Monday, April 11, 2011

White County, TN history

White County
 

Topographically, White County is divided into three parts, i.e., the table-lands or mountains, the valleys and caves, and the barrens. The eastern side of the county lies on the Cumberland tableland with a level or gently rolling surface, cut in places into gorges or gulches. The mountain slopes on the face of the table land and it's spurs and ridges, with a broken surface, occupy a large part of the county. The escarpment of the table-land is marked by a line of hard sandstone and conglomerate cliffs in places towering above the tall trees on the slopes below. A range of small mountains extends southwest entirely across the county, terminating near Rock Island, in Warren County. The valley of Calf Killer River occupies a wide belt across the county.
 
Beginning in Putnam County, where it is narrow, this valley gradually widens as it extends toward the southwest, and is on an average four miles wide through White County. Hickory Valley lies in the northern part of the county between Pine and Milk Sick Mountains, and is five miles long with an average width of one mile. Cherry Creek Valley opens into that of Calf Killer, above Yankeetown, in the northern part of the county, is seven miles long and from three-quarters to a mile in width. The valley of Lost Creek is cut off and completely encompassed by Pine Mountain, and is on a level with the terrace. The soil of these valleys is rich, and corn, wheat, potatoes, oats, tobacco and the grasses grow well. The soil on the table-land is light and sandy, and adapted to the growth of wild grasses, vegetables and fruit. The barrens are beyond the range of mountains which bound Calf Killer Valley on the west. Most of the surface is level or gently undulating, the soil thin, much of which is unfit for cultivation. The table-land or mountain part of the county belongs to the great Cumberland coal fields, and three distinct strata, and in some places four are foun. The coal is of superior quality, but up to the present only sufficient to supply the local demand has been mined. As early as 1836 Bryce Little began mining coal a few miles east from Sparta, and continues at the preent, and a number of other mines have been in operation, as demand requires, by Kinsie & Butler, near Little's mine, and by M.C. Dibrell, seven miles east of Sparta. The Bon Air, Coal, Land & Lumber Company, of which Samuel J. Keith, of Sparta is president, M.C. Dibrell, of Sparta, is secretary and treasurer, and E. W. Cole, of Nashville, is chairman of the executive committee, own 11,000 acres of coal, iron and timber land, and have perfected arrangements for mining coal on an extensive scale at Bon Air, five miles east of Sparta. A vein of coal three and a half feet thick has been worked at the above mine for the past fIfteen years by Gen. G. G. Dibrell, and within a few yards of the same are two other veins, one being two and a half feet and the other eighteen inches in thickness. The company have obligated themselves to ship 5,000 bushels of coal per day over the extension of the Bon Air Railroad for fifteen years, beginning with the completion of said road. A number of large coke ovens will also be erected by this company. Iron ore is found in various places in the county, and in about 1815 or 1820 T. B. Rice had an iron forge one mile south from Sparta, on Calf Killer River, on the present site of the cotton factory, and later one Brown erected a forge on Falling Water Creek, twelve miles north from Sparta; and A. C. Rodgers erected one on Rocky Creek, all of which, however, were abandoned many years before the Civil war. Salt was also mined in large quantities at an early date. Several wells were worked on Calf Killer River, one of which yielded as many as fifty bushels per day.

Rich deposits of variegated marble are supposed to exist in the mountains, and specimens of lead ore have been picked up in the mountain streams, which lead many to suppose, and some to claim, that there is an abundance of that mineral hidden in the mountains, while others go farther and claim silver will yet be developed. The completion of the Bon Air extension of the railroad is looked forward to by the owners of mineral lands with bright hopes and expectations. The water courses of the county are as follows: Caney Fork and Calf Killer Rivers, and Fallingwater, Town, Cherry, Plum, Wild Cat, Post Oak and Fancher Creeks, besides their numerous small tributaries. Splendid water power is afforded by the two rivers and the larger of the creeks.

