Goodspeed Biography of Polk Brown

Polk Brown, an enterprising merchant of Spring City, Rhea Co., Tenn., is a native of that city, born April 21, 1845, and is the son of W. F. and Amanda (Renfro) Brown. The father was born in Roane County, Tenn., in 1804, and died in the same county in 1869. He was a farmer and trader, and was a very prominent man in Roane and adjoining counties. He was often urged by friends to be a candidate for office, but would never allow his name to be used in that way. He had a fine business education, was a Mason, and a Democrat in politics. He began life with very little means, but before his death had accumulated quite a fortune. The mother was also a native of Roane County, Tenn., born in 1816, is now living, and a resident of Rhea Springs, Rhea Co., Tenn. She has an excellent education, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Of their twelve children seven are now living. Our subject was educated at Oak Springs and Kingston Academy. In the spring of 1861, he enlisted in Company I, Twenty-sixth Tennessee Infantry (Confederate State Army), and served with much credit until the surrender. He was in numerous battles, among which were the battle of Chickamauga, Fort Donelson, and the famous retreat from Dalton, GA., to Atlanta. He was taken with the rest of the company, which was captured at Fort Donelson, to Camp Morton, Indianapolis, and was retained as a prisoner seven months. After this he enlisted in Company A, of the Sixteenth Tennessee Battalion. As a spy he went through the Federal lines five different times. and was taken prisoner while on one of these trips, but escaped six days afterward by cutting through one of the out-houses. At Chickamauga he had charge of a company (as its captain), but afterward refused to act in that capacity on account of age. After the war he finished his education and turned his attention to farming and stock raising. He afterward removed to Rhea Springs, and engaged in merchandising. Two years later he went to Roddy, Rhea County and after trading in stock for six years moved to Spring City, and has since been engaged in the mercantile and real estate businesses, stock raising and farming. He has also been urged to accept the nomination of Senator in the counties of Rhea, Cumberland, Morgan, White, Sequatchie, Monroe and Van Buren. He is a Democrat, and a Royal Arch Mason. In April, 1867, he married Miss Mary Roddy, a native of Roddy, Rhea County, and a daughter of D. M. and Elizabeth Roddy. Her birth occurred January 1, 1847. She secured a fine education at Athens and Chattanooga, and is a member of the Baptist Church. This union resulted in the birth of two daughters: Florence B. and Mary E.

Published by The Goodspeed Publishing Co 1887

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