Goodspeed's History of Stewart County: Biographies
Benjamin F. Abernathy M. D.
Benjamin F. Abernathy M.D. practicing at the La Grange Iron Works, was born in Davidson County, 1849. both father and mother were born in this state and after marriage followed farming. Previous to that event he had been engaged in the mercantile business. In their family were five children-two boys and three girls. Both parents were active workers in the Methodist Episcopal Church. After a fairly long and useful life the father died at the age of fifty-two. The mother still lives, being fifty-seven. Benjamin inherits French blood from his paternal ancestry and English from his maternal. In boyhood Benjamin had good educational advantages. Having acted as shipping clerk in a warehouse for a short time, he stayed in a drug store with a view of studying medicine. In 1868 he began such study under J.L. & T. Trice and later entered the Louisville Medical College graduating from there in 1872. With the exception of some three years he has practiced in Stewart County ever since. In 1875 he and Ada M. Chilton celebrated their nuptial festivities. To this union one child was born. His first wife having died, he was married in 1878, to Mrs. Anna E. (Bradford) Gatlin. Both husband and wife are leading members in the Christian church. In politics he is a Democrat, as was his father. The Doctor owns a tract of land containing some 1300 acres, a large part of which he has made by trading. He is accounted a good doctor and has an extensive practice.
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Nathan C. Acree
Nathan C. Acree, a farmer of Stewart County, was born in 1831 of the marriage of Edward and Mary (Ross) Acree. The mother was born in this State but the father's nativity is unknown. Having reached maturity they were married and raised a family of eight children-six sons and two daughters. The father's chief occupation was tilling the soil, though in early life he had run on a flat-boat. His wife was a member of the Baptist Church from girlhood. The father was a just, quiet, peace abiding citizen, when at the high noon of manhood he was cut off by the reaper death. She was afterward married, her second husband being B. Jameson, who lived but a few years. She has reached the ripe age of seventy-four. Nathan's early advantages were such as were common to the farmer boys of those times and on reaching manhood he took charge of himself. Having sown and reaped a moderate crop of "wild oats" he was married in 1856 to Sarah J. Marberry by whom he had ten children, nine of whom are now living. Thereupon he settled down to farming and has become one of the first citizens of his community. He and his wife are both active members in the Baptist Church. When married he was $600 worse than nothing; now he owns 300 acres of good land and is considered a first-class farmer. He is a warm supporter of the Democratic party.
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John M. Allan
John M. Allan, one of the enterprising business men of Dover, is the son of Thomas and Ann (Mapledoram) Allan. His parents were both of foreign nativity, the father from Scotland and the mother from England. Soon after their marriage in Bristol they sailed for this country, lading at Norfolk, Va.; thence they moved to Sullivan County, N.Y. were they made their permanent home. By trade he was a ship-carpenter. Though he was not a professing Christian he had profound reverence for the Sabbath and its services. He still lives at a very old age. John is a native of Sullivan County, N.Y., born in 1841. Having received a common school education early life he learned the carpenter's trade, at which he worked till 1862, when he volunteered in Company A, One Hundred and Forty-third New York Infantry, to give service to the Union, and after serving nearly three years returned bearing an honorable discharge. Having become acquainted with Nannie Overstreet, their marital rites were appropriately solemnized in 1866. Both belong to the Christian Church. Politically considered he is a Democrat. His occupations have been various, such as merchandising, brick-making and carpentering. In 1878, he in partnership with T.R. Martin, opened a store and undertaker's room in Dover. Having dropped the former he conducts the latter in connection with a livery stable. Whatever Mr. Allan takes hold of is the better for his having handled it. Such men deserve the esteem of all.
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William J. Atkins
William J. Atkins, a farmer of Stewart County, is the son of George B. and Sarah (Matheny) Atkins. In 1804, the father came to this county from North Carolina, his native State, and settled at Bellwood. The mother was born in Tennessee. Having married they located in Giles County and in 1849 came to Stewart. In their family were ten children -seven girls and three boys. By occupation the father was a stone-cutter and farmer. At the age of fifty-three the father died; his widow lived to be seventy. William is a native of Giles County, born in 1831. Having received a common school education he prepared himself for the profession of teaching by his own efforts, and for eleven years followed the same in winter. In 1880 he took to wife Mrs. Vedora A. (Foster) Allen, by which he has but one child, Orman. For twenty years he has held the office of magistrate and for nearly four years has been chairman of the county court. He is now on his second term as public guardian and administrator for the county; besides, he was one of the commissioners who redistricted the county into school and civil districts. He and both his parents belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church. His wife is a Missionary Baptist. Politically he supports the principles of the Democratic party, as did his father. Mr. Atkins is accounted one of the good farmers and enterprising citizens of his county.
