De Soto Parish, Louisiana History and Genealogy
De Soto Parish. LA AHGP
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Capt. M. H. Alexander (deceased) was a man well known to the early settlers of De Soto Parish, La., and was respected for his manly, straightforward course through life, and beloved by all for his noble Christian qualities of mind and heart. He may be truly said to hvee been one of nature's noblemen, and both by instinct and education was a thorough gentleman. He first saw the light of day in Wilkes County, N. C , his birth occurring January 11, 1811, but removed from his native State to Alabama, in 1835, from which State he enlisted, the following year, with a company of volunteers from Eutaw, Ala., and went to Texas, but was discharged after a few months' service on account of ill health, the exposure during that time bringing on mercurial rheumatism, from which he was an almost helpless sufferer for many years, and which eventually necessitated the amputation of one of his legs. He was married to Miss Clara G. Satterwhite of Wilcox County, Ala., June 14, 1838, after which they settled in Dallas County, of that State, where they made their home until 1848, at which time they came to De Soto Parish, La., and purchased land nine miles west of Mansfield, where he lived until 1860. He then purchased a small place two miles west of town, which he improved for a place of residence. He was never a member of any church, but was a firm believer in Christianity, and was a liberal contributor to the support of the ministry. In his political views he was a Whig, and during the Rebellion was a strong Unionist, although his sympathies were with the South, but knowing that they were not prepared for war, ho advocated the South remaining quietly in the Union and fighting with commercial weapons instead of cannon balls and bullets.
Although bitterly opposed to the war he was very liberal in assisting the volunteers in arming and equipping themselves for service, and gave his means freely to the support of soldiers' families, while his house was seldom free of sick or wounded soldiers during the entire war. The more needy and destitute the more welcome they were made, for he was a whole souled, large hearted man, his manners were gracious, deferential and easy, and he had the happy faculty of making the poorest and humblest feel the dignity of being men, and they consequently revered and respected him. He was extremely hospitable in disposition, and the doors of his residence were ever opened to friend and stranger alike, and all were made to feel equally welcome, whether of low or high degree. He was a kind and affectionate husband, and an indulgent master to his slaves. His death was very sudden and cast a gloom over the surrounding country, for his many worthy qualities had endeared him to all and his place was found hard to fill. While driving out of Mansfield his horses took fright, ran away with him, throwing him from his buggy, so severely injuring him that he died a few days later, June 14, 1865, lamented by all who knew him. So closed the career of a truly noble and good man.
Noel P. Baker is the present efficient justice of the peace in Ward 3, De Soto Parish, La., and is also engaged in tilling the soil, his plantation, which is seven miles southwest of Mansfield consisting of 160 acres, all of which he has obtained by his own unaided efforts. He was born in Coosa County, Ala., in 1848, and is a son of Joseph Cannon and Rebecca (Knight) Baker, who were born in South Carolina in 1804 and 1807, respectively, their marriage taking place in 1825. They first removed from their native State to Georgia and thence to Alabama, thence, in 1866, to De Soto Parish, La. Mr. Baker died here the following year, having been a member of the Methodist Church, and his widow, who survives him, is also a member. He was a wheelwright and blacksmith and socially was a member of the A. P. & A. M. His father, William Baker, the grandfather of Noah P., was born in England and died in South Carolina. Enoch Knight, the mother's father, spent his life in Georgia and died in Alabama. Noel P. Baker is the tenth of eleven children, four sons and two daughters living, and was reared on a farm, receiving a common school education.
He came with his parents to De Soto Parish, and was here married in 1873 to Miss Martha B., daughter of Thomas and Dorinda Lawrence, the former of whom was born in South Carolina and the latter in Alabama. About the year 1857 they came to De Soto Parish, and here Mr. Lawrence passed from life in 1872, his widow dying in 1889, she being an earnest member of the Presbyterian Church. He was a soldier in the Confederate army for four years. Mrs. Baker was born in Alabama in 1856 and her marriage with Mr. Baker has resulted in the birth of five children, two sons and two daughters living. They hWe resided on their present farm since 1874. Mr. Baker held the office of constable from 1879 to 1883, and since 1883 he has been justice of the peace; is also road and bridge commissioner and was one of the census enumerators of De Soto Parish, La., for the United States in June, 1890. He is a Methodist and his wife is a Cumberland Presbyterian.
Dr. M. M. Bannerman. Few, if any industrial or professional pursuits hWe within the last few years made such rapid strides as that of the profession of medicine, and among the leading physicians of De Soto Parish, La., who hWe Wailed themselves of all new ideas and put them into practice, may be mentioned Dr. Bannerman. He first saw the light of day in Mansfield, La., on October 22, 1865, being a son of O. and S. G. (Moss) Bannerman, both of whom were born in the State of Alabama, and in 1854 emigrated to Louisiana locating at Mansfield, but the father died in Texas in 1867, having served as an adjutant in the Rebellion. He was wounded in the battle of Mansfield by a gunshot, but otherwise escaped injury during his service.
He was a planter by calling, socially a Royal Arch Mason, and being a prominent politician, represented Leon County in the Texas Legislature. His widow survives him, being a resident of Mansfield and to their union two children were born: Dr. M. M. and Charles T. The former received the principal part of his rearing in the town of Mansfield and in his youth and early manhood received excellent educational advantages, being an attendant for some time of the Centenary College of Jackson, La. Unlike many boys who are given good educational advantages but fail to improve them, he applied himself diligently to his books, and upon leWing that institution was an intelligent and well-informed young man, well fitted to make his own way in the world. He had long desired to take up some profession, and in 1881 he entered the medical department of the University of Virginia, and graduated in the year 1885, immediately entering upon his practice at Grand Cane, where his practice already extends over a wide territory, and is among the most intelligent and well-to-do citizens of this section. In 1887 he was appointed physician and surgeon for the Texas & Pacific Railroad, a position he still retains. He was married in 1889 to Miss lone Estman, by whom he has one child, Charles D.
William B. Benson, farmer, of De Soto Parish, La. Located in the midst of one of the finest agricultural centers of this parish, the plantation which Mr. Benson owns, 640 acres, is conceded to be among the best in the vicinity, and this is saying not a little, for on every hand may be seen superior plantations, denoting thrift and prosperity.
Mr. Benson first saw the light of day in Greenville District, S. C. in 1813, his parents, Gabriel and Rosana (Hunt) Benson, being born in Virginia and North Carolina in 1771 and 1795, respectively, their marriage being consummated in the Palmetto State. In 1818 they moved to Perry County, Ala., and in this State spent the rest of their lives, the father dying in 1838 and the mother in 1844. Mr. Benson was an honest son of the soil, was collector of internal revenue during the War of 1812, and afterward served in the capacities of tax collector, sheriff and justice of the peace. His father, William Benson, was a Virginian, but removed to South Carolina just prior to the Revolutionary War, and died in Charleston, having been a captain in that war. He was of English descent, and held various local offices, in addition to tilling his farm. His wife, Eleanor Kay, was born in Maryland.
The maternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, William Hunt, was a North Carolinian, born in 1762, and after farming the most of his life in South Carolina he passed from life in that State. His father was born in 1720. William B. Benson, whose name heads this sketch, was the eldest of nine children, and is the only one now living. He obtained a fair knowledge of books in the common schools, and was married in Alabama in 1841 to Miss Ann, daughter of Rev. Abner G. and Mary, (Jones) McGraw Who were born in South Carolina in 1803 and 1800, respectively, dying in Alabama. Mrs. Benson was born in Perry County, Ala., in 1825, and her union with Mr. Benson has resulted in the birth of eight children, only one son and one daughter now living. In 1848 they came to De Soto Parish, La., and since 1856 hWe resided on their present farm, which was then heWily covered with timber, and is situated fourteen miles south of Mansfield. He filled the office of justice of the peace a short time, and he and wife hWe been members of the Baptist Church for nearly fifty years. Their son, Dr. Robert P. Benson, was born in De Soto Parish in 1853, and here his education was received. In 1872 he began the study of medicine with Dr. J. H Mumford, and in 1881 graduated from the University of Louisiana, since which time he has practiced in the neighborhood of his birthplace with the best of success.
He is a member of the Louisiana State Medical Association, and belongs to Star Union Lodge of the Farmers' Alliance. In 1885 he was married to Loda, daughter of W. H. and Sallie Farmer, natives of Louisiana and Alabama, respectively. Mrs. Farmer died in Sabine Parish, where Capt. Farmer now resides, a tiller of the soil. Mrs. Benson was born in De Soto Parish, and has borne the Doctor two children. Dr. Benson has spent all his life on the farm on which he is now residing, of which he is joint owner in connection with his father. His practice extends among the best families of this section, by whom he is kept very busy, while, with the medical fraternity, his reputation is by no means local, for he has made some remarkable cures. The other member of his father's family now living is Miss Etta, who was also reared and educated in De Soto Parish. E. R. Best, planter, of Ward 4, De Soto Parish, La., was born in Chester District, S. C , in 1832, his parents, Joshua and Mary O. (Lewis) Best, being also born in that State, from which place they moved to Talladega County, Ala., where they made their home fourteen years, and in 1850 came to De Soto Parish, the remainder of their lives being spent here, the father dying at the age of fifty-two, his widow still surviving him at the age of eighty-one years. They were members of the Baptist Church, and Mr. Best was a farmer, and of Irish descent. Alex Lewis died in Talladega County, Ala., when over ninety-three years of age, having also been an agriculturist.
E. E. Best was the eldest of his parents' nine children, and in his youth learned the details of farm work from his father, his days being also spent in attending the common schools. He came to De Soto Parish at the same time as his parents, and was married in Caddo Parish, in 1858, to Miss Laura, daughter of H. Johnson, a native of Louisiana, who died in Caddo Parish. Mrs. Best was born there, and has borne Mr. Best eight children, two sons and one daughter now living: William E., Laura B. and Richard F. Mr. Best has resided in this parish since his marriage, but only for the past ten years has resided on his present farm, which is three miles east of Mansfield, and consists of 560 acres, 300 being cleared. He has always kept himself well posted on the current issues of the day, is intelligent and enterprising, and has been somewhat active in local politics, having been eight years on the school board and four years on the police jury. He is now president of the board of directors of the Mansfield Supply Company, and socially is a member of the A. F. & A. M., and is president of Lake Land Lodge of the Farmers' Alliance. He served four years in the Confederate army, as lieutenant of the De Soto Creoles, operating in Tennessee and Alabama, but at the battle of Shiloh he commanded his company in the absence of the captain. In 1862 he resigned, and came across the river to Louisiana, and served a few months in Shelby's battalion, after which he was in the Engineers' Department until the close of the war, mostly on detached service at Shreveport. He was wounded in the fight at Yellow Bayou, but not very severely. His wife is a member of the Baptist Church.
John W. Bradford, planter, Grand Cane, La. Mr. John W. Bradford, a respected citizen of this parish for many years, and a man of extensive and popular acquaintance, was originally from Alabama, his birth occurring in Pickens County in 1833. He is a son of Col. DWid and Jane (Thompson) Bradford, who were born near Camden, S. C , and there reared and married. From there they moved to Alabama, and in that State Mr. Bradford's death occurred, about 1862, at the age of seventy-eight years. He was a farmer all his life. The mother died when John W. was young. Mr. Bradford was school commissioner for a number of years, and was also colonel of the militia. He was a member of the A. P. & A. M. for many years. The paternal grandfather, Thomas Bradford, was born in Ireland, but when a young man came to South Carolina, and later settled in Alabama, his death occurring in Pickens County. He was a Revolutionary soldier. John W. Bradford was the youngest of three sons and five daughters, two besides our subject now living: Mrs. Martha Mabry (of Mississippi), and James (of Texas, was reared on a farm, with good English education).
He began for himself when about twenty-one years of age, had charge of his father's plantation, and in 1856 came with his brothers and sisters to De Soto Parish, where he has since resided, and on his present farm since 1858. He is the owner of 860 acres of land and considerable real estate in Grand Cane, principally the result, of his own industry and perseverance. He was also engaged in merchandising on his own farm for a few years. Aside from the fifty bales of cotton that he raises annually on his fine farm, he is quite extensively engaged in stock-raising, and owns one of the best stock farms in De Soto Parish, well watered, etc. He served about two years in the Confederate army, Company F, Ninth Louisiana Infantry, in the Virginia army, and participated in the Valley campaign, second Bull Run, seven days fight around Richmond, Antietam (Md.) campaign, and at Maries Hill; May 4, 1863, he was severely wounded, which disabled him from further service. After this he spent a short time in the hospital at Richmond, then a year in Mississippi, and afterward returned to his farm in De Soto Parish.
Joe E. Brown, of the firm of Brown & Hobgood, liverymen of Mansfield, La., is a native of the town in which he is now residing, his birth occurring on May 31, 1853. His parents, Israel and Elizabeth A. (Hayes) Brown, were born in North Carolina and emigrated to Louisiana in 1844, settling at Mansfield, in De Soto Parish. The father was a planter and contractor and built the tap railroad from Mansfield to the Junction and Pierce and Payne Colleges of Old Pleasant Hill, besides putting up all the brick buildings in Mansfield, with the exception of one. He was trustee of the Female College, was financier of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was also the owner of several large plantations. He passed from life in 1885, his widow still surviving him, being a resident of Mansfield. Five of their nine children also now survive him, their names being: Mrs. E. B. Carr (of Shreveport), Joe E., Mrs. Alice B. Jackson (of Shreveport), James H. (of Mansfield), and Ernest I. (of Monticello, Ark.).
Joe E. Brown was reared and schooled in Mansfield, completing his education with a commercial course in New Orleans, after which he acted as bookkeeper for a Mansfield firm, he being a member of same for some time. He then spent five years in the sheriff's office, and the following eight years was in the wholesale grocery business in Shreveport. He returned to Mansfield after the death of his father, and was engaged in planting until September, 1888, when he. opened his present livery stable, which he has since successfully conducted. He is the owner of several tracts of land, cultivates 450 acres and keeps in his stables twenty head of horses and all kinds of first-class vehicles. He is the senior proprietor of the Mansfield & Coushatta Stage and Passenger Line, also Bedford & East Point, connecting with other lines. He is also the agent for the Waters, Pierce Oil Company. He was a member of the city council for a time, and was married in 1889 to Miss C. M. Preston, of Monticello, Ark., who died in 1890. Mr. Brown is one of the leading spirits of Mansfield and is an energetic and pushing man of business. His partner Mr. C. P. Hobgood, was also reared in De Soto Parish, and is doing a large and extensive dry goods business in San Marcos, Tex., having gone there the first of the present year.
J. W. Chaffin, general merchant, Wagner's Hill, Grand Cane P. O., La. The general mercantile trade is of primary significance, and foremost among those engaged in it here is Mr. J. W. Chaffin. This gentleman was born in Jones County, Ga., in 1856, and was the third of five children, three sons and two daughters, born to Jephtha J. and Susan A. (Middlebrook) Chaffin, both natives also of Georgia, where they resided until about 1860. They then removed to De Soto Parish and there Mrs. Chaffin was killed by a falling tree, about the breaking out of the war. Mr. Chaffin died in March, 1888; he was a member of the Masonic fraternity and a mechanic by trade. J. W. Chaffin was reared, from about the age of four years, in De Soto Perish, La., and received a practical education in the country schools. When about fifteen years of age (1871) he began clerking, where he is now in business, with John Wagner, who afterward became his father-in-law.
He continued to clerk for Mr. Wagner until the latter's death, in 1878, when he purchased one-half interest and is now the sole owner. In 1877 his marriage with Miss Nellie Wagner was consummated and the fruits of this union were four children, two sons and a daughter now living. Mrs. Chaffin was born in De Soto Parish, and was the daughter of John and Cynthia AAtigner. The father was born in Philadelphia, and came to Louisiana when a young man. He first engaged in overseeing near Alexandria, and from there went to what is now De Soto Parish at a very early day, and when it was Natchitoches Parish. He made a fortune and spent the balance of his days in this parish, his death occurring in 1878. He was a merchant for many years, and was president of the police jury many years. He was of the Baptist persuasion. He was married three times, and his first wife was the mother of Mrs. Chaffin. Aside from his mercantile business Mr. Chaffin is also the owner of a good steam gin and grist mill.
C. C. Chatham, editor of the Logansport News and postmaster of the town, was born in Abbeville, District, S. C. October 10, 1852, being a son of John W. and N. S. Chatham, who were also natives of the Palmetto State. The mother died when the subject of this sketch was au infant, and her husband afterward moved to Texas, in 1857, settling in Harrison County. He was a school teacher while in South Carolina, and continued to follow this calling until the opening of the war. After the cessation of hostilities he embarked in the mercantile business at Carthago,. Tex., but recently retired from the active duties of life. After the death of his first wife he married again. He was a member of the Baptist Church, a Mason, and during the war served as an officer in a Texas regiment, a considerable portion of the time being spent in the commissary department west of the Mississippi River. C. C. Chatham graduated from the University of Kentucky, in 1873, and after leWing this institution he spent two years in trWeling for the drug firm of Jacob Merrill, of St. Louis, going thereafter to West Texas, where he was engaged in the stock business for six years.
At the farming near there until 1884, he went to Keatchie and taught in the college of that place two terms, at the end of which time he came to Logansport, and was recently appointed postmaster, in connection with which he has been editing the Logansport News since January, 1890. It is an ably edited, breezy newspaper, and already has a circulation approximating 1,000. His paper is published in the interests of the Democratic party, of which he has long been a member, and at all times some interesting and valuable information can be gleaned from its columns. He was married in 1880 to Miss Penny M. Cummins, a teacher in Keatchie College. Mrs. Chatham is a member of the Baptist Church, and has borne her husband two children, the second of which only is living.
J. H. Cowley, is deserving the success which has attended his efforts throughout life, for it has been his aim to be honest and upright, and he has wronged no one but aided many. He has always been industrious and thrifty, and is acknowledged to be a representative of the wealthy agriculturists of this parish, for he is the owner of an immense amount of real estate, a considerable portion of which is under cultivation, being devoted to the culture of cotton, of which he is a very successful raiser. In every branch of his business he has shown himself to be shrewd and far seeing, and as a manager he has not his superior throughout this section. A native of Pickens County, Ala., born in the month of October, 1834, he is a son of James and Susan (Russell) Cowley, who were born on Blue Grass soil in South Carolina, respectively, their emigration to Louisiana taking place in December, 1847. They located near the present site of Grand Cane, where the father purchased a large tract of unimproved land, building thereon the primitive log cabin of that day. On this farm he made his home, being actively engaged in clearing the same of forest trees and cane brake, until his death, which occurred in April, 1888, his widow and four children still surviving him, J. H. Cowley being one of the latter.
He was but a small boy upon his removal to this State, but he well remembers many interesting incidents connected with their journey and the appearance of this country during many of the first years of their settlement, here. Although he had acquired a considerable knowledge of the three E's, prior to leWing Alabama, he attended school after coming to this State, and while aiding and assisting his father on the home plantation he acquired a fund of useful knowledge, connected with that work which afterward stood him in good stead. In March, 1862, he enlisted in Creole Infantry and served until the final surrender, after which he returned to his plantation. He was married in 1857 to Sarah Saunders, and she as well as himself has been a member of the Baptist Church since 1854.
W. N. Cunningham, D. D. S., has practiced the profession of dentistry since 1860, and it can be truly said that there is no more popular, competent or skillful dentist in this section of the country. He is a native of Pike County, Miss., his birth occurring on May 12, 1836, and he is a son of James E. and Nancy (Ellzey) Cunningham, who were born in the Old North and Palmetto States, respectively. The father removed with his parents to Tennessee and about 1830 to Mississippi. In the year 1842 he came to Louisiana from Texas, and located in what is now De Soto Parish, where he has since devoted his attention to planting and other pursuits, his property being situated about twelve miles from Mansfield. He was twice married, and the subject of this sketch is the only survivor of his mother's children. He came to Mansfield in 1844, and is now the eldest male resident of the place, for at that time there were no houses here, except the old courthouse, the town having been organized in 1843. He attended the common schools, acquiring a good practical education, and in 1857 began the study of dentistry, graduating from a college of dentistry in Baltimore, Md., in 1800.
In April of the following year he enlisted in Company D, of the Second Louisiana Regiment Pelican Rifles, which was the first company that left De Soto Parish, and he was subsequently promoted to the rank of lieutenant and still later was commissioned captain. He was wounded at the second battle of Manassas by a minie-ball passing through the left leg just above the ankle. After recovering from this wound he was transferred to the Conscription Department and was ordered to Sabine Parish, where he served over a year as enrolling officer. After the surrender he returned to Mansfield, resumed the practice of his profession and has resided here ever since, building up a widespread reputation as a capable and painstaking dentist. He has succeeded in accumulating a considerable amount of this world's goods, and besides owning his home in Mansfield he has considerable land heWily covered with timber. He was first married in 1868 to Miss Julia D. Holman, by whom he had two children: Julia and Margaret. His next marriage took place in 1882, his wife being Mrs. H. P. McDonald, who has borne him one child, Susie B. The Doctor is a Mason, and he and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
A. J. Du Bose, Sr., of Grand Cane, De Soto Parish, La., is a practical farmer, one who believes that it is beneficial to hWe all his farming operations conducted in a manner so thorough as to not slight one department of labor more than another, and this idea is carried out very completely. He is a native of Dallas County, Ala., where he was born January 25, 1824, his parents, Isaac and Mary (Moss) Du Bose, being natives of Georgia, their ancestors having been French Huguenots. The great-grandfather was born in France and emigrated to the new world over 200 years ago.
Isaac, the paternal grandfather, was a soldier in the Revolution, and died in Alabama in 1824, after having followed the life of a farmer. To Isaac and Mary (Moss) Du Bose, a family of eleven children were born, but only three are living at the present date: A. J., Mrs. Johnson (of Alabama), and Mrs. Williams (of Mansfield, La.). After spending his youth and early manhood in Alabama, A. J. Du Bose removed to Louisiana, this being about the year 1854, and purchased his present plantation, which he increased to 1,200 acres prior to the war, his slWes numbering thirty. His present plantation, which is an excellent one, comprising 480 acres with about 250 under cultivation, shows that he is thrifty and persevering, and ever ready to adopt new and improved methods. The principal products are cotton and corn, but vegetables of all kinds and all sorts of grain can be raised in abundance. He was married October 1, 1850, to Fannie C. Atkins, a native of Alabama, by whom he has four children: Mary M. Durham, Martha E. Williams, A. J., Jr., and Junius A. Four children are deceased: Thomas L., Fannie A., Sarah A. and Frances H. Mr. Du Bose is a member of the Baptist Church, and has been for the past fifty years.
Capt. O. L. Durham has for forty-two years been a resident of De Soto Parish, La., and during his long residence here has become well known, and has won the respect of all with whom he has come in contact. He possesses excellent natural abilities, and is deserving of a more extended sketch than the nature of this work will permit; suffice it to say that his life has been a success, both in material affairs and in the esteem which has been accorded him among those with whom he has so long made his home. He was born in Fairfield County, S. C. April 23, 1817, and has been familiar with farming from his earliest boyhood, as his father was a worthy tiller of the soil, and upon his removal to this State he purchased and entered land upon which no improvements whatsoever had been made.
