Thursday, October 31, 2013

Notice of Fall Meeting 2013

Beep... Beep... Beep....Breaking News

The fall meeting has been scheduled for THIS Sunday. Yes, I said this Sunday at 2:30 at the Ooltewah Methodist Church.

David Knicely will lead a discussion on Dead Man's Cut and how it got its name. We hope to include everyone in the discussion. So bring your stories and photos with you.

This is a perfect discussion on the weekend after Halloween when the James County Spirits are still roaming around.  MAUHhahaha  (Hear it Here!)

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Very Tiny Moon

I have been the very happy recipient of one of many remarkably kind persons who are sharing their "stash" of James County ephemera. The people who have been sharing with the Historical Society via me have been amazing. When information is shared, everyone is a winner. There is very little documentation left concerning James County, so when items are shared, it adds to the puzzle that is James County. These ephemera items help to tell the story of our lost county. Thanks to all of you who are sharing James County with the rest of us.

One of the items, I'd like to share with all of you. This one really intrigued me on many levels. Firstly, the advertisement for Mellin's Food, is a brand that I had not heard of. Secondly, who is this little girl, named Idella Mae Moon from  Norman, Tennessee? Thirdly, I had never heard of "The National Magazine" before.

The Advertisement

From the Archives of Mitch Kinder

Department of Progressive Advertisers
for the BABY

Idella Mae Moon,  Norman, Tenn.,  a Mellin's Food Baby

A discouraged young mother wrote to us the other day and asked, if we really believed that Mellin's Food would help her baby. She said that she had already tried many different foods and methods, and baby was steadily growing worse.
We told her that we felt sure that Mellin's Food would help her baby, and we sent her a Sample Bottle of Mellin's Food and our beautiful book, "The Care and Feeding of Infants." We also told her just how to prepare the first few feedings of Mellin's Food and how to continue.
Now she writes that baby is doing splendidly .[S]He gains steadily, is happy all day long and things couldn't be better
How about your little one? Let us send a Sample Bottle of Mellin's Food and the Book to you. Both are FREE. We know you ought to have them.

Mellin's Food Company                                                                                   Boston, Mass.

Don't fail to mention "The National Magazine" when writing to advertisers.

The Magazine

Let's start with The National Magazine. What is this magazine? When was it published? That will help us to establish the date of this advertisement. Joe Mitchell Chapple bought The Bostonian in 1896. He gave the magazine a new name and a new vision. In November of 1896, the magazine became known as The National Magazine. The name change signified the transformation from regional topics to those of national interest. This allowed for more general and broader topics to be published. It was written for the average reader and cost only 10 cents.The articles included primarily American subjects, then foreign topics that were deserving of our attention were added. It was highly illustrated and also included many short stories. Topics relating to women were also authored by women. An innovative idea at the turn of the century.
Examples of a few of the covers from the magazine are shown below. You can read an example of this magazine here.

provided from Wikimedia Commons

The Mellin Baby Food

Gustav Mellin was a chemist from London, England. He took the difficult formula from another chemist and perfected it to a degree where an average mother just needed to add water and milk to create a baby formula for mothers who could not nurse their babies. It was an extract of malt and wheat that could be kept in a clean and dry environment. This allowed the food to have a shelf life and be mobile to accommodate the lifestyle of the family. It was said that the food "would produce firm flesh, strong limbs, sound teeth and healthy bodies that defy disease."  It was touted to give cow's milk all the nutritional value of breast milk. Later, the firm located a center in Boston to distribute the food to a worldwide market. This move was a very successful marketing tactic. The American market was open to a product of this type.

Credit: Science Museum London

Before Gerber babies ever appeared in the marketplace, Mellin Food conducted another successful marketing tactic with their advertising campaign. A Mellin Food advertisement typically displayed a picture of a healthy child and a glowing letter of endorsement from the child's mother. The ads covered all forms of media, mostly magazines. Each advertisement showcased a different photo of a beautiful child, their names and locations, sometimes the parent's names, and a testament to the product. By 1890, Mellin Food became the most popular infant food on the market. There are many examples of these on the internet, especially e-bay. Here are a few other examples of these Mellin babies. E-bay has the same advertisement you see above with Idella Mae Moon and the magazine is dated 1907.

