Saline County, Arkansas, Goodspeed Biographies
Samuel M. Henderson
Samuel M. Henderson, owner and proprietor of the Benton Jug Factory at Benton, established in 1885, was born in Saline County in the year 1842, and is a son of Samuel T. and Belinda (Bland) Henderson, born in Maury County, Tennessee, in 1814, and (now) Saline County, Arkansas, in 1815, respectively. The father came to Saline County about the year 1834, and was married three years later. He resided here until 1852, and then moved to Garland County, where he remained until 1863, changing his location at that time to Texas until after the war. On his return to Arkansas he settled at Benton, where he passed the remainder of his days. He was a prominent miller and farmer, a leading merchant at Benton, and was held in high esteem by the entire county. In secret orders he was a member of Hot Springs Lodge, A. F. & A. M., for many years, and took a deep interest in Masonic affairs. He served through the Seminole War with distinction in Florida, and was known as one of the best strategists in Indian warfare. Before the War of the Rebellion he had accumulated considerable property which was all destroyed and lost during that event, but he afterward recovered the greater part of his fortune by industry, good management and fine business tact. He was a son of the Rev. Samuel Henderson, of South Carolina, a noted Missionary Baptist minister, who came to Saline County, Arkansas, in 1833, and established the first church of his denomination erected in that county, the Spring Creek Church, at Benton. He also organized churches at various places in Arkansas, and built the first Missionary Baptist Church in Perry County. Eleven children were born to him and his wife, some of them attaining high prominence in public and commercial life, and of whom only two are yet living. His father was one of four brothers who came from Ireland to America at an early period, and settled at Charleston, South Carolina The maternal grandfather, Rev. Jesse Bland, was a Baptist minister and one of the pioneer preachers of Saline County, having come here from Kentucky in 1833. He was one of the most original and unique characters in that county, being known by the cognomen of "Old Hardside," but withal a powerful and eloquent speaker whose voice could hold his hearers spellbound for hours, as they listened to the words that fell from his lips. In his boyhood days his father's entire family was massacred by Indians in Kentucky, and he alone escaped death, but was taken by the red men and reared among them until he reached his twelfth year, when he was sold to the whites. Samuel M. Henderson, the principal in this sketch, was the third of nine children born to his parents, and was educated in the public schools of his birthplace. He served four years through the Civil War, and was a member of Company C, Third Arkansas Cavalry, holding the rank of lieutenant, and taking part in the battles of Iuka, Corinth, all though the Alabama campaign and a number of hard skirmishes. He was with Gen. Johnston at the surrender, and afterward returned home, where he was married, in March, 1865, to Antonia, daughter of Dickerson and Nancy Futrell, who moved from Mississippi to Saline County about the year 1850, where the mother died in 1865. Twelve children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Henderson, of whom five sons and three daughters are yet living. Soon after his marriage he moved with his wife to Texas, where he was engaged in merchandising and trading in beef, cattle, and various commodities until 1870, when he returned to Saline County and commenced farming. He remained at this calling until 1879, and then embarked in milling, and also railroading for awhile, until he branched off into the pottery business, which he has fostered and managed with such good judgment, that it is now one of the best paying industries in Saline County. His establishment has a capacity of 5,000 gallons jugs per week, employing on an average of twelve people, and is using the latest improved clay crusher, manufactured at Roseville, Ohio. In politics, Mr. Henderson is a strong supporter of the Democratic party; and cast is first vote for Seymour in 1868. In secret societies he is a member of Monticello Lodge No. 62, A. F. & A. M., and the K. of H. at Benton. In religious faith he and wife are Methodists in good standing. [Belinda Bland Rutherford Henderson was the ggg-grandmother of MPGS member Patti Vance Hays. Patti Vance, Willie Vance, Roxie Caldwell Vance, James Monroe Caldwell, Mary Jane Rutherford Caldwell, Belinda Bland Rutherford.]
