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W. P. A. History of Pontotoc County, Mississippi


CHERRY CREEK , north of Pontotoc, was settled in the 1840s.  The Community life has always revolved around the protestant church.  Through the years the community has been noted for the God fearing peaceful, and orderly quality of its citizenship.  From its first settlement Cherry Creek has boasted of a citizenship transplanted from South Carolina rural folk of the best type.  This frontier of the Appalachians has been widely known as "the beautiful  country of the Chickasaws".

One of the earliest settlers of Cherry Creek was Mrs. Elisabeth Garner, who was one of a large family of children of Andy and Rebecca Wells Andrews.  She was born at Cross Hill, South Carolina, April 19, 1830, and died November 18, 1920, being ninety-one years of age.  She came overland with her parents in wagons to this section of Mississippi, settling in the Cherry Creek neighborhood, where the greater part of her life was spent.  She moved to Pontotoc only a few months before her death.

She professed religion, September 19, 1852, and united with the Mississippi Baptist Church at Cherry Creek, where she has continued to hold her membership for sixty-eight years.  On March 6, 1868, she was married to J. P. Garner, a successful merchant and planter of that community.

Until prevented by increasing years Mrs. Garner ministered to the sick around her, and she was not only a willing but an efficient nurse whose knowledge and experience went far toward relieving the pain of many sufferers in those days, and was a neighbor whom all valued.  Beside her son, Byron O. Garner, his daughter, and three young sons, she leaves  a brother, M. W. Andrews, of Ecru, the treasurer of Pontotoc County, who is the last member of a large group of brothers and sisters.

Another Outstanding Citizen of Cherry Creek community was William Richard Spencer, who came in 1869.  He was the second son of Reverend H. C. and Eliza Spencer, nee Buchanon, and was born October 11, 1836 , in Madison County, Tennessee.  While he was yet a boy his father removed to Tippah County, settling near Ripley.  Here he grew to manhood and learned under his uncle, the late Major John Buchanon, the blacksmith trade which he followed for many years.  In 1858 he married Fredonia M. Roberson, of Tippah, and to this union were born six children.

He was a plain, unassuming man who impressed all with whom he came in contact with his honest and his integrity.  Loyal to his church and Masonic lodge, true to his duties as a citizen, charitable to the unfortunate, helpful as a neighbor and steadfast as a friend.

He enlisted and went to Virginia the first year of the War Between the States, being a member of the O'Conner Rifles; later he became a member of Company B, Seventh Mississippi Cavalry.

Since the first settlement of Cherry Creek the predominant religious faith of the people has been Baptist; so it is that Cherry Creek Baptist Church is one of the oldest organizations of that faith in Pontotoc County.  This church and the cemetery are located on the old Tuscumbia Road.

White and Galding had a store on the west side of the road and kept the post office.  There was a tri-weekly mail.  Mr. Anider had the mail contract and carried it on horseback between New Albany and Pontotoc.

Bluford Hutcherson had a general mercantile store on the east side of the Pontotoc New Albany road; part of this old store is still in use - the only store in Cherry Creek.  It is Operated by T. E. Holmes.  There is also a gristmill owned and operated by Walter Caldwell.

The old storehouse just mentioned was built of hewn logs and erected before the War Between The States.  All the other stores were torn down and moved to Ecru after the railroad came to that place, about 1888.  Berry and Stephens, Joe M. Owen, Mr. Garner, and others were merchants at Cherry Creek during the post war  period; William P. Spencer had a blacksmith shop and later added woodwork; making wagons, buggies, burial caskets, etc..  This was south of the stores on the Pontotoc-New Albany Road.  Spencer's dwelling was a short distance south of the shop.

Dr. Thomas J. Bobb lived for a short time in a log house west of the stores - later he built a beautiful modern home; east of the schoolhouse lived Mrs. Sarah Brown, widowed sister of Blufe and Henry Hutcherson and mother of Mrs. Amanda Brown Wheeler; opposite them lived the family of old Mr. Hutcherson.  On the north side of the road from Hutcherson's was the Negro Baptist church; farther east were the places of M. W. Andrews, Bob Pitts, Dr. B. F. Leavell, Dan Pitts, and Mrs. Knight.

The first residence east of the schoolhouse was known as the Bluford Hutcherson place; next, where the road turns north, was the Teague Garner Place on the west side of the road.  The next house east of the road was George W. Potter's which is still the nearest residence to the church.

The Potters moved to Cherry Creek in 1869; the house was burned in 1870 but rebuilt on the same site.

Other pioneer citizens and important personages in the general community were Jed Suber and Shadric Kelly.  Reverend Bill Pitts was a Baptist minister widely known; Calvin Tucker was another good citizen, and Mr. Sadler reared a large family there.  All these lived in Suber Town, toward Wallerville.  Others towards Cherry Creek fron Center Hill were Dan Pitts and Dr. Leavell, who married a Gambrell.  On the Pontotoc and New ALbany Road toward Pontotoc after the W. R. Spencer Place were Monroe Stephens, R. L. Pitts, the Robersons, the Rootes, the Hanley, and the Thomas Starke Places.  Up the New Albany Road were the Balls, Martins, Louis', and Miss Mermina, the latter marrying Nathan Berry.  The Hubbard Caldwells now own the Ball Place; William Roberson lived beyond the Balls.  The Balls donated land for the Baptist Church and the cemetery at Cherry Creek.

West From Cherry Creek, toward Ecru, lived Dr. Babb and Nathan Berry, who was the grandfather of the well known Leavell brothers - Landrum, Arnold, Jim, George, Frank, Leonard, Clarence, Rolland, and Ullen.  These brothers are outstanding as religious and social leaders of the South, and George is doing magnificent work as a medical missionary in China.

There was also "Grandaddy Hood" who had a mill and ground corn and wheat; next was Shelt White, then the Sid Holdritch home, which is now standing in the heart of the town of Ecru; north is the White house, off the main road, and this was the home of the Galding's.

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