Researched and Compiled by Jonathan Kennon Thompson Smith
Copyright, Jonathan K. T. Smith, 2003

(Page 24)


March 1, 1876

On February 24, 1876 the large college building in Spring Creek, Madison County, Tennessee, called Madison College, was destroyed by fire. The building, valued at about $15,000, was one of the oldest college buildings in Tennessee and the school "enjoyed a considerable reputation. "The fire started from sparks falling from the chimney on the college roof. Most of the furniture was saved from the conflagration. [Madison College was established as a Baptist school in 1852, chartered in 1854 and until its destruction was a leading college in west Tennessee. A history of this institution is given on pages 66-72 of A GENEALOGICAL MISCELLANY, Part II, MADISON COUNTY, TENNESSEE, by Jonathan K. T. Smith, Jackson, Tennessee, 1996.]


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A picture of Madison College and its grounds appears in the LIFE, LECTURES AND POETRY of Egbert Haywood Osborne, St. Louis, Mo., 1898, page 31:


Mrs. Elizabeth P. Smith died in the residence of her son-in-law, William W. Drake, Nashville, February 29, 1876 in the 60th year of her age.

Samuel Knight Bell, infant son of James T. and Helen M. Bell, Edgefield, was buried there, yesterday.

Mrs. Matilda Martin died in Columbia, Tenn., Feb. 28, 1876 aged 75 years; a native of Ireland, born there in 1801, she came to the United States at the age of 9 years; mother of twelve children, seven of whom survived her.


March 2, 1876

General D. H. C. Spence, aged 49 years, born Rutherford Co., Tenn.; graduated from University of Nashville, 1846; in Civil War he was aide-de-camp of General Baldwin, CSA; was badly wounded at Ft. Donelson; later a farmer and prominent Granger; founded the successful Stones River Utility Works. He died at home, near Murfreesboro, Tenn., March 1, 1876. [The March 3, 1876 issue noted that General Spence died from "nervous prostration." The March 8, 1876 issue carried a tribute of respect for his memory by the citizens of Murfreesboro dated March 4, 1876.]

Ziza Moore, born in Sumner Co., Tenn., May 5, 1797; died in Collin Co., Texas, Feb.18, 1876; oldest child of Israel Moore; a participant in the battle of New Orleans, War of 1812; lived for many years near Unionville in Bedford County, Tennessee.


March 3, 1876

Walter P. Shelton, Memphis, Tenn., invited his betrothed, Inez S. White, daughter of Dr. E. A. White, to stroll with him during the Mardi Gras carnival in that city, March 2, 1876; her parents did not approve of Shelton so he and she, already with a marriage license in hand, took advantage of the occasion, climbed into a hack and rode to the residence of the Rev. S. B. Surratt where they were married.

Captain George G. Latta, Hot Springs, Ark., and Fannie Brownlow, Knoxville, Tenn., were married in St. John's Church in the latter city, Feb. 29, 1876; an elaborate account of the wedding is provided in this issue. She was a daughter of the notorious William G. Brownlow of Tennessee.

Knoxville, Tennessee, PRESS AND HERALD noted of the firm, R. S. Payne & Company of Knoxville, "This firm is probably the oldest in the state of Tennessee. In 1818, Reuben Payne, the grandfather of our R. S. Payne, established a house at a place called Payne's landing, ten miles north of Nashville, near the Hermitage. In 1838, R. S. Payne, the father of our R. S. P., fell heir to the business and conducted it at that place, also at Cross Plains, Springfield and Nashville."


(Page 26)

March 4, 1876

Miss MARY SUITER died in Nashville, Tenn., March 3, 1876 in the 20th year of her age.


March 5, 1876

Portrait of Hon. John Bell.

        The portrait of the late Hon. John Bell, accompanied by the following note, was received at the State Library yesterday:
        NASHVILLE, TENN., March 8, 1876 Mrs. Paralee Haskell, State Librarian My Dear Madam: Your favor in reference to the portrait of Hon. John Bell, in my possession, is at hand. I think it quite proper that he should be represented in the State Library, among the galaxy of distinguished statesmen of the past. And I assure you that it is the only condition upon which I could be induced to part with it. It is said to have been an excellent likeness when he was thirty-five to forty years of age. I regret that time and rough exposure have very much defaced. It was my purpose to have had our home artist, Mr. Washington B. Cooper, give it a few touches with his masterly brush, and thus reinvest it with the freshness of its former expression. Until this is done, I shall not believe that Tennessee remembers with gratitude the sons she once delighted to honor.
        Very respectfully, etc. T. L. MADDIN

This portrait: is now in the Indian Hall of the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville.


