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RUTHERFORD COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
PUBLICATION NO. 18
Published by the
RUTHERFORD COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
President Miss Aurelia Holden
Vice-President Mr . Fred W. Brigance
Recording Secretary Miss Louise Cawthon
Corresponding Secretary Mrs . Susan Daniel
Publication Secretary Mr. Walter K. Hoover
Treasurer Mrs. Kelly Ray
Directors : Dr. Ernest Hooper
Mr. James Matheny
Mrs. William WalVcup
Publication No. 18 (United Edition-350 copies) is distributed
to members of the Society. The annual membership dues is $7.00
(Family $9.00) which includes the regular publications and the monthly
NEWSLETTER to all members. Additional copies of Publication No. 18
may be obtained at $3.50 per copy.
All correspondence concerning additional copies, contributions
to future issues, and membership should b« addressed to:
Rutherford County Historical Society
Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37130
The Cover- Christiana Depot about 1900 by Jim Matheny
Middle Tennessee State Unh/ersin
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Rutherford County Railroad Station 1
by: Judy Lee Green
My Family 24
by: Fount Henry Rion
Furnished by Mrs. W. H. King
Stone's River 89
by: Samuel J. Lawson III
Corrections and Additions - 138
THE FOLLOWINO PUBLICATIONS ARE FOR SALE BY:
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Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37130
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Revolutionary Record of Wm. Cocke
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HISTORY of ROTHERFCRD COUNTY by C . C . Sims
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RUTHERFORD COUNTY RAILROAD DEPOTS
JUDY LEE GREEN
This paper is not meant to be a definitive
statement on the history of depots in Ruth-
erford County but can best be utilized as a
stop along the line of road, much as the
depots themselves were passenger stops along
the railroad track I am continuing to col-
lect information relating to Rutherford Coun-
ty railroad stations .whether it be written
documentation, photographs, post cards, or
memories. Please contact me if you have
something you would like to contribute <■ To
share history is to preserve it.
Judy Lee Green
RUTHERFORD COUNTY RAILROAD DEPOTS
The iron horse first burst through Rutherford County in
1851, huffing, puffing, smoking, shrieking, whistling a song
that signaled the beginning of an era for Middle Tennesseans.
It brought visitors, strangers and relatives alike; news}
mail; merchandise; and promises of economic opportunities and
social activities. It gave birth to the railroad depot which
sprang up in its wake and, in turn, spawned towns, produced
industry, and created the legendary station agent whose accom-
plishments will be preserved in the collective folklore of
In the mid-eighteen hundreds there were no railroads op-
erating in Tennessee. James A. Whiteside, a member of the
state legislature from Hamilton County, and Dr. James Overton
from Nashville, Tennessee, were responsible for the charter
that the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad received in 1845.
Vernon K. Stevenson, who was named president when the rail-
road was organized in 1848, went from house to house solic-
iting funds in support of the proposed organization. Residents
of Murfreesboro contributed $30,000 toward the purchase of cap-
ital stock, so eager were they for the railroad to be routed
through their town
In December, 1848, a contract was let to build the road
from Nashville to the Rutherford County line, and on June 19
of the following year the sections from Fly's Curve at Kimbro
to Murfreesboro and from Murfreesboro to the Duck River were
let.* 4 " When completed in 1851, nearly thirty miles of track
extended from the northwest corner of Rutherford County at
LaVergne to the southern- portion of the county at Fosterville.
During the next fifty years, woodsheds, water stations, flag
stops, and an undetermined number of depots, both freight and
passenger, were constructed at strategic spots along the track
that ran through Rutherford County.
The first passenger train arrived in Murfreesboro on July
4, 1851. A crowd of fifteen hundred people from Nashville
joined the entire population of Rutherford County to welcome
the Tennessee . A great celebration was held to commemorate
the event that was predicted to open up a whole new world of
business, not only for the railroad but for farmers and busi-
nessmen as wello
The exact date and location of the first depot in Ruther-
ford County is not known. A freight house, however, had been
constructed at Murfreesboro in 1851. 7 Utilized by both armies,
if this structure survived the Civil War, it is possible that it
was razed by the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad when a brick
freight and passenger depot was constructed in 186? at the
Salem Pike crossing. This building became strictly a freight
house when a brick passenger station was erected at the end of
West Main Street in 1887„ Constructed by the Nashville, Chatt-
anooga and St. Louis Railway, this simple, rectangular-shaped,
This 1863 map of Civil War Murfreesboro is the only evidence I have
found that establishes the location of the 1851 depot. Note struc-
ture south of Rio Mills.
one-story complex featured a passenger terminal and baggage
house adjoined track side by a butterfly train shed. Though
it is now a freight agency and no longer a passenger stop, the
Murfreesboro depot, with few exterior alterations, still stands
today, a property of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, The
following physical description will be of interest to future
A concrete foundation supports the Murfreesboro depot, which
features a brick exterior of common bond design and a hipped com-
position roof which, prior to 1968, was of the original roofing
material, slate. Fenestration includes multi-paned windows with
concrete sills and plain surrounds. Single leaf, glazed, and pan-
eled doors are enhanced by transoms. A small projecting bay on the
west side of the structure originally served as an operator's office.
Three concrete bands or courses completely surround the
depot. The doorways and four corners of the building have ver-
tical concrete reinforcement areas located between the two lower
courses. In addition, at the corners and doorways are conical-
shaped cast concrete decorative components approximately three
feet high. Utilitarian as well as decorative, they served as
bumpers to protect the building from damage done by railroad
The broad projecting eaves of the hipped roof are charac-
terized by exposed rafters and wooden brackets which rest on con-
crete corbels. The roof itself is enhanced by two conical-shaped
dormers featuring louvers on the east and west sides and bearing
the date of construction, 1887, on the north and south ends. Al-
terations, which include the removal of two cross gables on the
east facade, a larger cross gable over the operator's bay, two
chimneys, and decorative ridge trim, were made when the building was
reroofed in 1968.
The interior of the former NC&StL RR terminal featured eight-
een feet ceilings, potbellied stoves, wainscoting, and decorative
bulls-eye motif corner blocks on door surrounds. Segregated waiting
rooms and restroom facilities were provided for blacks and whites.
The ticket office and operator's bay were located in the center of
the spatial arrangement. Though the interiority of the building
has suffered major alterations including lowered ceilings, tiled
floors, the addition of walls, and the application of green paint
on woodwork and even window panes, evidences of an earlier day
when steam was king can still be found. The integrity of the depot
has not suffered irreversible changes, only unsympathetic ones.
Located approximately thirty feet from the depot and connected
by a continuous butterfly shed, which features steel posts and
wooden beams and braces, is a smaller replica of the passenger
station, the baggage house. Currently it is used as a signal main-
tainor's office and storeroom. Though there Is some controversy
as to whether this building was erected in 1887 or was built a
few years later, it features the same characteristics as the depot*
the three encircling bands, the multi-paned windows, a brick ex-
terior, and a hipped roof. The interior of this building, however,
is brick, and its doorways include two sliding service doors of
diagonal boards. Prior to 1968 this building also featured a
chimney and decorative ridge trim on the roof.
At least three depots have served the citizens of Murfrees-
boro. Built 1851, 1867, and 1887, the latter one still stands in
its now-neglected garden-like setting, a silent reminder of an
unique American architectural form,
C. C. Henderson, in The Story of Murfreesboro , identifies
the first railroad ticket agent as William (Doc) Ledbetter,
Henderson seems to imply, however, that Ledbetter served the depot
constructed in 1867 and makes no reference to the 1851 depot or its
Perhaps the best known and most celebrated agent was John W«
Thomas* who began his career as manager of the railroad hotel in
Murfreesboro and served almost fifty years in the employ of the
N&C and (after 18?2) the NC&StL Railroads, In November, 1858,
Thomas was appointed agent at Murfreesboro because of his famil-
iarity with railroad details. In due time he was recognized as
keeping the most accurate records on the line of road. As local
agent it became his responsibility to attend to the movement of
supplies and munitions for the Confederate forces when the Civil
War became a reality in Middle Tennessee. He distinguished him-
self by removing to the South and protecting valuable records and
rolling stock belonging to the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad.
For the return after the war of railroad property, Thomas was pro-
moted to auditor and paymaster, the first of many promotions
which culminated in the presidency of the NC&StL Railroad, a position
In 186? this brick passenger depot was constructed at the Salem
Pike railroad crossing by the N&C Ry. This photograph was taken
in 1971. The depot was later razed by the L&N RR„
This NC&StL Ry station was erected in I887. It still stands at the
end of W. Main St„ in Murf reesboro. (1976 photo)
he held for twenty-two years until his death in 1906.
MUrfreesboro was founded in 1811 and named for Col. Hardy
Murfree prior to the coming of the railroad. Other points along
the road, however, developed as a result of the railroad's in-
fluence. Stewartsboro, located on Stewart Creek near the Nash-
ville Pike, was a busy little community whose business was trans-
ferred to Smyrna after the railroad was completed,, A freight
and passenger house combined, designated as third class, was erect-
ed in 1851. By December of the same year a woodshed and a water
station had also been constructed. 1 Adjoining land, purchased by
the railroad company, was subdivided into sixty-four lots and offer-,
ed for sale at public auction. 17 Silas Tucker, former owner of the
land, may have been given the honor of naming the station and, sub-
sequent ly, the town of Smyrna. On May 13, 1850, he donated four
acres of land for the establishment of the present town, after
selling thirty-six and three-fourths acres to the railroad company,.
The fate of Smyrna's first depot is not known. In 1873, how-
ever, a brick structure, a combination freight and passenger depot,
was erected by the newly merged Nashville, Chattanooga and St.
Louis Railway. 20 This building still stands today though it has
been remodeled extensively. An increase in rail traffic during
World War II brought many alterations. Also, a train wreck in July,
1950, damaged much of the building and demolished the entire south
Today the Smyrna depot is located between the main line and the
house track of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, east of the
old business district and west of Highway kl . A rectangular-
shaped structure with a brick exterior of common or American
bond design, it sits on a concrete foundation with a six inch
concrete course surrounding its entirety at ground level. A
split roof line is the only commentary on its boxcar-like ap-
pearance. A chimney punctuates the roof line on the west,, the
most original and least altered of the four sides of the build-
Although exposed timber rafters and wooden brackets project
from beneath the eaves of the gabled depot roof, four original
brackets, more decorative than the others, still remain on the
west side. Likewise, four iron braces support the brick wall,
their tie rod plates visible on the interior. The Smyrna rail-
road station also features flat concrete lintels, brick sills,
and simple, uncomplicated fenestration (^A, large windows; 3/3,
small windows with glazed transoms above). Service doors are
located on the north and south ends and the west side. The north
opening has an original eight foot by eight foot sliding door
with diagonal boards.
The interior of the former Nashville, Chattanooga and St.
Louis Railway depot originally featured a freight house on the
south end; waiting rooms, restrooms, and office space in the cen-
tral portion; and a baggage room on the north end.
The freight house, or warehouse, on the south end is accessible
by two of the service doors mentioned above. Originally the in-
terior of this section was brick covered by a hard thick plaster.
Walls have now been stabilized by concrete blocks. The ceiling
is twelve feet high in this end of the building. A large floor
scale for weighing freight remains in the room.
The central section of the depot formerly contained separate
waiting rooms for blacks and whites with ceiling heights of ten
feet and concrete floors; restrooms, which were modified in space
configuration during World War II, making larger facilities avail-
able for the many soldiers who traveled by rail; and an agent's
office featuring a ticket counter. Prior to the train mishap in
July, 1950, an operator's bay was located on the west side of the
depot It was destroyed by the derailment, however, and was not
reconstructed when repairs were made to the building.
The north end of the depot was the baggage room, a temporary
shelter for trunks, suitcases, and mail bags. The third and orig-
inal service door is still operative here. During the 19^0s a
low-pitched gabled roofed (carport-type) shed was constructed off
the baggage room on the extreme north end of the buildingo Sup-
ported by six square wooden pillars, the roof provided protection
from the elements for the many traveling soldiers who could not
be accommodated in the small waiting room of the station during
World War II.
The Smyrna depot is no longer utilized as a passenger station,
nor does it provide office space for agents and operators A
L&N Railroad signal maintainer and local train crew use the build-
ing on a limited basis today. Formerly an important station and
a busy stop on the railroad, the tr^in depot with its peeling
white paint, crumbling brick walls, falling plaster, and decaying
wood trim is an embarrassing conclusion to the history of rail-
road architecture in Smyrna. As the oldest depot in Rutherford
County still standing today, it deserves more consideration than
it has received in the past few years. Never an elaborate or
superfluous structure, the architectural contribution of the rural
railroad station is based on the very nature of its ubiquity.
Smyrna was not the only railroad station constructed in 1873
by the newly merged Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway
Company. Florence, a combination passenger and freight depot,, was
erected in the same year midway between Murfreesboro and Smyrna „
Named for the daughter of a station agent, Florence was a brick
structure measuring twenty-five by fifty feet and constructed at
a cost of $2,647. The railroad retired this building in 1927„
Adjoining stock pens built in 1900 were retired in 19^6.
Christiana, a small settlement located near the Fosterville
community, was originally called Jordan's Valley. Apparently the
name Christiana was given to a Nashville and Chattanooga Railway
depot erected when the railroad passed through Rutherford County.
Eventually the area became known by that name
It has been alleged that James Grant, construction engineer
for the building of the railroad, was responsible for the naming
of all stations between Nashville and Chattanooga, Historical
evidence does not support this contention, however, in regard to
Rutherford County depots.
Whether Christiana was named in honor of a black railroad
cook, Christie Anna; or for a black child, Christ Daniel; or for
Smyrna, constructed in 1873. is Rutherford County's oldest existing
depot. Built by the NC&StL Ry, it has been altered extensively „
Fosterville, built in 1890 by the NC&StL Ry, was the second depot
in the small community to suffer a tragic conclusion,, (1976 photo)
the wife or sweetheart of an early railroader Is not known.
It Is known, however, that James Grant was the first railroad
agent at Christiana. Though the construction date of the
first depot appears not to have been recorded, a woodshed and
horse-powered water station had been erected by December, 1851.
James Grant left the service of the Nashville and Chattanooga
Railway in 1859 but returned to their employ after the Civil War.
He passed away in 1869 before the second depot was constructed.
Therefore, the first Christiana railroad station was erected bet-
ween 1851-1859 or between I865-I869, probably the earlier date. It
is reasonable to assume that a structure erected after the Civil
War would not have been replaced by a new building in 1882, If
the depot was built before the war, however, it may have been
damaged or unavoidably neglected by the railroad during the conflict.
The second Christiana depot, a combination passenger and
freight station, was erected in 1882 by the Nashville, Chattanooga
and St. Louis Railway.-^ A frame building of board and batten
construction, it featured a low-pitched gabled roof of tin, over-
hanging eaves supported by decorative brackets, simple fenestration,
and doorways graced by transoms. A wooden platform around the
building was enhanced by a picket underpinning. The structure was
retired from service by the railroad company in 19^2.-^
The following notice appeared in the Murfreesboro Free Press ,
Friday, September 27, l889i "The long-wished-for new depot is in
course of construction at Rucker." J No other information was
given, and subsequent newspapers available revealed no additional
Information. One can only speculate as to whether the word "new"
indicates the existence of an "old" depot.
The new Rucker train station, however, was a combination pas-
senger and freight depot. It was erected at a cost of $2,199#00 by
the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway. Rucker was re-
tired from service in 19^2 after serving more than fifty years..
Adjoining stock pens built in 1911 were utilized until 1923.
Old Fosterville, located in the southeast corner of Rutherford
County, was incorporated in 1832. It is thought to have been named
after John Poster, an early settler. When the Nashville and Chatt-
anooga Railway was completed in 1851, however, the small community
was relocated to advantage itself of the railroad. Responsible for
the move and the present site of Fosterville was Thomas Edwards,
postmaster, station master, and railroad express agent.
No construction date is available for the first depot served
by Thomas Edwards and built by the Nashville and Chattanooga Rail-
way. Did this building survive the Civil War? Was it the same
depot still standing in 1886 when Goodspeed recorded that railroad
business at Fosterville amounted to $5t000 a year?-^ If so, this
depot was destroyed in March, 1890, when a ravaging cyclone demol-
ished the Fosterville community.
The Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway erected a
combination passenger station and freight depot to replace the
decimated structure after the storm in 1890. The floor dimensions
of the new building measured twenty-four by seventy-five feet. It
was constructed at a cost of $3,531.00., Of board and batten con-
structlon, the building was simple and typical of rural railroad
stations. It featured a low-pitched gabled roof with wide over-
hanging eaves, decorative scrolled brackets reinforced by iron
rods, transoms, and doorways of diagonal boards..
The railroad retired the Fosterville agency in 19^2, Adjoin-
ing stock pens, built in 1911 > were retired in 19^. The depot
was purchased by a private individual, moved from its original
site and relocated nearby. There it stood until March 26, 1977t
when Fosterville lost its second depots The building was con-
sumed by fire, apparently the work of arsonists who saw no architec-
tural value in the diminished splendor of the agrarian railroad
station, a tragic end to depot history in the Fosterville community.
The completion of the railroad through Rutherford County
brought prosperity soon after 1851 to a small community located
in the northeast corner. LaVergne, named for an early settler,
Francois Leonard Gregoire de Roulhac de LaVergne, was incor-
porated by an act of the General Assembly in 1861,
By December, I852, a steam-powered water station had been com-
pleted at LaVergne , though the construction date of the first
depot is unknown. It seems reasonable to assume, however, that in
order for the railroad to have an effect on the economy -* in the
area, a railroad station must have been in use. This was probably
the same building acknowledged in December, 1862, by General William
Starke Rosecrans as he advanced with his Federal forces towards
Murfreesboro preceding the Battle of Stone's River and found La-
Vergne "to be a small village with a desirable railroad depot that
could move men and supplies closer to Murfreesboro."
There is no evidence at this time to suggest that the La-
Vergne depot was destroyed during the Civil War. Assuming that
it withstood the use and misuse of an occupying army, it was prob-
ably still standing in late I867 or early 1868 when James Richard
Park, an employee of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railway, was
promoted to station agent at LaVergnc Cherry Shade, located
across from the railroad station, became the home of Park and his
new bride. Not only did the dedicated railroad employee keep his
own home and yard neat and attractive, but he planted flowers to
make the depot pleasant and more enjoyable for the many people who
traveled by rail before the turn of the century.
The fate of LaVergne's first depot is unknown. It was prob-
ably razed by the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway in
1901 when a new passenger terminal and freight station was erected.
The frame building, of board and batten construction, measured
thirty by eighty feet. It stood between the main line and the
house track of the NC&StL Railway, near the present site of the
Tennessee Farmers Co-op. Constructed at a cost of $3176^000,,
LaVergne^ second depot served the community for fifty years be-
fore it was retired by the NC&StL Railway, in 1951.
Shelters for the comfort and convenience of revenue passengers-
were constructed by the railroad at intervals throughout Rutherford
County. Known as flag stops, they were designated as points for
trains to receive passengers when flagged or to discharge them
along the line of road. Caretakers were sometimes employed by the
railroad, but agents were not assigned to these locations.
Winstead, located four miles south of Murfreesboro, was a
flag stop though no shelter seems to have existed at that loca-
tion. It is not known at this time whether a shelter stood at
Russell, located north of Murfreesboro on the railroad line. A
flag stop existed at the National Cemetery though the date of
construction is unavailable. The Jefferson Pike stop, located
between LaVergne and Smyrna, was built in 1902 o
The Wade flag stop was constructed in 1905. A tiny fourteen
by sixteen feet, it featured a board and batten exterior and was
erected at a cost of $632.00. Its small size and physical appear-
ance was probably typical of the other shelters constructed along
the railroad line. Wade was located two miles south of Smyrna and
four miles north of the Florence depot. The railroad retired the
structure in 1936.
The depot or railroad station for almost a century was the
focal point of many small towns. In Rutherford County, March 15,
1968, marked the end of an era in railroad history. As the last
passenger train regularly scheduled to stop at Murfreesboro pulled
into the station in the early hours of the morning, not even the
local agent was on hand to greet it. The last "All aboard*" must
have echoed off the empty walls, quite a contrast to the hulla-
baloo created by the arrival of the first passenger train in
Murfreesboro more than a hundred years earlier.
Gone are the steam engines, the passenger trains. The
clickity-clack of the "limiteds," the "expresses," and the "flyers"
has been replaced by the roar and the rumble of the 7*4-7s and
the DC9s. Gone are the station agents, and gone are eleven of
the thirteen depots that have served as the economic and social
centers throughout Rutherford County,, We must rejoice in our
nostalgic moments, however, for through the preservation of dim
records, faded photographs, and tales of old men, our children
and grandchildren will be able to recapture the romanticism of
the railroad era and re-create the glory of the depot in its
Mufreesboro Depot about 1 300
^LaVergne - 2 depots - c.1851; 1901
jJefferson Pike - flag stop - 1902
^Smyrna - 2 depots - I85I1 I873
Wade - flag stop - 1905
Florence - 1 depot - 1873
Russell - flag stop - shelter unknown
National Cemetery - flag stop - no date
Murfreesboro - 3 depots - 1851; 186?; 1887
Winstead-f lag stop - no shelter
Rucker - 1 depot - I889
Christiana - 2 depots - C.I85I; 1882
Fosterville - 2 depots - C.I85I5 1890
This map Identifies the locations and construction dates of 13
Rutherford County depots and 5 flag stops. (I suspect there were
others. This is not meant to be a scaled drawing. JLG)
^■Richard E. Prince, Nashville , Chattanooga and St . Louis
Railway (Green River, Wyo.« Richard E. Prince, 1967) t P« °.
2 T. Do Clark, "The Development of the Nashville and Chatt-
anooga Railroad," Tennessee Historical Magazine , III, No. 3
(1935). P. 167.
■^ Goodspeed's General History of Tennessee ( Nashville t Good-
speed Pub. Co., 1887), P. 816.
Thomas N. Johns, Sr. , "The Nashville and Chattanooga Rail-
road through Rutherford County, 1845-1872," Rutherford County
Historical Society , No. 5 (1975). P. 10.
Johns, p. 17.
7 Ibid., p. 16.
Structures Section, Engineering Dept., L&N Railroad,
"c. C. Henderson, The Story of Murfreesboro (M*Boro.t News-
Banner Pub. Co., 1929), P. 115o
1 John W. Thomas (NC&St.L Ry., no date), pp. 7-8
11 Ibld., p 11.
12 Ibld., pp. 8-9.
13 Ibid., p. 10o
Goodspeed, p. 826.
