Copyrighted and Published 1889 by Goodspeed Publishing Company
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H. W. Ball, farmer and stock raiser, Dalton, Ark. In reviewing the contents of this volume no adequate idea of the agricultural affairs of Davidson Township, or of its substantial citizens could be obtained which failed to make mention of Mr. Ball or the excellent estate which he owns. He was born in Independence County, Ark., on the 15th of December, 1840, and is the son of Benjamin F. and Elizabeth (Dillard) Ball, both natives of Virginia. Benjamin F. Ball came to Arkansas about 1825, and settled in Independence County. He was twice married, first to Miss Elizabeth Dillard, who bore him thirteen children, those now living being C. M., in Independence County; W. G., also in that county; H. W.; W. S., in Independence County; Elizabeth, and Arvilla, widow of Robert Wann. Mrs. Ball died in 1848. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Ball's second marriage was with Mrs. Minerva Baker, nee Muskgrove, and by her he became the father of four children, only one now living, G. B., who lives in Independence County. The second Mrs. Ball died in 1876, and Mr. Ball died on the 24th of June, 1889. He was born in 1800; had been justice of the peace of his township for a number of terms, was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for forty years, and was a member of the Masonic fraternity for thirty-six years. In his politics he affiliated with the Republican party, and was a man universally respected for his honesty, integrity and liberality. He was among [p.372] the first settlers of his county, and his first crop was put in with a wooden plow, as no iron had been shipped into that country at that time. At the end of his second year's residence there, a small keelboat was pulled by hand up to Batesville, and brought some iron. The first few years of his life were spent in opening his farm. He was, up to the late war, a great stock raiser. The greater part of the first two years his meat was obtained in the forest by killing bears, deer and wild turkey. Mr. Ball had very little property when he went to Arkansas, but at the time of his death he owned about 500 acres of land, and was one of the leading farmers of that part of the county. He was the owner of the first threshing machine brought to that section of country (old fashioned ground-hog thresher). H. W. Ball received but a limited education, attending only the subscription schools of his section, and at the age of eighteen engaged in driving a back from Batesville to Smithville. He only followed this business a short time when he engaged in boating on the Black River, from Jackson Port to Pocahontas. Subsequently he engaged in agricultural pursuits, and this continued until 1862, when he joined the Confederate army under Col. McCarver, and served twelve months. He then returned home, and there remained until 1864, when he assisted in raising a company for the Unites States forces, and served for eleven months. After being disbanded Mr. Ball moved to Illinois (Union County), and after a residence there of two years came back to Arkansas, where he again engaged in farming, in Black River Bottom. The first crop he made was with a steer, but the second year he bought a yoke of steers, with which he made his second crop. He cleared twenty acres of land, and all his hauling was done with the oxen. For a wagon he used wooden trucks. He first purchased eighty acres, but at the end of four years sold this for $800, and moved to Sharp County, where he purchased a farm for $900, and there remained for ten years. He then sold out for the same amount, and moved on his present property in 1880. There were 240 acres in this, and he paid $750 for it. Since then he has added eighty acres. He has been twice married; first, to Miss Mildred K. Baker, daughter of Harrison Baker, who represented Independence County in the legislature two terms, and by her became the father of nine children, six now living: Ulysses R., wife of J. H. Moore, living in Randolph County; Harriet A., a teacher; James C., Eunice A., Franklin H. and Callie R. Mr. Ball served two terms as justice of the peace in Sharp County, Ark., and was elected to the third term, but did not serve. After coming to this county he was elected justice one term, and has also been school director a number of terms. His first wife died on the 6th of April, 1881. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and Eastern Star Chapter, and was an excellent woman. Mr. Ball was married, the second time, to Miss Cynthia J. Jones, of Sharp County, who is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and an active worker in the same. Mr. Ball is a member of the Masonic fraternity, is treasurer of his lodge, has also served as Worshipful Master, and has filled all the principal stations in the lodge. In politics he affiliates with the Republican party.
John W. Bennett, one of Randolph County's substantial and enterprising citizens, was born in Jefferson County, Ill., December 16, 1865, being a son of Thomas S. and Elmira E. Bennett. His father was born in Tennessee in 1834 and his mother in St. Francois County, Mo., and they were married in Ripley County, that State. They afterward located in St. Francois County and moved from there to the State of Illinois near Rome, Jefferson County, coming thence to Randolph County, Ark., in 1868, where, after farming for some time, Mr. Bennett became collecting agent for Hecht & Co., of Pocahontas. He served as treasurer of Randolph County two terms, and he and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was a Democrat in his political views, and while in Missouri he enlisted in the Southern service, being promoted to the rank of lieutenant. He participated, with credit to himself, in many a hard-fought battle. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and died December 25, 1885, at the age of fifty-one years. His widow still survives him and remains in Randolph County. [p.373] Of the nine children born to their union, six are now living: Wesley C., a farmer of the county; John W., J. S., Mary C., Thomas S. and Emily. The early scholastic training of John W. Bennett was received in the common schools near his home, and he afterward finished his education in the schools of Pocahontas. He remained with his mother until 1887, then entered the employ of William T. McIlroy at Dalton, with whom he remained as salesman for eight months, after which he sold goods in Pocahontas for Snowtree, remaining in this place for eight months also. Since that time he has devoted his attention to agriculture, and is a farmer of this county, having 400 acres of land. He is a Democrat, and he and his wife, whose maiden name was Annie Foster, and whom he married February 14, 1889, are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. January 3, 1867, his wife was born. She was reared in Randolph County, Ark., and is a daughter of Thomas Foster, who was a very prominent resident of the county, and here spent his life, dying January 22, 1889, at the age of sixty-six years. He was one of the most extensive real estate holders in the county, and owned 2,200 acres of land. His name will long be remembered by the residents of the county, for he was public spirited and enterprising, and was ever the friend of the poor. During his long residence in the county he held some responsible positions. He was also a member of the Masonic fraternity.
William R. Bigger, is a native resident of Randolph County, Ark., and was born on the farm where he now lives January 1, 1850, and was the eleventh of thirteen children, three now living, born to the marriage of James N. Bigger and Lucretia Parrish, who were born in the State of Missouri in 1810 and 1812, and died in Randolph County, Ark., in 1872 and 1874, respectively. Their marriage was consummated in Missouri, and they afterward came to this State and settled on the farm on which their son, William R., is now living, which they made their home until their death. They were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and were well-to-do residents of the county. Their children who are living are Chesterfield, who is a farmer of the county; Caroline, wife of Arthur Barm, also a farmer of the county, and William R. The latter remained with his parents until their demise, and at that time he and his brother took charge of the home farm, which then consisted of 400 acres of land, and by industry and good management have added considerable more land to the original amount. Laura McKee, who was born in North Carolina in 1855, a daughter of John McKee, became his wife in 1879. She is an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and he is a stanch Democrat in polities. He is an energetic and successful agriculturist, and has vastly improved the property left him by his parents.
B. F. Bigger, has been the proprietor of the Bigger's House, one of the first-class hotels of the county, ever since 1881, but previous to that time, his attention had been given to directing the plow and in attending to the duties of farm life. He is a native-born resident of Randolph County, Ark., his birth occurring in 1851, and he is principally self-educated, his knowledge of business affairs being acquired mainly by contact with the world. At the age of twenty-two years, he was married to Miss Ida Simington, who was also born in Randolph County, and of the seven children born to their union, four are living: Thomas, Lute, Kate and George. The other children died in infancy. From the date of his marriage up to 1881, he was engaged in farming for himself, but since that time he has been keeping a hotel in Pocahontas, and by good management, hospitality and fair dealing, he has succeeded in gaining an excellent patronage, and his earnest endeavors to see that the wants and needs of his patrons are satisfied, have tended to make his establishment a favorite resort for the traveling public. He also manages a livery stable, the only one in the place, and has some excellent vehicles and animals ready for use. He owns two excellent farms, one comprising 600 acres and the other 400 acres, and although one place is rented to tenants, it is under his supervision, and he manages the other farm himself, devoting it to the raising of stock, grain and hay. He owns his hotel and stable, and is one of the [p.374] wealthy citizens of the county. His parents, J. G. and Catherine (Lewis) Bigger, were born and reared in Randolph County, the father being engaged in farming. J. G. was a soldier in the Confederate army, and died in 1863. His father was a Kentuckian, who emigrated to Randolph County, Ark., with his parents when a child, the country at that time being a Territory. Mr. Bigger is a Democrat and a member of the A. F. & A. M.
W. T. Bispham, circuit clerk, Pocahontas, Ark. The subject of this sketch needs no introduction to the people of Randolph County, for a long residence, and, above all, a career of usefulness and prominence, have given him an acquaintance which shall last for many years. He is a native of Westmoreland County, Va., born in 1841, and is the son of John F. and Martha C. (Templeman) Bispham, both of whom were born in the same county in Virginia. The paternal grandfather, William Bispham, was a native of Lancaster, England, and came to America with an older brother, when a child. He was a successful agriculturist, and died in Richmond County, Va., about 1852. The maternal grandfather, Samuel Templeman, was a native of Virginia, a minister in the Baptist Church, and was in the Home Guards during the War of 1812. He was one of the early settlers of Virginia. John F. Bispham was a successful agriculturist and followed this occupation until his death in 1872 at the age of fifty-two years. The mother died in 1870, at about fifty-four years of age. Both were members of the Baptist Church, and the father was for many years a deacon in the same. Both took a great interest in church work. They reared to maturity a family of five children, W. T. Bispham being the eldest. John H. was a soldier in the Ninth Virginia, Confederate army, and was killed at the battle of Hatch's Run; Robert A. is a carpenter in Washington, D. C.; Samuel T. is a coach maker by trade, and resides in the District of Columbia; Emma died in 1875, and Lon H. married James May, and resides in Washington, D. C. W. T. Bispham remained on the farm until sixteen years of age, and received his education in the private schools. At that age his father engaged in merchandising and W. T. acted in the capacity of clerk, continuing as such until the breaking out of the war. In April, 1861, he enlisted in Company C, Montrose Guards, attached to the Forty-seventh Virginia Regiment, Confederate Army, and served until the close of the war. He participated in the battle of Seven Oaks, and was in the entire Richmond Campaign, at Cedar Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and was appointed commissary of his regiment after the last mentioned battle. After the war he returned to merchandising in Virginia. His father was at that time sheriff of Westmoreland County, which office he held a number of terms, and W. T. was made deputy sheriff, filling this position for about a year. In March, 1867, he moved to Brownsville, Tenn., and entered the employ of Yancey, Wilder & Co., merchants, as salesman. In January, 1868, he accepted the agency of the Carolina Life Insurance Company, and finally located in Randolph County, Ark., and engaged in teaching school, after which he became salesman in a store for Levi Hecht, of Pocahontas and continued in this capacity for a few months, when he engaged as book-keeper for E. B. Burr & Co. This position he held until July, 1869, when he again resumed the position as local agent for the insurance business, and continued that about a year. He then engaged as book-keeper for J. P. Black & Co. In 1872 he went to Walnut Ridge, Ark., and kept books until the fall of 1873, when he returned to his native State and remained there and taught in the public schools until the fall of 1877; then returning to Pocahontas, he kept books for R. N. Hamil, merchant, until 1885, when he engaged with L. E. Imboden in the same capacity, and remained in that position until 1886. He was then elected clerk and recorder of Randolph County, Ark., and has held that office ever since, being re-elected without opposition by the people of his county in 1888. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, a Royal Arch Mason and member of the Knights of Honor. He is unmarried.
