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Boat(w)right Family Genealogy in America

Generation 7


7-160. MARY ELIZABETH BOATRIGHT (CHESLEY HOOD7, JAMES6, BENONI5, JOHN4, JOHN3, JOHN2, Not Yet Determined1) was born 22 Mar 1819 in Grainger County, Tennessee, and died 1889. She married CALVIN LEACH KEENEY 28 Jun 1842 in Anderson County, Tennessee, son of JAMES KEENEY and MARY LEACH. He was born 15 Apr 1817 in Anderson County, Tennessee, and died 1864 in Fayetteville, Washington County, Arkansas.


Notes for MARY ELIZABETH BOATRIGHT:

Information on children of Calvin and Mary Elizabeth provided by Dennis Guy Boatright.


Children of MARY BOATRIGHT and CALVIN KEENEY are:

        i. MARY LOUISA KEENEY, b. 28 Sep 1843, Tennessee.

       ii. JAMES MICHAEL KEENEY, b. 10 Jan 1845, Tennessee.

      iii. JOHN CALVIN KEENEY, b. 29 May 1846, Tennessee.

       iv. CHESLEY SAMPSON KEENEY, b. 17 Dec 1847, Osage County, Missouri.

        v. MIRANDA ANN KEENEY, b. 05 Jul 1849, Osage County, Missouri.

       vi. MINERVA ELIZABETH KEENEY, b. 07 Feb 1852, Osage County, Missouri.

      vii. CHARLES S. KEENEY, b. 1852, Osage County, Missouri; d. Fayetteville, 
                               Washington County, Arkansas.

            Notes for CHARLES S. KEENEY:           

               History of Benton County
               MADISON COUNTY.
               page 1102
               (Goodspeed-1889)

               Charles S. Keeney was born in Osage County, Mo., in 1852, and
               is a son of Calvin L. and Mary E. (Boatright) Keeney. The 
               father was born in Anderson County, Tenn., and was a son of 
               Michael Keeney, one of the leading pioneer settlers of East 
               Tennessee. Calvin was an educated man taught school some time, 
               and was married about 1842, immediately settling upon a farm 
               in Tennessee. In 1850 he moved to Osage County, Mo., and until 
               1855 taught school and farmed. He then followed the same 
               occupations in Madison County, Ark., until the war, when he 
               went north and enlisted in the Union cause. He served until 
               1864. and died at Fayetteville, Ark. 
 
               The mother was a daughter of the Rev. Chesley Boatright, a 
               minister of the Missionary Baptist Church. The Boatright 
               [p.1102] family of America belonged to the King's body guard,
               and escaping settled in America prior to the Revolution, in 
               which they took an active part. A number of the family also 
               did honorable service in the War of 1812. The Rev. Chesley 
               Boatright was a native of Virginia, and came to Madison County 
               as a missionary of the Baptist Church when the country was but 
               sparsely settled. He established the first Baptist Church in 
               Northwest Arkansas, and was one of the best known men in the 
               Cherokee Nation. Mrs. Keeney has borne the following children:
               Mary L., James M. (killed during the war), John C., Chesley S., 
               Minerva B.(wife of R. M. Dutton), one daughter (the wife of Rev.
               E. A. Barry) and Susan D. (wife of Dr. W. A. Harris). Mrs. 
               Keeney is an active member of the church.
 
               Our subject received his education at the common schools. Clark's
               Academy of Berryville and at Fayetteville, finally becoming one 
               of the leading teachers of the county. He is now the owner of a 
               nice farm of sixty-six acres a short distance north of Hindsville.
               He is a member of the Little Spring Lodge No. 230 at Hindsville, 
               and fills the office of High Priest in the Little Rock Chapter, 
               A. F. & A. M. He has filled every office in the Chapter and Blue 
               Lodge at Hindsville, and has twice been Illustrious Master of the 
               council. In politics he is a democrat.

     viii. ROWENA ADELAIDE KEENEY, b. 03 Aug 1856, Arkansas.

       ix. SUSAN DOLLY KEENEY, b. 24 Feb 1858, Arkansas.

7-161. JAMES HUGHES BOATRIGHT (CHESLEY HOOD7, JAMES6, BENONI5, JOHN4, JOHN3, JOHN2, Not Yet Determined1) was born 21 Feb 1821 in Grainger County, Tennessee, and died 08 Sep 1910 in Madison County, Arkansas. He married SUSAN MAY DORA JONES 06 Feb 1848 in Campbell County, Tennessee, daughter of JOHN JONES and SUSAN MOSELY. She was born 22 Feb 1828 in Tennessee, and died 04 Jun 1910 in Madison County, Arkansas.


Notes for JAMES HUGHES BOATRIGHT:

James Hughes Boatright Gravestone James Hughes Boatright Gravestone Buried Boatright Cemetery near Buckeye, Arkansas. Cemetery survey by David M. Boatright indicates the tombstone reads, "James H. Boatright, 1821-1910." It appears that a new stone has been added on top of the original stone, with the following inscription: "Jas. H. Boatright, Feb. 21, 1821 - Sept. 8, 1910; Susan B. his wife, Feb. 22, 1828 - June 4, 1910 - home but not forgotten" - Source: David C. Rains

Moved to Madison County, Arkansas, about 1854.

Occupation: Blacksmith, Farmer

1850 Census:
Name: James H Boatright
Date: August 23, 1850
Age: 29
Estimated birth year: abt 1821
Birth place: Tennessee
Gender: Male
Home in 1850
(City,County,State): Subdivision 17, Campbell, Tennessee
Occupation: Farmer
Page: 280
Roll: M432_872

1860 Census:
Name: Jas H Boatright
Date: July 10, 1860
Age in 1860: 41
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1860: Richland, Madison County, Arkansas
Occupation: Farmer
Gender: Male
Value of real estate: $700
Post Office: Wesley
Roll: M653_45
Page: 405
Year: 1860
Head of Household: Jas H Boatright

1870 Census:
Name: James Boatright
Date: June 18, 1870
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1820
Age in 1870: 50
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1870: Richland, Madison, Arkansas
Occupation: Farmer
Race: White
Gender: Male
Value of real estate: $1,000
Post Office: Drakes Creek
Roll: M593_58
Page: 425
Image: 369
Year: 1870

1880 Census:
Name: James BOOTRIGHT
Date: June 26, 1880
Age: 59
Estimated birth year: <1821>
Birthplace: Tennessee
Occupation: Farmer
Relationship to head-of-household: Self
Home in 1880: Lamar, Madison, Arkansas
Marital status: Married
Race: White
Gender: Male
Spouse's name: Susan BOOTRIGHT
Father's birthplace: VA
Mother's birthplace: TN
Census Place: Lamar, Madison, Arkansas; 
Roll: T9_50; Family History Film: 1254050; Page: 570D; 
Enumeration District: 105; Image: 0865.

1900 Census:
Name: James H Boatright
Date: June 6, 1900
Home in 1900: Lamar, Madison, Arkansas
Age: 79
Estimated birth year: 1821
Birthplace: Tennessee
Race: White
Relationship to head-of-house: Head
Occupation: Farmer
Census Place: Lamar, Madison, Arkansas; 
Roll: T623 67; Page: 3B; 
Enumeration District: 75.

