Date Original



Benjamin Crowley is being granted the right to administer the estate of his son, John Crowley, who died without a last will and testament. Letters of administration appoint appropriate people to deal with a deceased person's estate, particularly when there is no will or named executors.

Biographical/Historical Note

In 1816, John Crowley, at age 16 died leaving no will. His father, Benjamin Crowley, for whom Crowley's Ridge is named, assumed control of John's estate. John was his third son and while it may seem strange that a 16 year old had his own estate, this wasn't unusual for the time. The Crowley family was wealthy and settling into a new territory. It's possible that John went ahead of the family to scout out the area in advance or perhaps he wanted to establish a farm since he would likely inherit very little from his father. During the early 19th century, the oldest son usually received the largest part, if not the whole inheritance.


Know all men by these present that we Benjamin Crowley
Alexander Hodge, Jacob Peevehouse, Edward McDonald, John Hudgins-
of Lawrence County and Territory of Missouri are
held and firmly bound unto William Clark governor
of the Territory aforesaid and his successors in office
in the penal sum of Two thousand Five Hundred dollars -
- - - our hands and seals this 27th day of June 1816
The condition of this obligation is such that if the within
boundin[sic] Benjamin Crowley administrator of all
and singular the goods and chattels rights and credits of
John Crowley - deceased do make or cause
to be made a true and perfect inventory of all and
singular the goods and chattels rights and credits of the said
deceased which have or shall come to the hands possession or
knowledge of him the said Benjamin Crowley or unto
the hands or possession of any other person or persons
for him and the same so made do exhibit or cause to be
exhibitted[sic] unto the office of the circuit court for the county
of Lawrence at or before the 20th day of September next
insuring and the same goods chattels rights and credits of the
said deceased at the time of the death of the said deceased
which at any time after shall come to the hand of possession
on the saie Benjamin Crowley or unto the hands
or possession of any other person or persons for him do will
and truly administer according to law and further do make
or cause to be made a true and just account of his said
administration on or before this 25th day of June
ad all the rest and residue of the said goods chattels rights
and credits which shall be found remaining upon the said
administrators account the same being first examined
and allowed by th circuit court of the county aforesaid
and shall deliver and pay to such person aforesaid as the
said court by the decree and sanction pursuant to the
true intent and meaning of this act shall approve and
direct and if it shall hereafter approve that any last
will and testament was made by the said deceased and
the executor or executors therein named do exhibit the same
unto the officer of the said court making request to have
the same allowed and approved and the same is
allowed and approved by the said court there of the said
Benjamin Crowley within boundin[sic] being hereto requested do render and deliver his said letter of admini
stration then this obligation to be void and of no effect
otherwise to remain in full force and affect.
In presence of [signatures] Lewis deMun, Benjamin Crowley, Alex Hodge, Jacob Peevehouse, Edward Mcdonald[sic], John Hudgins, John Crowley decd[sic]
You do solemnly swear that the within named John Crowley
died leaving legal heirs and representations to wit his father Benjamin
Crowley -
Sworn to and subscribed before me [signature] Benjamin Crowley

Physical Description

Document, 8" x 12"


Documents; Manuscripts; Contracts; Wills; Estates


Circuit Court of Lawrence County; Lewis deMun

Geographical Area

Lawrence County (Ark.)




MSNE.0032, Box 7, Folder 506

Resource Type



Dowell Land Company records, MSNE.0032


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives

Recommended Citation

Probate, John Crowley; Letter of administration for Benjamin Crowley, Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives, Powhatan, Arkansas.


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Probate, John Crowley; Letter of administration for Benjamin Crowley