Biography of Henry Fullbright

Daniel N. Fulbright, Boone Co., Arkansas.
Photo is of Daniel N. Fulbright, Boone Co., Arkansas.

This is one of the most remarkable and worthy families of Boone County, Arkansas, and about the year 1700 the family tree first took root on American soil. The original founder of the family came to America from Holland, made a settlement in Pennsylvania, and was the great-grandfather of the present generation. John Fullbright, his son, is thought to have been born in the Keystone State and in all probability was a soldier of the Revolution. In 1815 he came west to Missouri from the Old North State, the journey thither being made by wagon, the larger portion of the Fullbright family coming at the same time. Here he and his wife died a short time after their arrival. Mrs. Fullbright’s maiden name was Elizabeth Coulter, and to them five sons and five daughters were given, all of whom had reached maturity before leaving the East: William, who died In Springfield, Missouri, in 1842; Martin, who died in Texas; Daniel, who died in Laclede County, Missouri; John, whe also died in Laclede County; Judge David reared a family of nineteen children and died in Texas; Christina (Gooden); Kittie (Evans); Elizabeth (Williams); Sallie (Smythers), and Susan (Daniels). John Fullbright and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Their son William, well known as ” Uncle Billy,” married Ruth Hollingsworth and moved to Missouri, thence to Tennessee, and in 1829 returned to Missouri and made his home at what is now known as Fullbright Springs, in Greene County, and cultivated land almost up to what is now the public square of Springfield. He was a very highly respected citizen of his day, became wealthy and died September 22, 1842, his wife dying May 30, 1874. Both were members of the Christian Church. He was born in the Old North State January 8, 1785, and at his death left a fine property valued at $100,000 to be divided among his children, which numbered twelve sons and one daughter: Ephraim, who is living in Boone County and is now eighty-six years old; Levi, who is living in Laclede County, Missouri, at the age of eighty-four years; Rhoda became the wife of Samuel Weaver and died in 1830; Henry has resided in Boone County, Arkansas, since the war; John L. died in Greene County in 1893; Alexander died in infancy; David lived and died in Springfield, Missouri; Wilson lived in Lawrence County, but died in Springfield; Eli died after reaching manhood; Samuel died in Springfield; William died in Lawrence County, Missouri; Elcanah died in infancy, and Daniel, the youngest son, lives at Valley Springs, Arkansas.