15 Ibid. f p. 83*+.
Johns, p. 16.
'Walter K. Hoover, History of the Town of Smyrna , Tennessee
(Nashville: McQuiddy, 1968), p. 5.
l8 Ibid., p. 74.
19 Ibid., p. 338o
Structures Section, L&N RR.
21 Hoover, p. 344,
22 Grlfflth (Rutherford Co. Bicentennial Commission, 1976).
^Structures Section, L&N RR.
c * Johns, pp. 11-12.
25 Grlfflth .
26 Johns, p. 12.
27 Ibld , P. 16.
28 Ibid., p. 12.
29 Mary B. Hughes, Hearthstones (M»Boro.» Mid-South Pub. Co.,
19^2; reprint ed., I960), p. 5^»
Structures Section, L&N RR.
31 Ibid o
3 2 Free Press . 27 Sept. 1889, P. If (MFM 84, 1820-1950 Newspapers).
33 Structures Section, L&N RR.
^Elvira Brothers, "The story of Fosterville," Rutherford County
Historical Society . No. 16 (1981), pp. 44-46.
3 *Goodspeed, p. 819.
5 Brothers, p. 47.
37 Structures Section, L&N RR.
39 "Fires Strike County; Old Depot Bums," Dally News Journal,
27 March 1977, p. 1. cols. 2-3.
Gbodspeed, p. 834.
Johns, p. 16.
43 Shirley Chaney, "History of LaVergne," Rutherford County
Historical Society , No. 6 (1976), p. 63.
^Ibid., Po 64.
^ 5 James L. Chrlsman, "A Story of Cherry Shade, LaVergne, Term-
essee," Rutherford County Historical Society, No. 16 (1981), PP. b*-b5,
^Structures Section, L&N RR. 7 Grifflth
Structures Section, L&N RR.
FOUNT HENRY RION
Thomas Osborn, settled in Virginia 1616, was
Justice in 16 31 and Member House of Burgess
Ann C. Reed
Sallie E. Osborn
Fountain J. Henry
Nettie E. Henry
Winiam J. Rlrtn
Ellen Ann Rion
EUen Rion Caldwell
James Lawson Fleming
All of my life I have felt a desire to know more about ray family
connections but have done little to really satisfy that desire which
seems to have been rather deep rooted even when I was a child.
I have pleasant and satisfying memories which date back to that
period, for then a great many of the older generation were still living
and told me of interesting things that happened in that long ago. Most
vivid of these memories were the talks with my grandma Henry.
Then, a cousin, Howard E. Ronk was traveling around the country
visiting and interviewing members of the Osborn family, about whom he was
writing a history. These and many others with whom I had the privilege
of talking, gave me much interesting information.
My father having died when I was only three and one half years old,
and all of his family connections except Uncle Ed Rion, still living out
in the country, I had little or no opportunity to know them or to be
associated with them. This, of course, gave me a greater desire to know
more about them.
I visited in Murfreesboro every summer during my childhood and had
association with the Henrys, the Osborns, the Reeds and others, but the
Rions and Jones lived out at Lascassas and Hall's Hill and these were twelve
to fifteen miles away and in those days of only horse and buggy travel,
made it impossible for me.
Not until the summer of 1901* was I able to satisfy this desire, but
during that summer, mother and I made a visit to Aunt Fanny Rion Phillip's
and her family, who were then living out beyond Lascassas.
In addition to the most interesting conversations with Aunt Fanny who
had lived in that country all of her life, and other interesting facts
brought out by my mother, who wont out there to live after she married, -
we took an all day long buggy ride through all that country,- over to the
old original Francis P. Rion home, built between 1825 and 1830 near fell's
HL11, and the old original Jones home across the road, built about 1796.
The trip in 190k was difficult as there were only crude roads including
these portions of road which ran through and along creek beds, all of which
emphasized in my mind how difficult travel was in those days of a hundred
years previous when our pioneer ancestors sought these new homes. No roads,
not even trails. Travel possible only following rivers or smaller streams
and often they found it necessary to axe out a new trail through the un-
Still living in the old Jones house at the time of our visit in 1901*
were some of the descendants of the Enoch Jones family who received us
graciously and treated us royally. They told me Interesting stories about
the old house, the barns, slave quarters and the country around about, tales
which had been handed down during the previous hundred years.
Nearby was the house in which my father was born and it was a thrill
to be there and to see and drink from the wonderful old spring at the foot
of the hill where, Aunt Fanny told us, papa used to go to get water for
We also visited the Will Jones place. Uncle Will Jones was a brother
of my father's mother,- and while I have no positive information on this,
I feel very sure that my father, William, was named for his Uncle Will Jones.
I enjoyed talking with these wonderful people. I am sure I am correct in
my impression that Uncle Will and Aunt Veenie Jones were the favorites of
both papa and mother, of all their family connections.
Then one of the most interesting events on that day's trip was a
visit to the old Enoch Jones cemetery. This was beautiful and the most
pretentious private, country cemetery I had ever seen. It was surrounded
by a substantial stone wall, capped with wide smooth stones and gates of
wrought iron. The masonry was as fine a job as I have ever seen anywhere.
The dominant feature was a tall white marble shaft to the memory of
Enoch Hunt Jones, my great-grandfather. My grandmother, Nancy Jones Rion,
was buried near her father and her grave marked with a simple slab. Many
other family graves were well marked and contained much family history.
Back in Murfreesboro on this same trip, I visited Uncle Wash Henry
and there talked Henry family with him.
During all this I made many notes, had received many pictures and
other keepsakes, - but in 1925 when the house at Brentwood burned, all
those things were lost.
Then for the thirty or more years intervening, I have been much, much
too busy to give more than fleeting thoughts to this matter of family
connections, however, the impelling thought that I should do something
about it, had recently been quickened by the realization that I had an
obligation to my children and grandchildren who have had little or no
opportunity to know anything about their ancestral family. I was deter-
mined to do something about it, so with the hope that some may have an
interest in such things, I have, using the information I already had as
a basis, made considerable research and investigation and have attempted
to compile, and in the pages which follow, to record some of these fin din gs.
Realizing that exactly the same lineage applies to my sister's children,
I am taking the liberty of having sufficient copies prepared so that each
of her three daughters may have one.
Several years ago, I wrote a "Family History" to be included in my
book for my children "You Asked For It." I now find that some of the
latest data I have secured does not always coincide with that previously-
written. This is understandable when we consider some of the facts I
have been trying to uncover date back in some instances to more than two
I will not go back and make any changes in that previous story for
that is very different in character from this one as the previous one
contains copies of many personal letters.
In this story, I have tried, in so far as resources permit, to
identify as many as possible of our ancestors who served in the American
Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. These identified by records
Will jam Rion Army of Maryland
Lt. Thomas Gayle Army of Virginia
Ezekiel Jones Army of Virginia
George Henry Army of Virginia
Ambrose Jeffries Army of Virginia
Col. Peter Dudley Army of Virginia
William Williams Army of Virginia
Caleb Osborn Army of New Jersey
Any historian, biographer or genealogist must, of necessity, rely
upon piecing together bits of information, often very «nu»n hits, in
creating the story, and especially in my case (such an amateur) there is
always a chance that some Inaccuracies may creep in.
It is ray sincere hope that those who read this may have a greater
esteem and appreciation for those who have gone on before us, and have
laid the foundations for an America which is great and as a result of
their pioneer labors and great sacrifice, we now live our lives more
I want to acknowledge with sincere appreciation, ray indebtedness to
all sources of help and inspiration that I have received in preparing this:
Ruth White Cook, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
(Daughter of Ora Rlon White)
Nannie Phillips Gray, Fountain City, Tennessee
(Daughter of Fanny Rion Phillips)
Hilda Jones Dunn, Washington, D. C.
(Daughter of Will Macklin Jones)
Lucie M. Browning, Culpepper, Virginia
Howard E. Ronk - (Deceased)
(Historian of Osborn family)
The Library of Congress
Washington, D. C.
National Archives and Research Service
Washington, D. C.
Tennessee State Library and Archives
Virginia Historical Society
"The Culpeper Minute Men" Slaughter
"Historical Register of Virginians
in the Revolution" Qwathmey
"Genealogies" (Mostly Virginian) C. Marriott
In colonial Virginia, there were many French people. They had left
their own land, some secretly In small ships and many driven out by
religious persecution. They were Protestants (called Huguenots).
During the 16th and 17th centuries the contest between the Catholic
party and the Protestant (Huguenot) party in France was bitter. The con-
test was as much political as religious.
After bloody struggles the Protestants fled to their fortified towns
and carried on the war with varying success.
In 1593, the Huguenots had secured their civil rights, and the right
to free exercise of their religion. They were also given equal claims
with the Catholics to all offices and dignities. They were also afforded
the means of forming a kind of Republic within the Kingdom, which Richelieu
regarded as a serious obstacle to the growth of the Royal power, hence, he
resolved to crush it.
The war raged from l62ii to 1629 when LaRochelle, the principal fort-
ress of the Huguenots, fell before the Royal troops.
Persecution continued under King Louis XIV.
In 1685, about 50,000 Protestants were driven out of France to other
countries. While many were driven out, many left by choice.
In the year 1700, seven hundred French settlers came to Virginia. The
shores of this region were not unknown to the Huguenots. The mild climate
attracted them and they gladly sought refuge there among the English.
It was with this background, and in the midst of this political and
religious intrigue that the first RION of which we have any record, came
And, in the midst of that bloody struggle in France, stood the
town of RION .
While so many leaders on both sides, alike, were vising the bitter
spirit of religious controversy for their personal advantage, the RICH
family (or clan) was busy trying to keep peace and order so as to hold
their town intact.
The RION clan, prominent in France at that time, owned lands with
castles built on the estates. They served as Huguenots in these religious
wars until they were forced to leave France.
The RIONS were in America before 1725, as shown on the military
enlistment of WILLIAM RION, Sr. who was born in Maryland in 1750, later
moving to Charlotte County, Virginia where he died.
WILLIAM JAMES RION , my father, was born on May 23, 1857 near Halls
Hill in Rutherford County, Tennessee. He was the son of Thomas D. Rion
and Nancy Ann (Nannie) Jones.
He grew up on the farm where he was born and later the family moved
over near Lascassas where he worked with his father in the business of buying,
selling and trading livestock. They would buy up large numbers of horses,
mules, cows, sheep, hogs and when the Nashville market was right, they
would drive the herd or flock through the country from Murfreesboro to the
stock yards in Nashville, requiring two to three days to make the trip of
thirty-two miles. That was before the railroad began hauling livestock in
On December 17, 1879 he and ray mother, Nettie Ellen Henry, were
married in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Murfreesboro, with the Rev.
J. H. Warren officiating. It was a big wedding, with six attendants, all
cousins of the bride, with one exception. The groomsmen were Charles S.
Hendrix, William F. Henry, Charles W. Henry and the bridesmaids were
Lillie B. Elliott, Maggie E. Hendrix and Maggie Ralston. The two Henry
boys were sons of Uncle Wash Henry of Murfreesboro, while Charles E,
Hendrix and his sister Maggie E. Hendrix were the son and daughter of
Uncle "Billy" and Aunt Jane Reed Hendrix, then of McKenzie, Tennessee, -
lillie B. Elliott, a first cousin, daughter of Aunt Nannie Henry Elliott,
and Maggie Ralston was a school chum at Soule College in Murfreesboro,
and no relation. These six attendants all signed the wedding certificate,
as official witnesses.
In a letter from Maggie Hendrix, some three weeks after the wedding,
she speaks of her "new cousin Willie" In most co mplimen tary terms.
Evidently mother had sent her one of the wedding pictures of herself and
papa, for Maggie writes:
Your note containing the picture, was received
yesterday. Many thanks. All pronounce Cousin
Willie a handsome young man and highly compliment
the good taste you displayed in the selection of
such a man as his photo indicates and as I know
him to be. All extend to you their hearty con-
gratulations for a bright, a happy and useful
life in the future."
"It is needless for me to tell you that I fell
very much in love with Cousin Willie, for you
already know that. I was so very anxious to remain
longer and spend a few days with you in your new
home, out on the banks of that lovely little
Middle Tennessee stream."
Papa had first met my mother at a party, and it was "love at first
sight." That night she was wearing a dress trimmed in a ball fringe. After
the party, she missed one of the little balls and couldn't find it, but
after their wedding she discovered that papa had it in his wallet. He had
secretly cut it off at the party and had carried it ever since. (NOTE: I
now have the wallet and the ball).
Although "love at first sight" there was much to be considered in
this proposed marriage. Evidently young William was a very handsome and
highly worthy young man. He was six feet, one inch tall, in his sock feet
and weighed 175 pounds and was of a very lovable personality. But, his
only life had been that of a country boy and his young bride of nineteen
would have to share that kind of life, although she had never known any-
thing of that kind.
All investigations as to character, fitness, background, etc. seems
to have worked out very satisfactorily, for the wedding did take place and
they were settled in that - "new home, out on the banks of that lovely
little Middle Tennessee stream." (NOTE: I visited this place in 190U and
again recently - in 1958)
But life in this new home became anything but satisfactory to either
of them. In the meanwhile Uncle Tommy Henry had gone to Nashville and had
secured a very satisfactory job. Papa sought to follow him and also make
a try for a job in the city.
On November 2k» 1880 the first baby was born, - my sister. Mother had
gone into town in Murfreesboro so she could be with her mother for this
occasion. She never returned to the country to live.
Under date of February 25, 1881, papa wrote mother from Nashville
on the stationery of "BAIRD & JAMESON", "Staple and Fancy Groceries", 139
Church Street, stating he had secured a job there which was very satisfactory.
In the meanwhile, Grandma had moved to Nashville to make a home for
Uncle Tommy (her son) and papa went to live with them so mother and the baby
could follow soon.
I now have among my keepsakes, some stationery which indicates papa
was making a try at business for himself. The heading is as follows:
W. J. RION
FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC FRUITS
309 CHDRCH STREET
At another time he was employed by Mr. Charles Mitchell in the same
kind of business.
But his life was to be a short one. After a spell of pneumonia in
the winter of 1885-86, he contracted "consumption" (now known as tubercu-
losis) and on April 2, 1887, shortly before bis thirtieth birthday, he
passed on to his "great reward."
Although I do remember certain instances and circumstances which
occurred toward the end of his life, it has been a very great satisfaction
to me to have heard, all my life, from people who knew him well, only the
highest praise for his life and character, -his lovable disposition, his
though tfulness for the welfare and happiness of others and his devotion to
his wife and c hild ren and to Grandma Henry, who lived with us.
(NOTE: Nancy Ann Jones, his mother and her family will
be outlined in a separate section,- JONES . )
THOMAS D . RION . my grandfather, was born near Halls Hill, Rutherford
County, Tennessee, on April 8, 1831, the oldest son of FRANCIS P. RION
and wife NANCY GAYLE BLACKSTOCK.
Thomas D. RLon was married to Nancy Ann Jones on January 5, 185U.
They had three children, my father William James Rion, Edwin Thomas Rion
and Fanny Rion who married Ed Phillips.
Thomas D. Rion spent his entire life on the farm and in associated
activities such as buying, selling and trading in livestock.
During the War Between the States he served In the "conscript
Cavalry of Tennessee. Volunteering seemed to be failing to produce
sufficient recruits in the Confederate Army and grandpa Rion was assigned
to this duty of Conscription of recruits.
He died in Murfreesboro, Tennessee on September 26, I898. I re-
member him well. I would see him in Murfreesboro when I would be visiting
there and he happened to come into town. Grandma Rion, his wife had died
several years previously - on June 15* 1877. He had been a widower some
FRANCIS P. RION . usually called Frank, was my great-grandfather. He
was the son of William Rion, Sr. and wife Gilley (surname unknown).
Francis P. Rion was born in Virginia in 1805 and was married on January
17, 1825, in Charlotte C. H., Virginia to Nancy Ann Gayle, widow of David
Francis had left home at an early age and evidently was employed on
the large plantation of the widow Blackstock which she had inherited on
the death of her husband David Blackstock. When Francis married Nancy
Ann,-he was "Bound Over" to her under Bond. I have not been able to find
the exact meaning of this term "Bound Over", but in this connection it was
an official, legal document requiring a bondsman who was his brother,
Joseph D. Rion. Being dated the same day as their marriage, indicates it
had to do with that as witnessed as follows:
"KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS:- that we,
Francis Rion and Joseph D. Rion are held and
firmly bound unto James Pleasants, Jr.
Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in
the just and full sum of One Hundred and Fifty
Dollars, to the use of the Commonwealth, to the
payment whereof, well and truly to be made, we
bond ourselves, our heirs and jointly and
severally, firmly by these presents.
Sealed with our seals and dated this 17th day of
January 1825. M
THE CONDITION OF THE ABOVE OBLIGATION IS SUCH:-
"That, whereas, a marriage is to be solemnized
between the above bound Francis Rion and
Ann Blackstock, widow of David KLackstock, of
this County; now, if there be no lawful cause
to obstruct the same, then the above obligation
to be void, otherwise to remain in full force
FRANCIS RION (SEAL)
JOSEPH D. RION (SEAL)
H. B. CHERMSIDE, CLERK
CIRCUIT COURT, CHARLOTTE COUNTY
Nancy Ara^s father, Thomas Gayle had died just the year before,
(18210 and she turned to Francis, nineteen years her junior, for comfort
In the Fall of 1825, the "Migration South" had started. The Virginia
holdings having been disposed of, they came South, through North Carolina
The emigration party was composed of Nancy Blackstock 1 s sisters and
their husbands, and other Rions.
Michael Rion stopped in North Carolina while some of his family moved
on to South Carolina where there is today a town by the name of RION.
W illi am Rion, Jr., moved on to Kentucky.
This huge party of kinfolks brought their livestock and a few family
possessions with them to Rutherford County, Tennessee.
Just when they arrived is not known, but the first land purchase was
made by Francis P. Rion (our ancestor) in 1830. It was on the East fork of
Stones River near Halls Hill.
Francis P. Rion, born in Virginia in 1805, died In Rutherford County,
Tennessee in 1878, buried in Floyd Cemetery north of Halls Hill, east of
and across the road from the Enoch Jones Cemetery. Here also lies his
wife, Nancy Gayle Blackstock, born 1787 In Gloucester County, Virginia and
died In Rutherford County, Tennessee in 1875 •
Francis P. Rion and Nancy Gayle Blackstock* s home was built of logs,
a two story structure among the beautiful cedars and the huge rocks on
the banks of Stones River. (NOTE: I visited this home in its ori g i n al
condition, in 1°0U,- and again in 1939 after it had been remodeled,- then
again in 1958 when I found a complete remodeling had taken place.)
Origin ally it was a commodious two story house, built of cedar lags
and sealed inside with wide poplar boards all hand made. The design and
workmanship of the original interior showed a finesse very unusual for
those pioneer times.
The doors, I thought so unusual, I copied them exactly for my present
Also, I have in my rock garden, stones from the creek running through
the front lot of this place - and one from the original stone chimney which
was being torn down.
In one of the real estate transfers recorded, Francis P. Rion sold to
Thomas D. (my grandfather) and J. R. Rion (his brother) land bounded by
Stones River and by Stroops land near Halls Hill. Transaction made 1859
as recorded in Rutherford County Court records.
This tract of land sold to his two sons, adjoined the original place.
A large log house was on this land also. I visited this house in 190U
but when I returned in 1939 it had burned down. This house was the birth-
place of my father, so I secured rocks for my garden from the stone found-
atlon and a piece of the hearthstone.
From his sons, passed on down through their children, we have a
description of our ancestor, Francis P. Rion. This described him as a
typical "Virginia Gentleman Planter" and was a striking figure riding
over the plantation on his fine mares, carrying his gold headed walking
cane and wearing buckskin gloves. He was always well dressed. Bee-gum
hat, clothes of fine material and shining boots. On his hip hung his
revolver (a necessity in those pioneer days) but this was not in view,
as he was never seen coatless in public. His shirt was ruffled up the
front and he wore a "Shoo-fly tie" more commonly known as "Windsor."
Francis P. Rion had a large frame, weighing one hundred seventy-five
pounds. He was very active all his life, but became "despondent, quarrel-
some and contrary" after he lost all his property during the "War Between
He bought and sold cattle, driving them to market in Nashville and
sometimes along the Natchez Trace to Natchez or New Orleans. He used
his sons as helpers, perhaps beginning the tradition followed by my grand-
father who in turn had my father helping him.
THOMAS GAYLE ; - father of our great-grandmother, Nancy Ann Gayle
Blackstock, was born in England, April 17, 1750 - died May 2k, 182U. He
was married in 1770 to Mary Goode. They had seven children, the sixth
being Nancy Ann, born in 1700.
It is not known just when Thomas Gayle first came to America, but we
do have the record that he did serve as a Lieutenant in the American
Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.
Filed in the Court of Charlotte County, Virginia on the 5th day of
July I82I4, was a very elaborate and extensive will, indicating he was a
man of wealth and prestige.
WILLIAM RION, Sr., the first Rion of whom we have any direct record,
was born in Maryland in 1750. This fact has been established from the
record of his enlistment in the American Continental Array. This record is
"A list of young men enrolled by
Captain James Young, Lt. James Bond,
Lt. John Smith and Ensign James Tool to
compose one company in the "Flying Camp"
William Rion enlisted in Baltimore, Mary-
land Company, July 5, 1776, age 26, -
5 ft. 7h inches tall, black hair, fair
complexion, weight 175 lbs. Born in
His wife was GILLEY - - - - RION. Her surname is not mentioned in
any of the records. She is referred to in his will as "my wife Gilley
Sometime after the Revolutionary War was over, he moved to Charlotte
County, Virginia, where he died in 1813.
William Sr. and Gilley Rion had five children, the second of which was
our great-grandfather, Francis P. Rion.
William Rion, Sr. lived a long and useful life during those rough
pioneer days. While we do not have the exact records, he was, undoubtedly,
the son or grandson of one of the Huguenots who came to America during the
early 1700' s.
His body was laid to rest in a cemetery at Charlotte Court House,
Virginia, in I813.
