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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Phillips 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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James H. Lanier, farmer, Helena, Ark. This prominent and much respected citizen of Phillips County, Ark., was born in Person County, N. C, on March 10, 1826, and is one of thirteen children born to the union of Lewis G. and Sarah E. (Henning) Lanier, natives of North Carolina. The father was born in 1800, and was married in his native State to Miss Henning. About 1830 they moved to Maury County, Tenn., and there the mother died in 1850, when about forty-nine years of age. The father was afterward married three times, and received his final summons in Maury County in 1880. His last wife survives him and is now living in Maury County, Tenn. The mother of our subject was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the father a member of the Masonic fraternity, and a Whig in politics. He was a well-to-do farmer and stock raiser. Of their large family of children, three are now living, and James H. is fourth in order of birth. They are named as follows: James H., Joseph (a saddler, and is now living in Wynne, Ark.) and William (a farmer in Maury County, Tenn.). Those deceased were: Lewis (a farmer of Maury County), Mary (died in that county), Albert (died during the war while in the Confederate service, and it is thought his last days were spent in a Federal prison), Hugh H. (died in Maury County, Tenn.; was a farmer), Martha (died in Tennessee), Sallie (died in that State) and Rebecca (who is the eldest daughter and the wife of James H. Colburn, died in Tennessee). James H. Lanier passed his school-boy days in Maury County, Tenn., and when twenty-two years of age engaged in agricultural pursuits, which he continued only a short time until he turned his attention to mercantile pursuits, serving in the capacity of salesman at Mount Pleasant for three years. He again returned to tilling the soil, and in 1855 moved to Phillips County, Ark., serving in the capacity of overseer on the plantation of Thomas Barrows, continuing thus for three years. In 1862 he enlisted in Capt Weatherby’s company of Col. Dobbins’ regiment of cavalry, and served until the close of the war, being in the commissary department during the latter part of the war. He participated in the battle of Helena; was with Gen. Price on his raid through Missouri, and was at Pilot Knob. After the war he commenced to farm for himself, bought forty acres of land, and has added to this until he has an extensive farm. In 1858 he was united in marriage to Miss Sarah E. Lanford, a native of Alabama, born near Huntsville on November 14, 1835, and the daughter of William Lanford. The fruits of this union were two children: James R. (in the employ of Lohman & Co., at Helena) and Mittie N. (attending school at Helena). These children are deceased: William L. (died when ten years of age), Sallie R. (died at the age of eight years), Martha F. (when six years of age) and Mary L. (at the age of ten years). Mrs. Lanier has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, since early girlhood. Mr. Lanier is a Mason, a member of the Wheel, and is a Democrat in politics. He is an enterprising and much respected citizen of the county.

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This family biography is one of 103 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Phillips County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Phillips County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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