History of Tennessee
by Timothy R. Meador, Jr.
Macon County Biographies
from Goodspeed's History of Tennessee 1882.
These are not the entire biography.They have been edited. If you are interested in the entire biography, a new reprint of these volumes are available or you might check your local library.
Nathaniel M. Adams, a farmer of the twelfth district, was born in Clark County, KY in 1834; the son of Nathaniel M. and Nancy Holiday Adams, and the third of four living children. The father was a native of Pittsylvania County, Va, born in 1795 and the son of Harrison Adams, also a native Virginian.Nathaniel M. Sr. was reared in Virginia and moved to Ky at the age of twenty,married and in 1836 moved to what is now Trousdale County on Goose Creek, and continued farming until his death in 1872. He served in the War of 1812 in the cavalry with Capt. Carter. He was also magistrate of his district. The mother was born in Clark County, KY about 1798, and died in 1867, a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. Nathaniel, Jr. in Feb 1863 enlisted in Co E, Ward's Cavalry Regiment (CSA) under Gen Morgan. He was captured at Sulphur Trestle Works, Alabama and taken to Rock Island IL as a POW until 13 Mar 1865 when he was paroled. He later joined the 22nd Tenn Cav. with Forrest and remained until the final surrender at Gainesville, Ala. In 1867 he settled on the farm he now owns. In Jan 1874 he married Miss Isabella E. Cage, daughter of James and Mary Cage of Smith County,TN. She was born in Macon County in 1850, and died 8 Sep 1877. Mr and Mrs Adams had two children Llewellalla and James Nathaniel. Mr Adams is a member of the K of H and of the Christian Church Hon M N ALEXANDER, attorney at law and farmer new LaFayette, was born in Allen County, Ky., April 11, 1819. He is the son of Mayben and Margaret (Wygal) Alexander. His father was a native of Mecklenburg County, N. C., and was born in 1788. The grandfather was Andrew Alexander. He served in the war of the Revolution under Col. Mayben, in Gen. Lincoln's command, and was captured at the surrender of Charleston, S.C. He removed to Allen County, Ky., in 1801, where he died a few years after. Mayben (who was named for the Colonel mentioned above) was married in Allen County, Ky., in 1811, and made that his future home as a tiller of the soil. He died in 1848. The mother was a native of Virginia, born in 1788 , and died about 1856, a member of the Methodist Church. Her husband was also a member and a class-leader.
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Hon. M.N. Alexander received his early education at the common schools. In 1840 he went to Watertown, Wilson Co., Tenn., and attended school about two years. He then went to Milton, Rutherford County, and studied medicine two years, but abandoned that and went to Nashville, Tenn., in 1847, and began the study of law. In 1848 he moved to Macon County, where he continued his study, and was licensed to practice in 1849, but did not being until 1852. He entered as a partner with Hon. S. M. Fite of Carthage, with whom he remained three years, since which time he has practiced alone. He is the oldest practitioner in Macon County, having practiced for over thirty-four years. In 1870 he was elected circuit court clerk of Macon County, and held the office four years. In 1881 he was commissioned by Gov Hawkins to hold a special term of the chancery court at Smithville, DeKalb County. He was also county superintendent of Macon County schools between 1879 and 1883, which position he held with distinction and credit. In 1842 he married Miss Minerva C., daughter of Rev. and Lurana Pickett, of Wilson County. By this union eight children were born, Matthew N. being the only one living. Mrs. Alexander died in 1880, a member of the Christian Church. In 1883 Mr. Alexander married Miss Sallie, daughter of Dr. David and Margerie (Hemphill) Graham. She was born in 1840, and a native of Carroll County, Ohio. Her father was a native of Ireland and her mother of Pennsylvania. Mr and Mrs. Alexander are faithful members of the Christian Church, of which he has been an elder for some years. He was formerly a Whig, casting his first presidential vote for W. H. Harrison in 1840. Since the war he has been a strong Republican, and a long standing and active member of the Masonic fraternity. Mr.Alexander owns a farm of 160 acres under a good state of cultivation and improvement.
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E. H. Bratton,
M. D., a prominent citizen of La Fayette, was born in Macon County in
1840. He is the son of Anderson and
Theresa (Adams) Bratton, and the seventh of ten children.
The father was a native of Kentucky, born in 1806, and was a son of
William Bratton, who was a son of Charles Bratton, a native of South
Carolina, who settled in Sumner County near White’s Station at a very early
day, where he was killed by Indians. Dr.
Bratton’s mother was born in what is now Macon County in 1806, and died in
1855. In 1856 Anderson Bratton
married Mrs. Rachel Flippen. By
this union six children were born. Mr.
Braton was a farmer and a man of considerable means and ability, having held the
office of magistrate for many years. In
1851 he was elected to represent Macon and Smith Counties in the State
Legislature as floater. He died
April 25, 1868. He and his wife
were members of the Primitive Baptist Church and esteemed by the community.
Dr. E. H. Bratton was educated at the common schools.
In 1860 he began the study of medicine under Dr. W. G. Key.
