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Letter, J. W. Gray, Jr. to Navy Recruiter, January 20, 1920

Letter, J. W. "Jackie" Gray, Jr. to Navy Recruiter, January 20, 1920

This is the (barely) surviving letter that shows Jackie Gray’s desire to be a Marine. It’s a path that would unfortunately lead to his tragic and premature death some two months later in basic training.

Wells’ General Store
T. C. Wells, Proprieter
Homer G. Wells, Manager

Mt. Vista, Tennessee

Shipping Point:
  Paris, Tenn.

Post Office: Buchanan, Tenn., R. 4
or Springville, Tenn., R. 1

Jan 27, 1920.

Mr. D. J. Huley,
Navy Recruiting Officer,
Jackson, Tenn.

Dear Sir:-

     Your letter of the 22ond instant received after some
delay. And in reply will say that I desire to enlist for the
Steamer Tennessee. But would prefer the Marine Corps. You did
not state in your letter whether or not that particular branch
of the service is open yet or not.

     I am five feet and eight inches and a half tall, and
weight 125 pounds with clothes on. Will they accept me in the
Marine Corps with that height and wieght?

     Please advise me   [-?-]    above subjects, and also
                 [-?-]                 order [-?-] I
[-?-] meet you, if the question of [-?-] weight will not bar
me upon examination.

     Hoping to hear from you relative to the above, and
hoping you will be kind enough to furnish detailed information
regarding subject outlined above, I beg to remain,

          Yours very truly,
             J. W. Gray
          Post Office—SPRINGVILLE, R.F.D.1 Tenn.

John Williams “Jackie” Gray, Jr.

John Williams "Jackie" Gray, Jr.

Pictured: John Williams Gray, Jr.
Date: Circa 1917, based on his age
Location/Setting: Front steps of the Sulphur Well Academy (no longer exists)
Inscription: None

John Williams "Jackie" Gray, Jr. and Dog

Pictured: John Williams “Jackie” Gray, Jr. and Unknown Dog
Date: Circa 1917, based on his age
Location/Setting: Outside, unknown location. Most likely on the Gray farm.
Inscription: None

John Williams “Jackie” Gray, Jr.
Birth: 08/22/1900, (most likely) Henry County, Tennessee
Marriage: None
Death: 03/30/1920, Camp Taylor Red Cross Army Hospital, South of Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Burial: Gray Family Cemetery, Friendship Road, Henry County, Tennessee
He shares a tombstone with his father, Rev. J. W. Gray, Sr.

Jackie Gray wanted to join the Marine Corps like his older brother, Bruce. After writing a Navy recruiter in Jackson, he wound up at Camp Taylor in Kentucky for basic training in 1920. On March 28, a Western Union telegram arrived at the home of his widowed mother, Nellie, saying Jackie was seriously ill with pneumonia. Two days later, another telegram came saying that he had died. He was about five months away from his twentieth birthday.

Wade’s Crystal Palace Advertising Card

Wade's Crystal Palace Advertising Card

Wade’s
Crystal Palace.
Paris, Tenn.
To all lovers of the
Fine Arts.
–:O:–

Light beaming from the radiant morn
With lightening swiftness hither borne,
In glowing splendor lingers nigh,
To paint the maidens flashing eye.

Her queenly form, her waving hair,
And soul-lit features serenely fair,
Are pencilled with the purest ray,
That floods the gilded orb of day.

Old age, and youth, and all may come,
Within my Crystal Palace Home,
And get their pictures well portrayed
By the pure light, and R. A. Wade.

Come every body, Gallery on
South side of Public square, up
stairs. Albums for sale, and
all styles of pictures taken.

R. A. Wade

Hansel Dismissal Letter, Shady Grove Baptist Church, May 15, 1880

Hansel Dismissal Letter, Shady Grove Baptist Church, May 15, 1880

This letter was most likely found among the estate of John/Josiah/Joe Franklin Lee, then moderator of the Shady Grove Baptist Church.

The letter does not cast the Hansels in a bad light. It was intended that the Hansels provide this letter to the next church they wish to attend showing proof of their good standing with Shady Grove.

           Henry County, Tennessee
       Shady Grove Baptist Church.
                This is to certify that
Brother William Hansel is a member
in full fellowship with this Church and
will be dismissed from us when
joined to another church of the same
faith and order.  Assigned by order
of the church in Conference this May
the 15, 1880.
                John F. Lee, Mod.
L. E. Beard, cl’k.