Revolutionary Soldier, - plain citizen, - one of many pioneers,
suffering hardships, working toward a free AMERICA which they could pass
on down to their children, - US - that we may enjoy the benefit of their
It is interesting to note in "Historical Register of Virginians in
the Revolution" by Gvathmey, that four (U) RION men are listed as serving
from Virginia. These are: JOHN RION who served in the 8th Virginia
Regiment, Continental Line; EDWARD RION (sometimes spelled Ryon) served
with the 3rd and Uth Virginia Regiments, Continental Line} ANDREW RION
and LASURIS RION are listed but for thier service records, only the War
Department is given for reference.
I cannot place just where, if anywhere, these four men fit into our
family connection, but I feel it is safe to assume there was a family
connection and that these or their immediate forebears were among those
migrating from France with the Huguenots. In France they were one family -
one "clan." Most of them migrated to Virginia.
The military enlistment record of our direct ancestor William Rion,
shows he was born in Maryland and later moved to Virginia. No records
have been found to give the names of William Rion's forebears.
HERALDIC DESCRIPTION OF RION
ARMS - Gules, three lions' heads or.
CREST - A griffln»s head or.
Heraldry is defined as the art or science of blazoning or
describing in appropriate technical terms coats of arms and other
heraldic and armorial insignia. The system is of very ancient origin.
In its modern sense, however, the heraldic art dates from the time
of the Crusades, and was reduced to its present perfect system by the
French; and it was not until that period that the crest or cognizance was
generally adopted. The crest is a device worn on top of the shield,
usually placed on a wreath, and was borne by knights and other personages
of rank, when clad in armor, to distinguish them in battle, and as a mark
for their followers and supporters. At first these badges were worn on
the helmet, to render them more plainly visible, or on the arm, but in
later times were transferred to the shield or armor. Many families have
preserved their mottoes, or watch-words, which usually represent some
characteristic of the family, or sometimes the war cry of the clan. Others
never adopted a motto, just as many never adopted a crest.
An erroneous idea is entertained by some that heraldic symbols denote
an aristocratic or exclusive class and is undemocratic in its origin and
permanency. On the contray, these badges of distinction were the reward
of personal merit, and could be secured by the humblest as well as the
highest. They are today the testimonials and warrants of bravery, heroism,
and meritorious deeds of our ancestors; and they appeal to the pride of the
intelligent and enlightened descendants of these distinguished families today,
as the valiant deeds and self-sacrificing acts of contemporary persons
would to their posterity.
When, on January 5, l8$U> my grandfather Thomas D. Rion was married
to Nancy Ann Jones, this family of her father, Enoch Hunt Jones, became
a very vital connection which has, all along, been much appreciated and
respected by me.
For some reason I cannot fully explain, this branch of our family
has always held a particular interest and fascination for my imagination.
Perhaps it is on account of the memorable visit I made in 190li to the old
original Jones homestead in Rutherford County, Tennessee. Although 108
years had elapsed at that time, since the house had been built, there were
still living in the old home place, certain of the descendants of the Jones
family, whose names I cannot remember, who seemed quite familiar with old
family history as well as the material history of the old homestead.
I recall that they told me that the house was built about 1796, and
this ties in very well with the date of the marriage of Ezra Jones and
Margaret Runt, March 15, 1796.
This was a wonderful old two story house, built of sturdy cedar logs,
especially good workmanship for those pioneer days, when usually the tools
were crude and cumbersome, consisting mostly of a chopping axe, a foot-adz,
a saw, an auger and a frow for splitting boards. These, with a hoe, a plow
point, some seeds of grain and vegetables for their first crop were the
prime necessities for a pioneering venture.
I was shown how the original house looked before the logs were
weather-boarded on the outside with wide poplar boards and painted white.
The house was "L" shaped with a wide, spacious veranda across the
front and another wide porch inside the "L". Just a short distance from
this side porch, stood a most magnificent old white oak tree. It's
branches extended over a diameter of more than a hundred feet. It was
quits evident that this particular site was selected for building the
house, due to the presence of that grand tree. There were a number of
fine trees of oak, poplar, cedar and beech in the grove, but this massive
oak was outstanding.
I was shown the old kitchen, much in its original form,- little
changed from the days when all the cooking was done in the old fire place
with its smoldering embers,- the large pot, swung from the crane, the
dutchoven for baking, -these with a skillet, a frying pan and a wooden
tray in which to mix meal for bread,- a pair of pot hooks and if they
could afford it, a hand mill with which to grind corn.
I was shown the old log barns and other service houses (much in the
old Virginia tradition) still in use at that time but showing their 108
years of hard use. Some of the old "slave quarters" were still standing.
As I walked about these surroundings I could not escape wondering
with my imagination, back into those rough pioneer days with these
ancestors, trying to picture in my own mind what it was like back there,
settling in this new country the very year that the State of Tennessee was
admitted to the Union, «-no roads, hardly a trail, Indians continuing hostile,
few if any neighbors, no stores from which to buy necessities. Everyone
must be self-sustaining, self-reliant.
Hunting and fishing, with wild greens, berries and fruits helped in
Summer and Fall, while hogs, if they were fortunate to have brought along
a few, were feasting upon the abundance of acorns, beech and hickory nuts
getting fat for that long looked-for day when it would be cold enough for
Within a few years when the country was a little more populated
the homesteaders were served by pack-peddlers, walking through the
country, from house to house with dress goods, linens, etc., then the
traveling shoemaker, who would stay in the home until he had made shoes
for every member of the family, and then go from house to house serving
Skins from cattle, deer and groundhogs were all tanned in the same
trough, for leather for the shoes, harness etc.
On the wide planked floors of the house were beautiful, homespun
hooked rugs, hand made from cloth scraps. The beds were immaculate in
home woven coverlets, all seeming to me to be much as it was in those
I was shown picture albums as well as other pictures and treasures
and on the table, the family Bible. Almost everyone of the old pioneers
carried with them as the one indispensible treasure, a Bible, as they
were mostly religious folk, and in this they kept their family records. If
the Biblical names of our three Jones ancestors, Ezekiel, Ezra, and Enoch
have any significance, this must have been true with them,
Another most interesting feature they pointed out to me, was a stile
or "horse block" built of rock, which they said Grandpa Ezra Jones had
built for his bride, so she could easily mount her favorite saddle horse
which he had given her for a wedding present. Later, (on my 1939 visit)
the people then living on the place, gave me one of the stones from this
stile and it is now a part of my rock garden at my Florida home.
NOTE: For the benefit of the younger generations who have
never seen one, perhaps we should explain that a
STILE is a short series of steps intended to be used
in crossing over a fence without opening gates, and
in cases such as this one, where a lady could mount
her saddle horse easily without having to pull up.
The ladles of that day always wore long skirts, even
in horse-back riding, and they always rode "side-
saddle." It would have been disgraceful to have
permitted her ankles to show, to say nothing of
riding straddle a horse. This particular stile
(or horse block) was built of field stones, with
five or six small steps leading up to the large
cap-stone about three feet off the ground.
The earliest of our Jones ancestors of which we have any record, was
Ezekiel Jones, who lived in Virginia, and is recorded in the "Historical
Register of Virginians in the Revolution ", as having served in the 13th
Virginia Regiment,-Continental Line. No further information is available,
His son Ezra Jones was born on February 3> 1772 and on March 15, 1796
was married to Margaret Hunt, daughter of Enoch Hunt.
The records show that Ezra Jones moved to "North Carolina" with no
record of his moving to "Tennessee']. It is interesting here that this
seeming discrepancy can perhaps be easily explained by the fact that there
was no State of Tennessee prior to 1796, as it was not until that year that
Tennessee was admitted to the Union, hence, it can be assumed that he could
have moved directly to that spot in Rutherford County, for then "North
Carolina" included all territory from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi
River, the same territory as now embraced by both States of Tennesse and
On May 11, 1798, Ezra and Margaret Jones were presented with their
first-born, a son whom they named Enoch Hunt Jones, who was to carry on the
tradition of the pioneer spirit and to later serve his country in War and
Ezra Jones laid a wonderful foundation for those who were to follow
him, and his son, Enoch Hunt Jones, (my great-grandfather) not only carries
on, but added Stature and Dignity to life around him.
Excellent testimony to this fact is the existence of the Jones family
Cemetery, which, when I first saw it in 190h and later in 1939, was in
excellent condition. It covered a piece of land, maybe a quarter of an
acre. It is surrounded by a beautifully constructed stone wall about
two feet thick and three to three and one-half feet tall, built of care-
fully selected field stones and capped with wide smoothly hewn stones.
The masonry had every evidence of skilled craftsmanship of a later period,
indicating that it was created in Enoch Jones time, rather than an earlier
period. The entrance was guarded by carefully locked, wrought iron gates
of artistic design, all a fitting tribute to the memory of loved ones.
The grave-stones inside were mute evidence that "someone cared."
The stones ranged in size and pretense from modest small to medium sized
slab markers to the larger and more pretentious, the whole, dominated by a
tall gleaming white shaft, in the center, to the memory of Enoch Hunt Jones.
All the stones are plainly marked and most of them bear considerable inform-
ative family history, making the task of a would-be genealogist (such as me)
Such strong evidence of family solidarity and stability is rarely
found in Rural America.
NANCY ANN JONES: Daughter of Enoch Hunt Jones and Eunice Macklin
(McLinn) Jones, was born September 6, I83U and was married to Thomas D. Rion
(my grandfather) on January $, 18&. She was the mother of three children,
William James Rion (my father) the oldest, -Edwin Thomas Rion and Fanny Rion.
Grandma Rion died June 15, 1877 at the age of forty-three years.
I have been told she was a frail little person, but bravely, and too
much so, tried to carry on her household duties raising a family and
administering to their needs. When she died, Papa was only twenty years
old, - Uncle Ed was fifteen and Aunt Fanny about eleven or twelve.
I have heard mother and others tell of occasions when Papa would
find his mother exhausted over some household chore such as cooking or
washing, and would pick her up in his arms and carry her to her bed and
return to finish the chore himself. In hearing others speak of my grand-
ma Rion, it was always in the most endearing terms.
ENOCH HUNT JONES ; father of my Grandma Rion, was born May 11, 1798
near Hall's Hill, Rutherford County, Tennessee, son of Ezra Jones and
Margaret Hunt Jones. He grew up on the plantation where he was born,
but soon was to leave those familiar surroundings for service in the
Armed Forces of the United States,- under General Andrew Jackson, against
the British, at or near New Orleans - the War of 1812.
At the age of sixteen, he enlisted on September 28, l8lli, ENOCH H.
JONES, Private, in Captain Richard Tate's Company VOLUNTEER MOUNTED
"Col. Thomas Williamson, -Muster Roll of the
Field and Staff Officers of Col. Thomas William-
son's Regiment of Tennessee Volunteer Mounted
Gunmen in General John Coffee's Brigade, in the
United States service, under the command of
Major General Andrew Jackson. Mustered on the
28th September l8lU."
The above from records in Tennessee State Library and Archives,
"Capt. Richard Tate, -28th September l8lU to
27th April l8l5,-I certify on honor, that each
non-commissioned officers, musicians, artificer
and private of the Company under my command
traveled eighty miles in marching from Nashville
in Davidson County their place of residence to
Fayetteville in Lincoln County where they were
mustered into service."
The history which ties in with this service record is,-
" August 15th, 181U - after signing a treaty with
the Creek Indians, General Jackson went to Mobile
and found the English menacing the Gulf Coast
settlements . "
It was shortly after this that the enlistment of Volunteers from
Tennessee, including Enoch H. Jones, was called for, and joined the
forces to the South.
"After capturing Pensacola from the Spanish, -
Jackson moved on December 2, l8lli, to New Orleans.
December 10th, British troops landed below
New Orleans and advanced on that point.
December 23rd, Jackson attacked from two different
January 1, 1815, British opened an offensive, and
were reinforced January 6th."
By this time Jackson's forces had been gathered together,- "A
motley array of sailors, regulars, Creoles, pirates, negroes, Frenchmen,
Kentuckians and Tennesseeans . " These held Jackson's left, in the battle
which began early on the morning of January 8th and lasted until January
Even after several crushing defeats the British seemed loath to de-
part, and did not until February 11th. Thus ended the land fighting.
The job finished, our Soldier Enoch Jones returned to his home and
was mustered out on April 27, l8l£.
Later, Enoch Jones was to be honored as we shall relate later.
Pension records in the National Archives in Washington show that
Enoch H. Jones received a war pension of $8.00 per month.
About 1825, Enoch Hunt Jones was married to Eunice Macklin (or
Mcldnn). They had five children, one of whom was my grandmother, Nancy
Ann Jones Rion. Eunice Macklin died May 1, 1839.
Enoch Jones was married three additional times and while none of
these wives relate to my family, I will mention them for the record.
His second wife was Rebecca F. Hunt (a cousin) whom he married
about I81i0. She died May 19, 1856.
The third wife was Caroline Hunt Ready, married about i860. She
died May 9, 1873.
The fourth wife was Oma McKnight and no dates are available.
Our research has disclosed an interesting document copied from
Page 511 - Record of the United States Census of 1850, secured by Hilda
Jones Dunn of Washington from the National Archives.
NOTE: This document contains the names of those of the family living
in that house at that time, listed by name and age which apparently was
guessed at as we find discrepancies. For example, Nancy is listed as
eighteen. She was born in I83U, hence was actually sixteen. Enoch,
himself, listed as sixty, while born in 1798, was fifty-two. Another
error is in place of birth. They were all born in Tennessee,- only tho
ancestors were from Virginia. But the record is interesting. Also note,
no slaves are listed.
* There is a seperarte census record of slaves for the year
The Jones House no« owned by-
McCracklns District County of Rutherford State of Tennessee
Enumerated at Census of l8$0 Date of August 26
Name Age Born in
Jones, Enoch 60 Virginia
Jones, Rebecca U0 Virginia
Jones, Sarah 21 Virginia
Jones, Nancy A. 18 Virinia
Jones, William 13 Virginia
Jones, Martha 12 Virginia
Jones, Gusham 10 Virginia
Jones, Fanny 8 Virginia
From the 1850 Census Records of Rutherford County « Tennessee *
In the National Archives, Washington, D. C .
In addition to the above copy of Census of 18$0,- below we see the
report of 1830, which is of an entirely different form, giving no names,
only males or females according to age groups, and slaves only male or
County of Rutherford State of Tennessee
Enumerated at Census of I83O
Jones, Enoch H. Males 1 under 5 Females 3 under $
1 - 30 to U0 1 - 30 to 1*0
3 Slaves 1 Slave
The special honor, mentioned earlier, came to Grandpa Enoch on May
20, 1880, when he was eighty-two years old, at which time he was selected
to pull the cord unveiling the handsome bronze statue of General Andrew
Jackson which had been erected on the State Capitol grounds at Nashville.
The Nashville Banner, afternoon newspaper of Nashville, often
features stories of important historical events of the past and where
possible, shows old photographs of the event.
Such a story was featured in the magazine section on May 19, 1939*
headed " UNVEILING OLD HICKORY'S STATUE ". and reprinting a photograph made
on that occasion. Under the picture was the following story:
"The unveiling of the Clark Mills ' equestrian
statue of Gen. Andrew Jackson was a feature of
the Nashville Centennial Exposition, April 23 -
May 29, 1880. The unveiling was held on May 20.
A crowd of 30,000 thronged Capitol Hill that
day to witness the ceremonies. Among the mili-
tary celebrities present were Gens. Joseph. E. John-
ston and Edmund Kirby Smith (CSA) and Gen. D. C. Buell,
former commander of the Union Army of the Ohio.
Dr. T. A. Atchison, exposition president, delivered
a welcome address; John F. House delivered the
oration of the day, and Enoch Jones , a veteran of
Jackson's wars, pulled the cord unveiling the
handsome bronze statue."
Just how or why Enoch Jones was selected for this honor is not
revealed in any of the records. The Tennessee State Archives does contain
a clipping from the " Nashville Republican Banner " of May 20, 1880 (the
date of the unveiling) "UNCLE ENOCH JONES, an old Jackson soldier of
Rutherford County, is in the city, as a guest of W. L. McKay, 387 S.
It is known that he was often affectionately referred to as "uncle"
At the time of the erection of Clark Mills' magnificent bronze
equestrian statue of General Jackson at Nashville, a total of three of
these were cast, one to be erected at New Orleans, one at Washington, D. C.
and this one at Nashville and it is with a lot of pride that we recall
this honor to our ancestor.
A little less than five years later, Enoch Hunt Jones was laid to
rest in the beautiful little cemetery on the hill, having "departed this
life on February 2, 1885."
Since transcribing the foregoing, relating to Enoch Hunt Jones, we
have discovered that the original Family Bible of Enoch Jones is now in
the possession of his grandson Ed Jone, son of Gursham Jones.
While the information about our part of the family, as contained in
this Bible, differs very little from what we already have, it is more
complete and is especially interesting and valuable because most of it is
in Enoch Jones own handwriting.
I have never seen family birth records in such complete detail as to
mention the time of day as well as the date. My grandmother, for instance,-"
Nancy Ann Jones, born Saturday night, 6th of September, 183b at the hour
Also note, -his entry on the death of his wife Eunice McLinn Jones, -
"It is her gain tho a great loss to me," he wrote, tenderly, then
initialed the entry "E. H. J".
Eunice McLinn Jones was the mother of nine children. She died at
the early age of 35 •
Any controversy regarding the correct spelling of her name McLinn,
seems now to be resolved, as Enoch, in his own handwriting, wrote it,-
Entered here is the complete record as copied from the original
Bible of Enoch Hunt Janes.
Daniel D. Smith's Stereotype Edition
Stereotyped by E. White, New York
Published and Sold by Daniel D. Smith, New York
The Franklin Juvenile Book and Stationary Store, No. 190
The Principal Booksellers in the United States
Bible of Enoch Hunt Jones ( 1798 - 1885) of
Rutherford County, Tennessee
Bible now in the possession of E. L. Jones,
Jefferson Pike, Route 3> Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Enoch Hunt Jones was born on the 11th day, May 1798.
Eunice McLin was born on the 15th day, December, I8OI4.
The above couple was joined in wedlock on Thursday evening, the 2hth
day, March, 1825.
E. H. Jones
Eunice Jones, first wife of E. H. Jones, deceased this life on the
1st day, May, 1839, in the morning. It is her gain tho a great loss
E. H. J.
Married - E. H. Jones and Rebecca F. Hunt on the - - October 1839.
E. H. Jones and the yd. Caroline Hancock married the 22nd of November,
E. H. Jones and Naomi (this word not clear) S. (or G.) McKnight the
Yd of McKnight was married on the 8th day, October, 1873 •
Margaret Catherine Jones was born on 22nd of March, 1826 it
being on Tuesday.
Sary Elizabeth Jones was born on the 18th Aprile, 1827 - it
being on Wednesday.
James E. Jones was born on Monday the 22nd day of December,
1828. Four o'clock in the evening.
Christiana Jane Jones born on Friday the 9th day of January,
Enoch Hunt Jones born on Monday the 12th day of September,
1851. Eight o'clock in the morning.
Josephas Alexander Jones was born Aprile 1st, 1833 •
Nancy-ann Jones born Saturday night, 6th of Septentoer, I83U at
the hour 11 o'clock.
William Anderson Jones born Friday morning, 10 o'clock -
August 12th, I836.
Marthey B. Jones born Sunday Evening, 2 o'clock Uth or 8th
(not clear) Aprile, 1838.
Our shorn Hunt Jones born January 15th, I8I4I.
Fanny Green Jones born 12th October, 18U3*
Fanny Green Jones, wife of WiU T. McKnight, died on the 25th
Rebecca F. Jones, the 2nd wife of E. H. Jones, died the 19th
of May 1856.
Caroline Jones, 3rd wife of E. H. Jones, died the 9th of May,
1873. Age 73 years.
Naomi G. Jones, Uth wife, died Saturday morning 6-2g o'clock
June the 17th, 1876.
Enoch Hunt Jones died February 3rd, 1885. Age 86 years, 8
months and 22 days.
* Enoch Hunt Jones deceased this life on Friday the 2nd day
of August, 1833, two o'clock in the evening, aged 22 months, 20 days,
and 6 hours.
Margaret Catherine Hartwell departed this life on the 10th day of
James Ezra Jones departed this life on the 7th day of July, 1857
at 2 o'clock P. M. in the 29th year of his age.
Nancy Ann Rion, wife of T. D. Rion - daughter of E. H. Jones died
Friday, the 15th, June, 1877-6 o'clock in the evening.
Christana Jane Jarmon, daughter of E. H. Jones. Died the 25th
of May, 1882, 3 o'clock in the evening.
* This must be "Junior."
NOTE: The abbreviation "yd" as used in the foregoing, seems to have
been intended for "wd" abbreviation for widow.
EUNICE McLINN (MACKLIN): First wife of Enoch Hunt Jones, was born
on December 15* l80li, probably in the edge of Wilson County, Tennessee,
adjoining Rutherford County.
NOTE: Records show that James B. McLinn, "sold his property in 1817
to James Black, "-Property on Bradley Creek.
Eunice McLinn, or Macklin as the name is spelled both ways in
different places, was the daughter of James B. McLinn. She is listed as
one of seven children mentioned In his Last Will and Testament, probated
in Rutherford County, April 1820.
Eunice McLinn was married to Enoch Hunt Jones about 1825 (exact date
not given.) She died on May 1, I839. Among her several children were
Nancy Ann, my grandmother Rion, and her favorite brother Will Jones as
shown in the 1850 Census report.
JAMES B. McIJNN, or MACKLDJ ; The father of my great-grandmother
Jones lived in Wilson County and later in Rutherford County as shown in
early real estate transfers. We could not find any record of dates of
birth, marriage or his death. The only clues to the period covered by
his life are in his Last Will, probated in April 1820 listing his daughter
Eunice seventh among his children, and she was born December 15, I8OI4..
No records could be found of his wife's name or family history. She must
have died prior to the writing of the Will of 1820 as she is not
EZRA JONES : Father of Enoch Hunt Jones, was born in North Carolina
on February 3, 1772. He was married to Margaret Hunt on March 15, 1796.
The records of the United States Census of I830 should be of interest
County of Rutherford State of Tennessee
Enumerated at Census of 1830
Jones, Ezra Males 2 - 20 to 30 Females 1 - 15 to 20
1 - 50 to 60 1 - 20 to 30
1 - 50 to 60
h slaves k slaves
MARGARET HUNT: Was born on October 18, 1773 and died May 22,
1877, a very long life, - 10U years. Margaret was the daughter of
Enoch Hunt who married a - - - - Lorrance.
