yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee


compiled by Brenda Kirk Fiddler

Cagle, Thomas
Cochran, James Lindsey
Cole, William H.
Dennison, Curry Pettigrew
Ellis, J. W.
Gilliam, Butler
Guinn, Elizabeth Boyd

Jones, Clem
Jones, Mary Ann Brown
Lancaster, Judge T. A.
Mangrun, Blind Joe
Oakley, Miss Jimmie
Rhodes, Eph
Scott, Emberry E.
Sheppard, Mrs.

Stout, T. D.
Stout, William
Swayne, James S.
Todd, Andrew L.
Trice, John H.
Wallace, B. F.
Winfree, Barbara


December 14, 1900

Lexington Republican Died

Rev. B. F. Wallace, aged 75 years, died last evening at the home of his son-in-law, M.S. Phillips, on Stonewall Street of pneumonia.

Deceased leaves a wife and two sons. He was a brother of Mr. J. W. Wallace, for a number of years a Register of Madison County. [Wiliams: 1882-1898]

The remains will be shipped over the N.C. & St. L. R.R. to Lexington for interment.--Jackson Whig

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March 30, 1945

Andrew Todd Dies at Murfreesboro

Andrew L. Todd, 72, only man ever to serve as speaker of both houses of Tennessee's Legislature and one time opponent of Cordell Hull for the United States Senate, died Saturday afternoon at his home in Murfreesboro.

Todd ran for senator in 1930 against Hull and twice before that had entered the race for Governor, withdrawing both times.

He studied law at the University of the South, and at Cumberland University, from which he was graduated. He had served as Rutherford County Superintendent of schools and as assistant of education and had been a trustee of Tennessee College for women since its founding.

He served two terms in each house of the General Assembly and was speaker of the Senate in 1919 and of the House two years later.

In the late nineties, Mr. Todd taught school in Lexington.

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July 11, 1913

Curry Pettigrew Dennison

Curry Pettigrew Dennison, youngest son of Stephen and Elizabeth Ingram Dennison, was born Nov. 11, 1839, in what is now Decatur but was then Perry County, and passed away after a short illness at a little before 5 o'clock p.m., Friday, July 5, 1913, in the home of his daughter, Mrs. J.G. McMillan, at Decturville, Tenn. He had been in physical decline for several years, his retirement from the hotel business in Decturville occurring from that cause. Our subject was the youngest of eight brothers and was one of thirteen children. He was the last of the sons of Stephen Dennison to die and is survived by two sisters, Mrs. Minerva Priddy (whose first married name was Boren of Henderson County) and Mrs. Mary Brewer of Carroll County, both of the surviving sisters being widows.

On the 4th of November, 1860, Mr. Dennison was most happily married to Nancy Jane, daughter of John and Minerva Bray of Henderson County, himself living at the time near old village of Lone Elm. To that union eight children were born and of the eight but one has died--Allie, who married Edward Butler, moved to Memphis and died suddenly on May 13, 1903, while on a visit to her parents in Decaturville, and who was soon followed by her husband who died of typhoid fever in Memphis. The surviving children are Fredonia A., who married J.T. Rogers and is a widow; Kittie A., who married Dr. J.G. McMillan, and lives in Decturville; Mary A., who lives in Lexington; Rosetta, who married J.R. Blount at Perryville, is a widow and now lives in Decturville; Bertha L., who married F.A. Helton at Decaturville and now lives in Los Angeles, Cal., but fortunately was on a visit home at the time of her fatherÕs death. The surviving two sons are William R. of Perryville and Granville L of Decaturville.

In 1879, when Mr. Dennison moved his family from Lone Elm, this county, until the summer of 1907, Mr. Dennison conducted the Decaturville hotel, which was known over many counties and to many traveling men from distant cities as a satisfactory hostelry. On Sunday, Oct. 16, 1904, Mr. Dennison united with the Missionary Baptist church at Decaturville and to his means and good will the present house of worship in that town owes much in connection with its construction and maintenance.

He was a Mason since 1870 when he joined the order at Cheap Valley near his home in Henderson County. He afterwards joined Ebenezer Chapter 120 at Lexington and was a charter member of Decaturville Chapter No. 135, R.A.M., in 1890. and was a member of Decaturville Council No. 90, of Royal and select Masons. He loved the order of Masonry and right loyally did he practice the precepts thereof. He was laid in the grave with Masonic honors, P.W. Miller officiating in an impressive manner and the only and long-time friend, E.E. Arnold, was away at the time of his death and could not be present to officiate in leading the service as the decreased had many times requested, in the expectation that according to the course of nature, Mr. Dennison would go first.

