yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee
History of Sardis, TN

From Beulah Hanna and Carra Holland, History of Sardis, Tennessee, Sardis Homecoming '86 Committee, May 1986.


While Tennessee was still a territory, trappers and scouts were searching for prospective home sites in West Tennessee including the area where Sardis now stands. Soon families followed these scouts over the mountains of East Tennessee into Middle Tennessee. Some remained in Middle Tennessee, but others came on into West Tennessee in a short time. Thus, some settled in Sardis and the surrounding area.

Way stations were needed for travelers before settlements provided hotels and livery stables, for it took days to travel what would be a short distance today. The roads were little more than blazed paths. We have learned that before the Civil War, Captain James Hanna provided a way station near where Springhill Cemetery now is. There was a stage coach road from a settlement that is now Bolivar by way of the small settlement of Sardis to Clifton on Tennessee River. He would provide food and water for horses and stables where they could groom their horses. He also provided bed and board for a night for the people. The distance from Bolivar to Clifton could not be covered in one day in a horse drawn carriage on the dirt road of that day.

We don't really know the exact date the name Sardis was chosen. But we do know that it was taken from the Biblically named Sardis Campground. The Sardis Campground was one-half mile east of the business section of Sardis and across the road from where Sardis Cemetery now is. As did other early settlers, the first settlers of Sardis settled near a spring. This spring is on the west side of the Richard Holland home. As early as 1825, people from miles around came to this "Big Meeting" place just as others were gathering at other such places during that time of great religious fervor. It was Methodist in belief, but all denominations were made welcome. One member of the congregation, Mr. Quinn, died while attending services there (about 1830) and was buried where Sardis Cemetery is now. In 1835, a Reverend Wesley Hawkins died while in a meeting here and was buried near where Mr. Quinn was buried. A stone with his name and date of death on it marks his grave.

As a result of the camp meetings people began to come here and establish homes. We know from records such as copies of land grant papers in the possession of some people still living (1986) that people were homesteading land from about 1830's on. Some of these homesteaded enough land to give each of their children a farm. Among these who did this were: Mr. Green Brown, grandfather of Mrs. Ethel Jones, William Weaver, grandfather of Mrs. Clell Phillips and Captain James Hanna, grandfather of the late Tom Hanna. It is not known who the first settler in Sardis was, but among the first were the above and in the 1830's a land grant deed was granted to the Story family and a part of that land is still in possession of the family. Some of the other early settlers were: the Hassells, Hamms, McBrides, Bryants, McNatts, Englands, Smiths, Crabbs, Faggs, Williams, Presleys, Mooneys, Johnsons, Stanfills, Hawkins, and Craigs. We are sure there are others whose names we were not able to obtain.

Back to homesteading, Mr. William Weaver used a unique method to divide his land among his eight children. He divided his land into eight sections of about equal value and numbered them one to eight. Then, he numbered eight pieces of paper from one to eight. He then took eight hickory nuts, drilled holes in each of them and put a numbered piece of paper in each nut. They were put inside a hat and each child drew one and thus learned which plot belonged to him.

Now, as we look at the role our ancestors in Sardis played in the Civil War, we find that Tennessee preferred to remain neutral in the war, but finally sided with the South. Since Tennessee was near the dividing line between the North and South, some people in Henderson County served in the Union Army and some in the Confederate Army. We can list the names of some who served but we know there are many whose names we were unable to secure. The names that have been given to us are: Bill Pitts, grandfather of B. A. Pitts; John Pitts, great uncle of B. A. Pitts; Captain Asa Nelson Hayes, grandfather of Ollie Hayes (Captain Hayes was seriously wounded at the Battle of Shiloh but finally survived); Calvin Hanna, son of Captain James Hanna mentioned previously as a homesteader and uncle of the late Tom Hanna (he served in the Infantry from October 1862 to October 1864 and was mustered out as a lieutenant); and Green Brown, mentioned previously as a homesteader and grandfather of Ethel Jones. Mr. Brown went into the Army when he was only seventeen. In the Battle of Shiloh he lost his shoes and had to serve three days barefooted before he was able to get more shoes. During this time an artist, who was in the Army with him, painted a portrait of Mr. Brown. One of his granddaughters has this original portrait in her possession now. Mr. William Weaver, also a homesteader, fought in the Union Army, was captured, and spent eleven months and eleven days in Andersonville Prison. At one time while he was there, he was so nearly starved that he and some other starving men ate a dog that had somehow gotten within the prison walls. He brought a bone from the dog home to his family.