ENOCH HUNT ; It Is not difficult to now see where great-grand-
father Enoch Hunt Jones got his name. Enoch Hunt was married to - - - -
lorrance. (given name unknown.) They had ten children, seven sons
and three daughters. No dates of birth, marriage or death are avail-
able on Enoch Hunt or his wife.
EZEKIEL JONES: With no other records, we will be content with
this ancestor's Revolutionary War record found in "Historical Register
of Virginians in the Revolution" as having served in the 13th Virginia
Regiment of the Continental line.
The name Henry has a Teutonic derivation meaning "Ruler of the home,-
rioh or mighty lord." This personal name Imported by the Normans, was
widely used by the English rulers. It was adopted as a surname in England
and Scotland where most of the American emigrants originated, however,
the name was not unknown in Ireland, Brittany and France.
The ancestry of the Henry family traces back to the 12th Century.
Thus, the name is mentioned in the "Roll of Battle Abbey," the "Doomesday
Book" and In the "Great Rolls of the Pipes" in 1153.
The Henrys of Ireland are descendants of the Scots who were re-
settled in Ulster by James I. Religious persecutions of the Covenanters
at a later period, followed by dispossession and eviction from their
homes and in many instances resulting in large numbers leaving Ireland
for Jtaerica. The Henry family was well represented In this tide of
emigration of these Scotch-Irish to America.
Early records indicate that several members of this family, after
emigrating to America, settled in various parts of the country and established
their own branch of the family.
Vir ginia was the new land chosen by the ancestors of our branch of the
Henry family, for their new homes.
In the early 1730»s, large grants of land in some of the Virginia
cotttties made possible great estates being carved out of the wilderness.
Smoke from an occasional settlers cabin also curled through the valleys
and from mountain sides in portions hitherto little known.
Among these early 1730 settlers were two brothers, John Henry and his
brother, the Reverend Patrick Henry. They were from Aberdeen, Scotland.
Their father was Alexander Henry who married Jean Robertson.
John Henry received hie education at Kings College, Aberdeen,
Scotland where he was an honor student.
After arriving in America, John Henry was married to Sarah Winston,
and to this union, nine children were born, two sons and seven daughters.
The youngest was a son born May 29, 1736, whom they named Patrick, doubt-
less for his Uncle, the Reverend Patrick Henry > Parson of Hanover.
Intellectually, and in all qualities that make for character, John
Henry, the scholarly gentleman, undoubtedly brought to his son Patrick
and to his other children, a superior heritage. This was augmented for
Patrick by the influence of John's brother, the learned Rector of St.
Pauls in Hanover County.
Although I am unable to establish the direct connection, it has always
been my understanding, that our branch of the Henry family descended from
this connection, in fact, directly so. Even though I have not been able
to determine the exact status, nevertheless the very interesting studies
I have made of the entire Virginia branch of the Henry family, Increases
my pride in being one of them.
As all genealogists must piece together their story from numerous bits
of information, and sometimes very small hits, it has certainly been true
in this instance.
A well known Eighteenth Century London editor, printer and writer,
David Henry, a kinsman of the Henry's who settled in Virginia, had this
said of him - "He had a well stored mind and in all his writings he never
forgot the instructive moral." David Henry never left England, but in
writing of his Henry kin who had emigrated to Virginia, he said, -"They were
■ore respected for their good sense sad superior education than for their
riches, n and again, "At every neighboring gathering of the Gentlemen,
they were described as among the foremost, of genteel style and at great
pains to instruct their children."
In another instance, editor David Henry mentions that several of his
relatives "sought their fortunes in Virginia where their name is held in
In 1901*, I talked with Uncle Wash Henry on this family connection,
and made some notes, but unfortunately these were lost in the fire and
my memory does not serve me sufficiently to recall many of the facts, but
although in my recent studies and research, I am unable to trace the exact
connection to Patrick Henry. I have found it most Interesting and am still
very proud to be a part of the family of "The Henrys of Virginia" and
especially the Fount Henrys.
My interest was re-kindled a few years ago when I discovered a letter
which had been written to my sister, January 2k* 1927 by Col. William L.
Crittenden, seeking family information for the completion of the Henry
family history, which was however, never completed. Col. Crittenden's
grandmother was Mary Catherine Henry, a sister of my grandfather Fountain
Jeffries Henry and Uncle Wash Henry.
In his letter, Col, Crittenden states: "I imagine that you already
know that your great-grandfather was Fountain Fisher Henry, Captain of
Culpeper Minute Men (wife Sara Dudley Jeffries) your great-great-grand-
father was Joel Henry (wife Sussana Allen) and your great-great-great-
grandfather was George Henry."
"I have often visited the old Henry plantation 'Clover Creek' in Cul-
peper County and the town house at Culpeper Ct. H., which is an old brick
Mansion and which was used as a hospital for Confederate wounded of the
second Battle of Manassas."
With this bit of inf ormation , I have been successful in contacting
a researcher in Culpeper and have developed sons additional information,
but far too little.
On the subject of the old Henry homes, Miss Browning, the reasearcher
writes,- "I could not find anything about 'Clover Creek' the Henry plantat-
ion. The Fountain Fisher Henry hone (town house) is on Main Street in the
town of Culpeper,- Lafayette was entertained in this home."
Culpeper County, Virginia, the birthplace of my grandfather, Fountain
Jeffries Henry and his father Fountain Fisher Henry, -has taken it's right-
ful place as one of Virginia's most historical spots.
It derives its name from Thomas, Lord Culpeper, who was Royal Governor
of the Colony of Virginia from 1680 to 1683, in which position he was held
in high esteem.
Lord Culpeper was one of the grantees of the territory of Virginia and
at one time controlled all the land between the Rappahannock and the Patomac
Rivers. Culpeper County, named in his honor, is only a small part of his
Culpeper County Court House, as the little city of Culpeper was called
in olden days, has been the scene of many notable historic events. Oeorge
Washington took his oath of office at Culpeper as county surveyor in 171*9.
What is now a peaceful and industrious country side has, In the past
been the scene of bloodshed during both the Revolution and the War Between
the States. Records show that thirty-seven battles and engagements took
place upon Culpeper soil.
The Culpeper Minute Men were famed for their valor during the
The people met in Contention la Richmond July 17* 1775 at which tine
Patrick Henry made his Immortal speech. "Give Me Liberty, or aire Me
Death." This Convention appointed a general committee of safety for the
Colony and directed committees of safety to be chosen by the freeholders
in each county.
The Convention also divided the Colony into districts in each of
which a battalion of 500 men was to be raised and disciplined to march
at a "minutes warning."
These were the Minute Men, of whom John Randolph said, "They were
raised in a minute, marched in a minute and conquered in a minute."
During the Revolution, the Culpeper Minute Men were hunting shirts
of strong brown linen and on the breast of each shirt was worked in large
white letters the words - " Liberty or Death. "
Their flag had in the center a rattlesnake coiled in the act to strike.
Below it were the words "Don*t tread on me!" At the sides "Liberty or Death"
and at the top "The Culpeper Minute Men."
The illustrious organisation, though not continually active after the
close of the Revolution, was re-activated at the outbreak of the War Between
the States, and at sometime during this period, Fountain Fisher Henry
served as Captain. In various records I have studied, including
"Geneologies, Mostly Virginian" by Crittenden Narriott, a manuscript in the
Rare Books Division of the Library of Congress, when the name of my great-
grandfather is mentioned it usually carries the title, -ie - "Fountain
Fisher Henry, Captain. Culpeper Minute Men." This organization will live
in history and in the hearts of the people as long as the love of American
In our Immediate family history the Henry family connection Is
through my mother, NBTTIB BLLBN HBNRT .
NBTTIB BLIIBN HBNRY .-ay aether, was born In Murfreeaboro, Rutherford
County, Tennessee, on September 6, i860. She was the only daughter of
Fountain Jeffries Henry and Sallie Ellen Osborn. Mother grew up In Murfreea-
boro, receiving nost of her education at Soule College and later finishing
her education at a college in McKenzle, Tennessee. The head master of this
school was Uncle "Billy" Hendrix, and while there, mother lived with Aunt
Jane and Uncle Billy, and roomed with their daughter Maggie Hendrix, her
cousin, becoming very close companions.
At a party near Lascassas, she met William James Rion and on December
17, 1879, they were married in the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church
in Murfreesboro, Rev. J. H. Warren officiating.
(More on this wedding on Page 7 , in sketch on my father)
After marriage, mother and papa lived in the country near Lascassas
but were back in Murfreesboro by the following Fall, and on November 2U,
1880 my sister was born.
About two years after that, they moved to Nashville, where, on October
13, 1883, I was born.
Our father died on April 2, 1887, shortly before his thirtieth birth-
day, while mother was only twenty-six.
Before papa's death, during the latter part of his long illness, it
became necessary for mother to go to work to help carry on the heavy bur-
den, financial and otherwise.
Her first position was with the oldest and most historic store for
ladies, -THOMPSON & KELLT. They handled principally, dress goods by the
bolt as this was before the day of "Ready to Wear" goods as we now
Mother's health was not good. She was thin and frail and soon lost
the battle of trying to lift the heavy bolts of woolens from shelf to
counter and back, and had to give up this work with which she was physio-
ally unable to cope.
After papa's death, Mr. P. M. Hill offered her a place in his
Millinery Store, in the "work room" making hats, -here she could be seated
while at work. She loved this work for it was pleasant and easy and she
soon became so adept at design and execution, she was transferred to the
sales floor. It should be recalled at this point that with Millinery
this also was before the days of "Ready to Wear." With the exception of
a few Imported Paris Models, no ready made hats were on sale. Every hat
was made especially for the lady customer, hence, her skill of delineation
and design were highly valuable assets. She did well in the Millinery
business, so much so that she remained in it until 192U, or a total of 37
years, during which she served many of the great ladies, of Nashville, as
well as the near great.
Her life was one of real service.
On October 8, 19U5 while taking an afternoon nap, her spirit quietly
slipped away. She had only a few days before, passed her 85th birthday.
FOUNTAIN JEFFRIES HENRY .- was born October 7, I836 In Culpeper Ct. H.,
Virginia. He was the son of Fountain Fisher Henry and Sarah Dudley Jeffries
of ^ulpeper, Virginia. He moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, along with his
brother Washington C. Henry and a sister, Nannie Henry (married J. H. Elliott).
There he net and married Sallie Ellen Osborn on May 19, 1859.
Grandfather Fountain Jeffries Henry, though christened "Fountain,"
was known as, and generally called "FOUNT", hence when I was named for
him I was given the shortened name "FOUNT" and was never known by any
Grandfather Henry was a brick contractor, by trade, as was his
brother Wash Henry. Many houses now stand in Murfreesboro and in Pulaski,
Tennessee that were built just prior to, or immediately after the War
Between the States, which interrupted his career, for as hostilities grew
in magnitude, Fountain Jeffries Henry was among many prominent Murfrees-
boro men who in October 1862 were mustered into "COMFANT D, ELEVENTH
TENNESSEE CAVALRY" of the Confederate Army, and served throughout the
duration of the War, and at one time, received a gunshot wound in his hip,
and later died from the effects of this wound.
From a newspaper clipping from the "Murfreesboro Free Press", I
find the following:
COMPANY D , ELEVENTH
"Following is a list of officer and men as they
were mustered into the Confederate Army in Octo-
Then a long list of approximately 125 names from
well known Murfreesboro families, are listed
among which appear the following, -two brothers
and a brother-dn-law,
W. C. HENRY
J. H. ELLIOTT
Then in a letter from the Tennessee Board of Pension Examiners t
"This is to certify that Sallie E. Henry, the
widow of F. J. Henry, who belonged to Co* D.
Uth Tenn. Cav. was a pensioner of Tennessee."
"P. J. Henry 1 s record as a Confederate Soldier
was "A No. 1" and his daughter Mrs. Nettle B. Rial
Is clearly- entitled to join the United Daughters
of the Confederacy."
This letter was signed by General John P. Hickman whom I knew in my
younger years. He was a Veteran of the Confederate Army.
Many are the memories I cherish, of stories, told me by Grandma
Henry, of those terrible times during that War as she was left alone with
her two little babies, my mother then two years old and her little brother
an Infant in arms, and grandpa away and the uncertainty which hourly grew
more unbearable as this terrible conflict raged around their very doors.
Fount Henry died in 1871 from the effects of the gunshot wound
received a few years earlier, during the Civil War.
Grandma Henry (SaUie Ellen Osborn) will be further mentioned In the
FOUNTAIN FISHBR HENRI, was born in Culpeper County, Virginia, the son
of Joel Henry and Susannah Allen. I have not been able to find any dates
of birth, marriage or death, but from records and other evidence, Fountain
Fisher Henry was a Virginia Gentleman of Importance, especially in and
around Culpeper Ct. H.
He was married to SARAH DUPLET JEFFRIES , and they had seven children,
as evidence by his Last Will and Testament, made on the 9th day of September
i860. At that time no mention was made of his wife Sarah so it can be
assumed that she had died before that time. Further evidence of this lies
in a letter from Grandpa Henry to my grandma, written from Culpeper in
January of i860. He had gone there for a visit with his father, who was
ill. No mention is made of his mother. He described his train trip,
which was very rough but only natural In those very early days of rail-
It may be interesting to include here a copy of that letter, keeping
in mind he had been married only eight months and he was only 23 years and
3 months old. Grandma was only 19 years, 5 months . old.
Culpeper Ct. Hs.
Jany. 2lith, i860
}ty dear Sallie:
I know you think it has been a long time since I left
and I think so too, but it will not be very long before I will
be back for I am very tired of staying here I can assure you.
My Father is much better than he was when I got here. It seems
to do the old man so much good for me to be here. About the
first question he asked me was why I did not bring my wife, and I
had to promise to come again and bring you before he would let me
alone, but I showed him your picture and he was very much pleased
with it and all of them think it is pretty. You know they are
judges of beauty. Everything is so changed here that I hardly
think it is home but I know just as many as I did when I left.
Everybody that knows me says I have not changed a single bit since
I left here but I think very different. I am going out in the country
today to see my old Aunt and I reckon she will give me those pants,
I was talking about. If she does not, I will always think she
ought, don't you think so. When she heard I had come she came to
town immediately to see me.
I did not tell you in my other letter (or note) how we got along
with Florence, much better than I expected but I don't wish to
have another trip of the same kind. We got here Saturday Evening
at 6 o'clock, not as soon as I expected but had to stay all night
in Chattanooga, which threw us back about 13 hours, but I can go
back much faster than I came.
I am not going to tell you exactly when I will get there, for I
might not get there exactly at that time and then you would be
uneasy about me, but I will be there sooner than you think I will.
I want to take you on surprise when I come.
Well Sallie you know I am not much of a hand to write letters so
you must make out the best you can with this until I come, and
then I will tell you all I know and a little more. I have declined
going to Washington City as I would have to stay two days longer
than I intend to stay and I want to see ay old sweeting* too
bad for that. If you hare not written to me yon need not write
for I would not be here to get it. It takes a letter longer
to cone than it did me. I reckon I had better close my letter
for you can hardly read this. It is so badly written. Qire
my best respects to all the family and believe me as ever,
Tour affectionate Husband,
P. 3. Take good care of the dog.
In the Will, - no mention is made of any specific properties to be
divided among the seven children, nor any estimated values, but for the
record we will copy the text of the Will here:
FOUNTAIN FISHER HENRY'S WILL
"I, Fountain F. Henry, of the County of Culpeper
do make this my last Will and Testament hereby
revoking all others heretofore made by me.
FIRST: I direct my executor, hereinafter named,
to sell all my estate, real and personal, and
out of the proceeds first to pay ny debts and
then to divide the residue into seven equal
parts, one part I give to each of my following
named children, - Susan C Bell, Martha L. Cooper,
Washington C. Henry, Ann 0. Elliott and
Fountain J. Henry; one seventh part I give to my
son Washington C. Henry in trust for the sole and
separate use of my daughter Mary C amiss, and the
remaining seventh part, I give to Washington C. Henry
in trust for my Grandson, Robert A* Collins, the
interest, if necessary, to be expended in his edu-
cation and support and the principal to be paid to
him when he arrives at the age of twenty-one years.
SECOND: I appoint my friend, James W. Green, my executor.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and
seal this 9th day of September i860.
Fountain F. Henry (SEAL)
Signed, sealed, published and
declared as the last Will and Testament
of the testator in our presence at the
same time, at the request of the
testator in his presence and in the
presence of each other subscribed our
names as witnesses thereto , the 9th day
of September i860.
JAMES W. GREEN
JAMES 0. FIELD
THO. 0. FLINT
Fountain Fisher Henry served as Captain of the "Culpeper Minute
Men" - but no dates are available as to duration of this service, or the
period of time engaged.
SARAH DUDLEY JEFFRIES : Wife of Fountain Fisher Henry, was of a dis-
tinguished Virginia family. She was the daughter of Richard Jeffries
and Ann Cannon Pollard . No dates are available except that Richard and
Ann were married in 1796. Richard Jeffries was the son of Ambrose Jeffries
and Rachel Dudley. Rachel being the daughter of Col . Peter Dudley,
Revolutionary Soldier from King and Queen County, Virginia. This Jeffries
information was secured from Miss Georgie Jeffries, age 93* of Culpeper,
and is all that she could remember. She had no records.
Both the Jeffries and Dudley families were represented in the
Revolutionary struggle and from the information we have secured, it is
safe to assume they were held in high esteem, and especially so within the
fa m i l y as there are several namesakes including my grandfather Fountain
JEFFRIES Henry and his mother Sarah DPDLET Jeffries. Col. Crittenden's
slater was named "Sarah Dudley Crittenden", and many others of the descend-
ants bear their names.
JOEL HENRY : Father of Fountain Fisher Henry was married to SUSANNAH
ALLEN . While no dates are available it is probable they were married about
1790. It has been impossible to secure accurate information on either of
these great-great-grand parente bat we can safely assume that Joel Henry
was born in Culpeper County, Virginia, as we hare ascertained that his
father George Henry is listed as a soldier in the Revolutionary War from
QBORQE HENRY: No dates or other information has been developed on
the personal or family side of George Henry, except that of his military
record as listed in "Historical Register of Virginians in The Revolution."
Also no mention is made anywhere of his wife's name or her family.
I have understood all my life that we were descended from or very close
to Patrick Henry , but I am unable at this time to establish this. There are
several by the name of George Henry connected with the Patrick Henry family,
but just which one, if any, is the correct connection seems destined to re-
main a secret from me, - after all, Patrick had seventeen children and sixty
grand-children, and 200 years of genealogy is too large a task for me*
It has been interesting to note what a prominent part Virginia has
had in the background of the three previously mentioned branches of our
family - Rion - Jones - Henry . While our first record of the Rions in
America show that William Rion was born in Maryland and Thomas Gayle in
England, the fulfilment of their lives was inseparably linked with Virginia.
With the Jones, we know nothing prior to their living in Virginia,
and so, with the Henrys, except the John Henry family from Aberdeen,
This is also, not only true with the Osborn branch, but we are
happy to have this history in more detail, and dating back further than
any of the others.
For this more accurate information, we are indebted to Howard E.
Rank of New York City, now deceased, whose mother was an Osborn and first
cousin to my great-grandfather Harvey Osborn.
I recall distinctly, when I was a child - perhaps ten years old -
this man and his wife visited at our home for a week or two, on a very
extended trip, all over the United States gathering facts, - names - dates -
etc. on all branches of the Osborn family, making a close study and compiling
those facts with a view that someday a volume might be published so that
all of the numerous members of that family might have one - but unfortunately,
that proved too costly a venture and the idea discarded, but the manuscripts
have proved invaluable many times.
To further identify this man with the family I would like to relate
here, a story that intrigued me in my early years. I had • heard that my
great-great-great-grandfather, Caleb Osborn, had two sons, and that one of
these sons had nine daughters and no sons and the other had nine sons
and no daughters.
One day while I was visiting in New Tork and discussing Osborn
family with Cousin Howard, I asked him if that could be true. He answered
promptly that it was perfectly true - but it was not all the story, - and
he proceeded to tell me there were THREE sons, Instead of just two, and one
had nine sons, one had nine daughters, and the other one had nine children -
boys and girls.
Then he explained our mutual kinship by telling me,- his mother was
one of the nine daughters and my great-grandfather was one of the nine sons.
It was a real satisfaction to me to have been able to visit with him
several times before he died, and to listen to him tell of the historic
facts connected with the family.
I wish I knew now, where that manuscript could be found. I would
like so much to see it.
I recall that he told me of the first Osborn in America, one Thomas
Osborn, born in England and came to America about 1609, landing at James-
town with some of the early English settlers. This was just two years after
the first settlers landed there. We have no further record of his movements
for the next seven years, - or until 1616 - when the records show he settled
in Chesterfield "Colony", Virginia, in November of that year. (This is
probably the Chesterfield County of modern day Virginia and I assume it was
near this section where he settled.)
We have no record of his marriage, nor his wife's name, only my hazy
recollection that Howard told me she was a Roseberry from England.
In 1631, Thomas Osborn was made a JUSTICE,- and in 1639 he became a
member of the HOUSE OF BURGESSES - of the Colony of Virginia.
The record seems to be blank from this time until his QRAND30N.
THCMAS, appears in the record. No mention is made of his son, however
his grandson Thomas and his great-grandson John, with their families,
remained in Virginia, - but the great-great-grandson of the ori gin al
Thomas, left Virginia and moved north to New Jersey. His name was also
Thomas and wife Jane Patterson.
Their son CAIZB OSBORN, born at lyon's Farm, New Jersey on February
2h, 1751, was to have a distinguished career in the Revolutionary War and
to meet his death on December 20, 1799 in a most unusually tragic manner.
Caleb Osborn was a close friend of George Washington and served with
him throughout the Revolutionary War, was with him through that terrible
winter at Valley Forge, therefore, it was not unlikely that when General
Washington died, Caleb Osborn would be asked to serve as one of a guard of
honor. This group were riding horseback in the funeral procession and
necessarily on strange horses. Returning from the interment, Caleb's
horse became frightened and threw him onto a picket flnce, fatally wounding
him, and causing his death on December 20, 1799*
The records do not show when, before the Revolutionary War or after-
ward, but this Osborn Ancestor moved to New York City and had a home on the
lower tip of Manhattan, facing the "Battery. ■ About 1920 this house was
pointed out to me by Howard Rank, and at that time was the only residential
building left on that busy street. All others had been crowded out by large
Johnathan Osborn, second oldest son of Caleb Osborn, was born at New-
ark on July 31, 1793, - was married to Hannah Spinning of Elizabeth town,
October 23, l8ll*. They moved to Oxford, North Carolina where ho died
February 26, 1877.