The church service was conducted by Rev. Fleetwood Ball of Lexington, and most touchingly did he refer to the many noble traits of his deceased brother whom he had learned to love. He stated and in the fullest measure of truth that whatever might have been the faults and failings of the deceased, he had never for a day lost his integrity nor willingly and knowingly wronged or harmed a fellow man. Brother Ball stated that in conversation with Mr. Dennison, when he was feeble in body but fully at himself in mind, he had stated that all was well with his soul-that he was not afraid to meet his Maker in accounting for the deeds done in the body.

Mr. Dennison was a man of marked characteristics. The "ruling passion" of his life was unqualified devotion to his wife by whom he is survived in a somewhat helpless condition, the result of a stroke of paralysis some six years ago. He was not demonstrative, was a "still water" that "ran deep," but his unwavering loyalty to and affection for Mrs. Dennison was known to all relatives and friends who had been admitted to the inner most circle of his family. His pride in and love for his children was great, as abiding as wall his disposition to deal with honor with his fellow man--and William P. Essary who had known him for sixty-one years says that in that more than three score years he never knew the honesty of Curry Dennison questioned. He had his weakness, his foibles-who of us have not?-but they never reached nor impaired the vital qualities which went to make him the noblest handiwork of God-an honest man. He had our most thorough respect and during thirty years his presence was always appreciated in our home--as it was in the home of all his children.

It is a peculiar statement to make that his death coming as it did before that of his afflicted helpmate, was a stroke of good fortune to him, for we do not believe that at any time in his life he could have born to live without her. In his death he leaves her to the duty and tender care of the children who love her. May his soul rest in peace.--W.V. Barry

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January 30, 1914

Again the death angel has visited us and taken for its victim our dear old aunt Barbara Winfree, daughter of John and Jemima Bailey. She was born in Henderson County, near Reagan, Tenn., August 17, 1832, died January 14, 1914, aged 82 years, 4 months and 27 days. She professed faith in Christ at the early age of 19 years and joined the Baptist church at Union Hill and lived a consistent member for 63 years. At the age of 21 years she was married to Edgar Washburn and to this union was born one son, J.R. Washburn. About five years after this marriage her husband died of typhoid fever; some time after this, she was married to J.E. Winfree, and to this union were born three children, one son and two daughters, the son of which died in infancy.

After about five years she lost this husband in the Civil War, she being left with seven small children to care for, three being her own, J.R. Washburn, who died at about the age of 50 years and Mrs. Pearlee Daniel of Texas, and Mrs. J.G. Brooks of Center Point, Tenn. Four stepchildren, two deceased and two who survive her, Mr. G.A. Winfree of Center Point, Tenn., and Mrs. John Clark of Sardis, Tenn. She and her son left Center Point about sixteen years ago to make Texas their home, and remained there until his death which was about four years ago. After this she returned to Center Point to her daughter, Mrs. Brooks, where she remained until her death.

Deceased was laid to rest at Union Hill by the side of her first husband in the presence of a large number of friends and relatives.--Written in memory by her nieces, Mrs. W.D. Washburn and Mrs. C.L. Washburn.

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August 7, 1914

William Stout Dead

William Stout, aged 89 years on the 7th of January last, died at 1 o'clock Monday morning, at his home in Decaturville, after but a short illness-just five weeks after his beloved wife, Rozetta, had passed after a long and painful illness.

Mr. Stout was rather a remarkable man. He was born in "That fair old land of Scotland far away," and when but a lad came to America, landing at Boston, Massachusetts, where he met Curry Pettigrew, the pioneer Decatur County, Tenn., merchant , who was there on his annual trip for the purchase of merchandise. Mr. Stout either came to Tennessee with Mr. Pettigrew or came soon after his return from Boston, and for several years worked for and was associated with him in business in Decatur County. Mr. Stout was a man of wide reading and rather liberal views for a Scotchman-but he was as firm as adamant to anything that appealed to his convictions. He was a Democrat, an advocate of temperance, a Methodist in faith but liberal toward all, and was a member of the Masonic fraternity, with the honors of which his remains were laid to rest in Decaturville Cemetery. He was our friend for thirty-three years and we regretted exceedingly that it was impossible for us to attend his funeral, which occurred on the first Monday.

