TNGenWeb Project
The Goodspeed Publishing Co., History of Tennessee, 1887


Biographical Sketches, DeKalb County
Part II

(Also See, Part I, DeKalb County Biographical Sketches)

        John M. Mason, a well known farmer of the Fifteenth District, was born October 22, 1819, in North Carolina, and came to Smith (now Dekalb) County in 1827. He was the seventh of thirteen children born to Wiley and Nancy (Bensy) Mason. The father was born January 31, 1785, in Virginia. He served in the war of 1812, and was mustered out at the close of the war at Norfolk, Va. He moved to Caswell County, N. C., and from there to Smith County in 1827. He was a man of considerable intelligence, well versed in the Bible, in which he took a deep interest. He was also thoroughly posted on all political subjects. His death occurred in 1840. His father was a native of Whales. Mrs. Nancy Mason was born October 4, 1783, and died in North Carolina. Our subject had but limited educational advantages until after his majority. He attended the common schools of the county. He worked as an overseer and manager for several years. He then farmed on rented land until he was able to purchase forty-two acres near Riddleton, Smith County. From time to time he has added to his place, and now owns 400 acres, well cultivated and improved, and a house and lot in Smithville. For nine years he has been magistrate, and trustee of the Earl Academy two years. From 1859 to 1880 he was engaged in the tanning business, also in general merchandising, always meeting with success. He is a life-long Democrat; cast his first presidential vote for Martin Van Buren. In 1849 he married miss Eliza, the youngest of six children of Nicholas and Sarah (Compton) Smith. Mrs. Mason was born September 4, 1833, in Wilson County. This union resulted in the birth of Mary E. afterward Mrs. James Turner (deceased); Robert Wiley and Adelia (deceased). Mr. and Mrs. Mason are respected and earnest members of the Missionary Baptist Church.

       R. C. Nesmith, attorney at law of Smithville, was born in Dekalb County in 1837, a son of William A. and Elizabeth M. (McDowell) Nesmith. The father is of Scotch- Irish descent, born in 1799, in York District, South Carolina. In 1809 with his father, William Nesmith, immigrated to Blount County, E. Tenn. A year later they went to northern Alabama, where for a number of years they lived among the Cherokee Indians. In 1824 he came to Dekalb County, and three years later married. He settled in the Nineteenth district , where he engaged in wagon making and farming. There were but two wagons in the county when he settled there. He has lived in various portions of the county, but for past few years has made his home in Smithville. From 1859 to 1862 he was county tax collector. He is the oldest living man in the county, and until the last seven years was unusually vigorous and active. He is rather eccentric, witty and humorous. He is now quite feeble. His wife was born in Wilson County in1803, and died April, 1885. She was the mother of eleven children, of whom nine are living, our subject being the seventh. He attended the common schools but a short time. At the age of seventeen he began teaching, continuing four sessions. In 1862 he enlisted in Company G, Forty-fifth Tennessee Infantry. He was engaged in the battle of Murfreesboro, was captured and made prisoner of war. He was retained at Camp Douglas three months, then exchanged at City Point and rejoined his command at Tullahoma. In August, 1863, he returned home. After the war he farmed. In January, 1867, he began the study of law. under direction of his brother J. A., and April of the same year was admitted to the bar. In partnership with the above mentioned he began to practice. In 1870 he became a partner of Judge Robert Cantrell, now of Lebanon; the firm existed two years and changed to Nesmith & Smallman, who is now Judge M. D. Smallman, of McMinnville; the past two years he has had no partner. He is one of Dekalb County’s most talented and eminent lawyers, and has a fine chancery practice. He is a stanch Democrat, and a Master Mason. In 1865 he married Miss Mary J., daughter of James and Mary McDearmon, who was born in Wilson County in 1839. Mrs. Nesmith is an earnest and active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.

