T. J. Sharum, general marchant of
Walnut Ridge, was born in Davices County, Ind., February 4, 1840. His father,
H. V. Sharum, is a native of Kentucky, and an early settler of Daviess
County, Ind., where he still resides on a farm, at the age of eighty years.
The older Sharum was married to Miss Rosa Ann Cisell, of Kentucky, and
eight children were the result of this union. One of the sons, James A.,
was a member of Company I, Twenty-fourth Infantry, Indiana Volunteers,
and was killed in the battle of Shiloh. Two of the sons reside in Arkansas,
T. J. Sharum and J. C. Sharum, the latter a resident of Portia, Mr. T.
J. Sharum was reared on a farm in Indiana, and received a fair education
in his youth, He learned the carpenter's trade early in life, and worked
at it in the town of Manitowoc, Wis., until the fall of 1860. In 1861 (July
3) he enlisted in Company [p.820] I, Twenty-fourth Infantry, Indiana Volunteers,
which was organized at Camp Knox, and in the latter part of that summer
went to Missouri, under Gen. Fremont. He took part in the battle of Shiloh,
where he was wounded in the left shoulder by a rifle ball. He was granted
a furlough of several months after this occurrence, and later on rejoined
his regiment at Helena, Ark., and with the exception of skirmishing, was
not engaged in actual battle until the siege of Vicksburg. On June 23,
he was taken prisoner, and finally landed in the famous Libby Prison. Later
on he was exchanged, and rejoined his regiment at New Iberia, La. At Clinton,
La., he did some skirmish duty, and in the year of 1864, he was mustered
out at Baton Rouge. Mr. Sharum's next occupation was that of traveling
salesman for a jewelry house, and then a stock trader. He journeyed through
the Choctaw Nation and the State of Arkansas for two years, trading in
stock and hides. He then established himself in business in Indiana for
seven years, and afterward was a wholesale manufacturer of boots and shoes
in St. Louis, Mo., for eight years, in connection with a brother. In November,
1883, he came to Walnut Ridge, his present home, and purchased the business
of J. M. Phelps & Sons. His undertakings have all been successful,
and he is now the owner of some 3,000 acres of land, besides that part
of Walnut Ridge where the court-house and Methodist Episcopal Church stand.
He is commander of Lawrence Post No. 72, G. A. R., and is a member of the
L. O. O. F., Good Templars and Knights and Ladies of Honor. He was married
April 24, 1866, to Miss Lydia A. Loutz, of Indiana, and has had three children,
one of them dying since (Edward). The two still living are Monte and Myrtle.
Arthur W. Shirey, a prominent merchant of Ashland Township, comes from an old South Carolinian family, but is of German descent. He was born in Lexington County, S. C., on the 18th of May, 1835, and is a son of Enoch and Martha (Sandford) Shirey, who, a few years after their marriage, moved to the State of Georgia, and from there to Alabama, where they settled on a farm, and proceeded to make their future home. The father died September 6, 1866, while visiting his son, A. W. Shirey, in Texas, giving the family a blow from which they did not recover for some years. A. W. Shirey remained with his father until he had attained his manhood, and then moved to Texas, where he located in Smith County, and afterward in Angelina County. In 1862 he enlisted in the Thirteenth Texas Cavalry, as a private, but his valiant services for the cause of the Confederacy soon won for him the rank of orderly sergeant, in which capacity he remained until the company disbanded at Hempstead, Texas. He fought at the battles of Mansfield (La.), Pleasant Hill (La.), and Jenkins' Ferry (Ark.), besides a great number of others equally as noted. After the war he returned to his Texas home, where he was occupied in farming for one year, and in 1867 moved to Arkansas, and located at Jonesboro. In the latter place he was engaged in business for eighteen months, and in the fall of 1808 settled on Black River, in Lawrence County, where he transacted business for a period of four and one-half years. His next venture was at Minturn, but he sold out his interest at that place, and began farming near by, This he continued four years, then returning to Minturn, and forming a partnership, under the name of Shirey & Henry, for the sale of general merchandise. After a period of one year and a half