Aunt Laura


On February 2, 1852, a daughter, Laura Davenport, was born to Nancy Davenport, a slave for Capt. R. R. Davenport, who owned the G.M.D. Lowry farm south of Valley Head Cross Roads. Shortly after Laura was born her father was sold to a slave holder farther south, and after Aunt Laura grew up she (told) of how her mother would go (down) across the oak lawn to the (road) side, when droves of slaves were being taken either north or south, ever hoping that she might again see the face of her husband. But she never saw him.

Laura was freed at the age of nine and at thirteen married Albert Winston, ex-slave of William O. Winston of Valley Head. The ceremony took place at the home of Capt. Stewart where E. T. Davenport how lives. Following the ceremony W. O. Winston gave them a big wedding dinner at Winston Place attended by hosts of colered and white alike.

and Uncle Frank’s first house was a log shack in Wills Valley, four north of Valley Head where Albert worked for Jake Bean. Here their first child, John was born when Aunt Laura was only fifteen.

In a few years they moved just east of the viaduct leading to Lookout Mountain, in nothing but wooded area, they built a log hut and fell the timber and had new ground for crops. Laura would send Jimmy and across the ridge over an Indian tramped trail to Cisero and Helen Davenport’s to get buttermilk and occasionally a mess of turnip greens. Helen would always give the little darkies a big fluffy wheat biscuit with a slab of butter sandwiched between it.

As the years rolled by, they moved from place to place, and Aunt Laura gave to the world eleven children. In 1902 when Ida Bell, her youngest child was only two, Albert died and left Aunt Laura and her eleven children alone in the world. For several years she continued to keep house and left the young children in care of the older ones and went to work for such people as Rev. J. M. White, Aunt Molly Nicholason, Uncle C. Y. and Aunt Culberson, Uncle Nick and Aunt Ida Davenport. When Aunt Ida was a baby (Aunt Laura) was her colored ………for her du…….

Transcribed from old crumpled page, author unknown.

Update From Alfred Ellis

December 24, 2018

My grandfather, Alfred (Bud) Ellis was a first cousin to Luther Ellis’ adopted father William.
I have an Ellis reunion photo which includes my grandfather Bud Ellis, Luther Ellis, and the Rev. Charlie Dean(WZOB game). I knew there was some connection of Luther and Charlie, but just didn’t how?. I think I finally made the connection.

Charlie Dean was the son of Lorenzo Dean. Thus Lottie Dean was the aunt of Charlie Dean who preached on WZOB radio for many years.

Charlie Dean burial correction CHARLIE DEAN is buried in the Walnut Grove Cemetery. His father Lorenzo is buried at Wesley’s Chapel. Charlie Dean’s Aunt Lottie Dean Watkins Lankford is buried  in the Lankford Cemetery.