A Historical Sketch Of the Little Community
From Its First Settlement to the Present Time
1819 ~ 1988
This Book is Respectfully Dedicated
To the Memory of my Late Husband
This book has be compiled with long hours, bits and pieces from the mouths of the older generation, historians, history books, visiting libraries, archives, cemeteries and many hours of long searching. It has been a task that I could never have finished without my late husband, Bryan Harris.
He began work on the book in 1970. We had lots of fun laughing and talking about the different things we came up with. With his understanding, his patience, cooperation and encouragement, and most of all, the love which he gave me, it has made the preparation of this book a pleasant task.
After his passing in November of 1983, I have done the best I could by putting the bits and pieces and all his information together. Again, I say it has been quite a task but a memorable one.
I just hope he would approve of my finishing the task he started.
In the Beginning
Wilson County was established in 1799 and is bound on the West by Davidson County, on the North by Sumner County, on the Northeast by Trousdale, Smith, and Dekalb Counties, on the Southeast by Cannon County, and on the South by Rutherford County.
According to a survey made in 1868 by General Alexander P. Stewart, there were 373,000 acres of land in Wilson County at that time.
Among those acres of land, four miles Southeast of Gladeville, fourteen miles South of Lebanon, twelve miles Northeast of Smyrna, located in Southwest Wilson County, you will find the small community named Vesta.
Before the little community was discovered, history tells us there was no doubt there were Indians living up and down the banks of the Hurricane Creek that runs East and West on the Southside of Vesta.
The older generations and ancestors found the remains of their skeletons, mounds, valleys, and other artifacts many years ago.
Welcome to the unique community and its ancestors. No where else can Vesta be found on a map of the world except in Wilson County, Tennessee, for there is no other.
The little community was first found on record in 1819 and at that time was called Miles Meeting Place.
In the early bright years of this community, a man by the name of Thomas Miles and his family were some of the first settlers living on Hurricane Creek.
He and his wife, Peggy Miles, and their three daughters, Nancy, Betsy, and Fanny settled here.
Betsy married a man by the name of Windom and moved to Missouri. Fanny Miles married Ridley Wynn and settled on a place that was John Fouch’s. Down through the years the place changed hands many times. This day, 1988, the property belongs to Earl Lannom. The other daughter, Nancy, married Dr. Woodman and settled on the place near Gladeville known as the Stacy and Emiline Martin property. You will read of Dr. Douglas Martin and he owned the farm for many years.
Thomas Miles had a brother named Patterson Miles whose wife’s maiden name was Dicey. They settled on the farm that in late years belonged to Jim Sanders. This place has changed hands a few times and is now owned by Bennie and Jerry Cripps.
Some of the next settlers we find in history that settled on the Hurricane Creek were John Wollen, John Merritt, Peter Leath, Joseph Stacy, Charles Cummings, Absalom Knight, Giden Harrison, and many others.
History reads that in the beginning it was bright and bountiful for the early explorers and settlers. It was once a hunting ground for the Indians and at one time two different tribes lived here.
Don Yahola, Sr., a full-blooded Indian, came to Wilson County in 1940. He worked at Texas Eastern Gas Company with Brian for many years. He told Bryan of how his great-great-Grandfather, Chief Apostle Yahola and General Jackson smoked the peace pipe and signed a treaty on the banks of a creek nearby which is believed to be Hurricane Creek.
The old settlers at this time spoke of the community being covered thickly with a great forest made up of red cedar, white oak, blue ash, slippery elm, buckeye, silver maple, black walnut, chestnut, wild cherry, cottonwood, sassafras and many other trees as well as an abundance of rocks.
This statement was found on record and told by Thomas Miles, our first settler. “This goodly land attracted our forefathers from beyond the mountains and straightway we were determined to come and possess it”. They made their living by hunting, trading, trapping and farming which was the only resource for making a living by raising corn, cotton, sorghum and wheat.
Thomas Miles started church services and called it Miles’ Meeting House. We found, in history, a preacher by the name of Jesse Swell, who did much preaching in Wilson County both before and after the Civil War and was believed to have done preaching at Miles’ Meeting House in the middle 1800’s. Services were only on Sunday morning; no mid-week services and no Sunday night service. This was the Methodist Church.
