Pioneer History by Mrs. Julia Izard Hemenway, 1935
First, a Picture of the Crowley Ridge Institute from 1898 FORREST CITY TIMES NEWSPAPER
Illustrated History of Nebraska A History of Nebraska from the Earliest Explorations of the Trans-Mississippi Region. With Steel Engravings, Photogravures, Copper Plates, Maps and Tables By Julius Sterling Morton, Albert Watkins, George L. Miller
This is from the book written by Mrs.Julia St.Francis m.Izard Hemenway on her Grandfather, (See below for reference, and above for picture) Mark Whitaker Izard and his family. Please remember this was written about 1935! Thanks To Holley Izard and Preston Izard for an opportunity to see this book!
The Author-The history of the Izard family together with all the pictures, was assembled by Mrs.Julia St.Francis Izard Hemenway. Mrs. Hemenway is to be complimented on being able to get together such a complete record of this family, which required considerable time and painstaking effort to communicate with the different relatives who are located over a large part of the United States. Mrs.Hemenway was born in Forrest City, Arkansas, on December 28th, 1858, where she lived until she was married to Mr.Walter S. Hemenway. Mr. and Mrs. Hemenway resided in Wheatley, St.Francis Co., Arkansas, and through their efforts they acquired considerable property and operated a very successful general merchandise store. After the death of her husband, Mrs.Hemenway moved to Little Rock, Ark., where she is now residing with her sister, Mrs.Mary Darthula Izard Beauchamp, at 2106 North Van Buren Street. Mrs. Hemenway is now past 77 years of age but her mind is very active and much of her time is spent on communicating with different members of the Izard family. She is well versed in all social, political, and economic affairs and is a reliable source from which to secure information on most any subject. In assembling the history of the Izard family it was necessary for Mrs. Hemenway to spend a great part of her time in writing and it was only through her untiring efforts that this history has been made possible. One important thing to be considered in the letter writing which was necessary is that all the letters were written with pen and ink with her own hands. Not only did this history require a great amount of time but there was considerable expense which was borne by Mrs. Hemenway and the sister, Mrs.Beauchamp, with whom she lives and who rendered much assistance in assembling the history of the family. Mrs. Beauchamp is a lady of unusual abiltiy, keen intellectually and with unlimited perseverance and through her assistance this spendid history was made possible. The sons and daughters of the Izard family owe a debt of gratitude to both of these distinguished women for their untiring efforts and the sacrifices which they made in securing the data for this history. Mrs.Beauchamp was also born in Forrest City, Ark. on Sept.27,1864, she and Mrs.Hemenway being daughters of Dr.Flavious Josephus and Sally Whittaker Izard. Mrs. Beauchamp's husband was Dr. N. P. Beauchamp, a prominent physician who resided in several eastern Arkansas towns. This short biography of these two outstanding members of the Izard family is written by their nephew who, since early childhood, has valued their love and respect and who appreciates the many virtues which they possess. Sincerely, John J. Izard, Van Buren, Ark.
When Mr.Izard First Moved to the County in 1825
They came to Arkansas in 1825 with their infant son, Flavius Josephus and daughter Martha, by the first wife. Martha was about three years old. They settled four miles north of the present site of Forrest City, on a place that has been known for several years as the Will Barrow place, which at the time of their coming was in Philips County and was a few miles southwest of the small Indian village known as Cherokee Village, two miles from the St. Francis River near the U.S. road from Memphis to Little Rock. The country at that time was principally settled by Indians. The older members of our family frequently stated that Grandfather had a road Commision when he came to Arkansas and assisted in laying out and building the old military road from the St. Francis River to Clarendon. In 1827, by an act of the legislature, St. Francis County was formed from the northern portion of Philips County and by that act they were in St. Francis County. The same legislature changed the name of Cherokee Village to Franklin and made it the County site of the newly formed St. Francis County. Grandfather was a Baptist preacher. The first Baptist association in that section was organized at Franklin in January, 1831 by Mark W. Izard, Philander Littell, O.B. Caldwell and others, and Mark W. Izard who also elected as moderator. This association is still extant and is known as the Missionary Baptist Association. There appeared in the Arkansas Gazette July 25th, 1932 a reproduction under News of Other Days, stating that a Bible society was organized at Franklin under superintendence of the Rev. Benjamin Chase of Louisiana, July 8th, 1832, Agent for the American Bible Society. Mark W. Izard was chosen President, William Strong Vice president, Austin Kendrick, treasurer, Philander Littell., secretary; Nicholas B. Clopten, C.H. Alexander and Mathew Smith, committee. Later the citizens advertised a "Respectable Bible Society" and a "Respectable Jockey Club" as an inducement to purchasers. Later the county site was moved to Madison on the St. Francis River. Grandfather decided to change location and bought land in the southern portion of the present site of Forrest City. Many years later the First Baptist Church was built on the site of this home as an honor to Governor Mark Izard. His little daughter, Rebecca, who was burned to death by her clothes catching fire from a blaze around a wash-pot, seems to have had her accident here at this place, as she was buried in 1839 on the opposite hill (present site of the Forrest City Cemetery) and possibly was the first to have been buried there. In the late 1830s Grandfather bought 320 acres of land, extending from the place he was living but two miles north and a village by name of Mt. Vernon was built on the northern section of his land on a hill. This place being more centrally located, the county site was moved from Madison to Mt. Vernon. He chose an ideal location for his home about one-fourth mile south of Mt. Vernon in a valley on a lovely creek branch fed by cool springs above (I believe this is known as Stuart Springs now). He built a large double log house, two stories, with a long front porch and some small rooms back and a large log kitchen in the rear,(the custom in those days was to have the kitchen separate from the house) with an immense fireplace in which they could burn huge logs to make coals for cooking food. They had large iron hooks above the fireplace on which to swing pots and ovens for baking, putting coals' under the oven and on top of the cover. There was a log Court House and log jail at Mt. Vernon, two or three stores that seemed to have done a flourishing business, and a blacksmith shop. My father and his brother James had a two-story building. Their store was on the lower floor and a Masonic lodge on the upper floor. (Grandfather and his sons, Mark W., James, and Van Buren, were Masons). I have seen old deeds and papers that were signed at Mt. Vernon by John M. Parrott, who was the clerk. Nicholas H. Izard and wife, Rebecca Whitaker, parents of Grandfather, with their family, came to Arkansas in early 1830s from North Mississippi and bought land a little south and west of Mt. Vernon. The land they bought has been known (For years as the "Dawson Eldridge" and "Laughinghouse" places.
Will of Mark W. Izard's Mother and Father in Law
History of Mark Whitaker Izard in County and National Politics.
