Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Powell's the Seagraves family Tennessee connection

More e-mails from my sister Deanna Seagraves, with the story of how the Powell's and the Seagraves are connected.

Martha Powell is the name of-Jerome Milton Seagraves Mother-she married Joel Seaton Seagraves in Oct. 31, 1871, if my infromation is correct. And a Powell Uncle(?) and his sons would help bring in the harvest at the family farm.

An interesting side note here as many early Seagraves family members have the name Powell as a middle name. So I think there is more of a Powell connection than just Martha. And with so many Powell's in Tennesse there are places and streets named after them, and one of our cousins lives on a Powell street.

Hey Jan -

As requested, here's my first installment of my narration
of my trip to TN and NC. I do eventually plan to put this
together with the photographs that I took. That will take
more time, as I said, since the technology is a bit more of
a challenge to me than that of letters. :-)

July 4, 2005 - after visiting Mt. Pleasant, Campbellsville
and Pulaski, not to mention North Carolina, I’ve learned
that there are just tons of Powells in that area! There are
even places like Powell Point and Powell’s Farm Market out
by the Outer Banks! The only family name I ran across on my
whole trip across Tennessee and North Carolina, as a matter
of fact, was Powell!

In Mt Pleasant there is a little museum focusing largely on
the posphate mine that operated there. “Pop”, grandpa
Jerome Milton (it appears he went by Milt, actually) worked
at that plant at some point. I wish I had put that together
when I was there. I looked for any mention of anyone in our
family, and asked the curator if he had heard of any
Seagraves, Graves, or Powells, and he had only heard of the
Powells. I found a couple of Powells in the museum, one a
high school girl, and I found two Powell gravestones, but
precious little direct clues.

One display in the Mt. Pleasant museum was a letter from
the Civil War era. I’m going to attempt to translate it as
best I can from the photos I took of it -

It is a letter, written in Misouri Bay County (?) on May
the 31st, 1861, addressed “Dear Brother,”

I (received?) your kind letter some time ago and (and) was
very glad to hear from you as I had wrote you a year before
and had never gotten an answer from you I thought you had
forgotten or was not able to write but you letter assured
us that you were still living and able to (tend?) to your
(laman) (damn?) business as to (Monroe?) mands our nephew
in California I only say that I have no money I am willing
to send to bring him back (her) at this time as is very
(sick) here at present is (likely) to be learchar(?) if the
war goes on There is a Mr Camans(?) in our (nighborhad)
that came from California last spring that knew him here
and knew him in California and says he was doing tolerable
he Believed there and never knew him distressed for means
of any kind and that he finds friends there who would take
care of him if he were sick or in distress of any kind as
to his legacy in North Carolina his guardian has sitted as
was coming to him there when he came to this country he
left some two or three hundred dollars in an agents hands
there to collect it for him which he did and (washington?)
was back there some seven or eight years he came to him to
pay over the to having no doubt he had his (Renps?)(Banks?)
for the purpose But knew nothing of it (next page)
No (fant?) a large (magarity) of the people of Misauris
Sipasis’ (sypathises) with the South but we are not willing
to (but?let?) our (Thants Bines?) Tennessee and other
states have seen proper to but theres us we believe I think
shudder at the thaut (thought) that our country is to becam
(become) a dispatism (despotism) and Be ruled by a Napalian
(Napoleon) or Cecar (Caesar) as Emperer (emperor) I see the
South Manifest a Dissasition (or difsasition?perhaps he
meant disposition) to give to Davis unlimited power in the
South without even the form of an election and the same
Spirit in the North to give Lincoln and his advisors the
same rite (right) in the North But perhaps the time is come
that god is going to free the negro and he is going to let
the masters worke (work) out their own distruction
(destruction) an feel satisfied god is at the helm and will
make all things work for his own glory, the heart of the
Christian and patriot must sink in despondency when he
looks at the deplorable situation of our country now and
look at our glorious future we anticipated (taula?tonla?)
(twelve?) months ago and for what the Southern dimagags
(demagogues) makes the Negro or the baby (hobby) horse to
ride into power on and this is what they want to be
president and rule the nation The North got power in the
same way by making the Negro their baby (hobby) and the
South (zuaurs?) (swears?) they must divide the government
before they can get power in the same way But I believe we
will yet be a unided (united) and happy people and those
who have Brat (brought) there (their) present evils on us
will (hide?) and (Sirihe?) into (alilli?) (game?) and (& te
all will and baving will?) (Dissolves into illegibility at
this point) It is signed L. H. Smith, or possibly LL Smith.
The letter is written on one large piece of paper folded
and written on both sides, so the pages between the first
and last pages are on the other side of the paper where
they cannot be seen except as faint marks where the ink
soaked through the paper.

