Monday, May 25, 2009

Thank you from Renea Wright Kappler - Amarillo, TX

I am Renea Wright Kappler, daughter of Reta Hudson Wright (1934) and Harold Levern Wright (1931 – 2003); son of Obie Wright and Thelma Johnson Wright (1905 – 1981); daughter of Joseph E. Johnson (1874 – 1939) and Ada Caroline Owen Johnson (1885 – 1981); daughter of Thomas Owen (1857 – 1937) and Martha Ellen Wade Owen (1861 – 1902); daughter of Adaline Parret McKeehan (1837 – 1906) and Silas W. Wade (1834 – 1902), son of James Wade (1803 – 1842) and Louisa Spradling Wade Brandon (1908 – 1897), daughter of Richard Spradling, Sr. (1775 – 1870) and Elizabeth Beaver Spradling (1807 – 1887).

Thomas Owen (1857 – 1937), son of Caroline Thomas (1830 – 1889) and Marshal C. Owen (1833 – 1892); son of Elizabeth Davis (1807 – 1887) and George P Owen (1808 – 1895). Caroline Thomas was the daughter of Jonathan Thomas (1800 – 1864), son of Jacob Thomas, II (1752 – 1824) and Louisa Shultz (1758 – 1822); and Jane Carmack (1798 – 1883), daughter of John Carmack.

Adaline Parret McKeehan (1837 – 1906) – daughter of Samuel McKeehan (1807 – 1889) and Sarah “Sally” Wattenbarger (1809 – 1877); daughter of John Adam Weurtemberger, Jr. (1760 – 1825) and Elizabeth Ferntzeler.

Whew! And I FINALLY understand how I fit into this wonderful family!!!

My first visit to Tennessee in September 2000 was incredible. Names were a blur, but love was all around me and I quickly fell in love with all my extended cousins that I never knew existed! It was only by the Grace of God that the lost “Texas Connection” found its way home to the gorgeous hills of Tennessee. I will be forever grateful to Paul Wade and the thousands of hours he has worked tirelessly on our family tree. I have come to admire, respect and love this gentle man. His family is an extension of his love and dedication.

I also want to thank Larry and Jerry Gayler, my 2nd cousins, who also spent untold hours researching our family history and heritage. Without their diligent pursuit, we may have never found these wonderful Tennessee family members.

Thank you for the May 2009 Reunion that, along with the bonds with certain family members cemented and memories burned forever in my mind’s eye, was another highlight in my life. I’m thrilled to know more about the Sultana and the truly amazing fact that these 2 Wade brothers lived to tell about their ordeal. Singing the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” on the sloping graveyard in honor of my Great-Great-Great Grandfather, Silas Wade and his brother Thomas, sent chills down my spine and tears welling in my eyes. They truly gave their all for their country and families.

I hope to see you all again some time, but if I never have the opportunity to return to Tennessee or see my precious family members again, you have each touched my heart in ways you will never know. I love you all and thank you for welcoming us – your long lost family members – with loving, open arms.
God Bless you!!! Renea


The "the old homestead" as it stands in 2009.
(W.D. Wade Homeplace)

The Soldier’s Farewell

By Fred S. Wade
(Written after receiving orders to report for duty in WW I)

It’s a sad time, my people, it is sad indeed,
This awful parting nearly makes my heart bleed.

Now when I turn my gaze, which is perhaps my last,
On this dear old dwelling that sheltered me in the past.

My heart becomes burdened with scenes of my youth,
The thought is unbearable, but alas, it’s the truth.

Many times I have sat around the old fireside
And beheld mother’s fingers, as the needle she plied.

But alas, I am dreaming, that day has long passed,
The fingers are molded, into dust they are cast.

Once again, my thoughts turn back to the scene,
Turn back to the fields, clothed in beautiful green.

I think of the days here in pleasure spent,
I feel thankful for the blessings, which God has sent.

Many days I’ve wondered over these fields so green;
Happier days my brother will never be seen.

Many times have we hunted o’er the valley and hill,
To seek Brer Rabbit, which we hunted to kill.

When the day was far spent, when our day’s hunt was o’er,
We would turn our course backward, to the old home once more.

When the winter days came our joys knew no bound,
We rejoiced at the fact that our old skates were found.

On the pond we’ve skated from morning till night,
When the old sinking sun heralded the twilight.

Then back to our homes all shivering with cold,
We returned to the fireside and heard stories told.

When the ground was all white with the beautiful snow,
Into it’s midst my dear brother, we were determined to go.

From morn until noon and from noon till night,
Together we’d snowball until our clothes were a sight.

