By Jonathan Kennon Thompson Smith
Copyright, Jonathan K. T. Smith, 2004


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February 6, 1879

PETER BOYD, black, died at Boydville, January 27, 1879.

JOHN HURT died in Civil District 25, Henry Co., Tenn., February 5, 1879.

W. H. MORTON married LOU HASTINGS, Henry Co., Tenn., Feb. 4, 1879.

H. C. FRANCIS, Texas, married MATTIE M. TAYLOR, Dresden, Tenn., in Paris, Jan. 30, 1879.

J. F. SNOW married EMILY CLOVEY, January 29, 1879.

W. L. WIGGINS married S. LAFON, January 20, 1879.

W. A. PURYER married L. E. CROWDER, Cottage Grove, Tenn., January 29, 1879.


February 27, 1879

LULA youngest daughter of James B. GUTHRIE, formerly of Paris, Tenn., died in Huntingdon, Tenn., Feb. 19, 1879 aged about 15 years. Buried in Paris beside her mother and other relatives.

DANIEL PIERCE died in Civil District 6, Henry Co., Tenn., Feb. 22, 1879 aged about 21 years.

NATHANIEL [NAT] A. EWING son of N. A. and Alabama EWING died one mile north of Paris, Tenn., Feb. 26, 1879 aged about 28 years; his father died about 20 years ago and his mother died a few days ago. [Buried in Paris city cemetery.]

T. L. HARPER, Gibson Co., Tenn., married Mrs. MARY WEAKS, Paris, Tenn., in Paris, Feb. 25, 1879.

RUBEN LINDSAY, near Big Sandy, Tennessee, died in old age, February 16, 1879.


March 6, 1879

L. [LOWERY] D. BUSH born in South Carolina, March 1805; a resident of Henry Co., Tenn. for more than fifty years; died near Sandy Hill in that county, Feb. 28, 1879; freemason. [According to the May 22, 1879 issue of the newspaper, Bush's funeral was to have been preached at the Bomar Cemetery, June 1, 1879.]


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April 10, 1879

Dr. LOVICK PIERCE, well-known Methodist preacher had his 95th birthday on March 24, 1879. [He died in Sparta, Georgia, November 10, 1879.]

Dr. JOSHUA COBB, Clarksville, Tenn. fell dead in the county court, March 7, 1879; a member of the Montgomery County Quarterly Court for 25 years.

R. C. CODY, Benton Co., Tenn., married MARY J. MURPHY, April 6, 1879.

The WIFE of C. C. PORTER, black, died April 9, 1879.


April 17, 1879

J. H. BLAKE married MOLLIE D. CRAWFORD, in Paris, Tenn., March 27, 1879, in the residence of her father, the Rev. T. A. Crawford.

Funeral of Colonel WILLIAM WAKELAND to be held by Paris Masonic Lodge 108 at Forrest Cemetery five miles NW of Paris, Tenn., April 21, 1879.

JOHN C. SIMMONS, an old resident of Henry Co., Tenn., left April 14, 1879 for Ft. Worth, Texas, to join his children who had settled there.


May 1, 1879

Mrs. ANN WALKER, widow of Williamson Walker, moved to Henry Co., Tenn. from Pittsylvania Co., Virginia in 1831; she died in Civil District 13, Henry Co., April 22, 1879 aged nearly eighty years.


May 8, 1879

JOHNNIE PARKS, a student at McKenzie College died April 27, 1879 from injuries received "while engaged in playing and jumping."

Miss SUSIE GLOVER died five miles east of Paris, Tenn., May 4, 1879; pneumonia.

Miss ADDIE STEPHENSON died in residence of her brother-in-law, Dr. McGaughy, March 18, 1879, near Thorp's Springs, Texas.

Judge JOHN W. HARRIS died Paris, Tenn., May 2, 1879 from "an over dose of morphine," to which drug he had long been addicted.


