MADE TO HIS SON, ROY H. PARKS, JULY 4th, 1924.
My name is Rufus Alonzo Parks. The proper spelling of the name is “Parkes.” My grandfather, Allen W. Parkes, always spelled the name with the “e.” My father, Rufus Burton Parks, son of Allen W. Parkes, was the first in my family to drop the “e” from the name, and I have followed after him.
My father’s name was RUFUS BURTON PARKES, who died at Lynchburg, Tennessee, September 21st, 1897, and was buried in the Odd Fellows & Masonic Cemetery at Lynchburg. My father was twice married. His first wife was Emily Jane Rountree, a daughter of James L. Rountree and his wife, Musadora Rountree. His second wife was Mrs. Elizabeth Bobo, Nee Broadaway. He had no children by the second marriage.
I have my father’s family bible. The following is a correct copy of the entries therein under the heading of “FAMILY RECORD.”
The following entries in this bible were made by my father and are in his handwriting:
Rufus B. Parks was born May 5th, 1827.
Emily J., wife of R.B. Parks, was born April 7th, 1827.
Rufus Alonzo, son of R.B. Parks and E.J. Parks, was born October 21st, 1849.
Frances Musadora, daughter of R.B. and E.J. Parks, was born July 2nd, 1851.
Laura, daughter of R.B. and E.J. Parks, was born April 25th, 1853.
James Buchanan Parks, son of R.B. and E.J. Parks, was born Feb. 4, 1855.
Olivia Louisa Parks, daughter of R.B. and E.J. Parks, was born November 27th, 1856.
Emily Parks, daughter of R.B. and E.J. Parks, was born August the 21st, 1858.
Alice A. Parks, daughter of R.B. and E.J. Parks, was born November 11th, 1861.
Edwin Lee Parks, son of R.B. and E.J. Parks, was born February 9th, 1864.
May Parks, daughter of R.B. and E.J. Parks, was born February 18th, 1871.
Laura, a daughter of R.B. and E.J. Parks, died October the 30th, 1853.
James B. Parks, son of R.B. and E.J. Parks, died September 1st, 1857.
Frances M. Parks, daughter of R.B. and E.J. Parks, died August 18th, 1858
Emily Parks, daughter of R.B. and E.J. Parks, died on the 29th day of December, 1859.
Olivia Louisa Parks, daughter of R.B. and E.J. Parks, died August 16th, 1862.
Emily J. Parks, wife of R.B. Parks, died November the 30th, 1884.
The following entries in my father’s bible are in the handwriting of my sister, May, wife of Thos. A. Hays:
Under the headings: “Family Record, Marriages:”
Rufus Alonzo Parks, son of R.B. and E.J. Parks, was married Nov. 14, 1872, to Susan A. Holt, daughter of Jordan C. and Jane Holt.
Alice A. Parks was married Nov. 24th, _____, to Loderick J. Robertson, son of L. Robertson.
Edwin L. Parks was married December 6, 1883, to Nanny Allen, daughter of A.D. and Mary Allen.
May Parks was married Dec. 18, 1889, to T. A. Hays, son of Logan and Adeline Hays.
The following entries in my father’s bible are in his own handwriting:
Under the heading: FAMILY RECORD — DEATHS.
Rufus B. Parks died at Lynchburg, Tenn., Sept 21st, 1897, 3 a.m.
This bible came into my possession after the death of my father, and is now in the law office of my son, Roy H. Parks, at Lynchburg, Tennessee.
My grandfather, Allen W. Parkes, died at Lynchburg, Tenn., on the _____ day of ______, and is buried on the lot of my father in the Odd Fellows & Masonic Cemetery at Lynchburg, Tennessee. I, of course, remember my grandfather well. When I can first remember he was living on the lot owned by my father when the latter died. For many years my grandfather operated a tavern there. The greater portion of the town of Lynchburg was destroyed by fire in 1883, and among the buildings burned was my grandfather’s home. After his own home was burned, my grandfather lived with his son, Rufus Burton Parks, and was living with him at the time of the former’s death. My grandfather, as did my mother, died in the house built by A. R. Hinkle many years ago, situated at the northeast corner of the public square in Lynchburg, Tennessee, facing Mechanic Street. When my father was appointed clerk and master of the Chancery Court of Moore County, he moved from his farm in the seventh district of the county to this house in Lynchburg, and lived there until his wife, my mother, died. My father afterwards built the residence on his lot on the north side of East Main Street, being the easternmost lot of the lots of the plan of the town as laid off by Thomas Rountree some time about the year 1820; and there my father died.
