Goodspeed's History of Tennessee

The Goodspeed Publishing Co., Nashville TN, 1886-1887

Shelby Co. TN

Biographical Sketches Shelby County

transcription donated by Rose-Anne Cunningham Bray

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Hon. Lucien B. Eaton was born at Sutton, N. H., March 8, 1837, and was fitted for college at Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass., class of 1855, and graduated at Dartmouth College, Hanover, N. H., in the class of 1859. After studying law for a time he was principal of a public school in Cleveland, Ohio, which position he resigned to enter the Union Army in 1861. He served throughout the war, holding the commissions of second and first lieutenants, captain, lieutenant-colonel and colonel. While captain he was for a long time brigade inspector on the staff of Gen. Harke. He participated in nearly all the battles and campaigns of the Army of the Cumberland. At the close of the war he settled in Memphis with an interest in a mercantile house, but intending to devote himself to the law; but his brother, Gen. John Eaton, engaging in 1866 in the publication of a Republican newspaper, the Memphis Daily Post, he became his assistant editor, and upon the former's election in 1868 as State superintendent of schools for Tennessee, became both the business and editorial manager of that paper until its discontinuance in 1870. In February, 1870, under the appointment of Gen. Grant, he entered upon the duties of United States marshal in the western district of Tennessee. This position he resigned in April, 1877, and entered upon the practice of the law, but devoting much of his time to the purchase and improvement of real estate. He was one of the very few who had the courage to buy real estate after the epidemics of 1878 and 1879. He has amassed a fortune in buying and selling lands and building and renting houses. He is one of the largest planters in Shelby County. He is a member of the firm of L. B. Eaton & Co., the owners of the oldest office, furnishing abstracts of title to all lands in Memphis or Shelby County, and of the firms of L. B. Eaton & Co. and Eaton & Smith, engaged in the lumber business. He has also other large interests in various local corporations. He has been president and director of insurance companies and banks. He has served as a member of the Memphis city school board and of the Tennessee State Legislature at its sessions of 1880 and 1882. He was married on December 26, 1867, to Miss Clara Winters, the daughter of Valentine Winters, a banker of Dayton, Ohio. She died in 1885. Only one child by this marriage survives—Valentine W. Eaton, born November 1, 1870. Mr. Eaton is a member of the K. of H., of the Old Folks' Society, of the Tennessee Historical Society, and in politics has always been a Republican and for years a leader of his party in his section, but is now too busy to give much attention to such matters.

Dr. B. H. Eddins, a well known physician at Bartlett, Shelby County, was born in Wilson County, Tenn., February 9, 1818, and was a son of John Eddins, who was a native of South Carolina and moved to Wilson County, Tenn., when a boy. He married Miss Nancy Hooker, a native of North Carolina. They had eleven children, our subject being the second born. Dr. Eddins was educated in Wilson and Madison Counties, then attended the medical university at Louisville, Ky., and graduated at Wetumpka Medical College, Wetumpka, Ala. He practiced one year at Germantown, Shelby Co., Tenn., then located at Bartlett, where he has been a popular and successful physician, and still has a large practice, though he is now anxious to retire from active practice. He married Miss Susan Cole, a native of Tennessee, and a daughter of Wingfield and Frances (Massey) Cole, natives of Virginia. Twelve children were born to this marriage. Only four are living : John W. ; Lucy P., wife of W. B. Alexander, who is postmaster at Pine Bluff, Ark.; Samuel C., and Joseph H., who lives in Texas. Dr. and Mrs. Eddins are members of the Methodist Church. He is a Mason and a sound Democrat, adhering closely to party principles. Dr. Eddins is well known throughout Shelby County and held in great esteem.

T. B. Edgington, attorney at law, is a native of Richland County, Ohio, and was educated at the Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio, graduating from the classical department in 1859. He then studied law and began the practice in Iowa, continuing until the commencement of the late war, when he enlisted in Company A, Twelfth Regiment, Iowa Infantry, as private and served until the battle of Shiloh as orderly sergeant, and was then promoted to first lieutenant, and served thus until his resignation in 1863. He then came to this city, where he has continued the practice of law ever since. He is one of seven survivors of a family of twelve children. His father, at the time of his death in 1842, was judge of the associate court, an intermediate court of appeals in Ohio between the common pleas and supreme court. His mother died in 1843. The father was a native of Virginia and the mother of Ohio. In March, 1865, our subject was united in marriage to Miss Katie V. Baxter, a native of New Orleans but a resident of Memphis. She has borne her husband a family of four children—three sons and one daughter —all living. Mr. Edgington is a member of the F. & A. M. and the K. of P. fraternities.