       W. W. Patterson, one of the leading business men of Alexandria, was born in Smith County in 1843, the second of eight children of Samuel F. and Catherine (Smith) Patterson. The father was of Scotch-Irish descent, born in Wilson County in 1801, and the son of Samuel Patterson, a native of Ireland who immigrated to America at about the age of sixteen. He settled in Wilson County, where he married and spent the remainder of his life as a tiller of the soil. Samuel F. was first married to Miss Lucy Waters, by whom he had two children, one living. His second union was with Mrs Compton, nee Coe; to them one child was born. About 1835 he wedded the mother of our subject, who was born in Wilson County about 1812, and died in 1876. In 1832 Mr. Patterson moved to Smith County, where he was a prosperous farmer. He served several years as constable and magistrate. He died in 1884. Both were members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Six of their children are living. Our subject was educated in the country schools. In 1861 at the age of seventeen he entered the Confederate Army, Company F, Twenty-fourth Tennessee Infantry. He took part in the battle of Shiloh, and was the only one of nine guards who escaped uninjured . After twelve months’ faithful service he was discharged on account of ill health. In 1863 he married Miss J. E., daughter of Willis and Martha Dowell, of Smith County, where Mrs. Patterson was born in 1844. Of their five children, one son died in infancy, and one son and three daughters are now living: Etta J., wife of R. M. Bone, Postmaster at Alexandria, Nora, Mattie C. and Robert W. With the exception of one year spent in Arkansas, our subject remained with his father until 1875. He then located at his present place of residence. The farm contains 250 acres of cultivated and improves land, pleasantly situated near Alexandria. He has for several years been engaged in mercantile business; four years ago became interested in a drug house, the firm name being R. M. Bone & Co. Mr. Patterson is a man of enterprise and ability, to which the accumulation of most of his possessions are due. He is a charitable and worth citizen and an ardent Democrat, casting his first presidential vote for H. Greeley in 1872. He is a Mason. Himself and family, with the exception of one child, are consistent members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

       S. B. Prichard, a respected agriculturist of the Nineteenth District, was born in Wilson County in 1820. He is the third of eight children of Benjamin and Mary A. (Campbell) Prichard. The father was born April 16, 1792, in Virginia and came to the portion of Tennessee now known as Dekalb County in 1808. He was in Col. James Tubb’s regiment, under command of Gen. Jackson, at New Orleans. His death was caused by rheumatism, which he contracted during the war. The exposure was very great. He made his way home from New Orleans on foot, his only provisions until he reached the first settlement being one quart of parched meal; after that was consumed he happened to come across a squirrel, which he brought down with his gun. He and his companion endured all sorts of hardships and privations. He died August 3, 1872. His grandfather Prichard came from England to Virginia at an early day. Mrs. Mary (Campbell) Prichard was born March 10, 1796, in Wilson County, and died December 5, 1867. Her grandfather was a native of Ireland; he settled in Wilson County not far from Statesville when the country was an unbroken canebrake. He ran away from Ireland, agreeing to let the captain hire him out, when he reached America, to pay his passage, and accordingly he was engaged by a Mr. Campbell. The young Irishman had never seen a negro. One evening he was sent to a room by himself; soon afterward a colored female servant was sent in with a small bellows to start the fire and scare the boy. With many grimaces and gestures she began her work. The lad, thinking she was his satanic majesty in female form, seized the bellows and dealt her a severe blow on the head. He died about 1826, and Mr. Prichard’s father died in 1830, both of whom our subject remembers. S. B. Prichard received a somewhat limited education in Wilson and Dekalb Counties. July 10, 1845, he married Miss Matilda Robinson, who died December 31, 1876. They had six children: Columbus, James, Thomas J., Jorden Lee, Nancy J. (now Mrs Fite). March 5, 1878, he married Miss Malissa Ann Dunnaway, who was born August 4, 1845. Three children have blessed this union: Lucretia Eller, Lucinda Della, and Martha Jane. Mr Prichard commenced life with no capital, but by energy and good management, has accumulated considerable means and property. He first worked at the carpenter trade, and was soon able to buy his present place of residence. His farm consists of 225 acres, all productive and cultivated, located on Dismal Branch, eleven miles from Smithville and seven miles southeast of Alexandria. He was a Whig, but since the war has been a Democrat. For many years he has been an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, having professed religion when only fourteen years of age.

