September 22, 1904
For several years Esquire James Paine played a conspicuous part in affairs generally, both religiously and materially, in this County. He was an influential citizen, a loyal Methodist, and a fine business man. He acquired good property. His ancestors were of English-Welsh descent, having emigrated from Normandy with William 1, (the Conqueror, who was born 1017 and died 1087: he was Duke of Normandy, conquered England, and was made king). This was in the eleventh century. Two of the Paine ancestry were knighted for bravery on the field of battle. In 1800 James Paine, M. D., grandfather of James Paine of this place, who had been educated in London, where he practiced his profession, came to the United States and settled in Massachusetts. After a short residence in New England Dr. Paine moved south and settled in North Carolina near the town of Oxford. In 1824 James Paine removed to Giles County, because he believed a new county afforded more promise for his large growing family. His children were honored and respected. I understand that he was a Justice of the Peace in North Carolina and also served in that capacity in this county. He wrote a beautiful hand. He lived where Logan Birdsong now resides and the place was known as "CherryFlat". Near the house under some cedar trees is the old Paine burying ground where James Paine and most of his family are interred. The slab-boards are well preserved. The inscription upon the tombstone of James Paine reads:
"In memory of James Paine, born in Person County, North Carolina, March 18, 1776. Died 19th August 1840, in full assurance of eternal life, through Jesus Christ. Integrity and consistency of character were blended in him, combined with piety and usefulness".
James Paine helped build Bethesda and was a regular camper at this place. He was twice married. His first wife was named Mary A. She died November 30, 1815, aged thirty three years, eleven months and eleven days. His second wife named Elizabeth, who was born February 8, 1791, and died July 18, 1834. Martha W. daughter Of James and Mary A. Paine, is buried with her parents. She was born May 29, 1807. She was married to W. W. Rivers January 12, 1831. Her husband, William W. Rivers, was born November 22, 1803, and died April 2, 1836, and is buried by her side. She married Thomas E. Abernathy, June 7, 1838. Her death occurred June 22, 1891. Several descendants live at present in this County.
Mary W., daughter of James and Mary A. Paine, was born September 26, 1815, died November 3, 1817. Elizabeth M., daughter or James and Mary A. Paine, and Consort of William R. Brown, was born June 26, 1802, and died August 10, 1826. Rowena, another daughter, married Colonel Robert Dickson. She was born December 29, 1818, and died July 29, 1855. Colonel Dickson is buried by her side. He was born January 10, 1810, and died November 9, 1873. Colonel Dickson was a prominent planter of near Pulaski.
John H., son of James and Elizabeth Paine, was born May 26, 1832, and died October 27, 1832. Elizabeth A., daughter of the above couple, was born August 5, 1829, and died December 8, 1829. Elizabeth Mary, another daughter, died February 24, 1835, aged seven months and twenty one days. I notice three children named Elizabeth but they died young. There may have been another of the name who lived to be old. Lucius was born October 5, 1826, and died January 14, 1827. Erasmus S., was born May 1, 1821, and died January 7, 1822. Erskine F., was born January 14, and died August 4, 1828. Caroline C., was born November 3, 1822, and died October 5, 1826. There was a son named James Milton and another named Junius. I have no record of Junius. Milton married Maria D. Abernathy and moved to West Tennessee, living in Haywood County. He died during the war. Thomas G. Paine was a local preacher who went to Texas. The most talented child of James Paine was Robert. If there are other children I have not learned of them. A detailed chronicle will be given, in the next installment of this history, of Robert Paine.
Previous mention has been made of Reverend Phillip Bruce but in connection with the Paine family data I have found additional items. "He became an itinerant preacher in 1781 when there were only about twenty preachers and less than 10,000 members in America. He is said to have been teaching school in North Carolina when the war of the Revolution occurred. He quit his school, raised a Company of Volunteers, acted gallantly in the great Battle of King's mountain, and became distinguished for his zeal and usefulness as a preacher. He was for many years a Presiding Elder in the Virginia Conference: bore a conspicuous part in forming a the Constitution and policy of the Church, and was regarded by Ashbury and McKendree as a wise and trusty adviser; and, after he had become superannuated he came to Tennessee. This writer new him well, and revered and loved him greatly". Extract from sketch by Bishop Paine. He baptized, married add buried several of James Paine's family. He was a great blessing to the community even in his old age. Dr. G. D. Taylor was with him at his death. The night before he died he requested 'to be left alone with God" . The next morning at dawn, when the doctor entered his room to inquire into his condition, the feeble but Happy old pilgrim said: "Oh debtor, I am perfectly happy! I have been almost in Heaven all night! Such views of God , of Christ, and Glory!" and thus he died. He ads a colleague and long tried friend of Bishop William McKendree, whoi mourned his death as a brother. Like McKendree he never married and gave his whole life to God and Methodism. He professed and preached entire sanctification, lived an amplification of it and died a witness.
One of the saddest, desolate looking graveyards anywhere is the one at Mt. Zion. Briars and shrubbery have overgrown the entire grounds. Fences have decayed the monuments and walls are broken and torn down. Ruin is on every hand. In that graveyard is the dust of several who had an active part in the campmeetings at this place. Levi Sherrill was born September 12, 1776, and died November 15, 1853. Elizabeth Sherrill was born May 9, 1790,and died September 2, 1857. These were the parents of Reverend John Sherrill, who served this church for quite a number of years. Good sized trees now grow on their graves.
A.G. Bonds was born February 1, 1806, and died September 18, 1880. Elizabeth Bonds was born February 15, 1815, and died June 23, 1877. Sarah G. Cooke was born February 1794, and died October 1880.
Joseph McCoy was born November 13, 1799, and died April 16, 1862. Mary C. Williamson,was born January 7, 1786, and died February 21, 1856.
Jane Blair McCoy was born October 17, 1805, and died April 14, 1889. Daniel Leatherman was born December 15, 1772, and died December 21, 1862. Nancy Leatherman, his wife, was born January 24, 1775, and died September 24, 1839. Mrs. William Ballentine, of Pulaski, is a grand daughter of this pair, being a daughter of Charles Leatherman. N. J. Bass owns a clock his father bought at the sale of Daniel Leatherman, which keeps good time. It cost sixty cents at the sale. David Leatherman, another son of Daniel, was appointed counsel to one of the South American Republics by President Andrew Johnson. (To be continued).