Campbellsville, Tennessee

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Campbellsville, TN  -  The Old House Speaks in 1988
by Aunt Grace Campbell
written December 1988


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Description: our house small.JPG

Family members in front of “The Old House” listed in order Left to Right
 Elizabeth Campbell Morris, Crockett Campbell, Grace Campbell
(young girl in this picture, but later wrote “The Old House Speaks”), Forrest Yokely Campbell, Burney Campbell, and Donald Campbell



Jennifer Hickerson Stout, along with her husband Corey, is now the sixth generation Campbell to live in “The Old House.”  After the birth of their child, now seven generations have lived “The Old House.”

-Jennifer is the granddaughter of William C. and Ruth Morris.-





        Life without imagination would be dull and drab, so I ask you to take advantage of your imagination that I, an “Old House”, am speaking and telling a story of my life (if a house can be said to have a life).  It is also the true story of the Campbell family since they came to America.


        I am still standing on the site, which a fourth generation Campbell and his wife selected to make their home.  In this direct line was Robert, born in County Down, Ireland; his son Alexander, born in Prince Edward County, Virginia; his son Hamilton Crockett, born in 1786 in probably what was Virginia at the time and is now Tennessee.    He settled in what is the village of Campbellsville, Giles County Tennessee.  His son Alexander is the builder of my homestead and the line of Campbells who lived within my walls soon after Giles County was established in the early years of the 1800’s.


        Hamilton Crockett built a two-story log house near a big, ever-flowing spring, which still gives good fresh water to the people around the community.  This house is still standing but was recently purchased out of the family ownership, along with several other farms, by Cuban investors.


        The first Campbell of which we have a record is Robert, who landed in Philadelphia around 1725 as a boy seven-years-old then drifted southward through Virginia or South Carolina.  He and his wife seemed to be of Scottish Presbyterian stock from Ireland.  His wife’s name was Leticia.  This name was mentioned in the record of several families in early days.  It was not mentioned, however, in recent times until one of Robert Campbell’s sons, Gillis, and his wife, Martha Dimmock Campbell, named their first child Leticia.  Martha, daughter of Al and “Chick” Dimmock, and Gillis were very good dear friends of Donald and Wessie Campbell through the years since he served as pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Pulaski.


        The first Hamilton Crockett fought in the War of 1812 and was in the famous battle of Great Horseshoe Bend in Alabama.  He married Mary Mitchell Dickey after settling in what is Campbellsville Giles County, Tennessee.  She was said to have been a woman of remarkable beauty and superior intelligence. She died at the age of 89 and left 79 living descendants.


        They were the parents of the second Alexander who married Margaret McErwin Thompson.  Not much is known about her before he marriage save that she lived in the vicinity near where Reelfoot Lake was formed in West Tennessee and the fact that her mother, Mrs. Matilda Henderson, is buried in the northwest corner of the community cemetery at Campbellsville.  Many of the first Campbells are buried at the family cemetery behind the house that Hamilton Crockett built.  A deed and right of way to this cemetery is recorded in the Giles County Courthouse.  The present family of the homestead takes care of this cemetery.


