By Danny Crownover
The Vagabond recently came across a document at the Jerry B. Jones Historical Research Library about a place called Coates Bend.
Originally known as Coats Bend, the area was named after Gideon E. Coats. It appears that Gideon, his brother Sion and their mother Sarah left Kershaw County in South Carolina shortly after the death of the father/husband and came to the Turkeytown area.
The document found by The Vagabond was a copy of a Registration of Claims of Cherokee Indians against the United States within the State of Alabama.
The document reads (Editor’s note: the following do-cument has been published with its original punctuation and grammar):
“The United States to Gi-deon E. Coats Dr. For an Improvement “near Turkey Town” Alabama The State of Alabama, Dekalb County.
“This day personally appeared before Jesse G. Beeson & George Lowery, Agents appointed by the regularity constituted authorities of the Cherokee Nation for taking & registering the claims of the Cherokee Indians. Gideon E. Coats, a citizen of the United States who Intermarried with Margaritt Lasley, a Nation of the Cherokee Tribe of Indians & after being duly sworn deposeth & saieth that he was in possession on the 23rd of May 1838 of an Improvement near Turkey Town in the said nation containing as follows. Forty Eight acres of cleared land and in cultivation of which twenty Eight is river Bottom land of the quality also five acres of Bottom land cleared and not in cultivation with rails made for fencing the same the whole of which 48 acres is under good substantial fence ten or Eleven rails high 1 dwelling house of hewed logs and doors and locks. 18 x 30. 1 kitchen of hewed logs 18 x 14 feet good roof & door. 1 smoke house 12 feet square good door & lock & crib 18 x 10 feet, 1 feeder house 12 x 12 feet, 1 raised log for a dwelling house raised not covered, 1 stable 18 x 14 feet in good lot containing ½ acre of cleared land with good & substantial fence around it, one cluster of Park trees supposed to be about fifty in it, one wagon shelter & 1 good lot containing 1 acre of land with good fences around it in which the dwellings are situated all of which deponent saith he hath been disposed of & that he has never had the same valued or ever received anything on consideration for the same whatsoever from any source to & subscribed this 22nd day August 1838.
Gideon E. Coats (Seal)
Jesse G. Beeson & George Lowery, In Agents
The State of Alabama, De-kalb County”
A few years later, Gideon E. Coats built a two-story plantation house that can still be seen today on the Appalachian Highway.
The Cherokees were removed on the Trail of Tears about two months after this document was made.
We do not know what happened to Margaritt Lasley, a Nation of the Cherokee Tribe of Indians. She may have gone on The Removal.