Marion County, Tennessee Genealogy Tennessee State Flag Tennessee State Flag
Marion County, Tennessee Genealogy

Goodspeed's Biographies of Marion County
G - H

published 1886


JOHN H. GILBREATH, M. D. , is one of Marion county's popular and efficient physicians who has gained an enviable reputation and placed himself in the front rank among the medical practitioners of southeastern Tennessee by years of faithful and persistent effort. he has striven to improve upon his early methods, as every physician must do to keep pace with the new discoveries in medical science, and profit by his own experience and observations. His studies did not cease with the beginning of his practice, but have continued year by year, and this is no doubt one of the reasons why he occupies the prominent place he does in the minds of the people.

Dr. Gilbreath was born in Bradley county, Tenn., March 15, 1860, a son of Thomas H. and Dialtha (Hooper) Gilbreath. Thomas H. Gilbreath moved with his parents, when a boy of ten years, from Cocke county, Tenn., to Bradley county, Tenn. He taught school during the early part of his life and was also a farmer. He served for a time as a member of the county court, and was conservative in his political views. Dialtha Hooper was born in Bradley county, Tenn, and they were both members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church. They both died in February, 1894, the father on the eleventh and the mother on the thirteenth, and the former at the age of sixty-two years and the latter at the age of fifty-six years. The family is of Irish descent but several generations have been born in America.

Dr. Gilbreath, the subject of this sketch, is the fifth in order of birth of a large family of children, five of whom are now living. He spent his school days in Bradley county, Tenn., and at Charleston and Calhoun, in McMinn county, Tenn. He then taught one term of school and then began the study of medicine under Dr. Lee at Birchwood, and then under Dr. Dunham, of Bradley county. He began his practice in Bradley county, but in 1883 he moved to the Sequatchie Valley and located just above Whitwell. On the opening of the coal mines he moved to the city of Whitwell, and during the years a887 and '88, he was engaged in selling goods in that city in partnership with W. C. Shirley. In 1894 he returned to Bradley county, his old home, but stayed only a few months, and since that time has made Whitwell his home and base of operations.

Socially he affiliates with the Masonic fraternity in the capacity of Master Mason, and in politics he is a conservative Republican. As a man and citizen he is held in the highest respect and esteem by all who have the pleasure of his acquaintance, and as a physician and surgeon he is recognized as one of the leaders of his profession.

March 18,1888, Dr. Gilbreath was untied in marriage to Miss Darthula Jane Andes, daughter of W. L. Andes and their home has been blessed by the advent of a family of three children, upon whom they have bestowed the following names: William Walter, Elbert Hughston and Bula.

JOHN E. GILLIAM - The Tenth district of Marion county is not without it's share of well-regulated farms, the incomes from which form so large a part of the wealth of that county. One of those carefully cultivated tracts of land belongs to the gentleman whose name introduces these paragraphs. The farm consists of two hundred and eighty acres of choice land, and the situation and the improvements upon it are well adapted to the conducting of a first class dairy farm, and it's thrifty owner is a man who thoroughly understands the details of that line of work.

Mr. Gilliam was born October 28, 1834, in the same district and county in which he now makes his home, and is a son of Joseph and Sarah (Brown) Gilliam, the former born in Knox county, Tenn., in 1805, and the latter born in Sullivan county, Tenn,, in the year 1805. Joseph Gilliam was a son of Hincha Gilliam. Hincha Gilliam moved to Tennessee and settled on the farm now occupied by our subject in the year 1832, and made that his home until the time of his death. His occupation was that of farming. Joseph Gilliam, our subject's father, moved to Tennessee and located on his father's farm in 1834, a short time before our subject was born. A few years later he bought a farm, settled upon it, and made that his home for many years.

Politically he was a Democrat, and upon the breaking out of the Civil war, he was in sympathy with the Southern cause. On that account he was arrested and taken to Chattanooga and from thence he started for Shelbyville and died on the way, in June 1862. His wife died February 14, 1876. They were the parents of a family of five children, as follows: Lottie, deceased; Carter, deceased; John E,, the subject of this sketch; Samuel N., a farmer in Arkansas; and Jane, deceased.

John E. Gilliam was educated in the public schools of the district in which he spent his boyhood, and June 22, 1857, he was united in marriage to Miss Samantha C. Hise, who was born March 14, 1836, a daughter of Henry and Elizabeth (Bryson) Hise, the former a native of North Carolina, and the latter a native of Franklin county, Tenn. Henry Hise is of German descent and the name was originally spelled "Hoss." He was born in a fort at Charleston, S. C., during the Revolutionary war, as his father was a soldier and participated in that struggle for independence. Henry Hise died in 1886 at the age of one hundred and two years, and his wife, who was of Irish parentage, died February 18, 1897.

After his marriage, our subject lived for a few years about four miles above his present home, then returned to the farm on which he was born and has since made that his home. In the year 1890 he began a dairy business in connection with his farming, and, as it has proved to be a profitable business, he has given it special attention and is now making that his principal business. Mr. Gilliam took no part in the war, but was in sympathy with the Southern cause. In politics he is usually identified with the Democratic party and endorses it's platform, although he invariably uses his elective franchises in the support of the man best qualified for the position he seeks, regardless of party lines. The house in which our subject makes his home was erected by William Watson, over one hundred years ago, and is the first house built by a white man in the Battle Creek Valley. Our subject and Mrs. Gilliam are both members of the M. E. church, South.

