The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

Cherokee

Does anyone recognize exactly where in Florence, Alabama…

this photo may have been taken?

This is William Roscoe McDougal, son of Annie Mae Hand and William Carroll McDougal. The information with the photo says Florence, AL. The girl with him is possibly Lillian Katherine McDonald who became his wife in 1949. William Roscoe was born 3 October 1929 in Colbert County, Alabama. He died 24 August 2003 in Mishawaka, Indiana.

W R McDougal lived in Colbert County where he was born ; then lived at Woodland in Lauderdale County. Annie Mae Hand is the daughter of James Henry Hand and Welthy Ann Alizabeth Pace Hand. He moved to Indiana after 1949 and lived in Mishawaka, St Joseph County, Indiana until his death. He is known to have been in Indiana as early as 1980, but likely before that. More information on the photo and the people would be welcomed.

James Henry “Jim” Hand and Welthy Ann Hand were also the parents of William Riley Hand. William Riley Hand and Josephine Fleming Hand were the parents of Mamie Louanne Hand who married Grady Sledge.

Photo of William Roscoe McDougal


Do you ever wonder what the military men of the past…

think of what is going on in America today? The Shoals area abounds with men and women who have answered their nation’s call, sometimes during war time. We honor all veterans for their service and for protecting our freedom.

Thomas Franklin Woodis is one of those veterans. He served during World War I. Tom enlisted in the Army 6 March 1918 and was released 21 February 1919. He is first row seated on the right in the photograph. He was a very handsome soldier.Photo of Thomas Franklin Woodis in Army during World War I

Tom was born 4 December 1898 in Colbert County, Alabama. The Woodis family lived in Allsboro. Tom Woodis was the child of Charlie Bud Woodis and Lucy Francis McCaig Woodis. He was in a large family of children. His siblings were John Fletcher Woodis, Joseph Andrew Woodis, Charlie H Woodis, Mary Effie Woodis, William Wesley Woodis, Jessie James Woodis, Shelby L Woodis, Roe Harris  Woodis, and Terry Cohal Woodis.

Thomas Franklin Woodis, 90, Route 2, died Thursday, Feb. 9 1989, at Tishomingo County Hopsital, Iuka, Mississippi, after a brief illness.

In addition to being a veteran, he was a Methodist, and a retired farmer. The funeral was held at Alsboro Methodist Church. Burial was at Alsboro Cemetery near Cherokee, Alabama.

Survivors included his wife, Dora M Turner Woodis, Cherokee; son, Arthur Woodis, Cherokee; daughters, Marie Johnson, Lodi, California, Virginia Smith, Golden, Mississippi; and brother Terry Cohal Woodis, Florence; nine grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren. Son Roe Stanley Woodis died at the age of 48. He was a World War II veteran and was involved in a crash of the Sweat’er Out aircraft during the war.


The history of Mountain Mills…

By Lewis C. Gibbs, Jr.

Around 1835, after the Indians were moving to Indian Territory in Oklahoma, the whites began to buy the land west of Caney Creek, the boundary line.
Armstead Barton was the oldest son of Dr. Hugh Barton, one of ten children. He was also Governor of the Mississippi Territory. In this position he became friend to the Colberts, who were leaders of the Chickasaw Indians. Through this friendship, he came into possession of most of the land in the western part of what is now Colbert County.
His brother, Arthur C. Barton, came into possession of most of the land around Barton, Alabama, or range 13 and township 4. The rest of the land in this area was bought by the Prides, the Thompsons, the Rutlands, W. W. Bayless, Hextor Atkisson, the Gibbs brothers (Alexander and Jack or J. E. Sr.) and the Greenhills.
The Hextor Atkinson family lived near the site of the future Mountain Mill Industry Village. The Bayless family lived about a mile east; the Thompson and Rutland families a mile east and south; the Prides about two miles east and A. C. Barton two miles north.
The Hexton Atkisson family consisted of nine children, eight girls and one boy. Bob Garner married one of the girls. Another girl married three times, Mr. Moore, Mr. Donley, and Mr. Whitley. The son married twice, Susan Danley and Lucy Sherrod. His name was Arthur Atkisson. Two of the sisters never married and they out-lived all of them. They later lived at the James S. Barton home which was owned by John Whitley, a nephew. Not only a landowner, Hextor Atkisson was a Justice of the peace for many years. His wife was named Sally Franklin and was said to be from the same family as Ben Franklin. W. W. Bayless was also a Justice of the peace and a large land owner.

INDUSTRY BEGINS

Capt. J. S. Stickels was from the North and connected with steam boating on the Tennessee River before the War between the States, but fought for the South in the war. He was married to Elizabeth Olds, a niece of Mrs. Hextor Atkisson. It is said that he was a brave and courageous soldier and was a gallant defender of the South. He was born April 19, 1827, and died April 5, 1883. His grave was marked in the fall of 1995 in the Atkisson Cemetery.
After the war was over, J. H. Stickels and James Johnston put in a sawmill near the Mountain Mill Village. This mill was powered by steam. Later they put in a grist mill. It was a practice then to use this machinery on Saturday to grind meal. There were two different engines, run by the same boiler.
At a later date, a foundry and machine shop were installed. James Wright was brought in as a pattern maker and machine shop man. He had been in this business all through the war at Florence, Alabama, near where Mars Hill Bible School is today. All of these operations were successful.
Asa Messenger, publisher of the North Alabamian and other publications was encouraging Southerners to start manufacturing their own goods. This would save the high tariff on raw material shipped to the north and the shipping cost to ship the finished product back.
In 1872 the group of men mentioned above, along with N. F. Cherry and others, organized the Mountain Mill Company. Their purpose was to build a cotton mill to make thread from cotton and maybe cloth and other items also.


N. F. Cherry was born in Hardin County, Tennessee, near Savannah. The ten years before coming to Mountain Mills had been spent in merchandising and steam milling.
The Mountain Mill Company started with seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000) in stock. A corporation was formed under the laws of Alabama. Shares were sold to local people. It is said that every rich person in the county bought stock in the company.
The factory was built and machinery from New Jersey was bought and installed. It is said that the machinery was used. The building was a three-story brick and we think it was about 100 feet by 200 feet, with boiler room and engine room attached, with about a 100-foot smoke stack. After the machinery was installed they began to hire people to operate the mill.

Mountain Mills Factory in Cherokee, Alabama

Mountain Mills Factory in Cherokee, Alabama

Some of these families are still in this area, the Blankenships, Burrows, Hargetts, Inmans, Keetons and others. These families consisted mostly of girls. Women and children were used a lot in operating the mill. They also built a company store or commissary. Mr. Houston Ramsey was brought in to operate this business. He is referred to in the East Florence story. Homes for the people and a church and school were built. They built one building and used it for church and school. This building is still in use today in the Barton area by a black congregation.


Some of the preachers that preached at Mountain Mill were E. C. Fuqua, J. D. Tant and others. A professor Blaylock was brought in to run the school. Another teacher was E. C. Hamilton.

Edward C. Fuqua
Preacher at Mt Mills Church

A small town of about three hundred people came together around the mill. It was written that there was no need for law enforcement or courts.
In 1874, more money was needed. Twenty-five thousand dollars in bonds was floated with the German National Bank of Memphis, Tennessee, at 10% interest, payable every six months.
The company operated for twelve years, but seemed to be in financial trouble all the time. Miss Nina Leftwich stated in her book “Two Hundred Years in Muscle Shoals” that this was due to the used machinery that was installed when the operation started.
In 1883, the German National Bank foreclosed on the Mountain Mill Company. We have no record of their closing. We assume that W. N. Cherry bought their stock or debt. On April 7, 1883, W. N. Cherry bought out Arthur C. Barton and W. W. Bayless for $9,100.00. Miss Nina Leftwich said it sold for 5% of the original investment.
After this W. N. Cherry formed a partnership with N. F. Cherry and C. N. Brandon. Mr. Brandon was an experienced cotton mill operator. He came out of Cypress mill, a mill near Florence, which had closed. They invested $100,000.00 in capital stock, brought $35,000.00 worth of new machinery, and began operating in a big way. They loaned money to every farmer in the county. We have a copy of many of the loans on crops and stock and equipment. I believe the mill contracted fro the cotton they raised. However, this is not stated on the loans.
Some of the chief clerks who signed some of the loans are E. C. Hamilton, who is our great uncle; John Whitley, who was a grandson of Hextor Atkisson; Mr. Charles Womble, who was the first Probate Judge of Colbert county; and James H. Simpson. Simpson was connected with the mill in its early stages, but was later in business for himself in Tuscumbia, Alabama. He was our great-uncle twice. He married two of our grandfather’s sisters.
The operation continued for about ten years. In 1892, it was decided to move the mill to Florence, Alabama. We have heard several stories about the reason for moving. One states that the company wanted the county to donate 2,000 acres of land. Another says the roads were barely passable in the winter; therefore, they wanted a railroad spur built to the mill.
We know that this route was considered at one time for a railroad through to Russellville, Alabama, by way of Frankfort.
This is the story of Mountain Mill as I see it from my research and word of mouth all my life.
After 1893, the foundry and machine shops were left in place, and perhaps the sawmill and gristmill. Mr. R. E. Blankenship said he helped move the boiler and machinery to the railroad as a young boy. He was born in 1901.
The picture of the school was made about 1895 or later. Some of the people went to Florence while others stayed and did other things. There is nothing at the site now but briars and bushes.

My mother’s family lived in the store house about 1910. We think the Blankenship family lived in it at one time. About 1915, a sawmill company came into the area and used this for headquarters. Mr. Sam Williams ran a store for them. Some of his family are still in this area. Around 1920, this building was moved to Barton, Alabama by Mr. Sam Williams we think. Some time in the 1950’s this building burned. That was the last of Mountain Mills.

Source: ancestry.com, accessed 2011



Photos of the past…

of relatives  are precious. This one is related to people from Colbert County, Alabama. The soldier pictured is Sam Manford Sledge. He is one of two sons of  Clarence Williamson Sledge and Lillian Claire Manford Sledge; C. W. Sledge is a relative of the Sledge’s from Colbert County. This branch of the Sledge family had relocated to areas in Texas where Sam Sledge was born and raised.

Photo of Sam Manford Sledge


Old photos…

may bring back old memories for those related to the Hayes family in the area. This contains two photos, one of a Hayes couple, and one of their daughter. The photos were likely taken circa 1860. The Hayes family resided in Wayne County, Tennessee.

Photo of Hayes family in Wayne County, Tennessee circa 1860


SOME EARLY SETTLERS OF WAYNE COUNTY

By Charles M. THOMPSON. Reprinted from “The Clifton Mirror”, Clifton, Tennessee, “Anniversary Edition” of 20 October 1905.

“Some time ago the editors of the “Mirror” made a request of Mr. C. M. THOMPSON of Houston to furnish us with her early reminiscences of the early history of Wayne County. Mr. THOMPSON replied with an installment which we published several weeks ago when we published his life sketch. In this second [editor’s note: actually first installment] installment he deals with the early settlers. All Wayne County people in particular will find this article exceedingly interesting. The contribution follows:

Editor’s Mirror,

By your request I will give you now some of the early settlers of Rain’s Creek (now known as Indian Creek).

My father, Zachariah THOMPSON, Jesse CYPERT, and John CYPERT came to Wayne County in the year 1818 together with Francis CYPERT, their father and also the grandfather of the undersigned. Robert CYPERT, a brother of Francis, and a soldier in the war of 1776, came with the above and all settled on Indian Creek.

My father settled the place where Joseph SIMS (the son-in-law of J. N. DAVIS) now lives. This farm has never passed from the connection. Robt. CYPERT, the old soldier, built the first mill on Indian Creek. It was built on the George WHITE farm, a few hundred yards southwest of the corner of J. N. DAVIS’ land and was a failure. The old man then moved up the Creek about seven or eight miles and built a mill on what is known as Johnson’s Fork of Indian Creek, near the place where the Martins Mills now stands. This mill went into the hands of Willoughby PUGH, from PUGH to Samuel COOPER, from COOPER to Archibald WALKER, from WALKER to the CROMWELLS, from the CROMWELLS to the MARTINS, the present owners.

Soon after the CYPERTs came to Indian Creek, Isaac HORTON, an old soldier of the war of 1776, and his three sons, Isaac, Nathaniel and William came to Indian Creek and settled just below the old mill. It might be of interest to record the sons of Jesse, Baker and John CYPERT.

Jesse CYPERT had seven sons. John L. was a Baptist minister (correction: preacher) and was one of the organizers of the Indian Creek Association. Zachariah, William C., James, Thomas P., Robert Jasper and Jesse N. CYPERT. The latter is the only member of the family now living. He resides in Searcy, White County, Arkansas. He served one term as judge of his county. Baker CYPERT had only one son. His name was Samuel and he now resides in the State of Oregon. John CYPERT had six sons, Jesse, Robert, Anderson, Thomas J., John W., and James W. CYPERT. Thomas J. CYPERT was captain of a company in the Federal Army, served in the Legislature of Tennessee two terms as Senator, was assessor of Internal Revenue for the sixth collection district of Tennessee and was a preacher for several years before his death. His brother John was a Captain in the Confederate Army in Arkansas. The members of this family have all passed over the river.

