Source: TSL&A Microfilm # A-5171
Sumner County Probate Records (County or Chancery)
Loose Records 13461 - 13692
Transcribed by: Marie Johnson & Linda Carpenter
© 2002, 2003
Loose Record #13467
1848 & 1849
*(This is a partial transcription of the loose lawsuit, #13467. You will need to view the lawsuit on microfilm in order to read all the testimonies of the witnesses.)
State of Tennessee, Sumner Co.
Be it remembered that in pursuance of the enclosed commission to me directed from the honorable the courts of Chancery for Sumner County in the state of Tennessee, I have cause to come before me, at my house, in the county of Sumner in the state of Tennessee, on the sixth and seventh days of April 1849, Benjamin Johnson, age about 54, William Johnson, age about 30 years, Susanna Johnson, age about 16 years, Elizabeth Buntin, age about 50 years, Richard Bradley age about 28 years, William M. Carter age about 50 years, John T. Carter age 23 years, Robert Stuart aged about _ years, Elizabeth Stuart aged about _ years *(last two names, lines drawn through them), Francis Lee age about 53 years, Thomas J. Flowers age about 33 years, and James Gwin senior age about 52, witnesses in a certain mater of controversy in said court depending, wherein Enoch Simpson and wife is complainant and Nelson B. Turner guardian defendant, who being first sworn upon the holy Evangelist of Almighty God, to speak the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth deposith and saith as following question by the defendant:
Question: How far do you live from Mr. Simpson?
Answer: About half mile.
Question: Please state what you may have heard Mr. Simpson say about John
going to my house.
Answer: Mr. Simpson said that if Martha wanted John to go among the Turners that he hadn't a word to say but said he could not go there and stay at his house.
Question: Please state what time this conversation took place.
Answer: About twelve months ago.
Question by the plaintive: Please state how the ward has been treated
by myself as formally.
Answer: I think the child has been very well treated as far as I know.
Question: Please state whether you think that Mr. and Mrs. Simpson would
as more to promote the interest of the child than N.B. Turner.
Answer: I think that Mrs. Simpson would but can't say as to Mr. Simpson.
Question: Please state whether you think that I would do anything to prevent
my wife from promoting the interest of the child.
Answer: I do not know that he would. Further the despondent sayeth not. Francis (x) W. Lee
Test - James Gwin
Deposition of Thomas J. Flowers.
Question by the defendant: Please state if you are acquainted to
the plaintives & defendant if so how long.
Answer: I have been acquaintance with Mr. Simpson some six years & with Mrs. Simpson, some ten or eleven years. I married her cousin about that time.
Question: Please state if you live near to Mr. Simpson & how
Answer: I live near to Mr. Simpson & done business for him and Gwen about thirteen months.
Question: Please state whether Mr. Simpson was in the habit of keeping
liquor and used it freely.
Answer: I have seen Mr. Simpson drink his liquor freely and & had more in him than done him any good. I think as male potion dose no harm. I have seen Mr. Simpson carry his bottle of liquor.
Question: Please state if Mr. Simpson is not a very vulgar man before
his family and others after taken at his steel one Christmas morning.
Answer: At the time referred to Mr. Simpson did use vulgar language and said to his negro girl if he found that she had stolen certain things that he would tie her up by the two big toes and whip all the hear off of her back.
Question: Please state how long you have been acquainted with me.
Answer: About twenty years & tolerable well acquainted with your situation.
Question: Please state from your knowledge me & the situation of schools
in my neighborhood & also from your knowledge of Mr. Simpson & his
neighborhood with which would you place a child of ten years old to be
Answer: With you.
Question by the plaintive: Is not your knowledge of my neighborhood very limited as to the facilities of schools. Answer: Not so well as that of Turner's.
Question: Please state how I come to carry the bottle above eluded to.
Answer: Mr. Simpson & myself & others were together & all joined & bought liquor drinked it on the road and after we had got home.
Question: Please state how I come to carry the bottle.