Thomas Miles built a building to have services and named it Miles’ Meeting Place. The building was a one room log cabin with a stack chimney and a boxed pulpit stand.
The seats were made from cedar logs split in half and four holes bored in each log to receive the logs on which the benches rested.
This building was used for a school house also by the neighborhood and nearly all the first settlers known as the Miles children, Windoms, Wynns, and many others received their education here, By this time all the Miles family and many others has passed on.
Years later the community began to grow by families moving in and settling nearby in the neighborhood; to mention a few, George Bell, S. L. Bell, Jessie Webb, Julien Jones, John Barner, McCullough, Drennon, Lannom, Foutch, Underwood, Patton, Horn, Cunningham, Sanders, Zarecous, Gwynn, and many others.
We found, in history, that in the fall of 1838, E. P. Bell and G. F. Bell and Mrs. Sallie Lannom attended their first school in the log building known as Miles’ Meeting House and their teacher was a young man named Harper Lenior. The teacher that followed Mr. Lenior was Mrs. Mary ward of Smyrna, Tennessee.
In 1851, the community changed its name from Miles’ Meeting Place to Oak Grove. The reason the log building was being used for a school house and a church was because it was built in a beautiful grove of majestic oak trees standing all around it.
This same year the building burned to the ground thus destroying one of the oldest landmarks in the community. After the burning of the building, it is now called Oak Grove. The land on which it stood returned to the original tract from which it was taken. No record has ever been made of the deed given by Thomas Miles. History states it was believed he gave the land. For some time the members of the Oak Grove Church were without a building to meet in. By this time almost all of the first settlers had passed on.
Bryan and I visited Thomas Miles’ grave in 1972. He was buried near Murfreesboro, Tennessee off the Nashville and Murfreesboro Highway.
In 1860 Major Robert Bell came to the community’s rescue and deeded a plot of land that was used for both church and school.
In 1868, with the members united efforts, they built a new building on the present land given by Robert Bell surrounded by the beautiful oak trees.
The church joined the Lebanon Conference and was added to the Lebanon circuit and was dedicated as Wesley’s Chapel Methodist Church in December 23, 1897. It was no longer known as Oak Grove. Services were held every Sunday by dedicated people. I will mention some older individuals; Mr. and Mrs. George Patton, Harvey Bond, George Bell, Jessie Webb, Sarah Lannom, John Barber, Julien Jones, S. L. Bell, J. M. Pafford, W. E. Fields, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Jennings, Mr. and Mrs. Monroe Lannom, Bud Lannom, Morris and Victoria Morton, their mother, Delia (Morton) Thompson and Mr. and Mrs. Dave Barber.
Some of the early preachers at Wesley’s Chapel Methodist Church were as follows:
1897 G. A Morgan
1898 John Durrett
1900 John R. Simpson
1902 Dow A. Ensor
1903 John D. Hewgley
1905 J. W. Swan
1908 John Estes
1909 John F. Baggett
1910 J. B. Spurlock
1913 C. S. Wilson
1916 O. P. Gentry
1922 R. C. Crosslin
1925 James F. Swiney
1930 Wendell Lee Ensor
1935 Soloman Alexander Bass
1936 Carter Johnson
1940 ~ 1943 R. S. Qualls
and many more I could mention down through the years. Sunday school services were held each Sunday morning at 10:00 AM and preaching twice a month at 11:00 AM until the attendance was so small and due to the elderly people. The doors were closed and services were no longer held after the summer of 1951 back at its beginning with Miles’ Meeting House in 1819.
The faithful ones that remained to the end were; Mr. and Mrs. Sap Harris, Mrs. Una Lannom, Arthur Lannom, Frank and Lizzie Lannom, John Harris, Bryan Harris, Misses Nora and Effie Underwood, Mr. and Mrs. Bruston Taylor, Mary Volene (Taylor) Orange and Brenda (Taylor) Garvin.
The contents and the land were sold in 1953 by being auctioned off. I have a cherry table to this day that came out of the building and has this writing inside the pull drawer- “Made by James Castleman on April 17, 1878.” Oueleana (Lannom) Maples bought the beautiful old organ and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. I have one of the old lamps that hung on the wall and a long bench.
Earl Lannom bought the land and building in 1953. The old building was destroyed by tearing it down in 1954. Earl is still the landowner to this day.
