From the Ledger of Thomas M. Allen - 1920 -1931

A few months ago we learned from Cherel Henderson at ETHS that a young man named Michael Allen, a police detective from Middletown, RI had in his possession an old document he called a 'ledger' kept by his grandfather, Thomas M. Allen, who lived in the Ducktown area during the early 1900s. We immediately contacted Mike and he readily agreed to share excerpts with us which we obtained permission to reprint here.

Unlike a diary, which would be in chronological order, these entries appear to be recollections of events that occurred over a period of several years and were written down just whenever Mr. Allen thought about them. We reprint them in the order that they were submitted by Michael with the exception of the entry about Mr. Allen's death made by his daughter, Bonnie, and what appear to be Bible records. We've moved those to the end.

Mike typed the entries using his grandfather's original spelling, but since we have no way of knowing what might be attributed to typos and what was the grandfather's spelling, we will attempt to correct common word errors simply for the sake of clarity. We will leave names 'as is.'

Remember that we cannot verify the accuracy of any of the information contained in the ledger and since it appears to be recorded from memory, then transcribed and retyped the chances for errors are increased. If the mistakes are ours, we do apologize.

Men Killed in Burra Mines: (Also contains death records from other mines and causes.)

Oscar Davis was killed in Burra mines, he fell down the shaft 100 feet.
Wesley Allen was killed at the Powder Plant; a tank exploded and hit him. He was assistant superintendent for Tennessee Copper Company.
W. M. Craig shot and killed himself September 6, 1912.
Jule McAlister was hurt Dec. 23, 1916 in Burra mines and died Dec. 27, 1916.
Ulises Hickey was killed Dec. 6.
John Walker was killed in London Mines May 14, 1908.
George Young was killed.
Henry Walker was killed in MacPherson Mines Dec. 27, 1909.
William Clonts was killed in MacPherson Mines Dec. 27, 1909.
Elisha Craig was killed in Burra Mines Aug. 12, 1912
Oliver Hawkins was hurt in London Mines and after several weeks died March 11, 1918.
James Keener was killed in Burra Mines.
Stells Branton was killed in Burra Mines.
Charles Adams was killed in Burra Mines December 18, 1918.
Bud Cole was killed in burra Mines Oct. 14, 1919; he was 72 years old.
Charles Maughan, Jr. was killed in London Mines Feb. 18, 1929.
John Littles was killed on the 7th level in London Mines Sept. 10, 1920 at about 5 o'clock.
Jack Crimins was killed (unable to read)
George Davis was killed at Lynch, KY Jan. 8, 1921; he was working in the coal mines.
John Sprouce was killed at Mary Mines Oct. 1, 1921. (Vital stats say J. S. Sprouse.)
William Curtis was killed in London Mines on Jan. 9, 1923 on the 4th level banked ground.
Gugger Smith was killed in Burra Mines Dec. 1926.
Hansel Taylor was killed in Burra Mines Dec. 1926; he was the 'ellecttrist' (electrician ?).
Bill Maughan was killed in an automobile wreck near Murphy, NC in 1926.
Andrew Cotter died July 15, 1928; age about 82 years.
John Robinson died July 19, 1928; he died instantly.
Dilly Nordior died Nov. 13, 1928, five minutes after 11 o'clock p.m. on Tuesday; a cancer killed her, she was confined to her room about two years and to bed about six weeks.
Mrs. Mary Young, wife of Burton Young, died from pneumonia fever Jan. 5, 1929.
Cousin John Burnett died in Atlanta, GA about Dec. 23 and was buried at Etowah, TN.
George Fortner died Feb. 1930.
E. M. Kilpatrick died Jan. 1930; he was nearly 100 years old.
Cleveland Sanders was killed in an automobile wreck in Etowah, TN Mar. 24, 1920 and was buried in Ducktown, TN.
Carris Stiles died in the state of Mississippi March 24, 1920 and was buried at Ducktown, TN.
