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Ouachita County

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Dr. J. N. Bragg is the oldest medical practitioner of Ouachita County, Ark., and has, during his long years of practice, proven himself to be of more than ordinary ability, and fully deserves the confidence which is accorded him by all. He was born in Lowndes County, Ala., May 4, 1838, and is a son of Peter N. and Martha W. (Crook) Bragg, who were born in Spartanburg District, S. C., and where there reared and married. They soon emigrated to Alabama, thence to Arkansas in 1843, and located in what is now Camden, in Ouachita County, the place being then known as Ecore Fabre, name in honor of a Frenchman, but Mr. Bragg and a number of other men named the place in honor of Camden, S. C., there being only four or five houses in the place at the time. Mr. Bragg entered a tract of land four miles west of the town, and here resided until his death in 1855, at the age of fifty-five years. His wife died in 1879, having borne a family of seven children: Walter L., Virginia C., Junius N., Florence M., Anthon V., Albert P. and John M. The paternal grandfather, Peter N. Bragg, entered the American army during the Revolutionary War, when only sixteen years of age, and was in the battle of Camden, S. C. Dr. J. N. Bragg has been a resident of Arkansas since he was five years of age, and his name has become a familiar household word. He was educated at Fayetteville, Ark. The year 1861 witnessed his graduation from the Medical Department of the University of Louisiana, and he immediately began practicing at Camden, but the breaking out of the Civil War caused him to give up this work and become a member of the Confederate army. He enlisted as a private, but was soon appointed assistant surgeon by the medical board of Little Rock, in the Eleventh Arkansas Infantry, and served in this capacity until the close of the war. He then returned to his old home in Camden, where he has since been an active practitioner. He has never been an aspirant for office, but has paid strict attention to his profession, and is classed among the experts of Southern Arkansas. He was married, in 1863, to Miss Anna J. Goddard, and of four children born to them only one survives Helen J.[INDEX]


John M. Branton has been a resident of Ouachita County, Ark., for nearly half a century, and in regard to the calling to which he has given his attention through his life, he has followed in his father's footsteps, and is an agriculturist. He was born in Columbus County, April 5, 1832, being a son of Ephraim and Susanna (Tatum) Branton, who were born in North Carolina, February 10, 1794, and January 10, 1794, respectively. The father removed with his family to Mississippi in 1834, from there to Alabama in 1837, and in 1843 came to Arkansas, and entered a tract of land in Ouachita County at $1.25 per acre. On this farm he continued to reside until his death, which occurred on May 10, 1857, his wife's death occurring on October 18, 1885. Their marriage took place in 1816, and their union resulted in the birth of thirteen children, only four of whom are now living: John M., Wilson H., Alice J. (Widow of Reuben Webb), and Civil (wife of Andrew J. Gillespie). John M. Branton, the immediate subject of this sketch, remained with his father until he attained his majority, and upon the opening of the Civil War which had so long threatened the country, he enlisted in Company F, under Capt. H. M. Purifoy, and was a participant in the battles of Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, and at the battle of Port Hudson he was captured and taken to Camp Butler, at Springfield, Ill., but at the end of six months, was exchanged at Vicksburg, Miss., and rejoined his regiment. He soon after took part in the second battle of Port Hudson, but was again taken prisoner. After returning home from the war he resumed the occupation of farming, in which he has been more than ordinarily successful, for he is now the owner of 560 acres of land, with fifty acres under cultivation, all of which is excellent farming land. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, is a Democrat, politically, and as a man is highly respected by all who know him. He has never married.[INDEX]


J. M. Brooks is the proprietor of the Brooks House at Camden, Arkansas, one of the best hostelries in this portion of the State. He is a native of Camden, and as such is looked upon with considerable pride by the people of the county as a worthy representative of a cultured and refined commonwealth. His birth occurred on January 26, 1960, he being a son of Joab and Anna S. (Ruth) Brooks, the former a native of Georgia and the latter of New York. In 1856 they located in Arkansas, and the father was engaged in speculating in Camden until his death in 1861. He was the father of two children: Ruth (wife of James Morfett, of Butte City, Montana) and James M. Upon the death of Mr. Brooks his widow married James Jennings, a gunsmith and dealer in tombstones, well known throughout the county. He was city marshal for over ten years, and became quite noted for his bravery and nerve. J. M. Brooks was obliged to begin earning his own living at an early day, and consequently received only about one year's schooling. He was determined, however, to become a well-informed man, and many of his leisure moments, especially the early part of the evening, were devoted to study, and he thus acquired a fair business education. He was reared to the hotel business, and certainly has a thorough knowledge of that work, and having just completed a new brick addition to his old building which is two stories in height and is in modern style, his establishment is well fitted to accommodate a large number of guests. He has forty sleeping rooms, and can accommodate over one hundred guests, his house being the only first class one in the town. Mr. Brooks is a hospitable and accommodating landlord, and does everything in his power to please his patrons and make them comfortable, and that he is successful is fully attested by all who have patronized his house. His mother engaged in the hotel business in 1860, and together they have had a wide experience in hotel life, and have but few equals. Mr. rooks was married in June 1889, to Miss Anna Y. Young, a daughter of Co. J. R. Young. Mr. Brooks has been a member of the K. of P. for the past ten years.[INDEX]


