Dix Family in Winchester Tennessee  
Winchester Tennessee
Alice Newman Shannon

Here's what I've learned about the AFDix family and ASDix in Winchester, TN during the 1870's.
The Winchester First Baptist Church records list Alexander Franklin Dix as the minister from Oct. 22, 1871 to Sept. 7, 1877.  Then he was "recalled" Nov. 2nd 1877 with no record of when he stopped this 2nd
time. (There are two other ministers incompletely listed in 1878 and 1879 and with another minister clearly beginning in 1880). (Source: The current church secretary.  She is mailing me a pamphlet containg this
and other historical information about the church.)

     The 1880 Census Report for Franklin Co.(including Winchester) gave the following information for the family:
     Head of Household: Alexander F. Dix   age:48-Baptist Minister, born N.Y.
        Others:     Nellie B.  Wife   41  born N.Y.
                        Albert S.  Son    16       Ala.
                        Wm B.      Son    15       Ala.
                        Hattie D.  Dau    13       Ala.
                        Mary B.    Dau     8       Ala.
                        Daniel     Son     7       Tenn.
                        Alexander F. Son  5       Tenn.
                        Paul Finch N.R.    4       Tenn.
                        Philo C.   N.R.    1       Tenn.
(Many of the ages seem off a little for 1880.  Do we know why the two youngest children would be listed as "no relation"?)        Source: TN State Library and Archives, Nashville, TN)

There are 3 schools  and colleges that were in Winchester that AF Dix and/or the children were associated with that I found out some information for:

1.  Mary Sharp College was founded in 1850 and closed in 1896.  It was a very well known "Latin and Greek" liberal arts college for women, supported by  Baptist Churches. I  found no specific records of who taught there, but I think it is logical that he taught there for several years after 1872 and maybe by some special arrangement he received an M.A. degree there in 1872. 

(Sources: Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, Nashville, TN. and the Franklin Co. Historical Society, Winchester, TN.)

2. Carrick Academy was the state chartered school for Winchester from 1809 until 1878.  It offered mainly high school edu. for boys, but also had some "primary" and "grammar" male students. A printed report for Carrick Academy for 1876-77 listed students alphabetically, including: Albert Dix and William Dix.  There was no listing of faculty and this is the only year report found for C.A.

3. Carrick Academy merged into a new school in 1878 - Winchester Normal School and College.  It was open to girls and boys and offered 2 years of college (an AB degree), as well as high school, primary and grammer level classes.  It opened in 1878 and finally closed in 1915.  A printed report for "Winchester Normal" for 1878-79 has a faculty listing which includes: "A.F. Dix, Professor of English and History"  and a note that he "Will not teach next year".  It also lists students alphabeically including:  Albert Sydney Dix, Daniel Dix, William B. Dix, Hattie L. Dix and Mary Belle Dix.

The printed report for 1879-80 for "Winchester Normal" does not include AFD as a faculty member, but the student list includes: Albert Sidney Dix, Willie B. Dix, Hattie L. Dix, Mary Belle Dix and Daniel Dix". (Source: Books and School materials at Tenn. State Library and Archives, Nash., TN)

Pulling together the two biographical sketches (from Lynn and Martha) and these records I found for Winchester and Franklin Co., I think we might infer the following for AS Dix time line –

     1871-78   Jr. & Sr. High, Winchester, TN  Carrick Academy
     1878-80   College, Winchester, TN  Winchester Normal College

I hope this helps confirm and fill in  a little for AS Dix. If in the future we work on AF Dix time line, some of this will help.  Let me know if I need to clarify any of this --

Alice Newman Shannon


Dimple's Memories of Living in Winchester
(Recall that Dimple is writing in third person)

She was four years old and her father and mother who called each other "Frank" and "Nellie", her two brothers, Bert and Will, and her sister, Dollie, were moving to Winchester, Tenn., where her father, Rev. A. F. Dix, was to teach Latin and Greek in Mary Sharp College. Their household goods were slow coming, and they spent some weeks in a boarding house full of college girls. There the girls made much of her and continued to in the years that followed while they lived in a little house on the edge of the town on the road that led to Cowan. They taught her to say the Greek alphabet before she knew the English. They quarreled over who was to take care of her at Sunday School and Church.

The babies continued to arrive at about two-year intervals until five more boys were added to the family. She remarked to her mother on the arrival of the last one, "Seven boys and only two girls to make shirts for them."

While she was still a little girl the saving of her life by direct intervention was often told by her father. He had started to the well with a bucket in each hand. When he got to the side door something told him to put down his buckets and go to Mama's room. It was before breakfast and Mama was busy in the kitchen.
It was winter, and all the doors closed. He had not heard a sound. He hesitated, but the demand that he go to Mama's room was insistent, so he went and was met as he opened the door by a little figure in flames. She bears no scar - her hair was scorched but her little red apron with two pockets in it was a serious loss. 

There were four years between her and her sister Dollie, another sister, Daisy, having died age 2, before they left Midway, Alabama. [I was hoping for more details surrounding Daisy’s death. ]   As a consequence, she played with her brothers - did everything they did until they were big enough to take a gun and go to the woods hunting. There her mother drew the line, "Because she was a girl."
In 1876 she remembered climbing with Bert and Will to the roof and helping fasten a big flag to the chimney because it was the Centennial. She didn't know what that was, but it called for flags on everybody's houses.
The five boys who were born in Winchester were Lell, Allie, Paul, Philo and Murrie. When Murrie was born she was thirteen years old. Between the births of Paul and Philo her mother's health was very bad. She knew later there had been a still-born boy. 

    [We hadn't heard this before.] 

The care of Paul was almost entirely left with her, and as a natural consequence Paul was always a favorite brother.

When the Winchester Normal was organized her father was chosen one of the teachers. The Normal was at the other end of town, and there were five of us going to school, so the little home with the big locust trees in front and the row of cedars next the sidewalk that were thinned as they grew by using one as a Xmas tree every year, was rented out, and the family moved to a big old two-story house on High Street with big grounds and lots of shrubbery. A summer house with vines and all kinds of flowers was a delight to the barefoot tree-climbing child. There she first knew columbines and loves them still. The mother's health continued bad, and Philo's birth had to be an abortion to save her life. After that her health was good. 

    [Obviously, “abortion” was not used in the same sense we use it today.  Perhaps she meant Caesarian?]

The Winchester Normal was not the financial success they expected. They had to cut down their faculty and her father resigned because he had been the last man taken on. The family went back to the little home after two years on High Street, and her father taught in the old "Robert Donald" - originally a school for boys but at that time a mixed school.
 
 

After two years Murrie was born [06/16/1880] and her father having been made president of the William and Emma Austin College in Stevenson, Ala., the family moved to Stevenson [July, 1880] and the thirteen-year-old girl was separated from friends of ten years and the only sweetheart she'd ever had. She and Albert Marks had swung hands all the way to their French lesson before they were old enough to go to school. He would wait for her at the railroad crossing, and they'd go together to Old Man Jordan's French class. He had a class of grown-ups, a class of teenage boys and girls, and a class of little children. A native-born Frenchman and besides driving the Express wagon he kept a little shop ­fruits and candies, nuts and canned goods.

She and Albert Marks continued sweethearts 'till they were both thirteen. At that time his father was governor of Tennessee, but his family remained in Winchester. When she came back to Winchester the next summer on a visit Albert came to see her - his first date. He came on horseback in the morning to the house where she was visiting and sent in a note asking for a date that night. She gave him the date and when he came that night he had a voice like a bass drum, and she didn't know him at all!

During that summer she visited Cowan also, and went with Bert to Coosa Cave again and enjoyed it so much. Coosa Cave was upon the side of the mountain, and unless somebody was along who knew where it was, you might wander all day and never find the entrance, for bushes grew in front of the hole, and a man had to stoop way over to get in. Inside it was lovely, and she never tired of it. The college girls at Mary Sharp were allowed a holiday in Spring every year to visit Coosa Cave. The foot of the mountain was seven miles from Winchester, and the entrance to the cave only a little way up. At that time it had never been entirely explored. It may have been later, as so much attention has been given to caves in later years.

After that summer she never went back to Winchester and lost touch with all the friends of her little girl days. 

    I began Goggling ("Albert Marks" Tennessee), that led to these links:

   100 Oaks Castle
   http://huntsville.about.com/cs/daytrips/a/castle.htm

    Prominent Tennesseeans/Albert S. Marks/ p. 76 [The father of Arthur H. & Albert D. Marks]

<http://books.google.com/books?id=UsVGPmfzJRYC&pg=PA75&lpg=PA75&dq=Novella+Davis+Marks+tennessee&source=bl&ots
=lMTC74iFVm&sig=5ziTYjWFY6O8PHQTjVYQcRCkdjc&hl=en#v=onepage&q=Novella%20Davis%20Marks%20tennessee&f=false>

   Albert D.(Davis) Marks Obit
   http://www.tngenweb.org/warren/obit-m.html#ma(About halfway down the page)

