QUARLES GATHERING TO HONOR PUTNAM PIONEER
By Paula Phillips: For the Quarles/Burton Society
Note: On June 5-7, the descendants of William and Ann Quarles will gather at the site of White Plains near Algood to honor the memory of Lt. William Pennington Quarles, who settled there 200 years ago.
All descendants, their families and friends are invited to visit the website for details: www.wpquarles2009.info
– Two hundred years ago in December of 1809, William Quarles and his family left the town of Liberty in Bedford County, VA for a new life in a new place.
Like so many other pioneers families, they took with them all of their worldly possessions. Their destination was the wilderness of Middle Tennessee.
There were dangers along the way, but theirs was a large party of able-bodied men, capable women, slaves and several children, not to mention the livestock. They surely would have wasted no time along the way since the winter weather was so unpredictable at that time of year.
They knew that they were leaving behind the comforts of home and the assurance of friends and good neighbors, but this sturdy family was ready to face the hardships of the long trip that lay ahead.
Looking back at their years in Liberty, William Quarles must have known that the time was right for their adventure.
William was the son of Roger and Mary Goodloe Quarles of Caroline County.
He was a veteran and officer of the Revolution and an original member of the Society of the Cincinnati of Virginia. He, his wife, Ann Hawes, and their family had lived in Albermarle County during the war and after, until at least 1789, before moving to Bedford County.
They arrived in Liberty with several of their daughters: Tabitha, Mary, Nancy Ann Hawes, Frances, Elizabeth and perhaps Sarah. Since the exact date of Sarahs’ birth is unknown, it is impossible to be certain of her birthplace.
We know that the first of the three Quarles sons, William Hawes, was born on March 13, 1794. William P. Quarles had qualified as ensign in the Bedford County Militia on August 26, 1792, which further establishes the familys’ location in Bedford County during this period.
James, John and the youngest daughter of the family, Catherine, were also Bedford County children by birth.
During their residence in Liberty, four of the Quarles daughters were married: Tabitha married William Hawes, 1801; Ann Hawes Quarles married William Burton, Jr., in 1801; Mary married Irby Hughes in 1808; and Elizabeth married Charles Burton, a brother of William Burton, Jr., in 1808.
William and Ann Quarles owned property in Liberty. He also managed a large family-owned plantation near Liberty on which they resided.
William served as an officer in the Militia of Bedford County, the 91st Regiment.
He moved up through the ranks as ensign, lieutenant, captain and major.
In addition to his farm and his military responsibilities, William was an active civilian citizen in county government during his years in Bedford County. There were references in Bedford County Court Order Books between 1795 and December 1809 documenting his services as a “gentleman” justice, often presiding over the court.
His name was on the list of justices for 1795-1798, as well as in 1799-1803. He was listed as magistrate from 18061808. He served as a member of the Bedford County Processioners, Commissioner of the Peace, Commissioner of Revenue for the Northern District, and as an attorney at law.
After the sale of the plantation, he obtained a license to keep an “ordinary” in his home in the town of Liberty. He was issued the license in October of 1808, just a little more than a year before he would leave Bedford County.
In November of 1809, William Quarles resigned his commission in the Bedford County Militia. The last time he signed the Bedford County Order Book as presiding justice was the first day of December, 1809.
Family tradition says that he and his family arrived the same month on Christmas Day at their new home in a community known as White Plains in White County, Tennessee.
He soon returned his active life with a busy schedule as planter, attorney at law, justice, ordinary keeper, county coroner and postmaster.
His productive life came to a sudden end on April 2, 1814 when he was brutally murdered. He was but 62 years old.
Following his death, his wife, Ann, his children and grandchildren carried on the plantation community he had founded.
His beloved White Plains later became the site of the first court conducted in that part of White, Overton and Jackson Counties where his sons and daughters and their families had spread out to settle the land and raise their own families.
In 1843, the Courts of Record were held at White Plains to determine the new seat of Justice for a new county, Putnam.
In 1845, the new county was declared quashed, but marriage and other instruments of writing were confirmed. Putnam County was not reestablished until 1854.
The county sear of Putnam was named Cookeville. About three miles east of Cookeville, near a small town called Algood, is what remains of the community of White Plains today.
The beautiful antebellum home of one William and Anns’ grandsons, S. D. Burton, survives, as do the rolling fields and hill that William Quarles had called home for less than five years.
Just down the road at the site of the original White Plains home is the Quarles-Burton Cemetery where William, Ann and several members of their family lie in rest.
Reservations for the 200th anniversary of White Plains should be make by May 1, 2009 and should be made payable to The Quarles/Burton Society, c/o Darlene Bilbrey Wiegand at 283 Willow Brook Drive, Cookeville, TN, 38501.
200th ANNIVERSARY OF LT. WILLIAM PENNINGTON QUARLES TO BE HELD IN JUNE (1809-2009)
By Eunetta Finley Jenkins – Special to the Herald-Citizen
Herald-Citizen, Cookeville, TN: Sunday 3 May, 2009, pg. A-14
In the winter of 1809, Lt. William P. Quarles, along with his wife, Ann Hawes Quarles, brought part of his family to White County, Tennessee (now Putnam County). They settled in what was known as “White Plains” on the old Walton Road (near present day Algood, three miles east of present day Cookeville).
