Goodspeed's History of Tennessee 1887

Biographies of Weakley County

Biographies - M
Hon. G. W. MARTIN was born within one mile of the present village of Martin, Tenn., on the 16th of October, 1839, and was one of a family of nine children. His parents, William and Sarah Martin, were born in the State of Virginia, the former in 1806. They were married in their native State, and soon after moved to Weakley County, Tenn., where they ever afterward made their home. The father at the time of his death, in 1858, was the owner of 2,500 acres of land on a part of which the town of Martin is located, taking its name from the owner of the land. Mr. Martin was the first and most extensive tobacco grower in Weakley County, and also did a mammoth business in buying and shipping the same. He was an ardent Whig in politics, and was a man well known and universally esteemed by all his acquaintances, and was a great factor for good in Weakley County. His wife died about 1852. Our subject's rudimentary education was obtained in the schools near his home and Bethel College, which he attended two years. He was graduated from Union University at Murfreesboro, Tenn., in 1860, and in 1861 volunteered for one year in the service of the State of Tennessee, and belonged to the company known as the "Old Hickory Blues," his captain being Bradford Edwards. After his term of service had expired he took a trip to Europe and spent three years in visiting places of historic note and interest. He farmed two years after his return home, and the following four years was engaged in milling at Gardner's Station. He also had a steam cotton-gin and a factory for wool carding. In 1873 the Mississippi Central Railroad crossed the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railroad on a part of the homestead farm, which he then owned, and in May of the same year the town of Martin was laid out. He soon located in the town, and for six years was engaged in the flouring and saw-mill business. In the year 1883 he took an active part in or. organizing the bank at Fulton, Ky., and was chosen its first president. In June, 1886, the bank at Martin was established, through his instrumentality, with a capital stock of $50,000, and he is now its president and one of its largest stockholders. In 1873-74 he represented Weakley County in the State Legislature, and in 1877-78 served as State Senator - , and again in 1881-82 was in the House of Representatives. In 1884 he was called once more to the State Senate, which office he now holds. In 1873 he introduced the first measure-  for the regulation of the railroad system and also took an active part !D forming laws to govern the present public school system. He was a strong advocate in favor of settling the State date, and in the excitement of the election of 1880, he was elected (though a candidate against his will) as a "State Credit Democrat " defeating J. M. Tout, a II low tax Democrat" by a majority of 650 votes. Mr. Martin is a man of excellent business principles, and by his honesty and respect for the feelings of others has gained tile esteem of all. He is noted for being the first to advocate political measures that were first unpolitical but gradually grew into favor and afterward became law.

Thomas D. MARTIN is one of nine children of William and Sarah Martin (For parents biography see sketch of G. W. Martin.), and was born in Weakley County, Tenn., April 27, 1835. He was educated in the schools near his boyhood's home, and Dresden Academy.  April, 1863, witnessed his marriage with Cornelia, daughter of A. and Elizabeth Cother.  Mrs. Martin is a native of Weakley County, born in 1887. She was educated at the Fe- male academies of Dresden and Paris, Tenn., and is the mother of one daughter, Florence E., the wife of Walter W. Morris, a farmer and resident of Obion County.  When a young man, Mr. Martin was engaged in the mercantile business in Hickman, Ky., for about three years.  He was then engaged in ministerial labors until the second year of the war, when he engaged in farming and the leaf tobacco business.   He owns a valuable farm of 400 acres near Martin on the North Carolina & St. Louis Railroad, which is well adapted for raising all kinds of grain, also for raising stock.  He has a fine residence and the grounds are neatly laid off in walks filled with shells brought from New Orleans.  It might be of interest to add that Mrs. Martin has the largest collection of choice house plants of any lady in the county.   Mr. Martin is a Democrat and cast his first presidential vote for James Buchanan.   He is a man ever ready to support worthy enterprise and is much respected by his neighbors and friends.

J. M. MEADOWS, general merchant of Dresden, was born in Bedford County, Tenn., in 1834 and is a son of E. G. and Jane (Thompson) Meadows. The former was born in North Carolina, in 1813, and came to Tennessee in his youth, locating in Bedford County, where he followed farming for some time. After marrying in Rutherford and residing in Dickson County, he finally located in Weakley County, where he now resides. He became the father of eight children, all of whom are living: Caroline (wife of W. C. Hicks, who resides in Obion County); J. M., our subject; Sabrina (Mrs. Bryant James), James P., Ann (Mrs. Thomas Hatcher), Nancy (Mrs. Benjamin Bowers), William (who resides in Fulton, Ky.) and Thomas. Their mother was born in Virginia, in 1816, and died in 1881.    J. M. Meadows was educated in Dickson County, Tenn., and after attaining his twenty-first birthday, hired out as clerk in a dry goods store in Dresden, and worked for J. W. Hays & Bro. for about six years. During the late war he bought a stock of goods and began business for himself at Locust Grove (now Greenfield) Tenn., but soon came to Dresden, where he has since resided.  He has followed merchandising the greater part of the time since the war, and since 1881 has been located at his present place of business. In November, 1861, he married Miss A. A. Thompson, a native of Weakley County, They have three children: Emma (Mrs. T. A, McElwrath), Charles P. and Nettle. Mr. Meadows is an energetic and honest business man of Dresden and has been a life-long Democrat in politics.  His wife and children are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.

