Fokes around here called him Uncle Hollis, I called him Papa.

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By Trent Tibbitts

Their are those who can tell you more about Joseph Hollis Tibbitts but I will do my best. I only had 15 years with him but he was hugh in my life, a living ledgon. Everyone loved and respeced him. Not for power or presteage but for his humlity and love for others. This is a colection of ardicals and stories about his life.

The following ardical is from the book “The Heritage of Paulding County, Georgia 1832-1999” , page 416, “Joseph Hollis Tibbitts and Marie Crew Tibbitts” Submitted by Hershel Tibbitts youngest son of Hollis and Marie Tibbitts.

Photos 2009 018Hollis Tibbitts, the third son of Elihu and Francies Bowman Tibbitts was born December 26, 1903, egiht miles north of Dallas, one mile west of highway 61 in the “Bob House”. Marie Crew Tibbitts was born the first child of Arthur Crew and Annie Lee Crew on December 2, 1904, two and one half miles north of of Dallas on highway 61 in the house now owned by the O.N. Black family.

Hollis attended Burbt Mill School until around age fourteen. He learned the three R’s and thinking that was sifficient, quit school and began full time work on the family farm. Marie went to Dallas school and finished there. Sence each of their fathers were Baptist deacons, Hollis and Marie met at worship service in their youth.

Hollis was a thrifty youngster and good with his hands. At age 15 he had saved enough money to buy a set of clippers and he began cutting hair on Saturday mornings for ten cents a head. At about that time he loaned his older brother Maston two dollars to buy his marriage license. Hollis was musically talented. He could blow a harp, play a fiddle, banjo, guitar and piano. He had a good singing voice also. He sang and taught shaped note music known as sacred harp.

At the age of 21 in 1924, he joined the Masonic order. In 1925, he and two friends left Georgia and went to Ohio to work, sence a person could make more money in one hour there than he could in one day in the south. They got a job in a stone quarry. While there, Hollis met a fellow Mason who invited him to a lodge meeting where he met another Mason, who hired him as a maintenance man in a foundry. He also got a second job that paid his room and board so he was able to save all his primary job’s money. After six months he came home with enough money to buy a farm and start house keeping. Being engaged to Marie before going north, he came home Christmas and they were married on the fifth Sunday in January, 1926. Hollis became a farmer; Marie became a homemaker. They had eleven children, six boys and five girls. Willim born March 12, 1927 lived only six months. Following were Frances (7/17/28), Joe (2/21/30), twins Fed and Ned (1/4/32), Emily (4/13/34), Annette (6/18/36), Lee (3/26/38), Hershel (12/21/39), Clo-Ester (4/11/42) and Kay (1/6/44). Lee was an invalid and never walked or talked. He was “just an angle” and died February 5, 1946 before his eighth birthday.

Hollies farmed and sawmilled for years. Then in 1940 during WW II, he sawmilled for five years consecutively on the Sheffield property in north Paulding County. He was ordained as a deacon of Narroway Baptist Church in the early thirty’s and in 1935 was ordained as a minister of the Gospel, and was later called as pastor of Mt. Moriah Church where he pastored for 37 years until 1972.

Hollis’s occupation changed many times from farmer to sawmiller to dairyman for ten years then to a printer. He owned and operated Tibbitts Printer Co. in East Point and Dallas for about seven years. Then he bought the Dallas Coal Yard, selling and delivering coal through out Paulding County fot a number of years. He was District Supervisor of the Coosa River Soil and Water Conservation and Flood Prevention, and served as coordinator for a number of years.

Hollis finally retired back to his beloved 360 acre farm on Raccoon Creek in Burnt Hickory community where he and Marie had originally reared their family. The farm was equally divided among the nine children and presently seven of those children, along with many grandchildren still reside on the farmstead.

Hollis helped to rebuilt Burnt Hickory School, losat to a fire, without any state funds. He helped build a new brick church at Mt. Moriah where he pastored. He was very instrumental in restorin the deer and turkey population in Paulding County. He helped his father, and several brother, sister, children and friends to buy their homes. He was a caring, loving, generous, helpful humanitarian and minister who gave much, much, more to humanity than he recived! He preached many funerals, baptized and married many in North Paulding County in his 50 years as a minister.

Marie, a loving caring humble yet bold woman, wa devoted to God, her husband and children. She was a very good cook, homemaker, and seamstress, making children’s clothing from flour and feed sacks throught the hard times. She never faltered in her will to work! Marie was always at her husband’s side and very much a lay in her own right. She was attentive to her children, cared for her church along with many, many friends and neighbors. This couple reverenced and feared God and taught their children to do so.

Currently there are  more  than 125 decendants of Hollis and Marie, most of whom reside in Paulding County.

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The following is from the same book, page 9 and was Submitted by Sonya Tibbitts Thomason, Grandduughter of Hollis and Marie Tibbitts.

“McGregor Log Home”

20140528_214602In 1978 when Fed and Jane Tibbitts built their present home, part of early Paulding County history was preserved. A Pre-Civil War hand hewn log home, built by Samuel D. McGregor in 1841, was dismantled.

The 1850 Paulding County census shows S.D. McGregor, born 1805 in South Carolina, and Sarah C. McGregor, born 1811, owning two thousand acres of land located on Raccon Creek in 1080 Dist. GM. They were  the Parents of nine children.

The rich bottomland, which was cultivated by the McGregor Family and nine slaves, produced great quantities of cotton, corn and other crops. The Pokey Hole, a favorite swimming hole on Raccoon, was named for one of the female slaves who fished along the creek. Two female slaves were burned to death in a slave cabin where they were locked inside at night. As a child, we would often visit the graves of these slaves.

When Sherman’s army came through, the McGregor family Bible was hidden between the logs behind the chimney. Fortunately, it was preserved and is nowowned by Lonnie Lee, a descendant; however, approximately one hundred bales of cotton was burned by the enemy.

In 1927, Hollis Tibbitths purchased four hundred acres of the original McGregor farm. Fed and Jane Tibbitts inherited the log house and dismantled the logs which were taked to a sawmill and split three wa to be used for beams, ceiling and wall in their new home. The outer part of the logs exposeng the broad ax marks made on the hand hewed logs, were used on the walls of the family room. Fed and Jane, and their four daughters, Susan, Sonya, Shelly and Shawn, moved in on Thanksgiving Day 1978.



The following is a letter by Hollis Tibbitts sent to his sister Elizabeth Tibbitts during his time working in Ohio where he earned his money to start his family. No corrections on spelling or gramer were made here.

Madisonville Ohio

Sept 21, 1925

Dear Sis and all   I will writ e you a few lines to ans. your letter recived last    this leaves me well hope will find you all the same

I have just go in from work and got supper on have been at work today  it rained last night and it has been muddy in the quirey but we worked just the same it has been aful hot weather last week but is a little cooler today. I worked every day last week but it has started to raining now and we may not get to work regular from now on. they are cutting off hands every few days in town  they are talking of cutting off some at the quirey the first of next month  if they do it may get me. I hope I can work till xmas if I can

I went to Mason meeting Sat. evning  sure did have a nice time   they worked four boys in the third degree   it started at two thirty in the afternoon and at six we had a big supper had all the ham stew cake coffee ice cream and sigars I wanted. sure did meet alots of friends saw some fine work put on and had a good supper to   it seemed like being at home at Dallas Lodge to see them all so friendly I got the name of the employers office of the Madisonville Lodge and if I do get out of my job here they will get me one if they can anywhere in town

that is his job to help Mason’s get a job that wanting one and so maybe I can get a job if I get cut off here till xmas and I can come home

well I guess you all are about done picking cotton by now   has it ever rained any yet down there I hope it had for I sure have studyied about it   so how is our hogs this time  I hope they are       (pretty good)   is the corn very good and did the dry weather ruin it   I hope I make enough to deed a mule next year.

I sure would like to see all the kids now   tell Mama I said I thought of her ever night when I kneeled at my bed   tell pap I sure was glad he was so good to go to meeting with all of you for that is the best thing of it all is doing right and just hope he does well and lives a happy life as long as he lives

I guess you all are making syrap every day   I hope you are all in good shape this fall where we can have a good home for Papa and Mama are getting old and I don’t want them to have to work so hard   I want to come live close to them and help take care of them as long as the live for they are all we have got in this world

tell all the folks hello for me  I sure would like to see everybody down there

say are the catching any opossums with the pups  I want them to hunt them all they can

say Has (????) ever went back to his job  they say there is plenty of work in Florida nd pays lots of money.

You ought to see me   I wiegh 155 lbs sure am gettingfat   I fell good to and am working every day

I will close for this time so write me every day you can,  I don’t have time to write much myself   ans. soon and rember me   I remain as ever

your brother     Hollis



One story told of Hollis’s trip home was that he stopped in Chatanoga Tenn. to see his aint. He took a taxie from the train station to her house and while driving he talked to much about the money he had made in Ohio. After telling the driver about his work and the money he had made and that he had it with him, he noticed the driver was not driving to his aints house. He had been there many times before and knew the way. Thinking his life was now in jeperdy, he opened the car door and rolled out when the driver took a curve a little slow. Hollis then walked the distent to his aints house.



