Date Original



This collection contains documents from Roswell Beebe's estate compiled by D.L. Phillips in an attempt to trace the history of the Cairo and Fulton Railroad. The documents include property descriptions, probate court records, and a land patent.

Biographical/Historical Note

Roswell Beebe was born on December 22, 1795, in Hinsdale, New York. When he was 17, he moved to New Orleans and fought in the War of 1812 at the Battle of New Orleans with Andrew Jackson. He established several businesses in the city, including a brickyard and lumberyard. His doctor advised him to move to a drier climate due to his rheumatism, so he moved to Little Rock in 1835. He married Clarissa Elliot, sister-in-law to Chester Ashley, later that same year. They had four children that survived: Roswell Elliott, Mary Frances, Emily Clarissa, and Cora. In 1839, he acquired 240 acres comprising most of the city of Little Rock. He laid out the blocks and streets for the city before selling it to the city for one dollar. After Clarissa's death in March 1846, he married Julia McMillin on September 4, 1848. They had four children: Frazier McMillin, George Gordon, Ida, and Charles Wilcox. In 1848, he was elected alderman for the city of Little Rock and mayor in 1849. He organized the Cairo and Fulton Railroad and was elected its president in 1853. He served in that capacity until his death September 26, 1856, in New York of yellow fever. He is buried at Mount Holly Cemetery, which he donated to the city.

Physical Description

Document, 8.5" x 11"

Geographical Area






Resource Type



Roswell Beebe estate documents, SMC.002.005a


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Roswell Beebe estate documents, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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United States History