       James T. Quarels was born in Wilson County in 1836, the fourth of seven children of William and Eliza (Hopkins) Quarels, both of whom were natives of Virginia, where they were married about 1835. They came to Tennessee, locating in Wilson County, where the remainder of their lives was spent in farming. The father died about 1844, the mother in 1881, both esteemed members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Our subject was educated in the country schools of his native county. About his twentieth year he married a native of Dekalb County, Miss Caroline, daughter of Jonathan and Priscilla Doss, who died about a year and a half after the marriage. In 1860 Mr. Quarels married his sister-in-law, Miss Darthula, by whom he had six children. Those living are Nora (wife of T. C. Peck, of Wilson County), James D., Zora, and Maud. In 1861 Mr. Quarels entered the Confederate Army under command of Capt. Bass, and served about one year, when he was discharged on account of disability, and returned home. In 1863 he again enlisted under Capt. Reese. He was engaged in the battles of Murfreesboro and Briston; after six months’ service he again went home. In 1864 he sold his property in Wilson County and purchased a portion of his present farm in Dekalb County, where he moved. The farm now contains over 100 acres of cultivated and improved land. He has always been an industrious man; Had it not been for misfortunes through generosity, he would be worth more than double his present possessions. He is a firm Democrat, and cast his first presidential vote for John C. Breckinridge. He has been a Mason twenty years. His wife is an earnest member of the Missionary Baptist Church.

       Hon. John B. Robinson, attorney at law of Smithville, is a native of Dekalb County; was born in 1835. His parents were Alexander and Rachel (Barnes) Robinson. The father was of English descent, born in Cumberland County, Va., about 1804. He came to Tednnessee in 1824, locating in Smith (now Dekalb) County. Two years later he settled in the Fourth District. He taught school several sessions and then married. He was surveyor of the county a number of years. He owned 150 acres of fine land at the time of his death in 1867. His wife was born in Dekalb County, in 1804. Her parents, George and Bridget Barnes, were among the pioneers, settling in the county before 1800. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson had nine children, six of whom are living, our subject being the fourth. He was educated in the common schools. There were no public schools and his parents were unable to send him to college. After he attained his majority he began teaching, which he followed for several years. The last sessions he was in Illinois. In 1855 he commenced the study of law on his own responsibility, but advising with Judge Robert Cantrell, now of Lebanon. In 1858 he was admitted to the bar. When the war broke out he became one of the boys in blue. In June, 1862, he enlisted in Company I, Sixty-ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, for ninety days. After serving his time he returned home. He went to Jefferson County, Ill., at Mt. Vernon, and returned to Smithville in 1864. After the restoration of peace he resumed his practice and in 1867 was elected attorney-general of the circuit of Tennessee, and served two and a half years. At two different periods T. W. Wade was his partner; for twelve months he was with Nesmith. For twenty years our subject has been one of the leading and most prominent lawyers in the county. His honor has never once been questioned. His forte is in chancery practice. He is a Republican; previous to the war he was a Whig, casting his first presidential vote for Millard Fillmore, in 1856. He belongs to the I. O. O. F. Lodge, No. 217, Pure Fountain, of Smithville. In February, 1869, he married Miss Julia, daughter of H. B. and Julia G. McDonald, of Smith County, where Mrs Robinson was born in 1849. Their union was blessed with six children: Mary, Alice, Harry, John, David, and William Loyd Garrett. Mrs. Robinson is an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.

       J. E. Robinson, a farmer living near Temperance Hall, was born October 31, 1832, in Smith (now Dekalb) County. He is the fifth of seven children of John and Eliza (Harris) Robinson. The father was born about 1799, near Nashville, and was brought when an infant, by his father, to the farm where his son now resides. The country at that time was an unbroken canebrake, and infested by many Indians, who were treacherous and troublesome. There were also great quantities of wild animals, the bears often coming about the place which Stephen Robinson purchased. He was one of the most extensive stock raisers in the country, especially blooded horses. Our subject was educated in the common schools of Dekalb County, and attended one session of Irwin College, Warren County. December 14, 1854, he married Miss Margaret E., daughter of Nicholas and Sarah (Compton) Smith. Mrs. Robinson was born November 8, 1831. Their union resulted in the birth of nine children: Charley E., John Morgan, Sallie E. (Now Mrs. Martin), Willie, Sidney, Mattie. Those deceased are Lillie Dale, Lizzie and Henrietta. Mr. Robinson, at the time of his marriage, was in such close pecuniary circumstances that he had to borrow the money with which the license was bought. He farmed on rented land and finally purchased. He accumulated considerable property, but it was mostly destroyed by the war, with the exception of a house and lot near Temperance Hall. A few years since he inherited some property from his wife, and by hard work he has become the owner of 254 acres, all of which is well cultivated and improved. He was trustee of his church about six years, and superintendent of the Sunday School. He was a Whig, but since the war has gone with the Democratic party. He has given his children good educational advantages, and is deeply interested in all school matters, and the advancement of all beneficial enterprises. He is a liberal contributor to religious and charitable institutions. Four of his children belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church South and Mrs Robinson to the Missionary Baptist.

