James Crook, an old settler and a prominent citizen of Cleveland County, Ark., was born in Chester District, S. C., February 7, 1833, a son of William and Rebecca (Steel) Crook, who were also born in South Carolina (the former in 1842), and died in that State aged fifty-five and fifty years, respectively.
The father was a successful farmer, a Democrat, politically, and his wife was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Of ten children born to them James Crook was the ninth, and is now the only one left to represent this once large family.
His school days were spent in his native State, and upon the death of his parents he was taken by an uncle, Joseph Crook, and remained with him until seventeen years of age, after which he went to school until he was about twenty.
In 1853 he came to Arkansas and located in what was then Bradley County (now Cleveland), but at the end of one year returned to South Carolina, but after remaining here about one year he again went West, but this time took up his abode in Haywood County, Tenn., which place continued to be his home for four years, his time being devoted to the wholesale grocery business at Brownsville. Since then he has resided in Arkansas, and has given his time and attention to agricultural pursuits.
On June 3, 1861, he enlisted in the Second Arkansas Infantry, and served until the close of the war, participating in the battles of Shiloh, Murfreesboro, Franklin, and was then west of the Mississippi River at Jenkins' Ferry, and was in numerous skirmishes. At the battle of Jenkins' Ferry he received a wound in the left breast, and had it not been for his cartridge box which caused the ball to glance, he would undoubtedly have lost his life.
By industry he has become the owner of 200 acres of land, of which eighty are under cultivation. He is a Democrat. and is in every respect a public spirited citizen.
On March 17, 185 7, he was married to Elmira Powell, a daughter of John and Susan Powell. She was born in Mississippi, in 1836, and is the mother of five children, who are living: Olefia T., Susan C., Mary Queenie, William Roscoe and Monnie T. Robert M. died when two years of age, and Ann Artie, when an infant.
Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas
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