Saline County, Arkansas, Goodspeed Biographies
Dr. J. W. Walton
Dr. J. W. Walton, physician and surgeon, of Traskwood Township, was born in Saline (now Grant) County, January 23, 1863, and is the son of James and Angelena (Poe) Walton, natives of Mississippi and Arkansas, respectively. James Walton came to Arkansas in 1860 and followed the occupation of a carpenter for one year, but afterward engaged in farming. He enlisted in the army at the commencement of hostilities, and was killed at or near Atlanta, Ga. His body, like many others, fills an unknown grave. Mrs. Walton was a daughter of Simon B. Poe, a farmer and native of North Carolina, and a distant relative of Edgar Allen Poe. Mrs. Walton's death occurred in 1866, she leaving two small children to fight life's battles for themselves. Newton J. Walton, the older of the brothers, is now married and resides in Lonoke County, Ark. Dr. J. W. Walton lived with his maternal grandparents, S. B. Poe and wife, the latter's death occurring in 1874. He then cared for his grandmother, the support of her and a daughter devolving upon him for eight years. When Miss Poe was married J. W. was free to set for himself. From six to eleven years of age he attended school in Little Rock, and from his eleventh to his twenty-second year passed through the experiences mentioned. During the years 1882 and 1884 he worked at farming and stock trading, but in the spring of 1885 entered the Redfield school at Redfield, Jefferson County, Ark. In 1886 and 1887 he attended the Benton graded school. Long before this time young Walton had decided that he should study medicine, so from the latter part of 1887 until the fall of 1888 he studied faithfully, and in 1889 took a course in the medical department of the Arkansas Industrial University at Little Rock. IN April 1889, he became the partner of Dr. D. N. Fisher, and in that connection is rapidly building up an enviable reputation. One of the harder features of his work is driving to surrounding localities, but this he does not mind, being assured a hearty welcome, and the country at large look upon him as the direct alleviation of their suffering. Dr. Walton owns 140 acres of land in Grant County, thirty of which are cultivated, the balance being covered with good timber. He also owns a fine farm of forty acres of timber land near the Mississippi River and eight miles below Helena. Dr. Walton votes with the Democratic party. He is public spirited and progressive, giving his support to schools, churches, and any enterprise designed for the public good.
B. A. Westbrook, one of the leading farmers of Fair Play, is the son of James and Mary (Hudson) Westbrook, natives of Georgia. Before the war, James Westbrook followed farming, but when the South called for defenders he stepped forth and offered his service to his country, taking part in the battles of the Wilderness and several other fights. About 1814 he was married and became the father of ten children, eight of whom are now living. B. A. Westbrook was the third child, having been born in 1820. The father died in 1888, at the advanced age of eighty-five years, and his wife in 1886. They were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. At the age of eighteen years B. A. Westbrook began life for himself as a laborer on a farm. Soon after he bought a farm in Georgia, and lived there until 1855, when he left his old home and came to Arkansas, settling within one-half mile of the place on which he now lives. This consists of 445 acres, with 160 acres improved, besides which he owns seventy-four acres of improved land in Saline Township. His first marriage was with Miss Elizabeth Hood, of Georgia, in 1845. The fruit of this union was one child, now deceased. Mrs. Westbrook dying in 1846, he was again married, in 1847, to Miss C. Carter, and they became the parents of seventeen children, ten of whom survive: Elizabeth (wife of John Ault), Jane (wife of Howell Hendricks), John, Milton, Tillie (wife of George Wallace), Thomas, James W., Ancel, Abner, Alexander and Terissa. Mrs. Westbrook died in 1880. She was a member of the Baptist Church, and a highly respected lady. Mr. Westbrook's third marriage was to Miss Louisana Hailey, in 1886. She bore him one child. Mr. Westbrook takes an active interest in education, and every venture that tends to advance the welfare of his neighborhood and his county.
