The Heritage of Daniel Haston


History of White County, Tennessee
By Rev. Monroe Seals

Chapter V - Biographies
(People Deceased at Time Seals Wrote)

In this chapter the purpose is to give a brief biographical sketch of some of the men who have gone on to their reward, but who have helped in making the history of the County. The first is that of John White who has already been mentioned in the story of Pioneer days. He was born March 1, 1751. He was the first settler of White County and the County was named for him, though some historians say that the County was named after Hugh Lawson White. The house which John White built has been remodeled but is still in use. It is now owned by Luther Moss. White was a Veteran of the Revolutionary War, having played his fife in the battle of Germantown, Brandywine, and Stony Point. He settled first as a squatter and did not prove his claim until 1807. For the last fifty years of his life he drew a pension from the government. He died October 12, 1846, and his grave is on the Monroe Passon's place in Hickory Valley.

Woodson P. White was born in 1783. He was the son of John White and came here with his father from
Virginia when he was six years old. He represented White County in the State Legislature from 1823 to 1827, his long service in the Legislature being a proof of his popularity in the County. He was the first to serve over two years. He died in 1829, and was buried by his wife, Nancy, who died in 1821. His daughter, Elizabeth, became the wife of William Young and is buried in the Sparta cemetery.

John Knowles was born in Belfast, Ireland, and was a prominent leader in the Irish rebellion. The rebellion was crushed by the English Army and the British decided to execute the leaders of the rebellion. While Knowles and his sister were upstairs they saw the British coming to take him, to execution. His sister let him down from this upper story by bed sheets and he escaped, going to Virginia. He never saw his sister again. He married in Virginia, had three sons, and probably some daughters, before he came to White County. He gave of the old John Knowles tract. One of his daughters married each of his sons a farm. E. Y. Knowles now owns sixty acres Archibald McDaniel, a Revolutionary War veteran. When our County was organized in 1807, John
Knowles, and not William Phillips as has frequently been state, was the first sheriff of the new County.

Black Fox was a Cherokee chief of the first rank, unlike Calfkiller and Nettlecarrier who were only tribal chiefs. The first settlers called one of the chief trails the Black Fox Trail after this chief. Black Fox had his hunting ground in the Southern end of what is now White County. His hunting camp was located on Lost Creek. On January 7, 1806, Black Fox was instrumental in having his nation cede seven thousand square miles of land to the government. In 1807 Black Fox and his chiefs were given permission to hunt in their old territory "until, through settlement, it might become improper." The government granted an annuity for life of one hundred dollars to Black Fox.

Barlow Fisk a cousin of the celebrated Moses Fisk who established in Overton County the first female academy South of the Ohio River, came from Massachusetts. He and his brother, Madison Fisk, settled in White County. Madison Fisk was instrumental in establishing the first Masonic Lodge in Sparta. Madison Fisk owned the land where the Rock House is until 1839, having bought it at a sheriff's sale in 1824. Barlow Fisk bought the property from Dr. Fisk in 1839, two years after Jackson ceased to be President. According to Milton Fisk, son of Barlow Fisk, the Rock House was built and the Fisk family moved into it when Milton was about eight years old. Now Milton was born in 1836. If this be true, then the tradition that Jackson stopped there each time he was on his way to be inaugurated for President, is incorrect. Milton Fisk's declaration would place the building of the Rock House about 1844. Barlow Fisk had the reputation of being the greatest deer hunter in the County. When the snow fell, he would take a slow tracking dog and as he would kill a deer he would disembowel it and hang it up, going on with the hunt. After he had killed as many as he wanted he would get a horse and sled and haul them home.

Sam Denton was the builder of the Rock House. He had formerly lived in New Orleans, was living in New Orleans when the battle of New Orleans was fought. He was a cotton merchant there. He furnished the cotton
bales for the famous cotton wall behind which Jackson's men fought. Denton came to Jackson and said, "Mr. Jackson, we do not know how the battle will go, so I will appreciate it if you will give a showing for this cotton." Jackson replied, "If you want a showing for your cotton, by the Eternal take a musket and defend it." Denton did so. After Denton came to White County he was in a land company at Bon Air which held several thousand acres of land.

The Goodwin family. David Goodwin came from South Carolina in 1808 and settled near the duck pond
at the Luther England place. His son, John T. Goodwin, was recognized as being the best carpenter in White County. David Goodwin held the office in this County which superintended the slaves, seeing that they had plenty to eat and had fair treatment. Once he went to one of the largest slave holders in the County and found that the slaves were underfed. He found, too, that the smokehouse was full of meat. Being refused the key, he took an ax, broke open the smokehouse door, and told the negroes to take meat and cook it, which they did. He died in 1838. John T. Goodwin who was born in 1795 and died in 1875 was a Two-Seed Baptist, they being very numerous in the County in his day.

John Yates was a Methodist preacher and lived in Hickory Valley. He killed his horse with his pocket knife under a poplar, later known as the white leaf poplar, which could be distinguished for miles. No one knew why he killed the horse, but many people of that day believed that the, tragic death of the horse under the tree had something to do with the tree turning white. Mr. Yates was noted in several ways. He married and had thirty-three children, more than one figuring in White County history. A number of his descendents have been prominent in White County affairs. Yates preached in many parts of the County. One of his preaching places was out on Cumberland Mountain seven miles from his home. He always rode a steer to this appointment. Like most of the early ministers, the last five minutes of his sermon was a studied and practiced conclusion about Gabriel blowing his trumpet. Ministers vied with each other in that day as to which would have the most eloquent and effective piece of oratory. Yates was endowed with a wonderful voice, so when Yates would reach the mountain top on the way to his appointment, he would practice on that part of his sermon that had to do with Gabriel blowing his trumpet. One fine Sunday morning while practicing thus, a man with a gun came out of the bushes and proceeded to curse the minister, saying, "I came out here to kill a deer this morning for necessary meat for my family, while you come along bellowing like the Bull of Basham until you've seared every deer off the top of the mountain." Yates lived to be ninety-six years old.

