BIGGS, Henry (Dr.)

Dr. Henry BIGGS, a resident and practicing physician of Grand Junction, was born August 9, 1822, in Gibson County, Tennessee. His parents were Luke and M. (Bennett) BIGGS, both natives of North Carolina. The father was of English descent, born in 1795; the mother was of English-Irish origin, born in 1798. They immigrated to Stewart County, Tenn., in 1819, and a year later to Gibson County, where the father departed this life in 1858, and the mother in 1859.

The subject of this sketch was raised and worked on his father’s farm until nineteen years of age, when he engaged in the same occupation for himself. A year later he became an overseer, and in 1845 began the study of medicine under tuition of Dr. A. BIGGS, a resident of Arkansas. He entered the Botanical Medical College at Memphis, Tenn., in 1847, graduating in 1849. He immediately began the practice of his profession at La Grange, Tenn. In 1850 he went to California, where for seven months he was interested in mining. About that time cholera became epidemic in Sacramento City, whither the brave doctor went, practicing in a private hospital on Jay Street. After the disappearance of the disease he returned to La Grange, receiving an extensive patronage. In 1853 he entered the Eclectic Medical College at Philadelphia, Penn., receiving a diploma the next year. Again he went to La Grange, where he remained ten years, and met with great success. After a year’s practice in Memphis he engaged in the drug business in La Grange, where he was also interested in molding and farming, together with his profession. In 1868 he closed out his business, and in 1869 went to New York and matriculated in the Bellevue Hospital Medical College one term. During this time he visited all the seats of medical progress in that city. He returned to Memphis, practicing for one year. His office was on Main Street. In 1871 he went to La Grange; one year later to Saulsbury, where he remained until 1875, when he located at present place of residence, where he has had a large and profitable practice, in connection with which he is interested in agriculture.

He is a good and substantial citizen. Although he has met with several financial misfortunes, he is now in easy circumstances, all made by his own efforts. He is a Republican. In 1869 he was elected to the State Legislature to fill an unexpired term. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in good standing with the Masonic lodge, at La Grange. The Doctor was united in marriage in March, 1855, to Mrs. Cassandra NEVELS. This union resulted in the birth of James William, now a resident of Arkansas. Mrs. BIGGS died, and in 1873 the Doctor united with Julia W. MASON, of Georgia. There is no issue.


Transcribed by David Donahue

Source: Goodspeed Pub. Co. History of Tennessee: From the Earliest Time to the Present ; Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Fayette and Hardeman Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Reminiscences, Etc., Etc. Nashville: Goodspeed Pub. Co, 1887.


A. G. Propst, is the proprietor of Beechwood farm, six miles east of Milan, breeder of blooded stock, such as shorthorn Durham cattle, Southdown and Cotswold sheep and fine mules; any of the above stock is on hand and for sale at all times. Mr. Propst was born in Catawba County, N.C., in 1838, and was one of a family of five children born to the union of John H. and Susan (Peacock) Propst. The father was born in Catawba County, N.C., in 1810. He was a farmer and resided in his native county. The mother was born in North Carolina and was ten years younger than her husband. She died about 1876.

Our subject was reared at home and received his education in the common schools of North Carolina. When nineteen years of age our subject learned the carpenter’s trade in South Carolina, and was engaged in this capacity at the breaking out of the Civil war. He enlisted in Company F, Twenty-third North Carolina Infantry, and was made sergeant; participated in the battles of Seven Pines, Chancellorsville, where he was severely wounded in the head. He was at Fredericksburg and around Spottsylvania Court House where he was twice badly wounded. He was captured at Winchester, September, 1864, and taken to Point Lookout, where he was confined six months. He was then taken to Camp Lee, paroled and allowed to return home. He was a brave soldier and rendered valuable service to the Confederate Army. November, 1866, he came to Tennessee, located and remained in Gibson County until January, 1876, when he came to Carroll County, where he located and now resides. He has about 800 acres of fine land especially adapted to stock farming.

November 3, 1876, he married Sarah A. Cunningham, a native of South Carolina, born October 6, 1836, and the daughter of John and Amanda Cunningham. Three children were born to our subject by this union: Nena, Joseph and Mary. Mr. Propst is a man well known and much esteemed throughout the county, both as a citizen and neighbor. He is a Democrat in politics, and he and his wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.


Transcribed by David Donahue

Source: History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Carroll, Henry and Benton Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Reminiscences, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1978.


J. L. Dickens, A. M., B. D., was born March 3, 1853, in Gibson County, Tenn., and is of a family of seven children born to Robert G. and Mary M. (Dickey) Dickens, of which our subject and two sisters are surviving members. The father was born in North Carolina and moved to Gibson County, Tenn., when thirteen years of age; that is also the native county of his wife, and they were married there in 1846, farming until 1862, when they moved to Marion County, Ill., continuing farming until the father’s death, December 27, 1864. The mother then returned to Gibson County with the children, and afterward married G. W. Dickey, and they are at present residing on a farm in Dyer County.

Our subject remained with his parents until he was nineteen years of age, then attended Newbern Seminary two years, acquiring the necessary means by the assistance of friends, added to his own industry and economy. He was then licensed to preach in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and in 1876 was ordained to the ministry. He did mission labor until November, 1874, then entered Bethel College, which he attended until he graduated in the classical course, in 1879, then he continued in the ministry in Tennessee until November 1880, accepting at that date a call to become pastor of the Cumnberland Presbyterian Church at Fayetteville, Ark., which he filled until the spring of 1882, then he responded to a call from a church at Biggsville, Ill., which terminated abruptly, owing to throat disease that caused him much trouble.

In September, 1882, he entered Lane Theological Seminary at Cincinnati, Ohio, and remained two years, then entered the theological department of Cumberland University, graduating June, 1884, with the degree of B. D., and accepted the position of professor of belles lettres and moral and mental science in Bethel College, McKenzie, Tenn., of which he was elected president June 1, 1886. August 21, 1879, he married Miss Mattie J. Tiner, of Gibson County. Her parents, J. A. and Mary J. Tiner, are still residing in Gibson County. Mr. and Mrs. Dickens are Cumberland Presbyterians, and he is a member of the F. and A. M.

Source: History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Carroll, Henry and Benton Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Reminiscences, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1978.