Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2010 with funding from
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$3.50 The Copy
Publication No. 16
Murfreesboro, Tennessee 371 30
On the oover of Publication Number l6 Is Cherry Shade.
This historic home stood across the old highway from the
Tennessee Farnera Co-Op In LaVergne, until 1971) when It
burned. The house was listed In the book "Bsarths tones" as
being built by John Fflll. During the Olvll War, John
Blrdwell's faially lived here. A federal soldier from Ohio-
Leopold Spetnagel died here January 1) 1863 . Later the W. H*
Cartwrlght family lived here. On page 60 of this publication
is a story of Cherry Shade during the time of its occupancy
by the J, R. Parks Family.
The Rutherford County Historical Society would like to
thank Janes Matheny for drawing the sketch on the cover. We
also appreciate Mrs. Ladelle Craddock for her work in typing
and Mr. Gene Sloan for the index to this publication.
„,001E TENNESSEE STME UNlVE«Sn,
Z«£ESBORO. TENNESSEE 37130
RUTHERPORD C0DHT3f HISTORICAL SOCIETY
POBUCATICN NO. 16
Published by the
RUTHERFORD C0UNT3C HISTORICAL SOCIETy
President. • Mr. Gene Sloan
Vice-President Miss Aurelia Holden
Recording Secretary Miss Louise Cawthon
Corresponding Secretary. •• ••• Mrs. Susan Daniel
Treasurer. ..Mrs. Kelly Ray
Poblicatlon Secretary • •• .Mr. Vfalter K. Hoover
Directors Mrs. Dotty Patlgr
Dr. Ernest Hooper
Mr. Janes Hatheny
Publication No. 16 (Uraited Edition-350 copies) is distributed
to menbers of the Society. The annual membership dues is $7.00 (Family
$9.00) which includes the regular publications and the monthly NEV6-
LETTER to all members. Additional copies of Publication No. 16 may be
obtained at $3*50 per copy.
All correspondence concerning additional copies, contributions
to future issues, and membership should be addressed to:
Rutherford Coun^ Historical Society
Murfi-eesboro, Tennessee 37130
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Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37130
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TABLE of CONTENTS
Hart's Spring on Taylor's Trace
by: Walter King Hoover , Page 1
The Childress Family of Tennessee
by: John Williams Childress 20
Young Man John Esten Miles Went West
by: Gene H. Sloan 35
The Story of Fosterwllle
by: Elvira Brothers I43
A Story of Cherry Shade, LaVergne, Tennessee
by: James L. Chrlsman.... 60
Petition of Will law Cocke for Revoluticnary
Furnished by: Mrs. Hughey King 70
INDEX for Publication No. 16
by: Gene H. Sloan 75
HART'S SPRING ON TAYLOR'S TRACE
Walter K. Hoover
The Big Hart's Spring, located or.e mile wtjst of Smyrna,
Tennessee, still flows free and clear, its v/al-ers meandering
through the town. Few citizens know of this spring or notice
Hart's branch, because today's water supplies issue from a
The Indians and explorers frequented these waters long
before domestic and industrial life came to thir ares.
In my boyhood, I, along with other boys of the vicinity,
fished, swam in, and explored this spring and stream, I
recall wagons, with barrels and buckets, hauling water from
this stream for domestic and industrial use. Before and
after bridges, the fords provided a place for the traveler
to water his animal, or to wash his dusty buggy or automobile,
even himself. We skated on the ice in the winter. Wildlife
and livestock came daily to drink. These waters provided
many an ardent fisherman with bait of crayfish and minnows.
Many repented sinners were refreshed by bapti:;'- in t"r;?3e
As you climb the highland rim, or descend the Cumberland
Plateau, to and from Rutherford County, which is imbeded in
the central basin, the geology and topography has a deep
fascination for the student of history. A knowledge of the
ridges, plains and streams, add new dimension to the enjoy-
ment of our restless earth.
In the early nineteen thirties the town of Smyrna
employed engineers to study the possibility of using the
waters of Hart's Spring for the city water supply. For some
reason deep wells took precedent.
Some years ago my curiosity about the origin of the
Hart name caused me to investigate its historical background,
here's what I found.
Man's desire for the unknown and his desire for gain
caused the colonial explorers to penetrate the Smokey Mountains
as early as 1673. Some came this way to get away from the
Crown, and the Revolutionary War. Others wanted to learn what
was in the vast region drained by the Tennessee and Cumberland
The French from Canada laid claim to this territory,
as did the Spanish from Florida. The endless forest was also
claimed by the native Indians as a hunting ground. These
were mainly Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw and Shawnee, along
with less noted tribes.
For about seventy-five years this Mid-Tennessee and
Mid-Kentucky area was criss-crossed and explored by fur
traders of all these powers; each of these powers vying for
the support of the native Indians, bribed them with supplies
and guns. This boundary and ownership conflict subsided
about 1775. The native Indians contested until about 1795.
British South Carolina, prompted by this contest for the
interior of the continent, attempted a permanent settlement
by pushing through the Smokey Mountains to establish Fort
Louden on the Little Tennessee River in 1756-57. Fort Louden
fell to the Indians in 1760, thus bringing to an end South
Carolina's efforts to gain this region.
The push for claim and settlement now came from North
Carolina and Virginia. By 1760 Daniel Boone was in the area.
By 1768 William Bean had a cabin on the Watauga River in
Other families followed Bean to form the Watauga
settlement. By 1776 Watauga was organized under a self
government and asked to be annexed to North Carolina but
was not recognized.
After Daniel Boone took back glowing reports of the
over -mountain country, other people came; among them was our
NATHANIEL HART and Thomas Hart and David Hart. On one of
their expeditions they discovered our big spring and branch
flowing into the Stuart's Creek, Stones River, and Ciomberland
This occurred about 1772, and from that time until
today the spring and its branch flowing through the town of
Smyrna, is known as, and referred to in documentary locations,
as Hart's Big Spring and Hart's Branch.
The Harts, along with others, Weakley, Stone, Ridley,
Shelby, etc., who came to this area realizing the future
values of land, made great effort to secure title for profit
Thomas Walker named the Cumberland Mountains and the
Cumberland River; Stones River was named for Uriah Stone.
Hart's Branch named for Nathaniel Hart. I cannot
discover where Stuart's Creek (later Stewart's Creek) got
and their offspring. The town of Jefferson, Tennessee, was
early laid off and promoted to form a base for land sales.
In 1777 Washington County was formed, with Jonesboro as
the county seat in 1779. The success of the Watauga settle-
ment created a buffer zone between the coming settlors and
the dangers beyond. Widespread interest among the settlers
and land speculators grew to a flood after the Revolutionary
In the fall of 17 74, a company of land speculators made
a purchase or treaty between themselves and the Cherokee
Indians. This company consisted of Richard Henderson, John
William, William Johnson, John Luttrell, John Hogg, Leonard
Bullock, Thomas Hart, David Hart and Nathaniel Hart. This
purchase terminated at Watauga in March of 1775. This company
obtained from the Cherokees two deeds. One known as the
"path deed", which had to do with land in East Tennessee.
The other was known as the "Great Grant", which reached from
Kentucky and Ohio Rivers to the head springs of the most
southward branch of the Cumberland River. This, of course,
included the Stones River, Stuart's Creek and Hart's Branch
and Hart's Spring on Taylor's Trace.
Later in the judgment of the courts of North Carolina.
in 1782, this purchase was held illegal. At the same tiire,
the North Carolina legislature, considering this land company
having been at great risk and concluding that they should have
compensation adequate to their expense and trouble, enacted
that they (as a group) should have two hundred thousand acres
laid off in one survey. This was laid off in East Tennessee
and granted to the Henderson Company, and settled all debts.
This same legislature of North Carolina, in the same
session of 1782 by Act, allowed the settlers on the Cumberland
six hundred and forty acres to each family or head of the
family, every single man of age who was settled on the land
before June 1, 1780, not to include salt licks, or salt
springs which were public property. (Nathaniel's estate will
claim the Hart Spring track under these laws later.)
Commissioners came with guards from North Carolina to lay off
and allot this land. They also laid off the county of
Davidson and appointed civil and military officers.
Nathaniel Hart was much involved An the settlement of
Nashville. The articles of agreement or compact of govern-
ment entered into by the settlers on the Cumberland River
dated May 1, 1780, carries Nathaniel's signature as the
second to sign. This compact became a necessary agreement,
because North Carolina offered no protection or recognition,
nor did the coloniel Government, they being involved in the
Revolutionary War. This compact gave order to personal and
property rights, military protection from the Indians, etc.
To help confirm this story and give the reader more
insight, I here enter this reference. A mention of Hart's
Spring was in the fall of 1776 on the occasion of the Militia
returning to Nashboro from the destruction of the Cherokee
villages near what is now Chattanooga. They were three or
four days on their return, and on the night before arriving
camped at Hatt ' s Spring.
Another mention was in 1792 when the Cherokee Indians
were planning to attack the Cumberland settlement. General
Robertson sent scouts out Taylor's Trace to learn of the
number and intentions of the Indians. The scouts were
Jonothon Gee and Seward Clayton, who after going eight or ten
miles south of Buchanon's Station contacted the Indians in
the middle of the Trace; after some talk Gee was shot and
killed in the Trace. Another shot broke Clayton's arm, and
he ran into the woods, was pursued and killed. The Indians
hurried on to Buchanon's Station and attacked. When the
Indians retired. General Robertson collected what troups he
could and pursued them to Hart's Big Spring, near Stuart's
Creek. Not finding the Indians, he retired to the station,
Nathaniel Hart never lived at Hart's Spring, for he
had a home at Boonsboro, Kentucky, where he raised a family.
Captain Nathaniel Hart was born February 24, 1744. He married
Sarah Simpson of Fairfax County, Virginia, December 25, 1760.
They moved to Boonsboro in 1775. Corn raised at Boonsboro by
Hart was sent by boat to the starving settlers at Nashboro in
1779-80. Nathaniel was killed by the Indians near his home
in July 1782. He was survived by his widow and nine children.
Sarah Simpson Hart died at the end of March 1785 at the age
Their children were Kosiah Thompson, Susannah Hart
Shelby, Simpson Hart, Nathaniel Hatt Jr., John Hart, Mary Ann
Hart, Cumberland Hart, Chinai Hart and Thomas R. G. Hart.
Colossal figures such as Henry Clay, Shelby, Brown,
Benton, Dixon, McDowell, Freemont are inimitably identifiable
by blood and marriage with the Harts.
A trip to Lexington, Kentucky, in search of Hart
information revealed many, many Hart relatives.
Being aware that many readers will not recall the
sequence of events that issued Tennessee, I have entered
Daniel Boone and others had entered the wilderness.
1756 Fort Louden
1769 Bean's cabin on Watauga River
1770 James Robertson and others at Watauga
1771 1. Settlement of Rougersville
2. Jacob Brown's stone on Nolichucky River
1772 The Watauga Association
1775 1. Washington District formed
2. Revolutionary War
3. Henderson Company bought Middle Tennessee
17 76 Washington District annexed to North Carolina
1778 Cumberland settlement
1780 1. Movement to Middle Tennessee
2. Battle of King's Mountain
1783 Davidson County laid out (went to Alabama State line)
1784 1. North Carolina ceded to Watauga the Tennessee
2. The State of Franklin was formed, John Sevier
3. Congress closing the war ignored. State of Franklin.
4. North Carolina repealed its act of ceding the
1788 1. State of Franklin died at the end of Sevier's term
2. Cumberland settlement did not join State of
Franklin statehood. 4
1790 1. North Carolina again ceded her west to Tennessee.
2. Ordinance of 1778 to be preserved.
3. Federal government passed act for territory south
of the Ohio River.
4. Tennessee capital moved to Knoxville.
1794 1. Indians severely punished.
2. Spanish influence broken.
3. First territorial assembly met.
1795 Sixty thousand whites in the territory.
1796 Tennessee admitted as a State.
1800 Nathaniel's land grant from North Carolina.
Since Nathaniel died in 1782 at Boonsboro, how and why
did he or his heirs get a land grant of 640 acres in 1800 in
Davidson County, State of Tennessee? After a search of land
laws of Tennessee, article 10, Sec. Z of the first Constitu-
tion of Tennessee, established at Knoxville February 6, 1796,
when Tennessee became a State, I find this statement: "All
laws and ordinances now in force and use in this territory,
not inconsistant with this Constitution, shall continue to be
in force and use in this State until they expire, by altered,
or repealed by the legislature." So the above reference
(paragraph 1, page 5) to settlers' land claims on the Cumberland
were still in force after Tennessee became a State.
Also, when North Carolina ceded the western territories
to the United States in 1789 as a condition for membership in
the federal union, she retained the rights to grant lands
there to satisfy the claims of her revolutionary soldiers.
This territory became the State of Tennessee in 1796,
but it was not until 1806 that Tennessee was able to grant
land itself. In 1803 Governor John Sevier appointed John
Overton to settle and adjust the land laws between Tennessee
and North Carolina. Then in 1804 North Carolina gave up its
right to grant land in Tennessee. In 1806 Tennessee set up
seven land districts, one being at Jefferson, the seat of
Rutherford County. The Jefferson office was later moved to
Although North Carolina granted no land in Tennessee
after 1800, warrants issued before and after that year were
honored by Tennessee land offices as late as 1836.
So under the continuing old land laws of North Carolina,
the Watauga settlement. State of Franklin, and the Cumberland
settlement, which were not void until 1806; I discover in the
Davidson County, Tennessee, records, the grant to Nathaniel
Hart's heirs dated May 13th, 1800, that has been pending
since Nathaniel's death in 1782. I also found an order that
this land be surveyed for the heirs by Robert Weakley in
consequence of an entry No. 500 (or claim by the estate of
Nathaniel Hart) dated June 28, 1784, about two years after
Nathaniel's death. The ten pounds per one hundred acres
must have been paid by, and the claim executed by Nathaniel's
administrators or heirs. Robert Weakley's survey is dated
March 4th, 1797.
