Polk County, Tennessee
Family Biographies

Thanks to all that contribute their family biographies here!

Riley B. Womack

To submit your family biographies, please send to Connie Baumann.
The submitted bios must have a connection to Polk County, TN.

Christopher Lamanthus HOWELL was born February 15, 1847 in Polk Co., TN. Christopher was the son of Robert Nathaniel Henry HOWELL and Elizabeth NICHOLSON of Polk Co., TN. The 1850 census is the earliest census record found showing Christopher, 3 years old, with his parents. He moved with his father and family to Smith Co., TX about 1856. Then moving to Comanche Co., TX. On the 1910 census there is an indication that Christopher was in the Civil War. Christopher married twice. He married Mary Jane LOWERY February 6, 1869 in Smith Co., TX. Mary Jane was born 1854 in AR. Christopher and Mary Jane had two children that have been identified, Nancy, 1875 TX, who died young and William Lorenzo, November 17, 1881, DeLeon, Comanche Co., TX. One census shows that Christopher had 7 children by this marriage. In addition to the two listed here, there is a set of twins buried in Smith Co., TX that could be theirs, but the other three are still a mystery. His marriage to Mary Jane ended in divorce sometime between August 28, 1886. He married Missouri Ellen RIGSBY, September 26, 1886, Theny, Comanche Co., TX. Missouri Ellen was born August 31, 1865 in MO. Missouri Ellen died before 1910. Christopher and Missouri Ellen were the parents of Arlena born on June 5, 1887 in Brown Co., TX.; James born February 15, 1889 in Mills Co., TX; Joseph born February 15, 1889 in Mills Co., TX; Francis Elizabeth born October 16, 1891 in TX; Charlie born February 24, 1896 in Brownwood, Brown Co, TX; Ibb born December 15, l899 in TX; and Bessie born January 9, 1903 in TX. Between 1910-20, Christopher moved with one of the twins, Jim, and daughter Bessie from Jones Co., TX to DeBaca Co., NM. On all the census records found, Christopher's occupation was that of a general farmer. By 1910 Christopher was a widow. One of the twins, Joe also moved to DeBaca Co. with his wife, Mittie Elsie Milstead and their young children Loveda Clotilde and Byrl Clifton between 1913-1916. Mildred Jolene was born 1916 in NM and Charles Curtis was born in 1918 in NM. This young family did not remain in NM however, they moved back to Lubbock Co., TX by 1920 when they are found on the 1920 census in Lubbock TX where they homesteaded a farm. This farm is still in the HOWELL family today. Another son, Charles and his wife, Buna McCALLON, moved from Jones Co., TX to Lubbock Co., TX in 1917 then before 1920 on to Buchanan, DeBaca Co., NM. as they show on the 1920 NM census. Like the others, they moved back to the community of Smyer just west of Lubbock, TX in 1930. Some of the other children remained in TX. Arlena had married William L. JACKSON and Francis Elizabeth married Henry AUFILL and remained in TX. Ibbie, remained in Jones Co., TX for a while as he was on the census with his father in 1910 and then as a hired hand on a farm on the 1920 Census in Jones Co., TX census. Christopher Lamanthus died in Chaves Co., NM of decompentry of heart and senility January 27, 1929. He was buried in February, 1929 in Nienda, Jones, TX.
Submitted by Darlene HOWELL Tracy
394 E. Duane Ave.
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
email address: dtracy1124@aol.com

My grandmother, Laura Ann ARP, was born and raised in Polk County, TN. She met my grandfather, Francis Marion Gaddis, and they were married in Fannin County, GA (in the middle of the road near Mineral Bluff, according to grandma) on October 6, 1901. They also lived in Cherokee County, NC before moving to York County, SC and finally to Gaston County,NC.

Submitted by Jim McDonald
Email: pokeyman@mindspring.com

Biography of WILLIAM MARR (1812-188?) and Family For most of the 19th century Eastern Tennessee was home for my Marr ancestors. Records have been found that show my Marr ancestors of that period left the semi-civilized provinces of South Carolina and migrated to the Tenn territory around 1800 looking for a better life. They moved to what is now called the counties of Polk, Monroe and McMinn. They moved about the time TN became a state and was still home to many Cherokee Indians.

