Prof. Julian Talbot Bailey A.M., of Little Rock, was born near Barnett, Warren County, Ga., March 22, 1859. His parents were Pierce and Adeline Bailey, the former a native of Warren County, Ga., and the latter of Henrico County, Va. From a very early age he evinced a great desire for learning, an his mother at one wisely determined to give, if possible, her only child a complete education. After finishing the course of study pursued in the common schools of Warren and Taliaferro Counties, he was sent to the Atlanta University, where he pursued the college preparatory course, from which he graduated at the age of seventeen at the head of his class. He then attended Howard University, supplementing his previous studies with a complete college course. Since his school days his student life has not ceased, as his proficiency and distinguished position in scientific, mathematical and linguistic affairs amply indicate. His modest and retiring disposition has perhaps caused him to be less known than he otherwise might have been, but there are few young men who possess a more varied and solid scholarship than he. Soon after leaving college Mr. Bailey went to North Carolina, where he was principal for some time of the Roanoke Normal and Collegiate Institute. He also published and edited the National Enquirer in the same State until the spring of 1884, when he was offered the editorial chair of the Arkansas Herald. Considering Arkansas a more inviting field, he accepted the offer. His editorial management of the Herald was marked by signal ability and success, in consequence of which he at once received encomiums from the leading men and papers, both white and colored, throughout the State. Such was the effect of his ability as a journalist upon the Arkansans that scarcely had he edited the Herald a month before it was decided by the Arkansas Herald and Mansion Publishing Companies to consolidate the papers. He was then at once regarded as one of the leading negro journals of the country. He continued to edit the Herald-Mansion until the fall of 1884, when he was elected professor of natural science and belles lettres of the Philander Smith University, of Little Rock. There being but little to gain from negro journalism, in a pecuniary sense, he found it necessary to resign his editorial chair to accept the position as professor in the University. In the fall of 1885 he was elected professor of higher mathematics and astronomy in the Mississippi State Normal College, which position he filled with credit to himself and his people, in addition to editing the Little Rock Sun, an independent newspaper, which is noted for its outspoken sentiments in advocacy of the race. Howard University has conferred the degree master of arts upon Prof. Bailey. During the years 1886-87 he successfully filled the presidential chair of Bethel University at Little Rock, since which time has has, in addition to his editorial duties, been actively engaged in the practice of law, being one of the very few Africo Americans who practice before the Supreme and United States courts, in addition to the inferior courts of the State. He has a large and growing practice, and his phenomenal success stamps him as one of the brightest stars in the Arkansas legal firmament. Prof. Bailey has always taken an active part in the politics of his adopted State. As a speaker he is pleasing, interesting and eloquent. He is a man of strong convictions, tender sympathies, great firmness and decision of purpose, with high personal character. He possesses severe earnestness, pluck, manly courage, aims high, is ambitious and far-reaching with great self-reliance and self respect.
Hon. Miffin Wister Gibbs, a resident of Little Rock, and the first colored judge in the United States, was born in the City of Philadelphia in April, 1828. His father was a Methodist minister, but died when the subject of this sketch was but eight years old. His widowed mother was an industrious and frugal woman with remarkable force of character, and did the best to encourage his pursuit of knowledge. At the age of seventeen, having to make his own way in the world, he left school and entered upon the battle of life, or, to use a familiar epigram of the Judge, "to face a frowning world." He was apprenticed to a carpenter and builder, and at the end of his apprenticeship he became a contractor and builder on his own account. Mr. Gibbs lost no opportunity to cultivate his tastes for literature and literacy pursuits, and at the age of twenty-one he was a conspicuous member of the Philomathean Institute of Philadelphia, a literacy association of which Purvis, Douglass, Whipper, Weir and other noted colored men of that era were shining lights. He was a member of the Anti-slavery Society, and a shrewd and active agent and worker of the now historic Underground Railway. Among the many fugitives in whose rescue he was instrumental, and whom he assisted to reach shelter and security under the British flag, were William and Ellen Craft (a prominent character in "Uncle Tom's Cabin"), William Box Brown, and several other celebrities of the Anti-slavery times. About 1840 Frederick Douglass and the late Charles Lenox Remond visited Philadelphia to take part in the anti-slavery convention of that year. They were much impresses with the advanced ideas and earnest manner of young "Miff" Gibbs, as his elderly contemporaries called him, and they persuaded him to embark upon a lecturing tour in New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Whiles so engaged the California Gold fever broke out and soon became epidemic. Meeting in his travels several successful gold seekers, who had just returned, and who gave him dazzling accounts of the new Eldorado, he resolved at the close of his lecturing tour to try his fortunes in what was then considered a terra incognita. A voyage to San Francisco in those days by way of the Isthmus of Panama was a serious and expensive undertaking; but nothing daunted he stepped jauntily across the gang plank of a steamer in New York bound for the Pacific, with "youth in the helm and hope in the prow," and arrived in San Francisco in the latter part of 1850 without (as he himself said) "a dollar betwixt him and the high Heaven," but filled with hope and expectations. Ordinary mechanics were getting $10 per day, and common laborers quite as much. At first he