Alvin Avant, Attorney at Law, of Smithville, was born in Dekalb County in 1856, a son of William C. and Nancy (Williams) Avant. The father is of French descent, Born in 1822 in Dekalb County. His father, Benjamin Avant, was a native of Virginia, who immigrated to Dekalb County at an early date. William C. married and settled in the Twelfth District of his native county, where he is a prosperous and respected farmer and possessor of 300 acres of valuable land. His wife was also born in Dekalb County, of English descent. She is now sixty-two years of age.
Location: Smithville Tennessee
Hon. James M. Allen, one of the prominent citizens of the county, was born September 25, 1822, at Allen’s Ferry on Caney Fork, seven miles from Smithville, the county seat of Dekalb County, Tenn. He is the youngest of eleven children born to Jesse and Nancy (Walker) Allen, both of whom were natives of Virginia. The father settled in what is now Dekalb County in 1801, being one of the oldest settlers. He died in 1857, and the mother in 1840. Both were members of the Baptist Church. Our subject was reared on the farm and became interested in agriculture.
D. T. Harrison, druggist, was born in 1856 in Dekalb County, the son of John and Mary (Kelley) Harrison. The father, born in Ireland, came to America with his parents when eight years old, and when eleven left home and in some way settled in White County, Ill. He married in White County and learned the tanner’s trade. He was in the late war about one year, and in 1865 came to Smithville and bought a tan yard of W. H. Magness, at which he continued until 1880, when he was elected register. He served four years and in 1886
J. R. Corley, a well-known farmer and stock raiser of the Fourth District, was born in Dekalb County in 1848. He is one of seven children of John and Elizabeth (Upton) Corley. The father was born in Virginia in 1802, and immigrated to Dekalb County when a young man. He was a farmer. His death occurred in 1875. His wife was born in Smith County in 1816 and died in 1880. Our subject received his education in the common schools of Dekalb and White Counties, and attended the Cumberland Institute. At the age of nineteen he began clerking in the
Prof. T. B. Kelly, A. M., LL. B., president of Pure Fountain College, Smithville, was born in Columbia, Maury Co., Tenn., in 1852. His parents were Thomas J. and Elizabeth (Hardwicke) Kelly. The father was of Irish descent, born March 9, 1810, in Dickson County, Tenn., where his father, Thomas Kelly located after emigrating from Ireland, about 1800. Thomas J. married in 1838, and about 1844 moved to Columbia, where he established a queens ware store, which he managed successfully until the year of his death, 1861. His first wife was of French extraction, born in 1817, in Buckingham County,
E. J. Evans, commercial traveler for Weel, Connell & Riddle, dry goods, shoes, clothing, etc., Nashville, was born in 1850 in the District of Columbia, and now resident of Smithville. He is the son of John G. and Lucinda (Vick) Evans. The father, born in 1819, in Dekalb County, Tenn., is the son of Joseph Evans, a native of Maryland, who, when a boy, came to Tennessee and settled where Liberty, Dekalb County, is located, among the very earliest white settlers. John G. had learned the carpenter trade under his father, and after his marriage in 1844, he settled in
W. W. Wade, Judge of the Fifth Chancery Division of Tennessee, is a native of Dekalb County, born in Smithville in 1848, a son of Wm. M. and Caroline (Eastham) Wade. The Father was of Scotch-Irish descent, born in Virginia in 1826. His Father (grandfather of our subject), Wm. H., also a native of Virginia. He was a hatter by trade. After residing in Wilson County for a few years he located, in 1840, in Smithville, Dekalb County, where he passed the remainder of his days. Wm. M. studied law when a young man with Judge M. M. Brien, who
John M. Mason, a well-known farmer of the Fifteenth District, was born October 22, 1819, in North Carolina, and came to Smith (now Dekalb) County in 1827. He was the seventh of thirteen children born to Wiley and Nancy (Bensy) Mason. The father was born January 31, 1785, in Virginia. He served in the war of 1812, and was mustered out at the close of the war at Norfolk, Virginia. He moved to Caswell County, N. C., and from there to Smith County in 1827. He was a man of considerable intelligence, well versed in the Bible, in which he
R. C. Nesmith, attorney at law of Smithville, was born in Dekalb County in 1837, a son of William A. and Elizabeth M. (McDowell) Nesmith. The father is of Scotch- Irish decent, born in 1799, in York District, South Carolina. In 1809 with his father, William Nesmith, immigrated to Blount County, E. Tenn. A year later they went to northern Alabama, where for a number of years they lived among the Cherokee Indians. In 1824 he came to Dekalb County, and three years later married. He settled in the Nineteenth district, where he engaged in wagon making and farming. There
J.J. Smith, of the firm Smith Bros., the well-known proprietors of a general store of Smithville, established their house in the fall of 1877. He is the sons of William S. and Catherine J. (Tippitt) Smith. The father was of English-Irish descent, born in Wilson County, Tenn., in 1823. His father, John Y. Smith, was a native of Virginia, and located in Wilson County when a small boy. He died in 1865. William S. married in 1842, and settled in the Eleventh District, where he became the possessor of 175 acres of land. He was a farmer and stock raiser.