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 I.O.O.F.

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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