Sarah Priscilla DeVault

F, b. 22 October 1842, d. 15 June 1923
     Sarah Priscilla DeVault was born on 22 October 1842 at the farm six miles from Greeneville, Greene Co., TN.1 She was the daughter of David DeVault and Mariah Cox. Sarah Priscilla DeVault married Samuel C. Fitch on 6 May 1867 at Fleming Co., KY, no children. Sarah Priscilla DeVault lived in 1880 at Paducah, McCracken Co., KY. She married John W. Hannah on 4 February 1883, no children. Sarah Priscilla DeVault died on 15 June 1923 at age 80.


  1. [S2744] 1860 Federal Census, Greene County, Tennessee. Microfilm Image, NARA Series M653, Roll 1252; FHL #805252.

Serle David DeVault

M, b. 15 May 1901, d. August 1982
     Serle David DeVault was born on 15 May 1901 at Jonesborough, Washington Co., TN. He was the son of Joseph Gilbert DeVault and Nannie Elvira DePew. Serle David DeVault married Margaret Alice Blair on 14 February 1930. Serle David DeVault lived on 15 April 1930 at Canton, Stark Co., OH.1 Occupation: Salesman for ice cream company in April 1940 at Canton, Stark Co., OH. He died in August 1982 at Stark Co., OH, at age 81.


  1. [S1849] 1930 Federal Census, Stark County, Ohio. Microfilm Image, NARA Series T626, Rolls 1869-73; FHL #2341603-07.

Sharon Prudence DeVault

F, b. 28 September 1945, d. 23 May 2006
     Sharon Prudence DeVault was born on 28 September 1945 at Enid, Garfield Co., OK. She was the daughter of George Jefferson DeVault and Sadie Greenman. Sharon Prudence DeVault married Bobby Dean Martin, son of Elmer Percy Martin and Lucie R. Friend, on 19 October 1968 at Tulsa, Tulsa Co., OK. Sharon Prudence DeVault and Bobby Dean Martin were divorced before 21 May 1976. Sharon Prudence DeVault married Joseph Edward Hutton on 17 December 1980 at Pineville, McDonald Co., MO. Sharon Prudence DeVault died on 23 May 2006 at age 60. She was buried in May 2006 at Memorial Park Cemetery, Enid, Garfield Co., OK, Findagrave #140096885.

Sheila Drew DeVault

F, b. 28 March 1910, d. 7 August 1999
     Sheila Drew DeVault was born on 28 March 1910 at Tennessee. She was the daughter of Robert Drew DeVault and Osceola Walton. Sheila Drew DeVault married Archibald Greene Qualls, son of Jasper Lee Qualls and Cora Olive Hagaman, on 1 February 1930 at Johnson City, Washington Co., TN. Sheila Drew DeVault lived on 3 April 1940 at 416 Providence Road, Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co., NC.1 She died on 7 August 1999 at Greensboro, Guilford Co., NC, at age 89.

Child of Sheila Drew DeVault and Archibald Greene Qualls


  1. [S4942] 1940 Federal Census, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Microfilm Image, NARA Series T627, Roll 2942.

Shelby Bingham DeVault

M, b. 12 September 1957, d. 19 December 2000
     Shelby Bingham DeVault was born on 12 September 1957 at Washington, D.C.. He was the son of Dr. Walter David DeVault Jr. and Kathleen Farr Bingham. Shelby Bingham DeVault died on 19 December 2000 at Norwich, New London Co., CT, at age 43.

Solon Clyde DeVault

M, b. 23 July 1888, d. 24 May 1954
     Solon Clyde DeVault was born on 23 July 1888 at McDowell Co., NC. He was the son of Hugh Alexander Tate DeVault and Mary Alice Brown. Solon Clyde DeVault married Julia Agnes Hagen on 16 July 1917, no children. Solon Clyde DeVault died on 24 May 1954 at Great Bend, Barton Co., KS, at age 65 OBITUARY - Great Bend Daily Tribune (Great Bend, Kansas); Tuesday, May 25, 1954; page 5 column 4; (
Solon Clyde DeVault
Little River -- Solon Clyde DeVault, 65, died at 2:45 p.m. Monday at the Hoffman Memorial Hospital here shortly after a heart attack
DeVault had been Santa Fe station agent here 28 years. He was born in Cowe County, North Carolina, July 23, 1888. He was a member of the Episcopal Church and Masonic Lodge.
Survivors are the widow; four sisters, Nannie DeVault, Stoneath, Va., Mrs. Lola Swane, Supply, N.C., and Mrs. Vivian Garrison and Mrs. Ettie Cobb, both of Morganton, N.C; and a brother, Leland, Hutchinson.

Cause of death: heart attack. He was buried in May 1954 at Bean Cemetery, Little River, Rice Co., KS.

Stella Mae DeVault

F, b. 28 April 1886, d. 13 December 1941
     Stella Mae DeVault was born on 28 April 1886 at Greene Co., TN.1 She was the daughter of John Augustus DeVault and Mary Eleanor McClellan. Stella Mae DeVault died on 13 December 1941 at age 55. She was buried in December 1941 at River Hill United Methodist Church Cemetery, Greeneville, Greene Co., TN.
Note: Did not marry.


  1. [S1250] 1900 Federal Census, Greene County, Tennessee. Microfilm Image, NARA Series T623, Roll 1573; FHL #1241573.

Susan DeVault

     Susan DeVault was born. She was the daughter of Valentine DeVault and Florence Allison.

Susannah C. DeVault

F, b. 13 February 1824, d. 1 February 1899
     Susannah C. DeVault was also known as "Susan".
Note: Having lost her mother at the age of 2, when her older sister Maria Catherina was married in 1833, Susan and her sister Rachel went to live with Maria and her husband Warrington Hunt. They were raised by the Hunts and stayed with them until they were married.

