[ This document came to me via Ron Crooker, part of the search for the Davis clan / Chisholm clan connection. I have massaged it only enough to make for easy browsing on the web. It is otherwise as original. ]





Several years ago my mother Eliza Davis filled in these charts and her information came from relatives, and by letters from Aunt Suzie Garner from Alabama, and by visits to relatives homes -- and some of the dates are from relatives family Bibles and some from memory.

We wish to thank all who have helped us continue with some more information that will be very helpful in searching back on our ancestors, and hope that each of you will keep your records and fill in dates that are not here, and also make corrections where mistakes are made, and hand these records to your children in hopes that some day we may have a book about our kinfolk. If anyone has any story to relate that will be interesting about anyone in any family please send it to me, and I will shoot each of you a copy to add to this history. We want to get to know each other more and we are very proud and happy to give these records to you.


Figure 1. Didama Bowen

Figure 1. Didama Bowen


We do not know too much about our relatives on the Davis line of the Chisholm line back of our parents; however. some of these notes may be helpful later on in checking back on our family.

Back in 1960 on June 14th I took Mama and Beatrice Davis and Uncle Will to see Suzie and Granville Smith on the other side of Rockwall and I asked Uncle Will several questions about our kin and these are some of the things he told me and he has also told me the same things later on and even though he is getting older his memory seems to be the same about his family and he is very alert at the present time (August 1969).

Uncle Will said that hid grandmother (Didama Bowen Chisholm Smith) is buried in Riverton, Tenn. He said that Grandma Davis who is the father of Uncle Will, Papa, Aunt Lona, Uncle Carrington and Aunt Lillie and Aunt Maggie she died before they came to Texas, anyway Grandma Davis married Thomas L. Davis, before her marriage she was Jennie Chisholm daughter of Frank Chisholm and Didama Bowen. She was their only child.

Figure 2. Col. Ben Frank Chisholm’s Grave

Figure 2. Col. Ben Frank Chisholm's grave

Later on in life Frank Chisholm who was a Col. in the Civil War came to Texas after hitting a man over the head, and came with a brother named Enoch Chisholm and settled in what is known as Chisholm, Texas, close to Rockwall, Texas. I have visited a cemetery at Chisholm and markers show the following: Col. B.F. Chisholm (Confederate soldier born Jan 23, 1820 died, March 8, 1896) Margaret N. his wife Aug 8, 1832 died Dec. 31,1919. Close to this Marker is Enoch Chisholm (Reverend Bord .... no date but death Jan 24, 1875 aged 62 years 44 days.)

Didama Bowen Chisholm later married Samuel Smith who had several children, one nemed Newt Smith (our Uncle Newt Smith, who is no blood kin but he and Aunt Etta were always just like kinfolk and I had always thought that he was our real uncle until 1968 when Uncle Will told me that he was not even kin to us. He was a stepbrother to our Grandma Davis

Uncle Will said that he must have been about 9 years old when he came to Texas and that his father Thomas L. Davis was an iron worker and was from West Tennessee and that he thought that he had a brother named Jeff, Bill, Charley and maybe a sister maybe her name could have been Didama???? He cannot remember for sure. Thomas L. Davis moved from Tennessee to Sheffield Alabama and to Florence Alabama where several of his children were born, some having been born in Tennessee.

He also said that some of our kin are from the Gooch family, and some Clarks, (maybe uncle Wiley Gooch). Some more of our kin are Fannie Smith, Ed, Bell, Tom, from Sheffield Ala. Pa worked in an iron factory maybe in Endsley? Or Bethany and he may have married in Riverton, Ala or in Sheffield. His wife was named Jennie Nancy Chisholm, our ma.

Uncle Ed’s boy is Sam Smith.

One time I played the organ and I was in Gainsville, Texas and also I played at Silver City. Bertha sang for us she was Bertha Comstock. Lillie went with Oliver Comstock, back in Alabama.

Ma was a Baptist. Pa did not belong to any church. Pa usually got a pretty good job where he worked and was nicknamed Cap and sometimes Chap. Aunt Susie’s kids called him Uncle Cap, I do not remember where Carrington got that name but Kelsey was named after Kelsey Carson brother of Kit Carson or Sheriff Kelsey Carson sheriff Colbert, County, Ala??? Tom farmed and worked in the oil fields after coming to Texas and also had a café in Gainseville, Texas and once he worked for Ben Bean.

