NASHVILLE DAILY AMERICAN, 1876, A GENEALOGICAL SCRAPBOOK
Researched and Compiled by Jonathan Kennon Thompson Smith
Copyright, Jonathan K. T. Smith, 2003

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NASHVILLE DAILY AMERICAN

February 1, 1876

The Lexington, Tennessee REPORTER reported "At Wildersville, on Tuesday last [January 27, 1876], in a difficulty between one [Bishop] Fronabarger and John Miller, the latter was shot and died in two hours afterward."

From the Memphis AVALANCHE. "W. B. Johnson who killed his cousin, Roland Johnson and wounded two other men, near Old Morning Sun, in this county, December 31, 1875, left the neighborhood and was last seen at Coffeeville, Miss., leaving Memphis on the Memphis and Charleston train. W. B. Johnson had been wounded in his right shoulder by a pistol shot and in the face. It was supposed that he had gone to Mississippi to seek asylum and to recover from his injuries. He had killed a man in Coffeeville and was wanted for two murders committed in Arkansas." A reward of $250 was offered by the state for his apprehension.

Funeral of William Wood, deceased streetcar driver, Nashville, Tenn. was held at Central Baptist Church, January 30, 1876 and he was buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in that city.

Minnie Irene Tanksley, youngest daughter of John Henry and Ella Tanksley, died Jan. 31, 1876 aged 2 years, 6 months. Nashville.

Dr. Thomas Walsh died in Nashville, January 31, 1876 aged 63 years; his former dwelling was located on Charlotte Pike.

February 2, 1876

THE TALLEST MAN IN TENNESSEE

Somerville Falcon
        There is now living in Perry county, Tennessee, a wonderful curiosity in the person of James Horner, the Tennessee Giant. He is one of a family of eight children, none of the rest of whom have exhibited any unusual traits. At eighteen years he was a well grown man, six feet high, and weighed one hundred and eighty pounds. At twenty-one he was six inches taller, and weighed two hundred and ten pounds. Any growth after that was not noticed until he was twenty-four years old, and then only by the smallness of his clothes, and he then measured in his stockings six feet nine inches. Since then he is now thirty-one years of age he has attained the height of seven feet nine inches, and is still growing, this being an increase of about two inches annually. Some years he grows more and some less, but this is his average. While he ought to weigh at least 300 pounds, he only weighs 233. He is excessively lank and gawky, and only possesses one quality in a large degree, and that is his ability to walk. He thinks nothing of walking from home to Linden, the county seat, twelve miles distant, and back to dinner.

 

Crockett County, Tenn. SENTINEL. "The new courthouse for this county, the foundation of which was laid in August 1874 has been completed. The total cost of the building amounted to $22,548, all of which has been paid." [Crockett County was created in west Tennessee in 1871; its county seat, Cageville, was renamed Alamo. "The session of the courts were held in the Odd Fellows and Masonic Hall until sometime in 1873 when the records were removed to a large frame carriage factory on the corner of Main Street where they were held until the completion of the courthouse in 1875. This building is a large, two-story brick with four entrances and cross halls." (Weston A. Goodspeed's HISTORY OF TENNESSEE, Crockett County, 1887, page 833) This courthouse remains standing on court square in Alamo although it underwent extensive repairs and renovations in 1934.]

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An Olden Time "Elopement"

        In the Western Spy, published at Cincinnati in the early part of the century, following publication has recently been found:
        "Fifty Dollars Reward. Eloped from my plantation, on Cumberland, river, on the 23d of April, 1802, a Negro man-slave, named George. Yellow complexion, about six feet high, thirty years of age,

 

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very active, talks sensibly and stops a little in his walk; I have no doubt but that he will pass for a free man, and perhaps produce a pass, as heretofore a free fellow by the name of Brown forged him a pass, by the name of George Vewin, and signed Thomas Hutchins, and six residing Justices of Davidson county, thereto; he will make for the Northwestern Territory of Detroit; he has obtained, by some means, a good geography of that country. If apprehended he is artful and will make his escape unless well secured, any person who will bring him to me, or lodge him in some jail, shall receive the above reward.

