Mississippi County, Arkansas
Reginald Archillion, has been employed as farmer, school teacher and surveyor during his residence in the county, and resides upon his wife's lands on Clear Lake. He is a native of Indiana, his birth having occurred in Madison County in 1855. He is the eldest of two children born to Anthony and Maria Archillion, and in the county of his birth he continued to make his home until nine years age, afterward entering school at Evansville, Ind., where he remained until fifteen years of age, his father having passed to his long home two years previously. At the early age of thirteen years Reginald began depending on his own resources to obtain a livelihood, and although quite young he perceived that if he wished to make a success of his life a good education was very essential; accordingly he continued to attend school until seventeen years of age, the last few years being spent in Richmond. He also attended the schools of Huntington, Ind., one year, and was also engaged in studying law in that place until he was twenty years of age, at which time he went to Louisiana, and two years later to Texas. On the 7th of February, 1880, he came to Osceola, Ark., soon after engaging as a farm hand for A. B. Young, at Osceola, but spent the winter months up to a few years ago in teaching school. He is a member of Chickasawba Lodge No. 134, F. & A. M.; is now filling his second term as county surveyor, having been elected first in 1887 to fill a vacancy. In 1881 Mrs. Rebecca (Cutwright) Hetherington, a native of Indiana, became his wife. [Source: Goodspeed's History of Mississippi County, Arkansas, 1889, taken from Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northeast Arkansas 1889, The Goodspeed Publishing Company, Chicago, Nashville and St. Louis, p. 461.]
Rollo Archillion, like his brother, Reginald Archillion, is an energetic and enterprising young agriculturist of Mississippi County, and now owns an excellent little farm of eighty acres, situated about one mile south of Blythesville, which property has been in his possession since 1887. At that time but twenty-five acres were under cultivation, but he has since made many improvements in the way of repairing the house, building fences, and clearing up the land; he has opened up five additional acres, and expects soon to have his entire farm under the plow, which can be readily done. His father died when he was an infant, but through his own determination and the assistance of a kind and willing mother, he succeeded in attending school until about sixteen years of age; then in company with his brother, Reginald, he started for the south with the expectation of bettering his condition, and after working in Louisiana for some time he went to Texas, in which state he remained for very nearly two years. After another short period spent in Louisiana he came to the State of Arkansas, and settled in Mississippi County at Clear Lake, where he spent some time in tilling the soil, and was there united in marriage to Miss Elma A. Conley, a native of the county and a daughter of one of the old and worthy settlers of this region. Mrs. Archillion owned an interest in a farm on Clear Lake, on which they located after their marriage, and during their two years' residence at this place Mr. Archillion taught school. At the end of this period in 1883 they concluded to go to the Lone Star State, where they both engaged in pedagoguing for three years; then returned to Mississippi County, Ark., where they have since made their home. Mr. and Mrs. Archillion are the parents of two children, Maud and Mabel. The mother has been for a number of years a consistent and worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Archillion is a member of Chickasawba Lodge No. 134, F. & A.M. He is a young man whose activity and energy will one day place him among the foremost agriculturists of the county, for everything about his place indicates thrift, which is one of the prominent characteristics of its owner. [Source: Goodspeed's History of Mississippi County, Arkansas, 1889, taken from Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northeast Arkansas 1889, The Goodspeed Publishing Company, Chicago, Nashville and St. Louis, pg. 461-462.]
Jesse Ashburn is recognized as a careful, energetic agriculturist of this community, and by his advanced ideas and progressive habits has done no little good for the farming interest hereabout. Originally from Huntsville, Ala., he was born in the year 1823, and is the son of Byrd Ashburn who, shortly after the brith of his son, Jesse, loaded his family and effects on a flatboat at Huntsville and floated down the Tennessee River to the Ohio, on that river down to the Mississippi and thereon to the mouth of the Hatchie River. He then sailed up that river to the mouth of Indian Creek, where he disembarked and took up land in Tennessee. Here he opened up a fine farm, but later sold out and moved to near Randolph, where he remained one year. He then moved with his family, consisting of his wife and four children, direct to Frenchman's Bayou, settled about a fourth of a mile from where his son Jesse now resides, and there remained until his death, which occurred in 1847. His wife survived him eleven years.
