Diary, 1895 - by Sallie Houston

The Higdon Family Association met in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 2002. We last met there in 1983, when Mina Higdon Floyd was the president. A Higdon descendant visited Chattanooga in 1895, according to a diary recorded in the book, Leonard Higdon of North Carolina Known Descendants by Opal Willis.

Chattanoogo Customs House, ca. 1900

Sallie Ammons, a school teacher and the daughter of Martha Jane Higdon and John R. Ammons, had just recently married John Thomas "Tom" Houston. Sallie and Tom were traveling by train from Macon County, North Carolina to Crook County, Oregon, where Tom would rejoin his brother Floyd in stock raising. Regarding the stopover at Chattanooga in April 1895, Sallie writes in her diary:   

... About 8 o'clock we were leaving Atlanta for Chattanooga, our next stopping place, or where we must next change cars. We ate breakfast in  the cars for the first time that morning, and every bite I took got larger and larger so I did not eat much. The rest of the party were getting along finely. I was fearfully sick all the forenoon and so did not see the country. We reached Chattanooga at 1 o'clock P.M., went to the hotel and got dinner. I felt better after that, but the waiting room seemed to be moving all the time.

We walked about 2 hours and saw many interesting things, among them was the Customs house. On east main street we saw two sticks of wood, with bullets and shells in them, put there during the Civil War. Look Out Mtn. is very pretty. It has two hotels and several summer residences on its summit....

When we started back from the hotel I came very near being lost. There were so many doors in the waiting room that I did not know which to enter. We spent the afternoon rather pleasantly, and at 7 o'clock started for Cincinnati where we would next change cars. We traveled all night so we did not see much of Tennessee. We crossed into Kentucky some time in the night, and just at day light Friday morning were passing Lexington. I slept all night. We had good seats and could throw them back 'till they were as good as beds. Just before we came into Lexington we passed a wreck. The section hands had just finished repairing the track and were standing by with their tools in their hands….

Sallie and Tom homesteaded at Indian Creek on Maury Mountain and later moved to Prineville, Oregon. Sallie died April 10, 1945; Tom died August 10, 1948. Both Sallie and Tom are buried at Juniper Haven Cemetery in Oregon.  

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