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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Cross County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  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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Capt. J. M. Levesque, the worthy and esteemed county clerk of Cross County, enlisted at the outbreak of the Civil War, in Company C of the Thirteenth Arkansas Infantry, the first regiment organized in that part of the State, Cross County, and was immediately elected orderly-sergeant of his company. The regiment was sent to Fort Pillow, and thence to Kentucky, and was also in the battle of Belmont, Mo., November 7, 1861, evacuating at Columbus, Ky., in March, 1862. At the battle of Shiloh, April 6, 1862, Lieut. Joe Hall was wounded, and Mr. Levesque was chosen to fill his place as second lieutenant. Shortly after this the first lieutenant was wounded and discharged, and our subject was elected to his position, and at the reorganization of the regiment at Corinth, in April, 1862, he was elected captain, and served through the Alabama and Kentucky campaign, also participating in the battles of Richmond, Ky., under Kirby Smith, at Perryville, Ky., and Murfreesboro, Tenn. At the re-organization of the army, he was sent to the Trans-Mississippi Department, and there engaged in recruiting a company of cavalry, mostly from Cross County; was in a number of skirmishes, but not in any important battles, his company going on the Missouri raid under Gen. Price. At the close of the war, he took up farming as an occupation, buying a farm of 336 acres, near Vanndale, but in 1866 he was elected circuit and county clerk of Cross County, which office he held until the reconstruction of the county, when he was disfranchised for having held office at the beginning of the war, and in participating in the Rebellion. He then again engaged in farming, in which he continued until 1874, during which time he improved his farm, and adding to it, till in 1878, he was the owner of 2,000 acres of land. In 1874 he was elected sheriff of Cross County, and was re-elected in 1876, and again in 1878. In 1880 he was elected circuit and county clerk, and was also re-elected to that office in 1882, 1884, 1886 and 1888, and is the present incumbent of this office, and that he has given satisfaction is shown by the fact of his having been elected to the same office for four terms in succession. In 1868 he was selected as one of the three men on a locating committee, to choose a site for the county seat, which was then changed to Wittsburg, and in 1885 was appointed one of the committee which located the seat of justice in Vanndale. Mr. Levesque was born in Fayette County, Tenn., in 1834, and was the son of James and Elizabeth (Arnett) Levesque, natives of Tennessee and Mississippi, respectively. His father was a farmer by occupation, and died when our subject was five years old. His mother dying when he was the age of thirteen, he then went to live with an uncle, the Rev. William Levesque, of Alabama, remaining with him until he was sixteen years of age, when he then returned to Fayette County, and was employed as a farm overseer until 1854. In this year he was married to Miss Nannie Willis, of Tennessee origin, and in the fall of that year he removed to Arkansas, settling in Cross County, in what was then a part of Poinsett County. Here he was again employed as a farm overseer, until 1860, when he was elected constable of Mitchell Township, and which office he held till the breaking out of the Rebellion, and the call for men for the Confederate service, to which he responded so readily. He has been a delegate to the Democratic State Convention every year since 1876, and has the unbounded confidence of his party, which he has never betrayed, and is so wholly depended upon that he goes uninstructed and uses his own judgment in the convention. The results of this marriage are five children, three of whom are still living: Elizabeth (wife of Thomas B. Smith, of Cold Water Township), Fannie (wife of Isaac Block, of Wynne), Willie T. (married and resides in Cold Water Township), James Cheatham (deceased) and John Phillip (deceased). Capt. Levesque owns considerable property in different places throughout the county, and owns some 2,000 acres of land, of which there are 800 under cultivation. His farm, on which his son resides, is a field of 500 acres, which is as level as a floor, and on which are good buildings, mills, gins, barns, etc., in fact everything needed to carry on a well-equipped farm. When the Bald Knob Railroad was built through Cross County, the company named a station in honor of our subject, and Levesque Lodge No. 52, K. of P., is also named after him. Capt. Levesque has been connected with the Masonic fraternity since 1861, and a member of the Chapter since 1872, and became a Knight Templar in 1889. He also belongs to the K. of P., K. of H. and the K. & L. of H., and I. O. O. F. The Captain is one of the most influential politicians of the county, and a highly respected man, and one of the county’s self-made men, having come to it as a laborer, and is now a wealthy man, all due to his own efforts and honest, industry.

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This family biography is one of 103 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Cross County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Cross County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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

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