        Alexander and Margaret selected me as their home site beside a big spring, which was a necessity in those days, and built their first home.  They has six children:  1) Mary Matilda, married Frank Kimbrough of Weakley Creek, 2) Margaret Ann, married Frank’s brother, Jim of Weakly, 3) Martha Caroline, married John Clinton Hannah of Campbellsville who became county official, 4) Crockett, Alexander’s son, happened to meet Forest when she stopped there one day on her way home from visiting a friend and there began a friendship which led to marriage, 5) Laura Etta did not marry early and lived with Crockett and Forest until she married Markus West.  They had one child Malcolm Campbell, who lived in Columbia, Tennessee until 1988 and died there. 6) Robert Newton, the younger boy became a Presbyterian preacher.  He married Belle Covey and they had four children.  He contracted Tuberculosis and died a few hours before his son Robert was born in 1903.  Alexander died at an early age resulting probably from a blow to the head which he received from a man accused of stealing a hog from a neighbor.  Alexander was trying to help get the hog back for the owner.  After his death Margaret’s house burned and she was left with six children and no house.  I, (this house) was probably put up at a “Log Rolling”, a big event of a neighborhood in which a log house was put up sometimes in one day by neighbor men, while their wives cooked a big dinner in the middle of the day.  This was a useful custom for pioneers.  Trees for the logs were plentiful and the houses strong.  The houses were usually, as this one was, two big rooms with a half story above and an open hall between the rooms, open at each end for storage of wood, work area, cool sitting room, etc.  This was known as a “Dog Trot” through which the dogs would run and bark hoping for food from the table at meal time.  Those eating would toss bread to them saying “Hush Puppy”, thus came the origin of a popular food in the South today, a corn meal cake of bread served with fish or chicken.  Margaret’s house was noted as most homes then were, for hospitality and as the custom was the widowed Mother made her home with the child who kept the home place after the father’s death.  Crockett, who began helping support the family by farming at age eleven, kept the house with his wife, Forest, and took care of his Mother.  Nothing is reported of any conflicts between the new daughter-in-law when she came into the home.  The three age groups had never heard of the custom or term “Generation Gap.”  Crockett felt the influence of his Mother’s teaching, and his and Forest’s home became one of the homes in the church’s custom of entertaining the preachers by inviting them to spend Saturday night before holding services on Sunday.  They always had discussion on the Bible issues and called on the preacher to have a prayer with the host family before leaving.  Usually the prayers went on and on (it seemed to the children).  On one occasion like that, Donald and Grace, now almost grown, were the only children at home.  For some reason, probably citing some chores to be done managed to stay out of the parlor where the discussions were taking place.  They decided they would both sneak off to bed and escape the long prayer and they did so but when time for the prayer came and trick was discovered, what happened?  Each name was called and each had to get dressed and come and sit for the prayer just the same.  They should have been ashamed for such conduct.  I’m afraid this isn’t practiced now days but more family praying would make better families today.


        Margaret raised her children in the strict Presbyterian custom of working six days of the week and resting on the Sabbath Day, but with the entire family attending church and friends going home with someone to eat a big dinner.  This was not a very restful day for the women but as much as could be, was prepared on Saturday.  The only cooling system was in the cool water of the spring house, a shelter over the spring in which they kept buckets of food sitting over night.  Sitting under a shade tree and talking was the Sunday afternoon entertainment.  Even children did not play loud and rowdy games on Sunday.  It was said the Margaret’s son who became a preacher wanted to play with his little wagon one Sunday and was told not to do that, he replied that he would play under the house where God couldn’t see him.  (I do not remember what Margaret’s reaction was.)  The houses were built with a space underneath so that a cellar for storing food was dug out and there was room enough to walk or play under the house.


        Crockett and Forest lived all their married life in the “Old House” caring for Margaret as long as she lived, as was the custom before the idea of nursing homes occurred. They had six children, the first one Albert Clinton, died when he was a small baby, Burney Walker was born in 1893, then Ann Elizabeth was born two years later, Donald Andrew was born two years later. Almanza about two years later but died when she was two or three years old, then in 1903 Grace Crockett was born. They grew up enjoying life together, each helping with the work of the home, and going to the two-teacher school. Burney and Elizabeth went to boarding school in Lynnville, Tennessee. This was called the Robert E. Jones School and consolidated into being Richland High School today along with Campbellsville and other small schools nearby with school buses. Children used to walk to school, the father coming in the wagon after the children when a snow caught them at school, then some rode horses, then went in pony carts or double buggies where as now it is the custom to have a car for the teenagers and school buses all over the country side or even across the small town. “I have seen a lot of changes in my time.”


        Burney served in World War 1 from December 1917 until about spring time 1919 never going overseas but guarding German prisoners who had been captured in Germany and shipped overseas to America to get them out of the way. This was the first break in my close family. Many of my family members never traveled to Nashville in earlier days. Now I watch over the hills seeing my folks fly overhead but always coming back to my peaceful hills. Well, the old ones chatter on and on and I must get back to my account of the people you will remember and trace the line of modern Campbells.


        Crockett and Forest’s son returned from his far away camp at Columbia, South Carolina and even as far as Jacksonville, Florida to Camp Johnston. We study the pictures Burney sent back of the marvelous cities, palm trees, alligators and ocean, dreaming of someday seeing these things and rejoiced when we could once more gather daily within these walls with our familiar local affairs. Burney married Virginia Knox and they lived in Lynnville. They had no children, but reared a cousin whose name was Virginia, and she became their daughter. She and her husband J.T. Lowery lived with them and cared for them in their old age with their son, Jim and his son Brad, giving their grandparents joy. Teaching the boys to fish became their hobbies as well as cooking all good things for them.


