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Jack Dugger on Bills Cemetery & History 4-12-08

To:Wayne Austin
From: Jack Dugger, 4-14-08
Date: 4-12-08

A Heritage Book is being assembled for Marshall County and Virginia Dugger Tyree asked me to write a short article on the Bills family for the Book. I told her that I'd be glad to write on that subject if I knew anything to write. She knew that the Bills family was in my mother's family line but I didn't. I found out that I had a rather large file on the Bills family in my file cabinet. In fact I had the family history clear back to Plymouth, Mass.

I suppose they came over on the Mayflower or a similar boat. Dr. Benjamin Franklin Smith's second wife was a Matthews who was the daughter of the Bills family and she was the mother of my grandfather, Albert Newton Smith. So, I do have a family connection to the Bills family. 

From all appearances, the Bills family was quite affluent with large land holdings and a number of slaves to cultivate the land. They were originally Quakers probably from Pennsylvania but were "dismissed" from that organization because they strongly favored America during the Revolutionary War. Quakers were supposed to be opposed to wars. They moved to North Carolina and became Presbyterians and later were taught the truth according to the Bible by members of the Christian Church. They were baptized in the spring branch on the farm there. I knew that they became Christians, but I did not know the details of their history. If I remember correctly the Bills Cemetery where most of them were buried was moved to Rose Hill in Columbia by a man who bought the farm. The older Bills were buried in the Houston cemetery near Lewisburg. I've heard of that cemetery, but never saw it, nor, the Bills cemetery near Mooresville Pike.

Jack Dugger

To: Jack Dugger
From:Wayne Austin
Date: 4-14-08

I can use that information on the site to help clarify (moved to Rosehill Cem) why I could not find the Bills Cemetery on the Mooresville Pike the other day.

Wayne Austin

To:Wayne Austin
From: Jack Dugger, 4-15-08
Date: 4-14-08

Wayne, I did not find Bills Cemetery either listed in Rose Hill in Mr. Fred Hawkins book. I do not know just when the moving of the old Bills Cemetery took place. That event may have happened after 1987 when Fred published his book leaving us with no tombstone records. All the records that I have concerning that family show a note that the cemetery was moved to Rose Hill by somebody who bought the old family house and land. I found a note in some records from Vinton Morgan, son-in-law of my first cousin Melvin Dugger, that said his wife Peggy was the only person who protested the move. I do not remember ever personally seeing the cemetery nor the old home, although I often visited my mother's sister and her husband who lived on a farm located on the Northwest side of Mooresville Pike at Phiny Murphy road. In fact, I never heard of any relationship to the Bills family until much later in my life. I must have passed the old Bills home many times because I used to ride my bicycle out to the Rheas, (above) from Columbia but I never heard anything about the Bills family at that time.

Jack Dugger