Sunday, December 25, 2011


It has been passed down our ancestor John Hart traveled from South Carolina to Roane County Tennessee where he married Ruth Stout, daughter of Peter Stout, October 1, 1810. John Hart II until recently was the only known child of John and Ruth and his birth is listed in family records as January 27, 1813.

One hundred years later in an article that appeared in the local paper upon the retirement of McMinn County Sheriff James Franklin Hart states: Frank’s grandfather was killed in the “Battle of Horseshoe Bend” in 1814. The article also states John Hart Sr. had several children. The question arises as to who these children were and what happened to them, other than John Hart II who lived and died at Rogers Creek.

Adding to the mystery is the fact a John Heart is listed in the 1830 McMinn County census, age 40-50, with a wife and eight children born after 1814. This places the birth of the John Heart listed in the 1830 census between 1780 and 1790, which is consistent with our ancestor John Hart Sr. being born in 1789. This John Heart does not appear in the McMinn County Census Records after 1830.

Also a John Hart filed a Land Grant in 1827 on the East Half of the Southwest Quarter of Section 5 in McMinn County. It is unlikely this was John Hart II, as he was only fourteen years old at the time. Also relevant is the relationship of Elliot Heart, age 15-20 who is listed near John Hart at the time of the 1830 census and is shown living with a female age 15-20, evidently his wife. Elliot also disappears from the McMinn County Census records after 1830.

It seems to be more than coincidence when John Hart disappears from the McMinn Census after 1830 a John Hart born in South Carolina appears in the 1840 Greene County Missouri Census with eight children.

John Hart, age 61 SC, appears again in the 1850 Greene County Census with Caroline 23 Tn, Mary 19 Tn, Nancy E. 17 Tn, Lewis J. 14 Tn, Glovina 12 Tn. These are evidently some of the children of Benjamin Hart from Tennessee whose names match those listed in McMinn County Court Records CR 5 15 wherein John Hart was appointed guardian over said children 1 November 1841. One of the children of John and Ruth was named Benjamin who in turn was possibly the father of those children. Elizabeth’s name does not appear in the 1850 Greene County Census.

Elliot Hart 39 Tn and Ellen 38 NC and their nine children appear in the 1850 Madison County Mo. Census. I believe Elliot is the oldest son of John Hart Sr. and moved to Missouri with his father about 1840, leaving our ancestor John Hart II and his family in McMinn County.

Elliot Heart was living in Missouri and working as a blacksmith during the Civil War. His services were demanded by both the North and the South with threats of dire consequences by each side if he served to other. The situation became so bad Elliot hid out in a cave in fear of his life. He had twin sons who were listed as being thirteen in the 1860 Shannon County Missouri Census. They were both captured by the Bushwhackers. They tied a rope around the neck of one and told the other they would hang the first if he did not go get his father. Elliot came out of hiding and the bushwhackers cut off both his hands with the family watching. They then killed Elliot and left him for the women in the family to bury.

We are still left with the question as to which Hart died in the “Battle of Horseshoe Bend” in 1814. Could it have been the father of John Hart who was born in South Carolina in 1789? Did John Hart travel from South Carolina to Roane County by himself or was he part of a larger group and did that larger group include his father? I will leave up to the reader to decide.

The Group Record of the ancestral Hart families follow. There is some uncertainty in distinguishing between the children of John and Ruth from those of Benjamin over which John was appointed guardian in 1841. We believe Benjamin’s children begin with Serena Jane as she is the first of seven children listed in McMinn County Court records.



HUSBAND: John Hart, l
BORN: ca. 1789 PLACE: South Carolina
MARRIED: Ruth Stout 10/01/1810 PLACE: Roane County, TN.
DIED: ca.1861


