CAPT. OLIVER E. HINDES. There are few men in business circles who show as much fitness for their avocation in that they are wide awake, reliable, experienced and energetic as does Capt. Oliver E. Hindes, and there are none who have a more thorough knowledge of the wonderful mineral wealth and fine agricultural lands surrounding Lead Hill, Arkansas, than has he. The Captain has explored the entire mineral region of north Arkansas and south Missouri, and is perhaps more familiar with that field than any other man. He is one of the prominent farmers and land speculators of Lead Hill, and has spent much of his time and means to advertise and interest people in this section.
Capt. Oliver E. Hindes was born November 11, 1836, in Louisville, Kentucky, to the union of Silas and Jane (Bell) Hindes, natives of the Keystone State, where they were reared and married. Later they removed to Louisville, Kentucky, and thence a few years later to New Jersey, where they remained until our subject was about six years old. They then went to the Empire State and there passed the remainder of their days, the mother dying when the Captain was about eight years of age, and the father a few years later. Farming was the latter’s occupation in life, and he was a soldier in the War of 1812. The grandfather, Esau Hindes, was born in Ireland, but at an early date came to America with two brothers and served in the Revolutionary War. He died in New Jersey. Capt. Hindes was one of thirteen children, seven now living, as follows: Susan E., wife of Reuben E. Bishop,of New York; Decatur, who went to sea at an early age and became captain of a whaling vessel; Esther, wife of James R. I. Harrison; of New York; Jane, wife of Alex. Lockwood; Ann, wife of James Thomas, whose father commanded a ship on the lakes during the War of 1812; Abbie, wife of George Hall, and Oliver E.
The latter received a limited education in his youth, and when but thirteen years of age went West to seek his fortune. He was in the Lake Superior country when copper was discovered and made some investments by trading, etc., in the mines. Later he sold out and wandered off southwest, and at Ft. Leavenworth fell in with the celebrated Kit Carson, with whom he went to the mountains. He spent four years with him, was all over the Northwest, and became a famous hunter. He became familiar with the various Indian languages, also with mining, and this experience benefited him greatly. He assisted in raising the first house in Denver, and remained in the mountains until 1861, when he returned to Ft. Leavenworth, where he was engaged in the livery business until burned out. After that he engaged in the saddlery trade, and was an Indian trader for a number of years. From there he removed to Indian Territory, where he engaged in the wholesale and retail saddlery and harness business at Muscogee, and was meeting with the best of success when he was prevailed upon by J. E. Turner and L. G. Gore, capitalists, to come to this section. They had the utmost confidence in the ability and judgment of Mr. Hindes, as to the location of mineral, etc., by his experience in the West, and furnished him a buyer for his business in the Territory.
He then came to Arkansas under their instruction and was soon convinced that north Arkansas was a rich field. He lays no claim to being a mineralogist or geologist, but his wide experience has given him a practical knowledge of the same, and in the fifty-three shafts that he has sunk in the counties of Boone, Marion and Searcy, mineral has been found in every one of them, which he thinks is in paying quantities. He is interested in perhaps 3,000 acres of mineral and improved farm lands, and for eight years has been a resident of Boone County.
For a time he was in Gen. Price’s army and fought at Springfield, Prairie Grove, etc. Later he returned to the mountains, but soon afterward returned to Missouri, where he joined the army as captain of Company H, Eighth Missouri, Gen. Price’s army, and fought at Westport, the last fight in Missouri. In the year 1865 he was married to Miss Sarah E. Smith, a native of Platt County, Missouri, and the daughter of Charley Smith, a native of Ohio, who first came to Missouri, but later moved to Kansas where he died on a farm. Mr. Hindes is a member of the Knights of Honor at Muscogee, and is a prominent and substantial citizen.