John Pults (Z, SE, CE)
There have been no residents by the name Pults in Fentress County now for a good many
years; however, there are plenty of Pults descendants, and a number of tales concerning
the John Pults who was listed in the 1820 Overton County Census and was living on Lick
Fork of White Oak, July 3, 1624, where he owned two small houses. His residence by that
time was Fentress County, of course.
John F. was the son of Frederick Pults who was living in Jefferson County, TN when the
1830 TN Census was taken. Frederick's brother George Washington Pults was also living in
Jefferson County at that time. Tradition says they were both farmers living near the
In 1820 John's household consisted of himself (b. 1788), 1 female 16-26 yrs. old) and 3
females under 10). Since he married Anna Mullinix (b. 1810) dau. of Eli & Sarah Dykes
Mullinix and she was the mother of, it is believed, 10 of his children, but would not have
been old enough to have been the wife in the 1820 Census, it is reasonable to assume that
Anna was his second wife.
He is listed in the 1850 Census with Ester as his wife. I've no proof that she was a Wood
other than the fact that my mother told me once that her grandfather Pults married a Wood,
but she was her step-grandmother. In any case, Ester would have been his third wife, and
sometime between 1854 and 1860, he married for the 4th time. He married Lavina (Boswell)
Mullinix, widow of Isham Mullinix and sister-in-law of Anna.
The children which can be identified as belonging to John are: Frederick Commodore Perry
Pults (1821-24) TN mar. Susan Woods -lst, Louisa?- 2nd; Susannah (1825) mar. John Frogge
and moved to Metcalfe Co., KY; Elizabeth (b. 1827-d. IL 1862-64) mar. Robert Scroggins
(son of Samuel Mills Scroggins); Margaret (b. 1828 d. Fentress Co.) mar. John G. Scroggins
- Oct. 24, 1846 (John bro. of Robert); Catherine (b. 7/30/1830-d. Wise Co., TX-5/3/1949)
mar. George W. Guinn; Eli (b. 1834 - blind); Tennessee (b. 1836); George W. (b. 1838/40);
Napoleon Bonaparte (h. 1841) mar. Mary ? - Fentress Co., moved to Jack Co, TX.; Joel
(Jode) (b. 1842); Jackson (b. 1844).
The three eldest girls (listed in the 1820 Overton Co. Census) are unknown to me thus far.
John bought and sold several pieces of property in Fentress Co. In 1827, he received Land
Grant #5312 of 50 Acres. He last owned property in the Dry Creek area of the county where
he ran a grist mill. It was located at the Pults Mill Ford. Here is where during the Civil
War, someone of the Confederate side came to try to take his money. He persuaded them to
come back the next day, said it was not there, he'd have to get it. In the meantime he
sent word to some of Beaty's Scouts and they, also, were there the next day. In the
slirmish that ensued, the Confederate junped his horse down the bank and into the creek,
where the horse's hoof left a very distinct print which can be seen to this day.
Another time, John was being chased by Indians and he picked up what he thought was a rock
and threw at them. It turned out to be lead ore. They kept it, and came back for more.
Jackie Scroggins got lead for his bullets from that mine for a Long time, but the mine has
long since been lost.
John didn't believe in slavery and when he inherited a young slave boy he gave him his
freedom and let him continue to live with him. The boy named "Jimmv" was
training a race horse of John's when lightning struck nearby, scaring the horse and
causing him to buck Jimmy off. The fall broke his neck, and he was the first to be buried
in the Pults Cemetery at Sinking Springs. (When I was visiting the cemetery a few years
ago, the fellow who was giving me a tour told me about a colored boy being buried there --
just OUTSIDE THE FENCE.) John is buried in the Pults Cemetery. He died Feb. 13, 1876 at
Napoleon B. Pults moved to Degree (Jack Co.) TX where he raised cotton. He visited the
Fentress County area in around 1925.
by Novella Spurlin Cravens