Grandfather Mark Whitaker Izard served as a member of the last Territorial Council in Arkansas, 1835, authorizing a constitutional convention. He was in the First State Senate, 1836; also served in the Senate, 1838 and 1840 as President of the Senate. In 1844 he was elected as one of the three presidential electors of the State of Arkansas. He served in the House of Representatives as Speaker of the House in 1848, and was in the Senate again 1850-1853. While engaged as a candidate for re-election to the Senate, an incident occurred that changed his scene of activities by receiving an appointment from President Pierce as, U.S. Marshall of Nebraska. The death of Governor Burt of Nebraska ocurred very soon after his appointment and Grandfather went to Washington, D.C. and had a personal interview with President Pierce and received from him the appointment as Governor of Nebraska. He met General Ralph Izard while in Washington. Early in February, 1855, accompanied by his son, James, who was to be his private secretary, they left for Omaha, Nebraska. In those days modes of travel were limited and a trip of that distance was long and tiresome. I have an old letter, written by Uncle James, on their arrival at Omaha February 21st, 1855. He wrote that at Council Bluff, Iowa, they had some difficulty and could not cross the river at that time, as it was frozen through, and remained there from Saturday until Monday before they tried again. Grandfather was furnished a fine carriage and horses on Monday and everyone who could raise a horse and buggy were in attendance and an immense throng accompanied them to the river, but they had to return to Council Bluff and wait until next day (Tuesday) for a channel to be cut in the ice on the river, and they crossed over safely. I also have copies of letters written by Grandfather, while Governor of Nebraska, to Hon. B. B. Chapman and to Hon. Stephen Douglas. (The Nebraska Ministerial Society requested copies of all of above letters, which was granted.) On their arrival at Omaha a giant ball was given in their honor, many years later that ball was reproduced in Omaha and other parties, substituting for Governor Izard and other notable characters, who attended the Historical ball. Grandfather resigned in the fall of 1857 to return to his family. At one time he was sent to Kansas to quiet some trouble and later he was offered by Pres. Pierce a place as Governor of Kansas, but stated he had no desire for further gubernatorial, honors and preferred the peace and quiet of home life with his family. He died in 1866. Before leaving for Nebraska he bought a nice home on a hill near the home where they all had lived. They had a large orchard and many beautiful flowers. My father kept the home on the creek branch and later built a modern two story frame house on that site that for years was rated as one of the most hospitable homes in that section. We all lived there until we married and had homes of our own. Our parents both died at the "old home place". About the time that Grandfather come home, the Court House was burned at Mt. Vernon, Arkansas and the county site was returned to Madison and all business at Mt. Vernon abandoned. Grandfather's oldest daughter, Elizabeth, had married Frank M. Prewett. They first lived just a little west of Mt. Vernon, later bought land in the southern portion of Forrest City where they built a large log house and they farmed in that section for some years. Uncle Van B. Izard and his brother, Mark, had both married, but the wife of Uncle Mark, who was Mary McDaniel, had died and his little girl, Rhetta, was with Grandmother. Uncle Mark then made his home with his brother, Van B. Izard, and they farmed all the land embraced now in the business section of Forrest City. Uncle James Izard married and had a large farm about four miles south of the present site of Forrest City. My father and his single brother, George, farmed the land in the northern section where they lived. All of them owned slaves and had commissaries at their homes to furnish their places. They bought their goods in Memphis and New Orleans. Peace and plenty reigned until the Civil War ended, which almost devastated the south, but by using calm and wise judgment, producing all that was used on their farms, they came through better than many others. The spinning wheel and loom were busy from early morning until late at night and they dipped and made the candles they used, raised their hogs in the cane brakes, raised wheat and corn and ground their meal. During the war, salt was very hard to obtain and often it was necessary to dig up the dirt in the smokehouse, put in a hopper and pour water over the dirt and drain out the salty water and boil it down to get salt. After the war, Uncle Frank M. Prewett moved to Madison and he and John Cole formed a partnership in a mercantile business. He remained there.until the town of Forrest City started, when he returned to his home and built the modern two-story frame house. The first wife of Uncle James had died; He remarried later and built a nice home in Forrest City near the Prewett home; and the firm of Izard Bros. and Frewett was formed in the new town of Forrest City. In 1858 the Memphis and Little Rock Railroad had been completed from Hopefield to Madison, and from Little Rock to DeValls Bluff in 1862, but on account of a range of hills, called Crowleys Ridge, from Madison to the present site of Forrest City, the work was stopped. As it is not generally known how Crowleys Ridge obtained its name, I will state the name came from a man, Ben Crowley, the earliest settler in the upper section of the hills, in 1823, and the name drifted southward, and the range of hills extending north from Helena to Missouri were called Crowleys Ridge. I am indebted to Col. Thomas O. Fitzpatrick of Forrest City for this information. (In June 2007, looking on the internet, the Ben Crowley for which the Crowley's Ridge is suspected of being named for, is found here:
Benjamin Crowley's Tombstone
Benjamin Crowley Website
Mr.Crowley was a Farmer, Magistrate of Lawrence Co., Arkansas, Soldier of 1812, Surveyor-A lot of land was promised soldiers of the war of 1812, and he probably had a deed to land from that-He is buried in Shiloh Cemetery, Greene Co., Ark.-b.Benjamin Crowley II, 1758 In Halifax Co., Virginia, died 1842 in Crowley Homestead, Crowley's Ridge, Greene Co., Arkansas.)
Opening of Crowley's Ridge by Gen.Nathan B.Forrest
In 1866, General Forrest brought a large number of Irishmen, mules, wagons, implements, etc., to Madison on the boat, Mollie Hamilton, unloaded and hauled the equipment to the present site of Forrest City where he built many camps. Some were built' of logs. After several months of hard labor they had excavated through the hills a distance of four miles, to Madison, making it possible for the railroad to be completed. The first freight train went through from Memphis to Little Rock either late in the fall of 1868 or early in 1869. The railroad was called "Memphis and Little Rock R.R." In later years it was called "Choctaw and Little Rock R. R. " It is now called the "Rock Island R. R. " A man by name of Bell was the first one to put up a small grocery store north of the railroad. The Izards at that time owned all of the land from south of the railroad running over a mile north. Some one with a vision of the future foresaw the possibilities of a beautiful city being erected on that location some day and the many advantages that location offered to many others. A plot was made and the question of a suitable name had to be settled. Many suggested the name of Izardville, which would have been logical, the Izards owning the land; but Izard Bros. and Prewett (the latter a brother-in-law) who were putting up a large frame building for a general furnishing business, suggested that honor was due General Forrest, as it was through his efforts and untiring energy the excavation was made through the hills, and the little village (now in 1934 being a thriving city of several thousand) should be called "Forrest City". I have a much prized letter recently received from Col. Thomas O. Fitzpatrick of Forrest City, who is now at an advanced age, stating he was returning from college and was a passenger on the boat, Mollie Hamilton, that brought the Irishmen and equipment to Madison in 1866 to excavate the hill from Madison to present site of Forrest City. He was also a passenger on the first passenger train going through from Memphis to Little Rock. It passed through Forrest City at 2:30) in afternoon April 27th, 1871.
First Business in Forrest City
The first store and general furnishing business was put up by Izard Bros. and Prewett. It was in the east corner of Main Street, facing south, and facing the Railroad that went through the center of towns east and west. There was at that time much need for a business of that kind, as there were no general furnishing stores nearer than Memphis and Little Rock and for many years they did an immense business. But some trouble at that time was the credit system and it was almost considered a crime to refuse credit to anyone, which was sadly abused and Izard Bros. and Prewett had thousands of dollars on their books that were never paid. Forrest City built up rapidly. During the cotton season people would come from forty and fifty miles with wagons loaded with cotton and camp at Izard Creek near our home and
go in early in the morning selling their cotton, loading up their wagons with goods to return home. Saloons sprung up quickly and whiskey flowed freely. Habitual drunkards would come in on Saturdays and buy their supply of whiskey. There was much drunkenness and rioting. Izard Bros. and Prewett gave strict orders for their wives and daughters to supply their needs on Friday and never be on the streets on Saturdays. Izard Bros. and Prewett principally built and financed the First Baptist Church in Forrest City, After being in business on the north side of Railroad some years, they moved to the west corner of Main on the south side. They had a cotton commission business in Memphis with John Rosser of Memphis a partner. Uncle James Izard attended to that, coming home each weekend. After his death my father Flavius J. Izard, had charge of it. In 1874, Forrest City being centrally located and growing rapidly the business men felt that it was the logical place for the county site.