March 6, 1876

Missing issue


March 7, 1876

William Henry Hart was born in New York in 1839; a Nashville, Tenn. businessman, he died March 5, 1876.

David P. Richardson, member of the O. Ewing & Co. firm, died March 6, 1876 in the 40th year of his age; native of Rutherford Co., Tenn.

Resolutions of respect dated March 6, 1876 were formulated by the merchants and friends of Nashville for Alfred H. Hicks who was born near Raleigh, N. C., 1814; died in Nashville, March 5, 1876; moved to Murfreesboro, Tenn. at the age of 18 years and to Nashville at the age of 20 years; he was a wholesale merchant and formerly a director of the Northwestern Railroad; an active Baptist layman.

Major William D. Hardeman, formerly of Williamson Co., Tenn. and a commission merchant in New Orleans, had become dissatisfied with his business partner, James S. Prestidge, quarreled with him. Hardeman struck Prestidge who retaliated in the business office of the firm, by shooting and mortally wounding his partner, March 4, 1876. Hardeman was born in Williamson Co., Tenn., in 1834, a son of Thomas Hardeman, a long-time county court clerk of that county. His second wife, Annie May, widow of Colonel Henry Edwing and his son, Thomas Hardeman, in Nashville at the time of his altercation, went to New Orleans immediately. [March 9, 1876 issue noted that Hardeman would be buried in Nashville. The March 10, 1876 issue carried a sworn statement made by Hardeman before he died, which included his birth date, November 5, 1833; a longer account of this incident appeared in this issue. He was buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Nashville.

Willie Paine, daughter of William L. and Mary J. Paine, died in Edgefield, March 4, 1876 aged 7 months and 14 days old.


March 8, 1876

Frank Atherton, Louisville, Ky., a brakesman on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad fell while trying to cross from a boxcar to the train engine, yesterday, and had both legs crushed; he soon afterward died of his injuries.


March 9, 1876

A poem by H. J. J. published in memory of Mrs. H. T. Massengale who died in St. Louis, MO, Feb. 27, 1876.


A Bill Allowing $6,000 Passes the Senate

        In the Senate, last Thursday, a bill was passed appropriating $6,000 to pay William L. Nance, of this city, for property taken for the use of the Government during the late war. On the following day, the bill was placed on the Private Calendar of the House. The following extract from the report of the Senate Committee on Claims, shows the nature of 'Squire Nance's claim:
        "The claimant in this case, in the year 1864, was the owner of a barrel factory and saw-mill, with their appurtenances, situated near Nashville, Tenn. There were some twenty small houses erected near the factory, which were occupied by the employees of the factory. The property was purchased by the claimant for the sum of $40,000 in the year 1859, and at the time it was seized by the Government was in a good state of preservation.
        "In the year 1864 this property was taken for the use of the United States by the order of Major General G. H. Thomas, and appropriated by the officers in charge of the military railroads near Nashville. The buildings were all torn down and the machinery removed, which caused the entire breaking up of the claimant's business. The property was valued at the time at which it was worth to the Government for the special uses for which it was taken. The lumber in the buildings was valued at $25 per thousand feet, and the machinery of the factory and saw-mill was valued according to the ordinary standard of prices for such articles when not in use for any special purpose. It seems that the cost of putting the machinery in place in the factory and mill, or the value of the property as a whole, was not considered. All the witnesses examined place the value of the property at over $30,000. The claimant received $25,744.63 according to the valuation made at


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the time of the seizure. Afterward, in the year 1865, at the request of the claimant, Maj. Gen. Thomas ordered a board of officers to examine into the claim of the petitioner for additional compensation. This board, after a very full investigation into all the facts of the case, awarded the claimant the further sum of $9,042, but the War Department declined to pay this sum for the want of authority. The case was before the Forty-Third Congress, and Mr. Holman, from the Committee on Claims of the House of Representatives made a report in favor of the claim, and recommended the payment of $6,000 in full compensation for the property of the claimant taken by the Government."


