|J. R. Brown is
the oldest merchant of Coal Hill, and throughout this
region has won an excellent reputation as a man of business.
He was born in Tennessee in 1850, being the third of fourteen
children born to Benjamin A. and Elizabeth (Real) Brown,
who were born in North Carolina and Tennessee, respectively,
the former, a farmer, who came to Arkansas in the fall
of 1866, and is still residing in Logan County of this
State. His son, J. R. Brown, like so many of the substantial
citizens of this country at the present time, was initiated
into the mysteries of farming from the very first, and
after his removal to Arkansas, in 1866, was favored with
good opportunities for obtaining an education, and was
an attendant of Pleasant Grove School at Cabin Creek.
In 1878 he began business at Coal Hill, after having been
a clerk in the establishment of J. W. May, of Clarksville,
for some years, and he now has the facilities for doing
a large trade, his stock of goods being worth $10,000,
and his annual sales amounting to $45,000. He handles
wagons, farming implements, and buys all kinds of farm
produce. He owns two farms, comprising 214 acres, and
has 120 acres under cultivation, the fine steam cotton-gin
which is erected thereon being the best in the county,
its capacity being twenty bales per day. He also has a
good corn-mill, and is the owner of four residence buildings
and the post-office building. He has been one of the active
citizens of Coal Hill, and has identified himself with
every worthy enterprise of the place. His marriage, which
occurred in December, 1878, was to Miss Lucy, daughter
of Col. John S. Houston, of Clarksville, by whom he has
two children, Howell Houston and Lucile. Vivian died at
the age of one year, and another child died in infancy,
unnamed. Mr. and MrsBrown are members of the Methodist
Episcopal Church South, and he belongs to the I. O. O.
F. An annual statement taken in February, 1890, gives
a showing of $30,000, all of which is the result of his
own labor. He was in debt when he began clerking for Capt.
May, but is now a wealthy man. He owns three lots in Van
Buren, on one of which he is erecting a handsome residence.