How the Court House Records came to Forrest City
The people of Madison protested vigorously against its removal and quite a spirited contest was begun between the citizens of Madison, four miles east on the St. Francis River, and the citizens of the rapidly growing town of Forrest City. Madison had a good brick court house and also a good brick jail and the people of Madison positively refused to surrender their claim to the county site. It was finally decided to allow the people of the county to vote on the question of removal, which resulted in favor of Forrest City by a thin majority. The people of Madison then threatened an injunction. The leading citizens of Forrest City decided the only way for them to get the records without further expense and trouble was to get a wagon and team, drive over to Madison in the night, quietly load up the safe, containing the county records and transport them to Forrest City. That mode of procedure was somewhat irregular but legal. John N. Cotton told his family that he, Bill Seaborn, and Van B. Izard were selected to go over to Madison, and bring the large safe containing the County Records. They drove over to Madison in the night in a wagon (of course, taking men along to lift the heavy safe.) But no one could foresee the great disaster that resulted from placing valuable records in a frame building. Within a few months after removal, the court house burned. At first it was claimed it caught from a defective flue, but later it was learned it was set on fire to secure destruction of some criminal evidence against parties who were soon to be tried. The flames spread rapidly and very soon both the court house and the large store building owned by Izard Bros. and Prewett, filled with new salable goods, were doomed. There was no fire equipment and they could only fight the fire with a bucket brigade.
Great Friend of the Izard Family, Mr.James M.Stewart
Letter from James M.Stewart to:
Mrs. Mamie Izard Beauchamp and Mrs. Julia Izard Hemenway
2106 No. Van Buren Street
Little Rock, Arkansas
Dear Old Friends:
Please accept my sincere thanks for the cordial congratulations you extended me on my ninety-third birthday March lst, 1932 and I hope you may remain here to repeat such congratulations for many years to come. The name of Izard is a token of love to me and wherever the name abides I have always had a true and never failing friend, beginning with that grand old man, the Governor, your Grandfather. With all kinds of good wishes for your health and prosperity,
I am always Your friend
James M. Stewart
Mr.Stewart served many years as county clerk, giving entire satisfaction. He was elevated to the position of Captain during the Civil War, He removed to Little Rock in 1890, having been offered the position as Secretary and Treasurer of the Arkansas Building and Loan Association, but retained his citizenship for several years back in his Old home town of Forrest City. For some years he has been engaged in real estate loans, and insurance. Mrs. Julia Izard Hemenway March- 1935. Note from 2007:He died in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1939. and is buried in Forrest City Cemetery, Forrest City, Arkansas. As well as Julia Hemenway and her husband.
From the Arkansas Gazette, July 21,1835 about St.Francis County
For the following proceedings of a State Government meeting in St.Francis County, we are indebted to a letter from Wm.G.Bozeman, Esq., who officiated as secretary on the occasion: The citizens of Johnson township, in the county of St.Francis, A.T., convened, on the 11th instant, at the house of the Hon.Wm.Strong, to take into consideration the propriety of the Territory going into a State Government, as soon as praciticable; of, at the earliest proper period, on equal privileges with the other states of the Union. The meeting being organized, John W.Calvert, Esq., was nominated, and unanimously elected Chairmain, and Wm.G.Bozeman, Secretary. The chair explained to the meeting the object for which it was convened: When Dr.C.S.Manly offered the following resolution, and ably supported it, in a speech of some length; Resolved, that is not, at this time, necessary to take any steps for the admission of Arkansas into the Union, only to instruct our Representative of the next General Assembly, to memoralize Congress to pass an ordinance to admit the people to a Convention, to form a Constitution for our admission into the Union, on the same principles of the original. Col.M.W.Izard then offered the following resolution which was ably supported by the Col. and P.Littell, Esq., both making speeches of considerable length in favor of it. The vote of the meeting of 60 persons, forty three voted to favor going into a state.
Civil War Memories in St.Francis County involving Grandfather Mark W.Izard
One day during the Civil War, Grandfather, Mark W.Izard and my father, Flavius J.Izard, went over to Madison, then the county site of St.Francis County, on St.Francis River. As they were riding into the little town, they saw many Yankee soldiers and a large gunboat on the river. There they were soon surrounded and arrested. They were ushered before the officer in charge in a vacant store building. The officer recognized Grandfather and, springing up from his seat, put his arm around him, saying "Governor Izard, what are you doing Here."Grandfather replied "I am here as your prisoner." Then the officer said, "Not as my prisoner, but as my honored guest." This officer had been the secretary of my grandfather while he was Gov.of Nebraska. After a short conversation, the officer inquired if either of the horses they were riding had seen army service. Grandfather said the horse he was riding was an old family horse and had not. But the horse his son was riding had been used by the army. The officer said that the horse father was riding would be confiscated. My father, seeing a good chance, slipped out and knowing his father would be safe, got his saddle off his horse and went in a ditch that went some distance west, carried his saddle until he reached the home of a friend, borrowed a horse from him to ride home and waited until his father came. Many years later my oldest brother, Mark W.Izard, had charge of a hotel at Mena, Ark. A very old man came in and registered. Noting the name, Mark W.Izard on the hotel register, he inquired of my brother if he was related to Mark W.Izard, who was Gov. of Nebraska. My brother said "He was my Grandfather." The old man was overcome with memories, and tears came to his eyes. He said, "Governor Izard was one of the best friends I ever had when I was his secretary." My brother immediately recalled the incident at Madison, Arkansas and, clasping the old man's hand, remarked, "While in my hotel, you are my honored guest."
More Stories based on Memories of the Civil War in St. Francis Co.
