More News From Lenoir City in 1890

April 19, 2018

Lenoir City, Tennessee, makes its way forward in 1890.

From GenealogyBank, Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 8/27/1890, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume VI, Issue 183, Page 5.




Medicinal Spring Found–The Young

City to Have Water Works.

LENOIR, TENN., August 26.–The camp meeting at the Union camp-grounds, will commence Thursday, August 28th. Great preparations are being made to have this session one of the most interesting ever held. The country for miles around will be represented, and it is hope great good will be accomplished.

The progress the Lenoir City company is making here is quite phenomenal. It is but a month since they commenced operations upon the new town site. In that time about one-half the plat has been put in shape ready for the grading, which we understand will be done at once. Bids are not being received from contractors who make that line of work a business. Investors are coming and indicate their confidence and satisfaction by subscribing stock.

Years ago there existed upon the Lenoir plantation a spring that possessed wonderful medicinal properties. It was a profound secret for a long period; the knowledge of its whereabouts was in the possession of an old colored gentleman. He was considered a sort of magician by the rest of the colored folk on account of the wonderful cures he could perform with simply the use of water. But in a short time his secret, this magnetic spring, was discovered and soon became the general drinking place for all in the neighborhood and for miles around who were in any way troubled with, kidney, stomach, or liver trouble. The water was a splendid appetizer. Dr. Lenoir says that when the mill race was dug the line ran near this spring; the men employed boarded with him; they used this water, and it had the effect of so sharpening their appetites that it worried his always well stocked larder to supply them with enough to eat. Whether from this cause or owing to the war breaking out about this time, the spring was forgotten; the ever washing sands of time soon filled up its sparkling surface.

To-day workman are employed endeavoring to discover that once famous spring, that panacea for all human ills. If they are successful there will be scientific analysis made of its properties Some people are skeptical regarding water cures. They are nature’s medicine. This old darky, whose cures astounded the inhabitants knew no other remedy but this spring of chalybeate water. The Indians had their herbs, their mineral springs which were their remedies. Does this age of medical advance show a heathern people than in the days of our forefathers, when every attic with its bundles of herbs was the doctor shop, and the spring water on the hill side far removed from the contaminating influence of a thickly settled community was their only drink.

Lenoir City will have a system of water works that will far excel anythng of the kind ever put in operation.

Spring water from the adjacent hills will be utalized through a system of pipes that will give the city a sufficient and pure supply of water. No city can enjoy heath with an impure water supply. The ravages of disease, such as typhoid and malarial fevers, are traced directly to impure drinking water. Dr. Foute, a prominent physician here, in conversation with a JOURNAL correspondent said: “In all my practice here, which has been quite extensive, I have never visited a case of well defined typhoid fever, it is wholly unknown in this immediate vicinity, owing, no doubt, to the splendid sanitary condition here, and the purity of the spring water which is universally used.”


From GenealogyBank: Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 10/31/1890, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume VI,, Issue 248, Page 6.




A Knoxville Firm Rushing the Street Grading Work.

LENOIR CITY, TENN., October 30.–The planing mill which has been so successfully managed by the Lenoir manufacturing company, has been repaired and put in fine order, and is now under the direction and control of Mease & Thompson, the contractors. They are running six men in the plaining mill, while six or eight are in the finishing department turning out sash, blinds, frames etc.

Contracts were made to-day, by which Lenoir City will have two saw mills. One will be started at once to saw the timber that has been already cut upon the town site, which consists of about one hundred thousand feet of pine timber, besides several thousand feet of oak and chestnut. This timber will be utilized in the construction of houses, which are being delayed for the lack of it.

Boggs & Marston, the enterprising dry goods and grocery men, are doing a rushing business in their line. They employ four clerks, who are kept constantly on the jump. The old Lenoir Manufacturing company controlled a wonderfully large trade, and this new firm is holding the bulk of it. It is surprising the amount of produce that is handled here.

Hall & Hough, of Knoxville, who have the contract for grading the streets, are making rapid progress. Broadway is about completed and is indeed a beautiful thoroughfare. Kingston street will be finished some time next week; three houses are building upon this picturesque avenue. Second and Third avenues, terminating at Magnet Place, one of the prettiest elevations in East Tennessee, have been graded. Every lot on Second avenue, between Hill street and the Magnet, has been sold and six houses are already building.


From GenealogyBank, Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 11/26/1890, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume VI, Issue 273, Page 5.




Chattanooga Capitalist to Build.

Booms on Little Tennessee River.

Hotel Building–Brick Plant,

Water Supplies, etc.

LENOIR CITY, November 25.–The old machinery in the cotton mill is being taken out and shipped off. It will before long be replaced with other modern machinery, and the hum of turning wheels will soon again be resumed throughout the building.

Work on the building for the new furniture factory is being pushed ahead in earnest. Mr. Bond, the proprietor, is one of those energetic New Yorkers who don’t let the grass grow near him.

The passenger depot building is fast assuming shape and within another week will probably be under roof.

The Chattanooga papers announced last week the chartering of a very large boom company which is to operate on the Little Tennessee. They have a large capital and will soon begin the construction of booms which will extend several miles along the river.

The vastness of the timber territory which is drained by the Little Tennessee and its tributaries is not appreciated by those who have never examined the territory. It is safe to estimate the square miles of virgin timber lands which environ this water way at not less than half a million. The timber on this vast area is an element of wealth which constitutes one of the pillars of strength on which Lenoirs City is building. It has to pass through this gateway before it can reach the other marts of the world, and the manufacturers here will secure it nearest first cost and make their own selections.

Mr. Stanton has his saw mill in position now, and in a day or two the hum of his saws will make music for the valley.

Mr. A. H. Ingemann, of Ohio, spent some time here this week investigating the clays, with a view to locating a large brick making plant. He was so well pleased with the result of his researches and the prospects of the city that before leaving he expressed his determination to locate. He is a thoroughgoing man of business and will be a valuable acquisition to the community.

F. M. Kerr, esq., proprietor of the Deal House, Bucyrus, O., was in town last Monday.

Rev. Dr. J. F. Spence and T. H. Heard, esq., of Knoxville, who are prominent members of the new Lenoir City Hotel company were here last week with their architect Mr. R. Z. Gill examining the site of the new hotel. They expect to erect a first class hostlery with all modern convenience, one special feature being a bath room connection with every guests chamber. There is no point in the state where such excellent water privileges are enjoyed as here.

