Goodspeed's History of Tennessee

The Goodspeed Publishing Co., Nashville TN, 1886-1887

Shelby Co. TN

Biographical Sketches Shelby County

transcription donated by Rose-Anne Cunningham Bray

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C. E. Jackson, M. D., was born in Fayette County, Tenn., in 1844 and is the son of James D. and Frances (Wright) Jackson, natives of Virginia and Massachusetts respectively. The father was a farmer and a. school-teacher. He took great interest in temperance, which subject he often lectured upon. He died in Fayette County in 1847 and the mother followed him in 1885. Our subject was educated principally in Fayette County and began reading medicine in 1867. In 1868 he entered the University of Louisville and graduated in 1870, after which he at once located in Shelby County and in 1875 moved to the village of Capleviile where he soon commanded a good practice. In 1883 he enlisted in the Confederate Army in the Seventh Tennessee Regiment, Forrest's cavalry, where he remained till the close of the war. In 1874 he married Emma Rivers, of Tipton County, and a daughter of T. M. and E. C. (Tuggle) Rivers, both natives of Virginia. To our subject and wife were born five. children, four of whom are living. One died in 1877. Dr. Jackson is a member of the Masonic fraternity and the K. of H.

Benjamin W. Jeter, farmer of Shelby County, is a son of Eliott and Polly (Harris) Jeter, both born, reared and married in Virginia, but came to Haywood County in 1835 where they passed the residue of their days engaged in tilling the soil. In their family were eight children, three of whom are living. The mother died in 1837 and after her death the father married Frances Burroughs of Virginia by whom he had two children. In 1876 the father died, being ninety-seven years of age. Of the first family our subject was the seventh child. He was born in Bedford County, Va., August 18, 1824, reared on a farm and received a rather limited education. At the age of twenty-one he commenced the. carpenter's trade, at which he worked nearly fourteen years. In 1854 he married Harriet D. Walker and they had one son (deceased). After the death of his first wife Mr. Jeter married Sarah M. Bucey, of Fayette County, and this union resulted in the birth of seven children, three of whom are living. Having farmed in Haywood County till 1881 he came to Shelby County and settled on the place where he now resides, which consists of 822 acres. As a farmer he has met with extraordinary success;. having started with nothing he has made all his property by his own efforts. He is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church as was also his first wife, his present wife being a Methodist. In politics he was a Whig formerly, but is now a Democrat.

C. O. Johnson, division freight agent of the Kansas City, Memphis & Birmingham; Kansas City, Springfield & Memphis; Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf, and Kansas City, Clinton & Springfield Railroads is the son of Samuel C. and Mary V. (Orrick) Johnson, both natives of Pennsylvania and of English descent. Father and mother were married in Philadelphia, where the father figured prominently as a stock broker and afterward as president of the Pennsylvania & Western Railroad. In their family were three children—two sons and one daughter. The other son,. William P. Johnson, is now master mechanic of the Potomac, Fredericksburg & Piedmont Railroad. with headquarters at Fredericksburg, Va. Both parents were Episcopalians. Our subject is a member of the Catholic Church. The father died in November, 1886. The mother is still living in Philadelphia. Grandfather Samuel C. Johnson was one of thirteen survivors in 1885 in Pennsylvania of the war of 1812. Our subject was born in Philadelphia, August 13, 1852, received his early education in that city and subsequently took a collegiate course. He commenced his career as a railroad man, in 1871, as civil engineer on preliminary survey for the Texas & Pacific Railroad, and in the fall of the same year entered the general office of the International Railroad, Hearne, Tex., under H. M. Hoxie, superintendent. He remained with the International & Great Northern Railroad system several years in various positions of clerk in auditor's and general freight departments and as station agent at prominent frontier points. He was afterward connected with the Morgans, Louisiana & Texas; New Orleans & Mobile; Louisville & Nashville; Mexican Central, and Natchez, Jackson & Columbus Railroads. With the latter he filled the position of general freight and passenger agent and auditor, and organized their through system of freight and ticket rates and accounts. He also filled several important positions with the Southern Express Company, and had entire charge of their business in Memphis during the yellow fever epidemic of 1879. In 1883 he resigned his connection with the Natchez, Jackson & Columbus Railroad to accept his present position. In 1873 he married Miss Bertha Meyer, of New Orleans, by whom he has four children—one son and three daughters.