worked at his trade, but after one or two difficulties with white mechanics who refused to work with him, he abandoned the occupation and formed a partnership with Nathan Pointer in the clothing business, in which they were very successful. In 1852 Mr. Gibbs entered into a large enterprise with Peter Lester as his partner. Under the firm name of Lester & Gibbs they established a first-class business as importers of fine boots and shoes, for which gilt-edge prices were then paid in San Francisco. Judge Gibbs was one of the proprietors and publishers as well as contributors of the first colored paper published in California, the "Mirror of the Times." In 1858 the gold discoveries of the Frazier River, in British Columbia, offered tempting commercial and other opportunities, and Mr. Gibbs again embarked on board a Pacific steamer and arrived at Victoria, the quasicity and chief emporium of the Hudson Bay Company. Seeing that Victoria possessed unsurpassed natural advantages in location, a salubrious climate, and commodious harbor, he wisely concluded that it was bound to become a commercial capitol and immediately engaged in business, investing largely in real estate and building the second mercantile house outside the Hudson Bay Company's fort. His operations in real estate were extensive and invariably successful, and he built several of the largest business houses; and one of eh most beautiful villas in Victoria he occupied as his family residence for many years, and afterward sold it to Judge Crease, attorney-general of the colony, who has since occupied it. Having amassed considerable wealth, and own- ing, as he did, property enough to bring him in a large rental, he concluded to with- draw from active business operations. In 1866 he was elected to represent the most aristocratic ward in the common council of the city of Victoria. On the discovery of anthracite coal on Queen Charlotte Island, being the first discovery of the kind on the Pacific coast, Mr. Gibbs became a large share-holder in an English company, and was elected one of the directors. When the company advertised for proposals for building a railroad, wharves, etc., Mr. Gibbs resigned his position as director and put in a bid, which, although not the lowest, was accepted on account of his known responsibility and integrity. He left Victoria in January, 1867, on the steamer Otto, taking with him fifty men, surveyors, mechanics and laborers. He finished his contract within the stipulated time, twelve months, in spite of hostile Indian demonstrations, and sent the first cargo of anthracite coal over unearthed on the Pacific coast, to the directors and to a market. Previous to entering on this enterprise he had determined to return to the United States, and had been reading law under a celebrated English barrister. After completing his contact and returning to Victoria, he settled up his business affairs and returned to the United States, going to Oberlin, Ohio, where he settled with his wife and children, and entered the law department of the college, from which he graduated in 1870. He then started south, determined to settle at some desirable point. He finally settled at Little Rock, and entered the law firm of Benjamin & Barnes, a leading law firm of Little Rock, where he completed his studies and was admitted to the bar. One year afterward he was appointed county attorney of Pulaski County, which position he resigned in 1873, when the citizens of Little Rock elected him city judge, he being the first colored man elected to that position in the United States. In June, 1876, Judge Gibbs was appointed by President Hayes, registrar of the land office at Little Rock, to which office he was re-appointed in 1881. He is a partner in the Electric Light Company, and a large share-holder in several other companies, and lives in a handsome suburban residence, which he lately built. Judge Gibbs was married to Mariah A. Alexander, of Kentucky, and they are now the parents of four children: Donald (who lives at Victoria), Harase (a printer), Idah (a graduate of Oberlin College) and Hattie (a graduate of the Conservatory of Music at Oberlin). Judge Gibbs has been endorsed by the Republican State Central Committee of Arkansas, for receiver of public moneys of the Little Rock Land Office, and as he is without opposition it is expected that President Harrison will appoint him.
Ferd Havis, circuit clerk and recorder, Pine Bluff, Ark. In the brief sketch of this useful and well respected citizen may be seen how it is possible for a young man to rise in the world through individual efforts, when not in the possession of means other than those bestowed by nature. He was born in Desha County, Ark., November 15, 1846, and is the son of John Havis. Ferd Havis came to Jefferson County, Ark., when but a boy, grew to manhood there and there received his education in the common schools. He is a barber by trade and followed this vocation up to the date of his election to his present office. In 1871 he was elected alderman in the city of Pine Bluff, and served two years; he was elected as a member of the legislature in the fall of 1872 for two years, and upon the adjournment of the legislature in 1873, was appointed assessor of Jefferson County for four years. In 1874 he received a commission from Gov. Baxter, as colonel in the Brooks-Baxter War. In the fall of 1874, he was again elected as alderman of the city of Pine Bluff, to which position he has been continuously elected to this date. In 1882 he was elected to his present office of circuit clerk, having been three times to that office since. He was elected as a delegate to the National Convention in 1880, 1884 and 1888, and was one of the "Old Guards" of the 306 that stood by Grant, and also the vice-president for the State of Arkansas, in the National Convention of 1888. He makes a good officer and discharges the duties of his position in an able and efficient manner. He received the caucus vote of the Republican members of the legislature of 1887, for United States senator, from the State of Arkansas, and is the present chairman of the Republican County central committee of Jefferson County. During slave times he had as a master John Havis. Mr. Havis is a member of the Masonic fraternity, the G. U. O. O. F. Lodge and United Brothers of Friendship. He owns about 2,000 acres of land and is quite wealthy.
