Biography of B. M. Estes

B. M. ESTES. There is no branch of commerce in the United States or elsewhere that is of more importance and enters more intimately into the interests of a locality than the selling of general merchandise, and this important calling is that in which Mr. Estes is engaged. He is a member of the firm of Estes & Cawdrey, of Eros, Arkansas, which connection was made in November 1893.

Mr. Estes was born at Woodbury, Tennessee, September 23, 1844, being one of twelve children born to John M. and Charlotte (Elkins) Estes, the former of whom was a native of the Old North State and a son of John and Margaret Estes. John Estes was killed in the Florida Indian War and his widow survived him until 1857. John M. Estes attained manhood in Tennessee, gained a moderate education, and was married there, but in 1847 emigrated to Marion County, Arkansas, and until his death, March 12, 1881, was a resident most of the time of Yellville. He became well known throughout this section, was respected by all who knew him and was a man of unblemished reputation. His wife was born in Tennessee, in 1809, a member of the well-known Elkin family of that State, and is still living on her farm near Yellville, and in addition to her twelve children she has 240 grand, great-grand, and great-great-grandchildren. By trade John M. Estes was a blacksmith, but later he became a merchant, was a strong Democrat and free trader politically, and for some time treasurer of Marion County and was also deputy sheriff for some time. He was a Union man during the war and greatly opposed to secession, but all his sons upheld the Southern cause. He remained neutral during the war, resided in Yellville and was never molested by the opposing armies, but was considerably annoyed by bushwhackers. His children were as follows: Edward was a soldier of the Confederate Army and died while in the service, leaving a wife and six children; Margaret is the widow of Gideon Thompson and resides near Yellville; John died in 1874, was a Confederate soldier; Elizabeth is the widow of H. R. Hutchison and she and Mrs. Thompson are living together; Mary C. is the wife of A. S. Wood; James is living near Yellville and was a Confederate soldier; Parolle died at the age of two years; Benjamin M.; Nathaniel was a Confederate soldier and is living near Yellville; William resides one mile from that place; Silas died at the age of three years, and Thomas J. is the editor of the Lead Hill Sentinel, Lead Hill, Boone County, Arkansas The parents of these children were members of the Christian Church.

The greater part of the life of B. M. Estes has been spent in Marion and Boone Counties. At the age of sixteen he entered the Confederate service and served faithfully from 1861 to 1865, being mustered out with the rank of lieutenant, in charge of one section of courier line from Mississippi to Trans-Mississippi Department, having participated in the engagements at Poison Springs, Mark’s Mill, and others too numerous to mention. Upon his return he found his parents in a needy condition and he at once gave them his aid in the making of a crop, and was never again blessed with the opportunity of attending school. January 11 , 1866, he was married to Martha Jackson, a daughter of David and P. (Brown) Jackson. She was born in Taney County, Missouri, October 25, 1847, of which section her parents were among the early pioneers from Tennessee. The father was a native of North Carolina and died in Springfield, Missouri, while a prisoner during the war. His wife is still living and is now nearly eighty-seven years of age. Three of their ten children are living: Nancy, David and Martha.

Mr. Estes became the owner of a good farm four miles from Yellville, but at the end of five years sold out and moved to Kansas and only remained there four months. He then returned to Yellville and entered the livery business, building the stable which Mr. Wilson now owns. Later he purchased a farm seven miles from town, but sold it eventually and moved to Boone County, engaged in the nursery business, and in this occupation has ever since been interested. He purchased a fine farm three miles west of Harrison and moved his nursery to it, and was very successful in that business. In October, 1893, he formed his present partnership and they are doing a thriving business, keeping an excellent general line of goods.

He and his wife became members of the Christian Church in 1867, and he is an active worker in the same and also for the causes of education and temperance. He is an earnest Sunday-school worker, being loved by the children, for whom he ever has a kind word. In fact he is a worthy man and a useful citizen. He has been active in political work, has been a delegate to various conventions, but aside from this has not been an aspirant for public favor. He and his wife have eight children: Huldah, wife of Eugene Speer, of Harrison; Ora, wife of J. A. Cawdrey, of Eros; Alice, wife of J. G. Pillow, of Harrison; Iranora; Isadora, wife of Prof. W. I. Terry, of Harrison; Martin Oliver, Essie and Nettie M. Not-withstanding the old saying that “a rolling stone gathers no moss,” Mr. Estes has been successful in the accumulation of means, and although he has made many changes of residence he is the owner of a fine farm of 263 acres, also one of 100 acres near Harrison, Boone County, besides the interest in the general mercantile establishment at Eros.


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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