The six months Hollis spent in Ohio really separated him from other men in the community. He earned the equivalent of four years of southern wages in the six months he spent in the north. He was able to buy a farm,  equipment and live stock. This part of the country had not recovered from the Civil War. The greatest concentration of Union and Confederate troops during the war was in Paulding county and they stayed here the longs of any campaign. The total destruction of the economy, family farms and the people took decades to rebuild. No one around here had any money in 1925. Hollis was loving, kind. and giving. He helped many, many families survive. A lot of them lived and worked on his farm. He and his brothers owned several different farms over the years around Burnt Hickory, but the farm on Raccoon Creek is the only land still in his family.



Another story of Hollis is that he and Mr. Corley owned land in the north Paulding close to the Barrtow County line on Dry Creek where they built a lake. The name of the lake was Tibco or something like that. A combination of Tibbitts and Corley. Someone did not like the idea of the lake in their community and just as the lake was about to be full of water they used dynamite to blow up the dam. The rush of water washed away crops below. Hollis and Mr. Corley paid the effected farms for the damaged crops. That was the type of men they were. The man responsible confessed to it on his death bed many years later.



One story I like to tell that I have heard most of my life is the time Hollis was plowing in what is know as the swamp or tick spring. He had plowed a field and saw a large snake crawling across the fresh dirt. He rain down the Rattle snake and jumped on it with both feet. One foot was on it’s head or just behind it. With out having a stick or some tool to kill the deadly snake, he used his pocket knife to cut it’s head off. When asked why he would do such a dangerous act, his reply was that his babys (children) would be working in the same fields and he did not want the snake to bit them.



A story I heard from my dad who was with Papa when men were coming around to collect money to build a school. Dad said that after Papa gave the men some money he turned to dad and asked him what he thought of a man who gave away his last dollar. He was referring to himself. Papa was always giving all he had to others.



Hollis preformed a lot of weding searamonies. He maried most of his grandchildren. The following is the pome he would always read during the wedding.

When Adam was created, he dwelt in Eden’s shade; as Moses has related, before a Bride was made. Ten thousand times ten thousand, of creatures swarmed around, before a Bride was formed, or any mate was found.

He had not consolation, but seemed as one alone, till, to his admiration he found he’d lost a bone. This woman was not taken from Adam’s head, we know; and she must not rule over him, it’s evidently so.

This Woman, she was taken from near to Adam’s heart, by which we are directed that they should never part. The book that’s called the Bible, be sure you don’t neglect; for in every sence of duty, it will you both direct.

The woman is commanded to do her husband’s will, in every thing that’s lawful, her duty to fulfill. Great was his exulation, to see her by his side; Great was his elevation to have a loving bride.

This woman, she was taken from under Adam’s arm; and she must be protected from injury and harm. This Woman was not taken from Adam’s feet, we see; and she must not be abused, the meaning seems to be.

The Husband is commanded to love his loving Bride: and live as does a Christian, and for his house provide. The woman is commanded her husband to obey, in ever thing that’s lawful, until her dying day.



Story of Vision passed down to me by Hershel.

Hollis said he was awaken by God in the middle of the night and shown a vision on his bedroom wall. He sat up in bed, fully awake and saw a line go horizontal across the wall and then a line line came from the floor at an angle and met the top line just before the end of the top line. He then said God told him he had completed his mission of pastoring Mt. Moriah.  He thought on it and decided to go to the Decons of the church the next day and let them know he was giving up the church.  He then went back to sleep.




The following is a Letter to the Editor, February 22, 1989 Dallas Georgia.

Dear Editor,

I am Writing in honor of brother Hollis Tibbitts, who was a great man and a great Mason.

Brother Hollis was a Baptist minister in the New Hope Association. I have seen Uncle Hollis in the Dallas Lodge when his grandson was raised. He got happy in the Lodge and preached about an hour. I have seen five generations of the Tibbitts family in Dallas Lodge at one time. They are great folks to be around.

I used to go around with my father to churches, and I can remember going to Shady Grove. They would sing out of the old books {fa-so-la}. One would raise a note over here and another there. Old brother Arthur Crew would raise a note over here and Brother Hollis would raise on over there. Those were the good old days.

Sincerely, R.H. {Bob} Grogan







Another ardical from The Heritage Of Paulding County Georgia 1832-1999.  CONSERVATION BUILDERS OF PAULDING COUNTY by Jo Ellen Corley Cartuth.

On a cold winter evening in 1943,  a group of hunters made a camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  They were there to deer hunt as they had done for many years.  They sat around the campfire to enjoy the fire and made plans for the next day’s hunt.  Snow was falling and the wind was blowing.  They were somewhat discouraged.  Only a few buck signs had been found.  No one had spotted a worthy trophy.

E.F. Corley threw an Oak log on the fire and said,  “Fellows, I did some thinking out on the ridge top today.  Every year we come here in the Blue Ridge to deer hunt. We could do the same thing a lot nearer home”. One of the hunters replied,  “We ain’t got deer at home and we can’t find none worth shooting here”. “What I’m figuring, ” Corley said,  “is stocking deer in the hills behind home. ”

The hunters discussed the problem that they could see with the people and landowners of Paulding County.  “The six of us here represent a sizable chunk of land, maybe 12,000 acres, in the corners of Poke, Bartow and Paulding Counties, ” Corley continued.

Quietly,  and without fuss,  the men around the Campfire,  E.F. Corley, Hollis Tibbitts,  Gene Colbert, Bennie Jones,  Dr. Joe Matthews and O.N. Black, began to make plans.  They would eventually develop a program that would improve the status of their country more than anything since the Civil War.

The hunting committee was organized and prepared an agreement whereby each landowner  that signed,  pledged to ban hunting of any kind on his property for five years.  He also promised to help to keep down forest fires and control predatory animals.  The Paulding County Conservation Club was founded and the members worked in conjunction with the landowners to see these efforts through.  With the help of the country agent,  E.F. Corley and Hollis Tibbitts made a map showing ownership of every track of land in the area. The territory consisted of 150,000 acres lying roughly in the triangle between Dallas,  Cedartown and Cartersville.

The committee then went to work selling their plan to neighbors and other landowners.  They also began raising money for the initial stock of deer.  The club members were now ready for their first real test – getting the State of Georgia to help.  A committee of four men visited the State Game and Fish Commission in Atlanta and laid the club’s plans before them. The committee was seeking information about legally developing a refuge and where to buy the stock of deer.

The State Game and Fish commission located a heard of twenty deer for sale on a private estate in South Carolina.  The State and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also arranged to have a truckload of big Wisconsin white tail released in the Braswell Mountains.  Two additional loads of surplus deer from Texas were released in the bottomlands of Raccoon Creek and Peggy more Creek.  One hundred seven animals were stocked on the rugged mountain land within a six year period.  The club began making plans to stock wild turkey and quail. They also wanted to fill the streams with mountain trout.  That fall, club members hauled 20,000 fingerling rainbow trout from the Summerville Hatchery and released them in the headwaters of the creeks of Paulding County.

E.F. Corley and Hollis Tibbitts talked to the county agent and the Paulding County Commissioners about setting up funds to provide forest protection.  The committee applied for an expansion of telephone services and began collection names of potential subscribers in the county.  At that time,  the telephone line ended at Dallas City limits.

Laying the groundwork for good hunting and fishing near their home in Paulding County took the men the better part of two years.  The club members were planning big things ahead.  Their community was fired up with the spirit of progress and list of achievements.

To date,  Paulding County has one of the largest deer populations in the state of Georgia.  An interesting article was published in the February 1952 issue of Outdoor Life. It tells of the award, a bronze and mahogany plaque, won by the Paulding County Conservation Club for outstanding achievements. The club was also presented with a check of one hundred dollars.  The Paulding County Conservation Club later formed a club for the sportsmanship of hunting.  This club became known as the Paulding County Sportsman Club.

From an idea started around a campfire in the Blue Ridge Mountains,  a countywide system of soil conservation,  forest protection,  rural electrification,  telephone services, along with better school and roads became a reality.  Most important to this dream of the six Paulding County sportsmen,  it was learned that through strong determination and leadership, no dream is too large. This is a tribute and should be honored by all sportsmen and outdoorsmen throughout not only Georgia,  but also the United States.

One quick story about Hollis and being a Free Mason.  One must be 21 years old to join the order He turned 21 in December and the following month joined the Dallas Lodge.  He completed his Degrees to be a Master Mason in the shortest time possible. The current Dallas Lodge building was built in 1925 and Hollis helped to cut the timber and sawed the lumber for the building.



