The county of Rutherford was formed in 1804, and they made the place
at the forks of the Stones
River, named it Jefferson for the County Seat, 1804 to 1811 before moving it to Murfree Springs
The old Court House was left there for a school house for a number of
years. There was a number
of stores, shops, and a saloon on every corner of the public square.
My Great Grandfather WALLER (William) was a mill-wright. He would
help put up all the water
mills throughout the country. His five (5) boys, after four (4) of them came out of the Civil War,
went into the shop business, making wagons, plows, etc.
My father, Claiborne WALLER, was in the general store at Jefferson in
1910. He and his brother
(Sidney Waller) ran two (2) market wagons, gathering up chickens, eggs, and butter, carrying it to
Nashville once a week, and bringing back canned goods, sugar, coffee, shoes, clothes, and etc.
When I was 6 or 7 years old, I’d help case eggs. When I would break one, I would carry it to the
house to cook.
Sugar would come in barrels then, coffee in grain (whole beans), grinding
it every morning for
breakfast. No loaves of bread in those days as well as no ice. Everything was put in cellars to keep
When I was a small boy, they sent out death notices. When someone
died, a man riding horseback
would deliver the message.
We would carry corn to the mill to get meal, 50 to 75 pounds at the time.
There were Toll Gates on the Pike, when I was seven (7) or eight (8)
years of age. They were
taken away about 1915. There was a five cent charge for horseback riders and ten cents for buggy
or wagon to go through. Gates would be every 6 miles. Cattle were driven to Nashville Market on
It was the law that every male 18 to 50 years of age would have to work
on the road that he lived
on 5 days a year. I only had to work but one year before (that) changed.
For beef, every man would join a community beef club. He would
furnish one calf a week until they
all got around. All would meet one day and kill hogs together, eating dinner at the house where you
The first electric lights in this area was 1925, Smyrna Light and Power
Co. When a bill would be up
to $5.00, they would holler, “too much.”
Before the first church was built (Church of Christ-1914) at a cost
of $1000, they would have
Sunday school at the homes around.