Transcribed† by† Mary Knight
May 3, 1951 - Reprinted March 23, 1978
* CALíS COLUMN *
††††††† We are resuming the publication of the old records of the County Court of Smith County.† The last previous court had been held at Fort Blount in the present Jackson County.† The order of the Court was that one session would be held at Fort Blount and the next at the home of Tilman Dixon at Dixon Springs.† The old Dixon home is still standing and is in a good state of preservation after standing more than 150 years. The record opens as follows.
††††††† WEDNESDAY,† MARCH 14, 1801.
†††††† "Court met according to adjournment.† Members present: William Walton, Tilman Dixon, Moses Fisk, James Hibbetts and Peter Turney, Esquires."† Walton lived where the present Carthage stands.† Moses Fisk resided up the river above Carthage.† James Hibbetts lived on the present Carter Branch of Goose Creek, not far from Lafayette.† Peter Turney lived on the present Bud Garrett farm, about two miles above Dixon Springs on the present Young Branch.
††††††† "Ordered that John Martin Esquire, be allowed $80 for his ex-office services as Sheriff for 1800."† This was indeed a small salary for a Sheriff.† But $80 would buy at that distant day and time 200 acres of fine land, even heavily timbered areas with fine poplar, oak, hickory, ash and other timber that abounded in Middle Tennessee a century and a half ago.† We do not know who John Martin was, but presume that he was most likely a relative of the pioneer settler, William Martin, who was born in Virginia, and later settled on Dixon's Creek.† We have no record of John Martin's descendants.
††††††† "Ordered that Joseph Russell be appointed Constable, who gave security and qualified according to law."† We wonder who Joseph Russell was.† We have a fairly good record of a poineer settler† named Elam Russell, but Joseph is unknown to us.† If any reader can give us† any light on his ancestors or posterity. please write us Freely.
††††††† "Ordered that Anthony Samual be appointed overseer of the road where David Cochran was overseer, and that the same hands work under him that worked under the late overseer."† Our recollection is that David Cochran was overseer of the road leading form the vicinity of the present Riddleton to Dixon Springs, but we may be in error.† The expression, " The late overseer" we presume. does not mean that David Cochran had recently died, but that he was just the former overseer.
††††††† "Ordered that William Gregory, Joel Dyer, Sr., James Simpson, Henry Webster, John Patterson and William Jenkins be appoined as a jury to view, mark and lay off a road from Payne's Ferry at the mouth of Peyton's Creek to Daniel Witcher's by way of Michael Murphy's and that they report same to our ensuing Court."† Here we have an item that is peculiar interest to Cal.† The William Gregory mentioned as the first member of this Jury was a brother of our ancestor, Bry Gregory.† He was also the first of the family to leave Chatham County, North Carolina and to come to Tennessee.† He settled in the present Nixon Hollow, about three miles north of the present Monoville in the autumn of 1791.† Not long after William H. Gregory and his wife, the former Miss Martha Bledsoe, arrived on Peyton's Creek, other members of the Gregory family followed them, including Bry and his wife Elizabeth_______;† Mrs John Gregory, whose name before her marriage was Judy Morgan, and her son's, Jerry, Major, John and Little Bill, whose father John Gregory had died before the family left North Carolina.† John's son, Jeremiah or Jerry, married Barbara Rawls.† Their son, Major Gregory, Jr. was Cal's great-grandfather.† Major's son, Stephen Calvin Gregory, was the writer's grandfather and namesake.† Another early member of the Gregory family to come to Smith County was Obediah Gregory, daughter married a Langford and became the ancestor of a rather numberous offspring.
††††††† Joel Dyer, Sr. was another early settler on Peyton's Creek, on which stream he was given a permit in 1800 to build the first mill on that stream.† From the best information available, this mill was located just below the present Graveltown.† We have have no information about James Simpson or of Henry Webster.† Webster's name may have appeared prior to the above item, but we do not recall it.† John Patterson was supposedly a blacksmith on Goose Creek, but we could be in error on this point.† That there was a John Patterson, a blacksmith on Goose Creek, appears beyond controversy, but it is possible that this John Patterson was another man.
