Among the early families from Tennessee settling in Marion County prior to the Civil War was the Jenkins family. Two brothers, William C. and Roland, sons of George W. Jenkins, a native of Washington County, Tennessee, came to Arkansas in 1855. In early life, both were farmers. W. C. Jenkins settled in St. Francis County and farmed there for two years before moving to Kentucky where he lived until he moved to Marion County in 1859 or 1860. It is not known the year in which Roland Jenkins came to Marion County and settled a farm north of Flippin where he lived until his death. Roland Jenkins was a farmer and craftsman. He was married to Susan Chandler and to this union seven or eight children were born -- George W., who died while still a young man; William, Matthew, Tom, Bertie, Linda, Minnie and Ada. Roland Jenkins was a soldier in the Union Army. The only known descendants of Roland Jenkins now living in Marion County are: George B. Jenkins and Mrs. Velma Godfrey of Flippin, children of George W., deceased, and Anne (Briggs) Jenkins, one of the oldest citizens of the county now living near Flippin and Mrs. Othel Coots, daughter of William Jenkins, deceased.
W. C. Jenkins was born in Washington County, Tennessee, May 26, 1828, and was married to Mary Gray of Washington County, Tennessee, on January 25, 1849. To this union eleven children were born: Starr, Mary E., George W., Ellen, Matthew, James P., John, Henry, Jared or Jord, Maggie, and Julia. W. C. and wife settled in Marion County in 1859 or 1860 on a farm on Sugar Loaf Creek near Monarch. He was a good farmer and was considered to be a rather well-educated man at that time. When the Civil War broke out, he was in sympathy with the South and joined the Confederate Army. It is said that he reported that he never fired at a Union soldier for fear that he might kill his brother, Roland, a Union soldier.
After the way he resumed farming on Sugar Loaf for a time selling his farm and moving to a farm near Flippin. He and W. B. Flippin became close friends and became ministers of the Christian Church. They covered much of Boone and Marion Counties, as well as Ozark and Taney Counties in Missouri, in evangelistic work, preaching on Saturday nights and Sundays and in revivals that sometimes lasted two weeks. They covered their circuits by horseback and usually traveled together. They were well-known throughout the area and were referred to as Daddy Flippin and Daddy Jenkins. Thomas H. Flippin, son of W. B. Flippin, married Mary E. (Aunt Sis) Jenkins, daughter of W. C. Jenkins. W. C. Jenkins served as deputy sheriff of Marion County after the Civil War, and was appointed as sheriff for a period of six months.
The latter part of his life was spent in the active ministry of the church. Many congregations of the Christian Church in North Arkansas owe their beginning to the evangelistic activity of W. B. Flippin and W. C. Jenkins.
After a long and useful life, W. C. Jenkins departed this life in the latter part of the 19th Century. His widow, Mary Gray Jenkins, survived him by many years, passing from this life in the early 1920's.
Of the children mentioned earlier, Joshua Starr married Ellen Lewellyn of Flippin and they resided on a farm north of Flippin. To them were born three children: Clyde, Laud and Maude. Joshua Starr died while a young man. His widow, with the three children, moved to the Oklahoma Territory, settling near Muskogee, Oklahoma. One son, Laud, was killed in an accidental shooting. Clyde and Maude grew to maturity near Muskogee and some of their descendants live in that area now. The mother, Ellen, lived until she reached a ripe old age. She remained mentally alert and could recall incidents relating to the Civil War and events that followed.
