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.]
BEN F. BUTLER
Ben F. Butler can truly be called a native son of Osceola, Mississippi County, Arkansas. He is closely associated with the early history of the community. The families of both his father and his mother bent all their energies and struggled bravely for homes of their own in the days when personal physical heroism and unyielding will played an important part. Mr. Butler is well established as a business man and civic leader in Osceola. He holds the franchise for the implement business of the International Harvester Company in what is an active agricultural region, as Mississippi County leads all counties in the United States in the production of cotton. He has served four terms as Mayor of Osceola and was reelected to this office April 5, 1946.
On January 29, 1894, Ben F. Butler was born in Osceola, Mississippi County, Arkansas. His father, Clarence E. Butler, was a pioneer of this section, having been born in Osceola. He was Assessor for the St. Francis Levee Board for sixteen years and County Assessor for two years. Ben F. Butler was named for his grandfather who was a merchant and is credited with having built the first business section in Osceola. Ada E. (Bragg) Butler, mother of Ben F. Butler, was the daughter of T. P. Bragg, planter, who migrated from South Carolina to become one of the early settlers of Osceola.
Ben F. Butler attended public school close to his home and in 1913 graduated from Morgan Preparatory School, Fayetteville, Tennessee. His first employment was as a cotton clerk for the Frisco Railroad. After a year at this work he obtained a position as sales manager for the Holliper Motor Company, where he remained for the next three years. Mr. Butler then spent four years as Vice-President and Manager of the Osceola Motor Company, Ford Dealers.
In 1929 Ben F. Butler became associated with the International Harvester Company and in 1933 he bought the franchise. He is keen and progressive and does an increasingly large volume of business. His agency is well housed in modern and commodious quarters. Mr. Butler is a cordial and competent business man. He studies the needs of his customers carefully so that they feel they have his friendly and sincere co-operation.
In June, 1919, Ben F. Butler was married, to Irene Tidwell of Memphis, Tennessee. Mrs. Butler is an active member of the P. E. O. Mr. and Mrs. Butler are the parents of two sons: Ben F. Butler, Jr., born on August 25, 1925, and George Eugene Butler, born May 11, 1927. Both boys attended the University of Arkansas, and both are members of Sigma Chi. Ben, Jr. has recently been discharged from the Navy, after serving twenty-five months, twelve months of which were spent aboard an aircraft carrier. George Eugene Butler served in the United States Navy. He received his discharge August 1, 1946 and entered the University of Arkansas.
In addition to conducting the affairs of his own business, Mr. Butler is a Director of the Joiner Lumber Company. During the first World War he served in the Navy for thirteen months. He is Past President of Osceola Civic Club and Past President of Osceola Rotary Club. Mr. Butler worships at the Baptist Church. He has served as a member of the School Board for a period of fourteen years, and is now President. He was formerly a commissioner of the State Flood Control Commission. Ben F. Butler is in all respects a public-spirited and progressive citizen. He has always supported measures looking towards the advancement of civic affairs, and takes a pride in every improvement secured. [Source: "Annals of Arkansas," by Dallas T. Herndon, published 1967; transcribed by G.T. Transcription Team]
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]
FRED RUTLEDGE CHILD, D.D.S., F.A.C.D.
Dr. Fred Rutledge Child stands at the top of the dental profession in Arkansas. His outstanding ability and enviable record in the practice of his profession have won for him the presidency of the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners, of which body he became a member in 1942. He was for fourteen years Secretary of Northeast Arkansas Dental Society. Dr. Child also served one term as Vice President of the Arkansas Dental Association, meanwhile carrying or a large practice in his office and laboratory at Blytheville, Arkansas.
On August, 5, 1902, Fred Rutledge Child was born in Knox County, Tennessee, the son of A. O. Child and Sarah (Rutledge) Child. His father, who was a native of Bristol, England, came to the United States as a young man nineteen years of age, and followed the occupation of farming. He married Sarah Rutledge, who was born in Scott County, Virginia, and became the father of ten children. Fred Rutledge was the seventh in this family, and spent his boyhood at Powell, Tennessee, where he attended public grade and high schools.
