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Capt. Levi J. V. Fritts

Capt. Levi J. V. Fritts has long been a resident of Cleveland County, Ark., and has acquired an enviable reputation for honorable, upright dealing and for intelligence and sound views on all matters of public interest.

He was born in Montgomery County, Ky., May 8. 1811, and is a son of John and Ann (Dauly) Fritts, who were born in the Keystone State. Soon after their marriage, they removed to Kentucky, and still later, to New Albany, Ind., where the father died. After his demise, the mother married again, her second husband being Curtis Borett, and she died in Louisville, Ky., in 1814.

John Fritts was a atone-mason by occupation, and this calling was receiving his attention when be was called to his long home. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and so far as is known was a participant in the battle of New Orleans.

The Fritts family are of Dutch descent, and the Daulys of Irish. To this couple a family of six children were born, five sons and one daughter of whom Levi J. V, is the eldest. He remained with his mother until be was about fourteen years of age, then failing to agree with his stepfather, he left home and went to Louisville, where he was bound out to a shoemaker, and served an apprenticeship of seven years. He then started out for himself as a journeyman, and first located in Shawneetown, Ill., then in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina.

He joined Capt. F. M. Robertson's company of Richmond Blues, and was in the service one year. He first served as clerk in the Commissary Department, then became commissary sergeant, and also gunner, then left and fired a salute for the new State of Arkansas. After the war he again turned his attention to his calling, opening a shop at Augusta, Ga., and also established a shoeshop at Covington, Ga.

In 1851 he moved from Georgia to Arkansas, and having previously been engaged in farming in Georgia, he followed this occupation after coming to Arkansas, remaining long enough in Arkansas County to raise three crops, then came to the farm on which he is now residing, which was in 1855. He is now the owner of 720 acres of land, with a large portion under cultivation.

During the late Rebellion he served in the Home Guards, and was commissioned captain by Gov. Rector, and did some valuable service for the Confederacy, although not on active duty. His stock was all taken and driven away during this time, and while on a trip to Pine Bluff he was taken prisoner, but was only retained a short time.

On October 6, 1839, he was married to Sarah S. Melton, a daughter of Moses Melton, of Georgia. She was born in 1817, and died, in Arkansas, October 27, 1861, having borne a family of ten children, five of whom are living: Dorothea Ann (now Mrs. Bartlett, whose husband is a farmer of Texas), William A. (a machinist and prominent citizen of Trenton, Grundy County, Mo.), Martha (wife of B. D. Earnest, of Calhoun County, Ark.), Jane (wife of Ed 0. Clements), a farmer of this county), and Susan A. (wife of E. Gray, a farmer of Calhoun County.

On January 18, 1863, Mr. Fritts wedded Mrs. Ailey Beasley, and by her he has three children: Henry L., George W., and Fannie S. (wife of George Horner, of Dallas County). Mr. Fritts is a Mason, a member of the Agricultural Wheel, and is independent in his political views, casting his vote for whom he considers the best man.


Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas
Copyright 1890
Published by The Goodspeed Publishing Co.; Chicago, Nashville and St. Louis