THE WATERS HOME

Shelah Waters
b. 8 Jul 1769, Charles County, Maryland
d. 29 Mar 1860, Wilson Co., TN
m. 1 Nov 1789, Charles, Maryland

By VIRGINIA and DICK LAWLOR

The tall, square, two-story dwelling at the end of Waters Street in Water­town, sits like an ancient matriarch, fanned and sheltered by the waving branches of majestic trees. It watches with calm eyes as you approach as though it were wondering which of its children were returning for a visit. It is a house which has been filling up with memories for the pioneer Waters family since it was built in 1844 by Wilson Lawrence Waters.

One of the more beautiful memories was the 50th Wedding Anniversary of its builder and his wife on Dec. 17, 1894, when the mansion was ablaze with light and old-fashioned bouquets from Mrs. Waters’ garden supplied every room with wild and beautiful color.

A faded little booklet, a cherished possession of great-granddaughter, Christine Teasley, includes a nostalgic poem written for the occasion by Mr. Waters’ brother, the Reverend James Waters, which gives an intimate and endearing word­ picture of the family and festivities in connection with that memorable wedding day. James was only 8 years old when his brother married but he recalls in fine detail the meat and dessert portions of that wedding feast, which consisted of turkeys, chicken pies, cherry cobblers, custard pies, and cakes with icing!

Little wonder that the neighbors turned out to honor Mr. Wilson Lawrence Waters on this important occasion; he was virtually and admittedly “Mr. Water­town.” In its earliest days the whole town was on his 400 acre farm. His store supplied the needs of the community and from it he sold the first turning plow in Wilson County. In 1845 the Post Office was moved to his store and the Three Forks designation was dropped in favor of Waters’ Town, later combined into one word, Watertown, in honor of Mr. Waters.

He also built and operated a water-powered grist mill and saw mill. He was the leading spirit in getting the old stagecoach road (Walden Ridge Road) replaced by the Lebanon-Sparta turnpike, and acted as President. But perhaps his greatest accomplishment for Watertown was his securing a route through the town for the Nashville and Knoxville Railroad (later, a part of the Tennessee Central system). This proved a heady tonic for the community and occasioned a spurt of economic and population growth. He lifted the first shovel of dirt before a large gathering of citizens in 1887. He was also the man who drove the last spike at Smithville.

This listing of accomplishments, however, gives only one view of the man. A yellowed and age-mutilated clipping describes Mr. Waters as “up to his eyes in business.” And that was true; but Mr. Waters was also the possessor of psychic powers. He was aware of his gift of prophesying the future of his dreams, so he kept a Dream Book wherein happenings and events were recounted which eventually took place in the manner he had foreseen in his dreams. A Peabody student used the book as a basis for what must have been a most interesting thesis.

The Wilson County History reports that while Mr. Waters was in the legisla­ture in 1865, he made a stirring appeal requesting that colored persons be tried in the same way that whites were. His ability to project into the future was not limited to dreams; his appeal was rejected but his idea was sound and prophetic, and even though its time had not yet arrived-arrive it most assuredly would, as Waters full well knew.

Like grandmother, like granddaughter! An equally festive and beautiful occasion was the 50th Wedding Anniversary of Wilson Lawrence Waters’ grand­daughter, the charming Christine Phillips Forrester and her husband, Robert L. Forrester, which was celebrated at a brilliant reception given by the Forrester children. In a newspaper interview Christine said that her life had been “so full and wonderful” that it was hard to believe that so many years had rolled by; and when she read the invitations being sent out, she said, “a little pepper got in my eyes.”

This time the reception rooms of the ancestral home were decorated with arrangements of gold flowers and the banquet table in the dining room was centered with jonquils and forsythia in an antique cut-glass punch bowl, a wedding gift of 50 years ago. Christine’s lovely bridal gown was worn by her eldest grandson’s wife. All the family—tall, handsome people beautifully gowned and groomed-were assisting in greeting and serving guests. All of them happy to be together.

