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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Columbia 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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A. B. Thomas is a farmer of Magnolia Township, but was born in Georgia, November 28, 1828, being a son of Archibald and Rhoda (Anthony) Thomas, natives of North Carolina and South Carolina, respectively. The family removed to Arkansas in 1857, and settled in Columbia County, and here Mr. Thomas purchased 800 acres of wild land, which he has since, by many years of patient and persistent labor, converted into a fine farm. Although eighty-six years of age, he is yet quite strong and active, giving promise of spending many more years of usefulness in the county of his adoption. To himself and wife a family of twelve children were born, six now living: H. L. (a farmer of Tarrant County, Tex., A. B., William (a resident of Texas), Mary (wife of Martin Alexander, of this county), Sarah (wife of Samuel Jordan, of Nevada County, Ark). Those deceased are Jane (the wife of Henry Hurt of this county), and three sons who died while serving in the Confederate army. The mother of these children died in 1883, having been an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Mr. Thomas, then in his eighty-first year, married a Miss Hudman and by her has two children: Archie and Hattie. Mr. Thomas has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for sixty years, and is one of its most liberal supporters. A. B. Thomas is a Georgian by birth, being also reared there, and at the age of twenty-one years commenced farming for himself, continuing on a farm he owned on Flint River until 1859, when he came to the State of Arkansas, and settled on the farm on which he is now residing, which consisted of 300 acres, a portion of which was improved land, costing him $3 per acre. He has since sold a portion of this to his sons, but has added 250 acres, and now has 125 acres improved with a splendid residence, outbuildings etc. He gives considerable attention to raising horses, cattle and hogs, and he is considered one of the thriftiest farmers of his township. He was married in 1854, his wife being Miss Catherine, a daughter of Thomas Walton of South Carolina. She was born in Georgia, and has borne her husband the following children: Telula (wife of U. C. Owens, a merchant of Point Rock, Tex.), Samuel A. (a farmer of Magnolia Township), James A. (a farmer and trader of this county), Ella (deceased), Andrew J. (a teacher of the county who was educated at Lee’s University, Virginia), Mattie (a teacher), and one unnamed. In 1801 Mr. Thomas hired a substitute for the Confederate service, but in 1864, he joined Capt. Ford’s company of Monroe’s brigade, serving until the close of the war, surrendering at Trinity River, after which he returned home. He found himself without money, $2,000 in debt, but through his own good management he has become one of the leading farmers of the county. He has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for forty-two years, his wife and children being also members of the same, and belongs to the A. F. & A. M., Columbia Lodge No. 82.

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This family biography is one of 106 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Columbia County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Columbia County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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