Goodspeed's Biographies of
In early colonial days there came from England two brothers by the name of Randolph, who settled in Roanoke County, Va. Three sons of each moved to North Carolina and settled along the Great Peedee River. To this source many of the best families of our country can be traced. The old English Randolph, by corruption has become Randol, Randal, and Randle, while others retain the original Randolph, and many of this stock have become eminent as ministers, physicians, military men and educators; but few as lawyers. Our subject, Prof. Edwin H. Randle, traces his lineage to this source. On his father's side (one of the brothers), Maj. John, Wilson and George; on his mother's side (the other brother), William, Peyton and Susan Randle, our subject's parents being George and Susan Randle. They were brought from North Carolina to Stewart County, Tenn. when small. After marriage they moved to West Tennessee, and spent the remainder of their days. They had six sons and three daughters, our subject being the only one living. He was born December 18, 1830, in Henry County, and was educated at Andrew College, at Trenton, Tenn., graduating there in 1856, and has since been engaged in educational work. In 1860 he married Letitia Alexander, by whom he had one son -- Samuel T. Mrs. Randle died three years after their marriage. During the latter part of the war he served in Buford's division of Forrest's cavalry, and was assistant sergeant in the quartermaster's department. In 1869 Prof. Randle married Sarah A. McPherson, by whom he had three children: Mary W., Malcolm M. and Edwin I. Prof. Randle has been a close student and a useful man in the field of education. In 1856 he established Caledonia College, at Caledonia, Henry Co., Tenn., and was at the head of it until it was burned during the war. He afterward established, in the same county, the Paris Female College, and with Henry C. Irby founded McKenzie (now McTyeire) Institute, and held a joint principalship for six years; then taught four years in Paducah, Ky., and in 1881 moved to Ripley and has since had charge of the school. Prof. Randle has written some able articles for the leading periodicals. Among the number are "Tyranny of the Cassics" and the "Bacteria of Disease," and he has in manuscript a valuable scientific work in two volumes: Vol. I, "Scientific Interpretation of Genesis;" Vol. II, "The Plurality of the Races in the light of the Bible, of Science and of History -- Anti-Darwinism." Prof. Randle is justly considered a learned man and a fine educator.
Hon. C. S. O. Rice, a farmer and resident of the First District of Lauderdale County, is a son of Shadrach and Louise E. (Linerieux) Rice. The father was born in Marion District, S. C., in 1799, the mother in Georgetown District, S. C., February 28, 1812. They were married December 20, 1827; seven sons and five daughters were the result of this union, four sons and one daughter still living. The parents came to West Tennessee, April 6, 1837, settling in Lauderdale County, near Durhamville, where the father engaged in farming; they were both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in politics the father was a Democrat, and died May 8, 1869. The mother is still living with our subject. C. S. O. Rice is of English descent on the father's side, and French on the mother's, she being a descendant of the French Huguenots, her grandparents leaving France to escape religious persecution, and settling in South Carolina. Mr. Rice was born in Lauderdale County, Tenn., February 12, 1841, and was raised on a farm and received a good education, then attended the law school at Lebanon, Tenn., in 1859-60. When the war commenced, Mr. Rice volunteered in the Ninth Tennessee Infantry, (C.A.) serving a year, when he was honorably discharged on account of ill health, but afterward enlisted in the Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, holding the rank of second lieutenant, and served until the close of the war. September 7, 1865, he married Miss Lucy Q. Estes, who was born in Haywood County, July 16, 1845. They have had ten children, seven now living -- four sons and three daughters. Mr. and Mrs. Rice and the oldest children belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church South. In politics he is a Democrat. In 1874 he was elected to represent Lauderdale County in the Legislature, and was again nominated by his party to represent them September 4, 1886. Mr. Rice has been a resident of Lauderdale County all his life, and quite successful as a farmer, owning 1,000 acres of land. He is one of the influential citizens of the county.
John Davis Roberson, a farmer of the Eleventh District of Lauderdale County, was born in the county September 2, 1830, and is a son of Isham and Rhodie (Stames) Roberson, both natives of South Carolina; the father was born in 1799, and came to Lauderdale (then Tipton County) in 1828, and died in 1861; the mother was born in 1801, and died in 1859. Our subject was raised on a farm and worked for his father until eighteen years of age, then commenced farming for himself. In 1858 Mr. Roberson was elected constable, and served a term; was elected magistrate in 1860, and served until 1870, when he was elected State and county tax collector, and served a term, and was then elected railroad tax collector, and served a term, and in 1876 was re-elected magistrate, and held the office until 1882. Mr. Roberson was first married January 14, 1848, to Elizabeth Braden, daughter of William and Sarah Braden, and had five children: Sarah Ann, wife of J. C. Whitson; William Thomas, who died in 1858; Elizabeth Mansfield, the wife of S. D. Jenkins; Robert, David and William Francis. Mrs. Roberson died in April, 1883, and in November, 1883, he married Mrs. Amanda A. Keller (nee Paul) a widow with ten children, eight girls and ten boys. (sic) Mr. Roberson is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and of the Masonic lodge at Ripley, Tenn. He is a Democrat and a Prohibitionist, and a most worthy citizen of Lauderdale County, the number of offices he has held by choice of the people, testifying to their esteem and confidence in him as a man.
