Lincoln County, environed by Jefferson, Arkansas, Desha, Drew and Cleveland Counties, is situated in the southeast part of the State, its geographical center about fifty-five miles from the boundary line between Arkansas and Mississippi, and about sixty miles from the boundary line between Arkansas and Louisiana. The Arkansas River flows along its northeastern border.
County and probate judges
Circuit clerks and exofficio clerks of the county and probate courts and recorders--
Lincoln County is in the Second Congressional District, composed of Lincoln, Cleveland, Grant, Jefferson, Arkansas, Monroe, Prairie, Lonoke, Woodruff, White, Faulkner, Pope, Conway, Van Buren, Stone, and Cleburne Counties, represented by Hon. C.R. Breckinridge. Formerly in the Tenth, Lincoln is in the Eleventh Judicial District, embracing Lincoln, Desha, Arkansas and Jefferson Counties. Courts are held in this count as follows: In the Star City District, on the first Monday in March and September; in the Varner District, on the third Monday in February and August, two weeks. The judges of this court have been: Henry B. Morse, elected July 23, 1868: John A. Williams, October 31, 1874: X.J. Pindall, October 31, 1878: John A. Williams, October 30, 1882: John M. Elliott, June 30, 1889. The prosecuting attorneys have been: H.M. McVeigh, commissioned April 26, 1873: Z.L. Wise, October 31, 1874: T.B. Martin, October 10, 1878: John M. Elliott, October 10, 1880: S.M. Taylor, June 30, 1889. The clerk of the Lincoln Circuit Court is G.A. Bryant: J.L. Miller is deputy. An act of the Legislature establishing a separate court in Lincoln County was approved April 9, 1885. Under its provisions and those of an act mandatory of it, "All that portion of the county constituting Kimbrough, Choctaw, Wells Bayou and Auburn Townships, and all that part of Bartholomew Township lying on the left bank of Deep Bayou, also one such additional territory as may be added to the county east of the townships of Auburn, Wells Bayou or Choctaw," were erected into a separate judicial district of Lincoln County, to be known as the Varner District, and the residence of the county was described and named the Star City District.
The roll of attorneys at the spring term, 1872, was as follows:
Lincoln County was represented in the Constitutional Convention of 1874,by Reason G. Puntney. The following named residents of the county held commissions as notaries public: W.F. Edwards, Charles H. Lyman, F.M. McGehee, T.B. Hover, C.D. Sample, W.L. Banks, R.A. Graves, W.Z. Tankersley, R.W. Jordan, John M. Lee, J.J. Bowles and W.B. Mott.
Following is a copy of the record of the first county court held in and for Lincoln County: "Be it remembered that at a county court begun and held at Cane Creek Church, in the county of Lincoln, on Monday, the 24th day of April A.D. 1871, it being the time and place appointed by law for holding said court, before the Hon. George H. Joslyn, judge of said court, assisted by J.M. McKittrick, Esq., E.H. Smith, Esq., Henry Palmer, Esq., William Lewis, Esq., D.M. Neal, Esq., Burnett Washington, Esq., Thomas Ashcraft, Esq., and George Hilliard, Esq., all duly commissioned and qualified justices of the peace of said county of Lincoln, the following proceedings were then and there had, to wit: On this day came the justices of the county of Lincoln, and in pursuance of law proceeded to elect two of their number to act as associate justices of this court for and during the remainder of the year 1871. Whereupon, on the first ballot, William Lewis, Esq., received five votes, and Ephraim H. Smith, Esq., received three votes, and thereupon William Lewis, having received a majority of all the votes case, is duly declared one of the associate justices of this county, to serve for and during the remainder of the year 1871, and on the second ballot John M. McKittrick, Esq., received five votes, and Ephraim H. Smith received three votes, whereupon John M. McKittrick, Esq., having received a majority of all the votes cast, is duly declared elected one of the associate justices of this court, to act for and during the remainder of the year 1871. In the matter of temporary county buildings: On this day, J. Chris Chestnutt, Jr., is appointed a special commissioner of this court, and authorized and directed to consult owners of the building known as Cane Creek Church, and by and with their consent to proceed to make such alterations and repairs in said building as are necessary to make the same a safe and suitable building for the use of the officers of this court, and for the deposit of the records hereof. Appended to the record are the names of the judge and associate justices, and of the other justices of the peace above mentioned."
Road districts and school districts were established at the July term, 1871. At the same term the commissioners appointed by the governor to locate the permanent county seat of Lincoln County reported the selection of a location on the Little Rock, Pine Bluff & New Orleans Railroad, in the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 23, Township 8, Range 5 west, southeast of Varner. At the September term, 1871, a petition of the qualified electors of the county was presented praying for the removal of the county seat from the site selected as above stated, to the geographical center of the county or within three miles thereof. An election was ordered to be held on Saturday, October 14, 1871, to ascertain the pleasure of the majority upon this proposition. The election resulted in favor of removal by a vote of 382 to 213, and William S. Stidham, Francis H. Sawyer and John G. Simmons were appointed commissioners to select a site whereon to erect the county buildings. These commissioners reported as follows: "To the Honorable County Court of Lincoln County: Your commissioners, John G. Simmons, William S. Stidham and Francis H. Sawyer, who were appointed by your honorable body, on the 18th day of October, 1871, a commission to select a location for the seat of justice of Lincoln County, would respectfully report that on the 2d day of December, 1871, they met at Cane Creek Church, in pursuance of the order of your Honorable Court: that, at that time proposals for the said location were received by said commissioners from John C. Bush and George H. Joslyn, and from none others; that said commissioners proceeded to ascertain where the center of the said county might fall, and upon such examination they found such center to be upon the southeast quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 11, in Township 9, south of Range 7, west of the Fifth Principal Meridian. Therefore, in obedience to the order of the Court, and according to the will of the people expressed at the election held on the 14th day of October, 1871, your commissioners proceeded to select a location suitable for said seat of justice within three miles of the said southeast one-fourth of the northwest one-fourth of Section 11, Township 9 Range 7 west, whereupon the site offered in the proposal of John C. Bush was found to be more than three miles from said center, and no other proposals being received and the proposal of said George H. Joslyn offering, in the opinion of your commissioners, a very suitable site for the said seat of justice, said proposal of George H. Joslyn was accepted by your commissioners, and the said seat of justice was thereupon located upon the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 8, in Township 9, Range 7, and your commissioners would respectfully recommend Star City as an appropriate name for our new county seat--this the 11th day of December, A.D., 1871." The court accepted and approved this report, and declared the county seat located and named as above suggested. February 26, 1872, it was ordered by the circuit court that the seat of justice be removed to the place so selected; whereupon it was ordered by the county court that the clerk thereof notify the judge of the probate court and judge of the circuit court, that proper accommodations had been provided for holding said courts.
The repairs to the Cane Creek Church (a log building) had consisted of two small log additions, one at either side, which were used as grand and petite jury rooms. These two small wings were removed to Star City, placed end to end and converted into a clerk's office, which was in use until the present clerk's office was built. Ray's building was rented and used, and in April, 1874, purchased for court purposes. The price paid was $16,000. The county later sold this building.
The town "Calaboose," a log structure, was used as a county jail until a better one was provided, and the county court convened in the clerk's office part of the time before the court-house was built. April 16, 1872, the court ordered that a court-house be erected in the public square, at Star City, and appointed Zenas H. Wise, a commissioner to procure and submit to the court at its next session, plans and specifications for the said building, stipulating that the expense should not exceed the sum of $40,000 in Lincoln County bonds, which sum, or so much of it as might be necessary, was appropriated to the use designated. October 21, following, Mr. Wise, submitted to the court two bids for the contract for building a court-house according to plans and specifications, which had been placed on file in the office of the county clerk. One was from John D. Edwards, of Little Rock, offering to build the court-house for $19,500; the other from John A. McKay, of Helena, offering to build it for $19,550. The bid of Mr. Edwards was accepted and the contract was awarded to him, and a bond of $40,000 was required. January 23, 1873, a bid of John D. Edwards to build a jail, according to plans and specifications on file for $9,800 was accepted and his bond was fixed at $20,000. The court-house and jail sought to be built as above narrated were never erected, as troubles arose about the county bond which resulted in the refusal of Mr. Edwards to take them in payment for the work. Subsequent plans and propositions came to naught for a time, and at length a cash tax was levied on the taxable property of the county to raise a fund for the erection of county buildings. Some progress was hoped for, arrangements were made, and work was begun under the new plan, but success was prevented by an injunction obtained in the circuit court, by persons who claimed the obligation of the county to accept scrip in payment of the tax in lieu of cash. In January, 1887, a contract was awarded to James K. Wells to build a jail for $913. It was completed and accepted in the following April. The jail was soon burned, and on October 10, 1878, John H. Crawford, James W. Hellums and L.C. Stewart were appointed special commissioners to prepare plans and specifications for a court-house and jail, and to advertise the letting of contracts for their erection. The court-house contract was let to Jones & Graham, the jail contract to James K. Wells. Both buildings were completed and accepted in 1889, and have been in use since. A court-house has been erected at Varner, on land given to the county by R.R. Rice, and a jail is in course of building. An effort to secure the removal of the county seat to Varner or Tyro was defeated at the polls in 1880.
The settlement of the county began along the Arkansas River. Among the early comers in that part were Dr. C.M. Taylor, Shelby Richardson, the Lees, Douglases and Pendletons, Capt. C.B. Jones, W.F. Varner, Capt. F.R. Smith, the Kimbroughs, Clay and R.R. Rice, and Col. Flournoy. Among the early settlers in other ports of the county were William Sanders, "Chap" Reynolds, William Adkins, William Smith, the Williamsons, Calvin Jones, J.H. Free, Jacob Hellums, the father of ex-Treas. Gammill, in the western part; May and Alsey Atkinson, J.L. Hunter, the Callaways, in the northern part, and the Bachelors, the Goree family, J. Collins, J.E. Cox, W.D. Kirsh, Jacob Kirsh, John Sweeney, and T.W. Haygood in the southern part.
The only incorporated town in Lincoln County is Star City, the seat of justice. The record of its incorporation by the county court is as follows: "In the matter of the incorporation of Star City, now on the day (July 3, 1876), came, for the consideration of the Court here, the petition of T.A. Williamson, J.M. Fain and twenty-seven others, heretofore presented to this court by C.W. Preddy, as their agent, on the 6th day of April, 1876, asking for the following described territory in the county of Lincoln and State of Arkansas, to wit: The northwest one-fourth of the northwest one-fourth of Section 16, and the north one-half of Section 17, and the east one-half of the east one-half of Section 9, and all of Section 8, in Township 9, south of Range 7 west--be organized by order of this Court into an incorporated town, under the name of Star City; and it appearing to the Court that said petition has been signed by at least twenty of the qualified voters residing within the limits of the territory above described, that the said lands have been accurately described; that an accurate map or plat thereof has been filed, and that the name proposed is proper and sufficient to distinguish it from any other incorporated town in this State, it is therefore considered, ordered and adjudged by the Court here that authority is hereby granted to said petitioners to organize the incorporated Town of Star City." The mayors of Star City have been as follows: J.S. Goodwin, 1876-77: J.M. Cunningham, 1878: T.A. Ingram, 1879: A.M. Atkinson, 1880, 1882-87: C.W. Preddy, 1881: L. Quin, 1888: E.A. Mullikin, 1889, and John L. Miller, 1890. Star City is a good trading point, and shows evidence of having a large and growing business. Tyro is the village next in size to Star City, and is a point of commercial importance in the southern part of the county. Varner, on the railroad, in the northeast part of the county, is the seat of justice of the Varner Judicial District, and the center of much trade and shipping. Sheriff R.R. Rice is the principal merchant and business man here. He has recently fitted up a fine race-course on his plantation, enclosed and appointed in the most modern style. He inaugurated, July, 1889, a race meeting, which was well attended, and did much to popularize a movement which, it is thought, will at no distant day result in the holding at Varner of a series of county fairs. Besides Star City, Tyro and Varner, there are hamlets or post offices in different parts of the county named as follows: Connersville (sic), Cummins, Douglas, Garnett, Glendale, Grady, Heckatoo, Palmyra, Relf's Bluff, Sarassa, South Bend, Warrenton and Yorktown, at some of which points considerable local trade is done.
