Goodspeed's Biographies A-B


Goodspeed's Biographies

D. Walter Bass, a prominent educator of Calhoun County, was born at Chambersville. In 1854, the youngest child born to the union of Dr. Bass and Miss Eliza F. Porter, a native of Georgia. His father was a self-made man; he was born in North Carolina, and left home in his youth, and engaged as clerk. In the meantime attending school a few months. He was married in Georgia, about 1835, and resided in Harris County, that State, for a time, engaged in merchandising; then he went to Chambers County, Georgia, in 1839, where he also engaged in mercantile pursuits. He resided at this place until 1847, when he came to Arkansas, settling in Dallas County, in what is now Moro Township, Calhoun County. Here he started a store, the first in the present limits of Calhoun County. The place was soon given the name of Chambersville, from the fact of the people coming from Chambers County, Alabama. Mr. Bass was soon appointed postmaster of the first post office established in this county. Here he lived, doing a good trade for that time, and accumulated quite a nice property. He died in 1853, six months before the birth our subject. The mother died in 1871. Of this family there are now nine children living, and all live in Calhoun County, except the eldest child, Louisa Jane, who lives in Camden. The two who died were twins, and died in Georgia in infancy. The property of this estate was lost from mismanagement, on the part of the administrator, and our subject was reared on his mother's farm. He attended the common schools until the outbreak of the war, when the schools were all closed, and his educational advantage during the continuance of the war, were consequently extremely limited. After his mother's death in 1871, Mr. Bass went to Camden and engaged as clerk. He remained there two years and then came to Chambersville and attended school for one year, and in 1874 taught his first school. In 1875 he re-engaged as a clerk for the first part of the year, then came back and attended school for awhile, and then taught school in the same settlement that he had taught before. On account of bad health, the next year he was compelled to rest. In 1876 he taught his first free school, and then made his home with Mr. Wade, for whom he worked nine months of the year, teaching and remaining three months. He remained here for three years, and since then has been teaching regularly in this, Dallas or Ouachita Counties. At present he owns three farms, consisting of 366 acres, which he has purchased from time to time, all in this county, except eighty acres in Dallas County. He has eighty acres under cultivation, and the balance of the land is covered with good timber. Mr. Bass is an enterprising and progressive young man, and is doing well at his vocation. [INDEX]

A. J. Biggers, one of the prominent farmers and stock-raisers of Polk Township has been identified with Calhoun County since 1865. Soon after his arrival here he was united in marriage to Miss Harriet Joanna Means, a daughter of J. H. Means (see sketch of T. N. Means); he then bought forty acres of wild land, on which he at once commenced improvements, and to which he added fifty five acres more. In 1873, this place becoming too small, he sold it and bought his present farm of 325 acres, one and one-half miles northwest of town, 100 acres of which is under cultivation. Seeing the advantages of stock-raising, he soon turned his attention in that direction and is now engaged in raising horses, cattle, hogs and sheep; he has nine head of horses, among which is a fine Morgan and Norman stallion; weight 1,204 pounds, and is sixteen and one-half hands high, which was always taken the premium wherever shown. His cattle are graded Durham, hogs, Jersey Red, and graded Cotswold, sheep. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Biggers were born nine children, via: May E., Thomas A., James A., Henrietta J., Bob M., Frank M., Margaret, Anna and Lula E. A. J., his wife and M. E. Biggers belong to the Christian Church. Mr. Biggers belongs to the Farmers' Union and is an active and enterprising citizen, at all times working for the good of worthy measures. He was born in Tennessee, in 1841, the sixth of a family of seven children born to Alexander and Margaret (McBride) Biggers, natives of Tennessee, in which State the father followed the occupation of farming until 1855, when the family moved to Missouri, settling in Jasper County. Here they lived until the spring of 1856, when the father went to Tennessee on business, and died on the steamboat. The mother died in Sharp County, Arkansas, in 1884. Our subject was reared on the farm, remaining at home until he was sixteen years, when, upon the death of his father, he began doing for himself, engaging in teaming from Carthage to points north in Missouri. He followed this occupation until the outbreak of the war, when he enlisted in Capt. Pott's company from Carthage, Missouri; was soon attached to Talbot's regiment and sent to Northwest Arkansas, where he participated in the battle of Pea Ridge, also at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, where he was captured; he was soon exchanged and was in service in South Arkansas, but in no more battles. At the close of the war he took up his residence in Arkansas, and has ever since been a worthy and respected citizen of Calhoun County.[INDEX]