In 1860-61 he attended the medical department of the University of
Nashville and immediately began to practice in his neighborhood where he soon
established an extensive and lucrative business, being one of the leading
physicians of the county. January
23, 1866, he married Miss Camille J., daughter of Dr. Hugh B. and Frances W.
Flippen of this place. By this
union six children have been born: Fannie (wife of Dr. E. K. Lamb, druggist at
Alton Hill), Hugh A., Robert E., Edgar H., Martha J. and Roscoe A.
In politics he is a Democrat, his first vote being cast for Seymour in
1868. Dr. Bratton is an earnest
advocate of education and of charitable and religious enterprises, in which he
is a generous supporter, and is giving his children excellent advantages.
He is a Royal Arch Mason.
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Pryor W. Carter,
a farmer in the Twelfth District, and postmaster at Hillsdale, is the eldest
child of William S. and Nancy Carter, and was born April 24, 1823, in the house
where he now resides. He was
educated in Smith now Macon County, and helped clear the farm where he now lives
from the woods. He served about one
and a half years in the last war, at the end of which time, under the
conscription act, he was discharged on account of being over age.
When twenty-five years of age he began working for himself.
He went to West Fork, Goose Creek and purchased the first land he owned,
the money being earned by trading, hard work and flatboating to New Orleans.
He made thirteen trips to New Orleans and the dangers and adventures he
encountered would alone make a book. By
his energy and activity he has succeeded in making himself quite comfortable,
owning 450 acres of land on Carter Branch, seven and a half miles southwest of
La Fayette. On December 13, 1865,
he married Miss Mary A. Pursley, by which union three children were born:
Margaret H. (deceased), William S. and James D.
Mrs. Carter died July 24, 1884. Mr.
Carter has filled several positions of note.
He was appointed by Gov. Marks as commissioner to the Yorktown Centennial
celebration, and was also appointed assistant commissioner of Macon County to
the World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition at New Orleans, and
besides has served his people of the Twelfth District for many years as
magistrate and postmaster. In 1886
he was urged by a delegation of the most prominent citizens of Clay and Macon
Counties to contest for the nomination as representative.
He entered the race and the result was an active and exciting contest.
He was only beaten for the nomination one vote, by the present
member-elect. Mr. Carter measures
six feet, eight inches in hight “with his boots on,” possesses a rugged
constitution, has an excellent command of language and a very retentive memory.
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Samuel W. Carter,
a farmer of the Twelfth District, P. O. Hillsdale, was born June 22, 1844, in
Macon County, Tenn. He is the son of William S. and Nancy (Rickman) Carter, and
the youngest of six children. William
Carter was born in North Carolina in 1791, and came to what is now Macon County
about the year 1804, and died in 1860. He
served in Martin’s company in the war of 1812, also under Gen. Jackson in the
Indian war. Mrs. Nancy Carter was
born in what is now known as Edgefield, a suburb of Nashville, in 1797.
In 1822 she came to what is now Macon County, and is still living, and
walks about as easily as most people twenty or thirty years her junior.
Possessing a remarkable memory, it is a pleasure to hear her relate
historical events. She is the
mother of six children, the oldest being about sixty-four and the youngest
forty-two years of age: Pryor W., Mary Elizabeth (now Mrs. Browning), Patsy (now
Mrs. Carr), Sarah (now Mrs. Marshall), Mark R. and Samuel W.
The latter was educated in the schools of Macon County.
His father, dying when he was hardly of age, left him the care of a
widowed mother. Mr. Carter is a
Democrat, and served fifteen months in the last war in Capt. Duffy’s company.
He fought with his company in the battles of Shiloh, at which place he
was wounded, and at Fishing Creek. He
was discharged in July, 1862, because he was to young.
In 1881 he married Miss Sallie J. Thompson, by which union was born one
child, Robert Arnet. Mrs. Carter
died in 1884. From his father Mr. Carter inherited some land and negroes, and by
good management and industry he has added to his inherited property, until now
he owns a fine farm of 150 acres on Carter Branch, seven and one-half miles from
La Fayette. Mr. Carter is a worthy
man, and is respected by all.
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Cothron, farmer, was born on January 10, 1826, in what is now Macon
County. He is one of eleven
children of Robert E. and Winifred (Brinkley) Cothron.
The father was born in 1790 in North Carolina, and moved to Sumner now
Trousdale County, about 1816, and came to Macon County (then Smith) about the
year 1823. His memory and
constitution were remarkable. He
died in 1873. The mother was born
in North Carolina, and came to this county with her husband.
They were of Irish and English descent.
She died about 1859, nearly seventy years of age; and excellent woman.
Our subject, educated in Macon County, when of age began for himself, the
first year working for $40, but by persistent effort and management he has
become owner of a fine home of 160 acres. February
11, 1855, he married Nancy S. Burrow. Their
five children are Samuel A., Letha E. (deceased), Louisa A. and Leona, now Mrs.
McDuffy. Mrs. Cothron died in April, 1863.
He was afterward married twice; first to Miss J. M. Anderson, and after
her death, to Miss Susan Carter. Formerly
a Whig, he has been a Democrat since the war.
He and his children are members of the Baptist Church, and his wife, of
the Methodist Episcopal Church. He
is a substantial and experienced pioneer.