The professional training of Fred Rutledge Child was obtained at the University of Tennessee Dental College at Memphis, Tennessee, from which he graduated with the degree of D. D. S. in 1924. He was active in sports, and was a member of the college football team. During his college years he became a member of Delta Sigma Delta Dental Fraternity.
Dr. Fred R. Child began the practice of dentistry in Jonesboro, Arkansas, where he remained for six years before removing to Blytheville in 1931, in which city he has practiced continuously since that time. His modern office and laboratory contain the most modern scientific equipment, and Dr. Child has continued to study and experiment, keeping abreast of every modern development. He is a man of an open and inquiring mind, quick to evaluate properly all new ideas and developments. His reputation as one of the finest dentists in the state was built on a foundation of thorough technical and professional training, to which has been added constant study of all new developments in his field, and the experience gained in handling the constantly increasing number of patients who wish to avail themselves of his expert services. He is a thorough believer in the beneficial results obtained from mutual cooperation and exchange of ideas among members of the dental profession, and has always been active in organizations which tend to raise the standards and increase the knowledge and efficiency of their members. His qualities of leadership and professional ability have given him a position of prominence in all organizations with which he has been identified.
Dr. Fred Rutledge Child began his professional career and his married life the same year. In 1924 he married Marian Mason, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Mason of Jonesboro, Arkansas. Their seven children are Barbara, born March 18, 1925; Rosemary, born May 18, 1927; Patricia, born March 18, 1930; Carolyn, born November 21, 1931; Fred, Jr., born March 18, 1933; Marguerite, born January 24, 1935; and Sarah, born November 1, 1937.
Dr. Child has used his talents for organization in civic as well as in professional organizations. He is a Past President of the Lions Club, and a. valued member of the Blytheville Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the College of Dentists, F. A. C. D. He always finds time to discharge his religious obligations to the Church of the Immaculate Conception, of which he is a communicant, and indulges in the hobby of wood working and cabinet making, to which he brings the dexterity and facility which have been so large a factor in his skill as a practicing dentist. His political affiliation is with the Democratic party. [Source: "Annals of Arkansas," by Dallas T. Herndon, published 1967; transcribed by G.T. Transcription Team]
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]
BOYCE ALEXANDER DRUMMOND
Little Rock - or, more correctly, all Arkansas - has known two Drummonds. The State and its capital city have also known for her interests outside her home and her public-spirited sponsorship of music and educational progress, at least one Mrs. Boyce Alexander Drummond, member of a family dating to Revolutionary Days, state-wide leader in the parent-teacher movement and president of the R. F. Drummond Undertaking Company in Little Rock.
The first Boyce Alexander Drummond, now deceased, was the husband of the famed senior Mrs. Drummond. The second is her and his son, the Boyce Alexander Drummond who, at the time of this writing (Fall, 1945), was a Lieutenant, Junior Grade, in the United States Navy and who, having served in the European Theater of Operations and since victory for the United Nations came there, was enroute to the Pacific to participate in the post-war control of defeated Japan. An illustrious pair of Boyce Alexander Drummonds, with an illustrious wife and mother to guide and inspire them to maintain the family name on its high plane.
The senior, or first, Boyce Alexander Drummond was born in Newport, Arkansas, July 3, 1893. He obtained his first schooling at Newport, then continued in Little Rock, where he was graduated from the Little Rock High School and, afterward, from Draughons Business College, also located in the capital. His first position was that of traveling manager in the traffic department of the Arkansas Telephone Company. But, resigning this, he returned to Newport, where he accepted his father's invitation to join him in the operation of the Drummond Undertaking Company. In the four years he was his father's associate, he discovered he was really interested in and had an aptitude for the business, but required additional training to assure himself a successful career as a practitioner. To obtain this training, he went to an embalming school at Cincinnati, Ohio, and, when he was graduated from this, he returned to Newport for one more year's experience in his father's mortuary. Then he moved to Little Rock and with his father opened the R. F. Drummond Undertaking Company. Since then the business has grown rapidly, first under Mr. Drummond's own guidance and, more recently, under that of his wife. Mr. Drummond became not only one of the capital's and State's best known funeral directors, but a man prominent in numerous state-wide affairs. He was a leader in Masonic circles, being a member of the Blue Lodge, the Arkansas Consistory and Scimitar Temple of the Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He was also a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Grotto, the Young Men's Business Club of Little Rock and the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies were his home, his family and flowers. On June 24, 1943, a week before his fiftieth birthday, Boyce Alexander Drummond died.
