Location: Warren County TN

Biography of Charles Biles

Charles Biles was born in Warren County, Tennessee, in Aug. 1809, and reared on a farm in North Carolina, removing when 19 years old to Christian County, Kentucky. In 1832 he married, and in 1835 removed to Illinois, soon returning to Hopkins County, Kentucky, where he resided until 1853, when he emigrated to Washington Territory in company with his brother James, their families, and C. B. Baker, Elijah Baker, and William Downing, and their families, being a part of the first direct immigration to the territory, via the wagon road through the Nachess pass. Mr Biles settled upon Grand Mound Prairie in Thurston County, farming, and sometimes preaching as a minister of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He died Feb. 26, 1869, leaving two sons (one having died after emigrating) and two daughters, namely, David F., Charles N., Mrs M. Z. Goodell, and Mrs I. B. Ward. David F. Biles was born in Kentucky in 1833, coming with his parents to Washington Territory. In 1851 he took a claim in Thurston County, and in 1855 became a deputy U. S. Surveyor, but the Indian war coming on interrupted work, and he took to soldiering in defense of the settlements, resuming his surveying when peace was restored. From 1838 to 1862 he resided in Cosmopolis, Chehalis County, but then removed to a homestead claim near Elma, on the line of the...

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Burials in Caves

The early settlers of eastern Tennessee, eastern Kentucky, and the adjoining region discovered many caves of varying sizes in the broken, mountainous country. In many instances human remains which had been deposited in the caverns, together with the garments and wrappings of tanned skins or woven fibers, were found in a remarkable state of preservation, having been thus preserved by the natural salts which abounded within the caves. Fortunately several very clear and graphic accounts of such discoveries were prepared. One most interesting example, then recently made in a cave in Barren County, Kentucky, was described in a letter written August 24, 1815: ” In exploring a calcareous chamber in the neighborhood of Glasgow, for saltpetre, several human bodies were found enwrapped carefully in skins and cloths. They were inhumed below the floor of the cave; inhumed, not lodged in catacombs. The outer envelope of the body is a deer skin, probably dried in the usual way, and perhaps softened before its application, by rubbing. The next covering is a deer skin, whose hair had been cut away by a sharp instrument. The next wrapper is of cloth, made of twine doubled and twisted. But the thread does not appear to have been formed by the wheel, nor the web by the loom. The innermost tegument is a mantle of cloth like the preceding; but furnished with large brown...

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Biography of John D. Coulson

John D. Coulson was born near McMinnville, Warren county, Tennessee, February 9, 1807, and was there reared and educated. He attended the old time subscription schools, taught in a log cabin with dirt floor, warmed from a huge fireplace, seats of split logs raised on pegs, and the only window being the space left by an absent log; thus he acquired his early education, and there he lived until he attained his twenty-third year. Leaving his old home in 1829, he journeyed toward the West, and arrived at St. Louis on the 3d of March, the eve of General Jackson’s inauguration as President of the United States, and for whom he had cast his first vote. He arrived in Howard county on the 8th of March, stopped on a visit to his sister, and was soon after employed by Bull & Graves, of Old Chariton, as a clerk, remaining until the 18th of August, when he was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Lewis, a sister-in-law of Mr. Graves. With his bride he then took a pleasure trip to his old home in Tennessee, returning in November and settling in Chariton county, where he engaged in farming, stock-raising and hunting-enjoying the latter sport especially. In November, 1840, he removed to Daviess county and settled on a farm two miles south-west of Gallatin, which he improved and lived on...

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Slave Narrative of Ellis Ken Kannon

Person Interviewed: Ellis Ken Kannon Location: Nashville, Tennessee Place of Residence: 318 5th Avenue N., St. Mary’s Church, Nashville, Tennessee “I dunno jes how ole I ez. I wuz bawn in Tennessee as a slave. Mah mammy kum frum Virginia. Our marster wuz Ken Kannon.” “Our Mistress wouldn’t let us slaves be whup’d but I member mah daddy tellin’ ’bout de Overseer whuppin’ ‘im en he run ‘way en hid in a log. He tho’t de blood hounds, he heered ’bout a half mile ‘way, on his trail could heer ‘im breathe but de hounds nebber fin’ ‘im. Atter de hounds pas’ on, mah daddy lef’ de log hidin’ place en w’en he got ter a blacksmith shop, he se’ed a white man wid a nigger who had handcuffs on en w’en de white man tuk off de handcuffs, de nigger axed mah daddy whar he wuz gwine en he tole ‘im back ter mah Mistress en de nigger sezs I ez too. Mah daddy slipped ‘way fum ‘im en went home.” “W’en I wuz a young boy, I didn’t wear nothin’ but a shirt lak all urthur boys en hit wuz a long thing lak a slip dat kum ter our knees. Our Mistress had a big fier place en w’en we would kum in cole she would say ain’t you all cole. (You all was always used...

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Biography of J.E. Robinson

J. E. Robinson, a farmer living near Temperance Hall, was born October 31, 1832, in Smith (now Dekalb) County. He is the fifth of seven children of John and Eliza (Harris) Robinson. The father was born about 1799, near Nashville, and was brought when an infant, by his father, to the farm where his son now resides. The country at that time was an unbroken canebrake, and infested by many Indians, who were treacherous and troublesome. There were also great quantities of wild animals, the bears often coming about the place which Stephen Robinson purchased. He was one of the most extensive stock raisers in the country, especially blooded horses. Our subject was educated in the common schools of Dekalb County, and attended one session of Irwin College, Warren County. December 14, 1854, he married Miss Margaret E., daughter of Nicholas and Sarah (Compton) Smith. Mrs. Robinson was born November 8, 1831. Their union resulted in the birth of nine children: Charley E., John Morgan, Sallie E. (Now Mrs. Martin), Willie, Sidney, and Mattie. Those deceased are Lillie Dale, Lizzie and Henrietta. Mr. Robinson, at the time of his marriage, was in such close pecuniary circumstances that he had to borrow the money with which the license was bought. He farmed on rented land and finally purchased. He accumulated considerable property, but it was mostly destroyed by the war,...

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Biography of Hon. Bethel Magness Webb

Hon. Bethel Magness Webb, attorney at law, Smithville, Tenn., was born in Warren County Tenn., September 21, 1847. He is the sixth of thirteen children born to D. W. and Sarah (Magness) Webb. His father was of English descent, Born in Warren County in 1815, a son of Julius Webb, who was a native of North Carolina and came to middle Tennessee in his youth and settled in what is now Warren County. He was on of the pioneers of that section. After marriage D. W. Webb located in the northern part of Warren County, where he lived till his death in 1866. He was a prosperous merchant and a large slave and landholder up to the late civil war. He was a Democrat and went with the South in that unfortunate struggle, and sustained heavy losses during the war. At his death there were eight of his children single and living with him, of whom Bethel was the oldest, and some of them were quite young, and owing to the ravages of the war, they and their widowed mother were left with meager resources for support. Mrs. Webb was of Scotch-Irish descent and was born in 1820 in what is now Dekalb County, Tenn. Her father, P. G. Magness, Sr., was one of the pioneer settlers of that section. He was a strong Democrat and an active influential...

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Biography of Thomas R. Cantrell

THOMAS R. CANTRELL. One of the famous lines of the great play, “The Old Homestead,” is “Young blood tells.” This expression applies not alone to a man’s social advancement, but in business life particularly, where the old men are dropping out and the younger generation stepping into their shoes. In Lead Hill, Arkansas, the younger generation is in the lead in every calling, especially in the mercantile business, a noted firm being Pumphrey & Cantrell, of which Mr. Cantrell is the junior member. Thomas R. Cantrell was born in Warren County, Tennessee, in 1858, son of Paris and Rosanna (Frier) Cantrell, natives of Tennessee and Missouri respectively. They were married in Tennessee, and just after the war removed to McLeansboro, Hamilton County, Illinois, where they resided for a few years and then removed to Greene County, Missouri, thence to Christian County, and about 1878 settled in Harrison, Arkansas Since then they made their homes in Boone and Marion Counties. For many years the father was engaged in the boot and shoe trade, but he is now engaged in agricultural pursuits. He was a Southern man during the war but took no part. Fraternally Mr. Cantrell is an Odd Fellow. He is a member of the Christian Church. Mrs. Cantrell was a lady of education and more than ordinary ability. Her death occurred in Boone County, Arkansas Seven children were...

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Biography of John J. Morrow, M. D.