James A. White well deserves a place among the prosperous farmers and stock raisers of Marble Township, Saline County. He was born in 1832, as the son of Thomas A. and Margarette Wiley White, natives of South Carolina, the former of whom moved to Arkansas in 1846, settling in this township, where he resided until his death in 1854. He entered 200 acres of land, improved the same, and reared a family of eight children. Five of them lived to maturity, and three now survive: Thomas N. (in Garland County), Matilda (wife of W. H. Harlow, of Holland Township, this county), and James A. (our subject). Mrs. White died in 1878, a member of the Baptist Church. At the age of forty-five years James A. White began farming for himself. He came here with his father in 1846, and at his death bought the property, consisting of 200 acres, from the heirs. Having since homesteaded 200 acres, he now has an excellent farm of 400 acres, with some eighty acres under cultivation. The place contains good buildings, and is well stocked with horses, cattle, etc. In 1861, when the Civil War broke out, he enlisted in Company F, Third Arkansas Cavalry regiment, and served until the close of the war, being engaged in the battles of Corinth, Miss., Chickamauga, Thompson's Station, Missionary Ridge and all the battles around Knoxville, Tenn., besides many of less importance. He was captured at Danville, Tenn., and taken to Rock Island, Ill., where he was confined for thirteen months and thirteen days. Being paroled in 1865, he returned home and resumed farming. Mr. White was married, in 1867, to Miss Jane Newkirk, and by her became the father of seven children, five of whom are living: Lucy A., James M. and W. T. (twins, at home), Frances L. and Mary A. The mother died in 1882. Mr. White's second marriage was in 1883, to Miss Margarette Tillery, a member of the Baptist Church. Taking an active interest in education and all public improvements, Mr. White is an earnest friend of the township schools. He is a member of the Union Labor party, and has served his township as constable. No worthy public enterprise vainly seeks his support; he is always ready to assist in elevating the condition of his county.
T. C. [Thomas Coleman per Glenda Henry Jenkins] White, actively interested in the agricultural affairs of Saline Township and county, was born in that township in April, 1849, having spent his entire life in the community. He was the second in a family of eight children born to William W. and Elizabeth (Montgomery) White, mentioned on a previous page. Mr. White, Sr., was a native of Alabama, and came to this county in 1845, where he still resides. His wife is now deceased. T. C. White early became familiar with the duties of farm life, attending, when not occupied at home, the common schools, though he aided greatly in clearing his father's farm. At the age of twenty-four he commenced farming for himself, buying a place of 135 acres of timber land, of which he has now 100 acres under cultivation, most having been improved by his own efforts. In 1877 he erected a good frame house and a large barn. Mr. White also owns forty acres of bottom land. He was married in 1881 to Amanda Dobbs, a native of Georgia, and daughter of Burril and Jane (Corint) Dobbs [Burrell and Jane Cornett Dobbs per Glenda]. They came to Saline County in 1868, where they now reside. Mr. and Mrs. White have four children: Luther, Alfred, Delia and Willie, and have also taken a girl to bring up, named Dora Hurgeon. [Their children's names were Luther Pickney Augustus John Coleman "Luther," Alfred, Delia, William Burl, Savilla, and Lillie per Glenda.] Mr. White takes a great interest in the welfare of his county, and perhaps manifests unusual concern in its advancement, as he regards it with native pride, and expects it to occupy, in the very near future, a place that its natural and acquired resources deserve. [Glenda Henry Jenkins is a descendant of Thomas Coleman White, Delia Gertrude White Henry, Rome James Henry, Glenda Henry Jenkins. Glenda's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and she would love to hear from others researching this line.]