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Gilliam has been blessed by the advent of a family of seven children, six of whom are now living, viz: George W., a merchant at Pratt City, Ala; West M., Fort Payne, is a moulder by occupation; Leon E., deceased; Lizzie, wife of Harry Quinn, a resident of the Tenth district, Marion county; Osira L., wife of Harry Barnes, a farmer near Sherwood, Franklin county, Tenn.; James B., Fort Payne, Ala., is a moulder by occupation, and is considered the finest workman in the house with which he is connected; Anna R., wife of Edward Garner, a farmer of Franklin county, Tenn. Mr. and Mrs. Gilliam are also raising and educating a granddaughter, whose name is Daisy L. Barnes. She was born at Cowan, Tenn., July 1, 1880. She is the daughter of John R. and Leon E. Barnes, and granddaughter of John E. and S. C. Gilliam. Her mother died when she was but fourteen months old.

ANDERSON CHEEK GRAYSON - The commonplace duties of daily life, trivial thought hey mat seem to the casual observer, demand for their proper fulfillment the same admirable qualities of character which in a higher degree and under other circumstances attract universal notice and approbation. However it may seem to the superficial mind, our rural communities furnish an excellent field for the development of the traits which go to the making of good citizens and one purpose of this work is the preservation of records which show the innate worth and dignity of such a life.

Among the leading and representative agriculturists of Marion county is Mr. Grayson, who was born December 23, 1841, on the farm near Whitwell where his brother Houston now resides, and is a son of Henry and Nancy (Hixon) Grayson, and grandson of Joseph and Elizabeth (Brazil) Grayson. The father was born in Anderson county, Tenn., November 2, 1799, and during his childhood was taken by his parents to Bledsoe county, locating in the neighborhood of Stephen's chapel. Later the family came to Marion county, Joseph Grayson entering seventy acres of land, upon which Byron Hudson now resides, and there his death occurred, while his wife died on a farm near the Burnette school house. he was of English descent, and by occupation was a farmer and blacksmith.

On the 11th of September, 1820, in Bledsoe county, was celebrated the marriage of Henry Grayson and Nancy Hixon, the latter of whom was born in Greene county, Tenn., July 22, 1799, and when a child of six was taken by her parents to Bledsoe county. After their marriage they moved to what is now Sequatchie county, but later took up their residence on the farm in Marion county where our subject's birth occurred and in 1857 located on the farm where he is now living. Here both departed this life, the father November 8, 1879, the mother November 10, 1881. During his younger years Henry Grayson engaged in blacksmithing and wagonmaking, but later in his life gave his entire time and attention to agricultural pursuits and the milling business and also served as justice of the peace for a while. Politically he was first a Whig and later a Democrat, and religiously inclined to the Christian church, while his wife was a devoted member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church.

Anderson C. Grayson is the youngest in the family of nine children, the others being as follows: Pleasant, a farmer of the Third district of Marion county; Louisa, wife of James Burnette, who lives on the farm where she was born; William H., who is living retired in Whitwell, Marion county; Patrick H., a farmer on the west side of the Sequatchie river in the Third district; James M., a farmer and ranchman of Texas; Sarah C., wife of William Cowan of Texas; Houston, who lives on the old homestead; and Joseph, who died in infancy.

In the schools near his childhood home, Anderson C. Grayson obtained his education, remaining with his parents until after the Civil war had broken out. in December, 1861 he volunteered in the Confederate service under Captain Rankins and Colonel Starnes. His brother, Patrick H., also fought on that side, but his brothers Pleasant and William, joined the Federal army, while Houston remained at home. Pleasant was a member of Gov. Andrew Johnson's body guard at Nashville. For a time Anderson Grayson was stationed near Nashville and later at Rogersville, East Tennessee, as the advance guard of Gen. Kirby Smith. he took part in a number of battles and skirmishes in Kentucky under Colonel Scott, of a Louisiana regiment, who as acting brigadier, notably that of Richmond and the capture of Frankfort, and assisted in raising the Confederate flag over the state capital of the latter place. He was also at the battles of Redmound and Thompson's Station, Tenn., and in the engagement on the Columbia Pike, when with Lieutenant Havron's command they covered the retreat of Gen. Braxton Bragg from Tullahoma, when Colonel Starnes was killed. He was with General Forrest in the pursuit and capture of Colonel Stuart with all his men, near Rome Ga.

He was also, with his company at Chattanooga and on Chickamauga's bloody field, and in the fall of 1863 was the last Confederate to leave the heights of Strings Ridge, he having been on picket duty there, north of the Tennessee river. His command was then detailed to remain in Lookout Valley to watch the movements of the Federal army, but he was soon after captured near home, remaining a paroled prisoner until the close of the war. While his company was stationed in the valley Lieutenant Havron and a squad, composed of our subject and others, seven in all, crossed the Tennessee river, passed through the enemy's lines, pillaged their wagons and made their escape. The next day they captured four prisoners, but at night two of the latter escaped, but they carried the two others across the river and turned them over to the headquarters of General Bragg. The first year of the war Mr. Grayson served as a private, fighting gallantly and fearlessly for the cause he believed to be right.

Returning home, he gladly took up the more peaceful pursuits of farm life, and since the war has successfully operated the farm on which he still resides. he also conducts a mill which his father erected many years ago at Standifer Cove, and is also engaged in bee culture and is noted for the production of a fine grade of honey. He is today numbered among the most substantial and reliable business men of his community.

