Goodspeed's Henry County Biographies - S surnames

Barney Speight, one of the most extensive farmers and stock dealers of the Eleventh District, also breeder of thoroughbred horses, was born in Henry County in 1851, and is one of five children, only two now living. The father, John M. Speight, was born in North Carolina about 1820, came to Henry County when about eighteen years of age, and about 1843 married Lila S. Beman. They had five children. After her death he married Patsey Barton, and to this union were born two children. She died, and John M. took for his third wife Maria Coley and by her became the father of six children. He settled and remained in the Eleventh District till his death, which occurred in 1885. He was a Baptist minister by profession, and followed this calling the last twelve years of his life, doing a noble work for the Christian cause. Our subject remained with his parents until he was twenty-four years of age, receiving a fair education at Cottage Grove. January 20, 1876, he married Rebecca P. Shell, daughter of William Shell, and this union resulted in the birth of three children---only two now living: Barney H. and Lida L. Mrs. Speight died on January 23, 1880, and in May, 1882, Mr. Speight married Mrs. Betty Dumas, a native of Henry County, born in 1846, and the daughter of Howard Street. To this union were born two children: Willie Wain and Harris Lovelace. Mr. Speight is now living on a fine farm of 300 acres, and is a man of good business management and a successful farmer. He is a man of considerable information, having served as constable of the Twelfth District for a period of four years. He is a Democrat in politics, and cast his first presidential vote for S. J. Tilden.

Dr. James G. Stark, physician and surgeon of the Third District, was born in Henry County in 1852, son of Thomas C. and Winnie G. (Humphreys) Stark, both natives of Tennessee. The father was born about 1819, educated in the common schools, and when a young man came to Henry County, where he was married about 1840. He was a farmer and resident of Henry County till 1855, when he removed to Calloway County, Ky., resumed his farming, and is still residing there. Mrs. Stark was born about 1825 and is still living, and is a member of the Primitive Baptist Church. The Doctor remained with his parents till he reached his majority, and received his education in the common schools of Calloway County, Ky. In 1876 he began the study of medicine under Dr. J. P. Humphreys, of Calloway County, Ky., and continued here till the fall of 1876, when he entered the medical department of the university of Louisville, Ky., during the years 1877 and 1878. In the fall of 1878 he returned to college and graduated in 1879. Immediately afterward he came to Henry County and settled in the Third District, where he has since continued his practice with commendable success. He has an extensive and lucrative practice, and is fast becoming one of the leading physicians of Henry County. October 28, 1877, he wedded Emma J. Dumas, a native of Henry County, born January 13, 1859, and the daughter of Franklin F. and Malinda I. Dumas, natives of Tennessee. Three children were born to our subject and wife---two living---Homer, Thomas F. (deceased) and Helen. The Doctor is now living on a farm of sixty acres, all in a high state of cultivation. In politics he is a Democrat, and cast his first presidential vote for S. J. Tilden in 1876.

J. J. Sweatt, farmer of the Twenty-second District of Henry County, was born in Warren County, Tenn., in 1819, and is one of thirteen children, six now living, born to Virtue and Elizabeth (Cox) Sweatt. The father was born in Maryland, in 1782, and moved with his parents to North Carolina, at an early day; he remained there until after his marriage when he emigrated to Tennessee, and located in Warren County, being one of the very first settlers. In 1837 he came to Henry County, where he remained until his career ended in 1859. The mother was born in North Carolina in 1795 and died in 1883. Our subject was reared at home and received his education in the schools of Warren County. In 1839 he married Sarah Edwards, a native of Wilson County, Tenn., born in 1822, and they have five children; Mary (Mrs. James Bratton), Martha T. (Mrs. J. L. Turner), America Florentine (Mrs. J. P. Lamb), F. V. and G. H. Mr. Sweatt learned the carpenter trade when a boy and followed it exclusively until the breaking out of the war. In 1860 he located where he now resides, three miles east of Conyersville, on 320 acres of desirable land, and is one of the county’s best farmers. He is a Democrat in politics, a Mason, and he and wife and entire family are members of the Christian Church.

John C. Sweeney, a prominent member of the Henry County bar, was born June 22, 1849, near Paris, and is a son of James and Elizabeth (Barbee) Sweeney, natives of Virginia, and North Carolina, respectively. The father was born in 1813, was a farmer and brick mason, and a member of the first company of Confederate troops raised in Arkansas. He was discharged in 1862, and died in the same year from disease contracted in the service. The mother was born in 1819 and died in 1858, at the age of thirty-nine years. Our subject inherits Irish blood from his paternal grandparents, and Scotch blood from the maternal side. He was reared on a farm and worked also in a brickyard; his educational advantages were quite limited, and in 1859 all the family moved to Arkansas (the father and a brother died there). In 1865 John C., returned to Paris, entirely dependent upon his own resources. He worked at manual labor for his earnings, and thus attended school (not more than nine months altogether). After clerking in the Carter House for one year, and four more years in a drug store, in March 1873, he began studying law, having accumulated by thrift and economy about $800. In 1875 he was admitted to the bar and has continued to practice very successfully. Upon entering the practice he invested his last dollar in a law library. He now owns a one-half interest in the Commercial Bank building, and his law office is the most commodious in the city. He is a member of the town board, and was treasurer for some time. March 1, 1886, he was employed by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad as a claim agent, of the Memphis branch, and now in connection with that duty still practices his profession. December 23, 1879, he married Mattie Bomar of this county; three sons are the fruits of this union: Samuel, Bomar and John. Mr. Sweeney is a Democrat in politics, and is regarded as an enterprising and respected citizen of Paris.