WARD, Mary Smith (1816)



b. ca 1754 VA – d. 1816 TN

Maury County Tennessee – Will Book B-1, page 26-27

16 January 1816

In the name of god, Amen, I, MARY WARD of the State of Tennessee and County of Maury being sound in mind and memory do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament as follows to wit:

First – I give and bequeath to my brother JAMES SMITH one Negro man named ASA, one feather bed, and one bay horse.

Second – I give and bequeath unto my brother, CHARLES SMITH, one Negro man, TOM, also half my stock of cattle and hogs and half my silver and half my kitchen furniture. I give and bequeath to my brother, BENJAMIN SMITH, one feather bed, half my silver, also two Negro men, one named STEPHEN and one named NED whom he now has possession.

Third – It is also my will that MARY I. NAPIER, my niece, and SAMUEL I. NAPIER, my nephew be under the government and direction of my brother, BENJAMIN SMITH until they become of full age.

Fourth – My sister, SARAH M. NAPIER, being now separated from her husband, JOHN M. NAPIER, and seeking to obtain a divorce, from him and never hereafter if therefore she should obtain a divorce from him that in that case and on that condition, I give and bequeath to her the following property (viz) one Negro woman named, MILLY with her children NED, STEPHEN, AMY, ARON, and MOSES, also three feather beds, and furniture, two sorrel mares, also half my stock of cattle and hogs and half my kitchen furniture but if she, the said SARAH M. NAPIER should not obtain a divorce from the said JOHN M. NAPIER, then and in that case it is my will that the above named property in this case shall be placed or deposited in the hands of my brother, JAMES SMITH, and BENJAMIN SMITH for the use and benefit of her, the said SARA M. NAPIER during her life and after her death. The said property to be equally divided between all her children that may then be living but if she should then have no child living at her death, in that case the above named property to be equally divided between my brothers JAMES, CHARLES, and BENJAMIN [SMITH].

Fifth – I give and bequeath to my friend SILVESTOR CHUNN one Negro boy named LITTLE CAESAR during the lifetime of the said SILVESTER and also the said SILVESTOR is to take charge of and support one Negro man named OLD CAESAR. It is also my will that the said LITTLE CAESAR shall not be sold or hired during the lifetime of the said SILVESTOR but after her death the said LITTLE CAESAR shall be the property of my brother JAMES [SMITH].

Lastly – I do appoint and constitute my brother, JAMES SMITH [P.27] and BENJAMIN SMITH also my trusty friend JAMES T. SANFORD and DUNCAN BROWN, executors of this my last Will and Testament in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this Sixteenth day of January, Eighteen Hundred and Sixteen. Signed: Mary Ward In presence of; DUNCAN BROWN, WILLIAM CHUNN, ELIZABETH STRATTON. [From typed transcript, see original.]

 [Additional information on Mary Ward’s family including her brother, James Smith (d. 1818 Anson CoNC) may be found in Elise Greenup Jourdan’s Early Families of Southern Maryland, Vols. VII and VIII (1998-99).]

Source: Bennie Lou Hook Altom Bennie Lou Hook Altom

RAGAN, Nancy (1905)

Nancy Ragan’s Will , admitted to Probate Oct 9, 1905

I Nancy Ragan being of mature years, of sound mind , and considering the frailty of life and the certainty of death, do make and publish this as my last will and testament which is as follows to wit.

That my burial expenses shall be paid and my doctors bill if there be any.

That my personal property shall be distributed as follows ;
To my son John one dollar, to my daughter Martha Robason one dollar, to my son James one dollar, to the children of my daughter Lemiza Brown one dollar equally devided between them, to my son Andrew one dollar, to my daughter Mary Robason one dollar, to the children of my daughter Elizabeth Brown one dollar equally devided between them, to my daughter Susan Robason one dollar, and to my youngest son Neely Ragan I give and bequeath all the remainder of the property that I possess both personal and real, of every character and description to have, hold and control as he may see cause to do with , any and all such property as I may be possessed of at my death.

I have let my son Andrew Ragan have fifty dollars in cash which I relinquish in consideration of his having built two chimneys , one to my dwelling house , the other to my kitchen. I would further state there is a judgement on W. A. Glenn’s docket in my favor and against Allen Adcock, which with the above mentioned property shall also go into the hands of my son Neely in order to assist in the payment of my burial expenses , and further compensate him for the support he has given me , and the care he has taken of me for the last twenty five years. I also desire that my grandson John T. Robason shall not be allowed a house on the above mentioned realty. I hereby appoint my son Neely Ragan as my executor and that he shall not be required to give hand as such. 

I declare this to be my last will and testimony whereunto I set my hand calling on W. M. Andrew and D. A. Johnson for witnesses and signing in their presence, this the eighth day of August , Eighteen Hundred and Ninety Nine.

Nancy (her x mark) Ragan
W. M. Andrew , Juror?
D. A. Johnson , Juror?

FRASER, Forgey

The Daily Herald (reel 479)

Submitted by Scott Fraser, 2005

Forgey FRASER, Retired Farmer, Dies at Home

Forgey FRASER, 84, retired Maury County Farmer, died at 11:45 p.m.  Monday at his home on Carter Street. He had been in poor health for some time.

A son of the later John and Arentha BUTTS FRASER, he was a lifelong resident of Maury County. Mr. FRASER spent most of his life in the Knob Creek community but moved to Columbia about 15 year ago. His wife, Mr. Eleto Mae COGGIN FRASER, died in 1949.

The body is at Oakes and Nichols Funeral Home where services will be conducted at 2:30 pm., Wednesday by the Rev. W. Stockman.

