The late W.G. McCarron of Athens, in an article entitled "Big 
Families of McMinn County", published in the Athenian on September 
19, 1912 gives a brief history of the Cantrell family of this area:

      "...John Cantrell, who was Heugenot orgin, was the founder in 
this country of the Cantrell family, and ancestor of the Cantrells of 
McMinn County, was said to have had 21 sons and two daughters--17 
sons by his first wife and four sons and two daughters by his second 
wife.  His son Thomas Cantrell had ten children, and the example set 
by his father has been followed closely to the present time.

A story is handed down in the Cantrell family that the father of this 
army of boys went into a new country store of the neighborhood and 
the proprietor of which was a stranger and asked to see some boys 
hats.  The storekeeper politely handed down a dozen hats in a box 
from which his new customer might make a selection, and laying the 
dozen hats to one side said he would like another box full.'Well!'
said the surprised merchant, 'How many hats do you want?'  Whereupon
Mr. Cantrell stepped to the door where his family was waiting in 
wagons and said: 'Boys, come in here!' In marched 21 boys and lining 
up by the counter, the surprised merchant said,  'Are these boys all
yours?'  When assured they were, he replied, 'Well, you can beat me 
in  being clever, so I'll just give you 21 hats.'  This he did, each 
boy made his selection and marched out.

      There were probably no newspapers in which a merchant could
advertise in that neighborhood, but this merchant made a hit that 
put him on his feet  thereafter.

      Six of John Cantrell's 21 sons later served in the Rev. War."

Note: In checking with my Cantrell-Newman Genealogy book I find a John
Cantrell3 who had 21 sons by two different wives. However, this John 
never reached McMinn Co. He was born in New Castle Co Pa (now Delaware)
in 1724. Died 1803. Migrated to Rockingham Co NC before the Rev war
and to Spartanburg Co, SC where he owned over 800 acres.."  He was the
father of Thomas Cantrell4 of Cantrell's Cross Roads.

This John3 (1724) was of Joseph2 (c.1695) of Richard1 (c.1600's, the 
earliest Cantrell, Cantrill on record at present.) 

John3 had 21 sons of which the McMinn Co TN line comes from # 12 son 
THOMAS CANTRELL4, b. Jan 23, 1761, d. Sept. 23, 1830 and is buried in
what we call the Thomas Cantrell Cemetery. This is one of the oldest
dated tombstones in the county. It was on his land, then called 
Cantrell's Cross Roads, later called Williamsburg, and Grady 
and now West Etowah. The Taylor Mansion today was his home.

(See the touching story of Thomas' daughter, Mary Cantrell Cook, in her 
move to our stark county in the early 1820's. See WILLIAM HENRY COOKE.)

Thomas had 10 children of which # 5, Elijah5 and # 8, David5, are 
McMinn's Cantrell descendents. 

First ELIJAH: He had 9 children, the direct descendent is the 
first born, THOMAS CANTRELL6, b. JUNE 22, 1819 in DeKalb CO TN. 
Migrated to McMinn with his parents as a  small boy. He married 
Louisa Lawson, dau of Lewis Lawson of near Athens. Moved to 
Missouri in 1850 but returned and lived in Bradley CO during the 
Civil War; later returned to DeKalb CO where he died in 1885. 
Was a member of the Meth. Episc. Church and was highly respected 
in the localities where he lived.

The direct descendent is from # 2 son, ELIJAH WILSON CANTRELL7, 
b. Jan. 6, 1848. Married Bettie Jane Moore Sept.3, 1873. She was 
born Sept 5, 1855. This Elijah had large fruit interests (grafting) 
in the Piney Grove Community. They were Methodists. Elijah had 14

The direct descendent here is # 8 child, CREED JONES CANTRELL8 
b. Jan. 2, 1889. He married Loula Bell Walker b.l893; d. Oct 30,1978.
They had 5 children:
NETTIE JANE CANTRELL BIGHAM b. Jan 14, 1914; d. Sept 28,1986
CREED JONES (C.J.) CANTRELL b. Apr 8, 1916; d. Aug 8, 1964.
MARY LEE CANTRELL TORBET NOV 28,1917; d. Jan 8, 1996.
WILLIAM FRANCIS CANTRELL May 27, 1921; d. Apr 7, 1979. 
IAGO   CANTRELL Feb 14, 1926

Thomas Cantrell4, of John3, of Joseph2, of Richard1.
DAVID CANTRELL5 was born July 20, 1795, in Greenville District, SC. 
Went with his parents to McMinn CO TN and settled upon the waters of
Chestuee Creek.  He married (1) Alice Reynolds, dau of Isham Reynolds,
of Hawkins CO TN, Feb. 25, 1823. She was born Mar. 10, 1797 and died
Feb. 28, 1849, leaving (9) nine children. Married (2) Rebecca Wilburn
Crockett, Oct. 19, 1851. Three children.  He died Feb. 19, 1859, and
was buried in a private plot on what was once a portion of his farm.

1203.    i. Reynolds Cantrell
1204. ii. Clementine, b. Nov 2, 1825; m. Clinton R. Newman, Dec. 9, 
            1846; d. Oct 1891.
1205.  iii. Adaline
1206.   iv. Elmira
1207.    v. Marcus De Lafayette
1208.   vi. Elizabeth Ann
1209.  vii. Malcom
1210. viii. Alice Elizabeth 
1211.   ix. Martha Ann
1212     x. Sarah Mahala
1213.   xi. Margaret Madaline
1214.  xii. Mary Madora 

For more detailed info on the Cantrell families contact William L. Bigham
Edited by: William L. Bigham

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