SOURCE: History of Central Arkansas. Chicago: The Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1889.

Faulkner County Biographies PART 2


J.R. Miller, who is a prosperous merchant and farmer of Faulkner County, was born in Memphis, Tenn., January 2, 1856, and is the son of J.J. and Nancy A. (West) Miller, the former being an Ohioan by birth. They were the parent sof five children, two still living. J.J. Miller went to Memphis in 1844, and worked at his trade, that of a painter, and was married there the same year. He remained in Memphis until 1847, when he moved to Ohio, and from there to Louisville, Ky., going thence to New Albany. Returning to Memphis, he died there in 1863. His wife survived him till 1868. Our subject recieved his education at the public schools, living with his father until twenty years of age, when he went to Craighead County, Ark., and farmed for two years. In 1876 he moved to St. Francis County, and from there to Hot Springs, but remained only a short time. He then built a large boat and ran up and down the Arkansas River, and finally moved to the shore at Chrisman Place. His boat was a fterward destroyed, after which he built a storehouse, and sold goods at Caldwell Landing. In February, 1884, he closed out his stock, and in a short time came to Mayflower, and has resided here ever since. On January 11, 1864, Mr. Miller was united in marriage to Manda E. Jackson. To this marriage three children were born:Catherine, John and Nancy. April 15, 1878, Mr. Miller was bereft of his wife, and in 1880 he took for his second and present wife, Mary S. Surat, and they are the parents of three children:Sophia, Lizzie and William H. He has a good store of general merchandise, his stock ususally invoicing from $600 to $700, besides which he owns 200 acres of land, forty being under cultivation. The town was founded in 1882, and has a post office and two blacksmith shops and two stores, also a saw mill and two shingle mills within a mile and a half, which are doing a good business. Mr. Miller is a good, all around mechanic, and as such is never idle. He has been justice of the peace, and suring his service had the honor of marrying one couple. He also bound over one darkey who was sent to the "Pen", besides disposing of several other cases of minor importance. He is a staunch Democrat, and always supports the principles of his party. Active and enterprising as a citizen, he cheerfully gives his support wherever it is needed, and is not a follower but a leader in matters tending to the prosperity and growth of the community.


Jacob A. Phillips is among the leading farmers of Caey Township and was born August 8, 1840, in Fayette County, Tenn. His parents were Alexander and Catherine (Long) Phillips, the former of whom was born in North Carolina, in 1804, and ***(pg. 735)** died March 5, 1859, in Prairie County, Ark. In 1832 he removed to Tennessee, where he remained until 1858, then going to Prairie County, Ark. His parents were William S. Phillips and wife. William's father was of English descent, and a general in the Revolutionary War. The mother of our subject was born in North Carolina in the year 1798, and died in 1860, in Prairie County, Ark., having borne a family of seven children, only two of whom are living: Andrew (who resides in Shelby County, Tenn.) and Jacob A. The latter, the subject of this sketch, recieved a very limited education in Tennessee, and when twenty years of age served in the navy under Gen. Farragut. In 1866 he married Miss Sarah J. Ferguson, who was born in Shelby County, in 1845, a daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Hale) Ferguson, natives of Tennessee. Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson were the parent sof eleven children, five of whom survive: William, James, Robert, Lorenza and Sarah, who is the mother of eleven children, eight of whom are living: William A., John L., George L., Bettie A.C., Enos T., Mary L., Cala D. and Grover C. In 1871 Jacob A. Phillips came to Faulkner (formerly Conway) County, bought 120 acres of land, and by hard work and perseverance has acquired one of the best farms in this region. He is a prominent man, holding offices of importance, and is upright in all his dealings, counting his friends by the score. He cast his first vote for president for Seymour, but is now in sympathy with the Union Labor party. Mr. and Mrs. Phillips are members of the Christian Church and are useful and influential in all church affairs, commanding the respect of all who know them.