       Louis E. Simpson was born in 1840, in Smith County, and was the son of Thos. and Atlanta (Ellison) Simpson, and one of seven children, five living. The father was born near Frankfort, Ky., in 1806, was a son of Jas. Simpson, an early pioneer of Kentucky, and of Irish ancestry. Thomas lost his father when a boy, and at about fifteen years of age came with his mother to Smith County, where he remained until his death in 1862, one of the wealthiest farmers in Smith County. His wife, to whom he was married in about his twenty-fourth year, was born in West Virginia, about 1804, and died in 1868, a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. At nineteen he left home and school, and entered Company F, Twenty-fourth Tennessee Infantry, under Col. Ellison, and was in all Gen. Bragg’s engagements from Shilo to Mission Ridge, where he was captured and taken to Rock Island, Ill. In 1865, by the earnest petition of his mother to Vice-President Johnson, he was paroled by President Lincoln, and returned home in a feeble condition from Rheumatism, and after his recovery resumed work on the farm. In January, 1867, he married Nancy J., daughter of Willis and Martha Dowell, of Smith County, where she was born in 1846. Their eight children are William T., Mattie, Charles W., James L., Eddie, Della., Robt. D. and Horace L. Mrs. Simpson died in June, 1885, a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He has remained on the old homestead almost entirely, until 1884, when he bought a farm near Alexandria, where he moved for the purpose of educating his children. Since 1886 he has lived in Alexandria, one of her wealthiest citizens, owning about 540 acres of land, part of which in Smith County has been in the family for several generations, and but a very small part of his wealth has been inherited. He is an active Democrat, and first voted for Seymour. He is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

       J. J. and W. R. Smith, of the firm Smith Bros., the well known proprietors of a general store of Smithville, established their house in the fall of 1877. They are the sons of William S. and Catherine J. (Tippitt) Smith. The father was of English-Irish descent, born in Wilson County, Tenn., in 1823. His father, John Y. Smith, was a native of Virginia, and located in Wilson County when a small boy. He died in 1865. William S. married in 1842, and settled in the Eleventh District, where he became the possessor of 175 acres of land. He was a farmer and stock raiser. In 1876 he moved to Trousdale County, near Hunter’s Point, where he now owns 250 acres. His wife was also born in Wilson County in 1826, of english-Dutch origin. They had eight children, seven of whom are living, our subjects being the second and third. J. J. was born in 1845, and was educated at the New Middleton Academy, under the management of Profs. J. P. Hamilton and N. J. Finney. At his majority he began teaching, first near Statesville, Wilson County. In 1837 the two brothers took charge of the Fulton Academy, at Smithville, remaining two years. They commenced with twenty pupils, and closed with one hundred and thirty; the average was eighty-six, which is the largest average of any school ever taught in the county. It was the only time that the county ever received the Peabody fund. In January the brothers went to Sparta, where for fifteen months they had charge of the Nourse Academy, at the end of which time J. J., returned to Smithville, resuming his professional duties in the institute. After another fifteen months, each teaching in a different place, they formed a partnership in Smithville, in the mercantile business, in which they have since been engaged. J. J., while teaching in Smithville, August 26, 1873, married Lollie, daughter of James T. Hayes. Mrs. Smith was born in Dekalb County in 1854. They have one child, Effie. W. R. Smith was born October, 1848, in Wilson County, and educated at Shop Springs. At the age of twenty-one he began teaching at Round Top, in his native county. In 1873 he joined his brother, as above mentioned. At Sparta, August 25, 1875, he wedded Miss Cannie Hayes, a sister of Mrs. J. J. Smith. To their union Aubery has been born. As instructors these gentlemen were all that could be desired. As merchants they have been successful, receiving an extensive and liberal patronage, which has been gained by their honorable transactions and courtesy. In politics, both are Democrats. J. J. is a Royal Arch Mason, and W. R. has taken the first degree. Both families are members of the Missionary Baptist Church.

