History and Biographies
The Goodspeed Publishing Co. 1887
|POLK COUNTY occupies the extreme southeastern portion
of the State, and includes
an area of 400 square miles. About three-fourths of the coul1ty lies in the Chilhowee and Unaka Mountains, which abound in rich veins of iron and copper ores, with smaller quantities of gold and silver. The iron, being so remote from railroads, has never been mined, but with better transportation facilities it will make the county one of the richest in the State. Besides the minerals mentioned, there are large deposits of marble, talc, mica and ocre.
The first store in Benton was opened by Jonas Hoyl, who continued in business for several years. Samuel M. Reid, Albert and Brazeale Blair. and WillIam B. and Isaac W. Reynolds, were also early merchants. D. C. Haskins. W. P. Cooper and J. C. Donaldson, Knox & Boyd, Mass & McKamy. 0'Neal & Hood, M. B. Grady, Joseph Fetzer, J. W. Hilderbrand, Denton & McClary and Greenlee & Marshall were also in business there before the war. The town was most prosperous about 1850. The completion of the East Tennessee & Georgia Railroad took away most of its trade, and since the suspension of the copper mining it has still further declined. The present business men of the town are Rymer & Clemmer, Lillard & Son and J. E. Taylor. A grist-mill and cotton-gin are owned by Rogers & Johnston. The first hotel in the town was kept by Commodore White. He was succeeded by Samuel J. Rowan. Later J. Q. A. Lewis and a Mr. Higgins kept houses of Entertainment. The present hotel is conducted by J. L. McClary. The first physicians in the town were J. H. Stuart and Robert N. Fleming, the latter of whom is still engaged in practice. Dr. J. C. C. Garner has also practiced medicine in Benton for about twelve years.
The following have been the officers of Polk County since its organization:
Clerks of the county court-James Parks, 1840-48; E. P. Douglass, 1848-60; W. A. Bible, 1860-64; James Gamble, 1864-68; J. E. Taylor, 1868-70; D. C. Haskins, 1870-74;. F. E. Lindner, 1874-82; W. W. Dodd, 1882-86; W. M. Bain, 1886.
Clerks of the circuit court- W .M. Biggs, 1840-44; John Williams, 1844-48; James Smith, 1848-59; J. A. Donaldson, 1859-64; James Parks, 1864-66; Spencer B. Boyd, 1866-68: W. A. Denton. 1868-70; John Henry, 1870-71; John a. Williamson, 1871-78; James H. Bible, 1878-80; M. H. Hancock, 1880-82; Jesse Rymer, 1882-86; J. L. Smith, 1886.
Thomas J. Boyd, a well known and enterprising farmer, was born in Monroe county, Tenn., March 18, 1829, a son of Erby and Jennie (Cooper) Boyd. The father was for a number of years a prominent and influential citizen of Polk County. Our subject is one of a large family of children. He received a liberal education in Polk County, and began life as a farmer. For some time he was engaged in live stock trade South, and made three prospecting tours west of the Mississippi River. In 1859 he purchased and settled on the place where he now lives, and since that time has given his attention exclusively to agricultural pursuits. He is a man of energy and ability. He has been unusually successful in all his undertakings, and now owns about 960 acres of valuable land, and improved property in Cleveland. He is a firm Democrat, and although not connected with any church believes in the Bible and Presbyterian faith. October 10, 1877, he married Miss Lizzie B., daughter of Caswell and Elizabeth B. J. Lea (deceased). Mrs. Boyd was born in Cleveland Jul 24, 1854. She is an accomplished woman, and a member of the Presbyterian Church. To this union four sons have been born: Thomas L., born October 21, 1878; James P., born April 8, 1882, George E., born February 6, 1884, and died October 15, 1885; John B., born July 16, 1886.