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a millwright and farmer in the Fourth District, P. O. Hillsdale, is the son of
Joseph and Sarah (Stephens) Eller, the fourth of thirteen children, and was born
in North Carolina in 1822. Joseph
Eller and wife were born in North Carolina and were of Dutch and Irish descent.
Joseph Eller died in September, 1863.
Mrs. Eller died September 25, 1846.
Mrs. Eller’s father was with Gen. Jackson in the Indian war and
participated in the famous fight at Horse Shoe Bend on the Tennessee River,
where he was killed. Jacob Eller is
a self-made man, getting his education while at his work without outside
assistance. He has an excellent
memory and is well posted on the history of the country.
He is also a born mechanic, early adopting the millwright business as his
chosen vocation. As a millwright he
is sought far and wide to construct mills, even going outside the State in many
instances. He is also quite an
inventor, having invented some very useful articles.
He was reared a Whig, and since the dissolution of that party he has
voted the Democratic ticket. He
cast his first presidential vote for Gen. Harrison when only sixteen years old,
which was allowable in North Carolina to young or old if they could pay the poll
tax. Mr. Eller began life with
horse, saddle and bridle; and by his industry, foresight and good management has
accumulated quite a handsome competency. He
first bought near Heartsville, sold out there and purchased a farm of 165 acres,
beautifully situated and nicely improved, near the Heartsville and La Fayette
road, six miles from the latter place. January
17, 1844, he married Miss Nancy M. Wood, by which union nine children were born:
Susan F., now Mrs. Meador; Joseph A.; James J.; Jno. S. W. (deceased); Sarah P.
(deceased); Wm. J.; Nancy M. (deceased); Lillian C. (deceased) and Marian M.,
now Mrs. Adams. Mrs. Eller died
August 30, 1880, and he married Miss Eleanor Royster June 23, 1881.
Himself and family, excepting one child, are members of the Missionary
Baptist Church. For many years Mr.
Eller ably served his friends and neighbors as magistrate.
He has been a very energetic and active man.
He is now sixty-five years old and has still a good share of the fire and
vim of his younger days. At his
advanced age he can do more work and display more mechanical sill than many
young men in the county. His ancestors are noted for their long life, his
grandfather reaching the age of one hundred and eight years, and being actively
engaged in the work of his trade until death.
Jacob Eller bids fair to rival his ancestors for longevity and is still
using his first pair of glasses, showing how little his eyes have failed.
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J. H. Forgason,
tobacco merchant, was born November 11, 1829.
He is one of thirteen children of Dixon and Hannah (Towson) Forgason.
The father, born in Virginia about 1795, came with his father to
Tennessee about 1810 and settled in Smith County, now Macon County.
He was for many years a respected class-leader in the Methodist Episcopal
Church. He died in 1861.
The mother was born near where her son now resides and died in September,
1876. Educated in Macon County, our
subject married, December 14, 1856, Amanda Rison.
Their ten children are Edgar B., Lula M. (deceased), Mary H. (now Mrs.
Wakefield), Jno. H., Cora M. (deceased), William J., Herbert, Myrtle A., Jas. A.
(deceased) and Ernest L. Reared
on a farm and thrown on his own resources at twenty-one, he followed various
occupations until the breaking out of the civil war, when he, in the fall of
1862, enlisted in Company D, Fifteenth Tennessee Cavalry, and served until he
was captured near Pomeroy, Ohio, taken to Camp Chase, then to Camp Douglass,
Chicago, where he remained until the close of the war.
He has been an able magistrate for many years.
He owns a farm of about seventy-five acres, six miles south of La
Fayette. He, his wife and eldest
daughter are members of the Missionary Baptist Church.
His grandfather Towson was a soldier of the Revolution and came from
Wales to Smith County about 1790.
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W. J. Gray,
clerk of the circuit court of Macon County, and son of William and Minerva T.
(White) Gray, was born in Jackson County in 1844, and is the fifth of seven
children, only two of whom are living. The
father was born in Jackson County in 1808, and was of Irish extraction.
He was married about 1829, and in 1851 removed to Macon County, and
settled three miles northwest of La Fayette, where he resumed his farming.
He died in 1867. He was one
of the county’s most thrifty and well-to-do farmers.
The mother was also a native of Jackson County; born in 1809 and died in
1862. She was member of the
Christian Church. Our subject’s
grandfather, William Gray, was a native of Ireland, and after reaching manhood,
and being married, immigrated to the United States, and located in Jackson
County, Tenn., where he remained until his death.
He was a farmer. Our subject
was educated in La Fayette, and in the common schools.
At the age of seventeen he entered the service in Company I, Ninth
Kentucky Infantry (Union Army), an was engaged in the principal battles of the
war. He was discharged in January,
1865, and returned home after nearly four years of gallant service.
In 1869 he married Miss Prudie A., born in 1851, and the daughter of John
W. and Polly Atkerson. To them were
born two children: Marietta and Joseph G. Soon
after his marriage Mr. Gray removed to the Cherokee Nation, but a few months
after went to Illinois, and from there to Arkansas, and then to Macon County,
Tenn., where he was soon after elected constable.