On the 6th of May, 1869, Mr. Grayson married Miss Josephine L. Barber, who was born July 27, 1851, a daughter of William R. and Nancy M. (Real) Barber. They now have eight children, namely: Florence N., wife of Frank Kelly, a merchant of Whitwell; Lawrence H., who married Lilla M., the daughter of Prof. W. H. Wilson, and who is a partner of Mr. Kelly in business; and Lula F. , Ella Elizabeth, Mattie Electra, Irvin Anderson, Alva Josephine and Mina Agnes, all at home with their parents except the first named. Mr. and Mrs. Grayson, with their six oldest children are members of the New Hope Cumberland Presbyterian church and take an active and prominent part in it's work. he is now serving as ruling elder and clerk of the session. The family is one of social prominence, is widely and favorably known, and at their hospitable home they delight to entertain their many friends. Mr. Grayson is a Democrat in politics and a member of the New Hope Masonic lodge.

Dr. George Real, Mrs. Grayson's maternal grandfather, and a well-known physician and minister, was for many years an honored and prosperous citizen of Sequatchie Valley. He was born in Virginia in 1794, and was, on the paternal side, of German origin and the maternal of English extraction. In White county, Tenn., he married Esther Pilson, also a native of Virginia, born in 1800, and from that county they removed to the Sequatchie valley, residing on quite a number of different farms, including one on Brush creek, in what is now Sequatchie county. He became quite an extensive dealer in real estate, wand when a young man also commenced the practice of medicine and engaged in preaching, first in the Methodist church and later in the Missionary Baptist church. As a physician he was highly successful, and remained in practice until nine years before his death, when he suffered a stroke of paralysis. He was a soldier in the war of 1812; was a Democrat in politics, but not an extremist or in sympathy with secession, but after the war commenced favored the Confederacy.

As a minister he labored earnestly and long and was a great revivalist in his day. After a long and useful life, free from every suspicion of evil, he passed to his reward in 1887. His first wife, Mrs. Esther (Pilson) Real, had died in 1851, and he later married Jemima Smith, whose death occurred in 1888. Of the nine children born of the first union, only four are now living: Hannah, wife of Lawrence Pitts, of Hamilton county, Tenn.; Edward B., a minister in Texas; Nancy M., the mother of Mrs. Grayson; and George W., a farmer who went west before the war. Those deceased are Susan, the eldest, who married Samuel King and died in Bradley county, E. Tenn.; Elisabeth, who married Benjamin F. Brown, moved to Texas and there died; William and Peggy, who died in childhood; D. Hardman; and Esther M, who died at the age of fifteen years. by his second marriage Dr. Real had three children, of whom Mary M., wife of James Nelson, died at Dayton, and the others died when young.

William R. Barber, Mrs. Grayson's father was born in Kentucky. While a young man he came to Tennessee, where he married Miss Nancy M. Real. By trade he was a saddler. during the war he entered the Federal service as a member of Company l., Tenth Tennessee Infantry, and while serving as a member of Governor Johnson's body guard at Nashville, Tenn., died February 11, 1865. His widow, who is a lady of education and refinement, has remained true to his memory, and now makes her home in Sequatchie county. She is a devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

PATRICK HENRY GRAYSON, one of the most prominent and highly respected farmers of the Third district of Marion county, was born September 4, 1828, and is a son of Henry and Mary (Hixon) Grayson, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. Our subject is indebted to the public schools of the county for his educational privileges, and being reared to farm work he became a most thorough and skillful agriculturist.

On the 26th of September, 1850, he led to the marriage altar Miss Martha J. Moore, who was born in the Third district of Marion county, in June, 1830, and is a daughter of George and Nancy E. (Davis) Moore. Her mother was twice married, her first husband being a Mr. Bacon, who was killed by a horse. Mrs. Grayson was also educated in the public schools, and by her marriage she has become the mother of nine children, as follows: Nancy L., now the wife of John W. Andes, of the Third district; Sarah A., wife of John Lasater, of Tracy City, Tenn.; Fannie E., wife of John Lasater, a farmer of Pelham, Tenn.; George W., who married Effie Myers and lives in the state of Oregon; Henry C., who married Ruth Bryson, and is a farmer of the Fifth district of Marion county; Ada L., wife of George W. Bryson, an agriculturist of the same district; Tula H., at home; James M., who married Anna Pryor, and is a farmer of the Third district of Marion county; and Amanda, who died at the age of ten years.

During the Civil war, Mr. Grayson's sympathies were with the South, and in September, 1862, he joined the Confederate army, becoming a member of Capt. Patrick H. Price's company, Third Tennessee Cavalry. He first went to Kentucky, then to Chattanooga, later to middle Tennessee, and participated in the battles of Fort Donelson and Beech grove, besides several skirmishes. he was captured in Marion county, in 1863, was paroled and sent home, where he afterward took the oath of allegiance to the United States government. his father lost several slaves during the war, and he lost two, besides considerable other property, including horses, mules, cattle and sheep, amounting to several thousand dollars.

After his return from the war Mr. Grayson resumed farming in the Third district of Marion county, where he continued to carry on operations until 1880, when he returned to Yamhill county, Ore., nut three years later he returned to Tennessee, and has since successfully engaged in farming in the Third district of Marion county. Since his return he has served for six years as justice of the peace with credit to himself and to the entire satisfaction of the general public, and prior to the war also filled that office for eight years. he is a Democrat in political sentiment, and a Master Mason, belonging to Altine Lodge, at Sulpher Springs. Religiously both he and his wife are worthy members of the Methodist Episcopal church, South.

