Capt. Samuel W. Hawkins, attorney at law, was born in the town of Huntingdon, Carroll Co., Tenn., January 6, 1844. His father was Hon. Isaac R. Hawkins, born in Maury County, Tenn., in 1818, and was a son of Samuel Hawkins, a native of Bath County, Ky., born about 1793. His wife was Nancy Roberts, daughter of Gen. Roberts, extensively known in Tennessee history, The father of our subject came to Carroll County in 1828. He was by profession a lawyer, and in politics was formerly a Whig. He was a Union man during the war, and since that conflict, to the time of his death in 1880, has been a leading Republican. He was a Mexican soldier. In the Rebellion he was colonel of the Seventh Tennessee Cavalry. He was a member of the Peace Congress, which sat at the city of Washington in 1860. The same year he was elected circuit judge of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit, but on account of the war did not accept the office. In 1860 he was elected to represent the Eighth Congressional District in Congress, and was re-elected to the same office in 1865 and in 1867. He was the man, perhaps, above all others, that saved the State of Tennessee from reconstruction. He was a profound lawyer, an eminent statesman, a true and brave soldier, and one of the early settlers and benefactors of Carroll County. An omission of his name would leave the history of Carroll County incomplete. The mother of Capt. Hawkins was Ellen A. Hawkins, whose maiden name was Ott, a native of Rutherford County, Tenn., born in 1822, and died in Carroll County in 1884.
Our subject is the oldest of three children, two surviving. He attended school at Huntingdon Male Academy. In 1862 he enlisted in Company F, Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, United States Army. The same year he was commissioned second lieutenant. He afterward raised Company I, of the same regiment, and was mustered in as first lieutenant and later commissioned captain. He was taken prisoner in 1865, and held as a prisoner of war for some time. During a portion of 1863 he was with the Eighty-eighth Ohio, and later had charge of the Third Infantry. He was a true and brave soldier, and was discharged at Nashville in 1865, and the same year began the study of law under the direction of his father in Huntingdon. Since then he has been engaged in the practice of his profession, practicing in the courts of Carroll and surrounding counties. He is without question one of the best informed men of this section. Politically, he is a Republican, and for many years has been prominently identified with the interests of that party. He was married in 1867 to Miss Hester B. Gardner, a native of Humphreys County, born in 1847. They have three children, viz.: Hugh R., William W. and Isaac G. Mr. and Mrs Hawkins are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. He is a leading citizen and an active man.
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.