Submitted by Eddy Clark, coded by Jane Norton Powell
Col. E. W. Rains was born in Brunswick County, Va., in 1809, and at an early day came with his father to Murfreesboro, Tenn. He carried the mail from that point to Bowling Green, Ky., for a number of years, and came to Gibson County in 1825, where he resided until his death. He filled many positions of honor and trust in the county during his lifetime. He served in the Florida war and the greater part of the time acted as aid to Maj.Gen. Cahill. He served three years in the county as clerk of the court. Before the war he was a prominent Whig and took an active part in the heated contests between the two parties in ante bellum days. After his return from the Florida war, he was elected major and afterward colonel of militia, serving in the latter capacity until 1850. He was among the first settlers of the county and assisted In laying off the town of Trenton. He was married to Elizabeth Latta, of Woodford County, Ky., and by her be-came the father of three sons and two daughters. His death occurred February 6, 1884.
Alexander W. Rains, ex-chairman of the Gibson County Court and present deputy clerk and master of the chancery court at Trenton, Tenn., was born in the county, December 23, 1830, the eldest child of Col. E. W. Rains. He was raised on a farm in the county and secured a limited early education. This he has greatly improved, however, by years of experience in official life. In 1854 he became deputy county court clerk under his father, which position he filled until 1862. In December of that year he enlisted in Capt. J. A. Shane's company, Col. R. M. Russell's regiment of cavalry under Gen. Forrest, and served as a non-commissioned officer until he was wounded at Harrisburg, July 15, 1864. He was acting as adjutant at the time, but did not recover in time to re-enter service. He followed mercantile pursuits a number of years after the war, and in 1871 was appointed deputy clerk and master under his brother. In 1875 he was elected chairman of the county court and served three terms of one year each. During this time and down to the present, he has ably and efficiently filled his present office of deputy clerk and master. November 17, 1868, he married Miss Ninnie Crawford of Trenton. Mr. Rains is a member of the K. of H. and A. 0. U. W. He and wife are members of the Methodist ' Episcopal Church and he has been justice of the peace since February, 1874.
Robert E. Rains, brother of Alexander W., was born February 29, 1844, and was educated in Trenton. Soon after the late war he began the study of law under Col. M. R. Hill. After being admitted to practice, he formed a partnership with Maj. R. P. Caldwell and continued until 1871, when he was appointed clerk and master under Chancellor Somers and has since held the position by re-election. In December, 1868, he married Elizabeth Hill, and three children have blessed their union: Herbert, Gussie Lee (deceased) and Robert. Mr. Rains is a Democrat and has been an active and influential participant in the political affairs of the county since the war. He was candidate for attorney-general for this district in 1868, but was defeated owing to the large numbers of disqualified under Gen. Brownlow's regime. He is a K. of P. and K. of H. and a member of the A. O. U. W. He and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
John W. Ramsey, trustee of Gibson County, Tenn., and native of the county, was born October 7, 1840, being a son of Nathaniel J. and Fannie Y. (Davis) Ramsey, natives respectively of Rutherford County, Tenn., and Davis County, Ky. The father came to Gibson County about 1830, and located on a tract of land two miles north of Trenton, where he farmed successfully until his death in 1871. His wife died in March, 1862. John W. was reared on his father's farm in this county, and obtained a fair education in the common branches. Upon the breaking out of the war he joined Capt. G. B. Black's company, Fifty-fifth Regiment Tennessee Infantry, and served as private in the Confederate Army until the close of the war. He was made a prisoner with his entire command at Island No. 10, in the Mississippi River, and was held five months in Federal prisons in the North. After his return home he resumed farming, and continued the same until August, 1880, when he was elected to the office of trustee of Gibson County, and has served by reelection three terms of two years each. He is an uncompromising Democrat in politics. and January 3, 1866, was married to Victoria M. Heard, of Bedford County, Tenn. They have seven children: Lula V., William Walter, Kittie E., Fannie Irene, Minnie L., Tommie S. and Mattie. Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