He served two terms, and in 1880 was elected sheriff of Macon County, and
re-elected in 1882. He then removed
to his farm, and in 1886 was elected to the office of circuit court clerk.
He has filled that office in a highly-creditable manner up to the
present. He has a good farm of 160
acres, well cultivated, and also has a house and lot in town; besides this he
has over 240 acres in two other tracts. He
is an ardent and active Republican in politics, and cast his first vote for Gen.
Grant in 1868. He and wife are
members of the General Baptist Church.
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T. J. Gregory,
county clerk of Macon County, and of the firm—the La Fayette Handle
Company—was born in Jackson County in 1851, the fourth of seven children, our
subject and a younger sister only, living.
His parents were W. T. and Sabrina (McDuffy) Gregory, the former born
about 1820 in Smith County, the son of Pitts Gregory.
The father W. T., chiefly self-educated, enabled himself to become a
teacher for several years. When
about twenty-one he married, and soon removed to Jackson County, and in 1851
removed to Macon County, and was engaged in farming, and afterward at La Fayette
in merchandising. For several years
constable, he was elected as sheriff, serving six years, after which he was
elected magistrate, and also engaged as a merchant.
He died in 1871, an able and well-informed man.
The mother, born in Smith County about 1825, died in 1876, and was a
member of the Christian Church. Educated
at La Fayette, our subject began for himself when nineteen years of age, as a
teacher, after which he was clerk for Marshall & Tuck, La Fayette, and soon
after began merchandising for himself until 1874.
He was then elected to his present office at the age of twenty-three,
serving ever since, being re-elected against a usual 200 majority in favor of
his political opponents. The war
and his father’s death left his mother and four sisters mainly dependent on
our subject’s own efforts; but besides caring for them until their death, he
has become a financial success. In
October, 1875, he married Letha, daughter of W. H. and Angeline Wright, of Macon
County. Their three children are
Maude Almer, William Taylor and Verner Odell.
Mrs. Gregory was born in 1854 in Macon County.
Besides his fine home, he owns 100 acres near town.
Politically, an ardent Democrat, his first vote was for Greeley.
He is a member of the F. & A. M., I. O. O. F., K. of H. and I. O. G.
T. orders. He and his wife are
members of the Christian Church.
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S. C. Harlin, a farmer
in the Ninth District, postoffice Salt Lick, was born in Macon County, November
25, 1843. He is the son of Isaac
and Nancy (Comer) Harlin, and the third of five children.
Isaac Harlin was born in Monroe County, Ky., and came to Smith (now
Macon) County in 1842, and died in Macon County in 1851.
He died when quite a young man, leaving a family to be cared for by his
wife. When S. C. Harlin grew to
manhood, he provided for his mother until his marriage in March 1869, to Miss
Phebe Depp, of Barren County, Ky. By this union seven children have been born:
Depp Lola, Isaac Clay, Sarah Lela, William Robert, John B., Phebe and Edward.
Mr. Harlin began life with $300 to $400, and is now worth about $5,000,
accumulating the most of it in the last twenty years. He owns a well improved
farm of 260 cares. He is a Master Mason. He was school commissioner for several
years, taking quite an interest in education. In politics he is a Democrat,
casting his first presidential ballot for Horatio Seymour. He and wife are loyal
members of the Missionary Baptist Church.
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Johnson, farmer and merchant, whose postoffice is Hillsdale, Macon
Co., Tenn., was born December 22, 1819, in Goose Creek, Smith Co., Tenn., what
is now Macon County. He is the
eighth of a family of nine children, born to John and Gracy Johnson; his
mother’s maiden name was Ellis; she was born in South Carolina during the
Revolutionary war and was thirty-one years of age when married.
The father was twenty-five years of age at that time.
He was a farmer and he and wife came to what is now Macon County about
the year 1800. They were of English
descent. William C. Johnson was
educated in the common schools of Macon County, and from the time of his
father’s death, which occurred when he was only fifteen years of age, he lived
with and helped to support his mother until he was twenty-three years of age.
At that time he married Miss Adaline Wright, December 22, 1842. To them
thirteen children were born: Leatha
S. (deceased); Sarah E., now Mrs. Johnston; John B.; Hannah J., now Mrs.
Sullivan; Andrew G., William E., Alexander N., Theodocia A., Mary H. and Martha
A. (twins, deceased), and twins who died in infancy, and Joseph J.
Mrs. Johnson died July 5, 1863; for the four succeeding years his
daughters kept house for him. He
then married his second wife, Nancy A. Sears, May 14, 1867, by which union three
children have been born; Paul, Lucy and Gracy.
He has been very successful in the management of his affairs.
He inherited a small tract of land, some money and a negro boy, and by
his perseverance and energy has accumulated quite a handsome competency.
He owns where he resides, 800 acres of fine broken land, located on the
Hartsville and Lafayette road, seven miles from Lafayette.
He was reared a Whig, but since the dissolution of that party has cast
his lot with the Democrats. He held
the office of justice of the peace for six years; has been a member of the
Missionary Baptist church forty-seven years; is deacon and has been for many
years; four of his children (three daughters and one son) belong to the same
church; one daughter is now in Kansas, the son in Texas.
