Biography of Maj. John P. Clendenin

MAJ. JOHN P. CLENDENIN. This gentleman, the register of public lands at Harrison, Arkansas, is capable, efficient and trustworthy, and in the discharge of his official duties has shown that he is the ” right man in the right place.” The Major was born in Louisville, Kentucky, September 4, 1839, a son of James M. and Eliza (Peay) Clendenin, the former of whom was born in Harford County Md., in 1796, and was a son of John Clendenin who was also born in that State and who was a soldier of the Revolutionary War.

The name is of Scotch origin, and the family has for many generations resided in this country. James M. Clendenin was a soldier of the War of 1812 and with Jackson in the famous battle of New Orleans. He became a resident of Kentucky when a young man, was married in Louisville, and in 1846 removed to St. Louis, Missouri, where he became a very prominent man and president of the first Board of Underwriters in that city. He was president of the United States Insurance Company from its inception up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1859. He and his wife reared a family of six children: Mrs. Courtenay, of Allegheny City, Pa.; William A., who is connected with the Boatmen’s Bank of St. Louis, and John P. Mr. Clendenin held to the principles of the old Whig party, and was a clear-headed and practical business man.

The early literary education of Maj. Clendenin was obtained in the public schools of St. Louis and in St. Paul’s College of Marion County, Missouri, till 1857; he then took a commercial course with Jonathan Jones, of St. Louis. He made his home in St. Louis up to 1861, when lie enlisted in Bowen’s First Missouri State Guards, after which he became a soldier of the Confederate States Army under Gen. J. O. Shelby, and was in service until the war closed, holding the position of inspector general of Shelby’s Cavalry Division. Some of the principal engagements in which lie took part were Shiloh, Prairie Grove, Little Rock, Pilot Knob, Independence, Big Blue, and others of less importance.

He surrendered in June, 1865, came to Arkansas and located in Independence County, where he had been married in 1864 to Miss Emily S. Hynson. He made his home in that county until 1886, when he removed to Baxter County, Arkansas, where the Major followed the calling of a book-keeper. Upon being appointed to the position of register of public lands by President Cleveland, in December, 1893, he took up his residence in Harrison and entered upon duty February 1, 1894. He has always been a stanch Democrat, an active worker for the party, and is a Mason of thirty years’ standing, being a member of Mt. Home Chapter, of Baxter County, Boone Lodge, A. F. & A. M. and St. Aldemar Commandery No. 10. at Harrison, Arkansas

In 1879 Maj. Clendenin was left a widower with five children, and in 1887 he wedded Miss Lucy Curlee, of Baxter County, a native of Bond County, Illinois, and a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Washburn) Curlee. By his present wife Maj. Clendenin has two children. The Major has been a member of the Episcopal Church for thirty-seven years, and while his walk through life has been characterized by the usual mistakes, the result is that he is universally esteemed and respected.


A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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