STEWART (or Associations with Stewart) OBITUARIES

(year of death listed in parentheses)

(please also check the other Obituaries page)

BRIGHAM, Rev. D. A. (1889)
BRIGHAM, Duncan R. (1852)
BRIGHAM, Capt. James H. (1851)
BRIGHAM, William (1849)
DENNIS, Judson W. (1918)
FITZHUGH, Comer P. (1938)
FITZHUGH, Pinkney Preston (1939)
GEORGE, Joseph W. (1949)
IRWIN, Maj. David (1836)
JOYCE, William M. (1949)
LAWRENCE, Orlando P. (1894)
LOWRY, Thomas Daniel (1891)
MURPHEY, Minnie DUNLAP (1927)
PARKER, Charlotte DENNIS (1918)
SMITH, Mr. Francis (1835)
SOMERS, Dr. James (1874)
SYKES, Mary Annie (1941)
THOMASON, J. L. (1937)
VINSON, Edmond (1907)

D. A. Brigham (1848-1889)


"Man's portion is to die." One of the "twelve gates" has recently been opened for the reception of our much loved friend and pastor. Shall we say the keeper of this gate was ignorant of the sorrow this separation would give us? Did he not know the sacred and tender relation this dear man sustained, not only to the Christians of his own and other congregations, but also to all who knew him? Did not this keeper well understand the importance of his position in life and the great reluctance with which all would let him go? Yes, all these things were before him and fully understood. Not a single true desire or prayer was ignored. No harsh feelings existed between the keeper and any one left to mourn his departure. Every thing was duly considered and the good of all things taken into the account. Yet against our wishes, in view of the fact that many would be left weeping; seemingly against the interest of the church and mankind in general, the summons came, "Quit your work and enter in." What shall we say, and what shall we do? We can only walk at present surrounded by mysteries and wait for further developments of so sad an event. Not one word of complaint can we utter against Heaven, for Heaven doeth all things well. Father, into thy full presence thou hast taken him. The gate has been silently shut, separating him from us for a time.

We give, with slight variations, a short sketch of his life furnished by his brother to one of the Clarksville (Tenn.) papers:

The Rev. D. A. Brigham was born February 15, 1848, on Wells' Creek near Erin, Tenn. He was the eldest of nine children, of whom four brothers and two sisters with an aged father are now living. His early life was spent near Erin, and in 1871 he determined to enter the ministry. He began his studies at once, and in 1872 entered Cumberland University at Lebanon, Tenn. After graduation he was pastor successively of the following churches, all in Tennessee: Trenton. From there he went to Union City, then to Dyersburg. He came to Clarksville, Tenn., in November, 1886, and found a small congregation of about fifty. In 1878 he married Miss Ella Brackin, by whom he has had five children, three of whom are living. He remained the faithful and well-beloved pastor of the Clarksville church until his death, February 10, 1889.

To say Brother Brigham had no faults would be saying he was not human. To say his was a noble life, worthy of imitation, his constant desire being to do good and build up the cause of Christ, will perhaps be doubted by no one who knew him. Some peculiar and predominant characteristics of the man may not be amiss.

His was in the truest sense an active life. His activity was not alone of that general nature which is founded on the idea that action is the normal state of man. This he had in common with all men, but in addition he had an activity arising from a very energetic nature, an activity which carried him through the fiercest conflicts, pushed him out into lines of work where an ordinary zeal would fail. A very talented minister asked me not long since, "How is Brother Brigham getting along at Clarksville?" On replying that he was doing well this minister said, "Well, he will always be found trying." This decided energy, seasoned with the discretion he ever exercised, made his pastoral work very successful. To him the words work and success were synonymous.

His sociability was exceptional. Wherever he met a human being he seemed to regard that one as a brother. None beneath his notice. None so high that he feared they would consider it a condescension to notice him. A friendly handshake, a winning address, a warm heart, all conspired to make others feel at home in his presence. Shall we say policy was in much of this? If so it was that upper grade of policy which every true man must exercise to acquire that influence over others he should have. Beneath this policy was a current warm with love and sympathy to all.

