John Overton (judge)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
John Overton
John Overton
Superior Court Judge
In office
Preceded by Andrew Jackson
Personal details
Born (1766-04-09)April 9, 1766
Louisa County, Virginia
Died April 12, 1833(1833-04-12) (aged 67)
Nashville, Tennessee
Spouse(s) Mary McConnell White[1][2][3]
Profession Judge, lawyer, banker

John Overton (April 9, 1766 – April 12, 1833) was an American planter, advisor of Andrew Jackson, a judge at the Superior Court of Tennessee, a banker and political leader.

Travellers Rest, his plantation home in Nashville

Early life and education[edit]

Overton was born on April 9, 1766 in Louisa County, Virginia. His parents were James Overton and Mary Waller; his father was a great-grandson of Robert Overton, the Parliamentarian military commander during the English Civil War (and friend of Marvell and Milton).


In 1787, he began his law career and moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1789, to practice law at the Davidson County court. He was elected to succeed his friend Andrew Jackson as a member of the Superior Court of Tennessee in 1804, where he served as a judge until 1810. His elder brother Thomas Overton served as Jackson's second in his duel with Charles Dickinson. In 1819, he founded Memphis, Tennessee on land he owned with Andrew Jackson and James Winchester.[1][4]

He was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1820.[5]

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Mary McConnell White, the daughter of Knoxville founder, James White.[3]

Later life and death[edit]

He died April 12, 1833 at Travellers Rest, his Nashville home.


The nearby John Overton Comprehensive High School, located just across the railroad tracks that abut the property, is named in his honor.

Overton Park in midtown of Memphis was named after John Overton.

Richard Arvine Overton (born 1906), the oldest living World War II veteran, is his great-great-grandson. Currently (November 2015), Karl Burrows, of Beacon Technology Solutions, and his family are living descendants of Overton.

Other living direct descendants include the Overton family in Nashville who live very close to Travellers Rest. Perkins Baxter Overton grew up playing on the Travelers rest grounds and is the great great great grandson of Judge John. His son Thomas Perkins Overton also has a son named John Overton.


  1. ^ a b "TN Encyclopedia: John Overton". The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  2. ^ "John Overton". Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  3. ^ a b Samuel G. Heiskell, Andrew Jackson and Early Tennessee History (Nashville: Ambrose Publishing Company, 1918), p. 53.
  4. ^ "Memphis History and Facts". Memphis Public Library. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  5. ^ American Antiquarian Society Members Directory