An Afternoon's Historical Journey

By Nell Morisette
Camden, Tenn.

Melton Bros

Good morning to all of you readers. Even though it's raining in Benton County, it is still a good day.

First thing, I want to apologize to Mr. Gordon Wheatley and make a correction to last week's article. In 1973, W.T. Patterson and his wife, along with Gordon Wheatley and his wife, were sole owners of Stockdale-Malin Funeral Home. The four bought out Bobby Wofford, who owned Camden Funeral Home, in 1974.

On this rainy morning, I suggest you pour a cup of coffee and take an imaginary trip with me and my companions.

On February 25, 2000, Artie and Brenda Griffith, Doris M. Hightower, and I ate an early lunch and headed to Harmons Creek, where Floyd Robins joined us. Melton blood runs through all our veins except for Artie's. Since being in the family this long, however, he fits right in there with us. Come along as we take an "Historical Journey,"

The first stop of our journey was at Sion Melton Cemetery. This cemetery is located on part of Sion's 87-2/3 acres in the Tennessee River tract on Harmons Creek. The cemetery is 100 by 130 feet. There are 10 to 12 unmarked graves.

Sion married Lucereta Farmer. One of their children, Charity Melton, married Hiram Warnick. The Warnicks had one child, Aramita. She married Elijah Phifer. They had 11 children, although only seven lived. One of their children that survived, Henry Phifer, told that his parents had twins, a boy and a girl. They were born dead of lived a day or two and were buried in the Sion Melton Cemetery. The other two children died as babies and are believed to be buried there also. Henry stated that he lived with his parents in a log house on Sion's place.

Our next stop was on property that was owned by William Hargrove Melton. William first married Martha Pafford. They had four children. After her death, he married Mary Ann Melton. They had 11 children. One died at birth, a twin to John Davis. A daughter died at six years. Records at the Courthouse show where William deeded (to each of his children). a 100-acre tract on the Tennessee River for farming, as well as 66-02/3 acres in the Harmons Creek hills for their homes. Floyd showed us where each child owned property, calling their names as we drove along.

Then we moved on the Old Farmer Cemetery located on the TWRA Managed area on Harmons Creek. There are 100 graves by TVA count. This cemetery is on the 100 acres that was given to my grandaddy and Doris's great-grandaddy, Etheldred (Dred) Melton. Brenda's grandaddy, Thomas Jefferson (Tom) Melton also one of the children, had 100 acres. Floyd's grandaddy, John David (Davey), was another child and received 100 acres.

George Washington Farmer married Catherine Harmons in Humphreys County. After this marriage they moved to Harmons Creek, bought several hundred acres, and lived there until his death. George W. served in the War of 1812. He was a Magistrate for the old Seventh District in 1842. He was a juror for this district in 1844, 45, 46 and 48. In 1847 he was on a jury of review for a road development. George W. first owned property on which the Old Farmer Cemetery was located. After his death the Farmer family later sold the property to the Melton family.

Looking at our watch, we decided we had time for another small historical journey before ending our day. This one took us down Point Mason Road to Holden Rushing Cemetery. In 1853 Holden bought land here. He was the second prominent owner of Point Mason. He started a prosperous shipping and trade business in that area, which became the most prosperous of the Western Valley of the Tennessee River. He build a large brick warehouse at some point after the Civil War.

Holden married Elizabeth Lashley (Lashlee). In the Benton County 1860 census, records show Holden with five slaves. Elizabeth's father Andrew Lashlee also owned slaves. When she and Holden married, she was given one of her father's slaves named Jerry. It is thought that until Jerry's death he had lived with some of Holden's family.

After the flooding of the river, all that remains of importance regarding Point Mason is a cemetery on a hill west of the Tennessee River, where approximately 15 Rushings and Rushing families are buried in the Holden Rushing Cemetery.

Thought for the week:

There's no better time than right now to start a priceless relationship with our relatives.


If you have suggestions and/ or additions for these pages, please feel free to write County Host

Brian Nichols

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