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Slave Narrative of Frankie Goole

Person Interviewed: Frankie Goole Location: Nashville, Tennessee Place of Birth:┬áSmith County TN Age: 84 Place of Residence: 204 5th Ave. So, Nashville, Tennessee “I wuz bawn in Smith County on uther side ob Lebanon. Ah’ll be 85 y’ars ole Christmas Day. Mah ole Missis wuz named Sallie, en mah Marster wuz George Waters. Mah mammy’s name wuz Lucindia, she wuz sold fum me w’en I wuz six weeks ole, en mah Missis raised me. I allus slept wid her. Mah Missis wuz good ter me, but (her son) mah Marster whup’d me. Dunno ob any ex-slaves votin’ er holdin’ office ob any kin. I member de Ku Klux Klan en Pat-a-rollers. Dey would kum ‘roun en whup de niggers wid a bull whup. Ef’n dey met a niggah on de road dey’d say, “Whar ez you gwin dis time ob mawnin’?” De slaves would say, “We ez gwine ovuh ‘yer ter stay aw’ile,” en den dey would start beatin’ dem. I’se stod in our do’er en ‘yeard de hahd licks, en screams ob de ones dat wuz bein’ whup’d, en I’d tell mah Missis, “Listen ter dat!” She would say, “See, dat ez w’at will happen ter you ef’n you try ter leave.” I member one nite a Ku Klux Klan rode up ter our do’er. I tole mah Missis sum body wuz at de do’er wantin’ ter know whar mah Marster wuz. She tole ‘im he wuz d’ed en her son had gon’ ‘way dat mawnin’. He hunted all thro de house, en up in de loft, en said whar ez de niggers? Mah Missis tole i’m [TR:...

Biographical Sketch of J.R. Corley

J. R. Corley, a well-known farmer and stock raiser of the Fourth District, was born in Dekalb County in 1848. He is one of seven children of John and Elizabeth (Upton) Corley. The father was born in Virginia in 1802, and immigrated to Dekalb County when a young man. He was a farmer. His death occurred in 1875. His wife was born in Smith County in 1816 and died in 1880. Our subject received his education in the common schools of Dekalb and White Counties, and attended the Cumberland Institute. At the age of nineteen he began clerking in the dry goods store at Temperance Hall, where he remained five months. The next four years were spent in Putnam County in same business. He then returned to his native county and gave his attention to farming. He has been very successful, and owns 185 acres of highly cultivated and improved land. He is a stanch Democrat; cast his first presidential vote for Horace Greeley. He is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, and respected, worthy citizen. In 1869 he married Sarah F., Daughter of James A. and Eliza Scruggs. Mrs. Corley was born in Smith County in 1846. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. To their union have been born George S., James R. (deceased), Carrie L., William M., and John R....

Biographical Sketch of Dr. Thos. P. Davis

Dr. Thos. P. Davis, one of Alexandria’s most respected citizens, was born in Smith County, August 31, 1858. He is the youngest of ten children of Benjamin and Kittie (Whorley) Davis. The father was born in North Carolina about 1817, and moved to Tennessee when a young man; afterward married and settled in Smith County. He was one of the most substantial, enterprising and industrious farmers in the section. His death occurred about the close of the late war. His wife was a native of Virginia and came to Tennessee with her parents; she died when the Doctor was an infant. Of her children eight are living. Her mother lived to the unusual age of one hundred and two. Her father was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. Mr. and Mrs. Davis were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Our subject was raised by the elder members of the family, receiving his literary education at the country schools and Alexandria. In 1876 and 1877 he read medicine with Dr. E. Tubb, and entered the medical department of the Vanderbilt University, graduating in 1879. He immediately returned to Alexandria and began to practice. He has received an extensive and liberal patronage, and is now recognized as one of the leading physicians of the...

Biography of W.G. Bratten

W. G. Bratten, Farmer, was born in 1823, in Smith County (now Dekalb), the oldest of two sons of Henry and Nancy (Givan) Bratton, The former of Irish origin, born in Maryland about 1798, and the latter of Scotch origin, born in the same State about the same year. The mother’s parents came when she was a year old to Nashville by boat after reaching the Ohio River, and where three weeks in cutting a road to Liberty, which was named by her father in honor of their old home in Maryland, as he was something of a leader in the forty families which came there. The father’s people were among the number, and about 1820 they were married, and in 1823 the father died. Joel Bratton, an ancestor, was one of the Mayflower Pilgrims. The mother afterward married Osburn Munlacks. Their three children were Mary, Sarah and Joseph. She died about 1831 near Liberty. Our subject, reared by his uncle, and with little education, married when twenty-two, Caroline, daughter of James and Lucretia Groom, of North Carolina, and began farming in Cannon County. After eight years he sold and bought his present farm near Liberty. Mrs. Bratton was born in 1826 on our subject’s present farm and died in 1859. But one of their eight children is living, Thomas G., our subject married Martha, daughter of James and Nance (Branch) Young, in Wilson County, where she was born in 1832. Their four children are Annie, Nettie, Herschal A., (who has considerable artistic genius), Geneva and Minnie. Beginning life with but a horse, saddle and bridle, our subject now...

Biography of J.L. Colvert

J. L. Colvert, retired merchant, was born in 1828 in Culpeper County, Va., the son of William I. and Harriett (Weedon) Colvert. The father, born in the same county in 1791, was a farmer and a soldier in the war of 1812, on duty in his native State. In 1828 he came to Warren County, Tenn., Thence to Alabama for a few years, and about 1840 returned to Cannon County, Tenn. He finally settled in Dekalb County in 1848 and bought a home of 150 acres, where he lived the greater part of his life. He died in Nashville in 1859. The mother, born in 1801 in Fairfax County, Va., is still living, receiving a pension for her husband’s services in 1812. Our subject, one of seven children, came to Tennessee when an infant, and was reared and educated in Cannon County. At the age of sixteen he served a year’s apprenticeship in a tannery, then farmed a year, and in 1848 sunk a tannery in Dekalb County with his brother as partner. In April 1846, he Married Johanna Matthews, born in Cannon County in 1830. Their two children are Mary E., wife of S. D. Blankenship, and Harriett. In 1852 he engaged in farming and merchandising besides tanning. In 1854 he sold his tan yard and store and established a store in Smith County. After six months here he bought 500 acres in District No. 14 and farmed for three years. He then moved to Nashville, where he ran a lumber and wood yard and as contractor built Carroll and Wharf Avenues, rebuilt Market Front and built a...

Biography of Hon. J.J. Ford

Hon. J. J. Ford, attorney at law, was born in Dekalb (then Smith) County November 22, 1822. He is one of ten children of Daniel and Mary (Fite) Ford, the former of Irish origin. The father, born about 1794 in South Carolina, was the son of Daniel Ford, Sr., of Virginia, who became one of the earliest settlers of Tennessee, when Daniel, Jr., was but a small boy. He settled in Smith County near what is now Temperance Hall, where he remained until his death. With ordinary education in his youth, Daniel, Jr., married about 1818 and spent his life in Smith and Dekalb Counties. He was an able man and served as magistrate and constable several years. He died in 1864. The mother, a native of Tennessee and of Dutch decent, died in 1836. She was a daughter of Rev. J. Fite, an early Tennessee settler from New Jersey, who spent the early years of his settlement in a cane tent on Smith Fork, and who with his brother cut a road through the cane to Nashville. He made some money by dealing in the skin and flesh of bears. He was a Baptist minister for nearly sixty years and a historic character of early Tennessee. With no educational advantages our subject began the blacksmith trade when fifteen years old, and, when of age, purchased the property of his overseer and continued until 1859, having in the meantime served as magistrate six years. He was elected to the memorable General Assembly of 1859-60, in which he so distinguished himself that Judge R. Caruthers and other able jurists persuaded...

Biography of T.W. Fitts

T. W. Fitts, a farmer and stock dealer of the Tenth District, was born March 4, 1832, in Smith County. He is the youngest of six children of Wootson and Tabitha (Winfrey) Fitts. The father was born in 1787, near Halifax, Virginia. He was lieutenant of a company in the war of 1812, was under command of Gen. Jackson at New Orleans; he came to Tennessee about 1822, and died near Eddyville, Ky., about 1850. The mother was born about 1787 near Petersburg, Va., and came to Tennessee after her marriage. Our subject had but limited educational advantages, but is a man of good practical understanding and business qualifications. In 1840 he married Miss Isabell Foster, who was born about 1812. She is still active and robust. To this union eight children were born of whom six are still living: Sanford (deceased); Jasper Newton; Durinda, now Mrs. Taylor; Golden; Nancy, afterward Mrs. Winfrey (deceased); Delia now Mrs. Williams; Sarah, now Mrs. Hayes, and Martin. Mr. Fitts and children are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. The first year after marriage Mr. Fitts rented; he then bought an old Soldier’s right to 640 acres; the following year he purchased 200 more, and finally became owner of 1,300 acres of excellent land. Besides what he has given his family, he still has 1,000 acres, cultivated and improved, located in Cove Hollow, on the Smithville and Temperance Hall road, three miles east of the latter place. He has always been a successful farmer and stock raiser, and made money rapidly, but has had security debts to settle, amounting to about $10,000....

