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Bright Hope Furnace Ledger (1835-1836)

Furnace Creek, Greene County, Tennnessee


~ researched, transcribed, and provided by ~
A. Claude Ferguson

[This is a WIP - works in progress - being edited and coded into html by Sandra N. Ratledge for Tennessee Ties website only. Do not attach to family trees or copy and upload on any other websites. The entire transcription project was given to me by Claude Ferguson, for which I am deeply appreciative. Claude's transcription is painstakingly meticulous, indicative of a devoted researcher. He relates to my husband, Stephen Ratledge, through the Clowers family mentioned in this ledger. Links to the various pages will be provided at the bottom of the index page.]

Personal Information about Some Individuals Named in the Bright Hope Ledger

The Bright Hope ledger is a treasure beyond imagination! It contains many entries of transactions of the Boles, Clowers, Hogans, Luttrells, and others who married into those families. It contains precise period history and facts of great value and presents a picture of life style and human interests beyond measure. Some members of the families named, or who were there during the year, and some of the other interesting "cast of characters" are as follows:

Elizabeth "Betsy" CLOWERS (Boles) Bowles, age 53, widow of David Boles, iron worker who had learned the trade at the iron works in Franklin County, VA, and who had worked at iron works in Wythe County, VA as well as Grainger County, TN. He was one of several from those works involved in the Bright Hope operations. David Boles died in April of 1829. Betsy Boles was often recorded in the ledger. She "rented" out her younger sons and her horses and sold standing timber from her land as cordwood for making charcoal. (David and Elizabeth CLOWERS Boles are the paternal great-great-great-grandparents and the maternal great-great-grandparents of this writer, Claude Ferguson.) The Boles children include the following:

Sarah "Sally" Ann BOLES Hogan, age about 35, single parent with four children. Her former husband, Hiram Hogan, an iron worker from Ireland and salesman for the Bright Hope Furnace, had "disappeared in the West" on a sales trip after son David Boles Hogan was born in 1828. She secured a divorce on 2 September 1833. Sally's second marriage was to John Luttrell, a bachelor often mentioned in the ledger, in March of 1837. She worked as a seamstress and washer-woman to support her children and was often recorded in the ledger. (Hiram and Sarah Ann BOLES Hogan are the paternal great-great-grandparents of this writer, Claude Ferguson.) The Hogan children were as follows:

Elizabeth Hogan, then age 11, later married William Milo Ferguson and moved to MO with a large group in 1871. (William Milo and Elizabeth HOGAN Ferguson are the paternal great-grandparents of this writer, Claude Ferguson.)
Mary Hogan, age 10, later married Robert Cochran.
James Hiram Hogan, age 9 and named in the ledger, later married Amanda Francis Luttrell and moved to KS in 1872 and then to MO in 1873.
David Boles Hogan, age 7, later married Mary Caroline McMurtry.
Jesse Boles, age 31, and wife Delila SAULS LEIGHLY Boles had a small family.
Jacob Boles, age 29, and wife Nancy JEANS Boles had a small family.
George Boles, age 27, and wife Elizabeth HYBARGER Boles had a small family.
John Boles, age 21 and single, later married Elizabeth Jane Kilgore.
David Boles, age 18 and single, later married Caroline _____ and moved to Georgia and reportedly to Arkansas.
Daniel Boles, age 17 and single, later married first Mary Ann Stinson, daughter of Daniel M. Stinson, and second Amanda Caroline DOCKINS Sauceman, widow of John Sauceman, Jr. They resided in GA for a short time, returned to Greene County, and then moved to MO with a large group in 1871. (Daniel and Amanda Caroline DOCKINS SAUCEMAN Boles are the maternal great-grandparents of this writer, Claude Ferguson.)
Elizabeth Boles, age 15 and single, later married Isaac Kifer.
Mary "Polly" Boles, age 14 and single, later married Claiborn Boyd, a blacksmith often mentioned in the ledger who was much older than she.
Hiram Boles, age 10, later married Hannah Leighly, daughter of Delila SAULS LEIGHLY Boles.
Joanna Boles, age 7, later married William Stinson, brother of Mary Ann Stinson who had married her brother, Daniel Boles.

William Clowers, aged about 30, one of three sons of John and Rebecca HARRIS Clowers, was often named in the Bright Hope Ledger. John Clowers was a brother of Elizabeth CLOWERS Boles and one of the group of colliers and iron workers from Franklin County, VA, who moved to the Bright Hope Furnace area in the 1820s.
Jacob Clowers, age about 28, was another son of John and Rebecca HARRIS Clowers.
James Clowers, age about 20, was another son of John and Rebecca HARRIS Clowers.

Samuel Stinson, age about 40, a blacksmith, was the father of Mary Ann Stinson. She married Daniel Boles 8 March 1837. Samuel was also father of William Stinson who married Joanna (Joan) Boles 3 August 1848.

Claiborne Boyd, age about 32 and a blacksmith, was recorded as "Calburn" / "Clayborn" Boide / Boyde in ledger entries. He wed the much younger Mary (Polly) Boles on 4 December 1838.

John Kifer, probably the father of Isaac Kifer, married Elizabeth Boles on 23 March 1841.

