Some History of the Deal Family

This is a work in progress.  Additions and corrections would be very much appreciated, and I would love to hear from any descendant of this family!  Any desired changes to this document will be made.  Please contact Chris at

William Washington Deal was born in Tennessee on 20 November 1842.  There is conflicting information about who his parents were, but by the time he was eight years old, he was living with a woman named Eliza Deal, who was probably his mother.  Eliza’s maiden name was Russell.  She was the widow of a man named James Deal, who had died sometime prior to 1850.

The Deals and the Russells lived on Sam’s Creek in what is now Cheatham County, Tennessee.  The 1850 census shows Eliza Deal, age 35, living just two doors down from her brother Joseph F. Russell.  Her household included four children: William Deal (our ancestor), age 8; James Deal, age 8; Mary Deal, age 6; and Delilah Russell (Eliza’s niece), age 8.

They lived close to the mineral springs at the head of the Creek, six or seven miles north of current-day Pegram, Tennessee.  A dozen households away lived John Riggan (b. 1790 in North Carolina), one of the earliest settlers of the Sam’s Creek area.  Riggan had a double log cabin, known as Riggan’s Tavern, which was a landmark for those seeking the head of the spring, whose waters were considered to have healing properties.

From the springs, Sam’s Creek flows northward for about a dozen miles until it empties into the Cumberland River near Lillamay, across from what is now Ashland City.  In the lowlands along the south bank of the Cumberland, there were a number of good-sized sized plantations.  But further upstream, where Eliza Deal lived, there were only small farms and hunting camps.

This was the neighborhood where William Washington Deal was a boy, and where Eliza (Russell) Deal lived from sometime before 1850 until her death, at age 39, in 1854.  She died without leaving a will, and her only heirs were minor children, so her property was sold at auction on September 14. The estate settlement lists her personal property in detail, but makes no mention of real estate; so it appears that she did not own the house where she lived.

The list of Eliza Deal’s belongings is a biography in itself: the auction included her spinning wheel, soap trough, rocking chair, shotgun, and a full range of household goods (coffee mill, skillet, water bucket, and so on).  Her furniture (for herself and four children, and in addition to the rocking chair) consisted of a table, five chairs, three beds, and a cupboard.  Her stock included a cow and calf, a yoke of oxen, a mare, sixteen chickens, and twelve head of hogs.  Including cash on hand, her belongings were worth $218.02.

The largest portion of Eliza’s estate was purchased by her brother Joseph F. Russell, who bought her mare ($47.00), her crop of corn ($66.50), and several other items.

After Eliza Deal’s death, the children were probably cared for by their uncle Joseph Russell; and the youngest child, Mary Deal (age ten at Eliza’s death), was still living with the Joseph Russell family six years later in 1860 (by which time this family had moved to Dickson County).  William Washington Deal stayed in Cheatham County, but he moved a few miles west to a village named Chestnut Grove.

Chestnut Grove and Bell’s Bend

You can’t find Chestnut Grove on a current map, but it was in roughly the same location as the town now called Shacklett.  It was bordered on the west by the Harpeth River and on the south by Dog Creek, and it extended up to the Scott Cemetery, just across the Harpeth from the Indian burial grounds at Mound Bottom.  

Chestnut Grove and Mound Bottom were just one bend in the river away from the Narrows of the Harpeth, where the river makes a meandering, seven mile loop – surrounding an area called Bell’s Bend – and then comes back to within three hundred feet of itself, but separated from itself by a high limestone bluff. 

The bluff provides a spectacular view of Bell’s Bend, and William W. Deal must have come up to the bluff to admire the view and to marvel at the greatest engineering feat in the state: back in the early 1820’s, industrialist Montgomery Bell – who owned iron furnaces throughout the area – had conceived the idea of digging a tunnel through the limestone bluff to connect the river to itself at the Narrows. 

Chestnut Grove, where William Washington Deal was living in 1860, was just about two miles from the Narrows of the Harpeth.  Chestnut Grove was not a big place – the post office served a population of around 200.  The postmaster was James H. Fulghum, who also ran a general store.  Fulghum employed William Washington Deal as a store clerk, and Deal lived with the Fulghum family.

Cheatham County marriage records show that W. W. Deal married Fannie Scott on 11 May 1861, a few weeks after the Civil War broke out.  Fannie was the daughter of Thomas Scott, who lived quite close to the Fulghum household.

I have not been able to discover what William W. Deal did during the Civil War.  He was nineteen years old when the war broke out, and should have been conscripted; but I cannot locate a service or pension file for him. 

In 1870, William Washington Deal filed for divorce from his wife Fannie Scott, claiming that she had “been guilty of adultery … with one T. S. Bryan and others.”  Fannie failed to appear in Court, so the divorce was granted

William Washington Deal and Louisa Wynn            

On 24 September 1872, in Cheatham County, William Washington Deal married Louisa “Lou” Wynn.  William was almost thirty and Lou was only sixteen. 

Lou was from Colesburg.  She was the daughter of James Henry Wynn and Theodosia Hooper, and she was the granddaughter of Eleanor (Goodrich) Hooper.  Lou’s great-grandfather was the Rev. James Goodrich, a Baptist minister had owned an iron furnace on Yellow Creek, and was a competitor to Montgomery Bell.