 

"Andrew Jackson."

 

Manchester, Tennessee GUARDIAN. "We record this week the death of two of the oldest citizens of Coffee County, one of them, perhaps, the oldest man in the state at the time of his death. James Richardson who died on Thursday, the 20th inst., at the residence of David Nowlin, on Hickory Creek, was born on the 12th day of March, 1764 and was, therefore, nearly 112 years old. John Hodge who died on Saturday, the 22nd, at the residence of his son-in-law, B. W. Barton, on Biley's Creek, was born Jan. 18, 1785 and was consequently 91 years old."

 

February 3, 1876

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A Case That Will Probably Go to the United States Supreme Court

        About four years since, Henry Mallory, a well-to-do colored man of this city, was married to a young German girl, having first obtained the usual license. At the September term, 1875, of the Criminal Court, a knowledge of the marriage was brought to the attention of the grand jury, and Mallory was indicted for the common law offense of lewdness. A few days since he was brought into court upon this charge, when Clay Roberts, his attorney, moved to quash the indictment against him, upon the grounds that the passage of the act of 1870 making the intermarriage of white and colored persons a felony, merged the misdemeanor into the felony, and an indictment for the misdemeanor could not, since the passage of that act, be maintained.
        After argument of the motion by Attorney General Caldwell for the State and Clay Roberts for the defendant, Judge Frazier sustained the motion and quashed the indictment.
        It is now the intention of the Attorney General to indict Mallory and his quasi wife for the felony created by the act of 1870 prohibiting the intermarriage of white and colored persons.
        Mallory says that he has now been married over four years and has two children by the woman, and expresses his determination to carry his case to the Supreme Court of the United States in order to test the constitutionality of the act of 1870.

 

February 4, 1876

Montgomery Merritt died in Henderson, Ky., on "Tuesday," i.e. Jan. 25 or Feb 1, 1876.

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Abortion in Memphis
The Sad Fate of a Seducer's Victim
Dr. D. S. Johnson Charged With a Double Murder

Memphis Ledger, Feb. 2
        In Monday's Ledger was published an account of an inquest held upon the body of an infant found dead in Mrs. Widrig's boarding house, on the corner of Second and Winchester streets. From information received yesterday by Chief of Police Athy Dr. D. S. Johnson, who keeps a private infirmary at No. 18 Jefferson street, was arrested this morning, the mother of the infant above revered having died last night. Yesterday Chief Athy called at Mrs. Widrig's and talked to the sick woman. She said her name was Kate McCormick and resided at Humboldt, Tenn. Chief Athy at once telegraphed to Mrs. McCormick at Humboldt, but when she arrived last night her unfortunate daughter had been dead a few hours. The girl had been seduced by a man at Humboldt, and she came to this city to give birth to a child and to hide her shame. This forenoon our special reporter attended the inquest held on the body of Katie McCormick by Coroner Spelman.

The Dead Girl

        The boarding-house of Mrs. Widrig is in a double one-story frame tenement on the corner of Winchester and Second streets. The body of the deceased was laid out on

 

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a board and was covered with a white sheet. The room was neatly furnished, and on the table were a number of books, among others a Bible, hymn book and prayer book. Katie McCormick lay there, her white face turned up toward heaven, her eyes closed, and with an expression upon her cold face as if in prayer. She was a blonde, with a clear cut and handsome face, tall and large in size. A wealth of golden hair was coiled up on her head - hair that resembled that painted by idealistic artists in their pictures of the Madonna of the Cenci. She appeared to have been about twenty-one years of age.

The Testimony

        Coroner Spelman summoned a jury of citizens and the following testimony was heard:
        Mrs. Widrig was sworn and stated that the girl came to her house some time before Christmas, but only stayed one night; that she came back three weeks ago, and on Saturday night, or, rather, Sunday morning, she was delivered of a dead child; that Dr. Johnson had been attending her; that her suspicions were aroused and she asked Katie to tell her the whole truth; on Sunday Dr. Frayser had been sent to see Katie by Chief Athy and told her that the girl would die; this she told to Katie, who seemed much affected and made a confession; she said: "Mrs. Widrig, I think my time is short," and then she added: "Dr. Johnson gave the medicine to destroy my child; till Dr. Johnson that I promised not to deceive him or tell any person, but the time has come when I can keep the secret not longer; I paid Dr. Johnson twenty-five dollars for the medicine; he gave me the medicine some three weeks ago, and said if it did not do its work in six days it would be a failure; I took the medicine from Dr. Johnson to kill my child, and paid him twenty-five dollars for it."
        Mollie Brown swore: Katie told me last night that Dr. Johnson sent her medicine by express; she said to me she was satisfied she was going to die, and that Dr. Johnson was the cause of it.
        Mrs. Keith swore: Katie told me she asked Dr. Johnson for medicine to destroy her child, and that he advised her not to take it, and if she took his advice he would befriend her; I did not see her until Sunday last; she said she came here to hide her shame; that no one knew of her coming but her mother; her other friends thought she had gone North on a visit.
        Dr. Marable testified as follows: On Sunday morning was called by Dr. Johnson to make a call; he told me about the case, and said he had prescribed for diarrhea; the treatment was correct as stated by Dr. Johnson; he said that he had discovered that she had a baby last night, but that she was in danger of dying from the afterbirth; I attended to her immediately, and gave her the necessary remedies to stop the flooding, and the remedies resulted successfully; the girl appeared very weak; Dr. Johnson and I went to see Chief Athy at once with reference to the dead child, and at my instigation Dr. Johnson called upon Coroner Spelman to hold an inquest on the dead infant, which inquest was held on Sunday; I advised Dr. Johnson as to the necessary treatment to place the girl under with a view to her recovery; the girl had diarrhea and I prescribed with Dr. Johnson for its treatment; the girl was nervous and troubled in mind; she said she was out of money and had not friends; trouble of mind and excitement very often cause abortions or miscarriages, and the greatest trouble physicians have in such cases is to keep the patients quiet; I think flooding and mental anxiety was the cause of her death.
        Dr. Johnson testified as follows: Three weeks ago I first saw the deceased; she came to my office and told her story, and wanted to hide her disgrace; I advised her not to commit abortion, as it was against the law; I called to see her at Mrs. Widrig's boarding-house and prescribed for diarrhea; on Sunday morning I called and found that she had a miscarriage; I then called on Dr. Marable; the prescription given her by me was acetate of lead and morphine; the girl seemed troubled, and said she would sooner died than live; she said this both before and after the abortion had taken place.
        Mrs. Widrig recalled: Dr. Frayzer called yesterday afternoon and told me that death was inevitable; I told this to Katie McCormick, and thenshe made the confession above state; when Dr. Frayzer left Katie asked me: "Is the doctor going to do anything for me?" I replied: "No, Katie; the doctor says you must die;" she then commenced praying and crying; she said she gave Dr. Johnson twenty-five dollars for the medicine to procure an abortion; the medicine was sent her by express, and she said Dr. Johnson told her that if the medicine did not relieve her in six days it would do no good; Dr. Johnson on Saturday morning took the bottle of medicine away; she was confined on Saturday evening; before her death she put her arms around me and kissed me; she was perfectly rational; I pressed her to tell me all about it, and she said she wanted to see Dr. Johnson first; she said she had made the arrangement with Dr. Johnson when she was here first - before Christmas; she then returned to Humboldt, and came back three weeks ago last Friday; when she was here before

 

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Christmas she only stayed one night at my house; said she was poor and wanted to get some sewing to do; she was absent about two weeks.
        The girl's trunk was examined by the coroner's jury and a letter from Allegheny, Pa. Was found therein. It was signed by a female friend. The inquest closed and the body of the unfortunate deceased was left in charge of her mother, to be carried back to Humboldt for interment.
        The jury of inquest was unable to agree up to 1 o'clock today, and adjourned over to 5 o'clock this afternoon to consider a verdict.

Memphis Appeal. Feb. 3:

The Jury's Verdict

        The jury of inquest met in Chief Athy's office at 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon and hear the evidence of D. B. G. Henning, who, with Dr. Frayser, was called to see the unfortunate woman the previous afternoon. His evidence was given in full, and as no post-mortem examination had been made of the body, because such had not been ordered or desired by the coroner or his jury, it was determined by Justice Spellman to have the same done this morning.
        Dr. Henning being sworn, stated that about five o'clock Tuesday evening he visited the young woman, in company with Dr. Frayser. He asked her whether any medicinal or instrumental interference was used in delivering her of the child? She answered, "No." After Dr. Frayser left, he again urged her to confess it, if such was the case. She then confessed that she came to Memphis about three weeks before Christmas to see Dr. Johnson and have the child taken from her. He (Dr. Johnson) told her he could give her medicine to kill the child, but he feared she was too fa gone. She returned to Humboldt, and again came to Memphis about three weeks ago. Having said this much she declined to reveal any more until she cold see Dr. Johnson.
        The jury then returned the following verdict:

State of Tennessee, County of Shelby:
        An inquisition held at Memphis, in the county and State aforesaid, on the second day of February, 1876, before John Spelman, Justice of the Peace and Coroner of said county, upon the body of Kate Simpson, alias Kate McCormick, who came to her death in the following manner, to wit: By reason of the premature birth of a female instant still-born, and that the premature birth was occasioned by the means of medicines administered for the producing of abortion under the direction of D. D. S. Johnson. In testimony whereof the said jurors have hereunto set their hands the day and date above written.

 

M. H. REILLY, Foreman;
M. C. BUTLER,
C. H. HILSCHER,
JOHN O'CONNER,
MARTIN BULGER,
PETER THEIS

In this verdict, I non-concur.

WM. WALLACE

 

DR. JOHNSON REARRESTED

        After the inquest, Justice Spelman issued a warrant for the arrest of Dr. Johnson, who is therein charged with murder by committing an abortion. The warrant was placed in the hands of Constable Tom Garvey, who proceeded to the office of Dr. Johnson, No. 17 Jefferson street, where he made the arrest of the accused. When Constable Garvey entered the office, Dr. Johnson was found in consultation with Gen. Wm. Wallace, who had been on the jury of inquest, and dissented from the verdict above entered. Constable Garvey delivered the prisoner over to Justice Spelman, who went with the accused to a number of the latter's acquaintances, whence bail was expected to the amount of $3,000.

POST-MORTEM EXAMINATION

        A post-mortem examination will be made today. The mother will permit the body to be buried here, as she has no desire to have it interred near her home. It is proper to state here that Dr. Marable had no connection with Dr. Johnson, but was called in by way of consultation as above stated. Drs. Henning and Frayser attended the girl at the solicitation of Chief Athy, who had been led to suspect that there was foul play in the matter.

 

[HTML editor's note: At this point Jonathan Smith included a photograph of a marker for Kate McCormick erected at Elmwood Cemetery in 1997. The quality of the xerox copy used for scanning is too poor to reproduce the photograph. The complete text of the marker inscription is given on the next page.]

 

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On the evening of February 2, 1876 Kate McCormick's corpse was moved from the boarding house where she died and taken to the makeshift quarters called the county morgue, in a Union Street stable; there it was placed in a plain box in readiness for burial. It was here that Fred Brennan, newspaper reporter for the Memphis PUBLIC LEDGER investigated these circumstances and appalled by them sought out Captain George D. Miller, with whom an appeal was made to the coroner to release the corpse to Hoist & Son morticians, for a decent burial in a proper casket, being "rearranged, the sawdust was carefully brushed from her hair, face and clothing." Kate's interment on the fourth of February in Elmwood Cemetery was scheduled. It was noted as well that the Humboldt shoemaker, George Burgess, who was the father of Kate's stillborn child, failed to show an interest in the disposition of her remains and as for her mother, she is reported to have left Memphis on February 2 and "returned to Humboldt, seemingly not feeling any more interest in the dead and having no desire to pay the last sad tribute of ashes for her daughter", evidently "more troubled about the publicity given to the affair than about the fate of her erring and unfortunate child." Memphis PUBLIC LEDGER, February 4, 1876.

[The sad fate of Kate/Katie McCormick touched the sympathetic sentiment of a thoughtful lady who paid for a marker to be placed at the young woman's grave in September 1997, bearing the inscription, "Kate McCormick Seduced and pregnant by her father's friend, unwed, she died from abortion, her only choice. Abandoned in life and death by family with but a simple rose from her mother. Buried only through the kindness of unknown benefactors. Died Feb.1876 age 21." (Elmwood Cemetery, Fowler section, lot 239) This is a lovely tribute, graciously rendered, to one whose life ended in desperation. However, her actual interment may have been less theatrical than this tombstone inscription suggests as it attributes a lovely gesture by her mother which was probably not made and her benefactors were not unknown, one being a newspaper reporter and the other a kind-hearted saloonist.]

 

February 5, 1876

Shelbyville, Tennessee GAZETTE. "John B. Sims died in Shelbyville last Tuesday morning at 8:30 o'clock of enlargement of the liver. E. B. Snoddy, Esq. died suddenly last Saturday morning at his residence near Flat Creek Store in Bedford County of a paralytic stroke or apoplexy. He was one of the oldest citizens of the county . . . over sixty years of age. Mrs. Lucy C. Little died at her residence, near Shelbyville, last Friday morning of paralysis."

Clay Lodge #197, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was instituted January 28, 1876. Officers: R. A. Cox, N. A.; V. B. Smith, V. G.; J. C. Hamilton, secretary; W. G. Brown, treasurer.

Thomas Chilton, Lafayette Street, Nashville, allegedly a drunkard, on returning home from work on February 4, 1876 found no food for supper. He had not provided his wife with money to purchase food. Angry, he took out his frustration by beating his wife with an old fire shovel. Supposedly he then fled to his brother's house near Nashville.

 

February 6, 1876

John S. Frazier, a printer in the TRIBUNE office, Knoxville, Tenn., was fatally burned by fire from sitting too close to a "hot fire", perhaps in a stove, in the newspaper office, February 2, 1876. [The February 10, 1876 issue noted that Frazier's death was considered suspicious, it being thought that he may have been dowsed with coal-oil and then set afire.]

Columbia, Tennessee, HERALD AND MAIL. "Mr. W. C. Jones possesses the oldest violin we have ever seen. It is two hundred and seventy-three years old, having been manufactured in 1602."

Pulaski, Tennessee. CITIZEN. "Died near Pulaski, on Friday night last [Jan. 18], Mr. Charles G. Pittard, aged 66 years. Died on Saturday last [Jan. 29], near Mt. Pleasant, on Bradshaw's Creek, Mr. Green Clark aged about 30 years. "

 

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"Major Brown and Col. H. C. Yeatman of Columbia, Tenn., sold their fine splendid thoroughbred stallion 'Planeroid' by Planet out of Florence Nightingale, by O'Meara, by A. R. Wynne of Sumner County, Tennessee. He goes to one of Col. Wynne's sons in Alabama."

Esther Gaines, black, was divorced February 5, 1876 from Edward Gaines, black, who had been a wife-beater. They were married in February 1874.

 

February 7, 1876

Samuel Boyd, Deputy U.S. marshal, was shot and killed by H. M. Clarke, an editor of the Brownsville, Tennessee DEMOCRAT, February 5, 1876. Boyd accused Clarke of being a Ku Kluxer and Clarke responded by saying that Boyd had been a Loyal League leader. They had both been on "good terms" but out of uncontrolled anger had argued fatally.

 

February 8, 1876

Mrs. Elizabeth E. Butler died in Nashville, Feb. 7, 1876 in the 75th year of her age; funeral from First Presbyterian Church today.

Samuel D. McAlister died in the residence of his niece, Mrs. M. E. Erwin, Nashville, Feb. 6, 1876 in the 69th year of his age; funeral from McKendree Methodist Church today. [A tribute of respect for his memory, by the Nashville city merchants, was published in the February 9, 1876 issue.]

 

February 9, 1876

Mrs. Peggy Glover, aged 50 years, married Tommy Barrett, aged 19 years, in the residence of Wayman Clark, Sparta, Tenn., January 31, 1876.

 

February 10, 1876

Lexington, Tennessee, REPORTER. James Jackson was recently shot and killed by a man named Goodwin in Perry Co., Tenn.; there was a grudge between them as Goodwin was allegedly a "paramour" of the dead man's wife. Jackson was on his way home from Beardstown to sell a load of peanuts when Goodwin and an accomplice shot him; either shot was considered fatal but Goodwin was charged with the crime.

 

February 11, 1876

E. T. Lucas, Bowling Green, Ky., married Miss Joe E. Aldrich, in her mother's residence about 8 miles from Nashville on the Murfreesboro Pike, February 10, 1876. They would live in Kentucky.

 

February 12, 1876

At a mass meeting of Democrats in the Gainesboro courthouse, Jackson County, Tenn., February 7, 1876, George H. Morgan, attorney general, was elected chairman and Thomas Galbreath, secretary, for the occasion. They passed resolutions dealing with political issues of importance to them and taking "shots" at their Republican opposition.

Mrs. Rebecca B. C. Spence died in her home on Lebanon Pike, 3 miles from Nashville, Feb. 11, 1876; funeral today. A full obituary, February 13, 1876 issue, page 4, noted that she was born in Nelson Co., Ky., October 1793; daughter of Colonel Michael Campbell who moved to Davidson County, Tenn. in 1807 and died about 1829. She married John Spence, brother of Marmion Spence, dec. of Rutherford County and Brent Spence of Davidson County. A widow for fifty years, her only child, a daughter, died in December 1832. Sister of William S. M. Campbell; Charlotte, wife of Dr. A. G. Goodlett; Caroline, wife of Edward Trabue, dec.; Mary Louisa, wife of Thomas M. Patterson.

W. H. Harrover married Henrietta Percy, Nashville, February 8, 1876.

 

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February 13, 1876

Ripley, Tennessee, NEWS. "Mr. Eli Lucas is the owner of a pair of tongs, purchased by his wife's father, in 1800, from a Revolutionary tory by the name of Black who moved from South Carolina to middle Tennessee. The tongs were purchased by Black in Charleston during the Revolutionary War and although they have been in constant use since purchased by Mr. Lucas, have required repairs but one time."

Hiram Poole was imprisoned February 12, 1876 in the state penitentiary for having murdered Thomas Nicholas of Robertson County, Tenn., November 27, 1871.

Sarah Mulloy, daughter of Patrick and Margaret Mulloy, died Feb. 12, 1876 in the 4th year of her age. [Her tombstone in Calvary Cemetery, Nashville, reads: Sarah Mulloy Died Feb. 12, 1876 aged 3 yrs.]

 

February 14, 1876

Missing issue

 

February 15, 1876

William Covington, who lived about three miles north of McKenzie, Tenn., accidentally shot and killed himself in a freakish accident while on his front porch, Feb. 11, 1876.

Felix Franklin, aged 16 years, got into an argument with his stepfather, Simon Fudge, aged 62 years, when the latter berated the boy for not following his instructions about putting a horse and "express" up, leading to the boy losing his self-control and he stabbed Fudge with a pocket knife, killing him instantly, Feb. 13, 1876. This family lived three miles from Nashville on the Charlotte Pike. [The May 26, 1876 issue, page 4, noted that Franklin was arrested for this murder on May 24, 1876 and was placed in jail in Nashville; he had been hiding-out with his uncles in Smith County, Tennessee.]

 

February 16, 1876

George Northcutt, a mullato, aged 12 years, from Warren Co., Tenn. got into a fight while he and his brother and Ab Mercer, a black boy aged 17 years, were swimming in a creek, April 4, 1875 and Northcutt stabbed Mercer "near the heart"; the fatally wounded boy chased his assailant but dropped dead. The state Supreme Court upheld Northcutt's sentence of a 1 year prison term for his crime but Governor James Porter pardoned him "on account of his youthfulness" and he returned home, free.

 

February 17, 1876

One of the "coziest little depots" on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, at Edgefield, Tennessee, was opened officially by Mayor Williams of that town, Feb. 16, 1876. John Newland was the new station agent there.

 

February 18, 1876

Dr. W. E. Hoke, for two years a member of the cotton firm, Spurlocke, Hoke & Company, died in its Nashville, Tenn. warehouse, Feb. 17, 1876. A native of Athens, Alabama, Hoke had gained a good reputation as a Nashville merchant and was a prominent member of the city's cotton exchange; his body was returned to Athens for burial.

 

February 19, 1876

Charlotte Cushman, a famous American actress, born in Boston, Mass., July 23, 1816, died there, Feb. 18, 1876. She had made her debut as a singer in the Tremont Theatre in Boston in April 1835 and for years played dramatic roles in theaters in the United States and England; she retired from the stage November 8, 1874.

Several days ago Elizabeth Butler, known as an eccentric old lady living in Nashville, died; she had supported herself for years "by the fashioning" of little articles that found a ready sale. Her last will/testament brought surprises. She willed $1500 each to the First Presbyterian and Cumberland Presbyterian churches in Nashville and other bequests. She had been thought to have been a pauper.

 

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February 20, 1876

The death sentence of "Gen" Grigsby, black, was affirmed by the Tennessee Supreme Court, Feb. 19, 1876; on Dec. 7, 1874 and on re-trial September 1875 he had been sentenced to die by hanging by the Giles County Circuit Court, on March 31, 1876. The court recommended that his sentence be commuted to life imprisonment. He had been charged with the death of Maggie McEwen and Martha Wagstaff, June 8, 1873, in the house of James McEwen near Lynnville, Tenn.; he having set fire to the house in which the girls were burned to death.

Mamie Kellam, oldest daughter of Henry T. and Jennie C. Kellam, died in Nashville, Feb. 16, 1876 aged 9 years and 2 months old.

 

February 21, 1876

Missing issue

 

February 22, 1876

Sometime ago, a blacksmith named Thomas E. Crawford, living in Spring Hill, Tenn., had been to the "head of Snow Creek" collecting some bills when he came upon a little girl named Emma McKee and a boy aged 9 years; he sexually assaulted the girl. The boy identified Crawford at the ensuing trial and although the latter had enjoyed a good reputation, he was sentenced to life imprisonment in the state penitentiary.

 

February 23, 1876

Mrs. Annie E. Landrum, wife of C. V. Landrum, died at home on Granny White Pike, near Nashville, Feb. 21. 1876 aged 22 years, 3 months and 10 days old [Nov. 11, 1853]; burial in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Nashville.

 

February 24, 1876

Harry Harrison, administrator of the estate of J. D. Winston, dec., Davidson Co., Tenn., had filed a suggestion of insolvency of the estate and announced that he would accept claims against the estate for six months from Feb. 14, 1876.

The Methodist Episcopal Church, South in Columbia, Tennessee, burned April 20, 1874. Its replacement, an "elegant" building was being constructed and included seven memorial windows, including one in memory of James K. Polk, a former president of the United States.

 

February 25, 1876

Brownsville, Missouri, ADVERTISER carried the story of James Martin Williams, a little boy not yet four years old, living in Brownsville with his parents. He had a phenomenal memory, remembering "everything" told to him, including whole chapters of the Bible, historical data, etc.

