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Goodspeed's Biographies

James W. Raiford, a prominent farmer of Champagnolle Township, was born in North Carolina, in 1842, the eldest of a family of five children born to Robert J. and Charlotte C. (Covington) Raiford, natives of North Carolina. His paternal grandfather was a solider in the Revolutionary War. His father was a farmer in North Carolina and in 1852 came to Arkansas, settling near Little Bay, Calhoun County, where he bought and entered a tract of land, employing some twenty to thirty hands to improve some of this land; he died February 6, 1855. His widow after a time, married a Mr. McDonald and died. The subject of this sketch was reared on a farm attending the common schools until the outbreak of the war. In May, 1861, he enlisted in the company of Dr. Eckles, which company was disbanded, and out subject returned to his home in Calhoun County. He then joined the company raised by O.H.P. Black, left home December 9, and December 22, 1861, joined the Confederate service. He participated in the battle of Pea Ridge, from there went to Corinth, was in the battle of Tennessee and Kentucky; was with Kirby Smith in Kentucky; was at Covington, then went to Harrodsburg, and then to Cumberland Gap, and then at Murfreesboro, then to Shelbyville, for the winter. He then went to Mississippi, was at Big Black, July 4, 1863, and stood a siege of ten days at Jackson, was in the battle of Chickamauga, then to Mobile and into Florida where they remained until May 4; then to Resaca, Georgia, from that point in all the battles of the Georgia campaign, then in many skirmishes before Atlanta; next through Georgia, after Sherman; then after much marching to North Carolina, at Bentonville, March 19, 1865 and surrendered at Jamestown. He had a brother, J. K. Raiford, killed at Atlanta. He reached home September 23, 1865, and at once began farming, and soon purchased the place on which he now resides. He has as good a farm as there is in the township; his farm consists of 280 acres of good land, with 185 acres under cultivation, of which commodity he averages one-half bale to the acre. He also does general farming, and has a fine orchard. Mr. Raiford was married January 22, 1868, to Miss C. E. Furr, the daughter of an old pioneer of this county. To this union were born nine children, viz: Robert E. (died in infancy), Maud Covington, James G. (died at the age of fourteen years), Willie (died in infancy), Emmitt O'Neal (died in infancy), Jewell (died in infancy), Lillian, Minnie Lee and Ellis Elmo. The family are all members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.[INDEX]


Dr. Freeman A. Remley, practicing physician and surgeon and druggist of Thornton, was born in Alabama, February 13, 1852, a son of Michael Remley, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1812, and died in Drew County, Arkansas in 1884. They were of Dutch descent. He was a broker and speculator, and was married to Miss Mary Bailey, a native of Alabama, by whom he had ten children - seven boys and three girls - six of whom are still living, the subject of this sketch being the fourth. Mrs. Remley died in 1873. When our subject was five years of age his parents moved to Drew County, Arkansas where he was raised and received his literary education at Monticello. He graduated at the medical college of Louisville, Kentucky in 1873, and the same year began to practice medicine at Hampton, Calhoun County, Arkansas. He remained here two and one-half years and then moved to Lincoln County, on the Arkansas River, and was there about eight years. He then went to New Edinburg, Cleveland County, Arkansas, where he practiced for two years, and then came to Thornton, where he has since resided. In 1889 he, in partnership with his younger brother, Joseph, opened a drug store in this place, and they now carry a general line of drugs valued at $1,100. They have a neat and convenient store building which was planned by Mr. Remley. On January 26, 1876, Mr. Remley married Miss Elizabeth McDonald, a native of South Carolina, born about 1858. This union was blessed with three children - two boys and one girl - viz: Michael, Douglas and Vera. Mr. Remley belongs to the Democratic party and cast his first vote for Tilden. He is a good physician and citizen, and has a fine practice.[INDEX]


John B. Ritchie, an enterprising and prosperous farmer of Polk Township, was born in Mississippi in 1853, the eldest of a family of six children born to Samuel H. and Mary Elizabeth (Donaldson) Ritchie. His father was a farmer by occupation and followed the calling in Mississippi until 1858, when he came to Arkansas and settled in Polk Township, this county. Here he bought 350 acres, somewhat improved, but he instituted more extensive improving during the few years that he lived after coming here, dying in May of 1861. The mother is still living. Our subject received his education at the common schools of this county, but during the war the schools in this section were closed, consequently his educational advantages were limited. John B. Ritchie was reared on a farm, and it was but natural in choosing his occupation in life he should select that of farming. In 1872, he bought is present farm of 120 acres, on which he made many improvements, erected a dwelling, cleared about forty acres, and now has one of the best farms in the township. He as now 100 acres under cultivation and raises a variety of crops, making a specialty, however of cotton. In 1872 Mr. Ritchie was married , choosing as his companion in life Miss Margaret J. Benson, daughter of W. C. Benson, a pioneer in this section. This union was blessed with nine children, all living except one Emma Maud, who died in the year 1889 at the age of four years. The surviving children are: William Henry, Zollercoffer, Charles Edward, Clara, Hattie Elizabeth, Norah, Ada and Lee. The family are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Mr. Ritchie is an active and enterprising citizen, and takes an earnest interest in all worthy enterprises. He has served as school director for the last seven years.[INDEX]