John P. Black, attorney at law, Pocahontas, Ark. What is usually termed genius has little to do with the success of men in general. Keen perception, sound judgment and a determined will, supported by persevering and continuous effort, [p.375] are essential elements to success in any calling, and their possession is sure to accomplish the aims hoped for in the days of our youth. The jurisprudence of a commonwealth is the most necessary factor toward its growth and permanence, for without a thorough knowledge and administration of the law, no form of popular government could long exist. Mr. Black was born at Black's Ferry, Randolph County, Ark., on the 1st of October, 1822. He is the son of William Black the grandson of David Black, and the great-grandson of David Black, who was a native of Amster dam, Holland. The elder David Black came to America when a boy, settling at Charleston, S. C., and there learned the blacksmith trade. He died in that State. David Black, Jr., was a native of South Carolina, and was a farmer by occupation. He emigrated to Kentucky at a very early day, settling near Hopkinsville, where he lived many years, and in 1815 moved to Randolph County, Ark. He settled at Black's Ferry, and lived there many years, but died at Davidsonville, Lawrence County, Ark., at the age of sixty years. The father of the subject of this sketch, William Black, passed his youth on his father's farm in Kentucky, and moved to Randolph County, Ark., with his parents, in 1815. After reaching manhood he married Miss Elizabeth Jones (who became the mother of John P. Black), in 1820, and lived at Black's Ferry until his death in February, 1852, at the age of fifty-four years. The mother died in July, 1851, at the age of forty-nine years. She was a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The father was a leading and prominent man in this part of the State; was the first sheriff of Randolph County, served in that office two terms, and in 1840 was elected to the State Senate of Arkansas. He served in that body two terms, and during that time acquired a State reputation as a general worker, and an influential man in that august body. He was noted far and near for his liberality and hospitality, especially to new settlers. He was ever public spirited and always ready and willing to do all he could to promote any and all enterprises for the good of the county and State. He and his wife reared a family of seven children, five sons and two daughters, all of whom are highly respected men and women. The maternal grandfather of John P. Black, John Janes, was a native of Virginia, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and was wounded at the battle of Yorktown. His wife, whose maiden name was Margaret Arming, was also a native of Virginia, and in 1800 they came down the Ohio River in canoes, settled on Merrimac River, near St. Louis, and there remained until 1809, on a Spanish grant of land. They then emigrated to Randolph County, Ark., settled on Janes' Creek, and there remained until the death of the father in 1826, at the age of eighty-two years. John P. Black assisted his father on the farm in Randolph County, and received his education in the county schools, that is, a part of his education, for the most of it was obtained by his own application at home. He began managing a farm at the age of eighteen years, and this continued until twenty-two, when he went to work for a New Orleans house at Powhatan, where he remained until 1849, after which he came to Pocahontas. He there engaged in mercantile pursuits, which he carried on until 1873, excepting a period during the war, when he served two years in Fagan's command, Confederate army. He returned to the farm in 1872, remained there a few years and then came again to Pocahontas, where he entered the law office of Thomas Ratliff, as a student. He was admitted to the bar in 1875, and has been actively engaged in the practice ever since. He was first married in 1855, to Miss Isabella Waddel, a native of Arkansas. In 1859 he was again married, taking for his second wife Miss Claude Inman, a native of Indiana. In 1868 he married Miss Lottie Inman, and in 1875 was united in marriage with Miss Flora Kebler, a native of Arkansas, who bore him six children: Charley, Guy, Hattie, Irene, Lulu and Blanche.
R. H. Black, attorney, Pocahontas, Ark. As a leading citizen of Pocahontas in its professional, business and social life, lending eminent strength to her bar, tone to her finance and grace to her society, Mr. Black commands attention from the pen of the historian who would wish to do this [p.376] city justice. He owes his nativity to Randolph County, Ark., and is a son of William Black, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. He grew to manhood on his father's farm at Black's Ferry, in Randolph County, securing his education in the private schools of the county and at Shelbyville, Ky. He was admitted to the bar in 1866, and has been actively engaged in the practice ever since. He has been for two terms presiding attorney of the Second Judicial District of Arkansas, and in 1879 he represented Randolph County in the General Assembly, one term. In 1861, when the warcloud hung heavy over the United States, Mr. Black enlisted in the First Arkansas Cavalry, C. S. A., commanded by ex-Gov. Churchill, as private, and was made lieutenant after the second year. He served until May 14, 1864, when, at the battle of Resaca, Ga., he had the misfortune to lose his right arm by a gun shot wound, which disabled him from further service. He participated in the battles of Chickamauga, Murfreesboro and Richmond, Ky. and numerous other battles. After being discharged he came back to Pocahontas, began the study of law, was afterward admitted to the bar and opened office here. His marriage with Miss Virginia L. Criddle, a native of Jackson, Cape Girardeau County, Mo., occurred on November 14, 1867, and to them were born five children: Edward, Marvin, Waldo, Blanche and Ina. Mrs. Black died on the 26th of December, 1880, in full faith with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Mr. Black is a member of the I. O. O. F. and is not only a pleasant gentleman in the social walks of life, but is also among the first in his profession. He and his children are the owners of about 1,000 acres of land.
William F. Blackwell. Among the business men of Randolph County, Ark., who have won distinction as successful merchants, and who have, by personal industry and genuine business ability, succeeded in establishing a desirable trade, may be mentioned Mr. Blackwell, whose name heads this brief biography. He was born in Lawrence County, Ark., December 20, 1851, and is a son of James and Parnesia Jane (Smith) Blackwell, the former being a native of Virginia. He died while our subject was two years old, while on his way home from New Orleans, whither he had been on business, he having been a merchant and stock dealer at the time of his death. After removing from his native State, he first came to Tennessee, and afterward to Arkansas. His wife was born in Lawrence County, this State, in 1828, and after his death she married a Mr. Ellison, who left her again a widow some time after, and she next wedded Bennett Holder, who is also dead. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church; she became the mother of four children, two being now dead. Those living are Isabella, wife of Frank M. Baker, and William F., who was educated in the schools of Lawrence County, and from boyhood up has been familiar with mercantile life, having acted in the capacity of salesman at Powhatan, Smithville. Walnut Ridge, Delaplaine, Lauratown, and then in his present location. One year after coming to Randolph County, he engaged in business for himself, forming a partnership with W. W. Tanner, the firm being known as Tanner & Blackwell. This partnership lasted until 1883, and since that time Mr. Blackwell has been in business alone. The first money he earned for himself was at picking cotton, and in all the enterprises in which he has been engaged, his labors have been attended with good results. He was so unfortunate as to be burned out in February, 1888, but he has since retrieved his fortunes to some extent, and, in connection with his business, is engaged in farming. He received his last appointment as postmaster in 1888. February 10, 1878, he was married to Miss Mollie F. Tanner, daughter of W. W. Tanner, and by her he is the father of four children: Jennie May, Pearl Grace and William Harry. James Marvin, the eldest child, died in his third year. Mrs. Blackwell was born in Obion County, Tenn., and is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and her husband belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church. South. He is a Democrat. His career has placed him before the public as a successful financier, and his reputation has been obtained by tireless industry, a keen foresight of events, and a judicious use of his means.
Capt. J. N. Bolen, editor of the Herald, Pocahontas, Ark. The enviable position which the town of Pocahontas occupies to-day as an industrial and mercantile center is due to the energy, enterprise and ability of the inhabitants, and to the wise and judicious government of the local authorities. Prominent among those who have made an impress on the history of the town, in more respects than one, is Capt. J. N. Bolen, editor and publisher of the Herald. Mr. Bolen owes his nativity to Fayette County, Penn., where his birth occurred in the year 1831, and he is the son of Reuben and Nancy (Walters) Bolen, natives of Virginia and Pennsylvania, respectively. The father was born in Powhatan County, Va., in the year 1790, was a soldier in the War of 1812-14, removed to the State of Pennsylvania in the year 1820, and soon thereafter was married to Miss Nancy Walters, only daughter of Abraham Walters, and there be continued to reside until his death, which occurred in the year 1840, the mother surviving the father until 1876, in which year she died at the home of her son, J. N. Bolen, at Murray, Calloway County, Ky., in the seventy-sixth year of her age. They were members of the old School Presbyterian and Methodist Church, respectively. The father was active in political affairs, always voting the Democratic ticket, having been three times elected sheriff of his county as the nominee of that party. The paternal grandfather of J. N. Bolen, Powhatan Bolen, was a native of Powhatan County. Va., and was a Revolutionary soldier. The maternal grandfather. Abraham Walters, was a native of Fayette County, Penn., and also a soldier of the Revolutionary War. J. N. Bolen was early trained to the arduous duties of the farm and this continued until eighteen years of age when he left the parental roof and served an apprenticeship at the tailor's trade at Brownsville, continuing at this for ten years. He then learned dentistry, located at Murray. Ky., where he established the Murray Gazette, and ran the same for six years as a Democratic paper. He then came to Randolph County, Ark., and bought the Herald, of Pocahontas, which he has ably edited ever since. In June, 1861, he enlisted in the war and armed and equipped, at his own expense, a company of cavalry which was attached to the Seventh Kentucky Regiment, Col. Forrest commanding, and served until the close of the war with the command of captain, until the last two years, when he was promoted to the rank of major and commanded the battalion until the close of the war. He participated in the following battles: Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Jackson, Raymond, Baker's Creek, Paducah, and in numerous skirmishes. By his marriage, which occurred in 1858 with Miss Carrie Allbutton, a native of Calloway County, Ky., one child was born. Ella, wife of Jacob Schoonover, of Pocahontas.
