Don't think he disappears from TN really; think there is a name mistake in 1880 census;he appears again in 1900 census:
LOOKING FOR ANYTHING IN WRITING TO SHOW HIS WORK FOR THE COURT IN DAVIDSON CO,TN. He was was overseer for the Henry Compton farm, which was sizable. The years he was said to be "Magistrate of the Court according to minute books are 1883-1895 .. he was listed with John Overton, Tom Treano and other caucasian squires" ... in history of Davidson Co. I see the name of John Overton, but can find no record yet of mulatto Josh Compton & his achievements, etc.
-1870 census - Joshua is listed age 15, M M, attending school, living with causian father Henry W. Compton and mulatto mother, Ann, and siblings.
-1880 census - no mention of mulatto mother Ann; causian father married to causian wife Ann Ward and daughter Susan 10 mos. old
-1880 census - Strocket, Joshua age 27, M M, farm labor is listed along with William Compton age 20, M M, farm labor and 2 other farm labor young men -- because of the ages I believe that this is a mistake & Joshua is actually Joshua Compton, older brother of William.
-1900 census - Joshua Compton 45, M, B M20 to wife Elnora, F, B M20 with 8 living children, several children repeat the names of Compton family, Trimble family, Noel family through the following years
-1920 census - Joshua 60, M,B married to wife Ella(Elnora) 56 with 2 children left at home; Joshua Compton Jr, son, M,B age 30 and Clarence T. Compton 22, M,B