TNGenWeb Project
The Goodspeed Publishing Co., History of Tennessee, 1886
Biographical Sketches
Decatur County

Transcribed by David Donahue


Robert J. Akin

      Robert J. Akin, of the Eleventh District, was born in Decatur County, March 9, 1828. Wm. V. Akin, his father, was a native of South Carolina, came to Maury County, Tenn., about 180l, was married first to Miss Edna, about 1810. Our subject is the eighth of eleven children; received his education in the country schools, by careful and constant reading of books and papers of the day, has a well stored mind. His principal occupation since boyhood has been farming, but from 1856 to 1860 was engaged in boating staves to New Orleans; is a blacksmith by trade. He was married March 28, 1860, to Susan T. Hancock, of Decatur County. When war was declared Mr. Akin enlisted in the Tenth Tennessee Cavalry, under command of Col. Cox; served gallantly in the battles of Chickamauga and Morristown, Philadelphia Tennessee and Brentwood. In the winter Mr. Akin on account of sickness was on furlough; at the termination of the war he returned to the farm upon which he has since and is now living. Ho is a devoted member of the Methodist Church, a Mason and sincere Democrat, a man well known and respected.


E. E. Arnold

      E. E. Arnold, a well known resident of Decaturville, and sheriff of the county, is a member of one of the oldest families in the section. His grandfather, Ephraim Arnold, located in the county at a very early day; the exact date is not known, but is thought to have been no later than 1814, as James E. was born in 1824, and was the youngest of six children, born to them after coming to the county. Uncle James Harris was the only other settler at that time. They were subjected to all the privations and hardships of pioneer life, and were greatly troubled with panthers, they being so bold and vicious as to make it necessary to fasten the doors and windows with iron bars. James B., the father, was a farmer; he died in 1866; the mother is still living, they were the parent of eleven children, ten of whom still live. Our subject worked on a farm until he was sixteen years of ago, when he became a pilot on a raft, which occupation he continued until 1882; was then elected sheriff of the, county, holding that office up to the present time. April 2, 1874, he married Miss Mary B. Crowder, who died March 22, 1883, leaving a family of five children: Melissa A., Ida M., James B., Mary G. and William G. Mr. Arnold married again to Miss Medora Crowder, January 7. 1885; to this union one child has been born, Carry F. Mr. Arnold is prominently connected with the Masons; he been a member since 1872, also belongs to the I.O.O.F. He was one of the Grangers; was master of the county when that organization went down. He is a Democrat and a man who has a large circle of friends and acquaintances, esteemed by all.


Dr. J. F. Aydelott

      Dr. J. F. Aydelott, a successful practitioner of Decaturvilie, was horn April 28, 1835, son of Andrew E. and 8nrahE. (Smith) Aydelott, both natives of Tennessee and both of Irish descent, They removed to Henderson County in 1836, where the father followed agricultural pursuits for some time, after which he engaged in mercantile pursuits. He was a very popular man and one of much influence. Politically he was a Democrat but at the same time he was supported by all parties when he chose to become a candidate for any office. He was sheriff for six years and deputy sheriff for four years. He died October 3, 1882, in Texas, where he had recently removed. The mother preceded him to the grave about three years, dying July 8,1879. Their family consisted of ten children, only .two of whom are living: Dr. J. F. and Sarah B. (Mrs. B. W. Clenny). Our subject's paternal grandfather was a native of Ireland, who immigrated to America shortly after the Revolutionary war. His maternal ancestors were descendants of the old Atlantic coast settlers and several of them were soldiers in the Revolutionary war. Dr. J. F. was brought up on the farm and received the elements of a common-school education supplemented by considerable training at high schools at Saltillo, Decaturville and other places. He began the study of medicine at Decaturville and afterward took a thorough and comprehensive course of instruction at the Louisville Medical University in 1878 from which he graduated with honor, securing the third prize. He has since resided at Decaturville, where he has a successful and prosperous practice. He is treasurer of the Board of Health of Decatur County. . In 1879 he married Miss Anna C. Jones, daughter of Dr. T. W. Jones of Decturville, and to them were born four children, three now living: Otto H. (deceased), Arbon Y., Floyd C. and Frank Cleveland. The Doctor is politically a Democrat, a man of wide acquaintance and much influence in Decatur and adjoining counties.


B. G. Baker

      B. G. Baker was born in Hickman County, Tenn., January 11, 1818. His father, Dr. Benj. Baker, was of German descent, born in New York City, where he received his medical education, and practiced until about 1812; he then went to Now Orleans, and after several years came to Tenn., locating in Hickman, where he continued the practice of his profession. About 1815 he married Mrs. Rachel (Petty) Fields, who was born in Chatham County, N.C., in 1788; her parents were Virginians, but of Scotch-Irish descent. To Dr. and Mrs. Baker two sons and two daughters were born: Winnie, the widow of Lot Akin of Decatur County: Elizabeth, widow of Wm. Livingstone, of Maury County; Wm. H. married to Miss Arethie Nickels, and farming in Decatur County, our subject being the fourth child. Dr. Benj. Baker died in 1822, and his wife in 1858; she was a faithful member of the Free-Will Baptist Church, a true Christian woman. B. G. Baker received but a limited education in the country schools of Perry (now Decatur) County, but acquired considerable knowledge from the Bible and other books: has read from the best medical authorities until he is competent to practice in his field; was married in 1837 to Emily Hendrick of Decatur County, with whom he had two children; only one survives, and is Mrs. Tennessee Baker (Prim) McClure who is farming in Dyer County, Tenn. Horton Howard Baker, the son was lieutenant in the Confederate Army; after a gallant leadership in the battle of Shiloh he was taken sick and returned home, living but two days after his arrival there. Mrs. Baker died in 1843. In August, 1845, Mr. Baker married Caroline Bassel, of Humphreys County, Tenn., who became the mother of ten children of those living are James K., a blacksmith by trade, a farmer in Decatur County, married to Elizabeth Harris; Wm. E., a farmer in same county, wife was Theodosia Besley; G. W., farmer in Decatur County, married Ceorgia D. Hendrick; Mary E., wife of J. A. Haynes, magistrate and farmer of Decatur County; Martha E., wife of John H. Pratt, farmer in Decatur County; Sarah J., widow of Wm. H. Churry, a farmwr in Benton County, dicd in 1880; Winnie M., wife of L. L, Wood, a farmer in Decatur County; Rachel C., married Robert Clift, is farming in Decatur County; Ellen, married John Clift, is merchandising and forming in Decatur County. Benjamin and Dora died in infancy. Mr. Baker is an elder in the Cumberland Church, and a firm Democrat, a man well known and highly respected.


