Among the early settlers of Hardeman County was William B. Duncan, a native of South Carolina, who came to this county on a hunting expedition in 1814. He was so well pleased with the country that in 1820 he returned, bringing his family, among whom were Henry W. and Thomas. The former is spoken of in another sketch. Thomas was born in Rutherford County, Tenn., in 1807. He married Mrs. Nancy Gray, born in 1797. To this union five children were born, four of whom lived to be grown. Mr. Duncan was a farmer and a Democrat. He died in 1858. His wife’s death occurred in 1855. Both were members of the Methodist Church. The Duncan family is of Scotch-Irish descent.
The only living son is Calvin A., our subject; was born October 25, 1836, in Marshall County, Miss., where his parents lived a short time. His early life was spent on a farm. He received a good common-school education. At the age of eighteen he began his career as a farmer. In 1861 he enlisted in Company G of Tenth Arkansas Infantry, Confederate service. He was severely wounded at the siege of Port Hudson by the bursting of a shell, a portion striking him on the head. It was thought at first that he was dead. He was disabled for nine months, and for thirteen months held a prisoner. A year after his entry into the army he was promoted to rank of third lieutenant and later to first lieutenant. After peace reigned once more, he commenced life again without a cent. For two years he clerked in a store in Whiteville, and then opened a saloon, continuing in the business four years. Later he embarked in general merchandising in which he has since been engaged, and with unusual success. In connection with his mercantile business, he is. interested in farming to a considerable extent.
In 1871 he married Miss Sallie Andrews, born in 1852. They have no children, but are raising two orphans. Both Mr. and Mrs. Duncan are active and liberal members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. For forty-five years Mr. Duncan has been a resident of Hardeman County, and twenty years closely associated with the commercial interest. He is known throughout the section as a man of fine business qualifications and honor. He is charitable and popular, and a stanch Democrat.
Transcribed by David Donahue
Source: Goodspeed Pub. Co. History of Tennessee: From the Earliest Time to the Present ; Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Fayette and Hardeman Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Reminiscences, Etc., Etc. Nashville: Goodspeed Pub. Co, 1887.