Jackson Co., TN Loose District/Chancery Court Papers Reel #99
Maxwell - Montgomery

Genealogical Abstracts by Mary Lu Johnson

The quality of this microfilm varies widely. Sometimes the copy at Tennessee State Library & Archives is more legible. Microfilm reels may be ordered by mail. http://www.state.tn.us/sos/statelib/r&r/mfcounty.htm

[NEW] MAXWELL, W. H. et ux vs McDONALD, KING Circuit, 1875

DEPOSITIONS to take proof & supply lost Record... 4 June 1874. Present are R. A. Cox atty for Plaintiffs & R. P. Brooks for Defendants:

Wm C. Trousdale, age 53, defendant.

Ques: Was the land in dispute originally laid off to Mary F. Burgess daughter of John Holoman [Holliman/Holleman], deceased?

Ans: Myself & brother bought the land at a sale of Jackson Co. Court, 50-60 acres, do not know exact boundaries. Me and my brother divided it. I am claiming a small portion, King McDonald has the remainder. Part is bounded by the Cumberland River on the east, south by lands of John Holliman, deceased. King McDonald owned the land that I and my brother bought.

Ques: Was or not Mary F. Burgess the mother of Plaintiff Mary S. Maxwell, a daughter and heir at law of John Holoman dec. and was not said parcel allotted her out of the estate of her father John Holoman and by her and her husband Josiah Burgess conveyed to their daughter Mary S. Burgess now Mary S. Maxwell...

Ans: She was said to be one of John Hollimans daughters... I never knew him. Mary F. Burgess was the mother of Mary S. Maxwell, the Plaintiff.

s/s W. C. Trousdale

King McDonald, age 64... I was acquainted with the land in question when it was occupied by Mary F. Burgess and her husband Josiah Burgess... lived close, not over a quarter of a mile. I have part of the land in possession... can't say how much Mary F. Burgess got from her father John Holliman's estate. Land bounded east by Cumberland River, south by other lands of the Estate of John Holliman, deceased... west by lands of John Holeman's estate... Wm C. Trousdale on the North which was also a part of the old John Holiman tract. I purchased the land I claim and have in possession from Berry Bush... more than half the Mary Burgess tract. Wm C. Trousdale claims the balance.

s/s S. K. McDonald

B. W. Roberts [No age given]... live one-fourth to one-half mile from the land... passed it frequently going to Granville and to Mill. I was raised within a mile or a little over from John Holeman... he had six children to my recollection.

I heard Mary F. Burgess say her husband Josiah would keep Tipling [tippling; selling liquor illegally] Whiskey until they got up finds [fines] against him and her land would go to pay for them... said she would make a deed of gift to her daughter Mary... Mr. McDonald said he would have me served... told him he better not... told him what Mary F. Burgess said about 18 years ago.

s/s B. W. Roberts [Bill of Cost listed him as Buck Roberts].

DEPOSITION 13 May 1875, R. A. Cox: Was original counsel for Plaintiff... papers destroyed by Court House fire August 1872.

s/s R. A. Cox

MAXWELL, W. H. & wife vs TROUSDALE & others and 1880


[Separate folder, more on the above case; mostly concerning attorney fees to be awarded to R. A. Cox].

BILL OF COMPLAINT of R. A. Cox, a surviving partner of Cox & DeWitt against Mary S. Maxwell, formerly Mary S. Burgess and her husband.

About 1852 Burgess & wife conveyed to the said Mary S. Burgess a tract of land in Jackson County, TN on the Cumberland River adjacent land of George R. Holleman & others.

Afterwards James A. Spurlock was appointed guardian to said infant [under legal age of 21] Mary S. Burgess, filed his petition... was an illegal sale... land purchased by one Bush and probably others... afterward sold to S. K. McDonald.

Court House fire August 1872 destroyed papers. About that time Mary S. Burgess intermarried with W. H. Maxwell. A suit was brought... A. W. DeWitt, attorney, died 1872... case appealed to Supreme Court, heard 8 Jany 1887. S. King McDonald has died since the final decree and J. J. McClelland was appointed Executor. J. J. McClelland as Executor filed against W. C. Trousdale & others for the purpose of winding up the estate and selling land to pay debts. W. H. & Mary S. Maxwell purchased the Bush tract for $1250 with proceeds of decree in their favor, confirmed September term 1888, recorded M.D. FF [Minute Docket Book FF], p. 33.

Mary S. Burgess was a very poor girl and had nothing left except land adversely held and stubbornly litigated by S. K. McDonald and W. C. Trousdale... she married after the suit commenced.

PROSECUTION BOND: S. K. McDonald and W. C. Trousdale as Principles and V. D. Kent and J. P. Keith as Security for $500 to W. H. Maxwell and wife, 19 Nov 1883.

FIFA LEVIED 26 May 1887, estate of S. K. McDonald, deceased, suggested insolvent.

DEPOSITION 13 May 1891, E. L. Gardenhire, witness for defendant: Was employed by W. H. and Mary S. Maxwell as defendants, law suit of S. K. McDonald & W. C. Trousdale. I and Major Swope drew the papers. I and Maj. Swope lived at Carthage about 25 miles away. Capt. Dillard lived at Cookeville about 19 miles from Gainesboro. Capt. Cox lived at Gainesboro.

I am now 75 years and six months old yesterday.

s/s E. L. Gardenhire

NOTICE TO SHERIFF: R. A. Cox filed Bill of Complaint against W. H. and Mary S. Maxwell, W. C. Trousdale and J. J. McClelland, Executor of S. K. McDonald... legal fees. Attach land in 5th District, North side of Cumberland River. 4 January 1889

DEPOSITION 30 June 1891, Mary S. Maxwell [No age given], taken at the Store house of Fred Kelly in Granville: I am the wife of W. H. Maxwell and a defendant in this suit... Was not quite 16 and was a single woman when Cox & DeWitt began a suit about my land. My mother took me to Gainesboro to his office at his dwelling house. Went once after my marriage to have Wm Maxwell made a party to the suit so I wouldn't have to go so much. After we married we employed Dillard & Swope.

Mary S. [her X] Maxwell

AMENDED BILL OF COMPLAINT of W. H. and Mary S. Maxwell against W. C. Trousdale and J. J. McClelland, Executor of S. K. McDonald... the debt of liability on which their judgment is founded accrued in 1849 and they [Maxwells] are entitled to the land levied on and sold belonging to said Trousdale free from any Homestead right... by decree rents began in the year 1850 & continued until about 1882. Dated this [blank] February 1889.

DEPOSITION 23 Sept 1891, James Roberts: States he has worked and ploughed the land, was raised on a river bottom farm adjacent or near the land, owned by his father Buck Roberts.

s/s James Roberts

DEPOSITION 23 Sept 1891, W. C. Lundy: Lives adjacent farm, lived near it some two years. s/s W. C. Lundy

25 Sept 1891: J. G. Holleman: Was born and raised on adjacent farm, knows all the land in dispute. I am now about 49 years old.

s/s J. G. Holleman

DEPOSITIONS 16 Oct 1889:

W. C. Trousdale age 68: Received notice sale to be 27 Sept 1887, land where I lived in 5th Dist. Was head of family and occupying land.

s/s W. C. Trousdale

W. C. Morgan age 40. Was sheriff of Jackson County in the year 1887. Got my deputy W. M. Brown to deliver notice to W. C. Trousdale.

s/s W. C. Morgan, Sheriff

Nathan M. Cox, age 44. I wrote Exhibit A, attached to W. C. Trousdale's deposition.

s/s Nathan M. Cox

DEPOSITIONS 29 January 1891:

W. H. Maxwell age 50. I married Mary S. Burgess. I dismissed R. A. Cox as attorney and employed A. A. Swope of Smith Co. and H. H. Dillard of Putnam Co. Judge Sam Fite was present.

Ques: Why is your wife not here to give her deposition.

Ans: She is not able... because of a child birth.... Thomas King & Matt Anderson are relatives and friends to my wife [King & Anderson advised Maxwell to discharge R. A. Cox].

Ques: How old was your wife when you and she married?

Ans: She was about 18 years old... We were married in February 1868.

s/s Wm H. Maxwell

A. A. Swope age 71. Practiced [law] with Dillard]... four counties. Were employed by Wm H. Maxwell.

s/s A. A. Swope

H. H. Dillard, lawful age. Hired by W. H. Maxwell, made him a party to suit... he filed pauper oath [eliminated Court costs, no bond required].

s/s H. H. Dillard


NOTICE OF SUIT: Mary Smallwood by Geo. H. Morgan against J. U. Carter, Ridley Anderson, Newton A Gee [Agee?] and J. W. Smallwood. About 1876 defendant J. W. Smallwood conveyed to Geo H. Morgan by mortgage land bounded by J. U. Carter where Complainant Mary & Defendant J. W. Smallwood formerly lived. About 27 June 1888, defendant Smallwood conveyed the land to J. U. Carter [May be more on another reel].


COMPROMISE AGREEMENT: Cox to recover $150 legal fees.

DEPOSITIONS, Filed 28 December 1890:

R. A. Cox, lawful age. Brought action of Ejectment for Mary S. Burgess in 1868 or 1869. The mother of Mary was very poor. Mary S. Burgess was a minor at that time... 16 or 17 years old. They had no property whatever and lived in a little house on John Pharris land.

s/s R. A. Cox

M. B. Young, age 45.... licensed lawyer 20 years or more.

s/s M. B. Young

J. M. Morgan, age 57...have been a practicing solicitor before this bar since the [Civil] War.

s/s J. M. Morgan

Louis K. Smith age 30... have been practicing at this bar several years.

s/s Lewis K. Smith

R. S. Alcorn age 66, occupation farmer. Known W. H. Maxwell all his life, his wife 18-20 years. Heard him talk about the lawsuit.

s/s R. S. Alcorn

DEPOSITIONS 29 January 1883:

George R. Holliman age 69. Gave my deposition 22 Dec 1882. I was along when E. L. Jackson made a survey and boundary when the land was laid off. There was a turn row between Aggie and Polly - that is Mary S. Burgess' share...

G. R. [his X] Holleman

BILL OF COMPLAINT of William H. Maxwell and Mary S. Maxwell his wife against William C. Trousdale of Jackson Co. and J. J. McClellan Executor of S. K. McDonald, a resident of Smith Co. Recovered on [blank] January 1887, Tennessee Supreme Court, a tract of land and judgment of $2946.16 debt and costs of suit, remains due and unpaid.

DEPOSITION 27 & 28 December 1890:

John P. Murray... I was 60 years old the ?7 July 1890. I was admitted to the bar in the year 1851 and have been practicing law ever since.

s/s John P. Murray

DEPOSITIONS 9 Oct 1876, residence of Mrs. Nancy Holleman of Jackson Co., TN:

Nancy Holleman age 64. Know land laid off to Mary S. Polly Burgess in the estate of her father John Holleman. Lots were surveyed and numbered and the numbers put in a hat and a little girl drawed them out for the heirs.

Ques: What was the name of your husband and is he living or dead.

Ans: Joel P. Holleman. He is dead he was a son and heir of John Holleman.

Ques: Were the heirs all present at the division.

Ans: All but two Candis Willoughby, Davidson Willoughby's wife; and Harmon Holleman

Ques: State if Mary S. Maxwell is a daughter of Mary F. Burgess by her marriage with Josiah Burgess.

Ans: She is a daughter of hers... was bornd on the land and lived there with her parents, lived there with her mother going on three years. Mary S. Maxwell was Bornd in May 1848 I think the 3rd day.

Ques: How long did John Holleman own the land...

Ans: ...from 1826, as far back as I remember... it was bounded on the north by James Holleman where George R. Holleman now lives, on the east and south by the Cumberland River on the West by Larkin Feril [sic; Ferrell/Farrell] the place was called Brookses [Brooks'] Bend.

s/s Nancy Holleman

Mary F. Burgess, age about 62.... am mother of Mary S. Maxwell. She is going on age 28. I was married to Josiah Burgess. He has been dead 22 or 23 years.

I was married after the land of John Holleman was divided between heirs... I am a daughter of his. I drew the one next to the lower one, Brother Thomas drew the lower one, and Agnes drew the one next to mine I think Candis Willoughby drew the next one... Brother John drew the next one and Brother Joel drew the next. These are all the heirs of my father. We made our daughter Mary S. Burgess a deed of conveyance...

My father owned the land since I was big enough to recollect... under a purchase and deed from James Brooks.

Ques: Who were the witnesses on the deed to your daughter Mary S. Burgess.

Ans: James Spurlock...gone from the State a good many years, and Silas Cornell [Cornwell]... he is dead.

Mary F. [her X] Burgess

[NEW] MAYNOR, MARY B. vs MAYNOR, JOHN H. Circuit 1903

BILL OF COMPLAINT of Mary B. Maynor against John H. Maynor. Married 13 April 1882 in Jackson Co., TN, had born eight children, seven living named Rosetta, Robert Lee, Bernetta, Dora, Florence, Edgar, John Wesley and an infant named Bulah. Were happy until about six years ago, defendant began to drink... began to maltreat... refused to support her or children.

I Mary B. Maynor...swear above is true. 27 Jany 1903. s/s M. B. Mainor

CAUSE HEARD 5 [or 6; overwrite] March 1903. Bonds of Matrimony dissolved.

[NEW] MEADOWS, B. E., Guardian of WHEELER, MARTHA County 1915

[NOTE: Believe this to be Martha [nee Willoughby] Wheeler b May 1858, widow of James E. Wheeler. Possibly married briefly to John E. Collins in 25 March 1889; married Thomas Upchurch 30 Jan 1892, divorced; possibly married Willie Nemore 9 Aug 1915. Possibly declared non compos mentis in old age. If one/same, B. E. Wheeler was her son-in-law. More on Reels No. 122 &124 - mlj].

GUARDIAN'S SETTLEMENT 3 September 1912. Martha Wheeler received $98.00 from sale of rent corn, year 1911. s/s S. W. Whitaker, Guardian. Out of this was paid $6.10 for taxes; $11.35 for a hog from Mack Henson [s-i-l of Martha Wheeler]; $1.00 medical services from J. B. Hix, $44.10 to J. M. Johnson & Son, account forwarded 1911; $11.65 to Mc Wheeler for Fire Wood & Board, $1.00 to H. P. Loftis for medical services.

REPORT 3 Sept 1912 of S. W. Whitaker, Guardian to Martha Wheeler. Land rented to Cull Huff in 1913 for one-half proceeds of farm. Cull is now dead, guardian has rented farm to Tom Huff.

REPORT of B. E. Meadows, guardian of Martha Wheeler. Mack Henson rented farm in 1917 for $175. Amos Spurlock in 1918 for $200. Guardian Settlement recorded Book C p. 553. s/s B. E. Meadows.

REPORT 9 Jan 1913 of S. W. Whitaker as guardian of Martha Wheeler. Settlement recorded G.S. Book C, p. 296.

