Goodspeed's History of Tennessee 1887

Biographies of Weakley County

Biographies - R
J. M. RIDGWAY, mayor and magistrate of Martin, Tenn., was born in Weakley County, in 1828, on November 15. He is one of four surviving members of a family of six children, born to John and Rebecca Ridgway. The father was born in Virginia, in 1791, and came to Weakley County, Tenn., in 1823, and there resided at the time of his death, which occurred in 1874. The mother was born in Christian County, Ky., in 1802, and is now residing on the old home place, with her son, J.G. Our subject was educated in the district schools, and in 1851 married Miss S. A. McWhirter, daughter of James McWhirter. Mrs. Ridgway was born in Weakley County, in 1829, and departed this life September 20, 1873, leaving five children: Julia A. (Mrs. Thomas Adkins), Cordelia (Mrs. W. J. Burnett), Arminta (Mrs. J. W. Killebrew), Eugenia P. and Loranda. After his marriage Mr. Ridgway began farming and manufacturing boots and shoes. He also followed mercantile pursuits in Palmersville, and continued these occupations until 1878, when he disposed of his business at that place, and moved to Martin, and has continued his boot and shoe manufacture. In 1852 he was elected magistrate of his district, and served by re-election up to 1878, when he resigned the position. Since 1880 he has hold the position of mayor, and in 1885 was chosen magistrate of the Second District. Up to, the time of the war, Mr. Ridgway was a successful tobacco dealer, but since that time he has met with heavy losses. He is a Democrat, and a member of the Masonic and I. 0. 0. F. fraternities, and belongs to the Missionary Baptist Church.

Benjamin J. ROBERTS, miller, and a citizen of Greenfield, Tenn., was born in Orange County, N. C., July 21, 1834. His father dying when he was small, he was reared by his mother, and received a good common school and business education. At the breaking out of the war, he enlisted in Company A, Thirty-first Tennessee Infantry, and was orderly sergeant of the same until 1862, when he was promoted to the captaincy, which position he held until he was severely wounded at Perryville, Ky., and unfitted for further active duties. He returned home in March, 18Q5, after an absence of nearly four years. He taught school two years, and then worked at the carpenter's trade several years. In February, 1869, he married Saluda B., daughter of B. J. and Saluda S. Milner, of Obion County, Tenn., after which he located in Ralston Station, where he continued his occupation until 1879. He then removed to Gardner's Station, and purchased a one-third interest in a flouring-mill, and there resided until 1882, when he came to Greenfield, and, in company with G. B. Patterson, purchased a flour and saw-mill, which he has operated to the present time. In 1883 he was elected magistrate of Greenfield, which position he resigned in October, 1884. In June, 1878, he was elected county superintendent of schools, to fill the unexpired term of E. H. Hatcher, and was twice re-elected to the same office, his last term expiring in December of 1875. He is a Democrat,.' and has been a Mason since 1863. His wife was born on the 4th of March, 1849. His parents were Rev. John and Eunice (Rogers) Roberts. The father was born in North Carolina, in 1773, and was of Irish descent. His first marriage, which occurred November 13, 1800, was blessed in the birth of thirteen children. Mrs. Roberts died September 28, 1828, and November 18, 1830, he wedded Eunice Rogers, who has borne him six children. In 1835 he came to Tennessee, where he farmed and preached the Gospel. He died May 15, 1840, and his wife in March, 1873.