S. M. Roy, a merchant of Henning, Tenn., is the son of Jerome and Mary (Davenport) Roy. The father was born in Georgia, February 15, 1818, and the mother in Newbern District, S. C., January 15, 1820. They were married in 1839, and soon afterward moved to Lauderdale County, Tenn. They had three sons and two daughters; one of each is dead. They are both living in Lauderdale County, where Mr. Roy, Sr., is engaged in farming. In politics he is a Democrat. Neither of them is connected with any church. Our subject is of French descent on the father's side, and Scotch-Irish on the mother's. He was born in Choctaw County, Miss., June 1, 1845, and was raised on a farm with few educational advantages. In 1863 he enlisted in Company A., Fifteenth Tennessee Cavalry Volunteers, afterward known as Nixon's Cavalry, and served until the close of the war, when he returned to Lauderdale County and engaged in farming and merchandising. January 14, 1868, he was married to Amanda Cobb, who was born in the county September 24, 1850. A son and three daughters were born to this marriage; the son died. Mrs. Roy died September 24, 1874, and December 14, 1876, Mr. Roy married Ellen Pipkin, who was born in Mississippi, September 29, 1854, and by this marriage he had six children -- two boys and four girls; one of them died. Mr. and Mrs. Roy are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He is a Mason and belongs, also, to the K. of H. In politics he is a Democrat. As a merchant Mr. Roy has been quite successful, and as a man is liked and trusted by all who know him.
Charles M. Rucker was born on the farm he now lives on, January 10, 1858, and is the fifth child of eight children, three boys living. These children were born to James M. and Julia E. (Chadwick) Rucker. They were of English-Scotch descent. The father was born in Virginia, January 18, 1814, and moved to Alabama when twelve years old, and remained some six years, then located in Haywood County, Tenn. After reaching his majority, he went to live on the Mississippi River near Hale's Point. He was married in Mississippi County, Ark., October 16, 1847, and in 1855 he moved to his present farm, where he died August 4, 1879. Our subject's mother was born near Newark, Ohio, November 19, 1829, and is still living. Our subject was raised on a farm and has always been a farmer. The two brothers are Albert G., born November 19, 1853, and Egbert Eugene, born December 1, 1856. Mr. Rucker was married in this county to Lura A. Burks, a daughter of John N. Burks, a farmer born in Virginia, and who died during the late war. Mrs. Rucker was born in Lauderdale County, Tenn., May 27, 1864. They have two children: Linnie Etta, born October 1, 1882, and Albert Eugene, born February 1, 1884. Mr. Rucker is a Democrat and his wife, mother and two brothers belong to the Missionary Baptist Church. He owns a farm of 510 acres, seventeen miles north of Ripley, in the Eighth District of Lauderdale County. Mr. Rucker is a valuable citizen and a good neighbor and true friend.
T. M. Scott is a son of Robert C. and Mary (Alston) Scott. His father was born in Halifax County, Va., in 1778, and the mother in North Carolina. They had three sons and three daughters. Our subject and a sister are now the only members of the family surviving. In politics the father was an old line Whig. He died in 1840, his mother having died several years previous. Our subject is of Scotch descent, and was born in Halifax County, Va., October 25, 1824, and was raised on a farm, receiving a good education, and came with his parents to Haywood County in 1836. November 29, 1849, he married Miss Melvina H. Marley, who was born in Middle Tennessee April 12, 1826, and to their marriage nine children were born -- six boys and three girls; five sons and two daughters are living. Mr. Scott and family moved to Lauderdale County in 1870, where Mr. Scott has since been successfully engaged in farming, owning 1,300 acres of fertile land. He is a Democrat, but takes no active part in anything but local politics. He is not connected with any church, but Mrs. Scott is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. Mr. Scott has been a citizen of Lauderdale County for sixteen years, and has gained the esteem and confidence of all who know him, being an upright, honest man in all of his dealings.
Thomas F. Scott was born in Haywood County, December 2, 1836, and is the son of James R. Scott, who was born in Halifax County, Va., in 1812, and came with his parents to Tennessee when a young man. He soon after returned to Virginia and married Miss Tabitha D. Cawley, a daughter of Thomas Cawley. They came to Tennessee and settled in Haywood County. Three years later they moved to Fayette County. They had four sons and a daughter, our subject being the oldest. The father died in Lauderdale County in 1862, and the mother, who was a native of Virginia, died at our subject's home in 1880. Thomas F. Scott was raised and educated on the farm, and engaged in farming until 1873, when he started a large saw-mill. He now owns tow mills, one at Henning, Tenn., and one three miles west, each having a capacity of 20,000 feet. Mr. Scott belonged to the Sixth Tennessee Infantry, Confederate Army, under Col. Sevier, and served four years, the greater part of the time in the quartermaster's department. November 5, 1870, he married in Tipton County, Miss Jennie L. Bragg, a daughter of Rowlett F. and Mary C. Bragg. Her father was a native of Virginia. Mrs. Scott was born in Fayette County in 1846. Of eight children born to this marriage six are living: Rowlett F., Grace, Thomas P., Tabitha V., James B. and Richard W. Mr. Scott takes no part in politics. He is a Mason, and with his wife belongs to the Christian Church. They have a pleasant home at Henning, Tenn., on the Newport News and Mississippi Valley Railroad, and are influential citizens of the place.
Daniel P. Shoffner, a very prominent manufacturer and saw-mill owner of Lauderdale County, was born in Carroll County, Tenn., January 25, 1839. His parents were Joel and Matilda Shoffner; the father was born in North Carolina, and was one of the pioneers of West Tennessee. He married in Carroll County, where he lived until 1840, then moved to Bedford County, where he died in 1862. The mother was also a native of North Carolina, and is still living, with her daughter, Mrs. J. B. Woosley, of Obion County. Our subject is the fifth of ten children -- seven sons and three daughters; he was raised on a farm, and while his educational advantages were limited, he has, by his energy and close application to business, brought himself to the front as one of the self-made, practical business men of the county. When quite young he began steam saw-milling, and has since continued it; his father was one of the pioneers in the business in West Tennessee. Mr. Shoffner moved from Bedford County to West Tennessee, and settled in Union City, where he has been one of the founders of most of the manufacturing interests of the place. Mr. Shoffner went into the Confederate Army and was sergeant-major of the Seventeenth Tennessee Infantry, and was acting adjutant and major during Bragg's raid through Kentucky, and was at the battles of Fishing Creek, Ky., Wild Cat, back of Cumberland Gap, Murfreesboro, and Perryville; he was wounded twice at Murfreesboro, and was captured at Chattanooga, and held as a prisoner, then paroled after three years, hard service. Mr. Shoffner was married in Bedford County, December 28, 1865, to Miss Mary B. Howard, a daughter of Maj. Howard of Lincoln County, Tenn.; she was born in that county, May 23, 1842. Florence M. and Lotta D. were the two children born to this marriage. Our subject is neutral in politics; he is a member of the F. & A. M., of the K. of P., and the K. of H., and was president of the C. B. A., two years. Himself and family belong to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. His home is at Union City, but his milling and lumber interests are at Hall's Station on the Newport News & Mississippi Valley Railroad.
