Biographical and Historical
Memoirs of Western Arkansas
Goodspeed Publishers, 1891

 

 

Polk County

 

Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Western Arkansas

"We will revive those times, and in our memories preserve and still keep fresh, like flowers in water, those happier days."–Richter.

THE county of Polk, in the State of Arkansas, lies on the western tier of counties, and is bounded north by Scott County, east by Montgomery and Howard Counties, south by Howard and Sevier Counties, and on the west by the Indian Territory. According to the Government survey of the public lands it comprises all of Townships 1 to 4, inclusive, south of the base line, in Ranges 28 to 32, inclusive, west of the fifth principal meridian, and all of Townships 5 and 6 south of the base line, in Ranges 31 and 32 west, and also that part of Township 6 south, lying in fractional Range 33 west, containing in all an area of 876 square miles, or 560,640 acres. A more definite description of the county is as follows: Beginning on the

base line at the northeast corner of Township 1 south, in Range 28 west; thence south on the range line to the line dividing Townships 4 and 5 south; thence west on the township line to the line dividing Ranges 30 and 31 west; thence south on the range line to the township and correction line between Townships 5 and 6 south; thence east on the correction line to the line dividing Ranges 30 and 31 west; thence south on the range line to the line dividing Townships 6 and 7 south; thence west on the township line to the western boundary of the State; thence north on the State line to the base line; thence cast on the Fourche la Fave Mountain Ridge to the place of beginning.

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Polk is in the same latitude as Montgomery County, a description of which is given in this volume, and it lies mostly in the ninety-fifth degree of west longitude. Its altitude above sea level in the vicinity of Dallas, the county seat, is about 1,400 feet, and fourteen miles north of west from Dallas, Rich Mountain rears its lofty summit about 2,700 feet above tide water, making it the highest point of land in the State. The surface of the [p.435] county is both hilly and level. A mountain range, known as the Fourche la Fave, running the entire length of the county, divides Polk from Scott County on the north. Through this range are two gaps, or accessible passes–Eagle or Foren– through which are wagon roads, and the grade is not too great for railroads through either. Rich Mountain, one of nature's curiosities, lies directly and immediately south of the western part of the Fourche la Fave range, and extends westward into the Indian Territory. This mountain has phenomenal features worthy of especial mention. On its summit are several hundred acres of rich lands, nearly level and very productive, resembling river-bottom land, both in soil, timber and vegetation. Beech and linden, and all the other kinds of timber found on the bottoms of this region of the country, grow on the top of this mountain. Good cold springs of freestone and chalybeate water are also found there. The altitude being so great, a blanket covering is necessary to keep a person comfortable on the warmest summer nights, and the days are very pleasant, not excessively cold even in winter. Several families live on this mountain, and have rich and valuable farms. Frequently they can enjoy the sunshine and look down on the clouds that are showering the lands below.

The Kiomiche Mountain touches the county on the west, and through it are several nearly level passes, by which the Indian Territory is reached. South of Dallas, in the central part of the county, are the Silver Mountains, comprising a large proportion of the area of the county. Their conical shaped peaks, all covered with forest trees, with their beautiful foliage, are the loveliest of scenery as beheld from the valleys or lower lands.

The county is well watered with as fine mountain streams as the world affords. The north central and northeastern part of the county is drained by the Ouachita or Washita River, which flows in an easterly direction into Montgomery County. This river has several tributaries, all beautiful streams of water, clear as crystal. The southeastern part of the county is drained by the headwaters of Caddo Creek and the Clear Fork of the Little Missouri, flowing in a southeasterly direction. The southern portion is drained by the headwaters or streams of the Saline and Cossatot Rivers, and the Rolling Fork of Little River. The western part of the county is drained by Mountain Fork and other streams which flow westerly into the Indian Territory and thence into Little River. Big Creek drains a small portion of the northwestern part of the county and flows thence into Potean River. The dividing ridge between the waters that flow northwardly and eastwardly by way of the Ouachita and its tributaries, and the waters that flow in all other directions from the county, extends a distance east and west near Dallas, mostly southeast thereof. The Fourche la Fave and Rich Mountain range form the dividing ridge or watershed between the Arkansas River on the north and Red River on the south.

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South of this mountain range, twelve miles in extent, is the Ouachita River Valley, which reaches to Dallas. Of this region Col. Thompson, of the Arkansas Forest and Farm, recently published the following: "One hundred miles north of Texarkana, eighty-five miles south of Fort Smith and eighty miles west of Hot Springs on the western border of Arkansas and over 1,400 feet above the Gulf of Mexico, surrounded by the Cossatot, Fourche and Rich Mountains, where the Cossatot, Ouachita, Potean and the Mountain Fork of Little River all have their birth, winding their way by the four points of the compass to the ocean, it was here we found Dallas Park, a land fit for the home of the gods, where fruits, flowers, cereals and grasses are unexcelled any where in this broad land. The park is about twelve miles broad and eighteen miles long, but at present only about ten per cent is under cultivation, the remainder in timber of various kinds, all of fine growth. Water is abundant and as pure as ever dropped from the clouds, though mineral springs of various kinds are frequently found, some having been noted for years for their curative properties and visited by people from the low lands of this State, Louisiana and Texas. With easy access, the region would soon become, among health and pleasure seekers, as the many now celebrated mountain resorts of the East. From one spur of [p.436] the Cossatot, near the town of Dallas, we saw over forty springs, all within the space of an acre or so." There are good mineral and fresh-water springs throughout the county, and the water in the streams is so clear and pure that it is used by some families for domestic purposes. Good well water, except on the mountain tops, can also be procured at moderate depth. Springs flow also from the mountain tops.

The county was originally covered with a dense growth of timber, and as only a small portion of its area has been cleared there are still very extensive forests of the best of pine, several varieties of oak, hickory, sweet and black gum, some walnut, cedar and other varieties. None of the timber has been cut and shipped away. A few small saw-mills which saw lumber only for home use exist in the county. As soon as this section of country shall be traversed with railroads to give an outlet, a great industry in the lumber business will spring up. In the valleys along the streams the soil is alluvial, deep and exceedingly fertile, and on the higher lands it is composed of humus, sand and clay, and it produces well wherever the land lies level enough for cultivation. Even on the mountain tops plateaus of very productive land are found. In some places on the gently inclining hillsides where the surface is so completely covered with small stones that strangers (without seeing the crops) would comdemn them as worthless, heavy crops of corn are grown. Cotton, corn, oats and wheat are the chief products raised. With proper cultivation the bottom lands will produce a bale of cotton per acre, and the uplands from a half to two-thirds as much; of corn the bottom lands could easily be made to produce from thirty to sixty bushels, and the uplands a less amount in proportion to their streugth. However these results are seldom obtained, because scientific farming has not been adopted except by a very few individuals. It is said that clover and the tame grasses do well here, but as yet they have not been raised to any extent either for hay, pasture or for fertilizing the lands. The wild range where the stock lives the year round without care, is depended upon for pasture, and as the lands continue to produce fair crops with the old methods of cultivation, no extra efforts are made to raise more. Transportation–ontlets by rail for the surplus products–is the thing most needed for the development of the resources of this part of the State.

There are nearly 200,000 acres of land yet in Polk County subject to homestead entry, and improved lands can be purchased for from $3 to $8 per acre. Mineral lands or such as are known to contain minerals are not subject to homestead entry. Prof. J. Van Cleve Phillips of St. Louis, an eminent geologist, spent several weeks in Polk County in 1885, examining and investigating the geological formation, and afterward published the following: "Having been over portions of Pulaski, Saline, Hot Springs, Garland, Montgomery, Polk, Sevier and parts of adjacent counties, and studied the topography and ores so far as discovered, I am led to the conclusion that these counties include the central part of what will eventually prove to be the richest nickel, tin, silver and gold fields on the continent; that the metals here stored up have direct relationship to the coming population of the Mississippi Basin, where it will have 300 to the square mile; that mining parties who propose to develop these silver veins, must go to work to make silver mining a practical and permanent industry, and that the town which will be most benefited by this industry will be where the most practical knowledege of nickel, tin, silver and gold mining and reducing these ores are made a daily discussion and study."

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Since the above was published several mines have been opened in Pope County, among which are those best known as the Worthington Mines, located about two and a half miles south of Dallas, and the Burns Bros.**** Mines, situated twelve miles southeast of Dallas. The former produces gold and silver, and the latter manganese. At the Worthington Mines, Mr. Lee Worthington owns eight or ten claims, Mr. Clarence Swartout six, Martin Durham and others each several claims, and the Silver Leaf and Copper Queen mining companies have three claims each. Assays of the ores taken from the Worthington Mines give good [p.437] results, all the way from $15 to $200 of gold and silver per ton. The silver predominates. At these mines three tunnels and their cross-cuts measuring 100 feet each have been made.

Burns & Bro. claim for their mines the best and purest manganese in the world, having had it assayed in large quantities by the best assayists in both Europe and America, it running all the way from fifty to seventy-six per cent of metallic manganese, and in some instances there being no phosphorus and no sulphur, and only one per cent of silica and two per cent of earthy matter. As these mines are not yet in operation the quality only, and not the extent of the manganese, is known. Seven different mines have been opened where the quality has been found to be excellent, and from all appearances the quantity is abundant. Manganese, gold and silver, iron and other valuable minerals exist in other parts of the county than these mentioned here. The owners of the mining claims so far as taken, are now doing the work thereon annually required by the Government in developing their mines, are taking care of the ores excavated, and awaiting the ingress of railroads, when they expect to obtain a rich harvest in fully operating their mines, and reducing the precious metals for the world's markets.

Pertaining to horticulture in Polk County, Judge Thad. M. Carder, of Dallas, one of the leading horticulturists, thus writes:

"There is seldom a failure of apples. The trees grow well, and but few die from the effects of the grub, when properly cared for. There being no market, but little attention has been given to the orchard until the past few years. Young orchards are at nearly every farm house now. Peaches grow large, but are not a sure crop, say, as an average, two crops in three years. Plums are not a sure crop. Pears and quinces do well; all small fruits that have been cultivated give entire satisfaction.

"This is the home of many varieties of grapes. The Ouachita, or Mountain grape, about the size of the Concord, grows wild on the mountain. The few vineyards that have started have given entire satisfaction, not a failure in eight years; large fruit and a fine flavor, no blight, mildew or insects, but few leaf rollers. The varieties that give the best satisfaction that have been tried, are the Concord, Ives Seedling, Hartford Prolific, Delaware, Norton's Virginia, Summerville and Amber. The east-face hill land is the best for all fruit crops. Nearly any of the ridges are rich enough without any fertilizer. Strawberries grow wild wherever protected from stock. The few that have cultivated the strawberry have received ample reward for their labor in large and finely flavored berries and an abundant yield."

Since the above was written a largely increased interest in the growing of fruits has been manifested. Thousands of young apple trees have been recently planted, and many have planted extensive vineyards. James Owens, of Dallas, is probably the largest apple-grower in the county. Among the varieties of this excellent fruit that succeed best in this part of the country are Kentucky Red, Limber Twig, Red Pippin, Shannon, Winter Pearmain, Northern Spy and Arkansas Black. Grape culture has already been made a specialty, and an association for the better culture of the vine has been organized. Thad. M. Carder, M. J. Hopkins, W. Nall and J. F. England, of Dallas and vicinity; T. J. Tate, W. C. Smith and O. T. Allison, in

the neighborhood of Cove; S. C. Bates and M. V. Lee, at Egger post-office; James S. Standridge, on Big Fork, and about thirty others constitute the members of the association, and are the leading vine-growers. All of these have from 150 to 7,000 vines each. Judge Carder has 7,000 vines under cultivation, about half of which are old enough to bear. There are 129,500 grapevines growing in vineyards in the county, none of which contain less than half an acre, and nearly all of them were only three years old in the fall of 1890. This industry is confined mostly to the localities of Dallas and Cove. A considerable quantity of native wine has already been manufactured, and much will be made in the near future.

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Judge Carder also writes the following quotation: "Range or wild grass. Stock run at large, plenty of grass in the spring or summer. Beggar lice and peavines in the fall. Cattle and [p.438] horses do well on the range from April to October, and sometimes later, owing to the fall. Some cattle go through the winter without feed. There is a large amount of wild land in the mountains, and in fact all over the country, that will likely not be enclosed for many years. Hogs run at will and thrive on the mast and vegetables and roots, and but few hogs are fed, only those that are intended for bacon, and many kill their meat from the woods. The acorn crop seldom fails."

The number of domestic animals assessed for taxation in Polk County in 1889 was as follows: Horses, 2,284; cattle, 11,931; mules and asses, 909; sheep, 3,505; hogs, 17,861. This is a very good showing in the raising of live stock in a rural county so far from railroad markets. The extensive range, mild climate, many streams and other favorable conditions make the county a very favorable place for raising live stock to advantage.

There is a United States signal service station at Dallas, with Judge Thad. M. Carder, as superintendent. The tower on the mountain a short distance south of the Judge's residence, is 1,892 feet above the sea, and 480 feet above the common level surrounding it. The average temperature at Dallas, for the year 1889, was fifty-nine degrees, and the rainfall was forty-one and a half inches. This shows that the climate is mild, and that the rainfall, even though in a montainous country, is amply sufficient.

The Texarkana & Northern Railroad, with Fort Smith as its objective pointon the north, must pass through Polk County when completed. On the southern end of this line the cars are running from Texarkana to Red River, and work is being done to finish the road several miles farther north; to reach the pine timber, and the probability is that ere long it will be built to its northern terminus. The line of another proposed railway known as the Memphis, Little Rock & Indian Territory, passes east and west through the county. Not until these railways, or others in their stead, are constructed, will the resources of Polk County become fully developed.

The taxable property of Polk County was assessed in 1889, for taxation, as follows: Real estate, $273,088, personal property, $452,195, making a total of $725,283. To approximate the real value of the taxable wealth of the county, this amount should be trebled, as the property was assessed at only about one-third of its true value. The total amount of taxes charged in the county in 1889, as shown by the tax books, was $27,308.80. The number of acres taxed was 98,653, and the number of polls 1,797.

