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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Craighead 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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Stephen Shelton, an enterprising farmer and influential citizen of Craighead County, Ark., was born in Jackson County, Miss., September 22, 1826. His parents, Stephen and Matilda (Martin) Shelton, both natives of the “Old Dominion,” were of Welsh and German descent. Stephen Shelton, Sr., a physician by profession, in 1828 moved his family to Arkansas, and located in St. Francis County, but being displeased with the locality, removed to Mississippi. Later he came again to Arkansas, this time selecting a situation at the mouth of Big Bay, near the site of Wittsburg. After practicing his profession there for a year, he moved fifty miles, near where Harrisburg is now located, twenty years later to near the southern line of this county, where after two years he died. He was one of the earliest and most noted physicians of Arkansas, then a Territory, and patients from hundreds of miles around were brought to him for medical and surgical aid. He is the father of seven children, but only one is now living, one having died before and five after the father’s coming to Arkansas. After the husband’s death, the mother brought her family to Craighead County, and here resided until 1863, when trouble over the Civil War caused her death. She was about seventy years old. Stephen Shelton was mostly reared in the Territory and State of Arkansas, his widowed mother giving him the best education the country afforded. He had no taste for medicine or surgery, but was reared on a farm and has been engaged in farming all his life. He now owns 197 acres of land five miles south of Jonesboro, about ninety acres of which are under cultivation. While this section was a portion of Poinsett County, Mr. Shelton was deputy internal improvement commissioner, was also deputy sheriff and constable, and for four years a preacher of the Christian denomination. He was once offered license, but not deeming himself sufficiently qualified, he thought best to decline. Mr. Shelton is and has always been a Republican in politics, and has once been constable of Jonesboro Township. He married Mahalia McCracken, daughter of Aquilla and Nancy (Lane) McCracken, and to them have been born the following named children: Matilda J., wife of L. T. McDanield, of Gilkerson; Eliza P., wife of G. Edgar, residing near Jonesboro; Mary A., wife of Prof. Walter E. Dean, educator, of Smith County, Tex.; Thomas B., Nancy J., George W., Louisa, Belle, Stephen A., Francis M. N. and William D. Mr. Shelton was quite a noted and successful hunter of early times. He is a member of the I. O. O. F., a practical and self-made man, and one of the county’s earliest and most worthy citizens.

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This family biography is one of 98 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Craighead County, Arkansas published in 1889.  View the complete description here: Craighead County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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

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