Green Rives of Dinwiddie County Virginia
Transcribed from book written by John R. T. Rives
At the beginning of the 19th Century there was a considerable movement of population from eastern Virginia to Tennessee, a movement particularly marked amongst Dinwiddie County families. Abram and Adam Wells, brothers of Belaam Wells, of Dinwiddie, the Gills and the Rogers who had intermarried with the family of Green Rives' uncle, Robert Rives, and the family of Anthony Rives and his nephews (who had settled in Dinwiddie from Sussex) were amongst those who removed to Tennessee. Green Rives, presumably accompanied by some of these neighbors, moved "with a large wagon train and an overseer . . . named Jolley about the year 1829."
In October, 1906, there was published in the Fayetteville (Tenn.) Observer in a series of sketches entitled "Pioneers of Lincoln County", an account of Green Rives and his family by the Hon. John M. Bright, who represented Tennessee several terms in Congress, from which account the following is taken:
"Green Rives, born September 14, 1776, came from Petersburg, Virginia, in 1829, settled near Petersburg, Tenn., on the Griffith Leonard farm. He afterwards acquired a large farm of his own and lived on it many years, pursuing the honorable avocation of farmer. From circumstances I infer that he belonged to a family of high descent and of the primitive Cavalier stock, who settled in Virginia at an early day. He was related to the distinguished statesman, William C. Rives, and the popular authoress, Amelie Rives, of Virginia. His life was without striking vissitudes or the display of great actions. He was a man of more than ordinary ability, strong attachments and devoted friendships. He perhaps was at one time an innocent victim of financial misfortune. The flush times and wild speculations and uncalculating ventures between 1836 and 1840, induced many incompetent young men to quit the fields and to embark in mercantile pursuits. Mr. Rives became the surety for one of his sons (John) and Northfleet Hays, who went into business under the firm name of Rives & Hays. At last the financial storm swept over the land and left a scene of desolation in its wake. A grim vision of bankruptcy struck Rives & Hays in the face, and sureties and endorsers saw a fearful reckoning with them. In 1842 (I think it was) I filed the petition in bankruptcy of Rives & Hays in the Federal Court at Nashville and had them discharged. But they left a large incumbency of debt which came to the shoulders of the elder Rives. Col. James Fulton received the security claimed against the old gentleman for collection, obtained judgments and had executions issued and levied on his property. He and Col. Fulton were mutual friends. Col. Fulton was the soul of generosity to a friend in need. On the day of sale he was present and bid in all the property and turned it over to the old man to keep and use and pay for it when he was able, except one old servant, Berry. It is my understanding that the old gentleman Rives recovered from the wreck of his fortune and accumulated enough for a comfortable support Extended comment on individual members of the Rives family would be impracticable.
As a summary of the large family of Rives, it may be said that they were intelligent, industrious, honest, public-spirited and highly respected citizens, and a valuable contribution to our Tennessee population by Old Virginia.
Green Rives is buried in a private graveyard on land now owned by
Warren Gill, of Petersburg, Tennessee, alongside his third wife, the
following inscription marking their last resting place:
Green Rives died at the house now owned by John Wells, a descendent of Drewry Wells.
Descendants of Green Rives
Children of Green Rives and Mary Hardaway Rives born in Dinwiddie County, Virginia.
Children of Green Rives and Frances Markham Hardaway Rives born in Dinwiddie County, Virginia.
Children of Green Rives and Susan Elizabeth Woodward Rives born in Dinwiddie County, Virginia.
Born in Lincoln County, Tennessee
ISSUES OF GREEN AND MARY (HARDAWAY) RIVES
I. THOMAS R. RIVES—born in Virginia in Dinwiddie County, prior to 1810; married Ann Rowlett either in Virginia or Lincoln County, Tennessee. Somewhere after 1842 he is supposed to have removed to Northwest Arkansas, and that his descendants are now living in Northwest Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma.