Answer: After we all had drank your pocket being the largest, you took the bottle as there are no other pockets in company that would hold it.
Question: Please state whether you ever saw me under influence of liquor
so as to disqualify me from business.
Answer: I have not.
Question: Please state what give rise to vulgar language alluded to
Answer: Mr. Simpson stated the negroes had went off with leave & brought things that he thought they had stolen & I believe that Mr. Simpson were excited by the conduct of the negroes & not from the stue. Further this deponent sayeth not. Thomas L. Flowers
The deposition of Benjamin Johnson.
Question by the defendant: Please state your acquaintance with the plaintives
& defendants & their neighborhoods.
Answer: I have been acquainted with the defendants for about 30 years & with Mr. Simpson some ten or twelve years & with Mrs. Simpson about 26 or 27 years.
Question: Please state how long you have been acquainted with James H.
Answer: About 30 years & I am well acquainted with each neighborhood.
Question: Please state the friendship that existed between myself &
family & my brother James H Turner & family.
Answer: They were as friendly as any brothers I ever saw & their families also & in all of James traden he was deposed to counsel with Nelson, was also present at his death & I was with him twelve or fourteen hours previous to his death & do not think I was absent at any time more five minutes from him.
Question: Please state if you ever heard my brother James make any dying
request of his wife.
Answer: I did not.
Question: Please state if you heard my brother James call for his child
and if so what was done & said.
Answer: I was present as he looks at his wife & asked for his child his wife turn of as to get the child and was stopped by my wife & Mrs. Buntin.
Question: Please state if your position at the time James called for his
child & were such as you would been compelled to have in regard his request
to his wife about keeping the child if he had made one.
Answer: I was standing by the bed side when James called for the child after his wife had turn off & come back. I stood off some four feet perhaps one minute & returned to the foot of the bed and should have heard everything he said until he died but did not hear no request made.
Question: Please state the condition of my health at the death of James.
Answer: You were confined to room by sickness.
Question: Please state whether John were in the habit of visiting his
Answer: He were not.
Question: Please state from your acquaintance the parties & their
neighborhoods where would the interest of the ward be most promoted as far
as his tuition is concerned.
Answer: At Turners.
Question by the plaintive: Please state if you believe that James H. Turner
did not regard the feelings of his wife above that of any other person
Answer: I believe he did
Question: Please state whether my wife when a girl were not left motherless
& apart of the time under a stepmother.
Answer: She were left motherless but as to the stepmother I cannot say.
Question: Please state if at the time James Turner called for his child
& you stepped away if he could not have made the request to his wife
and you never heard it.
Answer: It is possible he might as it was time there was a good deal of excitement.
Question: Is there not other neighborhoods & places as good for board
& schools as Turners.
Answer: I suppose there is.
Question: Please state what relationship you sustain to the
Answer: Mrs. Simpson is a niece of mine & Turner is a brother in law.
Further the defendant sayeth not. Benjamin Johnson
The deposition of Susanna Johnson.
Question by the defendant: Please state when your mother called at Mr.
Simpsons to take John home with you what occurred.
Answer: We stopped at Mr. Simpson & asked Aunt Martha to let John to go home with us. She said he mite go and he started with us & she called to stop & said she reckoned he had better not go & said that without Mr. Simpson were there, he mite not like it if he went & John were very anxious to go & cried when his mother told him to get out of the buggy.
Question: Please state your relationship between your mother and John.
Answer: My mother & John's father were brother & sister & my father and Aunt Martha Simpsons father were own brothers.
Question: Please state if you ever saw John at any of his father's
Answer: Never until this week at father's as I recollect.
Question by the plaintive: What is the distance from my house to your
Answer: About twelve miles.
Question: Please state the objections as offered by my wife about John
going home with you.
Answer: She said his cloths were dirty.
Question: Please state if you ever were at your Uncle Turners at the parties
also state whether they played cards and danced.
Answer: I were and they done both.