Rev. Benyman Ledford died Feb. 11, 1919 at Suit, NC and was buried at Friendship Church. His presence, his voice, his wise counsel and Bible teachings in the rebuilding of the Cause of Christ will be greatly missed in the community in which he was known. He fought a good fight, he kept the faith, he won the victory and we mourn our loss. But God in His infinite wisdom has seen fit to call him home.
Rome Deaver shot J. R. Taylor Sept. 24, 1902 and he died Nov. 7, 1902.
Polly Taylor was killed by Sam Welch at Appalachia.
Carl Nordin fell dead at Gadsden, AL Dec. 24, 1919. He would have been 27 years old on Dec. 19, 1919. He was buried at Ducktown, TN Dec. 28, 1919.
Edith Bandy died April 30, 1920, Tom Bandy's boy.
Cousin Ludora Hensley died Nov. 22, 1920 at her home in Etowah, TN and was buried at Liberty Church in NC. I had a bad spell of lumbago from the 2nd day of Feb. until Feb. 17, 1921.
Mrs. Ida Sturst (Stuart?) died April 26 or 27, 1924 and was buried at Liberty.
William Vest (or West) shot Bud Loudermilk through the leg and the ball lodged in his other leg; (the incident happened) near Turtletown, TN on the 26th day of Feb. 1921.
Mr. R. R. Postell had a stroke of paralyses Sept. 30, 1921; he had just finished leading a prayer at the M.E. Church when they was holding a revival meeting.
Rev. R. R . Postell died Sept. 20, 123 at his son, Thomas Postell's, at Ducktown TN and was buried at Liberty Church onSept. 23, 1923.
Quincee Allen's wife had pneumonia fever Jan. 1918, in the winter of 1917.
Milton Payne's boy was operated on May1, 1918 for an abscess on his side.
Dr. Fred Kimsey did the work at Elbert Allen's house in Ducktown, TN. There were three operations for appendicitis at Ducktown, TN in the month of March 1920: Ed Smith, Clifford Brown and Martin Pack.
Clyde Center, Fred York, Miss Annie Croffard and Miss Mabel Porter was drowned in Tater Creek near Isabella, TN on June 14, 1916. The creek was at high tide and had washed the road into and they ran into it before they seen it and the car turned over into the creek and they were killed. The boys was found the next morning early and the Croffard girl was found the 9th day in Ocoee River and about 4 weeks they found the Porter girl in the Ocoee River near the Parksville Dam. The girls was from Johnson City, TN. A sad time with relations and friends.
Tom McAllister died March 5, 1920.
Mr. Hubert Centers' wife shot and killed herself at Copperhill, TN Nov. 12, 1920.
Jack Russell had a stroke of apoplexy Nov. 21 1921 and died Nov. 26, 1921.
Two boys named Buckhart was drowned in the Ocoee River near the mouth of Tater Creek below Copperhill, TN on Aug. 20, 1920. The 25th day of Aug. they found one of them, and the 14th day of Sept. they found the other one. John Jenkins froze to death on the Little Frog Mountain in Feb. 1854 and was buried there by Mrs. Livie Adams and Mr. Tom Kimsey. Mr. Jenkins was traveling the Kirkland Trail through the mountains from Benton, TN to Ducktown. (Ed. Note: This is a well-known story as told in our Heritage Book and The Old Homeplace by Thurman Parrish. His grave marker gives his name as Thomas Jenkins who was the mail carrier from Benton to Ducktown.) Charles Fife shot Joe Lipton and Carl Henry near Appalachia Bridge on the Hiwassee river Jan. 23, 1921. He killed Lipton dead and Henry lived until the 24th day of Jan. 1921. Fife was arrested by Deputy Sheriff Walter Anderson and taken to Benton, TN jail.
George Ingram, Elias Cra?, A. B. Mitchell and Charles Shackel was killed by a gas tank explosion at Copperhill, TN on the 28th day of Feb. 1921 and several other men were hurt.
Mrs. Harper shot and killed her husband, Dave Harper, on the 13th day of March, 1921.
Mr. Earnest Dale died July 13, 1921, age 21 years old.
Mr. Leanes Ledford died Nov. 18, 1930.