The luxury of abundant pure water and superior sanitary advantages are secure.

The Lenoirs are shipping seven hundred fat hogs of their own raising from this station.

Mr. and Mrs. Caswell and Miss Helen Page spent a portion of Saturday and Sunday in Knoxville.

The ladies of this city give an entertainment for the benefit of the church next Saturday evening. It promised to be a very pleasant social affair and it is hoped the proceeds will be large.



Lenoir City: A Town of the Future

April 15, 2018

I always wondered how we came to live in Lenoir City. How did my family choose to live here? Out of all the places in the world, why Lenoir City? Why Tennessee? Why the South?

When I started poking around the family tree about 20 years ago, I found that both my mother’s and father’s families were here before the United States became the United States. We’ve always been in the South, most particularly in Tennessee and from the feeder states of Virginia and North Carolina, and before that from when those states were Colonies. We’ve been here so long that I don’t have a paper trail that leads back to Europe. I have no clue under what circumstances we got to North America.

And why Lenoir City? I know that my father came to this area looking for work with TVA, and met my mother on a blind date. But how did Mom’s family get to Lenoir City? My best guess is that her parents were textile workers and could find work in the textile mill in Lenoir City. But why did they leave Knoxville? Was it unsafe? Was there no opportunity? Was there not adequate housing?

I suppose I’ll never have answers. I found, however, that I could set the stage in my mind if I knew more about how Lenoir City came to be.

It was a planned city. The old Lenoir Plantation was purchased by a group of investors, and they planned a town complete with town lots, stores, and factories. Fortunately for me, these events were recorded in the Knoxville newspapers. For most towns, their earliest existence was recorded in court records. But Lenoir City was different. It was not the county seat, plus it is one of the youngest counties, so earlier history of the land and people might be found in the parent counties.

In 1890, things started to happen that created Lenoir City.

From GenealogyBank, the Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 8/3/1890, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume VI, Issue 159, Page 9.




Comprehensive Scheme for Building a

New Town.

Elsewhere will be found the prospectus of Lenoir City, the new city that is to be build on the line of the East Tennessee road, twenty-three miles west of Knoxville. The place is well situated, being on the great railroad mentioned, and also on the Tennessee river. A railroad is being surveyed from that point to a junction with the Walden’s Ridge road, and it will be built just as soon as the survey is complete, thus adding to the advantages already possessed at Lenoir City.

With this road in operation, it will be in effect, a double track road from Knoxville to Clinton. It is just the same distance from Lenoir’s to Clinton by the new road and by way of Knoxville, so that in hauling coal from the coal fields north of us to southern markets, forty-five miles is saved. The empty cars can be hauled by way of Knoxville and the loaded ones to Lenoir, making the Knoxville and Ohio, as above stated, a double-track road to Clinton.

The scheme for organizing and building up the new town is peculiar in that every stockholder becomes also a holder of real estate and a particpiant (sic) in the profits. Every man who purchases stock becomes a partner in the company building the town, and a portion of the money paid in goes to the improvement of his real estate holdings. It is something new in the organization of southern town companies, and is so perfectly clear on the face that everyone understands perfectly when he takes stock just what he is doing. It can not possibly fail of success.

From GenealogyBank, the Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 8/3/1890, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume VI, Issue 159, Page 11.



Of the Lenoir City Company and

Their Method


Of Selling Stock With Lots, as De-

scribed in their Forthcoming



Lenoir City is not a “boom town”; it is not the effort of speculators to build upon some old, worn out fields, a mushroom city that cannot withstand future financial storms, and by taking advantage of popular excitement to sell out the lots to outsiders at unreal and fancy prices, and then silently retire from the field, leaving the investors, so to speak, to “hold the bag,” the poorer from their investment in everything except experience.

Not only is Lenoir City situated upon a princely estate, famed throughout the south for its richness and vast expanse, but the founders careful for the success of the enterprise into which they have embarked, have determined to build up a permanent city, established upon sure and staple foundations. They have invested here for time, not for a day, merely.

Having stated out with this determination, they realize the fact, pointed out by reason, that the way to permanently utalize the unexcelled natural advantages of Lenoir City, is to offer this property to the public in such a manner that investments shall be profitable to the investors, and that every investor shall become directly itereated with them in the enterprise, and a zelous and co-operating agent in the up-building of the city.

With this and in view, and with a firm faith in the future of Lenoir City, that makes them willing to depend for their profits upon the future prosperity, they have determined to offer the property to the public upon a mutual plan, and share the profits with all stockholders who now join with them in the enterprise.

The Mutual plan has best solved the problems of insurance companies; it has been the principle that has brought the wonderful success of the building and loan associations, and enable so many of our people now to own houses instead of renting them. It is believed by the founders of Lenoir city that a Mutual plan can work yet greater wonders in the building of a city, and they therefore offer the following plan to the public in the confident belief that it is the most advantageous plan yet offered to those investing in city property, and, therefore, most conducive to the permanent growth of Lenoir City, from which alone they are to receive the reward for their labor and expenditures. They do not claim to have adopted this plan as a matter of philanthropy; it is with them a  matter of business. They wish the purchasers of the property to make money because they know that they will thereby ultimately make more money themselves.

The capital stock of the Lenoir City company has been fixed at eight hundred thousand dollars, ($800,000) in 8,000 shares of $100 each, which is almost precisely three hundred dollars ($300) per acre for the company’s estate, which lies north of the Tennessee river, and on which are the extensive improvements that formerly belonged to the Lenoir Manufacturing company.

One-half of this capital stock (that is $400,000), is to be issued and offered to the public upon the following terms:

A large tract of the land belonging to the company, lying in the center of the locality where the city is to be built has been already laid off in streets and lots, and an accurate map has been made of the entire property showing in detail these streets and lots. These lots have been estimated in value, the valuations being as nearly uniform as possible, after making allowances for the different locations and sizes of the various lots and the uses to which they can be put; the valuations put upon the lots  having been in all cases made as low as possible, and not, it is believed, over one-half of what these same lots would bring at public auction, as the average price per lot will be less that $250 each. The estimated value of each lot offered for sale under this plan has been plainly indicated upon the map itself, copies of which are distributed with this prospectus.