"W. W. Gates, after 46 years in the newspaper business in Tennessee, has retired. He says he has thrown away his pen and sealed his lips upon politics. He is connected temporarily with the Jackson SUN and is winding up his business. The old man proposes to retire to his farm near Jackson and live in quietude and repose the balance of his days." [William Ward Gates, 1812-1891, was for many years an influential newspaper editor in west Tenn. For more about him and his family, see pages 31-35, MY RIVERSIDE CEMETERY TOMBSTONE INSCRIPTIONS SCRAPBOOK, Part VII, by Jonathan K. T. Smith, Jackson, Tenn., 1995.]

 

February 26, 1876

Paris, Tennessee, POST-INTELLIGENCER reported that on Feb. 17, 1876 Daniel Liles "who has been somewhat demented for a few years past" was walking along some railroad tracks when he was struck and killed near the Crawford tank.

In the cloakroom of Squire's Hall, Knoxville, where a military ball was being held, Thomas Atkin and Thomas Sneed, son of the late Judge W. H. Sneed, got into a quarrel and Sneed with a pistol, shot and killed Atkin, in the early morning of Feb. 22, 1876.

 

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February 27, 1876

According to his own account, during the Civil War a federal soldier named Frederick Kabler, Clay Co., Illinois, "found" a little girl, not over two years old, responding to the name of Sadie, in Chattanooga, Tenn. He and his wife were rearing the child and moved to Missouri in 1868 where Mrs. Kabler died and the girl was given into the care of A. C. Burges of Crawford Co., Ark. The girl, now 13 years old, had blue eyes, red hair and "is rather pretty." Burges thought that the girl may have been taken from the Nashville, Tenn. area and he made her identity known so that someone might recognize her and make it possible for her to "be restored to her parents."

 

February 28, 1876

Missing issue

 

February 29, 1876

A. J. Stacey died in Nashville, Feb. 28, 1876 aged 26 years.

The funeral of Mary Ann Denning, widow of William Denning, to be held today; she died Feb. 28, 1876 in Edgefield, Tenn.

Alonzo C. Campbell and Nora Bryan, Edgefield were married February 28, 1876.


On March 19, 1875 two black men, Burr Beggarly and Porter Williamson, rode up to the residence of Robert Hamilton on Sugg's Creek, southwest Wilson Co., Tenn. and called for him. Having no response, they rode off. Hamilton soon after heard a noise in his orchard and went to see what was going on. About twenty minutes later his wife heard a gun shot and when her husband didn't return she spent an anxious night wondering what had happened to him. The next morning Hamilton's body was found in a ditch about 300 yards from his residence, his face and chest filled with shot and slugs. It was thought that he had caught his murderers in the act of robbing his smokehouse and being so found they dragged him off and shot him. The two men confessed to the crime, each blaming the other for the actual murder. Beggarly was found guilty and his case was now before the state Supreme Court. Williamson had been granted a second trial in which the jury was to return a verdict of guilty or not guilty. On Sunday night, Feb. 27, 1876, a crowd of mounted men appeared at the jail in Lebanon, Tenn., took Williamson by force, put him on a horse and took him about a mile and a half on the Murfreesboro Pike and there hanged and shot him. The coroner's jury returned a verdict that he had come to his violent death by parties unknown. [The April 27, 1876 issue, page 4, noted that Beggarly was baptized April 26, 1876, repentent of his sins. He was to be hanged in Lebanon, May 26, 1876. The May 27, 1876 issue, page 4, carried a lengthy description of Beggarly's execution. Taken from the jail in Lebanon to the gallows a short distance from town, he declared that he had not killed Hamilton; just before he was hanged he asked a black man, Amos Murray, to bury his body beside that of his wife. Looking up, he said, "Goodbye to all, both black and white." A little after one p.m. he was dropped at the gallows, about three feet, after which he strangled to death.]

 

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