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EARLY DAYS IN MEDON

(Source: from papers read by Mrs. Bardwell (Lena Lacy) Murdock before Madison County Historical Society, June, 1945)

CHAPTER I

Soon after the formation of the County of Madison, settlers began pouring into the lands which held so much promise each seeking a good location near one of the fine springs which were abundant at the foot of the hills of these woodlands. In one of the hollow trees of the vicinity a hunter sought refuge from a blizzard and froze to death, thus came the name Frozen Oak.

Not liking this gruesome name, many suggestions were made, Clover Creek was used for a time. To settle the contention, it was agreed to use the first words of a popular Irishman, who was soon to return from a job. When he threw down his tools, Mike exclaimed, "Me done" thus the name Medon.

One of the earliest settlers was the Will H. Harrison and the John T. Harrison families. They established a gristmill and a carding mill. These mills were a wonderful help to the residents, who without them had to grind corn and their grain with small hand mills or pound it and had to card by hand all the wool (not much cotton at first) to be spun into clothing, bedding, etc. John Priest operated the mill. There was a large family of the Harrisons who were landowners and fine citizens.

For twenty years, Mrs. W.H. Harrison was superintendent of the Methodist Sunday School, and his daughter, Miss Anna, was organist much of the time. He loved young people and they loved him and followed his fine example. He never forgot a joke -- one I remember:

He met one of his Sunday School pupils and said: "What is that you have, Sudie?" and she replied "It is a bottle of ink. Mr. Harrison, this is my twoth year at school and my threeth bottle of ink."

Living in Medon at this writing are: the family of Mr. Jesse Harrison, Gus and Minnie Harrison, and G.W. Harrison (who married Lillie Swink, daughter of George Swink, who has served as magistrate for a number of years, and whose fine memory help to line up facts regarding early days in Medon.)

Stephen Lacy was another of the early settlers, coming from Anson County, North Carolina, where his father, Thomas Lacy was a large land owner, a soldier of the Revolution, a Justice of the Peace, and one of the organizers of Anson County. During the persecution in France of the Protestants, the Lacy family (de Lacy in France) of Huguenots fled to England. Thomas Lacy, the immigrant, left England about 1685 for the New World, but his ship was captured by the celebrated pirate Blackbeard, or Tieck, and all on board were made to "walk the plank ' except Lacy, who was spared because Blackbeard said that so fine a fellow should be a pirate. He was compelled to serve the pirates until the ship was attacked by the expedition under Lt. Maynard, when Lacy materially helped in the capture of the pirates.

He was rewarded by a large grand of land at Manakintowne, Hanover County, Virginia. He married Ann Burnley. Their son, William I, was spoken of as a man of great wealth. His son, William I, was the father of Thomas Lacy of Anson County. Stephen Lacy served in the war of 1812, and was probably given the grant of land in Madison County, in reward for his services. He settled west of Medon on what is known as Lacy Creek.

Three Lacys of that family married three in the Ross family Stephen married Catherine Ross; Thomas Lacy married her sister, Jane Ross; and Lucretia married their brother Hugh Ross, II. Then Stephen Lacy's three sons married sisters of the Hill family. Thomas Lacy married Elizabeth Hill; David Lacy (my grandfather) married Sarah Prudence Hill and James Lacy married Anna Hill Of his other sons: Griffith married Elizabeth Vinson; Donald Ross Lacy married Jane Bailey, and Jane married J.P. Gladney.

The Lacy home is now occupied by the children of Jennie Lacy, daughter of David and Sarah Prudence) who married Newton C. McDaniel who are: Lacy McDaniel, land owner and magistrate, Sadie McDaniel, teacher and Samuella McLeod and her children who still call this home. Thomas Griffith (Griff) with his wife and two daughters live in Medon, and he conducts the McDaniel Brothers Store.

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Children of David Lacy were: William Ross Lacy, Confederate soldier, died of wounds received in front of Atlanta; Dr. George Lacy, who married Sarah Elizabeth (Sallie) Parker; Jacob Hill Lacy died at age of 15; Stephen Lacy, married Lillie Croom, no children; Sarah Elizabeth (Sallie) who married Robert C. Mayo; Mary Katherine ("Miss Kate") Lacy never married; Helen Thomas Lacy married Joe McDaniel, lived for a time in Jackson, then moved to Jordan, Kentucky.

