Transcribed by Elsie Sampson


June 12, 1952




          “June term, 1802.  At a Court opened and held for the County of Smith at William Saunders on Monday, the 21st day of June, 1802.  Present:  Peter Turney, Nathaniel Brittain, Elmore Douglass and John Looney, Esquires.”  The home of William Saunders was located near Dixon Springs.  Mention has been made of each of the parties present that June day for the “Quarterly Court and Court of Pleas for Smith County.”  We are in receipt of a letter from Lucette Sharp, of 1027 Mound Street, Nacogdoches, Texas, in which mention is made of one Elmore Douglass, but we are not prepared to say whether the Elmore Douglass, of the County Court of 150 years ago was the same Elmore Douglass mentioned by Miss Sharp.  Perhaps some reader can give us the information.


          Because of the information set forth in Miss Sharp’s letter, we are taking the liberty of publishing same.  It is as follows:


 1027 Mound Street

 Nacogdoches, Texas

 May 30, 1952


My dear Mr. Gregory:


          Due to your generosity, each week I am able to read “Cal’s Column.”  Recently I noticed that a Dr. Elmore Douglass was mentioned and the author had no further information on him.


          In my files I have copies of the papers of Rev. George Crockett, a relative of mine, which give a little information on the Allens, Crocketts and Sharps and others who lived in that section of Tenn., and I thought you might like to add it to your files.


          Dr. Elmore Douglass married first, Eliza Fulton, daughter of David Fulton and Elizabeth Savin, who were married July 27, 1794 in Cecil Co., Md.


          In 1816, when Rebecca Fulton was 10 years old, a sister of Eliza, above, the family moved from Maryland to Tenn., and were for many years residents of Gallatin, Sumner Co., Tenn.


          The children of David and Elizabeth Fulton were:


          William Savin Fulton, born June 2, 1795 and died Aug. 15, 1844, at Little Rock, Ark.


          Mary A. Fulton, born Jan. 4, 1797;  Elizabeth Fulton, born March 2, 1799; married Dr. Elmore Douglass. Issue: Seven children;  Jane Jukett Fulton, born Aug. 24, 1801;  David Fulton born Aug. 7, 1803 and died Aug. 7, 1843, at Little Rock, Ark., John T. Fulton, born Jan. 9, 1805 and died Sept. 9, 1842, at Little Rock, Ark., Rebecca L. Fulton, born April 25, at Baltimore, Md., 1806; married at 17 to Alfred H. Douglass, who served in War of 1812 and died 1835.  She moved to Waco, Texas, and lived with her daughter, Mrs. E. S. Edgar, in Waco.


          Julian C. Fulton, born Jan 31, 1808.


          Col. John Allen had the following children that married into the Douglass family:


          Webb Allen, lawyer, married Louisa Douglass, sister of Alfred H. Douglass; and Eliza Allen, married first Sam Houston; second, Dr. Elmore Douglass.


          Eliza Allen’s father left her well off as he was a prosperous man.  After she returned home, leaving Gov. Houston, she lived with her parents until their death and then lived with her sister, Mrs. Dr. Blackmore, nee Martha Allen.  After Mrs. Blackmore died, Eliza Allen boarded with Mrs. Betsey Douglass, wife of Robert.  There she was married to Dr. Elmore Douglass about 1841 or 1842.  He had seven children at the time of their marriage, only three of whom lived with him.  His three sons were in business though one of them afterward boarded with him.  One daughter, Sophie, was adopted by Mrs. Jesse Cage who lived in Dallas, Texas.


          By Eliza Allen, Dr. Elmore Douglass had four children, two girls and two boys.  She met her death by accident.  While attending the rehearsal of a children’s school entertainment, she fell through a trap door to the floor below.  She was carried home and died of the injuries a few days afterwards.  Dr. Joseph Cross, then a Methodist minister, officiated at her burial.


          Dr. Douglass was a very popular man and during the sessions of Circuit Court and other occasions loved to entertain the bar and other distinguished visitors.  His wife presided at his table with perfect dignity and “ease of manner.”


          Regarding the Featherston family which was the reason for my first letter to you, I found that Phoebe was the daughter of Henry and Elizabeth (Marshall) Featherston. 


                                                                                                                                     Sincerely yours,

                                                                                                                                     Lucette Sharp


          We appreciate Miss Sharp’s informative letter and trust that she has given help to some who are interested in their family history.


          “The Court then proceeded to business, and appointed Reuben Goad, (as Constable) who came into Court, gave security and qualified according to law.”  Part of the record was left out by the Clerk and we have taken the liberty of substituting what we suppose to be short.  We are ready to make correction if we are wrong in our conclusion of what was meant by the incomplete record of the Clerk of the Court, Sampson Williams, 150 years ago.


