Location: Bedford County TN

Slave Narrative of George W. Arnold

Interviewer: Lauana Creel Person Interviewed: George W. Arnold Location: Evansville, Indiana Place of Birth: Bedford County, Tennessee Date of Birth: April 7, 1861 Occupation: porter in a wholesale feed store This is written from an interview with each of the following: George W. Arnold, Professor W.S. Best of the Lincoln High School and Samuel Bell, all of Evansville, Indiana. George W. Arnold was born April 7, 1861, in Bedford County, Tennessee. He was the property of Oliver P. Arnold, who owned a large farm or plantation in Bedford county. His mother was a native of Rome, Georgia, where she remained until twelve years of age, when she was sold at auction. Oliver Arnold bought her, and he also purchased her three brothers and one uncle. The four negroes were taken along with other slaves from Georgia to Tennessee where they were put to work on the Arnold plantation. On this plantation George W. Arnold was born and the child was allowed to live in a cabin with his relatives and declares that he never heard one of them speak an unkind word about Master Oliver Arnold or any member of his family. “Happiness and contentment and a reasonable amount of food and clothes seemed to be all we needed,” said the now white-haired man. Only a limited memory of Civil War days is retained by the old man but...

Read More

Slave Narrative of Sylvia Watkins

Person Interviewed: Sylvia Watkins Location: Nashville, Tennessee Place of Birth: Bedford County TN Age: 91 Place of Residence: 411 14th Avenue N., Nashville, Tennessee I’se said ter be 91 y’ars ole. I wuz young w’en de War wuz goin’ on. I wuz bawn in Bedford County. Mah mammy wuz named Mariah. She had six chillun by mah daddy en three by her fust husband. Mah missis wuz named Emily Hatchet en de young missises wuz Mittie en Bettie, dey wuz twins. We had good clothes ter w’ar en w’en we went ter de table hit wuz loaded wid good food en we could set down en eat our stomachs full. Oh Lawd I wish dem days wuz now so I’d hab sum good food. Ob course, we had ter wuk in de fiel’s en mek w’at we et. Wen we’d finish our day’s wuk our missis would let us go out en play hide en seek, Puss in de corner, en diff’ent games. Mah mammy wuz sold in Virginia w’en she wuz a gurl. She sezs ‘bou 60 ob em wuz put in de road en druv down ‘yer by a slave trader, lak a bunch ob cattle. Mah mammy en two ob mah sistahs wuz put on a block, sold en carried ter Alabama. We neber ‘yeard fum dem nomo’, en dunno whar dey ez. I wuz willed...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of John E. Gore

John E. Gore, farmer, of Moore County, was born in April, 1826, in Bedford County, Tenn., and is a son of Amos and Mary A. (Cowser) Gore. The parents were both natives of South Carolina, and came to Bedford County in the early settlement of the county. Our subject left the parental roof at the age of eighteen, and in 1844 went to Mississippi, where he remained three years engaged in farming and boating. He then came home and bought a small farm in this county (then Franklin County). In September 1849, he was united in marriage to Jane Cunningham, a native of this county, and in 1866 bought the farm where lie now resides, a tract of 200 acres, splendidly watered by several springs, one of which issues from a cave near his residence. Affording splendid water facilities, which is not used, with the exception of drinking purposes. To our subject and wife were born eight children, five of whom are still living: Elizabeth, William L., Rebecca (Mrs. Duckworth), Robert E. and Joshua. Politically Mr. Gore has always been identified with the Democratic Party, but has never aspired to office. He and family are members of the Baptist...

Read More

Biography of Hon. W.W. Gordon

Hon. W. W. Gordon was born in Winchester, Tennessee, May 20, 1848. His father, Dr. Amzi B. Gordon, was a native of the county of Bedford, moving to Franklin County in about the year 1841, where he began the practice of medicine, soon building up a large and lucrative practice. He was a zealous member of the Baptist Church and one of the founders of the celebrated Mary Sharp College, at Winchester. He died in 1855. His mother is a daughter of John March, a highly respected farmer of the county, and a sister of Hon. Hayden March, who represented Franklin County several times in the Legislature. Mr. Gordon received only the rudiments of an English education at Carrick Academy, in his native town, the suspension of the schools during the five years of war depriving him, as it did thousands of the youth of the south, of the means of obtaining an education. He entered a printing office during the war, partly for the educational advantages thus offered, but principally for the meager salary thereby obtained for the support of his widowed mother and sister. He moved to Nashville soon after the war, working in the various departments of the newspaper offices of that city. He spent several years in visiting the principal cities of the Union. In 1870 he was married to Miss Mary E. Fletcher, daughter...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of John N. Sullivan

