the Peace, just as his Father had. He married Manerva Jane Kincaid, oldest child of William Harrison Kincaid and Susan Wilson, in the early 1840's. They had five children. Manerva died in 1855 and her Father died in 1856. Manerva's Father was the most prominent figure in the Powell Valley area of Claiborne Co. Tn. He died before he could become involved with the Civil War. Most of the Kincaids were Confederate and were strongly outnumbered by their Union neighbors of East Tennessee. John M. VanBebber re-married to Elizabeth "Betty" Beeler, daughter of Adam Beeler and Susan Bowman. During the Civil War, John M. tried to stay neutral because of the situation he was in politically and family. Although he was a slave holder, just as the Kincaids were, he only owned a few and they were not the main source of income for him. His Kincaid friends heavily supported the South and converted large amounts of money to the Confederacy. John Kincaid, 11, was the brother of William Harrison Kincaid, deceased. He had established the Fincastle Plantation in Campbell County. John and William together owned thousands of acres and several prosperous businesses. John's Son, "Little John" Kincaid, 111, joined the war and was a Captain. Near the end of the War, someone murdered his Father, John Kincaid, 11, in January of 1865. "Little John" had just built a beautiful plantation in Powell Valley near the farm of John M. VanBebber......Exactly what happened to cause the events leading up to the murder of John M. by John Kincaid has been told and re-told so many times thru the years that it's hard to know what really did happen. Itbasically boils down to the fact that "Little John" came home from the War to find his whole world in ruins and he wanted revenge. It is rumored that John M. was using the beautiful home of John Kincaid as a hospital to doctor returning soldiers coming home from the War. So furious was he that he led a hostile group with him in an attempt to avenge the wrongs of the War against his family. John VanBebber and two other men, (possibly more) were killed that day in March 1865. David Cawood, a cousin of Elizabeth Beeler was also killed. "Little John" left Claiborne Co. with his family to escape the law. He ended up in Missouri and went by the name, John HUFF. The VanBebber and Kincaid connections were also numerous in Missouri after many left Claiborne and Campbell counties in the 1830's and 1840's. It was these people that gave "Little John" Kincaid exile when we went to Missouri. "Little John" and his family died in Missouri of cholera.
    When he left for Missouri he gave his house to his brother, Alvis. Alvis in turn sold the home to Jordan Longmire.
    Around the turn of the century William Ausmus aquired the house and 150 acres.
    The door going into the living room still show the axe scars made by the Union soldiers to gain entry. The wood on the first floor still bears the imprints of horses hoofs. The home is now known as the Ausmus house.

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