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J. R. Lindley was born in the state of Kentucky, in the year of 1824. His parents moved into Dade County, Missouri, in the year 1835 when J. R. was only 10 years of age, where he grew up into manhood.
Filled with the spirit of adventure and fired by the stories of the wealth of California, he made an overland trip to the Pacific Coast in the year of 1840, traveling with an ox train and being four months on the road. He remained on the Pacific slope for three years, returning to Missouri he engaged in driving stock from Arkansas to the state of Kansas.
He was a soldier in the Confederate Army and served under that entrepid soldier Gen. Joe Shelby and took part in many thrilling engagements in the war. He settled in Hopkins County after the war was ended. He owns large tracts of land and cattle on many hills and valleys. By reason of ownership he is enabled to pasture his cattle and his mules upon his own possession.
He married Miss Emily daughter of David Rountree of Missouri. Ten children were born to this marriage. Their names and order of birth are: John D., a bachelor, who by the practice of rigid economy has amassed a small fortune; Addie is the wife of Edwin Brooks, a kindly disposed prosperous citizen of the county; Joseph Sidney married Miss Gifford, daughter of Thomas Gifford; Miss Florence married John N. Cox, a gentleman of noble birth who will be most pleasantly remembered for many years as the big hearted county clerk of Hopkins County. They have only one child, a daughter, Miss Myrtle, whom they are giving every advantage; James C. is also a bachelor, and is succeeding quite well; Miss Bettie is single and lives at home with her parents, she has many friends and is quite popular in society circles; Miss Ruthie married Dr. W. E. Kennemur, a young physician of scientific attainments being admirably fitted for the profession he is prompt and systematic in his habits, neat with his work, kind and obliging in disposition. Leonidas is dead. Miss Mattie married Lee Bridges, an industrious, per-severing business young man of good blood, the name Bridges has ever been prominent in the county. Miss Pearl is a nice, sweet young lady, possessed to amiable qualities and a lovable disposition.
Mr. Lindley is a zealous member of the Christian Church and an ardent Sunday school man. He takes pleasure in relating an amusing incident that occurred with himself and a Negro boy in an early day near Sulphur Creek bottom. He had a lot of cattle that from neglect had become wild and were unmanageable. On this occassion he took this Negro with him to hunt up one of the wild animals and slaughter it for beef. They found the cattle and shot one of the largest in the flank so as to wound it in such a manner as to be able to secure it. In driving the wounded steer out of the dense thicket to an open point in the timber, it showed a disposition to sulk; the negro dismounted, leading his horse and attempted to drive it on foot, the animal stopped under the shade of a large oak tree and as the negro advanced upon the steer, in the twinkling of an eye, like the crack of doom, the ox sprang with all the ferociousness of a tiger upon the horse, killing him instantly and al-though the negro was well armed he cast his arms away and ran for a sapling hard by. He had just gotten out of reach of the steer when he lunged with all the power and force that was in him against the- small tree and broke it off at the root, it fell and lodged in the forks of a small bois’d’arc tree.
The Negro hanging on to the falling tree frightened and alarmed out of his senses, Mr. Lindley heard a muffled voice in the distant which sounded lonely, sad and melancholy, it was the negro repeating the words: “Oh Lord have mercy, Oh Lord God, Lordee, Oh Lord, Oh Mr. Lindley do run here. ” Mr.. Lindley ran with all possible haste and shot the brute dead, the Negro was relieved but it is said that he turned gray by the next morning.