Uncle Arnold says his great-great-grandfather died in a
Civil War prison, behind “barbed wire”, as he described it,
up near Chicago, captured as a Confederate spy. He died
there after an accident “rasslin’” with another inmate, or
so the story goes. He had written one last letter to his
son before he died. I’m not sure, and I need to follow up
on this, but it looks from my notes as if this might be
Grandma’s father, Minor, who received that letter.

In response to a message I posted to GenWeb, I received
three messages providing information on that Civil War
prison camp. There is a website on the general subject of
that dismal prison and the conditions of the prisoners
there at: , and
there is a page about the memorial to the soldiers who died
in that prison camp located at:,
and there is a list of the soldiers who died there - at
least the ones they have records of - located at:

A tombstone in Mt Pleasant had the name of Albert Powell,
born 1885, died 1977. It was the only tombstone in that
cemetery that bore the name of any of my ancestor’s
families. In Campbellsville, in the Campbellsville
Cemetery, I found the only other possible family grave, a
Jennie Powell Bue, 1850 - 1900.

The Campbellsville Cemetery was a very interesting
cemetery. There were several graves with granite slab
tombstones about the size of a grave, propped up level
about two feet above the ground on piles of stone. None of
these were familiar names, and the weathering made them
very hard to read. But they were very interesting to look
at, and I have pic’s of those, as well.

It was in Campbellsville that I also found a spring next to
(formerly behind/beside) the foundation of an old store,
just as described to me by my Uncle Arnold. I spoke to a
life-long resident, about my age, who was able to fill me
in on quite a bit of history. My apologies to the fellow,
as I failed to remember his name and did not write it down.
The houses across the field behind the spring house were
the homes of the original Campbells who settled the town,
and are still occupied by the family.

The garage was originally a blacksmith’s, and later became
a trucking company who hauled the milk for the area, as
described by Uncle Arnold! The man I spoke to seemed to own
it at present, and used it for a workshop and storage. Next
to is was the former bank, a small stone building.

Pulaski was actually a very pretty town. Although the girl
who was also staying at Janna’s house with us, named Robin,
said it was the birthplace or the capital for the KKK!(Shutter). But very
pretty, with nice homes, a beautiful downtown, well-kept
and well-preserved. They had some fairly large businesses
going, and things looked pretty prosperous. The downtown
area was neat and clean, and again, well preserved. It
looked like a postcard of an old-fashioned American town!
There was a large and impressive old courthouse in the
middle of the town square (complete with a little gazebo
where you might imagine there would be bands playing of a
summer evening). They had the requisite Confederate soldier
memorial statue across from the courthouse, this one for
Sam Davis, killed by the Federals as a spy in Pulaski in
1863. The courthouse clock still kept time. I was surprised
to see a Methodist College there, housed in a beautiful
historic mansion right off the town square. It was in the
Governor John C. Brown House - it has a Historical Monument
board in front. The historic building was purchased by the
college in 1996. The town is pretty much made up of
historic buildings and find old trees. Quite lovely.

I took a photo of a very plain Church of Christ building in
Pulaski. It doesn’t look old enough to have served the
Seagraves clan when they were in the area, even if they had
lived close enough to make the journey every week, which I
believe they did not.


No comments: