by Earl Barnett
Ervin (no middle name) Barnett was born the fourth child of Perry 0. and Anna (Turner) Barnett on October 22, 1902. He was born in the Gowansville community of upper Greenville County South Carolina. His mother Anna died when he was about three weeks old from child birth complications. Little is known of his early years except he told his family that he never went to school over a year or two.
It is not known in what year but he moved to Hendersonville, NC to live with his aunt and uncle Charlotte and Will Turner. Will Turner owned or operated the Star Dray Company at the depot in Hendersonville and that he worked for his Uncle Will. He also worked for a short time at Thomas Shepherd Funeral Home.
On November 20, 1925 he married Lillian Estelle Whitaker, daughter of Oscar P. (Doc) and Nora (Dollie) Gray (Morrow) Whitaker of the Mountain Home community north of Hendersonville. Lillian was born on Bearwallow Mountain near the Hoopers Creek area of Henderson County.
In about 1981 she sold the home place and she and son Charles moved to Soldotna, Alaska to live with her youngest son Earl. In June 1986 she and Charles moved back to Mountain Home and lived in the J. P. Huggins house at the corner of Mountain Road and Glenwood Drive.
She was for a period of time a member of Balfour Baptist Church and later the Mountain Home Independent Baptist Church. At the time of her death on December 23, 1988 she was a member of Calvary Baptist Church on Haywood Road in Hendersonville.
There were three boys born to this marriage James Ervin Barnett born July 10, 1926 and died of cancer on January 30, 1964. He was married to Evelyn Jeanette Smith, born December 25, 1925, of the North Mills River community on April 18, 1948. Charles Benjamin Barnett was born May 10,1929 and married Edna Elizabeth Owenby on July 3, 1959. Boyd Earl Barnett was born June 10, 1938 and married Georgian Joan Brewington from Batavia, Iowa on June 6, 1964.
It is believed that at about the time of his marriage, that he was operating his own Blacksmith shop in the Fletcher township. He later moved his shop to the Banner Farm Road behind the store located at Banner Farm Road and Haywood Road (NC 191) in the Mills River Community of Henderson County.
At about 1940 he started working for Ezra L. Hazen who was a truck farmer involved in growing and canning vegetables in Henderson and Transylvania Counties. He did the maintenance and mechanic work on all the equipment used in this business. He start working for the Highway Maintenance Department of the State of North Carolina at about 1950. He worked there until he retired in 1962.
At about 1925 Ervin built a house on property which at one time was part of Doc Whitaker's (his father-in-law) homestead on Mountain Road (Prison Camp Road at that time) near Whitaker Road. At about 1943 the family moved into the Miller house (with electricity and inside plumbing) located on Mountain Road between 3rd. and 4th streets directly across the road from the now Mountain Home Independent Baptist Church. He lived at this location until his death in 1978. Lillian continued to live there until she sold the home and moved to Alaska to live with her son Earl in 1981.
His obituary is in the Asheville Citizen reads: Ervin Barnett, 75, of Mountain Road, died Friday in a Hendersonville hospital after an extended illness.
He was a native of Greenville County, SC., and had lived most of his life in Henderson County. He was the son of the late Perry and Anna Turner Barnett and was formerly employed by the State Highway Department.
He is survived by the wife, Lillian Whitaker Barnett; two sons, Charles Barnett of Mountain Home and the Rev. Earl Barnett of Ketchikan, Alaska; three brothers Herman Barnett of Hendersonville, Clarence Barnett (half brother) of Jasper, Tennessee, and Leroy Barnett (half brother) of Greenville, Tennessee; two sisters (half sisters) Mrs. Mabel Levi of Tuxedo and Mrs. Clara Boone of Greer, SC,; six grandchildren, a step-grandchild, a great-grandchild, and two step-great-grandchildren.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday in Shepherd's Church Street Chapel. The Revs. Buddy Mullinax and Herb Putnam will officiate. Burial will be in Shepherd Memorial Park.
The family will receive friends from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Thomas Shepherd and Son Funeral Directors.
Memorials may be made to Calvary Baptist Church building fund.