Notes for Samuel Tilden Bevins: Samuel Tilden Bevins 1891-1930__ Lilly Reynolds 1896-1981 The author of this article is Danny Bevins, son of Sterling Bevins.
Tilden Bevins was born on Lower Pompey, a tributary of the Levisa River, a son of John Bevins and Francis Robinson. He and his brother, Grover, were named for famous Democrats. Lilly Reynolds was born on Grapevine on October 6, 1896. She was the daughter of Orlando Reynolds and Mary Smiley Reynolds.
Tilden Bevins spent much of his early life in the home of James Harvey Justice and Sarah Bevins Justice. Tilden was left in an abandoned pig pen when he was two years old at his Aunt Sarah’s house. The 1907 Pike County School records show Tilden living in the home of James Harvey Justice. The home was just across the road from where the “Y” is today, about half a mile above the mouth of Grapevine.
Tilden was very fluent in writing, as are many of the Bevins. He often practiced his writing, even after being married for several years.
Tilden and Lilly were married in 1916. Tilden did many different kinds of work to make a living. He studied to be a railway engineer and enjoyed hunting a great deal.
Near 1920, Tilden and Lilly built a home just below Orlando Reynolds’ old home place. The house was on the right hand side as you go up Grapevine. Sterling Bevins, Leeman Bevins, later lived in the same house. The house was called the “Tilden House”.
In 1926, Tilden got in trouble over moon shining. Because of the problems he was having, he left Grapevine. He worked for the War Eagle Coal Company at one time. They lived on a branch called Spice Creek or Sawmill Hollow in Roderfield, West Virginia. The family stayed there until 1930. The children of school age attended school there. Trimble Bevins stayed in West Virginia with his brother for a period during this time. In 1930, Tilden became sick. He did not go to the doctor and tried to cure the ailment with home remedies. He waited too long. His appendix ruptured, spreading poison throughout his body. He died in the Welch, West Virginia Hospital.
Aunt Martha Damron, Tilden’s half sister who lived at Millard, said the ambulance that carried Tilden home stopped at the Millard bridge to give Francis Robinson Bevins Adkins a chance to see her son for the last time. Lilly and all the children rode home in the ambulance. Tilden’s funeral was held at the home of his brother, David Bevins.
After the death of Tilden Bevins, Lilly had to come back to Grapevine. Alex Reynolds and Ertle Whitt, Lilly’s nephew, rented a Ford truck and went to Roderfield to move her belongings back. This was near Christmas in 1930.
After coming back to Grapevine, the children had to stay with relatives until Lilly could get a place to stay.
U.S. 460 was being constructed through Grapevine in the early 1930's. While building the road, the workers constructed a powder house just across the road down the creek from Orlando Reynolds’ home. Lilly was able to convert this small building in a temporary home.
The 1930s were depression years. Lilly was left to raise the family alone. She raised as much garden as she could and took on jobs of house-keeping, sewing, and whatever else she could find. She worked for Andy Reynolds a great deal.
Lilly bought a piece of land from her father, Orlando. Andy Reynolds had a sawmill and he built Lilly a home from timber on the land. She paid him with money that she got from selling right-of-way for the highway. Andy used workers that owed him money to build the house.
During the 1930s the CCC camps opened. Herman, Leeman and Sterling Bevins, joined the camp. Sterling went to Montana. He had to hobo many trains to get back home. This helped the family by giving more income, a scarce commodity in that period. Sterling signed up in Ruey Adkins’ name because he was underage.
Lilly’s 2nd marriage was to John L. Coleman. They lived together from 1944 to 1948, when he died.
In the late 1940s, Lilly became a cook at the Grapevine Elementary School. She worked there about nine years. When she was old enough, she received a pension. In 1957, Lilly married Jesse Blair. Jesse was a carpenter. He did a lot of work to fix up Lilly’s home. They lived together over 20 years. Jesse Blair left after Lilly became senile. Jesse died in 1992, at the age of 100.
Lilly spent her last two years in the home of James Clayton Scott and Loretta Scott, a grand-daughter. The old home place was willed to Loretta by Herman Bevins.
Because of her condition, Lilly was put in the Phelp’s Nursing Home. She died August of 1981, at the Methodist Hospital in Pikeville.
Lilly will always be remembered by her grand children, for her drive and energy. When they stayed with her as children, she would always ask if they were hungry. At night, she always checked to see if they had enough covers. She was an avid quilter and always had an ample supply. She gave all her children and grandchildren quilts.
Tilden and Lilly are buried on the Reynolds Cemetery just below the Grapevine Elementary School.
Children of Samuel Tilden Bevins and Lilly Reynolds are: