Jackson Co., TN Loose District/Chancery Court Papers
Reel #54, Butley [Butler] - Campbell & (B) Divorces
Vol: 1839-1915

Genealogical Abstracts by Bonnie Parker

Cases indexed alpha by Plaintiff. Although there is a cross-index reel at TSLA by Defendant, there is no 'everyname index', so there is no hint of what reel actually contains. Genealogical extractions in order they appear on each case. Sometimes depositions not dated. The purpose is not to find who did what to whom, but how they were related. The quality of this microfilm varies widely. Sometimes the copy at Tennessee State Library & Archives is more legible. Microfilm reels may be ordered by mail. http://www.state.tn.us/sos/statelib/r&r/mfcounty.htm


THE BILL OF COMPLAINT of M. G. Butler of Jackson Co. TN against James Givens of Jackson Co. TN, William Mayberry [Mabry] and wife Jane Mayberry of Davidson Co. TN and W. H. Birdwell of Rutherford Co. TN.

17 June 1914.

. . . he [M. G. Butler] is now and has been for a period of many years a practicing attorney and Solicitor to practice law in all of the Courts of the State . . .

. . . on or about March the 3rd, 1914, the defendant W. H. Birdwell called upon him for the purpose of seeking his advice as to the advisability of instituting a proceeding against the defendant Jim Givens, to recover the following described lands, to wit: Lying and being in the fifth District of Jackson Co. TN, Bounded as follows, on the north by the lands of Carter Harris, on the east by the lands of Sebe and Andy Pharris, on the south by the lands of Nancy Kirkpatrick and Marion Loftis and on the west by the lands of Nancy Kirkpatrick, containing by estimation 100 acres. The said James Givens was setting up a claim to said lands under a deed which Givens claims was executed to him by Elizabeth Pharris, his mother, long after she had parted with her title by and to Alex Pharris, and after the death of Alex Pharris and when the legal title to the lands was vested by descent in the minor daughter of Alex Pharris.

At the time the defendant W. H. Birdwell called upon Complainant, as above shown, the said W. H. Birdwell exhibited to Complainant the instrument or Power of Attorney, executed by William Mayberry to him on Jan. 10, 1914 . . .

Complainant charges that he at once took up the matter with Defendant Birdwell and began the investigation and did investigate the question as to who held the legal title to the lands at that time. The minor daughter of Alex Pharris having died unmarried and without issue, he came to the conclusion that the legal title to the lands was then in Jane Mayberry, who had formerly married Alex Pharris, and was his widow, and had married defendant Wm. Mayberry. She was also the mother of said minor daughter, then deceased, and she, Jane Mayberry, was the next of kin of said deceased daughter and so advised defendant Birdwell.

Thereupon defendant Birdwell as Attorney in Fact of the defendants William and Jane Mayberry . . . entered into an agreement and contract with complainant or Solicitor to represent the defendant Mayberrys in a suit thereafter to be brought in Jackson County for the purpose of clearing up the title and recovering possession of said lands . . .

. . . the defendant Givens fraudulently procured the said Mayberrys to make an affidavit before a Notary Public that they never did employ complainant . . .

. . . the suit was dismissed by the Court . . .

Complainant believes some compensation was paid to the Mayberrys to induce them to make the Affidavit in order to defeat Complainant of his right to just compensation. -bp.

THE BILL OF COMPLAINT of William Mayberry [Mabry] and wife Jane Mayberry of Davidson Co. Tennessee, complainants vs. James Givens, Jackson Co. Tennessee, defendant.

Elizabeth Pharis was the widow and relic of James Pharis, dec'd, who died many years ago, leaving her with two minor children as the issue of their marriage, whose names were Alexander Pharis and Arminilla Pharis. Dower was assigned said widow and also Homestead for the benefit of herself and said two children out of the real estate of her said husband. Thereafter she sold and conveyed her said Homestead right to A. J. Pharis in exchange for the lands hereinafter described and one G. R. Maddox made and executed to her a deed to the same, the consideration being paid by the said A. J. Pharis. . . the said Elizabeth made and executed and delivered to her said son Alexander Pharis a deed conveying to him said tract of land . . .

. . . on the 27th day of Feb. 1893 said Alexander Pharis married complainant Jane and they together with the said Elizabeth, continued to live upon said land and said Alexander continued to manage and control it until his death which occurred on the second day of Dec. 1893 and on the 27th of Dec. 1893 complainant Jane gave birth to a daughter as the issue of her marriage with Alexander Pharis, who was named Alice; that said Alice lived till the 31st day of March 1911, when she died intestate without issue, brother or sister or husband, she never having been married.

Neither the deed from G. R. Maddox or from said Elizabeth to her son Alexander were ever registered. On or about the 27th day of Nov. 1895, after the death of the said Alexander Pharis, the said Elizabeth . . . attempted to convey said land to the defendant James Givens, a son of the said Elizabeth by a former marriage.


Respondent avers that Elizabeth Pharris made a deed to the land described in this case to Alex Pharris for the consideration for him to pay her debts and take care of her the balance of her life. The said Alex Pharris only lived a short while after said deed was executed and did not pay her debts that he contracted to pay, nor did he pay the taxes assessed against said land, and the said Elizabeth Pharris lived about nine years after Alex Pharris died. And after the death of Alex Pharris and before the birth of Alice Pharris, the daughter of Alex and Jane Pharris, Jane, being Alex's widow, surrendered the deed made to Alex Pharris by Elizabeth Pharris and stated when she surrendered the same that she could not carry out the contract in said deed. She moved off said land in 1893 and respondent moved on said place in said year, and bought it two years later from Elizabeth Pharris, and had his deed registered . . .

Deposition taken: 11 Oct. 1915 at North Nashville, Tennessee.


Age 68. Notary Public of Davidson Co.

She [Jane Mabury/Mabry] is sick all the time and in the bed and is sick yet. I don't know how long, but she has been ever since I have known her.

Deposition taken: no date.

M. G. BUTLER, further cross-examined.

/s/ M. G. Butler

Depositions taken: 25 Sept. 1915 at residence of Wm. Maberry [Mabry], 808 Taylor St., Nashville TN.


Age 49 next Oct.

Denies any interest in the land. Doesn't believe that he and his wife signed a power of attorney, but only answers to a deposition. -bp.

John Harris . . . is a brother to my wife . . .

/s/ W. F. Mabry


Age 42. Live in Nashville.

Quest. When did you marry your present husband?

Ans. We married Nov. 1, 1897.

Quest. Have you had any child or children by your present husband? If so, when did it die?

Ans. Yes, Sir, one. It died Oct. 16, 1900.

Quest. Is your daughter Alice living or dead, if dead, when did she die?

Ans. Alice is dead. She died March 31, 1911.

Quest. When did you and Alex Pharris marry?

Ans. We married the 27 day Feb. 1892.

Quest. How long did John Harris stay with you when he brought the paper for you to sign?

Ans. He stayed two nights. One night with us and one night with my other sister.

/s/ Jane Mayberry

Deposition taken: no date.


I am about 56 years old. I live in the 5th Civil District of this county. I am a farmer by occupation.

James Pharris was my father's name. He is dead.

Yes, I knew Elizabeth Pharris. She was my stepmother; she was the fourth wife of my father.

I bought this place that is in litigation from George Maddux and swapped it to her [Elizabeth] for her homestead and dower, being part of the place where I now live and where my father died. I never knew of her [Elizabeth] having any children by her first husband except Jim Givens, the defendant in this case. She had two children by my father, Alex and Armanilla.

Quest. Who did Alex marry . . .

Ans. He married Jane Harris. She is the same one named in this case as defendant, Jane Mayberry.

Quest. What was the physical condition of Alex's wife at the time of his death, and what became of her after his death?

Ans. She was in bad shape; she was expecting to be down right soon, and had been wearied with Alex through a long spell of typhoid and was not able to go to Alex's burial. She went to her father's, or they carried her one, I don't know how she got there.

Quest. Henry Birdwell . . .his Grandpa Kirby . . .

/s/ A. J. Pharis


Summary: M. G. Butler is to get half interest in the land as his fee. Jane Maberry [Mabry] has a life interest in the other half. Givens has no right to the land, but may remain upon it and is not chargeable with rents during the natural life of Jane Maberry. At her death it goes half to M. G. Butler and half to W. H. Birdwell, to whom Jane Maberry had already given a deed. Costs of the suit go 1/3 to M. G. Butler, 1/3 to W. H. Birdwell and 1/3 to James Givens. Givens appealed to the TN Supreme Court. -bp.

Deposition taken: 21 & 22 Sept. 1915.


I am 57 years old. I live in the 5th District of Jackson Co. TN.

[Jane Mabry] is my sister.

Quest. How long did Elizabeth Pharris live after Alex Pharris died?

Ans. Something like seven years.

[Jane] was the widow of Alex Pharris . . .

She didn't have anything herself and had to come back to my father's to be taken care of herself.

She [Jane] was a delicate [not strong and able bodied] woman.

[Elizabeth Pharris] was an invalid. It taken pretty close attention. She was a great deal of trouble and she was in the bed most of the time.

. . . my brother [George] from Colorado was in here on a visit . . .

Quest. Where did defendant Givens live at prior to the death of Alex Pharris?

Ans. My understanding he lived close to Kempville, Smith County.

/s/ J. F. Harris


I am 58 years old. I live in the 5th District of Jackson County.

Quest. How many acres are there in it [the farm in dispute]?

Ans. Why, there are about 50 acres of it; the deed calls for 100 acres more or less. It was called for in the deed before Freeze sold it for 50 acres more or less and has been assessed at 50 acres.

Quest. When were you married?

Ans. March 20, 1882.

Quest. Where, and to whom, were you married?

Ans. I was married in Smith County and married Geneva Givens.

Quest. Did your wife have any sisters, if so, how many?

Ans. Yes, Sir, she had five, I reckon it were.

I was born in Smith County in the 5th District and lived principally all the time up till my marriage in Smith County, 1886 and '87 I lived on Dry Fork of Martin's Creek on the farm that A. J. Pharris now owns, and in 1887 I moved back to Smith County. I lived there until 22 years ago, this Christmas, I moved where I am living now, and have been living there up till now, 22 years.

I have paid one of my wife's sister's burial expense, that married Jack Burton, seven years ago this Sept.

. . . [I] have got to pay a doctor bill for one of my wife's nieces, this year that has not lived about me, that has been a pauper in the Jackson Co. poor house.

Quest. Have you and your wife any children?

Ans. One, but it is dead.

Quest. Are you and your wife any kin?

Ans. We are cousins.

/s/ J. R. Givens


I am 57 years old. Live in Putnam Co. I have been trustee of Jackson Co. and Represented Jackson Co.

Quest. Was you acquainted with Elizabeth Pharris during her lifetime and lived close to her?

Ans. Yes, Sir.

Quest. Was he [Alex Pharris] a healthy or a sickly man?

Ans. He was a weakly man.

Quest. Was he able to pay his own debts?

Ans. I think not; he owed me for money to get his license when he died. He told me he couldn't pay it before he died and was sorry for it, that he didn't have the money.

Quest. Do you mean his license to marry?

Ans. Yes, Sir.

/s/ John Vantrease

COUNTY, 1882.


Newton Moore, Guardian of Charles Row.

29 Sept. 1892.

Final Settlement with Newton Moore, guardian of Charles Row, minor heir of Adam Row, dec'd.

Balance due ward: $288.90.


Amount received from proceeds of land sale of Denton Moore, dec'd.

April 13, 1881. $41.40.

Amount received of A. H. Morgan, Administrator of J. P. Philips, May 14, 1881. $35.70.

/s/ M. G. Butler, Administrator of Roxanna Rowe, deceased.



30 Oct. 1874.

. . . defendant James Williams is in possession of the lands in the pleadings mentioned as having been conveyed by his intestate B. E. Williams in his lifetime to his grandson, William Williams, and has been in possession thereof during the year 1874 . . .

Deposition taken: 26 April 1873.


. . . James Williams, the son of B. E. Williams.

. . . [B. E. Williams] executed it [the deed] in his grocery house in Gainesboro. His son James Williams . . .

/s/ W. G. Cox.

THE BILL OF COMPLAINT of L. J. Lowe, Administrator of Benj. E. Williams, deceased, against Zachariah Vanhooser and his wife Sally Ann Vanhooser, James Williams and Thos. Williams of Jackson County, Tennessee and Mary McKinnis [McKinney?] of the State of Illinois and William Williams, a minor son of James Williams of Jackson Co. TN and has no guardian and the said Thos. Williams is also under 21 years of age, and Susan Williams of Jackson Co. TN.

20 Nov. 1867.

. . . Benjamin E. Williams departed this life in Jackson Co. TN intestate some time in March, 1867.

. . . L. J. Lowe was regularly appointed and qualified as the administrator of said B. E. Williams, deceased . . .

. . . intestate died seized and possessed of a house and lot in Gainesboro TN, to wit, lot no. [blank] south of and adjoining the lot Z. Vanhooser lately bought of H. Denton and on which said Vanhooser now lives. Also one lot, or an interest with said Z. Vanhooser in a lot . . . east side of the public square in Gainesboro, lying between the home owned by and occupied by Labon Loftis and the house owned by Russell M. Kinnaird and now occupied by M. Kirkpatrick as a drygoods store. . . a short time before the death of his intestate B. E. Williams, he, the said Williams, executed to his grandson William Williams, a son of defendant James Williams, a deed to a tract or parcel of land on the north of and adjoining the town of Gainesboro, the same land on which said B. E. Williams died and on which his widow Susan Williams now lives . . . said deed to Wm. Williams . . . was made when said Williams was not of sound mind and without consideration. . .

. . . complainant thinks it will take about all of said real estate to pay the debts of his intestate and costs incident to the administration of said estate . . . Zachariah Vanhooser . . . married a daughter of Benjamin E. Williams, deceased, to wit, Sally Ann, and James McKinnis [McKinney?] married Lucy Williams, also a daughter of B. E. Williams, dec'd. The said Lucy is dead, leaving an only child, Mary McKinnis [McKinney?] and the said James and Mary McKinnis reside in the State of Illinois. Martha Jane Williams married a son of B. E. Williams, dec'd, who is dead and Martha Jane is his widow without children, having had one child by her husband, [blank] Williams, and it is dead. James and Thomas Williams are both sons of Benjamin E. Williams, deceased.

Deposition taken: 24 Oct. 1873.


About 52 years old.

Debts owed from estate total $1548.72.

My recollection is that B. E. Williams died the fourth day of March 1867.

All the personal property and real estate of said intestate has been sold except the tract of land conveyed to said William Williams.

/s/ Z. Vanhooser


About 37 years old.

/s/ W. G. Cox


. . . it appears to the Court that said B. E. Williams at the date of making said deed [to his grandson] was justly indebted to divers persons to an amount largely more than the value of his entire property both real and personal. The Court is therefore of the opinion that said conveyance was voluntary and fraudulent . . .

It is therefore decreed by the Court that said deed of conveyance from B. E. Williams to Wm. Williams be set aside, cancelled, delivered up and for nothing held and that said tract of land which lies in the 1st Civil District of Jackson Co. TN and is bounded by the lands of George M. Putter, John P. Murray and R. A. Cox, containing 20 acres . . . be sold . . .

THE BILL OF COMPLAINT of Z. M. Young, Commissioner of Revenue for the County of Jackson for the use of the State of Tennessee.

. . . Lucy McKinney [McKinnis] was a daughter of B. E. Williams. She and her husband are both dead. Said Lucy McKinney is dead and left two or three children who are minors. Their names and residences are unknown.


THE BILL OF COMPLAINT of M. G. Butler against John M. G. York and his regular guardian William York, all of Jackson Co. TN.

August 1898.

. . . on the 13th day of March 1897 . . . a judgement was rendered in favor of complainant M. G. Butler and against William York, guardian of John M. G. York, for the sum of $250.13 [and costs].

. . . there is no means, effects, money or personal property belonging to said ward . . .

Your orator charges that said note was executed by said guardian for attorney's fees for services rendered by your orator to said ward and his regular guardian at their special instance and request in various litigations wherein the property, consisting mainly of real estate, of the said ward was involved and in the protection and preservation of said real estate. The said ward, John M. G. York, is the owner of the real estate hereinafter described, which is in the possession and under the management and control of his said guardian, William York. Said real estate is here described as follows: all lying and being in Jackson Co. TN, bounded on the south by the lands E. A. Brown, on the west by the poor house lands, on the north by the land of J. H. Dennis, Jordon Montgomery and N. B. Young and on the east by the lands of B. C. Butler and J. W. Carter, Sr., the lands of Dr. S. B. Fowler, and the lands of the heirs at law of L. M. Gipson, deceased.

Complainant further charges that John M. G. York's guardian, William York, purchased for his ward and took title to another tract of land in Jackson Co. TN known as the Vance Lee farm on the north side of Cumberland river and bounded by the Cumberland river, the lands of S. S. Myers, the lands of T. P. Myers, the lands of W. H. Quarles and the lands of Dr. W. H. Ragland. Said land was purchased at the price of $5000 . . . John M. G. York . . . is about 19 years old . . .


2 Feb. 1899.

. . . since the filing of said [original] bill, the said John M. Gipson York has attained his majority as your orator is informed and has made settlement with his former Guardian, defendant William York, and has received within the last few days as your orator is informed and believes, some $1500 in cash . . .

. . . parcel of land assigned to the said John M. Gipson York in the partition of the landed estate of John M. Gipson, deceased . . . [see the case of W. M. Gailbreath, Guardian, and L. M. Gipson against John M. Gipson York, et. al.].

Your orator further avers that defendant is about to fraudulently dispose of his property in order to hinder, delay, or defeat just creditors in the collection of their debts.

Deposition taken: no date, probably 20 June 1899.


I am 50 years old, reside in Gainesboro, lawyer by profession.

I am [complainant in this case].

The defendant John M. G. York was divisee under the Will of John M. Gipson . . .

L. M. Gipson and defendant John M. Gipson York were the principal legatees and divisees under said Will. Soon after the death of Eliza F. Gipson, widow of John M. Gipson, deceased . . .

Deposition taken: 20, 21, 22, & 23 June 1899.


I reside in Gainesboro TN. Practice law some.

Some several months ago, J. M. G. York came to me and represented to me that he was then 21 years of age, that he attained his majority on Dec. 15, 1898, as I remember. He insisted that he was born Dec. 15, 1877.

Mr. Butler says that he took depositions from others, attesting to this birth date. They are not in this folder. -bp.

I know of his [John M. G. York] making a deed for a small tract of land in Gipson hollow to Wm. York. This was a deed of gift to him expressing on its face "for and in consideration of the love and affection I have for my father, Wm. York. . ."



. . . the grants to the land in controversy issued to John G. King and Cyrus King and William King were taken out in the names of these persons by their father, Rev. Jones King . . .

. . . Rev. Jones King . . . his son, James King, Jr. . .

. . . in the 8th Civil District of Johnson County . . . called the "King Shady lands". . .

This typewritten document says "Rev. Jones King" but later refers to a James King Sr. I suspect the typist may have misread the name. -bp.


THE JOINT AND SEPARATE ANSWER of Andy Carter and Amanda Carter to the Bill of Stanton Butler, Mildred Ramsey, A. B. Ramsey, Stafford Butler, Charlie Butler, Ethel Butler, George Butler.

Respondents admit that about the time stated in the Bill that there was a Divorce proceeding in which Amanda Carter obtained a divorce from Robert Butler on the grounds of cruel and inhuman treatment.

Respondents admit that in said divorce decree that respondent Amanda was decreed the tract of land described in complainants Bill during her natural life and at her death to go to her Butler children.

Respondents admit that the personal property set out in the Bill was decreed to Respondent Amanda, but aver that she did not get it all; that Robert Butler took a lot of the meat that was decreed to respondent and left his children and respondent without meat and respondent had to buy meat for their use.

Respondent avers that Robert Butler was enjoined in said divorce case from in any way molesting respondent Amanda in her person or property and in the care and custody and control of her said six children; this part of the decree by the said Robert Butler has been knowingly, willfully and grossly and intentionally violated by the said Robert Butler; that shortly after their divorce he began to persuade and hire and by force to take their said children away from your respondent Amanda and this has kept up since their separation and respondent avers that the said Robert Butler is the instigator of the Bill filed against your respondent.

. . . respondents have always been desirous of her said children living with her and they would have been with her if it had not been for the misconduct of the said Robert Butler in procuring and forcing them to leave her.

THE BILL OF COMPLAINT of Stanton Butler, Mildred Ramsey and her husband A. B. Ramsey, Stafford Butler, Charlie Butler, Ethel Butler and Georgia Butler, citizens of Jackson Co. TN, the last four of whom are minors without General Guardian and sue by their brother and next friend, Stanton Butler, complainants, against Andy Carter and Amanda Carter, also citizens of Jackson Co. TN, defendants.

. . . on the 23rd day of March 1898, in the case of Amanda Butler against Robert Butler, being a Bill for Divorce and Alimony in Your Honor's Court, a decree was rendered in favor of the said Amanda, now defendant Amanda Carter . . .

"The Court further decrees to complainant during her natural life and to her six children after her death the following described tract of land as a homestead, to wit: lying in the 14th Civil District of Jackson Co. TN and bounded on the north by the lands of T. L. Martin and on the east by James Draper and on the south by Rufus Herring and K. T. Sincy and on the west by Elizabeth Reeves, containing about 65 acres . . ."

. . . complainants except [A. B.] Ramsey are the six children mentioned in said Decree . .

. . . she [Amanda] intermarried with her co-defendant Andy Carter, which was something over two years after the date of said decree . . .

The complainants say they were driven from their mother's home, and want a portion of the homestead. -bp.


THE SEPARATE ANSWER OF WILLIAM GRAY, a citizen of Macon Co. TN to the Bill of Complaint of James W. Draper and Daniel M. Morgan, administrators of Samuel S. Gray, deceased.

17 July 1866.

. . . William Gray, respondent's father, who was a citizen of Jackson Co. TN, departed this life in said county several years ago, having first made and published his last Will and Testament as charged.

Sally Myers was a relative of the testator [William Gray] and nursed him in his last sickness and for which he verbally gave her a negro girl named Patience, but the executor refused to deliver said negro girl to the said Sally Myers under said gift, but took her himself under the Will, which had been previously written by the testator . . .

William Gray [his mark]

Depositions taken: 25 May 1877.


A great many men [who] were good and solvent at the outbreak of the war were entirely broken up by the war.


Aged 59 years.

The country in 1863 and 4 was in a state of war, especially in the county of Jackson. Federal troops were roaming over the county continuously, civil law had [unreadable] during these two years and it was unfeasible to collect a debt by process of civil law and numbers of good men in the county at the commencement of the war was hopelessly insolvent at the end of the war.

I do not remember the date of the Gray's sale and hiring but think it was some time in the year 1863. In those two years we had but little money except Confederate money, and property sold and rented for exorbitant prices generally. I cannot particularly say how Gray's property sold and rented, not now remembering, but suppose it sold and rented high like other [unreadable] of the kind. I do not think it would have been safe for any man to have kept money by him during those two years, neither was it safe for a man to keep property by him because there were thieves and robbers continually roaming over the county nearly all the time. The state of society had become demoralized and people became reckless in offering high prices for property thinking they could pay in Confederate currency.

/s/ L. C. Hall

Depositions taken: 26 & 29 May 1877.


Aged 52.

I lived here all those years [1863, 1864 & 1865].

I was at the sale of S. S. Gray, deceased. The property sold tolerable high. The negroes hired for double their value.

S. F. Murray and R. C. Kirkpatrick were good and solvent at the time S. S. Gray's property sold but at the time Civil Law was restored in Jackson County in the year 1868 they was hopelessly insolvent. Especially as to R. C. Kirkpatrick and as to Z. Vanhooser. He has been in a broken up condition all the time. William Gore and T. H. Butler both good at that time in Jan. 1863. Nothing could have been made off of either of them at the close of the war . . .

. . . Wm. Stafford, A. Pharris and Toliver Kirkpatrick . . . since the war when law and order was restored they were all insolvent. . .

I would consider that these parties [D. A. Rawley, S. H. York, and A. Hare] were good at the time the note was executed, but since the war they are all insolvent.

/s/ W. W. McCue


I was in Jackson county on Flynn's Creek in the years 1863 & 4 and a portion of 1865.

The condition of this county from 1862 to the latter part of 1865--law was in abeyance. The society of this county was in bad condition, thievery and pillaging was common. There were roving bands of guerillas all through this country.

/s/ B. B. Washburn

Deposition taken: 7 Feb. 1894.


/s/ M. G. Butler

Deposition taken: 6 Sept. 1892.


/s/ H. H. Cason

Deposition taken: 23 July 1892.


I am about 50 years old and live in Jackson Co. TN.

I knew Sam S. Gray and some of his brothers and sisters. My mother, Elizabeth Myres, was his sister, but his older brothers had moved off and I had no personal acquaintance with them. Elizabeth Myres, my mother, is dead.

Quest. Please state the names of all the children of Elizabeth Myres.

Ans. James Myres, Sallie Myres, Polly Myres, John Myres, William Myres, Susan Myres, Abe Myres, Henry Myres, Thomas Myres, S. S. Myres and Margarett Myres--eleven in all.

Quest. Which of these are dead.

Ans. Susan, who married Mat Morrel [Morrell] is dead and Henry Myres is dead.

Quest. What are the names of Henry's children . . .

Ans. Charley Myres, Fred Myres, Martin Myres, Annie Myres and their mother Vina Ragland is their general guardian. They are all minors.

Quest. Do you know the names of the heirs of Susan Myres or Morrel?

Ans. I know only two of them. Jim and Clar--the two that were born before they left here. They moved many years ago from TN to MO and from there to Arizona or to Indian Territory, I do not know which.

/s/ S. S. Myres

Depositions taken: 21 Aug. 1893.


/s/ M. L. Gore


I was Deputy Clerk and Master of said [Jackson Co. Chancery] Court, was appointed early in the year 1877 and ceased to act in 1884.

/s/ J. T. Anderson


/s/ S. G. Gore



In 1871 as I remember I formed a partnership with A. W. Dewitt in the practice of law in the Chancery Court.

. . . his [A. W. Dewitt's] death which occurred in Jan. 1876 as I now recollect.

I am the owner by purchase of the interest or share of Polly Young in the distribution of said estate, she being one of the heirs of S. S. Gray, deceased.

Joshua Chapman is now dead . . .

/s/ M. G. Butler

Deposition taken: no date.


/s/ H. H. Loftis


19 Jan. 1850.

I, Achilles Hare have this day bargained and sold and do hereby transfer and convey to Samuel S. Gray . . . [for] $106 . . . a tract of land in the State of Tennessee, Jackson County and District No. 1, containing by estimation 99 acres . . . a path leading from where Nicholas Hail, Sr. formerly lived to where Nicholas P. Hail now lives . . . near John Stafford's west boundary line . . . Joseph Stafford's field . . .


March term 1878.

Many, many pages of credits and debits of this estate. -bp.

Deposition taken: no date.


Aged 58 years.

I am the administrator with the Will annexed of S. S. Gray, deceased.

He discusses the notes he's collected for the estate and the service's he's performed, justifying his fee. -bp.

. . . Ben Chapman, who married a niece of the testator . . .

. . . David Myres [Myers], who was a brother in law of the testator . . .

/s/ T. H. Butler


No date.

Under this Bill the estate was settled, the land having sold for $6371.00

[Attorney's fees] amounting in the aggregate to about the sum of $15,000.00.

/s/ Geo. H. Morgan

/s/ John P. Murray

Deposition taken: 30 Jan. 1879.


Aged 65 years.

/s/ Labin Loftis

Deposition taken: 31 Jan. 1879.


/s/ R. P. Brooks

Deposition taken: 5 Feb. 1879.


Aged 57 years.

I lived on said lands [of S. S. Gray] about 12 or 15 years.

I was acquainted with William Gray and a part of his heirs. I knew his son Wilburn Gray and his daughter Betsy Myers and his son Sam'l Gray from the reputation of the family. I knew his daughter Polly who married Daniel Johnson. She is dead. Mrs. Ben Chapman and Mrs. Joshua Young are her only children. I also know from reputation John Gray, James Gray and Dick Gray. I understand John Gray is dead.

/s/ V. C. Lee

Deposition taken: 20 April 1874.


Aged 54 years.

/s/ T. H. Butler

Depositions taken: 20 Nov. 1877.


I am a daughter of William Gray, deceased.

I am the Elizabeth Myers that William Gray bequeathed $200 in cash to in his lifetime and the same spoken of in his Will.

No part of the $200 spoken of never have been paid to me by anyone.

William Gray, my father, died in the year 1856 in Feb. . . .

S. S. Gray died in Dec. 1862. He was my half brother.

David Myers was my husband. He is dead. He died in Dec. 1872.

He [S. S. Gray] did leave a large amount of personal property and several Negroes at his death. He was a bachelor . . .

Elizabeth Myers [her mark]


Aged 59 years.

I am a practicing lawyer in Gainesboro and have been for the last 34 years.

/s/ B. B. Washburn

Deposition taken: 22 Nov. 1873.


Aged 44 years.

/s/ James Eaton

Deposition taken: 24 & 25 Nov. 1873.


Aged 47 years old.

I was a Justice of the Peace for several years immediately succeeding the war in the 1st Civil District of Jackson County . . .

/s/ W. W. McCue

Deposition taken: 26 & 27 Nov. and 2 Dec. 1873.


[the estate of S. S. Gray] . . . a Negro girl named Eliza who was hired to John L. Mohany in the year 1864 for the sum of $41.00. They also hired to David A. Rowley a Negro woman named Matilda. . . Said Negro woman was hired to said Rowley for the sum of $21.00. . .

/s/ James W. Draper

Depositions taken: 23 Nov. 1874.


Aged 55 years.

/s/ T. H. Butler


Aged 49 years.

/s/ W. W. McCue


Aged about 62 years.

The number of slaves belong [ing] to S. S. Gray's estate at the time myself and D. M. Morgan taken charge of them as administrator's pendente lite of said estate was twelve as I now recollect. One man, George, aged about 65 years, one other man, Lar, aged 45 years, Wiles aged 21, Whit aged 18 years, Frank aged 16 years, John aged 15 years; the first six men and boys, one woman Fiby [Phoebe] aged 40 years, one other woman Elsy aged 50 years, Matilda, girl, aged 17 years, Jane aged 24 years, Marg aged 20 years, one other girl, Patience, aged 10 years.

We hired the Negroes which belong[ed] to the Estate of S. S. Gray, deceased . . . at his residence at public auction on the [blank] day of Jan. 1863 as follows. We hired Larus to William Stafford for $176.00, to W. W. McCue, Wiles for $201.00, to F. M. Price, Whit, for $190.00, to D. A. Roley [Rawley], George, for $60.00. We also hired to D. A. Roley [Rawley], Els for $90.50, to Samuel H. York, Jane, for $140.00, to Jefferson Roberts, Marg, for $60.25, to David Myers, John, for $73.00, to David Myers, Frank, for $96.00, to David Myers, Pheb and Patience, for $6.25.

We hired about the first of Jan. 1864 for that year what Negroes we could command belonging to the Estate S. S. Gray, deceased, on the premises. The hiring was public, as usual, to wit, to D. A. Roley [Rawley] we hired Matilda for $21.00, we hired to David Myers, John, a woman named Phebe and girl Patience for $15.00. To S. F. Murray, Frank, for $35.00, to T. H. Butler, Whit, for $25.00, to T. H. Butler, Jane for $75.00, to John L. Mahaney, Elsa, a woman, $41.00. The slaves which belong [ed] to the Estate of S. S. Gray was not hired after 1864. They left their employer before their time was out and was finally emancipated by the war.

/s/ James M. Draper


Deposition taken: 6,7,8 & 10 June 1876.


I knew Dr. W. R. Kenner and his condition about the time he executed this note or notes [1863] . . . he then owned land, Negroes, some horses, cattle and hogs and was considered entirely solvent. His Negroes was emancipated in 1865 and I think in that year he conveyed his lands to W. H. Botts. He then soon got shet of his personal property and afterwards bankrupted and finally died insolvent and remained insolvent all the time from his bankruptcy till his death.

There were several that was liable as principal or security on notes to the Gray estate that became insolvent very soon after the Emancipation of the Slaves and the opening of the courts after the war. Among them I would mention W. R. Kenner, A. J. Martin, William Stafford, Toliver Kirkpatrick, Laben Loftis, John R. Stamps, D. A. Rawley, Achilles Hare, S. H. York, John L. Mahany, Benjamin Chapman, and others.

/s/ T. H. Butler

Deposition taken: 9 & 12 June 1876.


/s/ James W. Draper

Deposition taken: 16 June 1873.


Aged 64 years.

Daniel M. Morgan . . . is not [now] living.

/s/ James W. Draper

Depositions taken: 23 Feb. 1878.


I am a practicing attorney and solicitor of the [unreadable] county of Jackson and surrounding counties and also of the Federal and Supreme Courts at Nashville. I have some knowledge of the Estate of S. S. Gray at the time of his death. I suppose, including Negro property at what it was then supposed to be worth, his Estate was then worth or would have been considered worth, from $15,000 to $20,000.

/s/ R. A. Cox


Aged 31 years.

I am a practicing Solicitor of this Bar and have been since the Spring of 1867 . . . I am a son of said Daniel M. Morgan.

Depositions taken: 29 Dec. 1877.


/s/ J. W. Smallwood


Quest. Where did you reside during the war and since?

Ans. In Jackson county, near Gainesboro.

/s/ Peter J. Cox


Aged 70 years.

I was an acting Justice of the Peace for Jackson County while Draper & Morgan were the administrators of the Estate of S. S. Gray, deceased.

/s/ Peter G. Cox


16 Nov. 1847.

. . . by virtue of Entry No. 2789 . . . entered on the 29th of April 1844 . . . is granted William Gray, Sen'r a certain tract or parcel of land containing 18 acres by survey . . . on the waters of Roaring River and in District No. 1 . . . survey of Nicholas Hales, Jn'r . . . survey of Nicholas Hales, Sen'r . . .

THE BILL OF COMPLAINT OF THOMAS H. BUTLER, ADMR. OF THE WILL ANNEXED OF SAMUEL S. GRAY, DEC'D, A CITIZEN OF JACKSON CO. TN AGAINST David A. Rawley, Ben F. Chaffin, J. P. Philips, Newton Moore, Sr., Valentine Van Hooser and his wife Orpha Van Hooser and Newton Moore, Jr., all of Jackson Co. TN, Samuel A. Moore of Clay Co. TN, James Roberts and Jasper Moore of the State of Missouri, Samuel A. Moore, Jr. and his brothers and sisters, children and heirs at law of Alfred Moore, dec'd, who's names and residences are unknown, Roxanna Harris, who is now married but the name of her husband is unknown and her brothers and sisters whose names are unknown of the State of Texas.

7 Nov. 1873.

. . . J. P. Philips . . . is the equitable owner of the following described tract of land, lying in Jackson County TN in Civil District No. 1 of said county, containing 312 acres, adjoined by the lands of Buck Tuny [Toney?], Jasper Orgathorpe [Oglethorpe?] and others, which lands were deeded by the said Philips to Denton Moore on the 25th day of Oct. 1859 . . .

. . . Denton Moore is now dead and that defendants Samuel A. Moore, Newton Moore, Sr., [&] Orpha Van Hooser, wife of Valentine Van Hooser are his only living children--that defendants Roxanna Roberts, wife of James Roberts, Newton Moore, Jr., Jasper Moore, Samuel A. Moore, Jr. and his unknown brothers and sisters, Roxanna Harris who is now married but the name of her husband is not known to your orator and her brothers and sisters whose names are also unknown to your orator are children of some deceased children of the said Denton Moore . . .

Deposition taken: 19 Dec. 1872.


Aged 27 years.

/s/ John Van Hooser


Aged 53 years.

/s/ Vance Lee


Aged 25 years.

/s/ Samuel Reed


Aged 38 years.

/s/ J. M. Morgan


/s/ John H. Stafford


/s/ Samuel Reed

THE SEPARATE ANSWER OF MARTHA J. LEE by her general Guardian J. M. Maxwell to a Bill of Complaint filed against her and Daniel M. Morgan, James W. Draper, David Myers and others by Thomas H. Butler.

No date.

She admits that by the Will of Samuel S. Gray, $1000 was bequeathed to complainant, $1000 and the residue was bequeathed as charged. It is true that John Anderson died, without wife or issue, before the testator Samuel S. Gray. It is true also that no one can be procured to administer on his estate. Defendant Elizabeth Anderson is his mother. John Anderson was reputed to be an illegitimate child of Samuel S. Gray. Respondent is advised that the legacy to John Anderson did not lapse by the death of the said John Anderson, but survived to her.


Deposition taken: 19 Nov. 1877.


Aged 68 years.

Daniel M. Morgan is now dead.

We hired for the year 1864 one Negro woman to John L. Mahany for $41.00. The Negro run away in short time.

Renting in 1863 [of the lands in the estate of S. S. Gray].

B. P. McClendon rented the mill and small piece of land at $ 341.00

Rented to Alford Pryor for $ 27.60

Rented to W. R. Kenner for $6.25.

Renting in 1864.

We rented to W. R. Kenner for $7.00.

We rented to A. J. Martin for $41.00

Rented to Caleb Lemmons for $36.00

Rented to T. K. Harris the mill and some land at $125.00

Rented to V. C. Lee on the Long Branch for $5.00

Renting for 1865.

W. R. Kenner rented a small farm and mill at $265.00

Rented to A. J. Martin for $25.00

Rented for $50.00 to America Harris which we failed to deliver her possession of

. . . it was by the interference of the soldiers that we failed to give possession.

Rented to V. C. Lee for $6.00

Rented to T. K. Harris for $25.00.

Rented in 1866.

To J. B. Stafford the mill and some land for $5.00.

James Allen rented for $25.00.

W. R. Kenner rented small farm for $5.00

James Y. Puty rented for $26.50.

Rented to Nimrod Read [Reed] for $76.50.

Rented to Caleb Lemmons for $1.00

Rented to V. C. Lee for $1.00.


Rented to W. R. Kenner a small farm for $5.00.

Rented to J. H. Harris for $35.00

Rented Nim Read [Reed] for $51.00.

Rented to V. C. Lee for $5.00.

Rented Caleb Lemmons for $51.00

Rented to John S. Read [Reed] the house and some land for $6.00.


Rented to V. C. Lee for $5.00.

Rented to Nimrod Read [Reed] for $80.50.

Rented to J. H. Harris for $43.25.

Rented to John Vanhooser & Z. Vanhooser & Valentine Vanhooser for $56.00

Rented to Caleb Lemmons for $36.25.

. . . the account due P. H. Dudny [Dudney] for making S. S. Gray's coffin . . . $9.80.

/s/ James M. Draper


8 Aug. 1894.

. . . the heirs of S. S. Gray dec'd are six in number and are as follows: John Gray, Richard Gray, Elizabeth Myers, Wm. Gray, dec'd (who was the father of J. B. Gray, G. W. Gray, W. J. Gray, Sydney Gray & Martha Gray) and another sister of S. S. Gray, Martha S. Gray, who married Daniel Johnson and was the mother of Polly Young and Angeline Chapman, and James Gray, another brother of S. S. Gray. Elizabeth Myers left eleven heirs, as follows: William Myers, Sallie Myers, Thomas Myers, Maggie Hall, Abraham Myers, Henry Myers, Polly Hall (deceased without issue), John Myers, Jonas Myers, Susan Myers and S. S. Myers.

. . . Clay Reeves who holds the transfer of Polly Hall's [share] . . .

. . . Henry Myers being dead, his share will be paid to Vina Ragland, guardian of his minor children . . .

Martha S. Gray is dead and left Angelina Chapman and Polly Young her only heirs.

William Gray is dead and his share will be paid to his heirs named above.

[Martha J. Lee got one half of the estate of Samuel S. Gray and his siblings got the other half. -bp.]


23 March 1896.

State of Missouri.

County of Newton.

We, William Myers [&] Jonas Myers, citizens of said County and State and heirs of Elizabeth Myers, dec'd, late of Jackson Co. TN, for value received do hereby transfer and convey unto L. K. Smith all of our interest in the funds in the case of T. H. Butler, Admr. vs. A. W. Dewitt, Admr. et. and A. W. Dewitt, Admr. et. vs. T. H. Butler, et. als. and other cases . . .

. . . estate of the late Sam Gray, a brother of our deceased mother . . .

s/s William Myers

s/s Jonas Myers

CIRCUIT COURT RECORD in the Case of Martha Lee & T. H. Butler against David Myers & others.

4 May 1868.

3 July 1867: . . . the death of William Gray, one of the contestants in this cause, was suggested and admitted.

On motion it is ordered that a servefacious [?] issue to the Sheriff of Macon County against the administrator and heirs of said deceased Wm. Gray . . .

Nov. Term 1867: . . . Geo. W. Gray, William L. Gray, Sydney S. Gray and Martha S. A. Gray, heirs at law of said deceased William Gray . . .

12 & 13 March 1868: . . . jury of good and lawful men (to wit) John J. Brown, Moses Grimstaff, B. W. Roberts, J. G. Cunningham, G. W. Clancy, Harvey H. Draper, Leroy Pharis, Samuel K. McDaniel, William Loftis, Joseph C. Spurlock and Joseph Birdwell. . .

Found that the purported Will of Samuel S. Gray was in fact his Will. -bp.

I, Samuel Gray, do make and hereby publish this my last Will and Testament with the following bequests, to wit, John S. Anderson and Frank Lee's present child, a girl not yet named, all of my estate consisting of Negroes, lands, horses, cattle, hogs, household and kitchen furniture and all accounts and notes due me at my death except some notes and accounts which I hold on Thomas H. Butler, for and in consideration of the high respect and love which I entertain toward Thomas H. Butler. I bequeath to said Thomas H. Butler all the notes and accounts which I may hold on or against him, also a certain sorrel mare named Nance, also $1000 in money after all my debts are paid and I decently buried. The balance of my money which I may die possessed of to go to the above named John Anderson and Frank Lee's said child.

