Goodspeed's History of Tennessee 1887

Biographies of Weakley County

Biographies - S
C. M. SEBASTIAN, M. D., of Martin, Tenn., was born in Centerville, Tenn., March 16, 1850. His father, Dr. J. P. Sebastian possesses the tradition that his grandfather Sebastian came from Marseilles, France. The mother of our subject, Marcia Raymond Sebastian, is descended from a Scotch nobleman, the Earl Raymond. 0. M. Sebastian began the study of medicine at seventeen years of age, and began practicing at the age of nineteen. When twenty years old he graduated from the University of Louisville, and has been noted for tireless industry in the profession, and has for ten years done the leading practice in Martin and vicinity. He has for several years been the medical examiner of the K. of H., of which he is a charter member. He is local surgeon to the Illinois Central Railroad, and in politics is an ardent Democrat, casting his first vote for Horace Greeley. He is a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. He was married, in 1871, to Miss Chartie Montgomery, and they lived happily together for ten years. He died of Bright's disease, March 22, 1881. The Doctor wedded Miss Jessie L. Warren, of Brookhaven, Miss., March 8, 1888, who was, at the time of her marriage, a member of the faculty of the Whitworth Female College.   Dr. Sebastian has given much attention to society work, having taken a leading part in the organization of the West Tennessee Medical Society, and has been for many years a member of the West Kentucky Medical Society. He is the author of several papers on medical subjects which were read before the above societies, the following being an incomplete list of them:  "Hot Tar Poultices in the Treatment of Croup and Diphtheria;" "Hay Fever Prevented by the Wearing of a Veil;" "The Nature and Treatment of Pneumonia;" "Typhoid Fever," " Syphilis," "Vaginismus," "Surgical Notes" -- comprising the history of three cases of amputation of the thigh-and " Paracentesis Thoracis."

D. Warren SCATES, M. D., is a son of Alexander H. Scates, who was born in Virginia in 1819, and is of Scotch-Irish descent. The father was brought to Tenn. when about seven years of age, and became a tanner by occupation. In September, 1842, he married Perneca Payne, who died in 1848, leaving two children.  He then married Susan C. Warren (our subject's mother), by whom he had three children.  At the time of his death, in 1857, he owned 400 acres of land.  The mother is residing with our subject, who was born in Weakley County, July 19, 1856.  He was educated in the neighboring schools, and at the age of nineteen entered the McKenzie College, where he remained for two and a half years.  In 1878 he entered the medical department of the University of Tennessee, at Nashville, and after remaining one year entered the Jefferson College, at Philadelphia, Penn., and graduated in 1879.  He immediately located at Greenfield, where he has continued to reside and practice, and ranks among the first in his profession.  December 9, 1884, Miss E. Florence, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Hardy, became his wife.  Her parents died when she was quite small, and she found parental care and protection with her aunt, Emma Green, at Bell's Depot, Tenn., with whom she remained until nearly grown.  She finished her education in Stanton, Va., and afterward graduated with high honors in the literary and musical departments, being awarded the gold medals for vocal and guitar music and French.  She was born near Stanton, December 2,1859, and is an accomplished lady. She has a fine orange grove of forty acres in Hernando County, Fla., and a residence in Ocallo (sic), Marion Co., Fla. The Doctor is a Democrat, and he and wife are member's of the Christian Church.

