N. J. McBRIDE. With the advance of time, civilization, wealth and population, it becomes necessary that a large number of men should turn their attention to the general mercantile business and make the wants of their patrons their constant thought and study. A gentleman who is engaged in this line and whose reputation for intelligence and integrity materially adds to his success, is N. J. McBride, whose principal place of business is in the town of Marshall, although he is also the owner of well-conducted establishments at Springtown and Snow Ball. He was born in Yell County, Arkansas, September 2, 1847, a son of A. J. and Nancy D. (Hensley) McBride, the former of whom was born in Alabama. He settled in Yell County, Arkansas, and was there killed by guerillas in 1864. He was a farmer by occupation, and a man who possessed many worthy traits of character. His wife was born in Wayne County, Tennessee, and is now living at Snow Ball. She bore him the following children: Abner W., who was a soldier in the Union Army, and died after the close of the war; Martha J., who is also dead; N. J., the subject of this sketch; Marietta, who is living in Searcy County, and Juniatta, also of this county. The mother’s second marriage was to Jesse M. Hodges. To this union were born three children: Paulina E., William P. and L. T.
When a child five years of age N. J. McBride came with his parents to Searcy County, Arkansas, and here he had but few opportunities for obtaining an education. In 1863 he enlisted in the Second Arkansas Cavalry, United States Army, and with Col. Phelps followed up Gen. Price through Missouri, taking part in many important battles. After the war was over he came back to Searcy County, and here followed agricultural pursuits until 1878, when he opened a mercantile establishment in Marshall, which he has conducted with marked success up to the present time. His business so prospered that he later established a store at Springtown and one at Snow Ball, all of which he has operated very successfully ever since. Besides looking after his mercantile interests he is also engaged in farming, and is the owner of a large tract of 2,500 acres of land, of which over 1,000 acres are under cultivation. He is the proprietor of a distillery, and owns a mill at Springtown and one at Snow Ball. In fact, he is one of the wide-awake and enterprising business men of the county, keenly alive to his own interests, but never at the expense of his self-respect or of others. He has had the good judgment to make the most of every opportunity, and as a result he is now one of the wealthiest men of the county.
In 1880 he was elected to the office of county sheriff, was reelected two years later, and in 1892 held the office by appointment, and discharged his duties with the great-est credit to himself. He has ever been an active member of the Republican party, and in the support of all enterprises of a worthy nature has been extremely liberal, both as regards influence and money. He is the largest tax payer of the county. Socially he is a member of the A. F. & A. M., Campbell Lodge No. 115, and Marshall Chapter No. 96, and he also belongs to the G. A. R., McBride Post No. 69. He was married in 1867 to Miss Lizzie Ray, a daughter of James Ray, who was formerly a resident of this county, but has now been dead many years. Mrs. McBride was born in this county and has borne her husband seven children: Toccoah A., wife of Silas K. Looney, of Snow Ball, by whom she has one child, Grace; Emma T., wife of J. F. Henley, of Marshall, who has one child, Eugenia; Noble A.; Martha J.; Hugh D.; Bessie F., and Jacob A. Mr. McBride and his family reside at Springtown.