People and Events in the History of Pleasant Grove and Garretts Creek Communities- Part Four

By A.L. Nimmo
Contributed by Freddy Brown
Retyped for the page by Sherry Falcon

Part Four

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.

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