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George L. Tolson

George L. Tolson, farmer, Como, Ark.

The father of Mr. Tolson, Hon. Cary, Tolson, was born in Union County, N. C., and was married in his native State to Miss Lydia Ross, also a native of that county. In 1857 they moved to Arkansas, settled on a farm in what is now Cleveland County, and there passed the closing scenes of their lives, both dying in 1871, at the age of sixty-eight and sixty-two years, respectively.

They were worthy and much esteemed members of the Primitive Baptist Church, for many years. The father was a farmer and wagon-maker by occupation, and was successful in both pursuits. He was once a member of the North Carolina Legislature, from Union County, and was a man of considerable prominence and repute. He was captain of the militia in North Carolina, and was justice of the peace for a great many years.

After coming to Arkansas he became a minister, and preached for many years. He reared twelve children, and lived to see all married but one. His thirteenth child died when young. The eldest son and the fourth were killed in the Confederate army. The former was in Company D, Second Arkansas Cavalry, and was killed, accidentally, at Grand Junction, Tenn. The other, James Pinckney, was in Company C, Second Arkansas Infantry, and was killed at Murfreesboro.

George L. Tolson was born in Union County, N. C., in February, 1838, received a limited education on account of ill health, but by less own individual efforts, since growing up, has become a well-posted man. He learned the blacksmith trade while young, and in 1857 came with his parents to Arkansas.

In February, 1861, he married Miss Louisa, daughter of Elias and Lacy Biggers, natives of North Carolina. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Biggers lived in Anson County, N. C., and there passed the remainder of their days. They died
when Mrs. Tolson was six years of age, and within a few days of each other. Mr. Biggers was a farmer.

Mrs. Tolson was born in Anson County, N. C., and by her marriage became the mother of eleven children, one son and five daughters now living. The first year after marriage, Mr. Tolson resided in Jefferson County, and since then in what is now Cleveland County, and since 1880 on his present farm. He is the owner of 800 acres of land with about eighty acres under cultivation, and is engaged in raising stock, principally cattle.

He worked a number of years at the blacksmith's and carpenter's trades, and also run a gin for some years. He was justice of the peace for several years. In 1861 lie joined Company D, Ninth Arkansas, Infantry, as lieutenant, and after about six months resigned, at Bowling Green, Ky., on account of ill health. In March, 1862, he joined Company D, Second Arkansas Cavalry, as sergeant, and operated in Tennessee and Mississippi. He was in the battle of Corinth, Hatchie River, Black Island, Brownsville and many severe skirmishes. He was in about seventeen engagements in all, and was taken sick at Grand Junction, Tenn., soon after his brother's death.

In the winter of 1862 he was captured, six miles from La Grange, Tenn., by Gen. Fish, but was at once paroled on sick bed.  After recovering, he came home, and has since been engaged in agricultural pursuits. He has been a Democrat all his life, and his first presidential vote was for Breckinridge, in 1860.

He has been a member of the Primitive Baptist Church for about seventeen years. His great-grandfather, Dougal Ross, was born in Rowan County, N. C., and died in Union County of that State. He was of Scotch descent, and was a successful farmer. He served seven years in the Revolutionary War, first as a private, and then made cartridges.


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