March 10, 1876

John R. Read, merchant in Des Arc, Arkansas, was a cousin of three planters named McNeal who lived eight miles from Des Arc. Two of the McNeals had married sisters named Perry. A younger brother, T. McNeal, was in love with an unmarried sister of his brothers' wives but Read was also her suitor and went to visit her in the "McNeal neighborhood" last Saturday. While there he spent the night in the dwelling of his kinsman, Simon McNeal and in the process of undressing to retire for the night he was superficially shot from his bedroom window. T. McNeal was charged with the attempt on his life, his gun having been "found discharged" and his clothes rumpled-up with dust. The next evening, March 5, 1876 Read and Miss Perry were married in the house where he had been shot.


March 11, 1876

J. J. Gunn died in the residence of his brother, W. E. Gunn, Nashville, March 10, 1876; funeral today.

Memorial services at First Baptist Church, Nashville, to be held tomorrow for A. H. Hicks who was librarian and treasurer of the Sunday School there for more than thirty years.


March 12, 1876

Somerville, Tenn., FALCON reported that Tom Tarpley, black, was shot and seriously wounded by Stephen J. Palmer late on March 6, 1876.

Alois Schmidler, aged 31 years, died in the residence of John Mathis, Civil District 13, Davidson Co., Tenn., February 10, 1876; funeral today from the German Catholic Church in Nashville.


March 13, 1876

Missing issue


March 14. 1876

The wife [Rachel] of Wilson [Willis] Large, aged 37 years, gave birth to her eighteenth child [George] near Bristol, Tenn., March 5, 1876.

J. J. Fink, tax collector of McNairy Co., Tenn., lived in a log house about four miles southeast of Purdy. On the night of March 5, 1876 three masked robbers burst into his house, demanded that he give them all his money. They took about $150 but didn't get at least twice that much hidden in the house.

J. B. Crutcher and Mary P. Ramsey were married in Edgefield, Tenn., March 12, 1876.


March 15, 1876

Captain W. V. R. Hallum, veteran of the War of 1812, died March 13, 1876, Smith Co., Tennessee.

Captain Ed Walls, sporting man, died in Memphis, Tenn., March 12, 1876. [This is in reference to a man who followed horse-racing, hence by usage of his time, a "sporting man."]


March 16, 1876

A son of W. F. Wright, marble quarry worker at Mooresburg, Tenn., died recently from taking a dose of tincture of acomite, mistaken for paregoric.

Melissa Bowling wife of Dr. W. C. Bowling, died in the 67th year of her age. Nashville.


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Samuel A. Bradford and Sarah E. Johnson were married in Nashville, March 15, 1876.


March 17, 1876

Mary S. Ezel1, daughter of W. C. and J. E. Ezell, died in Nashville, March 16, 1876 aged 16 years, 6 months and 17 days [August 29, 1859].

Edna E. Perry, daughter of W. H. and Maggie R. Perry, died in Nashville, March 15, 1876 in the third year of her life.

William E. Watkins and Jennie G. Griffin, Nashville, were married there, March 15, 1876 in the First Presbyterian Church.

Page 4:


        White people first settled here in the winter of 1778-80 a remarkably cold one. In connection with this fact, it must be remembered that our Centennial will come in about three years.
        This city was first called Nashborough in honor of Gen. Francis Nash, who fell at the battle of Germantown, October 1777.
        Joseph Hay was the first white man killed here by the Indians. He was buried near the Sulphur Spring.
        Robert Gilkie died in 1780, being the first of the settlers that met a natural death.
        The marriage of Capt. Leiper, in 1780, was the first affair of the kind in this locality.
        The birth of Dr. Felix Robertson, a son of Col. James Robertson, in January 1781, was the first in Nashville.
        In 1784, by the acts of the North Carolina Assembly, a town was established here and the name changed from Nashborough to Nashville.
        In 1786, Lardner Clark opened the first dry goods store.
        The first physician, John Lappington, appeared here in 1785. His "Lapppington's Pills" were enormously used.
        In 1788, the Constitution of the United States, which had been adopted by ten states, was voted upon, and almost unanimously rejected.
        In 1818, the first steamboat, the "Andrew Jackson," arrived at this port.
        In 1825, there were from fifteen to twenty steamboats running from Nashville to New Orleans, Louisville and Pittsburg.
        In 1796, the first church was erected in Nashville on the Public Square. It was known as the Methodist Church, and was torn down in 1808.
        Christ Church, on the corner of Church and High streets, was built in 1832, at a cost of $16,000.
        McKendree Church was dedicated in 1853 by Bishop McKendree.
        The Presbyterian Church had no regular pastor till 1821, although Dr. Blackburn organized a church in 1813.
        A Baptist Association was formed here in 1820, but a division took place in 1825, those holding to the regular Baptist faith giving up their house and worshipping in the Masonic Hall until Rev. Dr. Howell came as pastor, by whose efforts the present edifice on Summer street was erected in 1837.
        The old Cumberland Presbyterian Church was dedicated in May, 1832.
        On Sept. 14, 1848, the First Presbyterian Church was a second time destroyed by fire. The corner-stone of the present First Presbyterian Church was laid April 28, 1849.
        The old Catholic Church, formerly on the north side of Capitol Square, was built about the year 1830.
        The Water-works were established in 1832.
        In the early settlement, the dead were buried on the open ground near the Sulphur Spring, and at two or three country burial places. In 1822, the present City Cemetery was first used as a place for interments.
        The. I.O.O.F. made their first public parade on June 1, 1840.
        In 1841 the first Daguerreotype likenesses were taken by an artist named Moore.
        The new Constitution, adopted in 1834, provided that the seat of government should be permanently fixed during the first week of the session of the General Assembly in 1843, and a great deal of interest was felt on the subject. The Legislature convened on Monday, Oct. 1, and on Thursday the Senate voted to locate the seat of government at Kingston, and the House voted to fix it at Murfreesboro. But, finally, on Saturday, Oct. 7, Nashville was agreed upon by both houses. The corporation bought Campbell's hill for the State-house at a cost of $30,000, and gave it to the State.
        The institution for the instruction of the blind went into operation early in 1844.
        The corner-stone of the Capitol was laid July 4, 1845.


(Page 29)

March 18, 1876

John Mathis, executor of the last will/testament of Alvis Schmidler, dec., announced that he would sell at public auction the decedent's house and lot on North Summer Street in Nashville, April 17, 1876.

John A. Harris died in Cornersville, Tenn., Marshall County, March 15, 1876.

Sarah Beckford Stevens widow of Moses Stevens, Nashville, daughter of Captain Jonathan Beckford, died Salem, Mass., March 7, 1876 aged 80 years and 24 days [Feb. 13, 1796].


March 19, 1876

Dr. Randall M. Lytle, aged 50 years, died in Nashville, March 17, 1876; funeral today. [I n a tribute to his memory by the Homeopathic Medical Society of Middle Tennessee, March 18, 1876, it was noted that Dr. Lytle had been one of the original members of that society; born near Nashville in 1826; graduate, University of Pennsylvania, 1847;surgeon during the Civil War; studied and became a practitioner of homeopathic medicine. An obituary of R. M. Lytle appeared in the Nashville COMMERCIAL AND LEGAL REPORTER, March 22, 1876:

The Late R. M. Lytle, M.D.

        It is our painful duty to chronicle in this issue the death of Dr. R. M. Lytle, which took place on Thursday evening last, at his residence on High Street, in the 50th year of his age. He was born in Williamson county, near Franklin, in 1826, and graduated in medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 1847.
        At a special meeting of the Homeopathic Medical society of Middle Tennessee, at the office of Dr. Duke, the following statement was made and resolutions adopted, Saturday evening, March 18th:
        Dr. R. M. Lytle, one of our original members, has been removed from among us and from the scenes of his professional labors suddenly and in the prime of manhood.
        He was born near Nashville in the year 1826, and graduated in medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, in 1847.
        Called into the army, he acted as surgeon during the entire war, doing most acceptable and efficient service, on the field and in the hospitals.
        Soon after the close of the war he became acquainted with the Homeopathic mode of practice, which he fully adopted in 1867. Not satisfied with his knowledge of the new system of medicine, in 1869 he repaired again to Philadelphia, where he attended lectures in the Homeopathic Medical College, from which he took a diploma at the close of the session.
        In diagnosis, Dr. Lytle was especially distinguished, seeming to read the ailments of the sick almost by intuition.
        His ministrations among the sick were characterized by great cheerfulness of manner, the farthest possible from the dolorous, discouraging airs put on by many medical attendants.
        He was kind to all who came under his professional care, the poor as well as the rich.
        In view of these facts, be it
        Resolved, That we deplore the loss of our esteemed fellow member, Dr. R. M. Lytle, and the sudden manner of his removal from us.
        2. That we extend to his bereaved wife and daughter our earnest sympathy in this their greatest loss.
        3. That we attend his funeral in a body.
        The doctor leaves a wife and child, with numerous friends and acquaintances to mourn his loss. The funeral took place from the Cathedral at 12 o'clock on Sunday last, and was largely attended by our citizens.]