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June 23, 1922


Aged Citizen Dead:Thomas Cagle, aged about 84 years, one of the oldest citizens in the eastern part of the county, passed into the beyond last Friday afternoon, June 16th, after being seriously ill only a few hours from the effects of a stroke of paralysis. He was born in Decatur County and spent most of his life in that county and Henderson except a time he spent in Illinois during the Civil War. His wife preceded him to the grave many years ago, and he never married again. The following children survive: Mrs. Elijah Quinn, Holladay, Mrs. Mary Davis, and James Cagle, Darden. He had made his home for some time with his daughter, the widow of the late Henry Davis, of Darden.

Interment in the Corinth cemetery near Darden, Revs. L.T. Carrington and G.W. Kolwyck, officiating.

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February 10, 1922

Emberry E. Scott Dead

Emberry E. Scott, son of the late Charles Scott, who lost his life during the civil war of 1861-1865 at the hands of a gang of marauding thieves and cutthroats, was born in Henderson County 72 years and 17 days before his death which occurred at Life on last Friday, Feb. 3, 1922.

Mr. Scott married Miss Lonie, daughter of the late J.Taylor Mullins and of the four children born to the union three survive--Will and Ethel (Mrs. Jim Dyer), both of Jackson, and Chester, who yet lives under the parental roof is not yet 21.

Mr. Scott lived all his life in the community where he was born, three miles west of Lexington, except five or six years spent near Milan and the last two years, near Life where he died. He was a member of the Southern Methodist church and when the funeral occurred at Bethel, five miles west of Lexington, Rev. Stanfill, pastor of Lexington circuit officiated in the service.

[Note from Brenda Fiddler: Spelling of Emberry odd. HC.Cem. Rec., p. 403 shows E.E. Scott and date of birth as January 18, 1850.]

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February 24, 1922
Lexington Progress

Eph Rhodes Drops Dead

Last Saturday night at 8:20 o'clock, in the home of Mr. J.S. Smith, seven miles northwest of Lexington, Eph Rhodes, aged 74 years dropped dead while on the floor dancing, Tom Ringold, aged 78 years, playing the fiddle. Mr. Rhodes is survived by his wife and son. He lived on the Bob Scott farm near the Smith place.

The remains were carried Sunday afternoon to the Rhodes graveyard in the 17th district and there interred.

Mr. Rhodes was a farmer and we had known him most of the 38 years we have lived in Lexington.

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January 14, 1927

Died at Nearly Ninety-Seven

Mrs. Elizabeth Boyd Guinn, who died recently in Savannah, Hardin County, would have been 97 years old had she lived until March. She was the grandmother of Mrs. Will Houston, teacher of expression in Lexington City School, and left several children to mourn the loss of a wonderful mother. She had been a member of the Methodist Church eighty years-and from what we hear of her every year of that four score was filled with anxiety. One of the most remarkable incidents of her long, active and useful life happened during the Civil War of 1861-1865, when her brother Buck Boyd, was a prisoner in the hands of the Federals, at some point not distant from Savannah. A Yankee officer went into the tent where Boyd was confined and in resentment of something said by Boyd, spat in the face of the prisoner. This so enraged Boyd that, manacled as he was, he kicked the officer from the tent and on the outside, seized a crowbar and killed him. Word was gotten to sister Elizabeth, at Savannah, and when she reached the scene, the soldier had a rope around the neck of Boyd and was about to swing him to a limb. Mrs. Guinn had brought along her butcher knife, and undaunted, rushed to the side of her brother and after cutting the rope from his neck, dared the soldier to again lay hands on him. The bravery of the woman so appealed to the officer in charge that he refused to let the execution of Boy be carried out. Mrs. Guinn was a wonderful woman and as Julius Rosenwald said of his mother, it should have been regarded "as a gracious gift from Almighty God every day that old woman lived."

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May 13, 1927

Hon. James Lindsey Cochran

James Lindsey Cochran, son of Silas and Mrs. Nancy Cochran, was born in Cherry Creek, Mississippi, and at the age of 17 years he enlisted as a soldier of the Southern Confederacy. His opportunities to secure an education were limited, yet he secured sufficient book learning to become a teacher and did teach at Sardis and other places.