James W. Edwards, vice-president and general manager of the L., N. O. & T. R. R., is the son of Mordecai and Martha J. (Fulton) Edwards, both .natives of Georgia, where they reared a family of ten children. All the family are professors of religion. The parents are still living, aged respectively seventy-seven and sixty-one. The father is an extensive planter and an upright, honorable citizen. Our subject was born November 25, 1849, and educated at the University of Georgia, from which institution he graduated in 1869, especially well qualified as a civil engineer. Since 1870 he has been connected with railroads as engineer of the South & North Alabama Railroad; of the Georgia Western and of the Georgia Railroad; supervisor of the track of Macon & Augusta; general freight agent of the Macon & Brunswick; superintendent 'of the Northeastern Railroad of Georgia, and of the Macon & Brunswick. He finally came to his present position. In 1871 he married Lizzie Scudder, of Athens, Ga., daughter of A. M. Scudder, joint honor man at Princeton College, New Jersey, with the noted William Reese, of Georgia. To our subject and wife were born four children—two sons and two daughters. Mr Edwards not only holds an enviable position as a railroad man, but is well respected and esteemed by all who know him.

Dr. T. E. Edwards, physician, is a native of Union City, Tenn., born in 1861, and is one of a family of eight children born to the union of W. A. and M. E. Edwards. The father is a native Tennessean, born in 1826, and is a resident of Union City, of that State. He is an architect and builder by occupation. The mother was born in Virginia the same year as her husband. Our subject received his education at the Southern University of Illinois. In 1879 he entered the medical department of Vanderbilt University at Nashville, and graduated from that institution in 1880. Two years later he graduated from the medical department of the University of Tennessee. He has also spent considerable time studying the eye, ear and throat under a renowned physician of Union City. November 4, 1886, he married Jennie Roseborough, daughter of W. D.. Roseborough, of Sardis, Miss. Dr. Edwards came to Memphis September, 1883, and has since resided here, engaged in the practice of his chosen profession, his entire time now being occupied in the treatment of the eye, ear and throat.

John T. Elliott, justice of the peace of the Fourteenth Civil District,. was born in Ireland in April, 1831, and came to the United States in 1851, and spent sixteen years in Pennsylvania, where he was interested in the iron industry. In 1867 he came to Memphis and followed mercantile pursuits until 1868, when he was elected magistrate and has served continuously in the same office by re-election until the present time,. being the oldest but one in the county. He has been a member of the county jail inspectors for twelve years. During the late war he served in the Federal Army in the Eighth and One Hundredth Pennsylvania Regiments, and at the bloody battle of Antietam lost his left arm, after which misfortune he served in the enrolling department, and later was elected first lieutenant in the Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Regiment, and served thus until the close of the war. In 1881 he married Miss Sarah Toppin, a native of New York. He is a Democrat in politics, and is a Presbyterian in religious faith.

R. E. Ellis, one of the county's prominent citizens, was born in Shelby County, and is the son of B. R. and R. A. Ellis. The father is one of the pioneer citizens of this county. He is a farmer and is now seventy-three years of age. The mother is also living. In 1879 our subject moved to the village of Capleville and assumed control of a cotton-gin at that place. In 1886 the gin was purchased by a company, one of whom was our subject. In 1876 he married Miss Rosa Lee Mitchell, of Shelby County. She died in 1875, and in 1879 Mr. Ellis married Miss Emmit Mullins, also of Shelby County, and the daughter of L. D. and Martha A. Mullins. The marriage of our subject resulted in the birth of two children, Robert E. and L. D. Mr. Ellis is a member of the Masonic fraternity and is a Granger.

