The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on July 1, 1936 · Page 33
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 33

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, July 1, 1936
Page 33
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WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 1936 BLYTIIEV1LLE, (ARK.) COURIER N 1CWS A Review < SECTION D PAGE: i - Hislor y and of the Leaders Ammg . Its Seuhrs Compiled and A.sse.nblrd | )y ()*,„• Fen.ller from Various Rwonls and Early Historical Publications Do Solo First White Man to Tread the Soil of This County Founder of Blylheville lllstomns' who attempt to give n detailed .account of t'ne history of Mississippi County, Arkansas ure not ns fortunate as historians who have written nbout the prehistoric days In Egypt, India and Gabylon. There are Indian mounds In this section of the country but no pyramids or ancient cities whlcvi contain records of the early times. When you attempt to speculate about the very distant past ol this region, you must examine the natural surroundings. Prominent geologists who have delved Into these .source materials believe that ceu- luries ago the aulf of Mexico extended far northward into the United States, probably to t'ne present site of Cairo, Illinois. Gradually the Arkansas, Missouri Ohio and Mississippi Rivers carried the fertile soil along their banks into this Qulf and formed t'ne huge delta; of which Mississippi counts is now a part. De- Solo Visits Chickasaws Not so many years ago Indians roamed the woods which covered most of Ihis county. Less than 400 years ago Hie first white man trod upon this soil. He was a Spaniard named De Soto, who led a bold, adventurous group of men in search of cities of gold. He robbed Indian tribes in Alabama and Mississippi anil moved on. He crossed the Mississippi jjiver near Memphis in May, 1541. If we are to believe the account of the late H. M. McVeigh, of Osceola, De Soto and his men followed tile river northward to where Barfleld stands. An Indian village existed at that point on the river. Indian mounds used to stand near Bar- lield but the Mississippi River on moving westward washed them awny. De Soto pushed inland to file Indian village of casqui, which stood on Pemiscot Bayou. Indian mounds on the western city limits of Blytlicville still mark the location of that village.- The Casqui '(or Cnickasaw) Indians had settled little stream in the 15th cen- •this tury. They erected a large earthen mound which still stands, near Blytheville city limits, "Chickasaw Mound." Contrary to general belief, lYiese mounds were neither burial centers nor places of safety lo which Indians fled In times of . floods; They were Indian temples upon which,! the natives worshiped • their gods..fLlttle is known about their religion, but more fnan likely the Chickasaws were nature wor- ' shippers. They were q iwaceful tribe of Indians and in excavations made around Blylheville no spears. weapons or other instruments have been found, as in graves of other Indians. .The only domestic utensils were pottery aiid clay pipes. To thesc'rcd men DC Soto was a great white god. He probably had no need to steal from them because ihcy readily b?slowed all Iliclr gifts upon him. .A historian'! nnd 'his pnrly relates how the Indians worshipped De SolOj They had been suffering from a droulh during the entire spring of 1511 and they begged Ds Soto to pray lo his god for rain. ,pe Soto arranged for his priests to erect huge wooden crosses and to pray to Je- 'hovah. Rain soon fell and saved the crops. When the-Spanlards left CaEmii village the 'Jnila'ns loaded them down with gifts on account of ihls miracle. The difiry or log of one of De Solo's men contnins/*- nn account of De solo's visit lo the Paclia village. This Is probably the Indian village t 1; at existed on the northern shores, of: Big Lake which De soto visited after lie left Casqui. Under toe date,; June 19, 1541, "It wfe a vary great town walled, and bese't wllh' towers and many loopholes were in '[he towers and walls." "And In the loyin was a great store of old maijte. Where the 'governor lodged w»$ ft. great lake, that canie near linlo the wall, and entered Into a ditch .foal went around about.the town.'' The writer also talks'-about fishing, "Irom the lake to the great river was made a wear, by which t'iie came to it which the catcher for his recreation and sport." 