II. JOHN (Jack) RIVES — is known to have been a member of the firm of Rives & Hays of Petersburg, Tennessee and Hays Mill, Limestone County, Alabama. Benjamin Watkins Leigh Rives told the author that as a boy he worked for his half-brother, Jack Rives and Norfleet Hays in their woolen mill at Hays Mill in Alabama. The Hon. John M. Bright, a former member of Congress, states that Rives & Hays were merchants in Petersburg Tennessee prior to 1842. John Rives is supposed to have moved to Northwest Arkansas, shortly thereafter, and we have been unable to contact any of his descendants.
III. MARY RIVES — married George Washington Blakemore of Virginia; she died at Petersburg September 1, 1882, according to the records of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church there. George Washington Blakemore was an active member of the Odd Fellows Lodge at Petersburg, Tennessee. He died there June 24, 1885, at the home of Mrs. Dabney. At one time they lived at Goodlettsville, Tennessee. They had one son, Frank Blakemore, who married and had one son, Herman Blakemore, and a daughter, Jessica Blakemore. The Roster of Company B of the 8th Tennessee Regiment, Confederate Army, lists H. A. Blakemore, a private soldier, and in the same Company with James Monroe and Robert Clay Rives. This may have been the Herman Blakemore referred to above.
ISSUES OF GREEN AND FRANCES (HARDAWAY) RIVES:
IV. HENRY HARDAWAY RIVES born August 13, 1817; was married three times: First, to Martha* Dandridge Stone, a daughter of Micajah Stone, of Oakhill, Tennessee; Second, to Nancy Buchanan; and Third, to Katherine Stark of Starkville, Mississippi, but had no children by his third wife. He was a physician and made his home at Petersburg, Tennessee,
A. F. A. M., June 11th, 1849; passed to the degree of Fellow Craft July 13, 1849; and raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason, August 13 1849, and was recorded as a member of Petersburg No. 123 up to 1860.
We quote the following letter from the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee. "The Grand Lodge records are incomplete for the period prior to 1866 due to the occupation of Nashville by Union troops in the 1860s."
Apparently there was little Masonic work during the War Between the States, but he is supposed to have been a Master Mason at the time of his death.
He was the father of three children by his first wife and one child by his second wife. His step-mother, Susan Elizabeth Rives, third wife of Green Rives, died May 24, 1846, and left a daughter, Susan Woodward Rives, seven years old, and Dr. Rives and his wife, Katherine Rives, raised this little girl until she married in 1858.
ISSUE OF DR. HENRY HARDAWAY AND MARTHA DANDRIDGE (STONE) RIVES:
I. THOMAS JEFFERSON—born June 15, 1838; d June 3, 1919.
II. SARAH (RIVES) METCALF b February 28, 1842; d February 11, 1879.
III. JAMES DANDRIDGE—born March 14, 1844, died March 23, 1917.
I. THOMAS JEFFERSON RIVES—born at Petersburg, Tennessee, June 15, 1838, and died there June 3, 1919. He was a farmer and a teacher, serving as superintendent of schools of Lincoln County, T e n n., for six years; he served four years in the Confederate States Army, Higgins Company (G) 8th Tennessee Regiment. (S e e "Cheat Mountain Campaign", 1 8 8 5 .) He married September 14, 1868, Alice Peach, daughter of William and Susan (Boncome) Peach. There were seven children by their marriage:
(also called Co. "B") Eighth Tennessee Infantry C. S. A. (which formed a part of the first consolidated Tennessee Regiment C. S. A.) He engaged in the battles of Cheat Mountain, Port Royal, Corinth, Perryville, and Murfreesboro. Assigned to post duty because of defective eyes. Was captured August 20. 1864 near Jonesboro, Ga., and was paroled February 12, 1865 at Camp Chase, Ohio, and also was paroled at Macon, Ga., April 30, 1865.
William Hugh Watkins, her son, graduated from Texas Technological College in Lubbock, Texas. He is employed as a City mail Carrier. Lives with his mother at the above address.
(2) Knox, born Nov. 9, 1870; married Sept. 20, 1897, Caddie Yates; died without issue Oct. 17, 1914.
(3) Carl, born March 8, 1873; died July 27, 1874.
(4) JESSIE, born May 26, 1876; married Nov. 10, 1901, Robert A. Holland; last address 5011 Dakota Avenue, Nashville, Tenn. Issue:
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