Newman Erb, one of the leading lawyers and railroad attorneys of Memphis, is a son of Adolphus L. and Esther (Peck) Erb, Germans by birth. Having come to the United States about 1852, they moved to the West and were among the first settlers in the State of Kansas. The father has been a successful merchant and manufacturer, but now resides with Mrs. Esther Erb at Little Rock, Ark., and is president of the Union Printing & Publishing Company. The subject of our sketch was born June 16, 1852, and early placed at school in St. Louis, Mo., where he was educated and prepared for the bar, but before arriving at majority, on account of the executive ability, of which he gave abundant promise, was without capital taken into the firm of one of the largest saddlery establishments in the West, doing business in St. Louis, and given charge of its office. When he had accumulated sufficient means he severed his connection with the business firm, and started for Arkansas where he was admitted to the bar in 1872, and began the practice of his profession at Little Rock, where he did a successful law business for ten years, and acquired a wide reputation as a safe counselor and corporation lawyer. In 1881 he became a director of the Kansas City, Springfield & Memphis Railroad Company, and was appointed its chief attorney for Arkansas and Tennessee, a position he still holds. He was married at Little Rock in 1874, and has a family of two children, Edna and Fannie. In 1883 Mr. Erb removed to Memphis, where he now resides with his family, and where he has become connected with many public enterprises. In 1884 he originated the plan for the reorganization of the Memphis, Selma & Brunswick Railroad, and as receiver built it from Memphis to Holly Springs, being the first railroad in the United States completely built and equipped by a receiver. He is now chief attorney in Tennessee of the Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham Railroad; vice-president of the Kansas City, Wyandotte & Northwestern Railroad, and the Leavenworth & Olathe Railroad, the Western Union Telegraph Company, besides being interested in many other corporations.

 J. T. Fargason, senior member of the firm of J. T. Fargason & Co., wholesale grocers and cotton factors, 369 Front Street, Memphis; came to this city in 1879, and established his present business in 1863, under the firm name of Fargason & Clay. The latter firm did business until 1875, when the present firm was established with our subject, C. C. Hein, R. A. Parker, E. L. Woodson and other members. They have an annual wholesale grocery trade of about $1,200,000, and in addition handle about 30,000 bales of cotton annually. Mr. Fargason was born in Alabama, in 1835, and was reared and educated in Chambers County, of that State. In 1859 he was united in marriage with Miss Sarah A. Marsh, a native of New Jersey, who has borne her husband four children, all of whom are living. His parents were Thomas H. and Mary (Stanley), Fargason, who were natives of Georgia, and were agriculturalists. The mother died in 1855 and the father in 1865. Our subject is a director of the Bank of Commerce and of the Citizens' Street Railway, and is a member of the F. & A. M., K. of H. and A. O. U. W. orders.

H. C. Fisher, superintendent of the Southwestern Division of the Southern Express Company, was born in Nashville, May 11, 1842, and entered the employ of the Southern Express Company of that city in 1865 as check clerk. He was subsequently agent at Hopkinsville, Ky., route agent with headquarters at Guthrie, Ky., assistant superintendent, with headquarters at Nashville, and was made superintendent in 1878, with headquarters at Memphis. About fourteen years ago, Supt. Fisher suggested and aided very materially in developing the present extensive fruit-growing in the State, and the influence of his efforts has been felt throughout the entire State, proving a blessing to the farmers and a corresponding advantage to the company he represents. He is highly esteemed, both as a citizen and as an official.

John M. Fleming, was born in Laurens County, S. C., January 17, 1818, and was the son of James Fleming, who was born in 1772, in Ireland, and was but three years old when his parents brought him to America he was reared in South Carolina,where he married Miss Nancy McClintock, a native of South Carolina. Our subject and a brother, Samuel C., who died November 23, 1838, were the only issue of this marriage. The father was a farmer, and died December 4, 1837. The mother died in South Carolina, November 24, 1838. John M. Fleming was married in his native State September 8, 1840, to Miss Eliza Moseley; they have had one son and a daughter, Nancy M., born July 18, 1841, and Samuel T., born February 20, 1844; the daughter married J. Boyce Farley, and died May 4, 1866. Mrs. Fleming was born in South Carolina, January 19, 1820, and died May 25, 1860, and our subject was married June 2, 1864, to Mrs. Fannie A. Goode, and she died July 5, 1865; and December 10, 1867, he married Mrs. A. B. Sullivan; no children were born to either of the last two marriages. The son, Samuel T., left school at eighteen years of age and enlisted in' the Confederate Army, in the Thirty-fourth Mississippi Infantry, under Col. Samuel Benton, and was in the battles at Perryville, Ky., Murfreesboro, Chickamauga and Look-out Mountain, and was captured at the latter place and held as a prisoner of war for sixteen months at Rock Island, Ill., and was released March 13, 1865. Mr. Fleming is a Democrat, a Mason, and a member of the Old School Presbyterian Church; he owns 400 acres of land three and a half miles southwest of Colliersville: He is highly esteemed by all who know him.

