S-V Goodspeed's
Biographical Sketches of
Dekalb County, Tennessee

Louis E. Simpson was born in 1840, in Smith County, and was the son of Thos. and Atlanta (Ellison) Simpson, and one of seven children, five living. The father was born near Frankfort, Ky., in 1806, was a son of Jas. Simpson, an early pioneer of Kentucky, and of Irish ancestry. Thomas lost his father when a boy, and at about fifteen years of age came with his mother to Smith County, where he remained until his death in 1862, one of the wealthiest farmers in Smith County. His wife, to whom he was married in about his twenty-fourth year, was born in West Virginia, about 1804, and died in 1868, a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. At nineteen he left home and school, and entered Company F, Twenty-fourth Tennessee Infantry, under Col. Ellison, and was in all Gen. Bragg's engagements from Shilo to Mission Ridge, where he was captured and taken to Rock Island, Ill. In 1865, by the earnest petition of his mother to Vice-President Johnson, he was paroled by President Lincoln, and returned home in a feeble condition from Rheumatism, and after his recovery resumed work on the farm. In January, 1867, he married Nancy J., daughter of Willis and Martha Dowell, of Smith County, where she was born in 1846. Their eight children are William T., Mattie, Charles W., James L., Eddie, Della., Robt. D. and Horace L. Mrs. Simpson died in June, 1885, a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He has remained on the old homestead almost entirely, until 1884, when he bought a farm near Alexandria, where he moved for the purpose of educating his children. Since 1886 he has lived in Alexandria, one of her wealthiest citizens, owning about 540 acres of land, part of which in Smith County has been in the family for several generations, and but a very small part of his wealth has been inherited. He is an active Democrat, and first voted for Seymour. He is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

J. J. and W. R. Smith, of the firm Smith Bros., the well known proprietors of a general store of Smithville, established their house in the fall of 1877. They are the sons of William S. and Catherine J. (Tippitt) Smith. The father was of English-Irish descent, born in Wilson County, Tenn., in 1823. His father, John Y. Smith, was a native of Virginia, and located in Wilson County when a small boy. He died in 1865. William S. married in 1842, and settled in the Eleventh District, where he became the possessor of 175 acres of land. He was a farmer and stock raiser. In 1876 he moved to Trousdale County, near Hunter's Point, where he now owns 250 acres. His wife was also born in Wilson County in 1826, of english-Dutch origin. They had eight children, seven of whom are living, our subjects being the second and third. J. J. was born in 1845, and was educated at the New Middleton Academy, under the management of Profs. J. P. Hamilton and N. J. Finney. At his majority he began teaching, first near Statesville, Wilson County. In 1837 the two brothers took charge of the Fulton Academy, at Smithville, remaining two years. They commenced with twenty pupils, and closed with one hundred and thirty; the average was eighty-six, which is the largest average of any school ever taught in the county. It was the only time that the county ever received the Peabody fund. In January the brothers went to Sparta, where for fifteen months they had charge of the Nourse Academy, at the end of which time J. J., returned to Smithville, resuming his professional duties in the institute. After another fifteen months, each teaching in a different place, they formed a partnership in Smithville, in the mercantile business, in which they have since been engaged. J. J., while teaching in Smithville, August 26, 1873, married Lollie, daughter of James T. Hayes. Mrs. Smith was born in Dekalb County in 1854. They have one child, Effie. W. R. Smith was born October, 1848, in Wilson County, and educated at Shop Springs. At the age of twenty-one he began teaching at Round Top, in his native county. In 1873 he joined his brother, as above mentioned. At Sparta, August 25, 1875, he wedded Miss Cannie Hayes, a sister of Mrs. J. J. Smith. To their union Aubery has been born. As instructors these gentlemen were all that could be desired. As merchants they have been successful, receiving an extensive and liberal patronage, which has been gained by their honorable transactions and courtesy. In politics, both are Democrats. J. J. is a Royal Arch Mason, and W. R. has taken the first degree. Both families are members of the Missionary Baptist Church.