May 22, 1879

A young man, NEWTON VANTREESE, had been plowing in a field near Pinson, Madison Co., Tenn., May 13, 1879, when a storm approached and he left the field but got tangled-up in the mule gear, the animal taking fright, ran away, dragging Vantreese to death. THOMAS NEWTON VANTREESE, son of John and Tabitha Vantreese, was buried in the family's graveyard, off Casey Road near Pinson. His tombstone dates: died April 13, 1879 aged 25 yrs. & 1 day [born April 12, 1854].

D. W. LUTON, Humboldt, Tenn., married JESSIE CREMY, Danville, Tenn., May 12, 1879.


July 31, 1879

Dr. T. W. WHITFIELD, a resident of Henry County, 1861-1875, died at home near Franklin, Tenn., July 16, 1879. [THOMAS W. WHITFIELD, Feb. 1827-July 13, 1879; married Sarah Berry, March 1855; lived in Henry County at one time but moved to Williamson County, Tennessee. See, WHITFIELD FAMILY HISTORY AND GENEALOGY OF TENNESSEE, by Vallie Jo Whitfield, California, 1979, pages 79-80.]

Mrs. HOLSHOUSER was to begin her twenty-first session as a music teacher, in Paris, Tenn., in August 1879. [In the report of their household in the 1880 (June 6) U. S. Census, Paris, E. D. 68, sheet 21, C. A. R. HOLSHOUSER was given as aged 27 years, native of Alabama and her husband, W. S. Holshouser, given as aged 36, native of Iowa; parents of two surviving sons and one daughter. In October 1882 R. W. and MARTHA DICKENSON and C. A. R. HOLSHOUSER sold their mutual interest in Paris property, including the Female Seminary building, and these families moved away from the city. (Henry County Deed Book V, page 781)]


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August 14, 1879

NANNIE PENDERGRASS was thrown from a wagon she was riding home in, from a meeting at Roan's Church in Carroll County, August 4, 1879, from which accident she died from injuries. Daughter of C. J. Pendergrass.

Mrs. WILLIAM HARDING died in Hollow Rock, Tenn., August 9, 1879; surviving were her widower and an infant child.

GEORGE W. MASSEY, an old man, died in west Paris, Tenn., August 11, 1879; claimed to be related to the Ewing family.


October 2, 1879

M. [MISSOURI] E. wife of F. H. UPCHURCH; daughter of Gray Jones, Henry Co., Tenn.; died in Paris, Sept. 26, 1879 in her 32nd year; surviving were her widower and three children. [Her tombstone in the Paris city cemetery renders her dates: March 20, 1847-September 26, 1879.]

WILLIAM A. BLACKWELL, a young man who lived for a while in Paris, Tenn., died in Petersburg, Tenn., September 21, 1879.


November 20, 1879

N. A. wife of T. C. FRYER, Paris, Tenn., died November 17, 1879. [Born Mar. 10, 1834]

SAMUEL GOULD, Benton Co., Ark., died July 28, 1879; native of Henry Co., Tenn.; son of John Gould, an early settler of that county.

MOLLY wife of Rastus WEBB; daughter of Robert T. and Ellen Walker of Henry Co., Tenn.; died "just over the line in Weakley County," November 10, 1879 of illness after the birth of her three day old child. Buried at Spring Hill Academy.

[An article that appeared in THE PARIS POST, December 19, 1879:


        Last week Drew Hagler, Col., aged about 80 years. It is not often the life and character of one of our colored citizens is such as to call forth more than a passing notice of their death, but "old uncle Drew," as he was familiarly called by all who knew him, was a man who, notwithstanding the blackness of his skin and the beclouded state of his intellect, possessed so many virtues that we can truly say a good man has passed away. If "honor and fame from no condition rise" and we are to judge a man only by the way he acts his part in life, then the subject of this notice should be as honored and respected as any man who has ever died in our community. For forty years he was the trusted servant and foreman of John L. Hagler. The writer of this knew him well as a slave and as a foreman and truthfulness, honesty and fidelity, marked the whole course of his life. When his old master died he fell to the lot of the widow in the division of the slaves and through the long war he staid by her and protected her person and property, while nearly all others around him were deserting their old homes and stealing and plundering their owners. When his freedom was declared and he was told he was no longer a slave, but a free man, he would not leave his old home but remained the same trusted friend and faithful servant until he stood weeping over the grave of his "old miss." Rest in peace "Uncle Drew," and notwithstanding you were only a poor, ignorant negro, you will live long in the memory of all who knew you. It was not yours to enjoy the wealth and emoluments of this world or drink at the fountain of knowledge and bathe in the sunshine of pleasure, but surely god, who is no respecter of persons, will not forget his noblest work "an honest man."