But all the memories were not so joyous; the old home and its occupants were not strangers to sorrow. Only a handful of months after their Golden Anniversary festivities in 1964, Robert L. Forrester lay dying. For over a half century he had practiced law at the Tennessee bar; he had been honored with the State Presi­dency of the Exchange Club; had served 18 years on the State Board of Educa­tion; and was a faithful member of the Masonic Lodge. He was an old-school gallant, a lover-husband who was a shield and protector for his bride for all the brief 50 years, supporting and encouraging her activities whether it was directing the First Baptist Church choir, becoming Department President of the American Legion Auxiliary, or Board Member of the National Federation of Music Clubs. And all the family felt a deep pride when Christine was elected Tennessee Mother of the Year in I 962.

Christine and Bob had given four sons to serve in World War II. That fateful day when the heart-reaking news that one of these, Robert L. Forrester, Jr., a Captain in the, Air Force, had ben killed in a plane crash in the Galapagos Islands (1942), the old house started filling up with neighbors and friends and loved ones and the branches of the tall trees swept the ground as though they, too, were bowed in grief.

Recent happy news (July, 1975) concerns another son of the house, Eugene, a West Point graduate, who is now Major General Forrester, Commander of Army Recruiting Command at Ft. Sheridan, Illinois.

With Bob’s passing, Christine set about dividing her things, moving to Nash­ville to be nearer to all of her children, and of necessity selling the old home. As the key was turned in the lock for the last time by the hand of a Waters’ descend­ant, the house stood square and silent with its windows looking wistfully down Waters Street – it had caught the character of its occupants-like them, it, too, would endure with quiet dignity whatever came its way.

Bobby Phillips

Robert Wayne Henderson, Sr.

May 30, 1995 my father Bobby Henderson took me on a memorable drive with his older brother John Dayton Phillips that changed my life. We toured five family landmarks.

My father was adopted, I learned, about this time. His birth mother Gertrude (Gertie) Henderson Phillips died just two days after dad was born. Robert Wayne Phillips, was the fourth child of Gertrude* and John Korman Phillips. To make matters worse, he was born with the near fatal condition of infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (projectile vomiting). In 1926 this was usually fatal. His uncle, William Eugene Henderson (W.E.), stepped in and provided for a recently developed life-saving surgery procedure in Nashville. W.E. and his wife Jean subsequently adopted him from their brother-in-law (the original terms of this adoption have been contested by some of the Phillips I have spoken with).

Following her mothers death, the oldest J.K. Phillips sibling, Lucile Phillips (Ceil), was separated from her father John to live with her grandparents: Bettie and Robert Hatton Henderson at the Malone-Henderson home. According to Dayton’s wife Thelma, the 13 year old Lucile desperately wanted to raise her infant baby brother (the photo above breaks my heart). The two other boys, Ed and Dayton, remained with their father Johnny, who eventually remarried and had three more children.

*My paternal grandmother Gertrude, has two marked grave sites: one next to her husband John, in the Roselawn Cemetery in Murfreesboro, and the other in the Malone-Henderson Cemetery on Powells Chapel Road.  The latter is where she is interned.

Growing up in Nashville, I had no knowledge of my Phillips ancestory. In 1995, I was moving to Denver, and my father took me out to meet them for the first time in my life. This video captures that experience. It’s a priceless record of family history from Uncle Dayton, Aunt Ceil and my father.

All three parts were shot May 30, 1995.

Part 1 – The Preston Henderson Cemetery on Puckett Road in Norene (formerly Henderson Crossroads) Tennessee. Bobby Henderson and Dayton Phillips:

Part 2 – Lucile Phillips Johns at her home on Mercury Boulevard in Murfreesboro, TN Aunt Ceil displays several family antiques and their history.

Part 3 – The Old General Store. As I recall, this was on Mona Road somewhere. I don’t think it’s still standing. There is a short clip of  Eulalia Hewgley at the old Malone home on Powells Chapel Road.

The featured photo is at the Malone-Henderson Old Homeplace: right to left: Ed, Lucile, Bobby and Dayton.