The Baby Moon

Idella Mae Moon was born on the 23rd of February, 1906 to Abner Lafayette and Laura Moon in James County, Tennessee. She was eldest of 4 children. The Moon family lived and farmed in the same area their entire life, but the political address changed during the James County era: from Hamilton County to James County and back to Hamilton County again. In fact, the Moon family lived in an area where the name of the town also changed. It began as Norman's Store, then the name changed to Norman, then to Work, then to Friendship.  The Friendship community lies south of the Salem community and bordered the Tennessee River on the west. This land contained rich, river bottom farmland. 

The earliest known settlers into the area were William Denny, William T Moon, several other Moon families, and Simeon M Eldridge. Some of the other settlers in the area were Ford, Cooley, Thatcher, Rains, Irwin, Norman, Priddy, Henry, Malone, and McCreary.

Idella Mae married Marlin Rigsby between 1930-1935.They lived in the Hwy 58 area and she was a school teacher/librarian. She later married R L Kelley and lived in Ooltewah. She was the Ooltewah High School Librarian for many years. She died in 1997 at 91 years of age.. Although there may be information on the early Moon's, there is not much more known about the life of Idella Mae Moon, but we do know, that for a short while, she was the face of Mellin Foods.

If anyone knows any information that they would like to add concerning this story and the life of Idella Moon, please contact me with a message or comment below.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Working on Something New

As you have noticed, I have not been busy researching and writing on this blog for awhile.  I apologize for that. But I believe you will understand after I tell you what I have been working on.

Several of you have asked me when meetings for James County are and where they are located. I believe that I keep you well informed. You can find the answers to those questions on the Facebook page and on this blog. I have also been asked when the other meetings around town are? "Tell me about Chattanooga Delta Genealogy Society or Chattanooga Area Historical Society." How does the public find out about meetings, lectures, workshops, etc. that various organizations have around town? I might add to that...What events are just a day trip away? What does Atlanta, Birmingham, Knoxville, Nashville and all points in between have to offer to genealogists and historians, as well.

So... how do you and I find out what events and activities are open to the public? Well, I have come up with a solution. I have been working on a website that has an embedded calendar on it that these organizations have full access to for notifications. Along with that, there will be a corresponding blog that will give you a full description of that particular event.

My answer is : History Connection Events

I am contacting historical organizations and societies, genealogy societies, speakers, clubs, etc. and sharing with them this opportunity to become involved in this calendar of events.  There are many of these organizations in our vicinity. This will take awhile to get this website working at its full potential. If you know of any such organizations that would like the option to participate in this endeavor, please have them contact me and I will get them involved immediately. This is a win-win situation for all involved. The public will now know about a scheduled activity in their area, societies will be able to announce their events and speakers will be able to announce that they are speaking at a certain location and advertise the engagement.

Check this out and make a comment as to whom you would like to see advertise their events here and I will see if I can make it happen for you.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Teddy Stops in Ooltewah

President Obama flew into Chattanooga the other day to visit our new Amazon distribution center and speak to the local community. However, this is not the first time that a President has come to our area. A local James County man had an encounter with President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt in 1902. Remember, at this stage of history, the President traveled across country by train and Chattanooga was a prime location for changing directions and destinations. The depots between Chattanooga and Ooltewah were only 30 minutes apart. It was very easy to make a quick stop in Ooltewah.

The article listed below  is dated November 21, 1902 and was in the Daily Illinois State Register from Springfield, Illinois, on page 4. I have highlighted the section about the Ooltewah citizen. Anybody know who this person is? It might be part of your family lore. This story must have been passed down the generations, its too good not to be a favorite story around the holiday table. Let me know if you have any idea who the famed mountaineer from James County is.

Teddy is Hastening Home

Homeward Journey was without special incidents

Fast time was made over Southern Road Through the Mountains - President let school children see him in Virginia

Asheville, NC   Nov 20  President Roosevelt's special train arrived here at 4:10 tonight and left fifteen minutes later. The President made no formal speech, but shook hands with a number of citizens.

The President's homeward journey today was without special incident. The ride across the mountains over the southern road was made in fast time. The train stopped only to change crews and engines.

It's coming was generally announced, but there were small gatherings at many of the stations through which the train passed.

At Stevenson, VA about 6 am , fifty school children gathered around his car and begged the porter to let them see the president. The president who had just gotten up, heard their cries, and rather than disappoint the little ones, he stepped to the door in his stocking feet and said: "Good morning," just as the train drew out.

