BIOGRAPHIES

Benton County, Arkansas Genealogy Trails


BENTON, Senator Thomas Hart

BERRY, Governor James Henderson

CARNELL, T. J.

CRANDALL, Harrison

DINSMORE, Hugh Anderson 

ELLIS, Clyde Taylor

FLOYD, John Charles 

GREENWOOD, Alfred Burton

HORTON, P. A.

IVY, William Talbot

MC GILL, Leonidas H.

PEEL, Samuel West

SEAMSTER, Lee A.


SENATOR THOMAS HART BENTON nicknamed "Old Bullion" (March 14, 1782-April 10, 1858), was a Senator from Missouri and a staunch advocate of westward expansion of the United States.  He served in the Senate from 1821 to 1851, becoming the first member of that body to serve five terms.  Benton was an architect and champion of westward expansion, a cause that became known as Manifest Destiny.
Benton was born in Harts Mill, North Carolina, near the present-day town of Hillsborough.  His father, a wealthy lawyer and landowner, died in 1790.  Benton also studied law at the University of North Carolina, but in 1799 left school to manage the family estate.
Attracted by the opportunities in the West, the young Benton moved the family to a 40,000 acre holding near Nashville, Tennessee.  Here he established a plantation with accompanying schools, churches, and mills.  His experience as a pioneer instilled a devotion to Jeffersonian democracy which continued through his political career.
He continued his legal education and was admitted to the Tennessee bar in 1805, and in 1809 served a term as state senator.  He attracted the attention of Tennessee's "first citizen" Andrew Jackson, under whose tutelage he remained during the Tennessee years.
After the war, in 1815, Benton moved his estate to the newly-opened Missouri Territory.  As a tennessean, he was under Jackson's shadow; in Missouri, he could be a big fish in the as yet small pond.  He settled in St. Louis, where he practiced law and edited the Missouri Enquirer, the second major newspaper west of the Mississippi River.  The Missouri compromise of 1820 made the territory into a state, and Benton was elected as one of its first senators.
He published his autobiography, Thirty Year's View, in 1854, and died in Washington, D. C. two years later.  His descendants have continued to be prominent in Missouri life; his great-nephew, also Thomas Hart Benton, was a 20th-century painter.
Benton's name is memorialized in place names across the country, including Benton Counties in ARKANSAS, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon and Washington.  The United States Navy ship, USS BENTON, was named in his honor.  A statue of Thomas Hart Benton is one of the two for Missourians in the United States Capitol. 

Source:  Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.



T. J. CARNELL was born in Benton County, Arkansas, June 4, 1872, and is consequently 25 years of age.  He came with his parents to this county in 1889.  He attended the district schools in Arkansas, and the public school at Pineville after they came to this county where he acquired a fair business education.  On January 16, 1895 he and Miss Florence M. Clemons were united in marriage.  Their union has been blessed with one child, Hazle B., now aged two years.  Mr. Carnell was reared on a farm which occupation he followed until a couple of years ago, since which time he has been running a saw mill. Being a man of energy and industry he is making a success of his business, and is manufacturing and selling a large amount of lumber.  Politically he is a Democrat, having been brought up in that faith, but his adherence to the party would never induce him to forget a personal favor or one who had befriended him.
(Source:  History of McDonald County, Missouri, by Judge J. A. Sturges, 1897; transcribed by Linda Rodriguez.)



