Summary of William (4) Looney
William (4) Looney
Robert (1) Looney, Absalom (2) Looney, Michael (3) Looney
William (4) Looney was born about 1785 in what is now
Hawkins County, Tennessee. He descends from a long line of frontiersmen:
his father, Michael Looney, was a Revolutionary War veteran and
an early settler in Stanley Valley, near Rogersville, Hawkins County, Tennessee.
William's grandfather, Absalom Looney, discovered the area in Virginia
known as Abb's Valley. William's great-grandfather, Robert Looney,
was the first of his line to arrive in America, with wife Elizabeth, in
the early 1720s from the Isle of Man. Robert established Looney's Mill,
Looney’s Ferry, and Looney’s Fort, all important frontier outposts in Virginia
near the James River.
William Looney is recorded as one of the first settlers on
Eleven Point River in what is now Randolph County, Arkansas. William and
two Stubblefield cousins (probably Fielding and Coleman) arrived at Eleven
Point possibly as early as 1802. William and cousins often traveled a two-week
journey of 135 miles as far as Cape Girardeau, Missouri to purchase supplies.
William, his Stubblefield cousins, and others who came shortly
afterward including the Baker, Garrett, McIlroy, Rice, Vandergriff, Wells,
and White families laid the foundations for communities such as Dalton,
Elm Store, and Gladesville.
During this period, William Looney served as justice of the
peace and magistrate in Davidson and Union townships (1816 – ca 1825),
and Captain in the 3rd Regiment, Arkansas Militia (commissioned 1820).
In 1823, William was granted patents for land south of Dalton.
He, wife Rhoda Stubblefield (daughter of William Stubblefield and
Elizabeth McDaniel) and family, built a home that still exists today. The
William Looney Homeplace is noted as one of the oldest in Randolph County.
At its peak, the old homeplace included 1,500 acres, and its orchards produced
as much as 1,500 gallons of brandy each year. By about 1850, the extended
Looney, McIlroy, Stubblefield, and Wells families owned most of the land
near Eleven Point River in a 30-mile stretch from Elm Store to Birdell.
The old homeplace has remained in the hands of William Looney’s relatives,
descendants of the Downey, Rice and Stubblefield families.
In 1843, William Looney purchased land in Pocahontas (originally
called Bettis' Bluff) from Thomas Drew. The initial map of Pocahontas showed
that William Looney owned the whole block on the south side of the old
The town of Pitman was established near Current River in 1853.
Among its first businessmen were William Looney’s son, Michael Looney,
and son-in-law, Erasmus Pitman. Together, they built a steam/saw/grist
mill and a distillery.
William Looney died April 1846 in Randolph Co, Arkansas. His
wife, Rhoda, died in August 1847. They had 10 children:
Elizabeth Looney married David Ferrill,
Cinderalla Looney married John Wells,
Mariah Looney (apparently never married),
Thena Looney married Pleasant Stubblefield,
Serena Margaret Looney married Abraham (Absalom) B. Stubblefield,
Absalom Looney married Mary Emily White,
Epps Looney married (1) Elizabeth Stubblefield and (2) Mary
William S. Looney married (1) Mary "Polly" Wells and (2) Catherine
Michael Looney married (1) Nancy Kinkard and (2) Artemicia Bailey
Temperance Looney married Erasmus D. Pitman.