The First Christian Church
The first Christian Church we read about at Vesta was started in the homes of different families with a membership of five. In 1850 we find, on record, the first building being built. It was a one room log building with hewed out log benches and a ground floor built by Nathan Presley Lannom (Coon), as everybody called him. This building was one half mile South of the building that stands today down on Hurricane Creek.
In 1880 the log building burned to the ground. In 1884 Nathan P. Lannom again gave the land for a new building to be built. This one was out on the Vesta Road across the fence from Fannie Graham’s farm on the land that Tom Allen Sanders now owns. History tells us the building was used for a schoolhouse. It was also used for church services. School was held three months out of the year. Some of the older ones that
Attended this school in 1886 were Pearl Hobbs, Oss Underwood, Jordan Lannom, Laura (Lannom) Murphy, Lucy Jane (Lannom) Harris, Elidge Foutch, Mattie (Foutch) Jones, Lizzie and Jim Bob Foutch, Nora and Effie Underwood and many others.
Again in 1890 fire broke out and destroyed this church building. At this time the land now belonged to Elidge Foutch and he gave the land for a new building to be built where it is now located. It was a one room structure about 25 by 45 of weatherboard plank siding, painted white, double doors in the front and one single door in the rear. There were four tall, narrow windows on each side and a stack flue for a wood stove. The building was built on stone pillows high off the ground and opened underneath to the weather. Some of the older members at that time were Nathan P. (Coon) Lannom, Andy McCullough, John Cunningham, Elidge Foutch, Jim Drennon and old Uncle Barney Murphy, as everyone called him.
In the early 1900’s some of the preachers were E. A. Elem, Thomas Wrye, F. D. Srygley, Samuel T. Nix, and Vesta Cawthon. The older generation had passed on by this time. The families who were attending services at this time were Underwoods, Foutchs, Lannoms, Sanders, Hobbs, Jones, Pattons and McCrarys.
In 1928 a cyclone struck and destroyed the church building to the ground. The men of the church got busy and built the church building back at once.
Again in 1935, another storm struck and blew the building away for the second time. In May of 1936, Will Sanders, Earl Lannom, Carrie (Sanders Harris) Lannom went to Red Boiling Springs and bought the lumber to build the building back for $240.00. The building was built by Will Sanders, Roy Sanders, Fred Lannom, Tom Lee Sanders, Field Lannom and Demps Lannom. The first services were held in August, 1936. We have added aluminum siding, a baptistery, electricity, classrooms, carpets, new benches, and fellowship hall. A number of the descendents that started the church at Vesta in 1850 still remain to this day carrying on the work of the Lord.
Schools in Vesta
The first school ever recorded in history was a building across the road from Gene Denney’s farmhouse. Some of the first settlers that attended school were Miles, Windoms, Wynns, Bells and many others received their education.
In the fall of 1838, E. P. Bell, G. F. Bell and Sallie Lannom attended their first school in this building and were taught by a young man named Harper Lenior and Mrs. Mary Ward of Smyrna.
Another school in the early century mentioned was Carmel School. The exact location is unknown but school was being held there in 1889 located 12 miles from Lebanon, 1 ¼ miles South of Vesta Road and one mile West of Murfreesboro Pike on the land now owned by Mrs. Henry Denny, deceased.
The other school at the same time was called Wet More School located on the Cedar Forest property about 1 ½ miles North of the Jim Bob Foutch place. Some of the older members that attended the schools, those that are still living today that attended Carmel School are Mr. Eldridge Lannom and Hattie Bell (Lannom) Major. Those deceased are Edgar Leath, Mennie and Ula Drennon, Pearl and Harried sanders, Irve and Tom Lee Sanders, Alma, Tennie and Mattie Lannom, Annie and Enlo Harris, Vera Brown, Lillian Barber, Hildra and Sallie McCullough, Powell Jordan, Lillie Vaughter, Vera Burk, Ora Barber and Clyde Burke. These names were taken from a school picture made in 1903 and the teacher was Gracie Miller.
