John Summerfield Wilkes Collection

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS.0503

Scope and Contents

John Summerfield Wilkes was born March 2, 1841 in Culleoka, Maury County, Tennessee and died, at the age of 67, in Pulaski, Tennessee on February 2, 1908. He attended Alabama Western University in Florence and studied law under a private teacher in Nashville until the Civil War began. During the war, he served as a captain in the Third Tennessee Regiment, Confederate Army, and as Adjutant General on the staff of General John C. Brown. Wilkes married Florence A. Barker on June 20, 1865 and soon after the war entered into the practice of law. One of his law partners was his former commander, John C. Brown and, upon Brown's election as governor, Wilkes again served him in the capacity of Adjutant General. In 1892 Wilkes was appointed Supreme Court Judge of Tennessee to finish out the unexpired term of Judge Peter Turney, who was elected governor of the state. Judge Wilkes served on the bench from 1892 to 1908, being re-elected several times. He had an excellent reputation for fairness with his constituency, and was noted for his sense of humor, being called “The Humorist of the American Bench.”

Memorabilia Purchased in Memory of Judge John S. Wilkes

  1. seated in his living room in Pulaski, Tennessee.
  2. seated in his den in Pulaski, Tennessee.

Dates

  • 2001

Language of Materials

English

Biographical Sketch

John Summerfield Wilkes was born March 2, 1841 in Culleoka, Maury County, Tennessee and died, at the age of 67, in Pulaski, Tennessee on February 2, 1908. He attended Alabama Western University in Florence and studied law under a private teacher in Nashville until the Civil War began. During the war, he served as a captain in the Third Tennessee Regiment, Confederate Army, and as Adjutant General on the staff of General John C. Brown. Wilkes married Florence A. Barker on June 20, 1865 and soon after the war entered into the practice of law. One of his law partners was his former commander, John C. Brown and, upon Brown's election as governor, Wilkes again served him in the capacity of Adjutant General. In 1892 Wilkes was appointed Supreme Court Judge of Tennessee to finish out the unexpired term of Judge Peter Turney, who was elected governor of the state. Judge Wilkes served on the bench from 1892 to 1908, being re-elected several times. He had an excellent reputation for fairness with his constituency, and was noted for his sense of humor, being called “The Humorist of the American Bench:”

  • March 2, 1841 Born, Culleoka, Maury County, Tennessee
  • 1861-1865 Served with the Confederate Army
  • June 20, 1865 Married Florence A. Barker
  • 1867 Forms law partnership with Andrew J. Abernathy
  • 1871-1875 Serves as Adjutant General and private secretary to Governor John C. Brown
  • 1886-1889 Law partner of Ex-Governor John C. Brown Treasurer of the Receivers of the Texas and Pacific Railway
  • 1889-1892(3) Law partner of Hume R. Steele, his nephew President of the Citizen’s National Bank in Pulaski
  • 1892-1908 Served as Judge of the Supreme Court of Tennessee
  • February 2, 1908 Died at his home in Pulaski, Tennessee

March 2, 1841
Born, Culleoka, Maury County, Tennessee
1861-1865
Served with the Confederate Army
June 20, 1865
Married Florence A. Barker
1867
Forms law partnership with Andrew J. Abernathy
1871-1875
Serves as Adjutant General and private secretary to Governor John C. Brown
1886-1889
Law partner of Ex-Governor John C. Brown Treasurer of the Receivers of the Texas and Pacific Railway
1889-1892(3)
Law partner of Hume R. Steele, his nephew President of the Citizen’s National Bank in Pulaski
1892-1908
Served as Judge of the Supreme Court of Tennessee
February 2, 1908
Died at his home in Pulaski, Tennessee

Extent

.01 Linear Feet

Abstract

John Summerfield Wilkes was born March 2, 1841 in Culleoka, Maury County, Tennessee and died, at the age of 67, in Pulaski, Tennessee on February 2, 1908. He attended Alabama Western University in Florence and studied law under a private teacher in Nashville until the Civil War began. During the war, he served as a captain in the Third Tennessee Regiment, Confederate Army, and as Adjutant General on the staff of General John C. Brown. Wilkes married Florence A. Barker on June 20, 1865 and soon after the war entered into the practice of law. One of his law partners was his former commander, John C. Brown and, upon Brown's election as governor, Wilkes again served him in the capacity of Adjutant General. In 1892 Wilkes was appointed Supreme Court Judge of Tennessee to finish out the unexpired term of Judge Peter Turney, who was elected governor of the state. Judge Wilkes served on the bench from 1892 to 1908, being re-elected several times. He had an excellent reputation for fairness with his constituency, and was noted for his sense of humor, being called “The Humorist of the American Bench:”

Physical Location

Special Collections & Archives

Bibliography

BOOKS ARE LOCATED IN “WHITTLE AND SPITTLE ROOM” OF THE SCHOOL OF LAW.
  • 1. Addison, Joseph. The Works of Joseph Addison. Vol. I. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1848.
  • 2. Ainsworth’s Dictionary. Designed by Thomas Morell. Philadelphia: Uriah Hunt and Son, 1860.
  • 4. Alison, Archibald. History of Europe. Vol. I. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1871. (TWO COPIES)
  • 6. _________. History of Europe. Vol. II. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1874. (TWO COPIES)
  • 7. _________. History of Europe. Vol. III. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1875.
  • 8. _________. History of Europe. Vol. IV. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1874.
  • 9. de Bourrienne, M. The Life of Napolean Bonaparte. Philadelphia: carey and Lea, 1832.
  • 10. Dickens, Charles, The Adventures of Oliver Twist. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1874.
  • 11. Dramatic works of William shakespeare. Hartford: s. Andrus and son, 1849.
  • 12. Eaton, John, Jr. First Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the State of Tennessee. Nashville: “Press and Times” Office, 1869.
  • 13. Eliot, George. The Poetical Works of George Eliot. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell and Company, n.d.
  • 14. Ferguson, Adam. History of the Progress and Termination of the Roman Republic. New York: Bangs, Brother and company, 1855.
  • 15. Hayward, John. A Gazetteer of the United States of America. Philadelphia: James L Gilhon, 1854.
  • 17. Helps, Arthur. The Spanish Conquest in America. Vols. I and II. New York: Harper and Brothers, Publishers, 1856.
  • 19. Macaulay, Thomas Babington. History of England. vols. I and II. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott and company, 1875.
  • 20. Magoon, E. L. Orators of the American Revolution. New York: c. scribner, 1859.
  • 21. Robertson, William. History of the Reign of the Emperor charles v. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1840.
  • 22. The Koran. Translated into English by George Sale. Vol. II. Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle, 1833.
  • 23. The Spectator. Cincinnati: Applegate and Company, 1864.
  • 24. U. S. Congress. senate. Senate Executive Documents, Vol. III 49th Cong., 1st. sess., 1885-1886.
  • 25. valuable Books. vol. I. Philadelphia: Grigg and Elliott, Publishers, n.d.
  • 26. Wirt, William. The Life of Patrick Henry. Revised ed. Hartford: s. Andrus and Son, 1846.
  • 27. _________. The Life of patrick Henry. Revised ed. Hartford: s. Andrus and son, 1859.
Title
Finding Aid for the John Summerfield Wilkes Collection
Status
Completed
Date
2001
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Jean and Alexander Heard Library
419 21st Avenue South
Nashville TN 37203 United States


 

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