WILLIAM B. WYNNE, Real Estate Broker, Gadsden, son of Thomas and Mary (Benson) Wynne, natives, respectively, of Virginia and South Carolina, was born in Greenville District, S. C., October 2, 1820.
The senior Mr. Wynne was an officer in the War of 1812. In 1826 he migrated to Georgia, where he died in 1839. His widow survived him until 1866. He was a planter by occupation, began life as a poor boy, but at his death was possessed with an ample fortune. The Wynne family came originally from Wales, and settled in Virginia away back in the early colonial days, and removed thence, as has been seen, into the South Atlantic Colony of Carolina. The Benson family are of Saxon origin, and many of them are found in this country and throughout England at this day. William B. Wynne's maternal grandfather was Maj. Thomas Benson, of Revolutionary fame. He married into the Prince family, for whom old Fort Prince was named. A history of the collateral branches of these various families would introduce many characters prominent both in Church and State, and would make a volume of interesting reading.
The subject of this sketch spent the first fourteen years of his life on his father's farm, and during that period acquired such learning as was possible at the schools of his neighborhood. While yet a boy he was employed by a relative as a salesman in a mercantile establishment at Anderson, S. C., and he remained there four years. At the death of his father he returned to Georgia, and for two years peddled merchandise about the country. At the end of that time, in partnership with his brother, he embarked in mercantile business at Pine Mountain, Ga. From here he removed to Franklin, Ga., where he married Mary A. Cowden. In 1815 he came into Alabama, and at Jacksonville was engaged in mercantile business until 1850. In that year he moved to Etowah County, and there, at two or three different places, carried on mercantile business. In 1857 he located at Gadsden, where, in partnership with Col. R. B. Kyle, he was engaged at merchandising at the outbreak of the late war. The mercantile business was suspended during the war, and he established a tannery, which carried on an extensive traffic until 1807. From 1808 to 1876 he was in mercantile business in New York City, and made thereat a considerable sum of money. In the latter named year he removed to Atlanta, Ga., and from that time he has been variously engaged at merchandising, as traveling salesman, etc., and, in December, 1885, was at Birmingham, manufacturing wire fence. He located finally, and in his present business, at Gadsden, in December, 1886, and became one of the prime movers in the Gadsden "boom." It is recorded of him that he has sold more real estate than any other man in Gadsden.
Mr. Wynne was married August 20, 1844, and has reared a large family of children. Of the latter we make the following memoranda: Thomas F., assistant chief engineer of the Metropolitan Street Railway Company, Kansas City; William C., clerk for same concern; John F., of Atlanta, Ga.; Joseph A., pastor of the Baptist Church at Gadsden; Mary W. (Mrs. E. N. Meade), of Kirkwood, Ga.; Emma W. (Mrs. A. P. Evans), deceased; Katie P. (Mrs. Charles Weatherly). of Kansas City; Charles C., of Chattanooga; Annie (Mrs. B. B. Hay, of Edgewood, Ga.); and Minnie W., deceased. The entire family are members of the Baptist Church, and Mr. Wynne is a Mason.
Source: McCalley, Henry, Northern Alabama : historical and biographical. Birmingham, AL: Smith & De Land, 1888, pp. 835.