WILLIAM H. GRAYSON, a prominent citizen of Whitwell, now retired from active business cares, is one of the men who make old age seem the better portion of life. He is an honored son of Marion county, born on the old Ashburn farm, just above Whitwell, April 12, 1826. His father, Henry Grayson, born in Anderson county, Tenn., November 2, 1799, and during his childhood was taken to Bledsoe county by his parents, Joseph and Elizabeth (Brazil) Grayson, who located near Stephens Chapel, whence they latter removed to Marion county. The grandfather, who was of English descent, and a farmer and blacksmith by occupation, entered seventy acres of land upon which Byron Hudson now resides, and there he made his home until his death, but his wife died on a farm near the Burnett school house.

During early life Henry Grayson was also a blacksmith and wagonmaker, but later gave his attention to agricultural pursuits and served as justice of the peace. He was married September 11, 1820, in Bledsoe county to Nancy Hixon, who was born in Greene county, Tenn., July 22, 1799, and when a child was taken by her parents to Bledsoe county. For a time after their marriage they lived in what is now Sequatchie county, then removed to the farm occupied by their son Houston, and in 1857 to the one where another son, A. C. Grayson, now lives. There both died, the father November 9, 1879, the mother November 10, 1881. They are faithful members if the Cumberland Presbyterian church, and he was a Democrat in politics. In their family were the following children: Pleasant, a farmer of the Third district of Marion county; Louisa, wife of Joseph Burnette, who lives on the farm where she was born; William H., of this sketch; Patrick H., a farmer on the west side of the Sequatchie river in the Third district; James M., a ranchman of Texas; Sarah C., wife of William Cowan, of Texas; Houston, who lives on the old homestead in Marion county; Josiah, who died in infancy; and Anderson C., a prominent agriculturist of Marion county.

During his boyhood and youth William H. Grayson pursued his duties in the Burnette school and those at Red Hill and Looney’s creek, thus acquiring a good practical education, which has well fitted him for life’s responsible duties. Early in life he learned the blacksmith's trade, which he followed in connection with farming until the Tennessee Coal, Iron and R. R. Company opened up their mines in Whitwell, when he took charge of their blacksmith shop, but after conducting it one year he returned to the farm. Subsequently he and his son operated a shop in Whitwell, doing a general blacksmithing business for four years. The following year was spent upon the farm, but since then he has practically retired at his pleasant home in Whitwell, enjoying a well earned rest.

Mr. Grayson was married December 5, 1849, the lady of his choice being Miss Sarah Cowan, who was born in Jackson county, Ala., April 1, 1827. They have three children living, namely: Joseph, who now operates his father’s farm in the Third district of Marion county; Esther Louisa, wife of Byron Hudson of the same district; and Samuel H., now a resident of Chattanooga, who was formerly a salesman for Alexander Patton, then in the blacksmith business with his father, and subsequently in the employ of different railroads at Chattanooga as yardmaster, etc. Those of the family now deceased are Francis M., who was born April 13, 1852, and died in 1885, leaving a family; Henry C. and Nancy, who both died in infancy; P. L., who died at the age of twenty-seven years; and Cynthia, who married Thomas Smith and died in Arkansas.

During the Civil war, Mr. Grayson’s sympathies were with the Union cause, and in September, 1864, he joined Capt, William Pryor’s company, which was connected with the foraging department. he was in the Georgia company and the siege of Atlanta, and when hostilities ceased was honorably discharged, and mustered out at Nashville, on June 30, 1865. He is now an honored member of Spears post, G. A. R., at Sequatchie, and also belongs to the Masonic lodge at Whitwell. He is a pronounced Republican in politics; acceptably served as justice of the peace in the Third district for fourteen years, and several times acted as chairman. In the Cumberland Presbyterian church he and his wife hold membership. For over half a century they have traveled life’s journey together, sharing it’s joys and sorrows, its adversity and prosperity, and now in their declining years enjoy the esteem and confidence of their neighbors and the affection of their children and friends.

HUGH WHITE GRIFFITH, a prominent and successful physician and surgeon engaged in practice at Jasper, Marion county, Tenn., was born at that place, June 5, 1838, and traces his ancestry back to two brothers, William and George Griffith, who came to this country from Wales at an early day and settled in Virginia, the former being our subject’s great-great-grandfather. His great-grandfather, who also bore the name of William, was a native of the Old Dominion and married Susanna Jones. Their son Amos, the Doctor’s grandfather, was born in Virginia, in 1783, and as early as 1806 settled in Sequatchie county, Tenn., six miles above Dunlap, being the first settler in that section. The nearest mill at that time was in Knox county, a distance of one hundred and twenty-five miles. His son, William S., whose birth occurred September 18, 1807, is supposed to have been the first white child born in the Sequatchie valley. Amos Griffith married Miss Polly Standefer.

James Griffith, the Doctor’s father, was born October 6, 1811, in Marion county, sixteen miles above Jasper, was educated in the public schools, and at an early age went to Athens, McMinn county, Tenn., where he followed farming until 1832. In Partnership with his brother Jehu he then engaged in merchandising at his home, but two years later sold out to his brother and returned to Jasper, where he formed a partnership with another brother, William S., in the same line. Together they conducted the store until 1846, when James sold his interest to William, and returned to his farm, which he continued to operate until the death of his wife. He was married in Marion county, November 12, 1835, to Miss Jane McClain, who was born in Knox county, Tenn., December 12, 1819, and was a daughter of Daniel and Malinda (Yarnell) McClain. She was a consistent member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, and died in that faith December 31, 1897, since which time, Mr. Griffith has made his home with our subject. He is now eighty-six years old, and his highly respected by all who know him. His father Amos Griffith, was the first register of Marion county, holding that office from 1819 to 1836. The Doctor’s father was then elected to the same position, and being re-elected, served for eight years to the entire satisfaction of all concerned. For ten years he was postmaster of Cheekville, now Cedar Springs, and at the same time served as justice of the peace. Socially he is a member of the Masonic lodge at Jasper, and politically was first a Whig and now a Democrat.

