Posts Tagged ‘Hannum’

From the Maryville Enterprise newspaper, 26 Apr 1917

Charles Boyd, better known in Maryville as ‘Uncle Charlie’ died at his home on Cemetery street last Wednesday night.  Uncle Charlie was 86 years old.  He had been in feeble health for several months and the end was not unexpected.   Born in slavery, Charlie was taken into the civil war by his master, W.Y.C.  Hannum, and it was the slave’s heroism that gave to Maryville one of her foremost citizens.  When Captain Hannum was wounded in the battle of Cedar Run, Va., the slave carried his wounded master through the darkness to safety and although the injured leg was amputated, Captain Hannum was a useful citizen for half a century following.  Uncle Charlie was known to all of the traveling men coming to Maryville because for years he met every train that entered the city.  The family consists of Dr. Charles, Knoxville, William, Asbury Park, N.J.; Dr. Luther, Knoxville; Robert, Chattanooga; Harry and Herman M. of Maryville; Delia Green, Dalton, Ga.: Maggie Whitley, Hendersonville, N.C.; Susie Boyd, Knoxville, Bertie Brown, St. Petersburg, Fla.; and Hazel White, Maryville.  The funeral was held from the Colored Presbyterian Church Sunday morning.


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In the last post on the will dispute in Asbury vs. Hannum, one of the alleged witnesses to the will was a Charles Boyd.  Turns out, Mr. Boyd was well-known in Maryville. In the Spring 2004 issue of the Blount Journal, there is an article about him. The article is a reprint of one that appeard in the Knoxville Journal & Tribune newspaper April 20, 1917.

Charles was from the Huntsville, Alabama area and the article describes his background and experiences during the war with his former master, William Hannum.  Mr. Hannum was the husband of Eliza White (after Hannum, she married Rev. Fielding Pope)  Charles had been the slave of Eliza’s father and went to her when the family estate was divided.  Charles then evenutally went to her son, William. 

Census records indicate Charles was born around 1837, though the article states 1831. Charles was married to Mary and they had 12 children: Cordelia, Charlie, James, Mary, (a son whose name starts with the letters Mc?), Luther, Maggie, Lee, Suzie, Bird, Hazel, Herman all appear on the various census records for the family (1870, 1880, 1900, 1910).  In 1920, his widow, Mary is living with their son Herman.  In a couple of the census records, his mother Susan was also living with the family.

In doing some online searching about his master’s family, I found out that the University of Virginia in Charlottesville has some papers of the White family.  Eliza was the daughter of  Colonel James White(1770-1838) and Eliza Wilsonin. She was one of 9 children; her siblings were Jane C., James L., Eleanor, William, Thomas, Newton, Addiston and Milton.  According to the newspaper article, the White family owned extensive property/plantations in Virginia and Alabama. Eliza herself was born in Virginia.  Eliza died in 1883. 

The last few sentences of the article read: “For nine months, the conspicuous old man’s face has been missed at the station and on inquiry it was found that he is confined to his home on Cemetery Street, Maryville.  Suffering with a chronic disease. Slowly, but surely, this type of patient and faithful antebellum negro is passing to the great beyond and the time is not far when Charles will join his ex-master.”

According to the death records database, Charles died soon after this article was published; his obituary appearing in the newspaper on April 26, 1917.

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In the text of Leading Cases of the Court of Civil Appeals of the State of Tennessee published in 1919, there is a case of Asbury v. Hannum that begins on pg. 146. The case describes a dispute of property among a family, though I’m not clear on the exact relationships of the women involved. I think there is a typo in the description with respect to one of the women’s names. However, these are the details of the case as I think I understand them.

There was a woman named Violet Hannum that supposedly had a will made in June of 1873 leaving her home to her sister, Easter Hannum. Violet then died a few weeks past this date. Easter Hannum died around four or five months prior to this law suit, though I’m not clear on the date of the lawsuit. After Easter’s death, her daughter Violet Hannum got the house. I think the dispute is between Easter’s daughter Violet Hannum, and a grandchild of Easter’s named Violet Asbury as there is a contest that there ever existed a will.

The will was supposedly drawn up by Robert Hood, a lawyer for whom the elder Violet Hannum had been a servant for and was claimed that there were two eye witnesses, a Charles Boyd and a Charles Wallace. Robert Hood apparently never probated the will, which presented as perplexing since he was a well-known lawyer in Maryville and thus should have been familiar with the proper procedures to follow upon the elder Violet Hannum’s death. At the time of the lawsuit (around 1919), Robert Hood was deceased, and his partner did not know anything about Violet’s will, nor did Robert’s wife.

It’s an interesting case, and I wondered what I could find among the records?

In 1870, I found the household of Violet & Easter Hannum, sisters. Violet is 45, Easter is 34; both were born in Viginia. Violet has listed a real estate property of $200, so this must be the house. Living with them are 5 kids: Harris, male age 14, Violet, female age 12, what looks to be a 10 year old boy named Price, an 8 year old girl named Rosenia, and a 10 month old boy named William. At the end of the census page only a few households away are 30 year old Charlie Boyd and his family, and 46 year old Charlie Wallis and his family. Robert Hood, who is 26 years old at the time, and his wife Margaret are enumerated only 20 something families later than Violet & Easter.

In 1880, Easter is the head of her household now of daughters Violet age 21, Roena age 16, daughter Willie, age 10, 6 year old son Frank, and 2 year old granddaugher Luella.

In 1900, I find Easter again with her daughter Violet. Easter is listed as having been born in 1832 and to have had 11 kids, though only 3 were currently living. Her daughter Violet has 4 kids, all of whom live with them: Elene age 16, Lottie age 14, 9 year old girl Georgie?, and a 2 year old boy whose name starts with an A but I can’t make all the way out. Charles Boyd is still a neighbor to them, now 63 years old. But, of great interest, is that living next door to Easter is the Asbury family.

The Asbury family consists of 59 year old Louis Asbury and his 37 year old wife Violet. So – -this is the Violet Asbury of the lawsuit. But, how is she related exactly to Easter? I went back to 1880 and I find Lewis and Violet again, this time, Violet is enumerated as the daughter of Dennis & Clara Johnson. Going back to 1870, I find a Claricy “Jouston” with husband and daugher Violet, about the right age. Since I can’t go back any further, I wonder if Clara is another sister of Easter’s? This would seem to make sense given some of the language as stated in the lawsuit. While Clara herself is listed as being born in TN, the census shows that her mother was born in Virginia. This matches the records of Easter and Easter’s sister Violet.

In 1910, the two women, the two families are still living close to each other; Violet Asbury and her husband and Easter Hannum, w/ daughter Violet Hannum and all of Violet Hannum’s kids.

Consistent with the text from the bill, by 1920, Violet Hannum is now living alone with her kids, and I cannot locate her mother Easter. According to the newspaper obits on the Blount County site, it looks like Easter died in 1914. Violet Asbury however, now lives further away from them with her husband and family.

Violet Hannum died in 1925 (again, according to the newspaper obits). Violet Asbury’s husband Louis, died in 1921 and in 1930, she is living with her daughters and sons-in-law at 114 Cedar Avenue East. Easter’s great-granddaughters, Lucille Hannum Lenoir died in 1974. I wonder if the family is still around? How interesting it would be if you were part of this family to happen upon this court case description?

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From The Maryville Enterprise Times
11 Oct 1906

The Social Whirl: Parties and Entertainments Divert the Young

Mrs.  Joe F. Reagan entertained the officers and teachers of the M.E. Church, South Sunday-school, together with the wives and husbands of the officers, on last Thursday evening at her beautiful home on Main street.  The time was spent in conversation, music and select readings after which delightful refreshments were served.  Those present and enjoying her hospitality were Rev. and Mrs. H.S. Booth, R.G. McNutt and wife, J.L. Keny and wife, Dr. C.B. Lawrence and wife, Mrs. Post and daughter, Eula, Mrs. A.K. Harper, W.B. Lawrence, Miss Mary Everett, Mrs. William C. Everett.

Misses Marie and Besty Clemmons delightfully entertained at six o’clock dinner last Wednesday at their elegant new home in the High School addition, in honor of Messrs. Montgomery Hannum and Robt. McReynolds.  The evening was spent in amusements after which the guests left declaring that the evening had been a delightful one.  Those present were Messrs. Montgomery Hannum, Whitle, Otto Pflanze, Rufus Cox, Robt. McReynolds, Misses Gussie and Johnnie McReynolds, Nellie McNutt.

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