Transcribed by Pat Stubbs & Charles Gregory
A complete history of my Mother's family- the MATTHEWS Family that is -is being compiled- However since it is bound to be sometime before it will be finished. I feel it to be appropriate to include a short resume in this book. There is a mountain of work to be done on this line before the history is proven and complete and I do not know a safer place to preserve what I have gathered than in the pages of my little book!
As is usually the case in a work of this sort, my sources are many. Most of the older members of the family have been helpful by telling me anything about the family that they could remember. I found some things in the census records and used some information gleaned from articles written several years ago by a Middle Tenn. Baptist minister, the Rev.Calvin Gregory. I am grateful for all the help given and interest shown. I know there are many mistakes in this account- but I hope all of you will bear with me and help me make the story better as we finish it.
As you know, the MATTHEWS name in the dim and distant past, is of Welsh origin-although some of our ancestors came from Ireland. However, the first that I can tell of the family in Tennessee goes back no further than the late 1700's. Wylie MATTHEWS was a farmer living near McMinnville, Tenn. He was married to Sallie FREEZE and these are some of their children:
I- William MATTHEWS married Jane PHILLIPS
II- Mathew MATTHEWS born about 1785 in Tenn.- married Elizabeth (Betsy) DAVIS
III- Allen MATTHEWS married Sallie DAVIS. (Sallie and Betsy were sisters, daughters of an old veteran of the American Revolution- Matthew DAVIS- he fought in the North Carolina Line. Betsy and Sallie were said to be cousins of Jefferson DAVIS, president of the Sourthern Confederacy)
IV- Claiborne MATTHEWS married Matilda PHILLIPS. ( Matilda and Jane PHILLIPS wife of William MATTHEWS were sisters.)
I- William MATTHEWS born about 1783, lived all his life in Coffee Co., Tenn. where he was a Baptist minister, serving several churches in that area.
III-Allen MATTHEWS and Sallie DAVIS had nine (1)children:
1- Mark MATTHEWS married a Miss HUNT.
2- John MATTHEWS
3- Dowd MATTHEWS
4- William MATTHEWS
5- Elijah MATTHEWS
6- Simeon (Samson?) MATTHEWS
These six moved to Kentucky.
7- Thomas (Tom) MATTHEWS- went out to Texas.
8- James MATTHEWS was killed by lightening and
9- Mary MATTHEWS married a Mr. WILLIAMS.
II- Matthew MATTHEWS and Elizabeth (Betsy) DAVIS were my mother's grandparents, and so, to me at least of more importance in this narrative. Betsy DAVIS was born about 1790 in Hickory, N.C., daughter of Matthew DAVIS and wife. Matthew DAVIS fought in the American Revolution, and like so many others of that restless era, crossed the mountains into Tenn., looking for a better life for his family and himself. Somewhere near the turn of the century- probably by 1797, he settled in Smith County, near that wall of rock known as the Devil's Elbow. He and his wife are buried not far from there, down near the Cumberland River in the Ash Hopper Hollow. Betsy Davis MATTHEWS died about 1880 and is buried in the Smith Graveyard under the shadow of the Devil's Elbow. Aren't these names fascinating? Especially so to me, since the places are familiar scenes of my childhood. There is a family tradition that Jefferson DAVIS, president of the old Confederacy, was a cousin of Betsy's. I have found no real proof of this but there is certainly a strong resemblance between the portrait of 'OLD JEFF" and my Uncle Leon MATTHEWS. Matthew MATTHEWS died in Coffee Co., Tenn. and is buried there. He and Elizabeth (Betsy) DAVIS had six children:
1- Matthew MATTHEWS, Jr. born in Coffee Co., Tenn. 1828. He married Sallie KEMP. He was a soldier in the Confederate Cavalry- 2nd Regiment- Tenn. Cavalry.
2- John (Dock) MATTHEWS was my grandfather. He was married twice- 1st to a Miss PHILLIPS and second to Mary BROWN who was my grandmother.