These lots, whose value has been thus estimated, are to be disposed of by the company in connection with the $400,000 of stock. In the following manner: This $400,000 of stock will be sold to the public at par. Every purchaser of this stock will, however, receive not only paid-up stock to the account of his subscription but also a lot (or lots) whose estimated value is equal to the amount of his subscription.

One-half of the amount received for this $400,000 of stock will be placed in the treasury of the company, the other half being used to pay for the original purchase of the property and the debt contracted in the formation of the company. (The founders of the company, it is thus seen, rely for their profits solely upon the value of the remaining stock after this $400,000 has been sold, and after the original purchasers have receive their bonus in lots.) This sum of $200,000 is to be used by the directors of the company for the common benefit of all stockholders as they shall deem for the best interest of the company, either in developing the property by encouraging and aiding manufactures and street improvements, or in dividends to the stockholders.

After the sale of the $400,000 of stock, the stock-books of the company will be closed, and the state of things will then be as follows: The company will have a fully paid up stock of $800,000, will have over 2000 acres of its tract still unsold, consisting of lots and manufacturing sites; and will have $200,000 in its treasury, or in improvements on the property.

It is a simple matter of calculation to ascertain the profit to the purchasers of the above mentioned $400,000 of stock. He then owns a lot (or lots) whose estimated value was $1,000 and which has probably risen in value by that time to $2,000; he furthermore owns $1,000 of paid-up, non-assessable stock in this company, which owns over 2000 acres of the princliest estate in the south, and upon which are extensive improvements, and which, furthermore, has either the sum of $200,000 in its treasury, or the result of its expenditure in the development of the property. If the directors do not use this sum in further developing the remaining property of the company in order to obtain an increased return therefrom, they can, at once, declare a cash-dividend of 25 per cent, on the capital stock. The owner of this $1,000 of stock would then own his $1,000 lot; would have received back $250 of the $1,000 which he spent, leaving his net outlay only $750;and would also own $1,000 of stock in a company owning over 2000 acres lying in and immediately surrounding the most prosperous manufacturing city of the South.

The disposal of this remaining 2,000 acres will be a matter entirely controlled by the wishes of the majority of all the stock-holders. It may be sold at public or private sale, at auction or otherwise, as their judgment may deem best and most profitable. (It will be remembered that the whole estate has been stocked at only about $300 per acre.)

The distinguished feature of this plan is thus seen to be its mutuality and co-operative basis. The founders intend to build up this city upon the principle of the old refrain: “A long, long pull, and a strong, strong pull, and a pull together.” All who aid them in building up this magnificent industrial city will share both in the glory and in the profits of the achievement.

The public which buys the $40,000 of stock to be put on the market will then own one-half of this magnificent estate which is to-day, not to speak of its future as a manufacturing city, worth, for its present intrinsic value alone, at least the entire capital stock of the company.

Details of the Method of Sale.

The books of the company will be opened for the sale and issuance of the $400,00 of stock at 11 o’clock a. m., on Wednesday, September 3, 1890, at Lenoir City. (The company reserve the right to reject all bids in excess of $400,000, as only that amount of stock is to be sold.)

Subscriptions are invited before the above mentioned day, but if made in advance must be accompanied by 10 per cent of the amount of stock subscribed, either in cash or a certified check payable to the order of C. M. McClung, secretary and treasurer of the company. All the subscriptions will be registered in the precise chronological order in which they are received, and in that order will the subscribers be allowed to select their lots.

Stock will be sold at par, and upon the following terms; One-half cash; one-fourth payable in six months; and the remainder in twelve months, with interest from date. Upon making the first cash payment of one-half (of which in case of subscriptions made in advance, the 10 per cent payment already made will be credited as a part), the subscriber of stock will receive a receipt for the amount paid, and after selecting the lot or lots whose estimated value is equal to the amount of his stock subscribed, will receive a written agreement binding the company on the payment of the balance of his subscription, to execute to him a certificate of stock to the full amount thereof and a warranty deed in fee simple, free from all incumbrances, to the lot or lots selected, subject, however, to the liquor forteiture clause herein before stated. The payment of the balance may, of course, if the purchaser desires, be made at anytime before the end of the twelve months, thus enabling him, at once, to receive his certificate of stock and deed to his lot. On the other hand, however, if a subscriber to stock, after paying one half of his subscription, does not wish to continue his payments in order to obtain the lot or lots he has selected, or for any reason ceases making payments when due, the company will issue to him, in full satisfaction of his contract, paid up shares of capital stock of the company to the full amount of the money has has already paid in, fractions of shares not being included.

To Summarize:

This is, in fact, not a sale of lots, but of stock in the company. The founders of the Lenoir City company are not seeking victims; they are inviting associates. The company is not now trying to sell out its property, but rather to increase the numbers of parties interested with the founders in the building up of the city. The efforts of many men are required to build up a city; the founders are, therefore, inviting good citizens to stand with them in the enterprise, to partake of their labors, and share in their profits.

For this purpose they have, put half of the capital stock of the company on the market. In so doing they offer to the purchasing stockholders not only their stock but also lots in the city at opening valuations, which are merely nominal compared with the prices at which such lots are usually sold in new towns. The lots will be offered at these valuations to stockholders only; being, it fact, given to stockholders. Until all this $400,000 of stock is sold and issued no lots can be obtained from the company on any terms except as a bonus with this stock.

The subscribers to this stock will not only obtain this bonus, (thus receiving the full value of their investments), but together with the founders will become owners of the vast tract of land lying in and around these lots, which comprises the great bulk of the property of the company. On the other hand the founders expect them, by the aid of their voices and influence and improvements on the lots, in buildings and manufactures, to give valuable assistance in developing and increasing the value of this remaining property. It is from the sale of this remaining tract of over 2,000 acres, or such part of it as the stockholders may wish to put upon the market, comprising the far greater portion of this “princely estate,” which will probably be sold at public auction late in the fall or early next spring, at greatly advanced prices, that the founders of Lenoir City, by the help o the new stockholders and sharing with them, expect to realize their profits.

Remember than an interest in this Company upon these liberal terms can only be obtained by becoming a purchaser of a porrtion of this $400,000 of stock now offered to the public.

