Daniel Britton Daugherty “. . . and They Arose Against Me . . .”

. . . [and they] arose against me;
they laid to my charge things that I knew not.
They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul. Psalm 35:11-12

Written (in part) on the back of Daniel Britton Daugherty’s tombstone

 

Thank you to Zach Foster and Ken Parton.

Cropped fr. “The Moonshine Man of Kentucky” – Harpers Weekly,1877 – picryl

Last time in our Daugherty Series, we were introduced to Byrd Daugherty’s sons, Fisher and Willie. If the reader recalls, their father hadn’t come home after arresting Watson Daugherty for bootlegging. The sons were worried – and they had reason, sure enough. The deputy had arrested Watson once before, when the lad was a mere teenager. Sources say during that arrest Byrd and his sons about beat young Watson to death.

Murmurs rolled through the mountains that this time the young man’s father, Daniel Britton Daugherty, vowed to put a stop to it all. Daniel and Byrd had a peppery relationship. Perhaps it was because they were on opposite sides of the law. Byrd was a lawman. Daniel was a moonshiner. I found a few sources that suggested Byrd might have made white lightning himself at one time. According to Daniel’s great-grandson, the trouble between the two stemmed from Byrd’s increasing stranglehold over moonshine profits. Byrd and his sons allegedly strongarmed, bullied, and threatened bootleggers in order to squeeze money from them. A good many moonshiners relented and paid to keep bodies intact and trouble at bay. Daniel Britton Daugherty was not one of those men. And he was fed up and ready, it seems, for a knock-down-drag-out.

Daniel Britton Daugherty was born on May 28, 1872, to Noah and Mary Polly White Daugherty. Noah’s brother was my fifth great-grandfather, Ell Daugherty.1)Ell had a son named William, who was Byrd’s father. So, Noah was Byrd’s uncle. Census information suggests Daniel’s father worked fairly steady as a farmer, growing sweet potatoes, Indian corn, tobacco, wool, etc. He married Barbara “Barbary” (or “Barbie”) Patterson on March 11, 1843. They had around eight children. She died sometime in 1863 or 1864.2)Ancestry. n.d. “Barbara Patterson.” Ancestry. Accessed July 2022.

Noah, his brother Ell, and several other family men enlisted in the Union on August 2, 1861. Noah served as a private in the 1st Tennessee Regiment, Company A. Records show he went back and forth, deserting and returning several times.3)On Christmas Eve in 1862, Noah Daugherty was captured by Confederates in Clinton, Tennessee, and subsequently jailed in Knoxville. He was charged with robbery and bushwacking and sent to prison in Richmond, Virginia. He was paroled in February 1863 and restored to duty with pay “by order of Brigadier General S. P. Carter.”4)Dana TN. 2012. “Noah Daugherty/Dougherty Union Service Record: Federal Army 1st Regt Tenn Vols, Aug 1861 – Sept 1864.” Ancestry.com. Nov 08. Accessed Sept 17, 2022. He was mustered out on September 17, 1864. Six months later, he married Mary Polly White on March 17, 1865. They had anywhere from two to seven children (depending on the source), including Daniel Britton Daugherty.5)Sources on Ancestry.com say Noah Daugherty was married a third time, to a Jane Bray in 1871. I’m not so sure about that. Noah died in 1881. The 1880 census lists his wife as Mary (Mary Polly White Daugherty). Also, a pension document from 1891 lists Mary Daugherty as a widow of Noah Daugherty, therefore a dependent and receiver of his Civil War pension. A John Daugherty is listed as marrying a Billy Jane Bray. In the 1880 census, John Daugherty’s wife is ‘Elizabeth J.,’ so, perhaps he married Bray instead of Noah. Family lore says Noah died in 1881 by a falling tree. Daniel was about nine years old.

