Transcribed by Rae Wayne
There were two articles in this issue of the Times
This being the article that began on page 1.
June 14, 1951
We resume our publication of the old records of the Quarterly Court and Court of Pleas of Smith County in the long ago. The last session as we reported it, was held at Dixon Springs, in the home of Tilman Dixon. The Court had made an order some months before this meeting to meet first at Dixon’s and then at Fort Blount. New readers will not know perhaps where Fort Blount was located in 1801. It stood on the east bank of Cumberland River just above the old town of Williamsburg, long since gone from the earth. Williamsburg stood in a bend of the Cumberland River just above where Salt Lick Creek empties into the Cumberland. There are still a few signs of the old town. The town was the first county seat of Jackson County which was formed in 1805, we believe. The old log jail still stands, and there are some old odd-sized and very large bricks still to be seen. We do not know in what year Williamsburg ceased to be the county seat. We presume it was named for Sampson Williams, first County Court Clerk of Smith County, who lived nearby. The session we are now beginning to report was held at Fort Blount beginning on Monday, June 15, 1801. The items in quotation marks are direct quotations from the records of the Court.
“Fort Blount, Monday, June 15, 1801. Court met according to adjournment. Members present: James Hibbetts, James Gwin and Charles Hudspeth; Esquires.” Here we see the Court starting with only three of the members present. James Hibbetts lived not many miles south of Lafayette. We do not know where James Gwin lived, but Charles Hudspeth lived somewhere in the present Jackson or Clay County.
“Ordered that Joseph Lock be allowed to keep a ferry at the mouth of Roaring River on the Cumberland and that he be rated agreeable to rates of Smith County.” We do not know who Joseph Lock was, but we do know where the mouth of Roaring Rive is. It is just above the present big bridge over the Cumberland near Gainesboro. This little river is perhaps about 40 miles long and empties into the Cumberland as the first stream on the South side above the present Gainesboro. Latter items in the old records may give us more information about Joseph Lock.
“Ordered that Andrew Greer be allowed letters of Administration to administer on the estate of John Burke, deceased, who entered into bond and security according to law.” So reads the next item. Members of the Geer family lived in 1801 near the mouth of the present Middle Fork of Goose Creek, about five miles northeast of the present Hartsville. We have no information whatever as to John Burke nor do we know anything of his family or place of residence or death. Perhaps we may find later an inventory of the property owned by this man at his death.
“The following Gentlemen were selected and sworn as a Grand Jury (to wit) James Roberts, foreman; Jacob Bowerman, Henry McKinney, William Marchbanks, George Ashbrooks, Thomas Draper, William Holliday, Isaac Green, Edward Pate, Esom Graves, George Leeper, Charles McClennon, Benjamin Holliday.” Here we have the names of 13 men who were among the leading citizens of Smith County a century and a half ago. We have no information as to James Roberts. Jacob Bowerman lived on the present Jennings’ Creek. We have no information as to Henry McKinney, William Marchbanks or George Ashbrooks. Thomas Draper is believed to have been another early Jennings’ Creek settler. William and Benjamin Holliday are presumed to have been brothers, and were very likely the ancestors of the few remaining members of the Holliday family left in Smith County. We note that the name is now spelled Holladay. Isaac Green is another of whom we have, we believe, some information that has never been published. We find in our old records the name of Isaac Green, who married a Hendrix. Isaac Green came from Virginia about 1800 to a cave on the present Langford Branch near the present Defeated, Tennessee, and spent a brief time in the cave until he could build a pioneer dwelling house. How long he remained on the present Langford Branch is not known. Here his son, Robert Green, was born in 1802. Other children of Isaac Green were: William, Nancy, married a Ballard; Ela, married a Bruce; and Betsy, who married Len Jones, a brother of the Uncle Tom Jones that died at Willette a number of years ago at the age of almost 100 years.
Robert Green, born in 1802 and died May 22, 1871, married first an Evans. His second wife was a Sanderson. Robert’s children were: William, married a Russell; Bailey, married a Huddleston; John, died young; James, married Nancy Smith, a daughter of Abraham (Abel) Smith, and a sister of Elder E. L. smith, former Baptist minister of Pleasant Shade; Fannie, married a Knight; Letha, married a Powell; Lucinda, married later the same Powell; Rachel, Martha, Nicie, married Levi Smith, a brother of Luther and Nancy Smith; Elizabeth, died young, and Isaac and Henderson, twins who died young.
William Green, brother of Robert Green, had a son, James Green; and a daughter, Sallie. We have no information as to the children of Nancy, Ela or Betsy.
William Green, who married a Russell, was the father of: Larkin, who died without issue; Bailey, married first an Eckles, and then an Eckles, and had sons, Granville and Bill Green; Add, married a Davis; Nancy Ann, married an Eckles, a cousin of the two above mentioned; James, supposed to have married a Holland; John, married a Woods; and Tempie Ann, married her cousin, George Green. This James Green had a son, Arliss Green. Tempie Ann was the mother of Arthie, married a Halliburton; Clarence, married a Duke; Eunice, married a Kemp; and Clebie.