          We are quite sure that the Reuben Goad here mentioned was the first of the family to come to Tennessee.  Recently we gave a sketch of this man and children.  We are in receipt of interesting letters from two of Reuben Goad’s descendants, Mrs. R. D. Porter, of 622 S. Seventh Street, Vandalia, Illinois; and Miss Frieda Goad, of 1003 North Fourth St., Vandlia.  Their letters are being published in order to give Tennessee members of the Goad family additional information.  The Porter letter is as follows:


                                                                                                                                                                                 Vandalia, Illinois

April 13, 1952



Macon County Times,

Lafayette, Tenn.


Dear Sir:


          I am writing to you about the article that appeared in your paper about the Goad family.  My father was Harvey Henry Goad, born at Hillsdale, Tennessee, the son of John Overton Goad.  Harvey H. Goad was born on July 7, 1859.  He did teach school down there, my mother recalls, as a very young man.  He came to Illinois in 1909 and was an ordained Methodist minister for many years.  He also taught school over thirty years.  He died in Vandalia at the age of 83 years, in January of 1942. 


          He was married to Cora Jane Torrence on April 13, 1891.  He had eight children, the oldest, a son, being Edgar Ford Goad.  I am enclosing some articles about my brother, which will tell you something of his life.  He died from an ulcer, developed during his service for his country in the last World War.  He also served during the first World War, spending four or five years in overseas duties.  He was too old for service in the last World War, but volunteered because he was again anxious to be of service to his country.  He was married but had no children.


          The next son was John O. Goad II, who also served through the entire first World War.  He also contracted ulcers in the service and suffered for many years.  He was an editorial writer for a number of newspapers, holding positions as editorial writer on the Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Chicago Tribune and on Philadelphia paper.  He also wrote advertising copy for many large firms.  When he kied he left an unfinished novel as well as a number of plays.  He was married and left two sons, John O. Goad III, the older, served in World War II, as did the second son, Allen Goad, who is still in the service of his country.  John O. Goad III, has a baby son, John O. Goad IV, residing with his parents in Evanston, Illinois.  Last year John O. III graduated with honors from the Northwestern University in Chicago.


          My brother, John O. Goad II, died from ulcers in 1935.


          Next was my sister, Miriam Frances Goad, who married a Jacobs and lives in Champaign, Illinois.  She is a teacher and is employed in the Champaign schools at the present time.  She has three children, two daughters and a son.  Both daughters graduated from the University of Illinois, and one of them is now in the Army as a second Lieutenant and is a hospital dietician.


          The next daughter of H. H. Goad was Katherine, who never married, but stayed at home and cared for mother and dad, and worked as a dentist’s assistant for many years.  She was never strong physically and died in 1939.


          The next child, Torrence Goad, died at the age of three from diphtheria.  The next child was a daughter, Frieda Goad, who graduated from the University of Illinois and taught for several years in various Illinois high schools, afterward taking up social work and going to the University of Chicago and completing her training.  She is now with the Illinois Division of Child Welfare and has four counties in which she works with children who are wards of the State.  She is leaving in June of this year to tour Europe and will visit five or six countries.  She plans to be gone most of this summer.  She lives with my mother here in Vandalia.  My mother is 86 years old and very active and well.  She is still able to do all her own work and raises flowers and is as young and active as many women many years younger than she.


          Next was a son, Rex Roark Goad. I am sending you some clippings about Rex.  At present he is the newswriter for the National Broadcasting Company in Washington, D. C.  He is married and lives in Alexandria, Va.  He has no children.  He is also a writer and newsman, having received his degree in Journalism at the University of Missouri.  He says all of dad’s sons got their desire to write from their father who also used to write a lot, and also worked on a newspaper her in Vandalia for many years after he retired from teaching.


          Then there is the youngest, myself, Fern Goad Porter.  I am married and have a 16-year-old son.  I also attended the University of Missouri and then a school in this State for teachers.  I have taught and am still teaching here in Vandalia.  I am completing my 20th year in the Vandalia schools.


          So you see my father, being a teacher and writer and instilling in his children the love of both, has left his mark on all his children.


          He was a wonderful father, a splended teacher and was loved by all who knew him.  He had given up preaching by the time I knew him, but he was a fine Christian man and had many friends everywhere.


          I want to thank you for the article you wrote.  We were so glad to have it, as it contained information we did not have.  If this will help you to know about the family of H. H. Goad, I am glad.  I should like to have the articles back and am enclosing a stamped envelope for their return.  I will appreciate their return.

      Sincerely yours,

      Mrs. Rollin Porter

      622 S. Seventh St.

      Vandalia, Ill.


          We are glad to have the information given in this letter and publish it for the help and enlightenment it may give the numerous members of the same family who still live here in Middle Tennessee.


          Miss Frieda Goad’s letter is as follows:


Vandalia, Illinois

April 12, 1952


Macon County Times

Lafayette, Tenn.


Dear Sir:


          We wish to thank you for the papers with the Goad family history.  It means a lot to all of us to have this information.  I am the daughter of Harvey Henry Goad and have lived most of my life in Illinois, although I was born in Macon County, Tennessee.  My sister plans to write you about our immediate family soon.


