Location: Dekalb County TN

Biography of S.B. Prichard

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...

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Biographical Sketch of Will A. Vick

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...

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Biography of W.W. Patterson

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...

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Biographical Sketch of G. Squires M.D.

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...

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Biography of R.C. Nesmith

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 decent, 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...

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Biography of Gen. Wm. B. Stokes

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...

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Biography of John M. Mason

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, Virginia. 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...

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Biography of A.P. Smith

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...

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Biograpy Sketch of James H. Kitching

James H. Kitching, a prosperous farmer and stock dealer of Alexandria, was born May 28, 1840, in Smith County. He is the fourth of fourteen children of Thomas and Mary (Davis) Kitching. The father was born in Smith County in 1809, a son of James Kitchen who was a native of North Carolina. He immigrated to Tennessee at an early date stopping first at the top of Bledsoe’s Lick, Sumner County, afterward located in Smith County, near the head of Kitching Creek, which was named for him. He was one of the first settlers in that section where his life was passed. Thomas was reared in his native county, where he married about 1831. He is a substantial farmer, well and favorably known. His wife was born in North Carolina about five years later than her husband. Both are faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. They raised a large and intelligent family; all lived to maturity. There are now three sons and four daughters. The subject of this sketch was educated in the common schools. In September 1862, he enlisted in the United States Army, in Company B, Fifth Tennessee Cavalry. He took part in the battle of Stone River and many skirmishes. In August, 1863, he was discharged on account of disability, but in the fall of 1864 enlisted in Company G, Fourth Tennessee Mounted Infantry,...

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Biography of Louis E. Simpson

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....

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Biography of W.R. Smith

Smith, W.R, of the firm Smith Bros., the well-known proprietors of a general store of Smithville, established their house in the fall of 1877. He is 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...

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Biography of Rev. Ira W. King

Rev. Ira W. King, pastor of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and a prominent citizen of Alexandria, was born December 3, 1819, in North Carolina. He is the fourth of eight children born to Prof. Tho. H. And Ann (Harris) King. The father was a native of Virginia, born about 1790, of Scotch-Irish descent, a son of Henry King, also a native of Virginia. Tho. H. was reared and liberally educated in his native State. He went to Rockingham County, N. C., when a young man, where he married about 1810. In 1820 he moved to Williamson County, Tenn., and in 1832 located in Smith County. A few years prior to his death he went to Jackson County. He died in 1865. Many years of his early life were spent as a schoolteacher in North Carolina and Tennessee. He served as deputy sheriff and captain of militia for several years. The latter portion of his life was devoted to agricultural pursuits. His wife was born in North Carolina about the same year of his birth and died in 1873, a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Our subject was mostly educated at Castalian Springs, Sumner County, and at Lebanon, where he married in June 1843, Miss Deborah, daughter of Jackson N. and Elizabeth (Whitson) Brown. Of the ten children born to this union, four are living: Dr. Robt. W., of...

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Biography of J.J. Smith

J.J. Smith, of the firm Smith Bros., the well-known proprietors of a general store of Smithville, established their house in the fall of 1877. He is 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...

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Biography of J.E. Robinson

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, and 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,...

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Biography of Hon. Bethel Magness Webb

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 landholder 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...

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