Contributed by Charlene Holland

Biographical & Historical Memoirs of Western Arkansas
The Southern Publishing Company, Chicago and Nashville, 1891.


      Dr. Elijah Leming is an old and respected physician of Waldron, Ark., and for many years has also been connected prominently with the farming interests of this region. He was born in Tennessee in 1819, being the second of five children born to John and Sarah (Mitchell) Leming, both of whom are descendants of people who settled in Tennessee when it was a part of North Carolina, this being about 1770. The paternal great- grandfather was a private soldier in the French Army, and was at Quebec when he was captured by Gen. Wolfe. He afterward went to New Jersey, where he was married to Elizabeth Fyan, and moved with her to the western county of North Carolina, now Tennessee. Vinet Fyan commanded a fort near Newport, Tenn., and was killed near there by the Indians, on a creek still known a. Fyan's Creek, in Rathnard County, N.C. Dr. Leming's grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and two uncles were in the War of 1812, and were with Jackson at New Orleans. John Leming and his wife died when their son, Elijah, was a child, and he was brought up by his paternal uncle, Jesse Leming. At the age of sixteen years he left him and enlisted in the United States Army, taking part in the Cherokee War of1836-37. He was married in 1840 to Miss Mary Ann Pierce, and seven years later moved to Texas, in the southeast part of which State he resided for twelve years. Here he began the practice of medicine, having commenced the study of this science before leaving Tennessee, and after coming to Arkansas in June, 1858, he followed this occupation for many years. In 1863 he entered the Federal Army, and until the close of the war served in the Fourth and Second Arkansas Infantry, Company I. During the war his home was burned, but at the close he returned, rebuilt, and, in connection with his practice, began farming. Soon after this he went to St. Louis, where he studied in the Eclectic School, graduating soon after. In 1866 he was elected to the State Legislature, and in that session was one of five to vote for the Howard Amendment, which was one of the clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. After this measure had been rejected, and during the reconstruction period, he refused to accept office, for the reason that he did not want to have his name associated with the disfranchisement of neighbors and friends, nor did he believe the Freedmen competent to vote intelligently. Since that time, in 1872, he made the race for State Senator, but was decided out of the State by contested election. For many years he has been president of the County Medical Society. He has always been an active advocate of free schools, and has been a school director for years. His wife died in July 1870, at Galena, Kas., she having borne him five children: Julia Ann, Nancy (who is deceased), A. G. (a lawyer of Waldron), Isaac R. (a physician of Waldron), and Elijah (a physician of Dardanelle). Dr. Leming was married in 1883 to Mrs. Gillie Winchester, widow of John Winchester, of Tennessee, who died while serving in the Federal Army in Missouri, during the Rebellion. The Doctor owns 400 acres of fine farming land in this county, and has 150 acres under cultivation, the balance being fair land covered with good timber. The Doctor is a quiet, kindly and charitable old gentleman, and, besides having the confidence and respect of his follow-men, he also has their warmest regard.

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