G. W. Jones & Co. are drug jobbers of Memphis. This house was established in 1854, by G. W. Jones, a native of Petersburg, Va., who came to Memphis in 1850, where for some time he was a member of the firm of Means & Co., also of Ward & Jones, druggists. In 1860 A. J. White was admitted to the firm, remaining until about 1865, when he went out and Mr. Jones was again sole proprietor. The trade was at first retail, but finally merged into a wholesale house. . Mr. Jones was for many years the leading druggist of Memphis, and an esteemed and enterprising man, also a prominent member of the I. O. O. F. After his death, which occurred in 1877, his wife and heirs continued the business, admitting Messrs. Van Vleet and G. C. Harbin in 1880. January, 1885, Mrs. Jones died, and April of the same year, the firm was reorganized with George C. Harbin, James A. Matthews and H. W. Leath. The trade is now exclusively wholesale, and amounts to about $350,000 annually. George C. Harbin is a native of Lexington, Ky., where he was engaged in the same line of business, until his removal to Memphis in 1850, since which time he has been closely associated with the commercial interests of Memphis. In 1853 he married Juliet M. Grant, a daughter of Dr. George R. Grant. To their union eight children were born, four of whom are still living. The mother is dead. James A. Matthews is a native of Somerville, Tenn., where he resided until the beginning of the war, when he moved across the line to Mississippi, near Colliersville, and in 1868 he came to Memphis. He accepted a position as clerk with Walker Bros. until 1870. He then entered into the drug business at Colliersville, remaining there three years, at which time he returned to Memphis, obtaining a situation with Schoolfield, Hanauer & Co. He worked for them until 1879, and then with J. T. Ferguson & Co. In March, 1882, he embarked in general merchandise business at Little Rock, where he continued until the formation of the present firm. In 1882 he wedded Ella, daughter of G. W. Jones. Mr. Matthews is a K. of H. and R. A. H. W. Leath is a native of Memphis, and grandson of Col. James T. Leath. In 1870 Mr. Leath went to Vermont, where he finished his education, afterward engaging in business for four years in New York, and later in Denver, Col. He returned to his native city in April, 1885, and the same year was united in marriage to Miss Carrie, daughter of G. W. Jones.

R. L. Jones, of the firm of English & Jones, dealers in staple and fancy groceries, dry goods, etc., is a native of Shelby County, Tenn., .and established his business in Brunswick in 1866. In February, 1862, he enlisted in the Confederate service, in Company C, Fifty-first Tennessee Regiment Infantry, and remained in service until wounded at the battle of Chickamauga, which rendered him unfit for duty the remainder of the war. He is a son of Stephen and Nancy (Griffin) Jones, both natives of Virginia. In their family were eight children, six of whom are now living. The father took for his second wife Rebecca Thompson, and their union resulted in the birth of two children: He came to this county about 1821, and passed the residue of his days here. He died in 1886 and was eighty-five years of age. In 1871 our subject married Luella Griffin of Fayette County, Tenn., and the daughter of George W. and Ann E. Griffin. This union resulted in the birth of ten children, one of whom died in 1878 of yellow fever. Mr. Jones is a member of the K. of H.

Prof. Wharton Stewart Jones, principal of the Memphis Institute, is the son of Elder S. E. Jones, known during his life as a distinguished preacher in the Christian Church, and of Mrs. C. S. Jones (nee Stewart) sister of the illustrious Lieut.-Gen. A. P. Stewart, Confederate Southern Army. Prof. Jones was born September 14, 1849, near Nashville, Tenn. His early education was received at Minerva College, of which his renowned father was president, and was completed at Kentucky University. He graduated in 1873, as first honor man of a large class, delivering on that occasion the Greek salutatory. Inheriting as he does from both parents superior mental qualities, which have been directed and strengthened by training in the best schools, he is well qualified for the position he holds. From 1875 until 1881 he was principal of Bourbon College, Paris, Ky. Coming to Memphis in 1881 he established the Memphis Institute, which has grown from two teachers to five, and with a constantly increasing patronage. He is not only a man of pure moral character, but is a working Christian. He is an enthusiastic teacher, thoroughly up in all that pertains to his profession. He is a man of broad and liberal culture, and of great force of character. His school is known as one of the best private institutions in the South. He is a mason of high rank, a Knight Templar, and an active member of the Chickasaw Guards.

