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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Lee 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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Robert O. Gill is one of the prominent residents of Haynes, Ark., is a money lender and a large real estate owner, having become by his own industry the owner of 960 acres of land with about 260 acres under cultivation. His property is improved with good buildings and fences, and besides his own comfortable and pleasant home in Haynes, he owns another house and lot. He was born in Tennessee, in 1847, and is the second of seven children born to Nathaniel Y. and Susan A. (Bowles) Gill, also native-born citizens of Tennessee. They removed to Phillips County, Ark., in 1851, and settled twelve miles west of Helena, near what is known as Lexa, and there the father was manager of a plantation belonging to his uncle, Isaac Smith, and afterward worked in the same capacity for William Pillow. In 1856 he bought a farm west of Helena, known as Hude Park plantation, but sold out at the end of one year and became general manager of the plantation belonging to Mr. Pillow, remaining with him until the opening of the war, during which time he farmed on what is known as the Grant place. After the war was over he bought what is now known as the H. P. Rogers’ place, and here made his home until 1867, when he became the owner of a farm three miles west of Haynes for one year, selling it then to Dr. Wood, moving in the spring of 1869 to La Grange, where he was engaged in the mercantile business until his death, December 16, 1873; his death was caused by pneumonia. His wife died December 3, 1873, and both had been members of the Baptist Church for a number of years. Six of their seven children are now living: W. F. (who is a merchant at La Grange), Robert O., Maria M., John Y. (of Texas), I. S. (of Texas), and Mary P. (wife of W. L. Howard, of La Grange). Robert O. Gill was reared and educated in Phillips and Lee Counties. He received only the advantages of a common-school education in his early youth, the turmoils of war placing it beyond the power of his parents to send him to higher institutions of learning, but by self-application and much reading he is one of the best posted and most intelligent men of the county. At the age of twenty-one years, or in 1868, he began life for himself as a farmer, but after farming on rented land for one year he began merchandising in La Grange, his capital stock amounting to $600, which he had earned the previous year. Since 1883 he has been a resident of Haynes, and until the spring of 1889 followed merchandising, but then sold out and has been following his present occupation. He is a man who favors all laudable public enterprises and in his political views is a Democrat. Socially he is a member of the K. of H., La Grange Lodge No. 2166, and has held nearly all the chairs in the local lodge. In the spring of 1875 he was married to Miss Cornelia L. Smith, a daughter of G. B. and Susan S. Smith, natives of Northern Alabama, who removed to Arkansas a few years prior to the late Civil War. Mrs. Smith died in 1888. Of the seven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Gill, two are now living: Alma L. and Robbie.

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This family biography is one of 104 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Lee County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Lee County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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