Source: Jackson County Chancery/Circuit Loose Records
Available: Tennessee State Library & Archives and Tennessee Technological University Library
Submitter Notes: This court case is 100+ pages long. Two sections of the court case are transcribed below. Both list the heirs at law and list the date of death for James Pharris.
Different sections in the court case state that Sallie Ann Harris is the widow of Wiley C. Harris, that Sallie Ann Harris has married Alexander Gettings, and that Mariah McNabb has married John Keith.
There are few actual line breaks in the original documents. Line breaks were added for readability. Words were transcribed as they were spelled in the original document.
To the Honorable Bromfield L. Ridley Chancellor of the 3rd Chancery divission of the State of Tennessee presiding at Gainsboro. The Bill of Complaint of
Robert Wade & his wife Hannah Wade,
Hampton Wade & his wife Milly Wade,
James M. Wolf & his wife Fanny Wolf, all citizens of Jackson
Littleton C. Collier, who pretends to have married Jane Breeding one of the Daughters of James Pharris deceased -- Jane Collier or Breeding --
George Stout & his wife Charlotte Stout, Mary Jane Pharris, widdow of James Pharris deceast, & her minor children. The issue of her & the said James Pharris deceast to wit:
Seberry Pharris &
Allice Pharris, neither of whom have any Regular Guardian &
Mariah McNabb &
the children of Isham Pharris deceased, who was also a son of the said James Pharris decst (To wit):
Martha Jane Pharis,
The last named ______ of whom are minors & have no Regular Guardians &
Allice Pharris, the widdow of said Isham Pharris decd all citizens of said county & state &
Alexander Gettings & his wife Sallie Ann Gettings &
Christopher Clark & his wife Malinda Clark citizens of the State of Missouri &
Shelby Pharris a citizen of the state of Texas. Defendants
Humbly complaining your orators, would Respectfully, represent to your Honor that James Pharris decst departed this life intestate in Jackson County, Tennessee about the day ___ of December 1854 & that James Draper was appointed the administrator of his estate.
Your orators would State to your Honor that the believe that the personal assets of said estate are not more than sufficient to pay the Debts against said Estate & they would further show to your Honor that the said James Pharris, decst, was seized and & possessed of considerable Real Estate at his death. Your orators would further show to your Honor that the said James Pharris in his life time made large advancements to some of Defenants Particularly to Isham Pharris decst who survived his father James Pharris several years and died also leaving the a forenamed children & widdow mentioned as such in the cation his only heirs at law & also to Littleton C. Collier & Jane Collier, Mariah McNabb, Christopher Clark his wife Malinda, George Stout & his wife Charlotte Stout & Shelby Pharris of Texas & Mary Jane Pharris the widdow of James Pharris aforesaid. They state that said advancements were made in money lands rents profits, and various other articles of personal property except that he did not advance to Littleton C. & Jane Collier George Stout & his wife Charlotte any Real Estate. But They state that the said L. C. & Jane Collier, George & Charlotte Stout have had the use and occupation of a large-portion of the Real Estate belonging to said Estate for a great many years besides various other advancements of money personal property & as aforesaid and your orators would further charge that since the death of the said James Pharris decst unto Littleton C. & Jane Collier George Stout & his Charlotte, Maria McNabb & Mary Jane Pharris have enjoyed the entire use occupation rents & profits of All the lands belonging to said Estate except a small portion of the same which complainants Robert Wade & his wife have had the use & occupation of which They are willing to account & pay rent for on a final settlement.
They charge that the rents of said Lands are worth at least four hundred Dollars per annum and that there is no way to settle up -- said Estate in Justice to all the parties except by Bill in your Honorable Court of Chancery Requiring all of the said defenants who have received advancement by any means before enumerated to bring up and file with their answers in this cause a correct account of all advancements in any way that those who have had the use & occupation rents & profits of Land all how much each has had the profits of the number of years They have that the same & what the same was worth perannum that Each & every one-of-the defenants who have received advancements in any way; orof any kind give a correct account of the same under the solemn sanctions of their oaths.