William Bolin

      William Bolin, a well known and respected resident of the Third District, was born in Chatham County, N.C., August 28. 1823. He is the sixth child of a family of fourteen. His father, Joseph, was a native of Guilford County, N.C. and was married in 1811 to Miss Sophia Cooper. He came to Tennessee but remained only a year to two; returned to his native state and died there in 1844. Our subject has been engaged in farming from early boyhood, receiving his education in the common schools of North Carolina. He was married February 8, 1844, to a lady of his native State; to them were born three children, one died in infancy; the two living are Mary (Bolin) Moore, and Martin, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits on a farm adjoining his father's. Martin was married February 2, 1873, to Miss Elizabeth Ivey of Decatur County, and by whom ho has three children: Mary M., John W. and Martin C. Mr. William Bolin came to Tennessee in 1870 and one year later located in Decatur County, where he is greatly respected and widely known. He is a stanch Democrat, taking considerable interest in the movements and welfare of that party.


John M. Countess

      John M. Countes, a well known resident of the Third District, was born August11, 1841, in Warren County, Tenn. His father, Asa Countess, was a native of Tennessee, .a brick mason by. trade. He married about 1833 a daughter of John Martin, of North Carolina, who came to Tennessee. To that union seven children were bore, J. M. being the fourth and only surviving one. Ass Countess enlisted in the Fifth Confederate Regiment, under command of B. J. Hill. He died in Mississippi after twelve months of gallant and faithful service. Our subject received a fair education in the common schools of Warren County. He enlisted in the Sixteenth Tennessee, Confederate Army, under command of John H.. Savage. He remained in the service about one year: took part in the battles of Huttonville and Chute Mountains, Va. He became dissatisfied with the cause he was aiding, and on the morning of May 15, 1862, received a pass at Corinth, Miss., to be good until 10 o'clock. When about eleven 2 miles south of Corinth he met a detachment who claimed his time had expired. He said that his brother was sick in a house at a short distance, and by this means succeeded in passing. Shortly afterward he entered a swamp, and remained there through the day, traveling by night until ha reached a point about one hundred miles south. The man whom he hired for a guide had a horse upon which they took turns in riding, in that way resting themselves. While attempting to cross a river with several other fugitives from Tennessee companies, he was arrested by the town authorities, tried, condemned and sent back. Two officers started back to the army with the prisoners, four in number. While at supper, where they were camped for the night, Mr. Countess and his mate finished eating before the others. They stepped back, and covered by the darkness, slipped away unnoticed. They waded a small stream and spent the night about half a mile from the camp, continuing their journey the next morning. When they reached the river they secured a broad plank, and with one on each end crossed in safety and got home without being again molested. About four months later he enlisted in the Fifth Tennessee Cavalry of the Union Army, under command of Col. W. B. Stokes, taking part in the terrific battle of Stone's River. At the close of the war Mr. Countess returned home and resumed his farming. In 1868 he went to Illinois; spent three years there, going to Missouri, and later to Middle Tennessee, finally settling in Decatur County, where he has since resided. April 20, 1866, he was married to Minnie Blackwell, whose parents were natives of Warren County. To their union six children were born. Those living are Mary, wife of Dr. E. G. Howell, a practicing physician of Decatur County; Margaret, John. George W. William B's death occurred September 8, 1879, when two years of age. Mr. Countess is an earnest and active Republican, a member of the Masonic fraternity and K. of H.


Nathan C. Davis

      Nathan C. Davis, a well known resident of Decatur County, was born July 14. 1843, in Hardin County. His father, Joseph Davis, was a native of Wake County, N.C., born February 7, 1805; he came to Maury County, Tenn., in 1829, where be carried on the blacksmith business; from there he went to Hardin County; was married to Harriet Perry, a native of Williamson County. Tenn., but a descendant of North Carolinians. The subject of this sketch is the eighth of fourteen children: received such education as the country schools of that day afforded, at Clifton, Tenn. When war was declared he enlisted in the Ninth Tennessee Cavalry, under command of J. B. Biffle, took part in the Parkers Cross Roads fight, Trenton, Humboldt, also in the engagements at Franklin and Thompson's Station: he followed Straight and participated in combats at Town Creek. .Day's Gap, Sand Mountain and Gadsden, capturing the enemy at Pine Bluff; Mr. Davis was taken at Clifton by Murphy, but released by Capt. Sam Martin. When peace was declared, he returned home and resumed farming; was married November 12, 1868, to Miss M. A. Johnson, of Hardin County, whose father was a native of that county; her mother was born in Alabama. To Nathan C. and M. A. (Johnson) Davis seven children were born; those living are Thomas J., William N., Benjamin F., Edgar H. and Mary E. James S. and an infant are both dead, November 24, 1882, Mrs. Davis died. Mr. Davls married the second time in January, 1883, to Mrs. Mary H. (Stephens) Harrell, of Savannah, Tenn., a daughter of Col. H. H. Stephens, who was born in Boone, Bourbon Co., Ky.; her mother, Elizabetb (Tharp) Stephens was the first white child born in Florence, Ala. She was educated at Louisville, Ky. To Mr. Davis' second marriage one child has been born, Perry, a son. Mr. and Mrs. Davis are earnest members of the Methodist Church. Mr. Davis is a steadfast Democrat and a courteous gentleman.


James E. Dees

      James E. Dees, county court clerk, of Decaturville, was born in Shelby County, Tenn., April 8, 1852. His parents, Green and Martha C. (Lockhart) Dees, were both natives of Anson County. N.C., from which State he moved to Tennessee, Shelby County, near the line of Marshall County, Miss., where our subject was born, and finally settled in Decatur County, in 1852, where he now resides, is by occupation a farmer and planter. Of a family of nine children, four sons and two daughters are living. The mother departed this life in January, 1874. James E. Dees was brought up on a farm, therefore accustomed to an active life. He received an excellent, practical education at Decaturville, and a year's instruction at the Tennessee University at Knoxville. November 20, 1884, he married Miss Mary A. Yarbro, daughter of John T. Yarbro, of Decatur County. Mr. Dees is a strong Democrat of good standing with his party, was elected clerk of the county court in August, 1882, and has remained in the office since that time. He is a worthy and affable gentleman, enjoying the esteem of an extensive circle of friends and acquaintances.


