transcribed by Edwina Lockert Ard

8 Sep 2003

[Note: Julia Etta Lockert was born 31 January 1868 and married Clarence Dunn 21 Dec 1893]

I was born in the ancestral home of my father in what is now known as Rudolph Town, in Dist. 11-Montgomery County - about five miles from Clarksville Tenn.My grandfather William Lockert whose grandfather Eli Lockert fought and died in the Revolutionary War.After the war was over - my great grandmother was granted 6 or 7 hundred acres of land along Red River just out of Clarksville.She had three sons Eli - William and Clayton.

William - my grandfather - married Betsy McFadden. To them were born 8 children - Margaret, Mary Jeraldine, Araminta - Charles - David - Aaron & James.My father David married Sarah Elizabeth Woodson - whose grandparents came from Virginia and they settled in Robertson County.

My grandfather Woodson with his family, when the children were small, my mother being the oldest child, had just married - A number of people had Texas fever at this time so several families grouped together as pioneers and settle in Johnson County near Alverado -but Cleburn was the county site.My grandfather was made County Judge and served thirty years.Judge James G. Woodson.They were so pleased with Texas they wrote back for my father and mother to follow them which they did in a few years.

While my grandfather was Judge he met up with Sam Houston one day.They had been friends back in Tenn.Houston had resigned the governorship of Tenn and was living with the Cherokee Indians. My g'father and Houston went off by themselves to have a talk about Tenn politics. Gr'father asked him why he gave up the gov.ship of Tenn.There seemed to be some mystery about but he had not heard what it was.

Sam Houston opened up his heart to his friend and told him all.He married a Miss Allen who lived not far from (can't make it out-could be Nashville). There was pressure brought about on her part by her parents.She had a lover whom she had expected to marry, but her parents knew Sam Houston admired her - and they were in favor of her marrying the Gov. when he pressed his suit.When the wedding took place - the minister asked them to join hands - when he took her hands in his he said it was cold and clammy.He realized then that she did not love him - he had her hand, but not her heart. After living together ____, he told her they had made a mistake - he wanted her to have her freedom and did not want her name besmeared - so he would resign the Governorship and go to Texas - and he did.That's the true story.My grandfather told this to me when he was here on a visit from Texas.

After living in Montgomery County for several years of married life, they decided to sell the house and go West - Texas. They did not like Texas, only lived one year, and decided to come back home.On their way back - they stopped in Ark. to visit a cousin who persuaded them to buy land near Bentonville - they staid (sic) there until the War Between the States closed.They suffered many hardships during the war - lost everthing but their land.All stock tools house burned.So in 1865 they decided to come back to Tenn.they took a steamboat at Sedalia Missourri (sic) and landed in Clarksville that Spring.They went immediately to the Lockert home where his mother lived. After living there a few years, my father sold his land out West and bought a farm in Dist. 1 - 2 miles north of Red River. Port Royal was the P. O.

The house on the farm had previously been a wayside Inn on the road from Hopkinsville Ky to Nashville Tenn. Travelers on the stage coach often stopped there for food and lodging for the nite - no railroad then and it was a two days journey.Thje house was built of logs - upstairs sleeping quarters - down stairs for entertaining.One big living room, dining room, with kitchen out in the yard about ten feet from the main dwelling. Kitchens were not joined to the house in those days on account of no fire insurance.Our house was truly "a house by the side of the road." Nobody from Prince to pauper was ever turned away. There was a woodland of five acres right in front of the house - just across the highway. In those days people traveled in covered wagons. Some had carriages for the families to ride in but they always has the covered wagons. Several families would group together and travel from I'll Indiana to Tenn and father south.They would often stop and camp in this woodland.They staked the horses and grouped the wagons around the camp fires - sometimes they would spend several days camping - for the women and children and horses to rest.They came to our house for water.Sometimes supplies such as milk and eggs - butter.We were very happy to have them spend a while for our children liked to play with their children, sit around the camp fires at night, hear them tell tales of adventure.They were happy days for us.

When my father bought the place there were no churches nor schools in the Dist.He felt the needs of both for the community.Hickory Wild Academy was not a free school - and White Chapel a private school - also a private school in a neighbors home where we started to school. My father organized a Sunday School in a vacant cabin owned byCaptain John Power, veteran of War Between the States, but the house was not close enough to the road - so J. E. Fortson offered his barn for the Sunday School. They put straw on the floor with a table and few chairs.They opened up the already organized Sunday School.My father was made Supt. and really taught the lessons.He lectured a lot on the prophecies, especially do I remember Daniel in the lions den and the Hebrew children in the fiery furnace. So many of the things he told us have really come to pass.He said America wood (sic) someday save the world from destruction for God would lead his people. And I believe he is with us in this terrible struggle War II.

The barn was only temporary for the Sunday School..There was a called meeting of the citizens of the community to consider building a public school house. J.H. Stephens, D.C. Elliott, J. E. Fortson, Capt John H. Power, Col. J. W. Lockert, Richard Reding (better known as Dick) my father D. R. Lockert.These men decided to go to the woods, cut logs, hue them, make boards and build a large room with four big windows, a blackboard the length of one end of the room - a door at the other.Mr Reding was a mechanic - he had a good shop nearby.He agreed to make the seats. Some things bought out of St. Louis. Mr J. H. Stephens - who gave the land was made chairman of the Board of Trustees.D. C. Elliott, J. E. Fortson, the other members.When the house was finished, the first public school north of Red River and first Sunday School was opened to the public - 1878.Mr father Supt. S.S., Miss Maggie Reding was the first teacher.She was from Ashland City. She taught three consecutive years there.She was followed by Miss Mary Sydnor(?) from Trenton, Ky.She taught two years followed by a Mr. Edwards from Alabama.He was followed by Prof. Willie Grant then Miss Annis Leigh, Prof. Hood, Prof. James G. Rolton(?) - others down the line.

In a few years after Prof Grant and his wife, Mrs. Carrie Grant opened up a secondary school at Forrest Hill about three miles from Lockert School which was named in honor of my father and Col. J.W. Lockert. When we were thru with the elementary grades, we transferred to Forrest Hill. Quite a number of the upper grades went from Lockert School.

By that time many of them began to realize that schools meant more than teachers and books.

There was one boy in school who seemed to have more attractions for me than the others and it seemed to be mutual.Prof Grant one day said with a twinkle in his eye that Julia and Clarenceseemed to conjugate the "verb to love" better than the others.All of them knew why, but none knew so well as Julia and Clarence. I will mention a few names - some are still living.There was Camilla Power with her retinueof admirers - Tom Parham, Duncan Quarles - many others- Ella Fortson and Ed Rosson, Nettie Parham, Cyrus Greenfield, Fannie Allen - Rebel Lockert,

?Arnie (or Annie) Elliott - others too numerous to mention. They were indeed happy days for us.We had a fine teacher and progressed well in our studies, in spite of little love affairs.

But there came a parting of the ways.Prof Grant resigned at Forrest Hill and took charge of Broadhurst Instutute Clarksville.Some pupils followed him there others went to different schoold. Clarence D. went to ?(looks like Wuilhurt cr) and I went to a ___ Ky teachers college, but absence did not squander the verb "to love" but only made the heart fonder!!

When Clarence and I had finished our respective schools, we came back home -Julia to teach school - Clarence to farm.We had decided in earlier years that we would sometime marry. On Sunday night, Sept 1889 - Clarence came to see me and we at last set the time to marry - which would be that winter.

[This is all of the letter I received]

Submitted by Fay at

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