This is an article that appeared in the Dallas New Era about the 50th anniversary of Hollis and Marie

The children of Reverend and Mrs Tibbitts honored them with an open house celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary Sunday January the 25th 1976, at the home of their son Herschel Tibbitts on the Narroway Church Road, Burnt Hickory community.

Reverend and Mrs. Tibbitts were married on January the 31st, 1926 by Reverend J.T. Craton at his home in Burnt Hickory. Mrs. Tibbitts is the former Mary Emily Marie Crew, daughter of the late Arthur and Annie Lee Crew.  Reverend Tibbitts is the son of the late Elihew and Frances Bowman Tibbitts. They both were born and grew up in the Paulding County and after their marriage they raised their family in Paulding County.

Reverend Tibbitts has been employed in various positions during his 50 years of marriage. He has been a Sawmiller, owner and operator of a cold yard for many years, operator of a printing company, farmer a minister. He was pastor of the Friendship Baptist Church in Alabama for a few years and pastor of Mount Moriah Baptist Church for 38 years, retiring in 1973. He is a Mason and has served as a Trustee of the Burnt Hickory School for many years. Reverend Tibbitts was a Deacon at the Church prior to his ordination there as a Minister in 1935. Both of the Tibbitts are members of Narroway and have been for some 50 years.

During the past 50 years Mrs. Tibbitts has been very busy in the occupation of homemaker.  As the mother of 11 children: William Paul (Billy), Francis , Joseph Daniel, Ned Oscar, Fed Arthur, Sarah Emily, Annette Victoria, Hollis Lee, Thomas Hershel, Clo-Esther,  and  Alpha Kay, nine are still living, there was very little time for outside activities. Reverend and Mrs. Tibbitts live in the family home place where they raised their children. The picturesque setting nestled in the Braswell Mountains is now the home of some of their children and grandchildren. Reverend and Mrs. Tibbitts enjoy good health and still attend their church very often. As lovers of nature they now have the time to enjoy the many beautiful women eat beauties of nature which surround their home and to enjoy their 36 grandchildren and eight grandchildren.

Some 400 guests called during the afternoon on Sunday to wish Reverend Mrs. Tibbitts a very happy anniversary. Mrs. Tibbitts greeeted her guests dressed in a lavender Street dress featuring a long sleeve jacket. A corsage of a yellow throated white orchid graced her left shoulder.

The serving table, covered with a beige, cut work and hand embroidered linen cloth, was centered with a three tier wedding cake decorated with gold rose and topped with a traditional bride and groom and gold 50. Placed around the lovely cake were four smaller sweetheart cake, decorated to match, served to the guests. One end of the table held a crystal punch bowl encircled with greenery and yellow mums. From this the guests were served gold punch. A gold candelabra holding four tall yellow burning tapers entwined with greenery and yellow roses was placed on the other end of the table. Placed about the table were crystal dishes of nuts, mints and cheese cookies. Serving the guuest were  granddaughters of Reverend and Mrs. Tibbitts wearing floor-length gowns of various colors with yellow mum corsages.

The gold colors themes was continued throughout the home with an arrangement of gold chrysanthemums centering the gift table which was covered with a gold cloth overlaid with a white crocheted cloth.

As the guests entered the home they were greeted by a little Miss Tammy Tibbitts, granddaughter, as she kept the guestbook. Tammy,  dressed in a floor length gown of red patch work design, was seated at a round table covered with a Gold cloth, holding an arrangement of yellow mums in a gold vase. Guests signed the book with a white plumed pen.

Reverend and Mrs. Tibbitts received many lovely gifts and the warmest wishes of their many friends for many more years of happiness.



This is an article that appeared in the Dallas New Era after the death of Hollis.

Reverend Joseph Hollis Tibbitts, Age 85, Dallas, Georgia, passed away on Thursday, February the 16th, 1989 In Kennestone hospital. He was born on December 26, 1903 in Paulding County, where he was a lifelong resident.

He was the son of the late Mr Maston Elihew Tibbitts and the late Mrs. Francis Bowman Tibbitts. He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Mrs. Mary Emily Marie Tibbitts, who passed away on January 16, 1983. He was also preceded in death by two sons, William Paul and Hollis Lee Tibbitts and one grandson, Daryl Smith.

Reverend Tibbitts was a devoted member of Narroway Baptist Church for many years where he served as a Deacon. He was ordained as a Baptist Minister in 1935 and move his membership to Mount Moriah Baptist Church, where he served as Pastor for 37 years. He served as pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in Eva, Alabama for 2 years and served as Moderator of the New Hope Baptist Association for many years.

He was a farmer and was in that lumber business. He was also in the dairy business for several years and was owner operator of the Tibbitts printing company of East Point for 8 years. He then bough the Wilbanks Gin-Coal company and operated by the name of Tibbitts Coal Company.

Reverend Tibbitts served as a trustee of Burnt Hickory school about 10 years and worked with Paulding County Soil Conservation Service for several years. He helped organize the Paulding County Sportsmans club and was a member of the Dallas Lodge number 182 F and AM.

Mr Tibbitts was well known and loved by many, not only in his own county the in surrounding counties. He will be missed by all those who knew him, especially for his kind and friendly disposition.

Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Margaret H. Tibbitts, to whom he had been married 2 years; five daughters, Mr. and Mrs. Larry (Francis) Michael, Mr and Mrs. Terrell (Emily) Smith, Mr and Mrs. Wiley (Annette) Rakestraw and Ms Clo-Esther Leeds, all of Dallas and Mr. and Mrs. Cecil (Kay) Lyle of Rockmart; four sons, Mr and Mrs. Joseph D. Tibbitts, Mr. and Mrs. Ned. O. Tibbitts, Mr. and Mrs. Fed A. Tibbitts and Mr. and Mrs. T. Herschel Tibbitts, all of Dallas; four sisters, Mrs. Louise Wilson and Mrs. Florence Corley, both of Dallas, Mrs. Mary Ann Hall of Rockmart and Mrs. May Hayes of Powder Spring; five brothers, Rev. Maston Tibbitts, Mr. Fate Tibbitts and Mr. Jack Tibbitts, all of Dallas, Mr. Jerome Tibbitts of Cartersville and Mr. Woodrow Tibbitts of Marietta;  29 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were conducted on Sunday, February 19, 1989 at 3 p.m.  in Narroway Baptist Church with Reverend Rual Howard, Reverend J. G. Tibbitts, Rev.Herschel Tibbitts and Rev. Eddie Davidson officiating.

Interim it was in Narroway BaptistChurch Cemetery. Grandsons Wayne Tibbitts, Wiley Cates,  Lamar Tibbitts, Steve Cates, Ricky Rackstraw, Todd Tibbitts, Keith Smith, Colin Lyle, Kenneth Smith, Keith Thomason, and Trent Tibbitts served as pallbearers.

Jeff Eberhardt Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.



The following article is from the Dallas New Era Thursday August 30th 1973 titled Catfish Farming in Paulding by Jamie Nelson Soil Conservation Service

A successful catfish farming operation is on going in the Paulding County at the present time. Mr. J. H. Tibbitts, of Narroway community, is hatching 500,000 are more channel catfish Each year on his farm on Raccoon Creek, 7 miles NW of Dallas, Georgia. He has a series of ponds that are used for growing the small fish until they are about 6 inches long. He then using some of the young fish to restock three large lakes consisting of approximately 20 acres. The other young fish are sold to people wanting to stock their ponds with channel catfish. One 10 acre lake is used as a family recreation area where as many as 60 members of the Tibbitts kinfolk gather at a time to enjoy fishing and fish fries.

20140520_211201This catfish farm started with the help of the Coosa River Soil and Water Conservation and the local Soil Conservation Service technicians. Mr Tibbitts, through his engineering ability, devised means of operating all his mechanical operations by water power. The water is brought in to operate machines by gravity flow. He has been told by experts from Auburn University that he is operating at 100% efficiency. Mr Tibbitts is a former District Supervisor of the Coosa River Soil and Water Conservation District. He is now a District Operator with the Coosa River Soil and Water Conservation District. He is the owner of approximately 300 acre farm and is also operator of his farm. A Soil and Water Conservation plan was prepared for his farm jointly by him and the local SCS technicians. His conservation plan for his farm is about 100 percent applied at the present time.

Mr. Tibbitts  other farming operation consists of approximately 200 acres of well-managed Woodlands, and eighty to ninety acres of will manage pastors on which he is carrying about 40 head of beef cattle. He also is beginning to feed out hogs on his farm. This year he fed out about 200 head. This farm is a good example of a Soil and Water Conservation plan being applied to the land.

I believe dad was doing most of the catfish farming and Fed and Ned was farming the hogs. The hog pen was to the right of where Shawn’s house is now. I need to find out who had the cows. May have been dad. I have one memory of cows between dad’s and Fed. The cows could have been the ones in the pasture at Hilda’s house. I believe those belonged to Mr. Willson. There were three horses in the pastures by papa’s house. I believe those were Gerald Hosa’s. One was named Pepper. We had a pony named Love.


