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Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Lyrasis Members and Sloan Foundation 

Published by the 


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 

Box 906 

Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37130 

The Cover- Christiana Depot about 1900 by Jim Matheny 


Middle Tennessee State Unh/ersin 
Muifreesboro, Tennessee 


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 Rutherford County Historical Society 

Box 906 

Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37130 

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Smyrna, Tn 37167 

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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 


October, 1981 




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 
railroad pioneers. 

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 

wagons . 

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) 


1 3 

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- 

1 ft 
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 

A 21 


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 „ 
(1976 photo) 

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 
finest moment. 

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 

JJ Chattanooga 

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, 
Louisville, Ky. 

"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. 

38 Ibld 

39 "Fires Strike County; Old Depot Bums," Dally News Journal, 
27 March 1977, p. 1. cols. 2-3. 

Griffith . 

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. 







Thomas Osborn, settled in Virginia 1616, was 
Justice in 16 31 and Member House of Burgess 
in 1639. 



Thomas Osborn 

John Osborn 

Thomas Osborn 
Jane Patterson 

Caleb Osborn 
Susannah Jewell 


- 1803 

Johnathan Osborn 
Hannah Spinning 


- 1877 

Harve7 Osborn 
Ann C. Reed 



Sallie E. Osborn 
Fountain J. Henry 


- 1916 

- 1871 

Nettie E. Henry 

Winiam J. Rlrtn 


- 1887 


Ellen Ann Rion 
Robert Caldwell 



EUen Rion Caldwell 
James Lawson Fleming 


Amanda Caldwell 


Sarah Caldwell 
Walter Greene 



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- 
touched wilderness. 

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 
the family. 

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 
hundred years. 

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 
Nashville, Tennessee 

Virginia Historical Society 
Richmond, Virginia 


"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 
to America. 


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 
freight cars. 

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: 







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 

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 
twenty-one years. 

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: 

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 

"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 
and virtue." 





Nancy Ara^s father, Thomas Gayle had died just the year before, 
(18210 and she turned to Francis, nineteen years her junior, for comfort 
and solace. 

In the Fall of 1825, the "Migration South" had started. The Virginia 
holdings having been disposed of, they came South, through North Carolina 
to Tennessee. 

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 
the States." 

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 

as follows: 

"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" 
August 1776." 

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 
Maryland 1750." 

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 
Rion. u 

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. 



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 
"hog killing." 


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 
all alike. 

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 
early days. 

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 
North Carolina. 

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) 
much easier. 

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, 

and continues,- 


"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 
18 th. 

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- 
Bill lynch 


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 

Name Age 

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. 
Summer St»" 

It is known that he was often affectionately referred to as "uncle" 
Enoch Jones. 

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 
11 o»clock." 

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 
Greenwich Street 
also by 
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 

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 

to me. 

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 
October, 1868. 


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 
May, l8Ui. 

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 
mentioned therein. 

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 

here - 

County of Rutherford State of Tennessee 

Enumerated at Census of 1830 

Name Age 

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 
high esteem." 

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 
extensive holdings. 

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 
Revolutionary struggle. 


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 
Liberty survives. 


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 
know than. 

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: 


"Following is a list of officer and men as they 
were mustered into the Confederate Army in Octo- 
ber 1862." 

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, 


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 
Osborn line. 

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- 
road pioneering. 

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: 


"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. 


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 
Culpeper County. 

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 
business structures. 

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: 


on down through: 






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 
recovered • 


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 
years younger. 

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 
Confederate side. 

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 
terrible . 

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 
29, 1803. 

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 
records kept. 

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 

Jane Patterson 

6. Caleb Osborn 

Susannah Jewell 

7. Johnathan Osborn 

Hannah Spinning 

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 
to see. 

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." 



Samuel J. Lawson III 
August 1981 



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 
drainage area 



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 
about 1685.* 

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 

trading posts. 

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- 

day Nashville. 

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. 


r Vc^ 

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. 



ci-^ii -.. 

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 
Pike bridge. 


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 

* U8 

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 



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' 

^ \?rfor7ct& t / " rxr/c fJieK) 

. y-^ - ^ ~> - .y y 

'Uari Di 


1p^- — usoc?rt bow 

U7S/1 po/e- 

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 

United States. 

