REMINISCENCES BY CAPT. J. C. (CURTIS) REA
By S. C. Turnbo

The small tributary stream that empties into Crooked Creek below Yellville, Ark. known as Rea Valley took its name from the Rea family who came to Marion County, Ark. in 1846. Capt. J. C. Rea the subject of this sketch was born in the state of Illinois February 27, 1837 and was 9 years old when he first saw the hills of Arkansas. His father John C. Rea on arriving in Marion County stopped near Yellville two years before locating in Rea Valley. During the first year of his residence near Yellville he rented land from Ewell Everette and rented land from Mike Mathis during the second year. At the end of the second year he purchased two claims in Rea Valley that joined together he bought one of these claims from William Royalston and the other from Joe Goodall and converted this land into a farm. Jack Moreland who lived four miles east of where he located in the valley was his nearest neighbor until John I. Phillips settled ½ mile north of him. Capt. Rea said that his mother Sarah (Arnette) Rea died in Illinois when he was an infant. His father died In 1857 and was buried in the Jacky Hurst graveyard on Crooked Creek below Yellville. In refering to the early days of Yellville or when his father arrived there in 1846 Capt. Rea said that the town was almost a vacant place in the road then. "Among the few citizens who lived there at that time were Hamp Tutt "Little" Tom Wilson, John B. Ingram and Ben Duval. On over at Yellville a school house or a house of worship was hardly thought of. But in 1847 Bob Jefferson taught a little subscription school at Yellville in a small log hut and my father sent me to it which was the first school I ever attended". said he.

During war times Capt. Rea entered the confederate service and was a fearless and worthy soldier through the war and was an officer in the same company and regiment the writer was a member of. Capt. Rea always stood for the rights of his men and would give his aid and protection to any of the boys when they deserved it. He was so competent that I have always had a kind feeling for him and have felt glad that I served under him. He promptly obeyed all orders when they reached him through proper channels and refused to be coersed by officers superior in rank or obey their whims when it was not necessary to do so. Capt. Rea died at his home in Oakland Marion County, Ark. on Friday March 29, 1907. His remains received interment in the cemetery there on the following Sunday evening.

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