William Tipton (1761 - c.1848) MP

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Nicknames: "Col. William "Fighting Billy" Tipton", "Fighting Billy"
Birthplace: Shenandoah county, North carolina, United States
Death: Died in Blount, TN, USA
Occupation: Col. in the Revolutionary war. See profile for more info.
Managed by: Debra Sears
Last Updated:

About William Tipton






A history of Tennessee and Tennesseans: the leaders and ..., Volume 8 By Will Thomas Hale, Dixon Lanier Merritt




"Colonel John Tipton was married 1750-1 to Mary Butler, daughter of Thomas Bulter, who was killed by the Indians on his farm on Cedar Creek, Shenandoah county, Va., at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. She bore him nine sons, to-wit; Samuel, Benjamin, Abraham, William, Isaac, Jacob, John, Thomas, Jonathan. Mary (Butler) Tipton died in Shenandoah coutny, June 8, 1776. July 22, 1777, Colonel Tipton was married to Marth (Denton) Moore, widow of Dr. James Moore, Shenandoah county. By her he had one son, who was killed in Clark's Expediton against the Indians 1782. Colonel Tipton is said to have had several daughters; whether by the first or second marriage is unknown, as are their names also. Col. John Tipton died, it is said, August, 1813, and, with his wife Martha, is buried on his farm on Sinking Creek, on the hill above the historic old house that still stands pratically unchanged since its erection before 1800. Here after the death of old Col. John Tipton, his son John Tipton of Sullivan county, lived until his death in 1831, after which the home was sold to David Haynes and became the home of Tennessee's silver-tongued orator, Landon C. Haynes.".....

WILLIAM TIPTON, fourth son of Col. John Tipton, born December 13, 1761, Shenandoah county, was a soldier in the Continental Service from Virginia during the Revolution and in Captain Wall's Company, Col. Richard Parker's Regiment, and is familiarly known as "Fighting or Revolutionary Billy Tipton." At Savannah, October 9, 1779, he received three wounds, one a ball through the right shoulder, another through the right hip and another which broke two of his left ribs. His pension declaration gives details of this unique character. He married Phoebe Moore and early removed from Greene to Blount county, where he died subsequent to November 1842. His descendants are found fighting in every war since the Revolution. ...."Three grandsons fought in the Mexican war--William Tipton (regiment unknown), Corporal Hampton Tipton and Joel Tipton of Co. K, 1st Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry. In the Civil war five grandsons fought--Jacob Tipton (son of Isaac, son of Jacob) in Company A, 6th Tennessee Infantry Federal army, while C. Tipton, son of Billy, had four sons in the Confederate service, two in 63d Tennessee Infantry, Blair's Regiment, and John C. and W. H. were of Company K, 2d Tennessee Cavalry.


The Connection in East Tennessee By Izora Waters Frizzell, Olga Jones Edwards



1114 Col. John Tipton came to Tenn. in Oct. 1782. His early power struggle with John Sevier is mentioned in all the Tenn. histories. Col. Tipton was born in 1732 on the Shenandoah in Va. His parents were Jonathan Tipton (b. 3-25-1699 d. abt 1759) and Sarah Pierce. He married 1st in 1753 Mary Butler who died 6-8-1776. Her father was killed by the Indians. His 2nd wife was Martha Moore.

Children of Col. John Tipton

1. Col. Jonathan b. 6-8-1776 d. 11-8.1858 m. 1st Lavina Williams 2nd Marg. Singleton

2. Samuel became the representative from Carter Co.

3. Benjamin m. 1st Rebecca Ray 2nd Rebecca Cusick

4. Capt. Abraham killed by the Indians near the falls of the Ohio, at age 26

5. Col. William (Fighting Billy) m. Phoebe Moore

6. Isaac moved from Cater Co. to Blount Co.

7. Capt. Jacob killed by Indians

8. Thomas had a dau. Ruth who m. Joshua Jobe. Jacob son of Thomas was killed by the Indians

9. John was a representative from Sullivan Co.

10. Abraham, son of 2nd wife died at age 30


1117 (1114) Col William (Fighting Billy) Tipton b. 2-13-1761 in Va. d. 11-3-1849 Blount Co., Tenn. m. Pheobe Moore p Dr. James Moore and Martha Denton.

Children of Fighting Billy Tipton

1. Martha Tipton m. Isaac Hart. They moved to Athens, Tenn. in 1848

2. Jonathan R. b 12-1-1791 d 1840 m 1st Margaret Watson, 2nd Elizabeth Johnson

3. Isaac m Frances White

4. Reuben d. 1839

5. John m. Elizabeth Farmer

6. Jacob T. m. Hannah Watson moved to Newton Co., Mo.

7. David B. m. Rebecca Jones. He fought for Texas in her war with Mexico

8. Abraham b. m. Jane Roddy

9. Ann m John Stephens

10. Mary m. Martin Rhea

11. Lavina m John Denton

12. William B. m. Margaret Tipton

13. some say there was a son Benjamin



In 1821, a veteran of the American Revolution named William "Fighting Billy" Tipton (1761–1849) bought up large tracts of Cades Cove which he in turn sold to his sons and relatives, and settlement began to boom.