Family Cemetery Tour 2017:

Tour 11 family cemeteries from Walter Hill to Watertown:

Watch some of the tour we did yesterday to raise public and private awareness of the need to protect family cemeteries in Rutherford and Wilson County, Tennessee.

Stop #1 –  Hoover Cemetery – Water Hill, Tennessee

Stop #2 – Malone-Henderson Cemetery – Powell’s Chapel Road

Stop #3 – The Old Homeplace – Powell’s Chapel Road

See a 360 virtual tour here.

Stop #4 – Charlton Ford Cemetery – Dinky Lane

Stops #5 & #6 – Patrick and William Short Cemeteries – Powell’s Chapel Road and Mona Road

Stops #7 & #8 – Williams Cemetery (Cainesville Road) and Preston Henderson Cemetery (Puckett Road)

Stops #9, 10 & 11 – John Phillips Log Cabin, John Phillips Cemetery (Hale Road) and David Phillips Cemetery (Bass Road) – Watertown, Tennessee

See more virtual tours here.

Family members: I am researching 2nd Lt. George Malone of the 18th Tennessee. I will look for his grave in Atlanta this month when I’m down there. My guess is that he was killed in the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. His regiment was at the Dead Angle, ironically right next to my GGF 2nd Lt. Walter Scott Bearden of the 41st Tennessee. Additionally, their General Joseph B. Palmer was wounded a few days later in the Battle of Jonesboro where my GGF was severely wounded too during the last fight of the Battles of Atlanta.

A ride in the country

Rutherford and Wilson County Family Cemeteries:

“We all feel our fathers could not have chosen better women for our mothers than they did, could they have had all the advantages of our modern household arrangements.”…
“I have seen much of the world since I left you seventeen years ago [1862*]. I have lived in five different states of the Union, and visited many more, and know the average standard of morals and of the public conscience in a great many large communities, but I have never yet found the community so nearly free from moral defilement, and with so high an average of moral worth and so high a standard of duty, where manhood and womanhood have fewer stains upon them, than right here in Wilson County, within a circle of five miles from this point as a center.”
– Rev. David Waters – 1879
Watertown, Tennessee

Caravan tour of cemeteries and home sites of the ancestors of Tab and Hattie Henderson: Phillips, Waters, Cummings, Bass, Malone, OakleyPeyton, Short, Williams and more.

Friday, November 24, 2017 • The day after Thanksgiving
Organizers:

• Billy Pittard: (310) 880-7276

• Bob Henderson: (615) 477-0737

9:00 AM – Meet at Walterhill Church of Christ 7277 Lebanon Rd, Murfreesboro, TN 37129 The church is about a mile north of the intersection of Lebanon Road (US 231) and Jefferson Pike. 9:15 – Caravan hits the road!

https://www.google.com/maps/d/embed?mid=18OprmbUtUJSt5YXQPq-ZhlT-ewLcFPv-

*in 1862 David Waters two brothers joined the 5th Tennessee Union Cavalry. Their father Wilson Turner Waters was a staunch Unionist.
#savingcemeteries

Shelah Waters, 1768-1860

Southern Roots and Branches

This is the story of my GGGGG grandparents, Shelah and Nancy Turner Waters.

Seventh among nine siblings, Shelah Waters was born July 8, 1768 in Charles County, Maryland – an area where his ancestors had lived for at least four generations.

Christened with the unusual biblical name, Shelah (usually pronounced “Shee-lee”), he would eventually become the namesake of numerous male descendants and their neighbors. There is no record as to the reason for his name, except that it was chosen from the Bible, as were the names of three of his brothers, Rezin, Asenath, and Enos.

Fifth among eleven children, Nancy Turner was born Oct. 12, 1770, also in Charles County, Maryland. Her ancestors had lived in the area for even longer than the Waters family, for Nancy’s GGG grandfather Arthur Turner had been among the earliest English settlers in Maryland.

