People and Events in the History of Pleasant Grove and Garretts Creek
Communities- Part Four
By A.L. Nimmo
Contributed by Freddy
Retyped for the page by Sherry Falcon
I forgot to say that the old steam and water mills that ground corn were followed by Mills
powered with gasoline engines. A few years ago we could hear them at almost every cross road.
Some later were run with electric motors. Charlie DOSS had one near us. Elsie GILLIAM had
one in Westmoreland. As I remember, these were the very last corn mills near us. Oh yes, Carlos
MEADOR ran a grist mill at the state line once. One seventh of the corn carried was the usual
toll given for grinding.
The earliest doctors that I can learn of who practiced in these communities were John L.
DAVIS who lived where E. L. MOORE now lives on Garretts Creek above the NIMMO place.
There was Dr. BEARD who lived near Gumwood. Dr. Robert DURHAM lived here where
Crash BROWN now lives. Dr. Granville WILSON lived on Trammel Creek near Gumwood. Dr.
T. Y. CARTER, grandson of Uncle Tom spoken of earlier in this story began to practice near
1910. He moved from Trammel back in to Westmoreland. His son Thomas FOSTER is now
located in Westmoreland. A Doctor named JONES is also located in Westmoreland at the
present time, 1962. Dr. Robert COOK located on Trammel Creek on the Kentucky side of the
state line did much practice hereabout. Dr. DURHAM and Dr. WILSON died about 1906. Both
are buried here, as well as Dr. DAVIS who died years before. Dr. Dewey FOSTER and Dr. Scott
DOTSON were located in Westmoreland about the 1930's. Both are dead. Dr. FOSTER is
buried here. Two sons of Sammie DOSS are practicing medicine. One in Hendersonville,
Tennessee and one in Iowa. Our young friend, Larry FOSTER, son of Carl and Reba FOSTER is
now educating himself for a doctor. These earlier doctors usually went about on calls to homes
horseback. They later had buggies. Perhaps, Dr. T. Y. CARTER was the first to get an
automobile. Before telephones, those needing a doctor would have to go after him. I remember
going after Dr. WILSON at 1:00 o'clock in the morning for Enfield GAINS wife when a baby
was to be born. I rode over there, awakened the doctor, he got up, dressed, went to the barn and
harnessed his horse, hitched him to a buggy and drove over there. The lot of a family doctor was
full of hardship and sacrifice. But they came, wet or dry, cold or hot. Now the most doctors
have clinics where the patients often meet him. People cooperate in nursing the sick. Often
sitting up nights with seriously sick ones. Now, a great many of us carry hospitalization
insurance. Now we are carried to a well-equipped hospital for treatment and nursing by experts.
We are all informed how we secured the Sumner County Memorial Hospital in Gallatin. I might
add that Dr. COOK and Dr. Dewey FOSTER are buried here at Pleasant Grove.
A few tragedies occurred in or near our communities that might be of interest to recall. A
son and a daughter of Sparrel MEADOR were accidentally burned to death. Johnny MEADOR
was burned just over the state line in Kentucky. The daughter, Eldredge EASTS wife, was
burned where John L. CREASY lives. An aunt of Charles SIMMONS burned to death long ago.
A young man named Duke MOSS was killed on the farm of G. W. NIMMO while hauling logs
from woods to a sawmill. He died in the Nimmo home. A son of Bob DURHAM, brother to
Cat, the Gallatin policeman was also killed hauling logs several years ago. His name was Obie
DURHAM. Two men are said to have killed each other in a duel about 400 yards back of the
Baptist Church here. Their names are unknown. Their friends buried them where they fell under
a walnut tree. Uncle Hardy CALDWELL once showed me the place. A BROWN killed a fellow
named MARCUM near the old Gaines Mill site with a rock. Mr. Jim GREGORY was killed by
lightning in the 1930's near where Jesse FOSTERS live. Robert CALDWELL lost an arm at a
saw near Charles SIMMONS home in the 1880's. A tornado killed my sister, Nellie HARRIS, in
1925. This was the one that uprooted the cedars in the Mandy Keen Cemetery.
Some Yankees shot my grandfather CALDWELL as he was putting up a gap in the fence
near his barn where some Rebel home guards had left them down. He recovered. He was
wounded in his legs and ankle. A little girl of Davis GREGORY'S was killed when her brother
let a gun discharge. This was just north of John CREASY'S home.