Biographical Sketch of Capt. J.T. Exum

Capt. J. T. Exum, merchant, was born December 4, 1842, in Smith County, Tenn. He is the son of Kinchen D. and Elizabeth (Allen) Exum, the former born in 1821, in Smith County, and the latter in 1821, in Wilson County. His grandfather, William a native of North Carolina, was one of the earliest pioneers of Smith County, where he died. Reared on a farm, our subject was educated at Cumberland Institute, in White County, and soon enlisted in the Federal Army as private, then corporal, then second lieutenant and recruiting officer for the Fifth Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry. He was soon promoted to first lieutenant, and in 1862 was made captain at Nashville. In March, 1865, he resigned his commission and for about two years was engaged in merchandising at Laurell Hill, Tenn. Then after about seven years in Buffalo Valley, Putnam County, in the same business, he was made United States storekeeper and gauger for the Fifth Internal Revenue District. In 1881 he was deputy United States marshal, under Marshal Tillman, and a year later was appointed United States commissioner for the middle district of Tennessee, but resigned in 1883. For four years previous to 1884 he was chairman of the Republican Executive Committee of the Fourth congressional District. After a year’s travel in the West he returned to Dekalb in 1886 and engaged in merchandising for a short time. In 1868 he married M. S. Maddox, who died in 1876, in which year their two children, James R. and John D. died also. In 1882 he married Alice McDonald, who lived but about seven months after. She...

Biographical Sketch of Will A. Vick

Will A. Vick, editor of Liberty Herald, born in 1864, at Liberty, is the eldest of three surviving children of William and Sarah A. (West) Vick. The father was born in 1824 in Smith (now Dekalb) County. He has been a merchant of Liberty since the age of nineteen. The mother was born in 1829 at Liberty, where she died in 1881. Our subject received his early education at the Masonic Academy of his native place, and later attended the Vanderbilt University, of Nashville. At the age of twenty he became a member of the firm of William Vick & Son. In Connection with his mercantile business he established the Herald in April, 1886. He began with a fir number of subscriptions, and the circulation is now quite extensive. The secret of his success has been in making the paper strictly non-partisan. It strongly advocates prohibition. By the time the Herald is one year old there will be a second story added to the office, and a steam cylinder press used. Mr. Vick is an intelligent, energetic and rising young man, who has a bright, and we trust, successful future. He is a stanch Prohibitionist, and a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church...

Biographical Sketch of G. Squires M.D.

G. Squires, M. D., was born in 1839, near Middleton, Smith County, one of eight children, four living, of John and Maria (Gulick) Squires, the former of Scotch-Irish origin, Born in Virginia about 1795, and the mother of like ancestry, born about 1804 in Smith County, Tenn. The father’s parents settled at the head of Plunkett Creek in Smith County about 1800, when he was a boy. He was a farmer and a soldier of the Mexican war, the long service in which, during its whole course, lift him in such feeble health that he died in a few years after its close. The mother died in 1843 at the birthplace of our subject. Trained a tanner, and educated at New Middleton Academy (coeducational). Our subject worked at his trade until twenty-two years of age, when he began attending school and studying medicine. In 1869-70 he attended lectures in the medical department of the University of Nashville, at the close of which lectures he began practice at Liberty. In 1873 he married Sarah C., daughter of Eli and Eliza (More) Vick, and born near Liberty in 1851. Their four children were Mattie F., Cecil H., Pearl and Jonathan G., besides whom they are also rearing and educating four orphan children. Our subject has an excellent practice, and owns property, including 276 acres and fine town property, all the result of his own efforts. Formerly a Whig, and first voting for John Bell, he has since become a Democrat. He is a Mason and a stanch temperance man. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church...
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