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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Texas: Nacogdoches County

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Re: William M Gregory d:15 Sep 1973 CEMETERY LOOKUP PLEAE
Posted by: Hugh Adams (ID *****8954) Date: June 26, 2004 at 19:35:58
In Reply to: Re: William M Gregory d:15 Sep 1973 CEMETERY LOOKUP PLEAE by Troy Gresham of 514

Yes, since my post I found:

William Miles Gregory
10 Jul 1885, Nolansville, Wilson Co., TN
15 Sep 1973, Nacogdoches Co., TX
Sacul Cem., Sacul, Nacogdoches Co., TX

1st Wife
Mattie H Adams
10 Jan 1887 Cherokee Co., TX
18 Oct 1955
Sacul Cem., Sacul, Nacogdoches Co., TX

2nd Wife
Dolly Gambell
Abt 1890 of TX

I would appreciate info about Dolly if you have any.
Thank You
Hugh Adams

A little story I found on William:
The Village Smithy Stands
Anvil Of Sacul Blacksmith Has Clanged Four Decades By Phil Dilbert Courier-Times-Telegraph East Texas Editor

Sacul.--When you step into the blacksmith shop of W. M. Gregory in this County community, it is as though you have turned back time and entered an era of East Texas history that was both more enchanting and more rugged than today's anesthetized existence of glittering creature comforts.

The sagging, but durable shack on the edge of town, is truly an anachronism but every stick, tool and chink in it has played a part in the life of Gregory, whose anvil has clanged almost continuously for four decades.

Gregory, lean, erect and 72, has hammered out tons of horse shoes, farm implements and wagon parts since 1913. He comes by his trade honestly.

"I was raised up in blacksmithing," he'll tell you, his blue eyes sparkling through his spectacles. "My granddaddy was a machinist and blacksmith back at Nolansville, Wilson County in Tennessee. He was named J. P. Gregory. the J. P. stands for James K. Polk. And he made boots and shoes for Gen. Robert E. Lee and Gen. Stonewall Jackson during the Civil War. Look at this."

He'll hold up a curved piece of metal with a hole in one end. "This here's a shoe float," he'll explain. "It was used to take wooden pegs out of shoes durin' the Civil War." Then he'll probably rummage around in an ancient chest and bring out several other fascinating implements that felt the skillful fingers of men dead for several generations.

One of these is a 14-inch hacksaw, a wooden mortising mallet, a draw knife and a set of divided compasses, all manufactured before the American Revolution and handed down to Gregory by his grandfather. They are all in excellent condition and would doubtless bring a fancy price from a first class museum.

But these articles are mostly of sentimental significance to Gregory.

"That was in the old loggin days of nineteen an'seven to nineteen an'fifteen." he explains. "i charge from six bits to a dollar for a set of shoes for a hoss or mule an' as high as five dollars for a stud hoss. Then in nineteen an'twenty-two, =the trucks come and my horseshoein' done fell off."

In 1918 a fractious horse he was trying to shoe almost put an end to Gregory's career. The animal, an Army surplus horse, reared back and kicked Gregory so hard a section of intestine was ripped out. "Taken a piece that big outa me," he says, pointing to his back. "For a year I went around all doubled up. Finally made it all right, though. Hit don't bother me none now."

Gregory took a couple of Tyler visitors through his shop last Monday morning. When they greeted him at the threshold he was splitting kindling wood with an axe.

When they heard of his 1919 mishap they expressed surprise that the injury hadn't left him permanently stooped.

"Hit's a wonder hit didn't," he said. "When that horse kicked me he knocked me right onto a square block over thar." He pointed to a spot just outside the door. Spent four days in a hospital in Dallas. Cost me $400. Taken me six to.....

"Not too much to this blacksmithin nowadays," he said. "Mostly turn out axe handles and canthook handles. Makes very few plow beams. Hit's mostly all steel stuff these days."

Gregory came to East Texas in 1884 with his family when he was only a year old. The new settlers hailed from Nolansville, Tenn., which Gregory says used to be nicknamed "Doolittle" for for some unknown reason. The old blacksmith says he was named for Gen. William Miles of Civil War fame.

He lives with his invalid wife about a quarter-mile from his shop. Mrs.. Gregory, the former Miss Mattie Adams of Rusk, is 69 and has been confined to her bed for the past four years.

Gregory says he is not a member of any particular church. His belief is that everyone is seeking the same God in a different way. Hit's like the spokes in a wheel," he says. "They all lead to the same central point."

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