Ore Springs

Prepared for Mr. Larry TODD
by Judge Finis J. GARRETT,  March 19, 1953

Shared by John R. Oliver
Edited by MaryCarol

The name of the locality was derived from William C. ORE who was my great grandfather; that is, he was the father of my Motherís mother.

He was born in East Tennessee, one of several sons of Joseph ORE who lived in Grainger County, Tennessee -somewhere near Rutledge.  I have a copy of the will of Joseph ORE from which it would appear that he owned considerable property.  Thinking you might find the will of some interest, I enclose a carbon copy of it.  I have the impression that he owned and operated a ferry on the Holston River near the point where the village of Strawberry Plains now stands.  I am sure that Joseph ORE, to whom I refer, was never in West Tennessee, but he did obtain from the State of Tennessee a grant of land on which Ore Springs is located - possibly, although I am not sure, for serviced in the war of 1812 - and by a deed executed January 29, 1827, he conveyed the land to his son William C. ORE  "for the sum of One Dollar......and also for and in consideration of the natural love and affection that the said Joseph ORE hath for his son, William C. ORE".

Should you be interested in seeing the deed you will find it recorded in the Registerís Office in Dresden, Deed Book A and B, page 126.

The deed recites the conveyance of 640 acres but there were other claims to part of the land which resulted in some friendly litigation in Chancery Court.  In Deed book C, page 243, of the Registerís Office at Dresden, there is recorded a decree of the Chancery Court in a case styled David GILLESPIE vs Elizabeth ORE, widow of William C. ORE, which I suggest you read. From it you can obtain the names of several children of William C. and Elizabeth ORE and, perhaps, can better understand this paper.

I am not certain as to the exact time when William C. ORE moved to West Tennessee and settled upon the land.  The deed was recorded July 25, 1827, which was the year in which the Weakley County "Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions" began to function.  When he did settle there he erected a house at about the place where the house in which the Telephone Office is located, or probably a few hundred feet northwest of that point.  I do not know how the road between Dresden and Paris - I suppose there must have been one - ran at that time, but west of the house which he erected there was a large spring which became somewhat noted for its abundance of fine water and, naturally, it was referred to as ORE'S SPRING.  As settlers came into the locality the location with its spring gradually became a community center.  When stage lines were established it became something of a "stopping place" for rest, feeding and watering the teams, etc, although I do not think any public hotel or "Tavern" as hotels were then called was ever established there.  It was centrally located in the civil district as the boundaries of District No. 6 then ran and so naturally became the voting place for the district.

William C ORE had several children - four daughters and one son - as you may see from the court decree above referred to.  The son's name was Joseph A. ORE.  I never knew him - he died several years before I was born - nor did I know the two older daughters.  The third daughter was named Mary Jane ORE. She was my Mother's Mother and married a man by the name of Riley BAUGHMAN who migrated into Tennessee from Pennsylvania.  The youngest daughter was named Elizabeth for her Mother.  She married a man by the name of George LUCKEY who lived in Paris, Henry Co, Tennessee. One of her sons - Early LUCKEY - now past 80 years of age - lives in Paris and two of her Grandsons operate the hardware store which stands at the southwest corner of the public square in Paris [remember, this was written in 1953...MaryCarol]

I think all of William C. ORE'S children were born in East Tennessee except Elizabeth.  She probably was born at Ore Springs.  If, when you happen to be in Paris, you will see Early LUCKEY, he can tell you how this was.

I know that my grandmother, Mary Jane ORE was born near Tate Springs, (which a few years ago was a famous resort because of its mineral water) in Grainger County, Tennessee. Grainger is the only county in the state named for a woman - Mary GRAINGER - who became the wife of william BLOUNT, the territorial Governor of Tennessee.

My grandmother was born, I believe, in 1826, and lived to become 82 or 83 years old.  I often heard her talk of her really life at Ore Springs.  Wild animals were numerous and she said that occasionally bears were seen about the spring.  One story which she had heard from her Mother that I often heard her relate was that her father began to "clear" land very shortly after he had settled on the place and at the end of his first day of clearing he said to the family, "Well, I have enough cleared for a burial place".

He died within a very few years - I think grandmother could barely remember him - and he was buried on the spot he had cleared that day.  His burial was the beginning of the graveyard which is just back of the store the Ed and Mrs ERVIN are operating [remember..this was written in 1953].  Many of his descendants are buried there and it was used by a number of other families in the community.  The graves of William C. ORE and others of the Ore family are in the northwest corner of the plot.

Incidentally, I may say that a few years after the death of William C. ORE, his widow, my great grandmother, married a man by the name of TOMLINSON and became the mother of Lafayette TOMLINSON who was the father of many children, including Claud TOMLINSON, wife of Esquire Cosby NEWBERRY.

In the course of time Joseph A. ORE, the only son of William C. ORE, purchased from the latter's other heirs their interest in the land which William C. ORE left, and became its sole owner.  You will find the deed to him recorded in the Register's Office at Dresden in Deed book N, page 208.  The deed bears the date of June 3, 1856.

I may say that I find in my notes reference to a deed made by Joseph A. ORE to Hiram ALEXANDER, dated March 13, 1845 - recorded in Deed Book G, page 160 - in which ORE conveyed his interest in the land to ALEXANDER, Who married Joseph A. ORE'S oldest sister. 

Joseph A. ORE married a lady by the name of Virginia FUZZELL.  Her parents were buried near the home which PARHAM recently bought from HAWLEY, and the FUZZELL'S may have lived on that place.  I think of it as the George SIMMONS place because I so knew it when I was a young boy.  It adjoins the Old Garrett place on the south which I now own.

No children were born to Joseph A. ORE and wife Virginia.  She survived him many years and I remember her very well.  My Mother was named for her and was her favorite niece.

I have understood that Joseph A. ORE had a fair education and was a reasonably good business man who did considerable writing of simple business papers.  I think he was a Notary and that he served for a time as Justice of the Peace.

He built a nice home on the site of the original settlement but it burned shortly after it was completed and he died before he had the opportunity to rebuild.  What had been the "smoke-house" was remodeled and occupied as the dwelling house for long years thereafter.

He also built a log home on the part of the land which lies east of the residence where Herman HEARN - who now owns the land - now lives and it was occupied at the time of the Civil War by my grandmother and here husband, Riley BAUGHMAN.  I was born in that log house, my grandmother having continued to live there for many years after my grandfather's death.  He was a Union Soldier and died of pneumonia at Paducah, Kentucky in 1864, while in military service. He is buried in the family plat there at Ore Springs.

Five Children were born to my maternal grandparents - three daughters and two sons.  The oldest daughter, Ann BAUGHMAN, married Dr. J. F. ALLMAN, who was the grandfather of "Shon" CAMPBELL and Carey FOSTER.  The second daughter, Louise BAUGHMAN, married a man by the name of RINEHART who eventually moved to Union City. She is buried in Union City.  The Third daughter, Virginia BAUGHMAN, was my Mother. She married my Father, Noah GARRETT, in September 1874.  She was born in October, 1853 and died April 1937. She is buried at Dresden.  The oldest son was named Eustace Porter BAUGHMAN. He is buried in the family plat at Ore Springs.  He was next to Mother in age.  The younges son was Edward BAUGHMAN.  He lost his life in 1880 in a fire which destroyed the store building in Paris where he was employed as a clerk.  He was about 21 years old.  Only a portion of his body was recovered.  Burial was in the family plat at Ore Springs.

Sometime after the death of Joseph A. ORE'S widow, who, of course, had a life estate in the land, my uncle E. P. BAUGHMAN, acquired the interest of all the heirs of Joseph A. ORE - I think mainly in separate deeds.  They are all recorded in the Registerís Office at Dresden. After the death of my uncle, who left two minor children - both girls - his widow, acting for herself and as guardian for the children, negotiated a sale of the entire farm to the late Mr. Bob HEARN and the trade was ratified by decree of the Chancery Court.  I was clerk and Master of the Chancery Court at the time and it is my recollection that in my official capacity I executed a deed to Mr. HEARN for registration.

I think Mr. HEARN, before his death, had sold that part of the "ORE"  land west of the old Dresden and Paris road as it ran before the present highway was constructed, and in the division of his lands among his children after his death, all the remainder of it was allotted to Herman HEARN who now owns it [in 1953]

The foregoing is the history of the title as best I can give it.  I do not know who owns the land were the Spring was.  The Spring disappeared many years ago.  As best I can remember it was located about 100 yards from the creek bank near the center of a lot,  beautifully shaded with large trees - many of them oaks.  The last time I noticed the plat it had become almost a swamp.  The Spring, of course, emptied into the creek through a ditch the banks of which were always kept cleared of bushes and weeds.  It was really a lovely spot and I never think of it with regretting its deterioration.

I am not sure whether Joseph A ORE had a store on the place.  It seems to me that I was told that he did.  If he did, one might find some record of it on the old tax books or County Court records during the period from 1845 to his death.  I never heard of any store being there prior to his ownership of the land.

I can dimly recall the building of the first store I actually knew about.  It was erected by my Uncle, E. P. BAUGHMAN, sometime in the early 1880ís.  It was built on the spring lot adjacent a house in which he lived at the time.  That was before the death of Aunt Virginia, the widow of Joseph A. ORE.   He did business in that store for several years and it was in it that the Post Office of Ore Springs was established.  Its patrons were drawn from the Post Offices of Como, Gleason and Dresden.  It continued for many years but finally was abolished when Rual Delivery took care of the patrons.

I have forgotten just when my uncle quit doing business in the first store he erected.  We moved away from the farm in 1889 and, while I was often back there, details have escaped my recollection.  I know that Mr. Dave TERRELL had a business in the building and lived in the residence for some time, but dates have escaped me.  He was in business there when my uncle died.  I imagine there are many neighbors about there who can give you more definite information about that.  I rather think that Mr. TERRELL sold out to Will BRAGG, a brother of Mrs. Maggie ALLMAN whose husband was the son of Dr. J. P. ALLMAN mentioned previously.  Sometime after I began to come to Washington as a Member of Congress, BRAGG'S place of business and the residence were completely destroyed by a storm, and his wife, who was a Miss GLASGOW - sister of Mrs. Walter SMITH and Miss Willie GLASGOW - was killed outright.  I was in Washington when that cyclone occurred and read of it in the Washington papers.

Sometime before Mr. TERRELL sold his business, my uncle erected a building on the east side of the old Dresden and Paris road and was doing business in it at the time of his death.  As Administrator of his estate, I sold his stock of goods to Mr. TERRELL. I think that building was not seriously hurt by the storm which destroyed those just across the road from it, and it is my understanding that it was moved up to the new highway and that it is the building in which the ERVINS are now doing business [in 1953]

Jane's Mill had been erected on the Middle Fork of the Obion River between Ore Springs and Gleason before I was born, or at least it was there as far back as I can remember, and the JANES family was living nearby the mill site.  The mill pond was a large one and was enjoyed by many fishermen.

However, Janes had a mill on Thompson Creek which I think was about a mile up the Creek from Ore Spring.  It is my understanding that the Jane's home, when the mill was there, was located on the north side of the old Paris-Dresden road (it being also the new highway) just beyond the graveled road which runs north to and beyond the place where Avis TODD lives.  Mrs. George NEWBERRY Sr., is, I think, the last survivor of her generation of the JANES family.  I have no doubt she could have given you much more interesting information about the two mills that I am able to give.

I think Thompson Creek Church is the oldest church in the locality of Ore Springs.  My maternal Grandmother, Mary Jane BAUGHMAN, was, I think, a charter member of it having joined in organizing it.  I think it was organized at the home of a man by the name of Jesse ALEXANDER [Angus Alexander]who lived at the place that Layfayette TOMLINSON subsequently acquired and which the late Wade LOVELACE, of Como, owned ast the time of his death.  I know that the church itself had it centennial many years ago.

I do not know just how old the Olivet organization is, but feel reasonably certain that it was in existence before I was born in August, 1875.  There was a schoolhouse there for many years and I used to go to it when visiting my ALLMAN cousins.  I do not think the Eagle Hill Church and School was ever very closely identified with the Ore Springs locality.  It was more closely identified with Cottage Grove and Como.  The only school I ever attended at Eagle Hill was a ten-day writing school.

Jolly Springs Church was made up largely of persons who had been members of Thompson Creek Church.  It was organized about the time we moved from the farm.  Courtney POWERS can tell you much more about it than I can.

A church of the Christian denomination was built a mile or two west of Ore Springs on the old Dresden and Paris road during the time the late Dr. Ira TATUM was living - I think, were Don WEBB now lives.  If I remember aright, the Church building was destroyed by a cyclone (I may have it mixed with some other episode), and was never rebuilt.

