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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Clay 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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Robert A. Hawthorne, farmer, and postmaster at Don, Clay County, Ark., was born on the 12th of August, 1849, in Benton County, Tenn., his parents, Robert H. and Elizabeth (Baker) Hawthorne, being born in Ohio and Virginia, respectively. The paternal grandfather was born in Ireland, locating in Ohio after coming to America, and afterward moved to Illinois, where he died. The maternal grandfather was born in Virginia, and removed from there to Tennessee, in which State he died, being engaged in farming. Robert A. Hawthorne was reared and educated in Ohio, and removed with his father to Illinois, where he made his home until about twenty-two years of age, when he went to Tennessee and began the study of law, being admitted to the bar shortly after. He practiced his profession for a number of years, and was also engaged in farming. At the age of about fifty years he gave up his law practice, and turned his attention to obtaining pensions for claimants. In the summer of 1861 he enlisted in Forrest’s cavalry, and was shortly after transferred to the infantry and was sent south, participating in many battles, and holding the rank of provost marshal. He was never wounded nor taken prisoner. He died January 1, 1866, his death being deeply regretted by his many friends and acquaintances. His widow is still living, being in her seventy-ninth year; and resides with her children: Robert A. and John C. The former obtained his education and rearing in Tennessee, remaining on a farm in that State until twenty-one years old, when he came to Clay County, Ark., and located at Corning, where he was engaged in the sale of liquors for six years. He then turned his attention to farming, and in 1882 bought the farm of 262 acres where he now lives; 110 acres are under cultivation and fairly improved. He raises corn and cotton, principally, and some clover. The land is well adapted for raising all the cereals, and makes an excellent stock farm, which industry receives much of his attention. October 12, 1888, the post office was established at his house, and he was made postmaster, the office taking the name of Don. In 1871 he was married to Miss Alice Polk, by whom he has two children: Ethel and Mary E. (who is deceased). Mrs. Hawthorne is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he is a member of the Masonic fraternity.

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This family biography is one of 124 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Clay County, Arkansas published in 1889.  View the complete description here: Clay County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Clay County, Arkansas family biographies here: Clay County, Arkansas Biographies

View a map of 1889 Clay County, Arkansas here: Clay County, Arkansas Map

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