Curry P. Denison

      Curry P. Denison, proprietor of the Denison House, Decaturville, Tenn., is a native of Decatur County, born November 11, 1839, a son of Stephen and Elizabeth (Ingram) Denison, both natives of Pittsylvania County, Va., and descendants of the early English settlers of the At1antic coast. Of their family of fourteen children all are living but three: Robert, born September 18, 1814, is a farmer of Henderson County; Alfred, born in 1817, died in 1821; Bird, born July 30, 1818, is also a farmer of Henderson County; Eliza, born August 12, 1820, is now Mrs. Jno. McCall, of Chester County; Mrs. Anna (Denison) Newton, born December 12, 1822, lives in Denton County, Tex.; Sanford, born December 14, 1824, home in Red River County, Tex.; Wm. H., born January 24, 1826, lives in Red River County, Tex.; Jackson, born June 10, 1829, died July 28, 1859; Benjamin, born May 18, 1821, lives in Red River County, Tex.; Nancy J., born May 28 1833, is married to Andrew McCall, of Henderson County; Mrs. Minerva (Denison) Priddy, of Henderson County, was born September 22, 1835; David G., born September 1, 1837, died in 1863; Curry P., the subject of this sketch; and Mrs. Mary Elizabeth (Denison) Brewer, of Henderson County, born May 15, 1844. Stephen Denison took an active part in many of the sieges and battles of the war of 1812. He was a life-long Whig and worthy citizen, leaving to his posterity an honored name; his death occurred in August, 1865, his wife having died in September, 1860. The grandfather was one of the gallant Virginians who served under Gen. Geo. Washington. Curry P. Denison was raised on a farm; accustomed to labor from boyhood, his educational advantages were limited; being a man of no ordinary ability he has by observation and application become well informed, For a number of years he was a merchant of Henderson County, afterward a farmer; but for the past six years has been proprietor of the Denison House. Politically he is a Republican; was an unswerving supporter of the Union during the late war, which, of course, cost him many dangers and hardships, but escaped uninjured. He is one of the strongest advocates of public schools, is a man well known throughout the country and recognized as one of the best citizens. November 4, 1860, he was married to Miss Nancy J. Bray, born November 2, 1843, a daughter of John and Manerva (Walker) Bray, of Henderson County. This union resulted in the following births: Fredonia A., born March 14, 1883, married February 28, 1879, to J. T. Rogers, merchant of Decaturville; Kittie A., born October 17, 1864, married Dr. John McMillan, of Decaturville; Wm. H., born April 13, 1866, resides at Perryville, Tenn.; Mary A., born January 23, 1868, married, January 14, 1883, to Wm. Barry, editor of Progress, Lexington, Tenn.; Granville L., born February 18, 1870; Harriet Rosetta, born February 8, 1873; Bertha L., born February 13, 1880, and Allia J., born March 13, 1884. John Bray, father of Mrs. Denison, was born February 10, 1828, and. married Manerva Walker November 24, 1842. She was born March 20, 1827.


Wallace Dixon

      Wallace Dixon, farmer and owner of the celebrated Oakland Spring farm, was born December 22, 1838, at Cedar Creek Furnace and educated at Masonic College, Clarksviile, Tenn. At the ago of twenty he became manager of the iron works known as the Antonio Iron Works, of Montgomery County. Five years later he came to Decatur County and engaged in farming. He was married to Miss Elizabeth Finch, who bore him three children; Emily A., William T. (deceased), and Wallace, who is living with his father, The mother of these children died and Mr. Wallace was married the second time to Lucretia B. Finch, who presented him with five children: Sallie B., Thomas Y., William H., Chambers F., all living, and Elinora, who died September 5, 1878. Mr. Dixon is one of the leading members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is one of the prominent Democrats of Decatur County. He is universally respected and is one of the most popular men in this county. Mr. Dixon's great-grandfather, Obadiah Dixon, came with Lord Baltimore to America, and brought his family with him. His son, Benjamin Dixon, was a great stock-dealer and engaged largely in importing horses to America. He enlisted and served gallantly in the war of 1812. Wallace Dixon, Sr., son of Benjamin and father of our subject, was born in Maryland, and was married to Miss Eliza Brady, who was a cousin of Gen. Sam Brady, the celebrated Indian fighter. She carried water, when a girl, to the soldiers while they were fighting the Indians. Wallace Dixon, Sr., came to Nashville when that city was but a village. From there he moved to Dixon County and engaged in the manufacture of iron as one of the firm of Valner & Dixon, owning and managing the furnace known as the Cumberland Furnace. After a number of years Mr. Dixon sold his interest in the enterprise to his partner. He then moved to Perry County and built the Cedar Creek Furnace and after several years' successful management, sold the furnace, and purchased the farm now owned by Wallace Dixon, Jr. He also purchased other valuable land in Decatur County. To Wallace and Eliza (Brady) Dixon were born five children of whom our subject is the youngest.


James A. England

      James A. England, clerk and master of chancery court, is a native of Henderson County; Tenn., born February 6, 1851, son of John M. and Rebecca (Hanna) England, of the same county. The father was a practicing physician of Henderson County, until 1862 when he moved to Williamson County, Ill., where he died in 1863, The mother was of Irish descent, and lives in Texas. A. B. England. the grandfather, was born' in North Carolina; his father was a native of Ireland. In 1866 the family returned to Henderson County, from Illinois, but went to Hunt County, Tex., in 1878, where our subject had gone three years previous to that time. In 1875 James A. came back to Tennessee; he began teaching and studying law in1876, was admitted to the bar, March, 1877, and has since that time been engaged in the practice of his profession in Decatur County. May 8, 1879, he was married to Mary A., daughter of William Stout one of the oldest and best citizens of the county. To the marriage two children have been born: Nellie J. K. and James B. Mr. England is a Democrat of considerable prominence, was appointed clerk and master of the chancery court, September, 1879, and still fills the position, having the confidence and esteem of the people. He is a genial and courteous gentleman and fine conversationalist.


Isham G. Hearne

      Among the leading men who have assisted to a great extent in the welfare and improvement of Decatur County is the honored name of Isham G. Hearn. He was born in Madison County, Tenn., and was a descendant of an old English family that settled in North Carolina at an early day. Isham G. was a man of good attainments, and almost altogether a self-made man. He early developed strong religious sentiments, and when a young man, began a close and thorough study of the Scriptures. He became a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and was first placed on the. circuit in Henderson County. He was afterward transferred to Decatur County, where he became one of the most influential ministers of his time, and was known throughout West Tennessee as a man of much ability and influence. When the clouds of war began to gather over the country, he united his interest with those of the Southern States, and was one among the first to don the uniform and go to the field. He was made captain of Company G, Twentieth Regiment Mounted infantry. This company received the sobriquet of the "Decatur County Tigers." Capt. Hearn was a man of undaunted courage, was highly esteemed by his men, and in every battle was found in the front, cheering his men to victory or death. On every field of victory or defeat he was the same earnest, faithful Christian which marked his early days. His death occurred at Shiloh, April 6, 1862, while leading his men in that dangerous conflict. He was married in 1852, to Anna K. Dixon, daughter of Wallace Dixon, whose sketch appears elsewhere in these pages. Since the death of Mr. Hearn his widow married Paul H. Fisher, who has since died. To her union with Mr. Hearn were born four children, one of whom - Isham G., the youngest child - died when just merging into manhood. Flora married Fayette Fisher, a farmer of Decatur County. Wallace D. is a farmer of Decatur County. He was married to Laura A. Fisher, daughter of A. A. Fisher, of Decatur County. Thomas Y. was born February 17, 1857; was reared on the farm, and received such educational advantages as the common schools afforded. In 1880 he married Nancy A: Fisher, daughter of Jonathan Fisher. She died in 1883, about two years after marriage. He was again married to Dixon Smith, daughter of G. W. Smith, of Decatur County. Politically, Mr. Hearn is a Democrat. In 1883 he began a general merchandise business at Decaturville, and by his liberality and fair dealing is building up a large trade.


