Trip to West Tennessee

By Robert Moore

Updated: April 2013

Note: Click on the highlighted words for more information on the referenced locations.

     On 2 September 2012, Risden, Bob Rhodes and I made a trip to visit locations in Wayne, Hardin, and McNairy Counties in West Tennessee. We left South Pittsburgh, Tennessee and traveled along U.S. highway 72 through Scottsboro, Huntsville, and Athens to Florence, Alabama, then on Alabama highway 20 to the Tennessee border where it became Tennessee highway 69.  We made a side trip off this highway; but returned and followed it to Savannah, Tennessee.

     On the side trip we stopped at the Centenary Cemetery near Lutts in Wayne County, Tennessee and visited the grave site of Uncle John Benjamin Moore’s son Joe Vincent Moore.  Joe was Leamon Moore’s younger brother.  They were first cousins and best friends of Daddy when they were growing up.  Joe was in Florida with the families, and lived in Savannah, Tennessee when our family resided there.  He remained there after we left.

     Our next stop was at the Savannah City Cemetery in Hardin County, Tennessee where we visited with our deceased brother, Bob Lee Moore.  The cemetery is always in very good condition.  The headstone is beginning to show signs of wear since it is made of marble.  We fear that in another several years it may become unreadable.  We will be  placing a granite stone in front of the existing stone next April.

                                        Bob Lee Moore’s Headstone
           The inscription at the very bottom reads: "Darling We Miss Thee"

     Next we visited the landing where Daddy ran the old ferry boat.  The landing and the adjacent Cherry Mansion are now historical landmarks.  We were fortunate to meet the owner of the Mansion, Mary Ann Guinn Gilchrist, again.  Bill, Risden, and I met her several years ago when she gave us a tour of the mansion.  She is the daughter of Bob Guinn, the man for whom Daddy ran the ferry.  She is a very gracious lady, and seemed glad to see us again.  She spent several minutes talking to us about the Mansion and her father.

                         The Cherry Mansion, Savannah, Tennessee
              Robert Moore, Mary Ann Guinn Gilchrist, Risden Moore


      Bob Rhodes and Risden Moore at Savannah, Tennessee by the old ferry landing


           Although this is not the ferry that Will Moore ran, it is similar in construction

     We followed U.S. highway 64 West out of Savannah.  Our next stop was the Mount Pleasant Cemetery about 7 miles west of Selmer, Tennessee in McNairy County.  The cemetery is in a rural area known as Rose Creek.  A narrow paved highway named Rose Creek Road leads south off U.S, Highway 64 West for about 3.5 miles to a very narrow and winding gravel and chert path named Mt. Pleasant road that took us another couple of miles to the cemetery.  The Mt. Pleasant Cemetery is situated on a little knoll with a few trees and only scant patches of grass.

                   Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Rose Creek, McNairy County, Tennessee

     There are many Moores buried in the cemetery.  Some of them are in our direct bloodline; but some are from a different branch.  Considering that the folks we were searching for were buried in the 1800s, we were expecting, at best, to just see some rocks stuck in the ground.  We have experienced this in many cemeteries where our kinfolk were buried.  We were very pleasantly surprised to find several old headstones.  Some of the inscriptions were faint; but readable. 

     Our Great, Great, Great Grandmother Rebecca Henry Moore, her son William Smith Moore, and his wife Willie King Moore have headstones there.  Several of Smith Moore’s descendants also have stones there.  Someone has placed flowers on many of the graves.  This tells us that someone still cares. 

     In my research I have found that in almost all cases our kinfolk migrated from one place to another because they already had family at the new location.  William Smith Moore Jr., his wife, and several members of their extended family, including some slaves, moved to McNairy County, Tennessee around 1847.  Some of his wife's family had already established themselves in McNairy County.  This undoubtedly influenced their migration.  Many of the King family are also buried in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery.  Rebecca Moore moved to McNairy County after the death of her husband, William Smith Moore Sr. who died in 1867.  She lived with her son until her death in 1873.

     Although most of the Moore and King families initially moved to the Rose Creek area, it seems that after a few years there they moved to the Bethel Springs area just north of Selmer.  The land around Rose Creek, at least at the present time, seems to have quite poor soil.  It is thin and appears to be made up mostly of chert, or roughly ground rock.  Satellite pictures do not reveal any open areas suitable for farming.  On the other hand, the Bethel Springs area appears to be much more suitable for farming.


             Great Great Great Grandmother Rebecca Moore 

                    Great Great Uncle William Smith Moore Jr.


                     Smith Moore's wife, Wilhelmina "Willie" King Moore


                    Esaw Moore, Son of William Smith Moore Jr.

      Risden & Robert by the headstone of Great Great Great Grandmother Rebecca Moore

        Risden and Robert by the headstone of Great Great Uncle  William Smith Moore Jr.

     Weather forecasts of impending severe weather forced us to head back home.  We had originally planned an overnight stay; but the bad weather changed our minds.  We traveled back to South Pittsburg via U.S. Highway 64 and Interstate 24 through Waynesboro, Lawrenceburg, Pulaski, Fayetteville, Winchester, and Monteagle.  The entire trip is mostly 4 lanes.  There are bypasses around most of the towns; so there are not so many traffic lights to slow the trip.

     We were very happy with our entire trip, and hope to visit both Savannah and McNairy County again next year.


Additional Trip to Savannah, Tennessee in April 2013

     Brother Risden and I, along with our niece Linda Hilliard made a trip from South Pittsburg, Tennessee to Savannah, Tennessee.  We followed Route U.S. 64 all the way there.  The rolling hills of Middle Tennessee were quite beautiful and different from the mountains of Marion County.  The purpose of our visit was to install an additional headstone for our infant brother, Bob Lee Moore.  He is buried in the Savannah City Cemetery. 

     Everything went well and the new stone should last for a long time.  It is made of granite.  The old stone that was installed in 1928 is made of marble, and is showing signs of aging as is usual with this type of stone.

     We visited around Savannah for a short while, showing Linda where many of us were born, and where the older boys worked on the river. 

      We had a nice lunch at a local restaurant, then headed back to South Pittsburg.  We really enjoyed having Linda with us, and consider the trip very successful.