Further this despondent sayth not. Susan A. Johnson
The deposition of Elizabeth Buntin.
Question by the defendant: Please state what you heard Martha Simpson
say about the friendship that existed between the family and about John &
who she wanted to have the management of John & his property & who
she did not want to have the management.
Answer: I was at Martha Turners during the winter, she stated that her father wanted to manage John's estate but said that he should not have in his hands & stated that no person should have his money but Nelson Turner for she believe that he would be a father to that child & stated that James all ways could take time to go to Nelson once a week or oftener & said as to Nelson Turner & his wife she thought as much of them as she did of her father or more.
Question: Please state the length of time from the death of James Turner
until his widow married.
Answer: A little over six months or a little under six.
Question: Please state the relationship you sustain to parties.
Answer: James H. Turner were my brother. Further this despondent sayth not. Elizabeth Buntin
The deposition of James Gwin.
Question by the defendant: Please state your acquaintance with the parties
and their neighborhoods.
Answer: I am well acquainted with them & their neighborhoods.
Question: Please state the convenience of the school houses in my neighborhood
& also of Mr. Simpson.
Answer: Mr. Turner lives about 1 mile and 3/4 from Mount Zion. Mr. Simpson about three miles & 1/2.
Question: From your knowledge of both neighborhood which have the preference
as to school.
Question: Please state from your acquaintance with Mr. Simpson and family
is behind the times and the customs and fashions of the territory if so how
Answer: Some twenty or twenty five years and a considerable potion of his neighborhood and associates are also in the same condition. Mr. Simpson and myself were partners in a mill for several years.
Question: Please state if Mr. Simpson is not a stubborn man in his
Answer: He is. I have been at Mr. Simpson frequently and on several occasions saw liquor & frequently saw him use it.
Question: Please state if from your acquaintance with me and my neighborhood
and Mr. Simpson and his neighborhood at which place would the education and
interest of the ward be most promoted at.
Answer: At Turners.
Question by the plaintive: Please state if it would not be very ungrateful
act as far as the mother is concerned to arrest the child from her.
Answer: I consider it would be unpleasant, but not ungrateful.
Question: Please state if in your opinion the removal of the child would
not be vary unpleasant to him.
Answer: I think it would.
Question: Please state if you ever saw me disqualified by the use of spirits
Answer: I did not.
Question: Please state whether you consider N.B. Turner & family perusing
all the high qualities & fashions & refined manners of the country
fully up with the times.
Answer: I think they express not all the fashions & qualities but ? (ocipil) middle or medium ground in society.
Question: Please state if Turner has availed himself of the advantage
of the rural intuition in the education of his own children and given them
the rural polish.
Answer: I think not.
Question: Is not the education of his sons quite limited.
Answer: I consider they have a common education.
Question: Please state if the neighborhood of Gallatin & its vicinity
is as good a place to educate a boy as any place in the county.
Answer: It is.
Question: Please state the difference between the times now & twenty
or twenty five years ago.
Answer: There is a great difference, I consider we are a great deal better.
Question by the defendant: Please state how Mr. Simpson has educated and
promoted the interest of his family.
Answer: His children are very limited to their education.
Question: Please state the nearest school to Mr. Simpson.
Answer: At this time the rural academy is the nearest some six miles.
