- Daniel moved with his parents to White Oak Flats (Gatlinburg) when he was about four years old. He lived all of his life here or on various other tracts of land in the area.
Listed as Ragan in 1850 Sevier County, Tennessee census as farmer with $1000 property unable to read or write.
An industrious man, Daniel began acquiring land before he married. In theTennessee State Library and Archives there are records of eight entries in his name, dating from 1824 to 1872. The state archivist says this was all purchased land. He is listed in the 1837 tax lists of Sevier County, Tennessee.
An 1859 grant, previously surveyed land, was resurveyed and entered probably because of Gatlin's extensive claim in the area and the Courthouse fire. This 1859 grant was for 600 acres up both sides of the river from Baskins Creek to the Two Mile Branch. In May 1866, he added another 640 acres to this holding. There are also grants for 1,000, 600, and 4,000 acres on Roaring Fork granted in 1839, 1868 and 1872. Most of this land was divided among his children - no will has been found. Daniel moved around and lived on several of his farms - his wife said after his death that she wanted to spend the rest of her years in one spot, she was so tired of moving. She spent her remaining years with her stepdaughter and her husband, Mariah and Thomas H. McCarter.
Daniel was a blacksmith as well as a farmer. Tradition says he built the first wagon in the settlement, making the wheels of one piece of split white oak. His son, Charles C. Reagan, built the first wagon that crossed the Smokies. Although no record has been found to verify it, Daniel probably served as a Justice of Peace. He did keep the community post office. When the settlement officially became Gatlinburg and the post office was established, Daniel and Joel Conner received the contract to carry the mail from Sevierville to Casher's Valley, South Carolina. Daniel's sons, Richard R. and Ephraim Reagan, served as postmaster in the village.
Definitely a Union man but too old to go to service during the Civil War, Daniel served as "muster" officer and drilled the men of the village out in the "Flats". He also served the community as food distributor. Because of his activities and his three oldest sons being in the Union army, he often had to hide out in the mountains to escape the Confederates. The youngest son, Charles C., often told of his father taking him to the woods and showing him the meat and food supplies he had hidden. Daniel didn't think the Rebels would bother the women and children and if he did have to hide out, then Charles must see that food was brought in for the people as it was needed---a big responsibility for a seven year old boy.
A civic minded man, Daniel furnished the meeting house for the village--the five sided building used for the school, church and "voting place". According to one of the land grants, this was located at the "mouth of the lane", now Reagan Lane, near the old River Road. Although he furnished the meeting place for the Baptist Church for many years, Daniel was not found on the membership roll of the church and did not give the land for the present building site, as has been stated by many sources.
Daniel Wesley Reagan did give the land for the oldest part of the White Oak Flats Cemetery (Gatlinburg Cemetery) to the community. This was originally a family plot on the farm of his father, Richard Reagan. The first burial there was a child of Daniel Milsaps, the first school teacher in Gatlinburg.
"Smoky Mountain Clans", Donald B. Reagan, 1978, p 6a, 15-16.
"Smoky Mountain Clans, Volume 2", Donald B. Reagan, 1983, p 51.
"Smoky Mountain Clans, Volume 3", Donald B. Reagan, 1983, p 45.
"The Book of Ragan/Reagan", Donald B. Reagan, 1993, p 37.