JOHN J. MORROW, M. D. Health is the most precious gift of nature, and how to retain it and how to regain it when lost are matters of vital moment. For this the physician’s services are often required, and it is therefore most necessary that he should be a man of intelligence, well-posted in his profession and conscientious and painstaking in his practice. These requirements are possessed by Dr. John J. Morrow, who is an exceptionally successful physician of Gassville, Baxter County, Arkansas He was born at McMinnville, Warren County, Tennessee, October 27, 1861, a son of D. G. and Mary J. (Kimberling) Morrow, the former of whom was also born in Warren County. His father, John Morrow, was a soldier in the War of 1812, and was in the battle of Horse Shoe Bend. He was married three times and some of the members of his family still reside in Warren County, Tennessee, one of whom held a responsible official position recently. When a young man D. G. Morrow crossed the plains (1848) with cattle to California and he returned home via the Isthmus of Panama. In 1852 he made another trip to California, and after his return East he stopped at Ozark, Missouri, where he sold goods for some time. Just prior to the opening of the Civil War he made a trip to his native State,...

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Biography of William H. Paine

WILLIAM H. PAINE. Mr. Paine is accounted a prosperous farmer and stockman of Lincoln Township, Christian County, Missouri, and like the native Tennesseean he is progressive in his views and of an energetic temperament. He was born in Warren County in the year 1820, the fourth of eleven children born to Larkin and Rebecca (Huddleston) Paine, natives it is thought of Georgia and South Carolina. When both were young they moved with their parents to Tennessee and were married in Claiborne County of that State. Later they removed to Warren County, where they continued to make their home until 1829, when they made another move, this time to Independence County, Arkansas In 1831 they came to Greene County, Missouri, and located in the woods on James River, six miles southeast of Springfield. There they improved a good farm, but in 1834, on account of ill health, they moved to Kickapoose Prairie, six miles southwest of Springfield, and there Mr. Paine died in 1857. He had followed farming all his life, and as a citizen and neighbor was highly esteemed. He was with Gen. Jackson in the Creek War, and at an early day was elected by the Legislature as president of the bank at Springfield. A self-made man, with but limited education, he was a good calculator and seldom failed to unravel a complicated mathematical problem. He delighted in...

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Biography of J. P. Pigg

J. P. PIGG. The gentleman whose name heads this sketch possesses those qualities of industry and energy so necessary to success in any calling, and as a tiller of the soil he is ranked among the most successful in the county. He owes his nativity to Warren County, Tennessee, where he was born November 25, 1844, a son of John and Melvina (Newby) Pigg, the former of whom came to this county about 1851 or 1852, but was a resident of Marshall, Webster County, Missouri, at the time of his death, his wife having passed from life in Tennessee. To their union the following children have been born: Richard, of Christian County, Missouri; Thomas M., of Polk County, Missouri; J. P.; Susan (Mrs. Clark), lives in California, and Melvina (Stonesephen), who lives in this county. Six children are deceased. John Pigg was residing in Taney County, Missouri, when the war opened; he was taken as a prisoner to Springfield, but after being released made his home in Illinois until after the war closed. He then located in Webster County, Missouri, and there died in 1882. J. P. Pigg and his brother Richard were Confederate soldiers under Gen. Price, and afterward under Pemberton. After the surrender of Vicksburg they came to Boone County, Arkansas, and joined Jackman’s army and was with Price on his Missouri raid. He was at Devall’s...

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Biography of Capt. James T. Hopper

CAPT. JAMES T. HOPPER. This gentleman is one of the very oldest residents of Boone County, Arkansas, and resided in this vicinity long before such a town as Harrison was thought of. He is a product of Warren County, Tennessee, his birth occurring on his parents’ farm, January 3, 1832. The fifth in a family of nine children born to Moses and Rebecca (Hicks) Hopper, the former of whom was born in Kentucky in 1802, his father, Gillum Hopper being of English birth. Upon coming to this country he settled first in Virginia, then in North Carolina, then in Kentucky, and finally in Tennessee. He was a Democrat, as was also Moses Hopper, and the latter was, like his father, a tiller of the soil. He was a man of education, was liberal, generous and high-minded, and prior to his death, which occurred in 1862, he became possessed of a comfortable competency. He was killed by bushrangers near Harrison, in Boone County, Arkansas, on account of his Union principles, although he took no active part in the war. He was very charitably inclined, and is still gratefully remembered by many a poor man whom he generously assisted along the hard pathway of life. He came thither from Tennessee in 1851, and made a good home one mile north of Harrison. His wife was a daughter of A. Hicks, a...

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Biography of Capt. Gillum Hopper

CAPT. GILLUM HOPPER. There is no greater pleasure for the hand and pen of the historian or biographer to perform than in recording the life and achievements of a man who, through his own unaided efforts, has secured a comfortable competency and the general acknowledgment of being an honest man and esteemed citizen. Gillum Hopper, whose success in life is the result of honesty, industry and good management on his part, first saw the light in Warren County, Tennessee, in 1841. His parents, Moses and Rebecca (Hicks) Hopper, were natives of Kentucky and Tennessee, respectively, the former born in 1802 and the latter in 1804. When a lad Moses went with his parents to Tennessee, grew to manhood there, and was married in Cannon County, that State to Miss Hicks. Afterward they located in Warren County, Tennessee, and there all their children were born. In 1851 they moved to what is now Boone County, Arkansas, and settled in the woods, one mile northwest of the present town of Harrison. There the father tilled the soil until 1862, when he was killed by bushwhackers, on the farm where our subject now resides. He was a Union man and opposed to secession, but took no part in the war. He was one of the pioneers of this section and an extensive stock trader. When he first settled in Boone County it...

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Biography of John Hornbeak

Success in business life is a guerdon that is very cautiously bestowed upon a person by the goddess, who in a measure guides, and invariably decorates, man’s efforts. And this same success is far more apt to come because of the pursuer’s genius or adaptability for his calling, than from any mere luck, ambition, push or demand. There are favorable opportunities in men’s lives, which, if taken advantage of, will take them far along the road toward the consummation of their ideals, and, too, there are those who have a strange intuition of that time and avail themselves of it. But never does this mysterious aid come to those without ambition and fixed purpose. Determined effort invites success. Included in the narrow circle of men who have fought the battle successfully is John Hornbeak, a prominent merchant of Sparta, Missouri He was born in Warren County, Tennessee, August 12, 1830, and is of German descent. His ancestors came to this country at an early date and settled in North Carolina, where they made their home for many years. The parents of our subject, James F. and Sarah (Johnson) Hornbeak, were natives of Tennessee, and in that State were married. The father was born in Grainger County in 1800, and about 1841 he and family moved to Greene County, Missouri, locating about six miles south of Springfield. There he resided...

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Biography of Euclid Waterhouse Smartt, Jr.

Euclid Waterhouse Smartt, Jr., of Muskogee, whose varied interests and activities have ever maintained a well balanced character, while his recognition of the duties and obligations of life have made him a valued citizen through his business enterprise and through his cooperation in many projects for the public good, was born in Viola, Warren county, Tennessee, December 29, 1878, on the home farm of his parents E. W. and Nannie Elizabeth (Davis) Smartt. He completed his literary education in the Viola Normal School at Viola, Tennessee, in the year 1899 and became a law student in the office and under the direction of Cross & Ramsey, well known attorneys of Manchester, Tennessee, being admitted to the bar in 1901. He then located for practice in Manchester, where he devoted his attention to the profession until 1908, when he also became interested in the conduct of a lumber business, continuing to practice, however, until 1912. It was in that year that Mr. Smartt came to Muskogee and through the intervening period has resided in this city. His initial business connection was that of president and general manager of the Muskogee Transfer Company and as the years have passed he has utilized every opportunity which he believed offered chance for advancement and broader usefulness in the business world. He became interested in the retail tire and automobile accessories business and in...

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Biographical Sketch of W. Ramsey

W. Ramsey, a farmer of Coffee County, was born April 3, 1823, in Warren County. Samuel and Pollie (Strowd) Ramsey, his parents, lived in Warren County. The elder, Mrs. Ramsey’s father, was one of the first settlers of that county. Our subject is of English and Irish descent. November 30, 1852, he married Rachel Parker, by whom he had four children. She was a member of the Christian Church and died March 5, 1862. August 5, 1865, he married Ellen Norton, daughter of J. M. and Mary (Wilkinson) Norton of Coffee County. They have one child. Our subject taught school, having been educated at the school which was the predecessor of Franklin College, also at Irwin College in Warren County. He, his wife and three children are members of the Christian...

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