Dr. Benjamin S. Medlock, prominent as one of Saline County's physicians and surgeons, residing at Collegeville, was born in Fayette County, West Tennessee, in 1834, and is the son of Judge John A. and Mary (Forsyth) Medlock, born in South Carolina in 1812 and in North Carolina in 1812, respectively. The parents resided in that State until 1842, when they moved to Tippah County, Miss. They made this place their home until 1858, and then came to Saline County, Arkansas, settling at a point about five miles above Benton, and in 1861 moved to a farm near Collegeville, where the Judge still resides with his third wife. He is one of the best known citizens of this county, and a prominent man in public life, having for four years served as county and probate judge. In secret societies he is a member of Alexander Lodge No. 353, A. F. & A. M. at Mabelvale, and also belonged to the Chapter and Council many years. He has been a member of the Methodist Church for about sixty-five years, and is a liberal contributor to all religious and educational matters. His father was Benjamin Medlock, of South Carolina, who came to Saline County in 1868, and remained here until his death, in 1874, at the age of ninety-two years. The latter had served in several Indian wars, and was noted as a great Indian fighter during that period. The maternal grandfather, Benjamin Forsyth, was a lieutenant-colonel during the War of 1812, and commanded a North Carolina regiment. He was killed during the latter part of that event. Benjamin S. Medlock, the principal in this sketch, was the oldest of eight children born to his parents, of whom there are six yet living. He was reared on his father's farm, and educated at the public schools of his native State and in Mississippi. When at the age of twenty-five years he commenced the study of medicine with Dr. R. L. Bouton, a celebrated physician of the latter State, and afterward entered the Eclectic Medical Institute at Cincinnati, Ohio, from which he graduated in 1861. The Civil War commencing at this period forced him to leave his profession for awhile, and he then joined the Company E, First Arkansas Infantry, with the rank of orderly-sergeant, and promoted to lieutenant. His service the first year covered Virginia, and afterward he fought in the battles of Bull Run, Shiloh, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, and all through the Georgia campaign. He was captured at Jonesboro, Ga., on August 1, 1864, but was exchanged with other prisoners at Nashville, about ten days afterward, and then joined Hood, under whom he fought at Franklin and Nashville. Later on he joined Gen. Johnston, and was with him at the time of the surrender. After the war was over he returned to Arkansas, and began to practice his profession at Collegeville, where he has since continued, and is to day the most successful as well as the oldest practicing physician in Saline County. His success financially has been remarkable, and some of his marvelous cures have caused a great deal of comment in medical circles. The Doctor has a splendid home at Collegeville, and owns about 1,050 acres of very valuable land in Saline and Pulaski Counties, with about 125 under cultivation. In July, 1869, he was married to Miss Julia Jennings, a daughter of Richard and Julia Jennings, the father an Englishman, who went to New Orleans on arriving in this country, and in 1837 moved from there to Little Rock, where he died in 1847, while the mother is now residing with Dr. Medlock and his wife. Two children were born to the Doctor's marriage, of whom one is yet living, Rosa. For a number of years Dr. Medlock has been a prominent figure in public life, and in 1866-67 represented Saline County in the legislature, and was chairman of the committees on the auditor and treasurer's books, as well as being a member of educational, medical, geological, and various other committees. In politics he is a stanch Democrat, having cast his first presidential vote for Buchanan in 1856, and several times has been a delegate to the State convention. In secret fraternities he is a member of Alexander Lodge No. 353, and also belongs to the Chapter and Council at New Albany, Miss., but has never affiliated with that order at Collegeville. He and wife and daughter belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and take an active interest in all religious and educational matters, the Doctor having served from 1874 to 1876 as superintendent of the school board in Saline County. [Photo courtesy of Anthony Rushing.]
Constantine H. Medlock, a substantial and leading agriculturist of Saline County, was born in Hardeman County, West Tennessee, in 1835, and is a son of Judge John A. and Mary (Forsyth) Medlock, of whom a sketch will be found in the biography of Dr. B. S. Medlock. Constantine H. was reared from boyhood in Tippah County, Miss., and received his education in the log-cabin schools of that period. He was married in 1855 to Nancy J., a daughter of Philip and Sarah Smith, the father a native of Kentucky and the mother born in Alabama, in which State she also died. Mr. Smith was married three times during his life, and shortly after the death of his second wife in 1859 he removed to Columbia County, Arkansas, where he was again married, and resided until his death in 1871. Mrs. Medlock died in 1863, and three children born to her marriage also died within a short time afterward. In September, 1863, Mr. Medlock was married to Maria L., a daughter of Philip M. and Maria Smith, and a half sister to his first wife. This union gave them two children: James F. (who died in 1865) and Laura V. (who died in 1885). Mr. Medlock's first occupation was in being employed as overseer in Mississippi, where he remained until 1859, when he came to Saline County and located six miles west of Benton. In 1868 he moved to Collegeville, and in 1879 came to his present farm about one and one-half miles from that place, where he owns 120 acres of very fertile land and has some sixty acres under cultivation. During the rebellion he served in the Confederate army, and was a member of Gen. Fagan's escort until after the battle of Helena. He was then assigned to Company B, of Col. Crawford's regiment of cavalry, and operated in Missouri, Arkansas and Texas, holding the rank of sergeant, and later that of forage master. He took part in the battles of Helena, Poison Springs, Marks' Mill, Prairie Grove, Jenkins' Ferry, and many hard skirmishes, and also had four brothers in the war, all of whom are yet living: John F. (was captured and confined at Camp Douglas for a long time, and was not released until some time after the war was ended), James N. [is referred to below], Washington K. (served a short time during the last days of the war, and is now residing in Garland County), the only sister, Susannah V., is the wife of M. C. O'Bryan, a well-known merchant at Hot Springs. In politics Mr. Medlock is a stanch Democrat, but was formerly a Whig, and cast his first presidential vote for Filmore, in 1856. He served about eight years in Owens Township as justice of the peace, and filled the office in a dignified and entirely satisfactory manner. In secret societies he is a member of Mabelvale Lodge No. 353, A. F. & A. M., and has been warden of his lodge. He attends the Methodist Church, as does also Mrs. Medlock, and both are liberal contributors to all religious and educational enterprises.