        Ann Elizabeth, the next child had beautiful auburn hair, she had two grandchildren that followed her with this, Harrell Murrey and Mary Ann Morris Jefferson. However as they got older their hair color changed. She became an elementary school teacher and married Turner Orr Morris who taught for a short time and became a farmer. They bought her father’s farm after their death for 2,800.00 and moved to my homestead to carry on the tradition. Their first child William Campbell was two months old when they moved from his birth-place, Little Dry Creek. He grew up on the farm and spent almost three years in the U.S. Army stationed in Camp Jackson then in Kaiserslauten, Germany.


        Their next child was Jane Elizabeth. She graduated from Martin College then from the University of Tennessee and became a County Demonstration agent at Gallatin.


        The youngest child, John Newton, played football for Campbellsville High School, and later went on to play for the University of Wyoming. He made his home Wyoming.


        Donald Andrew was the next child of the Crockett and Forest and he married Wessie Eugenia Campbell and they lived in Pulaski where their two daughters grew up. The first one, Jane Burns, graduate at Rhodes College, then known as Southwestern, a Presbyterian University at Memphis. She was named as a Phi Beta Kappa member and became a school teacher just after she married Charles Gilbert Hosay of Pulaski in 1956. He was a Baptist minister. They have three boys who were raised mostly in Virginia and still live there.-Charles Andrew, James Lesley and John Morgan. James married Jackie Cutchin and they have a girl Lisa Nicole and a son James Alexander. John Morgan and Andy do work such as city planning as does their father helping to make a better life for the elderly or disadvantaged and restoration of old sections of the city. James is in the U.S. Army Band and serves as an organizer of music and sometimes directing the band. Andy taught for the University of Virginia and restores old historic houses.


        The younger girl, Mary Don, obtained her Doctor of Education degree to become Dean of a branch of Home Economics in Kansas State University at Manhattan, Kansas. She married a native of that city, Virgil, after going there to teach. They have two daughters, Mary Virginia (Ginger) who came to Knoxville, Tennessee for her college education where her mother graduated. She majored in Journalism and now lives in Kansas City where she works. Her sister Laura Jane (Janie) has an Associate Veterinary degree and specializes in the health of horses and trains and rides for her own recreation/ she also lives in Manhattan, Kansas.


        The next Crockett child was Almanza, who died when about three years of age then the youngest child, Grace Crockett was born in 1903. She grew up loving school and was very sad when, due to the poor health of her mother and father, she could not go away from home to school until there was a High School built in Campbellsville four years later. Grace returned to school and by being old enough to realize the value of a good education, she really studied and made good use of study time which was limited by home chores. She won the honor scholarship medal and graduated in 1926 in the first high school class. Only six pupils were enrolled this first year in the senior class.


        Now began the effort to go to college in the fall. With only $100.00 and a lot of determination, the family sent her to Middle Tennessee State Teachers College in Murfreesboro, Tennessee for two college quarters then she had to return home to the farm when her father became very sick. He died in a few months and she obtained all the rest of her college work and B.S. degree in summer school and wherever college credits could be gained. Finally in 1942 the degree from Peabody was realized and extra credits earned with teaching experience, while working on preparation for teaching she spent spare time observing teachers with classes at Peabody Demonstration School, a valuable help in ways to interest and make practical schoolroom methods.


        After her fathers death in 1927, Grace finished out the year teaching at an eighth grade school at Pigeon Roost, a one teacher school for $55.00 a month an eight month term, and again the next year, then to Elkton first and second grades, then progressed to a nine month school and Pulaski Elementary School in a building used for a hospital during the Civil War. Just prior to this move, school had been held in the basement of the Massey Boys School. Teachers were allowed to live in the little upstairs dormitory rooms of the closed Massey School although cracks were forming in some of the rooms. Money was not available for teachers to pay rent. She graduated Peabody College in 1942. After sixteen years in first grade from 1930 to 1946 she transferred to first grade in Winter Garden, Florida near Orlando and taught there twenty three years, then stayed on in the town after retirement in this beautiful section of the country until 1981 before moving back to Pulaski. Forty two years of teaching first grade has offered many opportunities and pleasures.


        After Elizabeth and Turner moved to this Old House in 1927 there was gaiety and activity with three children working and playing on the hills and valleys. Much hard work was necessary, as times in the thirties and forties were lean years with not much spending money. There were William Campbell, Jane Elizabeth, and John Newton. All graduates of Campbellsville High School. William Campbell served in the U.S. Army in Kaiserslauten, Germany part of three years. We missed him from our halls on two Christmases. He returned in 1955 and married Ruth Nesbitt of Gallatin. They lived in Pulaski and Ruth became a Licensed Practical Nurse and worked a number of years at Giles County Hospital.