Some of our kin could not speak English very well, for I remember them when I was very small. I do not know if it was welsh or some other language.

Figure 3. Jennie Chisholm Davis and Lillie Davis

Figure 3. Jennie Chisholm Davis and Lillie Davis

Aunt Sallie Chisholm is some kin to us. Jennie Chisholm had a cousin who married a to or thigh Bailey in Royce City //?? He said his pa died in Terrell, Texas May, 1895 and that there was a smallpox epidemic and no one could go to his funeral they were very strict in those days to not spread the disease. He said his pa died at a Mr. Hampton’s and he died from T.B. caused from exposure.

Jennie Chisholm Davis married a man who was a preacher Everett and she died in Gainesville, Texas at Tom’s house from pneumonia at age of 59 years. I used to work in Toms café cooking and we fed lots of Indians from Oklahoma.


Dear Mrs. Kirkpatrick, Today I could hardly believe my eyes when I came upon your inquiry and the geneological helper searching for information of Ben Frank Chisholm 1820 to 1898; because 39 years ago I tried to get in touch with his descendents but without success. I was especially interested in contacting them because his father Captain John "Red Buck" Chisholm, 1777or 9 – 1861 had lived out his last days with this son who was his favorite and he took his family bible and other personal belongings to Texas with him when he moved. I had hoped that Red Buck’s bible would throw light upon the name of his parents, the date of his own birth, of which I have conflicting dates. The name of his wife before her marriage also conflicting data in hope that a letter written by Andrew Jackson while he was President to Red Buck telling of his exploits at Horseshoe Bend had been preserved.

Before I go further, let me tell you of my connection with the Chisholms, and my interest. My maternal grandmother was Sally Polk Wade the daughter of Rufus King Chisholm who was the eldest brother of Ben Frank and Enoch Parsons Chisholm. When I was 5 my grandmother inherited a farm from her brother Ben Frank Chisholm on Shoal Creek at the state line. This farm had been taken out and put into cultivation by Ben Frank Chisholm 1820 – 1898. This farm had been taken out of cultivation in 1861 and had been just patched on by an aged negro, McDowell Chisholm. For the next 6 years while attending school at Florence, I spent my weekends here as well as my summer vacation. Uncle Mc was still about and used to spin yarns by the hour about Red Buck and Uncle Frank. He had been born in slavery, his parents having belonged to Red Buck and as a young boy, he had acted as Red Buck’s personal Servant during the latter’s last years. Then he had remained with Uncle Frank until he moved to Texas. It was on this farm that Uncle Frank gave up farming if you know the yarn. I could talk for hours about him.

I had known of this marriage of Ben Frank Chisholm. In fact, I have a picture of him with his wife and daughter. My information, however, as to her family name differs from that given by you. This is possible as she may have been married before she married Ben Frank. I am checking on this. I have an uncle 98 years old whose mind is clearer than mine. We were discussing this marriage about three months ago and I have written him. I do know where she lived as I was there checking on a stone chimney on the place that was built by Red Buck. She lived about three and a half miles from Green Hill Alabama, on Blue Water Creek.

Have you checked Lauderdale County Alabama census report 1850 -- 1880. Also, Lawrence County, Tennessee. Green Hill is near the state line, and she may have lived over the line in Tennessee. The name Didama is an unusual one and I would, as I went along, check these reports for people by the first name of Didama. This is not as big a job as one might suppose as you would have to check only those with post office addresses of Green Hill and Lexington in Alabama, and perhaps Appleton. (I do not think there was a Bonnertown then) in Tennessee. I know of no Bowens in the area but there was some Borens who had property in both Lauderdale County Alabama, and Lawrence County Tennessee as most of these families did.

I have been collecting material on the Chisholms of Chisholm Creek for 39 years. My interest in Ben Frank Chisholm was renewed last August when working on another project, which pari passu the Chisholms has likewise held my interest, History of the Bushwackers in Lauderdale County in Lauderdale County, Alabama during the Civil War. I came upon some information in the National Archives about him. This was by pure accident and I plan to return to Washington this spring to search it out.


