John Charles Floyd was born in Tennessee in 1859. His parents were John Wesley and Eliza Jane Snodgrass Floyd, who were also natives of Tennessee. The father was born there in 1828; the mother in 1833. The paternal grandfather, William Floyd, was born in 1801, and spent his entire life in Tennessee. He was a merchant and a farmer. The maternal grandfather, James Snodgrass, was a native of Virginia, but moved to Tennessee where he spent the greater part of his life. He was a merchant.
John Wesley Floyd went to California as a member of a wagon train in 1849. After a short stay in California and in Oregon, he returned to Tennessee and married in 1854. He saw service as a Confederate soldier during the Civil War. When he came to Arkansas in 1869 he purchased a farm one mile from Bentonville. He improved the place but sold it and moved to Bentonville where he lived until he died in 1908. His wife lived four more years. He was a Democrat and both he and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Their children were: William S., John Charles, James R., Frank F., Carrie Floyd Maxwell, Maggie, and Birdie who died in infancy.
John Charles Floyd graduated from Bentonville High School and later, 1879, graduated from the University of Arkansas. He taught school in Benton and Washington Counties during the next three years. Having decided to become a lawyer, he read law under a Bentonville lawyer and was admitted to the bar in 1882. He came to Yellville in October 1882 and opened his office. Before coming to Yellville, Mr. Floyd had served as County Examiner of Benton County and soon after coming to Yellville he was appointed County Examiner of Marion County and served for six years. He was elected state representative in 1888 and upon the termination of that term, in 1890, was elected Prosecuting Attorney of the 14th District. He was re-elected in 1892, but he retired at the end of that term. In 1901 he again entered politics. He was a candidate for Congress, but he was defeated by 173 votes. In 1903 he ran again and was successful. He became a member of the 59th Congress and served from 1905 until 1915. In 1920 he ran for governor but was defeated.
In November 1887, Mr. Floyd married Virginia Berry, daughter of James H. and May Milum Berry. They were the parents of Nina B., Rector H., and James Berry. Nina married a Mr. Brown and lived in Illinois. Later she lived in Little Rock. Rex married Hattie __________ while living in Washington, D. C., then lived here for a short time. He returned to Washington. James Berry Floyd married Maud Hensley Noe, widow of Guy Noe. She has a daughter, Myrtle Madelyn, who married Nat Carson. Berry and Maud's daughter is Virginia.
Berry practiced law in Yellville for a number of years before moving to Little Rock where he served as Assistant Fire Marshall of Arkansas. Later he served as an attorney for the State Highway Commission for a time before accepting a position with the United States Corps of Engineers as a Title Examiner for land acquired in the Bull Shoals and Table Rock Reservoirs. He passed away in July 1976 and was buried in the Layton Cemetery in Yellville.
Reprinted with permission from History of Marion County edited by Earl Berry, copyright 1977.