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Rev. Joel L. Baggett

Ref. Joel L. Baggett, minister and farmer, Rison, Ark.

This reverend and much esteemed gentleman was originally from Choctaw County, Miss., where his birth occurred in December, 1837, and is the son of Silas and Pharby (Williams) Baggett, natives of North Carolina. The parents were married in Mississippi, and moved from there to Arkansas when the subject of this sketch was but four years of age. They settled in the woods near Rison in 1845, and there passed the remainder of their days, with the exception of about two years, 1856 and 1867, when they resided in Texas.

The mother died in the last named State in 1856, and the father then returned to Arkansas, where he received his final summons on the farm his son, Rev. J. L. Baggett, now occupies, in 1871. He was a farmer and mechanic by occupation. He was in the War of 1812 with Gen. Jackson. He was married three times, and his second wife was our subject's mother. He became the father of six children by his first wife, seven by his second, and four by his third.

He and second wife were members of the Baptist Church. Rev. Joseph L. Baggett was the second of seven children, and received but very little schooling his education being principally obtained at home, and by his own exertions. He began for himself at the age of twenty, was in the furniture shop with his father for one pear, and then learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed until the breaking out of the war.

In 1881 he joined Company C, Third TransMissisaippi Infantry, and operated in Arkansas. He participated in the battles of Prairie Grove and Back Bone, and in 1884 he was cut off from his command, between Little Rock and Pine Bluff, never getting back to it. He was captured near Saline River, paroled, and afterward returned home. He was married in 1861 to Miss Nancy J. Donham, a native of Mississippi, and the daughter of Zachary and Polly Donham, who came from Mississippi to Jefferson County. Ark., where they died in 1885 and 1868, respectively.

Mrs. Baggett died in 1879. She was the mother of seven children, five now living. Mr. Baggett's second marriage took place in 18 79 to Mrs. Alice Marshall, daughter of Solomon and Jane Sparks, of Tennessee. After moving around for sometime, Mr. and Mrs. Sparks settled in Cleveland County, where they died in 1871 and 1881, respectively. Mrs. Baggett was born in Dallas County, Ark., and died January, 1889. She was a worthy member of the Baptist Church. Of the two children born to this union, only one is now living.

After the war Mr. Baggett lived in Little Rock for some time, engaged in stock dealing, etc., after which he farmed in the Arkansas River bottom, below the city. In 1871 he settled on his present farm of 160 acres near Risen, and has about eighty acres under cultivation.

In 1884 he united with the Missionary Baptist Church, and at once took a deep interest in religions matters, prepared himself for the ministry, and in March, 1880, was ordained. He has since devoted his attention largely to that calling. He is a Democrat in politics, and is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Culpepper Lodge No. 186, Risen.


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