The Goodspeed Biographical & Historical Memoirs of Western Arkansas

Published by Southern Publishing Company 1891.
Biographical sketches of citizens of Montgomery County, Arkansas

He was one of the honest "sons of the soil"

Martin Stephen BATES is a man who nature seems to have designed to be a planter, seems to have met with a more than average degree of success in pursuing that calling, and owning to his desire to keep out of the beaten path and to his adoption of new and improved methods he is now the owner of a good plantation.  He was  born in Cherokee County, Ga., March 2, 1843, a son of Elder J.R. and Mary Ann (Dobbs) Bates, the former a native of South Carolina and the latter of Georgia.  When a boy Mr. Bates went to Georgia with his parents, there grew to manhood, married and lived until 1870, when he came to Scott County, Ark., having traveled over the county in 1848 and reported it was a good one.  At the above-mentioned date he and sixty other persons came here, and now 1000 persons are the offspring of the members of this colony.  Mr. Bates lived in Scott County until 1877, then he came to Mt. Ida, and here breathed his last at the age of seventy-six years.   He had studied medicine when a young man, and although he practiced his profession for about forty years before coming to this State, he afterwards gave his attention to farming.  In 1868 he joined the Primitive Baptist Church, was ordained an elder soon after, and preached the gospel until his death.  He was a Mason for for many years, was a Democrat politically, and while in Georgia, and also in Scott County, Ark. held the office of justice of the peace.  He helped remove the Indians to their reservation west of the Mississippi River, being an officer.  The Bates family are of Scotch and English descent, the grandfather, Stephen Bates, being a Virginia planter and a son of William Bates, one of the wealthiest men of the Dominion.  The mother of the subject of this sketch is still living and resides on the old homestead in Arkansas, being now seventy years of age.  She has been a member of the Missionary Baptist Church for twenty-five years, and has been a kind, considerate Christian lady.  Of a family of fourteen children she bore her husband, Martin Stephen is their fifth son.  In his youth he was given the advantages of the schools of Cherokee County, Ga., but put aside his books in 1861 to join the Confederate Army, coming a member of Company G, Twenty-third Georgia Infantry, with which he served four years, taking part in many battles: Siege of Yorktown, Seven Pines, Williamsburg, besides many others, but escaped without receiving a wound or being taken prisoner.  At the close of the war he commenced to farm for himself, but in 1870 left his native State, and for two years was a resident of Scott County, Ark., at the end of which time he came to Montgomery County, settling on the old Willard place on Caddo road, which he has improved with excellent buildings, fences, orchard, etc. on coming here he was without means, but his efforts have been attended with success, and he now owns a good farm, on which he raises excellent crops.  In 1874 he joined the Primitive Baptist Church, was ordained one of its elders eight years since, and has since been engaged in preaching the Gospel.  He was married, in 1866, to Miss Elizabeth Brooks, and eight sons and four daughters have been born to their union, seven sons and one daughter now living.  Mrs. Bates is also a member of the Primitive Baptist Church, and Mr. Bates is a stanch Democrat. page 478-479