A. E. SCOTT is a minister and merchant residing at Ralston, Tenn., and was born in Dresden, Tenn., December 21, 1847, and is the only child of George W. and Susan Scott. His father was born in Virginia April 25, 1809, and was of Scotch descent. He was a journeyman cigar-maker by trade, and spent many years in the North plying his trade. In 1844 he came to Weakley County, Tenn., and located at Dresden, where he established a cigar factory. His death occurred January  21, 1885.  His mother's maiden name was Fuller, and she is a descendant of the Hall [HILL] family of North Carolina, one of whom was secretary of State of North Carolina for a number of years. She was born in Rutherford County, Tenn., January 30, 1827, and is now residing with her son. Mr. Scott was brought up at home, receiving a common school education. August 3, 1871, he married Cynthia A., daughter of William and Mary Dodd. Mrs. Scott was born in Obion County, Tenn., January 30, 1853. To this union four children have been born, as follows: Beulah, Lula, Benjamin W. and Niece S. In 1870 Mr. Scott entered the employ of the North Carolina & St. Louis Railway Company as agent at Ralston, and as such served for thirteen years, at the same time acting as salesman in the store of House & Roberts, of that place. In 1879 he entered into a co-partnership with C. D. Whitlock, and began merchandising. About one year afterward Mr. Whitlock died, when B. E. Dodd, his brother-in-law, purchased an interest in the business, and the firm is known as A. E. Scott & Co. Mr. Scott is a local minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which his wife is also a member. He has always taken a decided stand in favor of temperance and education, and is at present secretary of the board of school trustees. He is an enterprising citizen, and universally esteemed and respected. In politics he is a Democrat, and believes in national prohibition.

*****Note on A. E. SCOTT bio -  the actual Goodspeed book DOES list the name as HALL, but the correct family name was HILL, not HALL.  Susan FULLER SCOTT (1827 - 1906) was the great niece of William HILL (III),  who was Secretary of State of North Carolina for 46 years from 1811 until  his death in 1857.  There has never been a Secretary of State in North  Carolina named HALL.  William HILL (III) was the gg uncle of A. E. SCOTT, and  was the brother of my ggg grandfather, James HILL....... Brenda

W. C. SCOTT, groceryman, of Dresden, Tenn., was born in Liberty, Smith Co., Tenn., in 1830. His parents, William S. and Sarah (Lackey) Scott, were Tennesseans, the former born February 18, 1807. He was a blacksmith by trade, and quite a noted politician, and the latter years of his life were devoted to farming. He located in Dresden in 1832, and four years later was elected sheriff of Weakley County, and served for six years. In 1843 he was elected to the State Legislature, and served one term. He was a very successful farmer, and owned at the time of his death, in 1878, 5,000 acres of land. His wife died in 1882, and he then married Sallie Jones, who was born in Wilson County in 1812, and died in 1884. Our subject was educated in Dresden, and at the age of fifteen hired out as clerk in a dry goods store, which belonged to his father and Mr. Learned, for $50 per year. He continued until 1851, when he was taken into partnership, and the firm was known as W. S. Scott & Son. They suspended business at the breaking out of the war, but resumed working 1866. At his father's death our subject was appointed his father's administrator, and settled up the estate. In 1879 he established a general grocery store, and has carried on the business up to the present time. April 19, 1854, he united his fortune with that of Mary Clement, who was born April 17, 1837, in North Carolina, and their marriage was blessed in the birth of four children: Mollie (Mrs. B. E. Bell), James, Charles and Mattie. Mr. Scott is the oldest merchant in Dresden, and during his long business career has proved to be perfectly honest and trustworthy in all his dealings. He is a Democrat, and is a member of the I.O.O.F., K.of H. and A.O.U.W.    His wife belongs to the Missionary Baptist Church.

C. B. SCOTT, jeweler, of Dresden, is a Madison County Tennessean, born in 1840, son of George R. and Hester Ann (Haltom) Scott. The father was of Scotch-Irish descent, a Tennessean, born in 1817, and a farmer. He was married in Madison County in 1839, and has been a constant citizen of the same to the present time. He is yet living and is one of the old and honorable farmers of the county. His wife, who was born in 1821, died in 1865, and he took a second wife, by whom he had one child. Seven children were born to his first marriage. C. B. Scott received a fair education in the common schools, and made his home with his parents until the breaking out of the late war, when, in July of 1861, he enlisted in the Confederate Army in Manney's Battery, and was at Fort Donelson.  After its fall he joined Forrest's cavalry, his principal duty being scouting and raiding.  In the spring of 1864 he returned home, not being wounded or captured during his entire service. That same year witnessed his marriage with Jennie Byrn, who was born in 1847 and is the mother of seven children Charles C., Cordelia A., John H. M., Jesse B., Alfred C., Rosa B. and Nina. In 1866 Mr. Scott farmed in Madison County, continuing two years, when he went to Humphreys County, and for four years was engaged in merchandising. He was burned out, losing his entire stock. In 1872 he began working at the jeweler's trade, and in 1880 came to Dresden and established his present store. He keeps a fine stock of watches, clocks, jewelry, silverware, sewing machines and musical goods, and is doing quite a satisfactory business. He is a Democrat; cast his first presidential vote for S. J. Tilden. He is a Mason, and he and wife are members of the Christian Church.

S. P. SCOTT, miller, of Dresden, and member of the firm of Irvine & Scott, proprietor of "Ceres Mills," was born in Weakley County in 1846, son of William S. and Sallie H. (Jones) Scott. Our subject was educated in the common schools and attended Bryant & Stratton's  Business College at Nashville for three months. In 1863 he enlisted in Company H, Twentieth Tennessee Regiment, Bell's brigade, Buford's division, Forrest's command. He was at Fort Pillow, Gunn Town and Oxford, and was not wounded during his service. In the winter of 1864 he was taken sick and was given a furlough. He was paroled at Paducah.  ln 1866 he began working in his father's and brother's general merchandise store, remaining with them about four years. September 28, 1870, Kittie R. Taylor, who was born in Stewart County In 1851, became his wife. She is a daughter of Dr. Taylor and the mother of three children: Cecile V., S. Farrar and S. Percy. After clerking for Irvine & Moran a short time he, in 1871, entered into partnership with J. M. Glass & Loony Bros. in the grist and saw-mill and carding factory, and for two years the firm was known as Scott, Glass & Co.    Mr. Glass sold his interest to Mr. Scott and Loony Bros., and in 1877 a Mr. Boyd bought Loony Bros.' interest, and until 1879 the firm was known as Scott & Boyd.   They consolidated with the firm of Cottrell & Irvine, and soon erected their present brick flouring-mill at a cost of $20,000.  It contains four floors, and has a capacity of 100 barrels per day (twenty-four hours).  Besides this they established a dry goods store.  These four men were partners until 1883 when Mr. Cottrell bought the whole interest in the store, and Messrs. Scott and Irvine bought Mr. Boyd's interest in the mill.  Mr. Scott has been engaged in the milling business for the past sixteen years, and is the oldest miller in the place.  He is a Democrat, a member of the K.ofH and A.O.U.W., and his wife belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church South. He does not belong to any church himself, but is a firm believer in the Golden Rule, and thinks man's noblest trait is to pay his just and honest debts.

Ethelbert J. SHANNON, M. D., is a son of James and Mary Shannon, both of whom were Tennesseans, born about 1798, and died in 1878 and 1868 respectively. James Shannon was of French-Irish descent. He received a good common school and business education, and served as a private soldier in the Creek war under Gen. Jackson. He was a farmer by occupation, and was married when about twenty years of age. His son, Ethelbert J., was born in 1824, and was educated principally at White Oak Academy in Wilson County, and in 1842 began the study of medicine under Dr. Anarew Eskew, of Lebanon.  Two years later he entered the medical college at Louisville, Ky., and took one course.  He then began practicing, and October 5, 1847, was married to Sarah E. Moseley, by whom he had three children, all dead.  His son, Dr. James B., was born in 1851, and graduated in medicine from the Nashville University in 1872, and died July 22, 1885, leaving a wife and two children to mourn their loss, Dr. E. J. Shannon's wife died Jan. 28,1855, and November 27, 1855, he married Nancy Justice, who died August 24, 1856. October 25, 1857, he wedded Mary Justice, a sister of his second wife, and their union has been blessed in the birth of live children, four now living: Nancy B. (Mrs. W. S. Jeter), Samuel, William B., Thomas L. (deceased), and Jolin D.   In 1866 Dr. Shannon purchased fifty-eight acres of land near Greenfield, which he has increased to 1,009 acres, about 460 acres being under cultivation. The Doctor is a man of good business abilities and has established an extensive practice.   In politics he is a Democrat and cast his first presidential vote for Gen. Cass. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity.   Mrs. Shannon was born in Wilson County in 1830.   Her father was born in North Carolina and died in 1864. The mother was born in Tennessee and died about 1837.

James C. SHANNON, M. D., a prominent citizen of Sharon, Tenn., and son of George W. B. Shannon, was born in Wilson County, in 1849. The father was of Scotch descent, born in Wilson County, in 1827. Our subject's grandfather, James Shannon, was a Virginian,and died in Tennessee, in 1849.  His great-grandfather, Henry Shannon, was born in Scotland, and was brought to America when he was about four years old, and spent the most of his life in Virginia. George W. B. Shannon was a farmer and stock dealer, and in 1848 married Mary Beard, and located on a farm near Lebanon, given him by his father.  He was in the late war and while in the battle of Murfreesboro, was overcome by heat, and was soon after taken to Atlanta, Ga., where he died in a few days. Mrs. Shannon was born in Wilson County, in 1831, and is now living with her daughter, Mary M. (Mrs. D. T. Hancock). Our subject remained at home until he was about sixteen years old, when he began studying medicine under his uncle, Dr. H. J. Shannon. In 1872 he entered the medical department of the Nashville University and remained five months. He lived with his uncle about one year and then began practicing his chosen profession.  He then went to Stegall's Station and continued his practice about four years. Since that time he has resided in Sharon, and the last year has been devoted to agricultural pursuits.  He owns 133 acres of fine land on which is the finest peach orchard in the county, besides considerable property in Sharon.  December 14, 1876, he married Rosa P., daughter of Mr. and Mrs. S. R. Carver.  She was born in Henderson County, Tenn., June 27, 1857, ,and is the mother of two children: Sidney B. and Grace 0.    Mr. Shannon is a Democrat and Horace Greeley received his first presidential vote.

Dr. Henry J. SHANNON, farmer and manufacturer, was born in Wilson County near Lebanon, January 18, 1832, and was the fifth member of a family of three sons and four daughters born to James and Mary H. Shannon.  They were born in 1794, the father in Sumner County, Tenn.  When six years of age he moved with his parents to Wilson County, where he was reared and educated.  He was married about 1816 and settled in the above named county, where he followed farming through life.   He died about 1871 and his wife during the late war.  Dr. Henry Shannon's boyhood days were spent on his father's farm and in attending the common schools, and completing his education in the Cumberland University at Lebanon. He became a disciple of Esculapius, studying under the direction of his brother, and afterward took lectures in the Nashville Medical College.  He practiced his profession from 1856 to 1884, and February 18, 1855, was married in Weakley County to Mary A. Moseley, daughter of Edward Moseley. She was born in Weakley County, and died at the old homestead there in February, 1861, having borne two daughters: Prudence May (Bowden) and Ellen, deceased. September 10, 1863, Mr. Shannon wedded Miss A. E. Tansil, daughter of E. A. Tansil, and by her became the father of four sons and three daughters, five of whom are living: James B., Thomas J., Caroline, Sidney Johnson and Winnie. Mrs. Shannon was born in Weakley County, in 1843. Mr. Shannon is a Democrat, and his first presidential vote was cast for Filmore, in 1856.   He is a Mason and a member of the firm of Shannon & Russell, manufacturers of staves and heading at Hall's Station. He owns 300 acres of land in Weakley County, where his home is situated. His wife belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church South.

W. B. SIMPSON, a leading farmer of the Eighteenth District was born in Virginia February 6, 1827, and was the son of William and Letice (Walters) Simpson, both of whom were natives of Virginia. His father was born in 1790, and died in 1852.  His mother was the daughter of Capt. Robert Walters, a Revolutionary soldier, and a very prominent citizen of his county, and was born in 1785, dying in 1871.   After attending the neighborhood schools, where he finished his education, Mr. Simpson was married, January 13, 1848, to Martha B., the daughter of Thomas and Jane C. Gunter, who was born in Virginia September 21, 1831, and died March 15, 1877.  To them were born seven children, viz.: Wm. T., John R., Emma C. (wife of W. R. Bowlin, living at Martin, Tenn.), Robert E. L. (living at Dresden), Henry A., Joshua B. and Eugene, all living.  For about ton years after his marriage Mr. Eskridge was engaged in merchandising, and then began farming.   In 1863 he removed to North Carolina, and in 1871 came to Weakley County, Tenn., and engaging in farming, continued the same to the present.   April 6, 1884, he was married to Mrs. L. M. Parrish, daughter of Allen Shanklin.   Mrs. Simpson was born in Weakley County, Tenn., in 1841.   On May 30, 1861, Mr. Simpson enlisted in the Confederate Army, joining Company C, Thirty-eighth Regiment of Virginia Infantry, of which company he was captain.    After one year of service he was compelled to return home on account of ill-health.   Mr. Simpson is a man of energy, and has done much to assist all public enterprises. Politically he is a Democrat, and cast his maiden vote for Zachariah Taylor for President.   He has been a member of the Masonic order for thirty years, and he and wife are members of the Baptist Church.

