Joseph F. Bussey, proprietor of Bussey House, Monticello, Ark. Mr. Bussey has been a resident of Drew County for nearly half a century, and is a man well known and esteemed throughout the same. He was born in Talbot County, Ga., September 8, 1832, and is a son of James and Elizabeth (Lake) Bussey, also natives of Georgia and of Irish-Welcsh descent. The paternal grandfather, David Bussey, was a native of the Emerald Isle, and at a very early day emigrated to the United States and settled in Lincoln County, Ga. He died in Sumter County of that State. The Lake family were also early residents of Georgia. James Bussey, father of our subject, was a mechanic by trade and followed blacksmithing in Georgia, where he ran a large establishment. He was a soldier in the War of 1812 and also in the Indian War. In 1841 he moved to Alabama, remained there for three years, and in January, 1844, he again started out with his family, stopping from March until November in Tennessee, thence direct to Drew County, Ark. He made the trip through in wagons and arrived in this county December 23, 1844. He entered a farm at Lacey, in Veasey Township, where we find him among the first settlers. He first erected a little log cabin of rough stature, but later a much better structure, and although the neighbors were few and far between, they were none the less friendly, and a good time could always be counted on. Game of all kinds was in abundance, deer was seen in large droves and were often brought down with the crack of his rifle, as were also bear. In 1851 he moved to Ashley County, Ark.,and there remained until 1855, when he moved to Bastrop, La., and died there in 1858. The mother died in 1873. They had twelve children, only two now living: James (resides in Bastrop, LA.), and Joseph F. Four sons served in the late war. Joseph F. was but a boy when he came to the wilderness of Arkansas, and here he grew to maturity, working on the farm and receiving such schooling as was obtainable at that early day. He worked on a farm until 1851, when he entered a store as clerk at Gaines Landing, and there remained three years, after which he went to Ashley County and there carried on business for two years for himself and J.S. Wood--firm, J.S. Wood & Co. He then came to Lacey, was in business there until 1859, and in 1860 moved to Monticello, where, after clerking for a short time, he bought out his employers. He carried on his business until 1862, when he enlisted in Owen's Heavy Artillery and remained out about six months, after which he was discharged on account of disability. In the fall of 1862 he was elected circuit and county clerk and held the office until 1868 (or until reconstruction) with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of the people. He again embarked in mercantile pursuits, and was thus occupied until 1877, when he moved on his farm and cultivated the soil until 1879. He was then elected county assessor, and moved back to Monticello, where he held the office for two years. In 1880 he embarked in the hotel business, which he still carries on. He keeps a first class house, and by his able management has sevured a vastly increasing patronage, and has contributed much to the house's desirability as a home for the traveling public. Mr. Bussey was first married, January 9, 1859, to Miss Elizabeth A. Binns, by whom he had six children, two of whom are now living: Lezetta F. and James B. Mrs. Bussey died in 1872, and Mr. Bussey was again married in 1873 to Mrs. Rebecca Morgan, by whom he had one child (deceased). Mr. Bussey was married, the third time, September 24, 1874, to Mrs. Julia E. Royal. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, I.O.O.F. and K. of P. He and wife are members of the Baptist Church. He has a host of friends and is a host in himself.


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