Webster County KY Biographies
Subjects of Perrin, Battle & Kniffin 1885 Biographies
From: Kentucky, A History of the State. Perrin, Battle & Kniffin. 2nd ed.,
1885, Webster Co.
JOHN W. GIVENS was born near the Tradewater, in Hopkins County, Ky.,
February 4, 1830, and is the only surviving one of nine children born to
Jack and Patsey (Given) Givens, the former a native of Virginia, and the
latter of Lincoln County, Ky., and of Irish and English origin,
respectively. Jack Givens, about 1810, removed to Kentucky and bought wild
land near Providence, in what is now Webster County, but was then a part of
Henderson County, where he improved a farm, upon which he remained ten
years. He then sold out and bought wild land on the Tradewater, in what is
now Hopkins County, Ky., which he improved and where he resided about ten
years. He traded the place for another near Providence, upon which he
resided until his death, in 1836, aged forty-four years. He was married in
1816. He was a veteran in the war of 1812 and served under Gen. Hopkins.
His father, Thomas Givens, was a graduate of the University of Dublin,
Ireland, who in early life immigrated to the colony of Virginia, and
served with distinction in the Continental army during the Revolutionary
war. Mrs. Patsey Givens, subject's mother, died August 29, 1884, aged
eighty-eight years. She was a devout Christian, a member of the Primitive
and afterward of the United Baptist Church.
Our subject remained with his
mother on the home farm until 1850, when he started for California,
accomplishing the entire distance on foot, driving an ox team across the
plains. Four months were consumed in making the journey. In California he
was engaged in farming and mining for three years. In 1853, he returned to
Kentucky and bought a farm near Providence, where he has since been
extensively engaged in farming. He now owns improved lands in Webster and
Hopkins Counties amounting to 1,000 acres.
Since 1854 he has also been
extensively engaged in the tobacco business and has one of the largest
stemmeries in the county. He and his cousin, Thomas K., each own one-third
interest in the following property: two stock ranches and other lands in
Texas, amounting to some 7,500 acres. On one of these ranches they have
several hundred head of horses, cattle and mules. They have also four coal
mines, and several hundred acres of valuable coal lands near Providence.
In 1875 they spent several months in Europe together.
Mr. Givens was
married, December 22, 1853, to Miss Judith N.R. Wier, a native of Henderson
County, Ky., only child of Gen. William R. and Amelia (Green) Wier, early
settlers of Hopkins County, both natives of Virginia. To this union were
born two children, one now living - Amelia R., now Mrs. T.O. Sugg. Mrs.
Judith Givens died May 5, 1864; she was a member of the Christian Church.
Mr. Givens' second marriage was April 27, 1866 to Miss Maggie R. Ross,
native of Union County, Ky., a daughter of Charles B. and Charlotte (Ashby)
Ross, early settlers of western Kentucky, the former a native of Maryland,
but reared in Philadelphia, the latter a native of Winchester, Va. Mr.
Ross graduated at Philadelphia, and was a lawyer by profession. Mr. and
Mrs. Givens have three sons: Ross, James M. and Stuart. In early life Mr.
Givens joined the Christian Church; he and wife are now, however, members
of the United Baptist Church; he is also a member of the Masonic
fraternity, R.A. degree, and is a Democrat.
P.H. GRIFFIN, M.D., was born in Ireland, in March, 1856, and is a son of
Jeremiah and Sarah (O'Brien) Griffin. His parents immigrated to America
when he was but a child, and settled at Corydon, Henderson Co., where P.H.
received his literary education, and afterward taught school for five
consecutive school years. In 1873 he began the study of medicine under Dr.
J.M. Powell at Corydon, Ky. During the winter of 1878 and 1879 he attended
medical lectures at the University of Louisville, Ky., and the following
year attended the Missouri Medical College, at St. Louis, from which he
graduated with honors; the same year he came to Sebree, and began the
regular practice of medicine, which he has since continued with success.
He is one of the leading members of the McDowell Medical Society, of which
he was treasurer for 1884.
