The book contains a brief history of Murray County, Ga., and the Tennga, Cisco, Cohutta Springs (Colvards) and the Gregory communities, but the true history is interwoven through research, stories and pictures submitted by people who lived and remember the events of the past century. Without their contributions and published research, the book could not have been written.
Results of research on some families who settled in and around these communities in the early 1800s was gathered. These settlers were among the ancestors of descendants who later settled in the northwest section of Murray County during and after the removal of the American Indians. This section bordered on the North by the Tennessee line and on the West by Sugar Creek in Whitfield County, Ga.
The book is dedicated to these ancestors, grandparents and parents who through courage and determination persevered and refused to be defeated by wars, epidemics, the Great Depression and a devastating tornado that demolished their community in 1932. They faced unimaginable hardships and overcame what seemed to be unbeatable odds. All the wile they displayed courage, strength and determination to achieve the great nation we know and are privileged to live in today. Much of what we are was shaped by them.
Also, the intent is to give the reader a glimpse of the days and times of our lives in the pat century and a world now gone. Our generation went from outhouses to outer space and a man on the moon; from horse and buggy to jet planes; telephones, computers and conveniences that our ancestors could never have envisioned. The book contains more that 460 pictures, including copies of old tax receipts, invoices, deeds, landmarks and other items of interest.
Included in the book are the families of William, John and Abraham McKissack, as well as the Harve Triplett famiy, pioneer settlers of Polk County. Their stories are rich in Civil War history and life in Polk County. The families relocated to Little Murray in 1912 when the Parksville Dam resulted in many farms being covered by Parksville Like.
The old McKissack cemetery is located on a knoll, surround by Parksville Lake, accessible only by boat at this time. It was to this cemetery that six union sympathizers were buried after they we killed by guerrilla or deserters in what became known as the Madden branch Massacre. Winston Cloud’s father, Andrew Johnson Cloud, hauled the bodies across Ocoee River and the local people buried them in the McKissack Cemetery. As an at of kindness, Abraham McKissack allowed the burial even though his brother John had seven sons an sons-in-law fighting for the South
The John Wellington Bryan family came across the mountains form North Carolina to Polk County around 1815-19. Their oldest daughter, Sarah Elimira, (1797-1887) married Dennis Haskins (1795-1881). Dennis served as a corporal in the 43rd Infantry of North Carolina during the War of 1812, for which he received a land grant of 160 acres on the Ocoee River in Polk County. The land would become their lifelong homeplace but is now covered by Parksville Lake. For serving in the Cherokee Removal, Dennis received another land grant of 40 acre in 1841. The Bryant family would remain in Polk County until the mid 1850, when may of the descendants moved to Murray County, Ga.
According to the “The History of Polk County” and family records, they gave the land on which the Friendship Baptist Church was constructed. Established in 1826, it is the oldest established church in Polk County.
Reuben “Rube” Weber, grandson of Andrew Weber, one of the 17 original families in the Old Dutch Settlement, moved his family from Polk County to Murray County around 1912-15. His story includes history of the Old Dutch Settlement, as well as pictures and stories of his descendants.
Of special interest to the author was the discovery the great-great-great-grandfather of her husband, Ralph Bandy, was Barnabas Cochran (1758-1864), a Revolutionary War solder. He s buried in McMinn County in the Cochran family cemetery near Englewood, Tenn. His original tombstone is in place as well as a plaque placed by the Ocoee Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, Cleveland. Ralph’s great-great-grandfather Harvey Cochran, served in the Civil War. In September of 1864, his company was captured and became prisoners of war. In April of 1865, he was on board a steam ship on the Mississippi River and lost is life when he ship exploded Many of his descendants remained in Murray County.
John Hill was one of the first white men to settle in north Murray County. Since he had acquired land on the Conasauga River, south of the Tennessee line from a Cherokee Chief, the state of Georgia did not recognize this transaction. Hill had to repurchase the property. The land was passed on to Thomas C. Hill. When Thomas died, the executor of his will sold the property to Andy Arnold Randolph on Oct. 11, 1910. Andy and Emma Elizabeth Goode Randolph moved their family for the Felker community in Bradley County to Murray County and raised their family there. Emma was reared on the Goode farm near present Valley View School. This property was later known as the Carr Farm, owned by Frank and Mary Randolph and their descendants. Andy and Emma Randolph were the grandparents of the author, Elizabeth “Betty” Bandy.
The “Little Murray” County, Ga., annual reunion will be Oct. 1 at the Little Conasauga Baptist Church. The doors will open at noon with a covered-dish lunch to begin at 1 p.m. Special music will be provided by Helton Headrick and the Cisco Trio. For more information, call Hattie Ball at 423-339-0928.
“Little Murray Memories” is in the second printing, courtesy of Friends of the Library, Chatsworth (Ga.) Library. All proceeds go to the library. In Chatsworth, the book is available at the library, Pat’s Antiques and the First National Bank. Locally, copies may be obtained from the Polk County Newspaper office, Benton, Tenn., or from the author, Betty Bandy at 472-1364. Bandy will be at Tennga (Ga.) Baptist Church for a book signing on Oct. 1 during Tennga Day.”