In my previous post on the Ward Cemetery, I mentioned that Matthew McClanahan was thought to have been the 2nd sheriff of Rutherford County. After a more thorough review of the records, I can find no evidence that Matthew ever served in that capacity. Still don’t know where he was buried….anyone have any more info on the McClanahan family?
The Ward family apparently arrived in the Smyrna area in the early 1800s. Their land would have been in the vicinity of the Nissan plant, as evidenced by the number of Ward cemeteries in this area.
Ezekiel Ward was born in 1773 in North Carolina. He and his 2nd wife Mary are buried in the Ward Cemetery near Florence Rd. When the Rutherford County Cemetery books were compiled in 1975, there were approximately 18 marked burials. (Though one of them may have been a duplicate.) On a recent visit, I was able to locate 12 of those. The cemetery is partially overgrown and will warrant another visit to do a complete survey.
Another burial in this cemetery is Samuel McClanahan (1801-1847). His marker is in remarkably good condition considering its age. Samuel was married to Elizabeth Ward (I’m assuming she was a daughter of Ezekiel. Can anyone confirm that?) It also appears that Samuel was the son of Matthew McClanahan, the 2nd sheriff of Rutherford County. Matthew’s burial place is unknown. Is it possible that Matthew is also buried here? This cemetery covers a lot of space and there aren’t a lot of markers. It just seems that there should be more graves in this Ward Cemetery. Does anyone out there have any ideas/info to share?
Happy 2012! So, it has been a while since I have posted and the blog is looking kind of sad and neglected. 2011 was a different kind of year…..it seems that it went by much too quickly, yet, in some respects it seemed endless.
Enough of that for today! As we look at a new and exciting year, there is lots planned for Smyrna Tn history. I am lining up some guest posts…folks with really interesting things to say! And there are some cemetery posts in the works with lots of genealogical info. So, thanks for sticking around. There should be lots of new posts in the next few weeks!
I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful start to 2012!
I knew it was coming…but that didn’t make it any less painful. Months ago, I wrote about the Gracy house here. It was being replaced by a parking lot. The back part of the house was the original Smyrna Primary School and was being donated to the Town of Smyrna. I haven’t yet confirmed that the town took possession of the school part, but when I drove through the area earlier this week….it was gone. Ahh….progress.
On April 29th, the Sam Davis Home will host a golf tournament to raise money for their educational programs. The tournament will be held at the Smyrna Municipal Golf course. (Did you know Bing Crosby once played golf there???)
The cost is $300 for a 4 person team. Shotgun start. For more info, call 615-459-2341 or visit www.samdavishome.org
It is a noble thing to preserve historic places. Unfortunately, it is also costly. The Sam Davis Home does a wonderful job with preserving the story of Sam and his family. They have many upcoming events and fundraisers….some fun, some educational, some fun and educational.
On September 18, 2010 they will be hosting the Sam Davis Dash 5k run. If you like to run (or walk), this is one event you should not miss. All the necessary info is here. Other upcoming events include a quilt show and haunted hayrides. Go to www.samdavishome.org for all the details!
In the middle of an active and growing town like Smyrna, it is perhaps unusual to find a large plot of green grass. An undeveloped lot. A recently sold parcel on Lowry Street currently fits that description. But, has it always been that way?
Evidently not! This patch of ground between Pinnacle Bank and one of the fire department locations has a long history. In 1946 the Lane Company of Altavista, Virginia purchased a lumber and panel plant in the heart of Smyrna. Lane used this plant to supply about 90% of the cedar panels needed by the company to produce its cedar chests. The logs used to make the panels came from within 50 miles of Smyrna. The logs were taken from Smyrna by rail.
The company was sold to Interco in 1987 and the land in Smyrna passed to a new owner in 2005. Thus, another interesting segment of Smyrna’s history passed into memory. A history of the Lane Company is found here.
Smyrna Church of Christ and the Town of Smyrna are working together to preserve the original Smyrna Primary School. The school was converted to a residence in the early 1900′s and is currently owned by the church. The portion of the structure that served as one of Smyrna’s earliest schools is being donated by the church and moved to a new location.
Mealand Ragland-Hudgins wrote a great article that appeared in the Daily News Journal, but is no longer available online.
The Smyrna Cemetery Organization is continuing revitalization efforts of a local cemetery. The cemetery, located between Rock Springs Rd and Sam Ridley Parkway, is one of the oldest African-American cemeteries in Rutherford County. Saturday, February 27 and Saturday, March 20 are the next scheduled clean-up days.