T. G. and J. H. Curlin constitute the firm of Curlin Brothers, ginners of Nocona. T. G. Curlin was born in Tennessee, January 4, 1848, his parents being J. V. and Amanda (Baty) Curlin, the former a native of North Carolina and the latter of Georgia. Their marriage, however, was celebrated in Tennessee. The paternal grandparents were John and Dolly (Perkins) Curlin, who were of Scotch-Irish descent. John Curlin served in the war of 1812 and was a prominent farmer of his locality. He removed from North Carolina to western Tennessee and there spent his remaining days as an honest, upright agriculturist and a devoted member of the Baptist church. In his family were five children: J. J., a farmer; W. H., who followed the same pursuit; John V.; Mrs. Sophia Chandler; and Mrs. Betsey Jones, who after the death of her first husband became Mrs. Brown.
John V. Curlin was reared in Tennessee, where he remained for a long period. He was a mechanic who thoroughly understood the workings of machinery and was connected with the operation of a saw mill and a threshing and ginning business. At the time of the Civil war he believed in the Union cause but when the southern states determined to secede he entered the Confederate service and was detailed for duty in the commissary department. He was also on General Pemberton’s body guard at the siege of Vicksburg. He owned many slaves prior to the war and the loss of his property was a great financial blow. He was an intelligent man, efficient in business life and at all time was found true to every trust reposed in him. In politics he was a Democrat and used his influence for the success of the party but never aspired to office. He held membership in the Missionary Baptist church and died in that faith in 1893 at the age of seventy years. He was married four times. His first wife, the mother of our subject, was Amanda Baty, a daughter of Warren G. and Elvira (Bachelor) Baty of Georgia, the latter a daughter of Alexander Bachelor, a prominent citizen and slave owner of that state. Warren Baty was also a leading and successful agriculturist and owned a number of slaves. He removed from Georgia to Tennessee, w here he spent his remaining days. He held membership in the Baptist church. His children were twelve in number, namely: Mrs. Amanda Curlin; Cicero, a farmer; John, who died while serving as a soldier in the Civil war; Thomas, who also died in the army; Cob, who was killed at Shiloh; Warren G., who was likewise in the army; Frank, who served throughout the war; Evaline, the wife of Dr. Jones; Lucy, the wife of C. Mulharen; Mary, the wife of T. Raynor; Elvira and Posey, who followed farming.
John V. and Amanda Curlin became the parents of three children: T. G. of this review; and William A. and Mary, who died in childhood. The wife and mother died in 1854 and Mr. Curlin afterward married Nancy Briley of a prominent family of Tennessee and a daughter of John Briley of North Caorlina, who removed to Tennessee, where he became well known as a planter, owning a large tract of land and many slaves. In his family ere eight children; Benjamin, a farmer, who served in the Confederate army; Mrs. Nancy Curlin; Mrs. Eliza Coburn; Lottie; Jesse, a farmer who was also in the Civil war; John, who likewise carries on agricultural pursuits; Mrs. Mattie Walder; and Joseph, a farmer.
To John V. and Nancy Curlin were born two children: John H., who is in partnership with his brother, T. G. Curlin; and Mrs. Sally Cook. The mother died in 1863 while the father was rendering active service in the Civil war at Vicksburg. In 1864 he married Anna Rawls, a daughter of Dr. Rawls, a capable physician. There were nine children by that marriage: Dolly, Joseph V., Julia, Charles R., Amanda, Frank and three who died in childhood. In fact Amanda is the only one now living. Following the death of his third wife Mr. Curlin married Mrs. Carr, a widow.
T. G. and J. H. Curlin were reared under the parental roof and assisted their father in masonry work. The former remained as a partner of his father until thirty years of age and to some extent they followed logging and ginning. In 1884 T. G. Curlin returned to his own home neighborhood and was married to Miss Mary J. West, an estimable lady who was born in Tennessee and was a daughter of John and Sarah Ann (Dickenson) West, the former a native of North Carolina, while Mrs. West belonged to a prominent and honored family of western Tennessee, the Dickensons being widely known and highly respected. John West was reared in the Old North state but was married in Tennessee and in order to provide for his family followed the occupation of farming. His death occurred in Tennessee. He had served throughout the Civil war in the Confederate army and he was a devoted member of the Primitive Baptist church, his life being in harmony with his professions. In his family were five children, namely: Mrs. Mary J. Curlin; Mrs. Emma Compton; Mrs. Ada Barnes; Musa, the wife of James Curlin; and Henry, a farmer and ginner. In 1887 Mr. Curlin of this review was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died on the 30th of January, 1887. He has never married again. He has one son, Ossie, who was born in 1887 and is now attending school in Fort Worth, Texas. Mrs. Curlin was a consistent member of the Missionary Baptist church and a most devoted wife, while her friends were almost as numerous as her acquaintances. Her many excellent traits of character, her kindly and charitable spirit and her benevolent disposition won her the love of all with whom she came in contact.
Following his marriage T. G. Curlin continued in the business in which he had formerly been engaged and his time was thus passed until 1890, when he and his half-brother, J. H. Curlin, came to Texas, locating in Nocona. In 1892 he purchased a gin and also bought and operated a thresher, while his partner purchased and operates a farm. T. G. Curlin, however, give his entire attention to the machinery business. In 1904 they abandoned the old gin and built a new one supplied with modern machinery and having a capacity of sixty bales daily. In the year 1904 they put up over two thousand bales and their business is proving profitable.
John H. Curlin, the younger brother, was born November 25, 1856, and was reared in western Tennessee. The brothers have worked together during the greater part of the business life and came to Texas together. They have now joined interests in a gin and thresher and also in farming interests.
John H. Curlin was married in Tennessee to Miss Ella Kirksey, who was born and reared in that state and is a daughter of Alexander Kirksey of Tennessee, a blacksmith and farmer. His children were: Mrs. Mattie Griffey; Emma, who became Mrs. Howard and after the death of her first husband married a Mr. Williams; Betty, the wife of R. Simmons; Ella, now Mrs. Curlin; Mrs. Minnie Gay; Laura, the wife of Charles Curlin; and Addie, the wife of Al King. To Mrs. And Mrs. J. H. Curlin have been born three children: Cloris, who is attending the State Normal School at Denton, Texas; and William W. and Ernest, who are students in the home schools. The parents are members of the Missionary Baptist church and Mr. Curlin is identified with the Fraternal Brotherhood. Both T. G. and J. H. Curlin are well known and representative business men and are prospering in their undertakings, having established business interests of importance to the locality and which bring to them a very creditable and gratifying success.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 140-142.