W. H. SMALLEY is one of six children born to John and Elizabeth Smalley, and was born in Franklin County, Tenn., in 1818. The father was born in North Carolina in 1797, and came to Tennessee at an early day. He died in December, 1865. His wife was born in Virginia in 1796, and died the same month and year as her husband. Our subject was educated in Benton County, where his parents moved in 1822, and was married in 1850 to Martha W., daughter of Thomas and Louisa Jones. Mrs. Smalley was born in Benton County in 1832, and became the mother of eight children: Cora (Mrs. A. J. Jeffress), Laura, Orlando, Belle (Mrs. Thomas E. Elder), Thomas, Lillie, Oella and Sallie.    Until 1864 Mr. Smalley farmed near Camden. He then came to Weakley County and located near Gardner on a farm which at that time was heavilv timbered.   Mr. Smalley is a good business manager, and has given his children good educational advantages.   He served as magistrate in Benton County a number of years, and is a man well known and respected throughout the county.  He is a Democrat, and has been a member of the Masonic fraternity since 1849, and has been Master of the Lodge for one year.   He and wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church.

John M. SMYTH is a son of Alfred and D. G. (Gunter) Smith. The father was born in Dickson County, Tenn., in 1807, and always followed a farmer's life, and held the office of magistrate about eighteen years, and died in November, 1875. His wife was born in Williamson County, Tenn., in 1812, and died in April, 1881. Their family consisted of seven children, four now living, our subject being the eldest. He was born in Weakley County November 18, 1883, and acquired a common school education. He learned the carpenter's and joiner's trade in his youth, and September, 1854, married Gabrilla A. Alexander, daughter of Joseph and Flora Alexander, natives of Tennessee.  She was born in Henry County in 1839, and became the mother of eight children, seven of whom are living: Albert J., Jefferson M., Alice, Polk and Robert (twins), August Poster and Joseph Alfred.  Mr. Smyth resided in different parts of the county for about twenty-one years after his marriage, but finally located on his present farm of 250 acres, which is well improved and under good cultivation.  In 1862 Mr. Smyth joined the army, enlisting in Company H, Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, C. S. A., and was in the battle of Corinth and participated in quite a number of sharp skirmishes.  After about one year's honorable service he returned home. He is a Democrat, and a member of the Masonic fraternity.  Both husband and wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