Frank Jackson, well known in this section of country, and especially in Jefferson County, where he resides, is a native of South Carolina, having been born in Abbeville September 13, 1853. He has been a public servant in Jefferson County for some years, having given eight years of his time as magistrate and five years as school director, and is one of the leaders in Republican politics. In 1858 Mr. Jackson came to Arkansas with his parents, Marshall and Hattie Jackson, natives of South Carolina, who settled in Jefferson County. He received his education in private schools, and at the age of twenty-one married Miss Clara Perry, a native of Perry County, Ark., by whom he is the father of three children: Ella (aged seventeen), Havis (aged fifteen) and Hallie. Mr. Jackson owns sixty acres of valuable land, which is now planted to corn and cotton. He belongs to several societies, the principal one being B. & O. A. S., of Pine Bluff, Ark. He and his wife are members of the Baptist Church. For six years he has followed the vocation of a school-teacher, and has become a prominent citizen.
Lloyd Y. Jackson, a brother of Frank Jackson, whose sketch immediately precedes this, has been a school-teacher in Jefferson County for a number of years. He was born in South Carolina November 17, 1858, being a son of Marshall and Hattie Jackson, of the same State. The father was born in 1829, and the mother in 1837, and in 1858 they came to Arkansas, bringing with them our subject, who was then a child. Lloyd Y. received his education in the private schools, and in 1882 began business for himself, and the same year married Miss Sarah P. Strong. He is now the owner of twenty acres of valuable land devoted to corn and cotton. He is a public-spirited man, a Republican in politics, and a member of the Baptist Church, as is his wife. During his school days Mr. Jackson was always a hard student, never leaving his studies for food or play until lesson were learned. Most of the time he had to work for his board and tuition, for in those days his father was financially pressed in paying for his farm of 260 acres. When at school Lloyd was considered one of the brightest scholars, and at the close of the term in 1875 received the highest reward of merit over 250 pupils. It was left to the entire number to decide who was the most worthy of this honor, but the reward was unanimously voted to him. He commenced teaching in 1876 at the age of eighteen, at the salary of $100 per month, and has since had encouraging success, the secret of which lies in the close attention and hard study which have characterized his efforts. He was considered in youth the most fluent of any in school on declamation, and upon the building of the city high school of Pine Bluff in 1872 declaimed in a manner which startled many of the prominent men of the town, who predicted a great future for him. He chose the vocation as teacher, believing that the best use to which he might put his education was in helping emancipated people by teaching and setting a good example for them. He has been his church's choice every year for seven consecutive years as delegate to the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.
Wiley Jones, Pine Bluff, Ark. It is not often that the biographer of to-day, in referring to the lives of those whom it is his privilege to meet, is permitted to enter upon the record of a man more deserving of honorable mention than Wiley Jones, of Pine Bluff, ark., one whose name is almost a household word in Central Arkansas, and to whom the citizens of this section, especially, owe a very great debt of gratitude. His career has been a remarkable one, and as noted in this brief sketch, can not fail of interest, even to the most indifferent reader. Mr. Jones was born in Madison County, Ga., July 14, 1848. His father was George Jones, a Georgia planter; his mother's name was Ann, one of George Jones' slaves, a woman far about mediocrity of women of her race in point of general intelligence, form and features. She was the mother of six children, by George Jones; Mathew (the eldest, a man of fine constructive ability, whose services as super- intendent of the construction of the Wiley Jones Street Car Line, at Pine Bluff, Ark., are well remembered), Thomas (who died several years ago), Julia (wife of Mr. Ben Reed, one of the most prominent colored men in Pine Bluff(, Wiley (the subject of this sketch), Taylor (who was murdered in Johnson County, Ark., for the money on his person, some years ago), and James (who is manager of Wiley's mercantile business, a shrewd business man, enjoying the confidence of his fellow citizens, both white and colored). Wiley was names by his mother, for the family physician, Walter. Being somewhat mischievous and wild but never vicious, he was nicknamed Wiley, which name he retained, although, as he grew to man's estate, he proved to be rather sedate and thoughtful. When five years of age, his father moved by wagons from Georgia to Jefferson County, Ark., taking with him over forty salves, and his slave wife and her children, settling on the Gov. Byrd plantation, twelve miles above Pine Bluff, on the Arkansas River, where he died in 1858. When on his death-bed he told his wife that he had made provision for the freedom of herself and children. This intention of her husband to free his loved ones she main- tained to the hour of her death, but no mamumission papers could be found, and if such were prepared, they were destroyed, and the expected freedom was denied. The family were sold by the administrator of the estate, to one Peter Finerty, who held them a short time and sold them to Gen. James Yell, a distinguished lawyer and planter of Pine Bluff. Wiley was sent to the plantation, and drove the gin mules during the cotton- ginning season. When only ten years of age, on the marriage of Pitts, Gen. Yell's only son, Wiley was a marriage gift to the young benedict, who made him his body servant, and treated him kindly. At twelve years of age he drove his mistress' carriage horses, and was the special trusted servant of Col. Yell and his wife. While in this service he improved himself in every way possible, and laid the foundation of that self- reliance and sound judgment which stamp him now a remarkable man. On the inauguration of the Civil War he attended his master as his camp servant. At the death of Gen. Yell, who fell while leading a charge on a Federal battery, at the battle of Mansfield, La., Wiley at once joined the Yell family, who were refugees at Waco, Texas. There is served as porter in a mercantile house one year. On the expiration of his term as porter, he was hired to drive wagons, loaded with cotton, to San Antonio, Texas. At the close of the war he returned with Mrs. Yell to her home at Monticello, Ark. Set at liberty by the emancipation act, he was free to take such steps as seemed to him best. Leaving Monticello, he debated in his mind whether he would locate in Pine Bluff or Fort Smith, Ark. Visiting the latter place, but not being pleased with the outlook, he