"Tennessee Trails" through Bedford County

Bedford County TN Biographies

GEORGE W. RANSOM

George W. Ransom. Numbered among the esteemed and valued citizens of Shelbyville county, is George W. Ransom, a man of sterling integrity and character, and a worthy representative of those courageous pioneers who settled in this part of Tennessee while it was yet in its infancy. A son of John Ransom, he was born on a farm lying seven miles west of Murfreesboro, Rutherford county, July 29, 1838.

The paternal grandfather, Captain Richard Ransom, was born in Isle of Wight county, North Carolina, where his father, James Ransom, who was of pure Scotch ancestry, was a life-long resident. During the Revolutionary war Richard Ransom enlisted for service as a private, and subsequently was twice promoted, first being raised to the rank of lieutenant, and later receiving his commission as captain. At the time of Gates* defeat, August 16, 1780, the captain was captured by the enemy. Soon after, with ten of his companions, he escaped, and for ten days the fugitives lived upon dry corn, the first two days of the time concealing themselves in the mud, in which they buried their bodies. At the end of eleven days the little band of fugitives rejoined the Colonial forces. Captain Ransom resided in his native state until 1812, when he joined his son Benjamin in Rutherford county, Tennessee, where he subsequently resided until his death, in 1827. To him and his wife, whose maiden name was Amy Davis, nine sons and three daughters were born, John, the father of George W., being the third child in succession of birth.

John Ransom was born in Mecklenburg county, North Carolina, in December, 1792, and in 1812 accompanied his father to Rutherford county, Tennessee. Marrying a few years later, his father-in-law presented him with ninety acres of land, and in the log house which he built his children were born He was a man of great enterprise and thrift, very successful as an agriculturist, and as his means increased he bought more land and more slaves, acquiring title to thirteen hundred acres of land in Rutherford county, his home estate lying seven miles west of Shelbyville. There he lived and labored until his death, in 1849, when but fifty-six years of age, his body, as was that of his father, being buried on his home farm. He married Elizabeth Bowman, who was born in Tennessee, a daughter of Rev. John and Elizabeth Bowman, and a lineal descendant of the Duke of Orleans. She survived him, passing away in September, 1857, aged fifty-nine years. Thirteen children were born of their union, as follows: Mary, William Alexander, Richard P., Margaret, Keziah, John R., David, Caroline, D. Gaston, Samuel Houston, Benjamin F., George W.. and Annie. Two of the children met death by accident when young, but all of the others grew to years of maturity. George W. is the only one now living.

Obtaining the rudiments of his education in the rural schools of his native county, George W. Ransom subsequently attended school in Salem and Shelbyville. He subsequently began life for himself as a merchant, being first located in Murfreesboro, and later in Fayetteville. In 1863 he enlisted in Company D, which was assigned to Colonel D. W. Holmans regiment, and did service under General Forrest, being with his command in its various marches and battles until the final surrender at Gainesville, Alabama, where he was allowed to keep his horse, on which he rode home. Mr. Ransom subsequently engaged in agricultural pursuits for a year in Bedford county, and then, in company with his brother, William A. Ransom, established a cotton brokerage business in Murfreesboro. In 1875, continuing in that city, Mr. Ransom embarked in the lumber business, with which he has since been identified, since 1890 having resided in Shelbyville. In the management of his affairs he has shown excellent judgment, and has met with well deserved success.

Mr. Ransom has been three times married. He married first, May 9, 1860, Elizabeth Bostick, who was born in Williamson county, Tennessee, in 1844, a daughter of James Bostick. She died in 1864, leaving two children, namely: John B. Ransom, of whom a brief sketch may be found on another page of this volume; and George Thomas Ransom, the latter in lumber business at,Jackson, Tennessee. Mr. Ransom married for his second wife Margaret Buchanan, who was born in Davidson county, Tennessee, a daughter of Major John K. and Elizabeth (Harwood) Buchanan. She passed to the higher life in February, 1889, leaving eight children, namely: Samuel B.; Arthur Bowman, of whom special mention is made elsewhere in this biographical work; Lizzie Mai, wife of J. B. Frierson; Anna, who married William Gladstone Wardlaw; Marvin; James McEwen; William S.; and Margaret. The sons are all engaged in the lumber business, their operations being extensive and profitable. Mr. Ransom's third wife was Mrs. Amy (Thompson) Warren, who died in April, 1899. Reared in the Methodist Episcopal church, Mr. Ransom has always been true to the faith of that denomination. Socially he is a member of the William Frierson Bivouac, Confederate Veterans.

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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