J. P. LEA, farmer and trader, of Cleveland, is the son of Caswell and Elizabeth B. (JOHNSTON) LEA. The father was born in North Carolina, and the mother in Virginia. When young he came to Tennessee and afterward went to Virginia and married. Having returned and settled in Jefferson County, they lived there many years, then moved to Polk County, and in 1850 came to Bradley County. Previous to going to Polk County, he merchandised, but on coming to that county bought a noted place called the Savannah farm, and on moving to Bradley purchased the farm where J. P. now lives. Both were Presbyterians, he being an elder for many years. In 1874 the father died, and the mother followed him about two years later. In their family were eight chldren, four living--three sons and one daughter. The sixth child, our subject, was born August 19, 1846, and was raised on a farm. In early life he had good opportunities for education, but the war came on and thwarted his plans. After the war he would work hard all day and go to school at night, thus securing a good English education. He remained at home till twenty-two years old and cared for his parents. In 1868 he married Mollie EARNEST, a native of Greene County, by whom eight children--three sons and five daughters--were born. Both he and wife are Presbyterians, he having been an officer in that church over twenty-six years. He has never sworn an oath nor drank a drop of intoxicating liquors. Soon after his marriage he moved back to Polk County, and farmed. In 1870 he returned, and has since made this county his home, with the exception of two years. He opened a sale stable in Cleveland, which he ran about three years. He has dealt for many years in stock. In politics he is a Democrat. He is a Mason. For fifteen yeears he has been connected with the business interests of Cleveland. Few men have worked harder and few succeeded better.
A Special "Thank You!" to Sherry Pollard for Transcribing the Goodspeed Biographies!