Goodspeed's History of Stewart County: Biographies


Published 1886

Lionel Desmond Hargis Lewis Herndon Lewis T. Hewell
Henry C. Hutchison David M. Jones Samuel R. Killebrew
Q. L. Kingins William C. Lewis Maj. Thomas W. Lewis
William T. Lewis Thomas W. Lewis Jr. Henry H. McGee
D. J. McCann Rev. Daniel C. McGregor Wilkes W. Miller
Nimrod Murphy

Lionel Desmond Hargis

Lionel Desmond Hargis was born in Hillsboro, Orange Co., N. C., November 17, 1810, being the son of Dennis and Drusilla A. (Shaw) Hargis. Dennis was a native of North Carolina and a colonel of militia in that State. Drusilla was born in Maryland in 1787. Our subject came to Tennessee in 1827 and settled in White County, and from there moved to Hickman County; thence to Smith County, where he was elected magistrate and from that county came to Stewart in February, 1844. On December 26, 1830, he was united in marriage to M. A. Hollifed, daughter of Joseph and Nancy (Thompson) Hollifec. To them were born six sons and six daughters: Harrison Lafayette, and Nancy Emiline (twins) born September 7, 1831; Lafayette, was killed in Confederate service, near Milton, Tenn., March 20, 1863; Neal Perry, born December 11, 1833; Jackson Washington, born February 29, 1836; Drusilla Ann born May 30, 1838, and died August 20, 1852; Angerona Pandora, born June 3, 1840, died October 10, 1845; Lionel Desmond, born May 4, 1844, died September 18, 1870; Mary Eglantine, born October 30, 1846; Martha Saline, born June 10, 1849; Henry Clay, born October 15, 1851; Vesta Cardua, born April 22, 1854, died September 13, 1859; Desmond, born August 11, 1856. His wife was a member of the Missionary Baptist Church and died July 24, 1883. Our subject is a magistrate and has been a member of the County Court of Stewart County for forty consecutive years. He is an upright citizen of sterling character and occupies a high position in the estimation of his friends and neighbors. Politically he is an Democrat, though previous to the war was a Whig. In his younger days he was a school-teacher and in after years a surveyor, and at the present is a successful farmer. He is a member of the Christian Church, also of the Masonic Order.

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Lewis Herndon

Lewis Herndon, a farmer of Stewart County, was born to the marriage of Phillip and Sarah (Hitchcock) Herndon, who were natives of Tennessee. The father made farming his chief occupation, though he worked considerably at blacksmithing. After making several moves he settled in Stewart County in 1833; and there spent the remainder of his days. For a number of years he held the position of magistrate. His wife was a Baptist. Neither lived to be old. The subject of this sketch is a native of Humphreys County, born in 1824. He was raised on the farm and educated in the country. Mr. Herndon, when reaching nineteen years of age, married Mary Futrel, by whom he had eleven children. Mr. Herndon holds to the doctrines of the Presbyterian Church, his wife to those of the Baptist. He, like his father, is a Democrat. Both he and his father volunteered to serve in the Mexican war, but were never called out. Mr. Herndon began his career as a farmer by renting, but has risen to the ownership of some 400 acres. For twenty years he has been magistrate, filling that office ably. He has been a resident of Stewart County for fifty-three years and is known to be an industrious, thrifty farmer.


Lewis T. Hewell

Lewis T. Hewell, a farmer of Stewart County, was born in this country in 1842. he is one of the seven children of Joseph and Susan C. (Hester) Hewell, who were natives of Virginia, and when young, came to this State. After marriage they lived respectively in Montgomery County, in Christian County, Ky., and about 1838 came to this county. The father, a farmer and a Whig, lived to the ripe age of seventy-three; the mother died at seventy-seven. Lewis grew upon the farm and had very meager chances to obtain an education. At the age of eighteen, his parents having become old and infirm, he took charge of the farm and cared for the old people in their declining years. He wedded Ann Collins, daughter of Daniel Collins, who is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as well as Mr. Hewell. Soon after their marriage they settled on the farm where they now live. In 1861 he volunteered to fight for his country in Company C, of the Fiftieth Tennessee Infantry. In a short time his brother took his place, allowing him to go home to care for his aged parents. He has filled the positions of constable and deputy sheriff, and is recognized as one of the good citizens of Stewart County.

