Location: Cannon County TN

Biography of Pat Geraty

Pat Geraty, a merchant of Dowelltown, was born in 1832 at Castle Bar, County Mio, Ireland. He is one of six surviving children of a family of nine born to John and Catherine (Conway) Geraghty. The father was born in 1795, same place where Pat first saw the light. Early in life he was a carpenter, afterward a farmer. He died about 1880, in the vicinity in which he had always lived. The mother was born about 1798, in the same county, at Clare, and died in 1883. Our subject was educated in the common schools of his childhood’s home he was in Company G, Fourth United States Cavalry. He took part in the famous battles of Perryville, Murfreesboro, Lookout Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, and Atlanta and in numerous skirmishes. He was honorably discharged at Gravely Springs, Ala., March 13, 1865, from the army in which he had so bravely fought for the preservation of the stars and stripes. He was very much enfeebled in health, from the hardships and exposures common to a soldier’s life, and remained delicate several years. Immediately after the restoration of peace, he established himself in the mercantile business in Clear Forks, Cannon County, Tenn., where he remained fourteen years, when he sold out and moved to Dowelltown, again embarking in the same business. About 1870 he married Sally Melissa, daughter of John and Julia...

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Biography of J.L. Colvert

J. L. Colvert, retired merchant, was born in 1828 in Culpeper County, Va., the son of William I. and Harriett (Weedon) Colvert. The father, born in the same county in 1791, was a farmer and a soldier in the war of 1812, on duty in his native State. In 1828 he came to Warren County, Tenn., Thence to Alabama for a few years, and about 1840 returned to Cannon County, Tenn. He finally settled in Dekalb County in 1848 and bought a home of 150 acres, where he lived the greater part of his life. He died in Nashville in 1859. The mother, born in 1801 in Fairfax County, Va., is still living, receiving a pension for her husband’s services in 1812. Our subject, one of seven children, came to Tennessee when an infant, and was reared and educated in Cannon County. At the age of sixteen he served a year’s apprenticeship in a tannery, then farmed a year, and in 1848 sunk a tannery in Dekalb County with his brother as partner. In April 1846, he Married Johanna Matthews, born in Cannon County in 1830. Their two children are Mary E., wife of S. D. Blankenship, and Harriett. In 1852 he engaged in farming and merchandising besides tanning. In 1854 he sold his tan yard and store and established a store in Smith County. After six months here...

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Biography of W.G. Bratten

W. G. Bratten, Farmer, was born in 1823, in Smith County (now Dekalb), the oldest of two sons of Henry and Nancy (Givan) Bratton, The former of Irish origin, born in Maryland about 1798, and the latter of Scotch origin, born in the same State about the same year. The mother’s parents came when she was a year old to Nashville by boat after reaching the Ohio River, and where three weeks in cutting a road to Liberty, which was named by her father in honor of their old home in Maryland, as he was something of a leader in the forty families which came there. The father’s people were among the number, and about 1820 they were married, and in 1823 the father died. Joel Bratton, an ancestor, was one of the Mayflower Pilgrims. The mother afterward married Osburn Munlacks. Their three children were Mary, Sarah and Joseph. She died about 1831 near Liberty. Our subject, reared by his uncle, and with little education, married when twenty-two, Caroline, daughter of James and Lucretia Groom, of North Carolina, and began farming in Cannon County. After eight years he sold and bought his present farm near Liberty. Mrs. Bratton was born in 1826 on our subject’s present farm and died in 1859. But one of their eight children is living, Thomas G., our subject married Martha, daughter of James and...

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Biography of Lewis R. Pumphrey

LEWIS R. PUMPHREY, of the well-known firm of Pumphrey & Cantrell, general merchants and cotton dealers, of Lead Hill, Arkansas, was born in Cannon County, Tennessee, in 1839, to the marriage of Thomas and Margaret (Holt) Pumphrey, also natives of Tennessee. The parents were reared and married in their native State, and about 1839 moved by wagon to Ozark County, Missouri, where they were among the first settlers. There they resided for six or seven years and then moved to Fulton County, Arkansas, where Mr. Pumphrey died soon after. Mrs. Pumphrey then moved to what is now Boone County, Arkansas, where she died about 1859. Mr. Pumphrey was a successful and enterprising farmer and a man of conservative views and habits. He was one of seven or eight sons and daughters born to the marriage of Lewis Pumphrey, who also came to Missouri in 1839, but subsequently settled in Fulton County, Arkansas, where he died when quite aged. He was also a farmer. The maternal grand-father, William Holt, was a native Tennessean, but in 1838 he came to Ozark County, Missouri, subsequently settling in what is now Boone County, Arkansas, where he followed farming and stockraising successfully until his death in 1859. He was a pioneer of the Ozark Region and a man universally respected. His wife died at Lead Hill about 1888. They were the parents of thirteen...

