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FLOURNOY RIVERS

Resolutions adopted by the Pulaski Bar, with reference to the death of
Flournoy Rivers, Esqr.

When an old man who has served his generation well draws the draperies
of his couch around him and lies down to pleasant dreams, his friends
and family grieve, but they say he has lived his allotted years, his
usefulness has been spent, and according to nature, he could not be
expected to longer live. But where a young strong man dies, one whose
strength has not been spent whose life is in reality only fairly
begun, who has before him the bright prospect of long life and
splendid career, we are prone to question the dispensation that
removes him from our midst. But it has always been true that death is 
o respecter of persons or age. To question the dispensation that
removed Flournoy Rivers from his family, this bar and this community,
is to but propound again the question that the wisdom of the ages has
failed to answer. Death comes: We cannot know the reason. We can only
commit the fact to the wisdom of him whom it is said: "He doeth all
things well."

Had Mr. Rivers been consulted he would have protested against this
memorial, and this bar meeting: not because he did not value friend-
ship and our good opinion of him, but because he despised hypocracy
and he knew that in instances like this the truth was often left
unsaid and some of what was said was often untrue, we cannot feel that
we should yield to his wishes or feelings upon this subject and leave
unsaid what we should in duty say-of his qualities of heart and brain.
He had faults as all men have, but his virtues so abounded that to
those who knew him well and most his faults in large measure because
hidden. It was singularly true of him that he concealed from the
general public his chief virtues beneath a show of rough exterior.
With a bountiful hand he gave to those in need, and his professional
services were always at the command of those whom he believed to be
unjustly accused or oppressed.

He was a vital force in, and a general strength to, the public for he
was never afraid to do what he though ought to be done or to say what
he thought ought to be said. Public spirited and patriotic, his many
public services will be missed.

Mr. Rivers was born at the home of his step-grandfather, Judge
Marchbanks, at McMinnville, October 15, 1858, and would therefore have
been fifty years of age, his next birthday. He received a common
school education in the Giles County schools of the old region, but
being an untiring student he soon became one of the best read men the
county has ever produced. After leaving school, he taught school for a
short time and then read law under the late Judge John S. Wilkes. His
certificate of character for application for law license is dated
Monday August 21, 1882, and his license bears date of August 27, of
the same year. He was admitted as a solicitor and attorney in the
Chancery Court on Saturday, September 30, 1882 and was admitted in the
Circuit Court, Tuesday November 28, 1882. The entry of an order in
Book 15, page 215 in the office of the Supreme Court Clerk at
Nashville shows he was admitted to practice before that Court on
Monday, January 23rd, 1888 and a similar order in Book V page 428,
records of the office of the clerk of the United States Circuit Court
at Nashville shows he was admitted there on November 30th 1892. After
his admission to the bar, he soon became prominent and successful as a
lawyer and his ability became known and recognized throughout the
State. He scorned the petty witcheries by which some lawyers have
sought to win success and won or lost in honorable battle. To his
death, he enjoyed a lucrative practice from a large and loyal
clientele.

He early became a factor in the County's politics, being then a
democrat. He was sometime chairman of the Giles County Democratic
Executive committee and served this Senatorial district with honor in
the State Senate in 1891. He was also presidential elector from this
congressional district in Cleveland's second campaign. He voted for
Palmer and Buckner in 1896, and soon after joined fortunes with the
Republican party, assigning as his reason that it was the party of
patriotism and progress. He refused to be identified with either of
the so-called wings of the Republican Party in Tennessee, asserting
that he was of neither of the one or the other but simply an "Eagle-
bird Republican". He was a great admirer of the President had and had
read all of President Roosevelt's books and kept up an occasional
correspondence with him. Their acquaintance was such that the
President, through his private secretary has written a letter, to
Mrs. Rivers expressing his regard for Mr. Rivers and sympathy for his
family in their great loss.

Mr. Rivers was a member of the Huguenot Society of America and also
of the Society of Sons of the American Revolution.

The National Register of the later society contains the following:
Flournoy Rivers, Pulaski, Tennessee, (12541), son of William and
Julia (Flournoy) Rivers, Grandson of William B. and Martha Ann
Rebecca Ward (Camp) Flournoy, Grandson of John Harper and Sarah Myra
(Rodes) Rivers, Great-grandson of Tyree and Cynthia (Holland) Rodes.
Great-grandson of Silas &nd Martha (Cannon) Flournoy, Great-grandson
of William and Sarah (Mosby) Cannon, Great-grandson of James and
(Sarah Gilbert) Holland, second Lieutenant North Carolina Militia:
Great grandson of William Gilbert, Justice of the Peace and
Representative to General Assembly North Carolina, Great-grandson of
Littleberry Mosby, Colonel Virginia Militia.

