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Samuel D. Weakley

Contributor: Pat M. Mahan


SAMUEL D. WEAKLEY, one of the pioneers of Florence, was born in Davidson County, Tenn., October 2, 1812. He is a son of Samuel and Sarah (Vaughan) Weakley, both of whom were natives of Halifax county, Va., and were of Irish and Welsh descent. Samuel Weakley was a farmer by occupation, and died in 1832, at the age of sixty-five years. Samuel D. Weakley was the youngest of four sons. He was educated at Nashville, Tenn., and removed to Florence, Ala., in 1831, where his elder brother, James H. Weakley, then surveyor-general of the state of Alabama, resided. Samuel D. had learned surveying under his father, and at once entered the office of his brother, and spent about ten years, retracing old survey field notes, which had been in part obliterated by fire. In 1849, in company with James Martin and others, he engaged in the manufacture of cotton goods and yarns, near Florence, Ala., and in the spring of 1861 he was elected major-general of militia, which position he held for about eighteen months, and then resigned, because the act of conscription had placed every able bodied man, from seventeen to fifty, in the army, and he had no one to command. Up to 1863, he had been an active business man, and was largely interested in railroads and steamboats; but since that date he has been but little active in life. In 1836, he was married, in Lauderdale county, to Miss Eliza B. Bedford, of Lauderdale county. Gen. Weakley's only son is John B. Weakley, who was born in 1837. Up to fifteen years ago, he followed mercantile pursuits, and he then took a position as traveling salesman for a wholesale grocery house, of Memphis, Tenn. He joined one of the first companies to leave Florence, to serve in the Confederate army, of which company he was the captain. He was married to Miss Mollie E. Rice, daughter of Green P. Rice, of Morgan county, Ala. John B. Weakley, Jr., son of Captain John B. Weakley, is one of the leading attorneys of Florence. He was born in that city November 6, 1863, and graduated from the State Normal college, in 1882. During the winter of 1882-83, he was engaged in teaching school, as principal of the Tuscumbia male academy. He then read law in the office of Hon. R. T. Simpson, and was admitted to the b ar September 12, 1884. He began the practice of law in Memphis, Tenn., but the following year returned to Florence, where he has since remained, meeting with success in his practice. Mr. Weakley is a member of the board of trustees of the city schools. He was married June 30, 1891, to Miss Anne E. Rather, daughter of Gen. John D. Rather, of Tuscumbia, Ala.


Source: Memorial Record of Alabama. Vol. II. Brant & Fuller. Madison, Wis., 1893. p. 371-372

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