P. C. Isbell. His parents were both born in Warren County, Kentucky. His father was of English descent; his mother of German and a granddaughter of Frederick Stump, an early settler in Davidson County, Tennessee.
He was born in Warren County, Kentucky. His father moved to Jackson County, Missouri, when he was a small boy, where he grew up in the dark backwoods and never attended school. He had a fine working education. His mother taught him to spell, read, and write and a few rules in arithmetic, what she knew. He mastered Webster’s “blue back.” and then engaged as a schoolteacher, which he followed for several years, working his way up to a high grade in the English language. After leaving the schoolhouse, he continued his studies in all the departments useful in practical life. He came to Tennessee in 1850, read law in the office of Hon. W. P. Hickerson, in Manchester, was admitted to the bar in 1852, and has continued in the practice at that place ever since. His father was a Whig and an uncompromising supporter of Henry Clay. He was schooled in the doctrines of the Whig party, and the old Baptist Church doctrine, which his parents held sacred.
He is one of the few men who have gotten away from all of their early political and religious teaching. He works up all the great questions involved in human life. He is independent in thought and action, without the slightest tinge of superstition. He is anxious to have an intelligent people, grand in purpose, noble in sentiment and just in action. He thinks it can all be accomplished by a proper administration of government; that every man’s home should be sweetened with prosperity and happy with affection, that people should be educated and developed in harmony with their organic constitutions, that the organic parts of man should be treated as sciences, that ignorant sentiment always has been a dangerous element; that ignorance is not the normal state of man, but that it is consequent upon an inefficient administration of government.
He is not a member of any organization or society, is strictly conservative, and is deeply interested in the general welfare of humanity. He never hesitates a moment to advocate the right, and condemn the wrong. He has the utmost contempt for timeservers and policy people. He never annoys any one with complaints about anything unpleasant. He has schooled himself on the bright side of humanity, and he keeps that side before the people. He delights in trying to make every one happy. His motto is, “The world is as we make it, and life is as we make it.”