Dr. Thomas A. Black, an old and highly respected citizen of Hampton, was born in Dixon County, Tennessee, June 10, 1833, the third in a family of eleven children born to A. L. and Mavel (May) Black, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of Tennessee. His maternal ancestors were English. The Mays were an extensive family of Tennessee, and a number of that family were in the early wars, serving at New Orleans with Jackson. His father moved to Tennessee when about twenty years of age. His paternal grandfather was a pioneer of Kentucky, traveling over the State on hunting expeditions, and was often the companion of Daniel Boone. His paternal grandmother came with her parents from Ireland before the Revolutionary War, and settled in Maryland, where they were compelled to submit to many privations and much trouble from the Tories during that war. Six months after the birth of our subject his father moved to Arkansas, settling in Johnson County, where he entered 200 acres and engaged in farming. He was one of the first settlers in this section, and took an active part in all affairs of the county; he was elected coroner and served for a time as sheriff of that county. He cleared up a large tract of land and made money and became independent. In 1849 he moved to Bradley County, bought a farm near the Moro Bay, and became identified with the political affairs of Bradley County, but would not accept office. In 1858 he sold his farm and moved to Calhoun County, where, in 1859, he erected the only hotel in Hampton, a large frame building, which is still the only hotel in the place and is now owned by his son, the subject o this biographical mention. In 1870 his excellent wife, who had shared the vicissitudes of his pioneer life, died, and in 1871 he married a lady in Holly Springs, Dallas County, whither he removed, and resided there until his death in July, 1886, at the age of eighty-four years. The direct cause of his death was a sunstroke, which he received in 1885, from the effects of which he never fully recovered, and which finally caused his death. He had enjoyed good health all his life. He was a well-known character throughout this section. The subject of this sketch was reared on a farm and attended a private school a few months in Johnson, but when the family moved to Bradley County he had no educational advantages, so at the age of nineteen years he concluded to leave home and seek his fortunes. He saddled his horse and rode to Van Buren, where he sold his horse and attended school as long as the money lasted; he then engaged as clerk in a hotel for six months, and then went to school again until the money was exhausted, then traded to some extent, and came to Chambersville, where he attended school for ten months. Next he went to Bradley County and taught school for one term, and at the same time began the study of medicine. In 1856 he moved back to Chambersville and continued the study of medicine under Dr. William Brooks, at the time an eminent physician in this county. He then borrowed a little money and went to Louisville, where he attended a course of lectures at the University of Louisville, studying privately during this time under Prof. D. W. Yandell. In March of 1857 he came back to Arkansas, settling in Dallas County, and began the practice of his chosen profession. During this summer he married Mrs. Stevenson, who lived only two years, dying in July, 1859, leaving one child, a boy, Andrew L., who is now married and resides in Texas, where he is engaged in speculating. Mr. Black made Dallas County his home until January, 1861, when he moved to Clarendon, Monroe County, remaining there one year. In April, 1862, he enlisted in the Confederate army, acting as assistant surgeon of the Fourth Arkansas Regiment and was stationed at Corinth, where he remained until the evacuation of that place, when he was ordered to Aberdeen, Mississippi, to take charge of the hospital there. He remained at this place until the end of August, and was then ordered to the Confederate camp at Knoxville; toward the end of September they were all ordered across the mountain to Kentucky to join Kirby Smith, our subject going with them. He was then placed in charge of the ambulance train of the brigade, but after a short time returned and established a hospital at Tazewell, East Tennessee. In December of that year he was ordered to London, Tennessee, and was then ordered to join his old regiment, which he accompanied to Murfreesboro. December 25, 1862, he started for Arkansas. In January, 1863, he was ordered to establish a hospital at Camden, Ouachita County, and remained here until November, when the ladies of Calhoun County petitioned that he might be detached and return home to practice there, as there was no physician left in the county. This was granted, and he came to Hampton in November, 1863, and has since made his home at this place. December 25, 1859, Mr. Black was married, the second time to Miss Mariah W. Ford, of Dallas County. She died July 22, 1867, leaving no children. Mr. Black was married, a third time, in February, 1868, to Mrs. Everetts, nee Drake, a native of Alabama. This lady is still living. In 1873 Mr. Black returned to Louisville, where he took another course of lectures, and graduated from the university of that city in 1874. He has always been active, politically, wherever he has made his home, and has done much work for the Democratic party in this county. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, demitted from the lodge and Chapter. He also belongs to the Odd Fellow's organization, and a member of the Wheel and president of the examining board of physicians of Calhoun County.[INDEX]