        Elizabeth Turner’s daughter, Jane Elizabeth, graduated at Martin College then at the University of Tennessee in Home Economics in Home Demonstration work and became a Home Demonstration Agent in Sumner Co. Gallatin, Tennessee. She married Harrell Preston Murrey of Gallatin and they moved to Russellville, Kentucky where three children were born. Harrell Preston, Jr.  married Loretta Martin and they are expecting their first child in May 1989. Harrell is employed at Donnely Printers and Loretta is a teacher at a local college and working on her doctrine in English. William Floyd (Bill) married Terri Lessenberry. They have two children, William Ryan age 6 and Anne Kathryne age 3. They are employed with a family insurance business. Both boys married Glasgow, Kentucky girls after they moved from Russellville. Jane Grace was born next in Russellville and moved to Glasgow when she was small, and lives there now. She completed her training as a beautician. She is working part time as a beautician and also works at a local company in the dietary department. John Morris was born in Glasgow and is enrolled in his third year in music at Middle Tennessee State University, where he is training to be a band master.


        Jane Elizabeth was an assistant librarian at the High School in Glasgow until her sudden death of a heart attack on February 18, 1988.


        Elizabeth and Turner’s youngest child, John Newton born in 1931 grew up on the farm and went to the University of Wyoming at Laramie and played on the football team for four years and then in ROTC training.  After graduation, he married Norma Jean Bell, daughter of pioneer family in the ranching business.  John served in the Army as second Lieutenant at Fort Benning and in Missouri.  He then settled on a ranch near Cheyenne, Wyoming raising cattle and race horses.  Their three girls enjoyed riding and ranch life.  Their oldest daughter Betsey married Jack Graham and with children John Morris, Jamie, and KaLea (Katheryn Leigh) live in California where she is a homemaker and substitute teacher.  Karen went into television after winning the title of “Junior Miss America” in 1984, but is now occupying her time caring for Taylor and Katheryn, identical twin girls almost a year old and occasionally making commercials for television.  She married Curt Gowdy, Jr., Sports Director for ABC television in New York City.  The youngest child Marcy Jo has just finished a five year college course with a B.A. degree and will teach Dramatics and Music this fall.


        After the death of Elizabeth, Turner lived alone and life was quiet and lonely.  Turner had always put in his days farming and raising stock and now had to take on housekeeping also, a chore he did not like or find much time for.  With the help of his daughter-in-law, Ruth, he got through those years.  The farm was bought by William Campbell and Ruth and after modernizing my still strong sturdy frame the family moved in in 1976 and I was beautiful and functional on the interior and more attractive in every way.


        Now three different age groups of friends of the three Morris girls brought fun and interest around.


        Deborah Carol went to Martin College and then continued on to graduate at The University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1978 with a B.S. in Nursing.  In 1980, she married Donald Eugene Hickerson of Lynnvillle.  They have a six year old son Jonathan Morris and a three year old daughter Jennifer Susann who enjoys riding ponies and horses and makes the grandfathers enjoy hose shows and riding in parades.


        The next girl, Mary Ann, graduated from Giles County High School and also attended Martin College and was cheerleader for their sports.  She married Mark Tague Jefferson of Huntsville, Alabama and they live there.  Mary Ann is an accountant manager for an advertising agency and real estate agent.


        The youngest girl, Susan Janine attended High School at Richland School and served through several years of cheerleading.  She graduated from High School there and married Jeffery English Montgomery of Pulaski in 1986.  He is an airman E4 at Hurlburt Field, Fort Walton Beach, Florida.  They have a little son Jeffery, Jr. age 2 and return for visits.  They are expecting another child in April 1989.  Susan is a homemaker and works part-time.


        I have seen many changes take place since I first took my stand here early in the 1800 era and my walls are strong and useful and so are my people.  My hope is that each generation leaves a good heritage of highest ideas and habits of obedience to God and Country.  I hope they instill in each inhabitant an appreciation of our blessings in being able to worship and serve God in such a way that those dwelling in this house will be eternally blessed with a rich heritage.



I’m the oldest Campbell to remember

In 1988 this December.

I want to record who our ancestors were and what they were like

As men and women and children as well,

Hoping the young ones will tell,

Of our ancestors and homes and where they lived

Part of the story that has gone before

And how dependence on God was still the trend

And still the most important thing that has ever been.


With a great love and enjoyment for all my family,

Aunt Grace




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Webmaster Jennifer H. Stout Campbellsville, TN

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