George Lacy was educated in the schools of Medon, and in West Tennessee College (now Union University) and graduated in medicine from the University of Louisville, Kentucky, in 1870) - his education having been interrupted by his service in the Confederate Army - for which he volunteered at the age of 17, enlisted July 1863 and was later corporal in Co. C, 14th Tennessee Calvary, with Z. Voss captain, Dr. Jack Neely of Bolivar, colonel, and was in every engagement of General Nathan Bedford Forest's Calvary until the close of the war.

He was slightly wounded at Sulphur Trestle, but did not leave the field. He was captured on Granny White Pike, nine miles from Nashville, during Gen. Hood's retreat, but escaped and rejoined his command within the hour. Wherever Gen. Forrest led or directed, he followed, and it was probably to this experience that he owned his expert horsemanship. During his 58 years of the practice of medicine, he rode through all kind of weather, day or night, over seemingly impassable roads, at times, "broke" many wild Texas ponies, but never was thrown from one, or hurt in any kind of accident.

He was a close student and widely read, but altogether unassuming and retiring, loved his home, his friends and the life of a country doctor. March 3, 1874, he was married to Sarah Elizabeth (Sallie) Parker, who was to him a help-mate indeed, often going along with him to help administer to ones in need. The couple was truly "given to hospitality" seldom having a day pass without guests in the home - none more welcome than the ministers of their own and other denominations. Dr. Lacy was commander of the John Ingram Bivouac of Jackson, for a number of years.

Mrs. Lacy was a devoted daughter, wife and mother - and she not only mothered her own three "chicks," but any and all who came within the scope of her influence. Her outstanding characteristics were her hospitality, culture and refinement, good cheer, love of God, love of home, and love of people.

Children of Dr. George Lacy are: David Luther Lacy, lives in Harlingen, Texas; Lena Reeves married Bardwell Murdoch, and Sudie Parker, married Dr. Eaton K. McDaniel.

CHAPTER II

Another pair of early settlers was Nimrod Dodson, who was a large landowner and Laban Dodson, both from Warren County, Tennessee. Laban married Margaret Lacy. What is now known as the Croom Place, about one-mile west of Medon was homesteaded by Mauldin Reeves born March 5, 1781 and his wife, Nancy Stevenson, born April 12, 1785.

He was the son of Burgess Reeves, a soldier of the Revolution and his wife Frances. The Mauldin Reeves family lived for a time in Pendelton District, North Carolina, at Old Ninety-Six; then in Lincoln County, Tennessee, and moved across the Elk River into Frankland County. Here he was not far from the home of his relative, Charlotte Reeves, wife of James Robertson, founder of Nashville, Charlotte Reeves Robertson's grandfather, Thomas Reeves, wasbrother to Mauldin Reeves' grandfather, William II, they being sons of William I, born 1650, son of the immigrant, John Reeves, who came to Surrey County, Virginia from England. Traveler's Rest (first brick house in Middle Tennessee) was built by] James Robertson for Charlotte, and was modeled after the beautiful Virginia home she left to come into the wilds of Tennessee. James and Charlotte Robertson were the first members of the Society of Methodists ever organized in Middle Tennessee, and it was in Mauldin Reeves' home that the Methodist Church in Medon was organized. Mauldin Reeves and his wife were the parents of nine daughters and three sons, all born before they came to West Tennessee. He was a successful farmer, but owned less land than many wealthy men of his day - he was not very enthusiastic about slavery. His money was accumulated by trading, and by making many loans, which he made without a mortgage or note of any kind - with him a "man's word was his bond."

He filled a bit of place of the farm demonstration agent - spent much time "riding the farm" on which he had made loans, and making suggestions as to successful crop making. In 1860, he had a family reunion, (paying the fare home for each of the families who had moved into Arkansas, Texas, or Mississippi) and gave to each of his twelve children $3,000.00 in gold, saying that he wanted them to enjoy it while they were rearing their families, and might need it. After the War, he called them together again, and gave each $2,000.00; and