Blackmon A. Ramsey is a son of William and Mary (Overall) Ramsey, and was born in Tennessee in 1819. His parents were also born in Tennessee, and his father was a farmer and a local minister in the Methodist Church for a number of years. The father resided in Rutherford County until his death in May, 1833. His wife died in 1858 while in Gibson County, visiting', her children. Blackmon A. is one of their ten children, and was reared on a farm. After his father's death he lived with his widowed mother until 1840, when he was married to Eliza Jett, daughter of John and Mary (White) Jett, of Virginia. She was born in Tennessee in 1819, and is the granddaughter of Hon. Capt. White, from whom White County derived its name. Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey became the parents of eight children, three of whom are living: Mary A., Mildred J. and Susan E. A year after his marriage Mr. Ramsey moved to Gibson County, and located on his present farm of 125 acres; besides this he owns 136 acres in the Twenty-first District. Of late years he has given little attention to farming, having traveled in the interest of patents. In 1862 he joined Capt. Cummin's company, Forty-seventh Tennessee Regiment, and served about fifteen months, when he was honorably discharged, owing to his age. He received a slight wound at Shiloh, and was in the hospital a short time. Since 1882 he has been justice of the peace of his district. He is a Democrat, and he and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Mrs. Ramsey had two brothers, Madison and Stephen J., who were early immigrants to Texas, and participated in the battle of San Jacinto, when Texas cast off the Spanish yoke. They were in the squad that captured Santa Anna, and some of the jewelry they captured from him was sent to their friends in Tennessee. She has two other brothers, that located in Texas at a later period.
Hon. Samuel F. Rankin, attorney at law of Milan, was born in Wilson County, October 7, 1847. His father, David P. C. Rankin, was born in Rutherford County, Tenn., and came to Gibson County with his family in 1866, and located in Milan, where he followed contracting and building for some years, and finally retired from active life. He died December 2, 1885, leaving a wife, whose maiden name was Susan Young, and five children to mourn his loss. The following are the latter's names: Samuel F., Rev. Charles Y. (of San Jose, Cal.), Lochie and Dora (missionaries to China) and Anna R. (wife of Willis Reeves). Samuel F. spent his early days at his father's home in Wilson, Davidson, Rutherford and Williamson Counties, and secured a good preliminary education in Union University at Murfreesboro, and completed his classical course in Milan College, graduating from the same in 1871 with the degree of A. B. He then began the study of law, and taught school two years. He read law under Judge J. L. Williamson, of Milan, and in 1873 was admitted to the Gibson County bar. He is a Democrat and was mayor of Milan during 1877-78, presiding heroically and faithfully during the yellow fever epidemic in that city. In 1880 he was elected to the State Senate, and served with distinction during the sessions of 1881-82. He is a member of the K. of H., and is regarded as a legal practitioner of ability and experience. December 21, 1876, he married Ophelia Barham, of Carroll County.
Rev. John Randle was born on the 12th of January, 1811, and is a son of Thomas and Nancy (Davidson) Randle, and is a descendant of Maj. John Randle and Col. George Davidson, who were Revolutionary veterans. Our subject's parents were born in North Carolina and came to Tenn. after their marriage. The father was a farmer, and served under Jackson in three campaigns. He lost his life during the Seminole war. He was an old Jacksonian Democrat and he and wife were church members. The mother died about 1817. After his parent's death our subject was cared for by Maj. Henry Walls. He remained with him until his sister's marriage, which was in a few years, and then lived with her until 1831, when he was married to Nancy W. Harris, daughter of Isham and Lucy (Davidson) Harris. She was born in Tennessee, in 1811, and is the mother of eleven children: Thomas G., Lucy E., Martha E., Nancy E., Angeline E., George B. (deceased), John P., Mary E. (deceased), William H., William (deceased) and Richmond A. (deceased). Mr. Randle obtained a license to preach, in 1842, and followed that calling twelve years. He now owns a good farm of 275 acres. In 1836 he volunteered to fight the Creek Indians and also assisted in the Florida war. For the last two years Mr. Randle has been unable to perform his ministerial labors, but his past labors and many good deeds will ever be a living tribute to his memory. His wife, who was an earnest Christian and a devoted wife and mother, died in 1875. All the children save two are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Maj. Tom Randle, son of Rev. John Randle, served in the Confederate Army throughout the late war.
