November 29, 1956


Transcribed by Timothy R. Meador, Jr.






      About 1809 William Smith left North Carolina, to come to Tennessee, traveling over the mountains and along trails and roads hewn out of the forests, in covered wagons. His family, consisting of his wife and nine children, came with the caravan. They were supposed to ride in the wagons, but the tradition goes that they walked by the wagons most of the way.  Randall said that his mother, a slender woman, carried him most of the way. Randall was two or three years old at the time of the migration; and his son, the Rev. Jesse Smith, says that his father was born in 1806, setting the date of their arrival around 1809.


      The caravan settled in Smith County, near Carthage, where they remained for some years.


      The Tennessee land records for Smith County show grants for William in 1835 for 50 acres on the waters of Dixon’s Creek and Peyton’s Creek, grant No. 13,297 and entry No. 1,444. No doubt this adjoined an earlier grant on Dixon’s Creek for 50 acres, grant No. 9,102; and entry No. 541, taken out in 1826. It seems the custom in those early years was for land to be settled and later granted, or reclaimed.  Other grants for his sons were: Jesse Smith, in 1824, 191 acres on the waters of Smith’s Fork Creek, grant No. 1,848; and entry No. 249; and in 1831 another tract of 50 acres on Smith’s Fork Creek, entry No. 1,235. Coleman Smith in 1838, took out six acres on the waters of Peyton’s Creek, grant No. 9,055 and entry No. 935. Archibald Smith bought 100 acres on the waters of Peyton’s Creek, grant No. 8,703 and entry No. 785, in the year 1828. Daniel Smith in 1835, bought 180 acres on the waters of Peyton’s Creek. (This may have been a brother to William or his son, James Daniel).  Another grant was made to Daniel Smith on the waters of Peyton’s Creek, containing 14 ¼ acres, grant No. 17,838 and entry No. 2,340.


      The children of William Smith and his wife, who was a Miss Morley or Worley or Marley, according to their grandson, Dr. Daniel Smith were:


1.Archibald Smith, in War of 1812, in New Orleans with Andrew Jackson. 2. James Daniel Smith, in War of 1812, in New Orleans with Andrew Jackson.


Editor’s Note. In Grime’s History of Middle Tennessee Baptists, page 382, we are informed that Daniel Smith was born in Chatham County, North Carolina, on Aug. 6, 1792; that he settled on Peyton’s Creek; that about three years later, he enlisted in the Army under Andrew Jackson, and was in the battle of New Orleans on Jan. 8, 1815, and that he returned shortly afterward to Smith County, Tenn., and resumed his occupation of farming. We wonder if this does not refer to one and the same person.


3. Betsy Burton. 4. Sally Davis. 5. Macon Smith. 6. Coleman Smith. 7. William Smith. 8. Jesse Smith. 9. Randall Smith (1806-1899. More of him later).


      Later William Smith (his granddaughter said that his name was William T. Smith), moved near Pleasant Shade, also in Smith County. Here they built a church, Mt. Tabor, the first Baptist church in that part of the country. Daniel Smith, brother of William T., was the first Baptist preacher in that section and later established a church that is now in Trousdale County.


      (Editors note. We believe that this is an error and that the church referred to is the present Union Baptist church, seven miles east of Lafayette. There is no church in the present Trousdale County that fits the above description.  However, Grime, in his History of Middle Tennessee Baptist on page 341 says: “Union church is an offspring of Liberty church, and was constituted with 13 members. They were most probably gathered through the ministry of Elder Daniel Smith.  They were constituted into an independent church May 29, 1852, by the following Presbytery, viz: Elders Daniel Smith, E. G. Cartwright, Levi A. Smithwick and Washington Glover, with Deacons A. Pipkin, T. M. Wallace, John Nixon and John Shoulders.  D. W. Smith, a son of Elder Daniel Smith, and who himself afterward became an eminent minister, was one of the constituent members. According to the best information we are able to gather, Elder Daniel Smith was the first pastor.  It should be stated that Elder Daniel Smith was pastor of Union church, which is in the present Macon County, in 1852 and 1853).


      We continue with the narrative.  Randall when grown, assisted his uncle (brother?) in meetings, being a gifted singer and poet, often composing his songs as he sang them. One of his songs accompanies this sketch.


