Alonzo G. Sharp


       
      Hon. Alonzo G. Sharp, present mayor of Chattanooga, is a native of Fulton County, N. Y., his birth occurring January 2, 1841, son of John and Victoria Sharp, who were natives of Manchester, England. The parents immigrated to America in 1831 and until 1847 resided at Fulton County, N. Y., engaged in farming; then moved to Franklin County, Ohio, where the father died, leaving a widow, three sons and eight daughters to mourn their loss. About this time, and while yet a mere boy, the subject of this sketch started out into the world to act and do for himself. He succeeded in securing a good practical education by much perseverance and industry, and at the time of the breaking out of hostilities between the North and South was acting in the capacity of bookkeeper in the commission house of J. R. Paul & Co., of Columbus, Ohio. In April, 1861, immediately after the assault upon Fort Sumter, he enlisted as a private in Company C, Second Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was a participant in the first battle of Bull Run. When his term of enlistment had expired he organized a new company for the service of which he was elected captain. This was Company B, Forty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. The regiment was ordered to Paducah, Ky., under command of Gen. W. T. Sherman, and from there up the Tennessee River to Shiloh, Corinth, Memphis and on into Mississippi. Before starting on the campaign against Vicksburg, Capt. Sharp was compelled to resign from the service on account of ill health, and he returned to Ohio to recuperate. November 17, 1864, he united in marriage with Miss Jennie Cushman, of Columbus, Ohio, and shortly after this event located in Chattanooga, Tenn., where he has since mostly resided, closely identified with the city's business interests and prosperity. His career as a civil officer began in 1867 when he was elected city treasurer, and from that time until the present he has been almost continuously in public life. In 1867-68 he was city treasurer, and in 1869 was mayor of the city, also serving as director in the Tennessee penitentiary at the same time. In 1870 he served about six months as clerk and master of Hamilton County Chancery Court under appointment of Chancellor D. C. Trewhitt. The fall of 1870 be was elected city recorder, and after serving two elective terms, was elected city attorney, serving one year. At the close of his second term of recorder he formed a legal partnership with Judge D. C. Trewhitt and practiced law until 1873, when he was appointed by President Grant internal revenue collector for the Third Tennessee District, in which position he served until they were consolidated. In March, 1877, he was appointed an inspector in the post office department by Postmaster-General D. M. Key, and in charge of a force resided with his family at San Francisco four years. He then returned to Chattanooga, but removed to Washington, D. C., to fill the appointment of chief inspector of the United States. He resigned this position in September, 1885, and again returning to his old home in Chattanooga was, the month following, elected mayor of the city to serve two years. Mr. Sharp is one of the Republican leaders of Tennessee.

Goodspeed's "History of East Tennessee" 1887