Transcribed by Pamela Vick


April 17, 1952




      We continue this week with the old records of the Quarterly Court and Court of Pleas of Smith County, the date being Tuesday, March 18, 1802.  The next item is as follows: “David White, who appears to be duly commissioned as a Justice of the Peace for the County of Smith, came into Court and qualified according to Law.”  We do not know who David White was, nor do we know what positively as to who any of his descendants were.  We know members of the White family were in Smith County at a very early date.  One of these was Elder Joshua White, who aided in the information of Dixon’s Creek Baptist church on March 8, 1800, which, so far as we have been able to learn, was the first church of any kind formed in Smith County, its organization taking place in the home of Captain Grant Allen near the mouth of Dixon’s Creek.  Joshua White was first a member of Camden church, Camden County, North Carolina, in which church he was ordained.  Between 1790 and 1800, he moved into the neighborhood of Fishing Creek Baptist church in Halifax County, North Carolina, and cast his membership with that congregation, and became the pastor of the church.  He remained pastor for perhaps five years; and, about 1795, moved to Tennessee, settling most probably on the Red River in Robertson County.  He was one of the leading early ministers of Middle Tennessee and did much in gathering the first churches in all this part of the State.  Whether Squire David White was a relative of the minister, we do not know.


      Then there was a creek north of Nashville in the long ago, known as White’s Creek; but we do not know if the stream was named for either of these parties.  We know that a Baptist church was formed on White’s Creek as early as 1794 known today as New Bethel, near Goodlettsville.


      Here in Macon County we have many members of the White family.  One of its members, Josh White, died only a few years ago.  Whether Josh White of recent times was a relative of the Joshua White who preached in Middle Tennessee 150 years ago, we do not know.


     “Ordered that Michael Osturn have a Tavern License to keep an ordinary at his now dwelling house, and that he be rated agreeable to the customary rates of retailers in Smith County, who came into Court and gave security accordingly.”   Here we have a name that is rather strange, Osturn.  We wonder if the name was not correctly spelled Austin.  An ordinary was a place where liquors were sold.  His “now” dwelling house meant “His present dwelling house.”   We have not the least idea as to where the home of Osturn was.


     “Ordered that Richard Lancaster, Tom Lancaster, William Pryor, James Pryor, Will Walker, John Goad and David Morrison view, mark and lay off a road from Lancaster’s Ferry on the Caney Fork River to intersect Walton’s Road at the most convenient (place) going toward Knoxville.”  This would have been perhaps somewhere in the vicinity of Chestnut Mound and we are quite sure that Lancaster’s Ferry must have been in the vicinity of the present village or town of Lancaster, which lies  to the south of Chestnut Mound.  The Walton Road came over the Cumberlands by way of Crab Orchard on through Carthage, and Dixon’s Spring and thence to the west.  We have no knowledge of Richard and Tom Lancaster, but suppose they were most likely brothers.  The same may be said for William Pryor and James Pryor.  Will Walker was probably of the same family for whom Walker’s Creek, east of Alexandria was named.


     John Goad is unknown to the writer, although it is very probably that he was a relative of the Goads of the long ago, about whom an article was written in this paper about two weeks ago.  David Morrison was probably a relative of our own W. P. Morrison, who resides a few miles west of Lafayette, and is one of our leading citizens.


     “In the ejection, Gordon and Sevier vs. Alexander Suite, ordered to take the deposition of Joe Hiete, North Carolina, three days’ notice to be given Plantiffs.”  George Gordon and John Sevier owned an immense amount of land in North Middle Tennessee, and they had charged that Alexander Suite had moved on to their land without a legal right thereto.  In addition to Suite, there were three or four other men involved in a like charge.  According to the above record a writ of ejectment had been obtained by Gordon and Sevier, but one more deposition, that of Joe Hiete, of North Carolina, be taken.


(To be continued)