Simpson Socrates Nix was born on April 10, 1841 in Weakley County, Tennessee to parents Riley and Mary Ann (Alexander) Nix. Riley and Mary Ann were born in North Carolina, both in 1820, and they married on October 17, 1838 in Henry County, Tennessee. Their family was enumerated in Weakley County in 1850, but by 1860 they had relocated to Calloway County, Kentucky.
According to The History of Jasper County, Missouri, Riley was a farmer and also involved in local politics, serving as sheriff and public administrator. A posting at Find-A-Grave seems to indicate that Riley’s father was a slave owner in Tennessee, but it’s unclear whether Riley owned slaves. He and his family did, however, live in a part of Kentucky that was more sympathetic to the Southern slave states.
This article was enhanced, complete with sources, and published in the April 2018 issue of Digging History Magazine. The entire issue was devoted to the Civil War. Preview the issue here or purchase here.