|THE FAMILY PAGES OF
Philip Miller,Son of Juda Usrey and James Miller
William C. Usrey
George W. Usrey
John Fowler.. husband of Lucy Ussery
Mastin Ussery.. son of Hutchins
William Usery......Son of Allen and Elizabeth Usery
William F. Usery......Son of Masten and Elizabeth (Fowler) Ussery
Tillman Bradley Ussery
Source: "History of Greene and Sullivan Counties Indiana, Goodspeed Bros. & Co., Publishers, 1884. (original) Found on page 813, Cass Township
PHILIP MILLER, farmer, P.O. Cass, a native of Illinois, born June 28, 1838, sixth son of nine children born to James and Judy (Usrey) Miller, natives of
East Tennessee, and of German and Irish descent. They settled in Sullivan County, Ind., in 1845, buying land in Cass Township. The father of Philip died
when he was fourteen years of age. He helped keep the family several years, and at the age of twenty-one had fifty- four acres of land. He was then,
February 9, 1860, married to Margaret Neeley, of Cass Township, daughter of Thomas G. and Jane (Usrey) Neeley, natives of East Tennessee. Thomas
G. was born December 15, 1803, and his wife October 21, 1803, and they had the following children: Elizabeth Ann, born February 12, 1823; Joseph
Warren, November 21, 1824; Philip U., February 12, 1827; Nancy Smith, March 3, 1829; Frances U., March 26, 1831; Mary Jane, March 12, 1833;
Henrietta N., October 18, 1835; Juda H., September 9, 1837; Angeline, January 20, 1840?; Margaret, February 28, 1844, and an infant that died October
To Mr. Miller have been born seven children -- Mary Jane, October 9, 1861; James Thomas, April 6, 1863; John A.W., April 5, 1866; William Edward,
September 2, 1868; Juda A., September 27, 1870; Sarah Ellen, December 29, 1871, and Ira Philip, October 22, 1877. James T. died July 13, 1865, and
Juda A. October 3, 1870.
Mr. Miller is a farmer and stock-raiser, though he has done saw-milling and threshing to some extent. He has 117 acres, and he and wife are members of
the Christian Church. He is a Democrat, and a highly respected citizen.
Mrs. Miller's grandfather served in the Revolutionary war, and Mr. Miller's father-in-law's wife's mother was a niece of Gen. Warren, who fell at Bunker Hill.
Subject's father, James Miller was born August 6, 1799, and his wife Juda (Usrey) was born September 9, 1801. Their children were: Pleasant, Robert,
Sarah Ann, Samuel U., John M., Corder S., Mary Jane, Philip and George W. -- nine in number.
Biography of William C. Usery
Note: Other genealogical information lists his name as William Carroll Usery, not William Carl.
Conspicuous among the representative men of Cass township is William C. Usery, Esq., of Sullivan, a man of ability, integrity, and worth. Well educated
and talented, he has been for many years associated with the advancement of the educational interests of our country, and has likewise been an
important factor in promoting the agricultural and industrial interest of town and county, at the present time devoting his attention largely to fruit culture. A
native of this township, he was born January 1, 1846, in the log cabin built by his father, the Hon. David Usery, on the site of the present village of Cass,
coming from pioneer stock. His father was born in 1818, in White county, Tennessee.
Rev. Philip Usery , the grandfather of William C., came from Tennessee to Indiana at an early day, he, with his family, making the entire journey on
horseback. He became one of the original settlers of Greene county, and the pioneer in the spreading of the gospel news, being a preacher in the
Christian church. An earnest and tireless worker in the Master's vineyard, he preached in many places, making his circuit on horseback, following
bridle-paths and frequently going over heavy and almost impassable trails, his mode of traveling being in strange contrast with those pursued by the
clergymen of to-day. Removing from Greene county to Sullivan county, he bought land in the northwest quarter of section one, Cass township, and there
resided until his death, at the age of seventy-two years. The maiden name of his good wife was Mary Warren. She was born in Massachusetts, belonging
to the same family as General Joseph Warren, who fell at the battle of Bunker Hill. She died at the age of eighty years, and was buried beside her
husband in the Antioch churchyard in Cass township.