Benjamin C. Simmons, a teacher residing at Double Bridges, Tenn., was born in Hardeman County, Tenn., August 23, 1838, and is the fifth child of a family of four sons and two daughters born to Willoughby D. and Maria (Brady) Simmons, and is of French-Scotch descent. His father was born in Halifax County, N. C., in 1802, and came to Tennessee in 1836, settling in Gibson County, near Trenton. A year later he moved to Hardeman County and in 1849 to Fayette County, where he died March 16, 1855. The mother was born in Edgecombe County, N. C., and died in Hardeman County, Tenn., in 1843. Our subject was raised on a farm, and after attending the schools in the county entered Madison College, at Spring Creek, Madison Co., Tenn.; then took a course at Leddin's Commercial College, at Memphis, Tenn., and from the time he left college until 1868, he followed book-keeping; then commenced teaching, which he still continues. He enlisted in the Confederate Army, Ninth Tennessee Infantry, and served four years; was in the battles of Shiloh, Murfreesboro, Perryville and Chickamauga; was captured several time, but only held a prisoner a short time. He was wounded four times at Chickamauga and was paroled at Atlanta at the close of the war. He was married in Fayette County July 10, 1872, to Miss Emma Nevills, a daughter of Andrew Nevills, a farmer. Two daughters were born to this union: Rhea, born November 12, 1876, and Oma Iola, born July 12, 1878. Mrs. Simmons was born in Hardeman County, October 15, 1855. Mr. Simmons is a Democrat and cast his first presidential vote for Jefferson Davis, of the Confederate States, and the next for Horace Greeley. He is a member of the F. & A. M., the K. of H. and of the G. C., and of the Baptist Church. He owns 165 acres of fine land, his residence being at Double Bridges, fifteen miles north of Ripley, Tenn.
James L. Sparks, Sr., editor and proprietor of the Ripley News, was born in Washington County, Va., October 9, 1813. His father moved to Jonesboro, Washington Co., Tenn., when he was still a small boy, and where he spent the greater part of his life. In 1836 Mr. Sparks, in connection with Lawson Gifford, established The Tennessee Sentinel, the first Democratic paper published in that county. When the war commenced he and Albert G. Graham were publishing the Jonesboro Union, which they continued until the paper-mills were closed and the supply of paper cut off. During the war Mr. Sparks was deputy circuit court clerk and postmaster. Soon after the war he moved to Ripley and took a position on the Ripley News as associate editor with his son, J. L. Sparks, Jr., and after his death became sole editor, which position he still holds, and by their united efforts have given the paper a high place in the Tennessee press. In 1836 he married Margaret C. Greer, who was born January 5, 1816, and nine children were born to them, two sons and two daughters still living. All of the boys have been printers. When James L., Jr., died, his brother, Thomas M., succeeded as local editor and business manager. His education has been chiefly acquired in the printing office, where he has worked from boyhood. Mr. and Mrs. Sparks are Presbyterians and the son a Methodist. Mr. Sparks is one of the oldest editors in the State, and is regarded as an able newspaper man.
Hon. Isaac M. Steele, the oldest lawyer of Lauderdale Co., is the son of David and Elizabeth (Jetton) Steele. The father was born in Ireland in 1763, and the mother in Mecklenburg County, N. C., in 1773. He came to America when about twenty-seven years old, and located in North Carolina, where they were married in 1795, and soon after moved to East Tennessee, where they remained until they died. Four children were born to them. Our subject alone survives. Both parents were strict members of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, but after Mr. Steele died she joined the Methodist Church. In politics he was a Jeffersonian Democrat; by trade a double-coverlet weaver, being skilled in the trade, and he also farmed on a small scale. Though a laborer, he was a man of fine mind and of fair education, and died in 1812, the mother surviving until 1849. Our subject was born March 7, 1805, in Knox County, Tenn., and is of Irish descent on the father's side, and Scotch-French on his mother's; was raised on a farm, and received a very limited education, but at the age of twenty-one he commenced teaching, and taught for several winters, working on the farm during the summer. In 1829 he married Jane Hadley, who was born in North Carolina, January 5, 1811, and of eleven children born to this marriage four sons and two daughters are living: Stephen H. and David P. are doctors; Thomas, a lawyer. Mr. Steele is not a church member; his wife is a Presbyterian. In 1840 he was elected county court clerk, serving also as deputy circuit clerk, and the duties of these positions not being arduous, he commenced the study of law, which had been a desire of his for many years. In 1844 he was made circuit court clerk, and was admitted to the bar the same year. In 1848 he was again elected county court clerk, and practiced his profession in adjoining counties, and has made law his chief field of labor. In 1855 he was elected to the State Senate. He was a Whig until 1856, but has since been a Democrat. In 1857 he moved to Covington, Tenn., and lived there for seventeen years, then returned to Ripley. He has been a licensed practitioner at the bar for forty-two years, and, although advanced in years, still attends to considerable business, and is held in high esteem.