returned to Pine Bluff, resolving to cast his lot in that city. Being now seventeen years of age, and capable of any manual labor, he hired, at $20 per month, to a mule driver, with whom he worked several months. He then contracted with his old master's son, Col. Yell, to work on his plantation, at $20 per month. In a short time, his superior intelligence and administrative ability, warranted Col. Yell in placing Wiley at the head of his planting interest, giving him full control, in which capacity he remained until the crops were marketed. Tiring of plantation work, and believing a higher destiny awaited him, Wiley moved to Pine Bluff and hired at a saloon, remaining one year. Having made some proficiency as a barber at odd times, he decided to work at that trade, and took a barber's chair in the shop of his brother-in-law, Ben Reed,where he labored ten years. During that time he laid the foundation of his fortune, saving every cent of his earn- ings, paying his board by waiting on the guests at a hotel near by at meal hours. He found a ready market for the loan of his money at the office of a well-known broker of Pine Bluff, to whom he loaned the principal and interest, as it accrued, realizing the largest interest the law allowed. Mr. Jones is now considered a wealthy man, and, with unbroken success, will amass one of the largest fortunes in the South. He is owner of some of the most valuable real estate in the city; is sole owner of the Wiley Jones Street Car Line, now nearly six miles long. This street railway is laid with twenty- pound steel rails, manufactured by Paddock-Hawley Iron Company, of St. Louis, expressly for the Wiley Jones railway. His cars are all new, and are the very best built by the John Stephenson Company, of New York City, and the St. Louis Car Company, of St. Louis. He renders his road wonderfully attractive by securing the best equipment. His car stables and barns are fine and admirably suited to the service, and are located on the periphery of his belt-line, at his beautiful park of fifty-five acres, south of the city, in which is a half-mile racing track, said to be second to none in the South. Adjoining this park are the Colored People's Fair Grounds, where is a handsome floral pavilion of octagon shape, and a large and well-constructed amphitheatre, stock-stables and stalls, all the property of Mr. Jones, and not a cent of debt is owing on anything. Mr. Jones is very fond of fine stock, and owns some of the finest in the South, among which are noted trotters. He is truly a benefactor to the deserving of his race, aiding with his ample means those who are disposed to help themselves. His example and advice are eagerly sought, and, when followed, have resulted favorably to the party interested. No man is more liberal with his means, where the advancement of his race is the object. There are few men of either race who stand higher with his fellow-citizens, both white and colored. He so deports himself toward the white race as to command respect from all classes; he is as polite and courteous to the poor white laborer as he is to the man of wealth. While decided in his political views, he is no politician; he is a Republican in principle, and an earnest worker in any cause that he deems just. He is a believer in the Christian faith, but is not attached to any church as a member; he years ago adopted for his guide through life two words: "Do right." He has been so engrossed in his business, that he has never given thought to contracting marriage. He has always been an early riser; 5 o'clock finds him in the saddle, looking after his many and varied interest, and he never permits himself to rest until he sees that every branch of his business is moving on properly. One has said of him: "Who will say the Africo-American is not capable of becoming a worthy citizen? Looking back to 1864, and tracing him step by step from an ignorant slave to the position that thousands now occupy, we see almost every avocation in life respectably filled by men of a race who, twenty years ago, could not boast of even the simplest rudiments of an education. With no means with which to begin his new life, but fair intelligence and bone and muscle, the subject of this sketch is a bright example of what may be accomplished by a proper us of even that limited capital." Wiley Jones is a man of great energy and foresight. With a thorough business mind and almost unparalleled industry, he has amassed a handsome fortune in a few years, and bids fair to become one of the wealthiest men in this State. Few men of either race have succeeded so well in the South. Having no partner in any of his ventures, what he possesses is truly his own; he does not owe a dollar that has matured for payment, his motto being, "Owe no man." His portrait herewith presented is an excellent represen- tation of this esteemed citizen.
William Laporte, a colored property owner, of Little Rock, was born at the Post of Arkansas in 1828, the slave of Charles Gibson. At the age of twelve years he ran away to New Orleans, and later to New York, going thence to Windsor, Canada. He there negotiated with his master for his freedom, after which he returned to the States, engaging as steward on board of a Mississippi steamer during the summer, and at black- smithing during the winter, which trade he had learned, or at anything he could get to do. In the meantime he had, together with his mother and sister, saved enough to purchase their freedom, and then moved to St. Louis with them. In 1855 he was engaged as a servant by a Mr. Valley, of St. Louis, who was going to Europe, traveling with him through Norway, Denmark, Sweden, England, France and Italy. After his return to America he located in 1856 in Quincy, Ill., and later worked for a farmer in Lewis County, Mo., for several years. Mr. Laporte was married during Fremont's campaign in 1856, in Quincy, Ill., to Miss Clara Howard, daughter of J. B. Howard. They were the parents of two children: Emmitte (a resident of Edwardsville, Ill.) and William (who died at the age of twenty-four). During the war he was at Galesburg, Ill., until he joined the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Infantry, and went with them to Buford,, S. C. He was in the battles of Fort Wagons and Stony Hill. At the close of the war he re- turned to Galesburg, Ill., and in 1865 left for Memphis, Tenn., where he was engaged as a plasterer, coming thence to Little Rock in 1870, where he continued in the plasterer's business. He came here without a dollar, but by hard work and close economy, assisted by his worthy companion, has saved a sum aggregating $20,000, and now owns nine houses in this city. Mr. Laporte married his second and present wife in 1871, Miss Margie Robinson, who was born in Mississippi in 1847, the slave of Dr. William Ellis. They have one son who lives in St. Louis and is engaged in a flouring mill. Mr. and Mrs. Laporte took a trip through Canada in the summer of 1889, stopping at Windsor, where Mr. Laporte, so many years before has obtained his freedom.