The Lewis Family. There were four Lewis brothers, Tom, Ben, Elijah, and William who together with their father came to Hickory Valley in 1798 from South Carolina. Benjamin, William, and Elijah had made a trip to Tennessee before this, having gone to Nashville. They had hired an Indian guide in East Tennessee and on the way to Nashville had spent one night at the head of Cane Creek. Here the Indians showed them a lead mine from which they took all the lead they needed, but they were never able again to find the mine. On their return to South Carolina they went through Hickory Valley. Upon reaching South Carolina they received grants for land and returned to Hickory Valley with their father and little brother to settle. William Lewis settled the lands now known as the Roane County Wallace land, building his house where the Wilson boys now live. William later traded this land for the land where James Haston now lives and spent the remainder of his days there. William Lewis was a Major in the Revolutionary Army, having been with Washington at Valley Forge. Elijah settled in the upper end of Hickory Valley on the land now known as the James Wallace place. Benjamin Lewis settled near the center of the valley at a big spring by the side of an Indian trail. This old place is now owned by Granville Rogers. Major William Lewis, father of the Lewis boys settled the lands now known as the Hiram Miller place. He willed this land to his youngest son, Thomas. With the Lewises came two Mitchell brothers, John and William, and their sister. Benjamin Lewis married this Mitchell girl. They had six children, three boys and three girls. The boys were named Mitchell, Harvey, and John, the girls were named Leah, who married William Bryan, Patsy married James Gracy (her descendents are the Graceys, Warrens, Rogers, Hayes, and Mayes), Betty married Joseph Simmons. This Benjamin Lewis was a soldier in the war of 1812 and was with Jackson at New Orleans.

Jacob Cole died at the age of thirty-seven, but he left an impress upon the religious life of the County. His descendants of note were William, his son, a large farmer and stock raiser, William's son, Joe, a successful farmer and stock raiser. Jacob's brother, Josiah, was the champion at the shooting matches in the early days.

Thomas K. Harris was made a general in 1814. In 1816 he fought a duel with General John W. Simpson.
The duel was fought near the Shell's Ford and Harris was killed. The duel is said to have been caused by things Harris had said about Simpson. Harris had been in Congress from the Fourth District and had returned to his old home in Sparta and was making the race against Simpson.

John W. Simpson was a Revolutionary veteran and founder of one of the best families in this County. The Simpson family are related to the Young family.

William Little came to this County from Scotland about 1800. He was the representative of a New York land company and bought land for his company all over the mountain section, paying for the land one bit an acre. He went to New York to meet his brother, Rev. Thomas Little, a minister of the Church of Scotland, who was coming to join William in White County. When he reached New York, he found that Thomas had already landed and had bought a team and started for White County. William died a few days later, never seeing his brother.

Thomas Little brought along with him from Scotland his seventeen-year-old son, Brice. They spent their first night in this County on a hill west of the Billy Passons place in Hickory Valley. They went on then to Blue Spring Cove. There were then only three or four houses with a small patch of cleared land around each house at Blue Spring. He organized the church there and was its pastor until his death. He built his home in 1823 which is still standing.

Zecheriah Anderson was born in 1790, and died in 1867. He was a Two-Seed-in-the-Spirit Baptist preacher. He was a substantial farmer and stock raiser. Several of his descendents have been prominent in the County.

Willam Matlock was born in Buncombe County, North Carolina in 1798. He first came to Carter County, Tennessee, and from there to White County in 1820. He served in the War of 1812 as a member of Captain Jesse Cole's company, First Regiment East Tennessee Volunteers. He was a noted slave trader. He built the house now owned by Frank Turner near O'Conner. He was a man of great size and strength. He married Susan Manafee in White County in 1844. He accumulated great wealth. At one time he brought his money to Sparta for deposit in the bank and offered anyone the money who would lift the sack in which the money was brought. He died in Georgia in 1864.

Colonel Stephen H. Coims, was born October 22, 1815. He came to Tennessee from Indianapolis, Indiana, and settled in White County several years before the Civil War. During the Civil War he was the commander of a battalion raised in White County, Confederate troops. He was wounded at the battle of Fort Donelson. Coims surrendered February 16, 1862. Colonel Coims was limited in his literary qualifications but he had a winning personality and no one at the Sparta bar in his time was more skillful in the selection and manipulation of evidence. His home was on the corner where C. G. Stacy now lives and his office was where the Carson Meat Market now is. He never had any children of his own, but he reared a niece who married the late Judge W. F. Story. His old sword is now in the possession of the Story family. His wounds never healed and in the last years of his life caused him a great deal of trouble. He committed suicide at a home a short way west of Crossville, December 18, 1874.

The Hudgens Family. Three Hudgens brothers and a sister came from England. One of the brothers settled in North Carolina, one went West, and the others settled in White County, becoming the ancestor of the Hudgens family of this County. The sister married Daniel Boone's father and became the mother of Daniel Boone.

Daniel Clark was perhaps the greatest man in early White County from the point of view of the economic development of the County. At one time he paid more tax than any other one man in the County. Daniel Clark was the father of Wamon Clark who was the father of the brilliant lawyer, Mark Clark, who committed suicide at Manchester. Daniel Clark married Monie Hembree. He owned two thousand acres of land north of the present Clark Mill on which he had thirty negro families. When these negroes were not busy on the plantation he had them working on contract jobs. He had the contract to rock the public square of Sparta which was done with slave labor. He had a mill race dug, diverting the waters from Town Creek to run a furniture factory which was located a few yards from the present Clark Mill. He manufactured all kinds of furniture used in that day, including coffins, which sold for two dollars and a half each. He had also on his plantation a mill. He also built the old factory in 1842, which he sold to William Glenn who in turn sold it to Tom Snodgrass, Bill Sims and Perry Sims, who sold it to Pennington who converted it into a woolen mill. The factory cost twenty thousand dollars to build. In personal appearance he was tall, had broad shoulders, and was handsome. He ran a brick kiln and made the brick which went into his brick home. Daniel Clark was perhaps the largest slave trader in this section of the State. He died in 1879.

