HON. J. W. PATE. This gentleman is one of the most substantial farmers of Van Buren County, Arkansas, if not in his section of the State, and he has, through his enterprise, intelligence and public spirit, contributed his full share to the magnificent development of the section in which he resides.
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He was born in the county in which he now lives on the Red River, February 26, 1841, a son of William and Lovica (McAllister) Pate, the former of whom was born in Georgia, and was a son of James and Nancy Pate, who were of Scotch-Irish descent. The Pate family settled in this county during colonial days and some of the members of the family were soldiers of the Revolution. James Pate was a soldier in the War of 1812. In 1834 William Pate moved from Mississippi to Arkansas, the journey thither being made by wagon. They made a settlement on Red River and were among the pioneers of the section. The father died in 1854, in Conway County, Arkansas, having been a life-long farmer and successful business man. His wife was born in Holmes County, Miss, a daughter of David McAllister, a member of an old Mississippi family, from which State his father came to Van Buren County, Arkansas. The parents of Hon. J. W. Pate were married in this county and here the mother died in 1879, having become the mother of eight children, as follows: Julia, who is the wife of James Fulkerson, of Erath County, Tex.; Mary A., who died after her marriage to J. M. Waddell; J. W., the subject of this sketch; Uney, wife of J. P. Gordon, of Texas; David, who was killed during the war in Van Buren County, Arkansas, having been a soldier under Gen. Price; William J. is a merchant of Clinton, Arkansas; Dicy is the wife of J. K. Hatchett; Susan died after her marriage with S. H. Bradley, and Sarah, who is the wife of Dr. W. R. Greeson. The family for many years back have been supporters of the Democrat party and the younger members of the family are still strong in that faith.
Hon. J. W. Pate was taken to Conway County, Arkansas, when he was three years of age and in that county he was reared and educated. In 1861 he enlisted in Company A, Seventeenth Arkansas Infantry, with which he served throughout the war, the first year of his service being east of the Mississippi River. At the end of that time he was made lieutenant of his company and his command was then ordered west of the Mississippi River and he participated in the battles of Prairie Grove, Marks’ Mill, Poison Springs, Jenkins’ Ferry, Little Rock, Pine Bluff, and was with Price on his raid through Missouri, in nearly all the engagements of which he was an active participant. At the close of the war he returned home, having surrendered at Jacksonport. Notwithstanding the changed condition of affairs, he at once energetically engaged in farming, and to this occupation the most of his attention has been given ever since, although he has also been engaged in mercantile pursuits in Clinton. He has a farm of 500 acres on a branch of the Red River, two miles from Clinton, nearly all of which is fine farming land. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M., has ever been a stanch Democrat in politics and has represented his county in the State Legislature since 1892. He has always been active in public matters, is decidedly public spirited and has frequently been a delegate to State and congressional conventions. He was married in 1866 to Mrs. America Gordon, a daughter of Samuel Griggs, who came to this county in 1833 from Maury County, Tennessee, and died here in 1861. His wife, who was Fannie Maddox, died here in 1888. They were married in Tennessee and upon their arrival in Arkansas settled on Red River, eight miles from Clinton. Mrs. Pate was born in Van Buren County, October 27, 1842, being one of a family of nine children born to her parents: Felix, who died while serving in the Civil War, in 1863; Nancy, who is the wife of William Hardy; Tennessee, who died young; John, who was killed in 1864; Duke H., who died some ten years ago, a man of family and a farmer by occupation; Samuel, who also died about ten years ago, leaving a family; William is a farmer on Red River. To Mr. and Mrs. Pate six children have been given: William S., who is married to a Miss York, and has one child, James W. (he is living on a farm two miles west of town); Effie and Fannie; Robert and Clarkie are attending school; the other child, Joseph E., died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Pate are people well respected by all and have many warm friends.