My Cousin Richard Calhoun Byrd 1805-1854, the Governor of Arkansas

Did you know one of my cousins was once the governor of Arkansas?

Arkansas State SealOk, Ok, he’s not much of a cousin and he was only a temporary governor, so maybe not much of a governor either.   But hey, it’s too late to change it.  It’s a fact.  No take-backs.  We have a new fun family fact!  The genie’s out of the bottle.  Celebrate!

On a serious note, I mention Richard Calhoun Byrd for other Byrd family researchers.  Perhaps you weren’t aware of this interesting cousin.  Check out the brief bio below.  He was the son of my 3rd great-uncle William Byrd, or in other words, my 1st cousin 4 x removed.  Like many of the Byrds he had some grit and skills.  Here’s a quote from the National Governors Association website.

“RICHARD C. BYRD was born in Hawkins County, Tennessee, in 1805.  He was a merchant and a farmer when he moved to Arkansas in 1826.  Byrd entered politics as the auditor of the Arkansas Territory, where he served from 1829 to 1831.  He served in the Territorial Legislature in 1833, was a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives in 1836, and was a member of the Arkansas Senate in 1840, 1842, 1846, and 1848.  Byrd ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1844.  On January 10, 1849, Governor Thomas S. Drew resigned from office, and Byrd who was president of the Senate at the time, became acting governor.  During his short term, he summoned for a special gubernatorial election, which was held on March 14, 1849.  Byrd left office on April 19, 1849, and returned to his mercantile business in Jefferson County.  Richard C. Byrd died on June 1, 1854, at his plantation, following a protracted illness.

Sources:

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Donovan, Timothy P., and Willard B. Gatewood, Jr., The Governors of Arkansas, Essays in Political Biography, Fayetteville; The University of Arkansas Press, 1981

Herndon, Dallas T., Centennial History of Arkansas, Vol. 1, Chicago, Little Rock, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1922. 3 vols.”

Bertha Mae Byrd Roberts ca 1951My mother was a Byrd.  When I find a Byrd who’s tough and determined but humble and never obtrusive, I’m never surprised.  I’m reminded of my mother.  Thanks Bertha Mae Byrd Roberts.

Bertha Mae Byrd Roberts with her three children; Deborah, Gary and David; all products and beneficiaries of God's great grace often applied through Bertha's grit and gumption.
Bertha Mae Byrd Roberts with her three children; Deborah, Gary and David; all products and beneficiaries of God’s great grace often applied through Bertha’s grit and gumption.
Bertha Mae Byrd with brothers J.L. and Elmer Byrd. ca 1948
Bertha Mae Byrd with brothers J.L. and Elmer Byrd. ca 1948
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