Joel B. Smith, a pioneer of Tullahoma, was born in Nashville, Tennessee, September 12, 1829, and is the son of Joel M. and Charlotte (Bateman) Smith. The father was a native of North Carolina, born in 1797, and died in 1861. He was treasurer of Nashville, and United States pension agent, appointed to that office by President Van Buren. He was also proprietor of the Nashville Union, the pioneer newspaper of the capital city. The mother was also born in Nashville in 1805, the daughter of Henry Bateman, an early settler of Nashville. She died in 1876. Both were members of McKendree Methodist Episcopal Church, of Nashville. Our subject was reared in Nashville, and educated by Professor Alfred Hume. When twenty-one years of age our subject entered the pension office of his father buying and selling land warrants. In 1852 he was sent to Tullahoma as agent for the Nashville & Chattanooga Railway Company. After two years here he began speculating in wheat, and became proprietor of the Lincoln House and Tullahoma Hotel. During the war he was special aid-de-camp on Governor Harris’ staff, and for a while occupied a similar position on the staff of General Bragg. After the war he continued the hotel business until 1872, when he engaged in business with James G. Aydelott for eight years. At present he is bookkeeper and financial agent of the Tullahoma planing and sawmills. Our subject was married to Bettie Yell, daughter of Governor Archibald Yell, the first governor of Arkansas, who was killed at the battle of Buena Vista, Mexico. She was born in Fayetteville, Tennessee, in July 1832. They have had eight children: William H., Archibald Y., Joel M., Frank K., Clinton, Lawson M., Lotta R. and Anna V. Our subject was the last mayor of Tullahoma before the war, and the first elected after the conflict, and has served several terms as alderman. He is a member of the Masonic order, and he and his wife are members of the Episcopal Church. His son, Archibald J. Smith, is agent of the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway at Tullahoma, a director of the First National Bank of the city, and is one of the progressive and enterprising young citizens.
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