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Family Histories for A Surnames, Thompson's Station, Williamson County, Tennessee

This biographical collection includes 86 histories of pioneer families of Thompson's Station and Southern Williamson County. The stories are about families who are proud of their roots and their place in history. We hope that you will be able to connect your roots with ours, and become part of us.

If you are just beginning your search, the family histtory section is a good place to start.

The following Family Histories have been taken from the book by Sue Oden titled Hold Us Not Boastful - History of Thompson's Station, TN.

This biographical collection includes 86 histories of pioneer families of Thompson's Station and Southern Williamson County. The stories are about families who are proud of their roots and their place in history. We hope that you will be able to connect your roots with ours, and become part of us.

If you are just beginning your search, the family histories in this sectio is will be a good place to start.

Please note the following:

"The correctness of this biographical material cannot be guaranteed. It was obtained through interviews with family members, research they had done and my own research at the Williamson County Archives. Research in such detail is always subject to error. Everyone must validate the facts for their own use."


Around the turn of the century Thompson's Station was such a beehive of commercial activity, a telegraph system was installed in the depot to facilitate business matters. Mr. Key Thompson, his niece, the former Emma Elizabeth Young, and her husband, Sam Aaron, operated the telegraph and freight office. Sam Aaron fell beneath a train, crushing his leg badly which impaired him for the rest of his life.

Sam and Emma Elizabeth Young Aaron had two daughters, Emma who never married and Cornelia who married Lawrence Hatcher.

Mrs. Aaron, the daughter of Elijah and Lousena Green Young, was born Jan. 12, 1882 and died Oct. 30, 1918. She is buried in Mt. Hope but the burial record of her husband was not found.


Herbert Ridgeway Adair was a native of Williamson County and was a retired farmer of the Thompson's Station Community. He was the son of Robert Reed and Cora E. White Adair and the husband of the former Gladys Kennedy. The couple had the following children: Mrs. Fuller (Ann) Arnold and Mrs. Robert (Sue) Wiley of Franklin, Mrs. James (Barbara) Goodridge of Independence, Kentucky and Kenneth Reed Adair of Joelton.

Mr. Adair had three sisters, Mrs. Lottie McKee of Madison, Mrs. Marie Markus and Mrs. Jimmy Griffin of Old Hickory and two brothers, Robert H. Adair and Woodrow Adair, both of Franklin.

Herbert Ridgeway and Gladys Adair had fourteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.


James Harold Adams, Sr., 51, died Wednesday, February 24, 1993 at Vanderbilt Hospital. Mr. Adams was a native of Maury County and the son of the late Elmore and Marnie Louise Alexander Adams, Sr. He was a former resident of Thompson's Station and was owner and operator of the Thompson's Station Grocery and a member of the Thompson's Station Church of Christ.

Survivors include his wife, Carol Dean Ward Adams of Franklin; three daughters, Tammy Prentice of Santa Fe, Jamie Gilbreath of Columbia and Ginger Wright of Thompson's Station; a son, James Harold Adams, Jr. of Pulaski; three sisters, Margaret Crumley, Dorothy Coffman and Patricia Roland of Columbia; two brothers, Elmore Adams, Jr. and Donald Ray Adams of Columbia and six grandchildren.

Funeral services were conducted Saturday, February 27, 1993 at the Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home in Columbia with Oliver Pantall officiating. He was buried in the Rose Hill Cemetery.


Another family that goes back in Thompson's Station history is the Akin family. Timothy Edgar Akin, Sr. (1904-1978) married Sophronia Louise Laycock (1912-1987) on November 29, 1928. Timothy was the son of William James Akin (1868-1956) of Burwood and Lula Paralee Shaw (1869-1948) daughter of William Augustus Shaw and the former Delilah Paralee Lavender, daughter of Anthony Lavender and Paralee Sprott. Sophronia was the daughter of Henry Martin Laycock (1877-1959) and Ora Church (1871-1923).

Other children of William James and Lula Akin were: John Will Akin (1894-1946) who married first, Ruby E. Sparkman and second, Marie Jones; Lila Mai Akin (b. 1898) who married Dr. E. M. Ragsdale; and, Margaret Lucille Akin (1905-1995) who married Comer Rinks.

