Thursday, April 30, 2009

Songs My Mother Sung

I'll Be All Smiles Tonight

I'll deck my brow with roses the loved ones may be there
And gems that others gave me will shine within my hair
And even those who know me will think my heart in light
Though my heart may break tomorrow, I'll be all smiles tonight

I'll be all smiles tonight, Love, I'll be all smiles tonight
Though my heart may break tomorrow, I'll be all smiles tonight

Oh when the dance commences, Oh how I will rejoice
I'll sing the songs he taught me without a faulting voice
When the flattering ones come around me they'll think my heart is light
Though my heart may break tomorrow, I'll be all smile tonight

(sing chorus)

And when the room he entered with a bride upon his arm
I stood and gazed upon him as though he was a charm
And once he smiled upon her as once he'd smiled at me
They knew not what I suffered, they found no change in me

(sing chorus)

And when the dance is over and all have gone to rest
I'll think of him, dear Mother, the one that I love best
He once did love me dearly and ne'er from me would part
He sought not to deceive me, false friends have changed his heart

This is probably one of the most beautiful songs that my mother sang. To hear her and her brother and sister harmonize was pure magic for me. I sometimes think that I was born in a later time than I should have been!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lillian Lorena Smith, Part 5

Some people say that they didn’t realize that we were poor, but I always knew that we were. A lot of times when I was walking to town, school, or as I was sitting under a tree, I would daydream about how good life would be when I grew up. I think that is why I liked reading so much, because I could escape and put myself in different places. I loved my family very much, but I felt that I should have been some where else.
In the winter we all had to saw wood, it was always so cold. I have never liked the cold. The old wood stove; when you sat around them, would burn up your front side while your backside would freeze. I think all this built character.
My best friends through school were Brenda and Linda Newberry. We never saw each other except at school, but we always played together at school. I hated Sunday worse than anything. It was so long a day and boring; unless we went to church, it seemed liked it lasted two or three days. I went to the Baptist church in town on Sunday morning, and most of the time we went to the Pentecostal church at night. It was about five miles to the Pentecostal and we would walk both ways to and from. It was pleasant in the summer, but in the winter we nearly froze to death walking home after dark. I did a lot of singing in the churches, and I really enjoyed it. I also sang at school; in talent show, play ,ect… As I got older, one year went into another one with not much happening. During my senior year, the TVA bought our house and land, so they could flood the Cumberland River, and turn it into a lake (Lake Barkley) We moved in January 1962 to Clarksville. It was a really big place after living in Dover all my life. We bought us a big house at 401 High Street, and I really liked it. I was scared of Clarksville High School. It was so big, and I didn’t know anyone. My best friend at that time was Pat Carney; she lived across the street. We had lots of fun playing records and watching TV. in our new home. It was the first time we had electricity and a inside bathroom. I thought that I had died and gone to Heaven.
Around this time, I started dating, but I was never allowed to go out with a boy. He had to come to my house, and when it was warm we would sit on the porch and sing, as me and my brother always did. My mother had taught us to play the guitar. When it was cold, we stayed in the living room with all the family. It was always so embarrassing. At first I had GI’s for boyfriends since we lived so close to Fort Campbell Kentucky. They would always come to Clarksville to have their fun. I worked at a restaurant, and later on as a carhop, so I met a lot of them. My favorite was Chuck Moak. I then started dating local boys. Some of these boys were; George Hough, Richard Denton, and Gary Adams. In 1963 I moved in with my sister, her husband, and children. We moved to Nashville for a while, and then we moved to Altus Oklahoma. This is where I met my first husband, Jerry McConnell.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Grandma Onie's Sayings

I guess you could say Grandma Onie had a way with words. Mom and Aunt Jerelene said that Grandma Onie had a lot of funny sayings. She also like to make rhymes out of people's names ect... I had put a list of her sayings here that are quite interesting. I catch myself saying these too, because my mother used them. It's funny how that works. Enjoy......

¨ If it thunders before 7 o’clock it will rain before 11 o’clock.
¨ When the leaves on the trees turn their backs up facing the sky, it was coming a storm
¨ When it is storming and it gets real still she called it the calm before the storm.
¨ If you got a sty on your eye, go to a crossroad and say “sty, sty come off my eye, get on the next one that passes by.”
¨ She believed animals could sense danger, and she told of a time when her dog Spot would try to push her away from something that she couldn’t see.
¨ When you moved from one house to another you should never take your old broom.
¨ Don’t let a cat around a small baby because it will suck its breath away.
¨ Red skies at night sailor’s delight, red skies in morning sailors take warning.
¨ Spread flour on a surface and place a snail on it and it will spell out the initials of the person you will marry.
¨ In the summer time when she heard a crow call, she said it was calling for rain.
¨ If your left hand itches, you were going to shake hands with a stranger. If your right hand itched you were going to get some money. If the bottom of your feet itched you were going to walk on strange land. If your ears rang someone talking about you.
¨ The south shall rise again and the Indians too, and I’m gonna be in on both of them.
¨ Save your Confederate money and Wampams.
Contributed by Jerlene and Lillian Smith

