JOHN M. BUCK, postmaster of Hardy, who is also conducting a store there and carries on a ginning business and farming interests, was born in Madison county, Arkansas, May 2, 1861. His paternal grandparents were Morgan and Barbara (Beale) Buck of Tennessee. Her father was John Beale, a prominent farmer and slave owner of Arkansas, becoming one of the wealthy men of his county. He afterward became a pioneer resident of eastern Texas, and was an influential and highly respected citizen. Morgan Buck of Tennessee settled in pioneer days in Arkansas, where he bought a farm for fifty dollars, and which had before been traded for an ox bell and a fiddle. After his death it was valued at thirty-three hundred dollars, a fact which indicates that he was industrious, enterprising and successful in his active life. He was too old for active service in the Civil war, but used his influence for the support of the Confederacy and for safety refugeed to Texas, remaining near San Antonio until the close of hostilities. He then returned to Arkansas, where he resided until his death in 1875. He voted with the Democracy, and held membership in the Masonic fraternity. His children were: John, Richard E., W. M., Sarah, Matilda, Ann, Minerva and others whose names are forgotten.
John Buck was reared in Arkansas and afterward engaged in farming, which he continued until the time of the Civil war. He then enlisted in the Confederate army in 1861, serving with the Trans-Mississippi department in Arkansas, Missouri and Texas under Harrington. He was once captured, but was later exchanged and he made a creditable military record because of his loyalty and bravery. When the war was over the command disbanded and he returned to his home, being there successfully engaged in farming until 1876, when he sold out and went to the Indian Territory. There he raised one crop, after which he went to Oklahoma and bought land, camping out there during the erection of his house. There death came to him before his new home was completed. He was a stalwart Democrat and in Arkansas served for two terms as justice of the peace. A well educated man, he engaged in teaching school in Williamson county, Texas, and he was also identified with the moral development of the community, being a leading worker in the Methodist Episcopal church, South. He was a fluent speaker and a strong exhorter in the church and he lived an upright Christian life. He belonged to the Masonic fraternity and to the Farmers’ Alliance. His wife yet survives him at the age of about sixty-three years. Her father, John Thurman, was a farmer of Tennessee, whence he removed to Arkansas, there dying on the old homestead in 1903, at an advanced aged. In his family were: Andy, who was killed by bushwhackers during the Civil war; John C., now of Uz; Conzada; America; Virginia; Elizabeth A., Tucker and Doc. By a second marriage of the father there were: George W., Philip D. and other children whose names are now forgotten.
Mr. and Mrs. Buck had a family of nine children: John M., of this review; Barbara E., the wife of J. A. Ashton; Sarah L.,who married W. F. Ashton; William, of the Choctaw Nation; Mary A., Richard P., a Methodist minister at Bonita, Texas; James L., who is assisting in the operation of his brother’s cotton gin; Virginia L., the wife of L. Buck; and Jasper T., of Oklahoma.
John M. Buck came with his parents to Texas and remained in their home in Williamson county until he had attained his majority. After his marriage in July, 1882, he settled on land which he had previously purchased and continued its cultivation and improvement until 1890, when he sold out and removed to the vicinity of Ardmore, Indian Territory. There he rented land and raised a crop. In 1892 he came to Montague county, bought a farm and here raised a crop. The same year he purchased the gin at Hardy, removed to the village and in the spring of 1893, sold his farm. He had here purchased a strip of land and dwelling house in connection with the gin, which he operated successfully. In 1896 he bought a farm of one hundred and fifty-one acres not far from the gin and here makes his home in a good modern residence. There is a wind pump upon the place and other improvements, including the best machinery for facilitating the work of the fields. In 1900 he purchased a store and stock of goods at Hardy, and he was also appointed postal clerk and took charge of the postoffice. In 1901 he received the appointment of postmaster and is yet acting in that capacity. After three years he moved into a store building which he had erected, and in which he yet carries on business, yet owning both store buildings. In 1901 he purchased another farm of eighty acres, which he utilizes for pasture, this making his total holdings two hundred and thirty- seven acres. He had eighty acres under a high state of cultivation devoted to diversified crops and his agricultural pursuits are bringing him a merited degree of prosperity. He gives personal supervision to each branch of his business, and all are proving profitable.
In July, 1882, Mr. Buck was married to Miss Nancy E. Young, a native of Independence county, Arkansas, born January 11, 1868, and a daughter of Henry H. and Mary E. (Copeland) Young, the former a native of Tennessee and the latter of Arkansas. They were married in Arkansas and settled upon a farm there. At the time of the Civil war Mr. Young entered the Confederate army, but after a few months, believing that he had been mistaken in his former course, he joined the Federal army, and served until the close of the war. He sustained a wound in the left arm which occasioned him trouble throughout his remaining days. After the close of the hostilities he returned to his home and resumed farming, which he followed until 1871, and then came to Texas, purchasing land in Williamson county, where he spent his remaining days, passing away in February, 1880. He belonged to the Baptist church and was often heard in public addresses in behalf of the church, and of Christian living. His wife now resides at Brownsfield, Perry county, Texas, with a daughter. She, too, is a member of the Baptist church, and from the government she receives a pension in recognition of the aid which her husband rendered to the Union case. Their children were: John, who died at the age of two years; Polly A., the wife of M. M. Hamilton; Nancy E., now Mrs. Buck; Martha A., the wife of W. Green; Greena G.,the wife of J. C. Green; Jane, who died at the age of three years; and Ava, who died at the age of ten months.
Mr. and Mrs. Buck have a family of eleven children: Rufus T., born May 20, 1883; Eleanor E., February 28, 1885; Daisy J., September 7, 1887; Rillie A., November 10, 1889; Nettie P. and Ninnie A., twins, August 23, 1892; Virginia L., who was born September 9, 1894, and died August 25, 1895; John L., born October 3, 1896; Esker F., March 9, 1899; Etney V., September 4, 1902; and Ruby L., January 13, 1905. All are yet at home and the three eldest are members of the Baptist church, to which the parents also belong, taking an active and helpful part in its work.
Mr. Buck deserves much credit for what he has accomplished, as his success is attributable entirely to his own labors. In all of his business interests he is thoroughly progressive, carrying forward to successful completion whatever he undertakes and as a merchant, ginner and farmer he is meeting with a fair measure of prosperity. His gin is well equipped with the latest improved machinery and has a capacity of twenty bales daily. He also uses modern appliances in connection with his other business affairs and he has ‘phone connection at his home with his business and also with other towns of this part of the state. He has served as notary public for a number of years, and while living in Williamson county was secretary of the Farmers’ Alliance. A gentleman of social, genial nature, he is popular with a large circle of friends, his many excellent traits of character having won him many excellent traits of character having won him the confidence and good will of those who know him.
Source: B. B. Paddock, Historical and Biographical Record of North and West Texas, Vol. I (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co. Inc., 1906), pp. 583-585.