At Ooltewah Junction, where the train stopped for water, a tall, haw-boned mountaineer engaged the president in conversation.

The Tennesseean remarked that the bears in the Mississippi had proved too wild for the president. "Perhaps they were democratic bears and took to the woods upon my arrival," replied the president smiling.

Friday, July 19, 2013

James County in 1882

Below is a description of James County taken from the Handbook of Tennessee in 1882;
pages 95-96. It was prepared by A. W. Hawkins, the Commissioner of Agriculture, Statistics, Mines and Immigration.

James County

"County Seat, Ooltewah, with 263 inhabitants. Other towns are, Birchwood and Harrison. The Tennessee River separates James from Hamilton county. Other streams are Wolftaver, Long Savannah, Grasshopper and Gunstock. Water power, good; timber good; oak, pine, poplar, hickory, walnut, etc.

The surface of the country is broken and irregular, with considerable valleys of fine airable land. The minerals are coal, iron and lead; the two former of which are mined to a considerable extent, giving employment to about 100 hands. Ther iron ore is the fossiliferous red hematite and exists in large quantities. The coal is of good quality. The agriculture products are corn, wheat, oats, rye, barley, hay, tobacco sorghum, potatoes, peanuts, etc. There are two high schools at Ooltewah and one at Harrison. The churches are Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian.

There are thirteen manufacturing establishments in the county, with a capital of $100,00.

The taxes on $100: for schools, 20 cents; roads, 10 cents; county purposes, 35 cents."

It has some very interesting facts.
- Gunstock Stream...I need to find this and tell you about it.
- What does the 1880 census say about how many inhabitants lived in Ooltewah? The United States Census for Ooltewah for 1880 show 263 residents. You can read all about here and then again here.
- Let's find out about the churches and high school.
- 13 manufacturing establishments in the county... What were they?
- In 1882, taxes were 65 cents on every $100.We will get into the taxes at a later date.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Halley's Comet

On May 18, 1910 Haley's Comet was visible by all of the citizens of James County and the surrounding areas. One Hundred and Three years later, there has only been one other time where this comet was visable.
(Don't miss the comments below by some of the townsmen in Michigan about the comet. They are just too funny to pass up.)

courtesy of
taken May 29, 1910 during its approach


Halley's Comet] is the best-known of the short period coments and is visible from Earth every 75–76 years. Halley is the only short-period comet that is clearly visible to the naked eye from Earth, and thus the only naked-eye comet that might appear twice in a human lifetime. Other naked-eye comets may be brighter and more spectacular, but will appear only once in thousands of years.

The 1910 approach, which came into naked-eye view around 10 April through the 20th of April.  This was notable for the reason that it was the first approach of which photographs exist. Furthermore, the comet made a relatively close approach, making it a spectacular sight. Indeed, on 19 May, the Earth actually passed through the tail of the comet. It was claimed that, when Earth passed through the tail, the gasses from the comet "would impregnate the atmosphere and possibly snuff out all life on the planet."  This pronouncement led to panicked buying of gas masks and quack "anti-comet pills" and "anti-comet umbrellas" by the public. In reality, as other astronomers were quick to point out, the gas would be so diluted that the world would suffer no ill effects from the passage through the tail.
The comet was also fertile ground for hoaxes. One that reached major newspapers claimed that the Sacred Followers, a supposed Oklahoma religious group, attempted to sacrifice a virgin to ward off the impending disaster, but were stopped by the police.

American satirist and writer Mark Twain was born on 30 November 1835, exactly two weeks after the comet's prior orbit. In his autobiography, published in 1909, he said,
I came in with Halley's comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.'
Twain died on 21 April 1910, the day following the comet's subsequent orbit.

Halley's 1910 apparition is distinct from the Great Daylight Comet of 1910, which surpassed Halley in brilliance and was actually visible in broad daylight for a short period, approximately four months before Halley made its appearance.*

*the information provided above by

Times-Picayune, New Orleans, LA; May 22, 1910; page 3
Genealogy Bank

Below is part of an article from The Kalamazoo Gazette, Tuesday, May 17, 1910; page 4

Kalamazoo People Prepared for Coming of Halley's Comet--Patiently Waiting for Arrival

Wednesday night at 11:20 o'clock the earth will dive into the tail of Halley's comet. It will remain there for two hours, emerging at 1:20 o'clock Thursday morning. What is going to happen to Kalamazoo people at that time? Here is what some of the comet students say.