William B. Bridges (deceased) was a man well known to the early settlers of Randolph County, Ark., and was respected for his straightforward course through life, and for his noble, Christian qualities of mind and heart. He was born in North Carolina in 1810, and was a son of Benjamin Bridges, who was also born in that State, and was a soldier in the War of 1812. He was a blacksmith by trade, and William B., like the majority of sons, followed in his father's footsteps and became a blacksmith also. He was the eldest of sixteen children, and in his youth was taken by his parents to Tennessee, where he grew to manhood. When eighteen years of age he was married to Miss Rebecca Sherrel, a native of Wilson County, that State, and after residing there the eight years following his marriage he emigrated to Arkansas, locating at Pittman's Ferry, but one year later removed to Pocahontas, having been identified with the interests of this place for many years. His death, however, occurred in Gainesville, Greene County, Ark., in 1868, at the age of fifty-eight years, his widow dying June 9, 1882. Both were members of many years' standing of the Baptist Church, and were earnest and devoted Christians. Mr. Bridges was a well-posted man, and was a leader in the church of which he was a member, as well as in public affairs, and was an eloquent and fluent speaker. He was very popular in the community in which he resided, and for many years held the office of justice of the peace, and socially was a member of the A. F. & A. M. Of his large family of children six [p.378] grew to maturity, the only surviving member being A. M. Bridges, who is a leading farmer of Wiley Township. At the age of nine years he accompanied his father to Randolph County, Ark., and his youth was spent in learning the intricacies of farm work and blacksmithing, he also acquiring a fair education in the common schools of his adopted county. Upon the breaking out of the Rebellion in 1861 he joined the Seventh Arkansas Cavalry, Confederate States Army, took a stirring part in the battle of Corinth, and was in numerous skirmishes. At the second battle of Corinth he was one out of eight of his company to escape unhurt, and at the close of the war he went to the city of St. Louis, and served a three-years' apprenticeship at the machinist's trade under G. H. Timons; then came to Randolph County and purchased 160 acres of land, on which he now lives. The property at that time was raw timber land, but be has made valuable improvements in the way of building, fences and clearing, and has added to his original purchase until he now has a fine tract of land embracing 400 acres, of which 175 are under cultivation. He has been married four times and has four living children: Susan, wife of Paul S. Leonard, of Randolph County; Martha, wife of John Ball, also of this county; W. B., at home, and one other. Mr. Bridges has been the architect of his own fortune, and through his own exertions has acquired his present property which is one of the finest farms in the county. For the last few years in connection with his farm work he has also conducted a blacksmith shop on his farm, and is considered a skillful mechanic.
rWilliam Bridges. In any worthy history of the county the name that heads this sketch will always be given an enviable place among the leading citizens of the county, and its self-made agriculturists. Mr. Bridges is a native of Randolph County, having been born here November 18, 1827, and is the seventh of ten children, three of whom are now living, the other two being Martha, wife of William Fry, a farmer of this county, and Nancy, born to the marriage of John Bridges and Cynthia Spivey. Both parents were born in the Old North State, and the father died in Randolph County, Ark., when about forty-four years of age, the mother dying in Fulton, while on a visit several years after the war. After their marriage, which occurred in their native State, they came to this part of Arkansas, it being then a Territory, and engaged in farming, which occupation proved quite successful. Game of all kinds was quite plentiful at that time, and Indians were also numerous, but they never molested the Bridges family, although many of the other settlers suffered severely at their hands. Mr. Bridges was a lifelong Democrat, and he and wife were members of the Presbyterian Church. William Bridges remained with his parents until their deaths, and has been a farmer all his life. In 1861 his farming operations being interrupted by the opening of the Rebellion, he laid down his farming implements to take up the weapons of warfare, and enlisted in Capt. Wright's company, Col. William Patterson's infantry, Confederate States Army, and served until the close of the war, his regiment being the first to cross the Mississippi River. He was at the battles of Shiloh and Perryville, and also participated in a number of skirmishes. Since returning home from the army he has been engaged in farming and stock raising, and from starting in life with not so much as a good suit of clothes, he has become one of the heaviest tax payers in the county, and now owns 773 acres of some of the best land of which the county can boast. He has long been a Democrat, and is one of the enterprising citizens of the county. His marriage with Elizabeth Wells took place July 21, 1864, she having been born in Randolph County, Ark., a daughter of Hugh Wells. To them were born five children, now living: Elizabeth, William W., Margaret, Hugh and Nevada. John died March 10, 1889, at the age of twenty-one years; George died December 30, 1888, in his seventeenth year; Emily died December 15, 1888, when twenty-four years of age, the wife of George Wells; Hugh died when thirteen years old; Samuel when three years of age, and two infant daughters are deceased. Mr. Bridges, like his father, is a Democrat, and he and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
A. W. W. Brooks, one of the most extensive laud owners and cotton growers of Randolph County, was born in Davidson County, Tenn., in the year 1832. His parents were Richard P. and Mary N. Brooks, the former a prominent citizen of that portion of Tennessee, and for several years sheriff of Jackson County. Richard P. Brooks was a member of the legislature for a great many years, and at the age of seventy-four was elected a floater, or in other words, a representative from more than one county. He died at the age of seventy-five years, after an honorable and brilliant career. His son, A. W. W. Brooks, was reared and received his education in Jackson County, Tenn. He seemed to be imbued with the spirit that characterized his father, and followed closely in his footsteps early in life. When war was announced between the North and South, he occupied the clerkship of Jackson County circuit court, and at the outset of the National excitement he was the first to organize a company in Jackson County. He held the rank of lieutenant, and, when the conscript act was enforced, returned to that county and organized another company, of which he was lieutenant. During an engagement with an overwhelming force the captain was killed and the company disorganized, many of the men being captured. Lieut. Brooks was among the prisoners, and after fifteen months' confinement he returned and collected the shattered fragments of his company, of which he was the captain until the spring of 1865, the time of the surrender. At the close of the war he returned to Jackson County, in the same State, like many a chivalrous spirit who had cast his fortune with the Confederacypenniless. He soon started, however, at the task of regaining at least a portion of what he had lost, and, leaving the old home behind him, traveled further west. He settled in Lawrence County, Ark., and remained there two years, but thinking that Randolph County would be a more desirable location, he moved to that place. On his arrival there, all his worldly possessions consisted of a pair of steers and a very meager outfit, but if his riches were small his heart was large, and accompanied by a spirit too proud to be cast down by the prospects before him. In the first year of his arrival he succeeded in getting some one to rent him a portion of land, upon which he began farming, paying them with a portion of the crop he raised. He finally became the owner of a piece of land, which his ingenuity and foresight put him in possession of, and from that time to the present he has been successful in his financial enterprises. His wealth has grown to massive proportions, and at one time he was the owner of 8,000 acres of land, but donated some 4,000 acres to his children. Mr. Brooks is widely known for his shrewdness in commercial transactions, and many people, not thoroughly acquainted with him, would perhaps think he was a man of very stern principles, but to see him once in the family circle away from the cares and perplexities of his busy life, that impression would be quickly dispelled. He is generous, almost to a fault; ready to give aid wherever it is really needed, and is a man whose word will carry weight whenever it comes from his mouth. He has never practiced as a regular attorney, but his knowledge of the law is considerable, and that fact alone has given him a greater advantage than the average man, especially in some of his extensive land deals. Like almost all other successful and prominent men, Mr. Brooks' accumulation of great wealth has gained for him many enemies, people who started with him in the race through life and were outstripped long before the three-quarter stretch was reached; but his friends, and their name is legion, knowing how to appreciate the true man, are filled with admiration at his wonderful success. Mr. Brooks was first married in 1855, in the State of Tennessee, to Miss Julia J. Richmond. The result of this happy union was four children: Ellen, wife of J. P. Rogers; William P. Brooks, whose sketch immediately follows this one; Alice, widow of Robert Surridge; and Maggie, wife of David Feneter. This, his first wife, and the companion of his earlier manhood, after having proven herself a kindly and faithful wife and worthy mother, was called to eternity and away from her family in 1874. Some years after this Mr. Brooks contracted a second marriage with Mrs. McIlroy, a charming widow of Randolph County, [p.380] by whom he has had one child, Fannie A. This last marriage, unlike most second marriages, was a happy one. Whether this was due to the qualities of the lady or to the tact of Mr. Brooks in turning all things to good account, is a matter of conjecture, but judging from results, each one must be entitled to an equal amount of credit. Mrs. Brooks was almost the equal of her husband in business transactions, and during her lifetime was his only counselor. This faithful woman has also been called away by the hand of death.
W. P. Brooks is a successful young farmer of Randolph County, Ark., and it is, perhaps, not to be wondered at that he should devote himself to agricultural pursuits, for, in looking back over the careers of his ancestors, we find that the majority of them were honest tillers of the soil. He is a native-born resident of the county, his birth occurring in 1858, and in his youth he succeeded in acquiring a good, practical education, and from the very first was taught the rudiments of farm labor by his father, a shrewd, practical agriculturist. He has made that his chief calling throughout life, and although a young man is well fixed financially, being the owner of 546 acres of land, of which 264 are in Lawrence County. At the present time he is residing on his father's extensive estate of which he is general manager and overseer, and also acts as book keeper for his father. His marriage, which occurred when he was twenty-two years of age, was with Miss Birdie Surridge, who was born and reared in the State of Arkansas. They have two bright and interesting children named James A. and Essie P. In his political views Mr. Brooks has always been a Democrat, and being a young man of pluck and energy he is bound to succeed in whatever calling he may undertake. [For parents' history see sketch of A. W. W. Brooks.]