Our Gin and Cotton Press that stood on the hill to the left, just after crossing Izard Creek near our home, played a very prominent part in our lives for many years, being an extremely busy place throughout the ginning season from early morning until dark. Negroes were lifting huge baskets piled with the fleecy staple and singing throughout the day. Mules were used to pull the long hated leg levers that manipulated the gin stand that separated the cotton from the seed, going around and around under the big shed. The busy hum of the gin and loud squeaking sound made by the press could be heard for a long distance. The Children considered it rare sport to ride around on the levers behind the mules. After the cotton was ginned, it was put in the press and baled. Mules were also used to pull levers to the press. When the old gin and press passed with the years, that place had been the scene of much activity was silent and very few who are living now even remember where the old gin and press were situated. I was told that, During the Civil War, by order of our southern soldiers, the year's crop that had been ginned and baled were burned, allowing only one bale each for my father Flavius and his brother George Izard. Our soldiers had learned the Yankee soldiers were in that section and I suppose the order was extended to every gin in the county to prevent the cotton from being confiscated, meaning a loss of many thousands. The bands were broken on the bales at our gin, the cotton set on fire and rolled down the hill. If our people had been given any warning, our bales of cotton could have been hauled to the cane brake at the back of our field, where we always carried our mules and horses when known northern soldiers were in that vicinity. Our southern soldiers should have given everyone a chance to save their cotton, but many unjustifiable acts were committed by our own soldiers in the heat of passion. The penalty for horse stealing was hanging and many were unjustly accused. I remember at one time how distressed our people were and the whole neighborhood was wrought up when three or four young men had been accused of horse stealing. One of the men was connected with one of the best families in that section and no one believed him to be guilty, but none dared express themselves. Gloom and sadness hovered over the entire community when the morning arrived for the execution. The place set was a few miles south of our home. Suddenly we heard horses running, coming down the hill south. On one horse was the young man all were especially interested in. He had escaped the penalty at the last moment. He was very happy to have been freed. He said a few words in passing and there was general rejoicing. The others accused were not so fortunate. War Is Cruel. The horrors experienced by many Southern people during the four years of bitterness between the North and South, left its impress on the lives of even the little children. Although, I am now a very old woman, I can recall many harrowing events, that were indelibly imprinted on my young mind. I do not remember the date, but it was the last year, of the war, a battle took place on the old John Mallory place, about one mile north of our home. We were personally interested in this battle. My father owned a negro by the name of Solomon. He was tall and large, and may have had some Indian blood. He was always reliable and had stood by my people throughout the war, up to this time. He was given the lead on the farm. He saw that the horses and mules were rushed to the cane brake at the back of the field when it was known the Yankees were in that vicinity. He superintended the killing of hogs, and curing the meat, and storing the fine hams and shoulders, etc., in a loft above one of the back rooms. He had the entire confidence of the family. His wife was Mary, and was called "Little Mary" as our cook was called "Mammie Mary". The news came the Northern soldiers were in that section, and a negro on Uncle Frank Prewett's farm got whiskey in some way, came to our place secretly, gave some to Solomon, both becoming very drunk, they decided to join the Yankees. Solomon was missing the next morning. My father feared that he had gone to the Yankees and was extremely worried. Later in the day, I remember that my parents, older brother, and I , Near the log kitchen, listening to the roar of the cannon, and constant firing of guns, as the battle raged within a mile of us, the bullets falling only a short distance away. Some whizzed over our heads. Little Mary was screaming. She evidently knew Solomon had gone to the Yankees, but she never told it. I was clinging to my mother frightened almost to death. We heard later that Solomon had informed the Yankees about our fine meat being stored and they were on the way to our home when some of our Southern soldiers ran into them, and they engaged in a battle. The Mallory family left their home, securing safety by hiding in a ditch filled with briars. We learned afterward that one of our Southern soldiers, (Mr. Keathley) who some years later, was a merchant in Forrest City saw Solomon sitting on a log, Wounded. He enquired what he was doing there. Solomon begged to be allowed to go home, but was told that he should have been at home, shot and killed him. Mo mercy was ever shown a negro deserter. I remember when news came the next morning of Solomon's death, I was sitting in my little chair eating breakfast and I cried when I heard Solomon had been killed. My father called all of his negroes together, including Solomon's wife, took with him a white flag of truce, knowing he was likely to run into Northern soldiers. They went to the battlefield, located the body of Solomon and buried him. A purse containing a small amount of money was found on his body, This my father gave to his wife, but kept a cartridge case with cartridges found on him. I remember that case was in our home for several years. The Captain, and Lieutenant of the Northern Army, were both wounded in the battle. As there was no hospital in that section, they were taken to the home of my grandfather, Mark Whitaker Izard, and cared for until their wounds were healed, and then taken quietly to Memphis, where they rejoined the Northern Army. They showed their appreciation for this kindly act by writing the family frequently for some years. One afternoon, during the Civil War, my oldest brother and I were playing on our front porch when suddenly we heard the clanking of Artillery and such a thundering noise as made by an approaching army. We were greatly alarmed and very soon saw them coming up the lane north of our field by the Laughinghouse place toward Mt. Vernon hill. We quickly ran in the room where our parents were, my father being sick in bed. He got up, though hardly able to stand. No one knew the soldiers were in that section, and were not prepared for their coming. My father had recently purchased a fine large gray horse for his subsitute to ride in the army, and it was grazing in our yard. I can still recall how it looked. None of the other stock were visible, but one mule called "Stormy", on account of his fiery nature. He was in the barn lot across the road in front of our home. It took but a short time for the soldiers to reach our home and our yard and house were soon overflowing with the bluecoats. I remember that one soldier riding a small gray horse hept running his horse around and around our home, possibly to impress the family with his importance. Of course they appropriated the large iron gray horse, Those who were in the house were vigorously searching for fire arms, and valuables. They pulled out every dresser drawer, scattered the contents promiscuously. Every trunk was opened hastily, tops thrown back and all were broken from the hinges, everything thrown over the floor. One of the number demanded that my father produce an old gun. Some of the negroes must have told them that had been there. I saw the man draw a pistol on my father's face, and threaten to shoot him unless he found that gun. I was frightened almost to death. Suddenly, black Mammy, who had found out about them wanting the gun, came running from her cabin, bringing the gun she had hidden in her cabin, which saved the life of my father. But Oh, how I did hate the Yankees. I was quite young, and at an impressionable age and these incidents were stamped indelibly on my mind. Then some one spied old Stormy in the barn lot, had decided to take him along, but Stormy had some ideas of his own about leaving a good home where he was fed and cared for. Coming out from the barn lot, there was a bridge over a big ditch. Several of the men endeavored to mount Stormy but he reared up on his hind legs throwing them over his head on the bridge. So Stormy fought his own battles and won, staying at home. Soon after the war, my father decided that he had earned his freedom and turned him out to graze. When the Negroes were freed, the day came when black Mammy was leaving our home to live with her husband who was formerly owned by the Gilberts. It was indeed a sad parting for all. She hugged her "Lil white chillun" as she called us, and cried and we cried and begged her not to leave us. She came back often as long as she lived to visit us, and always cried when leaving. Who can tell! Black Mammy may now be watching and waiting with Old Marster and Old Missus in a better world for her "Lil white Chillun" who hope to meet the good old woman there. For God is no respector of persons but searches the hearts and Black Mammy had a heart of gold. This is my last article on my early recollections of the Civil War. This time, I will give the history of Gabriel, one of our slaves who was called Gabe. He was a very black Negro, dependable and loyal to his master and family. On one of the last raids made by the Northern Army in that section, they caught Gabe unawares, perhaps thinking he would be a good Negro to carry along, (as it was when Solomon left,) and everyone was grieving about Gabe, but Gabe was pretty well satisfied with his new home, and did not want to be taken away by a bunch of Yankees, he knew nothing about, and began at once to plan some way to escape and get back home. He waited until late in the night, until the entire warring army with exception of the guards were wrapped in slumber. He figured this one time his very black skin was much in his favor, his clothes being lighter in color than his skin, he quietly slipped them off, stuck them through a crack in the fence, climbed over the fence, and made tracks for home, not stopping to put on his clothes until he felt he was safe from the Yankees. He arrived at home that morning before breakfast. His wife, Tishy, did some pretty good shouting. Gabe remained on our place for several years after the war closed. After peace was declared and the Yankees had established a bureau at Mt. Vernon school house, I remember when some of the officers came to our home early one morning and asked my father to have all the negroes come on the front porch where they were. Some wanted the name of Izard, and one or two took the name of a former master. then it was not very long until many of our newly freed negroes, wishing to show their former masters they were free, began all kinds of depredation. This state of affairs was so extremely serious, in order to protect their property and themselves, the Ku Klux Klan came in power. They were forced to do much night riding and perhaps many received serious beatings, but it was the salvation of the South. I fell sure that Capt. W. J. Crook was one of the leaders of this Klan in St. Francis county, for I heard him telling my parents early one morning of a raid they made that night. Of course, being only a small child at this time, all of these things had quite an influence on my young mind, which naturally was warped and embittered. I would often say " I hated the Yankees," and regarded many who came from north of the Mason and Dixon line as enemies. I often stated I would never marry a Yankee. If I were in step here, some would possibly get the wrong impression from my Civl War experiences being written at this time, and perhaps feel I may still harber some of the bitterness of feeling that was stamped so vividly on my young mind. I will add in conclusion that I married a very nice Yankee from New Hampshire, and there was no North and no South between us, but just one big country that we both loved, and I will repeat some advice that grandmother gave to my cousin Jessie Izard and me when we were young girls. Each of us were declaring things we would never do. She said, "Girls, never say you will do anything. When I was a girl I often declared that I would never marry a preacher, or a widower, and I married both."