William W. White, farmer and stock raiser, of Saline Township, owns a fine farm in Sections 31 and 32, his residence being in the former. He was born in Greene County, Ga., in 1822, and was the oldest in a family of ten children of Colman and Nancy (Allen White). Colman White was a native of Union District, S. C., and his wife of Greene County, Ga. When a young man he emigrated to Georgia, and settled in Greene County, where he was engaged in superintending a large plantation. In 1826 he moved to Morgan County, Ala., entered land and opened up a farm, remaining there until 1842, when he moved to Tippah County, Miss., where his wife died in the fall of 1843. In the following year Mr. White came to Arkansas and settled in Hot Spring (now Saline) County, in Saline Township, where he continued to live until his death, in 1854. He was a regular enlisted soldier in the United States Army, and was in the Florida War. His father was in the Revolutionary War. Colman White's family, at the time of his removal to Saline County, consisted of William W. (the subject of this sketch), Matilda (married to Daniel Hudgens; her death occurring years ago), John F. (married and resides in Smith County), S. T. (now resides in Henderson County, Tex.), B. A. (who enlisted in 1861 in the Third Arkansas Infantry, being mustered in Lynchburg, Va., and who received his death wound October 13, 1864, in the Virginia campaign), Jackson (who died in infancy), Elisha (died when young), and Mary (died in Mississippi). William W. was twenty-two years of age when he came to this county. He was reared in farm life in Northern Alabama, obtaining an education in the district schools of that State, and commenced agricultural labor as soon as Arkansas was reached. He married in Saline County, January 8, 1846, Miss Elizabeth Montgomery, a native of this county, and daughter of Thomas and Mary (Clanton) Montgomery. Mr. Montgomery was a native of Tennessee, and came to this county at an early date. His death occurred in 1856, his wife surviving until December, 1885. Mr. and Mrs. White are the parents of the following children: Nancy J. (born January 14, 1847, now Mrs. Dawdy, of Erath County, Tex.), Thomas C. (born April 16, 1849, married, and resides in Saline County), Mary C. (born August 21, 1851, died September 20, 1860), John A. (born April 18, 1854, a widower, resides in Saline Township), Margaret A. (born August 11, 1856, now Mrs. W. H. Collat, of Benton), Louisa E. (born January 30, 1859, now Mrs. Stirman, whose husband died March 28, 1885), Sarah A. (born August 23, 1861, now Mrs. Allen, of Shaw Township), Thirza E. (born July 6, 1864, now Mrs. Ray, of Benton), and George W. (born July 11, 1868; still resides on the home farm). Mr. White was married the second time in Saline County, December 7, 1880, to Mrs. Permelia Croxton, nee Shaw, wife of John L. Croxton, who enlisted in 1862 in Capt. Brown's company, and served under Gen. Price at the battle of Pilot Knob, where he was wounded. He recovered and started for home in the latter part of 1864, but has never been heard of since. Mrs. White was a native of Georgia, and a daughter of Hiram M. and Elizabeth (Arnold) Shaw, natives of Georgia and South Carolina, respectively. Her father was married in Georgia, after which he removed to Saline County, Ark., in 1858, settling in what is now Shaw Township, named in his honor. He opened up a farm, and made that his home until his death, which occurred in 1872. He served as justice of the peace for several years. His wife still survives and lives on the old homestead in Shaw Township. The family of Mr. Shaw consisted of the following persons: James H. (who enlisted in 1862, and was taken sick at Corinth and died), Martin E. (enlisted in the same regiment), and also died at Corinth in 1863), Virgil N. (enlisted in 1861 in Capt. Henderson's company of cavalry, served during the first two years in the Virginia campaigns, was wounded at Lynchburg, Va., and returned home; afterward joined Col. Price's forces, was wounded at Pilot Knob, and again started for home, but was never heard from), Joseph W. (served in same company with Virgil N., which he joined in 1863, was left as nurse at prison and escaped, returned to Saline County, and now resides in Montgomery County, Ark.), Emily E. (now Mrs. Anderson, of Ringgold, Ga.), Blanche B. (married a Mr. Barns, of Shaw Township, Saline County, where she now resides, he being dead), Rebecca C. (now Mrs. Howard), Martha C. (Mrs. Miller), and Carlton H. (married); all in Shaw Township. Mr. White settled on his present farm in 1846, which consisted of 200 acres, sixteen acres being cleared, and also entered 160 acres adjoining, making a fine farm of 360 acres; of this eighty acres are cleared, and under a high state of cultivation. He enlisted in 1863 in Company I, under Capt. McCray, and was in the general skirmishes of Southern Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana. Being paroled at Marshall, Tex., in 1865, he returned to Saline County. Mr. and Mrs. White are members of the Baptist Church, and have always taken an active part in church work. He does not enter especially into politics, but is a strong Democrat. [Glenda Henry Jenkins is a descendant of William White: William Washington White, Thomas Coleman White, Delia Gertrude White Henry, Rome James Henry, Glenda Henry Jenkins. Glenda would love to hear from others researching this line.]
