September 10, 1953
Transcribed by Janette West Grimes
* CAL'S COLUMN *
THE HARGIS FAMILY
We have recently received a request for some family history. Lately we have had an inquiry about the Hargis family. We give the rather limited information we have concerning this family which has long lived in Macon and Smith Counties.
The first member of the family, of whom we have any record appear to have been two brothers who crossed the Atlantic from England perhaps as early as 1750, for there is still preserved in the family an English coin, nearly worn out bearing the date of either 1727 or 1737. They landed from their ship on the east coast of North Carolina. The names are not known, although it appears that one of them was William Hargis. This William Hargis married a full-blooded Cherokee Indian girl, and traces of Indian blood can still be seen in the features of most of the Hargis family of today. The high cheek bones, the coal-black hair, the dark eyes and slender form of the Indian are still to be seen in many of the family today. Alexander Washington Jenkins, who is more than 80 years of age and president of the local Citizens Bank, is a descendent of this Indian girl, whose maiden name is said to have been Jennie Jacobs. We have no way of knowing how many children Jennie bore to her husband, William Hargis, whose father is said to have been William. Anyway, the Cherokee bride of William Hargis bore him a son that was named William.
With this third William Hargis, we have a more definite outline of their descent. He was born February 26, 1769, presumably in North Carolina where many Cherokee Indians lived and many still make their homes. Whether William Hargis and Jennie Jacobs, his wife, came to what is now Macon County, Tenn., we do not know. We are informed that their son, William above mentioned as having been born in 1769, did arrive in the present Macon County, then Smith County, Tenn., in the year 1800, settling at or very near the present Webbtown, four miles east of Lafayette. A report we once had from a relative of the family that the first Hargis in Middle Tennessee settled on the present Cosby Hill, near Brown's school house, seems to have been an error. However, in the old Court records which we have been publishing, there appears the name of John Hargis on Dixon's Creek as early as 1801. In the census records for Smith County in the year 1820 appears name of William Hargis, whose family consisted of: Two males under 10, one from 10 to 16, one from 18 to 26, and one 45 years old or over, and this would fit the man who was born in 1769. Females included: Two under 10, one from 10 to 16, two from 16 to 26, and one over 45, no doubt his wife. The same old records show John Hargis, Sr., as having: Two males under 10, two between 10 and 16, one from 16 to 18, one from 18 to 26, and one over 45, no doubt John Hargis, Sr., and this could have meant that he was a brother of the William Hargis mentioned above as having come to Middle Tennessee in the year 1800. His women folks are listed as : Two under ten, and one between 26 and 45, perhaps Mrs. John Hargis, Sr. In the same record appears the name of the only other Hargis in Smith County in 1820 -- John Hargis, Jr. He had three males under 10, one from 18 to 26, undoubtedly John, Jr., and one female from 16 to 26, Mrs. John Hargis, Jr., we are sure. John, Jr., owned one slave in the year 1820.
William Hargis, son of William Hargis and the Indian woman, Jennie Jacobs, married Hannah Howell, born February 1, 1770, but we do not have the date of their marriage. We would suppose they had been married for a number of years prior to their arrival in what is now Macon County, Tenn., in the year 1800. William Hargis died August 11, 1852. Hannah Howell Hargis died July 15, 1844.
We do not have a complete record of the children of William Hargis and Hannah Howell Hargis. We do have the following: Howell Henry Hargis, married Nancy Gammon, and we do not know whose daughter she was; John Hargis, married Millie Uhles; Jackson Hargis, married Mary Jane Caroline Uhles, commonly known as "Caltine,"* the daughter of Buck Uhles; and later Jackson Washington Hargis, married Louisa Matilda, daughter of Arthur Jenkins, son of Samuel Jenkins; Hulda Hargis, married Dick Brooks, or the old Brooks' Tanyard, on Long Fork Creek, about seven miles east of Lafayette; Polly Hargis, married William Cosby; Jane, married John Black, formerly of the Dixon Springs section; and one other daughter, name not learned, but she married Dempsey Parker.
Howell Henry Hargis adn his wife, the former Miss Nancy Gammon, were the parents of: William Hargis, born about 1826, married Elizabeth Lee McDonald, and died in 1910; James Hargis, married a Linville and removed to Fredericktown, Mo.; John Hargis, married first to a Miss Leath and later to Alie* Andrews, and removed to Nashville; and Tom Hargis, married Nancy Jane Shrum, the daughter of Moses Shrum and his wife, Elizabeth Nichols Shrum, and Moses Shrum was the son of Peter Shrum, the first of the family to come to Middle Tennessee, according to our records of the Shrum family.
