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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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William Franklin Gill is a son of Nathaniel Y. Gill, a native of Tennessee, who made that State his home until 1849, when he removed to Mississippi, locating near Holly Springs. He was married in Tennessee to Miss Susan Bowles, also of that State. In 1854 they came to Arkansas, and engaged in farming on the plantation now owned by Mr. N. L. Graves, near Lexa. He was a hard-working man, and a good manager, and in 1861 raised the largest crop of cotton per acre of any ever grown in Eastern Arkansas. Mr. Gill died in December, 1873, at the age of nearly fifty years. His wife was called to her long home in the same month, when forty-five years old. The paternal grandfather of the principal of this sketch, was a native of North Carolina, and of Irish descent, and moved to Tennessee when a young man, where he lived the remainder of his life, following the occupation of a farmer. William Franklin Gill was born near Columbia, Tenn., on January 8, 1846, being the eldest in a family of seven children, six of whom are living: William F., R. O. (also a farmer of this county), Morris (a farmer of Phillips County), John Y. (a merchant of Texas), Isaac S. (a teacher, also in Texas) and Mary P. (the wife of L. G. Howard [see sketch of William T. Howard in this work], the partner of our subject in the mercantile business in La Grange). In 1862 William F. Gill enlisted in Dobbins’ regiment of Confederate Cavalry, in which he served until the close of the war, participating in all of the principal battles in Price’s raid through Missouri, Kansas and the Indian Territory. After the close of the war, he went on the farm with his father, remaining with him until his marriage, on November 18, 1869. Mr. Gill labored for himself on the farm for one year, and then moved to La Grange, entering into the mercantile business with his father and brother, R. O. Gill. This was continued until his father died, when he and his brother conducted the trade until 1881, and then dissolved. Mr. Gill then went into business with Mr. L. G. Howard, his brother-in-law. They started with a very small capital, but their present large business demonstrates what can be done by true energy, combined with a large stock of common sense, good business management and honest dealings. He was married, on November 18, 1869, to Miss Bettie Underwood, a native of Tennessee, who died in March, 1874, leaving three children, two still living: Mollie and William Y. Mr. Gill married his second and present wife, Rebecca Holland, February 4, 1875. She was born in the State of South Carolina, in 1857, and is the mother of one daughter, Beulah. In addition to his store at La Grange, Mr. Gill owns 800 acres of fine land, of which 450 acres are under cultivation. All this he has made since the war. He is a member of the Royal Arcanum, of the Knights of Honor and is a prominent Democrat of Richland Township.

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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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