The first schools in Lincoln County were taught in those portions near the Arkansas River. As settlement advanced, schools were introduced, until now, at the principal business centers, there are excellent schools, while others, growing better and more efficient with each passing year, are scattered throughout the county. The last published educational statistics for Lincoln County are these: Enumeration, white, 1,618: colored, 2,018: total, 3,626. Enrollment, white, 1,109: colored, 1,244, total, 2,353. Number of districts, 43: number reporting enrollment, 21: number voting tax, 15. Teachers employed, 67. Number of school-houses, 24: value of school houses, $3,836.
Education and religion have gone hand in hand. The school-house has served as a place of worship, and the church has provided temporary shelter for the school. From the first, most of the popular religious denominations have had their representatives here. For some time past church extension has been a subject near to the hearts of a large share of the county's population, and progress has been rapid and substantial.
The pioneer newspaper of Lincoln County was the Herald, established at Star City, by James L. Birch, in 1876. During the following year this paper was succeeded by the Arkansas Vidette, issued by James M. Cunningham. In 1878 Alfred Wiley bought the concern, sold some of the material, bought some new material to improve the office, and in 1880 established the Lincoln Lance. He has owned the paper since that time until in the summer of 1890, and has published it except when, in 1884-85, it was issued by Rev. B.A. Ingram, in 1885-86, by W.T. Smith, and in 1886-87, by R.M. & T.E. Hammock, who in 1886, changed its name to the Lincoln Ledger. In the summer of 1890 it was sold to Alexander C. Wiley. The political complexion of the Herald, Vidette, Lance, and Ledger, has varied with their changes of editorial management, though it has usually been Democratic. Under its present management, the Ledger advocates the farmers' movement, just becoming a recognized power in politics. It has always been a good local paper, devoted to the upbuilding of the best interests of Star City and Lincoln County.
Like other counties similarly situated, Lincoln County, or the territory now so known, had its part in the war of the States. Only one engagement was fought within its limits, this being the fight at Branchville, in 1864, between Clayton's Federal brigade and Lawther's brigade of the Missouri Cavalry. Artillery was brought into use, and the set-to was invested with considerable warlike interest, but it was not long continued, and was not marked by many fatalities on either side. The Confederates retreated. This part of the country was traveled by scouting parties of both armies, and long before peace came, good horses and mules were scarce in what is now Lincoln County, all available ones, as well as about every eatable surplus having been confiscated and pressed into the service of either Federals or Confederates. Both armies had representatives from this territory, though, though there were few in the Federal service, for the feeling here was overwhelmingly pro-slavery. The contribution of what is now Lincoln County to the Confederate cause, in the way of good fighting men, was considerable, when the small population of that time is borne in mind, and betokened a zeal seldom equaled anywhere by any people.
Capt. W.H. Isom's company of the Ninth Arkansas Infantry was recruited largely in what is now Lincoln County. So, also, was Capt. Haislep's company of the same regiment. The regiment was mustered into the Confederate service at Pine Bluff in July, 1861, under Col. John M. Bradley. After the battle of Shiloh, those two companies were consolidated and placed under command of Capt. J.M. Crawford. Capt. Ragland's cavalry company contained many men from this territory. These companies served in Tennessee, Mississippi and Georgia, principally, and were not mustered out until the close of the war. Capt. Menenger organized a cavalry company later in the war, a good proportion of the membership of which was drawn from within the present county limits, which operated in Arkansas, except while in Missouri, on the Price raid. These organizations did brave service, and many of their members were killed in battle or otherwise lost their lives during the struggle. The "Graybeards" was a company of old men raised by Capt. Jack Hanley, late in the war, for guard duty. Their center of operations was at Branchville, and while showing the spirit that animated the Southern heart at that time, they may be said not have been engaged in regular service. After the investment of Little Rock and Pine Bluff by Federal forces, a regiment was recruited in the State for the Union service, in which quite a number from this section enlisted.
The historic movement, in 1854, toward the construction of the Pine Bluff & Napoleon Railroad, was, as events proved, the first step toward the construction of the Little Rock, Mississippi River & Texas Railroad, which crosses the northeast part of this county and forms a part of the Iron Mountain section of the Missouri Pacific system. One of the prime movers in that early attempt was Dr. Lee, of Arkansas (now Lincoln) County. Its success under its original projectors was prevented by the war, but it was assured by the efforts of those who later took up the work. Quite a number of railroad lines have been surveyed through the western part of the county by Gould and his rivals, the object being to secure a connecting line on the west side of the Mississippi, between St. Louis and New Orleans. One of the most promising of these is the line from Beebe, Ark., to Monroe, La., popularly known as the "Foster Road." Railway communication, when it shall have been more fully attained, will rapidly complete the work of populating and improving Lincoln County, developing its latent resources and advancing all of the important interests.
Dr. A. G. Anderson was numbered among the leading physicians of Lincoln County. His birth look place in October of the year 1834, in the State of Virginia, and he was educated partly at Brownsville, Tenn., and later at Richmond, VA., where he received his medical information, graduating in 1855. Previous to this date he had moved to Arkansas, living in White County at Searcy, where he practiced medicine for several years. later the Doctor moved to Lincoln County, location on the Bayou Bartholomew. In 1871 he came to Star City, where he had a very large and lucerative practice, and remained until his death at the hands of a colored man, December 1880. The Dr. belonged to the Masonic lodge and K. of H. and politically was a member of the Democratic partly. In connection with his popularity and success as a physician, the subject of this sketch was largely interested in agricultural matters, and a most energetic and enterprising farmer. Few men have ever at any time, or in any country, been more generally liked and respected than was Dr. Anderson by the citizens of Lincoln County. A devout member of the Baptist Church, a thoroughly charitable and kindly man, and withal most intellectual, the Doctor won friends easily. He enlisted in the Confederate army March, 1862, was wounded at Corinth, Miss. in 1862, was taken prisoner while there and tenderly cared for by a Rutledge family. Returning home he joined Col. Thomson’s regiment, of which he was made surgeon, serving until the close of the war. Dr. Anderson married Miss Maria L. Jones, of Alabama, daughter of Henry P. Jones. The ceremony was performed in may 1861. Of this union were born five children, all of whom died except the subject of this sketch. The family belong to the Baptist Church. Words are, after all, entirely inadequate to render full justice to the memory of such men as Dr. Anderson, one whom all men honor.
William H. Atkins ranks among the successful, energetic, and highly respected farmers who have given to Lincoln County such an enviable reputation throughout the Sate of Arkansas. His birth took place in the State of South Carolina in 1841, being a son of Henry Atkins and his wife Esther, who was Miss Patterson previous to her marriage. The family moved to Arkansas in 1856, location in what is now Lincoln County. The father died in 1877; the mother in 1888, and both were members of the Presbyterian Church and lively Christian people. To them were born eight children, all of whom lived to be grown, and three of whom are at present alive viz.; William H., Mary F., and Martha. William was the fourth child, and attained his manhood in this State. he enlisted in the Confederate army in 1862, and was made colonel. Mr. Atkins was wounded and forced to return home, but during the latter part of the war was with Capt. Henry Burks, remaining with him until the close of the war, and surrendering at Little Rock. He married Miss Emma Smith, of Arkansas, daughter of John Smith, December 12 1863, They were blessed with five children, viz.: Henry (who died in 1889), Bettie, Minnie G., Jessie, Addie May, and James B.
Alsey M. Atkinson, an old and prominent citizen of Star city, Lincoln County, was born in Nash County, N. C., January 27, 1813, and is the son of Henry and Mary (Strickland) Atkinson, natives of Nash county, N. C. The father died in Nozubee County, Miss., about the year 1850, when he had reached his sixtieth year; the mother in 1828, when quite young, and her husband remained true to her memory, through the long course of years allotted him. In 1850 he moved to Mississippi, where as a farmer he net with marked success, from the very start. To his marriage were born eight children. Alsey passed his youth in North Carolina, and at the age of sixteen started in business for himself, first giving his attention to farming, an occupation in which he is still very much interested. He married Miss Martha Donnald of Mississippi, in 1837, and to them were born nine children, four of whom are now living, viz.” Mrs. Elizabeth Ellis, R. G. (who is a merchant of Pine Bluff), and T. B. (also in the mercantile business at Pine Bluff), and James (who is a physician in New York City). Death having claimed his first wife, Mr. Atkinson married Miss Mary Smith of Lincoln County, Ark. his is the owner of valuable land, and is a man who has many warm personal friends and admirers. Himself and wife belong to the Missionary Baptist Church, and he is a deacon in the same. Politically Mr. Atkinson is a Democrat, one true to party principles, and a strong man for his side of the question.
Joseph F. Banks. he whose name heads this sketch is a merchant of special prominence in Douglas, Lincoln County, Ark., and keeps at his store everything needed by farmers. The firm name under which this business is conducted is Banks Bros. Joseph is the son of Thomas and Fannie R. (Lavender) Banks, and his birth occurred in Williamson county, Tenn., where the family lived previous to his emigrating to Arkansas. The father is now in the wholesale hat business at Nashville, Tenn., and was also general merchant at Thompson Station, Williamson County. Thomas Banks figured conspienously in the late war, under Gen. Forrest, and was severely wounded in the leg. The grandfather of the subject of this sketch, Nelson Lavender, was a Virginian by birth, and lived many years in Williamson County, Tenn., where he owned a large plantation. he was of Irish descent. Joseph is the eldest of the six children born to his parents, all of whom are living his education was limited because of the fact that his father’s property suffered destruction during the war, in 1862. Mr. Banks moved to Arkansas in 1872, but after a short while went to Tennessee. however, in 1874 he returned to Arkansas, location at auburn. in 1881 he sold his stock of goods at the above named place, and this time settled at his present stand in Douglas. Mr. Banks was married in the month of august, 1879, to Miss Inez Dodson, daughter of Paul and Nannie Dodson of Maury County, Tenn. The brother and partner of the subject of the sketch, William L. Banks, was also born in Williamson County, Tenn., in the year 1861. After receiving a common-school education, he came to Lincoln county, clerking in different stores, until such time as he entered into partnership with Joseph Banks. They are both thoroughgoing wide-awake business men, and are very popular.
