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THOMAS R. CANTRELL. One of the famous lines of the great play, “The Old Homestead,” is “Young blood tells.” This expression applies not alone to a man’s social advancement, but in business life particularly, where the old men are dropping out and the younger generation stepping into their shoes. In Lead Hill, Arkansas, the younger generation is in the lead in every calling, especially in the mercantile business, a noted firm being Pumphrey & Cantrell, of which Mr. Cantrell is the junior member.
Thomas R. Cantrell was born in Warren County, Tennessee, in 1858, son of Paris and Rosanna (Frier) Cantrell, natives of Tennessee and Missouri respectively. They were married in Tennessee, and just after the war removed to McLeansboro, Hamilton County, Illinois, where they resided for a few years and then removed to Greene County, Missouri, thence to Christian County, and about 1878 settled in Harrison, Arkansas Since then they made their homes in Boone and Marion Counties. For many years the father was engaged in the boot and shoe trade, but he is now engaged in agricultural pursuits. He was a Southern man during the war but took no part. Fraternally Mr. Cantrell is an Odd Fellow. He is a member of the Christian Church. Mrs. Cantrell was a lady of education and more than ordinary ability. Her death occurred in Boone County, Arkansas Seven children were born to this estimable couple, as follows: Merrill J., a farmer of Boone County; Sabrina A., wife of William J. Patterson, of Greene County, Missouri; Thomas R.; Milton C., of Springfield, Missouri; Addie, wife of George F. McCleary, of Lead Hill; Jennie, widow of Calvin Coker, and Howard E., of Springfield, Missouri.
Thomas R. Cantrell attended school about two months after he was seven years old, receiving most of his instruction at home. When twenty years of are he went into the saw mill business with his father for a short time, and then for a few years followed stock trading in Marion County. In 1880 he married Miss Dora Ann Pumphrey, a native a Marion County, Arkansas, and the daughter of Lewis R. Pumphrey. Since removing from Marion County, Mr. Cantrell has been engaged in mercantile business at Lead Hill, and he is a thorough-going and live business man. Through his management the present firm has become one of the most prosperous and responsible in the county. They carry a large stock of everything the people need and are doing an annual business of $35,000 at Lead Hill. They also have a store at Western Grove, Arkansas, under the firm name of Cantrell, Magness & Co., with David Magness as manager, and this house did a business of $35,000 during the year 1893. Mr, Cantrell is certainly a self-made man, for he started in life with no capital, and by his superior business ability and excellent judgment has become one of the substantial young men of the county. He and his partner are extensive feeders and shippers of live stock. Mr. Cantrell is a member of Polar Star Lodge No. 224, Lead Hill, A. F. & A. M.