Nathan Stone Was One Of Ooltewah's Earliest Settlers

Thursday, March 16, 2000

One of the earliest settlers near Ooltewah was Nathan Stone. He was a native of South Carolina and had lived in Georgia before arriving in Bradley County about the time of the Indian Removal.

In 1842, he obtained a grant of 40 acres for a penny an acre. He was still referred to as Nathan Stone of Bradley County in 1844 when he bought a farm across the line near White Oak Mountain east of Ooltewah. The farm originally contained 35 acres, but it grew to 125 acres. It had “plenty of water for livestock raising or dairy farming.” The water supply came from Wolftever Creek and several good springs.

The purchase was made from William Caruthers for $60. The deed had a reference to “across the creek to the spur of the mountain.”

His first wife was Sarah, a Georgia native. But she died Oct. 6, 1843, when she was 38 and was buried at the Chesnutt Cemetery. She left behind young children Greenberry, Nancy and Nathan Jack.

Nathan Stone took as his second wife Rachel Tallant, who was born in North Carolina in 1798 and was the daughter of Lott and Rebecca Vanderford Tallant. This marriage was about 1849. Nathan Stone had another daughter, Rebecca, who was born about 1845.

Greenberry Stone was born Oct. 22, 1833, while the family was still in Georgia. He married Sarah Emily Parrott Hawk in 1856. She was the daughter of William and Sarah McDonald Parrott. She had first married William Hawk of Dalton, resulting in a newspaper article about a Hawk catching a Parrott. William Hawk lived only a short time after their marriage. Greenberry Stone had a farm in the Baugh Springs section of Bradley County. He also became a minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) that had broken away from the Presbyterian denomination. Greenberry reported on Nov. 6, 1873, of his recent travels in behalf of the church. He had preached at Cedar Ridge near Dalton, at Pickens County, Ga., for a week at Ludville, then at Mount Pleasant and at Bethel, then home near Cleveland and on to Trenton, Ga., to Sand Mountain, to Bridgeport, Ala., and on to Blue Spring in McMinn County. In another article he told of preaching at the Temperance Hall in Chattanooga as well as at Anderson’s Station in Franklin County and “a protracted meeting” at Rocky Spring in Jackson County, Ala. He died at age 56 of diabetes two days before Christmas 1889, leaving a widow and four children. It was said “his Christian life was reinforced by a strong moral character, a spotless reputation and philanthropic spirit, which rendered him highly honored and influential always in the community in which he lived.” His son, Franklin Jackson Stone, had died in August at age 27. He was a schoolteacher.

Greenberry’s children were Benjamin, Clare Ann Isabelle, Franklin Jackson, William Alsey, John Edward, Imogene and Osceola Gilbert. Benjamin married Lizzie Newton. Franklin married Rosa Bishop. William Alsey married Sallie Parker. John Edward married Susan Gravely, then Myrtle Beene and then Cordia Ogle. Imogene married John Luther Lacy. Osceola married Lida Lillian Denton. Osceola was a lawyer in Chattanooga. He died May 1, 1918, of appendicitis. Charles G. Stone, a son of Benjamin, served six years on the County Court in Bradley County and twice was chairman. His children were Basil Luguy, Elgie and Mary Kathleen. Basil Stone was killed June 4, 1933, when he refused to turn over cash to a holdup man at a Gulf filling station where he was working. Elgie Stone married Gladys Newman. Ben Stone, a son of Elgie, lives at Ooltewah. He was principal of Snow Hill Elementary School.

Nathan Jack Stone was born March 5, 1840, after the arrival on the Tennessee frontier. He fought for the Union with Company G of the Fifth Regiment of the Tennessee Voluntary Infantry. At the war’s end on April 24, 1865, he married Mary Ann Ragon. She was the daughter of Jesse and Perlina Murphy Ragon. They had twin sons in 1867, but only one - Jesse Nathan Stone – survived. They also had daughters Sarah Belle and Perlina Teel. Nathan Jack Stone was a partner in a general store - Stone and Read - at Ooltewah. One of their salesmen was George P. Wells. Then in 1872 Read sold his interest to Stone. Nathan Jack Stone died July 15, 1873, during the cholera epidemic. He had left his home at Ooltewah in apparent good health to go into Chattanooga, where the cholera was raging. Shortly after his arrival in town, he was stricken with cholera “in its worst form” and was dead by 7 p.m. He was “an enterprising man and a good citizen, and the community in which he lived, and his family, have sustained a great loss.” His items were put up for auction, including a pony that had been intended for his son, Jesse. Nathan Stone is said to have commented that anyone who bid on the pony was a dead man.

Mary Ann Ragon Stone lived until 1909. Sarah Belle died Feb. 21, 1885. Perlina Teel Stone was first married to a Smith, then she married Thomas Roberson Perrin, a constable and deputy sheriff.

Nathan Stone lived on at his Ooltewah farm until his death in the late 1870s.

Jesse N. Stone took over the family farm that had been in the family since just after the Indian days. He was a successful farmer and livestock raiser, operating the White Oak Mountain Dairy. He had a sleek delivery truck with the name of the dairy and that of Jesse N. Stone printed on the sides. The farm was along the old route between Chattanooga and Cleveland and was two miles east of Ooltewah. The Southern Railway built its line across the Stone farm, as there was also a Tennessee Power Company line. The proposed trolley line from Chattanooga to Cleveland was surveyed across the Stone farm. This was on Old Lee Highway.

J.N. Stone was “raised and educated” at Ooltewah. On June 3, 1889, he married Alice Smith, who was from Fort Worth, Tex. They had one girl and seven boys. J.N. Stone was “a hustler, works hard and makes James County a useful and progressive citizen.” He had a Big Ben alarm clock that went off at an early hour to summon the boys to milk the cows. The raw milk was first taken to Collegedale. Later, the family sold milk in Chattanooga at the Peerless Creamery, shipping it by train. J.N. Stone died Feb. 1, 1936, at Ooltewah.

The one daughter was Dorothy Belle. She married Charles Westley Brewer, who worked for the railroad. The sons were Roger Wilson, Jack, Leon Chesnutt, Jesse Glenn, Frank Rettig, Burl Ragon and Edward Dee.

Roger married Ena Hazel Holt. Leon married Mary Elizabeth Hamill. He operated a battery shop on Main Street in Chattanooga and also operated a dairy on Ooltewah-Ringgold Road. He truck farmed after he sold the dairy. Jack died in October 1917 when he was fell while trying to get on a moving truck near Topeka, Kan. He was crushed by the rear tires. Jesse Glen completed Ooltewah High School and studied at Tennessee Tech and the University of Tennessee to become a civil engineer. He worked in the construction program of the Tennessee, Alaba

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