P.H. Prince, county and probate judge of Faulkner County, a man who stands prominently among the legal talents of that locality, was born in Tallahatchee County, miss. in 1846, and was the eighth of thirteen children born to William and Sarah P. (Williams) Prince, of SOuth Carolina. The parents were born in South Carolina and married in the State of Georgia, moving to Mississippi about the year 1844, where the father purchased a large plantation upon which the family resided until the year 1874, and then came to Faulkner County, Ark., settling on a farm near the town of Conway. The father's death occurred in 1887, at the age of seventy-nine years, and the mother still survives him at the age of seventy-four years. P.H. Prince was educated at the district schools of his native State, and entered the State University at Lexington, Ky., in 1872, taking a literary and law course. He remained at that institution until the year 1873, when he graduated and was admitted to the bar the same year, and immediately came to Faulkner County, locating at Conway, where he commenced practicing. Since then his success has been of the most pronounced type, and when actively engaged in his profession commands about the largest clientage in Faulkner County. He takes an active part in politics, and is a staunch adherent to the Democratic party. In secret societies he is a member of Green Grove Lodge No. 107, F.&A.M., also Woodland Lodge No. 11, Knights of Pythias. Mr. Prince was married at Jonesboro, East Tenn., in 1878, to Miss Martha E. Hoss, a daughter of Henry and Anna Maria (Sevier) Hoss, of that State. Mrs. Prince's maternal great-grandfather was the first Governow of Tennessee, and a champion at King's Mountain during the Revolutionary War. Two children were born to this union: William Henry and Anna. Judge Prince and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and take great interest in promoting the educational and religious welfare of their county. The former has always been one of the foremost men to offer his assistance in any worthy enterprise for the development of his community, and is highly respected by his fellow citizens.


Col. A.P. Robinson needs no especial introduction to the readers of this volume as one of the most prominent men in Central Arkansas, for his substantial reputation is well known and his name is a familiar one throughout a large region. He was born in Hartford County, Conn., in the year 1822, and is the oldest child of seven born to Ludyah and Sophia Eliza (Hosmer) Robinson, both natives of the same State and descendants from Puritanical stock. The parents were among the most prominent people in that State, and the ma-***(pg. 736)*** ternal grandfather was a noted soldier in the Revolutionary War. The father moved from his native State to Newburg, N.Y., when a young man, and embarked in business in that city with great success. His death occurred in 1861, at New York City, while his wife still survives him and resides with a son in California. A.P. Robinson was reared in Newburg, N.Y., and educated in the schools of that place. In his youth he displayed a natural aptitude for scientific matters, and while at college was instructed in all the intricate branches of civil engineering, and after entering into active work was rodman on the first forty-five miles of the Erie Railroad constructed west of the Hudson River. Since then his operations have extended over the entire country, and he has witnessed the growth of the railroad system in the United States from its infancy to the great mass of steel network extending from Maine to Florida and from the Atlantic to the Pacific. After the war, with an escort of calvary, he made an exploration from the Missouri River to Denver; then moved to the State of Kansas and was engaged by the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad Company, but he left their employ in 1869 anmd came to Little Rock, where he built the first twenty miles of the Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad, and afterward constructed the Little Rock & Fort Smith Railroad, of which lines he was chief engineer. He also laid out the Hot Springs Reservation for the government in 1884. During his connection with the Little Rock & Fort Smith Railroad, Col. Robinson bought 640 acres of the company's land, upon which the city of Conway now stands, that place having grown until it now occupies three-fourths of the original section. Col. Robinson first located at his present home in 1871, and since then has been actively engaged in buying and selling real estate. His fine plantation is partially inside of the city limits. He was the first mayor of Conway, and filled that office for a great many years. In educational matters he is deeply interested, and at the present time is serving as president of the school board. The Colonel has always been active in politics, and carries considerableweight in his party. He is a staunch adherent to the Republicans, and a valuable man to that party whenever he desires to use his influence. In 1845 he was married at New York City to Miss Lucy Blodgett, of that State, by whom he had five children, only two of whom survive: Sanford (chief engineer, and residing at Guatamala, Central America), and Lucy (now Mrs. Mathie, who resides in New York City). In 1859 the first wife died at Norwich, Conn., and in 1874 Col. Robinson was married to Miss Mary Louise De St. Louis, of Montreal, Canada, who has been a devoted wife. He is greatly interested in Shorthorn cattle, and owns some of the finest Jerseys in the State, and has three spendid bulls of that breed. Besides this, he is rearing fine cattle of other kinds, hogs, and sheep, and his stock is beyond comparision with any other in that section. He is one of the prime movers in every worthy enterprise that takes place in Faulkner County, and his popularity with his fellow citizens is not only due to his valuable services to that community, but to his personal qualities as well.