Ford & LeMaster, real estate and rental agents, is composed of J. N. Ford and N. F. LeMaster, who established their present business in September, 1886. They already have a profitable and rapidly growing business. Nathaniel F. LeMaster, was born in Shelby County, Tenn., February 13, 1836, and is the son of James S. and Penelope P. (Field) LeMaster, both parents being natives of Kentucky. The father, a successful planter, came to this county in 1831, and here resided until his death in 1874. Our subject grew up in this county and finished his education at Hanover College, Ind., and at Center College, Danville; Ky. October 21, 1857, he married Miss Olivia Rawlings, and located on a plantation in this county, in the Twelth District, which he still owns and on which he resided until 1883. He then removed to Memphis and accepted a position as bookkeeper for a lumber company and served thus and otherwise until he engaged in his present business. He was deputy county trustee two years under Mr. Rawlings, and for the same length of time under Mr. McGowan. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church. His wife died in June, 1883, leaving three children — two sons and one daughter.

Col. R. Dudley Frayser, president of The Security Bank of Memphis, of the Memphis City Railway Company, and of the Memphis Abstract Company, besides being a director in a number of other corporations, is a member of the law firm of Frayser & Scruggs; was born in this city and was educated here at the public schools and at the Kentucky Military Institute, from which last institution he graduated, delivering the valedictory address. In 1861 he enlisted in Company F, Thirty-seventh Tennessee Confederate Regiment as a private, but was soon promoted adjutant and then lieutenant-colonel, which rank he held until the cessation of hostilities, and was senior field officer in command of the brigade at the surrender in North Carolina in 1865. He returned home after the surrender and began reading law with Judge R. J. Morgan, and was admitted to the Memphis bar in 1866, and began the practice as a member of the firm of Morgan & Frayser, which was afterward changed to Morgan, Jarnagin & Frayser by the admission to the firm of Col. Milton P. Jarnagin, Esq., and in 1880 the present firm was formed. Our subject is one of six survivors of a family of eight children born to the marriage of Dr. John R. Frayser and Miss Pauline Brown. The father was a native of Virginia and the mother of Mississippi. They came to Memphis in 1835 and were here married. The father was a graduate of the Philadelphia Medical College in the class of 1835, and has since practiced his profession in this city, being one of the oldest resident physicians of the city. In 1867 our subject was united in marriage to Miss Mary Lane, a native of this city and daughter of Fletcher Lane, formerly a prominent merchant here. By her he has the following children: Pauline, Florence and R. Dudley. He is a member of the orders, F. & A. M., K. of H., A. O. U. W. and I. O. O. F., in the latter order, being president of the general relief committee and ex-Grand Master of Tennessee. The firm of Frayser & Scruggs commands a fine practice. They are the retained attorneys for a number of banks and other corporations. Col. Frayser is regarded as a man of keen and shrewd judgment as a financier, and whatever he goes into generally prospers and comes out gilt-edged. In politics he is a Democrat and in the wrangle about the State debt he was a zealous "sky blue."

J. A. Fry, a merchant at Memphis, engaged in the grocery business, including fancy and family groceries and liquors, at 136 Poplar Street, corner Fourth, established the business in February, 1884. Mr. Fry is a native of Mississippi, and is a son of Calvin and Emily (Hickey) Fry. The father was a native of Alabama and the mother of Tennessee. The father died in 1883 and the mother is now living in California. Our subject moved to Memphis in 1879 and was at first engaged as traveling salesman and was afterward employed by the express company. He was married in 1876 to Miss Lucy Watkins, of Mississippi. They have had five children, but only two are now living. Mr. Fry has shown judgment and enterprise in the management of his business and has a liberal patronage.

Fulmer, Thornton & Co., wholesale grocers, cotton factors and commission merchants, No. 306 Front Street, Memphis, is composed of J.J. Thornton and J.W. Fulmer, who succeeded Sledge, McKay & Co., in 1878, and have conducted a large and growing business since, and have the highest commercial standing. They carry a choice and full line of goods pertaining to the wholesale grocery trade, and find market throughout Tennessee, Mississippi and Akansas. They do a large cotton business, being among the heaviest dealers in the city. No business firm of the city stands higher in the estimation of the trading public, and no firm of the city possesses greater claim to the confidence of all. Mr. Fulmer, of the firm, is a director in the State National Bank, Memphis National Bank, the Factors' Fire Insurance Company and the Factors' Mutual Insurance Company of Memphis, Tenn. He is also a large land owner in the rich valley of the Mississippi River in the State of Mississippi.