'There was another fish ''called the peel fish; it had a snout of a cubit (18 or 20 inches) long; and- In the file fishT her kept river there were some 150 paunds in weight and manv, of them were taken on I'ne hoblt." Coin Found Centuries. Lalcr Even during this present century we have, had evidence of De Solo's visit to Mississippi 'county^ In 1903 farmer out vast-'of Blytheville several miles plowed up an old coin and brought it to town: No one mew .what it was. They sent it off lo a collector for classllicalion. It proved to be a rare coin, a five franc piece with a date. 1500. Although the French explorer; Mar- quelle, probably vlsiled Barflsld in 1673 on his trip down the river, it is .unlikely that a coin of 1500 date fi-eu with dense toivsts of collon- wood. gum. elm. hickory nnd nsh' and other timber. )>nrl ol Ihe land was covered with water during overflows lo a depth of one to ten feel and was occupied by cypress breaks. Hardy pioneers, including David crnlghciul, Jacob McClavock. Clinrles liowen, and ofiiers, Imd vis-1 ited this section nnd had reullzcil the vuiue of (his 1 b;r and the soil upon which it slood. An rahy I'laiilers Views scctlon of men of Ms A "' ei1 ™ occasionally David cr'tilgheiul brought his young sou. Jiiine K. Cralghead, to his plantation' In this county. Jumcs was gradu- Unlvcrslly ol r from the would have, been 'in circulation More probably'some £panlsf| Hroop- er with De Soto lost It'.ori'his trek across the country only to Jipe a farmBr unearth' it-while . plowing Bomfj'four cerituries'.iater. we now leave Ds soto and his followers as they .depart 'from Oasqui, Pacha and 'Mississippi county to search for those fabulous cities of £old the Eldorado at t'nc end of the rainbow. He neve'r 'realized Jijt the soil upon which he .Iramps'd in Mississippi county would some day be more valuable than any' 1 -city of gold. First Permanent Settlers Came Early In 19th Century With the passing of the Spanish,, kansas and would suffer not only (he Indians lived in pea'ce for [much expense but nlso the incon r many years. During tho Eight- j venience o"f .transferring their land 'Ilie Rev. Henry P. Blythe, pioneer p-eac'.ier and fainier, who played i major role in the early history of Blytheville and in whose hmor the city is named. ' diately nftcr t'ne murder he fled.: ally found ftlm nt. Ihe foot of Duf- Thc while population, proclaimed; falo island in this county and that they would hold the entire < killed him and brought his body Indian Iribe responsible II they did ' back to the while settlement to pre- not produce' "Little George" with-; vent any hard feelings between the in a certain time. The Indians fin- | white 1 people and themselves Osceola, Seat .of Government, and Some of Its Early Leaders The county seat of 1833 when Ar- iceola Hornets." He wns in t'ne Bnt- eenth Century French traders and - trappers possibly visited t'ne Indian villages at Barfield and Cas- oui to buy furs from the natives. t Father James Marquettc, LnSalle. DeTonti, Charlevoix, and other traders, missionaries and explorers passed along the river boundary of Mississippi county. But there Ls no knowledge of a single clearing for farming purposes owned by any •wtiitc man in this entire county during the 18t'n century. When President Jefferson negotiated foi the purcliase of Louisiana territory Irom Napoleon Bonaparte in 1803 there were very few white people . in all Arkansas. Arkansas was under control of Missouri but liad her ^ own lerrilorial government and legislature. ' In 1836 she was admitted I to the Union and now 100 years later we are celebrating our centennial anniversary in commemoration of t'ne occasion. Citizens of Mississippi county are particularly interested in one phase of the state's admittance to the Union—the reason for the failure to include Mts- •* souri's "heel" wilhln the borders of Arktin! Some stories have been lold about an eccentric woman who just refused to live in Arkansas, she is alleged to have heard about the wild razorback hogs of Arkansas . Ihe dreadful swamps and various atrocious tales collected by Thomas J. Jackson nnd to have pleaded and begged that her home remain in Missouri until she persuaded sympathetic surveyors lo draw the boundary line around her farm. Investigation, however, shows that the reason for the present territorial division was one of convenience. After 1803. the United stales government set up land offices along the rlyer, one at New Madrid, another at Helena. All settlers 'nad to go land 1836 the higher territory around Ca-. mlhersvUIc. Missouri wa.s quite well settled and claimed by pioneers who had obtained their Brants from the New Madrid, Missouri, office. If the boundary line had run castward*lo I'ne river, Ihese folks \v6uid °e 1" "'e state of Ar- to these offices to obtain grants and patents. By- records to'Helena. They had also established business connections at New Madrid whltfn was 100 miles nearer to their farms than was Helena. They petitioned to