Simeon E. Browder, a prominent citizen of the Fourth District, was born January 24, 1813, in Roane (now Loudon) County, Tenn. He is the eldest and only surviving child of Joseph and Nancy Browder. The father was of Irish descent, born about 1791 in North Carolina. He came to Roane County with his parents when nine years of age. There he married, and moved to McMinn County where he was a successful farmer. He was a Whig, and after the war a Democrat. He died February 17, 1863. His wife was born in Jefferson County, Tennessee, about 1791, and departed this life August 20, 1840. Our subject, by his own exertions and observations, has received a thorough education. For several years he worked on his father's farm. October 14, 1842, he married Miss Mary H. Walber, who was born in Monroe County in 1826, and died in Polk County November 8, 1846, leaving one son, who is now a merchant and the postmaster at Conasauga, Polk County. November 15, 1847, our subject married Miss Orpha A. Love, a native of Monroe County, born in 1828, and died in Polk County August 19, 1868. To this union ten children were born: John F., Laura Co., Viana M., Thomas A., Charles A., and Simeon E. Those deceased are Mary E., James R., George S. and Julia M. August 30, 1871, Mr. Browder was united in marriage to Harriet M., widow of A. P. McClary, and daughter of John and Elizabeth Shamblin. Mrs. Browder was born in McMinn County in 1833, and died April 27, 1885, leaving two children: Alice S. and Cora S. In 1864, Mr. Browder was elected by the Republican party to represent Bradley and Polk Counties in the State Legislature. He is a stanch Republican, has always been an honest, energetic man, and has amassed considerable means and real estate. He owns a fine farm upon which he now resides. It contains about 800 acres, and about 540 acres not connected with the farm.
Joseph Madison Copeland, a well known farmer of the Third District, was born near Athens, McMinn Co. Tenn., December 19, 1828, a son of John and Juda (Chapman) Copeland. The father was of Scotch-Irish descent, born December 22, 1796, in Spartanburg District, South Carolina. He came to Tennessee about 1822 or 1823, settling in McMinn County, where he resided until a year previous to his death, when he moved to Polk County. He had a good education. When you he was poor, but became a very prosperous farmer. He was a Whig before the war, and a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. His death occurred at his son's home January 15, 1878. His wife was of English extraction, born in Virginia in June, 1798, and married December 31, 1819. She became the mother of ten children, J. M. being the the fifth. She was a devout member of the Missionary Baptist church more than forty years, and died in McMinn County July 33, 1873. Our subject received such education as the schools of that day afforded. He worked on his father's farm until his majority' he then hired to a farmer for one year at $7.50 per month. He and his brother then immigrated to Arkansas. They became dissatisfied, and fifteen months later (in 1852) they went to California, where for three years they raised vegetables for miners. They then returned to Polk County, and purchased two quarter sections of land, where they resided until the spring of 1861, when our subject then enlisted in the Confederate service, Fifth Tennessee Cavalry, under Capt. McClary. After two years of faithful service he returned home, and settled at his present place of residence, which had been added to their first purchase. he now owns 230 acres, the fruits of industry and judicious management. December 25, 1864, he wedded Miss Mary J., a native of Polk County, and the daughter of John B. and Eurah Coxsey, who was born February 4, 1845, and died March 31, 1886. She was highly educated, and a member of the Baptist Church as Mr. Copeland also is. He is a firm Democrat, and a worthy respected citizen.
Dr. Warren Copeland, a prominent practicing physician of the Third District, was born December 27, 1835, near Athens, McMinn Co., Tenn. He is the ninth of ten children born to John and Juda (Chapman) Copeland. Our subject received the principal portion of his education by the light of a pine know, after the day's work. He attended school at Benton and Zion Hill. He has always been a close and steady reader. He worked on his father's farm until his majority. After teaching in school in McMinn and Polk counties for three years, he began the study of medicine under direction of Dr.. Pendergrass, on Cookson Creek, Polk County. He attended the Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia, Penn., and then returned to Polk county, his present location. During the winter of 1861-62 he was forced to enlist in the Confederate Army, of the Fifth Tennessee, under Capt. McClary. For six weeks he waited on the sick and wounded. He then went home, and was elected by the Union party as representative to the session which convened just proper to the close of the war. After the first session he resigned and returned home. He has an extensive and lucrative practice, and is very popular. He served two years as superintendent of public instruction. He is an active member of the Missionary Baptist Church, a Master Mason, a Knight of Honor, and a Republican. February 24, 1863, he married Onie, the widow of Dr. N. Pendergrass, and daughter of R. W. and Polly McClary. Mrs. Copeland was born in McMinn County March 12, 1833. She is also connected with the Missionary Baptist church and of high literary accomplishments. By this union, there are living Onie, R. Meigs, J. Velpeau and F. Da Costa. Those deceased are George P., J. Agnew, Clara, Md. Boivin and Alice.
