THE HISTORY OF KITTRELL, by Mary Hall, 1984
Kittrell is located seven miles east of Murfreesboro on Highway 70 S, which was the original Stage Coach Road from Knoxville to Nashville.
It was named for Major Marion B. Kittrell, who was born in Wilson County, July 17, 1820. He married Ellen Johnston on January 27, 1853. She was born in Wilson County, June 24, 1829, and died in the Kittrell Community, October 10, 1890.
Their daughter, Lura, married Judge W. C. Houston of Woodbury. Their children were Frank Kittrell, W. C. Jr., and
Simpson Fugitt who died in Murfreesboro, October 2, 1967.
Major Kittrell served in the Civil War as a Major in General Joseph E. Johnston’s Brigade. After the Civil War, Major Kittrell left Wilson County and moved to Woodbury in Cannon County.
In 1874 he sold his property in Cannon County and purchased a tract of land on Cripple Creek in the 19th Civil District of Rutherford County. The deed was signed July 18, 1874. He lived on this farm until he died December 31, 1893. He was buried in the family graveyard near his home.
The Federal Government established a Post Office in the Community in 1884. They named it “Kittrell” in honor of one of its most respected citizens, Major Marion B. Kittrell. The Post Office was discontinued when Rural Free Delivery was established.
(Sources: Interview with Mrs. S. F. Houston; Records from the Houston Family Bible; Sims: History of Rutherford County; Brown: History of Woodbury and Cannon County; U. S. General Services Administration; Letter from Mr. Victor Keene.)
Major Kittrell did not come to this community until 1874, however there were many settlers before that time. One of the largest streams in Rutherford County is Cripple Creek. Legend tells us that a man, probably an Indian, was badly crippled from falling into the stream, and he called it “Cripple Creek.” It meanders around the hills and through the valleys of this area. The rich land near its banks enticed men to settle wherever they found a spring.
Records show John Beasley bought land in the area in 1803. Jonathan Hall paid taxes in Franklin County, Virginia in
1805, and in 1807 he bought land in Rutherford County. He had 640 acres on Cripple Creek.
Elihu Jones came from Virginia about the same time as Jonathan Hall, and was one of his nearest neighbors.
Andrew Carnahan bought land in the community in 1810.
Thomas Blair came from Virginia in 1812. He later sold his land to Henry Bowling and moved to Arkansas.
Henry Bowling continued to enlarge his holdings by buying his neighbors land. A friend said, “Henry, how much land are you going to buy?” Mr. Bowling answered, “I just want what jines me.”
Jesse Brashear, another large land owner recorded a purchase in 1814.
Alfred Conley carved the date, 1832, on the jam of his fireplace when his house was built. It is still there, and it is known today as the Uncle Dave Macon house.
David Barton Hall came to this community in 1806, with his father, Jonathan Hall. In 1818 he purchased land at the foot of Pilot Knob, the highest hill in the area, and built a log house near a large spring. He sold his home in the 1840 ‘s to his oldest son, Franklin, and with his four younger sons, Ferdinand, Fleming, Preston, and David, Jr. moved to West Tennessee. Their settlement was called “Halls”, and is in Lauderdale County.
Other people known to have been in the District at an early date are verified by the Census Reports of 1810-1850 and by an 1878 map of Rutherford County. A partial list follows:
Samuel Fulks came from Maryland and settled behind Pilot Knob.
Joseph McCrackin came from North Carolina and settled on the west side of Pilot Knob.
Robert E. Richardson, was a wagon maker and came from Virginia.
C.O. Abernathy, David Batey, G. W. Benson, J. S. Bowling, Lee Freeman, Franklin D. Hall, John A. Herrod, Keele Herrod, John Hoover, Charles Hunt who owned the south side of Pilot Knob.
Andrew and Samuel Jimmerson, Thompson McCrackin, who helped survey the stage coach road, David and Issac Parker, William H. Smith, Joseph Thompson, William W. Wilson.
David Columbus Witherspoon was a surveyor and went to Alaska when gold was discovered there. He joined the U.S. Geological Survey and helped survey the entire region. One of the highest peaks in a long mountain range was named “Mt. Witherspoon” in his honor.
(Sources: Family records. Bibles, deed books in Registrars office. Census Reports 1810-1850)
CHURCHES (of Kittrell)
Haynes Chapel Methodist Church:
In the summer of 1884, the noted Methodist Evangelist, Sam P. Jones of Cartersville , Georgia, conducted a revival in Murfreesboro. There was a large number of converts. Among them was a group of people living seven and eight miles east of Murfreesboro on the Woodbury Pike.
A movement was started then to build a church in the community. J.C. Haynes bought an acre of land from W.M. Freeman and gave it for the church. In 1887 the Haynes Chapel Church was built. The trustees were: J.C. Haynes, John Coleman, R.N. Justice, W.M. Rogers, James Weeks, John A. Collier, J.B. Palmer, and W.T. Overall.
The people in the community gave their time, labor, money and logs. The church was dedicated in August, 1887. Rev. W.M. Rogers preached the dedication sermon. A large crowd was in attendance. There was “dinner on the ground,” an afternoon and evening service, and many more were added to the church that day.
The original church was built of donated logs and lumber. The roof was handmade of wooden shingles. The windows had wooden blinds. There was an aisle on each side of the house, one for the men, the other for the women, with no middle aisle. There was a mourners bench in front of the pulpit.
A partial list of the early pastors were: W. H. Rogers, 1887; Felix W. Johnson, 1888; John R. Thompson, 1889-1890;
D. S. Osteen, 1891-1892; J. W. Taylor, 1893; C. R. Wade, 1894; W. T. Walkap, 1895.
During this time fifty-five people were added to the church, and within the next few years twenty-six more were added. Mr. Dave Macon and Mr. George Cranor made up money for a church organ and Bible.
Mr. J. K. Lee was pastor from 1907-1909, and during that time he organized the first children’s program.
From 1919 to 1922 Rev. H. E. Baker was pastor. While he was there the Epworth League with fifty members was organized. A new roof was put on and thirty-one new members were added.
For many years the Seventh Day Adventist Church paid two dollars and a half per month rent for use of the church on Saturday.
Due to the rotation plan of the Methodist Church conference, pastors usually serve two or three years. In 1953 Rev. O. H. Lane came back after several years absence for a second pastorate.
In 1960 the last charter member of the church, Mrs. L. D. Bowling, died at the age of eighty-nine. Some of the older members of the church living today are Mrs. Lizzie Early, Mr. and Mrs. Will Weeks, Miss Bertha Puryear, and Mrs. Lizzie
During the last few years many improvements have been made to the building. Mr. Archie Macon wired it and put in electric lights, heat has been changed from coal to gas, the floor has been sanded, new seats and pulpit furniture purchased, concrete steps have been added, and rock siding has been put on the outside.
In 1958 the members of the church built a parsonage on the lot adjoining the church and the entire area was landscaped.
Rev. Leon Harris is the present pastor, and the membership is now approximately one hundred and twenty-five.
(Sources: Mrs. Wendel Stegall, Mrs. Ruby Jennings, Mrs. Will Weeks, and Misses Mamie Sue and Lou Benson)