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Goodspeed's Biographies

J. I. Earnest, another prominent farmer of Dallas Township, was born in Alabama, Walker County, in 1829, the second in a family of ten children born to Richard and Epon (Pate) Earnest, natives of Alabama. His father was engaged in farming in Alabama for forty years, and died in the State in 1874, The mother died long before. Our subject was reared on the farm, and attended the country schools for a short time. He commenced working for himself when he attained his majority, and in 1855 he came to Arkansas, and settled in Calhoun County. In 1862 he bought his present farm of 380 acres, and the same year enlisted in Knight's Company K, Fourth Arkansas Infantry, serving in the Trans- Mississippi Department, and was in the battle of Pleasant Hill. His regiment surrendered at Marshall, Texas in 1865, and he at once came back to Arkansas and engaged in farming. His wife and children had made their living in his absence by farming. He at once commenced clearing his land, and erected buildings and now has bout 100 acres under cultivation, raising cotton principally, which averages one-half bale to the acre, and last year made three bales on five acres. He was married, in 1852, to Miss Millie Simpson, a native of Alabama, by whom he had nine children, viz: Robert, J. H., Alie, Ann, Neoma, Mary E., William Thomas (died in 1863 at the age of one year), John H., (died in infancy) and another also died in infancy. Mrs. Earnest died in 1884, and in 1886 he was married to Mrs. Melissa Pealer, by whom he had one child, David Cleveland. Mr. Earnest is a member of the A. F. & A. M., Southern Star Lodge, also of the Dallas Lodge 1227. He takes a deep interest in educational, matters, as well as in the advancement of all public interests.[INDEX]


W. A. Ford. Prominent among the leading young farmers of this section stands the name of W. A. Ford, of Jackson Township. He was born in Drew County in 1859, the third in a family of seven children born in to Alex and Nancy Ford. His parents were natives of Alabama and Tennessee and came to Arkansas at an early day, settling in Drew County, where the father cleared up several farms, which he sold from time to time. The mother died, April 4, 1881, and the father still lives in Drew County. Our subject received his education at the common schools of his county, which he attended until the age of nineteen, when he started in life for himself. Being brought up on a farm it was but natural for him in selecting an occupation for life to choose that of farming, and accordingly, in 1884, he bought a farm of 120 acres. He cleared about thirty acres, and then sold out and came to Calhoun County, and bought the farm on which he now lives, 120 acres, sixty -five being under cultivation. Here he does a general farming, devoting much attention, however, to the raising of cotton and corn, the former of which he averages one-half bale to the acre, and of the latter twenty-five bushels. He was married, in 1878, to Miss Cornelia Hines, a native of Arkansas, daughter of W. M. Hines, an old settler of Calhoun County. To this union were born three children: Norah May, Arthur Lee and Ethel. Mr. Ford is a member of the Wheel, and takes an active interest in the public welfare. The family belong to the Missionary Baptist Church. [INDEX]


James W. Gray, a substantial farmer of Moro Township, Chambersville post-office, was born in Dallas County, Arkansas, March 9, 1845. His father, Henry Gray, came from Alabama to Dallas County, Arkansas, at an early day, and engaged in farming. Here he was married to Miss Eliza E. Taylo, a native of Dallas County, by whom he had nine children - four boys and five girls - five of whom - there boys and two girls - are living. Mrs. Gray died about 1853 in Dallas County, and Mr. Gray was again married, having four children by this later marriage. Mr. Gray died in the county in 1884. The subject of this sketch is the third child by the first marriage, and was raised in Calhoun County, in which county he received his limited education. He lived with this father until he reached his majority, and in 1865 he was married to Miss Martha Mitchell, a native of Ouachita County, Arkansas, born in 1848, a daughter of J. M. and Mary (Neel) Mitchell. Her father died in 1864 from the effects of a wound received in the battle of Jenkins' Ferry. The result of this marriage was the following children, viz: Mary F. (wife of Henry Brandon), Henry E., James M., Joseph N. (deceased), Samuel F., Benjamin W., George C., Julius S., Eura C., and Esther. Mr. Gray has been a resident of the county since 1875, and has resided on the farm he now owns and occupies, consisting of 260 acres of land, about fifty acres of which are under cultivation since 1884. His farm is located sixteen miles north of the county seat, and six miles from Fordyce. Mr. Gray served in the Confederate army about nine months in Company K, Thompson's regiment Infantry. Politically he belongs to the Democratic party, and cast his first presidential vote for Seymour. Both he and wife are members of the Baptist Church, and are highly respected by all in the community in which they live.[INDEX]


John A. Grubbs, a substantial farmer and stock-raiser of Moro Township, Fordyce post-office was born in Virginia, February 22, 1838. His father, Thomas A. Grubbs, was born in Virginia, in 1806, emigrating from Virginia to Tennessee, where he resided about ten years, and in 1840 moved to Saline County, Arkansas, where he remained one year, and in 1850 came to Calhoun County, among the first settlers, where he now resides. He was first married to Miss Elizabeth Anderson, a native of Virginia, by whom he had nine children, seven of whom are still living, our subject being third. She died in this county in 1850. Mr. Grubbs has since lost two wives. The subject of this sketch was raised partly in Tennessee and in Arkansas, in which latter State he received most of his schooling. He remained with his parents until he reached his majority. In the fall of 1861 he enlisted in the Confederate army in Company E, Second Arkansas Calvary, and served all through the war, part of the time as orderly sergeant.While at home on a furlough he was wounded in the left arm and shoulder. He was not engaged in any of the principal battles, being skirmishing most of the time. In December, 1864, he was married to Miss Fannie Oliver, daughter of John and Evaline Oliver, born in Virginia, March 17, 1842. This union resulted in nine children - six sons and there daughters - viz: Lizzie R., Sidney C., Willie O., Tandie A., Walter J., Thomas W., Eva V., Claude H. and Ella G. Mr. Grubbs has resided on his well-improved farm of 280 acres, about sixty of which is under cultivation, four and one-half miles south of Fordyce and eighteen miles north of county seat since 1870. Mr. and Mrs. Grubbs and two children are members of the Baptist Church. Politically, Mr. Grubbs, affiliates with the Democratic party, and cast his first presidential vote for Breckinridge. He is a good citizen, and highly respected by all who know him.[INDEX] [NEXT PAGE]