3-Enoch MATTHEWS born 1837- married 1st. a Miss ROBINSON and 2nd Gillie MATTHEWS, his cousin, a daughter of Claiborne MATTHEWS and Matilda PHILLIPS.
4- Joanan MATTHEWS born 1840- married John KNIGHT.
5- Lucy A. MATTHEWS born 1835
6- Lousanne MATTHEWS married Horton SMITH (2)
2- John (Dock) MATTHEWS born March 27, 1830 in Coffee Co., Tenn. He went to Smith Co., Tenn. when a young man and he was living at Carthage, Tenn. when he died Jan. 2, 1910. He is buried in the Smith Graveyard at the foot of the Devil’s Elbow. He was a god man, known and respected for his upright character and his kind, genial personality. He was first married about 1852 to a Miss PHILLIPS. They had a daughter.
a2 - Elizabeth (Betty) MATTHEWS born 1853. She married _______ HOLLIDAY
and they had one son – Chas. HOLLIDAY
John (Dock) MATTHEWS married 2nd about 1868 to Mary BROWN, born Nov. 14, 1848 at Celina, Clay Co. Tenn., daughter of Joshua BROWN and Mahala WOODWARD. Joshua and Mahala both were born on the Obey river in Clay Co., Tenn. They migrated to Smith Co., Tenn. and settled at Buffalo, Tenn. Joshua BROWN is buried at Red Boiling Springs, Macon Co. Tenn. and Mahala is buried in Smith Co., Tenn. in the Smith Cemetery. Mary BROWN MATTHEWS died at her home in Carthage Tenn. on Wednesday night, Nov. 20 1935 and was buried beside her husband in the old Smith Graveyard. She was a member of the Baptist church. Her mother was a member of the Christian church and Granny used to talk wistfully at times of that church, however, she remained in the church to which her children belonged. She was a person possessed of a fine mind, a great sense of pride and a firm, resolute character. She asked no quarter and gave none! I firmly believe that she never knew the meaning of the word “fear.” She and John (Dock) MATTHEWS had six children – five of whom lived to be old. All of them were honest, decent men and woman. The oldest was my mother.
b2 – Leona MATTHEWS born April 14, 1870 in the Smith Branch Community of Smith Co., Tenn. – died at Carthage, Tenn. Dec. 2, 1954 and is buried there in Ridgewood Cemetery. She was married twice – 1st about 1887 to Allen GREGORY – they had one child
1. Eppie Iola GREGORY was born Feb. 22, 1889 – married Nov 27, 1904 to Benjamin (Ben) F. PIPER born at Monoville, Tenn. Aug. 15, 1883, son of John PIPER and Eunice HACHETT. He died at his home at Monoville, Tenn. June 19, 1951 and is buried at Dixon Springs Cem. at Dixon Springs, Tenn. Ben PIPER was a good neighbor, good husband and father, an upright and substantial citizen in his community. He was a highly successful, hard-working farmer. He was for many years a member of Peyton’s Creek Baptist Church. He used to enjoy bringing home a houseful of company from church to eat dinner at his house. He loved to have people (3) sit down to his table and eat one of the fine meals which he provided so bountifully and which his wife knew how to cook to perfection. When there was sickness or death in the neighborhood you were sure to find Ben there- quite, unobtrusive- but there to lend a hand wherever he could. Something priceless has gone out of our country with people like Ben PIPER and we do not have it to spare. Ben and Eppie PIPER had two children.