J D Clement- Comet bosh: Way back as far as the ten hundreds, comets were fashionable and nobody's been snuffed out yet, guess there need be no worry, at least until Wednesday. Okay

H R Horton- That's right. It does happen on Wednesday. Hadn't thought much about it. Well if it does happen I will about as ready as ever.  Boring

A L Blumenburg- If I see that comet coming earthward at its advertised schedule of 31 miles a second, I am going to write to all my creditors and tell 'em  I will forward a check later written on asbestos paper.  A Banker perhaps?

E P Wilbur- Mr Halley's orphan will probably find me playing golf at the Country club when he or she (as the case may be) visits the earth.  My husband?

A K Edwards- I am going to put a lightning rod on the six-story store and conduct this heavenly tramp to the ground in safety.  Planning on going Back to the Future?

F P D'Arcy- When the comet strikes the earth I am planning to have it drop on one of our D'Arcy Bed Springs. It will then land easily and gracefully. Wouldn't that jar you? A salesman to the end.

Bill Orrell-They say that Halley's comet will strike the earth with a terrible thud- let her come-  my auto bumps have prepared me for anything in this line.  Yep, cars and roads were pretty bumpy in those days

Glen Hathaway- If  'tis true that there may be poisonous gases in the tail of the comet, I think I'll go to the lake with an oxygen tank for my own safety and pick up the large fish that will line the shore if this happens.  Is that cheating? What about the thrill of the hunt?

Mrs F C Russell- You can't imagine what a business we are planning on having as the result of the comet scare. Why, the women are all worrying so that they are causing many wrinkles and frowns. I have already ordered from Chicago two more operators to be here by Thursday morning ready to work at smoothing out these ladies' faces. What can I say...just too funny!

F B Crego- Have I made any preparations for Comet day? Yes, I have laid in a good stock of cigars. Hid them in a safe place , as I sure would dislike having to search around the town through an excited crowd, for a good smoke.  Is that my husband again?

C W Vanderbilt- I 'd like to find some means of bottling the gas from the comet- it would save coal bills in running my bake ovens. He was a restauranteur and a candy maker- can you tell?

W O Harlow- If it visits us, It'll find me singing "Buick" praises to the last. He must have REALLY looooved his vehicle

John Rose- A-H-W  them reports circulated in the papers by reporters about the comet make me tired- ought to hang you all for your nonsense. Bloomin' things been circling us hundreds of years and we're still all here and alive.  So true! No truer words have ever been said!

W P Major- Only hope that after the comet passes the swish of the tail will start some business excitement. Yet, I think it's going to strike alright but when we recover we'll be in a world of new ideas and can all take it easy and smoke our pipe.  Smoking seems to be the preferred past time

Well, now that you know all about Halley's comet in 1910,  relax, chill out and grab a smoke  some lemonaide, sit on your front porch rocker and be thankful that we are still here today.

Friday, April 26, 2013

May 2013 Meeting

The James County Historical Society will meet Sunday, May 5, at 2:30pm in the Ooltewah Methodist Church in the Sunday School addition for an unusual meeting.

J T Shadrick and others from the Whitwell Coal Miners Museum will present the program.

They established and operate a museum in the area.  We will hear about the history of the area and the local mining. They will also share the "how and why" they started their museum.

Everyone is invited and there is no charge.

At the meeting, two questions are going to be asked-- come prepared to answer:

Who is the oldest living person who was born in Old Jim County?
What are names and age of any living person who was born in Old Jim County?

6131 Relocation Way, Ooltewah, Tennessee

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Believe It of Not

How many people can lay claim to being in the Ripley's Believe It of Not book?  No?  Not me, either. But Frank W. Field, of Ooltewah, had many accomplishments to his name, but one of those accomplishments was being noted in the Ripley's Believe It of Not in 1939.

Omaha World Herald(Omaha, NE); Tuesday, November 14, 1939; pg 14
 Ooltewah, Tenn.
Legally Voted the Day Before
He Reached the Voting Age

This really piqued my curiosity. I decided that I was going to have to find out about this man. Who he was, where he lived, and how he came to vote early and do it legally? This would be quite an investigation. I was up for the challenge and looked forward to getting to know the man named F.W. Field.