Richard D. Brown is a member of the law firm of Brown & Black, one of the leading and most influential at the bar of Pocahontas and is a native of Calloway County, Ky., born in the year 1832. He has that case of manner and force of character which make the sons of the Blue Grass State influential wherever they go. Reared to the mysteries of farm life from early youth, he began for himself in this pursuit at the age of seventeen years, and continued until twenty-seven years of age, when he entered the office of Lem Boyd, and there studied law. He was admitted to the bar in October, 1859, at Murray, Ky., and in 1860 went to Metropolis City, Ill., where he located and practiced law for one year. At the breaking out of hostilities he moved back to his native county, and during the war was engaged in contraband trade. When peace was declared he settled in Murray, Ky., and practiced his profession until 1876, when he moved to Randolph County, Ark. Here he has been successfully engaged in the practice of his profession ever since. He was first married in 1850 to Miss America Foster, a native of Kentucky (Christian County), and one child was born to this union, Almedia, who is the wife of C. C. Marshal, of Murray, Ky. Mrs. Brown died in April, 1859, at the age of twenty-one years. She was a devoted member of the Baptist Church. Mr. Brown was married the second time, in 1860, to Miss Anna E. Trill. a native of Montgomery County, Tenn., and this union was blessed by the birth of three children: Sallie S., Mary E. and Ruth. Mrs. Brown is a member of the Baptist Church. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and both are much esteemed citizens. Mr. Brown owns about 4,500 acres of land, and is largely interested in the lumber business. He employs from twenty to fifty men, and is doing well at this. He is a Democrat, a leading lawyer and a first-class business man. His parents. Edward S. and Sallie (Card) Brown, were natives of Culpeper County, Va. The father was educated for a surveyor, but finding agricultural pursuits more suited to his tastes, he followed that occupation the principal part of his life. He was reared in Hopkinsville, Ky., and in 1831 emigrated to Western Kentucky, where he settled in Calloway County. There he received his final summons in 1850, at the age of fifty years. The mother died in 1886, at the age of seventy-five years. Both were esteemed members of the Baptist Church. The father was a Whig in politics. and was considered a leader of his party in Western Kentucky. He was a very prominent man. They were the parents of twelve children, six now [p.381] living: Edmond, a farmer, now living in Calloway County, Ky.; Mary J., wife of Cyrus Owen, also in Calloway County; Fannie, wife of W. S. Sled, of the same county; Richard D.; Jane, wife of William H. Daily, of Calloway County, and Sophronia, wife of W. C. Clements, also of that county. The paternal grandfather, Thomas Brown, was a native of Culpeper County, Va., and was a successful tiller of the soil. He settled in Kentucky later in life, and founded the town of Hopkinsville, Ky., in 1812. The maternal grandfather was Edmond Card, who was also a native of Culpeper County, Va. He was a wealthy farmer and a soldier in the War of 1812; was quite active in politics, and was receiver of the land office of Western Kentucky for a number of years. He was also a minister in the Baptist Church.
W. M. Burrow, merchant, Warm Springs, Ark. This enterprising and thorough-going businessman was born on the 21st of December, 1827, in Tennessee, and his father, Philip Burrow, was a native of the same State. The elder Burrow was a farmer by occupation, and when a young man was united in marriage to Miss Minta Lacy, also a native of Tennessee. They moved to Arkansas in 1843, and settled in Randolph County, where the father tilled the soil, on rented land, until his death, which occurred in 1844. He was thrown from a wagon and killed. After his death Mrs. Burrow purchased land, and reared the nine children born to her union with Mr. Burrow (seven of whom are now living): Jeremiah (deceased); William M., G. W. (deceased), James W., living in Fulton County; Villa, widow of George Ivoty, in Fulton County, Ark.; Jane, also in Fulton County; Josiah, Robert and Tiudrel. In 1879 Mrs. Burrow sold her farm and moved to Fulton County, Ark. In 1846 she married for her second husband Tindrel Burrow, a distant relative of her first husband. Mr. Burrow died in 1876, but his widow still survives him, and resides in Fulton County. She was born in 1814, is now in her seventy-fifth year, does her own housework, and is enjoying very good health. In his early youth W. M. Burrow had a poor chance for an education, but since, by close application and study, he has acquired a good business education, and is a man well informed on the current topics of the day. At the age of twenty-six he wedded Miss Luvina Baily, of Missouri, and then began his career as a farmer. He first purchased 160 acres of land, improved the same and cultivated the soil until 1877, when he engaged in merchandising at Warm Springs, and has continued successfully ever since. His annual business amounts to about $10,000 or $12,000. In 1885 he erected a fine flouring-mill, with cotton-gin combined, which cost him about $5,000, and with which he does a good business. He furnishes considerable flour to the surrounding merchants and all the farmers of the northern part of the county, also a portion of Oregon and Ripley Counties, Mo. Aside from this he is the owner of about fifty acres of land close to town. His marriage occurred in 1853, and he and wife have reared a family of seven children (five now living): Moses, Jane (wife of P. Carter), Jerry, Nancy (wife of James Jarrett), Martha (deceased), Mary T. (deceased), and Alice (wife of Lee Jarrett). On commencing for himself Mr. Burrow had no help, and has made all by the sweat of his brow. In 1862 he joined the Confederate army, under Capt. Bryant, and served three years and eight months in the Trans-Mississippi department. He participated in the battles of Cane Hill, Richmond, Helena and Red River, was with Gen. Price on his raid through Missouri, in 1864, and participated in all the battles of importance during that raid. He was slightly wounded at Ash Station, while under Gen. Joe Shelby, and surrendered at Jackson port, Ark., on the 5th of June, 1865. He then came home and engaged in tilling the soil. He has never held an office in his life; was elected at one time school director, but paid a fine of $10 and saved himself from filling that office. Mr. and Mrs. Borrow are members of the Predestinarian Baptist Church, and he in politics affiliates with the Democratic party. He is public spirited, is in favor of all enterprises for the good of the county, is an earnest advocate of schools, and a liberal donor to all enterprises of a beneficial character. The paternal grandfather was a captain in the Revolutionary War, and served during the entire [p.382] time. He had only been married about four months when he enlisted. His wife, the paternal grandmother of our subject, lived to be one hundred and fifteen years old, and had been a widow sixty-two years. She was born about 1735, and died about 1850. Her sister, Mrs. Patterson, died at the age of one hundred and nine years, and was buried with the honors of war. Her husband was a soldier in the Revolutionary War.
J. J. Carner, another prominent stock raiser of Warm Springs Township, has followed this occupation, in connection with farming, the principal part of his life, and has been very successful. To the Blue Grass State he owes his nativity, having been born there on the 25th of August, 1835. His parents, Joel and Nancy (Sigler) Carner, were natives, respectively, of North Carolina and Tennessee. The father came to Kentucky at a very early day, and the mother made her first appearance in that State in 1819. They were married there in 1823, and there the father followed tilling the soil for about fourteen years. He then removed to Posey County, Ind., and in 1837 entered eighty acres of land, which be improved, and farmed until his death, in 1839. To this marriage were born the following children: Peggie A., wife of Miles B. Frence; Elizabeth J., wife of W. H. Lane: Malinda J., wife of John D. Morehead; P. W., who lives in Ripley County, Mo., and is a farmer; J. J., and J. N., who lives in Fulton County, Ark., and is a minister and farmer. After the death of her husband Mrs. Carner was united in marriage to Mr. Joel Short, in 1843, in Union County, Ky., whither she had moved in 1839. She was born in 1808, and died on the 9th of April, 1880. Mr. Short died in September, 1853. J. J. Carner commenced work for himself at the age of nineteen, and in 1877 moved to this State, settling in this county on the 25th of November. He immediately engaged in farming, which occupation he has continued up to the present. In 1882 he entered 166 22/**** acres of land in Randolph County. and now has about seventy-five acres under fence. and fifty or sixty acres under cultivation, with fair honess and good outbuildings, etc. Mr. Carner selected for his life companion Miss Nancy J. Ramsey, and was wedded to her in 1855. They had nine children (seven of whom are now living): T. T., living in this county; Nancy E., wife of John Bloodworth, living in Ripley County, Mo.; J. J., Jr., in Randolph County; J. N., Jr., in the same county; Sarah (deceased), Mary O. (deceased), Malinda A., Laura B. and Barba. Mrs. Carner was born on the 19th of September, 1836, and is a daughter of James A. and Elizabeth (James) Ramsey. Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey were the parents of the following children: T. G., living in Webster County. Ky.; Robert (deceased), John M., James A., Jr., and N. J. Mr. Ramsey died about 1844, and Mrs. Ramsey was married again, to Mr. James Riggs, in 1848. Three children were born to this union; George W., Sylvester and Stanford Y. Mr. Riggs died in 1870, and Mrs. Riggs in 1875. The latter was a member of the Baptist Church. J. J. Carner's uncle on the mother's side was in the War of 1812, under Gen. Jackson, and participated in the battle of New Orleans. J. J. Carner was school director in Kentucky for eight years, and has filled the same office in this county one term. Politically his preference is with the Republican party. He is a member of the Wheel, and he and wife are members of the Free Will Baptist Church, as are James J., Jr., Malinda A. and Laura B.
