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Hatcher, Reuben Sr.
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Ancestor of the Month

November 2008 

 

Reuben Hatcher, Sr.

b. 14 Jun 1798           d. 1870

 

Henry David Thoreau once said, “I have done a lot of traveling in Concord.”  His point was that one does not have to be an adventurer to live life fully and understand the ways of the world.   Though Thoreau and our ancestor Reuben Hatcher were two very different people, in one respect they were alike.  Both men were influenced by the times and places they lived, and both left a mark—though different in intensity—on those who would follow after them.

 

Our ancestor, Reuben Hatcher, Sr., spent his entire life in Wears Valley, Sevier County, TN.  Wears Valley is a beautiful spot enclosed by Cove Mountain to the southeast, Roundtop Mountain to the southwest, Davis Mountain to the northwest, and Hatcher Mountain to the northeast.  Its name came from Revolutionary War Colonel Samuel Wear who built a fort at the entrance to the valley.  Part of the Valley was at one time called Crowson’s Cove after the Crowson family who moved to the area in 1792.  At that time the whole area was still part of Jefferson County, North Carolina and has been known at various times as Crowson’s Cove, Wear’s Valley, Wear’s Cove, Weirs Cove, and Weir’s Valley.  Today it is Wear’s Valley

 

The Hatchers and the Crowsons

 

Reuben’s father, William Hatcher (1776-1851), was the first Hatcher to move to TN and make it home.  Originally from Virginia, William moved to TN in 1793 at about the same time the William Crowson family came from NC.  Within the year Reuben’s father owned 800 acres in Wear’s Valley.  (William Crowson is also one of our ancestors.  To read about him, go to the top of this page and click on the sentence about previously published articles.  When you reach the Archives, scroll down the navigation bar on the left to “William Crowson” and click.) 

 

The Crowsons had a big effect on the Hatchers and vice-versa.   William Hatcher was younger than William Crowson by some 35 years, but he and Aaron Crowson, William Crowson’s son, were only a year’s difference in age.  Hatcher’s good friend was Aaron Crowson, and it is not surprising that Hatcher’s good wife was Aaron’s sister, Mary Elizabeth (Polly) Crowson.

 

A few years after coming to Crowson’s Cove, William Crowson—Aaron and Polly’s father—moved to Giles County, TN.  With him went his younger daughter Jane and four of his sons.  (Some sources say Jane’s husband Eliab Vinson went with the group, but this is unlikely since the family moved about 1807; Jane was about 9 years old at the time, and her wedding to Eliab took place in Giles County in 1815.)  The other Crowson sons elected to remain in Wear’s Valley.  One of them was Aaron who may have remained in the valley because of his friendship with William Hatcher.  More likely, however, Aaron and the other brothers who stayed probably realized that they would have to start over again if they moved to Giles County.  Here in Wears Valley they had established farms.  (I was unable to find a list of which brothers stayed and which moved, but we can speculate.  Thomas Crowson went because he later married Eliab’s sister in Giles County.  Moses Crowson may have gone because he performed their wedding ceremony—of course he could have made a trip just for the wedding.  Since William Crowson’s family consisted of ten children (2 girls and 10 boys), based on ages, the four sons who went with him were probably Abraham, Isaac, Thomas, and Jonathan at ages 17, 15, 13, and 11 respectively.  The other sons were of legal age, ranging from John at 21 to Richard at 37.  Thus Moses, nice brother that he was, probably made a special trip for the wedding.)

 

Indian Problems

 

In the early days settlers in Wears Valley and/or Crowson’s Cove had to be wary of Indian attacks.   Samuel Wear’s Fort at the entrance to the valley had been built as a defense against possible Indian hostilities.  In 1794 Percy Percefield, one of Aaron’s visiting friends, was killed by Indians in an ambush, and Aaron barely escaped with his life, fleeing on horseback along Walden’s Creek to Wear’s Fort for help.  William and Polly, too, led an uneasy life before hostilities with the Indians abated.  William served as an officer from 19 Mar 1793 to 19 Jun 1793 in the North Carolina Continental Line, Jefferson County Regiment.  When TN became a state in 1796, Wear’s Valley became a part of Sevier Co., TN, and William continued to support the militia.  Receipts as late as1814 and 1816 show that William contributed to the financial upkeep of the First Battalion of Sevier Co. (“Rec. from Wm. Hatcher three dollars sixteen cents and 4 mills”). 

