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John LEWIS 12293 - Barren Co.

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John LEWIS 12293 - Barren Co.

Posted: 1385387618000
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Lewis, Davis, Bybee, Williams, Graves, Tway, Humphreys, Dixon
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A History of Kentucky and Kentuckians, The Leaders and Representative Men in Commerce, Industry and Modern Activities. By E. Polk Johnson, Volume II. Illustrated. Publishers: The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago-New York, 1912.

JOHN LEWIS. – Graven deeply and with marked distinction on the history of Barren county, Kentucky, are the names and works of John Lewis, late of Glasgow, and though now deceased he is still revered as an honored member of a striking group of men whose influence in the social and economic life of the state has been of most beneficent order. John Lewis was a native of Barren county, this state, where he was born on the 28th of December, 1847, which date bears significant evidence of families of the Blue Grass commonwealth. His demise occurred on the 10th of June, 1910. He was the eldest son of the late General Joseph H. Lewis, whose sketch precedes this one. Though educated for the profession of the law John Lewis devoted but a short period to general practice, his other financial interests having assumed such proportions as to demand his entire time and attention. When death called him from the scene of mortal endeavors he was president of the Farmers’ National Bank of Glasgow, in addition to which he was also interested in a number of other important enterprises.

As previously noted, John Lewis was a son of General Joseph H. Lewis, who gained such widespread fame during the late war as a Confederate general. John Lewis was reared to maturity in Barren county, to whose public schools he is indebted for his elementary educational training. He later attended the Kentucky Military Institute, then located at Frankfort and which before and directly after the Civil war was one of the most famous institutions of learning in the South. From this institution he graduated with the degree A. B. He was a young of but fourteen years of age at the time of the inception of the Civil war and was immediately fired with boyish enthusiasm to become a soldier of the Confederacy. Accordingly, he enlisted as a member of the renowned Orphan Brigade, of which his father was commanding general, but later he was discharged on account of his extreme youth. Subsequently he was appointed by President Davis to the charge of the arsenal at Augusta, Georgia, where he remained until the close of the war. After this he took up the study of law, in the work of which profession he was engaged for a time, later turning his attention to the lumber business, with which line of enterprise he continued to be identified during the remainder of his active business career. He was for a time prominently identified with State Militia, being captain of Lewis Guards and later served as major of the Third Kentucky Regiment. He became one of the most prominent citizens of Glasgow, which city was the center of all his activities. Here he himself built the ladder by which he rose to affluence and here, in 1900, he was elected to the office of president of the Farmers’ National Bank, one of the most substantial and reliable monetary institutions in Barren county.

John Lewis was twice married, his first union having been to Miss Bettie Bybee, whose death occurred a short time after the birth of her only child, George R. Lewis, a sketch of whose career follows this one. In the winter of the year 1879, was recorded the marriage of Mr. Lewis to Miss Ida Williams, who was born and reared in Barren county, Kentucky, and who is the daughter of Dr. William A. and Mary Jane (Graves) Williams. The Williams family is one of the old pioneer standing in Kentucky, whither the founder of the family in this state immigrated from Virginia. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis became the parents of four children, three of whom are living at the present time, a son, Joseph H., having died at the age of six years. The names of those living are here entered in respective order of birth, - Mrs. Charles W. Tway, of Union Springs, Alabama; Mrs. H. S. Humphreys, of Indianapolis, Indiana; and Mrs. A. B. Dixon, of Glasgow, Kentucky. Mrs. Lewis survives her honored husband and she is now residing in this city. She is a woman of the utmost graciousness of character and is deeply beloved by all who have come within the radius of her gentle influence.

In politics Mr. Lewis endorsed the cause of the Democratic party, and while he was never incumbent of any public office he was deeply and sincerely interested in community affairs. He was affiliated with a number of social and fraternal organizations of representative character and in religious maters was a devout member of the Presbyterian church. Concerning the personality of Mr. Lewis and the appreciation placed upon him by his fellow citizens, the following extract is here inserted, it having appeared in an article dedicated to him at the time of his demise.

“Mr. John Lewis, or ‘Jack’ Lewis, as he was familiarly and affectionately called by his friends, was a man of strong personality and one who rose superior to every situation confronting him in his career. He was a man of business from choice, but he was possessed of a powerful mentality and could have made his mark professionally had he so chosen. He was a true and devoted friend, loyal in every thought, word, and act. In the family circle no more affectionate, tender and indulgent father ever lived. It was his delight to gratify every wish of those near and dear to him, and it was apparently for these that he existed. He had been a member of the Presbyterian church for nearly thirty years, and had during his whole life led a conscientiously moral, upright and pure life. A splendid citizen, a manly man in the largest and truest sense, a Christian gentleman and a business man whose name was accepted as his bond, a parent and husband perfect in his affections, the whole community grieves with his loved ones in their grief and extends to them a deep, universal sympathy.”

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