Transcribed by Janette West Grimes


November 5, 1953 - Reprinted December 2, 1976






P. O. Box 150

Moscow, Idaho

October 23, 1953


Dear Brother Gregory,

Lafayette, Tenn.


†† The Times for October 15th is before me now, and I have finished your "Bucket of Molasses," which makes it easy for me to brush aside the lack of personal acquaintance and call you "Brother." I have a bit of edge on you, as I was born September 21, 1878, and may treat you like a former pupil in school, it the occasion arises. However, at the moment I want to thank you for the perfectly lovely testimony, borne regarding the nostalgia aroused by those molasses, and the gracious goodness of our Father in time of trouble.


†† Now about those Ballous and others. The letter you published is long out of date, as you will see by the letter you will have in hand by now I hope. I found out that the Immigrant Smith was one Peter Schmid who received a grant of land on August 23, 1758 on Crane Creek in Rowan County, N.C. He was a German Pietist, and left a large family among them a George Smith, Sr., who died in 1814, leaving , with several others, another George Smith, Jr., who married in 1792, Elizabeth Ribelin, and removed to Pulaski County, Ky., not yet organized out of Lincoln, but soon to be, built a homestead on the north bank of the Cumberland River, about three miles above the confluence of the South Fork, where Burnside is located. He conducted a ferry and eating house at the foot of the shoals that bear his name "Smith Shoals" and Smith Ferry."


†† Again may I say that I shall enjoy collaborating with you on the completion of the Ballou Genealogy. I wish some one would go right after that project and make it as complete as possible, at this late date. Much can be done even yet, if some one will try hard enough, may be that's you! Whatever I can do I will gladly do to help you, besides you have the means of publicity at your hand, and it is much easier to gather data when people can see what has been gathered and what is needed.


†† Thanks again for your testimony, I, too belong to the "Order of the Yoke" and hope ere long to hear Him say " Come, Ye Blessed." I see you have Masseys in Macon County. I want to write to the most likely to know about their family. Again wishing you the best of everything, I am,


Your brother,

Walter W. Smith


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ( Editor's note. I have the following on the Massey family):


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† THE MASSEY FAMILY


†† Below are a few items about the Massey family of north Middle Tennessee. However, it is only a meager part of the record of one the most numerous families in America. We wrote down the following perhaps 25 to 30 years ago: William Massey is the farthest back ancestor of this family now known among the descendants. He was born perhaps about 1775, in either Orange or in Chatham County, North Carolina, but his father's name is not known. However, it is said that William Massey's father was killed by a jack. William was reared an orphan, his mother marrying a second time to John Terry. The family lived, so far as the writer has been able to learn, at the old John Porter farm on top of the high, dividing ridge between Peyton's Creek and Dixon's Creek, about 12 miles southeast of Lafayette, in a straight course. When William came to Tennessee is not known, but he traveled by ox cart. He bought land in 1814 on Scanty Branch of Dixon's Creek, not far from where John Terry had lived. He had two children with him when he came to Tennessee. He is buried on the waters of Dixon's Creek.


†† He married Candace Edwards, daughter of a distiller. Candace's mother is thought to have been a Pendergrass. Their children were: Abijah P. Massey, married Judy Coker and moved to Missouri in 1860; Jemima, died as a child or young girl; Sallie Massey, married Tom J. Oldham, son of George and Celia Sutherland Oldham: Jane Massey, married William Oldham, a brother of Tom J. Oldham; Rebecca Massey, married John McKinnis, son of Alex and Delana Gregory McKinnis, Delana having been a daughter of Bry Gregory, one of our great-great-grandfathers; Nancy Massey, a deaf mute, who never married; Hugh Massey, married Polly Ann, daughter of John McDonald and his wife, Nancy Wilkerson McDonald, John having been the son of Randolph McDonald, first of this family to come to America, from Glasgow, Scotland; Will Massey, married Susan Halliburton; and Brice Massey, who married Lucinda Chitwood.


†† We have no information as to the offspring of Abijah Massey. Hugh Massey and his wife, the former Miss Polly Ann McDonald, were the parents of: Nancy Lee Massey, married William Halliburton, a brother of Susan Halliburton; Elizabeth and John William Massey, both died from diphtheria when very young; Margaret Massey, married John Williams; Hailey Massey, married Ella Tuck; and Timothy Massey, whose widow, the former Miss Coatney Tuck, a sister of Ella, died a few days ago at her home some distance east of Lafayette, and whose farm is advertised for sale in this issue of the Times.


