Speakers were Bradley County historian and compatriot Bob George; compatriot Eddie Cartwright; and President Tommy McLain.
The “founding of Bradley County” was George’s topic.
Bradley County was founded 175 years ago on Feb. 10, 1836. Before the Cherokees inhabited the region, pre-historic Indians roamed the land. While they had no written language, the prehistoric Indians built mounds in Bradley County.
George said there is evidence of Woodland Indian Village at the new airport site in Dry Valley.
The explorer Desoto came through the area in 1540 and may have camped near Candies Creek, according to George.
He said there are four major American Indian sites on the Hiwassee River. The Hiwassee Island mounds near the Tennessee River were a large complex of ceremonial mounds.
George said the Cherokee Indians came from the Mohican tribe of New York. The Cherokee claimed part of 13 states as their hunting grounds.
With the defeat of the Yuchi Indians in 1714, the Cherokee took total control over the local region.
Return Jonathan Meigs was an Indian agent at Charleston during the Cherokee period. Chief John Ross, who was one-eighth Cherokee, was the first non-full blood Cherokee chief.
George said the 1820s were the peak of the Cherokee nation in the East. Sequoyah developed the Cherokee alphabet with the nation becoming very literate, a Cherokee language newspaper was started and a new capital at Echota was built.
Even though the Cherokee saved the life of Andrew Jackson at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in Alabama, Jackson wanted the Cherokee out of the area. Davy Crockett sided with the Cherokee Jackson was responsible for Crockett losing the next election and sent Crockett to Texas.
The Ocoee Purchase was made in 1835. From it, Bradley County was created, with the county also containing what is now Polk County.
Early names considered for Bradley County were Foster and Rutledge, but the namesake is Col. Edwin Bradley. Sites considered for the county seat were Taylor’s Place and Foot-in-the Water. Taylor’s Place was chosen and renamed Cleveland in honor of Col. Benjamin Cleveland.
Cartwright in his presentation spoke on the family tradition of “Ringing in the Plowshare.”
He explained a family member has carried on the tradition each since it began on Nov. 11, 1918, the day World War I ended in Europe. Cartwright’s grandmother, a Campbell, heard the war had ended through word of mouth from the local rural mail carrier.
Since she had a son serving in the war, she was excited to hear the war had ended. Her husband was in the field working at the time. The family used an old plowshare to gather the family by hitting it to cause a very loud ringing that could be heard for probably a mile or more. The sound of the plowshare brought her husband form the field to hear the good news.
Cartwright said a relative of his served in the Revolutionary War with the title “Keeper of the Horses.” Cartwright’s great-grandfather was Andrew Jackson MacMiller, and he settled with Cartwright’s grandmother, a Campbell, on a farm along the Tennessee River near Paint Rock in Roane County.
McLain talked about his genealogy. He said several McLain men fought at the Battle of King’s Mountain, S.C.
The McLain line can be traced to Scotland. One of his ancestors served as a sheriff in North Carolina.
McLain said one of his relatives, Samuel Humberd, resided in Virginia during the Revolutionary War. Humberd (1739-1804) supplied provisions to the troops.
New member Steve A. Harbison was inducted during the meeting. Past President Phillip Newman and McLain handled the induction. Harbison thanked members for being friendly and commended Jim May for his help.
During the announcements, McLain said three chapter members -- Stan Evans, Claude Hardison and McLain -- were in Louisville for t the Leadership Conference.
David Hicks announced that in conjunction with the Tennessee Society of Sons of the American Revolution meeting April 14 through 16, Patriots Park would be dedicated at the William Lytle Cemetery in Murfreesboro.
Brian Webb, chairman for the Statue Fundraising committee, noted more work is needed to raise funds for the col. Benjamin Cleveland statue.
At the beginning of the meeting, William Spencer led the chapter in prayer. The pledge to the American Flag was led by McLain; the pledge to the Tennessee Flag was led by Lynn Freeman, registrar; and pledge to SAR was led by Hicks.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the recessional was led by Van Deacon and the closing prayer by Joe Brock, secretary.