Dr. J. W. Brown, retired physician and a prosperous merchant, of Camden, Arkansas, was born in Lawrence County, South Carolina, May 12, 1835, being a son of William and Jane (Leake) Brown, both of whom were also born in the Palmetto State. After their marriage, which took place in South Carolina, they removed to Mississippi, in 1844 and from that State to Ouachita County, Arkansas, in 1858, and settled on a farm twenty miles west of Camden. Here the father died in 1861, and the mother in Camden, in November, 1888, aged eighty-eight years, being the oldest person in the county at the time of her death. The paternal grandparents were natives of Ireland, and at an early day emigrated to America and settled in Laurens District, South Carolina, where they spent the rest of their days. Dr. J. W. Brown is one of the two surviving members (the other members being Mrs. Dr. Leake of Texas), of ten children, and the most of his education was received in the State of Mississippi. At the age of nineteen years he began the study of medicine, and in 1855, entered the Medical College of Nashville, Tennessee and two years thereafter graduated at Augusta, Georgia. He came to Ouachita County, Arkansas, in 1858, and was engaged in private practice until the war broke out between the States, then enlisted in the Confederate service, and was in the medical department of the army until the final surrender. He then returned to Camden and abandoning his profession he embarked in mercantile pursuits which have received his attention ever since, his adventures along this line being attended with good results. He has always been found to be very public spirited and has given liberally of his means to worthy enterprises as well as assisting by his influence. He is one of the organizers and is now building the Camden & El Dorado Railroad, of which he is a vice-president, and is possessed of a fine property, being the owner of a large amount of real estate. He is one of the city alderman, is president of the Ouachita Valley Bank, president of the common school board, member of the board of trustees of Hendrick College, the board of trustees of Vanderbilt University, president of the Camden Cotton Compress Company and was a member of the board of trustees of the Arkansas Industrial University. Socially he is a member of the Masonic order, the Royal Arcanum and the K. of H. Too much can not be said in praise of Dr. Brown as a man and citizen, for he has identified himself with every worthy movement of the people, and has enjoyed the reputation of being not only a substantial and progressive man of business, but intelligent and strictly honorable and upright in his dealings with his fellow men. He was married in 1866 to Miss Annie E. Hatley, and by her is the father of five children: J. W., George W., Edward M., Marion H. and Annie Estelle. The family attend the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and he has filled the position of steward and teacher of the Bible class for fifteen years. He was a delegate to the last annual conference held at Pine Bluff, and also a delegate tot he general conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, which convened at St. Louis in May, 1890.[INDEX]


Henry Gaston Bunn, son of David and Elizabeth Bunn, both now deceased, was born in Nash County, North Carolina, June 12, 1838, and removed with his parents to Fayette County, Tennessee, in 1844, and thence to Ouachita County (now Calhoun), in 1846. He attended Davidson College, North Carolina, from January, 1859 to May, 1861, when he returned home and volunteered in the Confederate army, in the summer of 1861, and became third lieutenant in Company A, Fourth Arkansas Regiment of Infantry. In November, 1861, he was appointed adjutant of the regiment, and in April, 1862, at Corinth, Mississippi, was made lieutenant colonel, and was promoted to the colonelcy November 4, 1862. He was in command of the brigade at the surrender, under General Joseph E. Johnston, April 26, 1865 at Greensboro, North Carolina, and marched his brigade home afterward, together with other veteran troops of the Army of the Tennessee. Mr. Bunn began the practice of law in 1866, and moved to Camden in January, 1868, where he has since resided, practicing his profession. He was State Senator from Ouachita and Nevada Counties, in 1873-74, until June of the latter year, when he resigned to take his seat in the Constitutional Convention of that year, to which he had been elected delegate from Ouachita County. He has not held any public position since that time, except special judgeship in the circuit and Supreme Courts, occasionally, and such as are local to Camden.[INDEX]