Hon. Joseph Roden, one of the leading millers, cotton gin operators and farmers of Faulkner COunty, was born in Tishomingo County, Miss., in 1839, and is a son of Josiah and Nancy J. (Hawkins) Roden, born in Greenville District, S.C., in 1798, and Overton County, Tenn., in 1808, respectively. The parents were married in the latter place about the year 1833, and some time after removed to Mississippi. Shortly after the outbreak of war between the North and South, the parents moved to Hot Springs County, Ark. The father was a prosperous farmer before the war, and ranked as one of the best planters in the South; that is, he had a thorough knowledge of soil, crops, and in fact, everything relating to agriculture, but after the war was over, almost all of his lands and ever one of his slaves were lost to him. He was a son of Nathaniel Roden, of South Carolina, who was also a prosperous farmer in Tennessee, and sied in that same State, as did also James Hawkins, the maternal great-grandfather. Josiah Roden was married twice, his second wife being Miss Maggie Westbrook, by whom he had one child. Joseph was the fourth child of seven sons and two daughters bron to the first marriage, and recieved a limited ***(pg.739)** education in his youth, owing to the poor facilities for schooling. However, he applied himself diligently to the rudiments of education at home, and being of a naturallyfine intellect, and having the ability, he acquired by that means a good common English training. During the war he enlisted in Company B., Twenty-sixth Mississippi Infantry, but a few days after entering the army he was afflicted with the measles, and was forced to withdraw. In 1862 he moved with his parents to Arkansas, and there joined Company I., Sixth Arkansas Infantry, operating in Arkansas and Texas, principally, until the close of the war. His service was for most of the time in doing special work, these duties requiring great secrecy, shrewdness and coolness, and the best praise that can be offered to Mr. Roden is the truthful saying that his work was well done. He surrendered to Gen. Camby in the State of Louisiana, and suring the same year was married at Shreveport, in that State, to Miss Lizzie V. Hamlett, a daughter of John and Nancy Hamlett, of Tennessee, and Mississippi, respectively. John Hamlett was a prominent merchant of Marshall, Tex., for a great many years, and was also one of the pioneer settlers of Arkansas. His daughter was born in Mississippi, and by her marriage with Mr. Roden became the mother of eight children, of whom six are still living. Shortly after their union Mr. and Mrs. Roden moved to Little Rock, Ark., where for some tiem the former was engaged under contract to do the Government teaming. He next entered into the boot and shoe business, but did not remain in it long before he found that the occupation was not conducive to his interests. He then went to Texas and remained a short time, but soon returned to Arkansas, and located in Pulaski County, where he farmed until 1871. Faulkner County became his next location, and in 1884 he moved on his present place, where he now owns eight-eight acres of very productive land, operates a corn and four-mill, and a steam cotton-gin. Mr. Roden owes his prosperity to his own individual efforts. He is a man of enterprise, and with that spirit that would never give up under any circumstance. He is a staunch Democrat in politics, and was elected to the office of justice of the peace. After that his party elected him to the legislature, in which he served with distinction. He is also prominent in Masonic circles and about twenty-five years ago was a member of the I.O.O.F. in Texas. Mr. and Mrs. Roden have both been members of the Christian Church for a great many years. He is a man of genial disposition and charactor, and for a great many years supported his aged father and mother, who had fallen from affluence to comparative poverty byt the ruthless hand of war. In 1887 Hamlett Post Office, in honor of his wife's maiden name, was established at his place, and he has since been acting as postmaster.