All the information that I had to go on was that he was from Ooltewah, Tennessee. So I went looking for him in Ooltewah, but he was not there and had never been there, as far as I could determine. I eventually found him in Collegedale, just outside of Ooltewah. He was a part of the faculty for Southern Adventist College. Now I was really interested. Why would a man with these qualifications have done something like this and have it become nationally known in such a humorous fashion?

1928 Faculty Photo from the Southern Junior College Yearbook
Collegedale, Tennessee
His biography at the bottom of this picture states:
Mount Vernon Academy
Pacific Union College
Western Washington Conference

Frank was born in Wisconsin to William and Henrietta Field in November of 1863. What exact date, it does not say. According to the 1870 United States Federal Census, the family then made the move from Wisconsin to Clayton County, Iowa.

 I have not positively located the family in 1880, but I believe Frank is by himself, located in Sonoma County, California. He is 17 years old. This area is one of the first few educational locations for the Seventh Day Adventist. I believe that he moved here to go to school and study this newly sanctioned faith. His biography has him attending the Pacific Union College in Angwin, California. Prior to it being named Pacific Union College, it had been named Healdsburg College which was located in Healdsburg, CA. He actually attended college when it was still called Healdsburg College. It began operations in 1882, as the first SDA College in the west and the second in the United States. (Battle Creek College in Michigan was the first. It opened its doors in 1874.) All these areas in California are relatively close in proximity.

Healdsburg College (Pacific Union College) early years

A few short years later, in September of 1884, Franklin W. Field registered to vote in the state of California. Yes, you are right, if you do the math, Frank is not yet 21 years of age yet. (The voting age was 21, until 1969.) According to Ripley's, he then voted in the Presidential election on November 4, 1884. Grover Cleveland, a Democrat, New York Governor was running against a Republican, Senator from Maine, named James G. Blaine. It must have been very important for him to vote in this particular election. As we all know, Grover Cleveland won this election. Who did he vote for?

California, Voter Registers, 1866-1898 Record for Franklin W Field

Ellen G White, one of the "founding fathers" of the the Seventh Day Adventist, at first was against the principle of voting. She later came to understand that the people felt a duty to vote. This was a strong sentiment after the Civil War. So she relented and agreed that there was a need to be responsible citizens. Her recommendation was that they were always to vote "on the side of temperance and virtue." Now, history tells us that Grover Cleveland was dead-set against the temperance movement. I would guess that Frank felt a strong need to vote for James Blaine. To ensure his part in keeping Grover Cleveland from coming into the Presidential Office, Frank would vote earlier than legally allowed. He might have been urged by his church to do so.

Within 5 years, Frank was in Battle Creek, Michigan. Why you ask?  Battle Creek was very important to the Seventh Day Adventist. It actually was the location for their very first sponsored grammar school in 1872. The first college opened in Battle Creek two years later. 

Battle Creek College, Battle Creek, Michigan

While here in Michigan, he met a girl named Effie Stewart. They were both students at the time. I am assuming that they went to the SDA school at Battle Creek,  On August 8th of 1889, he and Effie were married.

At some point they moved to Pennsylvania, because their first child, a daughter named Ethel, was born there in 1894. By 1900, they are located in Morris Township, Knox County, Ohio. Their second child, Clarence, was born there in 1899, as well.  Frank is listed as a teacher. He must be teaching at the Mount Vernon Academy in Mount Vernon, located in Knox County. This school opened its doors in 1893 and became an important part of the SDA educational facilities around the world.

I have not been able to place him in the 1910 census. However, I show the family leaving Hong Kong on March 13, 1909  and arriving 18 days later into Honolulu, Hawaii. They then continued on to San Francisco and arrived on April 7, 1909. (The years before this must have been when he spent time in Japan.)  Their manifest has their destination as Washington DC. Where did they go from there, I do not know.

He was also involved in the Western Washington Conference of the SDA. This covers the Pacific Union College area. It serves as the church headquarters for leadership and spiritual training.