Dr. Griffith is the oldest in a family of seven children, the others being as follows: Martha A., deceased; Mary, wife of Robert Price, a merchant of Jasper; William, who married Louisa Condra and is engaged in farming in Marion county; Louisa J., wife of John H. Parrott, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, South; Peyton S., who wedded May Briggle and is engaged in the real estate business in Chattanooga; and Susan, deceased.

In the public schools near his childhood home Dr. Griffith began his education, and later attended Burritt College at Spencer, Alpine Seminary in Hamilton county, and, the University of Tennessee at Nashville, where he was garanted the degree of M. D., in 1860. He than opened an office in Jasper, but during the Civil war was assistant surgeon in the United States hospital at Nashville for two years. Returning to Jasper, he has since successfully engaged in practice there.

The Doctor has been three times married, first on the 4th of May, 1865, in Dade county, Ga., to Miss Kate Paris, who was born at McMinnville, Tenn., June 22, 1843, and was a daughter of R. M. and Elizabeth (Perkins) Paris, at that time residents of Dade county. Four children were born of this union: Ida L., deceased; Albert, who was killed at Cleveland, Tenn.; Milton, who died in infancy; and James, at home. The wife and mother, who was a consistent member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, died July 3, 1872. On the 22nd of October, 1874, Dr. Griffith was united in marriage with Miss Jane Mitchell, a native of Arkansas, who was brought to Jasper during infancy and was reared by relatives as she was an orphan. By her the Doctor had two children: Betty, deceased; and May, at home. She, too, was a faithful member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church. Her death occurred July 20, 1879. The Doctor was again married, October 14, 1880, his third union being with Miss Amanda C. Lewis. She died May 28, 1882, in the faith of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, and left one son, Charles M., who was born May 22, 1882, and is now engaged in farming in Dade county, Georgia.

The Doctor cast his first presidential vote for John Bell, and has since been a pronounced Democrat in politics. He is a member of the Masonic lodge at Jasper, which he has represented in the grand lodge of the state, and in the Cumberland Presbyterian church, he, too, holds membership. He has been very successful as a physician, and for several years served as county physician. he owns several tracts of land and is one of Jasper’s most prosperous and highly respected citizens, being very popular with all classes.

THOMAS PATTERSON HALL, whose beautiful home overlooks the Tennessee river, is one of the most popular and highly respected citizens of the Seventh district, Marion county, where he is successfully engaged in general farming and stock raising. He is a native of the county, born eight miles east of Jasper, near Oates Island, August 31, 1840, and is a son of Ignatius and Esther (Kelly) Hall, the former a native of Kentucky, the latter of East Tennessee. When a young man the father came to Marion county, and subsequently married and settled near Oates Island, where he purchased a farm and engaged in agricultural pursuit’s until life’s labors were ended. his wife, who was an earnest and consistent member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, died several years later, and was laid to rest by his side in the Kelly cemetery, near Kelly’s Ferry. In politics he was an old-line Whig and in early days served as a colonel of the militia. Their family consisted of nine children, namely: Nancy, Rebecca, James, Adaline, Mary, Martha, John, William and Thomas P. Besides our subject, Mary is the only one now living.

After attending the common schools for some time, Thomas P. Hall, became a student in the Sam Houston Academy at Jasper, where he completed his literary education. early in life he became thoroughly familiar with agricultural pursuits, and is today one of the most skillful and systematic farmers of his district. During the war his sympathies were with the Confederacy, and he was a volunteer in the Confederate army. Just after the war he embarked in merchandising at Shellmound, and for several years, off and on, he was interested in that business. He was agent for the N. & C. R. R. at Shellmound for quite a while. About a year and a half ago he took charge of the Pierson tanyard in Dade county, Ga., and is still conducting it in connection with his farm work. As a business man he has been eminently successful, and his upright, honorable course in life commends him to the confidence and esteem of all. His religious views are in accordance with the teachings of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, but he holds membership with no religious organization. he is a Master Mason, belonging to the lodge at Jasper, and is a Democrat in politics. On an independent ticket he was elected sheriff of Marion county, receiving 197 more votes than both of his competitors - one a Republican, the other a Democrat. In that position he served for one term with credit to himself and to the general satisfaction of the general public. Mr. Hall’s household consists of himself, his sister Mary, who acts as housekeeper, and their niece, Miss Carrie Love, whose parents are deceased. The family have many warm friends throughout the community.

WILLIAM E. HAMILTON, who owns and occupies a lovely farm at Rankin Cove, was born in Jasper, December 15, 1866, is a representative of one of the oldest and most distinguished families of Marion county. His grandfather, John Hamilton, was a native of Virginia, where he grew to manhood and married a Mrs. Weatherspoon. After their marriage they cane to the Sequatchie valley before it was opened up for settlement, it being at that time Indian land, and Mr. Hamilton had his property and crops destroyed by the government soldiers. He remained, however, and bore an important part in the development and upbuilding of this section of the state, being numbered among the honored pioneers and useful citizens. he died on his farm in the Fifth district of Marion county, and his wife passed away a few years later.