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James P. Barnes
James P. Barnes, a farmer of Stewart County, was born in this county in 1839, to the marriage of William and Sallie (Cook) Barnes, who were also natives of the same county. For a livelihood the father followed farming, being quite a thrifty one. In politics he was a Democrat. In the year 1853 the father was summoned to join the numberless dead, being just in the prime of life. The mother still lives at the ripe age of seventy-eight. James' ancestors on his father's side were probably of Irish descent, and on his mother's of Scotch and Dutch. James, the only living child, grew up on the farm, and had very limited advantages for schooling, having to walk some three miles to school. He stayed at home and worked for his mother till 1872, when there came a change in the tide of affairs, and as a result he was married to Rebecca A. Sargent by whom he had five children-three boys and two girls. He and his wife hold to the doctrines of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was one of the defenders of Fort Donelson who were taken to Chicago Ill. and finally exchanged at Vicksburg, being in Company H, of the Fiftieth Tennessee Infantry. At the battle of Chattanooga he received a severe wound, disabling him from further service. Since his return he has been successfully engaged in the noble pursuit of farming.
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Lewis G. Beasley
Lewis G. Beasley is the son of John H. and Aley (Burchain) Beasley. His father was born in Kentucky and his mother in this State. When young he came to this State, and after marriage settled in Humphreys County, where they raised a family of six children. The father was a blacksmith and farmer and was for many years a magistrate. Both were members of the church; he of the Baptist and she of the Methodist. During his entire life he was an industrious worker and a well-to-do farmer. Lewis' ancestors on his father's side were of English and German descent, on his mother's, Scotch. Of such parentage was born, in 1832 in Kentucky, the subject of our sketch. At the age of twenty-one years he began his successful career as a farmer, continuing until 1861, when he took contracts for furnishing charcoal to the iron-works. In the same year he volunteered to serve his country in Company D., Fiftieth Tennessee Infantry. Having been captured at Fort Donelson he was taken to Chicago, where he lay seven months. For nearly three years he defended his cause nobly. Having returned in 1864 he was married to Margaret Davis, by whom he had one child. Twice since he has been married. His second, Margaret Andrews, bore him two children. In 1877 he took to wife Sarah Humphreys, a school- teacher. The fruits of this union were four children. Mr. Beasley is a Democrat though formerly a Whig, as was also his father.
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Reuben Biggs, the son of Kedar and Mary (Morgan) Biggs is one of the first citizens and farmers of Stewart County. His father was a native of North Carolina and his mother of Kentucky; when young both came to Stewart County, where they were married, and spent the remainder of their lives in agricultural pursuits. He was not a man who aspired to places of public trust, but rather chose to perform faithfully the duties of a private citizen. Since the death of his wife the father has spent his time with his youngest son. He is now eighty-eight years old, and in a remarkable state of preservation, both of body and mind. It is said of him that he was never known to drink, swear, whistle or sing a tune. Reuben's ancestors on both sides are of English descendent. Of such ancestry was born in 1829, in this county the subject of this sketch. At the common schools he received a very limited education, and when twenty years of age, began his career as a farmer. Soon after he became foreman for Samuel Stacker, the famous iron manufacturer, with whom he remained nine years. By saving his earnings he was enabled to purchase a small farm. Since, by hard work and good management, he has increased it to nearly a thousand acres. He married Mary McGee who bore him nine children. His first wife having died he was married to Mrs. J.A. Coleman a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Of this marriage two children were born. He has been magistrate for some twenty years. Mr. Biggs is decidedly a successful farmer; having started with nothing he has arisen to be one of the heavy tax payers of Stewart County.