John Luttrell, age about 25 and single, later married the widow Sally Ann BOLES Hogan, aged about 35, in March of 1837.
James Luttrell, Sr., was the father of John Luttrell. His wife was probably Mary MORGAN Luttrell, reportedly a cousin of General John Hunt Morgan of Civil War renown.

Daniel Sauceman, age about 41, hauled and sold cord wood to the kilns at Bright Hope for the production of charcoal.
John Sauceman, age about 42, married first Mary HODGE Sauceman and second Margaret REDDISH Sauceman. From his first marriage was John Sauceman, Jr., born 1827, who married Amanda Caroline Dockins. After John Sauceman's death, she married Daniel Boles, whose first wife, Mary Ann STINSON Boles, was also deceased. Daniel and Amanda Caroline DOCKINS SAUCEMAN Boles then reared the Boles children and the Sauceman boys, George Washington and John Alexander, and their own children. They moved to MO in 1871 with a large group from the Bright Hope area.

The relatively large number of ledger entries for the Boles, Clowers, Hogan, and Luttrell families is of some significance. Others named in the ledger entries who later married into these families were Masnor, Nease, Patterson, Sauceman, Smith, Susong, and Whittenburg.

Also of note in the ledger were the following:

Dr. John Shields, age about 35, was a local doctor and entrepreneur of some note. He was an owner or part-owner of the business establishing Bright Hope Industries. He served as bondsman for marriages and money lender for real estate and other purposes. He signed Daniel Boles's marriage bond to Mary Ann Stinson. James Hiram Hogan resided with him as a 'bonded boy' in the 1850 census. The 1860 census listed him with real estate valued at $10,000 and personal property at $19,850. These were very high values for the location and period.

John Dickson, age 50-60 in the 1840 census, was a prominent merchant of Greeneville, TN. He and some brothers emigrated to United States from Ireland in 1818. He owned considerable land in Greene County and several lots in Greeneville per 1836 Tax List. Apparently he had -interest in Bright Hope Furnace Machinery according to settlement recorded 19 July 1836, in the ledger. President Andrew Jackson was reportedly his house guest on one occasion.

Peter Brown, age about 42, was born in Ayshire, Scotland, died 17 August 1847, and was buried in Timber Ridge Cemetery. He was a developer and owner of Brown's Forge on the Nolichucky River about two miles from Bright Hope Furnace. He secured pig-iron from Bright Hope Furnace for his forge operation. Apparently he also had -interest in Bright Hope Furnace machinery according to settlement recorded 19 July 1836, in the ledger. He was the owner of about 900 acres of land and three slaves per 1836 Tax List.

Andrew Smyth was a major player in the Bright Hope Furnace operation as recorded in the ledger. Apparently he had -interest in the machinery according to settlement recorded 19 July 1836 and owned 1000 acres of land. He was a voter in the 5th District per the Tax List of 1836, but he is not recorded in the 1830 or 1840 census of Greene County. J.P. Lesley reported in his 1856 listing of Charcoal Furnaces in East Tennessee (page 81):
"273. Love's Charcoal Furnace, owned by And. Smith & Co, on the Little East Fork of Little Pigeon River, sixteen miles east of Sevierville, and in Sevier county, Tennessee, was built probably about 1837 by Wm. & Jos. Love, and abandoned about 1852 to ruin." It is not known if this is the same Andrew Smyth.

William Roberts, listed as 20-30 in 1830 census, had -interest in machinery according to settlement recorded 19 July 1836 in the ledger.

George Gordon was aged 50-60 in 1830 census, (i.e., Robert G. Gordon? with one slave). He might have been the owner of the Bright Hope Furnace during the period of the ledger. An entry of 22 June 1836, stated, "To George Gordon 1 5/12 Years Reant of Furnace @ 8 Tons Casting pr year Making 26133# @ 4 = $1045.32."

Sh. and S. Inman was probably Shadrack Inman from adjoining Cocke County and a descendent of the Inmans of fame in the Revolutionary War. He may have been a son of Abednego Inman.

Henry Dyche, Esquire, aged 60-70 in 1840 census, was a local community Justice of the Peace and Notary Public. He witnessed David Boles's will and was the J.P. who married Jessee Boles and Delila SAULS LEIGHLY. He was "Best Friend" to Sarah "Sally" Ann Hogan during her divorce from Hiram Hogan in 1833. He bought his paper from the Bright Hope Commissary store by the "quire" (25 sheets).

Andrew "Andy" Johnson, aged 26 and a tailor in his Greeneville shop, served as Representative for Greene and Washington Counties in the State Legislature. Andrew Johnson served two terms as Alderman and was then elected Mayor of Greeneville in January 1834. In the spring of 1835, he was elected to the TN State Legislature. He was defeated in the election of 1837 but re-elected in 1839. He was elected to the State Senate in 1841 and then elected U.S. Congressman in 1843. He was elected Governor of TN in 1853 and reelected in 1855. He was Democrat Senator from TN in 1860 and the only Southern Senator to declare for the Union at the time of secession. When central TN was occupied by the Union Army in March of 1862, Johnson was Commissioned General and appointed Military Governor of TN by President Lincoln. He was elected Vice-President of the United States in 1864 and became President of the United States after President Lincoln's assassination in April 1865.

This site is dedicated to the memory of my mother Beulah Cline Nipper, a beautiful product of the Knobs.

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