Browning, Rev. Jessie O.

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Rev. Jessie O. BROWNING, planter, Dalark, Ark. In preparation of this brief outline of the history of one of the representative citizens of the county, appear facts which are greatly to his credit. His intelligence, enterprise, integrity and many estimable qualities, have acquired for him a popularity not derived from any factitious circumstance, but a permanent and spontaneous tribute to his merit. Mr. BROWNING was born in Montgomery (now Lowness) County, Ala., on May 29, 1827, and is the son of Francis J. & Sarah P (VEAZY) BROWNING, natives of Greene & Jones Counties, Ga., respectively. Frances J. BROWNING was born October 1, 1800, and died in Clark County, Ark., on September 1, 1885, and his wife was born on October 21, 1805, and died in Clark County, Ark., on April 17, 1875. They were married in 1825, and were members of the Missionary Baptist Church for many years, always taking great interest in religious matters. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and was made a Master Mason by his son, Rev. Jesse O., who was master of Melee Lodge, in Clark County. While living in Alabama he was assessor, but after coming to Arkansas he would hold no office higher than that of justice of the peace, which position he filled in a creditable manner for many years. He was a very successful farmer, and spent his money with a liberal hand, being widely known for the interest he took in church affairs. During the late war his sympathies were with the North, and during his lifetime he never took the oath of allegiance. He was a Democrat in politics. His father, John BROWNING, was a native of North Carolina, and died in Clark County, Ark., in 1844. He was captain of a company in the war of 1812, and was wounded in a battle with the Indians. He was a farmer by occupation, and represented Greene County, Ga., in the Legislature several times. He was also a member of the Baptist Church. He died in North Carolina. His father was a Revolutionary soldier, Sarah P. (VEAZY) BROWNING was the daughter of Jesse VEAZY, a native of Virginia or North Carolina, and also a soldier in the Revolutionary War, serving seven years in all. He was the express courier from Gen. Washington to Gen. Green, before the battle and before the surrender of Gen., Corawallis at Yorktown. He was shot at many times, but escaped without injury, and rode in all, in two days and the same horse, 240 miles. He died in Georgia when about sixty years of age. He had accumulated a comfortable fortune as an agriculturist, and although a Baptist in belief, was not a member of any church. His wife, Sallie VEAZY, joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, under direct supervision of John WESLEY, and was excluded from the society for marring Jesse VEAZY, because he was not connected with that society. She afterward joined the Baptist Church, and died in Alabama. There were born to the marriage of Francis J. BROWNING and wife eleven children, five daughters and two sons now living, of whom our subject is the eldest. The latter received his education by fireside, while others were sleeping, and finished at Oakland Academy, eight miles west of Arkadelphia, when twenty-one years of age. After leaving school he commenced farming, first in what is now know as Anderson Township Clark County. In January, 1881, he moved to Manchester Township, Dallas County, and with the assistance of numerous Negroes, amassed quite a fortune, a considerable share of which he lost during the late war. Since then he ha has been very successful, and is to-day the owner of 640 acres of land, and has a large share under cultivation. He joined the Missionary Baptist Church at the age of sixteen years, was licensed to preach in 1856, and ordained the same year. He took charge of Pleasant Hill Church, and has since that time remained in charge. He volunteered as a regular soldier, but was not accepted, and was in the State Militia a short time. In 1854 he was elected magistrate of Beech Creek Township, Clark County, but soon resigned, becoming thoroughly disgusted with that office. In 1874 he was elected by the Democratic party to represent that county in Legislature, without working for the honor, and served during A. H. Garlands administration. In 1888 he was again elected by the Democracy of Dallas County, and discharged the duties of the position in such a manner as to give assurance to honorable people that they had the right man in the right place. He became a Mason in 1850, and has taken the Chapter Degrees. In 1849 he was married to Miss Caroline FARRINGTON, daughter of Capt. John FARRINGTON, who served under Gen. Jackson in the War of 1812. She was born in Crawford County, Ala., on March 16, 1830, and two children were the fruits of this union: Rosellia ( was the wife of James A. SKILLERN, who is a farmer of Clark County; she was born on August 22, 1850, and died at Arkadelphia on April 1, 1884) and Frank J., Jr. (was born in the State of Louisiana in 1854, May 15, and died at his fathers home in Dallas County on July 27, 1887). Mrs. BROWNING is a member of the Baptist Church, as were both children.


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