Transcribed by Janette West Grimes


November 13, 1952


* Cal's  Column *



   We continue this week with the old records of the County Court of Smith County, and the Court of Pleas. The time is Wednesday, June 23, 1802, and the place of meeting was in the home of William Saunders in the vicinity of the present Dixon Springs. The next item is as follows : "Ordered that Archibald Sloan be Overseer of the road from Michael Murphy's to the top of the Ridge between Peyton's Creek and Defeated Creek, and that all the hands living on the fork of the road leading up, including Michael Murphy's hands, and all the hands on the fork that George Thompson lives on, and the fork William Kelton lives on, and the fork that said Sloan lives on from his own house down to the said road, work under said overseer." This rather long item is of peculiar interest to many in the Pleasant Shade section, and there is still an Archibald Sloan in the family. We have known this man for many years. He is the father of Oval, Clyde, Henry and Dwight Sloan, young men of the Pleasant Shade community. Another early Sloan of that section was Patrick Sloan, but we do not know their relationship. Still another member of the family in the years long gone by was Jason Sloan.


   The present Pleasant Shade is said to have derived its name from the shade trees about the home of Jason Sloan, which stood on the site of the present Billy Sloan residence, not far from Pleasant Shade to the east up what is still called the Sloan Branch. It had been called Herod's Cross Roads before the establishing of a post office there. The shade trees about the Jason Sloan home were of the weeping willow variety, so we were informed many years ago.


   Ramsey, in his Annals of Tennessee, gives the following : "Houston's Station stood six miles from Maryville ... It was occupied by the families of James Houston, McConnell, McEwen, Sloane and Henry. It was attacked by a party of Indians, one hundred in number. They had, the day before, pursued the survivors of the Citico massacre, in the direction of Knoxville, many of whom they had killed. Elated with their preceding success, they determined, on their return, to take and murder the feeble garrison as Houston's. A vigorous assault was made upon it. Hugh Barry, in looking over the bastion, incautiously exposed his head to the aim of an Indian rifle. He fell within the station, fatally wounded, having received a bullet in his forehead. The Indians were emboldened by this success, and prolonged the conflict more than an hour. The garrison had some of the best riflemen in the country in it, and, observing the number and activity of the assailants, they loaded and discharged their guns with all possible rapidly. The women assisted them as far as it was possible. One of them, Mrs. McEwen, Esq., of Nashville, and since the wife of Senior S. Doak, D. D., displayed great equanimity and heroism. She inquired for bullet moulds, and was busily engaged in melting the lead and running bullets for different moulds. A bullet from without, passing through the interstice between two logs of the station, struck the wall near her, and rebounding, rolled upon the floor. Snatching it up and melting and moulding it quickly, she carried it to her husband and said: "Here is a ball run out of the Indian's lead; send it back to them as quick as possible. It is their own; let them have it in welcome."


   The road above mentioned in the old records began at Michael Murphy's and extended to the top of the dividing ridge between Peyton's Creek and Defeated Creek. Michael Murphy lived, so we are informed, just to the rear of the site of the present Bob Williams house in the present Pleasant Shade. We would presume that the road to be worked by Archibald Sloan and the hands under him extended northeastward, by way of the present Sanderson's Cumberland Presbyterian church, there up by the old home of Barnett Cornwell to the top of the hill just above the old Wakefield home. The writer once carried the mail over this very road. The reason for judging that the road referred to in the order, of the Court led up this valley is that the road leading down by the Sloan home was part of the old Fort Blount Road and would have doubtless been so designated. Then the picture as given above of the various groups of hands seems to fit into this sort of a pattern. Three sections are mentioned in the locating of the places of residence of the various hands. From Archibald Sloan's down to the Michael Murphy  home would be exactly in keeping with the location of the Sloan home of 150 years ago. The expression, "from his own house down to the road," could not be understood in any other light. The fork that George Thompson lived on was either the present Saunderson Branch or the present Boston Branch. The same may be said for the branch on which William Kelton lived. These two branches come together about a quarter of a mile northeast of the location of the old Murphy home.


   "Ordered that Lewis MacFarland be allowed the sum of twenty-eight dollars in full compensation for his services for twenty eight days' labor in marking the county line, as provided by the act of the Assembly, and that he be paid out of any County monies in the hands of the County Trustee."