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at successive birthdays, he divided most of what he had left, among them. He lived to be almost 94 years of age. The most important legacy he left his children was his Christian example. Most of his Bible reading was done on his knees, as he thought that God's word was too sacred to be read like other books. On his knees he read the Bible through 30-odd times, and this, with the other kneeling he did for prayer, left him with great callouses on his knees, which did not altogether disappear, through the ten or more years he could no longer kneel, due to a broken hip, which did not knit. His was not the Long-face type of religion, for he was full of jokes and his sympathy and understanding made him the confidant of young people and children. He died at the home of his daughter, and son-in-law Dr. David H. Parker, Nov. 7, 1873, and is buried in the Reeves Cemetery, near his old home. Of his twelve children, six married and lived in Madison County. They were:

1. Mary (known in later days as "Aunt Pop") married James Gladney, and their home was west of Medon. After his death he spent her later days with her niece, Mrs. George Lacy and family in Medon, having rounded out 80 years of truly "Victorious Living."

2. Adeline married George Perkins, who served as sheriff of Madison County 1865-70. After the War Between the States, they moved to Ft. Smith, Arkansas.

3. William Mauldin Reeves married. "Pretty Mary Gladney" and they had 3 sons and 6 daughters, the latter being known as "The Pretty Six." They too, moved to Arkansas after the war.

4. Robert Reeves married Lorena Parker, and they spent their entire lives near Medon. In the county now are only the descendants of their daughter Susie, who married Dr. Thomas Murtaugh, who was in business for a time in Medon but they spend their latter years in Huntersville.

5. Frances Isabelle Reeves married Major Croom, and they lived in the Mauldin Reeves home, except for a time while he served as Trustee of Madison County, and occupied the home on Hurt Street, in Jackson. They lavished their love on nieces and nephews - the youngest being Irene Graves who married D. B. Turner, and lives in Greenwood, Miss.

6. Maria Tom Davidson Reeves married Dr. David Hardie Parker, who was a landowner and practiced medicine for many years. He graduated from Botanical Medical College in Memphis, in 1853. He was born in Anson County, North Carolina, the son of Henry Sharp Parker and Susan Francis Parker, natives of North Carolina, who moved to Madison County in 1832 Dr. Parker was a Latin scholar, his mind filled with gems of both prose and poetry; and he loved to amuse his grandchildren by calling for food at table, naming trees, flowers, etc. in Latin. He was a gifted reader, reading much aloud; and he had a fine store of jokes - seeing the humorous side of most things. His home was rarely without guests - the preachers being most welcome of all. For many years he was a magistrate, and he served one term in the Legislature -- not standing for re-election, on account of his health. He was a Mason, and represented the Medon Lodge, a number of times in Nashville.

The old home built by his grandfather, Henry Sharp Parker, still stands, four miles east of Medon, at Parkburg Station, arid is now occupied by 5th generations of Parkers. Henry Sharp Parker (born Oct. 18, 1795. Anson County, North Carolina), was the son of David and Sarah Parker. His father died in Carolina and the mother moved with her son Henry Sharp and family to the present location, where the home was built. Lorena Byars Parker (married Robert Reeves) and David Hardie Parker were born in North Carolina. Henry Fisher (2nd son) was born, spent his eighty-odd years of life, reared his family, died in this home, and is buried atop the hill in the Parker Cemetery. His son Clarence and family, Clarence Parker's son Dalton Henry and family all have made this their home. Henry Fisher Parker's other children (living in Jackson) are, Dalton S. Parker, Cornelia (Mrs. Lem Mays) and Lillian (Mrs. T. L. Hester.)

Nancy Stevenson, wife of Mauldin Reeves, was the daughter of Robert and Isabella Stevenson, of August county, and later of Greenbriar County, Virginia, from which state, he served in the Revolutionary War. They moved to Pendelton District, North Carolina, then to Carroll County, 3 miles west of Huntingdon. Near his home he gave the land for "Liberty All" Methodist Church, and a still beautifully kept cemetery (by the church) in which he and his wife are buried. In 1824, he bought 200 acres of land south of where Medon now stands, and his two sons, David and Samuel Stevenson made their homes there. Both these sons served under General Pinkey in the War of 1812, and were in the battle of Pensacola. Their sisters, Mary Stevenson married Ishmael Bailey, (father of Rachel Bailey and grandfather of Susan McGuire nee Flinn) and Elizabeth married a Collins, and lived near Medon.

