Biography of John Bailey Heffley
J0HN BAILEY HEFFLEY. John Bailey Heffey has devoted the greater part of his life to the calling of a farmer and stock raiser, and has met with more than the average degree of success by his industry and good management, accumulating a fair share of this world’s goods. Like other representative men of the county he came originally from Marion County, Tennessee, of which his parents, Philip and Hannah Sharp Heffley, were also natives.
In that State the father died when our subject was about five years of age and the mother afterward removed to Henderson County, West Tennessee, where some of Mr. Heffley’s people were living. Later she returned to Marion County on business and died there, leaving the children orphans at an early age. John Heffley, our subject’s paternal grandfather, was also a native of Tennessee, and was probably killed in the Florida War. He was of Dutch origin, and a practical and successful farmer all his life. The maternal grandfather, Daniel Sharp, was a farmer, and died in Tennessee when one hundred and four years of age. His wife was also quite aged at the time of her death. They were Dutch people. John Bailey Heffley’s birth occurred in 1829, and he was second in order of birth of three sons and one daughter. The others were named as follows: Daniel, a farmer of Big Creek; Catherine, who was the wife of a Mr. Johnson, died in California, and William, who was a soldier and ranger under Gen. McCullough, has not been heard from since. It is thought he is dead.
Our subject was reared by his Grandmother Heffley and an uncle, in Henderson County, Tennessee, and received but very little schooling. In 1850 he came by wagon to what is now Boone County, Arkansas, and took up land on Crooked Creek. There he was married in about 1854 to Miss Mary Jane Bird, a native of Tennessee, who died on Big Creek, Newton County, about 1876. Nine children were born to this union: Daniel J.; Theresa Ann, wife of George Nichols; Alice, wife of William Crincr; John; William Bailey; Philip H.; Caroline, died young; Frank Bird and Job C., all married and living within a mile of the father. In the month of May, 1872, Mr. Heffley was married to Mrs. Martha J. Davis, daughter of John Shular, a native of North Carolina, from which State he came to Newton County, Arkansas, in 1859. His death occurred here about 1870. Mrs. Heffley was born in this county and by her marriage to our subject became the mother of five children: Joseph, Robert Allison, George Mason, Nora Lee and Cora Martha Jane. About the year 1858 Mr. Heffley moved to Texas, but two years later returned to Arkansas, locating first on Buffalo River. The same year he moved to a farm on Big Creek where he has since made his home. He is now one of the stirring, progressive farmers of his section, owns 160 acres of fine land and has made all the improvements. Early in 1862 he joined Scott’s Squadrons, Confederate Troops, and was engaged in scouting in northwest Arkansas until 1863. After that he joined Company F, First Arkansas Infantry, Union Army, and after being stationed at Ft. Smith for a time, came home to look after his family and did not return. He is a Royal Arch Mason, a member of Cave Creek Lodge No.135, and of Jasper Chapter. He and several of his children are members of the Christian Church. Mr. Heffley is a member of one of the first families of the county and is universally respected.