Notice.–Persons desiring further information as to the properties, plans of sale, or other matters concerning the Company, are requested to address the


Lenoir, E. Tenn.



From GenealogyBank, Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 8/28/1890, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume VI, Issue 184, Page 8.





A Building Boom in the New Industrial Town.


New Your Stockholder Will Build Cottages — Brick Factory to be Started.


Lenoir, Tenn., August 27, — Quite a stir in financial circles was created here yesterday afternoon, when Mr. Smalley, of the Lenoir City company, received the following instructions from the New York magnates of the concern: “Prospectus and maps received; well pleased with the outlook. We authorize you to sue your own judgment in selecting us each a lot; also assume authority to erect upon each a house, the cost of which will e about $2,000, something attractive and substantial, a good renting property. This instruction from the New York gentlemen namely, Hon. Calvin S. Brice, Col. C. M. McGhee, E. R. Chapman, Esq., John G. Moore, Esq., and Hon. O. H. Payne, adds great weight to the enterprise.True they are all stockholders in the company and have  controlling interest, yet it also indicates positively that this is no paper scheme, an enterprise to work upon outside capital. This knowledge has had its effect; people here who have held aloof, desirous of investing, yet waiting for their neighbor to make the advance, have come to the conclusion that now is the appointed time. It is man’s nature to want the best in everything, that proclivity is demonstrated here, when, after subscribing stock, they hurry to the town site to make the choice of their lots. But here they are puzzled; there is no choice; they sare all desirable. The man blindfolded who shoots an arrow into that beautiful park and then takes up his abode where it falls is as well off and as well-situated as the man who devotes a day in making his selection.

There is one feature that is embarrassing at present; there is no building brick to  be had nearer than Knoxville. A company will immediately go to work here and manufacture three or four hundred yet this fall, but that does not supply the present demand. Mr. Cass Hall of the Lenoir City bank, was compelled to set his house on blocks, leaving the foundation until brick could be procured. It will not take advertising or whole page displays to make this enterprise a success, aside from the advantageous plans upon which the company work, the mutual plan, making the investment profitable to the investors, by every investor becoming directly interested with them in the enterprise, there are mutual advantages that will enhance the value of the property, simply for the reason of its location.

People want comforts in this life, the rich, the poor like. The laboring man wants to live where he can enjoy with his family health and prosperity. What is lacking here to make this one of the greatest manufacturing places in the south: Besides all the mineral wealth beneath the surface and the timber above, nature has been liberal with her gifts in making this one of the richest agricultural regions in Tennessee. The capitalist wants to place his means where the greatest gain can be obtained. Here with the iron, the coal, the timber and marble at our very door, with both river and railroad facilities that cannot be excelled, name the industry that cannot succeed.

Strong men have seen thy face,

And looked thy beauty o’er.

Were dazzled with thine every grace,

They loved thee much LENOIR.

They purchased with a price,

A sum unheard before,

Thy vales and hills and alls that’s nice,

And now they own LENOIR.

And they will see thee grow,

Yes, they will see thee soar,

Beyond the limits now marked out,

Will grow our proud LENOIR.

Then some will come and stand,

And loud their lost deplore;

For not investing in thy land,

When thou wert cheap, LENOIR.


From GenealogyBank, Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 9/5/1890, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume VI, Issue 192, Page 5.

Big Day at Lenoir City.

The managers of the Lenoir City Company are rejoicing over their well earned success. By the close of the first day of the public sale $60,000 of stock had been subscribed and cash payment made on more than $50,000. Several large blocks will be taken this week.

The work of selling lots with stock will continue, without glaring advertisements, until the remaining $300,000 of stock is sold, after which the company proposes to advertise extensively for the big auction sale next spring.

Plans are now being drawn and contracts made for various handsome buildings, both store and residence, to be erected at once by different stockholders.

Remember that purchasers of this “ground floor” not only get their lots but also share in the future profits of the company. The sooner you buy the better selection of lots you can make.



From GenealogyBank, Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 9/7/1890, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume VI, Issue 194, Page 5.



Things Moving Lively at the New Town.


LENOIR TENN., September 6.–Mr. James Thompson, from Ohio, arrived in this city last evening. Mr. Thompson is a contractor and architect of state reputation. He will locate at Lenoir. He will submit plans and specifications for the construction of the  five houses that will be immediately built by the New York gentlemen. Every train brings in mechanics of the different trades. The eastern and western building season will soon be over. They are coming to a country where they build the year round.

Mr. Grant B. Chley, of New York, has telegraphed the managers to select him a lot and build thereon a house, something similar to those that will be erected by the New York stockholders.

B. B. Hall of Iona, Mich., arrived this afternoon. Mr. Hall is one of the stock-holders in the large saw milling plant that will locate here at once. They have selected the site, five acres along the banks of the Tennessee river. They have purchased all the timber on the Lenoir City Companies possessions. But their main dependence will be upon the exhaustless supply of timber in the mountains which is tributary to this point.

The E. T. Va., & Ga., railroad have completed the excavation for the new depot also for two miles of side track. The new depot, it is said, will be the finest along the line of road. The estimated cost is $3,000, it will be of the latest designs and a model for convenience.

The collection of minerals, marble and wood being gathered from the Lenoir plantation is assuming respectable proportions under the guidance of Dr. Benson. An interesting cabinet will soon be on exhibition at the office of the company.


Now, I ask you: Who wouldn’t want to live in Lenoir City?

The Will of Captain William Lawton

March 31, 2018

Recently I received a comment on the blog from a nice lady who wanted help in determining exactly where in England Capt. William Lawton was born so that she could have him recognized as a Patriot in the DAR.

I was confused on a number of levels. No one knows where he was born; oral tradition says that he is from an area of Cheshire called Church Lawton. He has been researched for decades, and if someone could have gotten him recognized as a patriot, it would have been done long ago. Was this person a brand-new researcher? Why was she focusing on this? Now most importantly: William Lawton couldn’t be recognized as a Revolutionary patriot by the DAR because he wasn’t a Revolutionary patriot.

There are some of us in the crowd that would disagree with my last statement.

But just like you can’t be a member of the Society of True Redheads (which is not really a thing) if you are not a True Redhead, you can’t be recognized as a Revolutionary patriot if you didn’t participate during the Revolutionary time frame (which is really a thing).

