Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Richard Fletcher


Another old and respected citizen of our city and state has been called to his reward. Richard Fletcher died at his residence in this city, at one o'clock on Wednesday morning of general debility. He was born on 20th November, 1795 in Hawkins county, Tennessee. He was the third son of John G. Fletcher. He was born and raised at a time and place when educational facilities were very limited, but through his own exertions he acquired a good English education His mother died when he was quite young. From 1812 to 1818 he resided with his father on the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, and engaged in keelboating, moving families down the Cumberland, Tennessee, Ohio and Mississippi, and bringing back salt, iron, etc. This was on a day prior to steamboats.
He was married in the year 1818 to Nancy, daughter of Caleb Lindsey(who moved to and settled in Saline county im 1825), and in the same year moved to Missouri (afterwards Arkansas) territory settling in Lawrence (now Randolph) county, about eight miles from Pocahontas, on Fourche Dumas. He lived there until 1825, when he removed to this (Pulaski) County. The town then consisted of about a half dozen houses. When he crossed the Arkansas his worldly possessions consisted of a half dollar in silver--which he paid out for a bushel of cornmeal  and a few household goods. He selected a home about five miles below here, and opened up a fine farm, which he owned to the day of his death. It is now one of the finest plantations on the river.
Some time between the years 1830 and 1836 he represented Pulaski county in the lower house of the general assembly, and afterwards in the state senate. For the latter place he beat Lemuel, R. Lincoln, the democratic candidate, by a handsome majority, although the district was largely democratic. As a legislator he was popular, ever being found advocating measures of right. his life was devoted to farming and stock raising by which he amassed a fortune of more than a quarter million dollars up to the commencement of the late war. He was a very large loser by the war. During that struggle "Uncle Dick" as everybody knew him, lost his faithful partner of half a century. Throughout the war he remained at home, and did everything possible to relieve the distressed during that troublesome period. Since then he has rented his farm and lived principally in the city.
A good man and true in all relations of life, he leaves behind him numerous kindred and thousands of friends throughout the state to mourn his loss. Services by the Rev. J.L.T. Holland. The remains will be taken to the family burial ground on the plantation of deceased, below the city.

Arkansas Gazette

The picture is of what remains of the family burial ground of this pioneer Little Rock  family, overgrown with river cane, surrounded by a housing development. In 1955 there were eleven headstones, but neglect and vandalism have reduced the number to maybe two according to a neighbor. How sad is this???According to
source this piece of land was designated a park when the development
was built. If so, who is responsible for it's care should be determined.