A. M. Middlebrooks, a resident of Jefferson County, and worthily identified with Arkansas' interests as a citizen only less than in an official capacity, first saw the light of day, February 19, 1855, in Troup County, Ga., of course as a slave boy, his mother, Cynthia Middlebrooks, being the slave of Mrs. Mahala Middlebrooks; his father was a white man by the name of Isaac Totom, who came south and engaged in the cotton business, as a cotton factor at Griffin, Ga. He died when his son Aaron was only three weeks old. At the emancipation all the slaves on the old county farm, where Mr. Middlebrooks lived, had to sign a contract and remain on the farm with the old slave-owners until the following Christmas, in 1865; when they were all called to make the cross mark none were able to do so but the subject of this sketch, who stepped up to the desk and readily seized the pen and made his own mark. Upon this manifestation to wield the pen, his master told him he could soon learn to read and to write, and keenly realizing the thought he seized his opportunity and got hold of a Webster spelling book. In less than six months he has mastered that little but old volume, one which has contributed to make more men and women intellectual athletes than any other book ever written by an American author. In 1866-69 Mr. Middlebrooks remained on the farm and studied hard by the aid of pine knot light. He attended night school and recited his lessons in orthography, grammar, geography, reading and history, with other studies, to Mrs. Lucy Davenport, the wife of a Southern planter. Having shown his earnestness by his studious and energetic habits, and indicating that he was greatly imbued with the idea of education, the planter's wife persuaded the boy to leave the farm and enter the school, which advice he heeded and attended the grammar school under an eminent Southern tutor. From here he became a student at the Atlanta University, at Atlanta, Ga., where he remained for a number of years, gaining the love and sincere respect of both pupils and teacher. When he entered the college at Atlanta, he was poor and penniless, but his energy, his "pluck," his bright recitations, his studious habits and his manly conduct, soon brought him financial assistance from both North and South. One among his "hobbies" is that the negro can never be a race, if it depends upon other races for succor, but it must work out its own salvation. He says among other good things, that the great mass of the negro population in the South do not need classical education, but a business and an industrial training. He has always stood up for his ideas of what he conceived to be right, and while very naturally his opinions may not always have met universal approval, they have commanded respect and kindly notice. In 1880 he was a delegate to the National Republican Convention, at Chicago, at that time being the youngest member of the convention. Again, in 1884, he was a member of the National Convention, at Chicago, from the State of Mississippi, along with Messrs. B. K. Bruce, John R. Lynch, Thomas W. Stringer, James Hill and others. When he saw the inevitable conflict and prejudice that existed between the whites and the blacks of Mississippi, he at once took in the situation and determined to come west. Settling in Jefferson County, Ark., for awhile, he engaged as tutor in the public schools, but his local party soon recognized in him a conservative and forcible speaker, and his consistent manner as well as other commendable traits soon called him to better fields of labor, if not more lucrative ones. In 1888, when the Republicans had once more determined to give the Democratic party a hard fight for the presidency, and to elect at least two congressmen from the State of Arkansas, that party placed Mr. Middlebrooks on the ticket as elector for the Second congressional district of Arkansas. Upon clearly appearing before the people, he was at once accorded a worthy place as a leader among men, and became the confidential friend of the late congressman-elect, John M. Clayton. He was with Mr. Clayton, aiding and abetting his cause of contest against Hon. C. R. Breckenridge; and forseeing the dangers awaiting the former a day or so before they came to pass, made known to his friend his fear, stating that he should not remain at Plummerville. The brave reply was: "If I knew they would kill me I should remain at my post of duty." Mr. Middlebrooks is now deputy revenue collector for the Eastern district of Arkansas. In addition to this he has been called upon to occupy other positions of public trust, ever manifesting that faithful- ness and efficiency in the discharge of his duties which have redounded to his own credit and the perfect satisfaction of those whose interests have been in his control. He is indeed a citizen who commands the proud respect of every Arkansan as well as residents of all other localities, and his example is one well worthy of emulation. July 25, 1882, Mr. Middlebrooks married Miss Sarah J. Hinton. They are members of the Baptist Church, and he belongs to the Masonic fraternity.