9 Mar 1914, D. C. Lynn is Guardian. George Whitaker rented cane land.


REPORT OF COURT, September term 1876, death of Charles Medders is suggested and admitted. James W. Medders, John Medders, Artemessia Keith and her husband William Keith, Iby Gipson & her husband Tobias Gipson, Artemy Harris, Margaret Rush and her husband James Rush, Martha Huff and her husband Cullum Huff and Franklin Medders are the only living children of the Plaintiff except the husbands of married women. Elizabeth Allen, Thomas Allen and Mariah Allen are the only children and heirs at law of Malissia Allen a deceased daughter of said Plaintiff... the last four are minors and have no guardian.

Since the last continuance Elizabeth Medders has intermarried with one Alexander Thaxton a resident of Smith County [Tennessee].

This 2nd Monday in September 1876 to Jackson County Court... Petitioner Wm F. Burnet represents that Charles Meaders died intestate in said County in the Fall of 1875 owning land in 11th District. Tobias Gipson and William Keith were appointed Administrators... no personal assets to pay debts... administrators resigned. Asks land be sold to pay debts on 17 July 1877. Land on Thompson's Branch... top of a ridge and Southeast course from where Brisk Gipson now lives... containing 46 acres... adjoins land of Clinton Jones on the Northeast and William E. [or C.] Jones on the Northeast and Northwest.


BILL OF COMPLAINT of Christopher Meadows of Jackson Co. against Christopher Howerton & John H. Lackey, both of State of Kentucky. About June 1860 Orator purchased two notes of defendant Lackey. Notes due June 1860 and June 1861 were for land purchase by Howerton of said Lackey in Jackson Co., TN on waters of Line Creek bounded north by the Kentucky line and Joel Moore on the east, Thomas Denham and others on the south, Aaron Bray on the west... containing about 100 acres.

Notes are unpaid. Are informed legal title is still in the name of defendant Lackey. Knows that Lackey purchased land from one Charles Brown, a resident of Monroe Co., KY.


BILL OF COMPLAINT of Elizabeth Medders against Daniel Medders, both of Jackson Co. Married 21 Dec 1873, together about three months. Defendant abandoned her. Defendant was at the time of their marriage a married man, that he had some time before that intermarried with one Martha Lewis and that marriage was still subsisting. Asks marriage be dissolved, rights of single woman restored. 22 Sept 1874.

Elizabeth [her X] Medows [sic; Meadows/var.]

CAUSE HEARD. Defendant summoned, failed to appear... rights of single woman restored, name changed to that of Elizabeth Keith.


[First part missing]. Meaddow committed adultery with one Jane Carter alias Coon Carter & that the character of Complainant is good... considered by the Court that bonds of matrimony dissolved, restored to rights of single woman... following children awarded to Complainant: Meartha [sic; Martha] Meaddors, Tennessee Meaddors, James L. Meaddors, Charles, Henry, Josephine, John Lee. Complainant is suitable person to have care & custody. James W. Meaddows enjoined from molesting...interfering... Meadows had possession of lands bounded by land of Charles Meaddows, Joshua Haile, Clinton Jones and William Jones... about 50 acres. Defendant James W. Meaddows made contract to rent in 1873 with defendant Cullom Huff... title vested out of James W. Meaddows and in Elizabeth Meadows.

PETITION of Elizabeth Meadows against William Cooper and James Meaddors. She and defendant married in Jackson Co. 19 Octr 1856... have had seven children some of whom are small... tolerably happy except he would get drunk and abuse petitioner... got worse [Lists personal property, some in possession of Wm Cooper]. Defendant guilty of adultery with Maria Skinnehorn a woman of lewd habits. 20 Sept 1872.

Elizabeth [her X] Medders

BILL OF COMPLAINT of Elizabeth Meadows against James Meadows of parts unknown and Charles Meadows of Jackson Co. Married Oct 1852 or 1853, resided since in Jackson Co. Children: Martha about 18, Tennessee E. 16, James L. 13, Charles 12, Henry 9, Josephine 6, John Lee 4. About March last, defendant James W. Meadows committed adultery with Jane (alias Coon) Carter. James Meadows and Jane Carter left the county together... parts unknown.

About 1851-2-3 Charles Meadors gave defendant James Meadors land... about 50 acres. She and defendant lived on said land... asks for it as alimony. 12 May 1873.

[NEW] MEADOWS & FOWLER et al VS KIRKPATRICK, R. C. et al Chancery 1858

BILL OF COMPLAINT of Franklin Fowler & John W. Meadows, Executor of George Hill, citizens of Jackson Co., TN against Robert C. Kirkpatrick of same and William W. Woodfolk of Davidson Co., TN, Leroy B. Settle of Wilson Co., TN, Joel W. Settle and Peter G. Cox of Jackson Co., TN, [Smear] Cassitty of Davidson Co., TN, Thomas J. Jones of Jackson Co., TN James W. Draper & Jefferson Roberts of last county and state named.

George Hill died in Jackson Co. [blank] Sept 1858 having first published Last Will & Testament... Orators appointed Executors... Oct 1858 qualified and gave bond. Leroy B. Settle as surviving partner of Same E. Stone & Co. on 26 Sept 1857 recovered a judgment against Leroy Pharis & George Hill... Sheriff of Jackson Co. levied on a negro girl Milly as the property of George Hill... 29 Oct 1858

[NEW] MEADOWS, MATILDA vs McCARVER, L. A. et al Chancery 1867-1871

REPORT OF GUARDIAN Milton Draper to Jonas T. Burke, Elvira Burke, Amarica Burke, Rhoda S. M. Burke, Milly J. Burke minor orphans... have this day received from Sampson McClellan, Administrator of the estate of Andrew McClellan the former guardian to the above minors ...$1152.69. Dated 20 June 1851.

RECEIPT 15 Decr 1854: Elvira Hopkins formerly Elvira Burke... amount due ward $182.34.

s/s John O. Hopkins, Elvira L. Hopkins

26 Mar 1854, received of Milton Draper guardian for the minor heirs of John Burke, decd, $40 for boarding, clothing, books... Jonas, Amarica, Milly J. and Matilda.

s/s Jane D. Burke

27 Oct 1853, Received from Milton Draper Guardian of Elvira Burke now Elvira Hopkins - $12.80 part of interest.

s/s Otey Hopkins, Elvira L. Hopkins

Jan 1856, Receipt, boarding & clothing for Milly Jane & Matilda, minor heirs of John Burke, deceased. s/s Jane D. Burke

1 Jany 1857, Received of Milton Draper for Matilda Burke now Matilda Meadows...

s/s Meredith Meadows

AMENDED BILL OF COMPLAINT of Matilda Meaders, Milly Jane Burk, William J. Anderson Administrator of America Anderson, deceased, John O. Hopkins & wife Elvira L. Hopkins, John Burke, Eliza Ann Burke, Alsey Elizabeth Burke & Susan Jane Burk the last four minor heirs of Jonas Burke deceased citizens of Jackson Co., Tennessee and sue by their next friend John O. Hopkins against L. A. McCarver, Wm R. Kenner, Richmond Darwin, Wm H. McCarver, Pinkney McCarver, Sampson McClellan Administrator of Andrew McClellan deceased, Harvey H. Draper all of Jackson Co., TN and Milton Draper of the State of Texas.

[Blank] day of [Blank] 1842 John Burke died in Jackson Co. possessed of considerable estate both real and personal leaving some Adult children not parties to this suit and Complainants Matilda Meaders, Milly Jane Burke, Jonas Burke now deceased, America since intermarried with complainant William J. Anderson and now deceased, and Elvira since intermarried with complainant John O. Hopkins, his only heirs at law...

Complainant Matilda since intermarried with Meredith Meadows but now divorced from him born after the death of their said father John Burke.

Jonas Burke now deceast the eldest of said minors did not arrive at full age until some time in 1856 and Matilda the youngest not until Sept. 1863. The others arrived age 21 between 1856 and 1863.

Richard P. Brooks was Administrator of their father's estate and wound it up. There was a net fund of $300 to each share. About 1844 Richard P. Brooks was appointed guardian of minor children and retained the $300 per share making about $1500. Said Brooks left the State of Tennessee about 1846 and was a non-resident several years... Andrew McClellan was appointed guardian... received the full original sum and probably more from R. P. Brooks wife...

Andrew McClellan departed life in Jackson Co. about 1850 and Sampson McClellan was appointed his administrator.

After the death of Andrew McClellan, Milton Draper was appointed guardian... failed to sue for funds in hands of Andrew McClellan at his death... still funds due... Milton Draper removed to Texas, L. A. McCarver was appointed guardian... Wm R. Kinner and Richmond Darwin were his Securities. 12 April 1867.

Matilda [her X] Meaders, Milly J. [X] Burke, s/s John O. Hopkins

SUMMONS TO APPEAR to R. P. Brooks, Mary Brooks, Jane Burk, Polly Darwin to appear 1st Monday in February 1869... give testimony.

RECEIVED of Leonidas A. McCarver... all sums due as guardian. Sept 30, 1871.

Milley Jane [her X] Burke

s/s Matilda Burke.

Test: Elijah N. Wheeler, P. McCarver

BILL OF COMPLAINT of Matilda Meaders, Milly Jane Burke and Wm J. Anderson, Admr of America Anderson decd against Leonadus McCarver, William R. Kenner, Richmond Darwin, Pinkney McCarver and William H. McCarver.

4 Oct 1858, L. A. McCarver was appointed guardian to Matilda Meaders formerly Matilda Burk, Milly Jane Burk and America Burk... 9 Jan 1867.

Matilda [X] Meaders, Milly Jane [X] Burke

DEPOSITION 10 Sept 1870: R. P. Brooks age 64. Was Administrator of John Burk, deceased. Appointed guardian thereafter for five minor heirs in 1844 or 1845. I left the state in Sept or Oct 1846, made a settlement shortly before I left.

s/s R. P. Brooks


SUPPLEMENTAL BILL OF COMPLAINT of Matilda Meadows. On 16 August 1858 Complaint was filed. 28 August 1858 filed amended complaint against Meredith Meddows and Malaki Meadows and Milton Draper. Since filing, Meredith Meadows has been living openly with Betsy ?Fore.

ANSWER of Meredith Meadows to Bill of Complaint of Matilda Meadows. Denies he abandoned wife and took up with Mary Meadows. He took a trip to Putnam Co. to work with his uncle about two weeks... on leaving home he took his wife to respondent's father's, requested her to stay there until he returned as she proceeded to do as she had no one else to stay with. On his return to his great surprise he found she had left... respondent found her at her mother's and she said she did not intend to live with him.

Respondent owned live stock... sold to Malichi Meadows before he went to his uncle's... the reason he sold them is he had taken a notion at that time to remove to the State of Illinois... he had notes on his father the said Malichi Meadows who was solvent...

Respondent states he has traded the notes he had on his father to one Job Meadows... States Matilda is guilty of adultery "with one Kirby and others". 8 Sept 1858.

s/s Meredith Meadows

BOND: We Malichi Meadows and James Draper are bound to R. S. Matilda Meadows... sum of $200 to be void in the event Malichi Meadows delivers up to Milton Draper the guardian, property which has been attached.

s/s Malachi Meadows

BILL OF COMPLAINT of Matilda Rhoda Meadows against Meredith Meadows, both of Jackson Co... Married in Jackson Co. about one year, ten months... lived happily... defendant left and has given his affections to one Mary Meadows [lists personal property, including black mare, growing crop, hogs].

Matilda [her X] Meadows


BILL OF COMPLAINT of Minnie Meadows. She and defendant intermarried in Jackson Co., TN 6 March 1898. He became cruel, said he rather live with Lou Smith... at the time they married she was a widow having intermarried with Sid Draper. She is mother of five children, 3 living at date of her marriage with defendant; two girls and one boy. Clio a girl age 12 in April, Micca a girl age 8 and Willie a boy age 7 in May. Defendant has failed and refused to support...

She was the daughter of R. V. Brooks by whom she had been well provided.

Defendant when requested to furnish support [said] "Vance Brooks your father is able to support you and your children and he shall do so".

...above is true... 25 Feb 1899.

s/s Minnie Meadows.


FINAL DECREE: Defendant failed to appear... guilty of willful abandonment, failing to provide... adultery as charged with the said Liza Smith. Bonds of matrimony dissolved, he pay cost.

BILL OF COMPLAINT of Sarah Medders against Marshal Medders. Married in Jackson Co. [blank] 1878... 1879 he committed adultery with one Marthy Osburn and with Eliza Smith a woman of lude [sic; lewd] character... Filed 10 Aug, 1880.

Sarah [X] Meaders.


ANSWER of Agness Meadows to Bill of Complaint of Silas Meadows. True they married about the time stated, true she left... forced to on account of his inhuman treatment... beat... unmerciful... was black in places where he had struck her... returned after two or three weeks... began knocking, cuffing and slapping her about two weeks before she was confined in child bed.... abuse was such she feared to remain... left and went with her grandmother... informed he is intimate with Patsy Skermehorn a woman of Lewd character and base habits... took the hogs from his own house and drove them to John Skinnehorn the father of aforesaid Patsy... Complainant took the cow and calf and turned them out... two of John Skinnehorn's [Schermerhorn] children together with Patsy drove them away... respondent is informed Patsy Skermerhorn is pregnant by complainant... Respondent denies she was guilty of Lewdness with Ross Upchurch and Amon G. Haile... false... Does not believe Complainant is proper person to have custody of children... asks they be decreed to her.

Agniss [her X] Meaddows

BILL OF COMPLAINT of Silas Meaders. About 28 Feb 1852 he intermarried with one Agnes Adcock. Two years afterward Agnes abandoned him and went off to her relatives... went to her grand mother Agness Wheeler... staid about 5 or 6 weeks, he persuaded her to return... 4th time she left, has not returned. States she is guilty of adultery with Ross Upchurch, Amon G. Haile and others... two children one a suckling babe the other 3 or 4 years old a girl... asks for the oldest and the mother to have the other. 6 July 1859. Silas [his X] Meaders

[NOTE: More on another reel, don't recall which. Best of memory, Skelton Meadows/Meaders was given primary custody of the oldest child, a female. Silas Meadows was said killed in the Civil War. I have not found later information on either child. I am informed that there is a record in Davidson Co., TN of Aggy marrying F. M. Goolsby [an attorney who once lived in Jackson Co.], and being the Executrix of his estate. Have not researched this. - mlj]


BILL OF COMPLAINT of Siprisey Meadows against Marcial Meadows. About three years ago complainant and defendant married, together about three months, he left her... lived separate and part ever since... neglected to provide. Asks divorce, name changed to maiden name Siprisey Harris. 20 July 1885.

Siprisey [X] Meadows

SUMMONS Marshall Meadders... Appear 1st Tuesday after 2nd Monday in July 1882 [sic; she probably filed twice, but two years' abandonment required for cause for divorce - mlj].

BILL OF COMPLAINT of Siprisey Meadows against Marshal Meadows. About one year ago she married defendant, he left after about one month [No date].

CAUSE HEARD 25 September 1885... defendant failed to appear to make defence... bonds of matrimony dissolved, name changed back to Seprissa Harris.

[NEW] MEADOWS, THOS S. vs McDOWELL, JOHN Chancery 1879

BILL OF COMPLAINT of Thomas S. Mador, Administrator of A. C. Dixon, deceased of Macon Co., TN against John McDowel & wife Sally of Jackson Co., TN. A. C Dixon departed life intestate in Macon Co., TN 29 June 1878.