11. The Tipton Place, built in the 1880s by the descendants of Revolutionary War veteran William "Fighting Billy" Tipton. The paneling on the house was a later addition. Along with the cabin, the homestead includes a carriage house, a smokehouse, a woodshed, and the oft-photographed double-cantilever barn.


The Dream Connection Jobes~Olivers~Tiptons If you had positioned an ear against the Carter County cabin door around 1818, you might have heard: " Boys, I guarantee you that there's a better place to raise a family just a little southwest of here in a beautiful valley called Cades Cove. Once the settlement is established, life will be easy for you. What a dream you can live!" Admittedly speculative, these could very well have been the encouragements from William "Fighting Billy" Tipton to John Oliver and Joshua Jobe which enticed them to remove from Carter County to the wilderness in Blount County. The principals involved possessed individually distinguishing attributes, motivations and circumstances which made the proposal attractive. William Tipton inherently was a born fighter, acquiring this trait from his father, John Tipton, heroic in the Revolutionary War and a battler with John Sevier over State politics. Fighting Billy saw speculative land opportunities in the Smoky Mountains and methodically acquired vast property in the Cades Cove area with title to over 1200 acres by 1821. Undoubtedly, the maneuvering for possession initiated several years prior to this time when the land still legally belonged to the Native Americans. Once title was secured, Fighting Billy was obviously motivated to promote settlement as this would increase the value of his investments and enable him to exploit the area's natural resources. If Fighting Billy could provide an opportunity for associates, friends and family in Carter County simultaneously, so much the better. John Oliver and Joshua Jobe were excellent candidates to establish the initial foothold in Cades Cove. John is reported to have been associated with the Tipton ironworks in Carter County as a collier, one who was skilled in the conversion of coal into fuel for the iron furnace. John came from a respected, but not a wealthy family, and had recently married Lurany Frazier, a bound girl. Both probably wished for a secure life with opportunities so far not afforded them. John's military record and Lurany's maturity were indications that they possessed the courage and inner strength to provide a realistic probability of survival. Joshua Jobe chose Ruth Tipton, niece of Fighting Billy, as his wife, or vice-versa. Joshua was a Deputy Sheriff in Carter County and though slight of stature, backed down to no one. The social relationships between the principals, in terms of timing, nature and frequency is unestablished. It is documented that Joshua directly convinced John and Lurany to make a home in the Cove, perhaps relocating with them, or perhaps assisting their relocation, joining them later. Joshua bought 426 acres from Fighting Billy in late 1821. John was his "next door neighbor" living just to the north on adjoining property. They provided each other with the moral and physical support required to tame the wilderness and "point the way" for many others to follow. Among those who followed were sons of Fighting Billy who initiated a Tipton presence in the Cove community. Fighting Billy later contributed to the Cove survival with forging and milling operations. Joshua Jobe physically left John Oliver after ten years, going to "greener pastures" in Georgia. William Tipton, Joshua Jobe and John Oliver were truly the foundation stones of Cades Cove, encouraging and establishing a thriving community which initially was their dream but eventually became shared with other settlers. Among the three, John uniquely maintained the dream as a lifelong Cove resident. Although removed, Joshua and Fighting Billy lived to see the dream become a reality! Today, countless Cove descendants and visitors can only attempt to visualize the former community where Joshua Jobe, John Oliver and William Tipton showed the way for many others to establish home places and build families based on faith, love and their shared dream. What a dream it was! Dave Post January 19, 2002 Thank You Dave Post For Allowing Me To Share This! 


-------------------- At age 15, los one leg, one arm and one eye. He was wounded three times at Savannah, Georgia. He was shot five times and left with a group of dead on a beach in Charleston, S.C. He crawled over to a group of wounded and survived the war.

He was a close friend of President Andrew Jackson.

In Captain Walls company, Col. Richard Parkes Regiment. He served in the Revolutionary War and was later called "Fighting Billy".

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William "Fighting Billy" Tipton's Timeline

December 13, 1761
Shenandoah county, North carolina, United States
Age 19
Shenandoah Count, Virginia
February, 1782
Age 20
Shenandoah Count, Virginia
November 3, 1783
Age 21
Shenandoah Count, Virginia
Age 22
Greene County, Tennessee
Age 25
Knox County, Tennessee
December 1, 1791
Age 29
Blount, TN
Age 29
Knox County, Tennessee
Age 30
Cades Cove, Tennessee
May 4, 1799
Age 37
Blount County, Tennessee