Transcribed by Janette West Grimes


April 2, 1953





†† We resume the publication of the old records with some comment on some of them at least.


†† "Ordered that Charles Kavanaugh, Esquire, be appointed chairman of the Smith County Court." No comment.


†† " William Saunders' stock mark, two swallow forks, brand and Cyphen S. Ordered to be recorded. There is no such thing as a Cyphen S, so far as the writer can learn. If any reader knows what was intended, we shall be glad to publish the explanation. William Sanders evidently had a lot of cows and horses, to have needed a brand. Stock marks were used on sheep and hogs, but brands on cattle and horses.


†† "Hezekiah O'Neal's stock mark, two over half crops, to be recorded, etc." We have no idea as to a half crop.


†† "Joel Holland, Josiah Howell, John Fisher, James Montgomery, Lewis Casey, David White, Stephen Montgomery and Joseph French are appointed a jury to view, mark and lay off a road from the county line between Smith and Sumner, to extend up the Ridge to intersect the road leading across said ridge from Fort Blount at the most convenient place, and make report to our next Court." Here is one item that is as clear "as mud" to the writer. The Sumner-Smith line lay just to the east of Hartsville and extended northward to the Kentucky State line. Southward it extended to the border of Wilson County, somewhere, we presume about the Cumberland River. The Fort Blount Road came out from old Fort Blount in Jackson County, extended westward or northwestward up Salt Lick, across the dividing ridge between the waters of Salt Lick and Defeated Creek, thence through the present town of Difficult, thence to the dividing ridge between Defeated Creek and Peyton's Creek, thence down the present Sloan Branch to the present Pleasant Shade, thence westward up what later was called Porter's Hill, thence up Toetown Branch, across Mace's Hill and thence down the Young Branch by the writer's first home. There is a bare possibility that the road referred to might have been the road called years later the Winkler Road, which originated above Dixon Springs and extended up the Wilburn Hollow and intersected the Fort Blount Road on our father's old farm, about four hundred yards from where we were born. But this road nowhere goes along a ridge, and it does not start at the old Sumner-Smith line. So we suppose we can rule it out. After extending down the Young Branch of Dixon's Creek, the Fort Blount Road crossed Dixon's Creek not far below the present brick church house, crossed another ridge, that between Dixon's Creek and Lick Creek, and thence through Mungle's Gap, which is only about two and a half miles from the old Sumner-Smith County line. So we do not know how to locate the road on which the nine men above named were to "view, mark and lay off."


†† Nor do we get any help from the list of names; that is, we do not know where they lived. Now it is possible that the road here ordered set out could have extended down Middle Fork of Goose Creek, thence by the present Linville's Shop, by the present Wakefield Oglesby's farm to the top of the hill at Mungle's Gap. If this is not the right "lay out" for the proposed new road, we confess we do not know how it could have been laid off from the Sumner-Smith line and climb a ridge and intersect with the Fort Blount Road.


†† We find that Josiah Howell lived in Smith County in the year 1820, but there is nothing to indicate where he lived. He had one male under 10, one male from ten to 16, and on between 26 and 45 years of age, supposedly himself; and one female between 26 and 45, his wife no doubt. He also owned 16 slaves. Joel Holland does not appear in the census records of 1820. There is no record of John Fisher in the 1820 census.


†† James Montgomery, in the 1820 census, had one male from 16 to 18 years of age, two males from 18 to 26, one from 26 to 45, and one above 45, supposed to have been James himself. Females in the family are grouped: One under 10, one 10 to 16, one between 26 and 45, and one over 45, supposedly his wife. He owned one slave. Stephen Montgomery was apparently a much younger man than James. Stephen Montgomery in the census of 1820 had: One male from 18 to 26, forcing us to leave him out of the group that laid off the road, as he then could not have been in the year 1802 at the maximum over four years of age.


†† It is possible that Lewis Casey was the father of Hiram Casey. who later became a Baptist ministerof note. Hiram was born in Georgia on March 23, 1790 and shortly afterwards moved with his father to the vicinity of the present Hillsdale. So it is probable that Lewis Casey was the father of the minister.


†† Neither David White nor Joseph French is listed in the 1820 census.


†† "Deed, 175 acres, John Hadley to William Haynie, proven by the oath of Hugh McKinnis, one of the subscribing witnesses thereto. Ordered to be registered." There was a Captain Hadley who had charge of a group of soldiers that came over Cumberland Mountains in about 1785 or 1786 and guarded the settlements in Middle Tennessee from marauding Indians, but we do not know if Joshua Hadley was a relative of Captain Hadley. There is also a Hadley's Bend of Cumberland River, where Old Hickory is now located, but we do not know the given name of the Hadley for whom the Bend was named. There is no Hadley mentioned in the census records for 1820. William Haynie is supposed to have been an early member of the present Haynie family in Smith County, and we presume the land involved in the sale was located on Lower Peyton's Creek, not far from the present Monoville. In fact we had previous item about a Hadley on Peyton's Creek, if our memory serves us right.