The following article is from the Dallas new Era. Thursday July 12, 1979. Entitled Catfish Are King At Tibbitts Lake. By Oby Brown staff writer.

What began as a simple hobby for the Reverend Hollis Tibbitts and his son Hershel back in 1973 has now evolved into a small business with a rustic twist.

The Tibbitts set out to harvest to have a farm pond and which to raise their own fish, and after building a hatchery to aid in restocking, again breeding catfish for their lake.

20140520_211206The venture, however, turn out to be amazingly successful and so the operation naturally expanded to include the needs of other lakes.

Herschel explain the situation as such “we saw that we could raise catfish and that the public had a need for them,” he said.

So, from mid may through July during the spring and summer and again in the fall the Tibbitts are busy overseeing the breeding process that is entirely in enclosed within the backwoods area at Hershel’s Narroway road residents.

The hatchery itself is an ingenius contrivance design and build my Herschel in Wylie Rackstraw.

Herschel said that he had seen a motorized version of the same type, but couldn’t incorporated for his intentions because of the lack of available electricity.

Therefore, the mil-like apparatus is run by hydrodynamics which, by turning a water wheel, also aerates the young fry’s pool by means of the paddles attached to the wheel.

The hatchery, however, is only ones step within the entire breeding process. Boxes located in the lake collect eggs deposited by the females, which in turn are gathered and sterilize before being placed in the hatchery.

White albino catfish dot the lakeside hatchery. They are, though, not uncommon within the channel catfish world according to Hershel.

Use of the hatchery alters the natural breeding process of the catfish, Herschel said. In the wild, the male must literally guard the young from the female who, it stronger, will devour them.

Hatching in the man-made world takes from 6 to 10 days depending on the temperature of the water. The young catfish are sold when they are fingerlings, weighing up to a quarter pound.

The entire breeding course is not a random undertaking. Boxes are “run” once a week, with transfers made at precise intervals.

Care is taken not to overstock the lake for fear of oxygen depletion.

When the catfish are ready to be placed in their final home, the small portion of the lake which has been fenced off to hold the growing fish is drained add the fish seined.

The Tibbitts supply “individual family ponds” mostly in north Georgia with occasional purchase coming from Alabama.

“There’s no telling how many pond we stocked,” said the elder Tibbitts.

Some of the larger purchase in recent times have been 5,000 to a north Georgia resident and 15,000 fingerlings to a Poke County citizen.

Fed with a high protein mixture of grain, soy bean and meal, catfish flourish in the natural surroundings.

Catches up to eight and a half pounds have been recorded at the Tibbitts lake, which is also stocked with bream and bass.


The catfish farming operation lasted 20 years, from 1973 to 1993. I was born in 1974 and spent most of my childhood working in the catfish farming operation. When I was old enough, I was responsible for harvesting the eggs out of the boxes each Saturday morning, from mid-May through to the end of June. During the height of the catfish farm, we would harvest from three different Lakes; Tibbitts lake, Ned Tibbitts Lake infront of his house, and Jim Grant Lake on Star Wars path. We would then transfer the eggs to the hatchery. By this time, two hatcheries are now in full operation, one was owned and operated by Ned Tibbitts. There was a total of 4 ponds that fingerlings were raised in. Two floating dock was built to hold and work floating baskets, one in Tibbitts lake and one in Ned’s lake. The baskets were made from 4 inch PVC pipe glued together in a rectangle, 3 feet wide and 6 feet long. They had plastic mesh cage suspended below. Once the fingerings were seined from the small ponds, they were transferred to the baskets and sorted by size. Baskets would be hosted with a block and tackle. When a order was placed, The fish would be netted and place in a bucket, then counted out. If it was a order of several hundred or more, we would weight 100 and then sell them buy the pound.. People would come and pick up the fish with trash cans or barrels. We would deliver fish in a tank that was designed for this purpose, made out of fiberglass. Two aerators would run in two separate tanks from a wire that hooked to the truck battery. I spent a lot of time feeding, catching,  raising and selling Catfish. Once I moved out when I was 20 the Catfish farming slowed down and went away.  I was the last of the labor force.  Keith was good to help with draining and catching the fingerings. Lamar would help Ned and we would all help each other. Todd and Keith were dad’s workers before I was big enough to help.  There was always something to do. Each day after school I would feed the fish using my four wheeler.  As I would drive over the bridge the water would churn from the fish who could hear the four wheeler and know that it was feeding time. I would then feed the fish in the baskets and the the small ponds.


The next article is “The Builders” by Charles Elliott. It appeared in the February 1952 Edition of Outdoor Life magazine.

The hunters made camp in a mountain glade and sheltered it from the weather with a emerald backdrop of massed hemlock and Rhododendron. They could hear the wind screaming through the leafless winter branches of the trees high on the ridge. Scattered flakes of snow whirled through the clearing and died in the heat of the campfire.

They were a discourage group of men. For two days they hunted the hillside and crouched near game trails through tense, frozen visual. They had flushed doe deer and found Bucks signs, but no one hand sighted a worthy trophy.

E.F. Corley threw a green oak log on the blaze. When the Cascade of spark subsided he kicked a stray firebrand into the flames and sat down again.

“Fellas”, he said, “I did some thinking out on that ridgetop today. Every year we come up here in the Blue Ridge for deer hunting. We could do the same thing a lot near home.”

“We could sure do as well,” one of the hundred snorted. “We ain’t got deer at home and we can’t find none here worth shooting.”

“What I’m figuring”, Corey said, “is stocking deer in the hills behind home. Our country in Georgia isn’t much different from this, only smaller and not so high.”

“You ain’t got a chance of starting deer in there”, the hunter said. “Town people and farmers too would shoot’em before they could be put out of a truck.”

“The six of us here,” Corley persistent, “represent a sizable chunk of land – maybe 12,000 acres. That’s a start. And there’s twenty times that much wild land in the corner of Polk, Bartow, Paulding counties. That’s enough to grow a fittin’ deer herd.”

“Even if everybody agreed, which they won’t, where you gonna get the deer?” Another hunter asked. “How’ll you protect’em? What authority-”

“I don’t know all the answer”, Corley admitted, “but I reckon findin’em out might be worth a try.”

The men around a campfire were sons of the soul. Most of them made their leaving from the Earth from cotton, milk, bottom lane corn, and livestock. Corley himself was a farmer, saw mill, trucker, contractor, and, to take up his unused hours on Sunday, an ordained Baptist minister. Two were dairymen who sold their milk in bulk to the nearest processing plant. For a week each year the men went hunting deer together.

That night the men laid out there new idea just as they might plan next season farming operation. They realize that there wasn’t a chance in starting a game refuge until all their neighbors and acquaintances favorite one. Half a dozen hunters could blast deer out of the woods faster than they could be put in. In many ways Paulding was then a typical backwoods County. The courts regarded cases brought in by the local game warden as annoying and frequently pigeonholed such complaints. Any man who wanted a fish dinner simply seined for it, and everyone knew that squirrels were fatter  and quail easier to kill weeks before this season open.

Quietly and without fuss, preacher Corley, Hollis Tibbitts, Gene Colbert, Bennie Jones, Joe Mathis, O. N. Black – the men around the campfire – begin to sell a program which has improved the status of their county more than anything since the Civil War ended. From an idea that started as a game project, it has blossomed into a county wide system of soil conservation, forest protection, rural electrification, and better schools and roads.

It didn’t come easy. Testimony to that may be found in the rough, forest clad hills that rise to 1,700 feet on both sides of state highway 61, North out of Dallas. For almost 80 years since the Yankees storms  around Kennesaw Mountain and turned southward to the Battle of Atlanta, the farms scattered widely through this rugged terrain remained about the same.

20140528_214006With the help of the county agent, Corley, Tibbitts, and Corlbert made up a map showing ownership of every tract of land in the area. The territory consisted of  150,000 acres lying roughly in the triangle between Dallas, Cedartown, in Cartersville. Then they went to work selling their plan to neighbors.

A hunting committee was organized, and it prepared an argument whereby each land owner who signed pledged himself to bar hunting of any kind on his property for 5 years. He also promised to help keep down forest fires and to help control predatory animals either by his own efforts or through the Paulding County Conservation Club, in which he automatically became a non-dues-paying member.

The committee made several trips to surrounding towns, to the State Capitol at Atlanta, and even crossed the line into Alabama to get signatures. Non-resident owners sign without hesitation, for it ment protection of property some of them had hadn’t seen in years but a few farmers close to home couldn’t see any sense in “turning good laying back to the varmints.”

“What’ll I do for a mess of squirrels in Hickory Nut cutting time if I agree not to go busting no cap for five years?” When asked.

