Dallas T. (Dallas Tabor) Herndon.

Centennial history of Arkansas online

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Online LibraryDallas T. (Dallas Tabor) HerndonCentennial history of Arkansas → online text (page 1 of 186)
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Capability, resourcefulness and high ideals have made Harmon L. Renimel one
of the foremost financiers and business men of Arkansas and a recognized leader in
republican ranks in the state. His devotion to civic interests and the progress and
upbuilding of the commonwealth has been manifest in many tangible ways. His suc-
cess is that which brings intellectual liberty, making him a citizen of the wider
world of thought and knowledge. His plans and purposes have ever found expres-
sion in practical methods for their achievement and that he reaches his goal is per-
haps best evidenced in the high positions which he occupies as a citizen, as a political
leader and as a banker.

Those who know Mr. Remmel feel that prophetic vision must have influenced
the choice of his middle name, for they feel that it is a synonym of his entire career.
Harmon Liveright Remmel was born in Stratford, Fulton county. New York, January
15, 1852, his parents being Godlove and Henrietta (Bever) Remmel, both of whom were
natives of Germany. The father was a manufacturer of Bruchhausen, near Cologne,
Prussia, but left that country at the time of the revolution of 1848 and sailed for the
United States that he might enjoy the liberty and freedom of the new world. He came
to America to be an American citizen and not to give a divided allegiance to the country,
so that when the Civil war broke out he gave three of his sons to the cause of the
Union. He followed farming as a life work and both he and his wife spent their remain-
ing days in the Empire state.

Harmon L. Remmel, the only surviving son of the family, obtained his early educa-
tion in his native town and afterward studied in the Fairfield Seminary at Fairfield,
New York, subsequent to which time he took up the profession of teaching, which he
followed for a year in his native state. In 1871 he became a resident of Fort Wayne,
Indiana, and there engaged in business until 1874, when he returned to New York and
devoted his attention to the lumber trade in the eastern metropolis. It was by reason
of that line of business that he became interested in the great lumber resources of
Arkansas and eventually came to this state to make his home in 1876. For a time he
resided at Newport, Jackson county, where he engaged extensively in the manufacture
of lumber, being associated for several years with his brother, Augustus C. Remmel,
under the firm style of Remmel Brothers, the partnership being maintained until 1883,
when the brother died in Newport.

Harmon L. Remmel continued an active factor in the business life of Newport for
two decades and then in 1896 removed to Little Rock, where he has since made his
home. In the meantime he had contributed to the development of the former city,
doing much to upbuild its material interests and to further its civic welfare and
progress. He was twice elected a member of the village council and for eight years served
on the board of education, being chosen president of the first school board formed at
Newport. Since those early days Mr. Remmel has never hesitated to manifest the
keenest interest in public affairs and has cooperated in many plans and projects which
have been fruitful of splendid results in the upbuilding of the commonwealth. At the
same time he has conducted important and extensive business interests, being particu-
larly well known in financial circles. For a considerable period he occupied the presi
dency of the Mercantile Trust Company of Little Rock, retiring from that position in
1912, while in 1914 he assisted in organizing the Bankers Trust Company of Little Rock
and has since been at the head of the corporation. In addition to his banking interests
Mr. Remmel has been state manager for Arkansas of the Mutual Life Insurance Com-
pany of New York for twenty-six years.

Mr. Remmel has been married twice. On the 13th of March, 1878, he wedded Laura

Lee Stafford of Staunton, Virginia, member of one of the old and prominent families

of that state and a daughter of John Stafford, who was a soldier of the Confederate

army in the Civil war, as were his three sons. Mrs. Remmel died in October, 1913, and



