1  Born in Fairfax Co., VA where he was educated.
2.  Moved as young man to fashionable Bourbon Co. KY where he met and married Anna Bowie of Maryland ancestry (said to have been related to James Bowie, the inventor of Bowie knife).
3.  In Bourbon Co, Sears taught in private school and studied law.
4.  A non-church goer, he decided on his own. to read the bible.
5.  He cared not for any denomination, detesting Baptists most of all.
6.  Guess what. He became a Baptist minister, ordained while in Bourbon Co. A brilliant man, he traveled about delivering thought-provoking sermons with spellbinding zeal.
7.   Louisville’s First Baptist Church “called” him where he stayed for 7 years until Hopkinsville Baptist Church called him where he held-forth 12 years. Figured largely in est. Bethel Female College
8.   Along came the Civil War and because his sermons were so forceful and his sympathies so southern, Federal authorities occupying Hoptown ran him out of town.
9.   He went south to Mississippi and Alabama where he ministered to southern troops..
10. After 2 yrs. he desired to see Anna, his wife (She was almost 8 yrs older than Dr. Sears...a romantic union reminiscent of Elizabeth Barret and Robert Browning).
11. Anna came to C’ville to her friend’s home - Mrs. Edw. Branch Haskins, Nannie’s mother - where Dr. Edw Haskins secured a pass for her through Col. Sanders Bruce, Federal Commander of occupied C’ville.
12. Dr. Sears awaited Anna on the other side of the Cumberland at TN Iron Works.
13. When Anna boarded the ferry with all her bundles of clothing for Dr. Sears, she was halted by Federal soldiers (even with iher pass) and told roughly she was under inspection. Hugh Dunlop, local tobacconist, prominently known, intervened, saying if  “she"  (Mr. Dunlop did not know Mrs. Sears at that time) were not allowed to pass, then he would debark with her. The soldiers allowed her to pass unsearched.
14. After the war, Dr. Sears was “called” to C’viile’s Baptist Church which had suspended services during war years.
15. Immediately with 25 members, Dr. Sears commenced a building program, moving from the s’east corner of present courthouse lawn to 5th & Madison. The 1869 church was finally completely finished in 1891; when Dr. Sears was inspecting the belfry he fell. Never recovering, he died a short time later. He was 87 yrs. old and had been at First Baptist for 25 years.

Information used on the Greenwood Historic Tour of 2001.  Site location information may be found on the Greenwood Cemetery site.

Submitted by Randall Rubel  e-mail:

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