These biographies are generally derived from family members and include information from undocumented sources, often based on family traditions and oral history. Verify the contents.
Selected biographical sketches ('Family Narrative' links to the Ancestral Line):
Abraham Sims was born in Wayne County, Tenn., June 13, 1834, son of Robert and Frances (Merritt) Sims, who were born in North Carolina. The father was one of the early settlers of Giles County, Tenn., coming to that county about 1819. He helped to clear and settle the country and was a successful farmer. He moved to Wayne County in 1834, and died in March, 1842. The mother died in 1871. Our subject made his home with his parents until he was seventeen years of age, and after his father's death conducted the home-farm for his mother and sisters. In 1863 he enlisted in the Tenth Tennessee Infantry, and served as high private until September, when he was mustered out on account of bad health. He resumed farming, and in 1868 purchased his present place of 150 acres and is doing well financially. Mr. Sims has earned his property by sweat of his brow, and now enjoys his home. In 1875 he married Hannah Stockberry, a native of Anderson County, Tenn. They have four children born to them, three of whom are living: Joseph, Robert M. and Mary O. Mr. Sims belongs to the Republican party and has been magistrate of his district for eight years. Himself and family are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and he has been a member of the Masonic fraternity eighteen years and was a member of the Union League a short time after the war. Mr. Sims is one of Wayne County's successful farmers and stock raisers, and is recognized as a moral and upright citizen.
Henry Clay Sims, trustee of Wayne County, Tenn., was born on the 15th of November, 1844, son of Matthew J. Sims, of Waynesboro. Henry C. secured the ordinary common schooling in his boyhood days, and in 1863 enlisted in Company H, Second Tennessee Federal Mounted Infantry, serving as a private in the late war until its close. He was conscripted by the Confederates in 1862 and taken to Libby prison, but managed to make his escape and joined the Union Army. Since the close of the war, up to the present time, he has farmed in Wayne County, and has been fairly successful. He is a stanch Republican in his political views and as such was elected to the county trustee's office in August, 1884, and has discharged the duties of his office to the universal satisfaction of all. he was re-elected to the office in August, 1886. August 5,1865, the nuptials of his marriage with Jemima C. Copeland, of Wayne County, were celebrated. They have three children: Mahulda Isaphene, Dorothy W. and Mabel. Mr. Sims is a member of the masonic fraternity, and he and Mrs. Sims are worthy members in the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Matthew J. Sims is a son of Robert and Frances (Merritt) Sims, and was born in North Carolina June 9, 1816. (See sketch of A. M. Sims, for parents history.) After attaining his majority he began doing for himself. His early education was such as could be obtained in the rude and primitive log schoolhouses of his boyhood days. he followed farming and school-teaching for ten or twelve years, and in 1840 purchased a large farm on Indian Creek, where he farmed and raised stock until 1865. After the close of the war he established his general merchandise store in Waynesboro, and continued with good success up to the present time. In 1865 he was appointed clerk of Wayne County Circuit Court, and held that office ten years. In 1837 he united his fortune with that of Dorothy Greeson, of Bedford County, Tenn., and their union has been blessed in the birth of ten children, eight of whom are living: Shields, Elizabeth (Mrs. J. McWilliams), Z. Taylor, H. C., Winfield S., Dorothy A., (Mrs. John Turman), Mahulda C. and Malinda T. Mr. Sims is a stanch Republican, and was clerk of the circuit court a number years, and also held the office of magistrate, and is one of the old and strictly honorable citizens of the county.