Grandfather's Daughter by his First Wife, Martha
Martha Phillips Izard married Thomas Campbell in St. Francis County, 1842, where her parents moved, in 1825. Thomas H. Campbell was born, 1820, and died in 1854 (dates might not be exact). Issue:three boys, Mark W., Nathan and Silas Campbell. She died shortly after the civil war ended. Mark W. married a widow (Mrs. Arnold). Both dead-no children. Nathan married three times, but as they moved from St. Francis county, have no record of them. He died several years ago. Silas Campbell, born Jan.7th, 1854, and still living, August 1934. He married Miss Jessie Griggs, born in Forrest City about 1865. Married 1888. Three Children:William W., Annie, and Thomas. William W. married Victoria Mann of Marianna, Ark. in 1919. They had two children: William and Ann. Both are good students and intelligent. William W. Campbell was President of the Bank of Eastern Arkansas for some years, but the name was recently changed to the First National Bank of Eastern Arkansas, in Forrest City. He is quite prominent in banking and financial circles. Annie, the daughter, has been deputy clerk of Forrest City for several years and has made a good record. Thomas, the youngest son, has a responsible position as secretary and treasurer of the St. Francis Motor Co.
Grandfather Mark W. Izard's Second Wife's Children:
Childen of Mark and Permelia Shackelford:1-Flavius Josephus Izard was born Feb.9,1825 in Madison County, Alabama (she had written Arkansas in error, other dates determined later have been shown in here) and died Mar.6,1901, Forrest City, Arkansas.2-Mark Whitaker Izard, Jr.-Born Nov.27th, 1826 in St. Francis Co. Ark., died 1877, Forrest City. 3-James Shackelford Izard, born Oct.1,1828 in St. Francis Co., Ark. and died Aug.22,1871, Forrest City, Ark.-4-George Addison Izard, born Sep.25th, 1830 in St. Francis Co., Ark., died Sep.7,1907 Forrest City, Ark.5-Nancy Elizabeth Izard, born Feb.25th,1832, St. Francis Co., Ark., died Jan.7th, 1888 Forrest City, Ark.6-Rebecca Izard, born Feb.27th,1835, St. Francis Co., Ark., died Mar.15th,1839, St. Francis Co., Ark.-7-Van Buren Izard, born Feb.28th, 1837, St. Francis Co., Ark., died Dec.13th,1921, in Little Rock hospital.8-Eliza Clementine Izard born Jun.27th,1840 St. Francis Co., Ark. died Mar.15th, 1925. Forrest City, Ark.-9-Erastus Izard, born Aug.9th,1842, St. Francis Co., Ark. died 1849 St. Francis Co., Ark.10-Thomas Newton Izard, born Feb.9th, 1835 in St. Francis Co, Ark., died 1849 St. Francis co., Ark. To see further descendants of the above children, see Izard Family on Families section of this website.
More Stories about Grandfather Mark W. Izard
The country at that time was principally settled by Indians. The older members of our family frequently stated that Grandfather had a road commission when he came to Arkansas and assisted in laying out and building the old Military Road from the St. Francis River to Clarendon. In 1827, by an act of the legislature, St. Francis County was formed from the northern portion of Phillips County and by that act they were in St. Francis County. The same legislature changed the name of Cherokee villiage to Franklin and made it the County site of the newly formed St. Francis county. Grandfather was a Baptist preacher. The first Baptist Association in that section was organized at Franklin in January, 1831, by Mark W. Izard, Philander Littell, O. B. Caldwell and others, and Mark W. Izard was elected as moderator. This association is still extant and is known as the Missionary Baptist Association. There appeared in the Arkansas Gazette July 25,1932 a reproduction under News of Other Days, stating that a Bible society was organized at Franklin under the superintendence of the Rev. Benjamin Chase of Louisiana, July 8th, 1832, Agent fo the American Bible Society. Mark W. Izard was chosen President, William Strong Vice President, Austin Kendrick, Treasurer, Philander Littell, Secretary; Nicholas B. Clopton, C. H. Alexander and Mathew Smith, Committee. Later the citizens advertised "A Respectable Bible Society: and a "Respectable Jockey Club" as an inducement to purchasers. Later the county site was moved to Madison on the St. Francis River. Grandfather decided to change location and bought land in the southern portion of the present site of Forrest City. Many years later the First Baptist Church was built on the site of this home as an honor to Governor Izard. His little daughter, Rebecca, who was burned to death by her clothes catching fire from a blaze around a wash-pot, seems to have had her accident here at this place, as she is buried on the opposite hill (Present site of the Forrest City Cemetery) and possibly was the first to have been buried there. In the late 30's Grandfather bought 320 acres of land, extending from the place he was living about two miles north and a village by name of Mt. Vernon was built on the northern section of his land on a hill. This place being more centrally located, the county site was moved from Madison to Mt. Vernon. He chose an ideal location for his home about one-fourth mile south of Mt. Vernon in a valley creek branch fed by cool springs above. He built a large double log house, two stories, with a long front porch and some small rooms back and a large log kitchen in the rear, (the custom in these days was to have the kitchen separate from the house) with an immense fireplace in which they could burn huge logs to make coals for cooking food. They had large iron hooks above the fireplace on which to swing pots and overns for baking, putting coals under the oven and on top of the cover. Colored slaves did the cooking. There was a large log Court House and log jail at Mt. Vernon, two or three stores that seemed to have a flourishing business, and a blacksmith shop. My father, Flavius Josephus Izard, and brother James Shackelford Izard, had a two story building. Their Store was on the lower floor and a Masonic lodge on the second floor. (Grandfather and his sons, Mark W., James, and Van Buren, were Masons). I have some old deeds and papers that were signed at Mt. Vernon by John M. Parrott, who was the clerk.
Memories of Grandmother
Her Father, Mark Whitaker Izard and his bride Permelia Shackelford, who were married May 20,1824, at Huntsville, Alabama, came to Arkansas in 1825 with their infant son, Flavius Josephus, and daughter Martha, by the first wife, whom Mark had married at the age of 21, Miss Martha Phillips, who came from a very notable family of English origin, Feb.18,1821. She died in 1823, leaving a little daughter, Martha. Martha was about three years old. They settled four miles north of the present site of Forrest City, on a place that has been known for several years as the Will Barrow place, which at the time of their coming was in Phillips County and was a few miles southwest of the small Indian village known as Cherokee Village, two miles from the St. Francis River near the U. S. road from Memphis to Little Rock. One of our family stories about Grandmother Permelia, relates to the time after arriving in the area in 1825, when the first child, Flavius was about three months old, and she had not seen a white woman for many months after coming to Arkansas. I have been told, that she at one time, being left alone, with her two small children, saw a large Indian standing near her wood pile, pointing toward an ax and making signs. At first she was stricken with terror, but then watching him closely, she noticed he was pointing from the ax to the rising sun, and then to the west, indicating the setting sun, and picking up the ax he walked away. That evening as the sun was setting, the Indian returned, bringing the ax and some very nice fresh venison. After that time frequent interchanges were made. After Grandfather died on Aug.8,1866, and was buried next to his father in the Mt. Vernon cemetery, Grandmother remained at her home with an unmarried son, George, and daughter Eliza, and two negro servants, Nancy and Mary, who preferred to stay where they had a good home and received kind treatment, after being freed. They were loyal and true and both were splendid servants and fine cooks. Grandmother often invited all of her married sons and daughters and their families to spend the day with her. Always before arising, it was her daily custom to have a cup of coffee served to her with rich cream. She always kept loaf sugar near by, and would eat sugar and sip her coffee. She never wanted sugar in her coffee. She had unusually well preserved teeth. At the age of 74 she had lost only one tooth from decay. She attributed that it was due to using the inside of bark peeled from black gum twigs to rub her teeth and gums carefully each day. It was possible that she learned that from the indians. She had a great antipathy to doctors and always preferred to use her simple remedies. She objected to having music in a church, and when the Baptist church to which she belonged bought an organ, she stated she would not attend it if the organ were played. She refused to be carried around in a buggy when whe wanted to make visits to her children and friends. She loved nature and enjoyed walking slowly through the woods, and when she decided on her visits, she would start out walking on a warm day with her black reticule on her arm filled with cookies and dainties for her grandchildren. On her way she would gather sprigs of spearmint and bergamet, which grew along the roadside. Our home was the first along the way, and she would always spend the night, before continuing her journey until she had made rounds of the entire family. After Aunt Eliza married Dr. Reuben Dye and moved to his home, Grandmother lived with her son George at his home, until she died on Aug.19,1877, surrounded by her children and grand children. Rev. Joseph Shackelford was pastor of First Batpist Church and was in charge of her burial rites.