I do not have the family bible of Allen W. Parkes, but I remember well seeing the bible in his home. After he died the bible passed into the hands of Marilda, his daughter, and on her death it passed into the hands of Mrs. Fannie Manning, her daughter, who now has the same. The following is a copy of the entries:
“A.W. Parkes, son of Ambrose and Frances Parkes, was born the 18th day of March, 1797. Fanny Parks, wife of Allen W. Parkes, was born the 17th of May, 1802. Frances Ann Parkes, daughter of Allen W. and Fanny Parkes, was born the 2nd of May, 1823. Louisa Elizabeth Parkes, daughter of Allen W. and Fanny Parkes, was born 17th January, 1825. Rufus Burton Parkes, son of Allen W. and Fanny Parkes, was born 5th May 1827. Annis Marilda Parkes, daughter of Allen W. and Fanny Parkes, was born October 3rd, 1833.
MARRIAGES:- Allen W. Parkes, son of Ambrose and Frances Parkes, and Fanny Miller, daughter of John and Elizabeth Miller, were married 12th day of January, 1822. Frances Ann Parkes and Williamson Haggard were married _______; Louise Elizabeth Parkes and William R. Shaw were married on the 11th day of January, 1849. Rufus Burton Parkes and Emily Jane Rountree were married on the 31st day of January, 1849.
Moore County, Tennessee was established by an Act of the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee in 1872. Most of its territory was out of Lincoln County, Tennessee. The members of the Parkes family, emigrating to Tennessee from North Carolina, settled in what was then Lincoln County, Tennessee. The section of Country in what is now Moore County was first settled in the first decade of the nineteenth century. Among the first settlers in what is now Moore County were Woody B. Taylor and his wife, Nancy (Seay) Taylor, father of John H. Taylor, who settled there in about the year 1809; Mrs. Agnes Motlow, widow of John Motlow of South Carolina, a colonel in the patriot’s army in the Revolutionary War, who settled there about the year 1809 or 1810, with her sons, Zadoc, William, James, John and Felix, and a daughter, Elizabeth, who married Andrew Walker, and Lauriett, a daughter, who married a Massey; and Moses and Issac Crawford. Moses Crawford came to what is now Moore County, Tennessee, about the year 1809. While I was editor of the LYNCHBURG FALCON, I received a letter from Moses Crawford, who was then living at Grand Island, Nebraska. This letter was published in the Falcon of that date. In this letter Mr. Crawford said that he came to what is now Moore County and settled at or near Lynchburg in 1809. That he “attended the sale of lots when the town was laid off in lots and sold.” He stated that the valleys, when he settled there, were covered with canebrakes. Mr. Crawford referred to the great earthquake of 1811, which formed Reelfoot Lake in the northwestern corner of the State. This shock was sensibly felt in this section of Middle Tennessee, and Mr. Crawford in his letter says: “the prevalent idea was that Judgement is knocking at the door. The earth reeled as a drunken man. Mercy was sought and pardon granted in many cases… There was preaching every four weeks at my father’s house. Rev. Adams of Flat Creek was minister or pastor in charge. My father and mother were old members of said church for years before. People came from far and near to hear the Scriptures propounded. The ministers were Adams, Hardy, Holman, and Whitaker. The additions to the church were large every Sabbath. There were none but Baptists in this neck of the woods. They used to take the applicants for baptism down to the ford, singing as they went. The place for immersion was near where Rountree built his dam across Mulberry. Revivals stopped and drinking liquor began. I think I knew some of your ancestors. Two brothers by the name of Parks came there some time between 1815 and 1820, I think, with the Smiths. Time rolled on and rolled them off, and I, too, soon shall follow.”
