Narrative given by Perry Nettle in Goodspeeds
Hon. Perry Nettle enjoys the reputation of being not only a substantial and progressive farmer, but an intelligent and thoroughly posted [p.417] man in all public affairs. He has always been noted for honorable, upright dealing, and has kept the name he bears pure in the sight of all.
He is a native of the county, his birth occurring on the 30th of September, 1839, and is a son of Shadrach and Elizabeth (Graham) Nettle, who were born in the States of North Carolina and Tennessee, respectively. They moved to Arkansas in 1824, and settled in what was then Lawrence (now Randolph) County, and after the State line between Arkansas and Missouri was surveyed their house was found to be in Oregon County, Mo., and thus it has stood in three different counties and two States without being moved. Mr. Nettle lived here until 1858, and after a short residence in Clay County, Ark., he returned to Oregon County, Mo., where he made his home from 1863 to 1885, and on the 5th of November, 1887, his death occurred in Lawrence County, Ark. He was one of the pioneers of the county, and always followed the occupation of farming, and in connection with hunting, in early days, succeeded in making a good living and laying up a competency for his old age. He had passed the allotted age of man at the time of his death, and was eighty-four years, seven months, and twenty-four days old.
He lived on the line between Arkansas and Missouri for sixty-two years. His marriage with Miss Graham occurred in 1823, and to them was born a family of eight children: William O., born January 1, 1824, and died February 7, 1875; Levi, born May 25,1827, and died September 6, 1856; Elijah was born November 4, 1831, and now lives in California; Francis M. was born on the 10th of September, 1834, and resides in Oregon County, Mo., on the farm on which he was born; Carter T., born October 23, 1837, died February 11, 1875; Perry; Sarah, born May 11, 1842, is the wife of James Johnson, and Elizabeth, born November 15, 1844, and died October 4, 1861. The mother of these children was born on the 10th of September, 1803, and died on the 3d of April, 1857, she having been an earnest member of the Baptist Church.
Perry Nettle's early scholastic advantages were of the most meager description, but in later years he applied himself closely to his books, and is now one of the most intelligent men of the county. In 1862 he joined the Confederate army, being in Capt. J. J. Wyatt's company, Shaver's regiment, and was an active participant until the close of the war, when he surrendered at Shreveport, La. He was captured at the fall of Little Rock, on the 10th day of September, 1863, he at that time being under treatment in the hospital, and was kept in captivity for nearly a year and a half in St. Louis, Alton, Rock Island and New Orleans; he was then brought back to the mouth of the Big Red River, and was there exchanged on the 25th of February, 1865. He then rejoined his command at Shreveport, and served his cause faithfully until the final surrender, holding the rank of first sergeant of his company. Since that time he has been engaged in farming, and now has a fine farm of 200 acres, but from 1874 to 1880 he was also engaged in merchandising at Warm Spring, and at the same time dealt in stock. In 1884 he was elected to represent the people of his county in the State legislature, and filled the office during the session of 1885. He made the race again in 1886, and was defeated by the Hon. G. G. Johnson, but was re-elected to the position in 1888, and served the following year. He now attends to his farm.
On July 27, 1865, he was married to Miss Mary S. Mock, of this county, by whom he has the following family:
Jacob L., born January 11, 1867, and died July 19, 1886; Maggie E., born June 3, 1868, was married November 16, 1885, to James F. Baker, and lives in Oregon County, Mo.; Shadrach G., born February 17, 1872; Rufus L., born July 18, 1875; W. A., born March 2, 1879, and died September 10, of the same year. Mr. Nettle is a Democrat, a public-spirited man, and a member of the A. F. & A. M. Mrs. Nettle is the daughter of Griffith C. and Margaret J. (Forster) Mock, who were born in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, respectively. They were married on the 11th of March, 1838, and reared a family of eight children: Mary S. (Mrs. Nettle), born July 1, 1840; Felix G., born June 3, 1843; Leah P., wife of Joseph W. Spikes, born January 7, 1846; Marous D. L., born April 4, 1848; Matilda J., wife of L. H. Waldron, born [p.418] March 27, 1851; Thomas D., born March 8, 1853; Rufus M., born February 15, 1856, and Isham J., born January 22, 1859, and died October 19, 1877. Mr. Mock was born on the 29th of April, 1815, and died September 20, 1874; his wife was born on the 16th of October, 1817, and died April 5, 1879. They were members of the Christian Church, and politically he was a Democrat.