Henry RAYBURN came to the county a little later than the CYPERTs and settled near the mouth of Rayburn Creek, where it empties into Indian creek thence its name.”

C. M. THOMPSON, Martins Mills, Tennessee.

Second Installment, published in “The Clifton Mirror”, 10 November 1905, page 8.

“Inasmuch as my last article missed the waste basket, I will come again. In my former contribution I mentioned Henry RAYBOURNE as being one of the early settlers of this county. It might be well enough to give a short sketch of him and his family.

“Squire RAYBOURNE served for years as justice of the peace for his civil district. He had four sons and three daughters. His oldest son, Gen. John RAYBOURNE was a very prominent man in the county. He was sheriff for a number of terms, surveyor and a state senator. The names of the other three sons were Samuel, Davidson, and Elihu. The latter died young and never married. Squire RAYBOURNE was the grandfather of John A. SMITH and his sister Tennie, who live near Old Town in Hardin County; he was the grandfather of Charley SMITH of Cerro Gordo and of Mrs. Joseph HARRISON living near Saltillo. The two old people, son, daughter and infant are buried in the old apple orchard near the old home.

“Thos. BROOKS settled at an early day and the farm remained in the family for several years. It then passed to Wm. PARKER, father of John Y. PARKER and an uncle of your townsman, C. C. STRIBLING. John Y. PARKER now owns and lives on this farm.

“About a mile above the creek Andrew DOWNING settled. He came with three son: John, William and Jonathan to Indian Creek about the same time BROOKS did. John DOWNING settled across the creek at the place N. W. BRATCHER now lives. Wm. DOWNING, I think, went further down the creek, perhaps in Hardin County. Jonathan remained on the old homestead until about 1860-61 and moved to West Tennessee. After the war, R. J. CYPERT bought him out, the farm having been divided and changed hands several times. John W. MIDDLETON now lives on the Old DOWNING homestead and in the house that DOWNING built.

“The next farm on the creek above was settled by David SHULL. This farm changed hands several times. After SHULL came J. R. HUGHLING, then Col. Jacob BIFFLE (BIFFLE lived on it when the war came up) then Luther FARRIS, an uncle to Dr. Will FARRIS of your town. After FARRIS, A. F. HASSELL, after HASSELL, Daniel EATON, after EATON, James RIGHT and after RIGHT, the present owner Dr. E. R. YEISER.

“The next farm of note that I will mention is that of J. N. DAVIS. It was settled at an early date by David GALLAHER who remained on it for several years. It passed from GALLAHER to Wm. PARKER and from him to his son Frank. From Frank PARKER to Capt. David I. DICKERSON from DICKERSON to the present owner, J. N. DAVIS.

“I will now cross the creek opposite to place of the writer’s birth to the David TACKETT farm. MR. TACKETT was a large land owner. His farm has been divided and sub-divided. The names of the parties occupying the lands formerly owned by TACKETT are Samuel DAVIS, Bart LAY, Will and Marion LINDSEY, Joe ROBERSON, John ROBERSON, Thos. MARTIN, Wm. NOWLIN and Wm. SCOTT.

“This brings me to the Wm. YOUNGBLOOD farm. Mr. YOUNGBLOOD came to Indian Creek at an early date and settled the farm where his grandson Zachariah HORTON now lives. Mr. YOUNGBLOOD raised three children: Josiah, Lidda, the mother of Zachariah HORTON, and John William, the father of Joe and Mat YOUNGBLOOD.”

C. M. THOMPSON, Martins Mills, Tennessee

Third Installment, published in “The Clifton Mirror”, 24 November 1905, page 1

“Here I came again. As I started out to give a short sketch of the early settlers of this section of Wayne County, I will resume by dropped down from upper Indian to what we call lower Indian.

“Squire A. B. GANTT came to Indian creek at a very early date from Bedford County, Tenn. and bought an improvement from an old gentleman by the name of Jesse O’STEEN and settled what is now known as the GANTT farm – I think the second best farm in the county.

“Squire GANTT served several terms as justice of the peace but never held any other county office. He had three sons, L. B., W. M. and A. B. GANTT and several daughters. They have all passed away except three daughters who now reside in Texas. The farm is divided and is now owned by J. Y. PARKER and W. W. JOHNSON.

“I now cross the creek to the farm where Daniel EATON lives. It was settled at an early date by Phillip CANARD who did not live but a few years. His widow remained on the farm until her death. After that it passed to Mr. HERNDON. From HERNDON to J. and E. B. MARTIN, and from MARTIN to the present owner, Daniel EATON.

“I will now cross the creek to the farm settled by George HAWK. It passed from HAWK to David COOK, a great-uncle to your townsman, Dr. COOK. After COOK it passed to Wm. J. STRAYHORN (Mr. STRAYHORN was a very prominent and influential man in this neighborhood). After STRAYHORN to Ledford NEIGHBORS and thence to the present owner, Samuel H. SINCLAIR.

“I see in the last issue an extract from a letter written by Dr. Wm. T. CHILDRESS of Terrel, Texas. He resided just across the creek south of the S. H. SINCLAIR farm and practiced medicine for ten or twelve years. Dr. CHILDRESS is well known in this neighborhood and a man who stood high in his profession.

“I will not give a short sketch of John COOK. He came to Indian Creek at an early date and settled on the farm adjoining Daniel EATON on the West side and lying in the fork of Indian and Weatherford Creeks. Mr. COOK had four sons: David, Martin, Christian and John COOK. The latter is said to have obtained the first marriage license issued in Wayne County. His bride was a Miss MARTIN, a sister of the late John A. MARTIN of Martin’s Mills. Mr. COOK was a German by birth and a hatter by trade. He was the great-grandfather of your townsman, dr. COOK, and the grandfather of H. C. GREESON. Mr. COOK also had three sons by his second wife: Austin, Henry, and Frederick. The latter lives just across the line in Hardin County, on a portion of the land formerly owned by Hugh McCARN.

C. M. THOMPSON, Martins Mills, Tennessee

Fourth Installment, published in “The Clifton Mirror” 22 December 1905.

Mr. C. M. THOMPSON of Martin’s Mills who has been contributing a series of articles to the Mirror on the early settlers of Wayne County continues his histories sketch with the following communication:

“Editors Mirror

“Since my last article found a place on your front page, it is a pleasant inducement for me to write again.

“Continuing a sketch of the early settlers of Indian Creek, I wish to say that Messrs. Frederick ROSE, William BECKHAM and Green BECKHAM came to Indian Creek with or about the time John COOK did. Rose settled the farm across the creek north of the Daniel EATON farm. He had four sons, William, Phillips, Eli and Eanis. All settled in the same neighborhood together with William and Green BECKHAM. The former was the father of Zachariah BECKHAM, who raised twenty-one children to be men and women – fifteen sons and six daughters and all had families. Mr. BECKHAM was married three times.

“I will now pass up Weatherford Fork of Indian Creek, to the farm now known as the John SINCLAIR farm. It was settled by Stephen STUBBLEFIELD about the year 1819 or 20 and passed from STUBBLEFIELD to John SINCLAIR, (father of S. H. SINCLAIR of your town) about the year 1830, and has remained in the family to the present time.

“The above farm adjoining the latter on the south was settled by James SMITH at an early date. It passed from SMITH to William SINCLAIR, a brother of John, and remaind in the family until two or three years ago when it passed to the present owner, Jack BREWER.

“Douglass GILLIS, a Methodist preacher, settled the farm just across the creek, west from the latter and built the first camp ground that was built in this section of the county. Mr. GILLIS sold out to the SINCLAIR’s and mvoed to Horse in Hardin County, where he remained until his death.

“Jas. COPELAND, a brother-in-law of Mr. GILLIS, came to Weatherford’s Fork about the same time GILLIS did and settled the farm adjoining the above. COPELAND had five sons and one daughter. The names of the sons are Thomas S., Daniel G., James D., William and Joseph M. COPELAND. The latter is the grandfather of your townsman, Elihu DAVIS. The COPELAND farm is now owned by J. B. COPELAND, a grandson of the old man, having never massed out of the family.

“I now come to the Pinhook farm as it was known. This farm was settled by William Weatherford (thus the name of the creek) about the year 1818-1819 and was the first settled on the creek. Weatherford was part Indian and claimed to be related to Old Chief WEATHERFORD. He had four sons, Joel, Hill, John and William. The latter died young and never married. The farm passed to the Rev. W. P. KINDRICK.

“Mr. KINDRICK possessed considerable wealth and was above the average ability. He was a fine pulpit and stump orator and was a candidate for Congress at one time being defeated by the Hon. Barkley MARTIN. KINDRICK had three sons, W. P., James, and Clay. The latter died in the Confederate Army and was never married. The first son, W. P. Jr. was a very prominent man and served one term as State Senator and ranked high as an orator. He ran for Congress and was defeated by the Hon. John V. WRIGHT. Mr. KINDRICK was captured while organizing a regiment for the Federal Army and was sent to Libby Prison, and was one of the men who escaped through a tunnel and returned to Clifton. He died soon afterward and was buried in his own garden in Waynesboro, now owned by John F. MORRISON, attorney-at-law.

“James KINDRICK made his home at Florence, Alabama, and represented his county in the state legislature. Rev. Wm. P. KINDRICK was the grandfather of Dr. James BARLOW of Savannah. His wife was a sister of Judge CLAY of Alabama and also a cousin of the great statesman, orator, and politician Henry CLAY of Kentucky. The KINDRICK family have all passed away.

“I will in the near future have something more to say about the early settlers of the Pinhook neighborhood provided it is agreeable with the editor.”

Mirror Editor’s note: “Come ahead, Uncle Charlie, our space is at your disposal. Your article this week is exceedingly interesting and we are sure our Wayne County readers in particular will enjoy it. Ed.”

Fifth Installment, published in “The Clifton Mirror”, 12 January 1906, page 1.

“As I stated in my last communication that I would have something to say concerning a few more of the old settlers in the Pinhook Community and having been granted the permission of the editor to continue this series of articles, I will do so by stating that Gregory SINCLAIR, a brother to John and William SINCLAIR, bought land from Pryor YATES and settled the Pinhook farm, SINCLAIR living on this farm for several years and accumulating considerable property, both real and personal, but concluded that he could do better out west, so he sold to his nephew, William SINCLAIR, a son of John SINCLAIR, who remained on the farm until his death. His widow still occupies the old homestead.

“William SINCLAIR, Jr., was a very prominent man in his neighborhood and was a man of more than the ordinary talent. He served as Justice of the Peace for several years and ranked high as a gentleman, socially, religiously, and masonically.

“The farm adjoining the latter on the south was owned by Richard MOORE (Uncle Dickey), the father of Mastin MOORE of Hardin County and Thos. MOORE of Hardin’s Creek, the father of Richard and Ed MOORE and also the uncle of Dr. K. L. COOK of Clifton.

“The SINCLAIR family, John, William and Gregory, together with their father and two sisters came from Ireland to N.C., thence to Wayne County, Tennessee. John was a horse doctor, William a blacksmith, and Gregory, a weaver.

“The farm adjoining the Pinhook on the East at the mouth of Bear Creek was owned for several years by Benjamin WATKINS, but was sold to Wm. SINCLAIR, Sr. and remained in the family until the old man’s death. Since that time it has changed hands several time. The present owners are John HOUSE and the widow of John D. STRICKLIN.

“The farm adjoining the latter was owned at an early date by Rev. Wm. BAKER, the grandfather of Thos. J. GILLIS, living just across the line in Hardin County. BAKER sold to James A. LAWSON. The farm on the east of this was owned at a very early date by Robert SIMS, the grandfather of Robt. M. SIMS, attorney-at-law, Clifton, and also the grandfather of Thetis SIMS of Linden, the present member of Congress from the 8th district. Mr. SIMS had four sons, M. J., Robert, G. W. (father of Thetis), and A. M. (father of your townsman). SIMS sold to James A. LAWSON.

“The farm adjoining the latter on the east was settled by Nathaniel MARIN [editor’s note – surname probably MARTIN), and passed to Wm. SINCLAIR, Sr., and after him to James A. LAWSON.

“Next comes the farm settled by A. J. MARTIN, which remained in the family until about a year ago when it passed to James M. LAWSON, a grandson of James A. LAWSON.

“The next farm was settled by John N. GILLIS and passed to James A. LAWSON. LAWSON was a large land owner. He had four sons, Samuel, G. W., Thos. J., and John M. LAWSON. They are all living but the latter, and occupy the farms purchased by their father. These farms are all on Bear Creek of Weatherford’s Fork.

“If this misses the waste basket, I will come again. Wishing the editor a happy and prosperous New Year, I am, Yours truly, C. M. THOMPSON, Martin’s Mills.”

Sixth Installment, published in “The Clifton Mirror” 16 February 1906.

“Having been some time since writing you last, I have concluded to write another short sketch of the first settlers of Wayne County.

“Mr. Ben HARDIN, a land speculator, came to the county about 1817 and settled the form now known as the Gallaher farm on Factor’s Fork of Shoal Creek where the old Notchey Trace cross’d said creek (This trace was the road Gen. JACKSON cut on his march from Nashville, Tennessee, to New Orleans, the latter part of the year 1814, just before he fought the battle that is known in history as the battle of New Orleans which occurred on the 8th day, Sunday, January 1815.) The farm is still owned by the GALLAHER heirs having never passed out of the family.