John McDowell owed Dixon $372.08. Note bears date 9 Sept 1873, being a renewal note executed by McDowell to A. C. Dixon in 1859 or 1860. A. C. Dixon brought suit, judgment rendered 5 July 1878.

DEPOSITIONS 22 June 1880:

E. Wilmore, age 77. Know John McDowel, knew A. C. Dixon. I was security to a note John McDowell gave A. C. Dixon in 1858 or 9, about $200 or more... for the Big Springs tract of land on Jennings Creek. I moved off the Creek and Dixon could not get McDowell and myself together to renew the note.

s/s E. Wilmore

[Note: Expenses included mileage from Clay Co., TN - mlj].

James Wilmore, age 50. Knew A. C. Dixon, know John McDowell.

s/s James M. Wilmore

M. B. Bilbrey, age 50. Know John McDowell.

M. B. [his X] Bilbrey

T. P. Myers age 38. Know John McDowell, bought 28 bee stands from him for $35. He has a heap of land, worth $2500.

s/s T. P. Myers

DEPOSITION of T. C. Quarles, age 59. Am a J. P. for Jackson Co., TN.

s/s T. C. Quarles

[NEW] MEDLIN, WALTER vs BILLINGSLEY, F. N. & others Chancery 1911

7 October 1912, 1st Monday. Justices Presiding: W. H. Birdwell, A. M. Ballard, Marion Bullington, S. S. Carver, J. M. Chaffin, Jno W Chaffin, G. W. Cooper, . B. Draper, M. J. Dixon, W. F. Dodson, W. B. Flynn, O. G. Fox, G. W. Gentry Jr., T. D. Hargis, David Hall, B. C. Jones, C. B. Myers, B. E. Meadows, Jno L. McCarver, W. A. Overton, J. H. Pippin, A. J. Pippin, A. J. Pharris, J. D. Shoulders, A. B. Sisco, J. H. Smith, R. D. Sircy, O. L. Scantland, W. L. Stout, B. D. Wheeler, J. M. Wheeler, N. B. Young.

REPORT OF COURT: S. Q. Loftis Guardian of S. A. Medlin, deceased heirs. Former Guardian F. N. Billingsley resigned. S. Q. Loftis a son in law of deceased.

Lillie, Pearlie, Asbery, Gene & Wade Medlin are minors. [Guardian Settlement filmed, itemized accounting of income and expenses - mlj].


J. W. Chaffin age 44, live Flynns Creek. Know parties to suit, furnished goods from my store to Squire Loftis and to F. N. Billingsley when he was guardian. Land belonging to wards would rent for about $75 per year.

I know the wards. That girl, Lillie is a lunatic and I don't know what it would be worth to keep her... That boy Asberry ought to take care of himself. It would be worth more to keep Wade and James [apparently same as Gene Medlin].

Ques: What relation is Squire Loftis to these children.

Ans: He married their sister.

Ques: ...condition of Lillie's mind?

Ans: Very bad... for about five years. At one time there was over twelve months she lay in the bed and wouldn't speak to any one.

Squire Loftis [No age given]... The children are my wife's brothers and sister and Wade is the youngest. Pearly married Sewell Birdwell.

Joe McHenry age 53, live 12th District, Jackson Co. Known the land all my life... live 2 - 2 1/2 mile. Land not susceptible to partition; Value of Tract 1 $600, Tract 2 $600, Tract 3 $300.

s/s Joe McHenry.

F. N. Billingsley, age 39, live 12th District, am school teacher and farmer. Am a defendant as guardian of the minor defendants.

Owners of the property sought to be sold are Walter Medlin, Lillie Medlin, Perla Meadlen, Asberry Medlen, James Medlen, Wade Medlen - Dora Loftis who is the wife of S. Q. Loftis and Daisey Loftis who is the widow of John Loftis deceased - each have an undivided one eighth interest. Minor children: Daisey Loftis 20, Lillie Medlen 18, Perla Medlen 16, Asberry Medlin 14, James Medlin about 12 and Wade Medlen about 10. Known parties all their life, land all my life.

S. A. Medlin was the father of all the children. Complainant was the issue of his first marriage and defendants the issue of second marriage. S. A. Medlin died October 1907 and his second wife died in September 1909. They died intestate, no administrator was appointed. [Guardian's Settlement filmed - mlj].

s/s F. N. Billingsley

REPORT OF SALE: Ivy Gap, 5 Aug 1911, sold at public outcry, no bidders for whole tract. Purchasers: Tract 1, W. R. Johnson, $600; Tract 2, W. S. Medlin $800; Tract 3 F. N. Billingsley, $321.

REPORT OF GUARDIAN S. Q. Loftis. One of his wards, Lilly Medlin, has attained her majority... is of unsound mind.

S. Q. [his X] Loftis

BILL OF COMPLAINT of Walter Medlin of Jackson Co., TN against Lillie, Pearlie, Asbury, James and Wade Medlin; Dora Loftis and husband S. Q. Loftis, Dasie Loftis widow of John Loftis, deceased.

Complainant is the son of S. A. Medlin and his first wife; Defendants except S. Q. Loftis husband of Dora and F. N. Billingsly, guardian, are children of S. A. Medlin and his second wife.

Defendant's mother has been dead many years. Father died October 1907 and Defendant's mother died September 1909... owned land...

1st Tract bounded North by Rob Johnson, heirs of Mary Medlin and J. T. Pippin's Spring Branch; south by John Loftis lands now owned by U. H. Young and Lee Daws; west by Lee Dawes and Rob Johnson... 25 acres.

2nd Tract bounded north by Logan Flatt,; east by heirs of Mary Medlin deceased; south by the homestead of S. A. and Mary Medlin deceased and Walter Medlin and by Sy Rash... 30 acres.

3rd Tract bounded north by F. N. Billingsley, east by J. L. Billingsley deceased now occupied by his widow Martha Billingsley, south by homestead of S. A. & Mary Medlin deceased and west by heirs of Mary Medlin deceased... 14 acres more or less.

POWER OF ATTORNEY of Pearlie Birdwell, wife of Sewell Birdwell... nominate husband power of attorney. 29 Mar 1915.

[NEW] MEE, F. B. vs MEE, SABRINA Chancery 1897

22 March 1898. Cause Heard. Answer of minor by guardian. Land to be advertised & sold.


State of Tennessee Jackson County

I, Mary Mee being of sound mind do make and publish this as my last will and testament hereby revoking and making void all other wills by me at any time made.


I desire that funeral expences and all my just debts be paid as soon after my death as possible out of any moneys that I may die possessed of or may first come in to the hands of my Executor.


After all my debts are settled my funeral expenses paid I want the remainder of my estate to be equally divided between three of my Grand children, George Mee Tilman Mee and Matilda Mee with this exception if their should be any of my pension money left after the above payments are made I want George Mee to first have ten dollars ($10.00) as payment for his trouble hereafter mentioned. If no pension money must only share equal. I want my dresses to be equally divided also between these three all money and my land is subject to all my debts first.


All claimants must file their claims sworn too in Justice of Debt & amount before my attorney will settle or pay such debts.


I bequeath to Matilda my milk cow ?City Bedstead & feather bed strack tick 8 quilts cooking stove and all the vessels two pots one sheet two pillows two chairs and all the Dry Goods that I have made up


I will to Grandson Tilman Mee a calf if it be living at my death a featherbed straw tick two pillows one sheet four quilts two chairs

Sixth and Last I appoint and do hereby make by Grandson Geo Me my admr my atty at Law to carry out and to Execute this my last Will and testament to collect my debts to sue and be sued as same as if it was me in person

I bequeath him the privalige of Keeping my land by paying Tilman Me and Matilda Me Twenty Dollars each ($20.00) when they marry or become Twenty One years old. The land is to Secure and make good this money if said Geo decides to take the Land, and if he decide not to take the Land then he shall advertise the land for sale on twelve months time taking notes and good Security. The land also standing good for the money by giving fourty days notice. I desire that this will be kept out of the County Court, and wound up by my atty if it can be done so. I require no bond to be ask of my adm'r but after ___ before Executes the within will, may subscribe to an oath before the County clerk that he has executed or will Execute the within Parchment to the best of his ability. I kindly ask one more favor of my adm'r and it is this will you please see after Matilda. Keep her yourself ?a get he[4] a good home with Christian people may God Bless my children and Grand Children is my pryor [prayer]. This the 5th day of March 1894 at 5 P.M.

Mary [her X] Mee

Attest: Tom Carr, G. D. Morgan, M. D., Saria F. Mee

ANSWER of B. F. Mee, asking it be a cross bill to the bill of B. F. Mee and Sabrina Mee filed 13 Mch 1897. Admits Mary Mee owned land described in bill at her death, denies title descended to George, Tilman and Matilda Mee.

Respondent admits he rented land from George Mee in his lifetime but his contract for rent expired on the death of George Mee, the life estate being then terminated and the estate in remainder vesting in Respondent and his brother... Respondent was forced to sign instrument of Renting by threats of violence... under duress.

s/s B. F. Mee

BILL OF COMPLAINT of Sabrena Mee in her own right and as next friend of Mc Mee a minor both of Jackson Co., Tennessee and Tilman Mee of Kentucky against Matilda Mee a minor, B. F. Mee of Jackson Co. and Thomas Mee of Illinois.

Mary Mee departed life in Jackson Co. 19 Mar 1894, Last Will & Testament probated Apr term 1894, George Mee appointed Executor.

Executor paid debts and funeral expenses but [Blank] November 1898 George Mee died, before estate was settled. January term 1897 Sabrena Mee was appointed Administrator.

Mary Mee owned land at death in 6th Dist. of Jackson Co. where she lived at death bounded north by A. M. Hestand, east by Gore heirs, west by A. Pharris being 50 acres more or less.

George Mee in the will could keep land by paying Tilman Mee and Matilda Mee each $20 when they became of age or married.

Sabrena Mee is the widow of George Mee and Mc Mee a minor is their son.

Frank Mee on 5 Jan 1897 filed alleging he and Thomas Mee are owners of the land. Frank Mee rented the land from George Mee in his lifetime.

Asks this be filed as an original bill to the bill of B. F. Mee vs Sabrena Bilbrey et als... asks land be sold and proceeds be divided among devisees set out in will... owning to poverty she is unable to bear expenses of suit. 12 Mar 1897.

Sabrina [her X] Mee

BILL OF COMPLAINT of B. F. Mee against Sabrina Bilbrey [sic], both of Jackson Co. and Thomas Mee of State of Illinois.

Mary Mee died 19 Mar 1894... having executed instrument purported to be Last Will & Testament. Geo Mee the husband of Sabrina was given a life estate and said Bilberry held the land up to his death in November last.

Mary Mee left Complainant and defendant [Thomas Mee] surviving after the termination of the life estate given George Mee.

Sabrina Bilberry is wholly insolvent... living off of said land with her father... setting up a claim to extort money... 5 Jany 1897.

B. F. [his X] Mee

ANSWER of Sabrina Mee to Bill of Complaint 5 Jany 1897. Respondent denies George Mee (called George Bilbrey in the Bill) was given a life estate... Mary Mee devised the land to respondent's husband George Mee, Tilman Mee and Matilda Mee jointly... at the death of Mary Mee title passed fee simple.

After George Mee died his interest passed to respondent, his widow and his and her son Mack W. Mee a minor...

RENT CONTRACT & NOTE dated 1 Feby 1897 acknowledges George, Tilman and Matilda Mee's ownership. Note for $5.00 to cover rent.

B. F. [hix X] Mee, Wit: C. W. & G. W. Stafford

DEPOSITIONS 28 Feby 1898:

S. P. Pharris age 75, live 6th Dist., knew Mary Mee upwards of 40 years, lived 7-8 miles from her several years and then moved down, lived 250 yards. Her mind and memory good up until her death. I was originally the owner of said land, sold it to Amos Pharris who sold it to Mary Mee. I paid for the land for her with her pension money drawn from the government as the mother of Wm R. Mee, not with any proceeds from her husband.

The names of the heirs or children of Mary Mee are Betsy Mee, Martha Photon [sic; could be Rhoton/var.], Thomas Mee and Tildy Mee and Tilman Mee who are the children of Fannie Mee deceased and Frank Mee.

Ques: Is Frank Mee and Thomas Mee the only living heirs of Mary Mee deceased?

Ans: No sir.

Geo W. Stafford, 34, live 6th Dist., Jackson Co., occupation farmer. Knew Geo Mee in his lifetime, know Sabrina Mee widow of Geo Mee. I wrote the note when Geo Mee rented land; he signed voluntarily and I witnessed.

Mary Mee has four living children, Thomas, Frank, Betsy and Martha. One died, Fannie by name.

s/s G. W. Stafford

Elisha Stafford age 43, live 1st District Jackson Co., farmer. Present when B. F. Mee rented the land. Mary Mee will was recorded and probated Book C pps 271 & 272, Wills & Inventory.

s/s E. W. Stafford

Sabrina Mee [No age given]. Am the widow of Geo Mee. We married 19 March 1894 in Jackson Co... he liked just a little of living two years. Mack Mee is the issue of said marriage.

Frank Mee rented the land from George then from me... he signed note for rent but never paid anything.

Sabrina [her X] Mee

Charles W. Stafford, age 56. Know Frank Mee, knew George, know Sabrina.

C. W. [his X] Stafford

REPORT OF SALE: W. J. Dixon became purchaser at $60, notes 12 & 24 months. Sept term 1898. Land in 6th Dist. containing about 30 acres. 19 Sept 1898.

Wm Gore age 74. Live 1st Dist, Jackson Co. Mary Mee land is 40 or 50 acres, worth about $1.00 per acre.

s/s Wm Gore

CAUSE HEARD: Charges in bill of B. F. Mee not sustained by proof... dismissed. Land to be sold and money divided among those entitled.

[NEW] MERCER, JAMES et al vs MAXWELL, R. M. Admr et al Chancery 1915

DEPOSITIONS 24 August 1915:

Amanda Scott age 57, live 6th Dist. Knew Martha D. Mercer, Leroy Pharris, Sousan Pharris, W. D. McCoin & Martin McCoin... all are dead.

Martha D. Mercer & Sousan Pharris lived on the Edward Mercer farm. Leroy Pharris & wife Susan lived in the house with Martha D. Mercer.

We lived on the land the last 8 years of her life & one year after her death. I worked for her & did for her a right smart.

When Leroy died, Ab Pharris & his family moved there. Bill Pharris & his family lived on the place in sight of the land.

Ques: State whether you ever heard a conversation between Martha D. Mercer & Susan Pharris in regard to Mrs. Mercer selling the land.

Ans: Aunt Martha said... Mr. Berry came over to buy her part. Aunt Susan says to Aunt Martha he shant have the land, Aunt Martha says he owns half of it & ought to have it all. Aunt Susan said that she was going to see that Old Uncle Billie McCoin got it.

Aunt Martha said the Mercer children owned half of it... she told their names but I forgot. She said Mr. Berry had bought them out.

Ques: State whether W. D. McCoin, Martin & Averett McCoin visited them much.

