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James G. Aydelott, lawyer and one of the most prominent citizens of Tullahoma, Tennessee, was born in Hickman, Kentucky, November 3, 1845, and is the son of John D. and Sarah (Grizzard) Aydelott. The father was born in Rutherford County, Tennessee, in 1818, and died at Hickman in 1852. The mother, born in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1827, is the daughter of James Grizzard, the pioneer merchant of Tullahoma.
When a small boy our subject removed with his mother to Tullahoma, where he has since resided. While a man of good education, his attendance at public school did not exceed three months altogether, having been taught entirely by his mother, who was a lady of fine education and more than ordinary attainments, educated as she was at the old Nashville Female Academy. In 1860 our subject entered the store of J. B. Witherby as clerk, remaining there until the occupation of Tullahoma by General Bragg. He then entered the Confederate Army news depot, serving in that position until the Georgia campaign, when he went on duty at the headquarters of the Army of the Tennessee, where he remained until after the surrender in North Carolina, having been under General Johnston, Bragg and Hood. At the close of the war he returned home and occupied a position as clerk in the store of Crane & Witherby, being at the same time a member of the firm of Aydelott & Stevens, manufacturers of harness, saddles, boots and shoes.
In 1869 he entered into partnership with Joel Witherby in general merchandise, in which he was engaged until 1873, when the firm was dissolved by the retirement of the senior member to private life. He next became a member of the firm of Aydelott, Davidson & Co., in 1875, but retired from the same in a few months. In 1876 he formed a co-partnership with John P. Bennett, and remained in the same until 1878. In 1880 he engaged in the lumber and produce business, continuing until 1883. For a year and a half he was actively engaged in developing coal mining in east Tennessee, in which he was largely interested, but in 1885 closed out the controlling interest, since when he has been devoted to his law practice and office work. Mr. Aydelott is, and has been for eighteen years a member of the county court, member of the board of aldermen, mayor of Tullahoma, twice, four and five years each time, and recorder the same number of times.
He has been for the past twenty years an active member of the I. O. O. F., being elected in 1884 Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, and in 1885 was elected Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of the Sovereign Grand Lodge, serving in that capacity at the session of the same at Boston, Massachusetts in 1886. His term of office will extend to and include the meeting of the Sovereign Grand Lodge in Denver, Colorado, in 1887. In 1886 he was elected Grand High Priest of the Grand Encampment, I. O. O. F., of Tennessee. He is also a member of the Tullahoma Lodge and Chapter, F. & A. M., and of Tullahoma Lodge, A. O. U. W., representing the latter in the Grand Lodge of Tennessee. In politics he is a democrat and belongs to the progressive Democracy of the new South; while having never asked for office, he has always taken an active part in politics, and has been a delegate to every county, congressional and state convention held by his party in fifteen years. He is a director of the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway, also a director of the Tullahoma National Bank and is prominently connected with various other corporations.
Our subject was married March 20, 1872, to Sallie, daughter of George and Delilah (Troxler) Cortner, of Bradford County, Tennessee, she was born in 1851. To them have been born three children, as follows: George Cortner, born August 5, 1873; Johan Doak, December 6, 1875, and Jessie Mai, January 9, 1881. Mr. Aydelott is a member of the Episcopal, while his wife is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.