This Johnathan Osborn was the one of three brothers who had nine sons,
the oldest of which was Harvey Osborn, my great-grandfather who was born
August 31, 1815* He moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee where he married inn
Campbell Reed on October 8, 1839. Their oldest child was Sallie Ellen Osborn,
my grandmother, who was born August 8, I8I4O.
Just as I owe much to Howard Ronk for this earlier history of the
Osborn family, I am equally indebted to my grandmother for my knowledge
of the Osborns, - from her father and mother on down. Also I am indebted
to her for stimulating in me, a greater respect for and desire to know more
about all my family connections.
More members of the Osborn side of my family remained In Murfreesboro
longer than any others and as I visited there regularly each Sumner it was
only natural that I knew more of the older folk and enjoyed the many stories
of the old pioneer days.
There has been handed down through several generations of Ellen's, a
priceless bedspread. Exquisite In design and workmanship, completely hand
woven and hand embroidered. I have been in the Garden where it was that
Grandma Reed with her own hands, planted the seed, hoed and cultivated the
plants, picked the cotton, spun it on her own spinning-wheel, wove the
fabric on her own loom, embroidered and tufted it, heavily, in a most
artistic design, and deeply fringed the edges. It is a genuine work of art,
a priceless tribute to the versatility and ingenuity of this pioneer woman.
This was my great-great-grandmother Eleanor Rankin Reed, born July 11,
1800 and died August 2k, 1881*. Grandma Reed was definitely the favorite of
my mother and my grandmother. She was a very wise woman and her counsel and
advice were sought by many in the family.
The several generations of Ellens to which I referred, began with,
so far as I know, the maker of the bedspread:
ELENOR (ELLEN; RANKIN REED 1800 - 1881*
on down through:
ANN CAMPBELL REED OSBORN 1817 - 186U
SALLIE ELLEN OSBORN HENRI I8I4O - 1916
NETTIE ELLEN HBNRI RION i860 - 1?U5
ELLEN ANN RION CALDWELL i860 - 1961*
ELLEN RION CALDWELL FLEMING 1906 -
It was Ann Campbell Reed who married my great-grandfather Harvey
Osborn, and these were the parents of my grandma, Sallie Ellen Osborn
who married, Fountain Jeffries Henry.
During the Civil War, the suffering and distress of the Southern
people was not brought about by the shooting alone, but by the many con-
tributing factors such as privation, even starvation,- disease and pesti-
lence. Around Murfreesboro, the dread scourge of small pox took its toll.
One day during this siege, a man knocked on the door of Grandpa
Harvey Osborn *s home. He had with him, three of the younger sons (Grandma
Henry's brothers.) Their father and mother were told that the boys had
been discovered "catching a ride" on the rear of a large farm wagon going
cross town, and what they did not know was that the wagon was carrying
corpse . several of them died from small pox. All of the boys clothes were
to be burned outside and they washed with alcohol on entering the house.
This precaution however, did not prevent the boys from contracting the
disease, but the precautions did help prevent serious cases and the boys
Bat while they were sick, their father became ill with the sane
disease and due to the good nursing care of the mother, he too, recovered,
but through all this nursing, Grandma Osborn was stricken in a most serious
manner, and from this terrible disease, died on December 3, 1863.
Grandma Henry was living In her own home when she heard that the three
brothers had gotten caught in this trouble, so In an effort to rescue her
baby brother, Uncle Joe Osborn, who was then only three years old, she went
to her father's home, remaining on the outside, taking every possible pre-
caution (for she had two little ones of her own at home, my mother three
and Uncle Tonmy one.)
The baby brother was up stairs, had had no contact with the sick
brothers, so they stripped him of all clothes, bathed him thoroughly with
whiskey (it was serving as sterile alcohol) and lowered him in a sheet to
Grandma, who took him with her and cared for him for several years.
A few years after that, grandfather Harvey Osborn married again and
his second wife then assumed the job of raising Uncle Joe* The family of
older children were not too happy about this second marriage as they did
not consider her socially equal to their father.
Many, many times during my simmer vacations in Murfreesboro, I rode out
to the little farm, about a mile outside the city limits to visit this, -the
only "Grandma Osborn" I had really known, and to me, a little boy, she was
just a dear, sweet little old "grandma n who seemed to love me very much and
appreciate my visits.
She, too, knew many interesting stories about the family.
Her husband, Grandpa Harvey Osborn, had died there in Murfreesboro an
February 2k, 1886. I was hardly three years old and, of course, never knew
One of my mother's most cherished memories of Grandpa Harvey Osborn
was an occasion soon after papa and mother were married. They went to see
Grandpa, and he was expressing his congratulations and good wishes. Mother
described the scene with Grandpa sitting in front of a wood fire, in the
large open fire place - rocking llesurely in his favorite chair, a large
wooden rocker with cane seat and back and wide flat armrests, all well
cushioned for increased comfort.
Never changing his gase from the blue and yellow flames, flickering
among the glowing embers, he said, - "Nettie, I want to give you some
advice if you will heed, your marriage will be a success,- always keep
two bears in your house,- "bear, and forbear."
Nov to list the direct line of the Osborn family
in reverse of their chronological order:
SALLIB ELLBN OSBORN : my grandma Henry, was born in Murfreesboro,
Tennessee on August 8., l8U0. Her entire childhood, in fact the first U2
years of her life were spent in Murfreesboro*
She recleved her entire education at Murfreesboro Female Institute, and
at Soule College. I have some of her "report cards" which indicate she was
an excellent student.
Her younger days were spent in comparative ease as her father, though
not considered a rich man, was within the catagory of "well-to-do."
During her early years She was interested in the many Inventions and
developments of world importance which were taking place. The sewing
machine, the cotton gin, the electric light, the telephone, the steamboat
and the steam railroad. She had told me of the thrill she had on seeing the
first steam railroad train go through Murfreesboro. She was a child of about
eight years. News had spread about town that at an announced time, this
marvelous new invention would pass through town. Just about the entire
population turned out to share in this great event. Many prominent ci tisane
of Murfreesboro had become stockholders in the new Nashville & Chattanooga
Railway, hence the interest at this point on the line was very great.
On Hay 19, 1659* just three months before her 19th birthday, she was
married to Fountain Jeffries Henry.
To this union were born two children, my mother and her brother, two
As related in the sketch on Grandpa Henry, the War Between the States
which began in 1861, grew in intensity and in 1662 Grandpa enlisted on the
Some of the fiercest battles of the War were fought in and around
Murfreesboro, notably the Battle of Stone's River, just one mile north of
the town, near the railroad.
It was on December 26, 1862, - Grandpa had been In the army about
two months, when Confederate commander, General Bragg began the concentration
of his forces on Stone 1 s River. On December 29 the engagement began. A
see-sawing of advantages between the two opposing forces ensued during the
following few days, until on January 3, 1863, General Bragg retreated toward
Tullahoma, and on January $, the ttiion Army moved in to occupy Murfreesboro.
This brought on much hardship and suffering to the women and children,
left defenseless, and many times I have heard Grandma try to describe the
terrible feeling of "emptiness" in the whole town. All the younger and
able-bodied men in the army, and no way to get any word of their plight.
Rifle fire and the booming of cannon which had gone on for days, had hushed,
but in its place now the beat of soldier's feet - YANKEE - soldiers.
Grandma's hone at that time, was a comfortable little brick cottage
located diagonally across the street from Soule College. They had a large
brick underground cistern filled with rainwater, their only source of water
other than the "Town-pump" as no public waterworks existed at that time.
When the Yankees moved into town, the first thing they did was to take
over Soule College for a hospital for their wounded, then immediately
plundered the neighborhood, stripping all homes of their food supplies, all
clothing and linens for beds and bandages, even the baby clothes, and
carried water from the cistern until it was empty.
At this time, mother was nearly two and a half years old, and her
brother Toramie only a few months.
Grandma told pathetically of her desolation as she stood on the porch,
helpless, holding the baby in her arms, and mother, by the hand as she
watched everything in the world she owned being carried away. But the even
greater burden on her heart was the fate of her husband. What had happened
to him? The fighting had been fierce, the Yankee losses had been heavy
both in killed and wounded. It was only to be assumed, as they had heard
that the Confederate losses had been even greater. The uncertainty was
Wearily and desolately, she turned away and with the two babies, walked
the few blocks to Main Street and to her father's home where she remained
for a good while.
The War was over in 1865, and with Grandpa home, it was hoped that
peace would soon be a reality, but - not so. Troubles of a different kind,
and in some respects, worse than War, if that were possible.
Riff-raff moved in, from the north, and with corrupt men in high places,
these, so called, "Carpet Baggers" continued to harass and persecute the
southerners. Some of the negroes became arrogant and offensive, and to
help curb this condition, the original secret organisation, the KU-KLUX
CLAN was organized.
Not to have been able to bring under control the arrogance and
vindictiveness of those half -savage negroes of those post-slave days
would have been unthinkable. What laws that existed for such protection
were not being enforced by the Northern politicians who were placed over
the conquered Southerners.
The negro of that time was inherently and mortally afraid of n gho8ts w
or "hants" as they called then, -so it was to take full advantage of this
emotion that the best of the southern men banded themselves together in
this secret society and dressed in white robes and white head-dress, and
the negroes, seeing large bands of these white robed figures (HANTS)
riding in on horseback, were more rigidly held in check.
Only occasionally did the Clansmen find it necessary to catch a
particularly arrogant one and give him a good flogging. News of such
occasions spread rapidly among the negroes and struck terror to their souls.
This unbearable condition was eventually brought under control.
Grandma told me of many instances during this hectic period. The women,
at home, made the white robes and masks, yet did not know who would be
wearing thera. It was so secret that wives and mothers did not know that
their own husbands and sons were Involved. Of course, they suspicioned such,
but accurate knowledge was kept secret from them.
That magnificent motion picture - "The Birth of a Nation" truly depicted
life during this period of reconstruction, and although Grandma was not
interested in many moving pictures, she, evidently was awaiting the showing
of this one,- for after she died, we found in her purse newspaper notices of
the approaching dates, but she died before that time.
On July 1, 1871, her beloved husband, - "MI FOUNT" (as she always
called him) passed on to the "Great Beyond," Ids death attributed to the
effects of a gunshot wound In his hip, received during the War.
The family was living in a small one story, frame cottage on Main
Street, and after grandpa's death, she remained there until Uncle Tommie
went to Nashville to work and mother was married.
Alone, grandma worked at dress-oaking to make a living for her two
children, It was a brave struggle, but struggle it was, until Uncle
To— ii got to the place where he could help.
By 1882, Grandma, Uncle Tommie, papa, mother and sister were all
settled in Nashville, then in 1883, I was born. Then in 1885, tragedy
struck again, her beloved Tommie was stricken and died suddenly. From
that time on to her death, her life was lived solely for my mother, my
sister and for me.
On March 10, 1916, her beautiful Spirit passed from her frail body.
Hsr 76 years had truly been years of self-sacrifice, and during her
last ten years, she had done much to make her great-granddaughters happy.
The little children, as they naturally would, began asking questions
about Grandma, -"Where is my Grandma?" "When will Grandma come back?"
We tried to explain that God had taken Grandma to His home in Heaven
where she would be with the Angels.
Evelyn, then just two and one-half, expressed the true feelings of all
of us, as she looked up and exclaimed, "Oh! won»t the Angels enjoy my Grandma!"
HARVEY 0SB0RN : my great-grandfather was the oldest of nine sons born to
Jonathan Osborn and Hannah Spinning at Elizabethtown, New Jersey on August
31, 1815. The family moved to Oxford, North Carolina where Harvey grew up,
but when a young man, he moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee where he met and
married Aim Campbell Reed. This marriage took placo in Murfreesboro on
October 8, 1839. They had seven (7) children,- two girls and ttm boys.
My Qrandma Henry was the oldest of these. Her sister, Mary, was the mother
of Cousin Annie May Cook Spain, who* we all called "MaMie", so nick-«amed
by our little girls. The brothers were Will, James, Robert, Harvey and Joe.
A great deal of the history of Harvey Osbom, Sr. has already been
covered in the sketch on Qrandma Henry, hence it is not necessary to
repeat it here.
Harvey Osborn died at Murfreesboro on February 2U, 1886, and is buried
in Evergreen Cemetery.
AHN CAMPBBLL REED : my great-grandmother Osborn was the daughter of
James Reed and ELenor Rankin. She was born in Murfreesboro (a Christmas
gift) on December 25, 1817.
This one, in the Century long list of births in the direct line, is
the only one which is not on exactly the 20th year. This has always been
an interesting coincidence, for as far back as we have record, -
Qrandma Rankin was born in 1780
Qrandma Reed was born in 1800
Grandma Osborn was born in 1817
Qrandma Henry was born in 181*0
My mother was born in i860
My sister was born in 1880
As related previously, grandma Osborn died on December 3, 1863, during
the Civil War, after nursing three of her young sons and then her husband
through a horrible siege of small pox.
JAMES RBBD t my great-great-grandfather, was born June 27, 1793. He
was married to Elenor Rankin about 1816 or early 1817. We do not have any
detailed information about this ancestor, however, I do remember that in
my childhood days, I was impressed, from hearing the older folks talk, that
"Grandpa and Grandma Reed" war* held in the very highest esteem by family
and friends alike. He died on ipril 29, 1865 and is buried in the Reed-
Osborn plot in Brer green Cemetery in Murfreesboro.
BUBNOR RANKIN: was born on July 11, 1800. Was married to James Reed
about 1816-1817. She lived a long and useful life and died August 2U, 1881*.
Among our large family connection, Grandma Reed was always and in all
ways, my mother's favorite. I have heard mother tell of many instances
where she would go to "Grandma Reed" for counsel and advice.
Blenor Rankin Reed was, of course, the daughter of Grandpa and Grandma
Rankin, but I regret I do not have any information on either of them except
that Grandma Rankin was born in 1780. This I recall in connection with the
direct line of mostly Bllons, born at twenty year intervals beginning with
"Grandma Rankin In 1780."
JONATHAN OSBORNt was born at Newark, New Jersey on July 31, 1793.
Jonathan's grandfather, Thomas Osborn, was born in Virginia, but in his
early yotng manhood, left home and went north, settling in New Jersey.
Jobnathan was married to HANNAH SPINNING of Elisabethtown, New Jersey,
on October 23, 181U. She was born March 25, 1793,- and died January 12,
1863 in Oxford, North Carolina, where the family had moved during previous
CAI£B OSBORN .- father of Johnathan Osborn, was born February 2k, 1751,
at Lyons Farm, New Jersey. He was married on June 3, 1781, to SUSANNAH
JBWELL. These were my great-great-great-grandparents.
It was this Calbe Osborn who served with George Washington during the
Revolutionary War, -was with him through that terrible Winter at Valley
Forge,- and who died on December 20, 1799, from effects of being thrown
from a horse returning 'from Washington's burial.
His wife, Susannah Jewell, was born in June 1762, and died April
THOMAS OS BORN ; was the father of Caleb Oaborn, and it was he who left
the home in Virginia to live in New Jersey. He was married to JANE
PATTERSON. We do not hare any dates on either of these.
JOHN OSBGRNi the father of the Thomas Osborn just mentioned, is also
the son of a Thomas Osborn. John Osborn was born about 1680. There are
three Thomas Osborns within fire generations, and we know little about any
of them, except the first. The wife of John Osborn was Ann. All other
information is lacking.
THOMAS OSBORN » whose wife was Martha, was the grandson and namesake
of the first Thomas Osborn and we have no further information about them,
however, we assume this Thomas Osborn was born about 1650, in Virginia.
UNKNOWN , the records as furnished show a generation here, but with
all names and dates unknown, however, we can assume that this Osborn, the
first in our line to be born in America, was born about 1620 to 1625* At
this very early date, there were probably few, if any, private family
There are no public service data recorded, as is in the case of his
father, the original Thomas Osborn.
THOMAS OSBCRNt This, our original ancestor in America, was born In
England in the late 1500*8, and emigrated to America among the rery early
settlers at Jamestown. His name is not listed amongh the "First Settlers"
who landed in 1607, but the Ronk records indicated he arrived about two
years later, or 1609.
In 1616, he set out from the Jamestown settlement and went up the
James River a few miles and settled in Chesterfield "Colony." We can
assume that this "Colony" was what is now, in whole or in part, Chester-
field County. This section lies South and West of Richmond.
Thomas shorn was not long in taking a prominent part in the life of
his community. This was not an easy thing to do in the face of the dangers
of those pioneer times, to say nothing of those hostile Indians in that
vicinity, which was near the home grounds of the once famous and powerful
Indian Chief, Powhatan, father of Pocohontas.
However, in 1631, Thomas Osborn was made a Justice.
Then in 1639 he was made a member of the House of Burgess, the govern-
ing body of the Colony of Virginia.
We have no records concerning his wife, only my memory that Howard Ronk
told me he married a Roseberry from England.
1. Thomas Osborn
2. Not Recorded
3. Thomas Osborn
U. John Osborn
5. Thomas Osborn
6. Caleb Osborn
7. Johnathan Osborn
8. Harvey Osborn
Ann Campbell Reed
9. Sallie Ellen Osborn
Fountain Jeffries Henry
10. Nettle Ellen Henry
William Janes Rion
EUen Ann Rion - Fount Henry Rion
In pursuing my desire to learn more about those who have, in the
recent centuries, done so much ,-braved such insurmountable difficulties,-
suffered so many defeats and achieved so many triumphs, that I - and so
many others might have more of life, liberty and happiness, - I have found
a deeper sense of appreciation and a greater desire to honor those who
have left to us this heritage, for to do so is a part of the greatness of
I sincerely hope that my feeble efforts in securing and compiling these
few facts about those of our blood who lived through the perils of pioneer-
ing days, of Wars and pestilence, yet, have enjoyed much of peace and
contentment, -will engender in the hearts of those who read this, a deeper
sense of reverence and appreciation for them.
They have written in the book of life. Some of the pages are beauti-
fully soiled with the sweat of toil, some are pure white and many are
written in the blood of the Revolution, but all are honorable and plain
Today, each of us is a writer, each day we turn a new page in the
book titled "This is My life." All preceding pages are closed with the
fall of yesterday,-tomorrow is not yet ready for recording.
Each morning there lies before us a clean page on which to record
our deed 3 of today.
May we now be builders for tomorrow, even as our forbears, that those
who follow us may have a richness of life not now foreseen, filled with
Spiritual strength in service to those who follow us, for, -"To live in
the hearts we leave behind is not to die."
THE ROLE OF STONE'S RIVER IN THE
EARLT EXPLORATION, TRADE, AND SETTLEMENT
OF RUTHERFORD CODNTT, TENNESSEE
Samuel J. Lawson III
When one examines a contemporary map of Rutherford County, it will
come to hia attention that there are two prominent features on the face
of the county, ie., Interstate Highway 21* and Stone's River. Both the
highway and the river have many things in common. Today in 1981, the
highway is a route both to the market and from market for many goods
leaving and entering Rutherford County. Besides being a route for trade
and commerce, Interstate Highway 2k also serves as a major transportation
route for people travelling through the area. Obviously, the movement of
people and trade goods through the county means an increase in the area's
economic well-being. The benefits of Interstate Highway 2k are well
known to the residents of today's Rutherford County.
Years ago, the traffic of people and commerce into and out of the
Rutherford County area came via Stone's River. The river served in much
the same capacity as Interstate 2k does today. The river supplied a "Natural
Highway" by which the county's produce was sent to market and by which
commercial items were brought into the county. The river traffic of those
days also brought an economic prosperity along with new settlers.
People coming into the area were from different ethnic backgrounds
and thus contributed many cultural treasures to the area's heritage. Follow-
ing the course of the river, many Rutherford County settlers found new
homesteads along its banks. Thus the river gratly influenced the pattern
of settlement in the county. These various pioneer settlers had different
needs which directly effected the supply and demand for goods as well as
the types of goods transported over the Stone's River trade route.
As Interstate Highway 21* provides today's area residents with both
transportation and trade connections to the remainder of the United States,
Stone's River also gave earlier Rutherford Countians outside connections.
The Stone's River flows into the Cumberland River which in turn flows into
the Ohio River, thus giving access to the Mississippi River. This gave
river traffic connections to the great trade centers of New Orleans,
Natchez, Vicksburg, Memphis, Cairo, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Vheeling,
and Pittsburgh. Thus the benefits of the navigation of Stone's River
were well known to the people of Rutherford County in previous tines.
It be cones evident that the Stone's River afforded Rutherford County
with a portion of the great Mississippi River tradition of river life and
transportation. This is a notable aspect of the area's history which has
previously been either forgotten or ignored.
The following account of the river's role in the early exploration,
trade and settlement of Rutherford County is presented with the hope that
present-day residents may begin to understand the past greatness of Stone's
River and its importance to the county.
The Stone's River is a prominent tributary of the Cumberland River
and has a drainage of 921* square miles. The Vest Fork and the Middle Fork
are in Rutherford County in their entirety. The East Fork originates in
a large mineral spring near Woodbury in Cannon County, flows across the
northern half of Rutherford County, and joins the West Fork after the latter
has received the waters of the Middle Fork. The Main Channel, formed by
the union of the East and West Forks, continues a general northwestward
course through the remainder of Rutherford County to enter Davidson County.
The river continues its northwestward drainage, passing through Donelson,
and empties Into the Cumberland River near Neely's Bend. The distance from
the mouth of Stone's River to its East Fork origin in Cannon County is
approximately 82 miles if measured along the meanders, however the distance
straight across the land from mouth to origin is only hh miles. Thus it
is easily seen that the river is filled with bends and meanders. The actual
meander length for the Main Channel is 38.6 miles, East Fork U6 miles, and
West Fork 25 miles.
The point at which the East Fork and the West Fork join became the site
of the town of Jefferson, the first county seat of Rutherford County. Jeff-
erson's location at the forks of tine Stone's River resulted in the later
development of the town as a river port. Just one mile downstream from Old
Jefferson was Jefferson Springs, a popular summer resort of the 1920's era.
A brief look at a county map reveals that the Walter Hill community
is located on the East Fork about 5 miles east of the site of Jefferson.