John Hargis, son of William and his wife, Haannah Howell Hargis, and a brother of Howell Henry Hargis, and hsi wife, Millie Uhles Hargis, believed to have been a sister of Jackson Hargis' first wife, Mary Jane Caroline Uhles, were the parents of: Carroll Hargis, marries Lona Hargis; Henderson Hargis, married Minta Hargis, supposed to have been a sister of Lona Hargis; Zach Hargis, married Nancy, daughter of Lambert Cothron; Pate Hargis, married Elizabeth Cothron, sister of Nancy; Jim Hargis, married Melissa Jenkins, so some say and others say she was Melissa Creagan; Charlie Hargis, married Margaret Cosby; Dave Hargis, died unmarried; Joe Hargis, died young and unmarried; Jane Hargis, married Julius Snyder; Millie Hargis, married Rufus Powell; Nan, went West, and we have no further information; and Fred Hargis, of whom we know nothing except that he removed to Cairo, Ill.
Jackson Washington Hargis, the son of William and Hannah Howell Hargis, was born July 7, 1814, and died March 17, 1899. He married first to Mary Jane Caroline Uhles, as set forth above. Their children were: Elizabeth Hannah Hargis, born January 14, 1836, and married John Williams, and later removed to Georgia; Amanda Mahulda Hargis, born December 8, 1837, died on September 29, 1840, at the age of nearly three years; William Richard Henry Harrison, born July 17, 1840 and died December 5, 1842; Martha Malvina Hargis, born March 18, 1843, and later married Reuben Jenkins; Shadrach Brooks Hargis, born February 14, 1845, married Cis Burns, a sister of the late Gid Burns; John Howell Hargis, born July 21, 1847, married Angeline Howell, some sort of cousin, we are sure; Valona Victoria Permelia Clanton Hargis, born December 9, 1849, married Carroll Hargis, her first cousin; Jackson Washington McLeary Hargis, known to many of our readers as Dock Hargis, born May 16, 1852, married Fannie, daughter of Jesse Beasley; Winfield Shepherd Hargis, born August 30, 1854, married Cinda, daughter of Buck Jenkins; Hugh Flippin Hargis, born March 12, 1857, married a Beal on Dixon's Creek; and we may add here that this was the last born of the first wife of Jackson Washington Hargis.
After the death of the first wife, he married Louisa Matilda Jenkins, daughter of Arthur Jenkins, son of Samuel Jenkins. By her he became the father of: Marion Fernando Satterfield Hargis, born December 24, 1860, and married Mahala, daughter of Charlie Hargis and his wife, Margaret Cosby Hargis; and we may add that Fernando Hargis died only a few years ago and the writer held his funeral services; Andrew Grider Hargis, born May 20, 1862, and never married; Ovando Grant Hargis, commonly called "Coon" Hargis, born April 8, 1864, and married Nan Hargis, a sister of Fernando's wife, Mahala; Vesta Louisa Matilda Jane Hargis, born October 30, 1865, married Willis Jones, and removed to Georgia; Mary Etta Caroline Hargis, born April 4, 1867, at 11 A. M., and died four days later; Harvey Ferdinnan Hargis, born April 8, 1868, 10: 10 o'clock A. M., married Allie Owen, who still lives in California; Leathie Aquilla Hargis, born September 5, 1870, on Monday at 10: 30 P. M., married Dixon Dyer, and still lives at 825 N. Buffalo, Claburn, Texas; Felix Grundy Hargis, born at 1: 30 A. M., Wednesday, July 3, 1872, married Lena Powers, and resides on part of the old original Hargis farm, four miles east of Lafayette, and uses water from the old original Hargis spring; Elijah Bratton Hargis, born Saturday, June 13, 1874, at 11: 30 A. M., and died at the age of 15 years, followed an attack of measles which settled on his lungs; Marlin McKenzie Hargis, born April 28, 1876, on Friday, at four in the morning, dying on August 20th, the same year; and Lillie Magdalene Hargis, born August 23, 1877, at nine P. M., and later married Lige Snyder. Thus ends the children of Jackson Washington Hargis, ten by the first wife and 11, by the last wife.
