Contributed by Wanda Ridge. 2018

James Hezekiah New and his brother, John R. New, began farming for themselves in Lauderdale County, Mississippi in 1839. In 1869 James H. and John R. came to Arkansas and first settled in Phillips County, in an area which is now Lee County. They settled on a farm of 160 acres, 70 of which was in cultivation. James H. and his family soon moved farther west and temporarily settled near Oak Forest. In a short time they moved still farther west to the Bramel Bridge area northwest of Moro. Here James H. bought 160 acres of land and it still goes by the name of “The Old New Place”.

James Hezekiah’s war record is puzzling at its best. Records from the 37th Regiment, Mississippi Volunteers, CSA, show James H. New on muster rolls as early as February 1862 and as late as December 1863. September and October 1862 muster rolls show that James H. was captured at Iuka Sept. 20, 1862. November and December muster rolls contain remarks, "deserted September 20 at Iuka." For reasons unknown, after leaving the Confederate Army, James Hezekiah New enlisted as a private in Company D, 1st Regiment, Mississippi Mounted Rifles Volunteers, Union Army, on the 15th day of March 1864 in Memphis, Tennessee and was mustered out as a Sergeant in Memphis on June 26, 1865. Physical description from service records read: 6" 2", blue eyes, auburn hair, fair. Union pension records show that James Hezekiah New was receiving $6.00 a month pension at the time of his death, that his widow was receiving $25.00 at her death.

Soon after the war, in August of 1865, James Hezekiah married Emily Clayton, a native of Mississippi. To this marriage ten children were born; four died at an early age. The others were: William M., Hattie, James J., John, Rebecca C. and Walter C. His wife, Emily Clayton New, died in 1884 and was buried in Oak Forrest Cemetery, Lee County.

In 1894, James H. married Frances Cladora Scott, daughter of Alexander Monroe Scott and Margaret L. Rinehart. They had two children, Emily Frances and Levi Lester. Frances Cladora Scott had been twice widowed before marrying James Hezekiah. She was first married to John Weatherford by whom she had Charley, Nettie and Arthur Weatherford. John Weatherford died in 1888 and she married James Bramel, by whom she had two children, Jesse Peter and Joseph Bramel. James Bramel died in 1892.

James Hezekiah New died in 1898, leaving his wife Frances Cladora widowed a third time. He was buried in Oak Forrest Cemetery, Lee County, next to his first wife. On August 27, 1898, this notice appeared in the local newspaper, The Lee County Courier: "J. H. New, one of the worthiest and most industrious citizens of Hampton Township, died last Thursday night. The Courier extends sympathy to the family."

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