Transcribed by Pat Stubbs
February 19, 1953
We begin our column this week with a letter from Anna Ford, of Kansas City, Mo. It is as follows:
412 East 38th Street
Kansas City, Mo.
Jan. 21, 1953
"Dear Mr. Cal:
"I enjoy reading your column so much because I am much interested in my ancestors. The Hudspeth family left North Carolina for Tennessee and so did the Clack family. I would appreciate it so much if you would find something on either or both families.
In Ramsey's annals of Tennessee, I find the name of John Clack as a representative from the new county of Sevier, in East Tennessee. The county seat is Sevierville, and it is a large and populous county. Whether any Clacks still live there, we do not know as we are located 200 miles from Sevierville.
In the Convention of 1796 which formed a Constitution for Tennessee, which was admitted to the Union at that time, there appear the names of Spencer Clack and John Clack, both from Sevier County. John Clack at the same Convention was appointed on a committee to draft a constitution. In Tennessee's first Legislature in 1796, Spencer Clack served as a member of the Lower House, or House of Representatives. In the same Legislature, John Clack served in the State Senate. John Clack voted in the same Legislature for an amendment as follows: "Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, that from and after the passage of this Act, if any person in this state shall deny the existence of a God, and a future state of rewards and punishments, or shall publicly deny the divine authority of the Old and New Testaments, on being convicted thereof, by the testimony of two witnesses, shall forfeit and pay the sum of--------dollars for every such offense,etc."
John Clack was a member of the first County Court of Sevier County, held in Sevierville on July 4, 1796.
I am sorry to report that I have no information whatever on the Hudspeth family. I have the census records of Smith County, Tenn., and do not find either a Clack or a Hudspeth listed in them for either 1820, 1830, 1850, or 1870.
We thank this lady for her good words about our "Column."
We have also received a nice letter from J. T. Ballew, which is as follows:
Jan. 24, 1953
"Elder Calvin Gregory.
" I read your run-down on the Ballous in the Times of Jan. 15, 1953. You will find what I have on the Ballews from John Diogenes to Margaret Ann, myh granddaugher. I have no idea where the change in the spelling was made. Aunt Mary Cartwright was the only one of Dad's (older) relatives I ever knew.
"I was raised in Henderson and Union Counties in Kentucky, but haven't lived there for 40 years. I have lived in Oklahoma, Kansas and the last three years in Wyoming. I visit my sister once a year in Kentucky.
'I have met several Ballews and Ballous in different places. I was in the same Company with one Sidney C. Ballew from Mint Spring, Va., near Staunton. He said his family came early from France. Of four brothers, he said, one stayed in New York, one went to Virginia, one to Carolina, and one to Georgia. While in service in 1918, Sidney and I were together and met a Ballou from Georgia. He knew nothing of the family further than his father. I also met a George M. Ballou, who said his grandfather was named Rice Ballou. He knew nothing of the family. He was raised near Winchester, Ky. The spelling of his name was changed when he started working for the raiload.
"Since we have been in Wyoming, I have met Virgil Ballou who was not sure what his grandfather's name was. His father is William Ballou and lives in Cumberland County, Ky. Virgial is between 40 or 45 years of age and resembles my father more than either my brother or I.
"You will note I have a brother Leonard, who will make another Leonard for your list. When we name our son, James e., dad did not feel so favorable about it. Dad talked it over with J. E. when J. E. was quite young and they had an understanding his first son would be named LEonard. His child was a daughter. The son's wife passed away in November, 1951. Dad passed away in March, 1946.
"We were in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in November and noticed the name of Albert C. Ballou listed in the telephone directory. I called but was unable to contact him on the phone. We expect to be in Tulsa again in May and will try to contact him again. J. E. and Margaret Ann live in Tulsa. They have a housekeeper to look after Margaret Ann and the house. J. E. is a Civil Engineer with the Service Pipe Line Co., in Tulsa. Pipe lining was about all I could expect of him, as I have engaged in this work since 1917, except for the time out during World War l.