Some of those that attended Wet More School were Nannie Lannom, Fred Lannom, Alice and Sadie Jones, Paul Jones, Pattie Roberts and Lester Hobbs, Allie Mai and Annie Walton Sanders, Jessie and Ruby Foutch and Carmine Rice. In the school consolidation movement about 1906, Wet More and Carmel and Oak Grove were merged into the new Major and Vesta Schools. There was no county board of education and no county superintendent in 1903. Each year the patrons of the school hired a schoolmaster. History states their salary rate was $8.00 per term.
In the late 1800’s school begin in May and continued through July. The teacher was paid one-third in cash and two-thirds in corn at 33-1/3¢ a bushel.
The next school I find on record was built down on the North side of Hurricane Creek about 1907. Some of the teachers at that time that taught at Vesta were Rabel Amex, Jim sanders, Frank Jones, Gracie Miller, and Harriett Sanders. The teachers mentioned on record from 1918 to 1296 were Mary Layhew, Cindy Hubbard, Christene Baskin and from 1926 to 1934 were Katherine Crutcher, Ina Allen, Frank Jones, Mattie (Taylor) Brown Nina Mai (Vantrease) Weatherly, and Alice Jones. From 1934 to 1945 the teachers were Gladys Dillon, Mildred Corley, Mary Donell, and Mary Florence Williams. The last year for Vesta to have school was 1945 and the teacher was Grace Hackney. The community was growing and the county commission closed the small schools of the county with the students being bused to Gladeville and major schools.
Post Office and Mail Route in Vesta
There was a mail route once a week on horseback as far back as 1832. My great-grandfather, for whom my father was named, Irve Sanders, was one of the few mentioned that carried the mail. There was a 55 mile route from Nashville to Liberty passing through Oak Grove (now Vesta) receiving weekly mail. At the time there were only three post offices mentioned in the area – Oak Grove, Smyrna, and Mt. Juliet.
The first post office was built across the road from the Church of Christ on the Wesley’s Chapel Church grounds. Bill Bell was the first postmaster at that time (now Oak Grove). In 1860, P. Underwood and his wife, Pattie, were expecting their first child. He, at the time, was the postmaster. Their little girl was born and they named her Vesta.
Years afterwards Oak Grove was changed to the name of Vesta and all the old timers said that was where our little community got its name, from Vesta Underwood. Vesta is the only little community found on the map today and that is in Wilson County, Tennessee. Years later Mr. Elidge Foutch was postmaster, followed by Erastus P. Bell in 1886. Mr. Bell served for eighteen years until its discontinuance in 1904.
First Store in Vesta
Frank Huddleston was mentioned as owning and running the first store at Vesta. His only son, George, was in business with him. George became a lawyer, later moved to Birmingham and was a representative in Congress – once a poor boy from Vesta.
The next store mentioned was owned and operated by Elidge Foutch. He later sold out to Jim Jennings. Mr. Jennings operated both the store and the blacksmith shop.
The buildings stood on the ground that Jack Lohman’s home stands today. Mr. Jim, as
everyone called him, welcomed everyone into his country store. The men of the community would gather about the pot-bellied stove and play cards and checkers and see who could tell the biggest yarn. Most all were farmers and that was how everyone made a living – raising a little corn, cotton, and sorghum. Jennings’ Store burned to the ground in 1926 when I was six years old. I can remember very well the children in the neighborhood were the families of Irve Sanders, Fred Lannom, Elidge Foutch, Hershel Foutch, Jim Burke, Tom Lee Sanders, Frank and Lizzie Lannom and Sap Harris. We children could not wait for the ashes to cool off after the store burned so we could dig and look for money. A penny looked like dollars in those days.
In 1928 Mr. and Mrs. Frank Lannom built and operated a store for years. Later on in years, Bertha and Will Cox operated a store followed by Claude and Friliz Cox, Walter Murphy, Bobbie McCrary and the last person to close out the store in 1980 was owned and operated by Jack Lohman.
First Clinic near Vesta
Believe it or not, found recorded in history near Vesta there was once a clinic one mile down Flat Woods Road about two miles from Vesta, at the time Oak Grove. History states that this was the earliest example in Wilson County of enough doctors close enough to constitute the term “clinic”. Those that owned and practiced medicine at that time were Dr. Daniel Richmond, his son, Mr. John B. Richmond and his grandson, Dr. Charles S. Powell. They practiced medicine from the same spot for a number of years or until sometime after 1900.
