William H Tibbs

Provided by Trish Elliott-Kashima

Source:  Souvenir of the States of Georgia and Florida, 1889. Pages 74-75.


Wm H Tibbs was born in Appomattox County, VA, June 10, 1816.  His father, William, was born in the same county in 1782.  In 1818 he moved to Smith County, Tennessee, where he lived until 1823, when he moved to Bledsoe County and in 1836 removed to what is now Bradley County, Tennessee, but was then known as the Cherokee purchase.  He was a planter and a man of great intelligence and influence in his day.  He died in 1866 in Bradley County, Tennessee.  He was a son of John Tibbs, a native of Virginia.  William Tibbs fought in the War of 1812.  In about 1809 he married Miss Elizabeth, daughter of Moses Swiney, of Virginia.  She bore him nine children, five daughters and four sons, viz:  Lucinda, Charles P., Wm H., Daniel A., Jacob A., Eliza A., Delila S., Jane and Philadelphia.  Our subject, two brothers and two sisters, are the only surviving members of the family.  He was brought up on the farm and educated in the common schools.  He spent a great deal of his early life in traveling, and was prominently connected with the removal of the Cherokee Indians from Tennessee in 1836-37.  In 1838 he commenced the merchantile business in Mississippi, continued the same until 1841, when he removed to Cleveland, Tennessee where he carried on a merchantile business until 1861.  In 1853-54 he served in the legislature from Bradley County, Tennessee, and in 1858 was elected to the State senate from east Tennessee.  In 1861 he was elected to the Confederate congress and served from the third district of Tennessee two years, but declined re-election.  He then joined the field relief committee of the Confederate army and served in that capacity until the close of the war.  He took part in the battles of Stone River, Resaca, Kennesaw Mountain, siege of Atlanta and many others.  He had, previous to the war, accumulated large property and was an extensive slave-holder, but notwithstanding the heavy loss he suffered during the war, he was probably at its close worth $100,000 and was a large landowner in Whitfield County, GA.  He then bought property in Dalton, has since followed planting and merchantile business very extensively and now owns upwards of 6,000 acres of fine ore and farming land in Whitfield County.  He deserves great credit for his success as he started life as a poor boy with nothing more than a good character and an ordinary school education, and his success can only be attributed to his industry, perseverance and industry.  He is a well preserved man and one of wide reading.  In 1838 he was married to Mary McSherry of Tennessee.  The family was of Scotch Irish descent and came to America from Belfast, Ireland.  Mrs Tibbs bore two children, viz: Willie A and Charles H and died in 1840.  In 1842 Mr Tibbs married Celina A Hardwick, daughter of John Hardwick and granddaughter of Hugh Montgomery, a popular man of  Georgia in the early days.  She bore seven children, viz: Lucretia C, John, Mary, William, Horace, Augustus, and Forest L.  Mr and Mrs Tibbs are members of the Methodist Church; he is also a Royal Arch Mason and politics a Democrat. 


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