After the public hanging of Jo and Teek Brassell in the middle of Cookeville on 27 March 1878, Putnam County slowly returned to normal. After the conclusion of Bates' second trial in March 1879, DeKalb County slowly returned to normal. The interest in both cases died down, and those intimately involved in the tragedy returned to their lives.
JOSEPH C. ALLISON- After the murder of his two older brothers, Joe continued to live with his stepmother, Angie, and her second husband, James Isbell. Sometime in the late Fall of 1878 or early Winter 1879, Joe became seriously ill with lung congestion. Throughout his illness, Angie tenderly took care of him. In her testimony at Bates' Trial in March 1879, Angie stated that Joe was near death. He lingered until November 1879. At the time of his death, he was only 20 years old and had never married. The location of his grave is unknown. He is probably buried in an unmarked grave in the Rhea Cemetery near his parents and his brothers. On 24 March 1879, he wrote out his Last Will and Testament. He appointed his brother, Pleasant J. Allison, as his executor. (See Joseph Allison's Will)
- To Angeline Isbell: "First I give to Angeline Isbell the amount of one hundred and twenty-five dollar which was due me from her on horse bridle and saddle, as was specified in my Father's will for her kind treatment and attention as been given to me by her during my sickness."
- To his brothers and sisters: "Secondly I want my Estate to be Equally divided between all my Brothers and Sisters, That is to say with the exception of William Allison, but I want his wife Lucinday Allison and his Children to have and control as theirs - instead of him."
- To Leann Allison: "Also I want Leann Allison and her Four children to Shair equally with the rest as long as she should live or remain single, and if she should marry then to go to John's children."
- To Pleasant Allison: "I further give to my Brother Pleasant J. Allison the sum of Fifty dollars $50 for his services giving attention and waiting on my while sick over and above the amount of Each of the other heirs." (FOOTNOTE)
ANGELINE (BEASLEY) ALLISON ISBELL- After the murders, Angie continued to live in the Allison/Isbell homeplace. She nursed both her stepson Joe and her second husband James Isbell throughout their sicknesses. James died on 26 April 1880, and Joe died in November 1879. On 4 April 1891, Angie sold the house and lands to James H. Lee. (FOOTNOTE) In 1892, James deeded the house and lands to his wife, Mattie Lee. This deed indicates that the earlier sale was to be "sold by decree of the County Court," indicating that Angie may have owed back taxes on the land. (FOOTNOTE) Where she lived after she sold the Allison lands is unknown. In her Last Will & Testament dated 24 November 1892, (See Angeline Isbell's Will)she made the following bequests:
- To Dora Isbell (daughter of W. J. Isbell) - A feather bed and bed clothes.
- To Olla Julian (no relation stated) - A feather bed and bed clothes.
- To [Washington] Lafayette Isbell (brother of W. J. Isbell) - one Coverlet
- To James Isbell (son of W. J. Isbell) - one quilt
- To Houston Beasley (Angie's brother) - $50.
- To Balee Julian (identified as her niece) - $25
- Luke Gillem (son of William Gillem and Margaret Allison) and W. J. Isbell were to sell all her property.
- After the money was to be paid out to Houston and Balee, any left over money was to be equally divided between Cinda Allison (wife of William Allison and identified as her niece), Margaret E. Gillem (daughter of Joseph Allison and Angie's step-daughter), P[leasant] J. Allison (son of Joseph Allison and Angie's step-son), Luke Gillem and W. J. Isbell. (FOOTNOTE)
According to the Allison Family Bible, Angie died in November 1892 putting the date of her death between 24 November - 30 November 1892. It is unknown where she is buried. Possibilities include an unmarked grave in the Rhea Cemetery near her first husband, in the Cookeville City Cemetery near her second husband, or in the Beasley Family Cemetery near her brother.
AMANDA PIPPIN- Not much is known about Mandy after the shooting. She continued to live with Angie at least until the 1880 census. She never married and died on 6 February 1888. She was buried in the Whitson Cemetery.
ARCHIBALD BRYANT- Arch married Mary Frances Bryant about 1876, and they raised thirteen children. Arch died 7 January 1913 and was buried in the Bryant Cemetery.
LEANN (MAXWELL) ALLISON AND CHILDREN- After the murder of her husband, Leann never re-married. She continued to live and raise her children on the land that she and her husband owned. She died 22 October 1915 and was buried next to her husband in the Rhea Family Cemetery. Mary Plinie Allison married William Albert Ellis on the 8 August 1889 in Putnam County. She died 10 February 1940, and both she and her husband are buried in the Johnson Cemetery in Jackson County, Tennessee. Joseph Wilson Allison married Alice Neighbors, and they moved to Red River County, Texas. Eliza J. Allison never married. She died about 1892 in Putnam County. Amanda Angeline Allison married Joseph Gentry about 1895, and they moved to Lubbock County, Texas. Amanda died 25 February 1950 and is buried along with her husband in the City of Lubbock Cemetery.