William R. Rea was born in Bedford County, Penn., June 13, 1842, one of live children born to Thomas and Elizabeth (Ramsey) Rea, who were also natives of the Keystone State. The former was born near Carlisle in 1814, and the latter in Juniata County in 1817. Thomas Rea was a blacksmith and farmer, and in 1847 removed with his family to McLean County, Ill., and located in the village of Bloomington. He worked at his trade and farmed in that and Champaign County until the breaking out of the war. In 1863 he enlisted and served one year, and then returned home and spent the remainder of his days with his children. He was a Democrat and died in June, 1881. His wife died three years earlier. They came to Humboldt, Tenn., in 1874, and here spent the remainder of their lives. Our subject resided in Pennsylvania until five years old, then grew to manhood in McLean County, Ill. He attended the common schools, and in 1862 engaged as clerk in a sutler's store at Columbus, Ky., and later in a bakery and confectionery in the same capacity. He was also engaged in the boot and shoe business, and at the close of the war removed his store to Gibson County, Tenn., in 1866, and located at Milan. He was joined by his brother, Lemuel, and they added a stock of dry goods. They dissolved partnership, however, in the spring of 1867, and William R. came to Humboldt, where he kept a grocery until 1874. He then abandoned mercantile life and began growing the different fruits, being one of the first to engage in this enterprise. His fruit farm contains 35 acres, on which he raises peach, plum, apple and pear trees, raspberries and strawberries. He ships his fruits to Chicago, Cincinnati and other Northern cities, and in 1885 organized a company of fruit growers and built a cold storage house at Humboldt, by means of which, in connection with refrigerator cars, he has successfully shipped berries to New York and Boston. He is president and manager of the Fruit Grower's Shipping Association at Humboldt, and by his energy is pushing that business to the front in his vicinity. He is a Democrat and Mason, and a member of the K. of the G. R. September 24, 1868, he married, at Champaign, Ill., Louise Littler, born August 4, 1849, daughter of L. Littler, of Champaign County. Their children are William H., Clarence E., Claud A. and Edith May. Mrs. Rea is a member of the Baptist Church.
James P. Rhodes, of the law firm of Rankin & Rhodes, of Milan, Tenn., is a native of Carroll County, born September 11, 1853, son of James W. and Jane H. (Alger) Rhodes, born respectively in North Carolina and Tennessee. The father, who was a well-to-do farmer of Carroll County, located there about 1830. Here our subject was reared. At the age of eighteen he entered the Union University, of Murfreesboro, and later attended the East Tennessee University, at Knoxville, completing his sophomore year there. He then taught school in his native county six months, and. also entered upon the study of law. He entered Cumberland University, at Lebanon, and in 1876 graduated from the law department of that institution. He began practicing at Milan the same year, in partnership with S. F. Rankin, and they are one of the well known and successful legal firms of Gibson County. April 27,1882, Mr. Rhodes wedded Nina P. Hutcherson, and by her is the father of one child - Essie. Mr. Rhodes is a Democrat, and a member of the K. of P., and he and wife belong to the Baptist Church.
B is a son of J. W. and Margaret B. (Higgins) Richardson, who were born in Sampson County and Duplin County, N. C., in 1798 and 1803 respectively. They were married in Alabama, in l824, and came to Gibson County, where the father died, June 26, 1861. The mother is residing with her son, W. H. The father was a farmer and Democrat, and was the father of eight children. W. H. Richardson was born in Gibson County, on the 26th of January, 1829, and is of English-Irish descent. After attaining his majority he began merchandising at Hope Hill, where he married Mary M. Barksdale, June 15, 1854. She died October 7, 1885, and was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Mr. Richardson is a stanch Democrat, "dyed in the wool." His health was too poor to permit his serving in the war, but his sympathies were with the Southern cause. He has served as magistrate two terms, and received every vote cast in his district when a candidate for the second term. He removed to his present home in the fall of 1882, and is now engaged in manufacturing well augers. He is a Royal Arch Mason.