in 1915 Mr. Remmel was married in Fort Covington, New York, to Elizabeth I. Cameron,
of a prominent family in tliat community. Prior to lier marriage she was a teacher
of music in the Presbyterian College at Asheville, North Carolina. Afterward tor sev-
eral years she was traveling secretary of the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions,
covering a number of states. Since her marriage she has been deeply interested in the
Young Women's Christian Association work and at the close of the v^ar she was chair-
man of the Assyrian and Armenian Drive of Little Rock and Pulaski county, having
over four hundred women in her organization, and secured more than the quota of
funds assigned to her to raise. She was also active in the Jewish Relief Drive ot
1918-19. They have one son, Harmon L., born November 14, 1916. Mr. Remmel and
his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, and manifest a helpful
interest in its work. They are also prominent in the social circles of the city and the
hospitality of their own home is greatly enjoyed by their many friends. Mr. Remmel
has long manifested most appreciative interest in the Young Men's Christian Associa-
tion and has served as a director thereof for many years. He belongs to the American
Bankers Association and has been a member of the executive council of the savings
bank section. He was made a member ot the state capitol co.iimission, which had in
charge the erection of the state capitol building.

A stanch republican since age conferred upon him the right of franchise, Mr.
Remmel has become a national figure in republican politics, not as an oflSce holder,
for he has had no ambition to fill political positions, but as one who has stood loyally
back of the principles upon which the party is based. At times he has consented to
become a candidate for office, but this has been really as a means of helping his party.
In early manhood he was elected from Jackson county to the state legislature. In
1884 he was nominated for congress but was unable to overcome the large normal
democratic majority. It was two years after this time, however, that he was elected
to the general assembly, being one of the first regularly elected republican members
of the legislature following the reconstruction period after the Civil war. In 1894 the
republicans named him as their candidate for governor, and while defeated by the
Hon. James P. Clarke, the latter, after becoming chief executive, manifested his appre-
ciation of the sterling qualities and distinctive abilities of his former opponent b\
naming him as the only republican member ot the state board of charities. When in
1896 Mr. Remmel again became candidate for governor he was defeated by Hon. Daniel
W. Jones and in 1900, when he was a third time a candidate, his successful opponent
was the Hon. Jeff Davis, although on each occasion Mr. Remmel received a vote far
in advance of that usually accorded the republican party. On the last occasion of his
candidacy his vote was about forty-eight per cent above that of the republican candidate
of two years before. It was by Governor George W. Donaghey. also a democrat, that
Mr. Remmel was made a member of the state capitol commission, which completed the
present magnificent statehouse. Mr. Remmel served as collector of internal revenue
during President McKinley's first administration and President Roosevelt appointed
him in 1906 to the office of United States marshal for the eastern district of Arkansas.
Upon the expiration of his term in May, 1910, he was reappointed by President Taft.
For fourteen years Mr. Remmel was chairman of the republican state central committee
and wisely directed the activities of tlie party (UuiuK slate and national campaigns.
In 1916 Mr. Remmel was tlie lepulilican nominee fur the Inited States senate against
W. F. Kirby, who was elected. He made a most creditable race. In January, 1921, he
was reelected chairman of the state central committee. He was a delegate-at-large to
the national conventions which named Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, Theodore
Roosevelt and William H. Taft as presidential candidates, and he also acted as a mem-
ber of the notification committee which officially carried the news of nomination to
McKinley and Roosevelt. In the national convention which made Taft the standard
bearer of the party he served as a member ot the committee on resolutions. He w'as
a delegate-at-large to the republican national convention in 1920 and member of the
sub-committee on arrangements which prepared for the meeting of the national con
vention in Chicago. He has done much effective and valuable service tor Arkansas
along many lines of improvement and progress. WTiile serving in the general assembly
in 1887 he was made a member of the joint committee which formulated and carried
out the plan under which the long standing debt against the state, amounting to more
than one million dollars, was adjusted and paid, much to the relief and benefit of the
taxpayers of the commonwealth, and thereby upholding the integrity of the state. In
January, 1910, Mr. Remmel was made member ot a committee, by appointment of the
governor, that visited the national capital and brought to the attention of the proper
federal authorities the matter of securing a federal government appropriation for
Arkansas whereby there would be met the expense of a thorough survey ot the wet
and overflowed lands in the northeastern section of the state, that the district might
be rendered onltivatable and transformed into a valuable agricultural region. In con-


