JOHN H. MIDDLETON. John H. Middleton, general merchant, farmer and postmaster at Omaha, Boone County, Arkansas, is a worthy citizen in all the relations of life, and has always been interested in the advancement in the different affairs of his section. He is a successful business man; his generosity keeps pace with his prosperity, and he contributes liberally of his means to the advancement of worthy enterprises, in which respect his generosity has been recognized and appreciated. Mr. Middleton is a product of Bolivar, Missouri, born January 9, 1854, and is a son of William J. and Lovina J. (Beckley) Middleton.
The father was born in Tennessee in 1830, and when seven years of age went to what is now Stone County, Missouri, with his mother, and settled near Galena, on James River, where he remained until the breaking out of the Mexican War. He then enlisted and served all through that war as a private. After his return to Missouri he was married in St. Clair County to Miss Beckley and at once located in Bolivar, where he followed merchandising until about 1856. From there he removed to Linn County, Kan., and engaged in business at Centreville for a few years. In 1859 he went to Pike’s Peak, but about a year later returned to St. Clair County, Missouri, where he engaged in the pottery business, following the same until the next year when he put in a crop. The war then broke out and he abandoned his enterprises and enlisted in Company G, Seventh Kansas Cavalry, and served three years and three months in the Army of the Cumberland with Grant and Sherman. He held the rank of sergeant and fought at Corinth, Miss., Florence, Ala., Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, and many others, twenty-six battles in all. He was never captured nor wounded and was only home on a furlough twice. No braver soldier fought for the old flag or trod the red sod of a bloody battlefield. At the close of the war he moved from Lawrence, Douglas County, Kan., to Linn County, that State, and engaged in business at Linnville, where Mrs. Middleton died in 1866. Mr. Middleton afterward spent two years in Wyandotte County, Kan., after which he returned to Linn County, Kan., and farmed, etc., until 1874, when he made his advent into Boone County, Arkansas Two years later he moved to Tarney County, Missouri, engaged in farming, and there he resides at the present time. He is a man possessed of more than ordinary ability and judgment and is a representative citizen. He has been an Odd Fellow for many years, and is a Methodist Protestant in his religious views. His father, James Middleton, died in Monroe County, Tennessee,when his son, W. J. Middleton, was but seven years of age. W. J. Middleton’s wife died in Linn County, Kan. They were the parents of one son and four daughters. Grandfather Beckley died in St. Clair County, Missouri, in 1866. He was a farmer. His wife died in that county also. The father of our subject is now living with his second wife, formerly Mrs. Martha J. Bryant, and has one son by this union, William. The children born to his first union were named as follows: Maggie, wife of Benjamin F. Miller, of Crawford County, Kan.; John H.; Florence, wife of Joseph Noel, of Crawford County, Kan., and Jennie, wife of Dudley Richards, of Douglas County, Ore.
John H. remained with his father until grown and never attended school more than six months altogether. As his father was unfortunate in business and was left without means, young Middleton was compelled to work when he should have been in the school-room. In the year 1876 he was married in Boone County, Arkansas, to Miss Alice Noel, a native of Johnson County, Kan., and the daughter of Reuben E. and Delila Noel. Her parents moved to Missouri at an early date and from there to Boone County, Arkansas, where Mr. Noel died in 1891. He was a farmer. His wife is still living. To John H. and wife have been born eight children. After living at Kirbyville, Missouri, for some time after his marriage Mr. Middleton moved to Omaha in 1884, took up land, and also engaged in the mercantile business which he has followed up to the present time, doing an annual business of over $5,000. He has 170 acres of land, about fifty acres cleared, and has made many improvements. When he came to Omaha he had $80, a pony and two cows, and what he has since made has been the result of his own industry and enterprise. Mr. and Mrs. Middleton are members of the Missionary Baptist Church.