Claiborne Parish, Louisiana History and Genealogy
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In April, 1869, Gov. Warmoth's commission to John L. Lewis, as judge of the Eleventh District, was read in court. N. J. Sandlin was district attorney. On the opening of the fall term of court, October 20, 1869, the case of the State vs. J. L. Lewis was presented. The new judge delivered an opinion which resembled somewhat the alleged resolution of the Pilgrims in 1620, as it, pointed out " The land belongs to the saints, and we are the saints." This opinion explained that in April, 1869, Judge Drew (who was commissioned parish judge in 1809, by Warmoth, was at loggerheads with N. J. Scott, who was elected in 1868 to the same office) refused to try the case against Lewis, when it was continued to the present term.
Parish Judge Scott was present in October, 1869, but the presiding judge (Lewis) refused to recognize his authority or call upon him, as, on May 9, 1869, he (Scott) surrendered the office of parish judge to H. A. Drew. Having shown so much, he proceeded to dispose of the docket.
I n November, 1869, Parish Judge Scott took the place of Lewis ad hoc, and refused to entertain a motion for a non-suit, but tried the case and gave judgment for the commonwealth. An appeal was at once entered, but before it could be disposed of Gov. Warmoth commissioned James Constantino Egan 'judge of the Eleventh District on March 18, 1870. In April Green Smith was found guilty of murder. In October, 1870, W. Jasper Blackburn was parish judge; Prince Spencer was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to three years in the penitentiary. In April, 1871, J. S. Young was parish judge, and W. F. Aycock, sheriff. The trial of Troy Harrison for the murder of J. M. Burns (January 1, 1871) was commenced. In April, 1873, J. E. Trimble presided as judge, with John A. Richardson, district clerk; N. J. Scott, parish judge; W. F. Aycock, sheriff, and J. E. Ramsey, recorder. In April, 1877,
Judge E. M. Graham opened court here; H. W. Kirkpatrick was sheriff; Drew Ferguson, clerk (succeeding S. D. Spann), and J. E. Ramsey, recorder, who served until January, 1880, when the office was merged into the district clerk's office. The report of the grand jury referred to the small number of bills presented; crediting the peaceable condition of affairs to the unquestionable establishment of the lawful government of Louisiana, and to the wise administration of Gov. Nichols. The jurors were not so happy in their fall expressions, as, on October 20, the report deals with the horrible murder committed near Homer. In the fall of 1879 resolutions on the death of Robert T. Vaughan appear on the record, signed by John Young, J. S. Young and E. H. McClendon. Allen Barksdale was district attorney in September, 1880, and J. H. M. Taylor, sheriff. The district was now known as the Third. In June, 1884, Judge John Young presented his commission, and District Attorney E. H. McClendon qualified for that office. On August 27, 1888, Judge Allen Barksdale was present, having been elected in April of that year.
The first homicide in the parish was that of Bryant, by his brother-in-law, Sapp. The latter tied to the Indian nation and escaped the law. Shortly after, Sloan, a trader from north of the State line, was murdered by John Halthouser, at a point eight miles east of Minden. This led to the trial of Halthouser in 1835, and his execution at Russellville in 1835 by Sheriff Dyer. Then followed the assault on Miss Demos, a girl of eighteen years, by one Lambright Not content with assaulting her, he murdered her in the most cruel manner, left some evidences of his guilt, was arrested, but while waiting trial escaped from the jail and fled to Texas.
During the occupation of the country by the carpet-bag element, murders were ordinary affairs, and even down to the present time the parish is far from being freed of those passionate men, who, in their rage, think nothing of human life. In January, 1873, a negro named Henry Moore, assaulted and murdered Mrs. Kidd, who resided near Athens. A number of white men hunted down the brute, gave him a fair trial and hanged him. On July 31, 1879, a negro named Martin, killed one white girl and assaulted another. The people gave pursuit and, capturing him, hanged him with little ceremony. A few similar crimes mark the record of the last decade. In September, 1889, Deputy Sheriff Brown arrested Adams, who escaped from the penitentiary in May, and coming to Ward 1, married a young woman near Lisbon; he murdered his father-in-law in Winn Parish in 1887, and received a life sentence.
On the inside of the cover of the court record 1857-67, is the first roll of attorneys known to have been made in connection with the bar of Claiborne. The names given are as follows: Tillinghast Vaughan,* J. M. Thompson, in Texas; Henry Gray, Bienville; John Young, now senior member of the bar; J. D. Watkins, Webster; A. B. George, appellate judge: G. W. Oliver,* A. C. Hill, Texas; N. J. Scott, Bienville; G. M. Killgore,* Col. John S. Young, Shreveport; P. Vaughan,* J. E. Monk, L. B. Watkins, supreme court; J. G. McKinzie, Webster; W. B. Egan,* Micajah Martin,* Texas; James C. Egan, judge of Fourth District; J. W. Wilson,* W. F. Blackman, judge at Alexandria; W. E. Paxton,* T. E. Paxton,* G. L. Jones,* Joseph Pierson,* David Pierson, at Natchitoches; and H. L. Pierson, at Natchitoches. The lawyers admitted since 1867 are Robert T. Vaughan,* J. W. Young,* Drayton B. Hayes,* John A. Richardson, E. H. McClendon, J. E. Hulse, J. W. Halbert, J. E. Moore and C. W. Seals.
In 1868 W. Jasper Blackburn, so well described by W. H. Scanland and William Meadows (colored), were delegates to the Constitutional Convention from Claiborne. Although the scheme was ignored by the whites, Claiborne placed Judge Taliaferro at the head of the Democratic ticket, and Col. McDonald, who beat the Know-nothings in 1854, at the head of the local ticket. The Warmoth circle of Republicans, of course, carried all their points. ??????????????????????
Deceased W. W. Bennett, a physician, and C. B. Pratt were chosen to represent Claiborne in the Legislature; R. T. Dawson, sheriff; S. D. Spann, clerk of district and N. J. Scott, parish judge. A district judge, J. L. Lewis, was counted in, but ultimately James C. Egan was appointed to that position. Two years later the new constitutional heroes had made themselves generally odious. In 1870 J. C. Meadows (colored), or Meadoes and J. S. Killen were elected representatives; John S. Young, parish judge and W. P. Aycock, sheriff. In 1872 the Liberal and Democratic tickets were in the field, opposed to the Republicans. The former merged into the Fusion ticket, with John McEnery at the head, while Kellogg led the Republicans. W. J. Blackburn, Republican, and J. W. McDonald,* Democrat, were counted in by their party as senators; William P. Moreland and Thomas Price were elected to represent Claiborne; Aycock was re-elected sheriff; J. A. Richardson was chosen district clerk, N. J. Scott, parish Judge; R. P. Vaughan, district attorney, and J. R. Ramsey, recorder. Two Legislatures assembled at New Orleans. ' A..B. George was a senator throughout the days of terror, but unlike McDonald, who wisely preferred compromise with the. rulers to resistance, he did not enter the Republican Senate until all hope was lost to the McEnery party. Gen. John S. Young and H. C. Mitchell were representatives in 1874, and aided in securing control of the House for the Democracy. Two years later Gen. Young was re-elected, with J. J. Duke members of the House; H. C. Mitchell was in the senate; H. W. Kirkpatrick was chosen sheriff; Drew Ferguson, district, clerk; E. M. Graham, district judge; Allen Barksdale, district attorney, while Messrs. Scott find Ramsey were chosen parish judge and recorder, respectively. In 1878 Judge J. D. Watkins of Minden, and John C. Vance, of Bossier, were elected senators; W. C. Martin and J. H. Hay, representatives; William P. Moreland and Rev. J. T. Davidson, members of Constitutional Convention; Kirkpatrick was re-elected sheriff, and John A. Richardson was chosen parish judge. Owing to the decrees of the constitutional *Col. J . W. McDonald died In December, 1888. He was born in North Carolina in 1S14, and was brought to Louisiana in 1822. convention, the State and parish offices were vacated, and an election ordered to fill the vacancies. John B. Phillips and A. L. Atkins were chosen representatives. Messrs. Watkins and Vance were re-elected senators; J. H. M. Taylor, sheriff, and Drew Ferguson, district court clerk. Judge Graham of Lincoln, and Attorney Barksdale were re-elected. In 1884 Thomas Price and W. J. Leslie were chosen representatives; J. C. Brice and J. C. Vance, senators; John Young, district judge: E. H. McClendon, attorney, while the sheriff and clerk were re-elected.
In 1829 James Dyer was elected member of the Legislature from Claiborne, and it was he who, in 1830, won an appropriation of $1,500 for the improvement of Lake Bisteneau, one Leaveright taking the contract. Berry A. Wilson was chosen representative in 1830.
In 1851, 1860 and 1804 Col. J. W. Berry was elected representative. In 1854 Capt. W. G. Coleman, a soldier of the Creek War and of the Mexican War, was one of the Democratic candidates for the Legislature, opposing the Know-nothings. He and J. W. McDonald were elected by large majorities.
Col. John Kimball was representative in 1855- 56. Sack Pennington Gee was representative in 1839. W. P. Moreland was representative. R. L. Killgore was parish judge for eight years and subsequently representative.
In 1856 there were 857 votes given to Buchanan and 700 to Fillmore in Claiborne. J. W. Berry received 852 and Isaac Murrell 678 for representative. In 1859 Moore received 907 and Wells 528 votes for governor; Landrum 957 and Jones 90 for Congress; Young 684 and Moreland 938 for senator; Martin 936, Kennedy 546, J. W. Berry 753, and Dyer 744 for representative; Whitson 806, Cleveland 354, and Tatum 442 for clerk; Kirkpatrick 842 and Weldin 789 for sheriff, and Simmons 874 for assessor, against 744 recorded for Cross.
In 1860 Breckinridge received 896, Bell 719, and Douglas 166 for President. J. L. Lewis, of Claiborne, signed the secession ordinance of 1861. In 1863 J. W. McDonald was chosen senator; J. W. Berry, representative; H. W. Kirkpatrick, sheriff; B. E. Coleman, clerk; H. C. Walker, assessor, and H. L. Cox, coroner.
The Claiborne elections of November, 1865— Egan received 763, A. A. Abney 512, and Pearce 504 votes for senator. W. P. Brakeman and W. F. Moreland 642 votes each for representative, defeating Drew and Murrell on one ticket and Blackburn and Martin on a third ticket. Senator Abney died in February, 1867.
There were 1,588 votes cast for Nicholls (D.) and 4.27 for Packard (R.), candidates for governor in 1876. In 1879 L. A. Wiltz (D.) received 1,725 and Taylor Beattie (E.) 444; McHenry (D.) received 2,175 and Stevenson (E.) 596 in 1884; while in 1888 Nicholls (D.) received 2,397 and Warmoth (E.) 768. The number of voters registered in April, 1888, was 5,117—2,512 being white. Fifty-three whites and 2,404 Africans could not write their names.
The census of 1840 gives the names of Jethro Butler, aged eighty-eight, and Benjamin Goodson, aged eighty-two, residing in Claiborne. They were pensioners of the Revolution.
In September, 1877, there were four survivors of the War of 1812 in Claiborne: Maj. Joshua Willis, eighty-three years; Alex. McDonald, eighty-five; James Story, ninety-five, and Morrow Maddox, seventy-six years.
In November, 1877, a convention of Mexican veterans brought together Capt. W. G. Coleman, J. G. Heard, Joseph Heard, Jesse Aycock, T. P. Hamilton, B. D. Harrison, J. E. Smith, John Cook, M. H. Lippmins, J. A. Witter, Ob. Owen and J. M. Blackburn. The Soldiers' Association was organized August 10, 1878, with W. L. Oakes, president, and A. T. Nelson, secretary.
The " Claiborne Guards " of the Second Louisiana Infantry, was organized at Homer in April, 1801, with John Young, captain; J. B. Parham, J. M. Andrews and John S. Young, lieutenants. On muster in at New Orleans Capt. Young was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the Second Louisiana. J. M. Andrews was elected captain of the Guards, with J. B. Parham, John S. Young and W. C. Leslie, lieutenants. Going into service at Richmond and on the James River, the winter was passed at historic Yorktown. Early in 1862 the company re-enlisted and elected A. S. Blithe, captain, with Cager, Martin, Reams and Cotton lieutenants, and Charles Cheatham, sergeant. The company served under Lee at Gettysburg, and were with him at Appomattox. In May, 1865, the survivors returned to Homer.
The Moore Invincibles or Company A, Ninth Louisiana Infantry, were organized in May, 1861, and mustered in at Camp Moore, Louisiana, June 13, 1861. In January, 1882, the men re-enlisted for the war. In 1861 R. L. Capers was captain with Alfred Brakeman, Eydon Grigsby and W. P. Brakeman, lieutenants; Tom Bowling, Merrill Roland and Frank Montgomery, sergeants. On reorganization Rydon Grigsby was chosen captain, j and served until killed at Sharpsburg; W. W. Arbuckle, surgeon. Montgomery, the first lieutenant, lost a leg at Harper's Ferry; Thomas Bowling, the second, was wounded at Gettysburg, and William Mills, third lieutenant, at Harper's Ferry, where he died. First Sergeant William Dansby was killed at Petersburg; 'Lieut. Napoleon Henderson at Harper's Ferry.
The Claiborne Bangers, organized in June,! 861, were mustered in in July as Company B, Twelfth Louisiana Infantry. In August, the command was dispatched to the front and later moved from Columbus, Ky., to New Madrid, Mo. Prom March to May, 1862, it formed part of Fort Pillow's garrison. After a year of brisk service, the men are found before Vicksburg, and in May, 1863, suffered heavily at Baker's Creek. After the surrender of Vicksburg, Company B engaged in the eight, days' fight at Jackson. In 1864 it formed part of Johnson's corps, and in the fall of that year was attached to Hood's army in Tennessee.
During the winter the men suffered more from cold and hunger than from the enemy. In February, 1865, the regiment rejoined Johnston's army in North Carolina, and on April 26, 1865, surrendered at Greensboro in that State. On June 7, the survivors arrived in Claiborne. Company G of Twelfth Louisiana Infantry was also a Claiborne command, organized March 4, 1862, with Thomas Hightower, captain; Zachariah Grigsby, T. Bridgeman and James Potts, lieutenants, and Thomas Price, sergeant.
The fortunes of this command are almost identical with those of Company B. Prior to the Baker's Creek affair, the people of Homer sent clothing to the men by their agent, Linohicum; but the welcome additions to 1,000 wardrobes made the knapsacks too heavy to be carried into battle, find so they were left in a secure place until victory would perch on the regimental flags. This was not to be, and with the loss Of victory came the loss of the much-prized clothes from friends at home. The Arcadia Invincibles formed a part, of this regiment. The Claiborne Invincibles, or Company H, Seventeenth Louisiana Infantry, was 'organized in October, 1861, with William A. Maddox, captain; John G. Heard, G. M. Killgore and J. A. Simmons, lieutenants. From November, 1861, to February, 1862, the command was in camp near New Orleans. In February, 1862, the regiment was at Corinth, in April at Shiloh (where Capt. Maddox was wounded), and at Vicksburg from May 7, 1862, to July 4, 1863. On May 21 Company H, was reorganized at Edwards, Miss., with G. M. Killgore, captain; M. C. Leake, A. L. Harper and J. D. Hamilton, lieutenants, and soon after was present at Chickasaw Bluff. Leake was wounded on May 30 and died June 5, 1863, when Lieuts. Harper and Hamilton were promoted, and J. H. Hay elected third lieutenant. Capt. Killgore died July 27, 1863, while en route home. In April, 1864, the exchange took place at Pineville. A. L. Harper was chosen captain, with J. D. Hamilton, J. H. Hay and Walter Hall, lieutenants. After this its duties were confined to service on the Red River.
The Claiborne Volunteers (Company C, Nineteenth Louisiana Infantry), with A. H. Kennedy, captain; John Spears, S. A. Hightower and J. W. O'Bannon, lieutenants, was organized in August, 1861. In September they were mustered in at Camp Moore. Like Company H, Seventeenth Louisiana Infantry, this was present at Corinth and Shiloh. From April, 1862, to April, 1863, the command was at Pollard, Ala., but came to Vicksburg too late to aid the defenders. At Missionary Ridge, New Hope Church, Kenesaw Mount, Florence, Nashville and other fields this company did service, and up to May 4, 1865, when the surrender to Gen. Canby at Mobile, Ala., was recorded, Company C, continued to win laurels.
Company E., Thirty-first Louisiana Infantry, was organized in April, 1862, and in June took up a position in the swamp opposite Vicksburg, being afflicted with measles in sixty-five cases and fever in forty cases. Camping at Tallulah or Delhi and the fiasco at Milliken's Bend occupied the attention of the men up to November, 1862, when one or, two raids were executed without results. The memorable ride from Vicksburg to Jackson and return to Vicksburg, on flat cars, resulted in the death of forty men from pneumonia. On December 26, Company B took part in its first battle at Chickasaw Bluffs. Again at Port Gibson, and on the retreat from Baker's Creek to Vicksburg, other military experiences were gained. After the surrender, the men returned to their homes, but in January, 1864, were convened at Vienna, and in June at Minden, parole camps being established there. Further service was confined to the line of the Red River, until the Appomattox affair ended the hopes of the Confederacy, and enabled the tired troops to return home on May 23, 1865. The officers were, captain, Shelby Baucum; lieutenants, D. W. Gladden, James M. Cleaver and Thompson Scott; sergeants, W. F. Wallace, E. Sanders, W. T. Williams, J. J. Howerton and E. D. Hightower. Company G,
Twenty-fifth Louisiana Infantry, was organized in February, 1862, with Seaborn Aycock, captain; P. C. Harper, W. J. Leslie and Thomas Brown, lieutenants, and John Cook, sergeant. The latter succeeded Brown, as lieutenant, within a short time. At Corinth, Shiloh, Parmington, Perryville and Murfreesboro the command received its first practical lessons in warfare. At Jonesboro, Ga., Capt. Aycock was killed, and W. J. Leslie took his place. In Tennessee the command was in active service with Hood's army, and after the surrender at Appomattox, was still in arms and guarded the commissariat at Meridian, Miss., until the property was transferred to the United States quartermaster, thus being the last Confederate troops east of the Mississippi, Company D, Twenty-eighth Louisiana Infantry, was organized in May, 1862, with M. O. Cheatham, captain; James Simmons, Warson and J. Thompson, lieutenants, and J. L. Tippet, sergeant. On May 15 it was mustered in at Monroe, then moved to camp near Vienna, and thence into the Mississippi bottoms. Later the Twenty-eighth was sent into the Teche country, and there, at Franklin, encountered the Federal troops. Sergt. Tippet was killed there, and a number of private soldiers fell. At Yellow Bayou Lieut. Simmons was killed, and at Mansfield and Pleasant Hill the command lost a small number.
Company F, Fifth Louisiana Cavalry, or Claiborne Partisan Rangers, was organized by E. L. Capers, captain; John S. Young, N. J. Scott and G. A. Gordon, lieutenants, in June, 1862. McN. Brown was first sergeant. In August this and five other commands formed the First battalion of Partisan Bangers, with Samuel Chambliss, lieutenant colonel, and R. L. Capers, major. John S. Young was promoted captain of Company F. Before the close of the year the battalion was raised to regimental strength, with E. L. Capers, colonel. John S. Young was subsequently commissioned major, and afterward lieutenant-colonel. It was organized as a cavalry regiment in February, 1863, with 761 men. Its operations were confined mainly to the country between the Ouachita and Mississippi Rivers, and later against Banks, on Red River. In 1865 G. A. Gordon was captain of Company F; A. W. Palmer, J. H. Carr and J. E. Monk, lieutenants, and McN. Brown still held the rank of first sergeant, immovable in notions of promotion as he was in political faith. There was one Louisiana Cavalry company in the Eighteenth Tennessee Cavalry Battalion, Company E, commanded by Capt. Junius Y. Webb, seventy-eight strong.
The Claiborne Advocate was the first newspaper issued within the present boundaries of the parish, and the second within its ancient boundaries. The Minden Iris being the first. In 1851 B. D. Harrison, of Talladega, Ala., came to the present seat of justice, and in June of that year established the Advocate, with Frank Vaughan editor. J. M. Thomasson subsequently held the chair. W. S. Curstis purchased the office in 1855, and carried on publication regularly until the tocsin of war sounded throughout the land. Some time after Curstis bought the Advocate another candidate for journalistic honors and emoluments appeared in the new town, but its life was very short. In 1859 the inevitable Blackburn, W. Jasper established the Homer Iliad. This was at a time when ideas of secession began to take shape, and to the useless task of changing such ideas Blackburn directed his energies. He fought the secession policy up to the beginning of the war, and denounced it until he and the Iliad had to disappear. A reference to other pages will point out, clearly his adventurous life during the days of civil strife. After the war was closed he and the Iliad reappeared, and continued in the flesh here until 1877, when the Guardian was founded.
The Claiborne Guardian was established by Phipps & Seals in 1877; B. D. Harrison had some connection with the office; Drayton B. Hayes was editor until his death, in 1885, when J. E. Hulse took his place. In 1886 D. W. Harris was proprietor. B. D. Harrison died in April, 1889, after a continuous residence of thirty-eight years at Homer. The Guardian was issued for the last time on June 30, 1890, O. P. Ogilvie & Co. purchasing the Journal from J. E. Hulse, May 8, and consolidating the two papers June 18, Under the title The Guardian-Journal. In 1889 Mr. Ogilvie purchased the Phipps interest in the Guardian, and subsequently Charles Shaeffer purchased Seals' interest. The Louisiana Weekly Journal was issued January 13, 1886, by J. E. Hulse and B. D. Harrison, and continued publication until the consolidation of 1890.
The Southern Agriculturalist was established in 1890 as the organ of the Farmers Alliance of this parish. Number 10 of Vol. I was issued July 31, 1890, with G. H. Dismukes editor and proprietor, and J. E. Goodson publisher. The Agriculturalist knows no man. It espouses the cause of the farmers, according to its faith, without fear, and handles its enemies without gloves.
The Greenback Dollar was published some years ago at Haynesville, but collapsed after a short, term. In June, 1879, J. G. Warren resumed publication of the Greenback Dollar, and at that time the Western Protestant ceased to exist. The Haynesville Star was issued in 1889, and reached No. 22 of Vol. II on August 1, 1890. John M. Henry is editor.
Some years before the war the system of private schools was introduced here, and is to-day observed; however, the common-school system is not unknown. The enrollment of White pupils in the schools of Claiborne for 1877 was 1,111; for 1878, 1,416; for 1879, 1,458; for 1881, 1,716; for 1882, 1,843; for 1883, 1,875; for 1884, 1,739; for 1886, 2,052, and for 1887, 2,199. The enrollment of Colored pupils for 1877 was 1,050; for 1878, 702; for 1879, 1,254; for 1881, 1,040; for 1882, 1,024; for 1883, 1,070; for 1884, 785; for 1886, 1,530, and for 1887, 1,605. In 1890 the returns show over 7,000 children, of whom the Blacks are in the majority.
The physicians of the parish, with location and date of diploma, are recorded as follows; Silas Turner, Homer, Iowa State University, 1805; William Henry Hines, Summerfield, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, 1859; John Elmore Meadows, Homer, Medical College of State of Georgia, Augusta, 1857; William Williams Arbuckle, Homer, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, 1845; Stephen Moore Dickens Webb, residence Flat Lick P. O., Minden, Webster Parish, University of Pennsylvania, 1.854; William Wirt Culpepper, Athens, New Orleans School of Medicine, 1870; John Davidson Calhoun, Arizona, New Orleans School of Medicine, 1869; Alfred Castillo Simmons, Lisbon, Atlanta Medical College, 1860; William Sellers, Summerfield, University of Louisiana, 1870; Joseph Atkinson, Homer, Medical College of Alabama, Mobile, 1872; Richard Groves Gautt, Haynesville, Medical College of South Carolina, Charleston, 1881; William Madison Baker, Arizona, University of Louisiana, 1874; Hugh Monroe Longino; Haynesville, University of Louisiana, 1870; Thomas Florence Patton, Lisbon, University of Louisiana, 1881; Jesse Marion Ledbetter, Summerfield, Charity Hospital Medical College, New Orleans, 1876; Henry Alvin Longino, Haynesville, Missouri Medical College, St. Louis, 1880; Marcellus Franklin Alford, Summerfield, University of Louisville, Ky., 1879; Luther Longino, Minden, Webster Parish, Missouri Medical College, St. Louis, 1882; Tandy Linton Appleby, Homer, Southern Medical College, Atlanta, Ga., 1883; George Richard McHenry, Homer, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Baltimore, Md., 1882; Montrose Day, Haynesville, Missouri Medical College, St. Louis, 1881; Thaddeus Henry Pennington, removed to Arcadia, Bienville Parish, University of Louisiana, 1850; Albert Richard Bush, Gordon, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Baltimore, 1883; Joseph William Day, Homer, Graffenburg Medical Institute, Alabama, 1857; Joe Glenn Gladney, Arcadia, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Baltimore, 1886; James Madison Walthall, Gibsland, Bienville Parish, Hahnemann Medical College, 1887: Robert McAlpine Bromfield, Athens, Louisville Medical College, 1888; Charles P. Cargile, Ward's Mill, Atlanta Medical College, 1886; Addley H. Gladden, Homer, Tulane University of Louisiana, 1888; James Buck Alexander, Holly Springs, American Medical College, St. Louis, 1889; James Freeman Pace, Athens, Memphis Hospital Medical College, 1889; Andrew Jackson Pennington, Blackburn, Medical College of Alabama, 1878; Curtis Albert Bailey, Athens, Louisville Medical College, 1890. Frank Henry and Sterling R. Richardson registered under the act providing that physicians who practiced for five years prior to 1882 were fully qualified.
The Claiborne Agricultural Society may be said to have permanently organized in 1871. The first fair of the old association was successful, but the five succeeding meetings were failures. The seventh fair was held in 1877 and proved successful. In 1889 the Claiborne Fair Association purchased grounds, and at once entered on the work of preparation for the fair of 1890. At that time E. P. Webb was president; F. U. Allen, vice-president; J. W. Holbert, secretary; J. K. Willet, treasurer; J. H. Simmons and T. Bridgman, with the officers named, directors.