She was born on 13 February 1824 at Hanover, York Co., PA. She was the daughter of Jacob Davault and Rachel Dorothy Kitzmiller. Susannah C. DeVault married Joseph Franklin Duncan, son of James Duncan and Sarah Hunt, on 13 October 1842 at Washington Co., TN. Susannah C. DeVault died on 1 February 1899 at Moweaqua, Shelby Co., IL, at age 74 OBITUARY:

Death of Susan DeValt Duncan, a Beloved Wife and Mother at Rest In Heaven
Susan DeValt beloved wife of Jos. Duncan, Sr., quitely passed away in death at the family home in this city Feb. 1st, 1899, at 1 o'clock p. m., after a lingering illness of, consumption in which she bore her sufferings patient and uncomplainingly. When asked by her friends how she felt, most always answered she felt better, a proof that she was cheerful and her mind lingered on the bright side of life in which no clearer manifestation of a true christian character could have been exemplified. When told of the death of others that had taken place during her last days, she would say it looked almost too bad for so many younger, more useful persons to be taken while she lingered on, thereby manifesting that she felt her allotted time was drawing to a close. She was a kind affectionate wife and mother who loved her husband, and children and she likewise being loved by them in return.
She was a good neighbor and true friend in the years we have personally known her. We could mention many beautiful incidents in connection with her life, but one of the most impressive recalled to our memory was several years ago when her three sons professed religion. And at an afternoon meeting in the old Baptist Church, Robert, James and Joseph all were baptized and united with the Church, she was so happy her heart was overflowing and being unable to control her feelings. She shouted God's Praises in real earnest until there was not a person in the audience who did not shed tears of joy with her. Her family, including her sister were at her bedside when the end came. The funeral took place Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the Baptist Church was conducted by Rev. Jo. B. Rogers assisted by Rev's Paisley, Jos. Thomas, and J. J. Midkiff. The Pall Bears were, Robt. B. Wilson, H. A. Pratt, Robt. W. Hight, H. Grooms, Wallace Gregory and Samuel Cushing. The remains were laid to rest beside those of her two daughters in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery west of town.
Those who attended the funeral from abroad were: Wm. Hight, Mr. and Mrs. R. W. Hight, of Macon, H. Grooms of Decatur, Rev. J. J. Midkiff, of Stonington, J. W. Brown of Blue Mound and Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Cushing of Assumption.

Susan C. DeValt Duncan, daughter of Jacob and Rachel DeValt was born near Hanover, Pa., Feb. 13th, 1824 and died at Moweaqua, Ill., Feb. 1st, 1899, age 74 years, 11 months and 12 days. She removed with the family to Tennessee when she was a child of about four years. She was married Oct 18th, 1812 to Joseph Duncan and moved to Jacksonville, Illinois in 1851. Living there about one year, they moved to Fayette, Green county, residing there until Feb. 10th, 1867 when they moved to the neighborhood of Moweaqua and later to the home in this city. Bro. and Sister Duncan lived as man and wife together for more than 56 years. To them were born eight children, Sarah A, Jennie, Robert, and a child dying in infancy have passed to the otherside, Mary, Martin, James and Joseph living. Besides the aged husband and four children, Sister Duncan leaves one brother and a sister, Mrs. Hunt, of Tulsa, Indian Territory, who was present during the last months of her illness. She and Bro. Duncan both joined the Baptist Church before they were married, and united with the Church here in 1867, and have been members in good standing ever since.

History of Shelby Co., Illinois, by Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, 1910, Page 869

Nathan Francis: In September 1865 Mr. Francis married in Macoupin Co. Mary C. Duncan, born near Jonesboro, Washington Co., TN, February 24, 1844, a daughter of Joseph and Susannah C. (DeVault) Duncan. Joseph Duncan was born February 27, 1817 near Jonesboro, Washington Co., TN, and moved to Illinois in the fall of 1851, settling in Jacksonville and later buying a farm near Fayette, Green Co., on which he resided only a few years. He then purchased a farm near Moweaqua in Shelby Co., where he lived until locating in the city where he became Senior Deacon of the Baptist Church. After the death of his wife, he made his home with his daughter Mrs. Nathan Francis until his own death occurred March 30, 1905, when over 88 years of age. In 1842 he was married to Susannah C. DeVault and this union lasted 57 years, her death occurring at the family home in Moweaqua, February 1, 1899, when she was nearly 75 years old. Joseph and Susannah C. (DeVault) Duncan had 8 children: Martyn, Sarah, Jennie, James, Robert, Joseph, Mary C. and a son who died in infancy.

She was buried in February 1899 at Westside Cemetery, Moweaqua, Shelby Co., IL.

Children of Susannah C. DeVault and Joseph Franklin Duncan

Thelma Lorrane DeVault

F, b. 29 March 1928, d. 10 May 1995
     Thelma Lorrane DeVault was born on 29 March 1928 at Nash, Grant Co., OK.1 She was the daughter of Walter Nelson DeVault and Nellie May Blackwell. Thelma Lorrane DeVault married Homer Frederick Watt, son of Frederick Stephen Watt and Jennie Mary Snider, on 31 December 1945 at Hood River Co., OR. Thelma Lorrane DeVault and Homer Frederick Watt were divorced. Thelma Lorrane DeVault married Stephen Patterson circa 31 March 1951 at Clark Co., WA. Thelma Lorrane DeVault married Gene L. Anderson, son of Torkel Anderson and Agnes Olson, on 23 December 1952 at Vancouver, Clark Co., WA. Thelma Lorrane DeVault died on 10 May 1995 at Tigard, Washington Co., OR, at age 67. She was buried in May 1995 at Upper Valley Cemetery, Parkdale, Hood River Co., OR, Findagrave #51761648.

Child of Thelma Lorrane DeVault and Homer Frederick Watt


  1. [S4370] 1940 Federal Census, Grand County, Utah. Microfilm Image, NARA Series T627, Roll 4213.

Thomas Montgomery DeVault

M, b. 25 November 1855, d. 19 January 1888
     Thomas Montgomery DeVault was born on 25 November 1855 at Sullivan Co., TN. He was the son of John David DeVault and Cynthia H. Wells. Thomas Montgomery DeVault married Lydia Ann Douglas, daughter of Elbert Douglas and Mary Bacon, on 12 October 1882 at Washington Co., TN. Thomas Montgomery DeVault died on 19 January 1888 at Asheville, Buncombe Co., NC, at age 32. Cause of death: spinal meningitis, contracted while caring for his brother George. Thomas died one week after George. He was buried in January 1888 at Riverside Cemetery, Asheville, Buncombe Co., NC.