William James Akin was the son of William M. Akin (1828-1907) and the former Mary Elizabeth Terrell (1836-1917), daughter of Timothy Terrell (1810-1859) and Nancy W. Dodson (1818-1848). Nancy W. Dodson was the daughter of Bird Dodson (1790-1869) and Judith Holland (1799-1873).

Other children of William M. and Mary Elizabeth Akin were: Timothy Terrell Akin (1861-1904) who married Etta B. Sparkman; Nannie W. Akin (1863-1865); Cora E. Akin (b. 1868) who married Noble A. Boyd; and, John Hannah (1877-1882).

Lula Paralee Shaw was the daughter of William Augustus Shaw (son of John Anthony and Emily Wilson Shaw) and Delilah Paralee Lavender (daughter of Anthony and Paralee Sprott Lavender).

Timothy Edgar and Sophronia Louise Laycock Akin had the following children: Ora Jane Akin (1930-1945); Timothy Edgar Akin, Jr. (b. 1931) who married Barbara Grimes; William Henry Akin (b. 1936) who married Corinne Givens and had Mitzie Akin and William Henry Akin, Jr.; John Herbert Akin (b. 1939) who married Lois, last name unknown, and had one child, John Herbert Akin, Jr.; and, Louisa Laycock Akin (b. 1941) who married Charles William Hood, Sr.

Louisa and Charles Hood had the following children: Charles William Hood, Jr. (b. 1963) who married Kathryn Genoble and had Brittany Leigh and Brandon Jesse Hood; Timothy E. Hood (b. 1966) who married Dana A. Hood and had Jacob Patrick Andrew Hood; and, Terry W. Hood (b. 1966) who married Kim Carson and had Jana Nicole and Mackenzie Jesse Hood.


Jesse W. and Phoebe Williams Alexander were both born in Tennessee in 1800, according to the 1850 census. Jesse left a will (Will Book 1870-1874, page 30, Williamson County Archives). Their children were Susan M. (b. 1824), William E. (b. 1831), Mary E. (b. 1834), Martha R. (born 1836), James R. (b. 1838) and Jesse Wallace (born 1843). This family lived at the end of Thompson's Station Road on Lewisburg Pike near the present Riverbend Nursery.

Susan M. Alexander had a child, Martha, who married Leon Milton Evans. This couple had at least three children: Mrs. Artie (Artimesa) Sprott, Loulie, Mrs. Cammye Jones and Leon Milton Evans, Jr.

In 1852, William E. Alexander married Antoinette Lavender, daughter of Nelson and Permelia White Lavender. Their eight children were: William C., Laura A., Ebenezer C., Lucy F., Antoinette V., Volona L., Viola V. and Nora L..

Jesse Wallace and Cleopatra (Pat) Alexander's children were W. T. Alexander, J. M. Alexander, Mrs. Ida Grigsby and Mrs. Lillie Land.

Sara Sprott Morrow, grandaughter of Martha and Milton Evans, wrote a lovely tribute to the Evans Cemetery which was published in The Williamson County Historical Journal No. 18.


This Alexander family settled in Maryland, migrating into North Carolina about 1754. Ezra Alexander married the daughter of Ezekiel Polk. Their son, Eleazer (1763-1810), came to what is now Maury County where he and his wife, Margaret Carter, were given six hundred acres of land by her brother, Benjamin Carter, of South Carolina, a Revolutionary War soldier. This couple had a large family of eleven children.

Eleazer gave land for the Alexander Cemetery and was the first person found buried there in 1810. His son, Abdon I. Alexander, who married Eliza Eugenia Campbell, is also buried there as is Abdon's son, John Campbell Alexander (1824-1892), who married Mary Williams Sparkman.

Abdon and Eliza Eugenia Alexander had eleven children: Caroline, Rebecca, Golden, John Campbell, Eliza, Reese Sidney, Jimmie and four others.

