In 1839, Leonard A. Waldrop was born in Chattooga County, Georgia. After the war, beginning in 1869, he lived in Cleveland County, Arkansas, where it was said "...the confidence which the people have in him is therefore intelligently placed, for they have had every opportunity to judge of his character and qualifications."
His parents, Hiram G. and Nellie (Pitts) Waldrop, were both natives of South Carolina. His father was born in 1805 and mother about 1810. In 1837, they moved to Georgia, where Mrs. Waldrop died about 1849. Mr. Waldrop was married twice afterward, and about 1867 came to Calhoun County, Arkansas, where his last wife died. He then came to Cleveland County and resided with his son, Leonard A., until his death, which occurred in 1876. The elder Waldrop served a short time in the Confederate army, and was a well-to-do farmer after the war.
Leonard A. Waldrop, the sixth of nine children born to his parents, like the average country boy, assisted on the farm and attended the common country school until grown. However, the principal part of his education was received by studying nights after the war. In 1859, Leonard married Elizabeth, who was born in South Carolina, but who then lived in Georgia. She became the mother of five children befor dying.
In 1871, Leonard married Mrs. Sallie Crane, daughter of J. Word, born in South Carolina. Waldrop's second marriage produced six children—four sons and two daughters.
In 1861, Waldrop enlisted in Company D, Nineteenth Georgia Infantry, was in the Army of Northern Virginia, and held nearly all ranks. In 1863, he was promotoed to captain, a position he held until the close of the war. He was in nearly every leading engagement in which the army took part. His unit was then sent South and assisted in the siege of Charleston, South Carolina, and Ocean Pond, Florida. He was in Stonewall Jackson's command until after the death of that general. After Second Manassas he was left sick, was captured, but after a few days succeeded in making his escape and joined his command. He was wounded five or six times during the war, and at the time of the surrender was in Georgia.
After the surrender, he went home, and in 1869 came to what is now Cleveland County, Arkansas, settled near New Edinburg, where he had a good farm of 200 acres, with sixty-five acres under cultivation. He also settled and improved three farms near there. He served a short time as justice of the peace, and in 1886 was elected sheriff and collector of Cleveland County, and re-elected in 1888 by a largely increased majority. In politics he was a Democrat, but was formerly a Whig, and his first presidential vote was cast for President Fillmore in 1856, when but seventeen years of age. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, a charter member of Kingsland Lodge, organized by Mr. Waldrop and a few others, and was also a member of Kingsland Chapter, filling the second office in the Chapter, and is junior warden in Blue Lode.
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