An old northern straggler was shot by southern guerillas just west of our old farm in the
head of a hollow leading to Little Trammel above Turner's Station. His name was Lazerus
BELT. The hollow used to be called the Lazerus HOLLOW. My father and one Dick DORRIS
found the old man where they left him. I think they buried him there. Another straggler was
killed by these guerillas near where Radine BRASWELL now lives. One Merida JOHNSON shot
himself between here and Trammel Creek on the farm of Bud BEAL. There are four suicides the
names of whom I shall not mention here. They are buried here at Pleasant Grove. Martin
BROWN who lived near us so long was shot near Adolphus. He was buried here. Two or three
more murder victims are buried here. For sake of their relatives. I shall not mention their names,
but no doubt many of those who will read this story will remember them.
One public servant whom I did not mention before is county surveyor. At the close of the
Civil War, J. A. NIMMO was County Surveyor for a number of years. Brother Dock MEADOR
who was named among the preachers surveyed quite a lot but was not made County Surveyor. In
1948 A. L. NIMMO was elected County Surveyor by the County Court. (That is how this officer
is chosen.) In 1953 Odo RHODES followed NIMMO as County Surveyor and had the Court
elect NIMMO as his deputy. These two are in office at this writing. NIMMO was the first
surveyor in Sumner County, to acquire Social Security benefits from this service.
One quite unique occupation taken up by a descendant of Dance BROWN and old Dr.
DURHAM named John Tim BROWN, nick named Crash BROWN, is to give stunt shows,
leaping one auto over other cars. Overturning cars and other dangerous stunts. At present he is
conducting speedway contests here at Pleasant Grove. He boasts the only race track with two left
turns and one right turn. He has given shows in several states and in Canada. Yet he is in fine
physical form and is perhaps the largest and strongest man our community ever produced. He
was a soldier in World War II and saw service overseas. Speaking of wars, some of our early
settlers could have served in the War of 1812, and perhaps did. Of this I have no records but
believe some of the Land Grants given here were because of service then. Only one veteran of the
Mexican War buried here is Cullen RHODES who married Julia CULWELL, sister to my mother
and grandfather to Odo and Odell RHODES. His name is among those on a monument in the old
cemetery in Gallatin that was erected to Mexican War Veterans. For the Civil War 1861 to 1865
there were many volunteers and conscripts from our neighborhoods. Mr. Edwin FERGUSON
who lives near Fountain Head has lately prepared amendments to the records in Gallatin at the old
Trousdale Daughters of the Confederacy Head Quarters. If these are examined I am sure a lot
could be learned that I will leave out. Many of our fathers, uncles, and grandparents were taken.
Some were wounded others slain in battle. Some taken prisoner and confined at Rock Island,
Illinois and other prisons. Some or all of these prisoners were offered freedom if they would take
an oath to support the Federal Government. This many refused to do. Among this number (and I
do not know all of them) were Uncle Jim BROWN, Father of Odus, Brody and Robert and Uncle
W. Y. DOSS, my mother's brother-in-law. Among the soldiers for the southern armies were
BROWNS, CALDWELLS, CARTERS, KEENS, GREGORYS, MORRISSES, CREASYS, and
no doubt several I will omit because of ignorance of them. J. A. NIMMO, my uncle was a captain
and organized a company of Sumner Countians. He was wounded in the thigh at Fishing Creek
and never fully recovered from it. Uncle Big Hardy CALDWELL lost an arm by a cannon ball
carrying messages as a courier. My mother lost two brothers they were Uncle Dave and Uncle
Joe CULWELL. No great battles were fought nearer than Nashville. A smaller engagement took
place at Gallatin. Cannon balls used in this engagement can be seen at Trousdale Place in
Gallatin. You have seen the great Federal Cemetery at Nashville where so many union soldiers,
our side, killed, are buried. Other great battles in Tennessee were at Murfreesboro, Lookout
Mountain, and Missionary Ridge close to it. Also Franklin, Tennessee and at Shiloh west of here.
As a result of this war whose indirect cause was Negro Slavery and whose direct cause was
secession from the Union of Eleven southern states was the freeing of all slaves not already freed
some other way.
A great Union Army under General ROSECRANS invaded our county, coming from
Kentucky thru Turners Station Westmoreland. This army numbered more than 30,000 men.
