Joseph W. Whitfield (1806-1882)
Joseph W. Whitfield came from a line of ancestors who came from North Carolina to Tennessee in 1793.  He was a descendant of George Whitfield, the preacher, and is consequently of Welsh-English descent.  They were hardy, industrious and law-abiding, and were ever ready to protect the weak in those times of lawlessness and savage warfare.  His father, Lewis, and his uncles, Needham and Bryan Whitfield, were of a family of twenty-eight children, and their descendants are found in nearly all the Southern states.  The three brothers settled in Montgomery County, Tenn., Lewis on land now owned by Watton Barker and C. N. Meriwether, which land (now worth $500,000) he traded for a negro woman and eight children.  His eldest son, Joseph W., our subject, was born August 23, 1806, and was married in 1833 to his cousin, Marian (Whitfield) Fox (sic) daughter of Needham Whitfield and widow of J. D. Fort.  To their union were born Joseph N., Constantine, Needham L., Robert C., Sallie C., Mary L., James W., and Henry C.  Joseph N. graduated from the medical department of the Louisville (Ky.) University in 1854, and practiced his profession in Clarksville, Tenn. until his death, in 1859.  Constantine received a common school education, was married to Laura Waller in 1860, and became the father of five children: Martha, Mary, Constantine, Joseph and Jennie. Needham L., at the age of eight years, was placed under the tutelage of Prof. Q. M. Tyler and acquired the rudiments of a good classical and English education.  He then attended the Oakland Institute and was there fitted for college.   He entered the Bethel College at Russellville, Ky., in 1855, graduating in 1858, and received the degree of A. M. in 1860.  He was twice married.  His first wife, Anna E. Mart, lived four years and bore him two children, both of whom died in infancy.  His present wife, Lou E. Bourne, has born him three children: Herbert, Nannie and Edward.  Before entering college Mr. Whitfield had selected civil engineering as his avocation, but owing to ill health was compelled to abandon his cherished project.  He then began teaching, and in 1873 was elected superintendent of schools in Montgomery County.  At the end of four years he began teaching at New Providence continuing two years, and after a term of fifteen months at Ringgold was tendered the presidency of the graded school at St. Bethlehem, where he is at present teaching.  Robert C. was educated at Bethel College, Ky., in 1858, and then graduated from the law department of the Cumberland University at Nashville, and was admitted to the bar in 1861.  He was among the first to enlist in the regular service in 1861, and was in the First Tennessee Regiment and transferred to the Fourteenth Tennessee.  He was a gallant soldier, but unfortunately was killed at the battle of Fredricksburg, Va., December 13, 1862.  He was much beloved by all who knew him and his death was greatly lamented.  He was a member of the F. and A. M.  Sarah C. was married to N. C. (sic) Lovelace in 1869 and has four chldren.  Mr. Lovelace is a farmer.  Mary L. was married to George R. Taylor in 1870.  He was at one time local editor of the Liverpool (England) Mercury and is now a prominent minister in the Primitive Baptist Church.  He came to America in 1862.  He and his wife have five children.  James W. was educated at Russellville, Ky., and graduated in 1872.  He wedded Margaret M. Carney in 1873.  She bore him two children.  He was afterward divorced and is now residing on the old homeplace with his mother.  Joseph W. Whitfield and family were the organizers of the old Baptist Spring Creek Church.  They, in conjunction with the Killebrews, Johnsons, Forts, Metcalfes, Redfords (sic), and other branches of the family, hold a family reunion each year.  Marion Whitfield (sic), the mother, has a fine recollection, and her mental activity and strength are wonderful.  All the family are Democrats."
Goodspeed History of Tennessee, 1886
The Whitfields who participated in organizing the Spring Creek Baptist Church in 1808 were Joseph's father and uncles.

Submitted by

Return to Family Histories page

Return to the Montgomery County Home Page