      Randall Smith was born in North Carolina. He married Sarah Mitchell in Smith County possibly in 1828. A son of Randall’s, Dr. Daniel Smith, says his mother’s people were the only family of Mitchells that he knew anything about, and that they lived half way between Carthage and Dixon Springs, Tenn.  On the waters of Peyton’s Creek lived David, Allen and Robert Mitchell.  Their lands probably joined those of the Smiths, and Sarah was a daughter of one of these.


      (Editor’s note. The John Shoulders referred to above as one of the deacons who had a part in the formation of Union Baptist church is believed to have been a son of Malachi and Polly Gregory Shoulders.  He married a Miss Nash and became the father of nearly a dozen children.  He was commonly called Jack Shoulders, although his real name is known to have been John Shoulders. John Shoulders and first wife, the former Miss Catherine Nash, were born the same year, in 1806. In the census of 1850 we find the following members of his family listed: John Shoulders born in Tenn., and so was his wife; and the following children: Elizabeth, 19; Ensley, (“Bishop”), 18; Albert, 16; Thomas, 14; Mary A., 12; John 10: Martha S., five: Latitia, generally called in that day and time, “Tisha,” three; and Sally, two.  All of these sons and daughters had been born in Tennessee, as well as their parents).


      William T. Smith is buried, according to Dr. Daniel Smith, two or three miles from Dixon Springs on Dixon’s Creek. William Allen Smith, father of Howard A. Smith and Dr. John Randall Smith, now living in Lafayette and known to most of our readers, was a great-grandson of William T. Smith, said he had located the grave of his great-grandfather and that it is located on that part of Dixon’s Creek now called Scanty Branch, and on land that is near what is called the Dillehay or Massey place.


      (Editor’s note. I know where the Monroe Massey place is and there is an old cemetery there but we have not been able to verify the findings of the late Will Allen Smith. Also there is another farm known as the old Dillehay place in the head of the hollow above the present home of Jeff Oldham, about a mile from the Monroe Massey old home. There is also some indication that a Jesse Smith lived for many years higher up Scanty Branch at the place occupied in the years since the writer can remember, by Uriah Gillihan and before him by Jim Jabe Gregory and still earlier by George W. Bennett and family. If any reader of the paper can shed any light on this matter, your help will be appreciated).


      We return to the narrative we have access to. The next point therein is “Ramsey’s Annals mention William Smith, page 428.” (Editor’s note. We have made some search of Ramsey’s Annals of Tennessee and have been unable so far to find any mention of William Smith on the page mentioned. It appears in the index as on page 429, but we read both pages, 428 and 429 carefully and there is no mention of William Smith on either page.  However, further reading of this ancient history may reveal something of William Smith).


      We resume the Smith narrative. An account of Daniel, Randall’s uncle with whom he worked, is given in Borum’s Baptist ministers, page 577.  He is called Elder Daniel; it states that he was born in 1792 in Chatham County, North Carolina, coming to Tennessee in 1811. After his marriage Randall Smith moved to what is now Macon County and built a mill on Middle Salt Lick, two miles north of Red Boiling Springs. He was a farmer, preacher and millwright.  The children of Randall and Sarah Mitchell Smith were:


        1.Polly, born in 1826; William Allen Smith; born in 1828, Elizabeth Smith, born in 1831; Macon Smith, born in 1833; Sarah Ann Smith, born in 1835; Matilda Smith, born in 1837, married Charles Smith and moved to Arkansas; James Daniel Smith, born in 1839, became a doctor, moved to Benton, Ill.; Emaline Smith, born in 1840; John Smith born in 1842, and of whom more is to be written later; Lucinda Smith, 1846; Eliza Smith, 1848; Henry Smith, born in 1851, and later removed to Benton, Ill.; Jesse Thomas Smith, born in 1853, a preacher in Arkansas; children, Sarah, James and Betty. Sarah Mitchell Smith died in the spring of 1863 and was buried at Walnut Shade.


     In 1870 Randall moved westward, taking with him some of his younger children, the older ones having established homes of their own. In Arkansas he married Jemima Sneed and had four children: Miranda, George, Willis and Wiseman. He died in 1889, in the 84th year of his age and is buried in Fulton County, Arkansas, three miles northeast of Elizabeth, Ark.


      John Smith, son of Randall and Sarah Mitchell Smith, was born in 1842, in what is now Macon County, Tennessee. When the Civil War broke out the family was divided in their sympathies. Taking the advice of his father, John joined the Union Army.  He served throughout the war with a friend, Thomas Shepherd, only brother of Mary Elizabeth Shepherd.  He was honorably discharged from the Army Aug. 17, 1865; and he and Mary Elizabeth Shepherd were married in the fall.