March 20, 1876

Missing issue


March 21, 1876

Hon. James C. Roberts, graduate of Franklin College, 1850; located in St. Joseph, MO, in 1856 and practiced law until he began to farm; represented Buchanan County in the MO legislature, 1860-1861; he was running for the U.S. Senate.


March 22, 1876

B. Bloomenstein, a Jewish peddlar, Memphis, Tennessee, aged 36 years, who lived with his wife and child at 141 Beale Street, was stabbed to death by Bob Wheeler, black, 35 years old, March 20, 1876, who thought that the peddlar would not pay him for shining his boots.

James B. Alexander died six miles from Nashville on the Mill Creek Valley Pike, March 21, 1876; funeral today.


March 23, 1876

William T. Weakley, aged 20 years old, son of Robert L. and Sallie J. Weakley, died in Nashville. March 22, 1876; funeral at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church today.


March 24, 1876

I. T. Leek, Nashville, died Mar. 23, 1876 in the 31st year of his age.

Ella F. Writesman, daughter of C. T. and E. J. Writesman, aged 5 months and 9 days, died Mar. 22, 1876. Nashville.


March 25, 1876

Hon. A. O. P. Nicholson [born August 31, 1808], chief justice of Tennessee Supreme Court, died at home, Columbia, Tenn., March 23, 1876. Several groups passed resolutions of respect in memory of this distinguished jurist.


(Page 30)

John Raymond, a Quaker Living in Millbrook, New York with his wife and six children, had been living in "intimate terms" with a member of his household, Katy Whaley, 21 years old. Raymond and Katy recently ran off together, to New York City and hadn't been seen since. Raymond was an employee of John Lane of Millbrook.


March 26, 1876

Sallie E. Shivers, widow of Colonel William R. Shivers, Shreveport, La., daughter of Charles C. Trabue, dec., Nashville, died in Shreveport, March 21, 1876.

Mrs. F. Reyer, wife of William Reyer, Nashville, died March 25, 1876, aged 71 years; funeral today.


March 27, 1876

Missing issue


March 28, 1876

Matilda Edmondson, wife of John K. Edmondson, died March 25, 1876.

Captain Chesley Hood, aged 68 years, died Edgefield, Tenn., March 26, 1876; funeral today.


March 29, 1876

Mrs. Martha Crovey, aged 87 years, died in residence of Mrs. S. B. Davidson, 7 miles from Nashville, on the Charlotte Pike, March 27, 1876. Sister of Samuel Watkins.

Elva Moore Gray, daughter of J. F. and M. M. Gray, was to be buried in family graveyard on Snow Creek in Maury County, Tenn., March 30, 1876.

Robert Ewing and Hattie M. Hoyt were married in First Presbyterian Church, Nashville, March 28, 1876.


March 30, 1876

David Lenehan, infant son of Peter and Jennie Lenehan, Nashville, died Mar. 29, 1876; funeral today.

Dr. H. S. Brower, member of the California Senate, died in Memphis, Tenn., March 28, 1876.

William Taylor, Lee County, Arkansas, received $1000 for the best bale of cotton grown in the Memphis district, offered by the Memphis Cotton Exchange, for exhibit at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition.

Frederick Elbrich purchased yesterday a curious old map of Nordlingen, Saxony drawn in 1783. He will frame it and thus pass it down to posterity.


March 31, 1876

Mrs. Charles Pearson was burned to death at Tullahoma, Tenn., March 29, 1876.

Mrs. Bettie Galbraith, daughter of Wash. Harry, a respectable citizen of Christian Co., Ky., "a woman of great beauty," married when young to a dentist named Grace of Paducah, Ky., who died of opium overdose about two years after their marriage. She returned to Christian County where she married an older man, George Wolf, a widower with grown children. He made a will/testament leaving her all his property. Within two and a half months of their marriage, Wolf was shot in his bed, supposedly from a window, on October 23, 1872. Suspicion for the murder fell upon Bill Wolf, a cousin of the victim; the widow was indicted as an accomplice. During the drawn-out legal procedures, she remarried to W. B. Galbraith. Bill Wolf was acquitted of the murder charge and in her own trial, Mrs. Galbraith was also acquitted. As she walked from the courtroom she said to her husband, "I reckon the people are satisfied now."


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