Charles Fife Murder continued:
March 1921 he was tried by the following jurors, to wit: Jim Stevens, W. M. Bruce, Tom Brackett, J. T. Frase, W. M. Bramlett, Jim Parris, A. F. Hill, W. M. Carter, D. L. Elrod, J. F. Bramlett, M. A. Lewis. They found him guilty of murder in the first degree for killing Henry and gave him a lifetime sentence in the penitentiary and found him guilty for killing Lipton and sentenced him to death in the 'lectric chair and set time for the execution June 22, 1921. But, they never did electrocute him. Judge Brown sentences three to the penitentiary on Nov. 29, 1921 to wit: Carn and Galler Carney on felonious assault with intent to kill Sherman Carney on being the husband of (E)ller ? Carney for a term of not less than one year or over five years.; also sent Riley Purum ? for same length of time.
We moved our home on Shoal Creek Dec. 6, 1924 a rainy day. I had 8,000 feet of timber sawed at $5.50 per thousand on Feb. 12, 1925
Jack and Bonnie and boys moved to Ducktown Feb. 2, 1925
They commenced building a pike road from Murphy, NC to the state line by the way of Ranger, Letitia, Suit, Postell and Liberty Church in 1924.
On the morning of Jan. 1, 1928 was light snow and very cold. Snowed the 2nd and 3rd also very cold, below zero about 9 degrees. Willis and Elly was both very sick the last week in December, 1927.
I was on jury duty at civil court held at Murphy Jan. 24, 1927 for 6 days.
On Feb. 8, 1921, cousin Quincee Allen, Napoleon Allen, and brother Willis Allen eat dinner with us at Ducktown and on a part we enjoyed the day. I believe the boys did, too.
I bought 2 hogs from Luther Dalton for $12 on April 22, 1921, will be 3 months old.
Miss Beulah Wright, age 9 years old, was operated on for appendicitis Jan. 7, 1922.
Mr. Pat Williams was operated on for appendicitis Nov. 13, 1928 at Marshall Hamby's home. Doctors Strough, Guisler and Young did the work.
Maylord Taylor got her (?) leg broke in London mines Jan. 17, 1918.
Madison Lee got his leg broke in London Mines Jan. 23, 1918.
Ben Thomas got his leg broke in London Mines Feb. 7, 1918.
John Blackwell got his collarbone broke and his hip hurt bad Jan. 25, 1918.
James Owens got burnt with carbide gas explosion in Burra Mines March 14,1918.
Sam Dills stepped off a wagon and fell and broke his arm at Burra Mines Nov. 25, 1918.
Andrew Thompson, Red Morrow, T. M. Postell and Will Postell was hurt in London Mines Shaft by the skip wrecking July 21, 1920.
I sold my mare and buggy October 2, 1920 to Rev. E. G. Ledford of Culberson, NC for $150.
On Feb.10, 1921 there was a tornado hit in a mile of Oconee, GA in Gardner settlement about the noon hour a stretch of land extending from Oconee almost to Toomsboro in Washington County nearly five miles long and about one half mile wide is as barren as a prairie. 82 school children and three teachers was in a school building when the tornado struck. The building was literally twisted to pieces and scattered for miles and children picked up and carried some distance, but only one child was bruised a little.
William and Ida Passmore and part of the children eat dinner with us Christmas Day 1920. Also W. A. Allen eat with us.
My earnings from the Tennessee Copper Company for the year 1920 was $1344.23. T.M. Allen No. 8153.
I, Thomas M. Allen commenced reading the Bible Jan. 2, 1930 and March 14, 1930 finished reading the old Bible and then read the New Testament through March 26, 1930, which was my 63rd birthday.

Cousin Ella Long Walker died Dec. 12, 1930; age 70 years old. She lived in Ranger, NC for 42 years,in the same house.

Miss Ruth Mallonee, 16 year old Murphy High School senior was instantly killed Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 31, 1929 shortly after four o'clock p.m. when struck by a car driven by Richard Meroney.