White County was settled, though sparsely, as early as 1800, seven years prior to it's organization as a county. At that time, however, the country was nothing more than a wilderness of canebrake and forest. The hardy pioneers coming across Cumberland Mountains were struck with the beauty and promise of the land, as viewed from the Mountain tops, and at once began the work of civilization. A single tribe of Cherokee Indians was found here, the English name of whose chief was Calf Killer, and it was for, or by him, Calf Killer River was probably named, though there are many unreasonable traditions to the contrary. So far as can now be learned, these Indians were of a peaceful and friendly disposition, and the relations between them and the few white settlers were of a cordial nature.

Much of the land embraced in White County had been granted by the State of North Carolina to the survivors, or their assignees, of the Revolutionary war, for military services in the line, but very few of the original owners ever became settlers of the county. Among those to whom land was thus granted, in tracts of from 640 to 1,000 acres, were Robert King, James Comer, James Cummin, William Forester, James Gains, Thomas Wade, Rhea & Tynell, James Cowan, John Rutledge, Elijah Robertson, Elijah Williams, Elijah Chisem, Edward Harris, Joshua Davis, Richard Barbour and John Williams.

The Calf Killer Valley was the scene of the first settlements in the county, the neighborhood of what is now Sparta being in all probability the first, though Thomas Simpson settled on Calf Killer River four miles below Sparta, and Joseph Terry at Rock Island, on Caney Fork, now in Warren County, at about the same time. Among those who settled in the Sparta neighborhood during the years between 1800 and 1815 were Benjamin Lampton, William Anderson, Matthis Anderson, Lewis Fletcher, John Hancock, _______ Dibrell, T B. Rice, Thomas Bounds, Alexander Lowrey, Anthony Dibrell, Joseph Terry, Jacob A. Lane, Thomas Eastland, George W. Gibbs, Jesse Lincoln, Wm. Glenn, Nathaniel Davis, William Burton, Joseph Collins and Montgomery Carrick. Other settlers of the county of that period, were Thomas Matthews, Moses Guest, David May, Wm. Ledbetter, Thomas May, Wm. Phillips, Thomas K Harris, James Simpson, Caleb Fraley, John Gabe, Wm. Tyrell, Thomas Wilcher, Andrew Bryan, John White, Elijah Lewis, John Turner, Richard Hill, Thomas Dillon, Isaac and John Anderson, David Nicholson, Wm. Lewis, Philip Kirby, August Gunter, Charles H. Nelson, John Sharp, George Lane, Peter Huston, Wm. Madding, Benjamin Cooper, Wm. Rowland, Elijah Cameron, Thomas Vining, Alexander Brown, Joseph MeDaniel, Samuel Harpole, Abraham Mayes, John Seratt, Jacob Harty, Joseph Flemming, David Hauks, Mannering Brookstein, Elijah Bates, John Knowles, John Jenkins, David Connelly, James Winter, B.H. Henderson, N. W. Williams, Wm. McGuire, James Whitehead, David Thompson, J. H. Bowen, Benjamin Pollock, Wm. Mackay, John Vaughn, T. H. Payne, James Laxon, Jacob Drake, Thomas Laxon, John Howard, Hard Sugg, Isaac Sharon, Hercules, Ogle, Joben Fitzgerald, Arthur Markum, Aaron English, Benjamin Weaver, James Fulkerson, Nicholas Gillentine, Archibald Overton, Wm. Phillips, Isaac Taylor, John Dergan and Joseph Roberts. Probably the first mill in the county was the waterpower corn-mill erected on Caney Fork River, in the Thirteenth District, by Wm. Scarborough, in about 1810 or 1812. Wm. Glenn erected a similar mill on the Calf Killer in about 1815, and Thomas Simpson one on the same stream four miles below Sparta, at about the same time. From that date up to about 1820, mills were erected by Samuel Denton, six miles from Sparta, on the Calf Killer, Thomas Sperry and Jacob A. Lane on Town Creek, Wm. Basson on Caney Fork, Clark Swindler, Sr., on Cedar Creek, T. B. Rice and J.W. Taylor, on the Calf Killer, all of which were corn-mills, and were operated by water power. A number of years before the late war, a large brick cotton factory was erected on the Calf Killer, one mile below Sparta, which was in successful operation up to the war, when the machinery was removed farther south for protection and safety, and never returned. The building is a large three-story house, with a basement, and cost not less than $15,000 or $20,000. The water power is one of the best in the State, and several attempts have been made to utilize the property, and while idle at present, was used for awhile as a handle factory, for the manufacture of which article it is supplied with machinery; at present the property belongs to the Bon Air Coal, Land & Lumber Company, and is for sale.

