Driver family article from 1 July 1936 Courier News

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Driver family article from 1 July 1936 Courier News - WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 1036 BLYTHEVILU'], (ARK.)...
WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 1036 BLYTHEVILU'], (ARK.) PUCES IN Their Founders, Unrelated, Were Both Leaders in Last Century The paternal ancestors of Mississippi Mississippi county's two Driver families, families, James D. Driver and John B. Driver, occupied adjoining farm!\ just sottth of Osesola and reared (heir families, there. Though files? two men could find no trace of kinship Ihetr descendants have intermarried. intermarried. John nl Driver and Jellic Driver, Driver, son of James D., married sb- Icrs. tlic daughters of Capt. Charles Bowei), the third sheriff of Mississippi Mississippi county. Mrs. John B. Driver was the oldest' daughter of Cupt. nowon and his first wife, white Mrs. Jcltlc Driver was t'ne youngest youngest daughter of Hie second marriage marriage of Oupt. Bowcn. Mrs. John B. Driver had reared a family of eight children when her young sister sister married .Joltie Driver. To fuifner complicate this large I family and the line of dcscsml- nnls. Saville Driver, daughter of James D.. married her llrst cousin, Jolni L. Driver, son of her father's brother. E. Spencer Driver, the brilliant Oscsola attorney, is t'ne son of this branch of Ihc Driver family. When Minerva Tennessee, second daughter of James D., married B. P. Hale, four of the llrst families nf Osccola—the two Driver families, families, Ihe Bowcns and I'nc Hales— were united by marriage. This tie has been strengthened by the inter-marriage inter-marriage of later generations. Wild few exceptions the second and third generations of the Jamas D. Driver family have remained true to their ancestors' pursuit of agriculture, while the descendants of John B. Driver 'have leaned more toward political careers. Congressman Congressman w. J .Driver, son of John B., held many county and state offices before his election lo congress. James 1). Driver anil Family. Abram and Saltie (Demoss) Driver Driver came to Arkansas in 1834 when their son, James D., was four years old. 'fhey wnrc drifting along the river on a flatboal. in uiiich they had come from their Tennessee home, when n wind blew it against the bank Rt council Bend in Crit- tcnden county. Abram discovered Ihe land to be particularly rich Iherc and so_ lie purchased a farm for a horns, paying the gov2rnment 51.25 an |acre for it. lie bough! 1,000 acres. He livc<i here with his family uijjtil ,hc jtiicd in 1845. His wife contjiAicd' farming until 'nci cieath in (154^),. {vhen the childrer began moving and the family bs- came scaltered. James D.-Driver had not had the 'educational advantages of- his brothers, so he continued to farm, going to Phillies county and back lo Lauderd'ata county, his father's old Tennessee home. He purchased land and lived fncre from 185B to 1812. when he came to Osccolu and bought the old Harding fuim two miles soulh of Osccola. He' had suffered financial reverses in In- vesttng his share of his father's estate In slaves, which made him turn to land as the safest Invesl- jnent. Mr. Driver set about clearing his land for cultivation, by cuttiiiR the timber into cordwood and selling it lo steamboats plying t'ne Mississippi Mississippi River at that timo. He Is said to have sold wood to Mark Twain wlion he was a pilot on one of Ihe Iwats, Mr. Driver acquired between 14.000 and 10,000 acres of land during during Ills lifetime, 11,000 of which was in Mississippi county, 3,500'under cultivation. He was one of IVic largest Individual land owners in Ihc stale at lhal time. Mr. Driver married Miss Sarah Gillespie of 1/iuderdalc county Tenn., In I860, and lo them wcro born the following children: John Lee, who died at liis age of 18; May, died in infancy; Abncr, Ml- ncrva Tennessee (Mrs, B. P. Hale) dead; Jiimes Skcllon, Saville (Mrs. J. L Driver) dead; William Walter, dead; Edward Ely, dead; Jeltie DeMoss, DeMoss, dead; Martha May, died In infancy, and Lillian (Mrs. V. P. Rowland) living in Hot Springs. Mr. Driver died in "1905 at the age of 75. while his wife survived him 13 years. Mr. Driver's keen foresight prompted him to remark lo 'nis sons lhal they woulil live to sec the day when they could nol pay taxes on the land he left to them. He was considered one of. if not the wealthiest planter in Mississippi county, and its largest taxpayer. Ely was I'he first child worn on Ihe