†† We have received today from Judge Webb Allen, of Dixon Springs, who is a gatherer of old papers with a historical interest, some old deeds of a long time ago. One of them is as follows: "This indenture, made this, 13th day of November, in the year of our Lord, Eighteen Hundred, between James Ballou, of the State of Tennessee and County of Smith, of the one part; and Godfrey Fowler, of the county and State aforesaid, of the other part, witnesseth: That the said James Ballou for and in consideration of the sum of Eighty-five dollars, to him in hand paid, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged fully, hath granted, bargained and sold, and do by these presents, grant, bargain, sell, ailen enfeoff, convey and confirm unto the said Godfrey Fowler, one certain tract or parcel of land, situated, lying and being in the county and State aforesaid on the waters of Dixon's Creek, containing one hundred acres, being part of a tract of six hundred and forty acres, originally granted to Mann Phillips, by the State of North Carolina, said land bearing date the 20th day of May, One Thousand Seven Hundred Ninety-three; and also the said tract of land containing one hundred acres, beginning on a line at the Southwest corner of Edmund Boze's tract of land that he now lives on, thence south one hundred fifty-six poles, to the northwest corner of Gray's tract of land on beech and sugartree, thence east one hundred and three poles to a white ash and beech, thence north one hundred and fifty-six poles to a stake on said Boze's line, and thence west one hundred three poles to the beginning. (Then follows the usual warranty.)


†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† James Ballou

Witnesses John McFarland

††††††††††††††† Eias Johns."


†† Here we have deed of 153 years ago. James Ballou was a brother of the writer's great-great-grandfather, Leonard Ballou. James Ballou was quite prominent in the early history of Smith County, and resided just below the present brick church house on Dixon's Creek, an just above the place where the old Fort Blount Road crossed or "forded" Dixon's Creek. James Ballou was first married to a Shelton and later a Shields. He had one daughter, but we do not know bywhich wife. She was Susan Ballou, who married Arch Bebow. Arch and his wife were the parents of one child, but our record does not show whether it was a son or a daughter. However, the child in adult life married a Norris.


†† Elias Johns was a brother-in-law of James Ballou, having married Esther Ballou, a sister of James and Leonard. He is believed to have resided for some time on the farm on which Will W. Oldham now resides.


†† Later Elias Johns became the operator of a ferry across the Cumberland at the mouth of Peyton's Creek. Elias Johns was born in Virginia in 1780. His wife, Esther Ballou Johns, name spelled Easter in the old census records, was also born in Virginia. She was four years older than her husband, having been born in 1776. At the time of census of 1850, she and her husband had one daughter, Emma, still at home with them. She was 30 years of age and was born in Tennessee. Esther Johns died in 1852. That the family lived in 1850 on Dixon's Creek is evident from their neighbors, among whom were: John H. Ligon, who lived at the Robert Cornwell place at Cato; Binitha Evetts, who lived on Dixon's Creek; George E. Wilburn, Evaline McMurry, Eli Gammon and others whose are known to have lived on Dixon's Creek.


†† We have a list of all the Johns sons and daughters somewhere, but it would require more time to look it up than we have at our disposal at present.


†† We have no knowledge of the other witness, John McFarland.


†† As to where the land lay, we would judge that it lay within half a mile of the present brick church house on Dixon's Creek. Godfrey Fowler owned land at one time just above the church house. We have no record of Godfrey Fowler except the barest facts of his buying land and having lived on Dixon's Creek. He is not named in the census of 1820.


†† The price of $85 for 100 acres of land was very cheap and we supposed that it was perhaps covered with fine timber.


†† The second old deed sent to us by Judge Allen is as follows: "This indenture, made this 19th day of July in the year of our Lord, Eighteen Hundred, between Capt. James Ballou, in Smith County, and State of Tennessee, of the one part, and Edmund Boaz, of the same county and State, of the other part, witneseth: That the said Ballou, for and consideration of the sum of Four Hundred and Thirty Dollars, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, have given, granted, bargained and sold, and by these present doth give, grant, alein Enfeoff, convey and confirm unto the said Boaz, his heirs and assigns forever, a certain tract or parcel of land, containing two hundred forty acres, lying on Dixon's Creek, in the said county of Smith, it being a part of a tract granted to Mann Phillips to be laid off of the said tract as follows: Beginning at the northwest corner of said survey at an elm, thence east three hundred and twenty poles to a mulberry and two sugar trees, thence south one hundred and twenty poles to two beeches, thence west three hundred and twenty poles to the beginning, including the place on which the said Boaz now lives. To have and to hold the above granted premises, appurtenances and emoluments therewith belonging, or in any wise appertaining, unto the said Boaz, his heirs and assigns forever and the said James Ballou for himself, his heirs, assigns, executors and administrators, warrant and forever defend the above granted premises against the claim or claims of all persons whomsoever ;legally claiming.


