This corncrib, still standing, near the original "bluff" at Sulphur Bluff, was constructed
by the early Hargraves to store their crops.
Genealogical Society Hears Program on
Early Settlers of Hopkins County, Thursday Night
by: Bobby McDonald
"It was one of the most interesting programs we've had all year!" exclaimed several of the members of the Hopkins County Genealogical Society, as they left Thursday night's meeting, hosted at the Library on Main Street.
Sarah Clark Stevens was the program presenter and lives in the Sulphur Bluff Community of Hopkins County, and is a descendent of the Hargraves, who were the earliest settlers of Hopkins County. Stevens related a recent trip to the "Old Bluff," where the first settlers arrived to begin what is known as Hopkins County, today. Stevens told of an old corncrib that is still standing, made of rough hewn logs, that was a part of an early barn in the beginning settlement.
"Of course, in the past over 150 years, the Sulphur Bluff Community and Hopkins County have changed dramatically," expressed Stevens. "But, it's certainly interesting to go back and discover many of the things left behind, by your ancestors!"
"And, of course there are always those 'unanswered' questions, that you're looking for, as you search your family roots!" continued Stevens. "Just like there is evidence of a graveyard near the Old Bluff. Who is buried there? No mention is made in any of the early records of the cemetery, so is this members of some family that might have perished and left no decendents? Those are the kind of questions all of us ask, as we delve deep into our family ancestry!"
Stevens related that she'd discovered a "family secret" that had been kept for close to 200 years, in her family. One of her ancestors, Susan McMurtry Hargrave was the mother of an African-American child, named Hannah. "Families just didn't talk about those kind of secrets," expressed Stevens. "But, as I uncovered the evidence, I became more and more intrigued with the search. Hannah has been a mystery in my research for a long, long time, and I'm in the process of writing a book about her. I've uncovered that much evidence in my research!"
"However, there's hundreds of unanswered questions, that I'll never know," allowed Stevens, about Hannah. "Was her birth the results of a consensual union? Was it a rape? I do know that Susan named the child after her own mother, but have no idea about what the circumstances might have been. My ancestors hid the child, who later married a black man and constitute a line of my family, that are African American."
Following this presentation, the audience continued to be intrigued, when Stevens uncovered a metal apparatus, that she had covered with a bath towel. The object had been found, buried in the dirt, on her family's farm, where she lives today. "We went out to see about a new calf, and I almost stumbled on a piece of metal, that was in my path," related Stevens. "We continued to try to get the piece uncovered, and after digging for a while, recovered this. It was an early bear trap, used by settlers in the Sulphur Bluff Community!"
The bear trap was brought to the house, cleaned-up, and oiled. Surprisingly, the trap was in excellent condition. "You know it has to be old," expressed Stevens. "First the construction show that, and how long has it been since someone would have been trying to trap bears in Hopkins County?"
Stevens remained available to answer a large number of questions, following her program, and stayed to visit with a number of members who were intrigued by her research, and the early descendents of Hopkins County!"
Thanks for a Great Program!!!