The Jacob Pirtle Family

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In December 1833, Jacob Pirtle's fourth son, Benjamin W. Pirtle (marr Harriet E. Duboise; by 1840 lived in Red River County, Texas), and two daughters -- Priscilla (married Walter Scott) and Mary M. Pirtle (married Isaac Jones; died in Red River County, Texas, on October 28, 1842) - - migrated to the Arkansas Territory. They, along with James Pirtle (son of Martin Pirtle), were pioneer settlers in the beautiful valley beneath the majestic Ouachita Mountains, in the Old Dallas area in present Polk County. Jacob Pirtle's sixth son, Isaac Pirtle (married Eunice Cunningham), who was born on June 24, 1809, also moved there by 1846, the year Arkansas achieved statehood, but he later lived in Ouachita County, and then moved on to Lamar County, Texas, where he died on December 25, 1875. The residence of Jacob Pirtle's other two daughters, Sally Pirtle (married N. N. Gibbs) and Rebecca Pirtle (married N. N. Boutt) is unknown. However, four of Jacob Pirtle's sons -- Michael, John B., William C. and Robert -- lived out their lives in Hardeman County, and they and their families have made significant contributions to the county.

Michael Pirtle, the oldest son of Jacob Pirtle, epitomizes the pioneer spirit of the Pirtles, who were pioneer settlers in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas and texas. Michael Pirtle served in the Sixth Regiment, Kentucky D Militia, in the War of 1812. From December 24, 1812, to January 9, 1813, he was part of a detachment stationed at Vincennes, Indiana Territory. A Company payroll record shows that for four months and three days service he received $27.10. In 1815, two years before the Alabama Territory was organized he moved with the Michael Purtle, Jr., and John Cammack families from Kentucky, and settled in what was to be Cahaba County (then later Bibb County). He married Elizabeth Fowler. Michael Pirtle moved to Hardeman County in 1826 where he died in 1827, leaving three small children: Lewis Pirtle (married Susannah Jackson in 1846), Elijah Pirtle and Sally Pirtle. His widow Elizabeth Fowler Pirtle later married Richard Lamb.

John B. Pirtle, the second son of Jacob Pirtle, first married Polly Story July 13, 1813. Their three children were: Rebecca Pirtle (married Benjamin A. Harris), Jesse Pirtle and James Samuel Pirtle (married Elizabeth Ann Priest), who moved to Van Zandt County, Texas in 1854. After the death of Polly, he married Ann Peters.

William C. Pirtle, the third son of Jacob Pirtle, was born on July 16, 1795 in Greenville County, South Carolina. He married Abigail Gregory whose father, Thomas Gregory, was a soldier in the Continental and Virginia Line during the Revolutionary War, and they were the parents of ten children. On November 22, 1824, he received a grant of twenty-five acres on Big Hatchie River. The Hardeman County Court appointed William C. Pirtle a constable at the first meeting on November 17, 1823. he served as a Justice of the peace for many years. He founded and operated Pirtle's Ferry on the Hatchie River just east of where Tennessee Highway 100 now crosses the river. He acquired his father's land. He also accumulated other tracts nearby, becoming very prosperous planter with five hundred and sixteen acres. Like his father and grandfather, he was a slaveholder. In the 1860s, the freed slaves assumed the Pirtle name, and many of their descendants still reside in Hardeman County. Widely known as Billy Pirtle, he married Mary Ann Staier on August 26, 1863, after the death of his wife Abigail Gregory on September 7, 1861. William Pirtle died on January 27, 1866, and although he was a founding member of Greenwood Cumberland Presbyterian Church, he is buried in the Pirtle Cemetery.

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