            Henry County, Tennessee
        Shady Grove Baptist Church.

                This is to certify that
Sister Elisabeth Hansel is a member
in full fellowship with this church
and will be dismissed from us when
joined to another church of the same
faith and order.  Assigned by order
of the church in conference this May the
15th, 1880.      John F. Lee, Mod.

L. E. Beard, cl’k.

History of Friendship Baptist Church

History of Friendship Baptist Church [1/3] History of Friendship Baptist Church [2/3] History of Friendship Baptist Church [3/3]

This three-page document dates from approximately 1972. No author is indicated. It was provided to the Archive by Cynthia (Jackson) Perry.

THE HISTORY OF FRIENDSHIP BAPTIST CHURCH

In 1869, several brethren and sisters of the 16th district requested that they meet to organize a new church.

A presbytery consisting of Elders Robert Reynolds, Asa Cox and J. F. Lee; Licentiate E. H. Reynolds; and Deacons J. G. Morris and J. H. Puckett met at Sulfur Well Academy on Saturday, September 23, 1869 for the purpose of constituting said brethren and sisters into a separate body or church of United Baptist and preceeded to organize 1st. By calling Elder Robert Reynolds to act as Moderator and E. H. Reynolds as clerk; 2nd. Elder Asa Cox preached from Matthew 28:19-20 and Revelations 3:7-12; 3rd. They called for those that wanted to go into the constitution. The following brethren and sisters came forward and presented their letter and certificates of Baptism: 1st. F. C. Gray; 2nd. Mary E. Gray; 3rd. Minerva C. Gray; 4th. Martha Manley; 5th. Enoch P. Ross; 6th. A. Gibson; 7th. Sarah K. Edwards; 8th. Judith Edwards; 9th. J. W. Gray; 10th. F. M. Upchurch; 11th. Anna L. Everette; 12th. Molly Gray; 13th. Martha Caldwell; 14th. Elizabeth Cunningham; all of whom were accepted by the presbytery; 4th. They read and adopted the church covenant; 5th. They read the articles of faith; 6th; Elder Asa Cox presented the Bible and charge; 7th. They adopted the name of Friendship Church; 8th. Prayer was given by Elder J. F. Lee; 9th. Friendship was pronounced a church by the
moderator; 10th. Extended the right hand of fellowship; 11th. Gave an invitation to others present; 12th. They selected F. C. Gray, A. Gibson, E. P. Ross and F. M. Upchurch to bear a petitionary letter to the Association; 13th. They agreed to send $1.50 to the Associational Fund; 14th. They selected the Saturday before the second Sunday in each month and the Sunday following as the regular monthly meeting.

This was the beginning of the United Baptist Church of Christ at Friendship Church. They built a church building right away. At that time the church building was on the main road between Paris and the Tennessee River. It was a gravel road. The church was located ten miles northeast of Paris. They continued to meet here until 1907. In 1907, a new church building was built. This is the main part of the present church building. There were no major changes in the church for several years after this.

The stained glass windows in the front of the church were presented in memory of Annie E. F. Upchurch and F. M. Upchurch. The windows were hauled the 10 miles from Paris to Friendship Church on dirt (possibly mud) roads with a team and wagon by Ed Thomas, unbroken.

In the early 1930’s, when the new concrete highway was built from Paris to the Kentucky Lake, Friendship Church was no longer on the main road.

Until 1951, a wood stove was used for heating the Church. At this time a gas heating system was installed.

In 1953, a new shingle roof was put on to replace the old tin roof. The Church also had the building underpined.

The Sunday school rooms on the back of the building were built in 1955. In 1968, the Church redecorated the auditorium and installed central heating.

In 1969, the Church put in central air conditioning and bought new Church furniture and song books. Different families made full payment for one pew. A plaque in their honor or in memory of someone of their request was placed on the pew. This year Friendship Church held its centennial celebration.

A new well was dug for the Church in 1971.

In 1972, additions to the front of the Church was made consisting of a new entrance way, rest rooms and a nursery.

Many of the pastors of Friendship Baptist Church have gotten their start here. There are several of these who have gone on to be great leaders on larger churches and positions.

