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Here we have all contributions submitted by friends and family of visitors and kin of Valley Head and surrounding area's people. If you would like to submit your own story send the request to


Ned L. Irwin, East Tennessee State University, Chattanooga Times Free Press article
This Chattanooga-based hamburger chain was founded in 1932 by

Rodolph B. Davenport Jr.

and J. Glenn Sherrill. Loosely patterned after the successful mid western White Castle hamburger chain which had begun in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas, Krystal, capitalized on the economic hard times of the era by offering customers nickel hamburgers and "a good cup of coffee." Its steamed, small, square hamburger covered with chopped onions has become part of southern culinary lore. The first restaurant was a small white porcelain and stainless steel building at the corner of Seventh and Cherry Streets in Chattanooga. Mrs. Mary McGee Davenport selected the company name after noticing a crystal ball on a neighbor's lawn. The name she chose, "Krystal Klean," reflected the cleanliness of the restaurant; the name was later shortened to Krystal. A crystal ball became a symbol outside all Krystal restaurants. Davenport serv ed as company president until his death in 1943, when he was succeeded by his partner, Sherrill, who served until 1961. R. B. Davenport III, son of the founder, succeeded Sherrill as president, remaining until his resignation in 1990. The appearance of Krystal restaurants has changed over the years. Drive-through windows were added, and smaller versions called Krystal Kwiks, with limited menus and drive-through service only, have become popular in locations unable to sustain a full-sized restaurant. The menu has expanded beyond the Krystal burger and a cup of coffee, but the little square hamburger remains a keystone in the company's success. In 1982 Krystal acquired the Po Folks restaurant chain, later spinning off the chain as a separate company. Krystal also became the largest franchisee of Wendy's Restaurants. In 1992 Krystal issued stock and became a publicly traded company, ending its claim as the nation's largest privately held restaurant chain. The company filed for bankruptcy reorganization in 1995 as a result of mounting claims of lawsuits from current and former employees involving overtime pay. In 1997 the Krystal Company announced a merger of its 250 stores with Port Royal Holdings, a corporation formed by an executive of the Coca-Cola Enterprises.
Rodolph Blevins Davenport, Sr. was born 31 Dec 1857 in Valley Head, DeKalb County, AL and died 28 Mar 1936 in Chattanooga, Hamilton County, TN. He married Margaret Caldwell (16 Oct 1863 - 25 Jun 1949) cir. 1887. They are buried in the Forest Hills Cemetery, Chattanooga, Hamilton County, TN. My research indicates they had 5 children. Their son, Rodolph Blevins "Rody" Davenport, Jr. (19 Jun 1906 - 27 Aug 1943), was co-founder of Krystal Restaurants in Chattanooga, TN in 1932. "Rody" Davenport is also buried in the Forest Hills Cemetery.
Contributed November 2008 by Sammy Boyd Chattanooga, TN

Daniel B. Young

Contributed by Cordell October 25, 2008
No one can know what influenced Daniel Bryson Young b. 1824 NC, to move from North Carolina to Lumpkin County, Georgia. The 1828 discovery of gold in North Georgia had offered short-lived excitement; however, as late as 1870, the U. S. Federal Census indicates that some were still listing “Gold Miner” as their occupation. The last Georgia Land Lottery was held in 1832, yet none of these facts answers the mystery of Daniel’s decision to make such a life-changing move. In Georgia, Daniel married Elizabeth J. Adams; daughter of George Berry Adams and Martha Ahearn. The first of Daniel and Elizabeth's eleven children was born on 16 Mar 1854. By 1861, when the War Between the States officially commenced, Daniel and Elizabeth already had five small children. On 23 May 1862, Daniel enlisted as a Private into Co. C, 52nd Regiment, GA Vol. Infantry, Army of Tenn., C.S.A. He contracted measles which settled in his left lung, causing permanent disability. Two months later, he received a Disability Discharge at Big Creek Gap, Tenn. War records show Daniel B. Young’s birthplace to be Burke Co., NC. On the 1860 U.S. Federal Census Daniel B. and Elizabeth Yang are reported to be living in Frogtown Dist., Lumpkin Co., GA. The Post Office: Loudsville. (near Licklog) At that time, the record shows them to have four children. Daniel’s occupation is listed as 'Farmer.' The name “Young” was misspelled by the census taker as "YANG". The family is shown living next door to Elizabeth's father, George Adams b. 1789 SC. Soon after Daniel's discharge, he and his family moved to Dekalb Co., AL,. where their fifth child, Mary Eveline Young, my g-grandmother, was born. She married Jefferson Alexander Thomas, son of John M. Thomas and Elizabeth Josephine Stafford. The 1870 U.S. Federal Census reflects Daniel B. and Elizabeth Young, along with their nine children living in Township 4, Range 10, Dekalb Co., AL, Post Office: Sulphur Springs. In 1880 Daniel and Elizabeth Young are shown with ten children, (including one grandchild), living in Township 5, Range 10, Dekalb Co., AL. (Two of their children were out of the home.)
Four generations in Valley Head, AL: 1) Daniel Bryson Young m. Elizabeth J. Adams 2) Mary Eveline Young m. Jefferson Alexander Thomas 3) Mary Lily Thomas m. Henry David Cordell 4) Rena Edna Cordell m. James Franklin Akins
The next two generations of our family line grew up in Valley Head, AL. Life there was dependent on agriculture and the hard manual labor associated with raising and preserving crops. Farming was done with mules pulling hand-held plows. Most planting and harvesting was done by hand. Wagons and mules provided transportation. (Henry Cordell rode a mule fifteen miles into Fort Payne to serve on Jury Duty.) A good harvest determined how well a family ate during winter months. Home canning became popular when my mother, Rena Cordell b. 1913, was a teen. She remembered learning these skills from the Home Extension Office and then teaching classes for their neighbors in her backyard. Before the advent of home canning, vegetables and fruits were dried or pickled and meat was treated with salt and hung in a smokehouse to cure. My grandmother, Mary Lily (Thomas) Cordell, filled a large storage pantry with canned goods. She cooked for a family of twelve; plus, as many as, forty guests for Sunday dinner. Chickens roamed freely before the early 1930’s when a hen-house was built for nesting. The pasture was enclosed by a split-rail fence with a gate built of slabs from the saw mill. The outhouse was considered to be a nice one since it was a “two-seater.” An old Sears, Roebuck Catalog was conveniently hung on a wire. My mother, Rena Cordell, recalled the flu epidemic in 1918 when she was five years old. They were blessed that no one in their family was touched with the dread sickness. Mother remembered that her daddy, Henry Cordell, rode in the wagon to each home in the area, making certain that families with sick folk had firewood cut and stacked close to the door for easy access. Mother was raised in a God-fearing home and my life has been blessed because of her faithfulness to Christian principles. She went Home to Glory in 2006 at 93 years of age.

