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Biography of Lewis R. Pumphrey

LEWIS R. PUMPHREY, of the well-known firm of Pumphrey & Cantrell, general merchants and cotton dealers, of Lead Hill, Arkansas, was born in Cannon County, Tennessee, in 1839, to the marriage of Thomas and Margaret (Holt) Pumphrey, also natives of Tennessee. The parents were reared and married in their native State, and about 1839 moved by wagon to Ozark County, Missouri, where they were among the first settlers. There they resided for six or seven years and then moved to Fulton County, Arkansas, where Mr. Pumphrey died soon after. Mrs. Pumphrey then moved to what is now Boone County, Arkansas, where she died about 1859. Mr. Pumphrey was a successful and enterprising farmer and a man of conservative views and habits. He was one of seven or eight sons and daughters born to the marriage of Lewis Pumphrey, who also came to Missouri in 1839, but subsequently settled in Fulton County, Arkansas, where he died when quite aged. He was also a farmer. The maternal grand-father, William Holt, was a native Tennessean, but in 1838 he came to Ozark County, Missouri, subsequently settling in what is now Boone County, Arkansas, where he followed farming and stockraising successfully until his death in 1859. He was a pioneer of the Ozark Region and a man universally respected. His wife died at Lead Hill about 1888. They were the parents of thirteen children, three of whom served in the Confederate Army: R. S., William and James. After the death of her husband the mother of Lewis R. married William Coker, by whom she had six children. Three children were born to her...

Biography of Judge William Keener

JUDGE WILLIAM KEENER. Success in professional life is cautiously bestowed upon people by the goddess, who, in a measure, guides and invariably decorates man’s efforts. And this success is more apt to come because of the pursuer’s genius or adaptability for his calling than from any other cause. This is particularly the case in law, a profession which Judge William Keener’s talents caused him to adopt when starting out for himself. He is now a prominent attorney at Lead Hill, Arkansas, and United States commissioner for the Western District of the State. Judge Keener came originally from the Keystone State; born in Slate Lick Armstrong County, November 30, 1833. The son of John and Sarah (Hetselgeser) Keener, also natives of that State, the father born in 1804 and the mother in 1821. The grandfather, John Keener, was also a Pennsylvanian by birth and passed his entire life as a farmer in that State. He served his country in the War of 1812. His father, Christian Keener, also a native of Pennsylvania, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. The Keener family originated in Switzerland, eleven brothers of that name having emigrated to America at an early day and located in Pennsylvania. Our subject’s maternal grandfather, William Hetselgeser, was a Pennsylvania Dutchman and a wealthy and influential farmer and stockman. He reared a family of fourteen children. His wife’s parents, William and Sarah Beatty, were natives of the Emerald Isle, but came with their parents to America and settled with them in Pennsylvania. The six children born to our subject’s parents, two sons and four daughters, were named as follows:...

Biography of Thomas R. Cantrell

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...

Biography of H. C. King

H. C. KING. This gentleman is the able cashier of the Boone County Bank, at Harrison, Arkansas, which is one of the most extensive banking concerns in this part of the State, and is doing a successful general banking business. It was established March 3, 1886, with a capital stock of $20,000, and R. S. Armitage was made its president, R. F. King, Jr., cashier, and D. N. Fulbright vice-president, but in October, 1888, the capital stock was increased to $50,000, and R. F. King became president, R. S. Armitage vice-president, and H. C. King cashier. The following board of directors were elected: M. L. Aderhalt, William A. Greever, A. S. Layton, Dr. J. L. Sims, G. C. Rhodes, E. J. Rhodes, G. W. Zigler, R. F. King and H.C. King. A new building for this bank is in process of erection in Harrison, and will be a handsome and modern structure, substantially built. This bank does an extremely large business, and during the late panic in banking circles had the entire confidence of the public. The average deposits amount to about $60,000, and the bank, in addition to its general exchange, annually handles some $200,000 exchange for the extensive stock industry of this section. Since the new organization, in 1888, the bank has paid a dividend of 9 per cent., and carries a 3 per cent. surplus fund. H. C. King was born in Boone County January 18, 1855, the fifth of seven children born to Robert F. and Phoebe C. (Orr) King, natives of Tennessee and Kentucky, respectively, who came to Boone County, Arkansas, from Kentucky at...

Biography of Edward Coker

EDWARD COKER. This gentleman is one of the active stockmen of West Plains, Missouri, and an influential and progressive citizen of the same. He is a product of Arkansas, born in what is now Boone County, at Lead Hill, August 30, 1856, to the marriage of William and Margaret (Holt) Coker. The Coker family is probably the oldest in north Arkansas. The mother of our subject was a native of Tennessee, and a daughter of William Holt who moved from Tennessee to Marion County, Arkansas, in the thirties. Mr. Holt was a farmer and a prominent man in his section of the State, and he and wife passed their last days there. Our subject was fifth in order of birth of six children, as follows: Sarah, died young; G. W., a merchant of Lead Hill; Winnie; Sarah and Mary. He grew up in Lead Hill, attended the public schools of that place and in 1875 started out to make his own way in life. He first opened up a store at Isabella, Ozark County, Missouri, and continued in business there until 1881, when he moved to Gainesville. Later he went from there to West Plains, embarked in general merchandising by himself, and continued this successfully for six years. After that he engaged in the stock business, buying, selling and shipping, and is now one of the foremost business men of the place. Fraternally he is a Mason, a member of Lodge No. 327, and Chapter No. 108, and also Commandery No. 48, at West Plains. He has represented the chapter in the Grand Lodge. Mr. Coker has ever been...