Before the settlement of the county began "the Indian hunter pursued the panting deer and the wild fox dug his hole unscared." Here then the wild beasts of the forest roamed over the mountains and valleys undisturbed by white men. When the first pioneers came, about 1830, the buffaloes which had previously been so numerous, seemed to scent the approach of civilization, and took their final leave, and fled to the westward. The bears, also numerous, stood their grounds as best they could, and although many have fallen before the hunter's rifle, and have been used to partially supply the larders of the early settlers and later citizens, a few still remain in their mountain fastnesses, and bear steak is yet occasionally served on the tables. Wolves were once very numerous and very pestiferous to the settlers, being destructive of pigs and sheep, but they are now scarce. The panthers also are nearly all gone. The deer and wild turkeys formerly very numerous and so useful for food for the pioneers, still remain in quantities sufficient to amuse and repay the hunter. Ducks, quails and other wild fowl still abound. Many of the smaller animals also abound and fine fish are found in the beautiful mountain streams. These remarks concerning wild animals and wild fowls apply also to the counties of Scott and Montgomery.

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The settlement of the territory now composing Polk County began about the year 1830, or perhaps a little earlier. Thomas Griffith, from Illinois, settled near the present village of Dallas, and about the same time Jacob Miller settled two miles east of Dallas, where Ben Thompson now resides, and George Wiles settled in the same neighborhood. In December, 1833, James Pirtle from Tennessee settled on the farm where his son, B. [p.439] F. Pirtle, now resides one-half mile north of Dallas. The same year Isaac Pirtle and Ben Pirtle also from Tennessee, made their settlements–the former one mile north of Dallas, and the latter on Mountain Fork, near the camp-meeting ground. Also in the same year Walter Scott and Allen Trousdale, from Tennessee, settled on Board Camp Creek, east of Dallas. The same year Isaac Jones settled the site of Dallas, and a year or two later he sold his improvement to John B. Stewart, who settled thereon.

About the year 1835 Mr. Cantrell settled in the Miller neighborhood, east of Dallas. Kennison Sulth, from Missouri, located on Six Mile Creek, near the present town of Cove, and Joseph Sulth settled on Mountain Fork, about twelve miles west of Dallas. About the same time William Cox, from Missouri, settled on the Ouachita, six miles northeast of Dallas, Thomas Edom settled four miles west of Dallas, and William Josling, from Missouri, settled two and one-half miles north of Dallas. Jacob Ritchie was a very early settler on the Ouachita, twelve miles east of Dallas. George M. Winter, from Missouri, settled seven miles west of Dallas in about 1833. Other pioneers of the thirties were Richard Powell, who came from Tennessee, and settled near the camp ground, in the western part of the county; Fred Lunsford, who settled a few miles east of Dallas, and Elisha Baker, who settled near Baker's Springs in the southern part of the county. In 1840 Isaac A. Morris came from New England and settled at Dallas, and near the same time Joshua Cox settled three miles southeast of Dallas.

In the fall of 1854 Rev. H. C. Ridling came from Mississippi and settled on the Ouachita near where he now resides, about twelve miles east of Dallas. He informs the writer that at that time there was only one cotton-gin in the county, and that one was located three miles northeast of Dallas, and was owned by one Kuykendall. This gin had no press, as the cotton was not then baled, and none was then raised except for home use. There was not a steam-mill in the county until about the year 1867, when the Ashford steam saw and grist-mill was put up on Dry Creek. There were then only three water-power mills in the county, two of them being on Big Fork and one on Two Mile Creek. The first mill erected in the county was one on Two Mile Creek, which had gone down prior to 1854. Before any of these mills were erected the pioneers ground their grain on steel hand mills which they brought with them. In those early days the settlers depended largely upon hunting for a living. Little Rock and Camden were the only trading points where store goods and groceries could be obtained. Peltry, venison, bear meat and the like were hauled to these points and exchanged for the "necessaries of life," whisky being then considered one of the latter.

The habitations of the pioneers were always made by logs, sometimes hewn on two sides and sometimes not hewn at all. When hewn, the logs were put up with the flat surfaces on the inside and outside of the building. The cracks were filled with chinking, and this was daubed over with mud. The form of the cabin was always an oblong square, with a huge fire-place in one end. The fire-place was set back in a crib composed of logs with the face even with the inner wall. This crib heavily lined with stone and mortar, stood upon a hearth made of flat stones. On top of the stone and mortar lining was made a stick-and-mud chimney, the latter always being entirely on the outside of the building, and extending a little above the comb of the roof. The cabin was only one story in height, and was covered with clapboards resting on poles running the long way of the building, and weighted down with other poles. One or two small openings were cut out for windows, in which greased paper, when it could be had, was often substituted for glass. The floor was made of puncheons, prepared wholly with an ax, and laid down on "sleepers." The door was made of light puncheons, or heavy clapboards, fastened together with pins and hung on wooden hinges. This is a fair description of the completed "pioneer's cabin." All the tools required in building it were the axe, broadax, frow and auger. Many such a cabin was built without the use of a nail.

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Cabins with later improvements are still in use in the county, and some of the best habitations [p.440] now consist of double cabins with a wide hall or entry between them and other extensions. Good frame houses are also in use, but the writer in his travels did not see any brick dwelling-houses in the county, though there may be a few.

Polk County was organized in accordance with the provisions of an act of the General Assembly, approved December 30,1844. The temporary seat of justice was established at the house of James Pirtle, where there was a post office called Panther. This place was one-half mile north of the site afterward chosen for the county seat, which was named Dallas in honor of Vice-President Dallas, the county having been named in honor of President James K. Polk. The permanent county seat has always been at Dallas. The court-house and records were burned during the Civil War. Another court-house was erected in 1869, and two or three years later it was also consumed by fire, together with the public records. The loss of the early records precludes the possibility of giving particulars concerning the organization of the county, the choosing of the permanent seat of justice, and other important historical facts. The present court-house was built in 1884 by Hudgins Brothers at a cost of $4,500. It is a neat and substantial two-story brick building, 40×40 feet in size, with a hall, stairway and offices on the first floor, and the court-room on the second. The county jail was constructed in 1888, under the supervision of Commissioner J. G. Bell. It is a very strong brick house containing two iron cells, from which "jail birds" can not escape. It cost about $3,000. It stands away from the public square, southwest of the court-house and about 100 yards distant there****from. The county has no "poor farm" or asylum for the poor, and but little, if any, provision is made for paupers, they being almost "an unknown quantity."

The following list contains the names of the county and other officers in succession, with date of terms of service annexed to each from the organization of the county to the year 1890:

Judges—J. T. Hayden, 1844-46; 0 0 0 Samuel Nichols, 1848-52; Samuel Wilkins, 1852-54; John Bolin, 1854-56; William Nichols, 1856-58; D. Foran, 1858-60; D. B. Harrison, 1860-62; J. B. Barker, 1862-64; D. H. Howell, 1864-66; G. V. Bates, 1866-68; M. Morris, 1868-72; 0 0 Thomas Mills, 1874-78; T. J. Robinson, 1878-80; Thad. M. Carder, 1880-84; G. B. Bates, 1884-86; J. D. Garland, 1886-88; T. R. Rowe, 1888-90.

Clerks—J. Scott, 1844-46; J. M. Scott, 1846-48; I. A. Morris, 1848-50; E. E. Story, 1850-52; J. Brumley, 1852-54; D. B. Harrison, 1854-56; G. S. Turrentine, 1856-58; D. B. Harrison, 1858-60; S. M. White, 1860-62; J. W. Miller, 1862-64; A. P. Alexauder, 1864-72; W. J. Davis, 1872-76; H. G. Rind, 1874-79; J. M. Hilton, 1879-80; W. J. Davis, 1880-90.

Sheriffs—B. Pope, 1844-46; B. F. Pope, 1846-48; J. Pollock, 1848-50; J. S. Winton, 1850-52; John Lewis, 1852-54; J. S. Winton, 1854-56; A. D. Flinn, 1856-60; J. W. Earp, 1860-64; D. M. Baird, 1864-68; A. D. Flinn, 1868-72; G. R. Miller, 1872-74; J. R. Lane, 1874-80; J. L. Pipkins, 1880-84; J. M. Hopkins, 1884-90.

Treasurer—J. Pirtle, 1844-48; E. Bull, 1848-50; H. W. Jones, 1850-56; J. Cagle, 1856-66; S. White, 1866-68; J. M. Morris, 1868-72; A. W. Cole, 1872-74; J. M. Hilton, 1874-76; S. B. White, 1876-80; L. Joplin, 1880-84; Minor Pipkins, 1884-86; R. J. Robbins, 1886-88; Miuor Pipkins, 1888-90.

Coroners—H. Dixon, 1844-46; 0 0 0 B. M. Cravons, 1848-50; J. C. Thompson, 1850-52; J. R. Richards, 1852-54; L. Borton, 1854-56; J. McDonald, 1856-60; B. L. Tanner, 1860-62; J. Thompson, 1862-64; E. Young, 1864-66; J. J. Joslin, 1866-68; 0 0 0 B. C. Pylam, 1872-74; H. H. Hoover, 1874-76; S. Crawford, 1876-78; 0 0 0 J. W. Bates, 1880-84; F. M. Beavers, 1884-88; T. M. Edwards, 1888-90.

Surveyors—D. Hamilton, 1844-46; H. Overby, 1846-48; W. G. McCanish, 1848-50; J. A. Morris, 1850-54 0 0 0 J. W. Eads, 1856-60; J. A. Morris, 1860-62; J. W. Eads, 1862-68; J. A. Morris, 1868-72; S. Posey, 1872-78; W. J. Barton, 1878-84; J. W. Eads, 1884-86; S. M. Imoe, 1886-90.

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Assessors—A. P. Alexander, 1862-64; M. C. [p.441] Duggan, 1864-66; G. H. Warren, 1866-68; J. F. Lane, 1868-71; R. C. Embry, 1871-72; D. T. Lawrence, 1872-78; M. Williams, 1878-80; W. M. Williams, 1880-90.

Delegates in State Conventions—Archibald Ray in convention held March 4 to 21, and May 6 to June 3, 1861; James Huey and Thomas Young in constitutional convention held January 4 to January 23, 1864; Stephen C. Bates in constitutional convention held July 14, to October 31, 1874.

State Senators—A. J. Armstrong, for Sevier, Polk and La Fayette Counties, 1848-50; S. MeNeely, same counties, 1850-52; B. F. Hawkins, same counties, 1852-56; 0 0 0 A. A. Pennington, Clark, Polk and Pike Counties, 1858-62; I. W. Smith, same counties, 1862-64; L. D. Cantrell, same counties, 1864-66; A. A. Pennington, same counties, 1866-68; D. P. Beldin, Scott, Polk, Montgomery and Hot Springs Counties, 1868-76; M. J. Mulkey, Little River, Sevier, Howard and Polk Counties, 1876-80; Pole McPhetrige, same counties, 1880-84; J. H. Williams, 1884-88.

Representatives in Legislature—Edward L. Pryor, 1846-48; Edward H. Featherstone, 1848-50; A. G. Atkins, 1850-52; J. T. Hayden, 1852-54; William Jernigin, 1854-56; Samuel Gray, 1856-60; Peter B. Allen, 1860-62; J. B. Williamson, 1862-64; 0 0 0 J. D. Baker, 1866-68; J. V. Harrison and J. H. Demby for Scott, Polk, Montgomery and Hot Springs Counties, 1868-70; J. F. Lane, J. J. Sumpter and James M. Bethel, same counties and Grant, 1870-72; L. D. Gilbraith, J. J. Sumpter and George G. Latta, same counties, 1872-74; H. H. Barton and J. J. Sumpter, same counties except Grant, 1874. Polk County only hereafter; Calvin Cochran, 1874-76; Joseph G. McLeod, 1876-78; E. H. Jordan, 1878-80; A. P.

Alexander, 1880-82; J. E. Johnson, 1882-84; J. G. Hudgins, 1884-86; B. F. Thompson, 1888-90.

The following election returns will show the political aspect of the county, and the successors elect of the present officers.

At the September election in 1888, James P. Eagle, Democratic candidate for governor, received in Polk County 803 votes, and his opponent, C. M. Norwood, 486 votes. At the presidential election in the same year the candidates for the presidency received votes as follows: Cleveland (Dem.) 785, Harrison (Rep.) 126, Streeter (U. L.) 73, Fisk (Pro.) 3.

Below is the vote by townships for the county candidates at the September election in 1890:

Center—For representative, J. A. Norris 66, T. M. Carder 124; judge, T. R. Rowe 115, J. D. Garland 75; clerk, W. J. Davis 165, W. L. Wilson 27; sheriff, J. M. Hopkins 103, Frank Pearson 86; treasurer, B. F. Pirtle 175, W. F. Ridling 10; assessor, J. W. Cunningham 134, J. R. McMahen 60; surveyor, S. M. Imoe 192; coroner, J. R. Buchanan 185.

Potter—Norris 39, Carder 62; Rowe 42, Garland 55; Davis 38, Wilson 39; Hopkins 39, Pearson 65; Pirtle 90, Ridling 3; Cunningham 52, McMahen 49; Imoe 96; Buchanan 93.

Eagle—Norris 25, Carder 17; Rowe 26, Garland 17; Davis 25, Wilson 17; Hopkins 25, Pearson 17; Pirtle 29, Ridling 11; Cunningham 24, McMahen 17; Imoe 42; Buchanan 43.

Rich Mountain—Norris 5, Carder 10; Rowe 4, Hughes 11; Davis 5, Wilson 9; Hopkins 4, Pearson 11; Pirtle 7, Ridling 6; Cunningham 6, McMahen 9; Imoe 14; Buchanan 5.

Freedom—Norris 31, Carder 63; Rowe 25, Garland 67; Davis 44, Wilson 51; Hopkins 42, Pearson 57; Pirtle 87, Ridling 1; Cunningham 65, McMahen 24; Imoe 91; Buchanan 75.