Mary E. Jenkins, known as "Aunt Sis", married Thomas H. Flippin, son of W. B. Flippin and they reared their large family on a farm near Flippin. The children were: A. G. (Garland) who served many years as Sheriff of Marion County; Lula who married a Mr. Hodge, a farmer in the Peel area; Walker who was a farmer and a barber and spent most of his life near Flippin; Claude was a barber, horse-trainer and veterinarian who resided in Baxter County after reaching manhood; May married W. C. Hudson, a jeweler of Yellville; Willie was a minister and evangelist of the Christian Church and lived in Joplin, Missouri; Jessie married Gus Butler, an attorney; Herd lived in Oklahoma; and Frank, a farmer and expert rifleman and gun collector. George W. Jenkins married Jane Sanders, daughter of Tom Sanders who had a large farm on Jimmies Creek north of Flippin. George was a farmer, miner and an ordained minister of the Church of Christ. Most of his life was spent on his farm north of Flippin. Ten children were born to George W. and Jane Jenkins. Six of these became teachers and taught in the public schools of Marion County. Of these ten children, Flossie was the oldest. She married Dink Beny of Flippin, and except for a three-year period in which they lived in Springdale, they spent their 42 years of married life near Flippin where both grew up. Her husband died in 1942 and she passed away in October 1964. W. P. (Willie) taught in the public schools for a number of years, served four years as Assessor before studying medicine. He began the practice of medicine at Roland, near Little Rock; later moving to Oakland where he practiced for many years before moving to Oklahoma where he practiced in the Wetumka, Bearden, Holdenville and Okemah area. He served for several years as County Health Officer of Okfuskee County, Oklahoma, before retiring shortly before his death in the early 1960's. He married the former Josie McGregor of Dodd City. Ross also taught for several years and was County Treasurer for four years. He later moved to Oklahoma where he farmed and taught for a number of years before serving as City Clerk of Okemah. He passed away in the early 1970's. He married Myrtle Record of Marion County. J. P. (Perry) taught and farmed in Marion County until he and his wife, the former Della Coker of Yellville, moved to the vicinity of Okemah, Oklahoma, where both taught for many years. He later taught at the Boy's Reformatory at Granate, Oklahoma, and was named the "Outstanding Teacher of Oklahoma" in the late 1950's or early 60's. Perry passed away in 1974, 90 years of age. Mamie married Willie Pangle of Flippin. They farmed in Marion County for a number of years before moving to Oklahoma where they both passed away in the 1960's. Ella, or Miss Ella, taught for some forty years in the public schools of Marion County, beginning as a teacher in a one-room school when she was seventeen years of age. She married 0. J. Rowden of Summit. He preceded her in death in 1953 and she passed away in 1954. Bama died while she was a child. A. T. or Troy was also a teacher who taught for several years in Marion County prior to WWI. During WWI he saw service in France with Company A of the U. S. Engineers. Soon after returning from service, he married Mildred Jones of Carthage, Missouri, and both taught for a year in Baxter County before they moved to Oklahoma where they taught for many years in the Holdenville area. Later they moved to the Pacific Northwest where they taught in Montana, Idaho and Washington. Troy is retired and resides in Spokane, Washington. Marvin was a farmer and stockman who taught for a year or two before deciding that he preferred the open spaces. He farmed for years in Oklahoma before moving to California. He is retired and lives in Bakersfield. He married Ira Pilgrim of Kingdon Springs. Velma, the tenth child, died in infancy.
Matthew Jenkins, mentioned earlier, married Susan Green of near Protem, Missouri. He was a farmer in early life but entered the mercantile business with a Mr. Magness at Lead Hill. He served as deputy sheriff under Sheriff J. M. Keeter. He later moved to the Oklahoma Territory where he engaged in farming for a time before becoming a peace officer there. Later he moved to the Arizona Territory where he served for many years as a peace officer in the Territory. John Jenkins farmed for a time in the Sugar Loaf community before he moved to the Indian Territory, where he engaged in farming and real estate. It is said that he was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and was one of the signers of the first Constitution of the State of Oklahoma. Later he moved to Texas and at the time of his death was engaged in the mercantile business in Texarkana, Texas.
Henry Jenkins married Rebecca Lawhorn of the Monarch community. He was a farmer and spent the greater part of his life in the Monarch-Peel area of Marion County. Children born to Henry and Rebecca were: Flessie, who married Alva Anderson of Monarch; Vera, who married Clyde Kirkwood of Lead Hill; Ruth, who married Ray Wilmath of Bergman; Coy, who married Ruby Taylor of Monarch; John, who married Veda Edmondson of Lead Hill; Pearl, who married Eugene Dodd; Theron, who married Vada Garland; Ural, who married Elzie Jones, and May, who married a Mr. Borisocchi.
Jared married Alta McCord of Forsythe, Missouri. Jared farmed in that area for some time before he bought a farm in the No. I District east of Flippin. Jared's favorite pastime was fox hunting and he kept a pack of hounds. He also was a "banjo picker" and singer of Ozark folk songs. After selling the farm near Flippin, he and his wife moved to Protem where they had a small business for a time before retiring. At the time of his death, he resided in Springfield, Missouri. Maggie married Peyton Chaffin, a miner of the Dodd City area where they resided for many years. They had one son, Clarence, who taught for years in Marion County prior to WWI. Near the beginning of the U. S. entrance into WWI, Clarence enlisted in a Motor Transportation Company organized by a Captain Thompson of Yellville and made up largely of Marion County men. He served throughout the war as Chief Mess Officer. At the close of the war, he returned to Marion County but later moved to Greene County where he taught in Greene County and the adjoining county of Randolph. The other children of W. C. and Mary Gray Jenkins, Ellen, James P. and Julia, died in infancy or early childhood.
The only descendants of W. C. and Mary Gray Jenkins now living in Marion County are the descendants of Aunt Sis Flippin and the descendants of Henry Jenkins.
Reprinted with permission from History of Marion County edited by Earl Berry, copyright 1977.