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Below is a family biography included in The History of Benton County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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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Hezekiah Highfill, farmer and stock raiser, was born in McNairy County, Tenn., May 2, 1834, and is a son of James and Martha P, (Jackson) Highfill, both of whom were born in McNairy County, Tenn., the former in 1813, the latter in 1814. They were married in April, 1833; died in Oregon County, Mo in 1875 and 1870, respectively. James Highfill was a farmer and Missionary Baptist preacher. His father was Bennett Highfill, who came from England with his parents when a child. His parents died soon after their arrival in America, leaving Bennett, Hezekiah and one sister, from whom there is a very extensive relation, as not one Highfill has been found who did not claim to be related to the former ones. Bennett Highflll located in North Carolina, but soon removed to Illinois, and afterward to Tennessee. His wife was Nancy Heron, a native of North Carolina, but of German descent. The maternal grandfather of our subject was Needham Jackson, a native of North Carolina. He was a farmer, a soldier of the War of 1812, and a relative of Gen. Andrew Jackson. At the age of sixteen Hezekiah Highfill was taken by his parents to Dallas County, Mo., where he grew to maturity At the breaking out of the Civil War he enlisted in the Confederate States army, Eighth Missouri Infantry, and was a participant in the battles of Oak Hill, Lexington, Prairie Grove, Little Rock and others, the last being Jenkins’ Ferry. He was neither wounded nor captured during his entire service. He first served as orderly sergeant, but was commissioned second lieutenant, and afterward as first lieutenant, all of which positions he filled with integrity and honor. He was surrendered at Shreveport, La., by Gen. Sterling Price. The war being ended, he settled in Franklin County, Mo., without money or friends. He engaged in the occupation of faring meeting with success. He was married, February 1, 1866, to Mariah S. Mitchell the daughter of Greenberry Mitchell, a minister of the Missionary Baptist Church. Greenberry Mitchell was born in Tennessee in 1822, married Sarah D. Williams in 1848, and was ordained in 1849. Sarah D. died June 12, 1884 and Mr. Mitchell was next married to Mrs. Almary Pickle, who survives him. He died at Marshfield, Mo., May 27, 1888. Few ministers have done more preaching and work in the cornfield, with greater success for the cause of Christ. He has been known to ride on horseback twenty miles Saturday morning, preach to the church at 11 a. m., at night, and 11 a. m. Sunday, and be at work in the cornfield at home by sunrise Monday morning. By his wife, Mariah, Mr. Highfill has become the father of ten children: Sarah S., Elisha J., Franklin S., Clarence D., Ora A., and Onia F. Sarah was married, November 4, 1888, to Frank Mitchell, of Bloomfield, Ark., who is a son of George Mitchell of the same place. Mr. Mitchell is not related to the family of his wife’s mother. Hezekiah Highfall, the subject of this sketch, now owns 760 acres of good land in Benton County, Ark., to which place he removed in 1869. He has 170 acres in cultivation, well stocked and furnished. He is a Royal Arch Mason, and a man who has the confidence and esteem of all who know him He is noted for his peaceable disposition, his habits of temperance, and is a zealous Sabbath-school worker, He is a valuable addition to the community in which he resides, always opposing the law of retaliation, believing it to be productive of evil only. As a proof of this he has been known to give his own ration to prisoners, and even pull his shirt off his back, while serving as lieutenant of the guard, and give it to a destitute soldier of the opposing army. In 1878 he was elected assessor of Benton County, afterward clerk of the Springtown Baptist Association, also of the convention that formed the Benton County Baptist Association; has been superintendent of a Sabbath-school in his own school district for several years, and is now president of the West Benton County Sabbath-school Association, in all of which places he has served with marked ability, and honor to himself and credit to constituents. He deems the superintendency of a Sabbath-school the highest position he ever occupied. He will die as he has lived, loved and respected by all who know him and it is with pleasure that he is considered among the warm friends of the writer.

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This family biography is one of 240 biographies included in The History of Benton County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Benton County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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