 

Acquiring Land

 

Over the years the land was sold off and divided among descendants of the various Hatchers who lived there.   Nevertheless, William’s descendants are still in Wear’s Valley, and forty acres of the original 800-acre farm is still owned by one of his direct descendants.  When William died, his estate was divided into eleven parts, one part for each child.  Son Reuben bought 9 shares, giving him a total of ten, and John Huskey, who had married one of Reuben’s sisters, kept one share.  Although William’s will burned in the Sevier Co. courthouse fire of 1854, it apparently named Reuben as administrator for his father because documents and receipts of the time show him taking care of the estate.  Reuben also administered his mother’s estate.  In Reuben’s day, the farm covered 450 acres.

 

William and Polly’s Family

 

Reuben was from a large family of eleven children.

 

  • Rebecca Elizabeth HATCHER born c1793 in Wears Cove, Sevier Co., TN; died 1818; married John HUSKEY c1808.  (Since Rebecca was deceased when her father wrote his will, her share went to her husband. After Rebecca died, John remarried around 1820 to an unnamed wife who died Sept 14 1840.  John and his new wife had 10 children.  It is possible that the new wife’s name was also Rebecca.)

        Nancy HATCHER, born c1795 in Wears Cove, Sevier Co., TN; died Aft. 1870; married Spencer McBRYANT c1823 in Sevier Co., TN; born c1800; died Bef. 1870.

        Reuben HATCHER, Sr., born 14 Jun 1798 in Sevier County, TN; died Jun 1878 in Sevier County, TN; married Marthew (Martha) MAGILL/McGILL of Miller’s Cove 01 Jun 1821 in Blount Co., TN.

        Elijah HATCHER, born 19 Jul 1798 in Blount County TN; died 19 Feb 1864 in Blount Co., TN; married Rebecca WALKER 06 Aug 1819 in Blount Co., TN; born 10 Aug 1802 in Blount Co., TN; died 05 Dec 1887 in Blount Co., TN.   Rebecca was the daughter of Thomas Walker and Elizabeth Magill.  Elizabeth was Martha’s aunt.  Both Elijah and Rebecca are buried in Miller’s Cove.    (Elijah’s tombstone says that he was killed by bushwhackers during the Civil War.)

        Mary HATCHER, born c1803 in Wears Cove, Sevier Co., TN; married Samuel MURPHY; born c1796 in North Carolina; died Bet. 1850 - 1860 in Sevier Co., TN.

        John W. C. HATCHER, (The middle initials W.C. might possibly stand for William Crowson, John’s maternal grandfather.  No proof; just a guess) born 08 Nov 1805 in Sevier Co., TN; died 13 Sep 1881 in Sullivan Co., MO; married (1) Elizabeth TAYLOR 1827 in Sevier Co., TN; born 18 Nov 1808 in Sevier Co., TN; died 10 Oct 1852 in Sullivan Co., MO; married (2) Martha J. CHILDRESS 13 Aug 1854 in Linn Co., MO; born 25 Jan 1829; died 13 Oct 1858 in Sullivan Co., MO; married (3) Mary S. UNKNOWN 13 Apr 1859 in Sullivan Co., MO; born 11 Mar 1820 in Kentucky; died 17 May 1889 in Sullivan Co., MO.  (A bit of scandal surrounds John in that he was once fined by the Sevier County court for  “getting a bastard child.”  He paid his fine and court costs 17 Jan 1827, got married the same year, and moved to MO in 1835.   He married 3 times, had a total of 15 kids, (13-2-0) and divorced his last wife.  (Surprisingly, or Ironically, or Predictably—take your choice—one of his sons, John, Jr., b. 1836, became a minister.) 

        Rebecca HATCHER, born 08 Mar 1809 in Sevier Co., TN; died 14 Jan 1886 in Moniteau Co., MO; married (1) Jesse RENFRO c1827; born Abt. 1805 in Sevier Co., TN; died 1839 in Moniteau Co., MO; married (2) Thomas STEPHENS 17 Nov 1853 in Moniteau Co., MO; born 18 Sep 1800 in South Carolina; died Aft. Jan 1886 in Moniteau Co., MO.   (Why would the Hatchers name two daughters Rebecca?  Some say that we do not know the name of the daughter born in c1793, and that John Huskey’s second wife was named Rebecca.  Rebecca Hatcher #1 was still alive in 1809, so Rebecca Hatcher #2 was not named in her honor.)