John N. Sullivan, farmer, was born November 2, 1838, in Moore County, and is one of ten children born to Dempsey and Naoma (Neece) Sullivan. The parents were both born in this county in 1811 and 1812, respectively, the father being of Scotch Irish descent. He was a farmer, although he also engaged in the mercantile business for a few years in Lincoln County, and dealt largely in stock from 1845 to 1855. The mother died September 1884. The father is still living, a hale, hearty man of seventy five. John N. remained with his parents until the war, when he enlisted in the Eighth Tennessee Infantry, with which he remained until severely wounded at the battle of Murfreesboro. In March 1875, he was united in marriage to Elizabeth Logan, also a native of this county, and the fruits of this union were an interesting family of nine children, one of whom died in infancy. Shortly after marriage, Mr. Sullivan engaged in the tannery business in Bedford County, where he continued for fourteen years, afterward purchasing the farm where he is now residing, which consists of 400 acres of good land. On this farm is quite an eminence, from which is afforded an excellent view of the surrounding country. Mr. Sullivan and family are members of the Christian Church. He is identified with the democrats, and is an advocate...

Read More

Biography of Ward Smith

Ward Smith, secretary of the Hunter-Robinson Milling & Grain Company and manager of the grain department, was born in Tullahoma, Tennessee, May 22, 1888. His father, Dr. J. Crittenden Smith, was a native of Columbia, Tennessee, and is now in business in Chicago. His father, Dr. T. C. Smith, is still living in Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee. He and his immediate ancestors in the two preceding generations were physicians. The Smith family comes of English lineage. J. Crittenden Smith was united in marriage to Ella Ward, a daughter of John H. Ward, a wholesale furniture dealer of Nashville, Tennessee. He came from England when a child, being brought to the new world by his father, Jehiah Ward. The latter made a fortune in the shipping business and brought it with him to this country. He invested in a tract of several acres of land in what is now New York city, but his heirs, after his death, were unable to get any trace as to what he did with his land or even its location. Two sisters of Jehiah Ward are buried in Trinity churchyard in New York city. The grandfather of Mrs. Ella Ward Smith served in the War of 1812. The ancestors in the paternal line are represented by many families now prominent in Tennessee, including the Crittendens, Rountrees, Brantleys and others. The early education of Ward Smith...

Read More

Biography of James Hailey

JAMES HAILEY. This gentleman is the oldest resident of Ava, and during the long term of years that he has spent in this section, his good name has remained untarnished and he has won for himself many friends. He was born in Bedford County, Tennessee, February 7, 1824, a son of Tavner and Joyce (Tomison) Hailey, the former of whom was born in Henry County, Virginia, was an early pioneer of Tennessee, and in 1839 settled in Webster County, Missouri, where he followed the occupation of farming until his death in 1867. He was a Whig in politics. His wife was born in Virginia and died in 1869, the daughter of Peter Tomison, a Virginian who removed to Tennessee. The paternal grandfather, James Hailey, was of English descent and a native of Virginia, and was a soldier of the Revolution. Fourteen children were born to Tavner Hailey and wife, only two of whom are living, James and Joyce (Mrs. Johnson) of Webster County. Fourteen members of this family reached maturity: Lucy, Louis P., Elizabeth, Susan, James, Peter F., Sarah, Joyce, Eliza, Joseph, Judy, Alice, Temperance and Tavner C.; all the sons were soldiers in Missouri regiments during the Civil War. The schooldays of James Hailey were spent in Tennessee and in Missouri, and were limited to the common schools. In 1847 he began to do for himself and was...