Besides the numerous portable saw-mills, the manufactories of the county are as follows:
First District: C. L Sperry's corn-mill; Pearson & Co.'s steam saw-mill; Williams & Co.'s steam planing and grist-mill; S. D. Wallace's steam saw and planing-mill and O.F. Young's saw, corn and wheat-mills, on Calf Killer; M.J. Clark's, Matthias Anderson's, and A. L. Potts' flour, corn and sawmills on Town Creek. Second District: T.L. & J. M. Mitchell's and James Williams' corn, flour and saw-mills on Caney Fork. Third District: Taylor & Co.'s and J. W. Taylor's mills on Calf Killer; H. B. Ward's and G. W. Bickford's saw and corn-mills on Caney Fork.
Fourth District: G. W. Blankenship's, Wm. Bassom's and Cooper & Green's saw and corn-mills on Caney Fork and Wm. Cooper's steam saw and planing-mills.
Fifth District: Wm. Frank's, J. A. McWhister's, Edward Pollard's, _________ Swindler's and C. Sander's corn and saw-mills on Cedar Creek.
Sixth District: J. A. P. Faucher's wheat and corn-mill on Taylor Creek; H. L. Jones' and B. A. Swift's corn-mills on Cedar Creek and Joel Hess' corn-mill.
Seventh District: W. S. Burgis' corn-mill on Fallingwater Creek.
Ninth District: James Robertson's steam corn and wheat-mill and woolen-carder, on Post Oak Creek. Tenth District: Mumford Wilson's, Felix Dodson's and J.A. Hayes' corn-mills on Caney Fork.
Eleventh District: Samuel Johnson's, H. C. Snodgrass' and G. W. Gillins' corn and wheat-mills on Calf Killer River.
Twelfth District: George Gillins' corn and wheat-mill on the Calf Killer and Stephen Wilhite's, S. M. Snodgrass' and James Wilhite's corn and saw-mills on Cherry Creek. A large distillery, of 140 gallons daily capacity, is operated by Messrs. Wakeman & Hodges, one and a half miles southwest from Sparta.

