BLEVINS, ADA - 78, of Winfield, passed away at her home Tuesday, March 30. She was the daughter of the late CAMPBELL MURPHY and the late BETTY GOODMAN MURPHY, a member of the Second Bethlehem Baptist Church. Survivors include her husband, CRAWFORD BLEVINS, Winfield; one daughter BEULAH CARSON, Winfield; two sons, HERBERT CHITWOOD and GLEN CHITWOOD, both of Winfield; five sisters, EDNA TRAMMELL, DOROTHY PHILLIPS and OPAL LAY, all of Oneida, MAUDE WEBB, Winfield, and ETHEL MARCUM, Mill Town, Indiana; two brothers, MILTON WRIGHT, Cincinnati and DEWEY WRIGHT, Winfield; eight grandchildren and eight great?grandchildren. Funeral services were conducted from the Second Bethlehem Baptist Church at 1 p.m. Thursday, April 1 with the Rev. ROY BLEVINS and the Rev. J. W. Blevins officiating. Burial followed in the Chitwood Cemetery. (Source: West Union Association of United Baptists Minutes, 1971, p23)
BLEVINS, BEULAH age 74 of Oneida Passed away Saturday, November 24, at her home. Born in Lancing, Tennessee Sept. 12, 1927 She was the daughter of the late TOM and EDNA HOWARD SMITH. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by one sister, GEORGIA MAY HAWKINS. She is survived by her children, DIANA GEIER and husband DAVID, SUE NUTT and husband EDDIE, all of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, CAROL JEFFERS of Oneida, and LIBBY WEST and husband DONNIE of Huntsville; the father of her children, LLOYD BLEVINS; one brother HARLAN SMITH; and one sister MONA SMITH all of Oneida; eleven grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; special friends, GEMIMA HUGHETT, ALEX PHILLIPS, MERGIE SHOEMAKER, and LARRY KEETON. She also leaves many nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends at Westminster Apartments to mourn her passing. Funeral services were conducted Tuesday, November 27 at 8 p.m. In the chapel of Jones & Son Funeral Chapel with Rev. WAYNE SEXTON Officiating. Serving as pallbearers were NATE LOWE, TIM CLAYBORN, TONY CROWLEY, SHANE LEWALLEN, STEPHEN WEST, and SHANE SMITH. Graveside services were conducted Wednesday, November 28 at 11 a.m. at the Opossum Rock Cemetery. The family received friends Tuesday evening from 6 until time of the funeral service at 8 p.m.. Jones & Son Funeral Home of Oneida was in Charge of the arrangements for Beulah Blevins. (Source: Scott County News, 29 Nov 2001)
BLEVINS, ELVA SMITH 91, of Pioneer, Tenn., and formerly of Oneida, died January 27, 1997, at the East Tennessee Baptist Hospital in Knoxville, Tenn. Born in Scott County, Tenn., December 31, 1905, she was the daughter of the late WILLIAM ISAAC and NANCY SMITH. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, SYLVESTER BLEVINS; one grandson, WILLIAM BLEVINS; two sisters, AMY COOPER and MINNIE SMITH; five brothers: OSCAR, ARNOLD, and SHELL SMITH; and JOHN and WILLIAM LITTON. She was a member of the Black Oak Baptist Church. She is survived by four sons: ANDREW BLEVINS and wife, JOYCE of Powell, Tenn.; CLARENCE BLEVINS and wife, JEAN of Lake City, Tenn.; ROBERT BLEVINS and wife, ANN of Pioneer, Tenn.; and OAKLEY BLEVINS and wife, CHERYL of Plainsfield, Ind.; three daughters: ZORA WINCHESTER and husband, EVERETT BLEVINS of Indianapolis, Ind.; OPAL TERRY and husband, JAMES (Art) of Camby, Ind.; and CHARLENE ALLEN and husband, JOHNNY of Greenville, SC; 19 grandchildren; 31 great grandchildren; 11 great-great-grandchildren; five sisters: VERDIE RECTOR and ALICE BELL, both of Booneville, Ind.; RUBY SOUTHERN of Muncie, Ind.; CORA CUSHMAN of Evansville, Ind.; three brothers: EVERETT SMITH of Muncie, Ind.; SHERMAN SMITH of Winfield, Tenn.; and EZRA LITTON of Sevierville, Tenn.; several nieces, nephews and many other relatives. Funeral services were conducted January 30, 1997, in the Four Oaks Funeral Home Chapel with Revs. JIM WEST and RONNIE DUNCAN officiating. Interment followed in the Opossum Rock Cemetery. Four Oaks Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. (Source: Independent Herald, 6 Feb 1997)