Dr. Powell was forced by ill health to move to El Paso, Texas. After 1900 the
Doctors mentioned in history were Dr. John Drennon, Dr. Gid Alsup, Dr. J. M Summers,
Dr. Robert Shannon and Dr. W. D. Martin. Most of their practice and calls were by horse and buggy. At that time all the women had their babies at home. I have heard my grandmothers Hudson and Sanders both say when a woman was in labor the husband would go on horse after the doctor and the doctor would stay all night or the next day until the baby was born. In those days the women had a longer labor and delivery without any medication. I am from a family of nine children, seven girls and two boys. All nine children were born in the home with a doctor and my daddy’s sister, Aunt Pearl Lannom and a black lady named Ella Word.
Cemeteries near Vesta
There is a Lannom Cemetery right in Vesta. The first person to be buried there was Annie Harris, the oldest child of Sap and Lucy Jane Harris and the sister of Bryan Harris (one that compiled this book). She was eleven years old at the time of her death of pneumonia in 1905.
Again, Hathan Presley Lannom, Annie’s grandfather, gave the land for the family cemetery. I have the deed to this day. To mention some of the Lannom family buried there, they are –
· Nathan Presley Lannom – Born January, 1859 – Died January, 1913. (his wife, Caldonia Tennessee Burks- Born December, 1844 – Died -)
· Myrtle Foutch – Born June, 1864 – Died February, 1911.
· Thomas Milton – Born 1832 – Died 1908. (his wife, Sarah A. Lannom – Born 1839 – Dies 1909. · Frank and Lizzie Lannom
· Fred and Una Lannom
· Jack and Laura Murphy
· Hershel and Nannie Foutch
· Sap and Lucy Jane Harris
· Bryan, Dewey, and Bessie Harris
· Sallie Lannom
· Lee Andrew Murphy
· Dora Murphy
· Dink and Medie McCrary
· Tom and Arlo Johnson
There are a number of friends and neighbors of the community who have been laid to rest in the Lannom Cemetery at Vesta. I will not mention all for I would be afraid I would leave someone out.
South of the Vesta Church of Christ, on the other side of Hurricane Creek, there was Cemetery no. II. That to me was always called the Edwards Cemetery. Some of the older settlers say that is was once called Estes Cemetery. I can remember when I was a small girl the neighborhood children would walk across the creek and rear and look at the tall monuments. We would pick blackberries that grew around the graves. The land changed hands years later and there are no monuments to this day. The land, at this writing, belongs to Maxie Trisdale. In the record census books, some of the older people buried there were Estes, Bells, Edwards, Burkes, Leaths, Drennons, Joel Dyer Foutch (Mrs. Mattie Foutch Jones’ father), the grandfather of Sadie, Alice, Mary, Paul, Joe and Frank Jones, Jr., the great-grandfather of Barbara Ann (Jones) Burns and many more graves are there.
Southeast of the church on up Hurricane Creek there is a cemetery known as the Bell Cemetery. If you visit this cemetery, you will find the monuments of the following:
· James Bell- Born August 23, 1777 – Died June 22, 1823 (His wife, Mary Bell – Born July 12, 1777 – Died August 18, 1829.)
· Albert Bell – Born 1805 – Died 1892
· Rebecca Robertson Bell – Born February 24, 1816 – Died September 20, 1840.
· Sarah Bell – Born February 2, 1822 – Died July 7, 1827.
· Patrick Henry Bell – Born October, 1855 – Died August 28, 1866.
Patrick died at the age of thirteen. He has a stone shaped like a cedar stump with a rope and spear engraved into the stone. All the graves are the Bell family.
World War I 1917-1918
The following left their home in Vesta and went to fight for their country -
Ethel Murphy Leonard Lannom
Hatton Leath Jack Potts
Obe Murphy Ben Hill
World War II 1941-1945
The war was over in April, 1945. The Japs did not surrender until July, 1945. Those that had to go were –
Seth Sanders (Army) Claude Cox (Army)
Earl Lannom (Army) Hazel Proctor (Army)
Paul Shannon Bond (Army) Glendon Lannom (Army)
Hollice Horn (Army) Oscar Lannom (Army)
Tom A. Sanders (Navy) Berdine Maddux (Army)
Holland Hamilton (Navy) Martin Proctor (Army)
Robert Horn (Army) Gene Cox ( Army)
Hazel Proctor (Army) Andy (Cox) Proctor (Navy)
Copies from Tennessee History
This writing was copied from an 1865 Tennessee History Book and I wanted to share it with you.