Tyer History by Thomas O.Fitzpatrick-In letter to Julia Hemenway:
As I write to you in my first letter, I infer that several members of the Tyer family came here about the time that Wright Tyer did. Years ago, when I was a boy, there was a Wright Tyer Jr., and perhaps a Silas Tyer. There is a cemetery just north of Cherry Valley, known as the Tyer Cemetery. There is now living in Wynne, Ark., a Miss Maggie Newsom and her cousin Grover Tyer. However, they are descendants of Curtis Tyer. (Note by Mrs.Hemenway. I suppose Curtis Tyer was J.C.Tyer.) Curtis Tyer was the last of the older Tyers to come to Arkansas. He did not get here until 1840. If you write to Miss Maggie Newsom she may be able to give you some information. I do not know the name or address of the lady in Oklahoma. We always speak of her as Miss Ida Lee. She married first, Vital Snowden and lived here in Forrest City until her husband died about the outbreak of the World War. She then went to Memphis and took to training as a nurse in the Baptist Hospital. After graduation she went to Oklahoma and married again. She told me her husband's name the last time she was back here by, but I have forgotten it. Her mother was the infant I spoke of lives with her. Her half brothter Robert T.Simmons, a very bright man, who lives in Wynne will give you her address if you will write him. When I write the answers to the questions I will send you a copy.
Another Letter dated April 20,1936 to Mrs. Hemenway
It was really a surprise to receive your letter containing the data on the Tyer Family. It is material DeLux for the Centennial and the information concerning Samuel Fillegin for the Centennial was intensely interesting, as I will disclose. How did you get in touch with the information? I should certainly enjoy reading the whole narrative. It may contain reference to other people whom I knew 80 years ago. I am enclosing the Biography of D.A.Tyer, a son of Curtis G.Tyer, aken from the same book as Samuel Tyers. He and J.C. Tyer were not one and the same man. J.C. died in 1857. Curtis in 1866. As I stated in one of my other letters several members of the Tyer family must have come to Arkansas at different times. My first school teacher in 1857 was named Thomas Tyer. As I remember him he was 30 or 35 years of age. It was the same school attended by the Crook children. He did not live in our neighborhood and it was some years before I became acquainted with any other member of the family except Ajax Tyer held the office of "Internal Improvement Commissioner" of Poinsett County. Your father held same office in St.Francis Co. about the same time. Ajax Tyer, in the discharge of his duties of office stayed all night with us, in the early part of the spring of 1857 and from him, at the age of eight years, I got my first installment of pioneer history. He told me that when he came to Arkansas wild cattle Bisca Jr. Buffalo were as plentiful as tame cattle, were at the time we were talking. He also told me about the encounter with the Indians at the double headed bluff. He stated that his uncle knocked an Indian down with his fist and took away his "fusee" and broke it around a tree. That was when I learned that the Indian name for gun was fugee. Now who was this uncle? Was he a Tyer or a Filligin? He had at least ten uncles named Filengin, but I will discuss that a little later on. My teacher, Sam Tyer may have been the youngest son of Wright Tyer and the brothers of Sully and Macy, or he may have been related to J.C. It will take an interview with the Simmons, Newsoms, or T.H.Scott to determine the relationship of J.C.Tyer to Wright Tyer. Bap Sanders oldest son recently married Dorothy Newsom, daughter of Curtis Tyer, they live here in town. I will see her in a few days and find out if she has any family history. T.H.Hott who married Curtis Tyer's granddaughter and Grover Tyer both live in Wynne. And perhaps Monroe Tyer, son, of Sam Tyer, has descendants in the same neighborhood. There also may be descendants of Ajax Tyer living in Poinsett County. I have several friends in Harrisburg who might get information for me, among them is Senator J.J.Harlis about my age, who has lived there all of his life and who as a boy may have known Ajax tyer. The Rev. Mr.Kitchens got his information second hand and drew slightly on his imagination and added Col. He says of Wright Tyer, "For fourteen years he labored and waited. If he ever heard a sermon we have no record of it." In the clipping which I enclose you will observe that Rev.Cooper settled in Arkansas in 1824, that is, his entry bears that date and he perhaps set here two years earlier, or about five years after Wright Tyer did. It was only about two hours ride from Tyers home to Coopers and I think Cooper was a Baptist. And seven miles south of Tyers home was Franklin, with a store and a post office, established in 1826, six years before Tyer died. John Johnson lived only 9 miles away and he got there 1823 or 1824, seven or eight years before Tyer died. The census of 1830 shows that Mitchell Township, where Cooper lived, and Franklin and Johnson Township altogether had 777 people. Certainly that many people had a church and we know they had one preacher. The old Gazette contains the advertisement of lots for sale when Franklin was laid out in 1828. Among the things claimed for Franklin were a Bible Society and a race track adjacent. So I infer they had some sort of church. I am pretty certain that Wright Tyer heard several sermons between his coming to Arkansas and his death. Mr.Kitchens narrative also says the Jones also settled the Jones farm below Wittsburg. In biography of Uncle Samuel Tyer, which I sent you he states that there were only six families between the "Cherokee Village" now called the Jones farm and Ben Crowleys.