Mr. Henry withdrew from the business, which Mr. Shirey continued on his own account, and he now does a business of about $30,000 annually, besides handling cotton to a considerable extent. He carries a large and fine stock of dry goods, groceries, queensware and general supplies, and has built up a prosperous trade. He is deemed to be one of the shrewdest business men in that section, and no man in business in Lawrence County has a better reputation for fair dealing and honest goods. Mr. Shirey first commenced on almost nothing, but, by his own good management and legitimate methods of doing business, has accumulated a comfortable fortune. He owns some 4,000 acres of land in this county, on ten different tracts, of which 1,300 acres are cleared and under cultivation. Once before he had been on the road to prosperity, but lost all he possessed while coming [p.821] from Jonesboro to Lawrence County, on the Black River, in 1868. The boat upon which all of his savings and goods had been freighted sunk at Bird's Point, and he was again forced to start in life without a dollar. His wonderful energy and tact have once more placed him upon a solid basis, and now, besides his 4,000 acres of land and large business, he owns considerable other personal property, and is considered to be one of the bulwarks of commercial life in Lawrence County. Mr. Shirey has been a Spiritualist in religious faith for the past fifteen years, and for some three years he has been a magnetic healer. He delights in treating patients after medicine has failed to cure, and many have been restored to health and strength through his aid. People who are poor and destitute receive the benefits of his healing powers gratis.
Capt. William C. Sloan, of Smithville,
Ark., was born in Lawrence County, August 14, 1833. His father was Fergus
Sloan, of Lincoln County, N. C., who was born in December, 1787, and died
in November, 1849. The elder Sloan remained in North Carolina until he
reached his twenty-fifth year, and then moved to Missouri, and settled
in Washington County, near Caledonia. He resided there until his marriage
to Miss Rosanna Ruggles, of Otsego, N. C., who was born in 1797, and came
to Missouri in 1818. They moved to Arkansas in 1820, and located in the
Spring River district, where they opened up a large farm (for that time)
of 150 acres. Both Mr. and Mrs. Sloan were members of the Methodist Episcopal
and the elder Sloan's house in early days was often a meeting place for the missionaries of that time. He died, while on a visit to his former home in Missouri, on November 13, 1849, and his wife, the mother of Capt. Sloan, died on the old homestead, August 10, 1860. Nine children were born to the parents, all of them living to be married. William C. Sloan was the seventh child, and the youngest of four boys, and besides himself, has three sisters still living. He grew to maturity in this county, and on arriving at the age of twentyone years, commenced doing business for himself. During the war, he was captain of Company A, Twenty-fifth Arkansas, and was mustered in with his company, March 1, 1862, serving about six months in that command. He next joined Col. Baber's cavalry regiment, the Forty-fifth Arkansas, and was a member of the raiding expedition, under General Price, through Missouri. After the war was over, he returned. home and entered actively into mercantile life, and has resided in Smithville ever since. He is also a partner in the firm of Sloan & Co., at Imboden, Ark., and besides, deals in stock very extensively. Capt. Sloan is a Democrat in politics, and represented his county in the rebel legislature of 1866-67, when they first convened after the war, and was known throughout the county, as a fair-minded and conscientious man in the discharge of his duties. He was first married to Mrs. Susan Sloan, the widow of his brother, who was born in Lawrence County, in 1831, and died in October, 1865. This union gave them two children, William F., and Leona, wife of L. T. Andrews. His second wife was Miss Elizabeth J. Cravens, whom he married in 1871, a native of the same county, but educated at Shelbyville, Ky., and by whom he had three children: Homer F., Eula L., and Fannie, all of them living. The mother died September 29, 1887. Capt. Sloan is a member of Lodge No. 29, A. F. & A. M., of Smithville, and is widely known for his generosity and good fellowship.
