1835 — Greene County, TN
The earliest documentation of Charles in Tennessee occurred on 26 November 1835 when he bought 50 acres of land for seven dollars adjoining the property of Archibald McAfee in the valley of the foothills of the Unaka Mountains at Camp Creek. Archibald born 1783 in Pennsylvania is believed to have moved near Pleasant Mill, New Jersey to work at the Batsto Iron Works and married Elize’s older sister Bethia Garoutte. In Greene County, Tennessee on 13 April 1825, Archibald purchased for $457 in cash 275 acres from John Sevier husband to Sophia another sister of Elize and established the Camp Creek Iron Works.
Charles owned one acre of land in the north part of Greeneville that he sold on 25 December 1841 to George M. Spencer an architect from Ogdensburg, New York for $250. There Mr. Spencer built a frame house on the foundations of a “brick wall from three to five feet high.... The brick wall formed a part of the basement.... Entering the main gateway a brick walk bordered on the left by boxwoods traversed the entire length of the lawn. Another brick pathway turned right...” According to his grandson Charles G. Lovett, Charles “bought a tract of land at the head of Camp Creek...200 acres from Jacob Bowman, Executor of the estate of John Bowman, December 3, 1842...When my grandfather bought the Camp Creek Farm it was rank forest. There were bear, deer and snakes. My Grandmother carried scissors around her neck and clipped off two different black—racer black [sic] snakes from her body. Lester Price a grandson of Jasper Price, lives in the old home my grandfather built and he [Charles] had a brick built oven where grandmother baked her pies and cakes and a brick kitchen in her yard. Grandfather also had a brick barn where I fed my horse at noon when I carried the mail from 1901 to 1904.” In 1850 Charles’ son—in—law and fellow brick mason Elbert Murphy was living next to them.
Other than the brick homes built at Camp Creek near the Lovett brick kilns there was another antebellum structure built by Charles, Senior, of which there is evidence the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. “During the early 1800s the Methodists had questioned slavery and in 1816 went on record as condemning slavery and refusing to allow slaveholders to hold office or ministerial positions in the church. This position was not popular with slaveholders but was not really enforced until the 1840s when the church began expelling popular ministers. At the General Conference of 1845 the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States separated into the Methodist Church, South and the Methodist Church, North (The word North was never really used in this title). This allowed the Southern church to refrain from saying that slavery was a sin and to continue to participate in all activities of the church. The Holston [Tennessee] Conference in 1845 voted to adhere to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.” In 1852 one of John A. Maloney’s slaves angry with his master burned down the frame church built in 1849 on Main Street in Greeneville on property purchased from John Dickson. On 18 October 1852 the Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South resolved to build a new brick church on the site, “Mr. Lovett was the builder. The same building committee became “financially embarrassed” and the new brick church was held by Circuit Court order for a debt of $200. Contractor Lovett purchased it and Mrs. Lovett later sold it back to the Trustees for the $200 plus court costs.”