Jacob Sansom, a thorough and prosperous farmer of Faulkner County, is a son of William H. and Nancy (Stinson) Sansom, who were born, reared and married in South Carolina, and from there moved to the State of Georgia, where Jacob was born in DeKalb County, in 1826. From Georgia the parents moved to Alabama about the year 1835, where the mother died in 1841, a devoted member of the Baptist Church. After her death the family removed to Tennessee the same year, where the father died the following (1843). He was a blacksmith by trade, and could be justly termed an artist in that line. He fought in the War of 1812, and in later life became a very prominent citizen of Georgia, holding the office of justice of the peace in that State for a number of years. His father was Micager H. Sansom, a native of England, who emigrated to America with his parent sat an early period. Jacob was the ninth child of six sons and seven daughters born to the parents of whom only himself and one sister are now living, the latter Mrs. Dicey Morgan, of Mississippi. Jacob never had but two days' schooling in his life. The knowledge he acquired by his own application, however, greatly exceeds that of many college graduates. After the death of his father he commenced in life for himself as a farm laborer in the State of Mississippi, where he resided for ten years. In 1852 he was married in Tippah County, that State, to Miss R.N., daughter of William Ross. This wife died in 1872 leaving six xhildren, of whom two daughters are all that **(pg.740)**remain: Amanda(wife of Henry Watson) and Sarah. In 1873 he was married to Miss Matilda Bland, a charming widow, and daughter of James and Sarah Hollingshead, of Alabama, by whom he had one son, Tilden Hendricks. Mr. Sansom continued to reside in Mississippi until 1868, when he came to Faulkner County, Ark., and has lived on his present farm for about nine years, situated six miles east of Conway. He here owns a splendid farm of 240 acres, and has placed 125 acres under cultivation, all the result of his own enterprise and good management. In November, 1861, Mr. Sansom joined a Mississippi regiment of infantry, and after one month's service was taken very ill and discharged. In June, 1862, he enlisted in Company D., Forty-second Mississippi Regiment, and was with Gen. Lee during the seven days' fight at Gettysburg and was captured at that place and taken to David's Island, N.Y., where he was confined for two months. He was then exchanged, furloughed and went home to recover from several battles, his left hand having been entirely shot away at the former place. In politics Mr. Sansom is a Democrat, and has voted for every presidential candidate in that party up to 1871, since his first vote for Pierce in 1852. He was a member of the Baptist Church till eight years ago, when he joined the Methodist and now attends that church.


Among the residents of Stone Township, actively engaged in agricultural pursuits and stock raising, is Mr. Showalter, who was born Aprill22, 1839, in Butler County, Ohio. His parents, John and Elizabeth (Hinkin) Showalter, were natives of Germany and Ohio, respectively, his father coming to this country in his early manhood, and settling in Butler COunty, where he lived the remainder of his life. About two years after immigrating here, he married Miss Elizabeth Hinkin, whose father was a farmer of Butler COunty, a Revolutionary soldier, and a native of North Carolina. They were the parents of four children:Alexander, Jacob (born in 1840, was a Federal soldier, but is living on a farm in Henry County, Mo., where he has a wife and two daughters), Alfred (born in 1845, and living in Carroll County, Ind., has a wife and five children) and Sophia (only sister of the subject of this sketch, born in 1847, married John Brant, deceased, a farmer of Carroll County, Ind., where she still resides). Alexander was reared to farm life, but his education was not neglected, as his father gave him all the advantages that it was possible to obtain. When twenty-one years of age he entered Wittenburg College at Springfield. Ohio, there remaining until the war broke out, when he volunteered his services, and was enrolled in Company E, Seventeenth Indiana Infantry, Col. Wilder commanding. He was in active service ten months, when he was discharged on account of severe sickness, and remained at home about one year, after which he re-enlisted, in 1863, in the One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Indiana Infantry. He was with Sherman in his famous march to the sea, and took an active part in the battle of Franklin, Tenn., being honorably discharged, April 1866. He is now on the list of veteran pensioners. February 14, 1866, Mr. Showalter married Miss Rebecca Kaziah, daughter of John and Esther (Harget) Kaziah. The former was brought to America when a small lad, and was reared in North Carolina, of which State his wife was also a native, there being married. Her father was a farmer. Mrs. Showalter has seven brothers and sisters living, viz: William, Sarah A., Thomas, George W., Phoebe Jane, Minerva A. and Susanna Drusilla, all of whom are residents of North Carolina. After the marriage of our subject he removed to Indiana, where he was engaged in farming (having rented a farm) until January, 1879. At that time, wishing to secure a farm of his own, he immigrated to Arkansas, entered eighty acres of Government land in Conway County, and later entered 160 acres of State land, of which he cleared forty acres. In 1884 he sold that tract of land, and bought the farm on which he now lives, situated in the southwest portion of Stone Township, at the mouth of the Cadron River. He has about seventy acres under cultivation, with good buildings, and os one of the prosperous and progressive men of the ***(pg.741)*** county. Mr. and Mrs. Showalter are the parents of seven children: Perry Jasper (born February 14, 1867, died March 6, 1867), John (born October 26, 1868, died November 26, 1887), Julia A. (born June 18, 1870, died April 8, 1872), Ira B. (born June 16, 1872, died August 24, 1873), Jesse A. (born November 24, 1875), Charles E. (born November 24, 1879, died August 31, 1880) and James William (born January 28, 1882). Mr. Showalter is a member of Fred Steele Post of the G.A.R.; is also an Odd Fellow, belonging to Morris Lodge No. 477. Himself and wife are prominent members of the Lutheran Church, and are identified with every work that tends to the elevation of the community in which they live.