Dr. David P. Steele, one of the leading physicians of Ripley, and a son of Isaac M. and Jane (Hadley) Steele, was born November 1, 1834, in Lauderdale County. He spent the first seven years of his life on the farm after which he came to Ripley and there received his early education. At the age of eighteen he began the study of medicine under Lackey & Steele. After two years' study he entered the medical department of the University of Nashville, and graduated from this institution in 1856. In the same year he opened an office at Ripley, and has followed his chosen profession ever since. In 1859 he wedded Mary E. Currie, a native of this county, born in 1838, and the result of this union was the birth of three children: Jennie, Emma and Mary. After the death of his first wife, Dr. Steele, in 1875, married Mrs. S. G. Williamson, who was born in 1844. This marriage resulted in the birth of one child, Isaac M. In 1862 the Doctor enlisted in Jones' regiment of heavy artillery, Confederate States Army, as first lieutenant, and at the expiration of his term of enlistment returned to engage in his profession. He is a Democrat in politics, and in 1858 was chosen to fill the office of trustee of his county. This position he held for two year. For thirty years he has been practicing his profession in Ripley, and the extensive patronage he has received speaks louder for his ability as a physician than mere words.
Thomas Steele, one of the leading lawyers of Ripley, Tenn., and the youngest living son of Isaac and Jane (Hadley) Steele, was born February 12, 1846, in Ripley, and when eleven years of age was taken by his parents to Covington, Tipton Co., Tenn., and he was educated under the direction of James Byars. From April, 1864, until May, 1865, he served in Company I, Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, and then began reading law in his father's office, continuing until 1869, when he came to Ripley and has since had a lucrative practice. June 11, 1878, he married Laura Wardlaw, daughter of J. N. Wardlaw. She was born September 22, 1855, in Ripley, and is the mother of three children: Thomas, Wardlaw and Milton. Mrs. Steele is a member of the Methodist Church. Mr. Steele is a Democrat, and for seventeen years has practiced law in Ripley.
John I. Steward, one of Lauderdale's substantial farmers, was born in North Carolina January 21, 1827, and came with his parents to Tennessee in 1834, and settled in McNairy County. He is the second of a family of seven sons and two daughters born to Spencer and Elizabeth (Hurley) Stewart. The father was born in North Carolina and came to Tennessee when about thirty-five years of age, and died in McNairy County September 5, 1845. The mother was born in the same State, and died in Arkansas. Our subject has always been a farmer. He married in McNairy County August 19, 1847, Miss Elizabeth Dillon, a daughter of Andrew Dillon, a farmer. Of the nine children born to this marriage seven are living: Andrew N., Rebecca A., John A., Rachel O., Iverson L., Byron C., and Joseph H. The mother of this family was born in North Carolina and died in Lauderdale County, July 7, 1885. Mr. Stewart was again married, in this county, July 21, 1886, to Mrs. Ella Jordan, who was born in Lauderdale County July 28, 1856. He is a Democrat and adheres strictly to the old Jeffersonian principles, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. He enlisted in the Confederate Army, belonging to the Sixteenth Tennessee Cavalry, under Col. Wilson; was in several battles in Mississippi and in Hood's campaign in Tennessee, but owing to a wound received in Giles County, at Campbellsville, was left on the way. He was wounded prior to this at Okolona, Miss., and the battle of Harrisburg, Miss, from a piece of exploded shell. The wound received at Campbellsville disabled him from active service. Mr. Stewart owns 262 acres of land, on which he raises cotton and stock, but makes grain his chief market product. The farm is only one and a half miles north of Ripley, and is a valuable place. Mr. Stewart is widely known and greatly esteemed.
James E. Stewart, a farmer of the Eleventh District of Lauderdale County, was born in North Carolina, December 10, 1831, and is a son of Spencer and Elizabeth (Hurley) Stewart. The father was born in 1804, and moved to McNairy County, Tenn., in 1833, where he farmed until his death in 1845. The mother was also a native of North Carolina, born in 1806, and died in 1873. Our subject is of Scotch-Irish descent. He was raised on a farm, and continued farming until 1857, when he became a traveling photographer until 1860; he then began merchandising in McNairy County. When the war commenced he entered the Confederate service as second lieutenant of Company H, Fifty Second Tennessee Infantry; he remained with this company until May, 1862, and returned home, staying until 1863, when he joined the Nineteenth Tennessee Cavalry, Company E, and was appointed second lieutenant, and in 1864 was promoted to captain of Company H, Nineteenth and Twenty-first Regiments. After the war he returned home, and ran a saw and grist-mill in connection with his farming until 1869. Since then he has given his attention entirely to farming. December 10, 1852, he married Miss Emily Hendricks, of McNairy County, and they had two children: Sophronia E., who died in infancy, and Wilson A., who also died in infancy. Mrs. Stewart died in 1855, and September 1, 1861, he married Margaret F. Bryant, and by this marriage had ten children, six of whom are living: Charley E., Lula S. (the wife of I. H. Johns), Lizzie Ann, Nannie Marvin, Pearl I. and Ollie Reed. Mr. Stewart is now worth about &6,000, the result of his own efforts and good management. He stands well socially, and is an upright man, and with his wife belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is a sound Democrat.
Everett R. Sumerow, one of the enterprising farmers of the Eighth District of Lauderdale County, was born at the present homestead November 2, 1854, and is the oldest of four sons and four daughters, six of them now living. The father, who was a merchant, was married twice, the first time to Ellen Smith, and by this marriage had two children, our subject being one of them. After the death of Mrs. Sumerow he married Missouri Jackson, by whom he had six children. The father was born in Middle Tennessee, and moved with his parents to West Tennessee when a boy. They located near Double Bridges, where he was raised and married, and then moved to Missouri, near New Madrid, where his wife died August 15, 1865, but, by her own request, she was buried in her native State, at the present homestead, and our subject's father was buried by her September 9, 1884. Everett Sumerow was raised on the farm, received a good education, and has made farming his business. He owns 100 acres of fine farming land, giving his chief attention to stock raising. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and in politics a Democrat, casting his first presidential vote for Tilden. Mr. Sumerow resides at the old homestead, which is pleasantly located with a comfortable dwelling on it. He is most highly esteemed by those who know him.