James N. Medlock, one of the leading merchants of Collegeville and postmaster at that place, was born in Hardeman County, Tennessee, in 1840, and served through the War of the Rebellion. He was severely wounded at the battle of Chickamauga. Mary M. Beckham, of Pike County, Ga., daughter of A. J. Beckham, of one of the leading families of that State, became his wife, and they have two children: Andrew B. Forsyth and Mary A. (both living). Mr. J. N. Medlock and Y. F. Medlock are both honored members of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Benton Lodge No. 34, Benton, Ark.
Tom M. Mehaffy, attorney and counselor at law of Benton, Ar., was born in Tippah County, Miss., in 1859, being the elder in a family of two children born to T. L. and R. B. (Bradley) Mehaffy. His father, T. L. Mehaffy, a native of Georgia, emigrated to Mississippi in 1858, but returned to Georgia in 1860, and in 1862 enlisted in Thomas Cobb's regiment, serving in the Confederate army, till his death, which occurred in 1863 from exposure and measles. His widow, the mother of Tom M., moved to Tippah County, Miss., where she remained one year, and in 1868 came to Hurricane Township, Saline County, Arkansas, where she continued to reside until 1887, then settling at Benton, where she now resides with her son, Tom M. The war had swept away all the property she had, and it became necessary to hire this boy to work on a farm, for which she received $6 a month. Mr. Mehaffy continued to work on a farm, and supported his mother and sister till he was nineteen years old. He received his education in the public schools of Hurricane Township, and attended for three years the high schools of Benton, beginning when in his twentieth year. He then engaged in teaching, at the same time applying himself to the study of law, and was admitted to the bar in 1889, and has since practiced at Benton, in Saline County. He has taken an active part in politics, is a strong Democrat, and has been city clerk of Benton since 1887. He is a member of Benton Lodge No. 34, A. F. & A. M., of which he is secretary. He was married in 1885, in Hurricane Township, to Miss Annie A. Poe, a native of Grant County, and daughter of James M. and Sarah (Swafford) Poe. Mr. Poe is a native of Alabama. He came to Arkansas at a very early day, and is now a resident of Saline County. Mr. Mehaffy has seen a vast change in Saline County since his boyhood days. He has taught in every school that he attended as a student, being principal of the Benton graded schools in 1888, and has always taken an active part in everything for the good of the town and county. Mr. and Mrs. Mehaffy are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and take an active part in all church work, he being superintendent of the Sunday school at Benton. He is also secretary of the school board, and takes a strong interest in educational advancement.