Napolean B. Dunn was born in Georgia, in Forsyth County, March 18, 1845, the son of Ezekiel H. and Eliza (Cameron nee Dacus) Dunn. The father was of Irish descent, and the mother of Dutch-Irish descent. The father was a native of South Carolina and was born in Greenville County about 1815, and died in Polk County, Tenn., November 18, 1863. the mother was born in what at the time of her birth was Newton (but now Walton Co. Ga., in November 1810, and died in Polk County, August 15, 1884. The parents were married in Forsyth County, Ga., about 1841, and lived there after their marriage about four years, then immigrated to Polk County, Tenn., where they died. The father was a merchant, farmer and trader, was a decided Democrat, and was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The mother was a member of the same church. Our subject is one of a family of seven children. He secured a good education in youth. In the spring of 1863 he entered the Confederate States Army, enlisting in Company C, First Tennessee Regiment. John Carter was colonel of the regiment, which was received into Vaughn's Brigade. He served with credit the remainder of the war, and took part in numerous skirmishes and battles. He was slightly wounded at the battle of Piedmont, Va., and in the early part of 1864 he was captured near Dalton, Ga., but soon escaped and rejoined his old command. He returned home in the spring of 1865, and worked the remainder of that year on the farm, for wages, for one Joseph Hackney. The next year he commenced to farm on his own resources, and has thus continued since. He owns a one-third interest in two farms, one of 840 acres and the other of 400, and each has a watermill on the Conasauga Creek. For the last ten years he has rented the Savannah farm belonging to G. P. Wetmore, governor of Rhode Island, of 900 acres. He has been married twice, to two sisters, daughters of John A. Gouldy (deceased)-first to Miss Tinie June 13, 1871. She was born January 31, 1851, and died July 15, 1883. November 5, 1885, he married Miss Allie, who was born October 15, 1859. She is still living and presides over his hospitable home. He has six children by his first wife-five sons and one daughter-and no children by his second wife. Our subject is a Democrat, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
George W. Fetzer, a well known and enterprising merchant of the Third District, was born January 5, 1849, near his present location. He is the eldest of four children born to B. H. and Margaret Fetzer. The father was born January 30, 1828, in Monroe County, Tenn., and came with his father to Polk County, at an early day, while Indians were a portion of the inhabitants. He is a man of good education, and prosperous farmer, and an active member of the Baptist Church. He was a Democrat previous to the war, but now officiates with the Republican party. His wife was born in Monroe County, May 23, 1826, and died in Polk County August 9, 1856. He was an intelligent Christian woman, and belonged to the Baptist Church. Our subject received an excellent education at the Cookson Creek Academy. He purchase the farm upon which he now lives, and a gave his attention to agriculture. In 1881 he was elected justice of the peace to fill the unexpired term of E. Davis, and the following year was re-elected. In August, 1883, he embarked in mercantile business at Fetzerton, Polk county, and shortly afterward was appointed Postmaster. He has a first-class tock of goods and a liberal patronage; also owns 164 acres of good land. he began as a poor man, but industry and energy have placed him in comfortable circumstances. he is a worthy citizen, and much respected. He is an Independent in politics. December 26, 1872, he wedded Miss Amanda Jane, daughter of N. L. and Elizabeth Fouts, who was born in Polk County, 1853. Six children were born in this union: Noah B., Margaret M., Florcence V., George F., Sarah J. and Mary J. (who died at the age of three years). Mr. and Mrs. Fetzer are members of the Baptist Church.
