1812-1879


The Famous Indian Hunter

The Bear Hunter

The Hermit Hunter

First Native American Methodist Minister

Documented as a traditional hunter in Pres.      Theodore Roosevelt's memoirs on hunting

Legend in Southeast Virginia, Tenn., N.C.

One of the Ten most famous bear hunters of all time

Wilburn Waters

Some, like David Crockett and Theodore Roosevelt, became internationally famous. Others, like Wilburn Waters . . . are almost completely forgotten, though their exploits were just as extraordinary. 

Paul Schulery,  The Bear Hunters Century, Profiles from the Golden Age of Bear Hunting.

the name of Chowans, but after finding their way into the mountains they took the name of Catawba, the name by which one of the principal streams in that region was known.

Wilburn’s mother was one of these people, and was as before stated, a half-breed. . . . She was siad to have been very handsome, tall and straight, with nearly all the characteristics of a full Indian, except that she was unusually amiable in her disposition, and fond of queit, domestic life.  She had some education, was pious and affectionate, and was very anxious that her children should have pious instruction . . . she had long, glossy black hair , which she wore lose, and reached nearly to the floor when she stood erect. . . .

Victoria Sutton

Charles B. Coale, The Life and Adventures of Wilburn Waters 24-25 (1878).


[John P. Waters] settled down, without any apparent calling, among the simple and obscure people on Ready’s river, where, after a time, he married his wife, the mother of Wilburn, who was a half-breed Catawba Indian.

From what little history we have of the Catawbas, they were a small portion of the tribe that inhabited Roanoke Island when Lord Raleigh took possession of it about the middle of the sixteenth century, and being dissatisfied with the encroachments and exactions of their new and powerful neighbors, they sought a new home among the mountains on the western boundary of the colony . . .

 It is not known whether or not there were other Indians there at the time, but they had occupied their quiet retreat but a few years before the whites began to settle near and even among them, and at the time John P. Waters found a home among them they were mostly half-breeds and quarteroons, with very few full-bloods, and the latter the aged members of the community.  It is said they originally bore