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franklin county times

Copy of John Sevier writings find home at Franklin County Archives

Jackie and Bunny Richardson formally present the microfilm rolls to Ozbirn.
Jackie and Bunny Richardson formally present the microfilm rolls to Ozbirn.

By Alison James

For the FCT

 

The Franklin County Archives received a special donation Friday: two rolls of microfilm documenting the contents of journals of John Sevier.

Sevier, a Revolutionary War hero and first governor of Tennessee, has local ties: he is the forefather of several local residents.

Lanny Norris, Bunny (Norris) Richardson, Lei-Anne (Richardson) Hester and Emogene Baker are direct descendants of Sevier, through his second wife, known as Bonny Kate. Bonny Kate was actually buried locally in Old Town Cemetery after being brought to Russellville to live by son, Samuel.

Chris Ozbirn begins to scroll the microfilm donated to the archives of John Sevier’s personal writings.
Chris Ozbirn begins to scroll the microfilm donated to the archives of John Sevier’s personal writings.

It was Jackie Richardson, Bunny’s husband, who happened to discover the whereabouts of the journals, in Mississippi, carried there by George Sevier.

Norris and Bunny are the great-great-great-great-grandchildren of John Sevier. Norris said having the microfilms available in the archives is very meaningful to him.

(From left to right) Emogene Baker, Jack Hester, Lei-Anne (Richardson) Hester, Jackie Richardson, Bunny Richardson, Lanny Norris and Donna Norris were all on hand for the microfilm donation Friday.
(From left to right) Emogene Baker, Jack Hester, Lei-Anne (Richardson) Hester, Jackie Richardson, Bunny Richardson, Lanny Norris and Donna Norris were all on hand for the microfilm donation Friday.

“The more we can find out about John Sevier, the better it is,” Norris said. “He was a very interesting man.”

Chris Ozbirn, archives director, said the microfilm donation “means the world” to her.

“There’s a lot of times we can’t find things on our own,” Ozbirn said. “So for someone to walk in here and give us something – it’s worth a million dollars to me. It’s just another way of helping people.”

The archives has three microfilm-reading machines for use by the public.

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