Anderson County News – 1927 & 1929


March 12, 1927
“A Fishing Trip”
W. J. Smith

About one hundred years ago, a man by the name of Harris Prior lived in Roane County, on the waters of Poplar Creek, just below Fairview Church. He was a bachelor and owned a good deal of property. It happened, I cant tell how that he took in four children to raise. Three of them were sisters and brother, Jane, Fanny, and Bill Lockett. The other boy was Miller Freels. He raised them all to be grown. Bill married a Hoskins. A son, Am Locket still lives on the old farm. Jane married Jeff Hoskins, and Fanny married King Butler. Miller Freels married Lucinda Qualls.

When Harris Prior died, he gave each of them $700. They bought a farm each, except Freels. I cant tell what became of his money. The Locketts took after Jacob of old, but Freels was like Esau. He was a great hunter and fisher, for there was plenty of game and fish.

Uncle Miller Freels, as we called him, always kept a gang of dogs. He had one cur he called Tinker. When he would throw a stick in the creek, Tinker would swim in and bring it out to his master. He would throw in a dry clod of dirt, it would sink and Tinker would dive after it. That was great fun for Uncle Miller, but he was a good clever man.

Dick Stubbs lived in the fork of the creek. He was a hard worker, did not care for sport. He was clearing land he had leased from the McClungs. Uncle Miller came along with his gun and dogs hunting. He said, “Hello, Dick. How would you like to have a good mess of fish??” “All right”, said Dick, “but I am too busy to spare the time.”

“Ah, pshaw! What is this world except to live? We can have a mess in two hours. I have a long stick of dynamite, and I know of a round hole of water chuck full of fish. We will take your steers and cart. We will get a load, so let’s be off. We will go by home, I want to leave my dogs and gun and get the dynamite, and tell Cindy where I am going.”

They both got in the cart and soon were at Freel’s house. He told Cindy their business and she told them not to let Tinker go. So, off they went.

They had not gone far, before Miller saw his dog, Tinker, slipping along. He stopped the cart and told Dick there was that confounded dog coming. He stoned him back, so he thought, and they drove off, and soon reached the hole.

They prepared their dynamite and a long string of fuse. Miller said,”Dick, you get back and I will do the rest.” Tinker was hid watching. In went the dynamite and in went Tinker, and before it reached the bottom Tinker had it in his mouth. Miller said, “Goodbye old Tinker.” and scaled up a saplin. Tinker came straight to his master with the dynamite in his mouth. Freels said, “Dont come here, Tinker.” But he came and put his front feet upon the tree and tried to climb. Freels thought his time had come, and said, “I have been a pretty good fellow, I never did much wrong, did I, Dick?” Fizz, Bzz, boom!

Poor Tinker. There was not a greasy spot left of him. “Is he dead,” said Miller. “Dead, what do you call dead, come and see. Yes he is dead as a door nail.” Miller said, “Poor Tinker”, and began to snub. Dick said, “Now Miller look here…whats an old dog and you have a dozen more you can train, one of them is Tinker’s pup.” Dick trying to comfort Miller. Dick said, “Get in the cart and lets go, there is nothing left of Tinker that you can remember him by.” Miller said, “Good bye Tinker” and left broken-hearted.

Dick said, “Now Miller that will teach us a lesson in two respects.” “Well, what?” said Miller. “One is that we thought we were law abidin; we are not; we attempted to violate the law by dynamiting fish, when we could have got us a mess other ways. Now you see what we sow we reap. Another is there are lots of poor little minnows in that hole that will grow to be large fish. God put them there to grow not to be killed with bombs. We have violated Gods law and also the state law. We are guilty and not good citizens. The courthouse is filled up with criminals just this way which could be avoided. People love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. By this trip we have no fish and no Tinker. People dont think they work hard and have to help pay the court expenses, besides that lay in prison, by just such work as we have done today. Now lets go home and if we want anything, get it according to law; work honestly for our support, keep this trip to ourselves. Resolve never to violate the law any more.

Paul said, “the law was made for the law breakers and not for a good and obedient man.”

March 9, 1929
“Century Ago”
W. J. Smith

On March 1, 1820, my father W B Smith and his brother Tom left Haywood, NC afoot for Anderson County following the Indian trail across the mountains crossed the river at Knoxville. Anderson and Knox composed one county. A man named Walker lived near the market house.

They crossed Clinch river at Clinton, crossed Walden Ridge and the Indian trail at Hoskins farm into Frost Bottom. Only a few people lived in Frost Bottom at the time. Then Mecoley Frost the first white settler lived there and the Duncans and Browns. Isaac Duncan, my mother’s uncle went to Waynesville, NC, and married my father’s sister and brought her to Frost Bottom. They made the trip in three days, walking and carrying food on their back and camping on the ground at night.

There were a few Indians here when my father arrived, some at Indian camp and some at Ligas’ Creek. It was hard to locate the Indian towns, as the Daniel Boone route did not go through the Indian towns.

Sol Rhea told my father he traveled with Daniel Boone through Tennessee and that there was an Indian town located at Knoxville and one at the head of Ligas’ Creek. A large number of Indian graves were to be seen at both places. Rhea said they came down through upper East Tennessee, crossed the river above Clinton, waded the river at Moore’s ferry and came down by way of Marlow. Stopped to rest at foot of Walden’s ridge, at Duncan Springs. Boone sat down on a log to mend his moccosins. Rhea went back to North Carolina and returned in twelve months, where he found Boone in the same locality.