William J. BOWERS. In the fertile agriculture region of Montgomery County, Ark., Mr. Bowers has given his attention to tilling the soil, and as he has always been industrious, economical and enterprising, he has accumulated a fair share of this world's goods and is now in independent circumstances.  He was born in Jackson County, Ala., in 1847, to Adam and Susanna (Darnell) Bowers,  the former a Virginian, born in 1802, and the latter in Georgia, in 1804.  In 1849 they removed to Tennessee, and about 1870 to Woodruff County, Ark., where Mrs. Bowers died in 1876 or 1877, Mr. Bowers afterwards removing to Texas, where he was called from earth about 1878, he, as well as his wife, being an earnest member of the Missionary Baptist Church.  He was one of the honest "sons of the soil," and as a law-abiding and public-spirited citizen and became well known in the different localities he resided.  William J. Bowers is the youngest of the seven children born to these parents, and he was put to work on the farm at an early day and kept busily employed, his school days were limited indeed.  After he had obtained his majority he began and independent career, and as he had acquired a thorough knowledge of farming on his father's farm he has given that calling his undivided attention up to the present time, and is now the owner of an excellent tract of land of 200 acres four miles south of Mount Ida, all of which he properly acquired by his own industry and good management.  He was married in the State of Tennessee in August, 1876, to Miss L.C. Thompson, who died in Van Buren County, Ark., in 1881, leaving Mr. Bowers with a family of four children to care for.  His second marriage took place in Texas in 1886 to Miss Fannie D. Goforth, and their union has resulted in the birth of two interesting little children.  From 1875 to 1880 Mr. Bowers was a resident of the Lone Star State, but after one year's residence in Van Buren County, Ark., he again removed to Texas, which State was his home  up to 1886.  The following two years he spent in Pike County, Ark., but since that time has resided on his present farm, which is one of the neatest and best kept in this section of the county.  he is a member of the Methodist Church of which his wife is a member. page 479

Jefferson COLLIER is one who has been long identified with the farming interests of this section, but he has also used his interests in furthering all worthy enterprises, and as the result as the confidence, respect and esteem of his fellow-men.  He was born on Collier's Creek, in this county, on June 15, 1820, to Martin and Mary Belle (Anderson) Collier, the former born in Tennessee and the latter in Kentucky, in which State their marriage nuptials were celebrated.  About 1812 they came to what is now Montgomery County, and settled on Caddo Creek, about twenty miles from any white settler, but did not remain here long, soon moving to what is now known as Collier's Creek, where they spent the rest of their lives, the father dying about 1822 and the mother on August 30, 1861, a member of the Baptist Church for many years their nearest trading point was Little Rock, and their nearest blacksmith's shop twenty-five miles distant.  As it was thirty miles to a flouring-mill, they often used a mortar instead of making that long (and as there were no roads at that time), tedious journey.  There were no schools, so the early education of their children was sadly neglected, and as the husband and father died at an early day, his widow was left with ten children to care for in this vast wilderness, three or four miles from any neighbor.  She nobly discharged every duty, and her children now "rise up and called her blessed."  Jefferson Collier is the youngest of the family, and as he received no advantages in his youth, he often felt the need of it, and after his marriage, began applying himself to his books and thus obtained a fair education.  He was married in August, 1842, to Miss Susanna, daughter of Thomas and Lydia Markham, natives of Illinois, who came to what is now Montgomery County, settling above Caddo Gap and there passing from life prior to the war.  Mrs. Collier was born in Randolph County, Ark., in 1825, and has borne her husband fifteen children, four sons and seven daughters now living.  When first married he settled on his present farm, which was then an old abandoned place, and this farm of 270 acres has been his home for nearly fifty years.  He is the oldest native resident of the county, and throughout his long and useful career here, has kept his name unspotted from the world.  Just after the war  he was elected to the State Senate, but did not qualify.  He served all through the Confederate Army, in a company of Cavalry, with Capt. William Carroll, and was one of the brave and intrepid "boys in gray."  He has been a member of the A.F. & A.M. since 1854, being now a member of New Hope Lodge No. 42.  He organized Cedar Glades Lodge, and Mount Ida Lodge, and for some time served as their worshipful master.  He and his worthy wife have been citizens who command the respect of all who know them, and for many years have been members of the Missionary Baptist Church.  They have lived a happy wedded life of nearly half a century and are yet in the enjoyment of good health.   They have reared a large family to honorable manhood and womanhood, and the following are those who are living at the present time: Lydia E. (wife of Thomas White), Charles W. (of Texas), Harrison R. (the presenter surveyor of Montgomery County, and one of its best educators), Alfred M., Margaret (wife William Robinson), Arzelia G. (wife of Franklin L. Cash) and Cynthia L. (wife of John J. Peart of Illinois).  John W. Collier died at Camden while serving in the Confederate Army.   Charles also served the Confederate cause.  Mr. Collier was reared in the wilds of this county, and is probably more familiar with the early history of this county than any other one of its citizen.  As an illustration of the expedients to which the early settlers were sometimes obliged to resort, Mr. Collier tells of how his mother at one time "knit a pair of socks, from the wool which she picked from the head of a buffalo, and sold then to a merchant for a pair of cotton cards.  Cards at that time sold for $10 a pair.  The merchant's name was William Barkman.  My father was the first settler on Collier's Creek.  He shot a buffalo from his camp-pole, and I now live within a mile of the same place."

