Transcribed By Pamela Vick
April 26, 1951 - Reprinted July 28, 1977
* CAL’S COLUMN *
Our write-up for this week will be an account of the Shrum family of Macon and surrounding counties. The family is quite numerous in North Middle Tennessee, and apparently all of them are descended from Peter Shrum, who arrived on Dry Fork of Goose Creek in the early part of the 19th century and settled at what is now known as the Billy Gammon place, about a mile above the present Beech Bottom Baptist Church and some four and a half miles southeast of Lafayette. No record is available as to the older State from whence Peter Shrum came, but he was a man of note in his day and time, owning many Negro slaves and much other property. His early home in Tennessee was on a rise or little hill just off Dry Fork and to the west of that stream. Just back of the house was a fine spring that still flows on and on, even though it has in a way witnessed the passing of some five generations of the family. The stream was in the bottom of a draw or little valley at the extreme end of a big, high ridge that led down from the High land Rim. We remember that in 1924 when thousands of springs in Tennessee were dry during one of the worst droughts we ever saw this spring flowed on with scarcely any sign of diminishing. Also we recall another event connected with the water that flowed from this old spring. The first time Ca; “went with” the young woman who later became his wife, Miss Mai Gammon, he was taking her home from a baptismal service about two and a half miles further down the valley and Cal was driving Ned, the young horse that had “only about a spoonful of brains” to his buggy. We were traveling along quite nicely and came in where the water from that spring crossed the road. There was no bridge and the water had to be “forded.” Ned did not like the situation and at first tried to bolt; but we put the lash to him and forced him across. Well, he went over, but he leaped or jumped across the little stream and in doing so, gave the buggy a terrific jerk. Cal almost lost his hat, and the young lady did lose her headwear and almost had her head jerked from her shoulders. This episode occurred on October 29, 1911, and the writer never crosses that stream, now bridged, that he does not think of that event of almost 40 years ago.
But to return to the Shrum family. We do not know who Peter Shrum’s wife was, although she was living in 1820, when the census ws taken, for the old records the name of the head of the family, the males and females in various age groups and so on. From the records it appears that Mrs. Shrum was living. Mr. Shrum’s name was incorrectly spelled in that census, being given as “Peter Srum.” We had the state librarian in Nashville to correct this some years ago.
Peter Shrum was the father of: John, Newt, Gid, Moses, married Elizabeth Nichols; Asa, married Harriet Dixon, and it is said that he walked all the way to Arkansas to make his home; Pleasant Shrum, married Emily Nichols, a sister of Elizabeth; Peter Shrum, Jr.; Tillman Shrum, married a Gifford; Carroll Shrum, married a Leath; another son, name unknown, who married a sister of the two Nichols women above referred to; two other son’s names, not known; Sallie Shrum, married Jerry Brawner, Sr.; Tilda Shrum, married John Brawner, a nephew of Jerry. Sr.; Becky Shrum, married Pate Dixon; and Nancy Shrum, died as an old maid. Here we have most of the 18 sons and daughters of one of the county’s first settler’s. We are sorry that three names are missing from the list and we have no record of two of them. The son was married a Nichols and whose name is not known, had one son, known as “Jiner” Shrum, who married Sallie Eden.
John Shrum was a son of Peter, but his wife’s name is not known. John was the father of Edgar Shrum, who married Nancy Brawner, the daughter of Jerry Brawner, Sr., the son of of Dosier Brawner, the first of the Brawner family of whom we have any record. Later Nancy married John Garrett. Nancy was the mother of Malvina, who married Tom Brawner, who was a resident of Dry Fork when the writer taught school there in 1911. Aunt Nancy, as she was called, was an unusual character and was pretty free with her language which was perhaps sometimes “Lurid,” as will be remembered by those who knew her 40 or 50 years ago. We recall that she use to call her son-in-law, “Tom Brawner, an old devil.” She also called her grandson, Rad Brawner: “Rad, the little devil.” But those who knew her best realized that she did not really mean all that her words might have implied. Aunt Nancy has gone the way of all the earth. Tom Brawner sleeps in a lone grave on Dry Fork, about a mile above Beech Bottom and located in a field not far from home. Aunt Malvina is buried in the Nelse McDonald Cemetery about three miles southeast of Lafayette. According to the above record John and Nancy Brawner were cousins.
We have no record whatever of Newt and Gid Shrum. Moses, who married Elizabeth Nichols was the father of: Billie, Nancy Jane and Mary Shrum. Billie’s wife was Miss Sarah Day, by whom he was the father of two sons, Hester allen Shrum, died at the age of 17; and Andrew Shrum, who died a fewyears ago on Dry Fork; and Jennie, who married Willie Barnsfield, and is still living, although she is old. Nancy Jane, the daughter of Moses and Elizabeth Nichols Shrum, married Tom Hargis and became the mother of W.A. (Billy) and John Hargis. Mary, the sister of Nancy Jane, married Charlie Wilburn, son of Evans Wilburn, Sr., and became the mother of Evans, Jim and Herbert Wilburn. Jim is living near his father’s old home on Dry Fork, and is a deacon of Beech Bottom Baptist church. Evans is in Nashville. Herbert died a number of years ago. We do not have the record of the sisters of these three brothers.