“The farm lying east and adjoining the William YOUNGBLOOD farm, spoken of in an earlier article, was settled by a Mr. James GIPSON in the year 1819 or 1820, passing from him to Elijah HARBOUR. Mr. HARBOUR had three sons, Samuel, Elisha, and Elijah, and two daughters. The two first named settled in Hardin County, Sam settled on Turkey Creek about three miles above Old Town.

“Mr. HARBOUR’s farm was divided and subdivided and finally passed out of the family. Elisha settled on Indian Creek some two miles below the line. The farm settled by HARBOUR is one of the best farms on Indian Creek, this said farm never having passed out of the family. The present owner is the great-grandfather (Ed. – he means great-granddaughter) of the original settler. She is Mrs. Minnie MARTIN and is the daughter of your townsman, Mr. S. H. SINCLAIR.

“Elijah fell heir to his father’s farm and sold it to A. B. GANT and went to Mississippi. Before being divided, this was the best farm in the neighborhood. Mr. GANT divided it between his two sons, L. B. and W. M. GANT. The latter sold his to James HORTON and S. A. KING, while L. B. GANT sold his a few years fore the war between the states to Henry L. BURKETT and went to Texas. When the war came, MR. BURKETT took his family and went South, his oldest son going into the Confederate Army.

“After the war closed they settled in Mississippi and a few years later Frank BURKETT was Grand Master of the Masonic Lodge of the State of Mississippi. Henry BURKETT came back to this state and sold his land to R. C. MARTIN and Mr. MARTIN’s daughter, Mrs. Charles BOYD, is the present owner.

“The farm adjoining the Elisha HARBOUR farm on the east in Hardin County was settled by Kenneth MURCHISON, the great-grandfather of your townsman, Dr. K. L. COOK (this is his name) Said farm passed to Hugh McCARN, who accumulated considerable wealth both real and personal. He had four sons and two daughters by his first marriage and two daughters by his last marriage. The four sons were named Neal, Daniel D., John and William. The latter married but did not live but a year or two. Neal and John emigrated to Arkansas before the war. Daniel G. still remains in this county and is the only member of the family now living so far as the writer knows.

“Mr. McCARN owned a large farm at one time, but it is all owned by other people with the exception of what is owned by Daniel G. and Thomas J. GILLIS, who is a nephew to the old man.

“I guess I had better ring out before my contribution falls into the waste basket.”

Editor’s note: The Sixth Installment was the last article of the series found. If there were other articles contributed by Charles M. THOMPSON, the issues of the newspapers have not survived and therefore the articles are lost.

By way of background for Wayne County, Tennessee this prepares for the next post which will include photos of early Hayes family members and others from early Wayne County, Tennessee.


A photo from times gone by…

is a treasure. This is a photo of Henry Bascomb Sledge (1860-1925), the son of Julia Ann Holloway and Francis Marion Sledge (1811-1900).  He was the grandson

Photo of Henry Bascomb Sledge

Henry Bascomb Sledge

of Zelpha Harris and Collin Sledge.  

Collin Sledge was the son of  John Sledge  and Amy Hartwell Whitfield Chappell Sledge. John Sledge was born 1733 and died 1750. Amy Sledge was born 1755 and died 1798. John and Amy Sledge removed from North Carolina and went to Georgia. From there some of the family moved to Mississippi. John Sledge is a patriot who served in the Revolutionary War. He is buried at Clark cemetery at Whites Crossroads in Madison County, Alabama. That cemetery seems to be one of may that have all but disappeared.

This John Sledge was a brother to Daniel Sledge that was also a Revolutionary Soldier. Daniel was the subject of our previous writing. 

Robert Clark who served as a Revolutionary Soldier and his wife, Rebecca Priscilla Sledge Clark are also buried at Clark Cemetery in Madison County, Alabama. Rebecca Priscilla Sledge was Collin Sledge’s sister. She was born Birth 26 May 1776 in Surry County, Virginia and died 22 Sep 1825 in Madison County, Alabama.


The Goodloe family from Cherokee…

was a large family with roots in the Colbert county area, and well-respected. This photo of one of the sons from the Cherokee, Colbert County family of Goodloes will be a part of the telling of the Goodloe family history and will be featured in our future book. This photo was taken during a family reunion in 1917 in Smyrna, Tennessee. Smyrna is in Rutherford County where this Goodloe son relocated to and raised a family of children. He died and is buried there as well.

photo of the Goodloe family reunion in 1917

Back row, left-to-right:
William Ray Goodloe, Dr. James Bostick, James Camp Goodloe, Jr., Mrs. Max Holland Goodloe (Florence Hull Goodloe), Max Holland Goodloe, Calvin White Goodloe, Frank Grant Goodloe

Front row, left-to-right:
James T. Bostick, Charles Goodloe Bostick, Mrs. Faith Goodloe Bostick, James Camp Goodloe Sr., William H. Bostick, Mrs James Camp Goodloe (Faith White Goodloe), Jean Goodloe, Mrs. Frank G Goodloe (Enna M Goodloe?), Nelle Goodloe

Those in the photograph were named by  the great-grandson of Max and Florence Goodloe and the great-great-grandson of James Camp Goodloe, T. Berkeley Goodloe

James Camp Goodloe married Mary Catherine Kate White and they had the following known children: Faith White Goodloe 1877 – 1971, Camp Lee Goodloe 1880 – 1898, Michael Goodloe 1884 –    (this is possibly same person as Max Holland Goodloe), Max Holland Goodloe 1885 – 1978, Frank Grant Goodloe 1886 –   , William Ray Goodloe 1890 – 1948, Calvin White Goodloe 1891 –  , Thomas B Goodloe 1893 –   , and James Camp Goodloe Jr 1895 – 1941.


For Patricia Moody Rutland…

who posts such wonderful and memorable photos from her past, this is a  token of our appreciation.

The photo is of  Clarence Edward Moody and Effie Alma Rorex from Colbert County, Alabama.

A photo of husband and wife Clarence Edward Moody and Effie Alma Rorex

Clarence Edward Moody and Effie Alma Rorex


Keep this memory close to your heart…

on Christmas this year, my littlest ones. My hope is that you will remember it forevermore. For a little background, I present this:

I was born to be a mother. Now that is a silly statement isn’t it? I have known this deep down in my soul since about a month or so after my fifteenth birthday. At least that is what I wholeheartedly believed, through thick and thin, through tears and heartache, through triumphs and defeat, through love and sorrow. That does not suggest that I was ever a perfect mother, just a mother with a perfect love for her children. My children will likely think I have lost it when, or if, they read this, but what I am trying to convey here is not really for them, it is for the successive generations. I have since seen very clearly that my status as Mother was not really meant to be where I could make a difference. The difference I was born to make was to be the Memory Maker for my descendants. I still have a small pillow that my daughter gave me in the 1980s; on it is embroidered, Moms Make Memories. I guess she knew what my purpose in life was to be before I did.

Family history has always been so important me. The importance really hit home by the time I had lost most of my family elders. This was before my two oldest children were really old enough to know what extended family offered and learned to cherish it. My youngest child has never had a grandfather living during his lifetime or great-grandparents and so on. It was much to my dismay that I realized that my children did not even know who a small portion of their living extended family was; recently some of that has been corrected for my daughter. Growing up, us four (later to be five) siblings basked in the land where our ‘Grands’ and some of the earlier generations were still in our lives. The number of first cousins was huge; and beyond that the relatives were innumerable. Some of our first real true friends were our first cousins. Many remain so today; those who have not stayed in touch remain just as important as well. Beware, what is to come is really mushy expression of love for my family; this is stated so you can exit now if you so desire. For the brave, the story continues…

In 1985 my only grandchild was born. I regret that I failed to really ‘spoil’ him, but circumstances and life are my explanation. I told him once that I would walk in front of a truck for him. I still mean that. Zac Sledge is all grown now and has a family of his own. Now my daughter, mother, myself and others had wanted a little girl in our family for so many years it is not even funny. We have the perfect grandson….time to know perfection through a girl. Well, our wish came true when Zac and Anna Harmon Cain married. Anna is beautiful perfection of what a mother’s love should be.

The truest form of perfection came when my first great-grandchild was born. On December 20th 2005, God gave me the most beautiful set of wings. I have always loved to sing even though I can not carry a tune in a bucket, the cat wails, and my children beg me to just stop it. But the song, “1,2,3 Like a Bird I Sing” became my anthem in honor of that day in 2005. That was the day that the most precious, wonderful, bundle of humanity and love was born into our family; and he is really, really smart, too. Logan Thomas Sledge owns my heart from that day forward. I hum that song almost on a daily basis.

Was I not blessed enough by the birth of Logan? I guess the man upstairs did not think so, or was it Zac and Anna? For on the 31st of May 2009, I got a double set of wings with the birth of another little piece of my heart, Taylor Anne Sledge. The other day her mom posted a video that was actually only captured audio, of my Taylor Anne singing to me. Her brother joined in with her. The song was “Rinky Dinky Do, I Love You” and it was just what I needed and I loved it so. Logan: perfect little man. Taylor Anne: perfect little lady. Both artfully disguised as mere humans, but they are actually little angels and they now have  me singing another song today: “Like a Bird Without Wings.” The video of the song, with Damian McGinty, is sung by Celtic Thunder. The words (yeah, I changed the wording to suit this narrative) of the song will follow at the end of this article.

Celtic Thunder featuring a younger Damien McGinty sings “A Bird Without Wings.”

My strongest wish is that these two little ones grow up with love in a home with both parents present, that they cherish each other, and are always the other’s best friend forever. Sometimes sibling rivalry rears its ugly head, but Taylor Anne has the advantage of being the stronger one while Logan is a thinker. Their mom told me recently that they were aggravating each other when Taylor Anne told Logan, “Bubba, if you don’t stop I am going to beat your brakes off, then you can’t stop.” That was a pretty profound statement coming from a two-year-old. And yes, she calls him Bubba just like I wanted; now if he would only refer to her as Sissy like my Daddy did his little sister that I always thought was so endearing…he called her this all his life long. I also hope that the thoughts expressed here might be preserved for Logan and Taylor Anne as cherished memories from their GG.

Be it known that I love these little souls more than life. Always have. Always will.

Signed,

Love GG

                                                A Bird Without Wings: Lyrics 

Like a bird without wings that longs to be flying,

Like a motherless child left lonely and crying.

Like a song without words,  like a world without music,  

I wouldn’t know what to do  I’d be lost without you watchin’ over me.

 

[Da da da da da repeated as beautiful harmony by George]

 

I get so lonely,  when I am  away

I count every moment, I wait every day,                      

 Until I am  home again and you hug me so tight                                                                     

That’s when I know Everything is alright.

 

Like a bird without wings that longs to be flying,

Like a motherless child left lonely and crying.

Like a song without words, like a world without music,

I wouldn’t know what to do I’d be lost without you watchin’ over me.

[Da da da da da repeated as beautiful harmony by George]

 

You’re my guardian angel; my light and my guide  

My hand on your shoulder and you by my side.

You make everything beautiful,   

You make me complete.

Everything in my world I lay at your feet..

 

Like a church with no steeple, where a bell never rings.  

In a town without people, where no voice in the choir ever sings.

If a boat on the ocean would be lost with no sail,

Then without your devotion

Surely all that I dreamed of would fail.

 

[Da da da da da repeated as beautiful harmony by George]

 

Like a church with no steeple, where a bell never rings.

In a town without people, where  no voice in the choir ever sings.

Copied from MetroLyrics.com


Family will ensure that he has the happiest birthday ever…

this year. The tenth of the month marked his birthday party. He will be 80 years of age on his birthday on December 14, 2011. To make the birthday just a little more special for the family, we say this is your life, Alfred Franklin Farris. May you and your family of relatives far and wide enjoy this little walk down memory lane.

Alfred Farris: Dad’s Videos by Michelle Farris:

Video to Celebrate Dad’s 80th Birthday

Video of our childhood – celebrating Alfred Farris’ 80th birthday

Alfred Franklin Farris was born 14 December 1931. His parents were Franklin Cook “Frank”  and Hester Gertrude Wright Farris who lived at Margerum in Colbert County, Alabama. Frank and Hester Farris’ first child died at birth in 1928. A second child, Carroll Eugene “Gene” Farris, was born in 1930; he died in 5 October 2011. Alfred married Wanda Thompson in 1964 and to them four children were born: Michelle, Suzanne, David, and Scot.

The parents of Frank Farris were James Barton “Bart” Farris And Mary E Pounders who was sometimes called “Sis” but whose name was listed as Molly Pounders on daughter Ennis Bell McBroom’s death certificate. Bart Farris was born  24 Aug 1844 in Newworton, Tishomingo, Mississippi. He died  4 Feb 1931 in Colbert, Alabama at Allsboro and is buried at Morris Hill Cemetery. Bart and Mary Pounders Farris’ children were: Ida M Harris Worsham 1873 – 1936, Franklin Cook “Frank” Farris 1875 – 1954, Charlie Williams Farris 1880 – 1954 and Ennis Bell Farris McBroom 1882 – 1949.