Henry S. GOODNER, general merchant and farmer, residing near Mount Ida, Ark., is justly conceded a place among the enterprising, influential men of worth in his community.  He was born in Wayne County, Tenn., in 1827, to John C. and Susanna (Smith) Goodner, who were born in Tennessee in 1801 and 1804, respectively, and until the subject of this sketch was twelve or thirteen years of age they resided in different parts of West Tennessee, moving then to Tippah County, Miss., where they made there home until 1851.  They then became residents of Montgomery County, Ark., settling near where Oden now is, at which place they spent the rest of their lives, Mr. Goodner dying in 1872 and his wife in 1863, the former being a member of the Primitive Baptist Church, and a farmer by occupation.  His father, Henry Goodner, was born in Germany, and when a young man came to the United States, and was probably married in Maryland, his death occurring in Alabama, a tiller of the soil, having been a soldier in the War of 1812.  The maternal grandfather, John Smith, was in all probability born in the Old North State, and died in Wayne County, Tenn., a worthy agriculturist.  The immediate subject of this sketch is the second in a family of five sons and one daughter, and his youth was spent in laboring on his father's home place.  He was given the advantages of the common schools, near his home, and in the State of Mississippi was married in 1848 to Miss Miriam [M. Laurena], daughter of George and Nancy Willhite, who died in Tippah County, Miss., Mr. Willhite also being a farmer.  Mrs. Goodner was born in Alabama, and has become the mother of fourteen children, five sons and seven daughters living.  In 1851, Mr. Goodner came to Montgomery County., Ark., and has been a resident of Polk Township, where he owns a fine farm of 300 acres, 90 acres under cultivation.  For the past six years he has been engaged in merchandising also, and is accounted one of the substantial business men in this section of the country.  In June, 1862, he joined Company I, Grimstead's regiment of Arkansas troops, and was in the engagements at Prairie Grove and at the evacuation of Little Rock.  He was furloughed home, where he was captured in December, 1863, but after being released, was again captured in September, 1864, at Fort Gibson, Ind. Ty., and was kept in the stockade at Tyler, Tex., until after the war.  Since then he has been with his family in Arkansas.  He served some years as justice of the peace, and in 1876 was elected sheriff of Montgomery County, being re-elected in 1878 and again in 1880.  Since then he has given his attention to his own business affairs, with the above mentioned results. Socially he is a member of the Mount Ida Lodge No. 140 of the A.F. & A.M.  page 480 - 481

W.B. GOODNER  M.D., has been a resident of this section all his life, for he was born in Polk Township, of Montgomery County, in 1857, to James M. and Elizabeth (Logan) Goodner, the former born in Waynesboro, Tenn., in 1833, and the later in Clark County, Ark, in 1836, their marriage being consummated in Montgomery County, where Mrs. Goodner died in 1877, and Mr. Goodner is still residing, a well-known citizen.   He served through the Rebellion in the Confederate Army as a commissioned officer in the Trans-Mississippi Department.  For a number of years he had been a member of the Baptist Church and the A.F. & A.M.  His father John C. Goodner came to this county from Tennessee in an early day and here spent the latter part of his life as a farmer, having previously been a tanner.  He was of German parentage, and passed from this life after the close of the Civil War.  The grandfather, William Logan, was a pioneer farmer of Clark County, Ark., was of Scotch descent, and passed from this life prior to the was.  Dr. W.D. Goodner is the second of nine children, six now living, and spent his youth on his father's farm, his education being received at Bellefonte.   At the age of twenty-one began the study of medicine, which he continued for several years, and in 1883 commenced his practicing at Mount Ida, where he remained for nearly two years, during which time he acquired a good practice.  Since then he has resided at Black Springs, where he has acquired an excellent reputation as a practitioner of the "healing art."  He was married in 1878 to Lucy, daughter to H. S. Goodner and Laurena Goodner, who are residents of Polk Township. The Doctor's wife was born in that township and she has borne her husband one child, a daughter. They are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and for one year 1886 to 1887, the Doctor was postmaster at Black Springs.  He has been president of the Board of Medical Examiners of Montgomery County for six years.   page 481

