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Centennial history of Arkansas online

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PHILIP J. SMITH.

Philip J. Smith, a member of one of the pioneer families of Arkansas, has spent
his life in this state and is widely and favorably known in Desha county. For the
past twelve years he has served as postmaster of Dumas and his record as a public official
is a highly commendable one. He was born in Marianna, Arkansas, June 2, 1883, of the
marriage of George Franklin and Venita M. CGranger) Smith, the former a native of
Tennessee and the latter of Lee county, Arkansas, to which the father had come as a
young min, prior to the outbreak of the Civil war, and there they were married. Mr.
Smith became the owner of a productive farm at Oak Forest, about nine miles west
of Mrianna His demise occurred in 1897. His widow still owns the home farm but
is residing in Marianna.

In the acquirement of an education Philip J. Smith attended the Marianna public
schools and afterward entered the Southwestern Baptist University at Jackson, Tennessee,
being graduated from its commercial department in 1901. He then returned home and
in 1902 came to Dumas, accepting a clerkship in the general store of H. M. Fish, in
connection with which he also took charge of the post office. Six months later he entered
the office of the May Brothers Lumber Company at Dumas and was associated with that
firm for a year, after which he engaged in the mercantile business for a time, operating
independently. After disposing of the enterprise he became connected with the govern-
ment service, working under Postmaster M. W. Quilling, who was also one of the lead-
ing merchants of the town. In 1909 Mr. Smith was appointed postmaster of Dumas and
for the past thirteen years has been the incumbent in that office, his long retention
therein being unmistakable proof of his accuracy, efficiency and trustworthiness.

On the 2d of November, 1904, was solemnized the marriage of Philip J. Smith and



CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF ARKANSAS 605

Miss Josephine Saiiford of Dumas, and they have a son, Harold Jasper, who was born
March 11, 1906. Mr. Smith is an earnest and sincere member ot the Presbyterian church,
doing all in his power to further its work and extend the scope ot its iutluence, and is
now serving on the board of stewards. He is a prominent Mason, belonging to Omega
Lodge, No. 547, F. & A. M.; Victory Chapter, No. 113, R. A. M.; Albert Pike Consistory,
No. 1, A. & A. S. R.; and Sahara Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., at Pine Bluff. Arkansas. He
is also connected with the Eastern Star, being affiliated with Dumas Chapter, No. 393.
He is conscientious, thorough and systematic in discharging the duties of his office and
in matters of citizenship is loyal and progressive, endeavoring to promote the welfare
of his community along the lines of substantial development and improvement.



THE PORTER MIRROR & GLASS COMPANY.

The Porter Mirror & Glass Company, one of the substantial productive industries of
Fort Smith, was established in the year 1917 and through the intervening period the
business has steadily grown and increased. Enos Porter, president of the company, is
one of the foremost industrial leaders of Shelbyville, Indiana, where for many years he
has conducted business in connection with furniture manufacturing interests. In 1917
the opportunities of the southwest attracted him and he became active in the organiza-
tion of the Porter Mirror & Glass Company. The abundant gas supply at Fort Smith
has been a special inducement for many factories to locate here — especially furniture
factories and those engaged in the manufacture of kindred lines. This company took up
the task of manufacturing mirrors and finds a splendid outlet for its product in the local
trade as well as in other districts. Thirty-five men are employed in normal times and
the product is shipped throughout the southwest. In addition to mirrors the company
manufactures windshields and a distinct department of the business is that of de-
signing and manufacturing store-front windows. The present officers of the company are:
Enos Porter, president; William E. Porter, vice president; and C. B. Willard, general
manager. These are men of enterprise, thinking broadly and progressively along busi-
ness lines, and their establishment is one of the growing manufacturing concerns of
Fort Smith. William E. Porter is a veteran of the World war, having received his train-
ing at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana, after which he served with the Eighty-fourth
Division in France with the rank of captain.



JOHN DICKSON WALTHOUR.