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CHAPTER III

Aaron Emerson of North Carolina and Mary Brantley of Rome, Georgia, were married in the early 1800's and homesteaded a large section west of Medon. Children of this family were: Sarah Stone, who married William Stone (they were the grandparents of the late Rev. Will Stone, Albert Stone, manager of the Jackson Sun, and Misses Mary and Daisy Stone of Jackson); (2) Albert Stone, who married Jane Brown of Brownsville, was the father of the late Aaron Emerson of Brownsville, Mrs. George Kinney of Brownsville (died during the flu epidemic) and Jim Kinney of Nashville; Angus Emerson; Jim Emerson, who was killed at the Battle of Shiloh and Mary Emerson, who married Joe Thomas of the Medon Community. Their children were the late Sam Thomas of Oklahoma; R. D. Thomas of Medon, Mrs. Howell Woodson, of Malesus; Mrs. Charles Gregory of Jackson; Mrs. Cora Teague and Mrs. Kate McMaster of Memphis.

It is thought that the Mac Young home, on the Old Stage Road, is the oldest in the county. An interesting and welt-kept cemetery, about a mile of Medon, gives records of these and other Youngs and related families. The oldest record found is that of Merlin Young, born 1767 and wife of Tabitha Witcher Young, born 1773. It is interesting to note that husband and wife are respectively son and daughter of the Revolution; Merlin having been son of William Young of Pittsylvania Co., Virginia, Sgt. in the Virginia Militia under Col. Logan; and Tabitha having been daughter of William Witcher, who was born in England, served in the Virginia Militia, and became Brevet Colonel. These are great-grand-grandparents of Ernest Campbell, Louisa Young Bond, and they were parents of the late Frank Bond. Frank Young, who was sheriff of Madison County at the time of his death, married Eugenia J. Hill, and they were parents of Bell Young (Mrs. Neil) Watson; Nannie Young (Mrs. James) Phillips of St. Louis; Frank, Jr., deceased; and Daisy Young (Mrs. Will) Powell, who with her family lived many years in Spain and later, on Old Mexico.

Dr. Caleb Manley was a practicing physician in Medon, for many years, and his family added greatly to the social, religious and material welfare of the town. Dr. and Mrs. Manley were the parents of a large family. Living in Jackson, of this family now are: Mrs. C. A. Wilde and family, Mrs. Effie Steizel and the E.S. Manley family.

William Wisdom, father of the late John Wisdom (who was said to have owned 1/3 of McNairy County) in partnership with William B. Boyd, plotted and sold lots of what now comprises Medon. Lots sold at a fine price, and numbered from 1 to 39. Evidently many had dreamed of a city of Medon. Among those buying the lots were: R. M. Taylor, Peter J. Swink , who married Polly Pinkston, daughter of Meshack Pinkston, Peter Pinkston, Donald Ross Lacy, Hugh Ross Lacy, David Caldwell, Dr. Joseph Upton, Henry Sharp Parker, Dr. David H. Parker who married Susan Pinkston, daughter of Meshack Pinkston, James McGuire who married Rachel Bailey, E. L. Leggett, Dr. J .C. Stewart, D. D. Newborn, J. A. and J.H. Hudson, Jesse Lacy, James Mallory, James Caruthers and Thomas Lacy.

Soon the stage line ran through the main street of the town, and the coming of the stagecoach, was a big event of the day. The Stage Tavern was run by Peter J. Swink and his wife, Malinda, in the present home site occupied by G.W. (Alvin) Harrison and his wife, Linnie Swink Harrison. At this home, is the only windmill ever built in Medon. Soon stores (all of frame construction) were built on each side of the stage road - these stores generally carrying all classes of merchandise. Some of these were: George Brown's tannery, saddle e and harness shop (George McGuire, his helper); Cason's store, Swink Brothers Store (in which Mr. Thad Caruthers clerked for over 20 years), Charlie Givens' Store. Dr. David H. Parker and Dr. Thomas Murtaugh Store, Dr. George Lacy's office; Captain Pirtle's Drug Store, which also was the post office, Murchison's Store (Geo. Pirtle helped there many years) Tom and Neil Anderson's Store, Harry's Mayo's store, run by Dave Mayo, Owen Durham's Saloon, John Burton's Store.

Medon was incorporated about 1850, with Dr. J.C. Steward mayor, and Joshua Brown was the first postmaster. Joseph Upton said to have been the first physician.