Ans: They visited some... Martin was there when Aunt Martha died, he stood over her and seen her die.

Ques: Was Mrs. Martha D. Mercer of strong will power... easy to get along with.

Ans: ...easy to get along with... mighty good to me... easy controlled by them she liked.

Ques: Say whether Roy Pharris & his wife during their lifetime and Roy Pharris wife after his death and Abb Pharris and his family after they moved into the house with Mrs. Mercer, all ate at the same table, lived in the same room.

Ans: Yes, Sir.

Ques: Say whether Will Pharris when he lived on Martha D. Mercer's farm was at her house much.

Ans: A right smart.

When the conversation about selling the land to Mr. Berry occurred, Uncle Roy & Aunt Suse were living in the house... before Uncle Roy's death. I gave my deposition... case of Gail Berry against E. M. McCoin.

I can't read or write.

Mrs. Pharris said she was boss there... Jake Scott my husband and Aunt Suse was there... going towards the store [when the conversation about Martha D. Mercer selling land occurred].

Ques: Did Aunt Martha and Little Jones Mercer [a.k.a. T. J. Mercer] not have a big hard fought lawsuit after the death of J. J. Mercer.

Ans: I heard they did...

Ques: Did T. J. Mercer's children visit Aunt Martha after that lawsuit.

Ans:... never did see but one, I seed him there once.

Amanda [her X] Scott

Jake Scott. Don't know exactly my age... live 6th Dist., rented land near river from Aunt Martha... LeRoy - Roy Pharris - cultivated 6 acres of it. Susan wanted the rent the year Uncle Roy died.

The W. D. McCoin and Co. store was about one-fourth mile.

Ques: Did Martha D. Mercer say anything about a difficulty between J. J. Mercer and T. J. Mercer.

Ans: She said T. J. jumped on J. J. and she said T. J. would have got the whole place if it hadn't been for that.

Ques: State whether you heard anything about Little Jones [Mercer] being adopted.

Ans: She said the old man had him adopted to them.

Ques: Who did you understand she meant by the old man?

Ans: Uncle Jones [Mercer].


[Con't with Jake Scott]: Knew Martha D. Mercer 20 or 30 years.

Ques: After the death of her husband [J. J. Mercer] in 1886 did Martha D. Mercer... manage her own affairs.

Ans: Sometimes Aunt Suse [Susan Pharris] would interfere.

I cannot read and write. Gave deposition, case of Gail Berry vs E. M. McCoin & others about three years ago.

After her [Martha D. Mercer] husband died, old man Dave Mercer colored and his daughter America moved in with her until America married, and old man Dave stayed until LeRoy Pharris moved in. LeRoy died, don't know exactly... was in February. Abb Pharris moved in after LeRoy died... had a similar contract as that of his father...

Leroy Pharris and his wife Susanne of good character.

Jake [his X] Scott

M. F. YOUNG, [No age given] live 9th District, am a farmer and merchant. Knew the old Edwin Mercer farm occupied by J. J. Mercer and his wife Martha D. Mercer in their lifetime and at their death... same described in a deed from Martha D. Mercer to E. M. and A. M. McCoin. Known the farm 50 years, lived on adjoining farm about 13 years.

Martha D. Mercer was 80-83 years old she died in 1911 or 1912 (Counsel for both sides admit she died in 1910).

A fair cash value in June 1904 encumbered with the life estate of Martha D Mercer would be $7000 or $8000.

Ques: Do you know anything about the four Mercer heirs of J. J. Mercer selling their interest to Gail Berry.

Ans: Think it was about 1895... on reflection think it was the same year I bought my farm, in 1902.

J. J. Mercer died 12 July, think 1887.

Known Jake Scott 60 years and his wife 25, good character.

Ques: Is it not a part of the character of Jake Scott and wife Amanda they are engaged in manufacturing and sale of illegal whiskey.

Ans: Heard they sell it... never heard them accused of manufacturing.

Ques: Was Mrs. Scott... indicted March term 1915... illegal sale of whiskey?

Ans: ...Haven't heard... They live about three miles from me.

Ques: Did you try to buy the undivided one-half interest devised to the four Mercer devisees by the will of J. J. Mercer.

Ans: The boys were at my house the day they sold to Gail Berry... made them an offer, he paid more.

Mrs. Mercer sold a little strip about 4 acres to E. M. McCoin adjoining some she sold to McDearman Bros.

Ques: Tell what you know about Mrs. Mercer being related to E. M. and A. M. McCoin.

Ans: ...both claimed to be related.

Ques: Who was Mrs. Mercer's father.

Ans: As I remember... Holleman Brooks.

Ques: Who was the mother of A. M. and E. M. McCoin before she married?

Ans: She was said to be the daughter of R. P. Brooks.

Ques: Did Mrs. Mercer have any other kin people in that neighborhood?

Ans: Only by marriage... to Jones Mercer.

Ques: Say if Mrs. McCoin mother of E. M. and A. M. McCoin was or not living in Jackson Co [and was or not] nearer related to Mrs. Mercer than E. M. and A. M. McCoin? And was she or not at that time blind and almost helpless, she and her husband W. D. McCoin having separated.

Ans: I think she was. I think she was closer related than E. M. and A. M. McCoin. I don't remember whether she was blind at that time. She was living away from her husband.

s/s M. F. Young

B. B. Chaffin age 66, live 1st Dist., Jackson Co., farmer. Known Edwin Mercer farm 50 years, lived about 1 1/2 miles. J. R. Chaffin, Filmore Loftis and myself witnessed deed, Martha D. Mercer to E. M. and A. M. McCoin.

s/s B. B. Chaffin

J. R. Chaffin age 64, live Roaring River, 1st Dist., Jackson Co. Knew J. J. & Martha D. Mercer, lived something more than a mile for about 50 odd years.

Ques: What relation is W. D. McCoin to A. M. and E. M. McCoin.

Ans: ...their father... W. D. McCoin is dead. Martin McCoin is also dead.

Mrs. Mercer executed a will... I was a subscribing witness.

Ques: ...were Amanda Scott and her son Fay Scott jointly indicted... unlawful sale of liquor May term 1915?

Ans: Don't know.

s/s J. R. Chaffin

John W. Lynn, age 59, live 1st district, am a farmer. I am a Complainant.

Ques: Were you acquainted with J. J. Mercert, T. J. Mercer and Martha D. Mercer.

Ans: I married T. J. Mercer's daughter. Understand T. J. was J. J. Mercer's son and a stepson of Martha D. Mercer.

J. J., T. J. and Martha D. Mercer are all dead.

Ques: Did J. J. and Martha D. Mercer have any children?

Ans: No sir. T. J. married old Uncle Billie Johnson's daughter the first time and married Elijah Burris' daughter the last time.

Ques: Give the names of T. J. Mercer's children.

Ans: Cansada my wife the oldest; Ned Mercer, Jim Mercer, Eliza Burris wife of James R. Burris, George C. Mercer known as Tobe; Rens or L. D. Mercer; Luther Mercer. These are children by his first marriage. Then by his last wife are Melia P. wife of Henry Painter; Johnnie Mercer and Nellie wife of Roscoe Huffines. These are his only children and heirs at law.

[ADJOURNED, Continued 28 Aug 1915 with John W. Lynn]

Ques: Were you well acquainted with William Johnson the father in law of T. J. Mercer... heard him make any statement about T. J. Mercer being adopted by J. J. Mercer.

Ans: ...I don't know how it come up, he said that he had old Jones [Mercer] to have little Jones adopted before would let him have his daughter, he said that he didnt think they could be legally married unless he was adopted, that Jones went by the name of Mercer, and that he didnt think they could be legally married unless he was adopted. He said that he wanted Jones to become an heir as he could heir what Old Jones had, that he didnt have any more children.

Ques: Where did T. J. Mercer live before his marriage to his first wife, and during his first wife's lifetime.

Ans: ...I understood that Old Jones took him when he was small and raised him is what I understood. Little Jones' first wife said they lived with Old Jones the first year after they were married. I have under stood that they lived there at the place I own at the foot of the Daniel hill up till I was married, and after I was married he moved back over with Old Jones. I don't know how long they lived there together, till Old Jones moved over to the Edwin Mercer place and left T. J. Mercer there at his place, and he lived there till his wife died.

Ques: If you have any conversations with J. J. Mercer relative to his business affairs shortly before his death, state...

Ans: I think 4th Sunday in March before he died in July... had me make a calculation about how much he owned... amounted to about $1100.

Had a conversation... about the 1st of May before his death... said he wanted to run his logs to pay debts... didn't see him any more until after he got hurt... Little Jones was nearby, didn't say much else after he crawled under the fence near us.

T. J. Mercer had bought the Ray Kirk place on the Cumberland River and lived over there.

My wife and Martha D. Mercer would visit when there was a meeting at McMillin's Chapel... my wife and Aunt Souse had an argument... Aunt Souse [told her to leave].

Aunt Martha said It's my house you come whenever you get ready... kept telling Aunt Souse to behave herself...

Mr. Mercer had me count up his debt... total $1100. Owed $600 to Manerva Mercer a sister of J. J. Mercer for her interest in the Edwin Mercer land. Owned Jim Anderson $200, Bob Cox $200, Dr. Fink $100.

Ques: Aunt Martha was forced to, and did pay this indebtedness after the death of J. J. Mercer didn't she.

Ans: That is the way I understood it.

After the death of J. J. Mercer, T. J. Mercer brought suit against Martha D. Mercer, Executrix of J. J. Mercer... on a note for $2000 alleged to have been executed to himself by J. J. Mercer... understand Martha D. Mercer thought it was forged... understand Martha finally won.

Ques: About a year before J. J. Mercer died, had he bought the Edwin Mercer land at a public sale.

Ans: J. J. Mercer bought it from J. T. Anderson was Admr [of Edwin Mercer] with the will annexed... bid $2000 for keeping Polly Jane, which was credited against the $6000 purchase of the land.

Ques: Did he buy out the interest of various heirs of Edwin Mercer before the sale, paid before the sale except $600 going to Manerva Mercer.

Ans: Understand he bought them out before the sale except Manerva and W. L. Brown... Understood T. J. Mercer was in partners with him in buying out before the sale.

...Comer McDearman took Aunt Martha to McMillin's Chapel. I asked her to go home with me... she said she'd dearly love to... not allowed... situation at home. Comer McDearman engaged in Mercantile business with his brothers W. W. and H. L. McDearman. Store afterwards occupied by W. D. McCoin & Co. H. L. sold out to Comer and Willis run it.

W. D. McCoin and his two sons E. M. and A. M. lived on the opposite side of Cumberland River on Hensley Creek until 1896 or 1897 when he bought a farm on Roaring River from D. M. Johnson.

T. J. Mercer lived 5 - 6 years after J. J. Mercer died.

Ques: ...Examine this Bill [filed by Gail Berry], say if you & your wife, Ned Mercer, Jim Mercer, Lorenzo Mercer, Luke Mercer, Johnnie Mercer, Melia P. Mercer, Nellie Huffines & her husband Rosco, together with E. M. McCoin, A. M. McCoin, Will Pharris and Ab Pharris were made defendants.

Ans: Seems like it is...

Ques: Did J. J. Mercercer get into a racket... why...

Ans: Believe J. J. Mercer and T. J. Mercer got into a racket because T. J. was drunk...

Ques: To refresh your recollection... T. J. Mercer went over there and jumped on the old man because the old man had executed a will and devised some of his property to the McCarver children and didn't give it all to him...

Ans: ...that McCarver will was made before I was married. I have been married 37 or 38 years.

s/s John W. Lynn

Steve Strong, will be 53 January next, live 6th Dist., Jackson Co. Knew E. M. & W. D. McCoin, Martha D. Mercer, Susan Pharris. Didn't know LeRoy. They are all dead.

Know Will and Ab Pharris, sons of Susan Pharris. I ran a shop on Martha D. Mercer's farm, paid rents to her. Will Pharris had the shop rented and I went in with him. Aunt Souse would come down and tell me what I was behind and I'd send the rent by her... fixed a wagon and shod a horse for Aunt Martha and it went on the rent.

Steve [his X] Strong

S. G. Gore, age 70. Farmer, live 1st District Jackson Co. Knew J. J. and T. J. Mercer in their lifetime since they lived on Roaring River. Old man Jones [Mercer] come from Flynns Creek. He moved there long before the Civil War but I don't know how many years. I was a very small boy when he came. He settled on Roaring River, 9th Dist. on the old Ned Mercer farm, the place on Gaw Branch where Gail Berry lived when he died.

T. J. Mercer resided with J. J. Mercer in his boyhood, up until he married. T. J. first married old Billie Johnson's daughter before the Civil War.

I witnessed two wills that J. J. Mercer executed. My brother Mounce Gore wrote them. The first will, he willed his son Jones most all the property he had, and the next will he willed a part of his property to Pink McCarver and Ned McCarver, and then to his son Jones Mercer.

Ques: You speak of his son Jones, say whether or not it was his son T. J. Mercer.

Ans: Yes Sir. T. J. Mercer went by Young Jones... old J. J. Mercer always spoke of him as his son.

I heard it said that Old man Johnson, before he [T. J.] married his daughter, said if he [J. J., "old Jones Mercer"] didn't have Young Jones adopted that he couldn't have his girl. There was a heap of talk he was going to have him adopted. W. L. Brown said... never was adopted. W. L. Brown was a nephew of J. J. Mercer... lived with his grand mother Mercer. He was a nephew of old man Jones Mercer. His mother died when he was 2 or 3 days old and his grand mother raised him on a bottle.

...Young Jones went in the house... commenced on his father bout willing Pink McCarver & Ned so much property... believe he struck him and his father got hold of him and throwed him down on the floor and held him down and was whipping him pretty bad and they had to pull the old man off of him is the way I heard it.

Ques: Say whether or not J. J. Mercer had any legitimate child or children.

Ans: Not as I know of.

Ques: Amanda Scott indicted...

Ans: Understand Amanda Scott indicted of selling whiskey but she come clear.

s/s S. G. Gore

Palo Swearingham [Swearengin/var.]. Will be 36 on the 9th August. Live 9th District, Jackson Co. Knew Martha D. Mercer, Sousan Pharris, LeRoy Pharris, W. D. McCoin and E. M. McCoin. Acquainted with Will Pharris and Ab Pharris. Don't reckon related to Ab Pharris. Me and Will are brother in laws.

Know old Edwin Mercer place. Lived there three years. Susan, Will and Ab lived there when I did. Sousan and Ab lived in the house with Martha D. Mercer.

s/s Palo Swearengin

ORDER: ...E. M. McCoin died 12 June 1914 in the City of Nashville, TN when he was temporarily staying there... a bona fide residence of Jackson Co., TN. E. M. McCoin left a widow Mrs. Lou McCoin, together with A. M. McCoin a brother... agreed to appoint R. M. Maxwell as Administrator...


E. M. McCoin, age 42, live 9th Dist., Roaring River. Known Martha D. Mercer about 13 years before her death. She and my mother always told me that their fathers were 1st Cousins. I know all the Pharris' [sic] mentioned from 1897 up to the death of Leroy Pharris.