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Cousin Dick

Richard Henderson (jurist)

Richard Henderson is the cousin of my GGGGG Grandfather Samuel Henderson (1737-1820). Samuel was my first Henderson to live and die in Tennessee.

“Richard Henderson (1734–1785) was an American pioneer and merchant who attempted to create a colony called Transylvania just as the American Revolutionary War was starting. 

In 1775, a treaty was held between the Cherokee and a delegation of the Transylvania Company, headed by Richard Henderson. Under the Treaty of Sycamore Shoals (or the Treaty of Watauga) at present day Elizabethton, Tennessee, the Transylvania Company purchased a vast amount of land from the Cherokees, including most of present-day Kentucky and part of Tennessee.

The treaty was technically illegal since the purchase of land from Native Americans was reserved by the government in the Proclamation of 1763 (the British, the governments of Virginia and North Carolina, and, later, the United States, all forbade private purchase of land from Indians).

After the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the organization of the state government in North Carolina, he was re-elected judge, but was prevented from accepting that position by his participation in a scheme organized under the name of the Transylvania Compact.” Wikipedia

Hendersonville, Tennessee is not named for Richard, it was Captain William Henderson, no known relation.

– Bob Henderson

Smart Phone Airdrop

Samsung Galaxy S5 Phone Drops 1000′

A few weeks ago, my brother Blake Henderson was filming a World War I Curtis JN-4 “Jenny” flying near the Bowling Green Regional Airport in Southern Kentucky. The phone bounced out of his hands due to severe turbulence.

This was not staged, and we have the meta data to back that up. The only editing was condensing the time lapse between the scenes. The original video is 11 minutes long, and is on YouTube also. This version, I cut down to about 3 minutes.

“This ain’t my phone” © Blake Henderson 2017

UPDATE: 12 August 2017

– #38262 Curtis Jenny crashed on a golf course in Bowling Green …read more

FullSizeRender (1)

#airdrop #smartphone

Washington Oaks Gardens

Washington Oaks Gardens State Park – Palm Coast, Florida. Located on A1A just south of Marineland.

I have driven by this hundreds of times. I finally paid the $4 admission, and it was well worth it. This is the real Florida. Check out the 360º’s below:

https://roundme.com/embed/169162/430476

“The heart of the Park consists of a coastal scrub community that transitions into lush hammock where towering live oaks, hickory and magnolia trees offer their welcome shade.  Bordering the hammock are the scenic tidal marshes of the Matanzas River.”read more

“In 1818, Jose Mariano Hernandez, a St. Augustine native, bought and owned the property and named it “Bella Vista.”  He was a citizen of a Spanish colony owning land granted by Spain.”  more history

Sugar Mill Ruins

The Oldest Sugar Mill Plantation in the United States

Bulow Plantation Historic Park

Part of the Seminole War History, burned in 1836.

3501 Old Kings Road • Flagler Beach, Florida 32136

© Bob Henderson

Battle for the Battlefield

Imminent Development of Fort Negley Park:

The Old Greer Stadium – Vote is May 16, 2017 at 6:30PM | Davidson County Courthouse, 1 Public Square, 2nd Floor, Nashville, TN

photo by: Blake Henderson

Besides the tourism/historic value of this American Civil War icon, why is the city wanting to decrease public green space downtown? There is too little of it now. This 16 acre parcel has been in the public park inventory since the 1920’s. Half of it is proposed for commercial development by the Metro Council. That could be 8 acres of public downtown Green Space! As downtown explodes in development, we need more, not less, open space!

Key Points

  • Fort Negley is the largest Civil War stone fort (inland)
  • Few Civil War sites remain in Nashville
  • African American Contraband Camps were located here
  • A former cemetery of over 11,000 Union soldiers – some of which could still be there
  • Water run-off issues
  • Less green space
  • More trafic congestion
  • Monarch butterfly habitat
  • Rare fossil site

If you live in Davidson County, Tennessee please contact your council person here.

Download the Friends of Fort Negley Plan

@savingplaces #thisplacematters #fortnegley