BLEVINS, ETHEL REED - Daughter of MANUS and BETTY WILDER REED was born in Scott County, Tennessee on December 1, 1907. Departed this life July 14, 1959 at the age of 51 years, 7 months, and 13 days. Surviving are her husband, WILLIAM E. BLEVINS, of Helenwood, Tenn. Father and Mother, Mr. and Mrs. MANUS REED of Helenwood, Tenn.; Two daughters, Miss MILDRED and Miss MARCIA ANN BLEVINS, of Helenwood, Tennessee. Two sisters, Mrs. MAYME TERRY and Mrs. LULA RYAN; Five brothers, HOMER REED, HERBERT REED, EUGENE REED, WAYNE REED, and VIRGIL REED, and a host of other relatives and friends. She professed faith in Christ and joined the Helenwood Baptist Church about the year 1922 when she was about 15 years of age, where she remained a member until death. We feel that our loss is her eternal gain. (Source: West Union Association of United Baptists Minutes, 1959, p20-21)
BLEVINS, JAMES - 84, passed away Thursday morning at his residence near Robbins. He was a member of the Black Creek Baptist Church, and had many friends. Survivors: wife, LOUISA BLEVINS of Robbins; 4 sons, MAYNARD BLEVINS of Revelo, Ky., Rev. ROY BLEVINS of Oneida, CLAUDE BLEVINS of Armathwaite and JASPER BLEVINS of Stockton, Calif.; 1 brother, Rev. MILEY BLEVINS of Winfield. 16 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren. Funeral services were conducted from the Black Creek Baptist Church Saturday, June 20 at 2 p.m. with Revs. L. M. JEFFERS and ELMER GARRETT officiating. Interment Storey Cemetery. West in charge. (Source: West Union Association of United Baptists Minutes, 1959, p17)
BLEVINS, JANE M., Lt. - Funeral services were held at Somerset Funeral Home, Somerset, Kentucky, last Thursday, June 3, for 2nd Lt. JANE M. BLEVINS, who lost her life in World War II. Lt. BLEVINS, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. I. N. BLEVINS formerly of this county and now of Somerset, Ky. was the only Scott county girl to lose her life in World War II. She was a graduate of the Oneida High School and was well known and liked here where she had a large number of friends. She was 22 years of age at the time of her death in February 1944 in Ledo, India. Her body was brought back to Somerset for burial there in the family plot of Somerset Cemetery. Surviving are her parents, Mr. and Mrs. I. N. BLEVINS, Somerset, Ky.; one brother, HOWARD KINNE BLEVINS, who was also a soldier in World War II and was a German prisoner for approximately three years, also of Somerset; four sisters, Mrs. GARFIELD BLEVINS of Rock Creek, Ky., Mrs. C. C. GRAGG and Mrs. HOWARD SMITH of Oak Ridge, Tenn., and Mrs. EUGENE McDONALD of Oneida. (Source: Scott County News, 11 Jun 1948, p8)
BLEVINS, JANIE ELLEN - 48, of Huntsville, passed away on Wednesday, January 5, 2000 at Scott County Hospital. She was the daughter of the late THELBERT SEXTON and CARMON OWENS SEXTON and was also preceded in death by one brother, LEON SEXTON. She was a member of the Capital Hill Missionary Baptist Church. Survivors include her husband HENRY BLEVINS of Huntsville; two sons, EDWARD and RONNIE BLEVINS of Huntsville; five daughters, MICHELLE AUTRY of Oneida, CHRISTY LAWSON and husband ALLEN of Oneida, AMANDA WARD and husband JASON of LaFollette, and MISTY BLEVINS of Huntsville; three special grandchildren, ALLISON CHAMBERS, MARIAH BLEVINS, and COLBY HICKS; one brother, RUSSELL SEXTON of Helenwood; three sisters, NELDA GOODMAN of Oneida, and LOUISE HATCHER and GERALDINE HATCHER of Kentucky; several nieces and nephews; and many other relatives and friends. Funeral services were conducted on Saturday, January 8, at 11 a.m. at West-Murley Funeral Home, with Rev. CARLIE DUNCAN and Rev. JAMES TAYLOR officiating. The New Country Gospel sang. Burial was in the Harness Cemetery. West-Murley Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements. (Source: Scott County News, 13 Jan 2000, p8)
BLEVINS, JOHN - Son of DANIEL and MARY BLEVINS, was born October 13, 1872, departed this life January 10, 1955 at the age of 82 years, 2 months and 27 days. He professed a hope in Christ and was baptized into the Baptist Church by Rev. JOEL CHITWOOD in the year 1896, and was ordained to the Gospel Ministry on the second Sunday in February, 1898. He was married to MARGARETT ANN SEWELL on the 22nd day of August, 1894 and to this union were born 9 children, 3 sons and 5 daughters. His wife and one daughter preceded him in death. Left to mourn his departure are 3 sons, W. E. BLEVINS of Helenwood; J. W. BLEVINS, Winfield; and DILLARD BLEVINS of Tampa, Fla.; 4 daughters, Mrs. STERLING CROSS of Oneida; Mrs. JESSIE COLLINS of Pioneer; Mrs. GEORGE LITTON, Oneida and Mrs. EARL WRIGHT of Winfield; 2 brothers, Rev. MILEY BLEVINS and JAMES BLEVINS; one sister, NANCY TERRY. 27 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren and a host of other relatives and friends. By the grace of God we e xpect to meet him again in the "Heavenly Country" of which he spoke so often. Pine Grove Baptist Church. (Source: West Union Association of United Baptists Minutes, 1955, p12-13)
BLEVINS, JOHN85, of Winfield, formerly of the White Pine Community passed away at the Scott County Hospital Monday, April 5, 1971 after a lengthy illness. He was the son of the late JACOB BLEVINS and the VINAH WEST BLEVINS, a member of the White Pine Baptist Church. Survivors include one daughter, Mrs. BERTHA WATSON of Winfield, two sons, OSCAR and CHARLIE both of Jamestown, two brothers, ELIJA BLEVINS of Jamestown, CHARLIE BLEVINS, Robbins; two sisters, Mrs. LITHA TOMAS of Oneida, Mrs. LOU BLEVINS of Michigan. Nine Grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Funeral services were conducted form the West Funeral Home Chapel at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 8 with Rev. ROY BLEVINS officiating. Burial followed in the Katy Blevins Cemetery. West Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. (Source: Scott County News, 9 Apr 1971)
BLEVINS, LLOYD - 82, of Oneida, passed away May 7, 2004, at the Scott County Hospital in Oneida. Born in Oneida, November 22, 1921, he was preceded in death by his mother, POPPIE BLEVINS; the mother of his children, BEULAH BLEVINS; and two sisters, EDNA WHITTENBURG and LOTTIE CRABTREE. He was a member of Black Oak Baptist Church. He is survived by four daughters: LIBBY WEST and husband, DONNIE, and CAROL JEFFERS, all of Huntsville; SUE NUTT and husband, EDDIE, of Oak Ridge; and DIANA GEIER and husband, DAVID, of Highland Ranch, Colo.; 11 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, two sisters, ETHEL BOGGS of Va., and FLORA DUVALL and husband, CLYDE, of Jamestown; one brother, CRAWFORD BLEVINS of Washington; special friends, HARLAN SMITH, ALVIN KRAHN and RANDY COOPER, all of Oneida; and many other relatives. Funeral service was conducted May 9, in the chapel of Jones & Son Funeral Home with Rev. CARLIE DUNCAN and Rev. RANDY COOPER officiating. Music was provided by ANGIE SEXTON and MISCHA CLAIBORN. Graveside service was conducted May 10, at Black Oak Cemetery. Jones & Son Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. (Source: Independent Herald, 13 May 2004, p12)
BLEVINS, LOUISA - 91, passed away Thursday, July 2, 1964 at her home in Robbins after an illness of one year. She was a lifelong resident of Scott County and a member of the Black Creek Baptist Church. She is survived by 2 daughters, Mrs. ELLA MAE YORK of Robbins and Mrs. IDA HAMBY of New River, Tennessee; 1 brother, RILEY LACKEY of Robbins; 4 step-sons, Rev. ROY BLEVINS of Oneida, Rev. MAYNARD BLEVINS, Revelo, Kentucky, CLAUDE BLEVINS, Armathwaite, Tennessee and PHAROAH BLEVINS of Stockton, California. Funeral services were conducted 2 p.m. Saturday, July 4, 1964, from the Black Creek Baptist Church with Rev. VIRGIL CECIL officiating. Interment followed in the Black Creek Cemetery. Black Creek Baptist Church. (Source: West Union Association of United Baptists Minutes, 1964, p19)