By 1920, they are living in Collegedale,Tennessee, teaching at the Southern Junior College there. It is now named Southern Adventist University. He had been on the faculty for a while and was well-respected. On January 18, 1923 the students gave him a surprise party and presented him with gifts as "a token of their appreciation of his long and patient ministry to them." How long had he and his family been in the area. I do not know, but he was their at the college before 1920 because his son Clarence graduated from there in 1918. He continues to stay at this location in James County( and then Hamilton County) until approximately 1935, when he and his wife retire to Sanitarium Blvd in Orlando, Florida.

Does he really retire or does he go down there to continue his work? The Florida Sanitarium in Orlando is a nursing college for the SDA.  He later dies there in 1944.

It appears to me that this gentleman was instrumental in laying the foundation of the Seventh Day Adventist movement. He was in California in the very beginning when Ellen G. White was promoting this new religion to the public. He was there for the beginnings of the important schools and universities. He traveled the world, on a mission to promote his faith. And he was here in Collegedale for the beginning of the Southern Adventist College and continued to stay involved in the promotion and education of his faith until his death.

I really came to respect this man of strong values and principles. His son, Clarence followed in his father's footsteps and was also on the faculty of the Southern Adventist College in Collegedale. He must have felt very strongly about voting against President Cleveland to ignore the voting laws.

Through this investigation, I have determined that F. W. Field was born November 3, 1863, 21 years minus 1 day from the 1884 Presidential election.

I have also determined that he must have had a sense of humor to allow himself to be portrayed in the Ripley's Believe It or Not book. The next question that I would like to know, is how did Ripley's find out about this indiscretion and were they given permission to print it?  Did he know that it would then be printed in newspapers around the country? Somehow I don't think so.

What a journey this man has led me on. If you know anything about this man and the life he led, please be sure to contact me. I am very interested in knowing what you may have to share.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Share and Fare

The other day, I talked to a group of ladies from the Home and Community Section of Family and Consumer Sciences about the history of James County.

I had not done this of any consequence before and I was quite intimidated. But, all turned out well. Everyone seemed very interested and learned some things that they may not have previously known.  Ultimately, that is my goal.: to have people walking out of the meeting more informed than when they entered.
There is so much to learn. The history of James County is not a widely publicized topic.  Most people have never heard of James County. And yet, the history of this area is very turbulent which makes it very interesting. Thanks to the James County Historical Society for allowing me the privilege of sharing the history of "Tennessee's Lost County."
Thanks also to the Home and Community Section of Family and Consumer Sciences for allowing me to speak and enjoy the lovely lunch afterwards. I also had the pleasure of  speaking with everyone about their experiences and answering their questions.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Ooltewah Flour Mill

Thomas Carter, Sam Brown and others applied  for permission to buy and operate a flour mill in Ooltewah, Tennessee sometime before the summer of 1913. Sam Smith must have been one of the other men who invested in the mill or there was an error transcribing the name into the logbook. It made it into a manuscript called The Iron Age on November 13, 1913.

They obviously purchased their mill and operated it for a short time. The purchase must have been just for investment only, because by August 13, 1913, the mill was being offered for sale. There was an advertisement for the sale of the mill in the  Booster Edition for James County. It appears that this was an existing mill before they bought it. If anyone knows who owned and operated it before Smith and Carter, please contact me and let me know.
This mill which was recently purchased by Carter & Smith is located one mile north of Ooltewah on Wolf Teaver Creek. By some repairs on dam this mill could be run 12 months by water power but at present is using steam power for lack of a sufficent dam to hold the water. Has a Chandler & Taylor 40 horse power engine and boiler in fair condition. Mill consists of four stands, built by Richmond City Mill Co. and they are in good condition, just been worked over and among other machinery has jarrator, reel, purifier, bran duster, in other words a complete 60 barrel mill. This is a fine mill stand and in a wheat growing section and not competitors nearer than Cleveland, Tenn, and Chattanooga, Tenn, a distance of 15 miles to each point. The present owners are doing well and the mill has not been on the market but owing to other business the proprietors would consider a proposition to sell same.
Address Lock Drawer C, Athens, Tenn.   for further information
They must have sold the mill soon after to  W.I. Newton.  He is listed as owning the mill in 1914 and again in 1923.
 W.I. Newton was born in 1876 in Bradley County, Tennessee near Cleveland, reared on a farm and was well educated through the public school system. In the fall of 1908, he came to Ooltewah and purchased a livery business from W. H. Howard. He also owned some mountain land which had a  year-round, flowing spring on it. The water was piped into the livery stable which was used for watering the animals and  cleaning the vehicles. This helped to create the first-rate establishment that he was known for.
"When we say that this place  is one of the best conducted and best equipped livery barns in a town of this size in the State we are only stating facts and it is run on strictly business principals at that. He has recently added a new Ford five passenger car to his livery service and is doing a splendid business with same."
Mr. Newton is a charter member of the James County Telephone Co., and lead the construction work of putting the system into service. 