A. J. Mewer, farmer and stock raiser of Saline Township, was born in Van Buren County, Arkansas, March 20, 1847, and is a son of Allen and Rachel (Oversheet) Mewer, natives of Tennessee and Kentucky. Allen Mewer was a farmer and came to Arkansas sometime in 1839, settling in Van Buren County; he at one time was engaged in boating on the Red River, but at the time of his death, which occurred the day our subject was born, he was living on a farm. Mrs. Mewer married again, her second husband being J. C. Ellis, a native of Tennessee and a prosperous farmer. By her first marriage she had three children: A. J., George A. and Margaret E. The former received but little schooling in youth, the facilities at that time being very meager. He started out to work for himself when about twenty, and engaged as a farm hand in Mississippi for $8.50 per month, later, or in 1867, returning to his home in Lonoke County, where he farmed until 1870. Subsequently he worked at the saddle and harness trade in Austin, Arkansas, and Little Rock. On July 29, 1875, Mr. Mewer was married to Miss Sally A. Eagle, a native of Arkansas, and the daughter of James and Charity C. Eagle, natives of Georgia and South Carolina. Mrs. Mewer is a sister of Gov. James P. Eagle [whose sketch appears in this volume]. After his marriage Mr. Mewer continued farming till 1883, when he came to Saline County and purchased a farm of 248 acres ten miles north of Benton. In 1886 he traded this farm in Beaver Township for a farm in Saline Township, on which he lives, and another in Bryant Township, the two farms now comprising 110 acres. In addition to this property he owns 275 acres in Lonoke County with about 150 under the plow. During his residence in Beaver Township he carried on the mercantile business, and in 1883 former a partnership with T. J. Bragg, continuing the business until 1885, when he bought Mr. Bragg's interest and continued the business in his own name. The December following he traded farms as stated above, and two weeks later moved his stock of goods to the farm, where he now resides. In connection with the store, which he successfully conducted on his farm, he ran a peddling wagon for about one year. He then sold his merchandise, and since that time has given his attention to agricultural pursuits, though during the last year has been in the beef business. Mr. Mewer is a Democrat, but not active in political circles. He has held the office of school director in the school district for some time. Himself and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which the former is steward. He is a public-spirited man and contributes generously to all church and school enterprises. [Sue Perry, a researcher of this family, states the surname is sometimes spelled Muir. Sue states that Mr. Mewer's mother was Rachel Overstreet. The J. C. Ellis that the widow Mrs. Mewer married was James C. Ellis. Rachel Overstreet Mewer Ellis is buried in Bryant Cemetery, Saline County, Arkansas. The T. J. Bragg mentioned in the bio was Thomas Jefferson Bragg. He married the daughter of Rachel and James Ellis - Mary "Mollie" Ellis. They were the parents of Walter Wesley Bragg. Walter Wesley and Nora Keith Bragg were the parents of Anna Mae Bragg Black who was the mother of Nolan Hugh Black, the deceased husband of Sue Perry.]
A. P. Mitchell, the well-known postmaster and merchant, of Traskwood, Ark. is a native of Tennessee, and was born in Hardeman County, Tennessee, on December 3, 1845. His father, Dr. Alphonso Franklin, a native of Iredell County, N. C., born November 6, 1816, moved to Tennessee when quite young, and remained there until 1851; he then came to Saline County, Arkansas, and is now residing three and one-half miles from Benton. He is one of the prominent and popular physicians of the county. His wife, whom he married December 10, 1844, was formerly Sarah Ann Phillips. A. P. Mitchell was reared on a farm and received his education in the schools of Benton, later on spending one year in school at Chatfield Point, Texas. The year 1871 witnessed his marriage to Miss Nancy H. Hawkins, a native of Arkansas and the daughter of J. H. Hawkins, one of the old settlers of Saline County. To this union were born the following children: John F. (born February 7, 1872, teaching in the public schools of Saline), William A. (born January 28, 1874, also a teacher), Alphonso C. (born July 16, 1877), Mary H. (born July 28, 1879), and Frederick (born May 28, 1881). In the winter of 1889 Mr. Mitchell was bereft of his wife, and September 10, 1889, he married his second and present wife, Mrs. Rachel Hawkins, the widow of John Hawkins. In 1881 Mr. Mitchell was appointed postmaster at Traskwood, and is still holding the office, having also filled the position of deputy postmaster ever since it was established in 1874. In 1877 he erected a mill and cotton-gin, which he has been successfully operating since that time. With his drug and general merchandise, milling and farming pursuits, it would seem that he could not do justice to them all, but he certainly does, and has proved himself equal to anything he undertakes. He owns 700 acres of fine land, with over 100 in an excellent state of cultivation. The school board realize him to be one of their influential members, and he was justice of the peace for some years. Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell are members of the Baptist Church, and the former is a member of Fair Play Lodge No. 32. A. F. & A. M., also being identified with Benton Lodge No. 1319, K. of H. Traskwood realizes in Mr. Mitchell one of its most enterprising and influential citizens, and one who is always ready to support all church and school matters.