Jesse Ashburn has lived in this settlement ever since, with the exception of about five years spent in Missouri, whither he had moved in 1863. During the war he took part with neither side except to suppress a few guerrillas who were plundering indiscriminately in Missouri. For many years after his residence in Arkansas, there was no market, and but two settlements on the Bayou--one family by the name of McClung and another by the name of Owens--but they left no descendants here. The first school taught was at Owens' house, and McClung's son taught the first term. Mr. Ashburn attended and the only book used was the spelling book. This was about the year 1836. The few settlers lived on cornbread and bear meat, this being the regular diet. The woods were full of animals and privation and hardship were the order of each day. Once in a while a little coffee was secured from the boats on the river, but it was scarce and high. Most of their clothing was homespun, although they sometimes secured a little shirting from the boats, and their shoes were made of leather tanned by themselves. Caps were made of otter hides. The first cotton was raised about 1849 or 1850, but was not cultivated as a crop until a few years before the war, after which it was raised with great profit along the river front. It has been noticed that as the land is improved and cleared up the whole surface becomes dryer. Even in the last ten years there has been a very noticeable improvement.
Mr. Ashburn has in his field now, under a fine state of cultivation, land that the water used to stand on as high as his waist. His marriage with Miss Emily Adkinson, occurred in 1846. She is the daughter of John B. and C. A. (Watts) Adkinson, the father a native of Georgia, but who passed his last days in Missouri, and the mother a native of Tennessee. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Ashburn were born six children: Andrew J., John David, who married Miss Higgins of Mississippi County, Ark., Savannah, who married Joe N. Hays, and now lives on the Chickasawba, they have two children; Lavina J., married to J. R. Music, of Mississippi County; Thomas J. and A. Forrest, at home. Mr. Ashburn is a member of Masonic Lodge No 251 of Frenchman's Boyou, and has been a member and a main pillar in the Missionary Baptist Church for the past nine years. [Source: Goodspeed's History of Mississippi County, Arkansas, 1889, taken from Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northeast Arkansas 1889, The Goodspeed Publishing Company, Chicago, Nashville and St. Louis, p. 462.]
N. L. AVERY
N. L. Avery, who is one of the important factors in the business growth and prosperity of Osceola and Mississippi County, is justly entitled to more than a passing notice in this volume. Since his identification with this city as a business man, no one has been more active and enterprising, or has done more in the mercantile line to increase and extend the trade and influence of the place. His stock is large and complete, and the patronage drawn to him results largely from liberal and polite treatment. His native State is Tennessee, and he was born in Memphis, January 1, 1853. His parents, Hamilton and Henrietta (Polk) Avery, were natives of New York and South Carolina, respectively. His father came to Memphis about 1845, was engaged in the book business for a few years, and then became editor of the Memphis Bulletin, remaining thus occupied for several years. He was then appointed wharf-master, but on account of ill-health he resigned that position, and spent two years in traveling. He returned to Memphis in 1859, and soon afterward died there. His mother is still living, and makes her home in Memphis. The paternal grandfather died at Syracuse, N. Y. in 1889 at the age of eighty-nine years. The paternal grandmother is still living in that city, and is seventy-eight years of age. The maternal grandparents died when N. L. Avery's (the subject of this sketch) mother was a child, and her grandfather was a brother to President James K. Polk. N. L. Avery passed his boyhood days in attending the public and private schools of Memphis. At the youthful age of thirteen he engaged as messenger in a steamboat office, but subsequently entered a drug store with Mansfield & Hughes of that city. In 1858 he engaged in a wholesale dry goods establishment (Joyner, Lemmon & Gale), remaining this employed until 1882. He began as an errand boy, and was successively promoted to the highest position, being at his retirement manager of and buyer for the notion department. In 1882 he came to Osceola and established his present business in that city, with a capital of $750. In 1888 he erected the large, fine store-house which he now occupies. In the same year Mr. Raphael Semmes was admitted as partner in the firm, which probably does the largest business on the Mississippi River between Memphis and Cairo. Mr. Avery owns a large tract of land, 1000 acres, six miles west of Osceola, and is farming about 400 acres. The firm are the owners of a large tract of land in Phillips County. They have a branch store at Blythesville, which has a large and extensive trade. Mr. Avery is the owner of a block in town, and also other property in the same place. By his marriage with Miss M. F. Pullen, daughter of B. K. Pullen of Memphis on November 3, 1875, he became the father of seven children: Hamilton King, Norman L., Jr., Walter Graham (died in infancy), Charles L., Bennie Pullen (died in infancy), Eugene R. and Percy P. Mr. Avery's family are members of the Episcopal Church. He is a fair type of the self-made man, having risen from the lowest to the highest offices of a large store; and at last, after years of earnest, honest work, we find him starting for himself, with a capital of but $750. In six years he had built the business up from $5,000 in 1882 to $100,000 in 1889, at the same time managing a branch store, doing an annual business of $30,000. This is a creditable showing for a young man, even in this community of almost universally self-made men. [Source: Goodspeed's History of Mississippi County, Arkansas, 1889, taken from Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northeast Arkansas 1889, The Goodspeed Publishing Company, Chicago, Nashville and St. Louis, p. 463.]
E. M. AYRES
It is a fact recorded in history that the first English immigrants to Virginia were a superior race, with most progressive views of government, liberty and laws, and who sought out homes in the New World in obedience to impulse prompted by lofty ambition and an earnest desire to benefit the race. From these ancestors sprang men who subsequently became eminent in different localities. A worthy native of that State is Mr. Ayres, who is one of the prominent planters of Mississippi County, Ark., and resides two miles west of Osceola. He was born in Buckingham County, Va., in 1840, and is the seventh in a family of nine children born to John W. and Mary (Masey) Ayres. The parents were also natives of Virginia, where they spent their entire lives, the mother dying about 1848 and the father in 1857. The latter was a well-known planter in his native State, and the family was widely known and universally respected. He was a soldier in the War of 1812. The paternal grandfather was a farmer and miller, and was also a very prominent Methodist Episcopal preacher, having married every couple in his county for a period of twenty years. E. M. Ayres learned the rudiments of farming in his native State, and attended the common schools until sixteen years of age. He remained at home until the age of twenty-one years, and in 1859 went to West Tennessee, where he engaged as overseer for his brother-in-law, John W. Chambers. At the breaking out of the late war he threw down the implements of peace to take up the weapons of warfare, and enlisted in Capt. Dean's command, afterward joined to the Fourth Tennessee Regiment of Infantry under Col. Nely. He was assigned to the Mississippi division, and soon secured permission to organize a company, which he at once did, namely Company A, united with the Forty-seventh Tennessee Infantry. He was in the battle of Shiloh, and during that most destructive engagement his company was almost totally annihilated, only eighteen out of the 108 returning. Mr. Ayres then joined the Henderson Scouts, under Capt. Tom Henderson, and operated in the Mississippi Valley. He was in the battles of Corinth, Parker's Cross Roads, Franklin, Tenn., and Murfreesboro, where he received a severe wound in the hand. The company then made a campign into Mississippi and surrendered at Gainesville, Ala., in 1865. During his time of service Mr. Ayres had three horses shot from under him, was captured several times, but always succeeded in making his escape. He was in many close engagements, was a fearless and daring soldier, and saw a great deal of the war. In 1865 he came to Mississippi County, and engaged in the saw-mill business with Dr. Hardin of Nashville. Here he sawed the timber to