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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Pulaski 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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Oscar M. Spellman, United States marshal for the Eastern district of Arkansas, residing at Swan Lake, Jefferson County, was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, September 17, 1844, and is a son of Henry P. and Mary (King) Spellman, natives of New York and Ohio, respectively. The father was a successful farmer by occupation, who moved from his native State to Hancock County, Ill., in 1845, and there resided until the outbreak of the Rebellion, when he settled in Alexandria, Clark County, Mo., and while there organized a Home Guard of six companies, being commissioned by Gen. Lyons for that purpose. After the battle of Athens, in August, 1861, he entered the volunteer service, joining the Seventh Missouri Cavalry, and served until the war was ended, when he was mustered out as a major of that regiment. Maj. Spellman then came to Arkansas and resumed his former pursuit of farming, which he has continued to follow with success. Both parents are at present residing at Sugar Loaf Springs, in Cleburne County. Six children were born to their marriage, of whom four are yet living, and all residing in Arkansas except one daughter, who lives in Warsaw, Ill. Oscar M. was an infant when his parents removed to Illinois, and was there reared and educated, attending the public schools of that State. He was only fifteen years of age when the Civil War commenced, but, nevertheless, enlisted in the Home Guards, and subsequently as a private in the Seventh Missouri Cavalry, in which regiment he served until the war was over. At the battle of Lone Jack, Mo., he was wounded, and when the First and Seventh Missouri Regiments were consolidated he received a first lieutenant’s commission in Company I. On April 25, 1864, he was captured at the battle of Mark’s Mill, and taken to Texas, where he was held as a prisoner of war for seven or eight months, but on December 4 of that year he made his escape and returned to the Union lines. After the war he came to Arkansas and turned his attention to farming, also dealing in general merchandise. In politics Mr. Spellman is a stanch Republican, and was appointed to his present office by President Harrison for his efficient services and loyalty. In secret societies he is a member of the Knights of Honor at Pine Bluff. He was married August 3, 1869, to Mary, daughter of James L. Johnson, of Swan Lake, Ark., by whom he has had six children, three of them yet living: G. L., Carl and Emma.

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This family biography is one of 156 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Pulaski County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Pulaski County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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