The Parkes referred to by Mr. Crawford were Col. Thos. L. D. Parkes and Martin L. Parkes, 1st., both of whom married daughters of William Smith, a revolutionary soldier, who settled in this (now Moore County) section. William Smith when he died, was the owner of the farm now (1924) occupied by Lem Motlow, situated about one mile north or northeast of Lynchburg, and is more familiarly known at this time (1924) as the John T. Motlow farm. John T. Motlow was a son of John (nicknamed “Jack”) Motlow, a son of John and Agnes (McElhenny) Motlow, came to this section from South Carolina after the death of his father, with his mother, as I have already stated. Col. Thos. L. D. Parkes, probably a Colonel of militia, and Martin L. (Martin Livingston) Parkes, were sons of Ambrose Parkes and his wife, Frances (Isbell) Parkes, and were brothers of my grandfather, Allen W, Parkes. Ambrose Parkes lived in Wilkes County, North Carolina, where my grandfather was born. When Martin L. Parkes, 2nd., was a very small boy, Ambrose Parkes and his wife, Frances Isbell Parkes visited their sons and relatives here, and from here went on to Missouri to visit children and relatives there. It is a tradition in the family that Ambrose and his wife died in Missouri.
ALLEN W. PARKES took up his permanent abode in what is now Moore County, in the year 1826. He was a farmer, merchant, and tavern keeper, and was for many years a justice of the peace of Lincoln County, Tennessee. He died November 18, 1884. His wife, my grandmother died January 6, 1877, at Lynchburg.
My father, Rufus Burton Parks, was clerk in a store at the age of nineteen and for four or five years thereafter. He then engaged in the mercantile business on his own account, and was so engaged in the business at the outbreak of the Civil War. At the outbreak of that war he enlisted in Company E, Fifth Kentucky Infantry, and was afterwards transferred to the Ninth Kentucky Infantry in which he was a lieutenant. He resigned as lieutenant on account of poor health and returned home. On regaining his health, he joined the Twenty-Third Tennessee Battalion and served until the close of the war. After his return from the war, he acquired a farm in the seventh district of Moore County, Tennessee, a portion of the lands owned by Frederick Waggoner, a veteran of the Indian Wars in service at the battle of Horseshoe Bend, and operated this farm until about the year 1883 when he again entered the mercantile business at Lynchburg. In 1883, he was appointed clerk and master of the Chancery Court at Lynchburg, and held this office until his death. Rufus Burton Parkes was a member of the Christian Church at Lynchburg, and was deacon of the church at Lynchburg for something like fifty years. Politically, he was a Democrat. He served as a justice of the peace of Moore County for many years.
