November 24, 1904
The Harbert branch of Harwells is very large. They have lived in and around Pisgah for a great many years. (1) Reverend Coleman was once a member of the South Carolina Conference, but he lived in Lincoln County, North Carolina, from which place he removed to Giles County about 1812 or 1813. He died in the house where Dr. J. G. Mason's family lives near Prospect, in January 1841. His remains were carried in an ox cart to the Prospect Campgrounds, a mile distant where they were interred on land owned by his first cousin, Thomas A. Westmoreland, who was merchant and postmaster at that place. A headstone was erected at the grave but it was destroyed by Federal Soldiers during the war. (2) Harbert or Harbard (the name is spelled differently by several of my informants) was the second son. (3) Reverend Stith M. was the other son. (4) Jane was a daughter. (1) Reverend Coleman's children were: Ausburn B., Reverend Thomas Douglas, and Reverend William McKendree ("Mack"). (2) Harbard's children were: Thomas, Sarah, Lettie and Slater, who was killed at Gettysburg during the War. (3) Reverend Stith M. was a local preacher. He came from Virginia to North Carolina and removed to Tennessee in 1800. He had nine children. Reverend Coleman A., who lives near Bradshaw is the third oldest living Harwell. He belonged to the Tennessee Conference for eight years. Raleigh B. is dead. Reverend Harbard M. is a local preacher, living near Bradshaw. Reverend William S. is a member of the Tennessee Conference at present. His mother was named Martha B. He was born April 12,1845, joined the Church in September, 1864, and was admitted on trial into the Conference October 17, 1867 at Clarksville. He has served the following charges. Shoal, one year; Lafayette, one year; Diana, two years; Elkmont, one year; Swan, one year; Blanche, one year; Pleasant Valley, one year; Mooresville, one year; Linden, and Beardstown, one year; Hampshire, four years; Carter's Creek, one year; Huntland, one year; Belfast, one year; Almayville, 1901-2. Mary married "Boss" Smith. She is living on Buchanan Creek. Martha died in 1865. S. Capers died a few years ago. Stith M. lived to be 77 years old. Sarah Agnes was noted for her great piety and sweet disposition. She died when a young woman in 1847. Samuel M. belonged to Company "A", Cook's Regiment, 32nd Tennessee. He died in prison at St. Louis. (4) Jane married Dr. James McDonald. Both died about the same time. Reverend Stith M. raised their three children, Jonas, Jane and Robert. Robert belonged to the 32nd Tennessee and died during the War. Ausburn B. married Mary ("Polly") Sherrill, daughter of Levi Sherrill and Elizabeth Harwell, his wife, daughter of the first Samuel Harwell. They had two children - William C. who married and moved to West Tennessee and died, and Levi, who married, and has been lost sight of by relatives. Ausburn B. married the second time and had several children. About the close of the War he started to Texas and died before reaching his destination. He is buried in that State. His children are supposed to be in Texas. Reverend Thomas Douglas Harwell was a member of the Tennessee Conference when a young man. He died in Dyer County, Tennessee, near Friendship in the 90's and is buried in a graveyard in the neighborhood. He married Ann Russell, of Jackson County, Alabama. He had six children: viz.: Macy C. who married George W. Taylor of Prospect vicinity and moved to West Tennessee, where both died. Dr. W. Fletcher was a surgeon in the Confederate Army. He died in Dyer County and is buried near Friendship in Crockett County. Thomas C. was killed in the Confederate States Army. "Ninnie" - a nickname - married a Methodist Minister named Sawrie. They went west. He is dead. Her real name was Sarah. Joe P. is married and lives in Dyer County. L. Burr married Alice Molloy and lives at Friendship, Crockett County. He is a leading merchant of that place.
