Transcribed by Carolyn Denson
Source: Jackson County Chancery/Circuit Loose Records
Johnson - Keith, S. 1839 - 1915
C.T. Jones VS Elijah Price Chancery 1895
CT Jones and wife vs E Price and Jas Keith
Pending in the Chancery Court of Jackson County Tenn
Witness James Denson 45 years of age sworn states as follows.
Quest. Were you acquainted with Jno Keith and his wife Serilda Keith in their lifetime. What relationship were you to them.
Ans. I was acquainted with them & Serilda was my sister.
Quest. When did they die, Give the date of their deaths as near as you can remember.
Ans I cant tell just when, But Jno died about 1874 or 75. The Best I Recaled Surrida died in June 1880.
Quest. Do you know the land described in the bill and in contraversy in this case. How long have you known it
Ans I know the land and have known it ever since I was small
Quest Did you live on the lands with your sister after the death of Jno Keith how long did you live on it
Ans About a year or alittle _____ I lived with my sister on the lands after the Death of Jno Keith
Quest. Did your sister Serilda Keith continue to live on and occupy the lands and houses from the death of Jno Keith her husband to her death
Ans Yes sir:
Quest. Did she live with her children by her husband Jno Keith on said lands until her death
Ans Yes Sir:
Quest. How many children were born to Serilda and Jno Keith. Give their names and when they were each born
Ans There was three, The oldest was named Jim he was borned 1869, The next was Named Alcie. Dont Recolect Just when she was borned but something like a year & a half after Jim, she was small 6 or 8 months old when she died The next and last was Susan. she was borned Aug 1873 or 74. dont Just remembr at present which year.
Quest. Were the children above mentioned all living on the lands with John and Serilda Keith at the death of Jno Keith
Ans All but the one that died (viz. Alcie)
Quest. Did Jno Keith claim and occupy the lands as his own until his death
Ans Yes Sir:
Quest. Did Serilda and her minor children towit James and Susan continue to claim and occupy the lands until the death of Serilda
Ans Yes Sir:
Quest. Did you while you lived with your sister and a short while before her death, build a fence on any part of the lands
Ans I holpe a little Boy to fix one side of the fence. Did not fix a good fnce
Quest. Was there or not valuable walnut poplar oak and chestnut timber on the lands at the date of Serilda Keith death
Ans I dont know whether there was or not
Quest. State whether or not the children Susan Jim and Alcy were born to Serilda Keith during the life time of John Keith and while they were living together as husband and wife
Ans Yes Sir:
Attest M.J. Dixon James "X" Denson
Witness C T. Jones of Lawful years sworn States as follows
Quest. Are you the complainant in this case and is Susan A Jones your cocomplainant your wife.
Ans Yes sir
Quest. When was your wife born.
Ans I cant state precizly but from ___ best I can find out from the records she was borned Aug 1st 1874
Quest when were you and your wife married
Ans We was married June 19, 1892
Quest. Do you know the lands described in your bill. How long have you known said lands
Ans I have know the land for 10 or 12 years
Quest. At the death of Serilda Keith was there or not valuable timber on said lands
Ans I can't state positivly, but think there was.
Quest. How many acres of tillable land on said land, and in actual cultivation at the death of Serilda Keith
Ans I dont know but guess there was about 6 or 7 acres
Quest. How many barrells to the acre is it capable of yeilding in corn.
Ans I cant state
Quest. Are you acquainted with the fence that deft Eliga Price built on said lands
Ans I have seen the fence
Quest. What is the value of said fence so built by deft E Price
Ans Cant state for cirtain But it looks like it ought to be worth 15 or 20 dollars
Quest. What is said lands reasonably worth rental per annum cultivated in corn
Ans I think about Twenty Dollars.
C T Jones
Witness J. N. Carter lawful age duly sworn states
Ques. By Defendant.
Are you acquainted with the parties to this suit?
Ans. I think I am
Ques. Do you or not know the land in contraversy
Ans. I think I am.
Ques. Please describe the land, tell how it is situated & how it lies, & how many acres?
Ans It lies a cross a little hollow and is verry steep and rockey, with Bluffs & ledges and about 8 acres of it, I think of the whole thing including cliffs Bluffs Buses __
Ques. What is a reasonable value of said land?
Ans Just it a bove it is not worth much Taking everyting in consideration it would be worth perhaps 5 Dollars per acre
Ques. What would be a reasonable rental value for said land per anum.
Ans It would not be much, But as it Joines Lige he could pay 2 Dollars per acre for the tillable land about 4 acres of it When he tended it in corn, but he could only do it every other year.
Ques. What do you think it could be rented for to other parties, if anything?
Ans Not anything I dont think.
Quest. How far do you live from the lands.
Ans About 2 miles
Quest. When was you on the lands
Ans A little better than a week ago
Quest. Is it not a country that you do not visit often and are not well acquainted with it
Ans I am verry well acquainted with it and visit it.