        Richard HATCHER, born 1810 in Sevier Co., TN; died 22 Feb 1862 in Gentry Co., MO; married Jane UNKNOWN; born 1812 in TN; died 1884 in Gentry Co., MO.

        Callie Elizabeth HATCHER, born 18 Aug 1811 in Sevier Co., TN; died 09 Oct 1864 in Yolo Co., California; married Isaac TAYLOR in TN; born 02 Feb 1807 in VA; died 1884 in Linn Co., MO.

        Rachel HATCHER, born 05 Aug 1814 in Sevier Co., TN; died 10 May 1868 in Sevier Co., TN; married William Houston Murphy, son of Robert Murphy, 24 Apr 1833 in Sevier Co., TN; born 22 Mar 1813 in Sevier Co., TN; died 15 Dec 1870 in Sevier Co., TN.  According to one of our Hatcher cousins, Linda Hatcher Hages,  For some unknown reason William adopted the last name of McGlaughlin.  After he died in 1870 the family resumed using the Murphy name.”   The Murphy/McGlaughlins had fourteen children.

        William John HATCHER, born c1815 in Sevier Co., TN; died Aft. 1886 in Sullivan Co., MO; married (1) Margaret Ann TAYLOR 1836 in Sevier Co., TN; born 11 Sep 1814 in Georgia; died 05 Mar 1886 in Sullivan Co., MO; married (2) Leah Catherine BROWN, widow of Charles Brassfield, 27 Sep 1886 in Sullivan Co., MO.  Because William died a short two months after the wedding, Leah resumed using the Brassfield rather than the Hatcher name.

 

Reuben and Martha

 

In 1821 when Reuben was 23 years old, he married Martha (Polly) Magill from Miller’s Cove in neighboring Blount County.  Martha was the daughter of Samuel Magill (b. 1751 d. before 23 Sep 1806) and Martha Reed Shannon Magill, widow of James Shannon.  Samuel was the son of William Magill (b.1715  d 1806) from Greene Co., TN.  (Note: In her father Samuel’s will, Martha’s name is listed as Marthew, an archaic spelling of Martha.  This spelling sometimes causes her to be misidentified as a male named Matthew.  Since Reuben lists his wife's name as Martha in his own will, that’s what we’ll call her.  In addition, Martha Shannon’s first husband is listed as James in some documents and as Joseph in others.) 

 

Martha’s family, the Magills, were originally from Scotland.  They were staunch Presbyterians and because of religious persecution, moved from Scotland to Ireland and then on to the American colonies.  Their name remained Magill for several generations in America until they made their way to North Carolina and TN where some family members began to use the spelling McGill rather than Magill—perhaps because of the large number of Scottish and Irish families in the area who used the Mc patronymic designation.  Martha’s father and grandfather spelled their name Magill and older members of the family were unhappy that some younger members were changing the spelling.  In 1838 John Magill, grandson of William, wrote to his nephew Caleb Magill and expressed his thoughts on the matter:

 

      I have been particular so that you may know if you meet with any persons of the name of Magill you can tell whether they are your relation. I have seen several from Ireland that are no kin of mine. They spell their name McGill. They are generally native Irish and Roman Catholic. I recollect to have seen my grandfather's certificate from Ireland dated 1725. It was spelled Magill and all his descendants spell their names the same way. Any who do not are not of our kindred.  (John was incorrect about no McGills being his kindred, but we can tell his displeasure at the spelling change some of his younger relatives were employing.  If I counted correctly, this John Magill was Martha’s first cousin.  Martha was one of my “brick walls” for years because I was researching Martha McGill, a woman who, for all intents and purposes, didn’t exist until about 1821 when her marriage documents apparently “misspelled” her name or recorded it with the “new” spelling.)

 

Reuben and Martha’s Family

 

Like his parents, Reuben and Martha had eleven children, and, true to tradition, they tended to name their children after their relatives.   Their children did the same.  Seven of them named one of their sons Reuben. 

 

        John HATCHER, born 29 Oct 1821 in Sevier Co., TN; died 18 Jul 1864 in Sullivan Co., MO; married Aisley L. SMITH 14 Jan 1844 in Sevier Co., TN; born 20 Nov 1826 in Sevier Co., TN; died 31 Jul 1878 in Sullivan Co., MO. Aisley was the daughter of Nicholas Smith.  “The Hatcher Papers” contains a written copy of the marriage service between Aisley and John.  In the service John promised to “nurse her and cherish her and obey her through all sickness and trouble until death part you.”  She promised the same.  John and Aisley had 8 or 9 children.  (Their son, Reuben Hatcher, was killed 16 May 1865 while serving as a soldier in the Civil War.)

