yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee

Thanks to Linda Benson Cox for sharing her research.  This page is merely the beginning of her book. 

Click here for the complete book in Adobe pdf format.  This file will be slow to download for dial up Internet users.

The Clark Family History

By Linda Benson Cox, 2003; Edited, 2006
“Take everything with a grain of salt”

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Old abandoned farmhouse, 2004 View of the Tennessee River Valley looking toward Clifton, 2004

"Let us go to Tennessee. We come, you and I, for the music and the mountains, the rivers and the cotton fields, the corporate towers and the country stores. We come for the greenest greens and the haziest blues and the muddiest browns on earth.  We come for the hunters and storytellers, for the builders and worshippers. We come for dusty roads and turreted cities, for the smells of sweet potato pie and sweat of horses and men. We come for our quirkiness and our cleverness. We come to celebrate our common bonds and our family differences."  


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...the roads were little more than blazed paths…as did other early settlers, the first settlers of Sardis settled near a spring…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…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.

The Clark’s can trace their lineage back to Reverend William C. Clark (e), a minister of the Methodist Episcopal, South religion.  He was born in Henderson County it is thought, on July 09, 1816, making his parents among the earliest of settlers. A Clark cousin writes, “I am wondering if our Clark's came over the mountains from North Caroline and took a kinda northern route along the Kentucky and Tennessee border; there is a town called Clarksville in that area and I have been told a lot of the Clark's settled there when they came over the mountains.”   This distant relative maintains that William’s mother was a full-blooded Cherokee of the Carolinas named Red Feather.

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