R. A. Parks has lived his whole life in Moore County, Tenn.; and most of the time he has lived in Lynchburg, Tennessee.
I was born October 21, 1849, in Lynchburg, Tennessee, on Mulberry Street, in what was then known as the “Long Tanyard Place,” later known as the Martin L. Parks place, and now owned by D. D. Blythe. Martin L. Parks, as I remember, purchased this property before the Civil War. My father rented this tanyard property some time prior to my birth and was operating it when I was born, and continued to operate it until Martin L. Parks acquired the property. My father then moved to an old residence that fronted on Main Street, Lynchburg, situated on the lot later occupied by my law office, and on which is now (1924) located a brick garage of Will K. Parks. We lived on Main Street until the summer of l863, when, as I remember, my father sold the property to D. B. Holt and moved back on the farm of T. J. Shaw in the first district. Our new home was a log cabin, situated about two and a half or three miles from Lynchburg on the “tanyard hill road”, in a southeasterly direction from Lynchburg. The cabin, as I judge, was located about 100 yards east and back of the present residence of Alex. (M. A.) Burton. This removal was caused by the presence of Federal Troops in the vicinity of Lynchburg. My father had twelve or fourteen negroes at the time, negro slaves, besides other property, and he moved in order to get in a quieter and more secluded neighborhood. In February, 1865, my mother moved the family to the head of Lost Creek, now in second district of Moore County. We moved on what was then known as the “Sammie Hart” place. The house where we lived stood about a quarter of a mile from the Marion Huffman house now owned by D. Millsaps. We stayed there until December 27, 1867, when we moved to the Waggoner branch in the seventh district of Moore County. Father, at the sale of lands of Frederick (“Fed”) Waggoner, purchased a tract of land and moved to it on that date. I lived there until 1872, when I married. I moved to Lynchburg in that year, and my wife and I boarded with H.B. Morgan for three or four months, when I moved to what was then known as the “Conner” place on Main Street in the town of Lynchburg. The property was owned by James Conner and was situated on the southeast corner of the lot owned by Mrs. Sue M. Colsher, widow of W.H. Colsher. I lived at the Conner place until October 19, 1874, when I moved to my present residence on Mulberry Street in the town of Lynchburg, where I have since resided except for a few years that I lived on my farm in the first district — the farm I now (1924) own.
In my young manhood I taught school and studied law. In June, 1872, I received my license to practice law and established an office in Lynchburg, which had just been made the county seat of the new county, Moore, which had been established that year under the provisions of an Act of the General Assembly of the State passed in 1871. I formed a partnership with James H. Holman, a cousin of mine who was practicing law at Fayetteville, which partnership existed until 1884, when James W. Holman, a brother of James H., was admitted to the partnership. The first partnership was known as Holman & Parks, and the second as Holman, Holman & Parks. The Holmans were nominal partners, only. When my son, Roy H. Parkes, received his license to practice law in 1898, I think it was, I formed a partnership with him under the firm name of Parks & Parks, and this partnership existed until I retired from the practice of law about the year _____, when my son formed a partnership with James J. Bean under the name of Parks & Bean, a firm now practicing at the Lynchburg bar.
I founded the Lynchburg Falcon, a weekly newspaper printed at Lynchburg, in the year _____, and published the paper until ____, when it was sold to __________.
I was a member of the General Assembly of the State, and served in the lower house of the legislature of the year 1882-1884.
I was married to Susan Ann Holt, November 14, 1872. She was a daughter of Jordan C. Holt, Jr. (son of Jordan C. Holt), and his wife, Jane, a daughter of Brittain Phelps, one of the original settlers of the Mulberry Creek Valley. Phelps first settled on East Mulberry Creek, and then on West Mulberry Creek where he died.
The first thing I remember was when I was living on the Martin L. Parks tanyard place. Some one had a pet bear tied out in the yard or about the tanyard. The bear broke loose and came through the living room of our dwelling. I, and one of the other children, was playing on the floor in the room the bear passed through. My mother could not get to me and the other child to rescue us, and only had time to get herself up the stairway and close the door. But the bear passed through and out the room without doing us any harm.
My first definite rememberance of Lynchburg as a village begins with our removal from the tanyard place to the residence on Main Street. This is the same building in which I years afterwards had a law office. It was a frame structure standing on the lot occupied by the western half of the brick garage of Will K. Parks.
Lynchburg had but the one street when I can first remember. This street ran almost east and west and was known as Main Street. All the buildings on this street were destroyed by the fire of December 3, 1883.
I shall now describe the buildings on this street as I first remember them.
