William L. Scoggins

Page 693
Included in the number of the representative planters and stockmen of Perry County is Mr Scoggins, who was born in Cleveland County, N.C. on August 9, 1834 and is a son of John and Nancy Scoggins, both natives of the same State. In his youth Mr Scoggins was educated at the public and subscription schools of his birthplace and at the age of twenty years commenced farming for himself upon rented land putting in such crops as were raised in North Carolina at that time. In 1859 he moved to Arkansas and located in Perry County near his present home where he worked at farm labor for wages until 1861. At this time the first notes of Civil War were sounded and he left the farm to enlist in Company H, Tenth Regiment Arkansas Infantry, serving until the surrender of Port Hudson, on July 8, 1863. His premier engagement was at the Battle of Shiloh, where he distinguished himself by his actions on the field, and after the battle was over he was rewarded, by being promoted to the rank of second lieutenant. Upon an order issued by the secretary of war, a reorganization of one year troops took place in June 1862, and he was again reduced to the rank of a private soldier, in which capacity he remained until his service in the army was ended. On November 2, 1865 he was united in marriage to Mrs Mary C. (Massey) Janes, an amiable widow lady, of Gaston County N.C. by whom he had two children: Nancy J. (born December 9, 1866), and Louisa J. (born December 29, 1869), the first named being cut off by death, in the flower of her childhood. In October 1865, Mr Scoggins made his first purchase of land, consisting of eighty acres of which twenty acres were under cultivation and at the present time he has improved and cultivated the other sixty. He has added to the original purchase at various times, until now he owns about 262 acres and has placed ninety acres under a high state of cultivation, clearing and improving seventy acres by his own personal labor. Mr Scoggins has no doubt contributed more actual physical exertion toward developiing the land in Perry County, than any other resident of that place, and his dwelling and houses upon the farm are among the best. He is a member of Perry County Lodge No. 220, A.F. & A.M., which body meets in the New Tennessee Church and has served as Senior Warden of his lodge for one year. In politics he is a Democrat and a strong support to this party in that section. He has served his fellow citizens as postmaster for five years, and the post office department as well as the people of Casa have been more than satisfied. Upon his arrival in Arkansas, Mr Scoggins found the country in a wild condition and just as nature had left it. Saw and grist mills were almost unknown, and the few that were scattered over the State, were of a rude and unsatisfactory pattern. As for steam mills, they would have been looked upon then with almost as much wonder as Don Quixote looked at his wind mill. At that period New Orleans was the nearest cotton market, but as settlers began to come in and the county developed, new markets were opened, mills established, cotton gins of the latest pattern took the place of the old horse gins, and today Perry County can boast of every modern improvement necessary to her welfare, this being the result of the brain and untiring energy of men like Mr Scoggins.