Murfreesboro Mayors: 16-20

September 1, 2019, A Series by Barry Lamb

Carney, Legrand Hargis was born on January 1, 1808 in Person County, North Carolina to William and Mary Hargis Carney, who came to Rutherford County from Person County before 1809. He was married to Catherine Wells Lytle, daughter of Captain William Lytle and his wife, Nancy Taylor Lytle, in 1831. He was the owner and operated of a dry goods and general merchandise establishment in Murfreesboro for many years before the Civil War. Our subject was elected mayor of the town in 1837 but did not serve the full term as he resigned during that year. He also served the town as alderman in 1838, 1839, and 1844. He was also the town’s treasurer in 1838 and 1844. He and his wife were members of Murfreesboro’s Methodist Episcopal Church and were the parents of eleven children: William J., John L., Mary H. Carney Wilson, Cath-erine “Kate” Carney Poindexter, Legrand V., Tabitha A., Rosaline Carney Moore, Ephraim L., Helen L. Carney Whitefield, Virginia Wells Carney Mitchell, and Kate Wells Carney. Mayor Carney suffered financial hard-ships following the War and was forced to sell his well known mansion, “Hillcrest”, in 1868. He died on April 29, 1884 in Murfreesboro and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery.

Yoakum, Henderson King was born on September 6, 1810 in Claiborne County, Tennessee to George and Mary Ann Maddy Yoakum. He entered West Point Military Academy in 1828 and graduated in 1832 with a 2nd lieutenant commission. He was married to Eveline Cannon, daughter of Robert and Anne Galbraithe Cannon, on February 13, 1833 in Roane County, Tennessee. He brought his wife to Murfreesboro later that year. He soon after became captain of the “Murfreesboro Sentinels”, a local militia company, and in 1836 served on the Sabine frontier under General J. P. Gaines. In 1837, our subject was elected alderman of the town of Murfreesboro but became mayor of the town when Mayor Carney resigned. Yoakum was also elected mayor in 1843. He moved his family to Huntsville, Texas in 1845, studied law, and soon after began his practice of law in Huntsville. He served as 1st lieutenant of the Texas Mounted Riflemen during the Battle of Monterrey during the Mexican War. He was author of a two volume work, entitled the “History of Texas”, published one year before his death. He and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and were the parents of nine children: Eliza, Martha, Mary, Annie, Emily, Houston, Robert, George, and Henderson. Mayor Yoakum died on November 29, 1856 in Houston, Texas and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Huntsville, Texas.

Keeble, Edwin Augustus was born in Cumberland County, Virginia on February 14, 1807 to Walter Keeble Jr. and his wife, Sarah Hudson Keeble. His paternal grandparents were Walter Keeble Sr. and his wife, Sarah Shrewsbury Keeble, who came to the Jefferson area from Cumberland County, Virginia around 1810. The subject of his sketch spent much of his youth on his parent’s plantation near the thriving community of Jefferson. On April 27, 1830, he was married to Susan Cochran of Loudon, County, Virginia and that marriage produced a son, Richard H. Keeble, who later became colonel of the 23rd Tennessee Infantry Regiment, CSA, and was killed defending Petersburg, Virginia during the Civil War. Our subject attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated from that institution with a B. A. degree. He then read law and was admitted to the Rutherford County bar in 1833. He became a successful Murfreesboro attorney and was also editor and publisher of the “Murfreesboro Monitor” during the mid 1830s. His wife died in 1833 and he was remarried on November 30, 1836 to Mary W. Maney, daughter of Dr. James Maney and his wife, Sally Hardy Murfree Maney of “Oak Manor”. They were the parents of James M., Sallie E., Thomas M., Walter B., and Mary B. Keeble. Involved in public service, Keeble was elected mayor of Murfreesboro in 1838, but served only a few months before resigning. He was elected mayor again in 1855, serving his full one year term. He also represented Rutherford County in the lower house of the Tennessee legislature from 1861-1863. Desirous to serve the Confederate cause, he was elected to serve in the Confederate States House of Representatives in 1864 and served in that body until the end of the war.

Edwin Augustus Keeble’s second wife had died in early 1863 and he was married a third time on August 26th of that year to Sally Dickinson Bell, daughter of presidential candidate John Bell and his wife, Sally Dickinson Bell. That union produced one son, John Bell Keeble. Following the war, Keeble returned to his law practice in Murfreesboro and died there on August 26, 1868. He was buried at the old Keeble home place near Jefferson.

Sublett, George Allen was born on September 7, 1792 in Charlotte County, Virginia to Captain William Allen Sublett and his wife, Sarah Akin Sublett. Our subject came to Rutherford County with his parents before 1809. He and his brother, Abner Caldwell Sublett, began Murfreesboro’s first newspaper, “The Courier” in 1814, a newspaper which ran until 1832. Sublett married Elizabeth Ledbetter, sister of Murfreesboro mayor William Ledbetter, on May 29, 1821. He was one of the organizers of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Murfreesboro during that year. Our subject replaced Mayor Keeble in 1838, after the latter resigned, but served for only two weeks before he tendered his resignation. He was elected mayor again in 1840, this time serving a full term. He had been a member of Murfreesboro’s first board of aldermen in 1818, and also served in that capacity during the years of 1821, 1826, 1827, 1833, 1834, 1843, 1846, and 1849. He had also served as the town’s recorder in 1823. After his time in the publishing business, Sublett became a tavern and inn keeper, purchasing a place formerly owned by Mayor Purdy, known as the “Murfreesboro Inn”, located on the west side of the square, as advertised in a 1841 Murfreesboro newspaper. He and his wife were the parents of William, George, Mary M. Sublett Stewart, David D., Sarah A. Sublett Stewart, Adaline Sublett Harrison, Joseph, and Rebecca Sublett. Mayor Sublett died on March 26, 1855 and is buried in Murfreesboro’s Old City Cemetery.

Gilliam, William was born on May 11, 1798. His place of birth and ancestry is unknown. He came to Murfreesboro before 1820 and married Martha Molloy, daughter of Gilliam and Frances Gannaway Molloy, on May 8, 1823. He was a brother in law of Mayor John Jones, who was introduced previously. Our subject was a blacksmith by trade and was elected mayor in 1838 to fill the void left when Mayor Sublett resigned. Like his predecessor, Mayor Gilliam also served only two weeks before tendering his resignation. He had previously served as town alderman in 1836. His first wife died on July 8, 1835, being the mother of two children: John Richard and James Gilliam. His second wife was a woman by the name of Eliza Glover, but the date of their wedding is unknown. She was the mother of a daughter, Virginia Elizabeth Gilliam. Mayor Gilliam died on March 2, 1842 and his remains lie in Murfreesboro’s Old City Cemetery.

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