J. H. Keaton, farmer of the Twenty-first District, and a native of Carroll County, Tenn., was born May 30, 1831, and is one of a family of nine children born to C. W. and Mary (Hays) Keaton, natives respectively of Virginia and South Carolina. The father was born in Patrick County, in 1797, and when about ten years old came to Tennessee, located in DeKalb County, where he was married, and remained there till 1819. He was a farmer by occupation and was magistrate of his district for twenty-five years. He died in 1871. The mother was born in 1799 and died in 1873.
Our subject grew to manhood on the farm and received his education in the schools near home. December 29, 1851, he married Martha M. Leach, a native of Carroll County, born in October, 1832, and the daughter of Abner and Sallie Leach. Seven children were born to our subject and wife by this union: Laura A., Mary, Elizabeth, Emma, Ella, Beatrice and John D. Mr. Keaton owns 500 acres of well improved land situated one mile east of Atwood, and also about the same number of acres in Arkansas. In 1871 he began the milling business, by sawing lumber; this he continued until March, 1885, when he built a saw and grist-mill combined, at Atwood, and is now engaged in doing a good business. He is interested in a saw and grist-mill in Gibson County, at Cade’s Switch, on the Illinois Central Railroad. He is a Republican in politics, a Mason, an Odd Fellow, and he and wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
Transcribed by David Donahue
Source: History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Carroll, Henry and Benton Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Reminiscences, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1978.