Adams Family of Johnson County, TN

(Left to right): John Adams, Emma (Northington) Adams, Walter, Samuel, Wynn, Bruce, Jesse, Hattie (Brown), Edgar, (Mattie Pearl not in picture)

Benjamin Adams, father of John Adams, was born in Wilkes Co, NC in 1817. He moved to Johnson County in 1827. Benjamin married Rhoda Goodwin of Butler, TN in 1843 in Mountain City, TN. Nine known children were born to this union but only 3 lived to adulthood. They were Martha, Smith and John.

Martha married Thomas Blevins in 1873. Their children were Riley, Oscar Blevins.

Smith married Elizabeth Luttrell in Mountain City in 1875. Smith was a school teacher, blacksmith and wagon maker. Known children were Samuel (b.1877), James (b.1879), and Robert Stanley (b. 1881), Martha Ellen (b. 1884), Clinton Victor (b. 1888), Clyde (b. 1891), Annie (b. 1893), Glenn (b. 1895), Rhoda (b. 1899).

Glenn served in the US Army during WWI and was wounded in action and captured by the Germans and held prisoner for 5 days.

Rhoda was a telephone operator in Mountain City for many years.

Robert Stanley married Lillie Jenkins in 1902 and known children are Clarice (b.1904), Victor Kent (b.1906), Nellie Bryant (b.1909), Virginia (b.1909), Robert Stanley (b. 1915).

John was born in Mountain City in 1853. He married Elizabeth Northington, from Pandora, in 1873. John taught school in Johnson Co, for 43 years. The union yielded seven children.

Walter, b. 1879 who married Nora Wilson in 1904 in Mountain City and moved to Oregon. Their children were Ruth and Walter.

Samuel, b. 1881, married Mary Jenkins and moved to Kansas City, MO. Samuel was a railroad conductor for many years. Their children were Mary and Hazel.

Wynn, b. 1884, married Ina Underwood in 1906 in Knoxville, TN. He operated a grocery store in Appalachia, VA for years. His children were, John H. (b. 1907, d. 1923). Jesse (b. 1910, d. 1990), Wayne (b. 1911), Charles (b. 1913), Bertha (b. 1916), Hazel (b. 1917), Carl (b. 1919, d. 1988). Francis (b. 1921), Doris (b. 1925).

Mattie Pearl (b.1890, d. 1924 in Oakland CA). She married James Logan Gentry in 1905. They moved to Oakland, CA and their children were Gail (b. 1911), Gladys (b. 1913), Georgia (b. 1915), Grace (b. 1917).

Hattie (b. 1895, d. 1995 in Conyers, GA), married Robert Brown in Mountain City. Robert owned and operated the Mountain City Monument Works for many years. Their Children are Virginia b. 1914, Evelyn b. 1910, Earl b. 1923.

Jesse, b. 1893, went west and married Eve Franzen in 1916 in Tacoma, WA. Jesse worked for Union Oil Co. for years and bought a large fruit orchard. Their children are Ella Mae b. 1917, George b. 1919, d. 1964, Wayne b. 1924.

John Edgar (b. 1898), married Lucy Wilson at Mountain City, TN. Edgar served in the US Navy during WWI ans was in France. He and his brother Bruce operated a grocery store in Mountain City until 1946 and Edgar started to work for the Veterans Administration. Their children are Donnelly who resides in Blountville and Leon who retired from the California Department of Highways and now lives in Oregon.

Bruce M. (b. 1886, d. 1963) went to work on a wheat ranch in Washington and returned to Mountain City. He married Stella Mae Wills in Mountain City in 1917. Bruce bought the Benjamin Adams homestead and farmed it while operating a grocery store. In 1942 he sold his interest in the grocery store to his brother Edgar and continued to operate the farm. In 1945 he opened another grocery store and operated it until failing health forced him to retire in 1961. His children Mary Ruth and Lena Kate both died in infancy.

Walter Gail (b. 1920) married Eula Howard in 1942. He served in the US Army during WWII at Camp Lee, VA. He graduated from the University of Tennessee and worked for the US Government in AL, NC, and Ohio. He is retired and living in Fairborn, OH. Their children are William b. 1945, Joe b. 1950, Trudy Kittle b. 1952, and Greg b. 1953.

Paul (b. 1921, d. 1976) married Edna Rambo in 1949 in Mountain City. He went into the Merchant Marines in 1944 and was released in 1947. He worked for Tri State Growers and with his father in the grocery and feed business. Their children are Paula b. 1953 and Donna b. 1955.

