Transcribed by Brenda H. Wills
January 21, 1954
* CAL’S COLUMN *
We resume our account of the trip made some time ago from Lafayette to the vicinity of Pleasant Shade. We closed our last account with the story of our “butting the front window from the mail wagon.” We resume with some account of the farm just above where we had the accident. This is now known as the John Dickerson place. In the years long gone by, it was called the B. P. Lipscomb farm. His first name was Binion, with the middle initial, P., although we don’t recall the name for which the initial stood. “Uncle Binion,” as our mother called him, was born in Virginia in 1799. He is said to have been a brother to Granville Lipscomb, father of David Lipscomb, the founder of the school that bears his name now in Nashville. Binion, in 1850, was a constable. He and his wife, the former Miss Elizabeth Ballou, commonly known among the writer’s folks, as “Aunt Betsy,” had living with them in the year 1850, William C. Wakefield, then seven years of age. Elizabeth Ballou was the first-born of Leonard Ballou and his first wife, Mary Metcalf Ballou. She was a half-sister of the writer’s great-grandfather, Lorenzo Dow Ballou. She and her husband never had any children.
Uncle Binion wrote a fine hand and was a well-known citizen of his day and time. We have seen deeds and other legal papers prepared by him, and they were well written and correctly phrased. He and Aunt Betsy were residents of the Little Peyton’s Creek section for many years. After the Civil War, unknown parties entered the Lipscomb home by force and robbed the aged couple of quite a sum of money, the exact amount never being learned. Because the aged lady did not move as fast as the robbers wanted her to, to get the money from an old-fashioned cherry bureau, they struck at her with a knife and cut one hand. The money was kept in an old “high-boy,” which later became the property our mother. We have many times in our childhood, imagined just where in that old bureau the money was kept, and about that old, thin, poor woman who had her hand painfully cut by the masked robbers who were bent on stealing the hard-earned dollars of the economical family. We have been told the old couple recognized at least part of the thieves. However, nothing was ever done about the robbery, so far as its perpetrators’ apprehension was concerned.
Another Lipscomb family listed in the Smith County Census for 1850, was that of John Lipscomb, born in Virginia in 1781. His wife, Sallie, was also a native of Virginia. DeKalb Lipscomb was a 22-year-old teacher in Smith County 104 years ago. He had a brother, Bailie Lipscomb. Judging from the names of their neighbors in 1850, we believe they lived in the vicinity of the present Hartsville. Near neighbors included: Nathaniel M. Adams, born in 1817 in Virginia; Nellie Mungle, born in South Carolina in 1789; Marshall B. Duncan, born in Virginia in 1805; Tandy P.D. Hall, born in Virginia in 1810; James Presley and others.
Nathaniel M. Adams was the head of a family consisting of himself, Nancy Adams, 51, and born in Kentucky; Martha Adams, born in Kentucky in 1824; Robert A. Adams, born in Kentucky in 1833; Nathaniel M. Adamson, Jr., born in Kentucky in 1835; and James W. Adams, born also in Kentucky in 1835; and James W. Adams, born also in Kentucky in 1839. We are almost certain that this family of Adams is part of the relatives of Mrs. Parrott, of Des Moines, Iowa, who is making an effort to find out more of her early people.
Still another, and we believe the last, Lipscomb family in Smith County 104 years ago, was that of Mosby Lipscomb, born in Virginia in 1813. His wife, Mary, born in 1819, in North Carolina; children, Sarah, 7; Solomon, 4; Virginia E., 3; and Susan, five months old, all born in Tennessee. In the same family lived Martha J. Marshall, 21, and born in Tennessee. Near neighbors of the Lipscomb family were James Furlong, John H. Saunders, Curtis Nunly and Alexander Stubblefield.
Binion Lipscomb lived on part of what was in 1808 known as the Leonard Ballou farm, consisting of 640 acres of rolling lands, with some bottom acreage. This old farm* is still fairly well marked* as to its original boundaries. Leonard Ballou moved from the vicinity of the present brick church house on Dixon’s Creek to this farm in the year 1808. Leonard Ballou, as we have recently set forth in the Column, married two sisters, Misses Mary and Sarah Metcalf, and reared a large family. Leonard Ballou was the son of Leonard Ballou, and we may add that we have some records of about 15 Leonard Ballous. When our son, who assists us in our editorial and advertising work, was born, we named him Leonard Calvin, the name, Leonard, for the old line of Ballous and the other for his great-grandfather on the Gregory side, Stephen Calvin Gregory, born Oct. 30, 1827.
