Unraveling the Odd Fellows Lodge Meeting in Claiborne County, Tennessee – 52 Ancestors #343

I’ve completely no thought the place I bought this newspaper clipping, however I discovered it buried amongst some papers as I used to be sorting by a field. I’d a lot fairly go down this rabbit gap than type and clear any day, so I felt compelled to see if I might determine when this thriller picture was taken.

Why am I so ?

My grandfather, William George Estes, referred to as Will, is pictured within the middle of the second row.

I “thought” Will was most likely a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge close to Springdale in Claiborne County, however I wasn’t certain.

Springdale, the underside purple star, is extra like a named space and never a village or city per se. It’s a crossroads cease alongside the outdated buffalo path, now 25E, marked by just a few homes, a gasoline station at present, and the primitive log cabin Big Springs Baptist Church which was already greater than a century outdated by the point this picture was taken.

The Estes household lived in a holler a pair miles down Little Sycamore, the intersecting highway heading east from Springdale.

The winding again roads intersect with Little Sycamore Street close to Nice View Baptist Church. As soon as there, you observe across the church and up a dust highway across the cemetery the place a lot of the household is buried, till you flip, cross a creek and journey again up into the hollers “until you’ll be able to’t go no additional.”

The Estes Holler “highway” turns right into a two-track, or much less, crosses the mountain, and exits on the opposite facet of the ridge into Vannoy Holler. There’s no turning round or backing up, so when you begin over the mountain, you’re going all the best way. Belief me on this one.

Again within the WPA days within the Nineteen Thirties, the very first highway by the county was a tremendous 16 toes large, with three inches of gravel. Earlier than that, dust and dirt.

A number of the different males on this image are my kinfolk too they usually all lived down Little Sycamore, which is the title of the stream and the highway that runs alongside it, each.

In fact, as a genealogist, I’m curious as to when this picture was taken, and the place.

I really like the ladies’s nice hats as they sat on the porch. It appears to be like like a heat day and I’m undecided I’d wish to be carrying these lengthy skirts, lengthy sleeves, and bonnets. I can let you know these girls most likely arrived in wagons or buggies, not using horses sidesaddle individually. Some might have walked. The house appears to be like well-cared-for and wonderful.

Based on an outdated newspaper article, together with a photograph, there was a nice plantation-style residence close to “Roundtop,” the “hill” that really defines Springdale. Sadly, I can’t inform if this is identical residence, however given the flowery clothes and the situation, it absolutely may need been.

Each man, besides my grandfather, was carrying a hat. Unsure what that claims about my grandfather, however I’d wager it wasn’t good. If he wasn’t carrying a hat for a photograph like this, I’d guess he didn’t personal one. Life was tough for my grandparents again then. Within the 1900 census, Will reported 6 months of being unemployed, however none of the remainder of the lads on that web page reported something close to that.

My first guess can be that this image was taken about 1910 based mostly on just a few items of details about my grandfather. He was born in 1873 and appears to be round 30 right here, kind of. After he married Ollie Bolton in 1894, they moved to Springdale, Arkansas for a number of years, returning to Tennessee between June 1898 and 1900, earlier than the census.

I do know my grandparents moved to Indiana roughly 1912, someday after the 1910 census and earlier than 1913. I additionally know my grandfather moved again to Tennessee 1915ish, apparently bought divorced, and was dwelling in Claiborne County in March 1916 along with his second spouse who occurred to be his first spouse’s cousin. Suffice it to say there was unhealthy blood between Will and the Bolton household.

Someday after the 1920 census, he moved to Harlan County, Kentucky.

Primarily based on this data, this picture was most likely taken someday between 1900 and 1910, or after 1915 and earlier than 1920, though he doesn’t look 40+ on this picture.

Let’s see what sort of data we are able to discern based mostly on the names of the lads offered.

Entrance Row, left to proper:

Allen Hodge – Born in 1846, he died in 1925 on Lone Mountain. He appears to be like to be about 65 or so on this picture. Based on the census, he was 73 in 1920. Lone Mountain is the title of the highway on the Springdale crossroads that heads west, whereas Little Sycamore goes to the east.

Willie Hodge – Son of Allen, Willie was age 26 within the 1900 census and appears to be possibly 30 on this picture. He was born in 1873 and died in 1961.

Value Epperson – Value Epperson lived in Estes Holler beside Will and was married to Cornie Estes, my grandfather’s sister. Value was born in 1873 and died in 1959. He appears to be like to be about 30, possibly 35 within the Odd Fellows image.

