May 3, 1951


This Article Appeared In The Times

But Was Not Actually In Cal’s Column


Transcribed by Janette West Grimes


Dixon Springs - Cedar Bluff Recollections



By Abe Caruthers


   Howard Young lived northeast of Dixon Springs on a fine farm on which stood a colonial brick residence, an affluent, influential citizen of civic pride. He had two children, Sam M. Young and Fanny. Sam, like his father, was a fine character and a civic leader in the community. He represented Smith County in the State Legislature several times. Fanny married Will Jordan and lived at Carthage.


   Cas Alexander lived on a hill overlooking Dixon Springs. He was a citizen of  considerable wealth for that era, and was influential in public and civic matters. He had one child, Kate. I think she married a Beasley first; and, after his death, a Dalton and lived in Carthage. I think  she died about a year ago.


   Dr. James Alexander owned and lived on a farm on Cumberland River adjoining Dixon Springs. He was a typical Southern gentleman of the Old South. He had three sons, and several daughters. One son was Dr. James Alexander, who practiced medicine in Kansas for a time and later in Hartsville. He died there a few years ago. Another son was Donoho Alexander who conducted a mercantile business at Dixon Springs. Charlie lived on the farm. He married an Ellis. All the daughters were cultured and beautiful women. I think Cynthia married a Prof. Clark, Clara, married Sam Ancerson, and lived in Lebanon; Nannie, married Ed Denny; and, after his death, she married Walter Denny, who was a brother of Ed Denny.


   John Wright lived on the pike on the road leading to Carthage, some distance east of Dixon Springs. Rom Wright owned a farm adjoining Dr. Alexander on Cumberland River at Wright's Landing , where the river pockets received and discharged their cargoes for Dixon Springs adn that vicinity. He had one son, David, who married Minnie Harrin of Hartsville. I think they lived at Franklin, Tenn.


   Wilson Jenkins, whose wife was a Wright, lived on a farm adjoining. She first married a Ward, by whom she had one son, Lewis Ward, who lived at Hartsville. Wilson Jenkins and his wife had three children, Fanny and Mary and Jack Jenkins. Fanny, married Alex Allen; Mary, married a Chenault, and lived in Sumner County, near Castalian Springs; Jack Allen lived in Sumner County.


    Moscow, Joe and a sister lived on an adjoining farm which at one time was the home of Grant Allen. But when and from whom the Wrights acquired this land, I am not informed. Moscow Wright moved to Hartsville and engaged in the banking business. He had two sons, Russell and Ross who live at Hartsville. Russell is now an attorney.


   On the pike, as the old highway used to be called, west of Dixon Springs, lived George Allen. He had three children, Alex, Rip and Mary Allen. Mary married an Army officer and lived in Louisville, Ky. Alex married Fanny Jenkins, as above set out. Rip, who in 1998 went to Alaska in the Klondike Gold Rush, was lost in a flood while on an expedition to a newly discovered gold strike.


   Major Burford lived in a farm on the pike adjoining. He had two children, Bob, who went to Ocala, Florida, and was a prominent politician at that time; and Nannie, who married Dr. Sam C. Bridgewater, a Dixon Springs physician for many years. [ Editor's note. Dr. Bridgewater attended Cal's mother, when he arrived in the world on July 1891, and was the family physician of the Gregorys for many years.]


   My father, W. A. Caruthers, and mother, Fanny Taylor [McCall] Caruthers, owned and lived on a farm adjoining the Moscow Wright farm on Cumberland River, opposite Cedar Bluff. Opposite our farm and across the river lived Willis and Miss Betsy Turner, a bachelor and maiden sister, most excellent people and neighbors. John Burton lived on an adjoining farm.


   James and Mary Lyles Nollner lived on a 90-acre farm acquired from my grandfather, Dr. John A. McCall. Nollner acquired this land as compensation for clearing a tract of 200 acres of land adjoining. Mr. Nollner was an overseer for my grandfather before the Civil War. He was a man of high ideals and personal integrity. He had a family of six children, Bole, William, John, Eliza, Kate and Maria. William married a Carman, and had three sons who live in Carthage, all, like their grandfather and their father, outstanding and exemplary citizens. Eliza married Clay Yales and went to Fulton, Kentucky, to reside. Kate married Hickey Stanford and lived near Hartsville. Maria married Jim Stone. They had two children, Lisa and Nollner Stone. Nollner was the "Stien" Stone, one of Vanderbilt University's most illustrious football stars about the year 1904.


   Mrs. Amanda Puryear, a most excellent lady, owned the next farm. She had three children, G. A., Button and a daughter. G. A. [Dall] moved to Nashville and established and owned the Nashville Tobacco Works.


   Adjoining our home to the north and leading to the Carthage-Hartsville Pike were the Corleys and the Yates. W. Y. Yates lived in a rock house on the Pike. This house was built in North Carolina; that is, Middle Tennessee was a part of North Carolina when the house was built. This house at one time belonged to a Donoho, the father of Dr. A. G. Donoho, a leading physician of Hartsville for many years. When Yates acquired the farm I am not informed. Mr. Yates had a family of 12 children, 11 sons and one daughter. The rocky, hillside farm did not offer enough renumeration and outlet for the energy of the 11 young Americans. So Yates concluded that the spacious developing prairies of Texas was the place for these boys. So he sold the farm to W. G. Hankins and emigrated to the Lone Star State where the family made good in every respect.


