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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Randolph 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 Henry Skaggs was born on the 2d of August, 1840, near Danby, Jefferson County, Mo., and is the son of Henry Skaggs, the grandson of Stephen Skaggs, and the great-grandson of James Skaggs, who was a native of Virginia, a man of great physical strength and activity, and of whom it is said that he settled in Kentucky before Daniel Boone. Stephen Skaggs was also a native of Virginia, his birth occurring about 1764. He died in Kentucky in 1814. His wife’s maiden name was Miss Nancy Andrews, who was born in the year 1766, and died in Kentucky in 1862. Henry Skaggs (father of the subject of this sketch) was born in Green County, Ky., on the 6th of June, 1807, and came to Jefferson County, Mo., in 1833, bought a tract of land of several hundred acres, and this he improved and cultivated. He devoted the remainder of his life to farming and the raising of fine horses. He died on the 9th of September, 1866. His wife, Mrs. Mary (Eagelbarger) Skaggs, was born on the 7th of October, 1814, and was a woman of superior intelligence and firmness of character. She received her final summons in Jefferson County, Mo., in September, 1866. The maternal grandfather of our subject, John M. Eagelbarger, was a native of Germany, born in 1784, and came to the United States in 1800, landing at Savannah, Ga. He came to Missouri at an early day, and here followed his trade, that of a gunsmith. He died in Jefferson County, Mo., on the 3d of July, 1829. His wife’s maiden name was Unity Carlin, a sister of ex-Governor Carlin of Illinois, and a woman of great courage and determination. James Henry Skaggs (the subject of this sketch), was taught the principles of farming in early life, and in 1861 he joined the Confederate army under the command of Gen. Jeff. Thompson, served about eight months, and was discharged on account of sickness. He then followed school teaching for about six years, two of which were spent in Monroe County, Ill., and the remainder in Jefferson and St. Francois Counties, Mo. During the period of teaching he gave his spare time to the study of medicine. Later he engaged in dealing in livestock and in merchandising, which he continued two years. In 1870 he came to Clay County, Ark., and followed farming and buying stock. He selected for his companion in life Miss Eliza James, and was united in marriage to her in 1873. They had two children, both of whom died in youth. Mrs. Skaggs died on the 19th of March, 1875. After that Mr. Skaggs accepted a position as collecting agent for Levi Hecht & Bros., at Pocahontas, which he held for over a year. In 1876, on the 17th of December, he was married to Mrs. Serena J. Russell, a native of Louisiana, and whose maiden name was Kilcrease. Mr. Skaggs then turned his attention once more to farming. In 1882 he was elected county surveyor, which office he filled with ability and credit. For the past few years he has been extensively engaged in agricultural pursuits, and also in the timber business, in which he has been very successful. He now owns over 4,000 acres of land and has 800 acres under cultivation. Mr. Skaggs is five feet eleven inches in height, and weighs 250 pounds. In middle life he was very strong and active, and was well trained in Olympic games, as was also his father. Mr. Skaggs after receiving a common-school education was for several terms under the tutorage of Mr. Robert A. Booth, a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, with whom our subject, among other things, completed mathematics as far as calculus. He has taken an active part in public affairs, and is alive to the interests of his country, is willing to do his part in forwarding all enterprises for public good, and is an important commercial factor of Randolph County.

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This family biography is one of 110 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Randolph County, Arkansas published in 1889.  View the complete description here: Randolph County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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

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