The Cherry and Nobles Families

Nell Morisette
NewsTribune Special Columnist

Tribune readers, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May the year 2000 bring you good health and lots of happiness.

About the year 1838, Katherine Rooks Cherry, a widow, with her family left Williamson County, North Carolina, to went their way westward to seek new homes in Haywood County in West Tennessee (Brownsville).

In this caravan were three families traveling together by wagon, horseback, walking and other means.

? The Cherry family consisted of Katherine (Granny Cherry), her son Henry and his wife Nancy, two daughters Mary and Milly, and Milly's husband, John Nobles, along with John and Milly's children, Penelope, Harold, Simon, and the baby Jennette, who was sick all the way with malaria. Milly had to ride in the wagon because of this. James was born later after they came to Tennessee.

Since this journey began in autumn, they had to endure danger and hardship crossing ranges of the Appalachian Mountains, creeks, and rivers with no bridges, encountering robbers, disease, and other obstacles. Once it rained all night and Granny Cherry sat in the chair holding a parasol over her to keep dry and sleep. She also walked nearly all the way from North Carolina to West Tennessee.

Sometime in earlier year W.W. (William) Wheatley, born in North Carolina in 1805, and his wife Mary Cherry Wheatley emigrated to West Tennessee in the old seventh district in Benton County, about three miles west of the Tennessee River on the north side of Sulphur Creek.

Mary Cherry Wheatley and Granny Cherry had known each other in North Carolina and probably were related. The John Noble Family promised Granny Cherry that if they came within 100 miles of Mary's home, they would take her for a visit.

Thus after six weeks travel they crossed the Tennessee River somewhere in the Old Johnsonville area. It was Christmas Day and snow was on the ground. They made their way down Harmons Creek, just a ridge over from Sulphur Creek. They passed by the Etheldred Melton home, a big log house with a wide front door. It was open and they could see a big fire burning in the fireplace.

In due time they arrived at the William Wheatley home. Theirs was a big log house with an upstairs room. When Mary saw them coming, she began crying and shouting.

The Wheatleys begged this family to stay. They said they would help them get settled. They did and the Cherrys and Nobles made their homes on an adjoining farm to the Wheatleys.

The other two families traveling with the Cherrys and Nobles moved on to their destination as planned. One of the men, Obediah Bullock, returned to Benton County and married one of the girls he traveled with, Penelope Nobles.

The 1850 Census Records show Granny Cherry living in the household of her son Henry and wife Nancy; Granny was age 92, Henry was 62, and Nancy was 55, and that Granny was born in Virginia.

Some of the new settlers in Benton County had a custom of taking their products such as tobacco, cotton, corn, hides, and other things for sale by boat through rivers to New Orleans, La., to sell or exchange for salt, coffee, etc. Henry Cherry went away on one of these trips. He never came back, nor was he ever heard from again.

Granny Cherry continued to live among her family. Records at the Courthouse show that a large tract of land was conveyed to W.W. Wheatley by John Nobles. It was on the south side of Sulphur Creek in a large field owned once by Nobles-Bullock. South of the field were hills, and up the hollow between two hills and on the side of the east hill is a large abandoned cemetery where the remains of Katherine Rooks Cherry (Granny), and John and Milly Nobles, and daughter Mary Cotton and others were laid to rest many years ago. This land was owned by the Nobles when they were buried there but when the cemetery was later given a name it was called Forest.

The James Nobles that was born after they settled in Benton County was my grandaddy. He was born May 15, 1939. James served in the Confederate Army. He joined on May 18, 1861, at Fort Donaldson and was promoted to Sgt. April 26, 1864, in Company D., 14th Infantry. He was wounded in the leg and stomach and was in Pratt Hospital in Lynchburg, Va. He was discharged April 9, 1965. Before his discharge he was diagnosed as a diabetic. He came home and raised a family. The old wounds and diabetes finally caused his death on Tuesday January 2, 1900.

Etheldred and Mary Ann Melton, whose home was spoken of earlier and John and Milly Nobles, are my great-great-grandparents.

Some of this was told by Lievah J. Garner; others information came from court records, James Nobles war records, and things my dad James William Melton told me that were passed to him.

Thought for the Week:

Jesus loves you and may God bless you in all you do for Him.


If you have suggestions and/ or additions for these pages, please feel free to write County Host

Brian Nichols

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