Frost Bottom History
ANDERSON COUNTY NEWS
FROST BOTTOM HISTORY
W.J. Smith, author of this book, was born July 25, 1848, in Frost Bottom in what is called the Stony Flat. His mother was born in Frost Bottom in hte year 1816. His father, Wm. Smith, was born in Wilkes county, N. C., in the year 1812. He came to Tennessee in 1829.
The writer remained at his bith place intil he was four years old. When his father moved to what is called the Buck Horn Valley or what is now called Laurel. There was four hundred acres in the farm. He bought the farm for $700 from Richard Andrews. He sold the place to Colonel Bill Wallace for $`1800 in 1860 the year before the civil war broke out. Being only four years old when I left Frost Bottom. I can remember lots of things that passed under that age before we there, some of them I will mention.
My brother, Moses, was out hunting day just a little way from the house. My two elder sisters had me out playing. We heard our brother sud started toward him, my sister said stop he is going to shoot. They told me to put my ???? ??? ????. I don¹t know why they done that, but I obeyed orders. When he shot we went to him, he had shot a rattle-snake five feet with 19 rattles. I can see my brother now sit down on a log and stretch the snake out, he carried a butcher knife in a scabbard with which he split the snake open, there was two gray squirrels inside the snake. I can¹t imagine why more people wasn¹t bit by the rattlesnakes in those days they were so numerous, but you hardly ever see one now. Our folks killed 36 rattlers and copperheads on summer.
My father had two dogs, one was a hound called Watch and the other a bench-legged feist named Gim. They would run a deer off of the mountains into the river where uncle Alfred Cross lived, Cowards live there now. That feist would run as fast as that hound. When you would jump a deer he had a certain route to run and if you don¹t get him he would backtrack himself and go back home. Thatr old hound could take a peice of meat out of boiling water, you would have to look out for old Watch when cooking meat. Frost Bottom was alive with deer then, but the gun and dog days have gone by.
I remember when living in the Stony Flat, Watch and Gin run a deer in a hole of water in front of the house. My mother and sister-in-law run out and caught it, my sister-in-law got astride of it and my mother killed it with a rock.
My brother Moses wife was a Hoskins and I tell you she had the grit about her. She was a first cousin to H.P. Farmer¹s mother.
All you had to do in Frost Bottom at that time when you laid by your corn jsut turn your horses outside and they would get fat on pea vines. All you had to with your hogs was to keep them gentle and most of the time they would go wild.
I wrote this to partly to show to the readers to keep a lookout.
We have a book that reads in the last days, time and seasons shall or will change. Oh what a change has been made in the last hundred years. God said this earth would wax old as a garment.
FROST BOTTOM HISTORY
At the time Frost Bottom was inhabited by the Duncans, Browns and Frosts and a few friendly indians. The soil was rich and fertile, the principle crops were Indian corn, flax and cotton; had no wheat at this time, but as the people begin to settle and multiply they raisee wheat, rye and buck-wheat.
As I said in the other issue the widow Duncan built a cabin near a spring, where allen Phillips now owns. There was no small mills then, but there was plenty of timber. They laid puncheon floors, split boards to lay loft and wake door shutters, stick and clay chimneys, they had straw beds until they could raise geese and ducks to make feather beds. They first had to rot their flax, after they pulled it up they would spread it out on the ground, when the inside rotted they would bundle it up and take it to a flax brake made out of split oak lapped together like your fingers worked, something like hinges. I guess some of my readers have have seen ????? ???? funny to see them pull together. Sometime they would have flax pullings so the young folks would have agood time.
They all would string out in a row stand about three feet apart, the boys would stand by a girl. The older ones would always tell them to be careful about rattlesnakes and copperheads, they were so numerous. They always had a big quard of corn whiskey or brandy sitting out to one side for fear of a snake bite, they would drink a quart to kill the poison and if a snake did not bite them they would drink it anyway and think nothing of it, every family kept it, it was only 20 cents a gallon. Preachers drank it same as the rest, scarcely ever saw a man drunk. A great bottle of whiskey sit on the table at all times beside it a bowl of sugar.
Parson James Young, Uncle Billy Dail and Uncle Joshua Frost would come to hold a big meeting , as we called it. We would stop our work to attend. The men folks would all meet, take their old hog rifles and flock to the woods and bring in deer and hogs. The women would prepare and go to cooking a week before hand in the old fashion pots and ovens, chicken pie, rib pie, half moon pies and buckwheat cakes. Them good old people thought it was nothing wrong to take a dram of good whiskey as they call it, they were living up to all the light they had. You knowthe Bible says somewhere in the evening tide light will spring up.
When those good religious people sit down to the table on stools for there was no chairs. All they wanted was a sweatened dram of whiskey say grace and partake of the food. After meals go out under a tree consult who was going to preach that evening. Smoke their old clay pipes, take a nap, wake up take a dram of whiskey to cut the cobwebs and be off to someones house for meeting.
all would worship God together in Frost Bottom, both young and old, no confusion, all served the same Christ. If ye love ye will keep my commandments.
FROST BOTTOM HISTORY
Moses Duncan lived and died in the same old building which he built after his mother died. He was unlearned and did not know a letter, but was truthful and honest. He made few debts, had a high temper, but had the grit to control it. He meant just what he said, and when he had business at the court house at Clinton, he was the first man to hitch to the rack and the first to leave town, and no grass grew under his horses feet. I tell you in the process of time people came from the old country to the New World as they were crowded over there like they are now. They are still coming, they must live somewhere.
As stated, Duncans, Frosts, Browns early settled in Frost Bottom., the name it now bears. Soloman the wise man said to every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under Heaven. A time to keep silence and a time to speak.
Land was cheap in this part of the country. At this time the people grew tired of being oppressed b England. The people of this country had fought and died for our freedom. Jesus Christ suffered and died on the Cross for our freedom. General Geo. Washington was now President of this country. The English gave way to the Stars and Stripes God set us free. why not praise His holy name and give Him the honor for our liberty. The government had bought out the Indians, as Columbus called them but it is hidden from us today what their real name is, But they bear that name yet. It is still a mystery to the white man how they originated. I don¹t think that is any of our business. They claimed this country as their home. They were treacherous and something had to be done forcibly as they were a savage race. some say they were mistreated and may have been in some respect, but I think god had a hand in opening the way for Columbus by the holy spirit for him to discover thi country. So Geo. Washington bought this noble land from the Indians and had to use force to get rid of some of them. After all this, the savage Indians murdered many of the white settlers, being jelous of the white man¹s supremacy.
Violence was necessary to subdue the Red Man. God uses mysterious ways to save some of his created people. I want to further show that force means good for wicked people of this world. I mean punishment to show people wrong doing. Abraham did everything God told him to do. He obeyed God.
FROST BOTTOM HISTORY
August 1, 1925
My birthplace is in what they call Stony Flat, in the head of Frost Bottom. I was born July 25, (1848?) am 77 years old today. William B. Smith was my father. Elizabeth Duncan was my mother. My father was born in Wilkes county, North Carolina. Came to Anderson county in 1829. He was born Feb. 8, 1818, my mother was born in Anderson county, March 16, 1816. She lived 74 years. My father lived 92 years. The family consisted of 11 children, six girls and five boys. My oldest brother Moss Smith married Martha Hoskins. Elizabeth married Wm. Chiles. Esq H.W. Smith never was married. A.T. Smith, R.A. Smith’s father, married Mary E. Galbraith. Polly Smith married F M. England. Nancy Smith married Pink Duggins. W.J. Smith, the author of this book, married Sarah C. Galbraith. Sarah J. Smith married J A. Freels. John Nolin Smith married Malinda Hill. Lydia Smith married Buck Duggins the superintendent. All are now dead but four of us. My sister Nancy ate dinner with me today. My sister Sarah Freels is sick at home. My brother John Nolin Smith lives at Oliver Springs. He is 70 years old and is the youngest one of us living. We all lived to be grown. Moses and H.W. Smith both died in