This the 30 of May, 1856.

/s/ Samuel S. Gray


Thos. D. Cassetty

Plesant J. Rawley

Deposition taken: 21 Dec. 1876.


/s/ T. H. Butler

Deposition taken: 27 March 1878.


/s/ James W. Draper

Deposition taken: 6 Sept. 1875 at Berryville, Carroll Co., Arkansas.


Aged 45 years.

. . . at my store on Blackbourn's fork . . .

I called on [F. H.] Butler in Nashville TN. . . his son M. G. Butler had said note at Gainesboro. . .

I was selling goods at the time I paid the note off [year not named]. I was able to pay all my debts in said years [1866-1872]. There was a portion of the time spoken of that I was engaged in farming. I had four head of horses, five head of cattle and 20 or 25 head of hogs in an average all the time.

I left the State of Tennessee in Nov. 1872. I lived in Jackson County TN from the time I executed my note [1867] to the said Draper & Morgan up to the time I left the State of Tennessee.

/s/ J. H. Norris

Deposition taken: 21 Nov. 1873.


Aged 39 years.

/s/ John V. Minor

Depositions taken: 22 Nov. 1873.


Aged 49.

/s/ James Eaton


Aged 36 years.

/s/ W. G. Cox


Aged 55 years.

I am acquainted with some of the heirs of Sam Gray. I knew his half brother Wm. Gray in his lifetime. I know his half sister Betsy Myers. I have learned he had two other half brothers, James and John Gray and a half sister named Polly, who married Daniel Johnson. These last I never knew.

/s/ B. B. Washburn

Deposition taken: 25 Nov. 1873.


Aged 76 years.

I was well acquainted with Samuel S. Gray and his father William Gray. They are both dead. Samuel S. Gray was never married. He had no brothers or sisters of the whole blood. His brothers and sisters of the half blood, the children of his father, were John Gray, William Gray, Polly married to Daniel Johnson, and Betsy who married David Myers. I understood from Wm. Gray, Sr. that he had another son named James who left this county before I became acquainted with the family. The others above named I knew. John left this county many years ago. I don't know whether he is living or not. William and Polly are both dead. They left issue as I am informed. Betsy, the widow of David Myers, is still living. Sam Gray's half brothers and sisters, children of his mother by a former marriage, were Betsy, who married John S. Turner, Fanny, who married Allen and James Gaines, whom I knew. Betsy and James are dead. They left issue. Mrs. Gaines, afterwards the wife of Wm. Gray, may have had more children by her former husband, but if so I did not know them. I now remember that she had another daughter named Susan who married Calloway Sizemore. I don't know whether she is living and if alive where she resides. Sam S. Gray's mother died before her husband William Gray. I think William Gray, Sr. had a son named Richard. Don't know where he is if living. I may be mistaken as to James Gray but what I have stated as to him is my best impression.

. . . my son William A. Quarles . . .

/s/ Jas. T. Quarles

Deposition taken: 27 Nov. 1873.


Aged 56 years.

I, as administrator of my son, Amon B. Hale . . .

N. P. Haile [his mark]

Deposition taken: no date.


Aged 52 years.

I am now Clerk of the Circuit Court of Jackson County, have been Clerk of said court about 3 1/2 years.

/s/ Z Van Hooser

Deposition taken: Dec. 1873.


Geo. H. Morgan did appear and prosecute in the Circuit Court in the Cause of the State vs. Rose Stafford for the murder of S. S. Gray.

I was County Judge of Jackson Co. and likely I was at the Feb. Term, 1857 . . .

/s/ A. W. Dewitt

Deposition taken: no date.


Aged 31 years.

/s/ Geo. H. Morgan

Deposition taken: 1, 6 & 8 Dec. 1873.


. . . my father, D. M. Morgan.

I was absent during the entire war except a few short visits home. I came home to stay in May 1865.

/s/ J. M. Morgan


18 Jan. 1896.

. . . I, Mrs. M. L. Farguharson, widow, of Des Moines, Iowa, have nominated and do hereby constitute and appoint George H. Morgan & Son my true and lawful agents and attorneys in fact . . .

/s/ Mrs. M. L. Farguharson

Deposition taken: 16 March 1878.


Aged 57 years.

I am the same Jerry Maxwell, guardian of Martha Lee . . .

I lived in Overton County during the time I had control of the land as receiver, etc. I lived about 18 miles from the Gray farm of which I had control.

/s/ J. M. Maxwell

Depositions taken: 28 July 1868.


I had frequent conversation with the said William Gray in which he frequently stated that he had given all up to Sam to do with as he pleased, meaning his son Sam. Said William Gray was married the second time and his son Samuel S. Gray was the child of his second or last wife and he had no other child by his last wife to my knowledge. Have heard William Gray say he and his last wife had together made most of the property on hand at her death. William Gray's Blacksmith Shop was burned and the tools were in it. The best of my recollection is that there were three men and three boys and one woman worked on said farm for three or four years previous to said William Gray's death. Said Negroes had belonged to William Gray.

He [Samuel S. Gray] worked in the crop those years and was a good hand in the crop when sober but he was frequently drunk.

/s/ Dan'l M. Morgan


Aged 61 years.

I lived within 1/2 mile of Wm. Gray, Sr., deceased, in his lifetime.

His son Sam'l Slircy [?] lived with him up to his death.

/s/ William Stafford


Aged 55 years.

. . . Thos. Young (son of Berry Young) . . .

At one time [in 1858 or 1859] Thos. Dennis was present, who is now dead.

Caleb Lemons [his mark]

Deposition taken: 24 June 1868.


Aged 42 years.

. . . heard Sam say that his father had given his brother, William Gray, a Negro boy named Gabriel, and that William had taken the boy off.

Mary Young [her mark]

Deposition taken: 25 June 1868.


Aged 54 years.

I am the same Francis or Fanny Allen mentioned in the last Will of Wm. Gray, Sr., deceased, to whom a bequest was made.

It has always been my understanding that none of the bequests were ever paid by S. S. Gray except the one to me. William Gray, Jr., now also deceased, received the Negro boy Gabriel bequeathed to him in said Will.

Fanny Allen [her mark]


Aged 81 years.

David Myers [his mark]


Aged 53 years.

Benj. Chapman [his mark]


Aged 48 years.


13 Feb. 1867.

We have allotted and appropriated to the heirs of S. S. Gray a portion of said lands called Lot No. 1 and Bounded as follows, to wit: corner of Little B. Young's fifty acre survey. . . Stafford's line . . .Abner Chaffin's north boundary line . . . Young's southwest corner . . . containing 12 acres & 40 poles. To Abner Chaffin, Lot No. 2 . . . Stafford's line . . . Lynn Love's southwest corner . . . 15 acre tract in the name of John Parker . . . James Young's north boundary line . . . containing 15 acres & 30[?] poles.


April term 1875.

Contains accounts of the estate of Samuel S. Gray. -bp.

Samuel S. Gray departed this life in Dec. 1862. He owned at the time of his death 12 Negro slaves, six males and six females, namely George, then about 60 years old, Lazarus about 50 years old, Phoeba about 60 years old, Elzy about 48 years old, Marg about 18 years old, Will about 17 years old, Whitley about 15 years old, John about 12 years old, Frank about 15 years old, Matilda about 12 years old, Patience about 8 years old and Jane about 20 years old.


Sept. Term 1875.

Lengthy summary of the accounts of estates of Wm. and S. S. Gray. -bp.


June 1891.

In view of the fact that it appears that the cases involving the Gray estates will never be resolved, and that most of the funds will be eaten up in attorney's fees, Polly Hall, James Hall & his wife Margaret Hall and Wm. B. Gray sell to Clay Reeves their shares of their interest in the estate of Samuel S. Gray. -bp.



16 Nov. 1865.

For the consideration of $1.00 to me in hand paid and the other considerations hereinafter mentioned, I, Absolum Pharis, of the County of Jackson and State of Tennessee, do hereby sell, transfer and convey to William H. Botts. . .tract of land lying and being in Jackson County TN in Civil District No. 1 and bounded as follows . . . Thomas Gore's line . . . meanders of the road leading from Columbus to Livingston . . . James Pharis's southeast corner . . . Elizabeth Pharis's dower . . . John W. Denton's corner . . . containing about 75 acres, being the same land deeded to my by Nathan Pharis and the tract whereon I now live. Also one lot of ground in New Columbus where the [unreadable] mill now stands, also the wheel and fixtures upon said lot. Also one ox cart and bed, one yoke of oxen, yoke ring and staple, also one still and 16 tubs now on my still house and near John J. Brown on the Ridge in Jackson county, also one cord Bark Mill [?].

Mortgage deed for debts. -bp.

s/s Absolum Pharris


4 March 1863.

For the purpose of securing to Thomas H. Butler a note of this date due the 1st day of July next for the sum of $1680.40, I hereby convey to Sampson W. Cassetty in trust the following described tract of land in Jackson Co. TN, Civil District No. 1, on the south side of Cumberland River and north of Roaring River containing by estimation 90 acres and 74 1/2 poles and bounded as follows, to wit: . . . bank of Cumberland River . . . up said river. . . Thomas Gaw's tract of land . . . the road leading to Gainesboro from New Columbus . . . including the dwelling and outbuildings where I now live . . . the above tract of land being the same land laid off to me by Commissioners who were appointed by the Chancery Court in the case of myself against Richard Poteet and others.

s/s Wm. Gore

CIRCUIT, 1871.

Depositions taken: 2 May 1876.


/s/ B. B. Washburn


Aged 34 years.

/s/ Geo. H. Morgan


I, as administrator of Henry Sadler, dec'd, am the plaintiff in this suit.

/s/ T. H. Butler

Deposition taken: 5 May 1876.


/s/ Z. Van Hooser


No date.

The jury found in favor of the plaintiff. The defendant owes the plaintiff $645.00. -bp.


No date.

Summary: He says the note was for the purchase of a certain Negro slave, but plaintiff did not have a good title to her and therefore could not sell her. So the sale is null and void. Furthermore, the plaintiff, as administrator of Henry Sadler, deceased, is indebted to the defendant for boarding, clothing, feeding, paying doctor's bills and generally providing for a certain Negro woman named Susan and her four children--the property of the plaintiff's intestate, for the years 1857, 1858, 1859, 1860, 1861 and 1862 . . . -bp.

CIRCUIT, 1904.

BILL OF COMPLAINT OF W. H. BUTLER, a citizen of Smith Co. TN against Caroline Butler, a nonresident of TN and a citizen of the State of KY.

15 Nov. 1904.

. . . filed original Bill of Complaint in your Honor's Court against the Defendant on the 3rd day of Oct. 1904, seeking a divorce . . .