†† The next Massey son of William was William, Jr., who married, as above set out, Susan Halliburton. They were the parents of: John W. Massey, married a Piper; W. P. Massey, never married; Clemency Massey, married Ben Hawkins Gregory, son of Tom Gregory, a half-brother of the writer's grandfather, Stephen Calvin Gregory, for whom we were named; Henry Massey, married Miss Marshall Duncan, our first teacher, to whom we started to school on August 9, 1898; and Monroe Massey, married a Miss Towns, daughter of Edmund Towns.


†† We have another Massey family in this section, that of Elder C. B. Massey, who was born June 16, 1867, and who is still able to preach and is even now engaged in a revival meeting at his church at Bowling Green, Ky. However, he is a resident of Pleasant Shade. He is the son of Lon Massey and his wife, Millie Jent. Lon was the son of Pleasant Massey and his wife, the former Miss Shaver. This Massey family was originally from Virginia.


†† There is still another Massey family, believed to have been related to the last-named group, located in the Forks of the River section of Smith County, Tenn. One of its members, H. T. Massey, for many years a rural carrier out of Elmwood, Tenn. He is still living. We are sorry that we have no information on this branch of the Massey family at hand, although we have quite a lot of information gleaned from the old records in the courts of Virginia.


†† Perhaps many of our readers have noticed the name of Louis Shoulders, the police lieutenant, who resigned lately over the turn of events in connection with the kidnap-murder of the little six-year-old Greenlease boy. Shoulders is the son of Pleamon Shoulders, who was born on the next farm eastward from that of our father, Thomas M. (Dopher) Gregory, about 80 years ago. Pleamon Shoulders was the son of Ensley Shoulders and his wife, Sarah Buie Shoulders. Ensley Shoulders was the son of John Shoulders, familiarly know as "Bushop" Shoulders, who first married a Nash, the mother of Ensley. After her death he married our own great-grandmother, Kate Boston Gregory, the mother of Stephen Calvin Gregory above referred to as being the man for whom the writer was named, as well as being one of our grandfathers.


†† Jack Shoulders, great-grandfather of Louis Shoulders, the resigned St. Louis police lieutenant, was the son of Malachi and Polly Gregory Shoulders, pioneer settlers in Smith County, Tenn. Polly was a sister of the Delana McKinnis above referred to, and another daughter of Bry Gregory. All the Shoulders family of Middle Tennessee and perhaps West Kentucky, are descendants of Malachi and Polly.


†† Our father's farm joined that of Ensley Shoulders in the years gone by. We knew the family very well, although we never saw Pleamon nor his son, Louis. However, when we saw his picture, we decided that Louis had many of the facial features of those Shoulders we have known through the years. Ensley Shoulders has one son, William Cass, still livinb and on the old farm of his father. He is one of the finest men in his section, honest and honorable and upright in his dealings with his fellowman. Cass, as we have always called him, is a few years older than the writer, who can recall having seen Cass as far back as 55 years ago.


†† We once lived in the same house that Malachi built for himself and his wife, Polly, and their numerous children. It was located in what is still called the "Cothern Hollow" of Nickojack Branch of Peyton's Creek, about two miles southwest of Pleasant Shade. Malachi built this house about 1820, and the writer lived in it the years 1915 and 1916 when we taught in that community, at Piper's school house. The old house was of heavy logs and was about 20 feet square, with a second story and a "winding" stairway leading to the upper floor. The kitchen, also of logs, sat about 40 feet further down the little valley. The chimney was of rough stones, largely unhewn and laid in place by the hands of Malachi himself. It was a rather "rough job," but it did the work of carrying away the smoke. Here we burned, in the two winters we spent there, enough wood to have made a small forest, so it seemed to the writer as he had to "get up wood" so frequently. The old house is now gone, but some of the chimney stones are still to be seen. Every son and daughter of Malachi and Polly, every grandson and granddaughter, and virtually every great-grandson and great-granddaughter have already gone "the way of all the earth."


†† Of the next generation many still live, all of them our relatives; but most of them knowing virtually nothing of their line of descent. Malachi Shoulders came from North Carolina to Middle Tennessee about 150 years ago. He is buried in the old cemetery at the home of the late Cicero Taylor, on Nickojack Branch, just across the big hill from where the writer lived in the old Shoulders house. We have a fairly complete line of the descendants of Malachi and Polly. If any reader wishes to have same, let us know; and, at some later date, we shall be glad to publish same in "Cal's Colyum."