CHARLES R. FULBRIGHT. In tracing back the genealogy of the Fulbright family we find that it sprang from good old German stock. William Fulbright, the great-grandfather of our subject, was a native of the Old North State, and spoke the German language fluently. He married Miss Ruth Hollingsworth and went to Tennessee where he became the owner of a large farm and many Negroes. In the spring of 1830 he came to Greene County, Missouri, with his family, making the trip in wagons; he also brought thirty slaves. He had four brothers who came to Missouri with families: David, John, Martin and Daniel, and from these brothers sprang the Fulbrights. Several of them settled in Laclede County, William being the only one to remain in Greene County, and he settled near a spring near the Gulf Railroad shops. This spring was ever after called the “Fulbright Spring.” He entered a large tract of land, and most of the south part of Springfield is now on that land. The country was open, covered with grass and with large trees scattered about, presenting a beautiful appearance. The country was full of game-deer and wild turkeys. Mr. Fulbright was a practical farmer, which business he carried on extensively, and provided the largely increasing migration which came into the county with farm products. He had one unvarying price for his products without regard to the market prices, his price for corn being 50 cents per bushel. It being a new country, corn was high and often sold for $1 per bushel, but he did not alter his price. Himself and wife were members of the Christian Church. Mr. Fulbright lived to be about sixty years of age. His house was always open to the early settlers and many of them made it a stopping place. He weighed 300 pounds, and was known far and wide among the pioneers. His children were named as follows: Ephraim R., Henry, John L., David L., Wilson, Samuel, William D., Daniel N. and Elkana.
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The eldest of these children, Ephraim R., grandfather of our subject, was born in North Carolina, January 15, 1809, and was about five years of age when his parents moved to Tennessee in 1814, and was a young man of twenty-one when the family moved to Springfield. He was reared a farmer and received but little education, but could read and write and do ordinary business. He married Miss Elizabeth Yount, daughter of John and Abigail (Brouton) Yount. To this union were born eight children: Telitha, Francis A., Henry V., John Y., William W., Abigail, Mary E. and Annie S., all born in Greene County, Missouri, except the eldest, who was born in Cole County, Missouri After his marriage Mr. Fulbright remained in Jefferson City a year or two and then returned to Springfield. There he followed farming on the old homestead until 1862, when he moved to Boone County, Arkansas, where he settled on a farm. He is still living, and although eighty-six years of age has retained his faculties well. He was one of the prominent old settlers before the war, owned thirty Negroes, but lost greatly during the war, his farm buildings and fences having been burned. All through his life he was a peaceful, industrious, law-abiding citizen, and brought up a respectable family of children. His son John Y., father of our subject, was born on his father’s farm, near Fulbright Springs, May 2, 1836, and received his education at Arkansas College, at Fayetteville, Arkansas Later he entered upon his career as an agriculturist and married Miss Martha H., daughter of Charles A. and Louisa Ann (Weaver) Hayden. Mr. Hayden was of an old American family of English descent, and was born in Kentucky. His father was a Christian preacher, and the first of that denomination to preach in Greene County, Missouri, also the first to register in the United States Land Office at Springfield. Charles A. Hayden was a colonel in the Missouri State Militia before the war, has been a prominent farmer and citizen, and is yet living and doing business in this county. After marriage Mr. Fulbright settled on land two and one-half miles west of Springfield, and there he still resides. This is a fine farm of 160 acres, besides which Mr. Fulbright owns 340 acres in Greene County, some of which is near the corporation and valuable. To Mr. and Mrs. Fulbright have been born four children: Lucy, Charles R., Mary and William. Mrs. Fulbright is a member of the Christian Church, and socially Mr. Fulbright is a member of Solomon Lodge of Masons, of Springfield, was master of his lodge eleven years, and was district deputy grand master four years. Politically he is a Democrat. Mr. Fulbright has devoted most of his attention to agriculture and stockraising. He is a member of the State Board of Agriculture, and holds the office of vice-president. He is a man of education, excellent business acumen, stands high as a man of integrity of character, and comes from one of the oldest and best Southern families.
His son, Charles R., subject of this sketch, and a prominent hard-ware merchant of Sparta, Missouri, owes his nativity to Greene County, Missouri, his birth occurring May 4, 1863. He secured a good practical education in the schools of Springfield, and started out in business for himself as a hardware merchant of Sparta in 1886. Since that time he has carried on a very successful business, has a full line of light and heavy hardware, and has already proven himself a competent, reliable man. He is with the Democratic party in politics, and has taken a prominent part in all public matters. He has been chairman of the County Democrat Committee for the past four years, and has been a delegate to all the State conventions since he has lived in Sparta. He is a leader in politics in Christian County. Fraternally he is a Mason, a member of Sparta Lodge No. 296, and an Odd Fellow of that lodge at Sparta. He has held offices in both the orders.
Mr. Fulbright selected his wife in the person of Miss Laura Hornback, a native of Christian County, and the daughter of John Hornback. One child, Maxie J., has been born to this union. The family attend the Christian Church, of which Mrs. Fulbright is a member, and they are leading young people of the county. Mr. Fulbright is an active, pushing business man, has made a good property, and has a pleasant home in Sparta. He is also the owner of considerable real estate. He is doing an annual business of $10,000.