Photograph of Value Epperson, at left, standing with Will Estes of their later years.

Milt Dalton – Born in 1880, he married in 1900 and was dwelling within the Springdale space of Claiborne County within the 1900 census close to the Venables, Campbells, and Hursts.

Lee Day – In 1900, Lee Day, born in 1862, was dwelling off of Little Sycamore Street simply past Estes Holler, close to the Plank Cemetery, beside the Boltons and Venables. He married Cora McNiel in 1899. Cora was the daughter of John Anderson McNiel, the great-nephew of my 3 occasions great-grandmother, Lois McNiel who married Elijah Vannoy. In different phrases, Lee’s spouse was my grandfather’s 2C1R. These households all clustered a few miles east of Springdale, between the Nice View Church and Liberty Church.

Pryor Carr (holding little one) – I want that they had given the title of the kid which might make relationship this picture considerably simpler. Pryor Carr was born in 1869 in Springdale, the world the place Little Sycamore Street intersects with now 25E, however previously the Kentucky Street. He died in 1926 in Madison County, KY. Pryor solely had two sons, Shelby born in 1903 in Lee County, and James born in 1905 in Springdale. By 1910, this household had moved to Rose Hill, Virginia.

Willie Vannoy – Born in 1877 in Vannoy Holler, he died in 1950 and appears to be about 35 within the Odd Fellows picture.

Willie and Pearlie Shumate lived “as much as Lone Mountain” which is identical highway as Little Sycamore, however west of Springdale. Willie Vannoy and my grandfather have been first cousins.

Jim Hodge – unsure, however Hodge relations lived close to Estes Holler on Little Sycamore.

Jim Bolton – Two Jim Bolton’s from this time-frame are first cousins, born within the early 1870s, and stay close to one another on Little Sycamore. Will Estes was married to Ollie Bolton who was additionally first cousins with each Jim Boltons.

Arch Bartlett – Born in 1883, married in 1906 to Lillie Painter whose mother and father lived in the course of a number of Bolton households.


Row Two:

Joe Campbell – If that is the right Joe Campbell, he was born about 1845 in Claiborne County, the grandson of George Campbell and Elizabeth Dobkins and a double third cousin to William George Estes’s grandmother. Joe would have been about 55 on this picture. The Campbell relations lived all up and down Little Sycamore Street.


Invoice Cunningham – Born in 1872, it’s unclear who Invoice’s mother and father have been. Nonetheless, the Cunningham household lived close to the Estes household.

Thomas Sulfridge – One Thomas Sulfridge was born about 1855 and lived in Claiborne County, though this will not be the identical particular person. By 1912, he was dwelling in Kentucky.

Bob Ferguson – Born in 1869, in 1900, William Mack Ferguson was dwelling on this a part of Claiborne County.

Will Estes – In 1900 and 1910 my grandfather was dwelling in Estes Holler by the Cunningham and Hodge households and Value Epperson. Someday after 1910, the household moved to Indiana, however after 1914 and earlier than 1916, he had moved again to Claiborne County and remarried. His daughter, Irene was born in March 1916 in Shawnee which is within the North a part of the county. I don’t imagine Will ever lived within the Springdale space once more and ultimately moved to Harlan County, Kentucky.

Martin Venable – William Martin Venable was born in 1881. The Venable household married into the Estes household and was dwelling beside Milt Dalton and the Prepare dinner, Bartlett, and Campbell households in 1900. Martin was a third cousin to Will Estes by his mom on the McNiel facet.

Milt Bolton – Two Milt Boltons have been alive throughout this time. The youthful man was born in 1884 which might imply he can be between 20-30 on this picture. The person within the image is clearly an older man.

The older Milton Halen Bolton was born in Could 1844 and died in 1907, a half-uncle to Ollie Bolton, the spouse of Will Estes. Milt’s spouse, Narcissus “Nursey” Parks was additionally Ollie’s first cousin, twice eliminated on her mom’s facet.

We even have a newspaper clipping of Milt Bolton’s funeral. Sadly, the general public are unrecognizable, however the images look comparable and the precise funeral could be very attention-grabbing.

Mont Carr – a doctor born in 1870 and who lived within the neighborhood. I’d say he appears to be like to be about 50 within the image. He died in 1937. I can’t assist however marvel if this picture was taken at his residence.