N. M. Jones, president of the First National Bank, of the Memphis Gas Light Company, and the Peters & Sawrie Company, and director of the Citizens' Water Company, and member of the coal firm of Brown & Jones—is a native of Youngstown, Ohio, and was born June 9, 1836. The coal firm of Brown & Jones was established in 1865 by our subject and W. H. Brown, but upon the death of the latter his sons succeeded him and the new firm retained the old name. Their business extends along the Mississippi River from Cairo to New Orleans and gives employment to several hundred employes, over twenty tugs and towboats and a large number of barges. Our subject was reared and educated in his native State, and resided at Youngstown until he came to this city in 1865. His father was a brick-mason and contractor, and a native of Ireland, while the mother was a native of Youngstown, Ohio. In 1858 our subject married Miss Ann Pollock, a native of Pennsylvania, who presented her husband with two children - one boy and one girl - both of whom are still living, but the mother died August 12, 1885. Mr. Jones is one of the solid business men of Memphis.

Dr. Heber Jones, physician of Memphis, Tenn., is a native of Phillips County, Ark., born November 11, 1848, and is one of a family of six children born to the union of John T. and S. E. (McEwen) Jones. The father was born in Virginia in 1813, and educated at the University of Virginia. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in early manhood. In 1833 he moved to Arkansas, where he has since resided. Soon after moving to the State was elected circuit court judge and held that honorable position until the war. Since that event he has been engaged in farming. He is a man widely known and a much respected citizen. The mother was a native of Nashville, Tenn. Our subject received his early education at home under a private tutor previous to the war.. He afterward attended the "Nottingham Academy" at Somerville, Tenn.,. and then completed his literary course at the University of Virginia. In 1869 he graduated from the medical department of the same institution and then spent three years in the study of medicine in the hospitals of London and on the European Continent. In 1872 the Doctor came to Memphis, where he has since been engaged in the practice of his chosen profession. In 1873 he married Valeria Wooten, a native of Holly Springs and the daughter of John W. and Mary Wooten.

Philip B. Jones, secretary of the Vanderbilt Mutual Insurance Company, was born in Henderson County, Ky., May 13, 1840, and is the son of William S. and Elizabeth S. (Barbour) Jones, both parents being natives of Kentucky. The father was an extensive tobacco dealer in Kentucky and afterward an extensive cotton dealer here until his death, in 1858. In 1852 our subject was brought by his parents to Memphis, and here was given a good high-school education. Upon the breaking out of the war he left school and enlisted as a private under Gen. Morgan with whom he served throughout the war. He was promoted to captain, and later to adjutant of the regiment, and served thus until his capture with his regiment at Buffington's Island, Ohio. He was then held in Federal prisons until the close of the war. He then returned to Memphis and engaged in the hardware business as an employe and continued thus until 1875, when he assisted in organizing the Clerks' Building and Savings Association, of which he was made secretary, and has since officiated in this capacity. He also followed bookkeeping from 1882 to 1885, and in November of the latter year accepted the position of secretary of the Vanderbilt Mutual Insurance Company, and is yet discharging the duties of that important position. In November, 1865, he was united in marriage with Miss Eliza G. Garth, a native of Todd County, Ky., and to this union there are living three sons and one daughter. Mr.. Jones is a Democrat, is a Mason, a member of the K. of P., and himself and wife are members of the Presbyterian Church.

George S. Jordan, surveyor of Shelby County, was born in Richmond, Va., October 22, 1835, and is the son of Rix and Sarah A. (Banks) Jordan, both natives of the Old Dominion. George S. was reared to manhood in his native State and was liberally educated at Hampton Military Institute, near Fortress Monroe. He then followed the profession of teaching and in 1859 came to Shelby County. When the war broke out in 1861 he enlisted in Company H, Thirteenth Tennessee Regiment, Confederate States Army, as breve second lieutenant, but three months later resigned on account of ill health. In 1863 he entered Forrest's cavalry and served first as private and later in the quartermaster's department of the Twelfth Tennessee Cavalry until the close of the war, acting part of the time as quartermaster of Neely's brigade. After the war he engaged in civil engineering and was engaged in 1881 and 1882 in the relocation and the construction of the Memphis, Selma & Holly Springs Railroad. In 1883 he was elected surveyor of the county, and in 1886 he was re-elected. In May, 1886, he was appointed by the United States Government superintendent of the construction of the customs house, Memphis, to complete the work left unfinished by the sudden death of Col. S. L. Fremont. His education and training eminently fit him for his responsible position. In 1860 he was united in marriage with Miss Sallie F. Cole, of Shelby County. They have three living children—two sons and one daughter. He is a Mason, an Odd Fellow, and a member of the K. of H. and A. O. U. W., and himself and wife are Methodists.