The Mars/Marr name can also be found on several geographical/historical sites in East TN the most noteable being Fort Marr. There is a "Granny Marr Mountain" shown on some maps as being about a 2600 ft peak on the Tn./GA line near Polk Co. TN. In McMinn Co. TN there is "Mars Hill Presbyterian Church" that was originally built about 1823. Whether these names came from my tree is unknown.

The Polk County connection for my family comes from William Marr b. abt 1812 and his family that were residences of Ducktown from about 1851 to early 1900s. To help understand their personal history, I have borrowed historical facts from the book "Ducktown Back in Raht's Time" written by R.E.Barclay which first printed in 1946 and combined them with the data found of the family records.

William was born about 1812 in Rhea Co. TN to Benjamin and Frances Marr. Benjamin and Frances later moved to McMinn Co and spent the rest of lives in an area called Williamsburg. William married a Monroe Co. woman about 1830 by the name of Angelina Wright and they first show up in the US Census of Monroe Co in 1840 as is shown in the census matrix below. The 1850 census shows William living next door to his brother Joseph or in separate houses on the same farm. A legal document found in the Monroe Co. Court House dated 1834 shows they borrowed money from a neighbor to set up a pig raising and whiskey making business. Some time between 1850 and 1860, William Marr must have tired of slopping pigs and he moved his growing family to Polk county where several copper mines had opened up and miners were needed.

The existence of rich veins of copper ore had been known for some time in this isolated section of Tennessee, but it couldn't be shipped to market profitably. In the early 1800's there were no railroads or even wagon roads to this mountainous area. All travel and commerce had to use trails only suitable for pack mules or oxen. Finally in 1853 a crude wagon road was completed between Hiwassee Town (today called Duck Town) and the city of Cleveland Tn, near Chattanooga, where there was a railhead. This rough wagon road allowed for a relatively large scale mining operations to began. The commercial activity picked up and immediately small villages sprung up near each of the several copper mines. The area expanded so fast that portions of Bradley and McMinn county were split off and the County of Polk created. The William Marr family shows up in the 1860 census as residents of the 8th district of Ducktown, Polk Co and all of his children are with him except for his oldest daughter Malinda who was now 22 and she most likely was married.

The significant child for my line is the one called Jonathan in 1850 and called Jasper in the next two census's. Angelina, William's wife probably named this child after her father Jonathan Wright. His will and probate are documented in Monroe Co and he left her a small sum of money (25 cents) when he died about 1850. Brother Joseph does not show up in the 1870 census because he married at the age of 19 and was shown in a separate household. The two new girls shown in 1870 could have been children of other relatives and William and Angelina were giving them shelter. The Civil War broke up many families and the many orphants were taken in by other family members. Angelina had a sister with the married name of Gray and Melinda Gray could be niece. No records other than the census were found to help document the 20 plus years William Marr lived in Ducktown. Many of the early records for Polk Co were destroyed in fires in the county court house in 1895 and in 1935.

The lives of the miners and the support workers in Polk county must have been primitive and austere. The Copper Miner's Museum in Ducktown at the old Hiwassee Mine depicted the dangerous and unhealthy working environment in the mines and several shaft mines were dug as far as 356 feet underground. To simplify the shipping of the ore, the mine engineers devised a copper purifying process that crushed the ore and then heated it in large open air vats to boil off the impurities. This required large quanity of wood and soon the heavily forested area around the mines were denuded of trees for fuel. The heating and boiling process created clouds of sulfuric acid which soon killed the rest of the nearby vegetation. By the late 1800's, the copper basin around Ducktown for about 50 square miles looked like the moon; completely bare of trees and brush. Also the sulfuric acid probably had an deleterious affect on the health of people living in the area.