The Swink Brothers were in business in Medon longer than any other firm. Mr. Henry Harrison Swink (called "Tip") carried on the mercantile department, and the store supplied many farmers and sharecroppers. Mr. Tip Swink was captain in the Confederate Army, and was severely wounded, so that he limped slightly, throughout his life. He was one of the directors at the organization of the Second National Bank, Jackson, and served for a number of years. He married Sallie Williams, and they reared a large family - the only one of whom, I think, now living in Madison County is Mrs. Robert Pritchett, Mr. George Swink was the director of the farm end of the firm - they owning much land. He too, was a high-toned Christian gentleman of courtly manners, and his home was rarely without guests - and the Methodist ministers were sure of a welcome there.

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His children, Dr. Walter Swink of Memphis, Mrs. Lyde (Frank) Howard, (deceased) and Mrs. Linnie (Alvin) Harrison, occupying the old home in Medon.

The Dr. Stewart home was built originally of huge logs - two story with one room on each side of the wide long halls, u stairs and down - these rooms 20x20. Later he had ideas of a clinic, and upstairs eight rooms more, some of making twelve rooms in all. This home was later occupied by the family, and somewhere along the line, was weather boarded, and made into a Colonial frame. When the Cason store burned, they moved to Jackson, and the home was bought by Dr. George Lacy for his home, next to his father-in-law, Dr. Parker. After the death of Dr. and Mrs. Lacy, this home was sold, and has recently burned.

In fact, it has been fires that have been the ruin of Medon. First, in its early history the stores were all burned. A number of them were rebuilt - the Swink Brothers Store being rebuilt of brick - Medon's first, last and only brick store. About 1879, another fire destroyed most of the business houses. Then in 1914 (August) the Swink store and the H.H. Swink home, near by it, were burned. After each fire, some of the most substantial citizens moved away, most of them to Jackson, which by that time had become very promising. The loss of these citizens was not only financial, but cultural, for they were fine people, the Casons, Dunaways, Andersons, Dunavants, Winchesters, Cobbs, Trices, Murchisons, Caruthers and others who have become the leading citizen of Jackson.

CHAPTER IV

Churches

Clover Baptist Church now stands in Medon, on the site of the old brick school building and Masonic Hall but for many years, it was near the Hardeman County line. However, the Baptist of Medon held their membership there, and its influence was continually felt. It was organized "on Saturday before the third Lord's Day, in March, 1826," but the "Abstract of Principles" was not adopted until 1845.I n January, 1850, the church instructed a committee to go ahead with building the church - this committee was: Alsey Dean, Thomas Lacy, J. Faucett, Owen Emerson and Gary Westbrook. A strong effort to move it to Medon failed and a Medon church was formed. In June 1 1851 the church excluded from its membership B. Starkey, N.S. Johnson, D. Lacy, Sarah Lacy, Catherine Lacy and the James Emerson and the William Butler families for "disorderly conduct" in joining the Medon Church, which the Clover Creek Church said was illegally constituted. These members returned later on. Members were excluded for non-attendance, profanity, drunkenness, fighting, possessing liquor, "playing marbles and other unchristian conduct." In 1852, it was voted to pay the pastor a salary of $125 - first mention of salary. The northeast corner of the church was set aside for the colored members; and there were still colored members in 1870. Some pastors were: "Uncle Reuben Day" (who like the others always wore a high silk hat and Ion g coat). Rev. Lev Savage, Elbert Osborn, and C. L. Cate. Family names running through the history of this church are: Bickers, Butler, Barnette, Brooks, Carter, Collins, Coggins, Coiner, Cearley, Day, Derryberry, Donnell, Dean, Dickson, Deming, Emerson, Estes, Edwards, Faucett, Freeman, Fitzgerald, Glidwell, Hidges, Henry, Jackson, Justice, Lacy, Marsh, Mills, Pool, Pugh, Parker, Richardson, Raines, Robertson, Roark, Sweeton, Sturdivant, Savage, Thompson, Teague, Thomas, Tims, Tate, Upton, Westbrooks, Yarbrough, Starky, Swink, etc.

