Brief Sketch of a Country Neighborhood

Names Index

Chapter VI
Present Citizens


Betsey Maroon is a daughter of Samuel Maroon, and lives on the old homestead.  She is a lady of about fifty, has a good farm and a splendid house.  She rents her farm, but reserves absolute control over it.  She and Miss Hattie McCord live together.


Silas Maroon is a son of Samuel Maroon and also lives on part of the old homestead.  Silas is a heavy set, fine looking man of about forty-five.  He is a quiet, inoffensive man and a good citizen.  He married Sarah Beene who is distantly related to Daniel Boone, and has one child, a little girl named Bessie.


Thomas Dodd lives on the next farm.  Mr. Dodd is a native of Georgia and is an industrious, good citizen.  He married Fronia Johnson, daughter of Bazzel Johnson,and has four children, Elmer, Ada, Myrtle and Nannie.  He is about thirty-five years of age.


Next is Silas Maroon, Jr.  He is a son of Thomas and a grandson of Samuel Maroon.  He is a young man of about twenty-one, married Dora Johnson, and has a fine six-months old son named Earl Russell.  His mother, Eliza Maroon, lives part of the time with him and the remainder with her daughter.


The next is G.W., S.M. and Fronia Thatch, sons and daughter of S.M. Thatch.  None of them married.  They have good stock and are successful farmers.  George, the eldest, is a man over six feet, weighs about two hundred, a good citizen and an honest man.  Fronia, the next oldest, is one of the nicest housekeepers in the section.  Mack, the youngest, is a quiet, industrious man, a great lover of good horses, a great hunter and has several hounds.


B.F. Jones is next.  He married Eliza, daughter of S.M. Thatch, and has two children, Bettie and Bessie.  Bettie is a charming young lady of eighteen, Bessie about sixteen.  His mother lives with him; she is a good woman who will never be forgotten by the author.  Ben is a good and loving son, husband and father.


The next farm north is owned by D.O. Jones, son of Thomas Jones.  Mr. Jones lives at Bartonsville, Texas.  He was here on a visit last winter and the neighbors were all glad to see Dally.  The farm is controlled by Mr. Newton Carroll, who married Jane Lee of this place.  Mr. Carroll is a good neighbor and has a nice family of children, Oscar, Ethel, Lillie, May, Pearl and Luther.


The next farm north is owned by Mr. Isaac Toothacre.  He is a native of Iowa.  He is a well informed, highly respected citizen.  He attended the World’s Fair all the time it was in session,  His mother lives with him and is one of the best informed old ladies to be found anywhere.  Miss Nellie, her daughter, is another member of the family.  She is highly accomplished, a well educated woman, beloved and respected by all who know her.  The Toothacres are Free Will Baptists and are devout Christians.  They have an excellent farm, plenty of good stock and are well fitted for comfortable living.


The next is Mrs. Bradley, an old widow lady who lives alone.  Her farm is the old Peter Airheart homestead.  The house is brick and somewhat old, and the place looks quite lonely for a person to live alone.  She never fails to attend church and to pay the preacher.  She is an old time Methodist, about sixty-five or seventy years old.


John Cooke is next.  Mr. Cooke is about thirty-five years of age and a very industrious, successful farmer.  He married Margaret Davis and has four children, Frederick, Lester, Burton, and the baby.  He was raised in this county but not in this neighborhood.  He came here with but little of this world’s goods, and has paid for his farm, built him a nice house and barn and has all of it paid for so long as I know, yet some say a farmer cannot earn a home these days.  He has dealt honestly, fairly and squarely with his fellow men, and depended on nothing but honest labor to do all those things.


Mrs. Lee is the next farmer north.  She is the widow of Davis C. Lee, late of this place.  Mrs. Lee is a good manager, a true Methodist and a useful woman.  She has two children, Charles, a boy of sixteen, who is one of the shrewdest boys in the public school, and Ida, a bright-eyed, brown haired, sweet little girl of probably twelve summers.  Let it be hoped that these fatherless children will be a blessing to their mother.