The parents of our subject are Elbert K. and Margaret (Carter) Hamilton, and the father still resides in the Fifth district within one mile of his birthplace, the mother was born near Red Clay, Ga., and died November 1, 1894. Their children were as follows: George W., who died in childhood; Eliza, William E.; Cynthia, deceased; Alice; John; and Mary. Elbert K. Hamilton is one of the leading and influential citizens of his community, has always taken an active part in local politics, and at different times has efficiently served as county and circuit clerk, and justice of the peace. He is now a free-silver republican, and is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church. he is a prominent member of Altine lodge, A. F. & A. M., of which he is the present master, and several times he has represented the local organization in the grand lodge of the state.

The early education of our subject, which was acquired in the public schools of Marion county, was supplemented by a course in the Grant Memorial University at Athens, Tenn., and the Sam Houston Academy at Jasper. Naturally he is an expert mechanic, being able to do all kinds of carpentering and blacksmith work, as well as along other lines of trade, and he has made many improvements upon his farm which add greatly to it’s value and attractive appearance. He is an ardent Republican in politics; socially is a member of Altine lodge, No. 477, A. F. & A. M.; and is identified with every interest for the good of his community or public welfare.

On the 25th of September, 1889, Mr. Hamilton was united in marriage with Miss Delilah A. Barker, who was born three miles east of Dunlap, in the Sequatchie valley, and is the daughter of Moses and Alice (Stewart) Barker. Four children bless this union, viz: Sallie E., Byron E., Alice and John A. Mrs. Hamilton holds membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, and is a most estimable lady.

MARTIN LUTHER HARRIS, one of the most prominent young men of Marion county. a leader in educational and political circles, was born February 7, 1869, in Sequatchie Cove, on the Little Sequatchie river, and is a worthy representative of one of the honored and highly respected families of the county, his parents being William and Nancy (Tate) Harris.

The father was born in Knoxville, Tenn., some sixty-five years ago, a son of William and Martha (Roddy) Harris, who were from Virginia, and from Knoxville, this state, who moved to Dade county, Ga. Subsequently they took up their residence on the Cumberland mountains in Marion county, Tenn., and later lived in Dickson’s Cove, where the grandfather of our subject died March 17, 1878. Both were earnest and faithful members of the Baptist church, while in politics Mr. Harris was formerly a Whig and later a republican. By occupation he was a farmer and miller, operating mills in Georgia and on the Little Sequatchie river.

In the family of this worthy couple were twelve children, eight sons and four daughters, the latter being Elizabeth, who married John Allen of Rising Fawn, Ga., and died during the Civil war; Martha, wife of William McCoy, who lives on the Cumberland mountains in Marion county; and Caroline and Melissa, who lives with a brother in the same county. The family has always been a very patriotic and loyal one, the eight sons having been among the boys in blue during the war, valiantly fighting for the old flag, and the cause it represented. Of these, Martin the eldest, died in Tracy City, Tenn.; Samuel is a farmer of Marion county; James also an agriculturist, died near Tracy City, in Marion county; William, our subject’s father, is the next in order of birth: John, was taken prisoner in Marion county, and died in Andersonville during his incarceration; Andrew, who also served in the Federal army, is now a carpenter at Victoria, Marion county; Cowan, a carpenter and farmer, died in Dickson’s Cove soon after the war; and Marshall was killed at the battle of Murfreesboro.

William Harris accompanied his parents on their various removals, and obtained his education in the schools of Knoxville and Georgia. Agricultural pursuits then claimed his attention until June 1862, when he laid aside all personal interests and enlisted in the Second Kentucky Federal Cavalry, in which he served until the close of the struggle, participating in the battles of Missionary Ridge and Chickamauga. Later he was with general Sherman in the advance on Atlanta and the celebrated march to the sea, and was present at the surrender of General Johnston in North Carolina. Although he took part in many important battles and skirmishes, and several times had his clothes pierced by bullets, he was fortunately never wounded. During his service he was in eleven different states. At the end of the war he returned to Sequatchie Cove, where he engaged in farming until 1881, when he and his family removed to their present place of abode on Sequatchie river in the Fifth district of Marion county.

In 1860 William Harris married Miss Nancy Tate, who was born in Sequatchie Cove, September 5, 1845, a daughter of William Tate, and they have become the parents of ten children, namely: Cowan, a farmer of the Fifth district; Martin L., of this sketch; Sherman, a resident of Vanndale, Cross county, Ark.; Mary, wife of George White, a farmer of the third district of Marion county; Martha, at home; Marshall, also a farmer of the Third district; and Sheridan, James, Jane and Amanda, all at home with their parents. The father is a stanch supporter of the principles of the Republican party, and both he and his wife are worthy members of the Looney’s creek Methodist Episcopal church, their earnest Christian lives winning them the respect and confidence of all who have the pleasure of their acquaintance.