John Dickson Walthour, head of the real estate department of the W. B. Worthen
Company, which is the largest private banking concern in the state, has through in-
dividual effort and capability reached the responsible position which he now occupies
in the business circles of Little Rock. Mr. Walthour is if native of Georgia, his birth
having occurred at Walthourville, Liberty county, on the 26th of December, 1SS9. His
parents were Robert Howe and Anna Wilhelmina (Bogart) Walthour. The father was
also born in Walthourville, Georgia, his natal year being 1843, while the mother was
born in Virginia In 1861. Robert H. Walthour removed with his family to Savannah,
Georgia, where he resided to the time of his death in 1907. During the Civil war
he had served for three years in the Confederate army as a member of Joe Wheeler's
command. His political views were always in accord with the principles of the
democratic party. His wife died in 1904. Their family numbered four sons and two
daughters, all of whom are living with the exception of one daughter.

John D. Walthour, having obtained his education In the public schools of his native
town, started out in the business world. He was located for some time at Atlanta,
Georgia, before coming in 1913 to Little Rock, where he entered the employ of the Iron
Mountain Railway, spending four years in the shops. Steadily he worked his way up-
ward during that period until he was filling the position of foreman in the mechanical
department when he resigned. Turning his attention to the real estate field, he became
identified in 1917 with the W. B. Worthen Company as a real estate salesman and made
good in that connection, so that in January, 1919, he won promotion to the position of
manager of the real estate department of this company. His advancement clearly indi-
cates his capability, for the corporation which he represents is one of the strongest
private binking institutions of the state. He now directs all of the operations carried
on through the real estate department and is splendidly qualified by reason of his
close study of the real estate market and the ability which he has displayed
correct valuations of property.



(i06 CENTENNIAL HISTORY OP ARKANSAS

On the 25th of April, 1911. in Hot Springs, Arkansas, ilr. Walthour was married
to Miss Hettie Florence Bailey, who was born in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, in 1885. They
attend the Episcopal church, but Mr, Walthour is not a club man nor is he interested in
fraternal organizations. During the World war he served trom June to September. 1918,
in the navy yard at Charleston, South Carolina. He has always voted with the democratic
party, but the honors and emoluments of oflice have had no attraction for him. His
interest has centered in the opportunities offered in a business way and from a minor
position he has worked steadily upward, his industry, close . application, tidelity and
capability constituting the rounds of the ladder on which he has climbed to a creditable
position in business and financial circles.



GEORGE V. BEALL.



George V. Beall. a cotton broker of Pine Bluff, was born at Vaiden. Mississippi, in
1879. his parents being John M. and Martha (Greene) Beall. The father was a Con-
federate veteran and following the war he reared his family in Mississippi, his son.
George V., being the youngest in a family of seven children. Removing to Texas George
V. Beall pursued his education in the public schools of Sulphur Springs, that state, and
at Eastman Institute at Poughkeepsie. New York, where he received thorough business
training, well qualifying him tor the duties and responsibilities which have come to him
in later life. In 1900 he took up the work of cotton buying at Sulphur Springs. Texas,
and was thus engaged for fourteen years. In 1914 he removed to Pine Bluff, where he
has represented the Southern Produce Company, cotton factors, until 1919, when he
engaged in cotton buying on his own account. He is conducting an extensive business,
representing a large turnover of the product and he is also the owner of considerable
cotton acreage in Texas and Arkansas. His business affairs have been most wisely and
carefully managed and his success is due in large part to the fact that he has for so
many years operated in this line. He has therefore acquainted himself with every
phase of the cotton industry, from the time of seed planting until the baled cotton is
marketed. • His life has been characterized by diligence and determination, and the
thoroughness with which he executes everything that he attempts enables him to reach
his objective.

In 1917 Mr. Beall was united in marriage to Mrs. Airie Ferguson Nash, a daughter
of C. M. and Sallie (Gulp) Ferguson. They have become the parents of one child, Martha
E. Mr. Beall is a Presbyterian in religious faith and fraternally is connected with the
Masons and with the Elks. He also belongs to the Civilian Club and in these associations
are indicated the nature of his interests and the rules that govern him in his conduct,
making him a man whom to know is to esteem and honor, for at all times his life meas-
ures up to advanced standards of manhood and of citizenship.



JOHN EDWIN ENGSTROM.



