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About Our Ancestors
by W.E. McELWEE

From: The Rockwood Times, Thursday, 11 May 1922, Vol. 42, No. 19.


The LOVE families came from Virginia. One of the families settled in the vicinity of Johnson City. Of the other family there were four girls. Polly, married George GORDON, Ann married James CRAVENS, Francis married James EVANS, Lucy married John EVANS, and Nancy married Thomas FALLS. After coming to Tennessee, George GORDON, who married Polly built and ran Bright Hope furnace in Green county before coming to Roane county. He first located on Cane Creek near the Knox county line but afterwards settled on White's creek. In 1820 he and Mathew P. ENGLISH got a permit for condemnation of lands upon which to build a furnace at the mouth of Camp creek, just above where the C.S. railroad bridge is now located, but the furnace was not erected for some two or three years afterwards. A brotherinlaw James CRAVENS, who married Ann LOVE had moved to Selma, Alabama, where he and his wife died in 1819 leaving two children, Robert, who was born in Rockingham Va., in 1805, and a daughter. GORDON and his wife had no children to raise. After the girl grew up she married Jacob O. SHELLEY who lived at Kingston. They moved to Taledega, Ala., and were the parents of Col. J.T. SHELLEY of the 5th, regt., U.S.A. in 1861-5. Jacob SHELLY was a captain in the war with Mexico and his son, James was in his company. Robert CRAVENS while living with his uncle GORDON assisted in the building the Gordon and English furnace and afterwards became an iron maker himself. GORDON's wife having died he married Rebecca PARKS, a sister of Mrs. Alex MONTGOMERY and Mrs. Ned MARTIN. After GORDON's death his widow married a Mr. PORTER of Sparta Tenn. He was a hotel keeper and a relative of Gov. PORTER of Nashville. Robert CRAVENS, having married Miss Catherine RODDY, now began business on his own responsibility and in 1841 or 2, built the "Eagle Furnace" on White's creek. Afterwards he organized a company at Chattanooga and built a furnace on the bank of the river and against the bluff just above the Market street bridge. He built a home on the point of Lookout mountain. The place is still known as the CRAVENS place. By his first wife he had five children. After her death he married a Miss CUNNINGHAM, a daughter of an old-time Methodist minister in Monroe county whose escape from an Indian massacre when a child, is recorded in Ramseys Annals of Tennessee. A brother, Rev. W.G.E. CUNNINGHAM was for many years missionary to China. CRAVENs first wife, Catherine RODDY, was a daughter of Jesse RODDY who was the ancestor of the RODDY families in Rhea and Roane counties. Her mother was Jane McHAFFEE or MaHAPHY, her father was a soldier in the command of Gen. Thomas O. SUMPTER in the war of the Revolution. He was captured by the British and Tories and was shot five times, after which his property was destroyed. The little girl Jane was sent to an aunt to be raised. After she was grown she came to East Tennessee to visit some relatives where she made the acquaintance of Jesse RODDY and married him. Jesse RODDY was a colateral ancestor of Gen. RODDY of Alabama. Mrs. RODDY was related to the MaHAPHY families of South Carolina, one of whom came to Tennessee and lived for a time at Eagle furnace. One of his sons came to Rockwood in 1868 and as a contractor, built twenty of the first houses erected for the laborers at that furnace. James EVANS, who married Ann LOVE, located on the North side of Clinch river above the junction with Emory at the place still known as the old EVANS place. Some of his descendants still reside in Roane county. One of the LOVEs, it may have been a brother, settled on the Knoxville and Nashville road about four miles above Kingston. The place is still known as the LOVE place. During the war between the states one of the daughters of this family became quite noted as a blockade runner and mail carrier across the line. She was an ardent Unionist while her brother's were supporters of the southern cause. Thomas and Nancy FALLS were the parent of the bald headed preacher that had appointments in the old log schoolhouse at Post Oak Springs heretofore described.