WILLIAM H. GRIFFITH is a native of Macon County, Tenn., born January, 1848,
and is the eldest of a family of six children, born to Byron and Maria
(Rison) Griffith, of Welsh origin. His father was born about 1821, in
Jackson County, Tenn., and his mother was a native of Huntsville, Ala. His
great-grandfather Griffith was born in Wales, and when five years old, was
kidnapped and brought to America. At the early age of fifteen years our
subject enlisted in Company B, Thirty-seventh Kentucky Mounted Infantry,
and after a faithful service of almost two years, was honorably discharged
in January, 1864. He then worked on a farm for one year, afterward clerked
in a store for the same length of time, and then for one year traveled
through the country selling clocks for the firm of Moore Brothers. In 1867
he came to Petersburgh, where he has since resided. Mr. Griffith was
married in 1868 to Miss Ellen Wise, a native of Jefferson County, Ky., born
January 3, 1850, and who came to what is now Webster County when about one
year old. This marriage has been blessed with six children: Frank,
Charles, Effie, Roy, Guy and Edward. Mr. Griffith advocates the principles
of the Greenback party for all national issues. He erected the first
business house in Sebree. Mrs. Griffith is a member of the Methodist
Episcopal Church South.
JUDGE L.B. HALL was born May 4, 1842, in Hopkins, now Webster County, Ky.,
and is a son of Eli L. and Margaret (Wagner) Hall. His father was born in
Virginia, and in 1839 immigrated to Kentucky, settling in Hopkins County,
where he engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death, September 14,
1865. The mother was born in South Carolina, and died in August, 1875.
Our subject was reared on his father's farm. He enlisted in 1861, in
Company A, Eighth Kentucky Infantry, Confederate States army. Two years
later this regiment was mounted and placed under command of Gen. Forrest,
and served to the end of the war. He then returned to Webster County, and
soon after bought a farm of 350 acres, seven miles southeast of Dixon.
This farm has since improved and is now one of the best stock farms in the
county. In 1878 he was elected county judge, was re-elected in 1882, and
has since creditably filled that position. Judge Hall was married, in
1867, to Miss Martha Williams, of Webster County. This union has been
blessed with eight children - four sons and four daughters. He is a member
of the Masonic fraternity. He and wife are members of the Methodist
Episcopal Church South.
C.C. HARDWICK, Webster County, was born March 31, 1829, in Madisonville,
Ky., and is a son of John D. and Nancy (Gordon) Hardwick. The father was
born in Montgomery County, Ky., and in 1803 he moved to Madisonville, where
he carried on the tailoring business and also kept a hotel. He died in
1875, aged seventy-three years. The mother was born in Henderson, now
Hopkins County, Ky. Her father, John Gordon, was the first county surveyor
of Hopkins County, and surveyed the town of Madisonville. She died in
1855, aged forty-eight years. Subject, at the age of twenty-three was
appointed postmaster of Madisonville, and held that office four years. He
next served four years as deputy sheriff. In 1860 he was appointed United
States census enumerator. He afterward followed farming four years, and
for the past twenty-one years, has been engaged in merchandising in Dixon,
except two years spent elsewhere. He was married, December 14, 1848, to
Catherine Rutherford, of Christian County, who died in 1857, leaving one
son. His second marriage was November 22, 1859, to Addie Henson, of
Crittenden County, Ky. This union has been blessed with eight children -
five sons and three daughters. Mr. and Mrs. Hardwick are members of the
United Baptist Church. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and
ELLIS HEARIN was born July 23, 1839, in what is now Webster County, Ky. At
the age of twenty-one years, he bought 100 acres of land, and engaged in
farming on his own account; continued to increase his possessions and now
owns about 320 acres of land, about one-half of which is in cultivation.
He has just completed a comfortable residence at a cost of about $1,000.
Mr. Hearin was married in 1864 to Elizabeth A. Russell, of Webster County,
Ky., and to them have been born seven sons and two daughters.
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