Cove—Norris 75, Carder 67; Rowe 84, Garland 56; Davis 89, Wilson 52; Hopkins 62, Pearson 82; Pirtle 127, Ridling 8; Cunningham 87, McMahen 56; Imoe 127; Buchanan 123.

White—Norris 49, Carder 119; Rowe 9, Garland 66; Hopkins 4, Pearson 126; Davis 83, Wilson 78; Pirtle 105, Ridling 43; Cunningham 96, McMahen 59; Imoe 112; Buchanan 118.

Ozark—Norris 23, Carder 100; Rowe 52, Garland 65; Davis 31, Wilson 93; Hopkins 12, Pearson 119; Pirtle 67, Ridling 43; Cunningham 55, McMahen 60; Imoe 102; Buchanan 109.

Faulkner—Norris 24, Carder 7; Rowe 17, Garland 15; Davis 21, Wilson 8; Hopkins 18, Pearson 12; Pirtle 20, Ridling 6; Cunningham 8, McMahen 14; Imoe 31; Buchanan 20.

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[p.442] Gap Springs—Norris 17, Carder 13; Rowe 19, Garland 11; Davis 31, Wilson —; Hopkins 17, Pearson 11; Pirtle 23, Ridling 0; Cunningham 14, McMaben 15; Imoe 30; Buchanan 27.

Cedar—Norris 21, Carder 41; Rowe 26, Garland 35; Davis 29, Wilson 31; Hopkins 21, Pearson 40; Pirtle 23, Ridling 30; Cunningham 25, McMahen 32; Imoe 31; Buchanan 29.

Fulton— Norris 46, Carder 24; Rowe 44, Garland 32; Davis 62, Wilson 15; Hopkins 52, Pearson 23; Pirtle 69, Ridling 4; Cunningham 41, McMahen 30; Imoe 72; Buchanan 68.

Big Fork—Norris 44, Carder 54; Rowe 43, Garland 49; Davis 51, Wilson 46; Hopkins 41, Pearson 56; Pirtle 98, Ridling 0; Cunningham 47, McMahen 48; Imoe 83; Buchanan 67.

Mountain—Norris 85, Carder 75; Rowe 80, Garland 75; Davis 81, Wilson 70; Hopkins 82, Pearson 76; Pirtle 98, Ridling 27; Cunningham 85, McMahen 74; Imoe 92, Buchanan 109.

Ouachita—Norris 43, Carder 43; Rowe 44, Garland 40; Davis 57, Wilson 14; Hopkins 43, Pearson 42; Pirtle 39, Ridling 27; Cunningham 36, McMahen 49; Imoe 84; Buchanan 80.

Gourd Neck—Norris 30, Carder 8; Rowe 33, Garland 6; Davis 37, Wilson 2; Hopkins 35, Pearson 4; Pirtle 36, Ridling 0; Cunningham 32, McMahen 7; Imoe 37; Buchanan 32.

A recapitulation of the foregoing shows the following officers elected by majorities ranging from 81 for judge to 874 for treasurer: Thad. M. Carder, representative; T. R. Rowe, judge; W. J. Davis, clerk; Frank Pearson, Sheriff; B. F. Pirtle, treasurer; and J. W. Cunningham, assessor. S. M. Imoe for surveyor, and J. R. Buchanan for coroner, having no opposition, received 1,236 and 1,183 votes, respectively. The Democratic State ticket, with Gov. Eagle at its head, received a majority of about 300 votes in the county.

The aggregate population of Polk County at the close of each census decade since its organization, has been as follows: 1850, 1,263; 1860, 4,262; 1870, 3,376; 1880, 5,857. The colored population of the county in 1860 was 172; in 1870 it was 45, and in 1880 it was 61. The population of the county as ascertained by the census enumerators of 1890, just taken, has not been published at this writing, and consequently can not be given here. When published, the figures will be interesting to compare with the foregoing.

Of the circuit court in the early days, Judge Carder speaks as follows: "The semi-annual circuit court was looked upon as the Greeks did the Olympic games, a pleasure to meet together and hear a few yarns from the bar, pass around the big brown jug, and return home." There was not much litigation, and as no man was sent to the penitentiary until 1879, it is to be inferred that criminals did not always receive justice. Only one legal execution of a criminal has taken place in the county, and that was the hanging of Moffett, in 1885, for the murder of a man in the western part of the county. Polk County belongs to the Eighth Judicial District, consisting of the counties of Montgomery, Polk, Howard, Sevier, Little River, Pike and Clark. The resident attorneys constituting the legal bar of the county are Pole, McPhetrige, W. M. Matheny, F. M. Reeves, Col. Rice, and an attorney residing at Cove.

When the Civil War of 1861-65 broke out many of the people of Polk County were found to be in favor of establishing and maintaining the "Southern Confederacy," and contributed liberally of her citizens to assist in composing the Southern Army. During that memorable struggle the county was, fortunately, outside of the field of war, and consequently it escaped the ravages that so many other counties were compelled to suffer and endure. Being of primitive habits, used to economy, and accustomed to the manufacture of their own clothing, the citizens were better enabled to endure the privations occasioned by the war, than were those of the older sections, nearer to and within the fields of war. The county was partially overrun by scouting parties and guerrilla bands, and some depredations were committed, otherwise she escaped comparatively well.

 

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Dallas, the county seat, is beautifully located near the center of the county, and is eighty miles west, by wagon road, from Hot Springs, and ninety miles south, bearing a little east, from Fort Smith. The town was laid out soon after its site was selected, [p.443] for the seat of justice, but owing to its being so far interior, so far from lines of transportation, its dimensions have never grown to exceed that of a small village with a population not exceeding 400. Close on the south lies the Silver Mountain range, the conical peaks of which furnish delightful scenery from the village. Northward lies the fertile valley of the Ouachita, several miles in width, with its snug little farms, the happy homes of intelligent and quiet denisons. Beyond this valley lies the Fourche la Fave Mountain range and Rich Mountain, plainly visible, adding much to the surrounding scenery. Dallas contains the county buildings elsewhere described, a weekly newspaper, one dry-goods, one general and two drug stores, two grocery stores, two boot and shoe shops, three blacksmith shops, one furniture or cabinet shop, one hotel, several private boarding houses, a grist and saw-mill and cotton-gin and planing-mill combined, two church edifices—Methodist and Union, one school-house, a barber shop, a bed-spring shop, etc.; also two physicians and a distributing post-office.

The town has a tri-weekly mail from Hot Springs, a semi-weekly mail from Cherry Hill and Nashville (the latter being in Howard County), and a daily mail from Cove and Waldron (the latter being in Scott County). The mail is distributed at the Dallas post-office to twenty-two other offices in the county, to one office in the western part of Montgomery County, and one in the Indian Territory.

The Dallas Courier, a seven-colnmn folio newspaper, is published every Thursday at Dallas by its proprietors, W. Minor Pipkin and J. L. A. Grizzard. The rate of subscription is $1 per year. The paper is neatly printed and well edited, and it advocates Democratic principles. It is the only newspaper published in the county. At this writing, September, 1890, it is in its seventh volume.

The Dallas High School is situated at Bethesda Springs, one mile west of Dallas. It is a Methodist district school in the Little Rock conference, and under the supervision of that body. The building in which it is taught was erected in 1883, for a hotel, but in 1889 it was turned into a school building for the Dallas High School. It is a very large frame structure, containing thirty-five rooms, and is well adapted for a boarding school. It stands on an eminence inclining sonthward, and mineral springs of several kinds are close to its doors. The first year of this school began September 12, 1889, and lasted ten months. It opened with twenty-one pupils, but before the year closed the number had increased to 117. The second and present school year opened on Monday, September 8, 1890, with forty-one pupils in attendance on the first day. The house has a capacity for 400 pupils, and it is hoped that a large and prosperous school will be built up. The faculty at present consists of Richard Baugh, A. M., L. L. B., principal; B. M. Burrow, primary department, and Miss Sue A. Mills, teacher of music. The school is surrounded by moral and hospitable people, health-giving water and picturesque scenery.

Bethesda Springs, a village one mile west of Dallas, might be considered a continuation of the latter. The town was commenced in 1881 on a tributary of the Ouachita where there are forty or more springs of the best mineral water of several kinds, which for their health-giving qualities, the high altitude and beautiful surrounding scenery, might make the place one of the most famous watering places and health resorts in the country if there were only an easy way of transportation to it. When commenced the town had a prospect of a railroad, and at once it "boomed." Several business honses were opened, all of which, on account of the disappointment in not getting the railroad, have since been closed. A few dwelling-houses and families still remain. It is a beautiful place so far as nature has done her part.

Cove is an enterprising and good business village sixteen miles southwest of Dallas. It contains five general stores, one drug store, a saw and grist-mill and cotton-gin, three blacksmith shops, a wagon shop, post-office, school-house, a union church-house where the Methodists, Baptists and Cumberland Presbyterians worship.

Cherry Hill is a post-office in the eastern part of the county.

Eagle Hill is a post-office six miles west of Dallas.

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[p.444] Hatton is a post village twenty-five miles southwest of Dallas and fifty miles northwest of Nashville, the nearest railroad station and banking point. It was settled in 1883.

Potter, five miles west of Dallas, contains two stores, a saw and grist-mill and cotton-gin, a Methodist Church, school-house and blacksmith shop.

Ransom, four miles northeast of Dallas, contains a post-office, a saw and grist-mill and cottongin.

Away up in the Fourche la Fave Mountains on the Tanner Hill trail is Quito, the mail town for the citizons near the gap or entrance to the county from the north. Baker, Egger, Big Bend, Big Fork, Rhodes and Monntain Fork are other post hamlets in the county.

Prior to the inauguration of the free-school system, which took place at the close of the reconstruction period, but little interest was taken in educational matters, and in truth not much interest in this most important matter has been taken until within the last two years. Away back in the "fifties" a few subscription schools were taught in the most thickly settled portions of the county for three months in the year. They were poorly attended and at best were very inferior. Some statistics taken from the last official report of the State superintendent of public instruction, it being for the year ending June 30, 1888, will serve to show how the school system is being supported or was supported at that time. Scholastic population, white males 1,822, females 1,718; total, 3,540; colored males 8, females 7, total 15; number of pupils taught in the public schools, white males 946, females 808, total 1,754; colored, none. If these figures are to be taken as showing facts they prove that less than one-half of the white and none of the colored scholastic population were taught in the public schools. But as only a few directors reported statistics fully, the official report does not contain all the facts, and probably a greater proportion of the scholastic population attended the public schools. The letter of the county examiner accompanying the foregoing statistics contains further statistics, and such good suggestions that it is deemed well to here insert it in full:

DALLAS, POLK COUNTY, ARK., October 2, 1888. HON. W. E. THOMPSON,

My Dear Sir—My report for the year ending June 30, 1888, shows that very few directors reported statistics as fully as the law requires, hence it is not possible to answer your letter of the 7th ult****, with any degree of accuracy. My report will show:

Amount paid teachers $2,744 66

Average monthly wages to first grade male teachers $33 41

Second grade male teachers $31 69

Third grade male teachers $24 38

Lady teachers, first grade $29 44

Whole number of teachers reported 42

Whole number of school-houses reported 19

Value of school-houses $980 00

Number of school districts 61

Many profitable changes in the school law might he suggested, but it appears to be very necessary to have something like a county superintendent in place of the present county examiner. At any rate the pay of the office should not depend on the fees for examinations. Plainly the law intends that teachers licensed shall first convince the examiner that they are "competent to teach successfully" the branches required. And to become thus convinced, will, in many cases, require a patient examination. There should be no temptation before the examiner to hasten and slight his work, nor to issue a certiflcate to an incompetent teacher. But it is to be feared that very many incompetent teachers have been licensed. An examiner said to me that he gave up the office because he became "tired of swearing lies."

Let the office of examiner be abolished, or so modified that the examiner will be a man of unquestionable integrity and scholarly attainments, who shall be paid a liberal salary, and hold his office at least six years. Very respectfully,

E. L. COMPERE,

County Examiner.

Since the above was written 2 school districts have been added, making 63 in all, and about 55 schools were taught in the year ending June 30, 1890. For this year the scholastic population was white males 1,965, females 1,829, total 3,794; colored males 8, females 7, total 15; and a larger percentage attended the public schools. The present county examiner is Rev. A. P. Alexander. For the last two years the colored scholastic population has had no increase, while the increase of the white scholastic population has been 254.

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The religious denominations having organizations in Pope County are the Methodist Episcopal South, Missionary and Primitive Baptist, United [p.445] Baptist, Cumberland Presbyterian, Methodist Protestant and Christian. The Methodist organizations belong to the Washington District of the Little Rock Conference, comprising the counties of Polk, Howard, Sevier, Hempstead and Little River. There are three circuits of this church in Polk County, viz.: Dallas with nine, Potter with ten and Cove with eight appointments or preaching places. At this writing Rev. D. D. Warrick has charge of the Dallas Circuit, Rev. H. C. Ridings of the Cove Circuit and Rev. A. P. Alexander of the Potter Circuit. The organizations of this church within the county will average about thirty-five members each. The Missionary Baptists have about the same number of organizations in the county as the Methodists, and about the same numerical strength. The other denominations mentioned above have several organizations each within the county, and all have Sunday-schools or unite with others in union Sunday-schools. There are probably more of the latter than of strictly denominational Sunday-schools. The churches are generally prosperous and united in doing good service in the "vineyard of the Lord."

The people of the county, having always lived so far in the "backwoods," so far from city markets, and the busy hum of civilization, are yet primitive in their habits, self-reliant, and to a great extent card their cottou and wool with hand cards, spin their own yarn, weave their own cloth, and manufacture their own clothing as in the "days o'lang syne." Nothing is too good for their friends, the latch string hangs upon the outside, and a stranger is never turned away. They practice the economy of earlier times, and consequently have fewer wants, and live a retired, honest and comparatively easy life.