He began immediately to improve his land, and is now the owner of at least 1,000 acres, of which 350 acres are cleared and devoted to crops, the principal being cotton and corn. He also gives considerable attention to the raising of stock, and in every particular is considered a thrifty and prosperous farmer. Upon his first removal from his native State, he emigrated to Alabama (in 1839), but afterward came to Louisiana, and from this State enlisted, in 1862, in the Confederate army, going out as commander of the Dixie Rebels, Twenty-seventh Louisiana Regiment. He was subsequently transferred to the quartermaster's department, collecting food and horses for his regiment, and continued thus to serve the cause he espoused until the close of the war, being paroled at Shreveport. He was married in 1839 to Martha J. Haywood, by whom he has five children: Osmond Boss (died in infancy), Robert H. (died in 1886, leWing a widow and two sons, Abner E. now married, and Judson, who died in 1886), Melissa C , Mary E. and Emma V. all of whom are married. The mother died in 1880 and Mr. Durham has never remarried.
Both he and wife were members of long standing in the Baptist Church, and Mr. Durham has for years been a member of the school board, of which he has for years been president, and has helped to build Keatchie College. He was one of the originators of this school, and has taken a great interest in its welfare, and is also interested in all educational institutions. He is chairman of the District Baptist Association, composed of De Soto and Caddo Parishes, and although he has often been solicited to become a candidate for a political office he has always refused as he is not an office seeker. His parents, Robert W. and Molsey E. (Ross) Durham, were of English descent, the former being a farmer of South Carolina, in which State he died, he and wife having had a large family of children, four of whom are living. Both the paternal and maternal grandfathers were soldiers in the Revolutionary War, the former holding the rank of captain and dying in South Carolina. The latter, whose name was Abner Ross, was reared in New Jersey, but afterward moved to South Carolina, where he became a member of the State Legislature, being a very prominent politician.
Devereaux J. Ferguson, through good management and energy has become the owner of 300 acres of land, and by his own efforts has cleared and put under cultivation 200 acres of this land. I t is situated twelve miles southeast of Mansfield, and on account of the admirable manner in which it is conducted and to the improvements which hWe been made it is more valuable than many larger farms. Mr. Ferguson was born in Brunswick County, Va., in 1830, his father and mother, Lockett and Cherry (Garner) Ferguson, having been born in Greenville County, Va., and Northampton County, N. C. respectively. Their lives were spent in the former State where they both passed to their long home shortly after the close of the Rebellion, both being members of the Baptist Church, and the former a farmer.
He was also a soldier in one of the early wars and was a son of Berriman Ferguson, who was born, spent his life and died in the Old Dominion, being of Scotch-Irish descent. The mother's father, John Garner, spent his life in Northampton County, N. C. The subject of this sketch is the eighth of ten children, and his early life was spent on a farm, his education being received at Stony Mount Academy, Virginia. In 1853 he moved westward to De Soto Parish, La., the journey overland taking him three months, and here he was married in 1858 to Miss Lucy, daughter of Francis and Phoebe Powell. Mrs. Ferguson was born in Mississippi, and died in 1872, having borne a family of seven children, four now living. His second union took place in 1874, his wife being Mrs. Lucy Ferguson, widow of his brother, and a daughter of Burrell Ridgeway, who emigrated from North Carolina to Alabama in which State he died. Mrs. Ferguson was born in Alabama. Mr. Ferguson has lived on his present farm since 1853, and has a very comfortable and pleasant home. From 1863 until the close of the war he served in Company E, Second Louisiana cavalry, and during this time was in several engagements in Louisiana. He is president of the Shady Grove Farmers' Alliance, and has ever identified himself with the popular issues of the day.
His wife is a Baptist. Joseph Oscar Flores has passed the uneventful life of a planter, having steadily pursued the even tenor of his way, and is now classed among the prosperous agriculturists of De Soto Parish. He was born in 1855, in the house in which he now resides. His parents were Onafre and Mary (Eoblo) Flores. The former was born in Texas, and the latter in De Soto Parish, La., and both died here in 1879. They were members of the Catholic Church. The father was brought to De Soto Parish by his parents when a boy, and here he spent the rest of his life as a planter, his first location being on a woodland farm, on which the subject of this sketch is now residing. Onafre Flores was of Spanish lineage, and was one of the first settlers of this parish, where his intelligence, talents and ability soon won him a widespread reputation and numerous friends. Joseph Oscar Flores was the ninth of ten children born to his parents, and on the plantation on which he is now residing he was reared, his education being received in the local common schools and at Mansfield. He was married in 1883, to Miss Sallie, daughter of Hamilton and Eliza Ann Sloan, who were born and married in Alabama, from which State they removed to De Soto Parish, La., at an early day. Mr. Sloan died here in August, 1861, and his widow in February, 1890. He was a well-to-do planter. Mrs. Flores was born in Mansfield, and her union with Mr. Flores has resulted in the birth of two children. Mr. Flores is the owner of 720 acres of land, with about 300 cleared, situated about eight miles northeast of Mansfield, which he inherited from his father. He is a member of Lake Land Lodge, of the Farmers' Alliance, and in his religious views is a Catholic, his wife being a Presbyterian.
William E. Fonville is an extensive general merchant, of Logansport, La., and by his superior management and rare business ability and efficiency, he has done not a little to advance the reputation the parish enjoys as a commercial center. His establishment comprises both wholesale and retail departments, and has been in active operation since 1886, although his capital at that time was quite limited. Since that time he has seen the town grow to be one of the best of its size in the State, and has aided largely in making the place what it now is. He was born in Attala County, Miss., January 9, 1852, and is a son of Richard and Theresa (Carter) Fonville, the former being of French descent, a native of Tennessee, and the latter of Alabama. Their marriage took place in the latter State, after which they moved to Mississippi, and, when their son, William E., was a child, they moved to San Augustine County, Tex., where they are still residing, the father being a successful agriculturist. He was a soldier in a regiment of Texas infantry during the war, but the greater part of his service was west of the Mississippi River. He and his wife hWe been members of the Missionary Baptist Church for many years, and he is a member of the Farmers' Alliance, and in his political views is a Democrat. A family of ten children was born to their union, nine of whom are living.
William E. Fonville was the fifth of this family, and his education was received in San Augustine County, Tex. When he had attained his twenty-first year he commenced the battle of life for himself, and after a short trip to West Texas he returned home and engaged in photography, a calling he followed throughout the country for two years. He then gave his attention to agriculture until November, 1886, when he returned home with a capital of $700, which he had sWed, and embarked in general merchandising on a small scale. He increased his business from time to time, as he saw the need of it, and now carries a stock valued at from $10,000 to $12,000, his sales annually amounting to from $30,000 to $35,000, which is increasing steadily and surely, each succeeding year. He was married, December 22, 1875, to Miss Cynthia Stephens, of Shelby County, Tex., but he was called upon to mourn her death, June 14, 1875, she leWing him with one child to care for, William H. Mr. Fonville's second union took place February 14, 1882, his wife being Miss Melissa Potts, of Shelby County, Tex. To them four children hWe been born: John H , Cynthia A., Jerry and Jesse P. Mr. Fonville is a Democrat and Mason, and he and wife are worthy members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
William W. Frazier has long been worthily identified with the farming interests of this parish, and no history of this section would be complete without mention of his career. Originally from Gadsden County, Fla., his birth occurred there in 1829, but when a child he was taken by his parents, Prof. Andrew and Malinda (Daniel) Frazier, to Georgia, where the parents spent the rest of their lives, the former having been born in Scotland and the latter in Florida. Prof. Frazier was an able educator, and was an officer in the Seminole War, his death occurring prior to the Rebellion, his wife, who was an earnest member of the Methodist Church, dying in 1878. Her father, John Daniel, died in Florida, having been a farmer.
William W. Frazier was the youngest of two sons and two daughters, a brother, John E., dying in the Mexican War. After receiving fair advantages for acquiring an education and becoming thoroughly familiar with farm duties, he, at the early age of twelve years, began farming for himself, and in 1862 became a member of Company D, Forty-sixth Georgia Infantry, nearly the first year of his service being spent at Charleston, S. C., as a guard, after which he was in the Tennessee Army and fought at Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, the Georgia campaign, Franklin and Nashville, after which he surrendered with Johnston in North Carolina. He was captured at Yazoo City in July, 1863, and was held a prisoner about two weeks, after which he was paroled. In 1862 his marriage was celebrated, his wife being Miss Christian Austin, a daughter of Augustus and Sarah (Taylor) Austin, the former born in Georgia in 1808, and the latter in South Carolina in 1812, their marriage occurring in the former State, and with the exception of a two years residence in Alabama, that State has always been their home. Mr. Austin was a farmer, and died in November, 1800, his wife dying in January, 1858. Mrs. Frazier was born in Georgia, and her union with Mr. Frazier has resulted in the birth of six children, four sons living. In 1806 they came to De Soto Parish, La., and here now hWe au excellent farm of 487 acres, 200 being cleared, and on which are erected good buildings. Ho is president of the Union Grove Union of the Farmers' Alliance, and is the only one of his family that resides in Louisiana, one sister being a resident of Alabama, and the remainder of the family in Georgia. Mrs. Frazier belongs to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
S. J. Frierson, planter, Frierson Mills, La. The old Frierson homestead, consisting of about 10,000 acres in different tracts on and between Edwards and Wallace Lakes with about 5,000 acres cleared, is one of the most extensive plantations in Louisiana, and on it is produced annually from 500 to 1,500 bales of cotton besides enough corn to supply the plantation. This immense tract of land is managed by S. J. Frierson, who aside from his farming interest is also quite extensively engaged in stock-raising, making a specialty of breeding Hambletonian horses. He has one fine stallion of this breed and forty brood mares. He also has a fine herd of Jersey cattle, and has about 140 Angora goats, and 500 Merino sheep. He has au excellent saw and corn-mill, and one of the most complete and modern gin stands in the South. From 1,200 to 1,500 negroes are employed, and on the farm is a general supply store, with an annual business of from $25,000 to $40,000. Frierson Mill post-office was established at this place about 1880, and Mr. Frierson is the postmaster.
This gentleman was born in Alabama in 1841, and after securing a fair education at Mansfield and Shreveport, he spent four years after the war in Honduras with his father. He was president of the Bayou Drainage Association, which was recently dissolved, and is now one of the five commissioners appointed by Gov. Nichols to complete the work. The other members of the family are: Dr. George Archie (born in Alabama and educated at Shreveport, he spent several years in Guatemala as private secretary to Hon. George Williamson, the American minister to that government during the administrations of Grant and Hayes, and while there practiced the dental profession for a number of years with success. He is a gentleman of rare literary taste and ability). The other members of the family are Thomas C. (who was born in Alabama), Miss Mary B. (also of Alabama), and the other three, Miss Martha Irene, L. L. and Eugene Victor were born in De Soto Parish. All are now residing on the old plantation, ten miles east of Gloster, and are people of culture and refinement, constituting one of the best families in Louisiana.
Dr. William S. Frierson, physician and surgeon, near Gloster, La., and one who ranks high in the medical fraternity, owes his nativity to South Carolina, his birth occurring in Charleston in 1834. His parents, Dr. George P. Mary A. (Screven) Frierson, were also natives of Charleston, S. C. the former born in 1808 and the latter in 1810. They were reared and married in their native city and there made their home until 1836, when they removed to Lowndes County, Ala. In 1849 the father moved to De Soto Parish, settled in the woods near where Kingston now stands and six miles from any white family, and there he improved a good farm. The mother had died in Alabama in 1844 and the father afterward married a sister of his first wife. The second wife died in Pensacola, Fla,, about 1880, and Mr. Frierson, himself, died five years later. He was a graduate of Charleston College and also of Charleston Medical College. He was a very successful physician, but did not practice much in Louisiana.