Col. S. H. Whitthorne. One of the most prominent and popular men of Saline County is Col. Whitthorne, retired lawyer, of Benton, and president of the Saline County Mining Association, who was born in Bedford County, Tenn., February 22, 1828, the third in a family of thirteen children of William and Eliza (Wisener) Whitthorne. The former was born in the city of Dublin, Ireland, February 22, 1797, and came to America in 1814, landing at Orange Court House, N. C. Having emigrated to this country under the guardianship of an uncle, he lived with him for two years, after which he ran away, and finally settled in the Middle Tennessee valley, there spending the remainder of his life. He learned the saddle and harness trade, and a few years later embarked in the mercantile business, which he pursued successfully for twelve years. At the end of that time he was appointed clerk and master of the chancery court of Bedford County, Tenn., a position the duties of which he discharged with honor for twenty-five years. He was thus occupied at the breaking out of the war in 1861, and shortly after retired from public life. At the date of his death, which occurred in 1871, he was one of the oldest Royal Arch Masons in Tennessee, being also a consistent member of the Presbyterian Church. Of the thirteen children born to Mr. and Mrs. Whitthorne only four are now living: Hon. W. C. (representative for the past eighteen years from the Seventh congressional district of Tennessee), Hon. B. R. (cashier of the First National Bank at Shelbyville, Tenn., and mayor of that city), and Col. S. H. (the subject of this sketch). The latter was named by Gen. Sam Houston, who about the time of the young man's birth was Governor of Tennessee. He was early educated in the schools of Tennessee, first at Farmington, and to the instruction there obtained he added a course in the Shelbyville Academy, later entering the Nashville University at the age of seventeen. Satisfactory progress was being made in study, but patriotism overcame all else, and after remaining eighteen months in the university he ran away, and joined Gen. Taylor's army on the Rio Grande. He served seven months, but returned home with a brother who was very ill, and who died the day after arriving home. Then he re-entered college, from which he graduated in the class of 1847 with high honors. A few days after he was appointed by President Polk to a clerkship in the Postoffice department at Washington City, D. C., which position he held until 1849. For fifteen months he was occupied in reading law under Frierson & Cooper, of Shelbyville, and subsequently took a course of legal study at the Lebanon Law School, at Lebanon, Tenn. Upon completing his studies Mr. Whitthorne began the practice of law of Shelbyville, there continuing until 1861, with the exception of three years (1854-57). During this time he was married, May 7, 1854, to Miss Margaret A. Johnston, of Williamson County, Tenn., and an estimable lady. She was the daughter of Capt. Matthew Johnston, a native of Tennessee. At the outbreak of the Civil War Mr. W. enlisted as first lieutenant in Capt. Patrick's company, a few days afterward being appointed assistant quartermaster-general for the provisional army of Tennessee. Upon the transfer of the provisional army to the Confederate army, he resigned his commission and returned home to assist in raising a regiment of riflemen, the Twenty-third Tennessee, agreeing to serve as a private in order to secure recruits, and followed in that capacity until after the battle of Shiloh, where he was injured by a shell, resulting in nine weeks of unconsciousness. After his recovery he rejoined his command at Chattanooga, and was elected first lieutenant of his old company. At the battle of Perryville, Ky., in 1862, he was again wounded, this time by a minie ball, in the hip, which he still carries. In January, 1863, he rejoined his command at Tullahoma, Tenn., and continued in service till the battle of Chickamauga, where he was a third time wounded, though not as seriously as before. His brigade was transferred to Longstreet's corps, on the Tennessee campaign, where he was promoted by Gen. Longstreet to the office of purchasing commissary, with the rank of major. Six months later he was transferred to his original command at Richmond, participating in all the battles in and around Richmond and Petersburg, Va. In the year 1864 he was again wounded; shortly after was promoted to lieutenant-colonel, and ordered to the Alabama department under Gen. Withers, and at the time of the surrender was in command of the Dadeville post. Col. Whitthorne returned home in July, 1865, after a career to which he may refer with just pride, and resumed his law practice at Shelbyville, Tenn., until August, 1871, when he came to Arkansas, and settled in Benton. Attending to his professional duties in this circuit till 1876, he was then appointed elector on the Democratic electoral ticket, and canvassed Northwest Arkansas, making twenty-three speeches in twenty-one days, traveling during that time 546 miles on horseback. In 1882 he was appointed adjutant and inspector-general on Gov. Churchill's staff, and was commissioned brigadier-general in the Arkansas State Guard. In 1887 Col. Whitthorne retired from active legal practice, and has since given his attention to mining, and the development of the various resources of Saline County. In this capacity he has probably done more than any other individual to call the attention of the outside world to the valuable mineral deposits of this section. Too much can not be said of Col. Whitthorne, for he is one of those men whom to see is to admire, and in all enterprises that tend to the advancement of the community his name stands out prominently. In public and private circles he is alike esteemed, not alone for the position which he occupies as a citizen, but for his true worth and character.