George H. Barnes, merchant, Cove, Ark. This substantial and very successful business man was born in Calhoun County, Miss., March 15, 1852, and is the son of Robert J. and Laura Ann (Lindsey) Barnes, natives of Mississippi, in which State their nuptials were celebrated. They remained in their native State until 1850, and then moved to Ouachita County, and later removed to Nevada County, Ark., residing near Prescott until 1878. They then came to Polk County, and located in the neighborhood of Cove. The father has followed various occupations. When a young man he started out as a farmer, later he was engaged in merchandising, and during late years he has been engaged exclusively in agricultural pursuits. At this occupation he has been unusually successful. During the Civil War he was in the Twelfth Arkansas Infantry, and participated in several important battles, serving in all four years. He was captured at Fort Hudson, and was slightly wounded. Mrs. Barnes died in August, 1878. Mr. Barnes is now sixty-two years of age, and is a member of the Methodist Church. In politics he adheres strictly to the Democratic party. George H. Barnes was the second child in order of birth of eight children. His father was married, the second time, to a Miss Frances Gaines, and five children are the fruits of this union. George H. spent his schoolboy days in Nevada County, Ark., and continued on the farm until 1873. He then entered his future store as a salesman, and merchandising has been his occupation since. He commenced business at Cove in 1879, and since that time he has been in business by himself. He has gained for himself a reputation as a solid and reliable tradesman, and one whose energy and enterprise must of necessity materially develop this enterprise. He was married in 1882, to Miss S. C. Wilson, of Polk County, and four children are the fruits of this union: Elbert L., Laura L., Aragora and Josephine. Mr. Barnes is a steward in the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and is a Democrat in politics.

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B. H. Barton, a member of the firm of Gipson & Barton, and one of the leading business men of Polk County, was born in Polk County, Ark., on June 13, 1852, and is the son of Hardaman and Martha C. (McDamie) Barton, natives of Kentucky. The parents were married in that State, and moved from there to Polk County, Ark., in March, 1847, locating in a wilderness. They are now residents of Cove Township, and their home is two and one-half miles northwest of Cove. The father has always [p.446] followed agricultural pursuits, and was a soldier in the late war during the latter part of the conflict. He was county supervisor in 1874, and then represented the county in the Legislature in the Brooks and Baxter War. He was, and is, a prominent citizen. He is a stanch Democrat in politics, and both he and wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, in which he has been elder. He is a Mason, a member of Mount Meadow Lodge No. 218. He is now sixty-seven and she sixty-five years of age. Of the eight children born to their union B. H. Barton is second in order of birth. He spent his school days in this county and finished at Dallas. After this he taught school for a short time, and then commenced to farm in White Township, where he now has 163 sores of well improved land. In January, 1880, he and D. Barton formed a partnership and commenced to sell goods at Cove, and they were among the first to sell goods at that place. About one year later he abandoned merchandising and embarked in farming and stock-raising. Two years ago he and Mr. Gipson and R. W. Johnson engaged in business again, and Mr. Johnson recently withdrew from the firm. The present firm, Gipson & Barton, are doing an extensive business and sell goods over a vast extent of territory–Sevier County, Polk County and Choctaw Nation. In 1878 Mr. Barton was elected justice of the peace, and has held that position since without solicitation on his part. Mr. Barton was married in November, 1871, to Miss Mary F. Jones, of this county. They had eight children, but only six are now living; Hard****man A., William B., Dewitt, Wyatt C., B. H., Jr., and Ovie. Mrs. Barton is a member of the Methodist Church, and Mr. Barton is a Mason, a member of Mount Meadow Lodge No. 218, is junior warden and secretary of the lodge. He has represented his lodge at the Grand Lodge three times. In politics he is a Democrat. He held the position of postmaster at this place for a short time, and when the office was in the store.

Dr. John Wesley Bates is a man of influence throughout Polk County, Ark., and as a farmer, no less than as a physician, he has obtained a reputation placing him in the front rank of the men of this section. He was born in Pendleton District, S. C., in 1828, to W. M. F. and Mary (Whisnand) Bates, they being born, reared and married in South Carolina, moving, when the subject of this sketch was about four years of age, to Cherokee County, Ga., and in 1852 to Polk County, Ark., where they spent the rest of their days, the father passing from life about 1882 and the mother two years later, both members of the Primitive Baptist Church, in which the former was a minister for perhaps, forty years. He was a well-posted, self-made man, and helped to organize some of the pioneer churches of Polk County, doing a noble work in that cause. His father, Stephen Bates, was born on the Potomac River in Virginia, but lived a great many years in South Carolina, moving, during the latter part of his life, to Georgia, where he died about 1848, a farmer and distiller by occupation. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War for a short time, and was of English descent. Dr. John Wesley Bates was the second of nine children, and in his youth was reared on a farm receiving but little schooling. In 1852 he was married to Mary, daughter of James and Mary Baker, who died in Mississippi. Mrs. Bates was born in Georgia, and of the nine children she has borne her husband, one son and five daughters are living. Soon after his marriage Dr. Bates came to Polk County, and has since been a resident of his present farm of 420 acres, of which about 150 acres are cleared, near the head of Big Fork, all of which property has been obtained by his own efforts. When a young man he studied medicine with an uncle, Dr. John R. Bates, of Georgia, for some time, and for forty years has practiced more or less, with success. During the seventies he served four years as coroner of Polk County.

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John Calvin Bates is a farmer, stock-raiser general merchant and postmaster at Big Bend, Ark. In the space allotted in this volume it would be impossible to give a detailed account of the career of this gentleman, but it is only just to say that in his walk through life his course has been marked by honesty, industry, and a manly, independent spirit. He was born in Cherokee County, Ga., in 1845, to Judge George V. and Hortensia [p.447] M. (Walker) Bates, both of whom were born in South Carolina, the former in Pickens District, in 1820, and the latter in Spartanburg District, in 1822, respectively. They

removed with their parents to Georgia, when young, and were there afterward married in 1842, making their home in that State until 1852, when they came to Polk County, Ark., settling on a woodland farm on Big Fork, where they have since lived, both members of the Primitive Baptist Church. In 1865 Mr. Bates was elected county and probate judge, serving a short time, and was again elected to the same position in 1884, serving two years. He was justice of the peace a good many years, and was postmaster at Big Fork for some years. His father, Stephen Bates, was a Virginian, but was married in South Carolina, and from there moved to Cherokee County, Ga., in 1834, where he followed the occupation of farming, was justice of the peace, and died in July, 1851. His father, William Bates, was probably a Virginian, who died in South Carolina. The maternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, Allan Walker, was born in North Carolina, and died in Cherokee County, Ga., about 1848, a farmer. John Calvin Bates is one of eight surviving members of a family of ten children born to his parents, the other members being: Abraham R., Thomas J., Stephen, George W., Nancy E. (wife of Jacob Masters), Sarah J. (wife of W. H. Smith, and Margaret (wife of W. L. Huddleston of Bell County, Tex.). John Calvin Bates was reared on a farm with very poor educational advantages, and since 1852 has been a resident of Arkansas. He served for about fifteen months during the latter part of the war as third sergeant of Company B, Tenth Arkansas Cavalry, the greater part of the time being on detached service in Arkansas. He was married in 1864, to Miss Malinda E., daughter of Elijah B. and Lucretia Goss, who were South Carolinians, removing first to Georgia and in 1852 to Polk County, Ark., where Mr. Goss died in 1882, the death of his wife occurring six or seven years before, both members of the Primitive Baptist Church. Mrs. Bates was born in Lumpkin County, Ga., and of the eleven children she has borne her husband, nine are living: Mr. Bates lived on Big Fork until 1871, then came to his present farm of ninety-two acres. Besides this he owns 120 acres, all of which he has earned by his own efforts. He raises considerable stock, and for several years has run a general store, doing a business of about $4,000 annually. He is one of the leading farmers of his township and holds progressive views on all topics of general interest, and is a member of the Primitive Baptist Church.

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Joseph G. Bell, one of Polk County's prominent citizens, was born in Burlington, Boone County, Ky., on July 30, 1830, and is the son of Samuel and Lydia (Glenn) Bell, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio respectively. The parents were married in Cincinnati, Ohio, resided there for some time and then moved to Burlington, Ky. The father was born in 1808, and died in Evansville, Ind., in 1852. The mother was born in 1810, and is now residing in Evansville, Ind., with some of her children. The father was a carriage and wagon maker by trade and worked at this business in Burlington, Ky. He moved to Ohio County, Ind., remained there a short time and then moved to Cape Girardeau County, Mo. A short time afterward he

started back to Ohio County, Ind., and died on the way, at Evansville. He was a Whig in politics and was an elder in the New School Presbyterian Church. The Bell family is of Scotch-Trish descent. The mother has been a member of the Presbyterian Church since 1836. Nine children were born to their union of whom our subject is the second child. He spent his school-boy days in Cary's Academy and Rising Sun, Ind., and received a thorough education. When sixteen years of age he left home, worked on a farm two years, and when eighteen years of age commenced to work on a steamboat on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. This he followed for five years and then went to California, where he was engaged in mining for two years. His trip west was a success, and in 1854 he returned to Evansville, Ind. He clerked for the Sherwood House for nearly a year, and then traveled as salesman in Southern Indiana and Illinois. He then went to Cincinnati, and was in a manufacturing house and made mule [p.448] collars for the Government. He was also engaged in the nursery business. Later he went back to Evansville and made collars there, later yet he was with Charles Babcock & Co., in the hardware and carriage trade, in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and other southern States. He then came to Western Arkansas, first locating near Cincinnati, Washington County, Ark., where he remained over one year. He then came to Polk County, located on 160 acres of land, and here he has since resided. He commenced to bid heavily on mail contracts in 1878, and since then he has had mail routes in eleven States, seventeen routes in Arkansas. Mr. Bell is building commissioner of Polk County, and through his good judgment this county has recently built one of the cheapest and best jails in the State. Mr. Bell has always taken a deep interest in politics, voting and working for the success of the Democratic party and was chairman of Polk County, Third Congressional District in 1886-87. He was married in February, 1873, to Miss Louisa Smith, daughter of Thomas Smith of this county. To this union five sons and two daughters have been born: R. E. Lee, Sarah Addie, John G., Ruff. L., Marquis Lafayette, Thomas C. and Lydia M. Mr. Bell joined the Methodist Protestant Church in 1887, and is now steward of the same. He is located four miles southwest of Cove, in White Township. He learned his trade of saddler and harness-maker in Cincinnati and Rising Su****.

Hon. Thad M. Carder. Among the much esteemed and respected citizens of Dallas, Ark., stands the name of Mr. Carder, who, by calling, is a general mechanic and machinist, being now also engaged in horticulture and viticulture. He was born in Culpepper County, Va., in 1832. The paternal grandfather, Ivison Carder, and his brother, George, who came to this country, were born in France, but under the noble Marquis de Lafayette came to America, and fought for the independence of the colonists, afterward settling in Virginia. He died at the age of one hundred and six years. Hon. Thad M. Cardor was the only child born to his parents, and was reared to a farm life until thirteen years of age, receiving but little schooling. At this age he left home and served an apprenticeship at watch and clock making, and spent some years as a journeyman. He was married in 1856 in East Tennessee, to Miss Matilda, daughter of Jacob and Nancy Kinser, who were natives of Germany. She was born in Greene County, Tenn., and has borne her husband ten children, four sons and four daughters living. After the war Mr. Carder removed to Magnolia, Ark., and ten years later to Hope, and in 1876 to Dallas, where he has since lived, engaged in putting up machinery, also following the calling of a horticulturist on 135 acres of fine land which he owns. From 1881 to 1885 he held the office of county and probate judge, and was also notary public for some years. In 1890 he was elected to represent Polk County in the State Legislature against great odds, and is now discharging his duties. He is an active worker for schools, and for the general advancement of his section, and is liberal in his contributions to what he considers worthy enterprises. He is a member of Dallas Lodge No. 128, of the A. F. & A. M., and in this organization is a member of Hot Springs Chapter and White Council No. 8, at Magnolia. He also belongs to Anchor Lodge of the I. O. O. F., at Hope. He is one of the most progressive men in his views in this section, and besides being one prominent in establishing the first printing office in Polk County, he, in 1888, erected a telephone line from Potter to Waldron, a distance of forty-six miles, which he has since controlled, and which was the first line in the county. He is now signal officer of the Polk County volunteer signal station. His worthy wife is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, but Mr. Carder is not a member of any church, but believes in the existence of a Supreme Architect, and thinks duty to please God is to treat his fellow-man right.

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Dr. R. T. Connally, a prominent physician and minister of Freedom Township, Polk County, Ark., who ministers to the spiritual as well as the physical wants of his fellow-men, was originally from Case County, Ga., his birth occurring November 30, 1844. His parents, Thomas and Clementine (Venable) Connally, were natives of Georgia, the father born in Gwinnett County in 1813, and the mother [p.449] in Jackson County in 1807. They were married in their native State and moved from there to Arkansas in the winter of 1846, locating in Polk County in what is now Freedom Township, where they cleared a farm. The old homestead is now in the hands of our subject. Here the mother died in September, 1886. She was a member of the Methodist Protestant Church. The father was ordained a minister in this State several years ago, and has had charge of the church in the neighborhood ever since. He had held the office of justice of the peace in Georgia and served in the Florida War. He is a Mason, Mountain Fork Lodge No. 409, and in politics is a stanch Democrat. He is strong and hearty, and bids fair to live many years longer. The family is of Irish-Dutch extraction. The grandfather of our subject, Thomas Connally, was a native of the Old Dominion, and was a farmer and cooper by occupation. He died in Georgia many years ago. Dr. R. T. Connally received his education in the schools of this county and by self study. In June, 1863, he joined Col. Dawson's regiment of infantry, in which he remained until cessation of hostilities. He served in Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana, and was in the Lone Star State at the time of the surrender. He was in the battles of Pleasant Hill and Mansfield, La., and in numerous skirmishes around Camden. His regiment was disbanded at Marshall, Tex, in May, 1865. After the war Dr. Connally began farming on land where he now lives, and this occupation he has since continued. He is now the owner of 300 acres of some of Poik County's best land, and has 100 acres under cultivation. During the war he joined the society at the Camp Church near Little Rock, and afterward joined the Methodist Episcopal Church South, was licensed an exhorter in 1867 and a preacher in 1870. Six years later he commenced the study of medicine, and in 1880 commenced the practice of his profession, his preceptor being Dr. S. T. McDaniel of this county. His practice is extensive and covers a wide scope of territory, in fact, more than one man can attend to. He was married November 9, 1865, to Miss Sarah Castleberry, and to them have been born five living children: John W. (with his father), David W. (reading medicine), Cullan B., Sarah F. and Clementine E. One child, Thomas W. T., died when three years of age. Dr. Connally is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Mountain Fork Lodge No. 409. In politics he is a stanch Democrat.