BLEVINS, MARGARETT ANN SEWELL - Wife of Rev. JOHN BLEVINS was borned June 29, 1870, died February 16, 1954, at the age of 83 years and seven months. She was a faithful member of Pine Grove Baptist Church. She is survived by her husband, Rev. JOHN BLEVINS of Oneida, Tennessee. Seven children, four girls and three boys: W. E. BLEVINS of Helenwood, Tenn.; Rev. WHEELER BLEVINS, Winfield, Tenn.; OSCAR BLEVINS, Tampa, Fla.; Mrs. STERLING CROSS, Oneida, Tenn.; Mrs. GEORGE LITTON, Oneida, Tenn.; Mrs. JESS COLLINS, Pioneer, Tenn.; Mrs. EARL WRIGHT, Winfield, Tenn. One brother, DILLARD SEWELL, Armathwaite, Tennessee. Several grandchildren and great grandchildren. (Source: West Union Association of United Baptists Minutes, 1955, p12)
BLEVINS, MAUDE RHODES 1905-2000 95, of Hays, N.C., passed away on Thursday, August 31, 2000 at Scott County Hospital in Oneida. Mrs. BLEVINS was the daughter of the late JONES and JOSEPHINE SPARKS MAYBERRY and was also preceded in death by husbands, Rev. ERNEST BLEVINS and YANK RHODES. She was a member of Bethel Baptist Church. She is survived by four daughters, ANNIEBELLE RHOADES of North Wilksboro, N.C., EDNA ROLAND of Hays, N.C., MAE BAUGUESS of China Grove, N.C., and ARGYLE BYRD of Winfield; two step-daughters, DEBORAH WINTERS and BARBARA BYBEE of Las Vegas, Nev.; four step-sons, CARL BLEVINS and BARRY BLEVINS, both of Hays, N.C., GARY BLEVINS of Wilkesboro, N.C., and Rev. MICHAEL BLEVINS of Myrtle Beach, S.C.; three sisters, JOYCE BILLINGS of Traphill, N.C., CORDIE ELLIS of McGrady, N.C., and ROXIE CHAMBERS of Athens, Ga.; five grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; 17 step-grandchildren; and 11 step-great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held Monday, September 4, at 2 p.m. at Bethel Baptist Church with Rev. KENNETH WILES officiating. Burial was in the church cemetery. Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements. This obituary was provided courtesy of Jones and Son Funeral Home of Oneida. (Scott County News, Vol. 83, No. 43, 7 Sep 2000, p8)
BLEVINS, MELVINA MILLER - daughter of JOHN and DARKIE MILLER, was born in Scott County, Tenn. on August 20, 1906, departed this life January 18, 1954, at the age of 47 years, 5 months, and 28 days. Surviving her are her husband, LOUIS K. BLEVINS, of Oneida, Tenn.; 1 son, HERBERT BLEVINS, Oneida, Tenn.; 3 daughters, Mrs. VIRGIL PHILLIPS, Oneida, Tenn., Miss BEATRICE BLEVINS, Oneida, Tenn., Mrs. CHARLES BRIDGES, Oneida, Tenn.; Mother Mrs. JOHN MILLER, Muncie, Ind.; 4 sisters, Mrs. GENERAL SLAVEN, Oneida, Tenn., Mrs. DELLA BEATY, Muncie, Ind., Mrs. MITCHEL FOSTER, Muncie, Ind., Mrs. DAN GOOD, Muncie, Ind. and a host of friends and relatives. She professed a hope in Christ and joined the Bethlehem Baptist Church at Oneida, Tenn. in July 1944, where she remained a member until death. We feel that our loss is her eternal gain. (Source: West Union Association of United Baptists Minutes, 1954, p14)
BLEVINS, POLLY CRABTREE - Born November 21, 1874, departed this life March 18, 1954. She was married to SHADE BLEVINS August 8, 1896. To this union were born 11 children, 5 of whom preceded her in death. She was a faithful member of the United Baptist Church of New Zion for several years and lived a faithful devoted life. She was a faithful and devoted mother, and we feel that her departure is her eternal rest in Heaven, where no heartaches never nor said farewells never come but a eternal Home in glory, where loved ones may meet her and sing Praises to God for ever more. (Source: West Union Association of United Baptists Minutes, 1954, p18)
BLEVINS, RALPH, Staff Sgt. Winfield Mrs. CARL SMITH received word that her son, Staff Sgt. RALPH BLEVINS was killed in action in Germany Oct. 8th. (Source: Scott County News, 17 Nov 1944, p5)
