Biographical and Historical
Memoirs of Western Arkansas
Goodspeed Publishers, 1891



page 106
James Madison Scroggin, a venerable pioneer of Conway County, was born in Lawrence County, Mississippi in 1822, and was a son of Humphrey and Julia (Chaney) Scroggin, who were born, reared and married in Oglethorpe County, Georgia, from whence they removed to Lawrence County, Mississippi, and afterward to the Cherokee purchase in Holmes County, where they resided till the fall of 1834, when they immigrated to Van Buren County, Arkansas, where they made one crop and then removed to Conway County and settled in what is known as the "Nichols Neighborhood," in Nichols Township, among the canebrakes, about twenty-five miles from Lewisburg, which was the nearest post office and trading point. He was truly one of the sturdy and honest pioneers, and after a residence of ten years in Conway County, he (1845) removed to Dallas County, and from there to Sevier County about 1859; but he soon returned to Conway County, where he was called to his eternal home in 1862 at the age of over 80 years, and was the first to be buried in the family burying ground on the farm now owned by W. W. Scroggin. His wife died in Van Buren County in 1882, aged 71 years. Both were Primitive Baptists. Mr. Scroggin was a soldier in the war of 1812. His father was an Englishman and died in Georgia. John Chaney, the father of Mrs. Scroggin, died in Oglethorpe County, Georgia, a farmer by occupation. He was formerly of Maryland. J. M. Scroggin is the fifth of a family of eight sons and three daughters, all of whom lived to be grown and married. Mr. Scroggin came with his parents to Arkansas when about twelve years old, and never attended school of any consequence in his life. In 1843 he was united in marriage with Miss Samantha Stell, who is a native of DeKalb County, Georgia, born in 1823 and is still living. She is a daughter of Judge Robert Stell. (See sketch of M. L. Stell). This union resulted in the birth of eight children, five of whom survive, viz.: Emily C, the wife of James Trout; Eveline, widow of Duncan Buie (deceased); Selata A., wife of M. L. Ashbury; John K, and Roe Humphrey. In 1846 Mr. Scroggin settled nine miles northeast of Morrilton, where he improved a good farm, and made his home till about 1877, when he removed to his present farm, two and one half miles southwest of Centre Ridge. He has improved three good farms in Conway County and in early life was a great sportsman, having made many a successful chase after deer, bear, etc. He has witnessed many changes in the customs and conditions of the people of the county since his residence here. In his early recollection Indian moccasins and coon-skin caps were commonly worn. The mills in this part of the State were then very few and much of the corn was beat in a mortar or pestle. The country was then so sparsely settled that it required the assistance of all within a radius of twelve or fifteen miles to raise a log house. In 1872 Mr. Scroggin was elected Treasurer of Conway County, and was twice re-elected, holding that important office for six consecutive years. He is a prominent member of the Springfield Lodge, No. 127, A. F. & A. M.; also of the Royal Arch Chapter, and of the Council, in all of which he has held many of the important offices. Mrs. Scoggin is a long-standing and devout member of the M. E. Church, South.

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