William died in 1757. The Revolutionary era is considered to have begun with the passage of the Stamp Act in 1765 and to have ended with the ratification of the US Bill of Right  in 1791, so about 25ish years. The military phrase was from 1775-1783.

Now this must have been disappointing to my new commenter.

At any rate, here’s the will of William Lawton.


Lawton P1



South Carolina. fs.

In the Name of God, Amen, the Ninth day of October, in the Thirty first year of his Majesty King George the Seconds Reign and in the year of our Lord, one Thousand Seven hundred and fifty Seven. I William Lawton of Edisto Island in St. Johns parish in Colleton County in the Province of South Carolina Planter being (blessed be God of Sound and disposing mind and Memory and considering the uncertainty of this Transitory Life and the certainty of Death in order  prepare my self for that Great Change, do make and declare this my last Will and Testament and do Constitute Ordain and appoint my loving Wife Mary Lawton Executrix and my Loving son Josiah Lawton my loving Brother Isaac Rippon and my Loving friend William Maxwell Executors of the same hereby Revoking and making Null and Void all and every other and former Will and Wills Testament and Testaments by me heretofore made or declared and declaring and Confirming this and no other to be my only last Will and Testament, that is to say, Principally being sincerely sorry for all my Sins and humbly begging pardon for the same I commend my Soul to the Mercies of God my Creator in and thro’ Jesus Christ my blessed Saviour and Redeemer on whom alone I trust for the pardon and remission of all my Sins and for Eternal Life and Salvation and my Body at Death I committ to the Grave to be interred in a decent and Christian like manner at the discretion of my Executors herein before Named, and as for and Concerning all my Worldly Estate and such Lands and Tenements Goods and Chattels as it hath pleased God to bestow upon me, my Will and desire is that the name and every part and parcel thereof shall be disposed of and bestowed, in manner and form herein after mentioned Respectively and not otherwise, Imprimis I will and desire that all my Just Debts and Funeral Expences shall be well and duly paid, in convenient time after my decease

Item I Give and Bequeath to my well beloved Wife Mary Lawton

Lawton P2

Nine Negroes Names as follows Viz: Harry, Cuff, Pompey, Will, George, Adam, Walley, Tamer, and Kate with their issue with their axes, Hoes and Reap hooks, also my Riding Horse Frisk and New Saddle to be Bought for her out of my Estate, also a Suit of Mourning likewise one fourth part of my Stock of Cattle, one fourth part of my Sheep one third part of all my Household furniture and the use of my large canoe and Sails during her Life and at her decease to my Son Josiah and his Heirs forever. I also leave her the use of my Plantation I now live on during the term of her Natural Life she paying one fourth part of all my Just and Lawful Debts and for ever Quitting Claim, Right and Title to all or any my Estate Real or personal in any shape or case whatever further than is herein given and devised, Item I give and Bequeath to my well beloved Son Josiah Lawton one Negroe Man Named Cyrus and the use of my large Canoe and her Sails till my Wifes decease and then to him and his Heirs for ever I also give him one large Silver Spoon and my Gun to him and his Heirs for every Exclusive of his equal part in my Estate, Item I give and Bequeath to my well beloved Son William Lauton one Negroe Man Named Abram, to him and his heirs for ever Exclusive of his equal part of my Estate, Item I Give and Bequeath to my well beloved Daughter Sarah Lauton one Negroe Woman Named Phillis and her Son Jacob and all her Increase, I also Give her, her Riding Horse and Saddle to her and her Heirs for ever, exclusive of her equal part of my Estate, Item I Give and Bequeath to my Well beloved Son Jeremiah Lauton one Negroe Man Named Amos to him and his heirs for ever exclusive of his equal part of my Estate, Item I Give and Bequeath to my well beloved Son Winborn Lawton one Negroe Boy named Peter one Mustizo Girl Named Chloe, to him and his heirs for ever Exclusive of his equal part of my Estate, Item I Give and Bequeath to my well beloved Daughter Mary Lauton one Negroe Girl Named Pegg and her Increase and a pair of Gold Sleeve Buttons I now wear to her andher Heirs for ever, Exclusive of her equal part of my Estate Item I Give

Lawton P3

and Bequeath to my well beloved Son Joseph Lauton one Negtoe girl Named Hannah and her increase and one Negroe Boy Named Tom my Silver Watch and Silver Shoe Buckles to him and his Heirs for ever exclusive of his equal part of my Estate, Item I Give and Bequeath to my well beloved Son Josiah Lauton one half of the Tract of Land I Bought from Mr. James Cuthbert to him and his Heirs for ever, Item I Give and bequeath to my well beloved Son William Lauton the other half of the above Tract of Land to him and his Heirs for eve, Item I Give and Bequeath to my well beloved Son Joseph Lauton the Tract of Land I now live on to him and his Heirs for ever, and Lastly I Give and Bequeath all the Remainder Rest and Residue of my Estate consisting of Negroes Horses, Cattle, Hogs Sheep Household Goods Plantation Tools &ca to be equally divided betwixt my Children or children that may be Born of my Lawful Wife within Nine Months after my decease and it is my desire that my Estate should be divided, as soon as possible after my Death and that my Sons Josiah and William should take the Charge of the parts of my other four Children, who Names are as follows Vis: Sarah Jeremiah, Winborn and Mary Lautons until they arrive at the age of Nineteen years or day of Marriage which shall first happen, In Witness whereof I the said William Lauton have hereunto Set my hand and Seal the day and year first above written.

Sealed published and declare. by Mr. William Lauton the Testator in the presence of us.

John Mikell

John Fry.

John Frach.


William Lawton (Seal)

One Wench Dianah the Sorrel Stalion to be Sold as soon as possible after my Will is proved.


Proved before His Excellency William Henry Lytleton Esqr 9th December 1757. at the same time Qualified Mary Lauton and Isaac Rippon Executors to the said Will.

Recorded in Will Book 1767 – 1771.

Recorded on Page 507.


These images come from

In Which I Become a Baby Methodist

March 24, 2018

Ruth Baby Methodist0005Ruth Baby Methodist0006Ruth Baby Methodist0007

I was a baby Methodist.

