By W. Thomas Carden

October 20, 1904
Interesting Facts Regarding Pioneer Families.

Peter Randolph, a wag, lived in the hollow near Pisgah, which is known today as "Randolph Hollow". He was the son of James Randolph, who came from Virginia. There was a large family of them. The old man was a staunch Presbyterian and well read. Peter had no education but for keen wit he was hard to excel. He was a renter. He boasted that he always went on the sure plan. Some worked for a third and some for a fourth but he worked for the noneth, and as good a lawyer as John T. Allen could not euchre him out of dues. He had two sons who were killed while serving in the Army. They were named Carson and "Toad" and belonged to Captain Arrowsmith's Company, 32nd Tennessee. Carson was killed at Chickamauga.

Reverend David Crook was a native of Virginia. He was a noted Baptist preacher, belonging to the "Hardshell" division. He was a surveyor and had a splendid education. He was a great nurse and ministered untiringly at the bedside of all who were sick or afflicted. He preached far and near. Major Early Benson and Larkin Cardin were prominent members of his church on Indian Creek. Mr. Crook preached long sermons and would finish his discourse if all of the congregation left. It is told of him that at one time at Indian Creek he preached so long the crowd grew weary and all left except "Uncle Billy" Tennery who was asleep. When he awoke the preacher was still orating. "Uncle Billy" arose and walked out, remarking at the door, "Brother Crook, when you get through, shut the door". Reverend Crook was a remarkable man in his day and time and was beloved by all. I regret that I have not secured more information of him. He had a large family. Two sons were in the Mexican War. His youngest son was killed in the late War at Pensacola, Florida. He was the grandfather of Press, Pat and Lonzo Bass. He died in 1857.

William Grubbs, son of Nicholas Grubbs, belonged to the Third Tennessee Regiment, Company "A". He came home during the War and died.

Jessie Montgomery, a blacksmith and wood workman, lived on the hill for some time and moved to where his son, W. M. Montgomery, now lives and died there. He had seven children, to wit: Mrs. Torn Harwell, Mrs. J. C. Young, Mrs. T. E. Young, living, and Sterling, Virginia and Sallie, dead. He died in 1875, aged 56 years.

Nathan Bass, an early settler, was born in Virginia, May 7, 1779. He married Martha Beaty, January 31, 1806. Eleven children - eight boys and three girls were born to this couple. He died October 1860. Martha Bass, his wife, was born June 9, 1787, and died July 22, 1860. Stephen Hiram Bass, the oldest child, was born December 20, 1806, and died November 21, 1860. He was made General over Militia. Nancy E., was born January 10, 1808. She married David George. She died April 5, 1888. John was born March 1, 1810. When a young man he fell out of a wild Cherry Tree and broke his back. It is supposed the cherries intoxicated him. He lived for forty years in the bed. He never married and lived in the house where Allen Pitts now resides. He died April 19, 1860. William B. was born April 9, 1811, and died May 14, 1811. Hiram was born April 26, l8l2, and died December 25, 1863, in Mississippi. 'Annabella was born February 4, 1814. She married Colston Abernathy. She died in 1886. Benjamin B. was born January 15, 1816, and died October 20, 1876. Farington was born December 28, 1818, and died June 7, 1864. Gilbert W. was born September 28, 1823, and died of Smallpox March 2, 1864. Martha J. J. was born August 1828, and died February 17, 1835. Jacob Miller was born September 23, 1835, and is still living at Bunker Hill, in fairly good health. James died January 20, 1900, aged 79 years. Gilbert Washington Bass and Mary Eliza Williams were married December 21, 1842. She was born November 26, 1821, and died April 25, 1892. The following are their children. Nancy was born December 23, 1843, and died August 23, 1844. Francis Marion was born October 6, 1843. He married and has a large family and lives at Bunker Hill. He married a daughter of Alfred Houze. Lucinda Lauretta married James Hamlett and lives between this place and Pulaski. Thomas Franklin lives near here. Logan Green dies in infancy. Nathan James (Buddy) lives near here. Caroline Farington died January 15, 1892. Jacob Miller, Jr., died November 7, 1898.