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Biography of B. M. Estes

B. M. ESTES. There is no branch of commerce in the United States or elsewhere that is of more importance and enters more intimately into the interests of a locality than the selling of general merchandise, and this important calling is that in which Mr. Estes is engaged. He is a member of the firm of Estes & Cawdrey, of Eros, Arkansas, which connection was made in November 1893. Mr. Estes was born at Woodbury, Tennessee, September 23, 1844, being one of twelve children born to John M. and Charlotte (Elkins) Estes, the former of whom was a native of the Old North State and a son of John and Margaret Estes. John Estes was killed in the Florida Indian War and his widow survived him until 1857. John M. Estes attained manhood in Tennessee, gained a moderate education, and was married there, but in 1847 emigrated to Marion County, Arkansas, and until his death, March 12, 1881, was a resident most of the time of Yellville. He became well known throughout this section, was respected by all who knew him and was a man of unblemished reputation. His wife was born in Tennessee, in 1809, a member of the well-known Elkin family of that State, and is still living on her farm near Yellville, and in addition to her twelve children she has 240 grand, great-grand, and great-great-grandchildren....

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Biography of Dr. C. B. Elkins

DR. C. B. ELKINS. The noble profession of medicine affords to the student in that science a never-ending source of investigation and experiment. New remedies are constantly being discovered, steady progress is being made in surgery and new diseases are presenting themselves under varying forms of civilization. In the noble army of workers in this great field may be found the name of Dr. C. B. Elkins, who, since 1888, has resided in Ozark, Christian County, Missouri. He came from Cannon County, Tennessee, in 1870, and with his father settled in Christian County about three miles from Ozark. There his father, H. R. Elkins, still resides. Dr. Elkins owes his nativity to Tennessee; in which State his birth occurred in 1862. His mother, Ruth Neely, was also born in that State and was a daughter of Alexander Neely. The Elkins family have been known in America ever since colonial days and have been residents of Tennessee from the very early history of that State. When Dr. Elkins was five years old he was left motherless with a brother and sister. The former, Euclid Elkins, became a man of family and died in Ozark County, Missouri, in 1881, and the latter, Melissa, became the wife of W. L. Phillips of Christian County. After the death of the wife and mother, the father married again and by his second wife became...

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Biography of Nathaniel Estes

NATHANIEL ESTES. This gentleman is prominently connected with the farming and mining interests of Marion County, Arkansas, and he has justly earned the reputation of being one of the most enterprising and progressive men of the section. He was born in Cannon County, Tennessee, November 8, 1847, a son of John Estes, a history of whom may be found in the sketch of James Estes. Nathaniel Estes came to Arkansas at an early period with his parents and has resided here since he was one year old. His early days were spent in attending school in Yellville, but the last few years of his school life were much interrupted by the great conflict which was being waged between the North and South. In 1864, at the age of sixteen, he dropped his books to become a votary of Mars, and enlisted in Company A, Col. Snabel’s regiment, Jackman’s brigade, and was with Price on his raid through Missouri and northern Arkansas. He was wounded at Boonville, Missouri, but remained with his regiment and most of the time was on active duty. He was one of the very youngest members of his regiment and served about one year before the war closed. He then returned home, and after attending a school for a short time he started out for himself, at about the age of twenty, and for three years...