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Henry C. Hutchison

Henry C. Hutchison, one of the good farmers of Stewart County, is the son of William F., and Mary C. (Dawson) Hutchison. His parents were born, respectively, in Tennessee and Kentucky. The father was a Cumberland Presbyterian minister, and in his circuit met Miss Dawson who was a member of his church. After marriage they located in Trigg County, Kentucky, whre the father also ran a small far,m. In their family were ten children-eight sons and two daughters. In 1848 they moved to Illinois, where they lived to see over three score years. Grandmother Dawson was a cousin to Henry Clay, hence the C, in so many of their names. Our subject is a native of Trigg County,born in 1827. In boyhood he received almost no schooling, and at the age of sixteen began to learn the carpenter's trade. After serving an apprenticeship of three years and working at his trade for some time, he purchased a tan-yard on the Tennessee, and ran that until the breaking out of the war. In 1866 he purchased the farm where he now lives, and turned his attention to that calling. He wedded, in 1850, Elizabeth Jones, who bore his ten children. he and his wife are both Cumberland Presbyterians. Politically he, like is father, is a Democrat. Mr. Hutchison is a stirring farmer, owning 410 acres of good land, though he began very poor.

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David M. Jones

David M. Jones, one of the rising young farmers of Stewart County, first took up the burden of life in the year 1850. His parents were natives of North Carolina, and when young they came with their parents to this State, and located in Stewart County where their vows of wedlock were solemnized. Soon after marriage they located on the farm, and spent the rest of life tilling the soil. Though a moral man he never united with any church; his wife is a Free-Will Baptist. In politics he was an old-time Democrat. The frosts of seventy-two winters having fallen on his head he was called away from the toils of earth. After his death the mother lived a widow, comforted in her old age by her children. David took charge of the home place, and has run it very successfully ever since. In 1885 he married Exulia Bignolle. Mr. Jones supports the Democratic ticket. As a farmer he promises to equal his father.

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Samuel R. Killebrew

Samuel R. Killebrew, a farmer of Stewart County, is one of the eleven children born to the marriage of Josiah and Virginia (Garrett) Killebrew. His father was a native of Montgomery County, and the mother of Virginia. When young she came to this state and after marriage they settled on a farm in Montgomery County where they lived till 1832, when they moved to this county. In their family were eleven children, six of whom lived to be grown. He and his wife were both members of the Missionary Baptist Church. The mother died at the age of thirty-seven, and her husband lived to be sixty-one. Samuel's forefathers came from Scotland. He was born in Montgomery County in 1827, and educated in the country schools. Having reached manhood he commenced working on the farm and has since followed that calling. He and Mary Cayce celebrated their marriage with appropriate ceremonies in 1853. Twelve children are the result of this union, of whom eight are still living. Both husband and wife are members of the Christian Church. Like his father he is a strong Democrat. Mr. Killebrew has been quite successful in business; having started with comparatively nothing he has arisen to the ownership of a good farm.

Q. L. Kingins

Q. L. Kingins, one of the leading merchants of Tobacco Port, is one of the ten children born to th4e marriage of John and Martha (Manning) Kingins. Their native state was North Carolina and when young moved to this county where they were married. As an occupation the father chose farming. In politics he was a Democrat. His wife held to the faith of the Methodist Church. He was an upright citizen, though not a member of church. He lived to be fifty-eight years old and his widow eighty-six. Mr. Kingins' paternal ancestors were Irish; his maternal English. Of such ancestry was born, in Stewart County, 1834, the subject of this sketch. Having received a common education, on reaching manhood, he clerked some three years and then, in 1866 opened a grocery store in Tobacco Port where he has since done a good business. In connection with his store Mr. Kingins carries on farming on a small scale. It has pleased him to live in single blessedness. Mr. Kingins is a good citizen, a warm Democrat and a thrifty businessman.