This newspaper, several years in operation, and the INTELLIGENCER were combined by JOHN RISON, in 1884, forming the Paris POST INTELLIGENCER, a media company still in existence, sometimes referred to as the PI.

In the 1880 Mortality Schedule for Henry County, Tenn., page 1055, DREW HAGLER is given as 75 years old, native of Tennessee, and mistakenly given as having died in January 1881; of general debility. In the division of John L. Hagler's slaves, among those allotted to Joicey, his widow, was Drew, called DURY in the division record. Henry County Enroll Book, 1855-1870, page 75 (January 1858).


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Major JOHN LELAND HAGLER (June 30, 1789-November 28, 1857), native of Wilkes County, North Carolina, and wife, JOICEY (Johnson) HAGLER (September 13, 1797- February 28, 1866) lived for a time in middle Tennessee but about 1821 moved onto a large tract of land near Springville about ten miles southeast of Paris, Tenn. The Haglers were prosperous farm-folk. In his last will-testament, Hagler executed nuncupatively on Nov. 13, 1857 and proven early in December, thereafter, he made provision for a frame church of the Poplar Grove Methodist Church, located on his land. Henry County Will Book 1 pge 156. This congregation was organized in 1823; the Haglers are buried in the adjoining burial ground there.]



January 29, 1880

JAMES BURTON died Henry Co., Tenn., Jan. 24, 1880.

ISABELL widow of Robert BINGHAM died Jan. 15, 1880.

Mrs. ANGELINA ELLIS died Jan. 21, 1880 aged about 60 years.

GEORGE BUCHANAN died Henry Co., Tenn., Jan. 22, 1880

LIVEN LONG married ZILLA PARHAM, six miles east of Jackson, Tenn. [January 21, 1880].

Mrs. JOHN SPAN died at North Fork, Henry Co., Tenn., Jan. 19, 1880 leaving a large family.

Mrs. BARNEY SPEIGHT died January 23, 1880; surviving were her widower and two children.


March 11, 1880

Uncle JIMMIE and Aunt JOCHIE HOWARD. He is eighty-eight and she seventy-eight years of age. They were married in 1820. . . Aunt Jochie still retains her physical powers in a remarkable degree, hearing well. . . . Uncle Jimmie's faculties are failing to a greater extent. . . . They expect to emigrate to Texas this fall, after having lived here since the settlement of the county." They lived in Civil District 3, Henry County, Tennessee.

Mrs. JAMES PROCTOR died March 6, 1880 in/near Danville, Tennessee.


June 24, 1880

JAMES D. DUMAS died near Cottage Grove, Tenn., June 18, 1880 in the 42nd year of his age; surviving were his widow and four children.


August 12, 1880

JAMES HOWARD and wife had lived the past 56 years on the same farm in NW Henry County; married in North Carolina and soon moved to Maury Co., Tenn., thence to Carroll Co., Tenn., thence in 1824 to Henry County. He was aged 90 years, she 80 years.

Dr. A. T. SCRUGGS died in Hot Springs, Ark., July 23, 1880; had once pastored the Methodist Church in Paris, Tennessee.