H. C. Black, county surveyor of Calhoun County, was born in Union County, in 1845, the eldest of two children born to the union of S. F. and Nancy (Dobbs) Black, natives of South Carolina and Mississippi, respectively. His father went to Union County in his youth with his mother in 1839, and resided in that county until 1852, when he went to California, and after one year spent in that State returned to Calhoun County, and at once commenced business in Hampton, in partnership with J. H. Means, under the firm name of Black & Means. He continued in business here until the outbreak of the war. Between 1860 and 1865, he was mostly in Texas and Alabama. in 1865 he returned and made his home with his son, our subject, until his death in 1887. The mother died in 1882. our subject was reared mostly in Hampton, where he attended the common schools until the outbreak of the war, when he enlisted at Hampton in a company commanded by his cousin, O. H. P. Black. They left Hampton in February, 1862, and went to Northwestern Arkansas, where they joined the Fourth Arkansas. He was in the battle of Pea Ridge, then to Corinth, Mississippi, Iuka, and the next spring went into Tennessee, and took part in the battle of Richmond. In November, 1863, he was discharged on account of youth and returned to Calhoun County. He soon joined a Texas company and was in the Trans-Mississippi; was in the battles of Pleasant Hill and Mansfield. His company was surrendered in Texas in May, 1865, and he came back to Calhoun County, and for some time attended school at Hampton. Then engaged in the grocery business for about two years. In 1868 he purchased a farm of 160 acres, on which he lived for two years, when he sold it and bought another farm. He lived on various places until he purchased his present property in 1886. His farm consists of 480 acres of land, 280 acres of which is good timber land, and the balance (200 acres) is under a good state of cultivation. His principal crop is cotton, and he averages one-half bale to the acre. He takes an active part in politics and votes with the Democratic party. In 1890 he was elected to the office of county surveyor, and is still serving in that capacity. He takes a deep interest in educational matters, and is one of the active and enterprising farmers of this section. He was married in 1868 to Miss Tabitha Raiford, daughter of Robert J. Raiford, one of the pioneer settlers of the county. To this union were born seven children viz: Frank, Carrie, Henry (died at the age of twelve years), Effie, Mannie, Charlie, and Lula (who died in infancy). The family are all members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.[INDEX]

William Francis Brandon, M. D., of Moro Township, Chambersville post-office, was born in Bedford County, Tennessee, November 23, 1824. His father, Francis Scott Brandon, a farmer and Methodist preacher, was born in Halifax County, Virginia, in 1804, a son of Francis Brandon, Sr., who was born in 1756, and was a soldier and officer in the Revolutionary War, under General George Washington. The Brandons were of English and Scotch descent. The father of the subject of this sketch was married in 1822 at the age of eighteen, in Virginia, to Miss Elizabeth E. Stanfield, a native of Halifax County, Virginia, born in 1804. This Union was blessed with fourteen children - seven sons and seven daughters - only two of whom, our subject and a brother, are now living. Mr. Brandon, Sr. died in 1852, in Haywood County, Tennessee and his wife died in the same county in 1870. Our subject was the eldest of the fourteen children, and was raised in Tennessee, where he resided until 1850, receiving a good education. In 1846, he began teaching school, and followed that occupation until 1850, when he left that State. He then came to Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where he taught five months. Dr. Brandon began reading medicine in Henderson County, Tennessee, in 1847, under Dr. John H. Dickinson, and in 1851 he began the practice of medicine at Plum Bayou, Arkansas. He practiced his profession almost exclusively until 1874, since which time he has not been engaged in active practice. He practiced from 1852 to 1870, in Bradley County, when he moved to Hampton, Calhoun County, and in 1871 purchased a farm of 400 acres, about seventy of which are under cultivation. Dr. Brandon was married in 1851, to Miss Martha Drake, great-grandniece of Sir Francis Drake, by whom he had one child. She died January 5, 1852, and August 12, 1852, Dr. Brandon was again united in marriage, this time to Miss Hearnsberger, of this county, though a native of Georgia, by whom he had eight children, two of whom are now living, viz: Francis S. and William H.. Politically, Dr. Brandon affiliates with the Democratic party. He was formerly a Whig, and cast his first vote for Zach Taylor. He is a member of the Chambersville Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Dr. Brandon has been successful as a physician. He is a good honest citizen, highly respected by all, and justly worthy of esteem accorded him.[INDEX]

Jacob Bull The short sketch which here appears is that of a prominent farmer of Dallas Township. He owes his nativity to Virginia, born in 1810, the third in a family of eleven children born to the union of William Bull and Ann Turner, the former a native of North Carolina and the latter of Virginia. His grandfather, on both sides, Martin Turner and Jacob Bull, were soldiers in the Revolutionary War. In 1818, when our subject was eight years of age, his parents moved to Caswell County, North Carolina, and in 1834 came to Alabama. Here, in 1835, the father died, and four years after he was followed by his wife. Our subject was reared and schooled in Caswell County, North Carolina, attending the common schools of that State. In 1831 he went to Alabama and remained there until 1850, when he came to Arkansas and settled in what is now Calhoun County, on the place where he now resides. He purchased 320 acres, slightly improved, and to this he has added until he now owns 405 acres, 300 acres of which he has cleared. In 1851 he erected the first store-house in Hampton for O.H.P.Black and in 1858 he was appointed as one of the commissioners to build the courthouse. January 9, 1840, he was married to Miss Eliza H. Means, a native of Tennessee. She died July 4, 1852, leaving five children: Rufus H. (died in 1862), William (died in 1881), Edward (married and resided in Texarkana), Isabella (married and living in Texas), and two died in infancy. In 1852 Mr. Bull was again united in marriage, this time to Miss Masaniah Wood of Bradley County. She died in 1862 and left three children: Evanna E., Carter and Jacob A.. Mr. Bull remained single until 1867, when he was married to Miss Fannie Barfield, by whom he has four children, viz: Sallie (died in 1873, at the age of five years), Harriet, Jennie and Mary. Mr. and Mrs. Bull are worthy members of the Presbyterian Church, while most of the children belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Mr. Bull is a member of the Masonic fraternity.[INDEX] [Next Page]