Reverend William McKendree ("Mack") Harwell was married four times. His first wife was Mary Ann Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel Harwell. They had one child - Dr. John Rufus of Nashville. His second wife was Eliza Nash, of Bedford County. His third wife was Ophelia McKnight. His fourth wife was the widow of Frank Harwell (Hubbard's son) who was a sister of his third wife. Reverend "Mack" did not belong to Conference but he traveled Richland Circuit one year in the 40's as junior preacher to fill a vacancy. Reverend Loyd Richardson was his colleagues He died at the home of W. A. Wilkerson near Bradshaw a few years ago, aged eighty odd years, and is buried at Mt. Zion by the side of his first wife, at his request. He had no children by the third and fourth marriages. By the second marriage the following; LaFayette, who died in youth. Dr. Coleman ("Bud", sometimes called "Dr. B. C.") married a Miss Warren, who is now wife of William ("Good Billy") Harwell. Dr. Coleman is dead and is buried near Minor Hill. He practiced medicine on Sugar Creek. Joanna married W. A. Wilkerson. W. Wilkes lives near Bradshaw. He married Sallie Harwell, daughter of Frank Harwell. Thomas S. died in Nashville when a young man, while living with his half-brother, Dr. John Rufus. Ausburn married near Bunker Hill and was killed by a kick from a mule several years ago. Thomas, son of Harbard, married a McKnight. His sister Sarah was a handsome and attractive woman. She married a Smith. His other sister, Lettie, died a few years ago.
The fourth generation is as follows: Samuel K., Riggs, Meade and Raleigh, sons of Reverend Coleman A. Harbard M. has a son named Coleman and a daughter, Dora, who married Wash Adkins. Mary J. Smith's children are: William, who married Jennie Burgess. They have two children - Vestal and Clyde. Charlie S., who married Ellen Burgess, a sister to William's wife, and who recently died. They had two children - Tully and Leila May. Bascom who married Ivy Hayes. They have one child, Lillian, who married W. S. Mayes who died in 1903. Monroe is single. Raleigh's widow is living. John S. was a son. He married Angie, daughter of Reverend W. A. Turner. They had three children - Mary, Allen and Pattie. He died in May, 1904. His widow lives in Texas. Rufus died in boyhood. Alvin died when a young man. William G. is living near Pisgah. A sister is living. The children of S. Capers are: Walter, who married a Burch and has three small boys and two small girls; Mrs. Walter Smith; Mrs. Arney Young, who has two young boys and Edna, who died in young womanhood.
Edward Taylor, a bright young man, son of Mary C. and George W. Taylor, and grandson of Reverend Thomas D. Harwell, married a daughter of the President of Hiwassee College. He died shortly afterwards. His sister, Lennie, married and died in Dyer County, West Tennessee.
Dr. W. Fletcher Harwell married Sallie Mallory of Friendship, Crockett County, oldest sister of L. Burr Harwell's wife. They had one son - Fletcher - who lives with his mother in Texas. L. Burr Harwell's son, Carl M., is a finely educated young man, and is a professor in a college at Little Rock, Arkansas.
Dr. John Rufus Harwell's children are: Idella M. She died in October 1879 at 21 years of age and is buried at Nashville. Florence P. married Franz E. Harwell and lives in Pensacola, Florida. He is a descendant of Franklin Harwell. Thomasella B. married Wharton J. Allen and lives in Nashville. Florence P. Harwell's children are: Franz Rufus, 15 years old and Annie Wharton, 12 years old. Thomasella B. Allen's children are; W. Harwell Allen, 17 years old and Lucile E. Allen, 13 years old.
Joanna Wilkerson's children are; Beulah, who married William Capley. She died recently and left three beautiful little children. William, Frank, Misses Cora and Mattie Wilkerson, are the others. W. Wilkes Harwell has several children. Ausburn, youngest son of "Mack" had three children - Sadie and Alva and Collier.
"Mack" son of Raleigh, married Sallie McCracken, now the wife of E. F. Aymett. He died about 15 years ago. They had three children - Luther, Edgar and Miss Charlie, all living.