Thomas Williams, father of Gilbert Bass's, was born April 15, 1796, and died in Lincoln County, January 26, 1833. He married Nancy McMullin. She was born December 5, 1797, and died at the Gilbert Bass home in 1864. Their children were James Wright Williams who was born December 23, 1817; Minerva Jane, who was born December 16, 1819: F. Marion, who was born July 4, 1823: M. E., who was born November 21, 1821: Pittman Perry, who was born in 1825: Caroline E. born April 6, 1827, married a Mr. Adkins and moved to Limestone county, Alabama, where she is now living. Green Harrison born May 23, 1829, and died in 1903; S. D., born May 15, 1831 and died in infancy.

James Bass was the father of the present constable, Augustus Bass, Woodlee, and Burks. T. F. Bass has a nickle-plated knee-buckle which his grandfather, Nathan, wore when married. N. J. Bass has several caps which were worn a great deal before the war. Several of the specimens were made about 1830 and 1840. They were hand sewed and at first glance could not tell it from machine work. The caps worn on Sundays were of better material than those worn through the week.

Allen Pitts, father of Mrs. Sarah Ann Neal, owned a Hemp Factory and lived where W. C. Mason now lives. Annals was the oldest son. Matthias a few years ago had a cancer on his face which was eating into one of his eyes. Through a fit of despondency he borrowed a gun from Dr. R. E. Aymett, stating he wished to kill some squirrels, and shot himself. His son, George W., was sheriff of this County for two terms. He was a lieutenant in Field's Old Company, First Tennessee Regiment, and was killed at Perryville by grapeshot. Henry, oldest son of Allen Pitts, was in three wars - Florida, Mexican and Civil. He and Calvin Miles, of Lincoln County, are mentioned in one of the histories, as the only privates in the Buena Vista Engagement, who received notice for bravery. They dashed through the enemy's lines under a solid stream of bullets, in a Cavalry Charge and captured a Mexican officer and miraculously escaped. One Sunday he wanted to go to Church but could not find one of his boots. Not to be thwarted he blacked his foot and went to Sharon and enjoyed the service as much as if he had worn the finest boot on the foot. He was killed in Texas three years ago by a chimney failing on him. The Pitts' were unexceptionally brave men. Charles Pitts, brother of Allen Pitts, was born June 2, 1802. He had two sons in the War, Jack and Houston, members of the Third Tennessee. Jack would often stand upon the breastworks and wave his hat at the enemy. He died near the close of the war while in the Georgia Campaign by eating toadstools, mistaking them for mushrooms. Charles Pitts was a very active man. He was so restless and impatient that he threw all the corn he gathered at the negroes to make them keep busy. He gave Dr Lancaster a stipulated sum per year to do his practice. It is said that once he sent for the doctor and when Dr. Lancaster came Mr. Pitts was in the field at work. The doctor asked him how he was. He replied, "if you want to talk to me you will have to walk with me. I am too busy to stop". Probably he was taking the spell of sickness that killed him. Will Randolph was his overseer. Among his negroes were two, named Green and Pink, respectively. One day Randolph was whipping Green on some pretext. Mr. Pitts called him to whip Pink too, for if he did not need it then he would need it later, and they might not have time to give it to him. He died September 2, 1854, and was buried at this place in a metallic coffin. I think it was the first coffin of that kind ever seen at this place. It was the shape of a man and was copper lined and was very heavy. It is said to have looked very frightful. He left a large family. Houston died since the war, at Fayetteville. Allen, the youngest child, lives near this place at present. Billy died of Scarlet Fever. Celestia is single and lives with her brother. "Babe" married "Doc" Newton and lives in Lawrence County. Isabella married John Wilson.

Colonel E. W. Cole spent his boyhood days around Pisgah. I cannot at this time get a sketch of him from his family. His mother was a widow and they were in destitute circumstances. He and the late Joseph Childers were boys together. Mr. Cole worked in the Hemp Factory at Allen Pitts. His family moved near Pulaski. Mr. Cole pulled fodder off of Fort Hill when a boy at twenty five cents a day and thought he was getting rich. He left Giles County in 1845 for Nashville, riding, some say, an old blind horse. He secured employment and "stuck to his job" and made a noted financier and philanthropist. He died suddenly in New York City a few years ago. Mrs. W. F. Simpson, who lives a few miles west of Pulaski, is his sister. A Mrs. Gaines, a niece, lived in this section awhile. Although in valetudinarian state of health - having a spinal affection - she was very industrious. She made fine boots and her fame spread. She received frequent orders from Philadelphia.

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