History of Campbell County, Tennessee

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By Dallas Bogan

Reprinted with Permission from Dallas Bogan.  This article was published in the LaFollette Press.


     The following biographies were taken from "Goodspeed's History of Campbell County," dated '1887.

     T. H. Rhodeheaver, was born at Morgansville, Va., January 7, 1841, the son of George and Lurena (Jenkins) Rhodeheaver, the former a native of Virginia, and both of German stock. Our subject grew up amid the scenes of rural home and school life, and was hardly of age, when he enlisted in Company H, Third Virginia Infantry, and served for a time as a non- commissioned officer. Among the severe actions in which he was engaged were Cedar Mountain, on the Rappahanock and the second Manassas, where he received a wound in the right leg. He was engaged in the oil trade in his native State for two years after the war, and in 1865 went to Ohio and married Fannie C. Armstrong, a native of W. Virginia. Their children are Isaiah (deceased), Yumbert P., Joseph N. and Homer. He then engaged in farming and stock raising in Ohio, and since 1879 has been in the lumber business. In 1882 he went to Scott County, Tenn., and since 1883 has been in Newcomb, Campbell County, where he is dealing in all kinds of lumber, and operating, saw and plaining mill, beside being engaged in merchandising. He now controls considerable capital, all gained from a beginning of nothing at all. He is a zealous Methodist, and a genial, respected man.

     Dr. William B. Russell, was born in Lee County, Va., February 22, 1831, the son of Alexander and Sallie (Hardy) Russell. The father, born in Virginia, December 25, 1800, came to Tennessee in 1846 and settled in Union County. He was a farmer, and died in 1864. The mother, born in Virginia in 1802, died in 1876, a member of the Presbyterian Church, while the father was a Methodist. Our subject grew up on the farm, and attended Walnut Grove Academy, Knox County, and in 1857 began the study of medicine under Dr. C. D. Russell, of Union County, and in 1869 began practice in Union County. He has been practicing in Jacksboro since 1874, and with the best of success professionally and financially. In 1872 Sarah A. Goforth, a native of Claiborne County, born in 1846, became his wife. Two children have been born to them. She is a Methodist. In 1857 he visited Kansas and Nebraska, and in 1862 again made a western tour. He has attended over 800 births during his practice.

     W. H. Smith, farmer, was born near Cumberland Gap, Claiborne County, February 6, 1825, the son of Jordan and Eliza P. (Wheeler) Smith. Robert, the grandfather, was a native of North Carolina, and came to Tennessee before 1800, and settled near the Claiborne and Campbell County Line, when Powell's Valley was a cane-brake. Jordan was born in North Carolina in 1797, and was a practical and extensive farmer and land owner. During the late war he sold a portion of fine Powell's Valley land, near Jacksboro, for Confederate money, which of course, was worthless. He served in the Indian removal from the Hiwassee Purchase, under Gen. Nathaniel Smith, but did not serve in any wars. He died February 25, 1881, mourned by all who knew him. The mother, a daughter of Thomas Wheeler, a prominent citizen of this county, was born in 1807, below Jacksboro, and died January 13, 1887, a woman of unusual excellence, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Our subject was educated chiefly at Jacksboro, where he attended in the fall and winter; and although he has been engaged in other duties he has been successful in his career as a farmer, declining all solicitations for office. Among the many trusts he has held is the administratorship of the estate of the late John Kincaid. He is a stockholder of the Powell Valley High School, at Fincastle, and has also been director for several years. October 25, 1849, he married Elizabeth, a daughter of John Kincaid, and born at the homestead April 4, 1831. Their three children were Lossie A., born July 28, 1850, died June 26, 1884; Florence, born January 19, 1855, and William W., born February 20, 1861. Our subject and wife are Methodists, of the Southern Branch.

     Rev. T. M. Smith, farmer and merchant, and minister, was born in Whitley County, Ky., November 22, 1827, the son of James and Nancy (Meadows) Smith, the former born in that county March 16, 1805; the latter, a native of Kentucky, died at the age of seventy-five. The father was a farmer and stock dealer, and came to Campbell County about 1858. He was an able business man, and acquired great wealth, and died September 10, 1882, a member of the Baptist Church, and a man of such genial nature that he left many friends to mourn his loss. He had seven sons and three daughters. Our subject, the third child, has farmed and dealt in stock much of his life, and for several years has been a successful merchant at Jellico. He owns about $15,000 in real estate in this county and in Kentucky. February 16, 1848, Charlotte, a daughter of Stephen Candell, became his wife. She was born in Georgia, December 21, 1829, and died August 6, 1862. She had six sons and three daughters, and but one son deceased. On January 16, 1863, he married Delphia, a daughter of Aaron Hackler, of Campbell County, where she was born in 1834. They have four sons and four daughters. Our subject was three months in Burnside's Brigade, in the late war. A zealous Baptist from a very early age, our subject was ordained in November, 1867, as a minister, in which capacity he has married about a thousand couples. He has also been a justice, and is a success as a business man.

     The following biographies were taken from "Goodspeed's History of Campbell County," dated '1887.