ADJOURNED, resumed April 15, 1913 with E. M. McCoin:

Ques: How was Polly Jane cared for... neglected, suffered broken leg...

Ans: Aunt Martha would carry her meals before she eat herself... give her the best... I never saw Polly Jane but one or twice, didn't appear neglected.

Mr. Gail Berry has not been present during depositions/trial... His son T. N. Berry has been present.

Ques: What kin is J. N. McCoin to you.

Ans: He is cousin.

CONTINUED to Friday April 18, 1913 with E. M. McCoin

I got acquainted with Martha D. Mercer in 1897 the year I moved to Roaring River. Before, lived 12 miles or more. Raised here in the country, taught school in Gainesboro in about 6 miles of here.

Ques: Your mother is nearer kin to Martha D. Mercer than you and Averett isn't she?

Ans: Yes sir. She is one generation closer.

Ques: Who is your common ancestor.

Ans: My grandfather Richard P. Brooks and her father Matthew Brooks were cousins.

Ques: Was your mother living when she [Martha D. Mercer] wrote a deed and will.

Ans: Yes.

Ques: How far did she live from Mrs. Mercer at that time.

Ans: Her and my father were not living together at that time. I don't know where she was living I am of the opinion that she lived at North Springs with my sister about 16 miles from Mrs. Mercer.

Ques: How old was your mother at that time.

Ans: I think my mother was born 1847. That would have made her 57 years old.

Ques: She was blind and practically helpless wasn't she.

Ans: She was blind, but still living and peart [sic; pert, healthy].

I think she makes her home with my sister some 3 or 4 miles from Gainesboro but is now near Gallatin when I had another sister living who died a few days ago she made her home with them two daughters before the death of her daughter above mentioned.

I visited her twice in the last two years and carried her down on the boat to see my other sister... stayed there two days. We were together from Monday til Thursday.

Ques: How old was Mrs. Mercer when the deed and will were executed.

Ans: She was born Oct 20, 1826. That would make her 78 liking four months.

Ques: Why did Martha wait so long to make her final settlement as Administratrix.

Ans: Think because Polly Jane was alive and she was a charge on the land. Polly Jane died October 20, 1912. She was born July 20, 1823... shown by the family Bible.

Ques: When did your father W. D. McCoin die.

Ans: October 7, 1906. Had a farm on Roaring River, and a farm in Free State left to me and Averett. Father and mother separated 6 or 7 years before he died. Father conveyed the home place to Averett by deed.

Ques: Your sister Mrs. McDearman with whom your mother makes her home is a widow...

Ans: She is a widow with three children, two of whom are about grown.

Ques: Did J. J. and Martha D. Mercer have any children.

Ans: No sir. They raised Jones Mercer known as T. J. Mercer and C. P. McCarver whose mother was Jones J. McCarver's sister.

Ques: Dic C. P. McCarver leave this country?

Ans: He left this country... was elected Mayor of Nashville and afterwards County Assessor for Davidson County. I was at Aunt Martha's one Sunday and she got to telling about Pink... his sense and intelligence... wanted her to live with him but she said she had to stay and take care of Polly Jane... wrote her letters.

s/s E. M. McCoin

D. N. Johnson [No age given]

Q: Say what you heard your Uncle Billy Johnson say about T. J. Mercer marrying his daughter.

A: He said he would have to be adopted. His name was Shannon... until he was adopted. In a will he was called Trenton J. Mercer my adopted son... They [J. J. and T. J.] were born and raised in Jackson Co. to my understanding.

Q: Say what your father said about J. J. Mercer adopting T. J. Mercer...

A: Heard him say it was done and that he was present in the County Court... [My father] was a member of the County Court... was about three months before T. J. married... records burned when the court house burned.

Martha D. Mercer, wife of J. J., said he was adopted.

Uncle Billy Johnson and his wife are dead.

T. J. Mercer was adopted so that he might marry Pelina Johnson.

My father died 1892. My uncle [Billy Johnson] died before my father.

Q: You now live in Sumner County [Tennessee]?

A: Yes.

Q: Were you summoned in this case... how far do you live.

A: Yes... it's about 65 miles.

s/s D. N. Johnson

William E. Smith age 81, farmer... Well acquainted with J. J. and T. J Mercer. T. J. was called Little Jones. He was born out of wedlock.

Q: Who was County Clerk 1856-1859.

A. Think Sampson Cassetty. Understand he is dead.

I live something like one mile from the Court House.

s/s W. E. Smith

Lizzie Cornwell:

Q: State your age as best you can.

A: I was big enough to go to mill when the Mexican War broke out.

Q: What people did you belong to?

A: Ned Mercer ["old" Edwin Mercer - mlj].

Q: Was he old Jones Mercer's father?

A: Yes sir. He was the only boy he had.

Q: After the death of Ned Mercer, did you live with old Jones Mercer?

A: No Sir. I stayed with my old mistress until I was freed.

Q: Say what you heard Martha D. Mercer say bout the adoption of Little Jones Mercer.

A: She seemed to think as much of him as if he was her own child... He was very small when his mama brought him to old Jones.

Q: How far do you live?

A: I live 1 1/2 miles from town.

Lizzie [her X] Cornwell

ANSWER of T. N., George & John Berry to bill filed against them by James Mercer and others.

Respondents admit 16 June 1910 Gail Berry recovered from E. M. McCoin the interest of the Mercer devisees under the will of J. J. Mercer being an undivided one-half interest... suit pending when E. M. McCoin died. The suit was revived against Lula McCoin as his widow and Martha D. McCoin his only child and Clay Reeves her guardian and R. M. Maxwell as Administrator of the estate of E. M. McCoin he having died intestate. Filed 2 August 1915.

s/s G. W. Berry, J. S. Berry, T. N. Berry

DEMURRER of R. M. Maxwell, Administrator of E. M. McCoin. The 5th clause of the will of James J. Mercer states Martha D. Mercer did not dispose of one-half of the real estate owned by Jones J. Mercer at the time of her death by will, then it would be vested in James J. Mercer Jr., George Cambell Mercer, Lorenzo Mercer and Luther Mercer, share and share alike.

No part of said real estate descended to or was vested in complainants Ned Mercer, Johnnie Mercer, Melia P. Painter, Henry Painter, Canzadia Lynn, John W. Lynn, Elizah Burris, James Burris, Nellie Huffines or Roscoe Huffines.

s/s John J. Gore, Solr for Defendants

ANSWER of R. M. Maxwell as Administrator of the estate of E. M. McCoin deceased, Martha D. McCoin, Clay Reeves as guardian of Martha D. McCoin, Lou McCoin, W. C. Pharris as Executor of estate of Martha D. Mercer deceased to Bill of Complaint filed against them and others.

It may be and is possibly true that all the Complainants except John W. Lynn, James Burris, Roscoe Huffines and Henry Painter are children of T. J. Mercer... deny that T. J. Mercer was an adopted son of J. J. Mercer...

DEPOSITION of W. W. Draper, 25 November 1915. Live Chattanooga, Tennessee, previously lived at Gainesboro, Jackson Co., TN, am attorney at law. Wrote two wills for Martha D. Mercer, essentially the same. The first was destroyed by the burning of the bank of Gainesboro. Knew Martha D. since about 1886, shortly before the death of her husband James J. Mercer.

Went to her house, upstairs room. John R. Chaffin was there. We discussed the will. She showed me some old papers... recalled one was the oath of allegiance her husband signed after the Civil War.

s/s W. W. Draper

MERCER, JAMES et al vs MAXWELL, R. M., Admr [New folder, same case]

DEPOSITION: D. N. Johnson age 68. Live Sumner Co., TN. Was raised on Roaring River, Jackson Co. Moved from there 1896 or 97. Back in the 1850s my father was a member of the quarterly court in Jackson Co. Saw the license of Little Jones Mercer when he married his first wife, Billy Johnson's daughter.

Q: Did Little Jones' mother go by the name of Shadden.

A: Yes sir. Never knew her to go by any other name. Little Jones was called Trenton J. Mercer in a will of J. J. Mercer. He was raised there at old Ned Mercer and old Jones.

Q: What relation was Ned Mercer to old Jones?

A: His father.

Q: State who married T. J. Mercer and Billy Johnson's daughter.

A: My impression is my father did [performed ceremony]. William Johnson the father in law of T. J. Mercer was my uncle - my father's brother.

Susan Pharris was a first cousin of mine. I am second cousin to T. J. Mercer's children. Their mother was a first cousin.

I moved to Sumner County nine years ago.

Q: Did you know about the lunatic Polly Jane Mercer.

A: I knew her. She died after I left my home place I think.

Q: ...J. J. Mercer, did he make any provisions for the upkeep of his lunatic sister Polly Jane Mercer?

A: ...Don't know.

s/s D. N. Johnson

NOTICE OF DEPOSITIONS: 7 Sept 1915, residence of Charlie Taylor in 6th District, Jackson Co. of Telie Lee.

Beginning 10 Sept 1915 will take at Clerk & Master's office in Gainesboro: W. M. Gailbreath, J. W. Morgan, Cansada Lynn, Palo Swearingen, D. N. Johnson, W. C. Pharris, Will Brown, W. W. Draper.

J. W. Morgan, live Dist. 9, Jackson Co., farmer. Known Martha D. Mercer all my life. She was mild, smooth of temper. LeRoy Pharris said Aunt Martha D. Mercer let him have six acres free from rent to look after Polly Jane for her. Knew LeRoy Pharris and his wife Susan... good character... Their sons are Will and Ab Pharris.

Q: What relation are you to Complainants.

A: Jim Mercer married my cousin.

s/s J. W. Morgan

A. J. Pharris age 58, live 6th Dist., am Justice of the Peace. Knew William and Ab Pharris. We are first cousins.

s/s A. J. Pharris

Charley Taylor age 44, live 6th Dist., am Constable and Deputy Sheriff.

Q: When did E. M. McCoin stay all night with you, and did you have a conversation...

A: Something like a year before Martin's sickness... said if his'n and Bill Draper, lawyer Draper's trick worked, he would own the Mercer farm. I told about the conversation to Jim Burris and D. B. Johnson.

Q: State whether your wife was related to E. M. McCoin.

A: They were said to be second cousins.

R. P. Smith, will be 47 in March [1916]. Live 9th District. Knew E. M. McCoin... and his brother Averett.

Palo Swearingin [Deposition retaken; nothing new, no relationships given].

S. B. Fowler, age 62, live Gainesboro, am a Physician. Was Martha D. Mercer's family physician except Dr. McCoin was called in the last two years of her life. Last time I saw her... about a year before she died... believe she suffered from what I call Senile dementia.

s/s S. B. Fowler

BILL OF COMPLAINT of James Mercer, Ned Mercer, G. C. Mercer, Lorenzo Mercer, Luke Mercer, Johnie Mercer, Melia P. Painter and her husband Henry Painter, Cansada Lynn and her husband John W. Lynn, Eliza Burris and her husband James Burris, citizens of Jackson county Ten, and Nellie Huffines and her husband Roscoe Huffines citizens of Clay county Tenn.


R. M. Maxwell, Admr. of E. M. McCoin deceased, Martha D. McCoin a minor, and Clay Reeves her general guardian, and Lula McCoin, W. C. Pharris Exec. of Martha D. Mercer's will, and T. N. Berry, all citizens of Jackson county Tenn, George Berry and John Berry citizens of the state of Oklahoma.

That they [Complainants], except John W. Lynn, James Burris and Roscoe Huffines and Henry Painter are the only children and heirs at law of T. J. Mercer decd who was an adopted son and the only heir at law of J. J. Mercer who departed this life in Jackson county Tenn on the [blank] after having made and published his last will and testament, which is in the following words and figures.

[NOTE: Below from a typed transcript which appeared in Complaint; may be earlier typos - mlj]

"I James J. Mercer being of sound mind and disposing memory do make and publish this as my last will and testament hereby revoking all former wills by me at any time made.

1st, It is my will and desire that my funeral expenses be paid, and all of my just debts paid out of any money which I may have on hand at the time of my death, or out of the first money which shall come to the hands of my personal representative.

2nd, I will devise to my beloved wife Martha D. Mercer absolutely all of my personal property and effects whatever of which I may die possessed, including money, shoses [sic] in action, household and kitchen furniture and all and every thing of a personal character after my just debts are paid.

3rd, I will and devise to my beloved wife Martha D. Mercer for and during her natural life all of my real estate of which I may die seized and possessed consisting of the farm on which I now live, and the farm lately occupied by T. J. Mercer known as my old home place where I formerly lived, and all other lands which I now or may own at my death with the right to my said wife Martha D. Mercer to cut and remove, or have cut and removed from said land or any part thereof any and all valuable timber, and dispose of the same for her own use as she pleases.

4th, If my personal effects on hand at my death after allowing the widow an ample support, should be insufficient to pay my just debts, then in that event I authorize and empoer my personal representative to sell either publicly or privately a sufficiency of my real estate to pay the same and make title in fee simple to the purchaser.

5th, It is my will and desire that at the death of my wife Martha D. that all of my real estate, which may then remain be disposed of as follows to-wit; One half of said real estate my wife Martha D. may dispose of by will as she pleases and the other half of said real estate I will and desire after the death of my wife, to James J. Mercer Jr. and George Cambell Mercer three hundred dollars each out of said realty, and the remainder of said land or its proceeds to be equally divided between my four grand-children, James J. Mercer Jr. George Cambell Mercer, Lorenzo D. Mercer and Luther Mercer equally that is share and share alike, and should any of these legatees die without issue then the survivors take the share or shares of said decedents equally.

I hereby constitute and appoint my beloved wife Martha D. Mercer to be Executrix of this my last will and direct the County court to let her qualify without bond.

Witness my hand This the 11th, day of Feby, 1887. James J. Mercer

Attest. R. A. Cox, W. W. Draper,"

[Note: This will does not mention Polly Jane Mercer, sister of James Jones Mercer - mlj]

Said will was duly probated... Said land is described as follows; Lying and being in the 9th, Civil District of Jackson county on the waters of Roaring river, consisting of two tracts adjoining each other, and bounded on the north by the lands of E.M. McCoin, decd. same he purchased from A.J. Pharris, and by the lands of John Procter, on the east by the lands of W.F. Young, William Warren and [blank] Smith, on the south by Roaring river and M. F. Young, on the west by Roaring river and A.M. McCoin, and lads [sic] formerly owned by Munroe Maberry being the place whereon said J. J. Mercer lived at the time of his death, and which he purchased from J.T. Anderson Executor of Edward Mercer decd, and the place adjoining the same known as the J.J. Mercer old home place which the said Martha D. sold to one Gail Berry after the death of her husband.

That after the death of J. J. Mercer, the said Martha D. Executrix sold... the J. J. Mercer old home place, together with some thirty acres adjoining the same... to Gail Berry...

That the Mercer devisees... sold... all the interest they had in said land passing under said will.

