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There are lines of business in which good management is everything, and to this essential merit, coupled with large experience and accurate judgment, is due the success which has attended the mercantile business of W. C. McBee, of McBee’s Landing, Marion County, Arkansas This wide-awake man of affairs is a native of Mississippi County, Missouri, where he was born August 25, 1848, to S. E. and Lucy (Blackburn) McBee, both of whom were born on Kentucky soil, the former being of Irish lineage, and descended from one who fought for the Colonial cause in the Revolutionary War. S. E. McBee removed to Missouri during the early history of that State, but in 1857 became a resident of Marion County, Ark:, and took up his abode at what was known as Talbert’s Ferry, where he made his home for many years, dying in the neighborhood in 1875, after having spent a useful and honorable life as a farmer and stockman. In antebellum days he was a Whig in politics, during the war was a stanch Union man, but after the close of hostilities he gave his support to the Democrat party, and supported its men and measures up to the time of his death. He was a member of Yellville Lodge of the A. F. & A. M., and became well and favorably known throughout Marion County. His wife died in 1873, after having borne him two sons: W. C., and Vardrey, a resident of Baxter County, Arkansas
The early life of W. C. McBee was spent in attending the common schools of this county, and being a young man of an ambitious turn of mind he started out to make his own way in the world at the age of twenty years, and for one year clerked in the store of J. L. Carson, of Springfield, Missouri He then returned to Yellville and entered the store of Berry & Ellenburg, in whose employ he remained for some three years. He then, in 1872, entered business for himself as a druggist in Lead Hill, but he later gave up this calling, and once more entered the employ of J. H. Berry & Co., with whom he remained two years. At this time he was united in marriage with Matilda A., the daughter of Judge W. B. Flippin, after which he moved to McBee’s Landing, and for several years was quite extensively engaged in the purchase and sale of livestock, which business he found both profitable and pleasing. With the idea of bettering his financial condition, he returned to Yellville in 1879 and for six years thereafter was in business with A. S. Layton, as a general merchant. When this time had expired Mr. McBee decided to follow the same line of business at McBee’s Landing, and he opened a well appointed store here in 1885, and as he has always carried a reliable class of goods, which he disposes of at the lowest possible prices, he has built up a patronage equal to almost any in the northern part of the State. He occupies a recognized position in mercantile and business circles, is full of progressive ideas and public spirit, identifies himself with the interests of his section, and, in fact, is a beau ideal citizen. He has a tract of land comprising about 500 acres and some rich river bottom land of 270 acres, all of which he manages, and he is also engaged in boating between Batesville and Lead Hill, his steamboat, the “Myrtle,” having a tonnage of thirty, and the barge “Sandy,” which she tows, has a fifty-ton capacity. He is an active Democrat in politics, was elected county assessor in 1878, and has been a member of various conventions. He is in every sense of the word a self-made man, has a beautiful residence at McBee’s Landing, of which place he is the postmaster, and there he has control of the ferry and operates a grist mill and cotton gin in addition to discharging his other numerous duties. To his first marriage the following children were born: Cora E., Ernest C., William V., Maud A., Victor and Myrtle. The mother of these children died in 1889, and for his second wife Mr. McBee chose Miss Winnifred, daughter of Bradford Norbury, of Greene County, Missouri, and by her has one child, Lucy. Mrs. McBee was born in Springfield, Missouri, and is an intelligent and amiable woman.