C-D Goodspeed, 1887,
Dekalb County, Tennessee

J. L. Colvert, retired merchant, was born in 1828 in Culpeper County, Va., the son of William I. and Harriett (Weedon) Colvert. The father, born in the same county in 1791, was a farmer and a soldier in the war of 1812, on duty in his native State. In 1828 he came to Warren County, Tenn., Thence to Alabama for a few years, and about 1840 returned to Cannon County, Tenn. He finally settled in Dekalb County in 1848 and bought a home of 150 acres, where he lived the greater part of his life. He died in Nashville in 1859. The mother, born in 1801 in Fairfax County, Va., is still living, receiving a pension for her husband's services in 1812. Our subject, one of seven children, came to Tennessee when an infant, and was reared and educated in Cannon County. At the age of sixteen he served a year's apprenticeship in a tannery, then farmed a year, and in 1848 sunk a tannery in Dekalb County with his brother as partner. In April, 1846, he Married Johanna Matthews, born in Cannon County in 1830. Their two children are Mary E., wife of S. D. Blankenship, and Harriett. In 1852 he engaged in farming and merchandising besides tanning. In 1854 he sold his tanyard and store and established a store in Smith County. After six months here he bought 500 acres in District No. 14 and farmed for three years. He then moved to Nashville, where he ran a lumber and woodyard and as contractor built Carroll and Wharf Avenues, rebuilt Market Front and built a sewer from the river to the Maxwell House. He also owned a third interest in a wholesale and retail grocery on Market Street. In 1862 he returned to Dekalb County and in 1864 settled in Smithville, where the next year he began merchandising at which he was engaged until January, 1886. He then sold to his son-in-law, Blankenship. Mrs. Colvert died in 1855, and in Janurary 1858, he married Martha M. Tysee, born in Dekalb County in 1839. Mr. Colvert is the oldest continuous merchant in Smithville business, he was in the grocery business in Nashville. In politics he is a Democrat, first voting for Fillmore. He is a Royal Arch Mason and a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, while his wife belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church.

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 dry goods store at Temperance Hall, where he remained five months. The next four years were spent in Putnam County in same business. He then returned to his native county and gave his attention to farming. He has been very successful, and owns 185 acres of highly cultivated and improved land. He is a stanch Democrat; cast his first presidential vote for Horace Greeley. He is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, and respected, worthy citizen. In 1869 he married Sarah F., Daughter of James A. and Eliza Scruggs. Mrs Corley was born in Smith County in 1846. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. To their union have been born George S., James R. (deceased), Carrie L., William M., and John R.

Maj. W. G. Crowley, An ex-judge and attorney at law of Smithville, was born in Smith (now Dekalb) County in 1830. His parents, John J. and Elizabeth Crowley, were both natives of Virginia. The father was of Scotch-Irish descent, a farmer by occupation. He married in his native State and in 1830 came to Tennessee by way of the Cumberland River. He died in Smith County in May of the same year, when but twenty-two years of age. His wife was born in 1810. Her second marriage was with Mr. Peter Adams,, who is also dead. Mrs. Adamsdied in 1866. Our subject was the only child, and but one month old when his father died. When a mere lad he was ambitious to gain information, as his step-father was poor, and there being but little benefit derived from public schools, his advantages were indeed limited. He labored and saved a few dollars which enabled him to enter school. At the age of sixteen he began teaching in the neighborhood. He attended school at Alexandria as well as other schools at different places, and in this way he was in debt $500 and taught school and paid it. In 1850 he commenced reading law under guidance of Col. S. H. Colms of Smithville. In March, 1851, he was admitted to the bar, and immediately entered the profession, buying his law books on a year's credit. He first formed a partnership with Samuel Turney in Dekalb County business, and at the same time a partnership with Col. S. H. Colms in the Cannon County practice. He soon had a lucrative practice. July 4, 1853, he married Rebecca, daughter of Martin and Polly Foutch, who was born in 1837 in Dekalb County. Their union resulted in the birth of ten children: Mary E., wife of Judge W. W. Wade; Martha E.; Martin A.,who is clerk and master of the chancery court of Dekalb County; John B., a farmer and miller; Jessie Frances, Wife of John B. Tubb, a lawyer of Smithville; William L., a farmer; Kate, wife of W. B. Foster, a merchant of Smithville; Pleasant C.; Prudence and Leslie(deceased). In June, 1861, Mr. Crowley enlisted in the Twenty-third Tennessee Infantry (Confederate Army), and at the organization of the regiment he was appointed Sergeant major. He was in the battle of Shiloh, which he was severely wounded April 6, 1862, by a canister-shot, just above the left knee. He was taken to Corinth and afterward to Jackson, Miss., in a helpless condition. September 7, 1862, he reached home, greatly to the surprise of his family, who believed him to have been killed at Shilo. In 1863 he moved to the western portion of Dekalb County and taught a subscription school until hostilities ceased. In 1866 he returned to Smithville and resumed his practice in partnership with Col. John H. Savage, afterward with Joseph Clark and M. D. Smallman, now circuit judge. In 1872 our subject was elected chancellor of the Fifth Division of Tennessee, Col. Colms being one of his competitors. In 1878 he was re-elected. Judge Crowley is now engaged in the law practice and has many friends. He is also one of the county's eldest native citizens. He has been unusually prosperous in life, considering his opportunities and will do well in his profession. His residence is a half mile east of Smithville on the Sligo Ferry Turnpike. He has been a member of the Christian church since 1860. Pervious to the war he was a Whig, voting the first time for Fillmore in 1852. He is now a Democrat.

Dr. Thos. P. Davis, one of Alexandria's most respected citizens, was born in Smith County, August 31, 1858. He is the youngest of ten children of Benjamin and Kittie (Whorley) Davis. The father was born in North Carolina about 1817, and moved to Tennessee when a young man; afterward married and settled in Smith County. He was one of the most substantial, enterprising and industrious farmers in the section. His death occurred about the close of the late war. His wife was a native of virginia and came to Tennessee with her parents; she died when the Doctor was an infant. Of her children eight are living. Her mother lived to the unusual age of one hundred and two. Her father was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. Mr. and Mrs. Davis were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Our subject was raised by the elder members of the family, receiving his literary education at the country schools and Alexandria. In 1876 and 1877 he read medicine with Dr. E. Tubb, and entered the medical department of the Vanderbilt University, graduating in 1879. He immediately returned to Alexandria and began to practice. He has received an extensive and liberal patronage, and is now recognized as one of the leading physicians of the county.

D. W. Dinges, a notary public, and a leading business man of Alexandria, was born in 1836, in Warren County, Va., the youngest of five children of Wm. M. and Clara P. E. (Lincoln) Dinges, both natives of Virginia. The father was born about 1810, of Scotch- Dutch descent, a son of Mortica Dinges. He was a blacksmith, and spent his entire life in his native State, where he died in 1837. His wife was born about 1814, and is living in White County. She moved to Tennessee soon after her husband's death. She has been three times married; is a consistent member of the Christian Church. Our subject received rather limited educational advantages at Sparta. He taught school about three years. In 1861 he enlisted in Company K, Sixteenth Tennessee Infantry, serving principally in Tennessee, West Virginia and South Carolina. In 1862 he took part in the battle of Perryville, and was captured near Barbersville, Ky.; in a few hours was paroled, returned home and about three months later joined the Eighth Tennessee Cavalry under Gen. Dibrell. He participated in the battle at Sparta, was again captured and paroled, and returned home after serving his country gallantly, for three and a half years. In 1865 he moved to Alexandria and began merchandising, in partnership with W. H. Lincoln, the firm being known as Dinges & Lincoln. They did a flourishing business. In 1872 he purchased Mr. Lincoln's interest, and in 1881 R. B. Floy became a partner. They discontinued their business about three years later. In 1885 he established the firm of D. W. Dinges & Co., which has an extensive trade. It is one of the best general merchandise houses in this place, carrying a stock valued at about $5,000. During his commercial career he sold as high as $40,000 worth of goods in a year. In 1883 he erected the first livery stable in the town; it is large, well stocked and prosperous. He began life with little or no capital, but by industry and good management has accumulated a considerable amount of this world's goods, being one of the wealthiest citizens of the county. He owns 450 acres besides other valuable property. He is a firm Democrat, casting his first presidential vote for John C. Breckinridge. In 1884 he represented the Fourth District, in the Democratic Convention at Chicago. He is one of the directors of the Bon-Air Coal, Lumber & Land Company; was formerly a member of the I. O. O. F. and is a strong advocate of general education. March, 1873, he married Miss Norah, daughter of John and Bettie Crutchfield, formerly of Wilson County. Mrs. Dinges is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.

James A. Donnell,United States commissioner of internal revenue for the middle district of Tennessee, and an influential citizen of Alexandria, was born August 13, 1834, in Wilson County. He is the eldest of two children of Allan and Casandria H. (Britton) Donnell. The father was a native of Gifford County, N. C., born in 1806, of Irish ancestry, a son of Adlia Donnell, a native of North Carolina, whose father came from Ireland. Allan came to Tennessee about 1832, and a year later married and located in Lebanon, where for some time he taught school, afterward engaging in the mercantile business at the same place, then at Center Hill and finally at Commerce, where he died in 1838. He was a man of ability and influence, successful in all his undertakings. His wife was a daughter of Lanie Britton, a native of East Tennessee, and an early settler of Smith County. Mrs. Donnell was born in 1813 and died in 1876. Both were members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, highly respected by the entire community. The subject of this sketch was educated in the common schools in Wilson County. At the age of twenty he went to Missouri, where for two years he engaged in farming and stock raising. He returned to Wilson County. At the outbreak of the civil war, he enlisted in Company A, Seventh Tennessee Infantry, was in Virginia and all the great battles. He was captured at Gettysburg, Penn., July, 1863, and taken to Baltimore, then to Point Lookout. After seven months' imprisonment he was exchanged and joined the army in the Southwest. In the spring of 1864 he was sent to Tennessee to look after some absentees of the original command; he was again captured and took the oath of allegiance. In February, 1866, he married Mrs. Nannie M. Ward, a native of Alabama, by whom he had one child, Robert G. Mrs. Donnell died in 1867. The same year he wedded Miss M. E., daughter of William and Mary Swann, who was born in Wilson County in 1844. Four children were born to this union: Jane Annette, Minnie C., Mary E. and Ann Lou. After living in Smith County Mr. Connell returned to Wilson County in 1872, and resumed his farming. In 1878 he removed to Alexandria and purchased a half interest in flouring-mills, now owned by Brown & Donnell, and since that time has been engaged in his present business. For one year he served as constable of the Twelfth District of Wilson County, and in October, 1886, was appointed by Judge Howell E. Jackson to his present office. He is a strong advocate of general education, and is trustee of the Masonic Normal College. Previous to the war he was a Whig, casting his first presidential vote for . Fillmore, in 1856. He is now of the Democrat party. For nearly twenty years he has been a Mason. He and his wife are esteemed and earnest members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.

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