J. W. ROGERS, M. D., was born near his present residence in 1832. His father, Dr. Jubilee Rogers, was born in North Carolina, in 1784, and was married to Harriett Davis, who was also a native of North Carolina and born in 1793. She died in -1858, having borne eight children, four of whom are living. The family came to Hickman County, Tenn., in 1825, but in 1826 permanently located in Weakley County. They were among the very early settlers, and became the owners of 640 acres of land. The father was one of the leading physicians of the county for about twenty years, and died in 1855. His children who are living are John, a lawyer of Dresden; Peleg, a physician residing near Dresden; Benjamin, who is a farmer of the county, and Dr. J. W. Rogers, who was educated in the Dresden Academy, and made his home with his parents until he was twenty-four years of age. About 18,53 he began studying medicine, his brother Peleg being his preceptor, and in 1854 and 1855 attended,,Medical lectures in the Louisville (Ky.) 'University. In 1857 he entered the Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia, Penn., and graduated as an M. D. a year later. After his return he and Dr. T. J. Frazier became partners and continued such for two years. In 1863. He located in Dresden, and up to the present time has been a prominent physician and resident of the town and county. In 1861 he was appointed assistant surgeon of the Thirty-second Regiment Tennessee Volunteer Infantry,and after one year's service returned home. June 29,1871,he married Miss Edwinie Riggs, who was born in Weakley County, April 19, 1852, and by her he became the father of two children: Lucille and Edwinie. Dr. Rogers is a useful member of society and has been a life-long Democrat in politics. lie belongs to the Masonic and 1. 0. 0. F. fraternities, and his wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.

P. M. ROGERS, M. D., was born in Hickman County, Tenn., September 28, 1824, son of Jubilee and Harriett W. (Davis) Rogers. He received his literary education in the schools of Dresden, and after attaining his majority began the study of medicine, his preceptors being his father and Dr. Benjamin Tolliver. In the fall of 1851 he entered the medical department of the University of Louisville, Ky., and graduated as an M. D. in the spring of 1852. He then returned to Weakley County and began practicing his profession. In January, 1858, he and Martha Blakemore were united in marriage. She was born in Weakley County, in 1833, and is a daughter of Wiley B. and Catherine Blakemore, and bore one child, Mattie (wife of George S. Boyd). In August of the following year Mrs. Rogers died, and in April 1867 Mattie Travis became his wife. She was born !]a 1844 and is a daughter of Walter and Jane (Dismukes) Travis. In 1859 Dr. Rogers located on the old home place, consisting of 246 acres, where he has since resided, and has been engaged in the practice of his profession, having been one of the leading physicians of Weakley County for the past thirty years. He is a Democrat and Mason, and his wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.

Dabney J. ROGERS was born in Weakley County, Tenn., January 20, 1842, a son of Jephtha and Elizabeth (Glass) Rogers, and one of their thirteen children. The father was of Irish descent, born in North Carolina in 1818, and came to Tennessee with his parents when about six years of age. He was educated in Dresden, and at the age of twenty began the study of law under Col. John Gardner, but soon gave this up and began farming, owning at the time of his death, in 1863, 700 acres of land. He served as constable for a number of years, and was for sometime engaged in the tobacco trade. Mrs.Rogers was born in Virginia, about 1820, and is still living on the old home farm. Our subject was reared under the paternal roof, and was educated in Hickory Grove Academy. After attaining his majority, he took charge of his mother's farm for several years, and September 1, 1867, married Susan, the daughter of David and Caroline Nowlin, and by her became the father of eight children, only four of whom are living: Jephtha D., Carrie B., Thomas E. and Jubilee. In 1873J Mr. Sharon purchased ninety acres of land where he now resides. He began life with no capital but his hands, but by industry and economy owns 180 acres of very fine land. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, and is a member of the Democratic party. His wife was born in Weakley County, in 1846.

G. W. ROWLETT, a leading farmer of the Eighteenth District, is a native of Virginia, was born in 1836, and is the son of Archibald and Rebecca Rowlett. His father was born in Prince Edward County, Va., in 1804, and came to Weakley County, in 1847, and locating in the Eighteenth District lived there until his death, which occurred in March, 1871. His mother was born in 1800, in the same State as her husband and died in 1859. Mr. Rowlett was reared at home, and acquired his education at the public schools, and was married in March, 1861, to Cornelia, daughter of Allen and Eliza Coulter, who was born in Haywood County, Tenn., In March, 1837. To them have been born eight children, as foflows; G. W. , J. A., Eliza (wife of A.  F. Adams), G. A., 0. D., W. H., Francis C. and C. F. After marriage, Mr. Rowlett, located on the farm where he now lives, continuing to live there all the time with the exception of one year spent in Florida, in which State he owns a farm of 160 acres, on which is a fine orange grove. He has always been an active and enterprising citizen, and has been quite successful in all his business transactions. He is a Democrat, and cast his first presidential vote for Breckenridge.

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