Location: Coffee County TN

Old Stone Fort

Old Stone Fort is one of the most beautiful Native American archaeological sites. When the Scottish, Ulster Scots and English settlers first arrived in eastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia, they discovered a continuous chain composed of hundreds of fieldstone structures on the mountain and hill tops between Manchester, TN and Stone Mountain, GA. Some were merely piles of stones that archaeologists call cairns. Others formed small cylinders. Others were small rings. Still others were complex combinations of concentric rings with some perpendicular walls. At least two appeared to be walled villages. The Cherokees, who had moved into the region during the late 1700s, told the settlers that they didn’t build these structures. Some Cherokees told the Europeans that they had been built by the Creeks. Other Cherokees told of a legend that these mysterious sites had been built by “Mooneyes,” which the Europeans interpreted as being gray-eyed Europeans. The stories were elaborated to the point that most Whites assumed that the stone cairns and enclosures were built by Celts, specifically a colony of Welsh led by a Prince Madoc. There are several surviving enigmatic sites in the northern Georgia and western North Carolina that consist of dozens or hundreds of fieldstone cairns. The two largest are located in the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield in Cobb County, GA and in Ball Ground, GA near the Etowah River. When in the...

Read More

Slave Narrative of Ann Matthews

Person Interviewed: Ann Matthews Location: Nashville, Tennessee Place of Birth: Murfreesboro, Tennessee Place of Residence: 719 9th Ave. South, Nashville, Tennessee “I wuz bawn in Murfreesboro on Stones River. I dunno how ole I ez en hit meks me ‘shamed ter tell peeple dat, but mah mammy would hit me in de mouth w’en I’d ax how ole I wuz. She say I wuz jes’ tryin’ ter be grown.” “Mah mammy’s name wuz Frankie en mah daddy wuz Henry Ken Kannon. Don’ member much ’bout mah mammy ‘cept she wuz a sho’t fat Indian ‘oman wid a turrible tempah. She d’ed, durin’ de war, wid black measles.” “Mah daddy wuz part Indian en couldn’t talk plain. W’en he go ter de store he’d hab ter put his han’ on w’at he want ter buy. He d’ed eight months ‘fore de Centennial.” “Our marster en missis wuz Landon en Sweenie Ken Kannon. Dey wuz good ter us, en we had’n good things ter eat.” “I member de Yankee en Southern soldiers. One day me en mah young missis, en sum chilluns went up ter de road en we se’ed sum Yankee soldiers kumin’, I clum’ed on de fence, de urthurs run ‘way en hid. One ob de soldiers sezs ter me, ‘Lettle girl who wuz dat wid you,’ en I sezs, ‘Hit wuz Miss Puss en sum chilluns.’ He laughed...

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 Robert M. Hancock

ROBERT M. HANCOCK. It is a pleasure and a privilege to record the character and enterprise of men of business who have made their own way in life, and no more efficient man could have been found for the office of circuit and county clerk than Robert M. Hancock. He is keenly alive to his responsibilities, fulfills them in the most prompt and thorough manner, and even his political enemies have come to understand that he is the “right man in the right place.” He owes his nativity to Coffee County, Tennessee, where he was born February 11, 1847, a son of William A. and Elizabeth (McCrary) Hancock, both of whom were natives of Middle Tennessee. After their marriage they moved to Gibson County, West Tennessee, and from there to Arkansas in 1861, locating on a farm a little over a mile from Mountain Home. There the father died in 1876, at the age of fifty-two years, and his widow at Potterville, Missouri, in 1879 while trying the waters of the medical spring of that place for her health. William A. Hancock was a stanch Democrat in politics, was active in political matters and successfully filled the offices of deputy sheriff and justice of the peace. In 1861 he joined Shaver’s regiment as first lieutenant of his company and was with that command until taken prisoner below Little Rock....