          I am enclosing $1.00 for which I want some more copies of the paper.  We surely do appreciate your sending us the two copies.  Mrs. Docia Beasley also sent one copy.


                                                                                                                                                       Very truly yours,

                                                                                                                                         Frieda Goad.


          We appreciate both letters and have forwarded the extra copies.  In case they did not arrive, we can still furnish additional copies with the Goad article in them.  We believe our reference to the beech tree on which Harvey H. Goad had carved part of a poem and which caught our childish eyes, has set off quite a long string of information, thoughts and musings.  We published this in our article about the Goad family, but did not dream that Harvey H. Goad attained to the high place that later life had reserved for him.  Readers, we hope, will pardon a repetition on the matter of beech tree with it’s inscription.  The writer was born at the foot of Mace’s Hill, on which stood a country school house of the same name.  About 125 yards down toward the “bottom of the hollow” on our father’s little hill farm was a spring that furnished water for the school 60 years ago or more.  We often drank from that spring as a child.  Just on the bank above the spring stood a white beech tree on which Harvey H. Goad had carved a verse from “Woodman, Spare that Tree.” by G. P. Morris, with some of his own rhyming.  Also, as we previously related, he had cut his name in the bark of the beech, “Harvey H. Goad, April 20, 1881, Don’t Cut Down.”  As has been remarked, the “jingling” of the lines appealed to our little mind in the years gone by, and we remember the tree and its inscription vividly.


          But we return at this time to the old Court records, after a lengthy “detour.”  The next item is as follows:  “Ordered that James Dobbins be allowed to build a grist mill on his own land on Peyton’s Creek.”  We know where Peyton’s Creek is, where it rised and where it empties into the Cumberland, but we do not know where James Dobbins’ mill was.  The first mill ever on that stream was that of Joel Dyer, which was located, the best we can learn, just below the present Graveltown.  Later there was a mill below the present Monoville, and it might have been originally James Dobbins’ mill.  Later a mill was built on the Boston Branch of Peyton’s Creek, about a mile above the present Pleasant Shade.  Still later another water mill was built on Peyton’s Creek on the main part of the stream, near the old Parkhurst place.  We know of the starting of the two last-named mills, so it must have been the Monoville mill or one that has been entirely forgotten in the 150 years since the permit was given to James Dobbins.  This man seems to have been a prominent citizen for that day and time.  One of our great-great-great uncles, Wm. H. Gregory, named one of his sons, James Dobbins, we presume, for this man, James Dobbins Gregory lost his life during the Civil War.  He has a number of descendants still in Macon and Smith Counties.  The name then was called “Jeems” Dobbins.


          “Ordered that John Kearby be exempted from serving on the Venire at this term.”  No reason is given for allowing Kearby to be excused from jury duty.  Readers will note the spelling is “Kearby,” which was pronounced as if spelled Kyearby.”  The family now without exception spells the name Kirby.  He lived somewhere in the vicinity of the present Gibbs’ Cross Roads, from the best information obtainable on the part of the writer.


          “Grand Jury drawn (viz) John Bearkley, foreman:  Thomas Jamerson, William Penny, William Stalcup, John Grey, Patrick Donoho, Abraham Brittain, Daniel Hammock, Robert Rowland, William Payne, Charles McMurry, and John Chambers, who were empaneled, charged and sworn; and Thomas Wright was appointed Constable to attend them.”  We would judge John Bearkley to have been John Barkley; and Thomas Jamerson to have been Thomas Jamison.  We know nothing of William Penny.  William Stalcup is believed to have lived near the present Dixon Springs, where the family has become virtually extinct.  We have no information as to John Grey, Robert Rowland nor William Payne.  Patrick Donoho is supposed to have been the ancestor or a relative of the Donoho family, later well known about Hartsville.


Transcribed by Janette West Grimes


   Abraham Brittain was a son of Nathaniel Brittain, an early settler in the vicinity of the present Meadorville, and a charter member of Dixon's Creek Baptist church, founded March 8, 1800. The Brittains were great lovers of fine horses and one of the early church disturbances was over "Brother Brittain's lending a mare to run in a course race," which, the old records say, ought not to be. This Nathaniel Brittain was the ancestor of W. C. Brittain, a present-day horse fancier who lives near Hendersonville, and whom we know quite well.


   Daniel Hammock is believed to have been the ancestor of Wilson Hammock, a Trousdale County, attorney of the years gone by. He has a daughter who is in charge of the Bank of Hartsville, Miss Manye Hammock. However, some of the church records of 140 years ago spell the name "Hammack."


   Charles McMurry was the ancestor of the McMurry family of the present day in Middle Tennessee. John Chambers is also believed to have been the ancestor of the Chambers family now in Smith County. We have no information as to Thomas Wright.


                                                                        [To be continued]



Note: The last 3 paragraphs were left out of the Book Cal’s Column.