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Biography of D.W. Dinges

D. W. Dinges, a notary public, and a leading business man of Alexandria, was born in 1836, in Warren County, Va., the youngest of five children of Wm. M. and Clara P. E. (Lincoln) Dinges, both natives of Virginia. The father was born about 1810, of Scotch- Dutch decent, a son of Mortica Dinges. He was a blacksmith, and spent his entire life in his native State, where he died in 1837. His wife was born about 1814, and is living in White County. She moved to Tennessee soon after her husband’s death. She has been three times married; is a consistent member of the Christian Church. Our subject received rather limited educational advantages at Sparta. He taught school about three years. In 1861 he enlisted in Company K, Sixteenth Tennessee Infantry, serving principally in Tennessee, West Virginia and South Carolina. In 1862 he took part in the battle of Perryville, and was captured near Barbersville, Ky.; in a few hours was paroled, returned home and about three months later joined the Eighth Tennessee Cavalry under Gen. Dibrell. He participated in the battle at Sparta, was again captured and paroled, and returned home after serving his country gallantly, for three and a half years. In 1865 he moved to Alexandria and began merchandising, in partnership with W. H. Lincoln, the firm being known as Dinges & Lincoln. They did a flourishing business. In 1872 he purchased Mr. Lincoln’s interest, and in 1881 R. B. Floy became a partner. They discontinued their business about three years later. In 1885 he established the firm of D. W. Dinges & Co., which...

Biographical Sketch of Dr. Thos. P. Davis

Dr. Thos. P. Davis, one of Alexandria’s most respected citizens, was born in Smith County, August 31, 1858. He is the youngest of ten children of Benjamin and Kittie (Whorley) Davis. The father was born in North Carolina about 1817, and moved to Tennessee when a young man; afterward married and settled in Smith County. He was one of the most substantial, enterprising and industrious farmers in the section. His death occurred about the close of the late war. His wife was a native of Virginia and came to Tennessee with her parents; she died when the Doctor was an infant. Of her children eight are living. Her mother lived to the unusual age of one hundred and two. Her father was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. Mr. and Mrs. Davis were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Our subject was raised by the elder members of the family, receiving his literary education at the country schools and Alexandria. In 1876 and 1877 he read medicine with Dr. E. Tubb, and entered the medical department of the Vanderbilt University, graduating in 1879. He immediately returned to Alexandria and began to practice. He has received an extensive and liberal patronage, and is now recognized as one of the leading physicians of the...

Biographical Sketch of Prof. H.L.W. Gross

Prof. H. L. W. Gross, Principal of the Masonic Normal School, Alexandria, and the associate principal, Prof. James L. Boon, are well and favorably known throughout the country. Prof. Gross is the son of Milton and Clara P. C. (Lincoln) Gross , and a native of White County. The father was of German descent, Born in Sullivan County, Tenn., and a son of Jacob Gross, a native of North Carolina and pioneer settler of Sullivan County, where he was engaged in farming and gunsmithing. He died about 1880. His widow, who is ninety-five years of age, enjoys the best of health, is robust and vigorous as a young woman, and never had a serious illness in her life. Milton went to Sparta when about eighteen years of age, and engaged in the saddler’s trade. He married about 1838, and died about 1854. His wife was born in Hardy County (now West),Virginia in 1815, is still living at Sparta, where he received his early education. After attending Burritt College at Spencer, lacking only a term of five months, finishing the course, and two years’ teaching in Alexandria , he entered the Vanderbilt University course in English. He returned to Alexandria and entered upon the duties of his present position, which he has discharged to the satisfaction of all, winning the confidence and esteem of the community. In 1886 he made an extended tour through the North for mental improvement. He attended the two weeks’ session of the eminent Dr. Parker’s, and visited the Cincinnati schools. He is a Democrat, and for fourteen years has been a faithful member of the...