We have no record of Asa and Harriet Dixon Shrum, except that Asa once walked to Arkansas, where it is presumed that he lived the greater part of his life.
Pleasant Shrum and his wife, Emily Nichols Shrum, were the parent of Lucy and Jim Shrum. We have no further record of Jim Shrum, but Lucy married Elihu Steen and became the mother of: Frank, Morgan, Benton, Dora, Edgar, Julia and Emily Steen. Frank Steen, now growing old, resides near Lafayette. Perhaps others of the family are still living, but we are not informed on this line.
We have no further information whatever of Peter Shrum, Jr. The next on our list is Tillman Shrum, who married a Gifford, but her name is not on the list we have. Tillman was the father of: Joe Shrum, went to Illinois; Gid Shrum, went to Illinois; Nancy Shrum, married Henry Eden; Dillie Shrum, married Charlie Garrett; Mary Shrum married Francis Drury and later a Howe; and Jane Shrum, married John Green. We have no record of the offspring of the two brothers who went to Illinois. Nancy was the mother of Jim Eden, who was a familiar figure in Lafayette for a number of years, being badly afflicted and bent nearly double; and one daughter, Ida. Nancy was married the second time to Alexander Martin, said to have come from some place in Europe.
Mary, the wife of Francis Drury, was the mother of Billie Drury and Tina Drury, the latter marrying Tom Parker.
Jane, the wife of John Green, was the mother of: Tom, Jim, Charlie, Alice, and Amanda Green.
Carroll Shrum married a Leath and became the father of: Tom, Jane, Newt, King, Sallie, Margaret and Peter Shrum. Tom Shrum, married Sarah Andrews, the daughter of William Andrews, and his wife, a former Miss Wilmore. Tom and Sarah were the parents of: William, Sim, Eliza, Harrison, Fannie and Minerva Shrum. We have no record of Jane and Newt. King Shrum is supposed to have married a Hall, but we have no record. Sallie Shrum, a sister of Tom, Jane, Newt and King Shrum, married Lafayette Brawner. Polly Gammon was the daughter of Jim Gammon and she had one brother that we know of John Gammon, who married Bessy Brawner, a sister of Henry. Lafayette Brawner and Sallie Shrum, his wife, were the parents of: “Neese,” Jane, King, Henry, Nan, and Tom Brawner, part of whom went to Arkansas.
We come next to the daughters of the first Peter Shrum; Sallie Shrum, married Jerry Brawner, Sr., and became the mother of: Nancy, married Ed Shrum and later John Garrett; Bill Brawner, went to Illnois; Tilda Brawner, married Stephen Dixon; Betsy, never married; John Brawner, married Tilda Susan Gregory, daughter of John Gregory, the son of Ambrose Gregory, the son of old Bry; Becky Brawner, married “Sweet William” Shrum, some degree of cousin of hers; Pate Brawner married Rachel Brawner, daughter of Jerry Brawner, Jr., some degree of cousin of his; Jim Brawner, married a Duncan; and Sampson Brawner, who removed to Arkansas.
We overlooked mention of the fact that Margaret Shrum, daughter of Carroll Shrum, and a sister of Tim, Jane, Newt, King, Sallie, and Peter Shrum, Jr., married Albert Andrews, son of William Andrews. Albert was a bother of Sarah Andrews, who married Tom Shrum, brother of Margaret. The children we have listed as their offspring were: Bud, Rich and Julia Andrews.
It should be stated that Sallie Shrum, wife of Jerry Brawner, Sr., was the grandmother of Silas, Amanda, Robert, Felix, Wesley, Effie and Delia Brawner, part of whom still reside in this county. Robert is a Baptist minister of near Lafayette.
Tilsa Ahrum, the daughter of Peter Shrum, Sr., married John Brawner, a nephew of the Jerry Brawner, who married Tilda’s sister, Sallie. John BRawner was the son of Henry Brawner, already mentioned above as having married Polly Gammon. John married three times, but we do not know by which woman he had children or if he had children by each wife. His children were: Peter Harris Brawner, married a Mrs. Poe in Kentucky; Sarah Ann, married a Shaw in Kentucky; Adeline married Joe Cartwright, killed in Lafayette many year ago. Joe was the son of Enoch Cartwright. The next of John Brawner’s children we have on our list wer Isaac Brawner, went to Kentucky; John Thomas Brawner, married a Cook; Jim Brawner, married a Cook; Mary, died an aold maid; George Brawner, married Ferbie Roark, and removed to Kentucky; Applewhite Brawner, supposed to have married a Shaw and also went to Kentucky; and Sam Brawner, married Tilda Payne. Becky, daughter of Peter Shrem. Sr., married Pate Dixon, by whom she became the mother of: Sarah Jane Dixon, married Sam Cothron; Cath, married Leonidas Linville; and Charlie and Lee Dixon.
Nancy, the last mentioned daughter of Peter Shrum, Sr., never married and died an old maid.
From the above records we learn that the Brawners, the NIchols and the Shrum families are very closely related. We know that hte Brawner family came from Virginia in the long ago, and it is possible that the Shrum family is from another state. We also learn that there was some sort of connection between the Gammon and Shrum families and the Gammon family came to Tennessee from Virginia.
If any additional information can be given on any of the points above mentioned, or if the writer is in error on any point, please write us freely and we shall be glad to make correction.