On the roster of county officials of Pulaski county appears the name of John Edwin
Engstrom. who is now filling the position of county treasurer and is proving a most
faithful and capable custodian of the public funds. He was born in Rock Island, Illi-
nois. June 18. 1874. and almost his entire life has been passed in this state, his parents
removing to Arkansas when he was only a year old. His is a son of John and Christina
(Johnson) Engstrom, both of whom were natives of Sweden. The father was born near
Stockholm, in 1844. while the mother's birth occurred in 1848. Mr. Engstrom came to
the United States in 1870, settling in Rock Island. Illinois, where he resided until 1875
and then crossed the Mississippi, making his way westward to Little Rock, Arkansas.
There he resided until 1908, when he removed to Benton county, Arkansas, and here
became owner of a fruit farm, which he continued further to develop and improve to the
time of his death, which occurred July 1, 1910. While residing in Little Rock he had
followed merchant tailoring. His political allegiance was given to the republican party
and he was always deeply and helpfully interested in all that pertained to the welfare
and progress of the community in which he made his home. It was in Rock Island, in
1873. that he married Christina Johnson, who still survives him and makes her home
in Bentonville, Arkansas. Their son John Edwin was the eldest in a family of three
sons and three daughters, of whom two sons and two daughters are living.

Brought to Little Rock when but a year old John Edwin Engstrom pursued his
education in the public schools of the capital city and in the Little Rock Commercial
College. He early turned to mechanical pursuits and became a locomotive niacliinist,



CENTENXIAL HISTORY OP ARKANSAS (iOT

being thus employed until 1908, when he was appointed to the position of deputy sheriff
iind tax collector. He so continued to serve until 1920. or for a period of twelve years,
making a most excellent record in the office. He was then elected treasurer of Pulaski
county and entered upon the duties of the office on the 1st of January, 1921. He had
previously served as chief clerk in the office from 1917 to 1919 inclusive and his ex-
perience in public official duties well qualified him for the task which devolves upon
him in his present position. He was elected on the democratic ticket, for he has always
given his support to those principles which the party sponsors.

Mr. Engstrom has been married twice. On the 26th of October, 1S98, in Little Rock,
he wedded Maud Ella Bradley, a daughter of William F. Bradley, now deceased, who was
:i Confederate veteran of the Civil war, going to the army from Arkansas. Mr. and
Mrs. Engstrom became parents of a daughter, Emma Elizabeth. Following the death of
his first wife Mr. Engstrom was married on the 7th of July, 1909. in Benton county,
Arkansas, to Susie A. Higginbotham, who was born June 8, 1876, in Tazewell, Virginia, a
daughter of George W. and Sallie (Sexton) Higginbotham, who were also natives of the
Old Dominion, residing for many years in Tazewell. At the time of the Civil war Mr.
Higginbotham joined the Confederate army as a Virginia soldier. To Mr. and Mrs.
Engstrom have been born two sons: George Edwin, born June 17, 1911; and Joe Sexton,
born July 18, 1919.

Fraternally Mr. Engstrom is connected with the Knights of Pythias and with the
.\ncient Order of United Workmen. During the World war he assisted in Red Cross
drives and other activities which have held the interests and constituted the support
of the soldiers at the front. He belongs to the Central Presbyterian church, in which
he is a deacon. He is especially active in behalf of the upbuilding of material, intel-
lectual, social and moral interests.



JOHN W. GRABIEL.



A representative member of the legal profession in Arkansas is John W. Grabiel,
who has engaged in practicing in Fayetteville since 1912, and has built up an extensive
and important clientage. He was born on a farm near Rushsylvania, Ohio, on the 17th
of March, 1868, a son of John and Sarah Downs (Tharpe) Grabiel, also natives of
Ohio. The paternal grandfather, Jacob Grabiel, migrated to Ohio from Pennsylvania in
1812, and the family had in an earlier day moved into Pennsylvania from Virginia,
where they had settled in 1635; the ancestor of the Virginia family had been a
religious reformer in Germany and in the 16th century was a refugee in Switzerland,
where he came into contact with Calvin and became a Calvinist. Presbyterianism has
been the faith of the family ever since. The Tharpes were also a Virginia family
and were associated in early times with the famous Zanes, pioneers of renown in the
early development of Western Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio, whence they migrated to
Ohio in an early day.

The father of our subject lived in Ohio all his life, where he was a successful
farmer, well to do and highly respected by all who knew him. To him and his wife
were born nine children, seven of whom are living: William H. now engaged in con-
tracting in Bellefontaine, Ohio; Elma V. widow of C. S. D. Shawhan, also of Bellefon-
laine: John W. the subject of our sketch; H. H. a farmer and veterinary surgeon of
West Mansfield, Ohio: Olga R. Ansley, Sarah Elizabeth Hempy and Lois Ann Brugler,
all residents of Rushsylvania, Ohio — the family homestead.