Quest Is there not a good house on it
Ans No sir there is no house on it
Quest. Did not John Keith and his family make a living on the place up to the death of Serilda Keith
Ans I dont know. But I understand they lved there
Quest. How much did deft Elijah Price pay Wm Lawson for the land with valuable timber reserved
Ans I have heard it said he paid him fifty Dollars, but cant say how _____ __.
J. N. Carter
Witness James Lawson lawful age duly sworn states as follows,
Ques. By defendants,
Are you acquainted with the land in contraversy, how far do you live from it;
Ans I know the land I live about 2 1/2 miles from it. I live 6 or 7 years in about 1 mile of it
Ques. How many acres in cultivation on the land.
Ans I dont think there is over 4 1/2 acres
Ques What kind of land is it, describe it?
Quest (supposed to be answer) It is hill side mighty steep and rockey. Bluffs you can get a row or two and then you have to skip a place of Bluffs before you can get any more. The ledges runs around the hill. It is this way on one side But the other side is Rockey
Ques. What would be reasonable rent per anum for said land?
Ans. I dont know I would not want to give over Two Dollars per acre for the till over land and that every other year.
Ques. How maney acres of tilable land?
Ans I think about four & one half acres.
Quest. What use has Elijah Price put this land to since his purchase
Ans He has had it in corn some years
Quest. Has he not got a crop on it this year
Ans Yes there is a crop on it
Quest How many barrells of corn will it yield per acre this year
Ans I dont know.
Quest Did not Bill Keith make a living on the land one or two years
Ans I dont think that he could. He tended it one or two years & lived but worked at other thing He was a stone mason & preacher.
Quest. Did Bill Lawson your brother sell this land to deft Elijah Price What did Price give for the land
Ans He sold it to him and Price give him $50.00 for it & reserved the Timber.
RE EX_____ by Deft
Ques Was the house that John Keith lived & died in on the land in contraversy?
Ans I dont think it was;
Ques. How long was it from the death of John Keith to the time Price got the land in possession.
Ans I dont Remember but it was a right smart while
Attest M. J. Dixon James "X" Lawson
Witness E. Price lawful age duly sworn states,
Ques. Are the defendant to this suit
Ans I am
Ques. State whether or not the house in which John Keith lived and was on the land in contraversy.
Ans No sir, the house was not on the land in contraversy
Ques. What would be reasonable rental value for said land per anum since you have had it in possession?
Ans. Five Dollars per year. Before I would have such a house as ____ there I would give that.
Ques. What was the condition of the land when you went in possession of the same.
Ans. It was lying outside. No fence around it except some brush in places.
Ques. What it worth to fence it.
Ans. I can't tell you for certain I worked 8 hands at it 6 or 7 days
Quest. Did you not get the timber that made the rails for the fence you built off of the lands in contraversy
Ans No Sir. I cut it off my own land & run two carts hauling it.
Quest. You fenced some more of your lands in connection with this land at the same time Did you not.
Ans Yes Sir.
Quest. And you fenced it all in 6 or 7 days
Ans. I would not say for certain that I fenced it all in six days, it might have been 7 or 8 days.
Quest How much of your other lands did you fence at the same time
Ans I dont know, there is a great big scope of it.
Quest. The biggest scope that you fenced was your other lands was it not
Ans. Yes Sir:
Quest. How many panels of fence was there on the lands in contraversy that you fenced?
Ans. I could not tell for certain? I expect about 100 panels?
Quest. How many rails in in this 100 panels
Ans. I made it 8 rails high?
Quest. How much are these 800 rails reasonably worth to put up on this land
Ans. I dont know, rails go at $1.00 cut & put up.
Quest Have you not tended this land every year since you purchased
Ans No Sir.
Quest. Who is cultivating it this year and on what terms
Ans. John Chaffin, giving me one third?
Quest Who else have you rented it to since you purchased and at what price
Ans. Marian Wilmeth, I think four years & gave me one third?
Quest. Did not Marion make you good crops each year he staid there
Ans. Yes Sir. Marion is a good worker.
Quest. How much corn did he raise per acre on the land
Ans I dont know.
Quest. How many years has Jno Chaffin cultivated the land for you
Ans. Two years, I think with this year.
Quest. Has he not made you good crops and has not he a good crop on it this year
Ans. No there is not a good crop on it this year.
Quest. How many barrells per acre Did Chaffin make and will he make this year
Ans I dont know, I would not say.
Attest M. J. Dixon Eliga "X" Price
Adjourned the further taking of depositions in this case until tommorrow morning Sept 5, 1895
Sept 5 1895. Resumed the taking of Depositions with
Witness Marion Wilmoth of lawful age sworn states;
Quest by Complts.