††††††† William Jenkins is presumed to have been the ancestor of Noah, Roderick and Jacob Jenkins.† William Jenkins married Nancy ______, and it is presumed that he settled in the vicinity of the present Russell Hill.† William Jenkins died in 1807 and the record of the sale of his property has already been given in this column.† The writer's present wife is the daughter of William Jenkins, son of George Jenkins, son of Jimmie Jenkins, son of Noah Jenkins, above mentioned.† Practically all the Jenkins family living in Macon, Smith and Jackson Counties are descendants of William Jenkins.
††††††† The road to be viewed, marked and laid out was to lead from the mouth of Peyton's Creek about two miles south of the present Riddleton.† Whether the road came by way of Monoville or whether it crossed the hill by the present George Earps property is not known.† But the writer presumes the road came up Peyton's Creek by way of Monoville, thence to the present Graveltown, thence to the present Pleasant Shade at which place Michael Murphy lived and in whose home one session of Court was held in the year 1800.† This road led up the high steep point just above the old Lon Jenkins home, thence by way of Russell Hill to Red Boiling Springs, at which place Tandy Witcher lived a century and a half ago.
††††††† This was, as far as we know, the very first road leading up the present Peyton's Creek, which took its name from Ephraim and John Peyton, who were members of a party searching for a band of Indians who had stolen some horses in the present Robertson County and who had been trailed to Peyton's Creek.† This band of Indians was surprised, part of the number killed in the skirmish and the remainder fled in disorder and left the white men with the horses which had been stolen, we believe, about the present Cross Lanes.† Just where the Indians were overcome on Peyton's Creek we do not know, but we wish the location could be pointed out and kept in memory.† Peyton's Creek was the name of the stream on which our ancestors lived for many years after coming to Tennessee.† Our own father, Thomas Morgan Gregory (Dopher), was born January 4, 1862 on the same stream.† Although many members of the family have moved away, quite a lot of Gregory's are still to be found on the waters of Peyton's Creek which rised a few miles southeast of Lafayette, and runs southward into the Cumberland River, a distance of about 20 miles.
††††††† "Ordered that Elisha Oglesby, Richard Brittain, Jeremiah Taylor, Andrew Greer, Samuel Carothers, Daniel Mungle, Owen Sullivan and William Denny be appointed to view, mark and lay off a road, agreeable to law, from Samuel Carothers up the Middle Fork of Goose Creek, thence to the Ridge, and then to Long Creek and thence to Puncheon Camp and to the Kentucky Line."† Here is another item of more than ordinary interest.† This denotes that Samuel Carothers lived somewhere about the junction of the two parts of Big Goose Creek, the east part known as East Fork of Goose Creek, leading through the present village of Hillsdale; and the Middle Fork of Goose Creek, leading through the Pleasant Valley section.† The two streams join just above the present J. A. Linville blacksmith shop, some five miles northeast of Hartsville.††
††††††† Not far up Middle Fork from its mouth or the place where it empties into East Fork, there is still a place known as the Greer Knob, supposed to have originally been owned by the Andrew Greer above mentioned.† The oldest Oglesby place of which we have any knowledge is further up Middle Fork.† Richard Brittain, we believe, lived at or near the present Meadorville, but this is only a conjecture.† Jeremiah Taylor may have been the man for whom the Taylor Branch, just above the present Hillsdale, was named but this is only some more of Cal's surmising.† Since the new road was to lead from the home of Samuel Carothers or Caruthers, he must have lived not far from the juncture of Middle and East Forks of Goose Creek. Daniel Mungel lived not far from the same juncture. In fact the old Mungle farm's boundaries are marked off with large corner stones and designate the corners of a tract of 640 acres.† At least part of the corner markers are still to be seen.