   We have some reason to believe that the marking of the boundary line of the county had reference to those parts of Smith County bounded by the newly formed county of Jackson and by Wilson County. Jackson County was formed in 1801, and there is no record previous to the above, so far as we have found, to indicate that the boundary line had been established. Moreover, the next item which reads as follows : "Ordered that William Jones be allowed the sum of fifty-six dollars as surveyor for running the boundary line between the counties of Smith and Wilson; and also between Smith and Jackson Counties, as provided by act of Assembly," shows that these were the two lines under consideration. Lewis MacFarland was, we think, a relative of Dr. Sam MaFarland, of the hospital at Lebanon, Tenn., which bears his name. Some early MaFarlands in Tennessee, including the following : "July 15, (1791) Issac Pennington and Milligen were killed, and McFarland was wounded, on the Kentucky Road." "Major McFarland, in 1792, Sept. 27th, was included in the group of officers to have in charge two regiments of men to fight Indians." His name was John McFarland. Again we read : "Colonel Doherty and Colonel McFarland, in direct disregard of the orders of the Territorial authorities, raised 180 mounted riflemen, with whom they invaded the Indian country." "But to provide for the worst, it was settled before hand, that each man, on discharging his piece (or gun), without stopping to watch the flight of the Indians, should make the best of jos way to Knoxville, lodge himself in the blockhouse, where 300 muskets had been deposited by the United States, and where two of the oldest citizens of the fort, John McFarland and Robert Williams, were left behind to run bullets and lead." This was in 1793. An earlier member of the same family was Robert McFarland. Of him we have the following record : "Jefferson County, as known at present, received its first settlers in this year (1783). These were Robert McFarland, Alexander Outlaw, Thomas Jarnigan, James Hill, Wesley White, James Randolph, Joseph Copeland, Robert Gentry and James Hubbard." We read also of Robert McFarland as Sheriff of Jefferson County,Tennessee, in 1792. Four years later he was still Sheriff.


   Now we do not know if Lewis McFarland was a relative of the above named early Tennesseans, but presume that he was. We have no information as to William Jones, although there was a Leonard Jones in Smith County as early as 1800.


   "Bill of sail (sale) John L. Martin as Sheriff, to Sampson Williams, acknowledged and ordered to be registered." No comment.


   "Deed, 320 acres, Lemuel Hogan to David Hodges, proven by the oath of John Ward, one of the subscribing witnesses." Early Hogan men in Tennessee were Edward, Humphrey and Richard. Hogan's Creek in the south side of the present Smith County, empties into the Cumberland just below Carthage. We believe that perhaps it was named for Arthur Hogan, but we are not sure of this. Hogan's Creek Baptist church was formed in 1810, and has continued to the present time. The writer was pastor of the church for a number of years, beginning in 1919. It is the oldest "daughter" of Dixon's Creek Baptist church, formed on March 8, 1800. Benjamin Johns was its first clerk, serving as such while the group worshipped as an arm of Dixon's Creek, from 1806 till the constitution and then for 18 years more. Benjamin Johns was the son of Elias Johns, who married our own great-great-great-aunt, Esther Ballou, who was born in Botetourt County, Virginia, about 1780, and died in Smith County, Tenn., about 1852.


   David Hodges, the purchaser of the 320 acres of land, is supposed to have been the ancestor of the  David Hodges, who died not long ago near Carthage. The name is the same and this is one indication that it was the same family. Genealogists or those who make a specialty of tracing family history, use the given names of a family, to trace particular families, to quite a large extent. In my own family, my given name is Stephen Calvin. My grandfather was Stephen Calvin Gregory, who had an uncle Stephen. One of our grandsons is named Stephen and we have a cousin or two with the same given name.


   In our mother's family, the name, Leonard, was applied to some male member of many families. We have a history of the Ballou Family in America, and there are listed 14 Leonard Ballous. We have named one of our own sons, Leonard, to keep the name from ceasing to be used and in line with some 300 years of our family history.


  " Sevier and Gordon vs. John _____ and Aaron Robbins de po to issue for deft., to take the deposition of William White, of North Carolina; and Archibald Roane, Esq. Gov., and 30 days notice to be given the plaintiff in taking the deposition of White, and 20 days in taking the deposition of Governor Roane." Sevier was the first Governor  of the State, and Gordon was his partner in land deals. We do not know the defendant John _____ , nor Aaron Robbins.


   We learned from an early entry in the old records of the Court that William White was secretary of State for North Carolina. The Governor was named Williams.


   "The same order as above in the suit, Sevier and Gordon versus Alexander Suite." From another entry in the old records, it appears that the three defendants had taken up their abode on lands claimed by the complainants. We will learn later the outcome of the suit.


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