My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Ashley 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.

* * * *

Thomas J. Shelton was born in Lincoln County, Tenn., March 3, 1878, his father, Fillmore Shelton, dying of small-pox in Tennessee, in 1837. Thomas J. received a somewhat limited education, and on February 15, 1848, he came to Arkansas, and entered 160 acres of land in Ashley County, but by industry and economy has become the owner of 200 acres, fifty of the same being under cultivation and yielding one-half bale of cotton to the acre. He was married June 12, 1844, to Miss Mary Wilson, of Tennessee, a daughter of William Wilson, a school-teacher and cabinet-maker, and the fruits of this union were nine children, four of whom are now living: Mary Elizabeth (wife of T. A. Allen), Susan M. (wife of J. T. Wimberly), John Alexander and Thomas Jefferson, both sons being married. Mr. Shelton enlisted in the Confederate service in March, 1862, being a member of Company F, Second Arkansas Cavalry, and was afterward in the engagement at Corinth and in numerous skirmishes. About this time he became afflicted with rheumatism, and being unfitted for duty, was finally discharged and returned home. On July 30, 1875, his estimable wife was called to her long home, and Mr. Shelton’s second marriage took place December 28, 1877, the maiden name of his wife being F. E. Daniel, a daughter of William and F. C. Daniel, of Ashley County, the former of whom was a Democrat in his political views, and a farmer by occupation, his death occurring November 22, 1871, he being still survived by his widow. Mr. Shelton and his present wife have two children: Jessie Waller, born November, 1880, and William Jackson, born February 9, 1883. He has always supported the measures of the Democratic party, is a member of the A. F. & A. M., a free contributor to worthy enterprises, and he and wife belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Mr. Shelton experienced many hardships on first coming to this country as it was very wild and unsettled. In 1848 he and an uncle rented a farm for $375 in Chicot County, but as he was sick with chills for eighteen months he was unable to raise a crop. Upon recovering slightly, he borrowed a horse of a neighbor on which he placed his wife and one boy, and he walked to Ashley County, settling on a woodland farm. Game was very abundant, and on the flesh of wild animals they lived for some time. Mr. Shelton made one crop on the farm on which he settled, then sold out, and on the next made two crops, selling again, and residing on his third farm until 1875, when he came to his present farm. From 1849 until 1852, although a tiller of the soil, he did not have a horse, borrowing of his neighbors, for the use of which he paid in work. He at one time borrowed some money of a Mr. Willis with which to enter land, and at the end of four years paid the money back with 10 per cent interest, although Mr. Willis had not taken his note or a mortgage on his place. Mr. Shelton’s career is well worthy the emulation of the rising generation, for it teaches that perseverance, industry, and above all, honesty, will have its reward.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 97 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Ashley County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Ashley County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Ashley County, Arkansas family biographies, click here

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.