They took away all livestock, food supplies, etc., they could find. All guns were confiscated. A
fine shotgun was taken from my grandmothers hands by a federal officer. He apologized to her in
a way and explained it was so ordered by his superiors. My father and his widowed mother at
that time lived just above Turners Station. All their food stuff was taken but a hill of potatoes
that were hidden out. They were said to have lived three weeks on potatoes alone. Many other
families suffered the same privations and hardships. The first few years after the Civil War was a
trying time for our ancestors. The last soldier on either side is now dead. Just a year or two ago
the last southern soldier died in Texas. I believe. A monument of a confederate soldier stands in
the yard of Trousdale Place in Gallatin in memory of all this county's Confederate Soldiers. It
might be said here that in the War Memorial Building stands a statue to the memory of all
Tennesseans slain in World War I. Tablets with all their names are also there. That war occurred
beginning in 1914 and ending on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of
1918. Perhaps there was more genuine rejoicing on that day all over the world than any other day
in all history. The blood shed had ceased and the boys would soon be home. Bells were rung,
whistles blown, guns fired, people paraded and shouted everywhere. The causes of this war, you
can find in your school histories. It broke out in Europe and soon our country was embroiled.
Among the boys conscripted in our communities were Aubrey CARTER, Carner CARTER,
Vernon, HARVEY, and Harry CARTER, Wesley CARTER, Clarence WOODWARD, Lawrence
WOODWARD, Vergil WILLIAMS, Norman GILLIAM, Ras MORRIS, Odo RHODES, Odell
RHODES, this boy served in the navy. He was a fireman on the Battle Ship North Dakota.
Clarence WILLIAMS. This fellow was in training in this country with the great Alvin YORK
who returned a great national hero. Jeffy DUFFER, Oren BURNLEY, Robert DURHAM who is
now in Veterans Hospital in Murfreesboro. Knox DOSS, Porter GREGORY, I believe, Luther
DORRIS. I am sure there must have been others.
Just following World War I we lost quite a number of our younger men who immigrated to
places north of the Ohio. Quite a number went to Indianapolis where jobs were more plentiful.
Many have done well. Some settled in other towns. And when World War II began we had
fewer young men military age then in the first big war. Among others who moved north was
Willie MORRIS. His son Frank received training that helped him to be made manager of the new
Schaffer Plant in Gallatin. My sisters grandsons are doing a big business in Indianapolis. Two of
her sons immigrated to Indianapolis.
Since the development of cheap electricity making in the South, many industries have moved
south where labor is more plentiful and cheaper. Everyone knows several plants that began work
in Gallatin, Scottsville, Lafayette, and Nashville. Many of our neighbors are now profitably
employed where they can stay at home and commute to work daily. Good roads and automobiles
help them to work as far away as Nashville. Many nice homes have appeared all over the district,
thanks to these industries. With the coming of the social security under which people 65 years old
or under in some cases can retire there are more people approaching old age with a sense of
security and well-being than ever before. I believe we are all more prosperous, contented, and
happy than ever before with fewer worries to torment us.
After World War II, universal military training was required. All our sons 18 or over were
required, and still are, to take military training. So when the Korean War began it was mostly the
ones then in training that were called to go. Forest MORRIS, the boy Ras and Mrs. Lillian raised,
was slain in Korea. His body was sent back by the government for burial here. Four boys of
World War II were accidentally killed, three in training, one Floyd RHODES, one of Owen and
Fannie RHODES was accidentally killed while taking pictures during a storm at sea as he was not
coming home. Billy MEADOR, and a son of Charlie CARR, the Spanish War Veteran, Eldredge
EASIS boy they raised were killed in training in this country. No doubt they gave their lives for
their country as well as Forest MORRIS who was slain in battle. These boys are all buried here at
Pleasant Grove. One victim of World War II is Douglas RHODES, son of Odo and Clara
RHODES. While serving in the South Pacific jungles he became paralyzed from the waist down
and never walked again. Other complications beset him and he suffered several operations on his
body and one leg was removed his body. He yet lives in Memphis. My son William was given a
medical discharge while in training in Maryland because of blistering feet. Charles, my other son
volunteered and joined the merchant marine. Later he joined the air Force and at present is
located in Tripoli, North Africa. My twin brother and I both registered for service in World War
II but our class was not called for training before the armistice.
