John Francis Culpepper

Male, #35345, (2 Nov 1863 - 5 Dec 1906)
Father*John Malcolm Culpepper (13 Nov 1835 - 10 Jan 1927)
Mother*Sarah Ann Elizabeth Stephens (22 Oct 1839 - 21 Jul 1906)
Name Variation He was also known as Frank. 
Birth*2 Nov 1863 John was born at Randolph Co., Alabama, on 2 Nov 1863. 
1870 Census1870 William, Sarah, John, Daniel and Robert listed as a household member living with John Malcolm Culpepper on the 1870 Census at Louina, Randolph Co., Alabama. 35 m-p. 572 hh 18. 
1880 Census*1880 John, Daniel, Robert and Capos was listed as a son in John Malcolm Culpepper's household on the 1880 Census at Randolph Co., Alabama. 46 m-Beat 8 ED 111-19. 
Marriage*3 Sep 1885 He married Florence M. Johnson at Grant Co., Arkansas, on 3 Sep 1885 at age 21.1 
Birth of Son31 Aug 1886 His son Ernest Culpepper was born on 31 Aug 1886 at Arkansas
Death of Son10 Feb 1889 His son Ernest Culpepper died on 10 Feb 1889 at Hopkins Co., Texas
Birth of Son26 Dec 1891 His son John Hurlston Culpepper was born on 26 Dec 1891 at Arkansas
Photographedcirca 1893 He was photographed circa 1893 at Pine Bluff, Jefferson Co., Arkansas.2
John Francis Culpepper family
Photographed*say 1900 He was photographed say 1900 at Pine Bluff, Jefferson Co., Arkansas.2
Frank Culpepper
1900 Census*1900 John was listed as the head of a family on the 1900 Census at Vaugine Township, Pine Bluff, Jefferson Co., Arkansas. 37 m-ED 103 p. 8. 
Biography20 Feb 1904 A descendant, Ryan Kent, wrote Culpepper Connections on 9 Sep 2009 "I was surprised to see our surname pop up while I was doing some unrelated legal research. I've attached the Westlaw pdf image of the case, John Francis' action to recover back pay as police chief of the city of Pine Bluff. The mayor suspended him but the city council refused to approve the action. Meanwhile John took a job as a deputy sheriff (he resigned almost immediately, and before fulfilling any duties as deputy). Construing this as a resignation, the mayor appointed someone else. From then until the court's ruling, neither John Francis nor his replacement was paid a police salary. The Arkansas Supreme Court held that the job and the back pay belonged to John Francis, because no law prohibited a man from concurrently serving as deputy sheriff and chief of police.3 
Death of Mother21 Jul 1906 His mother Sarah Ann Elizabeth Stephens died on 21 Jul 1906 at Hopkins Co., Texas
Death*5 Dec 1906 He died at Pine Bluff, Jefferson Co., Arkansas, on 5 Dec 1906 at age 43
gunshot wound. 
Burial*7 Dec 1906 His body was interred on 7 Dec 1906 at Pine Ridge Cemetery, Grant Co., Arkansas.4 
Biography* John Francis Culpepper was the son of John Malcolm and Sarah Ann Elizabeth (Stephens) Culpepper. He was born and raised in Randolph Co., AL. Sometime after the 1880 census, Frank's parents went by wagon train to Grant Co., AR and Frank is presumed to have gone with them.

In 1885, he married Florence M. Johnson. Mrs. D. W. (Lavyn Wright) Sisco wrote5 that "about 1885-1887," Frank and his younger brother, Dan Culpepper, went to Hopkins Co., TX. Lavyn continued:6

They were looking for good farming land.... Uncle Frank returned to Ark.7 and didn't return.

Frank joined the Pine Bluff, AR police force and served as a patrolman and then as a city detective before being appointed chief of police by Mayor H. King White.8 He served several years in that capacity until he retired in April 1905.8

Frank then went to work as a night watchman for the Bluff City Lumber Company.8 Shortly after midnight, on December 5, 1906, he detained a trespasser that he found on the property.("J. Frank Culpepper Killed by Negro Miscreant Early Today," unknown Pine Bluff, Jefferson Co., AR paper, possibly the Weekly Graphic 5 Dec 1906) Frank intended to turn the man over to the police and kept the man ahead of him as they went up the steps to the office where there was a phone; but, at the top of the steps, the man turned and fired twice, hitting Frank below the heart and in his left leg.8 Frank shot three times killing the man.8 Frank was then taken to his home where he died a few hours later.8 The man was later identified as Eli Tilford who had been arrested previously for carrying a razor.8 


Florence M. Johnson (1 Sep 1868 - 13 Jul 1950)
Marriage*3 Sep 1885 He married Florence M. Johnson at Grant Co., Arkansas, on 3 Sep 1885 at age 21.1 
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited15 Apr 2012


  1. Book E, p. 13.
  2. E-mail written numerous messages over 30+ years to Lew Griffin from Tommie Sue Reeves Smith (#23162), 942 Clarice, Grand Prairie, TX 75051, e-mail address.
  3. E-mail written Sep 2009 to Culpepper Connections from Ryan Kent Culpepper (#23620), e-mail address.
    "Peterson v. Culpepper", 20 Feb 1904 decision by the Arkansas Supreme Court.
  4. USGenWeb Archives.
    Pine Ridge Cemetery, Grant County, Arkansas, contributed for use in the USGenWeb Archives by: William W. Henry.
  5. letter 15 Apr 1994
  6. summary of the children of John Malcolm Culpepper
  7. probably around 1890-91 based on the birth dates and locations of the children
  8. "J. Frank Culpepper Killed by Negro Miscreant Early Today," unknown Pine Bluff, Jefferson Co., AR paper, possibly the Weekly Graphic 5 Dec 1906