William Boyd, senior partner of the firm of Boyd and Bro., at Cornersville, Lincoln County, Ark., was born in Greene county, ala., on April 18, 1851, being the son of William and Jeanette W. (Miller) Boyd, natives of south Carolina. His parents were married in South Carolina and moved to Alabama, location in Greene county. There the mother died when the subject of this sketch was a very small boy. The father was a merchant and planter, and died in Lincoln County in the year 1875. he belonged to the Presbyterian Church. William was the eight of nine children born to his parents, and passed his youth in this county, and here received a fair education. his first business venture was farming, but in 1883 he commenced a mercantile business with Robert Boyd as partner, a partnership which still continues to meet with great success. he was, in 1886, appointed justice of the peace. In 1883Mr. Boyd married Miss flora Dodd, daughter of William P. Dodd, and they have been blessed wit three children, viz.: Jesse B., Maggie J. and William H. Both Mr. and Mrs. Boyd are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, of which the former is an elder. The subject of this sketch belongs to the class commonly termed “self-made Men,” having won success and wealth by his own exertions, and superior judgement.
William H. V. Brickley, planter of Bartholomew Township, was born near what is now Lincoln county, August 9, 1858, and is a son of David V. and Ruth (Jeckens) Brickley, the former of whom died while the subject of this sketch was very young. Being left by himself when fourteen years old, an elder brother sent him to college, but he remained there only three weeks, when he left to learn the carpenter’s trade. After reaching his majority he took a contract for a built the railroad of Johnstown, Penn., which suffered such severe damages during the recent flood In 1852 he came by boat to Arkansas, landing at the Douglas plantation in Lincoln County, where the boat stuck and could go no farther. Mr. Brickley at once made arrangements to build the present levee where the Douglas farm is. He afterward taught school in Drew County. About 1854 he moved to Drew County, where he lived till about 1859, at which date he moved to Jefferson County. Afterward he moved to Illinois and in different points of that State he followed different professions, trying almost everything that promised a handsome income. In the spring of 1867 he returned to Pine Bluff, working at the carpenter’s trade until 1869, and at that time became manager of a mercantile house. In 1873 he commenced farming in Jefferson County, but after a few years returned to Pine Bluff. In 1883 he located at his present home in Lincoln County. he married Miss Jenkins, daughter of Henson and Polly A. Jenkins, natives of Tennessee. Mrs. Brickley died September 11 1876, and the subject of this sketch was married again in 1880 to Miss Emma C., daughter of James an Emma Colbert. Her parents died while she was quite young, and her life was passed with a brother in Lincoln.
Alfred Cogbill, the subject of the present sketch, is a son of David B. and Nancy (Hefling - actually it's Heflin) Cogbill, his birth occurring in Drew county, January 16, 1847. The family moved from Mississippi to Arkansas, and in the latter-named State Mrs. Cogbill died, and her husband, after mourning her loss for a time, was married again. Soon after his second marriage he located in what is now Lincoln County, Bartholomew Township, where he departed this life in 1885. His wife died in 1881. Alfred Cogbill is one of a large family of children born to his parents, and has besides several half brothers and sisters. he was married in 1808, in Jefferson County, to Mary singleton, daughter of Oswell Singleton. She died in 1887, and on December 2, 1888, the subject of this sketch married Miss Maggie Cunningham, daughter of J. M. and Elizabeth Cunningham, now of Star City, and pioneers of the State of Arkansas. in 1871 Mr. Cogbill settled in the woods, and proceeded to cultivate the land. he is to-day one of the leading farmers of Lincoln County, owns a highly improved and valuable farm, and is very popular in the community in which he resides. In politics Mr. Cogbill is a member of the Democratic party, taking a lively interest in all the movements of that party. The history of Lincoln County would not be complete without a sketch of this worthy gentleman, who, by means of his unbounded energy and perseverance has amassed a fortune, and achieved wonderful success.
Joyeux Collins. he whose name heads
this sketch is an old and highly respected citizen of Lincoln County, Ark.
His native place is in Giles County, Tenn., being born there August 5,
1825. His parents were William D. and Sander (Morris) Collins, both of
the State of Virginia. To them were born eight children, three of whom
are now living, viz.: Frances, Joyeux, and Maria (wife of Rufus M. Rogers).
The subject of this sketch spent his school days in Mississippi. he remained
with his father until after his twenty-third year, at which time he devoted
his energy and attention to farming. In 1855 he moved to Marion County,
Ark., and the following year to what was then Desha county, later Drew
County, and now Lincoln County, living thus in the same house and in three
counties. His occupation through life has been farming, and at one time
he had a gin and saw-mill. during the late war Mr. Collins served long
and faithfully in the Confederate army, indeed until the end of the hostilities,
being all the time in active service. And although he faced danger in almost
every possible form, he was never wounded or taken prisoner. In 1881 he
was elected to represent Lincoln County in the Legislature, an honor that
he appreciated and a trust to which he was true. he was married to Miss
Mary Ann Brown, daughter of Robert Brown. She was born in Cherokee County,
Ala., in 18227,and is still living. To them have been born seven children,
six of whom are now alive, viz.: Eliza, Mary E. (wife of John Sercy), William,
Roert, John R., Thomas A. Zachariah. The subject of this sketch and his
wife and Elizabeth and John are members of the Missionary Baptist church,
of which the subject is a deacon. He is a Royal Arch Mason, and a Democrat.
Mr. Collins’ farm numbers 340 acres of valuable and highly improved land,
and by means of great natural ability and industry he has gained a fortune
and endeared himself to those who know him. In the hole course of his business
career he has never been sued, not has sued any one. He is, without doubt,
one of the most enlightened men in the hole broad State of Arkansas, and
does all in his power to advance a very worthy cause. The father of the
subject of this sketch was born in 1797, and died in the State of Mississippi
in 1858. The mother died there in 1852. The former was only a young man
when he went to Giles County, Tenn., and in that county they were married
and lived until 1836, when they moved to Mississippi. he was a farmer and
a brick-mason by occupation. He figured conspicuously in the Creek War,
and also in the War of 1812, under Gen. Jackson. he was a son of Thomas
Collins, she died in Tennessee when eighty-four years old, and who was
in the Revolutionary War from beginning to end, and fighting bravely and
William N. Collins, a prominent
farmer of Owen Township, Lincoln county, was born in the state of Mississippi
on December 12, 1856. he is a son of Zachariah and Nancy (White) Collins,
natives of Virginia and Mississippi, respectively. The Collins family have
resided in Mississippi for many years, and trace their ancestors back for
quite a long period. In 1857 Zachariah Collins, with his family, moved
to Arkansas in wagons, location on the place where the subject of this
sketch is living at the present time. here he passed away from earthly
scenes on January 14, 1888, having reached his sixtieth year. He was a
member of the Baptist Church, and was also a soldier in the late war. The
mother of William N. died in 1883. Of their union were born eight children,
six of whom lived to be grown. Mr. Collins, the subject of this sketch,
commenced life for himself when he was twenty years old, first turning
his attention to farming, and in 1884 he engaged in merchandise at Palmyra
in company with his father and brother. After continuing in that business
for one year, Mr. Collins sold the stock of merchandise, and once more
devoted his attention to agriculture. He married Miss Margaret E. Ellington,
daughter of M. Ellington. Their union was blessed with four children, viz.:
Robert A., Mary V., Zachariah and Edgar N. Mr. and Mrs. Collins are members
of the Baptist Church, and he belongs to the Democratic party.
Randolph C. Crow, a prominent
citizen of Lincoln county, Ark., was born in Barbour county, Ala., on January
16, 1845, being the son of Mathew M. and Melvina (Weaver) Crow. Mathew
M. Crow was born in the State of south Carolina. While a youth he moved
with his father to the State of Georgia, and thence to Barbour County,
Ala,. in 1842. Moving from that point, about the year 1854 , to Drew County,
Ark., he thee spent the remainder of his life engaged in farming, in which
he was very successful. His sympathies were with the South during the late
war. The father died June 10, 1863, and the mother died in June, 1863.
To their union were born six children, four of whom are now living, viz.:
Mary (wife of Wiley A. Seitzler), Thomas T., R. C., and Amanda (wife of
John W. Brockman). Those dead are Mahala and Ebineezer. Randolph
spent his school days in Arkansas. he took part in the late war, surrendering
at Little rock, Ark. At the close of the war Mr. Crow turned his attention
to farming, an occupation which he has constantly followed up to date,
in which he has been very successful. He owns some fine farms, which are
well improved and managed in a most judicious manner. In 1869 the subject
of this sketch married Miss Virginia Hutson, daughter of Rite Hutson. She
was born in Drew County, Ark., in the year 1848, and died in Lincoln County
in 1884. Their union was blessed with eight children, seven of whom are
living: Viola, Ellen, Lizzie, Henry C., Thomas M., Walter R. and Ula. Mr.
Crow married, in 1886, Mrs. Ann E. Oneil, and to them was born one child-Amanda
M. Mr. Crow is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and his
wife belongs to the Christian Church. He is a member of the Wheel, a Mason,
a Democrat, and was elected a justice of the peace in 1886, and re-elected
in 1888, which office he still holds. Mr. Crow has taken great interest
in the subject of education and the public schools in his district, and
has held the office of school director for a term of twelve years.
E. S. Ellis, partner of the firm of
Ellis & Atkinson, leading merchants of Star City, Lincoln County, Ark.
Truly do poets and writer in general dwell long and enthusiastically upon
the “lives of great men” who leave behind them “footprints on the sand
of time”. And to this class belongs he whose name heads this sketch. he
was born in the State of Georgia in the year 1838, and is a son of William
and Zilphia (Bryant) Ellis, both of whom were born and raised in north
Carolina and married there. Soon after their marriage they moved to Georgia,
location in Houston County on a farm, and 1842 they emigrated to Mississippi,
settling in Holmes County, where the widowed mother is still living. To
them were born eight children, five of whom are living at the present time.
E. S. is the second child of the family, and received his early training
in Holmes County, Miss. just after reaching manhood’s estate he enlisted
in the Civil War, Company A, Thirty-eighth Mississippi Regiment. At the
battle of Corinth, Miss., Mr. Ellis was shot through the left limb by a
minie-ball, and the wound proved very severe, resulting, in fact, in the
amputation of the limb . This was done by the Federal, who had captured
him, and when well enough to leave hospital they gave hi a pass through
the Federal line in order that he might return home. Upon reaching Holmes
county he completed his education with a view to teaching, and after two
years opened a family grocery. In 1869 he emigrated to Arkansas, location
in what is now Lincoln County, where he taught school at Branchville until
1871. In that same year he moved to Tyro, in the same county, teaching
at that point until 1872, at which time he moved to Branchville, where
he again entered into the commercial business. In 1875 Mr. Ellis came to
Star City, and sold goods for Mr. J. H. Crawford until such time as he
was elected treasurer of Lincoln County in 1876, and re-elected in 1978.
In the meantime he commenced a flourishing family grocery business of his
own, and afterward bought on interest in the firm now known as Ellis &
Atkinson, dry goods. Mr. Ellis married Miss Millie Brantley of Mississippi.