Child of Thomas Montgomery DeVault and Lydia Ann Douglas

Timothy DeVault

M, b. 25 May 1950, d. 13 August 1955
     Timothy DeVault was born on 25 May 1950 at Los Angeles Co., CA. He was the son of George Wesley DeVault. Timothy DeVault died on 13 August 1955 at Los Angeles Co., CA, at age 5.

Tommie Mae DeVault

F, b. 23 July 1887, d. 22 November 1976
     Tommie Mae DeVault was born on 23 July 1887 at North Carolina. She was the daughter of Thomas Montgomery DeVault and Lydia Ann Douglas. Tommie Mae DeVault married Rev. Earl Gladstone Hunt, son of William H. Hunt and Mary A. Keefauver. Tommie Mae DeVault died on 22 November 1976 at Davidson Co., TN, at age 89.

Child of Tommie Mae DeVault and Rev. Earl Gladstone Hunt

Valentine DeVault

M, b. 16 February 1822, d. 9 January 1906
     Valentine DeVault was also known as "Volly". He was born on 16 February 1822 at DeVault's Ford, Washington Co., TN. He was the son of Valentine DeWald and Susannah Range. Valentine DeVault married Edna Anne Hannah, daughter of George Hannah and Elizabeth Stover, on 17 November 1857 at Greene Co., TN. Valentine DeVault died on 9 January 1906 at Washington Co., TN, at age 83. He was buried in January 1906 at DeVault Cemetery, DeVault's Ford, Washington Co., TN, Findagrave #132278047.
Note: From Tracy DeVault:

Valentine “Volly” DeVault, Jr. was born on February 16, 1822 on the DeVault’s Ford Plantation. In 1842, when his parents died, the DeVault’s Ford Plantation, then constituting about 1100 acres, was divided up among Valentine’s and Susan’s four sons. (Valentine’s and Susan’s daughters, all then married, received cash.) John, the eldest son, who at the time was also married and had three children, was to receive the land on which he was living, this land being in Sullivan County; Isaac got the Massengill tract of 385 acres; Jacob got the “Big Island” and adjacent lands on the far side of the Watauga River and Valentine Jr., the youngest son, got the home place and about 350 acres of surrounding lands.

At the time of Valentine Jr.'s parents' death, the new brick house that was under construction, was only partially completed. The three unmarried sons finished the home and continued to live there. Jacob was the first to marry (1844) and he brought his wife to live in the Valentine home. Isaac was the second to marry (1848) and he also brought his wife to live in the Valentine home. The 1850 Census shows Isaac Davault, his wife and son Richard; Jacob Davault, his wife and son William and Valentine Jr., all living in the DeVault’s Ford house. Isaac built his home on the Massingill tract about 1852. Jacob is thought to have moved his family to his land across the Watauga River about the same time. It appears that Valentine Jr. lived alone in the large house until his marriage to Edna A. Hannah in 1857.

There is a story about how the DeVault and Hannah families first met. This version was told by Isaac DeVault’s grandson, Harry Faw.

“The Hannah family lived originally in Roanoke, Virginia, on a farm where the city is now located. They decided to sell out and move west. The story is told that they were traveling west in a big covered wagon when they came to DeVault’s Ford in the late afternoon, where they decided to pitch camp for the night before crossing the river. My Great-Grandparents [Valentine and Susan Davault] lived on high ground, back from the Ford, near where the large brick house now stands. My Great-Grandmother, Susan, sent word down to the Hannah wagon for the mother and the two little girls to come up to the house and sleep that night. The next morning my Great-Grandmother was teasing the little Hannah girls that she would let them marry her two sons, Valentine Jr. and Isaac. As it happened the Hannah family located in that neighborhood (1) rather than going west. Afterwards [years later] the two sons married the two Hannah sisters. Great-Grandmother Hannah lived to be about 100 years old.”

Harry Faw did not give the date the Hannah family crossed the river at DeVault’s Ford, but Hannah family history says they made the move in September of 1841. That would make Elizabeth about fourteen years old and Edna would have been about eleven years old. Valentine Jr.'s mother, Susan (Range) Davault, died the following year so she did not live to see her prophecy come true.

Newland DeVault visited the Valentine home in 1946, 1949 and 1969. On his 1969 visit, Adelaide “Addie” (Gresham) DeVault (2) related the following story. It takes place around 1860, a few years after the marriage of Valentine Jr. to Edna Hannah.

“This large home was not built for the convenience of the housewives as they are today, for they had slaves to do the work. The kitchen, as in most homes of that period, was not directly connected with the dining room. One had to go through several rooms from the kitchen to the dining room. Edna, Valentine Jr.’s wife, pleaded with her husband to cut a door through the dining room so she could go directly to the kitchen. He said, “No,” in no uncertain words. He had helped in the construction of the house after his father’s death in 1842 – it was his pride and joy and he refused saying that “he would rather have his heart cut out” than to make the change. Sometime later, when he was away from home for several days on a business trip, he came home and found the door cut through.” Newland speculated that, “It would be interesting to know what Valentine Jr. had to say when he came home and found the door cut through.”

The following biography of Valentine Jr. was printed in Goodspeed's History of Tennessee (Washington County), 1887:

"Valentine DeVault, farmer, was born February 16, 1822, in Washington County, on the Watauga River. He began as a farmer when twenty years old, and now owns a farm on 350 acres, where he lives, and an orange grove in Florida. November 17, 1857, he married Edna, a daughter of George and Elizabeth Hannah, natives of Roanoke County, Va. Their children are: John C. (deceased), George V., William W. and Robert D. Both are Methodists, and he is a Democrat. He has been a school commissioner six years. His parents were Valentine, Sr., and Susannah (Range) De Vault, natives of York County, Pa., and this county respectively, and were successful in their farm life. The father was an able business man, and a member of the Lutheran Church. Henry and Catharine M. (Graves) De Vault, natives of France (3) and Germany respectively, who after their marriage came to America, and settled in York, Penn., where they reared a large family. Some remained in Pennsylvania, some went to Indiana, and some to Tennessee, but all are now deceased. The mother was a daughter of Peter Range, one of the earliest settlers of this county."

