William Bearden (1780-1830), son of William Mary (Mollie) Harris, was born in Stoneville, Rockingham Co., North Carolina; and was married to Sarah Barton (1780-before 1850), daughter of William Barton, Sr. in Granville Co., N. C. This couple had the following childrenL Elizabeth, Benjamin Barton, Mary, Haywood, Alfred, Lettice, Martha, John T., Williiam, Duncan, Thomas, and Isaac. At some point William and Sarah moved to Montgomery Co., Tenn. and two of their sons, John T., and Duncan, came to Clay County from Tenn. William’s son, Benjamin Barton Bearden, had a son, Leonard, who came to Clay County in 1918. All the Beardens in Clay County came from these three lines as no other Beardens came here.
John T. Bearden (1 Feb. 1813-8 May 1888), son of William and Sarah, married Prudence Majors (1820-1877), probably the daughter of James and Sarah C. Wheatley who lived in the neighborhood. They are buried on the Dan McBride Farm in the Rector vicinity. They ahd nine children: (1) Richard E. Bearden (1842-1873), a Civil War solider with the 5th Ark Conf., Co. H, Pvt. He married Saphronia -----, and had Alice, Maud, John, William, and Eunice. (2) Isham Bearden (abt. 1845- ). (3) Judge Haywood Bearden (abt. 1847- ). (4) Zachariah Taylor Bearden (29 Sept 1949-25 Ayg 1899), a Civil War soldier, married Rebecca Elizabeth Harbor in 1873 in Clay Co., Ark. and they are buried in Hillsboro Cemetery on the Greenway-Rector Road. Taylor was in the Mercantile business in Rector in 1882. Their children were (a) Drewy; (b) George ollie who married Berth Allen who adopted Isaac Woodrow Bearden who married Ruby M. Gibbs and had George O. and David L. Bearden. (c) John Samuel Bearden married Lena Winstead, a Rector schoolteacher, and they had Virginia Lee Bearden who married Ray Ward, and Winstead S. Bearden married Marcelle German. (d) Ethel M. Bearden married Leon A. Fulinwider. (e) Dora L. Bearden (1871-1877) died young and is buried in Hillsboro Cemetery. (5) Samuel J. Bearden (abt. 1852- ). (6) Susan U. Bearden (abt. 1853- ). (7) Rev. William Jeferson Bearden (April 1858-8 July 1915) married Sarah Elizabeth Copeland in 1899 and had (a) Arthur S. Bearden who married Maude May Simmons and had Pearl Elizabeth Hoggard, Percy Chappin, and William Charles Bedford Bearden; (b) Dr. Martin Luther Bearden married Ethel Rogers and had Francis Holmes and Helen Bearden; (c)Eula Bearden was born in Jan. 1883 and the mother, Ethel, died Jan. 17, 1883 and is buried in Blooming Grove Cemetery. Wm. Jefferson Bearden was married the second time in 1884 to Panesa Callie McNabb and they had (d) Earnest E., (e) Flora E., and (f) J. T. Bearden. (8) Robert W. Bearden (abt. 1860- ). (9) Mary E. Bearden (17 Nov. 1862-30 May 1928) married John W. Cox and had a son, Jon W. Cox (abt. 1886- ). Mary was married a second time to Wiley Dolphus Hooks and had Birdie M. Hooks who married George A. McNiell, Virgie Marie Hooks (1901-1925).
Duncan Bearden (1815-1859), a carpenter, son of William and Mary, was born in Granville, N. C.; married in 1846 in Montgomery Co., Tenn. to Nancy Farmbrough; and died in Greene Co., Ark. (now Clay). His children were: (1) Sarah A. Bearden (1846-1879) married A. J. Vinson and died in Christian Co., Ky. (2) Lafayette Bearden (1847-1848) died young. (3) Thomas F. Bearden (1848-1850) died young. (4) Montgomery (Gum) Bearden (1857-1879) married Ester Virginia Cates, daughter of Richard Wesley, about 1875 and had (a) Charles Luther Bearden who married Addie M. Wallace and had eight children: Clarence Arlie who married Gertie Taylor and had Enos, Velus, OTtie, and James; Martha Virginia Bearden (1903-1927); Louie Arvel Bearden (1905-1906); Ollie Esmer Bearden married Thelma Pauline Boyd and had Jim, George, Virginia Marie, Julia Ann, Reta, and Paula Kay; Omar Lee Bearden married Thelma Francis Tucker and had Charles Delmart, Bobby Lee, Viola Francis, Onis Lee John, Nancy Mae, and Mary Jo., and Thelma later married John Norwell; Rev. Luther Almer (Jack) Bearden married Martha Geneva Bateman and had Shirley Janet, Brenda Joyce, Linda Lois, and Phillip Dewayne; Vealus Franklin Bearden married Nadine Vaughn; Ottie Orlie Bearden married Joyce Johnson and had Christina Faye; James Oddie Bearden married Myrtle Geneva Pulley and had James Jr., Billy, and Debbie. (b) Arthur Montgomery (1879- ), son of Montgomery (Gum) Bearden, married Bertie Ethel Dale, daughter of James Louis and Mary Ann Burton Dale, and had nine children: two died as infants; Albert Lafayette married Etta Gross and had Gene Allen and Ralph; Inese Zora married Robert Ferniman; Leona married William Amos LAtta’ Georgia Etta married Reginald L. Hogard; Alvie Cleo married Ladeda Faye Jenkins; Edgar Elma married Agnes Dochenetz; and Audine May married James S. Metz and Wandel Lane. (5) James N. Bearden; (6) Learney Bearden; (7) Louie Bearden.
Leonard Bearden (1857-1947), son of Benjamin N. Barton Bearden and Nancy Maxey Bearden and grandson of William, was born in Todd County, Ky., and died in Oak Park, Cook Co., Ill. His body was brought back and buried in Piggott. After he came to Clay County in 1918 he spent his life here except for his last year when he lived with a daughter, Mrs. Jack Childress in Illinois. Leonard married Francis G. Hern (1871-1907) in 1895 and had Louise who married Penny Scarbrough, Lillian married Jack Childress, Vivian married Roland Harris, and Woodford Bearden (1903-1940) of Chicago. Leonard’s second wife was Mattie R.