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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi 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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James Liston. There are many citizens of foreign birth represented within the pages of this volume, but none are more deserving of mention than Mr. Liston, who was born in Ireland in 1838, and was the youngest in a family of four children, the result of the union of Patrick and Julia (Ahern) Liston. The parents emigrated to the United States in 1847, settled in Kentucky and there the father followed agricultural pursuits. They passed the balance of their days in that State, the mother dying in 1853 and the father in 1867. James Liston attended St. Peter’s school in Louisville, until fifteen years of age, when he went to Iowa and was engaged in working on a farm for two years. He then came back to Louisville and clerked in a wholesale grain house until 1862, when he went to Nashville, Tenn., and was employed as wagon master until 1866. After this he returned to Louisville, where he commenced the grocery and general hauling business until 1870, when he discontinued this and commenced railroad contract work on the Louisville & Paducah Railroad, also the Brownville & Durham Railroad. He then resumed his former business in Louisville, which he carried on for one year, and then, in 1873, came to Osceola, where he worked for W. P. Hale as general workman for about six years. During this time he started a small store, which was conducted by his family. In 1879 he started his present extensive business, which has been growing larger every year. Mr. Liston purchased quite extensive town property, which is yearly advancing in value. He also owns a half interest in a tract of 100 acres in the southern part of the county. He is quite active, politically, and has held the offices of justice of the peace and treasurer of the county, also the position of alderman, with the exception of four years, ever since the incorporation of the town in 1874. Mr. Liston buys all country produce, cotton, etc., and has a well selected stock of goods. He met Miss Honora O’Donell, also a native of Ireland, and was united in marriage to her in 1857. This happy union has been blessed by the birth of three children, only one now living, Anna. The two deceased are Patrick and Michael. Mr. Liston is an active worker in school matters, and all things promising to contribute to the good of this section.

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This family biography is one of 162 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi County, Arkansas published in 1889.  View the complete description here: Mississippi County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Mississippi County, Arkansas family biographies here: Mississippi County, Arkansas Biographies

View a map of 1889 Mississippi County, Arkansas here: Mississippi County, Arkansas Map

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