DIXON, Wallace

Wallace DIXON, farmer and owner of the celebrated Oakland Spring farm, was born December 22, 1838, at Cedar Creek Furnace and educated at Masonic College, Clarksville, Tenn. At the ago of twenty he became manager of the iron works known as the Antonio Iron Works, of Montgomery County. Five years later he came to Decatur County and engaged in farming. He was married to Miss Elizabeth FINCH, who bore him three children; Emily A., William T. (deceased), and Wallace, who is living with his father, The mother of these children died and Mr. WALLACE was married the second time to Lucretia B. FINCH, who presented him with five children: Sallie B., Thomas Y., William H., Chambers F., all living, and Elinora, who died September 5, 1878.

Mr. DIXON is one of the leading members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is one of the prominent Democrats of Decatur County. He is universally respected and is one of the most popular men in this county. Mr. DIXON’s great-grandfather, Obadiah DIXON, came with Lord Baltimore to America, and brought his family with him. His son, Benjamin DIXON, was a great stock-dealer and engaged largely in importing horses to America. He enlisted and served gallantly in the war of 1812. Wallace DIXON, Sr., son of Benjamin and father of our subject, was born in Maryland, and was married to Miss Eliza BRADY, who was a cousin of Gen. Sam BRADY, the celebrated Indian fighter. She carried water, when a girl, to the soldiers while they were fighting the Indians.

Wallace Dixon, Sr., came to Nashville when that city was but a village. From there he moved to Dixon County and engaged in the manufacture of iron as one of the firm of Valner & Dixon, owning and managing the furnace known as the Cumberland Furnace. After a number of years Mr. DIXON sold his interest in the enterprise to his partner. He then moved to Perry County and built the Cedar Creek Furnace and after several years’ successful management, sold the furnace, and purchased the farm now owned by Wallace DIXON, Jr. He also purchased other valuable land in Decatur County. To Wallace and Eliza (Brady) DIXON were born five children of whom our subject is the youngest. – Transcribed by David Donahue

History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present; Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Henderson, Chester, Mcnairy, Decatur, and Hardin Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Reminiscences, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C: Southern Historical Press, 1978.

DENISON, Curry P.

Curry P. DENISON, proprietor of the Denison House, Decaturville, Tenn., is a native of Decatur County, born November 11, 1839, a son of Stephen and Elizabeth (INGRAM) DENISON, both natives of Pittsylvania County, Va., and descendants of the early English settlers of the Atlantic coast. Of their family of fourteen children all are living but three: Robert, born September 18, 1814, is a farmer of Henderson County; Alfred, born in 1817, died in 1821; Bird, born July 30, 1818, is also a farmer of Henderson County; Eliza, born August 12, 1820, is now Mrs. Jno. McCALL, of Chester County; Mrs. Anna (DENISON) NEWTON, born December 12, 1822, lives in Denton County, Tex.; Sanford, born December 14, 1824, home in Red River County, Tex.; Wm. H., born January 24, 1826, lives in Red River County, Tex.; Jackson, born June 10, 1829, died July 28, 1859; Benjamin, born May 18, 1821, lives in Red River County, Tex.; Nancy J., born May 28 1833, is married to Andrew McCALL, of Henderson County; Mrs. Minerva (DENISON) PRIDDY, of Henderson County, was born September 22, 1835; David G., born September 1, 1837, died in 1863;Curry P., the subject of this sketch; and Mrs. Mary Elizabeth (DENISON) BREWER, of Henderson County, born May 15, 1844. Stephen DENISON took an active part in many of the sieges and battles of the war of 1812. He was a life-long Whig and worthy citizen, leaving to his posterity an honored name; his death occurred in August, 1865, his wife having died in September, 1860. The grandfather was one of the gallant Virginians who served under Gen. Geo. WASHINGTON.