The following Power of Attorney is in the Deed records, Rockwall, Texas

Rec R/287




That I Jennie Chisholm Davis a femme sole of the Count of Rockwall and State of Texas have constituted, nominated and appointed and by these presents do hereby make, nominate, constitutes and appoint G. W. Morris of Rockwall County and A. R. Gholson of Dallas County, Texas my true and lawful attorneys in fact for me and in my name place and stead to ask for and receive to sue for and recover and generally to prosecute for me my interest to which I may be legally entitled of in and to the estate of B. F. Chisholm deceased of late in Rockwall County, Texas, whether same be personal real or mixed estate wherever situated whether in the State of Texas or elsewhere and especially to the lands in the King Latham League survey in Rockwall County, Texas also all personal property or money or causes in action left by the said B. F. Chisholm at his death said B.F. Chisholm having departed this life in Rockwall County, Texas having for many years prior to his death been a citizen of Rockwall County, Texas hereby giving and granted to my said attorneys G. W. Morris and A. R. Gholson power and authority to do and perform every act and thing necessary to the recovery of my said interest as the only child of the said B. F. Chisholm in his estate whether same shall be by suit, compromise, or otherwise and to this end I hereby authorize and empower my said attorneys to institute and prosecute in my name to final judgement and suit or suits in the proper courts or to make any agreements proper or necessary with opposing counsel and in the event of compromise to execute in my name all necessary deeds acquittances and releases and I do hereby ratify and confirm all and singular the legal actions so done and performed by me in proper person; Now therefore in consideration of the service done and performed for me and in my behalf by my said attorneys and of the money by them expended and further considerations of the services hereafter to be rendered and the money hereafter to be expended in the prosecution of my said claims. I the said Jennie Chisholm Davis have bargained, sold, and conveyed and by these presents do hereby bargain, sell, and convey unto the said G. W. Morris and to the said A. R. Gholson each equally and undivided two thirds interest of in and to all lands goods chattels tenements moneys and causes in action or other valuable thing recovered for me by my said attorneys on account, or by virtue of said employment as afore mentioned, and a two thirds of all moneys realized by compromise by my attorneys for me, and in behalf to have and to hold all and singular the said two thirds portion of all and each of said property by them so recovered unto the said G. W. Morris and the said A. R. Gholson and to them and their heirs and assigns forever free from the claim of me or my heirs.

Witness my hand on this 4th day of September, 1896


Jennie X Chisholm Davis



Colonel B. Frank Chisholm came from Tennessee to Alabama to Texas.

Dr. Pruitt from Tennessee, who has working on the Chisholm history said that he was born in Tennessee and that his father was John (Red Buck) Chisholm, and that his second wife was Margaret Allen. Some of the things he has told in his letters to me agree with what Uncle Will told me.

Col. B. Frank Chisholm first married Didama Bowen, and they only had one child, Jennie Nancy Chisholm, who later married Thomas Davis, and this would make Col. B. Frank Chisholm, the grandfather of Kelsey L. Davis and would make Didama Bowen Chisholm, who later married Samuel Smith, a grand mother of Kelsey L. Davis.

Col. B. Frank Chisholm and Didama Bowen Chisholm Smith would be the Great Grandparents of Mary D. Humphries.

Col. B. Frank Chisholm and Didama Bowen Chisholm Smith would be the Great Great Grandparents of Floyd F. Humphries

NOTE: The doctor also says that he thinks her name was Boren and not Bowen. (Boren could be spelled several ways.)

I shall keep my records the way Mama showed them until I can prove the same.





On June 14th, 1960 Mama, Bea, Uncle Will and I went to see Granville and Suzie Smith in Navada, Texas, which is a small place located near Rockwall, Texas. Since we know so little about our Davis family I asked Uncle Will many questions and have continued asking questions since that date. We must remember that as of this date, which is April 3, q974, Uncle Will is the last of his generation. Any clue may give us a lead to finding our ancestors.