He is a thorough and consistent Christian, and an earnest advocate of
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William G. Key,
M. D., a farmer and prominent citizen of the Eleventh District, was
born in Sumner County, Tenn., in 1834. He
is the son of James and Lucinda (Thurman) Key, and the second of eight children,
only two of whom are now living. His
father was of Scotch-English descent, and born in Sumner County about 1810.
He was a son of William Key, a native of North Carolina and an early
settler of Sumner County. James was
a successful farmer and useful citizen, and died in 1863.
The mother was also a native of Sumner County, dying at about the age of
fifty-four years, in about 1878. Dr.
Key was principally educated at Rural Academy.
In 1854 he began the study of medicine with Dr. James M. Head.
In 1855 he entered the medical department of Nashville University and
took one course of lectures. In 1856 he came to Macon County, locating on Long
Creek, three miles north of where he now resides, and began the practice of his
chosen profession. In 1857 he moved
to his present home, and has since practiced here with much success, being one
of the most successful physicians of Macon County.
He is the owner of 247 acres of land under a good state of improvement,
besides 50 acres in another tract, all of which he has accumulated by his own
management. He served his friends
and neighbors six years as magistrate, to the satisfaction of all.
In October, 1856, he married Miss Mahala M., daughter of Henderson and
Mary Holland, of Simpson County, Ky. By
this union four children were born, three now living, as follows:
Martha D., wife of John H. Rickman; James H. and Talmage.
Dr. Key is a Democrat, casting his first presidential vote for James
Buchanan in 1856. He and his wife
are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, while he has been a member
of the Masonic fraternity for twenty-nine years.
Mrs. Key was born in Macon County in 1836.
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M. L. Kirby, M.
D., and druggist, was born in Macon County in 1844, one of ten
children, seven living, of Jessie B. and Elizabeth S. (Young) Kirby.
The father, born in Jackson County, Tenn., in 1799, was a son of Pleasant
Kirby, a native of England, and who came to America when a boy, and served in
the war of 1812. He was a merchant.
Jesse, the father, was married in 1820, and soon removed to Macon County, where
he spent his life as a farmer, and died in 1850.
The mother was born in Virginia in 1802, and died in 1872.
She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Our subject is a self-educated man, and in 1863 enlisted in Company A,
Eighth Tennessee Mounted Infantry, Federal Army, and remained in active service
until the close of hostilities. He
then returned home, and in 1870 studied medicine under Dr. E. H. Bratton, of La
Fayette. In 1875 he graduated from
the medical department of Nashville University, since which he has built his
extensive practice in La Fayette, and is now one of the county’s most popular
physicians. Since 1881 he has been
examining surgeon for Tennessee and Kentucky.
He also has the only drug business in town.
In November, 1885, his entire business property, stock and building, were
destroyed by fire, with a loss of about $10,000.
A successful financier, he at once erected a new block and residence
combined, and is now established on a more extensive scale.
He owns also about $12,000 worth of Lane County (Kas.) real estate.
In January, 1867, he married Martha D., daughter of T. J. and Eliza A.
Wakefield. Four of their five children are living: Alice, Miriam, Alvis, Merlin
and Anna Manson. In 1882 and 1883
Dr. Kirby represented Macon and Clay Counties in the Legislature, and in 1886
refused the nomination. A Democrat
in politics, his first vote was for Gen. McClellan.
He is a member of the High Priesthood of the Masonic order, and of the I.
O. O. F. Lodge. Mrs. Kirby was born
in Macon County in 1847; is a member of the Christian Church.
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a farmer and lumber merchant in the Seventh District, is the son of Neal and
Elizabeth (Anderson) McKinnis, and the sixth of a family of seven children, and
was born July 29, 1843. Neal McKinnis was born April 1, 1803, in North Carolina.
He came with his father in company with Gen. Jackson, and settled first
at Fort Blount. His father, James
McKinnis, was born in Edinburg, Scotland, and when six years old came to North
Carolina. He, with five brothers,
served in the war of 1812. He was
also in the Indian war under Gen. Jackson in 1813-14, and in the war of 1836 in
Florida. He died April 24, 1868.
Mrs. McKinnis was born about 1816, and died October 18, 1877.
George McKinnis received most of his education while lying wounded in the
hospital during the late war. He
served in Company D, Ninth Kentucky Infantry.
He was elected first corporal, then first sergeant.
After he joined the Eighth Tennessee Regiment he was appointed adjutant,
which promotion was given him unsolicited—most excellent testimony as to his
efficiency as a soldier. He served
in all the principal engagements in which his regiment took part, except when
wounded and in the hospital. Mr.
McKinnis began life with only $250, but by good management and industry has made
himself and family quite comfortable. Through
the solicitation and influence of the leading men of Jackson County, he was
appointed sheriff by Gov. Brownlow at the organization of said county.
Among the officers of the newly organized county after the war he was
very influential. He was several
years United States storekeeper and gauger in the Fifth Revenue District.
His principal business successes have been in the lumber business and in
farming, paying the most attention to the former.
In politics he is a Republican. August
7, 1865, he married Miss Amanda J. Holland, by which union one child was born,
Mary (deceased). He served as
magistrate with much success in the district where he then resided.