WIFE: Ruth Stout
BORN: ca: 1794 PLACE:
DIED: ca. 1841 PLACE:
FATHER: Peter Stout

Elliot Heart
BORN: 5/14/1811 PLACE: Roane County, TN.
MARRIED: Dorcas Willis 1829 PLACE:
MARRIED: Mary E. Blackwell 1836 PLACE:
DIED: ca. 1864 PLACE: Missouri
John Hart
BORN: 01/27/1813 PLACE: Roane County, TN.
MARRIED: Mary Elizabeth Spradling 1834 PLACE:
MARRIED: Nancy A. Womack 10/02/1857
DIED: 06/17/1902 PLACE: McMinn County, TN.
Cindrilla Heart
BORN: ca.1814 PLACE:
MARRIED: Overton Spradling PLACE: McMinn County, TN.
MARRIED: John W. Bradley PLACE:
Benjamin Heart
BORN: ca. 1818 PLACE:
Julianna Heart
BORN: ca. 1820 PLACE:
Franklin Heart
BORN: 03/04/1822
DIED: 1824
The following are believed to be the children of Benjamin which
John was appointed Guardian over in 1841 in McMinn CO. TN.
Serena Jane Heart
BORN: 08/20/1823 PLACE:
MARRIED: Sylvester Stokes 1842 PLACE: Greene Co. MO.
DIED: 06/23/1880 PLACE: Greene Co. MO.
William Jasper Heart
BORN: 09/22/1825 PLACE:
Martha Caroline Heart:
BORN: 10/11/1827 PLACE:
MARRIED: Martin Best 02/08/1853 PLACE: Greene Co. MO.
Eliza Heart
BORN: 09/13/1828 PLACE:
MARRIED: Thomas L. Murphy 03/04/1845 PLACE: Greene Co.
Mary Ann Heart
BORN: 11/20/1831 PLACE:
MARRIED: John Sago 01/05/1852 PLACE:
Nancy Elizabeth Heart
BORN: ca. 1833 PLACE:
MARRIED: Reuben Wiatt 05/07/1853 PLACE: Greene Co. MO.
Lewis Jackson Heart
BORN: 01/30/1836
MARRIED: Pernita C. Snow PLACE: Crawford Co. Ark.
Glovina Heart
BORN: 02/17/1838 PLACE:
MARRIED: Thomas C. Presley 03/12/1856 PLACE: Greene Co.



HUSBAND: John Hart, II
BORN: 01/27/1813 PLACE: Roane Co. TN.
MARRIED: Mary Elizabeth Spradling 1834 PLACE: McMinn Co.
DIED: 06/17/1902 PLACE: McMinn Co. TN.
FATHER: John Hart, I
MOTHER: Ruth Stout
OTHER WIVES: Nancy A. Womack


WIFE: Mary Elizabeth Spradling
BORN: 1818 PLACE: Virginia
DIED: Before 1847 PLACE: McMinn Co. TN.
FATHER: Richard Spradling, Sr.
MOTHER: Elizabeth Baber

Elizabeth Hart
BORN: 02/04/1835 PLACE: McMinn Co. TN.
MARRIED: James Robeson PLACE:
DIED: 12/27/1910 PLACE:
Richard Hart
BORN: 09/16/1837 PLACE:
Benjamin Hart
BORN: 05/27/1838 PLACE: McMinn Co. TN.
MARRIED: Eliza Lawson 1860 PLACE:
DIED: 10/28/1894 PLACE: Strawn, Texas
John Hart III
BORN: 04/16/1841 PLACE: McMinn Co. TN.
MARRIED: Henreitta Amelia Snyder 12/19/1866 PLACE:
DIED: 12/01/1935 PLACE: McMinn Co. TN.



HUSBAND: John Hart, II
BORN: 01/27/1813 PLACE: Roane Co. TN.
MARRIED: 10/02/1857 PLACE:
DIED: 06/17/1902
FATHER: John Hart, I
MOTHER: Ruth Stout
OTHER WIVES: Mary Elizabeth Spradling


WIFE: Nancy A. Womack
BORN: 1831
DIED: 08/12/1910

Lewis Hart
BORN: 07/30/1858 PLACE: McMinn Co. TN.
DIED: PLACE: Dawson City, Alaska
T Jefferson Hart
BORN: 02/14/1861 PLACE: McMinn Co. TN.
MARRIED: Sarah Fike 01/14/1883 PLACE:
DIED: 10/14/1891 PLACE: McMinn County, TN.
Amanda Hart
BORN: 10/18/1863 PLACE: McMinn Co. TN.
MARRIED: Lungford B Jarvis PLACE:
DIED: 02/15/1898 PLACE:
James Franklin Hart
BORN: 10/15/1866 PLACE: McMinn Co. TN.
MARRIED: Tina E Spradling PLACE:
DIED: 02/24/1921 PLACE:

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Excerpts from the January 30, 1930, writings of Dr. Lewis W. Spradling

