"Tennessee Trails" through Bedford County

Bedford County TN Biographies


"Will M. Smartt. In the hardware and implement business at Manchester, Mr. Smartt has also been an editor, is a farmer, and one of the influential men of Coffee county. He belongs to the fourth generation of a Tennessee family which has been noted for honest business thrift, large land proprietorship, and sterling citizenship. "Will M. Smartt was born near "Viola, on a farm in Coffee county, November 20, 1875. The founder of the Tennessee family was General "William C. Smartt, great grandfather of the Manchester merchant, a native of North Carolina, who came to Tennessee and was one of the very first to locate in what is now Warren county. After prospecting and determining upon his location he returned to North Carolina for his wife. In many ways he was distinguished. He served in the Mexican war, and later was a brigadier-general of state militia. He was one of the founders of the Cumberland Female Academy at McMinnville, and established the first cotton factory at the same place. A planter and capitalist he was wealthy, and for many years gave much of his time to promoting various industrial and business enterprises. During the war he lost a great deal, both in slaves and Confederate money. He was too old for active service, but was a very loyal southerner. He was one of the leaders in the civil beginnings of Warren county, was first sheriff of that county, and was a member of the constitutional convention of Tennessee.

The head of the next generation was grandfather George Madison Smartt, a native of Warren county, where he grew to manhood and spent his life as a farmer. He was one of the most extensive cultivators of land in Warren county, owned a number of slaves, and represented the more aristocratic element of the planter's life. He was twice married, the maiden name of his first wife being Miss Waterhouse, by whom he had nine children, four sons and five daughters. He later married Patricia Smartt, a distant cousin, by whom he had two daughters and one son. Grandfather Smartt died at the age of ninety-five, in 1905. Euclid W. Smartt, father of "Will M., was born in Warren county, Tennessee, at Smartt Station, in 1841, being the oldest child of George W. Smartt by his first marriage. He was reared and educated in his home county, and as a young man entered the mercantile business at McMinnville. He was a member of Company B in the Sixth Tennessee Regiment of Infantry during the war, went throughout the struggle as a Confederate and was wounded at the battle of Franklin. After the war he was married in Coffee county in 1866 to Nannie S. Davis, who was born in Coffee county in 1800, a daughter of Dr. A. B. Davis. They became the parents of twelve children, of whom Will M. was the fourth, and eleven are still living. The father lives on his farm in Coffee county, having been engaged in general farming and stock raising there since the war. He is a Democrat in politics, and he and his wife are members of the Christian church, he being an elder in the church. William M. Smartt was educated in the Coffee county schools, and attended the University of Nashville. After leaving school his first important place in life was as postmaster at Manchester under President McKinley. He was editor and owner of the Manchester Times from 1903 to 1906, finally selling the newspaper to its present owner, Mr. Ashley. Then in partnership with his brother, Frank Smartt, he went into the hardware and implement business, the line which he now follows, and the brothers have one of the largest and best managed stores of the kind in Coffee county. Mr. Smartt is also owner of a large amount of land in both Bedford and Coffee counties, and does farming on an extensive scale.

In 1905 he married Miss Walter May Summers, daughter of W. W. Summers of Manchester. Their two sons are W. M., Jr., and Landon Kincannon. In politics Mr. Smartt is a Democrat, the Christian church has both his and Mrs. Smartt's membership, and he is affiliated with the Stone Fort Lodge No. 113, Knights of Pythias, at Manchester.

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

Back Home