old plantation south of Osccola, and his son Ely jr., was born In the same room /.where his father was born. Twenty-nine grandchildren grandchildren are today living in Osccola and sever.il ' great grandchildren. Probably one of the most successful successful business women of Osccola. is Mrs. Jessie Driver, widow of Ely. At her husband's death his oldest son Eiy jr., was nine years old and the youngest child an Infant whic'n died. Mrs. Driver has reared Hires sons nnd two daughters: Ely jr., who is now president of the Driver Gin, whic'n he operates. Bonnie Jean, (Mrs. R. H. Kendrick) Lindsey Lindsey DeMoss, Donna riac, anil William William Walter. John II. Driver and Family. A younger man by several years than his neighbor James D. Driver, John B. Driver also established his homo just south of bsceola where he reared his family of eight children, children, while Mr. Driver pursued farming on a large scale, he. was more widely known as a man' of affairs and politics, and was the leader in a number of Improvements Improvements which took place during the last half of the last century. Born in Amcricus, Ga.. in 1846, lie grew to manhood in Arkansas. His father, Samuel Driver, came io the slate In 1853 and settled Jackson county, where he bought land and resided until his death. It. was on this farm that John B. Driver; learned : j the rudiments ."of farming. In 1870 he married Miss Margaret Bowcn, daughter of Capt. Charles Bowen, and two years later lie established his home south of Osceola. Mr. Driver first. appears in the affairs of the county in 1872, when he \vas elected s'nerill. He was the sixth sheriff of the county and was re-elected three successive terms, serving in all six years. His interest interest and popularitj' caused him to serve In nearly every office of the county, in 1880 he was elected state senator from hts district and served four years, in 1888 'no was elected circuit and .county court clerk, which he held for several years. Mr. Driver was a pioneer in inducing citizens to grant right of way lo the first railroad In the county, and was Inslruincutnl in drafting and having passed the bill for I'nc building of a levee along the Mississippi Htvcr. He wns (lie second president of Ihe Si. Friin- cls Levee Board. He organized, with associates, the American Building and Loan Company, that is opsrated in Memphis. He was a member of the constitutional convention In 1874 at which the constitution of Arkansas was adopted. adopted. Though extensively engaged in agricultural pursuits, extending hi- holding to 2,500 acres of land In Mississippi county, he served in many unoniclal ways and gave his time lo furthering the Interest and development of Ihc county. For a good many years he has made' his home in l.uxoru, an( i tViough he has recently recovered from n severe illness, he is loday a familiar figure on the streets of Luxora, talking to old friends. His keen Interest In the affairs of (lie county has never waned. He has Just celebrated celebrated his 90th birthday, alert and alive to the progressive developments developments ot the day. Mr. Driver Is t'ne father of eight children. One, the Hon. willUun J. Driver, congressman from Ihl! dislrlct, has served In that capacity since 1920, Ills oilier children are Charles S,, dead; Margaret, dead; Susan (Mrs. A. G, niw), John B. Jr., Oarland, dead; Grovcr C., and Trances (Mrs. J. S, franklin I. Congressman Driver, like his fa- llicr. has followed n political career. career. He received his early law training in [he ofllce . of Ihc late Judge G. W. Thomnson, one of Osccola's leading lawyers. Ho WHS admitted lo Ihe bar in 1904 and engaged in Ihe practice of tow until until 1917, w'licu he was named judge of (he second judicial clr- cntl, serving eight years. Prior lo Hint he had served in the Arkansas Arkansas House of representatives during during 1897-99. lie is married and has one son, William'J. jr., who looks after his father's real estate Inlcr- esls in Mississippi county. THE - ' World progress learned he could travel of' wheels he ventured Through the country the early until the white man its wake new settlements 1 , • • .-,... Transportation, in 'civilization into territories agricultural development. But it remained modern country. The highways people extended

Clipped from
  1. The Courier News,
  2. 01 Jul 1936, Wed,
  3. Page 37

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  • Driver family article from 1 July 1936 Courier News

    nick – 28 Apr 2013

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