There are several scattering names. "Fat Tommy" Harwell was a son of Sam, a brother of Hubbard. His sons - Lum, Harb, "Bud", and "Boogie" live in this section and have families. Tommy married a McKnight. Frank, his brother I think, died during the War. He married a McKnight also. Peter Mayes and John Hayes married either daughters of Sam or Hubbard. W. A. Owen married into this family. His wife died in 1902 and is buried at Pisgah. Thomas Owen, a son, lives near Young. Franklin Harwell, the last of the five brothers, had three children - Harbert, James and Buckner. Harbert's children are: Burns, Cicero, Virgil, Addison, Christopher and Franz E. This branch of the family have lived in Mississippi for many years. Some have gone elsewhere but many are in that State yet.
Reverend Dr. John Rufus Harwell, Grand Secretary of the I. O. O. F. of Tennessee, of Nashville, was once a member of the Tennessee Conference. He furnished a considerable portion of the items about the Harwell Family, which are inculcated in this history. He writes very interestingly of both the Family and old times at Pisgah. He left Giles County when sixteen years of age and has only occasionally visited old sites and scenes. He was born in 1836. In his letter he spoke of Reverend Elam Stevenson thus: "He married my paternal grandfather's sister, Lydia Payne, in North Carolina. I knew him well, and he was one of God's noblemen; pure as a woman, polite as Chesterfield, simple as a child, genial in disposition, and lived and died without a stain upon his character. Grand old man. My last visit to him at his son Mack's, when on his dying bed, is one of the sweetest memories of my life. This world grows very few men like him now". Reverend Coleman Harwell was one of the campers at Pisgah. He owned one of the best camps on the ground. About 1838 he moved to Prospect. His three sons went with him. He did not camp at Pisgah again as there was a campground at Prospect, where he did camp. His family visited campmeetings at Pisgah. In the boyhood of Dr. J. R. Harwell there were over fifty tents at this place, quite a number of Harwells - Wesley, two Harberts, Logan D., and Stith M., and Levi Sherrill, two Olivers, several Abernathys and a great many others. The meetings usually were held in September. They began on Friday evening and lasted until the next Wednesday. Generally there were five services: prayers at sunrise, preaching at 8 and 11 o'clock A. M. 3 o'clock P. M. and at "early candle light". Everything was free - free board, free lodging, free care of horses, and a free gospel. After supper and as twilight began the people would collect in their tents or sit on benches in front and make the welkin ring with their hymns. This was continued until the horn was blown for evening service. Many a love match was made during these meetings. One marriage, a Gretna Green affair, created a furor. It took place in one of the tents. The contracting parties were Robert McNairy and Albina "Duck" Johnson. Reverend James C. Stevenson officiated. The bride was the niece and ward of William H. Oliver.
Among the preachers who attended these meetings and traveled the Richland Circuit were, Golman Green, Loyd Richardson, W. R. "Buck" Hughes, W. J. Hensley, Sion Record, Smith W. Moore, W. A. Gilmore, William Davis Brown, brother of Willis J. Brown, and several others. Reverend Dr. Harwell says he saw Reverend Joshua Bouchard and was baptized by him. He also knew A. F. Driskill and John Sherrill, two presiding elders quite well. In speaking of them he says; "Driskill was a pure, good man but he created no enthusiasm. He always made very rigid rules for the government of the people during campmeetings which sometimes caused friction. On one occasion his reproof was so pointed and personal that he was threatened with a thrashing, and was given an escort for protection when he left for home. Reverend John Sherrill was more popular. He was more tolerant and a preacher of considerable popularity. He was large and broad-shouldered, of commanding appearance, with a stentorian voice. He did not rant but was deliberate yet earnest in his style and his voice, although strong, was pleasant. Pisgah! dear glorious old Pisgah! A thousand precious memories crown upon me at the mention of the sacred name. If it's old trees could speak what a wonderful story they could tell of the fifty years of singing and shouting, of preaching and praying, of glorious conversations and hallowed associations".
And thus is Pisgah held in recollection not by a few but by many. Here is where they first saw the light. Here is where many pleasant days were spent. The changes can be but sad. How different today. Familiar faces are few. Strangers tread in their steps. The landmarks altered or effaced. The heart is filled with mingled sorrow and tearful memory. Friends and kin are gone. Were it not for the beaming star of hope in the firmament of life this existence would be too sad to live.