Clay Sloan, circuit court clerk, Powhatan,
was born in Lawrence County, Ark., August 20, 1861. He comes of a family
who have made Arkansas their home for a great many years, his father, James
F. Sloan, having been reared in the same county and State, as also his
mother, Margaret J. (Raney) Sloan. The older Sloan was, for the greater
portion of his life, a prominent merchant of Powhatan, and was one of the
most progressive men in commercial circles in that city up to the time
of his death, in 1873. His wife still survives him, and is now married
to M. D. Baber, an attorney of Powhatan. Mr. Clay Sloan attained his maturity
in Lawrence County, and in his youth received a thorough education at Arkansas
College, Batesville, Ark. He completed his full course at college in 1881,
and was then engaged in teaching [p.822] at Powhatan until the year 1886.
His abilities having been tested and recognized by this time, he was elected
to the position which he now occupies pies, and in 1888 was re-elected
to the same office. Mr. Sloan also filled the office of county examiner
from 1884 to 1886, a position in which his actions were reflected with
credit. He is a Democrat in politics and is strong in his support of the
principles of that party. In the month of October, 1888, Mr. Sloan was
captivated by and married to Miss Katie Matthews, a daughter of B. F. Matthews,
and they are as happy as two people can be who have made a wise selection
in the lottery of life. They are both members of the Old School Presbyterian
Church, and are held in high esteem by their neighbors.
Thompson F. Smith, justice of the peace, was born in Washington County, Mo., on the 7th of February, 1828. He is the son of William C. and Jemima (Warner) Smith. His father moved from his native place, Fayette County, Ky., in his nineteenth year, and settled in Washington County, Mo., where he met and married his wife. They remained in this State until the year of 1841, when they were induced to remove farther west, and located in Arkansas, near Smithville. In 1846 a permanent home was established at what is now Black Rock, but what was then almost a barren prairie. Mr. William C. Smith was first justice of the peace in that county, and was afterward elected to the county judgeship, in 1854, by the Democratic party. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and was a member of Johnson's regiment. His contributions toward the church were liberal, he besides being a strong advocate in the erection and maintenance of schools. Mr. Smith's mother died July 31, 1886, in the New Hope Baptist Church, one of the oldest churches in the county, of which she had been a member for thirty-nine years. To them were born fifteen children, of whom five are still living. Mr. Smith is their fifth child, and moved with his parents to Arkansas when in his fourteenth year. He attained his-majority on the place where he now resides, and, after reaching that age, his first steps were toward improving the farm, and it is now his great satisfaction in being able to say that, since coming to this point, he has lived to see trees grow from mere shrubs to be over two and one-half feet in diameter. He has under cultivation about 100 acres of land, and is the owner of some 200, with orchards and buildings upon them. His new fruit evaporator is the only one in the county, and since he has been in possession of it, has evaporated over 3,000 pounds of fruit. Mr. Smith was married on the 1st of January, 1863, to Miss Letitia Moore, of this county, a daughter of Jackson Moore, one of the earliest settlers. They have had five children, four of whom are still living: James H., Charles B., Julia A. and William H. Mr. Smith is a member of the A. F. & A. M., o Rock Cave, this county. He has served as justice of the peace for seventeen years, and is the present justice of the peace and notary public. He fought in the late war, and held the rank of lieutenant in the Thirteenth Arkansas, Company D. He had command of Company D in the battle of Shiloh, and his lips give many a thrilling recital of narrow escapes during that period. Mr. Smith is an energetic citizen, a popular official, and a prominent figure in his county.
David C. Smith was born in Lawrence
County, Ark., February 10, 1837, and is the son of David Smith, of Vermont,
who settled in Kentucky in his earlier days, where he met and was married
to Miss Mariah Homby, a native of that State. In the year 1830 Mr. David
Smith and his family left their Kentucky home and found a suitable location
in Lawrence County, Ark. This section of country was sparsely settled at
that time, and Mr. Smith had all the difficulties to contend with that
befell the pioneers of that State. However, he cleared up a portion of
the timber and commenced farming, which occupation he followed until the
time of his death, which occurred on the 12th of March, 1881. Both Mr.
and Mrs. Smith were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Seven children
were born to them, of whom four are still living, David C. being the youngest.