Thomas Springer is one of the most highly respected farmers of this county. A native of Alabama, he was born in1839, being reared and educated in Tennessee. His parents, John and Elizabeth (Gaines) Springer, were Virginians by birth, and the former died in 1864, in Mississippi. Pennil Springer, the grandfather, came from Virginia to Alabama when a child, being among the first settlers of that State; the country at that time was so sparsely settled that it was necessary to go forty miles to mill. The mother died in Tennessee, in 1851. The parents of our subject moved from ALabama to Tennesssee, rearing their family in the latter State, then going to Mississippi, where John Springer died four years later. His wife, Betsey Springer, was a native of Tennessee. They had nine children, six of whom are now living. Thomas Springer, the fourth child, has had four wives since reaching manhood. The first wife died; leaving no children; his second wife bore two: Mary E. (wife of James Laforce) and John. To the third marriage six children were born, five of whom are now living: Janie (wife of Hugh Black), Daniel and William, Martha and Matthew; and three children were the result of the fourth marriage: Susie B., Jacob and James. In 1882 Mr. Springer moved from Tennessee to his present home, where he owns 240 acres of valuable land having 100 under cultivation. He is considered among the most successful farmers of this section of Arkansas. During the war he served eighteen months in the COnfederate service, and took part in the battles of Murfreesboro, Corinth and many other engagements. Politically he is a Democrat. Mr. and Mrs. Springer are usefull members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and have the respect of a large circle of acquaintances.


Esley P. Stone, as a farmer and stockman has been very successful in life. He was born in Pennsylvania, October 26, 1824, and is the son of Elias and Rebecca (Key) Stone, and a grandson of James and Barbara (Garrison) Stone. James Stone was a spy in the Revolutionary army, serving as such the entire period of the war. Elias Stone was of Pennsylvania origina, and his wife originally from Maryland. In 1831 whey immigrated with their family of nine children to West Virginia, four of the children being born in Pennsylvania, and five in Virginia. After farming for eighteen years in the Old Dominion, Elias Stone again emigrated, locating on a farm in Arkansas, where he died in 1866, and his wife in 1881. Our subject commenced business for himself at the age of twenty, working for his father when his help was needed, and entering the employ of others by the day or month as he felt inclined. In 1850 he married Miss Sarah McKown,a daughter of Gilbert and Lydia (Flesher) McKown, natives of Pennsylvania and Virginia, respectively. Thier children are: Elias J.(born June 5, 1851; married Mary Ann Browers, is a farmer and resides in Boone County), Hester (born October 1, 1853, married Mr. Green Hogan, and is now deceased), Job (born October 8, 1855, married, and now lives in Stone Township, Conway County), John M. (born December 1, 1857, and married Miss Lucy Smith), Amos K. (born March 10, 1860, died at the age of two years), George and Stewart (born May 29, 1862; George died November 14, 1863, and Stewart died September 13, 1865), Robert E. Lee (born September 5, 1864), Margery (born February 8, 1867, and married Mr. Joseph Beaver, and resides in Conway) and Lydia Rebecca (born March 14, 1871). Mr. Stone enlilsted in Lieut. Hughey's company of Arkansas Volunteer Artillery, in 1863, but served only a short time, owing to sickness, when he was **(pg. 742)sent home by the surgeon of the Military Post Hospital, at Dardenelle, Ark., and held by the Confederate army at teh time. When Mr. Stone came to Arkansas there was an abundence of game, geese, wild turkeys, and other fowl, etc., and wolves were numerous. In 1853 he bought land of the Government at the graduation price, which was 12 1/2 cents per acre, purchasing 160 acres on which he erected a log cabin, and as there was no saw mill convenient, floored his cabin with split and hewed logs, called puncheons. They now have something that is quite a curiosity at this day, in the shape of a cabin with a pucheoned floor, and resting on land purchased by the Government. In 1852 Mr. Stone put in a crop of thirty-five acres of corn and cotton on his father's place, and from this crop realized proceeds sufficient to stock his own farm. In 1853 he pre-empted his farm of 160 acres, and erected the cabin before mentioned, and in 1854 proved up and paid fee. At the time of the purchase there were twelve acres of land under fence, into which he put a crop of corn, cotton and wheat, yielding 229 bushels. A much larger crop might have been realized with the improved machinery of today. He formerly ground the meal for the family on a double-cranked steel-mill, by hand, after the corn became too hard to be used on the grater. Mrs. and Mr. Stone are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as are also Margery, Elias and Hester; and Mr. Stone belongs to Green Grove Lodge No. 107, at Conway Ark. In politics he is a Democrat. He is a gentleman who contributes largely to church, school and in fact, all enterprises worthy of support.