Bailey Green and his wife, the former Miss Huddleston, were the parents of: William Green, married a Hewitt, and was the father of: Newt, Lula, Alvin and Annie Green; John Green, married a Brannon, and left Tennessee; Letha Green, married a West and became the mother of: Deltha and Daily West; George, already given above as the husband of his cousin, Tempie Ann; Peyton Green, died young; Claiborne Green, married a Williams and became the father of: Henry, Mack, Ossie, Leslie and Robert Green; Nora Green, married a Sircy and removed to Missouri; Charles Green, died young; Albert Green, married a Patterson and became the father of Mecie and Hubert Green; Weldon Green, married a Brooks; and Emily, who married a Williams and became the mother of a son, Hugh Williams.
James Green, a son of Robert, married Nancy Smith, and was the father of: Robert, died young; Mary, married Marion Langford; Ridley Green, married first a Reece and later a Donoho; Isaac Green, married first a Huddleston and later a McBride, and went to Missouri; John Green, married a Wakefield; Harvey E. Green, married a Goad, and later a Law; Lon Green, married a Nixon and Later a Halliburton; Frances, married a Kemp; and Newton Green, married a Sampson. Part of these are still living and we will not give their offspring, a list of all of them not being available to the writer at this time.
This rather lengthy account of the Green family is given here for the benefit of its present members and those related to the Green family.
We resume our record of the meeting of the Court. The next person mentioned in the old records after Isaac Green, was Edward Pate. We are still in the dark as to the relationship between John, Edward and Willeroy Pate and will have to be content until more information is available. Esom Graves is supposed to have resided on Jennings’ Creek.
George Leeper is supposed to have been a relative of the Leeper family, early Davidson County settlers.
Charles McClennon has been previously referred to as most probably Charles McClellan, as the name is spelled in various ways in the old records.
“Ordered that Benjamin Price be appointed to attend the Grand Jury, who was sworn accordingly.” We know nothing of Benjamin Price, except that the name is quite familiar and that many Prices have lived in Smith County in the years gone by.
“Deed, 640 acres, Edward Leech to Elijah Evins, proven by the oath of Thomas Summers, one of the subscribing witnesses thereto, and ordered to be registered.” So far as we know there is not at this time a member of the Leech family living in Smith County. We met a man named Leach once, but he was from Iowa. Elijah Evins is another “unknown,” so far as Cal’s information goes, and so is Thomas Summers.
“Deed, 157 acres, John Williamson to John Sedgley proven by the oath of Willis Whitefield, one of the subscribing witnesses thereto, and ordered to be registered.” John Williamson might have been the ancestor of the Williamsons of this county, but the Sedgley family is entirely unknown to the writer. We do not recall having ever seen the name before we found it in the old records. The Whitefield family formerly lived in the vicinity of Rome and perhaps some of the members are still there. There is no record of where either the 640 acre tract or the 157 acre farm was located.”
“Deed, 200 acres, William Sullivan, Sr., to William Sullivan, Jr., proven by the oath of James Sullivan, one of the subscribing witnesses thereto, and ordered to be registered.” We presume these members of the Sullivan family lived in the Sullivan’s Bend section, which lies northeast of the present Elmwood. But we would like to know what connection, if any, there is between the Sullivans of the above group and the Sullivans of Macon County. If any reader can furnish this information, we shall be grateful.
“William Hammond’s stock mark, two swallow forks, ordered to be recorded.” William Hammond is another “unknown,” so far as our limited knowledge goes. We once knew a family of this name on Hogan’s Creek near Carthage, but we do not know if the William Hammond above was their ancestor.
“Deed, 320 acres, Richard and Thomas Harmond to William Holliday, proven by the oath of Willeroy Pate, one of the subscribing witnesses thereto, and ordered to be registered.” We presume that Richard and Thomas Harmond were brothers. Comment has already been offered on William Holliday, as well as Willeroy Pate. We recall Thomas Harmond as being an early member of the Court, but have not theleast idea as to where he lived. There are no Harmonds left in Smith County.
“Willeroy Pate’s stock mark, a crop and upper bit of each ear, ordered to be recorded,” no comment.
“William Holliday’s stock mark, an underbit and a slit in each ear, ordered to be recorded,” no comment.
“Benjamin Seawell, Esquire, resigned his appointment as County Solicitor. Ordered to be recorded. Ordered that Jesse Wharton, Esquire, be appointed County Solicitor pro tempore for Smith County.” Seawell was an early attorney, and we presume the name would now be spelled Sewell. Jesse Wharton was another attorney of the long ago. No member of the family of Wharton is known to live in the present Smith County.
“Court adjourned until tomorrow nine o’clock.” Thus closes the work of the Court on that June day almost exactly 150 years ago, these lines being written on Tuesday, June 12, 1951.