DeWitt Croly (Crawley) was a teacher, later he became absorbed with religion. He would leave his school and go into the woods and pray a half a day at a time. He was considered the best bookkeeper in the County and was often in demand to straighten out the tangles in other men's bookkeeping. He ran the first nursery in this County in 1786. For a while he ran a school for the benefit of the children of the owners of the factory in the factory dining room. When he was seventy-three years old he married a girl aged eleven but soon left her
and went to Texas where he died twenty years later.

Thomas Hill was a veteran of the Revolution who came early to this County. It is said that he came with the Snodgrass family. His son, Abner, was the first minister of the Church of Christ in this County.

Rev. James Hickey was a veteran of the Revolution and came here from Mexico where he had been a
missionary of the Baptist Church. A number of his descendants have been Baptist ministers in this section. He was buried in the old Giles Elrod cemetery.

Dr. Sam Young was one among the first doctors in this County. Married a sister of Dave Snodgrass. He taught Dr. Tom Snodgrass medicine.

William B. Hall was born in 1815, died 1846. He was a doctor in White County and is buried in the old Sparta cemetery.

Andrew Robinson was ruptured so that he could not do manual labor. He became a student and a scholar. Rev. John L. Dillard, the greatest theologian in the early Cumberland Presbyterian Church, always submitted the manuscripts of his books to Mr. Robinson for his criticism before publishing them.

Sam Parker of Hickory Valley during the second half of the last century was one of the leading men of the County. He was distinguished in appearance and made an impression on everyone he met. Although limited in education he was a clear thinker and could hold his own with the best men of his time. He was a natural born leader. In 1851 he represented this County in the State Legislature. Later he made an unsuccessful race for Governor. His son, Sam Arter Parker, was postmaster at Sparta for eight years. Sam Parker, son of Sam Arter Parker, was postmaster in Sparta for sixteen years.

Eli Sims was born in Ireland and married a Miss Townsend there. He came first to Virginia and then to White County bringing along with him his father-in-law, Bob Townsend, who lived with him. Mr. Sims built a brick
house which is thought by some to be the first brick house built in this County. He fastened the shingles on with hickory pegs. He owned. and operated what is claimed to be the first cotton gin in White County. He was also a teacher, L. D. Snodgrass being one of his pupils. He was trustee of White County for four years. Four of his descendents have held the office of County Court Clerk, the present incumbent being one of them.

Sod Harrison was born about 1800 and lived to be eighty years old. Although illiterate, being neither able to read nor figure, he was the greatest mechanic this County ever produced. He was the master mechanic in the construction of most of the mills, wooden horse powers, gins, and other machinery built in the County in his day. Men wanting a first class job always sent for Sod Harrison. His series of wooden cog wheels always worked.

Ambrose Davis was the only cave man in this County. Mr. Davis came from one of the first families of the County. He was an excellent carpenter. He had trouble with his family and became insane, though he was harmless. From remarks he made it was surmised that while crazed he had killed his ex-wife and the man living with her. Davis lived in a cave north of John Coles' place, eating roasting ears, meat from coons, possums and such other animals as he could catch for their fur. He said that his favorite dish was black snake soup, and that skunk meat was among the finest; if carefully skinned. He made more bread trays, trenchers, and wooden
spoons than anyone else in the County. His work was perfect long after he became deranged. In his mental state he did not know the value of money and he sold bread trays worth two dollars and a half at that time for twenty-five cents.

Eli Robinson was the son of James Robinson who died in a burning house at one hundred and four years old. Robinson made hundreds of tombstones in this County and shipped many outside. His factory which was near the Rock House where he lived burned with great loss and he moved to Chattanooga. His son James Robinson is the owner of the Chattanooga Marble Works and has been marvelously successful. John Walker, son-in-law of Eli Robinson worked with his father­in-law in making tombstones at the Rock House. Later he, too, went to Chattanooga where he practiced medicine and fortune-telling. He became very popular, amassing considerable wealth. He died about ten years ago.

J. W. Scott received his education at Doyle College and had many friends in this County. He went to Chattanooga where he practiced law. He was a brilliant man, kind, generous, sociable, a good mixer, but he was easily discouraged and had habits that worked against success. He was found dead in a hut he owned a few miles out of Chattanooga. It is believed by some of his kin that he was murdered by a rival bootlegger. He had a half-brother, Jonathan Scott, who was killed east of Sparta in a skirmish of three Confederates against nine Federals.

Jonathan Scott came to White County in 1808. He settled at what is now known as the Sam Scott place. He had three sons, Sam, Jim and William, the latter moving to Illinois and dying without male issue. Sam had twelve sons and one daughter, one of whom is Quill Scott, a reform member of the County Court.

George Ogden. Another builder of White County was George Ogden who came here from Wilkes-Barre,
Pennsylvania. In 1831 he constructed an over shot water wheel and built the first carding machine in the County, and perhaps the first in the State.

Vardrey Camp came to Camp's gulch in what is now Van Buren County. His two sons were Jasper and
Newton. Jasper was a school teacher for years and then owner of a large farm. He moved to Texas. Newton was the father of Dr. James Camp and Judge Harry Camp.

Harvey Doyle was born in 1730. He came here from South Carolina. He married Ola Fryer and thus
came into possession of several thousand acres of land at Doyle. His sons were Merrell, owner of the place now called the Walter Wallace place, John, Simon, Henry and Joe. Some of these sons went to California and made large fortunes.

Dr. M. Y. Brocket was a Presbyterian minister, a very sympathetic doctor, and a good man.

Dr. Thomas Mayo Bosson was born 1786. He came to this County from Roxbury, Massachusetts. He was a
noted physician in the early days of the County. He is a relative of the celebrated Mayo Brothers. He died in 1850.

Dr. C. S. Rascoe was born in 1834 and had a career of usefulness. He was a successful school teacher, a good doctor, and an active temperance worker. His varied activities gave him a remarkable influence in White County. The later years of his life were spent at Doyle. He died in 1905.