There are very few, if indeed any of the traveling public in Arkansas, who have not at some time or other enjoyed the hospitality of the popular Taylor House, situated near the Little Rock & Fort Smith depot. Mr. Taylor, the genial proprietor, was born in West Tennessee, in the year 1852, and was the youngest in a family of nine children, born to Ryley and Mary Ann (Gooch) Taylor, of North Carolina. The parents were married in Carroll County, Tenn.,where the father was engaged in farming on an extensive scale. The latter died in 1853, but the mother still survives and resides with her son, the subject of this sketch; previous to coming to Arkansas, both mother and son went to Mississippi, where they lived for some time. Mr. Taylor was reared and instructed to the duties of farm life in his youth, and attended school in his native place. His occupation prior to settling in Arkansas, was farming, in which he was very successful, and now, as a hotel and liverman, he has made an enviable reputation throughout Central Arkansas. His prosperity is all due to his own individual effort and enterprise, having started in life with very little, and no man could be more deserving of the popularity and large patronage that he enjoys. He is not an active politician, but votes with the Democratic party. He is a member of Woodland Lodge No. 11, K. of P. Mr. Taylor was married in Tate County, Miss., to Miss A. Powers, by whom he has had five children, four yet living: Ryley, Sallie, Anna and M.R.H., Jr., the latter giving evidence of being a "chip o' the old block." Mr. and Mrs. Taylor are members of the Baptist Church, and take pleasure in assisting all religious and educational enterprises. The former is a watchful observer of events, and has noted the progress od Faulkner County since his residence in that place. He is well respected and universally esteemed.


J.W. Underhill, editor and proprietor of the Log Cabin, published at COnway, Ark., was born in Trigg County, Ky., in 1856, and was the eldest of a family of seven children born to E.P. and Elizabeth (Miller) Underhill, of Tennessee, who emigrated to Kentucky. The father is a physician and surgeon of great skill and reputation in Kentucky. His son, the principal of this sketch, first taught school in the year 1882, in Faulkner County, Ark., a short distance from Wooster. At teh end of two years he moved to Conway, and was there employed by the firm of Griffing & Witt. and later by Martin & Harton. In 1885 he purchased a part interest in the Log Cabin, and in 1887 bought the full interest in that paper, which is now the leading paper in Faulkner County, and has a circulation of about 1,000. Politically, Mr. **(pg.743)** Underhill is a Democrat, and wields considerable influence in his county. He was a delegate to the National Press Association, which met at Detroit, Mich., in August 1889. In secret orders he is a member of Green Grove Lodge No. 107, F.&A.M., and also belongs to Eastern Star Chapter. He also belongs to Woodland Lodge No. 11, Knights of Pythias. In 1886 he was married to Miss Daisy Embrey, of Mississippi, a daughter of David and Bettie Embrey, of the same State. The former lost his life during the Civil War, while gallantly espousing the Confederacy, while the mother is still living, and resides in Conway. This union gave Mr. and Mrs. Underhill one child, Blanche. Mr. Underhill had been married previously, in Trigg County, Ky., to Miss Bettie Holland, of that State, but lost his excellant wife in 1881, leaving two children: Mary and Samuel. He is one of Faulkner County's most enterprising citizens and has contributed much to its development since his residence here, especially in promoting its educational interests.


