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John William Rison

Pages 692-693
John William Rison (deceased). No name is remembered with greater respect by the people of Perry County than that of John W. Rison, who, as lawyer and merchant, attained just recognition. He was born in Amelia County VA April 21, 1820 and died June 19, 1886 in Perryville after a useful and well spent life. Peter Rison and Sally B. Booker, his parents, were of Virginia nativity, where they died. The family came of French origin, Peter's father having been born in France; and he emigrated to the United States with LaFayette. Mrs Sally B. Rison was a relative of Gov Bibb of Virginia. John was the second child of three who grew to maturity. He received his education at William and Mary College in Virginia and from that State moved to Missouri, where he resided two years, in 1844 to Perry County of which he was one of the early settlers. He was county clerk of this county for eighteen years and was twice sent to the State legislature where he served in a capable manner. He practiced law in the first courts of the county and for twenty years was the only truly educated man here. Formerly a Whig he later became a Democrat in politics. He was a Royal Arch Mason and Knight Templar and during the war was enrolling officer, sympathizing with the Confederate cause. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In 1843 Mr Rison married Harriett C. Clifton, born in Wilson County, Tenn October 4, 1822. She was the daughter of William Clifton and Martha Tucker of North and South Carolinas, respectively, who were early settlers in Arkansas, dying in Pulaski County. Only two of this family of eleven are living: Harriett and Joshua. In Mr Rison's family were eight children, six now living: Harriett A. (wife of William Timmons), Elizabeth (wife of James A. Fones), Richard E., Albert, Sally B. (wife of Joseph N. Belcher) and George B. When Mr Rison died he was the owner of two residences in Little Rock, valued at $40,000 and a farm of 160 acres one mile from Perryville, valued at $5000, which his widow now owns. She has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church since 1832, and is now one of the most active members of the Perryville congregation.