On October 28, 1915, when he was twenty-two, Mr. Drummond married Carmeta Sanders, member of an old American family. She was born in Quitman, Arkansas, on September 21, 1894. After attending public and high school at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, she went to Ouachita College, in Arkadelphia, where she majored in art and home economics, graduating with honors. Her marriage followed soon afterward, but while she was looking after her husband, managing a home and raising a family, her interest in art and music and education did not wane. On September 2, 1916, her first child, Carmeta, was born. Then came Christina, born on December 25, 1918, and on 'September 21, 1921, his birth date being the same as his mother's, Boyce Alexander Drummond, Jr., was born. Carmeta Drummond, now Mrs. Raymond S. Duvall, of Dallas, Texas, is a graduate of the elementary and high schools of Little Rock and of Texas State College for Women at Denton, where she majored in ceramics and from which she received the degrees of Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts. For several years she was a teacher, first in Houston, Texas, then at Ouachita College, her mother's alma mater at Arkadelphia. On May 10, 1942, she and Raymond S. Duvall were married. Mr. Duvall was born in Dallas and attended the grade and high schools of his native city, after which he went to Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Following graduation from the University, he was credit manager for the Borden Milk Company in Dallas until he enlisted in the United States Navy. In 1945, he was holding the commission of Lieutenant and his base was New Caledonia, in the Southwest Pacific. Christina Drummond, after attending the elementary and high schools of her native Little Rock, also went to Texas State College for Women. There she majored in sociology. Following graduation, she took post-graduate study in social work at Tulane University in New Orleans. For four years thereafter she was a social worker in the child welfare field in Mississippi County, Arkansas, with headquarters at Blytheville. In 1945, she became an executive of the Travelers Aid Society branch in Little Rock. On August 15, 1942, she was married to Thomas Richardson Pinckney, of Little Rock. Mr. Pinckney, also a graduate of the Capital's elementary and high schools, is an alumnus of both Magnolia Agricultural and Mechanical College, at Magnolia, Arkansas, and of Southwestern University, at Natchitoches, Louisiana, confining himself, at the latter, to the liberal arts curriculum. His first job was with the Raumond Rebsamen Auto Company, after which he became assistant manager of the Joseph Taylor Robinson Memorial Auditorium. He was with the last-named when he enlisted in the United States Army. Like his three brothers-in-law, he is in the Pacific - a Technical Sergeant with the Air Service Group, Southwest Pacific theater of operations, based at Guam. Boyce Alexander Drummond, Jr., also received his early education in Little Rock's grade and high schools. After graduating from the high school, he went to Baylor University, at Waco, Texas, from which he was graduated after studying government, political economics and science, dramatics and radio. Enlisting in the Navy, he was accepted for V-12 Technical Training at Columbia University, in New York City, and in 1943 was commissioned an Ensign. In 1945, he was a Lieutenant, Junior Grade, and, as mentioned before, was seeing service in a second theater of war, now a second theater of conquest, liberation and occupation by American and other Allied troops. On October 24, 1944, Lieutenant Drummond and Billy Gene Thornton were married. Young Mrs. Drummond, born on September 17, 1922, is also a graduate of Baylor University. She majored there in dramatics. Before her marriage she taught this subject at Dennison High School, Dennison, Texas. Mr. and Mrs. Boyce A. Drummond, Jr. have a son, Boyce A. Drummond, III, born February 28, 1946.
Mrs. Boyce Alexander, Sr., worked closely with her late husband, helping him in his business and at the same time maintaining and constantly increasing her activity and leadership in the community. On his death in 1943, she assumed the presidency of the business and its management. Her prominence is statewide. A leader in Parent Teacher Association activities, she has been President at three different schools in Little Rock, and held office in the State P. T. A. organization. For fourteen years she sponsored the Little Rock High School band and became president of the State Band & Orchestra Club, the Little Rock Musical Cortriere and the Little Rock Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She is also a member of the Little Rock Women's Chamber of Commerce, the Little Rock Women's Civic City Club, the Original Club and the Ouachita College Club. She is a Baptist and a Democrat. A lover of the outdoors, she pursues fishing as a hobby.