There were 8 or 9 mines operating in the 1850-1860 time frame and the miners and their families lived in simple cabin shanties many provided by the mining companies. Some mine owners paid the workers in script which they could use only in the mining company stores. Large contingencies of Welch and German miners were brought in from overseas because of their experience in mining which made for a polyglot community. All mining operations stopped in 1863, in the middle of the civil war, when the Federal troops disrupted the rail traffic and a guerrilla type warfare enveloped the area for several years which killed many of the inhabitants. After the war the copper mines were slow to restart operations as all business in the south lacked leaders, organization and markets.

How the William Marr family survived without work and in a lawless country can only be imagined. However, by 1870 most mines were able to resume operations and the 1870 census shows Jonathan Jasper (JJ) as being a "mine hand" as was his younger brother William N. Young men frequently began working in the mines at age of 14. The only schools in the area were in session for 3-4 months and families were required to pay tuition. Apparently JJ never made it to school as he could neither read nor write at age 20 according to the 1870 census. He was too young to fight in the Civil War, however, his older brother Benjamin may have been a soldier because their are no further records of him after the1860 census.

The history of the Ducktown indicates that by 1878 a depression occurred in copper market and all mines were closed. Ducktown went into fast decline and many workers moved on. JJ must have married Rosanna Clementine Stuart by this time because we know that by 1880 he was working in the coal mines near Anniston, Alabama where his son William Monroe Marr was born Jan. 2, 1880. William Marr Senior apparently stayed on in Ducktown at least past 1880 because the census of that year listed him as 68 years old and classified him as a laborer. No record was found of his or Angelina's death or their place of burial.

As a side light, the 1900 census for Polk Co shows a Joseph Marr just the right age to be William Marr's son. Joseph had wife and five children and one of his boys was named Newt born in 1885. While looking at for graves in the Threewill Cemetery outside of Ducktown, a big tombstone was noted for a "Preacher Newton Marr", born Nov. 17, 1885, died Aug. 12, 1925 and his wife was Luna Morrow 1883-1925. They were the last known Marr's of this branch of the family tree in Polk Co although relatives of the Marr girls could still live there..

Submitted by W. J. Marr
Email: wjmarr@worldnet.att.net

ANDREW DIXON, believed to have immigrated from Glasgow, Scotland around 1819 or 1820 through North Carolina and settled in McMinn County. Children were Edom Andrew Dixon b. August 1825; Alfred Dixon, born in Sevier County (date unknown); Ann Dixon; Eli Dixon; and Elijah Dixon born in Roane County. There may have been other children.

EDOM ANDREW DIXON married Amanda McKissack b. June 1827.
Children were:
John Henry Dixon b. Nov. 1854 married Margaret Shields. John died July 17, 1911 buried at Tennga Ga. Liberty Baptist Church along with his wife, Margaret who died Feb. 11, 1911;
Jane Dixon b. 1850;
James H. Dixon b. 1856;
Mary Dixon b. 1860;
Catherine Dixon b. 1862;
Abraham Dixon b. 1865; Abby (unclear, maybe Ibby) b. 1867.

They resided in McMinn County until a portion of this county became Polk County. Edom Dixon served in the American Civil War enlisting in May 1861 and was sent to Virginia in the 3rd Tenn. Reg. (Lillard's) Mounted Infantry. He was severely wounded sometime in either October or November 1861 and was medically discharged from service in Feb. 1862. Edom is buried in the McKissack Cemetery located on a knoll above the Parksville Lake. It is accessable only by boat. Edom owned a grist mill located on the Syco Creek which emptied into the Ocoee River. The McKissack/Dixon land was inundated by the Parksville Lake when the dam was built.

JOHN HENRY DIXON, (Edom's son) married Margaret Shields (believed to have come from Cherokee County, North Carolina. They had the following children:
Elonzo Dixon b. Jan. 1875;
William Harrison "Buddy" Dixon b. Nov. 13, 1876, died May 7, 1935;
Zora Belle Dixon; Edom Dixon II b. May 1883;
James (Jim) Dixon d. 1911 buried at Tennga Ga. Liberty Baptist Church cemetery;
Luther Martin Dixon b. 1883 or 1885 in Murray County, Ga. d. April 7, 1963 buried Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Moultrie,Ga; Amanda Dixon b. April 10, 1887;
Henry Dixon b. April 1891 d. Dec. 19, 1911 buried at Tennga, Ga. Liberty Baptist Church Cemetery;
Katie Dixon b. Aug. 1893;
Juel Franklin Dixon b. 1897;
Martha Louise Dixon b. Feb. 16, 1901 born in Georgia.