Sometimes I think I was a pioneer. I saw the coming of the automobile to the United States,
also I was 15 then. In 1903 Wright Brothers flew the first heavier than air machine at Kitty Hawk
in the Carolinas. These first automobiles could go 20 or 25 miles per hour on a good road. Now
Jet passenger planes are crossing the oceans at 600 miles per hour or 10 miles per minutes. Lately
men have been put into orbit around the earth at the amazing speed of 16,000 miles an hour. That
is 266 miles a minute or 40 miles a second.
Personally, I believe we have seen our last great war. Nuclear fission and atomic and
hydrogen bombs, self-guided missiles, and other destructive agents have made it so dangerous. I
can't believe any nation will drop the first one. For other nations could retaliate and all peoples
could be wiped out. I believe many of you will live to see the prophecy of Micah of old come to
pass. And they shall beat their swords into plow shares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation shall not lift up hand against nation neither shall they learn of war anymore.
One industry that I believe is worth consideration was the making of shingles out of poplar
and chestnut wood. Blocks sixteen inches long were sawed off. These were boiled in a large box
with iron bottom until softer. A machine with a heavy keen knife about twenty inches long that
slid up and down in steel grooves much like the French Guillotine for beheading criminals was
used. It was operated with an iron lever raised and pulled down by two strong men. The blocks
were shoved under the knife by another worker. This man could make one end thicker than the
other alternately. The shingles were bound into bundles and/or bales of 250 usually. They could
be sold at any railroad station.
Later shingles were sawed. Eli RIPPY, grandfather of Clarence WOODWARD and
Lawrence operated both kinds of cutting. One Bill MARCUM of Petroleum operated a knife
machine near here a long time ago. About 1900.
Free Masons built a hall over the Old Methodist Church. They had an interest in that
building. It was erected in 1873. Free Masons named the lodge here Trammel Lodge Free and
accepted Masons. They met monthly until the lodge was moved to Westmoreland in 1953. The
year the new Methodist Church was built. Several of our neighbors joined the Odd Fellows, the
Junior Order United American Mechanics, and Modern Woodman. These orders meet no longer
in Westmoreland, but a few still carry insurance in the Woodman order.
A few amusing incidents that I believe should not be allowed to be forgotten happened in
our district. This 12th District of Sumner County included the 17th long ago. It was called
Troutts District because of the Prominence of the TROUTT families that lived to our west. It is
told that soon after the Civil War, one of these TROUTTS was counting the ballots at Liberty
when he came to a Republican ballot, holding it high he loudly called out, who put this in? No
one answered, so he said I guess this one got in by mistake. And he tore it up.
This same TROUTT, (I am sorry, I can't learn his first name) was said to be on a Circuit
Court Jury trying a trivial suit over a boar shoat. After deliberation the Jury reported a hung jury.
The judge told them to go back in their room and try to agree on some verdict as the case was not
of enough importance to warrant a new trial. But they returned still in disagreement. The judge
said to be Mr. TROUTT the foreman, what seems to be the reason you can't agree? Mr.
TROUTT said there are eleven of the durndest fools on this Jury I ever saw.
An old man near us had never become a Christian. When he was at a big revival an old lady
laid her hand on his head and asked him if he loved God. The old man replied with a sniff. I ain't
got nuthing particular agin him.
Some of the dear Old Preacher Circuit Riders of long ago used to carry in their saddle bags a
bottle of alcoholic spirits to stimulate them on their long trips in cold weather. My father told of
one Brother TROUTT became too limp to remain on his horse near my grandmothers home. The
weather was very cold. My father and two neighbors carried the old fellow up into the attic and
put him to bed. My father and one other slept in the same room. The old man took a text and
was delivering them an incoherent discourse on the unity of God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost.
One of them interrupted the old man and asked him how it was that God was one, yet there were
three of them. The old man lay quiet for a time. Then he told them it was not polite for a young
man to interrupt an old minister in his discourse. Then said I don't know how the devil it is but
they are all in cahoots some way. The he turned over and went to sleep.
Go to Pleasant Grove and Garrett's Creek--Part One
Go to Pleasant Grove and Garrett's Creek--Part Two
Go to Pleasant Grove and Garrett's Creek--Part Three
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