    John and his brother, Daniel, studied medicine and became doctors, Daniel going to Benton, Illinois, and John practicing medicine in the territory around Red Boiling Springs.


    Mary Elizabeth S. Smith died June 19, 1907. John died Dec. 28, 1924. They are buried at Bethany, about four miles northwest of Red Boiling Springs.


    The children of John and Mary Elizabeth Smith were:


1.William Allen, of whom more will be given later. 2. Jesse Thomas Smith, physician, Gamaliel, Ky., still living.  3. John Rodman Smith, married Sarah Rhodes and lived for some time at Red Boiling Springs. Now dead and is buried at Bethany. 4. Florence Smith, died in infancy.  5. James Henry Smith, died in infancy.  6. Margaret Lolamontis Smith, married Hugh S. Jordan; died without issue.  7. Lucinda Pochahontas Smith, married Shade Chitwood, three sons having been born to them.  8. Hattie Elizabeth Smith, married E. H. York.  9. Randall Jefferson Smith, died in infancy.  10. Samuel Hugh Smith, lived at Red Boiling for a long time.  11. Adolphus Greeley Smith, went to Benton, Ill.  12. Jewel Smith, married Joe Henderson in Ark.


William Allen Smith, son of John and Mary Elizabeth Shepherd Smith, was born June 22, 1866.  He was educated at Belwood Academy and the Hartsville Masonic Institute, graduating in 1890.  He studied law for two years while teaching and was admitted to the bar in 1892. He served as expert accountant for Macon County for four years; as postmaster at Lafayette for ten years; as Prohibition Director for Middle Tennessee six years, during which he lived in Nashville, Tenn.  He moved back to Lafayette and resumed the practice of law and was again made president of the Citizens Bank of Lafayette.


In 1893 he married Eddie Lindsey Pledger in Lafayette. They had two children:


1. William Pledger Smith. 2. Jesse Aubrey Smith. He married Mrs. Virginia Milam Brittain of Nashville on June 25, 1919. They had two children:


1. Howard Allen Smith, who resides in Lafayette. 2. Dr. John Randall Smith, of Lafayette now connected with the Smith-Chitwood Hospital in Lafayette.


Next the writer of this column proposes to give some account of the early Smiths in Smith County. In the census of 1820 we find the following: Penelope Smith, evidently a widow at that time between 26 and 45 years of age. In her family there were 1 male under 10; two males between 10 and 16, one from 16 to 18; and two between 26 and 45.  Females: One under 10, one from 10 to 16; and one from 26 to 45, perhaps Penelope herself.


Alfred Smith was the head of another Smith family in Smith County in 1820. He had: Two males under 10, and he was between 18 and 26. Females, two from 16 to 26. Alfred owned no slaves in 1820.


The next Smith head of a family in Smith County in the year 1820 was Willie Smith. He had one male under 10 and was himself between 26 and 45. Females, two from 16 to 26 years of age.


Joseph Smith was the head of another family in Smith County in the year 1820. He had: Males, two from 18 to 26; one from 26 to 45; and one above 45 years, possibly Joseph himself. Females, two from 18 to 26; and one above 45, probably Mrs. Joseph Smith.


Malcolm Smith was another Smith head of a family in Smith County, Tennessee, in the year 1820. In his family were: Two males under 10, one male from 10 to 16; two males 18 to 26 and one above 45, believed to have been Malcolm. Malcolm Smith came to Middle Tennessee, from Chatham County, North Carolina, in the year 1807. He was an ordained Baptist minister and was the great-grandfather of Lum Smith, who is now 83 years of age and who lives at Pleasant Shade. There were four females in the family in 1820, one under 10, one from 10 to 16; one from 18 to 26; and one between (26*) to 45, possibly his wife.


The next Smith listed in Smith County as the head of a family 136 years ago was Robert Smith. He had: One male under 10, one from 18 to 26; and one between 26 and 45, possibly Robert himself. Females: One under 10, one from 16 to 26. We have no way of knowing if Robert was a widower in 1820.


Archibald Smith is next listed in the 1820 Smith families. We think that he was probably the same Archibald Smith listed above as the oldest son or child of William Smith. He had two males under 10, and himself, between 18 and 26. Females: one between 16 and 25.



* - Transcriber’s note. In the original text the number 26 was left out. However, the age range referred to would have been between 26 and 45.