John A. Wilkerson is justly entitled to prominent recognition in this volume as one of the county's capable and reliable public servants. He was elected to the office of county treasurer in 1884, and has served in that capacity up to the present time, discharging his duties in an acceptable and efficient manner, and with credit to himself and constituents. Born in Lafayette County, Miss., in 1838, he was the second in a family of five children born to Allen and Nancy M. (Coffey) Wilkerson. The father was a native of Southern Alabama, and was married in Perry County, Ala., to Miss Coffey, originally from North Carolina, afterward moving to Mississippi, where he engaged in farming, opening up a farm, and in November, 1855, settled in Drew County, Ark., on a farm. His death occurred in De Soto County, Miss., in 1849. John A. Wilkerson was reared to farm life, obtaining a district school education in De Soto County, and later accompanied his parents to Arkansas, in 1855. In 1860 he came to Pulaski County, locating near Little Rock, and embarked in farming, but at the outbreak of the war enlisted, in 1861, under Capt. H. H. Beauer, and joined the First Arkansas Infantry (which was later formed into the Second Arkansas Battalion, under Maj. Bronaugh). He served under him until after the Seven Days' fight at Richmond, when the regiment was disbanded, following which he was assigned to the Third Arkansas Infantry, July 16, 1862. He remained in Texas until Brig.-Gen. Longstreet's corps until the close of the war, taking part in all the Virginia campaign. He was wounded at the battle of Seven Pines, also at Gettysburg, and was paroled at Baltimore in 1863, going thence to De Soto County, Miss., where he remained until hostilities had ceased. Returning to Pulaski County, Ark., in 1865, Mr. Wilkerson resumed farming, and in 1867 came to Saline County, where he purchased land in Liberty Township. He was married in July, 1867, to Sarah E. Brewer, an estimable lady and a native of Tennessee. In 1885 they moved to their present residence, near the corporate limits of Benton, where Mr. Wilkerson is also engaged in farming. He is an active and influential Democrat and served as constable in Liberty Township, here also winning approval, as he has done in his present position. He has always taken an active interest in educational work, serving on the school board of Liberty Township for six years. Mr. Wilkerson is a member of Saline Lodge No. 1319, Knights of Honor, in which he holds the office of assistant dictator. Himself and wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church. They have been blessed with ten children, nine of whom are living: William Allen, Mary Elvira, Nancy Louisa, Maggie Jane, Lizzie Rosina, Mattie A. (who died in 1881, aged ten months), Mandy May, John Lockert, James and Tandy Walker. Mr. Wilkerson is well known as identifying himself with every movement designed for the good of his community. He has been a participant in the development of Saline County's affairs, and well deserves the esteem in which he is held.
Jacob Williams, who is numbered among the county's early settlers, having come here in 1846, was born in Cocke County, Tenn., March 17, 1826, being the son of William and Nancy Neil (Jester) Williams. The former's birth occurred in North Carolina, in 1788 or 1789, where he was reared and educated, afterward going to Tennessee, where he married and resided for a time. In 1846 he came to Arkansas, and settled in Hot Spring (now Saline) County. Several years after he moved to Liberty Township, and located a farm of eighty acres, making it his home until his death in 1863. He served in the Creek War of 1812-14, under Gen. Jackson. His wife survived until 1887, when she died at the advanced age of eighty-nine years. Jacob Williams was reared and educated in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama, his usual occupation in life being somewhat interrupted by the mutterings of war. In 1846 he joined the army of Gen. Wool, and went to Mexico, to participate in that struggle, there engaging in the battle of Beuna Vista, where he was wounded with a Mexican lance, and seriously injured. The friendship existing between Mr. Williams and Gen. Taylro was indeed strong and sincere. In 1847 the subject of this sketch was married to Miss Mary J. Rippetoe, a native of Tennessee, and a daughter of James Rippetoe, one of the early pioneers of Central Arkansas. By this union seven children were born, three now living: Isaac, Calvin and William, all married and living in Arkansas. Mrs. Williams died in 1861, mourned by all who knew her. Though not a member of any church, she was a loving mother and wife. In 1863 Mr. Williams married again, Mrs. Amanda Sherman, the widow of Michael Sherman, and a native of Alabama, becoming his wife. Three children have been born of this union, two now living: John B. and Jehu. After his first marriage Mr. Williams settled in Hot Spring (now Garland) County, where he resided for three years, later selling this property and purchasing land on the South Fork of Saline River, where he made his home for twenty-two years. In 1874 he came to the farm where he now resides, consisting of 360 acres, of which sixty are improved, and yield excellent crops of corn, cotton and oats. At the beginning of the war, Mr. Williams enlisted in the Confederate army, and with the exception of one year at home, on account of his wife's sickness and death, served until the close of hostilities. He was in the cavalry service, and accompanied Price on his raid through Missouri, finally surrendering in Texas, in the summer of 1865. He has been justice of the peace since before the war. Himself and family are members of the Pine Baptist church, and he belongs to Fair Play Lodge of the A.F.&A.M. He is a Democrat, and exerts no little influence politically in his county, generally being appointed judge of election. The school board find in him one of their influential and popular members.