He first married Miss Ophelia Hardin, who died about 1888, leaving two daughters, Miss Amy, who married Hollis Horner and lives in Union City, Tennessee, and Miss Tommie, who married Prof. C. Perry Patterson, who holds the chair of history in the University of Texas at Austin. In about the year 1890, Prof. Cochran, as he was generally known, married Mrs. Bettie Brooks, widow of the late W.J. Brooks, who was Clerk & Master of the Chancery Court of Henderson County and well-known citizen of Lexington, and she survives him. Mr. Cochran was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian church.

After teaching, farming, representing Henderson County in the Lower House of the Legislature, when Henderson County had a direct representative, being elected over Dred Smith, also of Sardis, and representing the Senatorial district of Madison, Chester and Henderson Counties in the State Senate, Mr. Cochran founded the Sardis Bank in 1899, and was its cashier and active business manager for eleven years, until January 2, 1916, when he moved to Union City. His two daughters having married and moved away, Mr. Cochran moved to that town in 1910 and there spent the remainder of his long and honorable life, which closed Tuesday morning, May 10th, between the hours of four and five, he having reached the great age of past 81, and after nine weeks of almost total disability.

After moving to Obion County, Mr. Cochran was elected to the State Senate and House and that, we believe, was his last active service in politics, except that he was Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate of the Tennessee Legislature for two terms.

Not many months ago he and his good wife were visitors to Lexington and Mr. Cochran was given quite an ovation on the street. He was a clean man of excellent ability and throughout life he had made a success of whatever he undertook. His remains reached Lexington Wednesday on the midday train and the funeral was held in the M.E. Church, South, with Rev. W.D. Jenkins officiating and the body was laid to rest in Lexington Cemetery.

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March 23, 1928

Death of Mrs. Jones

Mary Ann Brown Jones, daughter of John and Jane Brown, was born November 8, 1840, and died March 9, 1928, making her stay on earth 87 years, four months and one day.

She was married to Samuel Thomas Jones, a Confederate veteran, on January 17, 1867, who preceded her to the grave two years, at the age of 87. To this union ten children were born, of whom only three survive.

She professed a hope in Christ in early life and united with the Primitive Baptist Church at Middle Fork, Henderson County, Tenn., of which she lived a faithful and devoted member until death.

She was the eldest daughter of John Brown, Sr., who was one of the pioneer families of this community, having moved here from North Carolina about the year 1822.Her mother died March 18, 1862, leaving a family of nine, some of whom she and Mary Ann Brown Jones reared from infancy.

She was born reared and lived right in the same neighborhood near Mifflin, and at her last residence, since January, 1872, making fifty-six years in one home. Her son, H.B. Jones, moved into the house with her at the death of his father.

Mrs. Jones was a good wife, a good mother, a good neighbor, and a good Christian. She never failed to lend a helping hand to any one in time of need....

She is survived by two sons, H.B. Jones, Sr., and W.T. Jones, both of Route 1, Luray, Tenn.; one daughter, Mrs. Melissa Jones Cawthon, Luray; three sisters, Mrs. Mattie Rhodes, Ft. Worth, Texas; Mrs. Laura Reid, Nashville, Tenn., Mrs. Jane Rhodes, Luray; two brothers, William Brown, Jackson, Tenn., and Robert M. Brown, Joshua, Texas..

She retained good eyesight, good hearing and a sound mind and was able to do household chores until her last illness of about two months. Funeral services were held at her home by her pastor, Elder J.H. Phillips. Interment at Brown Cemetery near her home.

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February 8, 1929

Mrs. Ellis Dies in Texas

Mrs. J.W. Ellis, aged 77, beloved pioneer Hunt County woman died at her home, 2103 Jones Street, at 6:15 oÕclock this morning as the result of a stroke of paralysis suffered last Thursday.

Funeral services will be held at the Kavanaugh Methodist church, at 10 a.m., Thursday, conducted by Rev. C.W. Hearon [sic], pastor, Rev. M.L. Hamilton, pastor of the Wesley Methodist Church, Rev. C.A. Spragins and Rev. Leo Johnson, pastor of the Central Christian Church. Interment will follow in Forest Park Cemetery.