J. N. Houston

      Dr. J. N. Houston, a son of John L. and Jane (Graham) Houston, was born in Decatur County January 22, 1837. His father came to the county when it was a wilderness. Dr. Houston was educated in the college at Decaturville and attended lectures in Nashville in1856-57. In the summer of 1857 he began the practice of medicine in Perry County, at Brown's Mills. In the course of four or five months, he returned to Decatur County where be has since successfully continued the exercise of his noble profession. At the outbreak of the war he enlisted with the Fifty-second Tennessee regiment of the Confederate Army under command of Col. B. J. Lee; was assistant surgeon of the regiment, at the hospital, and the battle of Shiloh. After twelve months service be returned to Decatur County. October 30, 1863, he was married to Miss Sarah E. Chaney, who was born near Cincinnati, Ohio. Of eleven children born to them, ten are living: John F., born August 21, 1864; Thadeus E., born March 28, 1866; Laura B., born November 21, 1867; Charles H., born February 20, 1869; Jefferson P., born January13, 1571;Cora E., born November 17, .1872; Albert L., born September23, 1874; Sidney C., born November28, 1877; Mary M, born March 6, 1879; Claudia M., born October 10. 1880; Eliza Jane, born September 28, 1883, and died October 6, 1884. To all of his children Dr. Houston has given the best educational advantages. He is a member of the Republican party, and a Mason. He has almost retired from active practice, and devotes a great deal of his time to farming, in which he is interested. He has a large circle of friends, and is respected by all.


John G. Houston

      John G. Houston, a well known farmer of the Seventh District, was born March 11, 1824, in Warren County, Tenn. His father was a native of Indiana, went to Kentucky, and in 1818 came to Tennessee, and about that time was married to Miss Jane Graham. This union resulted in the birth of nine children, our subject being one of that number. Since childhood Mr. Houston has made his home in Decatur County.' He has a good education. At the age of eighteen he became a surveyor, and was in that business for about thirty years. November 2, 1847, he was married to Martha Ann Arnold; and to them nine children have been born: Mary Jane, Eliza Ann, John L., James C., Martha U., Jefferson P., Ezra J., William F. and another who died in infancy. In 1868 he was elected sheriff of Decatur County, and served a term of two years, discharging the duties of the office in a most creditable manner. He has been a member of the Masonic order for twenty-four years; was a Whig but has been a strong and able supporter of the Republican party since its organization. He does all in his power to promote school interests; devotee a great deal of his time to farming, and is regarded as one of the most prosperous agriculturists in the county, in which he is well known and esteemed.


Dr. Troy W. Jones

      Dr. Troy W. Jones, a successful practitioner at Decaturville, is a native of Henderson County, born September 14, 1832, son of Matthew and Anna (Pinnion) Jones, both natives of North Carolina. He came to Henderson County at a very early day, and resided there at the time of his death, which occurred in 1863. He was a life-long Democrat and a consistent Christian. The mother still lives. Of their family of ten children all are living but two. Our subject was the fifth child, and being reared on the. farm was accustomed to hard labor from boyhood. He commenced the study of medicine under the preceptorship of Dr. G. H.. Derryberry, and afterward studied under Dr. Tryar. He has been engaged in the practice of his profession since 1856, and is considered one of the ablest physicians of Decatur County. In 1859 he married Mrs. Sarah Yarbro, who died in 1873, leaving five children, four of 'whom yet live; Emma and Ada were twins. Emma married James H. Tate, a prominent merchant at Decaturville. Ada married George W. Bogan, now deputy sheriff of Decatur County. Anna married Dr. J. F. Aydolott, a successful physician of Decaturville, and Flora M. married Reuben Smith, one of the leading merchants of Decaturville. Thomas, the youngest child, was unfortunately burned to death when only seven years of age by the explosion of an oil can. Politically Mr. Jones is a strong Democrat, and he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. John Jones, grandfather of our subject, served through the Revolutionary war, and never received a wound.


H. M. Jordan

     H. M. Jordan, a well known farmer of the Fifth District, was born in Benton County, Tenn., October 30, 1843. His father, Edmund Jordan, was a native of North Carolina, born October 12, 1812, and came to Tennessee when there were comparatively few whites. He was first married to Nancy Haynes, of Tennessee, who was born September, 1812. She became the mother of seven children, of whom H. M. Jordan is the fourth. At the time of her death she was a devout member of the Presbyterian Church, a good Christian woman. Edmund Jordan was married the second time to Elizabeth Moore, of Benton County; this union resulted in the birth of two children, only one survives. Elizabeth (Moore) Jordan died in Arkansas, after which Mr. Jordan returned to Tennessee and was married the third time to Mrs. Elizabeth (Maxwell) Howell, who survives him. Our subject, thrown upon his own resources at an early age, therefore, received but a limited education; has been farming since boyhood. When the late war began he enlisted in the Confederate Army, under command of Col. B. J. Lee, and took part in the desperate battle of Shiloh. After one year's faithful service, he returned home, remaining about six months, then enlisted in the Federal service in Second Tennessee Regiment, under command of Col. Murphy, participated in the battle of Nashville, which continued for three days, and in the Centerville raid. They endured many hardships, and had a number of narrow escapes from death, many men in close proximity to him being killed. Twelve months after he entered the Federal Army, was discharged at Nashville; he went to Illinois and farmed for one year, after which time he came to Decatur and resumed his agricultural pursuits on the place upon which he is now living. August 27, 1865, was married to Miss Martha N. Jennings, born in Decatur County, December 8, 1844, a daughter of Hiram and Eliza (Arnold) Jennings, both of Perry County, now called Decatur. Hiram Jennings was born August 23, 1811. December 2, 1863, a party of men calling themselves ____ Texas Rangers, hanged Mr. Jennings, stating that their reasons for so doing, was that they had been captured by Federal troops, two months previous, while taking breakfast at Mr. Jenning's house, and accused him of having reported them, as in many other instances their intention was to plunder and destroy, for after hanging Mr. Jennings, they burned the house. Mrs. Jennings, who was born September 9, 1817, is still living and in the enjoyment of good health. A family of eleven children have been born to H. M. and Martha (Jennings) Jordan: Lucy B. was born September 7, 1866, is the wife of Benj. Moore, a farmer of Decatur County; Ephriam E., born November 13, 1867; Wm. E., born October 20,1869; Rhoda A., born April 80, 1871; Ara E., born December 21, 1872; John H., born August 29, 1874; Albert L., born June 28, 1878; Chancy P., born February 11, 1878; Harvey, born January 2, 1880; Mary Zora, born July 25,1881; Josiah, born July 18, 1883; with exception of Mrs. Moore, all are living at home, each receiving a thorough education. Mr. and Mrs. Jordan are sincere members of the Baptist Church.. He is a stanch Republican, adheres closely to the party principles, is also an affable gentleman, well and favorably known.


