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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Greene County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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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Hon. Benjamin H. Crowley is a wealthy farmer and an eminent lawyer of Greene County, Ark., and is State Senator from the First Senatorial District of Arkansas. His birth occurred in 1836, and he is the only child born to the marriage of Samuel Crowley and Sallie Hutchins, who were born respectively in Kentucky and Tennessee. The paternal grandfather was a Georgian, who removed to Kentucky at an early day, where he met and married Miss Annie Wylie, a supposed native of that State, and there made his home, being engaged in farming and stock-raising and dealing on a very extensive scale until 1821, when he came with his family, which consisted of his wife and eight children, five boys and three girls, to what is now Greene County (then Lawrence). At that time the country was very sparsely settled, he being the only settler within a radius of many miles. He located on a tract of land consisting of 240 acres, and gave his name to a ridge of land running for more than 200 miles through Arkansas and 300 miles in Missouri. Here he erected a dwelling house, opened about fifty acres of land for cultivation, set out orchards, and became one of the thriftiest farmers and best-known men in Northeastern Arkansas. All his children settled near him, where their descendants are still residing. He died about 1842 at the age of eighty-four years, and his wife’s death occurred in 1850, she never having married again after his death. Samuel Crowley, the father of our subject, was married in 1832 to Miss Sallie Hutchins, whose parents came from Tennessee to Arkansas and settled where Paragould is now situated, where the father died in 1837, having been an extensive farmer and stockman. She subsequently married a man by the name of Robert H. Halley. In his youth Benjamin H. Crowley attended the common schools and at the age of nineteen years he entered the Wallace Institute, which he attended one year. After spending several years in Greene County he removed to Scott County, where he had previously lived with his mother. On the 10th of May, 1858, he was married to Miss Elizabeth J. Crowley, a cousin, and a daughter of W. Crowley, and when the war broke out he left home and friends and the peaceful pursuit of farming to enlist in the Confederate service. He was in nearly all the battles of importance that were fought in the Southwest, and was soon promoted to the rank of lieutenant, and later was made captain of Company H, Nineteenth Infantry, and at the close of the war was commanding a company of cavalry. He was captured in Scott County after the fall of Little Rock, and was in confinement at various places for fifteen months. During this time, while at Johnson’s Island, Lake Erie, he and a number of other officers formed a class and began the study of Blackstone, and after his return home he continued his legal studies until 1871, when he was admitted to the bar and, in 1874, was admitted to practice in the Federal courts, and in 1888 in the Supreme Courts of Arkansas. Immediately after the war he traveled for some time in Texas, and then returned to Arkansas and settled down to farming in Cache Township, Greene County. In 1868, when Clayton’s militia were over running the State, and when they had stationed themselves at Jonesboro and arrested a number of the best citizens of the town, Capt. Crowley raised 100 picked men in his county and went to their rescue. There was a fight at Willis’ Mills and his company lost one man and had several wounded, while the militia lost several men and were driven back to Jonesboro. Afterward Capt. Crowley succeeded in effecting a compromise whereby all prisoners taken by the militia were released, and peace and order were once more restored in that section of the State. To this day Capt. Crowley’s efforts in preventing strife and restoring order are remembered with pleasure and gratitude by those whose lives and property were endangered. In 1869 he bought the old homestead settled by his grandfather, which had been out of possession of the family for several years, and with this his lands amount to about 4,000 acres in Greene County, 500 of which are in a highly cultivated condition. He is the most extensive farmer in the county and is also largely interested in stock-raising and dealing. He has cleared over 200 acres of land, has erected many buildings, and in 1880 built his present commodious and substantial residence, it being situated on a natural building site. In 1880 his wife died, leaving a family of six children: Victoria, wife of Dr. J. D. Sibert, of this county; Cynthia H., Nannie P., wife of E. R. Page, residing in Crowley Township; Lucian G., Bell and Ben. H. On the 26th of June, 1881, he married his present wife, whose maiden name was Miss R. L. Fielder, a native of Tennessee. They have two children, Thomas Garland, who is deceased, and Sallie Alice. Mr. Crowley is an eminent lawyer and has won an enviable reputation among his legal brethren in Arkansas. He has always been an active politician, and in 1872 was elected representative to the State legislature. The poll-books were at that time destroyed, but the Captain secured his seat and secured a new election for the county officers, who were all elected on the Democratic ticket. He was in the stormy session of 1884, and during this time declined a commission as colonel from Gov. Baxter. In 1876 he was elected to the State Senate from the First District of Arkansas and in 1888 was re-elected by a very large majority. He is one of the most useful members of that body, and is a fluent and forcible speaker, sound in his views. In the space allotted in this volume it would be impossible to give a detailed account of his public and private career, or to speak at length of his many sterling social and business qualities; suffice it to say that in every walk in life his career has been above reproach. He was the author of the bill for the organization of Clay County, and was also the author of several other important measures.

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This family biography is one of 120 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Greene County, Arkansas published in 1889.  View the complete description here: Greene County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Greene County, Arkansas family biographies here: Greene County, Arkansas Biographies

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