The Grant reads thus :
Nathaniel Hart's Heirs
Grant No. 468 May 13, 1800
State of North Carolina
To all to whom present shall come greetings, know
ye that we, for and in consideration of the siom of
ten pounds for every hundred acres hereby granted,
paid unto our treasury, by Nathaniel Hart, have given
and granted, and by these present do give and grant
unto Kosiah Thompson, Susannah Hart, Simpson Hart,
Nathaniel Hart, John Hart, Mary Ann Hart, Cumberland
Hart, Chinai Hart and Thomas R. G. Hart, heirs of
Nathaniel Hart a track of land containing six hundred
and forty acres, lying and being in the county of
Davidson (now Rutherford), on a branch of the Stuart's
Creek about two miles north of said creek including a
large spring on Taylor's Trace, known by the name of
Hart's Spring on Taylor's Trace. Beginning at two
white oaks above the spring near the cedar runs, east
sixty chains, crossing said Trace to a small biack oak
and ash, in the edge of the cedars, thence north forty
chains to Robert Russell's corner, and with his line,
in all, one hundred and six chains, seventy lengths to
a mulberry, thence west sixty chains to a stake thence
south one hundred and six and seventy lengths, crossing
the said Trace to the beginning, with all woods, waters,
mines, minerals, here warrant and appendents to said
land belonging to Kosiah Thompson, Susannah Hart,
Simpson Hart, Nathaniel Hart, John Hart, Mary Ann Hart,
Cumberland Hart, Chinai Hart, and Thomas R. G. Hart
their heirs and assignees, which land was surveyed for
the heirs of the said Hart, March 4, 1797, by Robert
Weakley in consequence of an entry No. '500, dated
June 28, 1784. (The grant signed by B. Williams,
dated January 23, 1800, Counter signed. Will White
From the time of the grant in 1800 until 1822, I find
no Hart records on our subject. Evidently the Harts were
centered at Boonsboro, Kentucky, and scattered all the way
back to North Carolina and Virginia. Some may have moved on
westward. Their father's vast estate had been divided among
the nine children, and a new generation had begun. By 1822
Rutherford County had been in operation for nineteen years,
and records are accumulating there.
So at the Rutherford County Court House I find an
indenture dated March 20, 1822, stating that Isaac Shelby,
first Governor of Kentucky, and wife Susannah Hart Shelby
(Nathaniel's daughter), sold to James Hart, now living on the
said land, this entire 640-A grant for $1500.00. James Hart
is perhaps a male heir of one of Nathaniel's children; he
could be a next generation relative. I have not located a
Much search back and forth, through the Rutherford
County land records, show that our James Hart sold some of
this land, perhaps to pay Isaac and Susannah for on:
May 21, 1822 sold to William Garner 50-A $250.00
May 29, 1822 sold to John Fourville 71-A 213.00
May 29, 1822 sold to John Fly 201-A 813.32if
July 13, 1825 sold to Robert Ealm 76-A 202.00
Totals 348-A $14 78.32^1
James had sold about one half of the grant for almost
what it cost him. (Some may wonder about the one-half cent.
The United States authorized the coinage of one-half cents
April 2, 1792, and the first were coined in 1793; a popular
coin until 1857. )
In 1834 Hartsville, Tennessee, was a flourishing post
town. It was established in 1817 on the land of James Hart.
It contained twenty or thirty families, four stores, two
taverns and sundry mechanics. James Hart was a brother of
our Nathaniel, not our young James.
By a series of deed- from Hart to the present day
owners, I am able to establish a corner of the original Hart
grant. With a compass and the grant measurements, I have
here plotted the 640-A on today's map (see map, page 12-A).
Divided, subdivided, and sold many times, each time
increasing in value. Nathaniel anticipated these values
over two hundred years ago when he braved the Indians and
the wilderness to acquire this land. Speculation continues
today as values rise.
Diligent search reveals little of our James Hart from
1825 until his death in 1845. It is assumed that he had a
home in the vicinity of the big spring, and that his death
occurred there. His estate was administered by Thomas M.
Hart. Who was Thomas M? A son? A brother?
The 1820 census shows James Hart of Rutherford County.
Three males under 10 years of age, one 26 to 45 (himself),
one female under 10 years of age, one female 26 to 45 (wife).
Who was she?
There is a Mark Hart in the 1810 census of Rutherford
County who had two males under ten years. Could one of these
be James? Or were Mark and James brothers?
The Rutherford County marriage bonds of Rutherford
County compiled by the Col. Hardy Murphy Chapter of D.A.R.
Ann Hart married Samuel Wilson 12-26-1805
Martha B. Hart married Wiley Sanders 2-20-1832
Koshia Hart married Thomas C. Wright 8- 1-18 3 7
Frances E. A. Hart married Radford W. Reed 3- 6-1839
Samuel Hart married Edny M. Hedgepath 12-2 3-1846
William Hart married Mary E. Batey 1-17-1847
John Hart married Elizabeth Batey 1-22-1848
William Hart married Sarah J. Modrall 10-29-1857
Thomas Hart married Rebecca Johnson 7-19-1867
These records run from 1804 to 18 72 showing these Harts
in Rutherford County. Yet the Rutherford County Cemetery
records show not a single Hart burial record. Perhaps they
died in other counties or were buried in unmarked graves in
the wife's family plot.
Not finding any cemetery records of our James Hart's
place of burial, I searched the area in the vicinity of the
Big Hart Spring now owned by George W. Gwyn heirs. They tell
me that about 1940 Mr. Gwyn employed a Mr. Helton to mow the
grounds around the present Gwyn home. Mr. Helton in the
absence of Mr. Gwyn came upon grave markers (field stones);
and since his mowing machine would not pass over them, he
pulled them up and discarded them in an adjacent ravine.
Bessie Gwyn (Mrs. Ira McDonald) remembers these headstones.
She states that there were twenty-five or so of them, in
definite rows, and that her family thought them to be graves.
None carried names or legends to identify them. This is the
most likely spot of James' burial site.
The records show that James died in 1845 in Rutherford
County and that on March 3, Thomas M, Hart was appointed his
administrator. On April 21, 1845, this administrator
recorded this settlement.
List of sale of property:
2 weeding hoes
1 set gear
Single tree & Clevis
1 bridle & Martingail
1 saddle & blanket
1 saddle & blanket
1 rifle gun & shor pouch
1 lot of corn
1 yellow horse
Cash on hand
to T. C. Wright
to R. Read
to R. Read
to T. C. Ward
to T. C. Ward
to L. White
to R. Read
to Terry Wade
to William Hart
due on William J. Muse
Jan. 1, 1845 John S. Russwurm
John R. Newsom
on John R. Newsom
On the 26th of August, 1846, the administrator recorded
the settlement of these debts against the estate.
Elizabeth Ralston for coffin $ 8.00
John Jones Acct. 3.00
J. T. Richardson, M.D. 26.00
Clerk fees (sale) 2.25
A. G. Henderson - crying sale '50
Allowance to adm. 25.00
Rutherford County records show that James Hart had two
minor children at the time of his death: Mary E. and Mark M.
These children were adopted by Wiley Sanders and wife Martha B.
Hart Sanders (sister of James). Wiley Sanders was appointed
guardian for the dispersal of their father's estate remaining
This brings many questions. Who was Mary's and Mark's
mother? What became of her? When and where did she die?
What was the remains of James' estate, and how was it
disposed of? Did the guardian sell or rent? Did the court
sell the land, then turn the proceeds over to the guardian?
Was property held until these children became of age and then
sold in their then name of Sanders? All these questions and
more I cannot find answers for. I do find several recorded
settlements with these minors, yearly by Sanders. By 1857
there only shows a settlement with Mark M. Why? What happened
to Mary E.? Married? Died? Cholera? Yellow Fever? Perhaps
some of you readers can supply answers or can inform me where
and how to acquire same.
I feel sure that many of these answers are hidden in
the uncatalogued, chancery court records of Rutherford County
where research is next to impossible.
Having lost the land records of James Hart at his death
or before, I move to the present day owner and try to run the
titles back to James. I find the present day owners acquired
through their ancestors, from John F. Tucker in 1887, the
remains of the Hart Spring Track. Here I run into the same
problem of Chancery records, Tvhen I learn that Tucker
acquired the property from a guardianship since his father
died in 1862 when he was a minor.
At this point I have not been able to connect the land
from Hatt in 1845 to Tucker in 1887. Most of you know that
several books are missing from the Rutherford County records.
This I can hide behind if I am pressed for lack of completion.
Taylor's Trace was a path used by man and beast,
connecting the salt spring at Nashboro with Black Fox's Camp
at Cannonsburg and all points towards what is now Chattanooga.
It generally followed what is today known as the old Nashville-
Murfreesboro-Shelbyville turnpike, today's U.S. 41 South.
Much effort was made in an attempt to discover who
Taylor was, that gave the Trace its name. There was a
Taylor, a military officer who was very active in this area
in Indian fighting. Another Taylor, a surveyor from this
area, later went with Lewis and Clark on their famous mission
up the Missouri River. Several other Taylors are found, but
none definitely connected to Taylor's Trace.
Many generations of history abound in Rutherford County,
every turn in the road under every grove of trees, along every
stream, on every ridge and plane, countless people have
passed, before you came along, each leaving his historical
evidences. You can find an exciting story under most any
rock in Rutherford County. Look close and discover a new
dimension in your life.
Those ardent craftsmen, with all their hopes and aspira-
tions, helped to make possible what you enjoy today. Bless
Harf ai Big Spring On Taylor's Trace
Very Dry Season
aeorge G\A/yn's Saw Mill - Harf s Spring In The
oreground Furnished Water For Steam Engine.
All Evidence Of This Has Faded.
Harf s Spring - One Mile West
Of Smyrna, Tennessee
See Pump - People Not Identified
(Looking S. West)
THE CHIISR^S FAMILI OF TQINESSS
John wmiaAs Childress
37Ca Ollvmr St., H. W.
Washington, D. C.
Our great grandfather, Joel Childress, was bom on March 22, 1777 •
He married Elizabeth Whitsitt, 1781 - 1863, cane to Tennessee from Virginia,
and settled January 17, 1799, in Svunner Counter, vhere his children were
bom. About 1812 he moved to Rutherford, a newly formed counly, and
bought a farm about three miles south of Nurfreesboro, situated where
Stones River is crossed by the Shelbyvllle Pike. There was a large
frame house in which he lived until his death, August 19, 1819. He was
buried in a fence -enclosed family plot near the house. Among his activities
he was the Postmaster of Murfreesboro.
I well remember his grave in the apple orchard, irtiich was marked by
a ten-foot stone resting iq>on six coluims to a base. The top stone con-
tained the inscription: "Joel Childress, son of John, son of Joel» irfio
emigrated from Wales, in his owi ship with cargo, in the year 17U5." The
last two digits of the date were very dim but my brother and I agreed
upon "145." His migration in his own ship was of frequent occurrence where
the migrant had sufficient means to outfit such transportatlcxi, since it
was well known that a ship and its contents coiild readily be sold at a
profit, thus giving the emigrant ready capital. He landed probably in
Virginia, or possibly North Carolina, since the name is found in both states,
but Joel and his wife were both bom in Virginia. Her mother was PoUy
Upon a visit with ray family to Tennessee in 1923, I was distressed
to find no trace of the gr&^e, but foimd that the two large stones had
been used by the then oi«ier of the nearby cottage. Just built as fire-
place bases. At least the inscription above had been left t^idemea'^ and
did not show at the floor level.
After Joel's death, his widow moved into town and lived there until
her death In I863. Elizabeth VJhitsitt's oil portrait is in the home of
my niece and her great, great niece, Harriet Childress Tune, Nashville, Tenn.
There were six children of Joel and Elizabeth, but two died in
infancy. The others were Anderson, 1799-1837; Susan, I8OI-I878; Sarah,
1803-1891; and John Whitsitt, I8O7-I88J4. All were given the best educational
advantages available. Andersen went to Chapel HiU College (now the
University of North Carolina); Susan and Sarah were sent to the famous (and
first) girls' school In the country, the Moravian Church Acadengr, Salem,
N..C. John entered the 1822 class at Chapel Hill. Andersen graduated In
1818, but John spent only one year, his schooling cut to one year, pre-
sumably, by his father's death in I819. The girls and their brother ibiderson
rode horseback from Middle Tennessee to Salem (some 500 miles), he going
on farther about 100 miles to Chapel Hill, and picking them up in the spring
for return home. They were acconpanled only by a faithful slave to look
after the horses and baggage.
In Anderson's class were several close friends, among than James
Knox Polk, later President of the United States, also Jamas Otey and
Green, who were to become the first Episcopal Bishops of Tennesse and
Alabama, respectively. By coincidence, my son-in-law, James Otey (Bill)
Urquhart, is the great-grandson of Bishop Otey, for irfiom he is named. It
^ This tombstone was found when the Butler Manufacturing Company was
built and was placed at Cannonsburg.
was also qidta natiiral that Sarah Childress should meet and marry Jlmngr
PoUc when he came to Murfreesboro — then the State Capital — ^in his first
political Job as Secretary of the State Legislature.
For the story of Sarah and James Polk, see any history book, but
particularly the two, "Young KLckory" and "Memorials to Sarah Childress
Folk.** The only other known copy of the latter book is in the Congressional
Library in Washington.
As is well known, Sarah Childress lived for U2 years after her
husband's death in I8U9, continuing to the end to occupy the fine estate
the President had bought shortly before his term expired. She lived
singly but, making no visits except to Murfreesboro and Columbia, kept
practically open hoiise to old friends. She died in I89I. As a boy I was
taken to see her at regular intervals. I remember her with affection. }ty
father was the favorite of all her relatives. At death. Aunt Sarah was
buried beside her husband, until both were transferred to a Joint tomb on
the Capitol grounds.
Susan Childress married Dr. Rucker and had two dau^ters. These
girls visited their Aimt in the White House.
The farm and house on Stones River were inherited by my grandfather,
John Whitsitt, and were successfully operated by him until his death,
although late in life he moved to town to a house at College and Academy
Streets, which was owned by his second wife. This house s.tiU stands and
a picture of It can be found in the book called "History of Rutherford
County." The caption of this picture reads; John W. Childress frequently
entertained in this house his brother-in-law. President Polk." This is, of
course, an error as Polk died in I81i9.
In 18$3 John W. Childress built, on the site of his father's house,
a very modem and inposing two-atory brick, ^rfiich I visited oftai as a boy
of 12 to 1$, \A\en it was owned by lay cousin j .Frank Avent. At Frank's
marriage this hovise and farm were given to him hy his father as a wedding
present. I often stayed with them jiist to be in the country and to live
in the old place. At 10 I had learned to swin in the nearly Stones River,
and Frank, a great dog fancier and huntsman, would let me hunt with him.
I remember toy grandfather only at his funeral in I88I1, but the country
place forever stands out in my memory.
That 1853 house was built of brick made on the place, and of stone
from the River. The portico was stcne, with 3-foot in diameter stone
columns extending above the second floor. Inside was a large entrance
hall, with curving, "flying, "-no visible support- stairway, with strong
bannisters. All rooms were I6 to 20 feet in height, each with about two
foot frieze, the whole being of such hard plaster (no paper) that I have
often wondered about the lost skill of such constiruction.