have the boundary line moved southward to the 36lh parallel and t'ne petition was granted as'it should have been. The Hunters Came First first two white settlers this county of whom there is any knowledge were William KellumE and a man named Carson. They were hunters and lived and hunted peaceably with the-Indians. Carson Lake Township and Kellums Ridge took their names from thsse men who lived here as early as 1812. about wfoich time the country was visited by the terrible New Madrid earthquakes. Other white men of prominence among the earliest set- llers in this county were the Bracklns. John Troy, for whom Troy Township was named, Thomas J. Mills, first representative who has direct descendants . now- living near Osceola, • Edwin Jones, first county judge. E P. Lloyd, first sheriff. G. C. Barfield, first county surveyor, aftci whom Barflcld Point takes its name. John c. Bowen, the coim- tv's second sheriff; and James (Cedar Jim) Williams. In addillon to hunting and trapping, the principal occupation of these early pioneers was chopping and selling cordwood to steamboats. One of the first little stern-wheel slcamboats. "Orleans,'' came down the river from Pittsburgh In 1812. These hearty, Industrious men cut the wood and supplied It to the river boats. The Indians continued to live in this county in their little villages as lale as 1861. They occasionally cultivated a little corn and a few vegetables but depended mainly on fishing, hunting and trapping for a livlntr. There were occasionally a few Indians' who gave the olo- ncers some trouble. One Indian named "Little George," killed a white woman up near Jackson, M 0 It is reported that he had been hired by someone who was interested in an estate, to which kansas wns a . territory'--was the plantation home of Peter Reeds.. In 1836 a commission consisting of- John C. Davis. .John Buckner, Edwin Jones, Losty McLang and.Fred- erick Welter, selected the small village of Osceola to be Ihe county seat. Osceola of tile earliest settlements In this territory biiUe.xisted for many years as a small collection of lints oil tlic river .bank. j. w. DeWitt was one of its earliest postmnslers. He was also Ihe first school leacher in Ihis county.and taught somewhere near the present northern limits of the town. .'It'was incorporated for the first time January 12, ' 1853, and again in' November 1875. There was no' public building in Osceola until 1882 v/nen a 'two-story frame court house was erected. Tn 1913 the county . built 'the present courthouse. T'ner'e was not much-need for a public building or courthouse in ITie early days when the mosl Important cares on the court docket were neighborhood troubles over a hog or a cow, with an occasional indictment of country bays who were caught playing "Old Sledge" in some out-of-the- way rendezvous. Drinking was a rare vice. People were quite sober and remarkably Industrious. Wealthy : Ue of Belmont antt also at Shiloh where lie left the battlefield with only seven men. Hu raised another company In this couuty and continued until the end of I'ne war. Afler tliir war he helped to sellle negro trouble in this county the. as well as engaged in aclivilies in bclialf of Ihe county. W. J. Bowen, son of Caplain Bowen, was born In this county Where he remained .ill'his life and engaged himself as an active farmer. He atlendcd the school taught by John-w.'DeWItt, the first teacher in the comity.. Mr. Dewitt lived ;in a little .shanty.' built from old steamboat lumber and since 'nc was also Ihe postmaster he keot the post ofliije in an old cracker box into which he would throw the letters without sorting them. Anyone who wanted His mail would go look into, the box, Inke it all out, look It over and return what he didn't want. It seems lliat Dewitt was quite a man for his' bottle and inat at limes lie would go out upon a regular spree. Hy Dugout lo Dance In those good old days the ated from liie Nnshvlllc and lute. school of Harvard University ill 1817. Afler Ills father's dealh he came lo this counly lo live upon the plantation. He didn't fnrm his lands n s mnny others did but he rented out his place In small tracts of twenty and thirty acres to aboul forty families. 