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J. T. Renfrow

J. T. Renfrow, merchant, Rison, Ark.

This successful business man is a native of what is now Cleveland County, Ark., born in 1852. and is the son of Rev. Joseph and Elmina (Harris) Renfrow, natives of Virginia and Tennessee, and born in 1810 and 1830, respectively.

Rev. Joseph Renfrow was married first in Alabama, and is 1832, came to Arkansas Post, where he resided for some time. After living in different parts of Southeast Arkansas, he finally settled in what is now Cleveland County, and there spent the balance of his days, his death occurring October 10, 1875.

He was a Methodist preacher of considerable distinction, and spent nearly all his life in the discharge of his ministerial duties. He was known over nearly all of Southeast Arkansas, and was respected and esteemed by all. He was one of the first Masons of the State. He was of Scotch-Irish descent.  His last wife, and our subject's mother, died in April, 1877. She was a member of the Methodist Church. Her father died in Tennessee, and she came with her mother to Arkansas.  None of the family are now living.

J. T. Renfrow, the eldest of three children, attained his growth on the farm, received his education in the common country school, and only attended free school for a few months. He began for himself at about twenty-one years of age as deputy clerk of Cleveland County, was then deputy sheriff for two years, and in 1878 was elected clerk of the county. So great was his popularity, and so well did he fill the position, that be was twice re-elected, and held the office six years with credit to the county and himself.

He then established his present business (1884), and is making a success of the same. He has a fine stock of farming utensils, wagons, etc., and the average value of stock is abort $5,000.

He was married October 15, 1870, to Miss Nettie Callaway, a native of Georgia, and the result of this union has been four children; two sons and two daughters. Mrs. Renfrow's parents, James and Martha Callaway, were born in Georgia, and came to what is now Lincoln County, before the war.  Mr. Callawav was a farmer and died in Cleveland County, in 1876. The mother is still living.

Mr. Renfrow is a Democrat in politics, and his first presidential vote was cast for S. J. Tilden, in 1878. He is a member of the A. F. & A. lei., Culpepper Lodge No. 186, at Rison, and is the present secretary of the same. He and Mrs. Renfrow are members of the Methodist Church.

Mr. Renfrow has 1,000 acres of timber land in Cleveland County, all the result of his own work, and is one of the prominent men of the county.


Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas
Copyright 1890
Published by The Goodspeed Publishing Co.; Chicago, Nashville and St. Louis