Edmond Rankin

Page 690-691
The name Rankin is a familiar name throughout central Arkansas, the forefathers of that family having been among the earliest settlers of the State. The parents of Edmond were Robert Rankin and Franes Hogan, of Irish and English descent and born in North Carolina and Virginia, respectively. The paternal great grandfather came to America before the Revolutionary War, and the grandfather was on his way to join the colonial forces shortly before the battle of Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina, while the maternal great grandfather fought in the battle of New Orleans. Robert Rankin came to Little Rock when there were but four or five houses in that place and his father cleared the first land in that vicinity. They were the parents of twelve children, of whom Edmond was the fifth, and was born March 1, 1837 in Perry County. Edmond attended the subscription schools of that county and was instructed in the duties of farm life by his father, an occupation that he has successfully followed ever since. He began business for himself when twenty two years old by renting land and farmed it for two years. In 1859 he took up 120 acres of Government land under the graduation act, paying 12 1/2 cents per acre, and cultivated the soil until the outbreak of the war, and in the early part of June 1862 enlisted in Company B, Col. Johnson's Volunteer Regiment Infantry. Mr Rankin was absent from most of the engagements participated in by this regiment owing to sickness, but took part in the skirmish at Jenkins' Ferry in the fall of 1864. He remained with the army until its surrender at Appomattox Courthouse and then returned home. Previous to that, after the battle of Helena, he was granted a furlough of twenty days and returned home where he was married to Miss Nancy Jane Spears. Upon hearing of this event his superiors complimented him with an exstension of his furlough and January 25, 1863 he rejoined his command at Little Rock. After the war was over he removed, with his bride, to the land he had purchesed in 1859, and commenced cutting the timber and making a home. He was also engaged in rafting to Little Rock, at which place he found a ready market for his logs. For twelve years Mr Rankin followed this occupation in connection with his farm and in 1869 he bought the interest of five heirs in a tract of 120 acres, of which fifteen acres were under cultivation and upon it a double log house, a smoke house and stables. He moved upon that land in the same year and now owns 526 acres, with 250 acres under cultivation, besides owning two other tracts of sixty and eighty acres, respectively. He has, up to the present time, built a good dwelling, eight tenant houses, four box and four log houses, besides owning a large number of cattle, horses and hogs. Ten children were born to Mr and Mrs Rankin, of whom nine are yet living: George W., Andrew J. Henry Clay, Frances Jane, Charles C. Edmond F., Laura Alice, Julian E. and William A. The children have all been well educated and are well qualified to take their own part in the struggle against the world. Mr and Mrs Rankin are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and take an active part in the development and progress of religious and educational matters. Outside of his farming interests Mr Rankin operates a steam saw and grist mill and a cotton gin which are among the best in the county. He belongs to Perryville Lodge No. 238, A.F. & P.M.