James Warren Clift
JAMES W. CLIFT DIES AT HIS SODDY HOME
of the County's Oldest Settlers Passes Away
After Long and Painful Affliction
Capt. James W. Clift, known all over Hamilton county as "Uncle
Jimmy," member of one of the leading families of the county, ex-soldier of
the Mexican war and veteran of the confederacy, died at his home in Soddy
yesterday morning about the breakfast hour.
The last illness of the deceased dated from a day three years ago when
paralysis of the creeping kind overcame him and he went down with a stroke that
at the time seemed fatal. He
rallied and has lived since in ever-present consciousness that his time was
short, and has merely waited for the end. For
a year he has been in a condition of pitiable helplessness, unable to wait upon
himself or speak. And yet, while
his family and friends knew death was inevitable, news of the end proved
shocking and saddening.
"Uncle Jimmy" Clift was a good citizen, an honest man and a
Christian gentleman always. Born in
Soddy in 1838, he has lived his seventy-two years in Hamilton county, and in
Soddy, except a brief period he spent in Chattanooga.
He was the third child and oldest son of William and Nancy A. Clift, who
were among the early settlers of the county.
When a boy he united with the Presbyterian church, and in early manhood
became a ruling elder of the church, remaining a staunch and active supporter of
the church until death. At the age
of 17 he volunteered as a soldier in the war with Mexico and, because of his
ready mastery of the Spanish tongue, was detailed as interpreter for the
In 1861 he raised a company for service in the southern army, but later
was commissioned a captain in the regular army of the confederacy and detailed
to drill duty, serving in that capacity during the war.
After the final surrender Capt. Clift returned to Soddy and engaged in
farming. Later he became interested
in the Soddy Coal company, and for fifteen or sixteen years managed its
In a public way he figured prominently in county and state politics for
many years. One term he served as
tax assessor. He was a member of
the legislature the year of Bob Taylor's first candidacy for the senate.
In other small offices he has served his neighbors whenever elected by
the people or appointed by competent authority.
Ex-Gov. Cox, who was in the city last night, spoke in highest terms of
Capt. Clift, with whom he served in the legislature.
There were seven children in the family of William Clift.
Since the death of Capt. James Clift, only two survive.
They are Joseph J., former esquire, who is now grievously afflicted, and
Maj. M. H., of this city, well-known citizen, lawyer and politician.
The surviving family of the deceased is composed of three sons and two
daughters. The sons are William,
who lives in Texas; the Rev. Wallace, who is a well-known Presbyterian clergyman
living at Galena, Kan., and Joseph W., who lives on McCallie avenue, this city,
and is at present deputy county trustee. The
daughters are Mrs. M. E. Miles, one of whose daughters is Mrs. Herbert Bushnell,
of this city, and Mrs. Aldine Newberry--both of the daughters residing in Soddy. The relationship includes the Wallaces and Hendersons, the
ramifications of which kinship extend to all quarters of the county.
Funeral servies will be held at Soddy this afternoon at 2:30 o'clock.
The Rev. Wallace Clift, son of deceased, will conduct the services.
The Chattanooga Times, March 9, 1910.
by Bruce Clift