Isaac Jones homestead (1837-1851) Calloway County, KY

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hico & Little Jonathan Creek, Calloway County, KY (1838-1851)

1885 Loughridge Map Of Calloway County, KY

1838 marks the first year that Isaac Jones makes an appearance in the Calloway County, KY tax records. Now almost in his 70th year of life, Isaac was doing extremely well for himself as he settled into his recently acquired 400 acre farm with his new bride Kesiah and the couple's six slaves. Of these slaves, very little information has surfaced yet about them as individuals or how Isaac came by them. Apart from the woman named Delph who Isaac purchased back in 1819, the only other mention by name of any of these  individuals is a young man named Edmund. From the 1838 tax list it can be determined that of Isaac's six slaves, only three were over the age of 16 at that time. Based on a deed dated September 1, 1846 between Isaac and his son Joshua Douglas, Edmund was one of these three, having been mentioned as being "about twenty-six years of age." This deed is actually important on a couple of different levels because it also exposes a critical piece of evidence located in the deed's terms of conveyance. The deed states that "for and in consideration of the natural love and affection existing between the said Isaac Jones and his son the said Joshua D. Jones and the further consideration that the said Joshua at the death of the said Isaac is to pay to the heirs at law of the said Isaac six sevenths of six hundred dollars for a certain negro man named Edmund a slave for live(sic) now about twenty six years of age if said slave be worth that much if not in proportion to what he may be worth." With the payments being broken down into sevenths, this supports the fact that Isaac only had seven children who survived childhood and is extremely useful knowledge when attempting to sort out the many heirs named in the later administration of his estate.

While many people have attributed the founding of the Palestine Church to Isaac, records indicate that it was his son Joshua who was actually thought to be one of the charter members. Despite the fact that the early church records have been destroyed, the historian committee for the Palestine Church has been able to determine that the land where the church sits was originally deeded to the church in 1847 by Lucy Lee Ross, M. P. Parrish, and P. J. Parrish. The charter members of the church were G. W. Lee, Lucy Lee, Mae Lee, Jonathan Lee, and Sarah McDaniel. Other supposed charter members were John Allen Ross, Sarah Ross, Douglas Jones, Mrs. Douglas Jones, Billy Ross, Jim Ellis, Byrd Parrish, Mrs. Byrd Parrish, Charity Parrish, Job Johnson, and Mrs. Job Johnson. Several years prior to the land being made over to the church, they had built a small home on the southeast corner of the property that served as both a school and a church.  Isaac was still alive at this point and living right next door, so it is strange that there is no mention of him in their history, especially considering if he was a supposed founder of the church. As with the rest of his time since leaving Surry County, the only evidence of Isaac acting in the capacity of a minister while in Calloway County finds itself in the numerous marriages he performed between 1839 and 1845. The first of these weddings took place on November 2, 1839 when Isaac performed the marriage of his stepdaughter Rebecca Morris to his grandson Burrell Sparks, which was followed a couple of months later with the marriage of his stepson Henry G. Morris to Elizabeth Adaline Jones on January 30, 1840.

Less than two weeks after Henry Morris' wedding, Isaac's services are rendered once again on February 12, 1840 for the marriage of Radford C. Duvall to Adaline Jones. Adaline was the younger sister of Nathaniel P. Jones who had married Isaac's son Burrel's daughter Polly. Adaline's other older brother John had also married a granddaughter of Isaac named Fanny who was a daughter of Isaac's son Wiley. Two years later on February 14, 1842, Isaac would purchase 160 acres of land that lay adjacent to his existing residence from Adaline, Nathaniel, and John. This was land that had been left to them through the estate of their father John Jones who was a Revolutionary War veteran from Virginia and had settled in the area in the late 1820's. A year prior to this, Isaac had also purchased another 100 acres from Chapman Miller on February 3, 1841, enlarging his personal farm to 660 acres. Having sold another 154 acres of his Tinsley Survey to his son Joshua on July 24, 1839, Isaac's total land holdings now numbered over 2,200 acres.

