JOHN SANFORD PADEN was born in Cobb County, Ga., February 14, 1842, and is a son of John T. and Margaret (Foster) Paden, natives of South Carolina.
John T. Paden was a farmer, and a local minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. When a young man, he moved to Forsyth County, Ga., and later to Cobb, where he lived until his death. He reared five sons and four daughters by his first marriage, towit : Robert S. died in Georgia; James Washington was killed at the battle of Bull Run; John Sanford (our subject); Elijah P., is now a Methodist Episcopal minister. He served through the war in the Fifty-sixth Georgia Regiment; Samuel Renau died in Texas; Elizabeth, wife of J. A. Gunter, of Georgia; Susan C., wife of Nathaniel Sherman, a manufacturer of Georgia, and Emma, wife of John Fowler, of Georgia. The mother of our subject died about 1852, and later on, Mr. Paden was married to Mrs. Sampler, who bore him one child, Aaron. The senior Mr. Paden died in 1881.
The subject of this sketch was reared in Roswell, Cobb County, Ga., where he received a limited education. At the outbreak of the war he entered the Confederate service with Company H, Seventh Georgia Infantry, and was in the first battle of Bull Run. He participated in all the battles in and around Richmond; was with General Longstreet at Chickamauga, and surrendered with General Lee's army at Appomattox. Shortly after coming home he went to Indiana and Kentucky, in which States he spent about two years. Returning to Georgia again, he entered into mercantile business with T. D. Evans, of Cherokee County, that State, and in the fall of 1869, located at Gadsden. Here he entered mercantile business on a small scale, building up gradually as his business increased, and at the present time has the largest country trade of any merchant in Northern Alabama. In 1818 he began the business known as "advancing and crediting," taking cotton in return. This latter business proved very lucrative to him, and he now handles on an average of four thousand bales of cotton a year.
Mr. Paden is largely interested in the two Mineral Land Companies of Gadsden ; is vice-president of the Gadsden Land and Improvement Company; is a director and stockholder in the Gadsden Metallic Paint Company, and is largely interested in the Gadsden Air Furnace Company. He is also interested in the Electric Light Company, the Printup Hotel, and the First National Bank of Gadsden, and is connected with every industry and enterprise that tends to develop this city. Aside from all the business enterprises above mentioned he owns several large farms, and considerable property in the city.
He was married February 5, 18_4* to Miss Annie Hollingsworth, daughter of William P. and Mary J. (Lewis) Hollingsworth, and has had born to him five children, viz.: William C., John S., Joseph P., Anna J. and Alice M. The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
*third number of the date is faded out.
Source: McCalley, Henry, Northern Alabama : historical and biographical. Birmingham, AL: Smith & De Land, 1888, pp. 835.