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

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        G. H. Etter, farmer, of Warren County, Tenn., and now a resident of the Seventh Civil District, was born near Irving College, Warren County, February 8, 1831, and is the son of George and Harriet (Rowan) Etter. The father was born in Greenbrier County, Va., January 8, 1794, and was of German lineage. He followed the occupation of a tanner up to the late war, since which event he has tilled the soil. The mother was born in Hawkins County, Tenn., about 1809, and was of Irish descent. She died August 10, 1884. Our subject was the fifth of fifteen children. He remained under the parental roof until 1856, when he and his brother formed a partnership and engaged in the tanning business. His brother died in 1860, and he continued the business by himself until 1861, when he enlisted in Company H, Sixteenth Tennessee Infantry (Confederate Army) He remained in the infantry three years and then enlisted in the Eighth Tennessee Cavalry, and was in service until the close of the war. He was captured four times but was never in a prison. He received a wound at Buck Run, and while on his way from Dublin Station to Lynchburg, Va., with his regiment, the train ran off the track and he was severely injured. At the close of the war he came to his present location and began the life of a farmer. January 3, 1867, he married Mrs. Woodlee (wife of the late Elijah Woodlee). To them were born six daughters: Mary M., Lillie L., Georgia, Myrtle, Cleopatra and Harriett B. Mrs. Etter is a worthy member of the Christian Church.


        Capt. W. Etter, merchant and farmer, was born near Irving College, Tenn., August 21, 1841, and is the son of H. R. and Jane Etter. The father, born in Hawkins County, Tenn., January 6, 1818, died January 6, 1880. He came to Warren County in 1887 and engaged in merchandising in connection with farming. He was successful although broken up by the war. The mother was born near Trenton, Ga., and died in Warren County, September 20, 1859. She was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Our subject, the third of ten children, lived at home until May 18, 1861, when he enlisted in the Sixteenth Tennessee Infantry, Col. J. H. Savage, Company H, Capt. Meadows. He was first lieutenant, but after Chickamauga, was made captain. He was slightly wounded at Perryville and Chickamauga, and was at Chilton Hill, Cheat Mountain, Port Royal, Murfreesboro, Mission Ridge, Resaca, Pilot Knob, New Hope, Kenesaw Mountain, Marietta, Beech Tree Creek, Stone Mountain, Jonesboro, Lovejoy, Bentonville and the surrender at Greensboro, N. C. He then returned to Irving College, where he has since been engaged in farming. In 1871 he and his father engaged in the mercantile trade with a $4,000 stock, which, after his father's death, he conducted alone. From May until September, 1883, the business was owned by C. R. Martin, but afterward J. J. Meadows bought an interest with our subject. He has a good education and would have had better but for the war. He is a member of the Christian Church, and is a decided Democrat. December 19, 1867, he married Charlotte, daughter of J. W. and Mary Hill, and who was born October 1, 1843. She was a member of the Christian Church and died September 19, 1876. Three of their four children are living: E. Bruce, Lemma, Charlotte B. and Mary J., who was born May 1, 1871, and died November 12, 1883. February 17, 1880, he married Electra, daughter of W. and Sarah J. Meadows, and born in Warren County September 27, 1854. She was educated at Burritt College and is a member of the Christian Church. Their two children are Cecil and Alda.


        David Fairbank, farmer, was born in Knox County, Tenn., September 1, 1829, and is the son of John and Sarah Fairbank. The father, of English ancestry and born in North Carolina about 1807, died about 1857. He came to Tennessee about 1829, and settled in Ray County. He was a farmer and a Democrat. The mother, born about 1808, was of English origin, and died about 1840. Our subject, the youngest of three children, lived with his parents until fourteen years of age, and then with an uncle, W. Lovry. In January, 1851, Julia A., daughter of W. J. and Malinda Cartwright, and born in Warren County, Tenn., January 25, 1830, became his wife. She is a member of the Christian Church. Seven of their eight children are now living: William W., Arminta M., Sarah L., John P., Levy L., Nancy A., Emery L and Andrew J. (deceased August 2, 1886, in his twenty-second year). Our subject has had a life of hardship, but has succeeded, although limited in education. He is a Democrat, and is a member of the Christian Church. In the fall of 1861 he enlisted in the Fifth Tennessee Infantry, Confederate, and served under Col. Ben Hill in the battles of Shiloh, Shelton Hill, Richmond and numerous skirmishes, but was soon after discharged on account of ill health.


