William Duke, farmer and stock dealer, was born in Granville County, N. C., June 10, 1815, the son of Nelson and Polly (Longmire) Duke, the former of English descent, born in Franklin County, N. C., and deceased in this county about 1862 at the age of 80 years. He was a farmer and teacher. For several years he served as Magistrate, The mother, born in Granville County, N. C., died in this county about 1859. Our subject, the third of ten children, came to Tennessee when he was ten years old, and is the only living one. When nineteen years old he engaged with Jacob Sharp, and worked for over five years, his first salary going to his father. He was in ill health for about two years. In 1843 he married Tinsy, a daughter of Isaac Sharp, of Campbell County, and she died in May, 1860, aged thirty-eight years, and a member of the Baptist Church. Of two sons and six daughters, one son and four daughters are deceased. In 1862 he married Martha, a daughter of John T. Harden, of Anderson County. Of their three sons and two daughters, one son is deceased. About seven years after his first marriage he rented land, and afterward bought his present home. He and his wife are Baptists, and he is a Republican in favor of prohibition.
Source: History of Tennessee Containing Historical and Biographical Sketches of Thirty East Tennessee Counties. Illustrated, pp. 1146-1152. Published: Chicago and Nashville: The Goodspeed Publishing Co. 1887.