Contributed by Charlene Holland

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


      Owing to the fertility of the soil of Scott County, Ark., and by energy, industry and economy Mr. Chiles his become one of the well-to-do farmers of this section. He was born in Tennessee in 1827, the youngest in a family of nine children born to his parents, Paul and Lucinda Kersey) Chiles, the former a native of Virginia and the latter of South Carolina. The paternal grandfather, Roland Chiles, was born in England and came to America during colonial times, making his home in Virginia and afterward participating in the Revolutionary War. He afterward became a pioneer of East Tennessee and in that State passed from life. The maternal grandfather, Thomas Kersey, was born in Ireland and also came to America prior to the Revolution, in which he was a soldier, but made his home in South Carolina, afterward moving to Tennessee, where he died. Paul Chiles was an agriculturist and spent his life in Tennessee, dying in the western part of the State in 1883 at the advanced age of ninety- seven years, his wife having been called to her long home in 1867. On the old homestead in Tennessee Roland Chiles grew to manhood, learning the details of farm work of his father. He was married in West Tennessee in 1852 to Miss Margaret M. Blair, a native of South Carolina, but reared in Tennessee, and in time a family of five children gathered about their hearthstone: James P., John H., Frances E. (wife of Frank H. Holland), Maud Della and Hayward L. In 1863 Mr. Chiles joined the Confederate Army, and after taking part in the battle of Oxford Miss., he left the army on account of physical disability and once more turned his attention to farming in Tennessee, in which State he remained until 1871, when he came to Arkansas purchasing 240 acres of good farming land near Waldron and entering 120 acres more. He set energetically to work to improve his land, and now has 125 acres under cultivation, the most of which had to be cleared from timber. He ran a sawmill for some years and besides his home farm has enough land to make him 500 acres. In 1886 he purchased nine acres in the town of Waldron, on which he has erected a residence and in which he has since resided. In 1884 he was elected county judge, and during his term in office reduced the county debt about $14,000. Although a Whig before the War he is now a Democrat in politics, and socially belongs to the A.F. & A.M. and I.0.0.F. In 1874 he moved to Fayetteville to give his eldest three children the advantages of the schools of that place, and there resided for two years.

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