John Campbell and Mary Williams Sparkman Alexander were the parents of Sarah, Enola, Caroline, Mary C. and Ross Alexander, one of the notable men of Thompson's Station. He was born October 13, 1848 and died August 21, 1923. His wife was the former Julia Gary ((1854-1924), daughter of John W. and Elizabeth Jane Graham Gary. John and Elizabeth Jane Gary are the paternal great grandparents of Ben Gary, owner of the Spring Hill Auction Barn.

Ross and Julia Alexander had three children: Campbell and Enola who died as young children and Graham who married Dowd Gillespie. Ross' sister, Sarah Rebecca Alexander, married William James Zellner. It was he and his wife who deeded land in 1897 for a new school to replace the old log one which stood about where the old Willis Patton home stands on School Street.

The Ross Alexander home was later the home of Dorothy Hatcher Lea and very early was a stage-coach stop for travelers going back and forth from north to south.


Thomas Benton Alexander died in August, 1928 at his home near Thompson's Station at the age of eighty-nine years after being confined to his bed for more than a year with a broken hip. He was buried in the Williams Graveyard on Lewisburg Pike.

Alexander was a member of the famous "fighting family of Alexanders" and was the third of his family to die within a year. His home was the present home of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Plant located in the middle of the Holigan Homes development on Columbia Highway just south of Thompson's Station.

He was one of four brothers who made gallant Condederate soldiers. It was the custom of these brothers to hold annual reunions and recount the events of the war. The four brothers served throughout the Civil War, none of them going home during the entire time. At the Battle of Fort Donelson, Thomas Benton Alexander was captured and confined in a Northern prison but later exchanged. He moved to Thompson's Station after the war and was a substantial farmer and leading citizen.

The four brothers were Ebenezer Crawford Alexander, Jr. (1837-1928) of Godwin, Tennessee; Thomas Benton Alexander (1839-1928) of Thompson's Station, Tennessee; George Washington Alexander (1841- ?) of Trenton, Tennessee; and Andrew Jackson Alexander (1844-1927) of Columbia, Tennessee.

Other siblings were James Franklin (1831-1838), Jesse Caroll (1833-1838), William Rankin (1835-1838), Lucy (born 1847 and lived only a month), Jefferson Lafayette (1848-1866) and Fleming Cayce (born 1847 and lived only five days).

These children were born and raised at Godwin, being the sons of Ebenezer Crawford Alexander, Sr. (1804-1890). Their paternal grandparents were Oliver Alexander (born 1732, Westmoreland County, Virginia) and the former Mary Craig of Ireland. Oliver moved to Washington County, Tennessee, then to Blount County and, finally, to Maury County. He was buried on the Maxwell Farm, four miles south of Columbia.

Thomas Benton Alexander married Ivie Williams and had three children; Irene, principal of Baton Rogue High School in Louisiana, Mrs. T. N. King and George W. Alexander who married Alidee Foster. George and Alidee Alexander were the parents of Mary Louise Alexander Morton (Mrs. Jess Morton, Jr.), Lola Foster Alexander Morgan (Mrs. Marshall Morgan) and Margaret Leigh Alexander.


Mary Trim Anderson came to Thompson's Station with her parents, J. Clark and Jewell Sowell Anderson, from Carter's Creek in Maury County when she was about four years old. They first lived at Homestead Manor, the present Darby home before buying a farm where Kathryn Cotton's home was later located. The next summer her brother, J. C., was born. The second brother, Will, was born July 20, 1920 while Mary Trim and J. C. were visiting their cousins, A. D. and Elizabeth Gillespie, children of Dowd and Graham Alexander Gillespie and grandchildren of Ross and Julia Gary Alexander.

Miss Anderson was named for her grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Caldwell (who had married Dr. Thomas Milton Sowell) and her aunt, Mary Lee Sowell. The name Trim came from Dr. Trim Houston, who had married another aunt, Eva Sowell. Miss Anderson's mother had spent much time in the home of this couple and eventually had her wedding performed there.

She has written a fascinating account of her family's history. A copy is in the library in Franklin and and a copy is at the Thompson's Station Public Library. In it she tells many interesting stories of her family's everyday life in Thompson's Station and the way things were done before the modern conveniences we have today.