William W. Williams, a farmer of Jefferson Township, Saline County, is a native resident of this county, having been born in 1846. He was the youngest in a family of nine children which blessed the union of William W. and Sarah (Lindsey) Williams, of North Carolina and Kentucky birth, respectively. His father was one of the pioneer settlers of Saline County. He entered a tract of land in this county, on which he lived at the time of his death in 1854, his wife surviving him until 1876. Our subject's maternal grandfather (Lindsey) came from Kentucky in 1825, together with six of his children, and settled in Saline County, Ark., entering land in Saline Township. These children were as follows: Polly, Betsy, Nancy, Sarah, John and Caleb, all married and settled in Saline County. The county at that time was mostly uninhabited, and Mr. Lindsey's nearest neighbor was fifteen miles distant. Many nights were heard the growling of bears and other wild animals around his house. On one occasion, Mr. Williams' father hearing a hog squealing early in the morning began an investigation, and found a large bear attacking the "porker." The wild beast, seeing the intruder, made for him, compelling Mr. Williams to climb a tree, with the bear after him. Thus they remained until help from the house arrived. In those early days the general mode of cultivation was with ploughs made of wood, the corn being ground by hand. William Williams, Jr., was early made acquainted with farm labor. He was educated in the common schools, and enlisted, in Columbia County in 1862, for three years under Capt. Errins, taking part in the siege of Vicksburg, the battles of Corinth and Jenkins' Ferry and other engagements, and was paroled in 1865 in Natchitoches, La. He served in the Nineteenth Arkansas Infantry one year, and afterward in the heavy artillery to the close of the war, when he returned to Columbia County and in 1865 came to Saline County, engaging again in farming. IN 1882 Mr. Williams entered 115 acres of land, on which he erected a house and commenced improving his land. Subsequently he bought forty acres more, having now a farm of 155 acres, eighty of which are under cultivation, he having cleared sixty-five acres himself. Mr. Williams was married in this county in 1868 to Cordelia Roberts, a native of Tennessee, and daughter of T. J. and Polly (Hawser) Roberts, both of whom came here from Tennessee and still survive. Mr. and Mrs. Williams are the parents of seven children, five living and two dead: Florence (now Mrs. Templeton, of Pulaski County), Jeff, Clara, Estella (deceased), Isabella (deceased), Daisy and Hattie. They are both members of the Baptist Church. Mr. Williams takes a great interest in the growing of fine fruit. He is a substantial citizen, and enjoys wide and favorable respect.
J. B. Wilson, one of the oldest farmers of Saline County, came upon the stage of action in the State of Tennessee in the year 1813, being the fourth child born to Joel and Christnie (Buckley) Wilson, natives, respectively, of North Carolina and Tennessee. Joel Wilson was a farmer by occupation, moving to Tennessee when but a lad. He was married about 1804 and became the father of thirteen children, four of whom are known to be living: John B. (the subject of this sketch), Theresa, Emily and Holland. The three sisters live in Dixon County, Tenn. Mrs. Wilson died in 1869. Joel Wilson was first married in 1797, and had by this marriage three children: Elisha, Sarah and Mary, all supposed to be dead. Mr. Wilson served through the Revolutionary War as a private, and died about 1833. J. B. Wilson was reared to farm life and educated in the country schools of his county. At the age of eighteen he married and began farming for himself on rented land. After four or five years he purchased land in Humphreys County, where he lived until 1849, when he sold out and came to this State, settling in Beaver Township, Saline County. He bought 160 acres of land with but a cabin on it, later entered eighty acres, and now owns 300 acres, with forty acres improved. Mr. Wilson was married the first time, in 1833, to Miss Saline Graves, of Tennessee, and by her became the father of six children (two now living): John (farmer, married and lives in Saline County), Washington (farmer, lives in Pulaski County, this State), Thomas Dean and Thomas W. (deceased, family resides in this county), Jane (deceased wife of James Canada, family resides in this county), Margaret (deceased wife of B. Chastne), Archibald (deceased). Mrs. Wilson was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, dying in 1851. Mr. Wilson was married the second time to Mrs. Mary Hall, in 1864. She was a daughter of Griffen and Nancy (Sanford) Bruner, natives of Alabama. Mr. Bruner moved to Texas about 1876, where he died two years later. Mrs. Bruner died in Alabama. Mrs. Wilson came to this State in 1858, with her first husband, Mr. Hall, who died in the Confederate army in 1862. J. B. Wilson was one of the very early settlers in this vicinity, the county having only 900 voters when he came: now it has 2,000. He was elected to the office of justice of the peace in his township in 1850, and has served in that office ever since, with the exception of three or four years during the war, making his tenure of office the longest on record in the county, if not in the State. He served six years in Tennessee as justice of the peace, and forty-five years here, making fifty-one years in all. Hundreds of couples have been united in the bonds of wedlock by him. He never served in any war, being opposed to the Civil War, though he supported the cause of the South in the struggle. In 1874 he united with the Missionary Baptist Church, his wife belonging to the same congregation. He is a strong Democrat, and has always befriended the public schools. He is a liberal donator to the Baptist Church and all public enterprises.