She was born in 1840, dying in 1881 Of this union was born one daughter,
Kitty, a very accomplished and beautiful young lady. In 1885 the subject
of this sketch married Mrs. Bettie M. Owens, daughter of Alsey Atkinson,
and widow of R. Owens. Mr. and Mrs. Ellis are devout and faithful members
of the Baptist Church, and he belongs to the K. of H. He is senior member
of the firm of Ellis & Atkinson.
Janson S. Fish is one of lincoln
County’s leading citizens, and was born in Fairfield District, S. C., on
august 23, 1826, being the son of Elias and Cynthia (McKance) Fish, native
of New York and South Carolina, respectively. The father came from
South Carolina, and after his marriage moved first to Georgia, and later
to Alabama, then to Mississippi, back to Georgia, and finally to Texas
about 1855, where he died. Janson spent his school days in Georgia, Alabama
and Mississippi, and when twenty-one years old commenced farming for himself.
he located in Arkansas in 1856, on the farm where he now resides. He entered
160 acres of land, and after clearing it thoroughly, began a system of
improvement and cultivation that does great credit to his superior judgment.
he has severed several terms as justice of the peace. During the late war
he served in the Confederate army, and was dismissed at Marshall, Tex.,
May 5, 1865, after engaging in many of the chief battle and undergoing
the hardships and deprivations necessary to a soldier’s life. January 20,
1848 he married Miss Ann Goings, daughter of Drew and Elizabeth Goings,
and of its union were born eleven children, nine of whom are still living:
Evelyn E., Charles A., John W., Samuel J., Eugene A., H. M., Mary J., Mattie
Ann and Joseph E. Seven of the family belong to the Missionary Baptist
Church, of which the father is a deacon. One of the boys, J. W. is a Baptist
Floyd P. Fryar, one of the leading
citizens, was born near where he now farms, on December 10, 1854, and is
the son of Isaac and Sarah (Cavaness) Fryar, natives of Mississippi and
Alabama, respectively. They came to Drew County, Ark., with their parents,
and were there married. The father died in 1884; the mother is still living
with the subject of this sketch. Both were faithfuland consistent members
of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The father was a very prominent and
popular man, and was treasurer in Drew County for several years. He was
a Democrat and a Mason. To them were born five children--two sons and three
daughters. Four of them are now living: Maggie (Mrs. Daniel Clowers), Lou,
Mollie and the subject of the sketch. Floyd passed his school days in Drew
County, and when twenty-one years old commenced farming for himself. He
continues in this occupation, owning a valuable tract of land, which is
excellently well cultivated. His financial success has been great indeed,
and is largely due to good management and superior ability. Mr. Fryar is
without doubt one of the most enterprising young men in this county. The
Fryar family is of English descent, and trace their ancestry back through
several generations of popular and famous ancestors. The history of a county
depending chiefly upon the citizens who reside there for interest to the
reader, it would be impossible to do full justice to the glory of lincoln
County without giving a sketch of Mr. Fryar.
Joseph Garrett, a popular and successful
planter and merchant, at Sarassa, was born in Madison County, Ala., March
7, 1844, being the son of Joseph G. and Ellen (McCloud) Garrett, both of
whom died while the subject of this sketch was quite a small lad. At the
time of his death, Mr. Garrett, Sr. was in charge of an iron foundry, at
Utah Landing, Ala. Joseph is the seventh of ten children born to his parents,
and is the only one living at the present time; indeed, so far as his knowledge
goes has no living relatives. After death had robbed him of his parents,
our subject lived with an aunt for a few years, and afterward came with
his uncle, Lewis G. Garrett, to Arkansas, where they settled in Arkansas
County. In 1864 Joseph Garrett went to Texas, settling in Navarro County,
where he volunteered in the Confederate service, and served until the close
of the war in 1865. He returned, in 1866, to this State, locating twenty
miles from Pine Bluff, and while there was married to Miss Lucilla Kimbrough,
daughter of Buckley and Susan Kimbrough. For the past ten years Mr. Garrett
has been living at Sarassa, where he owns a valuable farm, and the success
attained in the brief span of his life is due chiefly to his own exertions.
Mrs. Garrett is a beautiful woman, and possesses much grace of manner and
mind, making her an ornament to society and a blessing to the home over
which she reigns.
James H. Grumbles, planter, of
Owen Township, Lincoln County, Ark., was born in Dallas County, Ala. in
1883. He is a son of Jesse Grumbles, a native of Maryland, who married
Miss Elizabeth Kindle, a native of South Carolina. The parents of the subject
of this sketch moved to Union County, Ark., purchasing a small place, upon
which he lived until the time of his death, in 1866, at the age of sixty-eight.
The mother is still living, and enjoys excellent health, though in her
eightieth year. Of their union were born thirteen children, twelve of whom
lived to be grown. Mr. Grumbles served in the late war without receiving
injury of any kind, but owing to ill health was compelled to give up after
one year. He was married in Union County, Ark., in 1855, to Miss Martha
B. Cook who died May 3, 1861, leaving one child, Mary B. (now the wife
of John M. Owen). The subject of this sketch was married again, and this
time to Miss Mary E. McCain, of Mississippi. The marriage took place in
Union County, where they lived until after the was, when they located in
their present place. Mr. Grumbles owns a valuable estate that is splendidly
cultivated, and he is looked upon as one of the most prosperous and thoroughly
honorable men in this section of the country. Himself and wife are members
of the Baptist Church, of which he is a deacon. In 1847, while the subject
of this sketch was quite a small boy, he joined what is known as "Old Town"
Baptist Church, while living in Alabama. NOTE: Mr. Grumbles birth
year is actually shown as 1883 in Goodspeed, but according to other dates
in this sketch this is incorrect.
Edward J. Hall, a prosperous farmer
of Choctaw Township, Lincoln County, Ark., was born at Charleston, S. C.
in 1844. He is a son of John S. and Elenora Eugenia De Jaen De Bois Thinnay
Hall, born, respectively in Yorkshire, England and Nance, France. He was
a lineal descendant of William the Conqueror of England, and was reared
in Liverpool, where, in company with a kinsman, he engaged in a wholesale
crockery and grocery business. After reaching his thirtieth year, Mr. Hall
came to the United States to see after some landed estate in the possession
of his uncle, at Savannah, Ga. While on this trip he met and married his
wife, in 1827. They lived in Georgia until about 1842, at which time they
moved to Charleston, S. C. to secure surgical aid for a son who had been
seriously injured by an accidental explosion of gunpowder. From that point
they emigrated to Arkansas, locating in Pine Bluff. They settled in a complete
wilderness, but proceeded at once to cultivate the land after a most advanced
way. He was a man of fine talent, and excellent business qualities. The
mother also belonged to a distinguished family, and was a lady of unusual
culture. Edward is the eight child of the family born to this union. He
served a short time in the Confederate army, enlisting in 18864, but was
taken sick and released from duty. He married, November 26, 1868, Susan
A. Wood, a daughter of Jesse and Elizabeth Wood, who come from Mississippi
to Arkansas, in 1855.
Joseph L. Hunter. Among the various
occupations that claim the energies and attention of mankind, there is
no more replete with dignity, independence and freeness of life than that
of tilling the soil. The history of Lincoln County recounts the successes
of many prominent men who have followed this occupation, and chief among
these stands he whose name heads this sketch. He is a son of Joseph L.
Hunters, and was born in Noxubee County, Miss., February 28, 1835. The
Hunter family is of English descent, tracing their ancestors back for several
generations, and being at all times noted for strict integrity. The father
of the subject of this sketch was born in 1801, in North Carolina, being
a son of David Hunter and grandson of Isaac Hunter. Of their ancestry,
three brothers came to the United States from England, settling in Virginia.
Joseph L. Hunter, Sr. moved to Tennessee when a lad, with his father, locating
in Manry County, and again, in 1824, moved to Perry County, Ala., where
he remained until 1833, at which time he changed his dwelling place to
Noxubee County, Miss. He married Miss Susan Stewart, a native of Tennessee,
who was born in 1809 and died in 1865. The family continued to reside in
Mississippi until the death of the father. He was devoted to his wife and
children, and a most prosperous farmer and stock-raiser. He was a member
of the Missionary Baptist Church. The fruit of his union with the mother
of the subject of the sketch was nine children, all of who lived to be
grown, and five of whom are still living. Joseph L. Hunter was the fifth
child of the family. After graduating in a full course at Harvard College,
Ala., in 1855, he moved to Arkansas in 1858. He enlisted in the Confederate
army in the spring of 1862, serving faithfully until the close of the war.
His experience during these years was extremely interesting. He was wounded
at Pilot Knob, Mo., by a piece of shell; was with Gen. Price, in September
and October, 1864, on his raid from Arkansas through Missouri, Kansas and
Indian Territory. He was promoted to first lieutenant, and during the latter
part of the war was often in command of his company. At the close of the
war, Mr. Hunter returned to his farm, on Bayou Bartholomew (near his present
home), where for twenty-six years he dwelt surrounded by plenty. In the
year 1884 he took possession of the estate, and built the lovely home where
he resides at present, near Star City. He married Miss Lucy J. Hudson,
daughter of James A. Hudon, March 26, 1861. Of this union were born five
children, viz.,: Susie B., Charles M., Howard L., Ida J. and Lucy G., of
who Charles M. and Lucy G. died in infancy. Mrs. Lucy J. Hunter died December
Robert J. Irwin, one of the leading
citizens of Lincoln County, Ark., was born in Alabama, May 16, 1846. He
is the son of D. W. and Sarah (Beaty) Irwin, natives of Georgia, both of
whom are dead, the father dying in Bradley County, Ark., in 1872 when fifty-six
years old; the mother dying in Lincoln County, Ark., in 1880, being at
the time seventy years old. They were married in the State of Georgia,
remaining there until 1845, when they moved to Alabama, staying there one
year, and then locating in Bradley County, Ark. After the death of the
father, the mother came to Lincoln County with her children, and at the
date of her death was living with the subject of this sketch. They were
both members of the Baptist Church, and the father a deacon in same. He
was a life-long Democrat, and served as justice of the peace in Georgia
and also in Bradley County for many years. He was by occupation a farmer.
Of their union were born thirteen children, five of whom are living at
the present date, viz.: James, R. J., T. M., Mary Mlina (wife of A. D.
Pagan), Nancy W. (who is now Mrs. R. M. Crawford). The subject of this
Sketch spent his youth in Bradley County, Ark., and in 1864 enlisted in
the Confederate army. He served fourteen months, being in the battles of
Poison Springs, Mark's Mill and others. When peace was once more restored
throughout the broad limits of the United States, Mr. Irwin turned his
attention to farming, an occupation which he has continued to follow up
to the present date. In 1874 he moved to Lincoln County, locating on Bayou
Bartholomew, where he worked for wages. He rented land from 1875 to 1879,
and in 1883 purchased a valuable estate, upon which he now lives. On January
13, 1887, he married Mrs. Patsy A. Collins, daughter of William J. Bowles
and widow of Mat Collins. She was born in Virginia, August 9, 1845. Their
union was blessed with one daughter, Lela. Mr. Irwin is a member of the
Missionary Baptist Church. He is a Democrat and a Mason. In 1888 he was
elected justice of the peace, and is one of the most popular and successful
men this county was ever had the pleasure of claiming.
