The Cornersville Club
Compiled by Judy Sanders
In Texas a club flourishes called the "Cornersville Club," made up of persons who went to school together at Cornersville, Tenn. Quite a number of the club live at Waco, and the plan is for the annual reunion of the club to be held at Cornersville this year. To this end excursion rates have been obtained from Hearne to Nashville, Tenn., and the party left Texas on the 19 inst., and will have their reunion next Saturday REUNION OF THE CORNERSVILLE CLUB 1876 The "Cornersville Club" was formed by a group of persons who migrated to Texas from Giles County, Tennessee, but not only that, this same group of people had something else in common. They had all lived and gone to school together in the community of Cornersville in Giles County. This club was formed in 1871 and met annually in Waco, Texas, where most of the members of the club lived. But in the year 1876, this club decided to return to Cornersville to have their reunion in observance of the centennial year. Below is an article taken from the Pulaski Citizen, June 29, 1876 edition which tells about the origin of the "Cornersville Club" and their reunion in Cornersville, Giles County, Tennessee in the year 1876. JKS
The reunion of the "Cornersville Club" at old Beech Grove Academy, on Saturday last was a grand success. It was an old fashioned Tennessee welcome as well as reunion of the club. The Texans arrived there on Thursday numbering 41 in all. A splendid basket dinner was served in Maj. Allman’s beautiful grove, where the old academy still stands in a good state of preservation, and well cared for by Maj. A. The Pulaski Silver band enlivened the occasion with splendid music, and speeches were made by prominent men of the party. We learn that a club was organized by the citizens of the neighborhood who will return the visit of the Texans next year.
The Cornersville Club originated in an accidental dining in May 1871, of B.F. Richey, E.P. Massey and H. Mitchell, with their families, at the residence of Mr. E.P. Massey, in Waco, Texas. There, as these sturdy pioneers talked over their school boy days, discussing at the same time a genial old-fashioned Tennessee dinner, it was proposed that a social club be organized, and that annual reunion be held at the residences of the members in order, entertainment to consist simply of an old fashioned Tennessee dinner, served without parade or ostentation of any kind. Pursuant to this, a meeting was held in June, 1871, which was attended by nine of "the Cornersville boys," whose names and residences, with the date of their births, are annexed:
J. Mitchell, Bryan, born October 22, 1817.
E.P. Massey, Waco, born November 24, 1818.
B.F. Richey, Waco, born December 28, 1819.
H. Mitchell, Bryan, born April 9, 1821.
J.P. Mitchell, M.D., Bryan, born February 25, 1823.
C.W. Mitchell, Bryan, born June 10, 1825.
J.H. Richey, Waco, born May 20, 1827.
W.H. Wilkes, M.D., Waco, born April 8, 1833.
T. C. Richey, Waco, born February 1, 1836.
With these gentlemen the club was organized, and to the list of members were added the names of E.M. Patrick, of Galveston, and Judge W.S. Day, of Hemstead, of whose ages there is no record: nor are these gentlemen on the present excursion. Since then J.K. Street, preacher and Journalist, has been admitted an active member and is with the party.
The club elects officers at each annual meeting. The present president is B.F. Richey, and C.W. Mitchell is secretary.
The members of the club are a solid, respectable set of men, some of them highly educated, accomplished and entertaining. Among them are bankers, capitalists, merchants and professional men as well as farmers.
The following are the names of the Texas excursionists:
From Waco—J.K. Street and Mrs. M.E. Street, editors Street’s Illustrated Monthly; Miss Eliza Street, Miss Mary Gates, Dr. W.H. Wilkes, wife and daughter, Miss Lena Stockton, E.P. Massey, wife and daughter, J.M. Holt, wife and child, J.M. Killough, Miss Sue Killough, Mrs. Plunkett and two children, F.P. Maddox, Wm. C. Armstrong, B.F. Richey and wife, T.C. Richey, Mrs, Dr. A.A. Beville and three children, Mrs. Mary Long, Mrs. O. Harris, Mr. T. Carrum and two ladies, W.M. Ragland, Jasper Miller, Franklin Britton, J.A. Wood, R.H. Martin, E.H. Martin, Jr.
From Bryan City—J.P. Mitchell, wife and son, H. Mitchell, J.H. Mitchell, M. Barker, W.H. Vernon.
Huntsville—Edward Williams, wife and daughter. Jefferson—F. Miller.
Capt. B.F. Richey of Waco, Texas, was in to see us on Friday last, and we thank him for the visit. His name had been familiar
to us for many years, but his face had never been seen. He left Giles county for Texas the year we came to Pulaski, 1855. He
has lived to see Waco grow from a clapboard to a city of 8,000 population, with two dailies, two weeklies and two monthly
papers. Capt. Richey is a stalwart, fine gentleman, who seems to have borne life’s burdens well and to have been successful
and happy in his far off prairie home. He says we hardly do justice to Texas sometimes, but thinks it well enough for people not
to go there with expectations too high. He thinks it is far superior to this country. He was greatly disappointed in his
expectations of appearance about Cornersville. He had not been there for 21 years, and the town looked greatly dilapidated,
and the country greatly worn. Once familiar faces had grown to be strangers and the companions and friends of youth and early
manhood had to be introduced. The entire party had enjoyed the excursion.
Source: The Pulaski Citizen, July 6, 1876 edition.