put up the first store-house build in Osceloa after the war. Mr. Ayres continued this business in a successful manner for over twenty years, and supplied the lumber to build most of the frame houses in this county. He has made a great deal of money by strict application to business, and the energetic and thorough manner in which he has taken advantage of all methods, tending to enhance the value of his property, has had a great deal to do with his obtaining the competence which he now enjoys. His wife was originally Miss Sallie Bowen, whom he married in 1867. Her father, Arthur Bowen, is one of the well-known settlers in this county. From time to time Mr. Ayers has bought large tracts of land, and is now the owner of about 6,000 acres, 200 of which are under cultivation. He has made all the improvements on his place, and has assisted in opening 2,000 acres for cultivation. During his residence in Mississippi County he has seen many changes, and he speaks very highly of this section. The result of his marriage with Miss Bowen has been nine children, three of whom are deceased: Lizzie died at the age of two years; Charley died at the age to two years, and Lelah died at the age of fourteen years. Those living are Willis, who lives at home and is fourteen years of age; Arthur, twelve years of age; Clay, ten years; Louis, eight; Sallie B., six; and Eddy, two years in 1889. [Source: Goodspeed's History of Mississippi County, Arkansas, 1889, taken from Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northeast Arkansas 1889, The Goodspeed Publishing Company, Chicago, Nashville and St. Louis, p. 463-464]
BENJAMIN H. BACCHUS
Benjamin H. Bacchus, a prominent druggist and farmer of Osceloa, Ark., is a native of Kent County, Md., born at Chestertown on October 15, 1848, and of the six children born to his parents, William and Harriet (Greenwood) Bacchus, Benjamin H. was the fifth in order of birth. The parents were natives of Maryland, and the father for a long time was a miller and farmer of that place. The mother died in 1856, and in 1859 the father married Miss Susan Arthur. He died in 1872, having during the latter years of his life lived in retirement. Benjamin passed his youth in Chestertown, and received an exceptionally good education in public and private schools, supplementing the same by a two years' attendance at the college at Chestertown. He then took a course of instruction at Bryant, Stratton & Sadler's Business College, at Baltimore, and left that institution fully equipped to enter upon any pursuit. He followed the teacher's profession for one term, and in 1867 went to Memphis, where he engaged in the cotton and oil business. At the end of one and one-half years he came to Mississippi County, and commenced farming at Elmot, where he continued until 1880. In 1878 Mr. Bacchus was elected county surveyor, and in 1880 he was elected clerk of the supreme court, ex-offcio clerk of the county and probate courts, and recorder. So well did he fill this position that he was re-elected in 1882. In 1887 he was elected mayor of the city of Osceola. At this time the city was heavily in debt, and its warrants were worthless; but at the expiration of Mr. Bacchus' term of office the debt of the city was wiped out, and the warrants were worth their face value. In July 1885, Mr. Bacchus engaged in the drug business in Osceola, and in 1888 he erected a fine store-house, into which he moved in February 1889. The new quarters are neat, tasty and ornamental, and contain a complete line of fresh drugs. Mr. Bacchus selected Miss Katie M. Williams as his companion in life, and was wedded to her in 1871. She was born in Mississippi County, and is the daughter of James H. Williams, who was formerly from Tennessee, and one of the old settlers of Mississippi County. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Bacchus were born seven children: Alice W., Lallie C., Lena S., Benjamin H., Jr., J. Greenwood, Minnie Avery and Mary Kate. Mr. Bacchus is a member of the Episcopal Church, and Mrs. Bacchus of the Methodist Episcopal. Mr. Bacchus is a member of Masonic Lodge No. 27, Osceola, occupying an official position. He was school commissioner of the county from 1872 to 1880, and takes a decided interest in all school matters. [Source: Goodspeed's History of Mississippi County, Arkansas, 1889, taken from Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northeast Arkansas 1889, The Goodspeed Publishing Company, Chicago, Nashville and St. Louis, p. 464-465.]
