THOMAS BENTON MUSICK. This gentleman, who resides in James Creek Township, Marion County, Arkansas, has been remarkably successful as a husband-man, and a biographical compendium of the Ozark Region would be incomplete were not mention made of him, for he is a man of much public spirit; he donates liberally to all public enterprises and gives his influence to every just measure for the promotion of the common good. He was born on White River, just below the mouth of James Creek, in 1856,
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His parents, Andrew Benton and Louisa (Locia) Musick, having been born in Cole County, Missouri, in 1823, and in what is now Marion County, Arkansas, in 1825. Both removed to Douglas County, Missouri, with their parents, were probably married there and located on White River, in Marion County, on a place on which very little improvement had been made, but which he in time converted into a fine farm, and on which he spent the remainder of his days, dying in 1874, and his wife in 1867. He was twice married, his second wife being Jane Stout, by whom he had four children. He served the last two years of the war in Gen. Joseph Shelby’s command and was with Gen. Price on his raid. He lost heavily during the war, but these losses he retrieved in a great measure afterward, and fortunately was neither wounded nor taken prisoner during his service. He was a Mason of Yellville Lodge No. 117, was a stanch Democrat politically, and was an active worker for the party. His father, Lee Musick, was born in North Carolina, but removed with his parents to St. Louis County, Missouri, and afterward to Kentucky where he married and spent some years. After the death of his wife he returned to Missouri, and after locating in Cole County he married and spent some years there. Later he resided in Webster and Douglas Counties, but during the war was living in Marion County, Arkansas, where he was captured while at home by some guerrillas, and taken to Springfield. He died soon after in the stockade, a prisoner of war and a homeless old man. He was a carpenter by trade and occupation and was a man of excellent habits and unblemished reputation. His wife died in Marion County during the war.
The Musick family trace their origin back to George Musick, who was picked up a child as the only survivor of a shipwreck on the coast of Wales, several generations back. He was named Musick, because he possessed decided musical talents and grew to honorable manhood among the Welsh people. He married and had five sons: Alexis, George. David, Abraham and Ephraim, all of whom came to America in the early part of the eighteenth century and located in Spottsylvania County, Virginia Thomas R., a son of Ephraim, was born there in 1757 and entered the Baptist ministry at the age of seventeen, but soon after went to North Carolina, where he joined the Colonial Army and served throughout the Revolution. He was twice captured by the British, and had the distinguished honor of being at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis. After the war he removed to Kentucky where he married Mary Martin about 1801, and afterward came to Missouri. He preached the first Protestant sermon west of the Mississippi River. He died in 1843. His son, Dr. Lewis R. Musick, a cousin of Lee Musick, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was a Kentuckian, married Mary Fitzwater, and became a captain of militia, fighting the Indians in Missouri from 1811 to 1815. The maternal grandfather of Thomas Benton Musick, Sylvester Locia, was a Frenchman and was one of the first settlers of northern Arkansas. He died at Buffalo City before the opening of the Civil War. He was a merchant and farmer and Mrs. Musick was his only child, and well remembers the time when Yellville was a Shawnee Indian Village, called Shawneetown. She bore her husband six children: Lavina S., who died young; Sylvester L., deceased; Lee, who died in infancy; Louisa, wife of B. F. Fee, of Yellville; Thomas Benton, and Janira, who became the wife of Benjamin Estes and is now deceased.
Mr. Musick has half brothers and sisters as follows: Nancy A., wife of James H. Bond; Sarah J., who died young; Samantha, who died in childhood, and John G. Thomas B. was reared on a farm with common-school advantages and after the death of his father he took charge of the home farm and faithfully performed the duties of a parent to the younger members of the family. In 1880 he married Tennessee Parker, his second marriage being celebrated in September, 1891, Mrs. Sarah C. Cochran, a daughter of Stemuel and Louisa Jane Johnson becoming his wife. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are residents of Marion County, and he is a farmer, carpenter and blacksmith. Mrs. Musick was born in Boone County, Arkansas, and is the mother of one child
Mr. Musick has spent nearly all his life in the vicinity of where he was born and reared, and is the owner of an excellent farm of 120 acres and has an interest in the old home place of 300 acres. He followed school teaching for some years after he had attained his fifteenth year, and was also engaged in clerking for some time. He and his wife are members of the Baptist Church. He has held the office of justice of the peace for several years and politically has always affiliated with the Democrat party, his first vote being cast for Samuel J. Tilden in 1876.