Judge John SOMERS, judge of the Eleventh Chancery Division of Tennessee, was born in Wilson County, Tenn., July 16, 1827.  His parents were James and Annie (McFarland) Somers. The father was of English descent, born in North Carolina in 1791, and was a farmer by occupation.  His father, John Somers, was a native of England, and was a Revolutionary soldier with a captain's commission.  James Somers, when a young man, came to Wilson County, Tenn., where he married, and remained until 1840, when he came to Weakley County, and located on a 4,000-acre tract of land, which was given to his father by the Government, for military services.  James Somers died in 1864.   His wife was of Scotch-Irish descent, and was born in Wilson County, in 1800.   She died in 1867. She was the mother of eight children, two of whom, only, are now living.  Annie, wife of John A. Gilchrist, a resident of Nashville, and our subject; the latter received an academic education in the schools of Wilson and Weakley Counties.   He came to the latter county at the age of thirteen years, and at the age of nineteen years entered the teacher's profession.  The following year he began the study of law, and in 1848 entered the law department of Cumberland University, graduating in the summer of 1849.  He then returned to Dresden and began the practice. In 1850 he formed a partnership with James Davis, at Troy, but at the end of four years, returned to Dresden, and formed a partnership with Judge John A. Rogers. In 1860 he was appointed by Gov. Harris judge of the chancery court of the Twelfth Division, and retained the office 100 days. After the war he resumed the practice at Dresden, and in 1866 was again appointed judge, by Gov. Brownlow. and in 1867 was elected by the people.  In 1870 he had no opposition, and again in 1878.  His official and his private character is above reproach.  In February, 1851, he married Miss Sarah Jane Brown, a native of Obion County.  They have one living child -Annie Bell, wife of John C. Rogers.   Mrs. Somers was accidentally killed in October, 1852, by jumping from a rapidly moving vehicle.  The following year the judge married Martha Jane Hogue whom he lost in 1855.  February 16, 1875, he married Martha Jane Harris, who was born May 10, 1836. They have four living children: Edwin, Thomas, James and Keeble. Judge Somers has no superior advocate or judge in the State.  His twenty years of judicial experience fit him for the highest court trust in the gift of the State.  He is a Democrat, and was formerly an Odd Fellow.  His wife is a member of the Christian Church.

Lewis STUNSTON, one of the influential farmers of District No. 1, was born in Weakley County, Tenn., in 1821, and is a son of Henry and Elizabeth (Hancock) Stunston. The father was of English birth, born in the Palmetto State, December 10, 1776.   He was a farmer, and after marrying came to Tennessee, and located in Stewart County (now Weakley County), being one of the very early settlers of the county. He died in 1847. His wife was of Scotch-Irish descent, born in South Carolina in 1786, and died September 26, 1838. Of their two children, our subject is the only one living. He was educated in the neighboring schools, and at the age of fifteen became the architect of his own fortune, and soon began speculating in stock, lands, etc., and met with good success. February 9, 1866, he led to the hymeneal altar Annie Sims, daughter of John and Jane Sims.  Mrs. Stunson was born October 22, 1842, and became the mother of one child - James L.   Mr. Stunston is the oldest native male resident of Weakley County, he being the first male child born in that county.   He began life a poor boy, but by energy and economy has succeeded remarkably well, owning 1,700 acres of land, which he is actively engaged in looking after.   He belongs to the Democratic party, but was formerly a member of the old Whig party. His first presidential vote was cast for Henry Clay. His wife is a member of the Baptist Church.

Thomas H. SWAIM, M. D., and farmer of the Tenth District, is a son of Jeremiah W. and Melissa J. (Bobbitt) Swaim. He was born in Weakley County, Tenn., in 1849, and was one of nine children, six of whom are living. The father was of Irish descent, born in Greensboro, N. C., May 20, 1809.  He came to Tennessee when about nine years of age and was a merchant and farmer by occupation, owning at one time nearly 2,000 acres of land.  He was married in 1830 and flat-boated for nearly fifteen years.  He died in 1880. Mrs. Swaim was born near Raleigh, N. C., March 1, 1817, and moved to Maury County, Tenn., in 1830.   She died November 2, 1884.  Our subject secured a practical business, education, and in 1876 entered the medical department of the Vanderbilt University at Nashville, and graduated in 1877.    After practicing some six months in a hospital, he returned home and has practiced his profession with the best of success to the present time.   May 28, 1884, he married Mrs. Carrie (Brasfield) Boswell, by whom he has two children: Grover Cleveland and Thomas Hendricks. Dr. Swaim resides on a good farm of  200 acres, well improved and cultivated.  Besides this he owns 700 acres in the Eighth District, 163 acres in another portion in the Tenth District and considerable property in Dresden and Union City.  Mrs. Swaim was born in Weakley County, January 28, 1856.  Her father, George R. Brasfield, died in 1881, and her mother in 1864.  Dr.  Swaim is a Democrat and cast his first presidential vote for Horace Greeley.   He is Grand Master of the Masonic fraternity and his wife is an influential member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.

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