For many years services at Friendship were held the second and fourth Sunday of each month. Services were held in the afternoon at 2:30. Later services were changed to 11:00 in the morning and 8:00 at night. Now we have a full time pastor on the field. Services are held from 10:00 to 12:00 each Sunday morning and 6:00 to 8:00 each Sunday night.

Some of the Ministers that have pastored Friendship Church are:

   T. B. Holcomb          1906-07
   D. T. Spaulding        1908-10; 1915-16
   J. W. Joiner           1911-14
   W. M. Gamlin           1917-20
   Horace Lee James       1921-22
   J. C. Cole             1923
   H. D. Hager            1924
   S. W. Johnson
   R. M. Hastings
   Don Outland
   J. C. Colvin
   J. G. Cooper
   Richard N. Owens       1938-39
   H. H. Stembridge       1940-44
   T. W. Carl             1945-49
   Carlos Owens           1950-52
   Billy Hurt             1953-54
   Ted Janes              1955-57
   Van Mathis             1958
   Lynn Egan              1959-60
   Welton Gaddy           1961-62
   Jimmy Farmer           1963-66
   Carl Mashburn          1967
   Perry Hardin           1968-70
   Hal Sykes              1971
   George Fourneir        1972

Morning Shade ?School/Church?

Morning Shade ?School/Church?

This is the the Morning Shade Baptist Church or School, I’m not quite sure which one fits it better. I believe Margaret (Brockwell) Jackson told me that it was a school that also housed church on Sundays and that the building was later moved and now no longer exists. She went on to say that the picture was taken by her mother, Margaret Alice (Freeland) Brockwell in the late 1930s and that the car may have belonged to Rev. Carlos Owens, then a young preacher in the area.

Luther Love “Ira” Freeland & Unknown Infant

Luther Love "Ira" Freeland & Unknown Infant

Pictured (L to R): Luther Love “Ira” Freeland, Unknown Infant
Date: Circa 1930s
Location/Setting: Unknown studio
Inscription: None

John T. “Pappy” & Eula E. “Mammy” (Evans) Robbins

John T. "Pappy" & Eula E. "Mammy" (Evans) Robbins

Pictured (L to R): John Travis “Pappy” & Eula Elizabeth “Mammy” (Evans) Robbins
Date: Circa 1905
Setting/Location: Unknown studio
Inscription: None

This photograph was provided to the project by “Steff” on September 29, 2007 via email. She gave me the following vitals on John & Elizabeth:

John Travis “Pappy” Robbins, Son of Yance Robbins of Benton County, Tennessee
Born 1886, Died 1977, Buried at Memorial Cemetery, Paris

Eula Elizabeth “Mammy” (Evans) Robbins, Daughter of John Franklin & Celia (McDaniel) Evans
Born 1891, Died: 1974, Buried at Memorial Cemetery, Paris

Octa Radford (Johnson) & Theron Robbins

Octa Radford (Johnson) & Theron Robbins

Pictured (L to R): Octa Radford (Johnson) Robbins, Theron Robbins
Date: Circa 1930s
Setting/Location: Outdoors, unknown location. Possibly within the “Old 23rd District” or near it in northern Benton County.
Inscription: None

This photograph was provided to the project by “Steff” on September 29, 2007 via email. She gave me the following vitals on Theron and Octa:

Theron Robbins, Son of John Travis & Eula Elizabeth (Evans) Robbins
Born 1908, Died: 1994, Buried at Memorial Cemetery, Paris.

Octa Radford (Johnson) Robbins
Born 1912, Died 1998, Buried at Detroit, Michigan

Samuel Gideon Pillow & Daisy (Butler) Brockwell

Samuel Gideon Pillow & Daisy (Butler) Brockwell

Pictured (L to R): Samuel Gideon Pillow, Daisy (Butler) Brockwell.
Setting/Location: Outdoors, unknown location. Most likely on or near Samuel’s property near the Old Antioch Baptist Church site on Vaughn Road, North of Paris.
Date: Circa early 1940s, judging by their age.
Inscription: None

Sam and Daisy both lost their first spouses in the 1920s. They later married, probably more out of necessity than anything else. Sam suffered a broken neck at some point in his later years which kept him very much bedridden. He passed in 1945 and is buried near his first wife, Margaret Ellen (McFarland) Pillow at the Old Antioch Baptist Church cemetery. Daisy passed in 1950 and is buried next to her first husband, William Robert Brockwell, at Point Pleasant Baptist Church cemetery near Paris Landing.