He possessed a catholic spirit. Once when passing some men on the street he heard one of them abusing a minister of another denomination. He stopped and resolutely demanded that such abuse cease, as that minister was not present to defend himself. It did cease. Is not such a spirit commendable, although it may seem rather rough. A union of soul with Christ constituted a Christian with him, not a union of person with a denomination.

Another very prominent trait was his entire confidence that God was with him in every work. He believed his mission consisted in taking weak congregations and building them up. His practice fully conformed to his faith. Coming to Clarksville with a considerable family, he believed God would not forsake him, although his congregation was weak in every respect. With this unyielding confidence he began and continued until his church increased from about fifty to one hundred and fifty. Are we ascribing to him these traits because it is common to praise the dead, and we can not be otherwise than respectful under such circumstances? Only remember that at his funeral at least four of the pastors of Clarksville participated. Not half of the people who came could find room in the church. Doubtless not half came who would have come if they had known they could be admitted. A memorial fund of between one thousand and fifteen hundred dollars has been raised for his family, the greater part of which came from people of other denominations and from those not Christians. Why such universal sadness and respect? All felt a friend, a sympathetic Christian friend, had been taken.

Brother, thou art gone, but may we not be assured thou wilt be one of the heavenly messengers which shall encamp round about us? Must we think the gulf impassable between thee and us? No, by faith we may clasp thy hand in ours and even now have the benefit of thy presence. Wife and children of this dear one, weep not to excess, but let the same Father who has taken this one comfort you. Goodby, dear brother, till we meet again.

[Source: "The Cumberland Presbyterian," February 28, 1889, page 2]


   Died, on the 13th of Nov., 1852, at his father's residence on Wells' creek, Stewart co., Tenn., Duncan R. Brigham. Although he suffered; yet he was submissive to the will of Him in whom he put his trust. He was 14 years of age. He was a promising youth. His mind was of a strong and penetrating nature, not to be surpassed by many who were much more advanced in age than he was. Yet he was possessed with a filial obedience. The writer of this was with him during his sickness, and hd the pleasure of hearing him speak of the prospects of heaven.
   Duncan is with us no more. But we do not mourn as those that have no hope; for he complied with the word of God. He sought "first the kingdom of God and his righteousness," and obtained. He professed religion at a camp-meeting held at Wells creek camp ground in October 1851, and joined the C.P. church, in which he lived a consistent member until God saw fit in his wisdom to remove him to the church triumphant. He left an abundant testimony to all, whereof we are glad.
   A few days previous to his death, I took my seat by his bedside, and said to him, "Duncan, if you were to die, do you not believe that you would go to a better world than this?" He looked at me, and said, "Yes, I do.-"Yes, I do. O, I am not afraid to die." He talked about dying with composure of mind and told his parents not to weep for him. He asked his kind physician to let him know if he did not believe that he would die. He told him to tell him, for it would not alarm him. The physician told him he must. It did not alarm him the least. When the doctor told him to put his trust in God, he told him that he did, and was willing to die. He spoke of the pleasant scenes he had spent with his parents. He said to his mother that they would have no more Sunday talks. "Yes, my child," said she, "when we meet in heaven, we will have our Sabbath talks there, and we won't have to part any more." He called his mother to his bedside to converse with her about heaven and its blessedness, and also his aunt, to hear her talk of the joys of sweet heaven. He told her he would never see her again, meaning that he was now going to leave this world. Then when she told him she would see him again in heaven, a heavenly smile seemed to rest on his countenance. He said when in health he sometimes would not feel as he wanted to; but when he went out to himself and prayed to God, then all was right. This is the way for all christians to do. Prayer was his delight while sick, even till his last.-He loved to converse with his Savior, as all christians do. Duncan was willing and even anxious for the hour to come when his soul should take its flight into the glory land; for by the grace of God he had overcome sin, and the dread of death. "He that overcometh, shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
John McKinnon.

[Source: Banner of Peace, and Cumberland Presbyterian Advocate, January 21, 1853, page 4]


DIED--At his residence in Stewart co., Tenn., December 27, 1851, Capt. JAMES H. BRIGHAM. Bro. B. was born in Bluntsville, Sullivan co., E. Tenn., April 8, 1785. He professed religion some ten years since, but did not join any church till last August, when he joined the C.P. [Cumberland Presbyterian] Church at Centre Valley, in which he lived an exemplary member until death. Bro. B. has left a devoted wife and six children, together with a numerous train of relatives to mourn his loss; yet they sorrow not as those who have no hope. In his death his dear wife has lost a kind and affectionate husband, his childred a doting father, and his servants a forbearing master. His house was the home of the pennyless, where the poor always found relief. His home was a pleasant retreat for the servant of Christ--without distinction. "Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, from henceforth; yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them."
[Source: "Banner of Peace and Cumberland Presbyterian Advocate," March 5, 1852, page 4]


It becomes my painful duty to announce the death of an aged Elder of the C.P. [Cumberland Presbyterian] Church. William Brigham, the subject of this brief notice, departed this life on the 8th of Nov. 1849, in the 74th year of his age. He was born in a fort in East Tennessee, and brought up to active life, which enabled him to secure for himself a family, a sufficiency of the good things of this life. He professed religion in early life; and for the last thirty years has been a member, and most of the time an Elder, of the C.P. [Cumberland Presbyterian] Church. His house was always a house for the preachers, and for a long time, the place of circuit preachers, as brother Lowery and others of his day will doubtless recollect.--He lived a respectable member of the Wells Creek congregation, Stewart co. [In 1849 this was in Stewart County, today it is in Houston County]--He died as a christian, giving to his family and friends, in his last moments, the most satisfactory evidence of his acceptance with God. Thus we sorrow not as those who have no hope. May we all be thus prepared to meet death at his appearing.
Dec. 9th, 1849
[Source: "Banner of Peace," December 22, 1849, page 2]


Resolutions of Respect (1918)

We a committee appointed by Bridge Hill Lodge No. 113, I O. O. F. to draft reseolutions touching the death of our beloved brother, Judson W. Dennis, who was killed on the battlefields of France October 17, 1819, beg to submit the following:

Whereas God our creator and divine ruler, in his infinite wisdom has seen fit to cause us to change from Blue to Gold one of the two stars in our Odd Fellows service flag: Namely, Bro. Judson W. Dennis, who gave his life as a part of the price paid to save our country and the world from depotism.

Whereas our Heavenly Father has seen fit to remove his membershiip from this earthly lodge to a supreme lodge above where no membership is broken and God doeth all things well.

"From the ranks our friends are dropping,

Yet to memory they are dear;

Still in spirit we behold them,

And in dreams they hover near.

We shall meet them in the morning.

When our work on earth is done.

At the river-blessed river-

We shall gather, one by one"

Be it resolved by Bridge Hill Lodge No. 118, I.O.O.E., That we extend to the loved ones of our deceased brother our heartfelt sympathy, and that a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to them, a copy recorded on the books of the lodge, and a copy furnished the Dover Courier for publication.

This March 17, 1919.

James O. Dunlap

W. T. Suddarth

L. A. Weston



Date: 1938, 46 years of age (U.S. Government Hospital; Dawson Springs, Ky.)

Services: Fort Donelson National Cemetery by Rev. W.L. Armstrong (M.E. Church South-Dover).

Survivors: Wife Lyda Sawyer Fitzhugh; daughters Evelyn and Ruby; sons Preston, Billy and Bernard. Also father and stepmother Mr. and Mrs. P.P. Fitzhugh; five sisters: Mrs. Nelson Sykes, Mrs. R.L. Lancaster, Mrs. Ella Taylor and Mrs. Lee Timmons, all of Stewart County, and one brother, Scott Fitzhugh of Memphis.

Active pallbearers: Wilson Carney, Norman Wofford, Fitzhugh Lancaster, Elmore Givvs, Dewey Sykes and Eugene Taylor.

Honorary pallbearers: J.P. Weaks, Frank Stone, W.J. Weston, O.H. Keel, G. C. Hilliard, Robert Cunningham, Elmer Andrews, J. Ben Thomason, Harry Howard, T.W. Seay, Johnny Lovell and Corbet Wilkerson.


(can anyone help us with a date?); age 89.

Burial and services: Trinity Methodist Church. Rev. J.W. Nelson officiated, assisted by Rev. Jim Carson. Burial was in the church cemetery with Milligan Funeral Home in charge.

Parents: William and Priane Downs Rowlett.

Marriage: George Samuel Fitzhugh, died in 1919.

Survivors: Five sons, W.P., N.Y., and Steve Fitzhugh of Dover, Frank Fitzhugh, Paris, Arthur Fitzhugh, Akron, Ohio; and three daughters, Mrs. W.A. Lockwood, Mrs. Nora Pulley, Dover; Mrs. T.G. Thomas, Granite City, Ill., 38 grandchildren, 47 great grandchildren, and four great great grandchildren.

Note from Debbie Rosenbloom: Mollie Rowlett Fitzhugh was born in 1871 and died November 23, 1960.


Date: Died Dec. 8, 1939, aged 86.

Community: Trinity Community.

Date of birth: September 14, 1853.

Background: He had served Stewart County as Representative three terms.

Marriages: Missouri Whitford in 1874, who died about 15 years before. Later, he married Mrs. Kate Curtis Smith who survives.

Religion affiliations: Methodist Church and served as Steward and Trustee for 62 years. He was also a Mason for 63 years.

Burial and services: Trinity cemetery by Bro. A.C. Parker, pastor of the Methodist Church. Milligan and Ridgeway in charge of services.

Survivors: The wife, Mrs. Kate Fitzhugh by a second marriage; seven children by his first marriage, Scott Fitzhugh of Memphis; Mrs. R.L. Lancaster, Mrs. Nelson Sykes, Mrs. Bee Carney, Mrs. George Sykes, Mrs. Lee Timmons, all of near Dover, and Mrs. Ellie Taylor of Granite City, Ill.; one sister, Mrs. Zilpha Riley of Paris; thirty-two grandchildren, twenty-four great-grandchildren, and two great great-grandchildren.

IRWIN, Maj. David

Source: Arkansas Gazette, (Little Rock, AR) Tuesday, September 27, 1836; Issue 41; col E

Died: In Jefferson county, on Saturday 17th inst., Maj. David Irwin, aged about 55 years formerly of Stewart County, Tennessee. He was one of the most industrious, useful and respectable citizens of the county.


Source: Stewart County Times, Saturday, April 30, 1949.

Place of death, d.o.d: William Joyce died at the home of a son in Granite City, Ill., April 22, 1949. 

Cause of death: Heart Attack.

D.O.B.: October 31, 1866, Stewart Co.

Marriage: Mary Annie Sykes (deceased eight years), 1885

Personal information: Christian, farmer.

children; O.L. Joyce, Albert Joyce, and Mrs. Maggie Broadway of Granite City, Ill., Mrs. Katy Fitzhugh of Dover.  He is also survived by a large number of grand and great grandchildren.

Funeral services: Mount Presbyterian church by the Rev. J.R. Burtscher the pastor with burial in the church cemetery.

Pall bearers: Grand sons Earl, Harrol, living individual, Hobert, Hubert, William, Litton and living individual Joyce. 

Funeral home: Wiseman Funeral Home.