       A. P. Smith, attorney at law and farmer, of Temperance Hall, was born March 23, 1855 , where he now resides. He is the youngest of nine children of Nicholas and Penelope (Summers) Smith. His father was born December 2, 1801, in North Carolina, and when a small boy moved to Wilson County, Tenn. He purchased the farm where our subject now resides in 1844, which then included the land now covered by the town. The only cultivated spot of this extensive tract was a small orchard. He soon built a two-story house, in the upper story of which the “ Sons of Temperance” held their meetings, and from that fact the town got its name. Mr. Smith was a strong advocate of temperance and an influential man, and possessed a wonderful constitution. While clearing his land he built fences and worked nights by the light from brush piles which he laid during the day. A great deal of his property was destroyed during the war. He and another old gentleman were captured and compelled to walk to Murfreesboro, where they were imprisoned about two months. He began life a poor man, but by enterprise and industry, was worth a large sum at his death. He was a director and large stockholder of the Sparta & Lebanon Turnpike Company. He gave his children the benefit of the best schools, and was always deeply interested in all educational matters. Mrs. Smith was born March 8, 1810, in Tennessee. She was a model housekeeper and a most industrious, estimable woman. Her death occurred in September, 1886. She and her husband were consistent and active members of the Missionary Baptist Church. The Grandfather, Daniel Smith, was of Welsh descent; his father came from Wales at an early day. Our subject received his education in the New Middleton Institute, Smith County. He studied law under Col.Stokes , and was admitted to the bar in 1878. He is a talented lawyer, and has met with great success. His practice lies in Dekalb and the adjoining counties. His judicial decisions have always given satisfaction. He is a Democrat which he has added to considerably. He is a bright, genial man, with a host of friends. In 1857 he married Miss Alice P., daughter of Wm. T. and Malissa (Stokes) Hoskins. Mrs. Smith was born March 23, 1858. Their union resulted in the birth of six children: Edith May, Eula Leath, Linnie Mason, Wm. Nicholas, Olive Ione and Alfred.

       Gen. Wm. B. Stokes, one of the leading attorneys and best known citizens of Alexandria, was born in 1814 in Chatham County, N. C. He is the second and only surviving one of their children of Sylvanus and Mary (Christian) Stokes. The father was of English descent, born in Chatham County, N. C., in 1783, a son of Thos. Stokes who was a native of Virginia and a cousin of ex-Gov. Munford Stokes, of North Carolina. Sylvanus was married in North Carolina about 1810, and in 1818 started for Tennessee, where his father owned large tracts of land. While en route his team ran away and he was killed by the wagon running over him. The family proceeded on their journey and located in Smith County near Temperance Hall, where the widow remained until her death in 1853. She was a native of the same State and county, and also same age as her husband. The subject of our sketch was educated in the best schools of Smith (now Dekalb) County. In January, 1832, he married miss Parilee A., daughter of Abraham and Hannah Overall, of Dekalb County, where Mrs. Stokes was born in May, 1815. Thirteen children came to this union, of whom one son and six daughters are now living: Melissia J., wife of W. T. Hoskins, of Dekalb County; Hannah L., wife of Jas. L. Calhoun, of Davidson County; Harriet A., Wife of Hon. W. A. Bryan, of Nashville; Fannie, wife of Dr. Elial Tubb (deceased); W. Jordan, of Texas; Sallie, wife of Geo. McNelly, and Norah Stokes. Mrs Stokes died in May, 1880. She was a devoted wife and mother, a woman of rare accomplishments and a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. For several years Col. Stokes was one of the county’s most practical and successful farmers. He owned herds of fine blooded stock, the celebrated racer “Ariel” being one of the number, and with which he traveled and won some of the best races ever made. His political career began in 1849, when he represented Dekalb County in the Lower House of the General Assembly, in the State Senate, serving two years. In 1859 he was brought forward by the Whigs as candidate for Congress of the Third Congressional District. His opponent was Hon. J. H. Savage, who had served the eight years previous to the civil war. He was one of the brave “Little Spartan Band.” Although one of the youngest members of the House, he was soon recognized as the champion and leader of the Union cause, and in defense of which he delivered on of the most able and effective speeches made during the term, and one which was universally applauded in the North. Upon his return home he discovered how unsafe it was for him to remain there. When the Union Forces arrived in Nashville, he went there and requested to enter the service. He organized the Fifth Tennessee Cavalry, better known as Stokes’ Cavalry, of which he was commander until the downfall of the Confederacy. He opened the battle of Stone River on the morning of December 30, 1862, and fired the last shot on the Manchester Turnpike after the surrender at Murfreesboro. For his gallant and faithful services during the war he was breveted Brigadier-general by President Andrew Johnson. In 1865 he was again elected to Congress and re-elected, his term expiring in 1871. He was verbally commissioned by Johnson to represent him (Johnson) in the Conservative Peace Convention at Nashville, of which he was made spokesman. During 1871 he served as supervisor of the internal revenue, since which time he has been engaged in the practice of law with the same activity and energy that so characterized his past. He is now one of the leading practitioners of the State, a man of intellect and indomitable will. He was formerly a Whig, casting his first presidential vote for Hugh L. White in 1836, but since the dissolution of that party has affiliated with the Republicans. He has repeatedly served as one of the presidential electors and has done more practical work as canvasser than any man in the State. He has raised and finely educated a large family of children. He is a generous contributor to all laudable enterprises. The Colonel has been a Mason since 1849, and a resident of Alexandria since 1868, but still owns the old farm, which contains 250 acres of valuable improved land on the Smith Fork. He also owns property in town.

