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1844-1845 Dr. Joseph Strong Gillespie

DR JOSEPH  S GILLESPIE 1844-1845(Lived March 18, 1821 – March 28, 1896)

Born in Rhea County on March 18, 1821, Joseph Strong Gillespie grew up the youngest of ten brothers and educated by a private tutor who lived on his family’s large plantation in Rhea County.

Upon completing his studies at Louisville Medical College in Louisville, Kentucky, Dr. Gillespie moved to Chattanooga to practice medicine with Dr. Milo Smith.  Dr. Gillespie followed his medical partner in becoming a leading citizen of Chattanooga and serving two terms as mayor.

In 1848, he married Penelope Whiteside, daughter of Col. James A, Whiteside.

Dr. Gillespie had suffered a severe fall while sleepwalking and was unable to fight in the Civil War.  However, the Chattanooga surgeon was loyal to the Southern cause.  He was so outspoken for the Confederacy that he was arrested and imprisoned by the Federal Army during Military Occupation   He was paroled, when three physicians in Chattanooga, Dr. Gillespie, Dr. Milo Smith and Dr. P.D. Sims were permitted to attend the wounded and dying Confederate soldiers, after the battle of Missionary Ridge.

Dr. and Mrs. Gillespie resided at their farm “Canachee” east of Missionary Ridge after the war.

Dr. Gillespie was Mayor for two terms, 1844 and 1845.

Photo by Phillip Stevens and Matt Lea