Transcribed by Janette West Grimes
October 26, 1950
* CAL'S COLUMN *
We resume our record of the old Smith County Quarterly Court proceedings, as found in the office of the County Court Clerk at Carthage. We closed our last article with the item about Flynn's Creek, which is in what is now known as Jackson County.
We resume with the next item which reads as follows: "Ordered that William Saunders be appointed overseer of the road leading from Peyton's Creek to Bledsosburough and from thence to John Shelton's; and that all his own hands, together with John Brady's (perhaps Bradley) hands and Grant Allen's hands, all living above Bledsosburough and between said road and the river, and below Peyton's Creek, work on said road." We wonder if this could have been the old, old road leading from Peyton's Creek, just below the present Monoville to Dixon Springs and westward.
Grant Allen lived near the present Dixon Springs. So far as we have been able to learn the next road mentioned in the old records as being between Peyton's Creek and Dixon's Creek, was the old Fort Blount Road, which crossed the present Mace's Hill, at the western foot of which the writer was born.
"The Court then proceeded to the appointment of a Venire for the ensuing County Court, when the following gentlemen were appointed (to wit) John Keer, (Kerr), John Bass, Daniel Mungle, Andrew Greer, John Brevard, James Bradley, James Ballou, Anthony Samuel, William Lacy, William Kelton, Willeroy Pate, Pleasant Kearby, Grant Allen, William Martin, Leonard Ballou, James Roberts, William Sanders, William Boyd, Thomas Bowman, Henry Tooley, Nathaniel Ridley, William Haney, John Crosswhite and James Draper," reads the next item. Here we have the names of 26 of the leading citizens of Smith County in its infancy, 150 yeas ago. We know a few things about some of the men above named and will give a few facts and perhaps some surmises.
John Kerr, we presume, was the ancestor of the Kerrs that now live in Trousdale County. John Bass, we suppose, was the ancestor of the present numerous Bass family of the New Middleton section of the present Smith County. Daniel Mungle was perhaps the man for whom Mungle's Gap was named. This gap or low place between hills, is located just above Good Will Baptist church, on tghe extreme upper part of the Glasgow Branch of Lick Creek, just below Dixon Springs. This gap still has a road leading through it, and was used for many, many years by pioneer emigrants, who were on their journey further West. The old Fort Blount road led through this gap. The Mungle farm of 640 acres lay about two miles west of the Gap, on the waters of Big Goose Creek.
Nothing is known of the Andrew Greer, next named among the jurors. John Brevard comes next. We have a rather interesting sidelight in which the name Brevard figures. The founder of the rather numerous Ford family of Macon, Trousdale and other counties, was found as a newborn baby at a ford on Goose Creek in the earliest days of this section of North Middle Tennessee. The baby was wrapped in excellent garments for that day in time giving indications that his mother belonged to one of the wealthier families. There were no marks of identification about the baby, who was found by a man named Brevard and who gave the infant the name of Ford because the abandoned baby had been found at the ford on Goose Creek. This is the same family name as that recorded above and we wonder if John Brevard could have been the man who reared the ancestor of the Fords who still reside in this section.
Nothing is known of James Bradley. Next named is James Ballou. He was a brother of the writer's great - great - grandfather Leonard Ballou. James Ballou was twice married, his first wife having been a Miss Shelton, but we do not know if she was a sister or the daughter of the John Shelton above mentioned. We are sure that they were related. James Ballou married a second time, his wife being a Miss Shields. Only one child of James Ballou is known, Susan, who married Arch DeBow, who lived at one time in Wilson County. Arch DeBow and his wife were the parents of one child, whoo later married a Norris. James Ballou lived on Dixon's Creek in 1800 and was at one time road overseer from the top of Mace's Hill to Dixon's Creek, or that part of the Fort Blount Road on which the writer was born. James Ballou was the first road overseer of whom we have any record for that particular road.
Nothing is known of Anthony Samuel, nor of William Kelton. William Lacey, whose name appears between the names of Samuel and Kelton, has been previously mentioned in these articles.
The next name is that of William Pate, who, we feel sure, was the ancestor of the present Pate family of Jackson County and other places. However, Hamp Pate, who is one of the oldest living Pates, does not know anything beyond his grandfather. Hamp Pate resides at present on Salt Lick Creek in Jackson County.
Pleasant Kearby was the ancestor, so we understand, of the entire Kirby family of Macon, Smith, Trousdale and many other counties. The name was spelled as above, but was pronounced by early members of the family as if spelled "Kyearby." Just where the earliest home of the family was we do not know positively, although the oldest known Kirby settlement in this county is about ten miles directly east of Lafayette.
Mention has already been made of Grant Allen and William Martin. The next name is that of Leonard Ballou. This man was the writer's ancestor as has been set out above. He was born in Bellecourt County, Virginia, on April 4, 1767, and was, therefore, 33 years of age when he was summoned for jury duty. He married Miss Mary Metcalf, by whom he had the following children: Betsy, married Benian Lipscomb; Leonard, married a Nixon; James, married a Key; and Rice Meredith Ballou, married Amanda Nelson. After the death of Mary Metcalf Ballou, Leonard Ballou married her sister, Sarah Metcalf, by whom he had the following children: Lorenzo Dow Ballou, born December 1, 1808; Julia, died young and was never married; Minerva, married Booker Wakefield; Anthony W. Ballou, married a Cummings; William Ballou, married a McMurry; and John Ballou, married a White. Leonard Ballou, above mentioned, died on August 4, 1840, aged 73 years and four months. Leonard Ballou in the early part of the 19th century , lived near the present brick church house on Dixon's Creek. He and his brother - in - law, Elias Johns, who married Ballou's sister, Esther, lived on adjoining farms. Johns owning at that time, 1808, the old Brooks farm just below the church house above referred to. Ballou discovered that there was a strip of land, probably several acres, between their two farms, to which neither had a deed. This left it as government land. So Ballou, in all fairness, suggested to Johns that they go to Carthage and file on the entire tract amd divide it equally between the two men with Johns getting the half next to him and Ballou the remaining half. But Johns slipped away to Carthage and filed on the entire tract and Ballou, outraged by such conduct, stated that he would not live by a man who would treat him in any such manner. So Ballou sold his 640 acres and then went to Peyton's Creek, just above the present Pleasant Shade, and bought a tract of 640 acres of land. Here he died and was buried. He was a good man and there is no stain upon his character so far as we have been able to learn. Leonard Ballou was the son of Leonard Ballou, the family being of French descent and having come to the James River Valley as early as 1660. The New England Ballou family starts with Maturm Ballou who arrived at Providence in 1638. Maturm Ballou appears to have been an uncle of the first Virginia Ballou.