nection with this committee's work at Washington a state drainage convention was
held at Little Rock in February, 1910, Mr. Remmel acting as chairman o£ the conven-
tion. He has long been one of the foremost factors in the promotion of good roads
and for one year served as president of the Arkansas Good Roads and Drainage Asso-
ciation. Wliile filling the office of president of the Little Rock Board of Trade he did
much to maintain high civic ideals and to advance the various departments of practical
work undertaken by that body. On the 20th of May, 1921, he was nominated by Presi-
dent Harding as collector of internal revenue for Arkansas to succeed Jack Walker.
Mr. Remmel was selected for the office at the recent meeting of the republican state
central committee, and according to arrangement with Mr. Walker he took office at the
beginning of the fiscal year, July 1, 1921. Since 1913 he has been the member of the
republican national committee from Arkansas.

Mr. Remmel was a close personal friend of Presidents Harrison, McKinley, Roosevelt
and Taft. During the summer of 1918 President Taft visited the various cantonments
throughout the United States to inspire and instruct the young soldiers in lessons of
patriotism in their duty to their country before their departure to the front. During
his visits to Camp Pike he was entertained by Mr. Remmel. After the death of Chief
Justice White, Mr. Remmel probably was one of the first men in the United States to
wire President Harding, urging the appointment of e.x-President Taft as the successor
of the chief justice. He followed up his message by a personal visit to the president
and was given the assurance by him that Taft would be appointed. Governor Jones
appointed Mr. Remmel a colonel on his staff.

There has been no period in the history of Arkansas when she has needed the aid
and support of her loyal sons that Mr. Remmel has not stood with the foremost in
promoting her interests and welfare; and when the nation needed his aid he was found
equally ready to the call of duty. He took a very helpful part in all of the activities
relating to the World war and became chairman of the Four-Minute men of the state.
perfecting an organization of one hundred and seventy-five speakers in the different
counties. He campaigned the state three times in the interests of Liberty Loans and
was the largest subscriber for Liberty bonds of any man in Arkansas. He served on
the committee that went to Washington, D. C, to secure the location of Camp Pike and
on another committee to protest against Camp Pike being removed from the state and
he served on the State Council of Defense. In the summer of 1918 a plan was evolved
to have each farmer give a bushel of wheat, corn, cottonseed or other product for the
benefit of the United States and the allied countries. Colonel Remmel took up this
matter and went to Washington, where he secured the approval of President Wilson
and, returning to Little Rock, started operations. Products to the value of forty
thousand dollars were given by farmers by the time the armistice was signed, at which
time the work was dropped. Another official honor that has come to Mr. Remmel has
been the election to the presidency of the Arkansas Bankers Association. In every-
thing that he has attempted, quick discernment and the faculty of separation of the
Important features of any subject from its incidental or accidental circumstances have
characterized his work. When he presents any cause before an audience it is a dull
mind that does not respond to the touch of his thought, to the play of his fancy, to the
force of his logic. His business has ever balanced up with the principles of truth and
honor, while his public service has been of a most far-reaching and resultant character.
Anyone meeting Mr. Remmel face to face would know at once that he is an individual
embodying all the elements of what in this country we term a "square" man — one in
whom to have confidence, a dependable man in any relation and any emergency. His
quietude of deportment, his easy dignity, his frankness and cordiality of address, with
the total absence of anything sinister or anything to conceal, foretoken a man who is
ready to meet any obligation of life with the confidence and courage that come of
conscious personal ability, right conception of things and an haliitual regard for what
is l)est in the exercise of human activities.


