Reaching back one hundred years or more we find there was settlement where Adrian Merritt now lives. Jerry Barnes, one of the first settlers lived and owned a large farm. He raised a large family and his youngest daughter, Miss Gentry, fell heir to the home plot of land. She first married Andrew White and after his death married Dave Shores. These first settlers started a graveyard, which was later enlarged, fenced and is known as the "Shores Cemetery" (at Hanna Baptist Church).
The next settlement was, where the Will Gooch house now stands, and was owned by James Hanna, father of Thomas Hanna. Back in those days three man - - named Hanna, Reed and Donaldson, owned five thousand acres of land known as the Donaldson survey, the boundary line beginning near where Roy Barksdale now lives, then east to a point west of Aspen Hill, thence south to a point near Kedron, thence west to the beginning. All this area was at first this community, but since then it has been divided into parts of other communities.
The next residence stood where Mrs. C. McCormick now lives and was owned by a man by the name of Jones, who later lived where J. L. Kimbrough now lives. This man was the father of James A. Jones. John Lewis Jones lived where Edd Howard now lives, and Laucy Jones lived at the place known as the McCormice place, now owned by Herbert Smith. Reaching down as far as the Stella Community, the next residence was where Renzo Smith now lives and was then owned by Uncle Sammie Kerr, father of Addison Kerr, who was a teacher and Presbyterian preacher. Incidentally, Uncle Sammie was a mechanic and he made spinning wheels, reels, etc. for household use, some of which are still in use today.
Perhaps the first school building on shoal creek stood not far from where Will Brownlow's residence now stands, and was known as the academy. This school probably was run by private subscriptions, as it existed prior to the time the Tennessee legislature passed a general school law.
As far back as we have been informed, there has been a Baptist Church on Dog Branch and also a Baptist Church where the Church of Christ (New Zion) now stands. Mt Carmel (Methodist) and the Pleasant Hill, now known as Stella (Cumberland Presbyterian) Churches were the first to serve the immediate community.
About the year 1875, Thomas Hanna put up a gristmill. This mill stood near the south end of the Shores cemetery, and almost exactly where the highway is now located. This mill served the people almost from Minor Hill to Aspen Hill and from Cedar Grove to the Alabama line.
The blacksmith's shop that can be remembered was just east of the bridge at Erskin Brownlow's farm and was owned and operated by T. C. Reagin, as to the stores back in those days most of he barter trade went to Lester's Station and was sold to N. S. Beasley and a man by the name of Bayless. A few years back though there have been stores operated by different people in this community.
The Hanna Community now has about thirty or thirty-five families. In this community there is one shop and one gristmill. Most of the people go to other communities not far away to stores, mills, and shops. The school is now the center of the community, since they do not have church here. All the people go to nearby churches to worship.
Thomas Hannah deeded the plot
of land on which the Hanna School was built to Giles County about the year 1878
for the consideration of $12.50 H. Taylor Smith was at one time the teacher of
the Hanna School [now 2004 he has a road named after him near Stella]
Source: Community Histories of Giles County, Tennessee 1941 - 1942. Commentary by Wayne Austin.
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