Biography of David Magness

DAVID MAGNESS. It matters little what vocation a man selects as his life occupation so long as it is an honorable one. If he is an honest, upright man, courteous in his intercourse with his fellowmen, and possessed of the average amount of energy and perseverance, he is bound to make a success of what-ever he undertakes. One of the most noted and successful firms in Newton County is that of Cantrell, Magness & Co., general merchants, cotton buyers, etc., of Western Grove. David Magness is a native of this State, born in Marion County in 1845. He is a son of Samuel and Almira (Onstott) Magness. The father was a native of the Old North State, born in 1818, and came with his parents to Marion County, Arkansas, at a very early day. There he grew to mature years, received a limited education, and married. A prominent and successful farmer and stockraiser, and an honest, industrious citizen, no man in the county had more friends. His death occurred in Marion County in 1857, when in the prime of life. He was a FreeWill Baptist in his religious belief. His brothers and sisters were named as follows: Joseph, William, Wilshire, Robert, Hugh, Teaff, Elizabeth, Annie, and Jane, who is the wife of Mr. Pumphry, of Lead Hill, the only one now living. Their father, Joseph Magness, came to Marion County in a very early day and settled in Pawpaw thickets, where he improved a good farm, and died many years ago. He was a prominent farmer and stockraiser. The mother of David Magness died in 1875, when fifty-three years...

Biography of John Stone

JOHN STONE. Among the prominent farmers and stockraisers of Sugar Loaf Township, Boone County, Arkansas, stands the name of John Stone, whose fine farm and surroundings show what perseverance and industry will accomplish. Mr. Stone was born in Lauderdale County, Ala., in the year 1829, to the marriage of Noble and Mary (Simmons) Stone, natives of the Palmetto State. When both father and mother were children they went with their par-ents to Alabama, grew to mature years in that State, married, and when our subject was about six months old they removed to Marion County, Tennessee There the mother died in 1850. She was a worthy member of the Methodist Church. Mr. Stone selected Miss Nancy Crow as his second wife, and about 1861 they came to what is now Boone County, Arkansas, where the father passed the remainder of his days, dying in 1863, when over sixty years of age. Farming had been his life’s occupation. In religion he was a Baptist. His father, Solomon Stone, was a Revolutionary soldier. The latter was of Irish origin and probably a native of South Carolina. He moved from that State to Alabama, thence to Tennessee, where he followed farming until his death in 1839, when quite aged. He was a wealthy slave owner and an influential citizen. Our subject’s maternal grandfather was also a native of South Carolina and moved from that State to Alabama and from there to Tennessee, where he died. The following children were born to the parents of our subject: Berry died in Newton County, Arkansas, during the war; Ashley Greene died in infancy; Abra-ham, a...

Biography of George W. Coker

GEORGE W. COKER. In compiling an account of the mercantile establishments of the town of Lead Hill, Arkansas, it is the desire of the publishers to particularly mention those classes of houses which are the best representatives of each special line of trade, and which contribute most to the city’s reputation as a source of supply. As one of the leading representatives of general merchants and cotton dealers, the firm of G. W. Coker & Co. may well be quoted, for the extensive trade they have built up is the outgrowth of enterprise and commercial sagacity. Mr. Coker was born in Marion County, Arkansas, in 1850, and is a son of William and Margaret (Holt) Coker, both born in the year 1821, the former in Marion County, Arkansas, and the latter in Cannon County, Tennessee Previous to her union with Mr. Coker, the mother of Geo. W. Coker married Thomas Pumphrey in Tennessee, and in 1839 came to Ozark County, Missouri, where she remained a few years. From there she moved to Fulton County, Arkansas, where Mr. Pumphrey died. After the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Coker they resided in Marion County, Arkansas, until the Civil War, when they refugeed to Greene County, Missouri There Mr. Coker died in 1865. He was a successful farmer and stockraiser, a prominent Mason for a good many years, and a Democrat in politics. He was a Southern sympathizer, but took no part in the war. Geo. W. Coker’s paternal grandfather, Edward Coker, came with his parents to northern Arkansas when that State was wild and unsettled, inhabited chiefly by Indians and wild...

Biography of James H. Gray

JAMES H. GRAY. Lead Hill, Arkansas, is known as a flourishing town and contains many able and brainy business men, among whom the general merchant takes prominent rank. In this calling few members possess a wider reputation for ability and enterprise than James H. Gray. He was born in Stone County (then Independence County), Arkansas, in 1865. and is a son of John W. and Tennessee (Cornett) Gray, natives of Mississippi and Hamilton County, Tennessee, respectively, the father born in 1836 and the mother in 1844. When young Mr. and Mrs. Gray came with their parents to Arkansas, and here grew to mature years and married. For a number of years afterward they resided in Stone County, Arkansas, but in 1875 moved to Boone County and located in White River where they made their future home. Mr. Gray died on the 9th of April, 1878, in Taney County, Missouri, after returning from a business trip to Greene County, Missouri He was a successful farmer and stock man, and for two years served in the Confederate Army with Gen. Price. He was a Mason and a man well known and universally respected. He was one of five sons and four daughters born to William B. Gray who died in Boone County, Arkansas. about 1880, after a long and useful life. He came here in 1874 and was a prominent farmer and stock man. His wife died in Stone County, Arkansas Both were Baptists. Our subject’s maternal grandfather, Henry Cornett, came from Tennessee to what is now Stone County, Arkansas, in an early day and died there before our subject was...

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