Frank Woosley, proprietor of one of the potteries of Benton, Saline County, Ark., was born in Ohio, in the year 1849, and came to this State in 1878. He is the son of Elijah and Angeline (Brock) Woosley, natives of Ohio. Elijah Woosley was a farmer by occupation, living in Ohio until his death, which occurred in 1854. He was twice married. The first wife was Miss Hutton, who became by him the mother of four children, only one now living, John, residing in Kansas. Mrs. Woosley dying about 1846, the father was again married in 1848. By his last wife there were two children: Frank (who forms the subject of this sketch) and Sarah E. (the wife of John S. Moon). Mrs. Woosley still survives her husband, living in Ohio. The son Frank left home at the age of twenty-six years and began the struggle for existence on his own accord, as a farmer in his native State. In 1878, becoming tired of farming, he left the old homestead and came west to this county, where he worked at the pottery business for two years as a hired hand; he then rented the works and commenced for himself, and in 1884 bought the property with ninety-one acres of land attached. He now turns out annually about 60,000 gallons of fine crockery (jugs, jars, churns, etc.) of a very superior quality. The clay is all found on the property, and is of an excellent variety. He finds ready sale for his wares in Little Rock and other parts of the State. In 1882 Mr. Woosley was married to Mrs. Hattie E. Hyten, a native of New York, reared in Iowa. She was the widow of John F. Hyten, and the mother of five children. Of them four are now living: Lee E., Paul H., Mabel J. and Charles D.; the one deceased was Maud. By her second marriage Mrs. Woosley became the mother of one child, Fred, who was born in 1887. Her first husband died in 1881. He was a potter by trade. During his residence in Ohio Mr. Woosley served as township trustee, and since coming west to this county he has filled the office of school director with credit to himself. He is a member of the A.F.&A.M., and a stanch Democrat, being recognized also as one of Benton's popular residents.
William D. Wray, an extensive farmer of Union Township, Saline County, was born in Jefferson County, Ind., in 1824, the son of Joseph and Mary J. (Collins) Wray. Joseph Wray came to Indiana about the year 1819, entering and improving eighty acres of land, where he remained until his death, in 1841. He was the father of eleven children, nine living till maturity: Coran (deceased, wife of a Mr. Harrison), Alexander (deceased), Amanda (deceased), David, John, Parmelia Thomas and Mary J. (deceased), leaving only one the youngest, William D., our subject, in the land of the living. Mrs. Wray died in 1832, as a member of the Presybterian Church. W. D. Wray, at the age of twenty-two years, began faming on rented land in Indiana, where he remained until 1851. Then coming to this State, he settled on the place where he now lives. In 1857 he bought forty acres of land, remained upon it until 1863, and then purchased his present farm of 160 acres. He has since added to his property 320 acres, unimproved, and 200 acres of improved land, making a total of 720 acres, with about 230 acres under cultivation. He joined neither army during the war, and was not molested in the least by marauders. Mr. Wray has been three times married; first, to Sarah Lyon, on April 30, 1846. By this marriage there were six children, four now living: Mary J. (wife of Dave Robertson) [should be Robinson], Agnes (wife of James Barron), Joseph( who lives in this county), Alfred (also of this county). Mrs. Wray was a member of the Baptist Church and died in 1862. The following year Mr. Wray was married to Elizabeth Henderson, who bore him six children, three of whom survive: Sarah (wife of John Thompson), Elizabeth M. (deceased wife of James Cain), William (at home), and James (at home). The second Mrs. Wray was also a member of the Baptist Church, and died in the month of May, 1877. In October, 1877, Mr. Wray married Mary L. Hutchison, who became the mother of seven children, four now living: Zorah, Lewis, Coran and Martha E. The present Mrs. Wray is a member of the Baptist Church, while her husband belongs to Ionic Lodge No. 377, A.F.&A.M. Politically Mr. Wray is Democratic. He is one of the most earnest of public-spirited men, faithfully supporting all worthy public enterprises, donating liberally to the churches and schools of his county, and standing constantly ready to assist in anything that will alleviate the sufferings of humanity. [Webmaster Patti Vance Hays is descended from William D. Wray: William, Mary Jane Wray James, Rhoda Malinda James Caldwell, Roxie Jane Caldwell Vance, Willie Vance, Patti Vance Hays]