William and Louisa settled in Cheatham County District 10, near the Harpeth River.  Their grandson Howard Deal remembered a story about what happened when they left Colesburg.  William and Lou had loaded all their belongings into the wagons and set out for Bell’s Bend, where William had made arrangements to rent a place; but the Harpeth River was in their way.  Howard recalled:

They had a place rented over in Bell's Bend down here and the river was up when they got down there and there was a house empty there before you cross the river, so they just put the furniture in it and they lived there for eighteen years.

So the west bank of the Harpeth, near Bell’s Bend, is where William and Louisa’s children were born – eventually there would be ten children altogether.  It’s also where William was living when he received an 1873 license to become a dealer in retail liquor and manufactured tobacco, “business to be carried on at Parmer's Mills.” And William ran a sorghum mill, pressing the juice out of sorghum cane and boiling the juice down into sorghum syrup, also called “sorghum molasses.”  William didn’t know it, but he was starting a family tradition of sorghum-making which would run for at least five generations.

William and Lou’s older children grew to adulthood in Cheatham County – the eldest daughter, Eliza, married Samuel A. Old in Cheatham County in 1889.  And the eldest son, James Henry Deal (who was born in 1875), later told his children about helping his father run the sorghum mill.  James’s son Howard later recalled,

[James Henry Deal] said his daddy run a mill down in Bell’s Bend, he could remember back when he was nine years old, so that was in 1884.  And he didn’t know how long his daddy run the mill, so I just count it from 1884, been in the sorghum business.

On another occasion, James said that he worked at his father’s Cheatham County sorghum mill for nine years, that is, until about 1896.

But then in the late 1890’s, the family moved again – with all ten children, even their married daughter Eliza, who now had children of their own.  They moved just few miles west, across the county line into Dickson County, and they settled near White Bluff, where William and Louisa – and most of the children – would live for the rest of their lives. 

By the late 1890s, when William Washington Deal and Lou Wynn Deal arrived in White Bluff, the town had a population of around four hundred.  By this time William and Lou had ten children:

1.Eliza Ellen Deal, b. 20 June 1873.

2.James Henry Deal, b. 2 January 1875.

3.Louisa May “Lula” Deal, b. 29 January 1877.

4.Hattie Elizabeth Deal, b. 4 April 1879.

5.William Andrew “Will” Deal, b. 5 January 1882.

6.Richard Douglas Deal, b. 27 August 1884.

7.John Franklin Deal, b. 10 April 1887.

8.Mary A. “Mamie” Deal, b. 14 January 1890.

9.Robert V. Deal, b. 15 February 1892.

10.George Washington Deal, b. 16 December 1894.

At first, the family seems to have lived on Trace Creek, but in March 1899, James Henry Deal, the eldest son, purchased five acres of property on the Charlotte Pike, and he started building a house there for his parents William and Lou, plus a separate cottage for himself.

On day in late 1900, James Henry Deal took his rifle, got on his mule, and rode out hunting along Trace Creek.  He didn’t find any game, but he was attracted by “a big washing hung out in the sun,” and met the girl doing the laundry, nineteen-year-old Ida Victoria Petty. Ida was a beautiful girl.  She got her dark hair, high cheekbones, and olive complexion from her mother, Tennessee Frances Daugherty, who was part Cherokee.

The next Sunday, Jim rode the same mule up the same creek, but this time it was for a date with Ida.  Jim was soon a regular visitor to the Petty household. 

Within a few months after he had met Ida, Jim finished building the house and cottage on Charlotte Pike (now Highway 70); and on 13 January 1901, Jim and Ida were married. William and Lou moved into the new house, and Jim and Ida moved into the cottage in back.

The house is gone now, but it was fifty or seventy-five feet south of the old Charlotte Pike (and so a little further south of the new road).  William and Lou’s great-grandson Gerald Miller recalls the place: there was a central hall, with a bedroom on each side.  Each bedroom had a small wood stove.  Past the two bedrooms, you went down a few steps to the rear area of the house, where there was a kitchen on the left and an unheated storeroom on the right.  In back of the house was the cottage, plus a garden, a barn, a henhouse, and an outhouse.

Ida had all the skills of a pioneer woman.  (Later on, her daughters fought over her wooden butter-mold.)  So she was a great asset to the sorghum-making business which the Deals had started back in Cheatham County and brought with them to White Bluff.

The mill was powered by a team of mules (at first, just a single mule) walking around and around in a circle, turning a set of gears which took in the sorghum cane one stalk at a time, squeezed out the sugary juice which ran into a holding tank, and then spit out the cane leavings.  Then the juice was transferred to a galvanized steel evaporator pan, where it ran through a series of compartments heated by a wood fire, as the juice was boiled down into syrup.

For a while, Jim and Ida ran their own mill (their son Howard could point to where the old evaporator pan had been left out in the woods); and sometimes Jim worked for other people.  Then, for a while, Jim and Ida quit making sorghum altogether and Jim worked for the railroad. James and Ida started making Sorghum again in 1921, and from that point forward, sorghum-making was their primary livelihood. 

The Deals seem to have been a pretty tight-knit family.  The 1910 census of White Bluff shows four consecutive related households on Charlotte Pike.  First is the household of William Washington Deal and Lou, with their five youngest children (Douglas, John, Mamie, Robert, and George) still living at home.  Next door to them is their daughter Lula Deal with her husband Fred Cathey and five children.  Next in line is Hattie Deal with her husband James W. Cathey and their three children.  And next door to them is James Henry Deal with his wife Ida and their five children.  Will and his wife Lydia and two children are just a short distance away on Harpeth River Road.  Most of these families would continue to grow over time.