Ruth Baby Methodist0002Ruth Baby Methodist0003Ruth Baby Methodist0004

I was baptized on the 2nd day of June, 1957, at Trinity Methodist Church, Lenoir City, Tennessee, by Rev. F. F. Essary.

I bet if I hunt around a bit, I could find my christening dress and shoes. Be right back.

The Polaroid Land Color Picture

March 23, 2018

Here’s a photo of my mother with her friend Irma Young Jaques. Irma also happened to be my godmother.

Mom wrote on the front:

“Evelyn Ruth Packett Rawls (left)

Irma Jean Jacques dear friend from


but that is not actually how Irma spelled her last name. It is “Jaques”. JAY-kwiss.

Mom & Irma0001

It appears that these ladies were out and about in Knoxville, and stopped to have their photo made with this new-fangled system called Polaroid.

The photo came with its own little frame made out of cardstock. If you opened up the card, you found this…

Mom & Irma0002


Now, here’s where things get fun. Mom and Irma wrote on the back side as to where they were and when the photo was made.

Mom & Irma0003

THIS POLAROID LAND COLOR PICTURE was developed in a minute. All the photographer had to do was snap the picture and pull the tab. The full-color image developed automatically, accomplishing in one step and a minute what takes many steps and many minutes in any elaborately equipped darkroom for conventional color prints.

POLACOLOR PICTURES can be made in nearly all existing Polaroid Land cameras All models made before August 1963 use the roll film format. The new Polaroid Color Pack Camera, introduced on that date, uses pack film. Both kinds of cameras produce color pictures in a minute, black and white pictures in 10 seconds.

COLOR COPIES AND ENLARGEMENTS of this picture are available from Polaroid Copy Service. Just use the order form enclosed in any box of Polacolor film. Send the picture and order to Polaroid Copy Service, Box 150, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139.

Across the top, in Irma’s handwriting:

June 30


Millers on Henley

Across the bottom, in Mom’s handwriting:

Evelyn Ruth Packett Rawls age 47

Mom and Dad’s anniversary was on June 30. So this means on this Wednesday, June 30, 1965, she and Irma went to Millers Department Store in Knoxville. I don’t have any memory of this, and I suppose that LilSis and I were at Mom’s mother’s house for the day. Mom rarely did anything special for herself, and I suspect that Irma wanted to do something special for Mom, knowing that Dad wouldn’t have planned anything. Remember, they don’t buy the Ford tractor for 2 more years…

The Bank of Lenoir City

March 22, 2018

Y’all know that I have a subscription to GenealogyBank. I’ve been off on a tangent looking for information about Joe Webb while he was living in Lenoir City with my grandparents.

While I didn’t find anything relevant to that, I found a mother lode of information about the early beginnings of Lenoir City. You have been warned.

From the Daily Journal and Journal and Tribune, 7/10/1891, Knoxville, Tennessee, Volume: VII, Issue: 135, Page: 2



Corner Stone of the New Bank Building Laid Yesterday.

Lenoir City, Tenn., July 9. –Mr. J. S. Snyder, of Springfield, Ohio, is in our city. He has been all over Tennessee, admiring the beauties and advantages found here. He is one of Springfield’s influential business men. He is well posted on all business topics and as fine conversationalist as one will meet in a years travel. Lenoir’s environs have captivated him, especially Chestnut Hill, where he had the pleasure of eating his fourth of July dinner.

Appropriate ceremonies were observed here to-day in honor of the laying of the corner stone of the Lenoir City bank building. The bank has been organized one year, and withal the financial crises of the past eight months, they have always been able to accommodate their customers with money and also to declare a nice dividend to its stockholders. Within the brass lined receptical in the center of the corner stone were placed a $5. gold piece bearing the date that the bank was organized, a neatly written history of Lenoir City, a list of the officers and the names of the contractors, Thompson Brothers.

Steps are being taken to have a brass band organized here. We have plenty of talent in that line and there is no reason why Lenoir City should not have a band that she should be proud of.

Contractor Abrams of Knoxville has just completed four houses here and has five more under good headway. He is what the boys call a hustler.

Mrs. W. Caswell and daughter Miss Helen Page, have gone to Tate Springs to spend two or three weeks.

Mrs. C. H. Stanton, visited two days of this week in Knoxville, the guest of Mrs. Will and Sam Cooper, in North Knoxville.


In my mother’s papers, I found some paperwork from the Bank of Lenoir City.


Postmarked April 7, 1969.

BankOfLenoirCity LoanAgreement0003


Roy C. Rawls, Route 1, Lenoir City, Loudon, Tennessee (hereinafter called “Debtor’s”) an individual, said address being Debtor’s Residence and the location of the property covered hereby, hereby grants to BANK OF LENOIR CITY, Lenoir City, Tennessee (hereinafter called “Bank”)

Ford Tractor, Year 1957, Motor No. 850, Serial No. 101777, used.

(Blah, blah, blah…)

In Witness Whereof, Debtor and Bank have caused this agreement to be executed this 10th day of October, 1967.

Roy C. Rawls

Mrs. Roy C. Rawls

BankOfLenoirCity LoanAgreement0004BankOfLenoirCity LoanAgreement0002BankOfLenoirCity LoanAgreement0001

They paid that loan off in 18 months, just like they said they would, and the bank marked it paid on April 7, 1969, and mailed the “Paid in Full” receipt on the same day.

Now, if I can find a photo of that tractor…

Meet Joe Webb

March 20, 2018

I met Joe Webb when I was a little girl. I have a few vague, shadowy recollections of him. He was my grandmother’s brother.

Grandma had another brother named Tom, and a brother named Charlie that I never met. Charlie died about 1936, and my aunt had told me once that Charlie had gotten ill with what they called “Brain Fever” when he was a child. He stayed childlike, even as an adult, and always lived with his mother Henrietta.

Joe and Tom lived out of state. I suppose that they came to visit my grandmother when the weather was nice in the summer. I remember when we went to her house to see them that we sat out under the maples in her yard.

My shadowy memory of Joe is that he had wavy, light-colored hair and faded tattoos on his forearms. Did his wife come with him? I’m not sure. Did he drink? It seems like he might have.

Grandma rarely talked about her family. I have found out some things that made me wonder if that was the reason. I know that she seemed fond of her parents, and I got the idea that they were good people.