James S. Johnson. Truly has it
been said, "he good men do, lives after them," and the history of a country,
State, or county must perforce depend upon the record of the prominent
citizens for interest to the general reader. Everybody is more or less
glad to hear of a truly successful career, and it is to this class of men
that the world owes its present commercial development. Chief among them
ranks he whose name heads this sketch. He was born in Chester District,
S. C., December 17, 1837, and is a son of William B. and Eliza F. (Rowell)
Johnson, natives of South Carolina and North Carolina, respectively. The
mother is still living, making her home with her son. She was born in 1818;
the father was born in 1816, and died in this county on January 29, 1879.
They lived in South Carolina until 1856, at which time they moved to Marshall
County, Miss., afterward locating in Lincoln County, then known as Drew
County, Ark. He was a farmer, and later in life took up the practice of
medicine most successfully. They were both members of the Missionary Baptist
Church, and he was in the declining years of his career a Baptist minister,
having been licensed to preach in 1870. He was a Mason, having taken the
Royal Arch degrees; he was, besides, a Democrat. During the late war he
figured prominently in the Confederate troops, and was in the battle of
Bowling Green, KY. This family is of Irish descent, and trace their ancestors
back through generations of famous men. They were the parents of nine children,
three of whom are living at this date, viz.: James S. (the subject of the
present sketch), Jane McCrady (the wife of D. J. McKinney, ex-representative
of Bradley County), and Thomas J. Y. Mr. Johnson spent his school days
in Chester District, S. C., and came with his parents to Mississippi in
1856, and in 1860 to this county, where he has continued to reside, with
the exception of a short time. In 1862 he enlisted in Col. Morgan's regiment
in the Confederate army, and fought in many of the chief battles. Since
that time he has, by means of industry and good management, amassed quite
a fortune, and is a highly respected business man. He owns an estate of
320 acres of valuable land, which is well cultivated. He was elected justice
of the peace in 1884, serving several years. He was married to Miss Maggie
A. Wallace on December 5, 1850. She is a daughter of Thomas and Mary Wallace,
and her birth occurred in Alabama. She received a splendid education at
Oxford, Miss. To them were born one child, a son, Henry T. Brown, who died
when only ten months old. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are members of the Missionary
Baptist Church. He is a Mason of considerable prominence, and is politically
a Democrat. In point of fact, few men have ever been more universally liked
and respected than is the subject of this sketch throughout the entire
county of which he resides.
James P. Jones, one of the prominent
citizens of Lincoln County, Ark., was born in Hardeman County, Tenn. on
September 17, 1848, and is a son of James H. and Martha J. (Watkins) Jones,
natives of Virginia. Both of them died in Lincoln County, Ark., the father
in 1865 and the mother in 1888. from Virginia they moved to Tennessee,
locating in Hardeman County. They remained in Tennessee until 1859, and
at that time located in Arkansas County, Ark., on the Arkansas River. In
a short time they moved to Lincoln County. The father was a farmer all
his life, and was very successful in all his undertakings. They were both
members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was a Mason and a Democrat,
and was one of the most highly respected men in the county. There were
born to them eight children---three sons and five daughters---three of
whom are now living, viz.: William E., Emily (wife of Dr. Bells), and James
P. The latter spent his school days in this county, and after his father's
death took care of and provided for his mother and sister. In 1870 he commenced
for himself as a farmer. In 1885 he purchased 700 acres of land, and this
is in an excellent state of cultivation. Mr. Jones is a man of energy and
ability, and occupies an elevated position in the estimation of neighbors
and friends. In 1870 Mr. Jones married Miss Mollie Davidson of this county,
and their union has been blessed by seven children, viz.: James W., Joseph
J., Cassandrew, Martha, Ida, Emma and Cleveland. He was elected justice
of the peace in 1884, and held that office for two terms. He is a member
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a strong Democrat.
Napoleon B. Kersh. Nothing is
more generally interesting to people than an account of one who by ability
and superior judgment has achieved fame and fortune. Therefore the history
of a county must, perforce, contain descriptions of such men as he whose
name heads this sketch. He is one of the leading citizens of Lincoln County,
and highly respected by neighbors, friends and acquaintences in that section
of the State of Arkansas. His birth took place in Chester District, S.
C., on June 19, 1849, and is a son of Dr. John Jacob and Hannah F. (Cornwell)
Kersh, natives of South Carolina. The family are of German descent. The
grandfather of our subject came from Germany, settling in South Carolina.
John J. Kersh was a graduate of the University of New York, also attended
college in Philadelphia, studying medicine. He practiced his profession
in South Carolina from 1842 until 1859, at which time he moved to Arkansas,
settling in this neighborhood, and turning his attention to the practice
of medicine, and farming at the same time. He died in 1876, when about
sixty-nine years old. The mother is still living with her son Napoleon.
She is a devout and earnest Christian, and a member of the Methodist Episcopal
Church. The subject of this scketch passed his school days in Arkansas,
and commenced working for himself in 1875, by giving his time and attention
to farming. He owns a valuable estate of 3,500 acres, well cultivated,
and yielding a splendid crop each season. He has been justice of the peace
at various times. January 15, 1874, Mr. Kersh married Miss Mildred G. Watson,
daughter of James Watson, and who was born in Chester District, S. C. in
1857. To this union were born seven children, of who Minnie A., Dixie L.,
Mildred I., Hattie, Ivy, Garland and Grady are all living. Mr. Kersh is
a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and his wife of the Missionary
William C. Kimbro, M. D.
In tracing the footsteps on the sand of time left by great men, the name
of William C. Kimbro has a prominent place. He not only adds credit to
the county in which he resides by means of his business ability and marked
success along that line, but is also a very popular physician at Tyro,
Ark. The parents of this gentleman were James and Elizabeth P. (Ray) Kimbro,
both of whom owed their nativity to North Carolina, and died in that State.
The father was farmer by occupation. The mother belonged to the Presbyterian
Church, and by the example of her consecrated Christian life, gave to her
children the principles of true nobility and firmness of character which
never, under any circumstances, fail to reap good results. The family were
of Scotch descent, and of their union were born six children, five of whom
are living at the present time. The subject of this sketch was the third
child, and the only son. He passed his school days in North Carolina and
Georgia, attending school at the Madison Male Institue, and having reached
the age of eighteen years commenced the study of medicine. In 1855 he located
at Weston, Ga., in which place he pursued the practice of his chosen profession
for a period of two years, when on account of his ill health he was obliged
to seek recuperation by rest and travels. During the next two years he
visited a great many cities, towns and places, and as he had opportunity
associated with the physicians of the various locations, availing himself
of whatever information could be had. In this way he did not neglect to
improve himself in his profession. In 1860 he came to Drew County, Ark.,
and made Collins his home, boarding with the late Hon. Benjamin Collins
of that place. During the late war Dr. Kimbro served for a short time,
at the beginning, in the Confederate army, in the Third Arkansas Infantry,
but on account of extreme bad health, he was discharged. After a few months'
treatment and rest, though not quite recovereed as to his health, he returned
to Arkansas, where he was strongly solicited and largely petitioned by
the citizens of those townships named Bearhouse in Drew and Ashley Counties
to engage in the practice of medicine to supply the great need that had
been created by the absence of so many young and patriotic physicians who
had gone to the war, from that county. Seeing he was held in sincere esteem,
he consented to their request, with a determination to do the best he could,
and with this determination and
the regaining of better health, he proved
adequate to the demand. In a short time Dr. Kimbro so endeared himself
to the people that to this day he is affectionately remembered by by those
living in that part of Drew and Ashley Counties in those perilous days.
After the close of the war he located at Midway, and continued to practice
from that place until the autumn of 1883, a period of nearly seventeen
years. During all this time he kept the confidence and held the practice
of the people, being the family physician and friend of over 120 families,
eighty of who did not call any other physician during this long time, so
far as known. His patrons lived in only partly settled country, and they
were scattered over a large territory one to ten miles in every direction,
and it required a total travel (and it was mostly accomplished on horseback)
of over 8,000 miles annually to visit them when sick. The number of sick
persons visited and treated were more than 400 every year; the remuneration
for services was but little more than expenses, yet the Doctor has a pleasant
sensation that the one grand desire and purpose of his life to do good
to his fellow-man has to some extent been accomplished. He also spent two
years at Monticello, where he enjoyed a lively practice. He then, in 1886,
settled in Tyro, where he has had a good patronage from the first. He had
attended the medical college at Augusta, Ga., in 1854-55, and in 1883-84
attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons at St. Louis, where he
received a diploma. Success crowned his effors in the medical profession
from the commencement, and he has always held a high position in the esteem
of his fellow citizens. Dr. Kimbro has devoted some attention to farming,
and is the owner of 360 acres of land in Drew County, sixty acres of which
are in an excellent state of cultivation. Here he teaches his sons the
science and art of farming when out of school. On January 8, 1863, he married
Miss Lou J. Pritchard of Drew County, Ark. She has been the faithful partner
of all his joys and sorrows, and the mother of nine children, six of whom
are living: Barton T., John W., Annie L., Charlie H., Haywood A. and Silas
O. Those dead: Eula J., Eugean R. and Claud. Our subject and his wife are
members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and the former is an elder of
the same, being called to ordination by Mount Olive Regulas Baptist Church
of Christ, Ashley County, Ark., of which he was a member. He was ordained
to the gospel ministry on the fourth Lord's day in May, A. D. 1870, and
for more than ten years, while at Midway and Monticello, he, in addition
to his practice as a physician, labored in the ministry, preaching once
and often twice a day, as many as half of the Sabbaths and Saturdays before.
As a preacher, he has a peculiar way of his own to deliver his messages,
which is attractive. He presents forcibly and earnestly the teachings of
God's Word, taking the whole Bible as the only infallible rule of faith
and practice. He is held in high regard among his brethren, as a correct
Christain, orthodox preacher of the gospel, a sound teacher of the Bible.
In a word, he is a good preacher, and the people like to hear him, and
a respectable number have been called to Christ and added to the church
through his ministry. Of late years, finding it was too great a strain
on his constitution, he does not preach often, devoting his time almost
entirely to the study and practice of medicine. He is also a Mason in good
standing, having done considerable work in that line. Such being his claims
to popularity, it will readily impress itself upon the reader's mind, that
he merits the good-will and esteem received from all who have the pleasure
of his acquaintance. In person, Dr. Kimbro is six feet three inches high,
weighs about 155 pounds, and has a high forehead and large blue eyes, and
though not handsome, is good looking, with a bright, open countenance,
and when in his presence one is at once impressed that he is a man of will
power, judgment and principle, upon whom dependence can be placed. This
brief sketch of Dr. Kimbro and his work will give some idea of what life
is and what man can do. These historic facts have left little space for
further remarks, but we will not omit noting that, although somewhat deficient
in financial ability, excellent taste, mature judgment and professional
tact have been displayed during all these busy years by this hard working
Stephen J. Lowdermilk, of
Choctaw Township, Lincoln Country, Ark., is the subject of the present
sketch. He was born in Marshall County, Miss., in 1845, being a son of
Jacob and Lenora Lowdermilk, and the date of his birth is 1845. He was
married January 26, 1864, to Zella, daughter of Lemuel K. and Tampa Lockhart,
of North Carolina. Mrs. Lowdermilk passed from the scene of her earthly
happiness in 1882, and in the following year the subject of this sketch
married Mrs. Frannie Azbell, daughter of Robert M. and Kizzie C. Pope.