Samuel A. Mitchell owns a large well improved farm of 266 acres in Section 30, Saline Township, Saline County, on which he resides. He was born in this county in 1857, being the second in a family of eight children. His father, Dr. Alphonso Mitchell, was a native of Iredell County, N. C. He married in Hardeman County, Tennessee, Miss Sarah A. Phillips, and in 1849 came to Saline County, Arkansas, settling on a farm near Benton, where he commenced the practice of medicine, being one of the early physicians of the county. He had a large practice during the next thirty years, when he retired from active life and now resides with his wife on the old homestead. Mr. Mitchell was reared on the farm and educated in the public schools of Benton, commencing farming for himself on the place where he now resides in 1878. He has about eighty acres under cultivation, with an excellent frame house and other buildings, and is a lover of fine stock. He raises cotton, corn and oats in great abundance. In 1883 he erected a large cotton-gin and grist-mill combined, having the largest gin in this section of the county, and he has better facilities for doing good work than any other. The machinery in this establishment cost $1,300. Mr. Mitchell was married in Collegeville, Saline County, in September, 1879, to Ermin Glidewell, a native of Saline County, and a daughter of John and Sarah (Baram) Glidewell. Mr. Glidewell was a native of Western Tennessee, and came to Saline County in about 1851, when he settled at Benton. He is by trade a gunsmith. Later they moved to Owens Township, where they now reside. Mr. Mitchell is a strong Democrat, and is a member of Saline Lodge No. 1317, Knights of Honor. He owns a farm of forty acres of fine bottom land, fifteen acres of which are under cultivation, and has just completed a good barn on his homestead 24x36 feet. He is the father of the following children: Fannie, James, Edward, Grover and Caleb. Mr. Mitchell has not only made his own way in the world but has done his share to bring about the present improvement of Saline County. [Photo courtesy of Vicki Smith. Additional info from Vicki: Samuel Augustus Mitchell, son of Alphonso Franklin Mitchell, was also father to three younger children, Myrtle, Mary Alice (Alma) and Mattie Pearl. Sadly, he passed away in 1897 at the early age of 39. Samuel's grandfather, Andrew Mitchel of North Carolina settled in Hot Spring County in 1851 when he purchased the Conway property at Magnet Cove. Andrew Mitchel had four children, Alphonso Franklin Mitchel, Samuel Augustus Mitchell, Louisa Mitchell Kerr and Melmouth C. Mitchell.]
A. H. Murphey, farmer, of Marble Township, Saline County, was born in this county, within one-half mile of the place on which he now resides, in the year 1860. His parents were Robert and Nancy (Hogan) Murphey, natives of Alabama, who came to Arkansas in 1850, settling on the place which his son now occupies. In 1858 Robert Murphey was elected to the legislature of this State, and in 1860 was his own successor, serving four years. His term covered the exciting period when the State seceded, though he opposed secession. On account of his age he was not in the war, but was wounded by the United States troops and taken to Little Rock, where he died in prison in 1863. He was a man of considerable property, owning some slaves and a large amount of stock on his ranch, which included 160 acres of land, nine miles west of where his son lives. He was twice married, the first time, about 1820, having by this marriage two children, both deceased. His second marriage was to the mother of our subject, about 1847, and six children were given them, two of whom survive: I. B. (in Pulaski County), and A. H. Murphey. Mrs. Murphey was married the second time to Hugh McKinley, who died in 1870, his wife following him in 1882. Mrs. McKinley was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a devout Christian. Mr. Murphey was a member of Benton Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and was quite prominent in the order. He was also very active in politics, being an advocate of Democratic principles. A. H. Murphey lived with his mother until 1879, when he commenced farming on his own accord. He and his brother owned the old homestead, where they worked together until 1888, when he purchased his brother's share. The place then contained 160 acres. He has since added 160 acres, making a fine farm of 320 acres, eighty improved, with good farm buildings, barns, etc., and plenty of stock to run the place. He was married to 1879 to Miss Mary S. Glenn, a native of this state and daughter of C. T. and Amanda Howard, natives of Tennessee, and the parents of nine children, seven of whom are now living: David, Mary S. (wife of A. H. Murphey), Jane (wife of I. B. Murphey), Sarah (wife of J. W. Newkirk), J. W., J. C., and Laura B. Mr. and Mrs. Glenn reside in Hunt County, Texas, moving there from Garland County, Arkansas, in 1888. Mr. Murphey is not very active politically, but supports the Democratic party. He is also a member of the A. F. & A. M. In the schools he takes much interest, and lends his influence to all worthy enterprises for the advancement of the interests of his county.