Our residence was situated on the south side of this street. The next house east of us was a house which Stanton J. Green built. I can remember this house being built. It was a two-story frame residence and was first occupied by Colonel J.M. Hughes. Hughes lived in the lower rooms of the building and had a saddlery shop in an up-stairs room. Hughes lived there for a while, and then Charley Shivers moved in. Shivers operated a livery stable which stood on the bank of East Mulberry Creek to the east of the rear of this residence. The livery stable lot was the lot which is now owned by Charles Parkes and on which he has a warehouse. Later, Dr. C. S. Evans, a dentist, father of Mrs. Charles Parkes, lived in this dwelling. Next to this Green lot and on the same side of the street and to the east, lived William Shaw; this house stood opposite the lot of my grandfather, Allen W. Parkes. Samuel Hinkle, father of Authur R. Hinkle, moved into this house just before the beginning of the Civil War. The next house to the east was occupied by Miss Maria Walker, a daughter of Andrew Walker. The house she lived in was later owned and occupied by M. N. Parkes, and is now owned by his son, Charles Parkes, who last year (1923) tore the old buildings away and erected a new residence on the site. East of the residence of Maria Walker, and between her lot and East Mulberry Creek, was a blacksmith shop lot, built, I believe, by Alfred Eaton. These were all the buildings on Main Street between our house and East Mulberry Creek.
Opposite the blacksmith shop lot, on the north side of Main Street, and at the eastern end of the northern side of the street, was the residence of Dr. Abrum Setliff. After Dr. Setliff moved out, Dr. S. E. H. Dance moved on this lot and lived there until his death. The next lot on the north side of the street, going west, was the lot of my grandfather, Allen W. Parkes. He and his wife, Fannie, my grandmother, were living there when I can first remember, and were operating a tavern. After the death of her husband, my aunt, Eliza, wife of William Shaw, and her son, Marion, lived with my grandparents.
West of the lot of my grandfather was a log cabin in which Laurette Keller, widow of Dr. J.A. Keller, and two daughters, Susan, who afterwards married Woody B. Taylor, and Elizabeth, who afterwards became the wife of Dr. Albert H. Parkes. Mrs. Keller lived here until she married Elisha Womack, by whom she had one child, a daughter, Emily, who married Joseph M. Sebastian, father of Elisha W. Sebastian of Lynchburg. The next house west of Mrs. Keller’s, was a one-story frame building in which William Collins and his wife, Fannie, daughter of my Aunt, Marilda, lived. The house was later occupied by _____ Milton, father of Frank M. Milton, and after that by Frank M. Milton himself, and family. The next house to the west of this lot, was a single-story frame building occupied by a cabinet worker by the name of Anderson when I can first remember; and afterwards by James Clark, a saddler. During the Civil War, George Davidson, who was called lieutenant Davidson, lived in this house. Davidson moved to Tullahoma afterwards where he became postmaster. He was also a United States Commissioner at Tullahoma for many years.
Next, going west, was a two-story frame building owned by Thomas H. Shaw. When I can first remember the building was used in part for a residence, the front part being used as a business house. The first store I can remember being in the building was operated by a man by the name of Horton from Winchester. Afterwards John Carter, a school teacher, lived there and taught school in the front end of the building. I attended this school until I had advanced so far in my studies that Carter told me there was no use of me continuing to attend; that I had advanced as far as he could teach me. My father and his family were living on Lost Creek when I was attending this school. I think I attended this school in 1869. I had previously been going to school to this man at the school house which stood near what was called “Slick Ford,” the ford across East Mulberry creek just South of Lynchburg. This building stood on the hill almost opposite the southwest end of the bridge now across the creek. This school house was torn down and moved to the academy grounds just a half-mile north of Lynchburg, to make addition to the academy buildings. Later J.L. Bryant & Company occupied this building in which Carter taught school on Main Street, and they were using it as a store building in December, 1883, when the town was wiped out by fire.
The next building west of this store building was the old Christian church building which Moore County afterwards used as a courthouse. And west of the church lot was the residence and store building of J. Marion Roughton; west of Roughton was what was called the “McBride” buildings. McBride was the father of D.A. (Buddy) McBride. West of the McBride buildings was a two-story frame residence occupied by Dr. Ambrose Lee Parkes. He had his office in the Building and also a small store. West of the Dr. Parkes building was a two-story residence alongside of which D.B. Holt afterwards built a storehouse – a wooden structure. This residence was occupied, when I can first remember by a man by name of Davis. This was in 1856 or 1857. Mrs. Davis taught school at the old academy north of Lynchburg. She was teaching when I attended my first term of school, and taught through my second term. Just prior to the Civil War a Mrs. Campbell, a widow, a sister of Benjamin H. Berry, 1st., lived in this building. West of this building was a house in which Dr. Abram Setliff moved when he moved from the S.E.H. Dance lot; and west of Dr. Setliff’s was a field. And in the rear of the houses on the north side of Main Street was a field. This field was a part of the Thomas Rountree lands.