Mr. Manker Allen and Clyde Eller was drowned in Hiwassee River near Appalachia, TN on the 17th day of October, 1932. Monday evening they found Clyde Eller on the 20th day of October, 1932 about one and a half miles down the river lodged on a rock and Allen was found the same day. Both were buried in Liberty Cemetery on Saturday 21, 1932. Sister Ellen (Allen)Teague died about noon July 1, 1931. Cousin Gustine (Dickey) Walker died Jan. 2, 1932. Me and Hattie commenced planting corn April 14, 1931. Planted the 15th and 16th also.

Elley Teague fell and broke her left hipbone on May 1931.

Elley Teague died July 1, 1931; age 62 years old; born 1869, I believe.

Myself and Jim Cotter caught a large fat groundhog February 23; it was funny to see my Airedale dog and the groundhog fight.

On Christmas, 1927, my entire family and brother Willis and his son, Willis, eat breakfast with me and Hattie at our home in Ducktown.

Names of people who had appendicitis operations from 1920 - 1931: William Padgett, Ed Smith, Clifford Brown, Guay Postell, Martin Pack, Etna Wilber, Joy White, wife of Fred White and daughter of John Wilbur; Parks Kimsey, Annie O'Kelley, W. H. Johnson, Allen Jones, Bulie Wright, Ruth Patton, John Brindle, Pat Williams.

Deaths: S. W. Cotter died April 2, 1931; Lydia Cotter died 29 Jan. 1944.

Sam Kimsey and family eat dinner and supper with me and Hattie Christmas Day 1918. Preaching by Rev. C. F. Conley Christms 1926 at Shoal Creek Church.

I was reelected as Justice of the Peace Nov. 4, 1930 to my third term in succession.

(This is the last entry he wrote in his ledger.) I was taken sick with a cold October 1932 and in Nov. 1932 I was confined to my room with rheumatism and Feb. I was confined to the bed and continued so for nearly 3 months. Clyde came to see me in March 1933 and stayed 3 weeks and at this writing Jan. 22, 1934 I am still not able to do my work. Father Thomas Milton Allen died about 8 o'clock p.m. June 9, 1934 at Postelle, NC. (This was entered by his daughter, Bonnie.) She continues in the ledger:
Thomas Milton Allen was borned March 26th, 1867. Hattie Belle Cotter Allen was borned August 9, 1880.

The following appears to be taken from Bible records:

Enoch E. Allen was born March 30, 1830 and died Dec. 28, 1884.
Arminda Taylor Allen was born January 27, 1829 and died Jan. 31, 1897
Alijah Andrew Allen was born Sept. 2, 1864 and died Mar. 6, 1866
Demersis Ellen Allen Teague was born Feb. 12, 1869 and died July 1, 1931
Thomas Milton Allen was born March 26, 1867 and died June 9, 1934
Monroe West died July 17, 1898

Willis A. Allen was born Aug. 10, 1862
Hattie Belle (Allen) Grant died June 29, 1959. And so far as I know, all the above was born in the state of NC. The half brothers and sisters I do not know when or where they were born. (Note from Michael: Hattie was a Cotter, then married Thomas Allen. When Thomas died, Hattie married Clyde Grant.)

In a letter to Michael from Bill Allen, editor of the Dockery Association Newsletter, he gives some of the Allen ancestors who lived in Cherokee Co., NC: Warren Allen born 1823, son Enoch Allen, born 1856; William Allen, born 1826; Houston Allen, born 1830; James L. Allen, born 1834; Enoch Allen born 1840 had sons Willis, born 1860 and Thomas, born 1863. It may be that the last entry is Thomas Milton and his brother Willis with slightly miscalculated birthdates, since Willis was born in 1862 and Thomas in 1867. Many thanks to Michael Allen for sharing his grandfather's ledger with us. You may contact him at 639 Aquidneck Ave, Middletown, RI 02842, or call 401-849-0307. To contact Bill Allen, e-mail or phone and fax 828-389-4122. Bill also has a web site at