John Marlow was with Jackson in the battle of New Orleans. He was a widely known maker and seller
of maple sugar. Some of his customers were merchants of Nashville.

Charlie Richards was an electrician and had charge of the electric light plant of Hope, Arkansas.

E. Hatch was our first Christian Scientist having written a book on the subject. He bought the Mitchell Mill property during the time of its very worst period. He erected a paper mill and made paper pulp while experimenting with it. He moved the pulp mill to Sparta in 1885 and erected a building but did not have the funds to complete the installation of the plant. He sold his property and moved away from here and soon died of heart trouble.

Adam Huntsman was a member of the first Masonic Lodge at Sparta and represented this County in
the State Legislature four years, afterwards serving as a State Senator. He married a daughter of Judge William Quarles. He came into national prominence when he defeated David Crockett for Congress, Crockett going to Texas after his defeat. Huntsman moved to Alabama and was elected first to Congress and later to the United States Senate.

Columbus Marchbanks was born in Putnam County but most of his life was spent at Sparta. He was a splendid lawyer and one of the finest orators in the State. He represented White County in the State Legislature and made an unsuccessful race for Attorney-General against William Cullom and others. His lecturer, ''A Harp of a Thousand Strings,'' was a gem and made him nationally known.

Judge M. D. Smallman of Warren County was born and reared at Onward Station. He taught school in the southern part of White County for two years.

Hon. Sam Turney was an unique character. He was one of the most successful lawyers ever at the Sparta Bar. He was original but very eccentric. He used to sit at a hotel and cut his own hair. When remonstrated with, he replied, ''I guess I know the shape of my own head.'' There were no records of warrants and indictments kept in those days, Turney would eat the warrants, thus freeing his client. Once a counterfeiter was up for trial, Turney was his lawyer. Turney asked to see the five dollar bill presented in evidence. Talking and wrapping the bill around his finger he found a chance to put the bill into his mouth and at the same time took a good bill out of his vest pocket and substituted it for the counterfeit. Then he requested the Judge to send three men to the bank to see if it would pass. It did and his client went free. He won national fame for planning the escapade which prevented our State from having a United States Senator for two years. He and the actors with him became known as The Immortal Thirteen. Toward the end of his life he was baptized and became a Christian preacher. Great crowds came to the services whenever it was announced that he would preach. He was a soldier in the War of 1812 and when he died in Sparta in 1862, he was buried by a Convoy of Federal soldiers.

H. L. Turney, brother of Sam Turney was born at the old Turney home a, little west of Sparta. When he became a man he left White County and became a Congressman. He was the father of Peter Turney, one time Governor of Tennessee.

Major Nathaniel Evans was one of the early settlers of White County. He was the officer on whom John Sevier depended most to carry out his commands in the Battle of King's Mountain.

General G. G. Dibrell, statesman, soldier, orator, man of affairs, one of the builders of White County had a remarkable career. He spent ten years as a member of Congress. He was president of the Southwestern Railroad in 1869; he was part of the organization of the leading coal company of White County; made an unsuccessful effort to be Governor. He was on the staff of General Nathan Bedford Forrest, and was the one Forrest trusted more than any other to carry out his orders. His military exploits are recorded in Dr. Wyatt's Life of Nathan B. Forrest.

Frank Dibrell, son of General Dibrell, held a number of offices, among them that of Comptroller of Tennessee. Another son, Will Dibrell, was in one of the largest wholesale shoe stores in the south at Nashville. James, another of the General's sons was high sheriff of White County. Another son, Jeff, was superintendent of the Bon Air Corporation. Another son, Stanton, was agent at the Sparta depot for many years.

Fred G. Mitchell, son of Thomas Mitchell, was twice representative of this County, having defeated one of our ablest men. He was noted for his geniality. He was appointed Convict Inspector which office he held two or three months before his untimely death.

J. D. Goff, descended from Judge Goff of Hadley, Massachusetts held office in this County for forty-five years. He was Justice of the Peace, County Court Clerk, and County Judge. He was once defeated by Judge George H. Hudson but died in office.

William Passons was born about 1823 and died in his ninety-third year. He was the father of high sheriff Monroe Passons, whose son, Thomas, is now an efficient teacher in Cookeville Tennessee Polytechnic Institute. Another grandson of William Passons is the popular and efficient principal of the Sparta City School, Arlis. Bill Passons, son of William Passons, was for years policeman of Sparta. Major Passons, son of William Passons, was one of White County's strong men. He could lift the gear wheel of a horse power, a weight of five hundred pounds, above the pinion. Dalton Davis, grandson of William Passons is now the City Marshal of Sparta.

Edward Rotan was born at Sparta in 1844. He had a notable career as a Confederate soldier. He fought at Missionary Ridge and Chickamauga and was wounded at the Battle of Perryville. After the war he taught school three years, marrying one of his teachers. During his business career he was a bank president and at different times president of two railroads. He headed the street car enterprise of Waco, Texas, where he had gone in 1886. He became a multi-millionaire and died in 1932.

Charles T. Haston was born in what is now Van Buren County in 1847 and came to Hickory Valley in 1883. He was a farmer and a large stock raiser. He would often send as many as a hundred head of cattle out on Cumberland mountain to graze during the summer. He bought one of the first reapers in White County in 1883, and in the same year he erected one of the first woven wire fences in the County. He bought and sold cattle, hogs and sheep. For several years he was a member of the County Court. Mr. Haston was chairman of the convention that nominated Buchanan for Governor. This was a very noisy convention. A wrangle started, whereupon Mr. Haston with a voice that could easily be heard above the noise of the wrangle said, "Boys, boys, stop that wrangling or the chair won't sit any longer." This brought down the house. Buchanan was immediately nominated.

Van Haston, brother of C. T. Haston, ran a fine farm in Western Hickory Valley and raised fine stock. He was a factor in the development of that part of the County but was not as active in the affairs of the County as was his brother, though Van Haston was once County Surveyor. Dick Haston, another brother was also a useful citizen and large land owner and stock raiser. All these were descended from David Haston.

John A. Catron was a Virginian who came first to Overton County then to Sparta where he studied law under General George W. Gibbs. After remaining in Sparta a few years he returned to Overton County and became Judge of the Court of Appeals. He was appointed a Federal Judge by Andrew Jackson. Tradition says that Mrs. Catron went in person to see Jackson telling him what she desired. Jackson was alone in his room smoking his cob pipe. When she had finished her plea, Jackson replied, "By the Eternal, he shall have it." Catron held Court in Sparta in 1834.

General George W. Gibbs was one of Sparta's leading lawyers in the early days. He was a man of large affairs, and founder of the bank. He went to West Tennessee and founded Union City.

The Lincolns. Jesse Lincoln, a cousin of the president, was in the dry goods business in Sparta for about thirty years. Another Jesse Lincoln, a nephew of the president, came to White County for his health. He died at Clark Town and was brought to Sparta and was buried in the old cemetery.

Jesse Everett Hickman was born near Cherry Creek October 22, 1805, died at his home near the church he loved so well, December 26, 1888. Some idea of his virility can be gained if one considers that he was active up until a few weeks of his death. He had just left the home of James Sims and was going down the steep hill toward the creek in a buggy when the harness broke. The horse became frightened and the old minister was thrown out and badly hurt. He was taken to the home of Mr. Sims and there cared for until he could be moved to his own home. He was hoping to be back in his pulpit again soon when the end came rather suddenly. But there he was eighty-three years old, and still carrying on the work as many a young man would find too tiresome, for that road is still one of the roughest in the County.

Twenty years ago all the old people had stories to tell of Hickman that made the man a real person to the listener. Nearly all these old people are now dead and he is for this generation only a name. No one seems to have known anything of his early life, of his training, of his education. Tradition has it that he was educated at Princeton. Of that I have never been able to learn the truth. It is very unlikely. Still, that he was a man of sound training is proved by the ease with which he wrote. All that I have seen of his writings pointed to the fact that he was well trained. His writing was clear and easy to read, mechanically correct. He had a diction remarkable for its force and clearness. How a man could have acquired such ability in the wilderness of that day has often puzzled me, unless it is true that he went East for his education. The same easy manner one finds in his writing must have been in his life as well. It has been said of him that he was equally at home in the city mansion and in the mountain hut with dirt for a floor. He was the friend of such scholars as J. L. Dillard and yet so far as I have ever heard he never engaged in literary pursuits. He spent too much time in the saddle for that, Łor he was preaching everywhere over the mountain country continually. It is said that he organized more churches in this section than any other man who ever lived here, forty-two churches being organized by him. He did an almost unbelievable amount of evangelistic work. Indeed, so it is said, he was released once for a period of two years for general evangelistic work. Turning over the main part of his work to a young assistant, he held evangelistic campaigns in such cities as Nashville and Louisville.

But the thing that has amazed me about him is the vigor with which he carried on his work as a pastor. He seems to have been all the time visiting in homes, holding prayer services, and making himself felt in the lives of the people.

Hickman was ahead of his day in many matters of church work. Back in the forties he became convinced that pioneer days were over and that the church ought to budget its affairs. Once determined on this course he had courage to carry it through, though it split his church. He and six of his Elders favored the plan, three Elders opposed. The vote in the congregation on the plan to adopt a definite financial policy was taken in the afternoon of the opening day of the annual revival. The plan carried by a big majority. But one of the Elders who opposed the plan called a meeting at his house that night and another church was organized. This church on Cherry Creek has ever since been called the ''Lower Church'' because a little log church for the new congregation was built about a mile down the valley from Hickman's church, which has ever since been known as the "Upper Church." But the significant thing is that at a time when a definite financial plan of church administration was not in force even in many city churches Hickman set up such a plan in his church on Cherry Creek. A very unique system of every member canvass was set up. An all day meeting was called with a roll call of the members of the church. Each member responded to the roll call with his pledge for the year.

Hickman lies buried in a neglected private cemetery a little way from the old middle ford of Cherry Creek. A simple slab marks his resting place.

Rev. James Lansden was a prominent Cumberland Presbyterian minister in the early days of that movement in this County. Two of his sons were Rev. John Lansden and Dr. Hugh Lansden, the latter being the father of the late Judge D. L. Lansden.

Alexander Goodwin was one of the first merchants of White County. He also ran a tannery West of the present Mount Carmel and later one at Baker's Cross Roads. His sons, John and James, were merchants at Baker's Cross Roads, as is his grandson Sam Goodwin. John Goodwin established and ran for over forty years a Swiss pottery.

Perry Officer was a man of large affairs, a farmer, stock 1·aiser, and buyer. He brought many thousands of dollars into the County by his trading. He owned large tracts of land. He was the engineer for the pikes that were built in 1887. At his death he was worth probably half a million dollars.

Frank Coatney was the most noted raider of wild cat stills we ever had in White County. He served many years as a revenue officer. In one year while there were saloons in Sparta he cut up more stills than were captured during the whole thirteen year period of prohibition.

Tandy Lewis was a teacher, president of the County School Board, sheriff, Representative in the State Legislature, County surveyor, and farmer.

Champ Ferguson was a noted Confederate raider who during the Civil War used White County as a
base for his operations. Much that has been written about him is terribly inaccurate. It has generally been supposed that he was born in White County. From the modest tombstone I copied the following: "Captain C. Ferguson was born November 29, 1821, in Clinton, Kentucky, married Martha Owen July 5, 1848. Died October 20, 1865.''

Ferguson was a Kentucky mountaineer of Scotch ancestry, who moved to Fentress County, Tennessee, and at the outbreak of the Civil War he was well-to-do and as refined as any of the mountain men of his time. He bore the reputation of being a perfect gentleman in his dealings with his fellowmen. He moved to White County to escape the persecutions of the "bushwhackers" favorable to the Federals. He soon entered the Confederate service and was made Captain and wore the regulation uniform. It has been said that he was such a cut-throat that the Confederate army would not let him join it. But he was invited by Nathan B. Forrest himself to enlist. When General Wheeler came through Sparta, Ferguson accompanied him as far as Liberty and was in the skirmish at Doweltown. He was cruel, it is true, and often killed his prisoners, sometimes running them through with the sword after shooting them. The charge on which he was tried by the Federals was that he had killed a wounded Lieutenant in a Virginia hospital. No Confederate ever defended Ferguson's cruelty. But it is a fact that cannot be denied that he had great provocation for some of his terrible deeds.

He did not want to go to war but realizing that he must decide, he went to a cave to make up his mind. When he returned home, he found that sixteen of Tinker Dave Beatty's men, headed by Lieutenant Smith, whom he afterwards killed in a Virginia hospital, had come to his house in his absence and had compelled his wife and daughter, Ann, to undress and march three times around the house naked. Before his death he killed everyone of the sixteen. For his little boy, three years old, he bought a little Confederate flag. The little fellow was out on the porch waving his flag when some Federal Soldiers came by. A volley of shots rang out and the little boy lay dead in his own blood, pierced by many bullets. Such deeds made Ferguson desperate and he became a national problem. Sometimes his band would dwindle to no more than a dozen men; sometimes he would have four or five hundred that carried death and destruction where they went. But most of his horrible deeds were in revenge. It was difficult for a man to wrong him and not pay the supreme penalty.

He was finally captured by the Federals and brought to trial. He was promised that he would be treated as any other Confederate soldier, but this promise was only a scrap of paper. He was condemned to be hanged. His wife and daughter were near him when sentence was pronounced. He was allowed to talk with them before he was led away. Not a tear was shed. As he turned to go his wife said, "Champ, die with your head up.'' To which he replied, ''I will.'' He was buried in the France cemetery. His daughter, who was a beautiful girl, became the wife of George Metcalf.

John B. Rogers. The father of John B. Rogers came from Virginia to Warren County in 1812, John went North and became the friend of Abraham Lincoln. He courted unsuccessfully Elodie Todd, sister of the wife of Lincoln. He was a staff officer of Andrew Jackson in the Seminole War in 1818 and helped arrest Arbuthnot and Ambrister, the latter being taken off of a ship near the mouth of the Suwanee River commanded by Captain Louis. Louis sought to destroy some papers of great importance to Jackson. Rogers personally captured these papers and received the thanks of Jackson. Just before Ambrister was shot, he handed his sash to General Rogers, saying, ''As a token of regard for your kindness.'' This sash was taken from Roger's home and destroyed by Confederates during the Civil War.

In 1823 Rogers was made adjutant to General Smartt of McMinnville. In 1825 when Lafayette visited
Tennessee, Rogers commanded Lafayette's escort and the great Frenchman being lame, he leaned on Rogers. A conversation revealed the fact that Roger's father fought under Lafayette in the Revolutionary War. In 1823, at Jackson's request, Rogers was unanimously elected Attorney-General of the State, even Polk, Grundy, and Crockett voting for him. In the Texas War Rogers was elected a Brigadier General with the brevet of Major General.

He married Louisa Clark and for a while practiced law at Sparta. In 1840 he founded the first summer resort in the South at Bon Air Springs. It has been thought by some that this hotel was founded by Christopher Hoffman, but the old register indicates clearly that Rogers was the owner at the founding. Rogers sold it in 1855 to Constant Lake, David Williams, and Kimball Porter, who held it until it was destroyed by Scott's Confederate Cavalry. His wife died in 1851 and was buried at Rock Island where he was then living.

In 1860 he was a Lincoln Elector and a Union sympathizer throughout the war. Five times he was robbed by the Confederates and forced to flee from home for personal safety. All of his movable property was carried away, the damage being, probably more than one hundred thousand dollars. His property at Rock Island was destroyed and the grave of his first wife mutilated. Among those arrested was a stonecutter who was released on condition that he would erect a slab over the grave with this inscription: "Here lies Mrs. John B. Rogers, the friend of Abraham Lincoln." This was done, and the card bearing this inscription is in the possession of Captain W. E. McElwee of Rockwood, Tennessee.

In 1867 he was elected a member of the State Senate from this district. Later he was elected to Congress. He has been given the credit of starting the boom of Grant for President. At the time of his death in 1873 he had become wealthy again. He was buried in the old cemetery at Bon Air. About fifteen years later his daughter, who had married a Federal Colonel named Jarvis, whom she met while the Federals were stationed at Rock Island, and his second wife, the wealthy widow Collins of New York, whom he had married in 1853, had his first wife removed to Bon Air. Later the second wife was also buried there. A nice monument marks their graves.

Benton McMillin, lawyer, statesman, orator, Governor of Tennessee, for twenty years, a member of Congress, diplomat, is too well known to need any extended notice here, but it is not so well known that he once lived in Sparta. He was born in Kentucky but came here when he was a young man. He studied law in the office of E. L. Gardenhire and began the practice of law in Sparta. He moved to Celina in 1871 and was elected to the Legislature, then appointed Circuit Judge, then elected to that position, then to Congress, then Governor. He died in 1932.

Captain Hawthorne C. Gray is of interest here because of his tragic death near Doyle in 1927. Gray started from Belleville, Illinois, to try to break the world's record for height in a balloon. Some boys going after the cows late in the afternoon saw a balloon in a tree top with the rope dragging the ground. The balloonist was found in the basket of the balloon, head and shoulders doubled forward showing that he had been dead for some time. The instruments showed that the balloon had reached the greatest height ever recorded up to that time but Gray lost the record of the highest ascent, since it was certain he was dead before his balloon reached its highest. The body was taken to H. B. Hunter's undertaking parlors. Representatives of the Navy Department and Gray's wife came and along with them reporters who tried to throw off on the South and Sparta. But the sensible Mrs. Gray put a quietus on such conduct, for she spoke in the highest terms of the care her husband's body had received.