He was a planter, a good business man, was president of the police jury many years and was quite wealthy. He had four sons in the Confederate army, one, John W. Frierson, who was killed at Chaucellorsville, Va., was not only a graduate of Princeton College, but also graduated in law at the University of Louisiana, and was a very promising young man. Soon after the war Mr. Frierson's entire family, with the exception of our subject, removed to Honduras. The latter remained and took charge of the vast property, which was greatly devastated by the rWages of the war, and managed this with such ability and skill during the reconstruction period, and with the then unaccustomed free labor with its evil tendencies, that it is now considered, not only one of the very best plantations, but is one of the largest tax-paying plantations in De Soto Parish. The elder Mr. Frierson and family remained in Honduras three or four years and then removed to Florida, where he owned considerable real estate. After the children had grown to mature years they returned to De Soto Parish to assist on the farm, and the father also came there to pass the closing scenes of his life. The mother had died in Florida. The father was an elder in the Presbyterian Church and was a man held in the highest esteem. The paternal grandfather of our subject, John Frierson, was also born in Charleston, S. C. .and was of Scotch-Irish descent. He was a wealthy planter and died in the State of his nativity. The maternal grandfather, Thomas Screven, was also a planter and died in Charleston.
He was a direct descendant (probably a grandson) of the distinguished Baptist divine, Rev. William Screven, who came from Somerton, England, to Kittery in the province of Maine, as early as 1673. Here he was ordained a Baptist minister, but soon after, his religious views not being in harmony with the standing order, concerning the ordinance of baptism, he was brought before the proper authority, found guilty of the charge, and upon refusing to give bond for his appearance at the next term of the court, he was incarcerated in jail. The court tendered him liberty to return to his home in case he would forbear such disorderly and turbulent practices for the future. This he refused to do and the court required him to give bonds for good behavior.
Upon hearing this Mr. Screven decided to depart from the province and thus, in 1683, he began forming a settlement near the present city of Charleston, S. C., which he named Somerton, after his old English home. Here he organized the first Baptist Church in the South, and in this he officiated for many years. He afterward organized a church at Georgetown, S. C. whore his death occurred on October 10, 1713, at the advanced age of eighty-four years. His tomb is still to be seen at Georgetown, and his name is not only revered by a numerous posterity, but by the members of his church throughout the South. Dr. William S. Frierson, the eldest of five children, four sons and one daughter by the first wife, received his early education at a private school in Lowndes County, Ala., and graduated at Oglethorpe College, Ga., in 1853. After reading medicine with his father for some time he entered Charleston Medical College and graduated from this institution in 1857. He began practicing at Kingston, and was there married in 1859 to Miss Flora, daughter of Rev. D. R. W. and Caroline (Wilds) Mclver, of Darlington District, S. C. When Mrs. Frierson was a girl her parents removed to Dallas County, Ala., and afterward to De Soto Parish, where Mr. Mclver died in 1864.
The mother had died many years previous to this. Mr. Mclver had been a Baptist minister of no little prominence nearly all his life. Mrs. Frierson was born in Darlington District, S. C. and graduated from Barhamville College at Columbia, S. C. one of the most celebrated schools in the South. She is the mother of one son and two daughters. Soon after marriage Dr. Frierson removed to Texas, and at the breaking out of the war went to Richmond, Va., where he received an appointment in the medical department of the Confederate service as a surgeon, spending most of his time in the hospital at Richmond, Va., where his wife assisted as a nurse. After the war Dr. Frierson spent a year or two in Texas again until requested by his father to assume the management of the old plantation, which he did in connection with his practice for about thirteen years. Since then he has been on his present plantation near Gloster, which consists of 600 acres and makes a fine home. He has had an extensive practice, and for about ten years he has been president of the police jury.
Alfred M. Garrett is a wholesale and retail general merchant of Logansport, La., his establishment here being the first one to be erected after the war, some seventeen years ago. He is a Texan by birth, being born in Shelby County, November 4, 1846, and is a son of Julius and Mary (Truit) Garrett, natives of North Carolina, both of whom passed from life in Shelby County, Tex. The father removed from his native State to this place alone, in 1845, but the mother came with her parents in 1838, and here they met and married. Mr. Garrett was a prosperous tiller of the soil, and passed to his long home in 1884, at the age of sixty-six years, his wife dying in 1873, when fifty-one years of age. He was a Mason, a Democrat in his political views, and although strongly opposed to secession, when he found that his opposition was of no Wail, and that the ordinance of secession had been passed, he bowed to fate, and espoused the cause of the Confederacy. To his marriage a large family of children was born, of whom the subject of this sketch was the eldest.
He received his education in the schools of this vicinity, but when twenty-three years of age he left home, and opened a mercantile establishment at Willow Grove, Shelby County, which he conducted until 1874, when he and J. H. Trutt formed a partnership, and were engaged in the conduct of a good, general mercantile establishment until 1887, when they severed connections. Mr. Garrett has since been in business alone, and has met with a more than ordinary degree of success, his annual sales amounting to from $40,000 to $50,000. His trade, which is very large, extends into Texas. His marriage to Miss Malica Etta Ferguson took place in 1877, and to them a family of five children has been born: Mamie, Julius B., James, Douglas and Raymond. Mrs. Garrett is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and he is a Mason, and in his political views, a Democrat.
E. T. Gibbs, of the drug firm of Foster & Gibbs, of Mansfield, La. He is an example of the success attending hard work and honest dealing, and his trade is solidly established and extends over a large area. He and his partner carry an excellent and select stock of goods, and their store has been established since 1888. Mr. Gibbs was born in Alexandria, Va., April 11, 1866, to Dr. E. T. and Eliza K. (Douglass) Gibbs, also natives of Virginia. The father removed to Louisiana about 1850, and located in the town of Mansfield. He had previously graduated from the University of Virginia, also the Jefferson University of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, and practiced the profession of medicine at Mansfield up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1887. He was one of the first physicians of the town, and during his long years of residence here he became exceptionally well known as a successful and skillful practitioner of the healing art. During the Mexican War he was employed by the United States Government as a surgeon, and also served in that capacity during the Rebellion. Prior to his marriage, which took place in Alexandria, Va., he practiced for several years in Mansfield, but after that event he returned here.
He is a member of the I. O. O. P., and the Episcopal Church, and in every walk in life he proved himself to be an honorable, upright and public-spirited citizen. His widow, who survives him, resides in Mansfield, being the mother of three children: Mrs. E. M. Foster, R. T. and I. D. (cashier of the Corsicana Bank, of Corsicana, Tex,). The subject of this sketch received his schooling in the Male College, of Mansfield, but at the early age of sixteen years he entered a drug store as clerk, becoming well posted on all the intricacies of this work. For a number of years he acted as trWeling salesman for the wholesale drug house of I. L. Lyons, of New Orleans, but in 1888 he and his partner established their present business, their success being fully assured. Although young men they hWe a proper amount of energy and business ability to make a success of what they undertake, and their establishment, which is the best appointed in Mansfield, is fully stocked with a choice selection of drugs, chemicals, and the most popular patent medicines. In 1888 Miss 3 Hattie L. McDonald became the wife of Mr. Gibbs, and their union has resulted in the birth of one child: Hattie P. Mr. Gibbs is one of the directors of the Traders Bank, of Mansfield, and is also a member of the city council.
S. W. Greening. The following is a brief sketch of the career of Mr. Greening, a man whose present substantial position in life has been reached entirely through his own perseverance, and the facts connected with his agricultural operations and their results show what a person with courage and enlightened views can surely accomplish. He first saw the light of day in Dallas County, Ala., on July 26, 1839, and his early schooling was obtained in that State and in Louisiana, his parents, J. J. and Sarah (Warren) Greening, having removed thither in 1847. The former was born in South Carolina and the latter in Georgia, and after coming here they settled near Pleasant Hill, in De Soto Parish, where the father was a member of the police jury for a number of years. He made a purchase of two or three small claims, but entered the most of his land, and became the owner of some 1,000 acres. He afterward made a purchase on Red River, in De Soto Parish, which was about the year 1853, and on this farm he died in 1873, having in early life been a student at West Point and a member of the Alabama Legislature for# several terms.
He was quite prominent, both as a politician and agriculturist, and although he raised a company for the Mexican War he did not enter the service. His wife is still living, being in her seventy-second year. She bore him fourteen children, two sons and four daughters now living, and of this family the subject of this sketch is the eldest. He has been a resident of Louisiana since he was eight years of age, and has witnessed the growth and development of this country from a wilderness of canebrake and woods to finely cultivated fields of cotton and wWing grain. He obtained a good education in Centenary College, of Jackson, La., and the most of his early youth was spent on his father's plantation. In 1861 he left home and enlisted in the Pelican Rifles of De Soto, first company of his parish, but after serving a little over two years with the Second Louisiana Regiment in Virginia he was captured at the battle of Antietam, but was soon after paroled. He took part in many of the engagements in Virginia, and after the close of the war he returned home and embarked in merchandising in Mansfield, a calling he continued to follow for about eighteen months.
He then went to Red River and farmed for two years, but the two successive overflows of 1867-68 completely ruined him financially. In 1869 he moved to where he now resides, and by the exercise of good judgment and by hard and persistent toil he has become the owner of 525 acres of land, a considerable portion of which is under the plow. His marriage, which occurred in 1866, was to Miss E. D. Bullock, a native of Alabama, by whom he has had ten children: E. D. (a physician), Julia, J. M., Eeba, S. W., Jr., C. D., Eufus, Virginia, Adolphus and Vivian.
William P. Hamilton, although just in the prime of life, has made his way to the front ranks among the energetic planters of this parish, and owing to the attention he has always paid to each minor detail he has accumulated a fair share of this world's goods. He was born in Schuyler County, Mo., in 1843, being the second of nine children born to William A. and Malinda (Lay) Hamilton, both of whom were born in Grainger County, Tenn., the birth of the former occurring in 1820, and his wife's, some five or six years later. They were reared and married in their native State, and from there, at an early day, they removed to Schuyler County, Mo., thence to Decatur County, Iowa, during the war, and are still making their home in that county, being worthy citizens and earnest members of the Baptist Church.
Mr. Hamilton is a farmer, and his father, William Hamilton, was also a worthy and successful tiller of the soil. The latter was born in Tennessee, and died in Decatur County, Iowa. The mother's father, John Lay, was also a Tennessean and passed from life in Schuyler County, Mo., prior to the war. William E. Hamilton received the advantages of the common schools in his youth, and possessing a strong desire to become a well-informed man, he made the most of the opportunities offered him. In 1862 he joined Company C, Ninth Missouri Infantry, and operated with Gen. Price all through the war, his first fight being at Pea Ridge. Later he was at Elk Horn, Prairie Grove, Wilson's Creek, Pleasant Hill, Jenkins Ferry, being wounded in the Pleasant Hill fight.
