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Goodspeed's Biographical Sketches 
of the Residents of 
Loudon County, Tennessee 


Goodspeed's History of
Loudon County, Tennessee

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   Capt. James Lackey (deceased) was a prominent citizen of Roane (now Loudon) County, and was born in Virginia, from which State he came to Blount County when a young man, and afterward located where his parents died. He married Jane Matlock, also of Virginia. He served in the war of 1812, and for many years was deputy sheriff of Roane County. He died in 1875, in his eighty-nine year. His widow still resides on the old farm. Of five sons and one daughter reared to maturity, three sons are still living: Samuel, Jackson, and James. One son, William, was captain of the Nineteenth Tennessee (Confederate), and fell at Chickamauga. Samuel was on post duty in the same regiment until the close of the war; and Jackson served as private throughout the war. James enlisted, but was discharged on account of disabilities. Capt. James Lackey was an active Whig prior to the war. He was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and became wealthy before his death.

     B. B. Lenoir, M. D., of Lenoir's Station, was born March 5, 1821, in his present locality. He graduated as B. A. from East Tennessee University (now the University of Tennessee) in 1842. He took a course of medical lectures at Charleston, S. C., and completed his course at Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, where he graduated in 1846. He has since practiced medicine in his present location, and with eminent success. November 27, 1855 he married Henrietta R., daughter of Dr. J. G. M. Ramsey, author of the "Annals of Tennessee." Their children were James R. (deceased), William B., Charles B. (deceased) and Henry R. She died May 25, 1864. Mary 14, 1872, he married Margaret V., daughter of John Siler, of Macon County, N. C. Their children were an, infant daughter (deceased), John S., Mary E., Benjamin B., Louisa C. and Mira F. Our subject is the tenth of twelve children of William B. and Elizabeth (Avery) Lenoir, natives of Wilkes and Burke Counties, N. C. In 1810, after their marriage, the parents moved to the present location of Lenoir's Station. William, the grandfather, was born in Brunswick County, Va., and when a child went to North Carolina. He was in several expeditions against the Indians. He was first lieutenant under Col. Cleveland, and volunteered as a private in a forced march to overtake Ferguson at King's Mountain. After the Revolution he was a general of militia, and by the first convention which passed the constitution of North Carolina, he was appointed justice of the peace, and also by the first General Assembly convened under that constitution. He served many years in both branches of the Legislature, being president of the Senate during his last term. He was clerk of the county court two years, and the first president of the trustees of the University of North Carolina. William B., the father , was a justice of the peace for several years, and farmer. In 1877 the Lenoir Manufacturing Company was chartered by the Legislature of Tennessee. The company owns 3,000 acres of land, of which about 1,000 are in cultivation; a flouring-mill of 150 barrels capacity, using the roller process; a cotton factory, making cotton yarns and batting, and a large general store. Dr. Lenoir is president of the company, etc. 

    Thomas Jefferson Mason, an old pioneer citizen of Loudon, was born in Roane County, December 1, 1806. Daniel Mason, the father, came to a fort within the present limits of Roane County when a lad, from the Potomac River, in either Virginia or Maryland. He became the second husband of Mary GillardneeBrashear. They followed agricultural pursuits within the present limits of Roane County till their death. He was in the war of 1812, and died in 1840. His first wife, the mother of our subject, died in 1819, and our subject's father, afterward married Patsey Hicks, who outlived him, and was the mother of ten children. Our subject is the only survivor of a family of six children, he being the youngest of three sons. The immediate subject of this sketch remained at home till about eighteen years of age, then began flat-boating on the Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers, which he continued for twenty-five years, part of the time for himself and part as a hired hand of other parties. During this time he spent twenty months in the United States service as second-lieutenant, assisting in the removal of the Cherokee Indians. In 1845 he married Eliza S. Kerr, a native of Sullivan County, and after quitting the river trade, in 1851, purchased and located, in 1852, upon the farm where he has since resided. He was elected to the Legislature in 1865, serving until 1869, being in the session at the time of President Lincoln's assassination. In 1876 he was elected Loudon County trustee, and served about a year and then resigned. He received a commission from Gov. Hawkins to serve as railroad tax assessor for the eastern division of Tennessee, serving in that capacity two years. Mrs. Mason is a lady ten years younger than our subject, and has become the mother of three sons and four daughters -- one son and three daughters still living. Thomas Jefferson, the surviving son, graduated at the University of Tennessee, (he was born in August, 1863) Mary, the eldest surviving daughter, is a graduate of the Athens University (Grant Memorial University), and is now teaching in Chattanooga. Elizabeth Eliza, second surviving daughter, is a graduate of Mary Sharp's College at Winchester, Tenn., and is the wife of E. P. McQueen, a prominent attorney of Loudon. Martha Ellen, the youngest surviving daughter, is also a graduate of Mary Sharp's College. Mr. Mason and family are members of church, part belonging to the Cumberland Presbyterian, and part to the Methodist Church. 

