"Tennessee Trails" through Bedford County
An old and honored family, and a career of successful individual enterprise, is represented in the person of William Carson Deuberry of Greenfield, Weakley county. Dr. Deuberry is now in the insurance and real estate business at Greenfield, but has had a long experience as a merchant, farmer, and in the development of the lumbering industry. He is a man of fine integrity, enjoys the complete confidence of his neighbors and friends, and adds to the worthy place which the Deuberry family has occupied in Weakley county for half a century or more.
William Carson Deuberry was born on a farm eight miles northwest of Florence, in Lauderdale county, Alabama, in 1861. He is a son of Thomas Deuberry, who was born in Bedford county, Tennessee, in 1812, and a grandson of William Deuberry who was born in North Carolina
Grandfather William Deuberry was reared and married in his native state, moved across the mountains in the early days to Tennessee, and became one of the pioneers of Bedford county. He bought land near the home of Talbot Fanning, and near Duck River, and kept his residence there until about 1825. He then moved into the state of Alabama. settling in Lauderdale county, where he was once more among the early settlers. He lived there for several years in a wilderness, surrounded by Indians, and with abundance of wild game on every hand. The land which he bought he cleared up and continued as a farmer and planter there until his death. He was remarkable for his great age, and his longevity has been regularly a characteristic of the entire family. He was one hundred and one years of age when death came to him, and until to the end was active in mind and body. He reared five sons and five daughters.
Thomas Deuberry, the father of the Greenfield business man, was reared in Alabama, made the best of limited opportunities to obtain an education, and early in life bought some land in Lauderdale county. With his slaves he established himself on a large scale as a planter, and bought and sold several farms in Lauderdale county. During the war that section of Alabama was overrun by both armies, and the crops and stock were confiscated, and the fences and many of the buildings destroyed. Thus, from having been one of the most prosperous men of the county at the beginning of the war, Thomas Deuberry at its close was greatly impoverished and had little more than the bare land of his estate. In such discouraging conditions he moved to Weakley county, Tennessee, remaining one year, then went to Panola county, Mississippi, buying land near Batesville, but after a year sold out and returned to Weakley county. He rented a farm for one year at Locust Grove, and then bought a tract of timber lands in the forks of the Obion River. His was the first permanent settlement in that section below Priestly homestead. For his home he built a double log house of hewed logs, having at each end a mud and stick chimney, and there lived until he was once more firmly re-established in prosperous circumstances. He then improved his home by weather-boarding it, and changing the primitive chimneys to brick. There he lived until his death at the age of seventy-six. The maiden name of his wife was Elizabeth, Beard, who was born near Lynchburg in 1816. Her father, Abner Beard, was born in the same county, and of early English stock. Abner Beard's wife was a Miss Dobbins, whose parents were natives of Germany. Abner Beard learned the trade of wagon and carriage builder, moved to Lauderdale county, Alabama, bought land and put up a shop, and was engaged in the manufacture of wagons and in a general repairing trade until his death at the age of eighty years. His wife survived him and died at the age of ninety-one. They reared four sons and six daughters. Mrs. Thomas Deuberry died at the age of seventy-two and she reared five of her eight children, namely: Jabe, Mildred, Sally, Daniel and William Carson. The son Jabe when eighteen years old enlisted in an Alabama regiment for service in the Confederate army, and was taken prisoner in the battle at Port Donelson. He was sent to Chicago and died there as a prisoner of war.
William Carson Deuberry was reared to manhood in the decade of the Civil war and that of the seventies, and made the best of his educational opportunities, attending rural schools and the Magnolia Seminary. In the home he was accustomed to an atmosphere of industry and thrifty habits, and at the age of nineteen his father gave him his time and he then bought a tract of timber land near the old home. With his youth and energy he started at once to clear and improve the land and built a commodious frame house before he was married, thus providing well for his family. After his marriage he bought a sawmill and acquired considerable tracts of standing timber, and for several years was one of the extensive manufacturers of lumber in this section. In the meantime he established a store at Greenfield, in partnership with Samuel Sharp and Fred McKelvey. Afterwards he bought the interests of the other partners and continued as sole proprietor for a number of years. Since retiring from this store he has been engaged in the real estate business and handles both farm and city property.
In 1885 Mr. Deuberry married Miss Eva Priestly, who was born in Weakley county, a daughter of John T. and Eliza (Williams) Priestly. The Priestly family is one of the most prominent in this part of Tennessee, and is given appropriate mention on other pages in the sketch of Hon. John M. Priestly. Mr. and Mrs. Deuberry have reared five children, named: Leora, Harry, Willie, Priestly and Eleanor. The two sons Carson and Paul died in infancy. Leora married Fred Foster of Marshall county; Harry married Bonnie McAdams, a daughter of T. D. and Pennie (Hillis) McAdams, and has one son, Harry, Jr.; Willie married Laura Wix of Kentucky. Mr. and Mrs. Deuberry worship in the Christian church and are well known in social circles of Greenfield and vicinity.
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