Read More

Biography of S. H. Henry

S. H. HENRY, a pioneer of this section and the man who established the first planing mill business in West Plains, came originally from Coffee County, Tennessee, his birth occurring there December 9, 1836. His father, John Henry, who was also born and reared in Coffee County, Tennessee, came to Howell County, Missouri, in the year 1857. He was a son of Samuel Henry, who was a native of South Carolina and an early pioneer in Tennessee. The Henry family is of Irish origin. The grandfather was a soldier in the War of 1812, and was with Gen. Jackson at New Orleans. He died soon after the war. The father of our subject was married in his native State to Miss Sallie Sane, a native of Tennessee, and soon after emigrated to Missouri. Mrs. Henry is still living, a resident of West Plains, but the father died in this county in 1886. He was a prominent farmer and a citizen much respected by all. In religion he was a Methodist and in politics a Democrat. Our subject was the eldest of twelve children, ten of whom a reliving: D. C., a soldier in General Price’s Army, is now living in Thornville, this State; Martha, who died after rearing a family; I. P., who is living in Peace Valley, was also a soldier in the Confederate Army; Nimrod, a hunter,...

Read More

Biography of Euclid Waterhouse Smartt, Jr.

Euclid Waterhouse Smartt, Jr., of Muskogee, whose varied interests and activities have ever maintained a well balanced character, while his recognition of the duties and obligations of life have made him a valued citizen through his business enterprise and through his cooperation in many projects for the public good, was born in Viola, Warren county, Tennessee, December 29, 1878, on the home farm of his parents E. W. and Nannie Elizabeth (Davis) Smartt. He completed his literary education in the Viola Normal School at Viola, Tennessee, in the year 1899 and became a law student in the office and under the direction of Cross & Ramsey, well known attorneys of Manchester, Tennessee, being admitted to the bar in 1901. He then located for practice in Manchester, where he devoted his attention to the profession until 1908, when he also became interested in the conduct of a lumber business, continuing to practice, however, until 1912. It was in that year that Mr. Smartt came to Muskogee and through the intervening period has resided in this city. His initial business connection was that of president and general manager of the Muskogee Transfer Company and as the years have passed he has utilized every opportunity which he believed offered chance for advancement and broader usefulness in the business world. He became interested in the retail tire and automobile accessories business and in...

Read More

Biography of Joel B. Smith

Joel B. Smith, a pioneer of Tullahoma, was born in Nashville, Tennessee, September 12, 1829, and is the son of Joel M. and Charlotte (Bateman) Smith. The father was a native of North Carolina, born in 1797, and died in 1861. He was treasurer of Nashville, and United States pension agent, appointed to that office by President Van Buren. He was also proprietor of the Nashville Union, the pioneer newspaper of the capital city. The mother was also born in Nashville in 1805, the daughter of Henry Bateman, an early settler of Nashville. She died in 1876. Both were members of McKendree Methodist Episcopal Church, of Nashville. Our subject was reared in Nashville, and educated by Professor Alfred Hume. When twenty-one years of age our subject entered the pension office of his father buying and selling land warrants. In 1852 he was sent to Tullahoma as agent for the Nashville & Chattanooga Railway Company. After two years here he began speculating in wheat, and became proprietor of the Lincoln House and Tullahoma Hotel. During the war he was special aid-de-camp on Governor Harris’ staff, and for a while occupied a similar position on the staff of General Bragg. After the war he continued the hotel business until 1872, when he engaged in business with James G. Aydelott for eight years. At present he is bookkeeper and financial agent of...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of Col. H. S. Sheid

Col. H. S. Sheid, farmer in Coffee County, was born January 27, 1827, in this county. His father, James Sheid, born May 22, 1776, in South Carolina, was a pioneer of Tennessee, in 1803 settling on the present farm of our subject, where he died April 18, 1856. The grandfather of Col. Sheid served with distinction in the Revolution, while other ancestors were the first settlers in Maryland. His mother, Sibyl (Robertson) Sheid, was born November 26, 1779, and died in 1868; she was of Irish, and her husband of Scotch descent. At seventeen our subject left the farm, and after four years as salesman at Pelham, he began his career of farming and trading uninterruptedly, excepting a short service for the Louisville & Nashville Railway. As captain of his recruited company, he entered Confederate service in November 1861; he was soon elected lieutenant colonel of the Forty fourth Tennessee Infantry. After a disabling wound at Shiloh, he was honorary member of General Hardee’s staff for a while. He was state senator for two years. In 1848 he married Mary E., daughter of Gen. R. E. Patton of Grundy County. Their children are Mary C., Cara C., Ella C., Jessie L., Will F., James H. and Kittie W. A self-made man, Col. Sheid is a member of the Baptist Church and the Masonic order at Pelham, and politically is...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of James H. Rutledge