The advantages of education were very limited in those days in Mr. Smith's
section, owing to the newness of the country, and he found, quite early
in life, [p.823] the necessity of schooling himself. At the age of twenty-two
he located on the home place, where he remained until he was able to purchase
a home of his own, and, owing to his natural ability and pluck, was not
long in attaining his object. He served three years in the Confederate
army, being a member of Col. Shaver's regiment, and was present at the
surrender at Jacksonport, Jackson County, Ark. At the close of the war
he returned home and engaged in farm work, and some years later was elected
justice of the pence of Black River Township, filling the duties of that
office for two terms. He was then elected to the office of county judge
in the fall of 1886, serving two years. Mr. Smith has also been a member
of the board of equalization for four years, and has filled several minor
offices. He was first married in 1859 to Miss Mary A. Bottoms, a lady of
Tennessee, who died on the 19th of March, 1888. He had seven children by
this wife, five of them deceased: David W., Elias H., Mary E., Clay C.
and Emmett E. Those living are James C. and John R. Mr. Smith was married
a second time to Mrs. C. A. Pyland, a native of Tennessee, and this lady
had three children: Mary F., Georgia A. and Modena W. They are members
of the Baptist Church. Mr. Smith is an active worker in school and church
affairs. He is a stanch Democrat, and was a Whig before the reconstruction.
J. C. Starr, M.D., was born in Cannon
County, Tenn., on the 2d day of August, 1843. He is a son of John and Celinda
(Shumate) Starr. The family settled in Missouri, in 1850, and located in
Wright County, where Mr. Starr, the elder, engaged in farming and stock
raising. The Doctor remained with his father until he reached maturity,
when he began the study of medicine with Dr. J. F. Brooton, one of the
leading physicians of Wright County, in 1868. He finally moved to Lawrence
County, Mo., and enrolled as physician and surgeon in the clerk's office
in Mount Vernon, Mo., in July, 1874, where he remained until moving to
Arkansas, when he settled in Lawrence County in 1875. His first place of
residence was at Smithville, but in 1887 he selected Black Rock as a more
desirable location, and has continued there ever since. He has a large
practice, and is a man of high standing in that community, which position
has been won by his sterling qualities and skill in his profession, and
he is in every way worthy of the success attending him. The Doctor met
and won Miss E. J. Smith, a young lady of Arkansas. in 1882. Five children
have been born to them– Clara, Tolivar, Webby. Ophelia and Mary. The family
are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and the Doctor himself is
a member and Junior Warden of Black Rock Lodge of Masons.
Andrew J. Stewart, a well-known and extensive
stock raiser and farmer. was born January 15. 1848, in Phelps County. Mo.
His father, James Stewart, was married in Missouri to Miss Melinda Lane,
of Iowa, who, after their marriage, first settled in Dent County, Mo.,
and subsequently in Phelps County, where Andrew J. was born. Andrew remained
with the family until his sixteenth year, and then came to Arkansas, and
settled in Lawrence County, where he has resided since. He was married
on September 24, 1872, to Miss Sarah Thomason, of North Carolina, a lady
who has proven herself a devoted wife and mother. After his marriage Mr.
Stewart bought 120 acres of land, partly cleared, and since then has added
to it considerably, now owning some 520 acres in three tracts, with perhaps
200 acres cleared. He has a good box house on one place and a log house
on each of the others, besides a good many improvements having been done
upon all of his land. Mr. Stewart's position in life is a good example
of what thrift, good management and common sense will do toward building
up a man's fortune, He first started in life with comparatively nothing,
but by the aid of those qualities has accumulated an independent competence,
and is now considered as one of the most substantial men of his county.
He has a family of four children: Fillmore I., James T., Jessie and Charles
H.; and has lost one child. Mrs. Stewart is a member of
the Old School Presbyterian Church, and takes an active interest in all matters pertaining to it.
