Biography of Dempsey S. Harrell

DEMPSEY S. HARRELL. The name of this gentleman is a familiar one throughout Searcy County, Arkansas, and is synonymous with the farming interests of his section. There is no one who illustrates more fully in his career the unbounded energy and activity of the agriculturist than does he, and the magnificent farm of 700 acres, of which he is the owner, is one of the finest lying pieces of ground in this section of the country. He has resided on and been the owner of this land since 1887, and has 247 acres under cultivation. He first saw the light of day in Hardin County, Tennessee, February 16, 1830, a son of E. D. and Mary (Whaley) Harrell. who were natives of the Old North State, the former being a son of David and Celia (Davis) Harrell, North Carolinians also. The Harrells are of Irish extraction, and the family tree first took root on American soil when three brothers of the name came to this country and were among the very first settlers of North Carolina.

Some of the early members of the family were soldiers in the Revolutionary War, notably the great-grand-father and the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, the service of the former extending throughout the entire struggle, during which time he was wounded four times. David Harrell was in the cavalry service during the War of 1812, and in 1865 died in Tennessee. He was a farmer and became a well-known man. He was married in 1818 in North Carolina and at once moved to Tennessee where he located and lived until his death, his widow’s death occurring there two years after his own. She was a daughter of John Whaley, a North Carolinian, and she and her husband became the parents of seven children: Eliza, Senncy, Nancy E., Winnie, Elilia B., Dempsey S., Sarah J., the two last mentioned being the only ones now living.

The subject of this sketch was twenty-three years of age at the time he became a resident of Searcy County, Arkansas, and for one year thereafter he resided on Bear Creek. He then spent four years in Clark County, Arkansas, and in 1858 went to Hardin County, Tennessee, where he remained until 1863. He then removed with his family to Illinois, and after a residence of two years in Johnson County he again went to Hardin County, Tennessee, and in 1872 took up his abode in Izard County, Arkansas At the end of four years he located on the upper part of Bear Creek, and in 1882 settled at Rally Hill, Boone County Arkansas, and in 1887 bought the farm on which he is now residing. Considerable of his attention is given to stockraising, and in 1890 he was engaged in farming in Marshall. He is a Republican in politics, and socially is a member of the A. F. & A. M. and the I. O. O. F., and has held office in both lodges. In business he has been remarkably successful, for all he owns has been acquired through his own efforts.

He was married in Tennessee to Miss Sarah McLin. a daughter of J. C. and Susan (Alexander McLin, both Tennesseeans, her birth also occurring in that State July 21, 1830. To Mr. and Mrs. Harrel six children have been given: Mary, who died after her marriage with John B. McCaslin; Eliza J., who is the widow of William Parks; James M., who is a farmer of Boone County, Arkansas; Winnie C., who is the wife of William Rogers. of this county; Sarah A., widow of John Hand; Submintha E., wife of William C. Hatcher. Mr. and Mrs. Harrell are members of the Christian Church and have a comfortable and pleasant home about six miles from Marshallii on the Marshall and Harrison road.



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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