The Drummond name, whether at home in Arkansas or at far-off battle fronts, constantly gains a new luster through the selfless activities of Mrs. Boyce Alexander Drummond, Sr., and of her son, Boyce Alexander Drummond, Jr., and through the courage and ability of her sons-in-law and her daughters. Together, the living Drummonds and their closely-tied relatives add new brilliance to the heritage left by the late Boyce Alexander Drummond, Sr. [Source: "Annals of Arkansas," by Dallas T. Herndon, published 1967; transcribed by G.T. Transcription Team]
JOHN P. EDRINGTON
EDRINGTON, John Price, investments and insurance; born Osceola, Ark., Jan. 15, 1862; English descent; son of James Hancock and Nancy Ann (Bowen) Edrington; father a planter and merchant; paternal grandparents John Price and Sarah (Beeler) Edrington; maternal grandparents Charles Gillespie and Susan (Shell) Bowen; educated at Memphis, Tenn.; graduated from J.D. Stewart’s University School, in 1878; in early life was secretary and treasurer Memphis Grocery Co.; married Jennie Walters Bethell Nov. 25, 1891; president Waponoca Outing Club; member Tennessee, Chickasaw, Business Men’s, Country and Gun Clubs; Democrat; president Insurance Underwriters; former member Chickasaw Guards; won title of "Southern Golf Champion" over the links of the Memphis Country Club, May 29, 1909; director Memphis Hotel Co., State National Bank, secretary and treasurer Memphis Driving Park Club, vice-president Southern Investment Co., and secretary and treasurer Levenworth Electric Ry. Co.; member of First Congregational church, Memphis, Tenn. [Source: Who’s Who in Tennessee, Memphis: Paul & Douglass Co., Publishers, 1911; transcribed by Kim Mohler]
Hon. ROLAND GREEN
The Hon. Roland Green, county judge of Mississippi County, Arkansas, is widely recognized as a broadminded man of sound judgment, keen discernment and marked sagacity. His freedom from ostentation or display is the very essence of simplicity, and the honor and prominence which he did not demand for himself came to him as the free will offering of those among whom he labored. Judge Green has held many important public offices, culminating with his present responsible position. Business in his court is always dispatched with promptness, and yet with that care that makes for justice. He is ever an attentive listener to both sides of controversy, and does without hesitation brush aside the mere technicalities of the law, for which he has much less respect than for substantial merits.
On July 7, 1893, Roland Green was born in Lauderdale County, Tennessee. His father, George R. Green, was a native of Tennessee, where he was a farmer. Later he established himself in the hotel business in Blytheville, Arkansas, and Osceola, Arkansas. Mary (Bragg) Green, mother of Roland Green, was a native of Tennessee.
Roland Green was seven years of age when the family moved from Tennessee to Blytheville, Arkansas. He completed his public school work at Blytheville, and then studied for two years at Hendrix College, Conway, Arkansas. While a student at Hendrix he gained considerable reputation on the football field and baseball diamond. After leaving Hendrix College Roland Green took a business course in Memphis, Tennessee. After completing his education, Roland Green began farming on rented land in Mississippi County, Arkansas. He was a good farmer, practical and thrifty, and with his savings he purchased land. Today Judge Green owns five hundred and fifty-six acres of fine delta farmland which he rents out on a cash basis.
In 1926 Roland Green was elected County Treasurer of Mississippi County. His services met with approbation and the voters returned him to office in 1928, 1930, 1932, 1934 and 1936, this term being completed in 1938. During the years 1939 and 1940 he was Deputy County Treasurer. In 1940 he was elected County Judge and took office in 1941. He was re-elected in 1942 and again in 1944. When the Hon. Roland Green became County Judge the County owed ninety thousand dollars and its script was selling at sixty cents on the dollar. Now Mississippi County is entirely out of debt and has a large surplus. All of its obligations are now quoted at par value. Throughout his public life the program of Roland Green has been one of economy with progress. He has been responsible for the acquisition of much new machinery and great improvements to the county highway system have been made by new roads and bridges. Judge Green has many times been a delegate to the state convention of the Democratic party. He is a Director of the First National Bank of Blytheville.
