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Joseph and Mary (Nelson) Hixson

Click here to read a letter written by Joseph Hixson about his genealogy and about his Civil War experiences.

Joseph Hixson was born August 4, 1835, at Hamilton, Wentworth County, Ontario, Canada. According to a letter written by Joseph to his daughter in 1898, he came to the United States with his father in 1837, lived in Aurora, Indiana from 1837 to 1844, and in Carroll and Livingston Counties in Missouri from 1844 to 1860. On June 28, 1861, in Stone County, Missouri, he enlisted in the army and took part in battles of Dug Springs, August 2, 1961, Oak Hills, August 10, 1861, and Fort Scott and Dry Ward in September. He served the whole period under Gen. Price. He was a gunner in the heavy artillery and was wounded when some ammunition exploded. After the war he spent 3 years in Mississippi and then in 1868 he went to Arkansas as a teacher and met his future wife, Mary Nelson, who was one of his students and 15 years his junior. This teaching job was "out on the White River." Later he engaged in the mercantile business at Sylamore, his store being the only one of that kind in the community. After spending several years in the conduct of that business he removed to Melbourne and for a number of years was active as county surveyor. In 1870 he came to Mountain View, was county surveyor, later held the office of postmaster and owned extensive land interests. Surveying was his hobby and he was well known through the state in that connection. He was a great reader and learned surveying through his own efforts, becoming thoroughly familiar with every phase of it. Subsequently he engaged in newspaper work in the association with W. H. Nelson and they established the Expositor.

On May 12, 1872, possibly in Izard County, Arkansas, Joseph married Mary Nelson who was born April 29, 1851. Mary was the daughter of John Gray Blount and Caroline (Bishop) Nelson. To this union six children were born: 1) Maude Mary born February 22, 1873, died November 2, 1955 2) Lola Agnes born March 2, 1874, died October 24, 1874 3) Zelda Elizabeth born January 26, 1876, died October 8, 1879 4) Rosa Josepha born February 7, 1879, died August 23, 1973 5) Henry Edward born October 7, 1883, died July 28, 1957 and 6) Nellie Leota born October 9, 1888, died August 25, 1921.

Joseph Hixson is described as having a long full beard and very stately. He was a stanch supporter of the Democratic Party and the principles of which it stands. Fraternally he was identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and held membership in the Mountain View blue lodge No. 202 of the Masons. He was a charter member of the Sylamore Lodge No. 21 of the Odd Fellows. His religious faith was that of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, and he was superintendent of the Sunday school for many years. Inez Hixson Hawkins says, "Joseph was a Canadian who came into the area to teach school and grandma was his student. She was 15 years younger than he. The 'old timers' around Mountain View all said he was a smart man, and brought the first transit (a surveying instrument) anymore had seen into the area and staked out a good portion of the county." Mary Nelson Hixson is described as being petite and very nice.

Joseph was a surveyor and about 1873 he helped stake out Stone County, Arkansas for which service Hixson Township in the northeast section of the county on the west side of the White River was named. He is also believed to have started the first newspaper in the county and ran it for a while with his wife's brother, W. H. "Dick" Nelson. Later Joseph's son, Henry Edward, took it over. In 1900 Joseph, Mary and their three youngest children were living in Chalybeate Twp., Stone County, Arkansas. He owned a farm and was designated as a surveyor.

Joseph Hixson died December 28, 1903 in Mountain View, Stone County, Arkansas, of pneumonia or an abscess on the lung. At this point in history there weren't antibiotics. He is buried in the Mountain View Cemetery on the western edge of town. Mary Nelson Hixson died July 15, 1932 in Mountain View, Stone County, Arkansas. She is also buried in the Mountain View Cemetery.

Hixson Trails - Margaret Free
Personal interviews
Centennial History of Arkansas

Jospeh and Mary Hixson Tombstones
Mary Hixson Civil War Pension Records