I don't remember the size of the farm, but it extended East about
one-half mile to the railifoad track and the same distance to the River in
the other direction. The house was set about one-fifth of a mile from the
gate at Pike lAere it crossed Stones River and was reached by a curved
driveway, marked by red cedar trees. When I last saw the property (1923)
the last one of these trees had just been cut down for firewood, but ny
girls gathered some of the sweet smelling cedar chips as souvenirs. The
house had two rooms, both sides of hall, both storeys, and an Ell, with
full porch in the front.
The most outstanding memory of the house was that the portico, the
colums and the room walls were conpletely covered with pencil and charcoal
names and regiments of Federal soldiers stationed at or near the house, who
had spent their time •Taeautifying it with their 'art'," Actually, many
names had been chiseled with nail and haniner almost to the roof, and many
of them were well done from the operators point of view. The plaster of
that day was so hard that little harm had been done to the room walls.
When the Federal troops took over Murfreesboro in the summer of
l862j lay grandfather was forced to refugee with his daughters and small
children to North Georgia, where he remained until the end of the war.
His house and farm were i.iBnediately taken over and occi^ied by three
'•cau9>follower" families, who worked the farm and slaves during the period,
taking, of course, all benefits from them as their profit as "conquerors."
VHiile the land was overworked and the servants mistreated, it is quite
possible that this occupancy by Northerners may have preserved the place
from complete destructicxi, as happened to many other Southern owners vAio
were less fortunate.
In this connection occurred an unusxial and interesting incident.
During the war ray father happened to be in the vicinity of the place and
so made bold to ride up to the house to look things over. This he could
do because he wore a long, blue Union overcoat ^ich he had taken from a
captured Negro soldier. His inquiries of one of the squatters as to who
owned this place, etc. were being insolently answered as became the sqooatter's
right when dealing with a private, even a Unionist. Just then there
appeared, however, a small Negro boy who had come out to gather chips from
the woodpile. He glanced t^ and in astonishment said: "Fore God, if it
ain't Little Marse JohnJ" Whereupon father showed his Confederate uniform,
forced the man to go with him across tshe river — by wading — and turned him
over to the military authoritites. When the family returned from Georgia,
no one was found of the three former "owners," but they left their marks
on the property.
I dcai't know how and when this place got out of the Childress family,
for I remember it only after its purchase by father's brother-in-law, James
M, Avent, for Frank. In I896, while at school at Bell Buckle, Tenn., the
principal, Sawney Webb, called me aside to tell me Uiat, as he was passing on
the train the night before, he happened to look out of the window and
saw the house being destroyed by fire. I never knew how it happened,
but I never forgot ray grief at the loss of the old house I loved.
Grandfather also owned and operated another and larger farm about
ten miles East of Murfreesboro, Most of his 150 slaves were stationed
here, but only the overseer staff lived there.
While ccntinviing to operate his two farms. Grandfather had other
interests in town, being organizer and president of two banks, and was,
from its beginning in 18$3» a Director of the Nashville and Chattanooga
Railroad. His rather distinguished career is told in considerable detail
in a clipping from a Nashville paper which will be found in my mother's
scrapbook, in the suitcase. While this obituary is signed only "A.S.C,"
it was written by Col, Arthur S. Colyax, owner of the "Nashville American,"
to my father's law partner in the firm of Colyax, Marks and Childress. The
other partner, Marks, was a former Governor of Tennessee, and Colyax was
a famous orator and former member of the Confederate Senate. I have always
believed that, while the firm had probably the largest law practice in the
State, the partners let father do all the work, resulting in his breakdown
of health and his retirement — l86Ii to 1888 — to Florida. However, he re-
covered and led an active and useful life for many years.
By his first wife, Mary Williams of Nashville (for whom I am named),
my grandfather had four sons who lived to full maturity and two daughters.
Two of these sons were my father, John Whitsitt, Jr., and Joseph. The latter
had two daughters, Mary Kee and Sarah Polk, but Joe died when they were child-
ren. John's older daughters were Mary, who married James Monroe Avent, and
Bettie, who married Major General John Calvin Brown, of Pulaski. Avent took
my father in as law partner \intil he moved to Nashville in 1882. We were always
very close to the Avent family, my younger brother bearing that name. The only
remaining member (i960) is Sara, who still lives in the old house and has
one son, Jesse C. Beesley, New York. The other dau^ter, Bettle,
married James B. Murfree, Jr. His widow STunrived hire until 1959. She
was 92 at the time of her death* The third brother was James M«, Jr.
Bettle Childress married Brown while refugeeing in Georgia, and
''between battles" of the war. They returned to Pulaski, from which he
was elected Tennessee's Oovernor in 1870. Later they moved to Nashville,
where he died in 1869. At which time he was President of the Texas k
Pacific Railroad. There were two daughters, Marie and Daisy, and a son,
John. No males of the name survive.
It was while living with the Browns in Pulaski that my father
studied law, and in 1870 was made Manager (at 25) of Brown's cainpaign
for Governor. That was his first experience in politics, and probably
led to his 25 years as head (Ghairman)of the Democratic Party in the State.
While he retired as Chairman when he became a judge in 1895, he was until
his death (1908) always consulted and followed in political matters.
It was also at Pulaski that my father became one of the organizers
of the original Ku KLux Klan. (For the conplete and torue story of the
Klan, see its history in the Ridley book. This gives the only true history
of its beginnings, its operations, and its end, and could have been written
only ty one who knew the story perscxially. ) I could never get father to
admit his membership, for the Federal laws against it were never repealed;
but there can be no doubt that he was one of the boys i*o started the KKK
in 1867, when he was living in Pulaski. All KLansmen were yo\mg Confederate
officers and the original groi^ got together as a club or fraternity for
fun only. The later KKK activities were brought about for protection against
outrages of the scalawags and carpetbaggers who were exciting the Negroes
Incidentally, this Ridley book is now considered a "collector's item"
because the writer's story of his return home af^ar the surrender of the
Canfdderate Army Is the only )aio\ia account of that phase of a soldier's
llfe» Several histories of that period quote Ridle7*8 dlazy for the
only picture of a Confederate's thoughts aiid acts after his parole.
}ty father also surrendered at the same time In North Carolina, but all
I could get out of hire was that he burst into tears many tines a day
during the long trip to Tennessee. Incidentally, Ridley wsis also from
Rutherford Cotmty be he and father never met during the war. He married
my mother's youngest siifc^er^Ideyette, while she was visiting mother in
Hurfreesboro. "Uncle Brom" was one of the finest and most lovable persons
I ever knew, and his book— of which he was very proud— is most interesting.
He was, during his whole service, on the staff of Gen. A. P. Stewart — CSA.
After the death of his wife, mj grandfather married Mary Phillips,
a cousin of his former wife, and by her had the following sons and daughters;
William Sumner, \^o married Inez Wade;
The second son of William was Levi Wade, who lived nearly all his
life in St. LoTiis, Mo. He died abcut three years ago, leaving one dau^ter
and two sons: Wade, Jr. and Fielding, and his widow, all of \ihom 1 believe
to be alive.
Another son of John Wiitsitt Childress, Eugene, was never married
and died while relatively a young man. The last one, Horace, had no sons,
nor did Annie, nor Ella, and the baby of the family — Selene — had no children,
though married twice — first to Jonathan W. Jackson, and then to Frederick
With the death of his father in I88I4, my father John Whitsitt Jr.
(AprU 20, 18U5 - March 28, 1908) became the beloved head of the family
and was so recognized by all. He had little education since he ran away
frOTi Military school to Join the Confederate Army and never returned. He
did, however, acquire an excellent knowledge of law while studying in
Gen. Brown's office in Pulaski, and proved his capacity when he served in
Nashville as Circuit Court Jtidge for the last 13 years of his life, as
well as in his only active practice after moving to Nashvlll@c But he
served capably and successfully in many other capacities, incltiding
Qeneral Manager of the "American" Newspaper, Assistant U. S. Attorney,
President of the South Pittsburg City Co» operating the utilities and
building \sp of that town and organizing and presidi^ as President of a
National Bank which is still — after 75 years — the strongest institution
in that section of the State. In every capacity and situation he was sought
after for advice and assistance. His best-known seirvice was as advisor
of the Democratic Party in politics. This began as Caiopaign Manager
for his brother-in-law, John C. Brown, in his successful race as first
Democratic Governor after the war, in 1870, at the age of 25, From then
until his judgeship in 1895 » he was Chairman of the Democratic Committee,
at vrtiich time he gave up the title for ethical reasons, \Mt continued in
his advisory capacity until the end. Amazing to say, with all his political
activities, and the usual unpleasant feelings thus engendered, I don't
believe he ever had a personal or political enemy. Partly, no doubt, his
popularity was due to his wanting no office for himself, his only interest -^
being to find the right man for the place in his Party. Thus, every Governor
and U. S. Senator depended ^xpaa him. In fact he declined appointment to
the U. S. Senate by Governor Taylor, and later declined an election to that
body by the State Legislature, which was trying to break a long deadlock
between two candidates --Taylor and McMiUin. He did not want the job any-
way, but spumed the appointment because both men were his close friends and
he would be put in a position of profiting by their defeat. The Legislature
acted, apparently, to get itself out of a long deadlock which seemed endless.
It did end, however, when a third man, Luke Lea, became a candidate through
the proper pressure (money?) to break the tie. Taylor, after three terms
as Governor, later became a United States Senator. McMillin, after being
Governor, and after 20 years in the House of Representatives, died Just
after his appointment— 1933— as Ambassador to Mexico, His second wife,
Lucile, was made a TOmber of the Civil Service Commission in Washington.
McMillin first married lay cousin, Marie Brown (General Brown's daughter).
Both Taylor and McMillin were devoted friends of father's and I also kept
up my friendship with them until their deaths.
In the late days of father »3 life he was often \mable to hold Court
and the docket was so full that someone had to carry on. Volunteers were
welcome and the man most helpful in these emergencies was Cordell Htill, a
young Judge with 13 counties in his Circuit, who could still come to
Nashville to help out. I realized later that he did so at his own expense.
Hull was, however, one of father's political proteges, as well as friend,
and he probably profited by the experience and association. Another sudi
protege was Joseph W. 5yms, later Speaker of the House. When Hull was
Secretary of State he took occasion at several public gatherings in Washing-
ton to introduce me as the "son of the man who taught me all the politics
I know, if any." I recall two occasiois at the Jackson Day Dinners, and at
other tiiiBS when he was a guest In my home. I knew most of the Tennessee
Delegation and Byms and Hull were most helpful in my one entry into poUtica—
the appointment by President Coolidge as Chairman of the D. C. Public Utilities
Commission in 1926.
Vty father was in 1861 at military school in Nashville, but his parents
were endeavoring to keep him out of the war because of his health and
weighing only 90 pounds, and believed by them to have "consuTiqjtion." They
thought military life would be fatal. However, he ran away from school and
Joined the array at Bowling Green, Ky., in October, 1861. He was sent to
Fort Donelscn just in tiro to 8\irrender. From there he was sent by flat-boat
to Columbus. Ohio, and then on to prison camp at Johnson's Island, near
At the end of nine months he was exchanged, at Vicksbvirg, Miss.,
and iranediately returned to the army. At the beg innin g he became drill-
master and Adjutant of the 50th Tennessee Regiment, and remained with that
organization. He was four times wounded, once shot entirely through the
thigh, and in the head at Franklin. In the futile charge over Federal
breastworks he crossed the Harpeth River, climbed up and was on the point
of Jun^jlng down into the trench when a bullet tore away his right eyebrow
and he was left for dead. About midni^t he cane to life to find himself
in the burial ditch, but, most fortunately, near the top and so able to
climb out and crawl back to the lines. VJhile his life was saved in this
miraculous manner, he escaped the amy's collapse at Nashville two weeks
later. Despite the annihilation of the Western Am^r, three divisions were
gotten together (in part, of course) and reached Johnson's Army in North
Carolina, only to be surrendered. This formality occurred for him on his
20th birthday, April 20.
Father was always known and spoken of as "Captain Childres" until he
became a Judge, but he never used either title when speaking of himself
over phones or otherwise. From the time he entered the army, he was an
officer. Adjutant, but drill -master also because he was probably the only
man in his reginent who had any knowledge at all of military matters. The
framed Commission on my wall shows him still a Lieutenant and Adjutant in
September, 186U, and it is pres\imed he was promoted to Captain after Franklin
on November 30th. I know that he was breveted Major before the surrender,
but he never used the higher rank.
After serving ^ years in arny and prison he returned to Murfrees-
boro, but soon Joined his brother-in-law, General Brown, for the study of
law. Upon conqjletion of these studies he Joined another brother-in-law, James
M. Avent, in practice in his home town. In March 1867 he and a friend,
Jim Moore, decided to travel and see the world, which ended four months
later after they had seen moat of it. , His diary was an extremely well
written and unusual document for a boy of 21, whose education had been
interrupted by the War, and since he had run away frdm school three months
before he was 17, and never agaiji attended school. The interesting way
he tells the story of this trip indicates the early use of a mind which
enabled him to become the useful and successfxil man for which he was
destined. To me the story tells of places, people, methods of travel,
etc. of which I had no knowledge. While Father told us all these stories
of the trip when we were small boys, this diary's existence was unknown,
to any of us, and was not found until the death of my mother, vrtio survived
him by 20 years. When found then by Lyon, he fortunately, made copies of
it, but I have never been able to come upon the original. It was written
in a small notebook of the time. Also, I have wondered all my adult life
where Father got the money to make the trip and learned only recently that on
his majority he received an inheritance from his grandmother. I certainly
never heard him express regret at the way this was used. I know only that
at the time of his marriage in 1870, and immediate years thereafter, he
and his wife were forced to live very simply. Upon his law partnership
in Nashville, things promptly took a turn for the better. Even with the
three years of idleness while he was recovering his health in Florida, he
was never again so strapped financially and was able to give the three sons
proper education. Not until I had finished iry sophomore year at Princeton
did I realize the strain that cost and his illnesses were causing him. Wiere-
upon I got a job and quit college, Lyon was doing well in business and so
Avent could freely continue and graduate.
While always a loyal Confederate, he never became a "professional,"
as 80 many others were inclined to do. However, he served the Cause out-
standingly in one instance. Probably in his capacity as manager of the
largest newspaper in the State, he attended the funeral of Jefferson Davis
In I889. It was there determined that something should be done to
perpetuate the ideals of the Sough and collect and disseminate lihe
facts. Father was Chairman of a Coranittee to effect these p\irposes and
they decided to act through a magazine, "The Confederate Veteran."
Father chose as editor an editorial writer on the American, Scanner A,
Cunningham, Through the efforts and intelligence of this man, the
magazine became the "Bible" of the veteran every%rtiere, and at the same
time became a most interesting and financially successful literary venture.
