My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The History of DeKalb 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.

* * * *

Hon. J. W. Botts, attorney at law, is the son of Aaron and Sarah (English) Botts, and born on Smith Fork, DeKalb County, in 1830, one of eight children, five of whom are living. The father, of English ancestry, was born in North Carolina, and died in 1860 about sixty years of age. Left an orphan when a child, he was reared and married in his native State, and soon after removed to Kingston, Tenn., and afterward to DeKalb County, as it is known now. He settled at the mouth of Helton Creek, where he resumed his business of hatter, until about 1831, since when he lived in Alexandria until his death. He was tax collector one term and twice defeated as candidate for sheriff by only five and seven votes respectively. The mother, a native of North Carolina, died in Nashville about 1865. Our subject was educated at Alexandria, and at Gainesboro under Hon. William DeWitt, now of Chattanooga. In August, 1850, he married Cynthia, daughter of Dr. Thomas J. and Nancy Sneed, of Alexandria, where Mrs. Botts was born. Seven of their thirteen children are living: Robert A., undertaker at Alexandria; Lizzie, wife of Andrew Kersey; Sarah, wife of John Argo (deceased), of Nashville; John E., with the St. Louis Railway; Norman and Earnest, both at Dixon Springs, and Charley. Mrs. Botts died in August, 1883. February 23, 1884, he married Nora, daughter of Louis W. and Sarah Manning, of Smith County. They have one child, Lena. A carpenter and cabinet maker during his earlier years, our subject was for the fifteen years preceding the war, magistrate and mayor of Alexandria. In 1862 he entered Allison’s squadron of cavalry and was in active service in Kentucky and Middle Tennessee until July, 1863, when he was captured near Alexandria and taken to Nashville, then Louisville, Camp Chase, Ohio, Philadelphia, and finally to Fort Delaware, where after seventeen months’ imprisonment he was paroled, taken south and soon made his way home, mostly on foot, after nearly four years of service and suffering. In 1868 he was licensed to practice his present profession in which he has a large practice in Cannon, DeKalb, Smith and Wilson Counties, in the circuit, and also the federal courts. An ardent Prohibitionist, he refused the candidacy for the Legislature, because he was expected to work against submitting the question of prohibition to the people. Although reared a Whig, he has been a strong Democrat, first voting for Pierce. He is a member of the Y. M. C. A., and is the oldest male citizen of Alexandria.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 45 biographies included in The History of DeKalb County, Tennessee published in 1887.  The History of Dekalb County was included within The History of Cannon, Coffee, DeKalb, Warren & White Counties of Tennessee. For the complete description, click here: History of Cannon, Coffee, DeKalb, Warren, White Counties of Tennessee

To view additional DeKalb County, Tennessee family biographies, click here

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.