Note from Contributor: Note that the names of some of the grandsons were misspelled, my thinking being that HOBERT should be ROBERT, and HARROL is probably HAROLD.

Contributor: Debbie Rosenbloom

LAWRENCE, Orlando P.

At the home of his parents in Maryville, Tenn., Orlando P. Lawrence, M.D., quietly passed over the river to the Spirit Land on the 30th of May 1894. He was born in Stewart County, Tenn., in 1868, but spent the most of his life in the eastern part of the state. Very few young men of the Medical profession, enter upon their life work at the age of 22. At that age, young Lawrence graduated from Knoxville Medical College, and soon after as assistant physician, he entered the insane asylum at Lyons View. He not only became a special favorite of all connected with the institution, but had especially won the professional esteem of so distinguished a gentleman as Dr. Campbell, who is the physician in charge of that renowned asylum for the unfortunate. Not only did the young Dr. devote himself untiringly to the inmates of the institution, but was ever ready to give his professional service to poor families in that immediate vicinity. It was a great trial to the ambitious, young, physician to surrender his part and go to his fond parents, and there to watch the inroads of gastritis and liver complaint and heart failure and say to his anxious parents, “death has entered my extremities and soon all will be over.”

An only child of whom much was reasonably expected, highly estimated, eminently successful, aged 25 years, 7 months and 24 days, Dr. Lawrence closed his eyes to all earthly scenes and went away to enter upon eternal realties. He never connected himself with any Christian Church, but it is hoped the lessons of childhood had wrought into the reflecting young physician a source of his spiritual weakness to such a degree that healing virtues were transmitted to a heart truly trusting in Him who can save to the uttermost.

[Source: Maryville Times, Wednesday, June 27, 1894]


Lowry.--October 12th, 1891, in the city of Nashville, Tenn., Thomas Daniel Lowry, son of Thomas Jefferson and Mrs. Anna Lowry, aged six years, two months, and two days. The body was taken to Stewart county, Tenn., for burial.

[Source: "The Cumberland Presbyterian," November 19, 1891, page 303]


Date: October 1927.

Church affiliation: Tip Top Baptist Church.

Residence: Granite City, Ill.; born and raised in Stewart County.

Survivor: son Thomas M. Dennis, Tip Top.



Mrs. Charlotte Parker, wife of C.C. Parker, was born May 1, 1855; departed this life July 4, 1918, aged 63 years, 2 months, and three days.

She professed faith in Christ about four days ago. She leaves a husband, one daughter, two sisters, and a host of other relatives and friends to mourn for her. To those we would say, weep not , for your loss is her gain; just try and live the life she lived and some day you will see her, where there will be no more parting and tears.

Aunt Lottie, as she was always called, was a devoted wife, a loving mother, and kind neighbor, and was loved by all who knew her.

She bore her sufferings without complaining at God's will. She was laid to rest in the Dennis graveyard in the presence of a large crowd. Funeral services were conducted by Eld. J. W. Nelson. A Friend.


SMITH, Mr. Francis

[Source: "Cumberland Presbyterian, April 8, 1835, page 3]

Died at his residence in Stewart County Tenn., on the 18th of last August Mr. Francis Smith, aged 75 years.

He made a profession of religion in the year 1812, and joined the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. From that period until his bodily strength failed he uniformly manifested strong confidence in his God accompanied with the joys of salvation.

He possessed an unusual measure of Christian Charity. Sectarian prejudice had no predominance in his soul. As a father and friend he was very affectionate. With emotions of pleasure the writer remembers that when in the early days of his ministry, when distant from his father's house, he found a welcome in the dwelling of his father in Israel, and his holy conversation was precious as the dew of Hermon. Frequent ministrations of the gospel were the ardent desires of his soul and he seemed to say Lord send by whom thou wilt only let me hear thy word. In supporting the gospel he was remarkably liberal, and such was his zeal for the cause of his divine master, that although he lived in ordinary circumstances, at different times he removed with his family to the ground of encampment to support the worshiping assembly for days and nights in succession when there was none to assist him. His labor of love was not in vain. Notwithstanding when he embraced religion, his children ten in number were all on the road to ruin, seven have since upon profession become members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and one of them is a distinguished minister of the gospel. Is there not ground to hope moreover, that his prayers which have arisen to God's throne will yet be answered in the salvation of the rest, and will not the sight of whole families in heaven excite the admiration of saints and angels to all eternity?


