MATTHEW SOOTER. He whose name heads this sketch is one of the prominent farmers of Searcy County, Arkansas, for he has inherited the love of the calling which has ever characterized his ancestors and has had practical experience in this line from his youth up.
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His father, Eli Sooter was a Tennesseean, became a resident in Searcy County, Arkansas, in 1825, and until his death was engaged in successfully tilling the soil on Bear Creek. He was called to “that bourne whence no traveler returns ” when the subject of this sketch was about seven years old, and his widow, who was a native Kentuckian, married again in Searcy County and died in 1882. Her maiden name was Stacie Adams, and she was a daughter of Robert Adams, who came to this section in 1822 from Kentucky, and died here on his farm on Bear Creek. The children born to Eli and Stacie Sooter numbered seven and were named as follows: Berry, Robert, Matthew, Edward, Cynthia, Jane and Mary. The mother’s second husband was Robert Waterson, by whom she had four children: Sarah, James, Benjamin F. and Arrella, the two eldest being dead.
Matthew Sooter first saw the light of day in Wiley’s Cove, in this county December 9, 1839, and the early common schools of this section afforded him a practical education. When the war came up he enlisted in Company F, of the Second Arkansas Cavalry, and was a participant in a number of battles that occurred during Price’s raid, and at the time of his discharge, two years later, held the rank of sergeant. He is a Republican of pronounced views and in 1893 his party honored him by an election to the office of county treasurer, an office he is acceptably holding at the present time. After the war was over he located on a farm on Bear Creek, later lived for some time at Wiley’s Cove and in 1882 came to the farm where he now lives, which comprises 615 acres of as good land as there is in the county. He has met with excellent success in this branch of human endeavor, has shown himself to be possessed of excellent business qualifications and as a substantial, law-abiding and public-spirited citizen he has not his superior in the county. The cause of education has ever found him one of its stanchest supporters, and he is active in political matters also, although he cannot be said to be an office seeker. In 1868 he was united in the bonds of matrimony to Miss Mary E. Ashley, a daughter of William V. and Jane Ashley, the former of whom came to this country from New York and died in Searcy County, Arkansas, in 1881, having located here about 1855. His widow survives him. Mrs. Sooter was born in Pulaski County, Arkansas, and she and her husband are the parents of the following children: Martha A. (widow of G. W. Asby), Seth, Hester, Nellie, Jane, Edward, Hugh (who died at the age of three years) and Noble S. Mr. Sooter’s farm is situated about one and a half miles from Marshall and is one of the most fertile and valuable in the county.