Are you acquainted with the lands in contraversy How long have you known said lands and state if you ever rented same at any time State from whom you rented and for what years you rented. State fully
Ans I know the lands. I have known them for about 8 years. I have rented the lands. The first renting was 6 years ago and lived on it 3 years. I rented from Lige Price
Quest. How many acres in cultivation on said place
Ans I expect there is betwen 8 & 10 acres
Quest. How much rent did you pay Elijah Price
Ans I Paid him 1/3
Quest. State what said lands are capable of yielding per acre in corn
Ans. Between 3 & 4 ___ per acre
Quest. Did you make the _____ on said lands when you cultivated it
Ans Yes I guess I did
Quest. Who has tended it since you left
Ans Ab Allens folks tended one year and Jno Chaffin Two years
Quest. Has the land been tended every year since you first went there up till the present
Ans I dont know whether it has or not but think it has
Quest. Please describe the lands and state whether it is rich & fertile or otherwise
Ans It is good land.
Quest. Did you tend any other lands the years that you cultivated it or did it make a full crop for you
Ans It made a full crop for me with one horse
Quest. State what said lands are reasonably worth
Ans I dont hardly know what, But I would give $100.00
Quest. Would not $100.00 be very low for it
Ans I Expect it would.
Quest. What would be a reasonable rental value per annum for said lands
Ans Twenty Dollars.
Quest What was the condition of the fence when you left there
Ans The outside fence was good.
Quest About how many panels of fence is there that touches the lands described in the bill
Ans About 100.
Quest. Was this fence that Price built not composed to a great extent of old rails that come out of the old fence on the place
Ans Part of it was old rails
Quest. About what proportion of it was old rails that come out of the old fence
Ans About 1/3
Quest. How many rails high was it
Ans It would average 8 rails
Quest. Then the fence that Price built on the place contained about 800 rails with 1/3 off for old rails was it
Ans Yes sir
Quest. What is a reasonable valuation for getting out the rails removing them to the land and putting them up
Ans About $1.00 per hundred
Attest M. J. Dixon Marion "X" Wilmoth
Witness Woody Denson 82 years of Age sworn states:
Quest. Were you acquainted with John & Serilda Keith in their life time. How close did you live to them. When did they die and how many children did Serilda Keith leave surviving her at her death Give their names.
Ans. I was acquainted with John and Serilda Keith in their life time Lived about 1 1/2 miles from them. Dont remember the date of their deaths. Serilda Keith left two children surviving her at her death by Jno Keith. Their names are James and Susan
Quest. Do you know the ages of James Keith and Susan now Susan Jones wife of complt CT Jones
Ans. Susan Jones was 21 yrs old this last August. I think James is now about 24 years old, this is my best recollection about it
Quest Do you know well the lands described in the bill in this case State whether or not Jno Keith lived on said land until his death Serelda and her minor children lived on it until her death claiming said land as their own
Ans John Keith lived on the land until his death and his widow Serilda and her minor children lived on it until her death claimng it as their own
Ques State whether or not said land is rich and productive and capable of yeilding a living for a small family
Ans. It is rich and productive and capable of yeilding a living for a small family
John Keith lived up the hollow above the place. I have understood that Jno Keith had a contract with Bill Keith for a part of the land where he died as I have understood, but they split up so I have learned & Bill left the place. Bill I have heard was to take care of the old man and family during life. I dont know whether Bill Keith died on the land or not. I dont know whether it was sold to pay a fine and costs against Bill Keith I have understood it that way but I dont know it of my own knowledge. Dont remember how long Jno Keith has been dead Bill Keith has two widows living
Woody "X" Denson
Byas Keith witness for complainants sworn states.
Quest. Were you acquainted with John & Serilda Keith in there life time. How many children did Serilda Keith leave surviving her when she died. What is there names & when were they born.
Ans it was Two by John Keith. Jim & Susan. Jim is about 24 years old, Susan is a bout 21 years old
Quest. How far did you live from them at the time of there birth.
Ans About 1/2 mile
Quest. Do you know the lands desribed in this bill If so what would be a fair rental value per anum for them
Ans I know the land and It would be reasonable at $20.00
Quest Did John & Serilda Keith with there 2 children live on said land until they both died
Ans I think they did. Surilda lived on it till she died and the old man died first.
Quest What is said land reasonably worth
Ans One hundred & Twenty five Dollars
Quest How long has Deft E Price had said land in possession
Ans Between Eight & Ten years
Quest being interegated.
I dont know that John Keith sold it to Wm Keith Wm Keith is my father.
Quest Did Wm Keith claim it when he was in possession
Ans I dont know I was small.
Quest Did the old man live on the hollow above this place
Ans Yes the old man lived about 1/2 mile.
Quest Dont you know the land was sold for cost from your father
Ans. I dont know whether it was or not there was some cost against it. My father moved to Kentucky and come back & died on that place. Toby Keith
We waive ______ and cirtifficate to the foregoing Depositions
J. A. (Jr, Am?) Denson
____. for Price
CT. Jones & wife
N. P. M. J. Dixon Taking
8 Deposition 8.00
Issuing 8 Sup .80
8 Probates .40
1 C_______ .25
1 Notice .50
8 Supeona @ .25 2.00
Witness James Denson 1 day @ $1.00
James Lawson 1 day @ $1.00
J U (N?) Carter 1 day @ $1.00
Tobias Keith 1 day $1.00
Woody Denson 1 day $100
M J Dixon