Edward F. Talley, a resident of the northern part of Lauderdale County, was born in Memphis, Tenn., September 27, 1860. His father, E. F. Talley, was born near Richmond, Va., March 3, 1818, and when sixteen years of age, came with his parents to Tipton County, Tenn. He was married in Tipton County, September 12, 1850, to Miss L. A. F. Bibb, daughter of R. C. Bibb, a native of Virginia, and a carpenter by occupation. Four sons and one daughter were born to this marriage, our subject being the fourth member. Mr. Talley, Sr., was a farmer highly esteemed in his community, and died in Tipton County, December 20, 1869. Our subject's mother was born in Rockingham County, Va., March 10, 1823, and is still living. Mr. Talley commenced work for himself when only fourteen years of age. He was raised on a farm, receiving the advantages of a common-school education, and has made a business of farming. He was married in Lauderdale County February 18, 1880, to Miss Nancy E. Taylor, daughter of J. P. Taylor, a substantial farmer, and has three sons: Eugene, born January 19, 1881; George T., born January 9, 1883 and Euris A., born November 7, 1885. Mrs. Talley was born in Gibson County, November 12, 1858, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. His mother is Missionary Baptist. Mr. Talley is a Democrat; was formerly an old line Whig. He is the manager of the general supply store of the Henning plantation, and has charge of Dr. Henning's financial affairs, being a correct and astute business man, and of strict integrity. The store is twelve miles northwest of Ripley, within a few miles of the Mississippi River.
John D. Tarrant, ex-postmaster and farmer, is a son of John and Nancy (Croft) Tarrant, who were born, and reared and married in the Palmetto State. They soon after moved to Alabama, where they spent the remainder of their lives. Their family consisted of five sons and six daughters. The father was a Whig and a strong Union man, and as farming was his chosen calling, he followed it quite extensively in early life. His wife died in 1854 and he again remarried. He died in 1867. Mr. Tarrant inherits English blood from his ancestors. Our subject is the tenth child of the family and was born October 21, 1849, in Cherokee County, Ala. At the age of seventeen he began to battle his own way in the world and for four years worked at the carpenter's trade and expended the fruits of his labor in educating himself. He came to Lauderdale County in 1867 and has since made it his home. After residing in Ripley a short time he entered a mercantile house as salesman, continuing until 1872, when he became one of the firm of Greaves, Tarrant & Co. Their stock and store burned in 1874, and Mr. Tarrant accepted the position of deputy sheriff, which position he filled sixteen months, doing all the business of the office. In 1876 he acted as tax collector and has filled the office of deputy marshal four years, and was re-appointed but resigned. From 1881 until 1885, he served as postmaster, and since that time has followed farming. He owns 400 acres of farming land and 571 acres in timber. In 1879 he married Anna Alexander, who was born July 7, 1852. They have three children: Anna Marie, John and Genevieve. Mrs. Tarrant is a Missionary Baptist. Mr. Tarrant is a Republican and for twenty years has been a resident of Lincoln County. He has been a successful business man, and as a citizen has the interest of the community at heart. He was Mayor of Ripley two years.
Jarvis Pike Taylor, a successful and energetic farmer of Lauderdale County was born in Gibson County July 15, 1834. His father was William Taylor, a native of North Carolina; he moved to Tennessee when a young man, and spent a few years in Middle Tennessee, then moved to Gibson County, where he married Nancy A. Acuff, a native of Bedford County. They had three sons, our subject being the second born, and the only one now living. He was a farmer, and died in Madison County, February 18, 1875, and the mother died at the homestead in Gibson County, February 6, 1857. Our subject was raised on a farm; when twenty-one years of age he commenced business as an overseer, and has since managed large plantations for others. He enlisted in the Confederate Army, in the Sixth Tennessee Infantry, but was soon assigned to the quartermaster's department, where he served thirteen months. Mr. Taylor was married in Gibson County, Tenn., November 28, 1857, to Margaret J. Wheeler, daughter of Elisha Wheeler, a farmer. Five sons and two daughters were born to this marriage -- four now living: Nancy E., James Pike, John M. and George W. Mrs. Taylor was born in Rutherford County, January 21, 1839. Our subject was an old line Whig, but votes with the Democratic party now, and is a Mason and a member of the K. of H. He is now managing the Henning plantation, twelve miles north of Ripley and five miles from the Mississippi River. During the war his brother, John M. Taylor, was arrested as a citizen and placed in prison, and died from the effects of the hardships and exposure November 30, 1864. William C. enlisted in the Confederate Army, and belonged to the Sixth Tennessee Infantry, and went all through the war, being in the battles of Chickamaugua, Missionary Ridge, and all of the Georgia campaign, and with Hood's command during the battles of Franklin and Nashville. Mr. Taylor is a man of progressive ideas and sound judgment, and, with the proprietor of the plantation, is the first to adopt all kinds of improved agricultural machinery.
Albert C. Thompson was born in Carroll County, December 2, 1834, and is the fourth child of a family of two sons and six daughters born to Samuel W. and Matilda P. (Copeland) Thompson, and is of Irish descent. His father was born in East Tennessee, and came with his parents to the western part of the state when eighteen years of age. He was married in Maury County, Tenn., and settled in Carroll County, living there until 1842, when he moved to Giles County, where he died in 1845. The mother was born in Maury County, Tenn., May 23, 1808, and was the first female white child born south of Duck River. She died at Campbellsville, Giles County, July 16, 1884. Our subject was partly raised on the farm, received a good education, and has made saw-milling his chief business. Mr. Thompson enlisted in the Confederate Army, and belonged to Company B, Third Tennessee Infantry, under Col. Harvey Walker, and was at the engagements at Vicksburg, the bombardment of Port Hudson, and the battle of Raymond, Miss. After a year's service he was released on account of disability. Mr. Thompson was married in Giles County, April 27, 1854, to Miss Lucy A. Harris, a daughter of George B. Harris, a prominent farmer. She was born in Maury County, Tenn., June 17, 1833. Three sons and four daughters were born to them -- six are living: George S., William W., Albert N., Fannie I., Susie and Rosalie. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson and two daughters are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He is a Democrat, strongly advocating temperance. He is a liberal in disposition, and upright in all business transactions, and a good citizen.
