I found this wonderful farm photo at the Robertson County Archives in the family files for Clinards and finally connected with Joe Brown, who had put the photo at the archives. He had made a copy of his friend, Harold Clinard’s photo, but his identification and nicknames threw me off in figuring out who they were.
Joe told me that Harold was in the NHC Nursing Home in Springfield, Tenn., so I went to visit him last Saturday… and he will have to be a whole story unto himself! We talked two and a half hours, which I taped, and he told me about his life and his family. He played in several bands, the main one being the Mellow Tones, a gospel quartet, from Springfield. They toured with the Oak Ridge Boys and he played with Wally Fowler’s All-Night Singing at the Ryman Auditorium. I’ll work on Harold’s story and get back to that later… but here’s a few pictures of Harold and his Mellow Tones…
I showed Harold the picture I had brought from the archives, and it brought back a wonderful rush of memories of his childhood that he shared. Harold is not in this picture. His official name is Robert Harold Clinard and was born Dec. 4, 1934 in Robertson County to Roscoe Gilbert (or he thinks maybe Gilbert Roscoe – 07 Oct, 1906-Jan 1942) and Marie Blackburn (don’t have these yet). He has a sister, Katie, who married Willie Smith. According to Harold, “He was a real bass singer!”
He said Roscoe and Marie were “next-door sweethearts that lived on 16th Avenue in Springfield in the two big white houses.” His daddy also owned the land behind their house along 17th Avenue and built the row of little houses that were rental homes. I drove by them on my way through town the other day and was saddened to see they are in sad repair and look neglected. This is in a part of Springfield that once would have been a nice section but is now more of the low-rent area that is not taken care of.
Roscoe was a barber in Springfield, but in 1942, they lived out in the country… which is just a couple of farms from my house! His grandaddy’s farm was on Old 431 and Abendego Road, and the house they lived in when he was little is the one at the bottom of the hill right below Mt. Sharon Church and at one point right next to Sharon School (in the little white house across from Jeff & Elise Walkers house today).
“We used to share the spring with the church and we would tell people it was graveyard water to keep the from using it,” he recalled, laughing. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Mt. Sharon, the cemetery is right across the street from the church and technically… I guess he’s right in saying it could be “dead” water as the spring is right below the cemetery at the bottom of a hill!
Referring back to the photo, the little boy sitting on the thresher is his father, Roscoe, and the man standing at the front of the thresher was his grandaddy, Charlie Edward “Frank” Clinard, or as he knew him “Charlie Frank”. On all the census records I looked up, he was always the Charlie/Charley/Charlie Edwards and never referred to as Charles Frank. His wife and Harold’s grandmother was Lizzie Margaret Browning and they are buried at Elmwood in Springfield.
Using the census records, I was able to track him back to childhood and discovered his parents were John Frank “Big Frank” Clinard (July 1847-bef 1920) and Judy/Judea C. Abernathy (24 March 1849-27 April, 1933, she was the daughter of Charlie H. Abernathy and Nancy Jane Hollis).
I already had John Frank in my database from earlier research, so knew he was the son of Joseph Washington Clinard (1818 – abt 1897 – I found a his account of sale in Will book 26, pg 410 last week) and Patience Ennis (1818- ?, daughter of James Ennis & Sarah LNU).
Joseph Washington “Wash” Clinard is the son of my same Joseph Clinard (1797 Rowan Co-abt 1880) and Sarah/Sally MNU (1796 VA – 1860-70), son of Laurence Clinard that came to Robertson County in 1804.
So oldest to youngest for the generations: Laurence > Joseph > Joseph Washington “Wash” > John Frank “Big Frank” > Charley “Frank” Edward > Gilbert Roscoe > Robert Harold Clinard, our living cousin.
He recounted memories of his grandfather, “Charley Frank” that were passed down from his father, Roscoe. He said Charley Frank had a 300-acre farm from where the old Joe Keith Walker store used to be (on Hwy 431 about where the Citgo gas station is now) towards Mt. Sharon. He had a threshing outfit and a logging crew too. He said during threshing season his grandaddy and his crew would go from farm to farm at harvest time. The farm wife would provide them with food and drink and they would stay the night on the ground until they were done on that farm. Then they would move on to the next job. “He was gone from home two to three weeks at a time,” Harold recounted. “He had a couple of steam engines and I was told one of them blew up, but didn’t hurt anyone,” Harold said. He went on to explain all the different things the thresher did and how it worked.
His grandaddy had mules to use for the threshing and the logging and he said his grandaddy loved those mules. He recalled that one time Charley Frank was loading logs alone and one rolled on him, pinning and breaking his leg. I guess the chain was still connected to the log with the mules attached on the other end, as Harold said his grandaddy called to his mules, “Pull for daddy.. Pull for daddy..” and they pulled the log off him. Bet they got some extra oats for that!
His father, Roscoe, must have inherited his love for animals as Harold said when they lived in the country they had a mule named Jack that lived in the back yard and was only used from breaking and working in the garden. He said his father would hug and love on Jack and they didn’t even have a fence to keep him in. He would just stay there under the tree in the shade in the yard. When it came time to work the garden, Harold said he didn’t use lead lines on him, he just would walk in front of Jack, and Jack would follow him up and down the rows. They also had “some of those Budweiser horses with feathered legs” for the heavy work like plowing the crop fields.
Well, farm work calls to me too, so I best wrap up for now! More on Harold later, but if you’re in the Springfield area and a Clinard cousin, I’m sure he’d love a visit! His hazel eyes were sparkling as he talked, and he’s so full of life and memories – his legs just aren’t cooperating with him. I’ll try to work on his musical endeavors soon!