Joseph Taylor was born in Lawrence
County, Ark., January 28, 1823, his parents being William and Mary (Fortenberry)
Taylor, whose respective [p.824] places of birth were Tennessee and Virginia
. The father was born in East Tennessee, on Clinch River, near Kingston.
The grandfather died at an early age, leaving a widow and two children,
William and Nancy. His wife married a short time after the death of her
husband. and William was compelled to leave home on account of the ill
treatment of his stepfather. At the time. being about seventeen years of
age and weighing only 104 pounds, he started for the West. He crossed the
Mississippi River net far he low the month of the Ohio, and located in
Cape Girardeau County. near the southern line. on a small stream called
White Water. He was wholly illiterate, being unable to read. save a little.
while to write his own name was an impossibility. He remained in this country
until about the age of twenty-two, and having grown to be a reasonable
sized man, he married. He was in this country in time of the earth's shaking
and during the War of 1812. During this time his wife presented him two
sons, Milledge and John- and about the year 1816 or 1817 be removed with
his wife and family to Arkansas, and located in the woods. on the bank
of Strawberry River. a very poor man. He succeeded in procuring lands.
on which he erected a building and cleared a farm. and. following the occupation
of farming and stock raising through life, he became a well-to-do man.
After he settled here his wife bore four other sons James. Wesley. Joseph,
and one that died soon after its birth. The mother died at the same time.
leaving Joseph a little over two years of age. The father remained a widower
about two years. and married a lady named Lear Williams. This wife became
the mother of four children. Nancy, William. Eliga and Elie. The father
died at about the age of fifty-five or fifty-six. leaving eight sons and
one daughter, all of whom became grown. married and bad families, save
one son, William, who died single at the age of twenty-two. Joseph was
about seventeen years old when his father died. He remained with his step-mother
one year, and then lived with his brother until twenty years of age. On
November 7, 1843, he married Mary J. Hinderson. They lived together about
three years. and she died. During this union they had a son born unto them,
named William Alexander (after his grandfather). This son (without consent
of his father), at the age of sixteen, joined the Southern army in the
fall of 1861. and was killed at Atlanta. Ga. After the death of his wife.
Mr. Taylor remained a widower about three years. leading a very reckless
life, but, under the influence of his brothers. he was persuaded to marry
a second wife. Martha A. Findley, November 7. 1860. This lady was a member
of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. and a devoted Christian. Through
the influence of his wife. Mr. Taylor made a profession of religion in
September, 1853. The next morning he joined the church to which his wife
belonged. Shortly after he was elected and ordained to the office of ruling
elder of the Strawberry congregation, which office be has held to the present
time. Mr. Taylor lived with his second wife about fourteen years, and she
died. after having given birth to five children John W., Margret A., Sarah
W., Melissa A., Matilda E. Mr. Taylor again married. a third time, the
lady being a sister of his second wife, and the widow of J. M. Barnett.
They had three sons. all of whom are living: Joseph G., Benjamin D. and
George W. He lived with this wife about eighteen years, when she died.
on the 31st of December. 1883. In 1887 he was married to the widow McHenry.
who had one little daughter– Allis McHenry. who is now living with them.
Mr. Taylor's present wife's maiden name was Crits. Her native State is
Virginia. Mr. Taylor is the only one of this branch of the family now living.
He is in his sixty sixth year. and lives at the Jack. Jacksonport Crossing.
on Strawberry. a place within two miles of where he was born.