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White County was erected out of Smith County by an act entitled an act to form a new county south of the counties of Wilson, Smith, Jackson and Overton, passed by the General Assembly on September 11, 1806, with the following boundaries: "Beginning at the late Indian boundary line at the southwest corner of said Wilson County; thence eastwardly with the said counties of Wilson, Smith, Jackson and Overton to the west boundary of Roane County; thence southwardly with the line of said Roane County to the south boundary line of this State; thence with the said south boundary line to the southeast corner of Rutherford County; thence north with the east boundary line of Rutherford County to the beginning aforesaid." Thus it will be seen that at its form ation White County embraced all the territory east of Smith County to Walden's Ridge and extended to the southern boundary of the State. Yet, possessed as it was of such vast domain at its organization, this county is at present below the average of Tennessee counties in size, having been reduced in 1807 by the erection of Warren County on the south, on the west by DeKalb County in 1837, again on the south by Van Buren County in 1840, and on the north by Putnam in 1854, and Cumberland on the east in 1856. At present the county has an area of 440 square miles, or 281,600 acres, and is bounded on the north by Putnam County, on the east by Cumberland County, on the south by the counties of Warren and Van Buren, and on the west by De Kalb County. The above act designated the house of Joseph Terry, at what is now Rock Island, in Warren County, mention of which is made in the history of that county, as the place of holding the courts of White County until a permanent seat of justice should be located, and it was there the county was organized in 1807. A temporary log courthouse was erected, in which the courts were held for three years. The General Assembly, on October 18, 1809, passed an act entitled to establish the permanent seat of justice for White County, which act provided for the calling and holding of an election for the selection of seven commissioners whose duties would be the locating of a county seat, which town should be called Sparta, the surveying and laying off into lots of said town, the selling of such lots, and the erection of the necessary county buildings, the expenses to be met with the moneys accruing from the sales of the lots. The election was held on the first Monday and Tuesday in January, 1810, and resulted in the election, as such commissioners, of Thomas Bounds, Aaron England, Benjamin Weaver, Turner Lane, James Fulkerson, Alexander Lowrey and Nicholas Gillentine. A site on the Calf Killer River was immediately chosen, but being unable to agree upon which side of the river the location should be made, the commissioners called an election and submitted the question to the people, who chose the east side, though the west side was more suitable, for the reason that the owner of the west side, Alexander Lowrey, one of the commissioners, donated forty acres to the county, while the owner of the east side, thinking of course his land would be selected, placed too high, and at that time an exorbitant, value on his land. The town was at once surveyed and laid off into lots, the same sold, and in the course of a few months a log courthouse and jail were erected, and the courts removed from Rock Island to Sparta. The log court-house stood until about 1815, when the present brick building was erected at a cost of not over $5,000. The building is a small, square-shaped, two-story structure, which when erected answered fully the requirements of a courthouse, but at the present is inadequate, and two of the most important county officials find quarters elsewhere. The building bears ample evidence of its extreme old age, being probably one of the oldest public buildings in the State, and should be replaced with a structure more in keeping with the advancement of the town, county and times. The log jail was but little more than a pen, yet answered all purposes until about 1820, when a brick jail was erected. This building has been damaged by fire on several occasions, but was each time repaired, the last time in about 1869, and is now a substantial building, valued at about $2,000.

In 1810 White County had a population of 4,028, of 8,701 in 1820, of 9,967 in 1830, of 10,747 in 1840, of 11,444 in 1850, of 9,881 in 1860, of 9,875 in 1870, of 11,143 in 1880, and of 12,500 in 1886. The voting population in 1870 was 1,900, and at the August election, 1886, the county polled 2,183, of which 1,811 were Democratic and 372 Republican. In 1870 there were 217,101 acres assessed for taxation in the county, valued at $1,140,836, and the total valuation of taxable property was $1,820,610. In1886 there were 220,228 acres assessed, valued at $936,960, and the total valuation of taxable property, including real, personal and all other property, amounted to $1, 132,844. The tax aggregate for 1886 shows the following tax assessment: poll, $1,618; State, $3,395.43; county, $3,803.02; school, $4,528.41; special, $1,132.81; railroad, $1,699.23; highway, $906.28; total $15,465.18.

The cereal products of the county in 1860 were, of wheat, 55,181 bushels; corn, 847,944 bushels; oats, 22,129 bushels; rye, 1,158 bushels; potatoes, 15,500 bushels; tobacco, 21,180 pounds, and of wool, 15,000 pounds. In 1886 the products were, of wheat, 45,653 bushels; corn, 650,000 bushels; oats, 25,900 bushels; rye, 2,887 bushels; tobacco, 80,000 pounds; potatoes, 17,000 bushels, and of wool, 16,000 pounds. The live stock of the county in 1870 amounted to 2,694 head of horses and mules, 2,988 head of cattle, 8,144 head of sheep, and 17,840 head of hogs. In 1886 the live stock amounted to 3,625 head of horses and mules, 8,208 head of cattle, 5,000 head of sheep, and 25,000 head of hogs.

The McMinnville branch of the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway, was extended to Sparta in 1884. There are thirteen miles of track in White County, and Sparta is the terminus. Work, however, is in progress on an extension of the railroad from Spa rta to the Bon Air Coal Mines,which, when complete,will be about six and one-half miles in length. The work is being pushed with a large force of hands, and is to be completed and cars running during the year 1887.

The county has erected but three bridges of consequence in the county, they all spanning Calf Killer River, one of which is at Sparta, one at Simpson's mills, in the First District, and one at Gillin's mills, in the Twelfth District.

