Wisdom has become known as the Paul Revere of Rome, riding 67 miles from Gadsden, Ala., to warn the city of approaching Union forces during the Civil War.
The annual wagon ride is held in Rome every year during Heritage Holidays to commemorate the trip.
Leah Severance, Wisdom’s great-great-great granddaughter, was intrigued with the stories her parents told her of her family history.
“Our parents talked about it our whole life,” she explained.
Severance and her daughter, Amanda, traveled from Chandler, Ariz., to take part in the wagon train festivities.
“It’s exciting to see a common relative do something extraordinary,” she said.
“Tradition is a big thing and most history is built on people’s stories, diaries and memories,” said Amanda Severance, 16.
The teen said she will post pictures on Facebook for her friends back in Arizona.
“It’s been a really good experience and I’ve never been through it,” she said of riding in the parade.
In fourth grade, she created a timeline for a show-and-tell project of John Wisdom. Then, in ninth grade, she wrote a paper explaining the differences and similarities of John Wisdom and Paul Revere.
“They both alarmed people about what was happening,” she said. “But, I found a lot more differences.”
She said her passion for history comes from her family.
Also present was Denie Pursley, Wisdom’s great-great granddaughter. She is a school teacher at Ringgold High School.
Pursley said she learned she was related to Wisdom after searching and learning about her family history.
The ride began early Saturday morning at the Coosa Valley Fairgrounds, headed up to Shannon on Calhoun Road, and then came back into town to roll up Broad Street around 5:30 p.m. The Wisdom clan viewed the parade from a stand near the Great Harvest Bread Co.