The following are parts of two letters Newland DeVault received from David Sullins DeVault. (4)

Letter from 1951
“I appreciate your letters and the picture of Valentine’s old home. The memories of my childhood are very vivid. When I was a young lad, between the ages of eight and twelve [between 1884 and 1889] my father would hire a hack [from Bristol] and pack some trunks and his family in it and start during the early morning for the DeVault farm, arriving there in late afternoon. We usually spent a month there during the month of July. I remember Valentine II, whom I called “Volly” and also remember Uncle Jake. During those days the farms largest crop was watermelons and cantaloupes on the bottom lands near the river edge. Uncle “Volly” was a very large man, over six feet tall. He used to carry me on his shoulders. He taught me to swim. My memory is rather vague about the house, except that is was brick. The picture of the front door looks familiar. I remember there were two Negroes, "Uncle Tom" and "Aunt Rebecca," who were once slaves of Valentine Sr., both very old and loveable. Tom worked around the barn, and Rebecca in the kitchen ------ People traveling through would stop overnight on their way from Tennessee to North Carolina or opposite. The farm down the river, next to Valentine's was owned by George DeVault (5) -- we would often spend the day there. George sold his farm and later went to Florida.

Letter from 1953
"I remember Valentine Jr. -- he was a very large man, 6 feet 3 inches tall, well proportioned and full of fun, always in good humor. We often called him "Uncle Volly." When he laughed, which was often, he could be heard a mile. My father used to take his family to the farm during the summer. He loved to hunt and fish. During those days the Watauga was full of large-mouth bass. The fields abounded with quail and pheasants. The house was a two and a half [story], red brick structure. As I remember it had 14 rooms. The third floor had a hall from front to rear. I think there were four or six rooms in it that were used for travelers who stopped over night going or coming from North Carolina. I remember one night four men stopped at the house. They must have been well supplied with whiskey for they got drunk and started to fight. Valentine, William (6) and my father had to stop the fight and throw them out. I remember "Aunt Rebecca" a guinea Negro slave who was the cook. She had blue eyes. In her old age she visited all the folks and nearby relatives. She visited us in Bristol, where she saw electric lights -- there were two other negroes -- Zeke and Manual (7) , who attended the stables, field and melon patches."

The following is an excerpt from "On Horseback: A Tour of Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee," by Charles Dudley Warner, 1889:

"A ride of twenty miles next day carried us to Union (8). Before noon we forded the Watauga, a stream not so large as the Nolichucky, and were entertained at the big brick house of Mr. Devault, a prosperous and hospitable farmer. This is a rich country. We had met in the morning wagon-loads of watermelons and muskmelons, on the way to Jonesboro, and Mr. Devault set abundance of these refreshing fruits before us as we lounged on the porch before dinner.

It was here that we made the acquaintance of a colored woman, a withered, bent old pensioner of the house, whose industry (she excelled any modern patent apple-parer) was unabated, although she was by her own confession (a woman, we believe, never owns her age till she has passed this point) and the testimony of others a hundred years old. But age had not impaired the brightness of her eyes, nor the limberness of her tongue, nor her shrewd good sense. She talked freely about the want of decency and morality in the young colored folks of the present day. It wasn't so when she was a girl. Long, long time ago, she and her husband had been sold at sheriff's sale and separated, and she never had another husband. Not that she blamed her master so much he couldn't help it; he got in debt. And she expounded her philosophy about the rich, and the danger they are in. The great trouble is that when a person is rich, he can borrow money so easy, and he keeps drawin' it out of the bank and pilin' up the debt, like rails on top of one another, till it needs a ladder to get on to the pile, and then it all comes down in a heap, and the man has to begin on the bottom rail again. If she'd to live her life over again, she'd lay up money; never cared much about it till now. The thrifty, shrewd old woman still walked about a good deal, and kept her eye on the neighborhood. Going out that morning she had seen some fence up the road that needed mending, and she told Mr. Devault that she didn't like such shiftlessness; she didn't know as white folks was much better than colored folks. Slavery? Yes, slavery was pretty bad—she had seen five hundred niggers in handcuffs, all together in a field, sold to be sent South.

About six miles from here is a beech grove of historical interest, worth a visit if we could have spared the time. In it is the large beech (six and a half feet around six feet from the ground) on which Daniel Boone shot a bear, when he was a rover in this region. He himself cut an inscription on the tree recording his prowess, and it is still distinctly legible:


This tree is a place of pilgrimage, and names of people from all parts of the country are cut on it, until there is scarcely room for any more records of such devotion. The grove is ancient looking, the trees are gnarled and moss-grown. Hundreds of people go there, and the trees are carved all over with their immortal names."

When I, Tracy DeVault, visited the home in 2001, I saw the carved bed headboard. It was engraved with the following: “V 1877 D” – referring to the date the bed was made and the initials of Valentine DeVault, Jr.

Children of Valentine DeVault and Edna Anne Hannah

Valentine DeVault

M, b. 16 March 1835, d. 2 October 1892
     Valentine DeVault was born on 16 March 1835 at Piney Flats, Sullivan Co., TN.1 He was the son of John DeVault and Elizabeth Kitzmiller. Valentine DeVault married Florence Allison, daughter of John Allison and Susannah Hodges, on 4 January 1866. Valentine DeVault died on 2 October 1892 at Washington Co., TN, at age 57.

Children of Valentine DeVault and Florence Allison


  1. [S2773] 1870 Federal Census, Sullivan County, Tennessee. Microfilm Image, NARA Series M593, Roll 1565; FHL #553064.

Valentine DeVault

M, b. 1769
     Valentine DeVault was born in 1769 at North Carolina. He married Anna Barbara May.

