Goodspeeds History of Stewart County: Biographies


Published 1886

Carroll C. Parker John T. Reynolds Hon. James E. Rice
James W. Rice George B. Riggins Christopher C. Rolls
James A. Ross Judge James M. Scarborough Samuel D. Scarborough
James H. Scarborough, M.D. William B. Scott, M. D. Egbert G. Sexton (note-decendent of family, Dan Martin, states name is "Elbert")
James W. Smith, M.D. J.C. Steger, M. D. Robert Steele
Robert A. Stone, M. D. Josiah W. Stout Eugene Parrish

Carroll C. Parker

Carroll C. Parker, a farmer of Stewart County, is a son of Aaron and Rebecca (Futrell) Parker. The father was born in Tennessee, and the mother in North Carolina. When young she came to this county where they were married. In their family were eight children-five sons and three daughters. He was a farmer and both he and his wife belong to the Baptist Church. The father died ere old age had overtaken him. After his death the mother lived with her children to a good old age. Our subject was born in 1841 in this county. He was raised on the farm and received a very limited education in the common schools. At the age of fourteen he took charge of his mother's farm and supported her and the younger members of the family. He and Kiddie E. Wilkerson were united in wedlock's solemn vows. By this marriage were born seven children, of whom five still live. He is a Democrat and a member of the Christian Church, as is his wife. Mr. Parker has some 235 acres of land which is the fruit of his own toil.

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Posted by Goodspeed's Biographies; 1889 on Thu, 31 Dec 1998

This biography is made available to us by Greene County Arkansas Genealogy page,


Eugene Parrish, of the law firm of Crowley & Parrish, was born in Dover, Stewart County, Tenn., and is the son of Abraham P. and Mary M. (Ingram) Parrish, natives respectively of Virginia and Tennessee. Abraham P. Parrish emigrated to Tennessee when quite small, grew to manhood in that State, and there received a liberal education. For many years before the war he ran a furnace at Dover, Tenn., but during that eventful period he was financially crippled and retired to a farm in Humphreys County, on the banks of the Tennessee River, where he is residing at the present time. He is now in his seventy-second year. The mother died when Eugene Parrish was quite young. Of the children born to this marriage, two are now living: Charles and Eugene. After the death of his first wife Mr. Parrish, was married again and became the father of three children: Lamar, Walter L. and Daisy. Grandfather Parrish was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and died in Virginia. Eugene Parrish was principally reared in Tennessee, and received his education at West Kentucky College and at the University of Ohio, obtaining the means to prosecute his studies by teaching school between terms until he completed his education. He was admitted to the bar at Jonesboro in 1884, located at Wittsburg, Cross County, and there remained until June, 1885, when he settled at Paragould. Ark. He was associated with J. D. Block, present prosecuting attorney at Wittsburg, and, on coming to Paragould, he formed a partnership with B. H. Crowley, the present senator of the First district, and a very noted and prominent man. This law firm has one of the finest libraries in Northeast Arkansas, and both members are men of ability. Mr. Parrish is a self-made, self-educated man, and is well fitted for the profession he has chosen.

The following are the resident members of the legal bar of Greene County: Hon. L. L. Mack, Judge J. E. Reddick, now on the bench: Hon. Ben. H. Crowley, J. B. Boykin, A. P. Mack, W. S. Luna, Eugene Parrish. W. W. Bandy, S. R. Simpson, A. Knox and J. F. Lytle. Mention of many prominent citizens of the county is also made in subsequent pages.

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John T. Reynolds

John T. Reynolds, the leading merchant at Big Rock, was born in Dickson County in 1851. He is one of the nine children of the marriage of Thomas M. and Durinda (Slayden) Reynolds. His parents were also natives of Dickson County. The father's chief occupation was farming, though for some eight years he worked at the iron business, being manager some three years at the Valley Forge Furnace. In 1878 he was called by the voice of the people of Montgomery County to represent them in the lower house of the State Assembly. during the late war he served as captain of the militia. Both still live at an advanced age. Our subject was raised on the farm and received but little schooling, owing to the stirring events of the war. In 1871 he married Clara Parminter, by whom he has five children. Mr. Reynolds, his wife and mother are of the Missionary faith. Having saved his earnings, he opened a store in 1878, with a capital of about $300. Now he carries a large stock and is doing a good business. Besides he handles tobacco to a limited extent. Mr. Reynolds is one of the rising young businessmen of his county.

