prepared by Joyce Disharoon and Johnnie King Watson-Tate
pictured above is Christen King
pictures taken by Dwayne, Judy and Christen King
This old barn is from the Hixson homeplace in Hixson, Tennessee, near Chattanooga in Hamilton County. It was hand-built from chestnut logs about 160 years ago, between 1840 and 1860.
The property on which it was built was purchased by the Hixsons around the late 1790s. The Hixsons were large landowners and this property sat on a ridge above North Chickamauga Creek.
The Hixson homeplace property which had been reduced to about 20 acres was bought and the barn relocated by independent Healthcare Properties, LLC, for historic preservation. Total cost to relocate and restore the barn was over $45,000. Before the end of 2009 the barn graced the entrance to an assisted living facility which has the capacity for 70 senior residents.
We are blessed with a large number of allied (joined by marriage) families. As a result it is sometimes confusing to follow the flow of the generations.
The Hixson/King relationship began generations ago. First, Joseph and Susannah Hixson were the parents of the Hixson "dynasty" in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area around the Chickamauga River.
Joseph and Susannah had a baby boy named William. William grew up and fell in love with Ingobo Hughes, and proposed marriage.
William and Ingobo had a daughter named Nancy Hixson who married Henry Grayson. They had a child named Pleasant Carroll Grayson.
Pleasant Carroll's first marriage was to Vashti Pickett and they had a little girl named Tennessee Jane Grayson.
Tennessee Jane Grayson, whose grandmother was a Hixson, married William Walker King, great-grandson of John King Sr.
Note: Excerpts have been taken from John Wilson’s Article in chattanoogan.com and are used here with his permission.
The Hixson family is a part of East Tennessee history, and they are in our Family tree.
"Since the late 1820s, when many Indians were still in this vicinity, the land around North Chickamauga Creek in the shadow of Walden's Ridge has been the domain of the Hixsons."
"The Hixsons had come down from New Jersey through Maryland and Virginia to upper East Tennessee. Joseph Hixson and his wife, Susannah, are listed in the census of Frederick County, MD, in the revolutionary year of 1776.
They later settled on the south side of the Nolichucky River in Greene County, Tenn.
In 1786, Joseph Hixson paid 50 shillings for 100 acres at Greene County. Joseph, like a number of future Hamilton County settlers, had his first look at the lusty territory during an expedition against the Indians."
This was definitely wild country in 1786. In 1789 North Carolina had ended their western lands which contained about 43,000 square miles. This is the territory that would become Tennessee in 1796.
It wasn't until May 26, 1790 that President George Washington signed into law an Act of Congress that established the Territory of the United States South of the Ohio River.
Most of the settlements at that time were in the eastern part of the territory that was about 25 to 50 miles wide and extended about 110 miles southwest. One of the settlements was the Nolichucky where Joseph and his family settled.
In 1796 the territory was converted by a Tennessee constitutional convention, a democratic bill of rights and an Act of Congress to the sixteenth state of the Union. This act created Greene County.
He (Joseph Hixson) took part in the 1788 raid against the Chickamaugas under Gen. Joseph Martin. There was a skirmish at the base of Lookout Mountain near Moccasin Bend.
Joseph Hixson died in Greene County in 1804. His widow, Susannah continued living on Middle Creek of the Nolichucky River until her death in early 1823.
She left 'one Negro woman, and two negro children, one bedstead and furniture, one stove, one table, one loom, 2 corner cupboards and furniture, 2 head of horses, five head of cattle, eight head of sheep, thirty head of hogs, 1 desk, 1 chest, 2 spinning wheels, 3 ovens, 4 pots, one skillet, one clock and case, two bar share ploughs, 2 shovel ploughs, five hoes, 3 axes, one looking glass, one woman's saddle, one hand saw and one cross cut saw.'
The children of Joseph and Susannah were Eleanor, Andrew, William, Joseph Jr., Timothy, Ephraim, John, Susannah, Benjamin and James.
Some of the children of Joseph Hixson joined the families of Rawlings, Kennedy, Hughes and other of their neighbors in migrating from Greene County to Bledsoe and Hamilton counties."
"Andrew, the oldest son, was born in New Jersey in 1766. In 1788, Andrew was a member of the militia that made a raid against the Chickamauga Indians."
