TNGenWeb Project
The Goodspeed Publishing Co., History of Tennessee, 1887
Biographical Sketches, Warren County

~ B & C ~

        J. C. Biles, clerk and master of the chancery court of Warren County, Tenn., and resident of McMinnville, was born in this county June 27, 1843, the third of nine children born to Robert B. and Nancy (Ramsey) Biles, both natives of Warren County, where they were married in 1838. The father was born in April, 1810, was a farmer and stock raiser. He was A heavy loser by the war, was an old line Whig in politics and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. He died in his native county in April, 1873. The mother was born in September, 1816, is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and is now living at McMinnville, Tenn. The paternal grandfather of J. C. emigrated from North Carolina and settled in Warren County in 1806. J. C. received a practical education and in the spring of 1861, when but seventeen years old, he enlisted in Company C, Sixteenth Tennessee Regiment Infantry, with D. M. Donnell as captain of the company and John H. Savage, colonel of the regiment. The regiment at first united with the forces of General Zollicoffer, but in July, 1861, was transferred to Lee's army and remained with him until the following December, when it was sent to the coast of South Carolina. After the battle of Shiloh the regiment joined the Army of the Tennessee, where it remained throughout the war. Mr. Biles participated in the battles of Perryville, Ky., Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge and all the battles of Johnson's retreat from Dalton to Atlanta. He was captured after being wounded at Perryville, Ky., and sent as prisoner of war to Chicago, Ill., where he was kept until April, 1863, when he was exchanged and rejoined the army at Tullahoma, Tenn. July 22, 1864, at Atlanta he received a severe wound, and after his recovery, when on Hood's raid into Tennessee, he was again captured and sent to Camp Chase, Ohio, where he was held a prisoner until the close of the war. In the spring of 1865 he returned home and in August of the same year was appointed deputy clerk and master of the chancery court of Warren County, which position he held until 1871. In 1867 he in partnership with Charles R. Morford established a grocery and hardware store, in which he still owns an interest. January, 1877, he was appointed clerk and master of the chancery courts of his county and in 1883 was re-appointed and still holds that office. In 1884 Mr. Biles was made a member of the State Democratic executive committee and was re-appointed in 1886 and is now an honored member of that body. June 27, 1867, he married Miss Jane Morford, born in Warren County in July, 1848. Mr. and Mrs. Biles are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

        Thomas Black, M. D., was born in McMinnville, June 13, 1837, the son of Alexander and Mary A. (Smith) Black. The father was of Scotch origin, was born in Kentucky in 1804, and died in 1859 in Orange County, Virginia., while on a tour to Virginia. The mother, probably of English ancestry and born in Kingston, Tenn., about 1810, died in Nashville in 1873. Soon after their marriage in Kingston they moved to McMinnville, where the father was in mercantile business during his life. One of nine children, our subject received a good education in his youth; in 1868 he entered the medical department of the University of Nashville, Tenn., attending one course of lectures. In 1861 he enlisted in Company F, Sixteenth Tennessee Regiment Infantry, colonel, John H. Savage, and served in the medical department during the war, having charge of various hospitals. He returned home in 1865, located near McMinnville, practiced his profession, and after attending, lectures as before in 1867-68 he graduated. He then practiced in Nashville up to the fall of 1874, when he came to McMinnville where he has since controlled probably the largest practice in the county, with the experience gained also in the cholera epidemic of 1873 in Nashville. February 13, 1867, he married Emma J., daughter of Dr. .J. S. Young, secretary of State of Tennessee, and born in the old Campbell house on the site of the capitol building at Nashville. Of their three sons and seven daughters, two are dead. Mr. Black is a Democrat and is a prominent member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, of which his wife is a member also.