William Carrens, M. D. The profession of the physician is one which operates effectively in time of need in arresting and alleviating the most acute pains and ailments to which the human body is heir, and therefore deserves the most appreciative consideration on the part of the public. In this profession the gratitude of hundreds are due to the talent and skill of Dr. Carrens, who has been an active practicing physician of the county since 1884. He was born in the State of Illinois. September 7, 1849, and received his early education in the graded school at Clinton. He attended one course of lectures in the Eclectic Medical Institute of Cincinuati, Ohio, his tuition being paid with means obtained by teaching school after he had reached the age of nineteen years. For fourteen years be wielded the ferule successively in Illinois. Missonri and Arkansas, and since 1884 has been [p.383] one of the active practicing physicians of Randolph County. He was married November 18, 1868, to Miss Martha E. Brothers, and by her he became the father of three children: Harriett A., born August 7, 1869, the wife of Thomas Phillips; Ida J., born February 25, 1872, and is the wife of Frank Steward, and J. W., born July 2, 1874, residing at home. The Doctor's wife died February 14, 1876, an earnest member of the Baptist Church; she was a daughter of John and Nancy Brothers, whose family consisted of six children: William, George. Harriett, Sarah, Robert and Martha E. Miss Lucy Spinks became the second wife of Dr. Carrens. December 14, 1876, and of their seven children four died in infancy and three are now living: James S., born May 30, 1879; Eva M., born July 20, 1881, and Bertha, born August 25, 1888. Presley and Elizabeth (Ozment) Spinks were native Tennesseeans, who moved to Illinois at a very early day, and there reared a family of seven children: James J., Sarah (Harris), Eliza (Biskins), Tennessee (Odam), John A., Lucy (Carrens) and Martha. Mrs. Spinks was a member of the Baptist Church and died April 7, 1874, her husband afterward marrying Harriet Doughty, of Illinois, in 1874. Dr. Carrens was first a member of the Free Will Baptist Church, but he and wife are now attendants and members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which church they joined in 1877. The Doctor is a member of the A. F. & A. M. and is a Republican politically. His parents, Elisha and Mary E. (Hester) Carrens, were Tennesseeans, and were born, reared and married there, the latter event taking place in 1848. They died in their native State in 1855. and both were members of the Baptist Church. They were the parents of three children: William, J. A., who is a farmer of Claiborne County, Ark., and Elizabeth (deceased).
R. J. Carter, cotton grower and stock raiser, Pocahontas. Ark. Mr. Carter is one of those wideawake, thorough-going gentlemen who are bound to make their way in the world with very little help from outsiders. He is the son of Minatree and Matilda (Mock) Carter, the former a native of South Carolina, and one of the early pioneers of Northeast Arkansas, where he died in 1857, at the age of fifty-five or fifty-six years. The mother was also a native of South Carolina, and died when about fifty-three years of age. She was partly of German descent. Of the nine children born to their marriage, three are now living, and R. J. Carter was the fifth in order of birth. He was born in Randolph County, Ark., in 1833, and grew to manhood in that and Greene Counties. He made his start in life by following the occupation to which he had been trained in early life, farming, and in 1861 was united in marriage to Miss Mary D. Kuykendall. To this union were born three children, only one, Min., who is twenty-seven years of age, now living. Those deceased are Florence and Norah. In 1862 Mr. Carter entered the Confederate service, and was on duty for three years. He was at the battles of Jenkins' Ferry, Pleasant Hill, Camden and Helena. He returned to his family at the close of the war and continued tilling the soil in Greene County, Ark., for fifteen years. He then came to Randolph County, settled on 500 acres and engaged in farming and stock raising. He is also the owner of 240 acres in Clay County. He is a Democrat in politics, a member of the Masonic fraternity, Master Mason and a Knight of Honor. He is also a member of the Baptist Church. Min. Carter, son of R. J. Carter, was born in Clay County, Ark., in 1862, was reared on the farm until sixteen years of age, when he entered the State University at Fayetteville, Ark., where he attended one year. He then entered Batesville College, where he graduated in 1884 with the degree of B. S. Returning to Pocahontas, he engaged as a salesman in the store of R. N. Hamil for two years. He then embarked in the drug business for himself, and this continued until April, 1889. He was married in November, 1888, to Miss Mazie Esselman, a daughter of Dr. Esselman, of Pocahontas. Both are members of the Roman Catholic Church.
Henry A. Clark, merchant and farmer, Elm Store, Ark. This gentleman owes his nativity to Boone County, Ark., where his birth occurred on the 26th of December, 1852, and is the son of G. W. and Fannie (Arnold) Clark, natives of Virginia [p.384] and Tennessee, respectively. The elder Mr. Clark came to Arkansas in 1850, settling in Carroll County, but after a residence there of about four years, moved to Marion County, where he bought 200 acres of land. He tilled the soil there until 1865, when he moved to Independence County, Ark., and settled close to Batesville. He remained there only two years, and then moved to Randolph County, where he bought wild land on Janes Creek. He moved from there in 1878 to Elm Store, where he died on the 30th of October, 1886, at the age of seventy-seven years. He was married in 1834 to Miss Arnold, who bore him ten children, seven now living: James, Annie, wife of W. M. Campbell, of Oregon County, Mo.; Sarah, wife of T. M. Brown, of Marion County, Ark.; E. B., H. A., R. B. and G. W. Mrs. Clark died on the 27th of April, 1887, at the age of sixty-nine years. Both were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Mr. Clark was a successful farmer, and in his political views affiliated with the Democratic party. The paternal grandfather of our subject came from England with his brother when quite a young man. They both accepted positions as overseers on plantations in Virginia. The brother was killed by negroes and thrown into a log heap to burn, but was found in time and taken out. The grandfather moved from Virginia to Tennessee, and thence to Alabama, and was one of the earliest settlers of Jackson County. The maternal grandfather was also an early settler of Jackson County, Ala., and was one of the wealthiest men there during his time. He was originally from the State of Tennessee, but died in Alabama about 1858. H. A. Clark's early opportunities for an education were rather meager, and he attended his first school in 1866. He then attended the free schools of his section from 1868 to 1875, and obtained a good practical education at Thomasville Academy, Oregon County, Mo. After leaving school, and on the 23d of August, 1875, he came to his present place, and engaged in merchandising, which he has continued ever since in a very successful manner. In connection with this he also operates a farm of 250 acres on Eleven Points River. Mr. Clark's wife, to whom he was married on the 28th of February, 1877, was formerly Miss Ellendar A. Kirkpatrick, of this county, and they are the parents of four children, three now living: C. Newton, Adolphus G. and Elmer. The one deceased was named Henry Perry. At the commencement of his business career. Mr. Clark had but very little to commence with, but by close application to business, and by his honorable, upright course, he has attained an enviable position, and is now one of the leading business men in the county. At present he is the owner of 700 acres of land and a fine residence where he now lives, also owns his store, and his annual sales amount to about $15,000. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, is a Democrat in politics, and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
M. F. Collier, of the law firm of Lomax & Collier, is one of the prominent men who make up the strength of the Arkansas bar. He is a native of Ohio County, Ky., born in the year 1849, and is the son of H. H. Collier and Susan F. (Allmon) Collier, also natives of the Blue Grass State. The father was a shoemaker in early life, but later followed agricultural pursuits, and is now engaged in merchandising at Prairie Grove, Ark. He emigrated to this county in 1860, settling in the northern part of the same, where he remained until 1881, and then moved to his present home. He was appointed United States census taker of Randolph County, and is quite a prominent man. He and his wife are worthy members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. M. F. Collier was reared on a farm in the county, and there remained until nineteen years of age, when he came to Pocahontas. He was there engaged in a packing house as a laborer, and later was made hostler for the firm. Some time after this he was employed as salesman in the store of Mr. Hecht, where he continued three years. He was made book-keeper for the same man at Jacksonport, Ark., remained with him two years, and then returned to Pocahontas, where he took charge of the books in the main store. At the end of four years' service in that capacity, he took an interest in the real-estate business, and studied law. He was admitted to [p.385] the bar in February, 1886, and formed a partnership with Mr. Lomax, with whom he has remained up to the present time. He commands the confidence of the people and the respect of his law brethren, and is an acquisition to Pocahontas. He selected Miss Sophia E. Richter, a native of Louisiana, for his wife, and was wedded to her in 1876. They have an interesting family of five children: Eugene L., Alma, Beryl, Thomas and Laurane. Mr. and Mrs. Collier are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in which he is Sunday-school superintendent, and takes an active interest in church and Sunday-school work. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Chapter and Council, also of the Eastern Star, and the K. of H. He is also a member of the I. O. O. F. He owns some town property, and considerable land. The firm makes a specialty of real-estate business, and their extensive practice is but a natural result of their individual and confederate action.