    John W. Robinson, a prominent citizen of Loudon County, was born in the same locality, January 17, 1829, and is a son of Thomas Robinson, born near the James River, Virginia, May 10, 1789, of Irish stock. He moved to Hawkins County, Tenn., about the time of the war of 1812, in which he participated. Here he married Sarah King, July 28, 1811, and with his brothers, John W. and James, located in the vicinity where Loudon now stands, about 1822, there following agricultural pursuits until his death, July 22, 1864. His wife was a native of Kentucky, born December 28, 1788, and a daughter of Robert King, an officer of the United States service, who built the block house near where Kingston now stands. Her death occurred on May 7, 1865. Three sons and six daughters constitute the family of Thomas Robinson, namely: James R., who married a Miss Sarah Smith, and now resides in Loudon County; Fanny, who married Samuel Lane, and now resides in Missouri; Elizabeth (deceased in 1858); Susan, afterward Mrs. Mayo, and after her husband's death, became Mrs. Lewis, but deceased in 1886; Nancy, (deceased in 1865), wife of James C. Haskins; Mary, now Mrs. E. D. Robinson, of Loudon County; Minerva, now Mrs. W. Robinson, of Monroe County; John W., our subject, and Robert King (deceased in 1879), he served three years in the Rebellion, in the First Tennessee Regiment, United States army. John W., is a millwright and carpenter, and has always lived in the vicinity of Loudon. He also owns a farm on the Tennessee River, and one of the best custom flouring mills in the county. In 1853 he married Mary M. Smith, a native of Roane County, born in 1834, and a sister of the wife of James R. They have seven sons and three daughters. Our subject is a school commissioner, and after six years service as justice, in Roane County, was appointed by the Legislature one of the commissioners to lay out and organize the county of Loudon. The county was first named Christianna. He has served in the same capacity, in this county, twelve years. He is a Mason. The family are members of the church.

     Judge S. A. Rodgers, of the circuit court, was born March 5, 1830, in Knox County, Tenn. Joseph R., the grandfather, was born in Ireland, and, before the Revolution, came in his youth to America, and afterward located in Knox County, Tenn. He married Elizabeth Donaldson, a native of Jefferson County, and they spent their lives in Knox County. She was a native of Scotland. The father, William, spent his whole life in Knox County, and died January 29, 1866, aged about seventy-two years. He was a farmer and lumber dealer. His wife, Mahala (Low), a native of Knox County, died January 8, 1873, aged seventy-four. She was of Dutch-English ancestry, and was reared near a fort at Low's Ferry, Knox County. Our subject, the sixth of six sons and one daughter, a brother only being deceased, was reared on a farm in Knox County, and received free school advantages, until eighteen years of age, then, after, three years in Ewing and Jefferson College, Blount County, he went to California about the winter of 1851-52, and for two years engaged in mining, to secure funds to complete his education. He then returned to Knox County, and remained on the farm, teaching and studying, until 1855, when he entered the Cumberland University, remaining until 1858, when he graduated. He then remained at home studying law, under Judge Baxter and Hon. O. P. Temple, of Knoxville, and was admitted November 12, 1859, his papers being signed by Judges Brown and Van Dyke. He remained in Knoxville as a partner of O. P. Temple, till the court was closed by war. He took no part in the struggles of the times. He afterward practiced with Judge Temple, in Knoxville, until 1867, then went to California, an account of his wife's health; July 4, 1869, he returned and located at Loudon, in the practice of law, where he has since resided. In 1878 he was elected circuit judge, and re-elected in August, 1886. May 10, 1863, he married Sarah E. Rhea, a native of Roane County, and of a Scotch family that settled in Sullivan County. The Rhea family are all earnest Presbyterians. Their two sons and five daughters are all living. Our subject has three brothers residing in California, and one in Knox County. The deceased brother died in Mexico. The sister is the wife of S. L. Russell, of Concord. The Judge is a self-made man in every respect, and received a classical education, where literary acquisitions were considered secondary objects in life. 