William Quarles was born about 1752 in Caroline County, VA. He married Ann Hawes. They had 10 children, seven girls and three boys. William Quarles served as an ensign and lieutenant in the
First Virginia Regiment during the Revolutionary
War and was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati in Virginia. He later served as a major in the militia of White County.
Quarles did not live long in his beautiful home on the land that he loved. According to the family Bible record of Charles Burton (Quarles’ son-in-law who married Elizabeth Jane Quarles, murdered on the road near White Plains, April 2, 1814.” (This Bible was printed and published in 1813 by M.
Carey, No. 121 Chestnut St., Philadelphia.)
Tradition is that he was on his way home from a militia meeting in Sparta, White County, Tennessee, when he was ambushed. His horse arrived safely at home. When the search party located him, it appeared that someone had hit him over the head.
William Phillips of Sparta, White County, was accused of his murder and a reward of $50 was offered for his capture. Phillips was later apprehended, but escaped from the White County jail.
In the White County Court Minutes Book 1814-1817, TN 976.89, it states “Ordered by court that Isaac Medkiff be allowed the sum of ten dollars for his service rendered on guarding William Phillips a prisoner confined in the public jail of White County to be paid by the County Treasurer out of any monies in his hands not otherwise appropriated. Issued October 21, 1815.” Medkiff was a Justice of the Peace.
Again, Phillips was apprehended, this time by Reese Porter, who was acting much as a bounty hunter would. Porter had previously fought with Andrew Jackson. Phillips was taken to jail and then on to Nashville, but once again he escaped. There was later a $100 reward offered for his capture, signed by Governor Willie Blount, but Phillips was never apprehended again. Some articles indicate that Phillips was the first sheriff of White County, but in an article from The History of White County, page 85 states, “When our county was organized in 1807, John Knowles, and not William Phillips, as been frequently stated, was the first sheriff of the new county.”
Tradition has it that the reason for the murder was that Phillips was jealous of the quality of the clientele at the ordinary (inn) of Lt. Quarles being superior to his own clients. Who’s to say what the real reason was. Perhaps it could have been jealousy because of Quarles’ rank as major of the White County Militia, a grudge held by Phillips, or maybe even a robbery.
Bur, whatever the reason, William Pennington Quarles’ life was taken long before he accomplished all that he came to do in this beautiful area. In 1812, Quarles was issued a license to keep an ordinary, or house of entertainment at his own house.
He had already built a blacksmith shop, a mercantile store, a tavern and was rearing a family that would play a major part in building what we now know as Putnam County.
In the short sum of four and one half years that he lived at White Plains, he certainly made his mark, leaving a legacy that even today includes thousands of descendants who are showing their respect and honor to him.
And in June of 2009, we will have put forth all our efforts of research, love and respect and in some tangible, small way we will have told Lt. William Pennington Quarles…a job well done.
There will be a Candelight Cemetery Walk with costumed historical interpreters on Friday, June 5 at 8:30 p.m. at the Quarles/Burton Cemetery located on the Old Walton Road where the new Algood School is being built just up the road from the White Plains home of Tom and Martha Willis.
There will be festivities on Saturday afternoon on the lawn of the White Plains home along with a tour of the home.
Sunday afternoon, beginning at 1 p.m. at the cemetery, there will be dedication services and marking of graves by the DAR, SAR, UDC and CAR.
WHITE PLAINS FEST: Herald-Citizen, Cookeville, TN: Sunday, 24 May 2009, pg. A-7.
Mary Burton Chaffin, left, and Lora Burton Bohannon will tell family stories during the Quarles/Burton celebration on Friday afternoon, June 5, and on Saturday morning, June 6, at Algood First United Methodist Church. Planned for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Quarels and Burton families settling what we now know as White Plains will be a candlelight cemetery walk on Friday evening at the family cemetery on Walton Road, a tour of the White Plains Willis home on Saturday afternoon, the marking of graves of Revolutionary War soldier, William Pennington Quarles, and three Civil War soldiers as well as other events. For more information, call 931-260-7651.
WHITE PLAINS DAYS PROCLAMATION
Putnam County Executive Kim Blaylock
(seated) signs a proclamation proclaiming the weekend of June 5-7 as White Plains 200th Anniversary Celebration Days. Behind Blaylock are Martha Willis (standing center), owner of the White Plains house, and Patricia Burton (left) and Eunetta Jenkins, descendants of Lt. William Pennington Quarles and Stephen Decatur Burton and co-coordinators of the event. White Plains will hold a weekend-long celebration of its bicentennial at the White Plains home and around Algood. For more information, go to wpquarles2009.info.
Herald-Citizen Photo/Ty Kernea
MARKER WILL BE UNVEILED SUNDAY Putnam County Herald, Cookeville, TN: 25 June 1931
The unveiling of the marker at the grave of William P. Quarles, a Revolutionary soldier, will take place at White Plains, at the home of S. D. Burton, three miles east of Cookeville, Sunday afternoon, June 29, at four o’clock. A short ceremony for the occasion will consist of brief talks by Gen. E. H. Boyd, Dr. W. S. McClain, and Captain James T. Quarles, all of whom are direct descendants of Lieutenant Quarles. Members of the Old Walton Road Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will be present and the public is cordially invited to witness the unveiling.