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Isham Sills Jr

Isham Sills Jr was born ca 1750 in Halifax Co NC. It is unknown at this time who exactly his wife was. Her name is most likely Anna. According to records, Isham was granted land that was on the south boundary of a dogwood running west to two oaks south 125 poles, east 60 poles. This land was granted to Isham by his father on grant #418 dated December 8 1796, and entered on the 28th day of August 1810 #4998. Records indicate that the Sills left Halifax County N.C. around 1809 and arrived in Stewart County Tennessee in 1810. Isham’s name appears in the Saline Baptist Church meeting minutes on 20 November 1813. On 2 may 1814, Isham Sills along with Nathan Boon and Nathan Skinner put in an administrators bond for Thomas Barfoot. Isham was appointed juror for the March term of Circuit Court in 1815 in Stewart Co, Tn. In 1815 records indicate that, Isham received 3 land grants in Stewart County. Isham then moved his family to Stewart County Tennessee sometime between 1815 and 1820. On 7 August 1815, William Sills, Isham Sills and Ezekiel Cox put in an administrators bond for Jepha Joiner. In 1823 it was set up that Isham would conduct a ferry across the Cumberland River to Olives Kentucky (later renamed Linton Kentucky). There are records in the Halifax County deed book 26 pg, 52 Dated the 2nd day of August 1823 Says, Isham Sills of Stewart County Tennessee gives Rolen Wells power of attorney to sell his land back in North Carolina. Also on book 26, pg, 59 Dated the 17th day of November, 1823 Rolen Wells attorney for Isham Sills, sells a 150 acre tract of land adjoining William Rawls, George Spruill, and General Young, where Isham lived at the time of his fathers death which his father left him. George Spruill bought this land which was on Deep Creek. In 1825 Isham received a land grant in Henry County, Tn. In 1825 Isham Sills deeded 2 acres of land to Crockett Creek Baptist Church. 12 May 1826 shows that Isham Sills, William Sill, Willie Sills and others were buyers at the sale of estate for Axom Vincent. In the Stewart county court minutes it is indicated that on the 7th of May 1829 Isham was appointed circuit juror for the next term. Isham Sills lived upon his death on Crockett Creek 23rd day of April 1832. According to the National Banner & Nashville Daily Advertiser, Isham was known extensively throughout Tennessee and adjoining states as “The Faith Doctor.”
Isham Sills Jr Children
1. William Sills Born ca 1781 in Halifax Co NC. Died 1847 in Stewart Co Tn. William was a lieutenant in the militia in Captain Acreys company, in the War of 1812. He married Patsy Savage. William’s name appears in the Saline Baptist Church meeting minutes on 20 November 1813. William received a land grant of 50 acres in Stewart County Tennessee on the 14th day of September 1826. William Sills was noted as a buyer at the estate sale of Enos Outland on 29 October 1835. William was a preacher in many churches in and around Stewart County.

2. Willie Sills Born ? in Halifax Co Tn. Died ? in Stewart Co Tn. There is a record from August 5th 1829 that shows were Willie voted at Burnetts Precinct in Trigg County Kentucky. Willie appears to have been somewhat of a troublemaker. There court records of two incidents one; on the 23rd day of March 1835, he was fined 25 dollars for assault with murderous intent, two; Willie Sills was noted as being a buyer at the estate sale of Frederick Weston in May 1835. In 1837, Willie was tried on the charge of kidnapping a woman of color but was acquitted.

3. Sarah S Sills Born ? in Halifax Co NC. Died ? Married Green H Wiggins.

4. Hardy B Sills Born 1782 in Halifax Co NC. Died between 1840 – 1850. Married Sally Wiggins in 1803 in Halifax Co NC. Hardy and Sally Sills are believed to be buried in the Sills Cemetery. Court records indicate that Hardy received two land grants in Stewart County, one for 100 acres on the 13th day of September 1826 and the other for 57 acres on the 30th day September 1847. Hardy and Sally had 5 children, they were; Hardy Sills Jr.(b. 1806), Sarah Sills(married a Wiggins. B. 1811 d. 1893), David Sills (b. 9-12-1815 d. 1890), married Pheribe Belisle (1813 – 1900) Isham Sills (b. 1822. Married Mary Polly Belilse, they had 5 children, Tabitha, Isham, Josephus, Isabella, and Alma), and Mary Ann Kate (Katie) Sills (b. 2-8-1830 d. 2-28-1888. Married a W.H. Belilse (b. 6-29-1834 d. 2 14 1881)).

