CAPT. A. R. MCPHERSON. This worthy gentleman and old pioneer of Newton County, Arkansas, comes of fine old Virginia stock, although he, himself, was born in the State of Alabama, August 17, 1830, the seventh of eleven children born to the marriage of Reuben McPherson and Elizabeth Rash.
The father was one of the early pioneers of Tennessee and took part in the War of 1812, under Gen. Jackson, with whom he participated in the battle of New Orleans. After the war he was married in Tennessee and moved with his young wife to Jackson County, Ala., where he was called from life, August 15, 1842. The following spring his widow sold the farm in Alabama and moved to Boone County, Arkansas, settling on Crooked Creek, seven miles south of Harrison, where she lived until October, 1848, when she came to Newton County and settled on the Hudson Fork of the Buffalo, where she has since made her home with the exception of the last four years. Her second husband was Rev. J. E. Casey, of Newton County, who died in 1863. She was born in 1799 and is now in her ninety-sixth year, and is by far the oldest person in this part of the country. Notwithstanding her advanced years she is in excellent health and enjoys the society of her children and grandchildren. Her children, eleven in number, were named as follows: S. R., who is living in Texas; Hiram, who died in Alabama at the age of thirteen years; Cynthia, who died in Boone County, Arkansas, the wife of Joseph Terry; Elizabeth, who resides in Marion County, Arkansas, the widow of John Wickersham; J. P., who died shortly after the close of the Mexican War, in which struggle he participated; A. R., the subject of this sketch; William F., who is living in Johnson County, Arkansas; W. C., who died in Sebastian County, Arkansas; Sarah C., who died in this county; John C., who died at the age of four years in Alabama; and a child that died in infancy. Owing to the fact that Boone County was very thinly settled at the time of the removal of the family thither, the advantages which the children had for obtaining an education were very poor, but A. R. McPherson acquired a good education through self-application.
When he started out in life for himself he located on a farm eight miles above Jasper, but sold out in 1859 with the intention of moving to Texas, but owing to the opening of the war he remained in the mountains with his stock. After a time he enlisted in Company E, Second Infantry Volunteers, under Col. M. L. Stevens, of Illinois, and was elected captain of his company by a unanimous vote, serving from 1863 until August, 1865, when he was honorably discharged. He served principally in Arkansas and was in two hard fought battles, being in the eight days’ fight before the battle of Jenkins’ Ferry, besides skirmishes while on scouting duty in Newton and Boone Counties. He was an excellent soldier, but his hard service considerably undermined his health which has never since been as good as could be desired. He is a Republican politically, and held the positions of county and probate judge in 1866 and 1867, receiving his appointment from the Governor of the State. He held the office of county judge two terms, and for the past ten years has held the office of justice of the peace.
He was married to Miss Eliza J. Carlton, of Tennessee, a daughter of Alfred Carlton, who came to Newton County at an early day, and until his death resided on a farm eight miles above Jasper. He became a prominent citizen of this county, and his death, in 1880, was much regretted by all who knew him. Mrs. McPherson was born in Tennessee, and has borne her husband thirteen children, ten of whom are living: W. A., who resides in Johnson County; Mary E., wife of Jesse Casey, of this county; Sarah, wife of J. H. Norris; J. R., a farmer of Newton County; J. H., who lives on a farm eight miles above Jasper; Delilah G., wife of William Nichols, of this county; Nancy E., wife of J. H. McHughes, of this county; Martha is living in Berry County, Missouri, the wife of John Carlin; W. S., who is an attorney of Jasper, Arkansas, and Blaine, who is at home. S. R., Cynthia A. and Alabama died young.
Capt. and Mrs. McPherson are members of the Primitive Baptist Church, of which the Captain has been a minister since 1869. He has been successful in a business way, is the owner of a fine farm on Buffalo Creek, and is highly esteemed throughout Newton County, being especially active as a worker for the causes of religion and education. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M., the G. A. R., and is now one of the useful and enterprising citizens of Jasper.