BIOGRAPHY AND GENEALOGY
Lavone Johnson Anglen
Louis Wyeth was a County Judge of Marshall County. He received a land grant which included Marshall County and parts of Madison and Etowah Counties. The Judge received a classical education at Harrisburg Academy. He studied law and was admitted to practice in 1833 and in 1836 settled in Alabama where he was made County Judge of Marshall County, in 1837. He later became the leading practitioner of that county. In 1847, while in legislature, he became President of the Tennessee and Coosa Railroad, later part of the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway System. In 1848, he founded Guntersville, the present county seat and built at his own expense a brick courthouse and jail presented to Marshall County. Louis donated most of the public land in Guntersville. Judge Wyeth gave five acres for a city cemetery, in 1881, willed each religious sect in Guntersville a lot on which to build a church, and donated land for a school.
From the “History of Marshall County, Alabama, Vol. 1 Prehistory to 1939” by Katherine McKinstry Duncan and Larry Joe Smith. “ Perhaps the biggest humanitarian act came in 1865 when starvation threatened the county as a result of the War Between the States. When two people in Guntersville died of starvation. Judge Wyeth went north looking for food. He stopped in Nashville, Tenn; Louisville, KY; and Cincinnati, Ohio; and other places asking for donations. Food began to come in by huge loads and Judge Wyeth established relief stations in Marshall, DeKalb and Blount Counties. The 1866 crop ended the food shortage for the area.”
“Louis Wyeth was born June 20, 1812, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the descendant of a long line of influential New Englanders. He father, John Wyeth, was born near Boston, Massachusetts, and later moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where he published the first newspaper and served as the first postmaster just after the Revolutionary War. John Wyeth married Louisa Weiss, who was the daughter of Louis Weiss, chaplain of the Grand Duke Hesse Darmstadt, Germany. Louis Wyeth’s grandfather was Ebenezer Wyeth, who was a private in Captain Samuel Thatcher’s Company of Massachusetts militia which attacked the British and drove them into Lexington on April 19, 1775. Nicholas Wyeth (or Wythe as it is sometimes spelled ) was the founder of the Wyeth family in America. He came from England and settled near Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1645.”
“Wyeth graduated from Harrisburg Academy and was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1833. He was married on April 9, 1839, to Euphemia Allan, daughter of Rev. John Allan, a Presbyterian Minister of Huntsville. They Wyeth’s had three children: John Allan Wyeth, the famous surgeon; Louisa Wyeth who married Captain W. H. Tod and Mary Wyeth who married Major Hugh Carlisle, the railroad contractor. “
“Judge Wyeth was strongly opposed to secession of the southern states, but volunteered to fight for the South. After serving a short time; however, he retired because of ill health. “
“ He was elected representative of Marshall County in 1847 was elected judge to the Fifth District which he served for eight years. In 1883, he declined an offer of the chief judgeship of the Alabama Supreme Court. Louis Wyeth died in Guntersville on July 7, 1889.”
Under the caption “Guntersville” for the same book.
Louis Wyeth, who did much to organize Marshall County in 1836, also was instrumental in helping to build Gunter’s Landing into a thriving city. Wyeth donated land and money to the infant city, and served in several capacities as a public servant. He sponsored a bill in the Alabama Legislature in 1847 which Incorporated Gunter’s Landing. It was on January 31, 1854 that the name Gunter’s Landing was changed to Guntersville. On December 7 of the same year, Marshall Masonic Lodge 209 received its charter in Gunterville. Louis Wyeth was the first master of the lodge. “
After the war Judge Louis Wyeth’s son, Dr. John Allan Wyeth returned from New York to Guntersville in the late 1880’s to secure industry which would supplement the almost totally agrarian economy of Marshall County under the name of Wyeth City which would later become South Guntersville and later to Southtown.
As a member of the state legislature Judge Louis Wyeth secured a charter for a railroad “to connect the navigable waters of the Tennessee and Coosa rivers, with the object of securing an inland system of transportation between Mobile Bay and the vast rich region through which flowed the Tennessee and its tributaries. Of this railroad, which is now a part of the great Nashville & Chattanooga and Louisville & Nashville Railroad systems, he was the originator and first president.
The town of Guntersville was burned from Yankee shelling, so that only seven structures were left standing. The Guntersville, Hotel, the courthouse, jail, school, Masonic Hall and two homes. It is fortunate that Marshall County escaped the War Between the States without a major battle being fought on its soil. However, the war did manage to reach into the county on a small scale. Several minor engagements were fought. Guntersville was shelled and later burned and many Marshall people lost their lives in battles outside the county. The small city of Guntersville recovering from the shelling of 1862, was laid to ashes by Federal Troops in January of 1864. It was a determined effort to lay the town in ashes. The assault was provided by Gen. Hugh Lyons commanding a brigade of Confederate cavalry which was retreating from Kentucky.
The children of Judge Louis Weiss Wyeth and Euphemia Allan Wyeth are as follows:
- Mary A. Wyeth b. 1840 Alabama
- John Allan Wyeth b. 28 Apr 1841 d. 20 Nov 1841 Huntsville, Madison, Alabama
- Louisa Wyeth b. Mar 1844 Alabama d. Unknown
- John Allan Wyeth b. 26 May 1845 Missionary Station, Marshall, Alabama d. 29 May 1922 New York City, New York
University United Methodist Church, Kansas City, Kansas, Records, 1919-2009, Members, Baptisms, Marriages, Deaths, Ministers by Lavone Johnson Anglen
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