On October 10, 1916, Roland Green was married to Myrtle Mae Maxwell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. M. B. Maxwell of Osceola, Arkansas. Judge Green has been a member of the Board of Stewards of the Methodist Church for over thirty years. In Masonry Judge Green has attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite, belonging to the Consistory at Pine Bluff. He is also a Noble of the Mystic Shrine, his membership being with Sahara Temple Shrine at Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Public opinion, rarely at fault in the estimation of character and ability, has placed Judge Roland Green in a position of distinction. His powers have continually been brought to bear not only for the benefit of individual interests but for the rights of city and county progress. [Source: "Annals of Arkansas," by Dallas T. Herndon, published 1967; transcribed by G.T. Transcription Team]
J. ALEXANDER LEECH
One of the most modern bottling plants in Arkansas is the Coca-Cola plant in Blytheville which is owned by the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of which J. Alexander Leech is President. Twenty-five years ago Mr. Leech purchased the Coca-Cola franchise. With sincere belief in the excellence of his product he combines efficient service with enthusiastic salesmanship, and has had the satisfaction of seeing his business steadily increase. Mr. Leech is not only a prominent industrialist of Blytheville, Arkansas, but is a leader as well in the development and conduct of many institutions of ennobling influence. His keen, practical insight, his sound judgment and his disinterested counsel are valued and generally utilized, and his personality is strong, inspiring and elevating.
On July 19, 1891, J. Alexander Leech was born in Wingo, Kentucky. His father, William Henry Leech, was a native of Kentucky where he was a farmer and stockman. The family had long been settled in Kentucky, and originally came to that state from Virginia and North Carolina. Kate (Alexander) Leech, mother of J. A. Leech, was born in Henry, Tennessee.
J. Alexander Leech grew up in Wingo, Kentucky, where he attended public school. He graduated from high school in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and then enrolled at the University of Kentucky where he became a member of Phi Kappa Alpha fraternity.
During World War I, J. Alexander Leech served in the United States Army. After the war he went to Carruthersville, Missouri, where for two and one-half years he was connected with a building and loan association. In 1921 Mr. Leech purchased the Coca-Cola franchise and equipment in Blytheville, Arkansas, and since that time he has devoted himself entirely to the management of his expanding business. From 1921 until 1932 he was the sole owner of the business. On January 1, 1932 the business was incorporated and Mr. Leech became president of the corporation, continuing in that capacity to the present time. They soon outgrew the premises he had taken over, and in 1938 Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Blytheville built one of the finest and most modern bottling plants in the state of Arkansas. Their Coca-Cola franchise covers part of Dunklin County, Missouri, part of New Madrid County, Missouri, all of Pemiscot County, Missouri, and part of Mississippi County, Arkansas. Mr. Leech employs an average of thirty-five people.
On June 30, 1915, J. Alexander Leech was married to Adele Flint of Wingo, Kentucky. They worship at the Blytheville Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Leech is a member of the P. E. O. Mr. Leech is a Past President and now a director of the Blytheville Chamber of Commerce. He is also a Past President of the Rotary Club. He has been a member of the Blytheville Board of Education for fifteen years. The political affiliation of Mr. Leech is with the Democratic party. He holds membership in the American Legion, and also belongs to the Blytheville Country Club. Mr. Leech is a member of the Arkansas Bottlers of Carbonated Beverages. His fraternal connection is with the Masonic Order, and in addition to his Blue Lodge he belongs to the Royal Arch, the Knights Templar and has also crossed the sands of the desert with the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, holding membership with the Rizpah Temple Shrine at Madisonville, Kentucky. J. Alexander Leech is one of the sound, conservative men of his community, and has placed it under a heavy debt to him both as a private citizen and public official. [Source: "Annals of Arkansas," by Dallas T. Herndon, published 1967; transcribed by G.T. Transcription Team]
WILLIAM WATHEN PREWITT, LL. B.