It can also be seen that 9 miles further upstream is Bradley's Creek, on the
banks of which is located the village of Laacaaaas. The village is
adjacent to the river. Bran farther upstream is the village of Ready-
ville which is located at the juncture of the East Pork and the Rutherford/
Cannon County line, Hurfreesboro is the only town of considerable size
on the river and is located about 15 miles by river fro* Jefferson up the
West Fork. The famous Civil War battle of 31 December 1862 and 2 January
1863, centered around the river on the northwestern edge of Marfreeaboro.
However the greatest feature that the map Shows along the course of the
river is the Percy Priest Reservoir. This man-made lake was created in
1966 by the United States Army Corps of Sigineers. The river waa impounded
by a dam located 6.8 miles from the mouth of the river adjacent to the old
Stewart' a Perry bridge and formed a U2 mile long reservoir when the waters
were backed up. The lake today is extensively used by loca" 1 residents for
boating, fishing, swimming, camping and other forma of recreation.
Figure 1 i Map of the Stone's River
EARLT EXPLORATION AND SETTLEMENT
Stone' 6 River first appears In written history about 167U when
French explorers who penetrated the interior of Tennessee froa the
Illinois country, encountered the Shawnee Indians. The Shawnee at
that time were located along the Cumberland River with a large settle-
ment near present-day Nashville. Stone's River was within the hunting
grounds of the Shawnee. These hunting grounds were the object of great
controversy among the Indians. They were coveted by both the Chickasaw
and the Cherokee. The matter came to a violent conclusion in 171U. About
1710, a French trader, Jean du Charleville, from Crosat's colony at New
Orleans, established a store or trading post "on a mound on the west side
of the Cumberland River, near French Lick, in the Shawnee country," near
the present site of Nashville. As a result of the hunting controversy,
in 171 h Charleville and a party of Shawnee were attacked and killed by a
band of Chickasaw. During the ensuing conflict, the combined force of the
Chickasaw and Cherokee forced the Shawnee to retreat north of the Ohio River
and vacate the Central Basin of Tennessee.
The early French explorers referred to the Cumberland Basin area of
Tennessee as the land of the "Chaouanon" River. Translated this meant
"Shawnee River" which is known today as the Cumberland. The French were
also the first permanent settlers of European origin in the Middle Tennessee
area. Martin Char tier, a deserter from the LaSalle expedition on the
Mississippi River, married a Shawnee woman and subsequently settled with
her people at their settlement at French Lick (present-day Nashville) and
resided there about 3 years. Between 1692 and 169U, a group of the Piqua
Shawnee moved eastward into Pennsylvania to join others that had pre-
viously removed there from the western areas and Chartier accompanied
these Piqua Shawnee. Later, he returned with his eon, Peter, and settled
again at French Lick. Perhaps it was due to the influence of Chartier
that French traders had worked and hunted in the Cumberland Basin since
The next Frenchman to settle in the Nashville area was only the
vangard for an influx of explorers that came into the area in the late
1760's. Jacques- Timothe DeMontbrun, a French Canadian fur trader, began
to operate in the Nashville area during the mid-1 760' s. DeMontbrun came
to Tennessee from Kaakaskia, Illinois and eventually brought his wife and
settled in a cave on the Cumberland River near the mouth of Mill Creek in
present-day Davidson County. Records show that DeMontbrun used the "natural
highway" of the area in his trading. He ascended the rivers of the area
many times and used "a large boat" with 6 or 8 hands and thus hunted and
trapped for many years in the region about Nashville. It is highly probable
that he used the Stone's River as an access to the rich hunting in the
Rutherford County area.
Shortly after DeMontbrun' s arrival in the area, parties of long hunters
from Virginia crossed the Appalachian Mountains and began to explore and
hunt in Tennessee and Kentucky. Cne such group was headed by Colonel James
Smith. Among the men that accompanied Smith was a man named Uriah Stone.
When the party had reached the Cumberland Basin, the hunters separated to
hunt and explore. The year was 1766, when Uriah Stone discovered a blue-
green stream emptying into the Cumberland River. He followed the stream
southward to a point where it divided into two rivers, one fork to the
east and one to the west. After re-joining Colonel Smith's party, Stone
told then of the river and thus the hunters called it "Stone's River".
1 few vears later, in 1768, Lieutentant Thomas Hutchins of the Royal
Engineers, British Amy, was eoanaissioned by his government to survey the
topography and hydrography of the western frontier. Included in his
survey area was the Cumberland Basin of Tennessee. Hutchins accomplished
his mission in part through the construction of a boat which was to be used
as a transport for the engineer surveying party. The result was the Gage,
an "armed galley" which was converted from a bateau at Kaakaskia, Illinois.
Hutchins 1 "gunboat" had 2U oars and carried a crew of 35 men. In 1769* at
the conclusion of his survey work along the Cumberland River, Hutchins'
group scouted out the lower reaches of Stone's River. The results of the
expedition, in the form of descriptions and maps, were published in London
in 1777. The published map, based on Hutchins' information designated the
Cumberland River as "Shawanoe River", after the Shawnee Indians, and Stone's
River as "Fish Creek".
The Stone '8 River in the 1760's was a different river than it is now.
It may have flooded occasionally in seasons of extreme rainfall, but it
appears that the river had a uniform flow because the soil was deep and
covered with grass and forests all along the river's meanders and tributaries.
The water is thought to have been deep and swarming with fish.
Uriah Stone returned to the area in 1 770 with a group of 1 long hunters
including Kasper Mansker. At the end of their hunting in Middle Tennessee,
the hunters met on the Cumberland River, near the mouth of Stone's River,
Figure 2: Drawing of a Colonial
British Scouting Vessel similar
to that used by Lt. Hutch ins
and built two boats and two trapping canoes. These were loaded with furs
and bear neat. The group found a deserted boat which they added to their
"flotilla" and later moved down the Cumberland River. They planned to go
to Natchez to dispose of the goods and purchase much needed supplies, ill
went well until they reached the mouth of the Cumberland, tfcen the group
stopped in order to render some spoiling meat into oil, they were overtaken
by a mountain man, John Brown, and 25 of his followers who promptly robbed
Stone's party of 2 guns, some ammunition, salt and tobacco.
The years 1768-1769 saw the birth of commercial transportation on the
rivers of Middle Tennessee in the area of the Central Basin. Joseph Holl-
ingsworth was employed by a trading house in Philadelphia to come to the
Cumberland Territory and supervise the killing of game and the packing of
meat in casks for the New Orleans market and the garrison at Fort Chartres,
Illinois. Hollingshead's hired hands worked an area of 300 miles along the
Cumberland River and employed 20 pirogues to transport goods. No doubt
this enterprise exploited the Stone's River area.
Early use of canoes and pirogues had been made by the Indians of the
region. The Shawnee were famed for fine canoes. These canoes were actually
"dug-outs" made from single logs. The Caribbean Indians called them "piraguas";
a term adopted by the Spanish and later by the French and English as the
"pirogue". Using the Indian method of construction, a 20-foot pirogue would
require h days to make. Indian war parties at times used pirogues which
held over 20 warriors. The largest of this type craft were approximately
50 feet long and 5 feet wide and could carry 30 men or an estimated 50 tons
of cargo. These large pirogues were steered with an oar at the stern and
propelled with either poles or paddles. The craft also could be "com-
partmentalized" for cargo when small bulwarks, made during construction,
divided the hull into spaces h to 6 feet long. This is the same craft that
was adopted and used by the early English and French fur traders. Pirogues
were used for rapid transport of salt to settlers and transport of cargo to
Figure 3: Pirogue
Jabob Sandusky, a Pole, took a cargo of skins and tallow down the
Cumberland River to New Orleans in 177U* He is credit ted as being the first
white man to make such a voyage. He probably was indeed the first man to
establish a new pattern for the exportation of products from the Cumberland
Basin by showing the relative ease of following the downstream current of
the rivers to the Mew Orleans market, rather than hauling goods overland.
DeMontbrun also carried hides and tallow to Mew Orleans by boat in 1776.
Sandusky's route to the New Orleans market was to become "standard
operating procedure ■ for the exporters of the Cumberland Basin for many
year s to come.
A few years after Sandusky's voyage, Rufus Putnam arrived with a
party of settlers at Marietta, Ohio. Putnam's landing was not significant
for navigation as his cruise was. Putnam travelled in the galley Adventure.
This vessel was U7 feet long, 12 feet wide with a curved, raking bow and
the lines of a coasting boat. Such a craft was not unusual, but quite
similar to the vessels used by the military and was patterned after a "ship's
boat" or shallop. A shallop is described as a "shoal-draft keel vessel
having a bluff bow and a square stern" with dimensions similar to those of
Putnam's Adventure . Although this Instance was not out of the ordinary,
it was a shadow of what was to come. The shallop-type vessel was of course
a keel vessel which made it markedly different from craft that had been
used previously. It's most outstanding characteristics are its stability
and streamlined design. The Indian pirogue was a much more primitive craft.
The French bateau was more like the shallop/keel vessel but did have several
major differences. This kind of craft was a keel-less, flat-bottomed boat
with ends tapering to points, built of planks. Small vessels of this type
were called skiffs. The bateau was propelled by oars, setting poles, or
square sails and was steered by means of either an oar or a rudder. 18 or
20 rowers were employed to man the crew. The vessels were often equipped
with an awning or wooden shelter for a cabin in the rear. The halcyon days
of the bateau were between 175U and 1790. Bateaux built during the American
Revolutionary War were described as UO feet long, 9 feet wide, and 32 inches
deep. Both the bateaux and the keel-type vessels were to beooae fore-
runners of later river craft.
1779 and 1780 saw the plans and schemes of James Robertson and John
Oonelson begin to take shape and be put Into action. These sen were the
motivators behind the Cumberland Settlements in Tennessee and became the
"founding fathers" of the settlements. Reams of material has been written
concerning this because of its great Impact on Middle Tennessee, but this
colonization project also had a tremendous effect on navigation and Stone's
River in particular.
The expedition to settle the Cumberland River area around the old
French Lick in today's Davidson County had direct bearing on the settlement
of Rutherford County. The caravan of settlers came by two different routes
with Robertson leading one group overland through Kentucky from the Watauga
settlements of East Tennessee, and Oonelson setting out from Fort Patrick
Henry on the Holston River. Donelson was to lead a flotilla of over 1*0
flatboats loaded with settlers down the Holston River to the Tennessee past
present-day Chattanooga into Alabama over Muscle Shoals back into Tennessee
then into Kentucky to the mouth of the Tennessee River on the Ohio River.
From this point, the flotilla was to travel upstream to the mouth of the
Cumberland and thus up that stream to the bluff near French Lick at present-
The Donelson voyage marked the introduction of 2 new ideas. First,
the mass transport of settlers by water transportation. This was something
that had not been tried before, but nevertheless seemed to set the style
because later many western settlers began to travel by water when this means
of transport was available. Second, due to his success, Oonelson ushered
In the era of the flatboat, When it became the major vehicle of river
transportation. But In a much more direct way, Donelson was to Influence
what was to happen on the Stone's River when he later would be personally
involved in the settling of pioneers along its banks.
Flatboats, like those used by Donelson, were in use on the western
rivers as a means of transportation by 1?80 and no doubt sooner. The craft
retained its importance in transportation until its use peaked in 18U6-18U7-
Thereafter the use of flatboats declined until the American Civil Mar put
an end to its use.
Figure ht Family Flatboat
A typical flatboat could be described as a simple affair looking lite
a flat-bottomed box with a shed-like shelter built over the interior cargo
space for the protection of either the cargo or the passengers and crew.
Flats used by the government in the 1790's were 12 to 1li feet wide and U5
to 50 feet long on the average, although the sizes of flats in general were
varied. Burdens varied according to size, with the average flatboat hold-
ing between 1*0 and 50 tons of cargo. The steering aboard a flat was done
via a 30 to l*0-foot oar that was pivoted in a forked stick to the roof or
to a porthole in the stern. Two or more sweeps similarly pivoted on the
sides were used to keep the boat in the current. The boat's crew demanded
2 men and a steersman.
The flatboat was essentially a downstream craft and was generally float-
ed downstream to the desired destination and upon arrival was broken up.
After being broken up, the timber thus attained was then used for other
construction purposes or sold for a profit by the boat owner. The average
flatboat used by a settler's family was 30 to 1*0 feet long. When the cost
was calculated, the flatboat could have been relatively expensive for a pioneer.
Estimates place the cost between $1 .00 and $1 .25 per foot, thus with cable,
pump, etc., the vessel could cost approximately $50.00 total.
In 1780, John Donelson's flotilla landed at Cedar Bluff near the French
Lick and met Robertson's settlers to begin the task of settling the area of
present-day Nashville. Tradition tells that "Timothy'' DeMontbrun paddled
down the river in his canoe to greet the new residents. However, Donelson
made only a short stop at the Bluff, staying Just a few days without unload-
ing his flatboat, the Adventure. After seeing the pioneers were safely
arrived and getting along well, Donelson and his family boarded the
Adventure and set out upon the Cumberland River pushing her against the
current. Upstream they came to the mouth of Stone 1 s River. Upon reach-
ing this point, the vessel was pushed up the Stone's River about U miles
and landed on May 1st, 1780 in a large meadow of white clover. The site
became known as "Clover Bottom", the name it still carries today. Donelson 's
group built cabins and Ranted crops of corn and cotton. By 1783, the
settlement became known as "Stone's River" or "Donelson's Station." The
river's history had entered into a period of pioneer settlement.
At this same time in 1783, the State of North Carolina began the survey-
ing of the lands that were to be given in grants to the soldiers for their
service during the American Revolutionary War. These surveys included the
Stone's River drainage area. In 1786, North Carolina issued these land
grants and some of these such as the grants to Samuel Wilson, Hardy Murfree
and Archibald Iytle were located deep within the area now known as Rutherford
County. Due to troubles with the Indian tribes of the area during the
1780»s and 1790's, it is thought that most Rutherford County pioneers made
no permanent settlements in the county until about 1795.
Nevertheless, Donelson's settlement at Clover Bottom evidently began
a movement to settle the banks of the Stone's River and its tributaries.
William Stewart of Fife-Shire, Scotland, had arrived in Middle Tennessee
with Donelson's flotilla. In 178U, Stewart came to Stone's River and settled
on the eastern bank near the site of the later built bridge on Stewart's
Ferry Road about 7 miles upstream from the mouth of the river. By the spring
of 1788, about 23 miles further upstream according to the deed records of
Davidson County, in which portions of today's Rutherford County wore
located, John Bowen and Robert Spotswood Russell apparently had residences
along Stewart's Creek, a tributary of the Stone's River. This area of
Rutherford County has been referred to as a fertile area and probably
played a large part in the production of produce to be sent to market.
Statistics show that in 1788, the settlers of Kentucky and Tennessee sent
$22^,000 of produce down the rivers to New Orleans. Sandusky's earlier
voyage to the New Orleans markets had not been in vain. When the Mississ-
ippi River was opened "free" to American trade by a treaty between Spain
and tile United States in 1792, commerce with New Orleans markets rapidly
During the first two decades of the Cumberland Settlements, goods had
been imported by wagon from the East. These goods were purchased in
Philadelphia or Baltimore and brought over the Appalachian Mountains on
pack horses. Wagons were sometimes used. However at an early date, the
wagons were hauled from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, where they were
transferred to flatboats and floated down the Ohio River to the Cumberland
River thence to the Nashville area. This early import trade used overland
transportation although the export trade of Middle Tennessee was from the
beginning almost exclusively a water-borne commerce.
Settlers were moving into the area of present-day Rutherford County
by 1795. Samuel Wilson resided temporarily at the forks of the Stone's
River in 1 788-1 789. During this time he planted Rutherford's first corn
crop. Wilson later erected a permanent settlement at Wilson's Shoals on
the Stone's River near the National Cemetery about 11* miles up the West Fork
from his first residence. Wilson and Nimrod Menifee settled this area
about 1797* About the sane time, settlers were constructing their home-
steads on Stewart's Creek. This party of pioneers included Owen Edwards,
Thomas Nelson, William Atkinson, Thomas Howell and John Etta. Cver on the
East Fork, Thomas Rucker was locating his home near today's Veterans Admin-
istration Hospital. By 1799, William Iytle set up his abode on the West
Fork in present-day Murfreesboro.
The significance of these pioneers' movements and settlement patterns
is that they are bound up with Stone's River. Carlton Sims summed up the
situation by saying that "the most important stream of immigrants into the
county (Rutherford) came up Stone's River from Davidson CCunty." Some of
these moved up the East Fork, while others moved up the West Fork. The
majority seemed to have followed the West Fork, erecting homesteads on
Stewart's Creek, Overall Creek and Iytle Creek. By following the river's
course and the dates of settlement, one can easily see the pattern of develop-
ment in Rutherford County's early history. Beginning with Done 1 son at Clover
Bottom in 1780 to Stewart in 1781*, three miles further upstream and on to
Wilson at the forks of the river in 1 788, the settlements reached 38 miles
upriver in about 8 years. After another 10 years, they reached to Murfrees-
boro on the West Fork and to Lascassas and beyond on the East Fork, so that
by 1800, Readyville was being established.
1800 was a year of change in the river history of our area. The hunting
era on the frontier was gradually being replaced by the agricultural era
with the increase in the number of pioneers raising crops. Cotton was the
major export product of the Cumberland Basin with tobacco taking second place.
rr* J "*?
ft^xsixxA- syr^uasTKck-** rx> <*- <*&lcA QaM- erry- tnx.
Figvire 5» Survey map of the 1 78U grant
of William Stewart on Stone's
Ifade and commerce were becoming acre water-borne. The Mississippi River
had been opened for comae re e and the freight rate for wagon transportation
was at $10 per 100 pounds. The rate for water transport was $6.75 per 100
pounds of goods. Practical business sense dictated a turn from land trans-
port to water transport for trade. The Cumberland Basin area was exporting
the "productions of the country" by boat downriver to New Orleans and was
receiving goods from Philadelphia via Pittsburgh and the rivers. Flatboat-
men would upon their arrival at New Orleans sell the cargo as well as the
boat and would then return home along the Natchez Trace. However, the most
significant development was the introduction of a river craft called a
Figure 6 j River Scene Showing
A Flatboat and Two Keel boats
The keel-boat seems to have developed as a combination of the military
galley or shallop-type vessel and French bateau. These vessels were created
in order to both ascend and descend rivers due to their stream-lined con-
figuration. The ordinary keel -boat was between U0 and 80 feet long, 7 to
10 feet wide with a shallow keel and was sharp at both ends. The vessel's
loaded draft was about 2 feet, rendering it well adapted for use in shallow
river water. The mid-section of the boat was usually covered in part by
a cabin or cargo box that had an inside clearance of about 6 feet. All
around the gunwales ran a cleated footway, 12 to 18 inches wide, where the
crew walked while poling the boat upstream. At the bow were seats for rowers
used when the boat was propelled by U to 12 oarsmen. The steering was done
by means of a long oar pivoted at the stern and extending 10 to 12 feet
beyond the boat. This "rudder" was operated by the steersman, who was usually
the boat's captain, sometimes called the boat's patroon. The burden of the
keel -boats ranged between 15 and 50 tons, but usually it was less than 30
tons. If the boat was covered by a cabin extending the total length of the
vessel, it was called a "barge".
Figure 7: Barge
In June of 1809, the Nashville newspapers announced the arrival of a
typical fceelboat/Wge in the following Banner. "Arrived at this place
(Nashville) on Saturday last, the elegant barge Mary Anne, Capt. Sprigg,
27 days from New Orleans, burthen 57 tons. This barge is 87 feet long and
upwards of 15 feet wide... Built at Cincinnati at a cost of $11 00... is now
completely equipped with masts, Spars, and rigging, and is an excellent
sailer. She is worked by 22 hands... amount of freight was upwards of $5000."
Not only were keelboats propelled by setting poles and oars but when
conditions were favorable and the situation warranted, sails were employed.
The Tennessee Legislature, on 13 November 1801, declared Stone's River
to be navigable "to the main West fork" of the river and thus the river was
protected by the law for navigation. This act began a new phase in the
history of the river.
Once Stone's River was declared navigable, many Individuals quickly
grasped the chance to get ahead in this new business of water-borne commerce.
One of Nashville's enterprising merchants, John Coffee, got into the
business as early as 1803. Coffee owned several barges and fceelboats which
he employed in the New Orleans trade. The names of two of these, the
Resolution and the Adventure, have been preserved. However, the earliest
record of Coffee's involvement is found in his personal papers. The record
consists of the bill of lading of the boat Child which is dated 2 March 1801 .
The destination of the Child was New Orleans and her cargo included salt-
petre, pork, corn, cotton, tobacco and slaves. Goods brought up to the
Cumberland Basin from New Orleans consisted of those things not easily obtain-
ed locally such as sugar, coffee, and various groceries.
John Coffee was later to do business on the Stone's River, but local
residents had already begun, starting almost immediately after the river
had been declared navigable. It soon became evident that the chief port
on the river was to be Jefferson. This was mainly due to the town's
advantageous location at the forks of the river. About this time a local
interest was started at Jefferson in the way of freighting the commerce
of the community to New Orleans by way of Stone's River and the Cumberland,
which awakened an interest in the community for river travel. Many people
envisioned the Stone's River as becoming an important artery of commerce.
Then in 1803, Moses Ridley and John Buchanan asked permit of the State to
build a mill dam on the river about 10 miles downstream from Jefferson. The
leading citizens of Jefferson held a public meeting and dispatched a resolution
of protest to the General Assembly t
"That If our Honorable, the Senate and House of
Representatives, do not think it expedient to
secure to us the navigation of Stones river,
according to a former law, and in opposition to
certain petitions to legalize obstructions in
the navigation of said river, we will be forced,
again to think our rights infringed, and our
interests disregarded. Wherefore, your memorial-
ists respectfully pray, that your honorable body
will take into consideration our peculiarly
critical situation, and by rejecting all petitions
to obstruct the navigation of Stones river to the
town of Jefferson."
The State allowed the construction of the mill dam, but required that the
builders install navigation locks to facilitate the safe passage for all
vessels. The locks were specified to be at least 67 feet long and 16 feet
wide. Ridley and Buchanan built both the dam and the lock at a location
on the Stone's River that is now located under the waters of Percy Priest
Lake. The site was later known as Jones' Mill and was approximately 28
miles from the mouth of the river.