Henry Fullbright was born in North Carolina, November 25, 1814. He was reared to farm life in Missouri and Tennessee, and in 1829 became a resident of Springfield. About 1834 or 1835 he began the mercantile business in Springfield under the firm name of Fullbright & Son, but when only nineteen years old was elected to the office of constable, and later to the position of county judge, eventually receiving the appointment of receiver from President Pierce in the Land Office. He held other offices in Greene County up to 1861, when he moved to Arkansas, and at the close of the war took up his residence in Boone County and started in the arduous work of rebuilding his fortune. Being a man of shrewd business views he has been successful. He was married in 1838 to Isabel, daughter of Col. William Sanders. She was born in Kentucky, was reared in Indianapolis, Indiana, and with her father came to Greene County, Missouri, in 1837. After living for a number of years in Springfield, she came with her husband to Arkansas, and here died July 11, 1870. She had seven children, four of whom are living: Joannah, wife of S. M. Jessup, of Texas; William S., who was killed during the Civil War in a skirmish in Christian County, Missouri; Henry A., who is a farmer and stockman, of Boone County, Arkansas; Mary J., wife of Benjamin Burns, died in Stone County, Arkansas; Samuel, who is blind, lives in Texas; Thomas, also of Texas. and David M., deceased. Henry Fullbright has been almost a lifelong member of the Christian Church, and he and the late Gov. Phelps, of Missouri, were great friends. Daniel N. Fullbright was born in Pulaski County, Missouri, March 14, 1830, his parents being William and Ruth (Hollingsworth) Fullbright. He was but a few weeks old when the family settled in Greene County, Missouri, and in the town of Springfield he attained manhood and acquired a practical education, later finishing his education in Bethany College, Virginia, where he remained two years. At the age of twenty years he left school and was married soon after to Miss Emmalet Weaver, a daughter of Joseph Weaver, Sr., and moved to Lawrence County, Missouri, where he made his home until 1857, being engaged in farming and raising stock. During the time he resided there he was elected to the office of sheriff, but did not want the office and soon resigned. In 1857 he made up a wagon train and took a thousand cattle across the plains to California, which expedition he organized in company with C. H. Crawford, who was killed by the Indians and buried in the mountains of California. They started April 17, 1857, and arrived at their destination in August, and although they met with many thrilling adventures on the long journey, were not seriously delayed or molested by Indians. They purchased a claim in Plumas County, on which they lived until 1858, when they moved to Feather River to escape the Indians, and there continued to reside until the fall of that year, when they went to the Sacramento Valley. There they sold their stock and took a steamer for the States, coming home via the Isthmus of Panama. Mr. Fullbright took his wife and baby daughter, Judith R., with him across the plains and they stood the journey well, the health of Mrs. Fullbright being greatly improved by life in the open air. They located on a farm three miles south of Springfield, Missouri and there made their home until 1862, when Mr. Fullbright enlisted in Price’s army and served until the war closed. In 1862 he helped raise an Arkansas regiment of Jackman’s brigade, of which he was appointed lieutenant-colonel. In the battle of Pea Ridge he was wounded twice, once by grapeshot and once by a gunshot. In that engagement he also had his hand badly injured by a falling branch from a tree. He was with Price in all his engagements in Missouri, and during the forty-five days that he was out with him he lost twenty-six of his men. He was in many skirmishes, but at all times showed the utmost courage and good judgment, and his men came to place the utmost confidence in him. He had his collar-bone broken on the Missouri raid and rode 200 miles into Texas, but was there compelled to retire from the service for a short time. After the war he located in Izard County, Arkansas, raised a crop of cotton and in 1866 moved where he now lives, which was then considered a part of Carroll County. He lived for one year on the farm on which his brother Ephraim now lives, then moved to the village of Valley Springs. In May, 1867, together with Capt. T. J. Morrison, he opened a mercantile store there, and they continued in business together for about sixteen years. In 1883 Mr. Fullbright became the sole proprietor and carried on the business alone until 1888, when he sold his store to S.W. Pierce, but still carried on his farming and stock business, which occupations have received his attention ever since. He has bought and shipped stock to all points of the North and South, owns large tracks of land in Boone and Marion Counties, a very large proportion of which is rich in minerals, and has 1,000 acres under cultivation. All told he has about 3,500 acres. He has been one of the most successful men in Boone County, and is one of the worthiest citizens of the county, for he gives liberally of his means in the support of worthy causes, and has helped to build up the schools of Valley Springs. He donated the ground and at his own expense erected one of the finest country school buildings in the county. No man in that entire section has done more for its improvement than has he, and the respect and regard which is accorded him is but his just due. He was also a liberal contributor to the erection of the substantial school building at Valley Springs, where some of the brightest talent of the State has been educated. In other ways, too numerous to mention, he has shown himself to be truly philanthropical and liberal. As a merchant, his many sterling traits of character won him a liberal patronage, for it soon came to be known that his word could at all times be relied upon, and he continued in the business for about twenty-five years. Mr. Fullbright has attributed much of his success in life to his amiable and intelligent wife who at all times proved a helpmate and a safe counselor. She was the first white child born in Greene County, Missouri, April 23, 1831, being the daughter of Joseph Weaver. She was reared and educated in Springfield, and was married at the age of twenty. Prior to their journey to California they lost a baby daughter, Flora A., and reared only their daughter, Judith R., who married Dr. John G. Hale. Mr. Fullbright and his wife are members of the Christian Church. He is a member of the Valley Springs Lodge No. 458, of the A. F. & A. M. He has always been a Democrat. His son-in-law, Dr. John G. Hale, was born in Tennessee, September IO, 1848, to Thomas and Fannie (Wellborn) Hale, who moved to Texas in 1849, made a home in Red River County, and where the father died in 1887. He was a soldier in the Confederate Army in the Trans-Mississippi Department and became a thrifty and well-to-do farmer. His father, Guy Hale, was of English descent and was a soldier in the Creek Indian War. The mother was born in Tennessee, and died in 1869, having borne her husband four children: John G.; Elizabeth (Flemming), living in Texas; Thomas J. and Johnson W. The Doctor was educated in McKenzie College, and in 1876 took up the study of medicine with Dr. Hickerson at Valley Springs, Missouri, and later graduated from the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia. Penn., taking a post-graduate course in the same institution in 1890. His first practice was done at Valley Springs, and although he practices all branches of his profession he has made a speciality of diseases of the throat, nose and ear. The Doctor has been a resident of Boone County since 1869, and was married in 1870 to Judith R. Fullbright, who was born in Greene County, Missouri, September 7, 1852, and was educated in St. Louis. The Doctor and his wife have five children: Fannie E., Dan Abbott, Wilburn W., Helen and Judith G. Dr. Hale is a member of the K. of P., Springfield Lodge No. 213, and politically is a Democrat and active in politics. He and his family lived in Springfield from 1887 to 1891, and in addition to following his practice he has given considerable attention to farming and the handling of stock. Dr. Hale and his wife move in the highest social circles, are finely educated and have a beautiful and comfortable home, the abode of refinement and good taste. Ephraim Fullbright, brother of Daniel, was born in North Carolina, January 13, 1809, and became a resident of Missouri when it was a Territory. He was married in Callaway County, that State, to Elizabeth Yount, and by her became the father of eight children, all of whom reached their majority. At the opening of the war Mr. Fullbright came to Arkansas and located on his present farm near Valley Springs. He has devoted his life to farming and stock raising and has accumulated a handsome property. His wife died February 20, 1889. He has always been a Democrat, has long been a member of the Christian Church, and is one of the most noted pioneers of southwest Missouri. He is the eldest member of the Fullbright family, is now eighty-five years of age, and makes his home with his granddaughter Miss Mary E. Fullbright. His children were F. M., John Y., Henry David, William W., Telitha, Abbie (Walker), Mary and Selita Ann (Smith ). F. M. lives in Boone County, Arkansas; John Y. at Springfield, Missouri; Henry D. and William W. were killed during the the war; A. B. (Walker) and Mary are dead, and Selita died after her marriage with Jasper Smith.




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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