William Penn Rubottom was born at Denmark, Arkansas, north of Bald Knob, on March 2, 1857, one of four children born to James William Rubottom, born April 30, 1831 in Tennessee and Virginia C. (Smotherman) Rubottom, born May 20, 1837. William's father was killed in the Civil War on September 10, 1863, leaving his mother with three other young children; Martha, born 1855, Dice A., born 1860 and Elvira C, born 1862. William's grandparents were James Dixion Rubottom, born 1807 in Williamson Co., TN and Cyntha Ann (Nicholson) Rubottom, born 1809 in Georgia.
William remembered when Bald Knob, now a thriving town in the strawberry section, was "only a
huckleberry thicket." One of his earliest memories was of a Civil War hanging near Denmark. Some men who should have been fighting were hidden in caves in the hills. Along came some "bushwhackers" who tried to make a disabled old man in the community tell where the younger men were hiding. He refused to tell, so the bushwhackers hanged him.
William P. Rubottom and another little boy came along the road and found the body hanging from the tree. They ran to tell their mothers. Since the men were at war, Mrs. Virginia Rubottom and other women of the neighborhood had to get the body down and attend to its burial.
The Rubottom family was living near Bald Knob when William P. Rubottom married Martha Elizabeth Foster of Bald Knob on March 16, 1879. Martha was born August 31, 1859 in Bald Knob, the daughter of John Landrum Foster and Martha (Hart) Foster, both natives of Georgia. Her brother was Thomas F. Foster, born June 27, 1848 and married M. E. Unknown and they had one known child, Frances Foster, born September 6, 1877 and died May 6, 1893 in Bald Knob and is buried in the John A. Foster Cemetery, Bald Knob, AR. Thomas F. Foster died November 30, 1916 and is buried in the John A. Foster Cemetery at Bald Knob.
At the time of their marriage, they made most of their purchases at a small trading post on Little Red River, called Prospect Bluff. The trading post later grew into the town of Judsonia. William Rubottom remembered when the main line of the Missouri-Pacific Railroad, from Little Rock to St. Louis, was built through Bald Knob, and he helped to clear the right-of-way from Bald Knob to Rio Vista, when construction of the Memphis-to-Little Rock branch line was started.
The Rubottoms moved to McCrory, Woodruff Co., AR from White County in 1903. William and Martha Rubottom had a total of 12 children born to them, all born at Bald Knob; (1) John Landrum, born February 22, 1880 and died June 21, 1905; (2) James Wilson, born January 1, 1882 and married Martha Easter Edwards (1887-1960). He died February 14, 1960; (3) Leander, born August 22, 1883 and died December 20, 1886; (4) Thomas William, born April 25, 1885 and married Mable Mae ? (1890-1916). Thomas died March 9, 1941, he and Mable are buried in Fakes Cemetery, McCrory, Woodruff Co., AR; (5) Ethel Elizabeth, born December 22, 1886 and died November 15, 1969, buried Fakes Cemetery, McCrory, AR; (6) Vernor Sidney, born December 23, 1888 and died January 1984; (7) Alpha Pearl Bell, born June 12, 1891 and died October 1, 1891; (8) Alvin Claudious, born December 5, 1892 and died March 28, 1916; (9) Roy Joseph, born March 16, 1895 and died June 19, 1966, buried Woodman Cemetery, DeView, Woodruff Co., AR: (10) Samuel Lewis, January 8, 1897 and died April 22, 1969, buried Woodman Cemetery, DeView, AR; (11) Myrtle Julia, born October 14, 1899 and died January 13, 1968. Myrtle married Joseph "Joe" Pearcy Wright (1899-1972, both buried Woodman Cemetery, DeView, AR; and (12) Lillian Alberta Rubottom, born February 1, 1903 and died 1985. Lillian married Oscar L. Raney (1894-1975), both buried Woodman Cemetery, DeView, Woodruff Co., AR.
In March of 1947, William celebrated his 90th birthday at McCrory, AR and seven children were still living at that time; James William Rubottom of Kensett, White Co., AR, Miss Ethel Rubottom of Verner, Roy and Sam Rubottom, and Mrs. Lillian Alberta Raney, all of McCrory, and Mrs. Myrtle Julia Wright of Wilmington, California. He also had 18 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
William Penn Rubottom died March 1, 1951 and Martha Elizabeth (Foster) Rubottom died December 29, 1942. Both are buried in the John A. Foster Cemetery, Bald Knob, AR.