   The above items represent the state of affairs in the section described, between 1870 and 1880, and it was a wonderful community of good neighbors. In this environment four brothers, to live during our adolescent and developing years. My advent on terra firma November 27, 1868, found few of the modern wonders extant today. I have seen created and put to use the myriad of magic things this age commands.


   On leaving the Rock House on the South side of the Pike lived the Shrums. One of the amusing memories is that of Mr. Shrum's hauling watermelons on a ground sled or slide as it was then called, using a small donkey as motive power to make the trip to Hartsville on Saturdays.


   Next lived Fayette and Martha Andrews, bachelor and spinster brother and sister. They reared two orphaned nephews, Sam and Will Tinsley.


   On Big Goose Creek was a bridge and Madden Grist Mill, Anthony Bursley, colored, was the miller. In those days the grinding of wheat and corn at this mill was the only source of flour and meal. A summer rain that furnished enough water to raise Big Goose Creek to the stage to start the mill turbine brought every household with a representative, some with wagons, others on horseback or muleback, with turns of wheat or corn to be ground.


   Next lived George Miller, who had three children, Jim, John and Martha. Jim was a lawyer and practiced at Hartsville. John went to Cincinnati, and Martha was a teacher, and later went to Utah.


   Next lived James DeBow, who had two children, Lizzie and Mary. Lizzie married Ed McMillan. Mary never married.


   Next lived Loeve Barksdale, who married Cassie Winston, and moved to Louisville.


   Next was a tract of land owned by a Townsend. Next was a place owned by Doll Andrews, colored. Next was a colored church. Next a colored man named Reuben Brannan. Then next was the old Gifford place, purchased and owned by J. Monroe Gleaves, former Sheriff of Trousdale County. This takes one to Hartsville on the south side of the Pike. On the right of the Pike going west was the Mungle's Gap section, with which I was not very familiar. The Stalcup farm was next. The Stalcup home was located some distance back from the Pike and at one side of the entrance to the Stalcup home, was the family burial ground. Dr. A. G. Donoho, then a young "scion," lived at the Rock House and would journey horseback to Hartsville of an evening. On one moonlight night in the wee hours, he was returning home. When he reached the Stalcup place, there were apparitions in the graveyard, a bevy of white objects that young Donoho identified as ghosts. Applying whip and spur to his steed, he made for the Rock House. When quite a distance from the supposed ghosts, his sober judgement and curiosity induced him to return for another peep. When he cautiously approached the Stalcup Cemetery, he discovered that the supposed ghosts were Stalcup sheep browsing about among the tombstones that marked the resting place of the Stalcup dead.


   Then the John and Sam Andrews farm was next on Big Goose Creek. Then there was a farm on the same stream that was purchased by Dick Love, who lived on the farm. Then Captain H. C. Ellis, who lived in Hartsville, owned a tract of land. James Johnson purchased land and built a home and lived there until about 1900, when he went to California. Next was the John C. Hutchins place where Col. W. J. Hale, who married a Hutchins, lived. This takes one to Hartsville.


   About a mile east of Hartsville and turning off to the north was the road leading to Hillsdale, Lafayette and Red Boiling Springs. Red Boiling Springs at that day and time was largely owned by a man named McGar. There were no hotels then at Red Boiling Springs, just cabins. To reach the Springs a stagecoach brought one to Hartsville, thence a hack took the traveler to Lafayette, practically a half day's journey.


   On the road to Hillsdale lived the Winstons, Stubblefields, Highs, Burnleys and Maddens. Burnley's Grist Mill was on Big Goose Creek in this section.


   Jack Madden, a bachelor, owned the Madden Mill referred to earlier in this narrative. He also owned a fine farm. He reared an orphan girl named Susie Bradley, who married Randolph Langford. They had three children, Madden, Mary and another daughter, who married Elmo Hale. Madden married a DeBow and Mary lived in Hartsville.


   Jack Madden was a great fox hunter and kept a flock of 20 or 25 hounds. The Tennessee Legislature enacted a law requiring a tax of $5.00 to be collected off each dog that a citizen might own. Madden resented this and swore that he would never pay the tax. So he assembled his hounds at his smokehouse door and lashed them to a tree, and had an attendant bring forth smoked bacon which he sliced and fed his hounds until their voracious appetites were thoroughly satisfied. Then he dispatched the entire flock with loads of buckshot.


   In these days farmers of Trousdale County sent four-mule teams in the fall of the year to Macon County to bring thousands of fence rails of chestnut to be used on their farms. After a killing frost, the roads and grounds in the chestnut country were covered with delicious nuts, which are now only a memory. We youngsters would accompany the wagons. While the drivers were busy collecting rails we would gather chestnuts, returning home at times with bushels of the chestnuts. Along the roads, on the rail fences and in the trees were thousands of squirrels migrating from the river bottoms to the  * lands where the chestnut trees grew.


   In those days one could spend a Saturday or first Monday at the county seat, or a day at a neighboring grist mill, when a summer rain brought out the population with wheat or corn for converting to flour or meal, and a world of worth-while philosophy and humor. Of the latter I offer one sample-- A Mr. Lea* reporting all his sheep killed but three, was asked how many he had before the raid by dogs. His reply was, "Four."


                                                                       Your friend,

                                                                        Abe Caruthers


   [ Editor's note. If readers enjoy these old accounts, let us know and we believe we can persuade the writer to let us have other articles of the long ago.]


Transcriber Note: * These words were cut off on the microfilm unreadable….