        Thomas F. Burroughs, a prominent citizen of McMinnville, is a native of Tennessee; was born in what was then Franklin County, but is now Coffee County, November 25, 1831, the eighth of ten children born to Dr. Peter and Elizabeth P. (Atkinson) Burroughs, both natives of Amherst County, Va., where they were married November 26, 1816, and in 1825 they immigrated to Tennessee and settled in what was then Franklin County, where they spent the remainder of their days. The father was born April 11, 1796; he served in the war of 1812, a volunteer at the age of sixteen years; was a practicing physician and made life a fair success. He was a Whig in politics and died in 1840 in Coffee County. The mother died in the same county in 1837. Thomas F. secured a good education and after its completion was for seven years engaged in the mercantile business at Livingston, Overton County. In 1859 he moved to Increase, Warren County, and here he established a store of general merchandise in connection with farming. In 1870 Mr. Burroughs came to McMinnville and opened a grocery and hardware store and continued in this until 1881. In the meantime in 1875, in partnership with Charles Ohlenmacher, he established a spoke and handle factory at McMinnville and later another partner, J. E. Hughes, was added to the firm, but in August, 1881, Mr. Burroughs became sole owner of the factory, which is valued at $45,000, and is now running it with good success. He also owns a fine house and lot in McMinnville. November 5, 1857, he married Miss Nancy A. Smallman, a native of Warren County, born June 27, 1838. To this union have been born three children: John S., born September 16, 1858; James M., born August 14, 1862, and Mattie E., born January 12, 1865. Mr. Burroughs is a Democrat and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South for about twenty-two years and a steward in the church for the last twelve years. Mrs. Burroughs is a member of the same church.

        H. J. Cardwell, a well know planter of Warren County, was born near Cumberland Gap, Claiborne Co., Tenn., in 1825. He is the son of Francis and Judy (Lebow) Cardwell. The father was of English descent, born in Virginia, and in about 1806 immigrated to Tennessee and settled in Warren County. He was a farmer by occupation, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and died in 1844. The mother was of German French origin, born in Claiborne County, Tenn. She was a member of the same church as her husband and died in 1867. H. J. received only limited education advantages in youth, but has greatly improved his education by select and extensive reading. Early in life he began farming and now gives his time and attention principally to fruit raising. October 15, 1847, Mr. Cardwell married Louisa, daughter of Jeremiah and Annie (Boyacin) Jaco. This union resulted in ten children - six sons and four daughters, two sons and one daughter deceased. He was commissioned militia officer by Aaron V. Brown and held this office at the beginning of the late war. He has several times been solicited to represent his people in the State Legislature, but has always declined. He is a liberal supporter and contributor to all educational and religious institutions. He has given each of his children a good academic education and has one son who is a successful teacher, and one in the mercantile business at Shell's Ford, Warren County. Mr. Cardwell is a stanch Democrat in politics, and he and wife are firm believers in the Christian religion.

        B. M. Coulson, a well known and enterprising farmer and native of Warren County, was born April 11, 1809, the fifth of eleven children born to David and Sarah (Cox) Coulson, who were of Irish ancestry and natives of Virginia. The father immigrated to Kentucky about 1800, where he remained a few years and then moved to White County (now Warren County), Tenn. He was a farmer by occupation and made life a success. May 26, 1836, our subject married Mary Hammons, a daughter of Leroy and Mary (Hampton) Hammons, who were of Dutch descent. Mr. Coulson received a good education, and when twenty years of age he, with his brother James, took charge of his father's farm, which they conducted twelve years with good success. In 1845 he moved to the home of his wife's parents, and remained there about thirteen years, when he came to his present home in Warren County. Mr. Coulson is a stanch Democrat and was elected constable in 1860, which office he held ten years. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, of which his wife, who died in June, 1881, was a member.

        George W. Cunningham, farmer and merchant of the Fifteenth Civil District of Warren County; was born in that county June 16, 1821, and is the son of John and Sarah Cunningham. The father was born in Virginia about 1792, and died in Warren County, Tenn., about 1857 He was of Scotch Irish descent. His father, our subject's grandfather came to Tennessee in 1810), and located near the celebrated falls of Caney Fork, being among the first settlers of Warren County. He was in the war of 1812, and his father was in the Revolutionary war. John Cunningham was a farmer and tanner by occupation, and a Democrat in politics. The mother of our subject was born in Hyde County, N. C., October 25, 1799, and is now living with her son, George W. She has a limited education, but has a very strong mind for one of her age. She is a member of the Baptist Church. Our subject is the fourth of six children born to his parents, and now lives on the farm where he was born. His occupation in life has been that of a farmer until 1885, when in connection with his farm he engaged in the mercantile business at Rock Island, Tenn. He formed a co-partnership with his grandson, Willie A. Moore, under the firm title of Cunningham & Moore. They carry a stock of goods valued at $2,500 and Mrs. Cunningham also owns 215 acres of land in Warren County, with the principal part under cultivation. This is the result of economy and judicious management. In August, 1842, he married Miss Sarah A. Hennessee, a native of Warren County, born about 1823, and the daughter of A. W. and Jennie (Neal) Hennessee. To them was born one child, a daughter, named Amanda.

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