PEEL (VETERAN CSA; FAMOUS), SAMUEL WEST - Benton County, Arkansas | SAMUEL WEST PEEL (VETERAN CSA; FAMOUS) - Arkansas Gravestone Photos

Samuel West PEEL (VETERAN CSA; FAMOUS)

Bentonville City Cemetery
Benton County,
Arkansas

September 13, 1831 – December 18, 1924

Lawyer - Prosecuting Attorney - U.S. Congressman - Banker

Samuel West Peel was born in Independence County to John Wilson and Elizabeth West Peel. After his mother died when Samuel was four years of age, he went to live with his grandparents for a short time then rejoined his father who had married again. By this time his father had moved to Carroll Co., Arkansas, where Samuel grew to his maturity. He worked as a clerk in his father’s store, as well as serving as deputy court clerk to his father. On January 30, 1853, he married Mary Emaline Berry. They had nine children, with one dying young. In 1858, and again in 1860 and 1862, Samuel was elected Carroll County clerk. At the beginning of the Civil War, he took all the records from the county court, and hid them in a vault at the cemetery. In 1861 he enlisted in the Confederate army as a private in Captain James M. Pittman’s company. Fellow soldiers elected him major in the Third Regiment, Arkansas Infantry. Peel was in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek and the Battle of Prairie Grove. He then joined the Fourth Arkansas Infantry, Adams' Regiment and mustered out at the end of the war as lieutenant colonel. After the war Samuel returned home to find his house burned. He retrieved the county records from the vault, but in 1866 the records were all lost when the new courthouse burned. Samuel studied law under his brother-in-law, Judge James Middleton Pittman, and was admitted to the bar in 1865. He and his family moved to Hindsville, Madison Co. Arkansas, where he began his law practice. He then opened an office in Benton County at Bentonville in 1867, and moved his family there. In early 1873, Governor Elisha Baxter appointed Samuel prosecuting attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit, a position to which he was elected by popular vote on April 26, 1873. He continued to hold this office until 1876. Samuel lost his first bid for Congress in 1880, but was elected two years later as Representative for the Fourth District. He became the first native-born Arkansan to be elected to the U.S. Congress, serving as the Fourth District representative (1883–1885), then represented the Fifth District for four succeeding terms (1885–1893). His interest in Indian affairs led him to the Chairmanship of the House Committee on Indian Affairs, which oversaw the care, education, and management of Indians and their lands. Historians record that tribal councils were often held on the front lawn of the Peel home, with tribal leaders camping on the grounds. It was at one such meeting that a treaty was signed with the so-called five civilized tribes (Chickasaw, Choctaw, Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole). The final payment to the Delaware Indians was administered by Samuel and dubbed the “Peel payment.” In 1892, Samuel was defeated in his bid for election for a sixth term in Congress. He then returned to his law practice in Arkansas and, having been appointed attorney for all of the civilized tribes, he also formed a law partnership in Washington, D.C., representing the tribes before the Federal Court of Claims until 1915. Samuel’s final professional pursuit was in the banking business when he organized the first bank in Bentonville, the First State Bank of Arkansas. Samuel and Mary built their home, "The Oaks," in 1875 which is now on the National Register of Historic Places and part of The Peel Mansion Museum and Heritage Gardens.

SOURCES:
"Biographical & Historical Memoirs of Northwest Arkansas," Goodspeed Publishing, Co
(1889); pp. 68, 81, 94, 176, 177, 352, 355, 366, 450, 465, 879.

REFhttp://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=4642 (last accessed March 4, 2009)

REFhttp://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=P000184 (last accessed March 5, 2009)

REFhttp://www.peelmansion.org/index.htm (last accessed March 5, 2009)

Contributed on 2/11/09 by judyfrog
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Record #: 151066

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Submitted: 2/11/09 • Approved: 8/16/13 • Last Updated: 8/19/13 • R151066-G35063-S3

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