All cold and shivering, all wet with the snow,
Back to the old fireside, again we would go.

To seek the warm comfort by it’s flames so bright,
And read fairy tales by it’s flickering light.

After supper we would gather in the old dining room,
And the games so delightful, we would eagerly resume.

When the games were all over, and we were sleepy and tired,
Up the old stairway to our beds we retired.

To dream of goblins and fairies so small,
To dream of great monsters and giants so tall.

But this is all over; it is only the past,
I gaze on the old homestead, now perhaps my last.

As the Wade family lived approximately nine miles from the train depot in Athens, a neighbor offered to drive my dad and grandpa to the depot. Along the way they noticed people waving and shouting, but did not understand why. When they arrived at the train station they learned the war had just ended and my dad was able to return home to finish his education and later teach school at Rogers Creek and also in Meigs County.

The W. D. Wade place at that time was covered with virgin timber, so my dad purchased a 1927 Fordson tractor (pictured below) to power Uncle Roy’s sawmill. With the help of Norman and Dexter and later Johnny, many trees were felled and sawn into lumber. Today, the old tractor sits in a shed on our farm, as if awaiting the return of its master.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Chattannoogan Article...

Jane (Peavyhouse) Jolley's husband Harmon, wrote me saying in part...As a sideline, I write local history articles for The, a local news service on the Web. If you go out to, you'll see the Sultana article link.

Family Reunion Remembers Survivors of Civil War Disaster

Steamboat Sultana Exploded April 27, 1865 on the Mississippi
by Harmon Jolley
posted May 18, 2009

Click to Enlarge
The Sultana, loaded with prisoners to be transferred, was photographed at Vicksburg. Click to enlarge.
It was a cool, damp day on Sunday, May 17, 2009 when members of the Wade family gathered for a reunion. The location was the Tranquility community in northwest McMinn County, Tennessee where some of the Wade ancestors once lived. The day began with special singing and worship at the Tranquility United Methodist Church. That was followed by a meal of barbecue, sharing of old photographs, and reconnecting with family.

That much sounds like many family reunions. What made this a special day, however, was that a page from Civil War history, and two Wade ancestors’ role in it, was being recalled as a part of the reunion. On April 27, 1865, brothers William and Silas Wade became among the minority of survivors of the explosion of the steamboat ship Sultana...

See The for the complete article.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

ReUnion Success!

Well I hope everyone enjoyed themselves while at the Wade Family ReUnion. As for myself, too many people and too little time to meet many of you, but I'm certainly glad you chose to come. It seems many of you left before picking up a packet of material we had prepared for you, so I'll be trying to figure out who didn't get a packet and mail one out to you over the next several weeks.

I'm still sorting through the new documents and pictures I have now as a result of you-all bringing in various heirlooms, but in time I'll try to post anything relevant I come across in my latest collection.

Today's jewel of a find is a picture of Richard Spradling (1775-1870), currently owned by Richard Land who lives not far up the road from us. If I am correct, we can all thank Nola Fitzgerald for taking a picture of Mr Land's original photo on her visit to Tennessee and then retouching it a bit on a computer to make it somewhat more visible.

This is the father of Louisa Spradling (ca1808-1897), who married James Wade (ca1803-1842) that fathered both William D. Wade & Silas W. Wade. The writing on the photo reads "Great Great Grandfather Richard Spradling, Crossed the Atlantic from England and settled in Virginia."

UPDATE: The photo of Richard Spradling Senior Senior (above) is now on the Walgreen's Photo Website (see far right tab at top of this webpage or click here) for those of you interested in having a copy for yourself. Note: To date, this is the oldest photo of anyone we've come across in the family tree.

Friday, May 15, 2009

...Last Call...

Well, while the deadline has passed for the RSVPs, there's still time to let us know you'd like to come if you want to. We've ordered some spare food for any late-comers that decide to attend and all we need is your NAME so we can have you a name-tag made up. Below, you'll find a listing of the day's events, but if you don't make it you'll be missing out on a lot of fellowship and good stories. So, if you've been pondering about coming on to this Wade Family ReUnion now's the time to make up your mind and drop us a line, or give us a call!

Events of the Day

Paul Wade

John McKenzie

Buddy’s BBQ

The Story of the Sultana
Norman Shaw

Presentation of Community Center Sign
A.D. Wade

Laying of Wreaths

Group Sing
“The Battle Hymn of the Republic”
Eugenia Ellis

Monday, May 11, 2009


Martha Ellen Wade married Thomas Owen November 29, 1878. Their first child, Jennie Parret, was born November 7, 1878. Ada Carolyn, their third child, was born April 8, 1885, and in her later years told of their life in Texas.

