yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee


Part 1 - Posted on Prodigy by Beverly Koons with public replies

from the research notes of Francis Thomas




Here's some more data from my old records. Grace, I didn't find any more references to Peter Rushing. Sorry!

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Source #1: BENTON COUNTY, by Jonathan K.T. Smith, Esq., publ. by Memphis State University Press, Memphis, TN, no date. Page 23:

The county's first white settlement was made in 1818 by Willis, Dennis, and Abel Rushing six miles north of Camden on the creek which now bears their surname. Having hunted in the area for several years, these men moved with their families from Stewart County to this location. Willis Rushing apparently occupied an abandoned Indian cabin for a time. Abel Rushing moved to a tract just west of his cousin where he built the first dwelling erected by a white man in the county. Several of the Rushing family from Stewart County moved to the Rushing's Creek vicinity in the early 1820's.

The Rushing family was prominent, with several successful tobacco growers. Willis Crawford Rushing (1826-1916) for for many years was a leading farmer and Presbyterian in the county. His father, Willis Rushing, built a brick dwelling on his place facing the stage road that ran from Reynoldsburg to Paris in nearby Henry County. He kept a tavern, called the Brick House, for the benefit of travelers. Holden Rushing (1825-1887) became a well-known merchant, and his large brick warehouse at Pt. Mason on the Tennessee River was a landmark for many years.


Source #2: GENEALOGICAL GLEANINGS IN BENTON COUNTY, TN, compiled by Jonathan K.T. Smith, M.A., no publisher listed. Page 90:

Case of Mary F. Hudson, et al: The complainants, Mary F. Hudson, Lucinda Hudson, Edward H. Hudson, Thomas Hudson, Willis O. Hudson, James Hudson, and Josephine Hudson, were minors "of Elizabeth Hudson who died intestate in said county of Benton in the month of April 1853, their said mother was the daughter of one Willis Rushing who died intestate in said county sometime in May 1853". These minors, through their grd and father, G.W.L. Hudson, were suing for their interest in said Rushing's estate. Other heirs of Willis Rushing were, his wife, Mary; Richard P. Rushing, Alfred Rushing, Lucinda, wife of J.P. Dorris; John H. Rushing; Willis C. Rushing, and Jasper Rushing, a minor child of a dec daughter. The Hudson's wanted what they considered a more equitable settlement of the land and slaves of the dec; in chancery in 1855; in January 1857 the case was turned over to the state supreme court in Jackson.

In April 1857 this court ruled in favor of the Hudsons and turned the case back to chancery which made the final ruling on the disposition of the properties. This was one of the most celebrated of the old-time litigations, G.W.L. Hudson being one of the most prominent men in the county and this set of Rushings being people of means and importance in the county. So bitter were the feelings that in the family Bible of Willis Crawford Rushing, published in Philadelphia in 1849 (now owned by Mrs. Ruth P. Lockhart of Camden, Tenn.) in the list of the children of Willis and Mary Rushing a blank space was left wherein the name of Elizabeth

Rushing Hudson should have been entered. That was a long time ago and these ill feelings have disappeared. However, in July 1857, Dr. J. U. Hudson of Stoughton, Wisc., wrote to his brother, G.W.L. Hudson, "Father informed me that you was

in a great lawsuit with the Rushing family in behalf of your children and had gained it in the Supreme Court, to the amount of $25,000, good luck to you, put the screws to them."


SOURCE #3 HISTORIC BENTON, A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF BENTON COUNTY, TENN., by Jonathan Kennon Thompson Smith, Esqr., M.A., printed by Richard H. Harris, Memphis, TN, 1975. Appendix III - Page 183:

The four principal progenitors of the family of Rushing in Benton County were: Willis and Dennis Rushing, brothers, from Anson County, North Carolina; Abel and Robert Rushing, brothers, from the same place.

WILLIS RUSHING: Born about 1792, Anson Co., N.C.; died May 1853, Benton Co., Tenn. He was the first permanent settler in Benton County, selecting land on Rushing's Creek (named for his family), several miles north of Camden in 1818-19. He was a veteran of the War of 1812, having served in the 2nd Regiment, Tennesee Inf. while a resident of Stewart co., Tenn. He was married to Mary (Polly) Rasberry (died 1862); together their remains are buried in the family graveyard at their old homeplace called "Brick House" and farm. Rushing was a farmer and kept a tavern-inn on the Reynoldsburg-Paris road. He and his wife had children: Robert, born 1810; Richard P., born 1812; S.J., born 1814; Elizabeth, born 1817, wife of George W.L. Hudson; Lucindy, born 1819, one of the first white children born in the Western District; Alfred, born 1821; Mary A., born 1824, wife of Calvin Rushing, her cousin; Willis Crawford, born 1826, died 1916, a prominent farner of the county; John H.; Arabella, born 1835.