J.M. Henry is next.  He is the oldest man in this section; he was born in 1814.  He married Zina Howard, a daughter of Samuel, the first settle in this section.  Some sad misfortunes have befallen this old gentleman in late years, but he raised by his first wife a large family of highly respected children as ever breathed Tennessee air.  His children are Margaret Jane, Samuel, James, John, Provy Ann, Monroe, Marion, and Presbyterian minister. Mrs. Henry died just before the war and after the war, Mr. Henry married Betsey Campbell and raised one son, Luther.  Mr. Henry is very feeble now.


Huston Scott is next west.  He is a young man of about thirty and has been quite successful as a farmer and peddler.  He never inherited a dollar and has by industry and economy bought a right good farm and has a good wagon and team, in fact, is prospering.  He married Kate Etter and has three children.


East of J.M. Henry is F.M. Wolf.  Mr. Wolf is about sixty years old.  He came from James County and married Martha, daughter of J.M. Henry.  They have quite a family of children, Flora, Ella, James, Eve, Alice, and Blanch.  Misses Flora and Ella are accomplished young ladies of seventeen and fifteen, respectively.  Mrs. Wolf is one of the cleverest, best women in the section.  Mr. Wolf had been married before and raised quite a family. He is a good blacksmith and gunsmith.


The next farm north is owned by the late widow of Oliver Hambright.  This is the old Samuel Howard homestead and contains the first graveyard of this section.  This graveyard is still kept up and many of the neighbors still inter their friends here instead of at the churchyard.  Mrs. Hambright does not live here but lives near Flint Springs with her father, James Jones.  Oliver was so dear to his neighbors that this neighborhood sketch would be incomplete without making mention of him.  He was a young man probably thirty-five, was a great worker and always had the prettiest horses in the valley.  He took sick some year or more ago and died very suddenly to the great bereavement of all the neighbors.  Some of them said when they heard Oliver was dead, they could not believe so good a man would be called away so suddenly.  This means they did not want it to be so.  They were not imputing injustice to the Great I Am.  He left two children, Dale, a boy of twelve, and Ollie, a girl of about two.


The next farm is owned by Robert Newton.  He married a lady by the name of Kibler and has a large family of children,  Their names are successively, Augustus, Addio, Martha, Ida, Nettie, William, Minnie and Mina.  The two last are twins,  This is a nice family and the young ladies are accomplished and pretty.  He is about fifty, and is a veteran soldier and draws a pension,  I am not sure he lives in the district I intend to include, nevertheless, he lives near the line and is a good man,  The Newtons are Baptists.


I now cross the ridge to R.P. McSpadden’s, in the twelfth district and go south down the valley.  He is a fine mechanic; and manufactues musical instruments, organs, violins, etc.  He is a fine performer himself and an excellent piano tuner.  He married Aggie Jones, and has several children, all grown.


Next is L.W. Gass, a son of A.H. Gass.  He served in the Federal army and lost a leg in the battle of Pulaski and he draws a pension.  He married Josephine Henderson soon after the war and has a nice intelligent family of children.  Elias, a young man of about twenty-one, who is well-educated and a fine fellow; Andrew who is about eighteen and a bright young man; Ollie, a handsome girl of fifteen; James and Fanny.  He is a worthy citizen and clever man.  He is about forty-eight years of age.


Next is James Rector.  He is a jolly, good neighbor and a great worker.  He married Dora Huffacre and has two small children, William and Charles.  He is about thirty-two years of age.


Next is George Battles, who emigrated from Polk County some five or six yearsago.  He is about thirty-five years of age and has several children, whose names I do not know.


The next farm is owned by the heirs of S.M. Thatch.  This is a nice place, with a good house and a fine fishpond.  This is my birthplace, and in recalling the reminiscences of the past, I find an important character gone, Margaret Thatch, who departed this life July 21, 1888 at about the age of twenty.  She was the life of the family and the youngest child.  She was well educated, kind and loving and never met a stranger nor an enemy.  This farm is tenanted by J.I., son of J.H. Thatch, a young unmarried man of about twenty-seven years of age.  Jim is a quiet, industrious, good citizen.


The next farm, lying east, is owned by J.W. McCarty, spoken of heretofore.


Next south is W.L. Thatch, who is a son of S.M. Thatch.  He married Ann Skillern, who is a sister of John Skillern, sheriff of Hamilton County.  He is about forty-two years of age and has two sons, John and Charles, who are bright boys of nineteen and thirteen, respectively.  He is a very pleasant, sympathetic, taciturn man and is esteemed by all his neighbors.