THE OLD CABIN BY THE STREAM.

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William J. Davis is the clerk of the circuit court of Polk County, Ark, but by birth is a Georgian, born in Dade County, in 1838, to William and Margaret (Cox) Davis, who were born in North Carolina, in 1787 and 1804, respectively, their marriage being consummated in Alabama, from which State they afterward moved to Georgia, where Mr. Davis died in 1852. His widow survived him until 1873, when she, too, passed away, her death occurring in Dallas, Ark., she as well as her husband, being a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. The maternal grandfather, Richard Cox, was a North Carolinian, who moved to Georgia, and died at his grandson's home, a brother of the subject of this sketch, in 1848, having been a farmer throughout life, a Revolutionary soldier, and a member of the A. F. & A. M. He was of Scotch descent, was well to do, and reared a large family of children. William Davis, the father of William J., was married twice, and had ten children by his first wife and four by his last, his son, William J., being the next to the youngest by his last wife. He was reared on a farm with the advantages of a good schooling, but upon the death of his father he left school and began to farm for himself. In 1857 he came to Polk County, Ark., where he was married in 1861, to Miss Belle, daughter of John B. and Sarah Vaught, both of whom were born in Northern Alabama, and in 1847 came to Arkansas, the death of the father occurring in Montgomery County, in 1881, and that of the mother in 1885. Mrs. Davis was born in Alabama, and died in 1868 leaving three children, two of whom are living. His second marriage took place in 1874, and was to Miss Alice, daughter of Thomas and Mary Pate, the former born in Alabama and the latter in Connecticut, their marriage being celebrated in Texas, from which State they came to what is now Howard County, Ark., where Mrs. Pate still lives, her husband having passed from life at Pine Bluff, while [p.450] serving in the Confederate Army during the Rebellion. Mrs. Davis was born in Texas and has borne Mr. Davis five children, all of whom are living. In July, 1861, Mr. Davis joined Company K, Twenty-fourth Arkansas Infantry, in Arkansas, and was in all the engagements in which that army participated, being in the Georgia campaign and in the battles of Franklin, Nashville and down to Mobile, Ala. He was wounded several times, but not severely until the last fight at Bentonville, N. C., when he lost his left arm and right hand. He was captured four times, but made his escape each time with the exception of the time he was captured at Arkansas Post, on December 31, 1862, when he was imprisoned at Camp Chase, Ohio and at Fort Delaware. At the end of about six months he was exchanged at City Point, Va. Although he was commissioned first lieutenant, he commanded his company the most of the time, and was a brave, faithful and intrepid soldier. After the war he taught school in Dallas a short time, then gave some years to merchandising in that place. In 1871 he served as deputy clerk and the following year was elected to that position, serving faithfully until 1874. He was re-elected in 1880, and has held that office with credit to himself and to the general satisfaction of all concerned up to the present time. He owns 240 acres of good land, and is otherwise well fixed financially. His wife is a member of the Methodist Church.

M. A. Dilbeck. Among the many sturdy and energetic agriculturists of Polk County, Ark., who have attained their property by hard labor and economy, may be mentioned Mr. Dilbeck, who was born in Lumpkin County, Ga., in 1840, a son of John and Salina (Goss) Dilbeck, the former born in North Carolina and the latter in Georgia, their marriage taking place in the latter State, where they lived until about 1851, when they came to Polk County, Ark., and settled on Big Fork. Here Mr. Dilbeck made his home until his death in August, 1890, his widow surviving him, both having been members of the Missionary Baptist Church for a great many years. Mr. Dilbeck was a wag-on-master in the Confederate Army, and at the battle of Wilson's Creek, Mo., was captured. His father, David Dilbeck, died in Georgia, a farmer. The mother's father, Benjamin Goss, came to Polk County, Ark., before the Rebellion, and passed from life on his farm on Big Fork. The subject of this sketch is the eldest of seven children, but received but very little schooling. In 1850 he was married to Eliza, daughter of Fleming and Mary A. Bates, North Carolinians, who first moved to South Carolina, then to Georgia, and in 1853 to Polk County, Ark., where the mother's death occurred in 1884, and the father's in 1882, the latter being a minister of the Primitive Baptist Church. Mrs. Dilbeck was born in Georgia, and has borne her husband ten children, five sons and two daughters now living. In 1862 Mr. Dilbeck joined Company C, Fourth Arkansas Infantry, and fought at Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, the Atlanta campaign, Franklin, Nashville and Mobile, after which he rejoined Johnston, with whom he remained until the final surrender. On his way home the train was wrecked in East Tennessee, and both of his arms were broken. He lived in Big Fork Township until 1876, but since that time his home has been in Mountain Township. He is the owner of three good farms on each of which is an excellent steam cotton-gin, saw and grist mill, the steam-mill on his home place being the first erected in this vicinity. He is the wealthiest man in the township, and his property is all the result of his own unaided efforts. Socially he is a member of Cherry Hill Lodge No. 167 of the A. F. & A. M., and also belongs to the Farmers' Alliance. His wife belongs to the United Baptist Church.

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Nathan A. Gann, a prominent citizen of Eagle Township, Polk County, Ark., was born in Paulding County, Ga., on August 27, 1844, and is one of five living children born to Hiram and Elizabeth (Goggins) Gann, natives also of Georgia, the father born in 1824, and the mother in 1826. The father is still living, is a resident of Eagle Township, Polk County, Ark., but the mother died in this county in 1879. They resided in Georgia, until 1857, and then moved to Marion County, Ala., in 1867. From there they moved to Hardin County, Tenn., thence in 1869 to Cook County, Tex., and [p.451] thence to Polk County, Ark., in the latter part of the same year. The father has always followed farming and for fifteen years was engaged in merchandising at which he was very successful. He is a Mason, a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, being clerk in the same, and is a Democrat in politics. Of his children, William A is a farmer in Archer County, Tex., Melissa is the wife of J. B. Green of this county, John D. is a farmer of this county and Hiram F., is also in this county. Nathan A. Gann received a good practical education in his youth, and in 1862 joined the Fourth Mississippi Cavalry. Eighteen months later he joined Pierce's battalion and was lieutenant until cessation of hostilites. He was in the battle of hompson's Station in Middle Tennessee, and was very seriously wounded by a bullet which entered just under the left collar bone and passed clear through. His recovery was considered a miracle. He served in Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama. After the war he commenced working for himself as a farmer and after residing in Alabama, Tennessee and Texas he came to Arkansas and located in Polk County, on Two Mile Creek, where he bought a claim. Later he sold this and settled at Eagle Hill, where he is splendidly located and where he has 600 acres with good houses and outbuildings on the same. He owns another tract of 200 acres south of his present residence. He has been in the mercantile business most of the time for the last twelve years and was postmaster at Eagle Hill for five years. On March 17, 1864, he was married to Miss Mary E. Hughes of Alabama, a native of Marion County of that State, born in 1842. By this union they have five children; John R. (farming with our subject), James H. (also at home), Celia Melissa, Nathan F., Jr., and Mary who is usually called Mollie. Two children are deceased: William H. and Laura L. Mr. and Mrs. Gann, are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and in his political views the former is strictly Democratic.

Ben F. Gipson, senior member of the firm of Gipson & Barton, general merchants of Cove, was born in Scott County, Ark., on August 16, 1854, and is a son of William C. and Sarah P. (Ivy) Gipson, natives of Tennessee and Alabama, respectively. The parents were married in Scott County, Ark., in 1852. The father went to that county when a young man, and his death occurred in Polk County in 1889 when sixty-six years of age. The mother is still living on the home place. They moved to Texas in 1867, and from there to this county in 1871. The father was a soldier in the Mexican War, going from Tennessee, and during the late war he was captain of an Arkansas company during the last two years of that struggle.

He was a life-long farmer and mill man, operating a mill in this and Scott Counties. In his political views he affiliated with the Democratic party. Of his eight children that grew to maturity Ben F. was the eldest. The latter spent his school days in the Lone Star State and in Arkansas. He remained and assisted his father on the farm until twenty-four years of age, and then started out as an agriculturist for himself. In 1887 he commenced business as a —, and two years later engaged in merchandising with Johnson and Barton. Later Johnson retired, and the firm has since been Gipson & Barton. They are live business men, and are very successful. Mr. Gipson started a poor boy, but by honesty, industry and good business ability, he has become one of the prominent business men of Cove. He has been deputy sheriff under Sheriff Pitkins, filling that position six years, and also the same position under Hopkins for four years. He was married in 1878 to Miss N. E. Jones, daughter of Isaac Jones, of this county. To this union seven children were born–six daughters and one son–all living: Lona C., Minnie L., Bertha C., Bessie L., Maggie B., William Isaac and Dora D. Mr. Gipson is a Mason, and a member of Mountain Meadow Lodge No. 218. In politics he is a stanch Democrat.

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John B. Graves needs no special introduction to the readers of this volume, for he is well known throughout this section. That the following brief sketch of his honorable and eventful life is afforded a place here, will be a matter of much interest to the many who have come to know him so intimately, and felt the influence of his life and generosity. Born ten miles west of Lebanon, Tenn., [p.452] February 17, 1849, he is a son of George B. and Nancy (Brown) Graves, who were natives of Tennessee, and is a grandson of John G. Graves, the latter moving from North Carolina to Tennessee at an early day, where he was not only one of the earliest settlers, but also one of the first and most successful merchants. George B. Graves inherited English blood from the paternal side of his family. While farming was his vocation in life, he figured to some extent as a Whig politician, and besides holding various local positions of honor and trust, was sheriff of Wilson County for a number of years. Socially, he belonged to the fraternity of Odd Fellows, who conducted the funeral rites at his death. His demise left a widow and two children to survive, the former yet living. There were five children in all, their names being: Louisa (a talented lady, member of the Missionary Baptist Church, and the deceased wife of W. H. Harrington, of Wilson County, Tenn.). Elizabeth (died when quite young). Mary G, (who died in Tennessee, the wife of T. Legon), Byron (a farmer, of Wilson County), John B. (in the third in this family). He spent his school days in his native county, receiving his education in Silver Springs Academy. After attaining man's ****tate he turned his attention to farming and stock raising, and that calling has since continued. He moved to Bowie County, Tex., in 1874, but two years later came to Polk County, Ark., and here has since made his home on his present farm, which is situated two miles south of Potter, and contains 1****0 acres of land, a considerable portion of which is under cultivation. He has served two years as constable, and has also been a school director of his district. He was married in 1874, to Miss Martha Jetton, of Wilson County, Tenn., by whom he has four children: Beady, George D., Arthuas and Alice T. Mr. and Mrs. Graves are members of the Christian Church, Mr. Graves being also an elder. He is a member of the Farmers Alliance, is lecturer of his lodge, and is a Demoerat. He has traveled far, and in early life was acquainted with Andrew Johnson. Graves End, London, was named in honor of his family.

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Hon, Jo**** M. Green is a resident of Bethesda Spring, Polk County, Ark., but was born in Cherokee County, Ga., April 7, 1836, being a son of William W. and Hannah (Dover) Green, the former born in North Carolina, being a great grand son of Gen. Green of Revolutionary fame, and the latter in South Carolina, their marriage taking place in Georgia, from which State they moved to Texas in 1867, locating in Comanche County. Here they resided until 1869, when they came to Polk County, Ark., Mr. Green devoting his attention to tilling the soil. Both became members of the Primitive Baptist Church in early life, Mr. Green being ordained a minister in early life, and preached the gospel until his death in November, 1887, at the age of seventy-four years. He was instrumental in bringing many souls to the feet of Christ, and in the affairs of every day life he was also successful. In his political views he was a Democrat. His widow, who survives him, is a member of the Primitive Baptist Church. He has thirteen children living, of whom the subject of this sketch is the second. He spent his school days in Murray County, Ga., but at the age of eighteen left his home in that State and went to Western Texas, of which region he was one of the pioneer settlers. He was in Comanche Co. during the entire trouble with that tribe of Indians and took part in a number of fierce battles with the Comanches. He lost several valuable horses by thieving Indians, also numerous cattle, as he was engaged in the stock business there from 1855 to 1868. He was the first judge of Comanche County, and was also captain of a company of rangers which was organized by the State for the protection of the settlers against the depredations of the Indians. In July, 1862, he joined Col. Gurley's Thirtieth Texas Cavalry, became lieutenent of Company G, and was in the service a short time before the close of the war, his operations being confined to the west side of the Mississippi River, being at the mouth of the Rio Grande River, in the Indian Territory and Arkansas, taking part in the battles of Camden, Poison Springs and others. In 1868 he came to Polk County, Ark., and located on Mountain Fork in what is now Cove Township, where he has a considerable portion of his 180-acre farm under cultivation. He makes a specialty of raising stock, especially cattle, and is [p.453] noted for being a thrifty agrioulturist. In 1888 he was elected to represent this county in the lower house of the State Legislature, and was on several important committees, among which may be mentioned mining, manufacturing and retrenchments. He introduced bills taxing incomes for school purposes, and may with truth be said to have made a wide-awake, intelligent and incorruptible legislator. He was married in 1852 to Miss Cynthia Dean, but she lived only a short time. While in Texas he was married to Miss Frances Isham, who died in this county in 1878, leaving eight children–five sons and three daughters. In 1880 Sallie R. Ward became his wife, and by her he has four sons. He has been a member of the Missionary Baptist Church since 1864, and in 1872 was ordained a minister of that denomination, and has since had charge of Two Mile Church with the exception of one year, when he traveled as a missionary in Scott, Montgomery, Logan and Sevier Counties, and the Indian Territory, organizing churches. He is a member, and has been master of Mountain Meadow Lodge No. 218, of the A. F. & A. M., and has always been a stanch Democrat.

