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roane co genes files ~ harriman, roane county, tennessee ~


willard park cemetery, harriman, roane co, tn: phillips & majors families

The gallery to which the index below points contains photos of Willard Park Cemetery in Harriman, Roane Co, TN. They were taken in March 2004 and concentrate on the William A. PHILLIPS and Mack MAJORS families. These are small, low-quality versions converted for web viewing. Some of the originals are several megabytes in size. Viewers are welcome to download these pictures for personal family use only - to print out and make copies of any or all of them. The text should not be reproduced. To use the photos any other purpose - the web, articles, books, etc., contact me at the address on the bottom of the pages. All photos and text 2004 D. Loiselle, so be nice. And legal.







Willard Park Cemetery, Roane Co, TN

I've tried to arrange this gallery so it makes some spatial sense to viewers.

I've begun with the plot itself, starting with the PHILLIPS family.
Then I moved to the MAJORS family. They share the family marker - PHILLIPS on one side, MAJORS on the other.

The plot is located right near the front right corner of the cemetery as you enter, and the family stone sits smack in the middle of it. Individual family members markers are almost flush with the ground. There is a noticable sunken area near the older PHILLIPS graves which are closest to the front of the plot if you're reading from the road.

The PHILLIPS graves here, reading left to right, are those of William A. PHILLIPS, Jimmie L. "Lula" (SARRATT) PHILLIPS, and Hershell PHILLIPS.

The back row of the plot has the MAJORS family all in a line. From left to right is Mack MAJORS, Clara (PHILLIPS) MAJORS, Clara R. MAJORS, and Rachel (MONTGOMERY, MAJORS) KURTZ. There is an "empty space" between Clara R. MAJORS and her grandmother, Rachel KURTZ mother of Mack MAJORS. Rachel first married James H. "Jim" MAJORS and then Edwin H. KURTZ, always called "Mr. Kurtz" by the family. Jim MAJORS is buried in Rhea Co, just over the line, in the Newport Family Cemetery, often called the Garrison Cemetery. As of 22 Jun 2006, I haven't located Mr. KURTZ's grave. He may even be next to Rachel here, for all I know. Research is needed.

The families are on the right-hand border of the cemetery as you face the cemetery from the highway. In September 2003 and March 2004, a policeman and his family were living in the little white house that's visible to the right in many of the context photos, to the bottom left in others. Across the road and down toward the other end of the cemetery is a small garden or produce stand. Back in the area behind that, after you climb a bit but before you start up the mountain proper, is where Mack and Clara lived in the 1940s and 50s. William "Bud" and Lula lived for a long time, as I understand it, somewhere in the aging working class residential area that would be behind the cemetery - sort of over the hill that rises up behind their graves. According to census reports, Rachel, Mr. Kurtz, Laura Majors, and Mack Majors lived for a time in the late 1890s and early 1900s on Clifty Street right in Harriman.

The MAJORS family's local roots were in the Whites Creek, Eagle Furnace, and Glen Alice areas of Roane and Rhea counties.

Genevieve MAJORS, Clara PHILLIPS' oldest daughter was a namesake of Lula's, but she hid the "Lula Emma" part of her given names as much as she could. I know she dearly loved her Ma and Pa Phillips. I think it was just the name that got to her.

Both William "Bud" and Mack worked for the railroad and if their census entries are to believed, never lived far from railroad tracks. Chances are that from at least the 1940s until his death, you'd only have seen Mack without his engineer cap if he was in his pajamas. Each night he'd park it on the piano bench in the living room, and then in the morning, he'd put it back on before he was completely dressed. Clara kept him well supplied in spanking clean, starched hats. They really set off the bib overalls he wore most of the time, as well. In the early 1960s, he would meet the trains daily. His and Clara's house in Rockwood was on Rathburn Street, a very short two blocks from the station. I'm not real sure about how his history with the railroad wound up. One census entry shows him as a "car inspector" and one shows him as a conductor. I do know from a pay stub that was in Clara's scrapbook that he was working for a time at Oak Ridge in the early 1950s and not for the railroad. I need to check the railroad pension files for him, but I have a hunch that he might never have drawn a pension from them.

Family always said that Clara worked most of her married life. That she worked at the local hosiery mills is confirmed in part by an article in her scrapbook which contains a 1949 article from the Burlington mill newsletter in Harriman. The article features her with the beloved cacti to which she devoted quite a bit of space in her small home.Burlington identifies her job as a greige goods sizer -whatever that may have been. At the time of the article, she had been working at the Harriman mill since 1932, taking time off, she says, in the mid 1940s because of Lula's poor health. I'm her namesake, and she'd just love it, I know, that among my prized possessions are a couple of short threads taken from one of the one of the last spools from that mill, given to me by Darlene Trent at the Roane County Historical Society along with a lettehead certification of their authenticity shortly after the mill closed its doors in 2003.




index for - and information about - each photo in the file:
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roane co genes, harriman, tn