On May 16, 1890, Daniel Britton Daugherty married Susan Jane Mabry (pronounced Mayberry in the mountains). They had around ten children. According to census information, Daniel could read and write. By 1910, his wife could read and write; and, by 1920, all his children were literate and educated. He seemed to be a man who valued education, if not for the knowledge it brought, it was as a means for prominence and significance in the community. He worked as a farmer, and, suffice it to say, mountain people who toiled to make liquid gold often listed their occupation as “farmer” to avoid taxes and the government.

Fork Mountain in Devonia, Morgan County, Tennessee. Ca. 1908. L to R: Watson, Walton, Lectie, Daniel Britton, Susan Jane (w/Rectie), Dallie, and Millie Daugherty. Note the boy, Walton, mimics his father’s stance. Also, the people in the picture are arranged triangularly, with DBD at the head.

Little doubt exists that Daniel Britton Daugherty made moonshine. Most mountain men did in those days. It was, as I’ve stated before, a very lucrative business – if a man could keep his arms around it. Evidence may exist that indicates Daniel could have been a moonshiner early in his life. In January of 1890, an article titled “Judge Key, Lawyer Lindsay and the Mountain Moonshiners” appeared in Knoxville’s The Evening Sentinel newspaper. The article was fairly humdrum for all intents and purposes, full of court and docket information. The reporter described the scene inside courthouse:

Over the railing leaned a great mob of witnesses who had come to testify as to what they knew of the manufacture of “mountain dew” by their neighbors, while in the wide corridors and along the iron staircases an active crowd moved or loitered and the fumes of cheap cigars mingled with the native weed made the halls anything but inviting.

The name “Dan Daugherty” pops up on the docket:

“United States vs Dan Daugherty, violating revenue laws; not guilty.”

Back in the day, and depending on the judge, about 90 percent of the moonshiners were found “not guilty.” Now, I don’t know if this is the same “Dan Daugherty” as Daniel Britton Daugherty, but the “Mountain moonshiners” in the article’s title, along with the specific name, is certainly something to toss around in the old thought bin. If true, Daniel would’ve been about seventeen years old.

But trouble wasn’t finished with Daniel. In 1913, he was accused, indicted, and subsequently tried for the first-degree murder of one Howard White.

White worked as a guard at Brushy Mountain State Prison in Petros (prounounced PEE-tross), Tennessee. One fateful day, he was shot and killed by a Winchester rifle, a favorite weapon carried by moonshiners,6)Caudill, Harry M. 1962. Night Coms to the Cumberlands. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. p. 155 as he was walking home. He was found by a search party formed when he went missing. The shooting was believed to have occurred, fishbowl-style, looking down from a cliff above. The bullet grazed the chin, then passed

. . . downward through the chest and out the back, just above the waist line. That he must have bled to death is the belief as he left considerable marks on the ground where he had tossed around before death.7)The Journal and Tribune. 1913. “Dougherty Trial Set for Saturday.” The Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, Dec 1: 5.

One motive was money. White carried a lot of money that day and it was missing. Another motive was pure dislike. The police were searching for someone who had recently threatened White. That “someone” was allegedly Daniel Britton Daugherty.

Evidence, however, was circumstantial. During the preliminary hearing, witnesses said

Dougherty had threatened to kill White a few days before the tragedy occurred and that he expressed himself as having made up his mind to commit the act some time ago, but was prevented by intervention of certain events.8)Anderson County News. 1913. “Jailed Without Bond.” Anderson County News – Murder and Mayhem in Campbell County, Nov 1.