a1 – Eunice Alyene PIPER was born Dec. 10, 1906 at Monoville, Tenn. – married Dec. 23, 1925, to Lucien BRIDGEWATER - born Sept. 7, 1903 at Monoville, Tenn. son of Mark BRIDGEWATER and Kate WHITE. He died Feb. 17, 1945 at their home at Monoville. Alyene and Lucien had known each other all their lives – knew the same people, went to the same church, same schools, same social affairs. If this marriage is a sample there is much to be said of marrying the “Boy next door.” After Lucien’s death, Alyene continued to teach school. She has been since girlhood a member of Peyton’s Creek Baptist Church, has recently retired from her teaching position in Carthage Elementary School, which she had held for many years. She and Lucien had one child:
1 – Mary Frances BRIDGEWATER – another of those women who are the salt of the earth. There is food for thought in the lives of these three women – Eppie PIPER the sort of person people depend on to do the things that have to be done – she knows how to do anything and is not above doing it. She is a believer in the church – but I think she has cooked more meals for the preachers than she had time to listen to the sermons – Mother, daughter and granddaughter – they are all unsung the kind of woman who will never cease to be the backbone of any good society.
Mary Frances BRIDGEWATER was born Sept. 30, 1927 at Monoville, Tenn. – was married Jan. 29, 1949 to Robert EATHERLY born Nov. 6, 1927 at Bellwood, Wilson Co., Tenn. son of Eatherly Stone EATHERLY and Lucille PAGE. They have four children :
a- Stephen EATHERLY born Feb. 27, 1951 at Lebanon Hosp. (Wilson Co., Tenn.) Stephen will begin his studies next fall at The University Of Tenn.
b- Michael EATHERLY born Sept. 4, 1954 – Carthage, Tenn.
c- Barbara Lee EATHERLY born May 30, 1963 at Nashville, (Davidson Co.) Tenn.
d- Mary Beth EATHERLY born Jan. 27, 1955 – Nashville Tenn.
b1- The second child of Ben and Eppie PIPER was another daughter- another splendid woman.
RUBY Neal PIPER was born March 9, 1917, at Monoville, Tenn. She died at her home at Monoville, July 26, 1946 (4) and is buried in the family plot in Dixon Springs Cem. All her short life, she was shy, loving, obedient girl. She regularly attended services at Peyton’s Creek Baptist Church, where she was a member. The last time I was at that church, I noticed there was a Sunday school room named in her honor. She was a kind girl who got along well with people.
Leona MATTHEWS’ second marriage, Dec. 19, 1902 to Silas Balaam PETTY. Although they were very happy together until his death in 1939, she always addressed him as “Mr. PETTY !“ Never anything less formal! They had two children - Irene* and Cordell PETTY and since they are listed with the PETTY and since they are listed with the PETTY line in the front of this book, we will continue with the children of John (Dock) MATTHEWS and Mary BROWN. *(This is Irene author of this book)
c2 – Darius MATTHEWS born 1872 – died in infancy.
d2- Leonidas (Leon) MATTHEWS born May 22, 1875 in the Smith Branch Community of Smith Co., Tenn. – died at Carthage, Tenn. June 1969 and is buried there in Ridgewood Cem. He was for more than 50 years a teacher in the schools of Smith Co. He took some time off to serve his state in the legislature. Keenly interested in the affairs of his state and country. , he was well informed and could talk well on almost any subject. He was married late in life to a lady he had known all of of his life – Another veteran school teacher EVA DOWNS. She died in the 1950’s and she and her husband are buried side by side in Ridgewood Cem. at Carthage, Tenn.
e2- Columbus Hyson (LUM) MATTHEWS born April 8, 1878 in the Smith Branch Community of Smith Co., Tenn. He moved with the family in 1902 to Carthage, Tenn. where he lived until his death Saturday April 24, 1964. He was married May 19, 1962 to Beulah KIRBY another of Smith County’s fine teachers. They lived in their pretty little house in Carthage where he always grew quantities of flowers and a variety of vegetables which he delighted in sharing with anyone who wanted them. He held various positions in county government over a period of sixty-three years. He served 1916 – 1918 as County Trustee and at later dates Deputy County Court Clerk, Deputy Trustee, Deputy Circuit Court Clerk, Deputy Trustee, Deputy Circuit Court Clerk, Chairman of County Revenue Commission which last two places he held at the time of his death. He represented the State Farm Mutual Co. from 1932until shortly before his death when ill-health forced him to retire. He was one of the best known men in the (5)