That on 11 June 1904, ...Martha D. Mercer ...undertook to convey to E. M. and A. M. McCoin for... $1500... land which her husband purchased from J. T. Anderson excluding... lands heretofore conveyed... to W. D. McCoin & Co. excluding also the grave yard and right of way to same, and also the lands which her husband had sold to T. J. Mercer known as the Murray and Butler lands... Deed herein copied... [Typed as transcribed in Court Case as Exhibit - mlj]

"Whereas my husband J. J. Mercer on the 8th, day of May 1886, purchased the tract of land hereinafter described from J. T. Anderson, the Admr. with the will annexed of Edawrd [sic] Mercer deceased. Assuming as part consideration for said land, to keep, care for, and support one Polly Jane Mercer, for and during the remainedr [sic] of her natural life, she being a confirmed lunatic, and her support having been made a charge upon said land under and by virtue of the last will and testament of said Edward Mercer decd.

And whereas my said husband died on the 12th, day of July 1887, leaving the said lunatic Polly Jane Mercer, who survived him untill 9th, day of Oct, 1902, when she died.

And whereas my said husband, prior to his death to-wit, on the 11th, day of Feby 1887, made and piblished [sic] this his last will and testament naming myself as executrix of his estate, which trust I accepted and executed.

And whereas I as executrix of my said husbands estate, in order to execute and carry out his said contract and obligation to support and care for the said lunatic, and in order to remove and discharge said lien from said land, have been compelled to expend large amounts of time and money in the necessary maintenence and support of the said lunatic, Polly Jane Mercer from the time of my said husbands death from July, the 12th, 1887, untill her death on Oct, the 9th, 1902, which time and money expended by me as aforesaid for waiting upon, nursing, careing for, feeding, clothing, and furnishing medicines, medical attention, and providing nurses etc, for said lunatic ammounted to and was worth the sum of over two thousand dollars.

And whereas I was compelled as executrix aforesaid to expend large amounts of time and large amounts of money amounting in the aggreate [sic] to over eighteen hundred dollars which time and ammount were necessarily expended by me as such executrix in defending a suit instituted against me as executrix of the estate of J. J. Mercer decd. By J. T. Mercer in the Circuit court at Gainesboro Tenn.

And whereas the expenditure aforesaid together with the debts due from my said husband's estate which were paid by me as executrix after his death entirely consumed and largely exceeded the value and amount realized from said personal estate.

And, whereas the said personal estate and the land hereinafter described by the terms of my said husbands will are charged with my support and maintenence during my life, and said estate being indebted to me as executrix on account of the time and money expended by me as aforesaid, and I now being old and unable to look after and attend to the management of said farm, and being compelled on that account to employ others to do so, in order therefore to pay the debts due me from my said husband and from his estate as aforesaid, and in order to procure means with which to employ some one to live with me, care for and wait upon and support me in my declining years, and having no near relatives living near me except the bargainees hereto.

Now, therefore I Martha D. Mercer as executrix aforesaid, and also in my own right for the consideration of fifteen hundred dollars in a note this day executed to me by E. M. McCoin, A. H. McCoin and W. D. McCoin as security of this date and due and payable as therein stated, and the further consideration that said E.M. & A.M. McCoin shall in the future assist me in the management of my business if called upon to do so, and shall see that I am not neglected when sick, and shall after my death see that I am given decent burial, I do hereby sell, transfer and convey unto the said E.M. McCoin and A.M. McCoin said tract of land which is here bounded and described as follows.

[Note: Basically same description given earlier, then repeats "declining years, etc" - mlj]

By this deed I only convey the remainedr [sic] interest in said land to said E.M. & A.M. McCoin, after the termination of my life estate therein. I expressly reserve the use, occupancy and controll of the same, and the right to cut, use and sell timber... during my life untill the said E.M. McCoin and A.M. McCoin and their heirs and assigns forever. I covenant with them that I am lawfully seized and possessed of said land... This June 11th, 1904.

Martha D. Mercer. Executrix of the estate of J. J. Mercer decd, and in her own right.

Atttest: W. W. Draper, J. R. Chaffin

Filed for record April 21st 1910..."

[Retyped transcript of Martha D. Mercer's will was filed/filmed here as an Exhibit in court case. - mlj]

On the [blank] day of [blank] 1910, the said Martha D. Mercer died... will probated... here copied...

"I Martha D. Mercer of the county of Jackson and state of Tennessee, being of sound mind and desposing memory and desiring to make the disposition hereinafter named of mt [sic] worldly effets [sic] do hereby, ordain and publish this my last will and testament hereby revoking and making void all former wills by me at any time heretofore made.

1. I desire that my debts and funeral expenses be first paid, by my executor out any moneys, or the preceeds of any personal property of which I may die seized and possessed.

2. I will and bequeath to Susan Pharris widow of Leroy Pharris, decd. the sum of eight hundred dollars, to be paid to her out of the proceeds of my personal estate, and if she should die before the same is collected and paid to her, then the am ammount is to be paid is to be paid to the Administrator of her estate, to be by him distributed equally between her two sons or their heirs if either should not be living at the time.

3. All the rest and residue of my personal estate, of whatever kind or character, I will and bequeath to W. C. Pharris and A. J. Pharris sons of Susan Pharris, the same to be equally divided between them.

4. I Noninate [sic] and appoint W. C. Pharris Executor of this my last will, and direct after my death he qualify as the law directs, and sell all my personal property, and collect all debts due to me, including a note I hold on E.M. & A.M. McCoin with W.D. McCoin security, for fifteen hundred dollars, and with the proceeds pay the debts, and bequests hereinbefore set out in the order named.

But the ammount due me from the estate of J.J. Mercer decd, as shown by final settlement as executrix of his estate the county clerks office as [sic] Gainesboro is not included in the foregoing bequest, and the same will not be collected by my Executor, or distributed by him for the reason that said amount is hereinafter disposed of in this will.

2. [sic] The foregoing bequests are made by me, to, in a measure compensate the legatee hereinbefore named for their kindness, care, and attention extended to me, and for their servises rendered to me since my husband's death, and to induce them to remain with me, and care for me in my declining years.

I have heretofore to-wit on the 11th, day of June, 1904, executed a deed to a tract of land on which I now live known as the J.J. Mercer home place, on Roaring river and in the 9th, district of said county, to my kinsman E.M. McCoin and A.M. McCoin, for the consideration mentioned and set out in said deed, which land is fully described in said deed, and to which said referance is here made for location and boundaries, and now if for any cause, or reason, said deed shall hereafter be decreed inoperative or void either in whole or in part, then in that event I desire that said E.M. McCoin and A.M. McCoin take fee simple title in and to said lands under this clause of my will, share and share alike, and I hereby will and devise the same to them.

6. The estate of J.J. Mercer is indebted to me in the $5431.44 as shown by my final settlement as Executrix of his estate on file in the county clerks office at Gainesboro, and if the deed aforesaid to A.M. McCoin and E.M. McCoin shall hereafter be decreed inoperative or void aby [sic] the courts, then in that event I authorize and empower the said A.M. McCoin and E.M. McCoin or either of them to demand, sue for, collect and receive the said debt so due to me from said estate, and the same when collected to be equally divided between them.

Heretofore, to-wit; on the 10th, day of June, I made and published my last will, which will was of the same tenor and effect, and contained same provisions and bequests as this will, which W.W. Draper and John R. Chaffin are the subscribing witnesses, but the said will having been destroyed by a burning of the bank of Gainesboro on the 20th, day of July, last I do therefore hereby reexecute and republish this my last will and testament in the room and stead of the one so burned; and wherein, and wherever the said former will conflicts with this will either in phraseology or otherwise the said former will is to that extent revoked and this will is to be taken and treated as my last will and testament.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand on This the 15th, day of Aug, 1904.

Martha D. Mercer.

Said will was witnessed by J. R. Chaffin, R. B. Chaffin, and Millard P. Loftis." [Note: Signature typed].

CHANCERY COURT REPORT: 19[blank] A. M. McCoin conveyed to E. M. McCoin his interest... took possession until his death [blank] 1914... his widow Lula together with his daughter Martha D. McCoin a minor... have possession.

16 June 1910 Gail Berry recovered the interest in Court of the Mercer devisees under the will of J. J. McCoin.

DEPOSITION October 7, 1915:

Calvin Heady age 70, live 1st Dist., farmer. Lived 9th District 24 years. Knew J. J. and T. J. Mercer, lived a little over one-half mile from J. J. Mercer.

Q: Do you remember... how he was killed?

A: He had started home and his horse throwed him on some slick rock and killed him.

I have done some work right sharply for him.

Young Jones at the death of the old man lived back where I had rented - the Gail Berry place on Gaw branch.

Q: Who was the father of little Jones?

A: I couldn't tell you that... he went by Mercer and went by Shadden...

Q: Did you ever hear it talked that Jones Simpkins was the father?

A: Why yes I forgot who I heard call him that.

Q: Did little Jones favor old Jones?

A: Well no great thing.

Q: Did little Jones have a brother? If so what was his name?

A: Lon Shadden.

Q: Did Lon Shadden favor old Jones Mercer?

A: Well he was more bulkier to favor old Jones and he was built more like the old man.

A: Who did little Jones marry?

A: ...Pelina Johnson old uncle Bill's Pelina.

Calvin [his X] Heady

ADJOURNED, resumed Friday October 8, 1915:

Mart Scott, age about 69, live 9th Dist., farmer. Lived a short mile from the J. J. Mercer farm 30-35 years. Rented Martha D. Mercer's land about two years. Leroy Pharris and his wife Susan were not living there then.

A: Were you in Gainesboro the day J. J. Mercer died?

A: I was here on Monday and he died Monday night. He got throwed on Saturday as I remember.

Q: Were you with him and did you not wait on him the day you were here.

A: Yes sir I rubbed him all over with medicine the doctor gave him.

Q: Was T. J. Mercer in town...?

A: Yes sir... I had been rubbing him with that stuff all over and he was laying there lifeless and couldn't open his eyes. I come out from the hotel and Jones and Lon was standing in the street and I says to Lon are you going to see the old man and he says yes. Jones said he wasn't going for he was no daddy of his.

Q: Where was J. J. Mercer at that time.

A: He was in Polly Ann Williams' hotel in Gainesboro and he died there. I attended the funeral and buring [sic; burying].

Q: Who did young Jones Mercer marry the first time?

A: Old Bill Johnson's daughter... children were Jim, Ned, Luke, Campbell and John Lynn's wife.

Mart [his X] Scott


1] W. C. Spivey, whose daughter married Clay Reeves' son and Clay Reeves is security for the farm he [Spivey] rented.

2] M. B. Smith who owes Clay Reeves some $500 borrowed money.

3] Mounce Bailey who lived on E. M. McCoin's farm in the Free State a few years back. Frank Bailey his father, is a material witness in this case.

3] Wheeler Birdwell is not acceptable because one of Complainants had a serious difficulty with his father in law.

STATEMENT TO COURT BY ATTORNEYS: We agree W. W. McCue was Chairman of County court, Jackson County, Tennessee during the years 1858 and 1859.

We also agree T. J. Mercer married Miss Pauline Johnson 16 March 1859.

s/s John J. Gore, M. G. Butler

NOTICE OF DEPOSITIONS 9 November 1915 and continuing from day to day until complete... will take depositions: Mrs. Abb J. Pharris, Mrs. Luke Anderson, Mrs. Pasco Swearengin, Mrs. Bell Pharris and cross-examine Palo Swearengin.

Wednesday, November 10th: Mrs. Bell Pharris, H. H. Johnson, Burton Johnson, J. A. Loftis, Mrs. J. A. Loftis, Andy Chapman, Mrs. Andy Chapman, W. A. Overton, Mrs. Lou McCoin, R. M. Maxwell, Mrs. R. M. Maxwell, Clay Reeves and Frank Richmond. Also cross-examine M. F. Young and take deposition of Thomas Hensley.

DEPOSITION W. W. Draper: Live Chattanooga, Tennessee. Drew will for Martha Mercer.

Q: Who was in the room when you wrote the will?

A: Old Mrs. Farris [Susan Pharris] and Ab Farris' wife... his daughter, Phil Swearengin's wife and some young woman who I remember as the daughter of Ab Farris.

J. N. McCoin was a cousin of E. M. and A. M. McCoin

Q: Had E. M. McCoin and A. M. McCoin become dissipated, stayed drunk, chased after lewd women...?

A: [Several pages including notary, answer in the affirmative, including having died from syphilis - mlj]. s/s W. W. Draper

MERCER, JAMES vs MAXWELL, R. M. et al [Folder #3, same case]


W. M. Smith age 49, live 6th District, farmer. Acquainted with Aunt Martha D. Mercer 35-40 years. I lived in the neighborhood where she lived, moved to Putnam County three years, moved back and lived here ever since. After the death of Uncle Jones and death of my father, I bought some land off Aunt Martha... been 20 some years... up Gaw Hollow called the Smith and Mercer lands... think it was 50 acres. Half of it belonged to Aunt Martha and the other half to Smith heirs. My father owned a half interest in it when he died. I paid Martha D. Mercer 100 bushels of corn for it, later swapped with Sarah Webb for another piece. Steve Strong owns it now.

s/s W. M. Smith

Ab Pharris, age 50, farmer, live 9th District. Leroy and Susan Pharris was my father and mother.

About 23 years [ago] mother was to live as family with Martha D. Mercer and Pa was to have a certain piece of ground to stay with them.

After father died 1902 or 03 me and my family moved there. At father's death I lived on the ridge between Blackburn's Fork and Roaring River. Moved to Mrs. Mercer's Sept 15.

Mother is dead. She died before Aunt Martha.

Q: Mrs. Mercer made a will or two before this last one in which she didn't will Averett or Martin McCoin any part of her estate didn't she.

A: I understood she made a will, and I never heard of her willing Martin and Averett anything in that will.

Ab [his X] Pharris

Sam Hawkins age 66, lived 9th District on Roaring River all my life. Known Martha D. Mercer since I was a little boy large enough to go to school. [Questioned about character of other deponents].

s/s Sam Hawkins

W. C. Pharris age 52 the 5th of May next [5 May 1916], live 12th District, Jackson County, Tennessee. I was named as Executor of Martha D. Mercer's will. Leroy and Susan are my father and mother. Papa died February 1902 and mother since that. Polly Jane Mercer died 1902 in October if I remember correctly.

Q: Had E. M. McCoin become dissipated...?

A: After he moved on a farm adjoining Martha D. Mercer... started drinking, married a woman who had an illegitimate child about 5 or 6 years old...

Q: State whether A. M. McCoin has been confined in the County jail for quite a while for public drunkenness?

A: That is my understanding...

Q: State if when drinking he has gone in the graveyard... broken and defaced tombstones...?

A: That is generally reported... believed in the neighborhood.

Q: Did you tell your uncle W. C. Reed at the latest Circuit Court that you heard Martha D. Mercer say that W. W. Mercer had adopted T. J. Mercer...?

A: If I ever said anything of that kind to Uncle Campbell Reed I have no recollection.

Mrs. Lou McCoin is of good character since she married E. M. McCoin.... women in neighborhood - good women - visited her...

Q: Isn't it part of Averett's general character that about a year ago his wife filed for divorce... adulterous conduct...?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Isn't it Mrs. Lou McCoin's character... she has a very bad case of Syphilis and was at the Hot Springs Arkansaw being doctored for it recently and hasn't it eaten her nose nearly off so it is visible [Note: Her symptoms appear to have been misdiagnosed skin cancer - mlj].