Sometime in the late autumn of the good old year of our Lord, 1825, there came down the old Richmond, Va., & Dalton, GA. Stock-Road, a heavy loaded wagon train, laden with settlers from the vicinity of Charlottsville, Albemaree Co., Virginia; amongst which were the families of Humphrey Reynolds and Richard Spradling. There were other pioneer settlers of East Tenn. in that train, but of these two, the writer has culled from meagre historic detail of ancestral preservation, barely enuf of record to establish its authenticity, that we, as descendants may preserve for those of the future who may care to preserve their genealogy. The trend of modern human life however, is gradually away from ancient customs, especially in the pride of birth, and boast of ancestry. The youth of today, is amply pedigreed who knew his Great grand-parents. Beyond that, they are not concerned! (The large majority of mankind can trace their lineage no farther than the third generation)

This memorable train of horse-drawn, covered wagons brought into this mountainous section of Tennessee these two pioneer families from the sturdy, rustic yeomanry of one of the oldest settlements of Virginia. They came as "Home-Seekers"-following the "Hiwassee Purchase" of the great string of fine, native forest, hitherto the "Happy Hunting Ground” of the Cherokee and other Native Indian tribes, who, following this memorable deal, emigrated to Oklahoma; At that time, 1825 and after, there was practically no cleared land anywhere. They had to clear the timber from the land for their first crops.

When one reflects a moment upon the progress of this end of the good state of Tennessee, its a bit remarkable, considering that we are but one hundred and five years old! According to history left by our ancestors who were on the ground at the very beginning of civilization, 1825. Thirty six years later, came the war of the rebellion, which undid about much of the structural work, wrought under untold difficulties and hardships; -leaving in four years later-a blood-soaked, desolate waste!--Without schools, without public improvements of any kind, and. incalculable damage to all private property. Many were homeless; and even those who possessed the remnant of a former home, were in constant peril, from newly liberated, semi-savage negro race roaming at large, without homes, most of them, and encouraged by enemies their depredations, and thus made a common menace. Unconsciously, they were compelled to assume the enormous task. of civilizing and educating this race and at the same time overcome the enmity left in the hearts of the liberating slaves, who were at the outset, sold to the native southern planters by those very men who were largely responsible for the war that liberated them!

When the wagon train arrived at the spot known as the Picklesimer place they pitched camp, and it was here that Humphrey Reynolds Senior, made his home. Spradling proceeded farther on westward and decided to enter land on Rogers Creek and at last building his home there.
Richard Spradling died in 1872 on the homestead on Rogers Creek, which he entered upon settling there in 1825. He raised a family of six children: Stanley, oldest son, lived and died at his home near Soddy, Hamilton Co., in 1886. Mortimer, lived and died at his home in Nopone Valley, Meigs Co. Richard lived and died at the old home on Rogers Creek, in the old third District of McMinn Co. The three girls were Mrs. Louisa Wade, mother of Silas Wade; Mrs. Amanda Sligar, and Mrs. John Hart.

Richard Spradling II raised a family of ten children; five boys, Robert, Jasper, John, James and Will. Five girls, Elizabeth, (Mrs. G.G. Jones) Louisa (Mrs. Wm.O. Davis,) Amanda, (Mrs. A.A. Holland)-Tennessee, (Mrs. Wm. T. Land) and Adaline, (Mrs. Geo. A. Arnhart.)
Robert, Jasper and John were veterans of the Confederate Army in the “War of the Rebellion”, serving three years and nine months, to the surrender. All of the boys lived on shares of the large homestead; Will, the youngest living in the old home until it was destroyed by fire in 1915. Robert, the oldest, moved his family in 1880, to a farm near Euchee, on Tennessee river, in the upper end of Meigs Co., where he lived until 1890, when he was elected County Court Clerk, and he moved to Decatur, where he lived and served continuously in that office until his death in 1906, having served 17 years.

Note to reader: In an article that appeared in the local paper in 1901 at the time Dr. Lewis W. Spradling moved his practice from Rogers Creek to Athens it states Richard Spradling Sr. and his wife Elizabeth had seven children, rather than six as is listed above. The child not mentioned above is Overton, who was evidently the second born.



HUSBAND: Richard Spradling, Sr.
MARRIED: Elizabeth Baber 11/13/1804 PLACE: ALBEMARLE Co. Va.
DIED: 12/15/1870 PLACE: McMinn Co. TN
OTHER WIVES: Hannah West


WIFE: Elizabeth Baber (Beaver)
DIED: PLACE: McMinn Co. Tenn.