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William C. Lewis

William C. Lewis, one of the prominent farmers of Stewart County, and a native citizen was born in 1817. His father and mother were Virginians and after the vows of wedlock had been performed they came to Stewart in 1802. So plentiful were the deer at that time that the father would shoot them by torch-light. During his entire life he was an industrious energetic farmer. He was captain under Jackson in the battle of New Orleans. Both were called from the toils of life at a comparatively early period in life, he being about forty, she fifty-four. In boyhood William received very limited education owing to a lack of qualified teachers. With his mother he lived till her death and then, having hired his part of the homestead, began his career as a farmer. He was married in 1846 to Missouri Shaw, by whom he had two children. His first wife having died he took to wife in 1854 Samantha Tomlinson. Seven children blessed this union. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1855 he moved to the farm where he now lives, being a fine one situated on the beautiful banks of the winding Cumberland. He has grown old in the art of farming, and has also grown wealthy. He is one among the old and respected citizens of the county.

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Maj. Thomas W. Lewis

Maj. Thomas W. Lewis, one of the most extensive farmers of Stewart County, is one of the eight children born to the marriage of Thomas W. and Sophronia (Nolen) Lewis. The father was a native of this county and his wife of Montgomery, where they were united in the sacred bonds of matrimony. Soon after their marriage they settled on their farm opposite Cumberland City, the father becoming one of the largest farmers of his community. Both parents were zealous workers in the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which the father was a class-leader for some fifteen years. In the full bloom of manhood he was cut down by the reaper death, being only thirty-seven. After his death the mother remained in mournful widowhood till sixty-three yearws of age, when she too crossed the dark river. Grandfather Lewis settled in this county about 1800, and when the stirring events of the war of 1812 came on he went to New Orleans as a lieutenant, and in the heat of battle sprang upon the breastworks, waved his hat, blew his horn and hallooed to the Tennessee boys to give it to them. For his courageous conduct Jackson promoted him to the captaincy of a company. The Major's ancestors on both sides were of English and Irish descent. Of such ancestry born, in 1840, the subject of this sketch. He grew up on the farm and received an academic education. At the age of twenty he volunteered to serve his country as a private in Company B, of the Fourteenth Tennessee Infantry, C. S. A. After three months he was promoted to second lieutenant. In July, 1862, he resigned his position on account of failing health. Not content to remain at home he raised a company of cavalry, and as their captain led them to the front, and his company became Company C, Second Kentucky Cavalry, under Gen. Forrest. When he started there were sixty-five men in his company, and at the end of the year forty-three were killed or disabled. In 1863 he was commissioned major of his regiment, and held that position till the surrender at Washington, Ga. During the war he got in many close places but was never disabled. Having returned he was married in 1865 to Alice Thomas. The fruits of this union are two children, only one of whom is now living. His first wife having died he wedded, in 1874, Mrs. Eliza W. (Dickson) West, by whom he had seven children, four of whom are livng. He and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1884 when the people of Stewart County were casting about for a man of ability to represent them in the lower house of the State Legislature none was found more fitting for that honor than Maj. Lewis who still holds that position. Mr. Lewis owns some 1500 acres of good land, and an interest in a store at Sailor's Rest, nearly all of which has been accumulated since the war. He, like his father, in politics is a thorough-going Democrat.

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Thomas W. Lewis Jr.