Bart Farris served in the War Between the States.  James Barton Farris joined the 7th Alabama Regiment  of Infantry, serving in Company H at age 16. He later joined the 10th Tennessee Infantry and served in Company H. He was captured and became a prisoner of war.

There is a record of a J B Farris of the 5th Texas, Company C, prisoner of war at Ft McHenry that escaped and was recaptured in 1863. They could only hold for two months! This record is Film Number M227 roll 11 at the National Archives. This is for record only and likely is not our Bart Farris.

He fought in the battles of Franklin and Nashville, and on Hood’s retreat when he was captured by the enemy and taken prisoner. Alfred believes that he was taken to Rock Island Illinois and was then moved to another prison where he survived smallpox. Alabama, Confederate Pension and Service Records, 1862-1947  for James B Farris, Record #6561, give the information that he was in Company F and H in Morllund’s Regiment. He first registered as Bart Farris when joining Morland’s Battalion of Roddy’s Alabama Cavalry.

 The 7th Alabama Infantry was organized at Pensacola Florida, 18 May 1861, with 8 infantry and 2 mounted companies. It was composed of companies that had rendezvoused at that place from the counties of Autauga, Barbour, Butler, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Dallas, Jackson, Lauderdale, Madison, Montgomery, Pike, and Wilcox. It remained on duty there until November when it was ordered to Chattanooga, and then a month later, it was sent to Bowling Green. It was in a temporary brigade under Col. S. A. M. Wood, and it fell back with the army to Corinth. The time of service of most of the companies expired after 12 months during the first week in April, 1862, and the regiment disbanded. However, the two mounted companies from Autauga and Lauderdale retained their organization and fought at Shiloh, as did other men from the regiment. The mounted companies then became part of the 3rd Alabama Cavalry, and the majority of the remaining men and officers joined other organizations.The field and staff officers: Col. Sterling A. M. Wood (Lauderdale; promoted); Lt. Col. John G. Coltart (Madison); Major Alfred A. Russell (Jackson); and Adjutants Simeon Dean (Chambers; promoted); S. A. McClung (Madison; transferred to Gen’l Wood’s staff).There does not seem to be a roster for Company H. But a few names of the soldiers were located as follows: Private M.  Busby, Private S Cockrell, Private H Collier, Private William Collier, Private J L Davenport, Private Thomas H Gammon who served in both Companies H and K, Private George W Garmany, Privates T H Gowan and William H Gowan served in both companies H and K, Private John L Handley, Farrier Doctor H Hann, Private W H Hardy, Private J R Horton, Private F W Killingworth, Private S M McCluny, Captain William W McMiller, Private J C Miller, Private R R Moore, Private G M Moran, Private T J Pollard, and Private T J Pope.

No record was found yet of him serving in the 10th Tennessee Regiment of Infantry; that fact, however, does not mean that he did not serve. Some, if not most, confederate records were destroyed. The 10th Regiment of Tennessee Infantry organized at Fort Henry, May, 1861; Confederate service September 1, 1861; reorganized October 2, 1862; merged into 4th Consolidated Tennessee Infantry Regiment April, 1865; paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina, May 1, 1865.

Back to him serving in Captain Morllund’s Regiment. This was Moreland’s battalion of Alabama Cavalry that was included in Roddey’s brigade and was in north Alabama and Tennessee during the greater part of the winter and spring of 1863-64, serving for a time in Hannon’s brigade. It fought at Tishomingo creek, June, 1864, and was attached to General Maury’s army, serving in central and northern Alabama. It was paroled at Iuka, May 18, 1865.

Extracts From Official War Records

No. 52–(595) Mentioned by Gen. E. A. Carr (Union), Corinth, September 13, 1863. Left in valley on Roddey’s departure. No. 54–(38) Mentioned by General Ferguson near Courtland, Ala., October 31, 1863. (603) Mentioned by Colonel Rowett (Union), Pulaski, Tenn., December 18th. Report of skirmish on Shoal creek, December 12th.
No. 55–(664) Col. M.D. Moreland, Roddey’s brigade, Wheeler’s corps, detached, November 20, 1863.
No. 56–(92) Mentioned by Gen. J. D. Stevenson, Corinth, November 8, 1863. (619, 806, 888) In Roddey’s brigade, Wheeler’s corps, October to December, 1863. No. 58—(590) In Roddey’s brigade, Wheeler’s corps, January so, 1864.
No. 59–(429) Mentioned by Colonel Rowett, Bailey’s Springs, April 18, 1864. (735) Mentioned, March 26th, as being near Moulton.
No. 77–(231) One killed, 5 wounded, at battle of Tishomingo Creek, June 10, 1864. (345) Reconnoissance near Tupelo, July 14th.
No. 79–(817) Mentioned by General Forrest, October 12, 1864. No. 93–(1233) In Roddey’s brigade, district of North Alabama, November 20th
No. 94–(634) In Roddey’s brigade, North Alabama, December 1st.
No. 99–(1150) Mentioned by Maj. John G. Devereux, February 10, 1865, as having belonged to Hannon’s original command.
No. 104–(830) Paroled at Iuka, May 18, 1865.

4th (Roddy’s) Cavalry Regiment was organized at Tuscumbia, Alabama, in October, 1862, and moved to Tennessee where it wintered. The men were from Franklin, Lauderdale, Lawrence, and Walker counties. During the next spring it was sent to Northern Alabama, assigned to General Roddey’s Brigade, then took an active part in raiding and attacking the Federals. In April, 1864, the regiment was transferred to the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana. After fighting at Brice’s Cross Roads it saw action in various conflicts from Montevallo to Selma where on April 2, 1865, most of the unit was captured. The remaining part surrendered at Pond Spring. Its commanders were Colonels William A. Johnson and Phillip Dale Roddey, Lieutenant Colonel E.M. Windes, and Majors R.W. Johnson and John E. Newsom.

Bart Farris likely resided on the Alabama and Mississippi state lines; by 1907 his residence was given as Colbert County, Alabama. A photo exists of his old home place which was situated on a hill.

Bart Farris’ father was John L Farris who was born  1819 in Warren County, Tennessee. His death occurred Feb 1880 in McNairy, Tennessee by some accounts; or at  Allsboro, Colbert County, Alabama by other accounts. Mortality schedules give this account of his death:

 J L Farris

Gender: Male
Race: White
Marital Status: Married
Place of Birth: Tennessee
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1818
Age: 62
Month of Death: Feb
Cause of Death: Pneumonia
Census Year: 1880
Census Location: (City, County, State)
Civil District 15, McNairy, Tennessee
Enumeration District: 126
Line: 9
Archive Collection Number: T655
 
Bart Farris’ mother was Elizabeth Betty Lair who was born circa 1824 in Crooked Oak, Franklin, Alabama and who died
circa 1880 in Allsboro, Colbert County, Alabama. Betty Lair and Bart Farris had the following known children: Mahalia Farris 1830 – 1913, James Barton Bart Farris 1844 – 1931, Emma Farris born 1844 , Thomas Champion Farris born 1847, Jane Farris born 1849, John Green Farris 1851 – 1936, Mary Alabama Farris 1852 – 1944, Cynthia A Farris born 1857, Cynthia A Farris born 1857, Julia E Farris born 1858, Virginia Alice Farris 1859 – 1935, Joseph E Farris circa 1859, Emma Farris circa 1861, Mahalia Lair Farris born circa 1863, and Mary E. Farris born circa 1863.
 
 John L Farris’ father was Davidson Farris born 1794 in Russell County, Virginia and who died Mar 1870 in Cripple Deer, Tishomingo, Mississippi. His mother was Elizabeth Lizzie Nunnally born 1795 in North Carolina and who died 1856 in Iuka, Tishomingo, Mississippi. Lizzie and Davidson Farris had a large family of children: Elizabeth Farris 1815 – 1852, Catherine Farris 1817 – 1905, David Farris born ca 1818, John L Farris 1819 – 1880, Matilda Farris 1820 – 1913, Margaret Farris  born ca 1822, William Champion Farris 1824 – 1900, Sarah Farris 1824 – 1880, James Monroe Farris 1825 – 1913, Sarah Farris 1827 – 1909, Louisa Farris born ca 1833, Mahala Farris 1834 – 1907, Sonia Farisborn ca 1834 and Commodore Perry Farris 1834 – 1880. The Farris family was listed in Tishomingo County, Mississippi  in 1837 when it was formed, making them early settlers to this area.
 
1837-1838 , Tishomingo County, Mississippi provide the following information:
  • Circuit Court March term 1837 Tish. Co., MS
    Monday, the 4th day of March 1837. Be it known that a circuit court began and held at the court-house in the town of Jacinto in the county of Tishomingo on the first Monday in March 1837, Proclamation being made as the manner is there was present the Honorable F.W. ______ presiding of the 8th Judicial District.
    And the Sheriff of said county _____ into open court the wit of venire Facias executed on the following to wit:
    Number 20: Davidson Farrish (and he served as a grand juror)

    Circuit Court June term 1838 Tish. Co., MS
    Davidson Faris was called to jury duty

    Circuit Court June term 1838 Tish. Co., MS
    State vs. Abner Moody et al
    Davidson Faris, Elizabeth Faris and Jacob Adin? called recognized in open court to appear as witnesses in _____ at the next term in ____ of one hundred dollars each.

    Circuit Court December 3rd term 1838 Tish. Co., MS
    Summoned to appear as a juror: Davidson Farress (he was called to serve)

The following information is gleaned from the police records in Tishomingo County, Mississippi:

  • Board of Police Tish. Co., MS for December term 1861
    It is ordered by the Board that Inspectors of Election to be held at the Several Precincts of this County for Auditor of Public Accounts on the ____ day of _____ be appointed as follows viz:
    At Cripple Deer-J.H. Robins, DAVIDSON FARIS, E.W. Harvey

Land records for Davison Farris include this record for Davidson Farris of Tishomingo County, Mississippi, purchasing 86 acres of Public Land in Alabama, subject to sale at Pontotoc, Mississippi, 22 July 1851:

 

 
Davidson Farris married a second time to Mary E Smith Coleman. Their marriage was performed 4 Feb 1857; she was the widow of John Coleman Edmondson who died in 1855. She and John Edmondson had a family of children as well, numbering eight children who are known.
 
Davidson Farris’ father was Champion T Farris who was born  1766 in Charlotte, Virginia and who died ca 1820 in Franklin County, Tennessee. His mother, Catherine Davidson, was born ca 1770 in Colony, Laurel, Kentucky or in Franklin County, Tennessee. She died ca 1802 in Russell County, Virginia. Champion Farris purchased land in Marshall County, Alabama in 1857. Catherine and Champion Farris had the following known children: Levi Kelly Farris 1785 – 1832, Thomas Farris 1786 – 1862, James Farris 1787 – 1830, Nathan Farris 1790, Davidson Farris 1794 – 1870, Major Washington Farris 1798 – 1862, Elisha Farris 1800 – 1870, William Farris born ca 1800 and Mary Farris born ca 1802.
 
Champion T Farris’ father was Elisha Farris born 1745 in Brunswick County part, Lunenburg, Virginia and who died 26 Aug 1791 in Moccasin Gap, Washington, Virginia. His mother was Mary Charlotte Vaughn who was born Apr 1749 in Charlotte County , Virginia; and who died 26 Aug 1791 in Moccasin Gap, Russell or possibly Washington County, Virginia. Elisha and Mary Charlotte were married 1 April 1765 in Charlotte County, Virginia. They had the following known children: Champion T Farris 1766 – 1820, Elisha Farris 1767 – 1840, Edward Farris born ca 1768, Mary Farris 1769 – 1791, Nancy Farris circa 1769 – 1791  and Sally Farris 1770 – 1788.
 
 
On 9 May, 1786, the first court of Russell County was held in the Castles Woods settlement at the home of William Roberson. Governor Patrick Henry issued commissions to Justices to preside. The Justices were Alexander Barnett, Henry Smith, Daniel Ward, Andrew Cowan, Samuel Ritchie, Thomas Carter, Henry Dickenson and John Thompson.
Andrew Cowan and Thomas Carter were chosen to represent the county in the General Assembly (House of Delegates).Appointed as county officers were: David Ward, Sheriff; Henry Dickenson, Clerk of Court; Samuel Ritchie and Patrick Porter, Commissioners of Revenue; Harry Smith, County Surveyor; Francis Browning, Coroner.Appointed as county militia officers were: Colonel Henry Smith, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Cowan, Major Charles Cocke, Captains David Ward, William Thompson, William Dorton, Charles Bickley, Francis Browning, James Davidson, Samuel Ritchie, Josiah Fugate and William Martin. Lieutenants were: Alexander Barnett, John Bowen, Charles Hays, John Tate, James Osborn, Samuel Roberson, Elisha Farris,Thomas Carter, Moses Skeggs and John Van Bebber. Ensigns were: Samuel Young, John Thompson, Robert Tate, Henry Hamblin, Solomon Litton, William Byrd, Benjamin Nichalson, Joseph Johnson and William Ewing.

Soon after the first court meeting, additional Justices were added. They were: Charles Bickley, William Martin, Richard Price, Christopher Cooper, John Bowen, John Tate, James Wharton, Charles Cocke and John Frazier.

