Lawrence County Heritage


The Journal of the Lawrence County

(Tennessee) Genealogical Society


Vol. 10, No. 2  Winter 2015


Table of Contents


From the Editor:


Please note the numbering of the last issue (Vol. 19, No. 1, Fall 2015) is in error.  The page numbering repeated the previous issue.  Correct your copy to reflect the change.

Comments, suggestions, or concerns about the journal should be directed to Jim


Addendum to Two Tennessee Girls Named Silas and Thomas by Susan Beeler Anderson


The author of this story that appeared in the previous issue of the journal (Vol. 18, No. 4, Summer 2015) has confirmed that Mary T. Stockard Matthews had three children (not four) by her husband Silas A. Stockard.  Further explanation is provided.


Mystery Families and Photographs


Four photos from the Lawrence County Archives in need of identification are shown: 1) A portrait of a young woman wearing a coat with a fur collar and a hat. (from the Beckham collection); 2) A photo from the studio of B.G. Mapes showing two young boys seated on chairs. (from the Beckham collection); 3) A photo of two young girls. (from the Beckham collection); 4) A photo from the Weider studio of Knoxville, Tenn. Showing three children.  Contact Kathy at or Jim at if you can help identify any of these photos.


Lawrence County, Tennessee 1890 Tax List - Part I, Twelfth Civil District Wallace Palmore


The names of those taxpayers in the Twelfth Civil District of Lawrence County, Tennessee are listed with the following additional information: acres, land value, total property value, poll tax, state tax, county tax, school tax, RR tax, and highway tax:  Bennett, Boyd & Mitchel, Burnes, Beck, Brewer, Banning, Bushler, Belrend, Braskin, Bohaman, Brune, Bowden, Baker, Bulleon, Chambry, Cannon, Crane & Bond, Johnson, Carrell, Christian, Duffield, Fieldhouse, Frich, Fisher, Foster, Fite, Galiway, Gard, GCHA, Grosend, Ham, Henn, Health, Hooks, Harding, Husken, Hoffman, Harvey, Holaway, Hensley, Jones, Jackurane, Junger, John, Jones, Jock, Johnson, Kerbin, Kindler, Koop, Kuny, Laurel Hill Mf. Co.  (To be continued in the Spring 2016 issue of the Journal)


The Thompson Family Compiled by Kathy Niedergeses from Information Given by Leavel Thompson Burlison And Additional Research by Lawrence Niedergeses


From census, marriage and cemetery records, this article provides a history and genealogy of Charles W. Thompson who was born in 1818 and arrived in Lawrence County sometime between the 1860 and 1880 census.  The eight children of Thompson and his wife Harriet Woods Thompson are listed (John W., Benjamin F., Rufus, Mary E., Charles Andrew., Silas Gideon, Margaret, and Samuel Turner) with pertinent information about the family of each child.  The next section provides details on the one son named Samuel Turner Thompson and provides names, dates, etc. for his wives and children (Hattie C. (Belle?), Lula, William Luther, Louella, Lewis Fernando, Isabell, Mamie T., and Naomi).  The last section provides information on Lewis Fernando Thompson- his wives and children (Luther, Agnes, Louis, James McCoy, Rubel Esse, Leavel Marie, Gloria June, Billie Dale, Lewis Oren, Royce Edwin.  The article concludes with a list of sources.


Minutes to Lawrence County Genealogical Society Board Meeting, Saturday, September 19, 2015  Doyce Shaddix


The board meeting was called to order by Lila Gobbell.  The minutes were approved.  The financial report was read and approved.  No Old Business.  New Business included the election of officers.  A motion to set up a bank account for the Bicentennial Pictorial Book Committee was approved.  Members were appointed to a program committee.  The meeting was adjourned.


Minutes to Lawrence County Genealogical Society Meeting, Saturday, September 19, 2015  Doyce Shaddix


The meeting was called to order by President Wallace Palmore.  The financial report was read and approved.  The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved.  No Old Business.  New Business included changing the day and time of the meeting from Saturday to the third Thursday night of each quarter.  All copies of Heritage of Lawrence County, Tennessee books and the David Crockett, the Public Man and Legislator books have sold.  The meeting was adjourned.  A presentation was made by Wallace Palmore on his Poteet family lineage.


Migrations To and From Lawrence County, TN During the 1870s through Early 1900s - Part XXI (continued from Fall 2015)   Researched and Compiled by Kathy & Lawrence Niedergeses


This information was found in newspapers from the 1880s, 1890s and early 1900s.  It includes names mentioned as migrating to or from Lawrence County, visitors, names registered in hotels, former residents subscribing to local newspapers.  The time period for this article is 8 May 1891 through part of September 1891.  Copies of the actual newspaper pages are available from microfilm from the Archives.  Please contact the Archives if you have migration information about your Lawrence County ancestors.  Surnames: Choate, Edmonson, Jones, Eagan, Brownlee, Harvey, Vick, Sandall, Gibson, Stewart, Maxey, Kersey, Dustin, King, McLean, Hickman, Joiner, Angel, Tabler, Meredith, Kennedy, Johnson, Smith, Dunn, Harvey, Deavenport, Parkes, Potts, Hatten, Meadows, Lewis, Whitworth, Irwin, Carrell, Chandler, Carr, Harmon, Buchanan, Simms, Paulk, Wildes, Cannon, Rose, Bentley, Comer, Quinn, Geiger, Meredith, Bass, Wilson, Starr, McDougal, Huelsman, Green, Daugherty, Cole, Wiley, Drake, Woodard, Dixon, Widmer, Trimmer, Endre, Dunkle, Smith.  (To be continued in the Spring 2016 issue of the Journal)


The Fire Fiend - Part XI (continued from Fall 2015)  Researched and compiled by Kathy Niedergeses


This is the 11th installment in a series that began in Vol. 16 #4, Summer 2013, regarding fires, fire fighting equipment and firemen of Lawrence County.  Sources include local newspapers, minutes of the City of Lawrenceburg, various community histories, Our Hometown: Lawrenceburg, TN, etc. and are given with each entry.  The author asks the readers to submit any information regarding fires not listed to the Lawrence County Archives.  See the article for details on the location, date, etc. of each fire listed.  The following locations and surnames are mentioned in the article:  Cunningham, Wilde, Lumpkins, Lawrence, E.E. Phelan’s store, E.H. Steinride's store, Harris, Bailey, Kelley, Brewer, Gunselman, Morgan's Barber Shop, Yarbrough, White, Parkes, Wade, Fields, Reynolds, Smithson, Willingham, Parrish Meat Market, Couch, Springer, Merideth, Moody, Snider, Rippey, Young, Harvey, Dorsey, Hoyer, Keplinger.  (To be continued in the Spring 2016 issue of the Journal) 


John Hudspeth Beeler and the “Ocean to Ocean Highway” Bridge by Susan Beeler Anderson


This story is told by the granddaughter of Lawrence County native John Hudspeth Beeler.  John was involved in the construction of the Ocean to Ocean Highway bridge over the Colorado River at Yuma, Arizona.  Photographs include John and his wife Nellie Horn Beeler and John's shop on Orange Avenue in Yuma.


The Norton Family (Norwegian Surname Olsen)  by Guy Norton


Upon seeing the photo of the Norwegian Lutheran Church on the cover of the Fall 2015 issue of the journal, Guy Norton wrote an email to the archives about his family who came to Lawrence County in 1885.  His letter is reproduced in this issue and tells of the family's arrival in the United States, where they lived prior to moving to Tennessee, and their establishment in the community.   This candid letter illustrates with humor the character of his ancestor Peter Norton and his adherence to the Lutheran faith.  Three family photos are included.


Yesteryear Insights


A letter to the Lawrence News dated 3 Sept. 1934 is reprinted.  It tells of Mrs. W. E. Alexander discovering a “big black chicken snake” while gathering eggs.


About Our Front Cover - The Mester Hotel, also Known as The Lawrenceburg Hotel  Researched and Compiled by Kathy Niedergeses


Multiple sources were consulted to document this hotel's history.  Known by two names, The Lawrenceburg Hotel/The Mester Hotel was owned by George Mester who came to Lawrence County in the early 1870’s.  The compiler traces the Mester family as well as the hotel and associated land through years of newspaper articles and ads, deed records, court and tax records, directories, census records, cemetery and death records.  Comparisons are made using Sanborn maps.  The history concludes by following the Mester family as they move away from Lawrence County to live in Nashville and Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and finally return to Lawrence County.  The story of the family and George Mester’s business dealings are woven into the history of the hotel.  Four ads relating to Mester's businesses are reprinted in the article.


Deadline For Pictorial History Book Extended  by Kathy Niedergeses


The deadline for contributing pictures for the Bicentennial edition of the Lawrence County Pictorial History book has been extended through February 15, 2016.  Pre-publication price of $39.95 is available until February 15, 2016.   Suggestions are given for the kinds of photos needed for the book.


Over-80-Club Memberships Submitted by Kathy Niedergeses


The autobiographies of Mrs. Mina McGee Adams born in Lauderdale County, Alabama in 1858 and W.N. Baxter born in Sevier County, Tennessee in 1884 are printed here. 


Zachariah Alexander and Mary Jane Shelnutt Hood  By Kathy Niedergeses


The author traces her ancestry from William Hood, born 12-28-1739 in Virginia to Zachariah Alexander who arrived in Lawrence County, Tennessee in 1909.  The children and grandchildren of Zachariah and his wife Mary Jane Shelnutt Hood are listed with the names of the children’s spouses and relevant birth, marriage and death dates.


Queries Submitted by Kathy Niedergeses


Betty Beeman is requesting information regarding Andrew Jackson Tidwell born 5 Mar 1866 and died in Yoder, AR, 21 Feb 1920.  He was supposedly buried in Mt. Nebo Cemetery in Lawrence County.  She is specifically interested in finding the name of his second wife and the name of a child mentioned in Andrew Jackson Tidwell’s obituary.  Contact Kathy at the Arcives or Betty at


Updated April 3, 2019                   

Return to Main Page