Mrs. Ellis had resided in this city for the past fourteen years, moving to Greenville from Kingston. During her interval of time she had endeared herself to a large circle of friends and acquaintances who loved and admired her for her many characteristics. She was ever thoughtful of those in less fortunate circumstances. Throughout her life she had always endeavored to bring comfort and cheer to those about her and constantly sought to exemplify the teachings of her Master as she walked along life's winding path. Her death marked the passing of a beautiful character, who was a shining example of the traditions of Southern womanhood.

Mary Caroline Ellis was born February 11, 1852, at Sardis, Tenn., and was the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. John England, pioneer Tennesseans. She was married to Louis McNatt Dec. 6, 1869, and came to this region in 1876. Mr. McNatt died August 27, 1887. In 1900 she was united in marriage to J.W. Ellis and fourteen years ago they removed to this city where they have since made their home.

She is survived by her husband, J.W. Ellis, and the following children, Mrs. R.S. Orme, city; C.M. McNatt, Corpus Christi; A.M. and A.A. McNatt, of Ft. Smith, Ark.; Mrs. Helen Green, Corpus Christi; Ulmont Ellis, city; Mrs. L.Horton, Oklahoma City; Mrs. Mollie Collier, Hugo, Okla.; Mrs. Nettie Smith, Abilene; Mrs. Marvin Green, city; Mrs. J.V. Kizer, Mrs. Mord C. Hale and John and Jim Ellis, all of this city.

The bereaved relatives have the sincere sympathy of their many friends in this hour of sadness.--Greenville (Texas) Evening Banner, January 28, 1929.

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February 15, 1929

Local and Personal

Judge James S. Swayne, a native of this country and Lexington, reared by Felix W. Henry, grandfather of our townsman, James A. Henry, died in Austin, Texas, last Monday. He moved from her to Ft. Worth, Texas, 50 years ago and began to practice law in Fort Worth where he has long been prominent. He was appointed to some state office by Gov. Mariam Ferguson. He was about 77 years old.

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March 21, 1930

In Memory of Butler Gilliam

Green Butler Gilliam, born Dec. 12, 1860, died March 6, 1920, age 69 years, 2 months and 24 days. He was born in Rome, Georgia., son of Robert and Roxie Anne Gilliam. His father died when he was about 17 years old. His mother died when he was three years of age.

Little is known of his early childhood days as his mother's death left him to the care of his father who was either or had just come out of the Confederate Army. His father left his children to other homes, Will and Rufus with relatives, and he wandered abut the country doing carpenter work. Finally the father came to Tennessee and settled near Jack's Creek. He met and married Miss Lizzie Byrd, daughter of Jim Byrd. He then brought his children by his former wife to Tennessee. To this second marriage were four children, Jim, Mack and Ed, who have been in Texas for a number of years, one -half sister, Carrie, who died some 36 years ago.

On October 28, 1891, he was married to Ella Jane Moore. To this union were born seven children, five of whom survive, two dying in infancy. They are W.C of Nashville, Carrie (Mrs. W.L. Johnson) of Laredo, Texas; Fenner H. of Bruceton; Arlean, (Mrs. Eugene Maxwell) of Huron; Louise (Mrs. Glenn Walker) of Wildersville.

At an early age the deceased united with the M.E. Church at old Scott's Chapel, and some years ago, he united with the Church of Christ at Lexington, where he worshipped until he moved to Bruceton, where he worshipped until death.

He and his wife made their home with their son Fenner for several years. They visited their other children regularly, and it was on the occasion of their visit to their daughter, Mrs. Glenn Walker, that he was taken sick with gall stone colic on the 5th and died suddenly the next day of heart failure.

His remains were carried to Chapel Hill and interred after services conducted by Rev. Fleetwood Ball and Prof. J.O. Brown.

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January 18, 1929

The Passing of Miss Jimmie Oakley

Miss Jimmie Polk Oakley, youngest surviving daughter of the late J. Polk Oakley and Mrs. Mollie Oakley, was born near Spring Creek, Madison County, November 25, 1886, and died at her home on North Main Street, Lexington, January 16, 1929, after an illness of two weeks, which developed into pneumonia six days before the end. She had been a semi-invalid since the early summer of 1926, and at least once before leaving the Madison County in 1917 she had an almost fatal attack of spinal trouble. Being the youngest she was the pet of her father and since his death these illnesses made Miss Jimmie an object of solicitude and affection to her mother, sister and brothers, the greatest force of whose affections were centered on Jimmie. Since her illness of 1926 she rarely left the home except a car riding for an outing.