[The August 19, 1880 issue is missing but it would have contained an account of the murder of LEONARD MATHIS (born April 8, 1801) in Henry County. The Jackson, Tenn. WHIG-TRIBUNE, August 26, 1880 issue, quoted verbatim the account of the incident given in the Paris POST's column of that week about it:

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        It is our painful duty to record another most unnatural and unholy crime to the long list that stained the fair name of our good county one that yet has been committed.
        LEONARD MATHIS [gleaner's emphasis] lived in the northern part of this county, about twelve miles from Paris, adjoining a place owned by his son, Dr. Josiah Mathis who at present lives in Texas but is in this county on a visit. Dr. Mathis when he went to Texas left his place in the charge of John L. Mathis, his son, the man who committed the crime and grandson of the deceased.
        It appears that Johnny, as he is called, has been more or less dissipated and careless in the management of his father's estate and the grandfather, the deceased, wrote these facts to his son in Texas which induced him to return and look after his affairs. It is supposed that Johnny had information of this letter and that it was the real cause of the deadly enmity that he felt for his grandfather.
        Before Dr. Mathis left for Texas a year ago, he gave his father permission to cut timber from a bottom for stove wood.
        Last Tuesday [August 17, 1880] a man named Dudley, who was hired by the deceased, was at John Mathises' about 12 o'clock. Johnny spoke about the old man getting wood on the land and remarked that it was dangerous for anybody to cut any more wood there. Dudley said Johnny you would not hurt or blame me for cutting wood there if the old man sends me? Johnny replied, "I tell you it is dangerous!"
        They then talked the matter over in a good humor and Dudley suggested that Johnny had better go over and see the old gentleman as he had no doubt but what they could arrange all satisfactorily and amicably. Johnny agreed to this but could not go immediately. Dudley told him before this however to write a note. "No, "said Johnny, "I'll go over and talk to him friendly and calmly."
        Dudley returned and was out about the lot with a boy when Johnny came over. This was near 2 o'clock and about an hour after Dudley left him. Johnny called for the "old man," and was informed that he was at the house taking a nap. They went to the house and had him awakened. He came out on the porch or in the hall where they were when the matter was discussed. Johnny appeared to be angry and drinking and the old gentleman tried to quiet him. Finally he told him to go home or leave his house; that he came there to have a difficulty but he could get none; that he had a pistol and would have the law enforced against him. Johnny asked him how he knew he had a pistol. His grandfather replied, "I see it," and got up and walked into his room, passed through and out of it, crossed the hall and was just going into the parlor when Johnny stepped to the entrance of the hall and as his grandfather reached the parlor door, commenced firing. He shot him three times in the back, near the lower part of the shoulder blade - the three balls being not more than three inches apart and either of them fatal. He expired in a few moments. Johnny went that night and took a last look at his murdered relative and then went home. Wednesday morning his best suit of clothes was gone and those he wore when the killing took place were in his room. His horse, bridle and saddle were also gone.


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        The deceased was over 80 years old and was highly esteemed by all who knew him. He had been a citizen of this county for a great number of years and raised a family universally respected and admired. His slayer is about twenty-three years old, married but has no children. As we said before, dissipated and wild. His father when he went to Texas left over a thousand gallons of wine in his cellar and from this his son has drawn his wicked inspiration.
        Mr. Mathis was buried, Wednesday evening [at Mill Creek cemetery]. Dr. Mathis was absent at a neighbor's, about three miles distant and when sent for was completely overwhelmed at the double loss he had sustained -- father and son.
Paris Post


According to his father's family Bible record, JOHN LEONARD - JOHNNIE MATHIS was born December 1, 1858. He had married Elizabeth - Lizzie - HOPE, May 5, 1878; they were near-neighbors of his Grandfather Mathis, about 19 miles NW of Paris, Tennessee.

Johnnie Mathis was caught after attempting initially to get away but escaped again and was never heard from again. The story goes that Squire Sylvester Goldston helped him get away. The late Chesley Alexander (1873-1967), Paris resident and businessman, and a relative of the present writer, told the latter that it was believed Johnnie Mathis was in touch with his father's family in Texas over the years and perhaps his sister, Ida Bell Mathis Firebaugh permitted him to live many years later on her homeplace in California. His fate, truthfully, was never generally known but the memory of such a dastardly act lived long in the memory of many Henry Countians.]


October 21, 1880

JAMES M. HASTINGS died in Civil District 7, Henry Co., Tenn., October 5, 1880; born in North Carolina, 181l; moved to Henry County when young.


October 28, 1880

MARTHA wife of John W. STEWART died in Henry Co., Tenn., October 23, 1880.