Child of Valentine DeVault and Anna Barbara May

Valerie Rene DeVault

F, b. 4 July 1960, d. 11 August 1979
     Valerie Rene DeVault was born on 4 July 1960 at Washington, DC. She was the daughter of Bobby Louis DeVault and Mary Louise Covington. Valerie Rene DeVault died on 11 August 1979 at Orange Co., FL, at age 19.
Note: NEWSPAPER ARTICLE - The Orlando Sentinel; Orlando, Florida; Sunday, August 12, 1979; Main Edition, Page 20 (

Body of Orlando woman found
The body of a 19-year-old woman was found Saturday morning outside an abandoned car in Union Park, Orange County deputy sheriffs reported.
Homicide investigators said that Valerie Renee Devault, Route 8, Box 417, died of multiple stab wounds.
Her fully clothed body was found about 9:45 a.m. on a short, dirt side street running south from Eastwood Drive, about 1 mile west of Rouse Road in Union Park.
Nearby was a late-model, maroon Ford LTD. The car was not registered to a woman, deputies said, and they refused to release the name of the car's owner.
A sheriff's spokesman said deputies were looking for the owner but did not yet consider him a suspect.
Orange County Medical Examiner Dr. Stanton Kesser said the woman was wearing "some kind of overalls," which had been torn in several places. He added, "There is reason to suspect sexual assault." However he said it could not be positively determined if the woman had been raped until an autopsy is performed.
Sheriff's spokesman Richard King said Saturday there was no apparent motive for the killing.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE - The Orlando Sentinel; Orlando, Florida; Saturday, September 15, 1979; Main Edition, Page 78 (

3 juveniles among 13 indicted by Orange County grand jury By MARY R. HEFFRON Sentinel Star
Named in the indictments were:
. . .
Joseph Alan Marter, 21, 30 1/2 Primrose St., charged with first-degree murder of Valerie Renee Devault, 19, who was stabbed to death Aug. 11 off Eastwood Dr. in East Orange County.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE - The Orlando Sentinel; Orlando, Florida; Saturday, February 2, 1980; Main Edition, Page 4 (

Metro Update
Orlando man found guilty in multiple-stabbing death
A 22-year-old Orlando man was found guilty of first-degree murder Friday in the August stabbing of Valerie Renee Devault, 19, of Orlando.
Joseph Alan Marter of 30 1/2 Primrose Drive will be held in Orange County jail until his sentencing Feb. 18 by Circuit Judge Frank Kaney. Marter could be sentenced to death in the electric chair.
Devault, who worked at the Club Mariner on the Naval Training Center base, was murdered after she left work at 1:30 a.m. Aug. 11. Her body was found the next morning near an abandoned car in Union Park. She died of multiple stab wounds.
Assistant State Attorney Belvin Perry said Marter gave police two accounts of what happened the night of the murder. In one statement, Marter told police he did not know Devault and had not been in her car.
Later, he told police he was in the area of Central Boulevard and Primrose Drive when Devault stopped in her car to ask Marter the directions to the University of Central Florida. He said he gave her directions and got a ride with her to the Cork 'N Cleaver restaurant on Colonel Drive where he got out.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE - The Orlando Sentinel; Orlando, Florida; Tuesday, February 10, 1980; Other Editions, Page 100 (

Jury recommends death
The jury that found Joseph Alan Marter guilty of murdering Valerie Renee Devault, 19, of Orlando, recommended Monday that he be electrocuted for the slaying.
Marter, 22, 30 1/2 Primrose Dr., was convicted of stabbing Miss Devault to death Aug. 11, sometime after she left work at the Club Mariner on the Naval Training Center base at 1:30 a.m.
Circuit Judge Kaney, who is not bound by the jury's recommendation, ordered a pre-sentence investigation. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE - The Orlando Sentinel; Orlando, Florida; Tuesday, April 1, 1980; Other Editions, Page 121 (

'It would be the easy thing, the politic thing, to sentence this defendant to
death and let the Supreme Court take the heat for lowering it to life.'
-- Judge Frank N. Kaney

Murderer given life sentence, despite jury's vote for death By MAY R. HEFFRON
Despite a jury's unanimous recommendation for execution, an Orange County circuit judge Monday sentenced a convicted murderer to life in prison.
Judge Frank N. Kaney sentenced Joseph Alan Marter, 22, for the August 1979 stabbing death of Valerie Renee Devault, 19.
Since his Feb. 1 conviction in the Devault case, Marter has been convicted of possession and use of a firearm by a convicted felon, kidnapping and rape in a separate case and sentenced to three consecutive life prison terms. Kaney ordered that this sentence be consecutive to Marter's other sentences.
In addition, deputy sheriffs have said Marter was involved in a March 7 escape attempt from the Orange County jail.
The Devault killing, Kaney said, "does not rise to Florida standards for the death penalty . . . To a layman, no capital crime would not be considered heinous," but a judge must compare different crimes and different defendants, he said. "Emotions of jurors can no longer sentence a man to die."
Assistant State Attorney Belvin Perry said he still thinks Marter deserves to go to the electric chair, but Kaney's ruling "took a lot of courage. It would have been quite easy for him to sentence the guy to death. . . given that a jury voted 12-0 to fry this guy."
Mrs. Louise Devault of Washington, D.C., the victim's mother, sat attentively in the courtroom through the sentencing and was only quietly critical afterward.
"I don't like it . . . I don't know what else we can do," Mrs. Devault said. "I don't know if it's fair or unfair, I just think he's done enough already so that he would be put out of circulation completely."
Before sentencing Marter, Kaney read a long list of aggravating and mitigating factors ... such as whether the crime was particularly heinous, whether the defendant had already been convicted of a capital felony, whether the victim was a law officer -- that, according to Florida law, must be considered in a capital case.
The only aggravating factor he found, Kaney said, was Marter's previous conviction for a robbery in North Carolina. He found no mitigating factors.
"Were this a ball game or a soccer match, it would be possible to say it was a close match but death wins 1-0," Kaney said. But he said the Florida Supreme Court has ruled that death sentences must be "not a counting process but a reasonable judgment.
"It would be the easy thing, the politic thing, to sentence this defendant to death and let the Supreme Court take the heat for lowering it to life," Kaney said.
Kaney could not consider the earlier kidnap and rape convictions since they came after the murder conviction.
In his arguments to the jury that voted to execute Marter, Perry had found two other aggravating factors: the crime was especially cruel or heinous -- testimony showed Miss Devault bled to death from a punctured lung, and she did not die immediately -- and that it was cold, calculated and atrocious.
Miss DeVault, who worked at the Naval Training Center's Club Mariner, was killed after she left work at 1:30 a.m. Aug. 11. Her body was found the next morning near an abandoned car in Union Park. She died of multiple stab wounds.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE - The Orlando Sentinel; Orlando, Florida; Wednesday, April 2, 1980; Other Editions, Page 315 (