After this hearing, Daugherty was released pending trial. However, on October 22, he was re-arrested upon “new evidence,” and placed in the Clinton, Tennessee, jail. The trial was supposed to begin November 22nd, but “several of the important witnesses were absent.”9)The Journal and Tribune. 1913. “Dougherty Trial Set for Saturday.” The Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, Dec 1: 5. So, the trial began in early December. The prosecution called “a long string of witnesses”10)The Journal and Tribune. 1914. “Court Work at Clinton: Dougherty Acquitted of the Murder of Howard White.” The Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, Tenn., March 9: 9. who said they heard Daugherty threaten White. Threatening is one thing. Carrying through is another. White was Daniel’s first cousin – his mother’s nephew. Not one witness saw or could prove Daniel murdered him. He took the stand in his defense. Knoxville’s Journal and Tribune reported:

Dougherty took the stand and said he liked White as well as any kinsman he had, though it was shown that he had threatened White, had tried to get his job and keep him out of a fraternal order.11) The Journal and Tribune. 1914. “Court Work at Clinton: Dougherty Acquitted of the Murder of Howard White.” The Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, Tenn., March 9: 9.

Daniel Britton Daugherty was acquitted for the murder of Howard White. Consequently, the court ate and paid for his trial expenses. That must’ve been a bitter taste for prosecutors.

Argument of counsel being concluded, said jurors
having received the charge of County and considered their verdict, upon
their oaths say they find in favor of defendant, that he is not guilty, as
charged.

 

It is, therefore, adjudged by the county, in accordance with the verdict
of the jury, that defendant be and he is acquitted, that he go hence
without day and be for nothing held.

 

The State of Tennessee will pay his own costs in this case accrued
and same will be certified for payment as provided by law.12)Foster, Zach. 1913. Anderson County Archives. Court proceedings, Clinton: Anderson County, Tennessee, pgs. 393, 400, 408, 435, 438, 440, 448.

My mother found information suggesting that a man by the name of Bunch murdered Howard White. Bunch had allegedly murdered once before. My mother’s source writes that after Howard White’s killing, Bunch and his family absconded to Oklahoma.

Petros, Tennessee, ca. 1905. Seated in the front row (l to r): Ira Armes; Rachel Daugherty Armes (Daniel Britton’s sister) holding granddaughter, Dovie; Johnny Armes (Rachel’s husband); and Dallie (Daniel Britton’s daughter). Standing in the back row (l to r): unknown boy, Rachel Armes (Ira’s wife); Barzilla Daugherty Bunch; son Harrison Armes; and Daniel Britton Daugherty. This is one of my favorite pictures – ever. I love the pride, the closeness, and the matriarchal hint of it all.

A “Daniel Daugherty” made the news once again in 1917. Eight Daugherty men13)The Journal and Tribune writes that “a half dozen” Daugherty men volunteered, but inside the names, I counted eight. volunteered and were mustered in the newly formed unit of the 4th Tennessee National Guard.14)The Journal and Tribune – Newspapers.com. 1917. “Twelve Men of One Family and Six of Another Join National Guard Company at Petros.” The Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, Tenn., Dec 20: 5.

So, we now have a peek into the backstory of not only Daniel Britton Daugherty, but also Byrd and his sons. Each of these men was a force all his own. Put them all together and you have a perfect dust storm swirling on that April day in 1922.

We’re there once again, watching from behind wide, untouched trees; sitting among wildflowers, wild life, and wild ginger. Byrd’s side came upon Daniel Britton’s side, and they stood face-to-face. The day was beautiful and calm, with a partly cloudy sky and temperatures in the mid-70s to lower 80s. The Southwest wind was gentle, flowing through the trees, wagging the newly formed buds.15)The Journal and Tribune. 1922. “Weather Forecast.” The Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, Tenn., April 10. Somewhere along the line, these two Daugherty branches went wrong – way wrong. And we all know a damaged branch can sometimes ruin a tree . . . forever.

