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Joseph Alexander Mabry, Jr.
Born January 26, 1826(1826-01-26)
Knox County, Tennessee, USA
Died October 19, 1882 (aged 56)
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
Occupation Land and railroad speculator, stock breeder
Net worth $100,000 (1860)[1]
Spouse(s) Laura Evelyn Churchwell
Parents Joseph Alexander Mabry and Alice Scott

Joseph Alexander Mabry Jr. (January 26, 1826 – October 19, 1882) was a folk figure, businessman and Confederate general during the American Civil War.

The 1882 gunfight that left Joseph, his son, Joseph III, and Thomas O'Connor dead was immortalized in Mark Twain's book, Life on the Mississippi.[2]

Thomas O'Connor was president of Mechanics' National Bank and one of the richest men in Tennessee. Following a business dispute, Joseph Mabry, Jr, a wealthy (and eccentric) businessman, threatened his life. The next day, O'Connor shot him dead on Gay Street in Knoxville. The victim's son, lawyer Joseph Mabry III, was nearby. He and O'Connor became involved in a gunfight which left them both dead. Twain, intrigued by the story, recalled the event in Chapter 40 of his 1883 book, Life on The Mississippi.

Joseph Alexander Mabry, Jr. and William Swan donated the land for the downtown Market Square to the City of Knoxville in 1853. The home that Mabry built in 1858, now known as the Mabry-Hazen House, is now one of Knoxville's historic attractions.

Mabry, his son, and their rival, Thomas O'Connor, are all buried in Knoxville's Old Gray Cemetery.[3]


  1. Robert McKenzie, Lincolnites and Rebels: A Divided Town in the American Civil War (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 53.
  2. From: Life on the Mississippi
  3. Jack Neely, The Marble City: A Photographic Tour of Knoxville's Graveyards (Knoxville, Tenn.: University of Tennessee Press, 1999), p. 30.

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