After the close of the war he settled in De Soto Parish, where he was married in the month of August, 1865, in Texas to Miss Sarah, daughter of John and Cecilia M. Glover, who were born in South Carolina and Alabama, respectively, coming from the latter State to De Soto Parish, at an early day, their deaths occurring here in 1889, Mr. Glover having been a farmer. Mrs. Hamilton was born in De Soto Parish, and has borne her husband nine children, five sons and three daughters now living. Mr. Hamilton rented land for three years after his marriage, then purchased his present plantation of 620 acres, which is situated four miles east of Mansfield. He has 240 acres cleared, the most of which has been accomplished by his own efforts. He is a member of the Farmers' Alliance, and he and wife hWe long been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Mayor W. C. Hardy is the proprietor of a large warehouse at Logansport, and is also weigh master at that place, being in other respects an active and enterprising citizen. He was born in Caddo Parish, La., June 5, 1854, his parents, John M. and Mary Tilman (Carrow) Hardy, were natives of North Carolina. During the Rebellion Mr. Hardy joined a Louisiana regiment, but died soon after entering the service, his widow afterward moving to Texas, where she passed from life. W. C. Hardy was reared by William Carrow, and remained with him until he attained his twenty-fourth year, working on a plantation, but at that time began tilling the soil on his own account. He continued this occupation successfully for six years, then came to Logansport, where he opened a manufactory, and also ran a ferryboat across Sabine River one year. He then became a cotton weigher and keeper of his present cotton warehouse. In June, 1889, he was elected mayor of the town, and is proving himself to be the right man in the right place. He was married in 1878, to Miss Lois Hanson, of Texas, by whom he has five children: Spencer, Anice, Willie, Nannie and an infant daughter. Mr. and Mrs. Hardy are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and socially he is a Mason, and in his political views a Democrat. He has been a very successful business man, which fact is readily accounted for when it is known that he has always applied himself diligently to his work, and gave every detail his closest attention. He owns 100 acres of good land, a considerable portion of it cultivated, and being devoted to the raising of cotton.
W. W. Harrington. Nowhere within the limits of De Soto Parish, La., can there be found a man who takes greater interest in the agricultural and stock affairs than Mr. Harrington, or who strives more continually to promote and advance these interests. Like so many native-born residents of this section, he is an energetic and enterprising and, although he has been known here from earliest boyhood, naught has ever been said derogatory to his character. He was born in Bossier Parish, November 15, 1860, and is a son of Cyrus and Lucy (Roberts) Harrington, who originally came from the Old North State, removing first to Mississippi and then to Louisiana, taking up thenabode in the latter State at a very early day. After residing a short time in Bossier Parish they removed to Caddo, thence to De Soto Parish, where they are still residing, the father being a worthy and talented minister of the Presbyterian Church.
To him and his wife four children were born, two of whom are living at the present time: K. W. (wife of J. M. Flenniken) and W. W. Harrington, the latter having been a resident of this parish since he was eight years of age. He was a bright and intelligent youth, and the common school advantages which he received were improved to the utmost, his knowledge of books extending far beyond the three R's. He has followed planting all his life, and is now the owner of 480 acres of land and has about 120 acres under the plow. He has made many valuable improvements on this property, and has a comfortable, commodious and pleasing residence. He devoted the cultivated portion of his land to the raising of cotton, corn and oats, and he is also considerably interested in fine stock raising, some of his colts of one and two years of age taking first premium at the Louisiana State Fair in 1889. He is a wide awake young man, and takes great pride in bringing his parish to the front. He has also taken premiums on cotton. He is a member of the Farmers' Alliance, being parish secretary. He was married in 1887 to Miss M. S. Glassell, a native of De Soto Parish, by whom he has two children: Amelia D. and Cyrus. Mr. and Mrs. Harrington are members of the Presbyterian Church.
A. P. Harris is a man who has risen to considerable prominence in the affairs of De Soto Parish, La., not less in agricultural matters than in other circles of active business life, and as a result is the owner of an excellent plantation, consisting of 400 acres, 300 of which are under cultivation, devoted to the raising of cotton, corn, other cereals and stock. His cattle are of Jersey breed, and his horses are also well bred. He has been a resident of this parish since March, 1884, but prior to that time, from 1873 up to that date, he was a resident of Orange County, Fla., where he purchased au orange grove and planted and cultivated 225 orange trees, in the raising of which he was very successful. He was born in Marengo County, Ala., July 8, 1843, being the only child born to his parents, and was reared and educated in Alabama, his early days being devoted to the occupation of planting. In 1802 he enlisted in Company I, Thirty-ninth Alabama Regiment, and served until the surrender, receiving during his service three wounds, one by a gun-shot at Stone River, which ball he still carries, again at Franklin, Tenn., and at Bentonville, N. C , by the bursting of a shell.
He was in the hospital for about four months during his service, and took part in all the engagements in which the Army of Tennessee took part. After the surrender he returned to Alabama, where he remained until 1873, then went to Florida, as above stated, the property which he purchased in that State being still in his possession. He was married in 1867 to Miss Mittie Williams, by whom he has three children: Sallie V. (wife of Robert Ricks), Alonzo and Samuel. Mrs. Harris is a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His parents, A. P., Sr., and Elizabeth (McKissack) Harris, were born in South Carolina and Alabama, respectively, the former of Irish and the latter of Scotch descent. The father was an eminent minister of the Methodist Church, and was engaged in work for the Master until his death, which occurred in Alabama, his widow still residing there.
John E. Hewitt. Every life has a history of its own, and although in appearance it may possess little to distinguish it from others, yet Mr. Hewitt's experience here and his interest in journalistic and banking affairs hWe contributed to give him a wide and popular acquaintance with nearly every citizen of the parish, if not personally, then by name. He was born on the Hewitt Plantation, near Mansfield, March 4, 1851, to Alfred M. and Antoinette (Garrett) Hewitt, who were born in Virginia and Georgia, respectively, and came to De Soto Parish, La., with their parents in their childhood days. Here they grew to mature years, and in 1848 were married at the Garrett House, where the battle of Mansfield was fought, in 1864. Alfred M. Hewitt served in the Mexican War with the Fifth Louisiana Infantry, and in 1860 became a member of the First Texas cavalry, which was raised to oppose the Mexican Cortine. In 1861 this command was called into the service of the Confederacy, and Mr. Hewitt served with the gallant Mouton's command at Mansfield with the Texans, and followed up Bank's retreat, and served until he was taken sick in January, 1865, when he returned home and died shortly before Lee's surrender.
His widow now resides at Mansfield with her sons. John E. Hewitt was educated at Mansfield, and in September, 1866, entered the office of the Mansfield Times to learn the printer's art, and his subsequent connection with the press is told in the article on journals and journalists which appears in this work. He was married November 20, 1873, to Miss Ella Eastham, daughter of J. H. Eastham, one of the old settlers of De Soto Parish, but now a resident of Texas. Mrs. Hewitt was born at Mansfield in 1857, and received a liberal education in the female college of that place. In 1887 Mr. Hewitt established the private bank of J. E. Hewitt & Co., which he carried on with remarkable ability until 1890, when the business was merged into the Traders' Bank, of which he is now president. Besides this he is the owner of two fine tracts of land convenient to Mansfield, and is in other ways connected materially with the interests of this parish. A more minute reference is made to the part he has taken as a citizen of this section, in the general history of the parish, and it will be seen at a glance that it is no minor part.
C. B. Hicks is a member of the mercantile firm of E. S. Hicks & Bro., of Grand Cane, La., and his services during his residence in this section, hWe been characterized by a noticeable devotion to the welfare of this parish. He has attained a place among the mercantile interests of the parish, which is by no means an inferior one, and the confidence which his patrons hWe in his honesty and fair dealing is unbounded. He was born in Upson County, Ga., in 1853, to O. W. and A. E. (Martin) Hicks, who were born in South Carolina and Georgia, respectively, and emigrated to Alabama thence to Texas, in 1869, their home being now in Shelby County, of that State. The father was a soldier in the Rebellion. C. B. Hicks was reared and educated in Alabama, but removed to the Lone Star State with his parents, and until 1873 was engaged in farm labor. Together with his brother he had opened a mercantile establishment in Logansport, La., in 1868, but removed to Center, Tex., in 1869, in which place E. S. Hicks is still in business, that firm being styled Hicks & Bro., and having been established in 1874.
In 1882 their present establishment was opened to the public, and in 1884 C. B. Hicks took charge of this branch. They hWe four stores: one at Grand Cane, one at Center, Tex., and two country stores in Texas. Besides this valuable property they are the owners of two lumber plants situated in Shelby County, Tex., and considerable real estate consisting of valuable farms in a good state of cultivation and timbered and prairie lands in different localities of Texas. The firm of E. S. Hicks & Bro. does an extensive business in Grand Cane, and conducts large enterprises in every respect, their income from their various investments being large. The subject of this sketch was married in 1878 to Miss Jennie Oliver, a Tennessean by birth, by whom he has three children: Oliver Burdette, Annie Bernice and Charlie. Mr. and Mrs. Hicks are members of the Methodist Episcopal and Presbyterian Churches, respectively, and he is one of the city aldermen. He is the owner of a small plantation adjoining Grand Cane, and as he is one of the most honorable men in every business transaction, he is honored by all.
L. H. Huson, sheriff and ex-officio tax collector of De Soto Parish, La., was chosen to occupy his present position, in 1888, by the Democratic party, and has since discharged the duties of this office in a manner highly creditable to himself and to the entire satisfaction of the community at large. He was born in Sumter County, Ala., September 21, 1849, being a son of John D. and Elizabeth Y. (May) Huson, who were natives of South Carolina and Alabama, but who became residents of Louisiana in the month of December, 1849, first taking up their abode in Caddo Parish, and in 1851 in De Soto Parish. The father was a planter and died in 1859, still survived by his widow and three of the four children born to him, the names of the latter being: L. H., P. M. and C. M. The maternal grandmother, Susan May, is still living and is the second eldest woman in De Soto Parish. She is now in her eighty-seventh year, and is yet quite a hale and hearty old lady. L. H. Huson, the immediate subject of this biography, resided on a plantation in Louisiana until he became of age, but owing to the scarcity and inferiority of the schools, did not receive much schooling. He entered the sheriff's office in 1866 and has since been employed constantly in this office with the exception of six years, which he spent on the plantation.He worked steadily and faithfully for nine years for one man in that office, and also served a short time as constable, his labors to obtain a competency having met with fair results. HWing grown to manhood in this parish he has seen great changes take place, and has noted a gradual improvement yearly in its growth and prosperity.
His marriage, which occurred in the month of December, 1872, was to Miss Mary J. Cale, a native of De Soto Farish, and has resulted in the birth of nine children, eight of whom are living: John, Van, Lewis, Charles, Mary T. Susie, Sample, Eowlan and Jewell. Mr. Huson is a K. of P. and his wife is a member of the Episcopal Church. A. P. Jackson has been in business in the town of Mansfield since 1883, but by birth is an Alabamian, having been born in Perry County, December 10, 1844, his father being Rev. A. W. Jackson, who came to De Soto Parish, La., in December, 1847, locating near Mansfield. He was a Missionary Baptist minister, and organized a great many churches throughout this section. He was an eloquent expounder of the gospel, was a worthy gentleman and true Christian, and in 1880 passed from this life to his long home, in Coryelle, Tex.
He was married three times, became the father of a large family of children, the subject of this sketch being the son of his second marriage. The latter was reared in Louisiana, having come to this State with his parents in 1847, but upon the opening of the Rebellion, at the early age of fifteen years, he joined Company P, Nineteenth Louisiana Infantry, and in 1804 was made ensign of his regiment, and served until wounded in battle at Jonesboro, near Atlanta, Ga,, August 31, 1864. Regardless of this, the following night he crawled away, and made his escape, being picked up by some of Ross Texas cWalry, who took him in a buggy to Lovejoy Station ; from there was carried to Columbus, Ga., where he remained until able to walk on crutches. He then received a furlough, went to Alabama, and there remained for some time. He received another slight wound from a bursting shell while in the breastworks at Atlanta. After the war he entered business in Mansfield as a clerk, also attending three terms of school, and later taught one term of school in Indian Village, Jackson Parish, after which he became associated in business with M. W. Stamper & Son, at Trenton, Ouachita Parish.
After remaining with them two years, he entered a business college at New Orleans, and in the month of June, 1869, graduated in the commercial course. He then began keeping books for the successors of his old firm at Trenton, but at the end of three years his health had become so impaired he was compelled to give up this work, shortly after entering the employ of Head & McLain, of Trenton, with whom he remained four years. About this time his health again began failing him, and thinking that an out-door life would be beneficial to him, he took a trip west. After his return he embarked in the mercantile business at Vienna, La., continuing from January, 1876, to January 1, 1883, under the firm name of Jackson & Kidd, when he came to Mansfield, and opened a store with Mr. Gullatt (the firm being Jackson & Gullatt), until March, 1888, when Mr. Jackson purchased his partner's interest, and has since continued alone.