John M. Welch, lawyer of the County School Board, developer of White County. He pulled walnut stumps and sold them bringing many thousands of dollars into the County that otherwise would have been wasted. He was for a long time President of the Cumberland Lumber Company which was for a long time one of the big lumber companies of this section. He built a number of fine houses in Sparta. He was twice President of the School Board. At the time of his death in 1934 his home was in Chattanooga, though he still maintained a summer home at Clarktown.

William Turner was born in 1839 of English and Dutch descent. He was a Confederate soldier, farmer and stock raiser. He served two years as Trustee of the County. His son, Frank, now Town Clerk, is very popular as seen from the fact that he held the office of County Court Clerk for sixteen years.

Colonel Jarred Ward was born in Ohio in 1844. He was a Federal soldier. He introduced the first sawmill in White County in 1866, and ran for a number of years a very successful lumber business. His two children were Norman and Bessie, the latter marrying Judge F. T. Fancher.

Oliver Young. Oliver's father was a pioneer of Sumner County then moved to Jackson County and was a
sheriff there for fourteen years and twice a member of the State Legislature. Oliver came to this County in 1870 and was a useful and influential citizen. One daughter married Honorable L. D. Hill, another married a brilliant lawyer, Honorable Eph Story, and a son, Dr. W. B. Young, is one of the most important factors in the development of White County.

Eldridge Sullivan was for many years a physician at Cherry Creek and Spring Hill. His son, Bayard
Sullivan, is a physician at the Veterans Hospital at Livermore, California. Dr. Bayard Sullivan has traveled in the Near East and is a lecturer of splendid ability. Dr. Eldridge Sullivan's daughter is the wife of Thomas Mayberry.

Rev. Howard Sutton was born in 1852, and died in 1905. He was a minister of the Church of Christ
and perhaps the most popular minister that church ever produced in this County. He was as popular outside his own church as in it. All denominations respected him. He was educated at Spencer and taught for a while at Cumberland University. He did a great deal of evangelistic work. His memory is cherished by many of the older generation.

Major Gooch Smith ran a tan yard up the river from Cave. He had many business enterprises. He was a
large farm owner and cattle raiser. He was a lawyer of ability and had a large part in the development of the County. He was a major in the Confederate army. His son, William, was a judge renowned in the law. Another son, L. D. Smith, died as the Attorney General of the State. His daughter, Marcus S. Eagle, has written a lovely volume of poems, some of them of rare beauty.

Crockett Lawson was a famous Indian fighter on the Western frontier.

J. K. P. Fancher owned a great estate on Taylors Creek and Falling Water. He was in his day the greatest apiarist in Tennessee. He owned a mill and a store and was a cattle breeder. He introduced Jersey cattle into White County.

J. S. Hogg was born on Gum Spring Mountain in 1851. The family were very poor and he picked up such education as he could get here and there. Soon after reaching manhood he went to Texas and began the practice of law. In 1886 he was elected State's attorney and the next year he was elected Governor of Texas, winning his election on a platform. to regulate the railroads and the express company. He thus was the father of the railroad commission. While he was Governor of Texas a White County boy who had gone to Texas was caught in the crime wave there and sent to the penitentiary. Thomas Walling, who knew Hogg well when he lived in this County, and after whom the village of Walling was named, wrote to Governor Hogg imploring him to pardon the boy. Hogg wrote in reply that he did not know anyone for whom it would please him more to do a favor than Thomas Walling, but Texas was full of crime and said he, "I am determined to stamp it out, I am sorry I can not turn the boy out.''

James W. Throckmorton was born on the farm now known as the Story farm near Sparta, 1825. His mother was a daughter of Dave Snodgrass. The family moved to Texas when James was sixteen years old. He became the best parliamentarian in Texas. In the convention of 1861, he was one of seven who voted against secession. Later he joined the Confederate army and made a brave soldier.

John B. Potter was born in DeKalb County but came to Sparta in early manhood and married a daughter of Daniel Young. During the long years of his life in this County he was identified with practically every progressive movement in the County. He, more than any one else, made possible the organization of the County Fair in 1914 and he was keenly interested in it as long as he lived. He did much for the encouragement of agriculture in the County and was himself the owner of much farm land. He was one of the organizers of the Civitan Club at Sparta. At the time of his death in 1933 he was President of the Sparta branch of the Commerce Union Bank.

Honorable Wainwright Shockley was a lawyer at the Sparta bar, but did but little practice outside of his own affairs.

Joel Barnes came here from Cookeville as Principal of White County High School for seven years. He had been elected President of the State Teachers' Association just a few days before he was killed in an automobile accident in Florida.

David Crockett Crook, a brother of the late Calvin Crook, was a Colonel in the Confederate Army and a Methodist preacher. A monument to him stands at Oglethorpe.

Joe Brown, father of Honorable Foster V. Brown, was a merchant in Hickory Valley.

Rev. Tom Kittrell was a Cumberland Presbyterian preacher who served churches at practically no salary in this section. He was born and reared at Old Zion.

Rev. Riley Green established many Baptist Churches in this section of Tennessee.

Rev. W. P. Smith a teacher at Cumberland Institute, and a Cumberland Presbyterian minister, was the best mathematician in White County in his day.

Judge W. F. Story was descended from titled English gentry. Judge Story was a lawyer of fine ability and was our first County Judge. He represented White County also in the State Legislature.

William and Thomas Bosson, brothers, came to White County from Massachusetts. Both Served in the
Federal army. William was a State Senator and a member of the last Constitutional Convention.

James O'Dell was a Federal soldier who distinguished himself for bravery on the battlefield. He was an uncle of the writer.

Marshall Cowden, son of Dr. John Cowden, was one among the first graduates of White County High School. He died at Bon Air where for many years he had been principal of the school. He had been a member of the County Court and Chairman of the County School Board.

Nattie Austin, distiller and merchant, could do sums in partial payments in his head, though he could neither read nor write.

James Mooneyham in the early days was a gun maker of more than local fame. He also made and sold
musical instruments.

William Musgrove and Nathan Steakley were the first tailors in White County.

Rev. Nathan. Owen, who got his education after he reached manhood, became a very eloquent preacher.