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Hon. James E. Rice

Hon. James E. Rice was born near Adairsville, Ky., in the county of Robertson, Tenn., September 17, 1815. From Adairsville, where he lived a short time after arriving at manhood, he moved to Springfield, where for three years he lived and labored to support himself, pursued the study of his chosen profession and was admitted to the bar. Having to aid in the support of others in his family he was thirty-four years old before he could get rid of the burdens of his early life and devote himself to his profession. At this time he moved to Dover, Tenn., where, in partnership with Judge Herbert S. Kimble, he began his practice of law, and from this time on his life was one of ever rising and increasing honors. He was married, May 7, 1844, to Miss Julia A. Dawson, at the house of her parents in Montgomery County. It was at Judge Rice's cottage home in Dover that the historical surrender of Buckner to Grant was made. Espousing the cause of the South he gave his all and followed the flag until there was no flag to follow. After the war he returned to Montgomery County and became permanently a citizen of Clarksville. He was made attorney-general of the judicial circuit, and at the first general election for county officers he was the successful candidate for circuit judge. After being re-elected he was succeeded by Judge Stark. He then returned to the practice of law which he continued until his death March 2, 1884. Judge Rice was familiar with the Bible, and was a model husband, father, neighbor and friend. He was an upright and honest judge, but always leaned toward mercy's side.

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James W. Rice

James W. Rice, one of the leading attorneys of Dover and son of James E. and Julia A. (Dawson) Rice, was born in 1851 in the unostentatious town of Dover. Having attended the home schools till eleven years old he went to Clarksville to take a course of higher instruction. Having also attended Lexington University, he entered, in 1871, the law school at Lebanon, Tenn., graduating therefrom the following year. After completing his education he returned to Clarksville to practice his profession. About the year 1875 he moved to Dover, and became the junior member of the firm of Brandon & Rice. Col Brandon retired in 1880, leaving the practice to Mr. Rice. In 1871 he married Ellen D. Quarles, daughter of Judge J. M. Quarles. The fruits of this union are five children. Both he and his wife are members of the Christian Church and good workers in the Sunday-school. Politically he is a stanch Democrat. For some fourteen years Mr. Rice has had a good practice. His ability in his profession is too well known to need any comment thereon.

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George B. Riggins

George B. Riggins, the son of William and Methersia (Chisenhall) Riggins, is one of the enterprising farmers of Stewart County. His father and mother married in this State, though both were born in North Carolina. Having located in Montgomery County they followed agricultural pursuits for a livelihood, the father being quite a large farmer. He was one of the brave men who went to war in 1812, and in later years received a pension for his services. After an active, useful life he died at the age of eighty-three. The subject of this sketch was born on the farm in Montgomery County. He got a common school education while growing up and at the age of twenty-one launched out for himself. After renting for many years he bought a tract of ten acres, and afterward by hard work and good management increased it to 300 acres. He is the father of eight children by Isabella F. Cherry, to whom he was married in 1859. She belongs to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Politically he is a good Democrat. Having sold his farm in Montgomery County he bought 1000 acres where he now lives. Financially he has made good progress. Whatever he has is the result of his own efforts.

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Christopher C. Rolls

Christopher C. Rolls, sheriff of Stewart County, is the son of Franklin and Dinah (Kelley) Rolls. Both parents were naties of North Carolina, and when mere children came to this State, where they wre married and had a family of ten children, eight of whom lived to be grown. For a livelihood the father farmed and kept an extensive woodyard on the Cumberland. He was a Democrat in later years, but a Whig till that party went down. He held religiously to the doctrines of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. At the age of fifty he was called from the toils of earth. His widow is still living. Christopher's ancestors on his father's side were of Irish descent and on his mother's of French. Our subject is a native of this county, born in 1839. He had very little schooling but has improved himself in the business affairs of life. At the age of eighteen he was elected constable, and in 1861 volunteered to serve his country in Company H, of the Fiftieth Tennessee Infantry, C.S.A. He rose to sergeant-major. Having been captured at Fort Donelson, and exchanged, he re-entered the army and after two years of faithful service returned home. He has now held the position of sheriff and deputy sheriff for twelve years. In 1863 he married Sarah A. Crisp, who bore him four children. Mrs. Rolls is a Cumberland Presbyterian in faith. In addition to his office Mr. Rolls runs a small farm. In politics he is a stanch Democrat.

