Nancy's Lawrence County Corner

May 3, 1951: Second installment

From Times Dispatch - Walnut Ridge, Lawrence,
Arkansas By Chas. B. Lee

Early History of Lawrence County

Other Families

Three families of Browns and their sister, Arlees Reynolds, lived east of Opposition. Iím not sure when they came to the spring river country. I think the Bill Brown place was settled long before the civil war by the father of the Gipsons. Gipson made leather and there were for years signs of tanning vats near the creek and an old house site. Uncle Bill had two sons and two girls. I think Frank Bragg and James Smith married the girls. Uncle Dave Brown moved away, as also did his nephews. The Uncle George Brown place, now the L.H. Walker place is just east of Opposition. Uncle George Brown had a grist mill and a large mill pond. It was a fine fishing place. Wells creek was then full of fish, the old baptizing place was near the old house site. This was also the old swimming hole. I remember my father making Uncle George a large water wheel for his mill, the mill and all was washed away in May 1886 by the worst flood ever known in that section and the mill was never rebuilt.

Smiths and Criders

I next notice the Smiths whose place was near the Powhatan road, south east of Opposition. Uncle Thomas had as I remember, James, Thomas, George, Abb and Jane, who all married and I suppose now have grandchildren throughout the country. The Criders came to Opposition about the time the Frisco railroad was built. Isaac, whom my oldest grown sister married, John, Sam, Bob, Dick, Lige, Mike, Bass, and Mollie Neal are all names to be remembered. Bob Criderís children were all burned to death in a fire at Ravenden. I believe there are a lot of grandchildren in Lawrence county. Uncle George Miller and his wifeís brothers, the Longs, lived south of Opposition. these Longs were the relatives of the late John Long of Smithville whose father was killed in an explosion of the sawmill in Opposition. John Longís grandfather, Mayberry, and his three girls also lived in Opposition once. Mr. Summers, when I first knew him, lived south of Opposition, had two sons and four daughters. The only ones I know left in the spring river country now are the Thomas Bottoms family at Ravenden. David Shad East, son of the old Shad East, who was one of the first settlers of the county, lived west of Opposition. He ran a blacksmith shop in Opposition for a few years. East and Bill Starling, afterwards preachers and Starling was a good speaker. Eastís two daughters, Mary and Abby, married Will Beavers and Mark Halstead and moved to Sharp county with East where I lost contact with them. Uncle John Hathcoat lived in the Mt. Olive community. Lee, James, Wesley, Jeff, Newman, Ellen. I am almost sure where you find the name in Lawrence county they belong to this family.

The Haynes Farm

The Uncle Zack Haynes place is just above the Uncle Henry Holder place. His wife was a sister of Mrs. W.J. Ball and Mrs. John Bottoms. I remember five boys and two girls in the Haynes family. Thomas married Peggy Crawford, Bob married Susie Holder, Taylor married Carrie Miller, James married Cora Long, Evaline married Lewis Ennis and Minerva married Jeff Hathcoat. With the exception of Hathcoat, I have lost the whereabouts of their generations. To show how hard the last of the century was, Uncle Zack bought his place from W.J. Ball, making a note for $450.00 and after thirty years he still owed $427.00. Uncle Zack had a lot of golden seal on his place and when it became valuable he caught a forager digging it and in the fight cut up the fellow nearly killing him, but when Cleve Miller who had heard them fighting got to them Uncle Zack was leading the fellow down the road. Miller took care of the fellow three weeks before he could be sent home. This Cleve Miller married the only child of the late Bud Holder. Miller now lives close to Egypt. The uncle John Bottoms settled west of Opposition where the family of four boys and two girls were raised. Johnie married Timmie Watts and died near Portia, Thomas married Emma Summers, Joe married Mollie Holder, Edith married Blech Holder and Sallie married Henry Deyling. I mention Deyling specially because he lived near Mt. Olive, there were two boys and several girls. the oldest boy died. I suppose the rest are still in the country. I could mention several other places and families like Burr at the head of Well creek where he was shot from ambush and his murderer was never apprehended. A family of three brothers named Smith, two of whom married sisters of Elder J.W. Wicker, a pioneer Baptist preacher, and the Earls; families who lived on the head of Jeffís creek, but all moved to Oklahoma about fifty years ago.

Uncle Bill Gray

The last name in these briefs I name is Gray. Uncle Bill Gray must have lived on the place before the Civil War, as I remember him and an old house site near the river fields some sixty years ago. Uncle Jim had as I remember had three boys and a girl, the oldest boy I suppose now lives on this place.




Nancy Matthews


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