“If one man shoots,” Corley argued, “everybody’ll want to, and some aren’t as honest as you. It’s only a couple of miles from your place across the highway into the Hickory Nut bottoms on the other side. You can get your squirrels the there.”

Nevertheless ,this farmer didn’t put his +name to the document into the members of his parish corners him in the the church Grove for four straight Sundays in a row and kidded him into it.

Two or three signatures made their marks willingly but with glints in their eyes as they visualize the prospect of a private hunting area at their back door. Canvassers made mental note of this. A local businessman who owns a small forest track on the edge of the preserve read the agreement carefully and send it with a big smile. “First time I ever put my name to something that I didn’t cost me money,” he said.

The businessman was only partly correct. Getting folks to sign the pack, which took more than a year of Education, and checking, and pressure was only the first step in the long range program. The second step call for raising money for the initial stocking program. The hunting partners made a list of how much each member could afford to donate, and then issued invitations to that infallible southern crowd-collecting affair, a barbecue with Brunswick stew and m(meat cooked over Hickory coals.

At that first “formal” meeting of the Paulding County Conservation club, Corey outline the whole plan. It wasn’t new by then. For more than a year it has been discussed and cursed around those at Crossroads, Country stores, in church groves, and across plowstocks. But Corley went over it again, and ended by donating $200 to be used for the stocking program. When each man present had made his pledge, the treasure added up the subscription. The total came to $1,400, some $400 more than the committee anticipated.

” We hadn’t figured on spending but $1,000 for dear”, the preacher said. “We got too much money for that”.

.”Them creeks are mighty cold,  maybe they’ll take trout, ” Another suggested.

We’ll need something for fire protection, ” a farmer cautuoned.  “We can put out the fires ourselves if we can find out when they start and where they are.

The committee gathered the newly hatched proposal under its wing and went back to work.  The telephone line stopped at Dallas City limits,  so the committee applied for an expansion of phone service and then signed up potential subscribers.  Committee members spent hours away from home during the hot summer months,  taking the temperature of the streams to determine whether the water was cold enough to support mountain trout.  They talked with the county agent and the county commissioner about setting up funds to provide for forest protection. The agent was willing.  The commissioner had only one brief comment: “Costs too much”.

At one time or another, uncontrolled fires had burned every acre of woods thereaout. Why waste money and manpower to stop them now? Trees grew in spite of annual burns. It would be an extravagant use of taxpayer’s money. That was that. But it didn’t stop the committee. The group inquired into the cost of pumps, axes, shovels, hoes, and other fire-fighting equipment which could be keep handy at strategic points.

Laying the groundwork for good fishing and hunting near home took the better part of two years. Now the club members were ready for the first real test – getting the state to help . A committee of four called on the State Game and Fish Commission in Atlanta and laid the club’s plans before it.

“We got the money and the land,” Corley explained. “All we want is information on how to legally set up a refuge, and where we can buy a stock of deer”.

“How do you propose to protect it?” the commission director asked.

“We got that figured out,” a committee member put in. “If you’ll deputize five or six of our members as game wardens they’ll do the job with help from your local officer.”

The project was approved at the next game-commission meeting. Though a little skeptical that this was on the up and up, or could succeed in a county where game protection had long been a joke, the commission located a herd of twenty deer for sale on a private estate in South Carolina.

The price was $1,500. Corley got them for $1,000. In February, 1944, deer went bounding into the hills of northwest Paulding County for the first time in more than half a century.

Before fall that same year 100 wild-turkey eggs were purchased from an Eastern game breeder, hatched at the state quail farm with unsatisfactory results, and reared to stocking size with still unsatisfactory results at a farm on the edge of the project. Against the recommendation of the game technicians, the club purchased fifty half-domesticated turkey hens and gobblers and turned them out with the wild poults.

That fall club members also hauled 20,000 fingerling rainbow trout from the Summerville hatchery and released them in the headwaters of the creeks rising on the project. The club applied to the State Department of Forestry for a county-wide fire-protection system, and was promised assistance if the county commissioner would agree to co-operate financially. From then on the commissioner couldn’t walk down the street without being pestered by his constituents for the forest-fire unit and for better roads to make the project more accessible to those engaged in protecting its trees and game. He never did give in but his successor was won over.

Thus the refuge, so carefully nurtured thought its think and theory stages, at last became a reality. Corley and his associates had thought that when thy reached this point most of the work would be  behind them. Instead their headaches and heartbreaks had just begun.

One buck in their first truckload of deer suddenly turned into a man hunter. Raised in captivity and unafraid of humans, he developed a propensity, as big bucks sometimes do, for stalking men and nudging them in the seat of the pants with his antlers.

He hooked a railroad worker who was walking down the side of a steep embankment, and then attacked an old man who was hoeing his garden. A clamor went up for his head. Who ever heard of wild animals being allowed to run loose and hurt people/ So the first hunt of the project was organized, but not for game. Men with specially loaded shotgun shells peppered the offending buck with peas and rock salt and drove him back into the woods.

Then the poacher problem came up. The violators were not town people or nonresidents, but several natives who lived within the boundaries of the preserve and who had signed the agreement.

The worst offender, from all reports, had just added deer slaying to his other crimes. He made bootleg whisky and to help hide the smoke from his still, set forest fires. He also stole automobiles, stripped them, and sold all non-traceable parts.

The committee decided that this character was beyond reform, and that the only way to get rid of him was to buy him out. With the sheriff and state patrol on his trail, he was persuaded to sell his place and move away.

The other known poachers had no bad habits other than stealing game occasionally. As an experiment, the club hired some of these men and assigned them to keep down game-law violations and control predators.

Typical of these good-natured hill men was on who raised only enough crops to feed his hogs, chickens, mule, and family. This didn’t take too many weeks out of his year. He spent the rest of his time ranging the slopes and ridges with his single-barreled shotgun. He took a heavy toll of wild creatures within a ten-mile radius of his home. Corley and Tibbitts went to see him in September. They found him barefoot on the steps of his weathered house.

“We’re looking for deer sign,” Corley said.  “Seen any of he bucks we turned loose over in the valley?”

“Some,” he admitted. “One’s been in the pea patch, an’ I seen several hoof tracks where they crossed the ridge.” He led the two farmers over a narrow mountain trail to show them the tracks in the next gap.

“Aren’t you afraid you’ll get bitten by a rattler, going around like that with no shoes on?” Tibbitts asked.

“Been doing it fifty year, I reckon,” the hill man said, “an’ ain’t never been bit but twicet.”

He agreed to take the job as deputy warden and protect his side of the refuge from hunters. The club bought him some steel traps and set him up in the fur and varmint business. He took his job seriously from the beginning. He visited neighbors with whom he had hunted in the past years and explained his new status. They agreed to keep their guns and dogs off the preserve.

Other trappers scattered around the preserve warred on the wildcats, skunks, opossums, and foxes which had played hob with the attempt to restock turkeys.

Meantime the state game officials, realizing that the club’s venture might succed, let a helping hand. Charles Pierle, co-ordinator of Pittman- Robertson projects sponsored jointly by the state and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, arranged to have a truckload of big Wisconsin white-tails released in the mountains. Two additional loads of surplus deer from Texas were turned loose in the bottomlands of Raccoon and Peggymore Creeks, where the larger northern deer were not ranging.

This herd immediately started to feed on a hay bottom belonging to the brothers Harvey and Bob Crews. When they casually mentioned this fact to Hollis Tibbitts, he brought it up at a meeting and was instructed to use club funds to pay for any damage done. The Crews boys allowed that they’d rather have the deer than the hay, but the club paid them anyway for an estimated two tons of feed.

As for the 20,000 rainbow trout, most disappeared. No on knew why. It may have been a change in water, or maybe the fish traveled downstream to look for larger pools, only to be trapped the next summer by the warm, muddy rain water that flowed off the fields. After a second stocking also failed, Corley and his associates thought up another idea.

Bennie Jones furnished the land and ten club members pledged the money to build a fifty-acre lake at the head of a tributary flowing into Peggymore Creek. Wartime lack of labor and materials put a halt to the plan, but Bennie later built the lake himself.

Corley Lake

Corley started the construction of a 100-acre lake on a creek immediately below. This set off a chain reaction that within two years saw a dozen manmade lakes thereabouts. Corley’s lake, built out of concrete and earth, was completed and stocked last fall-with largemouth bass, smallmouths, and bluegills – and will be ready for fishing in another year.

But the club’s main interest centered around the deer. A total of 107 animals were stocked on the rugged mountain and in a six-year period. The herd was seriously threatened a couple of years ago when hunters slipped in from neighboring towns and for a month took pot shots at any animals they saw from the roadside between Remus and Beatty Switch. Deputy game wardens found two dozen cripples that had gone into the woods to die. The club increased the number of men assigned to guard the area, and went to see the judge. Word got around that the court was prepared to jail anyone caught with a loaded rifle on the refuge. The malicious practice soon stopped.