Benjamin Crowley was a 64 year old surveyor, a native of Virginia and an 1812 war veteran when he left his Henderson County, Kentucky home for the Arkansas Territory to claim his bounty land he had earned as a soldier. He had a wife and eight children (five boys and three girls). Captain Benjamin H. Crowley, grandson namesake of the elder Crowley and lawyer, Confederate army veteran and state senator, wrote of his grandfather's journey to Arkansas and of early Greene County history in a series of articles published in 1906,in the Paragould Soliphone newspaper. In tracing the journey of his ancestor, he wrote : They came down the west side of the Black river,following the mail route which ran from Arkansas Post to St.Louis,making a round trip every 6 months... the caravan stopped at Spring river near where the county line between Lawrence and Randolph counties runs and planted a crop. When done with his crop and winter had fallen,he with his son started east looking for a better place to settle striking an Indian trail running east and west from the Mississippi river they crossed the Black river at old Davidsonville and the Cache river about 1 mile above the Mose Ray bridge. The party struck the country or ridge a little north of where Walcott now is. When they found the large springs which are numerous at that place and beheld the fine lands making off to the Cache bottoms,the senior Crowley said to his sons''This is good enough''and they struck camp.This point is located about 12 miles west of Paragould. Formerly an Indian village had existed south of Walcott near the great springs.The Jones did not get there until 1850. They still own the land. From the narrative, I conclude that old Mt.Zion chruch was near Ben Crowleys, a few miles west of Paragould. My connection with Samuel Filigin approaches closely to the romantic. He was one of the pioneers whom the generation succeeded him seems to have completely forgotten, and what I write may interest his descendants in Texas. (Filigins were Grandmother Macy Tyer Izard's Mothers people.) At the time of my marriage in 1872, there were only two settlements on the west side of the St.Francis, between Madison and the bottom, one just above Madison, the other at the crossing of Military road. All the rest was dense cane break in which people on the ridge pastured their stock. I went one day with my father-in-law, Col.James M.Eldridge, to look after his stock. It was my first excursion by land into that wilderness. In our ride we approached an area more densely covered with cane than the rest of the bottom. My father-in-law informed me this particular part of the bottom was known as the Filigin (holding, deadning), and that a considerable part of it had once been in cultivation. That when he got to Arkansas in 1830, he saw cotton and corn growing on it. We passed what had once been a substantial dwelling, fallen into crumbling ruin, with a good sized sapling growing in the middle of one of the rooms, with nothing else to show that human feet had ever trodden there. He told me nothing of Filigins activities or what had become of him. Fifteen years later, I bought what had been the holdings of Elijah Allen, who owned the Ferry over the St.Francis river at the outbreak of the Civil War. This Filigin "deadning" was apart of the purchase and lies in the bank of the Cross County line. I proceeded to re-clear the land, but there was then no sign of the house. The overflow had washed the logs away and the saplings grown to a tree. However, we found among the cane roots old pieces of crockery and a set of weights that had belonged to an old time counter angle. I re-cleared a hundred acres of the land and for 17 years raised bumper crops of corn and cotton. I butchered many hogs but none as large as Uncle Sam's. See accompanying paper. I then sold the land unconscious of the fact that it was one of the historic places of pioneer days. One day in the summer of 1930, I was in Little Rock and was searching the files of the Old Gazette for anothe matter when I came upon the documents, copies of which I enclose. During this search, I came across an account of a celebration held at Franklin on July 4,1821, on that occasion a man named John Barnes offered this toast:" Uncle Sams big hog, he who can add to our census ten sons between 5 and 15 years, and raise hogs weighing 610 pounds to feed them, is worthy of our confidence." In the letter written by N.H.Tyer, Jacksonport, he says Dudley Filigin moved to Ozark in Franklin County. What do you suppose became of his nine brothers? None of them remained in this locality. Perhaps they moved to Texas with the Izards. You note some of my questions relates to the manner which Crowleys Ridge acquired its name. In the letter of N.H.Tyer he says a Curtis Tyer and Samuel Tyer are still at their old stomping ground "Will Ridge". This would indicate Crowleys Ridge in this locality once had another name. Do you suppose the history which Rev.McKinney has discloses anything? Will you kindly write to the Texas people who have the old letters ask them to scan them closely and see if "Will" is the word used. As soon as I am strong enough, I will go up to Wynne and interview some of the Tyer descendants and make report.
Extracts from letter received from Julia Hemenway, April 16,1936, regarding finding of the Tyer History
Dear Cousin George:
Bro.E.J.A.McKinney, of whom I have written you, received the church history he had loaned to some one, and as Tyers were so prominently mentioned he came out here immediately on a street car to give me the record. There are 60 pages of this typed history. He offered to let me send to you, but have not heard from you recently, and as you have not mentioned receipt of last history from Mr.T.O.Fitzpatrick, who was the Postmaster in Forrest City among his many positions, thought best not to risk sending it. I copied all important part. There were several pages of church associations mentioning Ajax Tyer in all as a Messenger, on committes, and as clerk. Samuel and Hydricks of ten mentioned. They had three services a day, ofter two preachers would each preach over an hour at night and be twelve o'clock when they got home, but would sit up and talk, or often the women would cook a midnight supper. They lvoed the house of God. In earliest days, roads in that section were only Indian trails. For some years only Doctor was an Indian who got his medicine from the woods, but was successful, as sickness was mild. When Enon Church was organized in 1844, just 7 members, Ajax Tyer and wife, Samuel Tyer and wife and Elizabeth Tyer, and two others. I see no mention in the church history of N.H.Tyer, Sr., who wrote the letters mentioned before. Suppose name was Nathaniel, as I note a nephew was Samuel. Seems the Texas descendants of Tyers can join Daughters of 1812. I note a suggestion was made several years later to repair old Lebanon Church, and hold at least one summer Fifth Sunday meeting there. If so, it may still be standing. I have had Mamie call up Bro.McKinney in order to get straight on this. The real history of most of this article was obtained throught this preacher some years ago. He is dead. Bro.T.C.Burton of Jonesboro, Ark. copied this history for Bro.McKinney. About center of the long 60 page article, Bro.McKinney told Mamie was what he found in the crack at the old log house of Samuel Tyer. Perhaps if you will write to Bro.Burton, telling of your descent through Tyers you can get information of descendants of the Tyers, who may have the old articles mentioned in this history and may be able to secure some of them. I will copy the history for Mr.Fitzpatrick. The men made small corn crops and spent the balance of their time in hunting. The women made the most of their clothes. Helena was the nearest market. They went in dugouts down St.Francis river. They carried furs, and poultry and exchanged these for powder, lead, salt, coffee, etc. They beat their corn into meal with a pestle on the top of a stump. The meal was very dark and coarse, but I am told by one who has eaten of bread made from this meal that it was very good. The first horse mill was built in 1837. There were no schools in the country and the parents taught their children at night. The women sat up late at night and spun thread and the children studied their books. Wright Tyer took great interest in his children and taught them to read, write, and spell and how to solve any ordinary problem in arithmetic. His children all wrote spendid hands, as shown by a copy book still kept by their descendants. They made their pens from goose quills. The old machine used for making the pens is still preserved and makes a fair pen. They have an arithmetic made with pen and ink, still in the family. Several Indians lived in the country at the time but no trouble between the whites and Indians. Tyer also taught the children to keep a record of their family history, and it is due to this fact that I am able to give half the facts written in this history. They have a family record that gives the birth of Wright Tyer in Dec.3, 1784, he was married to Elizabeth Filligan, and died in 1831, Thomas Tyer in 1805, and the births, marriages and deaths of all the Tyers down to the present. They have an old family Bible published in 1756 at Edinburg, Scotland, in which the letter F is used in every place where S is now used. He also taught them to love their church and association, and to preserve all important records of the same. At the time Wright Tyer came to Arkansas, it was part of Missouri Territory. It was formed into Arkansas Territory in 1819. Most of the Indians left in 1828. Wright Tyer died Jan.8,1831. He did not live to see the fruits of his labor on his children. For fourteen years, he labored and waited but no messenger came to preach the Gospel of Peace. During all this time, if he ever heard a sermon we have no record of it, but he taught his children to trust in Christ for Salvation, and when a preacher did come, he found the children believers and ready for Baptism. Ajax Tyer, oldest son of Wright Tyer, and brother of Macy Tyer Izard, was born May 2,1807. Married to Rebecca Hydrick, on Nov.26,1829. In 1852, he was elected clerk of Lebanon Church and served as such until his death. When the first house of worship was built at Mt.Zion, he went from below Vanndale's and helped build it. On one stood higher in the community. He died, Dec.22,1868, at the age of 62 loved and respected by all who knew him. Information on Wright Tyer's wife Elizabeth and children found on internet June 16,2007at Ancestry.com
Settled in what is now Cross Co., Arkansas, in 1816. He brought his family in 1817 after making a crop.Also, children of Wright Tyer and Elizabeth Fillingim b.abt.1787 in N.C., died after 1840 in St.Francis Co, now Cross County, Arkansas, daughter of Samuel Fillingim, Sr., born Sep.8,1750 in Kent Co., Maryland and Sarah Unknown., marriage Mar.18,1805 in Montgomery Co. Tenn.-CHILDREN:One-Ajax Tyer, b.May 2,1807 in Tenn. d.Dec.22,18768 in Hydrick, Ark. -Two-Sarah "Sally" Tyer, b.abt 1810, d.abt.1846 in Ark.-Three-Samuel A.Tyer, b.May 31,1812 in Tenn., d.1891 in Cross Co., Ark.-Four-Macy Tyer, b.Apr.3,1814 in Missouri, d.May 3,1898 in Coryell, Co., Texas-Five-Curtis G.Tyer, b.1819 in Ark., d.Dec.21,1866 in Cross Co., Ark.-Six-Noah H.Tyer, b.1821 d.aft.1855.
