Archived Story

Proud to be an American, proud to be a Franklin Countian

Published 5:59am Saturday, June 30, 2012

In Franklin County, we have freedoms that no other country has.

We have the opportunity to pursue our dreams and we have the chance to live the “American Dream.”

Our ancestors endured severe hardships, fought and died for our freedoms. We can live and pursue our dreams because of the sacrifices made by our ancestors.

Our ancestors struggle goes beyond the founding of our country. During biblical times our ancestors, the Celts, would not be conquered.

Julius Caesar gave up on conquering the hill-people (Ireland, Scotland, and Wales). These Celtic people fought invader after invader for hundreds of years never giving into submission.

These same hill-people (Tompkins) stood with William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings. They (Malone’s) became Kings of Ireland. They (Massey’s) died at the Battle of Shrewsbury. They (Pounders) stood with Robin Hood against the Sheriff of Nottingham. Finally, they crossed the ocean in search of a new land to call their home.

They (Browns, Trapps, and Harris) came on ships like the “Mayflower” and the “Prosperous.” These proud people refused to give into a dynasty of persecution. Instead, their dignity led them to a strange and distant place.

They came to the New World, mostly from Scotland (Wilsons, Grahams, Olivers and McCulloughs) and Ireland (Hesters, James, Boltons, Lawlers, Malones and Taylors).

Some of our ancestors came from France (Ezzels and Nooes), the Rhine Valley in Germany (Hargetts), Wales (Brittons and Jones), Holland (Willinghams) and other parts of Great Britain (Isbells).

After reaching America, they (Allens, Hesters, Seviers, Sparks, Morrows, Easts, Burgesses, Jones, and Kimbroughs) fought the British to be free and fought the wilderness to survive. They developed new crops and prospered.

They became governors and lawmakers –one (Stockton) even signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776.

Some were related to presidents by birth (Taylors) and some by marriage (Todds).  Others (Sparks, Tharps, and Russells) were merely good friends with presidents.

Our ancestors lived a hard life. Children commonly died from little known diseases. Many mothers and babies died during childbirth.

Our ancestors faced these hardships as well as the backbreaking work of the land; yet they faced it with determination for a better life.

They built a country during times of hardships and took pride in their accomplishment. Therefore, to the reader I say, “Be proud of your heritage, take pride in your country, your county, your family.

When your ancestors came to this country, it was a vast unsettled land of promises. They could have chosen anywhere to make a home and raise their families. They consciously and purposefully chose Franklin County.

Our ancestors looked at this area and saw beauty, hope and a future. They struggled to tame the land and met unimaginable hardships.

Never forget their struggle and always be proud to be an American and always be proud to be a “Franklin Countian.”



Richie Hester

Girl’s varsity basketball/softball coach

Belgreen High School

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