Transcribed by Rae Wayne
This Article Appeared In The Times
But Was Not Actually In Cal’s Column
March 30, 1950
Additional Information relative to the Cornwell family has come to hand. Below are some facts sent to us for publication. We are sorry for any errors, but we are also glad to correct same.
A letter from Tommie Russell, of 1821 Bosse Ave., Evansville, Ind., tells us the following relative to the Cornwell family: He says that the editor left out the names of two of Barnett Cornwell’s sisters; Amanda and Matilda. Amanda married a Williams and became the mother of: George, Wesley, Susan, Belle and one other whose name is not recalled. Matilda married first a Parkhurst, and became the mother of: Andrew, Silas, Sarah Jane and Billie Parkhurst. Silas was considered the best blacksmith the Walnut Shade section had. Later Matilda married Silas Russell, their children being Arie, Groner, Tommie and Seay. Groner is now in a paralyzed condition in his home and has been in this condition for four years. Tommie, the writer of the letter above mentioned, was born in the Walnut Shade section of this county and has spent most of his life in Tennessee. However, three years ago he went to Evansville for an operation and had one leg amputated. He has been in Evansville with his daughter, Mrs. Alex Greenfield, for the past two years. Mr. Russell states that he would be glad to have letters from any person caring to write to him. We thank him for the additional information received from him relative to the Cornwell family.
Miss Mae Cornwell, daughter of the late Steve Cornwell, formerly of near Lafayette, states that she may be able to obtain additional information from her uncle Clay Cornwell’s descendants who reside in Texas. We shall be glad to have any information from Texas members of the family.
Below is another letter giving some additional data. It is largely self-explanatory and the editor is taking the liberty of publishing same. It is as follows: Westmoreland, Tenn., March 17, 1950. Dear Sir: I was very pleased to read in your paper about the Cornwell family on my mother’s side, and will tell what I know about them, beginning with my great-grandfather, Francis Cornwell, son of Charlie and Millie Cornwell. He came from Smith County to Macon County. He was a teacher in his early manhood. He married Elizabeth Hanes, this marriage being blest with the following children: Tom, Steven, Ben S., Adeline, Becky, Jane and Charlie, the last two dying in infancy or early life. Francis married a second time, but I do not know whom he married, but no children were born to them. His third marriage was to a Swann. The following children were born to them: Louis, Clay, Helen Zura. Tom married Elizabeth Spears, and became the father of: Lon, who went to Texas to teach school, married Carrie Ray and became the father of B. L., Jesse, Josie, Ray and one other child whose name I do not know; Nan, married a Simons and became the mother of nine children; Ada, married a Jent and became the mother of six children; Mary Alice married a Dotson and she had ten children, two girls and eight boys—Lula and Josie; Lon and Walter, both doctors; Herbert and Hubert, twins; Jeff, Will, Paul and Dolphus. Dolphus and Josie died when they were small. Buddy, the youngest of the five children of Lon, died when young, Lillie married Jess Freeman; and Mae married Harlan Law and had two boys and a girl.
Tom Cornwell’s fourth marriage was to a Pritchard. They had no children. He died at the age of 84 years.
Adeline, one of Francis Cornwell’s daughters by his first marriage, married a Payne and became the mother of three sons and three daughters. Becky married Bob Hickman and was the mother of three children.
Steven married a Hanes and had seven children; Ben S., was killed in the Civil War.
I do not know much about the children of the third marriage of Francis Cornwell. Helen married a Hanes, Clay had six children, four boys and two girls. Louis and Zura died when about grown.
Francis Cornwell’s sister, known as Polly, married Jim Sutton. They moved to a new place and it was so bad they could not have meeting at night. The men would try to run over the worshippers with their horses and also carried on a lot of shooting. So Jim Sutton told them that he would attend to them and he did. He was a strong man and was not afraid. So people went to meeting that night and the bad men and boys started to run over the worshippers. Jim told everybody to get out of the way. He took a pole, gave it a few side swipes and none was left to run over anyone. So that ended the carrying on. The worshippers could have meeting and not be disturbed.
A long time ago when Francis Cornwell was living, people would come from miles around to Shiloh on West Fork and have a camp meeting. The families would come, some in ox wagons and bring their eatables and stay for a month. I have heard my grandfather, Tom Cornwell, tell about the camp meeting, and about the people having the jerks. By Lula Dotson or Mrs. George W. Jent.
We have another letter, this being from E. R. Cornwell, son of Steven Cornwell. It is as follows: Akron 4, Ohio, March 13, 1950. Editor Macon County Times, Dear Editor: I want to thank you for printing the history of the Cornwell family. I remember hearing my father, S. F. Cornwell, speak of many of these people. I believe the blacksmith you mentioned was the same one my father told the following about: About half a mile from the blacksmith’s shop was an old, two-story house. One day a man came into the blacksmith shop and said as he had passed this old house, he had heard women screaming and children crying. He was very excited and declared the old house was haunted. The blacksmith didn’t believe in “haunts,” so he paid little attention to the story. However, several others came by saying they, too, had heard women screaming and children crying when they passed the old house. Finally one man, known to be truthful, came in with the same story. The blacksmith laid aside his hammer, took off his apron and started toward the house to investigate. When he got there the front door was open so he walked in. At first he heard and saw nothing. Then he heard a noise from upstairs, so he went to the door leading to the stairway. He opened it and a dead goat rolled out. He went on up the stairs and found a whole flock of goats. They had wandered into the house and up the stairs though the open door which had been blown shut after them. They were dying from lack of food and water. The blacksmith found the “ghosts” to be “goats.”
In the history you also told about my father’s sister, Adeline, who married Dan Payne and went to Texas. I remember Aunt Adeline telling about how they started west in an ox wagon. After they had traveled about as far as Texas, she began to beg Dan to stop; but he wanted to go on further. One night they camped in a small village. The next morning they awoke to find one of the oxen dead. Aunt Adeline was happy as she knew that now they would have to stop. Dan homesteaded a 160-acre tract of land. Aunt Adeline began to keep boarders. When she died she had one of the largest hotels in that “village” which was Fort Worth, Texas.