Mr. Lowdermilk figured in many of the prominent battles and minor skirmishes
during the Civil War, and was for a time imprisoned at Little Rock, Ark.
At the close of the war he returned to his family at Jefferson County,
where they continued to reside until the year 1868, when they moved to
what is now Lincoln County. Mr. Lowdermilk is quite popular in political
circles, as well as being considered a first-class business man, and has
been deputy sheriff for a number of years. Besides, he has been several
times elected justice of the peace. Mr. and Mrs. Lowdermilk are devout
and faithful members of the Methodist Church.
James Martin Lyle was born in
Drew Couny, Ark., October 24, 1855, and he is a son of Thomas and Sarah
M. (Knox) Lyle, natives of Ireland and Illinois, respectively. The father
was born in Ireland in 1817, coming to the United States when an infant
with his parents. They located in Illinois, and in this State he continued
to reside after his marriage. In 1851 he moved Tennessee, and from that
point to Drew County, Ark., where he still lives. The mother died in 1862,
and the father married Mrs. Duncan, of Bradley County, Ark. To his first
marriage were born nine children, four of who are living at the present
writing, viz.: William H., Mary P. (Mrs. George Thomas), James M. and Thomas
B. Those dead are John K., David, Franklin, Mrtha Jane, Elizabeth C. and
an infant. By his last marriage there have been two children: Isabella
(who is dead), and Lula (wife of J. A. Bishop). James Martin Lyle spent
his school days in Drew and Lincoln Counties, and at the age of twenty-one
commenced farming for himself, an occupation in which he continued until
1879, when he entered the employ of L. C. Gammill as salesman, and in 1883
the subject of this sketch formed a partnership with his former employer.
He has, since the death of Mr. Gammill, formed a partnership with M. J.
Mead, and he is now connected with H. W. Copeland in the gin business.
August 30, 1885, Mr. Lyle married Miss Nettie B. Gammill, daughter of
L. C. Gammill, and to them have been born two children, viz: Thomas S.
and Georgia. The subject of this sketch has been postmaster at Garnett
since 1887. He is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, of
which he is a deacon. He is also a member of the Wheel, and belongs to
the Democratic party.
Charles H. Lyman, a description
of whose life claims attention in this sketch, is treasurer of Lincoln
County, and a prosperous merchant of Star City, in that county. He
was born in Madison, Wis., in 1841, and is a son of Jonathan and
Sarah (Keene) Lyman, natives of Vermont and New York, respectively,
and who were married in Wisconsin, in 1840. The father was an editor and
publisher of considerable note; born a Puritan, lived the life of
a Puritan, and died a Puritan. From Madison, Wis., the family moved to
a place near Fall River, and in 1850 to Chicago, where the father worked
in the Chicago Journal office. The family next settled in Elgin, Ill.,
where he published a paper called the Palladium. From there, in 1857, they
moved to Kansas. Charles is the eldest of the eleven children born to his
parents, and moved with them to Kansas, following printing as a trade until
he enlisted in the war, in 1861. He served through the war faithfully
and well, reaching the degree of second lieutenant. When peace was once
more restored throughout the broad boundaries of the States, the subject
of this sketch located in what is now Lincoln County, giving his attention
to agriculture. He married Miss Ella M. Sanders, in Pine Bluff, Ark. Of
this union have been fourteen children, ten of whom are still living. The
history of the county is largely dependent upon the successes, business
ventures, and general popularity of those citizens, who, because of their
natural ability to please, and superior judgment, are given prominent places
in the public affairs. Therefore the sketch of Mr. Lyman is of almost inestimable
value to the history of Lincoln County, where he is so deservedly esteemed
R. C. McBryde. There is no one point
in the history of any State or county that possesses so much interest for
the general reader as a sketch of the lives of the great men who make it
their home. Therefore, because of this fact, a history of Lincoln County
would be incomplete without the name and life of him whose name appears
above. Mr. McBryde has for some time followed farming as a profession,
achieving in this line of industry marked success, and the wealth that
accompanies same. He resides in Owen Township, Palmyra post office, in
this county, and is prominent among the gentlemen who have given to the
State of Arkansas her enviable reputation for wealth and splendid estates.
His birth occurred in Tippah County, Miss., near Union, on February
4, 1852, and he is a son of Alexander and Sarah McBryde, natives of one
of the Carolinas. There they were married, and afterward moved to Alabama,
where they lived several years. From that State they moved to Mississippi,
where R. C. was born. They were of Irish descent, the great-grandparents
of the subject of this sketch came from Ireland, settling in the United
States about the time of the Revolutionary War. The family emigrated
to Arkansas in 1860, locating near Helena, on the day of the presidential
election, and later settled on the place where R. C. McBryde resides at
the present time, and where the father died in 1862. He was a member of
the Presbyterian Church, the mother living until 1885, at which time she
passed away to her final resting-place, a devout and lovely Christian woman,
and a member of the same church to which her husband belonged. They were
the parents of three sons and four daughters, who lived to be grown, and
six of whom are living at the present writing. The eldest daughter is dead;
Martha A., died in 1880. Those living are E. P., H. P., Amelia, Catherina,
Euphemia and R. C. R. C McBryde, the subject of this sketch, is the youngest
and attained his majority after coming to Arkansas on the place where he
has since lived. Two of the sons served in the late war: E. P. and H. P.,
the latter being in nineteen regular battles without receiving any personal
injury whatever, but lost his voice for about six months though from what
cause it was never known. At the time of his father's death, R. C. McBryde
took charge of the home place. On December 13, 1877, he married Miss Amanda
Newton, a native of Arkansas, being born in what is now Lincoln County,
but what was at that time known as Drew County. She was a daughter of C.
W. Newton, who came from his native State of Mississippi to Arkansas in
1858, settling in Drew County. Both of her parents are dead, and she alone
of all the family is now living. The other sister, Julia, died while quite
a young lady about the year 1880. To Mr. and Mrs. McBryde have been born
four children, viz: Charles, Clinton, Cub and Julia. Both of the parents
are members of the Presbyterian Church, and Mr. McBryde belongs to the
A. F. & A. M. No. 256, of Star City, and also to the Agricultural Wheel.
He is a strong Democrat in politics. He owns a valuable estate of 400 acres
that is well cultivated. In short, to sum up the truth briefly, he ranks
among the most popular, successful and cultured gentlemen in the county
of Lincoln and the State of Arkansas.
J. K. McClain, M. D. Prominent
among the leading physicians of Lincoln County stands he whose name is
seen above. He is largely interested in mercantile business, but having
accumulated a fortune has retired from active practice business. He is
a son of Col. Samuel S. and Elmira (Godfrey) McClain, natives of South
Carolina and North Carolina, respectively, and his birth occurred in Leak
County, January 16, 1852. After several different moves the family settled
in Arkansas in the year 1857, Bradley County, and afterward changed to
Lincoln County, where the father died in 1884, having reached his seventy-seventh
year. The mother is still living, making her home with the subject of this
sketch. To them were born eleven children, of whom J. K. is the youngest.
He passed his school days in Bradley County, Ark., and in 1876 commenced
the study of medicine, attending lectures in the University of Louisiana,
and afterward engaged in the drug business at Star City with Dr. Anderson.
He also attended the medical college at Louisville, Ky., and continued
to practice most successfully until he retired from active life in easy
circumstances with reasonable wealth. In 1880 Dr. McClain married Miss
Anna Clary, daughter of J. W. and Talitha Clary, who died in the same year.
On November 24, 1881, he was again united in marriage with Miss Mollie
M. Simmons, daughter of Dr. J. G. and Mary Simmons. To them have been born
four children, two of whom are living, viz: John G. and Myrtle E. Dr. McClain
and wife are both faithful members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
He is a master Mason and a life-long Democrat. Although he has retired
from business, he is frequently consulted by physicians from the surrounding
counties because of his superior learning.
F. M. McGehee, attorney at law at
Varner, Lincoln County, Ark., is the subject of the present sketch, and
a description of the birth, occupation and successes of prominent men being
the chief point of interest in the history of any county, this volume would
be in no measure complete without the life of Mr. McGehee. His birth occurred
at what is now Cleveland County, in the year 1854. He is the son of Madison
F. and Lucy C. (Merriwether) McGehee, who were of Irish descent, and moved
from Mississippi to Arkansas, where the father was a leading planter before
the war. Of the nine children born to them, the subject of this sketch
and two sisters are living at the present date. F. M. McGehee was educated
at a Lutheran University at Greensboro, Ala., and in 1875 graduated with
honors from the Classical Department of Emery and Henry College with the
degree of A. M. After six years spent in farming in Lincoln County, Ark.,
Mr. McGehee traveled for two years through California, Colorado, Utah,
Arizona, and New Mexico, surveying and generally prospecting, and in 1884
returned to Lincoln County. In the following year he was admitted to the
bar by the Supreme judges of the Arkansas court. He first practiced his
profession with great success at Star City, and upon the establishing of
a Supreme Court of Justice at Varner, removed to this place, where he has
continued to reside up to the present time. On March 30, 1881, Mr. McGehee
married Miss Fannie D. Marks, daughter of G. M. and Catherine E. Marks.
Robert G. Mann, farmer of Owen Township,
was born in York District, S. C. and is the son of Grief Mann, a cabinet-maker
of York village, who located in South Carolina when a young man. He was
of English descent, and learned his trade in the State of Virginia. He
was married in South Carolina to Miss Rebecca G. Anderson, and died while
the subject of this sketch was about four years old. The mother continued
to live in South Carolina, her native State, where she reared her family
of six children, and finally departed this life in 1866. Robert was next
to the youngest child, and the only one living at the present time. He
was born in 1836, and remained with his mother only a short time after
his father's death, going to live with an uncle, Samuel Anderson, one of
South Carolina's leading men and captain of Militia before the war. He
remained with this uncle until he reached his fifteenth year, at which
time he started out for himself by learning the blacksmith's trade. However,
his eyes failing, he hired out as a farm hand, working eight months, with
the privilege of attending school four months. He married Miss Sarah J.
Bridges of South Carolina, in 1856, and the same year moved to Tennessee,
locating in Wayne County, and remaining there three years. In November,
1859, he returned to Arkansas, locating in Bradley County, and after a
year moved to Jefferson County, where his family resided until after the
war. The subject of this sketch entered the Confederate army in Company
D, twenty-sixth Arkansas serving to the close of the war. He was wounded
at Prairie Grove, Ark., in his left foot by a minie-ball, and experienced
all the hardships and deprivations of a true soldier's life, and was discharged
at Marshall, Tex. After the war he located in Bradley County, Ark.
His wife died in 1863, while Mr. Mann was at Fort Smith and unable to get
home. Again in 1868 he moved, and this time to Arkansas, settling in what
is now Lincoln County. Mr. Mann was married in January of the same year
to Mrs. Mary Johnes, a native of Wilkinson County, Ga., and of this union
were born six children, four of whom are living. Mr. and Mrs. Mann are
members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and he belongs to the Masonic
lodge of Star City No. 256, and also of the Agricultural Wheel.
Joseph W. Mitchell. Chief in
rank among the "great men" of Lincoln County, Ark., stands he whose name
heads this sketch. He is an old and prominent citizen, and one most deservedly
respected and beloved throughout the community in which he resides.