 

Sources
  • Ancestry. n.d. “Barbara Patterson.” Ancestry. Accessed July 2022.
  • —. n.d. “The Civil War – a house divided.” Ancestry. Accessed Sept 2021.
  • Caudill, Harry M. 1962. Night Coms to the Cumberlands. Boston: Little, Brown and Company.
  • Dana TN. 2012. “Noah Daugherty/Dougherty Union Service Record: Federal Army 1st Regt Tenn Vols, Aug 1861 – Sept 1864.” Ancestry.com. Nov 08. Accessed Sept 17, 2022.
  • Family Search. 2022. “Tennessee Military Records.” Family Search. Updated Oct 12.
  • Foster, Zach. 1913. Anderson County Archives. Court proceedings, Clinton: Anderson County, Tennessee, pgs. 393, 400, 408, 435, 438, 440, 448.
  • Hall, Karen Fitzpatrick. 2021. Noah Daugherty/Dougherty Union Service Record. Military , Ancestry .
  • State of Tennessee . 1890. Record of Marriages Morgan County, Tennessee. Marriage Record, Ancestry.
  • State of Tennessee. 1843. Marriage Record – Noah Daugherty, Barbary Patterson. Marriage Record, Ancestry.
  • State of Tennessee. 1865. Marriage Records – Noah Darity [Daugherty], Mary White. Marriage Record, Ancestry.
  • The National Park Service. n.d. “The Civil War Search for Soldiers.” The National Park Service. Accessed Jan 2020.
  • U.S. Federal Census. 1860. U.S., Selected Federal Census Non-Population Schedules. Census, Clinton: Ancestry.
  • U.S., Civil War Pension. 1891. U.S., Civil War Pension Index – 1861-1934 – for Daugherty, Noah, by Mary Daugherty. Military Pension, Ancestry.
  • United States Federal Census. 1920. Department of Commerce and Labor – Bureau of the Census: Fifteenth Census of the United States. Census, 10th Civil District, Anderson County: Ancestry.
  • United States Federal Census. 1920. Department of Commerce and Labor – Bureau of the Census: Fourteenth Census of the United States. Census, 10th Civil District, Anderson County: Ancestry.
  • United States Federal Census. 1910. Department of Commerce and Labor – Bureau of the Census: Thirteenth Census of the United States. Census, District No. 2 Morgan County, TN: Ancestry.
  • United States Federal Census. 1869. Free Inhabitants in the County of Anderson State of Tennessee. Census, Robertsville: Family Search.
  • United States Federal Census. 1880. Inhabitants of the 10th Civil District in the County of Anderson State of Tennessee. Census, Family Search.
  • United States Federal Census. 1870. Inhabitants of the 10th District in the County of Anderson State of Tennessee. Census, Clinton: Family Search.
  • United States Federal Census. 1900. Township or Other Division of county 10 Civil District. Census, Ancestry.
  • United States Federal Census. 1850. Free Inhabitants in the 16th Division in the County of Anderson. Family Search.

 

Newspapers – Newspapers.com and Library of Congress: Chronicling America Newspapers
  • Anderson County News. 1913. “Jailed Without Bond.” Anderson County News – Murder and Mayhem in Campbell County, Nov 1.
  • The Chattanooga News. 1913. “Howard White is Found Murdered.” The Chattanooga News, Oct 3: Front.
  • The Evening Sentinel. 1890. “Judge Key, Lawyer Lindsay and the Mountain Moonshiners.” The Evening Sentinel, Jan 13: Front.
  • The Journal and Tribune – Newspapers.com. 1917. “Twelve Men of One Family and Six of Another Join National Guard Company at Petros.” The Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, Tenn., Dec 20: 5.
  • The Journal and Tribune. 1914. “Court Work at Clinton: Dougherty Acquitted of the Murder of Howard White.” The Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, Tenn., March 9: 9.
  • The Journal and Tribune. 1913. “Dougherty Trial Set for Saturday.” The Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, Dec 1: 5.
  • The Journal and Tribune. 1914. “Circuit Court at Clinton Opens Today: Criminal Docket Has Three Murder Cases for Hearing.” The Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, Tenn., March 2: 5.
  • The Journal and Tribune. 1913. “Dan B. Daugherty Has Been Re-arrested.” The Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, Tenn., Oct 22: 5.
  • The Journal and Tribune. 1913. “Special to the Journal and Tribune.” The Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, Tenn., Sept 2: Unknown.
  • The Journal and Tribune. 1922. “Weather Forecast.” The Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, Tenn., April 10.
  • The Knoxville Sentinel. 1913. “Over the State.” The Knoxville Sentinel, Oct 3: 2.