Stanley Spradling
BORN: 09/23/1805 PLACE: Virginia
MARRIED: Jane Hoyal ca.1830 PLACE: Tennessee
MARRIED: Susan Jaquess 10/31/1850 PLACE Roane Co. TN.
DIED: 01/24/1891 PLACE: Hamilton Co. TN.
Overton Spradling
BORN: ca. 1807 PLACE: Virginia
Louisa Spradling
BORN: ca. 1808 PLACE: Virginia
MARRIED: James Wade 10/26/1827 PLACE: Albermarle Co. Va.
MARRIED: Hyram Brandon 09/01/1845 PLACE: McMinn Co. TN.
DIED: 07/14/1897 PLACE:
Richard Spradling, Jr.
BORN: 11/08/1813 PLACE: Albermarle Co. Va.
MARRIED: Charlotte Cowan 02/19/1836 PLACE: Home of Robert Cowan
DIED: 12/09/1888 PLACE: McMinn Co. TN.
Mortimer Spradling
BORN: 10/01/1816 PLACE: Virginia
MARRIED: Louisa Lawson 10/29/1838 PLACE: Meigs County TN.
DIED: 04/07/1887 PLACE: Meigs County, TN.
Mary Elizabeth Spradling
Born: 1818 PLACE: Virginia
MARRIED: John Hart II 1834 PLACE: McMinn Co. TN.
DIED: ca: 1847 PLACE: McMinn Co. TN.
Amanda Spradling
BORN: 05/12/1823 PLACE: Virginia
MARRIED: James E. Sligar 02/28/1843 PLACE: Tennessee
DIED: 04/12/1908 PLACE: Biggs, California

Sunday, December 4, 2011


One hundred and fifty years ago the military bombardment of Fort Sumpter marked the beginning of a bloody and costly four year Civil War in which an estimated one million Americans died. It did not take long for the fever to reach Rogers Creek as volunteers for both sides lined up to join. It is difficult to comprehend how men rushed into battle to sometimes face their brothers, cousins and former neighbors. Each side proclaimed and evidently believed “God was on their side.”

The country was not being invaded by a foreign force. Nor was there some imminent and diabolical threat from within, but rather a desire for excitement and adventure that evidently drove many to enlist, never dreaming of the hell and suffering they would endure.

The primary landowners in Rogers Creek at the beginning of the war were the Spradling, Thomas and Hart families. Richard Spradling owned the northern end of the valley, Jonathan Thomas the central part and John Hart II the lower end. All combined, these three men owned approximately thirty five hundred acres with smaller farms sprinkled around and between. And each had a number of slaves to tend their crops and look after their cattle.

Just to the north of the Spradling place lived the families of the four Wade brothers whose lives would be affected probably more than any other in the valley. Their mother was Louisa Spradling, daughter of Richard Spradling Sr., who had remarried following the death of their father in 1842.

The young, the elderly and the womenfolk remained behind to tend the crops and the livestock, but frequently the food they grew was taken by the two opposing sides as they pushed back and forth across the valley. A valley scarred by human tragedy beyond what those of us living here today could imagine. This was Rogers Creek during the Civil War. These were our ancestors.


John Dennis’ Civil War Experience
(From his 1922 CW Questionnaire)

First encounter was a bush whacking battle in North Carolina mts. then back to Greenville and joined the rigment (regiment) at Charleston, Tenn. and then went from there to Abigton, va. and from there to Crossie Wood, va. then crossed clinch river and went up Bid Sandie to mount Sturling Ky. then to mount varon? Ky. and then to George town, Ky then to Frankfort, Ky. and eleced a military governor was in Ky in time of the Par_lle battle and had to fall back and to food we had to eat burnt pumkin roasted on a log heap and parched corn and a little beaf or pore cow meat them come out of Ky com out by landcaster and by lundon and then to lenore station, Tenn, and then to Kingston, Tenn. and then back to Lenore from there to Dalton, Ga. from there to Maryeta Ga. then to Atlanter Ga. then to West Point Ga. then to Mobeal, Ala. then crossed the mobeal Bay from there to moradian Miss. then to Mespsisil then to Jackson Miss. then to Vixburg Miss the first day of January 1863 and on Jan 16 went into battle of Big Black and had to fall back and to fall back in inside the ditches by Vixburg and then it was one continual ____ of guns and canon 47 day and nights our rations was just one little bisket a day are the same amount of pea or rice bread and a little cow meat that was so pore that they coulnt git up when we eat up all the pore cows we then begin on the sore packed mules I never was in the hospitel I had dire for months after the war I didn’t suffer with cold for want of clothes for I took them from home. my field offercers was all very good to we we was surendered the 4 day of July 1863 and was never abel for duty any more. John Dennis , Co. D, 43 R. Tenn.