     M. D. Wheeler, farmer, was born in Campbell County April 6, 1837, the son of R. D. and Charlotte (Bridgeman) Wheeler, who are mentioned in the sketch of R. D. Wheeler, Jr. Our subject grew up accustomed to the advantages and disadvantages of rural life, and served as a Federal soldier throughout the war. He then returned to his native place, and married Sarah Hunter of Campbell County. James D. and Anna B. are their only children. His wife died July 29, 1868, and September 23, 1875, he married Emma J. Hoss, a daughter of Landon C. Hoss, of Knox County. Robert L., J. H. and Richard R. have been born to them. Mr. Wheeler now owns and cultivates 360 acres, and is also engaged in stock dealing. He is a gauger and store-keeper for the Government at Distillery No. 337, owned by F. Wilson. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, a Master mason and K. of H.

     E. F. Wheeler was born at Caryville, Tenn., April 21, 1840, and is the son of R. D. and Charlotte (Bridgeman) Wheeler. The father was born April 1, 1801, in Virginia, and was the son of Benjamin C. Wheeler, who removed to Knox County when the son was about six years of age. He removed to Campbell County and settled near Caryville in about 1812, being one of the first settlers of the county. Our subject's father was a farmer, and an influential citizen. He represented his county in the State Legislature a number of years, and died in March, 1875. The mother was born in Virginia in about 1805, and is the daughter of William Bridgeman. Our subject was reared on the farm, and acquired his education in the neighboring school and at Jacksboro. He followed farming until the breaking out of the late war, and in 1862 enlisted in Company A, First Federal Regiment Tennessee Infantry, commanded by Col. Robert Bird. He served throughout the war, and was mustered out of service at Nashville in 1865. He then returned to Campbell County, and has since followed farming, and is one of the largest farmers of the Fourth Civil District, owning and cultivating a farm of over 300 acres one mile east of Jacksboro. He was married in October, 1876 to Anna J. Sharp, who was born in Campbell County, Tenn., in November, 1854, and is the daughter of Henry Sharp. To this union two children have been born, one of whom -- Ada -- is living. She was born September 4, 1884. Our subject's wife is a member of the Methodist Church South.

     R. D. Wheeler, Jr., was born in Campbell County, Tenn., August 30, 1846, and he is the son of R. D. and Charlotte (Bridgeman) Wheeler. The father was a native of Virginia, and was born April 1, 1801, and died n Campbell County, March 19, 1875. The mother was born in Wythe County, Va., September 23, 1807, and is in a hale old age, living with our subject (1887). These parents were married August 31, 1826, and to their marriage were born ten sons and four daughters, our subject being the twelfth child, and eighth son. Of these children, seven live (1887)-- six sons and one daughter, all married, and have families. The father was a prominent citizen of Tennessee, and served seven terms in the Lower House of the Tennessee Legislature, and early in life served his county as its sheriff. He was a man of liberal and broad views, and was a man who assisted many charitable institutions. He commenced his life pursuits without capital, but by integrity and perseverance he scaled the height of want of a capital, and became one of the wealthiest men of his county, before his death. It is to his credit that, though he, at the outbreak of the civil war, owned more than a 1,000 acres of land, he tilled, not by slave labor, but by free labor. He was a man who favored education, and accomplished, giving all his children a good education. Our subject was reared to farming and has devoted most of his life to farming and stock raising. He now owns and cultivates a farm of more than 200 acres of land in his district. He has served his county, as sheriff, two term. September 29, 1880, he was united in marriage with Miss Lucy Sharp. To this marriage has been born one child, a son, named Charles Alexander, born Mary 16, 1881. Our subject is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and is a Master Mason.

     Lewis Wilson, register of Campbell County, and one of the leading citizens of Jacksboro, Tenn., was born in the above county, November 8, 1845, and is the son of Henry and Sarah (Fleming) Wilson. The father was born in Campbell County, in October, 1821, and is the son of Jeremiah Wilson, a native of North Carolina. The father has followed farming as a vocation, and is now a citizen of the Fourth Civil District. The mother was born in December, in 1822, in Campbell County, and is still living. Both parents are members of the Baptist Church, and are esteemed, and respected as worthy citizens and neighbors. Our subject was reared on the farm of his parents, and attended school in the neighboring schools, and at Big Creek school, and finished his education at Fincastle. He worked on the farm, and with his father at the iron forges, in his native county, until the breaking our of the Rebellion. In March, 1863 he enlisted in the Federal Army, in Kentucky, joining Company F, of the Sixth Regiment Tennessee Infantry, and served through the war with the same, and was discharged at Nashville, in July, 1865. He then returned to the farm, in Campbell County, where he worked faithfully and attended school. While engaged in play at school, he met with an accident, which left him cripple for life. He has since followed school teaching, and was elected, in August, 1882, to the office of county register, and re-elected in 1886, which office he fills with satisfaction to the public and himself. He is a member of the Milton L. Phillips Post, No. 27, G. A. R., and is a man universally respected for his integrity and enterprise. He is also a member of the Baptist Church.

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