Richard Maxwell Drew
|Richard Maxwell Drew|
|State Representative from Claiborne Parish|
|Succeeded by||S. Smith|
June 26, 1822|
Then Claiborne Parish
|Died||July 11, 1850
Now Webster Parish
|Spouse(s)||Sarah Jessie Cleveland|
|Children||Richard Cleveland Drew|
Richard Maxwell Drew (June 26, 1822–July 11, 1850) was an attorney and politician in Claiborne Parish in north Louisiana whose family was among the first settlers of what is now Webster Parish, established in 1871 as a breakaway from Claiborne Parish.
Drew was a son of Newitt (or Newett) Drew, a native of Southampton County in Virginia, who later moved to Wilson County, Tennessee, and then northwestern Louisiana. Richard Maxwell Drew was born in his father's Overton community on Dorcheat Bayou near Minden, the parish seat of Webster Parish. The community was subsequently wiped out by yellow fever. Drew's brother, Thomas Stevenson Drew, who was twenty years his senior, became the governor of Arkansas in 1844. Thomas Drew was the namesake of Drew County, Arkansas.
R. M. Drew married the former Sarah Jessie Cleveland (1828–1880). At seventeen, he was already practicing law. At twenty-three in 1845, he was a district judge in Claiborne Parish (prior to the establishment of Webster Parish), and a delegate to the Louisiana Constitutional Convention of 1845. For the last two years of his short life, Drew was a Democratic member of the Louisiana House of Representatives.
Drew died shortly after his 28th birthday. His son, Richard Cleveland Drew, and grandson, Harmon Caldwell Drew, were subsequently judges of both the Webster Parish district court. and the state circuit court, the only father-son combination thus far on the latter court. R. M. Drew's great-grandson, R. Harmon Drew, Sr., was a municipal judge and a state representative. His great-great-grandson, Harmon Drew, Jr., serves on the same circuit court as did his grandfather and great-grandfather.
Drew is interred at the abandoned Overton Cemetery off Interstate 20. The epitaph on his tombstone, which was damaged several years ago by a bulldozer operating in the area, reads: "His public and private virtues have survived his death and will endure when this dumb marble shall have faded."In 2011, a cenotaph honoring Drew was erected at the Minden Cemetery.
- "State of Arkansas Governors". theus50.com. Retrieved June 11, 2011.
- "Thomas Stevenson Drew". Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Retrieved June 11, 2011.
- Other sources list Thomas Drew as the third Arkansas governor because Drew's predecessor, Samuel Adams, was not "governor" but the "acting governor" from April 29 to November 5, 1844, through Adams' previous role as president of the Arkansas State Senate.
- "Drew Family". mindenmemories.org. Retrieved June 5, 2011.
- Mindenmemories.org is a social, cultural, and historical website operated from Bellaire, Texas, by Sherry Gresham Gritzbaugh, a 1955 graduate of Minden High School. The website has historical articles on the major families involved in the settlement of Minden and Webster Parish, Louisiana.
- "The Bettis Family and the Settlement of Pocohontas, Arkansas". randolphcomuseum.org. Retrieved June 11, 2011.
- "Drew Family of Virginia". angelfire.com. Retrieved June 11, 2011.
- "Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2012". house.louisiana.gov. Retrieved June 5, 2011.
- The state of Louisiana erroneoulsy lists Representative R. M. Drew as "R. C. Drew," the initials of his son, who did not serve in the state House.
- List of Webster Parish District Judges, Webster Parish Centennial Booklet, 1971", Webster Parish Police Jury publication
- "Descendants of William Caldwell". familytreemaker.genealolgy.com. Retrieved June 5, 2011.
- Inscription on R. M. Drew tombstone, Overton Cemetery, Webster Parish, Louisiana
- "Overton". mindenmemories.org. Retrieved June 5, 2011.