       J. G. Squires, M. D., was born in 1839, near Middleton, Smith County, one of eight children, four living, of John and Maria (Gulick) Squires, the former of Scotch-Irish origin, Born in Virginia about 1795, and the mother of like ancestry, born about 1804 in Smith County, Tenn. The father’s parents settled at the head of Plunkett Creek in Smith County about 1800, when he was a boy. He was a farmer and a soldier of the Mexican war, the long service in which, during its whole course, lift him in such feeble health that he died in a few years after its close. The mother died in 1843 at the birthplace of our subject. Trained a tanner, and educated at New Middleton Academy (coeducational). Our subject worked at his trade until twenty-two years of age, when he began attending school and studying medicine. In 1869-70 he attended lectures in the medical department of the University of Nashville, at the close of which lectures he began practice at Liberty. In 1873 he married Sarah C., daughter of Eli and Eliza (More) Vick, and born near Liberty in 1851. Their four children were Mattie F., Cecil H., Pearl and Jonathan G., besides whom they are also rearing and educating four orphan children. Our subject has an excellent practice, and owns property, including 276 acres and fine town property, all the result of his own efforts. Formerly a Whig, and first voting for John Bell, he has since become a Democrat. He is a Mason and a stanch temperance man. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.

       Will A. Vick, editor of Liberty Herald, born in 1864, at Liberty, is the eldest of three surviving children of William and Sarah A. (West) Vick. The father was born in 1824 in Smith (now Dekalb) County. He has been a merchant of Liberty since the age of nineteen. The mother was born in 1829 at Liberty, where she died in 1881. Our subject received his early education at the Masonic Academy of his native place, and later attended the Vanderbilt University, of Nashville. At the age of twenty he became a member of the firm of William Vick & Son. In Connection with his mercantile business he established the Herald in April, 1886. He began with a fir number of subscriptions, and the circulation is now quite extensive. The secret of his success has been in making the paper strictly non-partisan. It strongly advocates prohibition. By the time the Herald is one year old there will be a second story added to the office, and a steam cylinder press used. Mr. Vick is an intelligent, energetic and rising young man, who has a bright, and we trust, successful future. He is a stanch Prohibitionist, and a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.