LUTHER MARTIN DIXON, (son of John Henry Dixon), b. August 3, 1883 (or 1885); m. Minnie Howell. They had the following children:
Willie Belle Dixon b. March 26, 1909 in Murray Co. Ga. d. Jan. 1998;
Blanche Dixon b. Feb 16, 1911 in Murray Co., Ga.;
Delmar Dixon, b. Aug. 27, 1913 in Murray Co. Ga.;
C. L. (Clinton) Dixon b. Aug. 7, 1915 near Cleveland, Tn,.;
Ruth Dixon b. Moultrie Ga.;
Gladys Naomi Dixon b. April 7, 1926 in Norman Park, Ga.;
Edward Martin Dixon b Sept. 26, 1928 in Norman Park, Ga.

Submitted by Gladys Naomi Dixon Gunn
Email: gngunn@mx.gennext.net


Thanks to Rich Nallenweg for contributing this information.

'Index to TN Confederate Pension Applications', by Sistler, pg 204. Minerva Ledford applied for widow's pension #W1199 in Polk County. 'Supplement to the Official Record, Vol 67', James K. Ledford is listed as a 2nd Lt. in Co B, 29th TN infantry. The Company was stationed at Dalton, GA Jan-Feb 1864. This is consistent with James being captured In Murray Co 10 Feb 1864. 'TN in the Civil War, pt 2', Confederate Rosters, 'Ledford, James K. - 2 Lt. B Co. 29th inf.' Muster role sheets show he was promoted from Private to 2nd Lt Dec 1863. 'The TN Civil War Veterens Questionairre', Confederate, interview with John O'Neal of Polk Co, TN who was in Co B, 29th TN. He knew J.K. Leadford, Asbery Leadford, H. Leadford and Harrison Leadford. Interview with F.M. Kendrick of Polk Co, TN who was in Co B, 29th TN. He knew Jim Ledford, Asbery Ledford, Harrison Ledford, Walter Gossett and 3 Arthurs.

'The Official Records (OR) of the Union and Confederate Armies'. Battles that the 29th TN are mentioned in include:

RESEARCH TRIP: The Nallenweg family visited Chickamauga Battlefield in the Spring of 1999. Several monuments to the 29th TN were located and a map showing the location of these monuments was purchased. 'Old Home Place, Polk Co, TN', by Parish, states that on 24 Aug 1861 James joined the army of the CSA. He served with the 29th regiment, TN infantry, Vaughn's Brigade, Cheatham's Division, Hardee's Corps, in General Braxton Bragg's Army of TN. Lt. Ledford fought with this army from Shiloh in West TN back through Nashville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, and into GA. He was captured by the Union forces in Murray Co, GA on 10 Feb 1864. He spent the next year in the Fort Delaware prison camp in Delaware. This prison was almost as notorious for ill treatment as the Confederate prison at Andersonville, GA. He was paroled as part of a prisoner exchange on 27 Feb 1865. On 8 June 1865 he signed the oath of allegiance to the United States...

WALTON B. GOSSETT 'TN in the Civil War, pt 2', Confederate Rosters, 'Gossett, Walton - Pvt. B Co. 29th inf.' 'The TN Civil War Veterens Questionairre', Confederate, interview with John O'Neal of Polk Co, TN who was in Co B, 29th TN. He knew J.K. Leadford, Asbery Leadford, H. Leadford and Harrison Leadford. Interview with F.M. Kendrick of Polk Co, TN who was in Co B, 29th TN. He knew Jim Ledford, Asbery Ledford, Harrison Ledford, Walter Gossett and 3 Arthurs. "James K. Ledford's day book" says 'W, Gossett, mustered into service Sept 2nd, 1861'.