5. Josiah Sills Born Ca 1794 in Halifax Co NC. Died 1847 in Stewart Co Tn. Married Winnie Fox. (see my other posting on Josiah)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lillian Lorena Smith

Today is the third anniversary of my mother's passing.
My mom meant alot to me. She was probably one of the best mom's that anyone could ever have. She was always there for us anytime, night or day. She was never critical of any of us for any reason. She would tell us that she did not think we were doing the right thing, but then let us make our own choices. If we made the wrong ones, she never made any snide comments or said I told you so. We knew.
My mom was the best friend of anyone who knew her. She loved cooking birthday dinners for her family and friends. She would ask you what you wanted and she would cook it. She didn't care if you wanted a steak dinner or a pot of beans, it was your birthday! She loved holidays and the family getting together. She loved to sing and after she bought her Karaoke machine, she would throw parties and everyone would come over and eat and sing. My mom could sing anything. She especially liked old country music, bluegrass music and old gospel.
My mom loved her kids and grand kids more than life its self. All her friends say that she bragged about how proud she was of all of us all the time. None of us have ever did anything that you could say was that spectacular, but in my moms eyes all of us were the greatest people ever born.
I miss my mom very much and losing her has left a big hole in my heart and made a big impact on my life. I will never forget the things she has done for me and my brother and sister. She was my best friend! SHE, was the one of the greatest people ever born!
I love you mom!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Songs My Mother Sung


Kentucky… you are the dearest land outside of Heaven to me
Kentucky… your laurels and your red bud trees
When I die I want to rest upon your graceful mountain so high
Kentucky… that is where God will look for me

Kentucky… I miss the voices singing in the silvery moonlight
Kentucky… I miss the hound dog chasing coon
I know that my mother dad & sweetheart all are waiting for me
Kentucky… I will be coming soon

Kentucky… you are the dearest land outside of Heaven to me
Kentucky… I will be coming soon.

This is a beautiful song that sings to the tune of “You are my Flower” as written by the Carter Family. This was one of my favorites that my mother sang!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lillian Lorena Smith, Part 4

We never got much of anything for Christmas; usually a small toy, some candy, or a piece of fruit. Sometimes my dad’s sister would send us a big box with all kinds of toys and things in it, we would get so excited. I remember that we would go out and cut down a tree, and Jerelene would make ornaments. She would string popcorn, make chains from paper, and use the foil out of cigarette packages; cut real thin and twisted, to make icicles. We kids really liked her decorations. We usually had chicken and dumplings for Christmas dinner. Mom would always make a wonderful coconut cake, using real coconut for the icing. Unless the church gave us a basket, we usually didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. One year for Christmas; I will never forget, Uncle Bow (Walter Hicks) gave me a doll. I could wind her up and she would scoot across the floor. Uncle bow would always give us a quarter for our birthdays.
For toys, we used sticks for guns, a limb for a bat, and a tin can for a ball. We sure had fun with them though. Growing up in Tennessee was so much fun, with a little imagination. We had so many places to play, except in the winter; which were so cold and long, we would stay in the house with a coal oil lamp. We usually went to bed at dark; which was around six o’clock, but we always got up early. We did a lot of singing and listening to my mother tell stories, and she told lots of fairy tales. We would sit around the fire and parch corn. This tasted so good, but it was so hard on the stomach.
Before Toot (William O. Hicks) went into the Marines, he worked for Brigham hardware as a delivery boy. He had use of the company truck, and he would occasionally take us to Bertha Lee's or maybe to the creek so we could play in it. This was the only time we rode in a vehicle. Toot was also a good shot, and would bring home rabbits, squirrels, and certain kinds of birds home for supper.

Stay tuned... There's more to come

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mathew Manning

Mathew Manning was born Ca 1766, in Nash County North Carolina. He married Elizabeth ? Mathew settled in Stewart County, Tennessee on Long Creek in 1803. Stewart county court minutes indicate that on February 4th 1829, Mathew returned to court as guardian of Martha Vinson. Mathew died in 1843 in Stewart County Tennessee.