"John Hixson lived along the Nolichucky River, then he was among the brothers moving to Bledsoe. John and Laney Hixson moved to Mitchell, Ind., about 1827 or 1828. During this move, John and his son Timothy, were swimming horses across the White River. Timothy made it across, but John drowned."
"Timothy was a pioneer in the area that became Spring Mill State Park in Southern Indiana. He built and operated a saw mill and a grist mill."
"The family of William Hixson (son of Joseph and Susannah) lived at Bledsoe County. According to his great-grandson, Judge Will Cummings, William Hixson fought in the Revolution. The children of William Hixson are given as Ingobo, Nancy, Joseph Hughes, William Jr. and John. The daughter, Ingobo, was born in 1798 and had the distinction of living in three centuries since she survived until 1902. She married Jermiah Fryar, and they resided in Lookout Valley. Nancy married Henry Grayson. She died in 1881 at Whitwell at the home of a son, Anderson Cheek Grayson."
Tennessee Jane Grayson, who married William Walker King who was the great grandson of John King Sr., was a descendant of Henry and Nancy Hixson Grayson.
"Joseph Hughes Hixson was born in 1801." One of his children was John H. Hixson. "John H. died in the Civil War, and both Samuel and James Monroe Hixson died at Andersonville Prison in 1864."
"Samuel, a grandson of Joseph Hughes Hixson, "who was born the year after the Civil War ended, was a prominent educator. Known as Professor Hixson he went to Chattanooga in 1891 and was superintendent of the Hamilton County schools for six years. He served as county register beginning in 1902, then was superintendent of the Bledsoe County Schools and then the Rossvillle Schools. He also served as principal of Knoxville High School, and was president of the Tennessee Public School Officers Association."
"William Jr., who was born about 1795, was in Bledsoe County at an early date with his wife, Esther. They were in Sequatchie Valley in 1860."
William's son, John, "enlisted in the fall of 1862 to fight for the south with Co. B of the First Tennessee Cavalry (Carter's). He fought at Murfreesboro, and Cumberland Gap and his leg was smashed when his horse ran against a tree. He was captured following the fighting of Missionary Ridge, and he chose to swear allegiance to the Union and go across the Ohio River. He died near Birchwood in 1908 and was buried on the farm of S. A. Smith."
"Timothy Hixson (son of Joseph) purchased 163.5 acres in Greene County in 1803 and sold this tract three years later. He was given a Negro girl, Sal, by his father-in-law, Francis Hughes and he later purchased a 15-year old mulatto slave girl and a 21-year-old Negro woman in Bledsoe County.
Timothy bought 400 acres in Bledsoe in 1817."
Reuben Hixson fought in the Seminole war. He was living in Sequatchie County just before the Civil War and he was near Waco, Tex., when he died in 1907."
"Pleasant (Hixson) was a quartermaster sergeant in the fourth Arkansas Cavalry.
Matt (Hixson) was a first lieutenant and fought in a number of battles before being taken captive at Fort Hudson after a 420 day siege. He later represented Logan County (Ark) in the Legislature. He married Belila A. Sadler in 1870.
James Hixson (brother of Pleasant) was hanged by bushwhackers at Cane Creek Ark., in 1864."
Ephraim Hixson Jr. was the grandson of Ephraim Hixson (son of Joseph). He "was born in Greene County in 1797. He grew up in Bledsoe County and then was an early Hamilton County settler and was a justice of the peace in 1834. In 1830, he bought the 640-acre reservation of the Cherokee John Brown for $5,500. The property acquired by the Hixsons was in the vicinity of the fields Ferry on the Tennessee River and the Brown Reservation. David Fields was a Cherokee who received a large grant under the Treaty of 1819.
William Hixson in 1842 had acquired 1,500 acres, including the Fields Ferry and the Chickamauga mill tract. This was part of a 20,000-acre grant that James Crosby and Charles McClung had obtained from the state of North Carolina."
"Ephraim Franklin Hixson was on the County Court six years and was on the county draft board. He was an organizer and vice president of Commerce, which was taken over by Hamilton National Bank. Ephraim Franklin Hixson lived near where his grandather's log cabin had stood. He was the stationmaster, postmaster and grocer for 43 years at Hixson Station.
'Squire' Hixson was 'a man who made many friends. He was quiet and unassuming, always kind and gentle. He was a friend of the downtrodden and lowly without reference to race or color'. A Democrat in politics, he was instrumental in the establishment of Hixson High School and was chairman of the county school board. He won many blue ribbons at the county fair for his varied breeds of chickens. The E. F. Hixson home, with its massive log undergirdings, still stands on Adams Road near the site of the train depot. It later was occupied by the Fitzgerald realty office."