The club plans to hold its first buck hunt next fall, when perhaps a dozen bucks-mostly those that have been hanging around the farms and nipping at the crops – will be harvested. The area will be open to the pubic, with shooting by permit only, and it’s hoped that the meat will be divvied up so that all hunters can have a taste of venison. Meantime, club members estimate that their original stock of 107 deer has increased to perhaps 600 animals, spreading from east of Cartersville clear across the Alabama line.

The club has big plans for the future. More landowners have requested admission. Now that the predatory animals and stray dogs are at an all-time low, the gobbler committee is again looking around for a stock of wild turkeys.

And in the meanwhile the quail – which haven’t been shot since the preserve was set up – are doing fine. Men have jumped coveys all over the place, and there should be some swell hunting when the lid goes off.

The spirit has spread into other community affairs. When the district schoolhouse burned down, the club members got local suppliers to sell them construction materials at cost, then pitched in and erected a new building with their own hands. It cost around $ 15,000 and is valued at $75,000.

Paulding County now has complete forest-fire protection – trucks, jeeps, radios, and fire-fighting equipment. The unit co-operates  with  neighboring setups when fires break out anywhere in that part of the state.

“You can hardly strike a match to light your pipe but a fire truck skids to a stop behind you and a patrolman jumps out with a hose in his hand,” Corley says.

The roads around the area and one that runs through it have been improved and made part of the county highway system. The area got R.EA. electric power in 1948 to improve living conditions on the farms, and the telephone company expects to service the whole north end of the county within the next few months.

Corley and his associates are planning big thins ahead. Their community is fired with the spirit of progress, and its list of achievements grows month by month. But most important to the sportsmen who sat around the campfire on that cold winter night in the mountains, big-game hunting has now been brought to their very back doors.

The conservation idea is so firmly implanted in the minds of their neighbors that it will be a long time before those parts will again be as barren of game and fish as they were only seven short years ago.


One noteworthy fact to pass along is that Hollis never harvested any of the deer he helped to bring in to the county. When asked why he had not shot one of them, he said he had been to busy protecting them.

The combined Sheffield and Paulding Forest WMA that is now what was once the wildlife preserve created by Mr. Corley, Mr. Jones, Papa and others is the largest in the state. Deer and Turkey are abundant in their hills. The state stocks Trout each year in the head waters of Raccoon Creek.

Tibbitts Lake was build at this same time. Along with Benson, Black and Gold Mine among others.

List of Children of Rev. Joseph Hollis Tibbitts and Mary Emily “Marie” Crew Tibbitts:

  1. William Paul Tibbitts. Born 3-12-1927. Died 9-27-1927.
  2. Fances Tibbitts. Born 7-17-1928.
  3. Joseph Daniel Tibbitts. Born 2-21-1930.
  4. Fed Arthur Tibbitts. Born 1-4-1932.
  5. Ned Oscar Tibbitts. Born 1-4-1932.
  6. Sara Emily Tibbitts. Born 4-13-1934.
  7. Annette Victoria Tibbitts. Born 6-18-1936.
  8. Little Lee Tibbitts. Born 3-26-1938. Died 2-5-1946
  9. Rev. Thomas Hershel Tibbitts. Born 12-21-1939.
  10. Co-Ester Tibbitts. Born 4-11-1942. Died
  11. Alpha Kay Tibbitts. Born 1-6-1944.

Lineage of Joseph Hollis Tibbitts:

  • Father. Maston Eilhew Tibbitts. Born 3-13-1880. Died 1-25-1967.
  • Mother. Francis Victoria Bowman Tibbitts. Born 3-19-1880. Died 3-5-1966.
  • Grandfather. Maston Green Tibbitts (CSA). Born 10-13-1845. Died 2-13-1924.
  • Grandmother. Mary Ann Starnes Tibbitts. Born 12-8-1849. Died 3-18-1922.
  • Grandfather. William Franklin Bowman. Born 2-15-1859. Died 11-6-1936.
  • Grandmother. Sarah Elizabeth Twilley Bowman. Born 9-7-1859. Died 11-8-1897.
  • Grate Grandfather. Joseph Chitman Tibbitts (CSA). Born 10-12-1812. Died 8-26-1892.
  • Grate Grandmother. Matilda Fowler Tibbitts. Born 2-4-1815. Died 10-19-1885.
  • Grate Grandfather. Thomas P. Starnes. Borne 3-14-1822. Died 2-27-1895.
  • Grate Grandmother. Susannah Roberts Starnes. Born. 11-4-1819. Died 9-7-1899.
  • Grate Grandfather. Edwin Bowman.
  • Grate Grandmother. Mary Wheeler Bowman.
  • Grate Grandfather. Rev. William R. Twilley. Born 1825. Died 1911.
  • Grate Grandmother. Priscilla Terry Twilley. Born 1826. Died 1871.
  • G. G. Grandfather Thomas Tibbitts. Born ?. Died 1843.
  • G.G. Grandmother Rachel Tibbitts. Born ? Died. 1867.
  • G.G. Grandfather Daniel Starnes. Born 1800. Died 1876.
  • G.G. Grandmother Mary Miller Starnes. Born 1799. Died 1847.
  • G.G. Grandfather Rev. James Roberts. First Pastor of Pumpkinvine Baptist Church, 1844.
  • G.G. Grandmother Mrs. James Roberts.
  • G.G. Grandfather James Twilley. Born 1801. Died 1867.
  • G.G. Grandmother Mary Townsend Twilley. Born 1801. Died ?
  • G.G.G. Grandfather Levi Starnes. S.C. Military. Born 11-5-1742
  • G.G.G. Grandmother Elizabeth Starnes.
  • G.G.G. Grandfather William Twilley. Born 7-1-1781. Died 1818.
  • G.G.G. Grandmother Mary Twilley. Born 1770. Died 1850.
  • G.G.G.G. Grandfather Peter Starnes. Born 4-2 1710. Died 1791. Revolutionary War, S.C. Military. Charter Member of Sandy Creek Baptist Church
  • G.G.G.G. Grandmother Hannah Stimson Starnes. Born 3-22-1715. Died 1760 of Cholera.
  • G.G.G.G. Grandfather George Twilley. Born 1743. Died 1801. Revolutionary War, Salisbury Battalion, Somerset Co. Md.
  • G.G.G.G. Grandmother Ann Bradley Twilley. Born 5-27-1745. Died 1-7-1812.
  • G.G.G.G.G. Rev. Shubaeol Stearns III. First Pastor of Sandy Creek Baptist Church.
  • G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Rebecca Laveford Stearns
  • G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Dr. James Stimson II
  • G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Mrs. James Stimson II
  • G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Shubael Stearns. Born 9-20-1655. Died 1734.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Mary Upton Stearns. Born 1665.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Charles Stearns. Born (1623-1628) Hertford England. Died 1695 Essex Massachusetts
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Rebecca Gibson Stearns Born 1635. Died 6-1698.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather John Upton. Born 1625. Died 6-11-1699.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Eleanor Stuart Upton. Born 1630. Died 1700.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Shubael Stearns. Born 1598 Hapshier England. Died 1631 Massachusetts.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Mrs. Shubael Stearns. Born 1600. Hapshier England.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather John Gibson. Born 1601. Died 1694.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Rebecca Thompson Gibson.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather William Upton. Born 1588. Died 6-1648.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Amye Loves Upton. Born 1592. Died 8-9-1649.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather William Stearns. Born 1545 Cambridge England. Died 1645 Suffork England.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Emma Ramsford Stearns. Born 1568. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather George Gibson. Born 1570. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Mrs. George Gibson. Born 1574. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather George Upton. Born 1562. Died 12-27-1611.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Philipa Wrey Upton. Born 1558. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Richard Loves. Born 1551. Died 5-20-1607.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Richard Loves. Born 1553. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Henry Stearns. Born 1520. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Alece Starns. Born 1523. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Robert Ramsford.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Mrs. Robert Ramsford.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather William Upton. Born 1526. Died 1570.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Mary Kirham Upton. Born 1531. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather John Wrey. Born 1531. Died 1577.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Blanche Killigrew Wrey. Born 1533. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Leonard Loves. Born 1533. Died 1576.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Jane Thorne Loves. Born 1535. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather John Upton. Born 1500.Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Elizabeth Burleigh Upton. Born 1503. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Thomas Kirham. Born 1504. Died 1-31-1551.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Margaret Ferrers Kirham. Born 1501. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Walter Wrey. Born 1500. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Bridget Shilstone Wrey. Born 1504. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Humphre Loves. Born 1500. Died ?
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Jan Hatch Loves. Born 1503. Died 1560.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather John Kirham. Born 1472. Died 6-11-1529.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Lucy Tremagyle Kirham. Born 1475.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Richard Ferrers. Born 1485.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Jan Malehearba Ferrers. Born 1485.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Robert Wrey. Born 1470.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Constance Shilston Wrey. Born 1473.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Robert Shilston. Born 1475.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Mrs. Robert Shilston. Born 1478.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather William Hatch. Born 1475.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Margaret Horton Hatch. Born 1478.
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Nicholas Kirkham
  • G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Jane or Jone or Johana Waye or Wrey Kirkham.