Its publication continued until its editor's death, and until the vast
majority of the old boys were gone. I was very fond of Mr. Cunnin^am and
he almost worshipped rny father.
My mother was Mary Adair Lyon (August 6, IBU? - September 29, 1928),
oldest daughter of James Adair and Adelaide Deaderick lyoft of Columbus,
Miss. It was while she was visiting some Deaderick kin in Murfreesboro—
the Wendell3~that she met ray father and they were married in Columbus on
David Deaderick (originally Dletrick) had come as a "Pennsylvania
Dutchman" from Germany, 1720, settled first in that state, moved to Vln-
chester, Va., anglicized his name to Deaderick. Again migrated to Tennessee,
founded its oldest town — Jonesboro — and his son, David Anderson, was father
of ray grandmother, Adelaide, 1817 - 1907.
Icon's family was almost equally distinguished in East Tennessee,
but he put himself through four years at Princeton Theological Seminary
(New Jersey), 1832 - 18 36, after which he had churches in Tennessee and
Columbus, Miss, St. Louis and again in Columbus, with the last ten years
of his life as Professor of Religion and Philosophy at the University of
Mississippi. His Journals and pertinent data are in the State Archives at
Jackson, and at the Mississippi State College at State College, Miss.
lyon was almost a fanatic on education. He personally educated his
two older sons to enter the junior class at Princeton (then the College
of New Jersey), to graduate in the Class of 1859, the younger one being
first in his class. The third son graduated in 1872, but he got through
mostly on earned scholarships. He sent my mother to a fashionable and
expensive finishing school in Philadelphia. Just how all this was done on
his salary as a Presbyterian Minister will always remain a inystery, althou^
he didn't seem to think it so. He also, almost alone, founded in Clarks-
ville, Tenn., a Presbyterian College, built on the lines at the Princeton
seminary, although he was assisted some\*at by a Dr. William Stewart and
by Dr. Joseph R. Wilson (Woodrow's father). Lyon was elected (in 1870)
ttie first president. He pron?)tly accepted but later reneged because his
church just refused to let him go. His son, Adair, later became a pro-
fessor there and I spent one year —1898-99— as a student before trans-
ferring to Princeton. The whole story of the College and I^yon's part in it
ts told in Cooper's history— "Southwestern at Menphis"— . This book gives
sole credit to Lyon as the real founder. In 1925 the City of Men^jhis took
over the records, etc. and brou^t them to that city, with a change in the
name of "Southwestern at Menphis" from its old and well-known "Southwestern
Presbyterian Itaiversity." While still under Presbyterian auspices, it is
a thriving co-educational institution, which has put new life in the old
Clarksville school of which I and hundreds of alumni are still fond, but of
which thei'e are so few left. To illustrate, there was published in the
Southwestern News, in 1958, a picture of the I898 football team—of which
I was captain. There was found no one left of the 17 members except ityself.
I have the original photograph.
Yfy mother was remarkable woman in many ways. First, she was a great
beauty and always admired, but never seemed to be conscious of that. At
about UO her hair was anow white and set off her ruddy con9)lexion and black
eyes. She was vivacious, a great talker but never a gossip, and made friends
readily and permanently. She was not, however, a "society woman," but
preferred churoh work, and to the end remained a "ftoidamMital Christian."
She was at horns in any gathering, society or church, and was greatly
beloved, being a foil for n^r quiet father. She was one of the last of the
old -timers who hated Uquor and worldy things," even begging me, for
axauple, not to dance or play cards even after I went away to college.
While we all wandered away from our strict upbringing, we always respected
her wishes and principles.
The sons of John Whitsltt and Mary lyon Childress were Adair lyon
(always called lyon), John Williama, and Avent. They were born, respect-
ively, August 31, 1873, February 16, 1879, and November 30, 1880. lyon
died in October 19U8. A dau^ter was bom dead in 1872. All seven
children of these three sons are girls and, therefore, the Childress name
of the earlier branch of the family is now ended.
YOUNG MAN JOHN ESTEN MILES WENT WEST
-Qene H. Sloan
Among the distinguished Murfreesboro natives vdio played prominent
roles in the "Winning of the West" was John Esten Miles, who filled many
inqjortant political and business leadership posts in the early history of
His distinguished career included the Ciovemor of New Mexico, United
States Congressman, Chairman of the State Democratic party, newspaper
publisher, merchant, farmer and rancher.
He was bom in Murfreesboro July 28, l88U, the son of James Manuel
and Frances EUzabeth (Howland) Miles. His father, Louis Miles was bom
In McMinnville in 1861, and is believed to be a descendant of Thomas Miles,
a lieutenant in the Revolutionary War. His mother was the daughter of John
and Mary Howland. According to family tradition the Howland 's were des-
cendants of a Mayflower family.
Like his parents, John E. Miles received formal education in Tennessee
Public Schools. His father was a trainer of horses and thus acquainted with
farm work. From an early age John Esten always maintained an interest in
horses and farming.
In 1901 he went to Bonham, Texas to work on a ranch of an uncle. In
1905 he moved to Magnum, Oklahoma, and the following year to Quay County,
New Mexico. There, forty miles from Tucumcari, he continued in farming and
ranching. In 1916 he made his first political race and was defeated for
county commissioner. He bou^t a general store at Endee, in Quay County.
This he sold in 1920 after a successful race for county assessor.
Miles first went to Sante Fe in 1921 to serve as secretary to the
State Tax Coninission, a position he filled until 1925. In 1927, he
John E. Miles
established a tax agency in the city, but in 1931 he rejoined the Tax
Commission as secretary, this tine serving imtil 1938* In January 193U
he also served as chief of the Internal Revenue Office at Albuquerque,
resigning In July of that year. At that time he was elected Chairman of
the New Mexico State Democratic Central Committee.
In 1927-28 Miles became interested in the newspaper business and for
a tine published the New Mexico Democrat in Sante Fe and the Independent
in Las Vegas.
In 1935 he returned to the office of secretary to the State Tax
Commission, holding that position until he was elected Governor in 1938.
His term ran \mtil 19U2 and in 19U2-Uli he was chairman of the New Mexico
Public Service Commission. In 19hh Miles was elected Commissioner of
Public Lands, serving in that office from 19U5 until 19U8. In the general
election of that year he was successful in his candidacy for the United
States Congress. After two years in Washington he returned to Sante Fe in
1950 but was defeated in his bid for Governor.
In 1951 he went to Denver, Colorado, to serve as enforcement officer
for the Office of Price Administration. When he returned to Sante Fe in 1952
he entered with a son, J. Wade Miles, in the management of the Chrysler
agency. In 1953 he disposed of his interest in that business to become
president of the New Mexico Book Depository, Inc. This corporation serves
as the center for the distribution of text books used in the public schools of
During his career Governor Miles had been active in the Kiwanis Club
and the Lodge of Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, He had been
reared in the Christian church.
Miles made his last atteirpt for state office in 1956, at the age of
71. He was defeated when he ran for Commissioner of Public lands.
A contenporary of Miles describes him as weighing about I8U pounds,
with black hair steaked with grey over twinkling blue eyas. "Throu^out
hla lifetiiBS he prided himself on loyalty to the Democratic party and on
his word being his bond." His slowness to act steraned from careful con-
sideration. He was a gifted 'conqjromiser,* according to a longtime friend.
Senator Manviel Sanchez.
In reviewing his own contibutions Governor Miles took pride in pro-
viding others a better education than he had. He saw that teachers salaries
were raised, that teacher pension laws were enacted, that the school bus
system was standardized and laid the ground work for permanent registration
laws and the stabilizing of state financing.
Miles was married to Susie C. Wade in June 1906 by Judge Jarre tt Todd
in Magnum, Oklahoma. They were the parents of tan children. A summary of
the work of these children was supplied by the family to the Rutherford
County Historical Society. Two sets of twins, Floyd Preston and Lloyd
Weston, and Franklin Everett and Jessie Evelyn were bom to the family.
Jessie Evelyn Miles died in infancy. Seven children reached maturity,
"THE FtHn.Y OF GOVERNOR JOHN E. MILES"
1. Peggy Frances (TheLna) Henrie, 111 Columbia Dr. S. E., Albuquerque,
New Mexico, 87106. Bom August 8, 1909, has two children, eight
grand -children, one great-granddaughter.
Retired: Worked 23 years with Atomic Energy Commission and the
Sandia (Corporation) Laboratories.
2. Mildred Lorraine Adams, 5803 W. State Ave., Glendale, Arizona 8$301.
Bom August 16, 1911, has two children, five grandchildren, and one
great-grandson, » r. j
Retired: worked 25 years with the Glendale Schools Health & Food
3. J. Wade Esten Miles, Rte 2, 521B #75, LaVillitas de Santa Fe, Santa
Fe, New Mexico, 87501. Bom June 19, 191i4, has three children and
Employed: Real Estate, formerly Ranched, owned Miles Motors,
Public Land Commlsaicn and associated with N. M, Horse-
U. Annie Margurite, born June 19, 1916. Deceased.
5. Floyd Preston Milosj, 2U00 Baylor So., Roawell, New Mexico, 88201
Bom Aug\i3t 29, 1919, has two cWidren
Employed: Captain and District Commander, New Mexico State Police,
Roswell, H. M.
6. Lloyd Weston Miles, Box J488, Springer, New Mexico, 877U7.
Bom August 29, 1919, has two children and one granddaughter.
Presently emp. Police Chief of Springer, formerly enployed New
Mexico State Police, City Police Judge, Farmington, N, M,,
New Mexico State Bureau of Revenue, Security Officer for
Santa Fe, Downs Race Track., Retired Lt. Col. DSA &
7. MaJ. Oen. Franklin Erorett Miles, P. 0, Box 506l, Santa Fe, N. M.
87501, bom Jan U, 1923, has six children and four grandchildren.
Enployed. Adjutant General, State of New Mexico, Head of New
Mexico National Guard.
8. Jessie Evelyn Miles, bom Jan. h, 1923. Deceased.
9. Edna Irene Green. P. 0. Box 373, Columbia Falls, Montana. Bom
July 7, 1925, has three children. Formerly enqjloyed as Court Reporter,
New Mexico Supreme Court.
10. Baby boy, birth and decease dates not available.
George Hooper (1866-1910) married the widow of James Monroe Miles in
November 189$. Following his death Mrs. Hooper and her dau^ters lived in
Murfreesboro before moving to Oklahoma City "about 1916."
The two daughters were Wattie Dean (Mrs. W. D. Carter) and Colera
(Mrs. H. A. Gardner) of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Mrs. Carter had two daughters
Mrs. Reed Barker and Mrs. V. C. Mcintosh, both of whom live in Chicago. Mrs.
Gardner has one dau^ter Mrs. Fred Dimit of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
In addition to his two sisters Governor Miles had one brother, Clarence
Miles, who is deceased.
Mrs. Hooper later married E. H, Eakle in Oklahoma, whom she survived.
According to Mrs. Laurelee Helgason (wife of a grandson) James Monroe
Miles, Sr., had emigrated to Texas where he married Pearl Chancellor in 1889.
There were eight children bom to this union.
Mrs. Helgason lists these children of Monroe and Pearl Chancellor
Miles as Fred Fellow, Melviji, Louise, Olive Mae (Bobbye), James Marvin,
Monroe J Pearl and £arl. Monroe Miles > Jr. is a minister in Houston^ Texas.
Earl Miles and Mrs. Bobbye Miles Fisher live in the Shreveport, La. area,
Fred Fellow and Melvin Miles both died in Infancy.
Mrs. Helgascn states that Monroe Miles always maintained his interest
in horses and that he lived in Springfield, Mo. following his seccxid
marriage from 1899 until 1908. He later lived in Shreveport, Louisiana
xintll moving to Vicksburg, Mississippi about 1919 or 1920, In Vicksburg,
he and hie wife ran an "eating place." Monroe Miles died in Vicksburg,
Mississippi June 7, 1933.
Governor Miles made his last visit to Murfreesboro in 19^1 to attend
the graveside services for his mother. Dr. Ernest Hooper, a nephew of
George Hooper, recalls Governor Miles, acconpanied by his two sisters coming
to Evergreen Cemetery under highway patrol escort. Mrs. Frances Elizabeth
Howland Miles Cooper was buried on the Ed Hooper lot in Evergreen cemetery.
Her funeral services had been conducted in the House of Representatives at
the State Capitol in Sante Fe, New Mexico.
Mrs. Peggy Frances (Thelma) Henrie, eldest child of Governor Miles,
wrote that, "in spite of his great love for his adopted State he was always
proud of being from Tennessee."
Miles continued his interest in the problems of agriculture after his
retirement from public life. He owned and operated a farm near Santa Cruz
where he grew chili beans, com, alfalfa and maintained an orchard.
In a biographical sketch in the Historical Encyclopedia of New Mexico
a concluding paragraph reads; "As Democratic State Chairman, as Governor of
the State, as an individual, John Miles built a reputation for integrity,
fairness and honesty that reflects great credit not only on the man but
upon the State he so ably represented."
Governor Miles died in a rest home in Sante Fe, New Mexico, October
10, 1971. Final rites wore conducted in tiie rotunda of the New Mexico State
The Sante Fe Jou rnal recorded the life and times of Governor Miles
in langhthy, profusely illustrated news stories, features and editorials.
His eulogy was given by the Reverend Monroe Miles, a half-brother and pastor
of the Albuquerque d Sombra Christian Church.
"His life is a reminder to us of some of his ideas and ideals,"
declared the Rev. Monroe Miles, Jr. in paying tribute to his half-brother.
"The most characteristic salient of his life was his loyalty. . .loyalty to
his party, loyalty to his state.... loyalty to his citizenship, his friends
and to his family."
There were two pages of tributes to the Governor in the newspaper on
the day of his funeral. "Most of those remaining who fought the political
wars of 20 and 30 years ago, both with him and against him, were present
to pay their last respects."
Among the statements of these great, near great and representatives
of the citizenship of New Mexico were such succinct but revealing assertions
"He was a man who didn't know how to quit."
"Re was a man you could trust."
"He was a man who was kind and gentle."
"At 21 he was a homesteader at Eiidee and spent five years in inproving
"I've known hira since I was a boy and he would stop by to visit with
my dad. Hs had that touch with the common man."
"Although he was on the other side of the political fence, I considered
hira a close personal friend. He was a great American" — Governor
"Governor Miles was the last of the old breed. He was a man of great
integrity and strong, very pronounced views" — Former Governor David Cargo.
The editorial of the Sante Fe Journal on the day of his burial read
New Mexico laid her Mr. Democrat to his final rest
Monday. Funeral rites for John E. Miles were sijTq)le.
