Sweetwater Enterprise, (Monroe Co. TN) February 22, 1872:
"Death of Col. Granville Torbett---We find chronicled in the Union & American, of the 17th inst., the death of the above named gentleman, which occurred on Wednesday night, February 14th, at his residence in Nashville. His death, after a gradual decline of several months, though long expected, will sadden the hearts of a large circle of friends and acquaintances throughout the State.
The Union & American says of him: Col. Torbett was a native of Monroe County, East Tennessee, born on the 4th of March, 1810, and was therefore nearly sixty-two years of age. He commenced life under disadvantageous circumstances, but, by his native energy and application, educated himself for the profession of law, under the favor and instruction of the late Judge G.W. Rowles. In 1841 he was elected a representation to the Legislature of Tennessee from his native county; and in 1843 and again in 1845 was elected to the State Senate from that district On the 22nd November, 1842, he married a daughter of the late Matthew Barrow, of this city, and in 1847 moved to Jackson, Tennessee. In 1852 he was induced to move to this city and associate himself with E.G. Eastman in the publication of what was then known as the Nashville American, which at a later date they consolidated with the publication of the present Union & American, through which we now chronicle his death. In 1855, when the then “American party” held a bare majority in the Legislature of this State, he was taken up by the Democratic party as the only one who could overcome that majority, and, without solicitation, was elected Treasurer of the State. Having severed his connection with the press, he was elected early in 1861, President of the Bank of Tennessee, which position he held to the close of the war. The troubles of the war, and the disasters incident to it, tolled heavily upon his constitution. Fore more than a year past he has been in declining health.
Col. Torbett was of plain but eminently practical order of mind. He seldom erred in his judgement upon any subject to which he had given his attention. The result, if ever, failed of success in anything in which he engaged. He started in life a poor boy, and with but the ordinary education of the old fashioned country school; and yet he succeeded early in acquiring a profession, in which he ranked well during the time he gave it his attention. Without the gift of oratory or the advantage of influential connection, he soon commanded public regard for his intelligence, and unbounded confidence in his integrity. Without a speculative turn of mind or disposition, he met with pecuniary success in every branch of business in which he engaged.
As a lawyer he had ever promise of success. As a legislator he was looked to as a sound and safe counselor. As an executive officer of the State, he commanded the highest confidence. As the President of a bank, the leading financial institution of the State, he counseled the most prudent policy; and passing through a great civil war, protected this important interest of the State with a fidelity that was never excelled, and with a success greater than was the fortune of most men in their private affairs. As one of the managers of a leading party organ in his State, and as one of the advisers in all party movements, his good judgement inspired confidence in whatever policy he approved. In all the relations of private life his opinions were sought for and valued by those who know him best.
But, as favorably as we can speak of him, and speak truthfully in these respects, his greatest excellence lay in the moral and social attributes of his nature. From a long personal acquaintance, we can say, without exaggeration, that we never knew a more honorable, honest and just man. He sought no advantages. He had no concealments. He was liberal in all his dealings. He was eminently social and hospitable. He cherished enmity toward none. He was kind and liberal toward all. He was an affectionate husband, an indulgent father, and a most obliging friend. He was a sincere patriot of the old school, with an abiding faith in the intelligence and integrity of the people. Such virtues cannot be too highly extolled. The general interests of society require that they should be marked and praised whenever found as guides to others as incentives to noble action. The dead are insensible to our words of praise, but they fall like the chiming of sweet bells upon the ears of the living, and awaken noble sentiments of generous emulation. Though a priviledge too often abused, it should never be neglected when so well deserved.
He leaves a deeply afflicted widow, three children and a host of devoted friends in the three grand divisions of the State, in each of which he has at some time of his life been an honorable and honored citizen."