His stock of goods is exceptionally well selected, and in connection with this work he also handles considerable cotton. He is a prosperous business man of the parish, is courteous and genial to all, and the income he derives from his mercantile establishment is sufficient to make him satisfied to remain here. He is at present filling the duties of secretary and treasurer of the Mansfield Female College. He was married in 1870 to Miss Ella E. Kidd, daughter of Gen. Mandriel W. Kidd, a native of Alabama, by whom he has two children: Minnie D, and A. W. Mr. Jackson and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and he belongs to the Masonic fraternity. In addition to his establishment at Mansfield, he is interested in a general store at Pelican, La., and also owns a lumber establishment (the Pelican Lumber Mills) at Pelican, La., besides various other enterprises. He is the owner of several thousand acres of land, and, in fact, is the founder of Pelican, having laid out the town, which now has a population of about 350 people, and is supplied with a good church and educational advantages. A fine agricultural region surrounds the place, a considerable portion of which belongs to Mr. Jackson.
John Jackson, the well-known liveryman of Grand Caue, La., is a native of Sweden, his birth occurring there October 17, 1845 to E. and Eureka (Erickson) Jackson, in which country the mother died, the father being still a resident of his native land. He is a ship builder by calling, and is an honest, thrifty and God fearing man. Of nine children born to himself and wife, seven were sons and two were daughters. John Jackson left the shelter of the paternal roof at the early age of seven or eight years, and embarked on au ocean steamer, as cabin boy. From this lowly and trying position he worked his way up, until he held the rank of first mate, this goal being reached in about nine years of seafaring, during which time he visited nearly all parts of the globe, Africa, Asia, Australia and China being among the number. In the fall of 1866 he gave up his position, and the following year, as he had been taken with a severe case of "gold fever," he started for California, and was in different Territories throughout the west until 1869, when he came farther east, and completed his knowledge of the different districts of the United States, by trWeling throughout the Eastern. Middle, Western and Sothern States, being engaged in railroad work. In 1881 he was a contractor, on the Texas & Pacific Railroad, on the tie department, but in 1883 he gave up this work, and he and a partner erected the large saw-mill for John E. Jones, at Victoria.
In 1877 he opened a livery establishment at his present stand, at which he has since successfully continued, and besides this he is the owner of a good plantation near Grand Cane. He was married three times, first to Emma Love, of Shreveport; second to Nettie Hobgood, who left him one child, Nettie; and third to Mary J. Spearman, by whom he has one son, Charles. Mr. and Mrs. Jackson are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in all his ideas and tendencies he is progressive and enterprising, a useful member of society, personally, and in business circles.
W. E. Jackson, planter of De Soto Parish, La. The parents of the subject of this sketch were of Scotch origin, and both, Rev. John W. and Mary D. (White) Jackson, were born in North Carolina, but the father died in Alabama, to which State he had moved at a very early day, his dissolution taking place in 1836. He was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was a planter by occupation. His wife died the same day, month, and year as did her husband, although they were seventy miles apart. To them a family of ten children were born, only two of whom survive: Ann J. (wife of Andrew T. Shepherd), and W. E., the immediate subject of this sketch, who was born in Autauga County, Ala., September 13,1828, and at the death of his parents he was about eight years of age. He remained in his native State until he had attained his majority, attending the public schools and receiving a common school education, and his knowledge of planting was acquired on his father's old plantation in Alabama, which he left in 1851, and came to Louisiana, locating in De Soto Parish, near Mansfield, where he has since resided, nearly halt a century.
He purchased a farm immediately after coming here, and has since given his attention entirely to planting. From this State he enlisted in 1862, in Company B, Shelby's battalion, which was afterward consolidated with the Crescent Regiment, and served until the final surrender as first lieutenant. He was in all the principal engagements in which his regiment took part, and made a true, faithful and efficient officer. Soon after locating here he was elected recorder of the parish, a position he faithfully filled for three years, and after the war he was appointed to the same office under Gov. Wells and held the same two years. He was also tax collector for one year prior to the war, and he has been prominently identified with the public interests of the parish for years. He has in his possession about 2,700 acres of land, all of which is in De Soto Parish, and of this he has some 1,000 under cultivation, on which he raises cotton, corn and other grains.
Over his broad acres also roam large numbers of cattle and sheep, and the hogs that he raises are of a fine breed, being the Jersey Reds. He has done a great deal to develop the parish, and by industry and economy he is now living in comfort and ease. He formerly owned many slaves, but of course lost these during the war, a severe blow to him, financially. He was first married in 1859, to Mary Williams, and his second union which was in 1867 was to Miss Sarah L. Greening, neither wife bearing him any children. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and for years was a Mason. He was engaged in the mercantile business in Mansfield for twelve years, doing an immense business, but the most of his attention throughout life has been given to planting. The firm was known as J. S. Jackson & Co., and occupied the store building that Wemple & Rives now occupy.
Hon. B. F. Jenkins, general merchant of Mansfield, La. One of the leading characteristics of our commercial fabric is the size and extent of the mercantile business in the various towns of De Soto Parish. A large capital is invested in this important interest, and many persons are furnished with remunerative employment. Among the leading establishments of this kind none are more deserving of mention than that belonging to Mr. Jenkins, which was established in 1870. He was born in Spottsylvania County, Va., in 1826, being a son of Lee and Sarah Frances (Parker) Jenkins, who were also Virginians, the former dying in Alabama, and the latter in her native State. Both the paternal and maternal grandfathers were in the Revolutionary War, the grandfather Parker being a commissioned officer with the rank of colonel. Mr. Jenkins' father was a planter. Of a family of twelve children born to himself and wife, ten of whom were raised to manhood and womanhood, only four are now living: John (in Virginia), Mrs. Lancaster (in Alabama), and B. Francis (the subject of this "notice), and one other (whose name was not furnished). Mr. Jenkins' mother died when he was about sixteen years old. He considers that his success in life has been due in no small degree to the training he received from a cultivated, Christian and devoted mother. Up to that time he had attended school and worked on the farm alternately since he had been old enough.
He was by seven years the youngest child of the family, and his father was advanced in age. He was sent to a boarding school for a term, but after his mother's death went to Alabama to visit two brothers and a sister who had preceded him, and decided to make his home there. Finding no employment, he entered the McInnis school in Sumter County, Ala., and in the fall of 1846 he accepted a clerkship with Mr. H. H. Harris, a dry goods merchant in the town of Livingston, Ala. He was compelled to relinquish this situation on account of ill health, as he did also an appointment as deputy sheriff, and he resolved to seek his fortune in a new country. In 1850 he came to De Soto Parish, La., by boat, consuming ten days on the journey, the same trip could now be made in twenty-four hours. He entered a store as clerk and worked his way up, until, in 1852, he and a friend opened a drug store, but conducted it only about one year.
He was then urged to become a candidate for district clerk, although he was then quite young, but was defeated. He then resumed clerking, which he continued until 1854, when he bought out his employer, and, with J. W. Howard, continued until 1857, when Mr. Jenkins sold out to his partner on account of failing health. He then purchased him a plantation, and agriculture received his attention until the breaking out of the war, when he was appointed enrolling officer by •Gov. Moore, to take charge of the State forces of De Soto Parish, and later on the State forces were turned over to the Confederate States, and he was transferred also, and to another parish, and held this position until the close of the war. In 1877 he was appointed by Gov. Francis T. Nicholls a member of the school board, and served on the examining board. In 1879 he was elected to the State Legislature, and was sent as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1879, without opposition. In 1888 he was re-elected to the Legislature, and in October, 1890, was presented with a cane by the representatives of twenty-two clubs of the Farmers' Union of De Soto, in recognition of his services in the session of 1890. Besides this he has been mayor of Mansfield, and has held other offices. He is a director of the Traders Bank of Mansfield, and in fact is and has been identified with every public enterprise, being now one of the commissioners appointed by Gov. Nicholls on the Bayou Pierre River Drainage Commission, the purpose of which is to drain that river.
He is an extensive real estate owner, and is identified as one of the men of Northwest Louisiana who has been prominently connected with all worthy enterprises. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. and the Masonic fraternities. In 1856 he was married to Mary Frances, youngest daughter of Maj. John E. Hewitt and Margaret Markham Hewitt, natives of Stafford County, Va. By this marriage they had eight children, five of whom are now living: Benjamin, John, Charles E., Mrs. Ettie Lee and Sarah M. Mrs. Jenkins died in the spring of 1889. His father-in-law, Maj. Hewitt, moved from Virginia to Alabama in an early day, and from Alabama in 1840. When the parish of De Soto was, organized, he was a member of the first police jury, and surveyed and laid off the present site of the town of Mansfield. Mr. Jenkins' family are members of the Episcopal Church; he is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. The career of Mr. Jenkins has been directed by a just rule of action, for he has believed with the Psalmist "A false balance is an abomination unto the Lord, but a just weight is His delight," and has obeyed the injunction of the Bard of Won to "Be just and fear not, and let all the ends thou aimest at be thy country's and God's and truth's.''
Walter Johnson. No name is more properly placed in the history of the parish than that of Mr. Johnson, who is not only one of the most enterprising planters of the parish, but is of such a social, genial nature that he has made many friends. His land amounts to about 2,000 acres, and he has 1,400 acres under cultivation, on which he raises cotton, oats and corn. He is one of the most successful and prominent planters in this section of the country, and on his place is an excellent general mercantile establishment, which he conducts. He owes his nativity to Montgomery County, Ala., where he was born on January 7, 1847, being a son of Richard T. and Mary I. (Lang) Johnson, the former a native of Edgefield District, S. C , and the latter of Lowndes County, Ala. They removed from the latter State to Louisiana in 1847, and located in De Soto Parish, on the place now owned and occupied by their son, W alter, at which time the land was in a wild state, not a stick having been cut on it.
The father was a lawyer by profession, having been admitted to the bar in Pike County, Ala., and he was associated in this business with B. P. Burford, who was the leader of the Kansas expedition to extend slavery in Kansas. Mr. Johnson was a colonel of militia in Alabama, and after coming to this State he gave up his profession and turned his attention entirely to planting. He was an old line Whig, but after the war he became a Democrat, and upon the surrender of Gen. Lee he left this country and went to British Honduras, where he immediately became naturalized and lived under the British flag until his death, which occurred on April 3, 1809. His remains were brought to Louisiana and interred in the family cemetery near Mansfield. He had traveled all over Texas and Arkansas, looking for a location, and came hither from Natchitoches on au old Indian trail, and being much pleased with the looks of the country, here he determined to make his home. He became an extensive slave owner, and was regarded as an expert agriculturist, and wrote many articles on the subject of husbandry to different agricultural papers, thus, as well as in other ways, becoming well known throughout the State. He was quite active, politically, made numerous political speeches, and became a leading spirit in the political affairs of North Louisiana.
His wife, by whom he became the father of three children, is still living, the names of his children being as follows: W alter, Pauline (wife of J. H. Putnam), and Mortimer. Walter was reared on the old homestead here, and attended the common schools, and, like his father, has always followed planting. In 1881 he had no rain on his place from May 18 to September 14, but made a half crop, which fully shows that his farm is exceptionally adapted to the culture of cotton. In 1884 there was no rain from June 9 to October 22, a half crop being also raised, and from July 3, 1887, to August 31, there was a drought, but his crop resulted as formerly. Mr. Johnson keeps accurate dates of all these things, as he is particularly interested in the culture of cotton. Long droughts also occurred in 1888, from July 8, to September 3, and in 1889 from July 6 to September 3, and in 1890 from July 7 up to the present date. His gin house is very large, and does a paying business. Mr. Johnson has been a valuable acquisition to this section, and deservedly ranks among the leading planters of his parish. His marriage, which occurred on November 16, 1871, was to Miss Susie, daughter of Dr. A. V. Roberts, by whom he has five children: Mary L., Richard, Katie, Walter F. and Ben.