11 is interesting lo examine his views upon t'ne labor question In I'ne post,century: "One grent drawback lo ll|e prosperity of this section of the country Is a greed for land which possesses mnny men who hold 'Hundreds of thousands of acres more than they can possibly use and still hunger lor more. There Ls, however, a wiser feeling on the subject Biul mnny are dividing or contemplating dividing up t'iielr surplus lands and selling lliem oul on long time to permanent seniors. AS n large portion of the residents and workers of Mississippi county are negroes I wlio are nomadic, restless and ir- j responsible. It hus been found that the bcsl way lo mnke Ihls ijcople staid and rcs|Kctablc is to make them landowners. As soon ns one of fills peoplt settles as the owner of n bit of land, he gives up his nomadic habits and becomes a law respecting citizen. The writer' thinks | after more than sixty years with I colored people, as" the owner of slaves and the employer of freed lien t'nat the safely of Ihe south depends upon civilizing these peo- [)Ie not simply by educating the children but mainly by giving the people an Interest In Ihe country as landowners. As an experiment it Is perfectly safe, u a man owned 10.000 acres of uncultivaled Inntl nid sells out one-half of il to small auycrs sly in forty or eighty acre tracts, giving long time for payment, he can not possibly lose anything; If file land Is paid for, well nnd good, if It Is not paid for II reverts to him and his heirs in an improved condition partly^ cleared houses, fences, etc., upon it, and In condition to yield revenue-whlch It hnd never-done before. As a merely hireling or laborer, African or w'nitc.. a man is the enemy ot, or at lenst Antagonistic to. the landlord, nnd hostile to law, which he presumes Is made for the benefit of the latter, but the moment he ouys land, 'ne becomes a landlord himself, nnd ranges himself on the side of law nnd order, it would be well, not only for Mississippi county, but.for the State at large. if two-thirds at lenst, if not nil the men living therein, owned lands of their own and cultivated them." Mr. Cralghead .wns undoubtedly negro with gourd fiddle would be propped up in one corner of a small jog cabin; for the pleasure of dancing, young men would go upon horse back for 25 miles farmers lived quietly at 'name, rais- to "dance all night until broad day- ing crops of cotton and corn. Oth- light and go home wit'.i the girl ers made a comfortable living cut- in . the morning." Some would ting and selling cordwood lo the take a. morning." yoke of Some would oxen, ft itch . , steamers. Plantations along the them to a cart, and mnke a two river were nt first very far apart i or three days trip out of a parly but gradually extended along the j The story Is told on Captain Bowcii banks until they touched one an-; t'.iat on one occasion he left Osce°'her. In^ 1882 in order to insure j old with a young lady in a du?' out to go up the river lo narfiefd, about 25 miles, to a dance, and on account of some hard luck both of a deep water channel at low wnlcr stages the federal government dyk- ed file river In front of Osceoln wllh the result that an island formed before the town. After llial Osceola was no longer situated directly on the Mississippi river There were quite a number of fine People who lived cither in Osceola or on plantations near I'ne liltle village. Space will not permit n detailed deseriptlon of very many of these but something should be told about these early pioneers. Charles'Bowen a Leader them were spilled out of the boat. Mr. Bowen was equal lo the emergency, however, and after swimming to the Siorc with his lady friend he relumed to the dugout, saved his saddle bags and other parcels which he brought to t'ne shore In fairly good condition. They again entered their dugout nnd went on up the river to the dance. Young fellows ot I'nat time were about as mischfevous as those to- One of tile most prominent of da y. There Ls a slory of a camp these early settlers wns Caplain I meeting at Osceola over which n Charles Bowen. Clem C. Bowen, | revivalist nicknamed "Old Stormy' Present postmaster of Osceola. is I presided. The ptistor had ridden a son of the deceased Caplain. His \ from Big Lake upon n mule anc grandchildren include sucti promi- j had lied it to a tree while Vie was expounding the'gospel to his listeners. Some of the young fellow; tied a beehive to the mule's tal and sent It flying through the camp grounds. This prank broke up the camp meeting and filled "Old Stormy" with righteous and Justinabl wrath. D? v !