The Nashville, Chattanooga, & St. Louis

The town of White Bluff had crystallized around the train depot, and for many years the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway was the town’s largest employer.  Five of William Washington Deal’s six sons – Jim, Will, Douglas, Robert, and George – were railroad employees for at least a few years (some longer), and the sixth son, John, worked independently using the family’s mule to help pull railroad cars out of the tram cut.  At least one of the daughters, Mamie, was married to a railroad employee.

James Henry, the oldest son, worked for the railroad for a few years as a young man, and cousin Jimmy Deal has James’ “railroad watch.” But James Henry was in a railway accident in which his legs got cut up pretty badly – he had the scars for the rest of his life – and he quit the railroad after that, in favor of farming and sorghum-making.  The second-oldest son, William Andrew Deal became a section worker, repairing track.  Will and his wife Lydia Stephens lived in White Bluff at least until 1930.  He later moved to Marietta, Georgia, but he still owned a small farm in White Bluff, with a little house, and this land was connected to Douglas Deal’s farm.

Douglas Deal worked as a photographer until the First World War, when there was a film shortage; so he quit taking pictures as a profession and went to work for the railroad.  Douglas was a brakeman.  But a bout of typhoid fever left him weakened for months afterward, and he was forced to take a less demanding (and much less well-paying) job as a section worker.

The two youngest sons – Robert V. “Bob” Deal and George Washington Deal – also went to work for the railroad.  Bob was a fireman on the line by the time he was 17, when he was still living at home, but then he moved to Nashville.  Myra Deal Jones recalls that Bob was a very handsome man who never married; she thinks he might have died of influenza.  He died at age 22, in 1914.  George Deal also worked as a railroad laborer.

William Washington Deal’s youngest daughter, Mamie, married Joseph Engles, another brakeman on the Nashville-Chattanooga line.  Mamie and Joe were married in Dickson County, but later moved to the Belmont section of Nashville.  When the trains went through White Bluff, Joe Engles would stand on the platform at the rear of the caboose and throw candy to his nieces and nephews (especially the children of Clara Mai Deal). 

The Generations Change

William Washington Deal died on 13 September 1917, after spending a few days in a hospital in Nashville.  His widow Louisa later moved in with Douglas, in the house on his farm, which adjoined the Hutton Cemetery.

Lou was now the matriarch of the family in White Bluff.  Robert Harold Deal remembers that his grandmother Lou taught the boys how to set traps – “jump traps” they were called – using parched corn as bait.  (They were always hoping to catch a fox and sell the hide, but usually just caught possums). 

And Lou would teach them about planting.  Robert Harold helped with the garden, and Lou would tell him how to plant and tend beans and potatoes – things his mother, Ina, didn’t know and his father, Douglas, wasn’t home to tell him.

Sometime between 1920 and 1930, however, Lou had to find a new place to live.   Doulgas’s wife Ina (Evans) Deal had decided that she could stand White Bluff no longer.  “I’m not going to live out here anymore, Douglas,” she told him.  “I’m just not going to live out here.”  Douglas agreed to move to Kingston Springs – just a few miles away, but a more sophisticated place.  Kingston Springs was a resort town with two big hotels, and people came by rail to “take the waters,” (which, Douglas’s daughter Myra says, “stank to high heaven”).

So Lou moved in with her son William Andrew Deal and daughter-in-law Lydia.  Around 1936, Lou, who had been to Dickson, was getting off the bus back at home, and she fell.  After that, she never walked without crutches.  Louisa (Wynn) Deal died on 21 June 1937 and is buried in the Hutton Cemetery in White Bluff, next to her husband William Washington Deal. 

William and Lou did not have carved headstones, but a very large fieldstone – large enough that it probably took three or four men to lift – was placed over their graves.  (Much later on, in the early 2000’s, the large stone disappeared, and William and Lou’s grandchildren Myra Deal and Robert Harold Deal had proper markers carved for their grandparents.)

After Lou passed on, her eldest son James Henry Deal was clearly the head of the family in White Bluff.  Although James lived into the 1960’s, he never drove a car.  If he needed to go someplace, he walked or hitched up a team of mules to the wagon.  One early photo of James shows him wearing a suit, but this must have been for a very special occasion.  Later on, James always wore overalls, even to church – the White Bluff Church of Christ, where he was an elder. 

Jim and Ida’s grandson Gerald Miller lived with them through the 1940’s and into the early 1950’s, and he has vivid recollections of the household.

Ida was usually in the kitchen.  She always wore an apron, and if she was outdoors, she’d wear a bonnet (“the kind the Mennonites wear,” Gerald says).  The kitchen stove was one of those enormous, cast-iron and porcelain affairs, with warming bins and a compartment for heating water.

Water had to be drawn from the Naul spring a quarter mile away, and transported by wagon to the house (this changed, in 1944, when James and Ida had a well dug). 

The kitchen also had an icebox, and you would leave a sign on the porch saying how many pounds of ice you wanted when the ice wagon came around – five, ten, or fifteen pounds.  (This also changed eventually: around 1945, James had the house wired for electricity, and four or five years after that, he purchased an electric refrigerator).

There was a root cellar, where apples, pears, and potatoes were stored, wrapped in newspaper.  There was a garden, a smokehouse, a barn, and, further back, an outhouse.  Jim and Ida never did get indoor plumbing.

Out in the rear yard was where the clothes were washed – by hand, on a ribbed glass washboard, until the late 1940’s when they got one of those Maytag washers with two tubs and a wringer in between.