W. Wathen Prewitt has found success and honor in the place of his birth, Osceola, Mississippi County, Arkansas. Back in 1910 he commenced the practice of law in Osceola and has advanced far in his chosen profession. He is a partner in the firm of Prewitt-Rogers Abstract Company. Mr. Prewitt has been one of the most influential workers for civic betterment in Osceola. He has received from his fellow citizens the highest civic tribute in their power to bestow - election to the office of Mayor of Osceola. This office Mr. Prewitt held for four years in a manner so competent and efficient as to amply repay the confidence of those who regard him with such deep affection and genuine respect.
William Wathen Prewitt was born in Osceola, Mississippi County, Arkansas, on August 27, 1889. His father, Dr. R. C. Prewitt, was a native of Clarksville, Pike County, Missouri. He was educated in the public schools of his native county. Upon the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 he enlisted in the Confederate Army and was sent to Southwestern Missouri. He was active in the battles of Fulton, Mount Zion, Wilson's Creek and Lexington, and in the latter battle was taken prisoner. He was released shortly and given the liberty of the city of St. Louis, during which time, 1862 and 1863, he attended the old St. Louis Medical College. In January, 1864, he went to Kentucky, located at Athens, and there began the active practice of medicine. In October of the same year he was married to Sallie C. Stephens. Dr. Prewitt continued to practice in Athens until 1869 returning to his old home. In 1873 he located at Helena, Arkansas. After four years of practice in that place he came to Osceola where for over forty-five years he was in active and successful practice in the community. Dr. Prewitt was one of the foremost members of the medical profession in Mississippi County and enjoyed the confidence and respect of all with whom he came in contact. He was sincerely mourned when he passed away on October 27, 1923. Sallie C. (Stephens) Prewitt, mother of W. Wathen Prewitt, was born in Lexington, Kentucky, and died in April, 1926.
W. Wathen Prewitt received his education in the schools of Osceola and after graduating from Osceola High School with the class of 1905, he enrolled in the State University of Kentucky, from which institution he was graduated with the LL.B. degree in 1910. Mr. Prewitt passed the bar examination of both Kentucky and Arkansas. Returning to Osceola he immediately established himself in the practice of his chosen profession, and in 1915 formed a co-partnership with W. B. Flannigan and founded the firm of Flannigan & Prewitt, Abstracts and Loans. Two years later that association was dissolved and Mr. Prewitt, in 1917, established the Prewitt Abstract and Loan Company, and in 1923 merged with Roger Nolen Abstract Company under the firm name of Prewitt-Rogers Abstract Company. He has won remarkable success both as a lawyer and business man and is one of Osceola's most practical, progressive and substantial citizens. During 1911 and 1912 Mr. Prewitt was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney under the Hon. T. H. Caraway.
On June 15, 1911, William Wathen Prewitt was married to Louise Johnson, a native of Lexington, Kentucky. Mrs. Prewitt is prominent in the club and social affairs of Osceola and is an active worker in the interests of the Episcopal Church. Mr. and Mrs. Prewitt are the parents of two sons. William Wathen, Jr., was born on February 6, 1923. He attended public grade and high school at Osceola. Richard E. Prewitt was born October 9, 1926 and graduated at Osceola High School. Following this he enrolled for one year at Arkansas Technical College, Russellville, Arkansas. He then entered the University of Arkansas and had completed one semester of his sophomore year when he volunteered for service in the Air Corps. He was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity. On April 15, 1944, Richard E. Prewitt was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and attached to the 316th Troop Carrier Command. He gained promotion to First Lieutenant on November 15, 1945, and later served as Assistant Operations Officer at Wheeler Field, Honolulu. He returned home from the service on August 10, 1946 and has resumed his studies at the University of Arkansas. The first son of Mr. and Mrs. Prewitt is operations engineer at the Leland (Miss.) Municipal Light and Power Plant. He is married and has one son, William Wathen Prewitt, III.