More interesting notes are from M E Farris’ notes on a gateway message board from 2006 as follows:

ELISHA FARRIS was born in 1745 in Lunenburg County, Virginia. He married Mary Charlotte Vaughn on April 1, 1765 in Charlotte County, Virginia. Mary was daughter of Thomas Vaughn. John Vaughn signed as bondsman.

Elisha and Mary had at least three daughters, one of which was named Nancy. There were most likely other children. Note the reference in the British Mercantile Claims below, that his family was living in Kentucky after he and his wife’s death in 1791. It is quite possible Elisha and Mary had at least three sons: Elisha, Jr.; Thomas; and Edward.

Elisha, Jr. and Edward could be the persons listed under the Tax list of their grandfather, James Esom Farris (1794 Tax list for Lincoln County, Kentucky).

Elisha’s HEIRS were named in an 1823 Scott County, Virginia lawsuit over his estate: Elisha (Jr?), Thomas, Sally and Nancy. These were either Elisha’s children or grandchildren. In one passage of this lawsuit the heirs are also described as CHILDREN AND HEIRS.

Some researchers also include these children: Champion, James, and Nathan. Further research is needed to identify correctly the children of Elisha and Mary.

                                        INDIAN ATTACK ON ELISHA’S TAVERN

Elisha, Mary, a daughter (Mary), and grandchild were killed during an Indian attack on Elisha’s Tavern, near Moccasin Gap (near Gate City, VA) 26 Aug 1791. Another daughter, Nineteen-year-old Nancy, was taken by the Indians, but later escaped. Gate City may have also been known as Estillville.

CONFUSION ABOUT MRS. LIVINGSTON SURVIVING THE INDIAN ATTACK

This account given 6 Apr 1794, from the calendar of VA State papers, Vol 7, page 375. follows:

Mrs. Peter Livingston with her children were taken by Captain Bench, from their home on the Holstein (Holston) River. They took them many miles. She whispered to the children to get away, as the Indians did not watch them too closely. The children did get away.

Captain Bench told her he was going to steal all of Isaac Shelby’s slaves. The Militia under Vincent Hobbs attacked and killed Bench and most of the Indians. The one guarding Mrs. Livingston hit her on the head with his “tomhawke”, but she recovered in about one hour. Hobbs scalped Bench and sent the scalp to the Governor of VA.

Note: According to research by Robbie Sue Farris Glover the “Mrs. Livingston” mentioned above was the wife of Peter Livingston; she was not a Farris daughter. Peter’s brother, Henry Livingston, was married to Mary Farris. Mary was the Livingston wife that was killed at Elisha’s home

BACKGROUND ON CAPTAIN BENGE, WHO LED RAID ON ELISHA’S TAVERN

John Benge, an Indian trader who lived among the Cherokee, was married to Wurteh who was part of an influential Cherokee family. John was previously married to Elizabeth Lewis, daughter of William Terrell Lewis and Sarah Martin. Elizabeth’s sister, Susannah, married John’s brother, Thomas Benge. John and Elizabeth had several children at their home in western North Carolina.

Apparently, John was living with Wurteh at his home with the Cherokee (probably Tuquo) and had several children born there. These were Robert, Utana “the Tail”, Lucy, and Tashliske. After Elizabeth and the Lewis family found out about John’s Cherokee family, their marriage was dissolved.

Wurteh also had a child from a man whose last name was Gist or Guess and their child became known to history as Sequoyah. Robert and Sequoyah were half brothers.

Circa 1788: John’s son, Robert Benge, was married to a Cherokee woman and settled at a site still called Benge’s Field just south of present day Trenton, GA. This was the Cherokee village called Lookout Town.

Summer of 1791: At the Cherokee town called Running Water in present day southernmost Tennessee, Robert Benge announced that he was going to start a raiding campaign against white settlers in southwestern Virginia. Five men joined him and the proceeded northward.

BENGE’S ATTACKS ON THE VIRGINIA SETTLEMENTS

August 23, 1791: Robert Benge’s group raided the William McDowell house near Moccasin Gap (Russell County, VA). Two whites were killed and an 8 year old boy and woman were captured.

August 26, 1791: A party of Indians, headed by Captain Benge of the Cherokee tribe, attacked the house of ELISHA FARRIS, two miles from Mockison (sic) Gap, murdered Mr. Farris at his house, and made prisoner Mrs. Farris and her daughter, Mrs. Livingston, and a young child together with Nancy Farris. All but the latter were cruelly murdered the first day of their captivity. (Bledsoe et al. in Summers, 1903, p 438)

Note: According to research by Robbie Sue Farris Glover, there has been confusion about the fate of Mrs. Livingston. Was she killed, or did she survive the Indian attack? The answer is, there were two Mrs. Livingstons.

The “Mrs. Livingston” mentioned above was Mary Farris Livingston, daughter of Elisha and Mary and the wife of Henry Livingston. Henry Livingston had a brother, Peter, whose wife was also involved in an Indian raid; This “Mrs. Livingston” was tomahawked, but survived the attack. (See notes on Mary Farris Livingston).

CONFLICTS REGARDING ELISHA FARRIS’S PROPERTY AFTER HIS DEATH

From the “Bristol Herald Courier,” Sunday, November 15, 1964

BACKGROUND- WILDERNESS ROAD

Some suggest that the origin of the Wilderness Road was at Fort Chiswell (Ft. Chissel) on the Great Valley Road where roads converged from Philadelphia and Richmond. Others claim the Wilderness Road actually began at Sapling Grove (now Bristol, Virginia) which lay at the extreme southern end of the Great Valley Road because it was at that point that the road narrowed, forcing travelers to abandon their wagons. It moved through the Cumberland Gap, the only real way to reach Blue Grass land in those days. These travelers, when they had some money in the complicated currency of that day when coin was weighed on scales to determine the value in different states, would buy flour to use on the way.

GEORGE ROBERTS’ MILL

George Roberts, for the first and only time in his life, was prospering. In spite of the activities of the area, the Revolutionary War was being fought. In general Southwest Virginia knew little, and cared less, about the Revolutionary War. The present day descendant who thinks great-great something or other grandpa decided the fate of the Revolutionary War from Southwest Virginia is merely displaying his own abysmal ignorance. Most of the time, there were only a handful who really knew there was a war being fought; others were too busy trying to wrest a precarious living from the savage land and the landed savages to the southeast (the Cherokees).

There was, of course, one battle-only one-in which the bobtail over mountain men made a contribution to the Revolutionary cause and that was the Battle of King’s Mountain. Many Scott county men fought in this battle, men such as Johnathon Wood, Peter Morrison, and a man already mentioned in this article, James Davidson. This was, of course, the second James Davidson. Almost exactly eight years after the Battle of King’s Mountain, on Oct. 1, 1780, Silas and Sarah Enyart sold their tract of 200 acres of land to James Davidson, Jr., (the elder James Davidson did not die until 1794), the Enyarts having moved into a smaller tract on which they had survey rights later than the Gate City tract.

By the following spring, early in the year, Silas Enyart was dead and his widow and son left the area. Their departure did not resolve the problem that had been raised over the mills of George Roberts and the land around it.

CONFLICT ON PROPERTY THAT PASSED FROM SILAS ENYARD TO JAMES DAVIDSON, WHO SOLD TO ELISHA FARRIS

Roberts had understood that he was to have had the ten acres as a gift for having established the mill and that the 40 acres surrounding the original ten would be sold him to allow him a decent tract on which his mill could operate. It must be confessed that George was a rather engaging, but worthless, scamp and he allowed the mill to fall into disrepair as soon as the Kentucky travelers began going through less frequently and, stopping as they did at the Block House of Colonel Anderson, they filled up on provisions there, not stopping at the Roberts mill for provisions.

Regardless of the quality of Roberts’ mill or his activity, he claimed to have been promised by Enyart a deed to the ten acres and a right to purchase forty more. He also claimed that when Enyart sold to Davidson and Davidson to ELISHA FARRIS on August 18, 1789, he was assured of this right. However, Farris was killed by the Indians, with several members of his family, on August 26, 1791, so it is impossible to say whether or not Farris had so promised.

Anyhow, the land eventually sold back to James Davidson, Jr., who made his “patriotic” gesture of offering the land for the courthouse to the county of Scott in 1815. The suit was filed just after the land got valuable enough to quarrel over!

LAWSUIT AGAINST HEIRS OF ELISHA FARRIS AND GEORGE EWING

An 1823 Scott Co. lawsuit (Elisha was killed in what is now Scott Co. in 1791) says Elisha’s heirs who are being sued are: Thomas, Sally, Nancy, and Elisha. Also being sued was George Ewing. I thought at first he might be a son-in-law, but I think he got the disputed land so he was probably more the subject of the suit (probably bought Elisha!s land).

Now we already know that a daughter Nancy survived the Indian attack in 1791. And we know that a daughter, Mary Livingston, was killed by those same Indians. So now we know FIVE of Elisha!s kids: Thomas, Sally, Nancy, Elisha, Jr., and Mary Livingston (died 1791). There MAY have been other children: Champion, James, and Nathan.

LEGAL DESCRIPTION OF LAND THAT WAS INVOLVED IN LAWSUIT
from Robbie Sue Farris Glover research

“This indenture made this 9th day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty three between John S. Martin of Scott County and State of Virginia for and on behalf of Elisha Faris, Thomas Faris, Sally Faris and Nancy Faris, heirs of Elisha Faris, deceased, non residents of the said State of the one part and George Ewing of the said County of Scott and State of Virginia of the other part, witnesseth that whereas by a decree in chancery of the worshipful the court of said county made and prounced on the 16th day of August last in a suit between the heirs of James Osborne deceased, Complainant and the heirs of Elisha Faris deceased, defts.

It was decreed that the said John S. Martin should convey the thirty acres of land in the bill mentioned with special warranty against himself and his heirs, to George Ewing, the present owner
.. as his decree his title from the complts. through purchase made by John Wood and others, the said tract containing thirty acres … by the same more or less and beginning at a iron wood sugar tree and dogwood on the south side of Moquison Creek and turning thence …. ….. poles to a stake ??? crossing the creek, thence 1015 E12 poles to a white oak thence north 46 poles to a stake on an ——- line thence with the same 1052 …. 20 poles to a white oak corner to William Howerton … land thence S s E 97 poles to two white oaks sapplings on a gravely spruce S 23′ .. 23 poles to a smal white oak in a hollow SC E 30 poles to a sugar tree walnut and white oak on the bank of the Creek William Howerton’s Spring. then up the creek and crossing the same 13 poles to the Beginning.

Now therefore I the said John S. Martin by virtue of the authority aforesaid do hereby convey to the said George Ewing the said above described of thirty acres of land be the same or more or less with its appurtenance to him the said George Ewing, his heirs and assigns forever to his and the.. only ….. us and behoof, and the said John S. Martin for himself and his heirs and by virtue of the said decree, doth hereby covenant and agree to /with the said George Ewing … his heirs that he the said John S. Martin and his heirs, the s… tract or parcel of land shall and will warrant and forever defend against himself and heirs.

In witness whereof the said John S. Martin as commission under the decree aforesaid hath hereto subscribed his name and affixed his seal the day and year first above written.
John S. Martin, Coms. SEAL

Virginia

At a Court held for Scott County the 9th day of September 1823, this indenture of bargain and sale …. John S. Martin coms’er on behalf of the heirs of Elisha Faris deceased to George Ewing was acknowledged in Court by the said Martin to be his act and deed and ordered to be recorded.
Teste John S. Martin, D.C.”

Other historical notes of interest

1 Apr 1765 Charlotte Co. VA: Marriage Bond. Jno. Vaughn, bondsman. States that Mary was the daughter of Thomas Vaughn and she signs her own consent.

1767 Tithed as Elijah, Pittsylvania Co. VA. (Elijah born 1761 in Halifax Co. VA)
16 Feb 1771 Patented 400A, Pittsylvania Co. VA, on Fly Blow creek.

9 Nov 1771 Halifax Co. VA, DB 8, p. 330: Elisha Faris boundary in deed of William Broughill & Sarah, his wife, of Antrim Parish, Halifax to John East of Camden & County of Pittsylvania, 100 acres south branch Brush Cr. Rec. 19 Mar. 1772.

12 Jan 1775 Pittsylvania Co. VA, DB 4, p. 140: Elisha Farris, Alex’r Donelson, Thomas Vaughan & John Buckley wit deed of John Clever to James Buckley, about 400 acres in Halifax Co. on Buffalo Cr. bounded by Luke Smith, March Banks. Rec. 25 May 1775.

11 Mar 1775 Pittsylvania Co. VA, DB 4, p. 345: wit deed of John Clever to Wm. Lynch.. Rec. 26 Jun 1777.

6 Feb 1777 Pittsylvania Co. VA, DB 4, p. 290: Elisha Faris (Farris) of Pittsylvania Co. to Robert (Robertson) Farguson of Pittsylvania for 65 pounds, about 100 acres bounded by Hickeys Road, Clever, Flyblow Cr., William Todd, a corner near the house, Brewes, a corner pine near the Muster Ground. Signed: Elisha Farris. Wit: Ben Lankford, John Buckley, John George, Robert (+ his mark) Bruce. Rec. 27 Feb. 1777.