David S. Ramsey, farmer and stock raiser of Shaw Township, is a native of Georgia, and was born in Hall County, March 4, 1827, being the son of William and Cynthia (Gess) Ramsey, both natives of Georgia, who were married in that State. William Ramsey was a farmer and one of the first settlers in that portion of Georgia. He was a quiet and good citizen, and in politics was a Whig. He died with sickness and is buried near Dalton. He left his wife with the following family: Elizabeth (wife of William Payne, a farmer of Georgia), Rhoda Allen (widow of Allen), Polly Ann (wife of David Smith, of Whitfield County, Ga.), David S., Nancy M. (wife of C. F. Payne, of Howard County, Ark.), Wilson L. (died in the army and was buried near Holly Springs, Miss.), Harriet J. (wife of Thomas Blackwell, farmer of Faulkner County, Ark.), and Wilburn B. (killed at the siege of Atlanta, in 1864, and buried there.) David S. was reared to farm life, being deprived of the opportunity to attend school, for, at the death of his father, he, as the oldest son, was obliged to assume a great responsibility. This he did faithfully, giving everything he made to his mother until he was twenty-two years old. When about fifteen years old he worked for 12 1/2 cents per day, in order to be of some help to the family. In 1849 he married Miss Catherine Turner, a daughter of Louis Turner, and a native of Georgia. After his marriage Mr. Ramsey engaged in farming for two years in Georgia, but in the fall of 1854 came to this county. The first five years of his residence here he rented land, and spent most of his time in hunting, as that was a source of great profit, producing sometimes as high as $15 per day. In 1855 he entered 160 acres of bottom land at 75 cents per acre. He added to this by buying and homesteading until he had 640 acres, and now has all but 160 which he has given to his children. He has cleared 150 acres and built a good substantial home. From the time of the settlement to the war he lived on Section 31, Township 2, Range 14, and since then has lived one mile east of that place. Mr. Ramsey came to Arkansas to secure a home and escape paying rent and is much pleased with his choice. He speaks in high praise of the country, and thinks it the only place to live in. He says there is a good market for all kinds of products, and it is his desire that people shall enter who will help build up the county. When the war broke out he enlisted in the scout service, under Gen. Fagan, and remained with him till the close of hostilities in 1865. He was in the battles of Mount Elby, and at that time was slightly wounded, also taking part in the engagement of Pilot Knob, and was paroled in Navarro County, Texas. At the close of the war he returned to the place where he now resides, having made numerous improvements since that time. Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey are the parents of twelve children, eight of whom survive: William T. (born November 4, 1849), Elizabeth (born October 24, 1851), Cynthia (born January 12, 1852), John W. (born July 4, 1858), James A. (born October 8, 1862), Thomas F. (born October 12, 1867), Sarah F. (born August 31, 1863), Joseph S. (born October 9, 1865), and Rhoda Ann Belle (born January 9, 1873). Mr. Ramsey is a supporter of the Baptist doctrine, and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal and Baptist Churches. He is a member of Lodge No. 1319, K. of H., Benton, Arkansas, and though he takes no active part in politics he is a stanch Democrat. His farm is stocked with mules, horses, hogs and cattle. He takes an active part in and gives his support to all enterprises for the good of the county. [Photo courtesy of Sam Gipson. He states that William Ramsey married Cynthis Guest and not Gess. He also states that Mr. Ramsey's full name was David Samuel Ramsey. Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey are buried in New Friendship Cemetery, Saline County.]
T. J. [Thomas Jefferson] Roberts, among the most prominent farmers and stock raisers of this county, was born in North Carolina, in 1825, and is the son of Thomas and Eliza (Worlick) [actually Warlick] Roberts, natives of the State of North Carolina. Thomas Roberts was a farmer, school teacher and surveyor, and resided in the county of his birth until his death. The Great-grandfather Worlick served in the Revolutionary War, together with four brothers. They were all killed, the grandfather meeting his death at the hands of Tories and Indians while at home. The three brothers are mentioned in United States histories, as men deserving of emulation. Thomas Roberts and wife were the parents of twelve children, nine living till maturity, and four still surviving: Rufus A. (in Dallas County, Texas), Lucinda M. (wife of Henry Schank, in Cleveland County, N. C.), Cynthia E. (wife of Mr. Griffen, in Ada), and Thomas J. Thomas Roberts died in 1842, at the age of forty-two years. He was born August 16, 1800, married August 16, 1821, and died August 16. He was a member of the Baptist Church, and took quite an active part in the interest of his country as a member of the Whig party. Mrs. Roberts, who was a member of the Baptist church, died August 16, 1844, at the age of thirty-nine or forty. When the mother died Thomas was only seventeen years of age, but he was compelled to shift for himself. He began by learning the tanner's trade, while his oldest brother was a saddler, the