The Farmers' State Union is one of the strongest organizations in Louisiana, J. W. McFarland is secretary; E. L. Tannehill, of Winn, treasurer; T. J. Guice, of Grand Cane, State lecturer; W. H. Bass, of Pleasant Hill, chaplain; and G. L. P. Wren, or Minden, member of executive committee. Claiborne Farmers' Union was organized in April, 1887, with C. J. Cargile, president, and J. W. McFarland, secretary. The Farmers' Union Co-operative Commercial Association, of Claiborne, was incorporated October 3, 1889, with the following named directors: S. A. White, E. T. McClendon, B. B. McCasland, John C. Murphy, A. T. Nelson, J. S. Burnham, C. A. Gandy, T. T. Lowe, and J. W. Melton. Early in December, 1889, a store was opened at Homer, under the management of A. T. Nelson. In January, 1890, there were 120 stockholders and $25,000 paid-up capital. In July, 1882, S. Y. Gladney and J. A. Richardson went to Hope, Ark., to meet Maj. Beardsley, of the Arkansas & Louisiana Railroad, and confer with him on the subject of building a road from Hope, via Haynesville and Homer, to the Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific Railroad. In February, 1880, the railroad question was revived, and Beardsley suggested a 5-mill tax for ten years, on the valuation of 1886. In August a meeting was held at Homer, to further the interests of the road, J. T. Boone, W. B. Prothro, H. F. Scheen, Gladney. Richardson, Clingman, Bridgman, Nelson, Gill and Hammett, the directors being present. The tax was approved on August 24.
On January 15, 1890, the stockholders of the Louisiana North & South Railroad, at a meeting held in Homer, decided to sell the property and franchises of the road to the Louisiana & Northwestern Railroad Company. The construction of the road to Gibsland cost about $120,000, of which the sum of $40,000 was contributed by citizens of Claiborne and Bienville Parishes. The new company assumed all obligations, and took out a new charter containing the names of about 160 of the members of the old stockholders in this company. The Louisiana North & South Railroad Company elected directors in July, 1889, G. G. Gill (treasurer)S. Y. Gladney, J. A. Richardson (attorney) and W. G. Darley, of Homer (assistant secretary), W. B. Colbert, A. D. Hammett and W. L. Kidd, of Gibsland, being the local directors. Maj. Beardsley sold one-half his interest in the road between Homer and Gibsland prior to this date, but retained the management. In August the work of constructing the road south to Bienville was entered upon, and in 1890 regular train service between this new town and Gibsland was established. The offices of the company are at Gibsland.
In the history of Caddo Parish references are made to the Vicksburg, Shreveport & Texas Railroad. Homer is situated 16° west, of Washington, in Latitude 32° 46' north, on the divide between the D'Arbonne and the Corni. The entry of the town site of Homer was made July 24, 1848, the east half of the southeast quarter and the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 23, Township 21, Range 7, by the police jury, while Tillinghast Vaughan entered, on the same date, the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter of same section, which he was compelled subsequently to exchange, under threat of removing the parish seat. This exchange was promptly made, and the town was surveyed by B. McCloskey. The sale of lots followed (before the fire at Athens), H. Robertson, J. C. Cunningham and E. H. Fuller buying on the north side; B. F. Sanders, W. Dyer, S. P. Day and A. Whitehead on the south side; C. C. Gryder, Grooms & Co., B. L. Eye and J. Atwell, on the east side; T. Mitchell, R. Browning, J. Taggart and J. Beopple, on the west side—all fronting the public square. Tillinghast Vaughan purchased Lots 83 and 86, in Block E, and William Beny, the corresponding lots in Block D, while A. B. Catton purchased south of Berry. J. Nettlerode purchased the present Hulse property, and S. P. Day purchased four lots where now stands Mrs. McCranie's brick block. T. Henderson purchased the lots north and east of the old jail. Fuller, Foster and S. Gamon purchased the north front lots of the block north of the court-house, and W. B. Dyer, W. C. Ridgeway, W. Prichard, J. B. McFarland, W. McDonald, G. W. Martin, J. Merze. J. Gwinn, S. Nelson, A. Hise and Wynne were the other original lot purchasers. The name was suggested by Frank Vaughan. William H. Maxey at once erected a log house on the southeast corner of the square, and a temporary building for parish office was constructed east of Maxey's house and a hotel erected where is now the residence of Mrs. McCranie.
After the location was adopted E. W. Capers built a storehouse on the northwest corner of the square. This was a log cabin, wainscoted with boards sawed at, Eldorado, Ark., forty miles away. The old Claiborne Hotel, a two-story house, stood north of the court-house; then the larger Maxey Cheap Gash Store on the site of the pioneer cabin, and next the three cute Germans, Samuel, Michael and Alexander Wiles, opened a little business house. A. McCranie built on the southeast corner and established a large trade. B. D. Harrison opened a newspaper office in 1851, and the same year the Masons of the village organized. J. C. Blackmail's house stood where E. W. Collier's dwelling now is, but the old building was removed a point west, and in 1886 was occupied by J. M. White; Green's house on the hill is occupied by the Widow Vaughan; on the site of Green Taylor's dwelling stands that of J. K. Willet; the log tavern has given place to Mrs. McCranie's dwelling; the Bonning House, Thomasson's house, Col. Caper's house and Tillinghast Vaughan's house are all standing as reminders of Homer's early days; but tho temporary court-house, as well as the first permanent building erected for parish purposes, have disappeared. Up to 1861 every one of the buildings named had happy associations, but then the terrors of civil war spread over the place and the peace of this Louisiana Auburn was offered up as a sacrifice to the god of arms. Every home sent forth a soldier, and when the refugee families from the Mississippi Valley came hither to seek shelter from the storms, they found only non-combatants, stoical while enthusiastic, silent and thoughtful. The riflemen and artillery of the North did not come hither until the war was over, but the Trans-Mississippi battlefields claimed many of Homer's citizens and few returned to realize the political and social changes which a few years had effected.
The first postmaster of Homer is not remembered by the old settlers, but as McFarland was master at Athens when the seat of justice was moved, he may have moved here also. W. C. Crutcher, who was postmaster in 1852, kept his office in his drug store. M. Callahan was postmaster subsequently; J. P. Smith came next, as United States postmaster, in 1866. Augustus Lovellette, a Federal soldier was commissioned after the war. W. J. Taylor, E. T. Vaughan, J. A. Witter with S. Y. Gladney, deputy; Miss Lou Martin, 1870-71; D. W. Harris, 1871-86; W. W. Brown, 1886-89; Mrs. E. V. Boring, in July, 1889, now incumbent. The location of old-time business houses is always, worthy of attention. At the southeast, corner of the public square was William H. Maxey, and on the extreme southwest corner, Dunston & Dansby. Beams & Clegg were at the northwest corner. Between these points were many houses of less note, but all appeared to do a lively and successful business. Repeated failures of crops, however, brought about disaster, and house after house failed or closed. Jonathan Ferguson assumed control of the old Planter's House, and did a thriving business for a number of years. In time Gill & McCranie dissolved co-partnership and sold their brick house to Otts & Barrow, but McCranie, too full of business to stop work, erected a spacious and handsome wooden store on the northwest corner, where prosperity seemed to bless every venture he made there. The business of Duston & Dansby was closed, owing to the death of the former, and their fine brick house was disposed of to J. C. Blackman and Hugh Taylor (good Uncle Hugh), which firm, for some years, did a fine business. On the death of Uncle Hugh the firm closed and the business went into the hands of George Taylor and H. C. Mitchell, who did a fine business until burned out in April, 1871. G. G. Gill did a good business at the comer store now occupied by W. G. Taylor. Beams & Clegg having closed out their business, the old Caper's House, where so much business had been done, now became vacant.
On December 22, 1876, fire destroyed the north and west sides of the square. To replace the houses burned was now the object of the business men. The McCranie brick store took the place of the old frame house; W. J. Barrow also built a good house and G. G. Gill built on the site of Col. Caper's store. While this fire destroyed several buildings, the heavy snow, which followed, crushed the Methodist house of worship and necessitated, restoration or rebuilding. The fire of August 20, 1890, destroyed the old livery stable of J. T. Otts and P. N. Allen. Early in December, 1877, Dr. Cunningham's house on Third Street was burned. It was the fifth of a row of dwellings on this street, the other four being saved by the citizens. The fire of July 27, 1889, originated in the Whitter saloon, the front of which had been torn down to make way for the A. K. Clingman brick block. The south side of the square was swept, away except T. J. Longino's brick block. The flames leaping across the street reduced the Hamilton and W. W. Brown buildings to ashes, but were arrested at the Johnston jewelry store.
The first set of ordinances was adopted September 12, 1855, and signed by W. S. Custis, mayor, and W. Crutcher, clerk. In 1856 J. M. Thomasson was mayor, succeeded in 1857 by John W. Pennall, who in November gave place to W. S. Custis. In this year B. D. Harrison succeeded Crutcher as clerk. In 1858 N. J. Scott was chosen mayor. Ordinance No. 39, adopted, in June, provided that all coffee-houses be permitted to keep their back doors open and sell on Sundays until 9 A. M., and from 5 to 9 o'clock P.M. On May, 17 Surveyor E. B. Whitson, with Chain Carriers H. L. Cox and E. A. Walker, marked the boundary lines of the town. Micajah Martin was appointed clerk in 1859, and E. L. Dyer in 1860. In 1861 G. W. Price was mayor and James Potts, clerk, followed in 1862 by F. Vaughan, mayor, and B. D. Harrison, clerk. In 1864 A. McCranie presided as mayor, with M. Callahan, clerk, and in 1866 N. J. Scott was elected chief magistrate. At this time Ordinance No. 16 was adopted, fixing the license tax as follows: Retail grocers, $300; dry goods, $50; livery stables, $25; family grocery, $50; confectionery stores, $25; hotels, $25; drug stores, $30, and dentists, $25. In 1807 H. L. Cox was elected mayor, and the license tax was reduced to less than one-half in most cases. J. R. Ramsey succeeded Cox the same year, and served until the election of J. Ferguson in 1808. W. J. Beams succeeded Callahan as clerk, both serving in 1809, when the first book of ordinances closed.
In 1877 J. Ferguson was mayor, and B. D. Harrison, secretary. In 1878 W. J. Leslie, Dr. S. Y. Webb, Dr. Meadors, John Cook, Col. J. S. Young, George Davis, B. T. Ledbetter and Bob Tarkinton were school directors. In 1879 Mayor Ferguson presided, with M. R. Bryan, clerk, followed in 1880 by J. A. Richardson and J. H. Simmons, mayor and clerk, respectively. In 1881 E. H. McClendon was mayor, and in 1881-82 J. E. Ramsey signed the records as clerk. In April, 1882, John E. Hulse was elected mayor.
In 1885 E. L. Johnson was elected mayor, and in 1880 J. D. Ferguson. A. E. Welder was acting clerk, vice Ramsey, at the greater number of meetings up to July of the last named year. Walter Ward was mayor in 1887-88, while S. J. Maffett succeeded J. E, Ramsey as clerk in 1888. The officers in June, 1890, were: J. E. Hulse, mayor; E. W. Collier, George Gill, A. E. Wilder, C. O. Ferguson, J. T. Otts, selectmen; E. L. Richardson, clerk; Thomas Harris, marshal, W. P. Bridges, treasurer.
The Methodist Episcopal Church in Louisiana, may be said to date back to 1823, when eighty-nine White and ten Colored members represented the denomination in the State. From 1829 to 1833 William Stephenson preached throughout this section. In 1827, however, a class was organized in the Hood settlement with John Burnham, leader; this was followed by Ashbrook's class near old Athens, but not until after the organization of the Louisiana Conference in 1840 did the people of the wilderness receive the new faith. A society was organized at Homer, in 1849 or 1850, within the log house which stood where is now Dormon's blacksmith shop. Later a house for worship was erected in rear of the present house, and this was used until December, 1876, when the big snow crushed it in. In 1877-78 the house now in use was erected.
The Cumberland Presbyterian society was organized at Homer, and another at Shongaloo, in the fifties. The Homer Association dissolved instanter, but a stronger society was organized at Mount Pleasant, and still another at Pleasant Grove, near Alexander's mill. During the war the building at Mount Pleasant was destroyed by fire. Salem, near the site of old Russellville, ultimately became the seat of Cumberlandism, with churches at Haynesville, Salem and four other places.
The Presbyterian Church dates back to Mr. Banks' address at, Overton, in 1838, and to Allen's settlement in 1839. In 1851 the first organization was effected near Athens, although a preacher and school teacher of this faith resided at Homer then. In 1852 Rev. J. F. Davidson arrived and found one other Presbyterian here. Up to 1872 services were held in the Methodist Episcopal Church, but in that year their own building was completed.
The Missionary Baptist Church dates back to June 11, 1825, when a society was organized south of new Athens. Fourteen years after the place of meeting was fixed at the old academy at old Athens, and lost many of its members by that move. In 1859 the three remaining members, with others, reorganized under the name New Hope Church. In 1826 or 1827 Black Lake society was formed at John Murrell's. In 1852 the name and location of Ebenozer Church was changed to Homer, S. Harris, being then pastor, and J. A. Millican, clerk.
In October, 1867, the organization ceased, but was revived four years later by A. Harris, who was succeeded as pastor by H. Z. Ardis. From 1873 to August, 1877, the pulpit was vacant, and then J. W. Melton was called as pastor. Friendship Church instanter was organized in 1847, at James Wise's house; in 1856 the Rechabite Church near Haynesville was organized as New Friendship out of this society; the old Friendship church-house was burned, and the society dissolved. Gilgal Church was constituted in 1842; Union Church on Dorchette, in 1852; Pilgrims' Best, in 1853; Cool Springs, in 1862; Crystal Springs, in 1874, and then followed the White and Colored churches of modern times.
The Homer Male College (Methodist) was incorporated in 1855 and in 1856 work on the buildings was begun, but for some reason the rooms were not opened for educational purposes until 1859. The presidents were Rev. Baxter Clegg, assisted by J. W. Stacy and J. B. Gutter in 1859, followed by Rev. W. D. O'Shea in 1860, who conducted the school until 1803, when E. M. Seavey came; it was closed in 1865. In 1869 Rev. H. T. Lewis, assisted by Messrs. Borden and Wills, reopened the institution. Rev. J. E. Cobb was president in 1870, with Messrs. A. C. Calhoun, J. W. Nicholson and E. M. Cony assisting, and Rev. F. J. Upton, collecting agent. The latter collected subscription notes aggregating over $40,000, but their collection was quite another affair and even the interest on a great part was refused. In 1873 Rev. J. L. Bonden presided, followed by Baxter Clegg, Dr. T. B. Gordon and E. A. Smith, who was president when the institution was sold under execution in 1878. Contemporary with the male was the female college.
The Homer Masonic Female Institute was established in 1859 as successor of the Homer Female College, with Prof. Wilcox in charge. The Masonic lodge owned the property and directed the policy of the school. Prof. Sligh and Mrs. Sligh were teachers here for many years. The Homer Masonic Male and Female College dates back to 1885, when the plan of county education was adopted, and President Davidson placed in charge. Then the Claiborne Male and Female College and the Masonic Institute appear to have been separate institutions for a short time until the consolidation of two years ago when Claiborne College was adopted as the title. The faculty comprised Mrs. Lawrence, M. A., and Prof. Martin, A. M., associate principal; Miss Mary Furman, M. A., instructress in elocution and French; Miss A. M. Teskey, M. A., in the art department; J. W. Connell, A. M., commercial department. The brick building of olden days was restored, a new boarding hall erected and the Masonic Institute building repaired and refitted.
The Athenian Institute and Business College was presided over in 1888 by R. P. Webb, with E. H. Payne, secretary; T. J. Caldwell, treasurer; W. W. Culpepper, A. H. Wilburn, A. H. Caldwell, J. W. Hilbun, H. L. Awbrey, N. D. Smith and B. P. Smith, directors. In November of that year the officers named were called to refute the charges against Rev. L. A. Traylor.
Taylor Lodge No. 109. A. P. & A. M., was chartered in 1851, and continued in existence until 1858, when the charter was surrendered. Later, in 1858, Homer Lodge was chartered. This lodge was organized U. D. with D. H. Dyer, worshipful master; J. M. Tilley, J. T. Brooks, J. S. Burnham, J. F. Leak, secretary; G. W. Price (died in 1881), E. B. Whitson and W. P. Brown, officers in order of rank, and James A. Millican, J. C. Blackmail and B. H. Fay, unofficial members. The meeting of April 22, 1858, was held under charter No. 152. Master Dyer was re-elected with E. B. Whitson, secretary; J. M. Thomason was chosen master for 1859, and in January the new charter of the Female Collegiate Institute was considered; John S. Young, E. F. Fancher, Wiley B. Gamon, J. G. and G. W. Warren, John Young, W. A. Carr, J. J. Brown, John Greer, S. M. Brown, W. H. Maxey, S. P. Gee and other members of old Taylor Lodge were admitted members of the new lodge. In 1860-61 G. M. Killgore (died during the war) was master, and W. P. Brown, secretary, until J. W. Stacy was appointed.
The death of E. B. Whitson is noticed on February 16. A. C. Hill was master, and B. E. Coleman, secretary in 1862, followed in January, 1865, by H. W. Kirkpatrick, worshipful master, and W. G. Crutcher, secretary, and they, in 1866, by F. A. Jones, worshipful master, and A. Weil, secretary. The masters and secretaries elected since 1867 are named as follows: F. A. Jones, M. and B. E. Coleman, Sec, 1867; A. C. Hill. M. and J. R. Ramsey, Sec, 1868; F. A. Jones, M. and J. R. Ramsey, Sec, 1869-72; R. T. Vaughan, Sec, 1872; J. W. Todd, M. (died in 1877) and B. D. Harrison, Sec, 1874-76; J. R. Ramsey, W. M. 1877-90, and B. D. Harrison, Sec, 1877-89. On the hitter's death John A. Richardson was appointed temporary secretary and subsequently elected secretary. The cause of losing the old charter was due entirely to the fanatical action of a few members, when resolutions bearing on the death of Allen Harris were considered. Homer Council No. 1, U. F. of T., was a strong organization here in 1877. The Grand Council of North Louisiana was also organized here. Davidson Council 444, A.L. of H. was organized November 20, 1881, with the following members: Drew Ferguson, commander; A. Weil, M. H. Lipmins,* 1888; W. W. Arbuckle,* J. R. Ramsey, W. W. Brown, D. W. Harris, Nancy L. Harris,* 1883; B. D. Harrison, E, J. Harrison, G. W. Araughan, J. E. Hulse, R. R. Hightower, J. H. M. Taylor, Sallie Jones, Betty Ferguson, L. J. Brown, W. C. Price, D. P. Taylor, E. G. Hightower, P. E. Lipmins, W. P. Carter,* 1886, and G. W. Day. The names marked * are deceased, and to their representatives $10,000 was paid. J. R. Ramsey has served as commander since 1882. Lodge 27, K. of P. was instituted July 5,1881, with J. R. Ramsey, P. C.; Drew Ferguson, C. C.; T. S. Sligh, A. E. Wilder, J. W. Holbert, J. K. Willet, M. C. Lawrence, W. Ward, James T. Otts, J. Floyd Key, B. A. Bridges, A. K. Clingtnan, Barney McHenry and John Brown, filling the other offices. The office of chancellor commander has been filled by A. E. Wikler, P. C. Greenwood, E. H. McClendon, G. G. Gill, J. A. Richardson, C. O. Ferguson, E. E. White and A. B. Wilder, the present commander. The Endowment Rank was organized immediately after with G. G. Gill, first president, followed by Drewry Ferguson. G. G. Gill is now president, with Walter Ward as secretary.
The Y. M. C. A. was organized June 10, 1890, with C. W. Seals, president; Dr. Pollard, vice-president; P. A. Tatum, secretary, and J. K. Willet, treasurer. Lila M. Gill, Ada Mercer, Agnes McCorkle and J. A. McCorkle were appointed a committee to select books. The Homer National Bank was organized in November, 1889, with W. P. Otts, president: J. W. Holbert, vice-president; C. O. Ferguson, cashier; T. Bridgman, P. Loewenberg, J. H. Simmons, J. W. Holbert, J. K. Willet, and Drew Ferguson, directors. The Interstate Building & Loan Association was organized in March, 1890, with J. K. Willet. president; A. K. Clingman, vice-president, and R. P. Webb, secretary, treasurer and attorney. The Southwestern Building & Loan Association was organized in March, 1890, with A. K. Clingman, president; J. C. Willis, vice-president; R. P. Webb secretary, and they with Joe Palmer, W. A. Walker, John P. Awbrey and J. L. Ferguson, formed the board of directors.
The Otts House is the modern hotel of the town. The old Homer House and the old Claiborne House are referred to as belonging to a past age. The brick for the proposed Clingman hotel was burned in 1890, by Mark Lee. The projector of this house established the Clingman nurseries in 1873. Athens is an old name given to a new town on the Louisiana & Northwestern Railroad. It claims a population of about 250, six business houses, a Masonic hall, one saw-mill and planer, one steam gin and grist-mill, blacksmith and woodshop, a hotel, three religious denominations (Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian) and excellent school in charge of Prof. J. M. Davis, good depot buildings and telegraph office, and a few modern dwelling houses. It is surrounded by a healthy and productive country, the soil and climate being admirably well adapted to the raising of all the products peculiar to the country, and especially to the successful growth of fruits and vegetables. The country is well watered and timbered. Sugar cane is growu in large quantities, and the manufacture of molasses is practiced on an extensive scale.
The farmers are also turning their attention to the raising of mules and horses, principally the former. The first fire was that of March 23, 1890, which destroyed the Baker store, and a portion of his stock of merchandise. The old Masonic lodge, Athens No. 145, organized at the old town in 1850, is still in existence with headquarters in the new town. In 1889 the Benevolent Association of Confederate Veterans was organized, composed of former residents of the States of Georgia, Maryland, Alabama, Mississippi and other Southern States. The following officers were elected to serve during the first year: J. T. Baker, president; P. A. Aubrey, vice-president; J. H. Carr, recording secretary; J. W. Brooks, corresponding secretary; J. P. McFarland, treasurer.
Arizona, six miles east of Homer, may be said to have been founded in 1866. Soon after the war a magnificent cotton factory was erected at this place, capable of employing a large number of hands. Its inconvenience to easy and rapid transportation, with other trouble, caused it to cease operating after a few years. It is now owned by the John Chaffe estate, and is motionless. Arizona, for a number of years, was the seat of Arizona Seminary, a very popular and flourishing school under the principal-ship of J. W. Nicholson, now professor of mathematics in the State University at Baton Rouge. Notwithstanding the discontinuance of the factory, and the decadence of its school, Arizona has held many of its old citizens, the Willises, Wafers, Nicholsons, Drs. Calhoun and Baker, Dutcher, Corrys, etc Here Beacon Lodge No. 220, A. F. & A. M., was chartered in 1872, and existed until 1880. Hither the Forest Grove Methodist Episcopal Church house was moved in 1886.
Haynesville, formerly known as Taylor's Store, dates back to 1848, when J. C. Taylor established his business here. Prior to that date, 1843, Hiram Brown had located close by, also J. C. Wasson and L. S. Fuller, in 1844. In 1846 Miles Buford and Samuel Boyd cast their fortunes in this settlement, and in 1849 Henry Taylor came among them. Yearly the settlement increased in numbers, and farms, large and small, were opened. In consequence of this increase in population and agriculture, William W. and J. L. Brown began a mercantile business next door to Taylor. Sam Kirkpatrick and Dr. Wroten opened a drug business.
The country was full of game, and deer skins and bear hams were staple articles of trade. But with the rush of emigration that began in 1850 and which continued up to 1860, new ideas came, new wants and new industries. Agriculture began in earnest, and in a few years large farms were opened in every direction, the public lands were all entered, roads opened and prosperity was exhibited till through the region. After the war the Greenback Dollar and the Western Protestant were issued here. Other little journals were projected; but the present Star of 1889-90 shows signs of permanence. The Methodist Episcopal Church at this place is one of the old classes of the D'Arbonue Circuit. Haynesville Lodge 178, A. F. & A. M., was chartered in 1861.
Summerfield, situated in the northeastern portion of the parish, is a thriving village of about 120 inhabitants. It was settled by W. R. Kennedy in 1868, by the erection of a wood and blacksmith shop, and a business house. It now has four stores dealing in general merchandise and plantation supplies, several drug stores, a saw and grist mill, and several mills in the vicinity, all run by steam. It has four churches (Methodist Episcopal Church South, Methodist Protestant, Missionary Baptist and Primitive Baptist). Hebron Missionary Baptist Church was organized near this village in 1848 by E. A. Hargis and Richard Young. On August 29, 1882, a Baptist society was reorganized here by Elder Burt, the old society at Hebron being also in existence. In 1845 a Methodist society was organized in the Corni Bluff vicinity, which in time merged into the Summerfield society, whither house of worship was erected there. In 1842 the Methodist Protestant denomination organized in the parish, and Presbyterianism was organized in 1851. Summerfield Lodge No. 210, A. F. & A. M., was chartered in 1870, and now bears the number 88. There are twenty-three members reported.
Tulip, in the southeastern part of the parish, was an important trade center until the completion of the Vicksburg, Shreveport & Texas Railroad in 1884, when Arcadia, in Bienville Parish, competed for the trade of the district. Here, for many years, P. Marsalis & Sons carried on a large general store without serious opposition. Among the old settlers of this vicinity are the Watsons, Marsalises, Whites, Gandys, Pomby, Leslie and Hays, with others named in the list of first land buyers of the township. A steam saw and grist mill, a steam cotton gin, a school-house, a commodious Methodist meeting-house, and a cumber of steam cotton gins and saw-mills in the immediate neighborhood make up the industries, no less than five or six steam whistles being in easy hearing of the village. A lodge of Masons, known as Tulip Lodge No. 187, was organized in 1867, and still works under the charter of that date. The Methodist Church is the final development of a series of organizations that went before it. In 1847 or 1848 William McCue settled near the Dansby place and with the assistance of others, built a log house in which was organized a small membership. As others began to move into the neighborhood, Rev. James Watson, Josiah Watts, M. Kenebrew, William Oliver, and others, in order to have the church more centrally located, it was taken down and moved two miles farther south. It there took the name Walnut Grove. About 1855 a large frame building was erected about half a mile east to take the place of the log house, and to it was given the name of Pisgah. Here it, continued until 1872, when the class was divided, one section being attached to Homer and the other to Tulip, where a new house was built at a cost of $1,500.