A. P. Smith, attorney at law and farmer, of Temperance Hall, was born March 23, 1855 , where he now resides. He is the youngest of nine children of Nicholas and Penelope (Summers) Smith. His father was born December 2, 1801, in North Carolina, and when a small boy moved to Wilson County, Tenn. He purchased the farm where our subject now resides in 1844, which then included the land now covered by the town. The only cultivated spot of this extensive tract was a small orchard. He soon built a two-story house, in the upper story of which the " Sons of Temperance" held their meetings, and from that fact the town got its name. Mr. Smith was a strong advocate of temperance and an influential man, and possessed a wonderful constitution. While clearing his land he built fences and worked nights by the light from brush piles which he laid during the day. A great deal of his property was destroyed during the war. He and another old gentleman were captured and compelled to walk to Murfreesboro, where they were imprisoned about two months. He began life a poor man, but by enterprise and industry, was worth a large sum at his death. He was a director and large stockholder of the Sparta & Lebanon Turnpike Company. He gave his children the benefit of the best schools, and was always deeply interested in all educational matters. Mrs. Smith was born March 8, 1810, in Tennessee. She was a model housekeeper and a most industrious, estimable woman. Her death occurred in September, 1886. She and her husband were consistent and active members of the Missionary Baptist Church. The Grandfather, Daniel Smith, was of Welsh descent; his father came from Wales at an early day. Our subject received his education in the New Middleton Institute, Smith County. He studied law under Col.Stokes , and was admitted to the bar in 1878. He is a talented lawyer, and has met with great success. His practice lies in Dekalb and the adjoining counties. His judicial decisions have always given satisfaction. He is a Democrat which he has added to considerably. He is a bright, genial man, with a host of friends. In 1857 he married Miss Alice P., daughter of Wm. T. and Malissa (Stokes) Hoskins. Mrs. Smith was born March 23, 1858. Their union resulted in the birth of six children: Edith May, Eula Leath, Linnie Mason, Wm. Nicholas, Olive Ione and Alfred.

Gen. Wm. B. Stokes, one of the leading attorneys and best known citizens of Alexandria, was born in 1814 in Chatham County, N. C. He is the second and only surviving one of their children of Sylvanus and Mary (Christian) Stokes. The father was of English descent, born in Chatham County, N. C., in 1783, a son of Thos. Stokes who was a native of Virginia and a cousin of ex-Gov. Munford Stokes, of North Carolina. Sylvanus was married in North Carolina about 1810, and in 1818 started for Tennessee, where his father owned large tracts of land. While en route his team ran away and he was killed by the wagon running over him. The family proceeded on their journey and located in Smith County near Temperance Hall, where the widow remained until her death in 1853. She was a native of the same State and county, and also same age as her husband. The subject of our sketch was educated in the best schools of Smith (now Dekalb) County. In January, 1832, he married miss Parilee A., daughter of Abraham and Hannah Overall, of Dekalb County, where Mrs. Stokes was born in May, 1815. Thirteen children came to this union, of whom one son and six daughters are now living: Melissia J., wife of W. T. Hoskins, of Dekalb County; Hannah L., wife of Jas. L. Calhoun, of Davidson County; Harriet A., Wife of Hon. W. A. Bryan, of Nashville; Fannie, wife of Dr. Elial Tubb (deceased); W. Jordan, of Texas; Sallie, wife of Geo. McNelly, and Norah Stokes. Mrs Stokes died in May, 1880. She was a devoted wife and mother, a woman of rare accomplishments and a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. For several years Col. Stokes was one of the county's most practical and successful farmers. He owned herds of fine blooded stock, the celebrated racer "Ariel" being one of the number, and with which he traveled and won some of the best races ever made. His political career began in 1849, when he represented Dekalb County in the Lower House of the General Assembly, in the State Senate, serving two years. In 1859 he was brought forward by the Whigs as candidate for Congress of the Third Congressional District. His opponent was Hon. J. H. Savage, who had served the eight years previous to the civil war. He was one of the brave "Little Spartan Band." Although one of the youngest members of the House, he was soon recognized as the champion and leader of the Union cause, and in defense of which he delivered on of the most able and effective speeches made during the term, and one which was universally applauded in the North. Upon his return home he discovered how unsafe it was for him to remain there. When the Union Forces arrived in Nashville, he went there and requested to enter the service. He organized the Fifth Tennessee Cavalry, better known as Stokes' Cavalry, of which he was commander until the downfall of the Confederacy. He opened the battle of Stone River on the morning of December 30, 1862, and fired the last shot on the Manchester Turnpike after the surrender at Murfreesboro. For his gallant and faithful services during the war he was breveted Brigadier-general by President Andrew Johnson. In 1865 he was again elected to Congress and re-elected, his term expiring in 1871. He was verbally commissioned by Johnson to represent him (Johnson) in the Conservative Peace Convention at Nashville, of which he was made spokesman. During 1871 he served as supervisor of the internal revenue, since which time he has been engaged in the practice of law with the same activity and energy that so characterized his past. He is now one of the leading practitioners of the State, a man of intellect and indomitable will. He was formerly a Whig, casting his first presidential vote for Hugh L. White in 1836, but since the dissolution of that party has affiliated with the Republicans. He has repeatedly served as one of the presidential electors and has done more practical work as canvasser than any man in the State. He has raised and finely educated a large family of children. He is a generous contributor to all laudable enterprises. The Colonel has been a Mason since 1849, and a resident of Alexandria since 1868, but still owns the old farm, which contains 250 acres of valuable improved land on the Smith Fork. He also owns property in town.