Albert F. Keeton

      Albert F. Keeton was born in Perry County (now called Decatur), August 8, 1835. His father, Robert Keeton, was a native of Lexington, Ky.; was one of the first settlers of Decatur County, locating at Shannonville; was by profession a physician, and practiced for forty years in Tennessee; he married a cousin, Miss Catherine Keeton, of Franklin County, Tenn.; they became parents of eleven children, Albert F. being the seventh; only five are living: Julia M., the widow of Thos. Garrett, who is farming in the country; Adaline A., the widow of Dr. Clardy, is living in Shelby County, Tex.; Marquis D. Lafayette is farming near Brownsport Landing, Decatur County; Sophronia, the widow of F. N. Jobe, is living at Saltillo, Hardin County. Our subject received a liberal education at Center, this county; he was for many years engaged in farming near his birthplace; October 5, 1858; he married Miss Paralee White, of Mississippi, who was raised in Decatur County. Their union was blessed with three children: Wm. R., Lucy A. and Ella U. - all living at home. In January, 1880, he rented his farm and went into hotel-keeping at Center. Wm. R., his son, is farming on his father's place. Mr. and Mrs. Keeton and two daughters, Lucy A. and Ella U., are members of the Methodist Church. Mr. Keeton is a Mason, and one of the leading Republicans of that section; he is also deeply interested in educational matters. He is a man of large circle of friends; has, few, if any enemies; is warm hearted - in fact, all that a gentleman should be.


Capt. John McMillan

      Capt. John. McMillan, attorney at law, of Decaturville, is a native of Decatur County, was born April 4, 1823. His father, Gilbert McMillan, came from Stewart to Decatur County in 1822, living until April 4, 1858. The mother, Sarah (Nichols) McMillan, who died August, 1845, bore nine children, six of whom are living. Our subject worked on a farm until 1848, when he became deputy sheriff, holding the position until 1852; he was then elected sheriff of the county, discharging his duties in a creditable manner for six year; was the second man called to that office. He next engaged in merchandising. The first year of the war he organized a company and was elected captain. He served actively and gallantly in the well-remembered battle of Shiloh; also in a number of skirmishes. When the army was reorganized at Corinth and officers discharged, he returned home. In 1870 he became clerk of the county court, performing his business in such a satisfactory way that he retained the position twelve years, since which time he has managed his agricultural and cotton interests. He is a strong Democrat, a Mason and consistent member of the Southern Methodist Church, a well known and worthy citizen. He was married March 30, 1851, to Mary A., daughter of Thomas Hay, a respected inhabitant of Decatur County. The union resulted in the birth of four children: Leora married J. T. Rogers; John G. is a physician; Wm. I., an Indian agent, located in Arizona Territory, and Ella, who is at home. Mrs. McMillan died October 6, 1883.


James R. McMurry

      James R. McMurry, of the Third District, was born in Decatur County, December 10, 1853. His father, James T. McMurry, was born in Montgomery County March 12, 1827, a mason by trade, also a farmer; was married in 1848 to Katherine Warden; they came to Decatur County in 1850; he enlisted as a volunteer in the Twenty-seventh Regiment of Tennessee, but was discharged on account of sickness after he had served faithfully for two years; he returned home and died December 4, 1880. Our subject is the third of fourteen children; he received such an education as the country schools of the day afforded. He has been engaged in farming from boyhood; was married to Miss B. E. Jones January 20, 1885; she, too, is a native of Decatur County. To them one child was born, but died in its infancy. Mr. McMurry is a Democrat, and a worthy man who has the respect of the community.


Henry W. Myracle

      Henry W. Myracle, a well known farmer of the Fourth District, was born in Decatur County, in 1833. The father, Lawrence L., was a native of Warren County, but came to Decatur County at an early day, where he married Jane Cox, a native of North Carolina. Lawrence L. was a Baptist minister and farmer, was influential and possessed great nobility of character; he was successful in all his undertakings and managed to accumulate considerable property. He was a strong Union man, and died in March, 1881. The mother bore twelve children; two only are living. She lives near the old home place with her son, J. C. P. Myracle. James K. served in the late war, in the Federal Army; after brave and daring service was captured at Union City, Tenn., confined in the notorious Andersonville prison until the time of his death, five months afterward. J. C. P. is a resident of Decatur County, and chairman of county court. Our subject was raised on a farm, and accustomed to labor. His educational advantages were limited, but by pursuing a course of study, and reading at home, he has become well informed. He enlisted in the Eighty-first Illinois Infantry, Company E, under command of Capt. Dallins, in 1862, serving actively until the close of the war. He participated in the battles of Vicksburg, Jackson, Raymond, Champion Hill and the engagements of the Atlanta campaign, until the capture of Atlanta, from there to the Mississippi River, at Nashville, and during the campaign of General Hood; was afterward sent down the river and took part in the battle at Spanish Fort, Mobile. He returned home at the close of the war without wound, and located in Decatur, where he has since been engaged in agricultural pursuits and now owns a valuable farm of about 200 acres, all well improved. He was married in 1868 to Miss Rushing, who died in 1878, leaving two children: James W. and Emma J. His second marriage was with Nancy E. Newsom, in 1879; her death occurred in March 1880. He married the third time to Catherine Keeton, who has borne him two children Arthur and Allan. Mr. Myracle has been a devoted member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, since 1867. He is a Republican, and a man well known and respected.


Pettigrew Family

      Among the influential and prominent families that came Decatur County at an early day was the Pettigrew family. In1821 or 1823 James M. and Corry Pettigreiv, two educated and polished young gentlemen of Armagh County, Ireland, left their native land and immigrated to America. They located in South Carolina and were engaged in contracting for canals and ditches. After considerable experience there they went to Alabama. and engaged in merchandising until 1825. They then came to Tennessee and located at Perryville. About this time George B. Pettigrew, a half brother, came from Ireland and entered into partnership with them, locating a branch store at Beardstown, Perry County. James M. also located a branch store at Oak Grove, an they operated other stores at Dccaturville, Decatur County, and at Spring Creek, Madison County. They were men of superior education and wonderful business ability, accumulate vast possessions and were recognized as the leading business men on the Tennessee River. James M. took charge of the business at Oak Grove, and remained there until his death. He was never married. George, half brother of James M. and Corry, was born June 1_, 1807, and August 12, 1830. married Elizabeth Adamson, also a native of Ireland. He died October 29, 1859, and she January 15, 1871. To them were born a family of seven children, five of whom died in infancy. James A. and George B. enlisted as privates in Company G, Twentieth Regiment Mounted Confederate Infantry. George was promoted to second lieutenant before his death, which occurred at the battle of Fishing Creek, Ky. James A. became captain of his company, and was a brave and fearless soldier. He we wounded at Shiloh, April 6, 1862, and was again wounded at Hoover's Gap, Tenn., and taken prisoner where he remained until January 6, 1864. Corry Pettigrew was born May 30, 1800. He managed the mercantile business at Perryville, and was man possessed of remarkable, business ability and untiring industry. April 2, 1840, he married Mary Douglass, daughter of Joseph S. Douglass, of Decatur County. He died but his widow is still, living. To them were born two children: Thomas Jackson and James K. Polk, both of whom enlisted in the Confederate Army under Gen. Cheatham August, 1861, and took an active and gallant lead in the engagements of that division - Shiloh, Perryvilie, Murfreesboro. Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Atlanta, etc. At the latter place Thomas J. was wounded, lost his left arm and was disabled from further activity. He was also wounded at Shiloh and taken prisoner but made his escape three days afterward at Pittsburg Landing. In 1863 he was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant, and served in that capacity until he was disabled at Atlanta. Since the war he has been engaged in mercantile and agricultural pursuits. He owns one of the finest tracts of land in the county. He was married January 7, 1869, to Cordelia Welch, daughter of Henry Welch. She died in February, 1880, leaving a family of four children: Mary E., Corry H., Martha A., and Elizabeth K. James K. followed the fortunes of war in the same company with his brother Thomas. He enlisted as a private but was, by active and gallant service, promoted until he became captain of his company. He was wounded a Shiloh and disabled from active duty. He was born June 13, 1844, and January 25, 1871 he wedded Miss, Maggie A. Sherdon, a daughter of Daniel B. Sherdon, of Pennsylvania. She was born March 12, 1852, and by her marriage became the mother of four children: Carrie P., Lucy B., Maggie M. and Lena H. Thomas J. and James K. are both Democrats and members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. They are prosperous and worthy citizens.


