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John Christmas McLemore, I
Birth: Jan. 1, 1790
Orange County
North Carolina, USA
Death: Feb. 20, 1864
Memphis
Shelby County
Tennessee, USA

Land Surveyor and Speculator. Though not as well known as his counterparts, McLemore was one of the original founders of Memphis playing a large if not larger role than John Overton, Andrew Jackson and James Winchester. At the age of 16 he moved to Nashville and began clerking as a land surveyor. Five years later he was appointed surveyor general of the military district by the Tennessee state legislature, a job formerly held by his uncle, William Christmas. In 1815 McLemore married Elizabeth Donelson, a niece of Andrew Jackson. Jackson and McLemore partnered together and enjoyed great success in land deals in Alabama and Tennessee. The two owned quite a bit of land in Memphis and when Jackson ran for president he traded his 625 Memphis acres to McLemore in exchange for land in Madison County making McLemore one of the largest land holders in Memphis. In addition he had land holdings throughout the state, mostly in West Tennessee, and at least two towns were named for him, McLemoresville and Christmasville. McLemore moved to Memphis in order to promote the town, sell lots and make money. He placed his name on the 1828 deed giving public access to the Memphis river front including Court Square, Market Square, Auction Square and the riverfront promenade. Through his land deals McLemore became extremely wealthy but his gamble on the failed Memphis and LaGrange railroad cost him most of his wealth. The project was an abject failure and a financial panic in 1837 decimated his holdings further. In an attempt to make a financial comeback McLemore went to California in the 1849 gold rush. He stayed there for about 12 years returning to Memphis before his death. Of all four founders of the City of Memphis, John Christmas McLemore is the only one buried in Memphis. (bio by: Mary & Kent) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Elizabeth Donelson McLemore (1796 - 1836)*
 
 Children:
  Catherine Donelson McLemore Gholston (____ - 1848)*
  Mary A McLemore Walker (1816 - 1873)*
  John Coffee McLemore (1818 - 1882)*
  Willoughby Williams McLemore (1836 - 1873)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Elmwood Cemetery
Memphis
Shelby County
Tennessee, USA
Plot: Turley section, Lot 252
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Marjorie Gurley
Record added: Oct 24, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 5085159
John Christmas McLemore, I
Added by: Mary & Kent
 
John Christmas McLemore, I
Added by: Patrick Whitney
 
John Christmas McLemore, I
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Anonymous
 
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- Mellissa Lake Co. Illinois
 Added: Jan. 1, 2014

- Ms. Marilyn K.
 Added: Feb. 24, 2013

- Mary & Kent
 Added: Aug. 20, 2012
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