SHARP (FAMOUS), EPHRAIM - Lawrence County, Arkansas | EPHRAIM SHARP (FAMOUS) - Arkansas Gravestone Photos


Hibarger Cemetery
Lawrence County,

30 Jul 1815 - 17 Nov 1898

Arkansas State Legislator – Civic Leader – Entrepreneur

Ephraim Sharp, for whom Sharp County, Arkansas is named, was an early pioneer in Arkansas. He was a successful farmer and businessman, a noted civic leader, and legislator having served during the fifteenth and seventeenth sessions of the Arkansas General Assembly. Ephraim was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, the ninth of ten children born to John and Elizabeth Elston Sharp. In about 1827 the family moved to Decatur County, Indiana, where he grew to manhood and married his first wife, Margaret Stevens, on October 30, 1833. In 1837, Ephraim and his younger brother, William, moved their families to Arkansas and settled on farms in Sugar Loaf Township, near the little town of Shirley in Van Buren County. Ephraim, Margaret and their children were enumerated on October 22, 1850, as residents of Sugar Loaf Township; however, soon thereafter, the family relocated to the Evening Shade area in Lawrence County (now in Sharp County). In 1847 William Sharp and his family moved to Independence County and established a tannery there, then in 1853 he joined Ephraim in Evening Shade, where they began their joint business ventures and a life-long relationship as business partners. They purchased, rebuilt and expanded a mill and added a tannery, sawmill, grist mill and carding machine. Both brothers were prominent in civic and fraternal affairs. Ephraim and Margaret had eight children, only five of whom lived to maturity. Margaret died in July 1853. Then, on January 8, 1854, Ephraim married Malinda Eliza Murphy. They had one child prior to her death in 1857. He was then married to Elvina Godwin on July 19, 1858. Before the onset of the war, Ephraim purchased farmland in Reed’s Creek Township near Strawberry in Lawrence County where he built a double log residence for his family. He was too old to be drafted and continued to operate his farm throughout the war. Family lore holds that he and his eldest son, Samuel, were very active in the Underground Railroad, hiding slaves in the many caves on family-owned land. In 1864, Ephraim was selected to represent Lawrence County in the Fifteenth Arkansas General Assembly, comprised of individuals willing to serve the Union cause. Then, in 1868, Ephraim was elected to represent the Second District of Arkansas that consisted of Lawrence, Randolph, and Green counties. During this session, he presented a legislative bill that he and William Sharp had drafted, proposing to, once again, divide Lawrence County for the creation of a new county with its seat at Evening Shade. On July 18, 1868, Governor Powell Clayton signed the act and named the new county in honor of “Ephraim Sharp, the gentleman from Lawrence.” After his service in the legislature, Ephraim returned home and finished his days in the home he had built near Strawberry. Elvina, died on December 18, 1872, and he then married Nancy Croom Smith on April 30, 1873.

[Biography contributed by Ira May Sharp Dennis aka Tootie Dennis]

For additional information:
Moore, Caruth Shaver. Early History of Evening Shade and Sharp County. Evening Shade, AR; 1979.

Powell, Wilson. “The Sharps of Independence, Izard and Sharp Counties.” Independence County Chronicle (8 January 1967) pp. 20-44

Yeager, W. C. “Looking Back 87 Years to the Time Sharp County Was formed.” Sharp County Record, July 28, 1955, p 1.

Contributed on 12/1/08 by tootied
Email This Contributor

Suggest a Correction

Record #: 114713

To request a copy of this photo for your own personal use, please contact our state coordinator. If you are not a family member or the original photographer — please refrain from copying or distributing this photo to other websites.

Additional SHARP Surnames in HIBARGER Cemetery

Additional SHARP Surnames in LAWRENCE County

Thank you for visiting the Arkansas Gravestone Photo Project. On this site you can upload gravestone photos, locate ancestors and perform genealogy research. If you have a relative buried in Arkansas, we encourage you to upload a digital image using our Submit a Photo page. Contributing to this genealogy archive helps family historians and genealogy researchers locate their relatives and complete their family tree.

Submitted: 12/1/08 • Approved: 6/7/15 • Last Updated: 6/10/15 • R114713-G0-S3

Surnames  |  Other GPP Projects  |  Contact Us  |  Terms of Use  |  Site Map  |  Admin Login