John Baker Tapscott1,2,3

ID# 483, (1835 - )
FatherBaker Tapscott4 (abt 1796 - 1838)
MotherEllen Morrow Baker4 (abt 1803 - 1846)

Key Events:

Birth: Dec 1835, Virginia5,6,7
Marriage: Mary Aurelle Cobb, 3 Mar 1868, Montgomery Co., Tennessee8,9
Marriage: Katie A. Pagram, 4 Dec 1872, New Orleans, Louisiana10,11,12

Spouse:Mary Aurelle Cobb (28 Nov 1844 - 4 Nov 1869)
     Child:

Spouse: Katie A. Pagram (about 1854 - before 1900)
     Children:

  • Pergrum Tapscott30 (abt 1874 - )
  • Anna Tapscott30 (abt 1877 - )
  • Virginia Tapscott30 (abt 1879 - )
ChartsDescendants of Gideon Cobb

Copyright Notice

Narrative:

     John Baker Tapscott was born in Dec 1835 in Virginia.5,6,7
     He was an engineer for the Louisville & Nashville Rail Road Co. from 1855 to 1857. He served as Division Engineer for the Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville Rail Road Company in 1857-58.13 He was then the City Engineer for Clarksville, apparently performing his duties quite satisfactorily, as his resignation prompted the city council to pass a resolution on 20 Feb 1861 praising his abilities and recommending him to potential employers on 20 Feb 1861 in Clarksville.14,15
     John appeared on the 1860 Federal Census of Clarksville, Montgomery Co., Tennessee, enumerated 12 Jun 1860, in a hotel operated by E. Spurrier, with over 20 other men, mostly railroad workers and tradesmen.16
     John applied for a commission as First Lieutenant in the Engineer Department of the Confederate Provisional Army on 14 Jan 1862, writing from Richmond. His application included recommendations from seven men, and several other recommendations appear in his file, including one from the city of Clarksville.17 On 10 Mar 1862 President Jefferson Davis submitted nominations to the Provisional Confederate Congress which included John, as an engineer, with the rank of 1st lieutenant. The nomination was confirmed by the Congress on 13 Mar, and he was assigned to the Corps of Engineers.18,19
     Records indicate that he was in Richmond in Mar, Apr, and May 1862, in Petersburg, Virginia in Aug, and New Kent Co., Virginia in Dec. He was back in Petersburg in Jun 1863, and part of the Defenses of Eastern North Carolina in Jun to Nov 1864.20 John was part of the Army of Northern Virginia that was surrendered 9 Apr 1865 by Gen. Robert E. Lee to U. S. Grant.21
     After the war, he returned to the practice of engineering. For a time, he engaged in a joint practice with his brother-in-law, Capt. Robert Linah Cobb, under the firm name of Cobb & Tapscott. In Oct 1865 they advertised their services as Civil and Topographical Engineers, Architects and Surveyors, in Clarksville. They said they would "attend promptly to any business in their profession in this or the adjoining states. Special attention paid to surveying and mapping farms."22 But apparently the partnership did not last long as Robert soon returned to railroad work, and John continued in engineering work independently.23,24,25
     John married first Mary Aurelle Cobb, daughter of Dr. Joshua Cobb and Marina Turner Bryan, on 3 Mar 1868 in Montgomery Co., Tennessee.8,9
     He appeared on the 1870 Federal Census of Clarksville, Montgomery Co., Tennessee, in the household of father-in-law and mother-in-law, Dr. Joshua Cobb and Marina Turner Bryan.26
     John married second Katie A. Pagram, daughter of George Pegram, on 4 Dec 1872 in New Orleans, Louisiana.10,11,12 Gold was discovered in Colorado in 1860, but largely played out during that decade. In the 1870's silver was found in the area around Leadville, creating a new mining rush. The increased activity created a demand for engineering talent, and as a civil and mining engineer, John responded. He was a mineral surveyor for the U. S. General Land office for a time, located in Pueblo, Colorado. In 1883 or 84, after his return, he donated 96 gold and silver ore specimens from Leadville to the Vanderbilt University museum.27,28,29
     John and Katie A. Pagram appeared on the 1880 Federal Census of Clarksville, Montgomery Co., Tennessee, on Franklin, enumerated 15 Jun 1880. Their children Pergrum, Anna and Virginia were listed as living with them, as was his daughter by his prior marriage, Mary.30
     John appeared on the 1900 Federal Census of Clarksville, Montgomery Co., Tennessee, at 619 Franklin, enumerated 8 Jun 1900, reporting that he owned his home, mortgage free.31

