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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.

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William T. Hale. This gentleman is a merchant, lawyer and litterateur of Liberty; was born in 1857 at Liberty, De Kalb Co., Tenn., and is one of three boys of C. W. L. and Malissa (Overall) Hale. He received his education at the Masonic Academy, at Liberty, and has been a close student at home. At the age of seventeen he began business life as a partner with his father in the mercantile firm of Hale & Son, and has continued in the same business, in connnection with his profession, which he entered in 1884, having at the same time found leisure enough to indulge his literary tastes. In 1876 he married Lula Lewis, who was born in 1860, and who was the daughter of G. W. and Sophie (Allen) Lewis, of Lebanon, Tenn. He has two children: Charles and Herbert. Since finishing his studies under James A. Nesmith he has built up a flattering practice in De Kalb and adjoining counties. He is best known as an author, being the author of “Vernon Wild,” a novelette, which had a considerable local reputation, and of the two poetical volumes, “Violets,” and “Swallow Flights”; while his ephemeral pennings for the press would fill volumes. His poems are dainty, finished and full of feeling, and have been praised by Joaquin Miller and Gerald Massey. Below are given a few quotations, taken at random from his poems:

“I think this thing as proper quite
As anything e’er writ or spoken-
No golden calf should loom unbroken,
When overshadowing prostrate Right!

“And I think the prettiest thought God had
When he made all of earth but the human,
Was that which led him to brighten the world
With woman, beautiful woman.”

“Am I not one who know’s Love’s worth?
Lo! my hands are empty, although my days
Were spent in search of the joys that seemed
Far in the front and hidden from gaze.

“While smiles of Luna from realms aloft—
Gleams they seemed from the land of bliss—
Settled down over the scene as soft
As mouth over mouth in a kiss.”

In 1886 Wm. Hale was a candidate to represent his county in the General Assembly, but was defeated on account of his prohibition principles. He is a Democrat politically, and cast his first vote for W. S. Hancock for President.

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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

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