A boy when he came with his parents to Indiana, David Usery grew to manhood in Greene county. Subsequently entering government land in Sullivan
county, he obtained title to a tract which included the site of the village of Buel, now called Cass, and the cabin of round logs which he at once erected
was the first building on the village site and the birthplace of his son William. He afterwards built a hewed log house, and after a time erected a good
frame house. He cleared a large tract of land, and after a time embarked in mercantile pursuits, opening the first store in the township and keeping a
stock of general merchandise. He bought his supplies in Evansville, and they were brought here by teams, that being before the time of railroads. He also
dealt extensively in live stock and superintended the care of his farm. Disposing of all his interests in this locality in 1873, he moved to Baxter Springs,
Kansas, where he bought land and was actively employed in agricultural pursuits until his death, March 4, 1884. He married Susan Pigg, who was born in
Tennessee, a daughter of James and Mary (Neeley) Pigg, natives of Tennessee and pioneers of Sullivan county, Indiana. She died about two years
before he did, her death occurring in February, 1882. She reared eight children, namely: Joseph Warren, James, Philip, William Carl , Nancy, Frances,
Mary and Anna. David Usery was a man of commanding presence, six feet and one inch in height and weighing, when at his best, three hundred and
sixty pounds. He was an influential member of the Democratic party, prominent in public affairs, and was twice elected to the state legislature.
Brought up amid pioneer scenes, William Carl Usery remembers well the homespun garments which his mother made for the family from the material
which she herself carded, spun and wove, and also remembers the excitement caused among the neighbors when his father, while in the legislature, sent
home a cook stove, the first one ever brought into the place, the people from miles around coming to see it. He attended the pioneer schools of his day,
going first to a subscription school kept in a small log cabin, which was heated by a fire in the fireplace, while light was admitted through a strip of
greased paper inserted in place of a log. The seats were made of split logs, the floor was of puncheon, and the scholars learned to write upon a slab
placed against the wall, using a quill pen. The schoolmaster was always early at his desk, and the pupil that got there first was the first to recite his
lesson. At the age of eighteen years Mr. Usery began teaching, receiving at first one dollar and fifty cents a day wages. He was successful in his work,
and taught in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas, continuing thus employed for twenty-six terms, in the meantime being engaged to a considerable
extent in both mercantile and agricultural pursuits. His father had given him eighty acres of land lying north of and adjoining the village of Buel.
Subsequently selling that land Mr. Usery spent two years in Kansas, after which he returned to Indiana and taught in Greene and Sullivan counties.
Going again to Kansas in 1879, he was engaged in teaching and farming in Cherokee county, afterwards being similarly employed in Vernon county,
Missouri. Returning to Sullivan county in 1889, Mr. Usery traded for the farm upon which his mother was reared, and this property he still owns.
Removing from it in 1903, he assumed possession of the property which he had previously purchased in the business part of Sullivan. He has also a farm
lying half a mile from the village center and a fifteen-acre tract of valuable land, two acres of which is within the corporated limits of the village. Here he
has lived since 1903, and has devoted the greater part of his time to the culture of fruit. He has, however, traveled some, and with his wife spent the
winter of 1907-08 in California.
Mr. Usery married, November 12, 1868, Mary J. Wilson, who was born in Haddon township, Sullivan county, Indiana, October 17, 1844. Her father, Martin
Wilson, was born in Coshocton county, Ohio, and came to Indiana with his father, Judge Joseph Wilson, a pioneer of Haddon township and one of the
early judges of Sullivan county. Martin Wilson improved a farm in Haddon township, it being the estate now owned and occupied by his son, George T.
Wilson, and there resided until his death in his eightieth year. His wife, whose maiden name was Mary P. Lamb, was born in Kentucky, and died in Indiana
at the early age of thirty-three years. Five of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Wilson grew to years of maturity, as follows: Mary J., now Mrs. Usery;
William; George T.; Joseph; and Anna. Mr. and Mrs. Usery are the parents of four children, namely: Martin W., Winona, Ida May and Will F. Martin
married Mary Carter, and they have two children, Musetta and Warren C. Winona, wife of John L. Story, has five children, Eula, George Dewey, Inez and
Florence and Lawrence, twins. Ida May, wife of Harper L. Davis, has four children, William Ray, John Basil, Elva and Cleo. Prominent in public affairs, Mr.
