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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Cross 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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John J. Hamilton (deceased) is a son of Theophilus Hamilton, one of the pioneers of this section, and who came to Arkansas in his childhood. The family came to Middle Tennessee, settled on what is now called the Bay Road in Cross County, and here John J. Hamilton spent his youth in farming pursuits, and had but limited educational advantages. When twenty-one years of age he left home and commenced working for himself as an overseer on the plantation of Col. Cross, with whom he remained two years. On April 17, 1848, he married Miss Parmesia Shaver, a daughter of Charles Shaver, who was among the very first of the pioneers of what is now Cross County. Mr. Shaver came to this State, perhaps as early as 1815, settled on Sugar Creek where he cleared up a good farm, and erected the first mill in this section. Soon after his arrival the Indians stole nearly all his stock. He lived on the original place, now known as Bay Village, until his death. After the conclusion of his contract with Col. Cross, Mr. Hamilton purchased a small tract of land on Otter Creek, in the northern part of Cross County, where he and his young wife moved, and began clearing up a place for a home. They remained there three years, and during that time Mr. Hamilton cleared about thirty acres. They then moved to a tract of 480 acres, and later bought near the first settlement. Here they remained for about ten years, during which time Mr. Hamilton cleared about 100 acres. In 1866 the commercial firm of D. Block & Co., of Wittsburg was formed, consisting of David and Maurice Block, and the subject of this sketch. This firm soon began to do an astonishing business for this section, their business yielding annually from $100,000 to $300,000. The partners in this business died, Mr. Maurice Block first and John J. Hamilton May 3, 1878. The latter, a few years previous to his death, withdrew from the firm, and removed to the old home at Bay Village. Here he built a cotton-gin, opened a general store and drug store, and thus was practically the first business enterprise started in the place. He lived but one year after moving back. His success in business enabled him to leave a fortune to his heirs and widow, consisting mostly of real estate in Cross County. He was very public spirited, and very active politically. He was self-made, carved his way to fortune, and mainly educated himself after marriage. The result of his union with Miss Shaver resulted in the birth of ten children: Hester C. (wife of R. Block), William Boone (died at the age of twenty-four years), Obediah A., Charles M. (merchant at Wynne), David H. (died at the age of twenty-seven years), J. B. (at present sheriff of Cross County), A. P. (died at the age of six years), Forest (merchant at Wynne), Effie (wife of Willis Levesque, of Cross County) and Edward (clerk at railroad office).

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This family biography is one of 103 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Cross County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Cross County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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

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