Peter B. MOSELEY was born in Virginia, June 6, 1812, son of B. and S. Moseley. The father was born in 1772, and was married when about twenty-one years of age, and in 1827 sold his property in his native State and came to Tennessee, locating in Wilson County, where he resided until his death in 1868. He owned 5,040 acres of land besides a hotel and several lots in Dresden. His wife was born in Virginia, in 1778, and died in 1865. Peter B. Moseley was married in March, 1841, to Eleanor Priestley, who bore him eight children, five of whom are living: J. Robert, John R., Thomas J., Susan V. (Mrs. Alvin Foster), and Lillie, (Mrs. Samuel McAdams). Mr. Moseley owns 1,200 acres of land given him by his father.  He has been a life-long Democrat, and resides on the old home farm with his son, Thomas J. His wife was born in Springfield, Tenn., in 1821, and died in 1865. Their son, John R. Moseley, was born in Weakley County, May 7, 1843.   He was educated in the neighboring schools and the Caledonia College, which he entered at the age of sixteen years. At the breaking out of the war he enlisted in Company A, Fifteenth Tennessee Infantry, and participated in the battles of Shiloh, Belmont, Corinth and at the end of one year joined the cavalry under Gen. Forrest, and was in the battle of Thompson's Station. He was with Gens. Wheeler and Dibrell, and afterward re-joined Forrest's command.  He was wounded at Memphis and returned home a short time prior to the surrender. He was paroled at Paducah and returned home after an absence of four years. September 20, 1865, he married Mollie E., daughter of Josiah and Frances Thornton, natives of South and North Carolina respectively.  The father died in 1875 and the mother in 1867.  Mr. and Mrs. Moseley are the parents of the following children: James T., John W., Joe Edward, Josephine Ella, Ida Pearl and Mary Althea. Mr. Moseley owns 300 acres of land and is a thorough business man. He is a Democrat and he and wife are members of the Christian Church. Mrs. Mosely was born in 1844.

Prof. W. A. MUSE, superintendent of the Dresden Academy, was born in Henderson County, Tenn., near Mifflin, in 1852. His parents, D. C. and Eliza (Stone) Muse, were born in Pittsylvania County, Va., in and , and died in Tennessee in 1865 and 1876 respectively. Soon after their marriage, which occurred in their native State, they came to Tennessee. They became the parents of twelve children, nine of whom are living. Our subject was academically educated at Lexington, Tenn., and in 1869 entered the High School at Ann Arbor, Mich., and remained one year. The following year he entered the literary department of the university of the same place, and attended that institution for some time. In 1874 he was elected to the principalship of the Big Spring Academy, in Madison County, Tenn., and held the position four sessions. In 1882 he became connected with the I.O.O.P. college at Humboldt, and remained as instructor in the same six months. The following three years he was principal of the schools of Rutherford, Tenn., and in 1886 was elected to his present position, and has given universal satisfaction as adminstator and disciplinarian. June l7, 1885, he married Viola Edmundson, of Rutherford, Tenn.   Prof. Muse is one of the leading educators of West Tennessee, and the school at Dresden was never in a more prosperous condition than at the present time.

J. W. MYRICK, a well-to-do farmer of the Seventh District, was born in 1838, a son of J. and L. Myrick. The father was born in South Carolina in 1809, and removed to Tennessee in 1834, locating in Weakley County.  He died an honored and respected citizen in 1884.  Mrs. Myrick died in 1865 at the age of forty-six years, after bearing a family of ten children, eight of whom are yet living.  The subject of this biography was reared at home on the farm, and received his schooling from the neighborhood schools. In June, 1862, his patriotism and devotion to the -Union caused his enlistment in the Sixth Tennessee Cavalry, Company B  - his company afterward being merged into Company O.  He remained on active duty until the close of the war, when he returned home.  January 22, 1867, Mr. Myrick wedded Miss Frances Campbell, who was born in Christian County, Ky., in 1843.  Three children have been born to them: Alvis U., William T. and John B.  Since that time Mr. Myrick has been engaged in farming, and now owns a valuable tract of land, upon which are fine improvements. Mr. Myrick cast his first vote for Stephen A. Douglas in 1860. He is now a Republican, and is one of the most enterprising and foremost men of the county.

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