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William C. Biggs
William C. Biggs, born in Stewart County, 1828, is one of the eight children of Joel and Penelope (Jones) Biggs. When young both came from their native State, North Carolina, to this county, where they were married and spent their lives in agricultural pursuits. In politics he was a Democrat, and in religion he believed in the doctrines of the Christian Church. His wife was a Regular Baptist. He was called from the toils of earth while yet in the full vigor of manhood; she lived to be eighty-one. Our subject received a common school education while growing up, and at the age of seventeen, his father having died, took charge of the farm. He has been as a father to the family, consisting of mother and four sisters, three of whom were married, but , being unfortunate in losing their husbands, returned home, bringing five children with them. Through the kindness of William a home was provided for all. In 1861 he volunteered in Company F. of the Fiftieth Tennessee Infantry. Having been taken a prisoner at Fort Donelson, transferred to Chicago and finally exchanged at Vicksburg, he reentered the service, was again taken prisoner and held until the close of the war. For two years he was sheriff. Politically he is a Democrat.
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John Blane, one of the thrifty farmers of Stewart County, is one of the eight children of William and Ann (Faulkner) Blane. They were born, lived and died in Halifax County, Va. By occupation the father was a farmer, though in early life he received a permanent injury, which largely disabled him for life. He belonged to no church, but his wife was a Baptist. After the death of the father the mother married Joseph Boxley, who also passed away before her. She lived to the extreme age of ninety. The Blanes are of English descent, and possibly have a common ancestry with James G. Blaine. Our subject was born in 1805 in the same county as his parents. In boyhood days he had very meager opportunities for schooling. At the age of seventeen he began to battle his own way in the world. After working by he month for some time he purchased a small tract of land. In 1829 he married Sallie Tillotson, who bore him fourteen children. Having sold out in Virginia they came to this county in 1838. His first wife having died in 1881 he was married four years later to Elizabeth Bentley, who is a Baptist. His first wife belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church. Politically he is a Democrat; so was his father. Mr. Blane has been a financial success. He now owns 380 acres of land, and lost during the war some $40000.
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John H. Boswell
John H. Boswell, a farmer of Stewart County and son of John and Matilda (Boyd) Boswell, is a native of Stewart county, born in 1840. He grew upon n the farm, and was educated in eh common schools. When twenty years of age he commenced his career as a farmer, following that vocation continuously ever since. In 1863 he took to wife Mary A. Newberry. To them two children were born. Having received a small farm from his father, they located on it. Since, by trading in stock and farming, he has increased it to 350 acres. For two years Mr. Boswell has been road constable of his district, besides being road and school commissioner. In 1861 he volunteered in Company B of heavy artillery. He was one of the brave boys who defended Fort Henry, and after his capture there was taken to Alton, Ill. Returning in 1862, he resumed the peaceful pursuit of farming, in which he has been very successful. For over forty-five years he has been a resident of Stewart County and has gained a good share of confidence and respect of all who know him.
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Barnett H. Boswell
Barnett H. Boswell, a farmer of Stewart County, is the son of Hezekiah and Emeline (Boyd) Boswell. The father was a native of North Carolina, and when young came to this county, where he was united in wedlock with Miss Boyd. For a livelihood he followed tilling the soil being a well-to-do farmer. His wife was called from the toils of earth in 1851. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church. After her death the father married Elizabeth Joyce, who still lives. After a long and useful life the father died at the age of sixty-nine. Barnett's ancestors were Irish on both sides. He was born in 1848 in this county, grew up on the farm, and had the advantages of the common schools. At the age of eighteen he went on the river to learn to pilot a steamboat. At the end of nine months he was licensed to run a boat, but was called home by the sickness of his father. Thereupon he took to farming. He is the father of five children by Amanda Bradley, to whom he was married in 1867. In 1885 his wife laid down the burden of life for a home where no burdens are to be borne. Since then he has kept house with the assistance of his children. Mr. Boswell has filled the office of constable for two years. Politically he is a staunch Democrat. Besides farming he has quite an extensive business in shipping logs. He is a good farmer and an energetic business man.
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George W. Boswell M.D.
George W. Boswell M. D. was one of the eight children of John and Matilda (Boyd) Boswell. Both are natives of this state, the father of Sumner and the mother of Stewart County. After marriage they located on the farm and spent the rest of their days in agricultural pursuits. In religious faith they were Methodists. He filled no public places, but lived a quiet, unpretentious life. The mother died in 1869 at the age of fifty-six. the father lived to be seventy-two, dying in 1874. The Doctor was born in Stewart County in 1835. He grew upon the farm and acquired a very limited education. At the age of twenty-one he started out for himself, and after studying medicine privately for a time his neighbors began to send for him. His success and ability were readily appreciated, and as a result he grew into an extensive practice. To Catherine Campbell he was married in 1861. Six children are now living as the fruits of this union; one died. Mr. Boswell is a member of the Christian Union Church, his wife of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In connection with his practice the Doctor runs a farm. Dr. Boswell has now practiced his profession for twenty-four years in this county and his extensive practice and financial advancement speak for his ability and popularity.