A. S. Moon, deputy circuit clerk and recorder, is justly conceded to be one of the most prominent colored citizens of Jefferson County. A native of that county, he was born on September 15, 1847, and was reared and educated in his birthplace, remaining with his master, Robert W. Walker, until he attained his freedom. He then farmed with his father for three years, after which he taught school in Pine Bluff and throughout the county with great success, having received an excellent education in his youth. In 1876 he was elected county treasurer, and served one term, afterward holding the office of deputy sheriff and collector until the year 1879, when he again resumed his farm work. In the fall of 1880 Mr. Moon was elected circuit court clerk and recorder, but turned that office over to Mr. Ferd Havis, the present incumbent, in 1882. He then secured a position in the postoffice, and for two years and a half was a very efficient delivery clerk. The following January he came back as deputy, the position he at the present fills, and has always given entire satisfaction even to the smallest details of his duties. Mr. Moon was married in 1876 to Miss Cornelia Henly, by whom he had four children: Isaac A., Edward S., Emma L. and Sadie C., but lost his excellent wife in 1883. Mr. Moon is a member of the United Brothers of Friendship, of which he is secretary, and in religious belief is a member of the Presbyterian Church. He has been fairly successful in his farming operations, and also owns some good property in town, and is held in that high respect which good citizenship always brings.
William Peters. Among the colored residents of Little Rock, whose honorable career has won the admiration of all good citizens, is Mr. Peters, now engaged in blacksmith- ing. He was born in Maury County, Tenn., in 1833, the slave of Capt. James Peterson, and remained a servant in the family until the emancipation, during which time he learned the trade of blacksmith, engaging in this business after the war, and settling in Little Rock. Mr. Peters was married in 1863, to Phebe Peters, a free woman, and half white. They never had any children of their own, but have raised fourteen orphan children, five of whom they have taken and educated since the war: Mitchell Jones, Fannie Jones, John Morgan, Will Peter and Collie Luck, a white boy, who was left with them by his father, and who is now between eight and nine years old. Mrs. Peters was born in Alabama, and was a daughter of a white man, who set her free when a child. Upon her father's death, however, she was again forced into slavery, and did not after- ward obtain her freedom until about the close of hostilities. Mr. Peters is a strong Republican, and a highly respected citizen.
Major P. Pointer, of Jefferson County, has become thoroughly identified with the interests of this section. He came originally from Tennessee, having been born October 6, 1840. His father, Warner Pointer, a native of Virginia, is now living with him, but his mother, Elizabeth Pointer, also a Virginian, is dead. The subject of this sketch served in the Federal cause, in the One Hundred and Eleventh Tennessee, under Gen. Dodge, during the late war, participating in the battles of Decatur and Nashville, and at the close of that struggle was honorably discharged, In 1868 Mr. Pointer went into business for himself, and now has 360 acres of valuable land, besides a fine steam gin. He has ably served the people as school director, and as judge of elections at different times. He is a Republican, and a member of Corinthian Masonic Lodge. In 1868 he married Elizabeth Fields, daughter of William Fields, of Virginia nativity, who was also a soldier in the Union Army, under Gen. Rosecrans. Mr. and Mrs. Pointer have had the following family of children (three having died): Edmonia (born December 25, 1867), Warner (born August 4, 1868, died in 1869), Idella (born December 18, 1869, and died in 1879), Clarence (born July 16, 1872), Sumner (born May 6, 1874, died in 1879), Sarah (born July 23, 1876), Degracie (born February 19, 1882), Salers (born June 14, 1884) and Whitlock (born February 23, 1887). Though pursuing his way quietly and unostentatiously, Mr. Pointer has attained to a well-deserved position among the county's successful residents.
Simon R. Rawls. In this chapter, devoted to the record of influential citizens of the colored race, the name of Mr. Rawls should not be omitted, for he is a worthy resident of Jefferson County. His father was S. P. Rawls, active in the ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and one of the organizers of the same, his mother being Caroline Rawls. Simon R. was born in Mississippi, March 4, 1852. In 1870, at the age of eighteen, he began life and business for himself, and that year married Susanna Ware, of this county. They have had a family of three children: Susan Caroline (born February 27, 1872, died January 1, 1873), Virginia (born May 12, 1882,) and Ben Powell (born March 17, 1888). Mr. Rawls has been a magistrate for five years, and at various times has served as constable and school director. For nine years he has been a member of Steward's Odd Fellows Lodge. He and wife belong to the Baptist Church. Mr. Rawls owns ninety-two and one-half acres of excellent land, which he is managing in a manner denoting a thorough acquaintance with agricultural affairs. His efforts deserve good success.
W. A. Rector, a mulatto, and prominent man of Little Rock, was born in Little Rock, in 1833, the slave of Chester Ashley, being the servant of that family until after the emancipation. Following this, he located in Little Rock, where he was elected city collector, and afterward was elected city marshall, in which capacity he served until the State went back into the hands of the Democrats. He was then elected constable, after having been appointed to that office to fill an unexpired term, after which he engaged in the wood business in the city. Mr. Rector was married at the age of twenty, to Miss Martha A. Hinston, who was also a slave in the Ashley family. They are the parents of three children: J. E., Annie M. (now widow of W. L. Copland, deceased) and Alice (deceased). J. E. Rector, his son, served as a page in the lower house in the State legislature, and afterward attended school. His father wished him to enter the Military Academy, at West Point, and he was appointed as a candidate for entrance to that institution, but failed in the examination. He then returned to Little Rock, and was employed for fourteen years as superintendent of mints. He was elected three successive time as circuit clerk of the county, but, being counted out, he was not allowed to serve, and was a delegate of the State at large, to the Republican conven- tion, in 1888, which nominated Harrison. He is now in the mail service, between Little Rock and Memphis. Mr. Rector's first wife died in 1858. He afterward married a Miss Stagwer, by whom he had three children: J. K. (a graduate of Lincoln University, of Pennsylvania, now principal of the high school at Hot Springs, and studying law), Willie L. (deceased) and Charles (also deceased). Mr. Rector is the only survivor of the famous Ashley Band. On a return trip from Memphis, while furnishing the music at a celebration, the boiler of the steamer they were on burst, and four of the brothers were killed, only one of the bodies being recovered. Mr. Rector had a marvelous escape. He enjoys a wide and favorable acquaintance throughout this locality, and has won many friends by his upright, consistent course.