He was born in Tuscaloosa County, Al., in August 1830, and is the son of
Thomas and Almira Isabella (Cherry) Mitchell, natives of the State of Illinois
and Georgia, respectively. After several charges in hunting a desirable
location, the family finally, in 1848, settled in Arkansas, in what is
now Lincoln County, and quite near the place upon which the subject of
this sketch now lives. Joseph was the second child of the four now living,
viz: Almira J., J. W., A. J. and Bathinia (now Mrs. W. Whitehead). Joseph
passed his early youth partly in this State and partly in Mississippi,
and when seventeen years old commenced business for himself, devoting his
attention to farming and stock-raising, an occupation which he has continued
to follow up to the present time. He enlisted in the late war, in 1861,
in the Third Arkansas Infantry, remaining in the Confederate service until
peace was once more restored throughout the country. In the year 1860 Mr.
Mitchell married Miss Mary A. Tryleth, of Chicot County, Ark. She died
in 1874 and to them were born four children, viz: Mary E., Joseph E., Thomas
and Celia Ann. The subject of this sketch married Miss Margaret G. Allen,
about 1876, and of this union have been born five children viz: Robert
A., Almira J., James W., Margaret Annie and Bethima A. Mr. Mitchell is
a stanch Democrat. Mrs. Mitchell is a member of the Presbyterian Church.
Luther Owen, the man whose history
now claims attention, is a wide-awake, thoroughgoing merchant of Palmyra,
Lincoln County, Ark., and is also postmaster of that place. By means of
his prominent positions and because of his naturally agreeable manners,
Mr. Owen has won for himself an immense amount of praise in the community
where he resides. He is a son of Larkin J. and Permelia A. (Johnson) Owen,
of Alabama, the date of his birth being 1858. The family came to Arkansas,
about 1851, from Mississippi, settling first in Drew County, upon reaching
the State, the same county being known as Lincoln County at the present
time. The township of Owen received its name from this illustrious family.
The father of Luther was a prominent physician, following his profession
until his health failed. His death occurred in 1889, when he had arrived
at his seventieth year in the journey of life, and the beloved partner
of his joys and sorrows died about the same time, being at the season of
her death sixty years old. Both are members of the Baptist Church. They
are the parents of nine children, one of whom is a physician at Dixie,
Ark., and six of whom live to maturity. Luther Owen, the subject of this
sketch, received a good education, and commenced business for himself in
1886 by opening a store, in which he kept a line of general merchandise.
He was appointed postmaster in the year 1887, an office that he has continued
to fill most satisfactorily to himself and the community at large. He united
his fate and fortune with that of Miss Mattie Fish, daughter of J. S. and
Eliza Fish of this county. Of this union has been born one child, Elmer.
Mrs. Owen is a devote and faithful member of the Baptist Church. Mr. Owen
ranks very high in the list of popular men in his district, and highly
merits the immense amount of good luck and success that have befallen him,
both in the business and social circles to which he belongs.
Dr. Pleasant H. Pendleton,
practicing physician and surgeon, is a son of Dr. Samuel H. and Anna (Baker)
Pendleton, and was born in Salisbury, N. C., in 1853. The father, originally
from Amherst County, VA., attained celebrity by his skill and learning
in Virginia, North Carolina and Arkansas, and was well prepared to guide
the mind of his son in a channel that could not fail to lead to good results.
In 1859 the family moved to Arkansas, settling in Pendleton, a place named
in his honor. But death soon claimed the beloved wife and mother, and after
mourning her loss, the father was married again to Miss Ellen Douglas,
who survived him. The Pendletons are on old and highly respected family
for many generations back, being of English descent, and after coming to
this country, making a reputation for strict integrity and natural ability
in all communities where they resided. The maternal grandfather, George
Lloyd Baker, was of English descent, and upon his arrival in America, settled
in Virginia. Dr. Pleasant Pendleton was educated in a most thorough and
comprehensive manner, first in North Carolina, then spending several years
at schools in Philadelphia, and graduated at Calvert College, near Baltimore,
Md., with the degree of A. B. In 1875 he graduated from the Louisville
Medical College, and received degrees at Central University at Louisville,
Ky. In the meantime he had served in the city hospital of that city, receiving
this honor in competitive examination with the brightest intellects of
the three schools of the city. In 1876 Dr. Pendleton returned to his home
in Lincoln County, at which point he has continued to practice most successfully
up to the present date. He married Miss Fannie Moore, of Nashville. Dr.
Pendleton and family are Catholics in religion, Democrats in politics,
and rebels by tradition and instinct.
William Davis Person. He whose
name heads this sketch is a farmer and blacksmith by profession, and by
dint of industry and natural ability, has made for himself a good business,
and a local popularity that gives him a prominent place in the history
of Lincoln County. His parents were William and Elizabeth (Elman) Person,
and his birth occurred in Shelby County, Ala., on January 1818. The Person
family are of Irish descent, and claim quite a long list of distinguished
ancestry. The subject of this sketch was married to Miss Julia Eleman,
daughter of Charles P. Eleman, and in 1852 moved to what is now Lincoln
County, Ark. Mr. Person devoted much attention to clearing the land which
is now a beautifully cultivated plantation, and through many years worked
hard as a blacksmith and a gunner. He also surveyed a large proportion
of the surrounding country, with which he is perfectly familiar now, even
to the minutest detail. He was married, the second time, in 1880, and this
time to Mrs. Sarah Wells, daughter of Samuel and Arvilla Ralph, of New
York. Of this union have been born six children-three sons of which
lost their lives in the Confederate army. The names of these children were
as follows: Redford E., Willie Franklin, Wesley, Martha, Elizabeth, Sallie,
Susan, Emma Joannah. All the daughters are well and happily married.
William H. Phelps is one of the
leading men of Lincoln County, Ark., and was born in Marion County, Mo.,
on March March 25, 1848, and is the son of Joseph and Emily J. (Burns)
Phelps, natives of Kentucky. The father was born in 1813, and was accidentally
killed while hunting in Marion County, Mo., and his widow married Milton
Sweeny. The family moved from Illinois to Arkansas about 1856, locating
at Pine Bluff, Jefferson County. One year later they moved to Lincoln County.
Mr. Sweeny died in 1883. To the parents of the subject of this sketch were
born seven children, three of whom are now living, viz: Elizabeth (Mrs.
Ingram Pace), Mariah Van Ness (wife of Charles Van Ness, and the subject
of this sketch). William passed his school days in Illinois, remaining
with his mother until 1862, at which time he enlisted. He served faithfully
for three years, engaging in many battles, and was taken prisoner at Vicksburg.
At the close of the war Mrs. Phelps turned his attention to farming and
stock-raising. He owns 400 acres of valuable land, well cultivated and
improved after the most approved methods. He married Miss Amanda McKeovin,
daughter of Moses McKeovin. She was born in Illinois in February, 1843,
and to this union were born six children, viz: Milton, Molascho, Ora, May,
Lizzie and Willie. Mr. and Mrs. Phelps are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian
Church, of which the former is an elder. Mr. Phelps is politically a Democrat,
and he belongs to the Wheel. Popular men are always esteemed, and among
those who rank high in Lincoln numbers the subject of the present sketch.
Shelby Richardson, planter of
Auburn Township, is the subject of the present sketch, and is a native
of Kentucky, having first seen the light of this world in Mercer County,
in that State, March 21, 1826. He is a son of Landie and Lucy Richardson.
The father is of an old Kentucky family, one of his grandfathers having
gone with Daniel Boone when he discovered the uncultivated but numerous
charms of the State so famous for its products. The education of Shelby
Richardson was chiefly acquired at home, until after the family moved to
Arkansas, when he spent two years at Arkansas Military College, at Tulip,
graduating with honors in 1853. In 1858 he married to Miss Lucy Brown,
daughter of Tyre H. and Martha Brown. Mr. Richardson came to Lincoln County
in 1884, settling upon his present farm near South Bend. He owns over a
thousand acres, a large portion of which is excellently cultivated. His
fortune is entirely due to his own superior judgment and ability, and his
own efforts have gained his success in business.
William H. Ross. He whose name
heads this sketch is among the prominent and popular citizens of Lone Pine
Township, Lincoln County, Ark. His birth occurred in Chester District,
April 1, 1840, and is the son of Francis and Eveline (Hoody) Ross, natives
of Chester District, S. C. They were both claimed by death in the
year 1881. They moved from South Carolina in 1869, locating in Dallas
County. The father was a very successful farmer, and took a prominent
part in the late war. The Ross family is of Scottish descent, and
the Hoods are an old English family. To the union of the parents
of William Ross were born eight children, of whom Andrew J. is dead, and
seven still living, viz.: Rober, Jane (wife of Dr. Gwin), Elizabeth (wife
of J. M. Kirkpatrick), Sarah M. (wife of Hart Gwin), Frances (wife of Dr.
Wiley), Lenora (wife of Judson McHenry),. William passed his school
days in Chester District, S. C., and in 1861 enlisted in the Confederate
army, doing active service all through the war, and surrendering at Appomattox
Court House, April 9, 1865. He engaged in many of the famous battles,
and at Gainesville received a severe wound, and was wounded at several
other points. At the close of the war Mr. Ross took up farming, an
occupation that he enjoys, and one that under his able management yields
large profits. In 1868 he came to Lincoln County, an in 1875 settled
on his present estate. In 1869 the subject of this sketch married
Miss Clarina Jaggers, of Alabama. To them was born one son, Frank
Harvory, who is now with his father. His wife having died, Mr. Ross
married Miss Jane V. Jaggers, sister of the subject's first wife; to this
union have been born seven children, all of whom are living, viz.: William
R., Thomas T., Walker C., Bruce T., Annie, May and Clifton.
George W. Rowel, M. D.
He whose history now claims attention, numbers among the prominent merchants
and retired physicians of Tyro, Lincoln County, Ark. He was born
in Cass County, Ga., on May, 1837, and is the son of William and Sarah
(Hancock) Rowel, natives of Lancaster District, S.C. The father died
in 1870, the mother in 1872. They were married in the State of Alabama,
and after several changes in looking for a desirable home, located in the
State of Arkansas, in Lincoln County, about 1868. At that time this
county was known as Drew County, and here he remained until the date of
his death. To the parents of Dr. Rowel were born six children, four
of whom are living at the present time, viz.: John, William R., George
W. and James E. the subject of this sketch passed his school days
in Arkansas. When he had studied medicine he located in Tyro and
commenced practicing his profession most successfully. In 1869-70-71
he attended the Louisiana University, graduating there with high honors
in the latter-named year. In 1884 Dr. Rowel entered a general mercantile
business, and has always done a splendid business. In 1861 he enlisted
in the Confederate army, and figured in many of the famous battles.
Dr. Rowel married Miss Mary J. Townsen in 1874. She was born in Shelby
County, Miss., in 1853. To them have been born five children, all
of whom are living at the present writing, viz.: Arthur E., Frank, Ollie,
Sarah and Paul L. Dr. Rowel is a well known man, and one who is much
loved by all who know him.
Dr. J. G. Simmons, prominent
planter, of Lincoln County, Ark. Chief among the worthy men, who
by their ability, nobleness, and energy, have raised the standard of business
and social life to a high plane, ranks he whose name heads this sketch.
He is a son of Henry P. Simmons, an native of North Carolina, and in that
State the subject of the present writing was born. His father was
the youngest of a large family of children, passed his youth in Montgomery
County, N.C., and there married Miss Dolley Burnett. He died in the year
1880, and the mother lives with Dr. Simmons. Of the five children
born to their union only J. B. Simmons, of Pine Bluff and J. G. are now
living. The subject of this sketch attained his majority in Franklin
County, worked to obtain enough money to attend Oak Grove College for twenty
months, and in 1857 engaged in the grocery business in Moscow for a period
of two years, after which he commenced the study of medicine, graduating
February 24, 1859, from the Medical Department of the University of Nashville,
Tenn. In Springdale, Miss., the Doctor practiced until the fall of
1860, at which date he came to his present home, practicing his profession
until 1875, when he concluded to devote all his attention to farming.
He acted as surgeon in the Morgan regiment. Dr. Simmons is the fortunate
possessor of a fine farm of about 300 acres that is excellently cultivated.
He was elected Representative from his county in 1878, being the first
Democrat ever elected from that place. Dr. Simmons married Miss Mary
M. Smith, daughter of John Smith, of Drew County, and their union has been
blessed with eleven children, six of whom are still living. Dr. Simmons
is an Universalist in belief, his wife and daughters being members of the
James A. Stewart, prominent physician
of Cornersville, Lincoln County, Ark. The above named gentleman was
born in Coweta County, Ga., on December 28, 1844, and is the son of S.C.
and Lucinda P. (Allen) Stewart, natives of North Carolina and Georgia,
respectively. The father was born in 1812, and is to-day living in
Lincoln County; the mother died in Drew County in the year 1870.
The subject of this sketch had reached manhood when he emigrated from North
Carolina to Georgia. From that point he moved to the State of Arkansas,
living in Ashley, Bradley and Drew Counties before settling in Lincoln
County in 1871. When quite a young man Dr. Stewart learned the blacksmith's
trade, working at it in connection with farming, and has been very successful
through his entire business career. He has for fifty years or more
been a faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Dr. Stewart
married in Georgia, and to this union were born five children, viz.: James
A., Mattie L. (wife of William Tucker), Young C., Nancy A. (wife of John
Franklin), and Lucinda. The two last-named being dead. James
passed most of his youth in Bradley County, attending the private school
of Rev. J. M. Holls. In July, 1861, he enlisted in the Confederate
army, serving until the close of the war, and engaging in the battles of
Shiloh, Perryville (Ky.), Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, and many others equally
famous. At Jonesboro he was shot through the body by minieball, but
fought bravely when on the battle-field, and was elected adjutant of his
regiment. When peace was again restored throughout the country, and
the faithful soldiers were free to take up their private business, the
subject of this sketch returned to Bradley County, being deputy collector
for that county. Afterward he taught school, and all the time devoted much
time to the study of medicine, and in a short while commenced to practice
this, his chosen profession at Cornersville, July 4, 1876. Dr. Stewart
married Miss Laura A. Newton, daughter of John C. and Sarah Newton, of
Mississippi. To them was born one daughter: Birdie May. Mrs.
Stewart is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church; the Doctor belongs
the the Masons, and is a strong Democrat.
William L. Thomasson, a prominent
citizen of Mill Creek Township, Lincoln County, Ark., was born in York
District, S. C., on October 9, 1844. He is a son of P. A. and Elizabeth
Y. (Jackson) Thomasson, natives of South Carolina. The father is
still living in Arkansas County, and is now in his seventy-fourth year;
the mother died in 1850, and after her death the father married Miss Almira
Barksdale, who is also dead. The family made numerous changes before
finding a suitable place to settle permanently, coming to Lincoln County
about the year 1857, and locating upon the farm where William now lives.
The country all around being in a decidedly uncultivated condition, the
first move of the family was naturally to improve the ground and clear
up space for agricultural purposes. William passed his school days
in this county, and in the spring of 1862 enlisted in the late war, joining
Morgan's regiment of Gen. McRae's brigade, and serving faithfully and well
until the surrender at Marshall, Tx., on May 5, 1865. He engaged
in many of the chief battles and numerous minor skirmishes, and returning
home, kept "bachelor's ball" for three years. However, he united
his fortunes with Miss Elizabeth W. Fish, daughter of Janson S. Fish, and
to them were born eleven children, viz.: Henriette B. (Mrs. R. D. Dodds),
Horace G., Willie S., Ada W., Guy D., Ben W., Samuel J., Charles E., Mattie
M., Harvey W. and John A. Mr. Thomasson owns a valuable estate comprising
1,000 acres of highly cultivated land. Indeed, to sum up the matter
briefly, but comprehensively, the subject of this sketch is one of the
most enterprising and wide-awake farmers who resides within the limits
of Lincoln County.
James R. Watson. Everyone
loves to honor the men who by their strict integrity, enterprise, and genial
manners have elevated the commercial, social and religious standard of
the county and State in which they reside. And to this class of men
belongs Mr. James R. Watson, whose sketch now claims attention from the
reader of the history of Lincoln County. His birth occurred in Fairfield
District, S. C., in February, 1830, and he is the son of R. W. and Harriett
(Spars) Watson, who were natives of Fairfield and Sumter Counties, respectively.
Both died in Fairfield District, S. C. The mother died when quite
young, the father living to be sixty-five years old, and marrying Mrs.
Martha Vinson, who is living at the present date in South Carolina, but
is extremely old, being nearly ninety years old. The father was a
most successful farmer, and for many years a magistrate. He took
a prominent part in the War of 1812. He belonged to the Baptist Church.
There were born to the first marriage four daughter and one son.
James was the fourth of these children. The sister of James is now
Mrs. Howell Edmonds. The subject of the sketch spent his youth here,
and when eighteen years old married Miss Lucretia Robinson, also of Fairfield,
S. C. She was born in 1832, an is living at the present writing.
To this union were born seven children, viz.: Harriett (wife of Stephen
Gastor), Mrs. Marianna Slitt, Mildred (wife of N. B. Kersh), Lucretia (wife
of Edgar Rabb), Walker, Thomas, and James. In 1858 they moved to
Arkansas, locating in Drew County (now Lincoln County), and bought an estate
about eight miles from Monticello. Upon this estate he continues
to reside, and devotes great attention to improving same after the most
improved methods. The war resulted in great financial embarrassment
to Mr. Watson, but by means of superior judgment and ability he has amassed
a fortune since that time. He is a member of the Missionary Baptist
Church, as is also Mrs. Watson. He is a Democrat in politics, and
socially a most entertaining and charming companion.
Judge Alfred Wiley, a prominent
citizen and learned attorney of Star City, was born in Springfield, Ill.,
in 1848, and is a son of Edmund R. Wiley, a native of the city of New York,
who was born in 1808, dying there in 1864. He was reared and educated
in that city, and in 1837 followed merchandising at Springfield, Ill.
The mother of the subject of the sketch was Miss Katherine Beach, previous
to her marriage with his father, and she passed from earthly joys and sorrows
in 1887, at the age of seventy-four. To them were born nine children,
of whom the subject is the youngest. He received his education in
Springfield, afterward attending Illinois College, at Jacksonville, Ill.,
and when twenty years old commenced life for himself. He moved to
DeWitt, Arkansas County, Ark., in 1868, where he held several public offices,
and was admitted to the bar in 1871. Judge Wiley was among the principal
movers in establishing Lincoln County, of which he was the first clerk,
being appointed both in 1871, and elected the following year. He
has been judge of this county, and is generally regarded with highest esteem
and admiration by all the citizens. He owns the Lincoln Ledger, the
only paper published in the county. In 1876 Judge Wiley married Miss
Pattie M. Hubbard, daughter of Dr. B. C. Hubbard, of Jefferson County,
Ark. To this union were born three children, two of whom are dead,
and only Alfred, Jr., survives. His wife died in 1884, and Judge
Wiley married Miss Laura Carleton, daughter of John Carleton, and to them
have been born two daughters, viz.: Patty H. and Katie Ki. Judge
Wiley is an elder of the Presbyterian Church.
J. P. Williams, general merchant
of Grady, Lincoln County, Ark. Nothing is of more interest to the
country at large than a comprehensive sketch of the lives of the great
mena, who by their success and enterprise contribute largely to the welfare
of the communities in which they reside. Therefore, a history of
Lincoln County, must in order to be complete, contain a sketch of him whose
name appears above. He was born in County Cavan, Ireland, in 1828,
and is a son of Robert and Mary (Parker) Williams, and is the sixth of
eleven children born to his parents. In 1854 he went to Australia,
and passed about thirteen years there in the gold mines. Afterward
he spent about four years in the mines of New Zealand, after which he emigrated
to California, spending two years there, and then coming to Arkansas, locating
where Grady now is, where he built a store and started a general line of
merchandise. He was instrumental in establishing the post-office
which was for years called Williamsburg, in honor of his good deeds.
After establishing a fine business at this point he emigrated to Colorado,
where for a number of years he engaged in silver-mining, and where he still
owns valuable silver mines. He returned to Grady where he has since
been a most highly successful merchant. Beside his other possessions,
Mr. Williams owns a valuable farm. All this property is due entirely
to his own excellent judgment and untiring industry, and Mr. Williams is
a citizen who is universally admired and respected by his acquaintances.
He is actively interested in promoting the cause of temperance, and is
a devout member of the Episcopal Church. His sister Mary lives with
him, having moved with her brother R. Williams, to the United States when
quite young. Prof. Robert Williams was a man of fine talent, being
for sometime a teacher of language in the Queen's
College at Kingston,
Canada, and also teaching in in different parts of the United States.
For some years he was book-keeper for the Western Union Telegraph Company
at St. Louis, Mo. He was in reality educated for an Episcopal minister
but because of loss of hearing was compelled to abandon that plan for his
life. He was generally beloved wherever he located, and died in Grady,
February 25, 1889. Four sisters came with him to the United States,
only two of whom are living at this present writing.
Fred A. Wood, planter and carpenter,
of Grady, Choctow Township, Lincoln Co., Ark., was born in Greenwood, Miss.,
in 1848, being a son of Jesse and Elizabeth (Tadlock) Wood. About
the year 1855 the family moved from Mississippi to Arkansas, locating about
seven miles from Pine Bluff, where they set to work to improve their land
and run a saw-mill. Some years later they moved higher up the river,
where Mr. Wood died in the year 1866, the calm and quietly beautiful death
of a Christian man. He had for many years been a faithful member
of the Baptist Church. He had also been justice of the peace for
a long while during the earlier years of his life. He was son of
Jesse Wood, who died in Kentucky while Jesse Jr. was quite young.
The subject of this sketch, Fred A. Wood, in 1873, married Miss Elenora
Hall, daughter of John S. and Elenora Hall, whose sketches appear elsewhere
in the history. She was born near Pine Bluff October 20, 1848, and
departed this world in 1885. Of this union were born four children,
viz.: Carter E., Elenora E., James H., and Cornelius O. Mr. Wood
settled on his present farm at Grady some time ago, and has achieved an
enviable wealth by his own enterprise and energy. Besides farming
he is largely interested in stock-raising, and has a beautiful home which
was decorated and beautified by himself.