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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Logan County, Arkansas published by Southern Publishing Company in 1891.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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J. L. Cravens, farmer and justice of the peace, of Shoal Creek Township, is a man esteemed and respected by all acquainted with him. He was born in Arkansas, in 1829, and is the son of Jesse L. and Martha (Logan) Cravens [see sketch of parents elsewhere in this work]. Of the ten children born to this union, seven are now living, and our subject is fourth in order of birth: William, Mrs. Sallie K. Jamison, Mrs. Margaret Johnson, Jerry, Nehemiah and Jesse. During his boyhood J. L. Cravens’ educational advantages were limited, as the county was very thinly settled, and neighbors were few and far between. There were only a few subscription schools at that time, and no church buildings at all, preaching being held in private houses or in the wood. When about fourteen years of age he was left an orphan, and he began doing for himself. At the age of twenty-one years he went to California, engaged in mining, and there remained about three years. He then returned, and began farming on the land owned jointly by himself and brother. After the death of the latter he purchased his brother’s half (80 acres), cleared and improved it, and later sold about 94 acres of the entire estate. Later he bought 160 acres, then 80 acres, and afterward sold 120 acres, having now 105 acres. These tracts he improved, by building a house, stables, digging wells, setting out orchard, and clearing about 20 acres. Mr. Cravens was married in 1854, to Miss Emily A. Tobin, who bore him five children, only two of whom are now living: Cornelius R. and Jesse J. Mrs. Cravens died in 1864, in full communion with the Methodist Church. In 1861 Mr. Cravens enlisted in the Confederate Army, as captain of the militia, and in 1862 joined the regular service, Gordon’s regiment, and served until the close of the war. He then resumed farming, beginning anew, as everything had been lost during the war except his land, and this has continued to be his chosen calling since. He was married, the second time, in 1866, to Miss Elizabeth F. Corban, a native of Tennessee, born in 1842, and the daughter of Wilkins and Elizabeth (Coffee) Corban. Eight children were the fruits of this union, five now living, and named as follows: Alice L., Sampson, Homer B., Nehemiah and Edith C. Mr. Cravens has served about twenty years as justice of the peace, and has discharged, the duties incumbent upon that office in a very satisfactory manner, as may be inferred from the length of time he has held the position. He is a Mason, a member of Elizabeth Lodge No. 215. He and Mrs. Cravens are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, of which he is class leader, and has been superintendent of the Sunday-school.

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This family biography is one of 92 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Logan County, Arkansas published in 1891.  For the complete description, click here: Logan County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Logan County, Arkansas family biographies here: Logan County, Arkansas

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