John Thompson Adair was born December 22, 1812, the son of Walter Adair, a half-breed, and Rachel Thompson daughter of William Thompson, a white man. John was born on Painter’s Creek, near Tulula Falls and received his earliest education at the neighborhood schools until his twentieth year, when he entered the Lawrenceville Academy, Georgia, and there remained for five months. On leaving that institution he entered a mercantile house, and after serving his time to the business, purchased a stock of goods in New Orleans in 1837, and with them proceeded to the State line, or eastern border of the Cherokee Nation, near Evansville, Arkansas, where he commenced business and carried it on for two years. In 1843 he was elected associate judge of the Supreme Court, and was re-elected every four years for a term of thirty years. In 1853 he was sent to Washington as National delegate, and there for the first time met with Hon. Sam Houston, Governor of Texas. At the outbreak of the war he went to Rusk County, Texas, and while their disbanded twenty-seven slaves, which he had owned for many years. During his absence of four years he was appointed an overseer of the Negroes in the vicinity where he resided. On his return to the Cherokee Nation he was re-elected associate justice and held that office till 1877, being chief justice during the last term. In 1879 he was appointed superintendent of the female seminary at Park Hill, which office he held one term. Soon after his appointment had expired, the building was consumed by fire, but, on its being re-built, he was re-appointed in 1889 and again in the fall of 1891, and will continue superintendent until the end of 1893. In 1887, he was elected chairman of the court of citizenship for two years. In 1840 Mr. Adair married Miss Penelope Mayfield, daughter of Jesse Mayfield, part French and Cherokee. The issue of this marriage is Louvenia, Oscar, Edward, Evarts, John Harrell, Samuel and Houston. Mr. Adair has lived on his present place, and beneath the same roof, for 54 years. He has a farm of 100 acres of good land which is now rented out; while he, himself, has taken up his abode at the national female academy. Mr. Adair has over 400 acres of land near Henderson, Rusk County, Texas. Although eighty years of age, the subject of our sketch does not look to be over fifty-five. He is active and sprightly, with a fresh complexion and unwrinkled face. He is a gentleman of pleasant address and is thought well of by everyone. [Since above was written, Mr. Adair took sick with lagrippe and died December 24, 1891, sincerely and deservedly regretted.]
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