Curry P. DENISON was raised on a farm; accustomed to labor from boyhood, his educational advantages were limited; being a man of no ordinary ability he has by observation and application become well informed, For a number of years he was a merchant of Henderson County, afterward a farmer; but for the past six years has been proprietor of the Denison House. Politically he is a Republican; was an unswerving supporter of the Union during the late war, which, of course, cost him many dangers and hardships, but escaped uninjured. He is one of the strongest advocates of public schools, is a man well known throughout the country and recognized as one of the best citizens.

November 4, 1860, he was married to Miss Nancy J. BRAY, born November 2, 1843, a daughter of John and Manerva (WALKER) BRAY, of Henderson County. This union resulted in the following births: Fredonia A., born March 14, 1883, married February 28, 1879, to J. T. Rogers, merchant of Decaturville; Kittie A., born October 17, 1864, married Dr. John McMILLAN, of Decaturville; Wm. H., born April 13, 1866, resides at Perryville, Tenn.; Mary A., born January 23, 1868, married, January 14, 1883, to Wm. BARRY, editor of Progress, Lexington, Tenn.; Granville L., born February 18, 1870; Harriet Rosetta, born February 8, 1873; Bertha L., born February 13, 1880, and Allia J., born March 13, 1884. John BRAY, father of Mrs. DENISON, was born February 10, 1828, and. married Manerva WALKER November 24, 1842. She was born March 20, 1827. — Transcribed by David Donahue

History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present; Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Henderson, Chester, Mcnairy, Decatur, and Hardin Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Reminiscences, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C: Southern Historical Press, 1978.

DEES, James E.

James E. DEES, county court clerk, of Decaturville, was born in Shelby County, Tenn., April 8, 1852. His parents, Green and Martha C. (Lockhart) DEES, were both natives of Anson County. N.C., from which State he moved to Tennessee, Shelby County, near the line of Marshall County, Miss., where our subject was born, and finally settled in Decatur County, in 1852, where he now resides, is by occupation a farmer and planter. Of a family of nine children, four sons and two daughters are living. The mother departed this life in January, 1874.

James E. DEES was brought up on a farm, therefore accustomed to an active life. He received an excellent, practical education at Decaturville, and a year’s instruction at the Tennessee University at Knoxville. November 20, 1884, he married Miss Mary A. YARBRO, daughter of John T. YARBRO, of Decatur County. Mr. DEES is a strong Democrat of good standing with his party, was elected clerk of the county court in August, 1882, and has remained in the office since that time. He is a worthy and affable gentleman, enjoying the esteem of an extensive circle of friends and acquaintances. — Transcribed by David Donahue

History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present; Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Henderson, Chester, Mcnairy, Decatur, and Hardin Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Reminiscences, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C: Southern Historical Press, 1978.

DAVIS, Nathan C.

Nathan C. DAVIS, a well known resident of Decatur County, was born July 14. 1843, in Hardin County. His father, Joseph DAVIS, was a native of Wake County, N.C., born February 7, 1805; he came to Maury County, Tenn., in 1829, where be carried on the blacksmith business; from there he went to Hardin County; was married to Harriet PERRY, a native of Williamson County. Tenn., but a descendant of North Carolinians.

The subject of this sketch is the eighth of fourteen children: received such education as the country schools of that day afforded, at Clifton, Tenn. When war was declared he enlisted in the Ninth Tennessee Cavalry, under command of J. B. BIFFLE, took part in the Parkers Cross Roads fight, Trenton, Humboldt, also in the engagements at Franklin and Thompson’s Station: he followed Straight and participated in combats at Town Creek, Day’s Gap, Sand Mountain and Gadsden, capturing the enemy at Pine Bluff; Mr. DAVIS was taken at Clifton by Murphy, but released by Capt. Sam MARTIN.