Dr. W.W. HARGROVE is a practicing physician and surgeon and farmer of Oden, Ark., was born in Tippah County, Miss., in 1844, to James W. and Martha Ann (Poole) Hargrove, who were born in Alabama and Mississippi, respectively, their marriage taking place in the last named State, from which they moved to Texas about 1849.  In 1851 they came to Madison County, Ark., and in 1861 to Montgomery County, where Mr. Hargrove died in 1863, his widow passing to her long home in Scott County, Ark., in 1886, a worthy member of the Missionary Baptist Church.   Mr. Hargrove was a farmer, a son of Lindsey Hargrove.  Dr. W.W. Hargrove was the eldest in a family of five son and four daughters, but as he was put to work on his father's farm at an early day, he received but little schooling.  In 1863 he joined Witherspoon's battalion and operated in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, taking part in the engagement at Jenkins' Ferry, Pine Bluff, Poison Springs and Mark's Mill.  His regiment was disbanded at Corsicana, Tex., at the close of the war, after he returned to Arkansas and began farming in Scott County, where he made his home until 1877, when he took up the study of medicine with Dr. J.W. Smith, remaining with him for about three years, since which time he has practiced with success, and has a good and paying practice.  He was married in 1866 in Montgomery County to Miss Nancy A., daughter of Leonard and Axey E. Jackson, natives of Tennessee, who first moved from there native State of Missouri, thence to Clark County, Ark., and then to Montgomery County, where the mother is still living, the father having died in Scott County in 1886.  Mrs. Hargrove was born in Missouri.  She has borne her husband ten children, of whom nine are living.  In 1885 Mr. Hargrove came here from Scott County, and of a farm of 120 acres of which he is the owner, he has eighty acres cleared and under cultivation, well supplied with good buildings.  He was justice of the peace in Scott County for some time and he and his wife are Methodists.  page 481 - 482

Isaac P. HOLLIFIELD is a well known farmer residing near Black Springs, Ark., but he first saw the light of day in Murray County, Ga., in 1844, being the eldest of nine children born to the marriage of Jacob Hollifield and Lucretia Gordon, both of whom were born in North Carolina, the former in 1814, there marriage taking place in Murray County Ga., where they lived until 1869, at which time they became residents of Pulaski County, Ark., and later of Garland County. Since 1873 the family have made their home in Montgomery County, and although the mother has passed to her long home, Mr. Hollifield still resides here, a farmer.  He has been justice of the peace for some years, has acquitted himself with credit while holding this office and as a man and citizen is substantial and to be relied upon.   His father, Isaac Hollifield, was born in Europe, and when a young man came to the Untied States and spent the rest of his days in the Old North State, where he passed from life.  John Gordon, the maternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch was a North Carolinian, who passed form life in Georgia, having  spent many years as a farmer of that State.  Isaac P. Hollifield was given a limited early school education, and in 1869, while still a resident of Georgia, he married to Miss Missouri, daughter of Ellia and Permelia Sloan, who were born in Tennessee and North Carolina respectively, and in 1881 came from Georgia to Montgomery County., Ark., where, up to the present time, they have made their home, Mr. Sloan being one of the honest "sons of the soil."  Mrs. Hollifield was born in Whitefield County, Ga., and has borne her husband six children, one son and two daughters are now living.  In 1869 Mr. Hollifield came to Conway County, and in 1870 to Clark County, but has been a worthy and fairly successful agriculturist of Montgomery County since 1872, being a resident of his present farm of 105 acres for the past twelve years.  Of this farm he has fifty acres cleared, and his place is considered on e of the neatest and best kept in this section.   He is a member of the New Hope Lodge No. 42, of the A.F. & A.M., and he and his wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church.  page 482