1910 Census:
Name: James Boatwright
Date: April 26, 1910
Age in 1910: 89
Estimated birth year: abt 1821
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1910: Lamar, Madison, Arkansas
Occupation: Fruit and Grain Farmer
Race: White
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Head
Mother's Birth Place: Tennessee
Father's Birth Place: Virginia
Census Place: Lamar, Madison, Arkansas;
Roll: T624_57; Page: 6A; 
Enumeration District: 73; Image: 193.
Burial: Row B, Boatright Cemetery near Buckeye, Madison County, Arkansas


Notes for SUSAN MAY DORA JONES:

Buried Boatright Cemetery near Buckeye, Arkansas. Gravestone survey by David M. Boatright indicates that there are no dates on the tombstone. - Source: David C. Rains

1850 Census:
Name: Susan Boatright
Date: August 23, 1850
Age: 22
Estimated birth year: abt 1828
Birth place: Tennessee
Gender: Female
Home in 1850
(City,County,State): Subdivision 17, Campbell, Tennessee
Page: 280
Roll: M432_872

1860 Census:
Name: Susan Boatright
Date: July 10, 1860
Age in 1860: 30
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1860: Richland, Madison County, Arkansas
Gender: Female
Value of real estate: $0
Post Office: Wesley
Roll: M653_45
Page: 405
Year: 1860
Head of Household: Jas H Boatright

1870 Census:
Name: Susen Boatright
Date: June 18, 1870
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1825
Age in 1870: 45
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1870: Richland, Madison, Arkansas
Race: White
Gender: Female
Value of real estate: $0
Post Office: Drakes Creek
Roll: M593_58
Page: 425
Image: 369
Year: 1870

1880 Census:
Name: Susan BOOTRIGHT
Date: June 26, 1880
Age: 52
Estimated birth year: <1828>
Birthplace: Tennessee
Occupation: Keeps House
Relationship to head-of-household: Wife
Home in 1880: Lamar, Madison, Arkansas
Marital status: Married
Race: White
Gender: Female
Spouse's name: James BOOTRIGHT
Father's birthplace: TN
Mother's birthplace: TN
Census Place: Lamar, Madison, Arkansas; 
Roll: T9_50; Family History Film: 1254050; Page: 570D; 
Enumeration District: 105; Image: 0865.

1900 Census:
Name: Susan Boatright
Date: June 6, 1900
Home in 1900: Lamar, Madison, Arkansas
Age: 72
Estimated birth year: 1828
Birthplace: Tennessee
Race: White
Relationship to head-of-house: Wife
Census Place: Lamar, Madison, Arkansas; 
Roll: T623 67; Page: 3B; 
Enumeration District: 75.

1910 Census:
Name: Susan Boatwright
Date: April 26, 1910
Age in 1910: 82
Estimated birth year: abt 1828
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1910: Lamar, Madison, Arkansas
Race: White
Gender: Female
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Mother's Birth Place: United States Of America
Father's Birth Place: North Carolina
Census Place: Lamar, Madison, Arkansas;
Roll: T624_57; Page: 6A; 
Enumeration District: 73; Image: 193.
Burial: Boatright Cemetery near Buckeye, Madison County, Arkansas


Children of JAMES BOATRIGHT and SUSAN JONES are:

8-492.    i. JOHN CHESLEY BOATRIGHT, b. 07 Jul 1850, Knox County, Tennessee;
                                      d. 13 Aug 1927, Madison County, Arkansas.
8-493.   ii. ELIZABETH LUCILLE BOATRIGHT, b. 30 Nov 1852, Knox County, 
                                           Tennessee; d. 19 Feb 1946, Madison
                                           County, Arkansas.
8-494.  iii. WILLIAM T. BOATRIGHT, b. 25 Nov 1855, Madison County, Arkansas;
                                    d. 14 Feb 1885, Madison County, Arkansas.
8-495.   iv. JAMES KENNON BOATRIGHT, b. 02 Oct 1857, Madison County, Arkansas;
                                      d. 06 Jan 1937, Coleman County, Texas.
8-496.    v. LAFAYETTE MOODY BOATRIGHT, b. 16 Mar 1860, Madison County, 
                                         Arkansas; d. 27 Apr 1905, Madison
                                         County, Arkansas.
8-497.   vi. DEWITT JOHNSON BOATRIGHT, b. 16 Mar 1860, Madison County, 
                                        Arkansas; d. 12 Dec 1947, Wilburton,
                                        Latimer County, Oklahoma.
8-498.  vii. RIETTA KESIA BOATRIGHT, b. 08 May 1862, Madison County, Arkansas;
                                      d. 16 Sep 1941, Mountain Springs, Arkansas.
8-499. viii. HENRY MILES "BUD" BOATRIGHT, b. 25 Nov 1864, Madison County, 
                                           Arkansas; d. 26 Dec 1943, Prairie
                                           Grove, Washington County, Arkansas.
8-500.   ix. SUSAN MAY DORA BOATRIGHT, b. 11 Oct 1867, Madison County, 
                                        Arkansas; d. 26 Apr 1946, Tulsa,
                                        Tulsa County, Oklahoma.

7-162. CYNTHIA EMILY JANE BOATRIGHT (CHESLEY HOOD7, JAMES6, BENONI5, JOHN4, JOHN3, JOHN2, Not Yet Determined1) was born 17 May 1823 in Grainger County, Tennessee, and died 11 Jan 1840 in Grainger County, Tennessee.



7-163. HARVEY WOODSON BOATRIGHT (CHESLEY HOOD7, JAMES6, BENONI5, JOHN4, JOHN3, JOHN2, Not Yet Determined1) was born 02 Nov 1825 in Grainger County, Tennessee, and died 01 Nov 1853 in Campbell County, Tennessee. He married LAVINA KEENEY 22 Mar 1845 in Grainger County, Tennessee, daughter of MICHAEL KEENEY and MARY LEACH. She was born Abt. 1825 in Tennessee, and died in Campbell County, Tennessee.


Notes for HARVEY WOODSON BOATRIGHT:

The following was received from Deborah Yvonne Wilson Fehr, who credits much of the research to her cousin, Tammy Fraley. - Source: David C. Rains

Harvey was born in Anderson County, Tennessee. Harvey Woodson was married in Campbell County, Tennessee March 22, 1845, to Lavinna Keeney she was born about 1825 in Tennessee. This is documented in the Marriage records at the Campbell County records at Jacksboro, Tennessee. Most of what I have came from Tammy Fraley a descendant of Mary Leah Louisa (Lear) Boatright, daughter of Harvey. Tammy is her great granddaughter. A lot of the information that she has came from family and from the book History of Longfield Baptist Church, A Promise of Good Things to Come. by Edith Wilson Hutton. If you have not seen this book, it is great and full of family information. I obtained it for a brief time through the interlibrary loan program.

