George M. Smartt, an enterprising farmer of Warren County, is a native of the county where he now lives. He was born February 24, 1814, the fourth son of William C. and Peggie (Colville) Smartt. The father was a native of Virginia, born November 13, 1785, and of English descent. He immigrated to North Carolina in 1804, and September 13, of the same year, married his wife, who was a daughter of Joseph and Martha Colville. The father of our subject was a farmer and extensive stock raiser of Warren County, Tenn., to which State he moved in 1806. He was prominently connected with all enterprises that had a tendency to build up his county, and was a liberal supporter of religious institutions. He was the first Sheriff of Warren County, and was several times solicited to represent his county at the State Legislature, but always declined, and was in the convention of 1834 that framed the first constitution of the State. He was a soldier in the war of 1812, and his death occurred June 18, 1863. The mother was of Irish ancestry, and died February 22, 1827; they were both members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. George M. was married December 22, 1840, to Ann Waterhouse, a daughter of R. G. and Elizabeth (Hackett) Waterhouse, of Rhea County. Mr. and Mrs. Smartt were the parents of nine children - three sons and six daughters all living. The wife died December 2, 1870; she was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church September 3, 1872, Mr. Smartt married Cornelia, a daughter of O. W. and Ann (Zachery) Smartt, of Alabama, and to them have been born three children, two sons and one daughter.
W. H. Smartt, a well-to-do farmer of Warren County, was born this county February 14, 1832, and was a son of William C. and Elizabeth (Hackett) Smartt. (For a brief sketch of the father, see biography of George M. Smartt of this county.) The mother was of Irish descent, a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and died in June, 1864. W. H. was reared on the farm, and in 1865 purchased the home place and engaged in farming, and has made this occupation a success. In connection with farming he turns his attention to stock raising. September 15, 1809, Mr. Smartt wedded Mary J., daughter of David M. and A. E. (Martin) Bell, of Hamilton County. Mr. and Mrs. Smartt are the parents of seven children, two sons and five daughters, one son deceased. Mr. Smartt is a stanch Democrat in politics, and he and wife and four children are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
Rev. George T. Stainback, pastor of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of McMinnville, is a native of the Old Dominion, his birth occurring April 4, 1829, in Brunswick County, where he remained until about the age of six years. His parents, George W. and Lucretia T. (Eppes) Stainback, were both born in Virginia in 1795, the former in Brunswick County and the latter in Sussex County; they were of German and English descent respectively. Marrying in 1818, they immigrated to Limestone County, Ala., in 1835, thence to Memphis, Tenn., in 1842, where Mr. Stainback died two years later. He was a soldier of the war of 1812, was an honest, upright man and with the exception of being in the livery business at Memphis, he followed farming through life. His widow died at Columbus, Miss., in 1874. The subject of this biography, George T., is the fifth of eleven children, and the only one now living. After attending lesser educational Institutions he entered the University of Mississippi, which, after four year' attendance, graduated him with the degree of A. B. in July, 1854; two years later the degree of A. M. was conferred upon him, and in 1867 he was further honored with the degree of D. D. In 1855 and 1856 he acted as assistant professor of Latin and Greek in his alma mater. He continued in charge of his pastorate at Columbus, Miss., thirteen consecutive years, and in 1872 removed to Huntsville, Ala, where he followed his calling two years. In 1874 he accepted a call from the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Memphis, remaining there four years, but in 1879 returned to his old charge at Columbus. Four years later he came to McMinnville, where he has since attracted much attention by his ability, eloquence and piety. Dr. Stainback not only preaches true Christianity but practices it as well, and is today recognized as one of the leading divines of the South. Miss Clara B. Grady, a native of Gibson County, Tenn., became his wife October 19, 1854, and died December 5, 1864. He wedded Miss Mary Gibson of Columbus, Miss., January 4, 1871. To his first marriage four children were born, and to his present one three children.
Jacob Stipe, a prominent minister and farmer of Warren County, a resident of the Fourth Civil District, is a native of Tennessee. He was born March 20, 1834, and is the son of John and Glaphrey (Bowmen) Stipe. John Stipe was born in Tennessee April 19, 1811, was of German descent, and was by occupation a farmer. Politically he was a Democrat. He was married, in 1830, to Miss Glaphrey Bowmen, a native of Sparta, White County, who was born in 1811. They were both members of the Baptist Church. He was killed by guerrillas in Arkansas in 1863. She died in 1869. Our subject was the third of eleven children. He married Miss Angeline Hawkins, a native of Illinois, whose parents moved to Pikeville, Bledsoe County, when she was quite young. In youth she secured a good education. By her marriage with Mr. Stipe she has had eight children, all of whom are living and are members of the Baptist Church. Their names are Lucy E., Glaphrey O., Mary F., James P., Sarah M., George S., Dameris N. and John M. When the subject of this sketch left his father he began to farm in Bledsoe County, and remained there until the fall of 1870, when he removed to his present location. In 1860 he began life as a minister of the gospel. In 1875 he engaged in merchandising at his home, which he continues to the present time. His lot has been one of hardship and toil, but he has made life a success, as he now owns 600 acres of land on Rocky River, and 5,000 acres in the mountains. Politically he is a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, and he is a Mason in good standing. In his youth he secured limited education, but since then he has been a great student, and is on the whole a self-made man. Knowing the value of education he has always sustained the cause to the extent of his ability.
A. M. St. John, a leading merchant and senior member of the firm of St. John & Stubblefield, was born September 22, 1861, in Warren County, a son of John and Fatina (Sewell) St. John. The father was born in Tennessee September 21, 1829, and his ancestors are supposed to have come from England. A. M. was reared in Warren County, and received only a limited education in the country schools of his neighborhood. At the age of twenty-one years he began clerking in the mercantile business, which he continued until 1885, when he began business on his own resources. October 6, 1886, Mr. St. John wedded M. B., daughter of J. T. and Sarah Merritt. Mr. St. John is a man of high standing as a citizen of Viola, and is strongly in favor of all educational improvements, and is a liberal contributor to all such institutions. His views politically are Democratic, and he is an influential and worthy member of the Christian Church.
Oliver Towles, farmer and merchant, is a son of John W. and Lucinda (Wilson) Towles. The father was born in Culpepper County, Va., March 30, 1819, and is now a resident of Warren County, Tenn. His parents came to Tennessee when John W. was quite young and settled in McMinnville, which was a very small place at that time. John W. has followed the occupation of a farmer, though at one time he was engaged in the mercantile and milling business. He has been a very successful man although he met with reverses during the late war. He is a member of the Christian Church, and a Democrat in politics. His wife was born in Warren County, Tenn., and although not a member of any church believes in the teachings of the Bible. Our subject was born near McMinnville, Warren Co., Tenn., March 14, 1856, and is the third of four children. In 1877 he and his brother formed a partnership and engaged in merchandising at Jessie, Warren Co., Tenn.; at the end of two years our subject sold his interest and moved to Daylight in the same county, where he formed a partnership with W. A. Robinson, and continued in business for one year. He then purchased the whole stock and continued by himself for two years, when his father purchased a half interest. At the end of one year he purchased his father's interest and came to his present location at Gath. In connection with his store he is also engaged in farming, and owns 153 acres in the Thirteenth District of Warren County, Tenn. March 11, 1880, he married Miss Isabel Wheeler, a native of Warren County, born about 1861 and died in 1881, leaving no issue. She was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. December 24, 1885, he married Miss S. L. Womack, a native of Warren County, born September 15, 1866, and to them was born one son, John W. Towles, Jr. Mr. Towles is a member of the order of I. O. O. F. and is a young, wide-awake business man.