William L. Ashcraft
William L. Ashcraft is an old and prominent resident of Cleveland County, Ark., and, September 4, 1828, was born in York District, S. C. , a son of Joel and Patsy (Ferguson) Ashcraft, who were born in York and Chester District in 1798 and 1803, and died in South Carolina and Cleveland County, Ark., in 1856 and 1868, respectively.
They were married in South Carolina, but after the father's death, or abort 1866, the mother came with her children to Cleveland County, Ark. She, as well as her husband, was a member of the Primitive Baptist Church, and he was a conservative Democrat in his political views.
He was a farmer, and came of a family of farmers, of English descent, noted for their longevity. Eleven of his thirteen children grew to maturity, and five are living: Uriah, William T., Rebecca (wife of Eldridge Haynes, a farmer and merchant of the county), Thomas K. (of Cleveland County), and J. A. (a farmer of Perry County, Ark.).
William L. Ashcraft received a fair education, in the schools of York District, S. C., and remained under the shelter of his father's roof until his marriage, when he began to till the soil on his own responsibility, and has been more than usually successful.
In 1853 he left his old home to come to Arkansas, and the same year located on the farm on which he is now living, which then consisted of eighty acres, and has since added the balance of 640 acres, of which 125 are under cultivation. June 16, 1851, he was married to Miss Sarah Ashcraft, who was born in Chester District, S. C., in 1833, and died, in Cleveland County, Ark., in 1881, having become the mother of three children-two now living: Melissa C. (Reap) and Martha J. (Holbrook). Cynthia E. died at the age of twenty-eight years, the wife of L. C. Cooper, of Cleveland County.
On June 16, 1862, Mr. Ashcraft enlisted in the Confederate Infantry, TransMississippi Department,. and served until the close of the war, receiving his discharge in May, 1865. When at Fort Smith, Ark., he was taken prisoner, in August, 1863, but was released after being kept in captivity about one month.
Mr. Ashcraft has long been identified with the Democratic party, and is a man who is deeply interested in the welfare of his county, and is a liberal contributor to worthy enterprises.
Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas
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