Just as with any settlement that developed along the rivers of Middle
Tennessee, Jefferson began to send an incresing number of boats down Stone's
River to eventually reach New Orleans. William Nash owned a trade-store in
Jefferson about 1803. lesh's store sold dry goods, groceries, gunpowder
and lead as well as whiskey. Nash was at this time exporting ox-hides, wolf-
scalps, deer skins, deer "saddles'', 'coon skins as well as farm produce,
grain and meat to New Orleans via flatboat. These boats took a month or
more to complete the journey. Gtods coming into Jefferson were purchased
largely in Pittsburgh and brought to Jefferson by river. Nash was not the
only pioneer making use of the river's "natural highway". The Tennessee
General Assembly received a petition on 26 August 1803 requesting that the
navigation of Stone's liver be kept open iron Cumins Mill to the mouth of
the river in order to carry produce to market. Cummins Mill was located
on the East Fork near Providence Church in today's Walter Hill community.
1803 also saw the creation of Rutherford County on the 25th of October.
By this time, John Coffee, George Poyzer, Christopher Stump and Messrs.
Rappier, Turner, Spriggs, et. al. became the leading men of the keel boat
business in Nashville. The principal export items of Nashville included
tobacco, corn, indigo, hogs, horses, flour and cotton. But Nashville was
not alone, Jefferson was also exporting produce. The flatboat Kitty , John
Smith, Master and tie flatboat Salley McGee, James K. Benson, Master, arrived
at New Orleans on the first of May 1805, with cargoes of corn. The corn
had been shipped by Mark Mitchell from Jefferson on Stone's River. Later
in 1807, the settlement near Cummins Mill sent a flatboat carrying a 1*0 ton
cargo of farm produce down the river to the market in Nashville.
Figure 8: Flatboat
In the spring of 1805, John Coffee joined with Andrew Jackson and
John Hutohlngs as business partners and formed the firm of Jackson, Hutchlngs
and Company. The firm owned and operated the Jackson store at Clover
Bottom near the Lebanon turnpike bridge over Stone's River. The store sold
some items that had come from Philadelphia, where Jackson had purchased them
in 1801*. He had the merchandise sent by wagon to Pittsburgh and from there
by boat to the mouth of the Cumberland River where they transferred the goods
into John Coffee's keelboat. Then Coffee brought it back to Clover Bottom
on Stone's River. The items included whiskey, wine, brandy, nails, bottles,
alum, sulphur, silk, linen, broadcloth, needles, thread, paper pins, buttons,
combs, barrels of salt, sugar, flour, bacon, bar iron, shot and gunpowder.
The business enterprise at Clover Bottom also received merchandise from
New Orleans. Records of the Port of New Orleans indicate that the barge
Relief , a large keelboat, Willis Wright, Master, departed there on 8 May 1809
bound for Stone's River with cargo for Jackson, Hutching s and Company.
Coffee also managed a boatyard at Clover Bottom for the firm. The boat-
yard filled many contracts for the government and private individuals. Perhaps
the most famous incident connected with the boatyard involved Aaron Burr.
Jackson authorized Coffee to build 5 flatboats and purchase one keelboat
for Burr. This took place in the latter part of 1805 and early 1806 during
the time of Burr's conspiracy, and as a result, Burr received only two
flatboats. The boats were built out of trees cut off Clover Bottom. The
construction took place in an area adjacent to an oak tree near Jackson's
store on the west bank of Stone's River just downstream from the Lebanon
Commercial traffic on Stone's River steadily increased over the years,
even after the county seat of justice was moved from Jefferson to Murfrees-
boro. By 1815, Stone's River traffic included 'rafts, flat-bottomed boats...
barges, keelboats and other craft." Commerce on the river became so
substantial that on 28 September 1815* the State established a state
inspection station "on the banks of Stone's River," at Jefferson. This
facility's personnel inspected agricultural goods. The inspector was to
issue certificates of inspection to the shipmasters and to brand the barrels
of goods, after they passed an inspection for quality, with the word
"TENNESSEE". Shortly after the passage of this act by the General Assembly,
Walter Kibble requested permit to construct a warehouse in Jefferson to aid
in the inspection of export commodities. The Rutherford County Court granted
his request and thus established a system of inspection for tobacco, flour,
hemp, pork and other items for exportation. The court also appointed William
W. Searcy, William A. Sublett and George Simpson as inspectors.
B.M. Hard, Tennessee State Commissioner of Agriculture in 1889, recalled,
"...years ago I have seen cotton loaded on flatboats at Jefferson, the old
county seat of Rutherford, floated down Stone's River to the Cumberland and
thence to New Orleans."
In 1816, Stone's River had a newer facility on its banks. A rafting
ground was operated by Abram Maury DeGraffenread at that time. The area
used by DeGraffenread was located on the west bank of the river just north
of the mouth of Hurricane Creek approximately 18 miles from the mouth of the
river. DeGraffenread owned 320 acres of land in the area and was apparently
cutting timber off the land in order to build and launch rafts at the river
Timber rafts as a means of transport had been widely used prior to the
Revolutionary War and for many years afterward. It was a standard practice
for an immigrant family to purchase a timber raft and float to their
destination and after arrival, they would sell the timber at a profit.
Another use of timber rafts was a simple means of getting timber to sawmills
and markets in order to be sold. DeOraffenread's rafting ground was
adjacent to Brooking Burnett's mill and the Methodist meeting house. From
such an advantageous location! Defraffenread could have engaged in either
rafting transports or commercial timber rafting. The exact business con-
ducted at the rafting ground is not known. DeGraffenread only operated
the rafting ground for a short time from 181U until selling the property
in 181 9 after his removal from Tennessee to Alabama.
Figure 9* Raft
During this decade, Jefferson continued to flourish as a river port
of considerable importance. Along the river banks at the foot of Main
Street were Jefferson's wharves where many barges and flatboats were loaded
and unloaded. Many boats were also built there. Boats from Jefferson ran
from there to Nashville during these years navigating both upstream and
downstream . Several of these craft measured 70 feet In length. Due to
lower water levels in the river, the larger boats descended the river once
a year, while the smaller craft could make the trip during three-fourths
of the year. Although these vessels were involved in regular commercial
trade and transportation, many local residents were involved in an active
fur trade with merchants in Nashville via small boats and pirogues.
The decade of the 1820's was one of great interest in navigation and
the residents of Stone's River and its area were no exception. On 26 July
1820, the General Assembly legally extended the navigation of the West Fork
from Jefferson to Samuel Bowman's mill. Present-day Nice's Mill about 6
miles upriver from Jefferson, is thought to be located on the Bowman Mill
site. The Assembly passed a law on 26 November 1825, which effected Stone's
River navigation in both Davidson and Rutherford Counties. This act im-
posed a $50 fine on all those obstructing the river and applied the money
thus obtained to the improvement of the river. These were only the beginning
of developments for Stone's River during this time.
Records of the Tennessee Legislature reveal that in 1803, 1815, 1819,
1820, 1831 and 1832 laws were enacted that authorized the construction of
mill dams on Stone's River. As part of the law, each dam would incorporate
a navigation lock to insure the safe passage of watercraft. This was the
means that the Assembly used to maintain an open navigation of the river.
However, the residents interested in the river's navigation saw many threats
to their interests via mill dams and other obstructions. Perhaps this view
of threats to navigation was the impetus behind the long battle to prevent
obstruction of the river. This battle was the underlying cause of the
legislation of 1827. This was "an act to authorize lotteries for the purpose
of opening and improving the navigation of Stone's River... from the junction
of the east, and west forks, of said river at Jefferson, Rutherford county,
to its confluence with Cumberland River . " Section I of this act listed the
names of the Rutherford County men that were appointed as managers to draft
a scheme for the lottery effecting the Stone's River. These men were:
Glover W. Bant on, Burwell Perry, Eli aha Sanders, Thomas
Shaw, Theophilus Sharp, Islah Far is, Samuel Watldns, John
Hoover, William Alford, Henry Ridley, John M'Griger, John
Knight, Lewis Watldns, William Lannum, Robert Freman, John
Martin, Brooking Burnett, William P. King, Edward Gregory,
William Bouman, William Sneed, Robert L. Weakley, John M.
Sharp, Moses Ridley, David Wendle, James C. Moore, George
A. Sublett, William W. Searcy, James Martin, John C. Clements,
Ota Cantrell, John Parks, Baker Wrather, William H. Smith,
Isaac Sanders, Joel H. Barton, Moses G. Beavers, Absolem
Gleaves, James Ridley, William Stewart, Joseph Kimbro, James
Sharp, Constant Hardeman, Matthew M'Lanahan, Edwin Sharp,
Samuel P. Black, Robert Jetton, Samuel Anderson, William
Robb, and Russell Dance.
This lottery was designed to raise $30,000 as specified in the legislative
The most significant event of the 1820's era in the history of Stone's
River navigation took place in Jefferson, At this locale, several local
boatbuilders teamed together with Constant Hardeman and laid the keel for
a steamboat. This was done in the wake of the arrival of the first steam-
boats in Nashville during 1819* These steamers had come from the Ohio River.
No steamers had been built at that time in the Cumberland Basin. Hardeman
and tie Jefferson residents saw the advantage of having a steamer on Stone's
River and thus conceived the idea of building their own steamer. When the
hull of the vessel was built and completed, it was floated down the river
to Nashville for outfitting with a steam plant and other equipment. The
steamer was described as being about 100 tons burthen. Hardeman's vessel
was the first and only steamer ever built in Jefferson and probably was the
first steamer ever built in the Central Basin area of Tennessee. The vessel
reputedly made many trips between Jefferson and Nashville , however some
accounts say that the river proved to be too shallow for steamboat navigation.
Today, it is suspected that Hardeman's steamer became the Emerald and was
employed in the Nashville trade.
Steamboating became the rage and by 1825, $1% of all the freight in the
west was reaching the New Orleans markets via steamers. Nashville had be-
come a steamboating center by 1821 and steamers were reaching New Orleans
from Nashville in 22 days as compared to 87 days one-way for a keel boat.
However, steam navigation was restricted to relatively short periods of
high water thus rendering the outlying districts, such as Rutherford County,
dependent on either keelboats or wagons for their import trade. The decade
of the 1830 '3 also brought the construction of turnpikes leading to and from
Nashville. Rutherford County was thus connected in 1831 to Nashville via
the Nashville, Murfreosboro and 9ielbyville turnpike. This enabled farmers
to more easily get produce to market by wagons going into Nashville. To add
to the situation, 1830 ushered in a railroad fever that enveloped the people
in the county. All these factors combined to push river traffic into a
period of sluggish activity.
The two decades between 1830 and 1850 were periods of relative inactivity
for commerce along Stone's River. Jefferson's fur trade with Nashville was
dying out. Some goods such as grain were rafted to Nashville for the steam-
boat trade, but the majority of import merchandise was hauled into Jefferson
by wagons, pack-horses and mules from Nashville. Then in 181*7* the rail-
road was constructed through Smyrna and Jefferson's freight was hauled there
for shipment. Thus a gradual change was beginning to take place. The river
was embarking on another phase of its history.
On the 7th of November 1853, the Rutherford County Court sent a petition
to the General Assembly concerning the navigation of Stone's River. The
petition was protesting some previous requests to the Assembly to enact laws
for the obstruction of the river. The petition informed the Assembly that
the navigation of Stone's River was a "natter of great Importance to the
citizens of Rutherford County." In the continuing information contained in
the petition, the river is called "a great highway to market." Thus the
petition tells of the river's rising new industry, ie., the floating of
cedar timber rafts to the sawmills and lumber markets of Nashville and else-
Figure 10: Keel boat as represented
on the Tennessee State Seal
THE TIMBER RAFTING ERA
According to Dixon Merritt, Wilson County historian, the timber industry
in the Cumberland Basin began in the 18U0's when a Englishman named Hiram
Drennon brought a colony of lumbermen from East Tennessee. Drennon's workers
set out by cutting red cedar timber along Falls Creek In an area that today
is covered by portions of Wilson and Rutherford Counties. Cnce the timber
was cut, it was rafted down Falls Creek to Stone's River. From the river,
the rafts could then be taken to Nashville. By 1853, cedar timber rafts that
floated down the river had Increased Rutherford County's commerce by $50-100
thousand per year. From the heart of the red cedar belt, the old river port
of Jefferson was chosen as a rendezvous for the rafts and as a staging area
for raft construction and launching. The rafts were floated downstream every
spring and fall during periods of high water. In the 1850's and 1860's, logs
were piled up on the East Fork near the confluence with the West Fork at
Jefferson and here rafts were built and launched. There probably was another
similar staging area at the mouth of Falls Creek about 5 miles downriver
from Jefferson. When the raftsman floated the rafts to Nashville and had
sold the timber, many walked back home to the Jefferson area.
Logs for these rafts of timber were cut between 10 and 16 feet long.
The average Cumberland River raft was 200 feet in length and a single tier
in width. Large rafts were 2 or 3 tiers in width and about 250 long, although
lengths and widths were variable. Average rafts were manned by a crew of
5 men and a pilot. Of these, 3 men were assigned to the bow oar and 2 men
to the stern oar. The pilot was generally called "the captain" and the crews
Y ^CsOJ7t7&c£jci4^ /urgr 7j&iJyej~/x a/i <?/~fS2,o
fse.tis of/but* /ocjs'
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. y-^ - ^ ~> - .y y
1p^- — usoc?rt bow
Figure 1 1 : The Days of River
were referred to as "river rats". Perhaps one of the best known of Stone's
River's raft captains was Captain Jack 0. Lannom. Captain Lannoa in 1886
had been rafting on the river for over 30 years. Lannoa 's rafting days
were known as those in which the river was "famous for the nuaber of rafts
run down it.""^
There is a "knack" in steering a raft and in the way they are launched ,
landed and tied up. Therefore the pilot and crew had to be aware and cautious
while rafting, because it was dangerous business. Stone's River was a very
hazardous river due to the high rock bluffs in the turns of the river. If
the raftsmen lost control of a raft in a turn the current could force the
raft into the rock bluff at a speed high enough to cause a crash. If the
craft crashed into the bluff, not only would the raft break up and the logs
be lost but lives could be lost as well. Raftsman Tom Arnold of Rutherford
County's Fall Creek area, was known to have been in such a crash, however
none of the crew were injured. His raft was broken up, logs lost and he was
forced to swim for his life as huge logs crowded around him in the river's
current. Another such accident involved a death. During an early spring
raft trip, Robert Green Lannom died in 1860 as a result of his raft breaking
up near Jones* Mill on Stone's River. Lannom drowned while attempting to
reach safety. Jones' Mill is presently the site of Youth, Inc. camp on the
Percy Priest Lake about 28 miles from the mouth of the river.
Huge quantities of Stone's River red cedar was shipped to Louisiana,
Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Many of the mansions in Cincinnati,
Ohio were built of Stone's River cedar. The industry grew steadily from the
18U0's but the Civil War temporarily stopped the exportation of timber rafts.
After the war, the timber Industry catapulted to reach huge proportions.
In 1882, about 11*00 rafts had tied up on the river at Nashville. At the
close of the year, the Nashville sawmills handled lumber valued at
$3,372,000. By 1881*, the twenty mills In Nashville handled 86,165,000 feet
of lumber. Between 1900 and 190U, it is estimated that the total lumber
handled by the Nashville mills exceeded 100,000,000 feet, ie., a gross annual
income of better than $8 million. With Stone's River red cedar timber rafts,
Nashville became one of the outstanding hardwood lumber centers of the
One of the most unusual uses of the Stone's River cedar was that use of
trees taken from the cedar lands along present-day Percy Priest Lake. These
trees were floated down the river to be used as telephone poles. Many were
floated to Nashville where they were made Into rails for the street cars
pulled by mules.
Rafting was done during periods of high water and thus was greatly effected
by the weather. Weather conditions have always had an influence on the
river and they have always been an Important part of the river's history.
THE WEATHER AND THE RIVER
Stone's River, like other rivers, has had problems in the past due to
certain weather conditions. Heavy rains have increased water levels thus
resulting in floods, freezes in winter have caused ice gorges and flooding
during thaws, and droughts have created periods of low water or in severe
cases, almost no water at all. An excellent guage for many such events are
the records of weather conditions and the resulting effects concerning the
Cumberland River at Nashville. Logically, whatever occurred on the Cumberland
likely happened on the Stone's River.
Droughts are generally caused by lengthy periods of no precipitation.
There are a few recorded instances of very low water. Local newspapers
announced that in November of 1818, the Cumberland River at Nashville was
"too low to be navigated" by steamboats. The next November, the Cumberland
was very dry. That year the newspapers were publishing the fact that the
river was the lowest it had been since 1781*. One reporter wrote, "There is
not enough water in several places to float an empty boat..." The Stone's
River must have also experienced these same periods of low water. One example
of low water on the Stone's was in 1805, when Jackson, Hutchings and Company
could not bring their keelboats down the river because there was less than
18 inches of water in the channel.
Winter freezes probably caused more dangerous situations for steamboats
and keelboats than for the residents along the banks. The worst freeze on
the Cumberland was in 1832 when wagons were able to cross the ice at Nashville
for 2 entire weeks. The river was again frozen over in 1856 and again in
1872. Later freezes occurred in 1876, 1893, 1905, and 19U0. Due to the
simple fact of extremely cold weather, Stone's River must hare indeed
frozen over just like the Cumberland River.
Large amounts of rainfall increase the amount of water runoff and
thus can cause flood conditions. The flood stage of the Cumberland River
at Nashville is UO feet. The Cumberland has experienced waters higher than
this level in 1808, 1815, 1826, 181*7, 1850, 1862, 1865, 1867, 1882, 1886,
1890, 1902, 1912, 1915, 1927, 1928, 1935 and 1937. The highest of these
was the 1927 flood which was a record breaker. This particular flood crested
at 56.2 feet in Nashville. However, the 1902 flood was the record breaker
for Stone's River. The record high water of 1902 was followed by another
period of almost record high water in 19U8. La the 1902 flood, about 11
inches of rain fell in 2U hours during a storm that covered an area from
Nashville to McMinnville. The downpour continued for a total of 38 hours.
This storm occurred between March 26th and March 29th, 1902, however the
high water continued on into the month of April. At the public square in
the village of Jefferson, the high water created an island of the hilltop
there. Nashville newspapers carried complete reports on the flood's effects
in Rutherford County.
The following contemporary accounts describe the catastrophe that
came to Murfreesboro and Rutherford County in 1902 as a flood.
"At Murfreesboro the water was 3 feet deep on the tracks
at the passenger station... A bridge 30 feet in length
Just north of the passenger station was washed out. It
was hit by a floating house. The Salem turnpike county
bridge was washed away and against the railroad structure
between the passenger station and freight station and both
passed on down the stream... Train No. 5 leaving Nashville
yesterday afternoon at 3:30 P.M. for Chattanooga is tied
up at the National Cemetery 3 miles north of Murfreesboro.
The train is due at Murfreesboro at li»U8 P.M. and
almost reached the railroad bridge across Stone's
River about 2 miles north of the depot, when it ran
into high water. The Engineer said that he could
not go through and . . . .backed the train to the National
Cemetery to telephone back to headquarters for orders...
When they left the telephone to return to the train
they found that the water had risen in a long depression
between them and the railroad tracks and that the train
was standing in water about 2 feet deep. It was 3 or
h hours before the water had subsided sufficiently for
them to get back... but as far as can be learned it is
almost certain that 10 bridges over Stone's River have
been washed away.... The bridge over Stone's River on
the Hanson Pike has left its moorings and washed against
the railroad bridge j where the current is rapidly
beating it into pieces and endangering the railroad
bridge. The Franklin road bridge, the Salem turnpike
bridge are also reported as wrecked. Part of Ransom's
Mill on Stone's River is gone and two bridges are re-
ported washed away on the Woodbury pike. It seems that
the rainfall was general throughout the county and that
both forks of Stone's River are higher than ever known
in the history of the county. Indeed the height to
which both forks rose has staggered the oldest inhabitants
beyond the power of comparison. The waters stood for
several hours over the counters in the stores in Readyville
on the East Fork of Stone's River. The West Fork washed
away Dr. Elam's mill and swept the post house off its
foundations. The bridges over the Shelbyville, Salem,
Franklin, Manson and Nashville pikes are gone. The East
Fork has washed away the Lascassas bridge, the Pierce's
Mill bridge, the Readyville bridge, the Burton bridge and
The Woodbury bridge. The Cripple Creek bridge on Woodbury
pike and tie bridge on the Manchester pike are the the
only bridges of any consequence left in the county....
Lewis' mill near Jefferson was completely ruined, and not
a great distance away the store house and dwelling of T.E.
Bell was lifted from its foundations and carried away by
the flood. Mr. Drak's barn near Walter Hill was washed
away.... Damage will be from $250,000 to $300,000."
These were the contemporary newspaper accounts of the flood from the
Nashville point of view. No doubt the Murfreesboro newspapers carried more
detailed accounts, although these have not survived.
In 1853, the Rutherford County Court petitioned the Tennessee General
Assembly concerning the Stone's River. The petition Indicates that the
turnpikes seened to hare diminished river commerce. Railroads no doubt
played a great role In switching commercial transportation route thus putting
and end to river trade. This seems to be more of the truth behind the
demise of river traffic rather than lower water levels in the river or the
removal of the county seat of justice from Jefferson to Murfreesboro. The
traffic and trade along Stone's River fell victim to the "progress" of the
advances in the technology of transportation. But even so, the petition
reminds one that the "navigation of said Stone's River.... being a matter of
of great Importance to the citizens of Rutherford County... (provided) a
great highway to mar feet.** As such, the commercial developments of river
transportation and the like caused economic prosperity and thus caused the
county to greatly flourish. In addition, many settlers and pioneers as well
as later residents followed the "natural Highway" of Stone's River into the
county. In the final analysis, Stone's River has played an enormously im-
portant role in the development of Rutherford County.
John Gerald Parchment, "A Lixnnological Study of Stone's River,
Tennessee** (PhD dissertation, Vanderbilt University, 1961), p. 9, 11.
Parchment, p. 13,16.
Richard M. Ketchum, ed., The American Heritage Picture History of
The Civil War (New York: American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc., I960),
p. 283, 28U, 289; Leona Taylor Aiken, Donelson, Tennessee t Its Landmarks
and History (Kingsport, TN: Kingsport Press, Inc., 1968), p. 117.