Usery was appointed justice of the peace in 1904, and elected to that office in 1907. Religiously both Mr. and Mrs. Usery are members of the Christian
church, and have reared their children to the same faith.
(Source: "A History of Sullivan County Indiana", Thomas J. Wolfe - Editor, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1909. )
Biography of George W. Usrey
Contributed by his grt-grt-grandaughter Judi!
The following was published in "History of Greene and Sullivan Counties, Indiana", published by Goodspeed Bros. & Co. 1884. It is typed as printed in
GEORGE W. USREY, farmer, P.O. Cass, eldest son of Phillip and Nancy S. (Crowder) Usrey, was born July 5, 1830, in Cass Township, Sullivan County,
Ind. Philip Usrey was born in White County, Tenn., August 16, 1806, and married Miss Nancy S. Crowder in the year 1824, in Tennessee, moving shortly
after to Greene County, Ind. In the year 1828, he moved to Sullivan County, settling in what is now known as Cass Township, on Busseron Creek, living
there six years; then entered land in Section 35 in Cass Township, farming and shoe-making until his death, February 19, 1852. His wife survived him
until September 15, 1867. They are buried in Antioch Church Graveyard.
George W. Usrey went to school, in all about two years, in the second schoolhouse built in the township, walking two miles. Commenced to work for
himself at the age of twenty, marrying Miss Louisa E. Walters March 7, 1848. His first wife died April 14, 1852. To this marriage was born one son, William
J. Usrey, September 3, 1851. July 27, 1854, he married Miss Mary E. Pigg, his present wife, and to this marriage were born thirteen children, nine of
whom are now living. Mr. Usrey has improved and sold three farms, owning at this time a part of the old homestead, in Sections 35 and 36, containing
152 acres, well improved .
Mr. Usrey was elected Township Assessor in 1860, serving two terms, resigning in 1864. Was elected Township Trustee in 1866, serving eight years and
seven months, building ten frame schoolhouses, and had them well furnished, which is a pride to his township. In 1874, Mr. Usrey commenced
merchandising where the town of Buell now stands. Laid off the town in 1879. His store was burned October 16, 1883. He will now return to his farm. Mr.
Usrey has always voted the Democratic ticket, casting his first vote against the interest of free schools which he afterward so ably sustained. Mr. Usrey
taught one term of select school in 1855.
Biography of John Fowler
John Fowler was four years old when his father James died. His mother (? Bloomer) remarried a man named Laird. John lived with his mother, step-father
and step-brother Joseph, in a fort along the Cumberland River in Kentucky. His mother died when he was eight years of age and he stayed with his
step-father until he was fifteen.
When the Fort was being attacked by Indians, John, being the boy who had no mother to prevent him from going, was chosen to be tied to a horse and
sent out of the Fort past the Indians to bring word to the men who were out in the fields tending the crops. A fast horse was kept at the Fort for this
purpose. The women in the Fort would hold up dried pumpkins on sticks and pretend they were real guns. By dressing in men's clothing, they fooled the
Indians into thinking there were men inside the Fort.
In about 1795, John came into Kentucky with his first cousin Sylvanus Fowler, who had received land for Revolutionary service of his father John of Ulster
Co., NY. This John had married his first cousin Glorianna Fowler. Sylvanus married Mary Ussery and John married her twin sister Lucy. Both were
daughters of Welcome Ussery and Lucy Gross. The weddings took place about 1801 at the Brimstone Baptist Church in Monroe Co., KY near the
present day town of Hendersonville.
John and his family lived along the Cumberland River, probably near Celina, Tennessee, Jackson County, now Clay County. John's occupation was
mining saltpeter. This was used in the manufacture of gun powder. The first three sons were born in Tennessee: James, William and John, Jr. In 1813 his
fourth son Thomas was born in Kentucky. His cousin Sylvanus and his family lived at a place called Tinsley Bottoms.