Dr. Robert N. Fleming, a prominent practicing physician of Benton, was born Dec. 16, 1811, in Rowan County, N. C., where his parents also were born. They were Samuel & Mary (Foster) Fleming. The father was born September 12, 1779, and came to Tennessee about 1821. He was a successful millwright, and a Democrat. He died in Polk County, March 5, 1804. The mother was born October 9, 1779, and died in her native county, June 10, 1821. Both were members of the Episcopal Church. They had six children, of whom our subject is second. His mother died when he was nine years old. His education was principally received at Maryville College, Blount County. He has always been a steady and careful student, and is one of the most learned and highly cultured men in Polk or the adjoining counties. In 1828, he went to Sullivan County, Tenn., and remained there three years. After a short sojourn in Virginia, he returned to Sullivan County, whence he went to Knox County, then to Blount County, where he attended school. After spending some time in Roane, Blount, Knox, and Anderson Counties, he came, in 1842, to Polk County, where he has since resided. During his travels in the State he was engaged in teaching. While in Anderson County, he read medicine, and though he has never attended a course of lectures, there is not a more skillful nor able physician than our subject. January 12, 1843, he married Miss Mary J. Smith, of Knox county. Two children were born to this union. Mrs. Fleming and both daughters are members of the Methodist Church. The Doctor belongs to the Presbyterian Church, and is a Republican.
William M. Gamble, a well and favorably known resident of the First District of Polk County, Tenn. was born in Roane County, Tenn., October 11, 1922, a son of James and Ann (Dickey) Gamble. Both parents were of Irish descent and natives of North Carolina. The father was born in April 1793, and married in 1818. He was a mechanic and farmer, and owned considerable property before the late war. He died in Chattanooga, Tenn., in January 1875. The mother was born in January 1800, and died in Roane County, Tenn., in January 1849. Both were consistent members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Our subject received a good practical education at Hiwassee College, Monroe County, Tenn. He came to Polk County in 1851, about the time the copper mines were being opened up, and served as county surveyor several years, since which time he has made farming his principal vocation. January 12, 1868, he married Miss Margaret Denton, daughter of James and Mary Denton (deceased). Mrs. Gamble was born in Polk County, near Benton, February 18, 1848. She is an excellent and cultured lady, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. She is the mother of six sons and five daughters, of whom three are dead. Mr. Gamble has been a steward in the Methodist Episcopal Church South for the past ten or twelve years. He is a staunch Republican.
Dr. John C. G. Garner, an eminent practicing physician of Benton, was born November 15, 1834, in Lumpkin County. Ga. His parents were Vinson and Mary M. (Wood) Garner, both natives of South Carolina. The father was born in Pendleton District, December 30, 1809, and was married at Gainesville, Hall Co, Ga., in 1827. He was a farmer. and at one time engaged in the mining business in Lumpkin County, Ga. He was a stanch Democrat and an admirer of John C. Calhoun. He died in St. Clair County, Ala., November 3, 1884. His wife was born in the Spartanburg District in 1806, and died in Jefferson County, Ala., near Birmingham, August 13, 1857. Both were members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and the parents of six children, of which John C. C. is the third. By his own efforts our subject secured a liberal education in the high school in McMinn County. At the age of 15 he went to Nashville, and for four years worked at the cabinet maker's trade. In 1854, he went to Chattanooga, working at the same trade for three years. From 1859 to 1860 he was engaged as a journeyman in Columbus and Graysville, Ga. He returned to McMinn County, and attended high school at Mount Harmony one year. In the summer of 1861 he went to Madisonville, Monroe County, and for several months read medicine under Dr. Joseph Upton. The fall of the same year he entered the medical department of the University O Nashville, returning to Madisonville at the close of the sessions. In June, 1862, he entered the Confederate Army, enlisting in Company D, Sixty-second Tennessee Infantry, under Col. John A. Rowan. At the organization of the regiment, our subject was made hospital steward, serving as such until January 1863, at which time he was promoted to assistant surgeon. The following March the surgeon resigned, and our subject filled his position until January 1865. He was captured and paroled at Vicksburg, in 1863 and exchanged in September 1864, and immediately re-entered the service. By an act of the Confederate Congress, which provided for the completion of the education of the medical under-graduates at the University of Virginia, Dr. Garner entered that college March 1, 1865, and remained until the close of the war., when he returned to Madisonville, and practiced one year. In the spring of 1866, he moved to Benton. In October 1880, he attended a course of lectures at the medical college of Ohio, where he received his diploma in March, 1881. January 30, 1868, he married Miss Texanna L. Ballew, a cultured lady of Athens, McMinn County, born May 22, 1845. Six sons and two daughters were the fruits of this union. One son is dead. Mrs. Garner's father, William H Ballew, was for many years a prominent citizen of Athens. Dr. Garner is a stanch Democrat.