James K. Pettigrew

      James K. Pettigrew, born in Decatur County, June 10, 1844, is a descendant of one of the oldest and most honored families. He is named after his Uncle who was well known at Spring Creek, Madison County, at Decaturville, Perryville and Bradstown, Perry County, where he was engaged in business. Our subject was educated at Lexington and Mifflin, Henderson County. He took part in the late war, and received a wound in a skirmish one morning after the battle of Kenesaw Mountain, was convalescent in camp at Macon, Ga., when sufficiently recovered was honorably discharged arid returned home resuming his business of general merchandise at Oak Grove, Tenn. A year later he opened a brunch house at Sulphur Springs, a place owned by Mr. Pettigrew and famous for the medicinal qualities of its waters. January 23, 1871, he married Miss Maggie A. Sherdon, born March 12, 1852, in Sciota County, Ohio; the father. Daniel B. Sherdon, was a native of Pennsylvania and the mother. Mrs. Jane E. (Reynolds) Sherdon, of Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Pettigrew have become the parents of four daughters: Carrie P., born at Oak Grove, January 27, 1872; Lucy Bell, born May 12, 1873; Maggie May, born March 24, 1877, and Lena H., born September 29, 1878; these three births occurred, at Sulphur Springs. To his children Mr. Pettigrew gives the advantages of a thorough college education. He and his entire family are members of the Southern Methodist Church. Mr. Pettigrew is a stanch Democrat. a pleasant gentleman and universally esteemed.


Balaam Rains

      Balaam Rains (deceased) came to Decaturville in 1838 and was one among the earliest settlers of Decatur County. The old pioneer buildings he erected yet stand. "A fortress formed by freedom's hands," and a relic of the olden times. Mr. Rains was a native of North Carolina and a descendant of an old and. honored family who settled on the Atlantic coast at an early day. Anthony Rains, the father of Balaam, took an active and gallant part in the struggle for independence under the undaunted Gen. Marion. Our subject was engaged in agricultural pursuits during the greater portion of his life but was engaged in mercantile pursuits for a number of years. He married Miss Matilda Hudson of North Carolina, who bore him four children, William G., RosettaV. (Mrs. Wm. Stout), Margaret P. (Mrs. James Coggins) and John H., who died when fourteen years of age. William G., the oldest child, was born in Randolph County, Tenn., October 20, 1837. His education was interrupted by the breaking out of the late war. After that event he began the study of medicine under Drs. J. H. Still and J. H. Leonard of Decaturville and completed a thorough and systematic course of instruction at the Nashville University in 1867. He began practicing at Sulphur Spriugs but in 1868 removed to Decaturville where he has since resided. He has succeeded in building up a large and lucrative practice and is recognized as one of the leading practitioners of the county. December 8, 1867, he married Miss Joan F. Parker, daughter of Joan F. Parker of Henderson County, and the fruits of this union are four children: Ethel C., William G., Lizzie E. and George H.


Granville M. Raney

      Granville M. Raney, a native and farmer of Decatur County, was born August 27, 1848. His father, James H. Raney, was one of the pioneers of Decatur County, having settled here when it was known as Perry County. He was a native of Steward County, married to Miss Amanda Bryant, who was born in North Carolina, but came to Decatur County when a child of twelve years with her mother, who was a good Christian woman and is now dead. To their union twelve children were born; those living are Nancy (Raney) Harrell, who lives on her farm with her children, her husband having died in war; Margurite (Raney), wife of W. D. Lacy, a farmer in Decatur County; Ann E. (Raney), wife of G. W. White, also farmer in the same county; James H., and John David, who married Miss Sallie Luton, are both agriculturists in the county, and Barbara, wife of B. A. Tucker, is teaching school in Decaturville. Several of the children have died, the last being Mrs. Martha (Haney) Wright, whose husband is in the steam, mill business; Mrs. Wright died in August, 1880. The subject of this sketch received a very fair education in the common schools, was engaged, up to the time of 1878, in farming with his father; at that date he began merchandising at a place in the county known as Carsonville, continuing in this business until 1884, when he purchased the place upon which he now lives; it was then covered with timber but at present the greater portion of the land is under cultivation. Mr. Raney was married, February 15, 1878, to Miss Lucy Jackson, a native of Decatur County, whose father was a lending merchant and farmer of that section. The marriage resulted in the birth of five children: Maggie. born November 11, 1876; Willie J., born February 9, 1879; Sallie, born April 29, 1881; James, born May 22,1883, and Edgar, born in June, 1886. Mr. Haney is an exemplary Christian and a member of the Methodist Church. Politically Mr. Raney is a Democrat, but takes no active part, merely voting; he is a man who has an extensive acquaintance and is favorably known.


Green B. D. Rushing

      Green B. D. Rushing, of Decaturville, was born August 22, 1828, is the oldest of eleven children horn to Asa and Nancy G. (Hendrick) Rushing, both natives of North Carolina and descendants of old and honored Virginian families. Asa Rushing was a planter by occupation, a strong Whig and worthy citizen. In 1824 he visited Perry, now Decatur County and in January. 1827, moved from Anson County, N.C., locating on the south side of Beech River, three miles west of where Decaturville now stands; he died in 1851. Mrs. Nancy Rushing went to Texas with our subject and there resided until her death, which occurred in 1875. Green B. D. Rushing's educational advantages consisted of three months' attendance in the year in the subscription schools of that time; being unusually studious and energetic he was able to begin teaching school in Decatur County, when about twenty-one years of ago. He continued to teach until 1853, when he moved to Shelby County, Tex., and taught until 1857, at which time he bought a farm and turned his attention to agricultural pursuits. During the late civil war, in 1862, he enlisted in Company A, twenty-eighth Dismounted Cavalry. He served gallantly and actively in many of the most terrific battles, receiving, a wound at Pleasant Hill, La., which disabled him for many months. At the conclusion of the war be returned to Shelby County, Tex., where, owing to his true worth and popularity, he was elected to the office of collector and assessor of taxes; the duties of which he discharged so faithfully that he was re-elected and served eight years. January 8, 1852, he was first married to Miss Sarah J. Stevens, who died in September, 1877; she was the mother of three children, two of whom are married and live in Shelby County. Tex.; the third one is deceased. In 1879 Mr. Rushing returned to the scenes of his boyhood and soon after married his first love, Elizabeth Shipman. He contemplated going back to Texas, but his old friends and acquaintances were anxious to have him remain among them, and at the August election. 1880, elected him recorder. Mr. Rushing is a progressive; intellectual man, taking deep interest in the school and any enterprise beneficial to his country.