A: Yes sir that is the way I understand it.

s/s W. C. Pharris

BILL OF EXCEPTIONS: Complainants read original bill filed May 3, 1915; Defendants read their answer filed July 3, 1915.

Comer McDearman, witness summoned for defendants, asked for urgent business reasons to be excused and return to his home in Cookeville, Tennessee. Interrogated by M. G. Butler:

...live Cookeville, used to live in Jackson County. Knew Martha D. Mercer about ten years. I was in the mercantile business, took meals at Mrs. Mercer's house. The business was about 100 yards from her, later owned by W. D. McCoin. Made trips to Gainesboro with her, in a buggy. It was about 1891-92-93.

...my brother Willis married a sister of E. M. McCoin's. He is dead now...

After I sold out to my brother Willis I went on the road...

LeRoy Pharris and Susan Pharris... were there taking care of that lunatic... she was in an out house... away from the main house.... had a dirt floor and no furniture or anything and it took a good strong woman to take care of her and one that was not afraid of her... her name was Polly Jane Mercer.

Mr. Pharris was a local methodist preacher I believe... had the appearance of being very pious... wore a sanctimonious look, was one of those quiet citizens that attended to his own business.

[Mrs. Pharris] was just the opposite, was a loud, rough, boisterous robust woman... would consider her very kind... energetic. When she went there she was about 50 or 60. Mrs. Mercer was along about 60 or 65. She wasn't naturally a strong woman... health was good.

Q: Your brother... married a sister of E. M. McCoin and left three children...?

A: He left four but one died soon after his death.

Q: Wasn't [Susan Pharris] the kind of a woman that is commonly designated as wearing the breeches...?

A: Well, yes I guess you would regard her along that line.

...Complainants then read the will of Mrs. Mercer dated August 15, 1904, Will

Book D page 383... read Probate Minute Book K, page 126...

CROSS-EXAMINATION of J. W. Morgan by Col. John J. Gore: I am an own first cousin to Complainant Jim Mercer's wife. I am not related to Complainants Jim Mercer, Ned Mercer or J. M. Burris. I was a Justice of the Peace 1882 - 1888.

CROSS-EXAMINATION of Jake Scott by Col. John J. Gore: I was in Gainesboro the day J. J. Mercer died. T. J. Mercer and his brother Lon Mercer were here...

Q: Did you and your brother Mart Scott administer to him pretty much all day?

A: Yes Sir... We axed [sic] Little Jones Mercer if he wasn't going in and see his daddy... he said he wasn't no daddy of his'n.

After J. J. Mercer died old colored Dave Mercer and his daughter America and Polly Jane were there... were servants of the Mercer family. America a year or two later married George Walker... awfully mean, and Aunt Martha said she was afraid of him... wouldn't do any work, just fox hunt all the time... would ride her stock... she said she couldn't keep him off of it... was down right trifling.

EXAMINATION of W. E. Mercer and James J. Mercer by D. B. Johnson:

W. E. Mercer: I am a Complainant.

Q: Who is - or was - your brother.

A: T. J. Mercer. Young Jones he was called. I was not an heir mentioned in J. J. Mercer's will. Mentioned were Jim Mercer, George Campbell Mercer, Lorenzo D. Mercer and Luther Mercer. They are all younger [than I am].

James J. Mercer: They call me Jim. My father was called Little Jones Mercer.

DEPOSITIONS October 16 & 17, 1913.

W. W. Draper. Am counsel for defendants [Nothing new].

s/s W. W. Draper

Mrs. A. J. Pharris. Am the wife of A. J. Pharris.

Mrs. M. C. [her X] Pharris

Mrs. A. C. Anderson. I'll be 27 the 1st day of May. I am the daughter of A. J. and M. C. Pharris. I lived with my father and mother when they lived with Martha D. Mercer.

Q: Did your grandmother Mrs. Susan Pharris ever say she was boss...

A: No sir.

Me and grandmother never had a quarrel...

Q: You knew better than to quarrel didn't you? When she would pat her foot you would hit a turkey trot...

A: I was raised better than to sit up and quarrel with her.

s/s A. C. Anderson

Mrs. L. J. Swearingin. I am 29 years old the 8th of next March and am a daughter of A. J. and M. C. Pharris.

[Wrote her name "Lula", scratched through, signed "Mrs. L. J. Swearengin"]

Andy Smith age 50, live 6th District, work on a farm. Knew Martha D. Mercer 40 years, worked for her, bought corn from her.

s/s A. R. Smith

Mrs. Belle Pharris. Am the wife of W. C. Pharris. Lived on Martha D. Mercer's land about 21 years.

Q: Before Aunt Martha's death did she receive an injury... confined to bed the rest of her life?

A: Yes sir... stooped down to see what was the matter with a dog, just pitched over, the doctors said her leg was out of place... it liked a little being twelve months before she died.

I married about 23 years ago the 10th of last July... when I married, we lived on the ridge out beyond Terry Mill. We went to the Mercer place in October after we married in July... it was after the death of J. J. Mercer.

s/s Belle Pharris

LAST WILL & TESTAMENT, MARTHA D. MERCER [Typed version re-filmed here, signatures written; possibly original signatures & will]. Attested by J. R. Chaffin, B. B. Chaffin, Mildred F. Loftis.

BILL OF COMPLAINT of Martha D. Mercer, Executor of the Last Will & Testament of James J. Mercer, deceased, of Jackson County against

William Brown, Jane Hawkins and her husband Wayman Hawkins and Wayman Hawkins as Administrator of the estate of Minerva Mercer, deceased all of like citizenship.

Oratrix [Martha D. Mercer] says [blank] 1886 her husband James J. Mercer purchased of Minerva Mercer her undivided share of the Edwin Mercer farm on Roaring River in Jackson County bounded by land of Samuel Johnson and others. She made a deed, he executed his note for $600 at no interest. The note was not to be paid until he run his logs off... Minerva Mercer was to board with James J. Mercer at no charge.

Winter and Spring 1886 and 1887, he hauled logs to Roaring River but because of low water he was unable to float them to Cumberland River. James J. Mercer died 12 July 1887. Minerva Mercer departed life 21 Sept 1887 and Wayman Hawkins qualified as Administrator.

William Brown has possession of the note... states Minerva Mercer gave him the note for the use and benefit of himself and Jane Hawkins who is his sister, both being nephew and niece of Minerva Mercer... part of legal heirs, she having died without issue, leaving several other legal heirs besides those two.

Complainant is willing and able to pay note... doesn't want to pay it twice. 5 May 1888.

s/s Martha D. Mercer

DEPOSITIONS 23 December 1915:

[Mrs.] M. A. C. Williams, will be 77 the 5 May 1916, live Gainesboro. I was raised with T. J. Mercer, knew Martha D. Mercer from the time she married J. J. Mercer up to her death. J. J. Mercer died in my house. I was a hotel keeper 35-40 years. Young Jones and Jim Mercer and Mrs. Mercer were there. Jim put him in a coffin and hauled him off.

s/s M. A. C. Williams

Martila Lee age 75. Live Hopper's Creek, 6th District. Knew J. J. and Martha D. Mercer. When I heard J. J. Mercer adopted T. J. Mercer, I was living on the old George Greenwood land. It was Yancey Greenwood's land at that time.

Q: Don't you know he [T. J. Mercer] went to a woman in the neighborhood by the name of Adcock who was a fortune teller to find out if J. J. Mercer was going to give his property to him?

A: It was Little Jones' wife who turned the cup so they told me. I wasn't at the cup turning.

s/s Marteley [her X] Lee


BILL OF COMPLAINT of James Mercer against Cuba Mercer. Married in Jackson County 1877, happy for a time. She commenced to stroll off and neglect domestic duties... committed adultery and is now pregnant by one Alonzo Cullom... from defendant's own lips. Complainant and defendant have two children, John Henry and James Mercer... asks custody.

Makes oath above is true. 26 August 1884 [Although file folder looks like "1887", probably incorrect - mlj].

James [his X] Mercer

ANSWER of Cuba Mercer. Admits adultery, charges Complainant with like offense with diverse persons. Deserted her and children... never furnished nothing to eat or wear for years... they are now in destitute circumstances, asks suit be dismissed. 13 March 1885.

Cuba [her X] Mercer

CAUSE HEARD 18 March 1886: Married 1877, defendant guilty, complainant a man of good reputation. Complainant to pay costs. Two children, John Henry and James are of tender years... care and custody to defendant.

[NEW] MERCER, T. J. vs MERCER, J. J. et al Chancery 1886

ANSWER of J. J. Mercer to Bill of Complaint of T. J. Mercer. Untrue Respondent sold Complainant land in 1878 or any other time. Respondent lived on the land himself until July 1879 when he moved where he now lives. Complainant T. J. Mercer moved in the house with him before July 1879, but Respondent never entirely surrendered possession.

Respondent paid taxes for all but one year; he told Complainant to pay taxes as rent that year.

Respondent did as much or more for Complainant's family then they did for Respondent's wife and sister. They were old, not in bad health. Respondent's mother died [blank] 1885.

Respondent says Complainant rendered himself insolvent by fraudulently disposing of his property to his son in law John W. Lynn.

s/s J. J. Mercer

COPY OF CALLS [Boundary lines and plat] filmed of property; John C. Cox and wife to J. J. Mercer, deed registered Book "C", page 200.

COPY OF DEED from J. T. Anderson, Administrator of Jones J. Mercer dated 20 March 1886 filmed.

BILL OF COMPLAINT of John W. Lynn against T. J. Mercer, G. C. Mercer and [blank] ?McCleary of Jackson Co., TN. Complainant charges defendant T. J. Mercer is indebted to him by judgment of $75 with interest. Also $300 as security in the case of T. J. Mercer vs Martha Mercer. Jany ?, 1885

s/s John W. Lynn

BILL OF COMPLAINT of Trenton Jones Mercer against James Jones Mercer, both of Jackson Co., TN. Early in 1878 defendant J. J. Mercer sold him land in 9th District on Roaring River, Jackson Co., placed Orator in possession... has not given title...

PLEA of T. J. Mercer vs Martha Mercer. T. J. Mercer makes oath that the verdict in this case does him great injustice and to permit the same to stand would ruin him financially...

[NEW] MILLER, ANNIE et al VS HARE, Sam E. County 1877

TO SHERIFF OF JACKSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE} You are commanded to take Francas [sic; Frances] Hunter an apprentice in possession of Sam E. Hare and have her before County Court 1st Monday of December next... this 1st Monday in November 1877.

PROSECUTION BOND: Anne Hunter and John Whitaker to Sam E. Hare for $55.00. Dated 26 November 1877.

Annie [her X] Miller, John [his X] Whitaker

PETITION of Anne Miller and her husband W. F. Miller. Frances Hunter, a minor about thirteen years old is a daughter of Petitioner.

By Court order Frances Hunter was apprenticed to Sam E. Hare 18[blank] until she attained 21 years of age, without the knowledge or consent of her mother and natural guardian.

The said Hare and his wife has beat and tortured said apprenticed Frances Hunter in a cruel, barbarous and inhumane manner... not clothed her in a manner provided by law, not given schooling...

...Petitioner will show she is able to support and educate, asks indenture be revoked.

NOTICE OF DEPOSITIONS... of James ?Dennson, Isaac Gore & wife, Polly Gentry and Polly Whitaker to appear and give evidence [Note: If Depositions/testimony were taken, they were not filmed - mlj]

[NEW] MINOR, BENNETT et al vs PHARRIS, HYRAM, et al Chancery 1869

BILL OF COMPLAINT of Bennett Minor, James B Brown & wife Nancy Brown, Argile P. Minor, Hyram Minor, Alfred Denton & wife Sarah Denton, all of Jackson Co. except Hyram Minor who resides in Illinois against

Hyram Pharris and wife Louisiana Pharis, John P. Minor, Samuel Dewitt and wife America Minor [sic; should be Dewitt, per latter document - mlj], America Cherry and Scott Moore, all of Jackson Co.

John Minor departed this life in Jackson County several years since. Complainants Benett Minor and James P. Brown were appointed administrators. John Minor died seized and possessed of tracts of land... purchased of Michael Kirkpatrick bounded by lands of Jerry Roberts, Malinda McGlasson, Rachel Kirkpatrick, by estimate 178 acres.

Another tract bounded by land of Sarah Lee, James P. Brown, Newton ?C. McGrasson [sic; probably should be McGlasson], John P. Dodson and James Hall... 500 acres... on Cumberland River or near the said river on the north side in the Kirkpatrick bottom.

Bennett Minor had purchased the shares of Alexander C. Cherry and Elizabeth Cherry the latter a daughter of the said deceased and the shares of Complainant Hyram Minor and Alfred Denton and wife Sarah Denton.

Complainants are all the children of said deceased save Brown and Denton who married daughters of said deceased.

Hyram Pharis married a daughter of said deceased.

America Cherry is the only child of Elizabeth and Alexander Cherry, both of whom are deceased, the former [Elizabeth] being a daughter of said deceased.

Defendants Minor and Cherry are minors. The former have no guardian the latter's guardian is Scott Moore.

John Minor deceased did not leave a widow.

s/s John P. Murray, Solr for Complainants

NOTICE TO SHERIFF} Attach lands of John V. Minor to satisfy a decree... against him [Blank] Feby 1867 in favor of D. A. Rawley, surviving partner & c and others

PARTITION OF LANDS: The undersigned being unconnected with the parties, partition lands of John Minor deceased among heirs...

Lot 1: Hiram Pharis and wife Louisiana... bank of Cumberland River at mouth of Websters Creek... conditional line between John V Hooser [sic; John VanHooser] and William Toney... 94 acres more or less.

Lot 2: Samuel DeWhitt and wife America DeWhitt... Corner of Lot 1... Perrin's line... Corner to Lot 3, 90 acres more or less.

Lot 3: John Thomas Minor, ...bank of Cumberland River... corner to Lot 4... corner to James Brown... 90 acres more or less.

Lot 4: James Brown & wife Nancy Brown...

Lot 5: Argil Minor... in the Kirkpatrick farm. Begin Jerry Roberts corner in Malinda McGlasson's line... to Lot 6 on the bank of the river... 93 acres more or less.

Lot 6: Alfred Denton and Sally his wife... to Lot 5... bank of the Cumberland River and down its meanders... McGlassons line. 40 acres more or less.

Lot 7: America Cherry minor heir of A. J. and Elizabeth Cherry... begin at a Maple elm & boxelder corner to No. 6 on the river, thence west 182 poles to a stake in No. 5, thence north 20 poles to a stake corner to No. 6 small tract, thence west 28 poles to a stake in Mrs. McGlasson's line thence north with said line 14 poles to a stake in Rachel Kirkpatrick's line thence east 182 poles to a Sycamore in Rachel Kirkpatrick's corner on a branch thence down said branch to the beginning containing 42 acres more or less.