Lineage of Mary Emily “Marie” Crew Tibbitts

    • Arthur Harvey Young Crew. Born 11-25-1878. Died 7-24-1951.
    • Annie “Anis” Fairfield Lee. Born 10-9-1885. Died 7-5-1962.
    • Grandfather William Edward “Bill” Crew. Born 6-6-1852. Died 5-22-1914.
    • Grandmother Emily E. Durham. Born 3-28-1851. Died 6-15-1916.
    • Grandfather J. Wyatt Lee (CSA). Born 2-17-1840. Died 11-25-1866
    • Grandmother Mary Ann Johnson. Born 4-6-1846. Died 1-20-1916.
    • G. Grandfather William Harvey Crew. Born 9-24-1830. Died 2-13-1903.
    • G. Grandmother Sarah Caroline Walker. Born 3-13-1830. Died 1-6-1881.
    • G. Grandfather Young Marcus Alexander Hanlaway Durham. Born 1823. Died 11-2-1900
    • G. Grandmother Moriah Elsberry Durham.
    • G. Grandfather John Hartwell Lee. Born 4-8-1810. Died 10-13-1868.
    • G. Grandmother Sarah Elizabeth Anderson. Born 1-5-1848. Died 9-11-1882.
    • G. Grandfather Elrod Johnson.
    • G. Grandmother Mrs. Elrod Johnson.
    • G.G. Grandfather Carter Crew.
    • G.G. Grandmother Rhoda Hardin Crew.
    • G.G. Grandfather Lidsey W. Elsberry.
    • G.G. Grandmother Elizabeth Caldwell Elsberry.
    • G.G. Grandfather Wyatt Lee. Born 5-2-1760. Died 7-10-1870.
    • G.G. Grandmother Dolly Grant.
    • G.G.G. Grandfather Benjamin Elsberry.
    • G.G.G. Grandmother Mrs. Benjamin Elsberry.
    • G.G.G. Grandfather Curtis Caldwell.
    • G.G.G. Grandmother Sarah Caldwell.
    • G.G.G. Grandfather Burhell Lee. Born 8-30-1733. Died ?
    • G.G.G. Grandmother Mary Ann Lee.
    • G.G.G.G. Grandfather Thomas Lee
    • G.G.G.G. Grandmother Sarah Wyatt Lee
    • G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Hugh Lee Jr. Born 1670. Died 1739.
    • G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Anne Tatum
    • G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Hugh Lee. Born 1652. Died 1722
    • G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Ann Lee.
    • G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Samuel Tatum. Born 1631. Died 1750.
    • G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Marry Tatum.
    • G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Hugh Lee. Born ? Died 1661.
    • G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Hannah Hewett
    • G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandfather Nathaniel Tatum. Came to U.S. in 1619
    • G.G.G.G.G.G.G. Grandmother Mrs. Nathaniel Tatum.
    • Hugh Lee was the immigrant from England. His Lineage can be traced back to pre 1000 A.D.


Some Starns History.

By Virginia Weeks WarbingtonPeter Stearns was born to Shubael Stearns, III and his wife, Rebecca Laveford on April 2, 1710 in Redding, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. The family later moved to Tolland, Tolland County, Connecticut where Peter married his first cousin, Hannah Stimson, who was born, March 22, 1715/16 in Tolland to Dr. James Stimson, II and his wife, Hannah Stearns. (1)
The Vital Records of Tolland, Connecticut give us this record: Peter and Hannah were married January 12, 1736, with the ceremony performed by Rev. Stephen Steel. Their first five children’s births are also recorded in Tolland: Charles, October 25, 1737; Ebenezer, February 16, 1741; Levi, November 5, 1742; Joel, October 23, 1744; and, Rhoda, April 7, 1749. Their sixth child and second daughter, Thamar, has an estimated birth date of 1750, but is not found in the Tolland birth records. Her name is derived from Peter’s will. (2)Peter and Hannah Stearns and their family were in Virginia in 1754, as members of the missionary group led by his brother, Rev. Shubael Stearns. Previously, they had loaded their possessions into ox-drawn carts or wagons in August of that year and left Tolland accompanied by their parents, some of their brothers and sisters and all their families. They had made their way through New York to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, proceeding in a southerly direction, then turned westward near Baltimore, Maryland and headed up the Potomac Valley. Upon reaching northern Virginia, they were joined by their sister and brother-in-law, Martha and Daniel Marshall and their children, and the Joseph Breed family. After surveying the country for a spot to settle, they chose a location along the sparsely settled Cacapon Creek in Hampshire County, about thirty miles west of the present town of Winchester, Virginia. The men and boys hurriedly set about building homes to settle their families within before the winter weather set in. But they were not as well received as anticipated and the growing unrest among the Indian tribes in their vicinity began to create a great deal of apprehension. (3)
Shubael was already looking around for a place to relocate, when a letter arrived on June 13, 1755 from friends who had gone to North Carolina, informing him of the need for spiritual leadership within that colony. Soon after, the Stearns party began their journey down the Shenandoah Valley. Crossing the Blue Ridge Mountains by way of a gap somewhere within the lower valley, in either Rockbridge or Roanoke counties, they traveled on into the central region of North Carolina. Arriving at a spot where three forest trails met, within the forks of the Cape Fear River, they decided they had found the place best suited for their church. There, in Orange County (later Guilford, now Randolph), where Deep River and Haw River meet, at a place called Sandy Creek, they built new homes and a meeting house.
They could not have chosen a better site than this, for they were situated in the very crossroads of the Settlers Road, which led from Pennsylvania to South Carolina; the Boone Trail (as it was later named), leading from Wilmington to the Yadkin settlements; and the Trading Path, leading from southeastern Virginia to the Waxhaw Country which was located on the boundary line of North and South Carolina. In the coming years, they would see thousands of settlers using these trails as they migrated to the new frontiers. (4)
On November 22, 1755, they formed themselves into a church of sixteen charter members: the Sandy Creek Baptist Church. Shubael Stearns and the eleven persons following him from Connecticut to Virginia, along with Daniel and Martha Marshall and Joseph and Priscilla Breed, who had joined their party in Virginia. Understandably, the group chose Shubael Stearns to be their pastor, with Daniel Marshall and Joseph Breed as his assistants. (5)
Peter and Hannah Stearns were among the sixteen charter members, where Peter’s name appeared as #115.49 on the Orange County tax list for that year. (6)
During the months following the 1758 organization of the Sandy Creek Baptist Association, one of its ministers, Rev. Phillip Mulkey, and twelve members of his Deep River congregation moved into South Carolina, where they relocated to Little River of Broad River in Camden District, in that area which later became Fairfield County. They formed themselves into a church in August of 1759, and Peter, Hannah, and their children joined them during the latter part of that year.
South Carolina waged a war against the Cherokee Indian Nation during what is known as the Cherokee War of 1759-1760. Peter took his family to Tobler’s Fort in the New Windsor Township to escape the marauding Indians. It had been established by John Tobler and his group of Swiss/Palatine immigrants on the east bank of the Savannah River directly opposite of Augusta, GA (now in present day Aiken County, South Carolina where North Augusta and Beech Island are located). Tobler’s thriving plantation, which was enclosed inside a sturdy palisade fort, included an ironworks, a clock making business, and a printing shop from which he published The South Carolina Almanack. He was also engaged in Indian trade. It was here that Peter’s wife, Hannah, died in 1760 of cholera during the crowded conditions created by so many families seeking refuge from the Indians. (7)
When Rev. Mulkey and some of his congregation moved to Union County, South Carolina (to the present location of Fairforest) in 1762, Peter’s sister and brother-in-law, Rebekah and Jonathan Paulk, remained in Orange County, North Carolina. Jonathan wrote a letter from Orange County on February 13, 1764 to a brother back east, in which he mentioned that Peter and his family had been in the “South Province” for 4 years, and that he had visited him and his son, Ebenezer Starns, the previous fall. He described them as in a “prosperous country.” He said that Peter had raised “at least four hundred bushels of corn” and Ebenezer “had near as much.” (8)
Five years later their son, Micajah Paulk, obtained one hundred acres on “Waters fair Forrest” on November 3, 1767. (9) This indicates he followed to the Camden District at some point, with or without his parents. Peter and his children did not follow Rev. Mulkey to Union County, and were noted as being “located only forty or fifty miles to the northeast.” Peter’s surname has begun to be frequently spelled Starns. (10)
Gibson’s Meeting House, measuring twenty-four by twenty feet, was located “two and a quarter miles below Kincaid’s Bridge on the west side of Little River just above the mouth of Neckley’s Creek.” It was built in 1768 on land given by Jacob Gibson. There is no doubt that Peter helped with its construction, for he was one of twelve members who were constituted a church there on February 26, 1770. The following year Jacob Gibson was ordained its minister and he continued to preach there at least through 1790. (11)
Peter married a second wife, Margaret Parr, widow of Arthur Parr, Sr., of Orange County, North Carolina, who had been killed in 1764 by an Indian he was escorting to jail. The last record of her first husband was in 1765 at the Orange County May Inferior Court where an “account of debts paid by William Wiley Adm. of Arthur Parr Deceased” was filed. (12)
Arthur Parr, Jr., the eldest of Peter Stearns’ five step-children, was a 74 year-old Revolutionary War veteran, when he deposed on September 26, 1832 in Washington County, Indiana Circuit Court: “According to my best information I was born on the 5th day of July 1758 in that part of the state of North Carolina that was then or shortly afterwards Guilford county where I continued until I was somewhere about ten or twelve years old when I went with my mother into the State of South Carolina I continued until the first day of march 1776 then in the district of Fairfield I was drafted and entered the servise of the revolution war under Captain Thomas Woodard …….” (13)
This tells us it was between 1766 and 1768 when Arthur, Jr. arrived in South Carolina, and he was between the ages of sixteen and eighteen when he was drafted. While the exact date of his mother’s marriage to Peter Stearns is still undetermined, this does fit closely with the statement: “between 1768 and ‘69 Peter settled his family on lands between and bordering on both Mill and Morris Creeks for which he received a land grant in 1771.” (14)
Peter had the first 232 acres of Craven County land surveyed on July 2, 1771. On July 22, 1771 he had an additional 368 acres surveyed. Here is a transcription of the original document:
“SCarolina Peter Starns 232 Acres
“A Memorial exhibited by PETER STARNS to be registered in the Auditor’s office Agreeable to order of Council & to a Condition of the Grant hereafter mentioned of a plantation or tract of Land Containing 232 Acres Situate in Craven County Morrises Creek bounded to the North West by Land of Robert Stark to the NEley by Land of Isaac Porcher & Samuel Procher & to the SEley Land of Samuel Elliott Esqr SWley by Land of Isaac Porcher & David McGraw Survey Certified the 12th of Jul 1771 Another plantation or tract of Land Containing 368 Acres Situate in Craven County on Mill Creek bounded NW by Land of John Ard Eley Land of John Marpole to the NEley John Libertys Land & NEward by part of Land laid out to Thomas Woodward & Isaac Libertys & the other two sides by vacant land Survey Certified the 12th of July 1771 and both Granted the 22nd day of August 1771 to the Memorialist at 2 Mr of 3/Str or 4/ pro mney per 100 Acres to commence two years from the date In Witness Whereof he hath hereunto Set his hand the 24th of Sep 1771 Richd Winn DS
James X Owens
Mark “
A study of the survey plat of the two hundred thirty-two acre Morris Creek tract, which somewhat resembles a boot, reveals something of interest. Within what could be called the instep and toe, is an enclosed section of 150 acres labeled Edward McGraw, Jr. One may assume Peter gave this portion of his lands as a gift to his daughter and son-in-law, Rhoda and Edward McGraw, Jr.