He has been delegate four times to the State convention, and was
alternate to the Republican National Convention at Chicago in 1884.
Mr. McKinnis has two adopted children: Lena Josephine and Oliver Futt.
Himself and wife are worthy members of the Baptist Church.
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Mooningham, a farmer and prominent citizen of the First District, was
born in Smith County in 1844, and is the only child of John and Sarah W. (Rose)
Mooningham. His father was of
English descent and born in Smith County. He
was a farmer and son of Matthew Mooningham.
In 1843 John was married and in 1844 died, in the prime of life.
W. B. Mooningham’s mother was born in Smith County in 1821.
She is still living and a member of the Methodist Church, of which her
husband was also a member. W. B.
Mooningham was raised by his mother, his father dying when he was an infant.
He received his education at common schools and at La Fayette.
At the age of fifteen he moved to Macon County, but in five years
returned to his native county, and in nine years he again moved to Macon County
and located on the farm he now owns of 200 acres.
December 23, 1869, he married Mary B., daughter of William and Martha
Payne of Smith County. By this
union three children have been born: John W., George W. and Louisa J.
Mrs. Mooningham is a native of Smith County and is a devoted member of
the Missionary Baptist Church. In
politics Mr. Mooningham is an uncompromising Democrat; his first presidential
vote was cast for Horatio Seymour. He
is also a prominent member of La Fayette Lodge, No. 149, of the Masonic
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Dr. F. M. Puttie
was born in Madison County, Tenn., September 26, 1853.
He is the son of George M. and Nannie (Loveall) Puttie, and the third of
seven children. George Puttie was
born December 24, 1819. He is of
Dutch descent and a farmer by occupation. His
father came from North Carolina to Madison County, Tenn., in 1806.
Mrs. Puttie was born in 1822. Dr.
F. M. Puttie passed his youth without prominent event and attended the medical
department of the University of Tennessee, and graduated at the Ohio Medical
College, Cincinnati, in 1881. Since
that time he has been practicing his chosen profession.
He first practiced at Gainesboro, Tenn., but in 1882 he moved to his
present location. Although a young man and a perfect stranger when he first came
to this locality, he has built up a large practice, which is the best testimony
possible of his skill and of the confidence reposed in him by the public.
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I. L. Roark,
attorney at law and a citizen of La Fayette, was born in Smith (now Macon)
County in 1830. His parents were
William and Elizabeth Roark; his mother was Elizabeth Meador, a native of
Virginia; his father was a North Carolinian.
His grandfather, John Roark, emigrated from North Carolina to Smith
County. William Roark served as
magistrate a long time, and made farming his life-long pursuit, and died May 2,
1882. Elizabeth Roark was born in
Virginia in 1801, and died in 1855. I.
L. Roark was educated at the common country schools, and at the La Fayette
Academy and by close study and observation, not having any schooling until he
attained the age of nineteen years. He
is, truly, what is known as a self-made man.
In 1851 he began the study of law under Col. W. H. DeWitt.
He was licensed in 1853 and immediately began the practice of law at La
Fayette, where he has actively engaged in the practice ever since, competing
with some of the ablest lawyers of the State.
In 1860 he was placed upon the presidential electoral ticket for the
Fourth Congressional District, as elector for Stephen A. Douglas.
At his country’s call in 1861 he enlisted as a private in the
Confederate Army, Thirtieth Tennessee Volunteers, and was appointed
sergeant-major, and served with the regiment until the fall of Fort Donelson,
when the regiment was captured; but making his escape he went with the
retreating Confederate Army south, where he did active service as a skirmisher
and sharpshooter, under detail by the Confederate officers.
When Gen. George H. Morgan, in 1863, made a raid into the State of
Kentucky Mr. Roark was with him,
and while on detail with a scouting party was captured near Elizabethtown by the
Federal soldiers, and was charged of being a spy and tried, but was acquitted
and held as a prisoner of war. He
was taken to Camp Chase, Ohio, and afterward to Rock Island, Ill., where he
underwent all the privations and hardships of a military prison life, until the
winter of 1864, when he was paroled—as he says, turned out to die—his health
having failed and his physical system broken down; he returned home to find
himself reduced to abject poverty, his country devasted and property squandered.
He resumed his practice at the bar, and has thus continued since.
November 28, 1855, he married Miss Mary E., daughter of M. B. and
Laurinda Johnson. By this union
three daughters were born: Mary L., Meredith J. (wife of Jas. Key) and Sallie E.
Mr. Roark is an active Democrat, casting his first presidential vote for
Franklin Pierce in 1852; he is also a member of the Masonic fraternity; he is
next to the oldest practicing lawyer in Macon County.
He has been a close student since he commenced the study of law.
Mrs. Roark was born in Macon County in 1840 and is a member of the
Methodist Episcopal Church South. She
contributed largely, by instructing her husband, in his struggles for an
education. He served as a member of
the State Legislature in 1879.
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H. C. Smith,
physician and merchant in the Tenth District, was born March 10, 1845, in Smith
County, Tenn. He is the son of
William and Mary Smith, and the second of seven children.