Uncle Will said, "I was born the 12th of February in 1884 in Saint Floraine, Alabama, which is out from Florence Alabama. I was the 5th child of Thomas L. Davis and Jennie Nancy Chisholm."

"I do not know much about my father’s people, not even the names of his mother or father. But my mother’s parents were Ben Frank Chisholm and Didama Bowen. I do not know the date or the place where they were married, but my mother Jennie was their only child."

"Ben Frank Chisholm was married another time to a Margaret (?) and Didama was married another time to Sam Smith."

"After (I do not know when) the birth of my mother, Ben Frank Chisholm left Didama and it was several years that she did not hear from him, and she thought he must have been dead, or that something had happened, and so she married Sam Smith, and they had several children. One of them being John Newton Smith (Our Uncle Newt)."

"When Uncle Newt was about 16 years old, he ran off from home and went to Texas, and it was there that he heard about Ben Frank Chisholm living in Texas, and, he went back to Alabama and told his half sister Jennie (who is my mother) that he knew where her father was living in Texas and Ben Frank Chisholm sent for our family and paid our way here on the train. He wanted to give Ma her inheritance."

"I might have been about 8 or 9 years old when I came to Texas. I can remember that we got on the Mountain Iron Railroad Train in Tuscumbia, Alabama. We had lived in Florence, Sheffield, and at one time in Tuscumbia. I also can remember that one time we lived so close to Helen Keller that we could see her ride on her little pony."

"On our way to Texas, we rode through parts of Tennessee and Arkansas, and we got off the train in Greenville, Texas. While I was on the train I remember seeing so many longhorn cows, and I had never seen any of them before. When the train pulled in, Ma said, ‘Wake up kids, it’s come a Norther." I’d never heard that word before and did not know what she was talking about, and thought it must be some kind of animal. We boys had on straw hats and thin suits. No coats, and we nearly froze to death. It was the 14th day of March and it was cold as .. ( I soon found out what a norther was.) We had plenty of clothes but they were in a trunk on the train."

"Ma hired a Negro to take us to seek out grandpa. We went in a coach or buggy, I can’t remember for sure, but along the way, Ma pointed out storm cellars along the road, and that was our first time to see them. Ma did not like the looks of them and she did not like that sticky black mud that got on our shoes. We had sandy land back in Alabama."

"When we got to Chisholm Chapel, I remember that Grandpa Chisholm ran out to see us and the first thing I heard him say was, ‘Jennie, I would have known you any place in the world.’ And the last time he had seen my ma was when she was a little girl. (About 12 years old.)"

"Aunt Margaret had a good dinner cooked for us all. I can also remember that they lived in a big 2-story home and that grandpa had several men working for him and that they ate at the big table with all of us."

"Another thing that I can remember is that Grandpa Chisholm took ma out and pointed out some land that he was going to give to our ma, but he never did make a deed to her, and not long after he showed her the land, he came home dead on a horse. Ma hired a man by the name of Morris and one by the name of Gholson to try to get her inheritance, but they came to her and offered her such a small amount of money that she said that she would not take the money and that some day maybe her children or her children’s children might get what they deserved, so she was cheated out of her inheritance, and none of us ever did get a red cent or any land either."

"I did not mention that Pa came to Texas, but that he came about three months after we got here."

"One of the first places that I can remember living was in Rockwall at a place out by the gin. Another place we lived was at Parsons Terry’s Place and near the Wade place."

"When we lived in Rockwall, the kids we played with played Wolf Over The River and Hiding Seek, and they used to say, ‘Last night, night before, 24 robbers at my door. Honey and a bee ball, all’s hid. Holler I."




"As you know already, our ma was Jennie Chisholm, the daughter of Ben Frank Chisholm and Didama Bowen. She worked at Bailey Springs, a health resort, where they treated people for Dropsy. Then, after he left, she married a Sam Smith. These are their children" Fanny Smith, who married a Jim Lawson or Lawton; James Smith; Thomas H. Smith, who married XXXTurner; Suzie E. Smith, who married Tom Garner; John Newton Smith (Uncle Newt) who married Etta Andrews; Edward Smith; Essie Smith; and Hestelle Smith."

"I can remember Buford and Brice Garner back there in Alabama. They were the sons of Aunt Suzie Garner and Uncle Tom Garner."