There are no turnpikes in White County, but numerous highways lead out from Sparta to all parts of the county. These, during the late spring, summer and fall months are in splendid condition, but in winter are all but impassable for vehicles. The county is subdivided into thirteen Districts, though originally there were but eight.
 
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The county court of White County was organized at the house of Joseph Terry, near Rock Island, on Caney Fork River, in February, 1807. Joseph Terry was chosen clerk; William Phillips sheriff, and John Dergan register. The records of this court, prior to 1814, have been destroyed, hence the proceedings of the first session cannot be given. The court continued to meet at the log courthouse at Mr. Terry's place until the location of the permanent seat of justice at Sparta and the completion of the log courthouse at that place, when the records were removed thereto.

The following is a list of the clerks, sheriffs and registers from the organization of the county to and including those now in office:

Clerks -- Joseph Terry, 1807-08; John M. Garrick, 1808-14; Jacob A. Lane, 1814-35; Nicholas Oldham, 1835-44; Wm. Little, 1844-48; G. G. Dibrell, 1848-60; John Voss, 1860-64; J. A. Pettit, 1865-69; F. A. Williams, 1869-73; F.M. Simms, 1873- 77; Wm. Dinges, 1877-81; Gardner Green, 1881-86; J. D. Goff, 1886, and present incumbent.

Sheriffs -- Wm. Phillips, 1807-12; Isaac Taylor, 1812-14; Isaac Taylor, Jr., 1814-16; Thomas Taylor, 1816-20; John Jett, 1820-35; D. L. Mitchell, 1835-40; Jonathan T. Bradley, 1840-44; Smith J. Walling, 1844-46; Joseph Herd, 1846-52; Charles Meeks, 1852-58; Andrew J. Gamble, 1858-64; Wm. F. Carter, 1865-66; F. S. Coatney, 1866-70; Samuel Snodgrass, 1870-74; S. V. McManus, 1874-76; Charles Smith, 1876-78; George Hill, 1878-82; T. L Lewis, 1882-86; J. M. Montgomery, 1886, and present incumbent.

Registers -- John Dergan, 1807-15; Turner Lane, 1815-35; Joseph W. Robertson, 1835-39; Charles McGuire, 1839-43; Robert H. Officer, 1843-45; Wm. H. Boyd, 1845-65; Thomas H. Fancher, 1865-69; Wm. Holter, 1869-73; Wm. G. Simms, 1873-86; John S. Cope, 1886 and present incumbent.
The circuit court of White County was organized also at Joseph Terry's house in 1807, by Judge Nathaniel Williams, who appointed as clerk of the court Archibald W. Overton. The early records of this court are also missing, having been destroyed during the late war. The judges and clerks of the court from its organization to the present have been as follows:

Judges -- Nathaniel Williams, Jacob C. Isaacs, Abraham Caruthers, Wm. B. Campbell, John L. Goodall, Samuel M. Fite, W. W. Goodpasture, W. W. McConnell and M.D. Smallman, the present incumbent.

Clerks -- Archibald W. Overton, 1807-14; Anthony Dibrell, 1814-35; Wm. G. Simms, 1835-47; Joseph Brown, 1847-55; H. L. Carrick, 1855-58; John J. Duncan, 1858-64; Anthony Dibrell, 1805-67; Wm. M. Russell, 1861-71; Waymond L. Woods, 1871-75; M. C. Dibrell, 1875-81; W. C. Smith, 1881-86; J. O. Snodgrass, 1886 and present incumbent.
The chancery court was organized at Sparta in 1842, under the provisions of the new constitution, by Judge B. L. Ridley, chancellor, who appointed B. S. Rhea clerk and master of the court. The chancellors and clerks and masters of this court have been as follows:

Chancellors -- B. L. Ridley, 1842-54; T. Nixon Van Dyke, 1854-60; B. L. Ridley, 1860-62; John P. Steele, 1865-67; B. M. Tulman, 1867-71; W. W. Goodpasture, 1871-72; W. G. Crowley, 1872-86; W. W. Wade 1886 and present incumbent.