HIRAM ASBURY LEDFORD 'TN in the Civil War, pt 2', Confederate Rosters, 'Ledford, Asbery H. - Cpl. B Co. 29th inf.' 'The Roster of Confederate Soldiers 1861-1865', by Broadfoot, @ Raleigh Archives, 'Ledford, Asberry TN 5th (McKenzie's) Cav. Co E 'The TN Civil War Veterens Questionairre', Confederate, interview with John O'Neal of Polk Co, TN who was in Co B, 29th TN. He knew J.K. Leadford, Asbery Leadford, H. Leadford and Harrison Leadford. Interview with F.M. Kendrick of Polk Co, TN who was in Co B, 29th TN. He knew Jim Ledford, Asbery Ledford, Harrison Ledford, Walter Gossett and 3 Arthurs. Letter from Jon Ledford, 31 Jul 99, 'According to muster rolls dated Nov and Dec 1862, 1st Corporal Asberry Ledford enlisted 16 Feb 1862 in Murfreesboro, TN. It also lists him as 'absent, missing since the battle of Murfreesboro'. This must have been a re-enlistment, since the rolls for Jul and Aug 1863 state he enlisted 26 Jul 1861 in Knoxville, TN. Rolls dated 'Dalton, GA, 15 Jan 1864' states he died 1 Nov 1863.'

Lemons Family "A Sketch of the Lemons Family by L. H. Lemons" as hand written in Nov. 1953 before his death Dec. 1, 1953 at age 83: "My great granfather Lemons emigrated from a province on the river Rhine just before the American revolutionary war if I am not mistaken he was employed as a Scout for the american army. Levi Lemons my granfather was borned about the year 1785 in Pennsylvania Some where near Lancaster. The family finely seperated. Some going to the State of New York. Some going father west to the country now known as Ohio. Levi Lemons came South to Virginia and finely to Monroe County, Tennessee and located on the Tennessee river above Lowden Tenn. where he maried Pollie McGea a sister of William McGea who was a noted Stock breader of that day. My granfather had some brothers that came with him to Tenn one was named John one was named Thomas, and a brother who was a baptist Minister who located among the Indians at what is now Ducktown Tenn. My granfather had a large family I do not know all their names one William Lemons was borned in the year 1802, he was a Black Smith and a gun maker by trade he located at Irishvill in Polk Co. Tenn and raised a family I do not know all their names There was one James one John and Rubin one Houston John setled in Texas near Bonam. One girl maried Rector Davis later died and Davis maried her Sister. William lemons died 1884 was buried in the Benton graveyard Benton Tenn. My father was George Washington Lemons he was borned in Monroe Co.Tenn May the 15, 1815 died in Bradley Co. Tenn November 9th 1889 buried in Benton graveyard Benton Tenn. was maried twice nine children by his first wife who was Jane Price the oldest child was named James Blackstone the other Boys names was Augustus, William, George. The girls names Nettie Ann, Maniley, Amerine, Martha and Eliza. Second wife was Arie Ann Howell Taylor the widow of John Taylor one child was borned to this union and was named John Howell Lemons. Now to go back to granfather Levi Lemons, the only names of children I know are William, George, Samule, Isaac. William died at Benton Tenn 1884 George died in Bradley Co. Tenn 1889 Samuel went to the far west in early life do not know his whereabouts Isaac died near Spring City Tenn do not know the date of his death The girls names I do not know, one maried a man named Smith and moved to north Arkansas. one maried a man named Calvin Hodge and one maried a man named Iler and lived in middle Tenn. on Cumbelan Mountain, however one of the girls maried a man named Tolivet (?) in upper east Tenn" Transcribed and provided for posting by: Martha Davis marthadavis1@mindspring.com, descendant of Eliza, daughter of George Washington Lemons. My source: Lloyd Lemons lloydlemons@cybertrails.com, grandson of the author, John Howell Lemons, son of George Washington Lemons.
Submitted by Martha Davis

Return to Polk County

©1998,1999,2000,2001,2002,2003, 2004. All Rights Reserved. The information contained herein, and linked through these pages, may not be sold or used in any commercial project without expressed written permission.

This page is maintained by Connie Baumann. Last updated 05/8/2004