JOHN A. GANNAWAY was born in Tennessee May 17, 1824, son of John and Mary W. (Robertson) Gannaway, of Virginia. The father was born in 1788, married in 1811 and came to Tennessee in 1814. He was a farmer and mechanic, and died July 12, 1851.
Our subject’s ancestors on both sides were from England. He was the fifth of eleven children and resided with this parents on the farm until twenty years of age. He then became overseer of a cotton factory at Murfreesboro, and worked the first year for $50, the second for $100, the third for $200. At the expiration of this time he started to school, attending about five months. He clerked for a short time in Murfreesboro, and then sold goods for A. J. Wood. He then began traveling for a saddle and dry goods firm, continuing five years, and then began the mercantile business at Wartrace, Tenn., with a very small capital. At the end of eight years he has accumulated considerable money and in the fall of 1858 sold out and purchased a farm near Bell Buckle, which he managed about seven years. Since the war he has been postmaster of Unionville, and was a merchant of that lace for some time.
In 1877 he retired from active business life. September 14, 1853, he married M. R. Tarpley, of Bedford County, and daughter of Edward Tarpley; she was born October 25, 1832, and has borne her husband twelve children: Emma D., Maggie E., John E., James W., Josephus, Nannie R., Mary C., Elijah T., Cora L., Clarence E., Horace B. C. and Cornelius V. Mr. Gannaway was elected magistrate of his district November 8, 1870, and held the office about six years. He and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
Transcribed by Kathryn Hopkins
Goodspeed Publishing Co. History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Maury, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Bedford & Marshall Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Reminescences [Sic], Observations, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1988.