Mr. Prewitt is a member of the Osceola Bar Association. He is affiliated with the Woodmen of the World and was a delegate to the Sovereign Camp convention held in New York City in 1921. Mr. Prewitt has had long and active association with the Masonic Order. His Blue Lodge is Osceola Lodge No. 27, Free and Accepted Masons of which he is Past Master. He has held office as Secretary of Osceola Chapter No. 57, Royal Arch Masons and has also served as Deputy Master of Osceola Council, Royal and Select Masters. He is a member of Ivanhoe Commandery, No. 18, Knights Templar, of Jonesboro and belongs to Sahara Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The political affiliation of Mr. Prewitt is with the Democratic party. He is a Warden and Lay Reader of the Episcopal Church. He is a Past President of the Osceola Rotary Club. The record of civic service compiled by Mr. Prewitt is unusual. He has been Fire Chief of Osceola for the past twenty years and actively engaged in the direction of fire fighting. He has always been a strong advocate of education and served as President of Osceola School Board for sixteen years. He has the distinction of being the first graduate of the Osceola schools to serve on the school board. Mr. Prewitt serves as a member of Osceola City Council and had a long record of usefulness as City Treasurer. He climaxed his career of city service by presiding as Mayor of Osceola for four years. He has directed his energies through the years towards an advancement of Osceola through the securing of local improvements and the development of natural advantages. Mr. Prewitt has labored consistently and energetically not only to win success but to make his life a source of benefit to his fellowman. [Source: "Annals of Arkansas," by Dallas T. Herndon, published 1967; transcribed by G.T. Transcription Team]
WILLIAM P. PRYOR
William Paul Pryor has been connected with the J. C. Penney Company for over twenty years, and since 1940 he has been manager of their store at Blytheville, Arkansas. When he received the promotion to Blytheville he was not yet thirty years old, but the Company had confidence in his ability and integrity, and he has fully lived up to their estimation. Both as a business man and citizen Mr. Pryor has made his mark in the bustling city of Blytheville. Few men are so deservedly popular as Paul Pryor. He is constantly doing things for other people, not with any prospect of personal or material gain, but because he has always found deep satisfaction in welcoming the stranger and creating an atmosphere of good will.
On March 20, 1903, William Paul Pryor was born at Pickneyville, Illinois. His father, Ralph Waldo Pryor, was the son of a Baptist minister. Cora Maude (Fife) Pryor, mother of William Pryor, was a native of Illinois.
When Paul Pryor was nine years old he moved with the family to Parsons, Kansas, where his father was a trainmaster on the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad. Paul Pryor went to public grade school and high school in Parsons. As a boy he was a star baseball player and when his school days were over he played semi-professional baseball for three years. When he was twenty-two years old William Paul Pryor was employed by the J. C. Penney Company as manager of the men's wear department in their store at Texarkana, Arkansas. Mr. Pryor remained there until 1929, when he was transferred to the company's store at Arkadelphia, Arkansas, as assistant manager. After three years he again received merited promotion, this time to the managership of the J. C. Penney store at Arkadelphia, Arkansas, which is the position he held until January, 1940. He was then transferred to the Blytheville store, Blytheville, Arkansas, as manager.
On July 5, 1927, William Paul Pryor was married at Texarkana, Texas, to Marguerite Elizabeth Seeman, whose father was a farmer and native of India.na. Mr. and Mrs. Pryor are the parents of a daughter, Melba Jean, who was born on June 5, 1933. She is now a student in the Blytheville High School. Mrs. Pryor is Director of a Girl Scout Troop. She is also active in the Parent-Teacher Association and is Corresponding Secretary for the local Women's Christian Service Society of the Blytheville Methodist Church.
Mr. Pryor is a Past Vice-President and at present is President of the Lions Club. Throughout his life Paul Pryor has exemplified the beneficent spirit of the Masonic craft. He has attained the Knights Templar degree of the York Rite and the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite. He is past President of the Blytheville Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Board of Stewards of the Methodist Church. Mr. Pryor is an enthusiastic fisherman. Seldom is a community fortunate enough to have two civic leaders from one home, yet Mr. and Mrs. Pryor are equally alert and active in public affairs. Mrs. Pryor possesses great executive talent as well as courteous, kindly, unassuming and truly womanly qualities. Paul Pryor is an energetic, sound and reliable business man, and is one of the representative citizens of Blytheville, Arkansas. [Source: "Annals of Arkansas," by Dallas T. Herndon, published 1967; transcribed by G.T. Transcription Team]
JACK FINLEY ROBINSON
Jack Finley Robinson is a young man, but he has already encompassed a full measure of accomplishment. He has made his mark in public life, in business and as an officer in the service of his country. Jack Robinson is treading in the footsteps of his forebears. They were notable men not only in civic and business circles but in the armed defense of those causes they deemed just. Mr. Robinson has been recently welcomed home to Blytheville, Arkansas, where he is resuming business activity interrupted by war. Here he will once again add to the notable record of accomplishment compiled by his ancestors in the early days of the development of Blytheville and Mississippi County, Arkansas.
