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JOHN WESLEY COMBS' LOG CABIN


An essay according to Webster is an effort to do something, attempt, trial, or a literary composition analytical or interpretative dealing with its subject from a more or less limited or personal standpoint. Mine will be more personal about the descendents who had roots in this old house which was the beginning of a century of interesting events.

John Wesley COMBS married Margaret DORTON in Russell County, VA 1860. They moved to Bristol, VA (June 1876) and nine children were born to this couple living in this humble dwelling. The five girls attended Supine Academy and when my father A. K COMBS was two years old, John Wesley bought 350 acres of land for 3,000.00 in Holston Valley called Poor Hill, Tenn, (1882). A brick post office was located at the comer of the yard on Painters Creek Road near VA state line. A lovely old brick home also stood in this yard and burned to the ground when they had only been there five years. A sad fact also was the tragic death of Joan Wesley by being kicked in the stomach by a mule causing almost instant death. He managed to get to the house and fell into the kitchen floor leaving a distraught wife and nine children. This happened before the fire which Margaret narrowly escaped suffocation trying to save her bed linens and extra pillows (geese feathers) in a closet upstairs. One of the boys saved her when the door of the closet was blown shut by the suction of fire & wind. Three strong sons saved many pieces of furniture by upstairs windows (comer cupboard). One old sideboard still shows a hole in the end which a mule kicked in it during the trip moving by wagon to Poor Hill & smoke damage on the back of the sideboard. My father who was seven ran to a married sister's home for refuge, not stopping to think of helping his mother trapped in the turmoil of a burning acme. The old log cabin had much to be grateful for. After the COMBS family sold out a big portion of East Bristol where the Tannery was located at that time (Mary St.) a nice nurse (Mrs. COSGROVE) lived in it for years and it was well kept. Then Eugene WORRELL a successful business man in the newspaper field all over the eastern part of U.S. bought the dear old structure and moved it to a farm near South Holston Dam in Sul. County. Mr. WORRELL has literally made the old COMBS cabin into a fantastic museum, adding a kitchen from other old logs and porches all around with timely relics of that period the late 1800s & early 1900s. We are so proud of our heritage and that old log house and its memories.

Loft upstairs like Little House on the Prairie. Hugh fireplace and worn stair steps showing the wear & tear of boots.

All of the COMBS men were successful farmers and gave a good life to their families. The girls married well and contributed much to society as well. There have been teachers, nurses, salesmen, college farm managers, Member of Peace Carp, ministers, Missionaries, director of religious education, lawyer and devoted home makers. If that old cabin could talk we know the stories would hold us breathless while it would unfold many interesting and humorous tales of years gone by.

[Author unknown & date written unknown]

Submitted by Butch Hicks, taken from The PastMaster Journal of the Mountain Empire, Vol. II, No. 3, dated January, 2005, with special permission from Ms. Shelby Ireson Edwards Editor.

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