I. F. Jones, planter of De Soto Parish, La., is now successfully following the calling to which he was reared, and which has been his life work, a calling that for ages has received undivided efforts from many worthy individuals, and one that always furnishes sustenance to the ready worker. Mr. Jones first saw the light of day in Greene County, Ala., on September 30, 1828, being only eight years of age at the time of the death of his father, Joshua Jones, which occurred in Alabama, whither he has moved from his native State of North Carolina, the mother having also been born there, her maiden name being Mourning Gandy. After being left a widow, she remained with her family in Alabama until 1856, then came to Louisiana and located in De Soto Parish, near the present site of Grand Cane, where she purchased 200 acres of land on which she lived until her death in August, 1858, the names of her children being as follows: I, P., Priscilla, and Mrs. S. B. Saunders, of Texas.
James Martin, another son, was a soldier in the Rebellion, and while crossing the bay from Mobile to Pollard, the ship on which he sailed caught fire, and he was lost, but whether he was burned to death or drowned, is unknown. Being left fatherless at an early age, the subject of this sketch had to assist in supporting the family, but in 1862 left his farm work to enlist in Company D, Shelby's battalion, it being afterward consolidated with the New Orleans Crescent Regiment, with which he served until the final surrender, holding the positions of corporal and sergeant. After Lee's surrender he returned to his home, and here has since devoted his attention to planting, his present farm consisting of 400 acres, of which about 300 are cleared. His well-known habits of industry and enterprise have made him well known throughout the parish, and the respect which is accorded him is universal. He was married in 1858 to Sarah J. Storey, who died August 7, 1886, having borne a family of ten children, seven of whom are living at the present time: Rosa, Edna, Sallie, Henri, Alabama, Exa and Pearl. Mr. Jones is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
Joseph King has long been devoted to the farming interests of De Soto Parish, La., and as he has ever applied himself steadily and industriously to the work in hand, he has been more than ordinarily successful and is now the owner of 950 acres of land, with 350 acres under cultivation, on which is raised from 100 to 150 bales of cotton per annum. On this farm, which is situated on Red Bayou, he has resided for thirty years, and during this time he has done much to improve the farming interests hereabouts. He was born in Crawford County, Ala., in 1824, and is a son of Henry and Esther (Janes) King, they being born in the Old North State. At an early day they were taken by their parents to Alabama, and there they were married and spent the rest of their lives, Mr. King dying in 1850, at the age of forty-nine, and his widow in 1872, they having been members of the Methodist Church. Mr. King was a merchant, was clerk of Crawford County a great many years, and was a soldier in one of the early Indian wars.
His father was born in Ireland, and served in the Continental army during the Revolutionary War, being at that time a resident of North Carolina, in which State he spent his life. Joseph King was the second of eleven children, five now living, and he is the only one of his family now residing in Louisiana, he having moved here in 1859. He was reared and educated in Columbus, Ga., after which he engaged with his father in merchandising, continuing until the death of the latter, since which time he has farmed. His marriage, which took place in Georgia in 1852, was to Miss Eliza, daughter of Ahaz and Priscilla Jones, who lived and died in Georgia, in which State Mrs. King was born. She died in March, 1889, having borne Mr. King ten children, the following of whom are living, Joseph H. (of Texas), Minnie (wife of D. E. Evans), Elizabeth (wife of D. L. Kemper, of New Mexico), and Charles. But little improvement had been made on Mr. King's farm, when he located here, but it can with truth be said that he now has one of the best plantations on the bayou, the result of his own industry. During the latter part of the war he served about one year in the Crescent Regiment of Louisiana Infantry, and was in several skirmishes in Louisiana. In 1846 he joined Company D, First Georgia Infantry, with Gen. Taylor, for the Mexican War, and served with him until shortly before the battle of Vera Cruz, when he was under Gen. Scott, and with him participated in that battle, being slightly wounded by a gunshot, which disabled him for some time. While on their way toward Mexico City, Mr. King's term of enlistment expired, and he was mustered out as orderly sergeant and returned home. He is a demitted member of Mansfield Lodge of the A. P. & A. M., and his wife was a member of the Methodist Church.
John J. Long, farmer and stock raiser of Ward 2, owes his nativity to Caddo Parish, La., his birth occurring in 1842, and is the son of Dr. William Long, a native of Ireland. When a young man the elder Mr. Long came alone to the United States, resided for a number of years in New York, where he was engaged as a chemist, and from there ho came to Natchitoches, La., where he made his home for a number of years. He was a wealthy merchant and planter and was about the first clerk of De Soto Parish. He was married to Miss Emily Bags, and the fruits of this union were two children, a daughter and son, our subject being the younger of the two. Mr. Long died in Caddo Parish, in 1867, at the residence of his son-in-law, Capt. James M. Poster. The mother died in 1842. John J. Long was reared in Natchitoches and received his education there and in Mansfield and Homer College. When war broke he enlisted in the Shreveport Grays of Drew's battalion of Confederate troops in "Virginia, and was in nearly all the early leading battles of that campaign.
He was wounded at Malvern Hill, and from that time was on staff duty under various officers. He was with Gen. Stark at Antietam, when the latter was killed, and received his discharge shortly before, the close of the war. After this he was engaged in merchandising in Caddo Parish with Capt. J. M. Foster, the firm being Foster & Long, and thus continued until 1870. Since that time he has resided on his present farm, near Gloster, which consists of 2,220 acres with about 1,500 acres cleared, one of the leading plantations of the ward. Mr. Long was married in 1869 to Miss Alice Logan, a native of Alabama, and the daughter of Maj. Benjamin F. and Wealthy Logan, natives of North Carolina and South Carolina, respectively.
Mr. and Mrs. Logan were married in Alabama, and in 1852 removed to Caddo Parish, where Mr. Logan died in 1846 and his widow in 1864. To Mr. and Mrs. Long were born eight children, all living. Mr. Long is a non-affiliating Mason, and he and wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church.
Oliver Hawes Marshall and James G. Marshall were born in Darlington and Chesterfield Districts, S. C , in 1829 and 1840, respectively, and were the sons of Col. John J. and Maria (Hawes) Marshall. The parents were born in Darlington District, S. C, in 1807 and 1812, respectively, and there they resided until 1843, when they removed to Montgomery County, Ala. From there they moved to Florida, where the mother died in 1852, and two years later Mr. Marshall and family came to De Soto Parish, La., settling near Stonewall, where the father's death occurred in 1877. He was a successful planter and a prominent and wealthy citizen. He and wife were worthy members of the Episcopal Church. His father, Adam Marshall, the grandfather of Oliver H. and James G., was born in Ireland, but when a young man, came, with an elder brother, who was a Presbyterian minister, to the United States, just after the Revolutionary War. He married and settled in Darlington District, S. O., where he spent the balance of his life as a wealthy merchant and planter. Our subject's maternal grandfather, Dr. Oliver' Hawes, was born in Wrentham, Mass., where he studied and later graduated in medicine.
He was a drummer boy in the Revolution. He went to Darlington District, married a Miss Mary Leigh, and spent the remainder of his life there as a successful physician and surgeon. Oliver Hawes Marshall, the eldest of nine children, eight now living, was reared to manhood on the plantation, received the principal part of his education in South Carolina College, at Columbia, where his class graduated in 1852, and after this he was engaged as a tutor in his father's family for some time. In 1801 he joined Company K, Second Louisiana Infantry, and was with Gen. Lee's army in Virginia. Like many a soldier in the Confederate Army he saw some hardships, but bravely pushed through them in supporting the cause he had espoused. He participated in many skirmishes, and at Malvern Hill lost an arm, after which he came home. Since then he has been retired, except that he taught for some time in the public schools. He is a nephew of Hon. Henry Marshall, who represented this district in the Confederate Congress at Montgomery, and who afterward served one term in the Congress at Richmond.
Prior to the war the latter also was a member of the Louisiana Senate, and was a wealthy planter. He was born in Darlington District, S. C , in 1805, and died at his residence in De Soto, in 1864. James Marshall, a brother of Oliver H. Marshall, was educated in South Carolina College, but his education was cut short by the breaking out of the war. He then joined the College Cadets, and served a short time on Sullivan's Island, after which he returned home. In 1862 he joined the Second Louisiana cavalry, operated in Louisiana until the close of hostilities and served some of the time as adjutant. He was married in 1872, to Miss Mary Means, a native of Fairfield District, S. C. and the daughter of William B. Means. Four children are the fruits of this union. Ever since his marriage Mr. Marshall has lived on his present farm, consisting of over 1,600 acres. He is a member of the A. P. & A. M., the K. of H , and his wife is a member of the Episcopal Church.
Hugh A. Matthews. They shunned not tabor when 'twas due;
They wrought with right good will;
And for the homes they won for them,
Their children bless them still.
The first of the Matthews family to come to this section of the country was William Matthews, the father of the immediate subject of this sketch. He was born in Georgia in 1812, and when a young man he determined to seek a home for himself in the far west, and accordingly settled in De Soto Parish, La., and here made his home until his death in 1875, improving several good plantations in this section, and otherwise assisted in clearing up and improving the parish. He was one of the best citizens this section has ever known, for he was enterprising, industrious and public spirited, and his death was a great loss and a source of much sorrow to all. He was the first one of his family to come west, and the only one for a long time, but after a while a brother came, but remained only a short time, returning to his native State. Mr. Matthews was married in De Soto Parish, La., to Miss Adaline Swan, who was born in Alabama in 1817, her death occurring in 1880, both having been worthy members of the Missionary Baptist Church. The father was a soldier in the Florida War, was a member of the A. F. & A. M. at Mansfield, and inherited Scotch-Irish blood from his father, William Matthews, the latter dying in Georgia. The mother's father died when she was a child. Hugh A. Matthews was the eldest of five children, three sons and one daughter now living, and all are residing in De Soto Parish. He early became familiar with farm life, but in 1861 enlisted at Mansfield in Company F, Ninth Louisiana Infantry, Army of the Virginia, and was under Gen. Stonewall Jackson.
He was in the engagements at Winchester, Harper's Ferry, seven days' fight around Richmond, Antietam, Second Manassas, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Cold Harbor, Malvern Hill, and many minor engagements in the Shenandoah Valley. He surrendered at Appomattox Court House, having been wounded twice during his service, once at Manassas and once at Hamilton Crossing, but was only in the hospital for about five days during his entire service, and never received a furlough. He was married, in 1873, to Miss Martha, daughter of John and Martha Parham, from Tennessee and Georgia, respectively, their settlement in De Soto Parish taking place in 1849, after their marriage, their deaths occurring here since the war, Mr. Parham being a farmer. Mrs. Matthews was born in Georgia, and of ten children born to herself and husband, one son and eight daughters are living. Since the war Mr. Matthews has resided in Ward 5, and for the past six years has been on his present farm, which is situated fifteen miles southeast of Mansfield, and comprises 1,000 acres. He raises about seventy-five bales of cotton per year, and is the owner of a good steam cotton gin, saw mill and grist mill. This property has been acquired through his own endeavor, and he may justly feel proud of the success he has made of his life. He belongs to Shady Grove Lodge of the Farmers' Alliance, and his wife is a Methodist.