Martha Ellen filed for divorce from Thomas October 11, 1892, charging abandonment and non-support and asked for a homestead on Thomas’ land. Thomas filed a crossbill stating he went to California in the summer of 1890 on the advice of his father, M. C. Owen, who feared trouble between Thomas and James E. Gregory, with whom Martha had allegedly committed adultery. Martha dropped her suit for divorce in 1894. The reason given was that she was living in Texas and could not pursue it further; but a divorce was granted to Thomas.

By: Ada Carolyn Owen Johnson

My mother had a terrible time just feeding us. All she could do was take in washings, housework for others and anything she could get to do. We had nothing.

Not too many years later, Parret and George Janoe married, she was only 14, they lived with us and he and mother tried to make a living for us. They got to talking and it seemed that other people who had gone to Texas and word got back that it was better there so she and George decided that we would all go. We did--by train--our first train ride. They did not know where they were going and knew no one who lived any certain place so we went until they decided that was far enough. We got of f the train at Bonham, Texas--not knowing a soul there--we all, lived together and again she and George fed us. We lived somehow. She raised the five of us by herself as my dad did not contribute in any way to our support, at least after he left home.

We moved from Bonham to Pecan Gap, Texas when I was about 8 or 9-- we never did know when we had a birthday so I do not know what age we made moves. I believe we lived in Pecan Gap about four years.--- We moved from Pecan Gap to somewhere between there and Cooper, Texas.---

She (mother) burned to death at Ben Franklin, Texas. She had married an elderly man who lived close by and had three daughters. Two were still at home and one was about the same age as Oma who was still at home. She and Mr. Stanfield had a baby girl. One day she was preparing dinner. She had gathered her vegetables from the garden and put them on a table outside- -the house was in an “L” shape and the table was in the corner. She had gone in the house for something and the fire in the cook stove wasn’t burning so she told his daughter to put some coal oil on it. The little girl (about 13) picked up a five-gallon coal oil can and poured oil on the wood. There was enough of a spark left in the stove that caused the fire to flame up and it got inside the oil can and it exploded throwing fire all over my mother and the baby (Effie) who was just crawling and was sitting up under a cook table. Mother ran outside and Oma and the girl drew water and throwed on her. One of them had grabbed the baby and got her clothes out. Their screams brought Mr. Stanfield to the house but they had the fire out on both of them by the time he got there. Mother’s dress burned completely off all but the collar (Gibson Girl-type dress).

They had to ride a horse several miles to get a doctor. They put a quilt in a rocker and put Mother in it and she stayed there until the doctor got there but she died soon after. All of her hair was burned off--someone picked it up out of the yard and they put it back on her head but it didn’t look right. Her main concern, they said, was about Effie. How in the world will we ever handle her, she would say. The baby lived for about two weeks but was almost a solid blister. I do not remember who took care of it until it died.

Years passed, the five sisters married, had children, and later died with their memories. In 1993 two of Martha Ellen’s great grandchildren decided to make an attempt to learn more about her and who her parents had been. Could they find anyone who knew of her, did she have brothers and sisters, did they have unknown relatives? The search led to Tennessee, and then to McMinn County and finally to Chuck-A-Luck just south of Tranquility. In 1995 several members of the family, including Ada Caroline’s daughter Mildred came with to Tennessee to visit with their newfound relatives. Ada Caroline’s daughter Ruby (1908-1999) was the mother of Bill Moyers who currently has a weekly program, Bill Moyers Journal, on PBS.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Grandpa Wade

Even though grandpa Wade died a few months before my fifth birthday, I remember him and my step-grandmother Gussie very well. They lived in the big white two-story house at the top of the hill just west of us. Grandpa also owned the place where we lived, but I was not aware of it until after he died.

The thing I remember most about grandpa was riding in the front seat of his car with him, my father driving. I don’t remember ever riding with grandpa driving, and that is probably just as well.

My first cousin, Marjory Hart Pendergrass, related to me a rather harrowing account of her only ride with grandpa, when he took she and her mother for a ride in his newly purchased car. Grandpa’s daughter Ocea married Charlie Hart and they lived on the old John Hart place, which joined grandpa’s place on the south. Marjorie recalled grandpa had not learned how to shift gears, as his new car had a clutch and a three-speed transmission. Marjorie said her head was sore for days from hitting the roof of the car when grandpa ran over the bumps and through the mud holes in high gear.

As we did not own a car, when we went to town we always went in grandpa’s car. My father would walk up the hill and drive grandpa and Gussie down to our place and park across the road from our house in the shade of a very large cedar tree.

