Biography of Judge W. B. Flippin

JUDGE W. B. FLIPPIN. It is a pleasure to describe a man of unusual personal merit-the possessor of a combination of gifts so rare, so varied and so comprehensive that happiness and success in business were bound to follow the application of his qualities to the solution of almost any problem of life. It has been said, and truly said, that “some men are born great, some have greatness thrust upon them and some achieve greatness,” and to this last most important class belongs the subject of this sketch, Judge W. B. Flippin, who was born in Monroe County, Kentucky, September 4, 1817, the elder of two sons born to Thomas H. and Elizabeth (Baugh) Flippin, the former of whom was a Kentuckian and a son of Thomas Flippin who was a soldier of the Revolution, serving the Colonial cause as a scout, in which capacity he made a name for himself. He removed to Kentucky about 1800 and became a well-to-do farmer of Monroe County, his home being near Pikeville. Four of his sons were soldiers in the War of 1812. Thomas H. Flippin grew to manhood on Kentucky soil and about 1825 moved to Tennessee, and in 1837 to Arkansas, his death occurring in Marion County of this State in 1856, his widow surviving him until 1889. They took up their abode on the farm on which Judge Flippin is now living and here reared their two sons: Judge W. B. and Thomas H. P. In 1849 the father held the position of clerk of Marion County and he and his wife were worthy members of the Christian Church. Thomas H. P. Flippin, their son, was a wealthy farmer of this county, was highly respected, and his death, which occurred in 1892, was regretted by many.

Judge W. B. Flippin was married in Izard County, Arkansas, in 1841, to Miss Agnes W. Adams, who was born in Hopkins County near Madisonville, Kentucky, in 1815, a daughter of James Adams who came to this State about 1835 from Missouri, but who had originally been a resident of Hopkins County, Kentucky Her union with Judge Flippin resulted in the birth of three sons and four daughters, as follows: Thomas H., who is the private secretary of Gov. Fishback; James A., a successful farmer of the county; John P., who died in Texas; Elizabeth, is the wife of James Lynch, of Marion County, Arkansas; Ella J. is still with her parents; Letitia is the wife of Henry W. Lynch; and Matilda A. is the deceased wife of W. C. McBee all the children reside in Marion County.

Judge Flippin is a man of fine intellect, is exceptionally well educated, and being well posted on all topics of general interest his opinion is regarded as almost infallible. He has ever been deeply interested in the politics of his section, has held every office within the gift of the county, with the exception of that of sheriff and clerk. He was elected representative to the State Legislature in 1854, and again in 1874. This Legislature adjourned and met again in 1875. In 1877 he was elected enrolling and engrossing clerk of the State Senate. Judge Flippin has always discharged his duties with credit to himself and his constituency. He is a beau ideal public servant, faithful, efficient and trustworthy. As a judge he has displayed the utmost intelligence and impartial fairness, and his pleasing manner and intelligent conversation make him a most agreeable companion. During the great Civil War he was captain of a company in the early part of the struggle, but was later elected quartermaster of McBride’s brigade and held this position until the war closed. He has held the office of justice of the peace for many years and for twenty years served in the capacity of county surveyor. He became a member of Yellville Lodge of the A. F. & A. M. prior to the war and is still a member of that honorable order. He has a farm of many acres, has given each of his children farms, and they are now living all around him, worthy and substantial citizens. Judge Flippin was left a widower in 1884, but later married Mrs. Rachel Butts, of Johnson County, Arkansas, widow of Hon. H. G. Butts with whom she lived peacefully until the spring of 1889, when finding their dispositions not in unison, they decided to separate amicably, the Judge accompanying her to her home in Johnson County. Judge Flippin is now seventy-seven years old, and lives with his son, Thomas H. Flippin. In 1858 he united with the Church of Christ, and has been a faithful worker and minister of the Gospel, and hopes for many years to come to continue his great usefulness.


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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