Macy Tyer married Gabriel Jones Izard, b.Jan.6,1813 in Kentucky, d.bet.1856 and 1866 in Fayette Co., Texas
Children:One-Silas Calvin Izard-, b.1834 in Arkansas, d. Dec.13,1862 in Mississippi-Two-Mary Catherine Izard, b.Sep.25,1836-Three-Rebecca Elizabeth Izard, b. Aug.22,1843 in St.Francis Co.,Ark., d.Nov.29,1904 in Plainview, Texas-Four-Amanda Izard, b.Oct.12,1849 in Forrest City, Ark., d.Feb.25,1911 in Plainview, Texas-Five-Sarah Elvirah Izard, b. Jun.8, 1857 in Fayette Co., Texas, d.May 23,1902 in Pueblo,Colorado.
Taken from Goodspeed,'s History of Eastern Arkansas-1889
Biography-Samuel Tyer, Wynne, Arkansas. This venerable man has been a resident of Arkansas since 1817. This of itself is sufficient to give him extensive acquaintance. Even if his personal Characteristics were not such as to draw him many friends. He was born in Tenn. In 1812 and in 1815 the family moved to Cape Giradeau County, Missouri, where his father "Wright" made one crop, and then not liking the country moved down to the present state of Arkansas, and made one crop in what is now Smith Township, Cross County, Arkansas. The next year, 1817, he brought his family to this section and there lived two years on vacant land. In 1820, he bought 80 acres of land from Wm.Russell, of St.Louis, who had been buying most of the valuable land in this section. His father died in 1831. On this farm Samuel Tyer spent his youth, helping to cultivate the land. In these early days they experienced many hardships and endured many privations. At the time of this settlement, 1812, there were but six families between Ben Crowley's in Greene County and the Jones Place, then called Cherokee Village. Here they lived and as an occasional settler joined them the population increased. In 1838, Mr. Tyer married Miss Nancy Nowton, a native of Wayne County, Tenn. After marriage, Mr.Tyer bought a farm three miles north of the present town of Wynne, cleared about 25 acres, and then sold out, and moved to the Lone Star State making the trip 1,600 miles overland in six months. Not liking the people, or the country, he moved back satisfied that Arkansas was good enough for him, on his return in 1862, he bought the place on which he still resides, a farm of 160 acres which was almost wild land. This he immediately began to improve and now has about 40 acres under cultivation. He and his wife are living all along in a little house which has been their home for many years and during that time they have witnessed the gradual development of the country. Their family consisted of eleven children, all now deceased but three. Josephus and Monroe, who are living on the old place. And Matilda Jane who resides in Poinsett County. Mrs.Tyer spun and wove the cloth from which their clothes were made, and we had not bought any domestic until a few years ago. This old and much respected couple have lived a happy married life for 51 years and have had their share of hardships incident to pioneer live. They raised all their provisions and made their own clothing. Mr. Tyer still farms and has a grand crop of corn this year. This worthy couple have a set of knifes and forks still in a good state of preservation which they have used throughout all their married life.
The above history was secured by Julia Hemenway from an old friend of hers, 87 years of age, Thomas O.Fitzpatrick, who himself makes the following comment: My conclusion is that Macy Tyer and Sally Tyer were the daughters of Wright Tyer and the sisters of Samuel Tyer, and that Ajax Tyer was the brother or cousin of Wright Tyer. Mr.Fitzpatrick also states that the last suit of home made clothes he ever saw Josephus Tyer was wearing them in 1898. Further comment by Fitzpatrick: For a long time I have had the impression the Tyers and the Izards were related by marriage. It came about this way. Shortly after Imoved here to Forrest City, in 1883, I went back to Wynne on some business and met old Uncle Samuel Tyer whom I had known nearly all my life. In our conversation he requested me to ask your Uncle Van what became of a certain man, and let him know when we met again. He stated they were related by marriage. I cannot not remember the name of the man but your Uncle Van says he had not heard from him in a long time. I think he said he went to Texas. Their was a large connection of this Tyer family, all of them did not get to Arkansas until 1840. The first ones got here about 1800. The member of the family who gave me the information about the Indians was named Ajax Tyer. I made his acquaintance in 1856 when I was 7 years old. His residence was about 10 miles south of Harrisburg. That however, was in Phillips County, when he settled there. I find from the files of the Old Gazette he was made a magistrate for St. Francis County, 1827. That was 30 years before I got acquainted with him. Macy appears to have been a family name among the Tyer's. I have know several of them of that name. I think the J. C. Tyer who was Sheriff was among the last of the family to reach Arkansas. At the last of this letter I will have something to say of his daughter, Melvina, who was the wife of J.B.Tipps. Some time about 1845, there came to St. Francis County, Ark., from New York, a man named James B. Tipps. He was well educated and taught school for some years in the vicinity of Taylor's Creek, and was the County Surveyor of the County. He accumulated property and at the time the war broke out had a saw mill and flour mill two miles north of Colt. He was an unconditional Union man and being well educated could best his adversaries in their arguments. That made him conspicuous. Taylor's Creek at that time was a thriving village. May 6th, 1861, the day Arkansas attempted to secede was raw and misty. A crowd had gathered at Taylor's Creek. Late in the afternoon some one came up from Madison, where there was a telegraph office and brought the news the state had passed the secession ordinance. Immediately a crowd of twelve men set out for Tipps home. They dismounted, all armed to the teeth, rushed into the house and found Tipps and his wife with an infant in her arms and two little boys seated by the fire. James B. Tipps (Note:in 1860 Census as Lipps) knew that his life was in danger and was determined to sell it as dearly as possible. His shot gun was sitting in the corner of the room. When the door was burst open he instantly rose to defend himself. He never reached his gun. And the little infant daughter, the granddaughter of J. C. Tyer, (May), age 3, fell from her senseless mother's arms, (Melvina). When she grew up she married Charles McDonald, by whom she had one child, a daughter. After McDonald's death, she married Wm. Simmons, and is the mother of R. T. Simmons, the first President of the "Crowley's Ridge Fruit Growers Association." The daughter now lives in Oklahoma and was the first woman member of the Legislature of that state. She still owns the old homestead, where her grandfather was murdered and frequently visits her half brother at Wynne. Ten of the men who committed that murder died with their boots on before the war ended. The one who knocked Melvina Tyer down with his gun died while filling a State Office.
Reference:[GEN 929.2 H488 IZARD FAM -It was compiled by Mrs. Julia Izard Hemenway and Published by George M. Waddill-Title:"The Izards"]
St.Francis Co. Izard Family History by Various Authors With Many Other Families
Updated March 13,2013