To me she was an interesting neighbor whom it was my pleasure to visit almost daily and to make whatever effort I could to contribute to her pleasure. She was intelligent, conversed interestingly and held high ideals of conduct and character, but she was practical in her ideas generally, including the religious life, in which I have often heard her express regret that she was not able to be up and doing for others. I have frequently discussed moral topics with her and can testify that she did not exact of others more than she was willing to concede herself. I am going to miss Miss Jimmie and am glad to remember that I did at least a little part toward smoothing the way of her semi-invalidism, during which she was generally cheerful but some times despondent and fearful that she would not recover, never dreaming that her death would come from such a cause as the one that cost her life.

She is survived by her aged mother, who has been ill more than a week, one devoted sister, Miss Mary, who is, and has been the mainstay of the household, and three brothers, H.C., Randolph and Rush, the last two living in Lexington.

The remains were carried to Independence in the old 2nd district and there interred by the side of her father Rev. Fleetwood Ball, her pastor, conducted the service.--W.V. Barry

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January 18, 1929

Local and Personal

News reached Lexington Monday of the death of Mrs. Sheppard that occurred in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last Thursday. Mrs. Sheppard was 82 years old and with her family once lived in Lexington and conducted a business at the place now occupied by Fesmire & Anderson. Mrs. Sheppard was the mother of Mrs. John T. Stanford, and her son Gardner Sheppard was for a long time an engineer on the N.C. She left several daughters and another son with whom she lived.

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January 22, 1932

Blind Violinist Dead

"Blind Joe" Mangrum, 79-year-old violinist, died at his home in Nashville Wednesday morning following a heart attack. Born in Dresden, Weakley County, and having spent virtually all his life in West Tennessee and West Kentucky, "Blind Joe" Mangrum was known to hundreds of music lovers from Paducah to Memphis. The earliest recollection of many now in middle age are of Blind Joe playing his fiddle. A concert in one of the towns of West Tennessee was always followed by a week's visit as the guest of some of the town's most prominent families.

He lost his sight when six weeks old. Playing the violin came to him almost naturally, and at 12 he was an accomplished musician. He never took a music lesson but the classics were as familiar to him as the song of the day. "I remember the first piece I learned to play," he said one day. "It was ‘Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.' I learned to play, ‘Listen to the Mocking Bird' by following a Mocking Bird across the square at Dresden."

Several years ago Blind Joe was invited to play before the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Allotted 45 minutes, he held his audience for more than an hour. It was said of him that he had memorized more than 5,000 compositions for the violin.

Much of his life was spent as a bachelor, but about 15 years ago he married. For several years he and Mrs. Mangrum lived in Memphis at the State Hotel on South Main Street. For the last few months he had been playing on the Saturday night programs of a Nashville radio station. His widow, Mrs. Mary Mangrum survives.--Carroll County Democrat.

Many a night have I sat in the Southern Hotel in Jackson when it was run by one of the most lovely women I have ever known, Mrs. Jenny Day, and listened to Blind Joe Mangrum play on his violin until the midnight hours. One occasion I especially remember sitting in Jackson until one a.m., listening to Blind Joe and that night he played nothing but break-down music of the South-and how he did play it. It was marvelous. There was present a young fellow named Jim Samuels, a gifted violinist who had received his musical education in Europe and when Jim attempted to play "Arkansas Traveler," Blind Joe said, "Boy, let me show you something." And he played that old classic as I never heard it before.

Before reading the above article, I had never known how he learned to play. "Listen to the Mocking Bird," with variations, but I can still say that in all my life I never have heard anyone play the Mocking Bird as Joe did.

So long as Mrs. Day lived and Joe went to Jackson, he had a free room and a meal ticket in the Southern Hotel.

He loved his violin and all who loved it. He would sit for hours and play for one man who listened attentively but if any talked in his presence while he was playing he never would play for that person again if he knew who it was.

I have heard many masters of the violin in the city and fiddlers in the county play that king of stringed instruments but Blind Joe was able to evoke from its strings and bow the sweetest strains I ever heard any one to do. We hear of harps in heaven, but I take it that with Joe, it will be his old violin, reincarnated and transported to the Celestial Empire.--W.V.B.