, married Sallie Leath and moved to Wilson County and settled at Oak Grove in 1838. William R. Lannom, born November 25, 1809 in Rutherford County, Tennessee
Nathan Presley (Coon) Lannom was born to William and Sallie Leath Lannom in 1839. He was reared at home, in Vesta, and remained with his parents until he was 25 years of age. At the breaking out of the Civil War, he enlisted in Company G Seventh Regiment of Tennessee Infantry State Army and fought in the battles of Seven Pines Richmond and Cedar Run. The last battle he fought in he was wounded in the thigh, the cause of which relieved him from active duty. He was hospitalized for four months in Charlottesville, Virginia. After recovering from his wounds, he received an unlimited furlough and returned home. In the fall of 1863, he enlisted in Company d and remained until after the surrender. On February 2, 1864 he married Caldonia Tennessee Burke and the fruits of this union were six children- Sallie Ann, William Jordan, Lucy Jane, Laura, Fred, and Nannie. In 1866 he bought 160 acres of land in and around Vesta. Later he owned and operated 600 acres of land. He purchased a saw mill and the following year added a grist mill which stood on the land that Walter Murphy now owns. It was powered and run by a steam engine.
Another old timer I would like to share with you was copied from the same Tennessee History Book, 1886. J. W. Horn came with his parents from North Carolina. He was one of ten children and at the age of sixteen he left home. When hostilities broke out between the North and South he enlisted, in May, 1861, in Company B Seventh Tennessee Regiment Infantry, Confederate States Army. He took an active part in the battle of Cheat Mountain, Romney, Seven Pines, and Cold Harbor where he was wounded in the right arm and released from active duty for about two weeks. He afterward fought in the Battle of Cedar Run, Second Manassas, Harper’s Ferry, Ricksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, where he was captured and taken to Fort Delaware, but was kept a very short time. He returned to Smith County after the war and in a few days came to Wilson County and lived near Vesta the remainder of his days. In connection with farming, he began the study of law, and in 1869 was admitted to the bar.
On December 31, 1882 he married Isabell R. Harris, who was a native of Wilson County.
She was born on December 6, 1860, the daughter of W. D. Harris. Mr. Horn started life as a poor boy but at the writing of this history book, in 1866, he owned 1,400 acres of land and was an honest and respected citizen. In politics, he was a Democrat casting his first vote for Jefferson Davis.
Edgar Leath lived to be 94 years of age. At the age of 90 he told Bryan that Abe Mires lived in the Vesta community when Edgar was a young boy and that Abe never went to school but always had something funny to say. He said he remembered him making the statement about 1901 “that some day people would fly in the air and that there would be an invention that all one would have to do would be to push a button.” The time did come with the invention of the airplane and electricity. He said everyone laughed at Abe Mires and thought he was crazy.
There was a mail route once a week on horseback in 1832. Two prominent men from Vesta served as Sheriff for Wilson County, Luke McMenaway- 1896 ~ 1902 and Jim Jennings – 1902 ~ 1908.
It was recorded by a writer of pioneer times in 1853 that it was such a dry year mills did not operate for two months because of the drought and heat. Also, the older farmers spoke of rain in 1896. It rained all summer and the old farmers did not put in a crop because of the ground being so wet. In 11909 the record heat was 111 degrees.
I can remember the older citizens of the community telling about who would give their time and work and gravel the roads with hard down labor. The roads began in the 1800’s with Indian trails, wagons and buggies. In the early 1900’s the men would gather and agree to rock the roads in Vesta for 50¢ a day.
The men who did work were the following:
Tom Johnson Dink McCrary Tom Lee Sanders Eldridge Lannom
Jim Jennings Demps Lannom Will Perrell Frank Lannom
Sam Gwin Bob Horn Frank Jones Will Abe Lannom
Leonard Lannom Dock Johns Clarence Sanders Jim Allen Reynolds
Irve Sanders Fred Lannom
and there were many more that helped, I am sure.