About 1835 the family of Chesley Hood Boatright came to the Coal Creek area (now called Lake City). Harvey joined the Mt. Pleasant (Indian Creek) Church in Campbell County by letter at that time. In 1840 James, Mary Elizabeth, Martha E. J. and Rietta joined the Longfield Baptist Church (first called the Clear Branch Church). Chesley Hood and his wife were also there at that time. In 1841 Chesley Hood was pastoring both Churches. In 1849 Harvey and Lavinna were received by recantation to Indian Creek Church. Between October 1849 and Early 1850, Harvey and family joined his father and family in Madison County, Arkansas. By 1852 He was back in Campbell County, Tennessee. They were received by letter back into the Indian Creek Church in February of 1852.

Harvey died 11-1-1853 in Campbell County. Lavinna married Samuel Wilson Thomas on July 2, 1855, in Campbell County. Mary Leah Louisa went by the name of Lear. She was born about 1847 and died 11-21-1893. She is buried in an unmarked grave across from the Alexander Place in the Fletcher Brown Hollow of Pinecrest Community, Jacksboro, Campbell, County, Tennessee. John Thomas (called Thomas) was married to Louisa Dabney in 1867 in Anderson County, Tennessee.

Children of that marriage as listed in the 1880 Campbell County, Census, are Rutha age 12, Laney age 9, Texas age 5. Rutha married ?? Ford and had a daughter Beulah. John Thomas was said to have served in the Union Army in the Civil War. He lived in a Home for Veterans and it is not know when or where he died or is buried. Louisa is buried in the Dug Town Cemetery LaFollette, Campbell County, Tennessee. The headstone says Luiza Dabney wife of J. T. Boatright b. 1848-d. 1901. I have no further information on this family.

Lavinna and Samuel Wilson Thomas had two children. Half brothers to Lear and John Thomas were Squire Thomas born about 1857 and Wilson Thomas born about 1859. This is from the 1860 Campbell County census.

Source: David C. Rains

The 1850 census reports a "John Keeny", age 25, as living in the household in that year.

1850 Census:
#112 - PRAIRIE TOWNSHIP
Harvey W. BOATRIGHT 25 m TN farmer $100
Levina 25 f TN
John 5 m TN
Louisa 3 f TN
John KEENY 25 m TN laborer

1850 Census:
Name: Harvey W Boatright
Date: October 11, 1850
Age: 25
Estimated birth year: abt 1825
Birth place: Tennessee
Gender: Male
Home in 1850
(City,County,State): Prairie, Madison County, Arkansas
Occupation: Farmer
Value of Real Estate: $100
Page: 255
Roll: M432_27

Notes for LAVINA KEENEY:

Lavina's name has also been found spelled as Levina Keeny.

1850 Census:
Name: Levina Boatright
Date: October 10, 1850
Age: 25
Estimated birth year: abt 1825
Birth place: Tennessee
Gender: Female
Home in 1850
(City,County,State): Prairie, Madison County, Arkansas
Page: 255
Roll: M432_27


Children of HARVEY BOATRIGHT and LAVINA KEENEY are:

8-501.    i. JOHN THOMAS BOATRIGHT, b. 29 Nov 1845, Campbell County, Tennessee;
                                     d. 14 Nov 1917, Washington D.C..
8-502.   ii. MARY LEAH LOUISA BOATRIGHT, b. 1847, Campbell County, Tennessee; 
                                          d. 21 Nov 1893, Campbell County, 
                                          Tennessee.

7-164. RACHEL LOUISA BOATRIGHT (CHESLEY HOOD7, JAMES6, BENONI5, JOHN4, JOHN3, JOHN2, Not Yet Determined1) was born 23 Feb 1828 in Grainger County, Tennessee, and died 10 Mar 1840 in Grainger County, Tennessee.



7-165. RIETTA JEHOSABETH BOATRIGHT (CHESLEY HOOD7, JAMES6, BENONI5, JOHN4, JOHN3, JOHN2, Not Yet Determined1) was born 26 Feb 1832 in Grainger County, Tennessee, and died 26 Sep 1912 in Johnson, Washington County, Arkansas. She married JACOB QUEENER JOHNSON 24 Dec 1851 in Arkansas, son of JAMES JOHNSON and MARY QUEENER. He was born 28 Jul 1828 in Coffee County, East Tennessee, and died 16 Feb 1908 in Johnson, Washington County, Arkansas.


Notes for RIETTA JEHOSABETH BOATRIGHT:

Rietta Jehosabeth Boatright and Jacob Queener Johnson

Middle name also has been found to be spelled "Jehoshebeth"

JOHNSON, Rietta J. - Aunt Rietta J. Johnson died last night at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Lizzie Corlew in Bentonville. She is to be brought here on the afternoon train today and will be buried this evening in the cemetery at Shady Grove by the side of her husband, Jacob Q. Johnson, who died some years ago. Aunt Rietta has been in very feeble health for a number of years. She is survived by a large circle of relatives among whom are the following children: Mrs. Mary Lichlyter, Douglass, Kansas; Mrs. Lizzie Corlew of Bentonville,Ark.; Mrs. James Vernon of Springtown, Ark.; Mrs. John Vernon of Inez, New Mex.; Mrs. Hugh McGuire of San Jacinto, Nev.; J. Q. Johnson, Jr. of Nogales, Ariz. and B. F. Johnson, Jr. of Johnson, Ark. [The Springdale News 9/27/12]

The following is a portion of a letter written to Rietta Jehoshebeath (Boatright) Johnson, by her sister Martha E.J. (Boatright) Chitty, both of whom were granddaughters of James Boatright of Cumberland County, Virgina (NOTE: DNA testing has proven this story fales):

Rietta Jehosabeth Boatright Well, now for all that I can tell you about where our Boatright ancestors came from. 3 brothers, Daniel, Jesse and James Allen (English) stood buckled in armor to guard the life of King George of England, always standing in the Kings court. They heard much of the new world, as this western continent was then called. They could not marry or own property. They were slaves to the king as long as they were alive. The 3 brothers skipped their bondage and came to America. They took up the trade of boat building and took the name Boatwright. James and Jesse married. Daniel did not. The brothers fought for American liberty in the Revolution from King George. 2 of our fatherís brothers were soldiers in 1812 to 1815.

James was our Great Grandfather (English). Our Grandfather was named James. His first wife, Elizabeth Kidd, his second wife Mary Kidd, our Grandmother (letter is torn here). They lived in Virginia. After our Grandfather died his sons scattered into different states. They are scattered, I suppose in every state; never were much to huddle together. I donít know where the 3 brothers landed on the American shore nor the exact date.