next a tanner, and the two younger practitioners of medicine. In 1846 the young man moved to Tennessee, and settled in Greene County, buying a tanyard one and one-half miles from Bulls Gap. There he lived for seven years, moving to this county in 1853. Buying a tanyard, he remained here for seven years, removing thence to White River, Independence County, in 1860, settling on White River, close to Col. Morgan Magness, his third cousin. He remained in that place and Batesville for two years, when, in 1862, he moved near Little Rock. Here, twelve miles north of the city, on the old Howell tanyard, he ran a tanyard for one year. He then returned to his old homestead in this county, and resumed his old business, which he continued until 1875 or 1876. He also made saddles for some time after the war. In 1846 he was married to Mrs. Mary L. Dickson, nee Houser. Eight children were born to them: Elizabeth (wife of T. J. Highland, who lives in Hot Spring County), Cordelia (wife of William Williams, who lives in this county), Mary L. (at home), John T. (deceased), William S. (lives in this county), Rufus P. (deceased, family resides in Mississippi), Morgan L. (at home), and Faithie A. (wife of P. J. Bradfield.) Mrs. Roberts was the mother of one child by her first husband, J. F. Dickson, Nancy J. (widow of J. Williams.) Mr. Dickson died August 16, 1845. Mr. Roberts was postmaster at Blocher, in 1881, and has served his township (Marble) fourteen years as justice of the peace. He and his wife are both members of the Baptist church, and he is a believer in the principles of Democracy. Both the grandparents of Mrs. Roberts served in the Revolutionary War, being at the battle of King's Mountain. Grandfather Houser lived within two and one-half miles of the battlefield, and her father bought bought the land on which the battle was fought. The paternal grandmother lived to be one hundred and five years old. Her old home still stands, being made of stone. The maternal grandfather, Benjamin Jones, was all through the war, and was some eighty years old when he died, his wife Faithie, living to be eighty or eighty-five years old. T. J. Roberts own 180 acres of land, with fifty acres under cultivation. As a resort for travelers and tourists Mr. Robert's place has no superior in the State. He has a splendid residence, and fine springs of running waters. He was a pioneer in this section of the country. [Thomas Jefferson Roberts was the gg-grandfather of MPGS member Patti Vance Hays. Patti Vance, Willie Vance, Reyburn Vance, Faithie Roberts Bradfield Vance, Thomas Jefferson Roberts. The photo that is with the biographical sketch is in my possession. I was told that the above sketch was written by T. J.'s wife, Mary Louisa "Polly" Roberts.]
C. H. Rucker, a prominent farmer and stock raiser of Shaw Township, is a native of Georgia, and was born in Franklin (now Banks) County on October 30, 1850, the son of Amos and Amanda (Furr) Rucker. Amos Rucker was born in 1825 in Franklin County, Ga., and his wife in Hall County in 1829. The former was a farmer, and also engaged in ginning and grain threshing. In his political views he was Democratic and a believer in the doctrine of the Baptist Church. He was one of the leading citizens of the county in which he resided, and his death, which occurred March 11, 1889, was regretted by the entire community. His excellent wife survives him, and resides on the old homestead. They were the parents of twelve children: Sarah L. (Rogers), Elizabeth M. (Ray), Paul W. (married), Hester A. (Kidd), M. J. (O'Kelley), S. D. (Davenport), Augustus C. (deceased), Claude, Melissa and Belle (at home), A. C. (deceased) and C. H. (the subject of this memoir). C. H. Rucker was reared to farm life, and received his education in the common schools of his native State. When twenty-one years old he was ambitious to begin life for himself, so engaged in farming, but realizing that it was not good for man to be alone, he was married on October 30, 1870, to Miss Mattie Lile, a native of Georgia, and the daughter of William and Eliza (Yarbrough) Lile. After his marriage Mr. Rucker continued to reside in Georgia until 1883, when he sold his property and moved to Saline County, Arkansas, landing at Benton on November 21, 1883. That same year he purchased 150 acres in Shaw Township, with about twenty-seven acres under the plow, and now has a large and finely cultivated farm, not to be surpassed by any of its size in the vicinity. The first five years of his residence here Mr. Rucker was in partnership with his brother in the ginning, saw and grist milling business, but he sold his interest to his brother, and since that time has given his exclusive attention to farming. Mr. and Mrs. Rucker are the parents of seven children: William A. (born September 12, 1872), Mattie and Minnie (twins, born March 11, 1875), Daisy Lee (born December 2, 1879), Cicero L. (born January 5, 1883), and Marvin and Mertice (twins, born June 6, 1885). Marvin died June 29, 1885. Mr. Rucker was identified with the temperance societies, and the Grange movement while in Georgia. He is a Democrat in his political views though not an enthusiast. Himself and family are members of the New Friendship Baptist Church, in which the former is clerk. He has held the office of school director in his district, and not only takes an interest, but contributes generously to all enterprises of a worthy character.
