Van Gundy Family Tree

Notes for John Henninger REAGAN

David L Beckwith posted at

"John H. left Tennessee in 1839 for Texas, then a Republic, and settled in the eastern portion of the state where he resided until his death. Without a doubt, John H. Reagan is still Gatlinburg's most illustrious son.

A brief summary of his accomplishments includes: surveyor of public lands in Texas; lawyer, admitted to the bar in 1846; state representative 1847-1849; district judge, 1852-1857; Representative to U. S. Congress, 1857-1861; delegate to Secession Convention of Texas in 1861; Postmaster General of Confederacy; acting Secretary of Confederacy. In 1875 he was a member of the State Constitutional Convention; U.S. Representative, 1875-1887; U. S. Senator from Texas, 1887-1891; a member of State Railroad Comission, served as chairman 1897-1903.

John was imprisoned after the Civil War presumably for his high post in the Confederacy.

John H. returned to his birth place only once, 22 August 1900, after sixty-three years absence. He and his wife received a heartwarming reception in Sevierville where he spoke at the Courthouse and received friends at a reception later. He spent two days visiting with his cousins in Gatlinburg.

John H. Reagan reared his first wife's two sons.

John H. Reagan died and was buried in East Hill Cemetery, Palestine, Anderson County, Texas. "

Source: 'Smoky Mountain Clans', Donald B. Reagan, 1978, p 8, 10. 'Smoky Mountain Family Album,' Gladys Trentham Russell, 1984, p 9. 'The Book of Ragan/Reagan', Donald B. Reagan, 1993, p 46, 47-49. LaFaye Sutkin GEDCOM, 18 December 1995.

And from The Confederate War Department:

"As a boy, he worked with his father at a tannery and on their small farm. He briefly attended nearby Nancy Academy until his mother died, when he took on the duties of caring for his four brothers and sister. After working a year for a local planter, he attended nearby Boyd's Creek Academy for fifteen months, then worked to support a year of study at Southwestern Seminary in Maryville, Blount County, Tennessee. In 1838, he left Tennessee for better opportunities.

For a short time he managed a plantation near Natchez, Adams County, Mississippi, then headed to Texas and fought in the Cherokee War (1839). He subsequently worked as a deputy surveyor and frontier scout, and was elected a justice of the peace and captain of a militia company in Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County, Texas. He married Martha Music on 19 April 1844, but she died the following year. He studied law, and in 1846 obtained temporary license to start his practice in Buffalo, Henderson County, Texas...."

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