        William HATCHER, born c1822 in Sevier Co., TN; died Bet. 1854 - 1856 in MO; married Frances J. ROBBS c1847; born c1827 in TN; died in Fannin County, TX.  Frances was the daughter of William Robbs.  She and William had 3 children.

        Robert HATCHER, born c1826 in Sevier Co., TN; married Martha Elizabeth STARKEY 04 Mar 1852 in Knox Co., TN; born 23 Dec 1832 in Sevier Co., TN; died after 1870 in Jackson Co., NC.  Martha was the daughter of Joel Starkey and Delanah Whaley.  (The 1860 Census shows Martha’s mother Delanah Starkey living with the couple   She was a midwife.) Robert and Martha had 7 children.

        Elijah HATCHER, born Abt. 1828 in Sevier Co., TN; died Bet. 1864 -1866 in Sevier Co., TN; married Hannah Jane HUSKEY Bef. 1850; born 1825 in Sevier Co., TN; died 1901 in Sevier Co., TN.  She was the daughter of John Huskey and his second wife.  Elijah and Hannah Jane had 6 children.  Elijah served 1864-1865 in the 2nd TN Cavalry during the Civil War.  His date of death suggests he may have been wounded or killed during the war.

        Mary (Polly) HATCHER, born 19 Oct 1831 in Sevier Co., TN; died 22 Feb 1910; married William Ellison COTTER; born 06 Jan 1832 in Sevier Co., TN; died 02 Oct 1902.  Sources disagree about their burial place, listing both Hatcher Cemetery and/or Maddox Cemetery, Wears Valley. Mary and Ellison had 12 children, including twin boys named Harrison and Willie who died at birth and were buried in Wear’s Valley.  The couple may have had twin daughters as well, for two girls named Martha and Marthery were both born on 7 Jun 1862.  On the other hand, it is more likely that Marthery was a spelling or typing error that was picked up and recorded as another child.  (In 1993 the Cotter family still owned a drum that Polly and William’s son George W. Cotter had played as a drummer boy in the Civil War.  George W. served in Co K 8th TN Cavalry from 1863-1865 when he was 10-12 years old)

        Reuben E. HATCHER, Jr., born 11 Sep 1833 in Sevier County, TN; died 21 Apr 1901 in Sevier County, TN; married Lucinda Caroline McFARLAND 05 Aug 1858 in Sevier Co., TN; born 12 Apr 1833 in Blount County, TN; died 28 Dec 1894 in Blount County, TN. Lucinda was the daughter of James McFarland and Martha (Patsy) Drinkwater.  Both Reuben and Lucinda are buried in Hatcher Cemetery, Sevier Co.  They had at least 4 children.  Reuben, Jr. served in Co. E. 1st TN Light Artillery during the Civil War.

        Martha Jane HATCHER, born 09 Feb 1838 in Sevier Co., TN; died 18 Aug 1839 in Sevier Co, TN.  She was 16 months old.

        James H. (Pete) HATCHER (our ancestor) born 02 Apr 1839 in Sevier County, TN; died 1911 in Sevier County, TN; married Mary McINTURFF (our ancestor) 19 Apr 1856 in Sevier Co, TN.  Mary was the daughter of Israel McInturff, II, and Elizabeth Webb.   (James and Mary were married by R. W. Crowson.)   The couple is buried in Hatcher Cemetery in Wears Valley.  Pete and Mary had 10 children.  (Often Mary’s last name is mistakenly given as McIntire or McIntyre—it’s McInturff.)  (Pete was a Union soldier during the Civil War, serving as a private in the 2nd or 9th TN Cavalry)

        Huldah T. HATCHER, born 07 May 1840 in Sevier Co, TN; died 14 Nov 1903; married Lewis HUSKEY c1855 in Sevier Co., TN; born 13 Sep 1833 in TN; died 12 Sep 1894 in Sevier Co, TN.  Lewis was the son of John Huskey and his second wife.  Huldah and Lewis had 2 known children. (Lewis was a Union soldier for 3 years during the Civil War, serving as a private in Co. E of the 9th Cavalry) 

        Rachel HATCHER, born c1842 in Sevier Co., TN; married John GREEN 05 Jun 1862 in Sevier County, TN; born c1834 in TN; died Aft. 1880 in Sevier Co., TN.  Rachel and John had 8 children. (Thirteen John Greens (with no middle initial) served in the Union Army from TN.   Four others had initials.    As yet I have been unable to sift ours out.)