Rev. Samuel K. Tigrett, a talented minister of the Baptist Church, was born in Gibson County, Tenn., June 29, 1848, and is the youngest of two sons born to Chesterfield and Mary (Hurley) Tigrett, of Scotch-Irish descent. His father was born in Mississippi, came to Tennessee when a young man, and married in what is now Crockett County in 1840, and was a farmer and cabinet-maker, and was a strict member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He died in Crockett County in 1850. The mother was a native of Crockett County and died in 1870. Our subject was raised on a farm and received a common school education and after attaining his majority he entered the ministry, and has made a most earnest and efficient laborer in his Master's cause. He has baptized 618 persons, married 109 couples, and received into church membership over 1,000 members. Mr. Tigrett was married in Crockett County, July 19, 1877, to Miss Lizzie A. Nunn, a daughter of Dr. I. A. Nunn, who at one time represented his district in the State Senate. One son, Isaac B., was born to this marriage, September 15, 1878. Mrs. Tigrett was born in Crockett County, at Chestnut Bluff. She is a devout member of the Baptist Church. Mr. Tigrett is in politics a Democrat, and a Mason. He has now charge of four churches, with a membership of more than 700, and is faithful and conscientious in his work, generous and sympathetic in his nature. He owns 500 acres of farming land, and raises cotton and grain, but gives most of his attention to stock raising, and has a comfortable dwelling, the place being at Hall's Station on the Newport News & Mississippi Valley Railroad.
William T. Tilman, a substantial farmer of Lauderdale County, was born in Giles County, September 1, 1822, and is the oldest of four sons born to John and Parthenia (Garrett) Tilman, being of English descent. His father was born in Virginia, and moved with his parents to East Tennessee at an early date, but finding the Indians so hostile they soon moved to North Carolina, and settled in Persons County, where he was raised, and when of age married and moved to Giles County, Tenn., where he remained until the death of his wife in 1840. After this he spent two years in Georgia, then came to West Tennessee, and died at his son William's home November 15, 1855. William T. Tilman was raised on a farm, and received a good education, making farming his chief business. When nineteen years old he assumed the management of a farm. He married the first time, in West Tennessee, in September, 1850, Miss Mary A. voss, a daughter of Wiley Voss, a farmer. Six sons and four daughters were born to this marriage: Thomas J., James A., William A., Andrew J., John S., Joseph T., Mary E. and Parthenia A. (Bradford). Three of these have died: William A., September 22, 1876; John S., October 15, 1876; Andrew J., October 30, 1876. The mother of this family was born February 9, 1831, and died October 8, 1863. She was a member of the Methodist Church. December 14, 1865, Mr. Tilman married, in Haywood County, Mrs. Elizabeth J. Robinson, a daughter of John McOlpin, a mechanic and farmer. No children were born to this marriage, but Mrs. Tilman had one daughter by her former marriage -- Ann E. (Mitchell). Mr. Tilman is a Democrat and Mason, and with his wife belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church South. He owns 460 acres of land, 320 in the home farm, thirteen miles north of Ripley, Tenn., and is regarded as a true gentleman, honest and upright, by those who know him.
James Walker, a resident of the Fourth District, was born January 30, 1831, in Orange County, N. C., and was the third son born to Empson and Martha (Kerry) Walker. He came with his parents to Tennessee in 1842 and located in Haywood County, ten miles east of Brownsville, where he remained until they died. Mr. Walker's ancestors were of Irish and English descent. He was raised on a farm, working for his father until twenty-one years of age, then assumed the management of it and continued until he was thirty years old, when he moved to his present farm in Lauderdale County. While in Haywood County, in 1852, he was elected to the magistrate's office and served six years, and also served in this county six years. He went into the Confederate Army in May, 1861, as third lieutenant in Company K, Sixth Tennessee Infantry; but upon the re-organization of the Tennessee troops, he was in the Fourteenth Tennessee Cavalry, and was wounded at the battle of Shiloh, in the right arm, but was only disabled for a short time and remained in the service until the surrender. He was married in March, 1868, to Ellen Anthony, daughter of William A. and Eliza (Dycen) Anthony, and to them were born six children: Mark R., Malinda, James Empson, Albert S. (who died in infancy), Martha eline and Knox. Mr. Walker has accumulated his property since the war of his own efforts and is now in comfortable circumstances, and one of the most substantial citizens of the county. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church, is now fifty-six years old and never used any kind of intoxicating liquor or used tobacco in any form; never had any legal trouble on his own account, and was never sued in his life. Mr. Walker is a Democrat and a strict prohibitionist.
Dr. J. N. Wardlaw, clerk and master of chancery court of Lauderdale County, and the son of Joseph and Mary A. (Niswanger) Wardlaw, was born June 2, 1820, in Laurens County, S.C. His parents were both born in that county, the father in 1793, and the mother in 1797. After marriage, in 1827, they came to Lauderdale County, and here spent the remainder of their days. Their family consisted of eleven children, seven of whom are living. Both parents were Methodists, and while in South Carolina, the father held the position of magistrate. He was a farmer and in politics an old-time Democrat. He died in 1862 and his wife in 1877. Our subject's paternal ancestors were of Scotch descent and his maternal of German. He was reared on the farm, received a fair English education and at the age of seventeen entered a dry goods store as salesman where he continued three years. In 1840 he began the study of medicine under Dr. D. M. Henning. After reading a year he took a course of lectures at the Louisville Medical College. In 1844 he married T. J. Davie, a native of Alabama, born October 24, 1824, and the daughter of Dr. Edward Davie, of Haywood County, Tenn. To our subject and wife were born eight children. In 1851 the Doctor bought one-fourth interest in the steamer Naomi. In 1853 he sold out and moved to Ripley to engage in farming, and three years late he went into the mercantile business. In 1860 he opened a cotton house at Memphis, but during the war suspended business. In 1868 he again engaged in the mercantile business. Shortly after the war he was appointed clerk of the circuit court. In 1870 he was appointed clerk and master of chancery court and still holds that office. Politically, he was a Whig before the war, opposed the secession, but during the war he took sides with his State. He furnished two brave boys for the war, and the elder, Edward D., was killed at Brice's Cross Roads. For fifty-seven years the Doctor has been a resident of Lauderdale County, and is numbered among its early settlers and worthy citizens.
