Wilson County Tennessee
Part of the American History and Genealogy Project

Records of Circuit Court


The Circuit Court of Wilson County convened for the first time in the court house at Lebanon, September 24, 1810, Hon. Thomas Stuart, presiding.
The first case of consequence on the docket was that of the State against Joel Alpin, on a charge of assault and battery. Alpin was found guilty as charged in the indictment, and fined $5.

In 1811 Peggy and Solomon Ray were divorced.
In 1812 Thomas Martin and Joseph Davis were each fined $10 for assault and battery.
In 1813 James Rather, for assault and battery, was fined $5.
In 1814 Isaac and Betsy Cook were divorced.
1815 Betsy and David Hunt were also divorced.
1820 Jedediah Willie was publicly whipped for larceny. Robert Easom for assault and battery was fined $10 and sent to jail for twenty days.
In 1821, Hiram McKinley, for larceny, was given twenty-five lashes on the bare back and jailed.
1826 Lewis Yarnell was convicted of murder, and was branded on the left hand with the letter M, and given four months in jail.
In 1828 James Nilms, for horse stealing, was sentenced to be hung, and upon the day of execution, after having been placed on the scaffold, was reprieved at the last minute and his sentence commuted. Joe, a slave, for murder, was branded with the letter M and given thirty-nine lashes. For horse stealing Pins Simpson was sentenced to receive twenty-six lashes, six months in jail and to stand in the pillory two hours on the mornings of Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, and was branded on the hand with the letters H and T.
1829 Willis, a slave, was given thirty-nine lashes and branded with M for committing murder. David B. Cole was publicly whipped and jailed for larceny.

1830 John Afflack, for killing his wife in 1830, was branded with M and sent to jail for eleven months, and for murder in the second degree. Joseph C. Wilson was sent to the penitentiary for fifteen years.
1834 Frank McCullough, on two counts for store stealing, was sent to prison for five years on each. Clayton, a slave, was convicted of the murder of a white man and daughter named Hunt, and was hung at Lebanon November 26, 1836.
1837 Aaron F. Jones and James Lively were each sent to the penitentiary for horse stealing.
McDaniel Smith was sent to the penitentiary for four years on a charge of bigamy.
1839, and John Lawrence, for larceny, was given eight years. Isaac Mahaffy was sent to the penitentiary ten years for murder. Stephen L. Pearson was sent for four years on a charge of forgery.

1841 Leslie Clark, for perjury, and Edward Wyatt, larceny, were sent to prison in 1842.
1845 Garland Brown and John Jones, on charge of larceny, were sent to prison for two and six years, respectively for murder.
1848, Britton Collins was imprisoned for ten years.

1850 Squire Collins and James Young were each sent to the penitentiary for ten years for murder.
1857 Rufus L. Watson was imprisoned for ten years for murder, and on the same charge Parmelia Smith received a similar sentence in 1858.

In 1867 Russell Sanders, Polk Evans, John Bratton, Mary North, Thomas Clymer Frank Baird, Isham Jackson and Wash Hardy, on charges of larceny, were each in prisoned one year.
In 1868, on charges of larceny, Foster Newby was sent to prison for three years.
Fayette Sneed three years, Thomas Waters one year, James Radford one year. Nancy Elliott, for murder, ten years, and James Tarlton, for horse-stealing, three years.
1869 Henry Palmer and Henry Sewell, for house-breaking, were each sent to the penitentiary for ten years. Henry Curtis, horse-stealing, ten years. Frank Smith, for larceny, one year.

1870 William Porter was sent to the penitentiary seventeen years for bigamy, and larceny.
Sam Thompson, Ben Camper, Edward Knight, Marcus Hawkins and John Burch were given terms of imprisonment.
1872 Hugh Bradley (colored), was sent up for four years for larceny. Seth Williams, for house-breaking, got two years.
1875 Jerry Belcher ten years in prison on the charge of arson, and for larceny. William Gooch, Albert McGregor, Burdine Preston and Moses Howell were sent to the penitentiary.
1876 Porter Williamson and Burr Spinks (colored), were convicted of murder and sentenced to be hung. Williamson was granted a new trial, pending which he was hung by a mob, while Spinks was hung by law. 1877 sentences were passed as follows: King Walsh, housebreaking, three years in the penitentiary. Jasper Williams, horse-stealing, ten years. William Claxton, horse-stealing, three years.
1878 Albert Gibson, for larceny, was sent to prison for three years. Davis Bass, house-breaking, was given three years. James Scott, for larceny, received one year.
1879 Scott Bass, for larceny, received three years imprisonment.
Jere Evans, for malicious stabbing, one year.
Pomp Grizzle, horse-stealing, three years.
Bob Williamson, murder, three years.
1880 John Bond, for rape, was imprisoned for ten years. William Tackett, horse-stealing. Lee Hardy, larceny, were each sent up for three years.
1881 Samuel Baird, Wash Hearn, Martin Graves and Pike Ward were sentenced to the penitentiary for larceny. J. W. Conner, for murder, was sent for twenty years. Bob Nipps, horse-stealing, three years. Joe Harrison, for arson, was sent for five years.
1882 Joe Campbell was sentenced to the penitentiary for twenty years for murder.
Marcus Seay, horse-stealing, went up for five years, and, for larceny.
Terms of imprisonment were given Jake Neal, Jack Price, Alf Jennier, William Hamler, Bill Oxendine and George Dibrell.
1883 James Payne, for house-breaking, received three years imprisonment, and in
1884 Frank Jennings and Tom Robertson, for murder, were each given ten and three years, respectively. Frank Johnson and Bill Davis were given one and five years, respectively, for larceny.
1885 Berr Officer, for larceny, was sent up for one year. Bernice Richardson, murder, got a life sentence. Hardy Baker, horse-stealing, three years. James Baxter, murder, convicted and sentenced to be hung. Baxter's case was appealed to the Supreme Court, where the decision of the lower court was sustained. His execution was set for November 3, 1885, but he was granted a reprieve, and on June 4, 1886, was hung at Lebanon. Andrew Church, an accomplice of Baxter in the crime, was sent to the penitentiary for life; both were Negroes, and their crime was the murder of Mrs. Lane, an aged, widow, for the purpose of robbery.
1886 George Burns, for bigamy, was sent to the penitentiary for five years. Kate Rhodes, infanticide, sent for ten years. Asbury Johnson, Jesse Hill, George Thompson and Robert Keith, for larceny, were sent to the penitentiary for one year each, and W. H. Smith, marshal of Lebanon, was indicted for murder, he having killed a Negro who resisted an arrest.


 Wilson County | AHGP Tennessee


Source: History of Tennessee, Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1886


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