Capt. James W. Higgason. In reviewing the various business interests of Polk County, Ark., the name of Higgason is found to be among the most prominent, for since 1877 he has been one of the leading merchants of this section. He was born in Mississippi, in 1833, to Dr. George and Mary (Davis) Higgason, the former born in Virginia, and the latter in Alabama, their marriage taking place in the last named State, after which they removed to Mississippi, in which State the father passed from life in 1844, the death of his widow occurring in Polk County, Ark, in 1873, she being a worthy member of the Missionary Baptist Church. Dr. Higgason was a successful physician of many years' standing, and in whatever locality he resided he soon became well known and prominent. He was at one time member of the Mississippi Legislature, and as early as eighteen years of age was with Gen. Jackson at New Orleans. Capt. James W. Higgason was the eldest of their seven children, but his early educational advantages were limited. In 1861 he became a member of Company A, of a Mississippi regiment, with which he served in the capacity of quartermaster until May, 1863, when he was captured at Chi****kasaw Bayou, and was kept a prisoner on Johnson's Island until the close of the war. For some years thereafter he followed the occupation of clerking, but in 1869 went to Sebastian County, Ark., where he conducted a mercantile establishment until 1871, moving then to Dallas, and there continuing the business for six years. He then came to Cherry Hill, and by honest business methods and a desire to accommodate his patrons he has built up a good and paying trade. He fully deserves all the success that can befall him for he possesses all the atributes of an upright and substantial citizen. His sister, Margaret L., lives with, and keeps house for him.

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William P. Hilton. This successful planter and stockman of Polk County, Ark., of which he has been a resident since 1852, is well and favorably known to the many citizens of Fulton Township. He was born twelve miles east of Hot Springs, Ark., in 1847, being the fourth of eight children born to Wade Hampton and Anna (Terry) Hilton, they being born in East Tennessee, in 1806, and Illinois, in 1813, respectively, their marriage taking place in Arkansas about 1840. After coming to Polk County, Ark., in 1852 they settled near Silver Center, where Mrs. Hilton still lives, a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. Mr. Hilton left his home about nineteen years ago, and as he has not been heard of for seven years, it is supposed he is dead. He was well to do in worldly goods, and was thrifty and industrious. He was a small boy when his father died, the latter being a Kentuckian. Mrs. Hilton's father, John Terry, removed from Illinois to Missouri, and in a very early day came to Pulaski County, Ark., but both he and his wife ended their days in Hot Springs County. William P. Hilton has been a resident of this county since he was six years of age, and since reaching mature years has identified himself with every interest of this section. He obtained a common-school education, and served about one year in Monroe's regiment of Arkansas Cavalry, and after being on duty in Arkansas, [p.454] Louisiana and Texas, he surrendered at Dallas. Tex., at the close of the war. He was married in 1868, to Rachel Ann, daughter of John Hargrove. She was born in Mississippi and died in this county, May 12, 1886, an earnest member of the Baptist Church. His second marriage took place in 1886, to Miss Kate Rebecca, daughter of Thomas and Martha Ann Fite, formerly of Tennessee, but afterward becoming residents of Dallas County, Ark., where they now live, having been residents of Polk County for five years. Mrs. Hilton was born in Dallas County, and has borne her husband two children. Since 1868 Mr. Hilton has lived on his present farm whichcontains 200 acres of land, all of which he has earned himself, 100 acres being under cultivation. He and his wife are members of the United Missionary Baptist Church.

John A. Huddleston is an excellent example of the success attending hard work and faithful and persistent endeavor, and he is now one of the wealthy planters of Polk County, Ark., of which he has long been a resident, although his birthplace is Madison County, Tenn., where he was born in 1844. His parents, M. D. and Margaret (Hammond) Huddleston, were born, reared and married in Tennessee, and about 1846, came to Montgomery County, Ark., and settled down to tilling the soil of a farm at the head of Cadde Creek, and on this farm the father was called away by death, in 1868, at the age of sixty-two years, his widow surviving him, being about sixty-three years old. They were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church for many years, and he was one of the successful pioneer farmers of the county. He was a member of the A. F. & A. M., and was a son of David Huddleston, who died in West Tennessee. John A. Huddleston was the second of thirteen children born to his parents, six sons and six daughters being now alive, nearly all of whom reside in Scott and Polk Counties. Although he received but little early schooling, he was given a practical knowledge of farming, on this father's home place, and by the time he entered the army, in 1862, his out-door life had been of great benefit to him, and he was eminently fitted to bear the privations of a soldier's life. He became a member of Company B, Second Arkansas Infantry,

and operated in Arkansas and Louisiana, until the close of the war. His marriage, which took place in 1866, was to Miss Elizabeth, daughter of Nicholas W. and Telitha Cobler, who were Tennesseeans, the birth of the former occurring in 1816. They were married in 1838, in Gibson County, Tenn., and in 1846 came to Montgomery County, and settled on a woodland farm, and although he is living in the same vicinity, it is on another farm. He was justice of the peace some years, and just after the war was county and probate judge and a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1874. Mrs. Huddleston was born in Montgomery County, and died there in 1876. They had three children, two now living. His second marriage took place in 1876, and was to Martha, daughter of John and Sarah Cotton, who removed from Mississippi to Polk County, the mother's death occurring here, but the father is still living. Mr. Huddleston's second wife was born in Calhoun County, Miss., and died in 1881, leaving two children. He married his present wife in 1883, her name being Alice, daughter of Silas and Araminta E. Hughes, who came from their native State of Tennessee to Montgomery County, Ark., in 1876, and are now living in Polk County. This union has resulted in the birth of two children. Since 1866 Mr. Huddleston

has lived in Polk County, fifteen years being spent in Mountain Township, where he owns 350 acres of land, of which about 140 are under cultivation, all of which he has earned by his own efforts. He belongs to Hill Lodge No. 160, of the A. F. & A. M. His wife is a Methodist.

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Hon. Joseph G. and Holder Hudgins constitute the firm of Hudgins & Bro., at Dallas, Ark., which has been in existence since about 1867, their well selected and extensive stock of general merchandise bringing them the sum of $75,000 annually. They comprise one of the best known firms in Western Arkansas, and in connection with this they do an extensive farming and milling business, being the owners of about 5,000 acres of land in Arkansas, and a large amount in Kansas. They have an excellent saw, grist-mill and cotton-gin at the town of Dallas, also an excellent [p.455] gin and saw-mill and shingle machine two miles from the town. They are large live-stock dealers also, and their property is the result of their indefatigable efforts to do well in everything they undertake. They pay out to their employes from $50 to $75 per day, and have in their employ a large force of men. They came to Dallas soon after the war and almost immedintely engaged in general merchandising, and for some years also had charge of the mail routes centering at Dallas from nearly all directions, long distances over the mountains and streams. For the first few years Joseph G. was also extensively engaged in stock trading in the Indian Territory, and the southwest frontier, and on foot would drive his stock to Memphis and other points. He was born in Jackson County, Ga., in 1837, and his brother in the same place in 1849, their early lives being spent on a farm where they received but little education. They are truly self-made men in every sense of the term, and the liberal fortune which they are now enjoying is the result of their own earnest endeavors. In the family of which they were members, there were six sons and four daughters, Joseph G. being the eldest of the family. He was married in 1871 to Miss Cynthia E., daughter of Berry and Margaret Cecil, her father being one of the ablest attorneys in Arkansas and one of Polk County's most prominent citizens. He died about 1861, his widow surviving him. Mrs. Hodgins was born in Carroll County and has borne her husband six children, one of whom is deceased. Mr. Hudgins figures prominently in every enterprise that tends to elevate and advance the general interests of Polk County, and as he has at all times evinced excellent business qualifications and principles, he is one of the wealthy residents of this section of the State. He is a prominent Mason and an active worker for the Democratic party. In 1876 he was elected to the State Legislature but did not qualify, and in 1884 was again elected to the same position and served with credit for one term, being on railroad and other important committees. His parents, Holder and T. Caroline (Albright) Hudgins, were born in Georgia, where they lived until about 1870, when they came to Dallas, where they passed from life in 1881 and 1874, respectively, members of the Methodist Church for a great many years. The father was a successful farmer, and served a short time in the Confederate Army. His father, Beverly Hudgins, was born in Virginia, but at an early day removed to Jackson County, Ga., where he successfully followed the occupation of planting, and died at an advanced age. He was of Irish extraction, and at the age of six years was left an orphan, therefore never received the advantages of schooling. The maternal grandfather, Jerry Albright, was a Georgian, and throughout life was a farmer. He and his wife both died before Joseph G. Hudgins was born. The Hudgins brothers have built every public building of consequence that has been erected in this county since 1870. J. G. Hudgins was largely engaged in the cattle business in Texas for a time; then he sold, realizing by the investment nearly $50,000.

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Malcomb McAllister, farmer, Eagle Hill, Ark, Mr. McAllister was born in Blount County, Tenn., on April 3, 1831, and is a son of James B. and Margaret (McRae) McAllister, natives of Tennessee and North Carolina, respectively. The parents were married in the former State, and when Malcomb was eighteen months old they moved to Carroll County, Ga., where they passed the remainder of their days. The father was a farmer all his life and in 1836 and 1837 was a soldier, assisting in removing the Indians west of the Mississippi. He died in 1860, at the age of about sixty years, and his widow followed him to the grave in 1870 at about the same age. Her death occurred in Carroll County, Ga. Both were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and he was an exhorter and class leader for many years, also superintendent of the Sunday-school. As a farmer he was practical, industrious and successful. In politics he was a Democrat. Of the ten children born to his marriage, Malcomb was the fifth in order of birth. He was educated in Georgia, and when twenty-one years of age commenced for himself as a tiller of the soil. This he has since continued. He then read medicine from 1857 to 1859 under Dr. J. G. W. Brown, and in 1859 and 1860 he attended the medical college at Macon, Ga. [p.456] Later he commenced practicing in Benton County, Ala., and in 1861 returned to Georgia. He enlisted in the Seventh Georgia Cavalry, Confederate Army, and remained with the same all through the war, serving principally in Virginia, and being at all times in the thickest of the fight. He was in quite a number of battles, and in numerous skirmishes and raids from Cape Fear to James River. He was on the raid when his command captured 2,700 head of cattle at Petersburg, on the James River, from the rear of the Union Army. He was one of the forty detailed to go home after horses, and while there the army surrendered. After the war Mr. McAllister went to Hunt County, Tex., and after residing there one year moved to Polk County, Ark., locating on the head of Mountain Fork. There he remained for nearly two years, and then moved to Scott County, Boles, where he remained for another year. He subsequently moved back to this county and located on the head of Mountain Fork in 1875. He there has 160 acres of land, and has about 40 acres under cultivation. He abandoned the practice of medicine about ten years ago, and now gives his attention strictly to agricultural pursuits. In 1884 he was elected justice of the peace, and re-elected in 1890. When about thirteen years of age he joined the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and has been a great church worker ever since. He was married on May 5, 1851, to Miss Nancy J. Chance of Georgia, and she died at this place on December 4, 1884. To this union six children have been born: Martha H. (wife of James Watson, a farmer of this county), J. D. (now in Texas), Mollie (wife of William McBride now, in Texas), Sarah Alice (wife of John Coffman, a farmer of this county), Willie (at home), and Patty (also at home). Mr. McAllister was married again on November 8, 1885, to Mrs. Sarah C. Tyson of Rush County, Tex. She is also a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Mr. McAllister is a Demoerat in polities.

William P. McIntosh is one of the representative business men of Potter, Ark., and spares no pains to give every satisfaction to his customers. He was born in Chickasaw County, Miss., on January 3, 1840, and his parents, Elias and Catherine (Brooks) McIntosh, were natives of North Carolina, They were married in that State, and moved from there to Chickasaw County, where they remained for some time, and then, in 1848, moved to Sevier County, Ark., being among the first settlers. The father was justice of the peace of that county, treasurer for several years, and filled other positions of honor and trust. He was a Democrat in politics. He was born in 1812 and died in 1851, and the mother was born in 1815 and died in 1876. She was a member of the Christian Church. The McIntosh family is of Scotch descent, three brothers having come from Scotland and located in North Carolina prior to the Revolutionary War. William M. McIntosh, the second of seven children, passed his boyhood and youth in Washington, Tex., attended the college at that place, and then commenced to read medicine, but the war breaking out put an end to his studies. He joined the First Texas Legion, in which he served all through the war, being east of the Mississippi River all the time. He was in many battles, was never wounded, but was taken prisoner at Corinth, and conveyed to Bolivar, Tenn. He was paroled at the close of the war. Not having the means to pursue his medical studies, he commenced farming, and this has continued up to the present time. In 1870 he came to Polk County, located at Eagle Hill, and engaged in general merchandising, in connection with agricultural pursuits. He is the owner of nearly 1,000 acres, and is one of the most extensive farmers in the county. He has a beautiful place, a nice residence, good barns, etc., and everything to make life enjoyable. He moved his business to Potter a year ago, and has since been very successful. He was postmaster at Eagle Hill three years. He was married, in 1870, to Miss Hettie Terrell, of Sevier County, and three children are the result: John E., Florence O. and William P., Jr. Politically he is a Democrat.