Colquit is still known, the storm referred to in the first chapter shaking it into life. Around this place settled the Tignors, Grays and Wilsons, and here, in 1856, Cool Spring Lodge No. 149, A. P. & A. M., was organized, continuing work until 1881. Methodist and Baptist societies were organized there at an early day. Gordon was founded by Dr. Gordon years before he moved to Texas. It is still a small business center.
Antioch P. O. was established in August, 1889, with J. B. Williams, master. Forty years before a Baptist society was organized here, and in December of that year Seaborn J. Fuller was chosen pastor. It was a strong Baptist settlement, such pioneers as the Fortsons, Lees, Hays, Johnsons, Williams, Browns, Applewhites and Sterlings being members of the society of 1852. Zacheus F. Adkins is of Georgian nativity, the year of his birth being 1846, but since be attained his eighth year he has been a resident of Louisiana, being brought thither by his parents, Columbus and Ginsey (Alexander) Adkins, the former born in South Carolina, in 1818, and the latter in Georgia in 1825. The paternal grandfather, Zacheus Adkins, was in all probability born in the State of Virginia, as was also the mother's father, Hiram Alexander. Zacheus Adkins, whose name heads this sketch, was educated in the schools of this parish, and at the early age of nineteen years he was united in tho bonds of matrimony to Miss Mollie McEinzie, a daughter of Lacy McKinzie, and they have reared a worthy family of seven children: Ula G.. Eddie E., George W., Alice M., Lena A., John P. and T. Abbie. Mr. Adkins has been engaged in the milling business since 1869, and the work which he does has been remarkably successful, the patronage which he has attracted to this place for milling purposes being steadily on the increase. If close application and study of the wants of his customers will serve to make a permanent success, Mr. Adkins has most assuredly deserved the success which has attended his efforts. He has at all times endeavored to please and keep with other institutions of a like nature, and in this he has succeeded admirably. In addition to his mill, he owns a valuable and well-tilled plantation of 240 acres. He has always been a stanch supporter of Democratic principles.
Henry L. Awbrey is a leading planter of Claiborne Parish, La., but was born in Heard County, Ga., in 1848, being one of the following family of children: Amelia (wife of George W. Beck of Ward 5), Henry, Elizabeth (wife of P. T. Henry, of Homer, La.), John P. (a resident of this parish), Charles C. (also residing here), and Mary (wife of B. G. Taylor, of Ward 5.) The father, Philip Awbrey, was a Georgian, born in 1818, a son of William Awbrey, of Georgia also. The wife of Philip Awbrey was Miss Frances Fomby. Henry L. Awbrey came with his parents to Claiborne Parish, La., in 1857, and here secured a common school education. He was married in 1876, to Miss Elizabeth Reener, a daughter of J. P. Keener, a native of Alabama, and Martha (Hackney) Keener, also of that State. To them seven children were born, of whom are living: Clyde, Bessie L.,H. L., Bay E. and Floyd L. Politically, at all times, Henry L. has affiliated with the Democratic party, and is ever anxious to vote for capable and worthy men. By a liberal use of the brain and brawn, with which nature has bestowed him, he has become the owner of a plantation of 26(1 acres, of which 200 are under cultivation. He and his wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and are among the first-class and substantial residents of this section, for besides being liberal in their contribution to worthy enterprises, they are hospitable, kind and obliging,
James T. Baker is a gentleman who has rapidly and surely made his way to the front among the energetic business men of this community, tand has built up a large business that is constantly on the increase. His birth occurred in Chambers County, Ala., December 25, 1843, to Leroy and Mary (Cook) Baker, both of whom were Georgians. They were married in Alabama, and there followed farming up to 1856, when they moved to Louisiana, and opened up a farm in Claiborne Parish. Mr. Baker enlisted in the Twenty-fifth Louisiana Infantry, and served as sergeant until the close of the war, being killed at Spanish Fort after the surrender of Gen. Lee. His widow survived him a number of years, then she too passed away. J. T. Baker is the eldest of their four sons and two daughters, and has been a resident of this parish since his thirteenth year. In 1861 the clash of arms caused him to cast aside personal considerations to espouse the Confederate cause, and served with the Twelfth Louisiana Infantry until the close of the war, being regimental musician. He was in the fight at Belmont, Mo., Island No. 10, Fort Pillow, second Corinth, Bakers' Creek, and was in the Atlanta (Ga.), campaign under Gen. Johnston, afterward being with Hood at Franklin and Nashville, Tenn. His last engagement was at Benton, N. C., and he afterward surrendered and was paroled at Greensboro, N. C. He returned to Claiborne Parish, La., and engaged in milling and lumbering, continuing up to 1880, when he changed his business and clerked in Athens for about three years. At the end of this time he purchased an interest in a mercantile establishment, but in 1885 began doing business alone, remaining at Old Athens up to 1887. He then built the store building where he now is, and put in a complete stock of general merchandise, and the trade which he has succeeded in obtaining is in every respect satisfactory. He increases his stock of goods from time to time, and now has one of the most complete general mercantile establishments in this section of the country. His marriage, which took place December 5, 1869, was to Miss Victoria Marsalis, a Mississippian, reared and educated in this parish, and a daughter of P. Marsalis. To Mr. Baker and his wife live sous and four daughters have been born: Leon (a clerk in his father's store), Reese, Enos, Clande, Terrel, Jennie, Addie, Gertrude and Carrie Bell. Mr. Baker and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and he belongs to the Masonic order, and is junior deacon of his lodge. He is postmaster of Athens, having served since 1882.
William G. Barnes, like a number of the residents of Athens, La., is a merchant and planter, and has met with fair success in both enterprises. His birth occurred in Heard County, Ga., in 1847, he being the elder of two children born to his parents, the other child being Mary E., wife of J. W. Cobb, of Athens. John W. Barnes, their father, was born in Georgia, about 1821, and was there married to Miss Elizabeth Brown, whose birth occurred in that State in 1828. The father resided in his native State until his death, which occurred in 1849, after which his widow married Rev. H. H. Phillips, a prominent minister of the Missionary Baptist Church. The paternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch was William Barnes, a native of South Carolina, who was one of the earliest settlers of Western Georgia, and his maternal grandfather was Ezekiel Brown, whose wife was Charlotte Barnhill. The family removed from Georgia to Columbia County, Ark., in 1861, and in 1869 located in Claiborne Parish, La., where Mr. Phillips died in July, 1875, having been a minister of the gospel for about thirty-five years. Mr. Barnes has two half sisters: Annie C., wife of W. A. Adkins, of Athens, and Ella Y., wife of W. R, Kimball, of Brookston, Tex. William G. Barnes was educated in the schools of Georgia and Arkansas, and in 1864 enlisted in the Confederate Army under Capt. Tyler, serving faithfully until the war closed. In July, 1869, he took as his companion through life Miss Pamelia McDonald, of Columbia County, Ark., by whom he became the father of two boys: John W. and Gray ton H. Mrs. Barnes died in February, 1875, and the following year Mr. Barnes espoused Miss Cordelia Adkins, in this parish, and their union has resulted in the birth of three children: Geneva V., Voselli A. and Rena A. Politically Mr, Barnes is a Democrat, and from 1882 until 1886) served in the capacity of justice of the peace. He is managing a good plantation of 250 acres, which be owns, and in connection with this has been engaged in the mercantile business since 1887, and now has a well-stocked drug store. His wife is an earnest Christian lady, and is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
John K. Barrow, merchant and farmer, Homer, La. Mr. Barrow is only another of the many prominent citizens of Claiborne Parish, La., who owe their nativity to Alabama, He was born in Chambers County on March 18, 1848, but grew to manhood in Claiborne Parish, whither he had moved with his parents in 1857. He received a common-school education and then flung aside his books to enter the army, serving about four mouths in the latter part of the war. He then went on a farm with his father and took charge of the same until the death of the latter. He remained on the farm until after the death of the mother, and was married here in October, 1879, to Miss Sallie W. Barnett, a native of Louisiana, Claiborne Parish, and the daughter of William Barnett. After this union Mr. Barrow and family remained on the homestead up to 1888, when they moved to their present property. He still owns the old homestead and has about 1,700 acres in both farms, 700 acres improved. He has excellent buildings and good orchards on both places. He built a store and embarked in merchandising in the fall of 1889, and carries a stock of dry goods, groceries, etc. He has a good trade and is a successful business man. Located near his store he has a steam saw mill and gin. To his marriage have been born three living children: Aubyin W., Ida M. and John G. They lost two children in infancy. Mrs. Barrow is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In height Mr. Barrow is six feet, four and a half inches. He was the youngest son of nine daughters and four sons, three sons and seven daughters now living, born to the union of Josiah and Louisiana (Bass) Barrow, both natives of Georgia. The parents were married in that State and removed from there to Alabama, thence to Louisiana in 1857, and located in Claiborne Parish, near where our subject now resides. The father opened a large farm and remained here until his death in 1871. He served in one of the old Indian wars. His widow died in 1877.
Alfred Blackman. A worthy history of Claiborne Parish, La., could not be given without mentioning the name of Mr. Blackman, as, for the past forty years, ho has been a prominent resident of this section of the country. During this long period his good name has remained untarnished, and he has well and faithfully performed every duty which has fallen to his lot. He was born in Lancaster District, S. C , in 1823, but in 1830 was taken to Georgia by his parents, and in Harris County, of that State, he attained manhood and acquired a practical education. In 1848 he was elected to the position of sheriff of that county, and was a faithful servant of the people. until his removal to Claiborne Parish, La., in 1850. In El Dorado County, Ark., he was married in 1854 to Miss Margaret K, a daughter of Daniel Norwood, an eminent divine of the Methodist Episcopal Church. To Mr. and Mrs. Blackman a family of six children were bom—five sons and one daughter: James W., Edward W., John L. (a resident of Nevada, Tex.), Henry M. (married and a resident of Fort Worth, Tex.), Tola (wife of John M. Brown, of Homer, La.), and Alfred H. (who is now a student in the medical department of the Vanderbilt University of Nashville, Tenn.). Mr. Blackman, at the opening of the war, was the owner of sixty slaves, and although he is now the owner of about a section of land with 200 acres under cultivation, he was immensely wealthy prior to that time.
Upon the bursting of the war cloud, which had threatened the country for some time, he espoused the Confederate cause, and became a member of a company called the Moore Fencibles in April, 1861, and was a participant in the first battle of Manassas Junction. He then served on detached service west of the Mississippi River until the close of the war. He was a member of the old Wig party until its dissolution, then becoming a Democrat, with which party he has at all times affiliated, being very active and successful in its support, but has held aloof from office, although positions have been frequently tendered him. He is strictly temperate in all his habits, and is a strong advocate of prohibition. Socially he belongs to the A. P. & A. M., and he and wife are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, having been so from childhood. His wife was born near Selma, Ala., to Daniel H. and Emily (Goodwin) Norwood, natives, respectively, of North Carolina and Alabama, she being one of their twelve children, of whom only three are now living; her sisters, Mrs. Browning and Mrs. White, being residents of Norwalk, Fla. Mr. Blackman inherits Welsh and Irish blood of his ancestors, who came to the United States at a very early day, settling in Virginia. He was the youngest in a family of six children, all of whom grew to maturity. His parents were born in Virginia and North Carolina in 1782 and 1787, respectively. The following are the names of his brothers, the only ones of the family whom the subject of this sketch can remember: Jonathan, Joseph, Nathaniel and John. Members of this family served in the Revolutionary War, John holding the rank of colonel under Francis Marion.
William D. Bonner, merchant, Homer, La. Mr. Bonner, a native of Louisiana, was born in Bossier Parish on August 21, 1858, and is a son of William S. Bonner, who was born in Morgan Parish, Ga. The father was reared in his native parish, and was married there to Miss Mary E. Darden, also a native, of Georgia. They removed to Louisiana in 1859, located in Bossier Parish, and here the father tilled the soil for one year. From there they moved to Claiborne Parish, located in Ward No. 4, and there bought, an improved farm, where they still reside. The father was a soldier in the Confederate Army from the beginning to the end of hostilities. He is a prominent member of the Baptist Church. Of the six children born to this union, three sons and three daughters, three sons and two daughters are now living, and all but one are married. William D. Bonner passed his boyhood and youth on the farm in Claiborne Parish, and received a fair education in the country schools. When nineteen years of age he left home, engaged in clerking in Homer for a number of years, and in the fall of 1888 he embarked in mercantile pursuits for himself. Mr. Bonner carries a large stock of general merchandise, including dry goods, clothing, groceries, glass and queens ware, furniture, etc., and has built up a good trade. He is a gentleman highly esteemed for his many intrinsic qualities, is a first class business man, and is frequently complimented on the neat and tasty arrangement of his store and stock. Mr. Bonner was married in Webster Parish, La., on November 8, 1878, to Miss Esther Garland, a native of Louisiana, born in Webster Parish, where she was reared and educated, and the daughter of Wash. Garland. Mr. and Mrs. Bonner have one son, "Willet M., who is but one year old. Both are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
Allen B. Boykin. As a man of business Mr. Boykin's name and fame is coextensive with Claiborne Parish and the surrounding country. Almost every step of his career has been illustrated with acts of liberality and kindness, and in every interest of his section he has taken an active part, and has done all that man could to aid in a higher development. He is a native of Greene County, Ala., his birth occurring in 1831, he being the eldest of five children born to William B. and Willie (Richardson) Boykin. The names of their children are here given: Allen B., Penelope R. (wife of John Cook, of Moody, Tex.), Mary J. (wife of W. P. Otts, of Homer, La.), John W. (who is now a resident of Richland Parish, La.) and Sarah E. (Mrs. Robertson, of Ashley County, Ark.). William B. Boykin was born in North Carolina in 1803, and was the only son in a family of eight, children born to John W. Boykin, who was also probably born in the Old North State, being an active participant in the War of 1812. Mr. Boykin's wife was born in North Carolina in 1813, and was one in a family of eight children.
The subject of this sketch came to Claiborne Parish, La., with his parents in 1849, and took up his abode at Homer. Here in 1862 he enlisted in the Twenty-eighth Louisiana Infantry, Company D, and served until 1863, when he was wounded at the battle of Pleasant Hill, his right jaw being broken, the bullet that so disabled him passing through his neck. He then returned home, and, although he had been reared as a planter, he turned his attention to merchandising, opening a store in partnership with a Mr. Cooksey (deceased) in 1805. He has followed this calling ever since, with the exception of a short time in 1878, when he sold out, but in 1880 he reestablished himself in business, opening at his present stand, and by excellent business ability and foresight he has a large and constantly increasing patronage. In the year 1858 he was united in marriage to Miss Jeanette Cooksey, the daughter of Robert Cooksey, by whom he became the father of four children, only one now living, Lillias F. He was called upon to mourn the death of his wife in December, 1860, and in December, 1870, he espoused Miss Martha Tomlinson, by whom he has three children: Allen T., Kate W. and John W. Mr. Boykin has at all times been identified with tho Democratic party, and has taken a moderately active part in the political issues of the State. He has always bitterly opposed the lottery system which has cursed Louisiana for so many years, and has warmly expressed his views on other important questions of the day. He has shown his approval of secret organizations by joining the A. F. & A. M., and in his religious views is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, while his wife is a Presbyterian. Perry D. Braselton. One of the neatest and best kept plantations in the parish is that owned and operated by Mr. Braselton, which contains about 280 acres, and although it is not as large as some, 150 acres are under cultivation, and yield a larger annual income than many larger places.
He was born in Jackson County, Ga., June 2, 1827, to Jacob and Mary (Bryson) Braselton, natives of North Carolina and South Carolina respectively. The former was reared in the Palmetto State, and after his marriage there he removed to Georgia about 1809, being one of the first settlers of Jackson County. Being the owner of a number of slaves, he opened up a valuable plantation, and on this property reared a large family. For forty years a doctor never entered his doors in his professional capacity, but at last Mr. Braselton succumbed to the destroyer -death- and passed from life about 1849, having been a worthy member of the Baptist Church for many years. His worthy widow survived him for four years, then she, too, passed from life. Their family consisted of six sous and three daughters, of whom the subject of this sketch was next to the youngest, he being the only survivor of the sons. His youth and early manhood were spent in Jackson County, Ga., and there he received ordinary school advantages. In 1847 he removed to Floyd County, of the same State, and there continued to make his home until 1869, opening up a farm with his brother, but for his father. He first hired a substitute for the Confederate Army, but in 1863 became a member of the Floyd Legion of State Troops, with which he served until the close of the war, being in some light skirmishes. After the war he went back to his farm, but in 1869 sold out and removed to Louisiana, locating on the farm on which he is now living in Claiborne Parish. on his property are erected good buildings, his residence being beautifully and healthfully located. While a resident of Floyd County, Ga. he was married to America E. Camp in 1849, she being a native of that county and a daughter of Harrison Camp. Mr. and Mrs. Braselton have seven children living: Oscar F., Mattie (wife of William Nelson), Josie, Harrison, Judson V., Raymond and Brown. Ola died in 1874 at the age of seven years. The mother of these children is a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
Thomas W. Brooks is a merchant of Old Athens, La., and a short time since was so fortunate as to secure the agency of the celebrated Ames Engines and Boilers, Eagle Gins, Boss Press, Brennan & Co.'s saw mills, Bradford corn mills, Jones' Scales, Perkins' shingle machinery, wood working machinery, cane mills and evaporators. He also deals in the Melchior gin saw cleaners, which are war ranted to gin wet cotton in any condition, together with a full line of machinery, saws, shafting, pulleys, belting, etc. Polite and prompt attention is given to all customers, and all goods are sold at reasonable rates., Mr. Brooks was born in Talbot, County, Ga., February 16, 1846, to Allen Brooks, a native of Georgia, who was married there to Miss Maria Bullock. Mr. Brooks was a farmer of his native State until his death, which occurred about 1855, after having served in one of the early Indian wars.
Thomas W. Brooks was reared in Talbot and Stewart Counties, and after the death of his father, moved to town with his mother, where be received a thorough English education, which has thoroughly fitted him for the practical life he has led. In 1861 he came to Louisiana, and from the parish of Claiborne enlisted in the Fourth Louisiana Cavalry, Company F, in 1863, serving until the close of the war and participating in some smart skirmishes. He then returned here and after following farming until 1867, he began blacksmithing and repairing, following this calling up to 1889, at Old Athens. In October of that year he opened his present establishment and carries a very complete line of shelf and heavy groceries besides the stock of goods above mentioned, and is doing a good business as he fully deserves to do. He was married here on February 28, 1866, to Miss Victoria Bridges, who was born and reared in Georgia, a daughter B. N. Bridges, and by her he is the father of seven children: Ida (wife of E. E. Monzingo), Barney, Zadio (wife of W. P. Fincher), Elma, Virgil V., Judge Shepherd and Prentiss. Mr. Brooks was elected to the position of justice of the peace in April, 1887, a position he held four years; socially is a member of the A. P. & A. M., and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Samuel P. Brown has been identified with the progress and development of Claiborne Parish, La., for many years and is especially well known throughout this region as a dealer in general merchandise at Haynesville, where he was born in 1835, being one of fifteen children, all of whom grew to maturity, with the exception of one. His brothers and sisters are as follows: Mary A. (wife of William De Moss, of Bossier Parish), William W. (who resides in Homer, La.), Jackson J. (who died in Cleburne, Tex., leaving a family), Abraham N. (a resident and planter of Haynesville, La.), John L. (also a planter of this parish), Elizabeth (wife of W. E. Fortson, of Antioch, La.), Thomas M. (a planter of Ward 3), Julia A. (of Dallas, Tex.), George W. (who died in Monroe, La., during the war). Isaac N. (a furniture dealer of Arcadia. La.). Andrew J. (who died when a lad), Charles H. (a resident of Homer. La.), Henry C. named by Henry Clay, himself, resides on the old home place in Ward 7 of this parish, and Sarah F. (wife of Joseph E. Barrow, of Oklahoma).
The father, Nathaniel Brown, was born in Tennessee in 1804 and was a son of Leonard Brown, probably a native of Virginia, the latter being a participant in the Black Hawk War. Nathaniel came to Claiborne Parish, La., in 1833, from Tennessee, and located six miles south of Haynesville, where he made a farm on which he resided until 1840, at, which time he located five miles north of Homer, where he improved a plantation of about 900 acres. He aided in the founding of Homer, and here reared his family and gave them the advantages of the common schools. He has been a member of the Christian Church since 1850, his wife being also a member, her death occurring in 1882 at the age of seventy-one years. Her maiden name was Elizabeth Weakes and she was born in Indiana. At the age of twenty-one years Samuel F. Brown, began life as a planter, a calling he followed two years, at which time he lost his right hand and since 1865 has given his attention successfully to merchandising in Haynesville. In 1873 his marriage with Miss Nettie Thomason, of Arizona, was celebrated, but he was called upon to mourn her death in 1877, she leaving him with three little children to care for: Arthur L., Annie W. and Nettie M. His second marriage was to Miss Mollie O. Thomason, by whom he has two children: James L. and Ruth Garnet, Mr. Brown has always been a Democrat, and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
John F. Brownfield is a tiller of the soil who enjoys the reputation of being progressive and intelligent in his views, and well posted on all public matters. He was born on the farm on which he is now residing July 1, 1855, being a son of John M. and Sarah E. (Simontor) Brownfield, and grandson of John Brownfield and Felix Simontor. The parents of John F. were born in Georgia, and there the father grew to manhood, going afterward to Alabama, where he was married, his wife having been reared in that State. After farming in that, State for some six years, he, in 1854, came to Louisiana and purchased the farm in Claiborne Parish, on which the immediate subject of this sketch is now residing.
He cleared and improved this plantation, and prior to the war was the owner of a number of valuable slaves. He was a soldier of the Confederate Army during the Rebellion, serving from 1863 until the close of hostilities, and while in the service showed the pluck, endurance and determination of his Scotch ancestors. He was a prominent member of the Presbyterian Church, and died in September, 1865. His father was a North Carolinian. His widow survives him at this writing, is sixty- three years of age, but is yet hale and hearty. John P. Brownfield is the second of four sons and three daughters, three sons and one daughter now living. The eldest son, Henry C., being a man of superior mental endowments, was president of Homer College, but was taken sick and died while tilling that position. By profession he was a civil engineer. John P. Brownfield attended the village school, and at the ago of seventeen years was left in charge of the home farm, and has continued as its manager ever since, being now its owner. About 200 acres of land are open, and 100 are under cultivation. He is one of the best and thriftiest planters in his ward, and has always been interested in politics, serving as a delegate to State and parish conventions on different occasions. He is a member of the Baptist Church, belongs to the Farmers' Alliance, and has been president one year in his local order.
William O. Bullock, a well known citizen of this section of the country, was born in Franklin County, Ga., September 22, 1805, being a son of William and Spicy (Bowman) Bullock, the former of whom was born in Virginia in 1773. He located in South Carolina early in life, but at a later period moved to Georgia, where he married, and soon after moved to Pike County, Miss., in which place he reared his family. In the State of Mississippi William O. Bullock grew to maturity, and there he was married in 1829 to Miss Sarah, daughter of Samuel Aikin. Although quite a large family was born to them, only four of their children are now living: Zemariah, Miranda, Percy and Monroe. Beyond a doubt Mr. Bullock is the oldest living early settler in Claiborne Parish, for he located where he now resides in 1834, his land being then heavily covered with pine trees. His estate comprises nearly one section of land and about 200 acres are under cultivation. He is a strong Democrat, his first vote being cast in 1826, and since that time he has never failed to vote in a presidential election. His good wife died in 1.862, and he has remained faithful to her memory ever since. He joined the Methodist Episcopal Church at the age of fourteen years, and from that time until the present he has been a conscientious member, doing all he could to advance the cause of the Master. Socially he is a member of the A. P. & A. M., having joined that order about 1870. He deservedly bears the reputation of an honest man, the noblest work of God, and has always been progressive in his views, and thoroughly intelligent and well posted on all public matters. Dr. A. R. Bush is a native of the same parish in which he now resides, his birth occurring in the year 1852. There were only three children in his parents' family: James E. (who was killed in our great Civil War), Aylmer (now a resident of Summerfield, La.), and the immediate subject of this notice.
The father, Dr. James S. Bush, was born in the State of New York about 1811, and came of a family of physicians, descendants of whom are scattered all over the Union. Dr. James S. Bush came to Louisiana at a very early date and settled about twenty-one miles east of Homer, removing about twenty-five years later to Trenton, where he died about 1808. The lady who became his wife was Miss Margaret S. Neyland, a native of Mississippi and a lady of unusual refinement and intelligence. She died in 1868 at the age of forty-seven years. Dr. A. E. Bush received his early education in the schools of his native parish, afterward taking two courses of lectures in the medical profession at Cincinnati, and graduating from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Baltimore. He practiced medicine at Gordon for some time, and in 1888 located at Homer, which has since been his home. Miss Georgia A., daughter of Jesse C. Madden, became his wife in 1884, and to their union three children have been born: Jesse M. P., Aylmer and Dayton H. The last two named are twins.
Thomas J. Caldwell is a merchant and planter, residing in Ward 5, Claiborne Parish, La., but his native birthplace is Conecuh County, Ala., where he first saw the light of day in 1835. His parents are Andrew and Elizabeth (McNeel) Caldwell, the birth of the former occurring in Jones County, Ga., in 1803. His father was James Caldwell, probably a Georgian, and his grandfather was Andrew Caldwell, who was born in Ireland, and came to America at an early day. Andrew Caldwell, the father of Thomas J., was in the war with the Creek Indians, in 1835. He and his wife became the parents of the following family: James (now a resident of Central Arkansas, near Camden), William (of Bienville Parish, La.), Mary (wife of Z. Tilly, of Bienville Parish), Andrew (died in infancy), Thomas J., Columbus C. (now a resident of Claiborne Parish), George (died in infancy), Elizabeth (wife of George Crowley, of Bienville Parish), Lucinda (lived with Thomas J., died. October 28, 1890), John D. (who resides near Liberty Hill, Bienville Parish, La.), Alec H. (a resident of Ward 5, of Claiborne Parish), and Andrew J. (who died in Arcadia, in 1886).
