Biographies from Goodspeed 1

Anderson County Tennessee

Biographies from Goodspeed

W E BAKER is one of the leading citizen farmers of Clinton, Tenn. He was born in Anderson Co, Tenn., Jan 12, 1849, and is the son of George W and Ann H (McAdoo) Baker. The father was a native of Ashe County, NC. He was a minister of the Methodist Church, and followed merachandising and farming at the same time. During the late war he was a sympathizer of the Federal Government, and was killed in 1864 by a gang of Wheeler raiders. He was elected, and served as register of Anderson County for a number of years. His mother was a native of Anderson County, Tenn., and was the daughter of John McAdoo, and sister of Prof McAdoo, of Knoxville. She died in April 1881. Our subject was reared in Clinton, and attended the schools of the town. After the war he began farming in Anderson County, and continued until 1880. At that time he was appointed United States revenue gauger in the Second Tennessee District, and served as such until Oct 17, 1885, when he resigned and returned to Clinton. In 1887 he entered the nursery business, and now has about 30,000 fruit trees. He was married in Oct, 1876, to Jennie Slagle, of Knox County, Tenn., who died in 1878. To this union one child was born, which died two months before its mother. He was again married Dec 9, 1880, to Emma Whaley, who was born in Aug 1856, and is the daughter of Mary J Whaley, of Anderson County. To this union three children have been born, two of whom are living. Our subject and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

JAMES H BLACK (deceased) was born in Blount County, Tenn., in 1805, the son of Joseph and Catherine (Henry) Black, a sketch of whom will be found with that of John Black. Our subject was reared on the farm, and was a man of method, who took delight in his work. In 1854, he married Elizabeth Bogle, who was born in Blount County, Tenn., in 1812, the daughter of Samuel and Ellen (Williams) Bogle. The father was a native of Pennsylvania, born in 1765, and one of the first settlers of Blount County. He died 1853. The mother was a native of Washington County, Va., born in 1775, and died in 1851. Both were Presbyterians. Our subject died in 1875, leaving his widow a fine farm of over 200 acres, on Clinch River, and also a farm in Blount County. He was an elder of the Presbyterian Church, of which his widow is also a member. She is a lady of strong intellect and many attainments, and enjoys the good-will and esteem of all who know her, being charitable, religious, and always ready with a helping hand to aid all who need her assistance.

JOHN BLACK, one of the oldest and most prominent farmers of Anderson County, was born in Blount County, Sept 30, 1811, the son of Joseph Black, who was also a native of Va, and at an early date a pioneer of Blount County, Tenn. The father, a farmer, moved to Anderson County when our subject was a child. He served in the war of 1812, under Gen Jackson, holding the position of lieutenant in one of the Anderson County companies. He died in 1864. The mother was born in Blount County, August 8, 1784, and died July 24, 1849. Our subject was reared on the farm, in Anderson County, and attended their schools, but finished his education at Clinton and Maryville. He lived with his parents until 1839, and has always been a most successful farmer. He took the census of Anderson County, in 1850. In 1839 he married Elizabeth Earley, who was born in Knox County, in Feb, 1819, the daughter of John Earley, of that county. She was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and died August 25, 1886. Two of their eight children died young, and those living are:

  • Samuel, born March 29, 1840
  • Matilda, born Oct 7, 1842
  • Mary J, born March 23, 1848
  • Joseph, born May 17, 1851
  • James H, born Apr 14, 1854
  • and William C, born Dec 31, 1856.

John Black is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

SAMUEL BLACK, one of the leading farmers in the ninth civil district of Anderson County, was born Mar 29, 1840, and is the son of John Black, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume. He was reared on the farm now owned by widow Elizabeth Black, and was educated near Clinton and in its own schools. He worked on the farm until August, 1861, when he enlisted in Co H, of the First Tennessee Fed Infantry, in which he served until the organization of the Third Infantry, when he was charged Feb 28, 1865, at Nashville, and began farming again, and has continued with decided success up to the present. He now owns 300 acres on Clinch River, and is one of the prosperous and well-to-do farmers of his district. He was married Oct 31, 1867, to Nancy Freeles, who was born in 1845 in Anderson County, and is the daughter of W S Freeles of that county. Their five children are as follows:

  • Joseph McDanel Black, born in 1869
  • John Black, born in 1871
  • William F Black, born in 1879
  • Maria T Black, born in 1875
  • Bettie T Black, born in 1876.

Our subject’s wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.