†† "In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal, the day and date above written. Signed, sealed and acknowledged in the presence of Wm. Martin, Benjamin Barton, David Rorex.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††James Ballou (Seal)


State of Tennessee

Smith County

†† "March term, 1801. The within deed of conveyance was proven by the oath of one of the subscribing witnesses thereto. Registered this, 28th of April, 1801.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††S. Williams."


†† We note that one of the deeds spells Boze's name as Boaz. We are not sure, but believe this to have been the earlier form of spelling the name. This land was a part of the original tract of 640 acres that the State of North Carolina granted to Mann Phillips, we suppose, as a soldier of the American Revolution.


†† William Martin was one of the most prominent citizens of Tennessee 152 years ago when he witnessed the land deal above set out. We have already given some account of his activity in the Dixon Springs section long ago. Benjamin Barton was also quite well known in Smith County a century and a half ago. We have some information as to him, but we prefer to add to our very incomplete record before we publish same. We have next to no information as to David Rorex.


†† Mr. Allen also informs us that John Gordon was the man for whom the town of Gordonsville was named. He settled there in the year 1801 and was one of the leading early citizens of the county.


†† S. Williams was Sampson Williams, who was the first Clerk of the Court. He lived long ago in the Salt Lick section, now in Jackson County. We hope to give some fuller account of S. Williams at a later date.


†† We might go back to a previous item given above, the one referring to Joshua Hadley and William Haynie. The witness to the deal was Hugh McKinnis. He was the son of John McKinnis and his wife, Delanie Gregory McKinnis, unless there were two men of the same name which is quite probable, as it was a custom 100 to 200 years ago to name a son for his father, of grandfather or uncle. Delanie was the daughter of Bry, one of our great-great-grandfathers.


†† "Bill of Sail," John L. Martin to Andrew Greer, proven by the oath of George Matlock, one of the subscribing witnesses thereto, and ordered to be recorded." John L. Martin was a prominent early settler. Andrew Greer is supposed to have lived on lower Middle Fork of Goose Creek where there is still to be seen a hill called the "Greer Hill." We have no information as to George Matlock.


†† "Ordered that George Thomason be overseer of the road leading from the big Hill to Michael Murphy's, and that Peter Turney, Esq., furnish a list of hands." We do not know positively the beginning point of this overseership, but believe it to have been from the top of Mace's Hill to the present Pleasant Shade, by way of Toetown Branch. Mace's Hill is perhaps the biggest hill onthe old Fort Blount Road. Moreover, Peter Turney lived on the Fort Blount Road about a mile and a half west of the foot of the hill, at the base of which the writer was born nearly 62 years ago. We are quite sure that George Thomason was the ancestor of John Burton McDuffee, 94-year-old resident of this county, whose mother was Martha Thomason.


†† "Ordered that Abraham Piper oversee the road leading from the mouth of Peyton's Creek to Michael Murphy's." This was a road leading right up Peyton's Creek to the present Pleasant Shade. We are not positive as to who Abraham Piper was, but believe that he was a brother of Alexander Piper. We would surmise that these two men were the ancestors of the Pipers who still live in Smith County and elsewhere. Abraham Piper or as his name is sometimes written, Abram Piper, in the year 1820 had one male under ten, one from 10 to 16, two from 16 to 18, three from 18 to 26, and one above 45, supposedly Abraham Piper himself. There were two females in the family under ten, one from 10 to 16, and one over 45, supposedly the wife of Piper. Benjamin Piper in 1820 had one male under 10, and one male from 18 to 26, supposedly Benjamin himself. One female under ten is listed in his family also, as well as one from 16 to 26, supposedly his wife. Alexander Piper's name does not appear in the census in 1820, and we judge that he had previously passed away.


†† "Daniel Alexander's stockmark, smooth crop off the left ear and a slit in the right, ordered to be recorded." No comment.


†† "Ordered that the December term next of this Court be held at the house of William Saunders, at Bledsoesborough." We believe that Saunders lived to the south of Dixon Springs beside the Cumberland and that quite a town was once laid off in that section and called Bledsoesborough. If we are mistaken, some reader can correct us.


†† "Court adjourns until tomorrow nine o'clock."

(To be continued)