The James County Times  Ooltewah Tennessee   front page     December 2, 1914  Wednesday


Southern Junior College Yearbook 1923 Collegedale, TN from

Friday, February 15, 2013

Jim's Big Day

James County Times, Monday, March 20, 1916; page 1

Jim's Big Day
April 3rd
1 County Court!
2 Farmers' Institute!
Have you ever attended a Farmers' Institute? If you have you will be glad to hear that you are to have one in your own county. The Agricultural Experiment Station of Tennessee University have been invited by some of James County's farmers and citizens to hold an Institute in James County.
April 3rd and 4th
Here are some of the topics to be discussed! Improvements of Farm Soils, Farm Crops, Live Stock, etc, etc. Look for program in next issue.
If your family was a farmer during the time that James County existed, they probably attended this special day. It was free and it educated the farmers how to manage their crops for better productivity.
The University of Tennessee was kind enough to send me a book concerning the history of this project, A History of the Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station by Thomas J. Whatley. Thanks to them!
As early on, as the the beginning of the 1800's, our agricultural society and government leaders would debate the issues on how to obtain a safe and adequate supply of food for our growing population. The railroads allowed farmers to transport their goods out of their immediate area to other areas around the county. The Industrial Revolution was creating a larger and more diverse population that required various forms of agricultural specialties. These debates by the leaders took into consideration the farmers themselves did not have the resources or the education to conduct the necessary research to meet the growing goals. The decision from the government was to create higher education that specialized in the fields of agriculture and mechanical arts, in addition to, the more sought after fields of the ministry, medicine and law.
President Lincoln signed the Morrill Act in 1862 that created a system of land grant colleges and universities where agriculture and the mechanical arts were part of the education roster. The Hatch Act, followed in 1887, that established an agriculture experiment station in each state and territory, as the primary agricultural research center. The government appropriated $15,000 per state.
In 1869, after the Civil War, East Tennessee University at Knoxville, which later became the University of Tennessee, was our state's location for the research center. The College of Agriculture was created, land was purchased, and experiments were conducted. "The objective of the Station was to promote the agricultural interests by practical and scientific investigations. Analyses were to be conducted of seeds, fertilizers, soils, minerals, drinking waters, and botanical determinations of benefit to the public ..." Later, dairy and ranching were added to the curriculum.  Agricultural societies were organized on a county basis. Farmers began to send in samples that were then analyzed. The University would then correspond with the farmers of that county the results of their research.
These farmers' agricultural societies across the state provided an opportunity for the "Station" to promote themselves to the farming communities around the state in the form of county conventions. Speakers would follow the railroads and travel from one convention site to another to give their discussions on agricultural topics. These conventions were usually well recieved by the farmers.The farmers would use these conventions to display their farm products and learn the latest agricultural information.
In summary: These county farmers' institutes were used to promote the adoption of the latest approved methods of crop production, the improvement of live stock, the conservation of soil fertility and the improvement of agricultural conditions.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Our Founder- Polly Watkins Donnelly

A few weeks ago, we lost an individual that was instrumental to the creation of James County Historical Society. Polly Watkins Donnelly, a retired teacher and historian, died January 25, 2013 in Florence, South Carolina after an extended illness. She was a long-time resident of Cleveland, Tennessee.
She was the founder of our James County Historical Society and was significantly involved in our publication of JAMES COUNTY: A LOST COUNTY OF TENNESSEE in 1984. We would like to thank her for all of her hard work. Without her, we would not be here today.
As an active historian, she was a Regent of the Ocoee Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution. She was also involved with the First Families of Franklin, as well as, many other historical societies.
You can read all about the wonderful life that she led in her obituary from the Morning News in South Carolina. There will be a memorial for her in Cleveland with a date to be set later. Rest in Peace, Polly.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

2013 Winter Meeting

The next quarterly meeting for James County Historical Society will be held February 3, 2013. The meeting will be held at the Ooltewah United Methodist Church in Ooltewah, Tennessee at 2:30 p.m.