        Nancy HATCHER, born 28 Feb 1845 in Sevier Co., TN; died 09 Sep 1898 in Blount County, TN; married Noah Richard ABBOTT 04 Oct 1860 in Sevier Co., TN; born 17 Feb 1836 in Sevier Co, TN; died 09 Mar 1921 in Blount County, TN. Noah was the son of Absalom Abraham Abbott and Annis Clementine Stillwell. Nancy was buried in Logan Chapel UME Cemetery, Blount Co, TN; Noah was buried in Tuckaleechee Chapel UM Cemetery, Blount Co, TN.  Nancy and Noah had 10 children. (Noah served in Co. E of the 9th TN Cavalry during the Civil War.)

 

(The Civil War had an immense effect on Reuben and his family.  In 1810 Polly’s father had given her “my Negro girl, Amey, now living in Giles Co., Tenn” in a deed of gift, so slaves were part of the Valley/Cove lifestyle in the early days.  However, by 1840 the Hatchers had no slaves and by the 1860’s had become strong Union advocates. ) 

 

The Hatcher Papers

 

Throughout the years Reuben and Martha seem to have led a prosperous life in Wears Valley.  “The Hatcher Papers,” a collection of receipts, documents, letters, etc, gives a fairly good view of what life was like there.  The variety of the papers suggests that the Hatchers may have had a desk or drawer into which they placed bills or papers of relative importance.  Luckily the container survived for over 100 years and held much information that was finally examined and summarized.  The contents indicate that many money matters were conducted through barter. The Hatcher papers are not just receipts, however.  The earliest paper is a 1793 discharge document from the Jefferson Regiment of Militia for Reuben’s father, Lieutenant William Hatcher, and signed by his commanding officer William Henderson.   One of the most “recent“ papers is a letter written 28 Jun 1918 during WWI by Sgt. James Hatcher while he was stationed in France.

 

Most of the papers, however, are more commonplace.  The receipts show bushels of corn, farm animals, and even feathers being exchanged for goods and services.  Reuben (as had his father) paid his taxes regularly.  He bought, sold, and traded for land.  He and Martha sent at least some of their children to subscription schools.  This schooling is evidenced by several receipts from J. J. Martin, a teacher with a sense of humor.  One of his receipts reads, “Feb. 16, 1825.  Rec. of Mary Hatcher the full amounts of her schooling, and all other dues and demands from the beginning of the world to this day by me.”  A seemingly more serious teacher, Philip R. Emert, writes on 24 Mar 1838, “Rec. of Ruben Hatcher $8.15 in Discount of William Hatchers schooling.” 

 

Some of the papers show times of sadness such as two bills that record the materials obtained at the time of Reuben’s mother’s illness and funeral.  For 5 Mar 1838 the itemized list includes items for his mother’s funeral attire and casket decoration:   4 yds Bobonet [sic] 4.71  ; 1 pair White stockings and spool of thread 1.12 ; 2 yds white ribbon and 5 yds lace 87 Total 8.96. .  (This bill also included coffee and a bottle of sweet oil—thus explaining the seeming inaccuracy in the total.)  This last bill was paid by Reuben as part of his duties as executor of his mother’s estate on 4 Aug 1839.   Polly’s possessions, which included no land but which did include slaves, two sheep, and a dictionary, were sold, and Reuben distributed the proceeds of $1322.55 to her ten heirs.  Each received $124.70 except Elijah who received $53.63 ; Richard, Isaac, and John, who each received $124.70 + $10.30 interest, and Samuel Murphy, who received $127.70.  Closing the estate took Reuben from 29 Aug 1839 to 1 Oct 1840 or later.  One reason for this was that William’s will had said that the farm would remain intact until either Polly died or the youngest child became of age.  Thus Reuben was charged with seeing that both wills were carried out.