All of the above were Union soldiers, but James Holland, grandfather of Tom Holland, fought for the Confederacy. He was taken prisoner but was released at the end of the war, after he made a vow never to take up arms against the country again.

Guerrilla activity was prevalent all over the country during the Civil War and Sardis was not exempt from it. A Mr. Holly who lived here didn't want to be involved in the war. He was hiding out when night riders came hunting him. The family would not reveal his whereabouts. They took his twelve year old son with them. They took all the corn from a corn crib belonging to Mr. W. W. Phillips, then threw it on the ground and let their horses eat what they would, and rode on. Grain was so scarce, that the Phillips family went out and picked up what they had left. When the guerrillas had traveled a few miles farther, they hanged the boy and left. A lady named Tenne Robbins was following them and carrying a butcher knife for protection. She cut the boy down, put him on her shoulder and carried him back to Mr. Phillips, who returned the body to the family.

Guerrillas were constantly harassing people. They would go into homes demanding money or valuable articles like silver and china. If they didn't get any they would slash featherbeds, kill pets and wreck things in general. They would force the wife or mother to cook them a meal from their scarce provisions.

Mrs. Eliza Holland, Tom Holland's grandmother, was left at home when her husband went to war, with three small children. They only had a mare and a colt, which she would hide each day in order that the soldiers could not take them.

The first slaves were brought to Henderson County in 1818. By 1838 the assessors report showed eight-hundred and fifty-eight slaves. There were good and bad slave owners, and here we show a picture of a very bad one. Dr. Robert Lowery came to this area from South Carolina and settled about three miles east of Sardis, near the present home of Robert Goff. He was a medical doctor, having graduated from South Carolina Medical College. Evidently, he didn't practice his profession but became a foreman on a large plantation in North Carolina. He stole a group of slaves from the plantation and brought them to the Sardis area about 1835. He showed his cruelty by beating, whipping, lashing and starving them. One day he set the dogs on a Negro woman, totally uncalled for since she was only walking toward her hut. She managed to escape, and after four months, naked and half starved, she wandered into the slave quarters belonging to Perry Hawkins, between Sardis and Saltillo. When Dr. Lowery learned of her whereabouts, he went to get her, taking his dogs with him. When he started home with her, he was going to set the dogs on her but Hawkins intervened. With his gun in hand he told Lowery that if he heard of him setting dogs on her again, he would kill him.

Many of us who live in the Sardis area today have heard of Hood Lowery, one of Dr. Lowery's badly mistreated slaves. Dr. Lowery died October 5, 1872, and was buried in the slave graveyard, where only slaves had been buried prior to his death.

After the war ended, the men who had fought were joyfully welcomed back by their families. Then more and more people settled in or near Sardis. An exciting event in the life of this thriving, early community was a visit by the governor of the state in 1867. Governor William Brownlow came by stagecoach and had dinner here with Captain James Hanna.

As the adult population grew, so did the children in this community. So naturally some kind of school had to be established. Our ancestors early had the foresight to realize the importance of education. In the mid-1800s a one room log school house was built on a road northwest of the Gerald Goff home. It was given the name of Mud Hole College and some who attended this school were Saints, Hamms, Medlins and Chalks. At about the same time, Reverend Matt Hanna was teaching in a church building near the Sardis Cemetery. A very versatile man for any day, and especially at this time in history, he was a fine cabinet maker and carpenter. He had studied dentistry in Carbondale, Illinois and was a good dentist. He lived where David Bivens lives now. A second building used for school was known as Old Jerusalem Church and was located on property now owned by Mrs. Tom Chambers. Two people who taught there were Miss Ida Hanna and Mr. Bob Totty. Even a third church, Old Harmony Church, was located where the present Methodist church now stands. Miss Hattie Hanna and Mr. Lewis Chandler taught there.

By 1870 a small stock store was established, with a stock of goods amounting to one-thousand dollars. But, it was soon traded out by the stockholders. Three years later another attempt to have a successful store in Sardis was made. It was located where Floyd Johnson's building now stands. All the goods to supply these stores came by boat to Saltillo, Point Pleasant and Swallow Bluff, and then by wagon to Sardis.