    Albert D.(Davis) Marks Obit, NY Times
   http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F60A1FFC3E5911738DDDAC0994DE405B828CF1D3

    Albert D.(Davis) Marks newspaper account of death
   http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84020274/1902-06-15/ed-1/seq-1.pdf  (5th Column, near the bottom)

    MARY SHARP COLLEGE Historic Marker Plaque & Bell location
   http://www.hmdb.org/Marker.asp?Marker=31651

    MARY SHARP COLLEGE lithograph
   http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/pga.04068/
   http://www.billbostick.com/sites/default/files/styles/750x750/public/mary_sharp_college_post_card.jpg

    MARY SHARP COLLEGE - more recent photo
   http://www.billbostick.com/sites/default/files/styles/photo-gallery-thumbnail/public/old_mary_sharp_college.jpg

    More old Winchester photos
   http://www.billbostick.com/120513/winchester-photos-and-postcards

According to the above links, Albert Smith Marks, was the name of Dimple's sweetheart's father, the Governor of Tennessee. He married Novella Davis. 

They had two sons:  Arthur Handly Marks, and Albert Davis Marks.  It was Arthur Handly Marks who was the diplomat to England and who had the castle built.  Albert D. Marks was born September 1, 1867 -- the same year as Dimple.  This was Dimple's beau.

   "She and Albert Marks continued sweethearts 'till they were both thirteen"

[Dimple obviously had very fond memories of her childhood sweetheart.  This sort of personal story is exactly what I was hoping to find when we began this project.  This information about Winchester reinforces what Alice Shannon had found out for us.  RDW]

[In November, 2012, Cathy & I were on a trip with our British car club that took us to Lake Guntersville, AL and up into Tennessee to visit the 100 Oaks Castle in Winchester and the University of the South in Sewannee, TN.  While in Winchester I rode by the only surviving relic of Mary Sharp College, the school bell.  Below the bell is a plaque commemorating the school.  See the photos below.]


photo by Russell Whigham


photo by Russell Whigham


Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 17:23:32 -0600
From: Martha Picardy 

I was cleaning out my email and found this. It must have come on a day I didn't open any mail from someone that I didn't recognize the name: From:"Kassandra Hassler" <khassler@mail.state.tn.us>

Chaddra Moore 10/04/01 02:32PM
Dear Ms. Picardy:

Thank you for writing. Mary Sharp College was located at Winchester, Tennessee in Franklin County. According to Raymond Alfred Finney's article "A History of the Private Educational Institutions of Franklin County, Pt.
1: Mary Sharp College", published in the January 1980 issue of the FRANKLIN COUNTY HISTORICAL REVIEW, the school was founded by Reverend James Robinson Graves and A. S. Colyar. Originally chartered as the Tennessee Female Institute in 1848 and incorporated as the Tennessee Baptist Female Institute in 1852, the facility was incorporated as Mary Sharp College in 1857. Initially successful,  the school closed temporarily during the Civil
War, and after reopening never regained the high enrollment it had previously enjoyed. Mary Sharp College closed permanently in 1896. 
 
The records of Mary Sharp College are not part of our collection, and we cannot state with certainty that they have survived. The Franklin County Public Library or Franklin County Project Preservation might be able to assist you in this matter.  They can be reached at the following addresses:

Franklin County Public Library, 105 South Porter Street, Winchester, TN 37398-1546, Phone: (931) 967-3706.

Franklin County Project Preservation, Franklin County Historical Society, Jeanne R. Bigger, 118 South High Street, Winchester, TN 37398, Phone: (931) 962-1474.

 Our holdings do include catalogs for the years 1858, 1859, 1861, 1868-69, 1871, 1871-72, 1873-74, 1878=79, 1885-86, 1893, and 1894-94. These provide information about the college's costs and rules, list course offerings, the names of students and faculty members, etc. If you are interested in a specific individual we will be happy to check these items for that person's name. 

We regret that we have been unable to locate any information concerning a William and Emona Austin College. A facility called Austin Academy was chartered on April 5, 1880 (Charter Book C, Page 456), but no
persons named Austin are listed among its incorporators.  The charter indicates that the school was located in McNairy County, but we have no further information concerning it. 

We hope that you find this information helpful.  Please let us know if we may be of any further assistance.

Response Prepared by Chaddra Moore
Public Services Section
 

>>> Martha Picardy, 09/16/01 08:31PM >>> 
I am looking for info on Mary Sharpe College located in your state in 1872.Where would I find records from this school? Also was there a William and Emona[Emma] Austin College located also in Tennessee in 1880?

Thank you,
Martha Picardy