As stated, the Medon Methodist Church was formed in the home of Mauldin Reeves, in 1826, where the y continued to meet for 10 years. Ten of the members were members of the Reeves family, the other two being Mrs. Tins and Martha Norvell. Then a long church was constructed on land furnished by William H. Reeves, and this was known as "Reeves Chapel." In 1850 a half-acre was bought in Medon from the Masonic lodge, and a frame church was built on the location of the present building. It was dedicated by Dr. A. W. Jones with Robert Gregory, preacher in charge. Rev. John Vincent held the first revival in the new church "and a glorious revival it was." Revivals were held, when possible each year. These Methodists were strict in their observance of the Sabbath - no meals cooked - only coffee for Sunday was heated. No unholy music - but such hymn singing with the minister lining the hymns. This was done because of the scarcity of books - the minister would give out two lines, these were sung, long or short metre - then he gave out two more, etc. Early in the church's history a Sunday School was formed and Mr. Dunivant was superintendent for 10 or twelve years, they were served by a junior and senior pastor, and were part of some circuit, having preaching only about once a month. The coming of the presiding Elder was indeed an occasion. Camp meetings were prepared a year in advance. Fruit was dried and canned for pies,

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and all kinds of food were provided for. These were wonderful spiritual occasions - as well as giving many an enjoyable contacts. The Reeves, Harrison, Manley, George Swink, and many other homes in the town were always open to the preachers. Surely no single body of men know or can tell well, the number of clean jokes the Methodist preachers have in stock!!!

In The Jackson Sun of February 13, 1927, is an article calling attention to the fact that "W. T. Pope holds unique record for service to church." Rev. J. W. Blackard had called attention to the fact that W. T. Pope had been a steward in the Medon church for forty-one consecutive years, and during all that time he never missed a quarterly conference for his charge, nor had he ever failed to bring up a satisfactory report. " to attend this last quarterly conference he drove in his buggy several miles through the rain n a and over dirt roads that were almost impassable." Dr. Blackard wants to know if there is any official in any church who can beat that record. W.T. Pope died two years later, with this record unbroken, having served for forty-three years without missing a quarterly conference.

Mt. Tabor

In 1846, there was a Cumberland Presbyterian Church formed in Medon, we are told, and this must have been the beginning of Mt. Tabor church, which now stands a few miles north of Medon. Near it is situated the burying ground, where many of the members lie buried. We have not been able to locate an account of its earl y history, but do know that it has played a worthy part in the development of the religious life of the Medon community. At both Clover Creek Baptist and at Mt. Tabor, the days when there was ''diner on the ground" were not only religious, but also outstanding social affairs. Friends visited together there who had not met for a year or more, perhaps. Many a love affair had its beginnings and growth there. As to the food provided and enjoyed there, only those privileged to enjoy it could fully testify - and I for one have no words to do it justice! Among those serving long terms as pastor of this church were Rev. Joe Pope, Rev. Norment and Rev. James Lewis.

CHAPTER V

Schools

The importance of education was not overlooked. In the early schools there was the hum of lessons studied out loud, or the sound of the Geography lessons being song. Many changes have taken place in many ways. My "Aunt Pop" said that she was taught three sounds of letter Z - for instance, g-i-zed-zedard; g-i-izzard-izzard-a-r-d; then g-i-double-z-a-r-d; then present way. Spelling was of utmost importance, and the spelling matches were usually public, and most exciting occasions. Other occasion of great importance were the public "Speaking" and debates, held about once or twice a month. These did much toward training some of Madison County's really fine speakers. One of the outstanding teachers was "Old General Campbell" who owned the "Camp-bell Place" opposite the Lacy Cemetery.

"The Medon Academy was opened 1875, in the large rooms of the Masonic Building lone of Medon's two brick buildings), with F.H. Williams and Mrs. L.W. Crandle conducting the school." This building occupied the present site of the Baptist Church. There was a fine spring near this point, and drinking water for the school was brought in buckets from this spring. There were two rooms, and a pupil was really advancing when promoted to the "Big Room." For some strange reason, most of the teachers along about the 80's were from the North, and perhaps this was one reason why it became the fashion there to "Whip the Teacher," and each big boy had to try his hand - however, it was sometime disastrous for the boy - at other times the teacher lost out, and that usually closed the school for that year! Teaching could not have been easy, for during a long period after the beginning of public schools, it was the custom to have one month of school (free), then no more free school until crops no longer required attention - then from two to four months again. During the interim, there was pay school attended largely by girls. When school was free again, those coming in had lost interest, and classes were all confused.

