William D. Alford

                 Goodspeed 1890


Dr. William D. Alford, physician and merchant, Murfreesboro, Arkansas. 
Among all classes and in every condition of life there are those who 
succeed in whatever they undertake, whether of a professional, agricultural 
or commercial nature, and prominent among them stands the name of Dr. W.D.
Alford. He was born in Alabama in 1835, and was the eldest of twelve
children born to Rev. Madison E. and Nancy (Orrick) Alford, the father a
native of Alabama, and the mother of South Carolina. Rev. Madison E. Alford
spent his youth on a farm, and after his marriage, which occurred in
Alabama, he came to Arkansas in 1841 and settled near Murfreesboro. He had
made the study of medicene his profession in Alabama, and was licensed to
preach at Greenville, Clark County, Ark., soon after he came to this State,
by Rev. Andrew Hunter, presiding Elder of Washington District, Ouachita
Conference, Methodist Episcopal Church. Soon after his arrival here he 
began his ministerial duties, and was one of the pioneer Methodist 
Episcopal preachers of Pike County. He became well known as an evangelist, 
organizing churches in this and adjoining counties, and organized the 
church at Murfreesboro, Pisgah, Brocktown and near Bingen, also many 
others throughout the county. He owned a farm, but devoted his whole time 
to the ministry, and after spending his entire life in this work ceased his 
labors in 1876. He was truly a good man, and his influence was perhaps as 
great as any one residing here since. The mother died in 1875. Dr. William 
D. Alford attained his growth on the farm, had practically no educational 
advantages, and continued to reside at home until he was twenty-one years 
of age. During the last few years at home, he had been studying with such 
instruction as his parents could give him, and upon leaving began teaching 
school. This he continued for some time, and he was just prepared to attend 
college when the war cloud burst upon the nation. He enlisted in Company G, 
Fourth Arkansas Infantry, August 10, 1861, and participated in the battle 
of Pea Ridge. Immediately after the battle he was appointed assistant 
surgeon, and accompanied the sick and wounded troops to Little Rock from 
Van Buren. He remained in the hospital at Little Rock until the fall of 
that city in September, 1863, when he was taken prisoner and sent to Camp 
Morton, at Indianapolis, where he was retained as assistant for the sick. 
He remained there until the surrender of Gen. Lee, and then returned to 
Pike County, Ark., where he at once engaged in agricultural pursuits. After 
farming for two years he again began the study of medicine, attended the 
American Medical College at St. Louis, Mo., graduated, and has since been 
in constant practice in the town and vicinity. He is the owner of a farm of 
ninety acres, fifty acres under cultivation in the river bottom, and 160 
acres in another tract, and has also some town property. He has been 
engaged in selling drugs for some time, and in 1890 formed a partnership 
with Mr. Dean in his present business. Dr. Alford has been married twice; 
first, to Miss Mary E. Brewer, in 1859. She died in 1869, leaving three 
children: James A. (the only one living), William M. (died at the age of 
six years in 1872), and Henry M. (died in infancy). Dr. Alford was married
the second time, in 1870, to Miss Rebecca Ann Sharp, a native of Tennessee, 
and the daughter of John Sharp, an old settler here. Three children were
the fruits of this union: John E., Thomas F. and Robert N. Mr. Alford is a 
local Elder, and has been actively engaged in church work in the Methodist 
Episcopal denomination for years. The family are members of the same. He is 
a member of the Masonic fraternity and is Worshipful Master of Pike Lodge 
No. 91. He is an earnest advocate of education, has been school director of 
this district for years, and is one of the enterprising citizens of the 

Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas, The Goodspeed
Publishing Company: Chicago, Nashville and St. Louis, 1890, Pike County,
page 314.

Update 03.19.01              David Kelley 1997                 BIO-0006.HTM