James J. Richardson, M. D., of Milan, Tenn., is a native of Gibson County, born May 28, 1840, son of Johnson W. and Margaret B. Higgins Richardson, who were born respectively in East Tennessee and North Carolina. The father came to Gibson County in 1824, and there followed farming successfully until his death, June 25, 1861. He was magistrate of the First District a number of years, and was a Democrat and a member of the Primitive Baptist Church. His wife and five children still survive him. He went from here to Alabama to marry his wife, and they rode horseback from near Huntsville, Ala., to this county. James J., our subject, was reared on a farm, and attended Bluff Springs Seminary, but finished his education at Howard College, Marion, Ala. In 1859 he began reading medicine, with Dr. W. R. Rooks, and in 1860 and 1861 attended lectures at the Nashville (now Vanderbilt) University. In May, 1861, he enlisted in Capt. E. H. Williams' company (known as the "Milan Greys"), Twelfth Regiment Tennessee Infantry, and served as second lieutenant. He was wounded at Shiloh, and discharged, and afterward joined Capt. Floyd's company of Mississippi cavalry, serving as private two years. He was detailed as a recruiting officer to West Tennessee, and organized Company 11, of Maj. G. W. Bennett's battalion of Forrest's cavalry, and served as captain of the same until the company had so diminished in numbers as to be consolidated, when he was transferred to Gen. Kirby Smith's command, and served as a private until the surrender. In the fall of 1865 he entered the medical department of the University of Louisville, Ky., and graduated an M. D. in March, 1866. He practiced in Arkansas, and in 1867 returned to Tennessee, and practiced in Carroll County until 1873, then came to Milan, and has since had a lucrative practice in the city and vicinity. February 13, 1867, he married Harriet N. Miree, a native of Perry County, Ala. They have three children: James Hunter, Lena and Bessie. The Doctor is a Democrat, and a member of the Gibson County Medical Society, and is a Mason. He is an enterprising citizen, and is a medical practitioner of exceptional ability.
James M. Richmond, farmer and stock raiser of the Eleventh District of Gibson County, Tenn., is a native of Wilson County, born on the 15th of September, 1850, son of James P. and Caroline (Caraway) Richmond, Tennesseans by birth. James M.'s early days were spent on a farm, and his education obtained at Mount Vernon High School, in Wilson County. In 1867 he came to Weakley County and engaged in farming and clerking and remained there until 1874 when he moved to Missouri and there remained two years. He returned to Tennessee and located on his farm of 100 acres, where he now resides. The same is in a good state of cultivation, and the principal products are corn, wheat and cotton. Bettie Marshall became his wife on the 25th of July, 1879. Site is a daughter of Frank and Mary E. Marshall, of Gibson County, and is the mother of three children: Mary M., Elizabeth and an infant daughter. Mrs. Richmond died May 10, 1883, and Mr. Richmond took for his second wife Nellie Marcrum, daughter of Matthew and Sophronia Marcrum, of Gibson County. Subject is a Democrat, and of Scotch-Irish descent.
William Riley is a North Carolinian, born in 1821, the son of Daniel and Margaret Riley, who were natives of the same State. They came to Gibson County, Tenn., about 1831, and engaged in agricultural pursuits. William spent his boyhood days on his father's farm and in acquiring an education in the common schools. He received no aid when starting in life for himself, but by energy and economy is the owner of 100 acres of land. He was married in 1842 to Mary Ormes, and to them were born seven children - five daughters and two sons - James W., Margaret E., Malinda K., Martha A., William T., Amanda and Mary F.
G. W. Robinson, a, well and favorably known farmer residing near Yorkville, as born in Gibson County, Tenn., June 8, 1843, a son of Jefferson and Elizabeth Robinson, who were from North Carolina, and of German descent. He was reared to manhood on the farm and secured a fair education from the common schools of his native county. In 1862 he shouldered his musket in defense of the South, and served until the close of the war in the Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry, commanded by Col. Wilson. In 1865 he embarked in agricultural pursuits on his own responsibility, and the same year took for his life's helpmate Miss Amelia K. Overall, who has borne him six children: Luther L., Willie J., Emma L., George E., Elizabeth and Walter P. All are living except Elizabeth. The parents are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Mr. Robinson is a Democrat, a first-class citizen, is the owner of 350 acres of land, manufactures drain tile, operates a threshing machine and cotton-gins.
