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The Sadlers of Sadlersville, Tennessee

Submitted by Peggy Ackerman
© 2005

John Sadler moved his family to Sumner County in about 1828. He and his wife, the former Nancy Ann Hawkins, were married in Madison County, Alabama, on July 18, 1822. John was born in Amelia County, Virginia, on April 14, 1801. Nancy was also born in Amelia County; her birth date was March 6, 1800. John's family was said to be of Irish origin and Nancy was of French extraction.

Sadler researchers report that John was the son of the Reverend Robert Sadler and Rachel Hubbard, a widow. Robert and Rachel were married on July 7, 1791, in Amelia County. Robert became the guardian of Nancy Hubbard, presumably Rachel's daughter from her first marriage. Nancy Hubbard married another John Sadler in May, 1809 in Amelia County. This John and Nancy moved to Madison County, AL. Later the other John and Nancy also moved there. Thus, in the 1820s, there were two John Sadlers in Madison County, each married to a Nancy. This situation led to much confusion for Sadler researchers, but the issue is now resolved thanks to the data on the Sadlers of Sadlersville. John and Nancy Hubbard Sadler remained in Madison County. They were my great-great grandparents. Nancy Hubbard Sadler appears to be a half-sister of the John Sadler who moved to Sumner County.

John Sadler was not listed in the 1830 census of Sumner County, but a John Sadler was listed as having four schoolchildren in the 1838 Scholastic Report for the county. John's obituary in the Nashville Christian Advocate states that he and his family moved to Robertson County in 1840.  The 1850 census shows John in Montgomery County with wife Nancy Ann and their daughter Harriet and her husband John B. Johnson also in the household. John and Nancy's son W. R. (age 26) was listed in the 1850 Robertson County census along with his wife Rhoda Ann (age 26) and their son George T. (age 3).

We know from W. R.'s profile in Goodspeed that he was born in 1824 in Madison County, AL, that he attended schools in Sumner and Robertson Counties, and that he married Rhoda Ann Gunn on July 27, 1847. In addition to the son, George T., listed in the 1850 census, this couple had two daughters, Nancy and Cora Just.

When W. R. (called Robert) was twenty-one, he and his father bought a flour mill in Robertson County, which Robert managed. Robert also established a general merchandise store under the firm name of Sadler and Huey. Sometime before 1860, Robert built a depot on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad so as to have a nearby stop from which to ship flour. This depot was the first building in what was to become Sadlersville. The 1860 census shows Robert and family as residents of Sadlersville. Subsequently, he and his partner moved the Sadler-Huey store to Sadlersville.

John Sadler and Nancy remained in the Clarksville area in Montgomery County in 1860. Their son-in-law had perhaps died, because daughter Harriet Johnson and her three children were included in the John Sadler household. John was listed as a farmer.

The 1870 census shows both John and Robert living in the Cedar Hill area of Robertson County, and both were farming. Two of Harriet's sons were listed as farm hands on John's farm. Robert and Rhoda Ann's three children were still in their household. According to the Goodspeed profile, Robert sold his interest in the Sadler-Huey grocery store in 1876 and moved to Springfield, where he bought interest in a steam flour mill. Thus, the 1880 census finds him in District 9, Robertson County, listed as a miller. In 1884 he established another grocery store in connection with his flour mill.

Robert held several political offices. He was elected a magistrate in 1851 and held this office for 18 years. In 1869 he was elected to the state legislature for two years. He was again elected to the legislature in 1885. He also served as the mayor of Springfield, and he was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1876. One source lists Robert's date of death as July 18, 1892.

John and Nancy continued to live in Robertson County until their deaths. Nancy died June 22, 1879, and John died October 30, 1880. John's obituary tells of his devotion to the Methodist Church. During the last year of his life, he read the Bible through from Genesis to Revelation, and he asked his Sunday School class to meet at his house because he was too feeble to attend church.

Robert's son, George T., married Betty Bailey and they were listed in the 1880 Logan County, KY census with four young children. But, by 1900, this couple had moved back to Montgomery County, TN, and had seven children in the household ranging in age from 10 to 26. Their son, George Marion Sadler, his wife Emma, and children George, Alice, and Betty were listed in the 1920 Montgomery County census. The Montgomery County genweb site has some photographs of Alice and Betty as children.

Robert's sister, Nancy, was married to William C. Warfield of Robertson County on March 7, 1873. The Warfields had eight children: Laban C., Robert S, Lizzie, Laura, George Buford, Tom Pepper, Jack, and Mary Ann. Mr. Warfield was profiled in Goodspeed. He was a farmer.

It is hoped that there are still descendants of John and Nancy Sadler in the area around Sadlersville. If so, they are invited to amend and add to this narrative.

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