HARRISON CRANDALL , b. 1835 Watson, Lewis Co, NY, a civil war veteran from Wisconsin and Minnesota, and wife Adeline, called Addie, b. Feb 1842, moved to Arkansas after the Civil war. They lived in Siloam Springs and are buried in Oak Hill Cemetery. They had a son Stanley Crandall, (b 1862-d. 1916 Siloam Springs), who was "considered one of the best printers in the state" when he purchased the Siloam Springs Republican newspaper in 1901. Stanley Crandall was married to Emma Harper (d. 1900-unmarked grave plot 30-5 in Oak Hill Cemetery). They had a son Cement C. Crandall (b. 1890 in Ark; d. May 21, 1969 in Ark; buried in Rose Lawn Cemetery-Fort Smith), who was also in the news business, working for the Northwest Arkansas Times in Fayetteville Arkansas. Clement was married to Veth/Veta Spradling in 1911 (d. Feb 28, 1980-buried in Roselawn Park Cemetery in Ft. Smith).  There are many mentions of the Crandall family in the area newspapers of the time, in particular the Harrison Times.  --Contributed by Gloria Lange.  Note:  There is more on the ancestry of Harrison Crandall on the Jefferson County, Wisconsin Genealogy Trails   http://genealogytrails.com/wis/jefferson/bios.html


HUGH ANDERSON DINSMORE, a Representative from Arkansas; born at Cave Springs, Benton County, Ark., on December 24, 1850; attended private schools in Benton and Washington Counties; studied law in Bentonville; appointed clerk of the circuit court for Benton County in 1873; was admitted to the bar in 1874; moved to Fayetteville, Washington County, in 1875 and pursued the practice of law; prosecuting attorney of the fourth judicial district 1878-1884; in January 1887 was appointed by President Cleveland as Minister Resident and consul general to the Kingdom of Korea and served until May 25, 1890; resumed the practice of law in Fayetteville, Ark.; elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-third and to the five succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1893-March 3, 1905); unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1904 to the Fifty-ninth Congress; resumed the practice of law in Fayetteville, Ark., and in later years devoted most of his time to the management of his farming interests; member of the board of trustees of the University of Arkansas; died in St. Louis, Mo., on May 2, 1930; interment in Evergreen Cemetery, Fayetteville, Ark.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present


ELLIS, Clyde Taylor, a Representative from Arkansas; born on a farm near Garfield, Benton County, Ark., December 21, 1908; attended the public schools of Fayetteville, Ark.; University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, B.S., and attended the school of law at the same university; attended George Washington University Law School and American University in Washington, D.C.; teacher in the rural schools at Garfield, Ark., in 1927 and 1928; superintendent of schools at Garfield, Ark., 1929-1934; was admitted to the bar in 1933 and commenced practice at Bentonville, Ark.; served in the State house of representatives, 1933-1935; member of the State senate, 1935-1939; delegate, Democrat National Convention, 1940; elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-sixth Congress; reelected to the Seventy-seventh Congress (January 3, 1939-January 3, 1943); was not a candidate for reelection in 1942 but was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for United States Senator; served as combat officer in the United States Navy, 1943-1945; general manager of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Washington, D.C., from January 1943 until retirement in September 1967; appointed as special consultant to the Secretary of Agriculture, January 1968 to January 1969; special area development assistant to Senator John L. McClellan from February 1971 until 1977; returned to the staff of the Secretary of Agriculture and was employed there until his retirement in August 1979; resided in Chevy Chase, Md.; died in Washington, D.C., February 9, 1980; interment in Arlington National Cemetery.
–Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-present; transcribed by A. Newell.


JOHN CHARLES FLOYD, a Representative from Arkansas; born in Sparta, White County, Tenn., April 14, 1858; moved to Benton County, Ark., in 1869 with his parents, who settled near Bentonville; attended the common and high schools, and was graduated from the Arkansas Industrial University (later the University of Arkansas) at Fayetteville in 1879; taught school at Springdale, Ark., in 1880 and 1881; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1882 and commenced practice in Yellville, Ark.; served in the State house of representatives 1889-1891; prosecuting attorney of the fourteenth judicial circuit 1890-1894; elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-ninth and to the four succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1905-March 3, 1915); one of the managers appointed by the House of Representatives in 1912 to conduct the impeachment proceedings against Robert W. Archbald, judge of the United States Commerce Court; was not a candidate for renomination in 1914; resumed the practice of law in Yellville, Ark.; unsuccessful candidate for nomination as Governor of Arkansas in 1920; died in Yellville, Ark., November 4, 1930; interment in Layton Cemetery.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present



