Thursday, December 12, 2013


    Louisa Owen was the youngest child of Marshal and Caroline Thomas Owen, having been born February 26, 1867. She married Samuel Brickell and together they reared five children on part of the Marshal Owen property she and Samuel later acquired title to following Marshal’s death in 1892.

    After Louisa’s death in 1950 the Brickell house and farm was bought by one of Louisa’s granddaughter’s and her husband who had a new house constructed. Since then the old house has mostly sat empty and abandoned. That granddaughter recently passed away and the house was purchased by the owner of the surrounding property, who had the house torn down and the undergrowth removed.

    Marshal Owen at one time owned all of the land on both sides of what is now McMinn County Road 181 from County Road 186 to County Road 189, comprising about six hundred acres. Starting at Marshal and and Caroline’s place moving west, the houses were in this order: Marshal and Caroline, W. D. and Jane Owen Wade, Samuel and Louisa Owen Brickell, W. C. and Harriet Owen Hughes, and last, Thomas and Martha Ellen Wade Owen. The original houses have either burned or been torn down over the years until the only original house left standing was that of Samuel and Louisa. Now, it too is gone.

    For years I have passed the house walking and before it became so overgrown would sometimes seek shelter on the front porch when I would unexpectedly be caught in a rain shower. While standing waiting for the shower to pass I would fondly recall my weekly visits to the Brickell house where I was sent by my mother to pick up a pound of butter from “Aunt Lou”. I remember her as a kind and gentle lady.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Spradling Home Place

The above drawing of the Spradling Home was made by Dr. Lewis W. Sradling from memory in October of 1932, some seventeen years after the house burned in 1915. William S. Spradling, son of Richard Spradling Jr., was living in the house with his family when it burned, but all escaped without injury. The house was located on a small bluff approximately three hundred feet west of the intersection of current McMinn County Roads 185 and 187.

    It is believed Lewis made the drawing for his Aunt Mary Tennessee Spradling who married William Thomas Land. Mary Tennessee could vividly recall and relate events of the Civil War and how the soldiers came to their home and confiscated much of their food. Mary Tennessee, the daughter of Richard Sprading Jr., went to live with her son, Robert Taylor Land, some time after the death of her husband in 1900.

    Hanging on the wall of the Land home in Athens was the drawing of the Spradling Homeplace. Mary Tennessee died in 1943 at the age of ninety and the house where she lived was eventually torn down to make way for the widening of the highway and also a doctor’s office. Fortunately the drawing was saved and taken to the home of Mary Tennessee’s granddaughter Madlyne in Chattanooga.

    When Madlyne entered a nursing home her children thought the best place for the drawing was back at the old homeplace where “Aunt Tenn” grew up one hundred and fifty years ago. Consequently they brought it to Richard and Billie Jean Land who currently reside on part of the Spradling homeplace.