The Journal of the Lawrence County


 (Tennessee) Genealogical Society


Vol. 9, No. 3, Spring 2006


Table of Contents



From the Editor


As of this writing, the Lawrence County Archives is in their new home at 524 Gallaher Street, Lawrenceburg, TN, 38464. This is a temporary location in the east end of the Lawrence County Library.  Kathy and Rita had to inventory everything, sort out things, box everything up and get it moved, then set up and get ready for business again.


Again, let me encourage you to include the source of information you use when you submit articles to the Archives and/or Genealogical Society. Please include the following basic information and I’ll format it: title of the work, author of the work, the date it was published, and the publishing company to include its name and location. With this basic information, I can, with minimal searching, arrange the sources properly.  Contact me, Jim at


Three + Generations of the REYNOLDS Family in Lawrence Co., TN – Linda Mayfield Vestal


Hamilton, born in Anson County, NC in 1761, wife, Rachel Clements Reynolds, and son Hugh Reynolds, were in Lawrence County, TN before May, 1819. Hamilton was born in Anson County, NC in 1761.  Most of the lineage information has been located for Hugh Riah b. 1795, Isaac Clements b. 1802, and Millage Hamilton b. 1807. By 1830, Hamilton and Rachel had moved on to Hardin County, TN, and in 1840, in a pension application, he gave Purdy, McNairy County, TN as his residence. Their son, Hugh Riah Reynolds, a War of 1812 veteran, married Elizabeth Hamm in 1816. They were the parents of 14 children, the youngest being being Richard Randolph Reynolds. He was born the 20th of August in 1842 in Lauderdale County, AL and married his wife, Roxanna Griffin in Pope County, AR, on the 5th of  October, 1872.  By 1900, this couple and their family were in Lawrence County, TN.  Richard became the proprietor of the Van Leer Hotel in Iron City, TN. Richard's niece, Nancy E. Reynolds, a descendant of Richard’s brother, Hugh Riah, Jr., married James B. Powell on the 5th of December 1880 in Lauderdale County, AL. James and Nancy had moved to Nashville, Davidson County, TN by 1900. James B. was a medical doctor having obtained his degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. Nancy and James Powell had ten children, and this linage continues through other families. (Note:  There are really good photographs of the Richard Randolph Reynolds family, the Van Leer Hotel, and other family photos.)


Lawrence County Archives Relocates


New address:  524 Gallaher St., Lawrenceburg, TN 38464-3814.  The Lawrence County Library is the temporary home of the Archives.  The library is located .3 miles east of the intersection of highways 43 and 64.


Minutes of Lawrence County Genealogical Society Board Meeting And  Minutes to Lawrence County Genealogical Society Meeting Saturday, December 3, 2005      Mary Nell Franks, Secretary


The meetings of the LCGS Board of Directors and LCGS meeting were conducted simultaneously on Saturday, December 3, 2005. The impending facilities move of the Lawrence County Archives to the Library was discussed, and the fact that this was for a period not to exceed two years. The Post Office site had to be vacated by February 29, 2006, and volunteer help was requested to assist the staff as they prepare to move and with the moving process. Possible changes such as maintaining the website, member database management, and opening a separate post office box were also discussed. Motions pertaining to these were made and adopted. A motion was made by Jason Goodrich and seconded by Travis Henderson and adopted unanimously to decrease the number of printed copies of the Lawrence County Heritage journal from 350 to 300 each printing.  A motion was made and adopted to give Kathy Niedergeses and Jim Crowder gifts of $100 each, and a gift basket to Wallace Palmore.


Lawrence County Court Clerk Wills  January 1829 to October 1847  (continued from Winter 20050

abstracted by Wallace Palmore


Richardson, Willis.  Administrator Settlement

Pearce, Spencer.  Guardian Settlement

Tomblin, Judith.   Administrator Settlement

McCabe, Judith.  Guardian Settlement

Burkitt, Burgess.  Executor Settlement

Martin, James.  Guardian Settlement

Whittington, Andrew.  Estate Inventory

Whittington, Andrew.  Widow Year’s Sustainance

Stephenson, Joseph.  Administrator Settlement

Bishop, W. F.  Personal Property Inventory

Whittington, A.  Sale Bill

Matthews, Thomas J.  Widow’s Support

                                                                        (To be continued in the Summer 2006 issue of the Journal)


Obituaries and Death Announcements From Local Newspapers Part VI   (continued from Winter 2005)

compiled by Donna Niedergeses Davis


Josie and Jennie Rhodes

Schade (Little son of Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Richardson)

John G. Robards

Miss Julia C. Robards

J. S. Roberts

Mrs. Margaret Robertson

Mrs. Malissa K. Rose

Jannie Sanders (little daughter of Jas. M. Sanders)

Katie Schade

William Shannon

Mrs. Ann Sheppard

Mrs. W. C. Sills

Judge James A. Simms

Dr. G. Tucker Simonson

Susan Jane Simonton

Will Smith  (Killed by a boiler explosion at W. H. Wiggerman’s sawmill, near Loretto, 1897.)

