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Below is a family biography from the book,  The History of Crawford 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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J. R. Harden, merchant and farmer, was born in Tennessee, near the eastern part of the Virginia line, September 1, 1826, and is a son of George and Elizabeth (Straup) Harden. The father was born in Virginia, of German parents, and was a farmer by occupation. In 1824 he immigrated to Eastern Tennessee, and nine years later went to Greene County, where he died. The mother was of Scotch-Irish parentage, and also born in Virginia, where she married Mr. Harden. Of their seven children, three are now living: Samuel, Sarah and Josiah R. Those deceased are Jonathan, Polly, Lemuel and an infant. The mother died in Tennessee. Our subject lived with his parents in Tennessee until seven years of age, and then ran away. He started to join a brother who was attending school at Richmond, Va., but was stopped by an uncle, and changing his course went to Bull’s Gap, Greene Co., Tenn., where he lived with a man named F. W. Etter until grown, engaged in blacksmithing and farming. He then went to McMinn County, Tenn., and enlisted in Company B, Fourteenth Tennessee Regiment, commanded by Col. Trousedale, and served through the Mexican War. He served in every battle fought in the valley of Mexico, and was discharged at New Orleans. In August, 1848, he married Elizabeth Cox, in McMinn County, Tenn., of which she was a native. Her parents, William and Sarah Cox, were born and reared in Tennessee. To Mr. and Mrs. Harden five children have been born: Sarah, wife of J. H. Lowry, of this county; Harden, now a citizen of Chickasaw Nation; Andrew J. and Josephine, widow of R. E. Taylor, still living, and William C. and Emily J. (deceased). In 1849 Mr. Harden went to Greene County, Mo., and two years later went to Benton County, Ark. In the time of the war he took his family to Texas, but returned himself, and although he was opposed to secession, when the State seceded he took up arms in her defense, enlisting in the Home Guards. He then raised a company of which he was captain under Stan Watie. He afterward became a major, and served until the close of the war, participating in the fights at Wilson’s Creek, Spring River, Newtonia and others. The company was disbanded in 1865, and he then passed two years in Texas and seven in Chickasaw Nation, where he erected the first mill. Two years after he came to Crawford County, where he is now engaged in the mercantile business, and has 160 acres of land, seventy-five being under cultivation. Since July 16, 1887, he has been an ordained minister in the Christian Church, to which his wife also belongs. In politics he is a Democrat.

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This family biography is one of 222 biographies included in The History of Crawford County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Crawford County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Crawford County, Arkansas family biographies here: Crawford County, Arkansas

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