Further the despondent sayeth not. James Gwin
Deposition of William Johnson
Question by the Defendant: Please state if you were present when a difficulty
took place between Mr. & Mrs. Simpson & Jo D. Turner if so what
Answer: Jo D. Turner and myself were at the camp meeting at the Dry Fork. Mrs. Simpson invited us to go home with her to dinner. We went sometime after dinner. Jo D. were walking the floor and had or had John in his arms. Mrs. Simpson were sitting in the room. Jo D. had on a new pair pants with buttons on from the ankles near the knees. Mrs. Simpson took hold of one of the buttons and said she would cut one off or pull it off. Jo D. took hold of her yeore and shuck it and turned off. Mr. Simpson came out of the piaser & took Jo D. by the arm & pointed to the door. Jo D. asked him what he had done. Mr. Simpson said he did not want to have any words about it but if he did not get out, he would put him out. Mrs. Simpson spoke and said, Mr. Simpson we always fooled & played in Mr. Turners life time & meant no harm. Mr. Simpson said, I don't know what you come for, for you was not wanted when you were fetched. Jo D. then got his horse and left. I then left the house until Mr. Bradley & Mr. McGlothlin had left. I then returned to the house & found Mr. Simpson & his wife quarreling about the way Mr. Simpson had treated her & Jo D. I cannot remember all that was said but what I do remember, I remember that Mrs. Simpson told Mr. Simpson that if he didn't mind how he talked & went on that she would not stay with him but would go back to the old place. Mr. Simpson told her that if she wanted to go she could go. Mrs. Simpson threw up some woman on the north side of the ridge to Mr. Simpson, he then threw up Mark Moore & Jo D. Turner to her. She then told him that she loved Mark Moores little finger better than she did his whole body, in run of the conversation Sanford Simpson, the son of Enoch Simpson, gave Martha Simpson the boy.
Question: Please state your relationship to parties & your acquaintance
Answer: My mother & N. B. Turner were brother & sister & my father & Mrs. Simpsons Father were brothers. I am well acquainted with the parties the friendship were very good between the two Turner families and the children of N. B. Turner. Aunt Martha were all ways playful in the life time of ? (James) noted.
Further the despondent sayth not. William Johnson
Deposition of John T. Carter
Question by the Defendant: Please state if you went with N. B. Turner
to the north side of the ridge to Sanford Simpsons if so what occurred.
Answer: I went with him & N. B. Turner & demanded John the ward & told Sanford that he thought as he were his guardian he had the right of selecting the place for the child to go to school at. Sanford told him that the boy should not go without the consent of his mother. Turner told Sanford if he would take the boy to his mother he would go and see her about him. Sanford promised to send him back.
Question: Please state if Sanford informed me the boy were to go back
in a few days.
Answer: He did not. Sanford stated the boy were brought there for his accommodation to go to school with his son.
Question: Please state the district & the corrector of the school
house & neighborhood.
Answer: The school house is in Trouts district. The school house were very sorry & even the neighborhood is uniformed & quite dissipated.
Question: Please state how Mr. Simpson has educated his own children.
Answer: There education is quite limited.
Question: Please state if you have not been frequently at Mr. Simpson
if so, whether he were in the habit of keeping liquor and drinking a glass
two thirds full sometimes. Please if you are acquainted with my neighborhood
& that of Mr. Simpsons and the schools.
Answer: I am.
Question: Please state the corrector (Character) of the schools in each
Answer: The carrector of schools is better in the neighborhood of Mr. Turner than it is that of Mr. Simpsons & more of them convenient. The nearest school to Mr. Simpson at this is the is the rural.
Question by the plaintive: Please state how long since you frequented
Answer: Some five or six years.
Question: Please state where you obtained your education.
Answer: I obtained the most of it on the waters of the Dry Fork.
Question: Please state if the education of Turners children is limited.
Answer: They have common English education.
Further this deponant sayth not. John T. Carter
Deposition of Richard Bradley
Question by the defendant: Please state if you were present when a difficulty
took place between Mr. Simpson & Jo D. Turner and if so what
Answer: Jo D. Turner & myself went from meeting to Mr. Simpsons in the fall about 1841, some part time after dinner. Jo D. Turner were walking the floor & I think had John in his arms, a new pair of pants on with buttons on from the ankles up near the nees (knees). Mrs. Simpson were sitting in room and took hold of one of the buttons & said she would cut it off or pull it off. Jo D. then took hold of her year & shack it & said Aunt Martha you are always trying to play your pranks on me & turn & walked off when Mr. Simpson walked out of the pridzer ? (bridzer?) and took hold of his arm & pointed out at the door & told him he wanted him to leave there. Turner ask what he had done. Simpson said he didn't want any words about it but told him if he did not get out, he would put him out & Turner walked off. Simpson told him that he didn't know what brought him there for he was not wanted when he was brought there. Turner got his horse and left. Mrs. Simpson appeared to be vary much hurt and said she were sorry that he had treated the boy the way he had and said that Mr. Turner always had thought a great deal of the children & especially of Jo D. I in about one hour after the occurrence I left.