Irene b. 1923, married James E. Shoun Jr. in 1941. James served in the US Navy in the South Pacific during WWII. He graduated from the University of South Carolina as a pharmacist and operated drug stores in Columbia, SC where Irene worked for the Gas and Electric company until retirement and now lives in Greenwood, SC.

Johnnie (b. 1927) married Margaret Coym in 1953 in Wheeler, TX. Johnnie went west in 1945 and enlisted in the US Air Force and served in Germany during the Airlift. While attending the University of Colorado he enlisted in the Colorado Air National Guard and reitired in 1987. Their children are Bruce b. 1958, d. 1980, John b. 1966, Rodney b. 1955, Brenda b. 1970.

Samuel (b. 1929, d. 1994) married Lois Ann Howard in Mountain City. Sam went west in 1947 and returned in 1949 and started working at Farmers State Bank. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1953. After discharge he worked again at the bank and retired from there in 1991 as Vice-President. Their children are Ronnie b. 1955, d. 1996, Samuel Jr. b. 1965.

Lucille b. 1930 married Ralph Glenn Apple in Cincinnatti, OH in 1953. Lucille graduated from Miligan College and taught elementary school for 35 years. Their children are David Apple b. 1955.

Elizabeth (Betty) b. 1931 married Raymond GArland, grandson of Matthew Garland, in Mountain City in 1954. Betty graduated from Miami University in Oxford, OH and taught in the elementary school system in Butler County, OH until her retirement. Raymond was Vice-President for a large machinery company until his retirement.

Worley (b. 1933) married first Jean Wheatley (b. 1936, d.1999) in Cincinnatti, OH. He married second Ann Hill in 1985. After high school and attending Tennessee Tech he served in the US Army at Ft. Gordon, GA. He was discharged in 1956 and moved to Cincinnatti and became an engineer for the Kroger Co. He also worked for Stroh Brewing and Belcan Corp. By his first marriage he had two sons, Steve b. 1960 and Ken b. 1962. He retired and moved back to Mountain City in 1998 where he and Ann operate a craft supply store.

Eva (b. 1935) married Max Brannon in Mountain City in 1955. Max served in Korea 1950-1952. He taught school in Florida for several years and became an Industrial Engineer for several companies. Eva works in school administration in Greenwood, SC. Their children are Michael b. 1957, Susie b. 1961, Bruce b. 1963.

Sources: Family Records, USD Census Records, TN Marriage Licenses

Contributed by:

Johnnie Adams

1837 24th Ave. Ct.

Greely, CO 80634

RAMBO Family – James Tipton and Elva (Shoun) Rambo

James Tipton and Elva (Shoun) Rambo: Born in Johnson county, his family having been among the pioneer settlers of this county, coming from Virginia. He was a farmer. During the Civil War he enlisted in the Federal army, serving as a corporal in Company F, Fourth Tennessee Infantry. He married Elva Shoun, who died June 25, 1910, in a train accident, at the age of seventy-five years. She was born in Johnson county and was a member of an old family of this state. They had three children.

Isaac Stacy Rambo was born in Doeville, Tennessee, on the 24th of July, 1871 and died at his home there June 29, 1923. He was the son of the above James and Elva Rambo. He was married in Butler, Johnson county on the 26th of October, 1898, to Margaret Coffey, a daughter of Captain Thomas Coffey of Watauga county, North Carolina. They had one son, Justin C., who married Willie McQuown Sutherland of Mountain City.

Miller Family

The Miller family which settled in the Johnson County area were originally from North Carolina. John and Martha Miller were the first of the Miller family to settle here. John was a farmer in North Carolina and the couple were married there and had one child, Haggai M. Miller.

Haggai Miller was born in Obids township, Ashe county, North Carolina, on the 10th of December, 1881. He became a teacher and was a postmaster of Mountain City, TN. Haggai married 25th of October, 1905, at Crandull, to Maude Shoun, a daughter of McClellan Shoun of Mountain City. They had at least two children, Haddon and Homer.

VAUGHT, Joseph L.