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. 



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 

, 58 
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. 


Navigability Report 


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. 

^Navigability Report 

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 
Navigability Report. 


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, 
Nashville, Tennessee. 

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. 
52 Q 

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, 

WT. — 

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 
System . 

Figure 8* from p. 1M5, T.V.A., History of Navigation on the Tenn essee River 
System . 

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. 

13 5 


Abernethy, Thomas Perkins. From Frontier to Plantation in Tennessee: A 
Study in Frontier Democracy . University, AL: University of Alabama 
Press, 1967. 

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, 
1968. (Typewritten.) 

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 
Minute Books 

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. 



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. 



Alford, William 
Allen, Sussana 
Anderson, Samuel 
Arnold, Tom 
Atchison, Dr. T. A. 
Atkinson, William 








Banton, Glover W. 

Barton, Joel H. 

Beavers, Moes G. 

Bell, Susan C. 

Bell, T. E. 

Benson, James K. 

Black, James 

Black, Sam P. 

Blackstock, Nancy Gayle 

Blacks tock, David 

Bond, James 

Bouman, William 

Bowen , John 

Bowman's (Samuel) Mill 

Bragg, General 

Brothers, Elvira 

Brown, John 

Browning, Lucie M. 

Buchanan, John 

Buell, Gen. D. C. 

Burnett's (Brooking) Mill 






















Caldwell, Amanda 

Caldwell, Ellen Rion 

Caldwell, Robert 

Caldwell, Sarah 

Cantrell, Ota 

Cedar Bluff 

Chaney, Shirley 

Chaouanon River 

Chareville, Jean du 

Char tier, Martin 

Chartier, Peter 

Chermside, H. B. 


Chrisman, James L. 

Clark, T. D. 

Clements, John C. 

Clover Bottom 

Coffee, Gen. John 

Collins, Robert A. 

Cook, Puth White 

Cooper, Martha L. 

Crittenden, Col. William L. 

Crozat's Colony 

























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 Chartres 
Fort Patrick Henry 

Foster, John 16 

Freeman, Robert 119 



"Gage" 97 

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, Alexander 

Henry, David 

Henry, Fountain Fisher 

Henry, Fountain Jeffries 

Henry, George 

Henry, Joel 

Henry, John 

Henry, Mary Catherine 

Henry, Nannie 

Henry, Nettie Ellen 
Henry, Patrick 
Henry, Tom 
Henry, Wash 
Henry, William F. 
Hickman, Gen. John P. 
Hill, Mrs. P. M. 
Hollingsworth, Joseph 
Hoover, John 
Hoover, Walter 
Howell, Thomas 
Hughes, Mary B. 
Hunt, Enoch 
Hunt, Margaret 
Hunt, Rebecca 
Hurd, B. M. 
Hutchings, John 
Hutchins, Lt. Thomas 






























Jackson, Andrew 
Jackson Store 
Jarmon, Christian Jane 

Jefferson Springs 

Jeffries, Ambrose 

Jeffries, Georgie 

Jeffries, Richard 

Jeffries, Sara Dudley 

Jetton, Robert 

Jewell, Susannah 

Johns , Thomas 

Johnston, Gen. Joseph E. 

Jones, Caroline 

Jones, Christiana Jane 

Jones, Ed 

Jones, E. L. 

Jones, Enoch H. 

Jones, Eunice McLinn 

Jones, Ezckiel 

Jones, Ezra 

Jones, Fanny Green 

Jones, Gusham 

Jones, James E. 

Jones, Josephas Alexander 

Jones, Margaret 





























Jones, Martha 

Jones, Marthey B. 

Jones , Nancy Ann 

Jones , Naomi G . 

Jones, Rebecca F. 

Jones, Sarah Elizabeth 

Jones, Aunt Veenie 

Jones, Will 

Jones, Will Macklin 

Jones, William Anderson 

Jones' Mill 













Kimbro, Joseph 

King, William P. 


Ku Klux Klan 






Lannom, Capt. Jack 0. 

Lannora, Robert Green 

Lannum, William 


Lavergne, Francis Roulhac 

Lawson, Saumel J. 