William Smith was born in Virginia and came to Tennessee and settled in
Smith County in 1820. Mrs. Smith
was born in Tennessee. Dr. Smith
was educated mostly in Macon County, and received his medical education at
Bellevue Medical College, Nashville, and began the practice of medicine where he
is now located. In 1873 he married
Miss Eliza Morris, by which union two children have been born: Minnie Leota and
Frank Oscar. Dr. Smith began life
with $43 and a horse. Since his
marriage he has accumulated quite a fortune.
His prosperous business and extensive practice are the best testimony
possible as to the respect and confidence the people have for him.
In politics he is conservative, although throwing his support mostly to
the Republican party. Mrs. Smith is
a member of the Missionary Baptist Church.
The grandfather of Dr. Smith came to Smith (now Trousdale) County in
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Rev. J. L.
Talman, a minister of the gospel, farmer and magistrate in the Ninth
District, was born October 29, 1840, in Warren County, Tenn.
He is the only son of Jno. Armstrong and Lidy V. Talman.
His parents were married ten years and were then divorced, and Mr. Talman
took his mother’s maiden name. His
mother was born in Virginia in 1825, and came to Warren County, Tenn., in 1828.
Mr. Talman was educated in Monroe County, Ky.
He enlisted at the breaking out of the civil war in Company H, Fifth
Indiana Infantry, of which company he was second lieutenant.
He served during the entire war, his regiment operating mostly in
Virginia. He was mustered out
September, 1865. The severest
engagement in which he took part was the battle of Gettysburg, Penn., where he
was wounded. He was also at the
first battle of Bull Run. Mr.
Talman began life with nothing, and what he has now he accumulated by his own
tact and good management. He owns a
fine farm of 126 acres, on Long Fork Creek of Baron River.
He was elected magistrate three time, but accepting it only the last
time, which was August, 1886. Mr.
Talman’s grandmother was Gen. Harrison’s youngest half-sister.
There has not been a war since the establishment of the Government, but
that some of Mr. Talman’s ancestors took part.
He had two uncles who died in the Mexican war.
His oldest uncle was in the war of 1812, under Gen. Jackson.
Mr. Talman has all his life been a Republican, though reared a Democrat.
His first presidential vote was cast for Abraham Lincoln in 1864.
January 9, 1866, he married Elizabeth E. Morgan.
She was born October 16, 1848, and is a descendant of Col. Morgan of
Revolutionary war fame, he being her great-uncle.
Gen. Morgan, of the late war, was also a descendant of the same family.
To Mr. and Mrs. Talman two children were born:
Fennettia (now Mrs. East) and Nancy E. (deceased).
Mr. Talman and family are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, in
which he is a minister.
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Geo. L. Walton,
of Walton & Haley, merchants, was born near La Fayette in 1822, and is one
of nine children of Edward M. and Agnes (Turner) Walton.
The father, of English origin, was born in Virginia in 1797, a son of T.
Walton, native of England, who came when a boy to Virginia, and in 1807 located
in Smith County, Tenn., and in 1814 finally settled four miles northwest of La
Fayette, the birthplace of our subject. In
1818 the father, Edward, was married and spent the remainder of his life on the
above mentioned farm, and died in 1869. The
mother, born in Bedford County, Va., in 1795, died in 1874, a member of the
Christian Church. Our subject
remained at home until twenty-six years of age, received the most of his
education from his father, an intelligent and well informed man.
June 2, 1850, he married Maria, daughter of Jonas Griffith.
Their three children are Maria, wife of W. H. Carter; Rebecca M., wife of
Hon. J. S. Wooten and Laura, wife of Hon. A. R. Harlin.
Beginning life as clerk at La Fayette when twenty-six, two years later he
entered partnership with M. B. Johnson and J. C. Marshall with whom he remained
until 1859. An able man, he has
served as register of Macon County for eight years from 1850, after which he was
county clerk until 1874. After a
year as county assessor, he was elected county trustee in 1876, serving four
years. In 1884 he resumed
mercantile life, abandoned at the beginning of his county clerkship, with his
present partner, Capt. William Haley. Their
stock of about $4,500 is the most complete in La Fayette.
In politics he was a Whig, voting for Gen. Taylor, but since the war has
been a Republican. He is a
prominent Mason, and was formerly an Odd Fellow.
He and his wife are members of the Christian Church.
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Hon. Jesse West,
farmer and prominent citizen of La Fayette, Tenn., and son of Miles F. and Susan
(Payne) West, was born in Smith County in 1844, and is the second of three
children, all of whom are living. The
father is also a native of Smith County, born in 1819, and a son of Jesse West,
of Tennessee, who was a son of Miles West, a native of Virginia.
Miles F. West, our subject’s father, was twice married, his first wife
being the mother of our subject. She
was born in Smith County about 1817, and was married in 1841.
She died in 1856. In 1859
Miles F. married Miss Mary Denton, who bore him three children.
He is still living in the Sixth District of Macon County, and is a farmer
and Baptist minister by profession. He
removed to Macon County in 1855, and resumed his ministerial duties, which he
has followed for twenty-five years. Our
subject was reared at home and educated in the common schools.
