May 18, 2007

A Little About the Senator

The Honorable Presley Thornton Glass, state and congressional legislator, occupied the home I am purchasing. The Biographical Directory of the United States Congress contains this entry:

GLASS, Presley Thornton, a Representative from Tennessee; born in Houston, Halifax County, Va., October 18, 1824; in 1828 moved with his parents to Weakley County, Tenn., where he attended Dresden Academy; elected colonel of militia when eighteen years of age; studied law; attended one course at Lexington (Ky.) Law School; was admitted to the bar in 1847 and commenced practice in Ripley, Tenn.; member of the State house of representatives in 1848 and again in 1882; during the Civil War served as commissary with the rank of major in the Confederate service; elected as a Democrat to the Forty-ninth and Fiftieth Congresses (March 4, 1885-March 3, 1889); unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1888; died in Ripley, Tenn., on October 9, 1902; interment in Maplewood Cemetery.

Real cut and dry. However, Mrs. Childress provided a copy of his obituary which adds more oomph to the above entry and a photograph as well. According to the obituary, Sen. Glass died of pneumonia, at 8:30 p.m., on October 9, 1902, at the Western Hotel. His health had been poor for some time but after spending time at Eastbrook Springs, seemed to improve.

He was married three times. A prominent member of the Baptist church and Superintendent of the Sunday School. "...the long procession and wealth of beautiful flowers attested the esteem of the town for Col. Glass." He was elected to the State Legislature at the age of 22 and admitted to the bar. In 1849, he ended his practice and became a merchant in Ripley.

"He was a strong sympathizer with the South. In her trouble and was among the first to respond to the call of troops in behalf of the Southern Confederacy. In May 1861, he was appointed Major and Commissary of subsistance, in which official capacity he served during the entire of four years of the Civil War."

"After the war he moved to Memphis, engaging for two years in the commission business. From there he went to Trenton, where he edited the Trenton Gazette. In 1869 he returned to Ripley, again engaging in merchandizing. In 1881 he was again elected to the State Legislature and in 1884 was elected a representative from the Ninth District of Tennessee to the Forty-ninth Congress and again elected in 1886. He was a true Democrat."

"The plot of ground in which repose the remains of Col. Glass --Maplewood Cemetery--was purchased by him and donated to the town."

A portrait of Presley T. Glass, was donated to Sugar Hill, Lauderdale County Library in Ripley, by his great-granddaughter. I wonder if it hangs in the library across the street?

Now, I'm going to have fun with this. Perhaps the title search will show more information. And, if he was a major during the war, how did he become a colonel? Or is that an honorary Southern title? Never mind. I answered my own question. It appears in the Congressional biographical entry above. Sen. Glass was commissioned a colonel in the state militia, at the age of 18.

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