Wiley Durden, a resident and merchant of Saulsbury, was born March 28, 1836, in North Carolina, of which State his parents were natives. They were William and Elizabeth (Sauls) Durden. The father was born in 1806 and immigrated to Tennessee in 1837, locating in Hardeman County, where he resided until his death, February 12, 1855. The mother was born in 1797, and died August 22, 1854.

Our subject was raised on a farm, upon which he worked until 1859, when he obtained a situation as salesman for J. M. Richardson, in the merchandise business, remaining in the position until the late war. He entered the Confederate service in 1863, in Col. J. C. Neely’s regiment. In 1864 he returned home and became clerk for McCullen & Bostwick. In 1867 he and R. M. Wright bought out the firm for which he had been working. The new firm was styled Wright, Cox & Co., changed in 1868 to Wright & Durden and, with the exception of one year, has so continued. They are now among the leading and most prosperous merchants of the place. having, by their fair dealing and courtesy to patrons, built up a large and profitable trade.

Mr. Durden was married, November 15, 1870, to M. E. Tucker, of Somerville, Tenn. Their union has been blessed within two children: Edward Tucker and Willie Gwynne. Mr. Durden is highly respected by the entire community, and known as a man of fine business capacity, enterprise and honor. He began life at the close of the war without a cent, and is now the owner of some valuable property and considerable means. He is a stanch Democrat.


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.