Clerks and masters -- B. S. Rhea, 1842-45; W. E. Nelson, 1845-57; M. C. Dibrell, 1857-62; Peter Turney, 1865-71; W. L. Dibrell, 1871-76; John S. Rhea, 1876-82; A. E. Rhea, 1882-87 and present incumbent.

The supreme court of this State met at Rock Island, and later at Sparta, for several years, one of the presiding judges being Andrew Jackson. At the bar of this court all the leading attorneys of Tennessee would practice, and the old log courthouse was the scene of many able and eloquent discussions.
The early lawyers of Sparta were George W. Gibbs, John Catron, Nathaniel Haggard, Richard Nelson, David Ames, Alexander Lane, Samuel Turney, John H. Anderson and Hopkins L. Turney, all of whom practiced from the organization of the courts to about 1855. For several years after the close of the war the attorneys were John L. Goodall, S. H. Combs, Thomas B. Murray and D. L. Snodgrass. The lawyers of the present are C. Marchbanks, H. C. Snodgrass, M. A. Cummings, W. G. Smith, W. T. Smith, W. F. Story, E. Story, E. Jarvis, L. D. Hill, T. J. Bradford, S. E. Cunningham and James Cope. Of the above George W. Gibbs was a State senator and general in the war of 1812, was the first president of the Union Bank of Tennessee at Nashville and later founded Union City, Tenn. John Catron was appointed United States circuit judge by President Jackson and died in office; Hopkins L. Turney was a State senator and the father of Judge Peter Turney, of the supreme court of Tennessee; John L. Goodall occupied the circuit court bench; D. L. Snodgrass is a member of the present supreme court bench; L. D. Hill is State senator, and W. F. Story is county judge of the White County Court.

Besides the above, White County has furnished the following public men: Thomas K. Harris was the first representative in Congress from White County and the district. In a subsequent canvass for the same office Harris was killed in a duel with Gen. John W. Simpson, also of White County, his opponent. The two met at Shell's Ford, on Caney Fork River. Both rode into the stream from opposite sides and stopped, facing each other, while their horses quenched their thirst. One of them, after a few words had been exchanged, proposed they settle their differences then and there. The proposition was accepted, and riding out together they dismounted, drew their pistols and began firing. Harris was mortally wounded, and his death served to defeat Simpson for the office he sought.

Anthony Dibrell, father of Gen. G. G. Dibrell, was for years receiver of the land office at Sparta, was a director of the Bank of Tennessee, was for ten years State treasurer and for twenty-two years clerk of the White County Circuit Court.

Gen. George G. Dibrell was clerk of White County for a number of years, was a member of the State Convention in 1861, being elected as a Union man; was a general of cavalry in the Confederate Army; was a member of the constitutional convention in 1869; represented his district in Congress from 1874 to 1884 continuously, retiring voluntarily from that body,and was one of the leading Democratic candidates for governor of Tennessee in 1886. Gov. Throckmorton, of Texas, was once a citizen of Sparta.

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When the war department made a requisition on the State of Tennessee for 2,500 men to serve in the war of 1812, White County contributed two full companies, which were commanded by Capts. John W. Simpson and George W. Gibbs. Capt. Simpson was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel and distinguished himself for bravery at the battle of New Orleans, and Capt. Gibbs, who was serving as State senator at Knoxville but resigned his position to join the war, arose to a generalship.

White County was also represented in the bloody war against the Creek Indians, she responding to Gov. Blount's call for volunteers by raising two companies, which were commanded by Capts. Ratan and Randals.
Again, when the United States and Mexico became involved in war and volunteers were called for, White County organized and furnished one company, which was commanded by Capt. Anthony.