And in addition to the charges therein made . . . abandoned him and refused to live with him and has willfully absented herself from him for more than two whole years without any reasonable or just cause. He states that she has left the State as he is informed to take up her abode in the State of Kentucky with one Mike Bohen [?] by whom she is the mother of one illegitimate child and has been gone to Kentucky about 16 months . . .

Deposition taken: 3 Nov. 1904.


46 years of age.

I have known them [the Butler's] about 12 years.

I have lived a near neighbor.

Quest. Did you ever have a conversation with Caroline Butler when you was visiting her and in which she stated that she had got a letter from the father of her son Willie and that she was going to leave Mr. Butler and go back to Kentucky to Willie's father . . .

Ans. Yes . . .

Quest. Will you please state if you ever heard Caroline say her and Willie's father was married or not.

Ans. Yes, Sir. I have heard her say they were not married.

Mary Finn [her mark]

BILL OF COMPLAINT of W. H. Butler, a citizen of Smith County, TN against Caroline Butler, a citizen of [blank] County, Kentucky.

No date.

. . . he and defendant Caroline Butler were married in Jackson County, TN on or about Dec. [blank] 1896 and have been resident citizens of Jackson County TN ever since until about the 1st of March 1904 when defendant moved to [blank] County KY and complainant moved to Smith County TN.

He complains that she was quarrelsome and they could not get along. The defendant was the mother of an illegitimate child before said marriage, by a man in the State of Kentucky, and she threatened that she was going back to Kentucky to the father of said child and some time in March 1904 "she shure enough went." He also says she threatened complainant's life at various times.

COUNTY, 1911.


10 Oct. 1911.

Balance due by Executrix to estate: $685.20.

Heirs: W. M. Bybee, Barlow Bybee, Florence Bybee, Turney Bybee, Walter Bybee, Eliza Ann Bybee, Maggie Bybee, & Mary Elizabeth Bybee.



19 Aug. 1834.

. . . Reuben Bailey, who was then a citizen of Buckingham County, Virginia, on the 9th day of Sept. 1833, by deed of that date, gave to his daughter Elizabeth Bailey, who afterwards married the complainant William Bybee and who is the complainant Elizabeth Bybee, a Negro woman named Mary, together with her future increase that he [unreadable] by said Deed of Gift reserved to himself the use of said Negro woman, Mary, during the term of his natural life. That said deed was duly acknowledged and registered and on the same day it was executed . . .

. . . about the year 1834 the defendant moved to Jackson County TN where he had in his possession said Deed of Gift until a short time since and fraudulently represented that there was no such instrument of writing ever made by him. That said Negro woman has given birth to three children now living and in possession of the defendant, to wit, Alexander, William and Charles. That a few days ago your orator and the said defendant Bybee [sic. Should be Bailey -bp.] negotiated a trade by which your orator procured Ira Van Hooser and John Van Hooser to execute to said defendant a deed to 75 acres of land which your orator was [unreadable] to a deed for, bounded as follows: . . . mouth of Webster's creek . . . line between Reuben Bailey and John Van Hooser . . . Kirkpatrick and Burk[unreadable] line . . . to Cumberland River . . . with the meanders of said river . . . which was estimated to be worth $500. . . and in consideration thereof said defendant agreed to relinquish his life estate in said Negro woman to your orator and your orator was to have possession of her.

. . . but he [defendant] absolutely refused and still most fraudulent[ly] refuses to sign said deed or any writing conveying his interest in said Negro woman to your orator but hold the deed to said land made to him. . .

They further charge that the defendant has been threatening recently to sell and send beyond the limits of this state said Negroes and they fear and believe that he will be induced and influenced to do so by his said wife (who is a third wife and stepmother to your oratrix) who has very recently discovered that the children she has by said defendant will have no interest in said Negroes.



No date.

All rights to the tracts of land are to be vested in the purchaser, A. J. Harley.

BILL OF COMPLAINT of F. D. Byers of Jackson County TN, Brantly Byers, Shields Byers of Missouri, Wales Byers of Texas, A. J. Harley and his wife Ardela Harley of Jackson Co. TN, Wm. Brown and his wife Bianca Brown of the State of Texas, Mary Hensley and her husband Ben Hensley, Bell Denson and her husband Thomas Denson and Wm. Byers, citizens of Jackson Co. TN against Emily Byers and Helen Byers of Jackson Co. TN.

Complainants charge that A. N. Byers departed this life intestate in Jackson Co. TN on the 30th day of June, 1897, seized and possessed of the following described tracts of land, to wit:

1st tract called the Jno. W. Young tract . . .Bilingsley's line. . . Woodfolk Pippin's corner . . . containing [blank] acres . . .

2nd tract called the Carr Terry place, lying in the 10th Civil District . . . bounded . . . side of branch known as the Levy Gipson spring branch . . . containing [blank] acres . . .

3rd tract called the Brooks tract, lying on the waters of Flynn's creek, known as the East hundred acres of the Adcock entry . . . the beginning of the 100 acres conveyed by R. P. Brooks to J. K. and Richard Fox on the 1st of June 1863 . . . containing 100 acres, more or less.

4th tract called the 4000 acre tract, lying in District No. 10 of said County, on the waters of Blackburn's fork & Flynn's creek and bounded . . . north boundary line of a 4000 acre survey in the name of Charles D. Wade . . .north side of Francis Anderson's spring branch . . . passing Charles D. Wade's northwest corner . . . containing by estimation 4000 acres, more or less.

Complainants charge that the following are the only children and heirs at law of the said A. N. Byers, to wit: F. D. Byers, Brantly Byers, Shields Byers, Wales Byers, Ardela Harley, Bianca Brown and Jerome Byres. Ardela Harley intermarried with complainant A. J. Harley and Bianca Brown intermarried with complainant Wm. Brown. Jerome Byers is dead. He left surviving him complainants Mary Hensley who intermarried with complainant Ben Hensley, Bell Denson who intermarried with complainant Thomas Denson and the defendants Emily and Helen Byers, both of whom are minors . . .

Complainant Brantly Byers has been appointed Administrator of the personal estate of said deceased . . .

Deposition taken: 22 March 1898.


I knew A. N. Byers in his lifetime for 34 or 35 years. I know his children who are now living. F. D. Byers, Brantley Byers, Shields Byers, Wales Byers, Ardelia Harley, Bianca Brown. Jerome Byers is dead. He left children Mary Hensley, Belle Denson, Wm. Byers, Emily Byers and Helen Byers. Ardelia is the wife of Ab Harley, Bianca Brown is the wife of Wm. Brown, Mary Hensley is the wife of Ben Hensley, Belle Denson is the wife of Thomas Denson.

A. N. Byers died in Jackson County some time last year.

I know the John Young place owned by A. N. Byers at the time of his death. I know the Carr Terry place or entry that he bought from Carr Terry. As I understood it, Byers was to get all that was not taken by prior claims. I am of opinion that all or nearly all of the Brooks East Hundred acres of the Adcock entry was disposed of by A. N. Byers in his lifetime.

I do not think there is any encumbrance on any of the lands. He was one of the most particular men about paying his debts of any man in the country. I don't suppose he owed a dollar unless it was a doctor bill in his last sickness.

/s/ F. P. Fox


My age 65 years. Occupation surveyor and farmer.

/s/ E. L. Jackson


I am the administrator of A. N. Byers, deceased . . .


THE ANSWER OF EMILY BYRES AND HELEN BYRES by their Guardian ad litem . . .

Plats of tracts included.


Sept Term 1898.

Complete descriptions of all tracts included, also plats.


At home, March 14, 1901.

At night.

Dear Lewis and family,

In answer to yours of recent date, I enclose settlement of the Byers land matter, with B. A. Butler made today. I called on him last Monday and he put me off till Thursday. I got Bill Draper to assist and he writes as though he did it all. Of course I care not for that. I got the $12.00 note on Jim Wolf and statement against Dr. Gillackham. Have nothing with that business and started it a little. Mr. Anderson says you want him to take your cow at whatever she is worth. I saw Al Tate yesterday and told him to give her up to Mr. Anderson. So I guess he will get her soon.

The Circuit Court passed off guilty--indicted J. U. Carter for murder in the first degree and then Judge Smith heard the testimony and permitted Carter to give bail in the sum of $10,000.00

Boone Hesland, J. M. G. York and Monroe German were indicted for murder in 1st degree and they are all in jail. Carter made his in ten minutes or less time. Also a $2000.00 peace bond. I saw Bansen about your ten dollar fee in the Tilly claim in the Murray case and he said he could not pay out anything on any debt in that case--caw--that costs and lawyers fees covered everything that had been paid in. I receipted Bowen corn for the $51.73 for you. He issued check to me and I then endorsed it to him. J. T. Anderson drew $150.00 of this cost in your name near one year ago as your atty. I supposed you give an order for it. Those Bees contracted to Carter and Harvey not extracted are about the only hives in the lower yard that are heavy. I have not examined those at Wash Hampton's. I know they can not do as well as if they had your attention.

I hope I will be able to hold our unsettled business straight for a time longer without your presence.

Many friends express a desire to see you and want to know when you are coming. The news came by telephone of a very destructive fire in Sparta yesterday. The wind was so strong and every combustible so dry that many parties lost their house furniture and goods after they were carried out of the houses. We have a cold spell on now. A good boat tide in the river. Some logs on the way to market. I paid receipt from B. A. Butler as you requested. No more tonight.

Love to all, especially to Marnea [?] and Mildred.

Your affectionate uncle,

J. M. Morgan

THE BILL OF COMPLAINT of Dio Pippin and his wife Helen Pippin, who are citizens of Jackson Co. TN against Brantley Byres, Admr., et. al.

31 Dec. 1902.

. . . Helen Pippin is a child of Jerome Byres, a deceased son of the said A. N. Byres, deceased, who has intermarried with the complainant Dio Pippin. . .

They complain that the Administrator has so far failed to pay them their share of the estate. -bp.


Deposition taken: no date.


Lawyer and farmer for occupation & 72 years old.

Quest. How long have you been a practicing atty?

Ans. About 40 years--but not all the time.

/s/ J. M. Morgan


I am atty. Have been practicing for 8 or 10 years.

/s/ S. M. Tinsley


I am a practicing solicitor of this court, have been for several years.

/s/ B. A. Butler


I am a practicing solicitor of this Court.

/s/ W. W. Draper


. . . I offered the land described in the pleadings in this case. . .for sale . . .on the 7th day of July 1906 at public outcry when J. C. Chaffin became the purchaser at the price of $385.00.


