Location: Smith County TN

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...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Biography of W.W. Patterson

W. W. Patterson, one of the leading business men of Alexandria, was born in Smith County in 1843, the second of eight children of Samuel F. and Catherine (Smith) Patterson. The father was of Scotch-Irish descent, born in Wilson County in 1801, and the son of Samuel Patterson, a native of Ireland who immigrated to America at about the age of sixteen. He settled in Wilson County, where he married and spent the remainder of his life as a tiller of the soil. Samuel F. was first married to Miss Lucy Waters, by whom he had two children, one living. His second union was with Mrs. Compton, nee Coe; to them one child was born. About 1835 he wedded the mother of our subject, who was born in Wilson County about 1812, and died in 1876. In 1832 Mr. Patterson moved to Smith County, where he was a prosperous farmer. He served several years as constable and magistrate. He died in 1884. Both were members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Six of their children are living. Our subject was educated in the country schools. In 1861 at the age of seventeen he entered the Confederate Army, Company F, Twenty-fourth Tennessee Infantry. He took part in the battle of Shiloh, and was the only one of nine guards who escaped uninjured. After twelve months’ faithful service he was discharged on...

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Biography of Gen. Wm. B. Stokes

Gen. Wm. B. Stokes, one of the leading attorneys and best-known citizens of Alexandria, was born in 1814 in Chatham County, N. C. He is the second and only surviving one of their children of Sylvanus and Mary (Christian) Stokes. The father was of English descent, born in Chatham County, N. C., in 1783, a son of Thos. Stokes who was a native of Virginia and a cousin of ex-Gov. Munford Stokes, of North Carolina. Sylvanus was married in North Carolina about 1810, and in 1818 started for Tennessee, where his father owned large tracts of land. While en route his team ran away and he was killed by the wagon running over him. The family proceeded on their journey and located in Smith County near Temperance Hall, where the widow remained until her death in 1853. She was a native of the same State and county, and also same age as her husband. The subject of our sketch was educated in the best schools of Smith (now Dekalb) County. In January 1832, he married miss Parilee A., daughter of Abraham and Hannah Overall, of Dekalb County, where Mrs. Stokes was born in May 1815. Thirteen children came to this union, of whom one son and six daughters are now living: Melissia J., wife of W. T. Hoskins, of Dekalb County; Hannah L., wife of Jas. L. Calhoun, of...

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Biography of John M. Mason

John M. Mason, a well-known farmer of the Fifteenth District, was born October 22, 1819, in North Carolina, and came to Smith (now Dekalb) County in 1827. He was the seventh of thirteen children born to Wiley and Nancy (Bensy) Mason. The father was born January 31, 1785, in Virginia. He served in the war of 1812, and was mustered out at the close of the war at Norfolk, Virginia. He moved to Caswell County, N. C., and from there to Smith County in 1827. He was a man of considerable intelligence, well versed in the Bible, in which he took a deep interest. He was also thoroughly posted on all political subjects. His death occurred in 1840. His father was a native of Whales. Mrs. Nancy Mason was born October 4, 1783, and died in North Carolina. Our subject had but limited educational advantages until after his majority. He attended the common schools of the county. He worked as an overseer and manager for several years. He then farmed on rented land until he was able to purchase forty-two acres near Riddleton, Smith County. From time to time he has added to his place, and now owns 400 acres, well cultivated and improved, and a house and lot in Smithville. For nine years he has been magistrate, and trustee of the Earl Academy two years. From 1859 to...

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Biograpy Sketch of James H. Kitching

James H. Kitching, a prosperous farmer and stock dealer of Alexandria, was born May 28, 1840, in Smith County. He is the fourth of fourteen children of Thomas and Mary (Davis) Kitching. The father was born in Smith County in 1809, a son of James Kitchen who was a native of North Carolina. He immigrated to Tennessee at an early date stopping first at the top of Bledsoe’s Lick, Sumner County, afterward located in Smith County, near the head of Kitching Creek, which was named for him. He was one of the first settlers in that section where his life was passed. Thomas was reared in his native county, where he married about 1831. He is a substantial farmer, well and favorably known. His wife was born in North Carolina about five years later than her husband. Both are faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. They raised a large and intelligent family; all lived to maturity. There are now three sons and four daughters. The subject of this sketch was educated in the common schools. In September 1862, he enlisted in the United States Army, in Company B, Fifth Tennessee Cavalry. He took part in the battle of Stone River and many skirmishes. In August, 1863, he was discharged on account of disability, but in the fall of 1864 enlisted in Company G, Fourth Tennessee Mounted Infantry,...

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Biography of Louis E. Simpson

Louis E. Simpson was born in 1840, in Smith County, and was the son of Thos. And Atlanta (Ellison) Simpson, and one of seven children, five living. The father was born near Frankfort, Ky., in 1806, was a son of Jas. Simpson, an early pioneer of Kentucky, and of Irish ancestry. Thomas lost his father when a boy, and at about fifteen years of age came with his mother to Smith County, where he remained until his death in 1862, one of the wealthiest farmers in Smith County. His wife, to whom he was married in about his twenty-fourth year, was born in West Virginia, about 1804, and died in 1868, a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. At nineteen he left home and school, and entered Company F, Twenty-fourth Tennessee Infantry, under Col. Ellison, and was in all Gen. Bragg’s engagements from Shilo to Mission Ridge, where he was captured and taken to Rock Island, Ill. In 1865, by the earnest petition of his mother to Vice-President Johnson, he was paroled by President Lincoln, and returned home in a feeble condition from Rheumatism, and after his recovery-resumed work on the farm. In January 1867, he married Nancy J., daughter of Willis and Martha Dowell, of Smith County, where she was born in 1846. Their eight children are William T., Mattie, Charles W., James L., Eddie, Della. Robt. D....

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