The New Hope (Cumberland Presbyterian) Church is also a very old organization.  It was there at its present site when I can first remember.

The ones I have named are, I believe, the principle ones that my be regarded as being particularly identified with the Ore Springs locality.

I note that you inquire about the switchboard.  I do not recall the time at which it was installed, but it was many years ago.  I am not now sure that I had ever actually heard of telephones at the time we moved from the farm to Gleason in 1889.  Certainly, I had never talked on one, and that makes me think of one episode which occurred just a few years ago.  When I am away from Washington on vacation, I keep the clerk of our court advised of my whereabouts so that he can reach me by letter, or telegram, or telephone at any time it is made necessary by the business of the Court.  A few years ago, I had some men working on the farm up near the house - refer to it as the cabin - located on the southwest corner of the old Garrett farm in which cabin I was raised, and I was out with them.  I had left word at Dresden that I could be reached through the Ore Springs exchange.  The Marshall of the Court called me and I answered from the phone in the cabin.  I believe Arnice SUMMERS was living there at the time.  We had the conversation, and at the moment I thought nothing of it, but as I went back to the field I began to think what a near miracle science had wrought in the space of a few years and what changes had come into my life.  If any one had told me, when I was a knee-britches boy playing around that cabin, that someday I would stand inside it and talk to an organization in Washington, D.C., of which I would be a member, I imagine I would have regarded such a person as being (if you will excuse a slang expression) ìout of his headî and a fit subject for a mental examination.

You also suggest that something be said about some of the oldest people.  Of course, I, as a boy, knew a great many who were older than I am now, and if my age and the age of one of those were added together, end to end, so to speak, the two would cover a space of much more than a century.  I realize now, however, that many of those whom I then thought of as being old were, in fact, not more than middle-aged.  I can think of many whose descendants still live in the community - such as Rev Loss SUMMERS, ìUncleî Jeff ALEXANDER, and the sainted "aunt Becky" Mr. "Billy" TAYLOR (father of John, Lon and George), Mr. Abner POWERS (father of Henry and Rev John and others) Esquire George NEWBERRY, Mr. Pinkney BUNTIN, Mr. George SIMMONS (some of the BRUMMITTS at Gleason descended from him), Mr. Tom OLIVER, Mr. Rance OLIVER, Mr. Ben OLIVER, Mr. Ed JANES, Mr. Jim JOLLEY (for whom Jolly Springs Church was named), Mr. Milton WEBB (Don's father), Mr. COX (the father of Mrs Bob HEARN), Mr. George HEARN (Bob's father), Esquire Tom FOSTER (Carey's great grandfather).

I remember all of those named, and doubtless will think of others later.  I know some of the characteristics of each of them but it would unduly lengthen this already too lengthy paper to review them.

Washington D. C.
March 19, 1953

Finis J. Garrett

More about ORE SPRINGS.....By Joyce (Martin) Case

Herbert and Mary Thomas (Summers) Martin bought the Ore Springs general store and land it was on on the Dresden/Paris highway from Bob and Julia Hearn in (I believe l933/34 and sold it in l94l/42 to Wiley and Lillie Owen. When we (parents and children James, Charles and Joyce) lived there Herman Lee and Mable Hearn lived across the road and Mr Bob and Mrs Julia Hearn lived across and down the road that the spring was on .  We carried water from that spring to drink, cook, wash etc.   B.T. and  Maggie Curtis and familly (black family that worked for the Hearns) lived across from the spring.  Coat and Maggie Powers and family lived behind the store and cemetery(which was almost grown over with honeysuckle at that time) and operated the switchboard there in their house.  Central school was about l mile east and l/4 mile south of the highway.  When I started there in l933 it was a two year high school.  It had only 8 grades when I finished there in l94l. About l/4 mile west on the highway Curtis and Mamie Peery family lived and just east of them Don Webb family lived.  Some time during the time we lived in the store Elmer Miller built and operated a general store just about l/8 of a mile west and on the north side of the road from us.  Jolly Springs Missionary Baptist, New Hope Presbyterian, Olivet Methodist were the Churches in that area. When we left the store we bought land and moved about l/8 mile west of the store between Millers store and Curt Perry on the north side of the road.  We lived there until l946 when my mother died and we moved to Michigan that summer. 

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