Beginning again at my father’s residence, and going westward along the south side of Main Street, were the following buildings in order: First, there was a vacant lot, and then a 2-story frame business house. This house had an “L” to it, or a sideroom which ran longways with the street from the main business house eastward towards this vacant lot. My father sold goods here when I can first remember. He had previously been a clerk in this storebuilding. West of my father’s storebuilding was C.M. (Sam) Wilson’s saloon; it stood on the lot now owned by the S.A. Billingsley estate about where the store house of Thos. L. Bobo now (1924) is; and west of the saloon building was a frame structure, the front of which was used as a store and the rear as a residence, where Wilson and his family resided at this time. Samuel Bobo and Wash Simpson were running a store in this building at the close of the Civil War. Just before Bobo and Simpson sold goods in this house, and just before Holt & Hiles built the brick storehouse which stood on the north side of Main Street on the lot now occupied by Roughton Waggoner, D.B. Holt and Walton Hiles, under the name of Holt & Hiles, sold goods in this building. And West of this was a building in which was living when I can first remember my grandfather Allen W. Parkes and his, Fannie. Grandfather was then selling whiskey in the building under the “quart” law — that is was selling in quantities of a quart or more. When I can first remember my grandfather he was living here and conducting this business. Afterwards a brother of “Tip” (Thos. H.) Parkes lived in this building; and another man by name of Parkes, a saddler, lived there, but I can’t recall his name. He was a different family to my family of Parkes as I now recall. West of this building was a vacant lot, the south half of lot number 1 original plan of Lynchburg, on which D.B. Holt afterwards built a warehouse. And west of this lot was Spring Street, a street which led down to the town spring. West of Spring Street was the Thomas Rountree houses. W.F. Taylor, as I remember, was living in these houses when I can first remember, and was cultivating the fields lying back of and to the north of the town lots. West of the Rountree lot was a lot called the “cotton gin” lot. There was no cotton gin on the lot in my memory. But the scrow which was used in the operation of the gin was laying on the lot. It was at the top of the rise or hill, on the south side of Main Street. The next residence beyond the end of Main Street, but on the south side of the road was the Andrew Walker residence now owned by the family of F.W. (“Fee”) Waggoner. I don’t remember any of the Walkers living there. Maria Walker, a daughter of the Walkers as I have stated, was living when I can first remember in the house on the lot occupied now (1924) by Charles Parkes. The first person I can recall living at the Walker place was Benjamin H. Berry, 2d. Milton N. Moore acquired the property later and moved to it. And after Moore, Smith Alexander (S. M.), bought the property and lived there for some years. Alexander sold to F.W. Waggoner. South of the Walker lot, lived Thomas H. Shaw when I can first remember. T.A. Hays now lives on the lot owned by Shaw. Thomas H. Shaw married Katherine Rountree, daughter of Thomas Rountree and sister of my grandfather James L. Rountree.
/s/ Rufus A. Parks
I. Martin Livingston Parkes, 1st. Born Aug. 26, 1793. Died in what is now Moore County, Tennessee on the 12th day of December 1845. He married Susan Smith on May 18, 1819, and to whom where born:
7. Dr. Albert Henderson Parkes — born Oct. 11, 1836 and died March 6, 1890. His children are: Albert H., Jr., Birdie, and Laura Parkes, live at Lynchburg, Tenn., owning the farm which was owned by their grandfather. The farm has been in the family 100 years this year (1923). — a son. He married Mary Elizabeth Keller.