William A. HOPPER has now has now reached the age of sixty-three years, and although he has been a successful farmer, he is now living retired from the active duties of life.  He was born in Lincoln County, Tenn., in 1827, to James and Celia (Hilliard) Hopper, who were born in North Carolina, married in Tennessee, and spent their lives in the last names State, dying since the war, both members of the Primitive Baptist Church. Mr. Hopper was a son of John Hopper, who died of measles at New Orleans while serving in the War of 1812.  William A. V is the eldest of their nine children, and was reared on a farm, obtaining a common-school education.  He was married in Lincoln County, Tenn., in 1848, to Julia, daughter of John Basinger, who passed from life in that county.  Mrs. Hopper was born in Lincoln County, and died in 1875, having become the mother of eight children: Barsheba J. (wife of W.C. Middleton), James M. (of Texas), John F., George W., Celia Ann (wife of Mr. Hewin, of Pike County), Joseph H. (of Texas), Alex Marion and Mattie (the last two named dying young). Mr. Hopper's second marriage took place in 1876, his wife being a daughter of Joshua and Phoebe A. Williams, who was born in Tennessee and Arkansas respectively.  Mr. Williams died in Murfreesboro, Ark., in 1866, and his wife in Montgomery County in 1888.  Mrs. Hopper was born in Pike County of this State, and has one daughter.  She and her husband have adopted a son also whom they have reared from infancy, he now nine years of age. His name is Benjamin L.  In 1849 Mr. Hopper came to Clark County, and settled on Caddo Creek, and in 1851 moved up the Caddo to Montgomery County, where he has lived ever since.  He has improved three farms, and is one of the leading agriculturists of this region, being the owner of about 1,000 acres of land, 300 of which are cleared, the results of his own efforts.  After the war he followed the occupation of merchandising in connection with farming until a few years since, when he was compelled to abandon business on account of ill health caused by paralysis.  During the early part of the Rebellion he served in McNairy's regiment for about three months, the same length of time being spent in the latter part of the war in Oosley's battalion.   He is a member of New Hope Lodge No. 42, of the A.F. & A.M., a member of the Christian Church, both his wives being members also. page 482-483

Robert J. HOUSLEY enjoys the reputation of, not only a substantial farmer, but an intelligent and thoroughly posted man in all public affairs.  He is well known for honorable, upright dealing, and no man in this section of the county bears a better reputation than he.  He was born in Hamilton county, Tenn., February 14, 1840, to George W. and Sarah J. (Elder) Housley, they being born in Jefferson and Meige Counties, Tenn., respectively, their marriage taking place in Decatur, Tenn..  After living in that neighborhood for some time they moved to Hamilton County, and from that place came to Montgomery County, Ark., in 1871, the father's death occurring here in 1884, at the age of sixty-three, and the mother's in 1886, when sixty-five years old, both being members of the Missionary Baptist Church.  Mr. Housley was a clerk in this church, was a Democrat in his political views, and, being a mason, was buried with Masonic honors.  During the war with Mexico he was a volunteer, and started for the seen of action, but the war ended before he reached that country.  He was a farmer and a merchant, and at one time was the owner of 1,700 acres of fine land on Savannah Creek.  He was of English extraction.   His marriage was blessed with eight children, of whom Robert J. Housley was the eldest.  He spent his school days in Hamilton County, Tenn., and was an attendant of the Academy on Waldron's Ridge.  At the age of sixteen years he left home and came to Arkansas, and since that tome has resided near Cedar Glades, in Montgomery County.   He has an excellent tract of land comprising of 360 acres, and, although he has 150 acres cleared and under cultivation, the rest is in woodland.  In September, 1862, he joined the First East Tennessee Cavalry, and served until the close of the war, being in the battles of Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Knoxville, and Marion, Va., where he was wounded with a spent ball, but not seriously.   He was at Greenville when John H. Morgan was killed.  After the war he was absolutely without means, with the exception of a good constitution and the determination to make a success of his life, and first began operating a gin and mill as a means to this end, his efforts meeting with the above mentioned results.  On October 2, 1859, he was married to Miss Sarah I. Freeman, daughter of John A. Freeman, a Hamilton County, Tennesseean, who died July 14, 1887.  Of a family of eight children born to Mr. and Mrs. Housley, five are now living: John W. (a merchant of Hot Springs), James N., Montie T. (wife of James Q. Ryan, a farmer of this county), Joseph J. and William M.  On April 17, 1888, Mr. Housley was married to Miss Nancy E. Bird, of Scott County, Tenn., and by her has one child, Ada Pearl.  Mr. Housley has been a member of the Missionary Baptist Church since 1860, and socially belongs to the Henderson Lodge No. 147, of the A.F. & A.M.  He is a Democrat, has been justice of the peace six years, notary public five years, and postmaster since 1883. Also see Henry Williamson.

