James S. BYRD, a merchant and farmer of Bradley County, and a resident of Chatata, was born November 24, 1826, in Roane County. His parents were Joseph and Anna BYRD. The father was of Irish descent, born in Virginia about 1785. He came to Tennessee at an early date, and settled in Roane County, and there followed the occupation of a farmer. He took part in the war of 1812, and was colonel of the militia when the Cherokee Indians were removed. He died about 1855. His wife was also of Irish origin, born in Knox County in 1800, and died in Roane County in February, 1886. She was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and the mother of twelve children, of whom our subject was the fifth. He received a fair education in his native county, and at Hiwassee College, Monroe County. He engaged in farming, in connection with which he was in the mercantile business with his father during 1849-50. In the spring of 1861 he enlisted in the Union Army, Company I, First East Tennessee Infantry, and was commissioned quartermaster. He was in the battles of Logan's Field, Wild Cat, Murfreesboro, Kingston, was with Gen. SHERMAN in his famous march to the sea, and in numerous skirmishes. After three years of active and gallant service he returned to Roane County, where he lived for the following eight years. He then came to Bradley County, and purchased the farm on which he now lives, containing 250 acres; he also owns a farm of 200 acres in Roane County, all of which are the fruits of untiring energy and industry, as he began life a poor man. He is a Democrat, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and a valuable and respected citizen. On October 18, 1865, he married Miss Narcissa T. McMILLAN, daughter of Col. Joseph and Terrissa W. McMILLAN. She was born in Bradley County, August 27, 1844; was educated at Cleveland, in the same county, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and the mother of seven children: Joe R., Flora M., Samuel L., Standifer J., Mary L., Augustus and Nena T., the latter of whom was born in February, 1877 and died October 21, of the same year. Col. Joseph McMILLAN, the father of Mrs. BYRD, was among the early settlers of Bradley County, in its early history, was a member of the State Senate, and was for many years an active and prominent citizen of the county. He died at a very advanced age.
A Special "Thank You!" to Sherry Pollard for Transcribing the Goodspeed Biographies!