Biography of Hon. John A. Fuson

Hon. John A. Fuson, an eminent practicing physician and surgeon of the Fourth District, was born in 1815, in Champaign County, Ohio. He is the third of seven children (three living) of James and Martha (Sneed) Fuson, both of whom were natives of Patrick County, Virginia. The father was of English descent, born in 1792. Two years after marriage he moved to Champaign County, Ohio, where he engaged in farming, occasionally preaching. He died in 1863. The mother was of French origin, born about 1795, and died in 1885. The subject of this sketch received a limited education in the common schools of his native county, remaining with his parents until he was twenty-two, when he came to Tennessee, and settled at Alexandria, Dekalb County, where for three years he studied medicine under direction of Dr. Thomas J. Sneed, at the expiration of which time he began practicing at Liberty, in 1842. In 1847 he married Martha L., Daughter of John W. and Lucy W. (Flowers) Allen, near Rome, Smith County. Mrs Fuson was born in White County, in 1826, and became mother of eleven children. The eight surviving ones are James; Lucy Jane,Wife of Chas. McCaverty of West Virginia; John A.; Elizabeth, Wife of Isaac N. Fite; George M.; Wm. Francis; Josephine, Wife of Chas. Williams, and Joseph Benjamin. In 1856 the Doctor purchased a farm in the Fourth District of Dekalb County, and moved his family there. He has always had an extensive patronage; is one of the most skillful and popular practitioners in the section. He has accumulated considerable property and wealth, but has lost heavily...

Biographical Sketch of N.M. Brown

N. M. Brown, of Brown & Donnell, Millers, was born in Dekalb County in 1856, the youngest son of six children of Isaiah and Rachel A. (Wood) Brown, both natives of Virginia. The father, of Dutch origin, was born in 1818 and died in 1885. He was the son of John Brown, a tanner. Isaiah was reared and married in his native State, and in 1854 removed to Dekalb County, Tenn., Where he worked at his trade as cooper. The mother, born in 1823, is still living with our subject and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Our subject was educated at Alexandria, and at the early age of thirteen began life as an engineer, to which he has since devoted most of his time. He has had a varied practice under different persons and is a skillful engineer. During 1881 he was a merchant, but since then he has been in charge of the Alexandria mills, in which he has an interest and which are doing a profitable business. He and his brother are also owners of a sawmill in Warren County. June 18, 1885, he was married to Julia, a daughter of John and Julia Rollings, of Alexandria, where Mrs. Brown was born in 1861. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They have one child, Maud. Mr. Brown is a Republican, casting his first vote for Gen....

Biography of H.D. Foust

H. D. Foust, of Foust & Jones, carriage manufacturers at Alexandria, was born in Wilson County in 1845, a son of William E. and Betsey (Luster) Foust. The father, born in Wilson County about 1818, was the son of William Foust, a native of Germany. William E. was married in 1844, and was all his life a blacksmith and carriage manufacturer in his native county. He was sheriff of the county four terms. The mother was born in the same county about 1829, and both were members of the Missionary Baptist Church. Educated at Lebanon, our subject at fifteen entered Company A, in the Forty-fifth Tennessee Infantry, and operated in the extreme South for about eighteen months, when, under the conscription act, he was rejected on account of age. He then returned home, and soon after joined Gen Forrest’s command, and afterward Gen. Morgan’s on his Indiana and Ohio raid, but was captured on reaching the Ohio River. He was soon recaptured, and went home and south to join Gen. Wheeler at Dalton, Ga., with who he remained until his surrender at Raleigh, N. C., and then returned home. In December 1865, he married Catherine, daughter of W. A. Robinson of Lebanon, where she was born in 1844. Their six children are living: William E., Jr., Bettie, Henry D., Malinda, John L. and Etta. Mrs. Foust, died in 1880, and in 1881 he married Mary J. Lannon. They have one child, Lillian. Mr. Foust was a blacksmith and carriage-maker at Lebanon for several years, when after some time in Shop-Springs he removed to Alexandria and entered the present firm,...

Biographical Sketch of Hon. J.W. Botts

Hon. J. W. Botts, Attorney at law, is the son of Aron and Sarah (English) Botts, and born on Smith Fork, Dekalb County, in 1830, one of eight children, five of whom are living. The father, of English ancestry, was born in North Carolina, and died in 1860 about sixty years of age. Left an orphan when a child, he was reared and married in his native State, and soon after removed to Kingston, Tenn., and afterward to Dekalb County, as it is known know. He settled at the mouth of Helton Creek where he resumed his business of hatter, until about 1831, since when he lived in Alexandria until his death. He was a tax collector one term and twice defeated as candidate for sheriff by only five and seven votes respectively. The mother, a native of North Carolina, died in Nashville about 1865. Our subject was educated at Alexandria, and at Gainesboro under Hon. William DeWitt, now of Chattanooga. In August 1850, he married Cynthia, daughter of Dr. Thomas J. and Nancy Sneed, of Alexandria, where Mrs. Botts was born. Seven of their thirteen children are living: Robert A., undertaker at Alexandria; Lizzie, wife of Andrew Kersey; Sarah, wife of John Argo(deceased), of Nashville; John E., with the St. Louis Railway; Norman and Earnest, both at Dixon Springs, and Charley. Mrs. Botts died in August 1883. February 23, 1884, he married Nora, Daughter of Louis W. and Sarah Manning, of Smith County. They have one child, Lena. A carpenter and cabinetmaker during his earlier years, our subject was for the fifteen years preceding the war, magistrate and...