8 Dec 1777 Pittsylvania Co. VA, DB 4, p. 475: John Clever of Pittsylvania Co. to Thomas Tunstall of Halifax Co., for 400 pounds, all that tract of land whereon the said John Clever now lives, containing about 465 acres, being the land that the said John Clever purchased of Elisha Faris, and bounded as by deed from the said Elisha Faris to the said John Clever is expressed. Signed: John Clever. Wit: R. Farguson, Millicent Farguson, Milli Farguson. Rec. 26 Mar. 1778.

1782 Tax Roll, Lincoln Co. VA (KY)

21 Feb 1784 Washington Co. VA – Survey, Elisha Farris 116 acres Mockison Creek. (Another researcher says a Moses Farris did this survey) Also listed on 23 Jan. 1783 is a survey for Moses Pharis, 114 acres on Moccasin Creek).

1787 Tax List Lincoln Co. VA (KY) Listed with Johnson & Cager (Micajah). This MAY have been this Elisha, who then returned to Virginia where he was killed in 1791.

1791 Edward Farris qualifies as Administrator of the estate of Elisha Farris, killed by Indians near Gate City, Virginia (Bk. 1, p. 239- Russell County).

1791 Appraisers appointed for estate (Bk 1, p. 240)

27 Sep 1791 On motion of Edward Faris, Administration is granted him on the estate of Elisha Faris, deceased, whereupon he together with Champ Faris, his security, entered into bond in the penalty of 400 pounds, as the law directs.

27 Sep 1791 Estate of Elisha transferred: 116 acres on both sides of Moccasin Creek to James Osborn. 116 acres granted unto Elisha Faris by patent date of 14 June 1787. Mentions 3 white oak north side Crabtree branch N 56 degrees W 61 poles to a white oak. “Elisha was paid 150 pounds in his lifetime.” Edward Faris signed. Filed same date (Osborn was one of the county commissioners)

August 1792 Ordered that John Tate and James Gibson settle with Edward Faris, adm. of the estate of Elisha Faris, deceased, and return account therof (Bk 2, p. 23 Law Order Books, Russell County).

1792 & 1793 “Eliche” has 200 taxable acres; 1794 No record

5 Aug 1796 Lee Co. VA, DB 1, p. 63: Edward Farris of Lincoln Co. KY, sells 200 acres in Moccasin Gap to Champion Farris of Russell Co. VA. (copy of original deed. Could this have been Elisha’s land?)

“Virginia Genealogist” Vol. 25, No. 1, 1980 – BRITISH MERCANTILE CLAIMS 1775 – 1803
The books show indebtedness in the entries as follows, for Elisha Farris, with the remarks that he had removed from Pittsylvania and Halifax Counties, VA, to “somewhere on the Clinch River, where he was killed by Indians.” Further remarks said his family was now in KY and “are probably able to pay”.

Halifax Store – 29 Jun 1773 – 2 pounds, 8 shillings, 8 pence
Halifax Store – Dec 1773 – bond at 12 pounds, 9 shillings, 6 pence.
Pittsylvania Store – 25 Dec 1773 – 12 pounds, 2 shillings
Pittsylvania Store – 1774 – 5 pounds, 3 shillings, 6 pence
17 Apr 1818 Washington Co. VA Nancy Farris married Harry Garnett

References: Tax Lists Lincoln Co. KY
ANNALS OF SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA – Summers
Published Deed Abstracts from Halifax Co. VA
VIRGINIA TAX PAYERS – Fothergill & Naugle
Photocopy of original marriage bond and consent from Charlotte Co. VA
(6/28/96-skm)

FARRIS BLOCK-HOUSE NEAR ESTILLVILLE, LOCATION OF ELISHA’S TAVERN?

Excerpt from THE VIRGINIA TOURIST, “Sketches of the Springs and Mountains of Virginia”, by Edward A. Pollard, Published by J.B. Lippincott & Co. 1870, in Philadelphia

“Five miles from Estillville, and on the road by which we approached it from Bristol, are the ruins of a block-house which protected the early settlers; and a fearful story yet clings to a spring within the limits of the village, where a family of the name of FARRIS perished under the tomahawks of the savages, their blood dying the waters of the brook.”

The passage goes on to describe a point west of this location ran the “thoroughfare through which the tribes inhabiting the Rockcastle hills, in the wilderness of Kentucky, passed to the old settlements of Virgina. Not far from here, too, was the range of the celebrated Cherokee chief, ‘Dragon Canoe,’ [should read Dragging Canoe] worthy to be ranked with Tecumseh or Osceola in courage or skill, and who suffered a defeat fatal to his tribe in 1776, at the battle of the Great Island in the Holston River.”

Note: Robbie Sue Farris Glover has located Elisha Farris’s homeplace. It is in Gate City, Virginia. A very large sign stands at the spot where Elisha Sr. was killed. It is at the corner of a Pizza Inn.

Based on the above Elisha Farris’s death, along with some of his family, occurred in Gate City, Virginia, adjacent to the present day Pizza Inn.

There were two different “Mrs. Livingstons”, one of which was a Farris daughter of Elisha who was killed, along with her parents. The other Mrs. Livingston survived her attack.

The heirs of Elisha, mentioned in 1823 Scott Co. lawsuit were listed in one passage as “children & heirs.” In addition to those children mentioned in the lawsuit there is evidence that Edward Farris may have been a son of Elisha.

After the death of the parents Edward administered Elisha’s estate. He took the younger children to Lincoln County, Kentucky where his grandfather, James Esom Farris, lived and consented (later) for Nancy to marry Nimrod Farris. The relationship as “father” to Nancy comes from a typed list that is inaccurate. The original record does not show Edward as father to Nancy Farris.

There is a close relationship between Edward, Elisha (Jr.) and Champion Farris. Robbie Sue Farris Glover maintains that Champion is a possible brother to Edward and Elisha Jr.

 
Here is another account of the Massacre at Moccasin Gap of Clinch mountain by Emory L. Hamilton:

Pendleton and McDowell, Farris and Wharton Families Killed

From the unpublished manuscript, Indian Atrocities Along the Clinch, Powell and Holston Rivers, pages 211-218.

On October 6, 1791, (1) Henry Smith, County Lieutenant of Russell Co., VA, wrote to Governor Randolph, the following:

Immediately on the receipt of your Excellency’s instruction of the 25th of April, 1791, I gave orders to the commanding officers of the companies to raise their proportion of 50 men, which I judged absolutely necessary for our defense, but not one man would serve. The approaching expected peace, to be made the last of May with the Cherokees, seemed to look with a favorable aspect on troubled country.

I, not willing to trust my own judgment called a council of officers, whereupon it was advised to be unnecessary to order any more men until it was known whether the Indians would accept the terms of peace offered them at the expected treaty. After this we remained tolerable peaceful, except some horses stolen, till about the last of August, when part of two families were killed; (Pendleton & McDowell), the week following (early September) Elisha Farris and three of his family were killed, and his daughter, a young woman, was taken prisoner. About a fortnight ago, James Wharton, Esq., and his family was killed, and a Negro taken prisoner.

In this unhappy situation I cannot raise a man in this county for its defense. No man is willing, nor, I believe, can be forced to strip his unguarded family, equally exposed to dangers, of the only help and comfort they have in himself, to defend others more distant, but less dear to his natural feelings.

A very considerable part of the country is at this time, instead of taking up arms to defend themselves, employed in moving their families to the interior parts of the country, out of reach of savage cruelty…

In the foregoing letter Colonel Smith points up the understandable reluctance of the settlers to abandon their own families to serve in the militia as common defenders of all. Undoubtedly the killings mentioned in his letter were perpetrated by the cunning half-breed Indian Chief Benge, for at this time he was leading most of the forays against the settlers. Benge was an uncanny cunning and cruel savage, using secret routes to fall upon the unsuspecting settlers, hurriedly committing his atrocious murders and then vanishing into the wilderness over routes exceedingly hard to find or follow.

The Elisha Farris family lived on Moccasin Creek a short distance fro the present town of Gate City. Although much closer in time than many of the other massacre, I have not been able to determine the names of those slain or the details, nor the name of the daughter taken prisoner and her ultimate fate.

Of the James Wharton family not a lot more is known than that of the Farris family, and just where his descendants emigrated to is unknown to this writer. James Wharton had settled on a large tract of land lying on the south side of Clinch River, near, and below Moore’s Fort in Castlewood in the year 1769, at the time of the first settlers in this area. He had lived through twenty-two years of Indian raids before finally being killed, just three years before the last Indian raid on Southwest Virginia. He seems to have been a highly respected personage always referred to as “Esquire”, a term of esteem and respect as then used. Just the year before he had been one of the appraisers of the estate of his neighbor Thomas Osborne, whose home was visible from his own, and just across a narrow valley on one of the beautiful blue grass hills of lower Castlewood, who had suffered the same fate as the Wharton family.

Tradition has it that a woman had been hired by Mrs. Wharton to do some weaving and was at work in the loom house, which was slightly east of the Wharton home, when she looked out a small window in the loom house and saw the Indian approaching. She crawled through the window and started running across a field where she met a man riding by the name of Smith. Mounting the horse behind him they rode away to Moore’s fort, two mile distant to get help. A company of men accompanied Smith back to the Wharton home where they found the family murdered.

Early records shed no light on the number of people killed in the Wharton family, and little is known of the early life of James Wharton other than that his wife was named Margaret, (2) and that he had a daughter named Margaret who married William Robinson, Jr., (3) and a son named William whose wife was named Jemima. (4)

The Wharton heirs sold their home place to Stephen Gose on the 5th of January, 1799, (5) probably shortly thereafter leaving the area and no known descendants live in the area today.

A small stream running down to Clinch River at Burton’s Ford is still known as “Wharton’s Branch” and local residents still refer to the farm as the “Wharton Lands.”

James Wharton was one of the first Constables of Washington Co., VA, being appointed to that office on the second day of the meeting of that body on the 29th of January, 1777.

Ramsey’s, Annals of Tennessee, page 557, states: “In 1791, on the Russell County side of Moccasin Gap, Mrs. McDowell and Frances Pendleton were killed and scalped.”

A letter from James W. Phillips of Farmersville, Texas dated 25th of April, 1964, to the writer: Now I shall give you the data that I have on the Indian raid:

My first knowledge of the raid came from a note of W. P. Bickley, (a grandson of William and Jane Kilgore Bickley) in which he stated that Allison Pendleton told a story of Reuben Pendleton and a sister involved in an Indian raid. My mother talked to a granddaughter of Reuben’s, a Mrs. Wells, who lived here, and she told her that she knew that her grandfather’s hand was injured as a result of an arrow wound. Mrs. Wells (Patience Pendleton) lived with her grandfather until her marriage and removal to Texas, a short time before the Civil War. She was very old when my mother talked to her and did not recall many things. She was a great disappointment to us all for she surely knew more than she communicated.

This letter from my grandfather, written in 1885, next came to light. I do not quote all of it because it is of little interest, relates who his parents were and something about the Civil War:

Farmersville, Texas
October 19, 1885

Mr. C. H. Pendleton
Berkley Springs, VA

Dear Sir:
Your favor 30th Sept. Rec’d. I herewith hand you as best I can, claims of relationship. First, my grandfather John Pendleton of Scott County, Virginia, a minister of the Gospel for fifty years (of the Methodist persuasion ) emigrated to Texas in 1858. Died two years later here. Had eight sons. Five came to Texas in ’57 or ’58. Three have since died, my father being one, one other lives here, the other one in Jack County. Another Ivey T. Pendleton lives in Boonesville, Kentucky. Jackson and H. K. Pendleton live in Scott County, Virginia, Rye Cove, P. O. My grandfather had a half-brother Reuben Pendleton, older than himself.

When I was twelve years of age, I well remember my old great uncle “Rube” reiterate instances of his boyhood. He died twenty-five years ago at an age of 90 years. An indelible occurrence with Uncle Reuben was when a boy of 12 or 15 years old. He and his sister went to an old peach orchard to get fruit. But few settlers in that country. While gathering peaches the Indians crept stealthily up and demanded their surrender. Old Uncle Reuben, then a boy, seeing them seize his sister, took flight and made his escape, pursued even to the yard fence. When he sprang over the fence, threw up one hand and received a severe wound in the hand from an arrow (the orchard being some six hundred yards from their house.) An improvised scout was at once summoned and pursued the hostiles, two or three days, but returned without the rescue of his sister – however, the young girl strewed many strips of her apron, bonnet and dress, that the party in pursuit might know she was alive and they were on the right trail.

Mr. Phillips continues:
This is an official report from William Blount to the War Department. It was first printed in 1831. It could have been printed earlier in a newspaper, but I have not located the earlier printing, if there was one. I requested a copy of the original from the National Archives, but it is missing from that place.

Washington District

(1) Mrs. McDowell, killed 23 August 1791, near Moccasin Gap, Clinch Mountain by the Bench (Benge) who has attached himself to the Shawnees.
(2) Frances Pendleton, killed August 23, 1791.
(3) Reuben Pendleton, wounded August 23, 1791.
(4) Mrs. Pendleton, prisoner August 23, 1791.
(5) A boy, eight years old, prisoner, August 23, 1791.

