Jonathan Caswell TIPTON, was born at Clover Hill, Blount Co., Tenn., December 13, 1816. He is a son of Col. Jonathan and Lavina (WILLIAMS) TIPTON, who were raised in Carter County, and after marriage moved to Blount County, then afterward to a farm on the Little Tennessee River in Monroe County. When J. C. was six years of age Col. Jonathan, father of J. C., had been elected by the people of Carter and surrounding counties colonel of a light horse regiment, and was afterward elected by the voters of Blount and Monroe Counties to the Legislature of the State, in which capacity he served for twenty-one years. The history of Col. John TIPTON, his father, and grandfather of J. C., of upper East Tennessee, is found in "Haywood's History of North Carolina," "Life as it is," by Brazeale, and "Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee" in which an account is given of his war with Gov. SEVIER in the early histoy of East Tennessee. The subject of this sketch received a common education, such as was afforded by the free schools of that day. A part of the time walking four miles morning and evening. At the age of sixteen he clerked in a dry goods store, and returned to the farm the next year. Aspiring to military honors he was elected to several minor offices in the service. At eighteen he made a trip on horseback 400 miles to the western district of Tennessee, crossing the mountains, and traveling through deep snow about half the distance, stopping with his brother, Gen. E. W. TIPTON, of Fayette County, who was general surveyor of the Eleventh District, and gave J. C. a deputation. He spent the summer surveying in that country, sometimes having to swim his horse through lagoons and deep waters, contracting chills and fever; he returned in October to his home in East Tennessee. The next year was spent in trying to reclaim his health, about that time his eldest brother, John B. TIPTON, was elected general surveyor of Ocoee District by the Legislature and appointed J. C. deputy surveyor, who, in March, 1837, repaired to his field of labor. Completing his work in four months, he returned home, and assisted in making out the maps of the different surveys of said district. In that year he cast his first vote, which was for Hugh L. WHITE for President, and Newton CANNON for governor, returned that fall to Bradley County to live, was soon elected county surveyor by the county court, and re-elected for the second term. About this time a "vacancy" occurred for colonel in his regiment, to which office he was elected. He made a canvass for representatives from Bradley County in 1847, and was defeated by a majority of 120 votes, his competitor having the advantage of 500 in the politics of said county. Being a candidate again in 1849, TIPTON was elected by seventy-nine votes majority, and served the term of 1849-50 in the State Legislature. In 1850 he was married to Elizabeth SHEARON, daughter of T. W. SHEARON, Esq., of Davidson County, who was elected to the United States Senate. After marriage the said J. C. and Elizabeth, located in Morganton, Blount County, where he was in the mercantile business for three years, and then moved to a farm in Bradley County, four miles east of Cleveland. He remained upon the farm until the latter part of the late war. He was a Union man, and devoted to the cause of the Union during said war, but was not in the army on account of protracted ill health. During the time, his grain and all other food having been taken by soldiers, and his house burned, he moved to Cleveland. Upon the reorganization of the State he was elected clerk of the circuit court of Bradley County, and continued for three consecutive terms, then in the decline of years and health, he accepted the office of magistrate in the Cleveland District, was appointed United States commissioner, and elected mayor of the city for three consecutive terms, and afterward city recorder. He was appointed census taker by Gov. HAWKINS in 1881. He has served upon the United States grand jury two terms, was appointed foreman of the jury during the last term of his service, and has served five years as chairman of the county Board. He is now seventy years old, and has had eight children born to him by the said Elizabeth to wit: William Shearon, who has been twelve years in the postoffice, and fifteen years editor of the Cleveland Herald; Edmund Caswell, thirty-two years, has served four years in the United States mail service, between Cleveland, Tenn., and Selma, Ala., and is now a merchant of Cleveland; Ida L. (now HAYES), twenty-nine years; Mary Lucretia (now JOHNSTON), twenty-seven years; Samuel Horace, aged twenty-five, printer and local editor; Jonathan Sterling, died at the age of seven months; Adelia Tennessee, aged twenty-one; and Catharine Elizabeth, aged eighteen years. All are residents of Cleveland, Tenn. The following correction of history was prepared by our subject: In justice to the memory of Col. John TIPTON and his descendants I think it proper to make a statement of facts as given to me by my father, Johnathan TIPTON, one of the youngest sons of Col. John, in his life time, in regard to the war between his father and Gov. John SEVIER, in the early history of East Tennessee, and ask that you give this statement as insertion in your book, to wit: That two errors were made by Haywood in his history of North Carolina after this war that have been copied into "Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee," and other histories: Firstly, That TIPTON captured SEVIER's men, including three of the latter's sons, and was about to put them to death, but learning that SEVIER had three of his sons prisoners, he relented, with tears in his eyes, and proposed an exchange of prisoners. Secondly, It is stated that SEVIER was taken to North Carolina for trial, and being taken to the courthouse at night, a horse was in waiting, upon which the Governor made his escape. My father, who was about twelve years old at that time, stated to me in his lifetime that Col. John, his father, had always during his life, when talking upon that subject, said that when he captured SEVIER's men, including his three sons, that two brothers by the name of WEBB, whose brother had been killed by SEVIER's men, did want to kill the young SEVIERS; but he told the WEBBs they were his prisoners, entitled to his protection; that such an act would be cowardly, and could not be permitted by him under any circumstances, and that SEVIER did not have TIPTON's sons or any one of them a prisoner at any time during the war. AS to the second error, his father said that he started Gov. SEVIER to North Carolina for trial under a guard of two men, and that SEVIER escaped in the mountain on the way, and did not get to the courthouse as stated in history, which appears to have been written in the interest of Gov. SEVIER, and no corrections having been made, has, of course, been accepted as fact, to the prejudice of Col. John TIPTON and his descendants, and should have been long since corrected. But the general character of both TIPTON and SEVIER having been that of honorable, brave and magnanimous men, haste has not been deemed necessary and now because of my advanced age, and being the next youngest of the only three grandsons living of the said Col. John TIPTON, and that justice may be done to his memory, I deem it important to make this correction.
A Special "Thank You!" to Sherry Pollard for Transcribing the Goodspeed Biographies!