A. L. Richmond is numbered among the substantial residents of Little Rock, and as a person of means and influence is well known. He was born in Caswell County, N. C., in 1833, being a son of Lee Richmond, a grandson of his mother's master. His mother was quarter white. When A. L. Richmond was born, her master was "Billy" Richmond, who at his death gave his slaves to his son. They then emigrated with their master to Miss- issippi in 1843, the mother subsequently marrying Robert Stevens, a colored man; she died in Mississippi, having five children by this marriage. A. L. Richmond came west in 1848, having become the property of Nat Richmond, whom he accompanied to Arkansas, locating in Dallas County, at Princeton, where they remained four years. Camden, Ouachita County, was their stopping place for two years, when A. L. was sold to Parson A. R. Winfield, in March, 1856. He then moved to Little Rock, Ark., remaining two years (until May, 1858), then to Pine Bluff, where in December, 1859, he was sold, to C. C. McAlmont. He was freed by the Union army upon its entrance into Little Rock, September 10, 1863. Mr. Richmond had learned the carpenter's trade during his servitude, and for twelve years previous to the war had been allowed his own time, paying his master $40 per month for same. His wonderful business tact necessitated his employing both white and colored men to work for him as carpenter and contractor, he having saved $1,200 for the purpose of buying his freedom. Since the war he has continued in his business as contractor, and has been very successful. He owns thirty-three houses in Little Rock which bring him $200 per month rent. He was married at the age of eighteen to Miss Mary Brown, a native of Virginia, who is one-fourth white. They are the parents of eight children: Alice (who was Mrs. Handy, and died the mother of three children), Augustus, (who is a clerk in the postoffice at Little Rock), Rachel (deceased), William (deceased), John (a Methodist preacher at Newport), Mary (deceased), Annie (now Mrs. Childress) and Asa, Jr. Mr. Richmond has given all of his children a good education. He is one of the wealthiest colored gentleman of Little Rock, and highly respected.
Calvin Sanders, of Little Rock, was born the slave of Dr. Allen, of Alabama, in 1837, and was taken to Mississippi when an infant. At the age of fourteen he was brought to Arkansas and sold to William Sanders, a farmer of Pulaski County, with whom he remained until the emancipation proclamation. After his purchase by Mr. Sanders he was known as Calvin Sanders, which name has since clung to him. The subject of this sketch was married at the age of nineteen to Harriet Sanders, a slave of William Sanders. They were the parents of nine children, all of whom are living: Emmaline (wife of Jones Ambrose), Callie (wife of William Wilkerson), Sarah (wife of William Butler), Henry, Columbus, William, Thomas, Hattie and Gertrude. After Mr. Sanders obtained his freedom he farmed one year north of Little Rock and then came to the city, where his active efforts have since been crowned with success. He is now worth considerable property and is the owner of a fine block, on which he has built ten houses. In 1868 he was elected alderman from the second ward, in which capacity he served two years. Subsequently he bought a farm of 160 acres, about six miles south of Little Rock, which he still owns, besides two lots in the capital, on being that upon he lives at present. Mr. Sanders was in McCray's brigade, Glenn's regiment, during the war, and took part in the battle of Helena, and a few other engagements. He is an enterprising citizen, has some money out at interest, and is treasurer of the I. O. O. F. Lodge, at Little Rock.