The share of James Brown and his wife Nancy the share of Hiram Minor are inside of the boundaries laid of[f] for Bennett Minor and Argil Minor and we consider said lots equal in value. 29th January, 1868.

s/s William Hawkins Surveyor, Ray Kirkpatrick Com[issioner], A. ?C. Hall, P. M. Tinsley, A. K. Tinsley, Thomas ?J. Rose

REPORT: Cause of Bennett Minor, James B. Brown and wife Nancy Brown, Argyle Minor, Hyram Minor, Alfred Denton & wife Sarah Denton vs

Hyram Pharis and wife Louisiana Pharris, Samuel Dewitt and wife America Dewitt, Scott Moore, America Cherry... the several heirs of the said John Minor deceased ... title be divested out of the estate and to said heirs

INVENTORY, goods and chattels of John Murray [Note: He may have been a merchant, as it lists a quantity of bonnets, silk, muslin, gingham, chambray, herringbone, etc. Total $296.68. Also buttons, buckles, coat, combs, suspenders, cravats, hose, cotton wadding, Bonnet flowers, blank & white check bonnets. Total $43.30]

INVOICE: 27 March 1856 to Messrs Minor & Pharris. Bought of Kirkman & Ellis, Nashville, Tennessee. [Some items] French Harp, pad locks, hand bells, auger bits, spring balances, Jews Harps, fish hooks, Coffee mill, rat traps, etc. Total $107.77.

INVOICE: 28 March 1856 to Messrs Minor & Pharris. Bought of Strickle Ellis & Co., Nashville "Dealer of Shoes, Hats and Straw Goods". Shoes, bags, hats, boots. Total $360.29.

RECEIPT: 21 Feb 1855, received of Minor & Pharris to Grambo & Co. of Philadelphia. Pencils, assorted books. $30.25 less 5% discount = $28.73


INDENTURE 28 Sept 1835, William Morrell Jr. of Jackson Co. and Josiah Copeland of same.

William Morrell Jr. for $1380 to him paid... hereby sells to Josiah Copeland a tract on Jennings Creek bounded as follows... begin John McCawley's south boundary line of his old survey... to a 10 acre survey made for Samuel Dixon... James Young's east boundary line... Morrels field which is James Young's northeast corner... estimated 150 acres more or less including the house and plantation where William Morrell now lives... except 23 acres which the said Morrell sold to Francis Kirkpatrick... deed 14 July 1829.

s/s William Morrell Wit: 28 Sept 1835, s/s James T. Quarles, Clerk

PROSECUTION BOND: Alexander Montgomery and Nathan Montgomery to Ephraim Wilson and Josiah Copeland, all of Jackson County, for $250.

BILL OF COMPLAINT of Alexander Montgomery... a certain

Ephraim Wilson between 1st January 1824 and 13 April 1829 became indebted... whole of which is yet unpaid, about $92.25 with interest... amounts to $185.95.

Note due 1 January 1825, judgment taken... anxious to collect, but by the fraudulent conduct of said Wilson and Josiah Copeland his son in law, he has not been able to accomplish the same... Ephraim Wilson has no property real or personal. Ephraim Wilson about the judgments were obtained converted his property into money which he withheld from his auditors. Believes about 28 Sept 1835 in order to avoid debt... put into hands of Josiah Copeland about $300 to be vested in tract of land, about 150 acres on Jennings Creek... conveyed by deed from William Morrell Jr.

[NEW] MONTGOMERY, J. A. vs CLARK, MAC et al Chancery 1889

BILL OF COMPLAINT of James A. Montgomery, Executor of Last Will & Testament of James Draper, deceased and in his own right as an heir of said deceased, R. A. Cox & his wife N. J. Cox, C. R. Ford and his wife H. P. Ford, J. W. Draper, Benjamin Franklin and his wife Lizzie Franklin, A. J. Dudney & wife Nannie Dudney, J. T. Anderson & wife M. J. Anderson all of Jackson Co. except C. R. Ford and wife of Putnam Co., J. K. Williamson & wife Varnda Williamson and T. J. Draper of Sumner Co., Martha A. [or H.] Kirkpatrick of the State of Missouri and James Fitzgerald and Richard Fitzgerald of the State of Texas against

Fleming D. Clark, Thomas Shoulders and Mack Clark of Jackson Co.

James Draper died testate in Jackson Co. 1873... published Last Will & Testament, appointed James A. Montgomery as Executor.

Complainants except husbands of married women are his only devisees and heirs at law.

James A Montgomery filed suggesting insolvency of the estate... debts in excess of personal assets... among other lands James Draper owned a tract in Jackson Co., TN, entry made 22 Feby 1830 and granted 27 July 1837 to Thomas L. Draper, Grant No. 6957... estimated 5000 acres in Jackson County bounded... north by tract formerly owned by Barnett Cornwell & afterward James Cook... crosses a small branch... east boundary line of James Davenport's tract... east side of a hill... Wm Kearby's [sic; Kirby] tract... stake in the Smith County line... crossing Wartrace Creek... Hamey's [or Haney] north boundary... Sneed's branch... west side of a hill east of the long branch of Wartrace Creek... corner of Hamey's [or Haney's] survey.

By oversight, calls of the north boundary line of the Grant were left out... recently had lines surveyed.

Complainants charge that Defendants are setting up claim... 27 November 1840 the said Thomas L. Draper conveyed by deed all the land covered by said grant to James Draper, witnessed by Brice M. Draper and Absolem Johnson... made Exhibit "B".

AMENDED BILL to that filed 23 Jan 1889, Flemin [sic] D. Clark is holding and occupying about 200 acres of land... taken possession under a deed from one of the other defendants... based on a younger and inferior grant than that of Complainants... F. D. Clark well knows it.

Mack Clark is doing the same... under inferior grant to Alexander Clark

[NEW] MONTGOMERY, JAMES A. vs DRAPER, M. H. & Chancery 1887


[Note: None of the documents mentioned Wheeler].

BILL OF COMPLAINT of James A. Montgomery against Robert A. Cox & wife Nannie Cox, Eliza Draper, Verenda Williamson, King Williamson, James W. Draper Jr., Thomas Draper, Elizabeth Draper, Sarah Draper, Mary J. Washburn, Nannie J. Craige [sic; Craig], John P. Murray, M. L. Gore, Fafayette Washburn, A. W. DeWitt, D. K. Fink, J. A. Durham, Amous Williamson, Anderson Sneed and William Sneed all of Jackson Co., TN; Henrietta P. Ford and Charles R. Ford of Putnam Co., TN; Martha Ann Kirkpatrick and John A. Kirkpatrick of the State of Missouri, James Fitzgerald, Joseph Fitzgerald and Richard Fitzgerald of the State of Texas.

James Draper made and published his Last Will & Testament 12 Jan 1873. Complainant was appointed Executor. James Draper departed this life 1 February 1873. March term 1873 will was proven & probated, copied as follows:

"I James Draper of the county of Jackson and State of Tennessee being of sound mind and disposing memory do make and publish this to be my last will and testament, hereby revoking all other wills that may appear in my name.

1st I resign my spirit into the hands of God who gave it and it is my will and desire that my body be decently buried in a plain coffin and that no money be spent foolishly in the stores to dress my coffin or person.

2nd It is my will and desire that my Executor pay out of my estate all of any Just [debts] and that he shall have power to dispose of enough of my estate so as to enable him to do the same; but it is my will & desire that my Executor be restrained from selling such property either real or personal as I may in this will specifically devise to any legatee until he shall have disposed of all the property both real and personal designated and set apart for that purpose in this will and expended the same in the payment of my Just debts, and after my executor has done this then if there be a portion of my debts still unpaid then it is my will and desire that each legatee contribute his part in paying off said balance.

3 thirdly I will & bequeath to my daughter Sarah & my Grand daughter Mary Jane Washburn and Grand son James A. Montgomery all of my interest in the tract of land I now live on known as the Gee [or Lee] tract which interest is two fifths of the entire tract, to have and to hold the same as tenants in common, but in case either of them should die before said land is partitioned between them the interest of the deceased and is to descend to the survivors or survivor.

4thly I will and bequeath to my daughter Henryetter P. Ford the wife of Charles R. Ford all the right title & interest I have in the town lots in the lower of Cookeville in the County of Putnam, being the same lots that the said Charles R. Ford now lives on, to have & to hold the said lower lots to the sole and separate use of the said Henryetta P. Ford, free from the marital rights of her husband Charles R. Ford or any other husband she may hereinafter have, and at the death of the said Henryettar P. Ford the title to the said three town lots above named shall descend to the heirs of my daughter Henryetter P. Ford borned of her body that may be living at the time.

5thly I have heretofore placed in the hands of Robert A. Cox the husband of my daughter Nannie J. Cox one thousand and seventy five dollars the amount of money furnished and judgment which I hold on Milton Draper which sum principal & interest was used by the said Cox in redeeming the tract of land known as the Jesse McClellan place and being the land that Abraham Hoover now lives on. Said land was redeemed from Joseph ?Carver and the deed taken in the name of the said Robert A. Cox; said Judgment on Milton Draper may be found in the Chancery Court office at Gainesboro. Now I will and bequeath to my daughter Nannie J. Cox six hundred dollars out of this fund to have and to hold the same to her sole and separate use free from the marital rights of her husband or his control in any ways or any other husband that she may hereafter marry and at her death to descend to the heirs of her body that may be living at the time

6thly It is my will and desire that all my personal property that specifically devised in this will and all my debts owing to me and c_ _ses in action belonging to me and all of my real estate not specifically devised in this will be left in the hands of my Executor to be sold & collected by him and used in the payment of my Just debts and in case my Executor is compelled to sell the real estate it is my will and desire that he sell the same on one & two years credit. I further will & bequeath the balance of the thousand and seventy five dollars above named (six hundred dollars of the sum is willed to Nannie J. Cox) to my Executor to collect the same and use the same in payment of my just just [sic] debts both principal and interest.

7th I will and bequeath to my daughter Martha Ann Kirkpatrick, wife of John A. Kirkpatrick of the State of Missouri four hundred dollars to be paid to her for her sole and separate use free from the marital right or control of her husband by my Executor in case there is this sum left after paying my debts and if there is not this amount left after the debts are paid, I will the sum under the four hundred to be paid to her.

8thly I will and bequeath all of the balance of my estate after paying my debts and after my Executor pays to Martha Ann Kirkpatrick the four hundred dollars bequeathed to her to James Fitzgerald, Joseph Fitzgerald and Richard Fitzgerald children of my daughter Mariah Fitzgerald and to Nannie J. Craig my grand daughter & daughter of my daughter Cora Craig & Thorinda Draper James Draper Thomas Draper & Elizabeth Draper children of my son Thomas J. Draper.

9thly I hereby appoint and nominate James A Montgomery my Executor to carry out and execute this my last last [sic] will and testament and do hereby nominate and employ L C Hall as his adviser to advise him and see that this will be carried out and executed according to the will and intention of the testator

10thly It is my will and desire that the said James A Montgomery execute this will without his being required by the court to give bond & security

11th I hereby employ L C Hall as my attorney to attend to all the law suits that my Executor may have in carrying out said will and all the suits now on hand where there is no counsel employed.

Witness my hand & seal this the 12th day of January 1873.

s/s James Draper {Seal}

Attested: J. T. Hogg, D. K. Fink, L. C. Hall [all signed]

Signed, sealed & delivered in the presence of the above Witnesses"

Complaint will further show he as Executor of said testator undertook to execute said will... upon investigation found the title to most of the land was encumbered by purchase money [due], some to have been sold in pursuance to condemnation & order of sale of the circuit court of Jackson County & the time for redemption expired... impossible to comply with bequests... or execute said will as directed.

James Draper disposed by will the Lee tract of land where he lived to daughter Sarah Draper grand daughter Mary J. Washburn & grand son James A. Montgomery... Complainant will show that land was purchased by Cora E. Craige in her lifetime who was the widowed daughter of Testator - of Rebecca Lee and Alferd Lee who resided in Davidson County... the deed of conveyance was made by the said Rebecca Lee wife of Alfred Lee and her children to the said Cora E. Craig, who was the mother of the defendant Nannie J. Craig a minor with Robert A. Cox her guardian.

Concerning the bequest of James Draper to daughter Henryetta P. Ford the wife of Charles R. Ford of the town lots in Cookeville... these lots were purchased jointly by Testaor & Charles R. Ford... The Testator paid one payment... subsequently sold for a Vendors lien.

Land is not enough to pay debts... many debts & claims against the estate.

Anderson Sneed... the vendee of a tract of land... that he purchased of Testator...

Executor sold land in District 11 on Flynns Creek to John A. Durham for $900.50 1st October 1873... took notes due 1 January 1875 of $450.27 1/2 and 1 January 1876 of $450.27 1/2... has paid to this complainant as Executor about $300 and no doubt will pay the balance.

NOTICE OF DEPOSITIONS to be taken 29 November 1886 at residence of James J. Stamps in Dist. 1, Jackson Co. of J. M. Richmond, L. M. Cason, Z. M. Young, D. K. Fink, Wesley Allen, Harriet Reed, Eliza Draper, Mary J. Anderson, Alexander Nevill, Alfred Cornwell and continue day to day... this November 22, 1886.

s/s D. K. Fink

DEPOSITIONS 29 November 1886:

D. K. Fink [No age given]. I am a party to this suit, have been a physician about 34 years... had been for 22 years when this suit was brought. Knew James Draper, had a large family including grandchildren... was in very bad health. I was his physician from 1860 to his death in 1873... recovered a judgment for services. I bid off the land.

I lived in Gainesboro in 1867 and James Draper lived about 5 1/2 miles away. In 1868 I lived at Gainesboro and James Draper lived on the W. H. Botts place about 2 1/2 miles away. In 1870 I lived at Flynns Lick and James Draper lived at Joshua Haile's place about one-fourth mile. In 1872 I was at Gainesboro and James Draper lived at the Lee place five miles away. In 1873 I lived in Gainesboro and James Draper lived at the Lee place where he died.

Question: When did James Draper come to Gainesboro and begin working regularly with R. A. Cox in the Clerk & Master's office.

Answer: I do not know.... I know he was there 1867-8-9 off and on.

Q: What Medical College did you attend? Did you receive a diploma?

A: I never attended Medical College - never received a diploma. I read medicine with John R. Young in Green County in East Tennessee the years 1848-9. Young was a practicing physician.

I read Bell's Anatomy, Turner's Chemistry, read work on Physiology, Eberlee & Duese on the practice of Medicine and Cooks Practice, Deuse [or Durse] on female Practice and mid wifery, Eberle's Therapeutics, Woods and Bache United States Dispensatory... studied Taylors Jurisprudence and a work on Phrenology... other books I can't recall.

s/s D. K. Fink

L. M. Cason [No age given]. Knew James Draper in his lifetime... knew part of land in controversy... November 1869 I heard D. K. Fink tell Ples Riley to quit hauling timber off his land or he'd put the law to them... adjoining N. P. Haile's land.

s/s L. M. Cason

Z. M. Young [No age given]. Am acquainted with D. K. Fink, knew James Draper. I have been a physician 18 - 20 years.... regard Fink a good practitioner... any kind of sickness. I was elected Revenue Commissioner for Jackson County in 1872, served 12 or 13 years... collected taxes from D. K. Fink.

s/s Z. M. Young


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