They grew corn, of course, and in the barn was a hand-cranked corn sheller, which James Henry would let Gerald run.  Then they would hitch up a team and take the dried corn kernels to a gristmill out toward Pegram Station, to be ground into meal.

In the garden, Ida grew several varieties of beans and peas, and she grew cabbages, which she made into sauerkraut, since it would keep through the winter.  Ida made lots of sauerkraut, in quarter-barrel wooden kegs.  Ida’s granddaughter Dorothy (Deal) Prowell recalls, “I hated that stuff.”

And of course, every autumn, it was time to harvest the sorghum cane and run the mill. 

The usual time for hog butchering was in November, after sorghum-time was over and the weather was colder.  That was when it was time to cure meat for the winter.  Jim and Ida would get several of their neighbors together, and each family would bring a hog, so there would be four or six hogs.  They’d shoot the hogs in the morning, and bleed them out.  Then they’d drag them into the rear yard and put them in the scalding kettle.

Just about the only foodstuffs that Jim and Ida bought at the store were flour, coffee, and salt, plus other pepper and other spices.  Anything else, they grew themselves, or did without.

James Henry Deal and Ida Petty celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1951.  But Ida was becoming ill.  Her lifelong habit of dipping snuff – a habit she inherited from her mother, Tennessee Frances Daugherty – gave Ida cancer of the lip, and she died from it in 1956.  Her body was laid out in the hallway of the home – no funeral home was involved – and someone sat with the body around the clock until Ida was buried.  One of the Catheys dug the grave.

Then James Henry Deal, now in his eighties, broke his hip, and could no longer take care of himself.  So Clifford Deal’s wife Frances Dorothy Deal paid for her father-in-law’s surgery with the money she had gotten from her hogs and her chickens; and she told Clifford pointedly that they were going to take James Henry in.   James Henry Deal lived in a room at the back of Clifford and Frances’s house for the rest of his life.  James Henry Deal died in 1963.

It is striking how many of the Deals are buried in White Bluff.  The Hutton Cemetery and the Olds’ Cemetery are both on Highway 70, less than half a mile apart.  In just these two, small cemeteries are the graves for William Washington Deal and Louisa (Wynn) Deal, plus seven of their ten children – Eliza, James Henry, Lula, Hattie, Douglas, Mamie, and Robert – plus the childrens’ spouses, and many of William and Lou’s grandchildren.

Eliza and Mamie had lived most of their lives in Nashville, but they came home to White Bluff to be buried.  Eliza died of pneumonia in January 1937, at her boardinghouse in Nashville.  She had been separated from her second husband, Bill Jones, but is buried next to him in the Olds’ Cemetery.

Mamie died of cancer in 1952.  She passed away at a clinic converted from an old private home near the Vanderbilt campus.  Mamie is buried in the Hutton Cemetery.

Three of the ten children ended up buried in other places. William A. “Will” Deal and his family moved to Alabama.  Robert Harold Deal tried to get in touch with them but could not; and he doesn’t know where in Alabama they moved to. 

John Franklin Deal spent the last years of his life working as a portrait photographer in Miami, Florida; and he is buried in the Dade Memorial Gardens. 

And it’s a little bit surprising that the youngest son, George Washington Deal, is not buried near his siblings, especially since his wife Kathryne (Radford) Deal is right there in the Hutton Cemetery. 

But George made good.  He had started out as a railroad laborer, like the rest of them.  But George worked his way up, and eventually became conductor on the City of Memphis streamliner – the gem of the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis line.  As a consequence, George moved to Bruceton, 120 miles west of White Bluff.  Bruceton was the mid-point of the Nashville-to-Memphis route, where the crews changed.

The City of Memphis had made its inaugural run in 1947, and was a thing of beauty.  The cars were air-conditioned.  The windows were made larger than usual, so the passengers wouldn’t feel cooped up.  At the rear was an observation lounge car, with magazines on the tables.  The engine itself wasn’t new: it was a 1913 Baldwin 4-6-2, re-built to make it lighter and faster, and encased in a new, streamlined shell painted blue, gray, and black.  It was unlike any other train in the N.C. & St. L. system.

After Kathryne died, George remarried, and his new wife, Mae, had no ties to White Bluff.   George was still conductor on the City of Memphis – and it was still the gem of the line – in 1957, when the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway was merged into its arch-rival, the L & N, and ceased to exist as an independent line.

Myra (Deal) Jones recalls that in May of the following year, 1958, Uncle George ate some fish at a restaurant on the Tennessee River, got food poisoning, and died two days later.  Mae had him buried in Bruceton.  He is in the Prospect Cemetery, and Mae was later buried next to him.

Children and Grandchildren of William Washington Deal and Louisa Wynn:

1.  Eliza Ellen Deal, born on 20 June 1873. Four months before her sixteenth birthday, on 10 February 1889, she married Samuel Old in Cheatham County.  Eliza and Sam’s children were:

A.John William Old, born on 4 December 1889.  He grew up in White Bluff and Kingston Springs, and for a while he lived in Arizona.  On 23 April 1918, he married Elizabeth Marian Glanville, 26.  Marian was from England.  Just two and a half weeks after his marriage, John W. Old was inducted into the U. S. Army at San Francisco.  He was assigned to Company L-31 of the 21st Infantry and was sent overseas.  He was honorably discharged a year and a half later.  By the early 1920’s, John and Marian were living in St. Louis Missouri, where John worked as a streetcar conductor.  John William Old died in Saint Louis on 5 March 1967.