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Edward T. Bogard
Edward T. Bogard, the leading tobacconist of Stewart County, is one of the ten children born to the marriage of Charles and Mary J. (Chism) Bogard. His parents were both born in this state and soon after marriage located in Montgomery County, where they lived till 1821, when they moved to this county, and here spent the remainder of their lives in agricultural pursuits; both lived to be a good old age. Edward, the subject of this sketch, was born in 1823, in Montgomery County. In early life he was educated in the old-time schools, and on reaching manhood was chosen constable. After serving ten years he acted as sheriff some six years. In 1862 he commenced the tobacco business on a small scale, and has since increased his trade till he handles more tobacco than any other man in the county. His marriage to Elmyra Travis was celebrated in 1848. To them two children were born. Mrs. Bogard is a Baptist in faith. Politically Mr. Bogard is a Democrat, as was also his father. He has been one of the most successful business men in the community. Having lost one fortune during the war he has since arisen to be one of the heaviest tax payers in his county.
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Emanuel J. Boyd
Emanuel J. Boyd, one of the prominent farmers of Stewart County, was born in 1821 to George and Mary (James) Boyd. The father was a native of Virginia, and when young moved to Stewart County. The mother was born in North Carolina. In early life she too came to Stewart County. Away from the noise and bustle of the city they enjoyed the fresh air and fruits of the farm. The father served under Jackson in the war of 1812. He was a moral man, but not a church member, whereas his wife belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics he was a Whig. He lived to the ripe age of seventy-nine; she reached sixty-eight. Emanuel spent his boyhood days at home, but when ripening into manhood he left the farm for the river, and after flat-boating a while became manager in a department of the iron works. Believing the farmer leads the most independent and happy life he turned his attention in that direction. Having married Anna C. Gray in 1851, their home was made happy by the firth of three children, all girls. Mrs. Boyd holds to the faith of the Christian Church. Mrs. Boyd is now a Democrat, though formerly a Whig. He has one of the best farms in the county. The house in which he lives was an Indian fort built in 1810. Mr. Boyd's success as a farmer proves that the statement " a man can make nothing on a farm" is wholly untrue; having started with comparatively nothing he has arisen to the ownership of some 1800 acres of land.
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William C. Bradford
William C. Bradford the son of William W. and Mary (Dunbar) Bradford is one of the prominent citizens of Stewart County. Both parents were born here, and after marriage located on the farm. In addition to that pursuit the father taught school and was road constable for some time. In the early budding of manhood he was cut off from among the living, being but twenty-six years old. His widow then married Peter F. Gray, who was killed in Dover. She still lives, at the age of seventy-six. William, the subject of this sketch, was born in Stewart County in 1831. After attending the common schools he went to Dover Academy, and then sold goods in the store of the Cumberland Iron Works Company. Thereupon he entered Cumberland University. Having gone there a short time he returned to follow the profession of teaching. In 1855 he celebrated the festivities attending his marriage to Georgia A. Dunbar. this marriage has been blessed with nine children. After marriage he turned his attention to farming in which he has been quite successful. For sixteen years he has been a magistrate in his district and has three times held the position of chairman of the county court. Politically he is a Democrat and both he and wife are active workers in both Sunday school and church, holding to the doctrines of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
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Wesley Brandon M. D.
Wesley Brandon, M.D. of Stewart County, was born in this county in 1817 to the union of Christopher and Polly (Skinner) Brandon. His early education was limited to the common schools, and at the age of nineteen he wedded Harriet Wallace, by whom he had nine children, six of whom are still living. Soon after marriage he settled on the farm, and about 1843 commenced the study of medicine. He would do a day's work in the field and read medical works till late at night; so poor was he that he could not afford a light but had to study by fire light. Failing health caused him to accept the position of constable, and afterward collector, holding both some nine years. Since, he has been actively engaged in the practice of his chosen profession, and in connection with it carries on a farm. His first wife having died in 1878, he, five years later, wedded Nancy J. Shelton, whose maiden name was Luten and who had two children by her first husband. Mr. Brandon is a consistent member of the Free-will Baptist Church. In politics he is a Democrat. In 1871 he graduated from the medical department of the Nashville University. Two of his sons, Finis and Wilkins T. are graduates from Vanderbilt University and practicing physicians. Another of the boys, Wesley C., is a Methodist minister.