"Wilson J. Washington Hixson (son of Washington and Sarah Vandergriff Hixson) served as a justice of the peace.
His son, Ephraim, was a farmer and ferryman at Harrison, but he drowned in the river in August 1883."
Napoleon B. "Poley" Hixson, a grandson of Washington and Sarah Vandergriff Hixson, "went to Sequatchie College, then he was a Chattanooga policeman and was in the county highway department 22 years. He was supervisor of county roads and workhouse and was on the county highway commission."
"Ephraim Foster Hixson (son of Ephraim and Margaret) was born at Hixson in 1840, and he served in the sixth Mounted Infantry for the Union."
"George Washington Hixson (son of Ephraim Foster Hixson) farmed at Dallas. He was on the county school board two terms and was on the Democratic Executive committee from the Jones Store precinct. He died near Harrison Ferry in 1938 when he was 68. His children were Robert S., Jack D. Lee H., Andrew Jefferson "Jeff" and Jerome.
Robert was a sergeant with the state highway patrol.
Jack was county clerk for Hamilton County, and Lee worked as a deputy in the office.
Jack's son, Don, worked a number of years in the county clerk's office.
Another son, Gordon Hixson, is a Chattanooga physician.
Jeff Hixson was a treasurer of a brick company at Daisy."
"The Houston Hixson who married Nancy Barker was a Quarterly Court member and he managed over 2,000 acres of 'fine farm land.' He was 'thrifty and energetic and successful in all his undertakings.' After the war, his estate was in the $10,000 range."
A grandchild of Houston Hixson, Timothy Stringfield Hixson, "was among the Hixsons who chose to fight on the Union side...was a Union officer."
A son of Houston Hixson, James Taylor Hixson, "was on the County Court two terms. He was one of the first "trail-hitters" at the Billy Sunday services."
"The older Houston Hixson (son of Ephraim) also lived at North Chickamauga Creek. He was a trustee of the Jackson Chapel Church."
Eliza, a daughter of Houston Hixson "married Thomas Jefferson Sivley, but he died in the midst of the Civil War. She later married Aaron Jones, and they went to Kansas in a covered wagon."
Another child of Houston Hixson, Henry Grayson Hixson, "was a member of the Quarterly Court for two terms."
"William C. Hixson, son of Houston and Rebecca Grayson Hixson, married Mary Ann Ragan, daughter of Absalom and Jane Ragan. William C. Hixson in 1849 purchased a 200-acre farm from Elisha Kirklen. However, he moved his family just before the Civil War to Paris, Ark. The Ragans migrated also, and two of the brothers of Mary Ann Ragan Hixson fought with Confederate units there. William C. Hixson on July 15, 1864, was hung by bushwhackers. This was done at his home in front of his wife and nine children. Mary Ann Ragan Hixson stayed on the Arkansas homestead and reared the children, and it was said that vengeance was later taken on the ringleader of the bushwhackers."
"Samuel Worthington Hixson, who moved to Chattanooga about 1891, served in the Tennessee House in 1901-1903, representing Hamilton and James Counties. Born in 1860 in the Sequatchie Valley, he was the son of Wiliam Carroll Hixson and Rachel Walker. He attended Sequatchie College, then was graduated from the University of Chattanooga. He served as county physician. Dr. Hixson retired from medicine and opened a merchandising business at Daisy. He also served on the County School Board. He died in 1922 and was buried at the Poe Cemetery."
"The community of North Chickamauga Creek was first called Lakeside after a 'bottomless' lake that was near Ephraim Hixson's home. The train station was the Cincinnati Southern was first known as Lookout. However to avoid confusion with another station by the same name near Lookout Mountain, it was changed to Hixson Station. Finally the community came to be known simply as Hixson. A legion of Hixsons still live in the Hixson community, and they have held annual reunions since 1957."
John Wilson is a former Hamilton County Historian, and has written two volumes on the early families of Hamilton County. He gave us permission to use his article on this website.
His first book is Hamilton County Pioneers. This book features 140 families and over 9,000 names. The second volume is Early Hamilton Settlers. It has over 14,600 names. There is a third volume planned for the series.
For more information and a a list of the surnames in the books, go to chattanoogan.com.
HIXSONS IN THE NEWS