B.Charlie Thomas Old, b. 20 May 1892 in White Bluff, Tennessee, married a woman named Bessie.  In 1917 (when he filled out a WWI draft registration card), he was living in Kingston Springs and working as a clerk in a grocery store owned by L. H. Pendergrass. 

C.James Allen “Jimmy” Old, b. 14 January 1895.  He was living in White Bluff in 1917, by which time he was married with two children.  This might be the James Old in the 1920 census of Nashville, a railroad flagman and lodger in the home of Louise Powell.  This James Old was married to a woman whose name looks like “Rose,” who was born in Tennessee about 1894).  Purely a guess: Rose might be the Rose Old (22 Jan. 1894 - 24 Aug. 1923) in the Olds’ Cemetery on Highway 70.  I would love to hear from anyone who knows for sure about this.

D.Addie Old, b. March 1897; probably the same as the Addie Old Willey, 1897-1925, buried in the Olds’ Cemetery on Highway 70.

E.unknown Old.  In the 1900 census, Liza says she has given birth to five children, four of whom are living.

F.Lela Old, born 17 March 1902.  She married Walter Currin Charlton in Dickson County on 4 August 1918.  Lela was living in Parsons, Tennessee in 1972.  She died on 20 February 1984 in Hermitage, Davidson County, Tennessee.

Sometime after 1902, Eliza married a carpenter named William E. “Bill” Jones.  Eliza and William are recorded in the 1910 census of Kingston Springs, on the road to Craggie Hope.  They are recorded again in the 1920 census of White Bluff, and then the 1930 census of Nashville, on 12th Avenue South, where Eliza ran a boardinghouse.  Eliza was a strong, independent woman, who had something of a temper, and “if she didn’t like someone, she would just tell them to get out.”  She separated from Bill Jones sometime after 1930.  Eliza died of pneumonia on 13 Jan. 1937. Eliza and Bill had four children:

G.Earlie Leo “Crocodile” Jones, born abt. 1908.  They called him “Crocodile,” because his mouth was so big, he could put a baseball in it.  He used this to win bar bets, but the secret was that he could do it because he didn’t have any teeth.  People also called him “Bruno” – I don’t know why.  He died in Nashville on 26 October 1972.

H.Odie E. Jones, born in early 1910.  He worked for U. S. Steel in Birmingham until he retired.  He was living in Hueytown, Alabama in 1972.  Odie had married a woman named Wynona, and had one daughter, named Dorothy, but the daughter died at around age sixteen, and Odie never really recovered from the loss.

I.Walter William “Britches” Jones, born abt. 1912; married Frances Minor.  Walter owned the Capitol Beer Company (a distribution outfit), then sold it and bought the B & B Liquor Store, on Shelby Avenue; and then sold that and went into real estate.  (His company was named Green Hills Realty.)  He also had a farm in Franklin, where he raised horses.  Walter “Britches” Jones died at his home in Nashville on 22 April 1987.

J.infant Jones, born and died in Kingston Springs on 1 Jan. 1914 (Cheatham County death records).

2.  James Henry Deal was b. 2 Jan. 1875 in Ashland City, TN.  On 11 January 1901, in Dickson County, Tennessee, he married Ida Victoria Petty (b. 18 July 1881, the daughter of William J. Petty and Tennessee Frances Daugherty).  Ida died on 31 July 1956, and Jim on 11 January 1963.  They are buried in the Hutton Cemetery.  Their children:

A.Clara Mai Deal, born in Tennessee on 2 January 1902.  Clara Mai had two early marriages – to Murray Scott and then to Ted Mason.  Clara then married Lester Widener and had six children.  Clara lived to be ninety-six and was, according to Connie McGahey, “a wonderful, devoutly religious, hardworking woman.”  Clara died in February 1997 and is buried at Harpeth Hill.  Clara and Lester’s children included Phyllis Ruth Widener, who played guitar and sang, and got a recording contract under the name “Tabby West.”   Phyllis recorded a number of singles, and was a regular on the Red Foley Show.

B.Laura Gean Deal, born in Tennessee on 20 Dec. 1903.  In 1925 she m. Arley Estes Neely.  After an accident, Laura was hospitalized for some years at the Clover Bottom Developmental Center.  Laura died on 5 January 1986 at Goodlark Hospital. 

C.Ola Dell Deal (female), b. in Tennessee on 28 Jan. 1905 and d. (from diptheria) on 21 Oct. 1912.

D.Earnest James Deal, b. 30 Sept. 1907.  In 1928 he married Nettie Lucille Wilson.  Earnest served in the Navy in World War II – he was one of the Seabees – and later on he was a carpenter and a member of the Church of Christ in White Bluff.  He died on 23 May 1986 in Nashville and is buried in the Williams Cemetery.

E.Winnie Mildred Deal, b. 04 June 1909.  According to her sister Dorothy, Winnie “more or less named herself Mildred” since she didn’t like the name Winnie.  She worked at a Plymouth auto factory in Detroit.  She was married twice: (1) Walter Murrell and (2) Zertie Lee (Gerald) Choate.  Mildred is buried in Detroit.

F.Lera Louise Deal, b. 12 June 1911.  In 1925, Lera married Kelley Edward Collins, who worked at a fertilizer plant in west Nashville.  Her nephew Gerald Miller recalls that “Lera was a feisty woman who wasn’t afraid of anything.  The neighborhood where she lived had become kind of a bad neighborhood by the time she was old, but nothing stopped her.  She carried a gun in her pocket when she went to play bingo at the Catholic Church.”  Lera lived to be 96 years old and died in 2007.