They were here in time to do their part in freeing Young America from the British rule, but they took the name Boatwright in the New Country to protect themselves from the Kingís officers that were in power before the Revolution that freed Americans from a tyrant across the sea. I have always been proud of their leaving their old English name and taking a purely American name & choose to labor with free people rather that stand as a slave in a kingís palace. Yes, children, I am proud of the blood. I donít know any record except what father kept of his own family. I know two of his brothers fought the British and Indians 100 years ago. I donít have an idea who has record other than you. I hope you will write soon your Sister,

Mrs. M. E. J. Chitty

1850 Census:
Name: Reetta Boatright
Date: October 10, 1850
Age: 18
Estimated birth year: abt 1832
Birth place: Tennessee
Gender: Female
Home in 1850
(City,County,State): Prairie, Madison County, Arkansas
Page: 255
Roll: M432_27
Burial: 27 Sep 1912, Shady Grove Cemetery, Washington County, Arkansas


Notes for JACOB QUEENER JOHNSON:

History of Washington County (Goodspeed-1889)

Jacob Q. Johnson, one of the wealthy and successful citizens of Washington County, Ark., and the son of James and Mary (Queener) Johnson, was born in East Tennessee in 1828. The father was a native of North Carolina, and was of Dutch descent. He took an active part in the BlackHawk War, and served with great credit to his country. He was a farmer and miller by occupation, and moved from Tennessee to Arkansas in 1851. where he followed farming for some time. He located nine miles south of Fayetteville, and here he died in 1883, from injuries received from falling down stairs. His son, Jacob Q., was educated in his native State, and remained with his father until the war broke out, but previous to this, in 1852, he married Miss R. J., daughter of C. H. Boatright, of Madison County, and to them were born thirteen children, nine now living: Mary Jane, Tennessee, J. Q., Harriet Eliza, Edna K., Catherine, Susan J., Benjamin F. and Dora H. In 1862 Mr. Johnson enlisted in the Federal army, Company B. First Regiment Arkansas Cavalry, commanded by Col. Harrison, and served three years, three months, and seven days. He was in the battle of Prairie Grove, was also in several skirmishes, but was never wounded or taken prisoner.

After the war Mr. Johnson purchased his present home, which is one of the finest in the Northwest, and upon this farm he has erected a fine two-story brick residence, valued at $4,000, also a large sawmill, with grist mill and flouring-mill attached, which is run by a thirtysix foot water-wheel. The water is brought a distance of 500 yards to run the wheel. Mr. Johnson has also steam power attached to run the mill when the water is low or the mill is frozen up. This mill is valued at $20,000. Besides this Mr. Johnson is the owner of 800 acres of valuable land, and has over 200 acres under the plow. He is a member of the G. A. R., is a member of the Baptist Church, and is one of the most respected and enterprising citizens of the county.

Jacob Q. very much admired the design of his younger brother's new house and decided to build a similar house for himself and his family of fourteen at a location near the Johnson Mill. Utilizing the same basic proportions of the Ben Johnson house, Jacob Q. Johnson constructed a "fine brick residence" which was "valued at $4,000" in 1889. In plan view the houses are identical, except for the placement of the rear ell. The house at Middle Fork has an overall T configuration, while the Johnson Mill house is in the shape of an L. Comparison of the two houses reveals many obvious similarities, and it is quickly apparent upon closer investigation, that the house at the Johnson Mill was determined to "out-do" its model in the Middle Fork Valley. "Bigger and better" versions of the detailing of the Ben Johnson house exist throughout the Jacob Q. Johnson house: taller windows, oval sidelights and transoms at both stories, transoms over interior doors, taller and more sculptural baseboards and door casings, more elaborate mantelpieces, paneled portico columns with slightly taller and more ornate pedestals, more intricately crafted balcony railings, and a more elegant staircase rising two and one-half stories (not a mere two stories as at the Middle Fork Valley house). However, the most impressive display was reserved for the parlor. An artist from St. Louis was paid $300 to create a coffered and stenciled ceiling in red, green, gold, and black. This fascinating work was obviously influenced by contemporary designs for surrey and coach decoration.

However, Jacob Q. Johnson "put on the dog too much", as the present owner of this house explains, because Jacob soon found it necessary to borrow large sums of money from his brother, Ben, in order to finance the building of the house and to revive his ailing business. Within a few years, Jacob was so indebted to his younger brother that he had to relinquish ownership of both the house and the mill and turn them over to Benjamin. Jacob moved to a location on the upper part of the farm and Ben divided his time between the farm at Middle Fork and the mill at Johnson.

Flashback, Vol. 37, Nov. 1980, pages 8-20, Washington County Historical Society

Four additional children, names and sexes unknown, were born to Jacob and Rietta and died in infancy.

Military Service: Civil War, Company B. First Regiment Arkansas Cavalry

Johnson's Mill is situated one-half mile west of the Johnson community, between Springdale and Fayetteville, has the distinction of being Washington County's oldest industry. Its 141 years of operation by the same family may also make it the state's, and one of the nation's, oldest mills still in operation.

The original mill was first constructed on its present site by J. Q. Johnson in 1835. J. Q. had come to the region a few years earlier from Campbell County, Tennessee, and homesteaded some 800 acres in the beautiful Clear Creek Valley. The first mill was burned by Confederates retreating from the Pea Ridge Battlefield, during the Civil War. The mill's destruction was to prevent it from falling into Union hands and thereby aiding their cause.

The present mill was re-built in 1865 and it has remained in continuous operation since. J. Q. Johnson was succeeded in its operation by Benjamin Franklin Johnson, Hugh Johnson, and B. B. Johnson before its present owner, M. F. (Uncle Frank) Johnson.

The large spring that now supplies the Ozark Trout Farm powered the mill's original 38-foot overshot wheel from a millpond on a hill due north of the mill. The large wheel was replaced in 1898 by a 15Ĺ-inch metal turbine wheel that powered the mill until 1924, when B. B. Johnson installed a Little Giant wheel. Frank Johnson made its last conversion in 1940 with the installation of a natural-gas-powered engine.

Until 1973 Johnson's fine corn meal could be found on supermarket shelves throughout the Ozarks. As a result of health and distribution difficulties, Frank Johnson found the mill's fulltime operation too demanding. Now 75 years of age, Frank Johnson operates the mill for only a few days each week to fill special orders for worm-feeding and fish-feeding operations in the region.

The food processing industry in Washington County has become our county's largest industry. The Johnson Mill stands as a proud reminder of how it all began.

Flashback, Vol. 26, May 1976, pages 33-34. Washington County Historical Society JOHNSON, Jacob Queener - {from Johnson} Jacob Queener Johnson was born in Coffee County, East Tenn. in July 1828 and died at his home in Johnson, Ark. Sunday evening Feb. 16, 1908. Mr. Johnson came to Washington county in 1851 and has been a citizen of this county since that time. He was married to Miss R. J. Boatright in 1852. Thirteen children blessed this union, nine of them now living. Mr. Johnson has been identified with various business interests in North West Arkansas but some years ago he retired from active business circles and has been living on a farm near Johnson. His children are all grown up and married and scattered away to various parts of the country. B. F., Jr., Mrs. Mary Lichlyter and Mrs. Edna Vernon being the only ones now residing at Johnson. The funeral exercises are to be held this evening and burial is to be in Shady Grove Cemetery either this evening or to-morrow morning. The uncertainty is owing to the arrival of the youngest daughter, Mrs. Dora McGuire, who resides in San Jacinto, Nev. She started eastward Saturday night and is expected to arrive here today noon. The passing of Uncle Jacob will cause many pangs of regret among his large circle of friends and reminds us that the rear guard of our old pioneers is being thinned out rapidly. Peace to his memory. Mrs. Lizzie Corlew of Bentonville, Mrs. Tennie Vernon of Springtown and Mrs. Kate Ramey of Carter are here to attend the funeral and burial of their father, J. Q. Johnson. [The Springdale News 2/21/08]

Burial: Shady Grove Cemetery, Washington County, Arkansas


Children of RIETTA BOATRIGHT and JACOB JOHNSON are:

        i. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN JOHNSON.

       ii. MARY JANE JOHNSON.

      iii. TENNESSEE JOHNSON.

       iv. J.Q. JOHNSON.

        v. HARRIETT ELIZA JOHNSON.

       vi. EDNA K. JOHNSON.

      vii. CATHERINE JOHNSON.

     viii. SUSAN J. JOHNSON.

       ix. DORA H. JOHNSON.