BLEVINS, WILLIAM ELZY - son of the late Rev. JOHN BLEVINS and the late MARGRET SEWELL BLEVINS was born in Scott County, Tenn. on Dec. 15, 1895. He departed this life on March 11, 1969 at the age of 73 years 2 months and 26 days. He was united in marriage to ETHEL REED and to this union was born two daughters, His wife preceded him in death in July 12, 1959. Surviving are: two daughters, Mrs. MARCIA BOTTS and Miss MILDRED BLEVINS both of Oneida, Tennessee, Mrs. MILLIE COLLINS of Rt. 2 Pioneer, Tenn., Mrs. LONA WRIGHT of Winfield, Tenn. two brothers, Rev. J. W. BLEVINS, of Beulah Heights, Ky. and OSCAR BLEVINS of Tampa, Fla. and a host of other relatives and friends. He served in the U.S. Army during World War one. He served over seas in France for the duration of the war. He professed faith in Christ in 1912, and joined the Mt. Helen Baptist Church in Fentress County, Tenn. Later he moved his membership to the Pine Grove Baptist, Winfield, Tenn. Later he moved his membership to the Pine Grove Baptist, Winfield, Tenn.. In 1950 he moved his membership to the Helenwood Baptist Church where he remained a member until the time of his death. "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord." (Source: West Union Association of United Baptists Minutes, 1969, p19)
BLEVINS, WILLIAM HOUSTON Services for W. H. Blevins, 'Ram's Horn Orator', Conducted Monday, Nov. 23; He Was 95. WILLIAM HOUSTON BLEVINS, 95, of Oneida, passed away Friday night at the Scott County Hospital. Mr. BLEVINS, who will always be remembered as "Uncle Huse," was a prominent County political leader, public official and school teacher. Services for Mr. BLEVINS were conducted from the Pine Creek Baptist Church Monday at 1 p.m. with Rev. ROY BLEVINS and Rev. W. C. MARCUM officiating. Interment followed in the Sunnyview Cemetery. Arrangement in charge of Oneida Funeral Home. Survivors: wife, Mrs. ROSIE BLEVINS; one son, LAWRENCE BLEVINS; three daughters, Mrs. EZRA MARCUM, Misses LUCY and HELEN BLEVINS, all of Oneida. On Jan. 24 of this year, Mr. BLEVINS was the subject in Mrs. ESTER SANDERSON's Profiles in Courage. We would to again to publish Mrs. SANDERSON's entire article.
Scott County was 100 years old in 1949. We have in this county an elderly gentleman who was born during its infancy. Happily, he remains with us long after his friends of former years have passed away. Like the last leaf upon the tree, he is a pleasant memorable link between the past and the present.
Uncle HOUSTON BLEVINS was born in 1869, four years after the close of the Civil War. Nearing the century mark, he still has the zest for living that was characteristic of the pioneers. Always a man full of vim, vigor and humor, he maintained the spirit of the pioneer but kept pace with progress.
Uncle HOUSTON first saw the light of day in a crude log cabin with its dog-trot. Food was prepared on the open fireplace with kettles hanging from pot hooks. Bread was baked in an iron oven by placing live coals under it and on the lid covering it. All their food came from the fields, forest and streams. Corn was taken to the old water mill where it was ground into meal. In the fall, the boys did some gritting. Says Uncle HOUSTON, "Them that didn't grit, didn't git.
All the clothing was homespun or buckskin, and the clothing was made by hand. Their brogan shoes were homemade and one pair had to last a year. Most of the seventeen BLEVINS children slept in the loft on straw or cornshuck ticks. In every cabin year, there was an ash hopper to make lye to be used in making soap. The clothes were washed by hand and,; a battle axe came in handy on washdays. Homemade candles and pineknots were used for lighting the cabins. People kept live coals the year around. If the fire went out, it was necessary to travel to a neighbor's house to borrow fire.
Game was plentiful, and the streams were full of fish. Bears, panthers, wolves, wildcats and deer found safe habitat in the unsettled wilderness on Parch Corn and Williams Creeks. Indians once used the cliffs overlooking Williams Creek to cure their pelts.