JAMES REUBEN BRASSELL- Despite many rumors of his arrest after the public hanging of his brothers, (FOOTNOTE) Jim was never charged or tried for any crime relative to the Allison Murders. In addition to his son, Robert Clay, who was about eight months old at the time of the murders, Jim and Harriet had nine more children. Jim stayed out of trouble until the spring 1898.
On Sunday 3 April 1898 about 1pm, Jim and his two sons Claude and Robert Clay (now called Clay) were talking to William Bradford and his uncle Giles Bradford Jr. When William and Clay got into an argument that turned into a fight, Giles stepped in to separate the young men. Then Jim, Clay and Claude then jumped Giles Bradford. By the end of the fight, Giles had been shot in both lungs and had multiple stab wounds. He died within minutes. After the Coroner's Inquest, a warrant was issued for the arrest of all three Brassells. The Sheriff apprehended Jim and Clay, but Claude got away. Later, Claude surrendered himself to the Sheriff. Jim was allowed to post bond, but Clay and Claude were sent to jail. (FOOTNOTE)
Jim, Clay and Claude were tried three separate times for this murder. In the first trial in May 1899, all three were found guilty of First Degree Murder and sentenced to 15 years each in the Tennessee Penitentiary. At the second trial in May 1901, all three men were found guilty of Murder in the Second Degree and sentenced to ten years each in the Tennessee Penitentiary. In the third and final trial held in September 1902, all three were found guilty of Murder in the Second Degree. Jim and Clay received two years in the Tennessee Penitentiary while Claude received six years. Claude served time from 20 December 1902 to 4 July 1905, having his sentence reduced by Governor James B. Frazier. A search for Jim and Clay's prison record produced no results.
Jim's wife, Harriet, died of influenza, on 10 March 1922. She was buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery. Jim wrote out his will on 1 October 1925. (See Jim Brassell's Will)In it, he left all his money and possessions to his children and the children of his deceased children. He died 30 March 1926 of Prostate Cancer (See Jim Brassell's Death Certificate)and was buried next to his wife in the Odd Fellows Cemetery.
DOBSON YEARGAN JOHNSON- Dobson Johnson was directly credited for helping to bring the Brassells to justice and for helping to break up the High Curtis Gang who was terrorizing Middle Tennessee. He testified in the Brassells' trial, of both of Bates' trials, and in the Curtis trials held in Smith County, TN. For his testimony, he was never charged with any crime related to the murders of the Allison Brothers or to the activities of the Curtis Gang.
A spectator at the Brassells' trial described Johnson's demeanor on the witness stand to the reporter of The Daily Americanas follows "While on the witness stand, in the Brassell case, he told what was believed to be a frank, straightforward story. He is a man of such phlegmatic temperament that all the sarcasm the defending lawyer could bring to bear did not excite him in the least." (FOOTNOTE) As the Defense Lawyer peppered him with questions, Johnson calmly admitted that he had been present at the Allison/Isbell home on the night of Russ's murder, been present at the New Middleton Store on the night the Curtis Gang robbed the store, and that the boots he was currently wearing were stolen from that store. He gamely informed the court that he was wearing a size 10 on one foot and a size 11 on the other. It appears that after these series of trials were over, Johnson stayed out of trouble for the rest of his life.
On 9 November 1886, Johnson applied for a pension from the Federal Government for his alleged service in Company E of the 4th Tennessee Mounted Infantry during the Civil War. The US Pension Board denied his request because they could not find his name on the military rolls of any US military unit. Joseph H. Blackburn, Lieutenant Colonel of the 4th TN Mounted Infantry, and Marcelos C. Vick, 1st Lieutenant of Company E 4th TN Mounted Infantry, sent affidavits to the Pension Board on Johnson's behalf verifying that he was a member of their unit. Unfortunately for Johnson, the Federal Government never approved his application. (NOTE)
By 1900, Johnson and his wife had eleven children, eight of which were still living. Mary, his wife, died between 1900 and 1904. In 1904, he married Emma Unknown [Emma, born about 1863, may have been the widow of Unknown Cooper]. (NOTE)
Johnson died 21 October 1911 of pneumonia near Liberty, Tennessee (See Dop's Death Certificate). Although it is unknown where he is buried, he might be buried in an unmarked grave in the Dismal Cemetery, DeKalb County, Tennessee.