Thomas J. Caldwell remained in the State of Alabama until he was sixteen years of age, then came to Louisiana with his parents, but his early education was obtained in the former State. Upon the opening of the Rebellion he enlisted in Company E, of the Twenty-seventh Louisiana Infantry, under Capt. E. W. Campbell, and the first engagement, in which he took part was at Vicksburg. He served three years, at the end of which time be returned home, without having received a wound. The year following the close of the war he was united in marriage to Miss Louisa J. Leatherman, a daughter of Thomas Leatherman, and unto them a family of ten children has been born, six of whom are living: Tucker W. (died at the age of fourteen years), Lonella (died when three years of age), Thomas J., James E., Elmore, Edna (died at the age of three years), Maggie L., Bee, Nina and Lizzie M. Mr. Caldwell comes of a line of Wigs, but is, himself, an active advocate of Democracy. He and his wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and are substantial and honored residents of the locality in which they are residing. Mr. Caldwell does a general merchandising business, at Old Athens, besides managing his plantation, which consists of about 1,800 acres, of which some 500 acres are under cultivation, excellently adapted to raising all the products of the South, there being about 100 bales of cotton raised annually.
Alexander H. Caldwell is an industrious, enterprising planter of Claiborne Parish, and as he has at all times endeavored to make life a success, he commands the respect of every worthy citizen. His birth occurred in Choctaw County, Ala., April 20, 1847, to Andrew Caldwell, a brother of Thomas Caldwell, whose sketch appears in this history. Alexander H. Caldwell came to this State with his parents in 1851, and in the parish of Bienville he grew to manhood and obtained a common school education. He remained with his father until he was twenty-seven years of age, and in 1874 removed to Claiborne Parish, and engaged in farming in Ward 5, being first associated in this work with a brother. In this parish he was married on March 2, 1879, the maiden name of his wife being Mattie Leatherman, who was born, reared and educated in Claiborne Parish, a daughter of Thomas Leatherman, one of the pioneers of this section, now a man of seventy years of age. After his marriage Mr. Caldwell rented land for a few years, then purchased an eighty-acre tract of raw land, which he commenced to improve, but soon sold, then buying the plantation on which he is now residing. Although the most of the land was unopened, he set to work at once to improve it, and now has one of the finest plantations, for its size, in the parish. Of the 320 acres which he owns, he has 125 acres under cultivation, on which is a comfortable residence and other good buildings. As an illustration of Mr. Caldwell's ability as a financier it, may be stated that he began life with no means, but is now in good circumstances. He and his most worthy wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and are parents of five children: Floyd K , Alexander C, Alpha P., Willie Couret and Howard P. David A. J. Carathers.
In the State of Alabama, in 1830, there was born to Jonathan and L. (Goodwin) Carathers, a son, the subject of this sketch, being one of a family of four children. Both parents were born in Tennessee, but after residing in Alabama for some time, they, in 1845, came to Camden, Ark., and three years later to Claiborne Parish, La. In 1801 they went to tho Lone Star State, and in Tarrant County the father died in 1873, at the age of seventy-two years. He was the fourth in a family of twelve children, the father of whom, Jonathan Carathers, was born in the Emerald Isle, and he and three brothers came to America, and during the Revolutionary War served in a company under Gen. Washington, coming safely through that struggle, and afterward settling in Tennessee, In Claiborne Parish, La., David A. J. Carathers enlisted in Company E, in 1861, but at Huntsville, Ala., he was captured, with the most of his company, but he succeeded in making his escape, and afterward rejoined the Confederate Army, this time enlisting in Company F, Ninth Louisiana Infantry, and served the cause he espoused faithfully and well until the close of the war. He was wounded in the battles of Sharpsburg, Winchester, and at Rappahannock Station, being captured at the last named place and sent to Washington City. Mr. Carathers was one of the few Confederate soldiers who saw the Goddess of Liberty raised. Upon the termination of the war he immediately returned to Lisbon, and this place has since been his home. His marriage to Miss Sarah E. McCasland took place in 1869, and has resulted in the birth of eight children: Lee J., J. Clay, Benjamin P., Minnie, Julia, Mack, J. David and Laura. They are both members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and socially he belongs to the A. P. & A. M. and the I. O. O. P. He has always been an ardent Democrat, and has served as bailiff from 1867 to 1872, and has also been justice of the peace from that time up to the present. Mr. Carathers is quite well fixed, financially, and besides owning a nice residence and seventeen acres of town property he has a good plantation of 400 acres.
Charles O. Cargile, M. D., is a physician of more than ordinary ability, and at an early age displayed an eagerness for study and a desire for a professional life. He was born in Chambers County, Ala., in October, 1861, being the eldest of seven children born to Charles J. and Ellen A. (Barrow) Cargile, both of whom were Georgians. Their children are: Charles O., Jimmie W. (wife of Jim Smith, of Shiloh, La.), Ida A., John A. (deceased), Era E., Joel J. and William T. The father was born in Georgia, in 1838, and was the eldest in a family of six children. His parents were natives of North Carolina. The immediate subject of this sketch was brought to Claiborne Parish by his parents in 1867, and here he has since resided, his early literary education being received in Summerfield and Shiloh. In 1883 he entered the old Atlanta (Ga.) Medical College, from which place he graduated in 1886, his attention since that time being devoted exclusively and successfully to the practice of his profession. He also managed a plantation of about 200 acres, and although he is still a young practitioner, he has shown much skill in the treatment of his cases, and fully deserves the large practice which he commands. He was married to Miss Artie M. Mason, in May, 1886, and both are members of the Missionary Baptist Church. He has always been a Democrat.
Jasper J. Chandler. By close attention to the business affairs of life, and by earnest and persistent endeavor, coupled with strict integrity, Mr. Chandler has become a well-to-do planter of Claiborne Parish, La. He began life for himself with no capital whatever, with the exception of a pair of ponies, but is now in independent circumstances, and upon his valuable and well-improved plantation of 520 acres, he has just completed the erection of a tine steam cotton gin. He was born in Calhoun County, Ala., in 1851, being the fourth in a family of ten children, their names being as follows: Newton (now a resident of Lincoln Parish, La.), Frances (wife of M. Baxter, also of Lincoln Parish), Reuben (who died at the age of eighteen years), Jasper J. (the subject of this biography), Sarah (wife of Joel Clay, of Lincoln Parish), Polly (widow of John Stewart), Susanna (wife of J. Moffett, of Winn Parish, La.), Maria (wife of J. Ham mick), and Venola (wife of Dr. Tarquin), the last two being residents of Lincoln Parish. The father and mother of this family were Stephen and Nancy (Warren) Chandler, both of whom were Georgians. Jasper J. Chandler came to Louisiana with his parents when but nine years of age, and located in Lincoln Parish, where he attained manhood, and where, in 1872, he was married to Miss Maggie Bailey, a daughter of G. Bailey. Of a family of five children born to them, four are now living. Politically Mr. Chandler has always voted the Democratic ticket, thus standing firmly by the principles he has always believed in.
Richard H. Cleveland, planter, Homer, La. This prominent and much esteemed citizen was originally from Franklin County, Ga., his birth occurring on June 28, 1823, and was fourth in a family of nine children, who are named as follows: Araminta (became the wife of George Garner, of Franklin County, Ga., but is now deceased), James M. (resides in Stewart County, Ga.), William (died in infancy), Martha (became the wife of C. Allen, of Georgia), Louisa (married Jack Williams, of Georgia), Oliver C. (resides in Stewart County, Ga.), Benjamin P. (was killed in the battle of Richmond during the war), John G. (was supposed to have been slain in the Mountain Meadow massacre), and Harriet (became the wife of Thomas Johnson, of Stewart County, Ga., but is now deceased). The father of these children, Benjamin Cleveland, was born in Franklin County, Ga., about 1788, and was a son of John Cleveland, who was a native of Virginia. The mother, whose maiden name was Amelia Hooper, was also born in Franklin County, Ga., and was the daughter of Richard Hooper, who was an old Revolutionary soldier. Richard H. Cleveland received a common- school education in Georgia, and later started out in life as a planter. He was married, in 1846, to Miss Sarah A. Frost, daughter of Johnson Frost, of Troup County, Ga., and the fruits of this union were ten children, viz.: W. H. (who died in 1882), Josephine H. (now Mrs. H. L. Featherston, of Homer, La.), John G. (is a resident of Texas), and the following children are deceased: Benjamin L., Judge T , James J., Henry F., Emma C, Sallie R. and Richard H. During the war Mr. Cleveland was a detailed farmer, and managed three big plantations, the proceeds to be sold at scheduled prices to soldiers. Politically he has been a Democrat from boyhood, and cast his first presidential vote for James K. Polk. He has been a member of the Masonic fraternity for more than forty years. He owns a plantation of 860 acres, and has as good a one as is to be found in Northwest Louisiana.
A. K. Clingman needs no introduction to the people of this community, for he is the owner of a magnificent plantation near the town of Homer, La., about 300 acres of which are under cultivation, and on which is one of the finest nurseries in this section of the country, comprising about 250,000 trees and plants. He was born in Clark County, Ark., where he grew to maturity and received a good common-school education in various schools of the State, but in 1873 left the land of his birth to take up his abode in Louisiana, and since that time has been devoted to the interests of Homer and Claiborne Parishes. His work here has prospered in every way, and as the property of which he is now the owner has been obtained by his own unaided efforts he deserves the greatest credit for his stability, perseverance and energy. He is at the present time constructing a hotel at Homer, which is to be 60 by130 feet, two stories in height, and built of brick with an iron front. It, will be admirably fitted up, and every convenience which the traveling public can desire will be at their disposal. He was married in 1879 to Miss Delia Tankersley, a daughter of J. O. Tankersley, of Homer, and an interesting little family of three children has been born to their union; Annie, Arthur Brandon and Minnie Terrelle. Socially Mr. Clingman is connected with the A. F . & A. M., the I. O. O. F. and the K. of P. He and his wife are earnest members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and have the unbounded respect of all who know them throughout this section, for, besides being liberal in their donations to all worthy enterprises, they are kind, hospitable and public spirited. The intelligent manner in which he has conducted his nursery, and his desire to please and satisfy his patrons, has mot with the best of returns, and Mr. Clinginau can look forward to a prosperous and pleasant future. He was one of a family of twelve children, nine of whom lived to maturity, born to A. B. Clingman, who was born in the Old North State, but who located in Arkansas at an early day, and there reared his family. The latter spent his youthful days in Huntsville, N. C , being one of four children of Peter Clingman, who was a wealthy German of that place, engaged in the mercantile business. A. K. Cling man had five brothers in the Confederate Army, one receiving a wound at Murfreesboro, from which he died, and two of the others were taken ill and died. The other brother has died since the war, A. K. and two sisters being the only ones of the family now living. Gen. T. L. Clingman, a cousin, was a member of the United States Senate for eight years, and before he was twenty-one years of age he was elected a member of the State Legislature, and has been in public service almost ever since. He resides at Ashton, N. C. A. K. Clingman's father was a practicing physician, who died in Arkansas at the age of seventy-four years.
Benjamin Ryan Coleman, parish surveyor and planter, was born on May 12, 1832, in Edgefield District, S. C , and is descended from Revolutionary ancestry, his groat-grandfather, Benjamin Ryan, a native of Virginia, being a captain under Gen. Marion. His father, W. G. Coleman, was a captain in the Mexican War from Alabama, and was at one time a member of the Legislature of Louisiana. The latter was married to Miss Frances A. Johnson, of South Carolina, a daughter of William S. Johnson, whose parents were Virginians. He was a learned man, very intelligent, and was a contributor to Nicholson's Encyclopedia and the secular press of South Carolina. Mrs. Coleman, the mother of the subject of this sketch, died when he was but eight years old, leaving three younger children. He was educated in Edgefield Academy until he was thirteen years of age, then moved with his father to Perry County, Ala., where he labored on the farm, and attended the best schools in the county for seven years. In 1850 he moved to Claiborne Parish, La., and was married three years later to Miss Fidelia N. Melton, of Perry County, Ala., a daughter of William Allen Melton, a native of South Carolina, and one of the first families of the State of Alabama. They have lived thirty-seven years together, and the issue of their marriage has been eleven children, six of whom are living. In bis twenty-first year he was elected school director from his ward, and from that time until 1859 he was engaged in school teaching and planting, being then appointed clerk of the district court, to fill a vacancy caused by the death of Enoch B. Whitson. At the end of four years he was re-elected, but at the close of the war was removed from office by J. Madison Wells, radical, governor of Louisiana. He was then appointed notary public in partnership with J. R. Ramsey, was enabled to support his family for twelve months. The loss of his slave property and position as clerk left him poor indeed, but he soon turned to his first occupation of teaching and farming, at which he made a fair living. In 1872 he was appointed parish surveyor, which position he is holding at the present time. In 1876 he was elected minute clerk of the Legislature, which position he filled three years, and in 1882 was appointed assistant engineer on the fifth residence of the Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific Railroad, and helped to build twelve miles west of Arcadia., and in 1880 and 1890 he was census enumerator. He is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, a Council Mason, a member of the I. O. O. F, and in his political views is a Democrat of the Jeffersonian stamp. He is a clear and rapid penman, is skillful with his pencil, is a tine amateur musician, and is well versed in parliamentary usages.
One of his greatest gifts is his knowledge of woodcraft and surveying, being one of the most, competent of North Louisiana, where he is universally and favorably known. He is the possessor of an abundance of humor and good nature, and has for a number of years been a contributor to the newspapers of his parish and State. He has been successful in the accumulation of worldly goods, and now has a beautiful home and a fine plantation. He holds commissions from every governor of Louisiana for thirty-five years past. He has lived a very active life, and with the assistance of a splendid library which he possesses, and the newspapers that he reads, he keeps fully apace with this progressive age. Possessing the proverbial hospitality of those of his nativity, he is loved by all, and has the esteem and respect of the community at large. Prof. Thomas A. Coleman is a native of Claiborne Parish, La., born February 9, 1857, and as he has lived here all his life he is thoroughly well known, and commands the respect and esteem of all. His father, Ben E. Coleman, was a native of South Carolina, who removed to Alabama when a lad of thirteen years, going with his father, William G. Coleman, and settling in Perry County.
The latter was also born in South Carolina, was of Irish descent, and was a captain under Gen. Scott in the Mexican War. About 1850 he removed to Louisiana, and settled, in what is now Claiborne Parish, which he represented in the State Legislature, dying here in 1888, at the age of eighty-three years, having been a very active and prominent, man throughout his entire life. Ben E. Coleman was a young man on coming to this parish, but had been married in Alabama to Miss Fidelia Melton, a native of Alabama, and a sister of Rev. John Melton, of Lisbon. After his marriage he settled on a farm near Homer, and here still makes his home. Although he was given some advantages for acquiring an education in his youth, he is principally self-educated, and is well posted on all the general questions of the day. He served as a clerk of the court, for two terms of four years each, and at the present time is parish surveyor, and at all times and in every duty in life he has shown that he is a man of far more than average intelligence and culture. Prof. T. A. Coleman was educated in Arizona and Baton Rouge, and was appointed professor of mathematics in Homer College, in which capacity he served with ability for one session. He was married here on January, 23, 1887, to Miss Ida Simmon, a daughter of one of the prominent farmers of the parish, who was educated at Homer Institute. After his nuptials were celebrated he settled on the plantation of 600 acres which he now owns, and by industry has succeeded in putting 300 acres under cultivation, raising annually about sixty bales of cotton. He and his wife have one daughter, Laura D., one year old. They are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and he belongs to the Farmers Union, and for three years has been its secretary.
Richard W. Collier, merchant, Homer, La. Among the younger merchants of Homer who have worked their way to the front and who today enjoy enviable reputations as first class business men is the subject of this sketch. He was born in Claiborne Parish, near Homer, October 30, 1860, and his parents, B. C. and Nancy L. (White) Collier, were both natives of Georgia, where they were educated. The elder Collier moved from Georgia to Louisiana about 1850, and located in Claiborne Parish, where he was engaged in planting up to the breaking out of the late Civil War. He was one of the first to respond to his country's call, and enlisted in the Confederate Army, where he served faithfully until his death, being killed in the engagement at Mansfield in 1863. Mrs. Collier survived him several years, but is now deceased. Richard W. Collier is the only survivor of a family of four children. He was reared in Homer, received a good English education at Homer College, and after completing his studies clerked for Mr. G. G. Gill, one of the most successful merchants of Claiborne Parish. He continued with Mr. Gil! for about eight years, and during that time laid the foundation for a successful business career. Mr. Collier began business for himself as a member of the firm of Bridgeman, Collier & Co., in December, 1888, and this firm continued in business for about one year. Then Mr. Collier succeeded to the business of the firm. He carries a large stock of general merchandise including dry goods, groceries, clothing, hardware, queens ware, furniture, notions, etc. He has a large store, neatly arranged, and has the reputation of good goods and fair dealing. He has established a large and increasing trade, and is prominent in business circles. His marriage to Miss Lula M. Taylor, a native of Claiborne Parish, was consummated on May 27, 1883, and the fruits of this union were three children: Eldred B., Lillian and Blanche. Mrs. Collier was reared and educated in this county, and is the daughter of J. M. Taylor. Mr. Collier has held several local positions of trust and honor, and is at present a member of the town council. He is a young man of sterling worth and ability, and one of the leading business men of Homer.
William Wirt Culpepper, M. D., is a Georgian by birth, born in Houston County, October 8, 1834, to Charles S. and Nancy (Cunyus) Culpepper, who were born, reared and married in Georgia, removing to Louisiana about 1850, and settling in Jackson Parish. The mother having died in 1818, the father married again and reared a family by his last wife. He passed from life in 1872. Dr. William Wirt Culpepper attained manhood in Jackson Parish, La., and in 1801, left home to enlist in the Confederate Army, becoming a member of the Second Louisiana Infantry, and served until he received his discharge for disability from a wound which he had received. He was in the engagements at Great Bethel Church and Malvern Hill, and on the last day of the seven days' fight he was wounded in the right knee by grape shot and permanently disabled. After being in the hospital for some time he was furloughed home, where' he was afterward elected sheriff of Jackson Parish, and this position he held for about two years.
Soon after arriving at mature years he began the study of medicine, and took his first course of lectures at New Orleans in 1855, and had practiced some prior to the opening of the Rebellion. He once more began practicing, after finishing his duties as sheriff, going soon after to Rapides Parish, where he remained some three years. In 1869 he again went, to Now Orleans and took a second course of lectures, and in the spring of 1870 was graduated as an M. D., locating soon after in Webster Parish, where he remained for some ten years.
On January 7, 1880, he moved to Claiborne Parish, and has been practicing in the vicinity of Athens ever since, and has become widely and favorably known in his social life as well as professional capacity. In connection with his practice be has of late years also carried on a farm, at which he is doing well. He was married in Jackson Parish, on February 14, 1865, to Miss Anna I, Barnes, a native of Mississippi, but reared in Louisiana, by her father, James Barnes. She died in 1873, leaving two sous: James Curran and William Tell. The Doctor's second marriage took place in 1876, to Miss Anna Isabelle Hise of this State and parish, a daughter of Aaron Hise, by whom he has four children: Charles Stewart, Joseph Hiram, Vernon Hise and Winfred Wirt. The Doctor and his wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and he is an A. F. & A. M.
John William Dawson is a cotton planter, and for the last eighteen years has been a general merchant at, Lisbon, Claiborne Parish, La., and like many, and perhaps the most of the representative citizens of this parish, he is a Georgian. His birth occurred in Heard County, about forty miles from the city of Atlanta, April 13, 1842, and he was the fifth of a family of ten children, four sons and six daughters, born to Robert and Sarah A. (Toombs) Dawson, natives of Georgia. The father was an agriculturist by calling, a well known local politician, and died near Lisbon, La., at the age of seventy-three years. Mr. J. W. Dawson's father was a cousin of Gen. Toombs, of Georgia, and his brother, Toombs Dawson, is a resident of Claiborne Parish, La., and is a well known and thrifty planter. The paternal grandfather was a Virginian, and the maternal ancestor was a Georgian. John William Dawson attended the select schools of this parish in his youth, but the Rebellion broke in upon his scholastic life, and he was forced, much against his will, to relinquish his school work. On April 21, 1801, he joined the Claiborne Guards, Second Louisiana Infantry Volunteers, when only seventeen years of age, and was sent to Virginia, tho first twelve mouths being spent at Yorktown under Gen. McGruder. He afterward took part in the following battles:
The first battle of the war at Bethel Church, Malvern Hill, seven days fight around Richmond, Winchester, and the battles in the Valley of Virginia, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Sharpsburg, Harper's Ferry, Gettysburg, Mine-run, the Wilderness (where he was wounded in the right hand), the siege of Petersburg and the retreat to Appomattox Court House, where he heard the last cannon of the Rebellion fired. He secured as a relic a piece of the apple tree under which Gen. Lee surrendered, and at that place he bade an affectionate farewell to his beloved and honored chieftain, who, when trying to bid his faithful followers farewell broke down and wept. At the surrender of Lee, the company to which Mr. Dawson belonged, numbered only eleven men which, on starting out had been 120 strong. The names of those who surrendered at Appomattox are: Capt. A. S. Blythe, Sergt, W. C. Hightower and Privates J. G. Meadows, J. A. Reed, T. J. Monk, W. G. Cooksey, P. P. Coleman, P. A. Williams, C. B. Harrison, Orderly Sergt. J. W. Dawson, and a colored man by the name of Stark Glover, who acted as cook. Mr. Dawson returned home via Fortress Monroe and New Orleans, and for some time gave his attention to farming, and as a result has a valuable plantation comprising 600 acres, 250 of which are tillable land, and the products from this and the proceeds of his mercantile establishment furnish him with all the necessities, and many of the luxuries of life. He has always sustained the principles of Democracy, and although he has never been a very active politician, he has never failed to cast his vote, but took care that it should be for men of worth. He belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church South, of Lisbon, his wife having also been a member prior to her death, and for the just twenty-two years he has devoted himself to church work, being always a liberal contributor to enterprises which he thought deserving. on November 24, 1870, he married Miss Matilda O. Willis, who was born in Claiborne Parish, La., in 1850; but alter a happy married life of twenty years her Master called her and found her ready. She died on July 2, 1890, having been a noble and faithful wife and mother, and is now sleeping in Lisbon Cemetery, where a beautiful monument marks her last resting place, a tribute to her memory by her sorrowing husband. To them six sons and four daughters were born, three of the ten dying in infancy, leaving seven living: Mollie Maude, John W., Nannie V., Linus P., Aubin, Sallie Will and Tillie Blanche. Mr. Dawson has many warm friends in this section, and here, surrounded by his childreu, he expects to spend the rest of his days.
Oliver H. P. Dawson has for years been prominently before the public, as a leading agriculturist of Claiborne Parish, La., but was born in Edgefield District, S. C , April 14, 1824, to Capt. Lemuel G. and Polly (Glanton) Dawson, who were born, reared and married in South Carolina, removing about, 1827 to Alabama, and resided in Chambers County until his death in 1848, being one of the first settlers of the eastern portion of that State. He served in the War of 1812, was in some of the engagements with the Indians, and in 1836 was captain of a company, being afterward drilling officer and major-general of militia. His widow survived him until 1876, when she, too, passed away. Oliver H. P. Dawson grew to manhood in Chambers County, Ala., receiving the advantages of country schools, and on January 20, 1846, was married to Miss Sarah A. Spinks, a native of Georgia, being reared and educated in that State.
Mr. Dawson continued to farm in that State until 1860, then removed to Louisiana, and proceeded to open up a farm in Claiborne Parish near the State line, on which he is now living. He has 500 acres of land, the greater portion of which is under cultivation, well improved with a commodious and substantial residence and good outbuildings. In 1803 he enlisted in Company F, of Col. McNeil's regiment, in which he served until the close of the war, his service being confined principally to Louisiana and Arkansas. He and his wife reared eleven children to maturity, ten of whom are living at the present time; L. N. O. W. (now deceased), Alonzo H. (a sketch of whom appears in this work), E. P., O. H. V., Emma E. (wife of James Moore of Homer, La.), J. S., William Y. (a sketch of whom also appears herein), Mary L. (wife of Dr. S. C. Waller of Welcome, Ark.), Sallie (wife of B. T. Collier), and Izona E. Mr. Dawson has been a Mason for forty years, and his wife is a member of the Baptist Church.
Alonzo H. Dawson, farmer and merchant, also ginner and manufacturer of lumber, was born in Chambers County, Ala., April 12, 1850, and is the son of O. H. P. Dawson. The latter was born in the Palmetto State, but was reared in Alabama, where he was married to Miss Sarah A. Spinks, a native of Georgia. Mr. Dawson followed farming in Alabama until 1859, and then located in Claiborne Parish, La. He made a large farm near Haynesville, and there he and his estimable wife now reside, somewhat advanced in years, but still hale and hearty. Mr. Dawson served in the late war. Alonzo H. Dawson and six brothers and four sisters, of the above-mentioned couple, came with his parents to Louisiana in 1859, received a common school education in Claiborne Parish, and remained under the parental roof until twenty-seven years of age. He then started out for himself as an agriculturist. He located in Ward No. 7 in 1882, bought a steam saw mill and engaged in the lumber, also gin business, which he has continued up to the present time. He also bought a farm in this parish in 1885, and has built a nice, neat dwelling-house, besides improving it very materially in other respects. He has about, 700 acres, all in a body, and has 500 of this under cultivation. Mr. Dawson makes a specialty of cotton, averaging about 100 bales annually. He commenced empty handed, and what he has accumulated is the result of his own industry and perseverance. He was married in this parish in 1878, to Miss Virginia C. Taylor, a native of Georgia, and the daughter of Jonathan Taylor.
Mrs. Dawson was reared and educated in this parish. The fruits of this union were three living children; Gulliver W., Lafayette and Ernest. They lost one, Fred, in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Dawson are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he is one of the trustees in the same. He was formerly a member of the Farmers' Union. In 1885 he started a store here, and has been in the mercantile business ever since. He carries a general stock and is doing a fair business for a country store. He is a good business man, and is energetic and enterprising.
William Y. Dawson is a member of the mercantile firm of Longino & Dawson, of Haynesville, La. He was born in this parish on June 30, 1861, being the youngest son of O. H. P. Dawson, a sketch of whom precedes this. His education was obtained in Haynesville Academy, and after remaining with his father until he was twenty-one years of age, he took a commercial course in the Little Eock Commercial College, returned to Haynesville, October 22, 1882, and there engaged as book-keeper for W. P. Longino. In January, 1888, he became a partner, purchasing a half interest in the entire business. When Mr.
