LIPSCOMB, Thomas (Dr.)

DR. THOMAS LIPSCOMB, one of Bedford County’s oldest and best citizens, was born in Louisa County, Va., July 22, 1808, to the marriage of William Lipscomb and Ann Day Cook, natives of Spottsylvania and Louisa Counties, Va., respectively.  The father was killed by a falling tree in January, 1829, having been a farmer.  The mother attained the ripe age of ninety years, and her old age was marked with great vitality.  With her own hands she knit over 100 pairs of socks for the Confederate soldiers after she had passed eighty years of age.  She lived nearly forty years a widow.

The subject of this sketch was reared with his parents on a farm, and received a common school education.  At the age of twenty-one he went to Winchester, Tenn., and began the study of medicine.  Thence he attended the Medical University of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, whither he proceeded and returned the most of the way on horseback.  After one course of lectures he returned to Franklin County, Tenn., where his parents had moved in 1826.

In 1831 he came to Shelbyville, where he has spent a lifetime in the practice of medicine, surgery and obstetrics, and has attained eminence in his profession.  He has been president of the Medical Society of Tennessee, of the Bedford County Medical Society and of the Female Institute at Shelbyville.  Since entering into the practice of his profession the honorary title of M. D. has been conferred upon him by the University of Louisville and by the University of Tennessee.  He has been successful financially.  Since 1855 he has carried on farming.  He is the president and largest stockholder of the Victor Mills, of Shelbyville, and was the president of the Branch Bank of Tennessee at Shelbyville at the opening of the war.  The advancement of the schools and churches is due greatly to him.  For two years he held the Shelbyville post office, the emoluments of which he allowed to the widow of a former postmaster.  He is not now actively engaged in the practice, but at the age of seventy-three he successfully performed the difficult ovariotomy operation for the first time in his life.

He was married, May 22, 1832, to Rebecca Stevenson, who bore him ten children, all of whom were raised.  This wife died December 6, 1880, and he then wedded, October 26, 1882, Miss Mary A. Cowan.  Dr. Lipscomb and wife are members of the Presbyterian Church, as was his first wife.  Politically he is a Democrat, and wields large influence as a worthy citizen of the county.

Transcribed by Kathryn Hopkins

Goodspeed Publishing Co. History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Maury, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Bedford & Marshall Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Reminescences [Sic], Observations, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1988.