Howard Friar – Howard, born in 1875 and his spouse, Mary Ann “Ropp” Bolton have been the perfect pals of Will Estes and Ollie Bolton Estes.

Each {couples} moved to Indiana as tenant farmers at a while after 1910. Will Estes, at left with Ollie, took their images collectively in Indiana.

In 1920, Ropp and Howard have been nonetheless dwelling in Indiana, however moved again someday earlier than 1930. Ropp was Ollie’s first cousin. The truth that Howard was within the Odd Fellows picture just about eliminates the picture dates within the 19-teens.

Again Row:

Willie Bartlett – If that is the suitable particular person, Wiley Bartlett in 1910 was dwelling close to a Carr household.

George McNeil – Named after our widespread ancestor, this George was born in 1866 in Claiborne County, lived by the Bolton households and died in 1934. He married Nervesta Estes, a primary cousin as soon as eliminated to Will Estes. George McNiel was additionally Will’s third cousin by his mom, Elizabeth Vannoy.


Is there any marvel why I match the DNA of just about everybody from this a part of Claiborne County?

So, When Was the Image Taken?

By means of elimination, we now have bracketed these dates:

  • Pryor Carr solely had two sons, assuming he’s holding his personal little one. Shelby was born in 1903 in Lee County and James was born in 1905 in Springdale. Given the Odd Fellows vest, the kid needed to have been a male. By 1910, this household had moved to Rose Hill, Virginia. Primarily based on this, we are able to pretty confidently say that this picture was taken someday between 1905 and 1907 when a type of infants was about 18 months outdated. We all know this needed to be taken earlier than 1910 when the Carr household was not dwelling right here.
  • The cincher right here is Milton Bolton’s demise yr of 1907, though sadly, we don’t have an actual date.
  • Primarily based on this mixed data, the picture needed to have been taken between 1905 and 1907, earlier than Milton Bolton’s demise.

My grandfather, Will, would have been turned 32 in March of 1905 and 34 in 1907. He and Ollie had introduced both 7 or 8 youngsters into the world by then, having misplaced both 3 or 4. Their son Robby died when their home burned, someday after about 1904 and earlier than 1907.

At the very least two extra youngsters died after 1900, one perishing in a hearth when their cabin burned to the bottom. A 3rd was possible born and died about 1900, based mostly on a telltale hole between youngsters.

Will doesn’t look very joyful within the Odd Fellows picture, however then once more, smiling for images wasn’t a “factor” again then. I’m truly stunned that Will didn’t take the precise picture. He was a photographer. My Aunt Margaret stated that he had his digicam “rigged up with some form of timer.”

Will all the time regarded involved within the household images he took, so possibly he was worrying about whether or not the digicam would work with out him behind the field. He’s within the again row at far proper on this 1913 picture the place he appears to be like considerably older than within the Odd Fellows image.

Apart from Ollie and William George to the suitable within the again row, are Ollie’s cousins, Clara and (the youthful) Mont Bolton, far left, and presumably household buddy Ted Barnes third from left within the tie. Beside Ollie is Elizabeth Bolton, sister of Mont and spouse of George Smith. One in every of Will and Ollie’s sons, Joseph, was lacking on this picture, reportedly at scouts. My father, William Sterling Estes is the youngest male within the entrance row on the left beside his brother, their oldest son, Estle. Beside Estle on the proper of the entrance row are cousins Lee and George Smith. The blonde feminine is their daughter, Minnie, born in 1908 and the brunette is Margaret born in 1906.

If Will had been accountable for taking the Odd Fellows picture, I’d have thought that he would have been standing within the entrance row, not behind. However he wasn’t within the above household image. Margaret was on this picture, so she ought to have recognized about how they took images of your complete household, together with her dad. In actual fact, I particularly requested.

Or possibly, simply possibly, Ollie, my grandmother took the Odd Fellows picture. Possibly she went alongside to no matter occasion was occurring and was wearing a type of lengthy clothes. Possibly she wandered off the porch lengthy sufficient to do the honors.

Cameras and photographers have been fairly scarce at the moment which is why we now have so only a few images. Photographers needed to develop the movie and print the ultimate photos. Will might have been the one photographer within the county. I do know he was wanted to attend many household reunions to file the occasion, his black digicam on the tripod in tow with the black curtain that went over his head. He even took alongside his personal quilted backdrop, seen within the picture of Ropp and Howard Friar with their child.

I’m grateful for this image, together with the lads’s names and this stroll down reminiscence lane with my grandfather and his kin, one heat summer time day way back.



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