"Tennessee Trails" through Bedford County
The family of which James A. Loyd is a representative is one that has long been identified in one way or another with the history and fortunes of the state of Tennessee, six generations having been residents of the state thus far. Many of the name have filled high places in the public affairs of the state, and all have lived lives of usefulness in their respective communities. James A. Loyd, who is the immediate subject of this necessarily brief family review has thus far in his career lived well up to the family traditions in the way of public service and has taken his place as justice of the peace, and clerk of the circuit court, resigning the latter office during his third term to succeed his honored father as clerk and master in chancery upon the death of that gentleman. He is now discharging the duties of that office in the same efficient manner that has characterized all his business activities thus far in life.
The Loyd family is one most interesting to contemplate, but lack of space makes it impossible to more than mention the forefathers of the subject in passing. James A. Loyd is the son of Wilson G. Loyd, and was born in Archer, Marshall county, Tennessee, on March 30, 1868. His father was also born in Marshall county, his birth date being April 26, 1838 and he was the son of Alexander Loyd and the grandson of Ephraim Loyd.
Ephraim Loyd was the first of the name to settle in Tennessee, and he came here in the early part of the nineteenth century, coming from Virginia. He made his first location in the county, in the part that is now included as a part of Marshall county. He was a farmer and he was twice married. His first wife was a Miss Howell, of an old Tennessee family, and seven children were born of their union. He later in life married Miss Porter, and they reared one child. Alexander Loyd was a son of the first marriage, and he was born in Marshall county in 1813, and died in 1840. He was educated in Marshall county and learned the work of surveying, which he followed all his active business life, which was not long. He was absent in Texas with a surveying party, laying out that state, when his death occurred. He had married young, being not more than twenty-two when he was united in marriage with Miss Louisa Blackwell, of Marshall county, where she was born and reared, and she bore him two sons,—Elijah A. and Wilson G., the latter being the father of the subject. Elijah, it may be said, went to California in early life, and there established a permanent home.
Wilson G. Loyd was taken to Louisiana at the age of nine, his mother having died when he was an infant, and his father when he was about two years old. Until he reached that age he had been kept at Shelbyville, and on going to Louisiana he made his home with his uncle, until the outbreak of the Civil war. He was then twenty-three years of age. He enlisted in the Second Louisiana Regiment, taking the rank of sergeant, and saw much service throughout the war. He was wounded and captured at the Battle of Gettysburg, and at the time of Lee's surrender was returned to the Second Louisiana from the Union prison. After he was paroled in May, 1865, he came to Marshall county, where he was born and passed his earlier years, and here he met and married Victoria C. Meadows, of whom further mention will be made later. He spent two years in Louisiana after his marriage, then returned to Lewisburg. He engaged in the mercantile business at Archer, Tennessee, and also taught school in that place. In 1878 he was elected to the office of circuit clerk of Marshall county, and in that office he served for eight successive years, after which he was appointed to the post of assistant cashier of the Bank of Lewisburg, and served in that position a matter of two years. In 1888 he was appointed clerk and master in chancery by Chancellor Walter S. Bearden, and he continued in that office without interruption until his death, which took place in 1909.
Wilson G. Loyd was a Democrat, and a loyal and stanch supporter of the party all his days. He was president of the State Association of Confederate Veterans. He was long a member of the Christian church and an elder in that body, his wife also having membership in the same church. In public school matters in the county he was long regarded as a leader, and his whole life was one that had the most concerted regard for the betterment of the state in all its departments. On November 22, 1865, Mr. Loyd married Victoria C. Meadows, born in Marshall county, March 2, 1847, where she still resides. They became the parents of a goodly family of thirteen children, of whom it is especially worthy of mention that all have lived to reach years of usefulness and are now occupying various places of more or less importance in their numerous communities. James A. Loyd was the second born of this large family. The public schools of Lewisburg gave to James A. Loyd his early schooling, and upon finishing with the high school in this place he entered Woodbury Academy, later attending Winchester Normal. He then taught school for three years and in 1893 was appointed deputy internal revenue collector under the Cleveland administration, his division embracing nine counties in middle Tennessee. He held that office until 1697, and from then until 1900 he was engaged in the insurance business at Lewisburg where he also served as justice of the peace. In 1900 he was appointed clerk of the circuit court by Judge W. C. Houston, and was twice re-elected to the office, resigning in the year 1909 to succeed his father in the office of clerk and master of the chancery court, receiving the appointment at the hands of Chancellor Walter S. Bearden, who had also appointed his father to the office in preceding years.
In addition to the duties of his office, which he has continued to discharge with the utmost fidelity, he has also carried on an insurance business under the name of J. A. Loyd & Company, which has been successful and prosperous and a source of considerable satisfaction to Mr. Loyd.
On August 27, 1890, Mr. Loyd was married to Miss Mary K. Adams, the daughter of Robert L. Adams, of Lewisburg, who served twenty-four years as clerk of the county court and clerk and master, being succeeded in the office by Wilson G. Loyd, so that the office of clerk and master has been held almost continuously in this family since the war period. Mr. and Mrs. Loyd have five children, named as follows: Robert G., Maisy, William H., Elizabeth and James A. Jr. Mr. Loyd is a Democrat, true to his family and its traditions and has been chairman of the Democratic Congressional Committee for eight years. With his wife, he is a member of the Christian church.
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