"I have a friend in the Tulsa office name Charles E. Butler, who was reared at Mitchellville, Tenn., and who remembers you years ago. He told me in November that when he goes back home for a visit at Mitchellville, in the spring, he was making it a "must" to see you. I have mailed several of your papers to him and I would not be surprised if he subscribes. Butler and I have definitely decided that Macon County is a Baptist county for sure. I would like to have a copy of Grime's History of Middle Tennessee Baptists. Will you advise where and when I can secure a copy?
"You will note that my grandmother was a Turner. As I remember, her father was John Spragins Turner. He is said to have come to Tennessee with Sam Houston. He was from Galax, Virginia, I believe; with Houston from Staunton. Grandmother had two brothers, James and Edmond, who went down and gave Gen. Houston a jump in Texas in the early eighteen hundred forties. I have a powder horn, Gen. Houston sent to my grandfather Turner by his sons when they came home. He made it into a powder horn which is dated 1848.
"Have noticed in the old Court records, you have been publishing a Peter Turney, who was very active. Have wondered if Turney and Turner might not have been the same name. I remember grandmother saying her father had an uncle in Tennessee, which was the reason he came to that State.
"When I was growing up in Kentucky, there were quite a few in our neighborhood from Macon County, Tennessee. One in particular that worked for dad on the farm for five years was named Dero Carr, "Which was quite a man." Also I recall the Hoskins, Wests, Carters and one Bob Gardner. You should be a day or two late with your paper when I furnish you with this.
"Check over the list I am sending you and see if I have made it plain to you as to who I am. There is no need to clutter up your good paper with what I have furnished you.
"Some time when you feel like it, I would be glad for you to write. Better yet, make it a "must" to visit Wyoming and make our place your headquaters. We are only about 100 miles from the east gate of Yellowstone National Park and five from the snow line, located in a basin, with Carter Mountains to the South, Beartooth Mountains to the West, Pryor Mountains to the North, and the Bighorn Range to the East. I can always see snow. If you have never been in this country, you are missing something. There are only the wife and I in the family, and I have more time to show you around then perhaps anyone else, and would be glad to do so. The time to see this country to the best advantage would be from June 1st to Sept. 15th. Before and after this period, the mountain roads are blocked with snow. Our daughters are both married and live in Kansas. So you see we have the room and would be so glad for you and the wife to visit us.
"I notice that my time is about up and am sending a check for another year, which will not make this altogether an imposition on you.
Yours very truly,
J. T. Ballew"
This letter is from one of our relatives, our second cousin, once removed. Or perhaps we might state that his father was the editor's second cousin. We wish to thank him for the record made of his family which we have added to our own records. As to the change in spelling from Ballou to Ballew, we do not know when this took place. Our Tennessee kin spell the name Ballou, but two generations ago they spelled it Ballew. We note that in Adin's Ballou's "The Ballous in America." he has accepted the Ballou spelling almost altogether.
As to the history he wants, we are sorry to say that it is out of print and can be found only with difficulty. As to the invitation to visit this relative, we can think of no trip that offers any more inducements. But the editor of the Times is now nearing his 62nd birthday and has more work to do than ever before. So it is doubtful if we can find time to accept the splendid invitation to visit the mountains of Wyoming.
The editor forgot to state that the names Turney and Turner are different and families are not related.
We have recently had a conversation with Lum Matthew's of Carthage. He and his brother, Leon Matthews, are well informed on almost any subject. They tell the writer that their grandmother, the former Miss Betsy Davis, was a cousin of the Confederate president, Jefferson Davis, who married a daughter of General Zachary Taylor, one of our presidents before the Civil War. However, the former Miss Taylor lived only a few weeks after her marriage to Jefferson Davis.
We have the following concerning the Matthews family, which were once quite numerous on Peyton's Creek and in other places in Smith County.
The first of the family that is now known to his descendants is Wylie Matthews, probably born near McMinnville, Tenn. He was a small man a farmer, and died in Coffee County, Tennessee. He was a Baptist in his religious faith. He was thought to have been of Irish descent and lived for a time in Virginia before coming to Tennessee. He is believed to have married Miss Sallie Freeze.