"Uncle Newt and Aunt Etta moved to Texas and they had two sons named Granvill and Frank smith."

"We are some kin to the Gooch family. I know there was an Uncle Wiley Gooch."

"We are kin to the Tom Clark family too."



"Thomas L. Davis is my pa, and he married Jennie Nancy Chisholm, our ma, about in 1871 in Alabama or Tennessee. These are their children: Maggie Davis, Lona Davis, Tom F. or Thomas Franklin Davis, Kelsey Davis, then I was next – James William Davis – Carrington Davis, and Lily Davis."

"Pa used to be an iron worker back in Alabama, and he made good money and liked to go from place to place. He worked at several places in Alabama, and maybe other states. People used to call him Cap and Chap. Aunt Suzie’s kids and Aunt Fanny’s kids used to call him Uncle Cap."

"He came from the west part of Tennessee, from Hardin County."

"He might have had a brother named Bill or William or Charley. Could have had two or three brothers and maybe one sister."

"He was taller than any of us and had dark hair, gray eyes, and he weighed about 180 pounds. He was a good looking man and he liked to go a lot. One time Aunt Hestelle got mad at Pa and she said, ‘I hope your house burns.’ And sure enough, it caught on fire that night, but he put it out. That was when we lived in Alabama."

"Ma was a Baptist and Pa didn’t have any time for preachers and said that all of them were sure for hellfire anyway."

"You wanted to know about why Ben Frank Chisholm came to Texas. It happened back in Alabama. He was working on a house with a man who made a nasty remark about grandpa’s two children who died from eating jimson weed that they had mistook for a plant that could be eaten. They looked alike and they just ate the wrong plant, and it killed them. The man said that those kids must have been crazy to eat that kind of plant anyway, and that was when Ben Frank Chisholm hit the man over the head and then headed out for Texas! He had a brother who was already living in Texas who is our Uncle Enoch Chisholm. Uncle Enoch was a travelling preacher. Anyway, you now know why Ben Frank was in Texas."

"Now you want to know about our ma. She was a little person, and probably only weighed around 105 pounds. She had brown hair and I am not sure of the color of her eyes -- maybe gray."

"My Pa died in Texas. He never did like Texas, and at the time he died, he was in Terrell, Texas, and died from exposure. Some thought he had TB also. He died in May of 1895 and is buried there in Terrell, but when he died, there was a smallpox epidemic and none of us got to go to his funeral’"

Ma married a preacher by the name of J. R. Everett in Gainesville, Texas the 11th day of February, 1903. He died while preaching one night in his church. Then she moved back home with my brother To Davis, but she died of pneumonia, the 5th of February, 1908, and she is buried at Burns City, not far from Gainesville, Texas."




"Maggie Davis was the first child of Thomas L. Davis and Jennie Chisholm. She was born about 1873 perhaps in Nashville Tennessee."

"Maggie married Mike Zingarell who came from Corinth, Mississippi, and they had one child named Donnie."

"They had moved to Texas and were living with Uncle Newt and Aunt Etta when she died at their home in Sherman, Texas. Mike Zingarell took the boy Donnie and went back to Alabama, and they said he married Maggie’s best girlfriend. Her name might have been Alice Russell. We never did see Mike or the boy after he left Texas."

"Before Maggie and Mike moved to Texas, he used to be a shoe cobbler there in Alabama, in Sheffield."

"Maggie died from locked bowels."

"Lona Bell was the next child and she was born in Tennessee, and I think it was Sweetwater, Tennessee, the 28th of August, 1875. Her first marriage was to Frank McGregor, and they had the following children: Maggie and Jenny, who both were born in Florence, Alabama, then Homer, born in Rockwall in 1898, and Donny was born in Fort Worth. Mr. McGregor died, then Lona married Curtis Williams, and they had two children – Curtis Williams a girl, and Lillian Williams, a girl, who died very young. Mr. Williams died and Lona married a Mr. Harmon. Lona died the 29th day of May, 1925, in Dallas, Texas. Frank McGregor was also a shoe cobbler, and owned his business in Sheffield, Alabama. Sheffield and Florence Alabama were close together, with the river and bridge dividing them about as close as Dallas is to Oak Cliff. I used to walk from one town to the other to get change for Frank McGregor when he needed it."