Jesse IRBY, a farmer of Caddo Township, Montgomery County, Ark., was born in Madison County, Ark., in 1840 to Dudley G. and Elizabeth (Vaughan) Irby, the former born in Virginia in 1809, and the latter in Kentucky in 1823, their marriage occurring on Blue-Grass soil.  After residing some years in Alabama they returned to Kentucky, where Mr. Irby died in 1873, and his widow in 1878, she a member of the Christian Church.  He was a farmer, and for four years was sheriff of Union County, having previously been county and probate judge.   He was a soldier in the Florida and Mexican Wars, and died a farmer in Madison County, Ala.  John Irby, his father was born in Scotland and died at his son's birthplace in Virginia.  William Vaughn, Mrs. Irby 's father, was of German origin and died in Union County, KY.  The subject of this sketch is the eldest of seven sons and three daughters, three sons and two daughters now living, and he is the only one that resides in this county.  He never received a days schooling in his youth, but at the age of eighteen he left his home in Kentucky, and joined Company D, Second Kentucky Cavalry, his first engagement being Sacramento, Ky.   At the capture of Fort Donelson he was one who made his escape with Gen. Forest, but in May of the same year he was captured at Farmington, Miss., and was in prison at Alton, Ill., until Oct, 1862.  He afterward joined Gen. John Morgan's command and was with him on the famous raid into Indiana and Ohio.  He was captured at Buffington Island, Ind., and for about two months was a prisoner at Rock Island, after which he served as forge master for Gen. Breckinridge until the close of the war.  In 1866 he went to Texas, but soon after returned to what is now Clay County, Ark., and in 1868 was married to Isabella, daughter of James and Elizabeth Miller, who was born in Decatur County, Tenn., from whence they removed to Greene County, Tenn., at which place Mr. Miller's death occurred in 1865, his widow still residing there.  Mrs. Ibry was born in Greene County, and of eleven children she has borne her husband, six are living.  Soon after his marriage Mr. Irby returned to Texas where he lived until 1880, then moved to the Chickasaw Nation and in 1889, to his present farm of 198 acres in Montgomery County, of which he has 120 acres cleared.   He was deputy sheriff and constable in Cook and Grayson Counties, Tex., and for two years served as a ranger on the frontier.  During his residence in the Chickasaw Nation he was a licensed Indian trader for four years and learned to conserve readily with the Chickasaws.  He is a member of the I.O.O.F. and belongs to the Christian Church. page 484