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James A. Ross

James A. Ross, the son of Charles and Edith (Jones) Ross, is one of the good farmers of Stewart County. His parents were born in North Carolina, where the father, previous to this union with Miss Jones, was married to a young woman who soon after died. His second marriage occurred in this county. The father made farming his chief calling, and in addition thereto worked at the shoe-bench, making shoes for his own family, his neighbors, also at blacksmithing. After moving to Weekly County the mother died. Afterward he married again. He was one of the brave men who fought under Jackson at New Orleans. Politically he was a Whig. He lived to the advanced age of eighty-three. James' ancestors on his father's side were of Irish extraction, on his mother's of English and Welsh. The subject of our sketch was born in Weekley County, and at the age of sixteen came to Stewart County. Having chopped cord-wood a year he went to school to improve his much neglected education, and in 1847 began to learn the carpenter's trade, at which he worked till 1861, when he volunteered in Company A of the First Arkansas Infantry, having gone to that State some eleven years before. After six months' service he was discharged on account of disabilities. Thereupon he returned and resumed his trade. He was married in 1866 to Amanda Anderson, by whom he had five children. Soon after marriage they settled on the farm where they now live. Both belong to the Christian Church. Mr. Ross is a strong Democrat, an energetic farmer and a man well respected.

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Judge James M. Scarborough

Judge James M. Scarborough, one of the long established attorneys of Dover, was born in 1823 in Stewart County, and grew up on the farm. His father, James, was a native of Virginia and, after reaching man's estate, married Miss Frances DeBerry, sister of Edmund DeBerry, M.C. In 1805 they came to this State and settled in the canebrakes of Stewart County. His chief occupation was farming, though he held some minor offices. In politics he was a Democrat. Both he and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The Judge's ancestors on his father's side were of English descent, on his mother's of French. In boyhood James had the advantages of schooling furnished by the Dover Academy. At the age of twenty-four he began the study of law in Dover and in 1850 was admitted to the bar. Judge Scarborough has been a man of some public note, having held the positions of trustee of Dover Academy, mayor of Dover and judge of the county court. The latter place he filled acceptably till the repeal of the act creating that office. In 1871 the people called on him to represent them in the lower house of the State Legislature. Having served one term he refused reelection and returned to the practice of his profession. He was married, in 1852, to Margaret Graham, of Scottish descent. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics he is a warm Democrat. It is the universal opinion of all who know him that he is one of the closest students and best judges of law at the bar.

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Samuel D. Scarborough

Samuel D. Scarborough, one of the leading merchants in Dover, is a son of Aca D. and Celia A. (Wofford) Scarborough. Both parents were born, raised, married and lived all their lives in Stewart County. After farming for some fifteen years, he added to his business merchandising, continuing until the breaking out of the war. His first wife having died in 1846 he again married, and after the death of his second wife he went to live with his children. He and both his wives were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He has held the offices of justice of peace and revenue collector. The father still lives at the ripe old age of seventy-five. Samuel, the subject of our sketch, began his life in Stewart County in 1835. Though raised on a farm, at the age of twenty he entered a store as salesman. In 1861 he volunteered in Company E of the Fourteenth Tennessee Infantry, and with that regiment fought some of the hottest battles of the war. In 1879 he and Ed Walters opened a store in Dover, and three years later Mr. Scarborough set up for himself. In 1869 he married Mattie J. Walters, by whom he has nine children. Mrs. Scarborough is a member of the Catholic Church. In politics Mr. Scarborough is a Democrat. He has always given business close attention, and as a result financial prosperity has crowned his efforts.

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James H. Scarborough

James H. Scarborough, M.D., is one of the leading practitioners of Stewart County, being the son of Aca D. and Celia (Wofford) Scarborough. He was born in this county in 1833, reared on the farm and educated in the Dover schools. At the age of eighteen he went West with his father as far as Arkansas and afterward continued his trip to Texas. Having returned he clerked for W. and J. E. Broaddus of Clarksville, but failing health drove him from that business, and in 1856 he bought a stock of drugs on a credit, and opened a drug store in Dover. At the same time he put in leisure hours studying medicine. After paying for his stock and saving enough money to pay for a course of lectures he attended a term at the Medical College of Nashville. Having taken one course he practiced to get means to complete his education. In 1868 he moved to the farm where he now lives and four years later completed his course graduating with a large class. To Minerva E. Coleman he was united in the bonds of matrimony in 1859. Eight children were the fruits of this union. His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics he is a supporter of Democratic principles. The Doctor is an example of what a young man of industry and good habits can do. Having started a poor boy with a half dollar in his pocket, and uneducated, he has educated himself and become financially well fixed.

