COL. RANDOLPH D. CASEY. To this gentleman belongs the distinction of having built the first house in Mountain Home. He entered the land where the town is now situated, and has President Buchanan’s signature to his land patent. Col. Casey was born in Smith County, Tennessee, on March 10, 1810, and is the son of Hiram Casey, who died in Hardeman County, Tennessee, in 1828, at the age of thirty-nine years. He was a Missionary Baptist minister and a man of worthy principles. The mother, Catharine De Priest, was born in Georgia. She came to Arkansas with the subject of this sketch in 1855, and died in 1863, at the age of seventy-six years. There were twelve children born to their marriage, of whom Randolph D. was the next to the eldest of the family.
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The family in 1824 moved to west Tennessee, but he received his education in Tennessee after his marriage, principally by his own exertions. Upon reaching manhood, he was honored by an election to the offices of treasurer and clerk of Hardeman County, serving from 1844 till 1848, and was also a land office official two years. He then came to Arkansas in 1855, and located at what was then known as Rapp’s Barrens, but in the neighborhood of Mountain Home, and sold goods there, meeting with success. Before the county was organized he built the first house here, and sold goods until 1885, when he sold out and retired from business. His operations were very extensive and he accumulated a fortune and won a wide reputation. In 1874 he was elected to represent the then new county of Baxter in the State Legislature and was the first representative of the county-the only office he has held in the State and the only office he has ever sought. After reconstruction days he was magistrate, and made an able official.
In 1861 he enlisted in the Fourteenth Arkansas Infantry as a member of Capt. Adrain’s company, and was in that regiment for a time, when he was honorably discharged at Corinth, Miss. He was in the battle of Pea Ridge and other engagements of less note and was considered a brave soldier and faithfulness itself to the cause of the South. During the war he was frequently robbed by stragglers and thieves on both sides, and lost heavily, but later retrieved his losses. He was in the border warfare and consequently could not look after his property, and the result was he lost everything he valued. He has done more to advance the interests of the community in which he lives than almost any other one resident and took an active part in the organization of the college at Mountain Home.
In 1828 he married Miss Gilla Dean, of Tennessee; she died in 1857, the mother of two children: Mrs. Paul and Mrs. Hicks. In 1858 Col. Casey married Mrs. Cynthia G. Joiner, but was again left a widower. In December, 1879, he married Miss Lizzie Smith, daughter of Henry B. Smith. She was born in Missouri. To this union the following children were given: Hiram, Randolph and Samuel. Col. Casey is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church; socially he is a member of the blue lodge and chapter of the A. F. & A. M., and has represented his lodge in the Grand Lodge of the State of Arkansas, and also in Tennessee. He is a Democrat and voted for Gen. Jackson in 1832, and for every Democratic President since. He is a fine man, a substantial citizen and one whom to know is to honor. Col. Casey helped remove the Cherokee Indians to the Indian Nation, and was lieutenant of a company of which Gen. Polk Neely was captain. In 1838 he helped organize the militia of Tennessee and was colonel of the One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Tennessee Militia.