PAGE 9 – The Bledsonian-Banner Newspaper, Pikeville,
Thursday, September 8, 2005
The CHURCH BELL was tolled 65 times, by Will Swafford,
to open the 65th annual SWAFFORD CHAPEL Homecoming,
REUNION and Cemetery Decoration on Sunday, August 14
at the Historic Church and Cemetery. Johnnie Roberson
led the audience in Singing “SHALL WE GATHER AT THE
RIVER”, with Michael Boniol at the piano. It was
noted the SWAFFORDS first settled near the SEQUATCHIE
RIVER almost 200 years ago. The large Swafford Clan
moved from GREENVILLE COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA, soon
after 1800, first to SEQUATCHIE VALLEY, and after the
War of 1812 to the MISSISSIPPI Territory, before
moving back to BLEDSOE COUNTY in the early 1820’s.
Tom Swafford Sr. gave the invocation. Will Swafford
The audience in the pledge to the flag. Elizabeth
Robnett, CHAIRPERSON, a great-great-granddaughter of
Thomas Swafford Sr., the FOUNDER OF THE CHURCH, gave
the welcome and made the announcements. Ronald H.
Swafford, VICE-CHAIRMAN, made the introductions of the
full house Melanie Swafford Loyd kept the register.
Eric Swafford, STATE REPRESENTATIVE, made a very
interesting talk on his recent term in Nashville.
Songs and Musical numbers were rendered by Blake
Roberson Jr., Johnnie Roberson, Nada Roberson Myers,
Connie Myers Campbell and Carrie Sapp. The SWAFFORD
CHAPEL CEMETERY dates back to the 1820’s Flags were
placed on the graves of Abraham Swafford, VETERAN OF
WAR of 1812; Frank Hutcheson and Jesse Segraves, CIVIL
WAR; Tollett Swafford and Carlos Hamilton, WOLRD WAR
II. Thomas V. Swafford, AUTHOR of local History, made
a very interesting and informative talk, “How the
Civil War affected the Civilian population in Bledsoe
and Cumberland Counties”. Thanks were extended to
Bobby and Sharon Swafford Anderson family, Johnnie and
Tim Evans, and Tom Frazier, Bledsoe County Road
Supervisor. Frank Swafford Jr. and Frank Swafford
III, served as bursars. Virginia Swafford was
recognized as “home-coming photographer”. Special
recognition was given to: the oldest person present,
Edna M. Swafford, 92; youngest person, Brady Hall,
eight months old; the longest married couple, Nace and
Sybil Swafford; the most recent married couple, Jeremy
and Carrie Swafford, two years; families or individual
traveling the greatest distance to attend the reunion,
Churcle Swafford, Texas; Bill Williams, Kansas; the
largest complete family, Tom Swafford, five; the
largest family, Walter Perry Swafford, twenty-four.
Each received a 5x7 photo print of the church by the
noted artist, Susan Wilhoit, of Dayton. The original
print hangs in the BLEDSOE COUNTY COURTHOUSE. Door
prizes were awarded to Ann Swafford and Bobby Sharp.
They were donated by Tim and Johnny Evans. Taking
part in the Memorial Service with Tom Swafford Sr.
were Will and Christian Swafford. Those remembered in
the service were Marie Wooten, Alien Swafford, Clara
Little, Claude Worthington, Eileen Kerley Pendergrass,
Mary Jo Swafford Beckham, Woodrow Oakes, John Coval
Swafford, Gene Kelly, Donnie Walker, Virginia Roberson
Thomas, Gordon Brown, Sara Farmer, Flossie Walker,
Thomas Lee Swafford, Joe Lee Swafford, Thomas Jacob
Swafford James Nale (Nail), Grace Swafford Doyal,
Johnny Hawkins, Carolyn Stephens Beyer, Lena rose
Tollett Aughney, and Allen Shugart. Services closed
with the Audience singing “GOD BE WITH YOU”. Jeremy
Swafford gave the benediction. A BASKET LUNCH was
enjoyed at 12:30 at the church pavilion. Signing the
register from Georgia: Lynn Little and Paula Swafford,
Elaine and Ellen Crane, Amanda Tollett Spencer, Lisa,
Nicki and Matt Wilmer, Judy and Mike Swafford, T.J.