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Col. Nathan Brandon
Col. Nathan Brandon, one of the early settlers of Stewart County, was born in 1820 to the marriage of Christopher and Polly (Skinner) Brandon. When young the parents came from North Carolina, their native state, to this county. By occupation the father was a farmer and in connection with that calling marketed grain, stock, etc., at New Orleans, twice making the return trip home on foot. For some years he was magistrate, being a man of irreproachable character. After the death of his first wife he was three times married. At an advanced old age he was called from among the living in 1`883. Nathan ate, drank, slept, plowed corn and went tot the old-fashioned school now and then a day, just like the other boys of his neighborhood, but on reaching manhood he did not do like the rest. Conscious that he could scarcely read of write his own name he educated himself by studying late at night. For eleven years he followed the mercantile business at Tobacco Port. Having studied law t leisure hours, he practiced his profession for many years, being one of the first criminal lawyers of his county. When the war broke out he raised a company, was chosen major and promoted to lieutenant-colonel. Being home on a leave of absence during he battle of Fort Donelson, he took command and was seven times wounded, his horse being killed under him. Some days later he was taken prisoner and paroled. In 1866 he took his seat as representative from Stewart County in the State Legislature, and served three terms. For an equal period he held the honorable position of State senator. When a constitutional convention was called, Col. Brandon was the man best suited to represent the people of his section in that body. He has been three times married; his first wife Sarah J. Gatlin, bore him three children; his second, Minerva J. Morris, gave birth to seven. In 1880 he was united with his present wife, Josephine Davis. Having worn himself out at the practice of law and in public life he retired to his farm in 1882, casting his legal mantle on his fourth son, Christopher M. The Colonel is a warm Democrat and an active member in the Christian Church. He is an example of what a young man of determination can do. Having started in the world a poor boy and uneducated, he has arisen to wealth and influence by the mere dint of persistent effort.
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William P. Bruton
William P. Bruton, the druggist of Dover is the only child of William M. and Emaline (Skinner) Bruton. The father's native state was Mississippi, but when a mere boy he went with his parents to Alabama, and afterward moved to Stewart County and married Miss Skinner, a native of that county. Soon after marriage they located on the farm and spent the remainder of their days in agricultural pursuits. In 1860 the mother was summoned to join the number less dead and some two years later the father married Mrs. Bertha Raworth. He belonged to the Christian Church and was a Democrat. His second wife was a communicant of the same church. he still lives at the age of seventy-three. William claims Irish descent from his father's side. William the subject of this sketch, was born in 1835 in Stewart County. He was educated on the farm and in the country schools. At the age of twenty he commenced clerking for Skinner & Scarborough, and after six months' experience became a partner of the latter. Later he engaged in the dry goods business with Le Master, continuing till the war. Since that he has done an active business in the drug line. He and Harriet A. Le Master solemnized their nuptial rites in 1859. Two children were born of this union. Mrs. Bruton is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. For twelve years successively he has held the office of county ranger, and since 1880 has been postmaster of Dover, filling the position very acceptably. Mr. Bruton has been in business at Dover for twenty-six years, and gained good financial footing.
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Andrew J. Bumpus
Andrew J. Bumpus, the proprietor of Bumpus' Mills, is the son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Albryghte) Bumpus. She was married previous to her union with Mr. Bumpus, her first husband's name being Thomas Smith. The father's ancestors came from North Carolina, the mother's from Ohio. By her first marriage the mother had one child and by her second two. The father was a blacksmith and a farmer. When in the full boom of life both were cut off by the frost of death. Andrew inherits Irish blood from his father's side and German from his mother's. Our subject was born in Montgomery County, 1834, was raised on the farm and had the advantages of a common school education. At the age of sixteen he began for himself, working on the farm and at all kinds of mechanical work. Having reached the age of eighteen he was married to Elizabeth Watts, by whom he had nine children, of whom eight are living. Both he and his wife are active members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and he is a Democrat as was his father. For eleven years he has been postmaster at Bumpus Mills. Mr. Bumpus has been financially very successful; having started on a capital of about $700 he has become possessed of some 600 acres of land and a good mill and is considered one of the first business men in the county.
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