John A. Burton, one of the oldest and best known settler of Ouachita County, Bridge Creek Township, was born March 3, 1825, in Spartanburg District, South Carolina, a son of Jesse and Lea (Bomer) Burton, natives of South Carolina. His father was a farmer by occupation and moved to Henry County, Tennessee in 1826, where he lived until his death, which occurred about 1870, at the ripe old age of eighty years. He and wife were members of the Missionary Baptist Church. The mother of the subject of this sketch was a daughter of Reuben Bomer, and by her marriage with Mr. Burton, was the mother of twelve children, two of whom only survive. They are John A., the subject of this sketch, and Lemuel H., a mechanic of Dallas, Texas. Mr. Burton knows nothing of his parents' history. Mr. Burton was reared in Tennessee on his father's farm. In 1848 he came to Arkansas, locating in this county, where he entered a tract of wild land, on which he lived for three years. He then purchased a farm in the township and engaged in farming, and also owned and operated a saw and grist mill (water power), which was known and patronized throughout the township. In 1879 he moved to Columbia County, where he was engaged in the saw-mill business until 1884, when he came back here, and has since been living with his son, Jacob W. Burton. Mr. Burton was married January 3, 1844, to Miss Carolina Travis, a native of North Carolina, born in 1825, a daughter of Jacob and Mary (Miller) Travis, and by this union has had seven children, five of whom are still living, viz: Jacob W., (whose sketch immediately follows this), Mary L. (now Mrs. Smith, of this township), Thomas A. (owner of 200 acres of land), Jesse (a farmer of Columbia County). Mr. and Mrs. Burton are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Socially Mr. Burton is a member of the Masonic order, the I. O. O. F., and the County Wheel. Politically, he is a staunch Democrat, and takes an active interest in politics, as well as all work for the good of the community.[INDEX]


Jacob W. Burton, son of John A. Burton, whose sketch precedes this, was born November 14, 1844, in Henry County, Tennessee, and when he was four years of age his parents removed to this county, where he was reared and received his education. In 1862 he enlisted in the Confederate service in the Third Arkansas Infantry, and participated in many battles, the principal ones, however, being Gettysburg and Missionary Ridge. He was captured on Longstreet's retreat from Knoxville to Morristown, and was taken to Knoxville, where he was paroled and went to Nashville, where he remained for some time; then after having taken the oath of allegiance, he went to Helena, Arkansas. The following year he engaged in tilling the soil on rented land in Phillips County, and later, came to this county, entered a quarter section of land, on which he lived until about 1878, when he sold this place and purchased his present farm on which he still lives. Mr. Burton has been twice married, first wedding Mrs. Susan Pate, in March, 1865, a native of this State. She died in 1873, leaving one child, Cornelius M., now at home. In 1876 Mr. Burton was again married, this time to Mrs. Agnes Hoffman, nee Tyson, a native of Tennessee, and the daughter of Uriah Tyson, also of that State. She was first married to J. R. Wilson of this county, who died. She then married Andrew Hoffman, also of this county, and he left her. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Burton has been blessed with five children, of whom three are still living, viz: Edna Agness, Emma Ada and Finnes Ewing. Mr. Burton is the owner of 860 acres of land, and cultivates about 150, raising cotton principally. He also devotes considerable attention to raising cattle, sheep and hogs for market. Mr. and Mrs. Burton are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Mr. Burton is a member of the Masonic order and of the Agricultural Wheel. He is an ardent Democrat, and is well known throughout Bridge Creek Township, giving his time and influence to all public enterprises for the good of the community.[INDEX]


James Richardson Campbell, a farmer, Stephens, Arkansas. Prominent among the leading farmers of the county stands the name of the above-mentioned gentleman, who was born in what is now Howard County, Arkansas, on February 11, 1859, and who is the son of Arthur and Frances Jane (Wommock) Campbell, both natives of Tennessee. The father was reared in Tennessee, and came to Arkansas when a single man. He was married in Howard County, Arkansas and engaged in tilling the soil in that county of which he was one of the first settlers. He died during the late Civil War. The mother is now a resident of Stephens, Arkansas, and is living with her second husband. James Richardson Campbell was the fourth of five children born to his parents. His early scholastic training was received in Columbia County, Arkansas, and his marriage to Miss Martha D. Parker, was consummated in 1887. The latter was born in Columbia County, Arkansas in April, 1867, and she is the daughter of Jonathan and Martha D. (McDavid) Parker. To Mr. and Mrs. Campbell has been born one child. Mr. Campbell has resided on his present property since 1884, and has 160 acres of land with sixty acres under cultivation. This fine farm is situated one and a half miles southeast of Stephens, and is one of the best in the township. Mr. Campbell is a member of the Wheel, and in his political views affiliates with the Democratic party, casting his first presidential vote for Gen. Hancock. He is one of the most successful and energetic young farmers of the County. [INDEX]