J. G. Squires, M. D., was born in 1839, near Middleton, Smith County, one of eight children, four living, of John and Maria (Gulick) Squires, the former of Scotch-Irish origin, Born in Virginia about 1795, and the mother of like ancestry, born about 1804 in Smith County, Tenn. The father's parents settled at the head of Plunkett Creek in Smith County about 1800, when he was a boy. He was a farmer and a soldier of the Mexican war, the long service in which, during its whole course, lift him in such feeble health that he died in a few years after its close. The mother died in 1843 at the birthplace of our subject. Trained a tanner, and educated at New Middleton Academy (coeducational). Our subject worked at his trade until twenty-two years of age, when he began attending school and studying medicine. In 1869-70 he attended lectures in the medical department of the University of Nashville, at the close of which lectures he began practice at Liberty. In 1873 he married Sarah C., daughter of Eli and Eliza (More) Vick, and born near Liberty in 1851. Their four children were Mattie F., Cecil H., Pearl and Jonathan G., besides whom they are also rearing and educating four orphan children. Our subject has an excellent practice, and owns property, including 276 acres and fine town property, all the result of his own efforts. Formerly a Whig, and first voting for John Bell, he has since become a Democrat. He is a Mason and a stanch temperance man. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.

Will A. Vick, editor of Liberty Herald, born in 1864, at Liberty, is the eldest of three surviving children of William and Sarah A. (West) Vick. The father was born in 1824 in Smith (now Dekalb) County. He has been a merchant of Liberty since the age of nineteen. The mother was born in 1829 at Liberty, where she died in 1881. Our subject received his early education at the Masonic Academy of his native place, and later attended the Vanderbilt University, of Nashville. At the age of twenty he became a member of the firm of William Vick & Son. In Connection with his mercantile business he established the Herald in April, 1886. He began with a fir number of subscriptions, and the circulation is now quite extensive. The secret of his success has been in making the paper strictly non-partisan. It strongly advocates prohibition. By the time the Herald is one year old there will be a second story added to the office, and a steam cylinder press used. Mr. Vick is an intelligent, energetic and rising young man, who has a bright, and we trust, successful future. He is a stanch Prohibitionist, and a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.

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