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Renfrow, William Cary - Gov.


William Cary Renfrow was born March 15, 1845, at Smithfield, Johnson County, N. C. He enlisted March 7, 1862, in Company C, 50th North Carolina Infantry, later becoming first sergeant of that company, serving under Cols. Marshall D. Craton and George Wortham, respectively, Army of Northern Virginia, and later under Joseph E. Johnston in part of the Atlanta campaign, summer of 1864, participating in many of the big battles incident to that service and surrendered with his regiment at Greensboro, N. C., April 26, 1865.

He came to Arkansas with his father, Perry Renfrow, in the fall of 1866, settling near Grand Glaize on White River in Jackson County.

He was associated with the writer hereof in the years 1868-9 in the mercantile business. Later, he went to Norman, Okla., engaging in the banking and real estate business, where he was living when President Cleveland appointed him governor of Oklahoma Territory, and he thereby became the first governor of that territory, which position he held from May 7, 1893, until May 27, 1897.

Since then he has been engaged in several large enterprises, in the majority of which he was the president and general manager. In all these enterprises he was successful and accumulated a large competency, as would be expected of a man of such business acumen. His investments were extensive in Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.

He was an agreeable business associate, trustworthy, painstaking, sober, enterprising. He was a consistent believer in the Presbyterian faith and an appreciated member of that Church. His wife died several years ago, leaving him a married daughter, Mrs. Nellie Robertson, now living at Houston, Tex.

He died January 31, 1922, at Bentonville, Ark., while on a trip in the interest of investments in that vicinity, and was buried at Russellville, Ark., where his only brother, A. B. Renfrow, now lives.

[Reported by] V. Y. Cook, Batesville, Ark.

Confederate Veteran, Published Monthly in the Interest of Confederate Associations and Kindred Topics, Nashville, TN, Vol XXX, No 4, April 1922

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