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ZACH T. WASSON, Point Peter, Arkansas Of that sturdy and independent class, the farmers and stockmen of Arkansas, none are possessed of more genuine merit and a stronger character than he whose name stands at the head of this sketch. He has risen to a more than ordinary degree of success in his calling, and wherever known is conceded to be an energetic and progressive tiller of the soil, imbued with all those qualities of go aheadativeness which have characterized his ancestors. He was born at the old homestead, a son of Eli Jackson and Angeline (Vorhies) Wasson, natives of Indiana and Tennessee, respectively, their marriage having been celebrated in the last mentioned State. They afterward drifted westward for the love and excitement of adventure, and Mr. Wasson chose this wild canebrake for their abode. Like the most of the early settlers of Searcy County, he was particularly fond of gunning and the enchanting melodies of the deer hound, and almost numberless were the deer and bears that fell at the command of his flint-lock rifle. Occasionally this beautiful dream was disturbed by a prowling redskin, but as the iron heel of civilization advanced and the hunting grounds of the savages were changed to waving fields of grain, the dusky sons of the forest ceased to be an annoyance.
The Wassons settled in Searcy County, Arkansas, fifty years ago, and at the end of two years settled on the farm on which the subject of this sketch now resides, which place they greatly improved. Mr. Wasson’s death occurred July 30, 1868, and that of his wife July 20, 1875. In addition to following agricultural pursuits Mr. Wasson was also engaged in blacksmithing, and was a hard-working, industrious man, honorable and straightforward in every particular, and everyone was his friend. He did not take any part in the late war, when the States were undergoing their terrible conflict, but enjoyed the quietude of home life. His manner of speech and sympathy for the Secessionist stamped him a true Southerner. Thirty years ago this now beautiful heritage was a Confederate camp for one-half mile up and down the valley, for there the campfires of Comodura’s army of 15,000 glittered like so many fire-flies at night. As a memento of this General, Mr. Wasson has in his possession a large key, which presumably belonged to Comodura’s safe. In the pioneer days of Searcy County the Wasson place became widely known as a kind of country inn, and Mr. Wasson performed the duties of host to many a traveler. He was an active Democrat in politics. The children born to himself and wife were as follows: Mary I., wife of William Drewry, of this county, born in 1838; Webster W., residing on Bear Creek, was born in 1846; Zach T., was born in 1848; Millard, was born July 23, 1856; Eli C., was born April 20, 1859, and is residing on Richland Creek; and Elvira, born March 7, 1854, is the widow of George W. Campbell.
On the farm on which he now lives, Zach T. Wasson was reared, but on account of the Civil War he received but little mental training. March 14, 1872, he was married to Miss Lavina F., daughter of Col. John and Ann Campbell (see sketch of C. H. Campbell), who came from Tennessee to this locality during the early history of this section and settled on Calf Creek, where Mrs. Wasson was born. She and Mr. Wasson have two sons: John Campbell and Oscar Dinsmore. Mr. Wasson’s estate comprises 246 acres of fine farming land, situated on Richland, surrounded by fine mountain scenery, in one of the most delightful and equable climated regions in the State. The nearness of the mountains, with their rich verdure of wild growth, affords exceedingly fine pasturage for stock, and his place is one of the best improved in the way of buildings, fences, etc., in the county. To the south is a terminus of the Boston Mountain range, which rises up sublimely against the sky, and a public highway winds to the summit, whence a fine view can be had of the Buffalo River region, a beautiful stretch of mountainous country, which reminds one of the waves of the sea with its graceful undulations. Mr. Wasson inherited a portion of his property, but the most of it has been obtained through his own efforts, and he has every reason to be pleased with the success of his labors. He is of German-Irish descent and in personal appearance is tall and commanding. The expression of his face is resolute, and the fire and patriotism of his pioneer ancestors burns brightly in his keen black eyes. He is a member of Point Peter Lodge No. 358, of the A. F. & A. M., and politically has been a lifelong Democrat, his first presidential vote being cast for Horace Greeley in 1872 and for every Democratic candidate since that time.