G.Arthur Robert Deal (stillborn).  James Henry Deal’s Bible says, “Little Brother was born 21 June 1913.”

H.Earlie Ray Deal, b. 14 Aug. 1914.  On 26 June 1935, in Dickson County, he m. Maydell Josephine Heath.  Earl only had one arm.  He had lost the other in an auto accident, coming down the hill toward Pegram.  Earlie Ray Deal died on 9 April 1986.

I.Howard Henry Deal, b. 12 March 1917.  His tombstone in the Hutton Cemetery reads, “Howard H. Deal TEC5 US ARMY World War II March 12 1917 - March 21, 1980.”  Dickson County marriage records show that he was married to Odessa Harper on 7 April 1936.  Howard Henry Deal then married Margaret Elizabeth Dugan, who is buried next to him: “Margaret E. Deal Dec. 29, 1926 - June 17, 1997, Dgtr of Collon Dugan.” Howard inherited the family sorghum mill, and his farm was on what is now called “Howard Road,” which was named for him, the name “Deal Road” having already been taken, near Burns.

J.Charles Clifford Deal, b. 7 June 1919.  On 19 August 1941 he m. Frances Dorothy Shelton (b. 1922).  He worked at Hardaway Construction.  His younger sister Dorothy described him as “a down-to-earth guy who worked and stayed at home.”  He died on 9 May 1989.

K.Dorothy Elaine Deal, b. 02 June 1922.  When she was visiting her sister Mildred in Detroit, she met and soon married Walter Miller.  They lived together for three years, and then she returned home to Tennessee.  During World War II, Dorothy worked for Tennessee Aircraft as a riveter (“just like Rosie,” she says).  She helped build B-24 bombers, P-38 “lightning” fighters, and PBY patrol planes.  If she had everything set up right, she could shoot 365 flush rivets a minute into the seam of an airplane wing, which she believes was some sort of a record.  She later married Charles Prowell.

3.  Louisa May “Lula” Deal , b. 29 January 1877.  On 25 Sept. 1901, she married George Frederick “Fred” Cathey (b. 8 June 1864, son of Samuel Green Cathey and Lucinda Edwards).  The Catheys were living just a few doors down from the William Washington Deal household in 1900.  Robert Harold Deal recalls that uncle Fred worked for William James, the largest landholder in the area – Mr. James owned several thousand acres.  Fred walked the property line for him, making sure everything was OK.  Lula died on 12 Dec. 1923.  George Frederick Cathey died on 18 March 1940.  Their children:

A.Annie Adeline Cathey, b. 1 July 1902 in White Bluff.  In November 1925 in Jackson, Tennessee, she married William Henry Brim (b. 22 Feb. 1873 and d. 31 Dec. 1964).  She died on 20 May 1947.  They are buried in the Olds Cemetery. 

B.Stevia Greene Cathey, b. 6 Jan. 1904 and d. 10 Nov. 1914 in White Bluff.  He is buried in the Olds Cemetery.

C.William Raines Cathey, b. 19 Mar. 1906 in White Bluff.  In November 1925 in Jackson, TN, he m. (1) Roxie Mae Hunter (b. 21 July 1907 and d. 20 March 1928 – one day after giving birth to their son).  Roxie is buried in the Olds’ Cemetery.

D.George Washington Cathey, b. 5 Apr. 1908 in White Bluff (twin to Clarence).  Everyone liked George, who bought candy for the neighbor children and fed snickers bars to his dog.  George died on 16 Jan. 1986 in White Bluff.  He is buried in the Olds’ Cemetery.

E.Clarence Frederick Cathey, b. 5 Apr. 1908 in White Bluff (twin to George).  In 1933 he m. Elizabeth Davis in Pensacola, Florida.  He died on 20 November 1978 in Fort Myers, Florida.

F.Ruby Alena Cathey, b. 19 Nov. 1911 in White Bluff.  On 18 September 1940, she married Ray Brazelton in Nashville.  On 7 June 1956 in Angola, Tennessee, she married Alan Ferguson.

G.Lillie Irene Cathey, b. 31 Dec. 1914 in White Bluff; m. William Marsden Whitaker.  She died in 1943 in Dickson, Tennessee.

H.Edgar Lee “Eddie” Cathey, b. 31 Dec. 1914 and d. 27 Jan. 1915 in White Bluff.  He is buried in the Olds’ Cemetery with the inscription “only sleeping.”

4.  Hattie Elizabeth Deal was born 4 April 1879.  On 4 July 1901, she married James Washington Cathey (b. 13 Feb. 1862), brother of George F. Cathey.  When Hattie – a sprightly woman, always on the go – would get mad at her husband James, she would leave White Bluff and go stay in Nashville for weeks at a time.  This pattern continued even after the birth of their daughter Nannie.  Then, in early 1903, Hattie returned to White Bluff after an extended absence, was reconciled to Mr. Cathey, and, Hattie later said, “That was how I got Sam.”  Sam Washington Cathey was born in 1903.  Their next child, Acy Calvin Cathey, was not born for another seven years, and Clyde was born five years after that.  Hattie then separated from Mr. Cathey, and owned a small grocery store near Bellview.  Later on, Hattie had a second marriage to Dan King.  Robert Harold Deal remembers that she did not have to work in her later years, since Mr. King was “reasonably well off.”  Hattie died 6 Dec. 1956 and is buried in the Hutton Cemetery.