"Next to Virginia, Tennessee was the chief battle ground of the War. There were four hundred fifty-four battles fought in the state." Practically all of West Tennessee was on the Confederate side and each family has stories of the War that could prove most interesting. The tracks of the Illinois Central Railroad were guarded from the beginning of the War - very especially those trestiles south of Medon, in Clover Creek bottom. The Battle of Medon, was really a skirmish along these tracks and in the town. The next day, Sunday, this was followed by the Battle of Britton Lane. The Methodist Church was used after this skirmish, for a hospital, where both friend and foe received medical atten-

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tion. It is said that the Methodist Church was also used by the Yankees for stabling their horses, when on raids there. These were made more often by the Yankee guerrillas, who did not hesitate to incite the Negroes to atrocities, and themselves to pillage, insult, and wreck or burn homes. No woman felt safe, and all valuables were hidden, gold buried and someone kept on watch continually against these Southern Yankees, as they were called.

While on furlough, and at his brother's, Dr. David Parker's home, Henry Fisher Parker on furlough from Forrest's Calvary, heard the whisper. "The Yankees arc outside and quickly grabbed on a sun bonnet and wrapper, and went to knitting, which he continued with head down while they pillaged the house, and carried off whatever struck their fancy.

A band of "Homemade Yankees" under Fielding Hurst for Hearst) was especially vicious. Gen. Jack Neely of Bolivar, with a small band met then at Little Clear Run Creek, near Bolivar and rooted them; they fled to Whiteville but Hearst was not captured. After the War, this band continued to give trouble. One Saturday night, three of them who had been appointed U.S. Marshals (Wilson, and two lowery men from "u on Piney") came to the home of a Miss Murchison and threatened her: but when she pulled a gun to defend herself, they mounted, rode on, but promised her they would be back after they had "cleaned up Medon." When her brother came in, she told him of this; he grabbed a gun, and riding hard, taking short cuts, arrived in time to warn Medon people, who were ready when the Hurstites came in. When the Hurstites became rowdy and continued drinking, they were overpowered by the authorities (backed up by the Citizens Committee) who were marching them to the calaboose to let them "sleep off their liquor." One shot rang out from an upper window, and one Lowery fell with his backbone broken just above the waistline - then another shot, and the other Lowery was shot in the same part of the body. Wilson ran, but was also shot, while trying to get through the fence of the Methodist Church. Murchison, brother of the girl who had been threatened, was a noted sharp shooter. This put an end to the Hurstite trouble.

The Citizens Committee there was made up only of men of unquestioned loyalty, intelligence and judgement. They, themselves, were never guilty of an atrocity, using only the elements of superstition and fear (which were all sufficient) in their dealings. However, because of necessary secrecy, there were a number of deeds of cruelty and vengeance committed under the K-K-robes and in that name. This led to disbanding of the Clan.

Not many of the descendants of the old settlers remain in Medon. Of those living, wherever, they are, we feel sure their thoughts often turn fondly to their former home. We are sore too, that they are thankful for and appreciative of those who have come in later or those who have remained to make Medon their home, and to keep it the fine town it has always been. We hope someone will fill the gaps in this little story so sketchily given, and tell of MEDON as it should be told.

(THE END of this Article) Continue reading for more great information on Medon, TN


 

A GUIDED TOUR TO COMMEMORATE MEDON'S
HERITAGE AS A PART OF THE TENNESSEE HOMECOMING '86 CELEBRATION REMEMBER WHEN

The following was prepared as part of the Homecoming Pamphlet 1986 Medon TN
prepared by Kay Jared, Ann Beacham, Mary Louse Arnold

Medon's former names were Frozen Oak and Clover Creek. The first settlement was in 1825, although the town was not established until 1834. Medon became incorporated in 1852. It is now the smallest city in Madison County. History books tell us that Medon and Jackson may have been about the same size in the early 1830's. Medon has had many well-known people who were either born here or who grew up here - some were rich and some were poor.

At one time in history there were doctors, stores of all types, schools, grist mills, saloons, a Masonic hall, an academy, churches and a telephone company, just to mention a few of the kinds of businesses and establishments.

During the Depression, moonshine and cotton were about the only ways to make a living. People would come from far and near to buy whiskey. We are not boasting about the fact that we made moonshine, but it was a means of survival. Many families made moonshine, and some of the merchants supplied the moonshiners with sugar, shorts, jars and items needed for "putting up the beer" or "cooking off a run."

Continued

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