Genealogy of Michael Womack

The Pioneer Arkansan who named Nashville, Arkansas

Compiled By Miss Virginia Buxton - Howard County, Arkansas Historian


HTML version by Mark Womack & Roger Womack, family listing updated/modernized by Roger Womack. Every attempt has been made to faithfully reproduce this work by Miss Virginia Buxton as it was originally published, probably around 1960. In the original version, the family lineage followed the brief essay about Michael Womack and his descendants. Due to size considerations, the updated and modernized family lineage is provided for downloading in Rich Text Format (RTF), allowing those interested to browse the information offline. Also, the authors would like to apologize for state of the pictures below. They were scanned from copies of copies. If anyone has access to an original printing that would provide better versions, the authors would be greatly indebted.

A DINNER PARTY in 1904 at the home of Mr. and Mrs. George Sullivan, some of the descendants of Michael Womack were in reunion. In the picture, back row, left to right, are J. D. "Dick" Womack, Brooks Reese, Mrs. George Sullivan, George Sullivan, Sam Reese, Mrs. Sam Reese, Mrs., Nancy Stone; front row, Mrs. Anthony Hale, Mrs. Ann Hale Jones, Mrs. Brooks Reese, Mrs. Nanchy Chesshir, Jim Chesshir, and Sloman Reese.

  THAT dinner party in 1904 also was the occasion for this group photo of the descendants of Michael Womack. In the group, left to right, are Mrs. D. Jordan Chesshir, Mrs. Brooks Reese, Brooks Reese, their daughter Waite Resse now Mrs. Mont Spencer, Mrs. Ann Hale Jones, Daphne Womack, Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Womack and Jim Chesshir.

  THE HOME of Mr. and Mrs. David D. Womack on North Main Street in Nashville, was build in 1878 by Mr. Womack, son of Michael Womack who gave the city its name. The home is now owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Walter Westbrook. (Photo by Ramage Studio)

  THREE OF THE CLAN: Mrs. David D. Womack, Mrs. Nancy Womack Chesshir, and Mrs. Fannie Womack Northum.

Michael Womack was born 1794 in Virginia and migrated to Bedford County Tennessee with his parents. He was one of 23 who enlisted in the War of 1812 from Bedford County, enlisting as a private under Captain Barrett, West Tennessee Militia. He was in the battle of New Orleans, January 8, 1815 with General Andrew Jackson and it is generally known that this Tennessee marksman who was stationed behind cotton bales was the soldier that fired the fatal shot that killed British General Packenham.

After the war he returned to Tennessee and married Sarah Jones, daughter of Charles and Rebecca (Norman) Jones, who had removed from Union County South Carolina.

Michael Womack was a millright in Tennessee and also had two sons, David D.and Wade H. Womack. A large caravan of 40 families from Bedford County, Tennessee came to Arkansas in 1849 and settled north of Nashville, Arkansas in the settlement, known as "The Ridge" or Corinth. This land was in Brewer township, Pike County and Mine Creek township, Hempstead County. When the caravan reached Mine Creek, Mine Creek township, the settlement was only a hamlet and a few settlers called it "Hell's Valley". Michael Womack, a member of the Caravan immediately named the hamlet "Nashville" in honor of the capital of Tennessee. It was officially changed to Nashville in 1856.

Rev. Issac Cooper Perkins and his family settled in 1836 and were the first settlers. He entered most of the land in and around Nashville. William and Pete Coulter, also Thomas Parker settled a few months later.

About the time that the Tennessee Caravan was moving into Arkansas, the Arkansas newspapers teemed with information about the land that one might enter. The Military roads in Arkansas had been built by the Federal Government as a means of the removal of the Indians to the West. The gold rush to California was on and the Arkansas route was very attractive. The citizens in the East were eager to find more desirable land. About one third of the land in the United States that had been offered to the 1812 soldiers was in Arkansas.

Michael paid cash for his land and purchased land three times. He built a large log house on the land that some of his decendants now own. He died in 1861; his wife Sarah Womack died about 1865.

Two sons, David D. and Wade H. Womack served in the Confederacy.Wade lost his life in 1863 from a wound in one of his hands, resulting from blood poisoning.

David D. Womack removed from his farm to Nashville in 1878 and built a large home on North Main street now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Walter Westbrook. Much of the wood work was walnut, including the bannisters around his porches.

He first built a saw mill at Center Point then built a large saw mill at Nashville also a grist mill and planer. He built a cotton gin, the largest in the community which ginned 8 bales a day.

David D. Womack was an energetic citizen always very progressive. For several years he was the largest tax payer in Howard County. He was one of the first alderman when Nashville was incorperated in October, 1883. He married Lydia E. Lokey. Their first child, Sarah, was born in a covered wagon somewhere in Arkansas on the way to Arkansas. She married William C. "Billy" Hutson.

The Nashville Woolen Mill was owned and operated by David D. and his son, John David ( Dick ) Womack. Products of the mill were jeans, flannels, linseys tweeds cashmeres, blankets, yarns and coverlids. David D. died March 6, 1898.

The Church of Christ in Corinth was established in 1850 with a majority of the Tennessee Caravan its charter members.

Nazereth University was established in the fall of 1889 at Corinth, Arkansas. Elder C.M. Wilmeth, who was president of Nazereth University at Dallas, Texas agreed to transfer his institution to Corinth . Over $1250.00 and five acres of land was subscribed by the citizens of Howard County and adjoining counties.

The board of directors was elected and the work commenced on the building. David D.Jones, president, W.C.Mauldin, vice-president; Samuel W. Reese, Secretary; Dr. A. J. Ball treasurer; T. R. Wilson; D. J. Chesshir; Allen Dorsey; W. W. Watson; S.W. Power; Tom M. Holt, directors.

Four Departments--Biblical, Classical, Industrial and Musical. Tuition was free in the Bible department. Board $8.00 per month.

"The Watchman" was a weekly newspaper issued by the Nazereth Publication Society. The paper was started December 21, 1889 and was issued in the interest of the University with C.M.Wilmeth as advisor and W.T. Jones, publisher. W.T. Jones was a son of Elder J. R. Jones, Christian preacher who was organizer of the churches Saratoga, Blue Bayou and Nashville.

The school thrived until 1897 when C. M. Wilmeth and his family left Corinth in February for Old Mexico to do Missionary work and also find a location for farming. His move proved disastrous for several members of his family were stricken with yellow fever, C. M. Wilmeth, his son-in-law,Mrs. Rutherford, all succumed. Most of the survivors removed to Texas.

Nothing remains at Corinth now for it was enclosed in the Highland District Peach Orchard by Bert Johnson.

The Church of Christ has endured and is still a thriving, active church--the only marker of long ago. Across the road from the church, many of the pioneers are at rest in the Corinth cemetery.

The students had a baseball club and literary socities. Irene Wilmeth, daughter of Elder and Mrs. Wilmeth was the music instructor. She married Richard Watson.


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HTML version Copyright © 1998 Mark Womack & Roger Womack. Updated family listing Copyright © 1998 Roger Womack. These documents may be duplicated or printed for use in personal research as long as this copyright notice is included. They may not be reproduced in any other media form and/or for commercial use without the express written consent of the authors. All rights reserved.
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