For the final tins auch a aenrlee was held In the
rotCBoda of the State Capitol with both State and
National flaga at half naat.
QraTeslde serTlces were as siupla at Meotorlal
Oardens, the casket was carried by his grandaons
between an honor guard of National Quardamen)
State Police and the New Haxico Mounted Batrol.
His fallow citizens prqperly bestowed on him the
"Mr. Democrat of New MaxLcol"
Where was the residence of Jamea Monroe (or Manuel) and France a
Elizabeth Miles? One aource Indicates that James Monroe Milea was a horae
trainer and that the family lived near the old fair grounds.
Children and half-sisters of Governor Miles have been helpful in
sullying information about Governor Miles and his descendants but inform-
ation concerning the 17 years of John Eston Milea life in Murfreesboro
appears vague and often contradictory. Wb are especially indebted to Mrs.
Peggy Frances Ifenria, oldest daughter of Governor Miles, Mrs. H, A. Gardner,
a surviving sister, Dr. Ernest Hooper, a member of the MTSU faculty, Mrs,
Baxter Hobgood, Mra. Lauralee Helgason of Louisiana, the New Mexico State
Historical Sociely, Murray Miles, information director of the Tennessee
Farm Bureau, and the editor of the Historical Encyclopedia of New Mexico.
Governor John Esten Miles
Mrs. H.A. Gardner
Mrs. W.D. Carter
These two sisters were also born in Murfreesboro
But emigrated to Oklahoma "about 191 6".
THE STORY OF F03TER7ILLE
This is the story of the small corauunity, Fosterville, in Ruther-
ford County, Tennessee.
Using the historical approach the writer went back Into the history
of the consminity to discover how it started and some of the developments
down to the present day. Being a resident and former teacher of this
little village she has had a good opportunity to know the people and
their problems and their way of life. She has drawn upon the knowledge
she has gained from her father and older members of the ccsranunity in
writing this story. After mudi reading and research it is found that
there is not much written history on a small conmunity, but when time
permits a further study is to be made.
Fosterville, the locale of this coiiBTiunity study is located in the
extreme Southern part of Rutherford County, Tennessee, on the Nashville,
Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway. It is near the Bedford Comty line.
It is one mile off the Murfreesboro and Shelbyville Highway which is
Highway 231. The Fosterville road Joins the highway Just about half way
between Murfreesboro and Shelbyville which makes both towns approximately
thirteen miles away.
A small historical village located at the foot of a beautiful row
of high hills on the eastj the largest of which is "Old Soap Stone,"
getting the name from the kind of rock formation found <« it. Young
people for generations have enjoyed climbing to the top of this high hill
and viewing the surrounding coimtry. On clear days one can see the smoke-
stacks of Murfreesboro. It is always interesting to look over into the
beautiful valle^r' below and vatch the trains coming around the curve at
Christiana and on through Fostervillej and then around the curve and out
of sight toward Bell Buckle.
On descending the hlU it is such a wonderful thing to quench one's
thirst at the foot of the hlU at "Aunt Mat's Spring" which flows out from
under the bluff , on the side of the hill. The spring got its name from
Mrs. Harb Gllroore. The QHmore's were early settlers and lived near this
spring and were lovingly called by everyone, "lAicle Ikrb and Aunt Mat."
"Aunt Mat's %>ring" has been, through the years, a place of gathering for
young and old; picnics, fish fries, Easter egg hunts, wiener roasts and
The water from "Aunt Mat's Spring" joins what is known as Bally' s
Branch to form Dry Fork Creek which is the headwaters of the West branch
of Stone's River.
According to Ooodspeed, previous to 1780 the Indians held undisputed
sway in this territory. Traces of the old trace leading from Nashville to
Chattanooga can still be seen.
No one knows the date vhea "Old Fostervllle" was first settled but
the name Fostervllle was given it in honor of a man named Foster, believed
to be John Foster, listed 1820 census in this district, he no doubt being
the first one to establish a home as well as a "Trading Post," on the trail
that leads south from Murfreesborough, now spelled Murfreesboro; to Shelby-
ville, being located about halfway between these settlements.
As civilization advanced and people traveled more, the stage coach
came into use, there were as yet no hard surfaced roads and travel was slow
along this trail through the wilderness from settlement to settlement, but
what few people were in this area would gather at Fostervllle when the
1. Originally known as Jordan's Valley. See old map.
stage coach was due to arrive, to get news from friends and klnfolks
of other points.
There is no record available as to wbat became of Poster, however,
it Is believed that he sold to a young man named Thomas Edwards and moved
!niis Thomas Edwards being joung and a man of vision was to ray mind
the most outstanding man in the history of Fosterville. Being a trader
as well as a merchant he saw the need of all settlers in regard to news,
80 he asked the Government to grant Post Office service at his store.
He was appointed poatmaster, he also operated a wagon train service to
the South, hauling meat and lard etc., and returning with a load of sugar
and all kinds of cot ten goods.
"The first turnpike in Rutherford County was the Nashville, Murfrees-
boro and ShelbyvlUe Pike. The charter was granted I83I. The road was
conpleted and gates erected and ready for business in l8Ii2."
"The toll gates were placed every five miles to which a fee was paid
for travel. By now stage coach travel was dally both ways, as well as daily
mail . . .Rutherford was ona of the last counties in the U. S, to dis-
continue the use of toll gates. The only evidence Is an occasional house
still standing by the side of the road."
"Prior to the Civil V7ar a number of prosperous towns and communities
sprang up in the county. The Tennessee Gazette of I83U lists the towns of
Murfreesboro, Jefferson, Readyvllle, Milton and Fostervilla."-^
"Fosterville was authorized by the legislature to incorporate iii I832,
In 1838 a group of enterprising citizens including Thomas Edwards and others
1. Qoodspeed, History of Tennessee, Qoodspeed Publishing Co.,
1886, p. 816.
2. Ibid ., p. 56.
3. Carlton C. Sims, History of Rutherford Coun^, p. 39.
received a charter for the eatablishment of the Fosterville Steam Mill
Co. This part of the county had no water power sites and turned to steam.
FosteinrLlle, however, failed to maintain a substantial growth and remained
Mr. Edwards married Miss Martha Vaughn. T^e ceremony being said
by Esq. J. D. OiLnore. Ten children were bom to this co\4>le, five boys
and five girls.
Through his ability as a biisiness man and merchant, he acquired
numerous acres of real estate, most of it by homestead rights of the U. S,
Government, some by trading, "all a total of about 2liOO acres. He also
owned a number of slaves.
In 1851 the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway was com-
pleted. The new railroad touched the east border of Mr. Edward's property
and having the guarantee of the con^jany he saw better possibilities in
sight near the Railroads, so he set about to move his home to the new
With consent from the Government he moved the Post Office and store
to the site where Fosterville now stands, still acting as Postmaster,
Station Master for Railroad and express agent for the Express Company.
Moving his residence from the old location to the place overlooking
the railroad was done by an efficient carpenter and the slave labor, moving
the sills and floors intact by means of ox carts. The material in this home
is of the best red cedar selected and sawed out on this plantation by the
mill he owned and operated mostly by slaves. After more than a hvindred
years have elapsed, this home is in good condition; it being the only land-
mark to greet you of days gene by, and to remind you of its master (Mass
1. Sims, Ibid . , p. UO.
2. Most of this information of the Edwards was siqjplied by T. D,
Gilmore, grandson of Thomas Edwards.
Tom). It Is known today aa the Edd Brothers home.
In i860 the war between the states — ^FostervlUe recalls many
thoughts of those days of Thomas Edwards — hj.3 sons in the Southern army,
his lands invaded by the Union soldiers, often taking his horses and mules
and wagons to satisfy their own desires. General Rosecrans demanded that
he have quarters in the house so he and his wife occi;^ied the front room
on the left as one enters the front door.
When the war was over there was little left of any value in the way
of farm animals and tools; Mr. Edwards viewed the situation with care and
set about to free his slaves, giving them what he coiild to start them out on
their own, Mose and Sylvia refused to go; so did Uncle Pannell who was
rather old and faithful. He kept these three, set up Mose and Sylvia in a
house all their own, and Uncle Pannell lived in the slave house in the
Northwest corner of the yard, and served as yard man and gardner for the
remainder of his life, always humble and obedient.
Thomas Edwards was a very gentle, quiet person, a mason of high rank,
a Presbyterian by faith and helped to build the first church in the village.
It was a union church and was located a few feet from the present locaticxi
of the Church of Christ.
In March, I89O a violent cyclone blew away the heart of the village —
the stores, post office, depot, Presbyterian church, the mill and other
dwellings. The village never fully recovered from that storm, A few days
later Mr. Edwards suffered in a fall, a broken hip and in August he died of
the effects of this injury. Thus ended, the life of a man who meant so
much to the history of Fosterville.
1. Home of the writer's family,
2, Accoixiing to tradition
Very little information is given of the early schools at Poaterville,
however the first achool known to be built was on tiie hi^way at Old
Fosterville. It was a one room log house with puncheon floors. This was
referred to as "Seed Tick School" because it was built in the woods.
Two old teachers were recalled. Miss Rucker Harris and Miss Molly Hale.
Also a one armed teacher. Miss Betty Webb. What is left of this old
building was later used as a com crib.
There was a graded school prior to 1886 because Ooodspeed says, "The
public schools were put into effect soon after the war. The average salary
for teachers for 188$ was $25 per month. The average length of term for
the year being fotir months.
The Fosterville Educational Institute was chartered in I883,
Another teacher referred to by William Robert Moore, was a man by
the name of Roberts.
Mr. Moore is among Rutherford county's contribution of statesmen to the
state and nation since the Civil War. Hs was bom in Huntsville,
Alabama, March 28, I83O. His father died when he was 6 months old. His
mother moved to Beech Qrove, Tennessee and when he was six years old his
mother married John Mills Watkins and went to live at Fosterville. There
he attended the coitmon schools of the county for about ten years. He was
elected to the Forty-Seventh Congress on the Republican ticket serving from
1881 to 1883. In 1890 he declined the nomination for Governor of the
State. He died in Memphis June 12, 1909.
1^ According to an older citizen, Mr. Edd Edwards.
2. Goodspeed, loc. cit., p. 8$$,
3. Carlton C. Sims, History of Rutherford County , p. 159.
U» The poem by W. R. Moore elsewhere in this study.
5, William Robert Moore, Odds and Ends of Poems , p. U5.
6. Sims, 22. cit ., p. 76.
The following poem u&s coplad from his book, "Odde and Ends of
Poems," in which he tells of his school days at FosterviUe.
RETROSPECT, INTROSPECT, PROSPECT
Standing on expectation's Mount today.
And looking back through life's long devious way,
A thousand treasured Memories o'er us rush
And thrill us with a deep oppressive hush.
We seem to see, with retrospective eye.
An artless boy, whose hopes e'en than beat high.
As through the cedar glades he trudged to school
With stern resolve to shun the Dunce's Stool
That Teacher Roberts -siirple guileless man —
Had set in front for lazy boys to scan.
Ahi those were days of innocence and ease.
When wants were few and boys not hard to please.
The days \^en stage coach drivers blew their horn
To 'rouse the sleeping postmaster at mom.
And notify him of the approaching mail
As down "Lee's Knob" their teams would fairly sail
With chaiTq>ing bits and foaming nostrils wide.
Drawing their human freight, worn cut with ride.
To Fosterville — the village of the rocks.
Cedars and Sinkholes — village of hard knocks.
The village school house, built of cedar logs.
Between vAose cracks mi^t crawl the boys and dogs
With Webster's speller. Pike's arithmetic.
And "rule of three," (where stupid boys would stick)
And Murray's Grammar — seemed enough to know
For any modest boy on earth below.
This good old teacher taught, and oft would sing.
That too much learning was a dangerous thing;
And thqt to read, and cipher and to write.
Was all boys needed, if not too much quite,
"These college notions," he would often say,
"Are apt to lead our country boys astray";
And then, to illustrate his sage advice.
And would, to himself refer, "look here, how nice."
But that was more than sixty years ago,
When ox carts ruled and all the world went slow,
Before steel rails were laid or wires were strung
That now fill space and talk in every tongue;
Before a "Trust" or Millionaire was known
Within our tenperate sublunary zone.
Old FostervUlel' Wb look back on thee now
VJith tender thoughts, and often wonder how
And why it was that we, together thrown,
ShoTxld ever to the outer world be known.
We caU to mind those far back halcyon days.
The 'Possum and the 'Coon hunts joyous ways.
And all the boys—they called one "Butting Ram"
Others, John^Bill and Jim, Steve, Bob and Sam.
But all are gone, strange things have come to pass.
These boys are scattered, dead, alac, alasj
One of them fought in blue, ihe others gray.
But all now sleep in church yards, far awayj
Their strifes, then fierce with bitter angry hate.
No longer live to vex our noble State.
No matter now, the rushing world goes on.
Nor heeds, nor recks the rayrids who are gene.
Vfhere then, "a hundred thousand" almost stunned,
"A billion" now seems but a common fund;
Our Nation then, (Dnparatively weak.
Stands strong today, ready when called, to speak;
And no great move, dare other Nations make
Ihitil of us they careful council take.
These things may well impress the thoughtful mind.
And charge the philosophic how to find
The cause of these marvels~how they came--
And will proportioned futiire growth be same?
But after all, it may be best that we
Shall not the future's far off secrets see;
"Twere wise, perhaps, to hug the happy hope
That all good things will ccwie within our scope.
If, patiently, we justly bide our tine.
And work, and wait, in prose as well as rhyme.
Judging our progress by the century past.
We ask ourselves the question, "Can it last?"
Yet reasoning fairly from analogy.
No optimistic mind can fail to see.
That no far off, remote, or distant date.
Aerial palaces floating through the State,
Making their daily landings without jars.
At all Earth's ports, and e'en, perhaps, at Mars.
But these things pass our Con5>rehension, Stop
Let us retmrn to homely, commonplace.
And meet our hum drum duties face to face.
Let us consider what we may owe
To help the others as we cheerfully go,
Along our tortuous journey through this vale —
Sonwtimes, it may be, with a loss of sail.
Our duties, if wa will, are plain and clear.
The "Oolden Rule," should to ua all be dear;
Its simple teachings point the unerring way.
Which, if daily kept, no man need fear
Qod, man or devil, hereafter nor here.
Keep out of debt, owe no man anything,
Then you need envy Potentate nor Kingj
And when the tins to lay your burdens down
Cones on apose, you will have earned the crown
Of honor; and the music will begin,
•Hi/ell done, thou good and faithful Servant,
JanTiary 10, 1903
— copied from "Odds and Ends" — ^book of poems written
by William Moore , pages 21, 22, 23, 2U and 25.