Question by the plaintive: Were you acquainted with Jo D. before the time
you and him come to my house.
Answer: I hardly knew the man.
Question: Please state if you knew that the crowd at my house were generally
Answer: I did, I do not know whether Mr. Turner were invited or not & several others mite not.
Further this deponant sayth not. Richard W. Bradley
*(A lot of the witnesses were omitted from this lawsuit, by the transcriber, after the testimony of Richard W. Bradley.)
April 3, 1849
Benjamin Johnson, age 50, James Johnson age 24, B. F. Johnson about 19, and Susan Ann Johnson 16.
Benjamin Johnson after being duly sworn deposes as follows to wit:
I have been acquainted with Enoch Simpson & wife for some ten or twelve
years. I have known his wife, Martha ever since she was born. They both stand
in my thinking in point of carrector as far as any Johnson of my acquaintance.
The neighborhood they live in is a moral a neighborhood as any as far as
my acquaintance ?.
I was present when James Turner was on his death bed, some 10 to 15 hours before he died. Sometime during my stay with him, he called his wife Martha to the bed side, they then had a conversation but I did not hear what they were talking about. After that he called to his wife to bring his child to his bedside but the child was not brought. I have no recollection of him requesting his wife to keep and take his child. I think there was a coolness between James H. Turner & Thomas Buntin in consequence of a law suit about the old man Turners mill. I have been acquainted with Mr. Nelson B. Turner for some 35 to 40 years, his character stands in my estimation as far as any man. The neighborhood he lives in stands in point of morality, as far as any of my knowledge. I was told by some of Wm. Carters family that N. B. Turner was sending his children to the Dry Fork school house or some school in that neighborhood. I never heard Col. N.B. Turner say anything about it.
Cross examined by the defendant
Question: At the time James H. Turner called for his child & was not
brought to him if he should of made a request for his wife to take and raise
Answer: I should have heard him as I was close by the bedside at that time.
Question: At that time and all the times, presuming to that there was
a perfect good understanding between N. B. Turner and James H. Turner.
Answer: They visited each other frequently. There was a good intimacy between them. James H. Turner would always advise with N. B. Turner in almost any undertaking, in buying stock on a farming matter & etc. I believe he had more confidence in N. B. Turner than any other man, and from the confidence he had in N. B. Turner, I think he would preferred him to attend to his matter to that of any other man. I was at the sale of Jas. H. Turner and I think of the bids of Martha, James H. Turners wife that she showed a deposition to purchase the property for less than its value. I ask N. B. Turner whether it was right for her to buy this property so low or not. I do not now recollect his answer. I heard N. B. Turner say to Martha that she ought to bid a fair price for the property or something near worth, as she would wrong the child out of it just right in buying the property for less than its true value. After that N. B. Turner, the connection of the child on his fathers side, commenced biding for the property and the property brought a better price. The child of Jas. H. turner has not been with his fathers connection much since Martha, Jas. H. Turners wife married Enoch Simpson. I do not know the age of the child, as I have stated before that, I have full confidence in the plaintiff & defendant in this cause in point of ?, but adding to the concerns of school in the neighborhood of Col N. B. Turner, I would prefer a child of mine being placed in that neighborhood. The child of Jas H. Turner has never been at my house to my recollection until today.
Cross examination by the Plaintiff
I should suppose that Jas H. Turner would consent his wife about his child in raising it and would give his wife the ? of raising said child. The property that Martha, Jas. H. Turners wife, bought on the day of sale, as to the amount or quality of it, I do not now recollect, including all their property she bought. I think she gave as less a price as any woman would of give at a sale in that may taking every thing into consideration.
