George Washington Bruce

From FranaWiki

Colonel George Washington Bruce was an attorney and the founder of the second newspaper in Conway, Arkansas, called the Conway Democrat. The Democrat was printed for the first time in 1878. The paper merged with the Log Cabin in 1901 to become the Log Cabin Democrat.

Bruce was born to Andrew and Sarah (Quinn) Bruce in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1838. The Bruces had no other children. Andrew Bruce died in 1841. His mother moved to a plantation in Walker County (now Whitfield County), Georgia, shortly thereafter. Bruce was educated locally and studied law with Colonel Henry S. Simms of Caloosa County. He was admitted to the bar of Whitfield County in October 1859. Bruce began practicing law in Tunnel Hill, Georgia. He married Sarah S. McClain on January 10, 1860, with whom he had nine children.

He served in Company H of the Second Georgia Infantry during the Civil War and saw action at the Battle of Savannah and the Second Battle of Manassas. After one year he departed for Dauphin Island off the coast of Alabama. After eighteen months he joined the Army of Tennessee and fought in the Second Battle of Murfreesboro where he was captured. He was imprisoned at Louisville, Kentucky, until the war's end.

After the war Bruce returned to Catoosa County. In 1868 he moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and reopened his law office. He moved again to Crittenden County, Arkansas, in 1871, then briefly to Memphis, Tennessee, and Little Rock, Arkansas.

Bruce settled in Faulkner County, Arkansas, on April 13, 1873. Bruce's Addition to the city is located on property developed by Bruce. In 1889 he owned approximately 2,000 acres of land in the city. Bruce became prominent in local and state Democratic politics, and became a member of the state legislature in 1881. He specialized in criminal law in his Conway practice, defending no less than seventy-five accused murderers.

Bruce was a member of Centre Link Lodge No. 75 of the I.O.O.F. The Bruces were also members of the local Baptist Church.


  • History of Central Arkansas (Chicago: The Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1889), 717-718.

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