About 1820 John moved his family to Hendricks Co., Indiana because his wife Lucy was tired of owning slaves and wished to leave the south. The slaves
were sold and their family of six children moved to Danville, where John purchased land for farming.
In his book, son Samuel tells how the family decided to leave Indiana and move on to Illinois. He cited the reason as the land not being suited for good
farming, heavy timber and the considerable number of frogs located on their land. The day they left many of their neighbors accompanied them part way,
until they reached a place where the road started away from the settlement.
John made his living by farming and by buying land that he developed for other settlers to purchase. Through experience as a pioneer to a new territory,
he was knowledgeable in how to select the best home sites in a territory that was being opened to settlers in Iowa and Illinois. He made considerable
money purchasing undeveloped land and building a home on it to sell to other pioneers.
By 1833 he was located in Illinois where the Potawatomi Indians were living. They had not yet been moved to Council Bluffs. John bought land at Big
Springs, a suburb of Chicago. After surviving the bitter cold and snow, he sold the land and returned to his wife and children.
The Fowlers were a close knit family and lived and traveled together as a group. At one time John left his family in Indiana and moved to Iowa, settling on
the Des Moines River. He returned to Indiana to bring his family to Iowa, but having heard about the Platte Purchase, changed his mind and relocated
them to Missouri instead. They were always seeking new land and adventure. As the sons reached manhood and married, they also moved around to
new areas. The families always lived close and moved as large groups by wagon train from Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, back to Indiana, Missouri and finally on
to California. At one time there had been eighty-seven Fowlers living close to one another.
In the 1840's, they bought land that was very valuable in Buchanan County, Missouri. This was during the time when the Mormans were settled in
Missouri. A group of Mormans, calling themselves Danites, were causing trouble. One of these Danites had been seen entering a cabin and cutting the
weaving from a loom that the lady of the house had been creating. John's son Welcome escorted the Danite out of the county.
People mistakenly thought the Fowler boys were Mormans. Once, when the boys were building a fence on their property, some of the people threatened
the boys. No longer wanting to be a part of the community, the Fowlers sold their land and moved to Atchison County, Missouri. They settled along Rock
Creek in a small town called Rock Port. Son Christopher started the first blacksmith shop and son John built the first mill.
In 1849, Gold Rush fever reached the Fowler boys. Brothers Samuel, Welcome and Thomas cross overland to Grass Valley, California where they were
successful miners. Life was not easy due to the cold conditions in which they worked and lived. Upon arrival they bought goods in Sacramento and
brought them back to Grass Valley by Wagon to where they had erected a building. Here they sold goods to other miners. In 1850 son Thomas ran a
store in Coloma, south of Placerville. Grass Valley is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains where there is considerable rain and some
They hired a guide to show them the way to Mexico where they had planned to buy mules to sell to the miners on their way to California. Instead, when
they had traveled part way, they paid off their guide and decided to return to Missouri. Samuel, Welcome and Thomas went to Acapulco, where they
boarded an old American Man-of-War called John Petty. They took this boat down the coast, then walked across the Isthmus of Panama, where they
boarded a small boat called the Great Northerner, and headed for New Orleans. By the time the ship reached port, the boiler had run dry. The sailors
had to hoist the sails, but due to calm winds, they were without food for several days. Samuel's hat had blown overboard and he was without shoes as
they were worn out from walking across the Isthmus of Panama. Most of his clothes had been tossed overboard because they were full of vermin.
Upon arrival in New Orleans, the eager shopkeepers attempted to get the brothers to enter their shops to purchase new belongings. After a much
needed meal, a shave, haircut, etc., they did purchase new clothes and the eager shop keepers, who had hounded them when they first stepped on
land, did not recognize them as being the same bedraggled gold miners from California.
They traveled up the Mississippi River and bought a wagon in St. Louis. After returning to their families in Rock Port, the "Fowler Nation", as they were
called by others, came to California. They built their wagons for the trip west in the style of the prairie schooners, the same type the Mormons used. Son
William brought his family across the plains in 1852 and settled in the Sacramento Valley.
