HOUSE, 34th (Confederate) General Assembly, 1861-63; representing Montgomery County; classified as of Confederate Party although he had opposed secession earlier. Born near Elkton, Todd County, KY, Feb 28, 1820; names of parents and extent of schooling not determined. Married at Clarksville, Montgomery County, Nov 22, 1843, to Sarah A. Bailey, daughter of James and Lucinda (Brown) Bailey of Wilkinson County, MS; children – Mary, Sallie, James, David Newton, Jr., Clara, Ellen, and two whose names are not found. Because of father's death subject began working at early age; at fourteen became clerk in dry goods store at Elkton; took similar job at Nashville, Davidson County, 1838; entered dry goods business at Clarksville, 1842, as junior partner in firm of Hart and Kennedy; withdrew from firm after eight years because of poor health; elected, 1844, a director in Clarksville branch, Bank of Tennessee; elected president 1845 and continued for six years; cashier of that bank, 1851-54; in latter years helped organize Northern Bank of Tennessee; made president, holding that position for forty-five years, until retirement "by reason of advancing years"; agent for insurance companies; longtime president Clarksville Board of Underwriters; director and treasurer Clarksville Gas Co.; founder, secretary, and treasurer Clarksville Gas Co.; founder, secretary, and treasurer Greenwood Cemetery Co.; a trustee of Tennessee Orphans Society, 1867; elected president Memphis, Clarksville, and Louisville railroad, 1868, but declined to serve; president, 1882, Mobile, Clarksville and Evansville Railroad; trustee of Indiana, Alabama, and Texas Railroad; one of incorporators of Greenwood Cemetery Company, 1869. Physically unfit for military duty, he served with Treasury Department of Confederate States government during Civil War; his duties kept him within Confederate lines as Federal army advanced, so he was in lower South during much of the War; in the TN Archives are a number of letters written to him during the War by his wife, who continued living in Montgomery County. Represented Montgomery County in state's Constitutional Convention of 1870; member Democratic State Executive Committee 1876. Member and for forty-five years a ruling elder in Presbyterian Church; commissioner to General Assembly of that church 1868, 1874, 1886; superintendent Sunday School twenty years; president Montgomery County Bible Society many years. Was largely instrumental in causing Synod of Tennessee to sponsor Stewart College, Clarksville, later Southwestern Presbyterian University, still later Southwestern-at-Memphis; served as a director of Stewart College and S.P.U. until his death. Died at Clarksville Apr 23, 1904; buried in Greenwood Cemetery.
Sources: Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle, June 26, 1899; Apr 23, 27, 1904; Titus, Picturesque Clarksville, 236-39; Montgomery County Tombstone Records; Beach, Along the Warioto, 128, 129, 131, 183, 226, 230, 232, 246.
Biographies submitted by Jill Hastings-Johnson, Montgomery County Archivist