J. H. Smith, justly considered one of the leading practicing dentists of Little Rock, and well known throughout the State and Pulaski County as a prominent colored citizen, was born in Camden, Del., of free parents, on December 4, 1843. When four or five years of age his parents removed to New Jersey, where they resided until his father's death, in the meantime, attending the schools at Penn's Grove. Soon after losing his father young Smith went to New York City, in 1858, where he entered the employ of Mrs. J. Bastrop, in the capacity of private secretary, at the same time attending school. From New York City he went to Philadelphia and began the study of dentistry with Dr. Clark, a celebrated dentist of that period and a friend of Mrs. Bastrop. He afterward entered the office of Drs. Longfellow & Kennard, and remained in Philadelphia for three years, fitting himself for college. About that time he was drafted in the army, but upon learn- ing this fact, his kind friend, Mrs. Bastrop, hired a substitute and paid him $1,100. doing this without the knowledge of Smith. Previous to this Dr. Smith was one of four young men who waited on Gov. Seymour, of New York, for permission to raise a company of colored soldiers, but the Governor refused to allow the company to be raised. In 1863, when he was prepared to entered college, he was refused admittance on account of his color, so he returned to his preceptors and remained another year, at the end of which time Drs. Kennard, Longfellow & Flagg then examined him and gave him a certificate. Dr. Smith first located for practice in Pittsburgh, Penn., where he did fairly well, but one year later removed to Chicago, and began the practice of dentistry, and at the same time took a scholarship in the business college, which he attended at night. In this city he lost all of his effects in the fire of 1871, and then came direct to Little Rock, and from thence to the lower part of the State, where he commenced teaching school in order to earn money and purchase new instruments. In 1878 he commenced practicing his profession in Little Rock, since which time he has had splendid success, his practice increasing every year. He owns a good two-story residence at 707 Broadway, fitted up in an elegant manner, but with quiet and modest taste, and the walls are adorned with some oil paintings from the Doctor's brush, which are truly works of art. He is also an inventor of some note, having invented a peachstoner, for which he was offered $10,000 cash, but refused it. This machine is now manufactured by the Clark Novelty Company, of Rochester, N. Y., who pay Dr. Smith a handsome royalty. He also patented what is know as Smith's Patent Weather Board Guage, by which a carpenter can put weather-boarding on a house much easier and faster than in the old way. Dr. Smith has held some honorable positions. He was one of the Garfield electors of the State; was appointed by the Government as one of the commissioners at the World's Exposition in New Orleans, in 1884. He is the founder of the Colored State Fair, at Pine Bluff, the stockholders of which represent more than $500,000 in real property. He is also the founder of several minor institutions, which have for their object the well-being of his people. Dr. Smith was married, in 1876, to Miss Florence Irine Gulliver, of Indianapolis, Ind., by whom he has had three children: Charles, Girtrude and Beatrice. In religious belief the Doctor and his wife are members of the Presbyterian Church, and take a deep interest in religious and educational matters. Mrs. Smith's mother having died a few months ago, in India- apolis, has left a considerable property to be divided between Mrs. Smith and her sister. This, added to what the Doctor and his wife already have, will place them in easy circumstances for life.
Pleasant Tate, one of the most prominent colored men in Jefferson County, Ark., as well as one one the most successful, was born in Rutherford County, Tenn., about the year 1814. He remained in his native county until he had reached his seventeenth year, and then moved to Brownsville, West Tenn., where he resided twelve years. At the end of that time he located in Alabama and remained four years, and next lived in Mississippi until the year 1869, when he came to Arkansas and located in Phillips County. The following year he came to where he now resides, and by his wonderful spirit of energy and industry has become a man of high standing and prosperity. Mr. Tate was owned by a dozen different masters during the days of slavery, his last proprietor being a man named Abner Tate, who was also the owner of Rachel, Pleasant Tate's wife. Mr. and Mrs. Tate were the parents of six children: Clayton (who is successfully farm- ing in Jefferson County), Martha (wife of Nelson Woodford, a farmer in the same county), Henderson (who resides with his father), Amanda (wife of Perry Palm), Moses and Pleasant (who reside with their father). When the elder Tate first came to Arkansas he was supplied with a little money that he had saved in Mississippi. His first thought then was to increase his capital and make an independent position for himself in the world. How well he has succeeded is shown by his present condition in life, as he is the owner of about 537 acres of land, which has no superior in the county, and is worth altogether $40,000. Such a man is entitled to the highest respect in his community, as he has proven by his career while a resident of Jefferson County that his citizenship is valuable.
George W. Walker, of Jefferson County, is not unknown to the many readers of the present volume, and is a man active in the development of the community. He was born in Morgan, Ga., in 1833, his father being Thomas Walker, who when last heard from was at Columbus, Ky. His mother, Hannah (Shepherd) Walker, died in 1883. There were ten children in his father's family, of whom only two sisters are now living. Mr. Walker is the possessor of 138 acres of the best land, which he tills in a manner indicating thrift and energy. He also owns a fine cotton-gin. He is a prominent Republican, and since 1876 has served as magistrate. He and his wife are members of the Baptist Church. In 1858 Mr. Walker married, in Drew County, Ark., Miss Amelia Herd, by whom he had one boy, Gus., who is living, at the age of twenty-eight. His wife having died, Mr. Walker married Ellen Washington, March 25, 1885.
Solomon Winfrey, another esteemed colored resident of Little Rock, was born in Maury County, Tenn., in 1833, being the slave of James Black. He was given to the daughter of his master, by whom he was taken to Arkansas about 1850. Here they remained a short while, and then returned to Tennessee. His mistress in one or two years returned to Arkansas, where she made her home. In 1853 Mr. Winfrey was married to Rebeca Yerger, the slave of the late Judge Feilds, and he got Mr. Watkins to purchase him that he might remain with his family. He continued a slave of the Watkins family until the emanci- pation. After the war he commenced work for himself as brickmason and plasterer, and is now one of the leading contractors of Little Rock, Ark. He has by hard work and economy not only given his children a good education, but has acquired some excellent property, with four houses. He is the father of four children, two of whom are now deceased: Allen A., Thomas, J. P. W. and a Mrs. Bush. Mr. Winfrey has eleven grandchildren. He is a strong Republican, and a member of the First Congregational Church, as is also his family; he is also a member of the A. F. & A. M.
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids