Rev. James H. GILLESPIE, a devout minister, and a prominent citizen of Brownsville, Tenn., was born in Blount County, Tenn., August 10. 1804. His parents were Robert and Elizabeth (HOUSTON) Gillespie, and were natives of Virginia. Rev. James Gillespie in early life was engaged with his father in the manufacturing business. In 1825 he graduated at the East Tennessee College, located at Knoxville, Tenn., at that time. He then went to Alabama and engaged in the mercantile business, but in 1827 he entered the theological college at Princeton, J. J., and prepared himself of the university, graduating from there in 1830, and the same year was licensed to preach. In 1831 he was ordained pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Somerville, Ala. He remained there until 1838, when he moved to Franklin County, Ala., where he took charge of the school and filled the pulpit of the Presbyterian Church until 1842.
In 1843 he moved to Denmark , Tenn., and was pastor in the Presbyterian Church until 1868, when he was called to fill the pulpit of Presbyterian Church at Brownsville, remaining in charge until 1872. Since then Mr. Gillespie has been engaged in evangelical work in various churches. He has been an earnest worker in the church, and is perhaps the oldest minister in West Tennessee. October, 1830, Mr. Gillespie married Abigail C. ELLIS, daughter of Col. Samuel and Pricilla ELLIS, of New Jersey. They had three sons and two daughters: Mary, William F. (A minister in Texas), James E., Robert A. (deceased; he was also a minister) and Martha L. Mr. Gillespie is a member of the F. & A. M. and of the I. O. O. F. In politics was formerly a Whig, but is now a Democrat. He has lived a long and useful, and is a consecrated man.
Goodspeed Pub. Co. History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present; Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Lauderdale, Tipton, Haywood and Crockett Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Reminiscences, Etc., Etc. Nashville: Goodspeed Pub. Co, 1887.