At this time he was 73 years of age.
The following article was copied form a Bedford Cotmty newspaper.
RURAL DELIVERY in 1923
Mrs. Eula Smith, 212 Edgemont Dr. has let me see an old clipping
ffom a newspaper with a date line of Fosterville, Tenn., Feb. 2, 1923. The
clipping is a letter from James W. lliomas trtio was a rural mail carrier from
Fosterville and secretary-treasurer of the Tennessee Rmral Letter Carriers
Association. Fosterville was jiist outside of this county, but the mail route
extended over into Bedford, and I remember Thomas well when he was still
delivering the mail around Caters Crossing and Longvisw.
Some of the accounts of his 20 years of service, up to that time,
shoxild be Interesting the the readers of this column.
"Just 20 years ago today," Mr. Thomas wrote en Feb. 2, 1923, "I hitched
yxp my gray steed to a new m a i l wagon and drove to the little post office at
FosteirviUe to make my first trip for Uncle Sam.
"On my first trip I carried about 2U pieces of mail and only three men
on the route were subscribers to a daily newspaper. I now have over 70
dailies. The first month's delivery and collecticai ran over 600 pieces of
mail and now ray average is around 7^000 per month. On ray first trip I
carried two locked pouches, one for Midland and csie for Longview, but they
were discontinued long ago.
"During the 20 years' service, I have handled approximately 1,700,000
pieces of mail and have traveled about 160,000 miles. In 20 years I have
worn out lU buggies and 6 sets of single harness and one double set. I have
owned 12 different horses, but had one real good one on the job and I drove
him more than 12 years, having traveled about 70,000 miles over the same road.
"On my first trip I had only 32 boxes, and some of the patrons refused
to erect boxes, saying the R.F,D. service (will not last) six months. VJhy,
it win bankrupt the country. Some actually wrote their Congressman, Mayor
James D. Richardson, and wanted him to do all in his power to have this
foolishness stopped. They scoffed at the idea of delivering every farmer's
mail at his door, but the service has grown by leaps and bounds and is today
the most popular branch of the great postal system.
In the 20 years of ray service I have used 175 j 000 pounds of hay, U,000
bushels of com and 500 bushels of oats, I have used 200 barrels of flour, 2U0 bu
bushels of com meal, 20,000 pounds of meat besides a dozen yearlings and
5,000 pounds of lard, hence the patrons can have some idea of what it costs a
canrier to nm a rural route,
"Twenty years ago it took about $12,000,000 to run the service, now
it takes $88, 000, 000... we had only a few thousand routes, but now v;e have Uli,000
which penetrate every nook and comer of our great country and bring newspapers,
magazines, catalogs, merchandise, medicines and letters to 30,000,000 of our
"R\iral delivery has been called 'the greatest civilizer and educator' of
anything in recent years
"I have been one of the great force of men, for 20 years, who has done
his very best to get the mail to his patrons, and the route I serve has not
failed to be gone over a single day during this period, and I have not missed
the train, on which the evening mail is dispatched but one time.
"I am a native of Rutherford County, having been bom and reared near
Rockvale, and have spent every year of my life in my native county except
three. I am the eldest of 23 children, by one man and one woman, the father
of nine, four boys and five girls, the grandfather of four, three girls and
OF INTEREST TO PEOPLE OF OUR VILUGE, NOW AND BY -GONE YEARS:
(The following information was given to me by Mrs. Forde Bingjiam,
which she has had in her possession for many years. F.B.)
POSTMASTERS DATE APPOINTED
(This office first known as Melons Mills)
David M. Anders April 11, 1826
Ephriam B. McLean Nov 19, 1827
(Name of office changed to Middle ton)
Ephriam B. McLean July 27, 1837
Thomas Edwards J'lly 1°37
(Neune of office changed to Fosterville)
Thomas Edwards July 27, 1837
Andrew McElroy July 8, 1865
Leander H. Edwards Hay 5, l86l
Hugh Neely July 10, 1897
Alice Edwards Feb 27, I9OJ4
vailie Newby Sept 3, 1913
Lillian Vaughn Aug 17, 1918
T. E. Kerr Aug 17, 1927
Carrie Kerr May 10, 1929
Johnny Williams Nov $, 1936
Johnny Williams March 2, 1939
Mable Harris June 22, 1939
Annie Chrisman June 30, 19U8
(Miss Annie now (1978) serving as postmaster here)
NBaiOES OF FOSTERVILLE
There are no negroes living ri^t in Fosterville now. They have
either died or moved away. Some of their descendants live on the highway
MP on the hiU toward Christiana. The following are some of the negroes who
have lived here.
One of the most interesting ones being "Uncel Sijne" Landrum and his
wife "Aunt Tennie" as they were lovingly called by everyone. They lived down
on the creek. They owned their own home and lived there unUl their deaths.
"Uncle Sime" was an ex-slave and claimed to be about 108 years old. He was
part Indian. He didn't know when he was bom or who his people were. He Just
remembered being sold as a little boy. He wouldn't talk about it much. He
worked on the railroad with the section crew and as track walker to inspect
the track, even after he was too old to work he still would walk the track
every day as long as he was able. You could see him with his tow sack over
his shoulders coming home about four o'clock. He picked up lun?)s of coal
along the track. Sometimes he would have a big bundle of grass or hay
bringing it hone to his cow. As long as he lived he burned a red railroad
lantern at his front gate. He received a small railroad pension. For many
years he was caretaker for the Woodfin Cemetery. He had always said he
wanted to be buried there. When he died in 19U9, he was buried as he requested
in the left corner of the cemetery as you enter the gate, with his white
friends. He had a tragic death. Aimt Tennie died a few years before he did
and he was living alone. They had no children. He was found one cold morn-
ing in his yard frozen to death. His clothes were burned off and his body
badly burned. It was thought that his clothes must have caught fire and he
ran out in the yard and wasn't able to get help. He always sat close to the
open fireplace and it was so cold that he may have fallen asleep and fallen
in the fire.
"Uncle Sirae's" wife "Aunt Tennie" whose name was very long, I wish
I co\ild remember all of it but it ended in Kentucky Alabama Tennessee Watkins.
Her ancestors got their name from lir, Al Watkins grandfather. She was loved
by everyone. She always wore a smile. She was "Black Mama" for so many
children around Fosterville, especially for the Kerr children and the Brothers
children. Aunt Tennie washed and ironed for us for many years and I can j\ist
see her now at the wash place in the back yard, washing with a tin wash board,
three tin tubs and the old black pot, with a big fire made from wood from the
wood pile just outside the backyard gate. The children would bring water
from the cistern to fill the tubs and pot. We had to be saving with water
so the water wovild last all sximmer. Sometimes the cistern would be dry and we
had to haul water. I can almost smell the octagon soap she used or the lye
soap made from the leftovers from the "hog killing." Aunt Tennie always wore
a big apron with a big pocket. She wore it wrong side out and carried her
switch toothbrush and her can of Bruton's snuff. After lunch she would sit
and rest for awhile and have her 'dip of snuff. Sometimes she would try to
hide it and if we saw her, she would say, "Now don't tell anybody, I just have
to have ray dessert."
She would usually come on Monday to wash if it was a pretty day to wash.
She was slow and it wotild take her most all day but she didn't care. She was
making her own money and she loved her "whitefolks" as she would say. She had a
heart of gold. On Tuesday or Wednesday she would come back to iron the clothes.
She irotied the clothes with four old fashioned flat irons. Her favorite was
a homemade one made by Mr. Matt Edwards in his shop, (l still have this iom.)
We would have a fire in the big old open fireplace in the big old Kitchen,
Daddy would put on a big back log in the momlug and pull the coals out front
on the hearth. When Aunt Tennle came she would stand her irons up in the hot
coals on the hearth. She would clean the smoke and ashes off the irons by
rubbing them on a cedar branch or salt on a piece of paper. When she would
finish ironing, she would sort her clothes and put then away in drawer or on
hangers. She would say she didn't want anyone messing up her nice clothes.
When she would be ready to go home Mama would gather things for her to take
hone with her. Vegetables from the garden and meat from the smokehouse. She
would have her supper already. Daddy would give her fifty cents which was
good pay at that time. She would go home happy.
Aunt Tennie loved her flowers and so many times she would bring a
bouquet of flowers all squeezed up in her hand with just the tops and no stems.
She had sore beautiful peonies but they would always have short stems.
She like to piece Quilts. Lots of times Mama would buy bundles of
remnants for her, and would give her scraps of material from her sewing.
She wouldn't set them together. She just wanted to piece the squares. She
pieced each of us four children one and Mama one. I have mine, it is a nine
patch mostly blue print set together with red. Mama's is a big star pattern.
She also made each of the Kerr children one.
She had a little walnut table vdth one drawer in it, which I compli-
mented one time when I was down at her house and said, "Aunt Tennie when you
get through with that little table I want you to will it to me." She said,
"All right Vily,you can have it but Simon keeps his insurance papers in it,
but some day you can have it. One day an antique dealer came to see her
and wanted to buy that little table. She said No, No, that is Viley's little
table. I promised it to her. Not long after that she came up and wanted me to
coma and get the table. She had found a dresser she wanted at Mrs. Eliza Clark's.
She wanted me to buy the dresser for her and have Benny Maupin (the negro man
who was helping Daddy on -ttie farm) to take the wagon and bring the dresser
to her hoTise and get the table. I gave Benny the three dollars and he went
and got the dresser and brought my little table. I had the table refinished
and am using it in my living room, I wouldn't take anything for it. She died
not long afterward. She was buried at Christiana.
Uncle Joe Murphy and Aunt Mat lived in a house back of the old Post
Office near the old Lee Edwards house, known as the Aunt Dolie house. Both
houses are gone now. They had several children who have long since married
and moved away. Among them were Bettie M\xrphy who married John Ella Daniel.
They had three children, Veatrice, Herman and Sam Henry. They moved to
Nashville, Lillie Murphy married Luke Kelly. They moved with several
children to Detroit, Michigan.
Anderson Tucker and his wife, Hester lived down the railroad. They
had three children, Tom, Jim, and Frances Tucker. V/hen Anderson died, Hester
went to Nashville to live with her children \iho had married and gone, Anderson
worked on the railroad.
Many people would remember Hester Howland, wife of Dee Howland and
their son, Jimmy Dee Howland. Hester stayed with ray mother when her children
were bom. Poor Hester stuttered. She was hurt when she was a girl when the
bad cyclone blew Fosterville away. She was staying with the Elams. Hester
and Dee were living near the Webb Crossing when Dee died.
Uncle Will Rucker and Aunt Molly lived down on the creek. They had
three childrai. Bill Rucker, Henry and Jennie Anne who married Millar Wade.
Bill Rucker married Beulah Mai Bracey. They had five children. The two girls,
Mary Anne and Alberta died when their house burned after Bill and Guy Lewis
died. Beulah May was the daughter of Bertie Wade who died young and Beulah
Mai's grandmother. Aunt Anne Wade and Uncle Will Wade raised Beulah Mai and
her brother Billy Sunday and sister Katie Lee. Uncle Will Wade had a wooden
leg. He died at Beulah's and Bill's when they lived next to Brandon's
Chapel Church, Atint Nancy North and her daughter Frances also lived
down on the creek.
Brandon's Chapel burned in September 1973.
A STORY OF CHBRRY SHADE, LaVERGNE, TENNESSEE
during the timB of its occi^jancy
by the J. R» Park Family
(By James L. Chrisman)
All of us lAo love to reftresh and enlighten our minds by breaking away
from the cares and tensions of the day, and glance back over the pages setting
forth the history of the trials and acconq)li3hments of those whose marks have
left an inprint upon the sands of time, cheerfully and willingly express our
thanks and gratitude to those who have already depicted much of the history
of this former splendid old home in LaVergne.
At the expense of repetition, I will set down only a few facts con-
cerning the house itself. It was built about the year I833 under the direction
and ownership of John Hill, a grandson of Green Hill, who migrated to the
Cumberland Territory from North Carolina, where he had been no doubt of high
political stature, haveing been at one time a member of the Continental
Congress of that state. The house was built on land that was part of an
original tract of 309 acres in a Land Grant to John Hill's father, Thomas
Hill, presumably in return for military service.
In addition to its attractive appearance from the front, its other
unique features were its U-shape in the back, with wide covered porches facing
toward the inside and running back from the front rooms on each side all the
way to the rear of the btiilding, where there was a covered walk -way to a well
located about equidistant from the points of the "U", so that it was convenient
to draw water with the rope and windlass in any kind of weather. Another
feature was the cedar sawdust insulation put between the inner and outer walls
of the house, believed to be one of the first homes so constructed in Middle
Accounts have already been written about the fact that the house
was used as a hospital during the Civil War. We wouDxl like to en^)ha3i2e
the point that the location itself, on a direct line both by railroad and hi^"
way between Nashville and Murfreesboro, each of great strategic inportance
throughout the war, made it a prime target for being within easy sound or
distance of shot and sheU on many an occasion, leaving small wonder that
its only permanent damage was the large hole left in its lower right front
side made by a canon ball.
Now in regard to the J. R. Park family, as is the case with many
other fine old families in Middle Tennessee, no one took the time in his
family to maintain and pass on to us a con^ilete family history, so we cannot
delve as far into the past as we would like to with specific names and dates.
James Richard Park was of Scotch-Irish lineage. His father was Dr.
John E. Park, who was bom J\me 19, l8lU. He was a gradviate of the old
Louisville Medical College. James' mother was Rebecca Hubbard, who was bom
March 16, 1809. She was a daughter of Richard and >tirtha Hubbard. Richard
Hubbard was bom October 9, 1769. Richard and Martha Hubbard had a large
family, consisting of nine dau^ters and four sons. One of their lineal
descendants was Father Hubbard, the Glacier Priest.