On this old Ballou farm many things are called memory. We taught in 1914 in the school that was then located across the creek from the Binion Lipscomb home. There our mother got all the schooling she ever had, about a fourth or fifth grade education. The school house still stands but it is no longer used, the attendance having dropped so low that the State would no longer support it. About 250 yards to the northeast of the old school house, our mother was born on Feb. 19, 1868. Here she spent the next 13 years of her lonely life, leaving the old farm in the year 1881, and going to the vicinity of the present Hartsville where she spent seven years not far from the Cumberland River. These were hard years for her and she never spoke of them except upon rare occasions or on being questioned.
On the old farm now live Procter Ray Kittrell, a great-great-grandson of Leonard Ballou; John Dickerson, his sons, Dewey Dickerson, the writer’s youngest sister’s husband; and Dalton Dickerson; and Ben Hooper Beasley, a tenant on that part of the farm which was bought by George McDuffee some years ago. Kittrell is the only descendant of Leonard Ballou still residing on the old mile-square tract.
Leaving the old Ballou farm on our journey southward, we came to our former home at the west end of Pleasant Shade. Here we purchased of about 13 acres with a little frame house and a barn. We moved there about the first of 1918, while we were engaged in carrying the mail on Route one, out of Pleasant Shade. Here we lived for 12 years, leaving on May 3, 1930 for Lafayette. This was one of the finest communities we have ever known. Good neighbors, excellent accommodations and other features were but part of our surroundings. However, we found life rather hard nearly all the time we resided there. Carrying the mail in 1918 was a poor-paying business and we could hardly make ends meet. We had the care of three sisters most of the time we resided in the west end of Pleasant Shade. Here the wife of our youth sickened and refused to consult a physician until months afterward. In spite of all our entreaties, she would not have a thorough physical check-up. Finally in May, 1925, after five months of illness, we went to a Carthage physician. There the writer was told that her condition was serious and that a Nashville specialist should be consulted. Reluctantly, our poor wife went to Nashville on June 1, 1925. For two days tests were made and a thorough examination resulted. On the afternoon of June 2nd, the doctors called the writer into private consultation and informed him that his wife could not live, that she was doomed to die, but not to tell her until it could no longer be put off. Then followed 12 months of long drawn-out suffering from cancer of the liver. Finally the parting time had to be and we bade her farewell on the night of June 1, 1926. We refrain from relating the bitter agony of soul through which both of us passed during this time of hopeless illness. We would like to forget them all if that were possible. We held on to her thin, wasted hand until the last pulse beat was gone forever, and then gave was to sorrow such as no man ever knew except when he bids farewell for time to the woman he loves and the mother of his children.
Later we married Miss Ethel Gann, a young woman of the vicinity of Carthage. No unkind word toward the writer ever fell from her lips, nothing hard or bitter did she ever say to him. We lived in a sort of “fool’s paradise,” neither dreaming of the tragedy that was so soon to come and sever us* apart. Two years of happy, wedded life ended in her unexpected death at the time our baby was born. And the little. blue-eyed fellow opened his eyes three times on this world and closed them in the long sleep of death, just four hours after his beautiful mother had failed to return form the valley and shadow of death that every mother has to enter that her offspring might live. We laid him on the lifeless arm of the mother, an arm that had been placed many times on the shoulders of the writer, and buried them in the same casket, a young and lovely mother and her babe. And our poor heart knew its bitterest sorrow humanly speaking. One day the whole world looked bright and very promising; and, in less than 24 hours, our world had become a place of bitter tears, of anguish and sorrow too deep and pungent for words. We place the broad mantle of charity and love over the the terrible memories of those days, and forbear to distress the reader with a full account, even if we could give it, of the terrible parting, the awful loneliness and the loss of a wife and our new-born babe, all in one day, that will live in painful memory so long as we shall live and know anything.
We decided that there were too many painful memories for us to continue to reside there. So in the spring of 1930, we came to Lafayette and bought of John Bennett Freeman a half-interest in the Times and have resided here since that time.
We pursued our journey southward until we came to Mt. Tabor Baptist church where a funeral service was to be held for “Big Walter” Chambers, whom we had known for many years. Mt. Tabor is our old home church. It was organized in the year 1836 with 24 charter members. Among them were three of our great-great-grandparents, Leonard Ballou, above mentioned; and Jeremiah Gregory and his wife Barbara R. Gregory. Four ministers had a part in the organization: John Wiseman, W. C. Bransford, Daniel Smith and E. B. Haynie. Haynie and Wiseman were two of the men through whom the writer traced his “baptismal line” in last week’s paper. Deacons William Martin, John A. Johnson, Thomas Taylor and Abel Gregory had part in the formation of the new church. Abel Gregory was the son of Jeremiah, his brother, Major Gregory, having been the writer’s great-grandfather.