P. W. Rucker, farmer, miller and ginner, of Shaw Township, was born in Georgia, November 19, 1854, and received his education in his native State. He was engaged for three years in the mercantile business in Bank County, Ga., and in 1880 came to Arkansas, pursuing the occupation of farming for three years, after which, in 1883, he embarked in ginning and milling with D. S. Ramsey for three years, and then in partnership with his brother, C. H. Rucker. They were burned out in 1887, but rebuilt in 1888. In the spring of 1889 Mr. Rucker bought his brother's interest, and is now sole proprietor of the plant. He is at present erecting a new gin-house and mill, and is putting in new gin machinery and a Thomas press, the best press manufactured, and he will have the satisfaction of knowing that he has the best plant in the country. In addition to his mills Mr. Rucker has 120 acres of land, with forty under cultivation. He was married, April 15, 1884, to Miss C. K. Ramsey, a daughter of D. S. Ramsey, of Saline County, and to them have been born two children: Augustus A. (born December 29, 1885), and Sammie J. (born March 5, 1889). Mr. and Mrs. Rucker are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and Mr. Rucker is never behind in contributing and giving his support to all enterprises for the good and growth of the county.
Hon. Alexander Russell, a man well known in public life, and one of the leading planters in Saline County, was born in Orange County, N. C., near Chapel Hill, in 1832, and is a son of William and Jane (Thompson) Russell, both natives of the same county and State, the father having been born in 1800 and the mother in 1797. The parents were married in the year 1831, and resided in their native place until 1848, when they came by wagon to Saline County, Arkansas, the trip taking two months. They settled on a small improved farm in Bryant Township, where they resided until the mother's death in 1882, when the father then went to live with his children, with whom he remained until his death on May 27, 1889. Both parents were members of the Methodist Church, and devout Christian people. The mother, although somewhat of an invalid all her life, never took a spoonful of medicine from a physician, and in her old age could read fine print without glasses and thread a cambric needed. She died at the age of eighty-five years, and during her life was a model housekeeper. Her father, the Hon. John Thompson, of North Carolina, was one of the distinguished men of that State, and served several terms in the legislature. He was well known throughout the South, and was one of the most prominent men in public life in that section. By occupation he was a farmer and miller, and was very successful in those callings. The paternal grandfather, John Russell, was a native of Ireland, and a weaver by trade, who left his country from persecution. He took part in the Revolutionary War, and after that event moved to the State of North Carolina and settled in Orange County, where he resided all his life. His son, William Russell, previously mentioned, was an active and enterprising citizen of Saline County after his arrival in Arkansas, and a well-known figure in political circles, but never aspired to public office. He was a member of Benton Lodge No. 34, A. F. & A. M., and stood high in Masonic circles. His wife had been previously married, her first husband having been Mr. George Johnston, by whom she had three sons and one daughter. Alex. Russell was one of four children born to the second marriage, of whom three were girls, and two yet living. He received a fair education in the log-cabin schools of his birthplace, and by self-tuition acquired a good mastery over the English branches. He was married in Saline County in the year 1850 to Sarah, daughter of John and Nancy Nelson, of North Carolina, by whom he has had eight children, all sons, and four yet living: Henry Bascom (a successful farmer, also engaged in merchandising), John A. (a well-known lumberman), Ezekiel and James (twins, and both teachers). All of them received the best of educations, and the last two at the State University. During the Civil War Mr. Russell enlisted in Company K, Eleventh Arkansas Infantry, and after about two months' service ill-health forced him to leave. Upon recovering he joined Company E, Second Arkansas Infantry, and operated in Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi, taking part in the principal battles in those States. He held the rank of lieutenant, but commanded the company almost the entire time. After reaching home in 1874 his party elected him to the legislature, and during his term of two years was chairman of several select committees, viz.: On claims, county lines and circuit courts, and was also a member of the Agricultural Committee and Committee on Elections and Insurance. In politics he is a Democrat, and cast his first presidential vote for Buchanan in 1856. He is an influential man with his party, and a stanch supporter of its men and principles. Mr. Russell is one of the most active citizens in the county in furthering its development. He has twice been a delegate to the State Agricultural association, and for one year was its vice-president. In 1877 he was appointed by the Governor as a delegate to the cotton convention in Georgia, but owning to sickness was unable to attend. During the war he lost almost his entire property and in fact everything he possessed, but since that time he has again built up his fortune in that manner that excites the admiration of every one, and now owns, besides his other interests, 300 acres of fertile land, with 100 acres under cultivation. [Photo courtesy of Anthony Rushing.]