James H. Rutledge, merchant, and a prominent young citizen of Tullahoma, Tennessee, was born in Lincoln County, Tennessee, November 13, 1855, and is the son of Samuel Rutledge, a native of North Carolina. Our subject was reared on the farm, receiving his education in the public schools. In 1876 he began farming in his native county, and continued until 1882, when he came to Tullahoma, and with his brother, R. F. Rutledge, engaged in the grocery business; they have since added clothing, furnishing goods, and a boot and shoe stock. Mr. Rutledge was married in 1876 to Ida Roughton, a daughter of J. M. Roughton of Moore County. To them were been born four children. He and his wife are members of the Primitive Baptist Church. He carries a policy of $2,000 in the New York Mutual Insurance Company. Politically he is 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 R. H. Richardson

R. H. Richardson, merchant and a prominent citizen of Tullahoma, was born in Bradford County, Tennessee, in November 1846, the son of Thomas E. Richardson, whose death occurred in Coffee County in 1850. When our subject was about six months old his parents moved to Coffee County, settling near Duck River in the Fourteenth District, where he was reared and attended the free schools. He finished his education at Manchester College. January 1, 1868, he came to Tullahoma and entered a store as clerk, and in 1878 began business for himself, and has since conducted a successful general store. He was married in November, 1868, to D. D. Zell, daughter of F. M. Zell of Bedford County. To them three children have been born as follows: Linda M., born November 8, 1880; Warren W., December 31, 1882; Thomas E., born October 30, 1885. Mr. Richardson is a member of the Masonic order and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. In 1881 he served as recorder of Tullahoma, and in 1882 and 1884 served on the board of aldermen of the same place. In politics he is a...

Read More

Biographical Sketch of W. Ramsey

W. Ramsey, a farmer of Coffee County, was born April 3, 1823, in Warren County. Samuel and Pollie (Strowd) Ramsey, his parents, lived in Warren County. The elder, Mrs. Ramsey’s father, was one of the first settlers of that county. Our subject is of English and Irish descent. November 30, 1852, he married Rachel Parker, by whom he had four children. She was a member of the Christian Church and died March 5, 1862. August 5, 1865, he married Ellen Norton, daughter of J. M. and Mary (Wilkinson) Norton of Coffee County. They have one child. Our subject taught school, having been educated at the school which was the predecessor of Franklin College, also at Irwin College in Warren County. He, his wife and three children are members of the Christian...

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

Biography of Lewis B. Morgan

Lewis B. Morgan, lawyer and chairman of the county court, was born in Lincoln County, Tennessee, in 1834. He is the son of Smith and Abigail (Alexander) Morgan, natives of Tennessee. The former was born in 1806, and the latter in 1809. They are now residents of Fayetteville, Tennessee, and are members of the Baptist Church. Until his seventeenth year our subject lived with his parents on the farm, and then learned the blacksmithing trade, following that, together with farming for a number of years. In 1856 he went to Kansas with a company of 365 men, joining them at Montgomery, Alabama, for the purpose of pre-empting lands, and while there joined the pro-slavery party, and took up arms against John Brown and his supporters. In the fall of 1856 he returned to Fayetteville, and worked at his trade until the breaking out of the war, when he enlisted in Company F., of the Fourth Tennessee Regulars, Infantry, commanded by Baxter Smith. He was afterward transferred to Company I, Fourth Tennessee Infantry. He served throughout the war, the latter part of which he was a member of Jefferson Davis’ escort. At the close of the war he returned to Fayetteville, and for two years engaged in raising cotton. At the end of this time he came to Tullahoma and engaged in farming until 1880, when he opened a blacksmith...

Read More

Search

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