ALFRED BURTON GREENWOOD, a Representative from Arkansas; born in Franklin County, Ga., July 11, 1811; pursued classical studies at Lawrenceville, Ga.; was graduated from the University of Georgia at Athens; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1832 and commenced practice in Bentonville, Ark; member of the State house of representatives 1842-1845; State prosecuting attorney 1845-1851; circuit judge of Arkansas 1851-1853; elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-third, Thirty-fourth, and Thirty-fifth Congresses (March 4, 1853-March 3, 1859); chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs (Thirty-fifth Congress); Commissioner of Indian Affairs from May 13, 1859, to April 13, 1861; served in the Confederate House of Representatives 1862-1865; died in Bentonville, Ark., October 4, 1889; interment in Odd Fellows Cemetery.

A.    B. Greenwood

          Born in Franklin County, Georgia, in 1811; came to Arkansas and settled at Bentonville in 1839; representative from Benton County, 1842-1844; prosecuting attorney, 1845-181; circuit judge, 1851-1853; member of congress, 1853-1859; practiced law at Bentonville after the war.

          Judge Greenwood died in 1889 and was buried at Bentonville.  His grave is marked by a white marble slab about three and a half feet high, fourteen inches wide and about two inches thick, set in a limestone base.  The slab is rounded at the top and on the upper portions of it are Masonic emblems, square and compasses, in the center of which is the letter “G”.  The epitaph is as follows:

          “Alfred B. Greenwood, born July 11, 1811, died Oct. 4, 1889.”

         ( Sources of Information:  Hempstead’s Pictorial History of Arkansas, pp. 1037-1038; Hallum’s Biographical and Pictorial History of Arkansas, pp. 273-274; Mayor Jas. R. Craig of Bentonville.  Source for Transcription:  Publications of the Arkansas Historical Association, edited by John Hugh Reynolds, Vol. 1 (1908); transcribed by Renae Donaldson.)




P. A. HORTON was born in Benton county, Arkansas, August 17, 1869.  He is a son of Daniel and Sarah (Graham) Horton.  His father died a short time before he was born and his mother, who remarried, lived only about a year afterwards.  His mother and stepfather moved from Arkansas to Joplin where they remained a short time when they came to McDonald county.  Press, as he is usually called, was raised on Indian creek near Erie.  In 1890 he and Miss Sarah Bogle were united in marriage; they have three children, all of whom are living.  He has spent most of his life on a farm and hopes some day to own a good one of his own.  For the past year or more he has been interested in the saw mill business.  He belongs to the Democratic party with which he has voted ever since he arrived at his majority, and from which he sees no reason to change.
(Source:  History of McDonald County, Missouri, by Judge J. A. Sturges, 1897; transcribed by Linda Rodriguez.)



WILLIAM T. IVY was born near Fairfield, Pickens County, Ala., August 14, 1845, and died on August 8, 1916, at Bentonville, Ark. His father, James Blow Ivy, was born in Southampton County, Va., married in Tennessee, and moved from that State to Alabama in 1842. Charles Ivy was the first of the family in America, and in 1836 he was a warden, vestryman, and justice of the peace in Norfolk, Va. The greatgrandfather and great-granduncles of William Ivy on hi? father's side were soldiers in the Revolutionary War and were present at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.
As a child William Ivy listened with rapt attention to his mother singing songs of the Revolution and reciting the hardships, deeds, and battles which she had heard as a little girl from the old soldiers gathered around her grandfather's fireside in Williamson County, Tenn. These songs and recitals made him yearn to be a soldier; so when the call came in 1861, though but little over fifteen years old, he enlisted in April, 1861, in the North Sumter Rifles, a company of one hundred and twenty-five men raised at Gainesville, Ala., of which he was the youngest member. This was Company A. 5th Alabam Battalion of Infantry, and it was with Archer'sBrigade, Heth's Division, Jackson's Corps, A. N. V. This bat talion took part in the principal battles of that army, and William Ivy was in the battles of Chancellorsville, Cold Harbor. Gettysburg, Groveton, Sharpsburg, Spottsylvania, the Wilderness, around Richmond and Petersburg, and to Appomattox. At Gettysburg he was commended by his commander for the excellency of his markmanship. Many were his experiences and excellent the service he gave his native land.
Returning home by way of Washington, he was in that city when President Lincoln was assassinated and was locked up in a dark, foul dungeon for two days and nights with little food or drink. He was married to Miss Emma Nash in 1870 in Richland Parish, La. In 1880 they removed to Weatherford, Tex., and that continued to be his home until death. He is survived by two sons.
(--THE CONFEDERATE VETERAN, Vol 25, Issue 4, 1917)


