Elmer Baxter “B” Lindsey is well known as a devoted family man, pillar of the community and an advocate for the cotton industry. He’s also remembered as an accomplished businessman, a gifted athlete and a farmer.
But the people who knew him best remember him as a good man, a strong Christian who made their lives better by knowing him.
Lindsey, 80, passed away on Aug. 26, 2020, from Covid-19.
The Southern Cotton Ginners Association recognized Lindsey’s many contributions to community, cotton ginners and agriculture with the SCGA Memorial Scholarship at the associations annual meeting on February 25.
Cotton farming and ginning might have been Lindsey’s plan B, but when a professional baseball career didn’t materialize, he devoted the same determination and grit to the farm and cotton gin that he counted on to get as high as AA in the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization.
He was owner and operator of Lindsey Brothers Gin and Farm, Caldwell, Arkansas.
He was revered by those who knew him.
“I knew Uncle B all my life,” said nephew Clark Dillard. “He took me duck hunting when I was 8 and gave me my first job at 16 or 17, just before I went off to school. When I came back, my grandmother had retired, and I took on her job at the gin.”
Dillard said working for his uncle was not much like work. “Working for Uncle B never seemed like a job. Every day was enjoyable. At work, he was firm but fair. He was good at what he did; he knew his business.”
He said integrity defined his Uncle B. “He never knew an enemy. People he worked with and the clients he served all thought they were his best friend. He was one of a kind.
“Uncle B was a good man, one of the finest I’ve ever met,” Dillard adds. “He was generous and always ready to help folks in need.”
He said Lindsey led an interesting life, including some six years as a minor league baseball player.
Despite his age, he remained in good health until he contracted Covid last summer.
“He was 80 when he died in August of Covid, but he did not look to be more than 65 or 70,” Dillard said. “He was in good health. We miss him.”
Kind, dear soul
Cacky Sobral, with the Lawrence Group, a multi-state farming operation in Wilson, Arkansas, said Lindsey was “the epitome of helpfulness. He was a kind, kind, dear soul who is deeply missed.”
Sobral said she met “my dear friend B around 2002,” while she was working for Cargill. “He helped put me into a new position that fits. He was willing to share technology and taught me everything I know.
“B Lindsey was a significant influence on my life,” she said. “He gave me confidence to accept the job here.”
“I was blessed to get to know Mr. Lindsey over the last 15 or 16 years,” said Barry Braden, general manager, Monette, Ark., co-op.
“He was a highly accomplished man but as modest as anyone I’ve ever been around. If you ever heard him bragging, he was complementing someone else, his wife, his kids, grandkids or siblings. He was humble and never bragged on himself; he always put others first.”
Braden said Lindsey was close to those around him, including cotton growers and others in the ginning industry.
“One of the best things for me was getting to know Mr. B during trips to monthly ginner meetings,” he said. “Every month I rode with him, Charles Parker and Allen Helms to a meeting. Being with them was like taking another year in college. I learned so much from him. The four of us became good friends.”
Parker, who is in poor health and not available for comment, was particularly close, Braden said. “I asked his wife, Phyllis Ann, about Mr. B and Charles. She said Charles was much more than a good businessman, farmer and ginner. ‘He was a good friend. B and Charles and Allen always enjoyed talking about cotton and the St. Louis Cardinals.’
“He was a strong Christian man,” Braden added. He served as deacon for the First Baptist Church of Caldwell for 42 years.
“Just having a phone conversation with Mr. B made me feel like a better person,” Braden said. “He always ended the conversation with ‘Love you brother.’ I miss that.”
He said B Lindsey exemplified what a gentleman should be. “I read this quote somewhere,” he said. “It goes, ‘Being male is a matter of birth; being a man is a matter of age; being a gentleman is matter of choice.’ B Lindsey chose to be a gentleman. He was a good one. I miss him.”
Devoted to family
Lindsey is also known for devotion to his family, including his wife of 55 years, Jenny; daughter Lisa Morris; sons Cary Baxter and James Elmer; grandsons Cody Baxter Morris, Drew Flowers and Cody Flowers; great granddaughter Emersyn Kate Morris; great grandson Kenneth Neal Flowers; brother James E. “Jim” Lindsey; three sisters, Betty Holman, Joyce Clark, and Claudette Ferguson; and many nieces and nephews.
Lindsey was known and respected throughout the Mid-South agricultural community. He and his family received the St. Francis County Farm Family of the Year Award in 1992. He was the Farm Press Mid-South High Cotton Award winner in 2008. He was also inducted into the Mustang Sports Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.