<i Cralg'ncad was born near Nashvlle, Tennessee, and practiced law there. In 1834 he came to this county and purchased i large block of land which he turne< Into a large plantation with the help of slave labor, but he continued to make Nashville his home The United States government as early as 1824 had offered for sali »cnt citizens 0s Congressman W. J. Driver, Charles S. Driver, Grover Driver. Mrs. Sue Brown, Mrs. FrAii- kie Franklin, james D. Driver Charles B. Driver, Mrs. Marguerite Shippen Bowen Haney, Arthur W Bowen, Mrs. J. H. Hale. Mrs. J. C. Olllison, Jeltie Driver, clanientlne Bowen, Buddy Bowen, Billie Bowsn. Captain Bowen was born in Tennessee, Jackson county, in 1814. When he wls H years old, his family moved to Mississippi county and settled for a short time on I'ne river at Barfield. Point. They later moved down to the territory near Osceola. When the Civil War broke out he raised a company in this lady wi»« heir to'kn h r °° Unly am! wns « lecled "» captain. I much.of this land In Arkansas a laay was n,n heir, to kill her. Imme-1 His men called themselves the "Os-141.25 per acre. The land was cov- Ihe past century. In audition to his unlverslly and legal trulnliiK, he Inter studied in ixindon, Knglund. and In tho University of 1,','lpslg Germany. . Lawyer aiiil Historian The Honorable H. M. McVeigh was n practicing attorney in Os- ccoln for a number of years, \\v tiro Indebted to him for part ol t'ne early history of this section of Arkansas. Mr. .McVeigh was born In I-MiKiulcr .county, Virginia, hi 1839. Ills parents .were not able lo send him lo college nnd he wns a self-educated man. . lie worked In newspaper oltlccs and while engaged as n local edllor he sluilluil law. At tho oulurcnk of the Civil War, although lie lived In northern Missouri, he adhered to the Ideas of nil Virginians that his slate, just as any sovereign or king, "could do no wrong." We Joined the Confcd- ernle troops under- General T. Harris of norlheust Missouri and wns acllve In I'iie Confederate service during Ihc enlirc war, -After Hie close of the wnr he cnmc to -Ar- kniiEas lo practice In our courts. He married a unlive of Ihls county In I8C». Miss Susan -Fletcher, llio daughter of Col. Elliott H. Fletcher. His Influence In Oscoola nnd surrounding territory Is revealed by t'he part Hint he played' in 1812 during nil outbrenk nmong the ne- groes. About Tivc hundred armed I negroes' had invnded the Town of I Osccolo mid threatened lo burii nnrt destroy the llllle villngc. Mr. McVeigh Is snld to have mounted n platform In front of the store, call- ifte rebellious negroes around htm nnd talked to them about p?nce nnd order. Alter about fifteen minutes of S]«aklng, he put It to ti vole ns to whether , they should peaceably disperse nnd go home They voted In t'ne alllrmatlve ami within a half hour the town was clear of all of these -rioters.. He served In the slate legislature lor scvernl years and wns ncllvc In obtaining (he passage of bills not only In Ihe Inlercst of 'ills district but also for the enlirc slnlc. He wns also prosecuting attorney for Ihli Judicial circuit. Undoubtedly Mr McVeigh was one of the most Influential men yho lived in Ihls slnlc Soldier and Teacher James F. llwlclell. Confederate soldier. niombei of the stntt laturo mid leader In educational nnd religious activities was oiu of tlic oiitslnndliiK citizens of the Chlcknsawbn dlstilet fiom WO ulitil his deiilh. Tie lur-jhl Ihc first school In Urn \lclnltj of Bljlliesllte during the past century. Samuel Spencer Semmes was the cider son. of Admiral Raphael Scmmcs. ' He enlisted In Ihc Con-' federate service and fought In the battles of Shlloh,, Murtrcesuoro, iCIilckamnuga and Atlanta. .HO 'came to I'.ils county In 1874. Admiral scmmes, his father, was quite renowned in the- history of the Confederacy. He had been in the United Slates navy since he was fourteen and resigned his commission to .join the Confederate forces. Everyone Is familiar with ills services as commander of Ihe slenmm "Slimier" and "Alabama." His son, about whom we are .now writing, did honor lo his father'n name .by his active parllcljialioii In public life of his community. His strong will soon won lilm a leading pluce in the Osceola bar and the people showed their confidence In him by electing him their county judge. ycnrs. lie came to Hint town in 1882 and began business with n small capital of about $150. WIt'.lin ten years he had one of the b°sl mcrcnnllle businesses In lhat city ns well ns a brnnch slorp nt\Bly- Ihevlllc. Possibly Ihc.lending dru|!- t'lst In Osceola wns Benjamin II Bacchus, who came to f.ils counly in 1BU8. lie also spent part of his time In political life nnd served ns county surveyor, clerk of the supreme court, clerk ol the county nnd probate courts, recorder and | mayor of the city of Osceola. Unit Harness Shop During the days of uiigglre nnd other, liorce-drnwir vehicles, the community wns proud lo possess a skilled saddler and harness maker ns M. o. Cnrlwrlghl, w-ho was engaged In Hint business in Osccola. Mr. Cnrtwrit*l had eiitblod in I'm Civil War in 1801 and served with Lee's army from its organisation to the surrender. He was in the Baltics of Roanoke island, Chancellorsville mid Wilderness. He surrendered at Appomnlox .with Gen- crnl Lee on April n, 1(105. lie came to Osceola In