August 24, 1950
This Article Appeared In The Times
But Was Not Actually Titled Calís Column
Transcribed by Janette West Grimes
Gregory Reunion Is Held At Sulphur Fork
†† On Sunday, August 20th, the annual† reunion of the descendants of Gion and Amanda Gregory was held at Sulphur Fork Baptist church, a few miles west of Westmoreland, in Sumner County. This is an annual affair, with the reunion being held in the homes or communities in which these descendants live. Present Sunday for the occasion were the pastor, Elder Herlin Brown, who preached in the forenoon, and one of the young members of Sulphur Fork. Brother Raymond Gregory, a descendant of Gion and Amanda, who preached in the afternoon. Both delivered fine discourses to the delight of their large number of hearers.
†† Among those attending were: Mrs. Hannah Rippy, of Corinth; Mr. and Mrs. Thruman Thompson and children; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Johnson and family, of Middleton, Ky.; Mr. and Mrs. R. D. Gregory and Sarah Ellen, of Russellville; Mrs. Eddie Johnson, of Bethpage; Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Gregory and two daughters, Virgil and Louise; Mr. and Mrs. L. B. Lawson and family, of Lafayette; Mr. and Mrs. H. P. Brown and daughters, Wanda and Irene; Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Gregory; Bernice Lawson, Frank Lawson, Effie Shrum, E. J. Shrum and †Elzira Norman, all of Franklin, Ky.; Mrs. Ruth Gregory and W. S. Gregory, and Nellie and Regnes Gregory, all of Adolphus, Ky.; E. H. Barber, W. G. Gregory, of Mississippi; Mrs. Willie Mayes and Mr. and Mrs. Joe Brown, of Oak Grove; Mr. and Mrs. Wilson Graves, Mr. and Mrs. Clemons Huddleston of Portland; Jimmie Settle, of Gallatin; Mr. and Mrs. Paul Overby and son; Miss Dorie Graves, Mr. and Mrs. James R. Lawson, Forrest A. Lawson, Jerry Lawson, Wayne Lawson, Rose Johns, Mrs. Corie Lawson, of Lafayette; Marie McCormack, Margaret Gregory, Sarah Gregory, Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Gore, of Hopkinsville; Mr. and Mrs. R. F. Ellis, of Dallas, Texas; Mrs. M. Prowell, Memphis; Mr. and Mrs. Woodrow McCormack, Mr. and Mrs. Lucian Langford and family, of Russellville; Mr. and Mrs. B. S. Gregory, B. G. Gregory, Mrs. Essie Link, D. D. Gregory, of Elkton, Ky.; Mr. and Mrs. Willis Gregory and Lucille, also of Russellville; John Poore, Leonard Escue, Mrs. Pearl Fish, Mrs. Carrie Lee, Russellville; Mrs. B. L. Townsend, Lonnie Townsend, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Gregory and family, of Fountain Head; Mr. and Mrs. Basil Mandrell and family; Mr. and Mrs. Ollie Dorns and Faye, of Corinth; Elder and Mrs. L. J. Russell and son, of Oak Grove; Mr. and Mrs. T. B. Gregory, of Lafayette; Mr. and Mrs. George Campbell; Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Gregory; Mr. and Mrs. Paul Barber and daughter; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Wilson and Patricia; Mr. and Mrs. G. G. Wilson; Jim Graves; Mr. and Mrs. Homer Graves and children; Mr. and Mrs. Russell Durham; Mr. and Mrs. Pipkin; H. H. Gregory and Viola; Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Gregory; Mrs. Bertha Graves; Mr. and Mrs. Robey Harper; Doug Gregory and son, of Lafayette; and numerous others whose names were not registered. All had an enjoyable time. The next meeting will be held on the third Sunday in August, 1951, in the home of Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Gregory, of the Corinth community. All members of the family are invited to attend the next meeting.
†† Gion and Amanda Gregory were first cousins. Gion being the son of Ambrose Gregory, son of Bry Gregory. Amanda was the daughter of Bettie and Big Tom Gregory. Bettie being a sister of Ambrose. They were born in the Peyton's Creek section and lived there and on the waters of Dixon's Creek until the eighties when they removed to the Brackentown section of Sumner County. Gion and his wife have today, perhaps, half a thousand descendants in all, there having been in their group of sons and daughters a total of fourteen. At Carthage the editor some time ago found a record of Gion and Amanda's share of the estate of Mrs. Gregory's parents. Mr. and Mrs. "Big Tom" Gregory, who lived and died on Nickojack Branch at the place on which Mr. and Mrs. Richard Stafford now live. The estate had to be divided among some 13 heirs and Gion and Amanda's part was $137. 42 1/2, fraction of cents being in use then. This was before the era of adding machines and so much bookkeeping. What a headache such fractions would cause today!
†† Amanda had nine sisters, and four brothers. The brothers were James, Ambrose, Gabriel and Robert Hawkins Gregory. Gabriel went to the Mexican War and died in Mexico. The thirteen sons and daughters of "Big Tom" and his wife, Bettie Gregory, were the parents of 142 children. Of the next generation, or the great-grandchildren of "Big Tom" and Bettie, there were 575 children. The fourth generation numbered about one thousand persons when the editor counted them about 35 years ago. Then there were also 100 of the fifth generation of "Big Tom" and Bettie. One of the original 13 was still living 35 years ago. Aunt Jane Bennett, who was the actual aunt of 1,500 persons. Some time later we hope to publish the names of these many, many descendants of the pioneer couple, "Big Tom" and Bettie Gregory, whose graves are unmarked on the north side of a high hill on the waters of Nickojack Branch, about 500 yards from their old home. This old home still stands today with its log walls and heavy yellow poplar joints. Here the ten sisters were all "able to catch" a husband. Three of the brothers became "benedicts." The old spring flows on, a fine stream, just as it did in the long , long ago, when these 14 sons and daughters and their parents lived in the old house nearby. "Big Tom" is said to have been so strong† that he did not shell corn from the cob, but merely took it into his hands, gave it a twist and the corn fell from the cob. One of the daughters, the Aunt Jane above referred to, once said to the editor, who was then a small boy, with a knack for listening. "My pap fell in love with a gal in old Firginnee. The wedding was got and she turned my pap down. He loved her like a house afire and her treatment like to have killed my pap. In his trouble, he left Firginnee, and came to his Uncle Bry's on Peyton's Creek. His uncle had a black-eye gal named Bettie. They got to courting and married right off, and never done nothing after that but fuss and quarrel and raise children." By old "Firginnee," she meant Virginia. Aunt Jane also made another remark that has been retained in our little mind for many, many years: "The Gregory's used never to marry anybody but Gregory's. That's the reason that they don't have any more sense."
†† We have recently been asked to give some historical accounts of the Gregory family and we hope to get to this at an early date. We have so much "dope" on them that much space and time will be required to give even what we know.