Tallants Were Early Settlers On Ooltewah Farm

Sunday, January 14, 2018 - by John Wilson

Lott Tallant Jr. moved his family into the newly opening lands at Ooltewah just prior to the Indian removal. His son and a grandson were among those who fell victim to the Civil War.

Thomas and Moses M. Tallant were in Anson County, N.C., by 1750, and it was there Thomas Tallant married Elizabeth Higdon, daughter of Leonard Higdon. Their sons were Lott, Moses, Aaron and Richard.

Lott Tallant, who was born in 1752, married Sarah S. Lindsay in 1773. When Anson County was seeking to meet the required quota of volunteers for the Continental Army, Lott Tallant was one of the officials conducting the election. He was among those joining the company headed by Capt. Wilson. In the spring of 1781, Lott Tallant and 27 other members of the Wilson unit were captured by the British and Tories, taken to Cumberland County, and "delivered to Edward Tramming's henchmen.'' They were carried to Wilmington and placed on board a British prison ship. Nearly all of the prisoners, including Tallant, contracted smallpox and died on the ship. Sarah Lindsay Tallant later married her late husband's brother, Moses Tallant. He helped raise her sons by the first marriage - Lott Jr., William Jefferson and Lemuel.

Lott Tallant Jr., who was born about 1779 in Anson County, married Rebecca Vanderford, whose family had long been in Anson County. He and his two brothers migrated with their families across the mountains to the Watauga settlement in Tennessee, then went into Blount County and on to Roane County. One of the brothers, William, drowned in the Holston River, leaving his wife and sons Elisha and Jeptha. Lott Tallant Jr. and his brother, Lemuel, built log cabin homes near Kingston prior to Lott pushing on to Ooltewah near the foot of Grindstone Mountain. In their new home, the Tallants made the acquaintance of several Indian families, including that of Cornplanter and of Squirreltail. Lott Tallant was a devoted member of the Primitive Baptist Church and he gave an acre of ground for a church. The Tallant Schoolhouse was established near the church. Lott Tallant and his wife were excellent singers, and he led the church singing. Lott Tallant lived until 1850 and Rebecca Vanderford Tallant until 1853. They were buried at the Tallant Cemetery on the homestead.

Their children were James, Lemuel, Malachi, Elizabeth who married John Lowery Johnson, Rachel who married Nathan Stone, Polly Ann and Rebecca. Another son of Lott Tallant Jr. was Wiley Benjamin who married Adaline Watkins. Their children included Lewis who married Nancy Miller, Robert who married Mary Blair, Martha C. who married Charles Elliott, Benjamin Franklin who married Frances Miller and moved to Texas, Minerva who married J.M. Boyd, and John C. who married Bertha Davis.

William Patrick Tallant, another son of Lott Tallant Jr., in 1839 married Anna Eblen, whose
grandfather, Samuel Eblen, operated a well-known tavern in Roane County. Their children were Sarah who died at age 12, Lemuel, Samuel, John Lott, Rebecca who married Wilson Skaggs
in Texas when she was 49, Franklin Glen, William and James Eblen. William P. Tallant was a
prominent farmer and stockraiser at Ooltewah and was justice of the peace. His farm of 320
acres was three miles east of Ooltewah.

William P. Tallant espoused the Union cause when the war broke out, and joined his son, Lemuel, in fleeing to the north. Lemuel enlisted with the Union's Fifth Tennessee Infantry when he was 19 and rose to the rank of sergeant. He was in the fighting around Chattanooga and in Sherman's march to the sea. He was sent as representative of his unit to Washington to prepare for the "Grand Review'' of the troops near the war's close when he was stricken with measles and died in an Army hospital. To avoid conscription in the Confederate army, Samuel and John Lott Tallant "lay hidden in the mountains during the latter half of the war, as wild animals hide away from their pursuers.'' William P. Tallant had no word from his family for three years. He had remained behind the Union forces while working whatever job he could find. He followed the army as it swept southward. William P. Tallant sought to make his way home in 1864. He swam the Tennessee River at night and lay in the woods in his wet clothes all the next day in the dead of winter. He crept home that night, but he died three days later on Feb. 22, 1864, from the exposure and a relapse of measles. Anna Eblen Tallant was left to rear the large family, and she did so until her death in 1889.