GIDEON H BLACKBURN, merchant at Coal Creek, Anderson County, was born in Jefferson County, Tenn., Oct 20, 1820. He is the son of John and Elizabeth (McGirk) Blackburn. The father was born in Smith County, Va., and the grandfather Blackburn was born near Belfast, Ireland. The mother of Gideon H was born in Greenbrier Co., Va. Our subject received a limited education in the country schools, was reared on the farm, and followed farming till he was twenty-five years of age, when he began dealing in livestock. In 1861, he enlisted in the Confederate army. At the close of the war he engaged in farming and managed the farm of David Issam, in Va. Later he went to Griceville, Va., and managed for one year the farm of W A Jones. Then he came to Tennessee and went to Railroading for contractors of Bristol, for five years. Then he went to Tazewell, Va., and engaged in the tin and stove business for one year; then removed to Coal Creek, and began selling dry goods. Oct 20, 1877, he married Miss Margaret Briton, a native of Pennsylvania. He has been a member of the Presbyterian Church for forty years. He had accumulated considerable wealth before the civil war, but during the period he sustained heavy losses, and at the close of the conflict commenced business with a very small capital. Since then he has become the owner of 200 acres of land in Jefferson County, and holds real estate in Coal Creek. He has had many obstacles to surmount in life, but he has been successful over all. He is not a political worker, but is an ardent Democrat.


A H BOWLING, book-keeper and clerk for the Coal Creek Coal Company, was born Jan 18, 1857, the son of Joel and Adaline (Carroll) Bowling, the former a native of Tennessee and the latter of North Carolina. Our subject in his home farm life secured a common school education, and when fifteen attended his father’s water mill for a year. Then for six or seven years he clerked for his father at Coal Creek, in the general merchandise business. The father then abandoned it, and he took it up for himself, for about three and a half years. In Sept, 1884, he came to his present employment. He is a Democrat, and a Knight Templar. He began without capital, and has been very successful, now owning three houses and lots in Coal Creek, His ancestors are Virginians.


Hon J A BROWN, the subject of our sketch, was born in Anderson County, Tenn., June 20, 1842. His father was William Brown, of Kentucky. His mother was Malinda Overton, of Tenn. The father was of Irish decent, the bother of Dutch. About the year 1828, the father immigrated to the state of Tennessee, and here married the mother of our subject. Unto the marriage were born seven sons and two daughters. Our subject is the fifth of these children. He was reared on the farm, and, in the main farming has been his occupation throughout life. He was educated in the country schools, and though his school days ending leaving him possessed of a limited education, he has applied himself to individual study, and has acquired considerable learning. When the civil war broke out, his patriotic spirit prompted him to the defense of his country, and at the age of twenty years he enlisted in the United States army in Company B, Third Tennessee Infantry. He served throughout the war as a private; was in many of the hottest contests of the struggle, was in the battle of Nashville, and in the Georgia campaign. At the close of the war he went to Indiana and Illinois, and farmed for nearly three yers. In the year of 1868, he returned to his native state, and was united in marriage with Miss Talitha Duncan, daughter of Alfred Duncan. Two sons and three daughters have blessed the marriage. Their names are William A, Elgar, Ida F, Lelia G and Sara A. Since Mr Brown’s return to Tennessee, he has followed farming a portion of the time; first suspending farm work in 1878, in which year he was elected register for the county of Anderson. As register he served four years, and then was elected sheriff of his county, in which office he served the constitutional period, and then returned to farming. In 1886, he was elected representative for the counties of Anderson and Morgan. His whole life has been an example of toil and perseverence. He commenced without capital, and besides being successful in his pursuit for the necessaries of life, he has filled many positions of trust and honor. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and is an ardent Republican.

W E BROWN, a leading farmer living just across the river from Clinton, was born in Knox Co, Sept 12, 1845, the son of R H and Mary A (Parker) Brown. The father was also born in Knox Co., in 1822, and was a son of William Brown, who was a native of NC., and of German origin. The father was a merchant and died during the cholera epidemic in Knoxville in 1873. The grandfather is still a citizen of Knox County, in which county the mother also was born in 1821, a daughter of Jesse Parker, a Tennessean of Scotch-Irish stock. She is now a resident of Knoxville, where our subject was educated in the public schools and Butler’s Academy. At fourteen years of age our subject entered the machine shops, and for four years worked there and fired an engine on the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad. After the war broke out he traveled from point to point in the North and in 1862, was given an engine on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad in the employ of the Federal Government. For eighteen years of age the trust was a responsible one, but he remained until the close of the war in governmental employ, and until 1866 in the employ of the railroad company. In 1866, he entered the service of the Knoxville and Ohio Railroad, taking out the first engine on that road, it burning the first coal used on an engine in East Tennessee. After three years he returned to the service of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad Company, running an engine for a year, and then on the Selma, Rome and Dalton Railroad, in Alabama, where he remained five months, and then returned to the East Tennessee Railroad. In Jan 1874, he went to Rogersville, Tenn. where he was a general manager of a branch road to Bull’s Gap. Five years later he retired from railroading to his present farm, of about 400 acres, 130 of which lie on the river. In January, 1868, he married Nancy A Longmire, of Anderson County, who was born in 1848, the daughter of Moss Longmire (deceased). They have six children. He and his wife are Methodists. He is a Mason and an Oddfellow, and a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers.

Goodpseed’s pages 1104 – 1106


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