Thomas W. Lewis Jr., is one of the rising young farmers of Stewart County. He is a native of this county, as were also his parents, who made this county their home throughout life, the father too being a farmer, and one of the most extensive ones of his section. The mother belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church. For some twelve years he held the office of magistrate. Neither lived to be aged, the father only reaching fifty-seven and the mother fifty-five. Thomas' ancestors, on his father's side, were of English and Irish descent, and on his mother's of Welsh. The immediate subject of our sketch was born in 1852. He spent his boyhood days as other farmer boys, and at the age of twenty began to make his way in the world, farming on the place where he now lives. The marital rejoicings were participated in by himself and Sallie A. Parchman, by whom he had four chldren. Both husband and wife are leading members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Lewis is a reliable Democrat as was also his father. Mr. Lewis is one of the most successful as well as one of the largest farmers in his part of the county, having nearly 1,800 acres of land, and of the best quality.

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William T. Lewis

William T. Lewis, one of the leading farmers of Stewart County, and the son of Thomas and Sophronia (Nolen) Lewis was born in this county, raised on the farm and educated in the country schools. At the age of thirteen he went to the army, not as a soldier but in orger to be with his brothers. During the entire war he plied back and forth from and to the army, and at one time was taken to Dover to be compelled to take the oath of allegience. When brought face to face with Col. Smith he said he would take the oath if he must, but would not act it out. Thereupon the Colonel, pleased with his resoluteness, presented him a pistol and told him if any one bothered him again to use it. After the war he ran on the railroad, stood in a a store, and finally took charge of the farm where he now lives. In 1876 he and Ollie Nolen celebrated their wedding festivities. Of this union four chldren were born. Mr. Lewis has 1600 acres of land, the home farm lying on the Cumberland River, furnished with a good house situated on an elevation just across from Cumberland City. In addition to being a successful farmer he trades extensively in stock. Mr. Lewis is one of Stewart County's heaviest tax payers, and one of its most substantial Democrats.

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Henry H. McGee

Henry H. McGee, one of the prominent farmers of Stewart County, is the son of Thomas and Rebecca (Anderson) McGee. The father was born in this state and the mother in South Carolina. When a mere child she came to this county where they were married and had eight children, five of whom reached years of maturity. Both parents were believers in the doctrines of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They are numbered among the early settlers of Stewart County. During his entire life he was a wide-awake farmer. The mother died at the age of sixty-seven; he still lives, being eighty-three. Henry inherits a vein of Irish blood from his paternal ancestry. Henry first beheld the light of day in the year 1827, bieng a native of this county. In boyhood he had almost no educational advantages, not attending school more than twenty days each year. At the age of twenty-one he began for himself. By leasing land and chopping cord-wood he made enough to purchase seventy acres. Since, by hard work and good management, he has increased his acreage to about 1000. He married Delilah Vickers in 1848, and by her had twelve children-three sons and nine daughters. In 1861 he volunteered in Company H., Fiftieth Tennessee Infantry, C.S.A., and after his capture at Fort Donelson, imprisonment at Chicago and exchange at Vicksburg he re-entered the service. When the twelve months for which he had enlisted expired, he threw down his gun and started home a-foot, notwithstanding the orders of his Government to the contrary. In 1850 he moved where he now lives, having a fine large farm and a good grist-mill. In politics he is a Democrat and both he and his wife are leading members in the Methodist Episcopal Church.