The next farm is owned by W.P. McSpadden, spoken of heretofore.  He has a nice farm with good buildings of every kind.  He has two sons at home, Andrew married to Sarah North, and William who is a nice young man of about twenty years of age.


The next farm is owned by R.R. Johnson, who married S.E. Thatch, and has a large number of children, William, Mary, John, Dora, Akilee, Bertha, Thomas, Claude and Ernest.  Mr. Johnson is foreman of the wrecking car on the Salem Division of the E.T.V. & G. R.R.  He is a man of about forty-five years of age.


Next is James T. Wilhoit, who is a son of James Wilhoit, deceased, of this section.  He married Margaret Johnson, daughter of Jane Johnson, and who has two bright children, Marion, aged twelve, and Norah, aged four.  Mrs. Johnson, his mother-in-law, lives with him.  She draws a pension for her husband who died in the army.  She is a good woman, a strict Methodist and a Christian lady.


Next is W.D. Wilhoit, brother of J.T.  He married Jane Tucker, and had four children, Ida, Varrie, Jessie and the baby.  He is a good citizen and a Christian gentleman.


Next is J.W. Wilhoit, a son of Claiborn Wilhoit.  He married Betsey Wethers and raised a large family of children, Puss, Joseph, Susan, Sarah, James, Thomas, Johnny and Duggan, all of whom married and several of them are dead.  Mrs. Wilhoit died about three years ago and he married Mrs. Lane, widow of Lindsey Lane, of this place.  She has a daughter, Lizzie, who is a charming girl of sixteen.  Mr. Wilhoit is a man of limited education, but has a wonderful memory and is well informed on the general topics of the day.  He is an omnivorous reader and an incessant talker.  He is sixty-eight years of age but moves around like a boy.  He is a Cumberland Presbyterian and is able in prayer; he is an excellent brick mason.


The next farm was the school land and is owned by Captain Will Brown, of Tilton, Ga.  It is tenanted by Ephriam Massengil and Mit Webb.


Next is C.T. Taylor, who married Amanda, daughter of W.P. McSpadden.  He is a son of J.P. Taylor and is an excellent citizen.  He is a large man about thirty-eight years old and has a nice home.  He went to Kansas and stayed two or three years, but decided Tennessee was the place for him.  He has a very intelligent little girl, Minnie, aged about eleven.


Next is Willis Edwards, our only colored citizen.  Willis has a very good little farm, a good horse and is doing well.  He came to this neighborhood with nothing but Tilda and the children and has accumulated all of his earthly possessions here.  He is as honest a Negro as ever lived.


Andrew, a son of J.P. Taylor, is next.  He is a very large man about thirty-two years of age.  He married Sarah McSpadden, daughter of W.P. McSpadden, and has three or four children.  He is like all the Taylors, a good citizen and a clever man.


The next farm owned by H.H. McNabb, of Ooltewah, Tennessee, and is tenanted by Swill Davis.


Next is J.P. Taylor, one of the oldest and best citizens in the community.  He married Lucinda, daughter of Jacob Brown, and raised a large family of children, five of whom have died since they were grown.  The remainder are all married and have left the old people alone.  Mr. Lee Taylor, the eldest son, is an able Baptist minister, who lives at Cleveland.  He has a good home and is a good farmer.  He has a fine fishpond filled with German carp.  It is a pleasing sight to see this pleasant quiet old gentleman walk out to his lake, with his hands filled with bread, whistle up the fish, right to the bank, and feed them.  They are perfectly gentle and respond to his call as anxiously as a drove of swine to their keeper.  He emigrated from Monroe County in 1844 and has resided as his present home all the while.  It is common to pass great eulogies on the dead, but while J.P. Taylor yet survives, let us thank God that our community is blessed with such a man.


Just west is the old homestead of Jacob Brown, where J.S. Roberts kept his first store.  It belongs to Mr. Roberts and is controlled by Jessie Bennett, who married Margaret Roberts, and has one son, Hayes, a boy of about fifteen.


This reaches the southern boundary of my territory.  I now proceed north down Candies’ Creek, which flows to the Hiwassee.  This is the western portion of the same valley, down which I have been proceeding.