John W. Grabiel was educated in the common schools and the high school of
his native town. He afterwards completed the liberal arts course in the Ohio North-
ern University, took a special course in Findlay College, and a law course in the Ohio
State University. He was admitted to the bar in Ohio in 1900 and practiced law in
Bowling Green until 1912, at which time he came to Fayetteville, Arkansas. He has
since practiced here, and his earnest efforts, his close application and native abilities
have won him a prominent place at the Arkansas bar.

In 1892 Mr. Grabiel was united in marriage to Laura M. Hartman of Findlay,
Ohio, and to them four children were born: Florence R., who is now the wife of
Earl Ellis, manager of the Ellis Motor Company; Ruth R.. a graduate of the Univer-
sity of Arkansas, now a teacher in the city schools of Okmulgee, Oklahoma; John
K., a student in the State University; and Richard H., a student in the high school
of Fayetteville. Mrs. Grabiel died in 1908. In 1912 Mr. Grabiel was married to Miss
Edith Houck of Rochester, New York.

Mr. Grabiel has been an earnest supporter of the republican party ever since he
arrived at manhood and he has taken a lively interest in national elections more espe-
cially. Fraternally he is identified with the Knights of Pythias and the Benevolent



608 CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF ARKANSAS

Protective Order o£ Elks of the United States of America; he is past Exalted Ruler
of Fayetteville Lodge, No. 1104, of this Order; he was the first president of the Cham-
ber of Commerce of his city, of which he is still a member. During the World war
he was active as a worker in all the efforts of the government, supporting every measure
for the success of his country and was a prominent speaker in all of the activities of
the times. He now devotes all his time to his practice and his profession, of which
he is a deep student.



IRA M. HUDSON.



Ira M. Hudson, proprietor of lumber and sawmill interests, and also identified
with the development of the oil fields of this state, was born in Warsaw, Missouri,
February 12, 1S75. He was reared on a farm in the locality of Windsor, Missouri, work-
ing in the fields from the time of early spring planting until crops were harvested in
the late autumn. His early education was acquired in the public schools near his
father's home and afterward he attended the Clinton Normal School at Clinton, Mis-
souri. He started out in the business world after leaving the old homestead by becom-
ing connected with the lumber trade at Windsor, where he remained an active factor
in business for a period of thirteen years. He next removed to Carthage, Arkansas,
where he operated a sawmill and planing mill for two years and then came to El Dorado.
Through fhe intervening period to the present time he has been owner of sawmills and
lumber business at this place. The company with which he is connected has three
sawmills and is turning out a large amount of lumber annually. Mr. Hudson is familiar
with every phase and detail of the business and his energy and enterprise are dominant
elements in the successful conduct of the plant. He is likewise the secretary and treas-
urer of the Walker & Lucas Hardware Oil Company, which is operating in the El Dorado
fields and he is thus active in promoting an industry which is rapidly coming to the
front as a source of Arkansas' wealth.

Mr. Hudson was married in 1912 to Miss Zela Fay Jones and they have one child,
Marjorie. Mr. Hudson belongs to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and is also
identified with the Rotary Club and the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce, of which lat-
ter organization he is the president. His connection with these two organizations indi-
cates most clearly his interest in the general welfare and his public spirit in everything
that has to do with the upbuilding of his community.



REV. J. P. SNIPES.



