Obituary – Herrell, Oliver Houston, 1970

Obituary of Oliver Houston Herrell, 1970:

From family of soldiers.  O. H. Herrell, 92, dies, Spanish-American vet.  One of the two remaining Spanish-American War veterans in Anderson County, Oliver Houston Herrell, has died at 92.

Herrell died in his sleep Sunday at his ancestral home place on Raccoon Valley Rd. in the Claxton community of South Anderson County.

The head of a family of 68 descendants was born on Nov. 19, 1878 in a log cabin on the same farm as is the house in which he died.  He resided with a son, Oliver E. Herrell, long-time service director for the Town of Clinton.

Herrell enlisted in the Spanish-American War on July 11, 1898 and joined Co. G, Sixth U. S. V., “Immunes,” meaning that troop was supposed to be immune to yellow fever.  He served in Puerto Rico.  Herrell recalled seeing Col. Teddy Roosevelt, who headed the famous Rough Riders.

The only other living Spanish-American War veteran in the county is Church W. Lively, 93, former police chief of Oliver Springs.

Herrell’s great-great-grandfather, Capt. John Herrell, was one of the 25 soldiers in the Revolutionary War who crossed the Delaware with Gen. George Washington in 1775 to capture 1,400 British soldiers.  Capt. Herrell settled in Anderson County in 1800 and built a log house on the Andersonville-Clinton Rd.

Matsfield Herrell, the Spanish-American War veteran’s father, fought in the Civil War with the Federal Army…

After the Spanish-American War, Herrell became a farmer and a carpenter.  He spent eight years in the West on a logging railroad at Tacoma, Wash.  and worked as a fireman on the North Pacific Railroad.

Herrell returned home to Tennessee and on Oct. 28, 1906, he married a grammar school sweetheart, Sadie Jennings.  They had gone to school together at the old West Vale School on the Knoxville Highway in Claxton.  It burned several years ago after being used as a hay barn for many decades.  Mrs. Herrell died in 1939.

Although 92, Herrell’s health had been fairly good until Saturday.  He spent a lot of time watching television and talking to members of the large Herrell family which often gathered in the big farm house.

Herrell had been a member of Valley View Methodist Church for 62 years having joined by transfer of letter.  During his lifetime, Herrell served as overseer of the roads in his district, on the Anderson County Tax Equalization Board and at one time operated a grocery store.

The patriarch leaves eight children, 29 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren.  His four sons are Oliver E. and Albert W. Herrell of Claxton, Clifford Herrell of Knoxville and Charlie M. Herrell of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; four daughters, Mrs. Emma Henry of Knoxville, Mrs. Ollie Mae McLemore, Mrs. Ruby Johnson and Mrs. Roxie Phillips, all of Powell.

Services for Herrell were at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Zion Baptist Church at Claxton and burial was in the church cemetery.  The Rev. Edgar West, the Rev. Harold Ogle and the Rev. William Fowler officiated.  His grandsons served as pallbearers.

(With picture)

Source:  Clinton Courier-News, December 3, 1970, Sec. 1, p.6.

[Transcribed by Stephanie A. Hill from the microfilm at the Clinton Public Library.]

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