The Allan Jones Foundation donated a framed picture of John Harris Robertson, the first clerk of court for Bradley County, to the Bradley County Courthouse, which will hang in office of Donna Simpson – the current clerk of court for the county. Shown here with Ms. Simpson is County Mayor Gary Davis, holding a framed Fallout Shelter sign donated by Mr. Jones.
The mystery surrounding John Harrison Robertson, the first Clerk of Court of Bradley County, Tennessee has finally been solved.
This week, the Allan Jones Foundation donated a framed picture of Robertson to the Bradley County Courthouse, which will hang in office of Donna Simpson – the current clerk of court for the county. Mr. Robertson is the third great-grandfather of Cleveland businessman Allan Jones.
The Jones Foundation also donated a framed Fallout Shelter sign, which will be displayed in the courthouse. According to County Mayor Gary Davis, the fallout shelter sign was displayed in the parking garage of the courthouse after the Cuban Missile Crisis ended in October of 1962. At the time, it was considered a novelty and was the first look for county residents at a fallout shelter sign.
Mayor Davis said the sign remained in the courthouse until it was finally removed after 60 years on Oct. 10, 2022. The new sign will be displayed in a location to be determined.
Regarding Mr. Robertson, I have determined through careful research that he served in his court of clerk position from 1836 to 1856, and was succeeded in that capacity by Joseph H. Davis.
Mr. Robertson donated seven acres of his property for a cemetery, which is now Fort Hill Cemetery in Cleveland. The land was part of his back yard, and he lived east of where the cemetery is located. He and his family are now buried in what used to be Mr. Robertson’s back yard.
When I first researched Mr. Robertson back in 2014, I had no photo of him. Breaking news: Now I have this photo, which originally appeared in a very old newspaper, and which I improved with modern computer software.
Mr. Robertson enlisted in the U.S. Army at the Cherokee Indian Agency on July 19, 1824. He was married soon after that in 1826 in McMinn County, Tn., to his second cousin, Naomi Shelton. She was born Oct. 13, 1813 and died June 26, 1847. John and Naomi had 12 children, James Shelton Robertson, Caroline Robertson, Sarah "Sally" Robertson, Hortensia Robertson, Andrew Jackson "Jack" Robertson, Felix Grundy Robertson, Mary Ann Robertson, Daniel Green Robertson, John C. Robertson, Frances America Robertson, Benjamin Harrison Robertson and Catherine Tennessee Robertson.
As an interesting side note, Catherine Tennessee Robertson was married to William Lafayette "Fate" Hicks, who was a second cousin of Jane "Jennie" Bigby, the wife of Andrew Miller Taylor, first settler of Cleveland.
Robertson married for the second time in 1848 to Drucilla Brown, who was born about 1813 and died sometime after 1880. John and Drucilla had two children, William Wilkins Robertson and Lola Ann Robertson.
Lola Ann Robertson is the ancestor of Allan Jones. She married Maston Stuart Slaughter in 1871 and had a son, Lorus William Slaughter. Lorus married Mary Laverne Taylor and had Jack Daniel Slaughter. Jack married Marie Elizabeth Schultz and had Virginia Ann "Gincy" Slaughter. Gincy married William Allan "Bill" Jones, Sr. and had William Allan Jones, Jr. Based on this, John Harrison Robertson is Allan Jones's third great-grandfather.
John Harrison Robertson was the son of William May Robertson and Catherine Rogers. The Robertson ancestry goes back to the immigrant, Christopher Robertson, Sr., 10th great-grandfather of Allan Jones, who was born about 1595 in Durham, England and died 1654 in Henrico County, Va. Christopher's ancestry goes back many hundreds of years in England. Catherine Rogers also has an English ancestry going back hundreds of years.
John Harrison Robertson is one of many outstanding leaders in Cleveland history who have left a lasting legacy in their accomplishments and with their descendants. Now, we can say with confidence that his mystery has been solved.
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Michael Slaughter is a professional genealogist hired by businessman Allan Jones to research Clevleand first settler, Andrew Taylor. Mr. Slaughter has also researched Tall Betsy and other notable people. During a project on the ancestry of Mr. Jones, Mr. Slaughter uncovered the information contained in this article about Bradley County’s first Clerk of Court.
Research has proven that John Harrison Robertson was the first clerk of court for Bradley County