Biography of Robert Capps

ROBERT CAPPS. This gentleman has been a resident of this section since 1837, coming thither from St. Louis County, Missouri, where he had settled in 1836. He was born in Mecklenburg County, N. C., February 2, 1820, in which State his parents, Richard and Rachel (Barnhill) Capps, were also born and reared. After their marriage they removed to Tennessee and made a good home for themselves in Grainger County, but in 1836 removed to Missouri, and the following year came to this section of Arkansas.

The father became a prominent farmer of Newton County, but was called from life in Boone County in 1867, his wife having died in Alabama in 1828, after having borne him two children: William and Robert. Mr. Capps’ second wife was Pricie Brady, who resides in Indian Territory. Two children resulted from this union. Mr. Capps was a Democrat in politics.

The early life of Robert Capps was spent in his native State, and in the mountains of Newton County, Arkansas Following in his father’s footsteps he became quite a noted Nimrod in his youth, and, while the State was in a primitive condition, he killed many bears and deer, and on one occasion in one day killed four panthers. He had many thrilling experiences and many narrow escapes from death, but his nerve and coolness carried him through safely on every occasion. He began doing for himself in 1837, and passed a very eventful life in the wilds of Newton County, a life which he greatly enjoyed on account of its freedom and independence, notwithstanding the hardships which he was compelled to undergo. He was married in Newton County, in 1839, to Miss Elvira Woody, a daughter of John Woody, a soldier in the War of 1812, her birth having occurred in Tennessee. To them a good old-fashioned family of twelve children were given: William F., who resides in this county; Mary, who died after her marriage with Thomas Taylor; Richard, who is a farmer in this county, and was a soldier in the Civil War; Malinda is a resident of Texas and the wife of John Ingram; John farms in the vicinity of Harrison; Alvira is the wife of James Hankins of Boone County; George resides on a farm in Texas; James is also in Texas; Scott is farming in this county; and Henry resides in Idaho. Two children died in early childhood.

William F., Richard and Robert, sons of Robert Capps, Sr., enlisted in Rabb’s battery, Second Missouri Light Artillery, in 1862. Robert died in St. Louis in 1862, and the other two were mustered out of service at St. Louis. The mother of these children was called from this life in 1883, and in 1887 the father wedded Mary, the daughter of Samuel and Isabella (McConnell) Kennedy, the former of whom was a Virginian and removed to Tennessee, where he died. His father came from Ireland. The mother died in Boone County, Arkansas, in 1883, having emigrated to this section in 1852. Mrs. Capps was born in Polk County, Tennessee, in 1837, a sister, Elizabeth, being a twin with her.

Mr. Capps has been a resident of the section in which he now lives for nearly sixty years, has always tilled the soil, and besides the farm of fifty acres on which he resides, he is the owner of other valuable lands in Newton and Boone Counties. For the past two years he has resided at Elmwood, but continues to look after his farming and stockraising interests, having always given much attention to this branch of agriculture. He is a substantial and law-abiding citizen, was a strong Union man during the war, and while the great struggle was in progress, was a resident of Missouri. He lost heavily during that time, and his wife, her sister and their widowed mother had a hard struggle to keep the wolf from the door while the great conflict between the North and South was being waged. Mrs. Capps was one of the first teachers of Newton County, is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, while Mr. Capps has long been a Baptist. He is a member of Bellefonte Lodge of the A. F. & A. M.


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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