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D. J. McCann

D. J. McCann, one of the best farmers of Stewart County, is the son of John and Anna (Dickson) McCann. Both were natives of Pennsylvania where they grew to years of maturity and were married. In their family were five children-four sons and one daughter. By occupation the father was a farmer, following that calling in his native state till 1857, when he immigrated to Nebraska. Though he had given up active life in the East he became rejuvenated and farmed successfully for thirteen years. Both parents were zealous workers in the Presbyterian Church. The father served in the war of 1812 and his wife now draws a pension therefor. He was not one who aspired to places of public trust, but chose rather to perform faithfully the duties of a private citizen. After a married life of fifty three years, he died at the age of eighty. The mother still lives with a daughter in Washington City, her head whitened with the frosts of ninety-five winters. Mr. McCann's ancestors on both sides were of Scotch-Irish descent. Of such ancestry was born, in 1828, in Pennsylvania the subject of this sketch. His early life was passed on the farm. After taking a course at the Erie Academy he entered college at Washington, Penn., and graduated therefrom in 1851. For some five years he followed the profession of teaching, being principal of the schools n his native town, and later of the largest school in New Orleans in four years. In 1857 he engaged in the private banking business in Nebraska in connetion with a brother-in-law. After an existence of thirteen years that institution was superseded by the Nebraska City National Bank, with Mr. McCann as its president. In the panic of 1871 he had to sacrifice nearly the entire accumulations of former years. From 1875 to 1880, he waqs engaged in stock raising in the land of the cow-boys. In the latter year he came to Stewart County and selected a retired spot on the bank of the Tennessee for a home. He was chosen a member of the convention that met to frame a constitution for Nebraska in 1871. In 1854 he was married to Mariah Metcalf, by whom he had one child Marie. Both husband and wife are members of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. McCann was a delegate to the Chicago Convention that nominated Hayes, but since that time has acted with the Democratic Party. He has had good success in business. Having begun a poor boy he largely educated himself, and at the time of the panic had accumulated over $150,000.

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Rev. Daniel C. McGregor

Rev. Daniel C. McGregor, farmer of Stewart County, is the son of Noah and Mahala (Duncan) McGregor. His father and mother were born in Tennessee. Previous to his union with Miss Duncan the father took to wife Nellie Allen, by whom he had two children. Of his second marriage six children were born. Both parents were members of the Baptist Church. He was a farmer, a soldier, assisting in the removal of the Indians west of the Mississippi, a magistrate for fifteen years and an old Jacksonian Democrat. The father died at the age of seventy-five; the mother still lives. Daniel traces his ancestors back to the old families of McGregor and Duncan, of Scotland. Our subject was born in this county in 1847, raised on the farm, and received a common school education. Not satisfied with that he entered Bethel College at Russellville, graduating therefrom in 1875. Having taught a short time he became a minister in the Missionary Baptist Church, continuing to the present. In 1875 he married Florence D. Landy, a member of the same church. To them were born five children. In 1833 he bought the farm where he now lives and has run it successfully in connection with his ministerial work. Mr. McGregor is one who takes a deep interest in the intellectual and moral welfare of his community.

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Wilkes W. Miller

Wilkes W. Miller, a farmer of Stewart County, was born in 1830 to the marriage of Joseph and Martha (Sumner) Miller. The father was a native of this county and the mother of Trigg County, Ky. By occupation the father was a farmer, flat-boatman and whip-sawyer. In 1853 they moved to Trigg County, where they lived to a good old age. Wilkes grew up at the handles of the plow, spending much more time there than in the school-room. Hving remained with his parents till twenty-five years old he wedded Margaret L. Carr, by whom he had nine chldren, seven of whom are still living. Having lived in Trigg County a short time they came to Stewart County, where they have lived since. Mr. Miller is considered a worthy citizen and a good farmer. Perhaps there is no one in the county who excels him in raising fine tobacco.

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Nimrod Murphy

Nimrod Murphy, a prominent farmer in Stewart County and son of William and Dassie (Wyatt) Murphy was born in 1819 in this county. Having received a limited education at the age of eighteen he began for himself working for wages. In 1842 he was married to Elizabeth Haines, in Missouri. The fruits of this union are ten children, five of whom are now living. After marriage they settled in New Madrid County, Mo. where the father kept a wood-yard for eighteen years. In 1860 he moved to Stewart County and turned his attention to farming, continuing till his death. He was a Democrat in politics and he aw well as his wife, was an active member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. As a business man he was very successful. He is an an example of what a young man of detemination can do; having started with nothing he arose to the ownership of some 500 acres of land. In 1875 he died, and his loss was felt all over the community. After the death of her husband Mrs. Murphy took charge of affairs and has managed them creditably ever since. She now owns 800 acres of land whereon is a good flour-mill, corn-mill and cotton-gin combined.

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