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Below is a family biography included in the book, The History of Hardeman County, Tennessee published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1887.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Francis Fentress, a member of one of Tennessee’s oldest and most honored families is a well known and leading attorney at law, of Bolivar, is a native of the place, born May 28, 1840, the son of David and Matilda (Wendel) Fentress. His early education was received in Hardeman County; at the age of sixteen he entered the Bandusia Seminary of Nashville, and later attended the LaGrange Synodical College, completing the Freshman and Sophomore courses in one year. He graduated at the University of Mississippi in 1861. The same year he entered the Confederate service as a volunteer, enlisting in Company E, Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, serving until the close of the war. After the restoration of peace, 1865, he began the reading of law under the guidance of his distinguished brother, Judge James Fentress, and was admitted to the bar the following year, since which time he has practiced in Bolivar. In 1870 he married Miss Bettie, daughter of Gen. R. P. Neely. Mrs. Fentress was born September 2, 1849, and died in 1881, leaving three children: Elizabeth, Frank and Louise. Mr. Fentress’ second marriage was with Miss Bettie Bradley, of Franklin, Tenn., who was born June 12, 1857. To their union one child has been born, Margaret. Mr. Fentress is one of the best informed and most prominent lawyers of Bolivar. For nineteen years he has been local attorney for the Illinois Central Railroad, also the Memphis & Charleston Road. He is a “sky blue” Democrat, being at present chief superior of elections in the western district of Tennessee, appointed by Judges Jackson and Hammond of the United States circuit and district courts. Mr. Fentress has passed his life almost entirely in the home of his nativity where he is universally esteemed. He and his wife are earnest members of the Presbyterian Church.

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This family biography is one of 101 biographies included in the book,  The History of Hardeman County, Tennessee published in 1887 by Goodspeed.  The History of Hardeman County was included within The History of Fayette and Hardeman Counties of Tennessee. For the complete description, click here: History of Fayette and Hardeman Counties, Tennessee

View additional Hardeman County, Tennessee family biographies here: Hardeman County, Tennessee

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