March 16, 1929
“Century Ago”
W. J. Smith

Just above the W O Duncan’s residence we left Daniel Boone sitting on a log. There was an Indian town at Knoxville. Boone and Rhea came from the upper end of Tennessee, that was his route, by him killing a bear and cutting his name on a tree. Sol Rhea said when he came back Boone was sitting on the same log. There was a squad of Indians settled on middle creek, part of the breast-works are standing there today. There was a man killed there last Saturday night.

Rhea didnt know the route he took from the foot of Walden ridge, but proof shows he went up Cumberland mountain toward what is now Petros. Tom Smith and Ed Duggins went the same route several years ago. They got lost and sat down on a rock to rest. There they saw Boone’s name and the date cut on a rock. I dont see how they escaped the Indians. It took brave men to travel through the desert then as did Dan Boone, Sol Rhea and David Crockett.

Rhea said he and a few other men were traveling through this country. They crossed Walden Ridge at Geo Hoskins’ place went down by J K Patterson’s. They camped at a spring, where my grandfather settled, the second house that was built in Frost Bottom. The spring house he built is still standing, and apple tree that still bears fruit that was set out by the Duncan’s. There is signs of bullets on a apple tree that was shot at W R Duncan by the rebels during the civil war.

We will get back to Rhea camping at the spring. The woods were full of wild beasts and Indians. They put out pickets and Sol was one of them. He stood there all night not knowing but what an Indian’s spike from a bow would hit him. Just before day he heard a brush; crack he fired his gun, that aroused the men, who came with their guns. They lit a torch and went to the spot and found a deer he had killed. There was no houses in Frost Bottom then.

Oh what a change, the old generation is all gone, Frost Bottom is now a graveyard. My mother’s aunt was the first white grave dug in Frost Bottom, she got drowned near the Baptist church. Meceloy Frost’s little girl was buried at Crossville several miles apart, but Jesus said they would sound a trumpet and the dead would meet at one place, the sheep on the right and the goats on the left. The way things are today the right side will be scattering. You have to live a blameless life pure and holy like God. I heard a man say you cant do that and he was a preacher. What will God do with a double-minded preacher or man. The pure in heart shall see God, godly sorrow leading to repentence, not sorrow because you are overtaken in fault and cast in prison, but because you have offended God. Just say here I am Lord, take me.

June 15, 1929
“Long Time Ago”
W. J. Smith

Long ago, when our American land was fertile, large oaks, poplars, and other timber covered the creek bottoms. The Red man, with his bow and arrows wandered up and down Poplar Creed, and across the Cumberland mountains in safety. Little did they think that Ben Duncan, Moses Brown, and Billy Brummette would venture to leave their homes in Scotland and buck up against the savages in this country. But they were brave soldiers. They walked into a frail ship that rode the foaming water for weeks.

At last they landed, and stepped on American soil, in what became North Carolina. They stuck to each other, for they were kindred.

“We had better have stayed at home,” one of them said.

“Why so?”, asked another. “We are here; let’s go up and see what that means.”

“It means war. The English people are under a king; so were we. That drum says “freedom”. Dont get weak. Let’s stnad up straight and fight.” So they went to the sound of the drum.

That was a long time ago. They went to General Washington and told him that they wanted to fight for freedom, and they wanted to stay together. The three men fought through the war together. After the war, they each married in North Carolina. They went from there to Kentucky, where they died. Their progeny came to Anderson county. The Browns and Duncans settled in Frost Bottom and Powell’s Valley. The Brummetts settled in the Valley and near Clinton. They intermarried, and there has not been a war since then but that several of them were in it. They still stick together where any of the family is concerned. They are fearless, and are veterans of many wars.

Sept 7, 1929
“A Family Reunion”
W. J. Smith

Last Sunday morning I and my son, John, and his children, Anna, Edith and Freddie, and Jas. Foster, started to the Wallace reunion, to be held at the home of Lee Wallace, Knox County. We went by the way of Robertsville, Solway, and Zion, and very early we reached the home of Mr Wallace. The first one I met was a Wallace. I shook hands all day, and asked:”Who are you?” “My name is Wallace”, they would say. Men and women, all day long would answer my question, “My name is Wallace.”

I said to myself, Where did you all come from? It reminded me of beads strung on a string, all of the same color. A reunion, I thought, is a reminder for us to stay together, in heart and in mind, just like a string of beads. As long as you keep a strong string your beads are together; when the string is broken the beads scatter, and know no more of each other.

As I said, keep a strong string, bring the beads together once year. But one of our beads is gone, the string is broken. JKP Wallace has gone to a better land, he will find some of the Wallace kindred over there. He went to a reunion over there that will never break up. He will look back and say, “Keep up the reunions.” And who knows but what he was with us last Sunday?

The Wallaces were among the first settlers of this country. My father came here in 1830, and the Wallace family was here then. I remember Col Bill Wallace over 70 years ago. He died up about Andersonville in 1873. He was a great friend to my father, Wm Smith.

At the reunion last Sunday a table near 100 feet long was set with god things to eat, and everybody was happy. After dinner they assembled in front of Mr Wallace’s house and had a few talks, and a day was set for the next meeting. It was decided to hold the next reunion at Lenoir City, on the last Sunday in August, 1930.

After we started for home I began to look about and study how people would accumulate. I bagan to think how numerous the Wallaces are in Anderson county. It made me think of Abraham’s seed of old. Twenty-one of my family have Wallace blood. They are mixed with the Foster family, the Duncans, Wades, Cardens, and others. The Bible says how good and lovely it is for brothers and or kindred to dwell together in unity. And, although the Wallaces have lost one of their family, they should honor the name on and on.


A local newspaper

In the 1920′s, Jasper Smith wrote articles for the Anderson County newspaper about the different areas of the county. They are being shared with you because of the genealogy that was written in some of the articles.

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