8. Morris Newton Parkes, a son, now dead. He was born Jan. 19, 1839 and died March 4, 1916. He married Frances Womack. Their children were as follows:
9. Milton C. — born 1843 and died in 1923, a son, who emigrated to Texas many years ago. He married Delphia Cain.
VI. Hastings Parkes, a son.
VII. Susie or “Sookie”, a daughter, who married Green Hubbard, and who died at Lynchburg, Tenn. — no children.
Note on 3/15/2014 from Teresa Elliott (firstname.lastname@example.org) states that Susie and Green Hubbard had one son, Joseph Houston Hubbard. Joseph moved to Davidson County and married Martha McAlpin.
VIII. Cynthia, a daughter.
IX. Martha, a daughter.
I was born at __________ on October 21st, 1849, and am the eldest child of my parents.
Rufus Burton Parks was a son of Allen W. Parkes. Rufus Burton Parks was married to Emily Jane Rountree January 31, 1849. He was born at __________ May 5, 1827, and died at Lynchburg, Tennessee, September 21, 1897, and is buried in the Odd Fellows & Masonic Cemetery at Lynchburg, Tennessee.
My mother’s name was Emily Jane Rountree. She was a daughter of James L. Rountree, son of Thomas Rountree and his wife, Sarah. Thomas Rountree was one of the original settlers of what is now Lynchburg, Moore County, Tennessee. He died in what is now Moore County, Tennessee and his last will and testament is of record in the County Court of Lincoln County, Tennessee, on Will Book No. 1 This will is dated April 9, 1828, and was probated on July 1, 1828. The will was witnessed by James Curry, Thomas R. Stovall and W.F. Long, and Thos. H. Shaw, William S. Smith and W.F. Long were named as executors of the will. The testator devises the land on which “he now lives” to his wife, Sarah, for life. To his son James L. Rountree the testator devised “my entire interest (being one-half) of a tract of land owned jointly by myself and William S. Smith:” “provided, I have heretofore made or procured to be made to him, the said James L. Rountree, a deed or conveyance to a tract of land whereon he now lives, he shall have his choice to relinquish to my estate all his right and title to the said land or to pay within twelve months after my decease to my estate five hundred dollars, that being the amount which I paid for said land.” In the third paragraph of his will the testator devised “unto my son, Wm. Rountree, the tract of land whereon I now live, to have possession of the same at his mother’s death or marriage. And, lastly, as to all the rest, residue and remainder of my estate…. to be sold to the highest bidder…. and whenever the money arising from such sale is collected, I give and bequeath unto my wife, Sarah, and my children Katherine Shaw, James L. Rountree, Elizabeth Landess, Nancy Smith, Mary Rountree, William Rountree and Ann Rountree, to be equally divided amongst them all, share and share alike.”
My grandfather, James L. Rountree, moved to Texas about the year my father, Rufus Burton Parkes, and Emily Jane Rountree were married. The fact is my father followed his wife to Mississippi, when she was on her way to Texas with her parents and their family, and there married my mother.
In 1883, I was in Texas. When I reached Austin, Texas, I went out to the home of William Smith, a brother of Felix Smith, on a ranch seven miles from Austin. The next morning I visited “Buck Rountree,” a brother of my grandfather, James L. I presume “Buck’s” real name was William. Buck Rountree at that time was living in a little log cabin in a grass lot on the farm or ranch of said Felix Smith. One of his daughters was then living with him. He was in very feeble health. He was small and slight in stature, and wore long flowing, white hair. He appeared to be very old and was probably nearly eighty years old. My rememberance is he was 76 years old at this time. He appeared to be older than my grandfather James L. Rountree.
On this trip to Texas, from Austin I went to Burnett, Texas, to visit my grandfather, James L. Rountree. I had an aunt, Mrs. Elvira Thomas, a daughter of James L. Rountree, then living in Burnett, Texas. I saw her in Burnett and was told how to get out to my grandfather’s farm or ranch.
James L. Rountree was a half brother to William (Buck) Rountree and a son of Thomas Rountree by his wife, Sarah. Buck Rountree was a son of Thomas Rountree by his first marriage. If I ever know who the first wife of Thomas Rountree was I have forgotten. And all I know about Sarah being his wife is what appears in the last will and testament of Thomas Rountree. I do not know what the maiden name of Sarah Rountree was.