 

The Hatcher Farm Grows

 

Even though Reuben eventually ended up with the bulk of his father’s farm, he continued to acquire more land.  The amount of land varied widely.  On 3 Jan 1824, for example, George Parsons wrote:  “I bind myself to make Reuben Hatcher a deed to 2 acres of land joining said Hatcher which I this day sold him.”   Then on 9 Mar 1829 Reuben bought another 19 acres of land from George Parsons for $107.  This land ran alongside property owned by Aaron Crowson.  On 19 Dec 1829 Reuben had 75 acres of land surveyed.  He and his brother Richard were the chain carriers.  An entry in the Entry Taker office of Sevier Co on 20 Sept. 1836 shows a land grant to Reuben from the State of TN (#23323) for “100 acres in Wears Cove adjoining his own land.” James K. Polk, Governor of TN, signed this grant 15 Nov. 1838.  There was no explanation as to how or why Reuben received this grant.  On 15 Nov 1838 he had 100 acres of land surveyed that lay adjacent to land he already owned.   This was probably the land granted to him by the state. 

 

Throughout the years the farm has remained in the Hatcher family although it has diminished in size from its original 800 acres to Reuben’s 450 acres to the 40 acres it is today.  Hatcher Farm was recently designated a “Tennessee Century Farm,” indicating that the farm has been owned by the same family for at least 100 years.  The farm has been owned by seven generations of Hatchers.

 

Reuben’s Character

 

Reuben apparently did not let anyone take advantage of him, especially when it came to land or money.  On 28 Mar 1840 he sent the following letter to James Cameron:

 

      James Cameron, Sir:

This is to notify you to remove your fence off our land or it shall be necessary to compel you to do so by the regular course of the Law.  You have trespassed on my land and also on myself which I have borne with patience and still would bare [sic] with you longer but from your conduct toward Johnson Adams of late when I sent him to take timber off of my land that you well know that the State of Tenn. has long since guaranteed unto me and for which I hold the oldest title for and by your own surveying you cannot dispute.  I wish no controversity [sic] with you.  I wish you not to trespass upon my land neither do I wish you to trespass on my feelings.  I wish to live by you as a friendly neighbor but the time has come when it appears that I must vindicate my own cause and within thirty days from the date that you receive this which will be handed you by a friend I will deprive you of the liberty of moving your fence and if the law will allow me damages I will undoubtedly make you pay the same.  Signed Reuben Hatcher

 

A few months later on 9 May 1840, Reuben called in the law to take care of some debts, which had not been paid.  John S. Trotter, Sevier County Constable, signed a statement in which he “promise[d] to collect or account for as the law directs” several debts owed to Reuben.  In this case John Collis owed $3.78 due 20 Apr 1839; Bruce McFall owed $8.76 due 20 Apr 1839; Crittenden Baker owed $5.00 with a credit of $3.50 due 20 Apr 1839.  In other words, if a person owed Reuben money and didn’t pay it when due, he could expect a visit from the Constable.

 

Public Spirit

 

The relationship between the Hatchers and Crowsons continued through the generations.  For example, not only did Richard Wesley Crowson (Aaron’s son) perform the wedding ceremony of James Hatcher and Mary McInturff in 1854, sometime later (c1860) R. W. Crowson and Reuben Hatcher decided to build a church in Wear’s Valley.  The two men agreed that Richard would provide the materials and Reuben would provide the labor.  The church was originally built for the Methodists, but the Baptist congregation in the area used it as well.  Sometimes the two denominations met together.  In 1866 the Methodists built another church that is still standing.  It is located near the site of the one originally constructed by Richard and Reuben.  Thus, even though Reuben did not let people take advantage of him, he was nevertheless a civic-minded person who performed good works in the community.

 

The Journey Ends

 

The Civil War ended in 1865, and Reuben wrote his will 13 March 1866 when he was 68 years old.  He died four years later in 1870 at age 72.   The will shows his wisdom in looking ahead to possible arguments among his heirs.  He had probably seen what could happen among heirs when he handled his mother’s and father’s estates.

 

Last Will and Testament of Reuben Hatcher

 

Know all men by these presents that I, Ruben Hatcher, of the county of Sevier and State of Tennessee being of Sound disposing [sic] mind and memory, do make and publish this my last will and testament. First, I bequeath to my beloved wife, Martha, all my property provided she out lives me and remains in widowhood. All that I own is to hers so long as she lives that is, all my property that is personal.