Dawson first entered as salesman for Mr. Longino the business amounted to about $3,000 per year, but by the untiring energy and business integrity of Mr. Dawson, they now do a business of $50,000 per year, and have established a reputation for fine goods and fair prices second to none in the parish. Theirs is one of the most substantial firms of this portion of the State, and as Mr. Longino has retired from active duty, Mr. Dawson has the full management of the establishment, and Well does he discharge his duties. It is to his able management that the business has been increased to its present admirable proportions, and in connection with this business they handle cotton, and this year will ship about 600 bales. Mr. Dawson was elected postmaster of Haynesville in the fall of 1888.
Dr. J. W. Day is an able and a highly successful medical practitioner of Dykesville and the surrounding country. He is a Georgian, born in 1834, to Nathan and Martha E. B. (Cole) Day, both of whom were born in South Carolina, the birth of the former occurring about 1806. He was a son of Jonathan Day, who is supposed to have been born in England, but who came to America in early life and afterward took sides with the colonists in their struggle for liberty with the mother country. The wife of Nathan Day was a daughter of Samuel Cole of South Carolina, and to her union with Mr. Day two children were born: Sarah M, (who became the wife of John L. Hurst, of Eosston, Ark., and died in 1887, leaving a family of ten children), and Dr. J. W. Day. The latter attained manhood in this parish, and was given the advantages of the common schools, in which he made rapid progress in his studies, as he was quick to grasp at new ideas, possessed a retentive memory, and at all times applied himself to his tasks. In 1857 he graduated from the Augusta Medical College, but prior to this had been married in 1853 to Miss Nancy J. Galloway, of Georgia, and with her came to Claiborne Parish in 1860, where they have reared two of three children that have been born to them; James N. (a planter of Webster Parish) and Montrose (a practicing physician in partnership with his father). Bonnie Z. is deceased. The Doctor was an old-line Whig until the opening of the Rebellion, since which time he has been identified with the Democratic party. Socially he belongs to the A. F. & A. M., the K. of P. and L. of H., and Mrs. Day is a worthy member of the Missionary Baptist Church.
William W. De Loach is a planter of Claiborne Parish, La. He is one of the most successful agriculturists of this region, and one whose honesty has never been questioned. He is a Georgian, born in Crawford County, March 31, 1832, to John and Elizabeth (Sawyer) De Loach, both of whom were born in South Carolina, after their marriage removing from Crawford County, Ga., to Harris County of that State, thence to Louisiana, in 1847, being one of the pioneers of Claiborne Parish. He opened up a farm two and a half miles south of where Homer now stands, and here made his home until 1862, when he moved to the northwest portion of the parish, and afterward died at the residence of a son, in 1889, at the age of eighty-six years.
He served in the war with the Greek Indians, and at the time of his death had been a resident of Claiborne Parish for forty-five years. His first wife died when the subject of this sketch was an infant, and he was afterward married again. W. W. De Loach came to this State and parish when a lad of sixteen years, and here attained manhood, receiving a common school education. After remaining with his father until he attained his majority, he was married in August, to Miss M. E. Shaw, a daughter of John Shaw, and a native of Greene County, Ga., where she was reared and educated. After his marriage, until 1855, Mr. De Loach was engaged in overseeing, but at the end of that time came to his present place of abode, where he has since made his home. Although he commenced life with very limited means, he has become the owner of a good plantation of 320 acres, but now has only 160 acres, as he has given the rest to his children, having at the present time 70 acres under cultivation. His residence and buildings are all excellent, and he is now prepared to spend the rest of his days in enjoying the goods his means will provide. In 1862 he enlisted in the Thirteenth Louisiana Battalion, serving until the war ceased, participating in some skirmishes and scouting. He and his wife have six children: E. F. (wife of Thomas Holt), John A., Mollie (wife of D. G. Owens), George M., M. W. and Irene. Mr. and Mrs. De Loach are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and he has served as church clerk for a number of years. He is a Master Mason, a member of the Farmers' Union, and as a neighbor and citizen is all that could be desired.
George H. Dismukes needs no special introduction to the inhabitants of Claiborne Parish, La., for he is the well known editor and proprietor of the Southern Agriculturist, a weekly paper, which is ably edited, and published in the direct interests of the agriculturist Mr. Dismukes established this live and progressive journal on May 29, 1890, and in the brief space of three mouths it reached a circulation of about 800., He is a native Tennessean. born on March 13, 1853, being the eighth of ten children, six sons and four daughters, of whom there are seven living: Paul (who is married and is an agriculturist find school teacher of Columbia County, Ark.), Elizabeth (widow of B. M. Jones, formerly a merchant of Searcy, Ark.). Sallie (wife of Judge R. H. Howell, of Lewisville, Ark.), Thomas (who is a Benedict and a well-known physician and surgeon of Walnut Hill, Ark.), Mark (who is an attorney at law and a partner of Hon. W. H. Jack, of Natchitoches, La.), George H. (the subject of this sketch), and Sue (wife of P. A. Robertson, a pharmacist of Searcy, Ark.). The father of Mr. Dismukes was a native of Virginia, and was an agriculturist up to the time of his death, which occurred when he was about seventy-five years of age. He (as well as his widow, who yet survives him) was educated in the old-time subscription schools, and although the latter has attained to the advanced age of seventy-six years, she is yet hale and hearty. George H. Dismukes obtained his first educational training in subscription schools, but being fond of his books he improved the opportunities given him, and at the present time is a first rate scholar. At the age of twenty years he began teaching school, a calling that received his undivided attention for about four years, the birch being wielded by him in the State of Arkansas.
He then started out as a merchant, but after a short time resumed teaching, and finally went into the newspaper business at Magnolia, Ark., which place was his home for twelve months. He established the Columbia Echo, but afterward went to Haynesville, La., and gave to the public the Haynesville Star, but later disposed of it and came to Homer, where he could be more centrally located in the agricultural region, and here, on May 29, 1890, the first number of the Southern Agriculturist was issued, of which he is sole proprietor and manager at the present time. He has shown sound judgment in choosing his present field, and the outlook augurs well for his success.
Thus far this sketch has shown very plainly that Mr. Dismukes is truly a self-made man, and that he had to encounter many of the adversities which usually fall to the lot of men who have made their own way in the world. Upon entering upon an independent career, his sole capital consisted of a pair of willing hands, backed by an active and intelligent mind and a sufficient amount of energy to make a proper use of the talents given him. He has met with some hard luck since entering upon the journalistic sea, for while at Haynesville, La., his first class printing outfit was consumed by fire, this misfortune befalling him two months after starting. Mr. Dismukes has always upheld the principles of Democracy, and his first presidential vote was cast for Samuel J. Tilden. He has been active in his own way as an editor, in supporting measures he deemed most wise and beneficial to the people's interests, and his influence has been felt by all with whom he has come in contact. While a resident of Nevada County, Ark., he, in 1880, made the race for representative of his county, and proved formidable in the field, although defeated. He is a member of the Farmers' Alliance, and is a strong supporter of the principles of that order. On March 9, 1890, he was married to Miss Sallie G. Lewis, who was born in Arkansas in 1853, her education being received in a seminary of Mount Holly, Ark. Her father was an agriculturist and an honorable, upright, man. Mrs. Dismukes is a devout and earnest member of the Presbyterian Church, and she and Mr. Dismukes expect to make the town of Homer their future abiding place, where they already have many warm friends.
William W. Dormon, manufacturer of wagons, and general dealer in buggies, carts, harness and shelf hardware, Homer, La. The industries of Homer are principally of an important character, ably and successfully carried on, the products being such as to have secured for this southern town a reputation of which any might well be proud. Prominent among the industries here is the manufacture of wagons, the name most prominently identified with that industry being that of William W. Dormon. This gentleman is a native of Claiborne Parish, and was born on February 10, 1857, and is a son of J. M. and Martha J. (Shepard) Dormon, the father and mother were natives of Alabama. J. M. Dormon was reared to mature years in Alabama, and after his marriage (1840) moved to Louisiana, where he settled in Claiborne Parish. He was a farmer and manufacturer, and resided in this parish until his death in September, 1880, at the age of fifty-five years. During the war he served one year in the army and then came home, where he worked under government contract, manufacturing cotton and wool cards for the working up by band of cotton and wool for clothes.
After the war he began farming, and carried on a large plantation in Ward No. 6. Previous to the war he was the owner of a goodly number of slaves. He served in several local offices, and later moved to Arcadia, where ho resided several years engaged in manufacturing and repairing wagons, etc. He was the owner of a number of patents of his own invention, the most valuable being three patent plows. For years the plowman of North Louisiana, he did more than any other one man to introduce improved farming implements into North Louisiana. His widow survives him. He was very liberal with his means, assisting in every way the soldiers' widows during the war, and would, no doubt, have been very wealthy had he been less liberal. He raised a family of nine children, six sons and three daughters, seven of whom are now living. Of these William W. Dormon is the fourth in order of birth. He attained his growth in Claiborne Parish, received a fair business and English education at Arcadia, and after completing his studies learned the blacksmith's trade. He then opened a blacksmith and repair shop, and added to this until he now carries a large stock of buggies, ; carriages, wagons, hardware, harness, etc., and i now has a good business. He has an engine and : machinery for manufacturing purposes, and also does a large repair business, and employs ten men. He is an excellent manager, and one of the enterprising men of the town. His nuptials with Miss D. P. Barrow, a native of Claiborne Parish, were celebrated on January 4, 1883, and they have two children: Anna and Willie. Mrs. Dormon was educated here, and is a graduate of Homer College. She is the daughter of Rev. Joseph us and Elizabeth Barrow, the father a minister of the Primitive Baptist Church previous to his death. He was a prominent man, was a large slave owner, and was a member of the Louisiana Legislature. Mr. and Mrs. Dormon are members of the Baptist Church.
Col. James J. Duke is possessed of those advanced ideas and progressive principles regarding agricultural life which seem to be the chief prerogative of the average native of Georgia. He was born in Morgan County, December 9, 1819, being one in a family of nine children, their names being as follows: Bailey 0. (died in Louisiana), Ferdinand (died, and left, a family in Georgia). Gibson (also died, and left a family in that State), Sebum J. (left a widow and children in Georgia), Col. James J. (comes next in order of birth), Elizabeth J. (who married David Zachariah, of Georgia, is also deceased), Martha A. (married William Browning, of Georgia, and is now deceased), Polly A. (is now Mrs. J. B. Tally, of Atlanta, Ark.), and Lucy M. (is now Mrs. Dr. E. W. White, of Roanoke. Randolph County, Ala.). The father of these children, Henry Duke, was a Georgian, born about 1780, his father being Thomas Duke. in the State of his birth Col. James J. Duke grew to maturity, and there met and was married to Miss Atlanta P. Tate, the nuptials of their marriage being celebrated in 1844, she being a daughter of James Tate, a native of Virginia. They were very happily mated, and in due process of time, a family of ten children gathered around their hearthstone: Roan (who passed from life while an infant), Mary F. (now Mrs. J. W. Cooksey, a widow, of Claiborne Parish), Martha L., Elizabeth A. (wife of William Meadows, of Lisbon, La.), Robert G. (died in infancy), James P. H , Lucy M. (Mrs. T. Meadows of Summerfield, La.), Josephine (who died at the age of thirteen years), Eugenie G. (at home), and Zolly C. (who died, leaving a widow and one child). Col. Duke came to Claiborne Parish, La., in February, 1862, and located on the fine and extensive plantation on which he is now residing, his acreage extending over more than four sections, he being also the owner of one section of land in Columbia County, Ark. He was called upon to enter the service in 1864, but served only a short time. Politically he was an old-line Whig, until the Rebellion, but since that time he bus been a pure Democrat, at all times supporting the men and measures of that party, taking an active part in putting the best men forward for office. His ability, and thorough and sound knowledge of the general topics of the day were recognized in 1876, and he was elected to the Slate Legislature from this parish, and proved himself to be an able and competent legislator, having the interests of the people strongly at heart. Socially ho is a Royal Arch Mason, and has been since 1850, his union with the Methodist Episcopal Church dating from 1856. Through good management and energy, Mr. Duke has become the owner of his present property, and he may well be classed among the self-made men of his day. As his views on all matters are sound, and as he is undoubtedly honorable in every particular, and kind and generous in disposition, he has the universal esteem of all. His wife, who died in 1877, was a lady of much intelligence, and was a true Christian the greater part of her life.
John M. Dunn is a planter of Ward 2, of Claiborne Parish, La., but was born in Howard County, Mo., in 1833, being the youngest of nine children born to James and Martha (Morrison) Dunn, native Kentuckians, the birth of the former occurring about 1800. He was a son of James Dunn, who was born in Ireland, but who came to America in an early day. John M. Dunn received a good common-school education in Benton County, Mo., and on starting out in life for himself began following that calling to which he had been reared —that of farming and stock trading. He had accumulated a good competency and was in good circumstances until Fremont's army reached his place, when they destroyed a great deal of valuable property and drove off his stock, leaving him badly crippled, financially. In 1804 he went to California, where he followed miffing until 1806, then for some time was engaged in lumbering in Nevada, after which he visited Mexico, following mining here also. He was in Mexico at the time Maximilian undertook to establish his government in that country. From this country he returned to Missouri, and after remaining there until 1868 he came to Claiborne Parish, La., where he has become the owner of a fine plantation of 600 acres, about 300 acres of which are under cultivation and devoted to the usual products of the South. Politically he has at all times affiliated with the Democrat party. He is a happy old bachelor, who has the respect and goodwill of fill who know him.
H. M. Drew Ferguson was born in Drew County, Ark,, April 16, 1848, and is a son of Jonathan Ferguson, a native of Chester County, S. C., and Sarah (Hyatte) Ferguson, also a native of that county and State, the father of Irish and the mother of German descent. The elder Ferguson removed from South Carolina to Mississippi, resided there about two years, and in 1846 went to Arkansas, locating in Drew County. In 1864 he removed from Arkansas to Louisiana and settled in Claiborne Parish, twelve miles north of Homer, and after residing there for two years removed to that town. He now makes his home with his son, Drew Ferguson. He is a Royal Arch Mason and is a prominent member of that body. Although eighty-seven years of age, time has dealt kindly with Mr. Ferguson, and he is in comparatively good health. His wife died December 8, 1881, in her sixty-ninth year. They were the parents of a large family of children—nine sons and three daughters—all of whom grew to mature years. Six sons served in the Confederate Army, and three never returned. H. M. D. Ferguson enlisted in his fifteenth year (in 1863) and served in the Trans-Mississippi Department until the close of the war. Coming to Claiborne Parish, Mr. Ferguson entered Homer College, where he remained for nearly two years.
After this he engaged in various business pursuits until November, 1876, when be was elected clerk of the district court, which position he has held to the present, his term of office expiring in April, 1892. Mr. Ferguson is a Royal Arch Mason, having joined that organization in 1877, and is also a member of the Knights of Pythias, an Odd Fellow and a member of the American Legion of Honor. Mr. Ferguson was married in Homer in April, 1872, to Miss Bettie Otts, a native of Greene County, Ala., and the daughter of William P. Otts, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work. Mrs. Ferguson was educated principally in Mount Lebanon College. Mr. Ferguson is a member of the Baptist and his wife a member of the Presbyterian Church.
Christie O. Ferguson, cashier of the Homer National Bank of Homer, La., is a thoroughly capable and experienced banker, and a short sketch of his highly honorable career is given below. He was born in Drew County, Ark., on December 17, 1855, and is the youngest of a family of nine sons and three daughters that grew to mature years. He passed his boyhood and youth in Homer, received a liberal education in Homer College, and was then engaged in clerking for about, eight years. In 1881 be engaged in merchandising under the firm name of Camp Davidson & Ferguson, general merchants, and after two years Mr. Ferguson succeeded to the business himself, and continued the same up to 1890, when he sold out. He then engaged in the banking business as above stated.
On May 4, 1881, he was married to Miss Amelia Wilder, a native of Jackson Parish, La., who was reared and educated at Homer, and who is the daughter of J. B. Wilder, of Magnolia. Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson lost one son, Guy O'Neal, whoso death occurred in 1880, at the age of four years. Mr. Ferguson is one of the present board of aldermen, and has served for a number of terms. He has also held several other official positions. Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and socially Mr. Ferguson is a member of the I. O. O. F. and the K. of P., having held official positions in the former organization. He is a man of superior business capacity, and on the organization of the Homer National Bank, he was elected the cashier, a position to which he is eminently fitted. He is a gentleman of social habits, and is popular with his friends who are legion.
William J. Field was brought up to the life of a farmer by his father, and has continued that calling with care and perseverance up to the present time, a business to which he seems naturally adapted. Almost from his birth, which occurred on October 1, 1828, he has resided in this parish, his parents, Lewis and Mary (Duty) Field, coming thither in 1834. The former was born in Chester District, S. C , in March, 1799, and in his native State grew to manhood, participating in the War of 1812, being with Jackson in the battle of New Orleans. After receiving his discharge he went to Arkansas, and in that State was married, his wife being a native of East Tennessee, and a daughter of Solomon Duty, an Englishman by birth. After the removal of Mr. Field to this State and parish he opened up a fine plantation, and for some time was a member of the police jury, and held the position of magistrate, besides some other local offices. He was a man of fair education, a great lover of good books, and was also very fond of hunting and trapping, the country at that time affording ample scope for the cultivation of that taste. On one occasion he, with a number of other lovers of the chase, was gone on a hunting expedition in Arkansas for eighteen months, and he often pictured in vivid language the thrilling encounters he had with wild animals and Indians. His wife had two or three brothers killed by tho Indians. She survived her husband several years, dying in 1847. The paternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, Thomas Field, was of English descent, born in South Carolina, passing from life in the State of his birth, an honored and respected citizen.
William J. Field was born near where he is now living, while his parents were on a visit here from Arkansas, but he located here permanently with them in 1834, and here also grew to manhood. He was also a hunter in his younger day, the abundance of wild game in the vicinity, no doubt, adding to the taste he had inherited from his father, and many are the bears, panthers and hundreds of deer, which fell a victim to his trusty rifle. The country at that time, was almost a complete wilderness, heavily covered with timber and underbrush, and log rolling or house raisings were held with great rejoicings, by the settlers, who were pining for something "exciting," settlers for fifteen miles around being in attendance, and contributing all in their power to the entertainment.
Although Mr. Field's chances for acquiring an education were very meager, he improved every opportunity, and he is now considered one of the intelligent men of the parish, and one of its most substantial citizens. In July, 1861. be enlisted in the Twelfth Louisiana Infantry, and after being in active service for one year, was detailed to work in a blacksmith shop, which trade he had learned in his youth, and this occupation received his attention until tho war closed. His work was in Arcadia, Bienville Parish, and after the war he continued there for a number of years, in 1873 he sold his shop and moved to the farm where he now resides, which was in a very dilapidated condition. He immediately commenced to improve this land, and now has 640 acres of as good land as there is in the parish, with about 125 acres under cultivation, on which he has built, a large, substantial residence, and good outbuildings. He also owned 800 acres of land in Lincoln Parish, but divided this among his children, all of which property he earned by hard work and good management, after the close of the war. He was married in Union Parish, November 1, 1854, to Miss Gelia Autrey, a Perry County, Alabamian by birth, and a daughter of Absalom Autrey, one of the pioneers of the State. The following children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Field: William L., Delia (wife of Thomas Rodgers), Thomas J., George W. (a clerk in Arcadia, also assistant bookkeeper and a fine mathematician), Frank F. and Bettie. Mr. Field is a Royal Arch Mason, in which he has attained to the chapter. He is a man whose reputation has ever remained unblemished, and the respect which is accorded him by all classes is fully deserved.
Walker P. Fomby is actively engaged in conducting his extensive plantation and in managing his sawmill and cotton gin in Ward 6 of Claiborne Parish. His birth occurred in Troup County, Ga., in 1845, to Richard and Anis (Lee) Fomby, who were born in Wilkes County, Ga., in 1802, and Virginia, respectively, becoming the parents of the following children: Frances (wife of P. A. Awbrey, of this parish), Henry (who died since the war. from a wound received while in the service), Mary (wife of Joe Boyd, of Hope, Ark.), Clement (wife of Bart Jeans, of Ark.), Amanda C. (widow of Sam Clark, a resident of Atlanta, Ga.), Carrie (wife of C. Baker, of Randolph County, Ala.), Rowena (widow of Samuel Kite, of Indian Territory), Charles M. (a merchant of Magnolia, Ark.), Walker P., and Lou (who was the wife of Winston Wood, of Atlanta, Ga., and is now deceased, leaving at the time of her death two children: Carrie and Lou). The paternal grandfather, Thomas Fomby, was born in Virginia. and traced his ancestry back to England. The maternal grandfather,
Noah Lee, was also born in Virginia, was active in the Revolutionary War, and traced his ancestry back to the same source as Gen. Robert E. Loe. Walker P. Fomby reached man's estate and received a common school education in Georgia. In 1803 he enlisted in Company A, Ninth Louisiana Infantry, and while participating in the battle of Gettysburg he was captured, and after being held a prisoner four months was exchanged, after which he joined the army at the battle of the Wilderness, in 1801. He removed to Arkansas in 1865, and two years later was married to Miss Georgia Knox, of Claiborne Parish. Mr. Fomby began life for himself as a planter, and is now the owner of about 1,000 acres of land, 700 of which is under cultivation. He and his wife are the parents of eight children, as follows: Walter, Eddie, Effie, Henry, John L., Richard, Madge and Valentine. The family attend the Methodist Episcopal Church, and politically Mr. Fomby is a Democrat.
W. H. Gandy is a worthy tiller of the soil of Claiborne Parish, La., and of the 500 acres of line land which he now owns he has 300 acres under cultivation, nicely improved, with good buildings of all kinds and a good cotton gin. He was born in Greene County, Ala , July 26, 1828, a son of John and Elizabeth (Holland) Gandy, both of whom were born in North Carolina, their marriage taking place there, and their removal to Alabama dating 1818. They opened up a large farm in Greene County of that State, and there reared their family. Mr. Gandy served as sheriff of his county in North Carolina in his younger days, but aside from this held no other public office, being content to devote his time to tilling the soil. He died about 1877 and his wife in 1843. Of a family of four sons and four daughters born to them, the daughters and two sons only are living,
W. H, Gandy, the immediate subject of this biography, being one of the latter. He grew to manhood in Alabama, had the advantages of the common schools, and after attaining manhood was married there, in 1851, to Miss Edith Thornton, a daughter of Elisha Thornton, a very prominent man of Greene County, in which Mrs. Gandy was born, reared, educated and married. The fall succeeding their marriage they came to Claiborne Parish, La., where Mr. Gandy opened up a large tract of land, being the owner of a number of slaves. He has been a resident of his present property since 1857. In August, 1862, he joined the Confederate Army, and was detailed to oversee the farms of families in the neighborhood, doing no military duty. He is a warm Democrat, takes an active part in parish politics, and has been a delegate to its conventions a number of times. He and his wife have the following family: John E. (a sketch of whom appears below). G. A., J. A., W. B., W. N., Edith (a school teacher of the parish) and Anna May. All the sons are married. He and his wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and he has attained to the highest rank in the I. O. O. P. He has been an elder in his church since 1858, and has taken an active part in church matters.
John E. Gandy is a son of the gentleman whose sketch appears above, and was born in this parish in 1852, In his early youth he attended the different schools of the parish, and being an intelligent, wide awake youth, possessing a good memory, he made excellent progress in his studies, and at the ago of twenty-one years was perfectly capable of successfully fighting the battle of life alone. He was married, December 15, 1880 to Miss Mary A. McConnell, and by her he has become the father of three bright and interesting little children named Joseph H. D., Dovie and Conway. Mrs. Gandy is a daughter of Joshua McConnell, a native of Georgia, who, at the time of her marriage, was residing in Cleburne, Tex. Mr. Gandy, like the majority of boys, followed in his father's footsteps, and has always given his attention to agriculture, being now the owner of about 520 acres of land, nearly half of which is under cultivation. This property is the result, mainly, of honest and persistent toil, and shows what can be accomplished when a man of energy is at the helm. He has always supported the doctrines of Democracy, and in 1884 was appointed a member of the police jury, a position he held with ability until 1888. He and his wife are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and are highly respected throughout this section, as worthy citizens and friends.
Richard G. Gautt, M. D., was born in Greenville, South Carolina, December 12, 1837, he being the eldest of five children born to his parents, those following him in order of birth being S. Josephine Ridgeway (deceased, formerly of Elbert County, Ga.), Mrs. Elizabeth Y. Blackwell, of Elberton, Ga., Ann Eliza (died in infancy), T. Lawrence (editor of the Banner Watchman, of Athens, Ga.). The father, Thomas W. Gautt, was born at Edgefield, South Carolina, in 1815. After graduating in the South Carolina College, at Columbia, he entered the office of Col. C. G. Meminger, as a student of law, and was admitted to the bar in 1830. In the same year he married Miss P. Emma Groves, the youngest daughter of Joseph Groves, of Abbeville District, South Carolina, a man of wealth and culture. Thomas J. Gautt, the father of Thomas W., was born in Edgefield, South Carolina, in 1788, moved to Columbia when quite young, was admitted to the bar and began the practice of law in Charleston, South Carolina. Early in life he was elected register in equity, which office he held for thirty-nine years, and was re-elected for another term when he died sudden by in 1802. His father, Hon. Richard Gautt, was born in Prince Georges County, Maryland, August 12, 1767. He moved to South Carolina when quite young, and was a lawyer of marked ability. Early in life he was elected one of the judges of the court of general sessions and common pleas. This being a life office, he held it until nearly eighty years old; feeling then unfitted to longer discharge the duties of the office he resigned. Upon his resignation the Legislature of South Carolina made him a present of $10,000 for the many services he had rendered the State.
The above was a son of Dr. Thomas Gautt of White's Landing, Prince Georges County, Md., who was born August 18, 1736, and died in 1807. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, but whether an officer or private is not known. His immediate progenitor was Dr. Thomas Gautt, of Prince Georges County, Md. He married Rachel, the daughter of Col. John Smith, by whom he had issue. He was one of the signers of the declaration of rights by the freemen of Maryland Province in 1775, as was also his brother, Edward. The document is still hanging in the executive chamber, at Annapolis, Md. Dr. Gautt, the immediate subject of this sketch, grew to maturity partly in Abbeville and in Charleston, S. C. His literary education was completed at the Furman University, and his medical at the Medical College of the State of South Carolina, in Charleston, where he graduated in 1801. In August, 1857, he married Mattie Sale, a daughter of Adolphus J. and Eliza N. Sale, a woman noted in her youth for her great beauty, and in her riper years for her sound judgment, her untiring energy and her complete devotion to her family. To them were born eight, children: Ann E. Fell (died in infancy), Thomas Wilding (died in 1878), Silvanus Sale (died in 1884), Halbert Alston (now a practicing physician with his father, in the town of Haynesville, La.), Neva, Richard Groves, Mattie Helen, and Fell Fletcher (the youngest).
