Beebe’s Tennessee Colonel, William H. Scrape Sr.


This is the Old Scrape Home Place in Trenton, TN, scene of a Scrape family reunion on July 4, 2000.



olonel William Henry Scrape Sr. came to Beebe, Arkansas,  some 135 years ago and spent his final years there.  But today he is best remembered in Tennessee where he built a historically significant home, served with distinction in the Civil War and became a successful businessman.  W.H. Scrape was my great-great-grandfather, and it has been a great pleasure for me to find his grave in the Beebe Cemetery and to learn about him and my ancestors. There are many White County surnames that connect to the Scrape family – Campbell, Ward, Leslie, Burt, Pittman, Hanna, Thompson, Phelps, Crisp, Elder and Stringfellow just to mention a few.

William Henry was the son of James D. Scrape of England and Sarah D. Elder of Virginia. William was born in May 1818 in Rutherford County, TN, near Murfreesboro.   About 1837 William along with his parents and siblings moved to Gibson County, TN, where he lived until about 1873.

William was in the dry goods and grocery business in Trenton, TN, with his partner Richard Bartley McGee, who was also his brother-in-law.  Later, William was in the insurance business in Trenton and was an elected notary public for four years on July 6, 1846.  According to family history, William was a Colonel during the Civil War.  He and two of his sons, James Weston Scrape and George Alexander Scrape, served in the 7th Tennessee Calvary.

William had married Frances Elizabeth Wysong of Franklin County, Virginia, on October 24, 1844, in Trenton.  They had the following children:  James Weston Scrape, George Alexander Scrape, William Henry Scrape Jr. (photo, left), a druggist who was a postmaster in Estelleville in Memphis, Mary Ou’tessie “Tessie” Scrape who married James Campbell, Lee Herbert Scrape and Frances E. “Fannie” Scrape who   married William Thomas Pittman.

About 1861 Frances Wysong Scrape passed away.  William married his second wife, Eliza M. Baber, on October 9, 1862, in Trenton, and they had the following children:  Francis “Frank” Scrape, Isabelle Virginia “Belle” Scrape who married Dr. James M. Hanna and moved to Grady County, Oklahoma, and Annie Scrape.

About 1873 William moved his family to White County, Arkansas, where he spent the rest of his days.   William’s obituary was listed in the Trenton Harold-Democrat on January 31, 1902:   Col. W.H. Scrape died at Beebe, AR, Jan. 22, 1902, aged 83 years.  Col. Scrape was formerly a resident of this city, having moved here in 1837, and remained a citizen of Trenton and vicinity until 1870, when he removed to Arkansas. He was in the dry goods business here in the firm of Scrape & McGee.  William’s father James D. Scrape had started building a plantation home in Trenton in 1839 but died before the home was finished. William finished the building of the home and he and his family lived there until 1865 when William sold it to a relative, William E. Elder, just after the Civil War. The Old Scrape Home Place still stands to this day on High Street in Trenton. Local history in Trenton tells of how General Robert E. Lee spent a few nights in the home during the Civil War. During the Battle of Trenton, local residents climbed on top of this two-story home so they could see the battle since this home was the tallest building in the city at that time. The home is toured every May as the local residents portray Colonel Scrape.

It is my sincere hope that by telling this story that I may help someone make a connection to their past. If you are reading this and find a connection to your family I sincerely invite you to please contact me at 29864 Horseshoe Loop C, Trumann, AR 72472-8814,