M. L. Young, for a long time a well-known farmer and stock raiser of Shaw Township, is a native of Georgia, and was born in Carroll County, that State, on June 4, 1833, being the second in a family of four children born to John J. and Jane (McDawell) Young, natives of South Carolina and Georgia. John J. Young was a millwright, and for years was engaged as a contractor, building mills in Georgia and Alabama. For eight years prior to his death, which occurred in 1840, he resided in Calhoun County, Ala., his estimable wife surviving him until 1852. Her death took place in the Choccolocco Valley, Ala. They were both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mrs. Young belonged to an old family of McDawells in Georgia, whose names are very familiar to readers of Georgia history, they having been prominent and influential people. Of the four children born to them only two are now living: J. J. Young (a farmer in Alabama) and M. L. (the subject of this sketch). He was reared on a farm, and received his education in the common schools of Alabama and Georgia, but when quite a young man was thrown upon his own resources by the death of his mother. Beginning work as a farm hand, the first year his salary was $8 per month, the next $16 and the third year $20. He improved every advantage that presented itself for schooling, and the fourth year after his mother's death attended the high-school at Gadsden, Ala. After completing his studies here he again resumed agricultural labor, this time renting land in Gadsden, farming in the summer and working at his trade (carriage making) in the winter. In 1857 Mr. Young was married to Miss Sarah E. Christopher, a daughter of William and Eliza (Hardy) Christopher, natives of North Carolina and Georgia. Mrs. Young was born in Georgia, February 1, 1838. To this union have been giving the following children: Frances Ida (born April 11, 1858, and the wife of Leonidas Brumbelow, a farmer of Grand County, Ark.), Genora A. B. (born December 11, 1859, and wife of N. B. Manning, of Saline County), J. C. (born December 4, 1860, married and resides in Saline County), Alter C. (born April 25, 1864, died September 28, 1885, as the wife of James Martin, of Saline County), D. A. M. (born October 15, 1866, and a brakeman on the St. Louis & Iron Mountain Railroad), John R. (born September 26, 1868, a farmer, in Saline County), Joseph L. (born October 24, 1870, died August 21, 1874), Margaret A. (born May 26, 1872, died October 15, 1888), Bessie E. (born April 16, 1874), Susan O. E. (born May 1, 1876), and O. L. (born July 2, 1879). After his marriage Mr. Young lived in Alabama until 1860, when he came to Bradley County, Ark., where he enlisted in Weaver's company, Nineteenth Arkansas Infantry, and remained till the close of the war. He participated in the battles of Shiloh, Corinth and Fort Pillow, and can say, what but very few can, that he was never wounded or taken prisoner during his entire service. After the battle of Corinth he became ill, and was sent home where he remained for one year. He rejoined the army at Shreveport, La., in 1864, and was paroled at the same place in 1865. In 1868 Mr. Young's family moved to Claiborne Parish, La., where Mr. Young joined them after the war. They remained there until 1867, when they moved to Ouachita County, Ark., one year later locating in Saline County. In 1871 he homesteaded eighty acres, and after a short time added eighty acres more, until he owned eighty acres in a fine state of cultivation, the rich soil of which yields excellent crops of cotton, corn, oats and potatoes. Mr. Young's opinion is that a farmer should make his land produce what he lives on, and he certainly does, for his crops have long been the admiration of the surrounding country. He votes with the Democratic party, but is not a political enthusiast. Huey Lodge No. 95, A.F.&A.M., counts him as a member, and he is also a Wheeler. Mr. Young and family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he lends his hearty support to all enterprises, educational and otherwise. While at Shreveport with the army he was engaged in the engineer department, doing carpenter work, and had charge of the ponton and railroad trestle department. He has recently emigrated to the northwest portion of Texas to make it his home.