The last farm work that John, Sr. did was at Rock Port. At age 72 he helped sow the seed for a crop. Samuel described his father, when young, as being
6 feet 3 inches, weighing 225 pounds and very well muscled and heavy boned. When John was 80 years old he weighed 275 pounds. At age 79, John
Sr., traveled with his family across the plains. Descendants say he even walked part of the way. He was suffering from malaria and because he was not
expected to live through the journey, his coffin had been brought along in case he did not survive the trip.
Lucinda (Lucy Ussery), John's wife, had been a doctor for 40 years. Her method of doctoring was bating, anointing with oil, laying on of hands, and in
extreme cases, sweating. In all those years she lost but one patient. Lucy died in Missouri about 1853. The family started their journey to California on
April 25, 1854 and arrived in Butte County, California August 1, 1854.
Along the way they were followed by 400-500 Pawnee Indians. A small band of Indians came and asked for meat. The Fowlers provided them with the
meat from one of their cattle.
They camped at Chimney Rock where many pioneers had carved their names. When they reached the desert known as Big Sandy, before reaching Bear
River, the wagons were oiled, using tar. Two men would lift up the wheel, another would set a piece of lumber under the axle, and another man would
take out the lynch pin and hold it. When it was greased he would again insert the axletree through the hole that held the wheel on the axle.
When they entered the desert, one of Major Thompson's wheels ran off. Something frightened the cattle and they immediately stampeded. Some of the
wagons ran off in all directions and turned over. Samuel was driving one of the teams and ran ahead and caught one of the steers by horn and nose,
thinking he could stop him. But the oxen behind ran into the cattle. Samuel was injured by a piece of greasewood shrub that pierced his hand. Brother
Welcome was able to jump out of the back of the wagon and bring the team to a halt.
As the wagons neared the Platte River, the cattle smelled the water and again stampeded. Some members on this trip died of cholera because they
drank poisoned water. Others drowned while attempting to bring their oxen and wagons across the Green River. The Fowlers brought a boat on a wagon
to use for moving some of their belongings across the rivers.
The wagon train took the Truckee Route that went down the Humboldt River to the sink of the Humboldt. They camped at the same place along the
Humboldt where in 1846 the Donner Party wagon train had been marooned by heavy snow. Many members had starved to death and just a few survived
the ordeal. They then crossed the desert where they reached a place called Hot Springs. They stopped and allowed the cattle to drink cool water. It is
here where Samuel found the machinery and goods, including bacon stacked two or three feet height which had been tossed away by previous pioneers.
Melinda Jane, wife of Welcome, gave birth to her second daughter, Maria Jane on July 4, 1854. Maria was born in a covered wagon in Utah Territory.
Welcome had brought a drove of cattle and after arriving in California, spent the winter herding them in Woodland, south of Sacramento. This is where
the settlers fattened their cattle before selling some of them to the miners and other pioneers.
John Sr., and his sons John, Benjamin, Samuel, Edmund, Welcome and families lived at Rockville, in Solano County after they first arrived. Son William
had already settled at Putah Creek, north of Vallejo. They bought land where they raised wheat and other crops.
About 1864 John Sr. moved to Lake County, near Kelseyville, where he lived with his son John. In 1864 son John sold land to Welcome and moved to
Virginia City, Nevada. Here he served as a doctor to the miners, although he had no formal training at a medical school. He had learned medicine from
the Indians who taught him the use of herbs.
In 1867, Welcome, Samuel, Edmund and John, Jr. and families moved to Snelling, a small farming town in Merced County. Snelling was the first county
seat for Merced.
John Sr. died November 26, 1867 near Lower Lake and is buried there. The San Francisco newspaper shows this date. Samuel recorded his death as
Samuel was nearly eighty years old when he wrote his stories about his life and that of his father. He was born April 1826 in Danville, Indiana and died in
1915 in Santa Cruz, CA. He was a farmer and served as a California State Senator.