Thomas J. Thorn. farmer and stock raiser, was born in Bedford County. Tenn., December 25, 1837. His father. W. Thorn. was a native of North Carolina. who moved to the State of Tennessee, and was there married to Miss Penelope Crumple. of that State. After his marriage the elder Thorn settled on a farm in Bedford County, where he resided until his death. in 1856. His wife still survives him. and is a resident of Lawrence County. He served through the Seminole [p.825] War in Florida, and had never fully recovered from the exposure and hardships brought on while endeavoring to subdue this savage tribe. Thomas J. Thorn remained with his father until he had reached his maturity, and then started out to find his own fortune. In 1859 he settled in Oregon County, Mo., and one year later moved to Lawrence County. Ark. In 1861 he enlisted in the Confederate army, and after six months' active service was hardly wounded and discharged. He received his wound in the thigh, from a rifle ball, while engaged in a battle at Springfield. Mo., in 1861, and at that time was a member of Col. McBryant's division. Finding it impossible to fight any longer. he returned to Lawrence County. and, as time passed, and he was able to resume his farm work. he did so, and has been at that occupation ever since, with the exception of a short period, in which he did carpenter work. He sold out his farm and moved to Florida. in 1886, spending twelve months in that State. and. at the end of that time, returned to Lawrence County and bought the place upon which he now resides. He owns forty acres of fine land, and has about twenty-five acres under cultivation, with a comfortable house, barns and all necessary adjuncts. Mr. Thorn was first married, in Tennessee, to Miss Mary Bennett, who died in Arkansas. Two children are yet living by this wife and two deceased. His second marriage was in Randolph County, to Miss Rebecca Holt, who left five children at her death. He was married a third time to Mrs. Sarah Hatfield, a widow of Lawrence County. who is still living. Both Mr. and Mrs. Thorn are members of the Missionary Baptist Church. of which the former is a deacon, and are people who are held in the highest respect in their community.
George Thornburg. born in Havana,
Mason County, Ill., January 25. 1847. moved to Smithville, Ark., in December.
1855. His educational facilities were meager. but used industriously. such
as they were. He assisted J. N. Hillhouse for two sessions, and taught
one session at New Hope. He began the study of law in 1867. with Col. Baber,
and then in the law department of the Cumberland University, Lebanon. Tenn.,
in 1868. He was licensed to practice by Judge (afterward Governor) Baxter,
and had charge of the circuit clerk's office from 1868 to 1870, during
which time the county seat was moved to Clover Bend, and from there to
Powhatan. He entered into mercantile business at Smithville, from 1870
to 1873, and in June, 1873, moved to Powhatan, where he began the practice
of law in co-partnership with Col. Baber. This firm did a large and successful
business until June, 1886, when Col. Thornburg withdrew to take charge
of a newspaper at Walnut Ridge. He moved to Walnut Ridge, in July, 1886,
and began the publication of the Telephone. The change from law to newspaper
was not made from any pecuniary interest; but for the reason that journalism
was more congenial to his taste. He was elected to the legislature as a
Democrat, in 1870, but, after serving a month, his seat was contested,
and the house being largely Republican, and politics being very bitter,
he was ousted to give place to William B. Janes, who received less than
one-fourth as many votes. He was re-elected to the legislature in 1872,
and stood with the immortal minority in the house in 1873. In 1876 he was
nominated by his county for the senate, but declined on account of business
engagements. In 1880 he was forced by the demands of his party and friends
to submit to an election to the legislature again, and was elected speaker
for the house during the session of 1881. It is said of him, as it can
be said of no other speaker of the Arkansas legislature, that none of his
decisions were ever appealed. In 1884 he was again elected to the legislature.
and was made chairman of the judiciary committee. In 1886 he was nominated
by the State Wheel convention for secretary of State, but declined the
nomination, because, as a Democrat. he could not accept any nomination
that would antagonize the Democratic party. Since 1884 he has sought no
political office, devoting his attention to his paper. He was appointed
a colonel in the Arkansas militia, by Gov. Baxter, and again appointed
by Gov. Garland. Col. Thornburg was made a Mason, in Smithville Lodge No.
29. in 1868. He served as Secretary of his lodge and Worshipful Master.
He was made a Royal [p.826] Arch Mason, in 1870. in Pythagoras Chapter
No. 34. held at Powhatan. This Chapter is now defunct. He was made a Sir
Knight Mason in Hugh De Payne Commandery. at Little Rock. in 1871. He has
been a delegate to every Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter from 1871 to the
present time. He was Secretary of the Masonic Convention of 1873. which
made the present constitution of the Grand Lodge. Elected Grand Orator
of the Grand Lodge in 1874, in 1875 he made and de fended the famous minority
report. which cut the Grand Lodge loose from supporting St. John's College.