Dr. H. B. Wear is a prominent representative of the medical fraternity in East Fork Township. The sixth son of a family of twelve children born to William and Mary Ann (Tipton) Wear, his birth occurred in Blount County, Tenn., in 1829. His parents were natives of Tennessee, his father emigrating in 1835 to Alabama, where he owned a large farm and remained until his death iin 1840. His excellant wife survived him until 1869. The family on the paternal side was of Irish and on the mother's side of Scotch descent. Young Wear was reared to farm life, recieving an education in the schools of Alabama, and having manifested a disposition to study medicine, was given every advantage to do so. He studied first in Cherokee County, Ala., later at the Medical College at Nashville, Tenn.,in 1856, and afterward at Atlanta, GA., where he graduated in 1857, beginning the practice of his profession in Cherokee County, Ala., in the same year. He was married in Georgia, January 1, 1857, to Miss Nancy Ann Townsend, a daughter of Robert B. and Rispba (Hiett) Townsend, natives of South Carolina, who emigrated to Arkansas in 1858, settling in what is now East Fork Township, where the mother died in 1871, and the father in 1885. In 1858 Dr. Wear moved to East Fork Township, embarking at once upon an extensive pratice all over the country. In 1859 he invested in 160 acres of land, adding to it since and now has 320 acres, with sixty under cultivation. He enlisted in 1861 at Springfield, Ark., for twelve months as surgeon captain in Company B, of Seventeenth Arkansas Infantry, and served as such until his discharge at the close of the war. He then located in Faulkner County, where he has since resided, enjoying a fair prosperity and the esteem of his fellow men. He is a Democrat in politics, a member of the Masonic fraternity, and has served his lodge as Worshipful Master at different times. In 1885 Mrs. Wear died, leaving a family of seven children: Caswell B., Mary Ann, Martha A., Robert King, Sarah Matilda, William Taylor and Oscar Allen. In 1886 Dr. Wear selected for his second and present wife, Mrs. Minerva Sinclair (nee Ryan), a native of Missouri. The Doctor is the oldest living settler in East Fork Township, and has always taken a great interest in those matters tending to the good of the county. He makes hosts of friends wherever he goes.


J.R. Williams, of the firm of Witt & Williams, general merchants at Conway, Ark. This house carries a complete line of clothing, dry goods, groceries, hardware, and in fact, everything to be found in a first-class establishment of its kind. The business was first organized in 1879, under the firm name of Walton & Witt, but in 1881 Mr. Walton withdrew, and the name was changed to Griffing& Witt. It continued under this heading until the year 1883, when it was changed to Witt Brothers. In 1888 Mr. Williams was entered as partner, and the name then became Witt Bros. & Williams, but in JAnuary the firm underwent another change, the name being now Witt & Williams. This establishment has one of the finest locations in the city, facing the public square, and three approaches to it. Thier business is among the largest in the county, and they have built up a reputation for honesty, fairness and enterprise that no competition can shake. Mr. Williams was born in ***(pg. 744)***Faulkner County in the year 1853, and was the youngest in a family of six children born to Samuel and Eliza (Henderson) Williams, of Alabama and Arkansas, respectively. The father first came to this State with his parents when only eighteen years of age, and settled in Berryville, Carroll County, and were the first settlers of that place. When twenty-eight years of age, the elder Williams moved to Perry County, where he first met his wife, and after their marriage he farmed in that place, and made it their home until the year 1851, when he moved to Faulkner County. He purchased a tract of land at this place, and resided upon it until 1873, when he moved to Perry County, where he remained for one year. He then returned to Faulkner County, where he lived up to the time of his death, on MArch 8, 1887, at the age of seventy-one years. In politics, he was always active and a leader in his party, and for several years served as justice of the peace. The mother died in 1863. J.R. Williams was reared and instructed in the various duties of farm life, and recieved his education in the district schools of Conway County. In 1872 he commenced farming on his own account, and in 1878 purchased his first tract of land, consisting of 200 acres, of which he placed twenty-five under cultivation. He remained at this occupation with success until 1881, when he moved to Conway and established a general collecting agency. His career since that time has been maked by untiring energy and enterprise, and he is now one of the leading business men in that section. Mr. Williams is an active politician, but votes for the man who, in his judgement, is best fitted for the office, and sympathizes with no particular party. He has always advocated the principles of sobriety, and is one of the foremost spirits in the temperance movement. In 1877 he was a member of the town council, and for some length of time was also constable of Cadron Township. In secret societies, he is a member of Green Grove Lodge No. 107, F.&A.M., and also belongs to Woodland Lodge No. 11, K. of P. In 1872 he was married, in Faulkner County, to Miss Louisa Hartje, of that county, a daughter of Augustus and Louisa (Bartlett) Hartje, the father a native of Germany, who arrived in this country when eleven years of age. By this marriage Mr. and Mrs. Williams have seven children: Samuel A., Mary Alice, Elether Emma, Benjamin Orion, Roscoe Hartje, Robert Edward and Lewis. Mr. Williams and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and are liberal contributors to all religious and educational enterprises.