Granny women delivered the babies, and root and herb doctors who had studied their doctor books administered to the sick. The scarifying knife was used for bloodletting, and people who had been bitten by made dogs were taken to the mad stone on Buffalo Creek. There were folk remedies for every known disease. Teeth were extracted for children with bullet molds in the homes, and the grown-ups went to the blacksmith shop where the blacksmith used a pair of "pullengers." There was deep concern about the sick and the dead. Tools were so very sick and couldn't plant, cultivate or harvest his crop, the neighbors did it for him. [Typed as written] They traveled for miles to care for the sick and to bury the dead. The coffins were made from pine lumber from the near-by hills. The funerals were preached months after interment, usually in the spring or fall. Quite a number of preachers would take part, and there would be dinner on the grounds.
When Uncle HOUSTON was a boy there were only two dirt roads of any length in Scott County, and they were almost impassible in the winter. Mountain trails and cow paths led to the smaller settlements. Over these, people traveled on foot, horseback, and by oxcart. But people didn't seem t mind; they traveled for miles to church, amusements and to court in Huntsville. Whether or not they had litigation in court, they turned our [out?] enmass to visit with their friends and to swap drams and horses. Candidates for public office always spoke on the first Monday, and HOUSTON BLEVINS was always on hand lending his humorous oratory.
There was not a telephone in Scott County, Uncle BILLY SHARP owned the only cook stove in the county, and the cook was afraid to fire it up at first for fear it would blow up. Itinerant lawyers and judges who wore 'store boughten' clothes were called doods by the natives. Uncle HOUSTON say that democrats were as scarce as hens teeth. Only five families in the county had owned slaves, and they had all left out or died out, leaving Scott County without any colored population.
Some traces of folklore still lingers in the minds of the few remaining early settlers. They planted their crops, butchered their meat and weaned their babies by the signs of the zodiac. They had good and bad luck signs and charms. If someone who was a good shot missed the target at a shooting march, they blamed it on some old hag who had bewitched old Betsy.
The chief amusements were square-dancing, corn-husking, log-rollings, lassie-making and shooting matches. There was no trace of aristrocacy. Everybody worked, dressed and fared alike. People made their own corn liquor. Some feuding went on among some of the settlers, resulting in some killings. "But in spite of it all" says UNCLE HOUSTON, with a merry twinkle in his eyes, "Them were the good old days where men and 'wimmen' were glad of it."
Uncle HOUSTON BLEVINS is the grandson of JOHNSON BLEVINS, who was born in Virginia in 1795. He fought with JACKSON at New Orleans in 1812. He moved to Pulaski County, Kentucky where he married LOTTIE MUSE. To this marriage was born seven children; JOHNSON, TALTON, JACOB, PLEAS, TIMOTHY, ADA and POLLY. His first wife died and he married SARAH MENTON in Pulaskie, Kentucky. To this marriage was born three sons; HENRY, ARMP and ISAAC. ARMP married MARJORIE CARSON, sister of the late JOHN CARSON. After her death, he married HELEN TERRY. To this marriage was born four boys and two girls. HOUSTON was the son of ARMP. He was the sixteenth child in a family of seventeen. He married ROSA MARCUM. To this union was born ten children. Only four are now living, namely; LUCY, HELEN, LENA, the wife of EZRA MARCUM, and LAWRENCE who married PEARL WATSON.
Scott County was an agrarian society for many years, and large families were needed to work on the farms, since all labor was done by hand. Fecundity and longevity united in populating it. "I had only ten children," said Uncle Houston." I guess I butterflied around too long before I got married. "But," he continued, "my brothers and sisters made up for me. They intermarried with the PEMBERTONs, SMITHs, CARSONs and TERRYs and their ancestors in Scott County are as thick as the sands of the sea." Those BLEVINS obeyed the fiat of the Lord, Multiply and replenish the earth." JOHNSON had fifty-two grandchildren and ARMP had eighty-three.
HOUSTON BLEVINS grew up on Parch Corn Creek where he attended his first school under a cliff. He and the teacher both chewed their homemade tobacco and spit on the dust to settle it. At the age of ten he swapped a catfish for an arithmetic book, the first book he ever owned. He started in school at the Huntsville Presbyterian Academy in 1889 and he went five winters by feeding livestock and doing other menial tasks for room and board. In 1890, he taught his first school in a log cabin that had a dirt floor and hewn log benches. His salary was $25 per month. He continued in the teaching profession for 27 years, making an average of $35 per month. He retired at the age of 75.