One of her most pleasant memories is playing with her dolls on the third floor of Homestead Manor. By going to the top floor of the house, one could "get away" from the rest of the world and enter their own world of imagination. She recalls going out the back door of the house on Sunday morning with members of her family and walking down the railroad tracks to the Thompson's Station Church of Christ.

She remembers visiting the blacksmith shop, run by an old gentleman of Scottish descent, as he went about his work shaping the redhot metal into horseshoes or forming some tool he was making.

Some of her childish activities brought wrath upon her head. One of the favorite pastimes of Mary Trim and her cousin, Elizabeth Gillespie, was walking along the railroad tracks, placing rocks on the tracks, then sitting and watching as the train came along crushing the rocks with the wheels. They were caught when a crew of workmen came along in their handcart and saw what they were doing. After a stern lecture, they decided this was not such a pleasant sport after all.

J. Clark Anderson's parents were William Newsom Anderson and Laura Lenora Alexander, sister of Ross Alexander, another prominent resident of Thompson's Station. William Anderson was a minister and was once president of the Nashville Bible College, now David Lipscomb University.

William Newsom Anderson's parents were James Clark Anderson, also a minister, and Lucinda Newsom, daughter of William Bryant Newson, Jr. (born 1776) and his wife, the former Lucinda Morton (born 1788). This James Clark Anderson's father was Thomas Anderson of Virginia, wife's name unknown.


William Hunter and Mary Smith Arnold migrated from near Lexington, Kentucky shortly after their marriage in 1878, settling on a farm of one hundred fifty-nine acres in Thompson's Station where they built a house in 1886.

William Hunter Arnold, who was born in 1855 in Lexington, Kentucky, was a physician and his wife was a school teacher until she began raising their ten children - sons Wendell, Glen, Billy and Clayton and daughters, Sallie, Lena, Ruth, Stella, Mary and Geneva.

The parents instilled in their children a love for good literature including the Bible, a love for good music, beautiful flowers and gracious manners.

Wendell and Glenn became farmers; William was a carpenter and construction man, active in the Church of Christ in Arkansas, serving as an elder and having a part in the establishment of several congregations in the Little Rock area.

Clayton was born in 1892 and at twenty-one years of age, became a postmaster at Thompson's Station at sixty dollars a month. He held this position from 1913 until 1927. He wanted to buy "a team of mules, some farm machinery and maybe a farm of my own some day". At the same time, he began a business of his own, buying and shipping millet and seeds.

He began buying farms, sometimes to operate and sometimes to sell at a profit. Eventually, he owned farms in Williamson, Maury and Giles counties in Tennessee and in Scott County in Kentucky.

He bought a merchandising store at Thompson's Station; but, at the end of fourteen months, had to give that up to enter the United States Army during World War I, part of his service was spent in France.

After the war, Arnold went back into the grain shipping business. "Saving the first one thousand dollars is the vital step in building a fortune", Arnold said.

Clayton became highly successful in his business investments and amassed considerable wealth which he generously distributed to other members of his family. He became a philanthropist to the University of Tennessee and David Lipscomb College in Nashville.

He built a fortune on personal thrift and wise investments in stocks. He once presented the University of Tennessee with more than a million dollars in donations. His only formal education was in a two-room, rural school in Thompson's Station. He never attended a college or university. He attended night law school in Nashville and, although he did not complete his degree, he did pass the state bar examination. At his death more than three hundred University of Tennessee students had received Clayton Arnold Scholarships.

Geneva and Sallie were both school teachers. They taught in Fanning Christian School in Nashville in the 1920's. Their effectiveness as teachers has been confirmed by many of their former students.

When her mother became ill, Geneva came home to care for her until her death in 1932. After her mother's death, Geneva took care of other members of her family including sisters, Mary, Stella and Lena. She gave $150,000.00 to the Timothy Hill Children's Ranch in Riverhead, New York in 1982. It was the largest, single donation in the Ranch's history. This enabled them to build its second residential unit to serve neglected and abused children and young people.

Ruth and Clayton were the last members of the family to live on the family farm.