James Orsen B. McClure was born about 1844, near Greenbrier, in Hardin Township, Conway County, Arkansas. He was the son of Stephen McClure and Sarah Smith. He appears as "Orin" in some records.
In 1849, Orin's father acquired 160 acres of land near Quitman, in Conway County, and moved his family there from where Orin was born near Greenbrier. The 1850 Conway County census, Benton Township, Quitman Post Office lists him as James, age six, living with his parents.
The 1860 Conway County census, Benton Township, Quitman Post Office, lists him as Orsen, age fifteen.
Orin enlisted in the 8th Arkansas Confederate Cavalry, Co. E, on January 5, 1863, in Conway County, for a period of three years, or until the end of the war. After his company engaged in a skirmish at Little Rock, in September 1863, Orin was listed as deserting on the retreat. It was later determined that the company had become so badly scattered that Orin had been unable to find them. He returned to Conway County, where he was assigned to Co. E of the 10th Arkansas Cavalry. A large part of that unit was captured by the Union army. Orin was one of those taken prisoner of war. He was paroled at Jacksonport, in Jackson County, Arkansas, on June 5, 1865, after the war ended.
Orin returned to Conway County after the war. He married Alzira Ann Scarlett on November 7, 1867, in Van Buren County, Arkansas. The marriage is recorded in Van Buren County Marriage Book 1, page 1041. Alzira Ann Scarlett was born April 1844, in Indiana. She was the daughter of Jacob E. Scarlett and Nancy. Jacob was a brother to James M. Scarlett, the minister who performed so many marriages in the McClure family.
The 1870 Van Buren County census, Cadron Township, shows Orin and Alzira with their one year old daughter Sarah. Living with them was Orin's niece Rachael A. Moore, age six years. Orin was a farmer.
The 1880 White County, Arkansas census, Harrison Township shows Orsen and Alzira with five children. The family was living near Judsonia. Living with them was Orin's niece Rachael Moore, age fifteen, and his sister-in-law, Pamelia Scarlett, age 39 years.
In 1883, a portion of Van Buren County and a portion of White County were joined together to form Cleburne County. Orin's eldest daughter married in Cleburne County in 1885.
Orin moved his family to Independence County, Arkansas, between 1886 and 1888. The 1890 Independence County tax records show that James O. McClure paid personal taxes in Independence County for 1889.
James Orsen McClure died February 2, 1899, in Independence County. He is buried in Maple Springs Cemetery near Oil Trough, in Independence County.
The 1900 Independence County census, Christian Township, shows Alzira (listed as Elzira on the census), a widow, age 56, and daughters Connie and Maude. The census shows that Alzira had given birth to six children and all six were still living at that time. (Christian Township includes the area between Pleasant Plains and Oil Trough. We believe they were living in this area when Orin died.)
Alzira filed for Orin's Civil War pension August 6, 1901, at Pleasant Plains, in Independence County. Orin's unit division and date of death are given in the application, in which he is listed as Orsen McClure. Records indicate that Alzira was living at Oil Trough when she received his pension. One record indicates she was allowed a sum of $50, and another record indicates she was allowed $25.50.
Alzira died March 3, 1919, at Thida, in Independence County. She is buried beside her husband in Maple Springs Cemetery near Oil Trough.
Children of James Orsen McClure and Alzira Scarlett
1. Sarah Elizabeth McClure, b. 1869, Van Buren Co, AR
2. Mary Dallas McClure, b. 1871, Searcy Co. or White Co, AR
3. Nancy V. McClure, b. 1873, Van Buren Co. or White Co, AR
4. Commie A. McClure, b. 1874, Van Buren Co. or White Co, AR
5. Nora Florence McClure, b. Aug 22, 1879, White Co, AR; m. Andrew Jackson "Jack" Harris
6. Maude Magalene McClure, b. 1886, White Co. or Cleburne Co, AR
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