Contributed by Charlene Holland

Biographical & Historical Memoirs of Western Arkansas
The Southern Publishing Company, Chicago and Nashville, 1891.


      Joseph L. Self is classed among the respected farmers and ginners of Scott County, Ark., and although he has not attained the highest round in the ladder of success, he has been more than ordinarily successful in pursuing his calling, and now has an excellent farm of 120 acres, of which 60 acres are under cultivation, and besides this has a 200-acre tract of timberland. He was born in Alabama, in 1824, the fifth of twelve children born to Jesse and Mary (Naremon) Self, both of whom were born in North Carolina, the former a planter. He moved to Georgia about 1826, and there continued to make his home until his death in 1866, his wife passing from life in 1850. In the State of Georgia Joseph L. Self was principally reared, but his educational advantages were limited. When he had attained his majority he began farming for himself, and in his twenty-third year was married to Miss Nancy Gartman, a native of Georgia. In 1863 he put aside his work to enlist in the Confederate Army, and while a member of Company K Thirty-ninth Georgia Regiment Infantry, he was in the battle of Vicksburg. After the fall of that city he was paroled, and went home. He came to Arkansas in 1870, and settled on the place on which he is now residing, six miles east of Waldron. In 1882 he started a steam cotton gin, in connection with which he soon after began operating a gristmill, and in 1889 a sawmill, all of which are now in good working order. The gin has a capacity of seven bales per day. Since 1888 he has been conducting a general mercantile store, his stock of goods being worth about $2,000, and he does a successful general plantation supply business. On his property there are now two other stores, a blacksmith shop and several residences, making quite a little village. Mr. Self is associated in this business with his son, A.W., who is married to Rebecca Hiful, a native of this State. Mr. Self is the father of eight children: Mary (wife of L.D. Pendra), Susan Elizabeth (wife of Foncy Neal), Martha (wife of T. J. Watson), Sarah, Henry P. (married), Alvin, James R. and Margaret Ellen (wife of Frank M. Bottoms, a merchant of Waldron). The family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and Mr. Self has always been a stanch supporter of education, and has given land for school and church purposes, a house of each kind being erected in 1878. He is a self-made man, very public spirited, and has helped to bring Scott County to its present admirable state of cultivation. [CH note: Rebecca Hiful is Rebecca Highfield.]

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