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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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W. J. Childress, M. D., a prominent physician of Pine Bluff, was born in Franklin, Williamson County, Tenn., December 12, 1827, being the son of William G. and Mary (Bradley) Childress, both natives of Tennessee. The paternal grandfather, Stephen, was of North Carolina nativity, and early settled at Nashville, Tenn., where, as well as can be traced, he built the first house in that future city. He died in the western portion of the State. The father of Dr. Childress was a farmer by vocation, and lived most of his life in Williamson County, where he died in 1846. He was sheriff of that county for some time, and also represented his constituents in the legislature. He was also cashier of the Bank of Franklin. Mrs. Childress died in 1864, having reared eight children, five of whom are living: Thomas B. (a prominent lawyer of St. Louis), William J. (twin brother to Thomas, and the subject of this biography), Mrs. Sinclair (of Texas), Mrs. Kilpatrick, and Mrs. Cole (both of Memphis). Dr. Childress was brought up and received his education in Tennessee, commencing the study of medicine at an early age, and after a thorough preparation, in 1852, he was graduated from the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia. He began practice in Nashville, Tenn., and in the fall of 1852, came to Jefferson County, Ark., locating at Richland, where he entered upon a professional career, and continued for many years. He then settled in Arkansas County, but in 1886 returned to Pine Bluff, where he is still occupied in the practice of his profession, being recognized as one of the most prominent physicians of Central Arkansas, and deservedly popular. In 1854 he married Ellen N. Woodson, who bore three children, two of whom are now living: Thomas B. and Amanda R. Mrs. Childress died in 1883. The Doctor is an influential Democrat, and a member of the Catholic Church.

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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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