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Claude A. Rankin

For some years Claude A. Rankin has engaged in the abstract business in Murfreesboro and he is now serving his second term as county treasurer of Pike county.

A native of this state, he was born at White Oak, Cleveland County, on the 22d of November, 1884, and is the eldest son of Elisha T. and Martha W. (Daniel) Rankin. The paternal ancestors came from Scotland to America in 1793 and located in Lincoln county, North Carolina. His grandfather Rankin was born in that county in 1812 and resided there until manhood, when he removed to Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The maternal ancestors came from England and first located in South Carolina, from which state they removed to Tennessee and thence to Cleveland County, Arkansas, where they arrived in 1850.

Elisha T. Rankin was born in Mississippi and came with his parents to this state in 1848, when he was three years of age, his parents being among the pioneer settlers of that section of the state. His father and one brother served in the Federal army throughout the Civil War and two other brothers saw service with the Confederate army.

On the 12th of February, 1884, in Cleveland county, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Rankin to Miss Martha W. Daniel, who is still living on the old homestead at Roy, at the age of sixty years. Mrs. Rankinís demise occurred at Roy in 1911, when sixty-six years of age.

To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Rankin ten children were born, nine boys and one girl, Claude A., whose name initiates this review, being the eldest. Eight boys and the girl are living.

One of Mr. Rankinsí brothers, Street Rankin, enlisted for service in the world war and died on the 20th of May, 1920, from tuberculosis, contracted while in active service. His death occurred soon after his return to America and came as a sever blow to his family and many friends in the community. Street Ranking was a member of Company D, Thirty-fourth Infantry, Seventh Division and he was with his regiment in the St. Mihiel drive. He was in active service until the signing of the armistice closed hostilities.

In the acquirement of an education Claude A. Rankin attended the public schools of Athens in Howard county. For the five years following Mr. Ranking taught in Pike, Hempstead and Howard counties, but in 1910 turned his attention to other pursuits. From 1912 to 1916 he was engaged in the conduct of a mercantile business in Murfreesboro and disposing of that interest in the latter year, he made his initial step into the abstract business with which he has since been identified.

He has built up a large business along that line and is enjoying more than gratifying success. Prior to entering the mercantile business at Murfreesboro he served as deputy clerk under R.N. Alford of Pike county, from 1908 to 1910, and was again called to public office in 1911, when he was elected assessor of pike county, serving until 1914. He represented Pike county in the state legislature in 1917, and was one of the authors of the house bill on the Bone Dry Law of Arkansas, which was passed at that time.

In 1919 he was elected county treasurer of this county and is now serving his second term in this office, having been reelected in 1921, his term to expire in 1922. Mr. Rankin also has extensive farming and stock interests in Pike county. On the 24th of June, 1907, in Hempstead county, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Rankin to Miss Leola Kennedy, a daughter of James L. and Harriett H. Kennedy, residents of Arkansas. To their union four children have been born: Jimie, who died in infancy; Hazel, fourteen years of age; Arnell, twelve years of age; and Claude A., Jr., six years of age. The children are now students in the grammar schools of Murfreesboro.

The religious faith of the family is that of the Missionary Baptist church and Mr. Rankin is superintendent of the Sunday school, which position he has held since 1912. Fraternally he is identified with the Masons, belonging to the Pike blue lodge, No. 91, and to Hill chapter, Royal Arch Masons of Nashville, this state. He holds the office of D.D.G.M. for the fifteenth district, which comprises Clark, Pike, Howard, Sevier and Little River counties.

He is considered one of the exemplary members of the craft. In every undertaking with which he has been connected, Mr. Rankin has achieved success and he is one of the leading citizens of Murfreesboro. As a public official he has served his fellowmen to the best of his ability and has won their utmost confidence and respect, while he likewise occupies a position of prominence among the business men of Pike county.


Submitted by Belinda (Brown) Winston