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June 1, 1934

Gypsy Postmaster Dead

Fort Smith, Arkansas, May 22--No more will the wandering Gypsies look to Fort Smith for their mail and news of other tribes, death for second time in less than two years leaving the nomads without a postmaster.

William H. Cole, 78, the Gypsy postmaster of the world, died here yesterday from injuries received Saturday in an automobile accident. He assumed the role of Gypsy postmaster a little more than a year ago, following the death of Mrs. Cole who was known as their "Georgie (outsider) Mother" and was their postmistress for several years.

While a youth, Cole saved a Gypsy princess from drowning, thus bringing about his adoption by the Romanies. He lived among the wanderers and traveled extensively with them over Mexico and Central and South America.

Later he established a drug concern here but still kept in close contact with his Gypsy friends. Under Mrs. Cole, the drug store became an unofficial post office for the Gypsies and letters from over the United States and the world were sent to her for forwarding. She kept an accurate check on the whereabouts of the Gypsies. At her death Cole took over the duties and continued the post office.

At various times Henry Ward Beecher, Richard Mansfield, William S. Hart and Admiral Schley of Spanish-American War note, visited the Gypsy postmaster at his post office here.

The body will be sent to Virden, Illinois, for burial beside the grave of his wife, who died December 1, 1932.

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April 24, 1936

John H. Trice Dies Suddenly in Jackson

John H. Trice, former member of both houses of the Tennessee legislature, at one time prison commissioner of the state and for the past eleven years deputy federal court clerk of Jackson, died Thursday of last week at the home of his cousin, Mrs. Martie Trice Tilghman, near Henderson. He was seventy-three years old.

Mr. Trice, who had not been feeling well for several days, had gone to the home of his kinspeople for a day of rest and recreation, and was seated in a rocking chair conversing with his cousin when the end came.

He had been recalling humorous incidents of the past with Mrs. Tilghman and was in a joyful mood. Suddenly he complained of feeling ill, and asked that a cool towel be placed on his head. His wish was immediately complied with. He died in an instant. His death was due to heart trouble with which he had suffered for several years.

Mr. Trice was born in Chester County, where he spent the earlier part of his life. When quite a young man, he represented Chester County in the lower house of the state legislature, and while there became a companion of his fellow-legislator, Cordell Hull, who is now Secretary of State in Washington. Later Mr. Trice served as prisoner commissioner under the late Governor Bob Taylor. After moving to Jackson he became a candidate for Congress but was defeated. Still later he made a successful race for the state senate, representing the twenty-fifth district consisting of Madison, Chester and Henderson Counties. In that one term he pioneered in legislation which gave to Tennessee its Smoky Mountain park in the eastern portion of the state--one of the finest parks systems in the country.

Mr. Trice is survived by his widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Jones Trice, whom he married in Nashville and who has been assisting him in his federal court work here as deputy clerk; by one son, John Trice, Jr, of St. Louis; and a daughter, Mrs. Clarence Nixon, wife of a professor at Tulane University in New Orleans. His [Mr. Trice] first wife was the late Lessie Cawthon of Henderson.--Jackson Sun

Mr. Trice was a courtly gentleman and a man of fine personality and his ancestors were Henderson Countains dating back, the furtherest we can learn from our local historian, Esq. Wyatt Threadgill, to Joseph Trice, whose home was the farm and residence place of the late Henry Gibson on the Huntingdon road two miles north of Lexington.

We are informed that Joseph Trice had at least four sons, Verbin, whose home was the place of the late John Pearson, now owned and occupied by Priest Pearson; Edward, John and Harrison,most if not all, moving from here to what is now Chester County, near Jack's Creek-John was the father of the gentleman who has just passed.

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March 15, 1940

Judge Clem Jones Dies in Athens

Judge Clem J. Jones, 67, colorful Tennessean, who became widely known as a lobbyist, died at his home in Athens last Saturday. A farmer, attorney and adventurer, he missed only one session of the legislature in more than 30 years as a representative of railroads and utilities.

In 1898 Clem Jones answered the call for volunteers in the Spanish American War and was with the First Tennessee Regiment in the Philippine Islands and in Company G with the Creasy boys--Felix, John and Monroe. It was Clem Jones, who, during a lull in activities, swam across a river and brought to his headquarters a Philippine flag that had been worrying him by the fact that it was perched on a pole, continuously in his view.