9 page document written by Lila Emma Jane Hick years ago on the family surnames:
Crabtree, Ellis, Hawkins, Hicks, Phillips, and other families of Sulphur Springs, Alabama areas.
Surname informational document
Prepared and contributed by Lila Emma Jane Hicks Fort Worth, Texas 1968


Contributed July 2007

Here is a contribution of my end of the Mullen?xes consisting of rumors, hearsay, copying, memory and even a little real genealogical digging! I've been using FTW for years and I think that today, I have finally discovered how to spread the info around with having to retype it with 2 fingers every time! At 73, I'm interested in way too many things to be much good at any of them...! My Grandparents, raised me on their 2 mule farm in Mcurtain County, OK. Roy E. Sharp (Yup; the Arkansas Sharps, but I've lived in Torrance, CA for over 50 years.

Thomas Lewis Mullenix (1820- )SC
One family tradition says decended from Jean Molyneaux? Mullenix who got to USA by being crimped or shanghied to serve as crew on a ship and ended up in Penn. "From NC to Tennesee to Alabama to Hope, Arkansas to Mineral Wells area of TX, To Beaver Co. in OK panhandle then back to Ark. and on to Garvin, OK" "Family from Calais...French burned records"
William Rufus Mullenix (1841-1913)GA
married Margarett Evitt Carson June 16, 1865 in DeKalb Co. AL From T288 General Index Pension Files of Civil War 1861-1934: Mullinix, Rufus M. 3-23-15 Widow; Margaret M. E48 Ky Inf G17 Ky Cav Date filed;1904 Jul 11 Class;Invalid Applic #1320.612 Certif #1096617Indiana 1913 Jun 1 Widow #1010.091Oklahoma Attourney; J.H.Hunter(n?) Remarks; C2505669 At least in this instance; Mullinix instead of Mullenix like son Rutherford Hayes M. I believe this record is in error; in family bible gift to R. H. Mullenix from his mother M.E.M., she spelled the name twice with an "e". We have a photo of Rufus in Rebel uniform that is inscribed on back; " Rufus M. Mullenix presented to Margaret Carson Jun 16, 1865"
Rutherford Hayes Mullenix (1877-1964)
Born in "Polecat Hollow", later called Valley Head, DeKalb Cty., AL From obit notice written by wife Dovey Ellen; "...came to Texas when small with his family. Came to Indian Territory 1896....came to vicinity of Garvin (OK) 1934. Was member of Church of Christ since 1907"

Albert Winston Family

Contributed December 2006

Albert Winston was born about 1847 in Valley Head, Alabama.
Probably the son or grandson of "Uncle John" Winston, Negro slave to William Overton Winston.
Uncle John was given to Mr. Winston at birth and would become his valet for life. Uncle John was a few years older than William, and based on census records
his birth is about 1790. In 1865, Albert Winston married Laura Davenport, daughter of Nancy Davenport, slave to Capt. R. R. Davenport.
Laura Davenport was born February 2, 1852 in Valley Head, Alabama. At the age of nine, she was freed and at the age of 13 she married Albert.
Albert worked for Mr. Jake Bean, just north of Valley Head, and on July 1868, Laura and Albert's first child was born, John Winston.
They would have nine more children together: Joe O., 1872; James S., 1873; Henry, 1877; Nancy A., 1879; Mary A. 1884; Laura, 1885; Albert, 1890; Lucy, 1892; and Ida B., 1900.