When peace was declared, he returned home and resumed farming; was married November 12, 1868, to Miss M. A. JOHNSON, of Hardin County, whose father was a native of that county; her mother was born in Alabama. To Nathan C. and M. A. (JOHNSON) DAVIS seven children were born; those living are Thomas J., William N., Benjamin F., Edgar H. and Mary E., James S. and an infant are both dead, November 24, 1882, Mrs. DAVIS died. Mr. DAVIS married the second time in January, 1883, to Mrs. Mary H. (STEPHENS) HARRELL, of Savannah, Tenn., a daughter of Col. H. H. STEPHENS, who was born in Boone, Bourbon Co., Ky.; her mother, Elizabeth (THARP) STEPHENS was the first white child born in Florence, Ala. She was educated at Louisville, Ky. To Mr. DAVIS‘ second marriage one child has been born, Perry, a son. Mr. and Mrs. DAVIS are earnest members of the Methodist Church. Mr. DAVIS is a steadfast Democrat and a courteous gentleman. — Transcribed by David Donahue

History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present; Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Henderson, Chester, Mcnairy, Decatur, and Hardin Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Reminiscences, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C: Southern Historical Press, 1978.

COUNTESS, John M.

John M. COUNTESS, a well known resident of the Third District, was born August 11, 1841, in Warren County, Tenn. His father, Asa COUNTESS, was a native of Tennessee, .a brick mason by trade. He married about 1833 a daughter of John MARTIN, of North Carolina, who came to Tennessee. To that union seven children were born, J. M. being the fourth and only surviving one. Asa COUNTESS enlisted in the Fifth Confederate Regiment, under command of B. J. HILL. He died in Mississippi after twelve months of gallant and faithful service.

Our subject received a fair education in the common schools of Warren County. He enlisted in the Sixteenth Tennessee, Confederate Army, under command of John H. SAVAGE. He remained in the service about one year: took part in the battles of Huttonville and Chute Mountains, Va. He became dissatisfied with the cause he was aiding, and on the morning of May 15, 1862, received a pass at Corinth, Miss., to be good until 10 o’clock. When about eleven 2 miles south of Corinth he met a detachment who claimed his time had expired. He said that his brother was sick in a house at a short distance, and by this means succeeded in passing. Shortly afterward he entered a swamp, and remained there through the day, traveling by night until ha reached a point about one hundred miles south. The man whom he hired for a guide had a horse upon which they took turns in riding, in that way resting themselves. While attempting to cross a river with several other fugitives from Tennessee companies, he was arrested by the town authorities, tried, condemned and sent back. Two officers started back to the army with the prisoners, four in number. While at supper, where they were camped for the night, Mr. Countess and his mate finished eating before the others. They stepped back, and covered by the darkness, slipped away unnoticed. They waded a small stream and spent the night about half a mile from the camp, continuing their journey the next morning. When they reached the river they secured a broad plank, and with one on each end crossed in safety and got home without being again molested. About four months later he enlisted in the Fifth Tennessee Cavalry of the Union Army, under command of Col. W. B. STOKES, taking part in the terrific battle of Stone’s River.

At the close of the war Mr. COUNTESS returned home and resumed his farming. In 1868 he went to Illinois; spent three years there, going to Missouri, and later to Middle Tennessee, finally settling in Decatur County, where he has since resided. April 20, 1866, he was married to Minnie BLACKWELL, whose parents were natives of Warren County. To their union six children were born. Those living are Mary, wife of Dr. E. G. HOWELL, a practicing physician of Decatur County; Margaret, John, George W., William B’s death occurred September 8, 1879, when two years of age. Mr. COUNTESS is an earnest and active Republican, a member of the Masonic fraternity and K. of H. – Transcribed by David Donahue

History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present; Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Henderson, Chester, Mcnairy, Decatur, and Hardin Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Reminiscences, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C: Southern Historical Press, 1978.

BOLIN, William

William BOLIN, a well known and respected resident of the Third District, was born in Chatham County, N.C., August 28. 1823. He is the sixth child of a family of fourteen. His father, Joseph, was a native of Guilford County, N.C. and was married in 1811 to Miss Sophia COOPER. He came to Tennessee but remained only a year to two; returned to his native state and died there in 1844.

