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Dargan, Edmund S. (15 April 1805–24 November 1879), legislator and judge, was born near Wadesboro, in Montgomery County, North Carolina, the son of a Baptist minister, whose given name is unknown, and a woman whose maiden name was Lilly. Dargan’s full middle name is listed in a number of sources as either Strother or Spawn. His father died when Dargan was very young. There was no adequate estate, and to earn a livelihood he became an agricultural laborer. Dargan was a self-educated young man who studied the law in typical nineteenth-century fashion, in the law office of a local practitioner in Wadesboro. After a year of study he was admitted in 1829 to the North Carolina bar. The following year he walked to Alabama, where he settled in Washington in Autauga County. He was admitted to the Alabama bar and served as a justice of the peace in Autauga County for a number of years....

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Overton, John (09 April 1766–12 April 1833), attorney, judge, and politician, was born in Louisa County, Virginia, the son of James Overton, a small planter, and Mary Waller. At age twenty-one he migrated to Mercer County, Kentucky, and read law for two years before taking up practice in Nashville on the raw Tennessee frontier. From a few rows of crude cabins on the Cumberland River, the town’s population exploded to nearly 6,000 during Overton’s lifetime. Upon his arrival, he took up residence in a boardinghouse run by the widow of Colonel ...