James Richard Psirk was bom November 16, I836, in Little Rock,
Arkansas. He was the oldest of seven children, there being five boys and
two girls. While he was quite young, the family moved to Seguin, Texas, a
small town made up principally of Germans. While there, Mr. Park learned to
speak German fluently, and years later he tried many times to teach his three
grand daughters how to speak German, but they never retained more than a
fragmentary knowledge of it,
I am indebted to Mrs. George Kinnard, formerly of LaVergne, for the
loan of an article which appeared in one of the Nashville daily papers in the
early part of 1919* containing some of the following interesting facta
about Mr. Park's early years, including some account of his services for
the South during the Civil Vfar:
While still in his early twenties, J. R. Park left Seguin and joined
a party of prospectors to follow the lure of silver into Old Mexico, Being
unsuccessful in the venture, he spent some time at Nassas, in the state, or
district, of Dui^ngo, Mexico, teaching English to a class of young lawyers,
Vfhen the Civil War came on, he hastened back to Seguin to enlist for the
South. He became orderly sergeant in Canvpaxiy B, 32nd Texas Cavalry, Captain
E, B. Millett corananding. At the same time he enlisted, his father and three
of his brothers enlisted in the Fourth Texas under Gen. John B. Hood, his
father becoming surgeon for his conpany. Two of the brothers made the supreme
sacrifice for the Confederacy; Thomas J. ^ark dying on the 5th of July, 1862,
of a wound received in the battle of Gaines' Mills, in his eighteenth year of
age, and John H, Park dying on April 23rd, 1863, in his twentieth year; an
Arkansas Post prisoner. James R. Park distingvdshed himself for braveiy at
the battle of Blair's Landing, when, \uider fire, he and his captain and
Alcnzo MiUett and Ed Elam returned to the field of battle and recovered the
body of Major General Tom Green (brother of Chancellor Green of Cumberland
Ifeiversity; also later Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of
Tennessee) whose head had been torn from his body by a shell, Mr. Park was
in every battle in which his company engaged and was never left behind to
"hold Horses," He was honorably discharged near Richmond, Texas, in May, 1865,
and his discharge bears these words: "By order of Major General J, B. McGruder,
having stood to his colors to the last,"
The final bugle call has been answered for lo these many years by
the last svirviving Confederate veteran. While the night wind chants its
soleim dirge over their graves may we enshrine a special niche in our hearts
in grateful memory of all of them as chair^jions and defenders of their
hOTies and loved ones, who were willing to give their all for a cause they
believed to be just.
After the War, Mr. Park went to Georgia, where he resided for only
a short time, moving to Normandy, Tennessee, in the fall of 1866, where he
entered the service of the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Lo\iis Railway
Coii?>any. At that time, messages about trains came through on an instrument
called a register, and were recorded on a strip of paper. According to Mr.
Park, there were then but five or six men in the service who could read the
Morse Code. In Normandy, Mr. Park received his first lessons in telegraphy
from Mr. Sam Blackman, the depot agent there. Being an apt student, he
quickly becane an expert telegrapher, and from then en he was a railroad
man to the core. Just as in?)ortant, while in Normandy he met and fell in
love with Miss Mary Catherine Scott, the lovely dau^ter of Dr. John H. and
Virginia Ewell Scott. Dr. Scott had seen service as a physician in the Civil
War, and he was later one of the original stockholders of the N, & C. Railroad,
and had much to do with the building of the line to Chattanooga. Virginia
Ewell Scott was the dau^ter of Lt. Gen, Richard S. Ewell, who had rendered
distinguished service in the United States Army prior to the Civil War, and
subsequently as a commanding officer in the Confederate Army.
When Mr. Park asked for the hand of Miss Scott in marriage, her parents
registered strong objection on the grounds of the wide difference in the
religious beliefs of the prospective bride and groom, but on no other grounds.
To some people today that would present a pretty touchy and difficult problem,
but to a young man who had traversed the length and breadth of the middle south
more than once, plus forays into the far West and Old Mexico, facing danger
and even death many times, we need be but little surprised to learn that
he solved the problem in short order by espousing the religious beliefs
practiced by the Scott family, and the marriage took place in the fall of 1867.
Not long after Mr. Park married Miss Scott, he was transferred and
promoted to station agent in LaVergne. It appears that when they first
moved to LaVergna, he rented Cheny Shado and later purchased it. As there
cane to be about eleven acres of ground on the Cherry Shade property, it was
acquired in two different transactions by Mr. and Mrs. Park, The first tract,
and no doubt the one on which the house was then standing, was bought by
them by deed dated December 13, 1678, and of record in Book 2li, page 14i7,
Register's Office for Rutherford County, Tennessee. This deed was from
M. N. Cowden, Clerk of the Supreme Court in Nashville, and the recitals in
the deed indicate that he was selling it in obedience to a court order, and
further that the Birdwell's were involved j they being people who had had many
dealings with Thomas and John Hill, previous owners of the property. The
second tract, ccaitaining about five acres, was purchased by Mr. Park from
R. H. Dudley for the sum of $200.00, by deed dated October 18, l88l, as shown
of record in Book 26, page 23« I have been reliably informed that in addition
to the above properties, Mr. Park at one time owned some acreage farther up
the Murfreesboro Pike, which he afterward donated as a building site for the
LaVergne Church of Christ.
There were eight children bom to Mr. and Mrs. Park, However, with
80 many deadly diseases prevalent during that period of time, such as
diphtheria, typhoid fever, etc., and so little knowledge of preventive
medicine, five of the children died either in infancy or while quite young.
The three who passed the childhood stage were Mary Virginia, John Thomas
(Named after John W. Thomas, once the President of the N. & C. R.R .), AND
Clara Dodge Park. Clara died in 1915, and John Thomas about one year later.
More about Mary Virginia farther on in this article.
During the many years of their occupancgr of Cherry Shade, Mi'« and
Mrs, Park became quite well known for their congeniality, friendliness and
hospitality. Mre. Park reigned over the household with charm and efflciencyi
fuUy exeitplifying the best traditions of the Old South in every respect.
Their home soon became the accepted gathering place for their many relatives
and friends. Both Mr. and Mrs. Park were great flcwer lovers, so the big
yard was kept well stocked with many varieties of beautiful flowers, Mr.
Park even insisted that a suitable space near the railroad depot be set
aside for a nice bed of flowers, which always receive the best of attention.
Mr. Park was a man of high moral character aiKl unquestioned integrity-
He was one of the pioneers and builders of the Cumberland Presbyterian Chiirch
in LaVergne. He devoted himself assiduously to any task at hand, and
commanded the respect and admiration of those associated with him. His
inquisitiveness and desire to make inqprovements led him to become known as
an amatevir inventor. During his career with the railroad, being greatly
ccmcemed as a depot agent with his responsibility for the safety of passengers
and personnel within the vicinitgf of his station, he conceived the idea of
building a small framed double mirror contrivance which could be placed on
his desk in the depot, and from >diich, without leaving his chair, he could
see at any time whether a train was coming down the tracks from either
direction. Conpany officials were so favorabley impressed with his "gadget"
that within a short time they made it standard equipment in stations all up
and down the line.
After having long since mastered the Morse Code, Mr. Park eventually
became entranced with the idea of how else it might be possible to send and
receive messages, and possibly to singly record and reproduce sound; for
instance, talking and singing or making music. Without the benefit of the
vast knowledge and e3q)erience available today on the subject, he spent many
an ho\ir experimenting and building different mechanical gadgets and machines,
\intil finally he came up with one which contained a cylinder and speaker lAiich
really worked. Many tlnies he would beg and cajole one of his granddaughters
to speak or sing In front of his cylinder, and then play it back to them.
Those closest to hin in and around LaVergne were much in9>ressed with his
inventive prowess in gneral, and presumably mostly financial ones, he never
ventured into the contmercial field with any of his inventions, and it wasn't
long until Thomas Edison's talking machines and other inventions were sweeping
As a special tribute marking the end of his long years of service,
the railroad conqjany presented Mr. Park with a beautiful gold Elgin pocket
watch, with his name and the emblem of his Masonic Lodge inscribed en its
Mary Virginia Park was bom at Cherry Shade June 2, I876. Althou^
her parents were not wealthy, they did possess sxibstantial means, and she was
reared under favorable circumstances, which include schooling at Ward's
Seminary, later Ward -Belmont College. She became a beautiful and well-
educated young lady. In 190U she became the wife of James Buchanan Payne,
a s\irv^or-engineerj a resident of LaVergne, and a descendant of Major
John Buchanan, of Indian war fame in middle Tennessee. This couple continued
to live in LaVergne for a time, but before long Mr. Payne and his wife's
brother John, generally called "Jack" Park, also a civil engineer, succumbed
to the prevailing urge of those to "Qo West, young man," so they ended up in
far west Texas positions as surveyors -engineers connected with a big
crew of men building a railroad through Yaq\il Indian territory. Virginia
Piajrtie would stay with her parents most of the time, but as she could get a
pass on the railroad anyway, she would now and again take the train for £1
Paso or some point near there to see her husband and brother.
Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Payne were blessed with four children; one son
and three daughters. However, the son died In infancy. The daughters were.
Mary A^ies, the oldest, bom June 2, 1906' Martha Virginia and Dorothy
Alice; all named after klnfold back along the family lines.
Mrs. Payne insisted on starting Mary Agnes to school at Ward-Belmont
grade school, so she and her girlhood chum, Marian Pearscai, now Kinnard,
would coranute on the local train each school day for their first year.
Before the start of another school year, fate had stepped in and changes
had to be made. Grandmother Park passed away; Mr. Pfiirk was suffering from
a heart ailment, and needed to be nearer quick medical aid. Also, James B.
Payne had died rather suddenly some years before; thus leaving Mrs. Virginia
Payne faced with the task of taking care of her father and her three small
children. Between father and dau^ter it was decided best to sell Cherry
Shade and move to Nashville, where they would be near a heart specialist,
and could send the children to city schools. So, by deed dated September 5,
1916, J. R. Park and Mrs. Virginia Park Payne sold (or in reality traded)
Cherry Shade to W. W, Dillon, Trustee, in exchange for a house and lot on
Sixteenth Avenue South, about one block south of Grand Avenue, which house
had beai built and occupied previously by tlie Thomas W. Wrenne family. In
the deed conveying Cherry Shade a part of the recital is as follows "
all of said land having been occupied continuously by J. R. Park as a home
for more than 3li years, and known as Cherry Shade the said Mrs. Virginia
Park Payne being the dau^ter and sole heir at law of J. R. and Mrs.
Park, the latter now deceased."
To bring this part of the story of Cherry Shade to a close, after Mr.
Park and his daughter Virginia sold the property, it changed hands several
times. Finally, the Tennessee Farmers Co-op built a large fertilie.er and
feed plant on the northerly adjoining tract of land. Because of the un-
pleasant odor from acid fumes originating in the fertilizer plant, together
with huge clouds of dust being blown from the plant when it was in full
operation. Cherry Shade became practically uninhabitable. Too late the
many other residents In the imnediate neighborhood reali-zed their mistake
in not Tising every avenue of protest against allowing the biiilding of this
type of industrial plant so near their former quiet and clean air homes.
Eventually, enou^ protests were made to cause an order to be issued requiring
the fertilizer plant to cut out the air pollution. In the meantime. Cherry
Shade remained xmoccupied for many mcaiths, and as usually happens in such
cases, vandals began to take over. First, vnndows were broken, doors smashed
in, and then general deterioration set in. Bushes and briars grew rampant,
and neglect showed its hand. Finally, on Friday night, June 25, 1971, fire,
set no doubt by vandals or arsonists, took the final toll and Cherry Shade
was no mor«.
Ad with many another former pretty landmark in Middle Tennessee, to
those who remain who have enjoyed the warmth of friendship and hospitality
of Cherry Shade in days and years gcsie by, as well as to all who have senti-
mental ties connected with it, it can live hereafter only in pictures and
CHERRY SHADE - LAVERGNE, TENNESSEE
Those in Picture:
Seated; James Richard Park and wife, Mary Catherine Scott Park.
Children: from left: Annie , Clara Dodge, Mary Virginiaand JohnThomas Park, children of Jr.
and Mary C. Park.
Standing on porch: Mr. Park's sister, Martha Park Randall.
Servants: One of them (believed to be the one on the right) is Aunt Charity Cannon Hibbet. Name of
the other not knowN.
REVOLUTIONARY WAR PENSION
-furnished by Mrs. Hughey King
West Tennessee # 138 38
William Cocke of Rutherford Cotinty in the State of Tennessee who
was a private in company commanded by Captain Talbot of the Regiment
commanded by Col, Nelson in the Va. line for six months
Inscribed on the roll at the rate of 20 dollars per annum to commence
on Uth day of March I83I.
Certificate of Pension issued 26 of June I832 and sent to Alfred
Declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress
passed 7th June I832
State of Tenn.
County Court August I832
On the 2Uth day of August 1832 personally appeared in open comrt before
Henry Trott, James C. Mitchell and Vamer ?_ Cowin Justice of said court now
setting William Cocke a resident of said county and state, aged seventy two
years who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the
following declaration in order to obtain the benefits of the act of Congress
passed 7th June I832 .
That he entered the service of the United States on the 10th day of
September 1779 under Capt. Talbot in the county of Bedford and state of
Virginia, and that in a day or two afterwards the conpany of Capt. Talbot
was marched through the city of Richmond to Williams Berg in the state of
Virginia where they remained about two weeks \mder the conmand of Col»
Nelson. Col. Nelson inarched
Capt. Talbot's conpany with one other company then stationed at
Williams Berg to York Town ;riiose distance apart is about 12 miles. They
remained at York Town something like seven weeks. When we arrived at York
Town there was but a small force remaining most of them being discharged
before we arrived. During the whole of ottr stay at York three men of war
belcaiging to the British fleet were anchored in the mouth of York River
within sight of York Town.
From York Town Capt. Talbot's con55any was marched back to Williams Berg
lAere they remained 2 or 3 days thence through Richmond back to Bedford
County. No engagements took place during this tour. In this csu»5)aign I
served three months, but do not know exactly what time we were discharged
but know that we received 3 months pay.
Again about 2 years afterward in the month of February 1781 as well as
he recollects he enlisted as a volunteer in county of Bedford, State of
Virginia under Capt. William Jones whose conqiany was attached to Col. Lynch 's
Regiment, and in Col. I^ynch's Regiment which consisted of 500 men, he marched
through Halifax county State of Va. crossed Dan River at Irvin's ford thence
into Caswell County State of North Carolina where he joined Gen'l Green..
We found Col. Washington at the head of the horse under Gen'l Green.
These forces were in that section of the state for sometime and went thence
toward Guilford courthouse. He was at the battle of Guilford which he says
was fought on the 15 th day of March in the year 1781. The circumstances
attending the battle that made the most inqsression upon his mind were these
(to wit) that Col. Green was commander in chief. Col. Washington commanded
the calvary and if he is not mistaken Gen'l Lawson commanded the militia.
( Kevins ? ) was present and as he understood was wounded in the thigh and
his horse was shot under him. The captains belonging to Col. Lynch 's
Regiment, Capt. Jones, Moon and Helium were slain at the battle of Guilford.
The British forces remained upon the ground after the engagement and the
American forces evacuated in confusion about 8 or 10 miles north of
Gilford C. H.
