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Goodspeed's Biographies

Abram A. Nettles, a resident of Calhoun County, Hampton post office, Champagnolle Township, was born in Lowndes County, Alabama, January 19, 1830, a son of John H. and Elizabeth (Crimm) Nettles, natives of Fairfield District, South Carolina. They moved from South Carolina to Alabama, in which latter State they died. Our subject was reared and schooled in Alabama, received a fair education at the common country schools, and commenced doing for himself at the age of twenty years, when he came to Arkansas and settled in Union County, where he resided until 1856. He then came to Calhoun County, where he settled permanently, and has since resided on his farm, consisting of 100 acres of land, fifty acres of which he has under cultivation. In 1851 he was married to Miss L. C. McElroy, daughter of James A. and Sarah (Pousomby) McElroy, natives of Alabama. To this union were born four children, viz: Sarah E. (who died in 1854), Martha L. (died in 1855), Walter S. (died in 1857) and Iva N. (at home). Mr. Nettles enlisted as a private in 1861, in the Confederate army, in Company K, of an Arkansas regiment, and served until the close of the war. He was engaged on forced marches to battles of Elkhorn, Poison Springs (Arkansas), Mansfield (Louisiana), Jenkins' Ferry (Arkansas), and was also engaged in numerous skirmishes. Mr. Nettles affiliates with the Democratic party, but does not take an active interest in politics. He was elected and served one term as magistrate. Mr. Nettles is a member of the Masonic fraternity, which he joined in 1856, also of the Farmers' Union, which he joined in 1887. Mr. and Mrs. Nettles and child are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He has been very successful in his farming, is a good neighbor, and is also a liberal supporter of all laudable public enterprises.[NEXT]


John S. Newton, a prominent farmer of Franklin Township, two miles east of Hampton, was born on the place, where he now resides, in 1847, the elder of two children born to Thomas and Nancy Ann (Simpson) Newton, natives of Alabama, where the former was engaged in farming. In 1846 he came to Arkansas and settled on the place where his son now resides. He entered eighty acres and at once began an extensive scale of improvements which, however, was cut short by his death, which occurred August 29, 1849. In 1856 his widow was married to R. W. Fortenbery, a Presbyterian minister, and died shortly after her marriage. Our subject made his home with Ira Oliver, and after his mother's death his sister, Martha Ann B., now Mrs. James A. Whitington, residing in Bradley County, also found a home with Mr. Oliver. Our subject remained with Mr. Oliver until he attained his majority, and was educated at the common schools. In 1865 he joined the Old Men and Boy's company of Confederate soldiers, and after the close of the war back to Mr. Oliver, with whom he lived until his marriage in 1867 to Miss Mary Louisa Oliver, daughter of Jeptha Oliver (see sketch of him). His father's place had belonged to him and sister, and at the time of his marriage he moved there and has made it his home ever since, and has added to the original tract until he now owns 600 acres, 100 of which are under cultivation. Here he is engaged in general farming, raising corn, but making a specialty of cotton; last year he got three bales of cotton from three acres of land, but his average crop is one-half bale. Mr. Newton has his place well improved. In 1870 he erected a good house. In 1881, he bought a tract on which there was a horse gin, in which he introduced steam. It was burned in 1881, and he immediately erected his large steam-gin, having a capacity of six bales; this is as good a gin as the locality affords and in 1889 ginned 193 bales. Mr. and Mrs. Newton have had eight children - four boys and four girls - one o f whom, a boy is dead. Mr. Newton is a hustler, and takes great pride in keeping his place neat and clean, and as a reward for his industry has a pleasant and handsome home. Politically, he votes with the Democratic party. He takes an active interest in all church and school work, and has been a director for years.[NEXT]


Thomas Polk Oliver, a resident of Calhoun County, Franklin Township, Hampton post office, was born in Calhoun County, Arkansas January 25, 1848, the third child born to Jeptha and Elizabeth Oliver, natives of Talladega County, Alabama. His parents are still living three miles from Hampton in Calhoun County. The subject of this sketch was reared in this county, receiving a limited education in the common country schools. He began doing for himself at the age of twenty years, engaging in agricultural pursuits. He now owns 265 acres of land, with 100 acres under cultivation, and from which he always gathers a good crop. Mr. Oliver was married, July 5, 1870, to Miss Margaret I. King, daughter of J. S. and Martha King, natives of Alabama, St. Clair County. She died, leaving four children: William L., Jeptha L., John S. and James H. September 4, 1889 Mr. Oliver was again married, this time to Miss Lula C. Ashford, daughter of Hiram Ashford, a native of Tennessee. Politically he affiliates with the Democratic party, but takes no active part in politics. Mr. Oliver is at present serving as constable of Franklin Township. He was elected in 1888 without any electioneering or canvassing on his part. He is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and takes an active interest in educational and religious work, as well as anything that will promote the public welfare. He is a good citizen and a successful farmer.[NEXT]


G. W. Oliver, farmer of Polk Township, is a native of Arkansas, being born in Dallas Township, this county, in 1851. His parents, Jeptha and Elizabeth (McCants) Oliver, had a family of thirteen children, our subject being the sixth. They were natives of Alabama, and came to Arkansas in 1846, settling in Dallas County (now Calhoun) on the farm on which he now resides. [See father's sketch]. Our subject was reared on a farm, and attended the common schools, but owing to the outbreak of the war obtained only the rudiments of an education. At the age of twenty years, in February, 1872, he was married to Miss Katie Miears, daughter of J. H. Miears, and early settler and pioneer in this county. In 1873 his father gave him a farm of eighty acres, to which he has since added 160 acres, 100 of which are under cultivation, most of which h has cleared and improved himself. He does a general farming, but considerable attention to raising cotton and corn, averaging about one half bale of cotton to the acre. He is also somewhat engaged in stock raising. His farm is one of the best in Polk Township. In 1872 he erected his neat and substantial residence, and has fair improvements. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Oliver were born nine children, viz: J. Harvey, Mary Elizabeth, Robert Lee, Martha Bell, Charles Gaston, Hattie Bradford, William Henry, Bettie Miears and John Franklin. The family are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.[NEXT]


Samuel L. Owens. Among those who deservedly rank with the progressive and leading citizens of Calhoun County, stands the name of the above mentioned gentleman. He was born in Dallas County, Arkansas, January 11, 1854, the third child born to William A. and Elizabeth S. Owens, natives of Tennessee, who moved to Dallas County, Arkansas, about 1847. Our subject was principally raised in Ouachita and Calhoun Counties, and received a fair education at home, and at the ordinary country schools. His principal occupation has been farming. He owns a fine farm of 160 acres, with fifty acres under cultivation. He was married to Miss Martha James, in October , 1874. She was the sixth child of William and Mariah James, natives of Missouri. They are among the earliest settlers of Saline County, from which county they moved to Calhoun County. Mrs. James died in Calhoun County, Arkansas in 1880, and Mr. James still lives in Calhoun County. Mr. and Mrs. Owens have nine children, viz: Annie L., Barthel R., Marcus L., Edgar and Oscar (twins), Sara E., Alice M., Robert P. and Lydia R. Marcus L. died in 1880; the rest of the children live with their parents. Mr. Owens is an ardent Democrat and takes a deep interest in the politics of his county. He was elected constable of his township, in 1876, and served on term in that capacity. In 1882 he was elected justice of the peace, and served for four years. He was then (in 1886) elected to represent Calhoun County in the General Assembly, and served two years in that capacity. He is also a member of the Farmers' and Laborers' Union, which he joined in 1886, and is a zealous worker for all that pertains to the public welfare.[INDEX][NEXT PAGE]