       W. W. Wade, Judge of the Fifth Chancery Division of Tennessee, is a native of Dekalb County, born in Smithville in 1848, a son of Wm. M. and Caroline (Eastham) Wade. The Father was of Scotch-Irish descent, born in Virginia in 1826. His Father (grandfather of our subject), Wm. H., also a native of Virginia. He was a hatter by trade. After residing in Wilson County for a few years he located, in 1840, in Smithville, Dekalb County, where he passed the remainder of his days. Wm. M. studied law when a young man with Judge M. M. Brien, who afterward became his partner. About 1855 he entered into partnership with Judge Robert Cantrell, now of Lebanon, continuing until his death in 1858. His wife was born in Wilson County, Tenn., in 1828. After Mr. Wade’s demise she went to Nashville, in 1869, where she now resides. Of her five children three are living: Timothy W., a lawyer of Smithville; Louella, wife of Winfield Graves, a resident of Nashville, a produce dealer, and our subject who is the eldest living. He received his literary education in the Fulton Academy at Smithville, and at the age of nineteen began the study of law, under John B. Robinson. In December, 1876, he was admitted to the bar and immediately entered upon his practice. In 1873 he formed a partnership with Hon. Joseph Clark which continued until 1877, when Mr. Wade was appointed clerk and master of the chancery court, by Judge W. G. Crowley. For six years he filled this office, making an efficient and able officer. In 1885 he entered into partnership with his brother, T. W. Wade. In August, 1886, he was elected to his present position, commencing the discharge of his duties in September. His election was very complimentary. He had six opponents, and his plurality was upward of 1,500. He was one of the first aldermen, after the incorporation of Smithville. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South; of the I.O.O.F., Pure Fountain Lodge, No. 217, Smithville, is also connected with the K. of H. and K. of G. R. He is an eminent and esteemed professional man and citizen. In March, 1875, he married Miss Mary E., daughter of Judge W. G. Crowley. Mrs. Wade is a native of Dekalb County, and the mother of two children: Wm. M. and Ida Belle. Mrs. Wade is an estimable lady and member of the Christian Church.

       Samuel Walker, a prominent physician of the Tenth District, was born February 8, 1848, in Dekalb County. He is the fourth of seven children of Hampton and Mary (Hicks) Walker, both of whom were also natives of Dekalb County. The father was born in 1811. He served two years in the late war, at the expiration of which time he was discharged on account of disabilities. His death occurred in November, 1886. The mother was born in 1813. Our subject received his literary education in the common schools of Missouri, attending later two terms at the Kirksville branch of the State Normal School in the same State. at the age of thirteen he became a member of Company C, Second Tennessee Cavalry. He was orderly sergeant. The first six months, on account of his youth, he was excused from carrying arms by Gen. Forest. He took part in the battles Tissue Mingo Creek, Harrisburg, Miss., Abbyville, also in the famous raid of Memphis, Nashville, Franklin and Murfreesboro, and numerous skirmishes and expeditions in which Gen. Forest participated. The command surrendered May 8, 1865, at Gainesville, Ala. He then returned home. After his father’s death he went to Missouri, where two of his brothers preceded him. In partnership with Dr. Myers, of Queen City, Mo., he dealt in stock two years; they were so successful that our subject was enabled to educate himself for his chosen profession. After studying medicine in Dr. Myers’ office, in 1874, he attended Missouri Medical College, after which he engaged in the drug business with Dr. Myers. The winter of 1874-75 he took a course of lectures at the Physicians and Surgeons College, at Keokuk, Iowa, where he graduated in the spring of 1875, with high honors. He began his practice with Dr. Myers, who gave him a share in an extensive and lucrative patronage. The spring of 1878 Dr. Myers died, and owing to a severe illness Dr. Walker was forced for a time to give up his practice. He came to Middle Tennessee to regain his health. In August, 1878, he established himself in his present location, and is now one of the leading and most popular physicians of the county. He is a comparatively young man, talented and highly esteemed both in professional and private life. His possessions are the fruits of his own labors and industry. He is a stanch Republican, casting his first presidential vote for Gen. Grant. February 8, 1880, he wedded Miss Sarah H., daughter of John and Jane (Mauldon) Glenn. Mrs Walker was born March 14, 1861. Five children were born to their union: Laura, an infant, deceased; Claude, Mary Jane and Samuel Rosco.