Christy, Trey and Kearston Dixon James W. Thompson,
Nancy Swafford, Tom and Avis Swafford, Carol Miller
Maxwell, Charles and Judy Swafford Young. SOUTH
CAROLINA: Fannie Reno, Carrie Sapp, Suzanna
Schoolfield Sapp. OHIO: Nace and Sybil Adams
Swafford, Lorene Swafford Moone, Helen Swafford
Shelton, Brenda Keatan, Clifford and Sandy Swafford,
Joe and Nancy Bowman, rent, Holly and Nassow Bowman.
FLORIDA: Cindy Taylor, Paul Abbey, Greg, Wanda and
Aaron Swafford, Walt Swafford. ALABAMA: Ben Farmer
and family. TEXAS: Chucle Swafford, and Mary
Swafford. NORTH CAROLINA: Edward and Margaret
Swafford Warren, Ed Warren Jr. KENTUCKY: Jim and
Arlene Swafford. KANSAS: Bill and Linda Swafford,
Pat Swafford Norris, Karen and Bill Williams. The
following attended from TENNESSEE. CROSSVILLE:
Michael Boniol. Mary Frances Nail Reel, Betty Nail
Castello. CHATTANOOGA: Jamie Adams Agee, John and
Mickey Swafford, Theresa Ann Swafford. William G.
Swafford, William G. Swafford III, Betty Swafford
Harrall, Fonza Swafford Barkley. MEMPHIS: Randy
Tremaine. DUNLAP: Don, Karrie and Christain
Swafford, Alice M. Swafford and Dion Swafford.
ATHENS: Edna Pickens. ATHENS: Edna Pickens.
NASHVILLE: Julette Swafford Duza, Warren Duzak.
COLLEGEDALE: Chris Swafford. MURFREESBORO: DR. Carl
A. Swafford. SALE CREEK: David and Tabitha White,
Bobby, Angie and Kristen Sharp. HUNTSVILLE: Kevin
and Christy Hooks. LEBANON: Wilma Swafford Hall and
Aalijah, Kevin, Tina, Brady and Garnett Hall. HIXSON:
Elsia Swafford Sharp, Joe and Ashley Sharp.
CLEVELAND: Joe Williams III. SODDY DAISY: Carl
Parham. KNOXVILLE: Roy and Ernestine Hutcheson
Ingle. CRAB ORCHARD: Margie Swafford Kemmer.
DAYTON: Elsie Swafford and Allen Leffew. HELENWOOD:
Royce and Teresa Standy. Those attending from BLEDSOE
COUNTY: Frances Swafford, David Swafford, Bob S.
Swafford, Will Swafford, Ethan and Melanie Swafford
Loyd, Ronny H. Swafford, Wendell Walker, Johnnie
Roberson, Nada Roberson Myers, Connie Myers Campbell,
Judy Swafford, Virginia Swafford, Blake Roberson Jr.,
Rosemary Singleton, Eric, Tammy and Zachary Swafford,
Edna M. Swafford, Ray Swafford, Kathy Smith, Betty
Hamilton, Catherine Swafford, Teresa Swafford, Tommy
Swafford, Janice Swafford Frew, Edna Swafford Cope,
Helen Swafford, Sue Robnett, John and Betsy Swafford,
Nancy Stephenson Tremaine, Wally and Virginia
Reynolds, Stephen Sapp, Marie Akins Myers, Frank
Swafford Jr. Frank Swafford III, Tollett Farmer,
Thomas A. Farmer, and Elizabeth Robnett.