7-166. CHESLEY TAYLOR BOATRIGHT (CHESLEY HOOD7, JAMES6, BENONI5, JOHN4, JOHN3, JOHN2, Not Yet Determined1) was born 13 Jun 1834 in Grainger County, Tennessee, and died 10 Jan 1863 in Madison County, Arkansas. He married ELIZABETH WEST Jan 1861 in Arkansas. She was born Abt. 1835 in Tennessee.


Notes for CHESLEY TAYLOR BOATRIGHT:

Chesley T. Boatwright served in Waul's Legion, Company "A", C.S.A., from Texas. He was killed in service in 1863.

1850 Census:
Name: Chesley Boatright
Date: October 10, 1850
Age: 16
Estimated birth year: abt 1834
Birth place: Tennessee
Gender: Male
Home in 1850
(City,County,State): Prairie, Madison County, Arkansas
Page: 255
Roll: M432_27

1860 Census:
Name: C Taylor Boatright
Date: July 10, 1860
Age in 1860: 26
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1860: Richland, Madison County, Arkansas
Gender: Male
Value of real estate: $0
Post Office: Wesley
Roll: M653_45
Page: 405
Year: 1860
Burial: Boatright Cemetery, Boatright Cemetery near Buckeye, Madison County, Arkansas


7-167. MARTHA ELEANOR JANE BOATRIGHT (CHESLEY HOOD7, JAMES6, BENONI5, JOHN4, JOHN3, JOHN2, Not Yet Determined1) was born was born 08 Sep 1836 in Grainger County, Tennessee. She married WILLIAM E. HAMOR 01 Apr 1862. He was born Abt. 1834 in Tennessee.


Notes for MARTHA ELEANOR JANE BOATRIGHT:

The following is a portion of a letter written to Rietta Jehoshebeath (Boatright) Johnson, by her sister Martha E.J. (Boatright) Chitty, both of whom were granddaughters of James Boatright of Cumberland County, Virgina (NOTE: DNA testing has proven this story false):

Well, now for all that I can tell you about where our Boatright ancestors came from. 3 brothers, Daniel, Jesse and James Allen (English) stood buckled in armor to guard the life of King George of England, always standing in the Kings court. They heard much of the new world, as this western continent was then called. They could not marry or own property. They were slaves to the king as long as they were alive. The 3 brothers skipped their bondage and came to America. They took up the trade of boat building and took the name Boatwright. James and Jesse married. Daniel did not. The brothers fought for American liberty in the Revolution from King George. 2 of our fatherís brothers were soldiers in 1812 to 1815.

James was our Great Grandfather (English). Our Grandfather was named James. His first wife, Elizabeth Kidd, his second wife Mary Kidd, our Grandmother (letter is torn here). They lived in Virginia. After our Grandfather died his sons scattered into different states. They are scattered, I suppose in every state; never were much to huddle together. I donít know where the 3 brothers landed on the American shore nor the exact date.

They were here in time to do their part in freeing Young America from the British rule, but they took the name Boatwright in the New Country to protect themselves from the Kingís officers that were in power before the Revolution that freed Americans from a tyrant across the sea. I have always been proud of their leaving their old English name and taking a purely American name & choose to labor with free people rather that stand as a slave in a kingís palace. Yes, children, I am proud of the blood. I donít know any record except what father kept of his own family. I know two of his brothers fought the British and Indians 100 years ago. I donít have an idea who has record other than you. I hope you will write soon your Sister,

Mrs. M. E. J. Chitty

1850 Census:
Name: Martha Boatright
Date: October 10, 1850
Age: 14
Estimated birth year: abt 1836
Birth place: Tennessee
Gender: Female
Home in 1850
(City,County,State): Prairie, Madison County, Arkansas
Page: 255
Roll: M432_27

1860 Census:
Name: Martha Boatright
Date: July 10, 1860
Age in 1860: 23
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1860: Richland, Madison County, Arkansas
Gender: Female
Value of real estate: $0
Post Office: Wesley
Roll: M653_45
Page: 405
Year: 1860
Head of Household: C H Boatright


Child of MARTHA BOATRIGHT and WILLIAM HAMOR is:

        i. CAPITOLA WILDFIRE HAMOR, b. Abt. 1858.

7-168. NANCY KESIA "KAY" BOATRIGHT (CHESLEY HOOD7, JAMES6, BENONI5, JOHN4, JOHN3, JOHN2, Not Yet Determined1) was born 21 Feb 1839 in Grainger County, Tennessee, and died 26 May 1864 in Fayetteville, Washington County, Arkansas. She married BENJAMIN FRANKLIN JOHNSON 01 Oct 1856 in Campbell County, Tennessee, son of JAMES JOHNSON and MARY QUEENER. He was born 12 Mar 1835 in Jacksboro, Campbell County, Tennessee, and died 22 Apr 1929 in Fayetteville, Washington County, Arkansas.


Notes for NANCY KESIA "KAY" BOATRIGHT:

1850 Census:
Name: Nancy Boatright
Date: October 10, 1850
Age: 12
Estimated birth year: abt 1838
Birth place: Tennessee
Gender: Female
Home in 1850
(City,County,State): Prairie, Madison County, Arkansas
Page: 255
Roll: M432_27
Burial: Mt. Zion Cemetery, Washington County, Arkansas


Notes for BENJAMIN FRANKLIN JOHNSON:

Benjamin is the brother of Jacob Queener Johnson, husband of Rietta J. Boatwright.

Occupation: Farmer

Military Service: Civil War, Company D, First Arkansas Regiment


History of Benton County WASHINGTON COUNTY. page 966

Benjamin F. Johnson.

Among the most successful farmers and stock dealers and prominent citizens of Washington County, Ark., may be mentioned B. F. Johnson, who was born in Campbell County, Tennessee, on the 12th of March, 1835. He is a son of James and Mary (Queener) Johnson, natives of Virginia and Tennessee, respectively. The father was born January 4, 1799. Mary (Queener) Johnson was born September 29, 1803, and died May 22, 1876. The father was a farmer by occupation, and was a soldier in the War of 1812. While a resident of Tennessee he held the office of justice of the peace for several terms. and was county sheriff one term. He was an old-line Whig in polities, and was married in Campbell County, Tennessee, coming to Washington County, Ark., in 1850, where he spent the remainder of his days, dying May 6, 1882. He and wife became the parents of ten children, seven of whom are living: O. P., a farmer and miller, residing in Missouri; Lucinda, wife of J. R. Hope; Lovisa, wife of D. Hope: Mary, wife of W. Alexander; J. Q., Benjamin F. and Eliza.