        Thomas H. Faulkner, manufacturer, was born near McMinnville, Tenn., April 19, 1842, the son of Asa and Anis Faulkner. The father, born July 16, 1802, in Edgefield District, South Carolina, of German descent, came to Hickory Creek, Tenn., in 1808, and was apprenticed to Mr. Biddleman, a machinist. With little education he learned the manufacture of wool cards. His first venture was a mill on Hickory Creek in 1830. In 1846 two others joined him in building the cotton factory, two and one-half miles from McMinnville, called the Central Factory. In 1861, with S. B. Spurlock, he erected on Barren Fork, near McMinnville, a cotton factory named in honor of his wife, and which had a capacity of 2,500 yards of cotton goods daily. In 1863 this factory was used by the Confederates, who took possession of the products, and gave Gen. Rosecrans excuse for destroying it April 21, 1863. They were rebuilt in 1866 with a capacity of 24,000 yards daily, and is still in operation. February 19, 1827, he married Anne Wolfe, born in Scott County, Va., about 1804, and who died March 25, 1851. She was a member of the Baptist Church. Our subject, the tenth of fourteen children, left home in 1861, and enlisted in Company A, Sixteenth Tennessee Confederate Army, under Col. Savage, and after seventeen months on account of ill health received a furlough and returned home, remaining there until his marriage, October 10, 1866, to Mary, the daughter of Judge Robert and Martha C. Cantrell, and, born in Smithville, Tenn., November 26, 1847. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and was educated at the Baptist Female College, and Minerva College, Nashville, and finally graduated from Corina Institute, Lebanon, then under Dr. Kelley's control. Their eight children are Robert A., born May 23, 1871 and deceased September 7, 1878; Carrie L., born February 5, 1875, and deceased March 30, 1877; Mattie L.; Charles H.; Kate C.; Thomas H.; William P. and Maryetta. Our subject began life for himself by manufacturing wool cards, his present business, but in connection with this he and his brother Clay became partners in manufacturing woolen goods two and a half miles from McMinnville, and in 1877 they also formed a partnership in a wool factory two miles from McMinnville with Robert Cantrell. In 1879 he dissolved partnership with his brother, and the firm is now Cantrell & Faulkner. Seventy-five thousand dollars in the capital invested in this factory, with a capacity of 1,000 yards of woolen goods daily, and a force of sixty-two men. Our subject never finished his education on account of the war. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and also of the K. & L of H.


        Clay Faulkner, owner of the Mountain City Woolen Mills, was born near where he now lives April 11, 1845. He is the son of Asa and Annie (Wolf) Faulkner, of German and Scotch descent respectively, the former born in South Carolina July 16, 1802, died in Warren County July 22, 1886, and the latter born in Scott County, Va., February 24, 1806, died tn Warren County March 25, 1851. The father lived in Warren County after the eighth year, and was a great builder of cotton and woolen mills on the various rivers in Warren County. Our subject, one of fifteen children, eleven of whom are living, and all but one of whom reached their majority received an academic education, and in 1866 with his brother J. J., took charge of the Butler Flouring Mills on Charles Creek in addition to his farming. In 1873 his present mills came into his and his brother, Thomas H.'s, possession, and new machinery was put in, and in the spring of 1879 Mr. Faulkner became sole owner, since which time his entire attention has been given to their interest. They are mentioned elsewhere in the history of Warren County. October 22, 1873, Mr. Faulkner married Mary E., a cultured lady and daughter of David Saunders, of Carthage, Tenn. She was born September 23, 1848. Their three children are Margie, born August 8, 1876; Herschel C., born March 2, 1878, and Daisy, born June 10, 1880. Mr. Faulkner and his wife are members and supporters of the Methodist Episcopal Church.


        W. J. Fuston, farmer and miller, was born at Gath, Tenn., June 26, 1838, and is the son of Samuel and Nancy (Mullican) Fuston. The father was born near Knoxville, Tenn., November 8, 1807, and by occupation a farmer, is still living at Gath, Tenn., where he came in 1833. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and is very quiet and reserved in his habits. The mother was born in Warren County, Tenn., in 1802 and died in 1863. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Our subject, the fourth of five children, left home at the age of eighteen, and settled where Gath now is, and largely made Gath what it now is. Besides his occupation as farmer, in 1879 he engaged in mercantile pursuits at Gath, and was appointed postmaster there. In September, 1886, he moved to his present location, and built his mill, and now besides this business, he contemplates going into mercantile business at his home. He is a self-made man, beginning with nothing, but now owning 250 acres in Warren County, his mill costing $4,100, and $1,000 worth of stock in the Tullahoma National Bank. He is a member of the Christian Church. March 5, 1855, he married Catherine, daughter of Hamilton and Sallie Neal, and born in Warren County August 20, 1839. She is a member of the Christian Church. Their six children are Mary E., Samuel, Hamilton T., William N., Bell D. and Arthur. Mr. Fuston is a member of the I. O. O. F. lodge.


