Andrew Jackson Dean, a prominent citizen and enterprising merchant of Centre Ridge, was born in Monroe County, Tennessee, in 1832, and was the ninth in a family of ten children. He was reared a farmer boy, with a good common-school education for that time. After reaching manhood he taught school, and was engaged in general trading some years. December 12, 1861, he enlisted in the 36th Tennessee Infantry, and after about seven months' service in the Confederate army in East Tennessee, was discharged on account of ill health, but after his recovery he joined Company G, 4th Georgia Cavalry, as Third Lieutenant, but was afterward promoted to First Lieutenant, in which capacity he served with credit till the cessation of hostilities, practicing in many of the leading battles in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi, through the Georgia and Atlanta campaign, back with Gen. Hood to Tennessee and Alabama, and was near Atlanta sick at the time of the general surrender. After the war he taught school a short time, and in 1867 was married to Miss Mary J. Cleveland, a native of South Carolina and a daughter of William and Anna Cleveland, who spent all their lives in South Carolina, Mrs. Cleveland dying in 1865 and Mr. Cleveland in 1868. Mr. and Mrs. Dean are the parents of eleven children, five sons and five daughters living. Mr. Dean resided in Georgia till 1869, when he removed to Conway County, Arkansas and settled in the woods near Centre Ridge, where he improved a good farm on which he made his home till 1886, when he removed to Centre Ridge, where he has since been engaged in the mercantile business, being the third to engage in the business at that place. Mr. Dean began life on the bottom round of the ladder and is now the owner of 350 acres of land and good town property. In 1870 or 1871 he assisted in establishing School District No. 1, known as "Sunny Side," which was the first free school in Conway County. Politically, Mr. Dean is a conservative Democrat; Mrs. Dean is a Methodist. The parents of Mr. Dean were Richard and Amy (Thompson) Dean, who were natives of South Carolina. Mr. Dean was born August 13, 1785, and wife born about 1795. They were married July 5, 1810, and in an early day removed to East Tennessee, where they lived till 1863, and from there to Georgia, where Mr. Dean died March 5, 1872. Mrs. Dean died in June, 1874. Both were members of the Methodist Church for many years. Mr. Dean was a successful farmer and cooper, and was of Scotch-Irish descent. Benjamin Thompson, the maternal grandfather, served seven years in the war for independence; a portion of the time was in prison at Charleston, South Carolina. He died in Tennessee. His wife died in Bradley County, Tennessee, in 1863, at the advanced age of 103 years.
Lawrence A. Durham, Postmaster of Plummerville, and one of the leading farmers of Howard Township, was born in Floyd County, Georgia in the year 1850. His parents were Joseph and Leona (Hoff) Durham, who were probably natives of Georgia also. Mrs. Durham died when Samuel was but a few months old, and in 1855 Mr. Durham and family removed to Conway County, Arkansas, where some of the elder children had preceded him some years. Mr. Durham settled on a small improvement about four miles west of Springfield, where he improved a farm and made his home till after the war, when he made his home with his daughter, Mrs. James F. Garrison, in Howard Township, where he departed this life in 1869, at about the age of 78 years. He was a farmer by occupation, and was a soldier in one of the early wars. He was the father of thirteen children, seven of whom survive, viz.: Matilda. widow of N. J. Williams (deceased), of Franklin County; James M., who went to Texas, and served as a soldier in the Confederate army from that State, but is now a resident of Franklin County, Arkansas; Thomas J., who was a soldier in the Federal army; Elizabeth, now the wife of James F Garrison; John S. and William L., both of whom did good service in the Union army, and Samuel A. (our subject). The last named was reared a farmer's boy, and his entire schooling did not exceed three months. His father was a man of more than ordinary education, however, and young Samuel was frequently brought under his instructions, from which was obtained the most of his education. He began work for himself at about the age of 16 years as a farmer, which he has followed all his life. In 1870 he united in marriage with Miss Martha McCravin, a native of Tippah County, Mississippi, and a daughter of William and Julia McCravin, who were natives, respectively, of Alabama and Mississippi. From the latter State they removed to Conway County, Arkansas about 1853, settling in Howard Township, but afterward removed to Union Township, where Mr. McCravin died about 1860, a farmer by occupation. Mrs. McCravin is still living, about sixty years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Durham are the parents of four sons and three daughters. When first married, Mr. Durham settled on a small improvement of about ten acres, on Caney Creek, five miles northeast of Plummerville, where he now has about fifty acres under cultivation, eighty acres in all. He remained on the farm till the fall of 1890, when he was made Postmaster at Plummerville, where he has since resided. He was once bailiff of Howard Township, and has served as Junlor. Warden and Semor Deacon of Howard Lodge, No. 253, A. F. and A. M., of which he is a member, Mrs. Durham is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church.
Dr. Joseph E. Duran, of Ada, this county, was born in Alabama, January 27, 1837. He is the fourth son of ten children born to Joseph E. and Catherine C. (Carmichael) Duran. Paternal grandparents were among the earliest settlers in Tennessee, where father was born in 1807. He moved to Alabama in 1837, and resided in that State till his death in 1876. He was a most active and enterprising citizen, and held the office of Sheriff of Marshall County, Alabama, for fourteen years. He was married in Knox County, Tennessee, in 1826, to Catherine, a native of Tennessee, where she was born in 1807. She died in 1883. They were both long-time members of the Presbyterian Church. Joseph, the subject of this sketch, began life for himself at the age of 20, by farming on his father's land, and was married in Marshall County, Alabama, in 1858, to Miss Mary E. Jennings, a daughter of Elisha and Louisa (Head) Jennings. She was born in South Carolina, August 25, 1839. To this union have been born thirteen children, eight of whom are now living, and are married: Andrew M., Mary E., Frances E, Margaret E., James R., John W., Alberta G., and Joseph E. Mrs. Duran's parents were natives of South Carolina, where father was born in 1805, and mother in 1810. They were married in 1828, and were the parents of fourteen children, eight sons and six daughters, five of whom survive parents. Moved from South Carolina to Alabama in 1856, and from that State to Arkansas in 1873, where they settled in Faulkner County. They were both sturdy members of the Baptist Church, and died (father) in 1875, and (mother) in 1878. The doctor was a soldier in the late war, enlisted in Company I, Fourth Alabama Regiment in 1862, was in many battles, and saw much hard fighting during the entire term; he was wounded by gun shot in the hand, and served till the close in 1865. He then returned home and engaged in farming, and in 1868, began the study of medicine, beginning the practice of that profession in Independence County, in 1873, and has been in constant practice since. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, a Democrat politically, and he and Mrs. Duran, are members of the Baptist Church.