John Delk – Tombstone Inscriptions

Delk, John
Section 28.8
ID # 281096

John Delk
Campbell Co.

Nineteen Penitentiary inmates died of Cholera during the June 1833 Epidemic in Nashville. They were buried at Nashville City Cemetery. In 2016 wooden markers were placed at the cemetery for these Cholera victims.

Fred Zahn of the Metropolitan Historical Commission was responsible for the carving of the inscriptions on the 19 wooden markers and locating where to place them at the Nashville City Cemetery. To read about his work on the project, click here.

To read the account of John Hill, a contemporary of these men and survivor of his time in the penitentiary, click here.

For more information, and to see a listing of the inmates’ names & counties of residence prior to incarceration, please see the following newspaper article in the Nashville Republican and State Gazette, Friday, July 5, 1833.

Charles A. Sherill has given permission to quote from Tennessee Convicts: Records of the State Penitentiary, Vol. I. 1831-1850, by Charles & Tomye M. Sherrill, published 1997:

Pages 24-25
“John Delk was received into the Penitentiary 4 May 1832. He is 40 years of age, 5′ 8 1/2” in height, weighs 148 lbs. He was born in Green[e] County, Tenn., brought up in Buncam [Buncombe] County, North Carolina. Has lived in Campbell County for many years in the neighborhood of Chambers Mill, where his family now lives, consisting [of] a wife and nine children. His relations live in the same neighborhood, that is a mother, three brothers and three sisters. One by the name Adkins and one by the name of Owens and one by the name of Sowders[?]. He has grey eyes, dark skin and heavy beard. He has a scar over the right eye next to the nose, also one over the left corner of the left eye, they were both caused from bites. He has a scar on the thumb of the left hand, on the back part of the thumb running from one joint to the other. The little finger of the left hand has been broken, and leaves a knot on the middle joint and is somewhat crooked. He has a scar on the right leg say middle of the leg about three or four inches long, running from the shin a little down. Was found guilty of hog stealing at the Circuit Court of Campbell County and sentenced to one years confinement in the Jail and Penitentiary House of the State of Tennessee. John Delk died of cholera on the 20th day of June 1833. [Ledger 45, page 29]”

Research Report August 2017

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