J. C. N. Robertson, M. D., of Thornton, Caswell Township, was born in Hardeman County, Tennessee, August 1, 1840. His father, Charles S. Robertson, a native of Alabama, died when our subject was very small. He was married in Alabama to Miss Elizabeth Thomas, a native of the same State, and had nine children, of whom five - four boys and one daughter - are still living, and of whom our subject is the youngest. Mrs. Robertson died in Arkansas in 1875. The subject of this sketch was raised in Tennessee, where he received his education in the common schools of Hardeman County, that State, and completed his literary education in Jackson High School, Madison County, Tennessee. He attended two courses of lectures at Medical University of Nashville, in 1858. The same year he began the practice of medicine in Hardeman County, and practiced there for one year. He then came to Ouachita County, Arkansas, and practiced there for two years, when he moved to Chambersville, Calhoun County. Here he remained for a short time, when he came to Thornton, which he intends to make his permanent home. He is well known in this county, where he has practiced since 1861, and has built up a large and lucrative practice. He has also farmed in connection with his practice, but will hereafter devote his whole time and attention to his profession. Dr. Robertson was married in Ouachita County, Arkansas to Miss Sarah Roberts, a native of Alabama, by whom he had seven children, six of whom are now living, viz: Lydia (deceased, was the wife of John Crawford), Naomi (wife of J. H. Steelman), Ella (wife of D. H. Gallagher), Cora, Joseph A., Charles A., and Willie. Mrs. Robertson died in 1876, and in January, 1881, Dr. Robertson was again united in marriage, this time to Mrs. Hancock. She died in 1885. Dr. Robertson is now and always has been a Democrat, casting his first presidential vote for Seymour. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity and is a member of M. Lodge No. 361, at Fordyce, in which lodge he is Master Mason. He was made a Mason in 1860. Dr. Robertson is a prominent citizen and a good physician, and certainly deserves to succeed in his new undertaking[INDEX]


J. H. Rowland. Another of the enterprising young men of this section is Mr. Rowland, a school teacher of Dallas Township. He was born in the county in 1856, the seventh in a family of fourteen, eight of whom died in infancy, born to Thomas and Elizabeth (Williams) Rowland, the former a native of Illinois and the latter of Alabama. His maternal grandfather, James Williams, was one of the earliest pioneers of Bradley County, settling there in 1836, when the country was very thinly settled, his nearest neighbor being twenty miles distant. His paternal grandfather came to Bradley County from Missouri about 1841 and settled near Mr. Williams. Our subject's parents grew to maturity in Bradley County, and were married there in 1844. They soon moved to Dallas County, now Calhoun, and settled at Chambersville, where they remained, however, but one year. They then moved to Dallas Township, where Mr. Rowland entered a tract of 160 acres, on which he had at once proceeded to make improvements, building a house, etc. He lived on this place until 1873, during which time he cleared some 100 acres - and greatly improved the place. In 1873 he exchanged his farm for the place, where he now resides - a good farm of 125 acres of land about sixty acres under cultivation, and the balance well timbered. Politically, he votes with the Democratic party, and although he is no office seeker and not active in politics, he has held the position of justice of the peace for nearly twenty years. Both he and wife are now, and have been for years, members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and has always been an earnest advocate of public schools. He enlisted in the Confederate army in 1863, in a Home Guard company, and served in the Trans-Mississippi Department until the close of the war. He had one son in the army also, J. P., who served from his majority, early in 1865, to close of war; was in the battle of Mount Elba. Our subject was reared on his father's farm and attended the common schools of this county during early youth, and worked on the farm at his majority. Then he attended school at Summersville for seven months; then for a term of five months at Warren, and then again at Summersville. In February, 1883, he entered the State University, at Fayetteville, and remained there until June 1884, and in September of the same year was taken sick and returned home. During all this time he had taught school at intervals to pay his way to complete his education. In October, 1887, he entered the Ouachita Baptist College, remained there two years, and graduated in June , 1889, and has since been engaged in teaching at Summerville. He is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, and is very active in church work. He is also a member of Dallas Agricultural Wheel No. 1227.[INDEX]


Robert J. Russell. Prominent among the successful farmers of Calhoun County stands the name which heads this sketch. Mr. Russell was born in Talladega County, Alabama, May 28, 1849, the first child born to Nineva and Margaret Russell, who moved to Calhoun County in 1858. They had thirteen children, viz: Robert J., Francis A., Joyce A., Dixie A., James C., William H., Donnie A., Dora E., Thomas H., Maggie, David W., John W. and George W. These children, with the exception of two, Maggie and Dixie A., who are dead, and William H., who resides at Fordyce, are residents of Calhoun County. His parents moved to Calhoun County when he was nine years, and here he was reared and schooled, receiving a limited education in the common country schools. He commenced doing for himself at the age of twenty-two years, choosing farming as his occupation, with which calling he has ever since been identified. He now owns a good farm of 195 acres of land, with eighty acres under cultivation. January 4, 1871, Mr. Russell was married to Miss Virginia A. Dunn. Her parents E. P. and M. L. Dunn, were among the early pioneers of this section. By this marriage Mr. Russell has eight children, all living, viz: Robert P., John D., Wiley, Mary A., Laura E., Ella M., Warner H. and Mattie L. Mr. Russell takes no active part in politics, but votes with the Democratic party. He is a member of one of Calhoun County's subordinate Wheels. Both he and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.[INDEX][NEXT PAGE]