Mr. BLEVINS recalls with pleasure, his winters spent at Huntsville while attending the Presbyterian Academy. He and the local boys would 'possum hunt and sell the pelts for pocket money. He and the boys really had a ball when they could get some "furiner" out on a snipe hunt. They would take him away out in the woods to some unfamiliar place and leave him holding the bag while they would go of to drive the snipes in. After spending the remainder of the night holding the bag or rambling around lost in the woods until morning, the 'furiner' would come in angry but wiser. "And how he did cut the pigeon wing at the square dances on Saturday nights. Uncle BILLY SHARP would resin up his bow and strike up 'Arkansas Traveler," 'Billy in the Low Ground' or 'Turkey in the Straw.' How those brogan shoes, homespun breeches and calico did fly! Them were the good old days." Says UNCLE HOUSTON.
As Mr. BLEVINS grew into manhood, he became interested in politics. He got his first forensic training in the Debating Club organized by the young lawyers of Huntsville. Among the members were HAYWOOD PEMBERTON, BEATY CECIL, HENRY POTTER, DAN JEFFERS, HARRISON REED, REUBIN HURT, JOE McDONALD and others. The Cumberland Chronicle would advertise in advance the names of the 'disputer" and the subjects that would be "disputed." Some of them were: 'Resolved that man is growing worse; That conscience is a creature of education; That fire is more destructive than water; That woman should be seen and not heard." The debates drew large crowds and HOUSTON was usually on the winning side, for as in later years, he had logic with side-splitting jokes and antic to illustrate his points.
During his long public career, he ran for many offices. He always could bring the house down with his ability to speak form the cuff and to ridicule his opponent . On one occasion, he told the audience that his opponent was so wishy-washy that he reminded him of a strange bird, a mugwump. Said he, "This creature just sits a straddle of the fence, with his head on one side and his wump on the other, and he don't know which way to fly.'
Uncle HOUSTON richly deserves the name of Mr. Republican, for he has worked consistently in the party for the past 71 years. He recently was honored with a plaque in recognition of his faithfulness to the party. He voted his first vote for President WILLIAM McKINLEY and attended the inauguration of President EISENHOWER. Dressed in his frilly ruffled shirt, his derby hat and the badges of McKINLEY, TEDDY ROOSEVELT, and EISENHOWER on his lapel, he made quite a splash on the screen and the news. He also carried his ram's horn used by his parents in pioneer days to call the children in from the fields at dinner time.
Almost a centurian, he can recall the gradual transition that took place during his long life span. With the development of the lumber and coal industries, an influx of outsiders came into Scott County. With them came Messrs. FORD and McADAMN, and things changed rapidly. Imagine if you may, living through the era from the oxcart to the jet airliner, from the open fireplace and tallow candles to gas and electricity, from homemade clothing, furniture and tools to factory made articles, from the root and herb doctor to large hospitals staffed with highly trained specialists, from the Blue Back Speller under a cliff to the great universities, from the tuning fork and the five string banjo to stereo, radio, and television, from the foot runner, to the Telstar, from a spark made by striking a flint to neuclear explosions. Yes, to span a century represents a heap of living.
Uncle HOUSTON has practically lost his hearing and vision in the last few years, but his god wife, ROSA, at the age of 85, still cultivates an acres garden plot and supplies many of her less industrious neighbors with vegetables and garden seed that have been handed down from generation to generation. Uncle HOUSTON regrets that he is unable to visit his friends, attend his church and make his oft repeated visit to courthouse in Huntsville. His fading from public scene is like the removal of some well known land mark that has stood out in bold perspective for almost a century. The empty place can never by filled, for there will never be another HOUSTON BLEVINS. He has retained the mannerisms, speech and spirit of the pioneer, but he has always kept the spark of youth in his heart.
Uncle HOUSTON says that he is ready to go whenever the good Lord calls. Many people who have lost their vision are able to see more clearly with their souls. When the autumn of life fades into winter, the season roll more swiftly by. We would say with UNCLE HOUSTON:
"As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low vaulted past!
Let each new temple,
nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven
With a dome more vast.
Till thour at length are free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell
By life's unresting sea."
(Source: Scott County News, 27 Nov 1964, p1,7)
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