    A. W. Ward, of Loudon, Tenn., is engaged in the nursery and machine business. The parents, William Ward and Lucinda (Custead) Ward, are natives of Canada. After their marriage, in 1838, they moved, in 1866, to Delaware, and in a short time came to Cumberland County, Tenn. In 1869 they moved to Fremont County, Iowa, where they now reside as farmers. The father, while in Canada, was interested in large flouring mill and farming interests near Toronto; he was also a colonel of militia for many years. The Ward family were originally from Ireland, the grandfather coming to Canada about 1817, and the father being born on the ship en route. The Custeads originally came from England, and the maternal grandfather was in the nursery business on the present site of Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, about 1838 to 1860, where both died. A brother of the maternal grandmother was the father of the famous "Buffalo Bill" (William Cody). Our subject, the eldest of nine sons and three daughters, of whom six of the former and the three latter are living, was born in 1844 and remained at home until maturity. From 1867 he was six years in Monroe County, Tenn., engaged in the nursery business -- the Tennessee Nurseries. Since then he has been in the same business in Loudon County. He has about forty acres in general nursery stock, and usually has from two or three to a dozen salesmen on the road, selling in Tennessee and the Southern States. In 1871 he married Anna Pearce, a native of Pennsylvania, and reared in Monroe County. They are Presbyterians. Our subject is a Mason.

     J. H. Williams, a farmer, was born June 27, 1836, on his present farm. He is the eldest of three children of Samuel C. and Emily (Hubble) Williams, both born and reared in Smyth County, VA., and married in 1835, but very soon after were residents of Blount (now Loudon) County, Tenn., where the father died April 19, 1868. He was elected justice in 1865 and held the office until his death. He was the second of ten children of Richard Williams, whose wife's maiden name was Cole. Richard was born and reared in eastern Virginia, and after his marriage, about 1780, moved to Withnoir, W. Va. The ancestry is Welsh-English. An uncle, James Sampson, and an aunt, Mrs. Mary Keene, came to Blount County where they died. An aunt, Mrs. Urie Cress, moved to Johnson County, and there died. Two other aunts, Sallie and Mrs. Shupe, are still living in West Virginia. The Williams were all Baptists, and Samuel C. in politics was a Democrat, and a highly respected man. The mother died June 21, 1840, aged about twenty-four years. About 1855 the father married Martha Martin, who died in February, 1879. Our subject was thrown upon his own resources when about twenty years old, with but little education. He received $3,000 from his father, but now owns about 1,100 acres, most of which is under cultivation. October 18, 1886, he married Nancy J., daughter of William H. and Mary Smith, the former of Irish stock, and the latter of English-Irish origin. Our subject's two children, Viola H. and Mary B., are both deceased. He and his wife are members of the Baptist and Cumberland Presbyterian churches, respectively. He is a Republican and first voted for Breckinridge. For four years after he was thrown upon his own resources he attended and taught school and traveled. He farmed then until he enlisted in the Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry (Federal), and was discharged in January 1865, on account of disabilities. Before enlistment he was a recruiting officer, and was elected first lieutenant and regimental commissary, afterward assistant commissary. Two years after the war he engaged in merchandising and farming, and two years still later changed to saw-milling with farming, following that until 1878, when he became trustee of Loudon County, serving eight years, and then refusing re-nomination. Besides his fine farm, he has paid and lost as security about $8,000. He was indorsed by his county for the State Senate just after his trusteeship expired. Lilburn R., a brother, was captured at Resaca, and died in Andersonville prison, and another brother, Levi J., is a farmer in this county. Loss and danger did not prevent our subject from taking a firm stand during the late war. He is a man of ability, and highly respected.

     J. L. Willson, farmer and stock dealer, was born in 1837, in McMinn County, Tenn. From his childhood until 1866, the family lived in Monroe County. In September they moved to where he has since resided. He began life for himself at eighteen years of age with a good, common-school education, and with the exception of one year of very successful merchandising during the war, he has followed agricultural pursuits, in both of which capacities he has proved himself remarkably successful. He now owns 1,063 acres of fine land, well improved and stocked, located on the Pond Creek Road, ten miles from Loudon. He is the third of ten children of W. P. and Julia (Henry) Willson, very successful farmers. In 1862 our subject married Mary J., a daughter of Washington and Sallie (Pursley) Ballard. Their children were Sallie B., Julia, Willie, Hattie, Jennie, Ida (deceased), Maud, James L. (deceased), Callie and Frank (deceased). The mother died April 3, 1886, since which time the daughter have had charge. Our subject is a Master Mason, and in politics he is a Democrat. On his farm are some of the finest deposits of marble, and also of lead ore. He is a most successful man, and a highly respected citizen.


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