In 1915 Rev. J. P. Snipes was called to the pastorate of the Associate Reformed
Presbyterian church of Russellville and is a zealous and indefatigable worker in its
behalf, his labors being effective forces in its development and upbuilding. He was born
in Union county, Mississippi, October 13, 1S80, his parents being H. F. and M. A. (Tal-
bert) Snipes. The father was also a native of that county, his birth having occurred on
the 15th of November, 1857, and the mother was born November 18, 1856 For a num-
ber of years Mr. Snipes followed the occupation of farming but he is now successfully
conducting a mattress factory at New Albany, Mississippi. He is a member of the Pres-
byterian church and his political allegiance is given to the democratic party. His fither,
John Snipes, was born in Anderson, South Carolina, and in 1S43 he removed to Missis-
sippi. He was a shoemaker by trade and during the Civil war mide shoes for every-
one in his community. He also engaged in farming and through the capable manage-
ment of his business affairs accumulated a substantial competence. William Talbert, the
maternal grandfather, was a soldier in the Civil war and was killed in a b:ittle in Mis-
sissippi. His daughter, Mrs. Snipes, died in 1892, leaving four children: J. P., of this
review; Clementine, the wife of W. W. Dyer, agent for the Ford automobiles at New
Albany, Mississippi; Lillie, the wife of J. L. Hayney, who is residing on the old homestead
at Blue Springs, Mississippi: and Bonner, who follows the occupation of farming and
lives at New Albany, that state. Following the death of his first wife Mr. Snipes mar-
ried Miss Corra Wester and they have a daughter, Bernetta, now the wife of W. C. Mc-
Bride, who is connected with the telephone company at Memphis, Tennessee.

In the acquirement of an education Rev. J. P. Snipes attended the grammar schools
near his home and the high school at Poplar Springs, Mississippi, after which he en-
tered Erskine College at Due West, South Carolina, from which he was graduated in
1903, while two years later he there completed a theological course. He then located at
Steel Creek. North Carolina, where he was pastor for two years, being then called to



CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF ARKANSAS 609

Cotton Plant, JUssissippi, where he remained for three years. His next pastorate was
at New Ediuburg, Arkansas, and for six years he was there located, coming to Russell-
ville in 1915 to take charge of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian church, of whicii
he has since been pastor. The church now has a membership of about one hundred ana
seventy-five persons and Rev. Mr. Snipes is laboring untiringly to extend the scope of
its influence. When but twelve years of age he united with the church at Hopewell,
Mississippi, and his is a sincere and devoted service in behalf of a cause to which he
has given the best energies of his life.

On the 26th of November, 1907, was solemnized the marriage of Rev. J. P. Snipes
and Miss Ada Parkinson, a native of Rosemark, Tennessee, and a daughter of Thomas
Parkinson, who is still a resident of that state. To this union has been born a son.
Kenneth, who is a high school student. Rev. Mr. Snipes is a democrat in his political
views and his fraternal connections are with the Masons and the Woodmen of the World.
He is a deep and earnest student, a logical thinker, a clear and convincing speaker, and
his powers and talents have been a leavening force in making high ideals a tangible asset
in the affairs of daily life.



W. N. WILKINSON.



W. N. Wilkinson, capably filling the position of cashier of the Farmers Bank of
Greenwood, is a native of Charleston, Arkansas, born in the year 1877, his parents being
Ephraim and Margaret (McFerran) Wilkinson. His paternal grandfather, W. W. Wil-
kinson, for whom he was named, came from Tennessee to Arkansas at an early day,
settling in Sevier county, and at the time of the Civil war he espoused the cause of the
Confederacy. The McFerran family came originally from Mississippi and settlement
was made in Franklin county, Arkansas, by Samuel McFerran, the maternal grandfather
of W. N. Wilkinson. Thus his ancestors in both the paternal and maternal lines became
early residents of the state. His brother, Samuel Wilkinson, Is now a well known physi-
cian of Belen, New Mexico.

In the acquirement of his education, after completing a public school course, W. N.
Wilkinson attended the University of Arkansas, in which he pursued a classical course,
winning the Bachelor of Arts degree. In early manhood he taught school in Sebastian
county but regarded this merely as an initial step to other business activity and was
constantly on the alert to grasp opportunities that would make for advancement. He
first engaged in banking in Howe, Oklahoma, where he remained for two years, and for
the past fourteen years he has been associated with the Farmers Bank of Greenwood.
This bank was organized in 1907 as a state bank, Mr. Wilkinson being the first incumbent
in the office which he still fills, while W. L. Seaman became the first president and €. R.
Owens the vice president. The officers at this writing (1921) are: G. C. Packard, presi-
dent; C. R. Owens, vice president; W. N. Wilkinson, cashier; and Alice Holland, assistant
cashier. The bank has enjoyed a prosperous existence throughout the period since it
was organized, owing to the safe, conservative policy followed and the progressive
methods which have been employed in securing business.

Mr. Wilkinson was married in 1902 to Miss Myrtle Means and they have become
parents of three children: Louise (deceased) and Jleans and Lillian. The family is well



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