Captain Wibb Conner, Pocahontas, Ark. A glance at the lives of many representative men whose names appear in this volume will reveal sketches of some honored and influential citizens, who have resided many years in this county, but among them none are more worthy or deserving of mention than Capt. Wibb Conner. On his father's side he is of Irish descent, while his mother was of Scotch-Irish origin. Capt. Conner was originally from Wayne County, Mo., where his birth occurred on the 13th of December, 1837, and is the son of John B. and Jane H. (Robinson) Conner, the father a native of Virginia, and the mother of North Carolina. The grandfather Conner was a native of Ireland, but came to America and settled in Virginia, and afterward on Green River, Ky., in 1806. He followed the occupation of a farmer, also wielded the ferule for some time, and was a brave and gallant soldier in the Revolutionary War. The maternal grandfather, David Robinson, was a native of North Carolina, and was an early settler of the Duck River Country, now in Tennessee. John B. Conner (father of the subject of this sketch) was reared on a farm, but at an early age went as an apprentice to the gun and blacksmith trade, which he learned of Col. Wooly, who, in 1815, organized an exploring expedition to go down the Mississippi River, and up the Red River. John B. Conner accompanied him, and while on the Red River all sickened and died except Mr. Conner and one companion. They started on foot to come through to Kentucky across the country, but while on the way the companion died and Mr. Conner was left alone. He got back as far as Greenville, Mo., but stopped there and started a shop in 1816, and passed the remainder of his days in Wayne County, in that State. His death occurred in September, 1850, at the age of fifty-six years. The mother of Capt. Conner died in 1845, at the age of forty-seven years, and was a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The father was a man who took a great interest in politics, and was prominent in public affairs. He held the office of sheriff of Wayne County, Mo., for four years, and served in the General Assembly two terms. They reared a family of children: Benjamin F., died in Wayne County, Mo., leaving two children; Frances M., wife of John O. Bettis, of Wayne County, Mo.; Philip A. (deceased), left a family of three children; Samuel W., died at the age of twenty-one years; Wibb, and Rachel E. (deceased), wife of Noel Estes, of Wayne County. Capt. Wibb Conner, when nine years of age, was left motherless, and when thirteen years of age his father died. He remained on the home place with his brothers until eighteen years of age, when he went to Greenville, Mo., and engaged as a clerk in a store. At the age of twenty he embarked in business for himself in general merchandising, and continued this until the war broke out. In 1862 he enlisted in Reeves' company, and was attached to the Second Missouri Cavalry, serving in the Confederate army until the 25th of May, 1865. He entered the ranks as a private, and came out as a captain of Company H, Fifteenth Missouri Cavalry. After the war he came to Randolph County, Ark., settled on a farm five miles north of Pocahontas, and there carried on farming and milling until 1867. He then moved to Pocahontas and was there engaged as clerk in a store for some time. [p.386] In March, 1867, he moved to St. Louis, commencing in the hotel business, but a few months later returned to Pocahontas, and again engaged in the mill business, which he ran until 1875. The mill was burned down, and Capt. Conner came to Pocahontas and acted as salesman in a store until 1878. He then was elected sheriff and collector, and served in that capacity for four years, after which he engaged in the real estate business for two years. In 1886 he was appointed, under President Cleveland, special agent of a general land office, and assigned to duty in Florida, where he remained until the 1st of April, 1889. He then returned to Pocahontas, where he now lives, retired. He was first married in October, 1861, to Miss Eliza Bollinger, a native of Randolph County, and to them was born one child living, Samuel A., who now resides at Cressview, Fla., and is a telegraph operator. Mrs. Conner died in February, 1868, and Capt. Conner took for his second wife, on the 15th of December, 1868, Miss V. Ellen Martin, a native of Randolph County, Ark., by whom he has six children: Kate W., Carl, Philip A., Elfleda, P. Mabel and Jennie Ellen. He and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Heis a member of the Masonic fraternity and K. of H. He is the owner of 500 acres of land, besides town property here and in Florida. He is a temperance man, and is active in church and educational matters.
Eli Creason, farmer and stock raiser, Warm Springs, Ark. On the 15th of August, 1840, there was born to Henry and Elizabeth (Smith) Creason a son, Eli Creason, whom we now take as the subject of this sketch. His birth occurred in Marsball County, Ky., and although his educational advantages were not of the best, still he had a fair showing with the other country boys of his day. By reading and observation in later years, he became fairly well educated, and is well posted on the leading topics of the day. His parents were natives, respectively, of North Carolina and Illinois, were married in 1839, and reared a family of nine children (seven now living): Eli, Nancy (wife of R. H. Southerland), Elizabeth (deceased), William, James (deceased), Milas, R. H., John W., Adaline (wife of Hicks Mathews). One child died very young. Henry Creason was born in 1820, and has always followed agricultural pursuits, in which he has been very successful. He and wife reside in Kentucky, and are sixty-nine and seventy years of age, respectively, and are in the enjoyment of exceptionally good health. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mr. Creason is a Democrat, although indeed he takes very little interest in politics. Eli Creason was employed on his father's farm up to the age of twenty, after which he commenced farming for himself, on rented land in Kentucky. He made but one crop in that State, and then, in 1860, moved to Arkansas, and settled in Izard County. Five years later he returned to Kentucky, but during that time he spent about three years in the Confederate army, and was wounded in a skirmish at Augusta, Ark. He participated in the fighting in and around Little Rock before and after the evacuation of the Confederates, and finally surrendered at Jacksonport, Ark., June 5, 1865. He then returned home, and moved, in December, to Kentucky, where he remained seven years. He then came to Randolph County, Ark., entered land, and remained on the same until 1881, when he sold out and purchased his present property, consisting of 172 acres, with about 100 acres under cultivation. He has an excellent frame house on the same, has good barns, out-buildings, etc. When he returned from the war, Mr. Creason was out of money, had no property, and was dead broke generally. Notwithstanding all this, he went to work, and by industry and perseverance, coupled with a determined spirit, has become one of the leading farmers in this portion of the county, all the result of his own labor. Previous to the war, he was united in marriage in 1859, to Miss Nancy Gibson, of Graves County, Ky., and they are the parents of five children (three now living): W. H., born November 16, 1860, and now resides in Warm Springs Township; Eli M., born September 27, 1862, and died July 19, 1881; George W., born April 7, 1865, and now resides in Warm Springs Township; James A., born October 15, 1868, and also a resident of Warm Springs [p.387] Township, and Robert L., born October 6, 1881; and died November 8, of the same year. The mother of these children was born May 28, 1841; she was a daughter of Emanuel and Martha (Perkins) Gibson, both natives of Kentucky, of which State they were early settlers. They reared a family of eleven children, ten now living: Marion, Caroline (wife of John Prevet), Nancy (the wife of the subject of this sketch), Martha (wife of Job Thompson), G. W., Daniel, Harriet (wife of Simpson Hammons), Jackson, John and Louisa (wife of Franklin Smith). Mrs. Gibson died in 1878 or 1879. Mr. Gibson had been married previously, and was the father of two children: Elizabeth, wife of Elijah Gibson, and Rhoda, deceased wife of David Sullivan. Mr. Gibson died in 1877; his wife was a member of the Baptist Church. Mr. and Mrs. Creason are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he is a Democrat in his political preference.
Hon. Patrick Henry Crenshaw, attorney, Pocahontas, Ark. Mr. Crenshaw by virtue of his ability as a lawyer, and his victories at the bar, is eminently worthy of a place in our record of successful men, and the history of his life is an important part of that of his State and country. He was born near Athens, in Limestone County, Ala., on the 8th of May, 1849, and is the son of James W. and Elvira (Winston) Crenshaw. The father was born in North Carolina, but when a child moved with his parents to Alabama, and settled near where the town of Athens is now situated. At the age of fourteen, he enlisted in the army and served as a private, under Gen. Andrew Jackson, in his campaign against the Creek Indians, taking part in the battles of Talladega, Emuckfau and Tohopeka, or the Horse-shoe Bend, on the Tallapoosa River. In the last named battle the company to which he belonged was the front of the assaulting column, and his captain the first man to mount the works. After the close of the War of 1812, he went as a naval cadet to Annapolis; and after the close of his term there served some time in the United States navy, after which he resigned, and after traveling over the greater portion of North and South America, settled in Missouri, but after his marriage with Elvira Winston he returned to Alabama, moving thence to Memphis, Tenn., about 1852. In about 1854, while in Boonville, Mo., with her daughters, who were going to school there, Elvira Crenshaw was taken sick, and went for a time up in Coldneck County, but died in a short time. James W. Crenshaw continued to live in Memphis until 1856, when he married Susan A. Harris, in North Carolina; and the pioneer spirit again taking possession of him, he in the last named year, with his family, consisting of three daughters, and the subject of this sketch, his eldest daughter, Virginia, having previously married James W. Harper, of Boonville, Mo., moved to Arkansas and settled in Lawrence County, about six miles east of Powhatan, bringing with him about forty slaves; but the health of both whites and blacks being had in the river bottoms, he moved into the hills, on Eleven Points River, in Randolph County, about nine miles southwest of Pocahontas. Then the troubles of 1861 came, and James W. Crenshaw was elected as the delegate to the State convention from Randolph County, and was a member of that body when the State seceded; he voting against secession, but being an earnest believer in State's rights, when his State seceded he then adhered to the Southern cause; though he was too old to bear arms in its behalf. In February, 1863, he was arrested by the Federal troops, on a charge of carrying mail for the Confederate forces, and was treated with great harshness, and cast into an old jail at Pocahontas, where he was compelled to remain for several days without either fire or blankets; after which some of the soldiers, who had been detailed to guard him, conceiving a friendship for the old man, prevailed on their officers to take him to their headquarters, where he was treated with great kindness; and shortly after, finding that the accusations were false, and had been made solely for the purpose of making capital for the accuser, he was discharged, and allowed to return to his home. The kind treatment, however, came too late, for the first exposure brought on a violent cold, which resulted in pneumonia, and on the 4th of March [p.388] (his birth day), he died at his home in Randolph County. Freeman Crenshaw, the paternal grandfather of our subject, was born in Virginia, but emigrated early to North Carolina, thence to Alabama, where he was one of the pioneer settlers. He also served in the army, under Jackson, in the same company with his son, participating in the same battles; and after the troops were mustered out of service returned to his farm in Alabama, where he lived until his death, which occurred a few years before the Civil War. Freeman Crenshaw, though a farmer by preference, was also a skillful mechanic, and on one occasion, while in the army, at the request of Lieut. Jackson, fixed his favorite pistol so as to make it sure fire, the repairs he did being to case-harden the frizen and fix the hammer, so as to go back farther when cocked, thereby to give the mainspring additional strength. Gen. Jackson, after he had thoroughly tested it, speaking of the last named change remarked, She goes to hell for fire, but she brings back a blank full. Mrs. Dorothea Winston, the maternal grandmother of Patrick Henry Crenshaw, was a daughter of Patrick Henry, making the subject of our sketch the great-grandson of the renowned patriot and orator. Mrs. Winston named our subject after her father. During the latter years of her life Mrs. Winston, being left a widow, lived with her son-in-law, James W. Crenshaw, and died at his house in Memphis, Tenn., and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, of that city. Our subject, Patrick Henry Crenshaw, received the greater portion of his education at home, and in private schools, going one year to the Cooper Institute in Boonville, Mo. He had always attended the Methodist Church, though a member of none until he began to study earnestly the foundation and origin of the various churches. This investigation led him to join the Roman Catholic Church, into which he was baptized by Rev. Father James S. Okean, at Pocahontas, in February, 1869, and confirmed by Bishop Edward Fitzgerald, of Little Rock. Like all boys of the South, who were large enough to shoulder a gun, he served some time in the Confederate army. After leaving school, he began life as a clerk in a store, but through the influence of his friends, he was prevailed upon to read law, and studied with the law firm of Baber & Henderson, of Pocahontas, and in 1872 was admitted to the bar by Hon. Elisha Baxter, who was then a circuit judge, and afterward governor of Arkansas. In June, 1873, he moved to Clay County, and practiced his profession there with good success until 1886, when he returned to Pocahontas, the home of his boyhood. In 1879 he was married to Miss Sula Mack, eldest daughter of Hon. L. L. Mack, of Greene County. Of this union there has been born four daughters: Felicia Mary. Elvira Serena, Inez Alphonsus and Nona Paula. In 1881 Mr. Crenshaw represented Clay County in the house of representatives, but since that time has not been an aspirant for political office himself, though he takes a lively interest in the welfare of his country; and when occasion demands it, is ever ready to assist in canvassing his part of the State in behalf of the Democratic party, to which he has been a life-long adherent. He is a man well versed in English literature in general, of which he is quite fond, is a shrewd practitioner, a forcible and eloquent speaker, and an irreproachable mana man in whom there is no guile. Among his many friends he is known as an ardent lover of all kinds of field sports especially the Southern amusement of fox hunting. He says he came by these last named traits honestly, as all the Crenshaws, Henrys and Winstons were given to like weaknesses, as is shown by the number of pioneers among them. In his native State, three counties, Henry, Winston and Crenshaw, are named for his ancestors.