5 Feb. 1889.

For and in consideration of the sum of $700 to us in hand paid the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, we, James A. Haile and wife R. S. Haile hereby sell and convey unto John J. Payne, his heirs and assigns forever, the following described land, Lying in the 10th Civil District of Jackson Co. TN, to wit: Known as the Bashram place or a part thereof, commencing on a corner known as Littleton Smith and Walter Clinton's, on the south line of said Bashram tract . . . a conditional line made between said Clinton and W. R. Chilcutt to the Gainesboro & Sparta road, thence northwestward with said road to the Gainesboro & Cookeville Road, then westwardly with said road to a corner near Peter Goodwin's Blacksmith Shop, thence with said road to the Spring--thence down said Spring branch. . . containing in all 200 acres, more or less.

/s/ J. A. Haile

/s/ R. S. Haile

THE BILL OF COMPLAINT of Belle Byrne and her husband William Byrne, Allie Chaffin by her next friend Nathan Chaffin and Nathan Chaffin in his own right, and Texas Martin, all residents of Jackson County TN and Lura Young and her husband Turner Young, residents of the State of Kentucky against E. F. Payne, Ova Robertson and her husband Jesse Robertson, Lucy Haney and her husband Pierce Haney, Albert Payne and Frank Payne, the last two being minors, all residents of Jackson County TN.

29 Sept. 1905.

. . . John J. Payne died intestate in Jackson County TN several years ago, seized and possessed of the following tract or parcel of land lying and being in the 10th Civil District of Jackson County TN, and bounded as follows: on the North by the land of J. J. Payne, on the South by the lands of Thos. Davidson, on the East by the lands of Montgomery, on the West by Sol Robertson, containing 200 acres, more or less.

The said J. J. Payne, deceased, had the following children and his widow, to wit, Belle Byres, formerly Payne, wife of William Byres, Allie Chaffin, formerly Payne, wife of Nathan Chaffin, Allie Chaffin, a minor . . .Andy Payne, J. J. Payne, America Haney, formerly Payne, wife of George Haney, Ova Robertson, wife of Jesse Robertson, Lucy Haney, wife of Pierce Haney, Texas Martin, whose husband Fate Martin is dead, Lura Young, wife of Turner Young, Alvin Payne, Frank Payne, who is a minor without general guardian, Lora Haney, wife of George Haney and Albert Payne, who is a minor without general guardian.

. . . E. F. Payne is the widow of John J. Payne, deceased, is living on the land . . .

Depositions taken: no date.


I am 64 years old. I am a farmer. I live in the 10th District of this county.

/s/ Jno. P. Mabury


I am 56 years old. I reside in the 10th Civil District of this county. I live in about 3/4 of a mile of the land [in dispute].

There are two small old houses there on the place and a small stable.

/s/ J. C. Whitson


I am 36 years old. I live in the 10th District of Jackson county. I live on the adjoining farm to the land involved in this suit.

I am one of the heirs of John Payne, deceased.

. . . my father has been dead about 16 years.

/s/ J. J. Payne


THE BILL OF COMPLAINT of Byrne Bros. & Co. and R. F. Weakly & Co. of Davidson County TN against W. P. Herod & N. W. Herod formerly merchants trading under the firm name and style of W. P. Herod & Co., and N. W. Herod as an individual, of Jackson Co. TN. W. P. Herod now resides in Smith Co. TN. E. Eaton and F. Roddy formerly merchants trading under the firm name and style of Eaton & Roddy of Jackson Co. TN. F. Roddy as an individual and W. W. Draper his Justice in an assignment made on the 30th day of June 1888.

This case is about debts.


Depositions: no date.


/s/ James W. McHenry


I am a solicitor of this Court.

/s/ A. A. Swope


Aug. Term, 1869.

. . . the Clerk and Master reports . . . he, on the 5th day of April 1869 at the Court House doors in Gainesboro, sold to the highest bidder . . . the tract of land in the pleadings and decree mentioned, being the tract of land purchased by Alferd [Alfred] Wade several years ago at the Clerk and Master's sale of the lands belonging to the estate of James Pharis, deceased, Excepting and Excluding the portion of said tract of land which has heretofore been assigned to the widow of Alferd [Alfred] Wade and the reversionary interest in said Dower not being sold. Said tract of land lies on the Big Branch in Jackson County TN and is bounded as follows, to wit: Beginning on a buckeye on James Burgesses west boundary line . . . a Beech at the Still house road . . . two locusts where the Still house Road and Gainesboro Road intersects . . . T. Bynen's line . . . containing 180 [plus] . . . when Drury Spurlock became the purchaser, he being the highest and best bidder at the price of $600.00 . . .

. . . the title of said tract of land be divested out of James Hargis, Ida Wade, Julia A. Wade and Millea A. Wade and their heirs . . . [James Hargis is included in this because he was owed some money yet from the purchase of this land, and had a lien on it -bp.].


I, Alford [Alfred] Wade, in the name of God, Amen, of the County of Jackson, State of Tennessee, Being of Sound mind and disposing memory, do hereby make and publish this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all former Wills by me made. I first Will that all of my just debts be paid, then disposed [sic] of the remainder of my property as follows. I Will and Bequeath to my beloved wife Martha T. Wade, the tract of land on which she now lives, lying in the State of Tennessee, Jackson County, Civil District No. 15 on the head waters of the Big Branch bounded by the lands of Allen Maner, James Burgis, Terrel Burns and John Hargis, containing about 180 acres, one horse, one cow, 10 head of stock hogs, 3 head of sheep and ample supply of corn and pork or bacon to do her and family 12 months, all the household and kitchen furniture, all of the farming utensils and $75.00 in cash. The remainder of my property I wish to be sold and the money that it brings and also the money that is collected on my notes and accts. I wish to be given to my two children, Ida E. Wade and Julia A. Wade. The above mentioned property that I Will to Martha T. Wade I wish her to have and to hold during her lifetime or widowhood. At the expiration of her life or widowhood, I wish the property willed to her to be sold and the money that it is sold for to be equally divided between my two children, Ida E. [it is E. here, and A. elsewhere -bp.] and Julia A. Wade.

April the 13th, 1863.

This Will was Entertained before it was Signed and Witnessed.

/s/ Alford Wade


Terrel Byrn

Samuel M. Brown

THE BILL OF COMPLAINT of Terrell Byrne & Martha T. Wade against Idea Wade, Julia A. Wade and James Harguss [Hargis], all of Jackson Co. TN.

. . . Alferd [Alfred] Wade died on the [blank] day of [blank] 18[blank] leaving complainant Martha T. Wade his widow and defendants Idea, Julia A. and Millia A. Wade his heirs and devisees.

Millia A. was not born at the time of making of said Will, but was born within less than nine months after the death of said Testator but was not provided for in said Will.

Martha T., the widow of said deceased Testator came forward in open court at the [blank] Term 1866 of the County Court of Jackson and then and there entered her dissent to said Will . . .

Complainants will further show that at the [blank] Term of said Court they were appointed and qualified Administrator and Administratrix of said Testator with the Will annulled.


No date: Bailey, Frank vs. Bailey, Julia.

1888: Bailey Rissiol [Kissiah] vs. Bailey, Geo.

1885: Barnett, C. D. vs. Barnett, Bettie

1898: Bartlet, [Pearl] Belle vs. Bartlet, Marian.

1887: Bartlet, Marion vs. Bartlet, Sarah J.

1915: Bennett, Monroe vs. Bennett, Florence.

1913: Blackburn, Elizabeth vs. Blackburn, Robert.

1877: Branch, Samuel vs. Branch, Manerva.

1908: Brooks, Hughston, vs. Brooks, Almer

1910: Brown, Laura vs. Brown, Mattison.

1883: Brown, J. W. vs. Brown, Elizabeth.

1886: Buck, Orpha vs. Buck, Denton.

1893: Burgis, Robert vs. Burgis, Tennessee.

1876: Burk, W. H. vs. Burk, Mary J.

No date: Burton, M. M. vs. Burton, G. W.

1903: Butler, Caroline, vs. Butler, W. H.

THE BILL OF COMPLAINT of Kissiah Bailey of Jackson Co. TN against George Bailey of parts unknown.

12 July 1888.

. . . she and the defendant was married in Jackson Co. TN on the 8th day of May 1887. They lived together as man and wife until about the [blank] day of Aug. 1887, at which time he, George Bailey, willfully and maliciously deserted her and she is informed that he went to the State of Kentucky.

Kisiah Bailey [her mark]

THE BILL OF COMPLAINT of Perry Barnes of Jackson Co. TN against Mendar Barnes of Overton Co. TN.

7 Feb. 1910.

Defendant lives with Mack Hammock near Dillard Graigs at Poplar Spgs.

Complainant will show the Court that complainant and defendant were married in Jackson Co. TN about seven years ago and lived together about three months when they separated.

Complainant charges that the defendant has been guilty of adultery divers times since this marriage . . . she has given birth to two children since complainant left her and the complainant is not the father of either of them.

/s/ Perry Barns


4 May 1885.

Your petitioner will respectfully show that on the 29th day of August 1883 he and defendant were married and lived together until Dec. 1884 and that in Dec. 1884 she was guilty of adultery with Joe Kirk, a citizen of Clay Co. TN to his own knowledge and further that defendant refuses to wash the clothes of your petitioner and also refused to cook meals for him on divers occasions.

THE BILL OF COMPLAINT of Marian Bartlet of Jackson Co. TN against Sarah J. Bartlet of parts unknown.

No date. A summons to John Stallion and Sam Hawkins about this case is dated March 1898.

. . . he and the defendant Sarah J. Bartlet was married in Jackson Co. TN on [blank] day of Jan. 1884, that they lived together as husband and wife for about one month when complainant caught the defendant in lewd and indecent conduct with one James Sutton.

Your orator is informed that James Sutton took defendant down on Martin's creek some twelve miles from your orator's.

The defendant soon after left that neighborhood and has not been heard of by your orator since, has made diligent inquiry for her whereabouts but can learn nothing as to where she is or where she went. It has now been some three years since their separation.

THE BILL OF COMPLAINT of Belle Bartlett of Jackson Co. against Marion Bartlett, a nonresident citizen of Tennessee, supposed to be a resident of Texas.

28 May 1898.

. . . she and defendant was married on Jan. 1, 1893 in Jackson Co. TN and lived together for the period of about two months when defendant willfully and maliciously abandoned her and left for parts unknown, saying before he left her that he never intended to live with Petitioner again.

Petitioner and defendant lived at Petitioner's mother's while they lived together . . . Before defendant left Petitioner, defendant on two or three occasions threatened to take her life and the life of her mother. He has also said that when he did this that he would also kill himself.

She is now dependent upon her mother and stepfather for support.

/s/ Pearlie B. Bartlet

THE BILL OF COMPLAINT of Monroe Bennet against Florence Bennett, both of Jackson Co. TN.