The Doctor enlisted at Charleston, S. C, May 1, 1861, in the Frist Regiment South Carolina Volunteers. His regiment was ordered immediately to Richmond, Va. After the time was up for which he had volunteered, six months, he returned to Charleston and soon after joined the Nineteenth Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers. He participated in all of the battles in which his command was engaged except the battle and retreat from Missionary Ridge; at that time he was at, home on a fifteen days' leave of absence, it being the first he had had since he entered the service. At the expiration of his furlough he met his command at Dalton, Ga.. taking part in all of the battles in which it was engaged, until he was wounded in a skirmish about four or five miles southeast of Marietta, which incapacitated him from further military service. Prior to the war Dr. Gautt was conservative in politics, and voted for Bell Cor the presidency. Since that time he has been an unswerving Democrat.
William J. Garland is a successful merchant and postmaster of Dykesville, La. He was born in Sumter County. S. C, May 9. 1851, to Edward and Ann Nora (McKay) Garland, both born, reared and married in the Palmetto State. After residing in South Carolina engaged in planting until the opening of the war, Edward Garland entered the Confederate Army, and while in the service died in Virginia. His widow is still living, and makes her home with her son. William J., the subject of this sketch. The latter is one of three sons and four daughters that grew to maturity, all of whom are now the heads of families. William J. attained his nineteenth year in his native county, and upon his removal to Louisiana in 1869, located on a plantation in Claiborne Parish, where he spent a few years. In 1888 he purchased an interest in the store where he is now doing business, and in 1889 became sole proprietor, and carries an excellent stock of general merchandise, his trade being large and constantly on the increase. He came to this parish empty handed, and first worked as a farm hand, next farmed on rented land, and in this manner saved enough to purchase a small place, which he successfully managed from 1870 to 1880, and then sold out his land, at that time amounting to several hundred acres, all the result of his earnest endeavor to succeed in life. His wife, Miss Lydia M. Garland, was born and reared in this parish, and on August 11, 1873, their union took place. Her father. W. W. Garland, was born in South Carolina, and was one of the pioneer residents of this section, and a man of substantial and business like attainments. The following children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Garland: Nobie, Edward, Hubbard, Cora, Katie and Nannie. A daughter, Maggie May, died at the age of eleven years, and a son, Bedford H , died when six years of age. Mr. Garland was appointed postmaster at Dykesville in 1889, and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he is one of the stewards.
P. Gibson, M. D., is a young physician of acknowledged merit in this parish, and is especially well known in the vicinity of Millerton, La., where he has been located since 1889. He has already done much to alleviate the sufferings of humanity in this section, and to his talent and knowledge of his profession the gratitude of hundreds is due. He was born in Haynesville, La., in 1862, to John and Nancy (Taylor) Gibson, who were born in Georgia in 1820 and 1840 respectively, the former being a son of William Gibson also a native of Georgia, and the latter a daughter of Matthias G. Taylor, also of that State. To John Gibson find his wife the following children have been born: Dr. P. Gibson (the subject of this sketch), Georgia (wife of Henry Taylor of Homer), Lizzie (wife of James Foster of Shongaloo, La.), William (a student of Vanderbilt University of Nashville, Tenn.), Ida and James. Dr. P. Gibson was sent to the common schools as soon as he attained a suitable age, and being of a studious and ambitious disposition he made excellent progress in his studies, and became a well informed and intelligent, young man. He engaged in teaching and was principal of the Haynesville Normal Institute for three years.
Owing to declining health he gave up this position for the pursuit of medicine, but during his career as teacher he built up one of the best schools in Northern Louisiana, showing great genius for mathematics, of which he was professor while connected with the Normal Institute. Being imbued with a desire to make the science of medicine his calling through life, as stated, he entered upon his studies in the Memphis Medical College, and from this institute was graduated in 1889 since which time he has been a resident of Millerton, where he has built up a commendable practice, carrying in this connection a line of drugs. Since 1888 he has been married to Miss Ada Waller, a daughter of L. T. and Georgia (Roe) Waller of State Line. Ark. Mrs. Gibson is a Missionary Baptist.
G. G. Gill, merchant, Homer, La. This enterprising and thorough going business man was born in Hall County, Ga., on February 15, 1844, and is a son of Hon. Josiah H. and S. R. (Simmons) Gill, natives of Chester District, S. G, and Virginia, respectively. The father was a merchant and planter, and moved from Hall County to Floyd County, Ga.. where he engaged in business for a number of years at Cave Spring. He afterward moved to Louisiana (1868), located in Homer and embarked in merchandising, which be carried on until his death, which occurred in 1878. He was a prominent man, and served as a member of the Legislature in Georgia. He was also prominent in Masonic affairs. His wife died in 1855. He was twice married, his second wife being the mother of our subject, and of the four children born to this union that grew to mature years G. G. Gill was the second in order of birth. Only two brothers and one sister are now surviving. G. G. Gill attained his growth in Georgia, and in March, 1862, he enlisted in the First Georgia Cavalry, serving until the close of the war, first as private and then as orderly sergeant. He participated in several important' battles, first Richmond, Ky., Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Knoxville, and from Dalton to Atlanta. He was then at Savannah, then at Raleigh, and surrendered at Kingston. Ga.
Mr. Gill received a good education at Cave Spring Institute, and remained in Georgia up to 1867, when in September of that year he moved to Louisiana, locating at Homer, where he clerked in a store with a half brother, W. B. Gill, who established business there in 1853. The Gill House is the oldest established house in this town. Mr. Gill continued with his brother up to 1870, when he and his father bought out the brother's one half interest, and continued the business here. Since then there have been a number of changes, and Mr. Gill took the entire business in January, 1878. He has a large two story brick business house, also two warehouses, and carries a very large and complete stock of goods. He is doing an immense business, and is also buying and dealing in cotton.
He carries a large stock of general merchandise, including drugs, furniture, hardware, harness, saddlery, sash and blinds, doors, etc. He is doing an exceedingly good business, and has deservedly gained a reputation as a straightforward, enterprising business man. He devoted his entire time and energy to his business, conducts his affairs on strict principles, and the success crowning his efforts is but a natural consequence. Today he is the owner and at the head of the largest retail business in Northwest Louisiana. Mr. Gill, an active worker for the cause of education here, bought out the old college at a sheriff's sale, and forming a stock company succeeded in getting the college in a flourishing condition. He has given the college and the cause his hearty support, and is at the present time president of the board of directors. He is a member of the K. of P., and an active member of that order. Mr. Gill was married in December, 1870, to Miss Lizzie E., daughter of J. M. White, who was born in Sumter County, Ga., and who was reared and educated in Louisiana. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Gill are named as follows; R. Shelton (aged sixteen), Ernest. Clarence and Edgar. One daughter died in early childhood, and the oldest, Lilla Mai Gill, died September 21, 1889 at the age of seventeen years. Mr. and Mrs. Gill are worthy and esteemed members of the Methodist Church.
John E. Gray enjoys the reputation of being a substantial and progressive planter and an intelligent and thoroughly posted man on all matters of a public, as well as private nature. Although young in years he has shown sound judgment in the management of his business affairs and is now in independent circumstances. He is a native of this parish and was born in October, 1803, being the sixth of nine children, the other members of the family being: Joseph (a resident of Ward 2), James S. (a resident of Magnolia, Ark.), Mary (now Mrs. John Gibson, of this ward). Mattie (wife of Will Gibson, also residing here), Sallie (wife of D. P. Owens), and Ludie, Irene and Walter (residing with John E.). The father of these children, Albert Gray, was born in Georgia in 1826, and after reaching maturity in that State moved to Alabama, where he was married to Miss Harriet E. Barrow, a native of that State, and daughter of Josiah Barrow, and in 1854 moved with her to Claiborne Parish, La., where he engaged in planting, owning at the time of his death in 1886, about 900 acres of land. He served in the Southern Confederacy under Gen. John Young, was an old time member of the A. P. & A. M, and for many years he and his wife were members of the Missionary Baptist Church. His father, James Gray, was a North Carolinian, and is one of two brothers who served in the War of 1812, afterward settling in Georgia. The family are of Irish extraction, but for several generations have been residents of America. The subject of this sketch and all his brothers and sisters, except the eldest two, were born on the old homestead on which he is now living. He was married in January, 1888, to Miss Maggie E. Wilson, a daughter of James and Arabella (Keeton) Wilson, and to them one child has been born, Arabella. Mr. Gray and his wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and politically he is a Democrat. He is the owner of the old homestead, which comprises 512 acres, 200 of which are under cultivation, and on this he does a general farming.
Frank C. Greenwood, book-keeper of Homer National Bank, like many other prominent citizens of Louisiana, owes his nativity to Alabama, having been born in Cherokee County on June 4, 1838, and is the son of William K. and Polly (Morgan) Greenwood, natives respectively of Georgia and Kentucky. The father went to the Blue Grass State when a young man, and there met and married Miss Morgan, after which they removed to Georgia, where the father was engaged in tilling the soil for a number of years. They then moved to Alabama, locating in Cherokee County, and here the father continued his former pursuit for one year. From there they removed to Talladega County, but at the end of seven years they removed to Arkansas, and located in Union County. Here the father followed agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred in December, 1880, when in his eighty-eighth year. He held several local offices in the county where he resided, and was a stanch Democrat, although he took no very active part in politics. He volunteered in one of the old Indian wars (1815), but was not called to active service. His wife died in June, 1879, in her eighty-third year. Their family consisted of eleven children, all of whom grew to years o f discretion, and became heads of families, but two sons. Two brothers and two sisters are living at the present time.
F. C. Greenwood grew to manhood in Arkansas, received a limited education, and is mainly self-educated since grown up. He was early taught, the duties of the farm, and in 1859 he came to Louisiana, locating in Jackson Parish. He entered the Confederate service in the first company from that parish in 1801, went to New Orleans, and was put in the Second Louisiana Infantry, with which he served until the close of the war. He participated, in the battles of Malvern Hill, Cedar Mountain, Second Manassas, Gettysburg, battle of the Wilderness, Chancellorsville, and was taken prisoner at Spotsylvania Court House on May 12, 1864. Mr. Greenwood is proud of his army record, and went through the war up to the time of his capture, without even a personal reprimand. He was wounded four times, being shot, in the arm and shoulder, and wounded in the breast by a bayonet. He also received a bad wound in the head at Gettysburg. He was held a prisoner at Point Lookout, Md., and Elmira, N. Y., until the close of the war, and was then paroled, and came, home in April, 1865. After returning to Jackson Parish, La., he resided there several years, and was married there on June 14, 1865, to Miss Alice A. Otts, a native of Alabama, who was reared and educated in Jackson Parish, and who is the daughter of Joel B. Otts. Mr. Greenwood then farmed in Jackson Parish for several years, after which he engaged in bookkeeping there. In 1869 he moved to Union County, Ark., remaining there two years, and then removed to the Lone Star State, Sabine Pass, where he tarried for about two years, after which he returned to Arkansas, Union County. In January, 1878, he came to this parish, engaged in bookkeeping here, and when the Homer National Bank opened in 1890, he took his place as bookkeeper. Mr. Greenwood is a strong Democrat, but never takes an active part in politics. He and wife are members of the Methodist, Episcopal Church South, and he is recording steward of the same. Socially he is a member of the Masonic order, being a Master Mason, and serving as secretary for a number of years. He is now demitted. He is also a member of the K. of P. Mr. Greenwood is a pleasant gentleman to meet, and is held in high esteem by all who are favored with his acquaintance.
Hiram Gryder, now a planter of Claiborne Parish, La., is a Danville Kentuckian, born March 4, 1806, the second of seven children born to William and Mary (Perry) Gryder, who were also born in the Blue Grass State; their children being as follows: Nancy (now living in Claiborne Parish, La.), Hiram, Jennie (a resident of Arkansas, and the widow of Jonathan Knox), Hugh, Clay, Mary (wife of W. C. Martin, of Webster Parish), and John. Mr. Gryder removed to Tennessee when a boy, and to Arkansas in 1818, where he resided until 1820, when he came with his people to Claiborne Parish, La., which place has since been his home. He was married in 1834 to Miss Mary Hayes, by whom he became the father of six children: Ellen, Martin. Martha (wife of Henry Johnson), Hugh, Robert and Margaret. Upon Mr. Gryder's arrival in this region he found the country a wilderness, the woods inhabited by wild game of many kinds and Indians. However, pioneer life had no terrors for him, and he went to work immediately to make a home for himself, and in this has succeeded well. He has never in his life seen a railroad, and it must be confessed does not care to, but in other respects he is enterprising, and is quite deeply interested in political matters, being a stanch Democrat. He has been a member of the Christian Church since thirty-two years of age, and has always been deeply interested in the cause of Christianity. For many years he has been a member of the Masonic fraternity.
George A. Harper, D. D. S., is a skillful practitioner of the pleasant little city of Homer, La., and is a native of Claiborne Parish, his birth occurring here in 1864, being one of three children. Dr. Harper is a graduate of Vanderbilt College of Dentistry of Nashville, Tenn., his education in this institution being completed in the year 1887, but he was a well educated young man where he entered the dental college, for he had received thorough training in the Meridian Male and Female Academy of Meridian. His father is a renowned physician in the prosperous town of Meridian. He served in the Rebellion with distinction and bravery, which received for him encomiums from his countrymen. His wife, whose maiden name was Miss Geraldine Nuckolls, was a Tennessean, who died in 1872, after which Dr. Harper married Miss Lelia Nuckolls, a sister of his first wife, by whom he bad seven children. He has attained a prominent position as a medical practitioner in his portion of the State, and being possessed of engaging manners, and a brilliant mind, coupled with unquestioned integrity, and habits of strict morality and sobriety, it is not to be wondered at that his career has been one of distinction and success.
Dr. George A. Harper began his independent career as a salesman in a drug store at the age of eighteen years, and after following this until he reached his twentieth year, he began the study of dentistry, and finally graduated as has been mentioned above. As he possesses numerous admirable traits of character, a bright future is before him. He was the leader of his class in the mechanical execution of his work whilst in college, and otherwise became distinguished while preparing himself for his profession, being an earnest and painstaking student. He entered upon his practice in Homer in 1887, and has already acquired a widespread reputation as a dental surgeon. He is an honored member of the K. of P., of Homer, La., and has always affiliated with the Democratic party, and at all times has endeavored to endorse men of principle and honor, although he is not an active partisan, except in the matter of voting. Dr. Harper has always been a young man of much principle, of that moral and personal integrity, and clear well-balanced, active intelligence, for which all his people have been noted. He holds a warm place in the estimation of his numerous friends and patrons, and promises to be a valuable adjunct to the citizenship of any locality in which he may make his home.
William D. Harper, M. D. The people of Claiborne, as well as the surrounding parishes, are familiar with the name that heads this sketch, for for many years he has been successfully occupied in the prosecution of his chosen profession at this place. He has shown himself eminently worthy of the confidence and trust reposed in him by all classes, and has unquestionably shown that he is a physician of decided merit. He is the youngest of the following family: James D., who graduated from the Philadelphia Medical College in 1852, and practiced his calling at Minden until 1878, at which time he died. He was regarded as a leading physician of Northern Louisiana, and his memory still remains green in the hearts of his numerous acquaintances and friends. Albert G. (who graduated from the New Orleans Medical College in 1807, and is now one of the most successful physicians of Minden), Sarah (widow of N. Young, of Magnolia, Ark.), Mary K. (widow of Judge W. B. Edgar, deceased, of Homer), Annie (wife of John W. Todd, of Magnolia, Ark.), Margaret (who died in infancy), Samuel B. (who died at the age of twenty-eight years), and Dr. William D. Harper.
These children were born to Samuel B. and Annie S. (Jones) Harper, the former of whom was born in Georgia in 1796, and the latter in North Carolina. Samuel B. Harper was one of five children, and after the death of his father his mother married again, her husband being a Mr. Bonner. Dr. William D. Harper received the advantages of the common schools of Claiborne Parish, and at the age of thirty-one years he entered the Tulane Medical College at New Orleans, from which place he was graduated in 1885. Since then he has successfully followed his chosen profession in the place of his birth, and has acquired an enviable reputation for the conscientious discharge of his duties. He was married in 1874 to Miss Nobie Carr, a daughter of W. A. Carr, a resident, of Homer. Two children have been born to them: Rolla C. and Mary Kinnie. The Doctor at all times affiliates with the Democratic party, and, socially, is a member of the K. of P. His wife is a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Until recently the Doctor practiced at Plat Lake, but in May, 1890, he located in Homer, where his practice is sufficiently large to keep him fully employed the year round. Personally, he is liberal, generous and high-minded, the soul of honor, and although he has views of his own, with the moral courage to express them, he is not in the least aggressive.
Hon. James H. Hay. Within the limits of Claiborne Parish, La., there is not a man of greater personal popularity than Mr. Hay, for he is a citizen of substantial worth, and progressive spirit. He is now a resident and merchant of the village of Summerfield, and by reading the following sketch of his career it will be seen that his time has not been uselessly or idly spent. He was born in the State of Georgia September 29, 1838, but since be was eight years of age he has been a resident of Claiborne Parish, La., his early education being received in the old subscription schools, afterward taking a complete course in Mount Lebanon College, Bienville Parish. After he completed his course he enlisted in the Confederate Army, becoming a member of Company H, Seventeenth Louisiana Infantry Volunteers, and was mustered iuto service in 1861. He was assigned to the Army of Mississippi under Brig.-Gen. Buggies and Gen. Pemberton, and was a participant in the battles of Shiloh and siege of Vicksburg, after which, in 1863, he returned home and was not again an active participant in the war. He has always been a Democrat in principle and precept, and has always strenuously upheld the principles of his party, his first presidential vote being cast for Stephen A. Douglas. He represented Claiborne Parish in the State Legislature at one time, and at the time of his nomination there were six candidates, but it was finally decided that there should be two nominated, and Mr. Hay and W. C. Martin were the success ful ones, being duly and unanimously elected, although Mr. Hay's term in office was of short duration. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity at Summerfield, La. He is a careful, methodical business man, fully awake to all the interests of his patrons. He carries a complete line of dry goods, boots, shoes, hats, caps, hardware, -a full line of staple groceries, and in fact all the commodities which go to make up a first-class general store, his annual sales amounting to about $10,000. His parents were born, reared and married in the State of Georgia, and both are now deceased, the father having been a planter by occupation. To them four sons and three daughters were born, of which family four are now living: James (the subject of this biography), William F. (who is a planter of this parish), Samuel (who follows the same occupation here, and is married), and Theodocia (wife of B. P. O'Bannon, who is a prosperous planter of this parish).
James D. Henry has been a resident of Claiborne Parish, La., from his infancy, for he was born here in 1828, being the son of Henry S. and Lovie (Burnham) Henry, who were born in North Carolina and Tennessee, respectively, the former coming to Louisiana in 1827, and locating in Claiborne Parish. Here James D. attained man's estate, and as soon as he had reached a suitable age he was put to school, being an attendant of the common school of Claiborne Parish in his early youth, where he acquired a practical education. In 1857 his marriage to Miss Catherine Madden was celebrated, and after their union had been blessed in the birth of four children, two of whom are living, the mother died, the date of her death being 1805. The following year ho uuitedhis fortunes with those of Mrs. Margaret A. Madden, widow of J. D. Madden, by whom he became the father of four children, three being still alive. In 1862 Mr. Henry enlisted in the Confederate Army, and served with fidelity until the cessation of hostilities.
His first battle was at Franklin, La., but was afterward in a number of hotly contested engagements. He has the distinction of being the third eldest native resident of Claiborne Parish, and is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as is also his wife and eldest daughter, who is at home. He belongs to the Farmers' Alliance, find is the owner of a plantation of 370 acres, 123 of which are cleared and under cultivation. Calvin F. Hightower. Claiborne Parish, La., has long had the reputation of being a fine agricultural region, and here Mr. Hightower holds a leading place among the well-to-do and prosperous planters. He is a Georgian, born May 13, 1849, being the third of nine children—five sons and four daughters—born to James P. and Mary P. (Almond) Hightower, who were born, reared, educated and married in Georgia, the father being a farmer by calling, both being now deceased. Their children are as follows: Thomas Jefferson (deceased), America (deceased), Calvin P., James A. (married, and a planter of Claiborne Parish), Virginia (deceased),
Jackson P. (married, and a planter of this parish), Fannie (wife of Joseph A. Ganiss (a planter of Arkansas), Mary Lida (deceased), and Irby H. (married, and a planter of Grayson County, Tex.). Calvin F. Hightower obtained a practical education in the district school of this parish, and ever since he has been a firm friend and supporter of all good educational institutions. After he had attained his majority he commenced to make his own way in the world as a farmer and planter, and although his principal capital consisted of a pair of willing hands and a good constitution, he has been successful, and he is now the owner of 1,000 acres of good land, of which 500 acres are in a fine state of cultivation, all of which property is the result of his own bard toil and good management. Miss Mary J. Taylor, who was born in Alabama, on May 25, 1855, became his wife on October 28, 1874, she being a daughter of Daniel Taylor, a successful planter.
She was reared principally in Louisiana, her education being received in the common schools, and her union with Mr. Hightower has resulted in the birth of eight children: Martha Frances (who died at the age of nine years), James D. (who died when seven years of ago), John F. (aged eleven years), Edna C. (aged nine years), Thomas A. (deceased), Franklin T. (aged five years), Jonnie Vida (aged three years), and Mamie Elsie (the baby of the home). Mr. Hightower has always upheld the principles of Democracy, and is a stanch member of the Farmers' Alliance. They expect to make Homer their future abiding place, where they are surrounded by all that go to make life comfortable and pleasant. Mrs. Hightower is an earnest member of the Baptist Church, and her husband has always been a liberal contributor to the same. James A. Hightower is now successfully following the calling to which he was reared, and which has been his life work, a calling that for ages received undivided efforts from many worthy individuals, and one that always furnishes a good living to those who are persevering and energetic
He is a native of Harris County, Ga., born in the year 1850, and when ten years of age was brought to Louisiana, by his parents (for a history of whom see sketch of G. F. Hightower), and near the town of Homer he grew to maturity, receiving a good practical education in the common schools of his native State and Louisiana. After attaining the age of twenty-four years he came to the conclusion that it is not good for man to live alone, and acting upon this belief he was married to Miss Georgie Lowory, a daughter of Larkin Lowery, their union in time resulting in the birth of seven children; Bettie (now in school at Summerfield), Willie, Genie, Irby, Mattie L., Larkin and Ettie. Mr. Hightower's agricultural operations have resulted very satisfactorily, and he is now the owner of a fine plantation consisting of 800 acres, 200 of which are cleared and under cultivation, yielding abundantly the usual crops of the south. Politically Mr. Hightower has at all times affiliated with the Democrat party, and as a man and citizen his career has been one of more than usual interest, for to his own indomitable energy he owes his success in life. He and his wife are members in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
W. Strickland Hood. The agricultural affairs of Claiborne Parish, La., are ably represented, among others, by the subject of this sketch, who is a son of Bryant Hood, who was born in Washington County, Ga., and died in 1886, at the age of eighty years. The grandfather, William Hood, was a resident of Georgia all his life, in which State he was also born. W. Strickland Hood was born in Coweta County, Ga., in 1832, and removed with his parents to Chambers, Ala., where he grew to maturity and received a common-school education. He was the second of the following named children: Martha A. (is the deceased wife of Joseph Swine), W. Strickland, Mary (the deceased wife of William Watson, of Claiborne Parish), Frances (widow of Fred Dugan), Susanna (is the deceased wife of G. W. Belcher, of Arkansas), Levena (wife of Thomas Coleman), Bryant W., and Martinia (wife of John W. Hollowman. W. Strickland Hood came to this parish in 1851, and here has since made his home, from here enlisting in 1862 in Company D, Eighteenth Louisiana Infantry, serving until the surrender, the most of his service being confined to the State of Louisiana, on detail duty. He was married to Miss Mary L. Brown in 1855, and to them the following four children have been born: James B., William T , Joseph B. and M. Lulu. Mr. Hood owns 300 acres of good land, the half of which is under cultivation, and in the conduct of this property he has shown that he is a man who thoroughly understands his business, for thrift and industry are his watchwords. He has been a member of the A. F. & A. M. for many years, and is now a member of the Farmer's Union, and his wife, as well as himself, belongs to the Missionary- Baptist Church.
William A. Johnston, merchant and jeweler, Homer, La. In Moore County, N. C. in September, 1853, there was bornto the union of E. T. and Flora (McFarland) Johnston a son, whom we will now take as the subject of this sketch. He was the eldest of six children—four sons and two daughters—all living with the exception of one son, and received a liberal education in the schools of Louisiana. He began learning the silversmith's trade in 1874 at Vienna, Lincoln Parish, La., under T. W. Speer, one of the best workmen in this line in the State. Mr. Johnston came from Vienna to Homer in 1874, engaged in business for himself in a small way and was doing unusually well when, in 1877, failing health caused him to sell out. In July, 1880 he commenced working here for other parties, continued at, this for sixteen months, and then worked one year for himself.
After this he entered a general store, including jewelry, and remained with the same up to 1886. when he bought out the jewelry department and continued the business. Mr. Johnston now carries a large stock of watches, clocks and jewelry, and does a good business in his line. He also has a large and increasing repair business. He is a No. 1 workman, and his repairing receives prompt attention, being executed in the best manner and guaranteed substantial and durable. He is a natural mechanic. He owns his own business house, and since 1887 has been in his own building. He is a charter member of the K. of P., and has held several official positions in the order. His parents were born in North Carolina, and there they were united in marriage. They moved from their native State to Arkansas in 1857, located in Hempstead one year, and in 1858 moved to Louisiana. They located in Union Parish, engaged in planting and there they reared their family. The father died May 26, 1887, and the mother followed him in August, 1890. They were worthy and much esteemed citizens.
