Category Archives: GoodspeedBiography

WADE, W.T. ‘Prof.’ (d.after 1885)

Professor  W.T. WADE,  proprietor and principal of Edgewood Normal School, Dickson County, Tenn., is a native of Lynchburg, Va., but is a graduate of the Lebanon Ohio College. He plied his vocation in West Virginia, Missouri and Texas, and then came to Tennessee, taking charge of a school at Waverly, Humphreys County, for two years. In 1885 he leased the school property at Edgewood for twenty years, and established and excellent school where all the higher branches are taught. He possesses the highest confidence of the community and is particularly esteemed for the deep interest he takes in the educational and moral welfare of youth.


James J. Thompson was born July 13, 1842. His parents were Jeremiah and Angeline Thompson. The father was born December 7, 1801, and died March 2, 1864; the mother was born July 3, 1804, and died November 9, 1869. At the age of twenty our subject entered the Confederate Army as orderly sergeant, in 1862, joining Company E, Tenth Tennessee Cavalry, and served in the army until the surrender, when he returned home. He engaged in farming, which occupation he still follows. October 11, 1870, he was married to Irena S. Winstead. She was born in Humphreys County, Tenn., January 26, 1852. This union has resulted in seven children: Lela A., born September 11, 1871, and died March 18, 1873; Laura A., born January 30, 1873, and died January 21, 1874; Dorsey O., born August 7, 1875; Willie A., born September 30, 1877, died October 18, 1882; Hester L., born February 9, 1880; Lizzie M., born February 2, 1882, and Walter S., born May 5, 1884. Our subject and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Mr. Thompson is a Democrat.

TAYLOR, William H.

William H. Taylor was born in Davidson County, Tenn., January 9, 1836, the son of Bartley and Mary Taylor. The father was born in Williamson County December 25, 1808. The parents came to Jones Creek, Dickson County, in 1861, where they are still living, making their home with William H. In the year 1861 our subject entered in the civil war, joining Company B, Forty-ninth Tennessee Regiment. He entered as orderly sergeant and was promoted to second lieutenant, which office he held till the close of the war. While at Atlanta, Ga., he received a severe wound in the right arm, disabling him for three months. In 1868 he was married to Mary E. Richardson. To them were born six children: Sallie W., Mary L., Henry T., Lavienia, Ellen J. and Edward. In his political views Mr. Taylor is a Democrat, and is a man of good standing among his fellow-citizens.

WYATT, J.J.(Mrs.)

Mrs. J. J. Wyatt was born in Dickson County, Tenn., August 16, 1834, the daughter of Solomon and Jerusha (Darwin) Petty. The father was born in South Carolina in 1784, and died in Dickson County in 1860. The mother was born in 1794, and died in 1873. They immigrated to Dickson County, Tenn., in 1811, where they lived until their deaths. Our subject’s great-grandfather was a captain in the Revolutionary war for seven years under Gen. Green. November 16, 1854, our subject was married to William Wyatt, of Jackson County, Tenn. This union has been blessed with eight children: Eugene, Alice, Walter, James, Fanny D. (deceased), Sallie, Laura and Fredrick. Her husband is engaged as engineer for the Tennessee Manufacturing Company, at Nashville, which position he has held for fourteen years. She is a woman of fine executive ability and manages the farm in person. She and husband are members of the Christian Church.

STONE, Robert B.

Robert B. Stone, general manager of Cumberland Furnace, Dickson County, Tenn., was born at the furnace on September 16, 1837. His father was Hardiman Stone, who was also born in Dickson County on December 8, 1805, and died February 26, 1880. At the age of fifteen years our subject purchased his freedom from his father, paying for the same $500, and went to Texas, where he engaged in the manufactory of charcoal for two years. He then returned to the furnace where he has secured a position as manager. He was married, January 23, 1864, to Sarah M. Jackson. To this union have been born five children: Maggie V., born June 26, 1869; Epps H., born November 16, 1870; Ida F., born April 16, 1872; Effie S., born December 6, 1875, and Robert J., born March 15, 1878. Our subject’s wife died March 23, 1881, and on January 15, 1885, he was married to Kate Richardson. Robert B. enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1861, being a member of the Fiftieth Tennessee Regiment. His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, while he is an Episcopalian. He is a Democrat and a man of much influence in the county.

SPICER, James R.

