Early Settlement of the White River Valley

MaryLafferty Wilson
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From A.C. Jeffery, Early Settlement of the Valley of White River Together
with A History of Izard Co. 1877 p 44. Jeffery married a granddaughter of Andrew Creswell, Jr., father of James L. From Information Compiled by Velna Cooper Brown.

"The Creswell family who played a very prominent part in the early settlement
of White River Valley, as well as the early settlement of Izard county,Arkansas was originally South Carolinian, of Irish blood. Two brothers of that family left Carolina at a very early date, each with a large white family and a considerable number of slaves. They stopped for a time on lower Cumberland river, but finally came to Lawrence County Arkansas in this territory, perhaps as early as 1820.
Old Jim Creswell, son of one of the original families, and old Aunt Jane Creswell, widow of the other side of the family, and her son Davis, Bill, Ambrose and Harve, came to White River Valley, perhaps as early as 1824, and settled at or near the mouth of Rocky Bayou, Arkansas They were good citizens, in their day and time; in easy circumstances, upon rich land, with force to cultivate it. They devoted their time to farming and stock raising very rarely aspiring to any political distinction. They certainly enjoyed the life to its extent.
Old Aunt Jane was a very remarkable woman...Her maiden name was Lytle, and she was of Irish Stock...
Old Jim Creswell lived at the mouth of Rocky Bayou. He was a large,
fleshy man, weighed about 225 pounds, and was a never-ending conversationalist, very good humored. At public gatherings, he never failed
to draw around him a crowd more especially if he had a dram. The question of a courthouse was being able discussed in Izard county. This is not a question exclusive of the present generation. I remember to have heard old Jim Creswell make a speech on this question before the county court at Athens, when I was a small boy...He was opposed to grinding the people to death with taxes, and in favor of holding fast to old landmarks and building a "stick and clay" chimney. Old Jim's measure carried, and the county built a stick and clay chimney.
Old man Walker was a neighbor to old Jim, and was also a very large man,
weighing nearly 300 pounds. They were both very red-faced, and showed signs
of smallpox....
About the year 1840 the pneumonia or winter fever made its appearance on
White River, which proved very fatal in many instances. It took hold amongst the Creswell's and several of them died very suddenly, amongst whom was old Jim Creswell. The entire connection they left the river and settled on the head of Mill Creek and in the vicinity of LaCrosse.
After the country became more thickly settled, old Davis and old Harve (who was a very eccentric man) went to Texas. Old Harve said he would have to hunt a new country for the damned Tennessee renters had taken this country. Most moved to Parker County Texas.
The Creswell family were of the Methodist order, however the older ones
were not given to piety.
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Criswell Mill located near Rocky Bayou Arkansas was a marker on the dividing line when Izard County was separated from Independence County in 1825.
(A Genealogical and Historical Sketch of Izard County, Arkansas by Thomas
Allen Bruce)

There were 5 marraiges between the Lafferty's and the Creswells stemming 3 generations.
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