Local Veterans Who Served In The Civil War

Levi Wattenbarger ...................... Co. A, 7th. Tenn. Mounted Infantry, Union
Joshua Brickell.............................Co. B, 7th. Tenn. Mounted Infantry, Union
Ananias “Bud” Wattenbarger........Co. B, 7th. Tenn. Mounted Infantry, Union
William D. McPhail.......................Co. B, 7th. Tenn. Mounted Infantry, Union
Joseph Eli Hughes.......................Co. C, 3rd. Tenn. Cavalry, Union
Byrd Newman McPhail................Co. D, 3rd. Tenn. Cavalry, Union
James P. Wade............................Co. C, 3rd. Tenn. Cavalry, Union
Silas W. Wade.............................Co. C, 3rd. Tenn. Cavalry, Union
William D. Wade..........................Co. C, 3rd. Tenn. Cavalry, Union
Thomas Wattenbarger.................Co. C, 3rd. Tenn. Cavalry, Union
John Wood...................................Co. C, 3rd. Tenn. Cavalry, Union
John D. Owen..............................Co. C, 5th. Tenn. Cavalry, Confederate
Marshal C. Owen.........................Co. C, 5th. Tenn. Cavalry Confederate
Thomas G. Owen.........................Co. C, 5th. Tenn. Cavalry, Confederate
James D. Blevins.........................Co. C, 5th. Tenn. Cavalry, Confederate
John Dennis.................................Co. D, 43rd. Tenn. Infantry, Confederate
John Hart***.................................Co. D, 43rd. Tenn. Infantry, Confederate
Adolaphus A. Holland..................Co. D, 43rd. Tenn. Infantry, Confederate
Joseph Eli Hughes...................... Co. D, 43rd. Tenn. Infantry, Confederate
F N Million....................................Co. D, 43rd. Tenn. Infantry, Confederate
James Robeson...........................Co. D, 43rd. Tenn. Infantry, Confederate
John L. Spradling.........................Co. D, 43rd. Tenn. Infantry, Confederate
Richard Jasper Spradling***........Co. D, 43rd. Tenn. Infantry, Confederate
Robert Spradling***......................Co. D, 43rd. Tenn. Infantry, Confederate
Granville Wade............................Co. D, 43rd. Tenn. Infantry, Confederate

Jas. A. Cochran***.......................Co. F, 1 KY CAV
Turner G. Robertson***..............Co. A, 10 TN CAV

*** Buried in Rogers Creek Baptist Church Cemetery

Note: In Replying to the Civil War Veterans Questionnaire in 1922 John Dennis listed the following persons he remembered serving with in Company D of the 43rd. Tennessee Confederate Infantry: G. T. Smith, 1st. Lt.; Geo. Smith, 2d. Lt. ; E. Vinson, 2d. Lt. ; A. Guinn, 3rd. Lt. ; J. R. Buckner, Orderly Sgt. ; John Stamper (Stampes?), Drum Major; Bill Stamper, fifers; Ike Stamper, fifers; Rich Spradley, Drummer, Privates: Joe Sliger, Jake Sliger, Fate Sliger, A. A. Holland, Will Holland, Jake Slaughter, Andy Slaughter, Tom Rouce, Tom Perdy, Tuck Robinson, John Fisher, Newt Milion, Bill Carroll, Preston Dennis, Jim Geno, Dave Geno, Bill Jeno, Ki Geno, Granville Wade, John Long, Tom Long, Tom Hants, Harry Catton, Henery Dockery, Robt. Elder, Robert Spradling, Jim Spradling, John Spradling, Jack Hart, John Fisher, Bill Cumton?, I. R. Binton, W. (A.?) W. Hodge, Regt. Surgeon, Grundy Runels, John Olenger, Henery Isham, Frank Isham, Clint Buckner, Carick McCom, Jim Robson, Jack Swagity, Tom Money?, Philip Dake (Dale?), John Mayner, A. J. Miller, Bill Waller, Henry Waller.