David E. Scott

      David E. Scott, a prominent attorney at law of Decaturville, was born in Henry County, Tenn., April 9, 1830. Of a family of six children born to David M. and Nancy F. (Hagler) Scott, subject is fourth. His parents were both natives of Tennessee; the father is a farmer, and came to Decatur County in 1860, the mother died in 1857. The grandfather, Samuel Scott, was born in 1771, went to Nashville while the second house was in course of erection, and in that city spent a great portion of his life. David E. was raised on a farm; being an industrious boy, he performed many duties not forced upon him, for his father was well supplied with the world's goods. His education was interrupted by the outbreak of the war, but by persistent application to books he soon acquired a fair knowledge. He began the study of law in the office of J. M. Porterfleid of Decaturville, afterward attending a course of lectures at the Cumberland University, at Lebanon, Tenn. He entered into the practice of his profession at Decaturville, where he has since resided; he has succeeded in establishing an extensive business. Mr. Scott is a firm Democrat, a man who is well known, and enjoys the confidence and esteem of the people. November 8, 1870, he married Miss Martha E. Porterfleld, an estimable lady of Hardin County, who has borne him three children: Frances U., David E. and Mattle B.


Ruben Smith

      Reuben Smith, merchant, is a native of Decatur County, born February 10, 1847, and the son of George W. and Jane (White) Smith, both natives of Decatur County. The father resided on the old home place settled by his father, until about 1850, when he removed to Lexington and began merchandising. In 1860 he returned to the old farm and lived there three years. He removed to Decaturville in 1865, and entered into a partnership with Young & Storm, in the general merchandise business. He remained with this firm until 1874,when he began business with his son Reuben under the firm name of G.. W. Smith & Son. He remained in business until his death in December, 1883. The mother yet resides on the old home place. Her family consisted of twelve children, six of whom are now living. John Smith, our subjects' grandfather, came from South Carolina at an early day, and settled on Panther Creek, six miles southwest of Decaturville, where he reared a large family. Reuben White, the maternal grandfather of our subject, came from North Carolina about the time of the settlement of John Smith, and located on Rushing Creek, four miles south of Decaturville. Our subject is the eldest child born to his par. cots. He was reared on the farm, and at the time of the breaking out of the war was attending the Decaturville Academy; but at this time all the schools were closed, consequently his education was not completed. Soon after the conclusion of the war he began clerking in the dry good store of Young, Storm & Smith, and in 1874 became a partner, with his father in a general mercantile business, which he has continued up to the present. In 1887 he wedded Miss Penelope Yarbro, daughter of Dr. A. M. Yarbro. She died May 8, 1883, leaving, a family of six children: Emma (Mrs. William Brasher), Ernest, May and Charlie; Ella and Reuben are deceased. February, 1884, Mr. Smith married Miss Flora Jones, daughter of Dr. T. W. Jones of Decaturville. For a number of years our subject has been one of the leading merchants of Decaturville. He is a Democrat, and has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South for the past twenty-one years. He is a prominent Mason, Lodge No. 218, and also a K of H.


William Stout

      Among the many well known men who came to Decatur County at an early day and have since united their interests with those of Decatur County is the subject of this sketch. He is a retired merchant of Decaturville and is also one among the few of Scotland's sons who have settled in this county. His birth occurred in Forfar County, Scotland, January 6, 1825, and he came of an old and honored family, whose history can be traced back to the early ages of the British Isles.. His father, David Stout, was a man of superior education and of much influence. He was possessed of consider. able means and gave to each of his three children excellent educational advantages. William, subject of this sketch, was brought up as a merchant, came to America when twenty-two years of age on a tour of pleasure and travel but accidentally meeting a Mr. Pettigrew he was induced to come west and locate at Perryville, where he afterward became the partner of Mr. Pettigrew. They continued a successful and prosperous business for several years. In 1878 he sold his goods at Perryville and moved to Decaturville, where he has since resided. In 1850 he married Miss Jane Coats who died in 1876 leaving a family of seven children. He was again married in 1878 to Miss Rosetta V. Rains, daughter of Balaam Rains, an old and honored citizen of Decatur County. Mr. Stout is a Democrat and a man of culture and learning He spends a considerable portion of his time in reading, and his library is filled with a judicious selection of choice books. He is progressive and enterprising and has given his children superior educational advantages. William T., the eldest son, is a merchant at Decaturville; Mary is Mrs. J. A. England, of Decaturville; .John is a druggist and the postmaster at Decaturville; Laura J. is Mrs. L. T. Smith, of Sweetwater, Tex.; Thomas is a merchant at Perryville; Kathleen is Mrs. W. F. Young, and George, the youngest, is attending school.


Andrew J. Strate

      Andrew J. Strate, of the Third District, was born in Pennsylvania March 23, 1852. His father; Daniel Strate, was born in New Jersey in 1806, and married to Miss Betsey Pelzer, of New York, in 1830; to them nine children were born, our subject being the youngest. In 1858 Daniel Strate moved to Pennsylvania, engaged in manufacturing until 1860 when he went to southern Ohio and resumed his manufacturing near Portsmouth. Mr. Strate after receiving a liberal education in Ohio, entered into the furnace business with his father until 1867. During the next few years he traveled extensively, visiting California, Oregon, Washington Territory, Missouri, Alabama, Kentucky, etc., and finally settled in Decatur County as a farmer. In 1875 he married Miss Ellen Shelton, of Ohio; to this union one child was born, John. Mr. Strate is a Democrat, a popular and respected gentleman.


