William W. Nisbett

                 Goodspeed 1889


W.W. Nisbett, lumber dealer and manufacturer of brick, etc., is a native
of Lancaster County, S.C., born October 14, 1836. His parents, James and
Jane Y. (Rogers) Nisbett, natives of South Carolina, were of Irish descent,
the grandfather, a native of Ireland, having been an early immigrant to
South Carolina. The paternal grandfather, Josiah Nisbett, was a soldier of
the Revolution, and he and all the grandparents lived and died in South
Carolina. James Nisbett emigrated with his family to Coffee County, Tenn.,
in 1844, and three years later to Monroe County, Miss., thence to Memphis,
Tenn., in 1850, and in 1852 came to what is now Craighead County, Ark.,
locating where Jonesboro now stands. He was a farmer and mechanic, and
followed both occupations for several years; made the first improvements
and built the first frame house in Jonesboro. He then kept a hotel in
Jonesboro for some time, and in 1867 moved to Pike County, where he
resided for five years, then returned to this county, where he remained
until his death in 1884. The mother died three years later. They were the
parents of six children, five now living, four sons and one daughter:
William W., John G.R., Benjamin F., Joseph A. and Sarah, widow of P.H.
Winke. William W. was but eight years of age when he left his native
State, and, school advantages being very poor, his education was
necessarily very limited. However, since arriving at maturer years, he has
closely applied himself to study, and is now a self educated man. He was
eighteen years of age when he came with his parents to Craighead County,
and had learned from his father the carpenter's trade, and intelligent
farming. His early life was devoted mainly to mercantile business until
the late war, and after the surrender, he was for many years a furniture
dealer and undertaker. While in business, he was three times burned out,
but was by no means discouraged by his misfortunes. After the fire of 1886,
he closed out what remained of his stock, and turned his attention to his
milling business. He has been for twenty years engaged in the milling and
lumber business, also handling grain, and is now engaged in the manufacture
of brick, making from 35,000 to 40,000 per day. Having a nice farm in the
suburbs of Jonesboro, he also gives some attention to agricultural
pursuits. In 1882, he began the study of law, and in 1884 was admitted to
the bar, and has since been engaged in the practice of his profession. He
has been the leader of the Republican party since the war, and has been
identified with all its meetings and important moves. He was elected
sheriff of Craighead County in 1866, and served until 1872; was also
sheriff in 1865 under military order. He has held the offices of county
supervisor, president of the board of supervisors, county assessor,
sheriff, collector, postmaster, assessor of internal revenue, and deputy
United States marshal. In 1858 he was united in marriage with Mary Mattix,
and they are the parents of ten children, seven of whom are living:
Elizabeth (wife of J.R. Smith), Mattie (wife of H.H. Houghton), William
S., Alice, Delia A., Minnie M. and George E. Mr. Nisbett is a member of
the Masonic fraternity, is Master of the Blue Lodge, and High Priest of
the Chapter. He belongs to the I.O.O.F., and also to the Eastern Star.

Biographies, Arkansas, The Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1889, Craighead
County, page 348-349.

Update 03.19.01              David Kelley 1999                 BIO-0121.HTM