Examined by the defendant.
At the time and previous to the death of Jas. H. Turner, Mrs. Thomas Buntin and him was at a good ? and less ? had been to the best of my knowledge.
Further than this despondent sayth not. Benjamin Johnson (Seal)
James Johnson, age about 24 years, next being duly sworn deposition at wit:
I am the nephew of N. B. Turner by mothers side and my father and Martha Simpsons, former wife of J. H. Turner, father are brothers. I was at N. B. Turners at a party some two years ago. I have been informed that there was dancing school taught at his house some time in 1844. I have seen at N. B. Turners house, some of his boys playing cards, than his boys would use profane language & also some of his servants use the same language. I never saw any of Col N.B. Turners family intoxicated but I have seen others so at his house but do not know that they got the spirit there.
Cross examination by the defendant
From the acquaintance, and I am well acquainted with N. B. Turner boys, I consider them respectable, socially, agreeably young men.
Further than this the deponant sayth not. James M. Johnson
B. F. Johnson, about 19 years, after being duly sworn deposith as following.
I am the nephew of N. B. Turner on my mothers side and my father & Martha Simpsons father are brothers. I was at Nelson B. Turner some 2 or 3 months since at weding, there was dancing going on during the evening also there was 2 games of cards going on during the evening and night. There was no money bet in presence. I did not see any spirits liquor used during my stay nor did I hear any profane language used during my stay at N. B. Turner house. I have heard N. B. Turners boys use profane language at times.
Examined by the defendant
On the night of the wedding at N.B. Turner it was a vary rainy time and a good many was compelled to stay all night on account of the creek was up..
Further than this the depondant sayth not. B. F. Johnson (Seal)
Deposition of Martha A. Flowers
Martha A. Flowers age about 30 years. (4th day of April 1849)
Question: Are you acquainted with myself & family.
Answer: I am and have been every since I can recollect, and from my acquaintance, I consider Mr. Turner & family, moral, honorable & respectable family of people.
Question: By same are you acquainted with Mr. Simpson & wife and if
so how long.
Answer: I have been acquainted with Mr. Simpson some five years and with his wife ever since we were children.
Question: Give what connection are you to Mrs. Simpson and the ward John
Answer: My mother and her father is own brother & sister
Question: By same did you live near Mr. Simpson and if so how long.
Answer: I lived near to Mr. Simpson about fifteen months.
Question: By the same are you and Mrs. Simpson vary intimate and frequently
Answer: We were.
Question: I wish you to state what you may have heard Mr. & Mrs. Simpson
say about the ward John Turner going to my house & staying.
Answer: I never heard Mr. Simpson say anything about the boy going to your house, but I have heard Mrs. Simpson say frequently that Mr. Simpson were unwilling for John to go to your house and that were the reason why she were unwilling.
Question: By same from your acquaintance with Mr. Simpson do you consider
him a vulgar man in his family.
Answer: I have heard Mr. Simpson use vulgar language that I thought vulgar.
Question: By same please state whether you ever were at Mr. Simpsons when
he were complaining of being sick and what he said on that occasion.
Answer: Mrs. Simpson asked Mr. Simpson if he would eat something. He said he would not eat and if they got anything in him, they must turn him up and put it in the other end. Mr. Simpson appeared to be in a bad humor and said that he would not die in that place of torment but said he would go up to the mille and die there.
Question: Please state the appearance & conversation of Mrs. Simpson
on that occasion.
Answer: Mrs. Simpson appeared to be very much mortified and cried & said that her were very much hurt.
Question: Please if you heard Ms. Simpson give the reason why herself
& John did not visit my family.
Answer: Mrs. Simpson has told me that she has nothing against you nor your family & would have bin glad to have visited your family but Mr. Simpson were opposed to their going.
Question: Please state what you may have heard Mrs. Simpson say about
a circumstance that happened between Jo D. Turner, Mr. Simpson & Mrs.