It seemed by 1860 that people were just pouring into the community and there was a population of one-hundred and sixty. Progress continued and a mail route was established in 1875 from Henderson to Saltillo through Sardis. The first mail carriers were Ozier and Goodwin. It came only once each week. Prior to this, news had only been received by word of mouth so this was a big step forward. One of the most exciting days of the week was the day the mail came. I. W. Hassell was the first postmaster and the first to operate a hotel in Sardis. Later, R. L. Cochran and M. F. Pierce had hotels here. Something unique about the Cochran House was the fire escape. A rope was tied to the bed post in each room, to provide a way to escape from an upper story, by way of the window in case of fire.

The Methodist Episcopal Church was built in 1883. Within the next few years many private homes were built and the Methodist Church South. The Baptist Church was built in 1896.

In most of the early settlements, not only here but throughout the country, as homes were built churches were built also, early in the settling of every community. People realized their need to be a community who worshipped God first, and enjoyed fellowship one with another. There were other ways they showed a common spirit of a caring and helpful attitude. When someone needed a house, they all came together for a log rolling and house raising. Then, for the joy of being together, there were quilting bees and corn husking. It seemed the most popular items, for their meal when they came together, were chicken and dumplings and gingerbread made from their own molasses. They didn't know anything about vitamins or food supplements. But it seems, with dried vegetables, and fruit, and meat they killed themselves, it produced a sturdy stock of people who not only endured great hardships but came through victorious.

This is a list of the business places in Sardis in 1885: J. G. Ricketts; N. T. Stone; Fields, Moore and Company; Grier and Colter; J. G. Lewis Mill; and Fields and Powell Gin Company. W. G. Moore was postmaster.

The first cotton gin was operated by horsepower and was run by George England. The first steam powered gin was run by Field, Powell and Parker. J. F. Benson had a flour mill and a grist mill, in association with R. L. Cochran. The wheat growers from the surrounding communities brought their wheat here to be ground. He later moved the mill to Tishomingo, Mississippi. Bob Chalk, Filmore Pierce and John Story helped him move the mill. Mr. Story bought a yoke of oxen at Shiloh and drove them home on foot. Henry Saint set up a stave factory to make wood boards to be used in making barrels. John Lucin set up a carding factory for carding wool or cotton into thread. T. R. Moore had a pottery factory. C. P. Little bought a shingle mill from F. M. Guernsly, his father-in-law, in 1892. This mill was horse drawn and the wood found to be best for this purpose was poplar. This business was successful for about ten years, going out of business about 1902.

A huge livery stable was built. This was greatly needed because of the many salesmen who traveled by carriage and horseback over the country. This stood on the property now owned by Lon C. Martin. Blacksmith shops began to flourish to take care of the horses.

Because of the need of bricks for building chimneys, fireplaces and buildings, brick kilns were built in several places around town. They made their own brick for all these purposes. Sardis Normal College was built with home burned brick in 1904.

Later, Arthur Hanna opened a sawmill which sawed more virgin timber than any in the county. T. M. Hanna, who attended school in Valparaiso, Indiana, was a master carpenter and brick mason. He built fifty-two houses in Sardis. There were public wells located at two places in town for the benefit of those who had driven far to shop in Sardis. One was near the road on property owned by Mrs. Clell Phillips. The mile posts were marked from this well near the center of town. The other one was in the Senior Citizens Building. It is now covered over and is under the floor.

With the growth of the town, doctors were needed and Sardis was fortunate to have three qualified doctors in the late 1800s. They were A. B. Hanna, J. W. Duckworth and J. H. England.

We don't know for sure when the first building was built strictly for educational purposes. But we do know it stood behind where the present post office now stands.

[Sardis Weekly Times]

The first Newspaper that appeared in Sardis was called "The Sardis Weekly Times." The first issue was printed on January 22, 1897. The paper was established upon the request of about 100 people. The sole aim of the paper was to build up the town with all its interests, its churches, its businesses, its schools, its mechanics and its professions. The paper was published by J. F. Houser. He was the cousin of the Houser who helped to run the St. Louis Globe Democrat, one of the biggest papers in St. Louis at the time. A year's subscription to the paper was one dollar.