James F. JEFFREY   This worthy agriculturist is the son of John H. Jeffrey, who during his resisdence here from 1839 until his death in 1884 was prominently identified with the county's interests, and his memory is cherished by a host of friends and acquaintances who survive him.  He was married here to Miss Harriet R. Flemming, both of whom were born near Tuscaloosa, Ala., he in 1822 and she in 1826, her death occurring in 1862, both being members of the Missionary Baptist Church.  After the death of his wife Mr. Jeffrey was afterward married twice.  He was a farmer and tanner by occupation, was a member of the A.F. & A. M., and for a short time served in the Confederate Army.  His father, James Jeffrey, was of Cherokee Indian blood, and was one of the early settlers of Montgomery County, Ark., but resided here only a few years, when he went to Caldwell County, Tex., there dying in 1860, having been with Crockett in the Florida War.  James Flemming, the maternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was also one of the early settlers of this region, and in and early day served as clerk of this county.  He was a tanner and teacher by occupation and passed from life in this county in November, 1860.  James F. Jeffrey was born in this county in 1847, being the third of nine children.  He was reared on a farm but few additional educational advantages, and in 1863 he joined Company F., Tom Gunter's regiment of Cabel's brigade of cavalry, and was afterward in the infantry in Southern Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, taking part in the battles of Mark's Mill, Poison Springs, Jenkins' Ferry and others.  He surrendered at Marshall, Tex., at the close of the war, and returned home.  In January, 1870, he was married to Mary E., daughter of Dr. George W. and Sarah Gray, the former a Georgian, who came to this county just prior to the war, Mrs. Gray dying in Clark County, Ark., while en route.  Dr. Gray now lives in Comanche County, Tex., a successful medical practitioner.  Mrs. Jeffrey was born in Georgia, and of twelve children born to herself and her husband, ten are living.  Since his marriage Mr. Jeffrey has lived on his present farm of 240 acres, of which he has 150 acres under cultivation, all being obtained by his own energy and perseverance.  He and his wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and he is one of the well known and substantial farmers and citizens of this county.     page 484 - 485

Benjamin JOHNSON, Jr. By attending strictly to his chosen calling, that of farming, Mr. Johnson has done much to advance the reputation which Montgomery County enjoys as a prosperous farming community.   He was born in Newton County, Miss., in 1842, to Dr. Benjamin and Clarinda E. (Fowler) Johnson, the former born in Alabama, in 1813, and the latter in New Jersey, in 1818, their marriage occurring in Newton County, Miss., where they lived until 1854, after which they settled in Calhoun County, Ark., and in 1858 in Montgomery County, and although they first settled on Walnut Fork, they are now residing on the waters of the Mazarn.  From 1859 to 1861 they lived in Pike County.  Dr. Johnson has been a practicing physician since 1858.  He was clerk of Newton County, Miss., for some years, and served nearly two years and three months in the Untied States cavalry, operating in Arkansas part of the time, but a portion of the time was assistant surgeon in the hospital.  His father, Henry Johnson, was of Irish descent, a Methodist minister, and died in Mississippi.  The immediate subject of this sketch was the second of a family of four sons and four daughters, was reared on a farm, and received the advantages of common schools.  He came to Arkansas with his parents in 1861, and from here enlisted in Company C, Fourth Arkansas Infantry, Confederate states Army, and fought at Murfreesboro, Chickamuga, and many other battles.   He was captured at Chickamauga, and was imprisoned at Camp Douglas until the close of the war, nearly two years.  He then returned to Montgomery County, and engaged in farming, marrying in 1877, Samantha, daughter of David and Anna Basinger, who were formerly residents of Kentucky, but afterward lived in Indiana, Illinois and came from Missouri to this county, before the war, where both died, the father being a farmer and a merchant.  Mrs. Johnson is a native of this county, and has borne her husband six children.  The first year after his marriage Mr. Johnson lived at Caddo Gap, and since then on his present farm, on Collier's Creek, which consists of 264 acres.  He also successfully manages a general mercantile store and a blacksmith and a wood-work shop.  Mr. Johnson has served as justice of the peace in this township to years, bailiff four years, and since he established the post-office of Plata he has been its postmaster.  Socially he belongs to New Hope Lodge No. 42, of the AF. & A.M., and has held several offices in this lodge.     page 485

"The Goodspeed Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Western Arkansas"

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