Everyone is always welcome. It is always free.

Our speaker will be Doug Roy. He will present a program about the history of the Roy Family that lived in the area. Roy Lane, north of Ooltewah, bears the family's name.

Come learn about your neighbors and James County. Also, remember to follow James County Historical Society and "like" us on our Facebook page located here.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Out with the Old and In with the New

Before I got too involved with items that are scheduled for  2013, I thought that I would tell you what happened here in 2012 at the James County Historical Society.

Even though, I began the process to start the blog in 2011, it did not really begin as an educational tool until the beginning of 2012. I did a presentation to the society explaining the concept of social media and how this blog can keep people informed and educated. Since the beginning, in one year's time, we have had over 2400 hits on this blog. The stats show that almost all of the people that had found our site were actually searching for information about James County. Who Knew!  I can only think of a few instances where a search for something unrelated showed up on our site. Those are amazing statistics!

The most popular post was "A Mystery Solved" followed closely by "A Census Listing for 1880-part 1". Right behind were "The Crime of Lewdness" and "None Whatsoever".  Three fourths of the searches came from Google. Thank you Google for putting us at the top of the list for James County searches. The remainder of the people found us through Facebook, Geneabloggers or by typing in the name of the blog. Friends, these are amazing stats for the first year of the blog concerning a topic that most people don't even know about.

The Facebook page was then created. This also has drawn alot of traffic. It has been read by alot of people, even though there are not many "likes" on the page. When you "like" a page on Facebook, it automatically puts any posts from that person or entity onto your home page. You do not need to keep looking at it for new content. Every time the page is updated, the new content will be sent to your homepage. As the page gets more "likes", Facebook has special perks for that page. Let's start a campaign to get more "likes" in 2013.

I have begun to scan and archive some of the photos and documents that are in the Historical Society's possession. I also have begun to scan the same items that are in the possession of some of our society members and others that are willing to share their documented histories that are in their homes. I would like to personally thank everyone for sharing and being patient with me as I work on this project. It is a very large undertaking. I am looking forward to sharing some of these items with you in the very near future. If you know of anyone that has photos, documents, books, heirlooms that they would like to share, please let me know and I will contact them and get those items archived before something happens to them. Mother Nature is very unpredictable these days!

I have also been working on a new logo for the society that we can include on the blog, Facebook page, and brochures. The brochures that are almost done will be ready for distribution at the local libraries, workshops and other areas of interest around town. I will be posting a copy of the brochure here on the website shortly for viewing or printing. The hope is that more people will know that there is an active Historical Society and that we do have meetings. This should encourage more people to attend and will increase our membership. This will mean there will be more stories that can be shared and allow for more interaction between members. This is a win-win situation for everyone involved.

I have also attended 2 national conferences concerning genealogy and societies. I took many classes and learned about how societies are having to make changes in order to accommodate the growth in technology and a demographic change in its membership. You can read all about it here in my blog post. I hope to put many of these ideas into use in the coming year.

The other addition that I have included in this blog is giving you notice of some of the other historical and genealogical events happening around the area. This way, you could be involved in other parts of this genealogical community, as well. I have notified you of workshops, genealogy meetings, festivals, and conferences. I will continue to do this for your benefit.

I have many other pots in the fire and will talk to you about them later. But if you have any other ideas that you would like to see included, please let me know. Also, if you have any questions that maybe I can research, I will be happy to do it.  If I can not, I will put the question out on the blog and maybe someone in the this vast community will have the answers that you seek. Let's use this blog as a tool and work together.

Hope everyone had a great 2012 and will have even a better 2013!  Help us to spread the word  about James County.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Chattanooga Delta January 2013 Meeting

Tuesday, January the 8th of the brand new year of 2013 will be the first meeting for Chattanooga Delta Genealogy Society. The meeting will be held at the Rossville Public Library at 7 pm. I will be introducing you to the educational platform of a "webinar". A webinar is a class that is conducted on the internet through presentation slides. Topics of webinars can range anywhere from technology lessons to resources and databases.
Come see what new ideas and/or resources will be examined tomorrow. Look forward to seeing you there.

504 McFarland Avenue   Rossville, Georgia