At the early age of seventeen he enlisted in Company C, Twenty-eighth
Tennessee Infantry (Confederate Army), and took part in all the battles in which
his command engaged. He was wounded
at the battle of Peach Tree Creek, which rendered him ineffective for duty
several months. He returned home
and resumed his labors on the farm after four years of gallant service.
In April, 1868, he married Miss Sarah F., daughter of Robert and Mary
Hudleston of Smith County, and by her became the father of nine children—six
sons and three daughters: Mary Susan, Selden Lee, Perry Bunyan, Miles Robert,
Felix Jesse, Henry Ora, Merlin Aolis, Veva May and Verdie Clyde (twins).
After marriage Mr. West located in the Sixth District, where he remained
until 1873 as a tiller of the soil. He
then sold out and removed to Fayette, where he has since resided, being the
owner of 200 acres of good, productive land, on which is a valuable and
productive sulphur spring that is destined to make the place a famous health
resort. He was magistrate of the
Sixth District, but resigned to accept the position of trustee, to which he was
elected in 1880. He was twice re-elected, serving six years to the general
satisfaction of all. In 1886 he was
elected to represent Macon and Clay Counties in the State Legislature.
He is a life-long Democrat, and cast his first presidential vote for
Horatio Seymour in 1868. He and
wife are faithful and consistent members of the Primitive Baptist Church.
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V. M. Whitley,
attorney at law at La Fayette, was born in Macon County in 1855, and is a son of
Wiley A. Whitley and a grandson of Taylor Whitely, who was born May 8 1796, in
Nash County, N. C. The father
of our subject was of Anglo-Irish extraction, born February 2, 1829, in Smith
County, Tenn., and married Lucinda Chitwood, November 16, 1854.
She was of Anglo-German descent, born December 16, 1835, in Macon County,
and was a daughter of Charles Chitwood, who was born in what is now Macon
County, Tenn., March 10, 1806. When
Wyley was a young man he went to Macon County and settled in the Sixth District,
where he has since remained on a good farm.
He is a man of considerable influence and ability and is now serving his
second term as magistrate of his district.
During the late war he enlisted in Company D, Ninth Kentucky Infantry, as
first lieutenant, serving in that capacity until after the battle of Shiloh,
when he returned home on account of ill health.
Some time after he joined the Eight Tennessee as wagon master and
remained in service until the cessation of hostilities.
Both he and wife are respected and esteemed members of the Missionary
Baptist Church. Our subject was
raised under the parental roof and educated in Concord Academy, Clay County; Red
Springs, Bellwood Academy, and finished at Clementsville, in Clay County. He
spent several years of his earlier life as a teacher in Macon and Smith
Counties, where he gained considerable note as an educator.
In August, 1882, he was elected to the office of clerk of the circuit
court of Macon County, and held the position for a term of four years to the
general satisfaction of the public. He
refused to be re-elected, choosing rather to enter upon the duties of his chosen
profession, having received his license to practice law in 1886.
Judging from his past life he has a brilliant and prosperous future
before him. He is one of the
county’s promising young men, possessing rare abilities, keen judgment,
temperate habits and a genial social disposition.
Politically he has cast his lot with the Republican party and his first
presidential vote was for R. B. Hayes in 1876.
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Hon. J. T.
Wootten, lawyer, was born in Macon County in 1848, one of two
children of Sarah A. Wootten, born in Claiborne County, Tenn., in 1823. She came
to Macon County in 1843, where she has since resided.
She is a member of the Christian Church.
Her parents were Edward and Rosanna (Dean) Wootten, natives of North
Carolina, where they were reared and married in 1814.
They removed to East Tennessee, where the father died about 1833.
Removing to Illinois about 1851, the mother remained there until her
death. Edward’s (the
grandfather’s) parents, were William and Sallie (Lloyd) Wootten, native of
Wales and early settlers of Halifax County, N. C. From five to fourteen years of
age, our subject was apprenticed to H. S. Young, of Lafayette, and then was
dependent on his own resources. He,
at the early age of fifteen, enlisted in Company K, Thirty-seventh Kentucky
Mounted Infantry for one year, and served for eighteen months in Virginia in
active service and in many severe engagements.
He then re-enlisted in Company D, Eight Tennessee Mounted Infantry, and
continued until the close of the war. After
finishing his education in Spencer County he taught two years in Indiana and
then in Macon county, Tenn. For
four years after 1868 he was deputy county clerk.
January 1, 1871, he married Rebecca M., daughter of George L. and Mary G.
Walton. Their five children are
George Irvine, Gerda A., John E., Effie G. and an infant.
Mrs. Wootten was born in Macon County, in 1853, and is a member of the
Christian Church. From 1872 to 1876
Mr. Wootten served as county superintendent of public schools.
After several years in general trading, in 1880 he began the practice of
law, and is now one of the most promising and popular members of the Macon
County bar. In 1884 he was elected
to represent Macon and Clay Counties in the State Legislature, and in 1886 was a
candidate for the office of attorney-general, but his party was defeated,
although he received the largest Republican vote ever given in the district.
He is a progressive man, and has always been Republican in politics,
first voting for Gen. Grant. He is
a member of the I. O. O. F.
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