H. Bailey Wilson, farmer, deserves much more than passing mention in the present volume, as one who has been intimately and worthily identified with the county's progress and advancement, from an early period. He was born in Spartanburg District, S.C., January 16, 1823, and was the sixth child of James and Prudy (Harris) Wilson, the former a native of Georgia, who died June 10, 1838, in that State. His father was Newman Wilson. Prudy (Harris) Wilson was born near Knoxville, Tenn., and became the mother of nine children. H. Bailey Wilson recieved his education in Georgia, and upon arriving at maturity, married Miss Louisa E. Strickland of Chattooga County, in 1842. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson were the parents of seven children, only two living at the present time: William M. and Marian A. Mr. Wilson is one of the oldest and most respected citizens of this county, having located in this settlement in 1859. He owns 520 acres of land, and has about sixty acres under cultivation. He is a member of the Agricultural Wheel, and a Democrat in politics. This township was named in his honor, and it is but the truth to say that such distinction is well-deserved, for he has interested himself greatly in the welfare of the community, and has liberally supported worthy institutions.


Col. A.R. Witt, one of the prominent citizens of Faulkner County, and a leading druggist of Conway, was born in Hamilton County, Tenn., in 1830, and moved to the northern part of Alabama in 1836, being the eldest in a family of four children born to Jesse and Sarah (Rogers) Witt, of Tennessee. The father removed from Alabama, where he had residced up to the year 1842, and then came to Van Buren County, Ark., where he settled on Little Red River and commenced farming. **(pg.745)*** Later on he moved to Quitman in the same county, where he embarked in business, and was also appointed postmaster, which office he held up to the time of his death in 1878. His excellent wife died in 1854. A.R. Witt came to Arkansas when twelve years old, and was educated in the Arkansas College at Fayetteville. After leaving the college he continued to reside in that city, and in 1857 was elected State land commissioner. In 1869 he went to Callifornia with a herd of cattle, and remained on the Pacific coast until the year 1861, when he returned to Arkansas and located at Little Rock. At this time active preparations were being made for war, and Mr. Witt was one of the first to recruit a company. He organized Company A, Tenth Arkansas Infantry, and was appointed captain, but after the battle of Shiloh his splendid service in action was the means of promoting him to the rank of colonel, in which capacity he remained until the close of the war. Col. Witt took part in the battles of SHiloh and Port Hudson, and at the latter place was captures. After being paroled he returned to the west bank of the Mississippi, and was with Gen. Price on his raids through Missouri. When the war was over he came back to Van Buren County and commenced farming on a plantation of his own. In 1867 he was elected to the State senate from Van Buren and Izard Counties, and was also a delegate in 1874 to the constitutional convention from the former county. The following year he was elected chancery clerk, and later was appointed a State officer. In 1877 Col. Witt removed to Conway, where he embarked in the drug business, and now owns the finest establishment in that city. He was appointed postmaster on May 18, 1884, and held the office until July 8, 1889, giving the public a postal service that was satisfactory in every way. He is a Democrat in politics, a staunch supporter of that party, and a man of considerable influence in the surrounding country. In secret societies he is a member of Green Grove Lodge No. 107, and also belongs to Center Link Lodge No. 75, I.O.O.F., and Faulkner Lodge No. 1,624, K. of H. The Colonel married, in Van Buren County, 1865, Miss H.C. Miller, of South Carolina, by whom he had six children: Annie (now Mrs. Forns, of Little Rock), Sarah, Earle, Vernon and Coy, and one dead. Col. Witt's efficiency was promptly recognized by Gov. Hughes when a vacancy occurred in the county judgeship, and he was appointed to the office. His military record was also well remembered, and the rank of brigadier-general of militia was conferred on him. The Colonel has been deeply interested in the development of Faulkner County since his residence here, and has perhaps watched its progress more closely than any other citizen in that community. He is a liberal contributor to all worthy enterprises, and is always one of the foremost in aiding educational and religious matters. He and wife are both members of the Baptist Church.
Back to Faulkner County