In 1902, Albert Winston died and was buried in a cemetery northeast of Valley Head, aka the Albert Winston Cemetery..
Laura Davenport Winston went to work to support her children, she work for the families of Rev. J. M. White, Molly Nicholson, C.Y. Culberson, as well as, Nick and Ida Davenport.
Laura died in 1938. John Winston married Susie Green
Joe O. Winston married Mary Adams
James Winston married Mary Florence McMickens, and Addie Hill
Nancy A. Winston married Oscar Harrison
Laura Winston married Rufus Jake Neal
Lucy Winston married Harper Davenport
Ida B. Winston never married.
Contributed by -Denese Walters-

The Polar Bears

Hello, I think I have identified another name to add to your "Veteran's of Valley Head" web page.
I should probably begin by explaining a bit about myself and how I came to this conclusion.
My name is Michael V. Grobbel and I live in Shelby Township, which is north of Detroit, MI. My wife of 32 years, the former Kathy Yancy, was born in Ft. Payne, AL in 1952, and moved to the Detroit area with her parents in 1963. My hobby is researching my family's history, including their military service (fortunately, my sister-in-law has taken on the task of researching her Yancy/Townsel/Culpepper/White family lines in the Sand Mountain area).

My grandfather, Clement Grobbel, was born in Warren Township, Michigan in 1895. He was drafted into the US Army's 339th Infantry Regiment in June of 1918 and received his basic training at Camp Custer, near Battle Creek, Michigan. The 339th was sent to England in August of 1918, but instead of going to France, they were assigned to the American North Russia Expeditionary Force (ANREF). The 5,000 men of the ANREF were placed under British command, and together with Allied French, British and White Russian forces, they fought the Communists in the region surrounding Archangel, North Russia, from September 1918 until June of 1919. They were considered to be World War One veterans, even though they continued fighting for more than 7 months after the Armistice. Upon their return to the USA, the ANREF veterans began calling themselves "Polar Bears", since they had fought in the sub-arctic region during the dead of winter.

Most (80% or so) of the Polar Bears who were drafted and inducted into the 339th Infantry came from Michigan and the other Great Lakes states, however almost all the other states in the Union were represented in their ranks. Recently, while browsing through an on-line database listing of Polar Bears arranged by geographic location, I noticed that there were nine men from different places in Alabama. What particularly caught my eye was the location "Valley Head, AL" in the database, which I knew to be just down the road from my wife's birthplace.

Clicking on the "Valley Head, AL" location in the database, I saw the name and information of this "Polar Bear":
    White, Ralph L.
    company:  United States. Army. Infantry, 339th. Supply.
    hometown:  Valley Head (Ala.)
Hmmmm, I thought - could my dear wife also have a relative who was a "Polar Bear" ? I quickly checked my sister-in-law's genealogy database, but he was not listed in there. Next, I did a Google search and I found a White, Ralph L. on page 138 of your PDF document which gave this information about him:
    White, Ralph L.
    b.  Feb 1892 in AL
    occupation: Helper mill
    d. Sept 1943
    bur. Valley Head, AL 
His birthdate is in the correct range of years for these Polar Bear veterans and the middle initials match, so I am quite sure this is the same person mentioned in the Polar Bear database. Unfortunately, I cannot find any mention of his rank in the Polar Bear information. If you decide to add his name to your Veteran's page, I would identify him as a member of Supply Company, 339th Infantry Regiment, US Army, WW I American North Russia Expeditionary Force, 1918-1919. Here is a photo of Supply Company, but their members are not identified.

I should also add that I am the President (and webmaster) of the "Polar Bear Memorial Association". In addition to the website we maintain, we also conduct an annual Memorial Day service for the Polar Bears. Most people in the USA are not aware that US troops fought the Soviet Communists on Russian soil and our Association's purpose is to make sure that their service, sacrifices and deaths are not forgotten.

Contributed by -Mike Grobbel-

The Magnusson is quite a story.

Johan Franklin Magnusson was born February 10th, 1850 in Goteborg, Sweden and died in 1934. He ran away from home after some altercation with an official's son. He stowed away in an apple barrel on a ship and went to China. He joined the Chinese Army and was there about 5 years. He jumped ship in New York and later was in Chattanooga. He and a man named Willingham started a box company there. He was the accountant for the businesses. It went under during the depression and Johan went to work for the railroad. Johan was married 3 times.
We have been told that even years later that Johan could speak fluent Chinese. He must have been quite a character. Johan is buried at AMI cemetery in Menlo, Alabama.
Contributed by -Pat Johnson-

My great-grandfather Charles Madison Davis Cook and great-grandmother Harriet Green Cook homesteaded some land near Valley Head. My grandfather John Thomas Edward Cook was born there in Look Out Mountains. My grandfather broke his back once and had to be carried down from the mountains. The family moved to Oklahoma before 1910. To read more click HERE.
Contributed by -Sharon Rice-

Thank you for your contributions!!

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