Richard D. Jordan, an able attorney at Memphis, is the son of Rix and Sarah A. (Banks) Jordan. The father was born in Virginia and of English parentage, his parents being natives of the Isle of Wight. The mother was also born in Virginia, and a daughter of Richard G. Banks, a noted attorney of that State. Our subject is one of four children, two sons and two daughters; the other son, G. S. Jordan, is mentioned else-where in these pages. Previous to his marriage with our subject's mother, the father had married and reared one son, Alfred B. ( deceased), who was an eminent physician of Georgia. Both parents were members and active workers in the St. John's Episcopal Church, of Hampton, one of the oldest and most noted churches in America, its bricks being brought from England. In 1848 the mother died, and in 1857 the father followed her. Our subject was born October 7, 1846, in Essex County, Va., and when young was taken to Hampton, where he received a thorough education in the Hampton Military Institute. He there learned to love and respect the United States Government, but the war came on, his State seceded, his dearest friends espoused the Southern cause, and into the whirlpool of secession he was swept. In 1861 he volunteered in Company G, First Virginia Infantry, and served until the close of the war. He was wounded at Seven Pines, also at Gettysburg, and again at Five Forks. At the close of the war he taught school at Raleigh, Tenn., and studied law in the meantime. He afterward read under some of the most noted attorneys of Memphis, and in 1869 was admitted to the bar. Since that time he has been actively engaged in the practice of his profession, and has held the position of county attorney for four years. In 1880 he was elected president of the board of education, which position he still holds. In 1872 he married Bettie Crawford, a native of Vicksburg, Miss., born 1855. To this union three children were born: Louise C., Laura B. and Elvin. Mr. Jordan is a K. of H., member of the Tennessee Club, and also a member of the Chickasaw Guards Club. Both he and wife are members of the Episcopal Church.

 Patrick Kallaher, city wharf-master of Memphis, is a native of the county of Clare, Ireland, where he was born March 15, 1847. In 1850 he was brought by his parents to America, and was reared to manhood in Louisville, Ky., and Nashville, Tenn., and given a good English education. In 1868 he came to Memphis, and was given the position of charge of the cotton sheds of the city, continuing until 1876, when he was elected city wharf-master, and has filled this position continuously and still holds the same to the satisfaction of all, and to his own credit. He is also engaged quite extensively in real estate dealings in this city, and has made his business highly successful, owning at the present time considerable valuable property, and being a stockholder in various incorporated companies in the city, and a director in the People's Insurance Company, and other corporations in the city. When he first took charge of the wharf there were only 300 feet paved; now there is nearly half a mile paved and the wharfage has been reduced from 5 cents to 2 cents per ton. Mr. Kallaher is a member of the Catholic Church, and is an unswerving Democrat in politics. In 1875 he married Miss Margaret Fleming, who died in 1875 (October), leaving no issue. Mr. Kallaher is regarded by his fellow citizens as one of the most successful young men of the city of Memphis, from a financial standpoint.

