Garland County, Arkansas, Goodspeed Biographies
Dr. Joseph W. Shaw, one of the leading physicians and surgeons of Garland County, located in Mountain Township, eighteen miles northwest of Hot Springs, was born in Walker County, Ga., in 1844, and is a son of Hiram M. and Elizabeth (Arnold) Shaw, born in Georgia in 1805 and in South Carolina in 1811, respectively. The parents were married in the former State, and resided there until the year 1858; then moved to Saline County, Ark., making this their home until 1874, in which year the father died. He was a prosperous farmer, and one whose energy and good management made his calling a success. While residing in Georgia he served as clerk of Walker County for three terms, and was afterward elected sheriff and served two terms in that office. In 1856 he was elected county judge of Catoosa County, Ga., his residence being in that county since 1853. In politics he was a stanch Democrat, and a leader of his party in that county, and in religious faith had been a member of the Missionary Baptist Church a great many years. His father was Haily G. Shaw, also a farmer, and during life a survivor of the Revolution, in which event he was wounded at the battle of Yorktown. The Shaw family are of Scotch origin. Jacob Arnold, the maternal grandfather, was a prominent farmer of Walker County, Ga., who died in that place a believer in the Missionary Baptist Church. The mother is still living, and resides in Saline County. She is a gentle, kindly, Christian woman, much loved by those around her, and a member of the same church. Ten children were born to the parents, of whom Joseph W. was the seventh, and seven yet living, two sons and five daughters. The other three sons lost their lives while fighting under the Stars and Bars. James H. was a member of the Twenty-sixth Arkansas, as was also Martin A. Both brothers were taken sick at the evacuation of Corinth, and were never afterward heard from. Virgil N. served in the First Arkansas, and was wounded at the battle of Shiloh and discharged. He afterward joined the Third Arkansas, of the Trans-Mississippi department, and was killed by bushwhackers in South Missouri, during Price's memorable raid through that State. Dr. Joseph W. also served in the same company and regiment, from June, 1862, until the close of the war, taking part in the battles of Prairie Grove, Mark's Mill, Poison Springs, Camden and a great number of others. At Pilot Knob he was left with the wounded, and while there was captured, but after one week's confinement be made his escape, and rejoined his company, shortly after surrendering at Little Rock. On the day of Gen. Lee's surrender, April 9, 1865, he was married to Mary E., daughter of Lucillus and Mary L. Bryan, of Tennessee and Georgia, respectively. Mr. Bryan died in Georgia, on June 4, 1860, and in the same year the family moved to what is now Grant County, Ark. Mrs. Bryan died two years after her daughter's marriage. Six children were born to the Doctor and his wife, of whom five are living. Soon after the war Mr. Shaw commenced the study of medicine, in Saline County, with Dr. Joseph Harvey, and, after a close application to that profession, he graduated, in 1870, from the University of Louisville, Ky., and located at Cedar Glades, in Montgomery County. The following year he moved to Red Bluff, in Jefferson County, where he resided for two years, but was compelled to leave on account of his health. Since then Dr. Shaw has lived in Garland County, and on his present farm since 1878, where he owns about 240 acres of very productive land, with some ninety acres under cultivation, making one of the best farms on Blakely Creek. This he has accumulated by his own industry and judicious management, and made most of the improvements himself, the land only having twenty acres cleared on his arrival. Dr. Shaw is one of the most successful physicians in Garland County. This he owes, not to his wonderful knack of winning friends wherever he goes, but to his skill, which has attained a widespread reputation. He is also one of the oldest practicing physicians and surgeons in Garland, having an experience of twenty years in his profession. In politics he is Independent. In 1888 he was placed in nomination by the various Labor organizations and Independents, for the office of State senator for the Thirty-first senatorial district, and, though making a creditable race, was defeated by the Democratic nominee. He has been a member of Henderson Lodge No. 147, at Cedar Glade, for twenty years, and is the present Master, besides holding, at different times, nearly all the offices. In religious belief the Doctor and wife attend the Missionary Baptist church, and are liberal in their aid to all religious and educational enterprises.
