Sunday, July 17, 2005

Reuben Jackson, Obion Co., TN Court Records

I've recently arranged for someone to send me copies of the estate records of Reuben Jackson of Obion County, Tennessee.

I already know quite a lot about Reuben.

That he lived in Wilson County, Tennessee in 1820.
Obion County, Tennessee in 1830 and 1840.
That he was a saddler in the War of 1812.
That he had owned a lot of land in Obion Co., TN.
That he'd been married twice and had 15 children.

So I wanted to see if he had a left will, etc.

As it turns out, he died intestate and there are lots of interesting documents to be seen. One of which reads:

[Pg. 537, Dec Term 1844]

It appearing to the satisfaction of the court that Reuben
Jackson, Jane Jackson, Samuel Jackson, Robert Jackson and
George W. Jackson are minor orphans of Reuben Jackson
Deceased and that they are under the age of Fourteen
years and that they have an estate that needs attention +c
thereon James N. Cullum moved the court to appoint him
guardian of said minor children. It is therefore ordered
by the Court that said James N Cullum be appointed
Guardian of said minor orphans upon his entering
into Bond, and security as the Law directs. Whereupon the
said James N Cullum came into court and entered into
Bond in the sum of Twenty four Hundred Dollars. con=
ditioned as the law directs, with Thomas Sales Alfred
McDaniel and Everett H Verhin his securites all of which
was examined and recieved by the court and ordered to be
recorded which is done accordingly

I was excited to see "George W." listed.

I had guessed that the Jane and George Jackson living with Mary Jackson Davis in 1850 were her siblings, though George was not listed in the family bible. This document seems to have proven my guess to be correct. I transcribed it eagerly.

But upon further reflection the whole thing seems quite strange.

In terms of transcribing, the only difficulty was the word "Fourteen" which really couldn't be anything else, but doesn't look too terribly much like Fourteen. It looks like Toyrteen. Or Toynteen. But I think there's an superfluous mark under the "u", so, Tourteen? In any case, the Reuben mentioned was actually 22.

I can't imagine under what circumstances he could have been declared a minor orphan.

Their actual ages in December 1844:

Reuben 22
Jane 23
Samuel 17
Robert 15
George W. abt. 12

There's an older daughter Mary who must have still been at home who isn't mentioned. She was 23 and unmarried.

The estate sale was in November 1844. All of the children but George bought things at this sale. So did the security Thomas Sayles and, of course, James N. Cullum who was also the estate administrator. Thomas Sayles is listed with Reuben as one of the early settlers of Obion County. Everett Verhines and Thomas Sayles both lived in the same district as the Jacksons.

They had to know that most of those children were not minors.

What the heck was going on?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

An adventuresome relative

Meet Lewis Jasper Whittington Jefferson Powell.

Here's a nice piece I just found on his life:

"L. J. W. J. Powell, farmer, Booneville, Ark. One of the men who has contributed much to the development of Logan County is Mr. Powell, a prominent agriculturist of the same. His parents, Isaac and Sarah (Jones) Powell, were both natives of Georgia. They moved to Arkansas in 1844, bought land in Logan County, and there made their home. The father served in the Florida War, and was also in the War of 1812, fighting under Packinham at the battle of New Orleans. The educational advantages of our subject during his boyhood were limited, receiving only about ten months' schooling altogether, and in the spring of 1854 he went to California, where he was engaged in mining and farming for eleven years. He then returned home by way of the Isthmus, after stopping for some time in New York and five months in Illinois. He began work on a mill, and after-ward bought, in partnership with his brother, 120 acres of land, where he remained about six years. He improved about eighty acres, erected a house and other buildings, and made many other important changes. He then sold this land and bought 160 acres of Government land, having at the present time about sixty acres of this cleared. Aside from the large crops of cotton, corn and oats that he raises, he is also engaged in raising a good grade of cattle and hogs. Mr. Powell was married in December, 1868, to Miss Frances T. Lyons, a native of Arkansas, and the daughter of John and Rebecca Lyons. Mrs. Powell died in 1869, leaving one daughter, Rebecca Endora, now the wife of H. H. Ozier. In 1871 Mr. Powell was wedded to Miss Mary Jane Cox, a native of Missouri, born in 1847, and daughter of Joseph and Caroline Cox. The fruits of this union have been ten children, eight of whom are living: Alice May, Oceola Mark, Arthur Lee, Alberta, Louisa Ellen, Rosa Viola, Oscar Randolph and Ernest Lester. Mr. Powell is a member of the A. F. & A. M., Lodge No. 247, at Booneville, and he and his estimable wife are members of the Christian Church, of which he has been deacon."

After the long overland journey there, he made the same choice coming back from California that Mark Twain did: to take the boat.

The sad part of the story is his first wife dying so young. The really pleasing part about his mentioning it here is that, falling as their marriage did between censuses, I had no record of her name.

See Lewis's entry at Randall Powell's Powell Family Pages.