Benjamin F. remained under the paternal roof until he attained his majority, when he engaged in farming on his own responsibility, and by close application to the duties of farm life he established those habits of industry and frugality which insured his success in after life. He has been actively engaged as a dealer in stock for many years, and in all his business dealings he is fair and just, commanding the respect and confidence of all who know him; he commenced life with no capital but his two hands and a vast amount of energy and pluck, but is now the owner of 932 acres of land, and has one of the finest residences in the county. He is a notable example of those sound and correct business principles which win success and those genial traits of character which secure and retain public confidence and esteem. He took an active part in the late war, and served for over three years as sergeant of Company D, First Arkansas Regiment, operating the most of the time in Missouri and Arkansas. He [p.966] participated in more than 100 battles and skirmishes, and was quite severely wounded in the left arm in a skirmish on White Oak.

His marriage to Miss Nancy K. Boatwright took place October 1, 1856. She was born February 27, 1839, in Anderson County, Tennessee, and died May 26, 1864. in Washington County, Ark., having been the mother of four children, two living: J. O. and Mary L., wife of Joseph Arnett. Mr. Johnson's second marriage was to Miss Lydia Lewis, by whom he became the father of fourteen children, seven of whom are still living: George W., Lydia K., Hugh L., Shirley J., Lettie, Burtos B. and Inez. Mr. Johnson is a strong supporter of the principles of the Republican party, and is a member of the G. A. R. He has always been a strong advocate of public improvements, and has given several hundred dollars to aid in the construction of railroads in his county, and throughout life has taken a deep interest in all enterprises tending to benefit the county and the cause of education.

When Ben F. Johnson was in the vicinity of Carter's Store in 1859, he had a blacksmith shop. This was located on the west side of the road north of where Dr. John C. Carter some years later built his office across the road west of the store. Mr. Johnson lived in a house east across the field.

Mr. Johnson was still in the military service when he married his second wife July 24, 1864. She was Lydia Lewis, daughter of George W. and Lettie Mills Lewis. An elaborate wedding supper was prepared at the home of George W. Lewis. The Confederates had heard of this and went to the home of Mr. Lewis thinking they might capture Ben Johnson. News of their coming had already reached the Lewis home, and Johnson without the supper, made his escape, as the women folks hurriedly hid his the supper in the "loft", as the second story was called in those days. The Confederate force, under command .of Captain "Tuck" Smith, arrived as expected and proceeded to eat what they thought was the wedding supper. Captain Smith went out of his way to thank Mrs. Lewis, Mrs. B. F. Ramey and the bride for the "good supper" they had prepared, to be told that the real supper had been hidden from them!

For a part of the time during periods of the Civil War, Mr. Johnson and numerous others of the Middle Fork country whose sympathies were with the Federals, found it advisable to live at Fayetteville. After it was safely in the control of the Federal forces, and the entire country was - more settled, he returned to the Carter's Store area and began work at the Lewis Mill. Tan Strickler and Jacob Wright were also employed there, and these he took with him when he moved to his 1700-acre farm sometime later and George W. Lewis no longer ran the mill.

Elizabeth Strickler was the mother of Ben F. Ramey, who was a member of the 1st Arkansas Cavalry Volunteers , while Alfred Strickler was in the Southern Army. They were first cousins. They were good friends before the War and remained so after the War. Ben F. Johnson assisted in building the brick home at the George W. Lewis home, the old Jacob Q. Johnson home, and the Ben F. Johnson farm home south of Strain. After moving from his farm home near Strain he lived at the corner of Maple Street and College Avenue, Fayetteville.


The Benjamin F. Johnson Residence, Middle Fork Valley

By C. Allen Brown*

The lives of notable figures pivotal to the evolution of a society have long been considered topics worthy of extensive research and documentation. However, exclusive adherence to this approach can only result in a stilted historical perspective, albeit a grand one. An accurate and comprehensive understanding of history necessarily involves investigation of the more commonly shared life experience as well as the uniquely consequential one. While the day-today reality of most individuals may not directly have an impact on national affairs, each life does exhibit direct significance, of varying degree, to its locale and region. A thorough consideration of regional culture is imperative for a full understanding of a nation's people. Historical investigation requires analyses of numerous cultural processes, many of which result in no tangible product that the historian can take down from the shelf and turn about in his hand. For this reason, those physical remnants of a society that do remain - its artifacts, art, and architecture - become of greater value than their initial utilitarian or aesthetic purpose. These objects left behind provide glimpses into the nature of an individual and his cultural setting. Benjamin Franklin Johnson, the subject of this paper, was an individual whose existence will never be celebrated for his noteworthy influence upon national affairs; however, his life does provide invaluable testimony to the spirit and character of 19th century rural life in Northwest Arkansas.

Ben F. Johnson related that as a young man he had one major goal in life - "to own 1,000 acres and a brick farmhouse." This dream and its fulfillment provide the story of the Johnson house in the Middle Fork Valley.

Ben's father, James Johnson (b. January 4, 1799), was a Virginian of Dutch descent. James was reported to have served as a soldier in the War of 1812 and, following this term of military service, moved to eastern Tennessee. There he married Mary Queener (b. September 29, 1803 - d. May 22, 1876), a native of Tennessee. James was a farmer and miller. He also demonstrated an interest in politics based on the old-line Whig political philosophy, He served several terms as Justice of the Peace and one term as Sheriff of Campbell County.

Benjamin Franklin Johnson was born March 12, 1835, in Campbell County, Tennessee, the fourth child and third son of a family that eventually included ten offspring. The family moved west to southern Missouri during the 1840's, and in 1850 settled in Washington County, Arkansas. James Johnson chose farmland nine miles south of Fayetteville to establish his family's roots. There he continued to farm until his death May 6, 1882, at the age of 83. Goodspeed tells us the youthful Ben F. Johnson "remained under the paternal roof until he attained his majority."1 During those years, he learned the principles of farming and, "by close application to the duties of farm life he established those habits of industry and frugality which insured his success in later life."

On October 1, 1856, at the age of 21, Ben married Nancy Kesia Boatwright (b. February 27, 1829, in Anderson County, Tennessee). Ben and his bride moved several miles east of his father's farm to the Middle Fork Valley of the White River, in the vicinity of Carter's Store. There Ben worked in the blacksmith shop, which once was located on the west side of the road just north of where Dr. J.C. Carter later built his office. Dr. Carter's small, one-room office, built over a stone spring house, and the Carter's Store building which face it, remain to this day. H. Lawton Cox, a grandson of Ben Johnson, has in his possession a bookkeeping ledger which details the business transactions that occurred during those years. Across the field from the blacksmith shop, Ben built a simple log house for his wife and growing family. Ben and Nancy were the parents of four offspring, two of whom lived to adulthood - James O. and Mary L.