Dr. Elijah A. Shippey, by no means unknown as a prominent medical practitioner of Hot Springs, was born in Spartanburg District, S. C., in 1832, and is a son of Johnson and Catherine (Austel) Shippey, natives of the same State. About the year 1833 the parents moved to Alabama, residing there until 1848. They then went to Louisiana, where the father died in 1863, and the mother in 1871. The parents were members of the Methodist Church and of English-Irish origin. The father was a very successful farmer during his life, and a man highly respected by all who knew him, his father being also a farmer and one of the heroes of the Revolution. Elijah A. Shippey, the eldest of three sons and four daughters born to the parents, was reared on a farm, and received a good academic education, at the age of eighteen years commencing the study of medicine in Louisiana. In 1854 he graduated from the Medical Department of the University of Louisville, Ky., and practiced in Louisiana until the Civil War commenced, when he enlisted and served as assistant surgeon until the close of that event. In 1857 Dr. Shippey was married to Margaret, daughter of Alex and Elizabeth Lawrence, of Louisiana, and in 1865 he moved with his wife to Arkansas. They resided two years in Magnolia, and from there went to Camden, and in 1873 came to Hot Springs, where the Doctor has resided ever since. He is one of the most successful as well as one of the oldest practicing physicians and surgeons in that section, attained a reputation for skill in his profession that cannot be exceeded by any practitioner in Central Arkansas. The Doctor owns a splendid farm of 600 acres, about eight miles west of the city on the Mount Ida road, and has placed some 200 acres under cultivation besides building a fine residence. In politics he was formerly a Whig, but since the war he has voted the Democratic ticket, and is one of the stanchest adherents to that party. In secret societies he is a member of Centennial lodge No. 5, Knights of Pythias, at Hot Springs, and holds the office of Commander. He and wife both belong to the Methodist Church. They are among the foremost people in that section to aid by hearty support and influence in all commendable movements.
J. W. Skief, a pioneer farmer of Mill Township, Garland County, Ark., was born in Illinois, February 11, 1832, the son of John and Isabell Skief. The former was born in Smith County, Tenn., in 1800, and engaged in farming all his life. He was married in 1822, by which union he had five children, only two of whom are now living: Arena (wife of Lewis Dalton), and J. W. (the subject of this sketch). In 1823, removing from Tennessee to Illinois, he entered land in Clay County, and there died in 1836. His wife was of Scotch and English descent, her birth occurring in Tennessee in 1803; she died in 1852, a member of the Presbyterian Church. J. W. Skief was reared on a farm; though in youth he had no opportunities to obtain an education, except the efforts put forth at home evenings to study by the light of pine knots. In 1844 he removed with his mother to Texas, and the following year to Arkansas, settling in what is now Garland County. In 1854, in company with his brother-in-law, John Gibbons, he crossed the plains via Salt Lake City to Los Angeles, and on to Lower California with ox teams. While on the journey they spent much of their time in hunting antelopes, deer, mountain goats, etc. From Lower California they went to Maine Prairie, where they worked in the mines a short time and also in the Jimtown mines. In 1857 they went to a point on the Columbia River, in Washington Territory, thence on to British America, from there to Queen Charlotte, and Van Couver Island, and at the latter place boarded the ship Panama, for San Francisco and on to New York City. Starting for home across the country, they traveled by stage principally, and in 1859 returned to Hot Springs. Soon after an extended trip was taken through Texas and the extreme South, returning in 1860. In 1861 Mr. Skief enlisted in Company F, of Third Arkansas Cavalry. He was in the battles of Iuka, Corinth, Missionary Ridge, Holly Springs, Spring Hill and many others, and served until the close of the war, and was never captured or wounded. Mr. Skief was married in 1866 to Mary E., daughter of D. M. McGrew. She was born in Illinois in 1840. Mr. McGrew was born in 1816 and died in 1864. His wife was born in 1818 and died in 1875. They were the parents of four children: Martha (wife of R. W. Gibbons), Sarah (wife of David Mayberry), Riley and Mary E. (wife of the subject of this sketch.) Mr. Skief is one of the successful and practical farmers of Garland County. He owns a fine farm of 320 acres, with 120 acres under cultivation, and raises a superior grade of Short-horn cattle. His good orchard yields abundant returns, and his buildings and fences are kept in first-class order. He has probably the most commodious barns in the county, one being 50x50 feet and the other forty feet square, containing room to stable all his cattle and store his grain. Mr. Skief is a member of the A. F. & A. M.