"Thomas Franklin Davis was the next child and he was born in Tennessee the 26th of December, 1878. He must have been about 13 years old when we moved to Texas. I can remember when we lived in Alabama that he used to work at one of the iron foundries, and one time he fell about 30 feet and broke several bones. Also, I can remember when he threw Kelsey, Carrington, and me into the Tennessee River, and he said, ‘Swim or drown.’ We learned how to swim."

Tom was a very even-tempered person and got along with people pretty good. After we moved to Texas, he married Tina Andrews the 16th of December in 1900 and they had these children: Vera, Willie Bee, Clarence Bartlett, Leroy, Floyd, Ila and Iva (twins)."

Tom put in a café in Gainesville and fed many people from Oklahoma. He used to cook as much as 50 pounds of flour making biscuits for people in one day."

He later worked in the oil fields. One time he worked with a Ben Bean."

Tom died July 1917 and Tina died August 1918. Their children were raised by Tina’s mother and other kin."

"Kelsey E. Davis was the next child. He was born the 30th day of March, 1881 in Florence, Alabama."

"He was named maybe after a sheriff over in Colbert County, Alabama."

"Kelsey was a card stripper and he could fix cards so that the queens and aces would fall out perfect. He used to gamble for some men and one time they gambled at a place in Dallas called the Coney Island."

"Kelsey married Eliza Casey in Rockwall February 2nd, 1901, and they had these children: Myrtis, Seburn, Mary, Jennie, Ethel, Edna, Owen, three who died, Kelsey (a girl), Elmo, Thomas, and Gruthie."

"He died the 25th day of May, 1937 and Eliza died 26th day of November, 1967 in Dallas, Texas."

"I was the next child. (I was named James William Davis, but people have always called me Will.) I married Bell Hall in 1905 in Rockwall, Texas. We have these children: Hazel, Donnie who died, Beatrice, J.W. named after me, Ruby, Lula, Elsie, Kelsey named after my brother, Dorothy, Tom, and Joe. And then, in 1929, there was a baby boy who died at birth."

I haven’t stopped lately to count all my grandchildren, but they are getting bigger."

"I can remember so many things when I was so small when we lived in Alabama. Like one time, when I broke my thigh, and Lona brought me in the house, and they fixed me up and I used to crawl under the bed and chew tobacco all the time."

"I remember one time when we went to see one of my grandmas in a boat. She lived down by the river."

"I can remember a grandma who must have been Welsh or German, or some other foreigner, because I could not understand what little English she spoke."

"Didama was the grandma who lived at Riverton, and she might have died there when I was 3 or 4 years old."

"Carrington was the next child of my parents. He was born the 7th day of January, 1886 in Florence, Alabama."

"When we lived in Rockwall, a Judge Forree used to want to adopt him and kept him living at his house a lot. He even sent him to a special school where the kids wore stove pipe hats and long tail coats."

"When he would come home to see us, Kels and I would laugh and make fun of him and make him cry by teasing him so much, and he finally got so he would not want to go back to see the judge anymore."

"Carrington was shorter than any of us. He was a little bit fat but good looking."

"He used to run several cafes for other people, and also had some of his own. He married later on in life to Maude Bandy, and they did not have any children, but she had Josie, a girl, from her first marriage."

"Carrington died the 7th of October 1954 in Dallas, Texas."

"Lillie was the last child of my parents. She was born the 4th of November, 1891 in Florence, Alabama, and she married Birt Davis the 21st day of March, 1906 in Gainesville, Texas. Her only living child was Lorraine Davis. Lillie died sometime in 1911 in Jimtown at the home of my sister Lona. (Jimtown was part of addition in Dallas. Hampton Street.)"

"When she was younger, she went back to Alabama one time and went with an Oliver Comstock, who had a sister named Bertha Comstock who used to sing when I used to play the organ at Gainesville, Texas.



"I have since checked census records on these families and find that Lona and Tom Davis were shown to be born in Tennessee."