James R. Spicer, a prominent young merchant of Dickson, was born September 10, 1858, in Humphreys County, being the second of a family of five children of Charles and Eliza E. (Long) Spicer, natives of Humphreys County. The father was a farmer and died in 1861. The mother died about 1872. James R. was reared on a farm and had limited early educational advantages. He remained with his mother to the age of nine years when he went to live with a farmer with whom he remained two years. Then he engaged as clerk in a store for about five years. In 1876 he came to Dickson and engaged as clerk till 1882. He then opened a store with Henry E. Pickett, and continued with him for three years. In 1884 he started on his own hook his present business, in which he has been very successful. He was married, March 13, 1883, to Ida B. Williams, a native of Dickson County. One daughter, Effie L., has blessed this union. Mr. Spicer and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. He is a member of the Good Templar organization. Politically he is a firm Democrat and is recognized as a prominent and enterprising business man and a valuable citizen.


John M. Speight was born at White Bluff, Dickson County, Tenn., January 7, 1856, the son of James Speight. His mother and father were both born in Dickson County, and are alive at present, living at the old homestead. At the age of seventeen our subject went to live with his uncle Benjamin McCaslin, in order to become a mechanic, and remained with him until 1876, at which time he engaged in railroading and continuing at that business for about a year, when he returned to his uncle and resumed work at his trade. Remaining two years he went to Fulton County, Ky., and worked at his trade for about eighteen months when he again returned to his uncle. He finally bought his uncle’s business and ran the same until December, 1884, when he removed to Cumberland Furnace and engaged in merchandising, at which place he now resides. He was married April 30, 1882, to Eudora A. Micks. He and wife are members of the Christian Church. He is a Democrat, a self-made man, and stands high in his community.

SMITH, James B.

James B. Smith was born in Dickson County, Tenn., December 19, 1861, the son of John R. and Alphasarah (Von Schmittau) Smith. The father was born in Dickson County, Tenn., in 1833, and was of Irish descent. The mother was of Dutch descent, but was born in Dickson County, Tenn., in 1835. Our subject began farming at the age of twenty years, and continuing at that business until 1883, when he entered the store of James B. Stakes, at Beefrange, as salesman, where he remained until December, 1884, at which time he entered business for himself at the above place. September 3, 1882, he was united in marriage to Emma Stakes, who was born September 11, 1863. Two children have been born to them: Mattie Leona, born November 20, 1883 (deceased); Perry Barnett, born June 2, 1885. The wife is a member of the Christian Church. He is a Democrat, and is doing a good business.

SLAYDEN, John D. (Dr.)

Dr. John D. Slayden was born in Dickson County, Tenn., June 16, 1843, a son of Hartwell and Jane (May) Slayden. The father was born in Virginia and came to this State at a very early age. He was engaged in the mercantile business, also in farming, and was considered a very successful man. His death occurred in the spring of 1845. The mother is a native of Tennessee, and is now living with her second husband, Rev. J. J. Piskett, in Dickson County. Our subject began work for himself at the age of seventeen, and after engaging in several different occupations, among which were superintending a cotton farm in Arkansas, and at the same time learning civil engineering; began the study of medicine and continued the same for about three months, when he enlisted in the Confederate Army, joining Company C, Eleventh Tennessee Regiment. During the war he was severely wounded in the wrist. On his return he again took up the study of medicine and entered the medical college at Nashville. After having taken one course there he studied for a year under a preceptor, when he entered the Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia, where he graduated in March, 1869. After returning home he began practicing as partner with Dr. Daniels, on Yellow Creek, but only remained with him a short time. He then came to Cumberland Furnace, Dickson County, where he now has a lucrative practice. In the winter of 1874 and 1875 he attended the hospital course in the University of New Orleans, La. September 27, 1881, he was married to Augustine M. Russell, who was born May 17, 1862. They have one child, Adella, born July 19, 1882. Our subject is a member of the Masonic fraternity. He and wife are members of the Episcopal Church. Politically he is a Democrat.


Wiley M. Russell was born in Dickson County, Tenn., March 20, 1830, being the son of Lemuel S. and Nancy (Myatt) Russell. The father was born in Virginia, and came to Tennessee when quite small. The mother was a native of South Carolina. Our subject engaged in farming at the age of twenty-one years, and continued at that occupation for twelve years. He then engaged in distilling for about three years, after which time he worked some at the mechanic’s trade, and then returned to his former occupation­farming­at which he is now engaged. He was married, December 4, 1850, to Serena P. Frasier. The result of this union is six children: Mary A., John D., Lauson H., James L., Silvesta and Sarah J. His wife dying in 1866 he was again married December 15, 1866, to Sarah M. Sugg. They have six children: John, James, Lula W., Nellie R., Alford R. and Florence. Our subject was in the Confederate Army, being a member of the Forty-ninth Tennessee Regiment. In 1863 he returned home, having been discharged on account of his age. Upon his return home he was elected magistrate of Dickson County. He also served one term as constable. He is a Democrat.