M. L. Price, of the Ozark Poultry & Egg Company and recognized as one of the
alert, energetic and farsighted business men of the city, was born in Bates county,
Missouri, June 8, 1880. and is a son of George and Mary Elizabeth (Warford) Price.
The father was born in northern Missouri and was a representative of one of the old
families of Virginia, his father, who was a native of the Old Dominion, removing to
Missouri during the pioneer epoch in the history of the latter state. There George
Price was reared to manhood and after attaining adult age he wedded Mary Elizabeth
Warford, who was born in Kentucky and was a daughter of Mitchell Warford. also


a native of Kentucky, whence he removed to Missouri prior to the Civil war. George
Price served with the Confederate army during the war between the two sections of
the country and he always gave his political allegiance to the democratic party. He
devoted many years to farming and stock raising, thus providing for the support of
his family. Fraternally he was connected with the Masons and his religious belief
was that of the Methodist Episcopal church, while his wife held membership in the
Baptist church. The death of Mr. Price occurred in 1920 and his widow now resides
in Fort Smith, Arkansas. They became the parents of six children: M. Burge, con-
ducting a grocery and meat market at Bartlesville, Oklahoma; M. L., of this review;
J. L., who is manager of the Poultry Company of Fort Smith; Veaze, who is engaged
in the poultry business at Fort Smith; L. V., who is connected with the American
Express office at Fort Smith; and Cora May, the wife of Dr. Anthony of Fort Smith,
who was formerly a practicing physician at Maryville, Missouri.

M. L. Price obtained his education in the schools of his native state and was
trained to the work of the home farm which claimed his attention in youth and early
manhood. Later he became identified with mercantile interests at Ballard, Missouri,
and about twenty years ago engaged in the poultry business there. He also worked
for other firms in the same line. In January, 1914, he came to Fayetteville and in the
following year purchased the business of the Aaron Poultry Company, Incorporated,
of Kansas City, Missouri, the business being here carried on under the style of the
Ozark Poultry & Egg Company. It was capitalized for twenty thousand dollars and
incorporated by Jay Fulbright, M. L. Price, F. M. Patrick and R. M. Clark. Mr. Price
has continuously served as manager since the incorporation. The business has steadily
grown and developed and the company now maintains branch houses at Fort Smith
and at Rogers. Their success is assured by reason of the progressive business
methods they have ever followed and the close application and unremitting energy of
Mr. Price, who is the active head of the concern. Recently the Ozark Poultry & Egg
Company has made several improvements in its plant and it is the intention to make
the business the largest of the kind in the south. Already it has far outdistanced
many competitors and is regarded as one of the leading commercial enterprises of
Fayetteville and this section of the state. Mr. Price also owns a half interest in the
Security Motor Company.

In 1900 was celebrated the marriage of M. L. Price and Miss Ruey Patrick, who
was born in Kentucky, a daughter of F. M. Patrick, who is engaged in the poultry
and egg business in Elkins, Arkansas. Mr. and Mrs. Price have one daughter, Marvine,
who is attending high school. The parents belong to the Methodist Episcopal church
and Mr. Price is also identified with the Chamber of Commerce. In politics he has
ever been a democrat and is now serving as a member of the city council of Fayette-
ville, exercising his official prerogatives in support of many plans and measures hav-
ing to do with civic betterment and improvement. Starting out in the business world
on his own account when a youth of sixteen years he has since depended entirely upon
his own resources, and his thoroughness, capability and energy have been the dominant
factors in bringing him the success which is now his.


Captain Digby B. West, who became well known as one of the successful farmers of
Arkansas, established his home in the vicinity of Berryville in 1889 and there resided to
the time of his demise in 1902. He was fifty-six years of age when death called him, for
his birth occurred in Ireland in 1846. He was a son of Dean West, who was a dean of
the Episcopal church of Ardagh, Ireland, and later in Presteign, Wales.

Digby B. West was the third in order of birth in a family of eight children. He
acquired a good education in an agricultural college at Cirencester, England, and was
a magistrate in County Roscommon, Ireland, and also became captain of the Royal
Longford Rifies of Ireland. He came to America in 1882, settling on a farm in Texas,
and remained in that state for seven years, but his experience there was anything but
encouraging. His family were all sick and he lost considerable money while attempt-
ing to found a home in the Lone Star state. He had enough left to bring his family
to Arkansas, when in 1889 he decided to try his fortune in this state and settled on a
farm which he purchased near Berryville. Immediately he began to prosper and be
continued to live on his farm throughout his remaining days, devoting his attention to
the work of further improvement and development. In 1900 he set out a nice apple
orchard of fifty acres and in 1920 Mrs. West shipped sixteen carloads of fine apples.