Mt. Tabor was named for the Mt Tabor of the bible. This elevation of land lies in Palestine and is 1,843 feet high. It is of limestone formation and is located about five miles from the town of Nazareth where our Lord spent his boyhood. It is of a symmetrical form and had trees of oak, pistachios and other species. Wild boars, birds and small game are to be found on this mountain. To the north of Mt. Tabor may be seen Mt. Hermon capped with snow the greater part of the year.
South of Mt. Tabor is Mt. Gilboa where King Saul and his sons, including Jonathan, died in battle.
The Mt. Tabor of the Bible is mentioned with its full name in Judges 4:6, 12 and 14. In this mention of Mt. Tabor, Deborah and Barak gathered together the warriors of Israel and defeated Sisera and his men. Tabor was in possession of the Jews 2,100 years ago. But the Romans took it over later in the time of Pompey, who conquered Palestine.
There is some tradition to the effect that the transfiguration of Christ, mentioned in Matthew 17, Mark 9 and Luke 9, took place on Mt. Tabor. However, this is now thought to have been improbable. But Jerome in the year 386 said that “St. Paula climbed Mt. Tabor on which the Lord was transfigured.”
There are old ruins now on Mt. Tabor and also many rock-hewn cisterns and a pool. But we do not know very much more than we gave above concerning this location of the mountain. When our brethren of 117 years ago decided to name their church “Mt. Tabor,” this* was probably done because the church was then located on a round low hill about 150 yards back from Peyton’s Creek. The hill does resemble to some extent pictures of the Mt. Tabor of the Bible. We suppose this is the reason for the church’s name.
The church’s first pastor was Elder Daniel Smith, who served for 20 years, from 1836 to 1856. Next was Daniel Wiseman Smith, a son of Daniel Smith, who served from 1856 to 1859. Elder John Patterson was next, preaching from 1859 to 1861. It appears that the church was without a regular pastor during part of the Civil War days. Elder E. Luther Smith was pastor from 1865 to 1888. Elder M. B. Ramsey was pastor from 1888 to 1902. Elder M. B. Ramsey also served for some time after 1902, but we do not know how long. Other pastors included: R. B. Davis, C. B. Massey, L. A. Stewart, N. C. Fuqua, F. W. Lambert and perhaps one or two others whose names have been overlooked. The writer is the present pastor.
The Clerks have been: John Patterson, John Boston, John Nixon. S. C. Gregory, the writer’s grandfather; Robert Gregory, our great-uncle; A. J. Gregory, Wiseman Gregory, our uncle; W. C. Earps, W. G. Smith and the present Clerk, Lowe Smith, son of W. C. Smith.
Deacons: Jack Shoulders, son of Malachi Shoulders, and his wife, Polly Gregory Shoulders; Andy Boston, supposedly the father of Arch Boston; Abel Gregory, a brother of our great-grandfather, Major Gregory; John Evetts, John Patterson, D. J. Smith, James Earps, Thomas Smith, Pitts Gregory, a brother of Abel; Charlie Nixon, W. C. Porter, T. T. Shepherd, James Gregory, son of Milton Gregory, James Earps, Jr., W. C. Smith and I. P. McDonald. Many others of a later date could be located in the old records which have been largely preserved.
Among those who were ordained as ministers by this church were: Enoch G. Cartwright, later uniting with the Christian church, Levi A. Smithwick, ordained in 1846; Elder John Patterson ordained in 1861; Elder E. Luther Smith, ordained in 1864; Elder James Knight, Elder Henry C. Oldham and Elder Curtis Carter. The writer was ordained by the church on July 24, 1914. There were perhaps some others ordained to the ministry by the church, but we do no have their names at this time.
The church has sent out* four colonies. The first was called Beech Grove, to upper Peyton’s Creek, about 1840; Ebenezer, in 1871; Mt. Hope, about 1871; Russell Hill, 1885, may be called the offspring of Mt. Tabor; and on Aug. 16, 1917, Mt. Tabor furnished about half of those who went into the formation of Mace’s Hill church.
Mt. Tabor was formed by members from Peyton’s Creek Baptist church, formed in June, 1812. Peyton’s Creek came out of Hogan’s Creek formed in 1808, near the mouth of the Caney Fork River. Hogan’s Creek was the oldest “daughter” of Dixon’s Creek. Dixon’s Creek was formed on March 8, 1800, and is one of the very oldest Baptist churches in Middle Tennessee. Dixon's Creek came out of El Bethel Baptist church, located on Station Camp Creek, Sumner County, Tenn. This church was made up of emigrant Baptists who came largely from the Peedee River section of South Carolina. These South Carolina Baptists on Peedee River were from the Welsh Neck church, which came out the Welsh Tract church formed in Wales in 1701.
(To be continued)
Transcriber Note: * represents spelling errors in the original text.