Our subject has been engaged in farming from early boyhood, receiving his education in the common schools of North Carolina. He was married February 8, 1844, to a lady of his native State; to them were born three children, one died in infancy; the two living are Mary (Bolin) MOORE, and Martin, who is engaged in agricultural pursuits on a farm adjoining his father’s. Martin was married February 2, 1873, to Miss Elizabeth IVEY of Decatur County, and by whom he has three children: Mary M., John W. and Martin C. Mr. William BOLIN came to Tennessee in 1870 and one year later located in Decatur County, where he is greatly respected and widely known. He is a stanch Democrat, taking considerable interest in the movements and welfare of that party. – Transcribed by David Donahue

History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present ; Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Henderson, Chester, Mcnairy, Decatur, and Hardin Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Reminiscences, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C: Southern Historical Press, 1978.

BAKER, B.G.

B. G. BAKER was born in Hickman County, Tenn., January 11, 1818. His father, Dr. Benj. BAKER, was of German descent, born in New York City, where he received his medical education, and practiced until about 1812; he then went to New Orleans, and after several years came to Tenn., locating in Hickman, where he continued the practice of his profession. About 1815 he married Mrs. Rachel (Petty) FIELDS, who was born in Chatham County, N.C., in 1788; her parents were Virginians, but of Scotch-Irish descent. To Dr. and Mrs. BAKER two sons and two daughters were born: Winnie, the widow of Lot AKIN of Decatur County: Elizabeth, widow of Wm. LIVINGSTONE, of Maury County; Wm. H. married to Miss Arethie NICKELS, and farming in Decatur County, our subject being the fourth child. Dr. Benj. BAKER died in 1822, and his wife in 1858; she was a faithful member of the Free-Will Baptist Church, a true Christian woman.

B. G. BAKER received but a limited education in the country schools of Perry (now Decatur) County, but acquired considerable knowledge from the Bible and other books: has read from the best medical authorities until he is competent to practice in his field; was married in 1837 to Emily HENDRICK of Decatur County, with whom he had two children; only one survives, and is Mrs. Tennessee BAKER (PRIM) McCLURE who is farming in Dyer County, Tenn. Horton Howard BAKER, the son was lieutenant in the Confederate Army; after a gallant leadership in the battle of Shiloh he was taken sick and returned home, living but two days after his arrival there. Mrs. Baker died in 1843.

In August, 1845, Mr. BAKER married Caroline BASSEL, of Humphreys County, Tenn., who became the mother of ten children of those living are James K., a blacksmith by trade, a farmer in Decatur County, married to Elizabeth Harris; Wm. E., a farmer in same county, wife was Theodosia BESLEY; G. W., farmer in Decatur County, married Georgia D. HENDRICK; Mary E., wife of J. A. HAYNES, magistrate and farmer of Decatur County; Martha E., wife of John H. PRATT, farmer in Decatur County; Sarah J., widow of Wm. H. CHURRY, a farmer in Benton County, died in 1880; Winnie M., wife of L. L. WOOD, a farmer in Decatur County; Rachel C., married Robert CLIFT, is farming in Decatur County; Ellen, married John CLIFT, is merchandising and forming in Decatur County. Benjamin and Dora died in infancy. Mr. BAKER is an elder in the Cumberland Church, and a firm Democrat, a man well known and highly respected. — Transcribed by David Donahue

History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present ; Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Henderson, Chester, Mcnairy, Decatur, and Hardin Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Reminiscences, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C: Southern Historical Press, 1978.

AYDELOTT, J.F. (Dr.)

Dr. J. F. AYDELOTT, a successful practitioner of Decaturvillie, was horn April 28, 1835, son of Andrew E. and Sarah E. (SMITH) AYDELOTT, both natives of Tennessee and both of Irish descent, They removed to Henderson County in 1836, where the father followed agricultural pursuits for some time, after which he engaged in mercantile pursuits. He was a very popular man and one of much influence. Politically he was a Democrat but at the same time he was supported by all parties when he chose to become a candidate for any office. He was sheriff for six years and deputy sheriff for four years. He died October 3, 1882, in Texas, where he had recently removed. The mother preceded him to the grave about three years, dying July 8,1879. Their family consisted of ten children, only .two of whom are living: Dr. J. F. and Sarah B. (Mrs. B. W. CLENNY).