The children of Wylie Matthews were: William Matthews, married Jane Phillips; Allen Matthews, married Sallie, daughter of Matthew Davis; Matthew, married Betsy Davis, a sister of Sallie and believed to have been first cousins of Jeff Davis; Wylie Matthews, Jr. believed to have removed to East Tennessee, and we have no further information; Tapley Matthews, lived in Warren County, Tenn.; Clibourn Matthews, married Matilda Phillips, a sister of Jane Phillips, as given above, and Sallie Matthews, never married.
We have but little information as to William Matthews. It is said that he lived and died in Coffee County, Tennessee, that he was a leading Baptist minister of his section, serving a number of churches.
Allen Matthews and his wife Sallie Davis Matthews were the parents of Mark Matthews married a Hunt; John Matthews , removed to Kentucky; William Matthews, also went to Kentucky; James Matthews, killed by lightening; "Dowd" Matthews, Sampson Matthews, and Elijah Matthews, all went to Kentucky; Mary Matthew, married a Williams; and Tom Matthews, removed to Texas.
Matthew Matthews and his wife, Betsy Davis were the parents of: Matthew Matthews, Jr., who married Sallie Kemp; John Matthews, married first a Phillips, a sister of Jane and Tilda; and later he married a Brown; Enoch Matthews, married first a Robinson and later his cousin, Gillie Matthews, daughter of Clibourn Matthews; Joannah Matthews, married John Knight; and Louisiana, married "Shute" Smith.
Allen Matthews was also a Baptist minister. He died before his wife, of whom we find the following in the old Census Records of Smith County for 1850: Elizabeth Matthews, head of the family, born in Tennessee in 1809; Matthew, her son, 21 years of age in 1850 and born in Tennessee; John Matthews, 19 and born in Tennessee; Lucy A, 15; Enoch, 13; and Joannah, 10. It is easy to see that this was the same family as given in the preceding paragraph.
Cliborne Matthews, who married Tilda Phillips, was later married to a Knight. The Census Records give the following: Cliborn Matthews, born in North Carolina, in 1810, Matilda, 36, and born in Tennessee; Martha J., 18; Milly E., 15; Eliza A., 13; Gilia E., 10; Mary T., six; Jesse M. W., four; and John D. P., one year old; and all the children were born in Tennessee.
In our own personal records of this family, we have the following listed as the children of Clibourn and Tilda: Mila, (Milly), married a McCall; Louisa, Married a Knight; Gillie (Gilia), married Enoch Matthews, her first cousin as above given; Tennessee, married a Matthews, of no known kin to her; Jesse Matthews, married a Dawsey; and later a Martin; John, Matthews, married Mary Robinson, Nan Davis and Mary Ingraham; E. L. (Ned) Matthews, married a Knight; and William C. Matthews, married a Woodard; and Martha J., died unmarried.
By a comparison with the old Census Records the readers will note that the two groups are one and the same, although some of the children in our own list were born after the 1850 Census. We would judge the "our Louisa" was none other than Eliza; and that Tennessee Matthews on our list was Mary T. of the 1850 list.
By his second marriage Clibourn Matthews was the father of: Wylie, married a Knight; Enoch, married a Pedigo; Marion, married a Willis, and also a Shepherd; and one other child whose name is illegible on our list, but looks like Lissie.
Mack Matthews, son of Allen Matthews, above given, had three children, "Shug", Emmie and Dee.
Matthew Matthews and his wife, Sallie Kemp, were the parents of Missouri, married Zach Coons, son of Richard Coons; William, married a Hall and removed to Texas; John, married a Flatt; Napoleon, died young; George, married a Kemp; Tom, married a sister of George's wife; Mmartha, married "Colonel" Smith; and one other whose name we do not know.
John M. Matthews and his wife, the former Miss Phillips, were the parents of a daughter, Bettie, who married a Holladay. By John N. Matthws' second marriage to a Miss Brown, he was the father of: Leon, married Eva Downs; Lum, married a Kirby; Furbie, married M. Kemp; Leona, married Balaam Petty, and Hattie, married Henry Shoulders, son of Tim Shoulders.
