Historical Sketches and Traditions of Jackson County 

The last residence of Colonel Thomas L. Bransford in Gainesboro was torn down when George H. Morgan built his residence at the same place in the early part of Eighteen Seventies. He bought the block, consisting of four lots as well as half of the block just South of his residence block, where he had his barn and stable, the lot comprising the East half of the latter block. R. M. Kinnard has become the owner of the property, for he made the deed to Judge Morgan, a warranty deed to the residenced block, but a quit claim only to the lots across the street. Later Morgan & Smith built their law office on the Northwest corner of the residence lot. This office is still occupied as a Law Office.  

George H. Morgan sold the residence, barn and stable to L. S. Anderson when he decided to go to Cookeville, having previously sold to L. K. Smith the North part of the block, where the office is now located, and where the "Smith Residence" was built. After L. S. Anderson's occupancy of the Morgan residence Dr. J.W._______ lived there for a time and after him, Hon. James A. Williams.  

I am told by L. K. Smith, as he remembers, that Governor Robert L. Taylor was entertained there in the hospitable home of Mr. Williams when he came to Gainesboro on one occasion. Think it was in his second race for Governor. Mr. Williams was in the Legislature from Jackson County while Taylor was Governor one term, when he left Tennessee for Georgia in 1800. Hon. Bowen A. Butler lived at the Morgan residence. He and his family were nearest neighbors to L. K. Smith. 

The question of a water supply for Gainesboro presented a difficult problem to the people. I refer to 1870. There was one public well in the town known as the Court House well. It was located in the Southeast corner of the Court House Square. Most of the town got water there except in the summer time, when the well went dry, or furnished only a limited supply. Most everybody hauled water in barrels from the Buckeye Spring, the Haile Spring, or the spring in the Gipson pasture. There were men who made it their business to haul water for other people, and others hauled for themselves. In the winter time and during a rainy season the Court House well furnished a sufficient supply for all purposes. I think family washings were sent out and done largely by Negro women, who carried them to the Gipson Pasture Spring, and elsewhere.  

An amusing incident which might have been a tragedy occurred at the Court House well. Miss Tilda Patton came to the well to get water, accompanied by her small brother. Now, Jack was a rather mischievous youngster, and while Tilda was drawing the water, Jack came up and waved his hat over the wall and told her he was going to throw it in the well. She tried to get him to go away, but he persisted, lost his balance and went in, head first. Tilda screamed, the town was alarmed and the people rushed to the rescue. "Jack Patten has fallen into the well, he is drowned, or has broken his neck". You know how excited crowds will talk. Fortunately there was not enough water in the well to drown him, and in some miraculous way he hit the bottom without serious injury, only a few bruises and lacerations about the head and face.  

From the Jackson County Sentinel, August 9, 1933 page 1
Taken from a posting on the Jackson, Clay, Overton county mailing list (JACKSON-CLAY-OVERTON-CO-TN-L@rootsweb.com), 11/9/00 by Vivian V. Eagel.

Historical Sketch of Jackson County

By Lewis K. Smith

NAMELESS--William M. Neill, for many years Justice of the Peace and a prominent citizen of Jackson County, was a great admirer of Attorney-General (sic) Geo. H. Morgan. They were fast friends. Long years before Congressman, Tom Watson, of Georgia, dreamed of rural mail delivery and made his dream come true, `Squire (sic) Neill saw the need of better mail facilities for his community and asked the U. S. Post Office Department to establish a Postoffice (sic) in his district and call it Morgan in honor of his friend.

After the usual petitions and investigations on the part of the Government, the Department granted the request so far as to establish the office, but declined to name it Morgan. Why we never knew. It was surmised that some rancor still lingered in the breasts of Federal authorities and for that reason they declined to honor a name held in high esteem in the Confederate South but quite unpopular in the North.

Without explanation for rejecting the name Morgan, the Department called on `Squire (sic) Neill to suggest another. He declined and wrote Washington authorities that rather than give up his choice he preferred to let the office be nameless and so Nameless it was. (This office has been discontinued by reason of rural mail routes, but the community still bears the name.--Ed.)...

Vivian V. Eagal, ggranddaughter of Squire William Macklin NEILL

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This page last updated:  Thursday, August 13, 2015