William W. Howard, William W. Howard was born in Wilkes County, NC (now called Caldwell County), December 2, 1814, and is the son of George S and Elizabeth (Jones) Howard. The father was of Irish descent, and was born near Baltimore, Md. in 1770, and died in Blount County, Tennessee., August 3, 1840. He was a successful farmer and a prominent citizen. He came to North Carolina when an infant, with his parents, and remained until his death. He was a member of the Baptist Church, and was a Democrat. The mother was born in Wilkes County, NC (now Caldwell County, NC), in 1780, and died in Blount County in April 1857. Our subject was the eighth of eleven children. He received a good education by his own exertions, and lived with his mother until his marriage October 15, 1846, with Martha A Hardin, who was born in North Carolina September 4, 1828, and died in Blount County, Tenn., June 12, 1864. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and was the daughter of John P. and Naomi Hardin. This union resulted in the birth of five children, three of them are now living: John H., William D., and James P; those dead are Mary N., who was born August 5, 1847, and died August 2, 1881, and Joseph S., born August 16, 1857, and died June 13, 1882. February 3, 1876, our subject married Miss Nancy M. Smith, who was born in McMinn County, Tenn., March 23, 1836. She is the daughter of Isaac and Mary E. Smith. She is a member of the Baptist Church. Our subject, when first married, moved to Bradley County, Tenn., and purchased 400 acres of land on Kansas Creek, and after 10 years went to his present location, and purchased 300 acres of land, then sold his property in Bradley County. In connection with the farm he is also engaged in milling. In 1883 he built a saw mill and cotton-gin. He is noted for industry, honesty, and good judgment. Though not a member of any church, he is a firm believer in the teachings of the Bible. He is a Democrat.
Joel P. Johnson, a prosperous planter of Polk County, and a resident of the First District, was born March 9, 1829, in Monroe County, Tenn. He is a son of Louis and Catherine (Pennington) Johnson, both natives of North Carolina. The father was born in Wilkes County, in 1799, a son of William Johnson, a native of Wilkes County, NC, who spent his last days in Tennessee, and a grandson of an Englishman, who came to America and located in Wilkes County, where he died. Louis Johnson is now in his eighty-eighth year. He is a farmer, is rather independent in politics, but somewhat of a Democrat, and an esteemed member of the Missionary Baptist Church, to which his wife also belonged. She was born in Ashe County, NC, in 1805, and died August 1866, in Monroe County, where all her married life was passed. She was a daughter of William Pennington, a native of North Carolina, who came to Monroe County, where he died. Her grandfather was an Englishman. Our subject is the fourth of nine children. he received an excellent education at the Hiwassee College, in his native county. In the fall of 1865 he moved to Greene County where, for three years, he was engaged in farming. August 20, 1865, he married Miss Sally Maloney, a native of the county. She was born October 27, 1844, and died December 24, 1867, and was the mother of one child, a son. In January 1869, Mr. Johnson returned to Monroe County. In the fall of the same year he went to Loudon, where, in partnership with his two brothers, E. C. and J. R., he established a general merchandise store. In February 1871, he came to Polk County, purchased, and settled in the place where he now resides. Since that time he has given his attention exclusively to farming. He now owns 530 acres of fine land in the county. He is an active and industrious man, a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, and a Democrat. In August 1872, he wedded an excellent lady, a native of Monroe County, born April 17, 1845. She has borne him four sons and two daughters. Mr. Johnson is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
W. S. Kimbrough was born near Dandridge, Jefferson Co., Tennessee, May 28, 1828, and is the son of Isaac and Mary (Randolph) Kimbrough. The father was born near New Market, Jefferson Co., Tenn., April 26, 1788, and died in Polk County, Tenn., February 3, 1868. He was a very successful and noted preacher of the Missionary Baptist Church, and rode as a missionary in East Tennessee and west North Carolina for several years. He was a great reader, and a thorough theological student. He came to Polk County, Tenn., in 1849, and settled on the farm on which his son, our subject, now lives. He was a Democrat. The mother's ancestors came from England. She was born in Jefferson County, Tenn., January 15, 1792, and died in Polk County, Tenn., January 20, 1860. She was a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. Our subject was the tenth of thirteen children. He secured a liberal education in Jefferson County, and has since been a close student. December 26, 1850, he married Miss Mary Thornburgh, who was born near New Market, and was a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. She was the daughter of Nimrod and Sarah Thornburgh. This marriage resulted in the birth of two children, both living: Elvira J and Sarah E... March 22, 1874, our subject married Mary E. Ferguson, who was born in Polk County, Tenn., June 26, 1840, and died in Polk County, May 3, 1883. She was educated at Benton, Polk Co., Tenn. She was the daughter of M. E. and Jane Ferguson. By this union there are two children, both living: Laura A. and Susan J. .. February 20, 1884, our subject married Louisa J. Lawson, who was born in Polk County, Tenn., February 28, 1854. She was well educated and was a teacher, and was married, after school hours, having the scholars for witnesses. She is the daughter of James and Elizabeth Lawson. Our subject now owns 400 acres of good land. In 1850 he was elected bailiff of Polk County, and held the office until 1864, when the military governor, Andrew Johnson, removed all the officers, but he was re-elected to that office in 1870, and was elected chairman of the county court for over five years. He is a member of the Baptist Church, and is a Democrat.