G. C. BALDOCK
G. C. Baldock, a popular and enterprising farmer at Frenchman's Bayou, is the eldest of three children born to Derastus and Mary Jane (Hill) Baldock, and was born in Tennessee in 1855. The elder Baldock was a farmer, and followed that occupation until the outbreak of war, when he enlisted in the army and gave up his life in 1862. After the father's death the family went to reside with Mr. Addison M. Hill, Mrs. Baldock's father, who was one of the best known citizens of Tipton County, Tenn., and a pioneer of that county, upon whom the citizens of that section still look with veneration and respect. G. C. Baldock began life for himself when nineteen years of atge, and rented the land upon which he made his first crop. He continued farming until the year 1880, when he sold out his place and moved to Mississippi County, Ark., where he settled on Frenchman's Bayou. In 1887 he bought 200 acres of fine land in that section, and at the present time has eighty-five acres under cultivation, besides making extensive improvements which will make the land average about one bale to the acre. He also owns a herd of fine stock and horses, and over 100 hogs. January 17, 1882, Mr. Baldock was married to Miss Rosie P. Notgrass, a charming lady of Tennessee, and by this marriage has had three children: Mary Peete, Ella Maud and Derastus Norton. He is active in school matters, and has served as school director, believing that education should be within the reach of every child. Mr. Baldock is a pleasant and hospitable gentleman, whose genial manner has won for him a large circle of stanch and influential friends. He is a successful farmer, a valued citizen, and stands high in the estimation of the surrounding community. [Source: Goodspeed's History of Mississippi County, Arkansas, 1889, taken from Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northeast Arkansas 1889, The Goodspeed Publishing Company, Chicago, Nashville and St. Louis, p. 465.]
LOUIS REUBEN CHAMBERLAIN
Louis Reuben Chamberlain, of Carson Lake, Mississippi County, Arkansas was born at Kaskaskia, Randolph County, Illinois on 24 October 1854. He married Mittie Juanita Vandiver 19 May 1880 at Whitton, Mississippi County, Arkansas. As a young man he was employed in a store and for a time worked in the timberlands of Randolph County, Illinois. In later years he raised cotton at Carson Lake. He also served as postmaster and Justice of the Peace there. Mr. Chamberlain died at home 13 August 1901 and was buried in the Pittman Cemetery. Mrs. Chamberlain was born at Vanndale, Cross County, Arkansas 18 December 1859 and died at Carson Lake 18 December 1939. She was buried in Thayer City Cemetery, Thayer, Oregon County, Missouri in the family plot of their son, Reuben Grover Chamberlain. Children of Louis R. and Mittie J. Vandiver Chamberlain:
-- Fred Louis Chamberlain, cotton farmer, of Carson Lake, born 09 April 1882 at Steeleville, Randolph County, Illinois. Married Ora Edith Adams, daughter of Hilliard and Matilda Jane Myers Adams at Harrisburg, Poinsett County on 22 April 1926. He died 31 Oct 1960 and was buried in Bassett Cemetery. She was born 23 February 1900 at Philadelphia, Neshoba County, Mississippi and died 12 April 1998. She is buried at Bassett Cemetery. They had eight children.
-- John O. Chamberlain, of Carson Lake, born 25 May 1886 in Missouri; died at Carson Lake 12 February 1904. Buried Pittman Cemetery.
-- Reuben Grover Chamberlain, of Thayer, Missouri, Frisco Railway engineer, was born 13 March 1888 at Carson Lake and died 16 August 1918 at a hospital in Springfield, Greene County, Missouri as result of a railway accident near Marked Tree, Arkansas. He is buried at Thayer, Missouri. He married Ethel Gertrude Gamel, daughter of William and Melissa Rapert Gamel. She was born 12 May 1893 and died April 1977 at San Bernardino, California. They had two children.
-- Clarence Napoleon Chamberlain, cotton farmer, of Carson Lake, born there 17 September 1892. He married Frankie Steele, born 08 Feb 1897 at Cora City, Randolph County, Illinois, daughter of Edward and Deamer Gardner Steele. He died 19 March 1945 and is buried in Bassett Cemetery. She died Jan 1982 at Blytheville, Arkansas. They had nine children, two of which died as infants.