A few weeks ago I got a new cousin match on ancestry. A second cousin! I sent her a message, and she answered. It seemed that my grandmother Ruth and her grandfather Joe were siblings. She didn’t know anything about Joe. He had divorced her grandmother a few years after their daughter was born. Joe saw the daughter maybe once after that, and called her perhaps a half-dozen times. She grew up and raised 6 children who never met their grandfather Joe.

This makes me very sad. What went wrong? I poked around a little.

I asked one of my older cousins if she remembered Joe. She did have a few vague memories; he was married to Ethel who was the boss and got him to stop drinking. She didn’t know about the first family.

And the first family didn’t know about the second marriage. They thought Joe never remarried.


I found a photo of Joe in my mother’s things.

I would guess that this was most probably made in Tucker, Georgia.

On the back of the photo…

Your brother

Joe Webb


Joe died in 1985.

He married Gladys Nelle McNew in 1924, and they lived in Knoxville. The Knoxville City Directory shows that he was a meat cutter.

In 1930, he was living with his brother Tom, still in Knoxville at 104 Hickey Place. It is my best guess that the information for the 1930 Directory was gathered in 1929 to be published and distributed in 1930. So I’m guessing by 1929, Joe had left his wife and daughter.

Tom is listed at Kenneth T. Webb. There is also a wife Mildred listed for Tom. I didn’t know that Tom had been married, but he also had a drinking problem, and things like divorce and alcoholism just weren’t discussed.

In the 1930 census Joe was listed as living with his mother Henrietta, so perhaps he stayed with different family members while looking for a safe place to land.


My new cousin wondered if I could offer an opinion about what kind of man her grandfather was. I offered that he might have had some personal issues that kept him away from his wife and children, but that I really didn’t know him. We discussed that he might have been a drinker. She had a photo of her grandfather when he was a young man. She thought that he gave the impression of someone who might drink.

I think the vintage of the photo is Roaring Twenties, before everything crashed in the Depression.

He looks so much like my grandmother.

His wife Nell McNew Webb had to get a job. She worked as a clerk in a dry cleaners, and then married Thomas Buckley about 1930.


I poked around a little more on ancestry and made a discovery.

In 1940 on the federal census, my grandparents and all four of their children, along with Joe Webb and Vivian O’Dell (Grandma’s niece whose parents had died young), were living at 306 Kingston Street in Lenoir City, Tennessee. Y’all, I grew up in this town. It is my hometown, and Kingston Street was a main street. I had never known this. And everyone had lived in the same house in 1935. So when my mother was in high school, she lived in this house. We drove by this house hundreds of times, and that never prompted her to say, “Oh, I used to live there. For YEARS.”

I cropped the image to show their names.

Now if I only had a photo of the house, which Zillow says was built in 1920.

I remember that I have a boots-on-the-ground researcher in place.

BigBroSteve delivers a photo.

Right now I am so nostalgic for a home I’ve never seen that I could cry a little.

All because of Joe Webb.

Weakley County, Tennessee County Court Minutes: Luellin Wilkins, 1829

March 14, 2018

Wilkins 1829 Court records0001

Here’s a copy that I have had for almost 20 years of the the Weakley County, Tennessee, County Court Minutes regarding Llewellyn Wilkins. I have straightened the page and outlined the pertinent parts for “Luellin”.

Wilkins 1829 Court records0001

Page 80

William Fitzgerald)     Debt


John D. Calvert)

This Day came the parties by their attornies and thereupon came a jury of good and lawful men to wit, Benj. Bondurant, Jessie Edmison, Edward Busey, Saml. Morgan, John A.C. Rhoads, John Terrell, William Porch, William Ridgeway, Elijah Stanley, William Willingham, Amasa Parham, & Luellin Wilkins who being duly elected, tried and sworn to the truth to speak, upon the Issue joined, upon their oaths do say that the Defendant is justly indebted to the plaintiff the sum of one hundred and thirty nine Dollars and fifty cents, debt and they do assess his damages to three dollars and ten cents by reason of the detention thereof. It is therefore considered by the court that the Plaintiff recover of the defendant, the aforesaid sum of one hundred and thirty nine Dollars and fifty cents debt, together with the further sum of three dollars and ten cents damages by the jury aforesaid in manner aforesaid, assessed as also his costs, about his suit in this behalf expended &c and that he have execution for the same.



Wilkins 1829 Court records0002

Wilkins 1829 Court records0002

Pages 80 and 81

Martin Clayton)     Debt


Saml. Morgan)

This day came the parties by their attornies and thereupon came a jury of good and lawful men, to wit, Benjamin Bondurant, Jessie Edmison, Edward Busey, John A.C. Rhoads, John Terrell, William Porch, William Ridgeway, Elijah Stanley, William Willingham, Amasa Parham, Luellin Wilkins and John T. Damron who being duly elected, tried and sworn the truth to speak upon the issue joined, upon their oaths, do say that the defendant is justly indebted to the plaintiff the sum of two hundred dollars debt and that they do assess his damages to six Dollars and 45 cents by reason of the detention off sold debt.

It is therefore considered by the court that the plaintiff recover of the Defendant the aforesaid sum of two hundred Dollars debt together with the further sum of six dollars and 45 cents damages by the jury aforesaid in manner aforesaid assessed as also his costs about his suit in this behalf expended and that he have execution for the same &c.

You might have noticed that one of the jurors in the first case becomes the Defendant in the second case. I suspect that this small county was early in its formation, and there were a minimum of “good and lawful men”.

You might wonder why I added both my original copy and my edited copy. You just never know when someone might need an original for their own documentation.

Death by the Way

March 13, 2018

I see death every day.

Every day. Any time I venture out, I see death on the road.

One day on my commute, I saw a dead deer on the side of the road in three different spots. Each one had most probably been hit by a car or truck.

Sometimes it is a dead dog, or a dead raccoon, or a dead possum. Sometimes the animal is so destroyed that you can’t tell what it used to be. It’s just a lump of greasy meat and blood.

You can tell when there is a dead animal nearby when you see the vultures circling. You don’t have to smell the death to know that it is near. I saw a dead dog on the side of the road once while I was driving out. When I returned homeward a few hours later, the vultures had destroyed the carcass and had pulled the remains into the ditch. If you were missing your dog, you wouldn’t be able to find it because the vultures would make short work of consuming the carcass, leaving just the bones to dry in the sun. Once I saw a vulture pick at the carcass of a squirrel, and stretch its intestine like a giant rubber band.