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William B. Scott

William B. Scott, M. D. made his parents happy by his birth in the year 1850, in Dickson County. When young he worked on the farm and attended the common schools. At the age of fourteen he began to support himself, his capital being a four and a half pound ax. For some time he followed logging and farming. Having spent his leisure hours at the study of medicine he began a systematic course of study under Dr. G.S. Allen, of Ashland City. By taking care of the ferry boat for the Doctor and by teaching school he saved enough to take him to college. In 1871 he entered the Nashville Medical College, completing the course two years later. Having practiced in Houston County till 1877, he located at Cumberland City, where he has held forth since. In 1873 he and Mary E. Patterson solemnized their marriage rites. To this union one child was born. After the brief space of a year his wife died, and soon after his little daughter followed. He was again married in 1880, this time to Amanda E. Wilson, by whom he has two children. She is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Mr. Scott's political views are Democratic. The Doctor has now practiced his profession in Stewart County for nine years, and his ability may be inferred from the extensive patronage he has received.

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Egbert G. Sexton

(note: Sexton descendent, Dan Martin notes this name is actually "Elbert".)

Egbert G. Sexton, clerk of the county court, is the son of Tilman and Matilda (Weston) Sexton. Having been born in North Carolina the parents when young moved to this State, and settled on the Tennessee River near Sandy Island. By occupation the father was boatsman, having piloted sixty-eight boats out of that river. He also carried on farming to a limited extent. As colonel of a regiment of militia he took great pride in military affairs. In politics he was a Whig. Though a moral man he belongs to no church. His wife was a Cumberland Presbyterian. Egbert, the subject of this sketch, was born in this county in 1831, and received a limited education in the common schools. In 1853 he married Mary A. Randle, by whom he had six children. His first wife having died in 1870, he was united in matrimony with Mary C. Tomlinson two years later. Mr. Sexton made tilling the soil his occupation till 1882, when he was called by the voice of the people of his county to the clerkship. Besides he filled the office of magistrate twelve years, and that of trustee eight years. In 1861, when his country was in peril, he volunteered as a private in Company H, Fiftieth Tennessee Infantry, and soon after rose to the captaincy, holding the commission over four years. In politics he is a Democrat, and in religion an active member in the Methodist Episcopal Church, having held some official position for nearly thirty-four years. He is a man who takes an active interest in the moral and intellectual advancement of his community.

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James W. Smith, M.D.

James W. Smith, M.D., a native of Stewart County, is one of ten children born to Joseph and Sallie (Swor) Smith. His parents came from North Carolina, their native State, to Stewart County in 1800. The father was a farmer and large land owner; through connection with that calling he served the public as magistrate, sheriff and entry taker of the county. Both were leading workers in the Regular Baptist Church, being among the first of that persuasion in the county. In politics he was an old Jacksonian Democrat. James' ancestors on his father's side were of English descent, and on his mother's of German. Of such ancestry was born in 1818, at Dover, the subject of this sketch. He grew up on the farm and received a fair English education for those days. To him the river had a peculiar fascination, and having left home ran on flat-boats, keel-boats and steamers for some five years. In 1845 the marriage contract between himself and Rebecca A. Lewis was sealed. To them eight children were born. His first wife having died he was married to Martha Tomlinson, sister of his first wife. In 1848 he commenced the study of medicine under W. C. Clemens, and five years later opened an office in Dover. Having received the appointment of assistant surgeon under Col. Owens, he was captured before reaching his destinationa nd imprisoned at Louisville, Ky. While being transported to Alton, Ill., he jumped from a moving train, thus making his escape with two broken ribs and several bruises. Having received the kindest treatment from the people of Indiana he soon recovered and returned. In 1865 he resumed his practice at Dover, and the following year was appointed assistant surgeon for the Federal troops guarding the national cemetery. Both his wives were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Politically considered he is a Democrat. For thirty-three years he has practiced physic in Stewart County, and has enjoyed the confidence and patronage of not a few.

J. C. Steger, M. D.

J.C. Steger, M. D. was born in Madison County, Ala., 1834, being the son of Benjamin and Mary H. (Windom) Steger. Both were natives of Virginia. The father spent his life from boyhood days in Alabama. Previous to his marriage to Miss Whindom he had taken to wife a Miss Meux, who soon after died. After his second marriage in Washington City, he returned with his bride to follow the noble pursuit of farming in the sunny South. Both were zealous workers in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and their home became a welcome center for pioneer preachers. They cheerfully gave that which strengthens the body, and gladly received the mental and spiritual food in return. The Doctor's boyhood days were spent on a farm, and at the age of seventeen he took charge of his father's place of 800 acres. Having prepared himself at private schools he entered the military academy at Marietta, Ga., but not content to spend so much time in military duties he laeft that institution after a year's trial and entered La Grange College, Alabama. Sickness necessitated his return home, and thereupon he commenced the study of medicine under an uncle. In 1857 he graduated from the Nashville Medical College. The following year he located in Stewart County where he has followed his profession for some seventeen years. In 1862 Mr. Steger was commissioned assistant surgeon of the Fourth Alabama Cavalry, and after two years of acceptable service was promoted to surgeon, holding that position till his surrender with Forrest at Gainesville, Ala. At the earnest solicitation of Hon. John Bell, and other friends, he returned to Stewart County to practice physic. In 1875 he was appointed trustee and special commissioner for the firm of Woods, Yeatman & Co. Though he had no experience in the manufacture of iron, so great was the confidence of both firm and creditors in his ability and integrity that they made him the sole manager, thus giving him control of some $400,000 of capital. In 1872 he made the race of representative from Stewart and Montgomery Counties, and had the satisfaction of being elected by a large majority. While there he had an opportunity to vote on the act creating the free school system, and be it said to his praise that he was one of its warmest supporters. In politics he was a Whig till the death of that party, since which he has joined hands with the Democracy. In whatever looked to the suppression of public evils or the intellectual and moral welfare of his community he took an active part.