Your orator further charge that in intestate died seized and possessed of the following described tracts of lands lying in said county worth in all some where about seven or eight thousand dollars
1st tract containing fifty acres lying on the ridge between the waters of the dry fork & spring fork of Martin's Creek Beginning on a beech running thence east to a hickory then north to a beech thence west to a stake then south to the beginning containing fifty acres
2d tract Beginning there east then north then west then south to the beginning containing one hundred acres
3d tract Beginning on the north west corner of the 100 acre tract running south then west then north then east to the beginning containing twelve & one half acres all the above tracts are better described in the deed of conveyance from Leroy B. Settle to intestate marked exhibit A & prayed to be made part of this bill Also one other tract lying on the Big Branch in said county. Beginning at a black oak Isam Pharis corner near the mouth of the Sycamore Hollow there with the consideration line between said James Pharis & Isam Pharis to a stake then east to two sassafrasses near the top of the hill then south to a hickory near Colliers fence then east with Andersons line to the top of the ridge then with the extreme height of the ridge round with Clarks line to Clarks corner on the ridge then east with Clarks line to his corner then east then west then north then west to the road including the meating house place & old orchard then running on the brink of the hill on the east side of the hill so as to include all the level land and also including a two and a half acre tract & running west to Spurlock's line & with the various medders? of his line to the low gap then continuing on with Spurlocks line to Huffs line then north to a big gum tree then west to a beech then south to a conitional line made by Isam Pharis & James Pharis then with said line to a sugar tree & to the beginning containing ____ acres your orators charge that there may be a deficiency of the personal assets to pay the liabilities of the estate and they ask for an account to be take to ?? ascertain that fact they charge that the lands are not susceptible of division among said heirs there begin 14 shares to come out of the same that it will be necessary to equalize the value of each of their shares some of them have had do vame? ??? in lands to the full amount of the value of their share in the real estate of interest they charge that it would be manifestly to the advantage of the heirs to have the said lands sold for distribution and to pay any debts that may be outstanding against the same as the estate is at this time involved in several law suits.
The premises considered may it please your Honor to cause the above named debts named in the caption as such to be made defendants to this bill and as the said Lincoln, Rosina, Seberry, Alice, the children of Mary Jane & Maria Sampson Elizabeth Martha Jane James William are minors appoint guardian adlitem for them let publication be made let copy & spa? issue & in as much as there are as above stated several lawsuits in your honorable court in involving nearly the same interest & the same parties let this bill be cause to date with them & all heard together let each of these defendants full true & perfect answer make to all & each of the allegations in this bill contained on their corporal oath let deft George Stout state if he owes the estate of James Pharis one hundred dollars for the rent of what is called Orchard place let him say where the obligations that he gave the decd for said rent of a hundred dollars, say if it is in his possession or in his power to possess the same if it went into his hands since the death of intestate who let him have it & what has become of it compel said deft to produce the same in your honorable court that the same may be collected & say how much he has occupied of the lands of the intestate how much of it since the expiration of the terms specified in said writing. Let L. C. Collier & Jane say how long they have occupied the place wheron They now live how much open land is there that they have had the enjoyment of how long have they had if since the intestate died. Let all the rest answer in like manner let Maria McKnabb tell how much land her father gave her on the Cumberland Mountain now long did she live on it what was it worth. let Mary Jane say how long she has lived on the big branch land since the old man's death and on final hearing may if please your honor to grant said estate be distributed among said heirs according to equity & justice & grant them all such or then & general relief that then said cause may entitle them to.
John P. Murray
Cox & Draper
Sol for Plaintiff
To the Worshipful County of Jackson County sitting at Gainesboro
The petition of Mary Jane Pharis a citizen of Jackson County against Isham Pharis, Hampton Wade & wife Emelia (formerly Emelia Pharis) George Stout & wife Charlotte (formerly Charlotte Pharis) Robert Wade & wife Hannah (formerly Hannah Pharis) Sally Ann Harris formerly Sally Ann Pharis, Littleton C. Collier & wife Jane (formerly Jane Pharis) Maria McNab (formerly Maria Pharis) Madison Wolf & wife Fanny (formerly Fanny Faris) Roena, Seabury, Lincoln, Alcey Pharis, the four last named all minors & have no regular guardian all of Jackson County, Tenn and Shelby Pharis & Christopher Clark & wife Malinda formerly Malinda Pharis, non-residents of the state of Tennessee.
Your petitioner would respectfully represent to your Worships that about the ___ day of December 1854 her husband James Pharis departed this life intestate in Jackson County leaving your petitioner his widow all the above named defts his children & heirs at law. also seized and possessed of several tracts of land situate lying & being in the said County on the South side of Cumberland River (The title papers to which or the boundaries of the same will be shown upon the hearing). That as the widow of said decd, she is entitled to dower therin which has never been set apart to her. That the defendants Hampton Wade & Isham Pharis have the title papers to said lands which will show the number of acres, tracts & boundaries & c. That defendants Rowena, Seaburry, Lincoln, & Alcey Pharis are all minors & have no regular guardian --The premises considered your petitioner prays that copy & process issue as to all of the resident defendants herin named -- That Guardian adlitum be appointed for the above named minor defendants -- that they answer the allegations herin -- That defendants Isham Pharis & Hampton Wade produce upon the hearing all the papers & title deeds showing the number of tracts, acres & boundaries & of the lands that said James Pharis died seized & possessed of -- That your petitioner by decree of your Worships have her dower interest therin assigned & set apart to her & for all such other & further relief as in equity she may be entitled as in duty bound & she will ever pray Denton & Washburn
Filed March 5, 1855