Biography of Lafayette Davenport
Discover your family's story.
Enter a grandparent's name to get started.
LAFAYETTE DAVENPORT. This gentleman is retired from the active duties of life, and is in the enjoyment of a competency which his early industry brought him. He was born in Alabama December 15, 1833, a son of George and Mary (Wimbs) Davenport, both natives of the Palmetto State. The paternal grandfather was a Virginian, and he attained the rank of colonel in the Revolutionary War. He removed from his native State to South Carolina, and there reared his family. George Davenport was nineteen years old when he located in Jefferson County, Ala., and there he continued to make his home until his death in 1863, at the age of sixty-one years, having been a successful planter and a prominent man of the section in which he resided. His wife was born in 1802, and was a daughter of William Wimbs, an early settler of the Palmetto State, but who afterward became a resident of Jefferson County, Ala. She died in Texas in 1873, having become the mother of the following children: William, a Confederate soldier; Elizabeth, deceased wife of Will-iam Reese; Julia, who died young; Pleasant B., who was killed at the battle of Mission Ridge; Jane is the deceased wife of John Dell, of Alabama; Frances is the wife of H. J. Hancock, of Arkansas; Lafayette; John was a soldier of the Confederacy and is dead; Hugh is a farmer of Texas, and was also in the Confederate service; Milton died in boyhood; Missouri is the wife of M. M. Gill, of Texas, and two children died in infancy.
Lafayette Davenport was born and reared on the old plantation in Alabama, and after receiving a fair education he started out to do for himself at the age of twenty-one, as an overseer, and later engaged in planting for himself. At the opening of the war he enlisted in Company A, Fifth Alabama Infantry, held the rank of second lieutenant, but after the battle of Shiloh his health failed him, and he resigned and returned to his home. He, however, enlisted again the same year in Company E, Seventh Alabama Cavalry, and served until the war closed, being first sergeant of his company. He was with Hood to and from Nashville, was in the engagements of the Atlanta campaign, was in numerous skirmishes and picket fights, and was in many minor engagements in Florida. He showed the utmost courage on many a bloody battlefield, and was conscientious and faithful in the discharge of his duty. After the war he continued to farm in his native county until 1872, when he came to Marion County, Arkansas In the last named county he purchased a farm on Crooked Creek, on which he made his home until 1893, when he located in Yellville for the purpose of educating his children. He was married in Alabama to Miss Sarah A. Smith, a daughter of Burrell and Elizabeth (Acreman) Smith, who were South Carolinians, but who early removed to Alabama, and are now residing in Jefferson County, the father being a successful and wealthy merchant. He was born in 1820, was left an orphan in early childhood and was reared by strangers. His wife was born in 1815 to Jacob and Christiana Acreman, who were of German extraction, and has borne her husband the following children: Mary Gurley, Sarah A. Davenport; James Y., deceased; John L., who died in 1872; Thomas L., of Alabama; William H., of Alabama; Savannah, deceased; Jesse, deceased; and Francis A., deceased. Mr. Davenport is a Democrat, was sheriff of Edgefield District, South Carolina, and assisted in the hanging of three Negroes for murder. He was at one time quite an extensive slave holder. Mrs. Davenport was born November 25, 1843, and her union with Mr. Davenport has resulted in the birth of five children: William T., who is living in Indian Territory, is married to Sarah Hudspeth, and has three children-Bert M., Joseph B. and Rus-sell; Lizzie; Minerva E., wife of Dr. J. G. Adams, of Fairland, I. T., and has one daughter-Ethel G.; Ola, and Walter L. Mr. Davenport and his family are attendants of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he and his wife are members. Politically he is an active worker for the Democrat party, and socially he is a member of the honorable order of Masons, being a member of the chapter of Bellefonte and the council of Birmingham, Ala. He has one of the finest farms in the county, comprising nearly 1,000 acres in one tract, and he has always given much attention to stockraising, for he has found this to be a profitable source of revenue. He and his family are very highly esteemed, and are worthy the respect that is universally accorded them.