Henry N. Mize is a justice of the peace in Ward 8, De Soto Parish, La., but was born in Shelby County, Tex., on August 7, 1852, to Allen and Mary (McCray) Mize, both of whom were born in South Carolina, but were married in Alabama, from which State they emigrated to Saline County, Ark., and later to Texas, both parents dying in the Lone Star State, the father having been a worthy, honorable and successful tiller of the soil. The subject of this sketch became thoroughly familiar with the meaning of hard work while making his home with his father on the farm, and learning the details of successful agriculture. He continued to follow it for himself after he had attained his twenty-first birthday. He was very successful in his farming operations, and continued to till the soil until 1884, when he came to Logansport and went into business for J. B. Boss, afterward, in 1886, opening an establishment of his own, which received his undivided attention until 1888, when he was elected to the office of justice of the peace, the duties of which office he is now discharging. He was married in 1878 to Miss Josephine Hooper, of Shelby County, Tex., by whom he has three interesting and intelligent children: Elmer, Maude and Willie. Mrs. Mize is a lady of much worth, and for a number of years she has been a member of the Christian Church. Mr. Mize has always supported the measures of the Democrat party, and socially is a member of the Masonic order. He is one of the enterprising men of this section, and has proved a valuable acquisition to the town of Logansport.
William X. Moseley, M. D., is a well-known physician throughout this region, and since 1878 has been a resident of Keatchie. He was born in Noxubee County, Miss., December 23, 1835, his parents, John T. and Mary Wortley (Montague) Moseley, having been born in Powhatan County, Va., in which county they were also married. In 1830 he removed to the State of Mississippi, but did not bring his family thither until five years later. When a young man he left home, his father being a talented attorney, to go to Richmond, Va., where he worked on one of the leading papers as a printer, but soon after gave up that trade for more congenial work, that of tilling the soil, and afterward turned his attention to mercantile pursuits, then to the banking business, and in later years again became a farmer, the remainder of his days being spent on a plantation, surrounded by his family and many friends. He was a self made man, was highly educated, and was an able financier. He was charitable, kind-hearted and generous, and his death, which occurred in 1883 at the age of eighty-four years, was lamented by all.
From the time he first voted until the last time that he went to the polls he never scratched a Democratic ticket, and was an earnest advocate of secession from first to last. He was a member of the I. O. O. P., and in his religious views was liberal. His wife died also in 1883 at the age of seventy- four years, she being a member of an old and prominent Virginian family, members of which had become celebrated for their brilliancy as educators and politicians and for their bravery and intrepidity as soldiers. She traced her ancestry back to the sixteenth century. She was a devoted member of the Missionary Baptist Church for many years, and as a wife and mother was faithful, loved and retained her fondness for good literature until the day of her death. Although she lived over the allotted age of mortals, she never showed in the slightest degree the ravages of time," and could recite page after page from the best poets. Their union resulted in the birth of ten children, of whom William X. Moseley was the fifth child but the eldest of three sons. He was given excellent educational advantages in his youth, and in 1857 graduated with B, A. degree from the University of Mississippi, after which he at once turned his attention to the study of medicine, and entered the medical department of the University of New York, being graduated in 1859 as an M. D.
He practiced his profession near his boyhood's home until the breaking out of the war, when he was one of the first to offer his services to the confederacy, and was attached to the medical department at Richmond as assistant surgeon in Col. Perrin's regiment. He afterward became surgeon, and being the senior surgeon held that position for some time in Gen. Jackson's brigade, the most of the time being in charge of the surgical wards. Soon after the war he located in Noxubee County, Miss., where he remained until 1872, when he came to Summer Grove, near Shreveport, La., and as above stated in 1878 to Keatchie. He has made his home in this place up to the present time, and has built up an extensive practice both in this State and in Texas. His fame has gone out far and near, and as a consequence he is very frequently called in by other physicians for consultation.
He has never figured conspicuously in politics, owing to the fact that his time has been fully occupied with his practice, but he has always voted for the success of the Democracy, and is very bitterly opposed to the re-chartering of the Louisiana State Lottery. In 1874 he was married to Miss Mary V. Crawford, a daughter of Rev. Peter Crawford, who was a well known Baptist minister for many years, and an educator of decided ability. He was one of the founders of the Judson Institute at Marion, Miss., and was the president of other noted schools in Louisiana and Mississippi. He is one of the men who made Keatchie Male and Female College what it now is one of the first schools in the State. His daughter, Mary V., has been an instructor in this institution for the past thirty years. Her marriage to Dr. Moseley has resulted in the birth of six children: Mary Wortley, John T , William X., Jr., Annie E., Peter C. and Patty B. Both the Doctor and his wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and he is a Royal Arch Mason.
William G. Mosley. Not without justice, Mr. Mosley is conceded to hold a representative position among the prominent and successful men of this parish. He was born in Bibb County, Ga., August 16, 1833, being a son of James and Polly (Leslie) Mosley, both of whom were born in that State in 1800, and there spent the rest of their lives, their deaths occurring in the same year, at the age of eighty-three years. They had been worthy members of the Missionary Baptist Church for many years, and in his political views Mr. Mosley was a Democrat all his life. He was a prosperous tiller of the soil, and on their farm in Georgia they reared a family of four children, three of whom are now living: L. B. (who acted as first lieutenant in Col. Thorpe's regiment, being afterward promoted to captain, and is now a farmer of Taylor County, Ga.), James E. (who was a soldier in the Confederate army, was wounded at Atlanta, and is now farming in Texas), Sidney A. (who was a member of a Georgia regiment, and was killed in the gunboat battle of Charleston, S. C), and William G. The latter was educated in Mount Peter's Springs, Monroe County, Ga., and at the age of eighteen years he commenced to trade for himself, in horses and other stock, but some time after began traveling for Samuel Griswold, of Macon, remaining with him eight months.
At the end of this time he opened a mercantile establishment, at a town which he founded and named Eleanor. Although his means were limited when he first commenced for himself, he possessed a good constitution and unbounded ambition, and as a consequence, he has made life a success. He has been a heavy contractor in lumber for railroad, also furnished beef for the hands while they were working on that road, and has done an extensive freighting business. After selling goods at Eleanor for two years he started west, and located in De Soto Parish, La., being the owner of about 1,000 acres of land in Ward 8, a considerable portion of this being under cultivation, well improved, with buildings, etc. He is at present, getting out timber for his saw-mill, which is in operation at Logansport, its capacity being from 10,000 to 12,000 feet per day.
In 1861 Mr. Mosley joined Shelby's battalion of cavalry, but after a short time, joined the State troops, subsequently joining the regular service. He was detailed, and had charge of a big soap factory, making soap for the Confederate government, and during his service, became intimately acquainted with Gen. Kirby Smith. His success in life has been the result of close application to business, and he fully deserves his present prosperity. June 3,1858, he was married to Miss Mary A. Williams, of Georgia, she being the mother of ten children, six of whom are living: Emma (wife of Cyrus Creach, a farmer, of De Soto parish), Ella (wife of William Creach, of the same neighborhood), John (tilling his father's plantation), Lulu, Beulah and Gen. Lee. Those deceased are: William B. (who died at the age of nineteen years), Ida (who was ten), and two that died in infancy. Mr. Mosley has always been a Democrat.
John H. Nabors, farmer of De Soto Parish, La. This gentleman has been a respected resident of this parish since 1866 and is au enterprising and industrious tiller of the soil. He was born in Shelby County, Ala., in 1827, being a son of James M. and Caroline (Henry) Nabors, the former born in North Carolina in 1797, and the latter in East Tennessee in 1810, their marriage taking place in Shelby County, Ala., where the rest of their lives was spent, Mr. Nabors dying in 1853 and his widow in 1857, both having been members of the Methodist Church for many years. Mr. Nabors was a farmer, a soldier in the Creek War, and for fifteen years was a member of the Alabama Legislature, his last term expiring shortly prior to, his death. He was also sheriff of Shelby County two terms, and socially was a member of the I. O. O. P. His father, John Nabors, was born in North Carolina and died in East Tennessee, where he has lived many years. He was of French lineage, and a soldier in the Revolutionary War and lived to a good old age. The mother's father, Ezekiel Henry, was born in East Tennessee, and from that State moved to Alabama and in 1849 emigrated to Texas, where he died about 1860, having followed the calling of a farmer throughout life, being a soldier in the Creek War.
He was also sheriff of Shelby County, Ala., for some years. The immediate subject of this sketch is the eldest of four sons and six daughters, and he and his youngest sister, who resides in Dallas, Tex., are the only ones of the family now living. He was given the advantages of the common schools in his youth, find in 1847 was married in Shelby County, Ala., to Miss Susan, daughter of John V. and Keziah McHenry, who wore born in Virginia and North Carolina, respectively, and were married in Shelby County, Ala. In the year 1851 they moved to Union County, Ark., where they passed from life after the war. Mrs. Nabors was born in Shelby County, Ala., and has borne her husband eight children, four sons being now alive. In 1849 Mr. Nabors moved to Union County, Ark., where he lived until 1866, alter which he came to De Soto Parish, La., and since 1867 has resided on his present farm, which comprises 400 acres, 250 being cleared, and is situated eight miles east of Mansfield.
In May, 1862, he joined Company G,
Ninth Arkansas Infantry, and during the two year
he fought in Mississippi and Tennessee he too
part in the battles of Corinth, Coffeeville, Port
Hudson, Baker's Creek, Big Black, Jackson an
others. He was then transferred to west of the
Mississippi River and became a member of Company
G, Second Louisiana Cavalry, and operate
in Louisiana until the close of the war, being in
all the fighting of the Red River Valley. He ha
held the office of justice of the peace, is a member
of the A. P. & A. M. and is president of Woodside
Lodge of the Farmers' Alliance. He an
wife have been members of the Methodist Church
since 1846. James W. Nolan was reared to a knowledge of farm life by his father,
James Nolan, and like the majority of farmers' boys he has followed in his
ancestor's footsteps, and is now one of the leading agriculturists of this
parish. He is a native of Wilkes County, Ga., where he was born in 1837, and
until eighteen years of age, at which time the father died, he remained under
the shelter of the paternal roof, . his mother, whose maiden name was Almedia
Florence, having died when he was twelve years old.
father died, he remained under the shelter of the
paternal roots his mother, whose maiden name
was Almedia Florence, having died when he was
twelve years old. The father was born in Virginia
in 1780, being a son of George Nolan, who
was of English descent, a Revolutionary soldier,
and died in his native State of Virginia. The
mother was born in Lincoln County, Ga., in which
State her father, Thomas Florence, was born and
spent his life, being a tiller of the soil. James
W. Nolan was the first of three sons and three
daughters, and received a good education in his
youth at Washington, Ga., also spending one
term in the University of Virginia at Charlottesville.
In 1859 he came to De Soto Parish, La., and farmed until the opening of the war. He was married in 1861 to Miss Mary Fannie, daughter of Benjamin W. and Julia Pearson, the former a native of Raleigh, N. C , and the latter of Camden, Ala., their marriage taking place in Montgomery, of the latter State. They came to De Soto Parish in 1840, the father dying in 1876, aged about seventy-two, and the mother still living, at the age of seventy-three years, a worthy member of the Methodist Church. Mrs. Nolan was born at Fort Jessup Sabine Parish, La., in 1840, and is the third of eleven children, and the mother of thirteen children, ten sons and two daughters living. Mr. Nolan served for a short time in the Confederate army in Shelly's battalion, which was afterward merged into the Crescent Regiment, and hold the rank of sergeant. After the war he spent four years as a merchant of Mansfield, but, has since devoted his attention to farming, being the owner of about 1,800 acres, with 600 cleared. He is also operating a saw, grist-mill and cotton gin, in all of which enterprises he is doing well. He and his wife have been members in good standing of the Methodist Church for a long time, and for many years he has been a member of the A. F. & A. M.
Typing and Format by C. W. Barnum