Hon. Jefferson PURSIFULL, farmer and stock raiser, was born in Harlan County, Ky., January 5, 1821, the son of Mount and Mary (Colson) PURSIFULL, the former born in Wythe County, Va., October 14, 1795, and the latter in Harlan County, Ky., in 1800, and died in Bell County in 1874; both were Baptists. In 1854 they moved to Knox County, Ky., and since then, Bell County, where they now live, was set off from Harlan and Knox Counties. The father is a farmer of Bell County, was magistrate, and elected sheriff, but declined serving. He is wealthy, and has aided his eleven children.
Our subject, the second child, was fairly educated and worked for his father until he was nineteen, when he farmed for fifteen years on land in Bell County, the gift of his father, and then became a merchant at Yellow Creek, in connection with farming, but abandoned it five years later and became a merchant at Sneedville for one year. He then enlisted in Company K, First Tennessee Confederate Cavalry, serving until the close of the war. He then went to Boone County, Ky., and after four years moved to his present home. In 1850 he represented the Thirty-eighth Senatorial District of Kentucky, and is an influential Democrat, and an able man. He is a Methodist.
In 1840 he married America COLSON, who died in 1862. Of two sons and four daughters one of the former and two of the latter are living. In 1863 he married Mary SMITH, who died two years later, and in 1866 he married Mary, a widow of Moses COTTERAL. Their children are four sons and one daughter. The grandfather, Peter, came from England.
Goodspeed Publishing Co. History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of from Twenty-Five to Thirty Counties of East Tennessee. Chicago: Goodspeed, 1887.