lauu and engaged as a farmer until 1870 when he started file first saddlery nnd hnrness- mnklng shop in bscc-oln. I'ay ns You I'lcasn Thomas B. Crnlghend was nil- other practicing lawyer In Oscc- Immigrant Girls Supplant Slaves On Cotton Plantation Dr. p. o. Mr.Gavock lived in the southern part of t'nis county where he was the owner of a large plan- barrel of whiskey in which lie would dissolve a few ounces of quinine was issued to these young lation.' His .grandparents had come women nt the rate of three drinks to America in TT.e early ITOQs and settled in Virginia, where his father was born. His father, Jacob McGavock, left Virginia w'nen lie wns 22 and went to Nashville, Tenn., to serve as a united states circuit clerk. He held lhat office when the Civil War broke out. When the federal troops took Nashville, the doctor's father was arrested for high treason and was only released when Judge cation, then a Justice of the United States Supreme Court, came to Nashville to testify that McGavocfc had turned over his clerk's books to the united States Intact, having hidden them in a cellar, while other clerks allowed federal officials to deslroy llielr books and records. Irish Girls Make Crop Dr. McGavock came to Ihis county after the •yar. He was a competent manager and was active both In his medical practice and In his farming pursuits, it is said that he was one of the first to demonstrate that collon could be successfully cultivated with w'nitc labor and that even women could be brought from sections of different climate to work In cotton fields without Injuring their health. When the freed negroes wandered around t'ne Southland, refusing to assist the planters upon the farms, men like Dr. McGavock had to figure out ways in which to have tholr fields cultivated, cotton was In demand nnd sold for 10 to 90 cents a pound. The doctor went to New York and hired over fifty Irish girls from 14 to 25 years of age for a term of one year at $20 and board a month each. It Is reported lhat with the aid of these sjirls he made a net profit of $45,000 that year upon his land. It is Interesting to learn about how he watched over their health and comfort while they worked for him. He had a large dining room, in which were served meals prepared by the ola. He was a bachelor and Is said of two drams each at sjKclfled Intervals during the day. He had a private infirmary with a skilled nurse, but this was seldom used and only one of the Irish girls died during the time they worked for him. The doctor also had n Catholic priest come to attend to their spiritual welfare. A few years later he went to New- York and secured over fifty German men. He also hired eighteen Chinese men In Chicago for one season but (hcse were enticed away. Establishes Nursery The doctor was Interested In the various vegetables and trulls thai could be grown In Mississippi coun- ly. When iie first came here lie established a nursery for fruits and flowers and experimented in numerous vnrielics t'nat grew In other secllons. He raised 'apples peaches, plums, pears, apricots nectarines, cherries, figs, almonds i English walnuts, filberts, grapes' and other fruits. He had a large number of hives for bees. He also raised with great success various vegetables, oats, rye, wheat, millet, buckwheat, tobacco, peanuts. Irisli and sweet potatoes, .clover, timothy and all sorts of garden produce. He was Interested in improving the breed of cattle in the counly and imported a fine Jersey bull from England and had upon his planlation over one hundred head of the finest Jerseys In tile state. From all reports, the doctor was one of the most progressive men who lived in this county before the twentieth century. Andrew B. Young was a native of this county. He was born in the Chlckasawba district in 1844. He also saw service in the cause of the Confederacy and participated in a number of battles. After the war he bought a tract of land near Osceola and was active in Its management. N. L. Avcry was an acllve mer- to hnve been n man of very slmnlc Insles. He was quite plain In his habits, nnd lived In a log cabin on a small fnrm on his plantation, wit'n very few associates. From legendary sources it Is reported U'lat Mr. Cralghead was never known to collect n bill for legal -services nl- though lie was ciulte active in the legal practice. If a client pai:l his fee, it was nil right; If he dkln'l. Micro was nothing said. He was elected ns state senator before the war and was so popular with his fellow legtslalois that they named tho new county then 'just form&d after him of which counly boro Is now Ihe leading cltj J. D. Driver Is leportcd to luue owned one ot the most beautiful homes in this section