In the public schools near his childhood home, Martin L. Harris began his literary education, and at an early age he became a successful and popular teacher. After following that profession for some time he entered the college at Lebanon, Ohio, where he pursued the classical and scientific course, graduating in 1896. Early in life he learned that knowledge is the key with which the poor boy anywhere can open the storehouse of the world and cull it’s choicest fruits, and he resolved to obtain an excellent education. he paid his own way through school, not only paying his tuition, but also buying all books necessary with the exception of a ten-cent blue back spelling book. For forty-five months he has engaged in teaching school, apart of the time at Tracy City, and since his return from college has taught at Victoria and Oak Grove. After graduating at Lebanon College, he took a law course in the Cumberland Presbyterian University at Lebanon, Tenn. He is now the nominee of the Republican party for the office of circuit clerk of Marion county, a position he is well qualified to fill, and if elected will undoubtedly prove a most efficient and reliable official, as in the discharge of all duties he is prompt, energetic and painstaking. In religious connection he is a member of the old Ebenezer Cumberland Presbyterian church, and socially is identified with the Masonic Order.

TYRE A. HAVRON, the subject of this sketch, is the eldest son of James P. and Martha J. Havron. He was born in Marion county, Tenn., February 10, 1860. His grandfather, Col. John M. Havron, was born in Knox county, in 1792, and was a prominent man in the politics of his day. He was an ardent Democrat, and generally successful in his contests. he subsequently moved to Jasper, and served two terms in succession in the state senate. His personal popularity is evidenced by the fact that the Whigs were in the majority in the district. He died June 15, 1856.

James P. Havron was born May 15, 1832. He was married some time in 1858 to Mattie J. Taylor, of Dade county, Ga. To this marriage were born eight other children: Reuben L., Henry A., William E., Samuel L., Septemma; Russell, Arthur V. and James B. Havron. The mother died at the home to which they had moved in Georgia, December 7, 1878, at the age of thirty-six. The two second children, Rubby and Henry, died in infancy. Russell died shortly after the family moved to Jasper, in 1888. Septemma, the only daughter and sister, was married to Charles E. Wyrick, in Jasper, some time in 1891. She died about a year afterward.

James P. Havron, the father, engaged in farming immediately after he married, which vocation he has followed to the present time, excepting the nearly four years service in the Confederate army and confinement in Camp Chase and Rock Island prisons. He joined Company H., Fourth Tennessee Confederate Cavalry, in the early part of 1862. he was wounded and taken prisoner while on picket duty, at which time his comrade, Matt Griffith, was killed. he participated in the battles of Fort Donelson, Parker’s cross Roads, Spring Hill and other minor engagements. He was paroled and returned home after hostilities ceased. In 1874, he moved to the southern part of Dade county, Ga., returning to his farm in Marion county in 1885. He moved to Jasper in 1888, where some of the boys are now engaged in merchandising. He is a Mason, and a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church.

Tyre A. Havron, the eldest of the children and subject of this sketch, served his apprenticeship on the farm. His school advantages were in common with the vast majority of other boys - the public school “between seasons;” but he cultivated a habit and taste, through the sacred offices and influence of a now sainted mother, to read every historical and religious book that came his way in early life. The fund of information then gained has been of invaluable service to him in his subsequent life. but it was his very good fortune to get the last year or two of his school life in an academic course under a fine instructor, the Rev. W. J. Callan, Sulpher Springs, Ala. At the age of twenty-one he was employed as salesman in a general store in Trenton, Ga. he spent his leisure time for about three years reading law. he was admitted to the bar, and did some practice. In 1883 a little paper in Trenton fell into his possession. It was a new and untried experience, but he made it “swim,” and invested some of his time looking after a little law practice and clerking in a store. These experiences covered a period of seven years, from 1881 to 1888. About three months of this time was spent in Texas, and about three months clerking in a store at Rising Fawn. He sold the paper at Trenton in January, 1888, came immediately to Jasper and established the “Marion County Democrat.” The “Democrat” has enjoyed ten years of very successful experience. Shortly after it was established, it absorbed its predecessor, “The Valley Herald,” by purchase. In politics it has been uncompromisingly and aggressively Democrat. In 1896 it very much mystified the vast majority of its party readers by repudiating the Chicago platform and ticket. The pressure was very heavy, but the editor stood his ground and supported the Palmer and Buckner ticket. It has never wavered in its admiration of Mr. Cleveland and in support of his entire administration. The editor, Mr. Havron, also served as postmaster at Jasper under the Cleveland administration. He also entered the hardware and agricultural business in Jasper in 1894. In this effort he has been very successful. The confidence and respect in which he is held by the citizens of the county is proven in many particulars.

Mr. Havron was married January 2, 1890 to Miss Minnie H. Cowan, daughter of Dr. J. B. Cowan of Tullahoma. To them have been born two children, Tyre Harton and Howard Taylor. Mr. and Mrs. Havron are both members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, he being a ruling elder.

HENRY H. HILL, one of South Pittsburg’s most prominent citizens, was born April 17,1847, in Appomattox county, Virginia. he was the son of James and Elizabeth (Garrett) Hill, both of whom were Virginians. To this union were born six children, viz.: Annie Elizabeth, Mary Etna, Leland W., Henry W., Victoria and Robert Fletcher. Three of the brothers and sisters have their homes in Danville and the other two in Lynchburg - cities of their native state. His father was a merchant and had an interest in cotton and woolen factories.

Mr. Hill did not enjoy the privileges of an education at an early age on account of the war - but not withstanding this - through his great ambition and perseverance he has been successful in business. In 1864 he joined the Confederate army at the age of seventeen and served until April 6, 1865, when he was captured at the battle of Harper’s farm, Virginia, and taken to Point Lookout, Md., as a prisoner, and was not released until July of the same year.

