Biography of J. H. Adair

Last Updated on July 13, 2012 by

J. H. ADAIR. This gentleman was born in Independence, Autauga County, Ala., on March 3, 1828. His father was James Adair, born in Morgan County, Ga., in 1806, a successful merchant in Alabama for ten years, then a farmer of Talladega, Ala., until August 5, 1845, when he died, leaving a widow and nine children-five sons and four daughters. His widow, Sarah Adair, remained there until after the late war, when she returned to Georgia, where she now resides in Gainesville, and is in her eighty-fifth year. Her maiden name was Sarah Dean. She was born February 19, 181O, in Twiggs County, Ga., and was married to James Adair, the boy merchant, in 1826. Her sons all did noble service through the war. Two are dead, three are living-two in Atlanta, Ga., and one in Arkansas; one daughter in Atlanta and three in Gainesville, Ga.

J. H. Adair now lives near Harrison, Boone County, Arkansas He lived with his mother until he was twenty-three years old, superintending a small farm with a few slaves and his four younger brothers, and on September 3, 1850, was married to Ellenore Pace, a beautiful girl of eighteen summers, the daughter of Bartly M. Pace, a well-to-do planter. J. H. Adair bought a small farm four miles from his old home, and farmed four years. In the fall of 1854 he emigrated to Texas with his wife and one child, two years old. They traveled in a wagon drawn by a mule-team, and carried two likely young Negro women with them. He settled in Smith County, Tex., south of Tyler, the county seat, bought a farm and succeeded in making a respectable living on it until the war. He has been a member of the Missionary Baptist Church forty-five years, and has never failed to vote the Democratic ticket since 1849. He has used neither coffee, whisky, nor tobacco for over forty years. He entered a regiment of volunteers in 1862 commanded by Col. Dick Hubbard, since governor of Texas. He served four months and was taken with the measles, when he hired a substitute for $1,000, and went home. After raising a crop, and when the State troops were called out, he volunteered, and was elected captain of a company. He was assigned duty at Camp Ford, near Tyler, to guard Federal prisoners, of whom there were 5,000 at one time. After six months’ service there the State and Confederate service were blended. He went to the coast and joined Col. Bates’ regiment, Thirteenth Texas Infantry, Company H, and was elected second lieutenant. He served till the surrender in May, 1865. He surrendered at Marshall, Tex., with an honorable discharge, so far as a poor rebel could, and returned to his wife and children in Smith County, Tex., to find his all swept away except a little home. He continued to farm until the fall of 1871, when the annoyance of free Negroes and chills and fever proved so great, and having lost six children out of nine, he decided to go to the Ozark region in search of health, fruit and vegetables. He arrived here in December, 1871,with his wife and three children-two daughters and one son, all still living in Boone County. The eldest daughter, W. E., married J. A. Jackson in October, 1872, and had two sons, one died at the age of four years, and the other is still living, aged three years; W. D. Adair married Ada Martin in August, 1888, and has a son three years old and a daughter eighteen months old (W. D. was born September 18, 1857); S . Adair, born October 20, 1867, was married to M. M. Dickson, of Drew County, Arkansas, October 24, 1890, but now live in Harrison, Arkansas, and have two children, a son, Carrol Adair Dickson, three years old, and a daughter, Ellenore Beulah Dickson, one year old. M. M. Dickson is a native of Drew County, and was raised a farmer by a widowed mother. His father was killed in cold blood by a Federal mob of renegades during the war. J. H. Adair bought land of William Stroud in January, 1872, unimproved, on Gaither Prairie, two miles due south of Harrison, for $10 per acre, upon which he has resided ever since. Seventy acres are under cultivation, thirty of which are in orchard, and during the last ten years has yielded an average of 2,000 bushels of fruit per annum. For the last fifteen years he has been engaged in stockraising (as well as fruit), principally horses, with a few cattle, hogs and asses. He believes in a fruit and stock farm for an independent, honest living, and that diligence, prudence and industry in any calling is essential to success. He was made a Royal Arch Mason in Tyler, Tex., in 1857.

His eldest brother, H. W. Adair, was for four years a member of the Tenth Alabama Regiment Infantry, was in twelve regular battles under Gen. Robert E. Lee, and was taken prisoner and kept at Elmira, New York, twelve months, where he died one day after Gen. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, Virginia Green B. Adair was a member of same regiment, in seventeen battles, and received only one slight wound. He surrendered with Lee at Appomattox. A. D. Adair was on Gen. Forrest’s staff during the last two years of the war. W. D. Adair, J. H. Adair’s youngest brother, was in the Tenth Alabama Regi-ment, and had one hand shot off in battle. He was discharged just before the close of the war. The Adair family are numerous in the United States, all having sprung from three brothers who came from the north of Ireland before the old Revolutionary War, one of whom married a Cherokee Indian woman, the other two white women. J. H. Adair is the offspring of the white race, his great grandfather being Scotch-Irish.

J. H. Adair is a man of determined will, firm in his principles, and is a Baptist, a Mason, and a Prohibition Democrat.


A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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