It was in England, in 1868, that Mr. West was united in marriage to Miss Fanny
Louisa Swindell, who was born in England, near London. She is a daughter of John


S. and Mary Louisa (Bond) Swindell. Her father was a highly educated man, being
a graduate of the Royal Engineers College of England, and he devoted his life to the
profession of civil engineering. Mr. and Mrs. West became the parents of thirteen
children, of whom eight are living: Francis married W. J. Jamison of Baltimore, and
they are now living in Berryville. He has devoted his attention to the hotel and
banking business and he also managed Deer Park Hotel, Maryland, in the summer sea-
sons; Digby West, the second of the family, is mentioned elsewhere in this work;
Sidney is an engineer on an ocean steamship and makes his home at San Francisco,
California; Charles is a druggist of Minnesota; Fred is a railroad man, living at
Eureka Springs, Arkansas; Heyrick C. follows farming in the vicinity of Berryville;
Lucy is the wife of E. V. Wier, conducting a dry goods store in the vicinity of San
Diego, California; John lives on his mother's farm and manages the orchard. All are
members of the Episcopal church, but as there is no church of that denomination in
Berryville, Mrs. West attends the Methodist Episcopal church and is pianist for the
congregation. In politics Mr. West was an ardent democrat. Mrs. West lives in a
comfortable home in Berryville. The family is most highly esteemed and Mr. West
left to his wife and children not only a comfortable competence but also that priceless
heritage of an untarnished name.


Digby John West, who for twenty-eight years has been connected with the First
National Bank of Berryville, was born in Ireland, April 22, 1871, a son of Digby _B.
West, mentioned elsewhere in this work. He obtained a public school education "in
Texas and also attended Clarke's Academy at Berryville, a time-honored institution,
while later he spent two years as a student in the military academy at Sweet Springs,
Missouri. He entered upon his business career when a young man as an employe in
the Carroll County Bank, which was converted into The First National Bank of Berry-
ville and he has been connected with the institution throughout the intervening period,
covering twenty-six years. Steadily he has worked his way upward until for the past
five years he has been president of the bank and active in directing the policy of the
institution, which is notably sound and reliable and most carefully safeguards the inter-
ests of its depositors.

In 1897 Mr. West was married to Miss Fannie Clarke, who was born in Berryville
and is a daughter of Professor Isaac A. Clarke, to whom extended reference is made
on another page of this work, her father having for many years been one of the lead-
ing educators of this state. To Mr. and Mrs. West have been born six children: Helen
Maude; Digby Clarke, who is now in school at Columbia, Tennessee; Herbert Brooke,
Rollo Granger and Virginia Frances, all in school; and Vinnie Ream. Mr. West is a
member of the Episcopal church, while his wife holds membership in the Christian church.
Fraternally he is a Royal Arch Mason and is a loyal follower of the teachings and
purposes of the craft. In politics he has always been a democrat and keeps well in-
formed on the questions and issues of the day but has never been an aspirant for public
office. He devotes his time to the bank and is leading a most active life in connection
with the business interests of Berryville, where the sterling worth of hii; character is
widely recognized and where the circle of his friends is almost coextensive v.''*h the circle
of his acquaintances.


Burton 0. George, vice president of the First National Bank of Berryville. was
born November 24, 1872, in the house in which he now resides, his parents being
William Patrick and Mary (Burton) George, both of whom were natives of Barry
county, Missouri. The father was born near Cassville in 1846 and died on the 13th
of October. 1915. The mother's birth occurred in the same neighborhood in 1850 and
she now makes her home in Berryville. They were the parents of four children, of
whom two are living. Burton O. and Charles A., the latter a physician of Berryville
who is mentioned on another page of this work. William Patrick and Mary (Bur-

Online LibraryDallas T. (Dallas Tabor) HerndonCentennial history of Arkansas → online text (page 1 of 186)