A.Nannie L. “Kathleen” Cathey, b. abt. 1902. She married a dentist, Dr. Hugh Rogers, who everyone called “Uncle Doc.” Nannie and Doc had a daughter named Kathleen, and then Nannie decided she liked the name so much she started calling herself Kathleen, which was a little confusing.

B.Sam Washington Cathey, b. 22 Nov. 1903 in Pegram, Tennessee.  On 17 March 1928 in Bellevue, TN, Sam married Nell Benton (b. abt. 1912).  Sam died on 3 August 1996 and is bur. in the Olds Cemetery.

C.Acy Calvin Cathey, b. 6 March 1910; married Cora May Swift.  Uncle Acy was a small, strong man and a natural comedian. His niece Mary Alice recalls that once, when Acy had been in an accident where his feet got hurt, Acy went all the way from his house to his brother Sam’s house walking on his hands. He’d rest against a tree for a while, then get back up, and keep on going. Acy died on 8 Nov. 1969 and is buried in the Olds Cemetery.

D.Clyde Vernon Cathey, b. 15 Jan. 1913; married Priscilla Sawyers.  He died in Davidson County, Tennessee on 10 Jan. 1998.

5.  William Andrew “Will” Deal, b. 5 January 1882.  On 18 June 1906, in Dickson County, he married Lydia Angeline Stevens. Will was a railroad section foreman for the N. C. & St. L., and the railroad relocated the family to Marietta, Georgia.  William Andrew Deal died in 1939 and is buried in the New Hope Methodist Cemetery, in Marietta, Georgia.  Will and Lydia had eight children. 

A.Sadie Deal, born abt. 1908, married Thomas Dodds, who was from Cobb County, Georgia.  Tom Dodds did small jobs and sold vegetables out of his truck. According to Jewell Deal Cox, Sadie died of Lupus, as did her sisters Christine and Marie.

B.Gladys Loraine Deal, born abt. 1909 married Dean Cantrell, a gruff man who always spoke his mind.  Gladys attended the local Baptist church, but Dean didn’t.  One day the Baptist preacher visited their home, mainly to try to get Dean to join them on Sundays.  Dean told the preacher, “I just don’t go to the damn church, that’s all.”  (Maybe this doesn’t sound like much today, but was a pretty big deal at the time, cussing the preacher.)  Gladys died on June 4, 1990.

C.Elzie Deal, died at about age four or five, of malarial fever.  Her sister Jewel was not sure exactly when Elzie was born (or even exactly how to spell “Elzie”), and said that the only photo of Elzie had been destroyed in a house fire.

D.Christine Deal, born 28 December 1913, married Lobert “Dizzy” Vermillion, an electrical engineer on a dredge boat on the Ohio River at Cincinnati.  They lived for a while in Paducah, Kentucky.  They got flooded out of their house in the Ohio River flood of 1937, and Christine went to stay for a while with her father in Marietta.  Lobert died relatively young – about age 62 – and Christine moved to St. Petersburg Florida after he died.  She died on 20 March 2002 in St. Petersburg.

E.William Edmon Deal, (went by “Edmon,” not “William”) born 1 May 1917 in White Bluff, Tennessee.  Edmon married Willie Nell Kendall on 8 July 1941, in Marietta, Georgia.  Edmon was a veteran of WWII, and a member of the Crestview Baptist Church in Marietta.  He worked for the Veterans Administration.  He died on 1 August 1989 in Marietta.

F.Lucile Deal, born abt. 1921, married a Mr. Cranfill, then divorced, and married James B. Avery.  They lived in Marietta, Georgia, where Lucile worked for Lockheed Aeronautical for 39 years.  She died in Marietta on 17 March 2002.

G.Marie Deal, born 21 June 1923, married Iverson Copeland.  Marie’s niece Linda Deal Padgett remembered her as “very soft and sweet,” and someone who “just liked to have fun.”  Marie died of Lupus, in Marietta, Georgia, on 11 June 2006.

H.Jewel “Judy” Deal, born abt. 1926; married Walter “Sonny” Cox.  Judy graduated from high school in 1943, and right after high school, she went to work for Bell Aircraft, building B-29’s.  After college she went to work for the Defense Department, and stayed in government service for 32 years, working in contract management for the Air Force.

6.  John Franklin Deal was born 10 April 1887.  John married Ruby Mai Garton on 2 May 1917.  They moved to Columbia, Tennessee, south of Nashville, where all of their three children were born.  John then took a job at the DuPont chemical plant in Old Hickory, Tennessee.  John worked at DuPont for the next eighteen years.

A.John Wilson "J. W." Deal, b. 25 January 1918.  He married Evelyn Sanders, and they lived in the Nashville area, where he founded the John Deal Company, manufacturers of ceramic products and adhesives.  The company did well.  But J. W.’s real passion was golf.  His home course was the Old Hickory Country Club.  John a phenomenal player.  For many years, he and his foursome – “The Hickory Sticks” – were in the sports pages nearly every weekend, with photos showing them holding up trophies.

B.Juanita Deal, b. 14 October 1919. Juanita attended the Nashville Business College; then entered the Womens’ Air Corps.  On September 7, 1946, she married Tim Edward Madden. Tim was in the Air Force, and during World War II his plane went down over Germany and he spent the last part of the war in Stalag 6.  Juanita was also in the Air Force and they were stationed together after the war in Japan, in Greece in the early 1950's, in Hawaii, and later in Paris.   Tim Madden died on 25 August 1969.  Juanita never re-married; she became a real estate dealer in Phoenix, Arizona.  Juanita died in Phoenix on 26 December 1994.

