October 23, 1991
OLD JONESBORO IN THE 1850s- PART XII
By John L. Kiener,
Washington County Sessions Judge
James Brown, saddler, two-story frame. Three sons; Thomas, Charles and William. Now owned by P.K. White.
John A. Wilds, merchant; two-story frame. I think three sons; David, Henry, and William; three daughters; Sarah married Col. A.J. Brown, Kitty married Col. Tom Reeves. The old home has been replaced and is owned by Joseph Beals.
John E. Naff, tailor, one-story frame built in 1847. First sold to W.H. Crouch, then to J.H. Dosser, then to Thomas Brothers, then to R.M. Duncan, and still belongs to the Duncan heirs.
Presbyterian Parsonage; large two-story brick. Now the home of Bert Sabin.
Samuel Geisler; two-story brick and frame. This man was killed, about the year 1858, by falling out of the hayloft of his barn breaking his neck. Now the home of Mrs. Wallace Beren.
Widow Stevenson, two-story frame stood on a lot south of the Peter Miller property. Had one son, William.
Thomas Russell, one-story frame. Five sons; William, John, Charley, James, Eugene; three daughters; Lizzie, Retta, and Mary. Thomas Russell went as a substitute for John Williams in the confederate Army, and took fever and died. Now the property of Miss Flo Osborne.
The following farms lay near Jonesboro: on the east, Thomas A.R. Nelson, and John Ryland; on the south, John Green and A.E. Jackson; on the west, W.H. Maxwell and James Barkley; on the north, Franklin Deadrick.
Smith’s City Directory of “Old Jonesboro” in the 1850s ends with the above listings of farms near Jonesboro. Before ending this part, a quote from Reminiscences, describing the 1850s follows, all as written by Captain Ross Smith; “We had lived in town two years. I was born in a two-story frame that stood between the jail and John L. Blair’s residence, now a vacant lot. Later we lived in a house that stood just back of the Kicky & McCorkle wholesale grocery. We had a cow, and Mother kept her milk in a spring house at the old mill spring. Father having built a home and bought some land near his old homestead, we moved to that in 1847.”
“After Father’s death the responsibility of raising her four children fell upon Mother. I was eight years of age, my brother Sam, six months. As my father had built a house and bought some land, n settling up the estate there wa a debt of about eight hundred dollars. We managed fairly well to live with some hired help until the civil War came up. The E.T. & VA R.R. had been surveyed just before Father’s death. My mother cooked the first meal for the surveyors in this section.”
“Along between the years of 1856 and 1860 James Buchanan was our President. I went to school and helped on the farm. We kept a few sheep, sheared them, hauled the wool to a carding machine, where it was made into rolls which my mother would spin into yarn for our clothes. Then she would buy cotton yarn for the web. All of this would have to be dyed with homemade extractions. Many a thread have I handed through the gears of our old loom to make our jeans or linseys. My mother could do any kind of work in the field except to handle a wheat cradle. In the early fifties the cradle had just come into use. I remember having seen men cutting wheat with the sickle.”