"Tennessee Trails" through Bedford County

Bedford County TN Biographies

Joel Walden Woosley

One of the most popular public officials of Union City is Joel Walden Woosley, who is active in the office of mayor. He is a native of this state, his birth having occurred in Bedford county on the 15th of March, 1861, a son of Joseph Bryant and Flavella Jane (Shoffner) Woosley, both of whom are deceased. They were natives of this state and prominent and highly respected citizens. The father was a successful farmer and blacksmith and likewise conducted a prosperous sawmill business. His demise occurred on the 14th of March, 1901, at the age of seventy-two years. Mrs. Woosley died on the 12th of August, 1912. Mr. Woosley served in the Confederate army throughout the Civil war, under General Albert Sidney Johnston. He participated in most of the important engagements of the war, among them the battle of Shiloh, and was not once wounded nor captured.

In acquiring his early education Joel Walden Woosley walked a distance of four or five miles through the woods to a little log cabin schoolhouse. He attended school in his spare time, when he was not working on the farm or in the small store, having accepted a position as clerk in the latter place at the age of twelve years. Mr. Woosley early learned the value of close application to the thing at hand and during the twenty years he was identified with the store, he became thoroughly familiar with every phase of the business. At the termination of twenty years he, together with a partner, bought out the business and they conducted it for some twenty years. Mr. Woosley achieved substantial success in that connection but subsequently disposed of his interest and entered the insurance and real estate business. He is still active along those lines, although the greater part of his time and attention is devoted to his duties as mayor of Union City, to which office he was elected and sworn in last January. He has always been active in the public life of the community and prior to his election to this office he served as city clerk and tax collector for some eighteen years and was secretary and treasurer of the public school board for four years. He is one of the most popular public officials in the county and the success he has achieved in official capacities may be laid to his firm belief that every office is a public trust, the duties of that office being performed accordingly.

As mayor he is giving to this community a most businesslike administration and he well merits the confidence and esteem in which he is held by his fellowmen. On the 9th of February, 1911, at Union City, occurred the marriage of Mr. Woosley to Mrs. Annie Shumake Kistner, a daughter of James and Amanda (Carter) Shumake, both deceased. They were natives of Tennessee and her father served in the Confederate army throughout the Civil war. He was in General Forrest's command and was active in all important engagements, but received no wounds. Mrs. Woosley is a woman of culture and refinement and is prominent socially. The political allegiance of Mr. Woosley is given to the democratic party and the principles for which it stands. Fraternally he is identified with the Masons, holding membership in the Knights Templars, and he is likewise affiliated with the Knights of Pythias. His religious faith is that of the Methodist church, of which organization he is now treasurer. Mr. Woosley is in every sense of the word a self-made man and he is well deserving of the success he has achieved in life. His advance has been due to his laudable ambition, stanch determination and intelligently directed efforts and he has won out where many a man of less strength of character would have failed.

Transcribed and contributed by Christine Walters July 13, 2006
Source: "TENNESSEE AND TENNESSEANS" by Will Hale - 1913

Back Home