My father, grandpa and I always rode in the front, with my mother and Gussie in the back seat. The car was an open Overland touring car, Motor No. 187721 and was made by the Willys-Overland Company of Toledo, Ohio. I do not know the exact year of the car, but the “Operation and Care” manual was copyrighted in 1924. I found the manual in my father’s trunk after he died in 1976 and it today is still in like new condition. The manual will be on the display table at Tranquility May 17.

Grandpa had the only radio in the community and we would sometimes go up to his house on Saturday night and hear a program that could have been the “Grand Ole Opry” from WSM in Nashville, Tennessee. My uncle “Barg” Wattenbarger bought the radio at the sale following Grandpa’s death.

I well remember walking up the hill to Grandpa’s house one night with my father just before Grandpa died. He was about two years younger than I am today and just what he died from I do not know. I also remember a quartet singing “We Are Going Down the Valley One by One” during his funeral at Tranquility where he and his first wife, Nancy Jane Owen Wade are buried.

My dad was only thirty-seven years old when Grandpa died. From reading his Dairy, which is in the Wade trunk, it is evident he and his dad were very close. My grandmother Wattenbarger said my dad was never the same after his father died.

My father and mother bought the eighty acres we still call home from the Wade heirs several years after Grandpa’s death. I believe they gave each of the other seven heirs $125.00 for their part which, when you include my father, placed a value of $1,000.00 on the farm.

Grandpa arranged for Gussie to live in the big white house for the rest of her life, but her stepson Roy bought out her interests about 1943 along with the interests of the other children and Gussie moved down to the old Whitehead place. Roy subsequently moved his family into the big white house. He and wife Neil lived there until their death and then Geraldine continued to live there until she had to enter the nursing home about 2002.

Uncle Roy, with the help of his sons and my father, cut and sold the virgin timber off the place. My father bought a 1927 Fordson tractor (which I still have) to power the sawmill. Johnny Wade, Roy’s youngest son, said my father could tell them each day how many board feet had been sawed that day as he kept a running total in his head. Uncle Roy and Geraldine later operated a dairy and sold milk to Mayfields.

Grandpa also had a steam engine, which sat between our house and the old log barn. A well was dug just to provide water for the steam engine. I remember shortly after Grandpa died, they fired it up and drove it around by Rogers Creek Church and up to where Uncle Roy then lived which was about a mile above Rogers Creek School. What is now known as County Road 186 was not open at that time.

The day before they moved the steam engine, they fired it up to check it out and there was still pressure on the boiler when I came home from school. Johnny Wade held me up and let me blow the whistle as they were letting the boiler pressure die down anyway.

I remember the steam engine passing the school the next day, my father driving. The teacher let us all go outside to watch. My father ran in the ditch just past the school. The monstrosity had two big chains running from the steering wheel to the front axle and must have taken enormous power to turn and my father was not a very big man.

Uncle Roy attempted to power his sawmill with the steam engine but according to Johnny they never could get the governor to satisfactorily respond to the fluctuating load of the sawmill. The steam engine was eventually sold for scrap.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

RSVP Deadline & WebPage Revisions...

Well, yesterday was the deadline for getting your RSVP back into us so we can truly assess the needs of the group for the May 17, 2009 gathering. At present, I'm aware of roughly 60 70 people who have indicated they plan on attending. I say roughly, because some are still in contact dad and myself about coming.

Anyway if you'd like to attend and haven't let us know one way or the other, PLEASE be sure and contact us as soon as possible so we can shore up the numbers coming and get things finalized in the next day or two. If you didn't get a mailout, you can download it just below using the Mailing(9mb) LINK, as contact phone numbers are listed there. If you need to contact us via email, just use the CONTACT US HERE box on the right side of this page and I'll respond as quickly as I can to any inquiries.

Hope to see you there, and meet many for the first time!
Cheers, A.D. Wade

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I made a few changes and updated the Web-Log code to make it a bit more intuitive for any new or late comers.

Those changes include:

1)Removed the Tab at the top of the page entitled Mailing(9mb) and added a LINK in the body of the post entitled The Original Flyers Mailed Out, are Now Online so folks could still download it. You can also click on the link in this comment to Download it as well.

2)Revised a Tab title from Relatives.XLS to Descendants.XLS Same file, no difference just a little better wording for the Tab itself.

3)Added a new Tab at the top entitled Descendants.PDF which allows folks to download the PDF file of all the descendants we have listed to date. HINT: Once downloaded, use the ZOOM feature of your PDF reader to make the text large enough to easily see.

NOTE: PDF stands for Portable Document File and was invented by Adobe. You can click here to download a free PDF reader for your computer's operating system and in your preferred language.