Citations

  1. [S3351] "William and Mary College Quarterly", vol VI, no. 2, pg 95, shows name as John Baker Tapscott.
  2. [S728] Montgomery Co. Marriage Register, vol. 4, pg 90, no. 3296, John B. Tapscott to Mary A. Cobb, 3 Mar 1868.
  3. [S3350] E. Spurrier household, 1860 U.S. Census, Montgomery Co., Tennessee, shows name as J B Tapscot.
  4. [S3351] "William and Mary College Quarterly", vol VI, no. 2, pg 95.
  5. [S3348] John B. Tapscott household, 1900 U.S. Census, Montgomery Co., Tennessee, shows month, year, as 1840, age 59, and state.
  6. [S3350] E. Spurrier household, 1860 U.S. Census, Montgomery Co., Tennessee, shows age 24 and state.
  7. [S626] Joshua Cobb household, 1870 U.S. Census, Montgomery Co., Tennessee, shows age 35 and state.
  8. [S728] Montgomery Co. Marriage Register, vol. 4, pg 90, no. 3296, John B. Tapscott to Mary A. Cobb, 3 Mar 1868, shows date.
  9. [S3351] "William and Mary College Quarterly", vol VI, no. 2, pg 95, shows married.
  10. [S3349] "New Orleans, Louisiana, Marriage Records," Ancestry.com, record for John B. Tapscott and Kate A. Pagram, shows date.
  11. [S3351] "William and Mary College Quarterly", vol VI, no. 2, pg 95, shows year and his second marriage.
  12. [S3347] Jno. B. Tapscott household, 1880 U.S. Census, Montgomery Co., Tennessee, shows married.
  13. [S3356] John B. Tapscott, Compiled Service Records, Confederate Government, recommendation letter, Louisville, 16 Sep 1857, Geo. McLeud, Ch. Eng., Louisville & Nashville Rail Road Co.; and same Clarksville, 13 Sep 1859 Geo. B. Fleece, chief engineer, Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville Rail Road Co.
  14. [S3356] John B. Tapscott, Compiled Service Records, Confederate Government, copy of resolution 20 Feb 1861.
  15. [S3350] E. Spurrier household, 1860 U.S. Census, Montgomery Co., Tennessee, shows occupation as engineer.
  16. [S3350] E. Spurrier household, 1860 U.S. Census, Montgomery Co., Tennessee.
  17. [S3356] John B. Tapscott, Compiled Service Records, Confederate Government, letter of applcation 14 Jan 1862 with attached recommendations; copy of resolution 20 Feb 1861, signed by Geo. Smith, mayor of Clarksville; recommendation letter 19 Nov 1861, J R Tucker; and recommendation letter 13 Sep 1859 Geo. B. Fleece, chief engineer, Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville Rail Road Co.
  18. [S2965] United States Congressional Serial Set, Senate Doc. No. 234, 58th Congress, 2nd session, Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865, vol 2, 10 Mar 1862, pp 48-50, shows nomination; pg 60, Congress consented.
  19. [S3356] John B. Tapscott, Compiled Service Records, Confederate Government, register card, shows unit.
  20. [S3356] John B. Tapscott, Compiled Service Records, Confederate Government, summary list.
  21. [S3356] John B. Tapscott, Compiled Service Records, Confederate Government, parole of prisoner of war card.
  22. [S3364] Advertisement, Cobb & Tapscott, Clarksville Weekly Chronicle, 27 Oct 1865.
  23. [S626] Joshua Cobb household, 1870 U.S. Census, Montgomery Co., Tennessee, shows occupation as civil engineer.
  24. [S3347] Jno. B. Tapscott household, 1880 U.S. Census, Montgomery Co., Tennessee, shows occupation as c engineer.
  25. [S3348] John B. Tapscott household, 1900 U.S. Census, Montgomery Co., Tennessee, shows occupation as civil engineer.
  26. [S626] Joshua Cobb household, 1870 U.S. Census, Montgomery Co., Tennessee.
  27. [S3359] Western Mining History, online, "Leadville, Colorado." descibes mining activity in the area.
  28. [S3358] Annual Report of the Commissioner of the General Land Office - 1880, pg 537.
  29. [S3357] Register of Vanderbilt University 1883-84, pg 79, shows him as civil and mining engineer, and mentions donations to the University.
  30. [S3347] Jno. B. Tapscott household, 1880 U.S. Census, Montgomery Co., Tennessee.
  31. [S3348] John B. Tapscott household, 1900 U.S. Census, Montgomery Co., Tennessee.
  32. [S626] Joshua Cobb household, 1870 U.S. Census, Montgomery Co., Tennessee, shows her in same household as J B Tapscott, apparently as his daughter.
  33. [S3321] Sally W. Stewart household, 1910 U.S. Census, Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania, shows her as Sally's niece, with surname Tapscott.