Leonidas H. Mcgill, of Bcntonville, Ark., a leading lawyer, was born in the famous state of Kentucky, February 22 , 1854. He was reared in the states of Tennessee , Texas and Arkansas, and received the bulk of his education in the high schools of the Lone Star state. Mr. McGill came to Bcntonville, Ark.. March 1, 1873, and in 1874 commenced the study of law under the preceptorship of Judge S. N. Elliott, at that time a prominent and able attorney. After being admitted to the bar in October, 1876, he was a partner of Judge E. S. McDaniel for four years. Mr. McGill then removed to Ozark and was in the law office of Judge Mansfield for a short time and then removed to Morrillton and for two years was a partner of E. B. Henry, now deceased. In 1883 he returned to Bentonville and practiced his profession until October. 1883, when he became private secretary to Governor Berry and removed to Little Rock. While living in that city he attended law lectures, conducted by the ablest members of the bar of Little Rock, and received much benefit from them. Returning to Bentonville in July, 1884, he maintained an independent law office until 1885, when he removed to Clarksville, Ark., and was a partner of A. S. McKennon, until July, 1887. Returning to Bentonville he again became a partner of Judge E. S. McDaniel, and they controlled a good practice until Judge McDaniel became circuit judge in 1800. Mr. McGill then practiced alone until November, 1808, when he formed a partnership with Mr. F. G. Lindsey, and the firm of McGill & Lindsey has prospered since that time, doing a general practice in all the courts. Mr. McGill enjoys the confidence and regard of his fellow citizens, and has served as mayor of Bentonville, a member of "its school board for nine years and is a prominent member of the State Bar association. He was admitted to practice in the state supreme court in November, 1882. Mr. McGill has always been a staunch Democrat and has attended many state and congressional conventions of that party. He was married, December 26, 1881, to Mit Peel, daughter of Col. S. W. Peel, a former member of congress and one of the most prominent men of Arkansas. They have eight children, six boys and two girls.

Source:  Weston Arthur Goodspeed, 1904; contributed by Tina Easley.



SAMUEL WEST PEEL, a Representative from Arkansas; born near Batesville, Independence County, Ark., September 13, 1831; attended the common schools; clerk of the circuit court of Carroll County, Ark., 1858-1860; entered the Confederate service in 1861 as a private; elected major of the Third Regiment, Arkansas Infantry, and later colonel of the Fourth Regiment, Arkansas Infantry; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced the practice of his profession in Carrollton, Ark., in 1865; moved to Bentonville, Benton County, in 1867 and continued the practice of law; prosecuting attorney of the fourth judicial circuit of Arkansas 1873-1876; elected as a Democrat to the Forty-eighth and to the four succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1883-March 3, 1893); chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs (Fiftieth and Fifty-second Congresses); unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1892; resumed the practice of law in Bentonville, Ark., and before the Court of Claims at Washington, D.C., until 1915; died in Bentonville, Ark., December 18, 1924; interment in Bentonville Cemetery.


LEE A. SEAMSTER (1888-1960) — of Fayetteville, Washington County, Ark. born in Benton County, Ark., 1888. Democrat. Lawyer; member of Arkansas state house of representatives, 1914-20, 1947-48; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Arkansas, 1948; chief justice of Arkansas state supreme court, 1955-56. Died in 1960. Burial location unknown.


Return to Benton County Index

©2006-2012 Arkansas Genealogy Trails