Clem Jones' friends reached far into the Western part of the state and in Lexington he was well known and admired by Judge D.G. Hudson, H.D. Barry and Felix Creasy.

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January 17, 1941

Wildersville Items

by Louise Carrington

Arch A. Kirby died Monday night in the home of F. Burgess near Yuma. He was born in New York, July 13, 1841, and would have been a hundred years old had he lived until July. Besides his aged wife he leaves three sons and three daughters and several great-grandchildren. He was widely known by saw mill men throughout the country, where he worked after coming to Tennessee. While in New York he was a locomotive engineer, but left that state at an early age. Funeral services were conducted by Esq. W.R. Bolen and burial was in Cross Roads Cemetery Tuesday afternoon.

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February 28, 1941

Mr. T. D. Stout

Mr. T.D. Stout died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Mary Louise Young, at Perryville, on Wednesday of last week, at the age of 79 years. He was the son of the late William Stout and spent all his life in Decatur County. He was first married to Miss Mollie Walls of Perryville, who died many years ago. He was then married to Miss Sallie King, who died several years ago. He is survived by two sons, T.D. and Harry of Perryville, and four daughters, Mrs. Lena Cooper of Memphis; Mrs. Kathleen Johnson of Jonesboro, Arkansas; Mrs. Myrtle Clyde Hendrix of Paducah, Kentucky; and Mrs. Louise Young, Perrvyille. Funeral services were held at Perrvyille with burial in Sardis Ridge Cemetery.--Decatur County Herald, February 21, 1941.

Tom Stout was the next youngest son of the late William Stout, whose first wife's maiden name was Coats-the four sons being Will, John, Tom and George, the latter dying when quite a young man-and it is worthy of note that William Stout was born in Scotland and when a mere lad, was met in Boston and induced to come to Tennessee by Curry Pettigrew, the founder of the Pettigrew family in Decatur County.--W.V. Barry


November 19, 1926, Progress

Funeral of Judge T. A. Lancaster

Died November 9, 1926; was US Attorney of the Western District of Tenn. Born in Hardin County, near Saltillo, November 23, 1858.

[W.V. Barry, publisher and editor of The Lexington Progress, gives account of the funeral, then completes the article with the following personal remarks:]

"While the service was in progress I sat and listened and knew that save and except only his brothers and sisters, I had known T.A. Lancaster longer than any other person in the large crowd. He taught school in Decaturville the year I married there and the year that I left and moved to Lexington, 1883 and 1884. He consulted me about settling in Jackson to practice law in 1891, and went there against my advice, for I told him that on account of being a Republican, he could not make any money out of his profession in Jackson. He tried it one year, got enough and came to Henderson County, where for several years a Democrat stood no more chance than a Republican in Madison. But back to the "Good Old Days" in Decatur County, when Ack and Bill used to go to the Teachers' Institutes in Decaturville and in county school houses and get simply wooled all over creation, as it were, by Prof. Harry Denver, who was a postmaster in the art of argument-but no matter how many monkeys Denver made of the Lancaster boys, they stuck to him to the end and finally got all he knew-and that was the only way they could get him to unload his information.

Before Judge Lancaster married, he was a frequent visitor in my home after the evening shades had fallen and many a night he sat on my front porch at my present home, and raised up his voice in the old folk, love and sacred songs of the day to guitar accompaniment.

Being of different politics, he a leading politician, and I the publisher of a newspaper, it is remarkable that we got along so well through so many years. I never had but little business with him; we owed each other for no favors, so what I may say about him is absolutely disinterested. In the practice of his profession, he was the smoothest lawyer who ever came under my observation, so I believe that his smooth temper, his exceptionally fine manners, his home life and his great devotion to the cause and advancement of education were the chief things for which he was entitled to credit--with the understanding that he was an indomitable worker and continued to persist in hard mental and physical effort long after he should have retired to devote his time to getting all the pleasure he could of the remainder of his life. I do not believe, in fact, I have come to know that the office to which he had been appointed did not break him down, but I do believe that if he had taken my humble advice he would be living today-unless things that happen are foreordained to come to pass. May his soul rest in peace.--W.V. Barry"

[Note on Prof. Harry Denver: He was Harry P. Denver, born June 23, 1846, New London, Connecticut; died January 1911. He taught school in this area for twenty years or more. He and his wife, Callie Denver (born 1856) are buried in Lexington Cemetery.]

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