John W Becton

Submited by Vicky Dennis <vdennis at alltel.net>

John W. Becton, planter and ginner of Cotton Plant, owes his nativity to North Carolina, his birth occurring in that State in 1834, and he is the son of Thomas and Nancy M. (White) Becton, also of North Carolina origin, born in the year 1814. Mr. Becton was a prosperous planter, and at the time of the war was worth $100,000, but, like many others, lost all he had during that disastrous period. He was a well-educated gentleman, a Universalist in his religious belief, and a great Bible [p.286] reader, oftentimes being able to speak fluently on subjects at a better advantage than those who professed a clearer knowledge of the same. His death, which occurred in 1867, was regretted by his many friends and acquaintances. His father, John B. Becton, a wealthy planter, was born and died in North Carolina, the date of his birth being in the year 1777. His father was one Michael Becton. Mrs. Becton, the wife of Thomas Becton, died in 1869. Her father, Reuben White, was a native of North Carolina, and a man of unusual attainments and business qualifications. John W. Becton, the subject of this sketch, is the eldest of four sons and daughters: Corie (now the wife of ex-Gov. James Robinson, now of Kentucky, and one of the war Governors of that State), Mary E. (the wife of Rev. B. F. Mills. Mr. Mills was an ex-Federal officer in the Civil War, married during that time, and is now residing in Michigan), Sarah A. (Mrs. West, of Durham, N. C.), Olie (Mrs. Kornezy, of Kingston, N. C.), Edward G. (holding a prominent position as teacher in Texas), Fred B. (a merchant of Kingston, N. C.) and William R. (died in 1878). John W. Becton was given the advantages of a good common-school education, and these facilities he was not slow to improve, being to-day a well-educated man. He was married in 1859 to Miss Sallie, daughter of James and Pearcy Nunn, of North Carolina, where Mr. Nunn died in 1861. Mrs. Nunn survives her husband, and though at quite an advanced age enjoys ordinary health. Mrs. Becton was born in North Carolina, and died May 5, 1886, having borne twelve children, all of them deceased. She was a member, in excellent standing, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and respected by her many friends and acquaintances. On December 15, 1886, Mr. Becton was united in marriage to Miss Alice Foy, daughter of James H. and Catherine Foy, who resided in North Carolina the greater portion of their lives. Mr. and Mrs. Becton are the parents of two children, only one now living. In January of 1860 Mr. Becton moved to Prairie County, Ark., and after a residence of seven years came to Woodruff, having lived on his present farm for seventeen years. His plantation is among the best in the county, consisting of 720 acres, with 225 under cultivation. Among the improvements, which are numerous, be owns and operates a good gin. One of the finest fruit and grain farms in the State is the property of Mr. Becton, situated in Boone County. He also raises and deals in stock quite extensively, being considered a superior judge of all breeds. He served in the late war, enlisting in Company G, Twenty-first Arkansas Infantry, and remained in Tennessee until the fall of Vicksburg. There he was captured, but soon after paroled, returning at once to Arkansas. He accompanied Gen. Price on his raid through Missouri and Kansas, and surrendered at Devall's Bluff. At the close of hostilities Mr. Becton found himself almost destitute, with a wife and three children dependent on him, but, nothing daunted, he never lost courage, and by his untiring energy and great ambition stands to-day one of the wealthy and influential men of the county. He served as justice of the peace two years in Woodruff County, and since the war has been a stanch Republican, though formerly a Whig. His first vote was cast for President Fillmore. Mr. and Mrs. Becton are held in high esteem by their many friends. The latter is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Transcribed from: Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northeast Arkansas, Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Eastern Arkansas, 1889