W. L. Swafford

      W. L. Swafford, a well known resident of the Sixth District, was born on the 27th of December, 1827, in Grainger County, Tenn. John Swafford, his father, was born in North Carolina, March 27, 1795, and came to Tennessee in the year 1805. He was a farmer. In 1818 he was married to Mary Fields, also a native of North Carolina, born March, 1799. Of fourteen children born to this union, our subject is the third. The grandfather, William Swafford, was a native of North Carolina, and married Nancy Craig, a native of the same State. They came to Tennessee in 1805. He was a farmer. His death occurred October 27, 1857, and the wife died in 1878. The great grandfather, James Swafford, was born in Dublin, Ireland, came to America in 1770. He served for seven years as regimental surgeon in the Revolutionary war. He was married to Rennie Howard, of Dublin. Both lived to an old age. W. L. Swafford, the subject of our sketch, received liberal education at Georgetown, Meigs Co., Tenn. Soon after his school days he began farming in Hamilton County and so continued for about three years. November 10, 1857, he located in Decatur County on the place he now owns, In 1863 he enlisted in the Third Regiment, West Tennessee Cavalry, Union Army and served from June till October, when the regiment was captured; on his way to prison Mr. Swafford made his escape and returned home, where he remained until February then went to Illinois. One year later he again came home and with his family went to Indiana, returning to Tennessee in about six months. January 22, 1853, he was united in marriage to Margurite Roark, a native of Hamilton County. To them were born fourteen children, of whom are living, Mary Ann (Swafford) Moore, John L., Joseph A., Judy C., James W., Isaac D., Henry J., Thomas A., Maggie J., America A., Louisa A. and Sarah C.; Horace M. and an infant deceased. Mr. Swafford is one of the leading Republicans of Decatur County, where he is well and favorably known. He served as magistrate from 1878 to 1882. He is deeply interested in the public schools and all educational affairs. Mr. and Mrs. Swafford are zealous members of the Missionary Baptist Church.


Tate Family

      Elon H. Tate (deceased) was born in Grundy County, Tenn., October, 15, 1817, and was engaged in cultivating the soil in Warren and Grundy Counties, until his removal to Decatur County, August 12, 1870, He located at Decaturville where he remained until his death December 10, 1879. Mr. Tate was a life-long Democrat and a most worthy citizen. His wife, Jane (Turner) Tate, died May 8, 1865. Their family consisted of five children, two of whom died in infancy, and George was killed at Decaturville November 30, 1877. John L. and James H., the two remaining children, were brought up on a farm and accustomed to hard manual labor from boyhood. John L. secured a good common school education at Philadelphia, Warren County, and James H. at Decaturville. John L. was born December 7,1849, in Warren County, Tenn., and enlisted in Forrest's Confederate cavalry in 1864. He participated in several skirmishes and was on duty until the close of the war. He returned to Warren County, and followed farming until 1869, when he came to Oak Grove, Decatur County, and the following year came to Decaturville, where he followed merchandising. September 20, 1871, Miss Martha J. Welch, daughter of Henry Welch, became his wife. To them have been born seven children: Mary and Maggie the two oldest, and John Elmer and Grover Cleveland, the two youngest, are deceased. These three are at home: William H., Carrie B. and Anna Jane. Mr. Tate commenced his mercantile business at Decaturville in 1870, and by liberality and close application to business has succeeded in building up a large trade. He is prominently connected with the Masonic order, Lodge No. 218, and is also connected with the K. of H. James H. engaged in the mercantile business, in partnership with John L. In 1884 he went to Perryville and engaged in business there until May 6, 1885, when he lost a large part of his property by fire. He then returned to Decaturville and has been dealing extensively in cotton. He was born in DeKalb County, September 30, 1855, and married December 21, 1875, to Miss Emma Jones, daugbter of Dr. T. W. Jones of Decaturvllle. She has borne him five children, one of whom, Emma Myrtle, is deceased. The others are Jesse, Allie, Lewis L. and James P. John L. and James H. are known throughout the county as good substantial business men, who have made their own way in life, James H. is also a member of the Masonic order and K. of H.


P. L. Thweatt

      P. L. Thweatt, of the Third District, was born December 20, 1843, in Montgomery County, Tenn. He is the fifth of a family of nine children. His father, P. L. Thweatt, Sr., was a native of North Carolina; came to Tennessee when ten or twelve years of age; was married about 1838 to Miss Francis Coleman of Tennessee and was a farmer. Our subject was educated in the common schools of the county and has been farming since boyhood. January 21, 1875, he was married to Miss Harriet Yarbro of Decatur County; they have four children living: Alice, Fannie, Anna, and Ella; two are dead. Mr. Thweatt is a good Christian man, and a member of the Methodist Church. He belongs to the Masonic and Odd Fellow lodges; is a. good Democrat. No man is better known or more esteemed.


George H. Vise

      George H. Vise, of the Third District, was born in Spartanburg District of South Carolina, December 18, 1827. Eli Vise, his father, was a native of South Carolina; was married about 1818 or 1817; to Rebecca Meadows; was by occupation a farmer. About March, 1835, he moved to Tennessee, and died about July. Mrs. Vise survived him nearly four years. The grandfather, John. Vise (father of Eli), is thought to have been a native of England; served gallantly in the Revolutionary war, and when peace was declared, settled in South Carolina. George H., our subject, is the fourth of eight children, and received a good education, such as the common schools of the day afforded, in Wayne County; was married August 22, 1850, to Miss Tennessee Wayne Lafferty, of Wayne County. To this union a large family was born; of those living are William, a farmer, married in 1877 to Elizabeth Crawley of Decatur County; Isabella (Vise) Smith, married in 1870 to Dr. Alex Smith, a practicing physician of Benton County; Minerva C. (Vise) Smith, married, January 13, 1878, to a merchant at Peters Landing, Perry County, who died May 1884; Dora Vise, married March 17, 1879, John Yarbrough, a farmer; George M., married, February 8, 1888, Tennessee Smith, and, Eli (Little Jim). Those dead are Mary, whose demise occurred February 20, 1885; Evangeline, died August 20, 1878, and Virginia, died February 25, 1888. Mr. Vise was a Whig in that party's day, He enlisted in Col. Jack Biffle's regiment, Confederate Army, was in a skirmish at Jackson, Tenn., Gen. Forrest leading the boys: The army advanced to Trenton, capturing all before it, Trenton included; alter leaving Trenton, were met at Cross Roads by the enemy, and a fight ensued which lasted about ten hours. The army then moved toward Middle Tennessee, near Franklin, where they again met the Federals, and a terrific encounter took place which lasted two days in which many were killed and wounded, but about 800 of the enemy were taken prisoners. In August 1864, Mr. Visa left the army on account of his wife's illness. Upon his return home, finding his place devastated, his possessions gone, he resumed farming. He is a Democrat, but takes no active part in politics more than voting. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and greatly interested in school matters. He and his estimable wife have been zealous members of the Methodist Episcopal Church for about twenty-five years. Socially, Mr. Vise is a genial, warm-hearted man, full of the hospitality so characteristic of the true Southerner.


S. M. Wallace

      S. M. Wallace, a respected farmer of the Third District, was born in Decatur County in 1849, His father, Martin Wallace, was born in North Carolina in 1810. The mother, Harriet (Smith) Wallace, is a native of Tennessee, is still living and enjoys good health. Two brothers are also living. Our subject received such education as the country schools afforded, working at the same time. In 1875 he married Miss H. H. Fisher, a native of Decatur County; several children were born to them, of whom only four survive: Ella, Anna, Ada and Ida. Mr. Wallace has not connected himself with any church. He has always been a stanch democrat upholding the party with success. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity. He takes a lively interest in educational affairs; has always engaged in farming and with favorable results.


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