Second, I bequeath to my four girls all the live stock that may be on hand of my own after the decease of my self and my wife such as horses cattle cows sheep and also all the household and kitchen furniture to be divided equally between my for [sic] daughters, Polly Cotter, Huldah Huskey, Rachel Green and Nancy Abbott. It is also my will that Polly Cotter and Hulday [sic] Huskey divide whatever amount may be of the above named property after the death of me and my wife in to four parts as nearly equal as they can then Nancy take first choice and Rachel the rest and Huldah and Polly the others So that Justice may be done and all Satisfied.

Thirdly, it is my will that after the decease of my self and wife that my sons, Rubin [sic] and James shall have all my farming utensils that may be on hand such as wagons, smith tools and every thing of the sort that may be on hand after the deceased [sic] of my self and my wife and it is my will they be divided between my two sons, James and Ruben [sic].

Fourthly, I ordain and appoint my son Ruben Hatcher executor of this my last will and testament and he should not live I ordain appoint my son-in-law William (P?) [Actually E for Ellison] Cotter executor of this my last will and testament.  In testimony where of I have her [sic] unto set my hand and seal and publish and declare this to be my last will and testament this 13th day of March 1866.

Ruben Hatcher (Seal)
Attest: James Lawson

 

Martha outlived Reuben by five years.   She died in 1875 at about 75 years of age.

 

Reuben was both wise and shrewd.  He was a hard worker who saw to the success of his farm and his family.  Some of his children remained in Sevier Co. as he had done and became prominent in the area.  Others moved away to Missouri, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, and possibly Oklahoma where they established families of their own and helped settle new lands.  Reuben and Martha were self-reliant and accomplished much in their lifetimes.  They had traveled a great deal in Wear’s Valley.

 

 

Reuben Hatcher, Sr. was Mary Elizabeth Hatcher’s great grandfather.  If you are Mamaw’s great great grandchild, Reuben is your 5-great grandfather.

 

Line of Descent from Reuben Hatcher, Sr. to Mary Elizabeth Hatcher

 

Reuben Hatcher  (1798-1870) + Martha Magill (c1800-1875)

James H. (Pete) Hatcher (1839-1911) + Mary McInturff (1837-1915)

Elder Israel Alexander Hatcher (1860-1950) + Susan Sutton (1862-1903)

Mary Elizabeth Hatcher (1889-1969) + Rev. Eli McCarter (1886-1955)

 

Acknowledgement:

Many thanks to Linda Hatcher Hages who generously provided both factual and anecdotal information about Reuben Hatcher and his family

 

Sources  

 

1850 and 1860 US Census

 

“Archie Hatcher Farm.”  http://histpres.mtsu.edu/centfarms/sevier_county/#Archie_Hatcher_Farm

 

“Descendants of William Ellison Cotter”  http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Cliffs/4830/Cotter.txt

 

“Greene Co, TN Archived Queries Dec 1996 - Jan1997.”

http://www.genealogy4you.com/usa/tennessee/greene/queries/dec-jan7.txt

 

Hages, Linda Hatcher.  E-mail correspondence: 25, 26 Aug 2008;  6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 17, 26 Sep 2008;  8 Oct 2008. 

 lhages@msn.com

 

Hatcher L Archives:  http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/HATCHER/2001-03/0983631410

http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/HATCHER/1999-08/0934729139

 

Hatcher Genforum  http://genforum.com/hatcher/messages/361.html

 

Hatcher, Nel.  The Hatcher Family Resource Center.  homepages.rootsweb.com/~nhatcher/faq.htm

 

“Hatcher Papers, The”  n.p. n.p. n.d. (photocopied summary, 25 pages)

 

McCarter/Hatcher charts and traditions

 

“Reuben Hatcher Descendants’ Registry.” 

 

“Reuben Hatcher, Sr.”  http://hatcherfamilyassn.com/getperson.php?personID=I4160&tree=WmtheIm&PHPSESSID=464841837a5b5deb0d1db9150a25ee1a

 

“Sailors and Soldiers Civil War System.”  http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/soldiers.cfm

 

Smokykin.com

 

Simerly, Richard.   “Family of William Hatcher.”  Smoky Mountain Historical Society Newsletter, Vol. XVI, Summer 1990, pp. 42-47.

 

“Wear’s Valley, TN.”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wears_Valley,_Tennessee

 

‘Will of Reuben Hatcher.”  http://boards.ancestry.com.au/surnames.hatcher/1029/mb.ashx

 

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