Thomas H. Carter, on eof the substantial farmers of Lafayette Township, was born in Fulton County, Kentucky, July 6, 1823. His father, Henry Carter, was a native of Kentucky, and a son of John Carter and wife, nee Bishop, natives of South Carolina. John Carter died at the age of ninety four years, when the subject of this sketch was eighteen years old. The Carters were of English origin. Henry Cater was an old planter and stock-raiser and owned thirteen slaves. He was married to Miss Mary Givens, daughter of Elias Givens, a native of South Carolina, and has a family of eight children, seven of whom are still living, viz: William, Thomas H. (the subject of this sketch), Martha, John, Paulina, Hannah Ann and Ezekiel Columbus, all single, and living on the old homestead in Fulton County, Kentucky, comprising 600 acres of land, except the subject of this sketch. The father died in Kentucky and his wife died in 1834, at the age of forty years. They were both members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Thomas H. Carter, the subject of this sketch, commended farming for himself at the age of twenty years on the old homestead. He came to Arkansas in January, 1853, locating in this county, buying a tract of land partially improved. He bought his present farm, then consisting of 200 acres, in 1862, and has since made this his home. He has since added to this purchase, and now owns 270 acres of land, with 140 acres under cultivation, on which his principal crop is cotton, corn and peas. In 1845 Mr. Carter was married to Miss Martha Seymour, a native of Virginia, born in 1820, daughter of George Washington Seymour, and by this union is the father of six children, five of whom are still living, viz: Mary Elizabeth (deceased), William H. (a farmer of this township), Sallie (married Mr. Bonds, a farmer owning 160 acres of land in this township), John P. (a farmer of this township owns 180 acres of land), and Paulina and Fannie at home. Mr. Carter enlisted in 8162 in Crawford's regiment, Slavin's Brigade, Company A., of Arkansas Cavalry, and served in this regiment until the close of the war. Among the principal battles in which he was engaged are: Mount Elby, Mark's Mill, Poison Springs, and was in Price's raid through Missouri. He was never wounded, but his horse was shot in one engagement. He arrived home in May, 1865, and found everything dilapidated. For five or six months after the war he was engaged in shipping cotton, and dealing in meat and produce; he purchased meat in Missouri, at 12 cents per pound, and sold it here for 40 cents per pound. Mr. Carter is a Mason, but has not attended lodge for several years, he is also a member of the County Wheel. In his political views he affiliates with the Democratic party. He is a quiet man, and never had a lawsuit in his life, and is one of the leading men of Lafayette Township. Both he and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.[INDEX]


James H. Coleman, is one of the sturdy tillers of the soil of Ouachita County, and is now successfully engaged in the management of his farm, which comprises 480 acres, 125 acres being under cultivation, his principal crops being corn and cotton. He was born in Alabama, May 7, 1845, and is a son of Willis E. and Maria P. (Gernigan) Coleman, the former born in Halifax County, North Carolina, March 20, 1818 and the latter in Wayne County, North Carolina, January 3, 1814. Willis E. Coleman was taken to Alabama at a very early day, and was there married February 10, 1837, moving in 1859 to Arkansas, and settling in Ouachita County, where he bought, and improved an excellent tract of land. He was of Irish English descent, and for a number of years was justice of the peace, in Ouachita County. Of a family of six sons and six daughters born to himself and wife, James H. Coleman, the subject of this sketch, is the only one now living. The parents were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in this faith the father passed from life March 15, 1880, his wife still surviving him, being seventy-six years of age. James H. Coleman received very few advantages for acquiring and education in his youth, but these advantages he improved to the utmost, and ins now a well-posted and intelligent man. On June 28, 1868, Miss Mary A. Duncan became his wife, her birth occurring in Washington County, Tennessee, February 13, 1854, both her parents William D. and Lydia Duncan, being also born in that State, the former a farmer by occupation. James H. Coleman and his wife are the parents of three sons and one daughter: James E., William P., George M. and Lydia B. In 1863 Mr. Coleman enlisted in Company D, under Capt. Oliver H. Overstreet, (Arkansas Infantry), and was in the battles of Pleasant Hill and Jenkin's Ferry, serving until the close of the war. All the property he had accumulated prior to the war was destroyed during that time, and what he now has, has been acquired through his own earnest endeavors since he left the army. He and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, he is a Democrat, politically, and for the last eight years he has served as justice of the peace of Red Hill Township.[INDEX][Page 3]