"Tennessee Trails" through Bedford County

Bedford County TN Biographies


Isham P. Byrom is one of the young men of this city who has had a career of more or less prominence from the time when he concluded his college course up to the present hour. His varied public service culminated in 1912 in his election to the state legislature, and thus far his service has been one that has reflected honor and credit upon his manhood and citizenship. Born on Thompsons Creek, in Bedford county, Tennessee, on May 7,1887, Mr. Byrom is the son of B. J. Byrom and his wife, Dora Price Byrom The father was a Baptist minister, born in Bedford county, this state, in 1846, and the mother was likewise born in that county, in 1858. They were married in 1883, and their one child is Isham P., of this review.

B. J. Byrom, father of the subject, was the son of John Byrom, who came from Virginia and located in Bedford county, Tennessee, in his young manhood. He married a Miss Short and they reared a large family. The father was a Baptist preacher and during the Civil war served in the Confederate army as a chaplain. A number of his sons also gave service in the Rebellion, among them being Joe Byrom, a lieutenant with Lee in Virginia; George Byrom served through the. war as a captain, and James Byrom was a private in a Tennessee regiment. B. J. Byrom was too young for service at that time, else he would have shared in the fortunes of war with his father and brothers. He was educated in the common schools, and when he reached man's estate he continued in farm work, his advent into the ministry not taking place until he was about forty years old. He preached for years in Bedford county, in the vicinity of Thompsons Creek, and was one of the best known preachers of his time in that district.

Isham P. Byrom as a boy in the home at Thompsons Creek, where he was born, attended the school at that place, and later was permitted to attend Brandon Training School at Tallahoma, and "Winchester Normal College at "Winchester, that institution being known today as Winchester School. He finished his education at the University of Chattanooga, and in 1911 was admitted to the bar. He began practice in Winchester, forming a partnership with Judge Prank Lynch, and continued there in practice until higher duties called him. It should be mentioned here, however, that Mr. Byrom at the age of sixteen taught in the public schools of Franklin county, and during the years when he was taking his college training, his studies were interspersed with periods of teaching, one year being devoted to educational work in Jasper county, Georgia. He was deputy register of Franklin county under J. A. Anderson, and was elected a member of the executive committee representing the Seventh district. He was elected assistant sergeant at arms in the House of Representatives in 1907, and in 1909 was defeated when he went up for clerk of the Senate. In that year he came to Winchester and edited the Winchester Herald, and he is now owner of the Herald Printing Company.

In 1912 Mr. Byrom became a candidate for Representative on the Democratic ticket, being opposed by two former Representatives—J. P. P. Carroll and W. T. Sublett. He received the nomination at the primaries on April 27, receiving a heavy majority over his two opponents. Soon after his nomination he announced that he would not support Patterson for the United States Senate, and Patterson came to Winchester, where he expressed himself most strongly against Mr. Byrom's campaign. Mr. A. J. Skidmore opposed him in a bitter and hard fought contest, and in November Mr. Byrom defeated his opponent by a majority of 1,537, or more than four to one. He became a candidate for the office of speaker of the state House of Representatives soon after, but was defeated. At the present time Mr. Byrom is serving on the Committee on Ways and Means, the Judiciary Committee, the Committee on Charitable Institutions; he is secretary of the Committee on Public Grounds and Public Buildings, chairman of the Committee on Railroads, and a member of the committee to draft revenues, assessment laws and bills. He was recently appointed head of the Pension Department in the comptroller's office, and in all these connections has been found capable, honorable and efficient

On December 22, 1907, Mr. Byrom was married to Allie Dance, the daughter of W. S. Dance, of Franklin county, who is one of the prominent and prosperous farmers of the county. One child has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Byrom—Florella Ruth Byrom.

Mr. Byrom is a member of the Baptist church and his wife owns allegiance to the Methodist Episcopal church, South. His fraternal relations are with the Woodmen of the Word, Winchester camp, the Modern Woodmen of America, and the Loyal Order of the Red Cross, of Winchester. He is also a Mason, with membership, in Cumberland Lodge No. 188, A. F. & A. M.

Though still young in years, only twenty-six, Mr. Byrom has made an unusual success in business and politics. He is the owner of two fine farms, and is the proprietor of the Herald Printing Company, as well as owning a drug business in his home city, and is vice president of the Tennessee River Railroad Company. Pew young men have the record of success that Mr. Byrom might boast, and he is everywhere accorded the sincere good wishes and approval of his fellows, who have not been slow to recognize his many excellent qualities of heart and mind.

A history of Tennessee and Tennesseans: the leaders and representative men in commerce, industry and modern activities. By Will T. Hale Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1913

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