Pleasant Forest Cemetery History - Page 2

The Grassy Valley Presbyterian Church, as it was first identified, was organized by the Reverend Samuel Graham Ramsey, who was installed as pastor in 1798. On May 1, 1800, Colonel Campbell made a deed of the land to the pastor and officers of the church. The deed for two and some fraction acres reads:“…..Whereas the said congregation (Presbyterian) with the free will and consent of the said David Campbell have erected a house for public worship on his lands – therefore, in order to secure to the said congregation the free and peaceable use and enjoyment thereof, he, the said David Campbell, has given and granted to Samuel G. Ramsey, Pastor, and Robert Gamble, Joseph Cowan, and David Campbell, elders of said congregation and their successors…two acres and sixty poles…and it is hereby further granted that the subscribers to a School are ot have and enjoy free use and occupation of a school house now erected on the premises …”
Let it be registered, Archibald Roane, Knox County, Tennessee Deed Book E III, 142.

Colonel Campbell sold his real estate holding at Campbell’s Station in 1823 and 1824. He was a citizen of Wilson County, Tennessee, when he made his last deed to Samuel Martin, May 12, 1824. He is buried in Wilson County.The three brothers, Alexander, David, and James Campbell had taken part in the Battle of King’s Mountain, October 7, 1780, in the regiment of Colonel John Sevier.

After problems with the Indians had been settled, Alexander (1761-1816) established his home in what is now the Riverdale community. His wife, Mary Lockhart Campbell, was the sister of Janet Lockhart Campbell, the wife of “Elder” David Campbell. Alexander and his family were members of the Lebanon-in-the-Forks Presbyterian Church. James Campbell (1759-1844) married Janet/Jane Allison. He was a very large man, said to have weighed nearly four hundred pounds and was known as “Big Jimmy.” He was correspondingly strong and outlived his brothers. He was a successful farmer and miller, and remained in the general area of Campbell’s Station. He is said to be buried in Virtue Cemetery.

“Elder” David Campbell was well known for his interest in promoting religion and education in the community. He served on the original board of elders of grassy Valley, or Pleasant Forest Church. Two of his sons and a grandson served in the same office. On December 11, 1785, he married Janet (also called Jean or Jane) Lockhart, daughter of William and Mary Campbell Lockhart, and sister of Mary Lockhart, wife of his brother Alexander. The identity of “Elder David Campbell’s wife is a subject of disagreement. The stone marker in Pleasant Forest Cemetery reads: “In memory of David and Nancy Steel Campbell, who with his two brothers emigrated…” The marker was erected in 1925 by Orion Lodge No. 276 I.O.O.F. Miss Laura Luttrell, local historian and a descendant of Alexander Campbell, identifies David Campbell’s wife as Janet Lockhart. The names Steel and Lockhart both appear in succeeding generations of Campbells. Many of the descendants of “Elder” David Campbell still live in the Concord/Farragut area and many of his descendants rest in Pleasant Forest Cemetery.

In 1835, the log meeting house at Pleasant Forest having proved insufficient, a capacious brick edifice, said to be the first brick church in the country outside Knoxville, was constructed. In 1849, a new academy building, forty by twenty-two feet, was built. These were the days of glory for Pleasant Forest, but they were not to endure for in the winter of 1863, a part of General Burnside’s federal troops wintered nearby and used brick from the church to build chimneys for their cabins. At the close of the war veterans returned not only to find their church in ruins, but also to find that because of intense partisan sympathies, neighbors were unable to worship together. Herein lies one of the greatest tragedies of that war especially in East Tennessee, where neighbors, brothers, fathers/ sons found themselves in disagreement sufficient to take up arms against each other.

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