BATTLE CREEK COMMUNITY

 

Battle Creek Community is located near Coopertown.  A post office was started in 1851.  Coopertown derived its name from a large cooper shop where barrels were made for the Red River Mills.  In 1886, Goodspeed lists the businesses as Davis & Son and Hinkle & Glover, general merchandise, R. G. Glover, drugs; F. M. Watts, steam flour mill; J. J. Reeves, undertaking; Scruggs & Reeves, blacksmithing; and S. W. Frey and R. G. Glover, physicians.

 

Caleb Winters and his father, Moses Winters made the overland trip as part of the James Robertson party to present day Nashville by traveling through Cumberland Gap, on through Central Kentucky, fording streams, over mountains and following Indian trails until they finally arrived at the present site of Nashville in December 1779.  Work was started at once to build forts and cabins to have ready when the boats arrived.  Caleb Winters hunted up and down the creek valley that bears his name located near Coopertown.  Goodspeed¬’s History of Tennessee published in 1886 states that Caleb Winters settled on this land in 1781 and lived in a cave and subsisted on the game which he killed.  Also in this same party with James Robertson were gentlemen by the name of Gower.  The late Harold Gower, a deacon at Battle Creek Church, was a direct descendant of the Gower families that came with James Robertson.

 

David Nave built a log cabin in 1825 on the corner at the cross roads of present day Coopertown, and thus gave his name to the early village.  A stage line connecting Nashville and Hopkinsville ran through Nave¬’s Crossroads, Turnersville and Port Royal.  In 1850, the Sons of Temperance erected a two-story log house with a storehouse below and a hall above at the crossroads at Coopertown.  Coopertown was the site of the first Church of Christ in the county.

 

In the late 1800s the Union Church at Coopertown was established for nondenominational worship.  Battle Creek Baptist, Mt. Zion Methodist, Mt. Sharon Presbyterian and Head¬’s Free Will Baptist were all part owners of the Union Church and each denomination had a time to worship.  Mrs. Ruth Fyke said her mother, Gertrude Cobbs, played the organ at Union Church in the early 1900s.  She also said many commented on the beautiful woodwork in this church.  Mrs. Mary Ellen Walker said her Mother had her graduation service held at Union church.  In later years, services were discontinued because the church needed much repair.  In 1961, representatives from the active churches voted to sell the property and divide the proceeds.

 

Lone Star School was located near the Talton McMahan home located on Hollis Creek Road.  Also located on this road was a sawmill, grist mill and Lone Star Post Office.

 

The Watts School was located on Battle Creek Road on the present J.  L. Watts farm.

 

 

 

 

 

BATTLE CREEK MASSACRE

 

Col. John Donelson and his party arrived in present day Montgomery County on the 22nd of December 1779, with the destination of the majority of the boats being French Lick Springs, now Nashville.  After a perilous journey of nearly four months down the Tennessee, up the Ohio and Cumberland, through a country inhabited by hostile Indians, during one of the severest winters on record, they reached the mouth of the Red River, just below the present site of Clarksville on April 12, 1780.  They were anxious to join Captain James Robertson and his company who had built a station and fort at the ¬“bluffs¬” with cabins within the stockade for many people.

 

Moses Renfro and family and Joseph Renfro decided to leave the group and settle on the banks of Red River.  Moses, Isaac, Joseph and James Renfro, Nathan and Solomon Turpin, Isaac Mayfield, James Hollis, James Johns and a widow named Jones, with their respective families made up this settlement known as ¬“Renfro¬’s Station.¬”  Not long afterwards, in June or July of 1780, a party of Choctaws and Chickasaws killed and scalped Nathan Turpin and another man at the station.  They felt their isolation and inadequate means of defense and proposed to go to Freeland¬’s Station or Eaton¬’s Station.  Concealing as many of their goods they could not carry, they set upon their journey, encamping about dusk. At this time, some of the party decided to return for more of their personal effects.  By break of day the next morning, they were ready to resume their journey.  By night of the second day they reached and encamped upon a small stream since known as Battle Creek, about two miles north of Sycamore Creek in what is now Robertson County.  Preparing to resume their journey early the next morning, Joseph Renfro went to the spring to get a drink and was fired upon by the Indians, who lay concealed in the bushes.  About twenty persons were killed, among them Joseph Renfro and James Johns, with his wife and family.  The Indians ripped up their beds and took all the horses and other movable property.  It is believed that some of those who did not return awaited the return of the party with the goods, and were thus included in the general massacre, while other proceeded on their journey to the upper settlements, reaching their destination in safety.  Of those who were attacked, only one escaped to tell the sad tale.  This was Mrs. Jones, who, by following the trail of the first party of fugitives, was enabled to reach Eaton¬’s Station in safety after a perilous journey of about twenty miles through bushes and underbrush.  This was the first massacre of any magnitude which occurred in the settlements near the Cumberland, and resulted in the temporary abandonment of Renfro¬’s Station.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

THE BEGINNING

 

On March 13, 1844, Mr. James Watts gave a parcel of land to erect a place of worship and also a burial ground.  The deed to said property reads ¬“one and one-half acres given, granted and bestowed to the Baptist Church at Battle Creek meeting house near the head of Hollis Branch.¬”  The deed also calls for ¬“the Baptists to have one Sabbath worship a month, in order for the Methodist Order, the Cumberland Presbyterian and the Separated Baptist Order to worship Almighty God and for the further purpose of a school house and for the benefit of the community to bury their dead.¬”  The deed indicates a house standing on the property was to be used for the purpose of worship and a school.

 

Battle Creek Baptist Church was organized in 1845 with only six members.  The charter members included: Mr. William Jamison, Mr. Randal Felts, Mr. N. M. Felts, Mr. Henry Green, Mr. Jesse Clark and Mr. John Williams.  Of these, Mr. Jamison, Mr. N. M. Felts and Mr. Randal Felts are buried in the church cemetery.  Mr. Randal Felts and Mr. N. M. Felts have descendants now living in the church area.

 

On May 4, 1872, Timothy Demonbreun and wife, Mary H. Demonbreun, gave to the Missionary Baptist Church of Christ at Battle Creek one acre and a half of land.  Timothy was the son of Jacques Timothy Demonbreun, who was the first white man to live in Nashville and establish a business.  Timothy was born on April 17, 1787 and died on September 17, 1872, which was only a few months before he had deeded the property to the church.  A wrought iron fence surrounds their burial plot in the church cemetery.

 

The first church building was built of logs.  Mr. Joel Chaudoin, who was overseeing the building, was killed by a falling log.  That same year, a daughter was born to the union of Mr. and Mrs. Joel Chaudoin.  Her name was Frances Chaudoin and she married Mr. W. A. Moore.  From this union, most all the descendants were active members of the church.

 

There has been a Sunday School at Battle Creek for 100 years or more.  The late Mr. Malcolm McMahan stated that Mrs. Rosa Moore, ¬“Aunt Rosie,¬” who had been a member of the church since 1892, told him the ladies of the church sold eggs and chickens to pay for the beautiful pews in our church.

 

The oldest record of an individual being received into Battle Creek Baptist Church was Frances Chaudoin Moore in the year 1860.  She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joel Chaudoin.

reproduced by Anne Crutcher