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It is a pleasure to chronicle the history of a man whose life has been one of honor and usefulness, and although he is considerably past the zenith of his career, Mr. Tracy has accumulated sufficient means to enable him to enjoy most thoroughly the comforts and conveniences of life and the society of his numerous friends. Although he has attained the age of sixty-six years he still keeps up the active and industrious life that brought him in such substantial rewards, and many men much younger than he display less activity, mentally and physically than does Mr. Tracy.
He was born in Spartanburg District, S. C., in 1828, the son of Nathaniel H. and Polly (Henry) Tracy, who were also born there and were there reared and married, but they afterward moved to Georgia and from there to Arkansas in 1851, and located on the farm which is now owned by the subject of this sketch. It was at that time quite a heavily timbered tract of land, and a road had to be hewed out of the forest to the house. The father, a thrifty farmer, greatly improved his land by clearing and building, and in time became well to do. He held the rank of major in the State Militia, was for many years justice of the peace and was an exceptionally useful and substantial citizen. He died at the age of sixty-five years while visiting in the Old North State, prior to the war, and his widow died in Arkansas after the war. He had been a member of the Baptist Church for about five years before his death, but his wife was a member of the Presbyterian Church from the time she was twenty years old. To them five sons and three daughters were given, but the subject of this sketch is the only surviving member of the family: James, the eldest held the rank of colonel, by appointment and died during the war; William, was captain of his company was on duty east of the Mississippi River, and served throughout the entire war; John, was also in the army, and eventually died in Anderson County, Tex.; Henry, the youngest brother died in Baxter County, Arkansas, while serving in the Confederate Army. The daughters were Nancy, Sarah and Polly Ann.
The boyhood days of Nathaniel G. Tracy were spent in Murray County, Ga., but in 1851 he became a resident of Arkansas. He and his father and brothers Henry and James first went to the Indian Territory, but were not pleased with that section and then came to what is now Baxter County, Arkansas, and made a location on Big North Fork. By hard work they cleared the land, got the soil under cultivation and made many improvements in the way of buildings and fences, and this tract of land which now comprises 400 acres, is exceptionally fertile and is considered one of the best farms in the county; 150 acres are under cultivation and yield abundant crops. In June, 1861, Mr. Tracy joined Shaler’s regiment of Arkansas Infantry, C. S. A., and later became a member of what was known as Fristo and Tracy’s Regiment of which Fristo was colonel and Mr.Tracy lieutenant-colonel. The latter was a participant in the battles of Ironton, Augusta, Big Blue, was all through the Missouri raid, and was a participant in many skirmishes and engagements of minor importance. He was paroled at Jacksonport, Arkansas, and returned home to find all his property had been swept away, but, nothing daunted, he at once set about the work of rebuilding his shattered fortunes, but for some time had all he could do to keep the “wolf from the door.” He was obliged to hunt in order to supply his family with necessary provisions, but gradually times grew easier and he began to lay by something and to improve his place, with the results above mentioned. He was married in Georgia to Miss Martha Ann Gray, who died in this county eleven years ago, having become the mother of eight children, seven of whom are living; two sons and five daughters. June 25, 1883, Mr. Tracy was married to Georgia Ann Hand, of this county. He and his present wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, he is a member of Mountain Home Lodge of the A. F. & A. M., and in his political views has always been a Democrat. His walk through life has been characterized by the most honorable business methods, by his charity to all mankind, and by his unbounded public spirit, and he is with justice regarded as one of the most useful citizens of Baxter County, Arkansas