Joseph L. Vaught, son of John S. and Rebecca (Shoun) Vaught, was born in Johnson county, Tennessee, March 4, 1838. At the outbreak of the Civil war he joined the Federal army, serving as sergeant in Company M, Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry, and when victory had crowned the Union arms he resumed his agricultural pursuits in Johnson county. He also manufactured wagons, farming tools and implements, supplying the people of his community and surrounding districts. He served as justice of the peace and was on the school board for a number of years. He belonged to the Masonic and Odd Fellows fraternities and he took an active interest in the welfare and upbuilding of the community, while of the Pleasant Grove Baptist church he was a faithful and devoted member from December 24, 1853, until his death. He is survived by his widow, who is living, at the age of eighty-five years, in Vaughtsville, Tennessee, a place named in his honor. It was on the 29th of December, 1855, that he wedded Louise Mast, who was born in Johnson county, January 20, 1838, a daughter of Joseph C. and Celia (Campbell) Mast. She traces her ancestry in direct line back to John and Barbara Mast. The former was born in Switzerland in 1740 and came to America with his uncle, four sisters and his elder brother, Jacob Mast, who later became a bishop in the Amish Mennonite church. The party sailed from Rotterdam in the ship “Brotherhood,” John Thompson, captain, and landed at Philadelphia, March 3, 1750. Soon after reaching the age of twenty John Mast left his brother Jacob, then married and living near Elverson, Pennsylvania, and started out to find a suitable location. He wandered as a pedestrian through lonely forests and at length settled in Randolph county, North Carolina, in 1764. Tradition says that he never communicated with his relatives and it was not until 1898 that the relationship between the Masts of Pennsylvania and North Carolina was established. The North Carolina branch constitutes a large, substantial and progressive citizenship in that state and this is equally true of the Pennsylvania and Ohio branches.

Transcribed from: Tennessee, The Volunteer State, 1796-1923 by John Trotwood Moore and Austin P. Foster published by S.J Clarke Publishing Co., 1923.


John S. Vaught, son of Joseph and Nancy (Goodwin) Vaught, was born in Johnson county, June 16, 1810, and became a large landowner and slave owner, while he and his son, Joseph L., operated a forge, manufacturing “hammered” iron. A public-spirited man, he donated the land for the Pleasant Grove Baptist church, organized January 20, 1845, in Vaught’s schoolhouse. He was a prominent member of the church and provided most of the funds for the erection of a new brick church in 1853. This building was torn down in 1912 to clear the site for a larger and more modern building which was erected that year, the material in the old building being used in the new. While he owned many slaves, John S. Vaught believed in emancipation and used his influence in that direction. He married Rebecca Shoun, who was born June 4, 1813, a daughter of Leonard and Barbara (Schlemp) Shoun, the former born November 10, 1773, in Loudoun county, Virginia, and the latter in Washington county, Virginia, May 3, 1775. The descendants of Leonard Shoun have erected a monument to his memory at Shouns, Tennessee, which town was named in his honor. John S. and Rebecca Vaught had three sons and five daughters, all of [p.419] whom married and reared families save a daughter who died at the age of twelve. John S. Vaught passed away May 18, 1885.

Transcribed from: Tennessee, The Volunteer State, 1796-1923 by John Trotwood Moore and Austin P. Foster published by S.J Clarke Publishing Co., 1923.


H. C. Donnelly, merchant and farmer, was born in this county in 1840, the youngest of thirteen children of Richard and Rebecca (Doren) Donnelly, the former born August 17, 1790, in Virginia, and the latter a daughter of Alexander Doren, an old resident of this county. The grandfather went to Rockingbam County, Va. and then to Wilkes County, N.C., when Richard was a young man, and the latter went to Washington County, Va, when of age, and afterward to Johnson County, locating near Taylorsville now Mountain City. He was a justice for many years, a Whig, and afterward a Republican. The first camp meeting ever held in this region was on his farm. His father Robert, was horn in Dublin, and was engaged in teaching and farming. Richard enlisted in the war of 1812, and served one month. Our subject was fairly educated, and now owns a fine farm of about 675 acres, besides some in other parts of the county. He is one of the firm of Donnelly & Smith, merchants at Shoun’s Cross Roads. June 13, 1866, he married M. A., a daughter of Henderson and Sarah (Baker) Shoun, natives of Johnson County, the former a son of Leonard, one of the earliest settlers of Carter County. Their children are Marietta, Joseph S., Sarah V. and Richard H. Both are Methodists. He is a Republican, and a Master Mason. His farm includes the old Leonard homestead, on which father-in-law is buried. He has been postmaster ever since 1869.

Transcribed from Godspeed’s History of TN (1896)