Mathew and Elizabeth Manning’s Children

1. Wright Manning Born 1797 in North Carolina. Died ? Married Olive ? Born 1801 in North Carolina Died Sept 1853 in Stewart County Tennessee.
2. Prideon Manning Born 1803 in Stewart County Tennessee. Died 1860 in Stewart County Tennessee. Married Elizabeth ? Born 1810 in Virginia.
3. Lawerance M Manning Born 1805 in Stewart County Tennessee. Died on the 27th day of October 1849 in Stewart County Tennessee. Married Nancy Joiner born in 1809-10.
4. John Manning Born 1810 in ? Died ? Married ?
5. Tapley M Manning Born 1813 in Stewart County Tennessee. Died on the 28th day of June 1857 in McCraken County Tennessee. Married Margaret M ? Born 1814 in Illinois.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Orie Lee Stalls

Orie Lee Stalls was born on the 30th day of June 1869 in Stewart County Tennessee, she was the 6th child of William FBC and Mary (Manning) Stalls. Orie was of the Baptist faith. Orie fell in love with Milton Otis Hicks, her schoolteacher, and her and Milton were married against her parents wishes on the 8th day of August 1885 by H. L. Watson. Milton became the County Judge of Stewart County, in 1926, for a term of eight years. Orie and Milton resided most of their life in the town of Model and later moved to Dover. Orie was a devout christen and was a member of Crocketts Creek Baptist Church and later the Model Baptist Church in Stewart County. Orie also was a dedicated mother and took great care of her children. Although Orie was stricken with Osteoporosis she never faltered as a good person. Orie died of a heart attack on the 8th of June 1938. Orie is buried in the Acree cemetery along with her husband and some of her children.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Lillian Lorena Smith, Part 3

When I was six years old, I finally started school. I was in the second grade. I remember that Eisenhower was president, and my cousin went into the Marines. I cried all day at school and my brother who was in the first grade, had to come and try to calm me down. He told me that he was going to hit me if I didn’t shut up.
By this time I was reading real good. At the start of school, I would take all my books home and read them till I had them all read. This continued all through school. I loved to read anything, but I hated arithmetic.
When I was in the second grade we had a play and all the girls were butterflies. We had the cutest outfits. The wings were made of crepe paper. I was so small that I was at the end of the line. I had a hard time to keep up with the others. This was my first taste of performing and I loved it. After that, if they needed anyone to sing I would volunteer and would sing and act in every play. I did this all through school and even through high school.
I seemed like every year when the school had a Easter egg hunt I came down with a rash all over my body and I would miss the hunt. We never got to eat boiled eggs at home but I sure liked them. My brothers would always bring theirs home and share them with me.

Stay tuned..... There's more to come

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Songs My Mother Sung

Will You Miss Me

When these lips shall never more
Place a kiss upon thy brow
When life holds still in death
Will you love me then as now


Will you miss me
Will you miss me
Will you miss me
Will you miss me when I'm gone

Perhaps you'll plant some flowers
Round my cold unworthy grave
Come and sit along here beside me
Where the roses nod and wave

(sing chorus)

On a cold dark Sunday morning
In a land not far away
A little girl from old Kentucky
Lifted up her voice to say

(sing chorus)

Boy that one was pretty dreary wasn't it? Seems like our ancestors were in constant mourning doesn't it? Whoo..... My mom had what they call a "old timey voice". She was really made to sing these songs and she sounded great doing it! I miss hearing her sing!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Why the Willow Tree

My Grandparents Willow Tree, ca 1950's

Why do you weep dear willow

Why do your branches hang low

Could it be you know a secret

That other trees don’t know

It seems that the willow tree has always held some sort of symbolism in my family. It has represented love and strength, loss and sorrow. I don't know exactly were its origins began, but I believe that it started with my grandparents, Eugene and Leona Smith.

A couple of years after my grandparents were married; sometime around 1939 or 40, they moved from her parents home to their own home just down the street from them in Dover. This little house sat down by the Cumberland river. Together with love, they planted a switch from a willow tree in their new yard. This little switch that they planted some sixty nine years ago is still there today. It has grown to become quite some tree. I can only imagine all the things this tree may have witnessed these many decades and all the secrets it must hold amongst it's branches.

When the TVA came in and my grandmother had to move, she moved to Clarksville. From the TVA's effort at flood control, the river became wider and what was once my grandparents yard has now become part of the banks of the Cumberland river. The house was torn down and the land was cleared of trees, and many years later, a park was put in their place. The city built a boat launching pad and dock and just to the east of that pad, there still stands the tree that was planted so long ago. A treasure left by a family so tied to the land of Stewart County.

When my mother died three years ago, my aunt Jerelene planted a willow tree in her back yard in Cordell, Oklahoma in her memory. What an family honor that symbol bares and as the ancient words of the song goes, one my mother has sung thousands of times..........

Why do you weep dear willow

Why do your branches hang low

Could it be you know a secret

That other trees don’t know

My Mom and aunt Jerelene with the tree in 1997

Although the streets had no names when my grandparents lived there, the tree can be found there in Dover. You go south on what is now Spring street and then east on Water street to the little park there. If you walk down to the dock and look on the bank to the east, you will see it there with its roots planted deep in the Cumberland mud.