To gain some insight into how this total acreage translates into personal wealth, one needs only to examine a deed of mortgage dated July 10, 1841 between Isaac's son-in-law Bowen Whitlock who was borrowing the amount of $133.17 from Isaac and Thomas Jones. In the event that if Bowen failed to repay the loan, he had put up as collateral the following items: 17 acres of corn, one bay horse, 10 head of sheep, an eight day clock, 15 head of geese, one table, one looking glass, one grindstone, one cupboard and ware, one bed and furniture, 2 bee stands, and an undisclosed amount of farming tools. Earlier that same year, Isaac had paid nearly twice the amount of this loan to Chapman Miller in exchange for the 100 acres of land he purchased, which in turn was a mere fraction of the 2,200 acres Isaac owned in total. Based on later documents involving the estate of his daughter Alvina Whitlock, it would appear that this loan was eventually repaid before the death of her husband Bowen prior to 1845. After her husband's death, Alvina would purchase 153 acres on the south bank of Jonathan Creek from her father Isaac on November 5, 1844. The land was part of Isaac's original Tinsley Survey, costing Alvina the amount of $100 which was most likely a small fraction of what the land was actually worth. I say this because just a year and a half later Isaac parts with another 107 acres of his Tinsley Survey on April 6, 1846, selling it for $400 to a local doctor also originally from Surry County, North Carolina named John K. Wells.

It's quite possible that Isaac sold this land to John Wells in order to help fund his next and most interesting purchase to date which occurred only eight days later on April 14, 1846. It involved three tracts of land that lay to the east of Isaac along the shore of the Tennessee River in the vicinity of the now extinct town of Callaway (sic). Although the exact date of origin is unknown, the town finds it's earliest mention in an act approved by the Kentucky General Assembly on January 20, 1838 establishing an election precinct in the town at the home of Isaac Wills(sic). This Isaac Wills is in fact Isaac Wells, who at one time was the guardian of Adaline Jones and had given his consent to her marriage to Radford C. Duvall which Isaac Jones had presided over in 1840. Much of the land that Isaac Jones was now purchasing had at one time belonged to Isaac Wells prior to his death in 1841. Wells' stature in the town of Callaway is evident in the description of the second tract of land consisting of 40 acres that Isaac Jones had just purchased, describing it as "all that part which lize(sic) north of Wells Street in the plat of the town of Callaway." The other two tracts of land involved in this transaction lay to the north and northwest of the previously described piece of land, numbering 30 acres and 154 acres respectively. All of this had been purchased from an individual named Rufus H. King and his wife Elizabeth Ann for the princely sum of $1,750. Also included in the deal was the couples' interest in the local ferry that serviced the town "with the privilege of landing at any place on the East bank of said Tennessee River on the land of said Cook and wife." Ann N. Cook had at one point been the owner of the 154 acre tract that Isaac had just purchased. This 154 acre tract also gave to Isaac Rufus King and his wife's "interest in the said Town of Callaway" which did include a number of town lots. Unfortunately the town of Callaway no longer exists, having fallen victim to the Tennessee Valley Authority when they flooded the area in 1944 creating Kentucky Lake and the nearby Kentucky Dam.

1885 Loughridge Map Showing The Town Of Calloway

What is most intriguing about this purchase is that Isaac would end up selling it all at a substantial loss three years later on February 13, 1849 to Edmund H. Curd who had been the clerk of the county court up until 1848. The terms of sale required Edmund Curd to put $100 down and then another $150 was to be paid before December 25, 1849. This was then to be followed by payments of $175 on December 25, 1850 and December 25, 1851 bringing the total sale amount to $600, a sum well below Isaac's original purchase price of $1,750. Unfortunately there aren't many details concerning the circumstances behind this transaction, and unlike at the time of Isaac's purchase, the actual acreage amounts are not listed in the deed yet the land descriptions are the same leaving one to assume that it was the entire original package. One other interesting fact concerning this document is his wife Kesiah's involvement. Although she is not mentioned in the actual body of the deed, Kesiah does sign the deed using "her mark" and is later examined by the court to ensure that she had "voluntarily with her own free will and consent relinquished her right of dower to the premises conveyed." This would indicate to me that Kesiah had put up some of the money to make the original purchase.