Read More

Biography of Amelia Couch

AMELIA COUCH. – Much honor is due to the worthy lady, whose name is written above for the noble way in which she has met the burdens and hardships of life and has achieved a success that is both gratifying and praiseworthy, while she has always shown forth her characteristic goodness and sagacity, being gracious and affable in her personal walk. Mrs. Couch is the daughter of William and Rebecca Walker being born on November 25, 1838 in Bedford county, Tennessee. The parents removed to Missouri when she was very young and there she received her primary education in the district schools, and there, also, the father died. Later the mother removed to Van Buren county, Iowa, where she finished her education. The widowed mother removed to Jefferson county, Iowa, and then about eight years later our subject went to Missouri where a married sister lived and where also she was married to Mr. R.T. Couch, a farmer, and for sixteen years they lived there. In the centennial year the subject of this sketch and her husband came direct to Union county, whither her mother and sisters had preceded her by twelve years. Mr. and Mrs. Couch rented land for a time and then purchased their present home place of eighty acres which is situated immediately northwest from Island City. On September 7, 1888, Mr. Couch died, being aged...

Read More

Biography of George B. Balch

George B. Balch, farmer, Postmaster and agent G. & M. R. R.., Larna; born in Bedford Co., Tenn., Nov. 1, 1828; his father, Alfred M. Balch, was born in Logan Co., Ky., Jan. 23, 1798. He was married to Elizabeth Gammil July 1, 1819; she was born Jan. 1, 1800; they left Tennessee late in October, 1830, and settled in Pleasant Grove Tp.; their journey and settlement are fully noted in the history of that township; they remained here during their lives; Mrs. Balch died Dec. 29, 1855; Mr. Balch Dec. 2, 1856; the subject of this sketch, Geo. B., grew to maturity here, receiving only a moderate education. He was married March 19, 1851, to Margaret S. Walker, who was born in Tennessee, Oct. 1, 1832; they became the parents of eleven children, all of whom’ are now living; Mrs. Balch died Nov. 4, 1875, leaving her daughters to fill her place; the names and births of the children are as follows: Samuel W. (born Jan. 28, 1852; married Nov. 25, 1875), Elizabeth J. (born Sept. 18, 1853; married April 21, 1875 ), Ann Minerva (born Aug. 10, 1855), Thomas W. and Nancy M. (born Oct. 8, 1858), Esther R. (born June 20, 1861), Ellen D. (born Jan. 31,1863), Minnie B. (born March 30, 1865), Eliza J. (born June 25, 1868), Robert E. (March 26, 1871), Margaret L....

Read More

Biography of Charles T. Carpenter

Charles T. Carpenter is one of the pioneer bankers of Coffeyville, and for thirty years has been closely identified with what is now known as the Condon National Bank, being vice president of that institution. Mrs. Temple W. Carpenter, his wife, is one of the prominent women of Southern Kansas, has been a leader in religious, social and public affairs, and is president of the Carnegie Library of Coffeyville, and is the only woman who has ever been honored with a place on the school board of that city. The Carpenter family is a very old one in America, having been transplanted from England to Rehoboth, Massachusetts, as early as 1632. From there its descendants moved to Pennsylvania, and into North Carolina and Kentucky. Mr. Carpenter has ancestors who fought in the Revolution. Charles T. Carpenter was born at Palmetto, Tennessee, December 9, 1858, and belongs to a substantial stock of people who were extensive planters in early Tennessee, but were stanchly aligned with the Union cause and in the difficulties that grew out of the Civil war moved north of the Ohio River. Peter Carpenter, grandfather of the Coffeyville banker, was born in North Carolina in 1790. He was reared and married in his native state, became a planter, and moved his family to Tennessee, establishing a homestead on an eminence long known as Carpenter Hill. He was...

Read More

Biography of Charles Squirrel

Among the progressive and capable young business men of Bartlesville is numbered Charles Squirrel, a native son of the state, who is the owner of a good farm in Washington county and also has valuable oil interests. He was born at Matoka, September 11, 1896, his parents being Mr. and Mrs. William Squirrel, both of whom were Cherokees. When but a year old he was left an orphan and was adopted by Mrs. Walter Brown when eight years of age, his education being acquired at St. Joseph, Muskogee, Oklahoma, in the Webb school at Bellbuckle, Tennessee, and in Kemper Academy at Boonville, Missouri. When nineteen years of age he left school in opposition to the wishes of his guardian, who refused to render him any further assistance, and he has since been dependent entirely upon his own resources for a livelihood. He is a young man of marked business ability whose efforts are resultant factors in whatever he undertakes, and he is thoroughly familiar with the oil industry, while. he also is a successful agriculturist. He is now the owner of a farm of eighty acres and receives large royalties from his oil leases, his business affairs being most judiciously managed. On the 8th of July, 1916, Mr. Squirrel was united in marriage to Miss Edna Swinney, a daughter of E. E. and Barbara (Kent) Swinney, farming people of...