References

References
1 Ell had a son named William, who was Byrd’s father. So, Noah was Byrd’s uncle.
2 Ancestry. n.d. “Barbara Patterson.” Ancestry. Accessed July 2022.
3 On Christmas Eve in 1862, Noah Daugherty was captured by Confederates in Clinton, Tennessee, and subsequently jailed in Knoxville. He was charged with robbery and bushwacking and sent to prison in Richmond, Virginia. He was paroled in February 1863 and restored to duty with pay “by order of Brigadier General S. P. Carter.”
4 Dana TN. 2012. “Noah Daugherty/Dougherty Union Service Record: Federal Army 1st Regt Tenn Vols, Aug 1861 – Sept 1864.” Ancestry.com. Nov 08. Accessed Sept 17, 2022.
5 Sources on Ancestry.com say Noah Daugherty was married a third time, to a Jane Bray in 1871. I’m not so sure about that. Noah died in 1881. The 1880 census lists his wife as Mary (Mary Polly White Daugherty). Also, a pension document from 1891 lists Mary Daugherty as a widow of Noah Daugherty, therefore a dependent and receiver of his Civil War pension. A John Daugherty is listed as marrying a Billy Jane Bray. In the 1880 census, John Daugherty’s wife is ‘Elizabeth J.,’ so, perhaps he married Bray instead of Noah.
6 Caudill, Harry M. 1962. Night Coms to the Cumberlands. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. p. 155
7, 9 The Journal and Tribune. 1913. “Dougherty Trial Set for Saturday.” The Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, Dec 1: 5.
8 Anderson County News. 1913. “Jailed Without Bond.” Anderson County News – Murder and Mayhem in Campbell County, Nov 1.
10 The Journal and Tribune. 1914. “Court Work at Clinton: Dougherty Acquitted of the Murder of Howard White.” The Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, Tenn., March 9: 9.
11 The Journal and Tribune. 1914. “Court Work at Clinton: Dougherty Acquitted of the Murder of Howard White.” The Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, Tenn., March 9: 9.
12 Foster, Zach. 1913. Anderson County Archives. Court proceedings, Clinton: Anderson County, Tennessee, pgs. 393, 400, 408, 435, 438, 440, 448.
13 The Journal and Tribune writes that “a half dozen” Daugherty men volunteered, but inside the names, I counted eight.
14 The Journal and Tribune – Newspapers.com. 1917. “Twelve Men of One Family and Six of Another Join National Guard Company at Petros.” The Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, Tenn., Dec 20: 5.
15 The Journal and Tribune. 1922. “Weather Forecast.” The Journal and Tribune, Knoxville, Tenn., April 10.

5 Comments

  1. Very interesting story and a great part of history it seems in this day and time history is not that important but I disagree it will always be with us, never goes away just forgotten by a lot of people

    1. Author

      Hello Mr. Marlow. I’m glad you enjoyed this story. I don’t if you knew, but I am kin to the Daughertys through my dad – his mother, Pauline. Her mother was Zora Goodman (maiden name Daugherty). I agree about how you view history. And our ancestors helped make us who we are: proud, unique, smart, and beautiful. Many of our people had rough lives and survived tough times. I really believe their stories, whether good or bad, deserve to be told. I’m hoping people can tell them here.

      1. There use to be some Daughtertys live on white oak and in the mud creek area outside jellico on the KY side but I really enjoy reading your stories but I didn’t know you were related I sure miss not being able to see your dad he was one of the best people I’ve known

  2. I agree with you, these vintage photos are fantastic—lots of character in those faces. You nailed the teaser at the end of the story. I’m definitely hanging on for the next post.

    1. Author

      Hi, Jim. I’ll try not to disappoint in the next post. Believe it or not, but I’m only about halfway into this Daugherty series!

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