Life-termer appeals for execution By MARY R. HEFFRON Sentinel Star
A convicted murderer who was sentenced Monday to life in prison filed a motion in Orange County Circuit Court late Tuesday asking that he be executed.
The 1 1/2 page motion, handwritten in legal jargon, was filed by Joseph Alan Marter, 22, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for the August 1979 stabbing death Valerie Renee Devault, 19.
"Comes now the defendant, Joseph Alan Marter, and moves the court to change my sentence from life imprisonment to death in the electric chair," the motion begins.
It list no reason for the request, but relatives indicated that Marter, acting as his own attorney, filed the motion so the Florida Supreme Court would review his case.
Under an amendment to the Florida Constitution adopted by voters last month, persons sentenced to life can appeal only to a district court of appeal.
Circuit Judge Frank N. Kaney had overruled a 12-0 jury decision that Marter be executed when he sentenced the thin, bookish defendant to a life term.
"I don't blame him, the death penalty is a much better penalty from his standpoint," Kaney said Tuesday. "He gets locked up in his own cell on death row.
"With his sentence, he'll be in general population at the Florida State Prison at Raiford. He's going to have to go to work. He's not going to get automatic appeal. He's not going to get an automatic stay from the federal court."
"The state has no opposition to that," said Assistant State Attorney Belvin Perry of Marter's motion. "The state would encourage the judge to grant it."
In sentencing Marter, Kaney said the Devault killing "does not rise to the Florida standards for the death penalty." Kaney found one aggravating factor and no mitigating factors among a list required by law to be considered before execution.
But he cited a Florida Supreme Court ruling that said death sentences must be "not a counting process but a reasonable judgment."
Marter faces three other consecutive life prison terms from his conviction last week of possession and use of a firearm by a convicted felon, kidnapping and rape in a separate case.
No hearing date was set for the death penalty motion, which also asks for new counsel, a new trial, and that Marter be declared indigent. However, Kaney indicated it may be heard April 18 along with other motions Marter has filed.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE - The Orlando Sentinel; Orlando, Florida; Friday, April 18, 1980; Main Edition, Page 30 (

A hearing scheduled for today in Orange County Circuit Court on a convicted murderer's motion for a new trial was delayed until May 2.
Circuit Judge Frank N. Kaney, who sentenced Joseph Alan Marter on March 31 to a life term, said he ordered the delay Wednesday because he thought it would interfere with an ongoing murder trial. A jury had unanimously recommended that Marter be executed.
Marter, 22, was convicted Feb. 1 of the Aug. 11 stabbing death of Valerie Renee Devault, 19. Her body was found in Union Park.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE - The Orlando Sentinel; Orlando, Florida; Thursday, June 18, 1992; Main Edition, Page 23 (

Killer who wanted to die found hanged in prison
The Orlando man's apparent suicide is being probed by state prison officials and the Volusia County Sheriff's Office. By Bo Poertner of the Sentinel Staff
A convicted killer who once asked the courts to grant his execution was found hanged Wednesday morning in his cell at the state Tomoka Correctional Institution.
The death of Joseph Alan Marter, 34, of Orlando, is an apparent suicide but is being investigated by the state Department of Corrections and the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, said David Lehr, spokesman for the corrections center.
Marter was convicted in March 1980 of first-degree murder, sexual battery, kidnapping and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was serving life plus 15 years, with 25 years mandatory.
He was convicted of killing Valery Renee Devault, 19, a waitress at the Orlando Naval Training Center.
Her body was found in August 1979 beside an abandoned car in Union Park. She had been stabbed and bled to death.
A jury recommended that Marter be executed in the electric chair. Circuit Judge Frank N. Kaney ruled that the killing did not meet the state's standard for the death penalty.
In a handwritten document that gave no reason for the request, Marter appealed to be executed.
Marter was found at 11:35 a.m. by his roommate, who was returning from a job assignment, Lehr said. Marter had a strip of cloth from a mattress cover around his neck and was hanging from a vent above the commode.

She was buried in August 1979 at Woodland Cemetery, Winston-Salem, Forsyth Co., NC, Find A Grave Memorial# 97254269.

Van Rolen Devault1

M, b. 5 July 1907, d. 8 November 1995
     Van Rolen Devault was buried on 5 July 1907 at St. James, Phelps Co., MO. He was born on 5 July 1907 at St. James, Phelps Co., MO.1 He was the son of William Henry Davault and Margaret Elizabeth Kinkead.1 Van Rolen Devault married Mary Catherine Petrie, daughter of Newton I. Petrie and Mary Elsie Young. Van Rolen Devault died on 8 November 1995 at Ste. Genevieve, Ste. Genevieve Co., MO, at age 88

Obituary -- The Daily Journal, Flat River, Missouri; Friday, 10 NOV 1995, p.3 (

Van Rollan DeVault, 88, of Ste. Genevieve died November 8 at the River View Manor in Ste. Genevieve. He was born July 5, 1907 in St. James the son of the late William Henry and Margaret Kinkead DeVault. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Catherine Petrie -- January 14, 1989.

Mr. DeVault was employed for many years as a steel worker with the Fred Weber Construction Co.

He is survived by two sons; Gilbert DeVault and wife Nancy of Salem, Wis. and William DeVault and wife Janet of Belleville, Ohio; two daughters; Kitty Naeger of St. Louis and Margaret Hatcher of Farmington; eight grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; one brother-in-law, Robert Earl Petrie.

Visitation will be held Friday after 7 p.m. at the Cozean Funeral Home in Farmington. Funeral services will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Cozean Memorial Chapel with the Rev. Chester Self officiating. Burial will follow in the Three Rivers Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Three Rivers Cemetery Fund.

He was buried in November 1995 at Three Rivers Cemetery, Sainte Genevieve, Ste. Genevieve Co., MO, Findagrave #60993071.