Reminiscences of Early Pioneer Days in America from 1776 to 1863 Authored by Samuel Fowler
Contribution of storyline by Nancy J. Williams, a descendant of John and Lucy Fowler
Source: A Twentieth Century History of Southwest Texas Vol. II, Lewis Publishing Co., 1907
Those who came to Texas in the earlier days of its statehood were men of courage, energy and enterprise, willing, in their efforts to establish a home for
themselves and their families, to sacrifice the comforts of life in a more civilized region for a time. Prominent among this number was the late Mastin
Ussery, who came to the southern part of the state upwards of half a century ago, and from that time until his death was actively and prosperously
employed in developing and advancing its agricultural resources. A native of Giles county, Tenn., he was born October 23, 1818, a son of Hutchen
Ussery. His grandfather Peter Ussery, was born and reared in North Carolina. Selecting farming for his life occupation, he subsequently moved to Giles
county, Tenn., where he cleared a farm, on which he spent the remainder of his years.
Born in North Carolina, Hutchens Ussery accompanied his parents to Tennessee, and assisted in the clearing and improving of the parental homestead.
On arriving at man's estate, he began farming on his own account, owning quite a tract of land in Giles County. In addition to general farming, he was
extensively engaged in stock raising and dealing, his operations in this line oftentimes taking him far from home. On one of these expeditions, he went
south with live stock, he was taken ill, and died in Mississippi. His wife, whose maiden name was Fannie Rushen (Rushing) was born in North Carolina
and died on the home farm in Giles county, Tenn., at a good old age.
Selecting the occupation to which he was reared, Mastin Ussery carried on farming in Tennessee for a number of years, residing there until 1851. In that
year, accompanied by his wife and three children, he started for Texas. Sailing down the Cumberland, Tennessee and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans,
he there embarked on a steamer for Galveston, where he arrived in the month of December. Changing boats at that place, he continued his journey to
Powder Horn, now called Indianola, and from there went with ox teams to Victoria, where he spent a few months. The following May he went to Saluria
Island, on which he remained about six months. In the fall of 1852 he made another move, going across the country with his family to Guadalupe county,
where he soon decided to locate. Buying five hundred and fifty-two acres of the San Marcos River bottom lands, he at once began the improvement of
his property, almost the first thing which he did being to build two log houses, one for himself and family and the other for his slaves. The country
roundabout was then in its virgin wildness, deer, wild turkeys and game of all kinds being abundant and easy prey for the hunter. There were then no
railways in this part of the country, and in consequence all cotton produced had to be hauled with teams to either Port Lavaca or to San Antonio.
Improving a large tract of land, Mr. Ussery remained in that county until 1870. Buying in that year five hundred acres of land in Caldwell county, he came
here with his famiy, and for some time operated both farms. A man of great ability, possessing sound judgment, he met with most satisfactory results in
his agricultural labors, and from time to time added to his landed possessions, becoming owner of nearly two thousand acres of land. He continued
farming during his active life, residing on the home farm, about two and one-half miles from Luling, until his death, in September, 1883.
On July 16, 1844, Mr. Ussery married Sarah Jane Martin, who was born at Macon, GA., October 8, 1827, a daughter of John Martin. Her grandfather
James Martin was born in Scotland, and was there reared and educated. Emigrating to the United States, he bought land near Macon, GA and was there
engaged in tilling the soil the remainder of his life. Continuing in the occupation of his ancestors, John Martin moved from Georgia, his native state, to
Tennessee in 1828, becoming a pioneer of Giles County. Buying a tract of uncultivated land, he improved a homestead on which he resided until his
death, in 1880, at the remarkable age of one hundred and five years. He married Annie Milligan who was born in Georgia, a daughter of William and
Mary Milligan, and died on the home farm in Giles county, TN in 1873.
Of the children born of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Ussery, eight are now living, namely: Frances Ann, James W., Lizzie, John H., Abner, Kittie, Gussie and
Frances A. married, first Frank Appling, by whom she had one son, Collie Appling, and married secong R.W. Pierce, by whom shehas four children; John
M., Fannie, May, and Annie Lou.....
James W. Ussery married Annie Hensley and they are the parents of seven children: Willie, Peter, Abbie, Burl, Jessie, Addie and Grover.....
Lizzie, who married Hoy Houston has nine children: Mattie, Fannie, Abner, William and James, twins; John, Hugh and Fred and Iantha, twins....