Just five months later on July 3, 1849 Kesiah would enter into an agreement by deed with Isaac's son Joshua Douglas and son-in-law John Jeffrey concerning her future claims to Isaac's estate. The two men were acting as Isaac's appointed "lawful attorneys" and the deed reads as such:

"The condition of this agreement is such that the above bounded Keziah Jones relinquishes to the above named Attorneys all her claims or claims to all the lands and perishable property of all kinds belonging to the above named Isaac Jones her husband and designed by him for his children excepting the quarter on which they now live it being the North West quarter of Section 13 Township 3 Range 5 East for and in consideration of the relinquishment of her claims to the above said Lands and property and we the above named Attorneys do agree that if the said Keziah Jones be living at the death of Isaac Jones her husband She is to have peacable possession of said quarter with all the appurtenances thereunto belonging during her life and we appoint George W. Lee to have the management of said quarter and rent and take care of said farm on that quarter and the proceeds of said farm to be appropriated to the said Keziah Jones use and benefit during her life and at the end of her natural life the said quarter to go to the heirs of the above named Isaac Jones."

A little over a month later, Isaac and Kesiah sell the 160 acres that Isaac had purchased from Timothy Miller back in 1837. The land was conveyed to Augustine W. Johnston by deed on August 14, 1849 for the amount of $500 and was witnessed by G. W. Lee and J. M. Ellis. Based on my research, this document would mark the final appearance of Isaac Jones as a direct participant in any further land deals in the county.  When you factor in three earlier Tinsley Survey land sales made by Isaac in 1847 and 1848, 40 acres to his stepson Henry G. Morris, 175 acres to E. A. Morris the husband of his stepdaughter Lucinda, and 11 acres to his grandson John U. Jones, Isaac still owned nearly 1600 acres at the time of his death.

1838 Calloway County, KY Tax List

1839 Calloway County, KY Tax List

1839 Calloway County, KY Deed~Isaac Jones to Joshua Douglas Jones

1841 Calloway County, KY Deed~Chapman Miller to Isaac Jones

1841 Calloway County, KY Deed~Bowen Whitlock to Isaac Jones and Thomas Jones

1842 Calloway County, KY Tax List

1842 Calloway County, KY Deed~Radford C. Duvall & wife Adeline, John Jones, and Nathaniel P. Jones to Isaac Jones

1843 Calloway County, KY Tax List

1844 Calloway County, KY Deed~Isaac Jones to Alavina Whitlock

1846 Calloway County, KY Deed~Isaac Jones to John K. Wells

1846 Calloway County, KY Deed~Rufus H. King & Wife to Isaac Jones (page 1)

1846 Calloway County, KY Deed~Rufus H. King & Wife to Isaac Jones (page 2)

1846 Calloway County, KY Deed~Isaac Jones to Joshua Douglas Jones

1847 Calloway County, KY Deed~Isaac Jones to Henry G. Morris

1847 Calloway County, KY Deed~Isaac Jones to E. A. Morris

1848 Calloway County, KY Deed~Isaac Jones to John U. Jones

1849 Calloway County, KY Deed~Isaac Jones & Wife to Edmund H. Curd (page 1)

1849 Calloway County, KY Deed~Isaac Jones & Wife to Edmund H. Curd (page 2)

1849 Calloway County Deed~Keziah Jones to Joshua Douglas Jones & John Jeffrey

1849 Calloway County, KY Deed~Isaac & Kiziah Jones to Augustine W. Johnston

1850 Calloway County, KY Tax List

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