He was elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge in 1878, and re-elected
to the same position in 1879. In 1880 he was elected Deputy Grand Commander
of Knights Templar. and elected Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter.
and in 1883 was elected Illustrious Grand Master of the Grand Council.
He has delivered over twenty public addresses on Masonry, and is a permanent
member of the committee on law of the Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter. He
is now the special representative of the Grand Lodge of Georgia. the Grand
Chapter of Illinois. and the Grand Orient of Spain. In July. 1886, he founded
the Masonic Trowel, a paper devoted exclusively to Masonry. It has a large
circulation throughout the State, and grows in favor with the craft. It
has been adopted by the Grand Lodge as its official organ. Mr. Thornburg
is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. South. and has been steward
continuously since 1876. also Sunday school superintendent for sixteen
years. He is the only layman in the Southern Methodist Church who is secretary
of an annual conference, and he has the honor of being the author of the
system of reports now used throughout the church. Prior to 1886 the church
had no uniform plan or system of reporting. Mr. Thornburg arranged a system
for the conference, of which he was secretary. This form was so complete
and systematic that Bishop McTyeire urged its adoption by the general conference,
and it is now the only form allowed to be used in the Methodist Episcopal
Church. South. Mr. Thornburg is a strong temperance advocate, a supporter
of the free school system and a conservative. but straight
Democrat. In the newspaper fraternity be stands high. having been selected
as orator the year before last. and vice president last year He has. perhaps,
delivered more addresses on Masonic. Sunday school and miscellaneous occasions
than any man in North Arkansas. In September, 1868. Col. Thornburg was
married to Miss M. C. Self. a daughter of J. M. Self, a physician and Methodist
local preacher. He has a pleasant home. is surrounded by an interesting
family. and enjoys a quiet life with his wife, children and flowers.
Judge William A. Townsend, one of Arkansas' most respected citizens. is a native of Alabama, where he was born in Franklin County in the year 1853. He is a son of John W. and Mary L. Weatherford Townsend. the former of Illinois and the latter from Alabama. The elder Townsend was reared and received his education in Alabama. where he also practiced medicine, and was, in his day, a prominent physician of that State. About the year 1855 he moved to Arkansas and settled near Smithville. where he began the practice of law. He lost his wife a year later, and returned to Alabama. where he remained until 1863. He again came back to Arkansas, and located in Lawrence County. where he resided and was ordained a minister of the Baptist Church in 1870, serving until his death. in January. 1878. Judge W. A. Townsend is the second child in the family. He came to Arkansas when very young, and was reared in Lawrence County, where he was educated. He was taught principally at the home schools. and was an apt and attentive scholar, though the higher branches of education were out of his reach. on account of the poor facilities offered at the time. He afterward taught school himself for three years. but in 1878. bought out an established business in Smithville. and has been actively engaged in mercantile affairs since then. He carries one of the largest and most complete stocks of merchandise in Lawrence County. and has built up a reputation for fair dealing and honest goods second to none in the State. This fact has brought him a trade of $15,000 a year, which is still growing. In 1876 Mr. Townsend was elected [p.827] assessor, and served one term, and in 1878 he was elected sheriff and collector, and served one term. In 1884 he was elected county judge, and in 1888 was again chosen to fill that office. He also had charge of the postoffice at Smithville in 1878-79. Judge Townsend was married in Independence County October 31, 1880, to Miss Belle Toler, a daughter of J. B. Toler, and this marriage has given them three children: Neva. Roy and Mary, whose bright faces and childish voices are a great source of happiness to the parents. Judge Townsend belongs to the Masonic order, and is a Master Mason. He is held in high regard by the entire community, and is a man of irreproachable honor. While performing his judicial functions. he gained a reputation for the fairness of his decisions, and the justness with which he wielded the law irrespective of party, creed or color.