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1846-1848 Henry White Massengale


HENRY WHITE  MASSENGALE 1846-1853(Lived 1807 - ?)

Born in Wrightsboro, Georgia 1807, he married Rebecca Lowe in 1832.  She was the descended from a prominent Virginia family.  The Massengales moved to Chattanooga in 1850 when he was 43-years of age.  He built a brick house south of town.  The house was later purchased by John A. Lee when the Massengale family moved to a farm by Chickamauga Creek in Walker County, Georgia where they operated a 500 acre vineyard of Catawba grapes.  He constructed a large wine cellar and produced 1,500 gallons of wine every year.   The family also had a summer residence on Lookout Mountain.  The family lost their large estates during the Civil War.

Little is know about Henry White Massengale, other than he owned a business in town and he was exempt from war services, but he was an enthusiastic supporter of the Southern Cause.  He gave $60,000 in gold for Confederate bonds at the first offering.  Three of his sons, Henry White Massengale, Thomas Massengale, and George Pierce Massengale served with Confederate forces.  His daughter, Laura Massengale, a quick and witty young lady had become a belle among the Confederate army.  She stood on the upper gallery of the Central Hotel located at 5th Street and Market Street and gave the presentation speech to the company organized by William Ragsdale that marched away to war.  It is noted that her speech and delivery were remarkable.

Mayor Henry White Massengale was a leader in the Methodist Church and the Masons.  He helped erect the Masonic Academy for female students, and he was also involved in banking, building and warehousing.

Photo by Phillip Stevens and Matt Lea