George W. (Old Hickory) Conatser
W. (Old Hickory) Conatser was born in August of 1840 and died September 2, 1920. His
parents were Philip Conatser and Peggy Cooper Conatser. Philip was of German descent and
Peggy Cooper was of Scott-Irish.
Old Hickory's grandfather, John Palser Conatser1
came to the Watauga with Major Anderson, a great grandfather of Judge C.E. Snodgrass, and
was one of the first settlers in the Mississippi Valley. He moved from Watauga to Wayne
County, Kentucky and Philip Conatser moved from there, here, soon after Fentress County
was organized. John Palser worked for General Greene about the time of the Revolutionary
War. He was a soldier at the battle of King's Mountain. The powder horn that he used at
this battle was presented to William McKinley while he was President of the United States
by Uncle Hickory. McKinley wrote a nice letter, expressing his appreciation of the gift,
and claimed he prized it more than anything he had received, on account of its association
with the great and decisive battle. During the Civil War, Old Hickory served in Company
D., 2nd Tennessee Infantry and was with Sherman's Army in its march to the sea. He
enlisted in 1861 and was discharged November 6, 1865 at Knoxville, Tennessee. His father,
Philip Conatser died in the Confederate prison at Andersonville, Georgia on March 28,
1864. He is buried in grave No. 216 at Andersonville, according to military records.
G.W. Conatser, Old Hickory or Uncle Hickory (as he is familiarly called) served as Justice
of the Peace, Sheriff of Fentress County for eight years and Deputy United States Marshal
for four years. In politics he was a Republican. He was perhaps the best known man in the
County and wielded a wide influence among his friends. He owned a large farm in the Poplar
Cove and lived upon it. A coal mine operated upon it for some years to supply Local trade.
This story was taken from two books: Mark Twain's Obedstown and Knobs of Tennessee and
History of Fentress Cocrnty , by Albert Hogue. It was combined by Mrs. Phillip Brannon.
Photo submitted by Brian Franklin.
by Buddy Conatser and Brian Franklin, York Elementary Sohool
1. George W. Conatser's grandfather was Johann Balthaser Knortzer III, it
was Americanized to John Palser Conatser.