Charles Lee Suggs, Jr


Submitted by Wendy Maxey


COMING TO VAN BUREN COUNTY, ARKANSAS


In 1852, a prairie fire swept through the area where Charles Lee Suggs, Sr. and his wife, Elizabeth Clayton (Gantor) Suggs and their family homesteaded in Denton County , Texas . Charles and Elizabeth died while trying to save their home. Elizabeth 's mother died not long after the fire, leaving 6 orphans. Four of the children were minors and were taken in by an uncle, Henry Suggs in Missouri , but he died a year or so later.

The two older children went to live with relatives in Moniteau County , Missouri . John McKissick was appointed guardian and curator of the property of Verlenia, William, Charles Lee Jr. and Miles Suggs (the children of Charles Lee Sr. and Elizabeth Clayton (Gantor) Suggs.

Charles Lee Suggs, Jr. was born Jan. 04, 1844 in Cole County, Missouri and orphaned at the age of 7 years old.

On March 27, 1864, Charles volunteered to serve as a soldier in the Union Army in Leavenworth , Kansas , Company K, 8th Regiment for three years. He was injured in the head and after many months in the hospital, was discharged in San Antonio , Texas on November 28, 1865. He then went back to the family central home in Missouri.

On March 8, 1868, Charles Lee Suggs Jr. married Nancy L. Fisher, the daughter of Richard and Elizabeth (Summers) Fisher of Carthage, Missouri. Immediately following the ceremony they started to Arkansas to establish a home. They made their way to Van Buren County, Arkansas in a "Thimble Skein" wagon, which was the first of its kind in Van Buren County. They lived a few months on Holley Mountain , later settling on a homestead in Choctaw Township (just north of the home of C.L. Kidd, one of their grandsons). Eighteen years later, they moved across the Choctaw at what was later known as the Sam Jennings farm. They had four children, Lucy Ann, Louisa Elizabeth "Betty", Dovie, and Miles. Lucy Ann married George T. Arnold, Louisa Elizabeth married Leonard Lincoln Kidd, Dove married George Fisher (her first cousin) and Miles married Ida Belle Jennings.

Charles Lee Jr. had worked as a blacksmith while in Van Buren County, then they moved to Choctaw in 1870, where Miles was born. They moved again and brought 20 acres north of the valley. Charles Lee Jr. died to home on April 10, 1922. He was buried at the Huie Cemetery . He was 5' 6" tall, fair complexion, black eyes and sandy hair.

This story was told to me by Mary R. (Suggs) Harris, my aunt and the granddaughter of Charles Lee Jr. and Nancy L. (Fisher) Suggs.