Lawrence County Heritage


The Journal of the Lawrence County

(Tennessee) Genealogical Society


Vol. 20  No. 1  Fall 2016

Table of Contents


Compiled by Lawrence Niedergeses



From the Editor:


Due to the death of our editor Jim Crowder, Kathy Niedergeses will be the new editor with Wallace Palmore and Doyce Shaddix as the associate editors. The Lawrence County, Tennessee Pictorial History Book will be delivered around Jan. 20, 2017. Announcements will be on the radio station, local newspapers and the archives and society web pages. If you would like for us to change what we print in the journal contact us and let us know. You may contact me at 931-762-6338 or 


Memorial Tribute to Jim Crowder by Kathy Niedergeses


James Dunn Crowder, age 80 of Lawrenceburg passed away on June 9, 2016 at his residence. He was a native of Lawrenceburg, retired lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and also retired from Lawrence County High School as a teacher. He is survived by his wife Nancy Elizabeth Lanning Crowder of Lawrenceburg, one son, Kenneth Alan “Ken” Crowder and wife, Linda of Lewisburg, TN; two daughters, Karen Annette Crowder of Nashville, TN; and Caroline Crowder Mapes and husband, Tritt of Hernando, MS; and six grandchildren.


The McMasters Families That Came to Lawrence County, TN and Others That Did Not by Wallace Palmore


Jonathan McMasters was the son of James McMasters and Susannah Cann. He was born about 1765, probably in Chathan County, NC, and died 3 March 1841 in Lawrence County, TN. Jonathan married Hannah Hobson, who was the daughter of Charles Hobson and Sarah Beck. She was born 25 February 1761 in NC and died 1 March 1852 in Lawrence County, TN. Wallace lists the children, grandchildren and great - grandchildren of Jonathan and Hannah. Continued in the Winter 2016 issue of the Journal)


Minutes to Lawrence County Genealogical Society Board Meeting, Saturday, June 19, 2016 by Doyce Shaddix


The meeting was called to order by Lila Gobbell. The minutes were read and accepted. The treasurer’s report was read and accepted. There was no old business. New business was that Emily Weathers Kennedy is now assisting the Lawrence County, Tennessee Pictorial History Book - Bicentennial Edition committee in charge of sales of sponsor pages. The meeting was adjourned.


Minutes to Lawrence County Genealogical Society Meeting, Saturday, June 19, 2016 by Doyce Shaddix


The meeting was called to order by President Wallace Palmore. The minutes of the March 2016 meeting were read and accepted. The treasurer’s report was read and accepted. There was no old or new business. The meeting concluded with a presentation by William Michael "Mickey" Dunn about the Dunn Family.


The Fire Fiend - Part XIV (continued from Summer 2016) Researched and compiled by Kathy and Lawrence Niedergeses


This is the 14th 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: Marlow, Busby’s Garage, Marston, Woodard, Hayes, Benson, Reasonover, Anthony Schoolhouse, Morrow, Davidson, McGrew, Gobbel, Hartup, Campbell, Shrader, Hughes, Vandorn, Liberty Grove Church, Freemon, White, Clayton, Risner, Wright, Baugus, Henson Jewelry Shop, Niedergeses, Crowder, Guavadina, Grassy Schoolhouse, Snell Farm, Boyd. (To be continued in the Winter2016 issue of the Journal)


The Book Nook reviewed by Lila Gobbell


The following books are reviewed: History of the Ethridge Church of Christ for the Sesquicentennial Celebration May 22, 2016 by Sara “Dolly” Leighton; Todd Farm I by Norris Todd; LaCroix by Sid James; The Families of Paquier Lacroix and Thomas Lumpkins by Sid James


A Dunn Family History (Information taken from a presentation by Mickey Dunn at LCGS meeting June 18, 2016) written by Doyce Shaddix


The Dunn family originated from County Kilkenny which is in southeast Ireland. James Dunn emigrated from Ireland in the early 1800’s, briefly moving to Indiana before settling in Kentucky where he married Maria Scully. Thomas Dunn, son of James and Maria was born in Kentucky January 6, 1835 and the family moved to Tennessee after the Civil War. Thomas married Sarah Tennessee “Tennie” Sykes in 1873 in Lawrenceburg. Thomas and Sarah’s son James Thomas Dunn, Sr. was born August 13, 1874 and married Marion Harlan Buchannan on November 10, 1898. They had nine children. Their son Russell Graham “Gedy” Dunn was the father of our speaker Mickey Dunn. He was born in 1918 and died in 2004.


Big Circus Train Wrecked Friday (Taken from Lawrence Democrat Union, September 1, 1926) Submitted by Kathy Niedergeses


The big Circus train of Christy Bros. show, with 30 steel cars and double header engines, smashed into the rear end of a local freight in Loretto, TN last Friday morning and caused one of the worse wrecks ever seen in this county. Hundreds of the curious gathered at the scene of the wreck during the day to see the double attraction of a train wreck and a whole menagerie of circus animals. One of the biggest aids in shifting the heavy cars back and forth was that of the big elephants, which was used to move the heavy objects and speeded the work materially.


Longs to Hear from Friends in Her Native County of Lawrence submitted by Kathy Niedergeses


Mrs. Mabel Marker Kaley who now resides in Chicago, Illinois writes to her hometown newspaper trying to get in touch with some of her friends. She tells about things that happened when she was younger before she moved.


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


The names of those taxpayers in the Fourteenth 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: Alexander, Aplen, Allen, Armstrong, Benson, Boyed, Bateman, Bosford, Bennett, Baldwin, Boyd, Bowser, Belefant, Brandon, Birdsley, Putman, Bratton, Bailey, Chatman, Carrell, Cook, Collier, Coil, Crane, Harvey, Conaway, Crostwait, Clayton, Carter, Clark, Cannon, Carothers, Cothran, Coak, Dicus, Dennis, Daws, Dunn, Hughes, Eagleson, Eadee, Escue, Frierson, Foster, Fouste, Frish, Fulks, Gilliam, Gresel, Gray, Gardner, Gould, Pease, Griggs, Goodridge, Graff, Hughes, Howard, Holland, Hartwell, Mead, Higdon, Hills, Hendrix, Holcovert, Hough, High, Horne, Hays. (To be continued in the Winter 2016 issue of the journal)


Migrations To and From Lawrence County, TN During the 1870s Through Early 1900s Researcher and Compiled by Kathy and 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. 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: Love, McDougal, Green, Garrett, Horton, Bentley, Regenold, Rose, Nixon, Bennett, Kraus, Finney, Rodgers, Gilbert, Kinney, Williams, Stewart, Long, Bloom, Schade, Frost, Dunn, Harvey, Cason, Wells, Parkes, Joiner, Thomas, Norman, Richardson, Neelley, Gribble, Haggard, Turman, Casteel, Tucker, Spears, McLain, Freemon, King, Kennedy, Sanders, Tronson, Ross, Sowell, McMillan, Barnett, Coop, White, Jackson, Davenport, Lucas, Watts, Cocke, Whipps, Young. (To be continued in the Winter 2016 issue of the journal)


Mystery Families and Photographs


Three pictures are presented that need identification: 1) Picture of a group of men working on the railroad, 2) Picture from Skip Egley with what appears to be three law enforcement officers apparently taking target practice, 3) Four elegantly dressed men and women possibly a wedding picture from the attire and flowers. Contact Kathy at if you know any of these people.


The Beginning of Western Auto in Lawrence County, The Transition of Western Auto from 1936 to 2016 Researched and Compiled by Kathy Niedergeses


W. L. Watson, Sr. started Western Auto's first building in 1936 next door to Robert Hayes & Sons Hardware on North Military Street. In 1946 they moved one door south to a larger building. Then in 1967 they purchased property on North Locust Street just north of Niedergeses Bros. Grain and Implement Co. In 1997 Western Auto Supply Company was in trouble and Mike Watson the grandson of W. L. Watson, Sr. was looking for another company to affiliate their business with. True Value Company filled this need with good quality products, great support, and very competitive everyday pricing. They celebrated 80 years in business in 2016.


City Building Boom Now is On


The Lawrence Democrat-Union in its June 7, 1927 issue lists several homes and businesses that are being constructed on North Military and Depot Streets.


Turkey Shoots in the Old Days by Kathy Niedergeses


The author uses a picture of a long ago turkey shoot that will appear in the Lawrence County, Tennessee Pictorial History Book - Bicentennial Edition the society is compiling and tells a story about it. She adds a bit of humor by relating her visit to a turkey farm when she was young.


Dentist Pulls 105 Teeth in One Day Submitted by Kathy Niedergeses


Dr. J. J. Reavis a local dentist on a trip to Leoma found that Dr. Harris, a local physician of that place had them lined up for him and after he was through he had pulled 105 teeth.