Enoch Matthews, a brother of Matthew and John M. Matthews, married a Robinson and by her he was the father of: Bill, married a Davis; and Jim, who never married. By his second wife, his cousin, Gilia or Gillie Matthews, he was the father of Mary, Buck, Rosella, who disappeared from a spring and so far as we have been able to learn was never heard from again; Forrest and Tom Matthews.
We are personally acquainted with a few of the parties above named who are still living. We know Leon and Lum Matthews, as above set out; and used to know their sister, Mrs. Henry Shoulders, whose husband was the writer's second cousin. We also knew Ned Matthews, who had one of the finest memories we ever contacted. He was also a singer of the old-time religious songs, that are now somtimes called "white spirituals," which he could sing as few men we have ever known. His singing of "Sweet Morning," we suppose, will last with writer as long as he has memory. His singing, "We shall Sleep But Not Forever," will last until we meet on the bright shore of another world. He went down to WSM in the years gone by and sang a number of songs over the radio. So far as the writer recalls, he could neither read nor write and yet he could sing the old songs for hours at a time having learned them from memory. It seems a terrible pity that those old songs were not preserved for present and future generations. He was wholly uneducated, but he had about as much mother wit as any person we ever met. Once in a while his wit failed him. One story is: Bud Alexander, son of one of the former citizens of Lafayette, Matthew N. Alexander, who once lived within about 60 yards of our printing office, received a badly broken leg from which he was months getting well. During this long confinement in his home, he began to read books on medicine, etc. and decided to become a physician. He attended school for only a short time when he was licensed to began practice.
Shortly after he began to practice, he rode horseback by the home of Ned Matthews, who saw him and then stated to his wife, "There goes Bud Alexander, riding his saddle bags and trying to practice medicine. He does not know any more about medicine that I do."
The wife replied, "Maybe he knows more than you think he does about medicine."
The husband then insisted he was right and finally stated to his wife, who was taking up for the new doctor; "Sarah, I am going to go to bed and be awfully sick when he comes back. I want you to call him in to see me and then I will prove to you that he knows nothing of medicine."
Ned went to bed and began "to take on in a very loud manner." His wife "flagged down" the returning doctor and said, "Doctor, come in and see Ned. He seems to be awfully sick and is taking on a lot."
The new doctor got off his horse, took his "saddle bags" and went into the house, to find Ned lying on the bed apparently in great pain and needing the service of perhaps of two or three physicians. But Dr. Bud Alexander, although not highly educated as we count education today was a man of great common sense. So he made a through examination of Mr. Matthews and decided that there was nothing the matter with the "sick man." he said nothing, but gave Ned a big dose of medicine of a kind that would make him sick. He stayed with the sick man for quite a while, giving him one or two more "doses." He then left and Sarah, the wife, as millions of women have done, followed him into the yard and asked, "Doctor, do you think Ned is much sick?" The doctor's reply was somewhat rough but it was easily understood: "No, by G-d, he isn't now; but he will soon be."
Ned, on one occasion, met a young teacher, Pick Beasley, in a school house debate. Beasley, who was one of the writer's second cousins, after making a speech and hearing Ned's reply, said, "Mr. Matthews, I have never heard such words as you have used in all my life. Where did you learn them?" We might add at this point that Ned could "manufacture" words that we never heard or read in all of our lifetime of more than 60 years and he was doing this in his debate with Beasley. Ned's reply was, "Some people get their words out of the 'under-bridged dictionary,' and some of them out of the 'over-bridged dictionary.' I don't use either. I get my words out of the 'side-bridged dictionary'." And we may add that he "floored" Beasley.
We are of the opinion that the Matthews family above described is the same as the Mathis family in Coffee, Warren, and Cannon Countires. Later we hope to trace this down. We might add that the family spelled the name" Matthews" to the census enumeratior in 1850.
Another member of the Matthews family, a relative of the Matthews in the article was Elder Thomas Wainwright Matthews, a leading Baptist minister of the Difficult section for many years. We will have to carry this over for a later article.
We have head of some criticism of our "Colyum" and we may add that we have had much commendation. We may state that those who do not care for the Column, certainly do not have to read it. So if you do not care for the historical matters, pass our Column by and we will not think hard of you in the least.