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.