Amos Ladd, a well-known and enterprising agriculturist of the Third District, was born in Bedford County, Tenn., August 18, 1814. He is the tenth of fourteen children born to Amos and Anna (Stone) Ladd. The father was born in Ireland about 1763, and came to America with his father when quite young, locating first in Virginia, shortly afterward in South Carolina, then in Bedford County, and from there moved to Marion County, Tenn., where he remained thirty years. He then went to Polk County, and finally Bedford County, where he died in 1847. He received an excellent education in Virginia. He was a Democrat and a prosperous farmer. The mother was born in England, and came to Virginia with her parents. They moved to South Carolina, where she was married. She was well educated, and a member of the Baptist Church. The subject of this sketch had no educational advantages, as he was compelled to work very hard when young, but he has a great deal of practical, useful information, and is a keen observer. On May 18, 1837, he married Nancy, daughter of William and Jane Pettit, who is of German descent, born in Surrey County, NC, February 24, 1818. To this union, four children were born. Our subject first settled on the Conasauga River, and discovered the famous Ladd Mineral Springs, now known as the "Minnewauga Springs." He built the first hotel at that place. After living there thirty-three years, he sold out and purchased his present farm, which contains 470 acres. He is a much esteemed citizen, a Master Mason, and a Republican. He served as sergeant in the Seminole war in 1834 and 1835, and was captain under the old militia law.
Frances M. Luttrell, a well known citizen of Benton, and high sheriff of Polk County, was born May 29, 1846, in McMinn County. He is a son of Hugh F. and Louisa S. (Bounds) Luttrell, both of whom are of Irish descent, and natives of Knox County, Tenn. The father was born about 1815, and remained in his native county until 1845, when he went to McMinn County, where he lost his wife. He moved to Polk County, and lived several years with our subject. His last days were spent in Monroe County, with his daughter, Mrs. Sarah J. Ranis. He died February 2, 1885. He was a farmer, and a Republican. His wife was born about 1812, and died in McMinn County, December 25, 1876. Both were members of the Methodist Church, and raised a large family of children. The subject of this sketch received a good education in his native county, and for some time was a farmer. In December 1872, he came to Polk County, where he has since resided. Until his election for high sheriff, in August 1884, he was interested in agriculture. Since that date his attentions have been given to the duties of his office; and he discharged them in so satisfactory a manner that in August 1886, he was re-elected. Although the Democrats of the county have the majority of 200, Mr. Luttrell, who is a Republican, has twice defeated the Democratic nominees. He is universally known, and popular. On September 10, 1871, he married Miss Maggie T. Jarvis, who was born in Monroe County, March 12, 1845. To this union four sons and three daughters have been born, Mr. Luttrell is not a member of any church, but a firm believer in the Bible and the Methodist faith.