  1. [S5171] 1920 Federal Census, Phelps County, Missouri. Microfilm Image, NARA Series T625, Roll 941; FHL #1820941.

Verlin Weatherby DeVault

M, b. 16 December 1919, d. 8 October 1988
     Verlin Weatherby DeVault was also known as "Pud". He was born on 16 December 1919 at Tennessee.1 He was the son of Jesse Cleveland DeVault Sr. and Lillie G. Carroll. Verlin Weatherby DeVault married Betty Kathryn Johnson on 1 July 1944, MARRIAGE ANNOUNCEMENT - The Kingsport Times, Sullivan Co., Tennessee, July 9, 1944:

Devault-Johnson Wedding is Announced

Miss Betty Kathryn Johnson of Harlan, Ky., became the bride of Verlin Devault in a beautiful ceremony performed July 1 at 8 p.m. at the home of Mrs. D. H. Brown, Kingsport, with the Reverand M. H. Currie, assistant pastor of the Presbyterian Church , officiating. The double ring ceremony was used.

Preceding the ceremony Miss Wanda - Zimmerman presented a program of wedding music at the piano, including the Lohengrin wedding march, "I Love You Truly: "Because," "At Dawning," "I Love Your," "O Perfect Love," and " O Promise Me."

The house was decorated throughout with white gladioli and fern, and the vows were exchanged before the mantel banked with greenery, gladioli and tall crystal candelabra which held burning white tapers.

The bride wore a street length dress of eggshell white with blue accessories and carried a bouquet of pink roses and blue delphinium.

Miss Oneda Brown was maid of honor and William Frye served as the groom's best man.

Immediately following the ceremony an informal reception was held at the home of Mrs. Brown. The dining table was centered with a tiered wedding cake, which was tapped with a miniture bride and groom, which was cut and served to the guests.

The couple left for a short wedding trip, and since returning are at home at 410 West Sullivan Street.

Out of town guests for the wedding were Miss Dorothy Jean Johnson, sister of the bride, Mrs. John Lackey, Mr. and Mrs. John Landrum, Miss Mary Rachel Hoskins and Miss Mary Lou Burnside all of Harlan, Mrs. Chauncey Devault of Blountville and Miss Evelyn Brown of Bristol, Tennessee.

Mrs. Devault is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Lackey of Harlan, Ky., and Mr. Devault is the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Devault of Fordtown, Tennessee.

Verlin Weatherby DeVault died on 8 October 1988 at Sullivan Co., TN, at age 68 OBITUARY:

Verlin DeVault
Blountville - Verlin (Pud) DeVault, 68, Route 7, Blountville, died Saturday (Oct. 8, 1988) at Indian Path Hospital after a short illness.
A native and lifelong resident of Sullivan County, he retired in 1982 from the Mead Corp. after 43 years service in production control. He was a member of Wheeler United Methodist Church and Moose Lodge No. 972.
He was preceded in death by his father, Jesse C. DeVault; two brothers, Paul and Elon DeVault; and one sister, Zelda Breeding.
Survving are his wife, Ms. Betty DeVault; four sons, Rev. Larry DeVault, Mount Carmel, William (Bill) DeVault, Kingsport, James (Nolan) DeVault, Bristol and Rick DeVault, Charlotte, N.C; one daughter, Barbara Baldwin, Kingsport; six grandchildren; his mother, Mrs Mamie DeVault, Kingsport; two brothers, J. C. DeVault, Kingsport and David DeVault, Sacramento, Calif; one sister, Mrs. Marie Fink, Rock Springs; several nieces and nephews.
Calling hours are from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at East Lawn Funeral Home where services will be conducted at 8 p.m. with the Rev. Hank Henry and Dr. Wayne Cummings officiating.
Friends may call anytime at the residence.
A memorial service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Monday at Wheeler United Methodist Church.
Entombment will be in East Lawn Memorial Park Mausoleum.
The family requests memorial contributions be made to Wheeler United Methodist Church.

He was buried in October 1988 at East Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Kingsport, Sullivan Co., TN, Findagrave #87435072.


  1. [S3855] 1930 Federal Census, Sullivan County, Tennessee. Microfilm Image, NARA Series T626, Roll 1181; FHL #2342015.

Viola Regina DeVault

F, b. 16 May 1901, d. 14 April 1986
     Viola Regina DeVault was born on 16 May 1901 at Shelbyville, Shelby Co., IN. She was the daughter of William Walker DeVault and Estella Mae Pence.
Note: Eleven months before Viola's birth, William W. Devault was living with his widowed mother in Tennessee, farming. Given this documented fact, combined with the 1903 marriage date for William and Estella, Viola was most unlikely to have been William's biological daughter. DLB 2017. Viola Regina DeVault married Cornelius Carl Wilkins, son of John W. Wilkins and Mary Jane Curry, on 29 August 1925. License date. Ceremony by Oliver C. Hunt

Online genealogies indicate a marriage location of Dayton, Ohio, however the license was issued in Wayne County, Indiana. A marriage ceremony in Montgomery County, Ohio based on an Indiana marriage license seems farfetched -- the ceremony was more likely in Richmond, Indiana. DLB 2017. Viola Regina DeVault died on 14 April 1986 at Marion Co., IN, at age 84 Obituary (

Viola was the eldest child of William Walker & Stella Mae (Pence) DeVault.

She attended Franklin College where she prepared to be an elementary teacher. She taught her first year at the one-room Green Bay School in Moral Township. She next taught third grade at New Bethel School.

She married Nelis Carl Wilkins, on August 29, 1925.

They were the parents of four children: Doris Mae, Robert Ray, Mary Jane, and Nancy Ann.

She was buried in April 1986 at Orchard Hill Cemetery, Wanamaker, Marion Co., IN, Find A Grave Memorial# 62636170.

Children of Viola Regina DeVault and Cornelius Carl Wilkins

Violet Maria DeVault

F, b. May 1850, d. 18 April 1923
     Violet Maria DeVault was born in May 1850 at Ohio.1 She was the daughter of Daniel DeVault and Sarah Elizabeth Heskett. Violet Maria DeVault married Frank Wilson in 1877. Violet Maria DeVault died on 18 April 1923 at age 72. She was buried in April 1923 at Earlham Cemetery, Richmond, Wayne Co., IN, Findagrave #73898266.