Survivors arae two daughters, Mr. W.E. MANGRUM and Mr. G.E. SPARKMAN of Columbia; five sons, H.C. FRASER of Birmingham, R.C. FRASER of Knob Creek and Dick, W.C. and Fulton FRASER of Columbia; a sister, Mrs. Will SELLERS of the Theta Pike; 10 grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

Pallbears will be Doyle SULLIVAN, D.O. PRIEST, Gordon AMMONS, Elmer WARF, Joe REED and Ernest HAYWOOD.

Honorary pallbearers will be Tom BROWN, Ross WHITLEY, D



Will and Maury PIGG, Herbert and Benton CHURCH, Dr. W.C. BENNETT,




Burial will be in Rose Hill with Oakes and Nichols in charge.


Biography: BRYANT, Thomas H.

THOMAS H. BRYANT is a native of Maury County, Tenn., and was born August 15, 1839, and was reared on a farm. In 1861 he enlisted in Company F, Third Tennessee Regiment, under Col. J.C. Brown. He was captured at the fall of Fort Donelson and taken to Camp Douglas, where he was imprisoned seven months. He was then exchanged at Vicksburg and immediately rejoined the army. He participated in many battles and was wounded and captured at Raymond, Miss. After his release he again joined his command, stationed at Meridian, Miss. He was disabled there and came home on furlough, and was captured and paroled near the first of 1864. June 4, 1866, he wedded Emma J. Howard, born February 20, 1847, in Maury County. They have four children: James H., Hattie W., Frank L. and Bessie M. Mr. and Mrs. Bryant are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South and he belongs to the Democratic party. His parents, Edward and Elizabeth (Amis) Bryant, were both born in Granville County, N. C., in 1778 and 1797, respectively. The father was a farmer and miller. He was a soldier in the war of 1812 and was a Whig in politics. He died in 1867 or 1868, and the mother about 1885.

Source: History of Tennessee: From the Earliest Time to the Present; Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Maury, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Bedford and Marshall Counties. Nashville, Tenn: Goodspeed Pub. Co, 1886.

Biography: BROWN, W. Hugh

W. HUGH BROWN, farmer, was born in Maury County, Tenn., December 11, 1843, and is the eldest son of James W. and Jenette M. (Dobbin) Brown, natives, respectively, of North Carolina and Tennessee. The father came to Maury County about 1810 with his father, Hon. Col. Hugh Brown, of North Carolina, and his brother, Rev. Duncan Brown, who was a well-known preacher of this county. James W. Brown followed the occupation of a farmer to a considerable extent and was very successful. He died June 1, 1885. The mother still survives him, and is living with her son, John S. Brown, on the old homestead. Our subject was reared on the farm and received a good practical education. In 1861, at the age of seventeen, he enlisted in the Spring Hill Company, Third Tennessee Regiment, under the command of Capt. Pointer. He remained with the above company about six months and then joined the cavalry command and remained with this company until the close of the war. He then returned to this county and began farming on his father’s tract. In 1870 he removed to his present farm, where he has been steadily engaged in farming and stock raising ever since. In 1870 he wedded Laura B. Cheairs. a native of this county, and to this union was born one child, Nora. Mrs. Laura Brown is the daughter of Col. Martin T. and Martha (Bond) Cheairs. The father was born in North Carolina, May 19, 1804, and is the son of Nathaniel and Sarah (Rush) Cheairs, natives, respectively of North Carolina and Maryland, Nathaniel died in 1846 and his wife followed in 1858. Martin T. Cheairs was reared on the farm and secured but a limited education. At the age of thirty-four he went into the mercantile business with his brother, John Cheairs, at Spring Hill. Eleven years from that time he gave up the mercantile business and engaged in farming and stock raising. In 1837 he was married and became the father of nine children, only three of whom are living, viz.: Mary F., Nannie R. and Laura B., the wife of our subject. Mr. Brown is a Democrat, and himself and family are members of the Old School Presbyterian Church.

Source: History of Tennessee: From the Earliest Time to the Present; Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Maury, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Bedford and Marshall Counties. Nashville, Tenn: Goodspeed Pub. Co, 1886.

Biography: BROWN, William R.

WILLIAM R. BROWN, an old and prominent citizen of Neapolis, Maury Co., Tenn., was born in this county, October 15, 1882, and is a son of Solomon and Elizabeth (Sanders) Brown, both of whom were natives of South Carolina. The father was one of the early settlers of this county and followed the vocation of farming. He died about two years after immigrating here from South Carolina. The mother’s death occurred in 1864, at the unusual age of eighty-one years. Our subject passed his youthful days on the farm and secured a fair practical education at the common schools. At the age of sixteen he served an apprenticeship at wagon-making and followed that business for twelve or fifteen years. In 1852 he began merchandising at Neapolis and was engaged in this business until the beginning of the war. In 1861 he enlisted in Company A, Forty-eighth Tennessee, and served as a sergeant about one year. Being a mechanic he was detailed boss of brigade shops and was afterward made boss of the division shop, and remained as such until the close of the war. He then returned to Neapolis and resumed his former business. In 1881 he removed to his farm, on which he lived one year, then built his present house and shop, where he has been engaged in wagon-making and general repairing. In 1869 he wedded Elizabeth Truelove, a native of this county, who died in 1882,. They have four children born to this union, only two of whom are living: Willie E. and Lillie. Mr. Brown is a Democrat and an attendant of the Methodist Church.

Source: History of Tennessee: From the Earliest Time to the Present; Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Maury, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Bedford and Marshall Counties. Nashville, Tenn: Goodspeed Pub. Co, 1886.