(American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, page 331).

This is also told in Haywood’s History of Tennessee (1826). Also substantially the same in Goodpasture’s History of the Indian Wars.

John T. Moore, Tennessee, The Volunteer State, Vol. 1, page 228, reads:

His (Bob Benge’s) first enterprise in this quarter was undertaken in the summer of 1791. Notwithstanding the treaty of July 2nd, on August 23rd he startled the settlements in the neighborhood of Moccasin Gap of Clinch mountain, by a sudden and unexpected assault on the house of the McDowells and Pendletons. Mrs. William McDowell and Frances Pendleton, the seventeen year old daughter of Benjamin Pendleton, were killed and scalped. Reuben Pendleton was wounded, and Mrs. Pendleton and a boy of eight years of age were carried into captivity.

This last is a rewrite of Haywood. I add that the paragraph in Haywood sounds to me as if Haywood lifted it from a contemporary newspaper account of the raid. Although Haywood could have interviewed Reuben.

I think the location of the raid incorrect, or rather vague. Benjamin Pendleton came to Southwest Virginia in 1782 or early 1783; he is on the tax list for 1783 and was living in the Ft. Blackmore area. He had a survey for 70 acres of land on the Clinch in 1784. This land was originally granted Alexander Ritchie, Sr., and confirmed in a grant to Benjamin Pendleton in 1793. The exact location of his house is not known, but his seventy acres included an island int he Clinch, which island today on the U. S. Geological Survey map is shown as Pendleton’s Island.

A note before I get further lost. Reuben Pendleton died March 3, 1860, 86 years old, according to his tombstone. My grandfather was some 4 years in error giving Reuben’s age.

I have some misgivings about Frances Pendleton being the daughter of Benjamin Pendleton. I have even suspected that Frances was Mrs. William McDowell. My reason for doubting the relationship of Frances to Benjamin is based upon a single unsolvable fact. Reuben Pendleton sold land in 1826 which had been granted an Edmund Pendleton in 1799 and there is no recorded transfer of this land from Edmund to Reuben. It would appear that Reuben inherited the land from Edmund. The above named John Pendleton who is said by my grandfather to have been the half brother of Reuben is the only child of Benjamin Pendleton of whom there is any recorded proof of relationship. There are two deeds in Russell County which prove this relationship. There was a relationship between Edmund, Benjamin, Reuben and John, but the degree of relationship between Benjamin and John only can be established. I doubt my grandfather’s statement because it would have been quite simple for him to have missed a generation in his calculation; for my grandfather was reared by his grandfather and was quite near the same age as the youngest uncles and aunts – his own first cousins thought my grandfather their uncle. I think that Benjamin, Reuben and Frances were the children of Edmund, but I cannot prove it; I have only the unexplained land of Reuben. And since Reuben was never taxed for land nor was Edmund, it will probably have to rest there. The knowledge of their relationship comes from a letter written by A. J. Pendleton (a son of John) in 1885 in which he stated he was the son of John Pendleton. Benjamin and Edmund Pendleton died 10 miles from here. Reuben died here (Rye Cove). I could never decide where 10 miles from Rye Cove was. This letter was a reply to an inquiry concerning the family. In this letter A. J., also wrote that he came from Amherst County.

The earliest comprehensive history of the Pendleton family was written in 1858. In that history a note concerning the four eldest sons of William Pendleton of Amherst County, states that the wife and some of the children of either Benjamin, Edmund, John, or Isaac, were captured by the Indians and never heard of again.

(1) Virginia State Papers, Vol. V, page 375.
(2) Russell Co., VA, Order Book 2, page 283.
(3) Deed Book 3, page 25 and Deed Book 2, page 68, Russell Co., VA.
(4) Russell Co., VA Order Book 2, page 283.
(5) Ibid.

NOTE: Benjamin Pendleton is also shown in the 1784 tithable list of Captain Alexander Barnett’s Company of Russell Co., VA, and both Benjamin and Edmund Pendleton are listed in the 1784 tithables in the company of Samuel Ritchie. This latter will also place them in the Dungannon-Ft. Blackmore area.

This story is also told in the Red Book “The Pendleton’s of England and America” – 1988 and confirms above story of indian raid and loss of life of Frances Pendleton, brother Reuben wounded and their mother Fanny kidnapped.

                 ____________________________________________________________

Elisha Farris’ father was James Esom Farris Sr who was born  1722 in North Carolina and died  14 June 1814 in Lincoln County, Kentucky.  His mother was Susanna Luellen Malcolm who was born 1725 in Lunnenberg County, Virginia and died  June 1814 in Lincoln County, Kentucky. James Esom and Susanna Farris had a large family of children: William Farris, James Eson Farris  1744 – 1814, Elisha Farris 1745 – 1791, Isaac Farris 1746 – 1826, John Esom Farris 1746 – 1826, Nathan Farris 1746 – 1788, Isham Farris 1751 – 1848, Elizabeth Farris 1756 – 1842, Moses Farris 1759 – 1841, Johnson Farris 1768 – 1840, Major Washington Farris ca 1770 – 1850, Micajah Farris 1772 – 1832, Bede Farris born circa 1773, Susanna Farris born circa 1775  and William Farris 1778 – 1853. This family was associated with the Wilderness Trail in Kentucky and were early settlers in the area.
 
Elisha Farris’ father was Henry Farris born 1670 in Little, Roanoke, Virginia and who died 1761 in Richmond, Wise County, Virginia. His mother was Alicia McGuiver who was born  1673 in Glomorozon, Wales and who died 1744 in Lunenberg, Virginia. Henry and Alicia Farris had the following children: Henry Farris ?– 1730, Thomas Farris 1709 – 1797, William Farris 1714 – 1754, Judith Farris 1715 – 1811, James Esom Farris Sr 1722 – 1814, Joseph Farris 1725 – 1816, Charles Farris 1728 – 1810, Elisha Farris 1729, Jacob Farris 1729 – 1815 and John Esom Farris 1752 – 1826.
 
Henry Farris’ father was Ian Esom Farris. Ian Esom Farris was from Rutherglen, Scotland and was born circa 3 July 1640. This is where the FARRIS (FARIE) people lived for 600 years before emigrating to Albemarle Settlement, North Carolina in 1663. (from “A Partial Genealogy of the Farris Family,” by John Farris McGauhey, Jr of Dallas, Texas. His mother was Emily Jane Cameron who was born  Birth 1643 in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland and who died 1695 in Little, Roanoke, Virginia.  The children of Ian Esom and Jane Farris were: Isaac Farris born circa 1662, Samuel Farris born circa 1667, Isaac Farris born circa 1668, Henry Farris 1670 – 1761, Peter Farris 1672 – 1766 and William Farris born circa 1672.  Ian Esom Farris was the Farris progenitor in America.
 
Farris springs from Ferrex. This is an old name in Wales and Lower Scotland. Rutherglen is the old homeplace from 1000 A.D. until the necessary migration to the old (not but) colonies to escape royal persecution. Farrises are of Royal Danish, Royal Wales, and Royal French (Vayres or Fer) origin also. There are English Royal ancestors. Farris family members are descendants of King David of Israel down from Pharez (an iron forger of the Holy Temple of THE LORD. The Tribe of Judah is the Farris tribe).Again the old homeplace in Scotland Descendants of Ferris & Farris families of Henrico and Lunenburg Counties Virginia ca 1750 carry I1a haplogoup
in Scotland is Rutherglen . . .also known as Camelod (Camelot) (from the Chronicles of Britain). King Arthur’s uncle and father are buried there. The Brits have found the marked graves. King Arthur is a family member through France (Breton relatives the De Ganis or Fer, also d’Albret [for Breton]). He and his knights are ancestors (Fer = De Ganis)( also Morgan = Blamore De Ganis). Baldwin de Fer is an ancestor to link to.All those wondering about the Ferrers link. . .this is it. Ferrex is pronounced Ferresh. Farris is the french pronunciation from a resettlement by David I of Scotland of the French Vayres to the old homeplace to keep the bloodlines. By the way “Henrico” is his favorite son’s name. Ian Essom (read that “Essene”) Farris landed in North Carolina on the bottom region of Henrico to help guard Varina. Turkey Island in the James River area is his home. North Carolina is his death place.
                ________________________________________________________
 
And so December 14th is the day to celebrate Ian Esom Farris’ descendant, Alfred Franklin Farris’, birthday, his 80th birthday. His birthday was celebrated by his family and numbered about one hundred close friends in the crowd. His children and family made the day memorable for sure. There was a party, cake, photo, a scrapbook of cherished memories and photos, and a couple of videos as well. It is hoped that the family and their large number of relatives and descendants enjoy this article.
 
Just be cautioned that there will be errors that need to be corrected, but the overall treatise is the tracing of roots that family members can enjoy for generations to come. Unless some spelling errors were overlooked, the spelling is as contained in the original documents. Please feel free to post any additions, corrections, or omissions as comments.
 

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Surnames…

and given names as far as that goes, often are changed, misspelled, incorrectly written, incorrectly reported and just plain changed from family unit to family unit. If you are into family history, you learn this first thing. It is Genealogy 101. Sometimes, in my case, you learn it over and over and over and over again.

In family documents, on family photos, on marriage licenses, and in government records variant spellings of names, surnames and given names, are incorrect and sometimes butchered. And from record to record with information provided by the SAME person, names are different. I will provide illustrations of this in my own family history.

There was Grandpa Dick on my maternal side. Nowhere did his name appear as Dick Peebles. So, aunts discovered him on one census in the early 1900s listing himself as Richard Peoples. Exhaustive research of all those who were then still living proved no help. Family members kept reciting, well we always called him “Grandpa Dick.” Nope, he was not Dick, or Richard, or anything remotely resembling either. He was George Henry Peebles. That is not even to mention that the Peebles name was given as Peblis, Peeples, Peoples, Peoplis, Peebles, and other incoherent variations. DNA testing proved that we are matches to descendants of ALL the various spellings of the surname.

Another example is my great-grandpa McGregor on my paternal side. Grandpa McGregor, as we called him, buried Grandma McGregor as a McGregor. They died about a year apart. The children buried Grandpa McGregor as a Gregory. I can testify that he would have hated that. Various factions of the family called themselves McGregor while others called themselves Gregory, and possibly others called themselves Gregor. I had always considered our name spelled as MacGregor because I know that we are of Scot descent. Some cousins on the McGregor side even called themselves McGregor and then changed their names to Gregory as adults. Each side would bristle when the ‘other’ name was mentioned.

And do not even get me started on my given name. Even family members have misspelled it. My grandson asked his Mom when he was in school if he could drop the ‘h’ from his given name Zach because even some of his teachers were spelling it with a ‘k’ as in Zack.  The first lesson a salesperson learns is that a person’s name is important to them; they are instructed to call the person by name – and do it often.

A succinct example would be a descendant who contacted me about an article published at Remembering the Shoals. The article was about Ned Hays. I was informed that the name was spelled Hayes. My response to the Hayes descendant was sincere in that there was never any intention to insult anyone; rather, the intention was to inform about ancestors and to share the info so those who thought it important could preserve it and the photo. If I recall correctly, the name was first spelled as Hays in America; but it has certainly been spelled both ways by family members. The 1910 Census record and the 1920 Census Record that is in the photo below indicate what I mean:

1920 Census Record for Sallie and Charly N Hays

1920 Census Record for Sallie and Charly N Hays, Page 4 of 16, Dickson, Colbert County, Alabama. They lived on Riverton Road.

To be clear, Charles Nathaniel Hays’ name on his gravemarker is given as C. N. Hayes. He lived from 1885-1935. The senior Hayes is buried at Riverton Cemetery. His son’s name on his gravemarker is Charlie N Hayes. He lived from 1885-1977 and is buried at Margerum Cemetery.

The surname has been spelled by different family/descendants over the centuries both ways. So, for the most part, when I find a photo, the name associated with it is spelled the way it is spelled associated with the photo. Variations in spelling surnames may be for many reasons: the government official taking the information from the person may have spelled it incorrectly; the person writing it spelled it incorrectly; the name may be wrong because the census taker, for example, may use phonetics to spell it the way it is pronounced since the person relaying the information may not have been able to read or write; or maybe all parties had it wrong.

Please know that my intention was not to upset family, but to provide the family members with memories of their ancestors. I sincerely hope that everyone who reads the articles knows that; and knows that articles are based upon research that is as accurate as the records that have been preserved. Human error is always possible, as well. Any correction, input, additions, or more photos are always welcome. Just email them to us at rememberingtheshoals@gmail.com.


Uh huh. Likely pair…

of wife beaters…ya think? Most anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to become a DAD.

Likely pair of wife beaters...ya think?


He is such a good little photographer…

just look at the magic that happened when he snapped this family portrait with his new camera Santa brought him for Christmas last year. Yep. That’s my little Logan. He is the Loganator. Gotta love him.

Vogue! Strike a pose.

If you look closely, our Taylor Anne Sledge is in the background and  happy playing with what Santa brought for her.


Come here. Come here.

C-o-o-ome here.

You see my one good eye, well it is focused on you. Would you help make Remembering the Shoals successful by posting photos and/or memories on here or on the Official Facebook page entitled: Remembering the Shoals? 
 