  1. [S4959] 1860 Federal Census, Tuscarawas County, Ohio. Microfilm Image, NARA Series M653, Roll 1043; FHL #805043.

Virginia DeVault

F, b. 22 June 1915, d. 3 February 2000
     Virginia DeVault was born on 22 June 1915 at Tennessee. She was the daughter of Orgie Milton DeVault and Georgia Sprinkle Meredith. Virginia DeVault married Howard H. Duncan. Virginia DeVault lived in 1980 at Kingsport, Sullivan Co., TN. She died on 3 February 2000 at Davidson Co., TN, at age 84.

Virginia Maude DeVault

F, b. 31 July 1884, d. 2 July 1979
     Virginia Maude DeVault was also known as "Vertie". She was born on 31 July 1884 at Washington Co., TN. She was the daughter of Frederick William DeVault and Laura Adelaide Martin. Virginia Maude DeVault married Robert Lee Galloway, son of Nathan Galloway and Penelope Allison, on 2 October 1907. Virginia Maude DeVault died on 2 July 1979 at Boone's Creek, Washington Co., TN, at age 94. She was buried in July 1979 at Boone's Creek Baptist Church Cemetery, Boone's Creek, Washington Co., TN.

Children of Virginia Maude DeVault and Robert Lee Galloway

Vivian Connie Inez DeVault

F, b. 17 January 1905, d. 14 September 1958
     Vivian Connie Inez DeVault was born on 17 January 1905 at Burke Co., NC. She was the daughter of Hugh Alexander Tate DeVault and Mary Alice Brown. Vivian Connie Inez DeVault married James W. Boling on 25 September 1926. Vivian Connie Inez DeVault died on 14 September 1958 at age 53. She was buried in September 1958 at Glen Alpine Methodist Church Cemetery, Glen Alpine, Burke Co., NC.

Child of Vivian Connie Inez DeVault and James W. Boling

Walter David DeVault

M, b. 26 May 1874, d. 26 December 1952
     Walter David DeVault was born on 26 May 1874 at Stone House, Boone's Creek, Washington Co., TN.1 He was the son of Martin Van Buren DeVault and Annis Sevier Roller. Walter David DeVault was educated; Brown and Harvard Universities. He married Eleanor Kitzmiller Osborne, daughter of William Henry Osborne and Mary Kitzmiller, on 6 June 1928. Walter David DeVault lived on 11 April 1930 at 1804 White Avenue, Knoxville, Knox Co., TN, Occupation: General practice lawyer.2 He died on 26 December 1952 at Knoxville, Knox Co., TN, at age 78 Asthma. He was buried in December 1952 at Highland Memorial Cemetery, Knoxville, Knox Co., TN.

Child of Walter David DeVault and Eleanor Kitzmiller Osborne


  1. [S464] 1880 Federal Census, Washington County, Tennessee. Microfilm Image, NARA T9, Roll 1284; FHL #1255284.
  2. [S3834] 1930 Federal Census, Knox County, Tennessee. Microfilm Image, NARA Series T626, Roll 2258; FHL #2341992.

Dr. Walter David DeVault Jr.

M, b. 23 May 1930, d. 10 July 1989
     Dr. Walter David DeVault Jr. was born on 23 May 1930 at Tennessee.1 He was the son of Walter David DeVault and Eleanor Kitzmiller Osborne. Dr. Walter David DeVault Jr. married Kathleen Farr Bingham, daughter of Charles Tiffany Bingham and Kathleen Watson Howell, on 16 June 1955. Occupation: Medical Doctor, Urologist. Dr. Walter David DeVault Jr. died on 10 July 1989 at Salisbury, Wicomico Co., MD, at age 59.1

Child of Dr. Walter David DeVault Jr. and Kathleen Farr Bingham


  1. [S89] Social Security Death Index, online

Walter Nelson DeVault

M, b. 21 February 1902, d. 30 November 1984
     Walter Nelson DeVault was born on 21 February 1902 at Twelve miles north of Jet, Alfalfa Co., OK. He was the son of Samuel Henry DeVault and Margaret Angeline Shutt. Walter Nelson DeVault married Nellie May Blackwell, daughter of Jerry William Blackwell and Ann Mae Lawrence, on 11 May 1926. Walter Nelson DeVault lived on 28 April 1940 at Cisco Precinct, Grand Co., UT, Section hand, railroad.1 He died on 30 November 1984 at Multnomah Co., OR, at age 82. He was buried in December 1984 at Upper Valley Cemetery, Parkdale, Hood River Co., OR, Findagrave #51992246.

Child of Walter Nelson DeVault and Nellie May Blackwell


  1. [S4370] 1940 Federal Census, Grand County, Utah. Microfilm Image, NARA Series T627, Roll 4213.

Wanda Arlene DeVault

F, b. 9 February 1924
     Wanda Arlene DeVault was born on 9 February 1924 at Tennessee. She was the daughter of Karl Vernon DeVault and Lena Avis Shoun. Wanda Arlene DeVault married Nathan Neely Fleming III.

Weldon Walton DeVault

M, b. 28 January 1913, d. 25 April 1990
     Weldon Walton DeVault was born on 28 January 1913 at Johnson City, Washington Co., TN. He was the son of Robert Drew DeVault and Osceola Walton. Weldon Walton DeVault married Margaret Elizabeth Hyder on 20 January 1935, no children. Weldon Walton DeVault and Margaret Elizabeth Hyder were divorced in 1967. Weldon Walton DeVault died on 25 April 1990 at Miami-Dade Co., FL, at age 77.

William Bruce DeVault

M, b. 1903, d. 20 February 1904
     William Bruce DeVault was born in 1903 at New Florence, Montgomery Co., MO. He was the son of William Thomas DeVault and M. (?) William Bruce DeVault died on 20 February 1904 at New Florence, Montgomery Co., MO. He was buried in February 1904 at New Florence Cemetery, New Florence, Montgomery Co., MO.