John G. Belew, farmer and machinist, was born in Carroll County, Tenn., 1830, and is one of seven children, four of whom are living. The father, Jacob Belew, was born in South Carolina in 1796 and had very meager advantages for an education. He was a saddler by occupation in his younger days and when about twenty-two years of age, married Sarah Wilburn. In about 1819 they emigrated to Carroll County, and purchased land in the Thirteenth District on which he passed the remainder of his days. He was one of the very early pioneers of Carroll County having settled there when the county was a vast wilderness. He died in 1855. The mother was born in South Carolina about 1794, and died about 1869.
Our subject was reared under the parental roof and received his education in the old log schoolhouses of that period. He learned the carpenter’s trade, which he followed exclusively till about 1860. In October, 1858, he married Adaline Parker, of Henderson County, and then located in Clarksburg, where he has since resided. By-this union they had one child deceased. In June, 1859, Mrs. Belew died and in October, 1860, he married Miss Mitchell, a native of Kentucky, born about 1840 and the daughter of Scott Mitchell. This union resulted in the birth of eight children—seven now living: William E., Ludie, James S., Robert L., Mettie, Ada and Thomas. Mrs. Belew died in 1880. She was a devoted wife and mother, and a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
During the late Civil war, Mr. Belew, in August, 1862, enlisted in Company G, Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, Confederate Army, and was captured in December of the same year, taken to Camp Chase where he was held on parole till September, 1863. He then returned to Salisbury, Miss., and rejoined the service. At the end of fifteen months of hardship and suffering he returned home. Previous to the war, in 1860, he engaged in the milling business, manufacturing both lumber and flour, which pursuit he has since continued with evident success. His mill is situated two and a half miles northwest of Clarksburg. He also owns about 700 acres of land, the most of which is producing and in a high state of cultivation. Th& home farm consists of 158 acres at Clarksburg. In politics Mr. Belew was formerly a Whig and cast his first presidential vote for Gen. Scott, Since the war he has affiliated with the Republican party. He is a Mason of long standing, and an advocate of universal education and is a liberal supporter of charitable, religion and all public enterprises.
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.