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Biography of W. Q. Seawel

This gentleman has for years devoted his attention to mercantile pursuits, is a practical, experienced man, thoroughly conversant with the business in all its branches, and his establishment is a most reliable one at which to deal. He was born in Cannon County, Tennessee, January 3, 1844, and since 1869 has been a resident of Yellville, whither he came from Buffalo City, Arkansas, where he had located in 1867. His parents were Francis M. and Anna E. (Bates ) Seawel, who were born, reared and married in Tennessee. They removed to Arkansas in 1856, and here the father engaged in tilling the soil and also in church work, becoming a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and later of the M. P. Church. He lost his life in Prairie County, Arkansas, during the war, but the exact cause of his death was never known. He was at that time about forty-two years old. At the commencement of the war he was in sympathy with the Union and opposed to secession, but he became chaplain of a Confederate regiment. The paternal grandfather, Jesse Q. Seawel, was a Virginian and an early pioneer of Georgia and Tennessee, but died near Webb City, Missouri, about 1885, having been a manufacturer of tobacco. The founder of the family in this country was a Scotchman, who came thither during Colonial days. The maternal grandfather,...

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Biography of Richard S. Holt

RICHARD S. HOLT. It is a pleasure to write the biography of a man of unusual personal merit-the possessor of a combination of gifts so comprehensive that happiness and success in any enterprise is bound to follow the application of his qualities to the solution of almost any reasonable problem in life. It is an unwritten law that the secret of success in life in all individual cases is the common property or heritage of all unfortunates of the human race. It is therefore eminently proper for the historian or delineator of character to review the lives of those individuals who have not only been successful in the various enterprises in which they engaged, but as citizens and neighbors have won the lasting regard of all. Richard S. Holt, a retired merchant and farmer, and an esteemed citizen of Lead Hill, Arkansas, was born in Cannon County, Tennessee, in 1832. His parents, William H. and Mary L. (Stevens) Holt, were natives of Virginia and Tennessee respectively, the former born in 1799 and the latter in 1802. This estimable couple was married in Tennessee, whither they had gone with their parents when young, and made their home in that State until 1840, when they moved to Ozark County, Missouri, by wagon, being about six weeks on the journey. They improved a farm and resided there until 1849, when the fertile...

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Biography of B. B. Melton

B. B. MELTON. Since the year 1851 Mr. Melton has been a resident of Christian County, and he is one of the best-known and much esteemed citizens of this section. It is a pleasure to chronicle the history of a man whose life has been one of honor and usefulness and although he is now in his seventy-fifth year, time has dealt leniently with him, and he is in the enjoyment of comparatively good health. Like many other citizens of the county, he is a native of Tennessee, born in Cannon County, August 12, 1820, to the marriage of Jacob and Lucy (Matthews) Melton. The parents came to this county in 1851, located in Elk Valley, southwest of Ozark, and there passed the remainder of their days, the mother dying in 1865 and the father in October, 1871. Shortly after this worthy couple’s marriage, which occurred in Alabama, they moved to Tennessee, and from there to this State. Both were natives of North Carolina, and they were among the pioneers of the Big Bend State. Grandfather Matthews was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. The father of our subject followed farming all his life and was fairly successful in that occupation. To his marriage were born eleven children: Mary, James M., Nancy A., B. B. (our subject), Elizabeth, Eliza J., Angeline, Ansel, Thomas, Elsie and Tilitia. Five of these...

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Biography of G. W. Nokes

G. W. NOKES. It matters little what vocation a man selects as his life occupation so long as it is an honorable one. If he is an honest, upright man, courteous in his intercourse with his fellowmen and possessed of the average amount of energy and business sagacity, he is bound to make his business a financial success. Because the subject of this sketch is possessed of all these requirements, is the chief reason that he has succeeded; because he is above the average in point of natural business qualifications, is the reason he today stands among the best merchants of the county. A brief sketch of Mr. Nokes is here appropriately given: A native of Cannon County, Tennessee, born in 1845, he is the second in order of birth of eleven children, ten sons and one daughter, born to Nelson and Flora A. (Elam) Nokes, natives of Cannon County,Tennessee, the father born about 1821 and the mother in 1825. The parents were reared and married in that State and there remained until 1854, when they came to the neighborhood of Nixa, Missouri, then in Greene County, and settled on a claim in the woods. Mr. Nokes improved four good farms in this neighborhood and there passed the remainder of his days, dying in August, 1879. He was a Union man during the war, but took no active part,...

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Biography of James Estes

JAMES ESTES. This intelligent man of affairs keeps abreast of the times and is a successful tiller of the soil of Marion County, Arkansas He was born in Cannon County, Tennessee, July 10, 1839, a son of John and Charlotte (Elkins) Estes, and grandson of Gilbert Estes, who came to this country from England and participated in the Revolutionary War, being killed in the battle of Horse Shoe Bend. One of his sons was in the War of 1812 under Gen. Jackson. Mrs. Malinda Thomas is the only one of that family now living, and she has attained the age of eighty-five years and makes her home with the subject of this sketch. In 1850 John Estes came with his family to Marion County, Arkansas, his brother Edward having preceded him several years, and James Estes, the subject of this sketch, accompanied his father, being then ten years of age. He grew to manhood in Yellville, and when the great Civil War came up he, in July, 1861, enlisted in an Arkansas regiment, in which he served until the war closed, taking part in the battles of Ash Hill, Pea Ridge, Little Rock, Pleasant Hill and others. He was a useful and faithful soldier, and gave all his energies to the success of the cause he espoused. He returned home June 20, 1865. Three of his brothers were in...

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Biography of Simeon Ashley

Simeon Ashley, clerk of Coffee county Circuit court, and a prominent citizen of Manchester, was born March 8, 1830, near Beech Grove, Tennessee. He is the son of William and Mary (Weaver) Ashley, of English and Scotch descent respectively – the former born in South Carolina, Lawrence District, February 14, 1789, and the latter, in North Carolina in 1790. Their parents came to Tennessee in early days, and the maternal father was a companion of James K. Polk’s father in the then far west. After the marriage of the elder Ashley, in about 1812, they made Beech Grove their permanent home. He was a farmer, a stanch democrat, and a Primitive Baptist in religion. The mother of our subject was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The dates of the father and mother’s deaths were in 1870 and 1869 respectively. One of eight children, our subject received his early education at Beech Grove Academy, and taught and farmed about eight years. With W. T. Moore he established a general store at Bradyville in 1856. In 1861 he enlisted in the confederate service Company E, Eighteenth Tennessee Infantry. His varied experiences may be seen from the following engagements: Fort Donelson, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, etc. After his long military life he returned and cared for his father until the latter’s death. Since 1878 he has been in public service,...

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Biographical Sketch of S. H. Wood, M.D.

S. H. Wood, M. D., a physician of Hillsboro, was born in Rutherford County, Tennessee, November 13, 1824. His parents, Thomas and Susan (Baldridge) Wood, are natives of Orange County, N. C., immigrating to Tennessee about 1806. A blacksmith by trade the elder Wood moved to Hickman County, Kentucky, in 1827, remaining there to the close of his life in 1837. Reared on the farm, our subject began the study of medicine in 1844, and before beginning to practice in Bradyville, Tennessee, attended Louisville University. Since 1866 he has had successful practice at his present home. He married Elizabeth Lyon, of Rutherford County, in 1849. Born to them were John, May 14, 1850, and Mary F., June 10, 1852. His wife died July 10, 1853. He then married Mary J. Lyon, by whom he had seven children. Her death occurred May 2, 1872, at Hillsboro. In 1874 he married Sarah C. Huffar. They have six children. He is a member of the Christian Church. In 1861 he was State Representative, and is now justice of the peace. Politically he is a...

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Biographical Sketch of Hon. John M. James

Hon. John M. James, a native of Cannon County, Tennessee, born in 1816. His father, William James, was a native of North Carolina, and died May 20, 1840. His mother, Clara (Smith) James, was born in Suffolk, Virginia. His great-grandfather was one of Lord Baltimore’s colonists in Maryland, and his grandfather emigrated to North Carolina. Our subject is the next to the youngest of a family of seven children. He was married March 14, 1837, to Elizabeth LeMay, of North Carolina. She was of French origin. Two years after his marriage he moved to Arkansas, where in 1842 his wife died. February 8, 1846, he married Miss M. H. Johnson, of Missouri, and by her had eight children. She died in 1883, and in 1885 he again entered the marriage relation, choosing this time Mrs. Disa A. Francis, who comes from a prominent family in Virginia. On April 17, 1852, Mr. James left Arkansas for California, and after a slow and tedious journey of seven months his ox teams brought him in safety to Los Angeles County, where he lived until 1857, near El Monte. He worked there as a millwright and carpenter, then moved to San Bernardino, and was for several years engaged in lumbering from the mountains. He hauled lumber to Los Angeles, a distance of seventy miles, and sold it for $42.50 per thousand feet. He...

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