White County furnished nine full companies to the Confederacy and one to the Federal Government during the late civil war, besides portions of other companies organized in adjoining counties. The first organized was Capt. D. T. Brown's company, in the early part of 1861, which joined the Sixteenth Regiment of Tennessee Infantry, at the organization of which Capt. Brown was elected lieutenant-colonel. Over half of Capt. P.C. Shield's company in the same regiment was made up from White County. In July, 1861, three companies were organized in White County and reported to Camp Zollicoffer, in Overton County. When the Twenty-fifth Regiment of Tennessee Infantry organized at that place the following month, George G. Dibrell was elected lieutenant-colonel of the same, he having entered the service as a private. The White County companies in this regiment were commanded by Capts. D. M. Southern, W. G. Smith and J. H. Snodgrass. At least one-half of Capt. Abraham Ford's company, of the above regiment, organized in Putnam County, was composed of White County citizens. In October, 1861, Capt E. P. Simms organized a company in White County and joined the Twenty-eighth Regiment of Tennessee Infantry, and in December of the same year Capts. David Snodgrass and Wm. M. Simpson organized a company each and joined Combs' battalion, and in the latter part of 1862 Capt Thomas E. Taylor organized a company and joined Murry's battalion of cavalry.

At the reorganization of the Twenty-fifth Regiment at Corinth, Miss., in May, 1862, Col. Dibrell failed to secure a re-election and returned home. His sterling worth was appreciated, however, and he was at once given authority to raise a full regiment of cavalry. This he succeeded in more than doing, raising twelve companies in all, though the country in which he raised the same was inside the enemy's lines. The regiment organized at Yankeetown, White County, September 4, 1862, when George G. Dibrell was elected colonel; F. H. Daugherty, of Overton County, lieutenant-colonel; Jeffrey Forrest, major; while F. H. Smallman, now of McMinnville, and present circuit judge, was appointed adjutant to Col. Dibrell. White County furnished two companies to this regiment, which were commanded by Capts. Jefferson Leftwick and J. M. Barnes. The regiment reported for duty at Murfreesboro, October 8, 1862, where it was given a place with Gen. N. B. Forrest's command. Col. Dibrell served with distinction and ability in the several trying positions he was assigned, and on July 24,1864, he was commissioned a brigadier-general.

In 1862 Capt. Edmund Pennington organized a full company in the northwest part of the county and joined Col. Jarrett's Fourth Regiment of Tennessee Mounted Infantry (United States), which comprised the sum total of White County's assistance and contribution to the Federal Army. Several skirmishes occurred during 1862 in White County, the first of which took place at Simpson's mills on the Calf Killer, four miles below Sparta, between Col. Whorton's Texas troops and the Federal advance under Gen. Nelson, in which several were killed and the advance of the Federals checked. In August, of the above year, Gen. Dibrell's cavalry, 400 strong, had a lively skirmish with the Federals, 4,000 strong, under Col. Mintor, at Wildcat Creek, near the Calf Killer, about three and a half miles above Sparta, in which twelve men and twenty-four horses were killed on the Federal side, and one killed and several wounded on the Confederate side. The above occurred before dinner, and in the afternoon the Federals, having been reinforced by three additional regiments, returned to the attack. Gen. Dibrell had been reinforced by two companies from Col. Starnes' regiment, and again the Federals were driven back with considerable loss.

The first school of any consequence established in White County was Priestly Academy, in about 1815, at Sparta, for which a small log house was erected by the united efforts of the citizens on the hill west of town, where now stands the Christian Church. The school was taught for a number of years by the Rev. Memucan Wade, whose strict mode of imparting education can be remembered and testified to by several citizens now living. In 1881 the log building was replaced by a substantial brick, and the school became the county academy. David Ames, one of the leading attorneys of Sparta was the first teacher to hold forth in the new building. The old building stands at the present, being owned and occupied by the congregation of the Christian Church. A second log school building was erected on the hill east of town in about 1823, but it soon passed out of existence, the school being eclipsed by its rival on the west side. In 1850, by permission of the Legislature, the county academy building was sold, and with the proceeds applied to the purchase of H. L. Carrick's brick residence, about three blocks from the court-house, and Nourse Academy was established. A frame additional schoolroom was erected in 1852, and such is the school of Sparta at the present.