As I remember James L. Rountree was 76 years old when I visited him in 1883; but of this I am not certain; but he appeared to be a very old man, and he must have been over seventy years of age. He was of average stature and weighed over two hundred pounds. At that time he was living with his second wife, and I remember seeing one or two of his daughters about the house. I was there less than two hours.
James L. Rountree first married Musadora Flack, my mother’s mother, a daughter of Thomas Flack. Musadora Flack was a sister of Jane Flack who married James W. Holman, a Baptist minister, a son of Hardy Holman, I think, and father of James H. Holman, James W. Holman, Dr. T.P. Holman. By his wife, Musadora, James L. Rountree had seven children, namely:
James L. Rountree died on his farm or ranch near Burnett, Texas. He was found dead with a broken neck, as I remember, out in his barn lot, or near his house. It was supposed that he fell off a fence and suffered a broken neck.
4. R.F. (Bob) Rountree, a son of James L. Rountree, was my mother’s youngest brother. He was about my age. In his young manhood he came back here to attend school. R.F. Rountree married Elizabeth, the daughter of Felix Smith, and in 1883 when I was in Texas resided in Llano County twenty miles from the town of Llano. He resided there until he was assassinated. He lived in a stone residence.
When I was in Texas and visited Buck Rountree he was living on the farm of Felix Smith 7 & 1/2 miles west of Austin as I recall on Onion creek. I spent the night of July ____, 1883, with William Smith, a brother of Felix Smith, on William’s Smith’s farm or ranch located seven miles from Austin, and the next morning went out and visited Buck Rountree. I never knew him by any other name than “Buck;” he was a half-brother of and older, than my grandfather, James L. Rountree.
The Felix Smith I refer to above was living on Onion Creek near Austin in 1883. He had previously been a member of the Texas legislature a time or two.
I do not know the names of the children of James L. Rountree by his second marriage.
One of the daughters of James L. Rountree, as I remember married a “Beason” or “Deason” — I don’t remember which is correct, but of this I can’t be certain. This was a daughter of James L. by his wife, Musadora.
KATHERINE SHAW, daughter of Thomas Rountree, was the wife of Thomas H. Shaw who lived at Lynchburg, Tennessee, and died on the farm now (1924) owned by Thos. A. Hays and his wife, May (daughter of R.B. Parks and my sister.). Thomas H. Shaw was a Kentuckian, and was a stepson of John Silvertooth, 1st.
KATHERINE AND THOS. H. SHAW’S children were:
4. Benjamin, a son, who married Mary Davis, and after Benjamin died his widow, Mary, married Wayne Cooper, who lived on the headwaters of East Mulberry Creek. Elizabeth had two children by her husband, Benjamin Shaw, both sons, named ________ and ________ . Elizabeth had one child by her second marriage to Cooper.
5. William Shaw, son of Thos. H. Shaw, married Eliza Parkes, daughter of my grandfather, Allen W. Parkes; they had one son, Frances Marion Shaw, who died unmarried.
6. Another son of Thos. H. Shaw was called “Doc.” He was killed by a runaway team of Felix Motlow, father of W.W. Holt. He was unmarried.
7. Nancy, daughter of Thos. H. Shaw, married Abram Setliff. Abram Setliff had been previously married to a Johnson.
8. Mary, daughter of Thos. H. Shaw, was never married.
9. James Shaw, perhaps the oldest child of Thomas H., went to Texas and resided on the Colorado River south of Austin; he lived in a stone house.
ELIZABETH ROUNTREE, daughter of Thomas H. Rountree, married Felix Landess or Landers.
ANN ROUNTREE, daughter of Thomas H. Rountree, married BENJAMIN H. BERRY, 1st., who resided on the lands now (1924) owned by John L. Tolley and wife (or Thomas Motlow) know as the B.H. Berry lands, about one mile south of Lynchburg on the Fayetteville Pike.