22 Feb. 1915.

He and defendant were married in Jackson Co. TN on or about the [blank] day of [blank], 19[blank] and lived together as husband and wife for about two weeks, when defendant, without any kind of excuse, left your complainant, telling him she loved another man better than she loved complainant, and has remained away from him ever since.

Complainant charges that since leaving him, defendant has developed into a common public prostitute and has been guilty of adultery on occasions too numerous to be mentioned, with many different men, especially one, Charlie Cantrell, with whom she left the county and remained away for some weeks.

He has resided in Jackson Co. TN all his life.

Monroe Bennett [his mark]

THE BILL OF COMPLAINT of Elizabeth Blackburn of Jackson Co. TN against Robert B. Blackburn of Montgomery Co. TN, as she is informed.

21 Nov. 1903.

. . . she and the defendant Robert B. Blackburn, were married in said county and state as near as she can remember some time in Jan. 1897 . . .

After said marriage they lived happily together as husband and wife for about two years, when some time in the year 1899 he told complainant that he was going to be gone three or four weeks, when he told her to go to her father's and stay, which she did, and in about four days he came home and from that time on to the present he has refused to let her come home and has refused and failed to provide for her and her child and she has had to look to her father for support for herself and child which was born to them.

. . . prays that her name be changed from Elizabeth Blackburn to Elizabeth Harris, her maiden name, and complainant is given charge of a boy child that was born to them by said marriage . . .

Elizabeth Blackburn [her mark]

THE BILL OF COMPLAINT of Samuel Branch against Manerva Branch, both of Jackson Co. TN.

March, 1877.

. . . on the 24th day of Oct. 1874 that your complainant and defendant were intermarried in Jackson Co. TN and for a short time thereafter they lived happily together.

. . . defendant has been guilty of adultery with divers men since their marriage. And he states, avers and charges that the defendant has been caught in the act of adultery with one John Hunter since their marriage. And that he has never cohabited with defendant since her lewd course and conduct came to his personal knowledge.

/s/ Sam Branch

THE BILL OF COMPLAINT of Hughston Brooks (Col.) vs. Almer Brooks, both of Jackson Co. TN.

6 Nov. 1908.

. . . were married in said county and state on or about the 25th day of Dec. 1905.

. . .[she] finally owned up that she was guilty of adultery with one Pascal Myers, Col. and divers other times with said Myers and other men and abandoned your Petitioner and she failed and refused to live with him any longer.

From said marriage there was one girl child [not named] born and he prays that he be allowed to keep said child . . .

Hughston Brooks [his mark]


24 March 1910.

Defendant made no defense to the cause. Allegations therefore will be taken as confessed.

Divorce granted.

Complainant given custody of their child Willie Freeman Brown.

THE BILL OF COMPLAINT of Luray Brown against Matison Brown, both of Jackson County TN.

28 Jan. 1910.

. . . she and the defendant were married in Jackson County on or about the [blank] day of Aug., 1908, that they lived happily together as husband and wife for a short length of time when the defendant commenced to abuse and curse and at one time whipped and abused her, calling her all kinds of vile names and did pull her hair and strike her with his open hand . . .

. . . defendant has . . . abandoned her and will not stay at home and live with her . . . refuses to provide for her . . . she was forced to live with her father for support . . . the defendant would leave her at home and go off and stay and lounge around one Maggie Kirby, a notorious prostitute . . .

/s/ Lura Brown

THE PETITION of J. W. Brown against Elizabeth Brown, both of Jackson Co. TN.

No date.

. . . in May 1873, in the county and state aforesaid, Petitioner married the defendant and lived with her until about six months ago when they parted and have been apart every since. That there was borned of said marriage four children, to wit, John Thomas Joseph Walton James Henderson Brown. [These names are without punctuation, so that I cannot tell where one name starts and another ends. -bp.]

He accuses his wife of adultery with John Porterfield; asks for divorce and custody of the children. -bp.

DIVORCE DECREE, Orpha Buck vs. Denton Buck.

17 March 1886.

. . . the complainant and defendant was married in Jackson Co. TN as charged on or about the 25th of Jan. 1881 and lived together until Feb. 1885, [after which defendant] failed and refused to provide anything whatever for her and her little son about 10 or 12 years old and still absents himself from her and fails and refuses to provide for her.

Divorce granted.

All of the defendant's property was given to complainant [a small tract of land and some stock, household and kitchen furniture]. -bp.

. . . further decreed by the Court that the Petitioner's name be changed from Orpha Buck to the name of her former husband, Van Hooser.


27 May 1893.

. . . he and the defendant intermarried in Jackson Co. TN on the 2nd day of July 1890 and lived peaceably together until about the 1st of Nov. 1890 when the defendant became tired of your orator and has since that time . . . refused to live and cohabit with him. The abandonment occurred at the home of Wash Guinn in Jackson Co. TN and has continued for more than two years . . .

. . . the defendant has been guilty of violating her marriage vow by repeated acts of adultery with one Isaac Stugtin . . .

. . . the defendant gave birth to a child on or about the 15th day of Sept. 1892. Your orator has not had connection with her since their separation.

Robt. Burgis [his mark]

THE PETITION OF W. H. BURK of Jackson Co. TN against Mary J. Burk of Putnam Co. TN.

7 Feb. 1876.

. . . he and the defendant intermarried in Clay Co. TN on the 3rd day of Aug. 1875.

. . . on or about the 10th day of Aug. 1875 the defendant committed adultery in Clay Co. TN with one Arkley Bales. . . when the defendant left his house, she went to the house or residence of one Wiley Bales who keeps a house of ill fame and there remained about one week or ten days. Your petitioner further charges that on or about the 15th day of Dec. 1875 the defendant committed adultery in Putnam County TN with one William Smith . . . also with Henry Webb in Putnam County.

W. H. Burk [his mark]


No date.

[Defendant] has failed to plead answer. . . his Bill is now taken for confessed . . . it appeared to the satisfaction of the Court that complainant and defendant were intermarried in Jackson Co. TN some two or three years past and have resided in this County since that time to the present. It further appeared to the Court that since said marriage the defendant has been guilty of divers acts of adultery and lewd intercourse with divers men.

Divorce granted.


No date.

. . .she is the plaintiff in this cause, that G. W. Burton filed a Bill in the Chancery Court of Jackson Co. for a divorce, that she had employed a lawyer to file an answer and cross bill to the divorce bill to obtain a divorce and alimony, but on the 5th day of April 1887, before she made any defense to said divorce suit, they made a division to the personal property and land and that G. W. Burton executed to her the three notes for $50.00 each in consideration of her portion of land and she accepted the notes as alimony and that she agreed to abide by and be satisfied with the division and that G. W. Burton agreed to this compromise of the alimony--but however, after these notes were executed and delivered to me and the affidavit made and contract entered into between me and G. W. Burton , just before I left Henry Ramsey, G. W. Burton said to me that now we have made the compromise and gone to all this trouble you will appear against me and I said, No, Sir, get your divorce if you can--that nothing was said about not appearing against him before the compromise and division of the property and execution of [unreadable] delivery of the three notes.

THE BILL OF COMPLAINT of Caroline Butler against W. H. Butler, both of Jackson Co. TN.

30 July 1903.

. . . she and the defendant W. H. Butler were married in said county and state on or about the [blank] day of [blank] 1897 and have been resident citizens of Smith and Jackson counties TN every since that time.

Your Petitioner and defendant W. H. Butler lived happily together as husband and wife about three weeks when defendant became abusive and cursed and abused your Petitioner and finally he abandoned her and left her to shift for herself and he in a short time after he came back and prevailed with her to live with him and thinking he would become a true and devoted husband to her as she was to him a wife, but instead he became more abusive and left several times and finally became so ill and abusive that it was intolerable to live with him and he threatened to kill her, [etc] . . .

. . . prays for a Divorce . . . that her name be changed from Caroline Butler to Caroline Daniell, her maiden name . . .

Caroline Butler [her mark]

COUNTY, 1895.


1 Oct. 1894.

John Cale, Guardian of Lou A. Haile, minor heir of Peter Tittle, dec'd.

Accounts of this estate.

INVENTORY REPORT of John Tittle & N. B. Myers, Administrators of Peter Tittle, dec'd.

7 Dec. 1885.

Inventory of estate.

FINAL SETTLEMENT of N. B. Myers & John Tittle, Admrs. of Peter Tittle, dec'd.

March term 1895.

Distributive shares to: J. B. Tittle, G. W. Tittle, John Tittle, William Tittle, Wm. Blevins and wife, N. B. Myres, J. K. Trousdale, W. G. Carrol, R. L. Tittle & John Tittle, Guardian of P. T. Haile & Luann Haile.


Depositions taken: 16 & 17 Nov. 1896.


I will be 24 years old the 13th of next July. My residence is in Putnam County. I am a farmer.

/s/ Smith M. Bryant


28 years of age.

I remember twice of hearing them [Levi Bowman & R. T. Campbell] talk concerning it [a trade]. The first time Campbell asked Bowman why he had given up the Deed and Bowman said I did not think you was ever going to do any more about it & and I done by it--Just as I would have done by Dine or Dillard (his brothers).

/s/ J. T. Scarlett


Quest. Are you the owner of the lands described in the Bill in this case?

Ans. Yes, Sir, I am the owner. I purchased same from Levi Bowman. I got a Deed from Bowman and the one Stafford gave him, he turned them both over to me.

. . . Uncle Hyman Bowman.

/s/ R. T. Campbell


I am a brother [to Levi Bowman].

Quest. . . . your father, Hyman Bowman . . .

J. T. Scarlett is brother-in-law to Complainant [R. T. Campbell].

R. M. Bowman [his mark]

THE BILL OF COMPLAINT of R. T. Campbell of Putnam County TN against Henry Stafford & Levy Bowman & Susan Stafford of Jackson County TN.

17 Aug. 1896.

On 17 March 1890 Henry Stafford and wife Susan Stafford transferred and conveyed to Levy Bowman the following described lands, to wit: Lying in the 1st Civil District of Jackson Co. TN on the ridge between Aaron's branch and Talley's hollow bounded as follows, to wit: on the East by A. J. Way heirs, on the South by James Young, on the West by John S. Quarles and on the North by Eliza Netherton's heirs & L. B. Stafford . . . containing 30 acres more or less.

. . . [in] 1890, the said Levy Bowman sold and conveyed said lands to complainant. . .

. . . Hyram Bowman (the father of defendant Levy) and the uncle of complainant . . .

/s/ R. T. Campbell

Depositions taken: 17 Nov. 1896.


/s/ Levi Bowman


/s/ Henry Stafford


/s/ R. T. Campbell


/s/ J. F. Scarlett


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This page last updated:  Thursday, August 13, 2015