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B. F. Hudspeth

B. F. Hudspeth, clerk of county court, Newton, Baker County, son of William and Mary (Pool) Hudspeth, was born in Wilkes County, Georgia, May 22, 1833.

His paternal grandfather, Richard Hudspeth, was born and raised on a farm in North Carolina, and, when a young man came to Georgia and settled in Wilkes County. After living there many years he moved to Henry County, Alabama, where he died at a very advanced age. He was a member of the Primitive Baptist Church. His wife survived some years, and was very old when she died. They raised ten children to be grown, two of whom are yet living: Richard T., Henry County, Alabama, and Mrs. Elizabeth Parks, Pike County, Alabama.

Mr. Hudspeth’s father was the oldest of the children, and was born in Wilkes County, Jan. 2, 1802, where he grew to manhood and married. He was an “old-line whig," and quite active in politics, and served as major in the Florida war. About 1840 he moved to Meriwether County where he farmed, but lived in Greeneville. Six years later he went to Arkansas and settled on a farm about eighteen miles west of Camden, Ouachita County, where he remained but a year. From there he went to Vicksburg, Mississippi, and organized the firm of A. M. Boyd & Co., for the sale of western implements; but in 1852 he sold his interest in this business and went to Ouachita County, Louisiana, and engaged in farming. Not liking the county he returned to Florida and settled in Baker County. He lived here until 1861 when he moved to Chicot County, Arkansas, where he remained until after the war, when he came back to Baker County, where he died Jan. 16, 1877. He was a member of the Methodist Church. He was married twice. His first wife—the mother of our subject, died in Wilkes County, and was the mother of six children, of whom Mr. B. F. Hudspeth is the only survivor; Eliza J., wife of Dr. T. Glover, died in Newton; Mary Ann, died in Memphis, Tennessee; Mattie, wife of John B. Heard, died in Baker County; two died young. His second wife was Miss Caroline Hill, of Meriwether County, Georgia, by whom he had one child: Julia T., wife of Columbus Brooks, Albany, Georgia.

Mr. Hudspeth during his boyhood attended school in Greeneville, Georgia, and spent his youth in Vicksburg, Missisippi, where, at the age of seventeen he began life for himself as a clerk for A. M. Boyd & Co. Later he bought an interest in the business, but sold it in 1852 and went to New Orleans, and engaged in steam- boating on the Mississippi and Red rivers until 1854. That year he returned to Newton and settled for life, and has been almost continuously in the employ of the people.

In 1859 the people of Baker county elected him sheriff; they next elected him judge of the county court; then, in 1868, they elected him ordinary. In 1871 he was elected clerk of the county court, and the next year he bought the ferry across Flint River at Newton—and still holds the office and ferry.

In May, 1861, he enlisted in and was made lieutenant of the “Baker Fire Eaters,” which afterward became Company H, Sixth Georgia Regiment, Colquitt's Brigade. He resigned in a short time to accept the colonelcy of the 111th Georgia Militia, to which he was elected. He saw much arduous service, particularly during the siege of Atlanta, when the command was almost continuously under fire. His command dug nearly all the trenches around, and from Atlanta to Peachtree creek.

After the war he engaged in merchandising in Newton, and as has already been related, in serving the people. Enterprising, progressive, and public spirited, his official positions afforded him the opportunity and the influence to be an eminently useful citizen—an opportunity he has been quick to avail himself of.

Mr. Hudspeth married Miss Sarah A., daughter of Israel Maples, a prominent farmer of Baker County, by whom he has had three children: Emma; Mattie, and Kate—all three at home. He is a master Mason, a member and secretary and collector of the American Legion of Honor,—-a position he has held since 1830— and an exemplary member of the Methodist Church.

Source: Memoirs of Georgia, Containing historical accounts of the states civil, military, industrial and professional interests and personal sketches of many of it’s people, Volume I, The Southern Historical Association, Atlanta, Georgia, 1895.

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