MAJOR HARRISON H. HILTON. The gentleman whose name heads this sketch is one of the prosperous old-time merchants of Arkansas, and is one of the pioneers of the section in which he resides. He has fought the hard battle of life bravely and well, has bent the force of circumstances to his will, and although he began at the bottom round of the ladder, he has attained an enviable place at the top through sheer force of character. He was born in Ashe County, N. C., in 1826, a son of Christopher and Josephine (Wolf) Hilton, who were born in Rockingham County, Virginia, their marriage taking place in the Old North State. After residing there for some time they returned to their native county in Virginia, where the father died in 1831, at about the age of sixty-five years, having been a farmer throughout life. The mother died in Monroe County, Tennessee, and Harrison H. Hilton is her only surviving child, a daughter having died many years ago.
At the age of fourteen years the subject of this sketch came West and began farming on the Arkansas River, near Clarksville, Johnson County, Arkansas In 1850 he took up his residence at Bellefonte, Boone County, where, in 1861, he organized the First Arkansas Battalion of Confederate Cavalry and was at once given the rank of major. He served until captured near Marshfield, Missouri, in 1863, and after being kept a prisoner at St. Louis for a time was paroled. During his service he was on scouting duty the most of the time. At the close of the war he went to Independence County, Arkansas, where he made his home three years, then moved to his present place of residence, where he has been actively employed in trading in land, farming and merchandising. At one time or another he has owned nearly every good farm from Mountain Home to the river. He assisted in the organization of Baxter County, and in 1889 was elected to represent the county in the State Legislature, and discharged his duties in an intelligent and praiseworthy manner. In 1880 he opened a general mercantile store at Gassville with W. H. Russell as partner, after which he kept a store at Colfax for a few months, and at Lone Rock, Baxter County, for five years. At the present time he owns about 1,000 acres of Baxter County’s best farming land. Upon his arrival in Yell County, Arkansas, he had 60 cents in his pocket, three days’ provisions, and a wife and one child to support. He secured employment at $12 per month, and by hard work and economy, in the course of time, succeeded in gaining a competency. He has always been temperate in his habits, has taken proper care of himself, and for a man of his years is wonderfully well preserved. He was married in Hamilton County, Tennessee, to Betsey Houser, who is still living, and they have one daughter, Mary A. V., who is the wife of William H. Russell. Maj. Hilton and his wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and he has been an official and a minister of that church for over forty years. He belongs to the Spring River Association, was a member of the White River Association, and took an active part in establishing the Baptist College at Mountain Home. He is a Royal Arch Mason, is master of the Blue Lodge, and also belongs to the I. O. O. F. Politically he has always been a Democrat.