In bring this book to a close, I take very little of the credit. It would be impossible to make a reasonable estimate as to how many hours of research Bryan Harris devoted to researching and writing the history of Vesta. It all boils down to one thing. It had to be a labor of love to have devoted so much time to a project of this magnitude. I personally know he spent many hours running down one small tidbit of information for truly success of failure of any book devoted to history will stand or fall on the research devoted to it.
Because history is not really a dead subject as often depicted but is really a living link to the past, it is very likely a hundred years from now some writer will want to bridge the gap in the history of Vesta as our farm land has got to subdivisions and highway and from well water to city water.
In my early childhood days no one seemed to have much money but we all seemed to make ends meet. We would carry eggs or an old hen to the store to buy coal oil and sugar. Of course, nobody was rich but we had enough to eat and we were happy. My mother always taught us to say where we were from. She told us “Don’t say you are from near Nashville, or near Lebanon, or near Murfreesboro but say you are from Vesta.”
About the Authors
The author, Bryan Harris, was a descendent of one of the first pioneers who came to Wilson County. He was born into the family of A. H. and Lucy Jane (Lannom) Harris on August 29, 1913. He attended the public schools of Wilson County and graduated from Walter Hill High School. He lived his entire life here and was buried in the rich Wilson County dirt at the Lannom Cemetery in Vesta at the age of 70 in 1983.
Carrie Sanders (Harris) Lannom was born into the family of nine children on the 13th day of July, 1920 to Irve and Carrie Sanders. I attended school at Vesta in Gladeville and Lebanon High School. Those growing up days were good old days. Everybody knew each other in the Vesta community. There was not such a thing as locking your door. It could be said back then that everyone in Vesta loved his neighbor as himself.
This March 15, 1988.
I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Carrie Lannom when I moved to Vesta several years ago. She was introduced to me by her son, Kenneth Harris. I met Kenneth, who oversees the Lannom Cemetery in Vesta, when I moved to the property adjacent to the cemetery. Mrs. Lannom was a very warm and kind woman with a very sharp mind. Mrs. Lannom quickly welcomed me into her home and talked for hours about the Vesta area. She lived about 1 mile East of the Lannom Cemetery on Vesta Road with her husband, Earl Lannom.
As a sort of history buff, I had questioned Mrs. Harris about Vesta history when she trustingly provided me, who moments before was a stranger, with her only copy of this book. I quickly made a copy of it and returned the original to her expeditiously. I made her a promise that day, which entailed getting this book out on the internet so that anyone who had an interest in Vesta, Tennessee would have the opportunity to read it. A short time later, on June 23, 2007, Mrs. Carrie Lannom passed away, and was buried in the Lannom Family Cemetery.
Please read and share this book with anyone you feel would enjoy it. If you, or someone you know, has additional historical facts which would further tell the story of Vesta, Tennessee, please contact me (information provided below). It is with great pleasure that I will now help carry forward the history of this great community - Vesta.
3540 Vesta Road
Lebanon, TN 37090
Carrie Harris Lannom
William R. Lannom purchased approximately 160 acres 9miles south of Labanon in 1856. His family, wife Sallie Leath Lannom, and their 10 children, raised cotton, corn, wheat, horses, cattle, and swine. Their son, Nathan P. Lannom and his wife Caldonia Tennessee Burke, increased the holdings to a substantial 600 acres. A saw mill was purchased in 1884 and a grist mill added the following year to grind flour, wheat, and corn for the family and the community. Their daughter, Lucy Jane, married Asaph A. Harris in 1890, and he became the next owner of the property. Lucy was born in 1873 in the original frame dwelling built by her grandfather or father (now the front three rooms of the current farm house) was married there, and died there in 1954. She and her husband, known as Uncle Sap, hosted a party every July 11th, his birthday, for over 50 years. The Harris family would provide barbeque and family and friends, numbering as many as 200, would bring baskets of food to add to the dinner.
Son, Wesley Bryan Harris and wife Carrie Sanders Harris and their three children continued farming 185 acres. The current owner, Carrie Harris Lannom, who acquired the property in 1983 and husband, Earl Lannom who is the great-grandson of the founder, continue to raise horses, cattle, hay and pasture lands. Their home incorporates the original three-room dwelling.
Photo: The farm house on the Harris-Lannom Farm.