C.Jean Deal, born January 13, 1924 in Columbia, TN.  She attended David Lipscomb College in Nashville and received a master's degree in piano performance at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  While in Ann Arbor, she met Hugh Carey Hanlin, Jr.  They were married in 1951. 

7.  Douglas Deal was born on 27 or 29 August 1884, and married Ina Reams Evans. Douglas died on 2 April 1944 and Ina on 24 Jan. 1973.  They are buried in the Hutton Cemetery.  Douglas and Ina had six children:

A.L. B. Deal, b. 9 August 1914.  In October 1937, he married Annie Marie Shelton.  They lived in Nashville.  According to notes by Evelyn Deal (wife of Robert Harold Deal), “Anna Marie with the computer brain …  always knew all the happenings in the family and dates.  We could always count on her.”  L. B. Deal died in Nashville in April 1984.

B.David Augustus Evans Deal, b. 21 Sept 1915.  On 8 June 1938, he married Kathleen Yancy (b. 14 June 1918). They lived at Hopkinsville, KY.  David Evans died in Hopkinsville on 21 March 2001. 

C.Robert Harold Deal, born 25 March 1921, worked at DuPont in Old Hickory and, for a while, roomed with Ruby Garton Deal at Old Hickory.  On 19 August 1941, Harold married Nell Crowder.  On 11 October 1991 (after Nell Crowder Deal was deceased), Robert Harold Deal married Evelyn (Russell) Tucker.

D.Lloyd Harding Deal, b. 9 Oct. 1924.  On 7 October 1949, he married Reba Jane Corlew (b. 13 December 1931).  They lived in Nashville.  Notes by Evelyn Deal (wife of Robert Harold Deal) state that “Lloyd survived the Battle of the Bulge but came home to his family, luckily.”   Lloyd died on 24 October 1994.

E.Harry Eugene Deal, b. 26 July 1926.  He served in the Navy in WWII.  On 26 January 1947, he married Peggy Jean Lampley.  They lived at Goodlettsville, TN.  Harry Eugene died on 29 April 1998 and is buried in the Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens in Goodlettsville, TN.

F.Myra Eudora Deal, b. 10 May 1932.  On 19 June 1953 she married James Preston Robinson.  For a while, Myra sang in nightclubs, but Jim made her quit.  When I asked Myra about her very brief singing career, she said, “Well, you know, the Deals were never very smart, but they were always good-looking and musically talented.”  Later, on 13 June 1998, Myra married Charles E. Jones.

8.  Mary A. “Mamie” Deal b. 14 Jan. 1890 in Ashland City, TN married Joseph Edward Engles (b. 6 Nov. 1889 near LaVergne, Tennessee).  They were married in Dickson County on 6 April 1913.  The 1930 census shows them living on Laurel Street in Nashville, and Joseph (Sr.) is working as a brakeman on a steam railroad (which was the N. C. & St. L.).  Mamie’s niece Jean (Deal) Hanlin described Mamie as “Beautiful and proud.  She paid lots of attention to clothes.  Her husband left her, but even in the most penurious conditions, she always managed to look like a million dollars.”  Jean also remembered that whenever it came time to do the dishes, Mamie had always “just painted her fingernails,” and couldn't help.  The one child of Joe Sr. and Mamie Deal:

A.Allee May Engles, born on January 31, 1914; and died six days later.

B.Joseph Edward Engles, Jr., born 16 Feb. 1918 in Tennessee.  He moved out to California as a fairly young man.  He married QueenEsther Coffman.  Joe Jr. died in Los Angeles on 30 Jan. 1981. 

9.Robert V. Deal was born on 15 February 1892.  He is recorded in the 1900 and 1910 censuses of White Bluff, living at home with his parents.  City directories of Nashville from 1912-1914 show a Robert V. Deal, employed as a brakeman with the Nashville, Chattanooga, & St. Louis Railway.  Myra Deal Jones recalls that Bob was a very handsome man who never married; she thought he might have died of influenza.  He died on 8 April 1914 and is buried in the Hutton Cemetery in White Bluff, next to his parents.

10.George Washington Deal, b. 14 December 1894.  On 26 October 1915, in Dickson County, he married Almira Kathryne Radford.  They had two children. After Kathryne passed, George married Lula Mae Garner.  George died on 31 October 1958 and is buried in the Prospect Cemetery in Bruceton.

A.Mildred Cecile Deal, b. 9 September 1916 near Benton, TN. On 5 September 1936, in Benton, Tennessee, she married Bailey Anderson Cain. Their daughter Catherine Lee Pace recalls, “I didn’t know any of my aunts or uncles on the Deal side.  I just know that the Deals didn’t want mother to marry my father.  He was a soda jerk at the time and they didn’t think he was worthy of her.”  But it worked out okay – Mildred and Bailey were married for 38 years.  Mildred died in Benton in 1974, and Bailey in Howard City, Michigan on 23 March 1988.

B.Kenneth Blair Deal, born 15 November 1920.  He graduated from Central High School in Bruceton in 1937, and then attended business college in Nashville.  He married Una Doussa.  They later divorced.  Kenneth died of pneumonia in Chicago, Illinois on 12 July 1960, after a brief stay at the Cook County Hospital.