Ledbetter, William 

Lewis Mill 


Lytle, Archibald 

Lytle, William 












Macklin, Eunice 
Maney, James 
Mansker, Kasper 
Martin, James 
Martin, John 
"Mary Ann" 
McGrigor, John 
McKnight, Naomi S. 
McKnight, Oma 
McKnight, Will T. 
McLanahan, Matthew 
McLinn, James B. 
Menifee, Nimrod 
Merritt, Dixon 
Methodist Meeting House 
Mills, Clark 
Mitchel, Charles 
Mitchel, Mark 
Moore, James C. 
Murfree, Col. Hardy 





















Narriott, Crittenden 
Nash, William 
National Cemetery 





Nelson, Thomas 
Nice's Mill 



Osborn, Ann 

Osborn, Ann Campbell Reed 

Osborn, Caleb 

Osborn, Harvey 

Osborn, Jane 

Osborn, Joe 

Osborn, John 

Osborn, Jonathan 

Osborn, Martha 

Osborn, Sallie E. 

Osborn, Thomas 

Overton, James 

J2J5 778,82,83, 87 



Parks, James R. 
Parks, John 
Patterson, Jane 
Perry, Burwell 
Percy Priest Reservoir 
Phillips, Ed 
Phillips, Fanny Rion 
Pierce's Mill 
Pleasants, James, Jr. 
Pollard, Ann Cannon 
Poyzer, George 
Prince, Richard E. 
Putnam, Rufus 














Ralston, Maggie 

Randolph, John 

Rankin, Elenor 

Ransom's Mill 

Rappier, Mr. 

Ready, Caroline Hunt 


Reed, Ann C. 

Reed, Eleanor Rankin 

Reed, James 



Ridley, Henry 

Ridley, James 

Ridley, Moses 

Rion, Andrew 

Rion, Ed 

Rion, Edward 

Rion, Edwin Thomas 

Rion, Ellen Ann 

Rion, Fanny 

Rion, Fount H. 

Rion, Francis P. 

Rion, Gil ley 

Rion, J.R. 

Rion, John 



























Rion, Joseph D. 

Rion, Lasuris 

Rion, Michael 

Rion, Nancy Jones 

Rion, Nettie E. 

Rion, Thomas D. 

Rion, William 

Rion, William, Sr. 

Rion, William, Jr. 

Rion, William James 

Robb, William 

Robertson, James 

Robertson, Jean 

Ronk, Howard E. 

Rosecrans, Gen. William 

Rucker, Thomas 

Russell, Robert Spotswood 



















"Sally McGee" 
Sander, Elisha 
Sanders, Isaac 
Sandusky, Jabob 
Searcy, William W, 
Sharp , Edwin 
Sharp, James 
Sharpe, John M. 
Sharpe, Theophilus 
Shaw, Thomas 
Simpson, George 
Sims, Carlton 
Smith, Daniel D. 
Smith, Gen. Edmund K. 
Smith, Col. James 
Smith, Lt, John 
Smith, John 
Smith, William H. 
Sneed, William 
Soule College 
Spain, Annie May Cook 
Spinning, Hannah 
Sprigg, Capt. 
Stevenson, Vernon K. 
Stewart, William 
Stewart Ferry Bridge 
Stone, Uriah 
Stroop's Land 
Stump, Christopher 
Sublett, George A. 
Sub let t, William A. 
































Tate, Capt. Richard 
Thomas, Ignalius 
Thomas, John W. 
Thomas, Joshua 
Tool, James 
Tucker, Silas 
Turner, Mr. 








Walter Hill 
Warren, Rev. J. H, 
Washington, George 
Watkins, Lewis 
Watkins, Samuel 
Weakley, Robert L. 
Wendal, David 
White, E. 
White, Ora Rion 
Whiteside, James A. 
Williams, William 
Williamson, Col. Thomas 
Wilson, Samuel 
Wilson Shoals 
Winston, Sarah 
Wrather, Baker 
Wright, Willis 

Young, James 
Youth Incorporated 

























MR } 8 !Q R 

HAR • 





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DEC 1 3 20 





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JAN 83