Friday, February 24, 2012

A Census Listing for 1880 - part 1

The 1880 census for the village of Ooltewah, James County, Tennessee dated the 1st of June, 1880 lists a population of 263 persons. The village of Ooltewah was in the 5th civil district.It was also the 61st enumeration district.  Below, I have listed the heads of household enumerated on  pages 1-6 of the census for that location.

page 1
Campbell, Richard
Lowe, Pleasant
Cowan, Andrew
Vest, Calvin
Wells, George
Vance, William
Childers, John
Berryhill, Andrew
Heaton, Jackson
McNabb, Robert

page 2
Crites, Isaac
Swoffard, Druzilla
Post, Sarah
Watkins, Reese
Hancock, Richard
Altom, John
Watkins, Tressie
Fuller, William
Collins, Frank
Green, Edward
Stevenson, William
Alexander, Loss

page 3
Childers, James
Chiders, Edam
Hugg, Joseph
Johnson, Benjamin
Wolf, Francis
Crane, Eliza
Roddy, Thomas
Nappier, Milton

page 4
Burley, Ransom
Wiley, Gustus
Hays, John
Perkison, Page
Sneed, William
Parker, Fannie
Stone, Henderson
Kinyan, Daniel
Gann, Adam
Moss, Alfred

page 5
Stone, Alex
McNab, Alexander
Taylor, Henry
Gibson, George
Smith, Samuel
Guthrie, Bruce
McCarron, Wilbert
Berryhill, John
Davis, George
Odell, Nancy

page 6
McNabb, Hannibel
Ragan, Jessie
Fitzgerald, John
Hays, Sarah
Cahan, Elvira

That is a total of 55 heads of household. The remaining 205 people are children and boarders. Stay tuned for more detail regarding this census.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Crime of Lewdness


Behavior that is deemed morally impure or unacceptable in a sexual sense; open and public indecency tending to corrupt the morals of the community; gross or wanton indecency in sexual relations.

An important element of lewdness is openness. Lewdness is sometimes used interchangeably with licentiousness or lasciviousness, which both relate to debauchery and moral turpitude. It is a specific offense in certain state statutes and is included in general provisions in others. 1

Now WHY? you ask, did I bring this up...
The 1880 census for the village of Ooltewah, 5th civil district of James County listed the Ooltewah Jail by itself, separate from the rest of the population. The county jailer, John Fitzgerald, and his sister and daughter lived on the premises. On the 1st of June, 1880, there were only 2 inmates at the time of the census taking.  They were Sarah Hays and Elvira Cahan. They were both listed as 20 year old, white, females. In the column for relationship, they were listed as prisoner. In the next major column, they were listed as having an occupation, profession or trade, of "lewdness".

Now, we can probably all guess what this occupation is labeled in today's society.We all have our own noun or adjective for this occupation. But, we must remember that the laws of 2 centuries ago are considerably different than the laws of today. 
 Before 1880, "the cases heard by the Circuit Court included those brought by the State for crimes against the people (criminal cases), and those between individuals (civil cases). Criminal cases included murder, unlawful retailing of liquor, lewdness, public fighting and theft. Most civil cases resulted from unpaid debts".2

Hmmm! Lewdness in the same category as Murder. Go figure!

1.West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round....

Leave Ooltewah 5:30 am
Leave Chatta 5:30 pm
Smith & Byrd Transportation Co.

    Ooltewah was the capital seat for James County. Today, it can take approximately 30 minutes or more to drive to downtown Chattanooga from Ooltewah on a 3 and 4 lane highway at the curreent speed limit. It's interesting to think how long it might have taken this bus to go the same distance on those tires and those roads.

When this picture was taken, the bus was loaded to full capacity. Judging by the use of the bus and the roads, it was probably full most of the time. During that time period, there were a vast number of jobs in the manufacturing industry in Chattanooga. It is difficult to tell from this picture whether these gentlemen were in the manufacturing industry. However, it is safe to assume that they were en route to or from their occupation.

The picture does give us some clues. They must be in Chattanooga on their way home. Regardless of the time of year, it would be very dark at in the morning. Hence, they could not be in Ooltewah. Since it is still daylight, it must be in the afternoon.  The sun appears to be relatively high in the sky, judging by the shadows, which leads us to the conclusion that it is probably summertime. Also, judging by the lack of heavy coats and the open windows on the bus, again, it probably is summertime. A Google Image search reveals that this bus is dated approximately 1920. I could not find any information relating to the Smith and Byrd Transportation Co. The final conclusion is that this picture was taken around 5:30 pm in Chattanooga during the summer circa 1920.

If anyone has information concerning today's post, please contact us. We would love to hear about it and post the additional information here for everyone to see.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Upcoming Meeting

Come Join Us

Society meetings are held quarterly. The next meeting is Sunday, February 5th at 2:30 pm.  It will be held at Ooltewah United Methodist Church, in Ooltewah, Tennessee.  Below is a map for your convenience. A presentation on Social Media and how it relates to the James County Historical Society will be addressed. Also, please bring any documents, pictures, newspapers, ephemera, etc that you may want to to share. We will discuss these items and scan them for use on the blog at a later date. We look forward to seeing you!

Take exit 11 off of I-75 in Tennessee. Go east on Lee Hwy (off the exit). Turn left after less than 1/2 a mile onto Relocation Way. The church sits behind a Bi-Lo Grocery Store.