We are sorry that we do not have the names of the children of Carroll, Henderson and Hamp Hargis, the sons of John Hargis, son of William and Hannah Howell Hargis, the last-named William being the son of William Hargis that married Jennie Jacobs, the Cherokee Indian. All three of these sons are said to have married Hargis women, sisters, but we do not know whose daughters.
We take up next the children of Zack Hargis, a brother of Carroll, Henderson and Hamp. Zack married Nancy Cothron first. She was the daughter of Lambert Cothron and his first wife, a Miss Young. Zack and Nancy Cothron Hargis were the parents of: Elizabeth Hargis, married John Ragland; Ellen Hargis, married Sampson Butler; John Lambert Hargis, married Mary Elizabeth Parker; Hannah Hargis, married Will Phillips; Martha Hargis, born about 1864 and died April 19, 1899, married M. D. Barton, and became the mother of our brother-in-law, Wiley Clarence Barton; and Miles W. Hargis, married Amanda Susan, daughter of John Howell Hargis, son of Jackson, as above set forth; and later married Merton Uhles. Zack Hargis married a second time, to Amelia Haley, by whom he had one son, Jimmie Hargis, removed to Texas.
Pate Hargis, a brother of Zack and others, married Elizabeth Cothron, a sister of Nancy Cothron. Their children were: Andrew Hargis, married Ella Sullivan; John Hargis, married Angie Robinson; Frank Hargis, married first to Cis Cothron, and later to Susie Gammon, daughter of William Mitchell Gammon, our first wife's grandfather; Levi Hargis, married Emma Tuck; Leona Hargis, married Johnnie Stovall; Eliza Hargis, married Seldom West; and Mary Susan Hargis, married Dick Gregory, son of Tom Gregory, a half-brother of our grandfather, Stephen Calvin Gregory.
Charlie Hargis, a brother of Zack, married Margaret Cosby and became the father of: Nan Hargis, married "Coon" Hargis, as above set out; Catline Hargis, married Andrew Smith, of near Lafayette; Lois Hargis, married George Day and became the father of Charlie Day, of near Brown's school house; and Fannie Day, who married Irving, son of Jim, son of Abel Gregory, son of our great-great-grandfather, Jeremiah Gregory; Amelia Hargis, married John Norman; and Mahala Hargis, married Fernando Hargis, as set out above.
We do not have the sons and daughters of the remaining children of John and Millie Uhles Hargis, the brothers and sisters of Zack Hargis, but could obtain their names if they are needed.
In the Hargis family there are many keepsakes of various kinds. Felix Hargis, residing near the old home location, has a gourd said to be 350 years old and grown in England, and brought to America by an early Hargis as a powder gourd. It is well preserved and has the appearance of having been polished, but Felix, its present custodian, says it has never been polished. It will hold perhaps a pound of gunpowder. It is said to have been brought across the Atlantic by the two Hargis brothers, the first to come from England to eastern North Carolina.
Another relic in the family is a dirk*, with a six-inch blade and a handle made of deer's horn or antler. It is in a fine state of preservation and shows that its maker, Jackson Washington Hargis was a good workman in a shop. The handle is approximately 3 1/2 inches in length.
A tomahawk, 4 1/2 inches by three inches in width, and made of flint, is an almost perfect example of the ability of the Cherokee Indians to make stone weapons. But perhaps the best example of Indian handiwork is the spike which is also of flint and slightly more than six inches in length. It is well made and finely balanced and is indeed a relic of much interest.
If any reader has additional information as to the early Hargis family, please feel free to communicate with us. We are able to obtain information as to those Hargis' of the present and of one or two generations ago. What we really want is information as to the pioneer members of the family. We are specially anxious to learn of other members of the family of William Hargis and his Indian wife, Jennie Jacobs Hargis. We also wish we had information on the old John Hargis, Jr., of the same section, we are sure; and the three Hargis women who married sons of John Hargis, son of William Hargis.
We have found that Lambert Cothron married, first a Young , by whom he had: Ranson,married a Linville, and was later killed; James, married a Cox; Nancy, married Zack Hargis, as set forth above; Hannah, married a Cox; Elizabeth, married Margaret McDuffee, daughter of Eli McDuffee, son of Neal and Thenie Gregory McDuffee. Thenie was a daughter of Bry Gregory, one of the writer's great-great-grandfathers. Lambert Cothron married the second time to a Miss Johnson, who became the mother of: Wash, Marion and Wilson Cothron.