The following is from the front page of the first issue of the Sardis Weekly Times, with ads and local and personal items taken from other parts of papers:

A Greeting from Editor of Sardis Weekly Times, Jan. 22, 1897

At the request of about one hundred of the citizens of Sardis and vicinity, I am in Sardis to establish a newspaper. Its fate is entirely dependent upon the people of the community. Many of you have said you wanted a paper here; and you have subscribed liberally for that purpose. But that you really want one, and deserve it, will be demonstrated later, when it is seen whether you support it. That Sardis will be greatly benefited by a newspaper no one doubts. And no town that has any "go" about it will remain without one.

While the paper is small at present, it will be made large whenever it is possible to do so.

Politically it will be independent.

Its sole aim will be to build up the town with all its interests — its churches, its mechanics and its professions. How successful it will be in doing this depends, to a very great extent upon those most interested in the growth of the town.

A newspaper cannot pursue a course on most questions that will meet the approval of all. But it can always do it right.

J. F. Houser, Editor

The following is a statement made by the Editor on the editorial page of January 22, 1897:

Sardis is the best inland town in the state. Its people are noted for their enterprise, morality and pull-togetherness.

This is the news that was on the front page of the first issue of the Sardis Times dated January 1897:


Methodist Episcopal Church, Pastor J. W. Droke, Services each second Sunday. Supt. J. J. Yates.

Missionary Baptist, Pastor B. F. Bartles.

Methodist Episcopal, South, Pastor R. M. Walker, Services each fourth Sunday. Supt. J. R. Montgomery.

Cumberland Presbyterian, Pastor R. W. Block. Supt. J. B. Smith.

Postmaster: J. R. Montgomery

Doctors, all Physicians & Surgeons

J. H. England
J. W. Duckworth
A. B. Hanna


L. C. Brandon

An Editorial:

Cannot the people of Sardis afford to put down good sidewalks? Nothing so lowers this or any other town in the estimation of strangers, or your own citizens and the country people that come to it, as bad sidewalks and muddy streets. And, especially is the public square, an eyesore to the beauty of the town. If we are to have a branch court, a newspaper, colleges, etc., it is high time the citizens of the place learn, if they do not know it already, that close fistedness and lack of enterprise must not be the controlling elements among us. All, or even any of these will never be secured except through the liberality and persistent efforts of those who want to see the town grow. A long pull, a strong pull, and a pull altogether is what will do it. Are you prepared to do that? If so success awaits you. Sardis has always accomplished every enterprise she undertook.

Another Editorial:

Sardis asks and is entitled to a branch court. Investigate before you condemn it.

Sardis is 25 miles east of Henderson, 18 miles south of Lexington, 17 miles southwest of Decaturville, and 25 miles north of Savannah. So you can see at once, why we should have a branch court. The distance from any county seat would justly entitle us to a more convenient situation to court facilities. We represent 5,000 people in asking this favor.

Think of the roads we have to travel to get to our county town saying nothing about the stream of water we have to cross. We want the court to have jurisdiction over the 12th and 13th districts of Henderson County, and the 13th district of Hardin County. The people of that district are willing to be attached to Henderson County, if they are released from the railroad tax that now rests on Henderson County.

Now, the Hardin County people have to cross both White Oak River, and the Tennessee to get to Savannah. During very high water they have to go the whole distance by boat, and even at the lowest stage of the river it costs them 50 [cents] each, for the round trip, if by horseback. If in a buggy or other vehicle, it costs more. Hence the Hardin County people are more anxious for this court than Henderson countians. To establish this court, will take a special act of the legislature.

The territory is already surveyed. The court house will be built by donations.

Poem by D. L. Little


Sardis sendeth salutations
As good neighbors ought to do
Reaching out an invitation
Doing all we can for you.
In her trade and education
Sardis is a friend most true
Fruits and flowers, these are ours,
Fruits and wine that stood the test
Sardis knows them, Sardis grows them
Call and sample of our best.
There are others kind as brothers
Representing other lines
Read our advertising matters
We will treat each other kind.
Here's our neighbor's weekly paper
Newsy, bright, a friend to all,
Educator in its nature
Read it, heed it, one and all.


Poem --
Author unknown:


The fools will never all be dead
I'll tell you the reason why,
The young ones they grow up
Before the old ones die.


The following is a list of the advertisements in this paper:

Smith, Montgomery & Co., General Merchandise; J. R. Montgomery & Bro., Hardware & Groceries; Fowler & Totty, General Merchandise. (All the ads say they will take all kinds of country produce in exchange for their goods. This included chickens, eggs, milk, butter and hides.) John L. Bivens, Blacksmithing; L. W. Stephens, Jeweler; J. B. Vernon, Undertaker, "a fine line of coffins, caskets, robes and linings. Coffins and boxes made to order"; Cochran House, Rates $1.00 per day, "best dollar house in the world"; E. H. Stewart & Co., Drugs and Chemicals, Books and Stationery; Washburn & Washburn, General Merchandise; I. W. Hassell & Son, General Merchandise.

Local and personal items from January 22, 1897 issue of
The Sardis Weekly Times:

We'll have a branch court.

We'll have a roller flour mill.

We've already got a newspaper.

Win. McNatt is in very bad health.

Everybody has something kind to say of C. Y. Meeks.

C. P. Little will soon have James Steele's house completed.

Dr. R. H. Hutchason of Tell City, Indiana, is sick at the Cochran House.

The firms of C. Newman & Sons and J. L. Jones has put up 443 bales of cotton.

R. L. Melton, Jimmie Shelton, and Joe Azbill are in the area selling fruit trees.

J. F. Hassell, one of the most popular drummers on the road, was in town this week.

M. F. McNatt's two year old child was kicked by a young mule, but not seriously hurt.

The entertainment at the College Saturday night was one of much merit, judged from any standpoint.

L. V. Hanna and wife who have been visiting I. W. Hassell's family returned to their home in Luray Tuesday.

If Sardis is to get on a boom, it will be the result of a lot of work and the judicious spending of some money.

The old parsonage has been sold to Fate Mullis who rented it to Wesley Stevens and he recently moved into it.

Miss Margaret Duckworth of Nashville, who has been visiting the Dr. Duckworth family, left for her home Tuesday.

W. H. Montgomery, one of the managers of the firm of Smith, Montgomery & Co., is in Nashville buying furnishings for his home.

Mr. Parker has just finished painting the Missionary Baptist Church and gave Riley Perkins' house a fresh coat of paint.

Amos Weaver returned to his home in Greenville, Texas, after several weeks of visiting his relatives and friends in this community.

Mesdames Record, Vernon, England, Smith and Misses Duckworth, Steel, and Goad paid the Times office a pleasant visit Tuesday.

Rev. B. F. Bartles preached an interesting sermon at the M. E. Church South last Sabbath morning, and in the evening held a church meeting at the Baptist Church.

Local and Personal -- 1897

C. P. Little has cut several hundred-thousand shingles this year. An old friend, Bob Wheatley was in town buying furs, etc.

The Scotts Hill School gave a program at the College Saturday night. The program was of much merit.

Buck Baker is building outhouses and flues this week.

Buyers from all the stores are in the cities selecting goods for next season.

The Methodist Episcopal Church is building a new parsonage on Savannah Street (Hinkle Road about where Alburt Little's house now stands). When completed, it will be one among many beautiful homes in Sardis.

The sudden death of C. Y. Meeks last Tuesday was a shock to all our citizens. He was a good citizen and a good man. Words of heartfelt sorrow are upon the lips of everyone.

Say, young man, don't you want to work and make a few thousand dollars? If so, call on Dr. Hutchason at the Cochran House.

The people of Sardis should go to work and organize to build a roller flour mill. We need this above all things.

One-hundred salesmen wanted at once. Apply at the Cochran House.

A man living near here killed a hog recently that weighed six-hundred pounds. It was fattened on cotton seed and clover hay.

When Sardis Times ceased to exist, a second newspaper was established and run by Earl Vernon and was called the Sardis News. We don't have any information on how long this paper served the town.


Sardis was incorporated in 1905 for the first time. It was Incorporated to pay for the first brick school building. Mr. Billy Holland was the first mayor. The corporation lasted until about 1923. M. F. Pierce was the first town marshal, who used a log cabin calaboose (jail) with one door and no windows. It stood where Randy Brown's house now stands.

The people of Sardis then, as they have continued to be, were educationally minded. The building completed in 1882 or 1883 was the first Sardis Normal College building. The school, in addition to the elementary grades, offered a preparatory course or a teacher's course, academic and scientific courses which allowed students to earn degrees that qualified them to enter a higher educational institution. The school continued to grow but the building burned down in 1895. The people were saddened and discouraged. Some even wondered if they would ever have such a school again. But when summer came the people called a meeting to decide on what they should do in regard to providing educational and cultural opportunities for their children. After some discussion, they agreed that the people of the town would build another school building. They began to raise funds, committees were appointed, and work on the building soon began. A much larger and nicer building was erected on the same location. After a few years, the people realized a need for a still larger building. The town had increased in population, more homes had been built, the reputation of the college work spread to other counties and more students were coming to Sardis from these counties. By 1904 the town had raised funds and completed the old twostory brick building near where the present school building stands. Then they sold the frame one built in 1895 to Mr. and Mrs. M. F. Pierce who ran a hotel for some time in it.

Advertisement for Sardis Normal College, 1890
Photograph, Sardis Normal College, 1904
Photograph, Sardis Normal School Class of 1905

Many of us living today have many pleasant memories of going to school in this building. Although college work was only offered about five or six years after the brick building was built, it continued to be used for elementary and junior or senior high school until 1939, when it was replaced by a much larger and better equipped building that is still standing. The old two-story brick building had two staircases, an upstairs auditorium with a stage, and several classrooms. One of the unique characteristics of the building was the belfry. In addition to the basics mentioned previously, piano, elocution and band were taught. The band seems to have become quite well known, playing at other nearby towns.

At one time, there were 200 boarding students from other counties in attendance at Sardis Normal College. At that time, it was the outstanding school in this area of West Tennessee. It remained a thriving educational institution until about 1910. At that time, because of political division, the college work offered at Sardis was moved to Martin, Tennessee, to become a part of a higher educational system.

We have tried to get the names of as many teachers as possible who taught in the school from 1884, when the college was chartered, until about 1910, when they ceased to offer college work. These are the names of principals we have been able to get: J. B. Minor, who was principal when the college was chartered in 1884; and C. P. Patterson, who was principal from 1903 to 1909.

One of the most notable teachers was Professor Caleb Perry Patterson, who was at Sardis from 1903 to 1909. He was born in Decatur county on January 23, 1880. His first education began at Corinth School with

W. M. (Billy) Holland as one of his first teachers. Mr. Holland later taught at Sardis when Patterson was principal. Patterson went to school at Scotts Hill and Huntingdon, earning a B.A. degree. When he left Sardis he became county superintendent of Henderson County Schools and then later, after earning twelve degrees, became head of the history department of the University of Texas. His name soon became well known in national circles of universities and government.

In 1926, he was one of fifty professors, selected by the Carnegie Foundation for Peace, to attend the meeting of the League of Nations at Geneva, Switzerland, at which time Germany was admitted to the League.

In 1930-31, he spent a year in Great Britain on a Rockefeller-Spellman grant to study the judicial system of that country. Another notable event in which he was a participant was to appear before the Judicial Committee of the United States Senate in 1937. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was attempting to pack the Supreme Court and because of Patterson's presentation, along with others, the plan was defeated.

Professor Patterson married Tommie Cochran of Sardis in 1907. They had no children. They are buried in Austin, Texas, which became their adopted home.

Others teaching at this time were: J. Wesley Williams, Mrs. Annie Douglass, Miss Hattie Hanna, W. M. Holland, Tom Crawford, Mrs. Mallie Newman Brooks, Bob Totty, and a Mr. Brooks who, we have learned, was our first exercise enthusiast and had his exercise place on the east side of the school building.

During this period another war took place. Again, there were people who served their country by going into service in the Spanish American War. The following is probably not a complete list of those who served, but it is all the names we were able to obtain: Scott Little, "Shep" Brazelton, Lon Bastin and Oscar White.

D. L. Little

Among the first settlers was Mr. D. L. Little, who became quite a noted nurseryman. In 1876, tragedy struck his family in the form of diphtheria. Four of his children, between the ages of one and thirteen, died of it. When the first child died, Mr. Little sent a son to get a preacher to hold the child's funeral. Then the son he had sent for the preacher took diphtheria and died before the preacher could return home. He held this child's funeral also. Within a few days, two more children died of diphtheria.

Jack Little, a grandson of D. L. Little, tells us that the dirt on the first grave wasn't dry when the fourth one was buried.

Mr. Little was a versatile man. He was a nurseryman and also wrote poetry. He expanded his nursery and established a branch in Lexington, Tennessee. This branch was operated by Flavial Azbill. He enjoyed poetry and wrote poetry, which he used on his shipping tags and in his ads. The following is an example:


I'm sure these trees will surely please,
The people of the West
Cause Little knows and only grows
The very, very best.


This little incident gives a little more insight into his character:

One morning he remarked to his new daughter-in-law that he was going out to put a rose bush in a bare spot in the pasture. She asked why he wanted to waste his time putting a rosebush off in a pasture. He replied, "Why Maudie, it will be just like meeting an old friend every time I go through the pasture."

Mr. Little and a Mr. Hinkle rode horseback and carried magnolia trees from his nursery to set out at Shiloh National Park. Jack Little says they are the ones at the entrance to the cemetery.

Advertisement for D. L. Little Nurseries

T. P. Moore, Veterinarian

Since Sardis was chiefly a farming area and the farming in the 1800s was done with horses and mules, farmers had to learn how to treat the injuries and diseases of their livestock. T. P. Moore did just that. He procured the best books available on diseases of livestock and studied them carefully. He not only treated his own livestock, but shared his knowledge and expertise with his neighbors. After practicing many of the remedies recommended in his studies and the remedies learned on his own for more than twenty years, he decided to write a book presenting about forty of the most used treatments to help the farmers in the surrounding counties. So he wrote The Tennessee Farmer's Horse Book. It was printed in 1890 and entered in the Library of Congress at Washington by an act of congress. His granddaughter-in-law, Mrs. Carolyn Moore, has a copy of the book. It is interesting to read about the common plants and medicines that he used. Mr. Moore lived in Sardis many years. He made up the medications he used. The following are a few examples:

Eye Wash

Take four fresh hen eggs, break them into one quart of pure fresh rain water. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Put in a clean kettle, place on a fire, bring to a boil stirring all the time. Boil a few minutes and add one-half ounce of sulphate of zinc. Remove from fire. After this has stood a few hours, the eggs will settle to the bottom. Then strain out the sediment and bottle for use. Keep cool in summer and where it will not freeze in winter. This will cure inflammation of the horse's eye. When diluted with one half water, it will cure sore eyes in the human subjects in almost every case.

Linseed -- Seed Oil

Linseed oil given in half-pint doses, one dose each day for two days, will improve the condition of the bowels if constipated. And, if the oil is followed with daily doses of one teaspoonful of black antimony, it will improve the skin and hair, giving it a healthy and glossy appearance.

Camphorated Coal Oil Liniment

Fill any size bottle with coal oil and add to it as much gum of camphor as the oil will dissolve, and the preparation is ready to use.

This liniment is used on the throat for all throat troubles such as coughs, colds, distemper, laryngitis, and on cuts and scratches in feet and legs. This liniment is valuable to use on children, in case of croup and whooping cough. With croup, saturate a flannel cloth in liniment and place on chest, extending up to neck and throat.

Sardis Items in Lexington Republican, February 23, 1906

Reader McKenzie was seen on his way to Mr. Baker's last Sunday.

Arthur Stanfill from Sardis is visiting home folks and his best girl.

A. E. McNatt and wife of Lexington visited relatives here last Sunday.

The boys and girls of Sardis rendered a play at Saltillo last Saturday night.

Misses Beatrice and Vergie Williams of Lexington are visiting friends in our city.

Sol Lipe and J. R. Montgomery have been attending court at Lexington this past week.

Several more boarders have entered school this week and we hear of more coming.

Miss Mattie Richardson, who is teaching school at Roby, is visiting relatives and friends here.

J. P. Stewart of near Reagan and new bride visited relatives here last Saturday and Sunday.

Misses Edna and Cora Benson entertained quite a number of young people at their home last Saturday night.

M. F. Pierce has converted the old college building into a hotel and is now occupying it. If you want something good to eat, call on them.

Cage Stanfill, son of Jacob Stanfill, and Miss Mattie Bailey, daughter of T. J. Bailey, were married last Wednesday, Squire Pierce officiating.

Ed McNatt, son of M. F. McNatt, and Miss Ethel Newman, daughter of J. W. Newman, were married at the bride's home on last Thursday, Squire Pierce officiating.

On the first Saturday night in March, the I.O.O.F. will give a supper free to the wives and children of the members, and will be entertained by graphophone music by T. M. Hanna.

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