Biographical Sketch of R.F. Jones

R. F. Jones, merchant, was born in 1857, in Alexandria, Dekalb County, Tenn., one of three children of Jas. And Martha P. (West) Jones, the former, probably of English origin, and born near Alexandria about 1825, and the latter of like ancestry, and born in the same vicinity about 1835. The father was engaged in merchandising the most of his married life at Alexandria. At the battle of Chickamauga he received a shot from which he died in a few hours. The mother died near Alexandria in 1884. Educated at Alexandria and Liberty, our subject began clerking in 1874 for William Vick, at Liberty. After nine years here, he established himself in his present business at Dowelltown in which he has been most successful. In 1878 he married Eliza, daughter of Isaac and Nancy Whaley, of Liberty, where she was born in 1857. Their two children are Mattie and Frank. Our subject is a Democrat, first voting for Hancock. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal...

Biography of W.W. Patterson

W. W. Patterson, one of the leading business men of Alexandria, was born in Smith County in 1843, the second of eight children of Samuel F. and Catherine (Smith) Patterson. The father was of Scotch-Irish descent, born in Wilson County in 1801, and the son of Samuel Patterson, a native of Ireland who immigrated to America at about the age of sixteen. He settled in Wilson County, where he married and spent the remainder of his life as a tiller of the soil. Samuel F. was first married to Miss Lucy Waters, by whom he had two children, one living. His second union was with Mrs. Compton, nee Coe; to them one child was born. About 1835 he wedded the mother of our subject, who was born in Wilson County about 1812, and died in 1876. In 1832 Mr. Patterson moved to Smith County, where he was a prosperous farmer. He served several years as constable and magistrate. He died in 1884. Both were members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Six of their children are living. Our subject was educated in the country schools. In 1861 at the age of seventeen he entered the Confederate Army, Company F, Twenty-fourth Tennessee Infantry. He took part in the battle of Shiloh, and was the only one of nine guards who escaped uninjured. After twelve months’ faithful service he was discharged on account of ill health. In 1863 he married Miss J. E., daughter of Willis and Martha Dowell, of Smith County, where Mrs. Patterson was born in 1844. Of their five children, one son died in infancy, and one son and...

Biography of Gen. Wm. B. Stokes

Gen. Wm. B. Stokes, one of the leading attorneys and best-known citizens of Alexandria, was born in 1814 in Chatham County, N. C. He is the second and only surviving one of their children of Sylvanus and Mary (Christian) Stokes. The father was of English descent, born in Chatham County, N. C., in 1783, a son of Thos. Stokes who was a native of Virginia and a cousin of ex-Gov. Munford Stokes, of North Carolina. Sylvanus was married in North Carolina about 1810, and in 1818 started for Tennessee, where his father owned large tracts of land. While en route his team ran away and he was killed by the wagon running over him. The family proceeded on their journey and located in Smith County near Temperance Hall, where the widow remained until her death in 1853. She was a native of the same State and county, and also same age as her husband. The subject of our sketch was educated in the best schools of Smith (now Dekalb) County. In January 1832, he married miss Parilee A., daughter of Abraham and Hannah Overall, of Dekalb County, where Mrs. Stokes was born in May 1815. Thirteen children came to this union, of whom one son and six daughters are now living: Melissia J., wife of W. T. Hoskins, of Dekalb County; Hannah L., wife of Jas. L. Calhoun, of Davidson County; Harriet A., Wife of Hon. W. A. Bryan, of Nashville; Fannie, wife of Dr. Elial Tubb (deceased); W. Jordan, of Texas; Sallie, wife of Geo. McNelly, and Norah Stokes. Mrs. Stokes died in May 1880. She was a...
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