I don’t care if the raccoons and possums and birds eat the cat food that I leave out for the cats. Everyone is hungry, although I had noticed lately that the feeders still had food left in them the following morning, as if the possums and raccoons hadn’t been coming around.

It’s everywhere, death is.

Everything I do here at my little homestead is for the animals. It’s a small wooded plot bounded on three sides by the road in the middle of nowhere. I fenced 1/2 acre with 5′ high chain link fence. I am ensconced securely inside, along with Mr. Packett the dog and various cats of age and feralness. There are safe places for the cats to go, like platforms in the trees, the top of the RV, the shed, the fenced feeding station in the woods, and the cat dormitory.

This arrangement has been in place for 10 years. I didn’t plan for it to fail.


Two weeks ago, I arrived home from work in the evening as usual. There’s been a lot of anxiety in my workplace. The business owner was discovered having an affair with an employee two years ago. He fired the person that confronted him, and he fired his girlfriend. He fired some other people along the way. He divorced his wife and when that was final, he brought his girlfriend back to work. He fired the chief operating officer and the human resources manager, and placed his girlfriend in charge of the business. He fired 5 other people in an effort to conserve finances, because the paychecks were either bouncing or being put on hold. Accounts weren’t being paid, and orders weren’t being fulfilled by suppliers. It’s a scary time.

I pulled into the driveway, and there were no cats.

There are always cats here, lounging on the driveway or in the treehouse, running from the woods, and climbing over the fence to greet me. There were no cats. It was deathly quiet.

I walked toward the road, checked the mail, and noticed that there was a white vinyl fence post sticking out of the culvert. I had some fencing supplies along the driveway, but I wasn’t in the habit of storing them in the culvert under the driveway. At the other end of the culvert was a towel lying in the ditch from where someone had taken it from my cat trap by the gate and spread it out in the ditch, like they had been lying on it while looking into the culvert.

I looked into the culvert and saw that Mr. Orange was deceased, lying near the middle of the culvert. I walked to the gate and called for cats and Mr. Packett. No one came.

I continued to stand just outside my gate, looking in and trying to figure out what was going on and who had taken my cats and Mr. Packett. Two dogs ran out of the darkness of the woods INSIDE MY FENCE and stood there looking at me. I opened the gate, not making eye contact with them, knowing that they might not let me in but thinking that they had made no offer to stop me.

The larger one was a young pit bull, and the smaller one was a leggy Jack Russell and chihuahua mix, perhaps 20 pounds, but athletic. They bolted for the cover of the trees, and the security light didn’t cast a light under the trees where they had disappeared. I called for Mr. Packett, and he didn’t appear. I could hear the dogs scrabbling in the leaves and underbrush, and I thought at that instant that someone had killed Mr. Packett.

I ran toward the RV, and looked in the open door. He and Jackie and Georgia were safe inside with no anxiety. I heard the chain link *ZZINGG* like something was going over the fence.

I grabbed a flashlight and walked the fence line, but saw no place where someone could have gone over or under. The dogs had simply vanished.


The next morning Sugar came over and was able to get poor deceased Mr. Orange out of the culvert, and he found a spot under the fence where the dogs had dug under. He barricaded the hole and secured the base of the fence. By then, the cats had all appeared as if out of thin air, except for one tortoiseshell girl, the one that Sugar calls Pumpkin.

I buried Mr. Orange. Collins was forlorn and kept digging on the driveway above the approximate spot where Mr. Orange would have been in the culvert.

The next day I smelled death, and I found the Pumpkin deceased in the woods. Neither she nor Mr. Orange had any wounds on their bodies.


This past weekend, I went to see my daughter and her husband. It’s a 5ish hour drive, and I took off from work on Friday, and Mr. Packett and I left for our road trip. Sugar was going to feed the cats, but I told him that the feeders and the water bowls were full and he didn’t need to go but once on Saturday since I’d be home on Sunday.

Sugar, being Sugar, went Friday night, and Saturday morning and Saturday night. About 6:30PM he sent a message that he had seen the dogs running loose with some teenagers who were out walking. He stopped them and told them to keep their dogs away and off my property because they had killed 2 of my cats. One girl said that the pit bull belonged to her, but the dog kept getting off the chain.

The next morning, I got a panicked message from Sugar to call him asap. He had gone to my place, and the dogs were in my yard. They had killed Jackie. I drove home in record time. We spent the afternoon cutting down trees and lining the bottom of the fence where the dogs could push under.

Do you know about Jackie? She was found in a public trash can in Savannah when she was a small kitten. Someone had cut off her left ear and stabbed out her right eye and stabbed her body. like with an ice pick. She had gone to a rescue organization that saved her life, and she has lived here with me for almost ten years. She was a special girl that talked to me, and patted me with her paws to get my attention, and curled up on my pillow at night.

This is almost more than I can bear.

I have lodged a complaint with animal control. The animal control officer has made an inspection, but the results are not public. If the dogs were at large when she made her inspection, she could confiscate the dogs if she could catch them. She knew of the smaller dog, and had tried to catch him several times, but he was too wily and fast even for a tranquilizer gun.

We suspect that the smaller dog is not the killer, merely the instigator. We think that the dogs returned for the thrill of the chase and the lust of the kill. I can’t get the image out of my mind of the pit bull shaking each cat until their necks were broken. I can’t imagine the terror of being hunted and knowing that you were going to die. I can’t stop imagining the sweep of fear washing over them when they knew they were trapped and would soon be dead.

This is a good reason that I don’t need a gun. I’d walk right into someone’s yard and shoot their dog. This would not bring back Jackie, or Orange, or Pumpkin, but there is serious trouble in the ‘hood if these dogs can’t be caught. There are farm animals across the road, cattle, horses, calves, colts, donkeys, pigs, and goats. Sugar is so traumatized by this that he comes over every day while I am at work just to check on things.

Rest well, my sweet darlings, until I see you again.


Trailing William Davidson: Part 3

March 11, 2018

Let’s finish with William Davidson…


And that’s the end, unless I find some more…