Craven County became the Camden District by 1778, and by 1785 it had been formed into Fairfield, Laurens and several other counties. Thus, Peter’s home came to be termed the Camden District of Fairfield County, South Carolina. (15)

South Carolina jury lists for 1778 and 1779 indicate Peter’s home was in an area “between Broad and Catawba Rivers.” Oddly, Peter’s name does not appear while his nearest neighbor, Edward McGraw [Jr.], does. In the same area is the deputy surveyor Richard Winn and Anderson Thomas, both of whom became Patriot Captains during the Revolutionary War. (16)

As hostilities between the colonies and England escalated, Peter may have initially followed his brother Rev. Stearns’ admonitions and remained neutral. John Adams once observed: “one-third of the population of the colonies were in favor of independence, one-third were opposed and the remainder didn’t care one way or the other.” (17) However, word of the abuse visited upon the Baptist settlement back at Sandy Creek, North Carolina following the Battle of Alamance on May 16, 1771 by Gov. Tryon’s troops doubtless served to convince Peter that neutrality was not in his best interest.

Although that particular battle was about squelching opposition to the graft occurring among the governor’s appointed office-holders, in a few years it led to the realization among many other of South Carolina back country’s farmers that the King’s rule was no longer desirable. Countless skirmishes between Patriots and their British Loyalists neighbors occurred frequently as they waged bloody and ruthless civil war upon one another. Neither age nor gender exempted anyone from defending home, family, and possessions.

File #AA7320 in the South Carolina Archives and History, in Columbia, South Carolina contains the Revolutionary War Service Record for “Peter Starns.” It shows he “served 706 days of militia duty in the Camden District from March 3, 1779 to October 4, 1781, certified by Captain Anderson Thomas.” Peter signed a statement on June 14, 1784 before the Justice of Peace for Camden District, South Carolina, David Hopkins, certifying the duty charge was correct and that “he has not received any pay for the same.” A few days later, on September 17, he signed a request at “Broad River to “deliver to Col. David Hopkins such payment or indents as may appear to be due me” and it was witnessed by “Amos Davis, J.P.” (18)

Because Peter Starns, Sr. was between the ages of sixty-nine and seventy-one during this time of service, the Daughters of the American Revolution, have refused to recognize the service, preferring instead to imply it was done by a younger man of the same name. They have discounted all evidence presented to prove he was the only adult man by that name living in Camden District before, during, and after the war.
Peter was in Camden District, Fairfield County, South Carolina during the 1790 U. S. Census, as head of a family of four: himself, wife Margaret, and young sons, Joshua, aged “16 & upwards,” and Peter, aged “under 16”. Clearly, Joshua was born no later than 1774, while Peter was born after 1774. When their father served in the militia, Peter, Jr. was only between five and seven years of age. (19)
Peter Starns wrote his will on December 28, 1789. Of the six hundred acres surveyed for him in 1771, only one hundred sixteen remained in his possession, which he wanted equally divided between his younger sons Joshua and Peter, with “Joshua to have the part where I now live.” He named his “six eldest children four sons and two daughters”: Charles Starns, Ebenezer Starns, Levi Starns, Joel Starns, Rhoda McGraw and Thamar Free. He also named Margaret’s children by her first husband: Arthur Parr, John Parr, Mary Arwin, Esther McGraw, and Margaret McGraw. Peter’s executor and executrix were John Parr, and Margaret Starns, and witnesses were David McGraw, Jr., Owen Edwards and Elisha Hunter. Fairfield County, South Carolina Will Book 1, pg 125, is where the will was proved on September 13, 1791, and recorded on September 20, 1791 by D. Evans, C.C.
At the time of his death Peter owned nine head of cattle, four head of horses, twenty-two head of hogs, loose oats and fodder, plow gear, hoes, axes and plow, a grindstone, a side and mill, a beehive, a pitchfork and wooden ware, a loom and weaving gear, pewter and earthen ware, two kettles and camp stove, three saddles, two wheels reel and cards, three books and two slates, a chest and a case, carpenters tools, cotton, two beds and furniture, and a w__ing box and shears. The estate was appraised by John Robertson and David McGraw for fifty-three pounds, thirteen shillings, two pence. (20)
In the 1800 Fairfield County, South Carolina Census, the “over 45” year-old widow, Margaret Starnes, has in her household two young men who were born between 1774 and 1784. We know from the 1790 census that neither of Margaret’s youngest sons was born as late as 1784. Instead, their birth dates have to fall very close to the years 1774 and 1775. But, the elder son, Joshua Starnes, has his own household in Fairfield County that year. Margaret’s older sons, Arthur and John Parr, also have their own households. The only conclusion to be drawn is the older of the young men is Peter Starnes, Jr., while the younger is either a relative or a hired hand. Note that Starnes is now the spelling used for their surname. (21)
Peter’s widow, Margaret, received a letter of dismission from the Little River Baptist Church on “Saturday, the 11th 1809 (Feb. or Mar.).” Prior to that, she was listed as a church member on “May the 10th 1794.” An on-line search with Google Maps, shows the present day address for the church & cemetery is “343 Little River Church Road, Jenkinsville, SC.” The church and graveyard are in Fairfield County, 3.8 miles North of Jenkinsville on SC Secondary Highway 213. Now we have the approximate geographical locale of Peter’s six hundred acre Morris Creek-Mill Creek homestead, as we may presume they did not have far to travel to attend their church. (22)

There are many other stories of Papa and I welcome them. I will add more as I receive them. If you know any of his songs or speeches I would like those. I do have some tapes of him. I also would like copies of each of his child’s poem he had them to learn.