Miss Alice Spauldin

Freddie Spence, infant son of Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Spence

Mrs. Spencer (Mother of Mr. W. G. Spence)

Death of John W. Stewart

                                                                        (To be continued in the Summer 2006 issue of the Journal)


History of Lawrence County Schools: 1817-1996 – Part III  (continued from Winter 2005) Kathy Niedergeses


Adah School – started in 1904 – Summertown (includes photograph)

Berendsen School – east of St. Joseph

Brush Creek School – in the Laurel Hill Lake area

Bruton School – west of Chisholm Creek

Dunn School – four miles south of Lawrenceburg

E. O. Coffman Middle School – located on the corner of Lafayette Street and Pulaski Street

Fall River School – located 12 miles southeast of Lawrenceburg – est. in the 1860’s (photo included)

Hagan’s Chapel School – on Clear Creek southeast of Lawrenceburg – est. in 1860’s

Ingram Sowell School – located on 7th Street in Lawrenceburg – built in 1952

Iron City School – built in 1931 – building still stands in 1996

Iron City Jr. High School – established in 1928

Iron City Institute – erected in 1894

Southern Normal College – started in 1894 and closed when mines closed – (includes photograph)

Iron City Colored School – open through the 1920’s and 30’s – building sold in 1957

Mars Hill School  - three miles east and slightly north of Lawrenceburg on the Weakley Creek Road

Martin’s Academy –

Mint Springs School – located on Anderson Creek in northeast Lawrence County

Mockeson/Mockerson School – located on Mockerson Branch between Ramah and Five Points

                                                                                    (To be continued in the Summer 2006 Issue of the Journal)


The Book Nook   Reviews by Lila Gobbell, Kathy Niedergeses, and Josephine Pickard


1860 Census of Wayne County, TN,  by Edgar Byler; compiled for computer by Gerald K. Moore


The Noblit Family of Sugar Creek in Giles County and West Point in Lawrence County, TN, Dalton Welch Noblit.


A Brazier/Brasher Saga: 300 years of the Brasher/Brazier/Brasier Family in America, by Charles Brasher and Shirley Brasher McCoy.


Renfro-Revelations and Relations, by Dr. and Mrs. Roy E. Renfro, Jr.


Bon Air Hustler, by Hickman County Historical Society.


The Thomas McMackin Family, by Josephine Pickard. This book may be purchased by contacting the Lawrence County Archives -


Queries    Compiled by Kathy Niedergeses


Dalton/Watkins – Rhoda Dalton b. ca 1820 in TN and John S. Watkins b. ca 1807 in VA

Contact Linda M. Vestal 159 Fair Sailing Rd., Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466 or e-mail

Freemon/Freeman/Crews/Lay/Griggs/McGee/Clayton – Contact Margaret Freemon, 5026 Sigler

             Rd.. South Rockwood, MI 48179 or e-mail


Mystery Families and Photographs


First photograph is of three older women found in the possessions of Lake Wallue Boswell after his death. Contact Linda Boswell Lee at e-mail

Bottom photograph is of a young girl and her dog from the Spence collection. 

(These are very early pictures)


Laurel Hill Cotton Mill – Part I    by Kathy Niedergeses


(Editor’s Note:  The picture on the front cover of this issue of the journal shows the Laurel Hill Cotton Mill and a large number of employees)

In 1850, four gentlemen formed Wilson, Stratton & Co. and operated Laurel Hill Cotton Manufacturing Company located on Laurel Hill Road in the northwest corner of Lawrence County just off the old Natchez Trace. Several hundred acres of land lying on both sides of Little Buffalo River was purchased.  The three story building was built on a hill about 50 feet above the Buffalo River. With 1,570 spindles and 56 looms, the factory used 600 bales of cotton per year, and employed approximately 80 people.

Laurel Hill became a thriving community consisting of approximately 400 families at one point with a community of teamsters, carders, machinists, weavers, blacksmiths, farmers, merchants, etc. In 1880, Willis C. and Clark T. Jones were the owners of Laurel Hill Cotton Manufacturing Company. (This article contains over 30 names taken from the 1860 Lawrence County Census, 12th District of people working in the factory at that time. Contact Lawrence County Archives for additional information.)

                                                                                                (To be continued in the Summer 2006 issue of the Journal)

Lawrence County Archives has moved 

Address: 524 Gallaher Street, Lawrenceburg, TN 38464-3814

E-mail Address:

Web Page Address:  for Lawrence County Archives

Web Page Address: for Lawrence County Genealogical Society

Telephone: (931) 766-1576 for Lawrence County Archives (Kathy Niedergeses, Director) and Lawrence County Genealogical Society (Kathy Niedergeses, charter member)


Update February 13, 2008                            Return to Society's Main Page