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Pole McPhetrige, attorney at law, is one of the leading and most influential members of the bar in the town of Dallas, and adds strength to the legal fraternity throughout this section. He was born in Tazewell County, Va., in 1846, to Alfred and [p.457] Mary (Latham) McPhetrige, the former probably born in Kentucky, and the latter in Washington County, Va., their marriage taking place in the mother's native county, where the father's death occurred in 1865, he having been a hardware merchant and a soldier in the Federal Army during the Rebellion. His father, William McPhetrige, was a Scotchman who went some years in Kentucky afterward moving to Virginia, where he spent the rest of his days engaged in farming. The mother's father, Edward Latham, was a Pennsylvanian who died in Washington County, Va., in 1864, on a fine plantation which he owned there. He was of English origin and was of old Presbyterian stock. Pole McPhetrige is the eldest of five children, three now living, and when very young he began the battle of life for himself, but was given good educational advantages in Henry and Emery College and in Key's High School in Washington County. From his native State he first went to Missouri, later came to Arkansas, and after some years spent in teaching school in different counties, during which time he pursued the study of law, he, in 1875, was admitted to the bar in the Eighth Circuit by Judge T. M. Gibson, but did not practice much until 1881, but has since built up a large practice and now ranks among the foremost criminal law-yers of Western Arkansas. In 1888 his numerous warm friends and admirers elected him to the Senate from the Twenty-second District, and in that capacity he served ****vith distinction for four years. Since that time h**** given his attention to his profession, with highly satisfactory results. He was married in 1875, to Miss Sallie, daughter of W. J. and Louisa Cooper, who were formerly residents of Tennessee, but came to Northeastern Arkansas, and are now residing in Polk County. Mrs. McPhetrige was born in Lawrence County, Ark., is a member of the Methodist Church, and by Mr. McPhetrige is the mother of five children. Mr. McPhetrige is a member of the A. F. & A. M. of Dallas. At the early age of fifteen years he left school to espouse the cause of the Confederacy, contrary to the desire and views of his father, and for some time served in Company F, Forty-eighth Virginia Infantry, the original division of Stone-wall Jackson. He afterward attached himself to the Second Kentucky Cavalry, and served as adjutant, participating in many engagements, being wounded four times, one of which crippled him for life. A part of his service was with Gen. Longstreet in East Tennessee and Northern Georgia, taking part in the battles of Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, etc. He was captured in Northern Georgia, and after being kept at Nashville for some time, was removed to Joliet, Ill., and afterward to Rock Island, where he was taken with small-pox. He was then taken to the pest-house in Baltimore, Md., but at the time of the final surrender he was in Northern Georgia.

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James E. McRae. In the list of names which have made Pope County, Ark., one of the most populous and prosperous of the State, Mr. McRae's name holds a prominent place. He was born in Marlboro District, S. C., about 1816, a son of Colin and Frances (Harper) McRae, who were born in Marlboro and Chesterfield Districts, S. C., respectively, from which State they removed to Alabama, when their son, James E., was about one year old. The latter was left fatherless when about thirteen years old, and his mother afterward married Jackson Hobson, with whom she came to Ashley County, Ark., where she died about 1876, a worthy Christian lady and a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. Mr. McRae was a blacksmith, and in an early day was captain of a company of militia. The paternal grandfather, James McRae, was a native of Scotland, but during the early history of this country came to America and settled in South Carolina, where he farmed throughout the remainder of his life. The maternal grandfather, John Harper, was born in South Carolina, but died in Alabama, he being also a farmer by occupation. James E. McRae is one of five children born to his parents, was reared on a farm, but, owing to the early death of his father, he received a very limited education. He was married in 1840 to Miss Lucinda, daughter of Jesse and Fereby McLain, the father being a South Carolinian, and the mother a native of Ohio. They died in Polk County, Ark., and Alabama, respectively. Mrs. McRae was born in Alabama, and has [p.458] borne her husband six children, three of whom are living: Fereby E. (wife of Dr. M. M. Wimberly), James T., and Elizabeth (wife of Warren Watkins). The eldest child, John Colin, died in prison at Camp Chase, Ohio, having held the rank of captain of his company. The other children that are deceased are Mary C., who died in 1863, aged about eleven years) and an infant. In 1854 Mr. McRae removed to Texas, but two years later came to Ashley County Ark., and in 1868 to Polk County, where he has since lived. His farm comprises 400 acres in all, is excellent and fertile land, the result of his own toil, as he started out for himself with no means. He split rails for his first cow, and his wife did weaving for their first feather bed. They had to deny themselves many conveniences and Inxuries, but their early struggles have been rewarded, and they are now in independent circumstances. Mr. McRae is a member of Dallas Lodge of the A. F. & A. M., and since 1845 has been a member of the I. O. O. F. His wife has been an earnest member of the Missionary Baptist Church for many years, and is a true Christian lady.

Richard A. Mitchell is a farmer and miller of Ouachita Township, Polk County, Ark., but first saw the light of day in Chester District, S. C., January 24, 1827, being the third of seven children born to William and Anna (Thomas) Mitchell, the former born in Chester District, S. C., in 1804, and the latter in Bancombe County, N. C., in 1794, their marriage taking place in the father's birthplace. When the subject of this short sketch was about two years of age his parents removed to Troup County, Ga., eight years later to Harris County, then to Heard County, and when Richard A. was still a youth, they removed to Talladega County, Ala., where Mr. Mitchell died in the seventies, his widow after ward coming to Polk County, and dying soon after, both having been members of the Missionary Baptist Church a great many years, the former a well-to-do farmer. He served in the Seminole War of 1836. Richard A. Mitchell was reared on a farm, with a limited country education, and about 1851 was married to Martha, daughter of Washington and Mary Johnson, of Talladega County, Ala., but in 1857 removed to Calhoun County, Ark., where Mr. Johnson died, and his widow is still living. Mrs. Mitchell was born in Talladega County, Ala., and died in Saline County, Ark., in 1858, having borne four children, three sons living: Knu, John and Pinckney. In 1860 Mr. Mitchell's second marriage was celebrated, his wife being Rebecca, a daughter of Thomas and Louisa Harris. She was born in Alabama, and has borne Mr. Mitchell six children, the following of whom are living: Richard, Robert, Demetris, Charley, Claude and Nora L. Mr. Mitchell resided in Talladega County, Ala., until 1857, when he came to Saline County, Ark., moving, one year later, to Calhoun County, later to Montgomery County, and in 1869 to Polk County, where he settled on a partly improved farm. He now has 440 acres of valuable land, 160 acres of which are cleared. About 1880 he built a water, saw and grist-mill, on the Ouachita River, which he still owns and operates. During the war he was detailed to see after matters at home. He is one of the most enterprising farmers of Polk County, and has, at all times, shown an honorable, upright spirit. Mrs. Mitchell's mother, who was born in South Carolina, went with her parents to Alabama, where she married Mr. Harris, removing afterward to Mississippi, and then to Kentucky. After a five-years residence in this State they went to Missouri, and about 1856 to Calhoun County, Ark., and in 1868 to Polk County, where they took up their abode on a farm, on which Mr. Harris died, about 1873, and his widow in 1884, members of the Baptist and Methodist Churches, respectively.

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James M. Owens is classed among the successful tillers of the soil and stock raisers of Gourd Neck Township, Polk County, Ark., but was born in Van Buren County in 1844, to William Jackson and Fannie (Davis) Owens, the former born in Missouri, and the latter in Middle Tennessee. When young both went to Van Buren County, Ark., where they met, married and lived until about 1855, after which they spent a short time residing in different counties, and about 1862 settled in Polk County, Ark. In 1862 they started for Texas, but Mr. Owens died before they located, and after [p.459] the war the family returned to Polk Connty, Ark., where Mrs. Owens and four of her children still reside. Mr. Owens was a farmer and teacher, and was justice of the peace for some years. He was, as is his wife, a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and was a soldier in one of the early Indian wars. His father, Horner Owens, died in Missouri, of Scotch-Irish origin, and his wife's father, Jesse Davis, was one of the early settlers of Van Buren County, Ark, where he died, a farmer. James M. Owens is the eldest of three sons and five daughters, his brothers and sisters, that are living being as follows: Mary, Sarah C. (wife of William Reed), William Pinckney, Martha (wife of James Barlow), and Huldah F. (wife of Frank Werber of Hot Springs). Although James M. was reared on the farm, he was given rather more meager educational advantages than is usually given the farmer's boy, but being naturally intelligent and a quick observer, he is an exceptionally well-informed man. He resided on the Texas frontier during the war, and for three years served in the Home Guards in Burnett County. His marriage, which took place in Polk County, Ark., was to Miss Angelana, daughter of Raleigh M. and Louisa L. (Dearberry) White, both of whom died in Polk County, Ark., when Mrs. Owens was a little child, her father having been a farmer throughout life. They were among the early settlers in this section, and on the farm on which they first settled, the subject of this sketch and his family are now residing. Mrs. Owens was born in Mississippi, and has borne her husband eleven children, seven of whom are living. They have been occupants of their present farm since 1868, it being situated seven miles north of Dallas on the Ouachita River, and comprising about 400 acres, with 100 acres cleared. He is a well-known and prosperous farmer of this section, and as a neighbor and citizen, too much can not be said in his praise. His land is well improved, and excellent buildings are the rule and not the exception, his fences and orchard being also of the best. Nearly all his land that is under cultivation he has cleared himself, and all his property has been obtained by his own industry and with the aid of his wife, who has proved a true helpmate to him. He belongs to Dallas Lodge of the A. F. & A. M., Owens Chapel Lodge of the Farmers' Alliance, and has been steward in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church for a number of years, his wife being a member of the Missionary Baptist Church.

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Samuel Rind is a well-known merchant of Polk County, Ark., but was born in Sevier County, of this State, on July 26, 1854, being a son of Henry Y. and Rebecca (Rowsey) Rind, natives of Virginia, who moved from there to the Choetaw Nation in 1835. While a resident of his native State Henry Y. Rind began preparing himself for the ministry, graduating from a college of that State, and was afterward sent by the Methodist Episcopal Church South to the Choctaw Nation, and spent ten years as a missionary among the Indians. He then moved to near White Oak, Tex., but after two years spent in that State he came to Arkansas, being a resident of Sevier County until during the war, when he moved to Dallas, Polk County, Ark. After four more years spent in the Choctaw Nation he once more returned to Polk County, where he passed from life about 1879. While in Sevier County he was clerk of the circuit court, a position he also held in Polk County, his service in this capacity extending over a period of twenty years. He also filled other minor positions, and during the Rebellion was in a regiment of Arkansas cavalry. He was captain of a company, and served east of the Mississippi River the most of the time, taking part in many battles. In politics he was a Democrat, and socially he was a Mason and a member of the I. O. O. F. His widow is still living, and resides with the subject of this sketch, being now seventy-four years of age, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Their children are: Joshua (a farmer of Franklin County, Ark.), George, (a farmer of the Chickasaw Nation), and Fanny Redding (wife of Henry Redding, of Greer County, Tex.). Samuel Rind spent his school days in Polk County, Ark., and the Indian Territory, his father and mother being his principal teachers. At the age of eighteen years he commenced to farm and raise stock, a calling he has since followed. He moved to where he now resides [p.460] in 1886, and although his farm is small it is admirably conducted, and yields a much larger income than many more pretentious places. He engaged in merchandising about 1885, and to this calling has given considerable of his attention ever since, and has built up a prosperous trade. He was married in 1876 to Miss Frances Cooper, who died about one year later, leaving one child, a son, named William F. His second marriage was consummated in 1881, Miss Roxie Barber becoming his wife, and in time the mother of his three children: Florence, Nola G. and Robert F. Mr. Rind has always been a Democrat, and as a prosperous, law-abiding citizen ranks among the leading men of this section.

Judge Thomas R. Rowe, probate and county judge of Polk County, is a resident of Cove Township, his home being located two miles west of the town of Cove. He was born in Monroe County, Ga., on August 29, 1833, and is the son of James and Narcissa (Lewis) Rowe, natives of Edgefield District, S. C. The parents were married in the Palmetto State, and when still young people moved to Monroe County, Ga., where they resided for some time. They then moved to Meriweather County of that State, and there passed the balance of their days, the father dying in 1872 at the age of eighty-two years, and the mother in 1878, when eighty-four years of age. The father was a very successful and extensive planter. Both were members of the Baptist Church, and the father was a deacon in the same from the time he was a a young man until his death, a great many years. He was a life-long Democrat, and took a deep interest in polities, but would never accept an office, preferring a quiet life on his farm. He had three brothers who were prominent political men, and who held nearly all the political offices in the county. The Rowe family is of Scotch origin. Of the eight children born to the above-mentioned couple, all are living, and the eldest is probably seventy-eight years of age and the youngest is fifty-one years: Harriet T. (resides in Northern Texas), Mary A. (is in Monroe County, Ga.), Narcissa S. (in Meriweather County, Ga.), James A. (is a farmer in the last named county), Oliver P. (is a farmer), Andrew J. (is in Georgia), and Sarah E. (is also in Georgia). Judge Thomas R. Rowe, the sixth in order of birth of the above-mentioned family, was reared and educated in his native county, and when twenty-one years of age commenced to work for himself as a farmer in Meriweather County, Ga. He remained there until November, 1881, and then moved to Franklin County, Ark., near Ozark, where he remained two years. He then came to Polk County and bought the 180 acres that he now owns, on Six Mile Creek, a considerable portion of which is under cultivation. While a resident of Meriweather County, Ga., he held the office of justice of the peace eight years, and soon after coming to this county he was elected to the same position, holding the same for four years. He was then elected county and probate judge, and so great was his popularity and so well did he fill this honorary position, that he was reelected in 1890. During the Civil War Judge Rowe was lieutenant of Brown's State Militia. He had three brothers in the regular service, and the oldest brother was captain, he surrendered with Gen. Lee. The second was a lieutenant in the same company, and lost his arm at Chancellorsville being afterward discharged. The third brother was in the First Georgia Cavalry, and was soon made forage-master of the brigade, serving as such all through the war. He was wounded near Richmond, Ky. On December 15, 1853, Judge Rowe was married to Miss Mary A. Malcolm, of Meriweather County, Ga., and to this union were born seven living children, viz.: Alexander J., Robert A., Sarah E. (wife of Marion B. Allen, who is a merchant of Cove), Luther M., Mary S. (at home), Hugh (in Texas), and Earnest (at home). One child, John B., was struck by lightning, and one died in infancy. Mrs. Rowe is a member of the Primitive Baptist Church. The Judge is a Democrat in his political views, and he is a member of Mountain Meadow Lodge No. 218, A. F. & A. M., of which he is secretary.

