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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Jefferson 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. W. Hellums, a prominent farmer and merchant of Jefferson County, well known in the business circles of Pine Bluff, was born in Fayette County, Ala., in September, 1836, and is a son of William H. and Effie (White) Hellums, of South Carolina and Georgia, respectively. The parents were married in Alabama, and in 1844 removed to Tippah County, Miss., where the father died the following year. After his death the mother came with her family to Drew County, Ark., and resided there until her death in 1867. Two sons and three daughters were born to the parents, of whom the two former are the only ones yet living —James W. and Jacob P., the latter residing in Star City, Ark. James W. Hellums was partly reared in Mississippi, where he also received his education, and in 1858 moved with his mother to Drew County, Ark. The following year he came to Pine Bluff and established himself in business, continuing with success until the Civil War commenced. In 1862 he left the business in charge of his partner, and enlisted in D. W. Carroll's company—the present chancellor—and served until the surrender, holding the rank of lieutenant in that company, but at the disbandment of the troops he was captain of Company K, Logan’s Consolidated Cavalry Regiment. Capt. Heliums was captured at Port Hudson on July 9, 1863, sometime after the battle of Vicksburg. Together with twelve other officers he was taken on board a vessel lying in the Mississippi, to be transferred to Johnson’s Island, but every one of the twelve jumped overboard, and all but two succeeded in swimming to the shore and escaped. Mr. Heliums was among the number who gained their liberty, while the other two were drowned. He previously took part in the battles of Corinth, Farmington and Iuka, and a number of hard skirmishes. When the war was over he returned to Drew County, and remained there a short time, but soon came to Pine Bluff in order to close out his business. After that was done he went back to Drew County, and resided there until January, 1889, when he once more came to Pine Bluff and built a fine residence, intending to make this city his permanent home. He owns a store at Star City and one at Grady, both in Lincoln County, and enjoys a large patronage, and in connection with his commercial interests, owns about 1,000 acres of valuable land, with a considerable amount under cultivation, his principal crop being cotton. Mr. Hellums was married in December, 1864, to Miss Susie Carlton, of Alabama, by whom he has had six children: Julius H., Clyde E., Cora, Jennie, Chester and Guy. His wife is a devout Christian lady, and belongs to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Mr. Hellums is a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, and a popular citizen of Pine Bluff, taking an active part in all matters that bear upon its progress and advancement.

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This family biography is one of 136 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Jefferson County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Jefferson County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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