John R. Svranton, The Indian Tribes of North America, Smithsonian
Institution, American Bureau of Ethnology, Bulletin # 1U5 (United States
Government Printing Office : Washington, D.C., 1952), p. 227; Byrd Douglas,
Steamboat in' on the Cumberland (Nashville, TN: Tennessee Book Co., 1961),
p. xii; Charles A. Miller, The Official and Political Manual of the State
of Tennessee, 1890 edition, (The Reprint Company, Publishers: Spartanburg,
S.C., 197U), p. 8; Stanley J. Folmsbee, Robert E. Corlew, and Enoch L. Mitchell,
Tenne ssee i A Short History (Kncxville, TN: University of Kncocville Press,
1969), P . 32.
Douglas, p. xii; Svranton, p. 227; Lei and R. Johnson, Enginners on the
Twin Rivers: A History of the Nashville District, Corps of Engineers, United
States Army (Nashville, TN: U.S. Army Engineer District, 1978), p. 6; Folmsbee,
Corlew, and Mitchell , p . 32 .
Douglas, p. xiiij Aiken, p. 1QU, 105.
Ursula Smith Beach, Along the Warioto: or a History of Montgomery
County, Tennessee (Nashville, TN: McQuiddy Press, 1961*), p. 13; Parchment,
p. 13; Carlton C. Sims, ed., History of Rutherford County (TN) (Murfreesboro,
TN: Carlton C. Sims, 19k7), p. 7.
Johnson, p. 1-u.
Parchment, p. 17.
Beach, p. 13.
Douglas, p. xiil-xiv.
Beach, p. 55; David B. Guralnik, ed., Webster's New World Dictionary
of the American Language, Second College Edition (New York: Simon and Schuster,
1980), p. 1081*; Johnson, p. 6-7; Herbert Quick and Edward Quick, Mississippi
Steamboatin' : A History of Steamboating on the Mississippi and Its Tributaries
(New Tork: Henry Holt and Company, 1926), p. 8-9.
Douglas, p. xiii.
1 ^Aifcen, p. 104-105.
Quick and Quick, p. 12-13j William A. Baker, Sloops and Shallops
(Barre, MA: Barre Publishing Company, 1966), p. 129.
Leland D. Baldwin, The Keelboat Age on Western Waters (Pittsburgh,
PA » University of Pittsburgh Press, 194u, p. 42.
Baldwin, p. 1 48-1 53 .
Baldwin, p. 47.
^Baldwin, p. 47-48.
Balthasar Henry Meyer, ed., History of Transportation in the United
States Before 1860 (Forge Village, MA: Murray Printing Company, 1948 3, p. 97.
Aiken, p. 104, 308.
Sims, p. 11, 12.
■'Aiken, p. 225 J Davidson County, Tennessee, Register's Office, Deed
Book A, p. 166, 210.
Tfeyer, p. 100.
Aiken, p. 80 j Stanley John Folmsbee, Sectionalism and Internal Im-
provements in Tennessee, 1 796-1 8U5 (Knoxville, TN: The EasTTfennessee Historical
Society, 1939), p. 14-15.
Sims, p. 1 83 Goodspeed Publishing Company, History of Tennessee, with
sketches of Maury, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson ."Bedford and Marshall Counties
(Nashville, TN: Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1886), p. 811.
Sims, p. 17.
Sims, p. 11, 17, 18, 19.
Thomas Perkins Abernethy, From Frontier to Plantation in Tennessee:
A Study of Frontier Democracy (University, AL: University of Alabama, 1967),
p. 199, 200, 20lj Meyer, p. 103j Folmsbee, p. 15-16.
Baldwin, p. 44-45 ; Abernethy, p. 199.
Samuel Anderson Weakley, Cumberland River Floods Since the Settlement
of the Basin With Special Reference to Nashville, Tennessee 11 (Civil Ehgineer
thesis, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, 1935), p. 26.
"Determination of Navigability for Stone 1 a River, Including East
and West Forks", Waterways Management Division, Operations Division,
Nashville District Engineers, United States Army Corps of Engineers, Nash-
ville, Tennessee, 15 April 1975. (hereafter cited Navigability Report.)
Douglas, p. 11 j Gordon T. Chappel, "The Life and Activities of General
John Coffee," Tennessee Historical Quarterly I (191*2) i 127.
John D. Barbae, "Navigation and River Improvement in Middle Tennessee,
1 807-1 832a" (M.A. thesis, Vanderbilt University, 193U), p. 10; Douglas, p. 17,
Goodspeed, p. 833 ; Johnson, p. 2U; Interview with Ernest King Johns,
Rutherford County Historical Society, a^rna, Tennessee, 9 July 1981, in
reference to the photograph of the mill site in Rutherford County Historical
Society Publication No. 6, p. 80.
Goodspeed, p. 833} Kevin Markuson, "A History of the Town of Jefferson,
1803-1813", Rutherford County Historical Society Publication No. 17 (Summer
1 981 ) , p. 3j John R. Bedford, "Tour in 1807 Down the Cumberland", Tennessee
Historical Magazine 5 (April 1919): U0-U1 .
Goodspeed, p. 837.
Goodspeed, p. 813.
Johnson, p. 15} Sims, p. 222.
Gordon T. Chappel, "The Life and Activities of General John Coffee",
Tennessee Historical Quarterly I (191*2): 128; Aiken, p. 78, 79, 80.
Gordon T. Chappel, "The Life and Activities of General John Coffee,"
Tennessee Historical Quarterly I (191*2): 128; Aiken, p. 81-82, 9U-95.
Act of Tennessee, 28 September 1815 cited in Navigability Report;
Rutherford County, Tennessee, County Clerk's Office, County Court Minute Book
I, p. 120.
Rutherford County, Tennessee, County Court Clerk's Office, County
Court Minute Book I, p. 115; Rutherford County, Tennessee, County Register's
Office, Deed Book K, p. 221; Deed Book M, p. 2*76.
Goodspeed, p. 833; Sims, p. 222; Interview with Everett Waller, Smyrna,
Tennessee, 15 July 1981; 1853 petition of Rutherford County Court cited in
Navigability Report; Markuson, p. 38; Ed Bell, " Rising Water to Banish Old
Town," Rutherford Courier . Snyrna, Tennessee, 17 August 1967.
^ 7 Acts of Tennessee, 26 Jul/ 1820 and 26 November 1825 as cited in
Bar bee, p. 42 j Acts of Tennessee 1827 (Knoxville, TNi State Printer,
1827), Chapter CLU, p. 133-131.
** 7 Bell, Rutherford Courier, 17 August 1967j Sims, p. 222j Goodspeed,
p. 833 j Douglas, p. 19; Barbee, p. 64; Embree, ed., The Western Boatman,
Vol. I, No. 3 (May 1848) courtesy Tennessee State Library and Archives,
Barbee, p. 29, 21*, 13; Folmsbee, p. 15, 16, 17; Baldwin, p. 66;
Goodspeed, p. 816; Sims, p. 222.
Interview with Everett Waller, Smyrna, Tennessee, 15 July 1981.
1853 Rutherford County Court petition as cited in Navigability Report.
Navigability Report; Interview with Everett Waller, Smyrna, Tennessee,
15 July 1981; Douglas, p. 236.
Douglas, p. 236; Navigability Report.
-'-'Douglas, p. 237| Interview with Everett Waller, Smyrna, Tennessee,
15 July 1981; Interview with Ernest King Johns, Rutherford County Historical
Society, Smyrna, Tennessee, It August 1981; James W. Pattern, "History of the
Lannom Family", Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 1968, courtesy of Ernest King
Johns, Smyrna, Tennessee.
5 Navigability Report; Douglas, p. 234, 235.
Aiken, p. 338.
5 Weakley, p. 31-32; Aiken, p. 81 .
59 Douglas, p. 373-371*.
Douglas, p. 373; Interview with Everett Waller, Smyrna, Tennessee,
15 July 1981; Weakley, p. 11, 12, 11*6.
61 Weakley, p. 149-150.
1853 Rutherford County Court petition as cited In Navigability Report.
Figure 1i from map "State of Tennessee", Scale 1 i500,000, United States
Department of The Interior, Geological Survey! Washington, D.C.,
Figure 2: from frontspiece, Larry E. Ivers, British Drums on the Southern
Fr ontier t The Military Colonization of Georgia, 173 3 - 'JU9.
Chapel kill, NC» University of North Carolina Press, 197U.
Figure 3i from p. 1U-15, Transportation Economics Division, Tennessee
Valley Authority, A History of Navigation on the Tennessee River
System . Washington, D.C.i United States Printing Office, 1937.
Figure U» from Library of Congress print, p. 15, Nicholas Perkins Hardeman,
Wilderness Calli ng t The Hardeman Family in the Ameri can Westward
Mov ement. 1?56 -T9OO . Kncxviile, Ttl: University of Tennessee fress,
Figure 5: from p. 18q Leona Taylor Aiken, Donelson, Tennessee; Its Landmarks
and History . Kingsport, TNi Kingsport Press, inc., i960.
Figure 6: from p. U3 , Leland D. Baldwin, The Keelboat Age on Western Waters.
Pittsburgh, PA 1 University of Pittsburgh Press, 19UL
Figure It from p. 1U-15, T.V.A., History of Navigation on the Ten nessee River
Figure 8* from p. 1M5, T.V.A., History of Navigation on the Tenn essee River
Figure 9: from p. 14-15, T.V.A., History of Navigation on the Ten nessee River
Figure 10: from the SEAL OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, shown on the cover of
Jesse Burt, Your Tennessee . Austin, TXi Steck-Vaughn Company,
Figure 11 1 from p. 42-45, Eric SLoane, A Museum of Early Amer ican Tools.
New York 1 Ballantine Books, 196U.
Abernethy, Thomas Perkins. From Frontier to Plantation in Tennessee: A
Study in Frontier Democracy . University, AL: University of Alabama
Acts of Tennessee 1827 . Knoxville, TN: State Printer (1827).
Aiken, Leona Taylor. Donelson, Tennessee: Its Landmarks and History .
Kingsport, TN: Kingsport Press, Inc., 1968.
Applewhite, Joseph Davis. "Early Trade and Navigation on the Cumberland
River." M.A. thesis, Vanderbilt University, 19U0.
Bacon, H.P. "Nashville's Trade at the beginning of the 19th Century."
Tennessee Historical Quarterly 15 (1956): 30ff.
Baker, William A. Sloops and Shallops . Barre, MAi Barre Publishing Company,
Baldwin, Leland D. The Keelboat Age on Western Waters . Pittsburgh, PA:
University of Pittsburgh Press, 19U1 •
Barbee, John D. "Navigation and River Improvement in Middle Tennessee,
1 807-1 83U. M M.A. thesis, Vanderbilt University, 193U.
Beach, Ursula Smith. Along the Warioto: or a History of Montgomery County,
Tennessee . Nashville, TN: McQuiddy Press, 196U.
Bedford, John R. "Tour in 1807 Down the Cumberland". Tennessee Historical
Magazine 5 (April 1919): UOff.
Bell, Ed. "Rising Water to Banish Old Town." Rutherford Courier , Smyrna,
Tennessee, 17 August 1967.
Burt, Jesse. Your Tennessee . Austin, TX: Steck-Vaughn Company, 197U*
Caruso, John Anthony. The Mississippi Valley Frontier: The Age of French
Exploration and SettTement . New York: Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1966.
Chappel, Gordon T. "The Life and Activities of General John Coffee."
Tennessee Historical Quarterly I 09U2): 125ff.
Davidson County, Tennessee, County Register's Office, Deed Books
"Determination of Navigability for Stone's River, Including East and West
Forks." Waterways Management Division, Operations Division, Nashville
District Engineers, United States Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville,
Tennessee, 15 April 1975.
Douglas, Byrd. Steamboatin* on the Cumberland . Nashville, TN: Tennessee
Book Company, 1 961 .
Embree, D., ed., The Western Boatman . St. Louis, MO: Union Job Office,
Vol. I (May 1BU8), No. 3.
Folmsbee, Stanley John. Sectionalism and Internal Improvements in Tennessee ,
1796 - 18lig . Knoxville, TN: The East Tennessee Historical Society, 1939.
Folmsbee, Stanley J.j Robert E. Corlewj Enoch L. Mitchell. Tennessee: A Short
Historjr. Knoxville, TN: University of Enoxville Press, 1969*
Qoodspeed Publishing Company. History of Tennessee, with sketches of Maury,
Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Bedford and Marshall Counties . Nashville,
TN: Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1666.
Ivers, Larry E. British Drums on the Southern Frontier : The Military Colonization
of 0eorgia 1 ~T733 - 17U9 . Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina,
Johns, Ernest King. Rutherford County Historical Society. Smyrna, Tennessee.
Interview, 9 July 1981 and h August 1981.
Johnson, Lei and R. Engineers on the Twin Rivers : A History of the Nashville
District, Corps of Engineers, United States Army . Nashville, TN: U.S.
Army Engineer District, Nashville, 1978.
Ketchum, Richard M., ed., The American Heritage Picture History of the Civil
War . New York: American Heritage Publishing Company, Inc., 1960.
Marfcuson, Kevin. "A History of the Town of Jefferson, 1803 - 1813." Rutherford
County Historical Society Publication No. 17 (Summer 1981), Murfreesboro,
Meyer, Balthasar Henry. History of Transportation in the United States Before
1860 . Forge Village, MA: Murray Printing Company, 19U8.
Miller, Charles A. The Official and Political Manual of the State of Tennessee .
(1890 edition) reprinted. Spartanburg, SC: The Reprint Company, Publishers,
Parchment, John Gerald. "A Limnological Study of Stone's River, Tennessee."
PhD dissertation, Vanderbilt University, 1961 .
Patton, James W. "History of the Lannom Family." Chapel Hill, North Carolina,
Quick, Herbert and Edward Quick. Mississippi Steamboatin ' : A History of
Steamboating on the Mississippi River and Its Tributaries . New York:
Henry Holt and Company, 1926.
Rutherford County, Tennessee, County Clerk's Office, County Court
Rutherford County, Tennessee, County Register's Office, Deed Books
Sims, Carlton C. History of Rutherford County (TN). Murfreesboro, TN*
Carlton C. Sims, 1%7.
SLoane, Eric. A Museum of Early American Tools . New York: Ballantine Books,
Stewart's Ferry Reservoir Map, Stone's River, Tennessee, Cumberland River
Watershed. Nashville, TN: U.S. Engineer Office, 19U5.
Swan ton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America . Smithsonian Institution,
American Bureau of Ethnology, Bulletin No. 1U5. United States Government
Printing Office: Washington, D.C., 1952.
Transportation Economics Division, Tennessee Valley Authority. A History of
Navigation on the Tennessee River System . Washington, D.C. : United States
Government Printing Office, 1937.
Waller, Everett. Smyrna, Tennessee. Interview, 15 July 1981.
Weakley, Samuel Anderson. "Cumberland River Floods Since the Settlement of
the Basin With Special Reference to Nashville, Tennessee." Civil Engineer
thesis, Vanderbilt University, 1935.
CORRECTIONS of PREVIOUS PUBLICATIONS
Publication // 17, Summer 1981.
"Murfreesboro's Old City Cemetery: A Record of the Past,"
p. 55, 2nd paragraph. Murfreesboro "was named Cannonsburgh,
after the governor." Clarification: Cannonsburgh was named
in honor of Newton Cannon, an emerging young politican who
had settled in Williamson County. He was not governor at the
time. He became governor twenty-four years later and served
C. C. Sims, A History of Rutherford County (reprint 1981),
pp. 25 & 34.
P. 55, 2nd paragraph. Co. Hardy Murfree "provided the land...
which became the square." Correction: William Lytle gave
sixty acres of land for the establishment of a new seat of
justice, present site of the Murfreesboro square.
Sims, p. 25.
P. 67, 3rd paragraph. "Murfree gave his daughter..." Correction:
Col. Hardy Murfree passed away in 1809 before his daughter,
Sallie, married James Maney, July 23, 1812. The court divided
up the Colonel's property, Dec. 14, 1814. Sallie* s inheritance
included the 274 acre land grant made to Ezekial White.
Robert M. McBride, Oaklands ( Tn . Historical Quarterly , reprint,
Dec, 1963), pp. 3-4.
Oakland Association Docent Guidebook , Information, pp. 6-7.
P. 68, 2nd paragraph. James and Sallie Maney had eight children.
Two not mentioned in the article were Lewis Meredith Maney and
Mary Maney. Lewis was born August 5, 1823 and died March 16, 1882.
He married Rachel Adeline Cannon, daughter of Newton Cannon, in
1846. Birth and death dates ascribed to Mary Maney are inconsistent
relating to other relevant information. In 1836, however, she
married Edwin A. Keeble, outstanding Murfreesboro lawyer, editor,
and mayor of the city.
Tombstones, Evergreen Cemetery.
McBride, p 6.
Oaklands Association Docent Guidebook, Information, p. 7.
Family Bible at Oaklands Mansion.
NOTE : Much information in Oaklands by Robert M. McBride is
inaccurate in light of continuing research at the Mansion.
Publication # 16, Winter 1981.
"The Story of Fosterville, "p. 43, 3rd paragraph. Clarification
relating to location of Fosterville on NC& StL Rwy. . .Fosterville
originally located on Nashville & Chattanooga Rwy. Presently
located on Louisville and Nashville RR.
P. 46, 4th paragraph, relating to railroad line completed...
Nashville & Chattanooga Rwy. completed 1851. N&C Rwy. acquired
Nashville & Northwestern RR 1872, becoming by order of the court,
Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Rwy., 1873.
Richard E. Prince, Nashville , Chattanooga &^ J5t. Louis Railway (Green
River, Wy. : Richard E. Prince, 1967) pp. 6 & 18.
Atchison, Dr. T. A.
Banton, Glover W.
Barton, Joel H.
Beavers, Moes G.
Bell, Susan C.
Bell, T. E.
Benson, James K.
Black, Sam P.
Blackstock, Nancy Gayle
Blacks tock, David
Bowen , John
Bowman's (Samuel) Mill
Browning, Lucie M.
Buell, Gen. D. C.
Burnett's (Brooking) Mill
Caldwell, Ellen Rion
Chareville, Jean du
Char tier, Martin
Chermside, H. B.
Chrisman, James L.
Clark, T. D.
Clements, John C.
Coffee, Gen. John
Collins, Robert A.
Cook, Puth White
Cooper, Martha L.
Crittenden, Col. William L.
Cummin's Mill 11*
Dance, Russel 119
DeGraddenread, Abram Maury 116,117
DeMontbrun, Timothe 96,100,104
Donelson, Jobn 102/104
Donelson's Station 1° 5
Drake Mr. I 28
Drennon, Hiram 122
Dudley, Col. Peter 29,70
Dudley, Rachel 70
Dunn, Hilda Jones 30,50
Edwards, Owen 1° 7
Edwards, Thomas 16
Elam's Mill I 28
Elliott, Ann G. 69
Elliott, J. H. 65,66
Elliott, Lillie B. 33
Elliott, Nannie Henry 33,65
"Emerald" I 20
Etta, John 1° 7
Farris, Islah H9
Field, James G. 70
Fish Creek 97
Fleming, Ellen Rion Caldwell 76
Fleming, James Lawson 2 5
Flint, Thomas D.
Fort Patrick Henry
Foster, John 16
Freeman, Robert 119
Gayle, Nancy Ann Jy
Gayle, Lt. Thomas 29,37,39
Gleaves, Absolem 119
Goode, Mary 39
Grant, James 13,15
Gray, Nannie Phillips 30
Green, James W. 69,70
Green, Judy 1» 2
Green, Walter 2 5
Gregory, Edward 119
Hancock, Caroline 54
Hardeman, Constant 119,120
Hartwell, Margaret Catherine 56
Henderson, C. C. 8 » 22
Hendrix, Billy 33,64
Hendrix, Charles E,
Hendrix, Jane Read
Hendrix, Maggie E.
Henry, Fountain Fisher
Henry, Fountain Jeffries
Henry, Mary Catherine
Henry, Nettie Ellen
Henry, William F.
Hickman, Gen. John P.
Hill, Mrs. P. M.
Hughes, Mary B.
Hurd, B. M.
Hutchins, Lt. Thomas
Jarmon, Christian Jane
Jeffries, Sara Dudley
Johns , Thomas
Johnston, Gen. Joseph E.
Jones, Christiana Jane
Jones, E. L.
Jones, Enoch H.
Jones, Eunice McLinn
Jones, Fanny Green
Jones, James E.
Jones, Josephas Alexander
Jones, Marthey B.
Jones , Nancy Ann
Jones , Naomi G .
Jones, Rebecca F.
Jones, Sarah Elizabeth
Jones, Aunt Veenie
Jones, Will Macklin
Jones, William Anderson
King, William P.
Ku Klux Klan
Lannom, Capt. Jack 0.
Lannora, Robert Green
Lavergne, Francis Roulhac
Lawson, Saumel J.
McKnight, Naomi S.
McKnight, Will T.
McLinn, James B.
Methodist Meeting House
Moore, James C.
Murfree, Col. Hardy
Osborn, Ann Campbell Reed
Osborn, Sallie E.
J2J5 778,82,83, 87
Parks, James R.
Percy Priest Reservoir
Phillips, Fanny Rion
Pleasants, James, Jr.
Pollard, Ann Cannon
Prince, Richard E.
Ready, Caroline Hunt
Reed, Ann C.
Reed, Eleanor Rankin
Rion, Edwin Thomas
Rion, Ellen Ann
Rion, Fount H.
Rion, Francis P.
Rion, Gil ley
Rion, Joseph D.
Rion, Nancy Jones
Rion, Nettie E.
Rion, Thomas D.
Rion, William, Sr.
Rion, William, Jr.
Rion, William James
Ronk, Howard E.
Rosecrans, Gen. William
Russell, Robert Spotswood
Searcy, William W,
Sharp , Edwin
Sharpe, John M.
Smith, Daniel D.
Smith, Gen. Edmund K.
Smith, Col. James
Smith, Lt, John
Smith, William H.
Spain, Annie May Cook
Stevenson, Vernon K.
Stewart Ferry Bridge
Sublett, George A.
Sub let t, William A.
Tate, Capt. Richard
Thomas, John W.
Warren, Rev. J. H,
Weakley, Robert L.
White, Ora Rion
Whiteside, James A.
Williamson, Col. Thomas
MR } 8 !Q R
lW ^ J
^Ul i .
DEC 1 3 20
M T S U LIBRARY
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