Our subject’s paternal grandfather was a native of Ireland, who immigrated to America shortly after the Revolutionary war. His maternal ancestors were descendants of the old Atlantic coast settlers and several of them were soldiers in the Revolutionary war. Dr. J. F. was brought up on the farm and received the elements of a common-school education supplemented by considerable training at high schools at Saltillo, Decaturville and other places. He began the study of medicine at Decaturville and afterward took a thorough and comprehensive course of instruction at the Louisville Medical University in 1878 from which he graduated with honor, securing the third prize. He has since resided at Decaturville, where he has a successful and prosperous practice. He is treasurer of the Board of Health of Decatur County. In 1879 he married Miss Anna C. JONES, daughter of Dr. T. W. JONES of Decturville, and to them were born four children, three now living: Otto H. (deceased), Arbon Y., Floyd C. and Frank Cleveland. The Doctor is politically a Democrat, a man of wide acquaintance and much influence in Decatur and adjoining counties. — Transcribed by David Donahue

History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present ; Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Henderson, Chester, Mcnairy, Decatur, and Hardin Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Reminiscences, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C: Southern Historical Press, 1978.

ARNOLD, E.E.

E. E. ARNOLD, a well known resident of Decaturville, and sheriff of the county, is a member of one of the oldest families in the section. His grandfather, Ephraim ARNOLD, located in the county at a very early day; the exact date is not known, but is thought to have been no later than 1814, as James E. was born in 1824, and was the youngest of six children, born to them after coming to the county. Uncle James Harris was the only other settler at that time. They were subjected to all the privations and hardships of pioneer life, and were greatly troubled with panthers, they being so bold and vicious as to make it necessary to fasten the doors and windows with iron bars. James B., the father, was a farmer; he died in 1866; the mother is still living, they were the parent of eleven children, ten of whom still live.

Our subject worked on a farm until he was sixteen years of ago, when he became a pilot on a raft, which occupation he continued until 1882; was then elected sheriff of the, county, holding that office up to the present time. April 2, 1874, he married Miss Mary B. CROWDER, who died March 22, 1883, leaving a family of five children: Melissa A., Ida M., James B., Mary G. and William G. Mr. ARNOLD married again to Miss Medora CROWDER, January 7. 1885; to this union one child has been born, Carry F. Mr. ARNOLD is prominently connected with the Masons; he been a member since 1872, also belongs to the I.O.O.F. He was one of the Grangers; was master of the county when that organization went down. He is a Democrat and a man who has a large circle of friends and acquaintances, esteemed by all. — Transcribed by David Donahue

History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present ; Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Henderson, Chester, Mcnairy, Decatur, and Hardin Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Reminiscences, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C: Southern Historical Press, 1978.

AKIN, Robert J.

Robert J. AKIN, of the Eleventh District, was born in Decatur County, March 9, 1828. Wm. V. AKIN, his father, was a native of South Carolina, came to Maury County, Tenn., about 1801, was married first to Miss Edna, about 1810.

Our subject is the eighth of eleven children; received his education in the country schools, by careful and constant reading of books and papers of the day, has a well stored mind. His principal occupation since boyhood has been farming, but from 1856 to 1860 was engaged in boating staves to New Orleans; is a blacksmith by trade. He was married March 28, 1860, to Susan T. HANCOCK, of Decatur County. When war was declared Mr. AKIN enlisted in the Tenth Tennessee Cavalry, under command of Col. Cox; served gallantly in the battles of Chickamauga and Morristown, Philadelphia Tennessee and Brentwood. In the winter Mr. AKIN on account of sickness was on furlough; at the termination of the war he returned to the farm upon which he has since and is now living. Ho is a devoted member of the Methodist Church, a Mason and sincere Democrat, a man well known and respected. — Transcribed by David Donahue

History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present ; Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Henderson, Chester, Mcnairy, Decatur, and Hardin Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Reminiscences, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C: Southern Historical Press, 1978.