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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Arkansas County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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James A. Gibson, of the firm of Gibson & Holt, the leading attorneys of DeWitt, is one of the best-known men of Arkansas County. He was reared and educated in Breckinridge County, Ky., his native State, and received a thorough common-school education, and, at the age of twenty entered the St. Mary’s College, near Lebanon, Ky., but was obliged to give up his studies on account of his health. He then engaged in farming, and in 1861 came to Arkansas, locating in this county, where he engaged in farming until 1864. Returning to Kentucky, in 1867 he came back to this county and, locating in DeWitt, commenced studying law. He was admitted to the bar the following year and has since been occupied in the practice of his profession, in which he has been very successful. He is one of the leading Democrats of this county and has served his party in a number of conventions and delegations. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1874, has been a delegate to the State Democratic Conventions since 1872, was elected alternate delegate to the National Democratic Conventions held at Cincinnati and Chicago, and has been for the past three years, and is at present, a member of the State central committee. In 1881 he was a member of the Electoral College, and voted for Hancock and English, having been elected the year previous. Mr. Gibson was born in Breckinridge County, Ky., in 1837, and was a son of Hamilton and Letitia (Gilliland) Gibson, also natives of Kentucky. They were the parents of three children: William F. (a resident of Austin, Ark.), John T. (deceased) and James A., the principal of this sketch, who was married while in Kentucky, to Miss Hester Vertreese, a native of Missouri, but who was reared in Kentucky. They are the parents of nine children: William H. (a graduate of the Louisville University of Medicine, of Kentucky), Sallie (now Mrs. Crockett), Albert, Blanche, John, Nannie, Benton, Claude and Tee. Mr. Gibson has been engaged in the mercantile business until a few years ago, since when he has devoted all his time to his profession. He entered into partnership with Robert P. Holt in 1882. They have an extensive real-estate business in connection with their law practice, and have now on hand over 100,000 acres of fine lands for sale. Mr. and Mrs. Gibson are members of the Baptist Church, in which they take an active part. He is a member of the Masonic order, in which he has taken the Royal Arch and Council degrees, and is also a member of the I. O. O. F. and has been Grand Master of the State and Grand Representative of the Sovereign Grand Lodge.Capt. Leroy Ferrell, retired steamboatman and stock raiser, is a native of Tennessee, and a son of David C. and Celia (Boren) Ferrell, natives of North Carolina and Tennessee, respectively. Mr. Ferrell went to Tennessee when a young man, where he gin. At the present time Mr. Ferrell and his father own about 8,000 acres of land. During the war he was repeatedly urged by his friends to join the Confederate army, but although born and reared in the South, he refused to take up arms against his country. This position he firmly maintained until the close of the war, remaining at home and providing for his family and those whose supporters were in the Confederate army. Capt. Ferrell, although nearly seventy years of age, is of strong bodily health and vigor (save a slight affliction of rheumatism), is of pleasant address, and a good talker.

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This family biography is one of 50 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Arkansas County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Arkansas County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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