G. W. Crosby, M. D. Pocahontas and vicinity have a number of physicians among whom prominently stands Dr. G. W. Crosby, a native of Williamson County, Tenn. He was born in 1836, and received a liberal education in that State. He read medicine under a regular physician, and later entered the Memphis Medical School, where he attended one course of lectures. About this time the war broke out, and he then joined the medical department of the Ninth Tennessee (Confederate) Infantry, where he remained during the whole war. [p.389] He surrendered at Greensboro, N. C., in 1865, having participated in the following battles: Shiloh and Perryville, Ky., where he was captured with the wounded of his regiment; being exchanged after a sojourn in prison of six months was also in the battle of Chickamauga, and in all the engagements of the Northern Georgia campaign in which his regiment participated. Returning to his home in Memphis, Tenn., to remain, however, only a short time, he then moved to Greene County, Ark., where he continued in the active practice of medicine until 1869. In the fall and winter session of 1869- 70 he attended his second course of medical lectures at the Missouri Medical College, graduating at the end of the term. He resumed practice in Greene County, and there remained for two years longer, subsequently moving to Cross County, Ark., where he lived three years. In 1874 he moved to Pocahontas, Ark., where he has been in the regular practice of medicine ever since. By his marriage with Miss Hattie Kibler, which occurred in 1868 in Randolph County, Ark., he became the father of seven children: Edward, William, May, Alice, Camille, John and Ouida. The Doctor is of Scotch Irish descent, and the son of Levi and Martha (Barnes) Crosby. The father, a native of South Carolina, was a pioneer of Tennessee, and died in Williamson County, of that State. Grandfather Barnes was born in North Carolina, and was a farmer by occupation. He also died in Williamson County. He participated in the War of 1812, and was in the battle of New Orleans. The mother of our subject was born in North Carolina, and to her marriage were born seven children, the Doctor being next to the youngest. He is a Democrat in his political views.
E. Dalton is a successful merchant of Warm Springs, Ark., and was born in Ripley County, Mo., October 28, 1829, being a son of David and Priscilla (Demis) Dalton, who were born in Kentucky and Missouri, respectively. The father removed to Madison County, Mo., in 1812, and after his marriage, which occurred there in 1826, he located in Ripley County and settled on Government land where he remained until his death in 1859, his wife's death preceding his by two years. He was a Democrat, a member of the A. F. & A. M., and he and wife were the parents of the following children; Sarah, the deceased wife of G. W. Matney, our subject, Susanna, wife of William Cross, John (deceased), Nancy, wife of H. Davis, Ruth, the deceased wife of James Parker, Priscilla, the deceased wife of J. Bond, and David, who resides in this county. The last two children were twins. E. Dalton, our subject, only attended the common subscription schools for a short time during his youth, but this deficiency he improved in later years, and is now a well educated business man. In 1864 he was forced into the Confederate army, and was with Price on his raid through Arkansas and Missouri. He surrendered at Jacksonport, Ark., on the 5th of June, 1865. He has been established in business at his present stand since 1879, but from 1872 up to that date he had been engaged in that business in connection with farming. He manages his establishment in partnership with his sons, and they do an annual business of about $10,000. He was married in 1857 to Miss Grace J. Head, a native of Missouri, the following family being born to them: John C., Nancy J., wife of W. T. Stubblefield, C. J., Mary P., wife of W. T. McElroy, Sarah M., wife of W. A. Holt, E. A. and Rufus C. At the time of his marriage Mr. Dalton was not the possessor of a great deal of property, but he now owns 500 acres of land in this State, and 800 acres in Ripley County, Mo. Besides this he owns property in Warm Springs. He is in every respect a self-made man, and his property has been acquired through unremitting toil. He is public spirited, a Democrat politically, and is one of the substantial men of the county. Mrs. Dalton is a daughter of Alex. and Elizabeth (Club) Head, of Wayne County, Mo. Of sixteen children born to them. nine lived to be grown, and four are now living: J. A., of Piedmont, Mo.; Emanuel, of Butler County, Mo.; Grace J. (Mrs. Dalton), and Melvina, wife of Isaac Pollice, of Kansas. The father and mother died in 1859 and 1860 or 1861, respectively, their demise occurring in Wayne County, Mo.
Lewis Dalton, merchant, miller and farmer, Dalton, Ark. Some of the most energetic and [p.390] enterprising business men of the thrifty little town of Dalton are identified with the growth and prosperity of the same, and none more so than Mr. Dalton. He is an energetic and thorough man of business, and has acquired a wide reputation for general business ability and for honorable dealings. Aside from this he is also one of the most extensive land owners in the county. He was born in Ripley County, Mo., in 1835, received his education in the subscription schools of those days, and only attended one school where grammar was taught. At the age of twenty-five years he commenced farming, and this continued one year. In 1862 he joined the Confederate army, Company I, under Col. Adams, but served only a short time when he was discharged on account of disability. He then returned home and resumed agricultural pursuits which he has followed all his life, and in 1874, engaged in the milling business, erecting a cotton-gin and mill on the Eleven Points River. Previous to the war, January 4, 1860, he married Miss Sarah A. Stubblefield, and two children were born to this union: Acenith, who was born December 13, 1861, and Elijah who was born November 1, 1863, and is a merchant at Dalton. At the time of his marriage Mr. Dalton had cultivated his father's farm, and in 1868 he purchased 287 acres of land. Since then he has added to the original amount until he now owns 1,100 acres, all in one tract, except forty acres. At the close of the war he had very little property, and his father had nothing left except his land. Now our subject is worth at least $30,000, all of which he has made by his own hard work and good business management, besides placing a good income in the hands of his two children. Mr. Dalton is a member of the Masonic order, and is Democratic in polities. He is the son of Elijah and Zillah (Gains) Dalton, natives of Tennessee and Kentucky, respectively. Elijah Dalton was born in 1807, and came with his parents to Madison County, Mo., in 1809. He was principally reared in that county, and early in life learned the brick mason trade, but did not follow this after his marriage in 1832. He commenced farming in Ripley County, Mo., and continued this occupation there until his death, which occurred in 1884. In connection with tilling the soil he also operated a water-mill. To him and wife were born seven children (two now living): James M. (deceased), William M. (deceased), Lewis, Elijah (deceased), Zimriah (deceased), Zylphia (deceased) and Levi, who is now residing in Ripley County, Mo. Levi was assessor for that county for six years, was also collector for four years, and is one of the representative men. He follows merchandising in connection with farming, and resides west of Doniphan, Mo. When Elijah Dalton commenced life for himself, he was not possessed of a great amount of this world's goods, but he entered a farm on a strip of land between Missouri and Arkansas, that never belonged to either of the States, until about the breaking out of the late war. Mr. Dalton improved this farm and resided on it the remainer of his days. At the time of his death he was worth about $5,000. He lost his wife in 1852. She was a worthy and consistent member of the Christian Church. Mr. Dalton took for his second wife Miss Elizabeth Stubblefield, whom he married in 1862. By this union one child was born, Joseph, who lives on the old homestead in Ripley County, Mo. Mrs. Dalton died in 1865, and Mr. Dalton was married, the third time, to Mrs. Margaret Johnson, nee McKinnie of Ripley County. She still survives him and is now married to A. J. Ponder of Doniphan, Mo. Mr. Dalton was a Democrat in his political views, and was a member of the Masonic fraternity. The paternal grandfather of Lewis Dalton was a native of South Carolina, and came to Missouri in 1809. He was a minister in the Baptist Church. The maternal grandfather, Nathaniel Gains, was born in Culpeper County, Va., in 1765, and died in 1849. He was a cousin of Gen. Gains, of Revolutionary fame. His father was a great friend of Gen. George Washington.
Jesse R. Davis enjoys the reputation of being a substantial and progressive farmer and an intelligent and thoroughly posted man in all public affairs. He was born on the farm on which he is now residing, December 9, 1846, and is one of three surviving members of a family of seven children born to Joseph H. and Mary (Foster) Davis, both of [p.391] whom were born in Randolph County, Ark., his birth occurring November 29, 1822, and hers on the 22d of September, 1824. She died here on the 18th of February, 1854, and after her demise Mr. Davis wedded Candace R. (Lane) Chandler, widow of John Chandler, an ex-sheriff of Randolph County. She was born in the State of Illinois, on the 11th of November, 1855, and died in this county on the 7th of March, 1857. Mr. Davis followed husbandry through life, and became quite wealthy in that calling. He died March 19, 1870. The children born to his first union are Thomas M., J. F. and Jesse R., all farmers by occupation. Two children were born to his second union, Margenia being the only one now living. His third wife was Miss Fanny Staggs, a Tennesseean by birth, born January 1, 1848, and died in 1884. This union resulted in the birth of seven children, of whom only two are now living. James M. and Louisa. Jesse R. Davis has always resided in his native county, and here, of course, received his early schooling. At the age of seventeen he began for himself, and by good management and industry has become the owner of 360 acres of as good land as there is in the county. He is noted for his liberality, and owing to his many admirable traits has won the respect and esteem of all. October 12, 1871, his marriage with Miss Frances Stump was consummated. She was a daughter of George Stump, and was born in Hardin County, Ky., September 25, 1850, and died in Randolph County, Ark., August 28, 1872. Mrs. Melissa (Thomas) Rider became his second wife March 12, 1874. She was born March 31, 1851, also in Hardin County, Ky. The following are their children: Jacob T., Harry, Rufus A., Laura M. and an infant son. Mary E. was born February 6, 1875, and died March 19, 1880. The family worship in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mr. Davis is a Democrat.
