John Bland

Page 670
John Bland, an enterprising and a well known merchant of Perryville, was born in Saline County Ark December 16, 1838 and is a son of John Bland and Temperance Powell, the former a native of Kentucky whose forefathers came from Holland, and the mother a native of Ohio. The parents were married in Arkansas, and had sixteen children by their union, of whom young John was the seventh and the only one living at present. The father died in 1862 and the mother in 1848. John Bland Jr. was reared to farm life, and received his education in the subscription schools of Arkansas. He remained at home with his father until 1861, and on May 3 of that year he enlisted in Company B, of the Third Arkansas Regiment of Cavalry, and served for four years. He first entered as a private soldier and remained in that capacity until the early part of 1862, when a brave action on the field won him the promotion to duty sergeant, in which capacity he continued until the army was disbanded. During his service he fought under Gens. Price, Van Dorn, Wheeler and Forrest, and took part in nearly all the most important engagements. His company was disbanded near Savannah Ga, and he returned home from that place on his faithful old war horse, riding him the entire distance. He fought at the battles of Corinth, Chickamauga, siege of Knoxville, and many others. At the first named place he was severely wounded by a musket ball which struck him in the left arm, between the wrist and elbow, and then passed into the body at the breast, the ball ranging obliquely to the right and coming out between the seventh and eighth ribs, and wounding the right arm between the shoulder and elbow. He was taken to the hospital, where he remained until March 1863, and in July of the same year reported to his company for duty. He was with Gen. J.E. Johnston in the retreat from Dalton to Atlanta, remaining at the latter place until Gen. Hood took the command, after which he participated in Gen. Wheeler's raid through Middle Tennessee, and later on rejoined Gen. Johnston's army. After the war Mr. Bland returned home and commenced farming. In 1868 he was united in marriage to Miss Lucinda C. Rankin, a daughter of G.M. Rankin and Jane Alexander of North Carolina. This union gave them seven children: William C., Mollie, Rosie, Hattie, Jessie, Verna and John, all living. Mr. Bland's next venture was in mercantile life, and he entered into partnership with Mr. W.H. Rankin at Perryville, where they opened up a large establishment and carry a fine and well selected stock of general merchandise. They have everything necessary and imaginable in their line of trade, and are building up a good patronage by their legitimate methods of doing business. In politics he is a Democrat, and has served his country as treasurer for three terms of two years each occupying that office with a distinction that has never been excelled. He is a member of Perryville Lodge No. 238, A.F. & A.M., and has served his lodge as treasurer for a number of years, as well as being on his second term as Junior Warden. Mr. Bland has always taken an active interest in religious, educational and social development, and his residence in Perry County has marked a new era in those matters.