As the Civil War became increasingly passionate, Ben moved his family to Fayetteville and to the greater security provided by the town. A strong supporter of the Union, Ben took an active part in the war, serving for over three years as Sergeant of Company D, First Arkansas Regiment, operating in southern Missouri and northwestern Arkansas. He is reported to have participated in "more than 100 battles and skirmishes, and was quite severely wounded in the left arm in a skirmish on White Oak." Ben Johnson was also a veteran of the April 18, 1863, Battle of Fayetteville.

On May 26, 1864, while Ben was away with the Federal forces, Nancy Boatwright Johnson died in Fayetteville. One of his descendants recalls the story that to attend his wife's funeral, Ben felt constrained to disguise himself or risk certain capture by Confederate sympathizers. While still serving in the Union Army, Ben married his second wife, Lydia Lewis, on July 24, 1864. Lydia was the daughter of George Washington Lewis, a successful miller in the Carter's Store area. An amusing incident concerning Ben's and Lydia's wedding is related by F. M. McConnell:

"Öan elaborate wedding supper was prepared at the home of George W Lewis. The Confederates had heard of this and went to the home of Mr. Lewis thinking they might capture Ben Johnson. News of their coming had already reached the Lewis home, and Johnson, without the supper, made his escape, as the women folks hurriedly hid the supper in the 'loft' (as the second story was called in those days). The Confederate force, under command of Captain 'Tuck' Smith, arrived as expected and proceeded to eat what they thought was the wedding supper. Captain Smith went out of his way to thank Mrs. Lewis, Mrs. B. F. Ramey, and the bride for the 'good supper' they had prepared, only to be told the real supper had been hidden from them!"

In 1886, after the Federal forces were safely in control of the Fayetteville area, Ben returned his family to the Carter's Store area. One of Ben's grandsons remembers his grandfather as saying, "When I was mustered out of the army, all I had to my name was my mustering-out pay, my saddle and my horse."

At the suggestion of George Lewis, Ben began a partnership with his father-in-law at the Lewis Mill, and for some time he and Lydia and their children lived with Lydia's parents. It was probably about this time that Mr. Lewis built his brick home between Carter's Store and Durham. Ben reportedly aided in this construction.

The Lewis's one-story, one-room deep, residence of three bays with inside end chimneys was constructed of bricks fashioned on-site. Today the structure presents an odd appearance, as successive alterations executed in a variety of materials make it difficult to imagine it in its original state. The major feature of architectural interest which remains is the use of segmental relieving arches to enclose the window openings.

In 1871, with money saved from running the Lewis Mill, Ben bought a sizeable acreage in the Middle Fork Valley near the community of Strain, and moved his family to this new location. He selected the brow of a gentile knoll in the middle of the broad, verdant river valley as the site for his new home. No doubt he pictured his "brick farmhouse" on this spot, but financial conditions dictated that a simple log house had to suffice. A barn was built to the south of the house, and today this structure remains incorporated within the present barn. From these meager beginnings, a major hog and cattle operation emerged. Ben told one of his grandsons, "In those days, I would drive my hogs and cattle to the spur north of Harris and we would load them on the train. Then I would ride with the cattle to St. Louis. When I got the money for the livestock, I would save half of it and invest the other half." This system proved very profitable, for Ben's assets grew steadily throughout the early 1870's. His family also grew steadily, with the births of George (1867), Lydia (1868), Hugh (?), Shirley (1875), and Lettie (1876).

By the middle of the decade, Ben was ready to build his dreamhouse. The existing log house was torn down and, while construction on the new house proceeded, the family lived in a renovated portion of the barn. This ordering of affairs gives the most reliable information concerning the construction date of the Johnson house. Ben and Lydia Johnson's sixth child was Burtos Benjamin, born december 5, 1877, and, by all accounts in the barn. This suggests that the house was probably completed not long after that date, certainly within two years. The year 1878 seems to be reasonable, and the validity of this proposed date is reinforced by the fact that traditionally the Johnson family has considered the Jacob Q. Johnson residence at the Johnson Mill to have been begun four years after the house in the Middle Fork Valley was completed. Since one of the columns of the porch at the J. Q. Johnson residence has the date "1882" its pedestal would place the date of the Middle Fork Valley house at 1878.*

Unfortunately, no information has been uncovered concerning the designer of the B. F. Johnson house. Certainly a building which presents such a confident, straightforward, architectural image is not the product of a novice builder. While the details are undoubtedly modest, a sure-handed design sophistication is evident in the pleasing proportion of forms, the flowing rhythm of architectural elements, and the attention to subtle detailing throughout. If not the product of a complete set of plans and details obtained through a catalogue or perhaps from an area architectural firm, then perhaps a pattern book was utilized. Typical details from popular pattern books of that decade exhibit definite similarities with the actual details of the Ben Johnson house.

From a claypit situated southeast of the house site, 7Ĺx3x2 inch brick were molded and kilnfired for the construction of the house and smokehouse. Upon a native stone foundation surmounted by an 8 inch sandstone water table, these bricks were laid in a common bond pattern with a row of headers every seven courses. The 18 inch thick exterior walls formed a symmetrical "I-house" of five bays by two bays with inside end brick fireplaces. A centrally placed one-story brick ell to the rear was built to contain the dining room and kitchen, separated by a third brick fireplace.

The main entry and the windows of the first story were composed as semi-circular arched openings, while the second story openings were enclosed by segmental arches. Five-inch sandstone sills were placed beneath the 8 foot tall, two-over-two sash windows. The first story entrance was in the center bay of the western facade, flanked by sidelights and an over-arching fanlight. The balcony entry directly above it exhibited a rectangular transom and sidelights. Two windows were placed at a diagonal from each other in the northern and southern elevations. A porch ran the length of the southern facade of the rear ell, supported by delicate columns painted a deep, rich color with contrasting white-painted capitals. Paired brackets, along a paneled frieze, were located under the overhanging eaves of the gently-sloping hip roof.

The major feature of interest, however, was the two-story, two-tier entrance portico. Three stone steps with massive, rounded-stone cheek walls gave access to the podium, composed of beveled sandstone slabs, 3 feet by 7 feet by 8 inches. Fourteen-inch limestone pedestals were carved to support the four slender rectangular columns of the porch. The vertical members of the second story porch, chamfered along the shaft edges as were the first story columns, sported decorative pendants below the capital and paired scrolls above. Jigsawn wooden pallings in a fanciful cloverleaf pattern accented the second story railing, and a shallow "leanto" roof crowned the portico composition.

Finishing touches included green louvered shutters on all windows and a low, white, picket fence surrounding the house.

A low retaining wall of native stone projected north and south from the edges of the rear facade and adjoined the new smokehouse on the north. The one-story brick smokehouse was built over a native stone foundation; about eight feet from the ground a row of openings was created in the brick to allow the required ventilation. The smokehouse was an important part of farm life, as it was used to cure and store meats for family consumption, and the Johnson smokehouse is an exceptionally fine example.

The Georgian interior plan of the house was arranged around a central hall, flanked by a single room on each floor and providing access to the rear ell which contained the dining room and kitchen (see Plan). The handsome stairway displayed turned wood balusters and a particularly attractive newel.