In about 1825 an excellent school was established at Zion Church, in the Sixth District, which is in operation at the present; is chartered, and known as Zion Academy. At about the same time Cumberland Institute was established in a frame building erected for that purpose in the Eleventh District, and is in operation at present, and working under a charter. Onward Seminary, a chartered school, was established in the Third District in about 1840. A good two-story frame building was erected in which the school has since been taught. Peeled Chestnut Academy, in the Sixth District, was established in about 1845, is chartered, and is one of the schools of the county. At Doyle Station, on the McMinnville Branch Railway, in the Third District, is one of the best schools and buildings to be found outside of the cities in the State. The building is a two-story brick, handsome and substantial, and was erected in 1883 at a cost of about $9,000. The school is working under a charter, and is the leading school of this mountainous country. The above embraces the leading schools of White County. The common schools are to he found in numbers all over the country, but they are only taught from three to five months in the year, and of an inferior quality. The scholastic population of White County in 1838 was 2,886, and the county's share of the school fund for the same year amounted to $1,798.41. In 1868 the scholastic population of the county, by race and sex, was as follows: white -- male, 1,639; female, 1,490. Colored -- male, 202; female, 186. Total, white and colored, male and female, 3,517. In 1885 the scholastic population was as follows: White -- male, 2,470;female, 2,164. Colored -- male, 206; female, 206. Total white and colored, male and female, 5,046. In the school fund apportionment of 1885, the county received $1,108.88. Daring the above year teachers were employed in the county as follows: White -- male, 57; females, 8. Colored -- male, 5; females, 5. Total white and colored, 75; and there was in the county at that time fifty-six white and eight colored schools.
 
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The various religious denominations had organizations in White County at a very early date in its history, but few if any church or meeting-houses were erected in the county, however, prior to 1820, services being conducted in schoolhouses and at the houses of the settlers. In Sparta, the courthouse was used as a place of worship by the different denominations. Upon the completion ot the County Academy building, that was used as a church. The first building erected in Sparta exclusively for church purposes was the Methodist, which was completed in about 1852. The building is in use at the present, and is a substantial brick. During the late war the Federal soldiers tore up the floor in this building, and used the same in which to stable their horses. In about 1853, the Cumberland Presbyterians, Baptists and Christians combined, purchased the County Academy and converted it into a Union Church, which, at the present, belongs to the Christian congregation. In 1880 the Cumberland Presbyterians erected a frame church, and the above three, together with two frame colored churches, represent the religious institutions of the county seat.

The early and present churches of the county are as follows, by districts:
First District -- Lowrey's Chapel and Clark's Schoolhouse, Union; Gracey's Chapel and Mt. Gilead, Methodist Episcopal South; Bose's Chapel, Methodist Episcopal and Union, Missionary Baptist.
Second District -- Davis' Chapel, Rogers' Chapel and Frazier's Chapel, Methodist Episcopal South; Union, Cumberland Presbyterian, and Possum Trot, Missionary Baptist.
Third District -- Greenwood, Missionary Baptist; Bethel, Free-Will Baptist: Eden, Union; Bethlehem, Christian, and Doyle's Chapel, Methodist Episcopal.
Fourth District -- Joppa, Methodist Episcopal South; Jericho and Walnut Grove, Christian.
Fifth District -- Shady Grove, Mt. Pisgah, Methodist Episcopal South; Philadelphia, Primitive Baptist; Dogwood Grove, Christian, and Spring Hill, Missionary and Free-Will Baptist.
Sixth District -- Old Zion and Mt. Union, Cumberland Presbyterian; New Hope, Free-Will Baptist; Liberty, Pleasant Hill and Lewis' Schoolhouse, Missionary Baptist; Gracy's Chapel, Methodist Episcopal; and Wesley Chapel, Methodist Episcopal South.
Seventh District -- New Macedonia and Pistol's, Free-Will Baptist.
Eighth District -- Mt Zion and Cave Chapel, Methodist Episcopal South and Old Macedonia, Union. Ninth District -- Mt Carmel, Methodist Episcopal South, and Sugar Chapel, Cumberland Presbyterian. Tenth District -- Dodson's Chapel, Methodist Episcopal South, and Lost Creek, Missionary Baptist. Eleventh District -- Board Valley, Missionary Baptist.
Twelfth District -- Bowles' Chapel, Christian, and Cherry Creek, Cumberland Presbyterian.

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