John H. King is a member of the mercantile firm of King Bros., of Blackburn, La. He was born in Tallapoosa County, Ala., March 1, 1857, his brother, Frank T., the other member of the firm, being born in the same State and county, November 22, 1854, to William S. and Elizabeth (Adair) King, the former of whom was bornin Georgia and the latter in Alabama. When a lad of six years the father was taken by his parents to Alabama, where he attained man's estate and was married, coming, in the winter of 1805, to Louisiana, purchasing an improved farm in Claiborne Parish, on which he is still residing, being now sixty-two years of age. He served in the Confederate Army, and at Cedar River was badly wounded in the hip and had his left arm broken, which permanently disabled him. He is one of a family of eight brothers that served in the Confederacy, and all came through the service alive, one brother losing a foot in an engagement. The family of William S. King consists of four sons and two daughters, all of whom are living in this parish. John H, King grew to manhood here, and received a fair business education, mostly by self application. After attaining his majority he remained with his father for several years, and in November, 1880, he and his brother opened their present establishment, but commenced in a small way with very limited means. Since then they have added very materially to their stock of goods, and now carry a large and complete stock of general merchandise, and are doing an excellent business. Mr. King is deputy postmaster, but has had full charge of the office since 1880. He was married here on December 29, 1887, to Miss Willy Thomas, a native of Claiborne Parish, La., and a daughter of M. B. Thomas.
Reuben H. Knighton has been engaged in merchandising at Laugston, La., since February, 1890, and although he is young in years, he has in this short time built up a paying trade. His birth occurred in this parish in 1806, to Joseph O. Knighton and wife, the former being born in Mississippi about 1835. To them five children were born, their names being: Reuben H., Annie E. (wife of Leu Laugton, of Langston), Joseph E., James B., Virginia and Dan W. Reuben H. Knighton grew to maturity in Claiborne Parish, La., and is a self-educated young man. Although he was reared to the occupation of planting, be gave up this calling, and at the above-mentioned date turned his attention to merchandising, and by honesty, sincerity of purpose and a desire to please his patrons, he is doing a prosperous business. He comes of good old Jacksonian Democratic stock, and at all times supports that party and the men which it puts forward for office. He is in every respect a worthy young gentleman, and is an earnest member of the Missionary Baptist Church.
Len Langton, his brother-in-law, was born in Ouachita County, Ark., in April, 1861, a son of Moses G. W. Langton, who was born in Georgia in 1821, his father, who also bore the name of Moses, being an Englishman. The latter was a veteran in the Revolutionary War, and came to this country with three brothers and aided the cause of the colonists. The male members of the family have at all times been traders and merchants up to the present, and this occupation now receives the attention of Len Langton, who is associated with Mr. Knighton in business. He was married in 1887 to Miss Annie E. Knighton, by whom he has two children: Lonny and an infant. The former died in infancy.
Jesse Marion Ledbetter, M. D. The profession of the physician is one of the noblest to which a man can devote his life, that is if he makes a proper use of the talents given him, and this Dr. Ledbetter has most assuredly done. He is a resident of Summerfield, La., but was born near Harpersville, Scott County, Miss., February 3, 1854, being the youngest of the following ten children: Benjamin T., Mary (wife of T. J. Denson, a druggist and pharmacist of Harpersville. Miss.), Lou (the wife of J. K. Whitehead, deceased, of Harpersville, Miss.), Dora (wife of J. H. Dorsett, a planter of Scott County, Miss.), W. S. (a resident of Summerfield, La.), William S, (who was married to Miss Mattie Morgan, a resident of Mississippi, and during the last ten years of his life he has been with the Doctor in mercantile business in Summerfield, but, prior to this he had been a planter. He entered the war with the first company that left Scott County, Miss., in 1861, and served till the close of the war), A. A. (an eminent physician and surgeon of Hallettsville, Lavaca County, Tex.), W. H. (a planter of Graysou County, Tex.), Toressa C, (wife of P. T. Talbot, who is a banker, real estate broker and dealer in general merchandise at San Marquis, Tex.), McPherson B., and Dr. Jesse M. (the subject of this sketch). Benjamin T. eldest in the family, was married to a Miss Vanderhurst, and died at the age of fifty-two years. He was a leading politician of Northwestern Louisiana, and his influence was plainly felt throughout this region. At his death he was surveyor-general of the State of Louisiana, having been appointed by President Cleveland. McPherson B., ninth in the family, was married to Miss Nannie Calloway. He was a finely educated young man, and at the time of his death, which occurred when he was thirty-two years of age, he was associated in the mercantile business with the Doctor and William S. and was joint proprietor with the former in a drug store, and was in very independent circumstances. He and . his brother, Benjamin, now sleep beside their mother and father in Summerfield Cemetery. The father and mother of these children, William and Casandra S. (Black) Ledbetter, were born in Georgia, the former being a farmer in early life and a merchant of Summerfield, La., during his declining years. Both parents were liberally educated and were supporters of all good scholastic institutions, being also ardent and consistent members of the Primitive Baptist Church for many years. They are now deceased and are sleeping their last sleep in the cemetery of Summerfield. Dr. Jesse M. Ledbetter first attended the common schools, after which he took a partial course in Springhill Institute (which afterward became known as Cooper's Institute), and still later entered the State University at Oxford, Miss., an institution he attended two years, when he commenced the study of medicine.
He graduated at the Charity Hospital Medical College with distinction, after which he entered upon his practice at Ludlow, in Scott County, Miss., where he remained two years, then removed to Summerfield, La., in 1878, where his home has been up to the present time, winning golden opinions for himself from all who have secured his services. Some of his time has also been given to cotton growing, and of this work he has made a decided success. For a period of ten years he has been associated in the mercantile business with his brother, William S., at Summerfield, where they have a very large and paying business. The Doctor commenced life for himself at the age of twenty-two years without a dollar of capital, and although he bad rather a hard road to hoe for some time, he at hist gained a foothold and is now in good circumstances. His wife, whom he married November 15, 1877, and whose maiden name was Joaunah Barrow, was born in Alabama, but was reared in Louisiana, and to their-union two children have been born: Wiltz McP. (aged twelve years), and Marion A. (aged ten). Mrs. Ledbetter's father was a minister of the Primitive Baptist Church, but was also a cotton planter and for several terms represented his county in the State Legislature of Alabama.
Dr. Ledbetter is a Democrat, and at all times supports the principles of Jeffersonianism, being an active partisan and using his influence for the election to office of men of principle and honor. His first vote was cast for Hon. S. J. Tilden for the presidency, and in 1888 he was a delegate to the State convention held at Baton Rouge. He is a member of the K. of P. of Homer. He is the owner of about 1,000 acres of land, and besides his interest in the mercantile establishment above mentioned, he is the owner of a large roomy, typical Southern residence in the village of Summerfield. All this property has been accumulated by business tact, and acumen,, but his business is so diversified that he has no time for leisure. He find his wife have lived very happily together. Mrs. Ledbetter is a worthy member of the Primitive Baptist Church, and her husband has always been a liberal contributor to this as well as other churches.
James McClendon, cotton planter, Lisbon. La. The history of every community is made up, so far as its more interesting features are concerned, of the events and transactions of the lives of its prominent, representative citizens. In any worthy history of Claiborne Parish, an outline of the life of the subject of this sketch should by all means be given. Mr. McClendon was born in Georgia in January, 1816, and was the eldest of fourteen children, nine sons and five daughters— six of whom are now living—three sons and three daughters: Abram (is a cotton planter of Ala bama), Thomas H. (is a minister in the Methodist Church in Louisiana Conference, and resides at Sicily Island, La.), Frances (married a Mr. White, a cotton planter, and resides in Texas), Sarah Antoinette (is a widow and resides in Texas, where her husband was a cotton planter), and Sophronia C. (married a Mr. White and resides in Texas). The parents of these children were natives of Georgia, and the father was a cotton planter. He was a soldier in the War of 1812. Both are now deceased, and their remains are interred near Lisbon,
La. James McClendon received bis education in the old log-cabin schoolhouse of former times, and has since improved very materially by observation and study. He is a friend and supporter of all good schools. He commenced active business life for himself at the age of twenty-two years, and was married in Heard County, Ga., in 1838, to Miss Louisa Ann Tait, a native of Georgia, born in 1820. They moved to this parish in 1848. Of their union have been born twelve children— seven sons and five daughters—five of whom are deceased. They are named as follows: Charles W. (died at the age of forty-seven years), Abram S. (was killed in a skirmish in Virgiuia during the Rebellion), Mary M. (married a cotton planter and resides in Claiborne Parish), Elizabeth N. (married a cotton planter and resides in the Lone Star State), James S. (died at the age of twenty-five years), Enos H. (is an attorney at law at Homer, La.), Robert T. (resides in Claiborne Parish), Isophena (deceased), Sarah A. (married Mr. McCasland, a cotton planter, and resides in Claiborne Parish), Nettie (resides with her parents on the old homestead), Thomas (died in childhood), and
Isaac H. Mr. McClendon was a member of the Home Militia for three mouths during the war, being too old to serve in the regular army. In his early political days he was an old-line, Whig. but after the Democratic party was organized he joined that. He has never been an active politician, and has ever aimed to support men of principle, rather than strict party measures. He served as justice of the peace in Alabama six years, and filled the same position in Louisiana for four years. He lost his dear companion in lite after a pilgrimage of life's journey for many years, her death occurring on March 8, 1878. Her remains are interred in Lisbon Cemetery, where at her head stands a monument erected by her loving and devoted husband. She was for many years a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, find was an active worker in the Sunday school. Mr. McClendon is also a member of that church, and is deeply interested in Sunday-school work. They always contributed to all religious purposes which were worthy of their consideration. Mr. McClendon is the owner of about 1,100 acres of land, and makes cotton and corn his staple commodity. He has all that life calls for, and he and his daughter, Miss Nettie, and his son, Isaac H, reside near Lisbon, enjoying all the comforts of a temperate life and the respect of their many friends and neighbors.
Squire James M. McKinzie. From this brief and incomplete view of the life record of Mr. McKinzie, it will be seen that his life from earliest youth up has not been uselessly or idly spent. He has always been familiar with the details of planting, and as he has made this his life occupation, he has accumulated a fair share of this world's goods. He was born in Limestone County, Ala., in 1825, being one of the following family of children: David, Andrew, Lacy, Nicholas A., John T., James M., Sarah, Levina and Mary E. Their father, Alexander S. McKinzie, was a Kentuckian, born about 1799, to David McKinzie. James M. McKinzie received a common school education in Tennessee, where his parents had moved when he was an infant, and here he attained man's estate and was married in 1846, to Miss Isabella M. McCann, a daughter of Thomas McCann. To them a family of ten children has been born, eight of whom grew to maturity: Alexander B., Mary E. (wife of S. S. Taylor), Sarah M. (wife of James A. Aubrey), Thomas D., Martha J. (wife of 0. J. Kinder), Anna G. (wife of J. A. Lowe), Leona J. find George It. An infant and James A. are deceased. Mr. McKinzie came to Claiborne Parish, La., in 1850, and has since devoted his attention to agriculture, being now the owner of a good plantation of about 500 acres. He is a Democrat, politically, has held the office of justice of the peace for about fourteen years, and for the past six years has been a member of the police jury.' Socially he has been a member of the A. P. & A. M. since 1858. He is an active member of the Christian Church, and since 1855 has been an elder in the same. Among his acquaintances and friends the respect shown him is in full keeping with his well established reputation for hospitality and sincere cordiality. To know him is to have a high admiration for him, for he is possessed of those sterling characteristics which make a true man, and in his intercourse with those around him he has won a host of warm friends.
Frank L. Machen, a member of the firm of Denman & Co., merchants at Homer, La., owes his nativity to the Palmetto' State, his birth occurring in Newberry District, February 25, 1836, and is one of five children—three sons and two (daughters—born to the union of John and Leah (Kenwick) Machen, natives also of South Carolina. The parents removed from South Carolina to Arkansas in 1854, located in Columbia County, and made their home on a farm, where the, father died in 1883, and the mother many years previous. Mr. Machen served in the War of 1812. was under Gen. Jackson, and participated in the battle of New Orleans, also many other important engagements. Frank L. Machen and an elder brother are the only survivors of the above mentioned fain ily. His youthful days were spent on the farm in Columbia County, Ark., and in addition to a good, practical education received in the common school he received a thorough training at Brownwood Institute, La Grange, Ga. After leaving school he enlisted in the Confederate Army in May, 1861, in Company G, Sixth Arkansas Infantry, as a private, and was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant, serving in that capacity until the close of the war. He was in a great many engagements of the Army of the West, among the most important being Shiloh, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Perryville, Franklin, and a great many of less importance.
He never lost a day nor was he absent from his command during the entire time he was in service. He surrendered at New Salem, N. C., in May, 1865. Returning to Arkansas after the war he was for two years on a farm, and in the fall of 1868 he was engaged in clerking in Columbia County, where he continued for two more years. He then went to Nevada County, clerked there from that time up to 1883, and then purchased an interest in the present firm of Denman & Co., continuing at Prescott up to 1888. In September of that year the firm established this branch house at Homer, and Mr. Machen has taken charge of this house. He carries a full and complete line of shelf and heavy hardware, tin ware and machinery of all kinds, and also handles gins, feeders and condensers. He is doing a general hardware, machinery and implement business, and has already established a large and increasing trade. Mr. Machen is a thorough business man, and one of the enterprising merchants of Homer. He was married in Columbia County, Ark., in February, 1868, to Miss Mary S. Gladney, a native of Tennessee, who was reared and educated in Columbia County, Ark. Mr. and Mrs. Machen are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and he is a member of the Masonic fraternity, being a Royal Arch Mason. He is also a member of the I. O. O. P. fraternity.
Jesse C. Madden is a prosperous dealer in general merchandise at Gordon, and he is no less successful in the occupation of planting, to which occupation he also gives his attention. He was born in Harris County, Ga., in 1837, being the seventh in a family of eight children, the other members being: Martha (wife of Jonathan Chester of Tallapoosa County, Ala., deceased), Josiah (who was a resident of Independence County, Ark., but is now deceased), Lewis R. (now a resident of Scott County, Miss.), Mary (wife of William Baldwin of Washington County, Tex.), Elias J. (a resident of Scott County, Miss.), Ezekiel C. (of Craighead County, Ark.), and William (now residing in Gordon, La.). The father, Elias Madden was born in South Carolina about 1794, and died in Harris County, Ga., in 1839, a son of Richard Madden. His brothers and sisters were: Ezekiel (who died in South Carolina), Elias, Dennis (who died in Washington County, Tex.), Nellie (wife of Wesley Cox of Choctaw County, Miss.), and Sophia (wife of John Burns of Tallapoosa County, Ala.). The immediate subject of this biography grew to maturity in Tallapoosa County, Ala., and in his early boyhood moved to Scott County, Miss., having received a common-school education in his native State and Mississippi, his studies being pursued by the firelight at home. Having come to the conclusion that " it is not, good for man to live alone " he was married in 1860 to Miss Lydia A. Slaughter, a daughter of Joseph Slaughter of Leake County, Miss., and in time a family of ten children gathered about their hearthstone: Mary (wife of W. E. Manning of Gordon, La.), Georgia A. (wife of Dr. A. R. Bush, of Homer), Joseph E. (a resident of Arizona, La.), Susan (who died in infancy), Mattie B. (at home), Jesse E. (in business in Arizona), Sallie •(who died in infancy), Robert C. (at home), Virginia (at home), and Lelia (the baby, who was born in 1882).
At the opening of the Rebellion Mr. Madden enlisted in Company I, Twenty-seventh Mississippi Regiment of Walthall's brigade, and his first encounter was at Perryville, Ky., at which place he was taken prisoner, and was kept there three mouths, after which he removed to Camp Douglas, where he remained three months, being then exchanged. He was next engaged at Chickamauga, at which place he was wounded and it may be here stated that he was never in an engagement that he did not receive a wound of some nature, although they were not serious. At, Atlanta, July 28, 1864, however, he lost his left, band, which ended his services in the field. He has always been interested in the welfare of the Democrat party, and has always taken an active part in putting forward good true men for office. In Mississippi he held the office of county treasurer and tax assessor from 1866 to 1860, and discharged his duties with undoubted ability, and the entire satisfaction of all. He is a member of long standing of the Primitive Baptist, Church, and is a worthy, honored and useful citizen of this parish. He has been a resident of Louisiana since December, 1880, and already owns a well stocked and well patronized store and a plantation of over 500 acres.
Dr. John E. Meadors, well known throughout Claiborne Parish, La., was born in Chambers County, Ala., in 1830, and was one of six children who grew to maturity, the other members of the family being Nancy S. (wife of Dr. J. P. Leak, who is now deceased), Mary S. (the deceased wife of Thomas H. Brown, of this parish), Camilla P. (wife of James M. Calloway of Harrison County, Tex.), Hon. James (who is a resident of this parish, and has represented the Third Congressional District in the State Senate one term), and Achsah H. (wife of Dr. J. P. Taylor, also of this parish). The father, Washington Meadors, was born in the "Palmetto State" April 15, 1798, a son of Jason Meadors, who was a veteran in the Revolutionary War in which be held the rank of colonel. Washington Meadors was married to Rachel Bonds, born in Newberry District, S. C. in 1804, a daughter of Mr. Stark, who was the son of the famous John Stark, of New Hampshire, of whom it is said made the remark: "We will beat them today or Molly Stark will be a widow." Dr. Meadors grew to maturity in Alabama, and in 1857, having graduated from a well-known medical college of Georgia, he came to Claiborne Parish, La., and since 1858 has been a practitioner of this region, quite a number of his first patients being still his patrons.
In 1800 he married Miss Mary A. Traylor, a daughter of Green S. and Martha (Allison) Traylor, of Troup County, Ga., both of whom came to Louisiana and died in Claiborne Parish. To the Doctor and his wife five children were born: James G. (in 1862, is a graduate of Washington & Lee University of Lexington, Va.), Emma Lee (became the wife of J. E. Cockrell, who is a sou of Senator Cockrell, and is now judge, of the Eleventh District of Texas), Annie, John T. and Prentiss. The Doctor has always been a Democrat, and is an active partisan in the selection of good men to till the offices of both State and parish. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and socially be is a member of the K. of P. of Homer. That he has always been the friend of education goes without saying, and he sent his children to colleges of Virginia and Pennsylvania, in which institutions they acquitted themselves with honor. The Doctor is one of the oldest and most successful of the physicians of the parish, and as an honorable, upright man has not his superior. Thomas D. Meadows, planter, Lisbon, La. Mr. Meadows was born near La Grange, Troup County, Ga., June 7. 1830, and was the eldest in a family of four children, who were named as follows: Eliza (married Mr. Martin in Georgia, a planter, and died in Ward No. 1, Claiborne Parish, La., when forty-five years of age), Joseph (resides in Haynesville, La., and is principal of the high school at that place. He was educated in Georgia), and Susan (married J. T, Chapman, an orange grower, and now resides in Florida; she is the. youngest of the family). The parents of our subject were both natives of Georgia, and both received a common school education. The father was born in 1807, and was an agriculturist by occupation. He figured very conspicuously in local politics, and was one of the leading citizens in his locality.
He moved to Troup County, settled in a little cabin in a wild and undeveloped part of the country, and remained there until late in life, when he moved to Heard County. He gained a fair competency, and died in 1864. He was a self-made man, was honest and industrious, and improved every opportunity presented to make an honest living. The mother died in 1854. Thomas' D. Meadows was educated in the select schools of Georgia, and was admirably fitted for the practical life be leads. He engaged in school teaching for a time, and is an ardent supporter of the. cause of education. He started out to fight life's battles for himself at the age of twenty-one years with very little capital, but with a strong determination to succeed. He first engaged in agricultural pursuits, and his business acumen, which has been his stock in trade, has placed him in independent circumstances. He was married, August 30, 1850, to Miss Mary A. Hilley, a native of Elbert County, Ga., born in November, 1834, and to them have been born fourteen children, ten of whom are living: John (resides in Winn Parish), Joseph (a talented attorney and a business man of integrity, died at Hope, Ark,, October 12, 1890), Alonzo (a Baptist minister and a prominent educator, resides at McNeal, Ark.), Ada (resides in Homer, and is the wife of Prof. J. T. Nelson, who is another educator of note), Asbury (is a graduate of Peabody College at Nashville, Tenn., and now resides in Donaldsonville, La., where he is principal of the schools)Mat (is a salesman at Minden, La.), Beulah (resides in Claiborne Parish, and is the wife of J. D. Cook, who is a farmer), Viola (resides on the old homestead), Ira resides at home, and is at present a student at Homer, La.; he is a bright, boy, Lizzie (is also a student at Homer, La.).
Mr. Meadows was a member of the famous Claiborne Guards of the Seventeenth Louisiana Infantry Volunteers, which was paroled at Vicksburg, La., July 4, 1803. He was discharged on account of sickness at Camp Moore. Politically he was an old line Whig, and he finally espoused the principles of the Democratic party, because there was nothing better to affiliate with. He cast his first presidential vote for Gen. Winfield Scott. He has never missed an election since his majority, and has advocated his principles strenuously and with vigor. Mr. Meadows has been a member of the police board for sixteen years, and he was president of the board several years, thus showing in what, prominence he is held. He is not a bitter partisan by any means, but takes the fearless stand that, both parties are very corrupt. He is a Master Mason, and he and wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church at Antioch, which they have aided in a very substantial manner. Mr. Meadows is the owner of 1,800 acres of land in Claiborne Parish, and he is also the owner of a nice residence in Lisbon, La. He has spent a large sum in educating his children, and may well be proud of his and their success. In Claiborne Parish, whore his interests are located, and where he is surrounded by his many warm friends. Mr. Meadows expects to pass the remainder of his days.
Hugh Miller is the proprietor of a well conducted mercantile establishment at Millerton, La. He was born in Marion County, Ala,, in 1855, being one in a family of eleven children born to John and Cassie (Guyton) Miller, who were born in Alabama and South Carolina, respectively, the former being a son of John Miller, a native of Ireland, who came to America at an early day and settled in the Palmetto State. Hugh Miller came to this State and parish in 1870, with his parents, and located in the neighborhood of Athens; where they made their home for two years, then came to near where Hugh is now doing business, and here the father passed from life in January, 1890, being still survived by his widow. Hugh opened his present establishment to the public in 1883, on a not, very extensive scale, and now has a store well stocked with an excellent line of goods. In 1878 he was married to Miss Mary E. Neil, and by her is the father of the following children: Olive N., Banny E., Her, H. Carl, Clyde and Clarence, the baby. In his political views Mr. Miller has long been a Democrat, and at all times supports the men and measures of that party. Although he is a .young man, he is rapidly making his way to the front among the energetic business men of this community; and although only thirty-five years of age he has built up a large and paying patronage, and by attending strictly to each minor detail of his chosen calling can not fail to succeed. His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
James W. Moore. This, in brief, is the sketch of a man whoso present substantial position in life has been reached entirely through his own perseverance and the facts connected with his operations and their results only show what a person with courage and enlightened views can accomplish. His reputation for honesty and integrity has been tried and not found wanting; his financial ability has been more than once put to the test, but never without, credit to himself. His general mercantile establishment comprises a neat and well-selected stock of goods, and besides this he has an excellent plantation of 283 acres, seventy- Sve acres of which are good tillable land. Mr. Moore was born in Claiborne Parish, La., July 15, 1858, being the sixth of seven children— six sous and a daughter: Perry (who is married and is a merchant of Claiborne Parish), John T. (deceased), Mollie (wife of J. P. Cox, a planter and lumberman of Bienville Parish), Charles (a merchant of Homer), James W., William (who resides in Homer), and a baby boy that died in infancy. The parents of these children were born in Georgia, the father being a planter and dying there at the age of fifty years, his widow still surviving him. James W. Moore, educated in the schools of Lisbon, has ever been the patron of educational institutions of all kinds. He started out for himself a poor boy, but as has been seen, he has been successful, and his present prosperity he owes to his own indomitable will and energy. Miss Fannie Ragan became his wife in 1886. Her birth occurred in Lincoln Parish, La., in 1868, and her education was obtained in the common schools. To her union with Mr. Moore two children have been born: Lois (aged two and one-half years) and Gertrude (aged eleven months). Mr. Moore is a Democrat, and he and wife are worthy and earnest members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Lisbon, La., and both are workers in the Sunday-school.
Hon. William F. Moreland, planter, Homer, La. No name is justly entitled to a more enviable place in the history of Claiborne Parish than one that heads this sketch for it is borne by a gentleman who has been usefully and honorably identified with the interests of this parish and with its advancement in every worthy particular. He was born in Putnam County, Ga., September 26, 1816, and although past the age usually allotted to man, he is in possession of a competency fully sufficient to warrant, him in passing the remainder of his days in peace and comfort. He was the seventh in a family of eleven children, who are named as follows: Joseph (died in Claiborne Parish in 1852), Ann (married Samuel Reed, of Troup County, Ga., where she died), Elizabeth T. (became the wife of Thomas Hightower, of Claiborne Parish, and is now deceased), Martha (became the wife of Charnold Hightower, of Monroe County, Ga., and died about 1828), Sarah (became the wife of Henry West and died in Troup County, Ga.), Susan (married Thomas Bustin and died in Troup County, Ga.), Isaac (died in Houston, Tex.), Jane B. (married Sebum [Seaborn J.] J. Thompson and died in Mississippi), Mary B. (married John C. Henderson, of Putnam County, Ga., and died in Macon County, Ala.), and Amelia (married Thomas C. Miller and died in La Grange, Ga.). The father of these children, Isaac Moreland, was born and reared in Dinwiddie County, Va., and was a son of Thomas Moreland, who owned the land where a portion of Petersburg now stands. The Moreland family were originally from England. The mother of the above mentioned children, Nancy (Turner) Moreland, was born in Dinwiddie County, Va., and was a classmate of Gen. Winfield Scott's in his early educational career. Experience has been Mr. Moreland's school, and that he has made the most of it, can not be questioned. He was thrown upon his own resources practically, taking care of his own affairs at the age of fourteen, and came to Claiborne Parish in 1853, locating where he now lives. He was first married in 1839 to Miss Susan L. Perrell, daughter of Bennett Ferrell, of Jackson County, Fla. She died in Macon County, Ala., in 1849.
In January, 1852, Mr. Moreland was married to Miss Elizabeth White, daughter of James White, of Sumter County, Ga., and unto this union were born six children: Sidney T. (now a resident of Lexington, Va., and professor of physics in Washington and Lee University of that place), Isaac N. (a resident of Claiborne Parish). William W. (married and residing on the old home place), F. Kate (at home), Ida S. (also at home) and Lelia M. (now Mrs. James G. Meadows, of Tennessee). Mr. Moreland has been a conspicuous man in the interests of his parish, and was elected to the Legislature in 1859, serving four years. After the war he was re-elected to the House and served until the reconstruction. He was again elected to that position in 1874 and served one term. In 1879 he was a member of the Constitutional Convention. and since that, time he has declined office of any kind. He was for many years an active member of the Masonic fraternity, and has been a worthy member of the Methodist, Episcopal Church South since 1840. He is progressive in his ideas and tendencies, and has been a representative man in the community.
