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JOHN DICKERSON HIGHTOWER, farmer, Rockdale, Heard County, Georgia, son of Henry R. and Tempie (Ray) Hightower, was born in what is now Campbell County, Georgia, in 1825.

His father was born in Pennsylvania, and about the year 1800 migrated thence to Georgia and settled in Oglethorpe County. His conveyance was an old-time ox-cart with wooden wheels, the frame being put together with wooden pins and hickory withes. He cleared a farm and commenced farming, but after some years moved to what is now Campbell County and engaged in farming until his death, which occurred in 1857.

Mr. Hightower was raised on the farm, on which he worked, and attended school at a little log school house until nearing maturity, since when many years of his life have been interestingly eventful.

At the age of nineteen he ran away from home to join an expedition against Mexico, and enlisted in Company C, Capt. W. T. Wofford, in Calhoun’s Cavalry Battalion. He did scout duty during the entire war, and went as far south as the peninsula of Yucatan, where he was wounded in the thigh by a lance in the hands of a Mexican.

In 1848 he returned to his home in Campbell County, but did not stay long. The next year he joined a company of gold hunters, started for California and shipped from Mobile to go via Cape Horn. After a long and rough and tedious voyage he reached the alleged land of promise, only to meet with sad disappointment. After spending months in a fruitless search for the precious metal he found himself impoverished, and decided to return home. A sympathizing friend loaned him the money for the purpose, and the early fifties found him at the plow handles on the old homestead.

In 1852 he moved to Heard County, where he continued farming with satisfactory success. When the Civil War was precipitated in 1861 he enlisted in Company K, Forty-first Georgia Regiment, participating in its engagements. At Perryville, Kentucky, he received a wound which disabled him temporarily, and he was sent home. At the end of six months he returned to his command, and at the battle of Baker’s Creek was again wounded, but continued in the field.

After the surrender he returned, penniless and homeless, to Heard Ccounty. He went to work as a farm hand, worked and lived hard until he got a start, when he bought a piece of land and went to farming on his own account. Working hard, and early and late, and living frugally, he has placed himself in easy circumstances. He owns a good farm, has all that he craves in the matter of a good home with plenty, and a comfortable bank account. No citizen of the county stands higher.

Mr. Hightower was married soon after his return from California to Miss Roanisa, daughter of Joshua and Polly (Wallace) Teal, who has borne him six children, only two of whom-Isom and Benjamin F.-are living.

Source: Memoirs of Georgia, Containing historical accounts of the states civil, military, industrial and professional interests and personal sketches of many of it’s people, Volume I, The Southern Historical Association, Atlanta, Georgia, 1895

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