In 1870 he was married to Miss Leonora Virginia Coffman of Virginia, daughter of George and Katherine Coffman. to them were born four children - the oldest and youngest died in infancy and their mother died in 1879. The other two daughters are now accomplished young ladies.

In the fall of 1870, Mr. Hill came to Chattanooga, Tenn., and accepted a position with the Roane Iron Company. In 1872 he became superintendent of the Chattanooga Iron Works and held this office until May, 1882. Mr. Hill was married again June 5, 1881. to Miss Mary Emma Payne, of Sulpher Springs, Ala., a daughter of William O. and Sarah (Simmons) Payne. They resided in Chattanooga until 1882, when Mr. Hill entered the employ of the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company, of South Pittsburg, Tenn., and remained with this company until 1892, when he accepted a position with the South Pittsburg Pipe Works, with whom he is at the present.

Mr. Hill and his wife have made for themselves and their two daughters one of the most beautiful homes in the town. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, South. He has always enjoyed the complete confidence of his employers and the same confidence of the many men he has himself employed. He is a man of strict integrity, loyal and determined in his adherence to the principles of right and to his friends, careful and methodical in his business habits and carries these characteristics into all the details of life.

REV. JAMES ROBERT HUNTER, principal of the Pryor Training School of Jasper, is one of the city’s ablest and most popular educators. Attention, method and industry are the foundation stones of success in any business, and especially in that of teaching, and these combined with integrity of word and deed have been the corner stone of all the enterprises in which he has embarked, and during his residence in Jasper, he has made many warm friends throughout the city and county.

Our subject was born on a farm in Polk county, Tenn., January 25, 1864, the son of Rev. Andrew Caldwell and Emeline (Wingard) Hunter, the former born August 26, 1820, in Buncombe county, N. C., and the latter born April 22, 1831, in Charleston, S. C. Andrew Caldwell Hunter was a son of Samuel and Catharine (Poteet) Hunter, both natives of Buncombe county, N. C. Samuel Hunter was a farmer by occupation, but served one term as sheriff of his county. In 1833, he moved with his family to Georgetown, Meigs county, Tenn., where he died a short time before the war, and his wife died soon after the close of the war. They were both members of the Missionary Baptist church.

Rev. Andrew Caldwell Hunter, our subject’s father, grew to manhood in Meigs county, Tenn., and acquired his education in the public schools of that county. he commenced preaching for the Methodist Episcopal church, South, in the year 1844, just as the division in the church occurred. his first sermon was before Rev. G. W. Brownlow, who afterward became governor. Reverend Hunter traveled as a minister until the year 1862, and then located in Ducktown, Polk county, Tenn., where our subject was born. This he made his home until 1887, when he moved to Jasper where he now resides. He has been an earnest and zealous worker in the ministry, and to realize that many souls have been brought to the foot of the cross as a result of his efforts is a source of satisfaction to him in his declining years. His faithful wife is not only a judicious manager of the household and the kindest of mothers, but has been of much assistance to her husband in his chosen life work. Reverend Hunter was first married in Blount county, Tenn., to Miss Martha Ann Humphreys, a native of that county, and three children were born to them: Thomas, deceased; Samuel M., a physician in Hope, Kan.; and the third child died in infancy. Mrs. Hunter died in 1856, and her husband subsequently married Miss Emeline Wingard, his present wife, near Gadsden, Ala., and they have become parents of seven children, as follows: John, deceased: Mattie, wife of I. J. Stamper, of Ducktown, Tenn.; William H. ,a miner living in Alma, Colo.; Rev. James Robert, the subject of this sketch; Ellen, wife of J. E. Jolly, telegraph operator; Emma, who died at the age of nineteen years; Edward, attending school at the Pryor Training School.

In 1882 James Robert Hunter, the subject of our sketch, went to Colorado and engaged in mining for four years and thus secured money enough to pay his way through college. he accordingly supplemented his public-school education with a course at Hiwassee College, Monroe county, Tenn., from which he graduated, receiving the degree of B. A., and then entered the Vanderbilt university at Nashville, Tenn., taking the B. A. course at that institution also. he taught one year while attending school in the college at Nashville. In 1892 he was appointed chaplain of the penitentiary at Nashville and held that position for three years, and , although attending school, averaged over three sermons a week. He was licensed to preach in December, 1888, and took charge of the Cherry Street church, in Chattanooga, in April of the following year to fill the remaining five months of an unexpired term. In the following October he joined the conference and was sent to Citico Mission, at Chattanooga, and served there two years. He then entered Vanderbilt University at Nashville, and, after graduating from that institution, went to Bridgeport, Ala., and organized a school known as the Bridgeport Training School, which institution is still running. In 1896 he leased for five years the Pryor Institute, a property of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, and took possession of it in July of that year.

August 25, 1885, our subject was married in Chattanooga, to Mrs. Ada F. Woodhead, who was born in Yorkshire, England, September 5, 1854, the daughter of Dan and Frances (Exley) Furniss, both natives of England. At the time of her marriage to our subject, Mrs. Hunter had three children by a previous marriage: Lawrence, in Chattanooga; and Harry and Grace, now living with their parents and attending school. Mrs. Hunter is also a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, South. Socially our subject affiliates with a Greek letter fraternity, and in politics he is identified with the Prohibition party. He is a man of excellent business ability, has not only a quick but a comprehensive mind and is especially endowed with the faculty of making a subject clear to his pupils, and is held in the highest respect and esteem by them.


return Return To Goodspeed's Biographies of Marion County Main Page

return Return To Marion County Home Page

September 3, 2003