James D. Pedigo biography

The name of Pedigo is interwoven with the pioneer history of Montague county and in the work of development along agricultural and stock-raising lines James D. Pedigo has become well known, his efforts in that direction being carefully, systematically and successfully conducted. He was born January 1, 1846, in Clay county, Tennessee, and with a common school education to fit him for life’s practical duties entered upon his chosen life work. His parents were Robert and Susan (King) Pedigo, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of Tennessee. They were married in Tennessee, where the father began farming, residing there upon the old homestead until his life’s labors were ended in death. He not only devoted his attention to agricultural pursuits, but was also a minister of the Christian church, in the work of which he took a most active part, his labors proving of value in the up building of that denomination for many years. He never aspired to political preferment, desiring rather to give his attention to the work of providing for his family and in promoting the spiritual welfare of the localities with which he was connected. His [missing text] in 1861. She was a daughter of Zachariah King of Kentucky, a prominent farmer and trader, whose labors were attended with prosperity. The other members of the King family were: Reading, Jack, Alfondu, Polly and two whose names are forgotten.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Pedigo had a family of nine children: Curtis, who is yet living in Tennessee; Mrs. Elizabeth Holland; Lewis Jackson of Bosque county, Texas, who served in the Confederate army; Calvin, who died in Kentucky; Zachariah, who was a soldier of the Confederacy and is living in Tennessee; Mrs. Polly Wood; James D.; and John and Wade, both of Tennessee. Following the death of the mother in 1861 the father was again married and by the second union had a son, Robert A. Pedigo.

No event of special importance occurred to vary the routine of farm life for James D. Pedigo until he reached the age of seventeen years, when he enlisted, in 1863, for service in the First Tennessee Mounted Infantry. He was on active duty in Tennessee and Kentucky as a patrol and guard and on one occasion was accidentally wounded, a bullet piercing his arm. He served his full term and after receiving an honorable discharge returned home and resumed farming.

In 1867 Mr. Pedigo was married to Miss Sarah J. Meador, a native of Tennessee and a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Meador. The mother’s family name in maidenhood was Acton. Both were natives of Tennessee and Mr. Meador was prosperous in his farming operations, becoming one of the substantial citizens of his community. He served through the war in the Confederate army and he was an exemplary member of the Masonic fraternity. In his family were six children: Mary, the wife of Zachariah Pedigo; Mrs. Sarah Pedigo; Thomas, a merchant of Saint Jo, Texas; Mrs. Clarinda Chauncy; Dalton, who is engaged in merchandising with his brother at Saint Jo; and Mrs. Rosa Fake.

At the time of their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Pedigo located on a farm, which he continued to cultivate until 1870, when he came with his family to Texas, settling in Montague county a few miles from Saint Jo. He bought land on Mountain Creek and improved a good property, leaving a portion of this for pasturage. It had not been fully demonstrated at that time that farming would prove a profitable industry, for prior to that time the settlers had mostly carried on stock-raising. Mr. Pedigo, however, demonstrated that crops could be profitably raised and in connection with the tilling of the fields he has raised some stock. He remained upon the farm until 1895, when he retired from its active management, although he is still the owner of the property. He now makes his home in Saint Jo and to some extent is engaged in trading in stock. Here he built a residence and later he sold that property and bought again, becoming owner of fifteen acres in the edge of town. On this place is a commodious two story frame residence and all the necessary outbuildings and the land is under cultivation and devoted to fruit raising.

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Pedigo has been blessed with two children: Smith C., a druggist of Saint Jo, and Molly, the wife of S. M. King, a banker of Saint Jo, who is mentioned elsewhere in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Pedigo are members of the Presbyterian church and contribute generously to its support and take an active part in its work. His political allegiance is given the Democracy. Mr. Pedigo has always enjoyed good health and he feels satisfied with his selection of Montague county as a place of residence. He has witnessed much of its growth and progress and through his utilization of business opportunities has accumulated a competence for old age. Even now he is enabled to live practically retired in his pleasant home in Saint Jo, his property interests returning him sufficient income to support him with all of the comforts and many of the luxuries of life.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 313-314.