Hon. Alfred T. Nelson, of Homer, La., is a native of Georgia, bis birth occurring in Campbell County on June 19, 1835, his father being Lieut. James F. Nelson, a native of Virginia, and a prominent man. The hitter went to Georgia with his parents when a child, and there grew to manhood and married Delilah Camp, a native of Georgia. He followed the occupation of farming in Georgia, and there reared his family, moving to Claiborne Parish in 1854, where he made a farm and resided until his death, in 1872. He served as deputy sheriff and sheriff of Campbell County, Ga., for twelve consecutive years, with great credit to himself, and also officiated in other public positions of trust and responsibility. He acquired his title of lieutenant by having served, in one of the old Indian wars in Georgia. His widow yet survives him. Of the children which she bore her husband, six grew to mature years. Alfred T. was the third in order of birth, and grew to manhood in Georgia, receiving only a moderate education, but considerably improved in subsequent years. On September 4, 1854, in Floyd County, Ga., he married Miss Permelia C. Camp, an estimable lady of that State, and afterward, in the same year, moved to Louisiana, settled in Claiborne Parish, and engaged in farming, continuing until the war. March 4, 1862, he entered the Confederate service, in Company G, of the Twelfth Louisiana Regiment of Infantry, and served with the same until the end of the war. He participated in many bloody engagements, among which were the second battle of Corinth, Baker Creek (Miss.), Resaca (Ga.), the Atlanta campaign, Franklin (Tenn.), Nashville and several engagements in North Carolina, and was present at the surrender at Jonesboro, N. C., in 1865. He reached his Louisiana home in June, 1865, and the following year engaged in farming, and has continued the same with marked success ever since. His farm is in Ward No. 7, six miles from Homer. His efforts as a husbandman have been highly successful. He began with 160 acres, to which he has since added until he now owns about 1,400 acres, and. in addition, has given his children good and extensive farms. He has been one of the most successful farmers of the parish. In 1888 Mr. Nelson was elected to the State Legislature, and represented his parish with distinction, being on some of the most useful committees. He has taken strong grounds against the Louisiana Lottery, and is a prominent Democrat. He served as president of the Farmers' Alliance of this parish for two years, and was elected merchant of the Alliance's co-operative store of this parish. This store was opened in the fall of 1889, and is large, well established, well conducted and prosperous. Mr. and Mrs. Nelson, with their family of seven children—six sons and one daughter—moved to the town of Homer in the fall of 1889. The children (who are all grown) and the parents fire all members of the Methodist Church, Mr. Nelson being steward. He is a man of more than ordinary intelligence and force of character, and deservedly, from his high social qualities, stands among the most prominent citizens of the parish. He is a member of the Masonic and K. of P. fraternities.
James W. Nickelson was born in Jackson County, Tenn., in 1833, being the ninth of ten children born to Nicholas and Mahala (Ferrell) Nickelson, who were natives of North Carolina, the father's birth occurring in 1760. He was a direct descendant of Irish parents, and possessed the intelligence and wit of his ancestors. The subject of this sketch resided in Tennessee until 1848, when he came with his parents to Claiborne Parish, La., where his father died in 1858, and his mother in 1801, James W. Nickelson was given the advantages of the common schools, and continued his studies until he started out in life for himself as a farmer, after he had attained his majority. At the breaking out of the Rebellion he espoused the cause of the Confederacy, and became a member of Company A, Twelfth Louisiana Infantry, with which he served until the close of the war, being in the engagements at, Belmont, Shiloh, Coffeeville, Port, Hudson, Baton Rouge, Grand Gulf, Jackson, and surrendered at Vicksburg, after which he joined Price, remaining with him until the war closed, being assistant forage master. After his return home he was married in 1865 to Miss Sarah A. Snider, a daughter of William and Jane A. Snider, and their union has been blessed in the birth of nine children, six of whom are still living. Mr. Nickelson is a warm Democrat, and has taken an active part in the selection of good and worthy men to fill the various offices of the State and parish. He has been a member of the A. F. & A. M. for many years, and his wife is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, and is an earnest and truly consistent Christian.
Dr. Thomas N. Nix, the subject of this sketch, was born in Georgia in 1851. In 1858 he with his parents moved to Columbia County Ark., where his parents now reside. Being remote from school he was reared with but little education, but at the age of majority, being determined to work out for himself a practical education, he applied himself so well that he was admitted as teacher into the public schools of his State, spending three years in this work. He then gave his attention to the science of dentistry. After some time devoted to the study of this science, he began practice as early as 187[?]- and this calling has since received his attention. He has been associated with some bright lights in his profession, and has acquired for himself a name among the professional men of North Louisiana, and as a dentist is certainly very skillful, and a master of his profession. He has resided in this locality sufficiently long to win a host of friends, and to build up about, him a large and appreciative practice. He was married to Miss Alice Warren, October 27, 1880. Mrs. Nix is a member of the Protestant Methodist Church, Dr. Nix, of the Missionary Baptist Church, and they are liberal supporters of these churches. Dr. Nix is one of fifteen children born to Larkin Nix, whose birth occurred in [?] County, Ga., in 1813. Larkin Nix has lived a quiet farmer's life. He was in the Indian War of 1836, and he killed and scalped a large Indian, who helped to murder and scalp his brother, William Nix and family. He volunteered, went into the Southern Army of the late Civil War, and was flag bearer for his company. He had one son, Henry Nix, who gave up his life for the lost cause. John Nix, the father of Larkin Nix, was born in Edgefield, S. C, in the year 1761. He was large enough to be cuffed about and abused by the tories in Washington's day. He was an active participant in the early Indian war, especially the War of 1812, under Gen. Floyd. In 1858 he moved to Columbia County, Ark., with his son, Larkin Nix, where he died in 1868, at the advanced age of one hundred and seven years. Dr. Nix's father, aged seventy-seven, and mother, aged seventy, are shill living out their Christian lives on the old homestead in Columbia County, Ark., where they settled in 1858. Dr. Nix has recently embarked in a mercantile venture, doing business with C. B, , Broadway, N. Y. He has efficient men to run this business and will continue the practice of his profession.
John L. Oakes is a man whom nature seems to have especially designed to be a planter, for he has met with more than the average degree of success in pursuing that calling, and owing to his desire to keep out of the beaten path, and to his adoption of new and improved methods, together with industry and good judgment, he is now a well to do citizen. He was born in this parish in 1856, being a brother of Reuben L. Oakes, a sketch of whom appears in this work, and Lucy, now Mrs. Langford, both residents of this parish. They are the children of Reuben and Margaret (Scarborough) Oakes, the former of whom was born in Alabama, and the latter in Georgia. John L. Oakes began the battle of life for himself as a planter with but $500, but in the eleven years that have passed he has accumulated about 1,300 acres of land, 600 of which are under cultivation, a fact that speaks louder than words can do as to his ability as a financier. He has the distinction, young as he is, of being the most extensive planter in the ward, and one of the most extensive in the parish. His example of industry and earnest and sincere endeavor to succeed in life, especially in the direction of planting, is well worthy the imitation of men older than himself, as well as the rising generation. He was married to Mrs. Mollie Collier, a daughter of Richard Cleaver, in 1885, and by her is now the father of two children: Lawrence and Tullis. Mr. and Mrs. Oakes are members of the Missionary Baptist Church.
Reuben L. Oakes is in every sense of the word a self-made man, for the property which he now has, has been acquired by his own exertions since starting out in life for himself. He was born in this parish in 1802, to Reuben Oakes, a native of Alabama, who came to Claiborne Parish in 1849, a more complete record of whom is given in the sketch of John L. Oakes. Reuben L. has resided all his life in this parish, and his first knowledge of the "three E 's " was acquired in the common schools. He was always diligent, and improved his opportunities to the utmost, becoming a well informed young man. When he had attained his twenty-first birthday he united his fortunes with that of Miss Ida Bridgeman, of Homer, and began his career as a planter, his capital at that time being very meager indeed. He did not, become discouraged when obstacles presented themselves, but continued to steadily pursue the "even tenor of his way," and the magnificent plantation, which consists of 1,100 acres of land, which he now owns, is the result of hard and persistent toil, and shows what a young man of intelligence, energy and progressive views can accomplish when he so desires In 1888 he established a mill, which he has conducted with remarkable success in connection with planting up to the present day. The most of his broad acres are cleared, and a goodly portion under cultivation, the annual income from the same being large. The admirable manner in which everything is kept about his place shows that a man of sound judgment and unswerving energy is at the helm, and here, where he has always lived, his many estimable qualities have acquired for him a popularity not derived from any factitious circumstances, but a permanent and spontaneous tribute to his merit. He and his wife have two bright and interesting children: Guy and Daisy. He is a Democrat in his views, and at all times supports the men of that party.
Washington L. Oakes is one of the progressive, intelligent and enterprising agriculturists of Claiborne Parish, La., and was born in Perry County, Ala., in 1827, and there grew to maturity, being the fourth of his parent's ten children: Elizabeth (deceased, was the wife of Isaac Harkines, of Perry County, Ala.), Eliga M. (now a resident of Claiborne Parish, La.), Haney (widow of Isaac Harkines), Washington L., Reuben M. (died during the war, leaving a widow and family), Susan (widow of Thomas Brittain, of Nacogdoches County, Tex.), Isaac C. (died during the war, leaving a widow and two children), Frances (died at the age of eighteen years), Nancy W. (now Mrs. John Naremore, of Claiborne Parish), and John L. (died a prisoner at Fort Delaware, during the war). The father of these children, Isaac Oakes, was born in Georgia, in 1797, being the youngest of the following children born to his father, who also bore the name of Isaac: Thomas, Reuben, John, Jonathan, Nancy, Persiller and Loney. The grandfather was born about 1758 and at the age of eighteen years became a Revolutionary soldier, and served throughout the struggle that followed. He was born in Virginia. The maiden name of the mother of the immediate subject of this sketch, was Amy Martin, a daughter of Claiborne Martin, who was a Virginian. Washington L. Oakes received a common education in the schools of Alabama, but after he had attained his twentieth year he began farming for himself, and in 1852 was married to Miss Martha A. Scarborough. in 1861 he enlisted in Col. Scott's company that went out from Claiborne Parish that year, and soon after was in the fight at Belmont, but after the first year's service be i was sent back to "Louisiana, and served in this State until the close of the war. He has been a Democrat of long standing, having cast his first presidential vote in 1848, and since locating in the parish, in 1852, he has held the position of justice of the peace and police juror a great portion of the time. Socially he has been a member of the Masonic fraternity for many years, in which he has taken all the degrees of the council. He and his estimable wife have been members of the Missionary Baptist Church since 1846, and as citizens and neighbors are highly esteemed by all who know them. Mr. Oakes has resided on his present farm of 1,000 acres since 1852, and has 400 acres of land under cultivation, all of which is admirably adapted to raising all the products of the South.
James W. O'Bannon is a dealer in general merchandise at Summerfield, La., but also gives considerable attention to agriculture, being a well to do and successful man of business. He was born in this parish in 1840, being the second of twelve children, ten of whom are living, born to Bryant O'Bannon and N. E. O'Bannon, nee Nolen, born in South Carolina, the birth of the father occurring in Mississippi. The father was the eldest in a family of nine children born to Dotson B. O'Bannon, a native Virginian, and a soldier in the Revolutionary War, serving throughout the entire struggle with the mother country. All of James W. O'Bannon's brothers and sisters reside in this parish with the exception of Jennie, now
Mrs. William Scarborough, who resides at, Putnam, Tex. James W. grew to maturity here and acquired a good practical education at Mount Lebanon. In September, 1801, he enlisted in the army, and his regiment, the Nineteenth Louisiana belonged to the only Louisiana brigade of the Army of Tennessee (Confederate), and served as a lieutenant until May, 1865, taking an active part in every battle in which his regiment participated with the exception of Murfreesboro, Term., and not receiving a wound during the war. His command surrendered in May, 1865, at Meridian, Miss., and this closed his military career. His brigade was first commanded by Gen. Dan W. Adams, and after the battle of Chickamauga by Gen. Randall Lee Gibson. After returning home he entered school once more at Mount Lebanon and remained there until April, 1807, when he began devoting his attention to farming and followed this exclusively until 1873, when he opened a mercantile establishment, and to the successful conduct of these two enterprises he has since given his time. He carries a stock of merchandise valued at from $2,000 to $6,000, and has established a reputation for honesty and fair dealing throughout this section of the country. His plantation consists of 400 acres, the most of which is cleared, and on this land he raises about forty-five bales of cotton annually. He is an active Democrat in his political views, at all times supports his party, and socially is a member of the K. of P. lodge at Homer. He was married in the month of December, 1808, to Miss Lizzie Williams, a daughter of J. H. Williams, of Claiborne Parish, and to them six children have been born: J. Graves, N. Isabella, James P., Sarah E., B. L. and Randall Gibson. Mr. and Mrs. O'Bannon are members of the Missionary Baptist Church at Summerfield, Claiborne Parish, La.
Oscar P. Ogilvie is the editor of the Guardian Journal, at Homer, La., and is one of the public spirited and able newspaper men of this section. He has been familiar with journalistic work from early boyhood, and the paper which he is now engaged in publishing is one of the best and neatest local papers in the State of Louisiana. He was left an orphan in his early childhood, but even at that day he evinced sterling traits of character, and with the energy and perseverance that has ever characterized his efforts, he worked his way onward and onward until he is now acknowledged to be one of the leading journalists of the State. He was born in Caddo Parish, La., on October 2, 1804, but his father, W. J. Ogilvie, was a native of Georgia, but of Irish descent. He grew up in his native State and was married there to Miss Lucy J. Patterson, a native of Kentucky, who was reared and educated in that State. After Mr. Ogilvie had farmed in Georgia a few years he moved with his family to Louisiana, and about 1842 settled in Caddo Parish, near Shreveport, where he opened up a large farm, which he successfully conducted up to the date of his death in 1808, having been the owner of a number of slaves prior to the war. He was a man of good parts, his business qualifications being of a high order. His widow survived him about one month, when she, too, passed away, thus leaving Oscar P. an orphan at the age of four years. He remained with an older brother up to the age of twelve years, receiving the advantages of the schools of Greenwood. La., and Curran, Ill.., but when he had attained his thirteenth year he entered a printing office at Shreveport, and thoroughly learned the printer's trade, and worked in the mechanical department for several years. He was one of a company that started a daily in Shreveport, and of this he was manager for about one year. In 1889 he bought an interest in the Guardian Journal, being first, associated with Mr. Seals, but a short time afterward purchased this gentleman's interest and took entire control of the paper, and is now engaged in publishing one of the breeziest and brightest papers of which the State can boast. He makes a specialty of job work, and can show as fine specimens of work as can be found in large cities. His paper is published in the interests of Homer and Claiborne Parish, and as he is one of the youngest newspaper men in the State, he deserves the commendation of all for the admirable manner in which he conducts his paper. He has greatly enlarged and improved the Guardian Journal, and as he is a man of superior business qualifications and excellent habits, he is bound to make a name for himself in the journalistic world. He is a member of the National Typographical Union, and was formerly a member of the Shreveport Typographical Union, and served as president of that organization.
William P. Otts, president of Homer National Bank, Homer, La., was born in the Palmetto State, Spartanburg District, September 19, 1814, and is a son of William Otts, a native also of South Carolina. The father was married in that State to Miss Delilah Brewton, of South Carolina, and after farming in that State for a number of years he removed to Alabama in 1831, and located in Butler County. His death occurred there in 1837. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and was private secretary of Gen. Thomas Moore. He was a man of fair education, and served his district as surveyor, and also filled other positions. His wife also died in 1837. Of their family, which consisted of nine sons and four daughters, all of whom grew to mature years, only our subject and two sisters now survive. The former passed his youth in Alabama, received a limited education, but has improved this to a great extent by study since growing up. He began clerking in Alabama, continued at this for several years at old Fort Dale, and then removed to Greene County, of that State, where he cultivated the soil for a few years. in 1852 he removed to Louisiana, Jackson Parish, engaged in merchandising at Vienna, and there remained up to 1808. In the last of October of that year he removed to Homer and engaged in mercantile pursuits, at which he was very successful until 1877. At that time he sold out and embarked in live stock and brokerage business and on the organization of Homer National Bank in December, 1889, he was chosen its president. This bank opened for business in March, 1890, and has a capital stock of $50,000 paid up capital and opened in a flourishing condition. Mr. Otts was married in Greene County, Ala., on September 2, 1841, to Miss Catherine H. Wilder, a native of Greene County, Ala., where she was reared and educated, and the daughter of William Wilder. Mrs. Otts died on February 4, 1889, and was buried in the Homer Cemetery. Mr. Otts has four daughters by this union: Elizabeth Jane (wife of Drew Ferguson), Laura F. (widow of Dr. Averyt), Alice A. (wife of Dr. Griffin, of Rushton, La.), and Mary D. (wife of Frank Allen, of Homer). Mr. Otts' second marriage occurred at Burke Station, Iberia Parish, La., on July 11, 1889, to Mrs. Mary J. Reid, a widow and a native of Alabama. She was reared and educated in Minden College, Louisiana, and is a lady of culture and refinement.
Mr. and Mrs. Otts are members of the Presbyterian Church, and Mr. Otts is a member of the Masonic fraternity, having joined that order about 1848. He is a Royal Arch Mason, and has served as master and has tilled other official positions. He represented his lodge in both Alabama and Louisiana. Although he has never taken an active part in politics, he is a strong Democrat and has voted that ticket for fifty years. Mr. Otts is a man of good judgment, is enterprising and progressive, and is one of the leading business men of northwestern Louisiana,
Asberry W. Palmer, planter and ginner of Gordon, La. Worthy reference to the agricultural affairs of Claiborne Parish would lie incomplete without due mention of Mr. Palmer, among others engaged in tilling the soil, for ho is not only prominent in that respect, but as a citizen and neighbor, is held in the highest esteem. He was born in Greene County, Ga., March 22, 1824, to Amasy and Ann (Gaston) Palmer, who were born in Alabama and Georgia, respectively, their marriage taking place in the former State, moving afterward to Greene County, Ga., where they spent, the rest of their lives, the father's death occurring in 1830. Asberry W. Palmer was the youngest of their six sons and two daughters, and after the death of his father, he, in 1833, moved to Alabama with his mother, and with her settled in Russell County, where he grew to mature years, and was married on December 24, 1847 to Miss Mary E. Parker, a Georgian. He farmed in that county a year or so, then followed the same occupation in Macon County, but in 1858 came to Louisiana, and located on the farm where he now resides, at, that time being the possessor of some money and several slaves. He continued to manage his plantation up to the opening of the war, and in 1804 enlisted in the Confederate Army, and served until the war terminated, being present at the shelling of Harrisburg and in some skirmishes. He returned to his plantation at the close of hostilities, and is now the owner of 740 acres of land, of which about 450 are under cultivation, nicely improved with a good residence and barns. He and his wife have reared a family of nine children to maturity: Mary Ann (the deceased wife of Alvert Glass), Martha A. (wife of Sebe Mattox, of Fort Worth), Minnie (wife of A. Glass), William M., Jeff D., Octavia, Josephine (wife of C. Greer), Milo P. and Emma L. Mr. Palmer and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and for a number of years he has been a prominent official in the same. He has been a Mason since before his marriage, having been made such in Alabama. Joseph Palmer needs no special introduction to the people of Claiborne Parish, La., for he has resided here all his life, his birth having occurred here February, 1866, lie being the sixth of eight children—four sons and four daughters—the names of the other members of the family being as follows: Mattie (wife of U. S. Marshall, resides in Texas), Minnie (residing in Minden, her husband being retired from business), William (married and a well to do cotton planter of Claiborne Parish), Jefferson (married, is a resident, of this parish, but has retired from business), Octavia (also resides here, her husband being a successful cotton planter), Milo (is single and is a salesman in McKorkle Bros. dry goods store in Homer), and Emma Sue (who is a student in a music conservatory, and expects to take the full course). Mr. Palmer received his early training in Minden, but afterward took a full commercial course in a college at Little Rock, Ark., which admirably fitted him for the practical duties of life, and all his life has been a warm friend and supporter of educational institutions of all kinds. He commenced life for himself at the age of nineteen years as a salesman in a dry goods store, and for three years he had a good and lucrative position, after which he took a course in the study of law. He was married to Miss Ida May Gladney, who was born in Louisiana, April 6, 1808, her education being received in the Female College of Homer, La., their union being consummated January 15, 1890. Mr. Palmer is a Democrat in principle, but has never taken a particularly active interest in politics except to always cast his vote for men whom he considered honorable and trustworthy. He is a member of the K. of P. lodge of Homer, which is a very flourishing and active organization, and numbers about eighty members. He is the owner of a first-class livery barn in Homer, which is well supplied with most excellent, equipages ready for use on short notice, and his horses are all of the best driving grade. This is an excellently managed establishment, for Mr. Palmer is a young man who possesses fine business qualifications, and, as he has always shown himself to be the soul of honor, be has the full confidence of his patrons. He has a business acumen which is sure to win for him signal success, and besides his property in Homer, which amounts to about $6,000, he has a fine and valuable farm about twelve miles from the city limits. His residence in the town is handsome and commodious, and was put up at it cost of about $4,000. Mrs. Palmer is a devout member of the Presbyterian Church, and she and Mr. Palmer have always contributed liberally of their means to what they thought worthy of their consideration. They move in the first social circles of Homer, and have numerous warm, personal friends, who wish them every happiness and success.
Isaiah Phipps is a practical farmer, one who believes that it is beneficial to have all his farming operations conducted in a manner so thorough as to not slight one department of labor in order to bestow more work on some other portion. He was born in Perry County, Ala., December 9, 1820, to John Phipps, who was born, reared and married in Georgia, the last event being to Miss Mary Ann Crenshaw, a Georgian also. They emigrated to Alabama after their marriage, where the father was an active and fairly successful tiller of the soil until his death, which took place about 1842. He was a soldier in the Creek War, and was afterward captain of a company of militia. His widow survived him until 1880, when she passed from life in this State. Isaiah Phipps grew to manhood in Alabama, marrying there, at the age of nineteen years, Miss Mary Veazey, an Alabamian by birth, and in that State they continued to reside and farm for a number of years, removing to Louisiana in the fall of 1853 and locating in this parish on a farm. He purchased a tine plantation, and with the aid of a number of slaves which he possessed he opened the greater portion of this large plantation.
Although he lost his slaves during the war he has been successful, and is now the owner of 1,600 acres of land, all in one body, about 800 of which is open land. He raises from fifty to ninety bales of cotton annually, but the most of his cultivated land he rents out. In 1862 he enlisted in Col. McNeil's regiment, and served until the war was over, being a participant in several important engagements in Louisiana and Arkansas, returning at the close of the war to his home. He has always supported the measures of Democracy, and has taken an active part in the political campaigns of his parish. In 1875 his wife died, leaving a family of ten children, ail of whom are now living with the exception of two. In 1878 Mr. Phipps wedded Mrs. Margaret Oakes, an Alabamian. She has three children, who are now grown, by her former husband. Mr. Phipps and his wife are members of the Baptist, Church, and he belongs to the Masonic fraternity.
Moses J. Pittman is a man of more than ordinary energy and force of character, and no agriculturist of this region is deserving of greater success in the conduct and management of his plantation than he. His birth occurred in Dallas County, Mo., on December 23, 1837, but his father, James H. Pittman, was a native of the Hoosier State. The latter was a son of John Putman, a native of Ireland, and when a young man went to Illinois, and was there married to Miss Julma Martin, a Knox County Tennessean by birth. For some time after their nuptials were celebrated Mr, Putman followed the plow in Sangamon County, 111., but about 1835 moved to Dallas County, Mo., of which he was one of the pioneers. He made a farm there on which he resided until the opening of the Rebellion, when he helped to swell the ranks of the Confederate Army, and died while in the service in 1863. His widow still resides in Dallas County, where she reared a family of five sons and three daughters, the subject of this sketch being third in order of birth, and all are now living with the exception of one son. Moses J. Putman was given a fair country school education, and made the most of his opportunities, but as he had learned the details of farm labor of his father, he began devoting his attention to this calling, and was actively engaged in following the plow when the South seceded. He immediately joined the State Guards, but about three months later entered the regular Confederate service.
He was in the engagements at Dry Wood, Mo., and Elk Horn, Ark., in the last named engagement receiving gunshot wounds in the thigh and heel, which permanently disabled him, and he was soon honorably discharged. In the spring of 1863 he had so far recovered that he determined to re-enlist in the service, and until the close of the war served in the Thirty-fourth Arkansas Infantry. He first held the rank of sergeant, but was afterward promoted to the rank of second lieutenant, the duties of which he was filling when he received his final discharge. He was in the engagements at Helena, July 4, 1863, Jenkins' Ferry, April 30, 1804, and also in a number of skirmishes. After surrendering at Marshall, Tex., he located in Bossier Parish, La., where ho farmed the following ten years. January 7, 1866, he was married to Miss Mary E. Sligh, a native of Louisiana, reared and educated at Minden, find a daughter of George B. Sligh. After tilling his large plantation in Bossier Parish until December, 1876, he came to Claiborne Parish and purchased land in Ward 5, a considerable portion of which was improved. He has purchased different tracts from time to time, and now has about l,500 acres, all in one body. He has cleared up 150 acres, and has otherwise greatly improved his property. He commenced his independent career empty handed, but the property he now has, has been accumulated in Bossier and Claiborne Parishes, and he is now considered, and justly so, one of the wealthiest planters of this section.
He raises on an average 125 bales of cotton annually, but other Southern products are given considerable attention. He has always been a Democrat in politics, but has never been an aspirant for office, although he has often been solicited to make the race for the Legislature. He and wife are members of the Baptist Church, and have a family of three sons: Thomas S., Nicholas Wade and James H. A daughter, Augusta, died at the age of four years. Mr. Putman has on his land a fine steam, saw and grist mill, which adds much to his annual income. It may with truth be said, that there is not a more public spirited or honorable man in the parish than Mr. Pittman, and by every action he has shown that he has the interests of his fellow-man, and country at heart..
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