Biography of Hon. Pleasant N. Gulley

HON. PLEASANT N. GULLEY. This worthy representative of a successful, thoroughgoing and industrious Missouri farmer and stockraiser came originally from Hawkins County, Tennessee, where he was born in 1824. His parents, Lewis and Jane (Rolin) Gulley, were born in the Old Carolina State about 1784 and 1786, respectively, where they were reared and married, after which they moved to Tennessee and entered land in Hawkins County, and on that land spent the rest of their lives, dying in 1849 and 1833, respectively. They were Methodists, and the father was a soldier in the War of 1812 under Gen. Jackson. He was one of six sons, all of whom were men of considerable prominence; Elder Nathan was one of the first Baptist ministers of North Carolina; Robert, Reddick and George being the only ones remembered.

Their father came to this country from Wales in a very early day and settled and eventually died in the Old North State, where, by industry, good management and honesty, he had accumulated a comfortable fortune. The maternal grandparents also lived and died in North Carolina. To Lewis and Jane Gulley the following children were born: George W., who died in Illinois at the age of seventy-eight years, a blacksmith; John, who died in Hawkins County, Tennessee; Alfred is a farmer of Van Buren County, Tennessee; Pleasant N. and Wiley R. died in Texas, about 1889; Martha died in infancy and another daughter died in infancy unnamed.

Pleasant N. Gulley spent his early life on his father’s farm, but was deprived of nearly all educational advantages owing to the fact that the country was new, good teachers scarce, and his services were required on the home farm.  In 1849 he was married in Hawkins County to Miss Martha Jane, daughter of Joseph and Martha (Alderson) Middlecoff, native Virginians who became wealthy citizens of Hawkins County, Tennessee, the father’s death occurring on his farm there and the mother’s in Bradley County, Tennessee Mrs. Gulley was born in Virginia, and became the mother of nine children: Elizabeth Ann, wife of Hon. A. H. Livingston, of West Plains; Robert H.; George M.; John W.; Mary, wife of H.L. Bolin; Martha Jane, wife of 0. Besheer; Joseph Lewis, Pleasant N. and William Henry.

In 1855 Mr. Gulley packed up his household effects and with his family started on the overland journey to Missouri, and at the end of six weeks arrived at Howell County. He at once entered a tract of land, which constitutes his present farm, and has lived here ever since. He is now the oldest settler in Hutton Valley, Howell County. The country at that time was covered with a rich growth of primeval forest, and inhabited by but few settlers. The nearest marketing point was at Pocahontas, eighty miles away, and many of their settlers went to St. Louis to do their trading. Mr. Gulley was not a partisan during the war, and during that time was considerably annoyed by both armies, to the extent of losing much of his property. He was not subject to service owing to delicate health, and during that time devoted his attention to farming and stock raising, an occupation to which his attention has since been successfully devoted. In 1876 he embarked in mercantile pursuits at Hutton Valley, where he sold goods for eight years and was then succeeded by his son John. He is justly considered one of the leading farmers of the county and owns a magnificent farm which, with his other land, amounts to 600 or 700 acres, which is the result of his liberal use of brain and brawn. He has been a Democrat since the war and has been quite active in the political affairs of his section, being elected in 1858 to the office of justice of the peace, a position which he has filled for twenty years. He was elected and served two years as coroner of Howell County, and in 1884 was elected associate judge of the Howell County Court, and so ably and satisfactorily did he fill this responsible office, that in 1886 he was elected for a second term. In 1893 he was appointed a member of the State Board of Agriculture, which he holds now. He is a member of Mt. Zion Lodge No. 327 of the A. F. & A. M. of West Plains, and he and his wife have been members of the Missionary Baptist Church since 1848. They are among the most highly honored citizens of Howell County, and count their friends by the score, and have a pretty, comfortable and hospitable home.

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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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