John H. married Lucinda Craft and they have six children: Mattie, Lucinda, Mastin, Walter, Lila and Oran....
Abner married Betty Ketchum and they have five children: Lorena, Van, Roselle, Julia and Abner...
Kittie, wife of John Craft has three children: Gussie, Charlie and Kittie M.....
Gussie, the wife of Thomas A. Moody has one child, Lorenzo U.
Mattie married first, Cheed Craft, by whom she had two children, Colula and Lillie Mae, and married for her second husband T.J. Wright.
Although eighty years of age and not very strong physically, Mrs. Ussery has full use of her mental faculties and is very bright and active, retaining all of
her former interest in general affairs and taking great pleasure in her large family of descendants, her grandchildren numbering thirty-eight.
Tillman Bradley Ussery
Athens Man Has 102nd Birthday
(News Courier, Athens, Alabama Wednesday, 22 Jan. 1975)
Tillman Bradley Ussery had another birthday Monday. When he was born, Ulysses Grant was President of the United States. Born Jan. 20, 1873, Ussery
is now 102 years old. Ussery celebrated his 102nd birthday at the home of his daughter Elner, where he has resided for the past three years.
He was born in Giles County, Tenn., at a place known as Dry Weekly Creek. Dry Weekly, located near Pulaski, earned its name from a periodic lack of
water. Says Ussery, "Dry Weekly is just a little ways from Wet Weekly Creek. Wet Weekly always had water."
Most of his many years were spent farming the South Tennessee-North Alabama area. Ussery's crops usually consisted of cotton, corn, sorghum, and
peas. He retired from active farming at the age of 80.
Ussery married the first of three wives in 1897. Although he has had 10 children, six are alive today. Four reside in the Athens area, one near Madison,
and another lives in Pulaski, Tenn.
Recalling the simpler days of his youth, Ussery says," I was a big boy before I ever saw a cooking stove. We used to cook over an open fireplace. Back
then, you couldn't tell if a family was rich or poor by the way they cooked. Nobody had a cooking stove."
Ussery still adheres to the simple way of life he has known for so long. He never learned how to drive a automobile. Ussery, according to daughter Elmer,
will not wear anything but a pair of overalls.
William F. Ussery
(History of Humphreys County, Tennessee," Goodspeed Publishing Co 1886) William F. Ussery, born Davidson County, Tennessee, August 15, 1821,
being one of twelve children born to Masten and Elizabeth (Fowler) Ussery. Masten was a native of North Carolina and came to Tennessee at age 13,
settling in Davidson County near the mouth of the Harpeth River. He was a man of good education and mental attainments,and was a member of the
Christian Church. His death occurred in 1869. Our subject was raised on a farm, and in 1841 was united in marriage to Sarah A. Osborn, who was born
in Davidson County January 16, 1824, and died April 1, 1863. Five children were born to this union:William T. Ussery, b. Jan 14,1843; Mary E. b. Oct. 30,
1849; Elijah M., b. Jan 14, 1857; Eliza J. b. Feb 20, 1861 and Martha A., born Feb. 1, 1863.
May 26, 1866 our subject was again married to Nancy R. Faucett, who was born in Davidson County, Tennessee, December 13, 1822. He is a member of
the Masonic Order, and is a highly respected citizen.
(William F. and family and Masten and family can be found in the 1850-1860 Cheatham County, TN US Census Records.)
"Tennessee has furnished to this county a number of representative men, and among them might be mentioned William Usery, who was born in Bedford
County, TN in 1832. He is the son of Allen and F. Elizabeth (Johnson) Usery, both natives of North Carolina, and early settlers of Tennessee, to which
state they migrated in pioneer times. They were members of the M.E. Church. William Usery was brought up as an agriculturist, and it was but natural that
he should permanently adopt that calling as his life occupation; this he has always followed. He used his education in the common schools of Tennessee,
and at the age of 18 learned the blacksmith trade, which he followed in connection with farming. In 1849 he came to St. Francis County, Arkansas and
worked at his trade for two years." A History of Poinsett County, Arkansas.