††††††† We come next to Owne Sullivan.† Just where he lived, whose son he was or who any of his descendants were or are, we do not know.† Whether he was related to the Sullivan family of Sullivan's Bend of Cumberland River, not far from Elmwood; or whether he was related to Jimmie and Will Hall Sullivan of Lafayette, we do not know.† Any information that any reader may give us on this point will be appreciated.† William Denny is another "unknown" to the writer.
††††††† The road that these men were to "view, mark and lay off, " is generally pretty well known even at this time.† It was to run from the mouth of Middle Fork, up that stream which would have led by the present Pleasant Valley Methodist Church, thence by Horsley's school house, and thence by Cedar Bluff Baptist church and on to the Ridge at the gap, which is about six miles west of Lafayette.† Then the road was to lead down Long Creek.† Leaving that stream, it was to cross the ridge to the east of Long Creek, and thence down Puncheon Creek to the place known as Puncheon Camp.† Here there was once a strong Baptist church, but now only a house and cemetery are left, with perhaps a few widely scattered members.† It was located only a short distance from the Kentucky-Tennessee line.
††††††† Again we resume the narrative.† "On motion John Hamilton and Jesse Wharton, Esquires, to tax the plaintiff with all the costs of the suit, Frederick Debow against John Vance;† on an appeal from the Judgement of a single Justice, except the cost tht accrued before said Justice.† And upon solemn argument the Court determined that the Plaintiff should pay all the costs that accrued on said appeal; an Execution awarded accordingly."
††††††† We "presume again."† Our supposition is that Frederick DeBow lived at the present Wakefield Oglesby place, just back of the home of J. A. Linville.† Here there is a very old cemetery in which the DeBows are buried.† We have some knowledge of the farm and know that the DeBow family owned it long, long ago.† We have no "light" on James Vance. Just what was involved in the lawsuit is not set forth, except that DeBow has taken and appeal from the judgment of a "single Justice."† We were slightly amused at the exprssion, "Upon solemn argument."
††††††† "Ordered that Peter Turney, Esquire, and John Mungle and John Brevard be appointed Comissioners to settle with the administrators of the estate of Kain Acuff, deceased; and that they return such settlement to our ensuing Court, together with vouchers they may receive."† We know quite a few things about Peter Turney, but our knowledge of John Mungle is "nil."† Whether he was the son of Daniel Mungle, or his borther, or just what their relationship was, we do not know.† John Brevard has already given "consideration" in thsese writings about the long ago.† He lived, it will be recalled, just below the present Hillsdale where the old family cemetery is still to be seen.† Kain Acuff is another of whom we know absolutely nothing, except that he died.† Who his administrators were is not known.
††††††† "Ordered that John Furlong be allowed $ 7.50 for keeping a child left at his house by a woman whose name is unknown or place of abode, the child being about six weeks old; provided, he furnish said child with a 'sufficient of cloathing,' and keep it comfortably for three months."† Here we have a rather odd item.† Very few mothers ever abandoned their offsprings, but the Scripture says "she may."† Who Furlong was, we do not know.† He is a "newcomer" to these records.† Who the child was or whether it was a boy or a girl is not revealed.† Whatever became of the child is likewise not revealed.† Then $ 7. 50 was a very small amount for three months' care of a new born infant.† A "sufficent of cloathing and keep it comfortably" is a rather odd expression, but we do not mean to be critical.† We recognize the fact that even a fifth grade education was hardly obtainable in the Middle Tennessee settlements in 1801.
††††††† "De-Po- for the Plaintiff in the suit, William Kelton vs. Terrisha† Turner, to take depositions for Robert Kelton in North Carolina.† Thirty days' notice."† We do not understand the opening part of the above item.† Evidently the Court was making arrangements for the deposition of Robert Kelton, who apparently was a resident of North Carolina. †William Kelton was an early resident of Jennings Creek.† We do not know who Terrsiha †Turner was.† The time allowed for taking the deposition evidently was 30 days.
††††††† "Ordered that the Court ajourn until tomorrow, nine o'clock.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (to be continued).