MARY wife of Thomas PATERSON; daughter of John W. Stewart, died Oct. 24, 1880.

J. M. GRIFFIN married S. E. COOK, Paris, Tenn., October 20, 1880.


November 11, 1880

MARY BELLE daughter of A. C. MILLER died of diphtheria, Oct. 29, 1880 aged 8 years and a few months, near Gum Spring, Henry County, Tenn.


December 9, 1880

Professor T. H. M. HUNTER married BETTIE D. ATKINS, Paris, Tenn., Dec. 2, 1880; wedding trip to New Orleans, La.



April 28, 1881

CARROLL WISEMAN died in Civil District 2, Henry Co., Tenn., April 22, 1881.

JAMES NORRED died in Civil District 17, Henry Co., Tenn., April 24, 1881.

ELISHA LAMB died near Conyersville, Tenn., April 23, 1881.

Mrs. J. R. McFARLAND, native of Henry Co., Tenn., died in the insane asylum, Nashville, Tenn., Apr. 22, 1881. Buried in Paris city cemetery.

Rev. WILLIAM DIGGS established a Sunday School at Neal's Chapel two weeks ago; editors encouraged such schools as a basis for "character building."


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May 5, 1881

JOHN MATHIS died near North Fork, Henry Co., Tenn., April 25, 1881 aged about 52 years.

DORA daughter of Russell CUNNINGHAM died near North Fork, Henry Co., Tenn., April 27, 1881.

THOMAS F. JONES had bought over 5200 pieces of "animal fur" in the Paris market in the "past season."

WILLIAM D. COX, Missouri resident, died in Springville, Henry Co., Tenn., April 23, 1881.


September 8, 1881

Mrs. ELIZABETH POYNER died near North Fork, Henry Co., Tenn., August 31, 1881; born April 20, 1801.

JOHN VANHOOK was buried in the HAYMES family graveyard on August 22, 1881.

J. B. FRY died in Paris, Tenn., Sept. 5, 1881; buried in Nashville, Tennessee.


September 22, 1881

JAMES A. GARFIELD, U. S. President, died Sept. 19, 1881 from injuries sustained when he was shot by an assassin on July 2, previously. [JAMES ABRAM GARFIELD, Nov. l9, 1831- Sept. 19, 1881, the 20th President of the United States]

ANNIE ANDERSON daughter of W. J. and Bettie A. NOLEN died Sept. 14, 1881 aged 2 months and 25 days [born June 19, 1881].


September 29, 1881

THOMAS R. BRUCE born Conyersville, Tenn.; lived in Paris from the age of 9 years; died there, Sept. 22, 1881 in the 29th year of his age. [Buried in Paris city cemetery: THOMAS R. BRUCE, 1852-1881]


October 13, 1881

JAMES W. RAY died Paris, Tenn., Oct. 10, 1881 in the 65th year of his age; former Henry County Court Clerk; surviving were several children and four sisters.


November 24, 1881

Mrs. SALLIE HALL died near Paris, Tenn., Nov. 20, 1881 aged 70 years.

Mrs. THOMAS WHITE died in Buchanan, Henry Co., Tenn., Nov. 18, 1881.

JANE HANSFORD RENNOLDS born King George County, Virginia, February 9, 1810; daughter of Theodosius Hansford, clerk of the Virginia Senate, 1800-1825; her mother died when she was four years old and her father when she was fifteen years old. Taught school; married Elder Robert Rennold [Sept. 25, 1805-May 20, 1871], Louisa Co., Va., 1838 and moved to Henry Co., Tenn., 1841; he died in 1871 and she married Robert B. Rennold; mother of six children, one of whom died in the Confederate army. She died nine miles north of Paris, November 19, 1881. [She may be buried in an unmarked grave in the Rennolds Cemetery about a mile south of Puryear, Tennessee.]


December 1, 1881

JOHN W. STEWART died four miles SE of Paris, Tenn., Nov. 25, 1881.

MATTIE D. daughter of Dr. T. C. HARCOURT died in residence of her grandmother, Mrs. Marietta Dunlap, Paris, Tenn., Nov. 27, 1881 in the 17th year of her age.


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