Steve Hickman was known far and wide for his many eccentric ways. He owed Dr. Fane of Cherry Creek a doctor's bill. He asked the doctor if he might pay the bill in dried fruit and being told that he might, he and his wife and eight children took a few dried apples wrapped in a handkerchief and went to Dr. Fane 's on Saturday night to stay until Sunday afternoon. He repeated this until the doctor told him the bill was paid.

Sam Clenny, aged fifteen, was the first to carry the mails over the mountain east from Sparta.

Thomas Eastland was the largest landholder in White County in his day. He is buried on Dumpling Knob together with a hunter who along with him discovered it while hunting. His wife is buried at Bon Air Springs.

Gus Geer was a splendid young lawyer who at his death was chief of the Federal Government's Revenue Department. He died in 1918,

Dr. Henry Smith in the old days was known as the ''maker of doctors," having taught so many young men medicine.

Dr. Wesley H. Peek went to Chicago and gained a great reputation as a doctor. He became a millionaire.

Captain Sam Johnson distinguished himself in the Confederate army. He was a successful farmer and stockman.

John Lowry would have been Governor of Texas but for the failure of his health.

John Mitchell was the oldest Confederate veteran holding office in the State at the time of his death. He had been for many years Register of White County.

Rev. Harve Jarvis was born and reared near Mount Gilead. He was for years a Presiding Elder of the Southern Methodist Church.

Rev. R. L. Jarvis was born and reared at Mount Gilead. He was a celebrated Presbyterian minister and was for many years John Wannamaker's pastor in the famous Bethany Temple in Philadelphia.

Baalam Oakes was a well-known Presbyterian preacher and was famous as a singer.

Shepherd Coots was the most famous violinist Tennessee ever produced.

Jack Scott was famous as a violinist. He owned a Cremona which at his death sold for ten dollars. It is now in a famous symphony orchestra and is valued at many thousands of dollars.

A man named Acuff made the first bed springs used in White County.

Newt Cameron was a tanner, teacher, banker. He went to Texas and became a millionaire.

Ben Gist was the largest land owner in White County in 1880.

Thomas Storm was the largest individual land owner White County ever had. At one time he owned forty-four thousand, one hundred and sixty acres in this County.

Martin White distinguished himself as a teacher both in Tennessee and in Texas.

William Cambron was noted in a number of States as a Baptist preacher.

Joe McBride was famous all over the nation as a saddle maker.

Howard Farley was also known in most of the States through his fine saddles.

R. P. Baker, founder of the White County Favorite, ran a newspaper in Sparta for thirty-five years.

Miss Ella Snodgrass was County Superintendent of White County for a number of years. She was known as the best County Superintendent in the State in her day. In her administration the White County High School was established, largely due to her efforts.

B. G. Seals was the best blacksmith in the County in his day. He could weld an eight-inch drill.

Hugh Lowery was a fearless revenue officer. He was killed in trying to make an arrest. A monument to his memory stands at the Hugh Lowery Spring.

W. H. Burbury was known as the best gardener in White County in his day. He was the director of the Sparta Band.

John A. Blackburn is still referred to as the best farmer White County ever had.

W. F. Steakley while a policeman at Bon Air made three thousand arrests. He was ambushed nine times.

Jule and Rob Gist each made over a million dollars in the cattle business in Texas.

T. A. Carden was a celebrated Methodist preacher in this section. He was noted for his sarcasm. He founded a church in Spencer.

J. T. Anderson was a banker in Sparta. He was one of the organizers of the telephone system in this section and had a large part in this County's development.

Joe Snodgrass in 1840 established the first drug store in Sparta.

C. G. Broyles was the first dentist in Sparta. He began his practice about 1876. A man named McFolin began the practice of dentistry about the same time. The honor of being the first dentist is claimed for both.

C. H. 'l'homan was born in Canada but came to Sparta in early manhood. He ran a tailor shop until his death. He has tailored clothing for the Secretary of State.

The most widely known Baptist preacher in White County in the days following the Civil War was William White.

Jim Green went West from White County in early manhood and became very wealthy as a cattleman.

William Dinges was a popular Cumberland Presbyterian preacher in the days following the war. He was at one time County Court Clerk.

Dave Dinges, brother of William, was a banker, and the father of Mrs. Grafton Green, whose husband became Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court.

W. H. Witt, J. P. Murray, and E. L. Gardenhire were White Countians who served in the Confederate

J. L. Quarles was a Confederate Scout. He began business as a general merchant in Sparta and continued until his death last year, having been in business longer than any other man who ever lived in Sparta. He was a prohibitionist in the days when it was very unpopular to be a prohibitionist, which gives an indication of how firm he was in his convictions.

Notables Connected With Our History

David Crockett lived in Fentress County which was then a part of White County in 1817. He was defeated for Congress by Adam Huntsman and went to West Tennessee and afterwards to Texas, where he was killed at the Alamo.

Andrew Jackson used to stop at Glenn Hotel in Sparta. He often attended church here. Jackson stayed at least two nights at the old Fisk Inn at Bon Air Springs. He registered there on July 19, 1843.

James E. Polk registered at the old Fisk Inn on August 14, 1842, and Felix Grundy on July 19, 1844.

Rev. James Luna, a White Countian, founded a church, "The Baptist Church of Christ as Founded on the Bible.'' At the height of its influence the denomination had sixteen churches.

Many notable men have visited Sparta. James Whitcomb Riley spent a month once at the Rhea House on his vacation, during which time he wrote some of his most famous poems. Will Allen Dromgoole once spent her
vacation in White County. Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, son of President Theodore Roosevelt, spoke a few minutes at the Courthouse in Sparta during the Smith-Hoover campaign.

White County in Literature

Mrs. Murfree stayed in White County while she was writing ''Drifting Down Lost Creek'' and another book about Pine Mountain. Opie Reed stayed at the Rhea House in Sparta while he was writing the two novels "The Waters of Caney Fork," and "The Jucklins." A Philadelphia authoress wrote about Sparta and the Pygmies buried here and referred to the Honorable E. Story as Ephriam Fable.