We hope that readers will pardon us for this rather lengthy dissertation on the early Ballou history in Smith County. The family is now not nearly so numerous as it once was. Perhaps in two or three more generations, the name will be virtually gone.
James Roberts, next mentioned in the list of jurors, is unknown to us as are William Boyd, Thomas Jamison, John Barclay, Nathaniel Ridley and John Crosswhite. We have only a smattering of information about the others named in the last part of the list. Thomas Bowman, we believe, was the ancestor of the Bowman family for many years well known in the Riddleton section. He is believed to have been the son of Robert Bowman, who died more than 140 years ago in the Riddleton section, and who was a man of wealth and influence in his day and time. We do not have positive proof that Thomas Bowman was the son of Robert, but we think investigation will show this to be true. If any reader has the needed information about this point, communicate with us if you will.
Henry Tooley was from near the present Riddleton. He was a prominent man of early Smith County history and a bend in the Cumberland used to be known as Tooley's Bend. He had either died or removed from Smith County by the year 1820, as he was not mentioned in the census for that year. For a number of years he was predominently identified with the work of the Court. He is believed to be the ancestor of Burford Tooley, Lafayette business man.
William Haney is supposed to have been the ancestor of the present Haney family in Smith County, although the spelling of the name is slightly different. The writer's "line of baptismal descent" goes back through E. B. (Ned) Haynie. The writer was baptized by Elder R. B. Davis on October 3, 1909. Davis was baptized by E. B. Haynie, who was baptized by John Wiseman on December 20, 1819. John Wiseman was baptized by Thomas Durham. Durham was baptized by John Waller and Waller by Thomas Read in 1786. E. B. Haynie was born in 1805, but his parents, who were from North Carolina, are not known so far as names are concerned. This William Haney might have been the father of the preacher, E. B. Haynie. Any information along this line will be appreciated.
James Draper, last named in the above list, is supposed to have been the ancestor of the numerous Drapers of Jackson County and elsewhere.
The next item in the old records is as follows: "Ordered that James Caruthers be appointed road overseer of a road leading from Mungle's Gap up the middle fork of Goose Creek to the first fork above the trough spring." This trough spring was identified in a previous article. James Caruthers is supposed to have been the ancestor of the numerous Caruthers of Macon County.
"Ordered that Elisha Oglesby be appointed as overseer of the road leading from the first fork of Goose Creek above the trough spring to Long Creek and down same to the last crossing thereof, and that James Gwinn and James Hibbetts be appointed to give said overseer a list of polls to work on said road." We are sorry to know nothing whatever of Elisha Oglesby, but the name is still well known and is borne by quite a number of Middle Tennesseans. The road overseeing he had to do began at the present Pleasant Valley Methodist Church, where a stream enters Goose Creek from the northwest, thence up by Horsley's school house, thence northward by way of the present Cedar Bluff church, thence through the Gap of the Ridge and down Long Creek to the last crossing south of the state line. Next, "Ordained that William Gillespie be appointed overseer of a road leading from the last crossing of Long Creek to the State Line. and that James Gwinn and James Hibbetts be appointed to give said overseer a list of hands to work on said road," reads the remainder of this item of the work of the Court of 150 years ago. "Ordered that William Gilbreath be appointed overseer of a road leading from Capt. Turney's to Mungle's Gap, and that Tilman Dixon and Peter Turney be appointed to furnish a list of hands to work on said road." So reads our last item for this article. Captain Turney lived at the present Bud Garrett farm, about one and a half miles below the writer's birthplace on the Youth Branch of Dixon's Creek. Evidently the road led through Dixon Springs, for Tillman Dixon lived on one of the roads that led from Turney's to Mungle's Gap, although there was the old Fort Blount Road leading by the Turney place, thence across Dixon's Creek just below the old brick church house, thence across the hill into the valley of Lick Creek, thence by the present Good Will church, and on to the Gap. But it is supposed that Dixon, who lived just below the present Dixon Springs, would not have been asked to furnish a list of hands to have to work the road leading the other way to the Gap.
We Hope that we have not worried any of our readers, but we are striving to keep alive the names and places mentioned in the old, old records and hope that we are helping in a small measure to preserve these old landmarks and the names of those connected with them a century and a half ago.
*There was a Note added to this article in the book by R. D. Brooks as follows:
William Haynie married Ann Bradley/ Son, Major Elijah Haynie married Clarkie Beasley, daughter of old Isham Beasley of Beasley's Bend, Dixon Springs, Tennessee. Elijah Haynie and Clarkie Beasley had preacher son, E. B. Haynie "Ned", (1805 - 1885) who was ordained May 1832 by Peyton Creek Baptist Church and served as a preacher for fifty three years.