Micajah D. Webb, one of the oldest farmers and citizens of Lauderdale County, is a son of Cyrus and Nancy (Mathes) Webb. His father was born in Middle Tennessee, and when young moved to Gibson County, where he married Miss Mathes. In 1830 they moved to Lauderdale County, and lived in the county until 1858, when they moved to Arkansas, where the father died in 1863. After his death the mother returned to Lauderdale County, and died in 1868. They had six boys and two girls. The mother belonged to the Missionary Baptist Church; the father was a mechanic, and in connection with his trade farmed. Our subject was the fourth child, and was born December 9, 1828, in Gibson County; was raised on a farm, and had few opportunities to attend school. He followed farming until 1851, then followed putting up cotton presses and gin-gearing, and manufacturing spinning wheels and chairs during the war. He had and still has a wonderful mechanical genius, and could make almost anything from wood. In 1865 he married Minerva C. Meadows, by who he has two children: James A. and Vaser J. With his wife he belongs to the Missionary Baptist Church. In politics he is a Democrat. In connection with his trade he has been farming since the war, and while he commenced life without money, by his industry has accumulated a nice estate. For fifty-six years Mr. Webb has been a citizen of Lauderdale County, and is ever ready to assist in any enterprise for the good of the county. He is a man temperate in his habits, honest in his dealings, and respected by all.
G. H. White, a resident and farmer of the Sixth District of Lauderdale County, was born August 27, 1847, in Virginia; his parents were also natives of that State. Our subject was the oldest of seven children born to William S. and Laurenia (Goldsen) White. The names of the children were George H., Mary E. (who died in 1865), Annie M. (the wife of W. B. Sapp), Mattie L. (wife of J. B. Campbell), Callie V. (wife of C. C. Anderson), William H., Andrew B. and Jack F. Our subject, with his parents, moved to Georgia from Virginia in 1863, and to Lauderdale County, Tenn., in 1871, and since then has been one of the successful farmers of the county. Mr. White is a valuable citizen, and has acquired his property since the war by his own labor and frugality. Socially he stands well, and is an active member of the Missionary Baptist Church, and is a true Democrat. He is a generous man, and contributes liberally to all charitable and laudable enterprises.
John T. Williams, a prominent farmer and large mill owner of Lauderdale County, was born in Montgomery County, Tenn., June 30, 1833, and was the son of E. W. Williams, who was a native of Virginia, and immigrated to Tennessee when a boy, settling in Montgomery County, where he was raised and educated, and was married to Miss A. Davis, a daughter of David Davis, a farmer of the same county. They remained in Montgomery County until 1839, when they moved to West Tennessee and settled in Lauderdale County. He was a blacksmith, and followed the trade through life. He died in 1851. Our subject's mother was born in Middle Tennessee, and died in 1859. He received a very limited education in school, but afterward acquired a good business education by observation and experience. He farmed until 1871, when he engaged in the saw-mill business. He now owns three saw-mills, with a capacity of 40,000 feet per day, and one planing-mill with a capacity of 30,000 feet daily, two cotton-gins and two grain-mills; the entire outfit cost $22,000. Mr. Williams was married, in Lauderdale County, June 15, 1854, to Martha Whitson, daughter of James Whitson, of Missouri, and one of the early settlers of West Tennessee. Seven children were born to this marriage, six now living: James E., John T., Mary C., William B., David A. (deceased), Oliver D. and George Robert. Mrs. Williams was born at the present homestead March 23, 1832. Mr. Williams was an old line Whig before the war, but is now a Democrat. With his wife he belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church South. He owns 2,000 acres of land; 400 acres of it is three miles south of Ripley, Tenn., on the Newport News & Mississippi Valley Railroad, and the rest five and a half miles west of Ripley, on the Fulton Road. He has a pleasant home of the first tract. Mr. Williams is a man of strict integrity, and one of the leading citizens in the county.
Spruce E. Williams, an enterprising young merchant of Hall's Station, Tenn., located on the Newport News & Mississippi Valley Railroad, thirteen miles northeast of Ripley, was born in Tipton County, Tenn., October 4, 1863, and is one of twin sons, in a family of ten children -- five boys and five girls -- born to Alexander and Gellaney (Rigby) Williams, and is of English descent. His father was born in Lincoln County, Tenn., and moved with his parents to Tipton County, when seven years of age, and was raised and educated in that county, and married there in 1847, and still lives there; the mother was a native of South Carolina. Our subject was raised on a farm, and received a common-school education, and commenced business for himself when sixteen years old, by accepting a clerkship in a store, and is now a member of the firm of S. E. Williams & Co., and is doing a good trade in the general merchandise business. He was first with Goodman and Bro., of Covington, Tenn., then for eight months with J. W. Huffman, of Union City, and was also in the employ for a while of N. H. Murphy, at Covington, Tenn., and was also in the photography business in Tipton and Lauderdale Counties. Mr. Williams is a young man of pluck and ability, and with his experience in business, and his energy, bids fair to be one of the leading business men of his county.
