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Below is a family biography from the book, History of Kentucky, Edition 1 by J. H. Battle, W. H. Perrin and G. C. Kniffin and published by F. A. Battey Publishing Company in 1885.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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JOHN D. WILDS, attorney at law and ex-judge, was born in September, 1841, in Carroll County, Miss., and is a son of George B. and Mary E. (Meriwether) Wilds, the former a native of South Carolina, and the latter of Todd County, Ky. Subject’s paternal grandfather was John Wilds, a native of South Carolina. He left that State about 1811, and emigrated to Mississippi, settling near Natchez, where he died several years later. Subject’s maternal grandfather was Douglass Meriwether, a descendant of the Douglass family of Scotland. He was born in Virginia, and immigrated to Kentucky in 1818 or 1819, and settled in the southern part of the State, went to Carroll County, Miss., in 1833, where he died about 1836. Subject’s father was a man of considerable ability, and was a member of the Mississippi Legislature at the time of his death, in 1848, aged thirty-seven years. His widow departed this life in 1851, aged thirty-three years. They were the parents of five children: James R. (deceased), John D., subject, Sarah (deceased), Anna (deceased), and George B. John D. spent his youth in Mississippi, and at the age of seventeen entered the State University at Oxford, where he remained until the breaking out of the civil war, when he enlisted in the Twenty-second Mississippi Volunteer Infantry, under command of Col. Barnum, with which he served during the greater part of the war. While with this command he served in the western campaign under Gens. A. S. Johnston, Polk and Breckinridge, and participated in the battles of Vicksburg, Baton Rouge and a number of other engagements. At Baton Rouge his regiment was led in a charge against the enemy by Capt. Hughes and Gen. Clark, of Mississippi, and was received by one of the most terrific and deadly fires of the war; both said officers were shot from their horses and many of the men were killed and wounded, and the regiment fell into disorder. At this crisis Mr. Wilds seized the flag of his regiment, ran forward half way between the lines of the two armies and stood there waving the flag and rallying the men till the lines were reformed, and until he fell pierced by a musket ball in the hip and the enemy retreated under cover of their gun-boats. His wound in the hip necessitated an absence from active service for five months. On account of his wound he was ordered to the hospital, but soon tiring of inactivity, he obtained a discharge from the infantry and joined the First Mississippi Cavalry, under command of Col. Dick Pinson, and remained until the close of the war. While with the cavalry he participated in several bloody battles, prominent among which were Murfreesborough, where he received a wound in the right breast; Franklin, Ponchatoula and Wolf River, where he was wounded the third time, receiving a pistol shot in the left thigh. At the close of the war he came to Ballard County, and engaged in teaching—reading law in the meantime. He attended the law school at Oxford, Miss., one term, and in 1869 was admitted to the bar in Blandville, where he has since been actively engaged in the practice of his profession. In 1870, he was elected county school commissioner, which office he held two years, and was elected county judge in 1874. Since 1878 he has been out of office, giving his entire time to his profession, which is very extensive and lucrative. He is a member of the law firm of Bugg & Wilds. He was married December 25, 1876, to Mrs. M. E. Byrne, daughter of Benjamin Hammond, who was born and raised in Jefferson County, Ky., but resided at his death in Union County, Ill. Their union has been blessed with three children: Anna D., John E. and Beatrice. Mr. Wilds is a stanch Democrat and a recognized leader of his party in the county. It may be added that, as a singular incident of Mr. Wild’s army career, with the same ball that was shot through his breast at Murfreesborough, he killed, about the close of the war, a large old antlered buck in the swamps of Mississippi, and afterward secured the ball, and still has it in his possession. He was a mere school boy when he entered the service, was a confirmed consumptive, and his physician had assigned but a few weeks of life, yet hard riding and fighting in the cavalry service made him a sound and healthy man again, notwithstanding fifteen or eighteen months’ confinement from his disorder in the hospital at the beginning of his service, and his several wounds.

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This family biography is one of 186 biographies included in the Ballard County, Kentucky section of the book, The History of Kentucky, Edition 1 published in 1885 by F. A. Battey Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: History of Kentucky, Edition 1

View additional Ballard County, Kentucky family biographies here: Ballard County, Kentucky Biographies

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