S. H. Stitt, proprietor Arlington Hotel, Hot Springs, Ark. there is nothing adds so much to the prestige of a city, in the estimation of a stranger, as first-class hotel accommodations. Prominent among those of Hot Springs comes the old and familiar Arlington House, which name has about it the ring of a familiar and tried friend. The proprietor, Mr. Stitt, is a native of Tennessee, was reared in Nashville, and there received his education in the public schools. At the age of sixteen years he engaged in business, principally the hotel occupation, and in 1867 came to Little Rock, where he was in the ice trade until 1869. He then located in Hot Springs, and in 1870 opened the Hot Springs Hotel, associated with Maj. W. H. Gaines, and ran this until 1874, when he sold out. Then in connection with Col. W. S. Fordyce, president of the St. Louis & Texas Railroad, he erected the Arlington Hotel, which is now the most popular house at Hot Springs. It is located near bath-houses and has every convenience. The house contains 180 rooms, and special rates are made to commercial men. Mr. Stitt is a prince among hotel men, is naturally suited and adapted for it; he keeps his help constantly under supervision, and sees that guests are properly cared for. His marriage took place in 1875 to Miss Augusta, daughter of Maj. W. H. Gaines, and by her became the father of five children. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and the I. O. O. F. He was born at Bridgeport, England, but came to America with his parents when an infant, and located in Nashville, Tenn.
Hon. John J. Sumpter, attorney, Hot Springs, Ark. Mr. Sumpter is one of those men, too few in number, who fully recognize the truth so often urged by the sages of the laws, that, of all men, the reading and thoughts of a lawyer should be most extended. Mr. Sumpter was born in Warrenton, Warren County, Mo., on July 7, 1842, and is the son of James and Elizabeth Sumpter, the former of whom died in 1861, but the latter is still living. John J. Sumpter received his education in the common schools, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1878, since which time he has successfully practiced his profession. He entered the Confederate army in 1861, Third Arkansas Cavalry, as a private, was promoted to lieutenant in 1862, and was subsequently made captain, serving in that capacity until the close of the war. He was in nearly all the engagements throughout Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, South and North Carolina, under Gens. Forrest and Wheeler, and was a brave and fearless officer. He was married to Miss Nannie E. Cayce, a native of Tennessee, November 8, 1866, and the fruits of this union were six children, three of whom are now living: John J., Jr. (aged twenty years), Orland H. (aged eighteen years) and Mary L. (aged fifteen years). Mr. Sumpter is one of the prominent men of the State, and has held many official positions. He was sheriff two terms, represented his county in the legislature three times, and is at present State senator. He was a member of the National Democratic Committee from Arkansas eight years. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, a Past D. G. C. of the G. C. Knights Templar, a Thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason, and was Grand Master of the State in 1883 and 1884, Grand High Priest in 1882 and 1883, and represented the State at the meeting of the General Grand Chapter of the United States at Denver, in 1883. He is also a member of the K. of P., Royal Arcanum, I. O. O. F. and other secret orders. He and his wife and children are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He is superintendent of the Sunday-school and president of the board of stewards, president of the board of trustees and class leader. He is a member of the school board; is also a director in two of the leading building associations of the city. He has large interests in Hot Springs, and is the owner and proprietor of the Sumpter House, one of the finest in the city, and one that will accommodate 100 guests. He is also doing a large real-estate, loan and insurance business.