He does not recollect the precise time when he was discharged twt thinks
'twas about the last of April; that he received pay for 3 months. He was
discharged at a place called (Duck River ?). about UO or 50 miles south of
Guilford C. H, He does not recollect to have received any other than a
Again In August about the 1st he believes 1781, he volimteered into the
United States service in the county of Bedford, state of Va. under Col,
Quails. They remained in the county of Bedford and Pittsylvania engaged in
collecting beefs, putting them in pastures and branding them upon the hams
with the letters U. S. The cattle were to be sent to the army which was
some where in the neighborhood of Richmond. He was in no engagement during
this term of service. He was discharged sometime between the Ist and 15 th
of November of the same year. He does not recollect to have received any
but a verbal discharge. He has no documentation evidence and knows of no
person whose testimony be can procure who can testify to service.
He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annutity
except, the present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the
agency of any state. Sworn to the day and year aforesaid.
) s/ Vfilliam Cocke
s/ J. R. Lau^lin )
We, Martin Clark a clergyman residing in the County of Rutherford,
State of Tennessee and Granville S. Crockett residing in the same do hereby
certiiy that we are well acquainted with William Cocke who has subscribed
and sworn to the above declaration. That we believe him to be 72 years
of age that he and believed in the nei^borhood where he resided
to have been a soldier of the Revolution and that we conciir in that opinion.
Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.
s/ Martin Clark
s/ 0. S. Crockett
And the sd court propounded the following interrogation to William
Cocke the within named applicant for a pension in open court on the day
and year aforesaid.
1st. Where and in what year were you bom?
— In the county of Hanover, State of Va. in the year 1759.
2nd, Have you any record of your age and if so where is it?
— I have a record of ray age in a family Bible at ray house In this
3rd. Where were you living at the time you were called into service?
Where have you lived since the revolution and where do you now
—When I entered the sevice I lived in Bedford County, State of Va.,
remained there for some years after the revolution and then moved to
Rutherford County, State of Tennessee where I have resided ever
since and **iere I now reside.
lith. How were you called into service; were you drafted, did you
volunteer; or were you a substitute, and if a substitute for?
—In my Ist canpaign under Capt. Talbot to Yorktown, I was drafted.
But in the campaign to Guilford and in the service under Col. Quails,
I volunteered, was never a substitute.
5th, State the names of some of the regular officers who were with the
troops where you served, such continental and militia regiments
as you can recollect and the general circumstances of your service?
— Qen'l Green, Col Washington and Col Leigh Gen'l Kevins was with me
at the battle of Guilford. Gen'l Lawson commanded the militia at
Guilford. Troops of the Maryland line served at Guilford, I do
not recollect any inportant circumstances except such as is mentioned
in the above declaration,
6th, Did you ever receive a discharge from the service and if so by
whom was it given and v^at has become of it?
—I do not recollect to have received any other than a verbal discharge.
7th. State the names of persons to whom you are known in your present
neighborhood and who can testify to your character for veracity and
their belief that you served ia the revolution.
•I am known by Ma J. Dance, ffertln Clark, Solomon Beesley Esq, and
to many others, also to Granville Crockett.
INDEX for PUBLICATION NO. 16
Adair, James 32
Albuquerque , N . Max 36
Anders, David M $^
"Aunt Mat Springs" UU
Avent, James M 2^,25,30
Avent, Frank 23
Barker, Mrs. Reed.«.. 38
Bartlesville , Okla 38
Batey, Elizabeth 13
Batey, Mary E 13
Bean, William 2
Beasley, Jesse C 36
Beasley, Solomon 7U
Beech Cirove.. U8
Bedford Co\inty, Tenn U3,73
Bedford County, Va 73
Bell Buckle iiU
Bingham, Mrs. Forde 53
Blairs Landing 62
Blackman, San •• 63
Black Fox Camp l6
Boone, Daniel 3
Bolock, Gov Tom hO
Bonham, Texas 3$
Bracey , Beulah Mae 37
Brothers Children 55
Brothers, Edd hi
Brothers, Elvie l43
Brown, Jacob 7
Brown, John C. Gen 2,25
Brown, Mary 28
Buchanan, John 66
Buchanan's Station 6
Bullock, Leonard h
Byms, Joseph 28
Cargo, Gov David UO
Carter, Mrs. W. D 38
Chancellor, Pearl 38
Caters Crossing 51
Cherry Shade 57,6li,67,68
Chrisman, James L 60
Chrisman, Annie 53
Clgrk, Mrs. Eliza 56
Clark, Martin 72
Cocke, F. William 70
Colorado, Denver 36
Colvin , Varner 7k
Crockett, G. S 73
Cowder, W. N 6U
Climber land Presby Church. 65
Cyclone,. Jo sterville U7,57
Chapel Hj.ll College 21
Cherokee Indians U, 5
Childress, Annie 27
Childress, Anderson 21
Childress, Bettie 26
Childress, Elisabeth 21
Childress, Eugene 27
Childress, Ella 27
Childress, Horace 27
Childress, Joel 20
Childress, John 20,21
Childress, John V/. Jr.... 25
Childress, Joseph 25
Childress, Mary Kee 25
Childress, Mary Lyon 3U
Childress, Sarah 21,22
Childress, Susan 21
Childress, Sarah Polk.... 25
Childress, Selene 27
Childress, William S 27
Clayton, Seward 6
Clarksville College 33
Colyar, Col Arthur 25
Coolidge, Pres. Calvin... 28
Confederate Veteran 32
Cunningham, Sunner A 32
Davidson County 7,9,10
Daniel, John Ella 57
Dance , Ma j or Tu
Davis, Jefferson 31
Deader ick, David A 32
Demit, Mrs. Fred 38
Dillon, W. W 67
Eakle, E. H 38
Elam, Ed 57, 62
Elam, Robert 11
Edwards, Alice 53
Edward s , Leander H 53
Edwards Slaves U7
Edwards, Matt hi
Edwards, Thomas hS,hl,S3
Elks, B.P.O.E 39
Endee, Oklahoma 36,IiO
Ewell, Lt. Gen T. S 63
Fisher, Bobbye Miles 39
Fly, John 11
50th Term Regiment 29
Foster, John IiU,5l,53,51i
Fosterville U3 - 53
Fosterville Cyclone U7
Fosterville Schools U7,l48
Fosterville Mill 16
Fourville, John 11
Franklin, State of 7
Franklin, Battle of 29
Gardner, Mrs. H 38, UO
Gaines Mill 62
Gamer, William 11
Gee, Jonathan «.. 6
Gilmore, Mrs. Herb UU
Gilmore , J. D • U6
Goodspeed History. hSth^
"Great Grant" k
Green, Bishop 21
Green, Ma J. Gen Tcxn *. 62
Ga*een, Chief Justice 62
Guilford Courthouse 70
Owyn, Bessie 13
Gwyn, George W 13
Gwyn's saw mill I8
Hale, Molly U8
Hart, "Big Branch" 2,3
Hart, Cumberland U>10
Hart, Chinai 6,10
Hart, David 3, h
Hart, Frances E. A 13
Hart, James 11,12,13,11
Hart, John 6,10,13
Hart, Mary E lU
Hart, Mark 11, Ih
Hart, Martha B 13,11^
Hart Springs 1-19
Hart, Mai-y Ann 6,10,13
Hart, Samuel 13
Hart, Sussanah 10
Hart, Simpson.... 6,10
Hart, Thomas h
Hart, Thomas M 11,13
Hart, Thomas R. G 3, U, 6,10
Kartsville, Tennessee 11
Harris, Miss Rucker ii8
Henderson, Company.. ••*•••#• li6
Henderson, A. G Ill
Henderson, Richard h
Hedgepath, Edy M 13
Helgason, Mrs. Lauralee. .... 38, UO
Henrie, Thelma Miles 39, UO
Hill, Green 60
Hill, John 60, 6h
Hill, Thomas 60,6U
Hogg, John h
Hooper, George 38
Hooper, Dr. Ernest 39, UO
Hoover, Walter King 1
Howland, Frances E 35
Howland, John 35
Howland, Hester 35
Hubbard, Father 6I
Hubbard, Rebecca 6I
Hubbard, Martha 61
Hubbard, Richard 61
Hull, Cordell 28
Jackson, Jonathan W 27
Jefferson U, 9,U5
Johns, Alfred 70
Johnson, Rebecca. ••••.••• 13
Johnson, William. ........ h
Jones, John lii
Jordan Valley UU
Kelly, Luke 57
Kerr, Cairrie 53,55
Kerr, T. E 53
Kevins, General 73
King, Mrs. Hughey 70
Kings Mountain 7
Kinnard, Mrs. George 6I
Khon, Alberta and J UlA
Ku Klux Klan 26
Landrum, "Uncle S" 5U
Lea , Luke 28
Lee Knob h9
Leigh, Colonel 7U
lioudon, Fort h
Louisville Medical 61
I^yon, Adelaide D 32
Lyon, Mary Adair 32
Marks, Governor 23
Maupin, Benny 56
Magnum, Oklahoma 35
McGruder, Gen J. B....... 62
McDonald, Mrs. Ira.. 13
McElroy, Andrew. 53
McLean, Ephrain 53
McMillen, Lucile 28
Mexico, Durango...... 62
Miles, Anne M.... 39
Miles, Colera 38
Miles, Clarence. 38
Miles, Darlene lilA
Miles, Earl 39
Miles, Elizabeth H 35
Miles, Edna I. Qreen........ 38
Miles, Family Photo UlA,ltLB
Miles, Maj. Gen Frank 38
Miles, Fred Fellow 38
Miles, James M 35,38,39
Miles, Monroe Jr 38,39,UO
Miles, Jessie Evelyn 37,38
Miles, John Esten 35 - UO
Miles, J. Wade 36,37
Miles, Louise 35,38
Miles, Lloyd Weston 37,38
Miles, Mary UO
Miles, Melvln 38
Miles, Mildred Adams 37
Miles, Olive (Bobbye) 38
Miles, Patricia UlA
Miles, Peggy Frances 39
Miles, Murray hX
Miles, Pearl 39
Miles, Thomas. 35
Miles, Wallie Dean 38
Millett, Alonzo 62
Millett, Capt. E. B 62
Milton, Tennessee U5
Mitchell, James C 70
Modrall, Sarah J 13
Moravian Academy • 21
Moore, Jim 30
Moore, Congressman. ......... U8
Murfree, James B. Jr 21
Murfreesboro, Tennessee 3...iiU
Murphy, Dolie 57
Murphy, Bettie 57
Murphy, Lettie 57
Murphy, "Uncle Joe" 57
Murphy, Mat 57
Nashboro • 7,l6
Negores of Fosterville 5U,55,57
New Mexico 35,36,38
New Mexico Book Dep 36
New Mexico Democrat . 30
New Mexico PSC 36
Newby, Willie 53
Newsom, John R lU
N. C./St. L. Railroad U6,63
Norris, Jim and Sarah UlA
North, Nancy & Frances... 57
Normandy, Tennessee 63
"Old Soap Stone" Ii3
Otey, Janras 21
Overtcn, John..... 9
Park Family 60, 6U
Park, Clara Dodge 6U
Park, Mary Virginia 6U,66
Park, James Richmond 61
Park, John E 61
Park, John Thomas.. ...... 6U, 65,66
Park, Thomas J 62,63,6U
Park talking machine 65
Pamell, "Uncle Ed" Ul
"Pal* Deed" U
Payne, Dorothy Alice 67
Payne, James Buchanan.... 66,68
Payne, Martha Virginia... 67
Payne, Ifery 67
Pearson, Marion Kinnard.. 67
Phillips, Mary 26
Polk, James K 21
Poplin, Dick 51
Presbyterian Church...... U7
Pulaski, Tennessee 25,26
Quay County, New Mexico.. 35
Quails, Colonel 7k
Radford, W. Reed 13, lU
Railway Safety Device.... 65,66
Ralston, Elizabeth lU
Richardson, J. T Ih
Ridley's History 26,27
"Retrospect, Introspect". U9
Richardson, James D...... 52
Richmond, Texas.. 62
Robertson, James... 7
Rogersville Prospect..... ti9
Rosecrans, General U7
Rucker, Alberta 57
Rucker, Henry............ 59
Rucker, Jennie 59
Rucker, Mary Aim 57
Rucker, Doctor,. 22
Rucker, William Medley... 57
Russell, Robert 10
Russwurm, John S. lit
Rural Mail Delivery 51,52
Rutherford Covin ty 9.. 70
Sandusky, Ohio 29
Sante Fe, New Mexico..... 35
Sante Fe Independe nt 36
Sanders, miey 13, lU
Saw Dust insiilation.. 60
Sevier, John 7, 9
Sevier, Polly 20
Shelby, Isaac. 6,11
Shelby, Susaiuiah.Hart 6,11
Sims, Carlton C kSt U8
Sinpson, Sarah 6
Scott, Mary Katherine. 63
Scott, Dr. John H... 63
Scott, Virginia Ewell 63
Stewart, Gen A. D 26
Stones River 3
Stewart, Dr. William 33
South Pittsburg Co 27
Southwestern University..... 33
Stuarts Creek 3
Sloan, Oene H 35
Smith, Bula 51
Taylor, Governor 27
Taylor's Trace 6,10,16,17
Texas, Seguin 61,62
Tennessee Farm Co-Op 69
Tennessee Gazette . U5
Thomas, James W 51
Thompson, Kosiah 6
Todd, Judge Jarrett 37
Toll gates ii5
Trott, Henry 70
Tucker, Anderson 57
Tucker, Hester.... 57
Tucker, Tom, Jim, Fran 57
Tucker, John F 15, 16
Tune, Hewitt 21
Tucumcari, New Mexico 35
Vaughn, Lillian 53
Vaughn, Martha U6
Wade, Anna 57
Wade, Billy Sunday 57
Wade, Fielding 27
Wade, Inez • 27
Wade, Levi 27
Wade, Miller 57
Wade, Susie 37
Wade, Will 57
Wade, Katie Lee 57
Wade, Terry lit
Ward Belmont • 66,67
Washington County h
Washington Distrtct 7
Walker, Thomas..... 3
Watkins, John M IS
Watkins, K. A. T 55
Watauga Settlement ...... 3, h, 7
Weakley. » •.... 3
Webb, Betty U8
Webb, Sawney 2k
White, \fill 10
Whitsitt, Elizabeth 21
Williams, John..... k
iN'illiams, Mary 25
Williams, Johnny 53
WighthaJl, Frederick 27
Wilson, Samuel........... 13
Wilson, Dr. Joseph 83
Wight, Thomas C. 13, lU
Woodfin Cemetery 51i
Wrenne , Thomas 67
Yaquri Indians 66
Urquhart, James Otey 21
im^^-^i^ 1 1
til IN ':'
'may ': .**
MAR 2 6 2001
\' ■ . ■ ^ " 1
HIGHSMITH # 45220
3 3082 00527 7065
therford County historical
society publication No, 16