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Robert Steele

Robert Steele, one of the leading farmers of Stewart County, is one of the nine children born to the marriage of Robert and Margaret (Steele) Steele. His parents are of foreign nativity, born in County Tyrone, Ireland. After reaching years of maturity, they were married and followed farming in the old country till 1823, when they took shipping for America. Having landed at Philadelphia they came to this state and located in Dickson County. When the civil strife was raging in Texas he went as a soldier, under Samuel Houston, to that State, where he died. The mother lived to be eighty-one years old. Robert's ancestors on both sides were of Scotch-Irish descent. Robert, the subject of this sketch, is a native of Philadelphia. His boyhood days were spent on the farm and in the common schools. With his mother he remained until thirty-five years old; then came a change in the tide of affairs, and as a result he was married, in 1861, to Sarah A. (Sanders) McCollam. Mr. Steele and his wife are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. For some time he held the office of magistrate. In 1869 he purchased 290 acres of land; since by hard work and good management, he has increased it to some 2,000 acres, on which he has erected one of the most commodious houses and the largest barn in the county. Mr. Steele has shown his business ability in the fact that he started with nothing,and has arisen to one of the heaviest tax payers of his county.

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Robert A. Stone M. D.

Robert A. Stone, M. D., the oldest physician of Stewart County, was born in Oxford, N.C. in 1813. His parents, Parker F. and Kindness (Hicks) Stone, were married in that State, of which the mother was a native. His father was born in Virginia, and when a young man immigrated to North Carolina. In their family were nine children-five sons and four daughters. As a business the father ran a hotel, a farm, and a harness shop. About 1832 he moved to this State and engaged in merchandising and farming, until some years later went to Arkansas, where he died. The mother returned afterward and lived to an advanced age; both belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church. The Doctor's ancestors on both sides are of English descent. In his native town he had first-rate opportunities for education, carrying his studies to higher mathematics and the languages. Having studied medicine four or five years he entered Lexington University, graduating therefrom in 1836. Soon after he located in Stewart County, and has followed his profession ever since. For a while he kept store in Dover. In 1838 he married Sarah K. Shackelford, who lived only a few weeks. He wedded in 1850, Amanda M. Lassiter, by whom he had nine children. Two of the boys-R.S. (deceased) and J.P.-graduated frm the medical department of Vanderbilt University. Politically Mr. Stone was formerly a Whig but is now a Democrat, as was also his father. Mrs. Stone is a member of the Christian Church. He is quite successful as a farmer as he has been as a physician, owning one of the best farms in his vicinity.

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Josiah W. Stout

Josiah W. Stout, superintendent of the schools of Stewart County, is one of the five children born to the marriage of Ira A. and Sarah (Graham) Stout. Born in Nashville, they made that their home through life. By trade the father was a carriage manufacturer, being successor of his father in that business. A few years previous to the war financial difficulties caused him to close out. He was a soldier in the Seminole war and during the Rebellion served as clerk of the general quartermaster's department. The mother was called from the toils of earth in 1862. The father still lives at the ripe age of sixty-nine. Josiah's maternal ancestors were Scotch, the paternal English and Dutch. The Stouts were the founders of the first regular Baptist Church in New Jersey. Josiah is a native of the State capital. In boyhood he acquired a good English education, and after finishing his school days, taught in Stewart County some six years. In 1878 he entered the office of Judge Scarborough as a student of law, and the following year was admitted to the bar. In the same year he was chosen county superintendent, which position he has filled acceptably ever since. To Emma Brandon, daughter of Col. Brandon he was united in happy wedlock in 1881, and the union has been blessed with two children. Mr. Stout is a stout Democrat and a promising young lawyer.

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