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Book Excerpt, George H. Catron, Felix & Judge John
Posted by: Juanelle Talley Lago (ID *****3915) Date: January 27, 2009 at 17:29:33
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Excerpt from "THE NAPIER IRON WORKS": On October 26, 1827, Lucius J. Polk dissolved this three-way partnership by selling all his right, title, and interest in the firm to John Catron. George Catron died the next year, and from his heirs, John Catron purchased his interest. By these transactions John Catron became the sole owner of the Buffalo Iron Works. At the April, 1828, session of the Lewis County Court, the Buffalo Iron Works was granted an additional 6,000 acres of land, increasing to approximately 10,000 acres the holdings of the firm.

For the next five years, Catron continued in possession of the property which was managed by Felix, his nephew, the son of George H. Catron. Only the forge at Metal Ford was in operation during this period, which indicated that only small amounts of iron were produced.

In 1833, John Catron sold the buffalo Iron works, including Hed's Old Works and about 10,000 acres of land to Felix Catron and George F. Napier. For this land, tenements, and appurtenances, George Napier and Felix Catron agreed to pay John Catron the sum of $18,000.00. However, by paying interest, it was also agreed that the payments could be postponed for the space of two years. This was done in order that Felix Catron and Napier could use what capital they had, and could raise, for improvements. They entered into an elaborate contract which contained detailed specifications for the proposed plant, and a minute description of the process to be used.

Roughly, this contract called for a well-built blast furnace to be erected on Chief creek "for the making of pig iron, hollow-ware, and castings." Also, either on the old forge site on Big Buffalo or at McLish's old mill seat on Chief Creek, there was to be erected a refining forge for the making of blooms and bar iron. Both the furnace and forge were to have a "tub blast of sufficient power," and the necessary buildings, shops erections, machines and tools.

In the event that George Napier and Felix Catron found it impossible to pay John Catron the purchase price of $18,000 at the appointed time, it was understood that John Catron would foreclose the mortgage he held and reimburse Napier and Catron the total sum they had expended for improvements.

The year 1833 is also noteworthy in the history of the Buffalo Iron Works as it was then that a member of the Napier family first became associated with it. George F. Napier was a member of a family which had settled in Dickson County, Tennessee, about 1790. they had operated a mine and forge there, and before settling, in Tennessee had been actively engaged in the production of iron in North Carolina.

I know "A" Felix Catron was a relative of Judge John as Felix named Judge John in his will, etc., this article from a book mentions Felix being a nephew, and his father the GEORGE H.Catron that died in 1828. I Also have copies of legal papers on this Iron Works showing ownership by Judge Catron.

I think this George H. is the son of Christopher, Jr. Christopher Sr. being the father of Peter, born 1754. Peter being the father of Judge John.

I am still left to wonder about the two George Washington Catrons, How or if either one is related to the Judge.

The Kettering Family of America Book has the George Washington Catron born in VA as Peter Catron's son. MY Ancestor, George Washington was in there, but just started out with him and his children. NO Parents, or information. (Just what I have been thinking, he just appeared in time)

Anyone have more information? If so, PLEASE help. I am always glad to share.


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