On August 5, 1911, Jack Finley Robinson was born in Barfield, Arkansas. He was the oldest of a family of three. His two sisters, Mrs. Hugh Whitsitt and Mary Adah Robinson, both reside in Blytheville. His father, Dr. Finley A. Robinson, was born in Winchester, Tennessee, in 1881. He came with his family to live in Barfield, Arkansas, when he was nine years old. After graduating in medicine from the University of Tennessee he returned to Barfield where he established a practice which continued until he retired recently. Dr. Robinson at one time was owner of Robinson's Drug Store and was President of the Peoples' Bank. Mary (Gunter) Lee Robinson, mother of Jack Robinson, was born in Tennessee and when she was young she moved with her parents to Osceola, Arkansas. She passed away in 1930. Mrs. Robinson was a gifted woman, highly cultured and gracious in manner. She was President of the Missionary Society, President of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and President of the Parent Teacher Association. She taught school before her marriage. A great-aunt of Jack Finley Robinson's was former owner and publisher of the Osceola Times.
Thomas H. Robinson, great grandfather of Jack Robinson, was a man who contributed a great deal to the early development of the State of Arkansas. He was a merchant and because he was civic-minded he led many progressive movements. He was a sociable man who encouraged his neighbors and customers to talk. The result was that he had an unusual knowledge of the hopes and aspirations of people about him. He was ever ready to encourage and assist in personal or community problems. At the outbreak of the war he enlisted but was mustered out in 1852 due to ill health. He felt strongly about the issues at stake and chafed at his enforced position on the sidelines. In 1868 he rejoiced when he was accepted again as a volunteer to fight for the cause he believed to be right. Thomas Robinson lived almost all his life in Blytheville and though he died at the early age of forty-five he left the permanent imprint of his good works on the records of the city and county.
Jack Robinson graduated from high school in Blytheville and then attended the University of Florida and the University of Arkansas. He took a pre-legal course, completing his schooling in 1932. While in college he became a member of Theta Chi fraternity. Jack Robinson was an active participant in athletics. He played tennis, football and baseball and at present is rated as a first-class tennis player. In 1938 Mr. Robinson acquired ownership of the Barfield Sand and Gravel Company. He operated this concern profitably until 1942 when he entered the armed service of the United States. He was assigned to Officer's Candidate School where he was commissioned Second Lieutenant on August 8, 1942. On June 1, 1943, he gained promotion to First Lieutenant and when he received his release from service on January 12, 1946 he had the rank of Major. He served with the Second Army for eight months and then was transferred to the Eighth Air Force. He served as a liaison officer between flying personnel and supply outlets as a specialist in new and modern flying clothing.
Before entering the service Jack Robinson held office as Mississippi County Treasurer. His original tenure office which began in 1940 was extended until 1944 by virtue of a leave of absence granted by former Governor H. Atkins. Mr. Robinson was the youngest man in the county to hold a public office.
Mr. Robinson owns over a thousand acres of farmland which he has rented out. He is a former Vice-President of the Lions Club and is Vice-Chairman of the Board of Stewards of the Methodist Church. His fraternal affiliation is with the Masonic Order. Belonging to a family that is prominent in Mississippi County history, Jack Finley Robinson is proving worthy of the name he bears, and is adding laurels to it by his keen business comprehension and financial acumen. It is said by those who know him that he can call more people by name than any man living in Mississippi County today. (1946) [Source: "Annals of Arkansas," by Dallas T. Herndon, published 1967; transcribed by G.T. Transcription Team]
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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