The wooden mantels of the three fireplaces were of simple detail, but fine craftsmanship. Twelve-foot ceilings, 10 inch baseboards, solid oak doors, and paneled door casings were attractive features throughout the house.

The Johnson family was pleased with their new home. Mrs. Johnson especially enjoyed the spacious kitchen with its large pantry and easily accessible cellar directly below, reached through a flight of interior stairs. The children, including the youngest and last Johnson child, Inez May (1884), occupied the upstairs rooms, while the downstairs "living room" on the south side of the house served as Ben's and Lydia's bedroom. The corresponding room on the north side of the house was the "parlor" and reserved for use on special occasions only. The original well was located immediately south of the rear porch but was never completely satisfactory; as the water contained traces of sulphur. The well has been relocated in more recent days to a position farther south, toward the barn.

The "privy" was situated not far from the house at a spot just southeast of the smokehouse. While Ben Johnson had been developing his cattle and hog farm in the Middle Fork Valley, his older brother had been operating a flour and grist mill north of Fayetteville. Jacob Q. Johnson and his partner, William Mayes, erected the mill with its 36-foot water wheel about 1867.

Jacob Q. very much admired the design of his younger brother's new house and decided to build a similar house for himself and his family of fourteen at a location near the Johnson Mill. Utilizing the same basic proportions of the Ben Johnson house, Jacob Q. Johnson constructed a "fine brick residence" which was "valued at $4,000" in 1889. In plan view the houses are identical, except for the placement of the rear ell (see Plan). The house at Middle Fork has an overall T configuration, while the Johnson Mill house is in the shape of an L. Comparison of the two houses reveals many obvious similarities, and it is quickly apparent upon closer investigation, that the house at the Johnson Mill was determined to "out-do" its model in the Middle Fork Valley. "Bigger and better" versions of the detailing of the Ben Johnson house exist throughout the Jacob Q. Johnson house: taller windows, oval sidelights and transoms at both stories, transoms over interior doors, taller and more sculptural baseboards and door casings, more elaborate mantelpieces, paneled portico columns with slightly taller and more ornate pedestals, more intricately crafted balcony railings, and a more elegant staircase rising two and one-half stories (not a mere two stories as at the Middle Fork Valley house). However, the most impressive display was reserved for the parlor. An artist from St. Louis was paid $300 to create a coffered and stenciled ceiling in red, green, gold, and black. This fascinating work was obviously influenced by contemporary designs for surrey and coach decoration.

However, Jacob Q. Johnson "put on the dog too much", as the present owner of this house explains, because Jacob soon found it necessary to borrow large sums of money from his brother, Ben, in order to finance the building of the house and to revive his ailing business. Within a few years, Jacob was so indebted to his younger brother that he had to relinquish ownership of both the house and the mill and turn them over to Benjamin. Jacob moved to a location on the upper part of the farm and Ben divided his time between the farm at Middle Fork and the mill at Johnson.

During this period Ben also purchased a house in Fayetteville at the corner of Maple and College Avenues. The house was a long, one-story, frame affair with a fine set of stables to the east.

In Ben's later years near the turn of the century, he distributed ownership of his various properties among his sons George, Hugh, and Burtos. George took over control of the Middle Fork farm, and not long afterwards, Burtos began to run the milling operation. The Middle Fork house, while occupied by George and Minnie Johnson and their two daughters, Gladys and Bonnie, was the scene of an annual Johnson picnic and "colt show". described as being "like a country fair", the summer event included horse races at a track southeast of the house, performances by area bands, rented merry-go-rounds and other rides, and, of course, lots of good "home cookin".

Ben Johnson spent his final years at the house in Fayetteville, where he died April 22, 1929, at the age of 94. Some years previous, Goodspeed drew a characterization of Ben F. Johnson which seems an appropriate conclusion to our narrative.

He was "... among the most successful farmers and stock dealers and prominent citizens of Washington County, Arkansas... actively engaged as a dealer in stock for many years, and in all his business dealings he is fair and just, commanding the respect and confidence of all who know him; he commenced life with no capital but his two hands and a vast amount of energy and pluck, but is now the owner of 932 acres of land and has one of the finest residences in the county."

The dream was fulfilled.

(Postscript: The Ben F. Johnson house was apparently the first of several red brick, Italianate homes built by prosperous Washington County farm families in the late nineteenth century. It appears today, in the lovely Middle Fork Valley, much as it did in 1878. The present owner has painted the brick yellow and modernized the house to some extent. The acreage is maintained as a cattle ranch.)


Children of NANCY BOATRIGHT and BENJAMIN JOHNSON are:

        i. MARY L. JOHNSON, b. Abt. 1858, Arkansas.

       ii. JAMES OLIVER JOHNSON, b. Abt. 1860, Arkansas.

7-169. EDNA ANN BOATRIGHT (CHESLEY HOOD7, JAMES6, BENONI5, JOHN4, JOHN3, JOHN2, Not Yet Determined1) was born 11 Jun 1841 in Arkansas, and died 23 Feb 1862 in Madison County, Arkansas.


Notes for EDNA ANN BOATRIGHT:

1850 Census:
Name: Edna Boatright
Date: October 10, 1850
Age: 10
Estimated birth year: abt 1840
Birth place: Tennessee
Gender: Male
Home in 1850
(City,County,State): Prairie, Madison County, Arkansas
Page: 255
Roll: M432_27

1860 Census:
Name: Edney A Boatright
Date: July 10, 1860
Age in 1860: 19
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1860: Richland, Madison County, Arkansas
Gender: Female
Value of real estate: $0
Post Office: Wesley
Roll: M653_45
Page: 405
Year: 1860
Head of Household: C H Boatright
Burial: Boatright Cemetery, east of Buckeye, Madison County, Arkansas


7-170. ELIZA VIRGINIA BOATRIGHT (CHESLEY HOOD7, JAMES6, BENONI5, JOHN4, JOHN3, JOHN2, Not Yet Determined1) was born was born 05 Nov 1843 in Grainger County, Tennessee. She married WILLIAM WASHINGTON EVANS.


Notes for ELIZA VIRGINIA BOATRIGHT:

Eliza Virginia Boatright Some sources give her first name as Eliza or Elizabeth

1850 Census:
Name: Eliza Boatright
Date: October 10, 1850
Age: 8
Estimated birth year: abt 1842
Birth place: Tennessee
Gender: Female
Home in 1850
(City,County,State): Prairie, Madison County, Arkansas
Page: 255
Roll: M432_27

1860 Census:
Name: Eliza V Boatright
Date: July 10, 1860
Age in 1860: 16
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1860: Richland, Madison County, Arkansas
Gender: Female
Value of real estate: $0
Post Office: Wesley
Roll: M653_45
Page: 405
Year: 1860
Head of Household: C H Boatright


Child of ELIZA BOATRIGHT and WILLIAM EVANS is:

        i. ELIZABETH ELIZA EVANS, b. 28 Feb 1869.

Boatwright/Boatright Family Genealogy Website
created by George Boatright, boatgenealogy@yahoo.com
Please e-mail any additions / corrections / comments.

last modified: February 1, 2010

URL: http://www.boatwrightgenealogy.com


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