"I have found two children listed as being children of Ben Frank Chisholm. One named Rufus and the other Joseph Byron Chisholm. I did not find any death dates, but suppose that was before the time they kept death records in Alabama."

"There is a Riverton Alabama near the Wilson Dam. It has several old graveyards. Old homes were located very close to the river, and at this time they have a Pickwick Lake there and two churches."

"Also, about Mike Zingerell: I put an add in the Florence, Alabama newspaper and a woman answered it and said that Mike Zingerell had married her aunt, and that they had had several children. Both Mike and second wife are dead, and she said she thinks that Donnie Zingerell, the son of Mike and Maggie Zingerell, died about the age of 25 years and she does not know if he ever married or not."

"There was a Bailey Springs at one time and it existed until about 1857 according to the history of Lauderdale County, Alabama. The bottom of this page will tell about Bailey springs."

"I have supposed the reason that Uncle Will called Ben Frank Chisholm’s wife (Margaret) Aunt Margaret was that during those days, people taught their children to call older people aunt or grannie, and other names as that to show them more respect. It was a custom during that period of time, and even during the period of time I grew up also."

"More and more of the things said has told are checking out each day. It is so remarkable that his memory was so keen that he has given me the above added information that some day will help us to find who our people are."

"As you may have already figured out, Uncle Will is now 90 years old and every time I see him he still likes to talk about Alabama, Tennessee, and people. I only wish that he and our father also could have made one more trip to Alabama and Tennessee after they grew up."

Dates of birth, marriages, and deaths were added by me from momma’s records. Ethel Kirkpatrick, April 3, 1974.


Bailey springs came into notice in the 1820s although most authorities usually give the date 1831, sometimes 1834, for the date Jonathan Bailey acquired the land. Carolyn O’Reilly Nicholson (wife of U.S. Senator A. O. P. Nicholson, Tennessee) visited the area in 1829 and wrote many years later:

"I have vivid and pleasant memories of a trip made with my father to Alabama. My cousin, Betsy Witherspoon went with us. We traveled in our carriage and spent the night at Symington, the halfway house between Columbia and Florence. At the latter place, we visited my father’s Irish friends, John Simpson and General Coffey. Then we went nearly to Bailey Springs to visit my Aunt Mrs. Samuel Craig, who had moved there seeking to restore her health by drinking the celebrated water. I remember that old man Bailey brought a wild turkey, which he shot nearby, as an offering to her guests, and I have not forgotten what a savory dish it made. We went over to Tuscumbia to attend a conference, which was in session there and were most hospitably entertained in their cabin by the Cockerels who were preparing to build on a large scale."

Bailey Springs flourished during this time. Advertisements appeared in newspapers all over Tennessee and Alabama. For the accommodation of visitors, coaches were run directly to the springs. A coach left Columbia, Tennessee every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday during the season. As the medicinal benefits of Bailey Springs became known, physicians began sending their patients to use the water. Some even coming from as far as Saint Louis, Cincinnati, and Louisville. By 1853 the number of health seekers had multiplied beyond Bailey’s ability to accommodate them. He continued to conduct his resort, however, until his death in 1857. The list of notables was impressive.

"Ex Governor Collier of Alabama died Wednesday at Bailey Springs where he had gone to obtain relief from an attack of Jaundice."

In 1858 the springs and surrounding property were purchased by A.G. Ellis for $35,000. On August 3rd, 1859, the Florence Gazette reported. "One hundred arrivals not counting servants were recorded for the week of July 17 at Bailey Springs. They amused themselves with music, bowling, whist, and cricket."

Advertisements for Bailey Springs were again appearing in newspapers throughout the area.

"The proprietors of this watering place take pleasure in informing their friends and patrons that they have completed their arrangements for the comfort and enjoyment of their guests, and that the hotel is now open for their reception."

The efficiency of these waters in cases of dropsy, scrofula, dyspepsia, Diseases peculiar to females, chronic diarrhea, and all diseases of the skin and kidneys is too well established to need comment.

A good band will serve the ballroom and the tables will be supplied with the best the country affords while the fishing in Shoul Creek and the hunting in the surrounding woods offer their usual attraction to visitors.

The preceding were notes from the history of Lauderdale, Alabama