Murfreesboro Mayors: 11-15

July 1, 2019, A Series by Barry Lamb

Fisher, Edward, born in 1800, came to Murfreesboro from North Carolina during the 1810s. He was one of the organizers of the Murfreesboro Methodist Episcopal Church in 1821. He married Martha Ann Hartwell, daughter of Armistead and Martha Ann Gholson Hartwell of Murfreesboro, on December 9, 1823. Our subject was a cabinet maker by trade and was elected mayor in 1829, serving in that office that year and also in 1836 and 1839. He also served as alderman in 1837, 1838, 1840, 1841 and 1843. He was also the county coroner from 1836-1840. He left Murfreesboro for the fertile fields of West Tennessee, becoming a farmer in Lauderdale County, Tennessee during the 1840s. He occupied himself with that endeavor until his death on December 7, 1868 at Ripley, Tennessee. He and his wife were the parents of Armistead H., Lavina, Mary, Ann Eliza, Henry C., Charles, Thomas, Sarah W. Fisher Reynolds, and James Fisher.

Moore, James C., a native of Pennsylvania, was born on October 10, 1797 to James and Mary Carmichael Moore of Huntington County, Pennsylvania. He came to Murfreesboro during the 1820s, where he met and married Martha M. Purdy, daughter of General Robert Purdy, former mayor of Murfreesboro, and his wife, Elizabeth Phillips Purdy. In religion, they were of the Presbyterian persuasion, being members of the Murfreesboro Presbyterian Church. Our subject was a dry goods merchant by trade, appearing in an 1831 Murfreesboro newspaper advertisement as being partners with Josiah Nichol at that time. He later became associated with Robert Shipton Currin in the firm of “Moore & Currin” from 1844 until at least 1850. He was elected mayor of Murfreesboro in 1831, having served the town as alderman the previous year. He and his wife were the parents of Mary Thompson Moore Green, wife of Thomas Green Jr. An 1850 deed transaction was the last record found for him and his whereabouts after that date in unknown.

Ready, Charles Jr. was born on December 22, 1802 at the home of his parents, Charles Ready Sr. and Mary Palmer Ready of the plantation home, “The Corners”, located in the Readyville community. He graduated from Greeneville College in Greeneville, Tennessee, studied law, and was admitted to the Bar in 1825. While in East Tennessee, he met and married Martha A. Strong, daughter of Dr. Joseph Churchill Strong and his wife, Catherine Neilson Strong of Knoxville, on May 19, 1825. He began a law practice in Murfreesboro soon after his marriage and was elected mayor of the town in 1832. He also served as mayor of Murfreesboro from 1849-1853 and again in 1867. He also served as alderman during the years of 1827, 1828, 1830, and 1847. Our subject was also involved in state and national politics, having served in the Tennessee State House of Representatives from 1835-1837 and the United States House of Representatives from 1853-1859. He was also one of the incorporators of the Murfreesboro Savings Institute in 1850. He and his wife were members of Murfreesboro’s Presbyterian Church and were the parents of the following children: Martha Ready Morgan Williamson, Charles E., Aaron F., Colonel Horace, Alice C. Ready Martin, Ella Ready Jordan, and Mary Ready Cheatham. Mayor Ready died at his East Main Street home on June 4, 1878 and is buried at Evergreen Cemetery. Soon after his death, his son, Horace, transformed his old home place into a hotel, the Ready House Hotel, later to become the well known Jordan Hotel.

Niles, Charles was born on June 21, 1786 in North Carolina to Silas and Esther Hazard Niles. He arrived in Murfreesboro during the 1810s and married Abigale Wade after his arrival in Murfreesboro. She is believed to have been a member of the Wade family, who came to Rutherford County from Maryland in the early 1800s. He and his wife were members of Murfreesboro’s Presbyterian Church. Our subject was a saddler by trade, producing saddles, harnesses et cetera, and was at one time in partnership with Wilson Thomas, who later served as mayor of Murfreesboro in 1844. His business was located on the corner of College and Lebanon (present day Maple) Streets. Niles served as mayor of Murfreesboro in 1833 and had been a member of the town’s first board of alderman in 1818. He also served as alderman in 1819, 1822, 1823, 1829, 1831, 1834, and 1835. He was one of the trustees of the Murfreesboro Female Academy in 1834. He moved his family to Holly Springs, Mississippi before 1840 and occupied himself with farming for the remainder of his life. Mr. Niles and his wife were the parents of Sarah Ann Niles Parrish, Elizabeth Niles Elder, wife of town recorder James Elder, Mary, Isabella, Martha Niles Grosvenor, and Caroline Niles. Mayor Niles died at Holly Springs on July 22, 1855 and is buried at Elmwood Cemetery in Holly Springs.

Spence, Marman was born on May 6, 1798. His place of birth and ancestry is unknown but he is believed to be of Irish stock. He was married to Sarah Wasson in Davidson County, Tennessee on February 26, 1826 and became a well known merchant in Murfreesboro during the 1830s and 1840s, and at one time was a business partner of Alderman Willis Snell, who served as alderman around that time. The subject of this sketch served as mayor of Murfreesboro in 1834 and 1835. He also served as alderman in 1830, 1831, 1833, and 1841. He was also the town’s treasurer from 1831-1833, 1839, 1841, and 1842. He and his wife were members of Murfreesboro’s Methodist Episcopal Church and were the parents of four children: David Henry Clay, Margaret, Susan, and Sarah Ann Spence. Mayor Spence died on February 24, 1847 and was laid to rest in Murfreesboro’s Old City Cemetery.

Comments are closed.