A sketch from the "Upper Cumberland" of December 24th 1885. (not signed, but we are sure it is the work of Judge George H. Morgan, and is written by him, in his style).
Among the first merchants of our town, the firm of Kinnard & Bransford, occupied a house that stood on a vacant lot between the storehouses of James M. Kelly and Washburn & Cason, a portion of which is now used by T. J. Williams as a barber shop. Col. Thomas L. Bransford, the senior member of the firm, was a Kentuckian by birth. It is said that he took his start carrying the mail on horseback from Monticello to Jamestown. He was a man of ordinary being, being recognized as one of the leading "Whigs" of the State, tho' he did not devote much time to Politics. He was a fine "Stump" speaker. Governor James C. Jones said he was the best posted man on the Tariff, Banking and Financial matters generally that he ever saw. His last residence in Gainesboro was on the lot now occupied by George H. Morgan. R. M. Kinnard, the Junior member of the firm, married Col. Bransford's daughter. He is still living, being a member of the firm of Settle & Kinnard of Nashville, and is now very old. He was always recognized as a man of fine business qualifications and sterling integrity.
Maj. John S. Bransford, one of Nashville's most successful business men, is a son of Col. Bransford, and was born in Gainesboro, as was also Walter L. Bransford the energetic drummer of a leading Nashville firm.
Samuel E. Stone, one of the most successful business men that ever lived here, came from Virginia at an early period, as a young man, and went into the mercantile business with Joel W. Settle in the old house immediately above where the house of W. A. Crawford & Co. is situated.
(This house was destroyed by fire Jan. 27, 1887). The firm name was Sam E. Stone & Co. Joel W. Settle, the junior member of the firm, lived here up to the close of the war between the States when he removed to Nashville, where he is still doing business, as a member of the firm of Settle & Kinnard. Mr. Stone married the sister of his partner, Miss Nancy P. Settle. He was born on June 7, 1809, and died on Sunday morning, May 28, 1854. His widow having since become the wife of Maj. D. W. Hawes. She died Nov. 30, 1886, and Daniel W. Hawes died Sept. 28, 1889, aged 80 years. Mrs. Lucinda Bransford, wife of Col. Bransford, was also a sister of J. W. Settle.
The late Dr. William R. Kenner became a citizen of Gainesboro a short time after its location. He resided at the place now owned and occupied by G. B. Murray. He was the uncle of Hon. John H. Savage, the distinguished soldier, politician of the mountains. Dr. Kenner was a kinsman of the Shields Family of Smithville and also of Celina. His wife was another sister of Joel W. Settle. She still survives, a venerable and sprightly old lady. Mrs. Kenner survived her husband many years, residing with her son-in-law, W. W. McCue, Esq. of this county, and died at his home. Mr. McCue died Oct. 11, 1890.
The late Watson M. Cooke, Nestor of Putnam County, for whom the County site was named, took start in Gainesboro as a merchant. He resided at the house owned now by J. M. Morgan, who afterwards became one of the leading merchants of Nashville. His brother, Bolivar H. Cooke, now the successful clothing merchant and head of the firm of B. H. Cooke & Co., Nashville, also commenced his career as a business man in Gainesboro.
We also mention Captain A. J. McWhirter, a present commissioner of Agriculture of the State, and son-in-law of Col. Bransford, as another who first learned business In Gainesboro.
At a later period S. J. Keith, a native of our County, now President of the Forth National Bank of Nashville, commenced business in our town by selling calico for Stone & Settle.
Passing from _______for the present to the legal Fraternity, the late Hon. James T. Quarles, the father of our merchant friend, John S. Quarles of Quarles & Stafford, was perhaps the oldest and one of the most scholarly and thorough lawyers that made Gainesboro his home. He was thoroughly practical, made a good Judge and lived to a good old age, becoming a member of the church shortly before his death. He was always honored for his strict integrity and high regard for truth. He came to Gainesboro at an early date and resided in a house located in what is now known as Captain M. L. Gore's field, (this field is now the property of Fred C. and Lucylle Smith McGlasson) just below town. His office is now occupied by James Walker as a shoe repair shop.
Hon. B. B. Washburn came from Smith County at an early period, residing where his widow still lives with her son-in-law, B. A. Butler. He was noted for his energy, was a good lawyer, and served several times as Special Judge, and spent his latter years a devoted member of the church. His brothers, L. and R. H. Washburn, are now among our most respected fellow citizens.
Ex. Gov. Preston H. Leslie of Kentucky practiced law here with Col. S. S. Stanton before the Civil War, residing two miles in the country on what is now Mrs. M. A. Herod's farm.
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