Answer: Mrs. Simpson told me that Jo D. Turner were at their house one Sunday evening & walking across the floor with pantaloons on with buttons on from the ankles to the knees, Mrs. Simpson took hold of one of the buttons near the ankle & asked him what he was doing with so many on his pants, she said that Jo D. Turner caught her year ? it which she supposed insulted Mr. Simpson and he then ordered Jo D. out of the house, Mrs. Simpson further stated that she were vary sorry that the occurrence happen that she meant no harm, and did not believe that Jo D. Turner meant any either. Mrs. Simpson further stated that she went in the woods and thought she would have stayed there until she died.
Question: Please state the age of John A Turner the ward.
Answer: He was ten years old last January.
Question: Please state so far as the education of the ward is concerned
which would his interest be best promoted with me or Mr. Simpson.
Answer: With you.
Question by the plaintive: Have you not lived out of the county if so
when were it and how long.
Answer: I moved out of this county & state in 1841 & returned in 1844.
Question: Did you visit N. B. Turner during that time.
Answer: I did not.
Question: By same did you ever hear my say that she wore unwilling to
give up the raisin of her son to any person.
Answer: I have heard Mrs. Simpson say that she wore unwilling to give up the raisin to any person.
Question: By same have you not herd my wife give her objections why she
wore unwilling for N. B. Turner to have the raisin of her child.
Answer: She has stated that she was afraid that he would learn bad words and mite be killed by the riding of horses.
Question: By the same in the sickness as spoken of in your deposition
did I not request that conversation of no food should no be crowded on me
that I could not talk nor swallow.
Answer: You did.
Question: Please state whether I wore in the habit of going to the mille
and staying good part of my time when able.
Answer: You were.
Question: Please state whether my children obey me from seveil fear filial
Answer: From both.
Question: Please state if my family is not proped from the above motives
who would be ruler.
Answer: Everyone would be his own ruler.
Question: Please state during your stay near me for the space of fifteen
months if the treatment of John were not good by the mother and family
Answer: I believe they were all treated alike.
Question: Please state if my wife were not in the habit of taking John
with her to meetings and other places.
Answer: When she took any he went.
Question: From your acquaintance with or do you think I would consult
the happiness of my wife in promoting the interest of the child.
Answer: I don't think you would do anything to render her dissatisfied.
Question: Please state if it should be necessary to remove the child in
order for its education. Would Gallatin or its neighborhood the most proper
Answer: I cannot say
Question: Please state who should have the selection of a place for the
child to board the mother or its uncle.
Answer: The one best qualified.
Further this defendant sayth not. Martha A. Flowers
Mr. Simpson came to my repair shop to have his wagon repaired. when I finished the wagon, we took some liquor together. I ask him to stay all night, there was snow on the ground, he said he would try and go home. He got upon his horse and I went with him some distance as he started to head home. He seemed not to steady himself very well. and I returned believing he had gone home. The next morning he came back and said he had got lost and that he had stayed at Sarver and had lost his leggons. I went with him and we found one of them. Sarvers was not in the direction of his home but to the contrary, the road from my shop to Simpsons is a large public road and he would have had to turned around and gone back past the shop within 150 to 200 feet of it to go to Sarver in the direction of Kentucky. It is some seven miles from my house to Simpsons . this occurred 1845 or 1846. I am not certain which. George C. Markham *(This is a partial transcription of his testimony.)
Next being sworn and examined by the Counsel for Turner states that in the winter of 1845-6 late in the night after we had gone to bed someone hollered at the gate at my house, and when I woke I opened the window and the person asked who lived there, when I informed him, he replied he was at home. I went out and found It was Mr. Simpson. I opened the gate and he rode the wagon into the yard and when he got down, I was compelled to help him into the house. It was a very cold night, he appeared to have been drinking, after I got him into the house, I went and put up his horses after he went to bed he got sick and vomited. I may have seen Mr. Simpson before but had not formed any acquaintance with him before that time. I think I have seen him at Markmans shop. There was a snow on the ground, I noticed the track of the waggon the next day, he had only the fer wheels. It had passed my house to an old field and had turned round in that and come back to my house, again he stayed until after breakfast, in the morning and left probably 9 or 10 o'clock.