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Isaac J. Steele has attained wealth as a farmer and stock-raiser, by honest labor, and is a gentleman who commands the respect and esteem of all who know him. He was born in the year 1837, in [p.461] Perry County, Tenn., to Isaac and Catherine (Faucett) Steele, the former born in South Carolina, in 1802, and the latter in Tennessee, their marriage occurring in Maury County, Tenn., where they were reared. They soon after moved to Perry County, and in 1848 came to what is now Van Buren County, Ark., where Mr. Steele passed from life February 16, 1857, his widow dying November 29, 1875, both members of the Methodist Church of many years' standing. Mr. Steele was a blacksmith by trade, but at the time of his death was following merchandising. His father, Michael Steele was of Irish descent, a South Carolinian by birth, and died in Maury County, Tenn., of which he was one of the early settlers, a gunsmith and farmer by occupation. He was a soldier in the Creek War. Richard Faucett, the mother's father, was a tiller of the soil of Maury County, Tenn., and there passed from life. Isaac J. Steele was the sixth of seven children, but as he was compelled to labor hard on the farm in his youth, he received but little schooling. Since the age of eleven years he has been a resident of Arkansas, and from here enlisted in the Confederate Army, in 1861, becoming a member of Company K, Tenth Arkansas Infantry, and served in Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, taking part in the battles of Shiloh, Port Hudson, and some others. He was wounded and captured at Port Hudson, but after being paroled he returned home, and did not again enter the service. In 1866 he was married to Huldah, daughter of Michael and Nancy Fulkerson, both of whom were born in Tennessee, in which State Mr. Fulkerson also died, his widow afterward coming to Arkansas, dying in Van Buren County. Mrs. Steele was born in Tennessee, and of a family of five children born to her union with Mr. Steele, one son and two daughters are living. Mr. Steele lived five years in Washington County, five years in Franklin County, but since 1887 has been one of the prominent and substantial residents of Polk County. His admirably kept farm, which is situated one mile east of Dallas, comprises 320 acres, 240 acres being in the home farm, with about 100 acres cleared and under the plow. This land is well improved with suitable buildings, good fences, etc., and the entire property is the result of his own efforts. His wife is a member of the Methodist Church.

William H. Stiewig, a native of Osage County, Mo., was born December 22, 1842, son of William Theodore and Mary (Dugan) Stiewig, who were natives of Germany and Osage County, Mo., respectively. The father died at the age of sixty-five years in Red Willow County, Neb., in 1878, preceded by his wife in August, 1855, when only thirty years old. From Missouri the family moved to Titus County, Tex., in 1845, where Mrs. Stiewig's death occurred. Later Mr. Stiewig returned to Missouri, settling in Franklin County, but in 1869 located in Red Willow County, Neb., where he kept hotel, conducted a furniture store and served as probate judge. He also, in his various locations, served his calling as a minister of the Christian Church. He was an honest, industrious man, well liked by all those who knew him intimately. After the death of his first wife he wedded Miss Nancy Ladd, of Texas, who is now residing in Colorado. The father of William T. Stiewig was a native of Germany, but immigrated to this country and died in Nebraska. William H. Stiewig was the eldest of eight children, and his early education was obtained in Texas. From early youth he manifested much interest and proficiency in mechanics, and during the Rebellion was detailed to work on machinery and engineering. He remained in Titus County, Tex., until 1878, when he came to Polk County, Ark., and has since made it his home, being engaged in agricultural pursuits. Since 1883 he has resided on his present farm, which consists of 240 acres of arable land, which he has improved and rendered more valuable by so doing. To Mr. Stiewig's marriage with Catharine Tedford, of Titus County, Tex., six sons and five daughters have been born. He is perhaps one of the very best posted men in his county; is quite a reader, an independent and intelligent voter, a Mason, an Odd Fellow, and he and wife are members of the Christian Church.

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Dr. Wiley S. Stinnett, physician, Eagle Hill, Ark. Few, if any, industrial or professional pursuits have within the last few years made such [p.462] rapid strides as that of the profession of medicine, and among the leading physicians of Polk County, Ark., who have availed themselves of all new ideas and pot them in practice, may be mentioned Dr. Stinnett. He was born in Marion County, Tenn., on September 7, 1826, and is the son of Hiram and Sarah (Walker) Stinnett, natives of Pike County, Tenn., and Botetourt County, Va., respectively. When a girl the mother was taken to Marion County, Tenn., by her parents, and there when grown she was married to Mr. Stinnett. In 1836 Mr. and Mrs. Stinnett moved to De Kalb County, Ala., thence in 1845 to Polk County, Ark., and settled in a wilderness on Mountain Fork. There they received their final summons, the father in 1865 at the age of sixty-five years, and the mother in 1862 at the age of fifty-four. The father was an extensive and successful farmer, and in his political views was a Democrat. He was the son of arion Stinnett, who was a native of South Carolina and a farmer. The latter served in the War of 1812 and was in the battle of New Orleans. He died in Tennessee. Of the ten children born to his parents Dr. Stinnett is the elder of the two nowliving. His brother, Silas M., is a farmer and resides on the old homestead. Dr. Stinnett was educated in Marion County, Tenn., and De Kalb County, Ala. After growing up he turned his attention to farming, and this occupation he has continued to the present day. On June 20, 1846, he joined Col. Yell's regiment in the Mexican War, and was near when Col. Yell was killed. He was in the Buena Vista battle, and was discharged from the service on June 20, 1847, at Camargo, Mexico. He returned home by New Orleans. He then commenced to teach school in this county and carried this on in connection with farming for ten years. At the same time he read medicine, and in connection with tilling the soil has practiced his profession ever since. He has been very successful, and has a lucrative practice. During the late war be was not a secessionist, and remained out of the ranks on account of being justice of the peace in the county, but he was elected captain of a company of militia in the county. He was elected justice of the peace in 1854, and held the office twenty-five consecutive years or until he positively refused to serve any longer. On August 29, 1849, he married Miss Malinda S. Winton, daughter of George Winton, one of the first settlers of the county, coming here from Tennessee as early as 1832. To this union were born eight children, three of whom are now living: George M. (a farmer of this county), Ben F. (also a farmer of this county), and Anna Belle (wife of H. A. Learned). Those deceased were Frances M., Hiram M., Helen M., Martha C. and G. G., all of whom lived to be grown except the last named. Dr. Stinnett is a member of the Christian Church, is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Mountain Meadow Lodge No. 218, and has been master of his lodge a number of times. He is decidedly a Republican in politics.

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Hon. Benjamin F. Thompson is not only one of the successful and substantial farmers of Polk County, Ark., but he is also respected and esteemed for his many admirable traits of character. His life has been a useful one, and he has at all times endeavored to follow the teachings of the Golden Rule. He first saw the light of day in Morgan County, Ala., in 1836, being the ninth of twelve children, ten now living, born to the marriage of Benjamin W. and Keziah (Jackson) Thompson, both of whom were born in South Carolina, the former in 1793, and the latter in 1801. They were reared and married in their native State, and from there moved to Morgan County, Ala., where Mrs. Thompson died on August 17, 1873, Mr. Thompson passing from life two years later, both members of the Missionary Baptist Church for many years. He was a successful farmer, a soldier in the War of 1812, and was with Jackson at New Orleans. His father, Benjamin Thompson, was a Virginian, who died in North Carolina, a farmer by occupation. He was a Revolutionary soldier for five years, and was of Welsh descent. The maternal grandfather, John Jackson, removed from South Carolina to Alabama, in which State he died just before the subject of this sketch was born, a farmer by calling, and a soldier in the War of 1812. Hon. Benjamin F. Thompson obtained a fair education in the common schools during his [p.463] boyhood, and was brought up to a

knowledge of farm life by his father. In August, 1861, he joined Company H, Twelfth Alabama Infantry, and was in the battles of Williamsburg, Seven Pines, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, seven days' fight around Richmond, Sharpsburg, Gettysburg, and many others. He was never captured, but at the battle of Gettysburg was wounded in the left shoulder. He surrendered in Northern Alabama, being unfit for further service after he received his wound. He farmed in Alabama until 1877, then came to Polk County, Ark., and in 1873 was married to Mrs. Eliza A. Wright, daughter of William and Mahala Joplin, Mississippians, who came to Polk County, Ark., in 1856, where the father died before the war, a farmer, his widow still surviving him. Mrs. Thompson was born in Mississippi, and has borne her husband nine children, one being deceased. Since 1871 Mr. Thompson has lived on his present farm of 400 acres, 100 acres of which are cleared. This is one of the finest farms in this section, and is the result of honest and persistent toil. In connection with farming he is engaged in stock-raising to some extent, in which branch of industry he has met with good success. In 1886 he was elected on the Democratic ticket to the State Legislature, and served one term, being on several important committees. He is a member of Dallas Lodge No. 128, of the A. F. & A. M., and for some years was senior warden. He is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, and his wife is a Methodist. His place is supposed to be the first one settled in the county, about seventy-five years ago, by Jacob Wild, at which time the country was very sparsely settled, the woods being inhabited by Indians and wild animals of all kinds.

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James Brit. Watts. In former years, the life of a farmer was considered a laborious one, but in this progressive age, with such improvements in machinery, he can do his work with half the dispatch or labor as in the time of his father, and, in fact, works but little harder than the average man who strives to make a living. Besides all this, he is independent, which is one of the much sought-for conditions of life. Mr. Watts is a successful farmer, who has kept fully apace with the times, and has reached the conditions of life mentioned above. He was born in Cherokee County, Ala., in 1843, a son of Daniel D. and Frances (Philips) Watts, the former born in North Carolina, and the latter in Cherokee County, Ala., their marriage taking place in the last named State, where they are still living. The father was a farmer, and served in the Rebellion until the battle of Chickamauga, where he was disabled for life. His father, Levi Watts, was born in North Carolina, and died in Marshall County, Ala., a German by descent, and a farmer and Indian trader. The mother's father, Brit Philips, is still living, in Blount County, Ala., a farmer. James Brit Watts was the second of nine children, and as he was compelled to labor hard on his father's farm in his youth, he received but little schooling. In 1861 he joined Company C, Forty-eighth Alabama Infantry,

being in the same company with his father, and served until the close of the war, surrendering with Gen. Lee. The most of the time he acted as color bearer, and as such was in the battles of Shiloh, Corinth, Chickamauga, Knoxville, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Gaines' Mill, Newmarket, Bermuda Hundred, South Petersburg, Gettysburg, Antietam, being in all about thirty-two general engagements. He was twice wounded, and was captured three times, but soon managed to offect his escape each time. After the war he returned to the farm in Alabama, and was there married in 1867, to Miss Martha J., daughter of William J. and Eliza Medford, who came to Polk County, Ark., in 1870, and here are still making their home. Mrs. Watts was born in Cherokee County, Ala., and has borne her husband nine children, eight of whom are living. In 1867 Mr. Watts removed to Drew County, Ark., but at the end of one year went to Desha County, and two years later, or in 1870, came to Polk County, and for six years has resided on his present farm of 335 acres, of which 120 acres are cleared. He has improved his farm greatly, and his buildings and fences are all in good repair. This property has been earned by his own efforts, for which he deserves much credit. He was postmaster of Big [p.464] Bend for some years, but otherwise has not aspired to office. He belongs to the Primitive Baptist Church.

The following description of the military career of Mr. Watts is here given in his own graphic language and style:

"I wish to state a few words in regard to the battle of Gaines' Mill. I will say that I was a sharpshooter and a scout from Company C, Forty-eighth Alabama Infantry up till the battle of Gaines' Mill, and our battalion of sharpshooters charged the Federal sharpshooters and drove them back in their breastworks, wherein myself and comrades were so near the enemy that it seemed like it was almost impossible for us to make our escape. While thus exposed to the heavy fire from the artillery and rifles of the Federal lines, our boys were coming in a full breast at a charge bayonets and yelling, but my comrades were repulsed and retired, to rally and come again, which they did, but were repulsed again. All this time myself and comrades were in forty yards of the Federal breastworks, pouring a fire upon them with our Whitney rifles. In about five minutes I looked back and saw the Confederate line charging with determination. This charge was the third charge of the Confederates. As they charged within fifteen steps of my rear I saw the last man in my old Company C fall; his name was John Barton; he was first lieutenant of Company C, Forty-eighth Alabama. In this engagement we had six of as good southern soldiers to fall with our flag as ever lived. When my lieutenant fell forward with the flag he raised himself up as high as possible and waved his flag. I could not stand it any longer, so I rose up and made a few leaps backward and seized our

colors. At that moment my lieutenant spread himself flat to the ground. He had received a deadly shot. At that moment as he sank down his dying words were to ‘stamp the flag on the Federal works.’ As I seized the flag and leaped forward to stamp it on the Federal works the flagstaff was shot in two, but I regained hold of the fractured end and ran forward. In a few leaps I reached the Federal works and planted my staff within three feet of the Yankee line. At that moment a Yankee captain seized hold of our flag and while myself and the Yankee captain were defending ourselves from each others blows, tussling over the flag, one of my comrades shot and killed the captain, and in another instant my comrade fell, shot dead. In another moment I was yelling and waving our colors for my boys to rally to the old Forty-eighth flag. At the same time I heard Major Carrie cry out to the Forty-seventh Alabama to rally to the aid of the flag of the Forty-eighth, for it was stamped upon the Federal works. So the boys raised a terrible yell and here they came with bayonets presented. Then came the death struggle while I held the banner. It was a hand-to-hand fight, but quickly over. I was the only man left in Company C, Forty-eighth Alabama Regiment. After this, and from that very hour, I was chosen as color-bearer for the Forty-eighth Alabama Regiment. I was the only man left in Company C, and there had six brave boys fallen from under that flag at this battle. Besides this the Forty-eighth had lost three men over half of her number. It seemed like the solemn hour had come, for we left home with 127 men in Company C, and now was cut down to one man only. We were the winners of the victory. The regiments that suffered in this battle were the Forty-eighth, Forty-seventh and Fifteenth Alabama, the Third, Fourth and Fifth Texas, and the Third Arkansas. We were fighting against odds–five to one. Besides the Federals were mixed troops of negroes, Indians and New Yorkers, and they all fought at the point of the bayonet.