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James H. Dosser Biography


J. H. Dosser HouseJames Harrison Dosser was a prominent merchant, builder and community leader of Jonesborough, TN during most of the nineteenth century. He was active in church and civic activity and is well recorded in the local courthouse as an honorable man who was chosen as executor and administrator for citizens through out many years.  His altruistic nature is well documented.

James H. Dosser married Caroline Wilhoit, from a well known Tennessee family, on November 3, 1848 and unto them two children were born, Mary Malinda Dosser and Charles Edwin Dosser.  On November 10, 1853, Caroline died of typhoid fever.  About two years later, on July 12, 1855 he married Caroline's sister, Francis (Fannie) Wilhoit.  They had eight children of which six survived until adulthood. Robert Newton, Anna Cora, Albert Thomas, Frank F., James Horace, Fannie and James Harry.  James Horace and Fannie died in childhood.  These children were born in Jonesborough, TN and most in the Dosser home next door and West of the Chester Inn.

According to a newspaper article, James H. Dosser, in the 1840s opened a store, McEwen & Dosser in Jonesborough with aDosser Store partner, Dr. W. T. McEwen whom he later bought out.  The store was very successful and was a major business in Jonesboro.  Dosser & Co is pictured on the left of the adjacent photograph. Later he also invested in real estate and became a prominent home builder as well as  a successful merchant. Some of the homes he built remain in Jonesboro .

James H. Dosser was a major factor in preventing Methodist Episcopal Church, North from completely consuming the Jonesborough Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He executed a note for $1350 to the M.E. Church, North in order to retain the building, pews, and other church items. 

The will of James H. Dosser devised that Robert N. Dosser, Frank F. Dosser and Albert T. Dosser be equal owners of the store in Jonesboro. After a few years, in 1909, the three partners opened a store in Johnson City, Tennessee. 

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This file was contributed for use by the Jonesboro Washington County TNGenWeb Project  by:

David Dosser david412w AT  

March 2009

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