The first farm is owned by the heirs of James Wilhoit, late of this place.  Mr. Wilhoit married a Georgia lady by the name of Nance.  She departed this life about six years ago, and he about four years later.  They left a family of nice intelligent boys and girls, most of them about grown.  Their names are as follows: T.M., Casssie, Susan, Osborne, Sallie, Myrtle.  T.M. is a young man about twenty-five, who is preparing for the ministry.  Cassie, the eldest girl, recently married Mr. Howard.


The next farm is owned by Mrs. J.W. Wilhoit, widow of Lindsey Lane.  Mr. Possy Cunningham lives here.  His wife died a few weeks ago and left him with the following named children:  Lien, Thomas, Ann, Gertrude  and Connie.


The next farm is the old homestead of Gomery Williams and is owned by Mr. Longley, who married Mary, the daughter of the venerable Gomery Williams.  His wife died shortly after their marriage and left an infant, which also died.  He is a man of about sixty-five and had been married before and raised a family, one of whom, a young man, is still with him.  He is a native of Georgia and a pensioner.


Next is the homestead of A.R. Rogers, who married a Miss McCulley and raised three children, Lizzie, Edgar and Sarah and a young lady, Ellen Mitchell lived with them.  Mrs.   Rogers died when Sarah was small and he married Martha Mitchell.  This was a dear family to all the neighbors.  They have every one died in the last ten years exceptMrs. Rogers.  She lives with her brother-in-law, Ed Phillips, and is not in good health.  Henry Phillips, a young man who married Mary Bell, lives here.  They have two children, Eddy and John.


The next is W.D. Mitchell.  He is quite and old citizen, as good as old [sic].  He is a native of Virginia and still retains the provinciality of that country.  He came to this neighborhood about 1844, married a Miss Ragon and reared a highly respectable family, a number of which is in the state of Missouri.  The names of the children are as follows: David, Joseph, Amanda, Robert, James P., George, Samuel, Margaret and Clara.  Only one resides at home, J.P.  He married Mary Anderson of Ringgold, Ga.  He is a merchant and is President of the Bradley County Sunday School Convention and an excellent citizen.  He is about thirty-eight years of age.  The old gentleman is about seventy.


Next is the old homestead of George North, an old citizen who died about eight years ago.  The farm is owned by Prior North, of Polk County, who married a daughter of this gentleman.  Mr. P. North resides here now and also sells goods and keeps the post office of Cecilton.  He has several children, the two eldest about grown.  They are respectively, Alonzo, John, Charles, George, Joseph and Mary.  Mr. North is about forty.


Next is the homestead of J.H. Smith, Esquire, who resided in Bradley County until he reared two families of children and moved to Polk County, where he still enjoys good health at the age of seventy-eight.  J.H. Thatch lives here.  He married Martha, the daughter of J.H. Smith, and has a considerable family, all about grown.  Their names are James, Elizabeth, William, Silas, Harry and Delmar.  William married Ulah Frazier.  Mr. Thatch is about fifty years of age.  He enlisted in the army in April, 1862, in Company B, ninth regiment, Michigan infantry, and was discharged Spt. 23 of the same year.  He re-enlisted Nov. 12, 1862, in Company C, fifth Tennessee Infantry and was discharged at the close of the war as Sergeant-Major.  He is a justice of the peace and a good citizen.


Next is Joseph McSpadden, a son of Samuel.  He married Martha Mitchell and has several children as follows:  Ella, Samuel, Jesse, Renna, Daisy and Eva.  The two oldest are married.  Jesse is a young man about twenty, Miss Renna, a handsome girl of sweet sixteen.  Mr. McSpadden is one of the nicest farmers in the community.  He is very particular about what he does and has it done nicely.


Next is the widow of Elijah Kelley, who was one of our oldest and best citizens.  He has been dead several years, but as Mrs. Kelly was left with a large family of boys, they got along well and all the boys have left her but John.  John is about thirty-five years old, is a good citizen and clever man.  The world could not produce a more inoffensive family than the Kelleys.  The names of the children are Jane, Stewart, Joseph, William, John, Nathan and Elijah.


The next farm is owned by Gabriel North, spoken of heretofore.