George W. Robinson is a son of James and Jane (Woodson) Robinson, who were born in the Palmetto State in 1806 and 1807, respectively. They resided in their native State until 1834, when they moved to Tennessee and located in Gibson County, where the father farmed, followed carpentering, and later engaged in wagon-making. He was a Whig, and in the days of militia held the office of captain. His wife died in 1844, and he then lived with his children until 1875, when he, too, passed away. Their son, George W., was born in Union District, South Carolina, April 30, 1830. He resided on a farm, but received a limited education, owing to, the undeveloped condition of the schools. He began working by the month for himself at the age of twenty-one, and in 1861 volunteered in Company E, Thirty-first Tennessee (Confederate) Infantry, and served about nine months. He then joined Forrest's command and continued until the close of the war. At Fort Pillow he received a severe wound from a grape-shot, disabling him for some time. After his return home he resumed farming and now owns 620 acres of land. In 1870 he married Mary T. Thetford, who was born in Gibson County, November 18, 1844. To them were born eight children. Mr. Robinson is a Democrat and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and his wife of the Christian Church.
H. W. Roberts, native of Henderson County, Tenn., was born December 15, 1835, son of Rev. John and Unity (Rogers) Roberts, who were born in North Carolina and of Irish and English descent, respectively. Rev. John Roberts came to West Tennessee in 1835, and was a Baptist minister of Henderson County until 1840, when his death occurred. His widow died in Weakley County, Tenn., in 1873. Our subject removed to Weakley County, Tenn., with his mother when but five years of age, and was there reared to manhood on a farm. He had little or no advantages for schooling until after attaining his majority, when he entered Hickory Grove Academy and attended school about twenty months. He then followed teaching for some time and remained at home with his mother during the war. He came to Humboldt in December, 1865, and began working at the carpenter's trade, which he followed for about five years. He then farmed and followed various occupations until 1875, when he engaged in the furniture business in connection with Z. T. Wright and continued the same three years. Since 1876 he has been justice of the peace and served as mayor of Humboldt during 1884 and 1885. He is a Democrat and Mason, and January 22, 1867, married Susie Vaughn, by whom he has three children: Horace, Fannie and John. The latter died May 4, 1886. Mrs. Roberts died September 10, 1869, and July 7, 1881, Mr. Roberts married Lucy Moore, daughter of John M. Moore. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts are members of the Missionary Baptist Church.
William Rosson, farmer, is a native of Marshall County, Tenn., born September 6, 1836, son of John and grandson of Joseph Rosson, who was born in North Carolina, and came to Tennessee at an early day, where he spent the remainder of his days. John Rosson was also born in North Carolina, in 1812, and came to Gibson County, Tenn., in 1850. He was married to Mary Robinson, who was born in Middle Tennessee, in 1816, and by her became the father of ten children. She died in 1880. Our subject is the eldest of the family, and was reared on a farm and educated in the common schools. At the age of twenty-one he became the architect of his own fortune, and in 1859 went to Wayne County, Ill., where he resided and farmed until 1881. He then returned to Gibson County, and now resides one mile from Kenton in Gibson County. Mr. Rosson is a Democrat, and in 1860 married Frances A. Green, of Wayne County, Ill., born in 1843. To them were born three children: Michael C., born in 1841; John A. (deceased), and William Joseph, the youngest (deceased). Mr. and Mrs. Rosson belong to the Church of Latter Day Saints.
James M. Rogers, one of Gibson County's prominent farmers and stock
raisers, was born in
Trenton, Tenn., November 11, 1833. His parents, Obadiah and Sarah (Underwood)
were natives of Tennessee and North Carolina, respectively. The father was a cabinet-maker by
trade and came to Gibson County when a mere lad, and for many years worked at his trade in
Trenton. At the age of ten years our subject was taken to the country and was reared on a farm.
In 1848 he and his parents located on his present farm of ninety-five acres of valuable land. He
also owns another farm in the Eleventh District of Gibson County, and in his business ventures
has met with merited success financially. In 1855 Emeline Marcrum became
his wife. She is a daughter of Henry and Mica Marcrum, and became the
mother of eight
children, one daughter and seven sons: Robert N., Lemuel, Gilley, John, James, Tulis, Ellis and an
infant son. Mr.
Rogers is an F. & A. M., and has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church since
1869. He is of Irish descent.
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