A Record of the Descendants of James Nowlin Who Came to Pittsylvania County, Virginia, from Ireland about 1700; of Bryan Ward Nowlin, Grandson of James Nowlin, Who Was Born in Pittsylvania County. Virginia, about 1740; of Micheal Nowlin; and of the Earlier Nowlins (Nowlans) of Ireland;

And also a Record of the Descendants of George Stone; and of James Hoskin Stone, Who Was Born in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, in 1778;

And also a record of the Descendants of Edmund Fitzgerald.




Professor of the Dead Languages and Mathematics.



Copyright 1916









Pages 202 - 207


For more than fifty years the Nowlin and Crook families have been associated intimately together, not through inter-marriage but friendly relations and neighborly kindness that have not succomed to the testing through the weight of trials for years. So much so is this kindred sympathy and respect that this record would seem incomplete without a mention of them also, for to each of them it

"Was most blessed days, pioneer days,
Some sixty years ago
When by the firelight's ruddy haze
Our cheeks were all aglow."

In mid-winter in 1851 Armistead Shelton Nowlin came from Virginia to White Co., Tenn., now a portion of Cumberland County, its having been taken from White. He decided to remain for a while at least and bought a large acreage of land with the Roadside Inn, known as the Crook Tavern, from Honorable John Crook who was a grand citizen and one of nature's noble men; a father and patriot. He was Justice of Peace for fifty years and his decision was law to the people. He was a peace maker between all feuds, often going down into his pocket to settle them satisfactorily. He was a man who could be relied upon in any emergency, making smooth the rough places and seeing things as they were; one whose noble influence was felt in the masses among the people with whom he was associated.

We find Hon. John Crook later in life about 1865 located four miles west of Sparta, White Co., Tenn., with an adjoining farm to Col. Armistead S. Nowlin, who had preceded him about four years, and where remains the old homesteads of each in a state of preservation where each of these tried friends passed off the stage of life. His posterity are many and all do credit to his name in following his footsteps in honesty, patriotism, liberality and deep religious devotion.

He married Sarah Brown of White Co., Tenn., whose moral influence helped to make him the man he was and bring their children up as intelligent men and women of truly high sense of moral worth.

To Hon. John and Sarah Brown Crook were given Children:

I       Jane Crook; married first Alvin Truett; second, Jona Forschee of Meags Co., Tenn. She is dead.

II     Mary Crook; married Summerfield Broyles, Cumberland Co., Tenn. Now resides in White Co., Tenn.

III    Elizabeth Crook; married Andrew Kimmer She is dead.

IV    Calvin B. Crook; married Sarah Kimmer second, Mrs. Lou Brewster Earl.

V     Margaret Crook; married James White, Rhea Co., Tenn. She is dead.

VI    Isabelle Crook; married Lawson Simms, White Co., Tenn.; resides in Sparta, Tenn.

VII  David Crockett Crook; married Sallie Tarver of Alabama. He is dead.

VIII Nannie Crook; married Louis Cass. She is dead.

IX    Sallie Crook; married Thomas Mitchell. She is dead.

X     Emma Crook; married a Howard of Arkansas. She is dead.

"O, ye friends of my youth and of life's later age,
Thy names are inscribed on time's fitful page;
Still enshrined in my soul with all that is dear
Are the names of my friends in characters clear."

Of this goodly number only three survive, Mary, Isabelle, and Calvin B., to tell anew the many experiences of their long and useful lives, having passed through the struggles that comes to all who have reared and educated a family of children. To this trio many eventful and stirring scenes have come, trials almost unsurmountable that place them at the foot of the cross to intercede for direction. Ofttimes beset with thorns their childhood of pioneer days, the eventful years of Civil War have each usurped their rights in their lives. In this family spirituality reigns supreme. Their noblest aim is to seek out Him who bore the cross for all, and this characteristics has been transmitted to their descendants. Not every family can boast of a birth which by right of lineage inherits those spiritual tendencies.

Esq. Crook as he was styled was a leading citizen and honored for his manliness and nobility of spirit. Indeed, he was a descendant of some pure Welsh stock noted for their liberality and kindness. He had been located on Cumberland Mountain for years and although the people were scattered at a distance yet they knew him. He had looked after grazing cattle and this hotel for years, which had been remunerative to him and a great convenience to the traveling public. It was situated some twenty miles east of Sparta on the Nashville and Knoxville turnpike road. It was indeed pioneer days and but sparsely settled. It was twenty miles to a post office, twenty to a doctor and twenty to a town.

After the house changed landlords it was given the name Virginia House and was conducted by Mrs. Mary E. A. L. Nowlin, second wife of Armistead Shelton Nowlin. It being extremely cold weather both families, the Nowlins and Crooks, occupied the house for the winter. Out so far from habitation in the quiet mountain where not a sound save the cricket, the frog in the distant glade to be heard, where rude nature swayed with the sighing or moaning of the pine tree, the majestic oak or hickory-nut sweeping through sylvan vale bending to kiss her mantle of snow with unseen hands. Ah! sweet, dreamy, dear, enchanting scenes return to bless poetic childhood which has listed oft and long to its syrian influence when nothing but a deer or perhaps a bird was seen with now and then some traveler on route to Knoxville, stopping only for refreshments. It was here in this home the writer spent some of his blissful boyhood days with the Crook family.

"O, blessed memories now rife,
They bring back joys of childhood life,
So far from worldly care and strife --
The dearest, sweetest part of life."

It was here that David Crockett Crook, the second son of the family, and the writer were boys united in thought and action and spun the web for a grand and glorious future. When the Civil War broke out they both went into service. He was captain of his company and at the close of the War was colonial of his regiment. He was almost mortally wounded while his companion (James Edmund Nowlin) came through without a scar. He came out a preacher, the latter a teacher. He was more than a bosom friend. When he had been shot through with a minnie ball he called to his side this friend saying " James, if I die tell my father and mother I fell as a soldier in line of duty, but I do not think I will die now although I am severely wounded. I have promised God if he will spare my life I shall spend the remaining strength to His praise and glory trying to induce others to forsake the error of their way and I believe my prayer has been heard and I shall be a preacher of righteousness some day. "

Crockett, as he was termed, was born in White Co., Tenn., in 1837; was converted at Pleasant Hill Camp meeting in the autumn of 1853. He entered Burrett College, studied four years preparatory to the study of law, leaving school in 1860 Sometime after with the experience of the War, he turned his attention to the ministry; was licensed a preacher in 1866. He, thinking a warmer climate more conducive to his health, was transferred to the Alabama Conference in 1870 where he remained and married a Miss Sallie Tarver. She died leaving three children. He married the second time. He only lived a short time afterward; was happily married each time. He left his last wife with the three promising children of the first, who are grown and accomplished to mourn his loss, in addition to many of the brethren and sisters, kindred and friends, who were loyal to his great name.

He was a man of unquestioned courage; as a soldier had no fear; as a Christian minister equally as fearless; pure and spotless before God. His thoughts were high and lofty and he was a faultless advocate, useful and impressive; was held in high esteem by all who knew him. His ministry was one of power, often rising to the height of sublime eloquence. As friends, relatives, and companions, we all feel to cherish the memory of this great divine and with the milk of human kindness we exclaim,

"Peace to thy ashes,
Rest to thy soul."
"O. Sacred Shrine! where love light gleams
The source from whence all blessings flow,
'Tis heaven's court above.
World wearied ones seek bliss. supreme,
Ah! deem it not a fleeting dream
'Tis tangable, 'Tis real."

Nowlin, James Edmund, 1838-1914.
The Nowlin-Stone genealogy; a record of the descendants of James Nowlin, who came to Pittsylvania County, Virginia, from Ireland about 1700; of Bryan Ward Nowlin, grandson of James Nowlin, who was born in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, about 1740; of Micheal Nowlin; and of the earlier Nowlins (Nowlans) of Ireland; and also a record of the descendants of George Stone; and of James Hoskin Stone, who was born in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, in 1778; and also a record of the descendants of Edmund Fitzgerald. By James Edmund Nowlin, ed. by Mary Nowlin. Salt Lake City, [c1916]
548 p. plates, ports., coats of arms (part col.) 24 cm.
LCCN: 17-12852
Tennessee State Library & Archives Call No. CS71.N94 1916

Last updated August 07, 1999
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