Tennessee Records Repository

Decatur Co. TN


Chapter XIV

From Lillye Younger, The History of Decatur County Past and Present (Southhaven, MS: Carter Printing Company, 1978).
Special thanks to Constance Collett for permission to make these web pages.

In Memory of Lillye Washburn Younger 1912-1998.

Thanks to www.tnyesterday.com for contributing this transcription.

George Samuel Reed I and Wife Mattie Davis Reed

Six generations of Reeds have resided in Decatur County about three-quarters of a century. Their ancestors date back when three brothers, arriving from England to the United States, Thomas Reed, Phillip Reed and George Reed.

George Reed is recorded living in Rowan County, North Caroline, his son Richmond Pearson Reed, born Sept. 5,1802 died August 5, 1873. He was a circuit rider, preacher, and a cobbler. The father of 9 children by his first wife and 9 children born to he and second wife, Becky. One of the sons, born to Richmond and Becky Reed was Samuel George Reed I born 1837-died 1921 (pictured and first resident of Reed family in Decatur County) as a young man fought with 11th Ill. Cav. Co. E. in the Civil War. He received a hip injury during the conflict. The story he related concerning this incident, the 11th Ill. Cav. Co. E. one evening at dusk grouped to bivouac and eat their nights meal. When a surprise attack by the confederate Army. When the fighting was over among the wounded and dead was Samuel G. Reed laying on the ground, hopeful the enemy would assume him dead. Two confederate soldiers on their horses rode among the bodies, on the ground checking to make sure no one was left alive. He heard one soldier shout to his buddy "I'm going to put a bullet through this ones head" the other soldier replied "no need to waste the ammunition because he is dead" The soldier said "I'll just ride my horse across the body and make sure". The horse stepping on his hip and leg. Soldier Reed saved his life by continuing to play dead. After the sounds faded away he dragged and crawled from the area to a field and under growth nearby to safety. After a short time the horses and soldiers returned for final inspection, they realized one of the presumable dead, they had made the horse step on was missing, Reed was within hearing distance, in hiding. He could hear the conversation between the confederate soldiers the verable language exchanged was of anger and violent because of growing darkness it was too late to try to find the escaped wounded. Therefore Reed was spared to live to be an old man. After the Civil War, Samuel George Reed settled to make a home in Mississippi. He and his wife were parents of three children Janie, Frank and Samuel George Reed II.

In later years the Reeds moved to Tenn. and settled in Thurman Community Decatur, Co. Samuel George Reed tin the eve time of his life, met and married a young lady seventeen years old, Miss Mattie Davis from Soltillo, Tenn. Mrs. Reeds expression to difference in age was "I'd rather be an old man's darling, than a young man's slave" Their friends remember that truly she was her husbands dearest. Mr. Reed's son, Samuel George Reed, by his former wife, was born Sept. 22, 1870. died Jan. 21, 1931, married Sept. 21, 1891 to Olive Ophelia Neims, born June 7 1869, died Nov. 15, 1900 to this union three sons were born. George Leamon, Henry Wisdon, Jesse Lee. Jesse Lee Reed was eighteen months old when his mother died. At this age, Samuel G. and Mattie Reed kept and reared this youngster.

The Thurman community in the early 1900's was a small community village consisting of a large general merchandise store, cotton gin and telephone central office, school and church, a branch line, seven miles south-east of Scoffs Hill. Mr. Reed's grandson, Henry W. Reed recalls vividly at the age of about sixteen years old. He helped complete the line running to Thurman community climbing a ladder to each telephone pole. The telephone wire was strong and attached to a glass spool on each pole in succession. He related how elated people were to have this modern communication in those days. They worked late one Saturday afternoon to complete connecting up the wire to a family's installed telephone. He remembers what a happy time they had 'ringing" their friends on the party line. A party line meant every house in that community that had a telephone which sometimes was 14 to 18 homes. The 'switch operator at the switch board located in the little one room building would be on duty for long distance calls, from 7 am. til 8 p.m.

Samuel George and Olive Ophelia Reed's son, Henry W. Reed born Feb. 11, 1895 married Lithe M. Wyatt born April 12, 1898. To this union were born five children; Blanche Louise, June 15,1920, Melba Rhea Oct. 15, 1922 Vernell Feb. 17 1926, Parker W. April, 8,1930 Bonnie Ruth July 31, 1931. He purchased a farm in the 10 district and moved to Decatur Co. in 1923. The children attended grammar schools at Liberty and Red Walnut. All attending and graduating from 12th grade at Scotts Hill High School.

Blanche Louise Reed married Zade Patterson born Jan. 15,1915. They were parents of one son, Zade Reed Patterson born Nov. 1, 1942. They resided in Parsons, Tenn.

Reed Patterson married Anita Milam and they are the parents of three daughters Renita Cheryl, born May 27, 1961, Lori Ann, Aug. 17, 1962, Michelle Denise, June 3,1964.

Renita and Lori were residents of Parsons at two different times in their childhood. This complete six generations of Reeds as Decatur County residents for almost a decade.

One special interest story concerns the Rural Mail Carrier of Scoffs Hill, Tenn. Rt. 2, Mr. Coy C. Johnson began his Mail Carrier career in 1923 in the horse and buggy days of dirt and muddy roads delivered mail to Mr. Samuel George Reed I in Thurman Community. Mr. George Reed II residing with his son, Henry Reed til his death, 1931. And to all Reeds including Grandson Reed Patterson, a special written letter to Renita Patterson do Henry Reed thus completing mail delivery thru six generations by Mr. Johnson before his retirement.