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BLACK (James) CEMETERY, Spring Hill, MAURY COUNTY TENNESSEE

A lone Red Oak tree marks the spot where the James Black Cemetery is located. This tree is decaying and in a few years will be gone. 

From Carter's Creek Station, go north on Cleburne Rd. for two miles. Cemetery is in the midst of a large
pasture, under a large oak tree, across the valley from the site of the Saturn plant. [1987 directions by F.L.H.]

Locator Maps  Cemetery area views


BLACK, James, 2(5)? Jun 1778 - 8 Mar 1849. "Mark the perfect man and behold the upright for the end
of that man is peace." (Marker not found in 1987 or 2009.)
BLACK, Mary, wife of James Black, (unknown dates married James Black 1843. no marker found in this cemetery for her in 2009.)
BLACK, Dr. William Mortimer, 19 Nov 1807 - 15 Apr 1835. "In his death his parents lost an only son,
society one of its most valued members, and the Faculty one of its brightest ornaments." (son of James & Mary Black.)

BLACK, Theresa Jane, 15 Oct 1816 -15 Oct 1833. (Tumbled.) "Here under this earth lies as much virtue as could be, who when alive did pleasure give to all whom our friend did live.  Sleep safe in deep wait the Almighty's will."
Unknown crumbling stone (may be the crumbling stone for James &./or Mary Black.)

Of the three box tombs listed here in 1962, by the authors in They Passed This Way only one remains partially standing. One has fallen and its top slab placed on top of the other and the third has crumbled or disappeared. One very old oak tree still stands while another has broken off and fallen in recent years. F.L.H. 16 Feb 1987. 2009:Today only a lone Oak tree marks the spot at the top of a small hill. There is a crumbling box tombstone here with parts scattered around.

I did make a search of the area for slave graves but could not tell the difference between an abandoned grave location and the residual area of a phosphate mining operation without a very intense research effort. There are many old sections of that land that were strip mined in that area, and really all over Maury County.

James Black and community histories

James Black was one of the early pioneers of Maury County and in particular the Carter's Creek Area. He was one of the original settlers on the tract of land granted to Gen. Daniel Carter, Revolutionary soldier, by the N. C. government.  He moved to his property in Maury County in the 1814. There is an early record of him being sequestered for jury duty and his corresponding complaint that he had not yet been able to build a dwelling for his family.  In 1830 he built a fine plantation style home. He was married to his wife Mary in 1843. It is known they were the parents of several daughters and according to these cemetery records at least one son William Black who died as a young Doctor. James Black became prominent in County government and served as the counties most powerful member of the court for a time. 
He owned the first pleasure carriage in his area. When he drove it to Old Brick Church or then known as the Bethesda Presbyterian Church it created quite a stir when the carriage spooked the other member's horses. The church committee soon drew up a ruling that stated pleasure carriages could not come within 300 feet of the church building to appease the brethren.

The daughters of James Black had strange names. Barcenia married Levi Ketchem a brick mason who did work on some of Maury County finest homes. Panthea married James Dew. Almira married Philip B. Johnson. Talithacumi married Harvey Watterson in 1832. A romantic story is told that young Watterson came to Maury County to study at nearby Jackson College. Watterson & Ann Sanford the daughter of James Sanford who was one of the founders and on the board of the nearby Jackson College became romantically involved. Harvey went to Bedford County to secure his parents permission to marry Ann, but upon his return he discovered Ann had married another and moved to Alabama. Ann later died in childbirth during Aug 1833. Harvey meanwhile had met Talithacumi Black and married her in June 1832. Their son Henry Watterson became the nationally prominent newspaper editor of the Louisville Courier. Harvey himself became a US Senator for Kentucky after the family relocated to Louisville.
Another daughter Mary Almedia Black married Thomas Stanley Matthews at their home in Maury County in 1843. Stanley Matthews became a U.S. Senator after removing to Ohio. His speech before the electoral college won Rutherford B. Hayes the Presidency of the U.S. He was subsequently appointed justice of the U.S. Supreme Court by President Hayes. Stanley & Mary A. Matthews had ten children. One son Paul married Elise Proctor, whose grandfather and great uncle James Gamble were the business partners after the namesake Proctor & Gamble,  a large US company still active today in the household products market. The final daughter that I know of was Theresa Jane Black who lies in this cemetery beside her only brother and parents.

KLEBURNE - The little extinct Village of Kleburn sprung up near the rails years later. It was very near the old home of James Black.  When the railroad line was built through Maury County, many small stations were built for the convenience of the passengers or for the use of the railroad line itself. One of these was named for Gen. Patrick Cleburne, one of the Confederate officers killed in the Battle of Franklin a few miles north of here. The name was spelled Kleburne in order to facilitate the work of the telegraphers. This station today was immediately behind the site of the main buildings of the Saturn Corporation's Spring Hill Plant and just north east of the site where the plantation home of James Black stood. The James Black home was  destroyed in 1963 by a Tornado during the night. The James Black home, then known as the Walton Home, was swept away one midnight on January 10, 1963 by a vicious Tornado. The triple brick walls were revealed along with other evidences of a home well built. James Black died in 1849 and his wife and at least two of his children are buried or at least it is known they are interred in this cemetery revealed on this site. Today we find no monuments for James nor his wife Mary. 

BLACK, JAMES. Little is recorded about this pioneer in the Carter's Creek area. He was one of the original settlers on the tract of land granted to Gen. Daniel Carter, Revolutionary soldier, by the N. C. government. Others who settled on this 5,000 acre tract were: Robert Campbell, Seth Gordon, W. Witherspoon, Frank, Jackson and Armstead Polk, and many others. Carters Creek Station was an area of first quality soil and by 1850 had extensive cotton plantations. A gin and general store were established in the neighborhood and when the railroad vas built from Nashville to Columbia, they built a station here. Other businesses were added and Carter's Creek Station was an important community for many years. After the Civil War, however, it gradually experienced decline. Cotton production and prices fell. 
One by one the businesses closed, the railroad closed its station, the gin ceased to function but it was not until
the 1970's that the final general store closed its doors. Several of the buildings still stand (1980), some being used as residences, but, as a village, Carter's Creek Station is no more.(2009). However the name remains on several landmarks such as the Columbia to the north pike named Carter's Creek Pike and other reminders of the Revolutionary Soldier Daniel Carter.

This cemetery was compiled by Wayne Austin from a visit there 24 Feb 2009. Other sources for the writings was from Maury County Tennessee Cemeteries, by Fred Lee Hawkins, Jr. page 134. Jill Garret's Hither & Yon writes much about this man and reveals a photo of his old home before it was destroyed by the tornado mentioned. 
Added here 22 Sep 2009 by Wayne Austin. Other sources are Hither & Yon by Jill Garrett Vol II, page 37. Century Review of Maury County by Robbins, 1906.