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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Drew 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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J. F. Thompson, farmer and stock-raiser, Monticello, Ark. As might naturally be expected, mention is made in the present work of many citizens of Drew County, now prominent in their different callings, who were originally from Georgia. Among these is Mr. Thompson, and his experience refers to the agricultural affairs of the county. Born in Harris County, March 4, 1838, he was the son of James G. and Elizabeth (Penny) Thompson, natives also of Georgia. The father was of Irish descent, and was born in the year 1801. He was a farmer by occupation, but was also a cabinet-maker by trade, and was quite well to do. He was the owner of five slaves. He died in 1859, and the mother in 1887, the latter at the age of eighty-four years. Their family consisted of eleven children, three of whom are now living: Hattie (now Mrs. Johns, of Monticello), Joseph A. (a farmer of Saline Township), and J. F. The parents of these children moved to Arkansas in 1856, settled in Dallas County, but the following year came to Drew County, where the father bought a farm. In 1859 J. F. Thompson commenced farming for himself, and in 1862 enlisted in Drew’s battery, where he remained until the close of the war. He was in a number of minor battles, but took part in none of the principal engagements. He was captured while at home on a furlough, April 6, 1864, was taken to Rock Island, Ill., and there confined until the close of the war. He has since been engaged in farming in this county, and moved on his present property, which consists of 440 acres, with about 75 under cultivation, in 1882. He was married in 1859, to Miss Rhoda M. Brown, a native of Tennessee, who died in 1868, and in 1870 his second marriage occurred, to Miss Mattie Carter, a native of Mississippi. To the first union were born three children: James L. (a merchant at Pine Bluff), Josie F. (now Mrs. Penick, of Texas), and John T. (a prominent stock-raiser of Bradley County). To the second marriage were born six children, all of whom are living and at home: William G., Joseph M., Lois E., Leona E., Alonzo F. and Samuel R. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson are members of the Methodist Church, South. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M., and in his political views adheres strongly to the Democratic party.

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This family biography is one of 83 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Drew County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Drew County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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