Tag Archives: Deaths

More on the Murder of William Pryor (Nashville 1833)

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Nashville, TN PryorRemember the account of William Pryor who was murdered in Nashville in 1833? (see post) I can’t resist working on a 180 year old murder mystery. This probably goes beyond a cold case. It’s downright frozen!

I found another report of the murder. There aren’t any more details, but it’s interesting to know where it was reported: The Military and Naval Magazine of the United States, Vol. 1, from March to August 1833. It was reported under Deaths in the General Intelligence section.

At Nashville, Tenn. Mid. WILLIAM PRYOR, murdered.

If William was in the Navy, what was he doing in Nashville? I found in another version of The Military and Naval Magazine of the United States, Volumes 1-2, William Pryor was listed as a midshipman as of 11 Feb 1832 and murdered April 1833. His rank confirms he was in the Navy and the dates firm up that this is the same Pryor I wrote of earlier.

The initial report said he was from Clarksville, TN (Montgomery County). All the twists and turns. It does get to be interesting.

1835 – Deaths in Middle Tennessee

tn-pryorsA report of cholera deaths from The Gallatin Tennessee Union (Sumner Co., TN) made it into the New York Evening Post on 10 August 1835. This may be of interest to researchers who have found diminished households between the 1830 Census and 1840 Census.

“The cholera has been more fatal in the upper part of Wilson county and the lower part of Smith, than almost any part of the US… 50 cases have proved fatal in the course of a few weeks in the neighborhood of Cainsville.”  The report also includes names of some of the families who were struck by the disease, “Mrs. Hearn, N E of Lebanon, had 3 deaths in her house in one day and 2 the next.” That’s 5 members of one family!

Cholera was also in Sumner Co. “It has reached our own county at the S E corner. Mr. Puryear, Mrs. Clardy and a negro man belonging to James Walton have fallen victims.”

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Jefferson Pryor Killed in Chicot Co., AR – 1831

February SnowAgain another reminder of a Pryor who disappeared from the records and family memory. I’d really like to know which family Jefferson Pryor connects to. Could his full name be Thomas Jefferson Pryor?

The Newbern Spectator (New Bern, NC) republished on 15 July 1831 a report of a grizzly murder originally reported in the York, Pennsylvania Gazette. A fight broke out at a house in Old River Lake, Chicot County which was still in Arkansas Territory at the time Arkansas didn’t become a state until 1836). The fight occurred on February 19, 1831 between Jefferson Pryor and two brothers — James and Stephen Ferrel. It started out as a fist-fight, but ended with all three drawing their knives. All 3 of the men were stabbed to death and there was one surviving witness— a female.

The men were reported to be single with no children which makes me think they were in their twenties.  In 1840 there were 2 “Farrell” men on the Census of Chicot County, however there were no Pryors. This Chicot County is very close to the Mississippi border so this may have been a MS Pryor. It’s also close to Ashley County and Desha County where Pryor families were living.

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Clifton O. Pryor Buried in Overton County, TN

I recently received a link to the casualties of the Detroit Riots in the 1960’s from a family history researcher. They had stumbled upon a Tennessee Pryor and thought he may be one of our TN Pryors.  He’s listed on the Rutgers University website as Clifton Pryor, a white male from Tennessee. http://www.67riots.rutgers.edu/d_victims.htm (Wayback Machine Link).

This poor guy was working in Detroit when he was mistaken for a sniper and shot by the National Guard. I found that he’s buried in Overton County in the Stover Cemetery. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=56850519

I don’t have the families of Overton County Pryors researched into the 60’s. Does anyone know which line of the Pryors he was related to? Was he buried in Overton County or related to a family in Overton County?

If you want to read more about this event Google “Clifton pryor sniper.”

Pryor Names from the Tennessee Death and Burial Records

John Pryor, born Oct 4 1831 in Jackson Co., TN
Died Jan 7, 1920 in the same county.
Lists his mother as Jane Pryor and her birthplace as the same county. Was his mother Nancy Pryor, if so, was her full name Nancy Jane?

Joseph P Pryor, born 2 Mar 1833 in KY (probably Trigg Co.)
Died Mar 15 1917 in Stewart Co., TN
Lists his parents as William Pryor and Olive Elliot.
Joseph was a retired postmaster.

William A Pryor, born 16 Sept 1837 in TN
Died Apr 7 1914 in Hamilton Co., TN.  He was buried in Jasper, TN (Marion Co.)
Lists his parents as John Pryor and Harriet Williams.

Monroe Pryor (black), born 1842 in Marion Co., TN
Died Oct 11 1923 in Jasper, Marion Co., TN.
Lists his parents as Jim Pryor and Sylvia Townsel
Possible that Monroe was born into slavery, occupation retired rail roader.

James Madison Pryor, born Sep 23 1846 in  Sumner Co., TN
Died May 11 1931 in Sumner Co., TN
Lists his mother as Margaret Curry (former wife of William Pryor)

Fanny Pryor Smith, born Aug 4 1844 in Stewart Co., TN
Died Jun 22 1915 in Stewart Co., TN
Lists her parents as Wesley Pryor and Miss Elliot (census records list mother as Fannie).
Both parents born in Trigg Co., KY.

We can add another Pryor to our list of TN Pryors!
Susannah Pryor Fox born 1818 in TN
Her daughter Margaret Fox Bowington, born Jan 15 1847 in Jackson Co., TN
Died Aug 25 1931 in Jackson Co.
Lists her parents as Richard O Fox and Susie Pryor, both born in Jackson County.
I suspect this new Pryor will send researchers scurrying to their databases. I know I did! There’s only a short list of Pryors who were in Jackson County in 1820.

Another Pryor descendant who fills in some added details…
John McDonad Hummel born abt 1840 in Livingston, TN
Died Aug 13 1915 in Clay Co., TN.
Lists his parents as William Huston Hummel and Julie Pryor (census records show her as Juda). His father was born in VA and his mother in East TN. On census records she states her place of birth as VA,  however I found with another ancestor there was a lot of travel between eastern TN and western VA and the place of birth can become confused.

And what would new Pryor information be without a new Pryor mystery?
Death record of John Marsh born Apr 1848 in TN, died Sept 1918 in Lincoln Co., TN.
Lists his parents as Goodman Davis and a Miss Pryor both born in TN.  Was he the son of Goodman Davis and Harriet Lee Smith Pryor and if so, why was his surname Marsh? Who was John? He’s not recorded on the census.