BY ABB CRABTREE
Chitwood was a community developed by one family of people. They cared very little about boundaries, city lines, county lines or state lines; they cared for people and their community. This community has been in four states and possibly five counties, maybe more. It was rumored to have been settled by four brothers, well that’s part of the truth. There were four brothers and also their mother and father. There was also their sister, two sisters in fact, some black servants and a cousin. The brothers were LAZARUS, WILLIAM, DANIEL and PLEASANT. The sisters were WINNIE and ELIZABETH. The parents were JAMES and MARTHA, and the cousin SHADRACK. All were of the CHITWOOD family, and it was known as Chitwood for 75 or 80 years that we know of.
The Post Office was located in a common house operated by JAMES CHITWOOD in the Pine Grove Community at the head-waters of Hunt Creek. The post office in that day consisted of nothing more than a table and small cubby holes at the back of the table. When they changed post masters they changed tables (they moved the table with them) so they changed the post office. Now the best we can find out the original post office is in a museum in Lexington, Ky. where the first land grant was granted. It was granted in Pulaski County, the county seat is in Somerset.
The community has supplied military men for all wars, even the Revolutionary War. I understand that JAMES CHITWOOD served in it. There was a Camp Chitwood that furnished replacements for the Northern Army and also guarded the supply route that ran from Somerset through Winfield to Knoxville by way of the Huntsville-Jacksboro Road (or Williamsburg-Jacksboro road.). This supply route runs directly in front of my house as of now and hopefully they will not be changing the road.
Then came the railroad; and the railroad created a great business within itself. Winfield has had railroad workers ever since it has been here. Even today we have people working on the same railroads. The first passenger train that came through here I understand was about 1880 and then in the early 1900s, because of this railroad, there was a tanbark business. In about 1908 there was a flooring and planing mill established in Winfield, just because of the railroad. That started a lumber business that has been carried on ever since and is still going today. It is a tradition in Winfield. We have timber and lumber businesses today. Those businesses at that time, back in the early 1900s, supported two hotels, one boarding house, a couple of restaurants, 10 or 12 doctors and other professional people. Because of this settlement came various communities such as Pleasant Grove. PLEASANT CHITWOOD is buried at Pleasant Grove in the Perkins Cemetery. At one time it had a two-year high school; Clay Hill had a school and a church — it was the home of NELSON CHITWOOD, the grandson of LAZARUS CHITWOOD, the first land grant holder in Winfield. New Light was probably settled by SHADRACK because his first born son is buried in the New Light Cemetery. SHADRACK moved on to Missouri and is buried there. His son RICHARD married ELIZABETH TRAMMELL, that’s where a lot of our other settlers came from, the relatives of the Chitwood spouses. DANIEL is buried at the back of the present Winfield post office and WILLIAM is buried at Jellico Creek. There is a key to where the first settlers went. First land grant was given to LAZARUS in 1812 at the headwaters of Ponch Creek which is in the Pine Grove community (even though the maps of Scott County list Perkins Creek at Ponch Creek). He left and went south and is buried at either Georgia or Alabama. Each of the settled areas had their own school and churches. Now the schools have been consolidated, but the churches remain almost at the same places they once were since organized. At one time we even had Methodist •services in the Baptist church; and some of our citizens from our community established and helped establish the First Baptist Church in Oneida. There is a story that was told at the Great Revival that started in Pleasant Grove, I had heard about it then found an account of it in CLAY SMITH’s "Dusty Bits of the Forgotten Past." It started at Pleasant Grove community from a girl’s funeral. From the revival it spread to Winfield after they finished at Pleasant Grove. From Winfield they went to Second Bethlehem Church, then to Buffalo, and from Buffalo they went to Paint Rock. There were at least forty people that were taken into the churches by baptism. From that revival come our older, better known ministers such as HARRISON DUNCAN, JOHN STANLEY, SILAS STANLEY, ROE SEXTON, ALBERT CRABTREE, JONATHAN PHILLIPS; and then there were what we termed then our public brothers and sisters who spoke audibly in church, prayed audibly; it was pretty well known, Brother STANLEY probably better known than the others.
Then from Bowl Tennessee came the industry of the bowl factory that made wooden bowls and shipped them to various parts of the country. We have some of the products of that manufacturing in our community today by some of the descendants of the manufacturers.
From our community came a man who wrote music, sang quite a bit, taught school and even wrote the alma mater for Oneida Independent School — so I’ve been told. We have ancestors from our community scattered all over the United States because of wars and their service to their country in various forms.
The man that wrote the alma mater to Oneida School is ANDY CRABTREE and he wrote it in 1917. It is covered by H. CLAY SMITH’s "Dusty Bits of the Forgotten Past."
Some of our more prominent people are politicians, school teachers, ministers, doctors, and numerous other civic minded people.
Now we have an incorporated community, but it still does not stay within the boundaries of that cities incorporation. Our community is built in the hearts of our people and our concern is for our fellow men. Above all, out of all the people we have produced, we have produced some very, very quality Americans!
FNB Chronicle, Vol. 1, No. 2 – Winter 1990
First National Bank
P.O. Box 4699
Oneida, TN 37841
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