       Hon. Bethel Magness Webb, attorney at law, Smithville, Tenn., was born in Warren County Tenn., September 21, 1847. He is the sixth of thirteen children born to D. W. and Sarah (Magness) Webb. His father was of English descent, Born in Warren County in 1815, a son of Julius Webb, who was a native of North Carolina and came to middle Tennessee in his youth and settled in what is now Warren County. He was on of the pioneers of that section. After marriage D. W. Webb located in the northern part of Warren County, where he lived till his death in 1866. He was a prosperous merchant and a large slave and land holder up to the late civil war. He was a Democrat and went with the South in that unfortunate struggle, and sustained heavy losses during the war. At his death there were eight of his children single and living with him, of whom Bethel was the oldest, and some of them were quite young, and owing to the ravages of the war, they and their widowed mother were left with meager resources for support. Mrs. Webb was of Scotch-Irish descent and was born in 1820 in what is now Dekalb County, Tenn. Her father,P. G. Magness, Sr., was one of the pioneer settlers of that section. He was a strong Democrat and an active influential man in politics and did much in shaping the politics of his section in ante bellum days. He was a prosperous farmer and live stock dealer, and then a prominent merchant in Smithville; and Jacob-like had a long line of respectable descendants, many of whom attained to considerable prominence in financial and intellectual spheres. Bethel, the subject of this sketch, had but limited educational advantages, owing to delicate health before the late war, and the interruption by the war, and the consequences of the war. Because of delicate health, at the age of eleven he was taken from school at Middleton Seminary and placed in his father’s store, where he was salesman and bookkeeper for two years, when the war broke out and mercantile business was suspended. During the war he worked on the farm in crop time and taught the children of the neighborhood during the fall and winter, and the proceeds of his labor were used to assist in supporting the family. At different times several crippled and discharged Confederate and Union soldiers, were his pupils. He was a boy of seventeen when the war ended, and when he taught his last, about seven sessions as assistant or principal, yet by his inherent executiveness, his well balanced head and heart, and his untiring energy and industry, he achieved victories in his youthful employments that would have been a credit to one of mature years with superior advantages. He never went to school but five months in all after he was eleven years of age, but he applied himself closely and by dint of effort in the judicious use of valuable time, by the firelight and with borrowed books, he succeeded in acquiring a good English and Latin course. While reading law he earned a living for himself and family, and aided his mother’s family in acquiring a support and education, at first by peddling on “barter” with hired wagon and team, and then by farming, trading in live stock, selling goods, etc. He was married January 11, 1867, to Miss Helen Ware, who was born in Dekalb County, in 1852. Their union resulted in the birth of five children: Hallie, Carrie, Mattie, Robert Bethel, and Nora; the first mentioned is dead. His wife is an amiable good woman, and his children are quite brilliant and well favored. He, with his family, ranks with the first of his town in the social circle and otherwise. Mr. Webb commenced the study of law at the age of eighteen, and in connection with other business devoted as much time as possible to his studies for about six years and was admitted to the bar in 1872, and became the law partner of Hon. Holland Denton, of Cookeville, Tenn., in January, 1873. In 1873 he was elected superintendent of public instruction for Putnam County, Tenn., and in connection with his law practice, he filled this office for one term, when he declined a re-election. In January, 1876, he located at Woodberry, Tenn., where he was associated as a partner in the practice of law with Judges Robert Cantrell and J. S. Gribble, of Lebanon, Tenn. In 1880 he located in Smithville, Tenn., and associated with him Alvin Avant, under the firm name of Webb & Avant. In the latter part of 1886 Mr. Avant retired from the firm, and J. B. Moore, Esq., took his place. In 1886 Mr. Webb was a candidate for chancellor for the Fifth Chancery Division of Tennessee, entering the canvass with but limited acquaintances in the division; yet he ran a good race, made a fine impression, and many substantial friends, who would delight at his promotion. There were six Democratic candidates, however, and only one Republican candidate in the division, where about one-third of the voters were Republicans and the vote was so much divided that the Republican was elected. During the campaign Mr. Webb was the recipient of many complimentary letters, press notices and testimonials from his numerous friends, and from prominent jurists, judges and officials of the State, which speak in strong terms of his many moral and intellectual qualities. On different occasions Mr. Webb has presided as special judge of the circuit and chancery courts, has served as attorney-general pro tempore, and served as chairman and delegate in different political conventions and other representative bodies, and on each occasion dispatched the business before him with efficiency and honesty. Judge Webb is one of the most brilliant and able lawyers in the State. He is a profound jurist and an able advocate. He commands an extensive and lucrative practice, and ranks high as a lawyer in both the inferior and supreme courts. He is earnest and zealous in his pursuits, firm in his convictions, yet social and affable, with good address and a good talker. He is a devoted husband and father, a true friend and a good citizen, and a liberal, charitable, devoted Christian, with temperate habits. He is a Royal Arch Mason and with his wife and two children members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.




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