Zachariah T. Bearden

Transcribed by Tina Easley

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Zachariah T. Bearden was born in Montgomery County, Tenn., September 29, 1849, and is the son of John and Prudence (Majors) Bearden. John Bearden was born in Montgomery County, Tenn., and is of Irish-English parentage. He received a fair, common-school education, later followed farming and emigrated to Clay County, Ark., in 1851. The county was called Greene County at that time, but was afterward changed to Clay. At that early day there were but six families in an area ten miles square, and all the hardships and privations incident to pioneer life were experienced by Mr. Bearden. Schools were taught on the subscription plan, and church was held about once a month in old log cabins. Mr. Bearden was a slave owner but generally preferred white labor. He was the owner of a large farm, but was broken up during the war. He died May 10, 1888, being seventy-six years of age. During life he was never an office seeker, but was elected by the people, without solicitation, to the office of county treasurer. Mrs. Bearden was also reared in Tennessee, grew to womanhood there, and was married in that State. Nine children were the result of this union: Richard E., Isom K., Judge H., Zach. T., Samuel J., Susan U., William J., Robert W. and Mary E. Mrs. Bearden died in this county, August 16, 1877. Grandfather and Grandmother Bearden died in Tennessee; she was a native of North Carolina. Grandfather and Grandmother Majors were natives of West Virginia, and at an early day emigrated to Tennessee. Zachariah T. Bearden came with his parents to Arkansas when two years of age, settling in Greene County, and there remained assisting his father on the farm until twenty-one years of age. His educational advantages were rather limited, but by self study he became a well informed man. At the age mentioned he began business for himself by hiring on at a cotton gin by the day, and later followed clerking. He then bought a tract of land and carried on agricultural pursuits for nine years. January 2, 1873, he married Miss Elizabeth Harber, a native of Dyer County, Tenn., and the daughter of G. A. Harber. The fruits of this union were five children, four now living: Drewy D., George O., John S. and Ethel M. The one deceased was named Dora L. Mr. Bearden engaged in the mercantile business at his present stand in 1882, building the second house in Rector, and has been occupied in merchandising ever since. He is also interested in a large timber business. He carries a stock of merchandise valued at about $3,000, and also buys and exchanges cotton. He is a Democrat in his political views. Mrs. Bearden is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.