DENNIS RUSHING: Born about 1786, Anson Co., N.C.; died 1860, Benton co., Tenn; followed his brother to Tennessee, living for several years in Stewart County. He married Keziah and had children: Elizabeth, wife of Abner Smalley; Richard B., "Old Greasy Dick", once deputy sheriff; Zilpha, wife of Roland Rushing; Milley Ann Parthena, born 1822, wife of Allen T. Corbitt; Asa, born 1815; David Lilly Rushing, born 1825, had many descendants; Willis J., Joel; Harriett.

ABEL RUSHING: Born November 8, 1787, Anson Co., N.C.; died Aug. 26, 1836, Benton co., Tenn.; settled on Benton county farm by 1824. He married Sarah Griffin and they had children: William G., born 1820; Jackson; Jemima, wife of Obediah Waters; Joel, born 1810; Sarah Ann; Noah, born 1822; Robert T., born 1812; Nancy, wife of John Wesley Utley.

ROBERT (Robin) RUSHING: Born January 8, 1799, Anson Co., N.C.; died June 27, 1855; settled with their other kin on Rushing's Creek, in 1824. He married Lively Webb and had children: Salina, born 1819; Calvin, born 1820; Jemima, born 1823, wife of A.J. Hudson; Holden Rushing, born 1825, died 1887, prominent merchant at Pt. Mason; Sophia, born 1828, wife of her cousin, W.C. Rushing; Leonidas, born 1831; John M., born 1836.

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If you'll notice this author doesn't give you the maiden name of Keziah, who married Dennis Rushing. I have that info and will post at another time. Hope all this stuff helps some one. Do any of these Benton county Rushing's fit in with our Joseph and John Rushing that ended up in Bedford county, Tennessee??? More later. Bev in Fallbrook, CA





Bev, I have a copy of the W.C. and Sophia Rushing Bible Record with Elizabeth's name omitted, but until now I didn't understand that her name was deleted because of the bitterness of the lawsuit. Thanks for clearing that up. Frances





Bev, Thanks for taking time to post this information on early settlers of Benton Co., TN. I wish a date of publication had been given for Jonathan K. T. Smith's work entitled "Historic Benton,...", and then perhaps it would help us answer the age old question of which came first, the chicken or the egg <g>. By that I mean that Mr. Smith has erroneously said that the wife of Abel Rushing was Sarah Griffin. Actually, she was Sarah Jane Herrin, daughter of William Elisha and Mary Agniss (Abimlick) Herrin. I believe that because Mr. Smith was a certified genealogist, people accepted his material and used it without question in works of their own. Though I can't say for sure, I feel this is what happened with Paul R. White, Sr. when he wrote "Taproots, A Virginia & Carolina Legacy", copyrighted in 1986. I don't mean to downgrade either author, for both have been sources of great help to me and many others.

Now, I'll try to answer your question about how Abel relates to John and Joseph Rushing of Bedford Co., TN. My understanding is that they were sons of Robert Rushing of Anson Co., NC. To date, the information I have is this:

Robert Rushing and wife (name unknown to me) were parents of

--John who married "Milly" (probably Amelia) Deason,

--Joseph who married Martha Deason,

--David who married (1) Rebecca ___ and (2) Nancy Deason,

--Drucilla who married Stephen Huntley,

--William M. who married Marah ___,

--Abel who married Sarah Jane Herrin, and

--Robert/Robin who married Lively Webb.

There may have been other children, especially daughters, that I have not yet discovered. Since your ancestor was Joseph, and mine was David, it seems we both have ties to those Benton Co. folks.

I know you're very busy at this time, but when your schedule becomes less crowded, I'd love to have copies of your family sheets from Joseph on down. One of these days I plan to check census records on the TX Rushings, and it would help me tremendously to know which ones are yours.

Thanks again for your posts, and I look forward to more. Frances

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