-- Effie M. Chamberlain, of Thayer, Missouri, was born at Carson Lake, 08 August 1894 and died at Thayer 24 Dec 1972. She married 30 April 1911, William Henry Jackson, who later was a conductor for the Frisco Railway. He was born 13 Aug 1889 and died 30 November 1972. Both are buried at Thayer City Cemetery. They had three children.
-- Leon H. Chamberlain, World War I Veteran, of Joiner, Arkansas was born at Carson Lake 11 December 1896 and died at the Veterans Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee 10 May 1970. He was buried in Bassett Cemetery. He was married to Jessie Gobel at Wilson, Mississippi County, Arkansas on 08 March 1926. They had no children.
[Submitted by Delos Reeds]
WILLIAM JOSHUA DRIVER
DRIVER, William Joshua, a Representative from Arkansas; born near Osceola, Mississippi County, Ark., March 2, 1873; attended the public schools; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1894 and commenced practice in Osceola, Ark.; member of the State house of representatives 1897-1899; judge of the second judicial circuit of Arkansas 1911-1918; member of the State constitutional convention in 1918; delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1932; elected as a Democrat to the Sixty-seventh and to the eight succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1921-January 3, 1939); unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1938; resumed the practice of law and also engaged in the banking business in Osceola, Ark., until his death there on October 1, 1948; interment in Violet Cemetery. –Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-present; transcribed by A. Newell.
CAPTAIN SAMUEL SPENCER SEMMES
Samuel Spencer Semmes was born in Cincinnati, O., March 4, 1838, and died at his home in Osceola, Ark., January 24, 1912. Although seventy-three years of age, to those who knew him best his end was untimely, and the sorrow occasioned by it has been felt by the entire community.
Captain Semmes was the eldest son of Admiral Raphael Semmes, of the Confederate navy, and his wife, Anne Spencer. He was reared in Mobile, Ala., and received his education at the Jesuit College (Spring Hill), near Mobile, from which institution he graduated in 1855. He was admitted to the bar in Washington County, Ala., in 1859, and subsequently graduated at the law school in New Orleans in 1860, in which city he was residing and practicing his profession when the war began. True to his convictions, he enlisted in the Confederate service as second lieutenant in the 1st Regiment of Louisiana Infantry (regular), commanded by Col. (afterwards General) A. H. Gladden, and was promoted to the rank of captain. He went through the war in the Army of Tennessee, participating in the battles of Shiloh, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Atlanta, and others.
At the close of the war Captain Semmes engaged in agricultural pursuits and in the practice of law in Southern Alabama. In 1874 he removed to Mississippi County, Ark., where he resided when he died.
Captain Semmes was elected county judge in 1882 and held the office one term. He helped to organize the Bank of Osceola, of which he was vice president. He also held other prominent offices in the business interests of the community, and at the time of his death was a candidate for county treasurer. During his residence in Mississippi County he had become one of its most valued citizens. He was gifted by nature with an indomitable spirit of perseverance which won him a leading place at the Osceola bar, where for thirty-eight years he practiced his profession. His love of his home, his books, and his flowers, together with his ability, moral courage, and integrity of character, were conspicuous qualities.
In 1863 Captain Semmes was married to a distant cousin, Miss Pauline Semmes, daughter of Gen. Paul J. Semmes, of Columbus, Ga. (killed at the battle of Gettysburg), and to them were born five children--three sons and two daughters. His wife died in 1877, and his second marriage took place in 1881 to Miss Frances Morris of Osceola.
Captain Semmes was a devoted member of the Catholic Church, to which three of his children had dedicated their lives. The funeral service was conducted by his son, Rev. Father Semmes, in the church which had been built principally by Captain Semmes, and two of his sons served the mass.
-- Mrs. Alyce J. Cole and Mrs. Roberta Friend Eberhart were selected as a committee to present this sketch of the life of Capt. S. S. Semmes of Osceola, Ark., with resolutions expressive of the sorrow of the Anne Spencer Semmes Chapter, U. D. C., of Wilson, Ark., on his death. [-- Confederate Veteran, Vol. 20, Issue 4, 1912, p. 180; transcribed by A. Newell.]
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