Edward A. Keeling, secretary of the Merchants Exchange, is a native of this city and was born March 16, 1849, being the son of Edward A., Sr., and Martha (Armstrong) Keeling, natives, respectively, of Giles County, Tenn., and Pittsburgh, Penn. The father, who was one of the prominent business men of Memphis and New Orleans in ante bellum days, died here in 1850. Our subject grew to years of maturity in this city and was here educated and started in life for himself. In 1863 he accepted a position in the office of a steamboat agency in this city, and later accepted a clerkship on one of the Mississippi River boats, continuing until 1867 when he entered the employ of the Memphis & Ohio (now the Louisville & Nashville) Railway as office clerk in this city, and. in 1873 was made their agent at Mason, Tenn., and in 1874 was put in charge of the office at Brownsville, Tenn. In January, 1878, he resigned this position and engaged in the general milling business at that place. In the fall of 1881 he returned to Memphis and engaged in a brokerage business, and in January, 1883, upon the organization of the Merchants Exchange, was elected its secretary, and has filled this position in a highly creditable manner until the present time. He is a Democrat; is a prominent Mason, being Worshipful Master of South Memphis Lodge, the pioneer lodge of the city, and Generalissimo of St. Elmo Commandery, K. T. He. is also a member of the Central Methodist Episcopal Church. October 15, 1874, he was joined in marriage to Miss Mary Nabers, daughter of Hon. B. D. Nabers, of Mississippi, and by her has four living children, one son.

Kelly, Roper & Reilly, wholesale grocers and cotton factors, is a leading business house of Memphis and is composed of M. J. Kelly, John Roper and James Reilly. The business was originally established in 1866 by James and John Roper, but in 1882 became Kelly & Roper, and December 1, 1885, the present firm was established. They are now doing a very large business over the States of Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri and Northern Alabama, keep several commercial travelers on the road and have a large number of employes to carry on the business in this city. Hon. Morgan J. Kelly is a native of Clare County, Ireland, where he was born in December, 1849. He came to the United States in January, 1863, and engaged as a clerk in the wholesale dry goods trade in Cincinnati, Ohio, until 1872, when he came to Memphis and in 1877 engaged in the wholesale and retail grocery business which he conducted successfully until 1882, when he entered his present business with Mr. Roper. He is a Democrat and as such represented his county in the State Legislature in 1882-83. He is a Catholic, a member of the K. of H., and is unmarried.

Elias Keck, proprietor of a livery stable at 403 Second Street, Memphis, that he established in 1855, was a native of Virginia and was raised in Shelby County, Ind., where his father moved when he was a small boy. He was educated in the common schools of that county and then engaged in farming until 1851, when he moved to Memphis, and four years later established his present business. Mr. Keck started without means, but has, by judicious management, accumulated a vast amount of city real estate, besides a valuable farm six miles from the city, on Big Creek Plank Road, in the Sixth District. This farm is one of the most valuable and best improved farms in this section of the State. In 1864 Mr. Keck married Miss Mattie Felts, a native of Memphis. Five children were born to them, four living. The death of one was caused from the bite of a dog. Mrs. Keck died January 1, 1876, a consistent member of the Second Presbyterian Church, of Memphis. Mr. Keck was married the second time, in 1882, to Miss Jennie Thweatt, daughter of J. 0. Thweatt, a prominent farmer of Shelby County. Mrs. Keck was born near Memphis, but lived near Cuba, in Shelby County, where they were married. One child has been born to this union. Mrs. Keck is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and Mr. Keck belongs to the K. of H. In politics he is a Democrat. He is an honest, upright business man, well known in Memphis.

A. J. Knapp, general passenger and freight agent of the Mississippi & Tennessee Railroad, is a son of A. G. and Elizabeth (Martin) Knapp. The father was born in Vermont and reared in New York. When young he went to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he married Miss Martin, a native of Ireland, who came to this country in 1835. They moved to Memphis in 1846, where they passed the residue of their days. In their family were eight children, four of whom are now living—two sons and two daughters. The other son is receiving clerk of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad. The father began as a molder in an iron foundry, and from that arose by his own efforts to the ownership of large interests in the foundry business. He was a Whig in politics and his wife a member of the Presbyterian Church. He died in 1860 and she in 1863. The Knapp family are of German descent. Our subject, the oldest child of the family, was born August 3, 1845, in Cincinnati, Ohio, but was reared and educated in Memphis. At the age of thirteen he began to assist in his father's foundry, where he continued some seven years. In 1865 he began as a ware-houseman for the Memphis & Ohio (now Memphis division of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad). From that he steadily arose to clerk, local agent, chief clerk of the passenger and freight department, and general freight and passenger agent in 1876. In 1863 he married Julia C. Rogers, of Germantown, Tenn., by whom he has three children: Mamie It., Edmonds S., and Burke R. In 1883 his first wife died and the following year he married Lucy C. Bierce, a native of Cleveland, Ohio. Politically Mr. Knapp is a Democrat.