Of the 12 children born to William P. and Martha E. Rubottom, four are buried in the John A. Foster Cemetery located in Bald Knob; John Landrum, Leander, Alpha Pearl, and Alvin Claudious.
Arkansas Central Leader
October 25, 1945
Roy Rubottom Appointed J. P.
Mr. Roy Rubottom of McCrory was appointed justice of the peace for the DeView township October 5, 1945, by Acting Governor J. L. Shaver to fill a vacancy caused by failure of Mr. W. C. Shankle, who was elected, to qualify. Mr. Rubottom has served two terms as justice and was nominated in the last Democratic primary but did not allow his name to go on the ballots in the general election for the reason that he had accepted a position in the local postoffice.
Arkansas Central Leader
Mrs. W.P. Rubottom's Funeral Yesterday
Funeral services for Mrs. Martha Elizabeth Rubottom, aged 83 years, three months and 28 days, who died at her home two miles southeast of McCrory on Tuesday, December 29, 1942 at 4:15 a.m., were conducted at the Methodist Church in Bald Knob Wednesday afternoon by Rev. Harry King, pastor of the McCrory Methodist church, a large number of sorrowing relatives and friends attending.
The deceased was born August 31, 1859, at Bald Knob, Arkansas, the daughter of the late John Landrum and Martha (Hart) Foster, both of whom were natives of Georgia. She was married March 16, 1879, at Bald Knob, to William Penn Rubottom, who survives her. Also left to mourn her loss are seven children, as follows: J.W. Rubottom of Augusta; Miss Ethel Rubottom, Verner S. and Roy J. Rubottom of the home; Sam Rubottom of R. 2 McCrory; Mrs. Myrtle Wright, R. 2, McCrory, and Mrs. Alberta Raney, R. 2, McCrory.
She was a member of the DeView Methodist church. Burial was in the old Foster family cemetery one mile west of Bald Knob with Funeral Director Walter W. Raney, of McCrory, in charge.
John A. Foster Cemetery
Bald Knob, Arkansas
This cemetery is located on an acre about 30 yards behind the residence at 1506 West Center Street, Bald Knob. The home was owned by Darrell and Gladys Throckmorton in June 1992 when Lois and Ray Etheridge prepared the following list, which was published in the White County Heritage of 1995 by the White County Historical Society. In a deed dated February 20, 1892, James K. Etheridge sold 15 acres of land to N.D. Young, reserving the one acre with access to be known as the John A. Foster Cemetery.
Two months after the Etheridges completed their list, the Bald Knob Banner published their material about the cemetery and its origin. Subsequently, local descendents of Burns, Etheridge and Hobbs fenced and cleared an area around the graves.
The cemetery was visited September 13, 2000, by Leroy Blair of the White County Historical Society, who reported seeing 15 graves marked only with rocks and no names or dates. All of the stones listed in the Etheridge report were still in place although the 110-year-old J. B. Robbins stone had been broken.
Who was John A. Foster? Lois Etheridge, also a member of the White County Historical Society, stated in 1999 that according to family legend, John A. Foster was killed in the Civil War up around Fort Smith. But family historians have not been able to confirm this.
Rubottom, William P. - March 2, 1857 - March 1, 1951, on double stone with Martha E. Rubottom
Rubottom, Martha E. - August 31, 1859 - December 29, 1942 - on double stone with William P. Rubottom
Other Rubottom's buried here:
Rubottom, Alpha Pearl Bell - June 12, 1891 - October 1, 1891
Rubottom, Alvin Claudious - December 5, 1892 - March ?, 1916
Rubottom, Hermon Wilson - December 31, 1911 - June 30, 1912 (Belived to be the son of James Wilson and Martha Elizabeth (Edwards) Rubottom)
Rubottom, John Landrum - February 22, 1880 - June 21, 1905
Rubottom, Leander - August 22, 1883 - December 20, 1886
Other Foster's buried here:
Foster, Thomas F. - June 27, 1848 - November 30, 1916 (Brother of Martha Elizabeth (Foster) Rubottom)
Foster, Frances, daughter of T. F. & M. E. Foster - September 6, 1877 - May 6, 1893
Researched and compiled by
Bald Knob, AR 72010