Samuel Tallant was a farmer and justice of the peace. He married Hettie Davis, and they lived on a portion of the Tallant homeplace. John Lott Tallant and his wife, Emeline Miller, made their way to Texas, then Oklahoma. James Eblen Tallant became a prominent Methodist minister and he wrote a history of the Tallants. He was also superintendent of schools in James County. He married Caldonia Nichols.

William Tallant married Rosalie Bridges. Rosalie's parents were H. Jefferson and Harriet Jones Bridges, who had a farm near Cleveland, Tn. The other Bridges children were Samuel, Winfield, William, Josie, Louisa, Delia and Ed. Harriet Jones Bridges died in 1872 when Ed was born. Rosalie had to help rear her younger siblings at a time when lawless guerrilla bands were roaming the countryside. Jefferson Bridges died in 1891. Josie Bridges married Henry London and Louisa Bridges married J.L. Daffron, then W.B. Eidson. Several of the Bridges sons went to Texas, and Ed prospered in the lumber business near Waco.

The marriage of William Tallant and Rosalie Bridges was in 1876 and a few years later they bought 125 acres of the old Tallant homeplace. Their children were Hattie who married John Sylar, Arthur L. who married Rose Hinkle, Ethel who married Edgar F. Miller, Gussie who married Ed Mattox, James
Walter who married Crystalbel Hurst, and Mamie who married Samuel Joshua Bowman, who was school superintendent in Catoosa County, Ga. Children of Arthur Tallant were Carl H., a druggist who married Marie Roberson, and Jac, a teacher who married Clarence Hundley. Ethel Tallant Miller taught many years in a one-room school. She taught at the Tallant School, then at Ooltewah Elementary. Gussie Tallant Mattox was also a teacher. James Walter Tallant moved to Dayton, Ohio, and was killed by a hit-and-run driver in 1952. Mamie Tallant Bowman was a teacher also.

Frank Glen Tallant was born on the family farm east of Ooltewah on June 24, 1853. He attended the public schools after taking a course at Flint Springs Academy. In 1874, he married Myra Elizabeth Jones, daughter of Crawford Jones of Bradley County. Frank Glen Tallant was a teacher for three years and a longtime school commissioner. When he was only 20 years old, he was appointed deputy sheriff. In 1898, he was appointed to fill an unexpired term as James County circuit court clerk. He also served as deputy clerk and master for 10 years. He was appointed as the Ooltewah postmaster in 1897. When he was in the Legislature in 1906-07, he helped push for a statewide prohibition law. Of their children, William Crawford and Joseph B. were Baptist ministers. Jesse R. was superintendent of the Mountain City Stove Company. Frank Jr. was the long-time principal of Eastside Junior High School. Samuel Quitman was principal of Soddy High School and was a teacher at Central High School over 40 years. James Glen was a teacher, as were Elsie Tallant (Mrs. George E.) Longley and Ella Tallant, daughters of Frank Glen Tallant.

Some Tallant descendants remained in the vicinity of the homeplace near the foot of Grindstone Mountain. These included J.R. Tallant and Pauline Tallant Lewis, grandchildren of Frank Glen Tallant, and Ralph Miller, descendant of William Tallant. Hazel Tallant, sister of J.R. and Pauline Tallant, was the longtime principal of Ooltewah Elementary School. Others were F.G. and Earl Longley and Betty Knisley. Clinton Harold Tallant of East Brainerd was the son of Samuel Eli Tallant and Ella Barnes and the grandson of Samuel and Hettie Davis Tallant. His son was Harold Lee Tallant.

Other local Tallants included Samuel Tallant of Brainerd who was a son of Samuel Q. Tallant, and Gary and Ralph Tallant Jr., grandsons of Samuel Q. Tallant, as well as Carl Ed Tallant and Rose Marie Tallant who married John Gilbreath. Carl Ed and Rose Marie were children of Carl H. Tallant.

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