Mary Overall, Confederate Spy in Rutherford County

Susan Harber, ‘Smyrna Tennessee History (Facebook)’ October 16, 2016 Mary Jackson Overall (1844-1929) was a Rebel spy on a high level in Middle Tennessee.  As a sleuth for the Confederate Army, she had close ties to Rutherford County scouts throughout the war; and she maintained a strong presence in Smyrna.…

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The Hastings Family of Rutherford County

Submitted by William Hastings, Cantonment, Florida, TN, September 13, 2016 My grandparents, William Clinton Hastings and Lillian Elizabeth Norris were married in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on May 3, 1908.  Will, as he was called had a sister Maggie who was seven years older than he and he had a twin brother,…

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Harber’s History: Pickard achieved great heights in film

Susan Harber, The Daily News Journal, August 13, 2016 Lights!  Camera!  Action!  Today’s story centers on glamour, sophistication and the lure of Hollywood.  Lascassas was home to one of the greatest character actors to grace the big screen.  This performer was cast by his original name, John Pickard, and attained…

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Smyrna native Jess Neely was legendary Hall of Fame coach

Susan Harber, Daily News Journal, Sunday, July 31, 2016 Jess Claiborne Neely, a Smyrna sports legend, was born January 4, 1898, to William and Mary Gooch Neely.  Jess was the grandson of John Gooch, a farmer and breeder of thoroughbred horses at Goochland. John was well-known and highly respected as…

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Couple in 80s finds it’s never too late for love

Nancy De Gennaro, Daily News Journal, June 19, 2016 MURFREESBORO — To hear John Oldham and Frances Victory talk about their first meeting is almost like listening to teenagers. With his arm wrapped around her tightly, he grinned from ear to ear as she spoke. She giggled as they shared…

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Smith made his mark on primitive Rutherford County

Susan Harber, Daily News Journal, June 19, 2016 Bennett Smith is not a proverbial name to historians, yet this pioneering settler shaped our Rutherford County of today.  Smith was a man of strengths and weaknesses and was definitely rough-hewn and unpolished as a wealthy and influential leader.  Maj. Smith was…

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Quilts covered a lot of ground in county’s history

Susan Harber, The Daily News Journal, May 8, 2016 I have always been fascinated by quilting as an artistic expression in Rutherford County. Both my grandmother Emily Johns and great-grandmother Helen Johns of Smyrna hand-quilted all of their lives. The historical value of these treasures is highly valued as a…

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