"Tennessee Trails" through Bedford County

Bedford County TN Biographies

Jim Nance McCord

A Representative from Tennessee; born in Unionville, Bedford County, Tenn., March 17, 1879; attended the public schools and also had private instructors; employed as a clerk in a hardware store in 1894; engaged in selling books and stationery at Lewisburg, Tenn., 1897-1900; traveling salesman 1900-1910; editor and publisher of the Marshall Gazette, Lewisburg, Tenn., 1910; mayor of Lewisburg, Tenn., 1916-1942; auctioneer 1920-1943; member of the Marshall County Court 1915-1942; elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-eighth Congress (January 3, 1943-January 3, 1945); was not a candidate for renomination in 1944; elected Governor of Tennessee in 1944; reelected in 1946 for the term ending in January 1949; resumed the publishing business; member of State constitutional convention in 1953; Commissioner of Conservation, State of Tennessee, 1953-1958; delegate at large to the National Democratic Conventions in 1940 and 1956; maintained his interest in journalism; died in Nashville, Tenn., September 2, 1968; interment in Lone Oak Cemetery, Lewisburg, Tenn.

J. N. McCord. Now editor and publisher of the Marshall Gazette, one of the most influential newspaper organs in Marshall county, Mr. McCord began his career as a clerk and traveling salesman, educated himself by carrying with him on the train and elsewhere the books required for a better equipment and learning, and since entering the field of journalism, has become recognized as an able writer, a successful business manager, and a man of wide influence throughout his community.

J. N. McCord was born at Unionville, Bedford county, Tennessee, March 17, 1879, and represents an old and honored family of this state. His father was Thomas N. McCord, who was born in Marshall county in 1835, and died in 1889. The maiden name of his mother was Iva Steele, who was born in Bedford county in 1842/and is still living in that county. The parents were married in Bedford county in 1876, and there were seven children, J. N. and another being twins, and the second in order of birth. Three are now living. The founder of the McCord family in this section of Tennessee was Charles McCord, a native of North Carolina, who at an early date came into Tennessee and located in Williamson county, where he spent the remainder of his life as a farmer and substantial citizen. His son, the grandfather was Allan N. McCord, who was born in Williamson county, and after the formation of Marshall county, which occurred in 1835, he became a resident of Beasley of the latter county.

Thomas N. McCord, the father, was reared in Marshall county, and was for a number of years an active farmer, and for a long time served, as a trustee of Bedford county. During the war he enlisted in the Confederate army, under General N. B. Forrest, and was with that gallant cavalryman until the entrance to Memphis, at which engagement he lost a leg and was taken prisoner. Owing to his 'disability for service he was released from the Federal prison, and then returned to Bedford county, which was his home until his death. He was three times married. The maiden name of his first wife was Tabitha Hight, and their two children were Dr. W. A. McCord, now deceased, and Mrs. Alice Ezelle. After the death of his first wife, McCord married a widow, Mrs. Hoskins, and their two children were Charles T. of New Orleans, and Mary, a teacher in San Antonio, Texas. By his marriage to Iva Steele, Mr. McCord was the father of seven children, whose names follow: Price Steele McCord, deceased; Ed Cooper, the twin brother of J. N. McCord, also deceased; James Nance, whose name heads this sketch; Iva, deceased; Annie; Fannie, deceased; and Thomas N., Jr., of Fort Worth, Texas. The father was a Democrat in politics, and was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church.

Mr. J. N. McCord after attending the common schools of his native locality, at the age of eighteen became connected with a mercantile firm in Lewisburg, with whom he spent two years, and then went upon the road as a traveling salesman, an occupation which he followed for some years. After retiring from the road, in 1910, Mr. McCord bought a half interest in the Marshall Gazette, and in January, 1913, purchased the entire plant, of which he is now sole owner, and also active editor of its-news and editorial columns. The policy of the Gazette as to political affairs is in line with Independent Democracy, and the paper is- issued twice a week.

In 1904 Mr. McCord married Miss Vera Kercheval, a daughter of W. K. Kercheval, who was 'formerly editor of the Gazette. In politics, like his paper, Mr. McCord is an Independent Democrat, and he and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church.

A history of Tennessee and Tennesseans: the leaders and representative men in commerce, industry and modern activities. By Will T. Hale Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1913

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