Mr. Rivers was married to Miss Lidie Avirett, October 5th 1892 in New
York, State at the home of Mrs. Rivers' uncle, Rev. James Battle
Avirett, and she and their son John Avirett Rivers, survive him. He
is also survived by his two brothers: Major Tyree R. Rivers of the
Fourth Cavalry, now stationed at Ft. Snelling Minn. and Capt. William
C. Rivers of the Eleventh Cavalry, now in the Philippines.

He was long a communicant of the Church of the Messiah at Pulaski,
and was buried from that Church after funeral services conducted by
Rev. Bazzett Jones of Nashville.

He sleeps out in God's acre' and we hope that it was with him as he
so often prayed in his last days, for Tennyson's beautiful lines
because his off repeated prayer.

Sunset and evening Star, And one clear call for me; O, may there be no moaning of the bar When I go out to Sea
Taken from Giles County Civil Minutes Book 12 pages 163-165.
++++++++++

The Pulaski Citizen April 16, 1908 Flournoy Rivers Answers Summons of the Death Angel Saturday. The death of the Honorable Flournoy Rivers at his home here, Saturday afternoon, was not an unexpected event, but one which his friends throughout the State had hoped might not occur for several years to come. The failing vitality of Mr. Rivers first became manifest during the summer of 1907, when he had several attacks of Cardiac Asthma, which confined him to his room a week or two at a time, but his tremendous willpower and energy and the numerous demands of his large clientele kept him at his office much of the time during the past few months, when he should have had absolute rest; and about a month ago he was forced to give up all work and follow the directions of his physicians. But his malady was beyond the reach of human skill and he steadily declined until the end. His death was due to valvular heart disease, complicated with Bright's disease. Mr. Rivers was born in McMinnville in 1858, his father, Captain William C. Rivers, later moving to Giles County, where his three sons received a common school education at Giles College under professors of the old regime, such as the late Colonel C. G. Rogers, Captain W. R. Garrett, Flavel A. Dickerson and Captain Alfred H. Abernathy. Completing his education, Mr. Rivers taught County Schools in Giles County and later read law under the late Judge John S. Wilkes, being admitted to the bar sometime in the eighties. He was an untiring student and reader, and in a few years became known as a lawyer of unusual ability. In 1888, Mr. Rivers stumped the Seventh Congressional District as a Democratic Presidential Elector for Grover Cleveland, his joint opponent being Captain J. H. Morris of Pulaski, who was elector for President Harrison on the Republican Ticket. Mr. Rivers was also State Senator in the General Assembly of 1891, being elected on the Democratic Ticket. A few years afterward, he renounced the Democratic Political Faith and joined the Republican ranks, though he took little part in politics other than an advisory nature until within the past few months the Republicans of several counties have instructed for him as a delegate to the National Convention or as State Elector. Mr. Rivers legal ability was known and recognized from the Supreme Bench of the State down to the local Magistrates Courts, and, "learned in the law", on the forensic rostrum he was faithful and zealous of his clients' interest and fair and just to the opposition. Brilliant, daring, aggressive, scathing and self-assertive, without egotism, he challenged the admiration of friend and foe alike. He "chastised but to chasten" and enmity toward him was not long lived. "He was a fellow of infinite jest" and the pressure of death could not dispel his sense of humor. A striking characteristic of this picturesque man was the tenderness and humaneness of his nature, strangely in contrast with his positive character and somewhat austere demeanor. He has often stood between poor and defenseless negroes and others and oppression, and the comfort and welfare of dumb animals was a hobby of his. He gave much of his time, talent and means to private and public charities, and civic pride and public spiritedness were prominent traits of his character. Mr. Rivers knew personally nearly every man in Giles County and knew his family tree and its history. He knew every pig path and cross road, where all the creeks "forked" and all the civil district boundaries, all of which information was of vast benefit to him in the selection of jurors and the examination of Witnesses, and to secure which he had made visits to all the "broken faces" and neglected graveyards in the County, besides poring over the "musty pages" of the various court records from the organization of the County up to the present time. Mr. Rivers joined the Memorial Church of the Messiah many years ago and was a vestryman in that church and before.his death he received at his own request, the Holy Eucharist and spiritual consultation from Father Bazett Jones of Nashville. A very large concourse attended the burial, numbering probably 1,500 of which nearly one-third were colored people who assembled on the street corner near the Church. They consider that they have lost the best friend they had in the County, and in addition to the many handsome floral tributes was one contributed by the negroes. Mr. Rivers' brother, Major Tyree R. Rivers was at his bedside at his death. His other brother, Captain William C. Rivers is in the Regular Army Service in the Philippines. Mr. Rivers cousins Postmaster Rivers Carter of Birmingham and Honorable Ben Carter of Washington were also here. Surviving Mr. Rivers are his wife Mrs. Lidie Avirett Rivers, and his young son, John, who have the sympathy of everyone in their bereavement. The death of such a man as Flournoy Rivers is little less than a public calamity. We shall not soon see his like again. May the blessed saints repose his soul in peace.