Mr. SOMERS of Stewart County will be 100 years old next Feb…he cured his corn crop last season. (Whig and Tribune, 4 Nov. 1871)

SUMMERS, Dr. James, 101, walked into Dover Record last week and subscribed to the paper. (Whig and Tribune, 1 Feb. 1873.)

Obituary Source: Nashville Union & American, August 23, 1874


Source: Stewart County Times; Friday; July 25, 1941

Age: 74

Funeral Services: held Monday Afternoon. Mt. View Church at 3 p.m. with Rev. Carl F. Davis of Erin officiating.

Place of death: Home in Trinity Commmunity, Sunday.

Burial: Mt. View Church cemetery.

Husband: William Joyce

Parents: Late Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Sykes.

Children: Ten, eight surviving.   They are two Daughters, Mrs. Maggie Broadway and Mrs. Katie Fitzhugh, Dover; six sons Ottie, Boss, and Pet Joyce of Granite City, Ill., James , Arthur and Tiner Joyce of Dover.  Other survivors are one sister, Mrs. Lydia Dougherty fo Akron, Ohio, and five brothers, Lawrence Sykes, Marigold, Miss., Ollie, George, Nelson, and Henry Sykes all of this county, nineteen grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Church Membership: Cumberland Presbyterian church. 

Active pallbearers: Waldon Fitzhugh, Elmer Lancaster, Frank Fitzhugh, Allen Thomason, Frazier Riggins, and Bruce Whitford.

Funeral Home:  Wiseman Funeral Home in charge.

Contributor: Debbie Rosenbloom


Date: July 25,1937; Nashville hospital.

Date of birth: December 24, 1867.

Marriage and survivors: June 3, 1888 married to Allie Pace. To this union was born ten children, eight of whom survive, Mrs. Lillian Stimpson, Allen Thomason, Homer Thomason and Mrs. Ruth Lancaster all of Dover, Mrs. Gatcie Lancaster, Mrs. Howard Weston, Mrs. Claude Weston, all of Granite City, Ill., and Mrs. Winnie Boswell of Paducah, Ky.

Services: Rev. L. George of Granite City , Ill. Interment was at the Boyd cemetery. W.H. Wiseman, funeral director.

Occupation: Farmer.


[Source: Stewart County newspaper, April 1907]

We are very sorry to report the death of Edmond Vinson, of near Pine Bluff, this county, which occurred last Tuesday. His death was the result of the infirmities of age, he having passed the four-score mile-post on life's journey some years ago. He was widely known for his hospitality, especially by those who had occasion to cross the Tennessee river at Pine Bluff. If it was night or the river was rough so that it was dangerous to cross, it mattered not who they were, friend, acquaintance or stranger, they could always find lodgings at "Uncle Ed" Vinson's home.

He leaves two brothers, James of Tobaccoport, and Bayliss of District No. 8.

He was buried Wednesday by the Masons, of which order he had been a member for many years. He was highly esteemed as an upright man, for his fair dealings with neighbors, honesty and integrity.

The following additional information was provided by the researcher, Gregory S. Miller of Murray, KY.

"His full name was Edmond James Vinson. He was the son of Print Henry Vinson, veteran of Capt. James Gray's Company in the War of 1812. Edmond was born October 27, 1822 in Stewart County, and died April 9, 1907 in Stewart County, and was buried in the Vinson Cemetery near Clay Creek in the Between the Rivers section of Stewart County."

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