Isaac Nicholson was born in Monroe County, Tenn., November 30, 1830, the son of Isaac and Rebecca (Penry) Nicholson. Both were of English descent, and natives of South Carolina, were married in their native State, and lived in South Carolina after their marriage several years, but spent the remainder of their days in Tennessee and Georgia. The father died at the age of about seventy-five, in Union County, Ga., about 1853. The mother died in 1860, in Monroe County, Tenn., at about eighty years of age. The father was a farmer and a old line Whig, and both father and mother were members of the Missionary Baptist Church. Our subject is one of thirteen children. He secured a good education in youth, in McMinn County. In 1848 he came to Polk County, and has resided here ever since. In 1871 he purchased a farm of 145 acres. Our subject has been an active business man. In 1882 he was duly elected trustee of Polk County, and re-elected in 1884 and 1886. He is a Republican, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. On March 4, 1849, he married Miss Helen M. Howell, born in Polk County, September 30, 1829. This union has resulted in the birth of ten children, eight sons and two daughters; two sons being dead. His wife is a member of Missionary Baptist Church.
William A. Prince, Sr., was born in Haywood County, N. C., January 22, 1829, and is the son of Ephraim and Lucinda Prince. The father was born in South Carolina, and died in Polk County, Tenn., November 16, 1867. He came to Tennessee at a very early date, but moved to North Carolina, then back to Monroe County, and afterward to Polk County, settling on the Ocoee River. About 1841, he moved to Ducktown, and remained until his death. His occupation was that of farming. He was very successful in business. Lucinda (Stillwell) Prince, the mother, was born in North Carolina, and died in Polk County, Tenn. She was a member of the Baptist Church. Our subject was the second of six children. He had poor school advantages in his youth, but has been a close student since. He was an infant when his father came to Tennessee, and about 12 years of age when he moved to Ducktown. He worked on his father's farm until July 15, 1850, then married Jane Hayes, who was born in Monroe County, Tenn., about 1832. She was a member of the Baptist Church, and the daughter of James and Rebecca Hayes. Our subject's union has resulted in nine children: Martha J., Rebecca L., Mary C., James W., John M., William A., Minerva C., Ephraim L., and George C. Shortly after marriage he began taking contracts to furnish the Ducktown copper mines with wood and coal until the beginning of the war, when he enlisted in Company A, of the Forty-Third Tennessee Infantry, Confederate service, and was elected second Lieutenant. He was in active service until the fall of Vicksburg. he was wounded while in an engagement with guerillas. He came home and began to take contracts, until October 1875, then moved to his present location, and turned his attention exclusively to farming, but before moving to Ducktown he was elected constable. After the war he was elected Justice of the Peace, and held that office four years. He is a member of the Baptist Church, and is a Master Mason and a Democrat.
Jesse Rymer is a native of Polk County, and was born October 10, 1839, the son of Eli and Catherine (Milton) Rymer. The father was of German descent, but it is not known what descent the mother was. The father was born in Buncombe County, N.C., about 1819, and died in Polk County in 1877. The mother was born in Bradley County, Tenn., about 1820, and died in her native county, at Cleveland, about 1870. The parents were married in Bradley County about 1838. The father was by trade a blacksmith, with which he associated farming. He was a Democrat, and a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. The mother was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Our subject is the oldest of two children. He secured a good education in his youth at Benton, Polk County, and after completing the same, he was for three years engaged in teaching school. Afterward he gave his attention to farming. About 1861 he purchased and settled on a farm in the Fifth Civil District, Polk County. In 1862 he entered the Confederate States service, enlisting in Company B, Sixty-Second Tennessee Regiment., Confederate States Army, served with credit over one year in the field., and was made a prisoner of war at Vicksburg in 1863; was paroled, came home, and resumed farming, which he has followed since. From 1867 to 1879 he had several teams of wagons on the road, freighting copper and goods to and from Ducktown. In 1882, he was duly elected to the office of circuit court clerk of Polk County, and moved his family to the town of Benton the same year, and from that date he has been a resident of Benton. In the latter part of 1883, in partnership with W. M. Clemmer, he established a store of general merchandise at Benton, and has since that time engaged in the mercantile interest in connection with farming, and the firm is still Rymer & Clemmer. In September 1861, he was united in marriage with Miss Dorinda A. Cloud, a most excellent lady and a native of South Carolina. The union has resulted in two children: Minerva, born June 1, 1864, and Fannie, born October 5, 1867. Our subject is a Democrat, and he and his wife are worthy and consistent members of the Missionary Baptist Church.