Interrogated by Simpson's Counsel: I am of the opinion that the condition of Simpson was faced both by cold & drinking. I live with in about 3/4 of a mile of Jery Sarver, Senr. Simpson had parked his horse before he came to mine as I supposed. I would suppose that Mr. Simpson had been acquainted with him. I had not been long in the County at that time. He had but his horses to the fore wheels of his waggon.
And further he saith not. Jeremiah Sarver
Samuel C. Taylor being duly sworn and examined:
States that he was employed by the Common School Commissions to teach a school in 15 District on the north of the ridge in the County of Sumner in the fall of 1848. Sanford Simpson a son of Enoch Simpson and in said District and sent a son of his to the school, John Turner, the ward of N. B. Turner was sent over to Sanfords and came with his son to school. On the seventh day that John Turner came to school, Nelson B. Turner came to the school house and ask me if John was there. I told him he was. He, Turner said he was a ward of his and he had come for him. The boy was then asked some two or three times whether he was willing to go with him but he refused to go. Turner than said it made no difference whether he was willing or not that he was his guardian and he intended to take him, with this Sanford Simpson also was present, spoke and said to Turner, that he should not take the boy, that if he did, he must take him also and he might get tired of that. It was then agreed to them that they would take the boy to his mothers and if she was willing for him to go, Turner would take him , if not he would leave him with her. Sanford Simpson said that John had come over to go to school with his little boy as an accommodation to him, as his boy was smart and afraid to go by himself, that was a free school and one of the commissions had him consulted about John Turner going to it and had consented as I was informed by Sanford Simpson. As in recollect this school house is some 7 or 8 miles from Col. Turner. I suppose Turners conversation with Sanford Simpson seem to be calm and cool and rational. Sanford Simpson is a very good farmer for this section of the county in which he lives. The county is poor, he has a good piece of land for that section, he has no salves. The school house was a small log cabin and a very poor school house.
Interrogation by Simpson
I think the neighbor hood in which I kept this school is as moral and as honest as any portion of the county with which I am acquainted. Alto they are not rich, I believe that the general character of Sanford Simpson is as good as any man, as a straight honest and moral man. His wife is an Aunt of John Turner. I think John Turner was as well advanced in education as boys usually are at his age. He was continually at the head of his class while he went to me. He had the appearance and conduct of a child that had been well raised. I am well acquainted with Mr. & Mrs. Simpson and have been frequently at their house tho not as I now recollect in the last year or two. Their general character is good as present industrious and moral people. I have never seen Mr. Simpson treat John a miss and I believe that he thought as much of him as is usual under similar circumstances.
And further be saith not. S. C. Taylor
Richard E. Johnson being sworn as followers:
I was living at the house of James H. Turner at the time of his death and been there about three or four weeks previous to his death. I am the brother in law of James H. Turner. I heard him while on his death bed, the evening before he died request his wife to raise the child in a proper manner and see that it did not suffer for want of anything, he sent for his wife and when she came to his bed, he made the above request to which she replied that she would do so. In the above occasion the child was also sent for and she started with the child but was prevented from carrying it on a previous occasion he sent for her and made a similar request about the raising of the child . The first request was made in the evening and the same request was at night a few minutes before he died. I have frequently been at the house of the Simpson and he seems to treat this child very kindly and affectionately and the child seemed to think a good deal of Mr. Simpson. Mrs. Simpson is my sister and I married Mr. Simpsons daughter.
Cross Examined by deft.
At the time of the death of James H. Turner, his brother Nelson B. Turner was confined at home sick in bed and could not get out to see him.
Further this despondent sayith not. Richard E. Johnson