Everyone seems to really enjoy the little tidbits of info that only friends and family can add.

Mother’s Day is Sunday. Would you please post photos of your Mother at Remembering the Shoals and a little something something about her. For those of us whose mother’s are no longer here, this holiday is a sad time. Perhaps a little something posted that is uplifting would be in order for those. Would you also post a photo of your Mother as your profile picture on Facebook?
 
Also, Memorial Day is around the corner. Please join our campaign of WTF: Wave The Flag. So, here is our request. That on Mother’s Day you post a photo of your Mom, on Father’s  Day you post a photo of your Dad, and on Memorial Day post a photo of an American flag (or your military hero)_and a little story with it. Would you also post a photo of a flag as your profile picture on Facebook for Memorial Day and a photo of your Dad for Father’s Day as your profile picture?
 
For example, as one of Logan’s work folders he was required to do things that would teach him about patriotism. One of the tasks was to take photos of 50 flags. Well, he (with a little help) found a place where there were fifty flags displayed. He did take photos of other flags, though. There have been discussions about America and how we need to show we are proud to be an American.
 
Well, they were at Subway in Cherokee after a t-ball game. He was in line with his Dad to place an order. He told his Dad that he could tell the man in front of them was patriotic. His Dad, asked how did he know that. Logan answered, “I know he is patriotic because he ordered American cheese for his sandwich.”
 
Now, did that make you smile? It did me; it still does. Logan’s Ghee said to me, “I think the lesson about patriotism has been mastered.” It is little tidbits like this that will be remembered and hopefully, if we document them they will be cherished for generations.
 

The Littlest Patriots…

will be coming your way.

These cards have been ordered. They are on their way. Please be kind to the little one who will be asking for your help.

Logan Sledge, the Littlest Patriot of them all, will be soliciting your signature for his WAVE THE FLAG cards. He is only five but try to tell him that. He thinks it is a part of a Work Folder from his GG, that would be me,  to earn him a big surprise. We won’t tell him that it is really a learning tool to teach him about his country, love for his country, and love for his flag.  He takes these Work Folders seriously. Don’t be surprised if he asks you to WAVE THE FLAG as well -  literally.  And, well if you feel silly doing it,  so what?

This is a small part of our first annual WAVE THE FLAG event. Please take it to heart and be a part of this patriotic outpouring. Logan will not be shy about coming up to you. Make him proud. We hope all the little patriots and big patriots will participate. Below is a graphic showing you what the card will look like on the front and back. He will ask you to sign the back. Ten signatures are required for each card. Ten cards are required to fulfill this part of the Work Folder. He will have fifteen more cards that he is not required to get signatures on, but if he should happen to get all twenty-five cards signed without repeating signatures, then bless his heart, he will be surprised at the big surprise he will have earned – but he has to complete all the parts to the Work Folder before he gets his big surprise.

Just FYI, another part of the Work Folder will be to sell THANK YOU cards for you to send to our favorite heroes, those brave men and women serving in our military, or who have served in our military. The specifics of that have not been worked out yet.

The Littlest Patriots


Half the population of Cherokee…

must have been at the Patrick famiy reunion.

Patrick Family Reunion

Thomas Sparks is currently overseas serving our country.


Ned Hays and his family…

vintage 1901. Ned is pictured with his new wife and his five sons.  They lived at Chickasaw in Colbert County, Alabama. Chickasaw was renamed Riverton and many Hays descendants live there today. Still others live in Cherokee and on the other side of  US Highway 72 in the county. The spelling of the name varies in documents over the span of years; sometimes it is spelled Hays and other times it is spelled Hayes. Historically, the name was Hayes and then some of the surname started going by Hays here in America.

Charles Nathaniel Ned Hays Family 1901 in Chickasaw Alabama 

Information  from the book “Hays-Hayes Kinfolk and Allied Families”  authored by Cora Isbell and published in 1976 states:

Our  family line Hays/Hayes decends from Jesse Hays a resident of Lauderdale County, Alabama (approx. 1830-1845?) later he moved to Franklin (now Colbert) County, Alabama (1845) where he died around 1859. his father was Kinchen Hays of Northampton County, North Carolina for which our information is very sketchy.

Jesse Hays worked as a tutor to the Wilcox (Wilcoxson) family and married one of the daughters. He was married to Sarah Ann Wilcoxson, and known children are:

  • Eliza Ann (born about 1836) Lauderdale County, Alabama
  • Sylvia Bell born April 7, 1837  Lauderdale County, Alabama                                                                                   
  • Mary S. born July 9, 1839 Lauderdale County, Alabama
  • Henry D. (Richard) abt. 1842
  • John Jesse born Aug 3, 1844 Lauderdale or Franklin
  • Isaac D. abt. 1847 (Died as Child?)
  • Edward Tustin April 15, 1856 in Franklin County, Alabama USA

Before Cora Isbell died she found proof that Jesse Hays born ca 1803 was the son of Kinchen Hays and Sylva Bell Hays, daughter of Samuel Bell of Northampton County, North Carolina. A deed in Lauderdale County, Alabama from Mary Parker to “my grandson Jesse Hays” identifies her as widow of Samuel Parker of Northampton County, North Carolina.  Mary was a Kinchen before she married  to Samuel. When Kinchen died in 1805 Jesse and brother Cornelious were wards of Darius Parker. When he died they were made wards of Josiah Parker. Sylva remarried Henry Sauls. Some of these families moved to Alabama.

Mary Dawson Kinchen was married twice. Her husbands were Arthur Hays and Samuel Parker. Arthur Hayes was Kinchen Hays’ father. Kinchen Hays was Jesse H. Hays’ father. Mary Dawson Kinchen’s mother was a Dawson.

Arthur Hays was born 1750 in Pennsylvania and died in North Carolina in 1833.  Quite a number of Hays children were born around 1750 in Pennsylvania, according to the American Biographical and Genealogical Index. A partial list of those listed as born were: Asa, Ada, Andrew, Archibald, Charles, David, Enoch, Elizabeth, George, Henry, Hugh, Jacob, James, John, Jonathan, Joseph, Koper, Magdalen, Margaret, Nathan, Nathaniel, Mordecai, Samuel, Solomon and the list goes on.

Current research gives Jesse H Hays’ family of children as follows: Henry D Hayes 1835 – 1868, Elizabeth Ann Hayes 1836 –  , Mary S Hayes 1837 –  , Sylvia Bell Hays 1838 – 1912, Charles Richard Hayes 1841 –   , John Jesse Hays 1844 – 1924, Isaac D Hayes 1847 –   , Edward Tustin Hayes 1856 – 1933.

Edward Tustin Hays was born 1856 in Riverton, Colbert County, Alabama. He married Mary Isabelle Strong in Nov of 1882.  Mary Isabelle Strong was born 1866. Ed died in 1933 and Mary died in 1956. Together they had the following children:  William Jesse Hays 1885 –  , Callie Laurine Hays 1887 –  ,Wiley Lester Hays 1887 –   , Mertie Bell Hays 1888 –  , Thadius Hays 1891 –   , Amos Franklin Hayes 1894 –  , Elmer Hays 1896 –  , Dossie B Hays 1900 – 1962, Dorey Hays 1900 –  , Maud Maudie Hays 1900 –  , and Richard I L Hays 1906 –   .

Dossie Bell Hays married Caledonia Donia Bell Hall. Known children are: May Bell Hays 1925-1981 and Annie Olean 1927-1966.

Hays or Hayes descendants are numerous throughout the Shoals area.


Sweet Taylor Anne…

is in ECM Hospital with pneumonia and severe dehydration. Her Mom says she is pitiful and that breaks my heart. Logan has strep throat and asthma problems now. The whole family has been sick with a stomach virus for what seems like forever. Taylor Anne Sledge is just one.

Taylor Anne Sledge


Hello Soldier, I am your brother…

Hillard and this is our little sister Alice.

Somehow it was always Alice who got into trouble, perhaps it was because Hillard just wouldn’t agree to punishment. Alice was in charge of seeing that her young brother got home in a timely manner from school – and herself for that matter. That must not have been an easy task because so much seemed to peak his interest. That particular afternoon the  trek home from the schools across town seemed particularly harrowing for Alice.

Hillard MurrayShe recounted the story of that afternoon and it seemed a movie was playing in her head as she relived the events of that unforgettable day. It was a day in early September of 1945. She was but nine years old, or almost for her birthday was in December. She was exasperated with her brother because she was sure that he would get her into trouble with his lollygagging.  After all the past is prologue.

Something had caught her brother’s attention further down the sidewalk in downtown Sheffield that particular day. He hurried to the store down the street.  I am sure she must have tapped those little feet and let out a few breaths of aggravation as she insisted that they go on down the road toward home; he refused to budge. Hillard later said it was a soldier with an Army duffel bag going down the street and then into the store.

When they reached the grocery store just a few blocks before the train tracks, Hillard stopped dead in his tracks. His little nose was pressed against the windowpane of the storefront window. Alice must have thought aloud and asked, what now?

World War II had just ended. Then, Alice noticed there was a soldier in there. The soldier was drinking a Coke. Alice noticed Hillard’s gaze go up to the soldier’s mouth  (and his little nose go up on the windowpane) as the soldier lifted the Coke bottle to his mouth, and then down as he lowered the bottle and its precious contents to the table again. Again. Again. And again. Alice nagged at him to come on,  let’s go home; but to him she was all but  invisible. All that mattered was that Coke bottle and the path it took from table to mouth, from mouth to table.

But then, she noticed something else. Maybe it was the soldier’s gold tooth that had her brother in awe of the young man in uniform. Not that the little boy and girl were not patriotic, but a Coke was a rare and precious commodity, and so was a gold tooth – a real genuine gold tooth. Gasp.

Of a sudden the little boy bounded forward and entered the store. She was caught unaware. She fumed as she considered that Hillard might have a nickel in his pocket. A nickel would buy a Coke, but just one.  She steamed that, dern, she didn’t know where he would get them but it seemed that Hillard always had a nickel in his pocket. A child with a nickel was exceedingly rare in those hard times that came on the heels of the Great Depression and a world war that had just ended. So, she drug her feet and went in after him hoping that he would just come on home with her and before she was to get into trouble because of his precociousness.

After entering the store, her brother continued to watch every move that the soldier made; every breath the soldier took. I insert here that I can all but tell you what happened next. That soldier asked the little boy, “What are you doing, Jabbo?”  The little boy was watching the soldier’s every breath; the sister was watching what would without a doubt be the little brother’s last breath. That was a certainty and an all but done deal.

Her brother made a query of the object of his intense study. He asked, “What is your name soldier?” The soldier answered, “James Murray.” The little boy said, “Soldier, I am your brother Hillard and this is our little sister, Alice.” Now, anyone with one eye and half-sense could predict what was to happen next.

Little brother and sister remembered for a lifetime the thrill of that day. Their mother had died when Alice was just a little girl and Hillard not much older. James Murray was but fifteen and the oldest child when his mother died. There was another brother, Ed Lee, who was the second oldest child.

Hillard and Alice recalled that their brother got them a taxi cab and they went shopping. Hillard and Alice recounted that, “He bought us everything.” Hillard stated about the day and the length of time it took to get home from that point that James must have known everybody in the town. It must have seemed like the whole entire town talked to and welcomed their big brother back home.  I don’t think anyone got in trouble that day for getting home late from school. To this day Hillard states that James was his hero. Much too late to ever tell him, I discover he is my hero, too.


Best Friends Forever…

yep and yessiree. Uncle Joel and his two best friends forever are in the photo below. At Taylor Anne’s first birthday party, I witnessed a very heartwarming conversation between Uncle Joel and the little one, Logan Sledge. It was Taylor Anne’s birthday but some of us brave ones countered someone’s wishes when we brought presents for the Wolverine as well as the Princess Birthday Girl.

One of those was Joel Speegle, or Uncle Joel to Taylor Anne and Logan. As he was about to give Logan his ‘forbidden’ gift, Logan bent his head back, really far, far back, to address the big guy standing in front of him. Looking at the difference in stature of the two Mutt and Jeff comes to mind, only more Jeff and less Mutt, if you remember those two.  He asked Uncle Joel, “Did you know that you are my best friend? My v-e-r-y best friend in the WHOLE wide world, Uncle Joel?” And I would say from the lump in lump in my throat and the tightening of Uncle Joel’s lip that he did know it as it went without saying. Joel and Zac, Logan and Taylor Anne’s father, have been bffs since early childhood; and the tradition carries on.

Joel Speegle is one of my heroes as he is serving overseas in the military, but he is scheduled to return home to Cherokee soon. But, not soon enough for his family I would wager. Godspeed Joel Speegle.

Uncle Joel and his BFF


Jessica Davis…

is in this photo with my Logan. Imagine that?

Jessica Davis is a Cherokee girl. She has holes all over her head and usually has red in her hair. She has rings on her fingers and bells on her toes….ho ho. I think she may be a favorite of Logan and Taylor Anne, and if she is, then she is okay by me. Whose dog tag is she wearing?


Sweet little Cherokee girl…

Anna Harmon Cain with her kitty.

Anna Harmon Cain and cat


We loved you even before…

you were born, Logan Thomas Sledge….and now that you are five, we love you even more!

Logan's First Year

We loved you even before you were born!


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