Clinton. I love that place, when I go to Clinton. I feel like I am at home. My father was married to my mother in 1880. He was a poor orphan boy 19 years old when he married. My mother was 16 yeares old. Billy McKamey married my father and mother in the house where old uncle Billy Dall used to live, Henry Dall¹s father on the farm near where Rufus Dall now lives. As I said, my father was a poor boy and when McKamey got through with the ceremony he said, “Now Smith, honesty is the point.” My father always stuck to it and trained his children to be the same. When he married he borrowed a hat and a pair of moccasins to get married in. He had on a flax shirt and flax pants. My grandfather Smith came from Ireland, a Scotch-Irishman. He died during the war of 1812. My father settled at the head of Frost Bottom and went to work. He remained there two years and got dissatisfied. He went back to North Carolina, bought a small farm on the Pigeon river and put up a grist mill. He bought a wagon and a team of horses. In the fall he would gather a load of fine apples and take them to Augusta, Ga., 20 miles, to buy cotton, sugar, salt, etc. It took him six weeks to make the trip. I don’t know how long he lived in North Carolina, but he left his farm and mill and came back to Tennessee and settled in Powell’s valley on the farm that W. W. Duncan now owns. He lived there just a short while and went back to his mill on Pigeon river. My grandfather Duncan who then lived in Frost Bottom went with him. My mother¹s brother E.H. Duncan was a young man and he also went. He sold Philip Seiber 100 hundred bushels of corn when he went for $5. My father sold him a fine cow for $5. He sold Fred England his farm for a yake of oxen and a wagon.
FROST BOTTOM HISTORY
I don’t know how long my father, Wm, B. Smith remained in North Carolina, the last trip he made, but in the following Fall my grandfather Moses Duncan moved up there. He left his Frost Bottom home to please his wife. She wanted to go back because she was raised there. She was Nancy Nolin and was grandfather’s third wife. His first wife was a Frost, daughter of the first man to built the first house in Frost Bottom, and it still holds its name. his second wife was a Davis, she was raised in North Carolina. Moses Duncan was the grandsire of 24 children, all principally raised in Frost Bottom.
When Moses Duncan got to North Carolina, he bought a farm adjoining my father. His wife nancy had only one child then.
North Carolina used to be a cold country then, more so than it is now. I can’t say what year it was, but I think it was 1843 or 1844, my father and grandfather had to come back to Clinton, Tennessee, to attend court. Court sat the second Monday in March. My father told me the first court day on Monday it snowed all day and all night. It snowed every day and every night till Saturday. They left Clinton for North Carolina, their home. It still snowed when they struck Chestnut mountain. The snow pressed up in his lap and he was on his horse. He said he really thought he would freeze to death. It still snowed. My grandfather led the way and my father said that gave him some advantage. They had to cross three large mountains. Mose Duncan was a go-ahead man, did not stand back for anything. So he left my father far behind, live or die. My father overtook him on the top of the mountain, Mt. Starling. He was standing on a log stamping his feet. He was riding a black horse but he was then white with lather.
My father said, “Old man, you’ll kill your horse.”
He said: “Better kill my horse than to freeze to death.”
The sun was shining out some. They had a quart of apple brandy. He said they took a dram of it and did not stop until they reached home. That was the 12th day of March, 1844. My grandfather found a boy baby there. He named him W.R. Duncan. Many of my readers knew him, he fought through the Civil war, Col. Bill Cross was his comander, Chas Cross’ brother. He was a chain agent after the war and was successful.
My sister Polly was born on the 16th day of the same month, March, that Jane England’s mother was born, who now lives at Marlow.
My father said he attended court at Wanesville, N.C., the next week, and it snowed every night until the 15th day of April. Everybody was scared almost to death, afraid the leaves would never again put out. They would find hogs and sheep dead in a pile. Chickens froze and fell off the roost.
I don’t know how long my father lived up there this trip, just a few years. While he lived up there his brother-in-law died and he came to Tennessee and brought his sister. But while he was living in N.C. I want to tell a few things that happened.
ANDERSON COUNTY NEWS
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.