William DeClerk is an example of the industrious and progressive farmer, and like all his countrymen he is prudent and frugal. He was born in Prussia, Germany, in 1850, and at the age of six years he was put to school and was kept at his books until he attained his sixteenth year. In his youth he learned the intricacies of farm life from his father, a shrewd, practical tiller of the soil, but also gave a considerable portion of his attention to the miller's trade, with which he became thoroughly familiar. He was married in his native land to Miss Mary C. Frenken, whose birth occurred in 1852, and their union has been blessed in the birth of two children: Joseph, and Mary, who died at the age of seven months. In 1880, with the intention of bettering his position, he emigrated to the United States, landing at New York City, and came directly to Pocahontas, and, as he had a comfortable sum of money with which to start in life in a new country, he purchased a farm comprising 200 acres of land, which he is putting in good shape for farming. His parents, Joseph and Agnes (Mechels) DeClerk, were born in the Kingdom of Prussia, and of their two children our subject is the elder. Grandfather DeClerk is a farmer of Germany. The father served in the regular army, and he and his wife died in their native land. The grandfather was a Frenchman, and the maternal grandfather was a miller by trade as were his ancestors as far back as they can be traced.
J. P. Dunklin, Jr., is a young man who is rapidly making his way to the front in the business circles of Randolph County, and in his general mercantile establishment, which he has been conducting since 1888, he is building up a large and daily increasing patronage. He was born in Washington County, Mo., and is a son of J. P. and H. W. (Jones) Dunklin, who were also born in that county and State. The father served as clerk of that county several years, and is now residing in Ste. Genevieve County, Mo. J. P. Dunklin moved to Mississippi County, Ark., in 1869, and made his home with an uncle, a Mr. Hunter, for some time, after which he came to Randolph County, and first worked as a book-keeper in the town of Pocahontas. He next clerked in a drug store until 1885, after which he came to Reyno, where he has lived ever since. He took for his companion in life Miss F. A. Allaire, of Pocahontas, and their union has resulted in the birth of three children: William M., Onida and James E. He is a member of the K. [p.392] of H., and for two years filled the office of deputy sheriff of the county, and was marshal of Pocahontas four years. In 1864 he enlisted in the Third Missouri Cavalry, and acted as orderly for Gen. Greene, and during his service took an active part in the battles of Pilot Knob, Pleasanton, Kas., and others. His great-uncle was a member of Congress from Iowa, and was the first man arrested as a secessionist during the Civil War.
S. A. D. Eaton is a successul attorney at law of Randolph County, Ark., and although quite young in years he has already won an honorable place among the legal fraternity of the county. He was born in Pulaski County, Ind., in 1860, and there remained attending the public schools until nineteen years of age, at which time he came to Arkansas. He remained here until the spring of 1885, when he returned to Indiana and entered the Northern Indiana Normal School and Business Institute at Valparaiso, which institution he attended during the summer of 1885-86. At the end of this time he again returned to Arkansas, and has taught nine terms of school in Randolph and Clay Counties, and during his career as an educator he diligently pursued the study of law, and was admitted to the bar on the 14th of February. 1889, under Judge J. W. Butler. He began his practice in Reyno on the 5th of March following his admission, has opened with a good practice, and starts out with bright prospects for the future. He is also notary public, and is a member of the A. F. & A. M. His father, J. W. C. Eaton, M. D., was born in the Buckeye State, was a graduate of the Cincinnati Eclectic Medical Institute, and was a successful practitioner in Pulaski and Howard Counties, Ind., for many years, and obtained considerable reputation as a successful physician. He came to Arkansas in 1879 and died in 1881, in Randolph County. His father was born in Pennsylvania, and died in Ohio of wounds received in the War of 1812, while commanding a privateer. The great-grandfather, Anthony Eaton, was a wealthy resident of Philadelphia and was, as far as known, a son of Gen. Theophilus Eaton.
J. C. Esselman, M. D., one of the oldest and an eminently successful physician of Randolph County, is a native of Nashville, Tenn., born in 1841, and is the son of J. C. Esselman, a native Tennesseean. The elder Esselman, after reaching manhood, was united in marriage to Miss Mary Kinkaid, a native of Missouri. He was a Whig in politics, was a great admirer of Henry Clay and was very active in political affairs. The paternal grandfather, John N. Esselman, was a captain in the British army during the Revolutionary War. was a native of Scotland and a descendant of the Campbell clan. He was an agriculturist. The maternal grandfather, Samuel Kinkaid. was a native of Kentucky, and a painter by occupation. Dr. J. C. Esselman was left motherless at the age of four years, and when seven years of age his father also died, so he was indeed left an orphan. He was reared by an uncle. Dr. John N. Esselman, of Nashville, Tenn. He studied medicine with his uncle until the breaking out of the war, when he flung aside his books and joined the Twelfth Missouri Infantry, Confederate army, as lieutenant of Company D. Later he was promoted to the rank of captain, and served in that capacity until the close of the war. He was in the battles of Fredericktown. Prairie Grove, Little Rock, Helena, Mansfield and the entire Banks' campaign. He was at Jenkins' Ferry, and was with Gen. Price in his raid as far as Union City, Ark. When the war closed Dr. Esselman returned to Tennessee and completed his medical studies, graduating at the University of Nashville in 1866, and the same year located at Pocahontas, where he has been actively engaged in the practice ever since. Miss Eliza R. Perkius, formerly from Virginia, became his wife in 1864, and this union was blessed by the birth of four children: Kate (a school-teacher and also music instructor), Mazie R. (wife of M. M. Carter, of Pocahontas), Emma R. (deceased) and Tam. O. Dr. Esselman is a member of the Masonie fraternity and Knights of Honor, and has held various local offices. The family are members of the Catholic Church. The Doctor has a large practice through Randolph. Clay. Greene and Lawrence Counties, and no obstacle which human exertion could overcome has prevented him from visiting the bedside of the sick and afflicted to administer [p.393] to them whatever relief a skilled and faithful physician could afford. He keeps well posted in all the medical literature of the day, and in his library may be found the latest standard works relative to the science of medicine.
Joseph H. Gamel has attained considerable prominence in the material affairs of Randolph County, for he is a man of excellent parts, and has shown good judgment and tact in the management of his mercantile business, and nets a fair annual income from his sales, his stock of goods being valued at $2,500. He was born in Walker County, Ga., March 26, 1852, and is one of four living members of a family of six children, of whom he was the second, born to Anthony C. and Caroline (Gellon) Gamel, who were born in Tennessee and Georgia, respectively. In 1856 the family came to Arkansas, and the father has since been a resident of Randolph County. His wife died in 1862, when about forty years of age. He served for three years in the Confederate army during the war, all this time being west of the Mississippi River, and was a faithful soldier to the Southern cause. At the age of twenty one years Joseph H. Gamel went to Cedarville and was engaged in mercantile business as salesman for eight years. Since 1881 he has been engaged in business at his present stand, and is also connected with a mercantile establishment at Maynard, the firm name being Gamel & Mock. Mr. Gamel is a successful financier, and by his honesty and fair dealing with his customers he commands a large and paying patronage. In connection with this he also owns a fertile farm, which he conducts, and for the success which has attended his efforts he deserves the respect and admiration of all, for he commenced life for himself without means, and is now doing exceptionally well. Miss Jane Mock, a daughter of Isham Mock, of Randolph County. became his wife February 3, 1876. She was born in the county on the 15th of May, 1854, and is now the mother of four children living: Hattie M., Nellie G., Joseph O. and Thomas T. William P. and Fred. died in infancy. Mr. Gamel is a Democrat and he and his wife are members of the Christian Church. An elder brother of Mr. Gamel, W. A., served in the Confederate army during the war.
Peter Goetz, a farmer and cotton grower, of Randolph County, Ark., was born in New Orleans, October 17, 1829, and received his education in a German Lutheran school of that city. He worked in his father's wood yard in New Orleans while young, and afterward operated a saw-mill in Kentucky, and for seven years shipped lumber to his native city. He then sold out and moved to the Hoosier State, and, after operating a mill on Anderson Creek for about two years, he sold out and returned to New Orleans, where for two subsequent years he was engaged in managing a grocery store. He next spent two years as foreman in a still-house, then filled the same position in Mobile, Ala., for a year and a half. He then resided successively in New Orleans, Kentucky (where he built a saw-mill, but sold it soon after), Kansas, where he became the owner of considerable land, and remained seven years; then traded his property there for a section and a half of land in Randolph County, Ark. He afterward sold the whole section and a half for $25, and then rented a saw-mill, which he operated two years, accumulating sufficient money thereby to purchase his present land, paying for it $12 per acre. It embraced 162 acres, and he has 110 acres under fence, and is as rapidly as possible improving it and putting it in a good farming condition. When the war broke out he joined the Confederate forces, and served in the Twenty-fourth Kentucky Cavalry, for three years, under Morgan. He was in numerous battles and skirmishes, and served until the close of the war, when he returned home. He was married in Louisville, Ky., to Miss Agnes Rarick, and four children blessed their union: Peter, Maggie (wife of Oscar Garber), Lizzie F. and Charley. Mr. Goetz is a Democrat and a member of the I. O. O. F. He is a son of Nichols and Elizabeth (Schlosser) Goetz, both natives of the Kingdom of Prussia. Germany. They were married in New Orleans, and died there. The father kept a store and lumber yard. The great-grandfather was a native German. and was foreman of some iron works. He lived to be over one hundred and ten years old
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