Fentress, James  (1763 1843)

HOUSE, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th General Assemblies, 1809-25; represented Montgomery, Humphreys, and Stewart counties in 9th; Montgomery County alone 10th-15th inclusive. Speaker of house 11th, 13th, 14th, and 15th sessions 1815-17, 1819-25. Born in Hanover County, NC, Feb 16, 1763; son of James Fentress. Schooling described as "quite limited". Came from North Carolina, 1798; settled on Yellow Creek, Montgomery County, to engage in farming. First married to Barbara Wells; their children, born in North Carolina, were William, Absolom, Douglas, a daughter whose name was not found; David, born in Tennessee; first wife died in 1804; second marriage in 1810 to Anna Read; children John, Wiley Blount, and a daughter, name not indicated; date and exact place of neither marriage found. Chairman Montgomery County Court 1808; one of commissioners to develop proposed town of New York, Montgomery County, 1818; named one of commissioners to select county seats for Haywood, Carroll, Gibson, and Weakley counties; Fentress County and its seat of government, Jamestown, named in his honor, 1823; presidential elector, 1836, on Democratic ticket of Martin Van Buren and Richard M. Johnson. Died at Sailor's Rest, Montgomery County, June 20, 1843; buried at that place.

Sources: American Historical Society, American Families, Vol 28, pp 41-43; Ray, Tennessee Cousins, 726, 743, 768; Montgomery County Will Book; Beach, Along the Warioto, 75. 85.

Biographies submitted by Jill Hastings-Johnson, Montgomery County Archivist

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