Shields Sims was born in Wayne County, Tenn., December 18, 1838, son of Matthew J. and Dorothy (Greeson) Sims, natives of North Carolina and Tennessee, respectively. The father was one of the early settlers of Giles County and a farmer by occupation. Since the war he has been engaged in the mercantile and tannery business in connection with farming. He is seventy years old and his wife is sixty-nine years of age. Shields Sims was reared on a farm and secured a good common education. At the age of twenty-one he began doing for himself, and in 1863 enlisted in Company H, Second tennessee Mounted Infantry, Union Army, and served as first sergeant. After his return home in 1865, he resumed farming, and soon established a tan-yard, which he managed four years, and then purchased his present farm of 290 acres on Falls Branch of Indian Creek. Besides this he owns 300 acres and has an interest in 160 acres near his home. He has farmed and raised stock on his present farm since 1870 and has met good success. In 1859 he married Edith M. C. Youngblood, daughter of Josiah Youngblood, who was born in Rutherford County September 29, 1818, and a son of William and Edith (Reed) Youngblood. William was among the early settlers of Rutherford County. He was a farmer and died in 1844; his wife dies in 1875. Josiah has farmed for himself since 1837, and the same year wedded Mary Horton, who died in 1879, leaving two living children, Edith M. C. and M. Elizabeth. Mr. Youngblood is a Republican, and a member of the Primitive Baptist Church. Mr. and Mrs. Sims became the parents of eight children, seven of whom are living: Jeannette J. (Mrs. W. T. Nowlings), Mary M. (Mrs. James Kowland), Dorothy J, MatthewJ., Sarah E., John S. and Francis. Mr. Sims is a Republican, was magistrate of his district six years, and in now one of the board of school commissioners. He and family are members of the Baptist Church, and he has been a Mason since 1868 and joined the Union League in 1866.
John Turman, a member of the well-known firm of Turman, Helton & Co., of Waynesboro, Tenn., was born in Bedford County, October 18, 1848, son of John C. and Mary A. (Parker) Turman. [See sketch of William Turman] His early life was spent on a farm and in acquiring a common school education. In 1869 he began merchandising at Martin's Mills, and remained there a year and a half. He then came to Waynesboro and engaged in a similar business here, carrying on the same up to the present time. He has been more than ordinarily successful, financially, and is one of the reliable business men of the county. He is a Republican and has taken quite an active part in the political affairs of the county. December 12, 1877, he married Dorothy A. Sims, of Wayne County. They have four children: John, Lizzie, James and Benjamin.
William Turman was born in Bedford County, Tenn., November 16, 1839, son of John C. and Mary A. (Parker) Turman, natives, respectively, of Georgia and Tennessee. John C. Turman came with his father to Tennessee in 1807, when he was but five years old. They located in Bedford County, and here he was reared, married and raised his family. He came to Wayne County in the fall of 1855, locating on a farm, but later came to Waynesboro, where he died May 4, 1881. He was a Democrat before, and a Republican after the war, being elected to the office of county trustee, but would not serve. He was a consistent member of the Baptist Church, as was his wife, who died June 11, 1857. William was reared a farmer's boy and was educated in the common schools. In 1863 he enlisted in the Federal Army as a private, in the Second Tennessee Mounted Infantry, but was never mustered in account of physical disability, but served with the regiment one year. In the fall of 1867 he came to Waynesboro and engaged in the mercantile and liquor business, in which he has remained continuously to the present time. He has given farming considerable attention and owns 600 acres of good farming land. He is connected with the saw-milling interests of the county and has added largely to the wealth and prosperity of the county. His residence in Waynesboro is the finest in the county. In 1872, he married Ione Cypert, and four children have blessed their union: Camilla, William B., Sarah and Benjamin D. Mr. Turman is a Republican in politics and a prominent business man of the county.
J. & M. Youngblood are merchants of Clifton, Tenn., and established their business in September, 1885. They carry a large stock of staple and fancy goods, hats, boots and shoes, groceries and general merchandise. Matthew Youngblood, manager of the business, was born in Wayne County, Tenn., May 6, 1856, son of John William and Margaret (Sims) Youngblood, who were born in Wayne County also. The father was a successful farmer and merchant, and removed to Missouri where he died December 6, 1874. Our subject was reared in his native country and secured a fair education. At the age of twenty five he began clerking in Waynesboro, and after one year's service there came to Clifton, and was salesman until 1883. He then engaged in the mercantile business in Linden, Perry Co., Tenn., continuing until they established their present business in Clifton. His twin brother Joseph, who is one of the firm, has been successful traveling salesman for a Louisville grocery firm since 1881. He is a Republican, and has contributed largely to the success of the firm.