        John P. Gartner, a well known citizen of McMinnville, Tenn., was born in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, October 15, 1838, and is the son of Leonhardt and Anna Gartner, both natives of Hesse Darmstadt. The father was born about 1780, and was a farmer by occupation. He died about 1854. The mother was born about 1800, and died about 1880. John P. is the youngest of ten children. In 1856 he immigrated to the United States with very little means at his command, and settled in Ohio, where he remained three years. He then traveled over the South and West. While in Ohio he learned the blacksmith trade, which he followed after locating at McMinnville, Tenn., in 1867. He is also engaged in the manufacture of wagons and buggies. He has a German education and is a good citizen. He has been elected alderman several times, and is now school trustee. He is a Democrat in politics, a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, I. O. O. F. and the K. & L. of H. December 25, 1867, he married Missouri Polk Hoodenpyl, a native of McMinnville, Tenn., born in November, 1844, and a daughter of Philip and Hyxsy Hoodenpyl. Five children blessed this union, all living: Leonhardt P., Alline, John W., Henry and Florence. Mrs. Gartner is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.


        A. J. Gribble, an enterprising and well known farmer of Warren County, and a resident of the Third Civil District, was born March 12, 1815, in Warren County, Tenn., and is the son of Thomas and Hannah (Shanks) Gribble. Thomas Gribble was born about 1777 in North Carolina, and died in Warren County, Tenn., August 12, 1849. He was of Scotch-Irish descent, and came to Warren County about 1814. He was an elder in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church for over forty years, and was a member of the Democratic party. The mother of the subject of this sketch was also of Scotch-Irish descent, and was born about 1778 in North Carolina, and died in Warren County, Tenn., August 3, 1868. She was also a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The subject of this sketch was married October 18, 1834, to Miss Mary P. Randolph, who was born October 18, 1814, in Warren County' Tenn. She was the daughter of Rev. John and Polly Randolph, and died January 26, 1844. This union resulted in six children, four of whom are now living. The two who have died were John T. (who was born October 10, 1830, and was killed December 31, 1862, while fighting for the South, at Murfreesboro, Tenn.), and an infant, who died eight days before its mother's death. Mr. Gribble was married August 6, 1844, to Miss Catharine H. Bristow, who was born in Warren County, Tenn., April 26, 1825, and who is a daughter of James and Nancy Bristow. This union resuIted in twelve children, five of whom are dead: Hannah P. (born September 4, 1852, died October 16, 1852), Lovia T. (born January 19, 1866, died January 22, 1875), James B. (born February 22, 1849, died an infant), Henderson C. (born December 28, 1850, died November 25, 1851), and Robert L. (born August 10, 1868, and died an infant). When our subject began life for himself he moved to the Fourth District, Warren County, living there two years, when he changed to his present location, where he has a farm of 300 acres. He had nothing when he commenced; and his experience in youth was one of hardship and toil, but by a life of industry and economy he has accumulated a comfortable competence. He is a stanch Democrat and a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.


        Joseph R. Grove, a farmer and fruit distiller of the Fifth Civil District of Warren County, Tenn., was born May 23, 1843, at Robertson Springs, Van Buren Co., Tenn., and is the son of Wm. M. and Peggy (Robertson) Grove. The father was born in Warren County, Tenn., December 10, 1809, and passed his life there. He was sheriff of the county for eight years, a Democrat in politics and a member of the Christian Church. The mother was born in Warren County March 10, 1809, and is still living. She is also a member of the Christian Church. Wm. M. and Peggy Grove were married February 3, 1831. Our subject was the seventh of ten children. After remaining with his parents until August, 1862, he enlisted in the Confederate Army in Company L, commanded by Capt. Brewster, but afterward by Capt. Rust, of the Eleventh Tennessee Cavalry, commanded by Col. D. W. Holdman. He was in active service for three years, and received a very severe wound. He was elected orderly sergeant when he enlisted, which position he held up to the surrender. He was in all the battles in which Forrest's command was engaged, and was a brave and gallant soldier. After returning home he remained with his parents until June 3, 1866, when he married Mary E. Forrest, a native of Warren County, Tenn., born September 12, 1848. This excellent lady has been well educated and is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. She is the daughter of Capt. C. M. and Annie Forrest. Her father, Capt. C. M. Forrest, was born in Warren County, Tenn., January 21, 1817, received an excellent education, and is a minister in the Missionary Baptist Church. In 1877 he moved to Bell County, Tex. He was captain in the Fifth Tennessee Regiment Confederate Army, and is a Democrat in politics. The mother of Mrs. Grove was born in Warren County, Tenn., in 1817, and is a member and an active worker in the Missionary Baptist Church. The result of our subject's marriage was the birth of six children, four of whom are living: William, Charles F., Flora J. and Minnie. The two deceased are George D. and Albert. George D. was born in April, 1874, and died in July, 1874. Albert was born in November, 1875, and died in December, 1875. Our subject began business for himself as a farmer and was also engaged in trading in stock, which he continues up to the present. In 1872, in connection with farming he engaged in the fruit distillery business, which he also continues. He is a Democrat in politics and an active and enterprising man.

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