Read More

Biography of Milton Gooddell Young

Well known and prominent in the financial circles of Muskogee is Milton Gooddell Young, who is the President of the Security State Bank. Long experience has well qualified him for the important and responsible duties which devolve upon him in this connection and as the years have passed he has made himself a forceful factor among the bankers of his section of the state. He was born in Florence, Alabama, February 15, 1884, and is a son of Andrew M. and Ollie (House) Young.  His father was also prominent in financial circles, being the first bank commissioner of the state of Oklahoma. Milton G. Young largely acquired his education in the public schools and when fifteen years of age started out in the business world, becoming associated with his father in the Bedford County Bank at Wartrace, Tennessee. He served as bookkeeper there for two years and then went to Fort Worth, Texas, where he occupied the position of auditor with the Continental Bank & Trust Company. In 1905 he arrived in Muskogee and entered the Bank of Commerce as assistant cashier. His next position was that of cashier in the Exchange National Bank and he remained with that corporation until April, 1919, when he organized the Security State Bank, of which he has since been the President. His connection with these various banking institutions has brought him a...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of Emmett Russell

Emmett Russell, one of the young businessmen of Tullahoma, was born in Bedford County, Tennessee, November 26, 1866, and is the son of W. F. Russell. He was reared in his native county, near Shelbyville, and attended the common schools. In 1881 he came to Tullahoma and entered the store of Carroll Bros, as clerk, and remained with them for three years, when he accepted a similar position with R. Wilson. October 1, 1886, he engaged in business for himself, opening a fancy and family grocery store, is meeting with success, and has built up a splendid trade. In politics he is a...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of E. W. Pearson

E. W. Pearson, an enterprising farmer of Coffee County, was born in Bedford County, November 23, 1856. He is the son of Charles and Mary J. (Wells) Pearson, natives of Tennessee. The elder Pearson was a manufacturer in Bedford County until 1871, when he was a farmer and millwright in Coffee County, and finally at Sparta, Tennessee, where he is still milling. Our subject, the oldest of seven children, after an academic training attended Eastman Business College, Poughkeepsie, New York. Returning home he began the lumber business for I. W. Whitman, of Boston, and in August 1878, was employed by the Stone Fort Paper Company. In 1879 he became contractor for Hicks & Pearson, Flat Creek, and then began mercantile business at Gallatin. Returning to Coffee County he erected a lumber dressing and bending factory near Manchester soon moved it to Tullahoma. After a year in saw milling he built at Normandy a spoke and handle factory. After a time as drummer for Smith, Gifford & Co., of Nashville, he settled on his present farm. He married Fanny Price, of Manchester, October 28, 1880. Born to them were Charles L., December 29, 1882, and James P., February 20, 1885. Mr. Pearson is a decided democrat, and is school director and road commissioner. He and his wife are members of the Christian...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of William L. Norton

William L. Norton, postmaster and a prominent citizen of Tullahoma, Tennessee, was born in Bedford County, Tennessee, November 27, 1839, and is the son of Dr. William Norton, a native of North Carolina, who was born March 2, 1801, and is the oldest physician with a radius of a hundred miles of Tullahoma. He came to Tennessee, and at an early date, a pioneer of Bedford County. He makes his home with his son, our subject. Mr. Norton was reared in Bedford County and acquired his education in the common schools. He worked on the farm until his twenty eighth year, and then began merchandising at Normandy, Bedford County. In 1876 he removed to Tullahoma and continued his business for six years, when he retired and entered a dry goods house as salesman. He entered the Confederate service, joining Company E, First Tennessee Infantry (Turney’s), and served throughout the war, receiving several wounds, at the second battle of Manassas, and at Gettysburg, the first necessitating the use of crutches for six months. October 12, 1881, our subject was married to Allie, daughter of Leonard Marbry, of Shelbyville, Tennessee. They have two children: Earl L., born September 3, 1882, and Glyndon Pearl, born January 14, 1885. The mother is a member of the Christian Church. Our subject is a member of the A. O. U. W. and K. of H....

Read More


Free Genealogy Archives

It takes a village to grow a family tree!
Genealogy Update - Keeping you up-to-date!
101 Best Websites 2016

Pin It on Pinterest