Capt. R. C. Wilson, a prominent merchant and citizen of Henning, Tenn., is the son of James and Nancy (Lankford) Wilson. The father was born in Sumner County, Tenn., in 1801, and his mother in Middle Tennessee, in 1802, and they were married about 1821. Eight children -- four sons and four daughters -- were born to them; two sons and three daughters are living. The mother was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church; the father was not connected with any church; in politics he was a Whig, and died in the spring of 1858, the mother surviving until 1867. Capt. Wilson is of Scotch-Irish descent, and was born in Stewart County, Tenn., May 6, 1836, and was raised on a farm, with limited opportunities for acquiring an education. He remained with his parents until twenty-one years of age, then commenced clerking in a store at Lineport, Tenn., with A. C. Richards & Co. At the beginning of the war he volunteered in the Fourteenth Regiment, Tennessee Volunteers (Confederate Army) as a private, and at the reorganization of the regiment was made first lieutenant, and soon after promoted to captain, which rank he held until the close of the war. He was in all of the engagements with his regiment up to the battle of Gettysburg, when he was captured and held as a prisoner at Johnson's Island until the close of the war. After the war Capt. Wilson commenced clerking at Linton, Ky., and was married there September 24, 1867, to Miss Alice Wilkinson, who was born in Christian County, Ky., December 21, 1844. No children were born to this marriage, and Mrs. Wilson died August 20, 1870. October 22, 1872, our subject married Miss Emma Bowers, who was born in Haywood County, March 21, 1849. Of three children born to this marriage two died in infancy, and the other, James Blucher, born August 10, 1875, is still living. Mrs. Wilson was a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, and died September 1, 1877, and June 1, 1879, Capt. Wilson was united in marriage to Mrs. Susie Cox (Bowers), who was born in Haywood County, June 17, 1854. One son and a daughter have been born to this union: Annie Belle, born April 30, 1880, and Joel Wellington, born May 31, 1884. Capt. Wilson has been engaged in the general merchandise business at Henning, Tenn., of the firm Wilson & Bowers, since 1874, meeting with marked success, although his business houses were destroyed by the disastrous fire that occurred in Henning, May 7, 1886. Capt. Wilson and wife are leading members in the Christian Church. In politics he has abandoned all party ties and stands boldly for prohibition; he is a Mason, and is financial secretary of the Henning Lodge of K. of H., and is a most pleasant, agreeable gentleman and an astute business manager.
Reason L. Wood, one of the oldest native citizens of Lauderdale County, is a son of Sabret and Mary E. (Thompson) Wood, both of whom were natives of North Carolina, where they married, and lived until 1825, when they settled in Middle Tennessee, and in 1827 moved to Lauderdale County, and lived there until they died; neither of them were church members. Mr. Wood is a Democrat. When Lauderdale was a part of Tipton County, he held the office of deputy sheriff and magistrate; he was a farmer, and died in 1836, and the mother died in 1839. Our subject is of Irish extraction, and was born August 3, 1828 in Lauderdale County, was raised on a farm, and had poor school advantages, his parents having died when he was small. He worked for his brother until twenty-one years of age, then commenced farming for himself. In 1850 he married Sarah J. Currie, born November 25, 1831, and they had nine children -- three sons and two daughters living. In 1879 Mrs. Wood died, and in 1880 he married Sarah A. Burks, born April 20, 1829; no children have been born to this union. Mr. Wood is of Presbyterian faith though not a church member; his first wife belonged to this church, and his present wife is a Methodist. He is a Democrat in his political views. Mr. Wood owns a farm of 232 acres, and has been a resident of Lauderdale County all of his life, and is a good farmer and an upright citizen.
Edmund C. Wright, a farmer of Lauderdale County, was born in Caroline County, Va., June 29, 1829, and is the sixth child of a family of six sons and six daughters, born to Edmund and Elizabeth Wright, and is of English descent. His father was born in Caroline County, Va., and came to Tennessee in 1837, and after spending a year in Haywood County, moved to Lauderdale, where he settled two miles southeast of where our subject now lives, and died May 6, 1880. Our subject's mother was born in Virginia, and died in Lauderdale County, September 4, 1859. Mr. Wright was raised on the farm, and after completing his education, made farming his business. He served a short time in the Confederate Army, and was in the battle at Somerville, in West Tennessee. Mr. Wright was married in the house where he now lives, February 20, 1875, to Mrs. Sarah E. Wright, a daughter of Squire W. B. Sawyer; no children have resulted from this union. Mrs. Wright was born in Pasquotank County, N. C., August 2, 1838, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Mr. Wright is a Democrat, and a man of liberal ideas on all questions; he owns 707 acres of land -- 121 are in the home place, that is situated between Hall's Station and Double Bridges -- and raises chiefly cotton. He owns a pleasant residence and stands well in the community he lives in.
James M. Young, a prominent farmer, was born in Haywood County, Tenn., April 5, 1838, and was the second of three sons born to E. G. and Rebecca (Byler) Young, and of Scotch-Irish descent. The father was born in South Carolina, October 26, 1794, and moved with his parents to Georgia when six years old. At twelve years of age he was taken to Middle Tennessee, where he was raised and educated. When grown he went to northern Alabama, where he married, and in a few years he moved to West Tennessee, moving his household goods by flat-boat down the Tennessee, Ohio and Mississippi rivers to the mouth of Forked Deer River, and up that stream to within six miles of where our subject now resides, and settled in Haywood County. James M. Young was raised on a farm and well educated. He enlisted in the Confederate Army, Company E., First Tennessee Cavalry, as first lieutenant, and served in that capacity for two years and a half, and was in the battles of Chickamauga, Kenesaw Mountain and Murfreesboro; was twice captured, once in Kentucky, and was held for a while at Louisville, and then at Murfreesboro, when he was taken to Camp Chase, Ohio, and held for four months, when he was transferred to Fort Delaware, and was exchanged a month later, and joined the army at Chattanooga and assisted in covering the retreat of Johnston from Chattanooga to Atlanta, and in this retreat was exposed to continual fire for thirty-two days. Mr. Young was married April 5, 1867, to Miss Susan M. Buck, daughter of Henry Buck, a prominent farmer of Haywood County. She was born in that county in 1850. Three sons and three daughters were born to this marriage -- five still living: Henry G., Horace O., James E., Martha E., Stella May (deceased) and Nellie. Mr. and Mrs. Young are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and he is a Democrat.
Back to Goodspeed Index
Back to Lauderdale County TNGenWeb Main Page
© 2001 by Lauderdale County Coordinator