nf Ihe conn- j Ivy during the pisl centun Hi's I, resilience was beiutltully situated i facing die rUer His Uwn mul { buildings bhowed unmistakable eu- t deuce of taste and refineni"nt ' Those who visited him have lold i about Ihe iinmuisc foiest of trees r of sycamo.e box elder and elm which surrounded tlic dvcllln, ns well ns innnj \arletles of ornimcn- lal slirubbe'ry. ' John B Driver, the fairer of i Congressman W J Drliei v»«s actively engaged n farmei tor many years near Oscsola. ills pai- cnls came to, this county before the wni and bought several Inrge tracts of land Mr DrUcr seiveil as n public official in \arlous capacities such is sheriff for Unee successive term's, slale senator, circuit. and county court clerk. • The Hulr family was also active ly engaged both in fanning ind In the mercanllle business' at Osceola Win. p Hnlc J p K Hale and Franklin Bird Hnlc were nil actl\c in, the civic and public life of Os ccola and Mississippi counts Olhcr pioneers who ll\ed durin» the past century and wire prominent In the life of Osceola. both from a business and public viewpoint, were Gideon R Brlckey merchant R w rrlcnd farmei at Pecan Point B"njimin r Butler, W. H. Grlder firmer R L joiner/ farmer and W C Kin ' doctor. at ricnc'nmans Bavou, i/l- ward J McG-uock firmer J D Qutirl, j w Rlodes, i, n Kojell John w U/7CI1 Wm r William'. nil prominent agriculturists in- nnd around Osceola during the . hlrfe; tecnth century, district were along file Mississippi Blylheville, traveled by boat from Nashville to Memphis and stopped at what was then known in 1842 to Barfield to make Iheir home. At that lime t'nere already on his farm. His son, Thomas H. Robinson jr., was serving under General Forrest. He was wounded and came to the plantation to re- . . , , r • — " -j — •• — •«---., ".•" u>t «, mci- iiuu tiituL- uj me yianuiiion ro re- Dcsl cooks whom he could hire. AI chant in Osceola for a number of ciipernte. Here lie met Mary A Huffman, Hicknian, Barfieid Among Earliest Settlements The southern end of Mississippi • Wagonner i dauehter of Jam-; A counly had been settled much ear- j Wagonner and mimed h°r it, Bir- llcr than t'ne northern portion. ] field In 1869 They moved to Bly- much of which wns covered with t'nevllle soon after At Ihit time lakes, swamps and forests. Trie i there wa<, no town but oily a store early settlements in what was lat:r I and a few houses surroundnu to be known as the chicknsawba «....•---... .... = nlylhcville vs. Cooktawn " Henry T. Blythe. born in Vir- rlver or near the present sites of gtnla in 1816 hid co -I" to Arkin- Hickman, Huffman and Barfield. j sa s in 18o3 and Idat-d on Crooked Steamboat captntns used to stop at i Lake in this county He cleared these river landings for cordwood, about sixty acres and built a home just as they had frequented Ihc lit- In which he lUed for about lui tie town of Osceola. James A years. He and F M Mo'clu 1U r Wagonner, grandparent of Mrs. c. | were partners and bousnl n tract E. Crlggcr and other citizens of of land upon which the town ."of Blytheville was built. In 1880 -ha laid off n small portion for a village which was named in his honor. as Alice Port, later to be called i He was ippoint»d first Barfield Point, for some cordwood. j and sencd for about nine icirs He When they had disposed in Mem- I also was a member of the st it" 1--- phis of the products t'nal they had iislaiure Mr Blvlh- wis qult^ act- brought with them, they relumed | ivc in Ihe work of Ihc Metlio-liit Episcopal church and was instrumental In building In BIylhevilh a lived in Barfield such old settlers structure which was named afltr ns Dr. l-vrring, the grandfather ofihim. "Blythe's chapel." Mrs. J. D. Barksdale, Mrs. Minnb! Blytfcevffie had some difficulty in Thompson and will Carney; Dr i retaining Us name. TO the west William Carr. and James A. Wil- ' of It, In the chlckasawb.i commun- Hams, grandparent of the late T i ity, a section named after l.w In- J. Mahan, and others. Thomas H.: dian tribe, lived Ihe Cooks, a pio- Robinson, another of Mrs. crlg-jneer family. They laid off stresU gcr's grandparents, lived in Mem-: and named their village 'Coo 1 ;- phis but had purchased about five; town." For a number of years It hundred acres of land near Ar-j seemed that Cooktown had'tre ad- morel, when the federal forces vantage, rn fact, the Cooks sue- captured Memphis dunn? the r.-ar| ceeded in securing the p6st office he moved up to this county to livej from Blytheville, changing the name' to chlckasawba. Possibly. It was the Inconvenience of having to go to Cooktown lo get their mail at Chictasawba that;an«rert (Continued On Page .2) . r *••

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